Title: Diving to Drown
Author: tafkar
Summary: The colonization of desire.
Warning: Non-con. Dark.
Rating: NC-17
Archiving: Always welcome; just let me know you have done so.
Thanks to: Fenriss, my fandom girlfriend and muse, for letting me read the first page of this to her over the phone even though Stargate was on; Greensilver for reading the first two sections when I was hesitant and saying "if you don't finish this, I will KILL you"; Aayesha, Danvers, Quinnclub and FairMer for providing beta services above and beyond the call of betadom (and Danvers for also providing what may be the best line in the story); Miera_c for asking perceptive questions that helped me clarify a couple of things; Sol3 for letting me sit in his living room and read out revised versions of the same sentence for two hours, giving constructive and sensitive feedback every single time; and (deep breath): Katie M, Docmichelle, Emungere, SF, uberaeryn, Skrip, Cofax, Lyssie, Chaiya, Carolyn Claire, Ilanabean, Urb Banal, Jenlev, Otter and Kellygirl for responding to my pleas for constructive criticism on earlier versions. If it weren't for them, this story would stay in a very dark corner of my laptop.

 

DIVING TO DROWN

The first time Daniel Jackson cheats on his wife, the woman straddling his body has flowing black hair, jet eyes, and skin the hue of the maple syrup his grandfather poured on his pancakes while telling him about the foster home. She's wet, warm and yielding as she lets him in, laughing joyously, the sweet smell of gardenias overlaying the musky scent of her sex. Daniel's not sure if it counts as cheating, though. Does it count if an alien has taken over your body?

She runs her fingers through his hair. "This time you must not shave it, Apophis," she says as she rides him, hips rocking back and forth, back and forth, her voice eerily modulated. "I want to see your hair spill around your shoulders." She clenches around him slowly, rhythmically, and unbidden (by Daniel, anyway), his hand reaches out, slides up her smooth, slender waist to cup her small, pert breasts, one thumb sliding over her dark, hard nipples. The sensation is startlingly new to this Goa'uld, so long without a host. His body responds to her, his hips thrusting up, and his voice, with that same eerie modulation, says, "Ah, Amaunet," even as he thinks to himself, Sha're's were nicer.

Her mouth covers his, moist and sucking, and it feels like some sort of erotic dream/nightmare. He breathes deeply of the sickly sweaty-sweet essence of gardenias, and thinks that when he wakes up he will go to Kasuf's lovingly tended garden and uproot every one of the white, waxy flowers. Someone else is moving his body, but Daniel can still feel the physical delight from every touch, pinch and caress of his skin. He tries to convince himself that he will wake up soon. Soon, he will roll over and bury his face in the silky, full waves of Sha're's dark hair as the sun glints through the cloth of the tent, painting her honey skin with a golden glow. He'll breathe in the smell of sweat and sand, the reality of her, press his hips against her firm buttocks, and she will turn to him, sleepy and smiling, and brush his hair back from his face.

Apophis takes Amaunet by the hips - Daniel can feel them, firm and a little sharp beneath his hands - and quickly flips her over onto her back, keeping himself buried deep inside her as he rolls on top of her. The pleasure of the movement is almost too much to bear, and Daniel wonders if it's cheating on his wife if he feels some of the ecstatic physical sensation of this act. His eyes look deep into the dark ones of the woman beneath him, sharply in focus even though his eyeglasses lie crushed on another world. "Amaunet, my love," he says, and his vocal cords buzz oddly with the new voice coming through them. She brushes the hair back from his face, smiling more broadly, and as Daniel looks through the eyes that Apophis now controls, he wonders if there is someone in there, trapped by Amaunet, watching him.

They could have gotten Sha're, too , he thinks, his back arching as Amaunet's nails score his shoulder blades. Everything goes dark around the edges as her slick, firm tongue circles around and around his nipple, and he thinks he might spill his seed right then.

Apophis' seed, not mine. You are not doing this. Think of something else.

They got Daniel. They got Skaara. They could have taken Sha're, too, if O'Neill hadn't been quick-thinking enough to grab her, clamp one hand over her mouth, and drag her toward the back of that huge cell when she tried to run to him. Collect the whole set.

If Amaunet, too, had been in need of a host, he could be looking into her eyes right now, both of them trapped within their bodies by these alien creatures, being forced to couple for the Goa'ulds' pleasure and amusement, trying somehow to signal their love for each other with some flicker of the eyes.

How horrifying , Daniel thinks.

How delightful , Apophis whispers to him.

The orgasm cuts through Daniel like a knife. When he can see again, he's amazed the bed isn't covered in blood.

-----------

The first time Daniel Jackson slides inside his wife after leaving Abydos , he has her thrown half on top of the sarcophagus and blood is trickling from the corner of her mouth. Slipping into Sha're feels like coming home, and he dearly, desperately wishes that Apophis weren't raping her.

It begins in a blur. The former First Prime and Sha're burst into the control room, killing the two guards with swift efficiency. The door locks behind them. One wave of the ribbon device and Teal'c - shol'vah, Apophis thinks with a sneer - is flung against the wall. Daniel wonders if he's dead. The last blast of the big dark Jaffa 's weapon goes wide. It's not enough to kill Apophis, but it throws Daniel on his back and he can feel the Goa'uld lose control momentarily. Sha're drops to her knees beside him as blood flows from his shoulder, and he wonders why the hell she came fully armed to a Goa'uld mothership with one lone traitorous Jaffa as backup. "Sha're," Daniel gasps out. "Kill me, quick."

"What?" Sha're asks, reaching out. Her fierce soldier mask cracks to reveal his tender wife underneath, the muzzle of her gun lowering momentarily, and that's all it takes. Apophis is in control again, launching himself up, throwing her against the side of the sarcophagus.

Let go of her! Don't touch her! Daniel screams at Apophis. She's my wife!

"In my head, I can hear your husband. Often, I hear him talking. Right now, he is screaming," Apophis says, the growling tones shaking Daniel's larynx. "He will not be quiet."

Sha're barks out a sharp laugh, her face breaking out in a furious smile. "That's my Daniel." His hand strikes hard across her face, and they struggle for a moment. She viciously twists his wrist, and she might have had Apophis, too, if she'd grabbed the right one instead of the left. Instead, with a swift wave of the ribbon device - gently, just enough to daze - her knees give way, she loses her grasp, and he turns her around, slamming her onto her stomach on the sarcophagus.

I don't love her enough , Daniel thinks. If he did, he'd be able to stop this. He'd at least be able to keep Apophis from diving into Daniel's knowledge to learn how to manipulate zippers and bra clasps. He yanks her pants down to her knees, the tangle of delicate panties pulling her knees closer together like some lacy bondage device, and she still hasn't shaken off the stun.

Apophis laughs as he slides one hand under her camouflage jacket, under her black T-shirt, shoving her bra up to get at her breasts, and the cloth cups covering her nipples are something new, nothing Daniel ever imagined his wife wearing. Daniel knows Apophis isn't touching her for his own pleasure - he's touching her wherever he can because he can feel Daniel's impotent rage and hate.

LET GO OF HER!

Apophis slams into Sha're hard, and Daniel feels the familiar soft flesh of her ass against his hips, her smooth legs against his, the unfamiliar sensation of BDU pants half-off and crumpled at her knees. My wife, he thinks fiercely at Apophis, who laughs at Daniel's protests as he thrusts again. One of her feet snaps back suddenly, and the burst of pain as the heel of her combat boot slams into his shin is shocking.

That's it, Sha're. Fight him.

Apophis slams his knee into the back of hers, causing her to sag again, the sarcophagus the only thing holding her up. He grabs her long brown hair, yanking her head up roughly, turning her head as far toward him as he can without snapping her neck. Daniel dimly notices the dark metallic scent of blood, and feels Apophis' thrill at the odor. Her resistance, Daniel realizes, excites this false god. He bends down to bite the skin at the nape of her neck, and she screams in pain, and Apophis shudders with the pleasure of it. She smells, incongruously, like Ivory soap, and Daniel longs for Earth.

She snarls a little bit as he tugs harder at her hair. Her fingers scrabble for purchase on the slick cover of the sarcophagus, reaching out desperately for a gun that's just beyond her reach before Apophis lets go of her hair and slams her down again with a hand pressed hard between her shoulder blades. Daniel can hear her teeth click together as her chin slams against the sarcophagus. And again Daniel wonders what has happened to his wife since she left Abydos , what transformation took place that turned his sweet girl into the tough soldier that is pinned beneath him, refusing to give up despite what is being done to her. She is stronger than I am, he thinks.

Something moves, just slightly, in the corner. Daniel directs all of his attention to the beautiful woman in whom he is buried up to the hilt, and makes sure that Sha're is his entire world.

Oh, God. Her nipples are hard against his palms as he slides his arms around her, pinning hers to her sides, and her breasts are so full, round and soft, and he wishes desperately that this was not rape, because she feels so warm and familiar against him. He thinks of the spot just above her right hipbone where the lightest touch of his fingers would make her writhe, and Apophis moves his hand there, mimicking Daniel's touch. She gasps and her hips momentarily rock back into his. He wishes he had control of his own body, that he could stroke her hair and whisper tenderness in her ear. Instead, Apophis says, "I will make you my queen. Then you will be beside him forever." Daniel can feel Apophis' excitement at the idea, his pleasure at the new body moving underneath him, his amusement at the delicious irony of the husband and wife as hosts, together yet never quite meeting beneath the control of the Goa'uld. Daniel wants to scream, but no matter how hard he tries, nothing comes out of his mouth but Apophis' laughter.

Apophis slides Daniel's hand down further, nestling into the tangle of dark hair between her legs, into the slippery secret folds. He feels her sultry wetness and remembers when she first introduced him to her mysteries, sand rough under his back as her laughing face was limned by the desert moons. This time, he thinks there may be blood on his hand and shies away from the thought. Apophis catches the fleeting fear and brings his damp hand up, sliding over her hip, and he can feel the smile twist his lips as he leaves a trail of bright red on her skin.

Apophis brings one finger up to his mouth, painting his mouth with the mix of Sha're's hot sex and blood. Sha're's eyes are wide and dark and frightened as he looks into them, and he feels the muscles of his groin clench even tighter as Apophis is excited by the sight.

I'm sorry , Daniel thinks, and is ashamed of what his body does, unbidden. I'm so sorry.

The staff blast through his chest comes as a release. Ha, you bastard, Daniel screams at Apophis, catching a glimpse of the big dark Jaffa as he falls to the floor. You didn't see that coming.

Thank you , he tries to say to the warrior as Teal'c gently lifts his wife off the sarcophagus. But Daniel's lips won't move. I'm sorry, he thinks, as the world goes dark except for Sha're. As she vanishes, he thinks, I love you.

His groin is still sticky when he climbs out of the sarchophagus, hours later, and his hands smell like a mix of her fluids and his. There is no time to wash before he must rush to the tel'tak and escape the exploding mothership.

Apophis taunts him the entire voyage back to Chulak by resting his hand over his mouth and inhaling deeply.

----------

Apophis, Daniel learns, loves fear more than anything else.

When Apophis climbs out of the sarcophagus this time, Daniel feels alive and a little giddy. As his body strides down the hall, he exults in the feeling of his long limbs moving. The gentle, feathery caress of his fine blond hair against his shoulders tantalizes with each turn of his head, sending little erotic quakes through his body. He can feel power in every limb.

He scratches the nail of his left index finger against the inside of his thumb. He's been doing this for weeks, now, a small act of rebellion that somehow slips by Apophis every time. Before they got into the sarcophagus this time, he'd scratched until he'd broken through the skin. It bled on Apophis' robes.

Daniel is quite proud of the blood, but he locks that pride in a tiny corner of his mind he's managed to segment off from Apophis. It's a sign the tide is turning. He's beginning to gain control.

Every woman Apophis has picked since that terrible, wonderful mission to Earth has been a poor man's copy of Sha're. Or maybe Daniel's just looking for Sha're in every woman he sees. One thing is for sure - she's everywhere. As Apophis' eyes light upon yet another dark-haired, long-limbed beauty in the harem, Daniel scoffs.

Apophis hesitates. You mock my choice?

For someone who is thousands of years old, you seem to be trapped in quite a routine. Did your creativity die along with your first host?

Apophis snarls.

Daniel is laughing as he continues. That's what you need us for, isn't it? You Goa'uld can't come up with an original idea of your own. You say the host doesn't exist, but you lie. You have to keep us! We're all that stands between you and a grim death from terminal boredom!

You, with your short lifespan, know so much of variety? Apophis sneers.

Daniel remembers his first two years at Harvard. He remembers clinging to Katie Quinlan, small, plump and blond, as they skinny-dipped at midnight in Walden Pond , remembered how she was so buoyant that she had to wrap her legs tightly around his hips in order to keep from floating away. The glint of the moon was almost blinding off the water as Andrew's hand slid around his waist to where Daniel and Katie were joined, his sinewy long body pressed into Daniel's back, tasting mossy like the pond as he slid his tongue into Daniel's mouth.

For once, Apophis actually seems a little shocked. He'd thought that, several weeks ago in a tangle of several male and female bodies, he'd forced his host into something new.

Everyone experiments in college , Daniel thinks, laughing at Apophis' reaction and tossing out mental snapshot after mental snapshot, a little photo book he's kept in his head of his accumulated erotic experience, which he'd pulled out and scanned through over and over again in the lonely time between Sarah and Sha're, when he'd never left his research long enough to add to it. He'd never sought out sexual companionship, but it had always seemed to find him, in the most intriguing combinations and exotic iterations.

Apophis turns away from the leggy brunette and directs his Jaffa to bring a pale woman, hair almost the same color as her white, white skin, to his chambers. When she arrives, Daniel is surprised to see that her irises are red with blue around the edges - a true albino.

She stands in the center of the room, naked, shaking a little in fear but not giving an inch. As Apophis waves his Jaffa out of the room, Daniel mentally applauds her courage. The women of the harem are aware of exactly what Apophis does to them, and most would be cowering and begging by now.

Like every woman in the harem, she's been carefully plucked and powdered and smells like jonquils that have been trampled underfoot. Apophis walks around her in a circle, looking at her from all sides. Her muscles tense as Apophis stands behind her, and he lingers there for a moment, enjoying her anxiety as he moves close enough for her to feel his body heat. Daniel can tell when they are within her peripheral vision because her eyes - just her eyes – snap to the side to follow him. They narrow a little as he glides to a stop.

He stands in front of her and strokes her with one hand, the one with the ribbon device. Metal fingertips slide down her throat and over her right breast. She shivers. Apophis touches her full, heavy breast, spiraling one metal finger in ever-narrowing circles around her nipple, and her eyes begin to droop. Then he pinches the hardened nub viciously, and her eyes open wide. She cries out in pain and fear.

Daniel feels the blood rushing, thickening his cock. Apophis likes her fear. Hurting her excites the false god.

Daniel suddenly realizes, sickeningly, that it excites him, too.

Apophis alternates between pleasure and pain, first stroking her back gently with both hands, peppering it with delicate kisses, then throwing her to the floor and pinning her down, pouring just enough power into the ribbon device to heat the metal fingertips and lightly, ever so lightly, burn her skin in long, lingering strokes. Daniel wants to turn away, but he's trapped in his body with no way to run from the sight, or how he responds to it. She cries out and struggles, and her full, round ass bumps against Daniel's dick, which feels tight and overripe, and Daniel desperately tries to fight against that part of him that says, more, more, how wet she must feel inside when she cries.

His heart is pounding. He knows it's Apophis' arousal, but it also feels like a panic attack. Apophis is laughing, laughing. We are not so different, you and I, Apophis thinks. Your shame makes this all the better. How long will it take you to accept what you really are?

Stimulus-response behavior , Daniel thinks. That's all this is. He thinks of Pavlov, and freshman psych, and the way rats were trained to avoid a corner of a cage, even if it held food, by repeated electric shocks. If….

Oh, god, she is so slick and wet. Daniel's finger slides inside her, one thumb moving hard and rough over her clit. She's writhing beneath him, begging and resisting at once. He slides more fingers inside despite her protests, working her hard until she expands enough to let him squeeze yet another in, and he's not sure who's in control of the body now, him or Apophis. He tries not to think about that as his cock feels harder, more swollen and ready to burst than he can ever remember. Everything's increasing the physical excitement – Daniel's disgust at his own reactions, Apophis' excitement and arousal at Daniel's desperate denial, the way the woman writhes under him, feeling almost like Sha're in her tightness - and Daniel can't help but think, oh, this is going to be intense.

He cringes from the thought. Stimulus-response. A rat can be trained to avoid even pleasurable things with a painful stimulus. The converse is also true; it makes sense that even morally reprehensible acts could be made erotic to him if, every time he is exposed to them, Apophis ensures he's aroused. He tries to imagine Dr. Lukas, his freshman psych professor, lecturing on the topic. Lukas always reminded him a little of Robin Williams, with a mustache. Imagining that is sure to take the edge off.

With a twist, Apophis slides his entire hand into the woman's warm, wet cunt. She gasps and sobs as his fingers curl closed, her muscles clenching so tightly that she's almost crushing him. All images of unattractive psych profs fly right out of Daniel's head. Apophis is dizzy with erotic power. He slides one hand gently down her pale back as Daniel hears him say, "Shhhhh. Shhhhh. It's okay," and realizes there's none of that now-familiar vibration. Daniel's got momentary control of his own larynx, and it's his own words that are slipping out. Between one breath and the next, however, it's gone - Apophis has taken over again, and he slowly pulls his hand out of her. Daniel expects him to fuck her next, and is surprised when instead he rolls her over, wraps one fist in her hair, and drags her mouth to his groin.

The feel of her wet mouth, momentarily cold from her gasps, is shocking in its intensity. Most of the women that Apophis chooses are darker than Daniel. This sight, skin even paler than his and hair even lighter pooling over his thighs and dark gold pubic curls, is stunning in its newness. They've never taken a blonde before. The orgasm comes so quickly, so intensely, that Apophis and Daniel are both left spinning in the dark, overwhelmed, tiny tendrils of consciousness clinging to each other.

Daniel breaks through first, and manages to tenderly caress the albino girl's face before Apophis takes possession again.

Stimulus-response , Apophis says to him. He sits up and claps his hands. " Jaffa , kree!"

The Jaffa don't blink at the sight of Apophis, naked. They never do. He strokes her cheek again, gently pulling her to her feet. "Place her in a solitary chamber. The one with the fountain."

Daniel is surprised at Apophis' generosity. Then the vicious, cruel plan unfolds in Apophis' mind, and he screams out his rage. No one can hear him but Apophis, however, and Apophis is delighted.

The girl is placed in a luxurious solitary chamber. She has every comfort she could want - the finest clothing, luxurious bedding, and a fountain constantly burbling in the corner to provide water.

The door is blocked with an energy field, so Apophis can watch her through it. The fountain is covered with a similar energy field. Any time she attempts to touch it, she will receive an agonizing shock.

Stimulus-response, Apophis thinks, pleased, as she screams at him on the first day. "Let me drink!" she says. "Give me water!" She rushes him but is thrown across the room when she slams against the energy field.

On the second day, Apophis watches as she is wracked by cramps. Daniel wants to turn away, but is forced to watch her agonies through Apophis' eyes. The juice of pomegranates is tart and sweet on his tongue as the sound of rushing water fills his ears.

On the third day, through cracked lips, she says, "Master, why are you doing this to me? Have I displeased you? Please, just let me drink." Daniel wants to go to her, but Apophis has control of the body - all except for his left index finger, which scratches, scratches, scratches frantically against the inside of his thumb. She throws herself against the energy field around the fountain, repeatedly, until she cannot rise from the ground.

Apophis notices the blood on his hand on the fourth day, but won't go to the sarcophagus and miss the last of the entertainment. He removes the force field from the fountain as she lies dying. "You may drink," he says.

She drags herself toward the fountain slowly, inch by inch. She reaches one hand out for the water, and suddenly jerks it back, as if she's expecting to be burned. She reaches forward again, pulls back suddenly, and rolls over on her side, her back to the water.

Don't do this , Daniel thinks, his finger still scratching, unnoticed, against the raw bloody meat on the inside of his thumb. Please, please let me help her.

Apophis releases the energy field over the door, and his hold on Daniel's body. Daniel races into the room.

"Oh, God, oh, God," he says, and can hear Apophis chuckle at the empty supplication. He looks around the room for a cup, but there isn't any. He cups his hands under the fountain, filling them with water, and drops to his knees, spilling some of the precious liquid on the floor. She smells like rotting paper. "I'm so sorry," he says, bringing his hands to her lips as her breath rasps from her throat. "Please, please drink." If he can get her to drink a little, maybe he can convince Apophis to put her in the sarcophagus.

As he pours the water toward her lips, he sees the fear in her sunken red eyes. She flinches out of the way, and it pours past her face, pooling in her white hair. She breathes, one last tremulous gasp, and then dies. He realizes he doesn't even know her name.

Daniel is stunned at her death, stunned at the incredible cruel joke Apophis has just played on him, and doesn't even notice when Apophis takes back control of the body. He walks out of the room.

"Take that thing and burn it," he says to his Jaffa , gesturing at the body that lies inside the room. He doesn't even watch as they fetch her, but walks down the halls to his own chamber.

Never say I am not creative , Apophis snarls, tossing his long golden hair over his shoulders.

Daniel doesn't. He doesn't say anything for a long time. He merely scratches, scratches, scratches at the inside of his left thumb.

-----------

It is when Amaunet has her hand under his chin, the metal fingers of the ribbon device heated just short of burning temperature, that Daniel decides he likes the ferocity that Goa'uld vitality brings to sex. There's a small puddle of blood on the floor, some of it hers from when Apophis dragged a knife down her torso, some of it his from when she hit him across the face with her right hand, the ribbon device cutting his cheek. He can feel the blood still dripping down his face, but the cut on her stomach is almost healed, and he wonders if she's going to focus her power through her right hand in order to blow his head off, or slide those fingers down his body and strip off his loincloth, the only item of clothing they haven't yet shredded in this messy, violent round of foreplay.

Apophis is confident that her red-hot fingers are an empty threat, that she will never be rough enough to kill him permanently. Daniel isn't so sure. Apophis has been blatant both about his obsession with Sha're, and his plans to make his queen change hosts. His queen seems none too pleased about this plan, and Daniel wonders if it's some element of the host's self-preservation instinct coming to the floor. Apophis is confident in Amaunet's love. Daniel's almost positive, from the look in her black flashing eyes, that she's begun to hate her god.

Well, Daniel hates her, too, and Apophis, and he's realized that all that hate leads to some extraordinarily intense fucking. He fears that Apophis will succeed in his plan, and Daniel will have to see Amaunet's hate on Sha're's face. Not long ago, he was desperate to keep some part of himself pure for his wife. Now he just hopes she will never be dragged down to the bottom of the well with him. He is terribly, terribly afraid that if she joins him here, he'll learn to enjoy her suffering, too.

Amaunet leans closer to him, and then he feels her rough, firm tongue against his cheek, licking off the warm wetness. A part of him is disappointed - he'd hoped she might pick this time to finally end his residence in this seductive, erotic, despicable hell. Her mouth closes on his, and all thought of death and Sha're and any last decency he might have is wiped out by the taste of her saliva and his blood. The curtain of his golden hair surrounds both their faces, trapping them in a narrow shimmering tunnel. Daniel imagines what Sha're would be like if she were here. He pictures her delicate beauty, with all the raw rustic attitude burned away by Amaunet's haughty, regal manner and cruel creativity, and shudders inside. How wonderful it would be to take Sha're's hand and dive down, down into the well with his dark goddess at his side.

He grabs her by the waist and spins them both around, slamming her back against the wall. She gasps and he sees Amaunet again. Her small breasts press against his chest. Sha're's are nicer, he thinks, reflexively, and hears Apophis grunt in agreement. He drops his head down, licking and biting at her neck, suffocating in the scent of sweat and gardenias. A deep chuckle comes from her throat as she rubs against him.

She reaches one dark, delicate hand out to the side and grabs a knife, still slightly bloody, off the side table. With a flick, she cuts through the knot that holds the linen loincloth tight around his waist. It falls to the floor, and Apophis cannot wait any longer. He bends his knees, lifts her slightly, seating her on top of the table where that knife so lately lay, and slides into her.

Amaunet's muscular contractions used to astound Daniel, but he's grown bored with them - it's obvious she practices. While Apophis slides into her, Daniel begins conjugating Lithuanian verbs in his head. With thirteen distinct tenses, it'll take a while, and he knows it annoys Apophis to no end when Daniel thinks about linguistics. Apophis tried his own stimulus-response training to get Daniel to stop thinking about such topics, but it was hard to top the forcible dehydration episode. Daniel's grown numb to more minor forms of torture, and thus the cold war continues in his head.

He's running through the infinitive case, watching Amaunet's face flush and distantly feeling his hands roam her body, when he feels a sudden sharp prick against his pulse point. Apophis freezes and tilts his head up a bit, looking down. He can just barely see the handle of the small knife in Amaunet's hand. The point must be grazing his throat.

Well , Daniel thinks, feeling himself flush with heat. This has finally gotten interesting.

Apophis is so flustered by the sudden shift in power that he momentarily loses control of the body, and Daniel slowly, ever so slowly, sinks deeper into Amaunet. Her eyes glitter, and the knife presses just a little more firmly against his throat.

She smiles. "Are you not afraid I will kill you?" she asks.

Daniel smiles, and it's Daniel now, all Daniel, and as he thrusts into her he realizes he's never wanted anything more in his life. "It's what I'm praying for," he whispers. Her eyes widen in shock as she realizes it's the host, not the Goa'uld, speaking to her. He feels her clench around him, quickly, repeatedly, and as her eyelids flutter shut he knows that this time, it is unpracticed. As he comes in response to the sensation of her orgasm, he hears the knife clatter to the floor.

Damn, he thinks, wishing this were the big death instead of the little one. Damn.

Apophis thinks he should keep his suicidal host and homicidal queen far away from each other until he finally finds Sha're.

-----------

Years later, at the climax of an impossible rescue mission by SG-1, Apophis' dying whisper to Daniel is: You will never be free of me.

-----------

When Daniel finally gets home, he's not sure he'll ever fit there. Sha're's kitchen is the picture of domesticity, the toaster and microwave and Zojirushi fuzzy-logic rice cooker all parts of quintessential American living. He wonders who helped her decorate it - whether it was Sam, or O'Neill, or just a big stack of design magazines. In between countless missions, she's learned to get her oil changed in ten minutes or less, order a pizza (no anchovies), make sushi. She's even learned the deep occult art of fixed-point mortgages. It all seems normal to her, second nature, and even after months, it's shockingly alien to him. He's not sure he ever knew what nigiri was, even before he went to Abydos .

In over three years on Earth, she's even developed a fondness for coffee. "I hated it at first," she told him, "but I kept drinking it. I knew you loved it. It was a way to keep you close to me."

Daniel stands in the center of the kitchen, coffee cup in hand, and wonders if she would want to keep him close, if she knew the monster he'd become. Through the steam rising from the bitter brew, he sees her walk casually, naked and sleepy-eyed, past the doorway to the kitchen. Once her hair would have tumbled over her shoulders, but while he's been gone, she cut it efficiently short, and he's furious at Sam for introducing his wife to beauty salons. That shining, long hair is another piece of his wife that he lost to the SGC. Sha're gives him a shy smile that belies her unclothed state, just as she would have on Abydos , as she slips into the bathroom.

How can she compartmentalize everything so easily? Daniel wonders. He remembers raping her, remembers how her body felt under his as she was pinned against the sarcophagus, and yet it seems she feels that act was done by someone else. He watches her walk by and thinks of sliding his hands over her back, thinks of his fingers digging into her thighs and leaving stark red marks there branding her as his, BDU pants tangled around her legs, restraining them like an impromptu tether. He imagines her crying out.

He doesn't even realize he's thrown his coffee cup until he hears the crash and sees the dark liquid spattered over the sunny yellow walls. The color reminds him of Amaunet's skin, and he wonders whose queen she's become now that her hated husband is dead.

He stares at the walls for a minute, conjugating Lithuanian verbs in his head, trying to shut out his other thoughts. He doesn't even hear Sha're walk in.

"Daniel," she says, touching him on the arm. "Daniel?"

Now she'll send me back to MacKenzie , he thinks, going cold. He stares at her bare feet and thinks to himself, normal, normal, normal, desperately cloaking himself in the ragged veneer of sanity . After so many years of having someone else know nearly every intimate thought and memory he had, Daniel isn't about to let another snake slide into his brain.

He tries to still the rising panic, tries to remember all the little tricks he'd learned from Sha're's unwitting friend Sam. He'd taken a warm coffee cup from her hand, hid behind his smile as he added sugar, and quizzed her about her own symbiote experience, milking her for everything she was worth. The whole experience was like a dream, Doctor, he told MacKenzie later, parroting Sam's comments. I can't remember most of it. Little unexpected flashes sometimes; it's strange. Daniel's convinced MacKenzie, and everyone the therapist reports their sessions to, that he doesn't remember anything, that he's nearly back to normal.

Normal , he thinks to himself, visualizing the entry in the dictionary. Free from mental illness; sane. He tries to compose himself, stares at her feet and tries to remember if she had that silver ring on her toe when they were on Abydos , tries to remember any experience that wasn't shared by Apophis. He's holding on to his wife by one unraveling thread. If they learn – if Sha're learns – what Daniel really remembers, what Daniel really did, the thread will snap. When it breaks, when she's gone, he'll spin off into the dark.

Sha're covers his left hand with hers, and he realizes he's been scratching, scratching, scratching. "Don't…Apophis used to do that," she says. She sounds a little scared.

Stimulus-response. He's thankful for his long hair; it obscures his view of her as he tries to separate his mind from his body as much as possible. "No. The Goa'uld don't have nervous habits. That was me." Even to himself, he sounds like he's talking from beneath the ocean, and he stares at his hands. "It was the only thing I could slip by him. He didn't even notice. It was the way I reminded myself that it was my body, not his."

He feels her stroking fingers stop, then start again. She used to do this for him, didn't she? Long ago, on Abydos , he had found solace in her touch.

"I had begun to forget who I was," he says quietly.

His brain fills with the images he's hidden from her. He's told her he doesn't remember Tollana, but he does. He remembers striding through the carnage, royal and untouchable, thinking, You thought you could defeat me. You just provided a more interesting challenge. He'll never tell her he only stood fast in Thor's Hammer because he thought it would kill him as well as Apophis, that Sha're would have one last brave memory of him before he died, that he'd never have to fear she'd know what he'd become.

"You fought him," she says. He feels her fingers against his forehead, brushing his long hair back from his face. He looks at her, and can see the longing and desperation in her eyes.

"I never gave up, you know," she says, and his heart breaks a little bit.

"I know," he whispers. There should be tears in him, somewhere. "But I think I had started to."

"Hey," Sha're says, shifting her tone, putting a little forced gaiety in it. He locks himself behind a wall, becomes the bruised, vulnerable, brave Daniel that she expects. "You're here now. It's OK."

She slides her finger into the waistband of his sweatpants, slung loose and low on his hips, tugging on it to drag him closer. With that gentle touch, the fragile wall in his head, the one that separates who he really is from the person his wife wants, collapses. He's reaching for her, about to throw her down on the kitchen table and devour her, slam into her fast and hard, when he remembers Apophis' final whisper: You will never be free of me.

But it's not Apophis that's reaching to take his wife's wrists in a grip so tight it will bruise. It's Daniel. He pulls back, and hopes she doesn't see what burns behind his eyes.

"I'm sorry," he says. "It tickled."

He can see that she knows he's lying. But after a moment she nods slightly. "Okay. Let's get this cleaned up before I go to work."

He thinks of her at work, her easy banter with her friends, her projects, all of the things that are taking her away from him. Soon he'll be alone again in this echoing, empty house. She's slipping away like water through his fingers. He wishes for sparkling chains, and beautiful wide beds. He wishes for the ribbon device he left in the dirt at the foot of Thor's Hammer, and the sarcophagus. He thinks, If only I had listened to Apophis, I could have had her for myself.

-----------

As soon as Sha're leaves, Daniel takes a shower, letting the warm water cascade over his head, over his shoulders, tethering his hair behind his neck with an efficient twist. He can still feel Sha're's finger on his hip, feel the way the waistband had slid down just a little when she pulled on it. It's burned into his skin, less visible and yet more permanent than any mark Amaunet ever managed to leave with the ribbon device, and the spark it ignited inside him is growing into a holocaust.

His mind plays out the scene, expanding on it as he lathers his body. She would continue tugging, pulling down his pants until they lay around his ankles, and look up at him with that naughty, tempting little smile he knew so well from their first year of marriage, back when they were darting behind every building and sand dune to wrap themselves around each other. He'd slide his arms around her, put one hand behind her neck and kiss her, feel her mouth warm and wet. And then he would coil his fingers in her hair, pull her head back hard -

He stops the fantasy. This is exactly why he had pulled away in the kitchen. Stimulus-response, damn it. He's got to fix this if he's ever going to be the man Sha're married, instead of the charade he's been acting out since she extricated him from Apophis' grasp.

He starts from the beginning, rebuilding the fantasy from the ground up, trying desperately to retrain his body's desires. He imagines their bed, surrounded by candles, imagines lowering Sha're to it gently. His hands slide along her hip, her breast, her skin the color of coffee with too much cream in it. He imagines her writhing under his hands, writhing as he bites at her nipples. He thinks of the mingled fear and desire on her face as he slides down, down between her legs, imagines stroking metal-covered fingertips along her thigh, warmed just enough to leave a red trail behind. Her eyes glow a little in the dim light, and she fights him, but she can't rise from Apophis' bed. His mouth is between her legs, he can taste the salt of her on his tongue as she cries out and twists, forcing herself against him for a moment, then trying to tear herself away. She is marked and she is his, his and no one else's.

The water cascades over his body and his hand is wrapped around his cock. He's throbbing hard and painful with desire, and he wants to take Sha're's hand and lead her down into the dark. He pictures his wife trapped in his bed, unable to escape and bent to his will, a vibrant, dark mix of Sha're and Amaunet, imagines himself touching her everywhere as he has not allowed himself to do since just after his return.

The last time Daniel Jackson fucked his wife, it was eight days after Apophis had been driven out of his brain by Thor's Hammer, the day he'd been released from the SGC to go to the home Sha're had bought for them to share, and it was rape, even if she didn’t seem to realize it. He strokes himself roughly, slowing his hand so he can relive the memory of the evening down to every last cut-glass detail, making the past the present.

They go out for Mexican to celebrate his freedom, Daniel and his wife and her team, who seem like an entirely new family he's married into, or some extra appendages that aren't vestigial enough to be amputated. He has a burrito, Sha're feeds him bits of her quesadilla, and they both drink enough margaritas to make them a little loose and giggly, to dull Daniel's hidden anger at these people who are even more a part of his wife than Daniel is. O'Neill always takes care of his team; he gives Sha're and her tipsy husband a ride home, and tells her to take tomorrow morning off. Sha're hands Daniel the keys to their house, and then gets in his way with tickling, lighthearted games as he tries to open the door.

The door shuts behind them, and she grabs at his wrist, and he grabs her back, and there is more tickling and more laughing, and suddenly their clothes litter the foyer and she's on her back in the hallway and he's on top of her and he isn't laughing anymore. The dim glow from the streetlamps outside leaves half her face in shadow, highlighting her nipples while leaving a dark pool between her breasts. He captures her smiling mouth in his and kisses her violently, holding her wrists to the floor above her head. As he breaks away for air, she giggles, "Okay, you win."

Without even thinking, he growls, "Don't stop." The words slide out of his mouth on the smooth oil of the tequila, and when he sees her eyes go wide and hears her little gasp, he feels himself grow longer, harder against her pelvic bone. She begins to writhe under him again, and his mouth meets hers with crushing force as he keeps her wrists locked under his left hand. He will mark her as his, tear her away from all these people who are taking away bits and pieces of his wife until there is nothing but a small sliver left for him.

When he slides his fingers inside her, his thumb rubbing over and over that slippery little nub just outside, she is so slick and wet that he can imagine it is blood on his hands. She turns her head to bite down on his arm as he feels her spasm, hard and fast around his fingers, over and over again like machine gun fire. Her back arches as she grinds herself harder against him, and her scream is muffled by his flesh, and the sharp shock of her teeth is so intense and right that he pulls his hand (his right hand, the one that should be covered with metal) away from that welcoming clenching hole where her thighs join and slides on top of her, slides into her.

Walking through the Gate wasn't coming home. Coming through the front door wasn't coming home. Taking the dark-haired women and men that Apophis brought to his bed, making them cry and shake, made him feel as triumphant and powerful as conquering yet another system lord, but it was always like walking into an empty house. This, sliding into his wife as she bucks and trembles under him and cries out into his mouth, this is coming home. He sees her bite her lower lip as her hips rise, as her fingernails carve her mark into his back. Her huge eyes are unreadable in the dim light as she cries out without words, but he can imagine fear in them. "Don't close your eyes," he whispers, snarling. "Look at me. Don't look away." He thrusts into her hard, again and again, wanting to bury some part of himself in there permanently, wishing he could crawl in there like Apophis and wrap himself around her spine, take over every part of her. "You're mine," he growls.

"Yes," she gasps, and he is tearing her from the clutches of all those other people, her wide staring eyes seeing him, only him. He plunges into her again and again to beat away anyone else who would ever touch her. Her eyes are the only thing he sees as he comes, staring, searching desperately for the fear that would let him know she is his.

In the shower, he wishes that Apophis were laughing in his head; he wants these thoughts, these memories, to be someone else's to fight against. But it's Daniel, and Daniel is all alone as he imagines Sha're filled with fear and submission. It sends him tumbling over the edge. Some quiet part of his brain looks on in disgust as he comes, hot and hard and lonely over the pale beige porcelain. The thunder of it makes his knees give out, and he has to catch himself against the tile wall to keep from falling.

He leans his forehead against the cold tile, one forearm over his head, and feels tears stream down his face, hotter than the water. Normal, he thinks desperately. Normal. He turns all the hot water off, and scrubs his skin with Sha're's loofah under the icy stream. He doesn't stop until his flesh is stinging red.

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