Backsliding Away

"Why would it be so bad?"

Daniel's voice loses its sullen whine and turns persuasive. Jack stares down and locks his hands together, bone against flesh.

"I'd lose part of me; is that what you're worried about? Jack..." Daniel laughs, desperately cheerful. "It could be the part that makes me a pain in your ass; ever think about that?"

"Not how it works."

"It might!"

"You're not going back."

Daniel starts to cry, crawling into Jack's lap as if he belongs there.

He does, always did, but he wouldn't have done that before.

"Get better," Jack murmurs. "Stay."

Choose one.

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