|Slash:||Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.|
|Category:||Angst. Challenge. Drama.|
|Synopsis:||Jack visits an overcaffeinated, overtired Daniel.|
|Warnings:||Naked Daniel (like anybody cares) and Catspaw said it was high on the aww factor, so if you don't like that, you may want to skip it. :)|
'OhhhKayyy,' Jack thought as he heard the somewhat odd and muffled thumps coming from Daniel's apartment. This was definitely weird city. Mrs. Henson, Daniel's somewhat elderly neighbor, tapped on Jack's arm impatiently.
He looked down to see her decked out in a flannel nightgown and wearing curlers in her hair.
"This isn't like the dear Doctor," she fretted to Jack. "He's usually so considerate. I need my beauty sleep you know." She batted her eyelashes coquettishly.
"I understand," Jack patted her arm, "I'll take care of it, Mrs. Henson."
"Thank you, Colonel."
Jack nodded a 'you're welcome' as he dug his keys to Daniel's apartment out of his pocket. Mrs. Henson was the third in a string of people who'd expressed concern about Daniel's seemingly strange behavior. The first had been Doc Fraiser who told him that she'd sent Daniel home from base yesterday with orders to not show his face at SGC until he'd gotten a decent night's sleep. The second had been Carter who had called him on his cell phone to let him know that Daniel was running on empty. She'd tried to persuade Daniel to go to dinner with her the night before, wanted to visit him last evening, but her offers had been met with quiet, polite resistance. And now, Mrs. Henson had cornered him not five seconds after he stepped off the elevator. According to her, the strange sounds coming from Daniel's apartment had begun sometime around noon. Jack took a quick look at his watch. Midnight. A very loud thump made Jack open the door faster. With his luck, Daniel might have managed to contract some weird alien bug. Of course, Jack had been the one offworld for seven days, not Daniel, so the chances of the alien bug theory were practically nil, but with Daniel, one never knew.
Jack pushed the door open cautiously and grinned as he stepped further into the apartment. Daniel grunted as he finished pushing his sofa into place, and Jack had a glorious view of one denim clad ass.
"Hey, Daniel," he called softly.
Daniel turned to face him, the frown on his face quickly turning to a smile that lit his face. "Jack, you're home!"
Jack suddenly found himself on the receiving end of a deep frantic kiss and a bone crushing hug.
"If that's the welcome home I'm getting every time I go on a mission without you, Danny, I think I'm going to request them more often," Jack managed to say after he finally caught his breath.
"So?" Daniel pushed away from Jack and gestured broadly at his living room.
"Do you like it?" Daniel asked.
Jack looked around the room cautiously. It was a trick question he knew, the kind Sara used to ask when she'd gotten a new haircut or changed a pillow in the bedroom. He'd usually gotten those answers wrong, but dammit, Daniel was looking at him expectantly.
"Uhhh..." If he stalled for time, maybe Daniel would give him a clue.
Daniel gave an impatient sigh. "I rearranged the furniture Jack."
Jack gave a glance around the room once more and shook his head. It sure looked the same as it always had. Sofa, chair, coffee table stacked with books, piano. "Okay." Surely that was a safe response.
Daniel just stared at him, and Jack was beginning to feel as if he'd stepped into the Twilight Zone. Maybe he was still on P2whatever the hell it was and some alien gizmo was screwing with his brain big time.
"I spent all day working on it," Daniel said with exaggerated patience, folding his arms.
"Uhh huhh," Jack drawled. He studied Daniel: not good, definitely not good. Daniel appeared to be shivering, seemingly unable to stand still. His eyes were darkened with fatigue.
"Danny, I hate to tell you this, but your furniture is in the same place it's always been."
Daniel threw his hands up in the air. "Well, I know that, Jack. I did rearrange it though, and then I rearranged it back to where it was. Looks nice, don't you think?" He turned to walk to his kitchen.
Jack followed him, concerned at Daniel's weaving steps.
"Are you drunk, Daniel?" Jack asked. He didn't remember smelling or tasting alcohol in that first breathless kiss at the door, just the essence of Daniel, spice and chocolate and...
Coffee. The explanation of the weirdness was now crystal clear. Jack took the coffeepot out of Daniel's hand. Daniel looked at him wide eyed. "Daniel, how many pots of this have you drunk today? Since last night?"
"I don't know. Maybe six? Seven?" Daniel looked at the floor, his voice a small mumble. "I couldn't sleep. I have so much work to do, so many things to finish, and Janet made me come home. I didn't want to come home Jack. I was busy."
Jack covered Daniel's hands with his, pulling him away from the kitchen counter, steering him towards the bedroom. "Why couldn't you sleep? Something happen on base while I was gone?"
Daniel shook his head, leaning into Jack and sighing. "No, just wanted to keep busy."
Jack guided Daniel to the bed, making him sit. Working until he was exhausted wasn't unusual behavior for Daniel although Jack had found there was always a reason behind it. Desperately sifting for clues as to Sha're's whereabouts those first awful weeks after coming home from Abydos . Working around the clock when Jack had the knowledge of the Ancients downloaded into his brain. Working on a particularly difficult translation that was needed to help an alien world. His unceasing search for Kheb after Sha're's funeral. Jack had found there was another reason-- one that had taken him years to figure out, one Daniel wasn't even conscious of. Anniversaries. Whenever an anniversary of one of Daniel's losses approached, the caffeine consumption would increase, the sleep would lessen, and work would become Daniel's life. The day of his parents' accident, the one year anniversary of Sarah's being taken over by Osiris, the date of Sha're's funeral, all of those triggered Daniel's avoidance of actually sleeping. Jack knew it had improved since he and Daniel had become lovers. Jack had found taking Daniel away from the Mountain and spending an evening making slow, sensuous love usually did the trick. Jack ran the dates quickly through his head unable to find a connection.
"Danny?" Jack squatted in front of Daniel. "Get undressed, okay? You need some sleep."
"I can't sleep, Jack," Daniel tried to undo buttons with fingers gone clumsy. "I tried. For days and days and days." His voice had almost become a whine.
Jack batted his hands away and took over the unbuttoning. " That's 'cause you're too tense, Daniel. You are going to take a warm bath with some of that frou-frou stuff Carter always likes to give you."
"Stress relieving bath salts, Jack." Daniel gave a quirky smile and obediently stood up at Jack's nod.
"Whatever," Jack waved a hand. "And then I'm going to help you relax some more using the O'Neill method." He headed into the bathroom.
"I can hardly wait," Daniel called after him.
"Get those jeans off and get in here." Jack reappeared a moment later at the bathroom door.
"You're such a romantic, Jack." Daniel grinned and then stumbled into Jack's arms. "Ooops."
"Yeah, ooops." Jack shook his head. "What am I going to do with you, Danny?"
"Make mad passionate love to me?" Daniel blinked and gave an almost drunken smile.
Jack just grinned. "Yeah, yeah. Get in the tub. And for God's sake, don't fall asleep and drown yourself. I'll be back in a few minutes."
Jack quickly stripped to his boxers, turned back the quilt on the bed, and grabbed Daniel's ratty bathrobe. He didn't bother to knock as he entered the bathroom once more. Daniel sat hunched over in the tub, staring at the water turned green by Carter's bath salts.
"Danny?" Jack whispered. He didn't want to risk touching him, unsure if Daniel was really in the tub or somewhere far, far away. He'd done it one time, to try to pull Daniel out of a nightmare without using words and had wound up with a bloody nose.
"Jack?" Daniel's voice was strained. "Umm...the water's green. I think maybe you'd better get out of here."
If Daniel hadn't sounded so pathetic, if Jack hadn't known the man was sleep deprived and caffeine overloaded, he would have burst out laughing. But when Daniel's blue eyes fixed on his, full of despair, his heart melted just as it always did when it came to Daniel.
Jack smiled softly, reached out a hand to touch a bare shoulder, and took up the washcloth. "Nope, Daniel. It's okay. We put that in there, remember? Carter gave it to you last Christmas. The water's supposed to be green."
Daniel smiled at him dazedly. "Oh, yeah. Sorry, Jack. I...uh...sorry." He closed his eyes as Jack ran the washcloth over his shoulders, his body swaying as Jack moved the cloth lower.
Jack swallowed hard and then harder. Daniel's body was just so damn perfect. Daniel gave a little squirm as Jack brushed the cloth across his ribs and then his stomach. 'Give me strength,' Jack thought, trying to ignore the heat that was spreading to his groin.
"Tickles." Daniel muttered. His head dropped forward, and Jack dropped the cloth and grabbed Daniel's wet arms just in time to keep him from falling face first into the water.
"Okay, buddy," Jack grunted, as he maneuvered Daniel to a standing position. "I think we'd better get you to bed."
"Oh, yeah." Daniel tightened his grip on Jack's shoulders as Jack helped him step from the tub. "Bed, I like that." He planted a kiss on Jack's neck. Jack rubbed the towel briskly over Daniel's body. Daniel frowned when Jack gave no response.
"Jack? Don't you love me anymore?" Daniel aimed a kiss in the general direction of Jack's lips but missed, mainly because his eyes had closed and no matter how hard he was trying he couldn't seem to get them open.
"Yeah, I love you, Danny." Jack felt a lump forming in his throat. "Always. But right now, you're about ready to crash, and I'd really, really like for you to already be lying down when it happens. I don't want to carry dead weight to the bed."
"Dead weight." Daniel echoed sorrowfully, letting Jack guide him back to the bedroom.
Jack helped him settle, giving a sigh of relief when Daniel was safely lying down and covered with the quilt.
Jack quickly stripped off his own clothes and scooted in the bed, pulling Daniel close.
"Jack?" Daniel murmured. "You okay?"
Jack frowned before answering. "Yeah, Daniel, I'm fine."
"Good," Daniel sighed. He turned a little in Jack's arms, enough so that he could look at Jack. "I missed you."
"I missed you too, Daniel." Jack kept a hand moving in slow circles on Daniel's back. "Now, you want to tell me why you weren't taking care of yourself?"
Daniel's breath came out in a long sigh. "I was trying, Jack. But I just couldn't sleep. It was easier to work."
"Uh-huh." Jack waited. Daniel wasn't a very good liar. He gave a grunt as Daniel pushed himself up by planting his elbow in Jack's ribs.
Daniel ran his hands through his hair, making it stand up in short spikes. "Okay, okay. Ididn'ttellyougoodbye."
Jack had trouble deciphering the rush of words. "What? What didn't you..."
"I didn't tell you goodbye. Okay?" Daniel was close to yelling. He kept his eyes fixed on the quilt, a finger tracing the log cabin design.
Jack pulled Daniel close, whispering, "Breathe, Danny." He sat that way a long time, moving his hands once again in slow circles, Daniel's breath coming in short, hot pants against his chest before finally easing into a normal rhythm. "It's okay, Daniel. It's okay."
Daniel shook his head. "No, it's not okay, Jack. What if..."
Jack placed a gentle hand over his mouth and shook his head. "Don't worry about the 'what ifs', Danny. I know you love me. I know." He pulled his hand away.
Daniel's face lit with a beautful smile before he closed his eyes and scooted down in the bed.
Jack lay back, Daniel's head resting on his chest. He moved his hand and began a slow gentle massage of Daniel's scalp, nearly on the edge of sleep himself. Moments later, he heard the first soft snore from Daniel and felt a small wet spot forming on his chest.
Jack made no effort to move Daniel from his position as he drifted off to sleep himself. It had to be love, he thought, when even his lover drooling on his chest meant 'welcome home'.