strode into the Commissary and saw his friend, legs sprawled over a
table. He bowed. “O’Neill? Should we not be assisting
DanielJackson with the translation?”
sighed. “I’m taking this loop off.” He picked up the
ketchup bottle and idly squirted a couple of eyes on the plate.
looked at O’Neill’s grave face and sat slowly and deliberately to face
him. He waited patiently.
we don’t find a way outta this soon I’m gonna lose it,” Jack said
seriously. Loop after fucking loop with Daniel playing impossible
to get, sniping in briefing after briefing, teasing, tormenting.
Saying no. Jack had lost count of how many times and how many
ways he’d tried to tell Daniel he was in love with him for Chrissake,
and gotten exactly nowhere. Nowhere painfully, goddamn SLOW and
over and over and over and over. Ad fucking in fucking fin
fucking itum. He loved Daniel. He wanted Daniel.
Daniel wanted him to PROVE it, prove which of them Jack really wanted
to be with, him or Sam, and a ten hour loop just wasn’t time enough to
do that. What with briefings, explanations, sciencey stuff to
remember, fucking gratuitous medical examinations – he was likely to
kill Janet, and not just because she’d been out on the town with Daniel
- the whole so near and yet so frigging far TORTURE of the translation
sessions, he was going loopy himself.
wasn’t Daniel’s fault. It wasn’t. That whole miserable
conversation where Jack had blown it was fresh in Daniel’s mind, like
it happened yesterday, and for him it had. Not for Jack. He
was trying not to blame Daniel for holding it against him, trying and
beginning to fail. He still loved Daniel. He still wanted
Daniel. If he didn’t get Daniel soon he was going to go insane or
he was going to wind up hating Daniel for putting him through this over
and over and – God help him.
squirted ketchup wildly, making a ‘happy’ face filling his plate in
huge angry swirls. He saw Teal’c’s puzzlement and elaborated,
just like Daniel asked him to Elaborate each time when he told Daniel
he was in love with him. Elaborate? Crap. He’d
‘Elaborate’ him alright. “Lose it. It means go crazy.
Nuts. Insane.” Jack squirted the mustard vindictively,
tracing the outline of eyes, nose, mouth, trying not to think of that
lovely mouth thinning every time Jack told Daniel he loved him.
“Bonzo. No longer in possession of one’s faculties. Three
fries short of a Happy Meal!” Tried not to think of Daniel not
believing Jack loved him, every single FUCKING time he told him.
“WHACKO!” he hollered.
Should we not be assisting – “
YOU start!” Jack snarled at Teal’c. One ‘loop’ too far. One
‘no’ over the line. One ‘who do you really want to be with?’ too
much. Once too often with ’could you elaborate?’. One too
many times he’d told Daniel he loved him and not been believed.
Which one did Jack want? Daniel or Carter. Carter or
Daniel. All Jack knew right now was Carter at least wanted HIM.
are out of uniform, O’Neill.” Teal’c stared at the ‘colourful’ ensemble
in mild disbelief. Yellow and red were not colours he associated
resigning,” Jack said flatly.
regarded him curiously. This was a pointless exercise with the
loop nearing its completion. An empty gesture. “Could you
elaborate?” He was surprised by the howl O’Neill unleashed.
Jack raged. “Be VERY careful!”
you require my assistance?” Teal’c offered. He well understood
the depths of frustration O’Neill was experiencing.
this time,” Jack snapped. It was surreal enough thinking about
walking right into the gateroom and kissing the shit out of Carter
without having Teal’c along for the ride. He couldn’t even
adequately explain why he was doing it. Maybe because for even a
short time, Jack would actually be with someone who believed him.
He wouldn’t hurt Carter, she’d have no consequences to face, no time
for that, and she would never ever know. It wasn’t too much to
ask, was it? Just to be with someone who believed him, and cared?
well, O’Neill. I will return to assist DanielJackson.”
Teal’c bowed and left his seething friend. This looping was most
difficult. Teal’c found that he had too much time to think and
feel. He had spent too much time with Daniel, hour upon hour in
every loop, with and without O’Neill. The time spent alone with
Daniel was most troubling. Daniel’s misery over O’Neill was as
fresh in this loop as it had been in the first, but it did not make
Teal’c’s own feelings any easier to contain. He loved
Daniel. He had known that Daniel’s place in his life was unique,
but until now he had seen his feelings as affection, friendship rather
than love. Love was indeed honourable between men, between
comrades. It had been more difficult to accept that his feelings
were changing. Teal’c’s admiration of Daniel’s beauty was not as
simple as it once was, for he could not see Daniel now without desiring
him. This physical need was growing as his feelings of love for
Daniel were deepening.
entered Daniel’s office and greeted him gravely. Daniel looked
both harassed and distracted. “Will you not rest for a moment,
turned to him, smiled, hesitated, then put down his chalk and came
around to take the seat Teal’c proffered. They sat amicably side
by side, Daniel seeming to take comfort from Teal’c’s presence.
Teal’c turned to face Daniel, watching the subtle play of emotions
dancing over the expressive face.
is your wish, DanielJackson?” Teal’c asked quietly.
Daniel emerged from his reverie, puzzled.
have learned to play golf. O’Neill has learned to make
pots. We have both learned to speak Latin and this dialect of the
Ancients. What would you wish to experience, Daniel?”
Daniel asked pensively.
bowed, returning the soft smile.
always wanted to go up in a hot air balloon, Teal’c, “ Daniel confided
shyly. “I’ve never been able to do it. I’ve never really
had the time, and I’ve never been all that comfortable with heights.”
have combated this fear most successfully,” Teal’c praised, delighted
when Daniel’s smile shyly sweetened.
supposed to be a magical experience,” Daniel sighed, leaning forward to
prop his chin upon his hands, seeming very far away though he still sat
at Teal’c’s side. “The clarity and serene stillness of the air
you’re soaring through and that rush of flame the only thing keeping
you up there. Magical and terrifying at the same time.”
is living, Daniel,” Teal’c said softly.
turned to face Teal’c, his cheek cradled in his palm. “What’s
your wish, Teal’c? What would you like to do more than anything?”
handed his papers to Hammond. “Excuse me, George.”
reached for the papers automatically. “Colonel, what are you
doing out of uniform?”
you my resignation,” Jack said pleasantly, looking at his watch.
Kissing Carter was pushing it, but kissing her when she’d have time to
deal with consequences was out and out wrong.
came to stand in front of him. “Resigning? What for?” she
asked Jack, clearly shocked.
I can do this,” Jack said, leaning in to cup her face firmly in both
hands and pressing his lips to hers. Carter simply returned the
warm pressure of the kiss and Jack surrendered and went with it,
determined they’d both enjoy it to the full because it would never,
ever happen again. He took Carter in his arms and went with the
grand gesture, draping her back over his arm and REALLY giving it some
gas; no tongue, he wasn’t a total shit. It was nice, very nice,
and warm, and here with Carter it was all so easy, so simple, and
Carter’s arm was slipping up around his neck and –
rose smoothly to his feet and faced a slightly startled Daniel.
He bowed formally. “There is one thing I would wish to do,
Daniel,” Teal’c said softly. “But I would require your permission
to do it.”
smiled up at him. “Whatever I can do to help, Teal’c. You
leaned in and placed his hands on Daniel’s shoulders, gently urged
Daniel to his feet, facing him. Daniel was innocently curious,
smiling a little. Anticipating. Teal’c reached up his hand
and cradled Daniel’s jaw reverently, regretting that Daniel stilled
beneath his hand, that the summer warmth in the widening blue eyes
cooled as Teal’c gently removed Daniel’s glasses. Yet Daniel
spoke no word of refusal as Teal’c traced a wondering finger across
are very beautiful, Daniel, and it has been my wish to do this.
May I kiss you?” Teal’c smiled. “I will not hold you to a
promise given in haste, before you knew what it was I would ask of you.”
stared back at him searchingly, disbelieving. Teal’c thought he
had his answer.
Daniel said clearly, as Teal’c bowed and backed away, respecting what
he thought was a refusal. He looked searchingly at Daniel,
finally allowed himself to accept that permission had been granted, and
moved slowly again to Daniel’s side. Teal’c stood before Daniel,
unguarded, drinking in the sight of this man, equally open and fearing
last Teal’c leaned in and brushed his lips gently over Daniel’s.
When Daniel flinched, Teal’c was ready to release him, but Daniel’s
lips softened beneath his, so Teal’c permitted himself to take Daniel
in his arms, Daniel tentatively returning the gentle, insistent
pressure of his lips. Teal’c thought he had his answer in the
sighing of breath against his mouth as Daniel’s lips parted beneath
his, as Daniel yielded to the deepening kiss, allowed Teal’c to touch,
and taste, to learn and to savour. There was a sweetness in the
yielding, but there was no sharing and when Teal’c released Daniel and
stepped back, he looked into sorrowing, infinitely regretful eyes and
he had his answer – and he knew --
didn’t want to fight with Jack, not again, not after what Malakai’s
obstinacy had put Jack through on P4X-639, not after Jack had been
forced to use Charlie like a bargaining chip in front of all of
them. He was fascinated about the time loop, couldn’t fathom how
Jack and Teal’c had survived three months of loops, if what Sam had
just told them was accurate. He was also intensely curious about
something, eyeing Jack gloating over his oatmeal, wondering if – this
was JACK, after all. “Let me ask you something. In all that
time you were – um – looping, were you ever tempted to – um – do
something crazy? I mean, uh, you could do anything without
worrying about consequences.” Daniel wasn’t even sure what he
wanted the answer to be, he just wanted to know more about Jack.
Maybe he just wanted some evidence Jack was at least willing to share a
small truth with him.
sat with his loaded spoon poised, staring at his stubborn and not
particularly – right now - dearly beloved. The word he’d heard
most frequently from Daniel over these past months was ‘no’. The
biggest thing on Daniel’s mind had been whether Jack loved him or
Carter. The biggest thing on Jack’s mind had been how to get
through another loop without killing Daniel right after he asked Jack
to do the ‘e’ word. As in Elaborate. Right after Jack TOLD
Daniel he loved him, and Daniel hadn’t believed him. In loop
after loop after loop. It was a miracle that Jack was still sane
and Daniel was still alive.
know, it’s funny, you’ve asked me that before,” he said quietly to
Daniel, glancing at Carter.
Daniel asked eagerly.
And Jack figured it was about goddamn time he got some PAYBACK.
All that time he was eaten up with jealousy because Daniel went out
with Janet and not ONCE in the whole goddamn time they were looping had
Daniel MENTIONED that Cassie had been along for the ride, because
Cassie was the one with the French homework. It had totally
slipped Daniel’s mind to tell him the evening had ended with hot
chocolate and marshmallows. MARSHMALLOWS. And the guest
room because ole’ Doc Fraiser thought he was too tired to drive.
So, Jack figured he would ELABORATE for Daniel. He looked
deliberately at Carter.
stiffened as Jack’s eyes lingered on Sam. He turned just in time
to meet Sam’s gaze, Sam clearly puzzled by Jack’s expression, but
smiling. God, she was smiling.
turned from Daniel’s questioning face to the colonel. He was –
well, he was smirking. An ‘I know something you don’t know’
smirk. She couldn’t imagine what he’d done, not trapped on base
all that time, but she knew it had something to do with her.
There was a definite spark there in the colonel’s – in Jack’s -
eyes. She smiled, curious, and if she was being scrupulously
honest here, flattered.
smirk was ear to ear as Daniel looked uncertainly at him and then
followed Jack’s gaze back to Carter like he couldn’t tear his eyes
away. Oh, yeah. That should FETCH him. Jack smirked
and sucked the oatmeal right off his spoon, relishing every precious
taste of something NEW.
sat frozen in his seat, couldn’t bear to actually look at Jack as Jack
shit all over him and got off on doing it. Could not in fact have
made it more obvious he’d been fooling around with Sam while they were
looping. And what was worse, Jack was not only making no effort
whatsoever to hide what he'd done, he was pretty damned proud of
himself for having done it. Jack was in fact enjoying rubbing
Daniel’s nose in it. This was the man Daniel had fallen in love
with. The man he needed and depended on, and didn’t think he
could be without. He was in love with an asshole. A totally
egotistical, inconsiderate, self-absorbed, lying, cheating asshole.
Daniel got up and stumbled away.
Sam called, shocked. “I’d better – he doesn’t – “ Sam looked up
startled as the colonel jumped to his feet and took off after Daniel,
as white as Daniel had been. “Sir?” The colonel didn’t even look
back. “SIR?” What the hell was going on? Sam hastened
to follow the colonel out.
tore after Daniel. Fuck. FUCK. He hadn’t
thought. Hadn’t. Daniel didn’t KNOW Jack was royally pissed
with him or why. It wasn’t Daniel’s fault. He didn’t
KNOW. Didn’t know he’d driven Jack demented for three
months. Didn’t know he’d refused Jack over and over again.
He DIDN’T fucking know! Jack knew. He KNEW what Daniel’s
feelings were. Knew how he felt. Knew it and had just
fucked him over. He was well aware all Daniel asked of him was
honesty and maybe a little respect if Jack could make the stretch, and
he fucked him over right there in front of Carter, just to score a few
points in an ongoing argument Daniel didn’t even know he’d been
having. What the FUCK was he THINKING? STILL trying to
blame DANIEL for this?
clamped his hand over his mouth, choking back the salt-sour sickness in
his mouth. No way was he going to be any more humiliated in front
of Jack than he’d already been. No way was he throwing up out
here in the hallway. He slammed open the door of the bathroom,
barely made it in time to drop to his knees in a stall and threw his
insides up, hating Jack, hating himself for still loving Jack despite
it all. He heard Jack come in but was too wracked with nausea to
even lift his head, though he managed to shove hard at the hands
reaching for him. Jack of course showing as much respect for his
wishes as he usually did, crowding him.
sorry, I’m SO sorry, God, you’ve no idea,” Jack said wildly, hardly
able to believe he’d done THIS to Daniel, made him so upset he was sick
and so angry he was fighting Jack off as he retched and heaved, deathly
white and shaking the whole time. Jack got his arms around Daniel
and hung on grimly, shitting bricks ‘cause there was no forgiveness
here, nothing but dumb, stricken misery and it was HIS fault, all HIS
fucking fault. Only the truth could save him now. “I kissed
her, I kissed her and I’m so sorry. It’s NOT what you think,
Danny, not what I MADE you think back there. It was just the once
– just a kiss,“ Jack pleaded, laid it on as thick as he dared.
struggled up shakily, wiping his mouth. “Get the fuck away from
me, Jack,” he hissed, refusing to be swayed by the stark fear on Jack’s
face, pushing past him, dizzy and disoriented, just making for the sink
and water. He rinsed his mouth and face and mouth again,
compulsively. Jack had kissed him too, he wanted to get that
taste out of his mouth as well. He knew Jack was hovering right
behind him, but wouldn’t look at Jack, wouldn’t see. Daniel knew
there was no way Jack would let him get out of here without having his
say, no way to avoid a scene so best to tackle it head on.
a kiss?” Daniel challenged furiously. “Yeah, right.”
Jack wasn’t the shy, retiring type. The first time he’d walked
through Daniel’s door with something new on his mind it wasn’t
love. Quite the opposite. Jack stormed into Daniel’s
private life wanting to fuck him. Sat on Daniel’s couch,
teasing, leering just like he had at Sam. Jack claimed to
have fallen in love with him, but all their dates, all their time spent
together had been skirting around sex. Jack wanted him from that
first night, and he hadn’t been getting any, and Sam wanted Jack and
they could have been boffing their brains out for three months and only
Jack would be any the wiser. Jack. “How the fuck can I
believe that, Jack? How can I believe a single word that comes
out of your mouth after you just sat there smirking at Sam with that
exact same ‘let’s fuck’ leer on your face you used on me?”
That’s NOT fair,” Jack hollered. “It was a KISS. That’s
all. ONE kiss. We’re talking about three months,
Daniel. Hundreds of time loops. Hundreds of times I tried
to get you to talk to me, to give me a chance to explain. I told
you I loved you. Hundreds of times,” Jack said bleakly.
“And every single time you asked me to elaborate. I tried, but
you didn’t believe me. Not once did you believe me. Not
once. Always asked who I really wanted and you never believed me
when I said it was you.”
kiss? In three months? That’s all? YOU? No
There were CONSEQUENCES for ME! I remembered, I KNEW, every
goddamn loop I knew,” Jack hissed.
it was MY fault you ‘kissed’ Sam?” Daniel snarled.
came to a dead stop, hand frozen on the bathroom door. The
colonel KISSED her?
ASSHOLE. I can’t BELIEVE you’re blaming me,” Daniel raged,
turning to face Jack at last. “You LIED to me. You lied
about your feelings for Sam.”
took a deep, shaky breath. She would never have chosen to tell
Daniel the colonel loved her, he was bound to feel threatened, to
wonder if the team would function as well as it had. He’d found
out somehow and the colonel had denied it because they’d agreed to keep
it between them, and he’d never betray her trust. It hadn’t
occurred to her they were both breaking Daniel’s trust. She
really ought to get in there and smooth things over.
keep insisting you don’t love her, so tell me, Jack? Why DID you
‘kiss’ her?” Daniel demanded. “Curiosity? A cheap
thrill? Frustration? I haven’t exactly been cooperative
about putting out, have I? Revenge? Did you use Sam
to get back at me, Jack? For all those times I said ‘no’?
cringed. Put like that, Christ it sounded so frigging
PETTY. It was just like that, tangled up in all those other
things he’d been feeling and going through, but it was just like
that. He was just what Daniel thought he was and his back was
against the wall here. “I didn’t lie to you and I didn’t lie to
Carter,” Jack said carefully. “Listen to me, Daniel,
PLEASE. Just listen to me. I care far more for Carter than
I’m supposed to. That’s the literal truth. She's not just a
subordinate to me, not just someone under my command. She's
important to me because she's CARTER. She’s one of my kids.
I'm not as professionally detached as I should be - hell, I care about
ALL of you more than I should, and that’s MY problem, not hers, and
certainly not yours. But 'caring more than I should' and needing
to protect is a far cry from being in love. That’s what I said
and that’s what I meant. I don’t love Carter. How could I,
Danny? How? I’m in love with YOU.”
leaned hard against the door, disbelieving. It couldn’t be.
Couldn’t. The colonel was in love with Daniel?
DANIEL? No. NO. The colonel had boned his way through
the galaxy, no way he was gay. It wasn’t possible.
took a deep breath. He didn’t dare to get a step closer to Daniel
than this, not with Daniel looking he’d fly apart at any second.
“I was too fucking cowardly to tell her there was no chance. I
knew on Apophis’ ship, I knew how she felt and I ignored it, I was
hoping like hell it would just go away because I didn’t want to deal
with it. I never wanted to hurt Carter, Daniel, but because of
that I’ve hurt you. I’m sorry.”
was shaking. Big of him! The colonel was just full of the
milk of human kindness, here.
cheated on me, Jack,” Daniel said flatly.
Jack agreed simply. “You asked me to elaborate, over and
over. You wanted to know which of you I really wanted. I
wanted to kiss her, I wanted to KNOW, so maybe you’d look at me when
you asked who I really wanted and you’d know too, you’d know it was
you, because I just couldn’t find the words you’d believe. And I
can’t tell you how sorry I am about that now. Or for being such a
bastard back there. It’s no excuse but I’ve been through this for
three months, Daniel. Maybe more. It – it was wearing on
me, you know,” he added softly. “I was losing it. I sat
there at that table and I remembered that, but I didn’t remember you
didn’t know any of this, every time you said ‘no’ was the first time to
you even if it was the two hundred and thirteenth time for me.
Only one loop where I didn’t try to tell you, Danny. Only one
where I didn’t tell you I loved you and got knocked on my ass.”
Jack was staring at Daniel, willing him to get past the fact Jack had
proven himself a liar, willing Daniel to give him trust he didn’t
deserve. Willing Daniel to just be Daniel.
was exhausted. He couldn’t think straight, couldn’t tell if
anything Jack told him was the truth, couldn’t begin to work out what
he was feeling. “I want to believe you, Jack,” he began.
you don’t,” Jack interrupted. “I can see that you don’t, but I’m
asking you to try. I haven’t said or done a single thing to prove
I love you,” he said wryly, “but I’m still asking you to try.”
don’t know if I can, Jack,” Daniel said bitterly. “The only thing
I asked of you was honesty. That was all. You only had to
be straight with me and you couldn’t even give me that. I can’t
trust you.” He shrugged helplessly. “Or rather I did, until
you looked me right in the eye and lied to me. You’ve lied to me,
and now I don’t which is the truth and which is the lie.”
truth is that I’m in love with you, Daniel. That isn’t going to
change. I’m not going to change,” Jack promised. “And I
still don’t know how YOU feel about ME.”
do I,” Daniel whispered.
turned away blindly, she had to get away, didn’t want to hear another
word. Instinct took her back to her lab. The colonel – Jack
was in love with Daniel. She believed it even if Daniel
didn’t. How? How could this have happened? It was
obvious the colonel was pushing for a sexual relationship with
Daniel. He had sex with total strangers, no way would he not want
sex with someone he claimed to love. The colonel and
Daniel. Two straight men – all the evidence pointed to that – had
fallen in love. Sam suspected the colonel was maybe a little more
situationally flexible with his sexuality; for all the policy, it was
known, it happened in the military, always had and always would.
Daniel wasn’t flexible at all, quite the opposite. As
unbelievable as it had been to hear the colonel confessing feelings for
Daniel, it was even more unbelievable that Daniel would be willing to
go to bed with the colonel.
was suddenly furious, angry beyond even the humiliation she felt.
How COULD he? He’d known for a while, known as long as she had
and said nothing. He’d not said a word, not to her or to
Daniel. Sam swallowed hard and faced the truth about Jack
O’Neill, the truth Daniel had just faced. How could he? He
could because he was a selfish bastard and because she wasn’t nearly as
important to him as Daniel was. She’d never been, never.
She’d let herself lose sight of that. Not like this should come
as a total shock. She’d known. Looking back to Vyas, to
Ke’ra, she’d known. She’d seen how the colonel had reacted to
Daniel’s innocent rapport with Ke’ra, had been shocked at the naked
jealousy on his face. She knew before the colonel did, and she’d
rationalised it away just like he had. Ignored it when it didn’t
fit what she wanted.
Daniel and not her? Why would the colonel want to be with a
man? With Daniel? What was the attraction? There was
nothing easy about that kind of sexual relationship, and the colonel
risked enforced retirement if he was caught with Daniel. He must
know that, and still he thought Daniel was worth the risk. Why
not her? In those other realities she and the colonel were
married, or on their way to being. Two realities, two alternates
together. Why not in this one? Why not her and the
colonel? The military wasn’t the variable, because if the colonel
LOVED her like he said he loved Daniel, he’d risk everything for her
the way it seemed he was willing to risk his career for Daniel.
colonel could have had her if he wanted. He would have found a
way, if he WANTED to. Nothing would stop him. He wouldn’t
have let anything stop him. Therefore, she had to face it.
He – he didn’t want her. Picking Daniel over her wasn't simply a
matter of the colonel settling for Daniel because - because she was in
the military and therefore 'off limits'. 'Don't ask don't tell'
was an even BIGGER barrier than the one between her and the colonel,
and yet the colonel was prepared not only to cross it, but to switch
hit and bat for the other team - for Daniel . She couldn’t
rationalise THAT as making do. It wasn’t a – whadda they call it?
– a buddy fuck deal. Not with Daniel as the buddy. Daniel
hadn’t put out so far. He’d said so. The colonel wasn’t
getting laid and still the colonel wasn’t walking away, unbelievably he
was signing up for more.
if – what if she wasn’t the variable? Hard as it was to think it,
the only factor not present in those other realities was Daniel.
The logic seemed inescapable. Daniel must be the variable.
He’d waltzed into that alternate reality and convinced General O’Neill
to trust him. O’Neill had barely known Daniel, and he’d put his
life and the fate of the world on the line because Daniel asked him
to. Daniel had more impact on Jack O’Neill than anybody except
for his son, and she’d naively assumed that was the neat slot into
which the colonel had placed Daniel. Surrogate son.
along SHE was the surrogate, just a pale imitation of Daniel Jackson.
colonel was prepared to die for her, but even with his life on the line
Jack wouldn’t say he loved her. Daniel got a little upset and
Jack was falling all over himself to make it up, grovelling with ‘I
love you’. Colonel Jack NEVER grovelled. Never
apologised. Never admitted to a fault, just bulled his way out
from under and charmed you into forgiving him. Daniel crooked his
finger and Colonel Jack came running to heel. Begged.
Panted. Rolled over.
trailed Daniel, not daring to get too close and yet reluctant to leave
Daniel alone in this state. He pretty much knew Daniel was headed
for Teal’c, because he could hardly go to Carter, could he? Jack
felt crappy over that too, because the two of them had always been
felt Jack’s presence tugging at him every step of the way to Teal’c’s
quarters, knew Jack was hovering behind him as he knocked on Teal’c’s
door and wasn’t surprised at all that Jack was right beside him when
the door opened.
took one look at Daniel’s face and immediately drew Daniel into his
quarters, aware that O’Neill was following, but too concerned with
Daniel to deal with the intrusion. This would be rectified the
instant Daniel was secure.
didn’t protest as Teal’c steered him over to the bed and urged him
will rest here, DanielJackson, while I speak with O’Neill,” Teal’c said
kindly. “No one will disturb you. I give you my word.”
Teal’c,” Daniel said gratefully, refusing to look at Jack.
took a last, lingering look at Daniel’s resolutely shuttered face and
reluctantly followed Teal’c out. No way they could talk in the
hallway, not about this, his LIFE, so Jack led the way to his office,
without a word. He had nothing to say in his defence.
closed the office door behind him and glared at O’Neill. “You
have grieved DanielJackson,” he accused.
Jack said flatly. “I’ve fucked up royally and I don’t need you to
tell me. You know what’s going on between me and Daniel.
You’ve known for a while.”
have,” Teal’c confirmed.
returned the glare with interest. “You don’t approve, right?”
is not my place to judge.”
love Daniel,” Jack said simply.
believe that you do,” Teal’c agreed. “But not nearly as well as
you love yourself, or you would not have hurt Daniel as deeply as
this. Tell me, O’Neill? In your pursuit of Daniel, have you
ONCE given more consideration to his needs and desires than to your
own?” This was perhaps harsh, but it would do O’Neill no harm to
stop and think about his own behaviour.
not,” Jack snapped, “but since I don’t know what his needs and desires
ARE that’s not a shocker.”
Teal’c did know. No one knew better than he. Daniel loved
O’Neill, so O’Neill he would have. It was not Teal’c’s place to
be selfish, to pursue his own desires over Daniel’s. He was still
Daniel’s friend. And O’Neill’s. O’Neill had tried to do his
best for both Daniel and Major Carter, but the consequences could not
have been worse for his relationship with Daniel. O’Neill’s
motives had been honourable, but his actions less so. Teal’c
believed that O’Neill loved Daniel, that if anything, he possibly loved
Daniel too much. This had led to a mistake, one Teal’c
thought Daniel would not fault O’Neill for when he was himself
calmer. “I will speak of this to DanielJackson and I will see if
I can bring him to listen to you at least.”
will?” Jack asked suspiciously.
doubt my word?”
took one look at Teal’c’s face and back-pedalled. Teal’c was
trouble he did not need. Not now, not EVER.
Teal’c said softly as O’Neill acquiesced.
him understand about Carter,” Jack said flatly. “That’s all I
ask. He doesn’t believe a goddamn word I say.” Jack took a
deep, difficult breath and scowled at Teal’c. “He’ll believe
you,” Jack snapped.
he should. I have never lied to DanielJackson,” Teal’c said
tell him?” Jack demanded.
will tell him the truth. It will not be necessary for me to elaborate.”
Teal’c refused to or reassure O’Neill as to his intentions.
O’Neill was frustrated and not able to see a way to make things right
between himself and Daniel. O’Neill knew Daniel better than
anyone. A period of reflection should distance O’Neill from these
fraught emotions and suggest to him the correct course of action to
indulged himself, stroking soothing, careful fingers lightly over
Daniel’s silken hair as he watched Daniel’s face, gentle and open in
thought it was inevitable that Major Carter would discover the truth,
discover that O’Neill’s feelings for her were not what she thought they
were, and when she did, Teal’c could not predict what she might do or
how that realisation would impact on SG-1.
Daniel stirred sleepily under his hand, Teal’c calmly withdrew to a
respectful distance and waited patiently for Daniel to fully awaken.
stretched, tense muscles a little looser after resting. He smiled
wryly. Resting? He’d been dead to the world. He
opened his eyes and saw Teal’c, smiled warmly. “Teal’c.”
are rested,” Teal’c approved, “And now you will eat, DanielJackson.”
not hungry,” Daniel contradicted.
will eat, DanielJackson,” Teal’c insisted calmly. “As will
I.” He placed the tray of food on the floor and sat before it,
hiding his smile as Daniel obediently slipped out of bed and joined
him. Daniel might refuse food for his own part, but he would not
be discourteous enough to refuse to share a meal with another.
sat across from Teal’c and lifted the lid of the nearest plate without
enthusiasm. “Oh. Chicken pie.” Surprised, he looked up,
brightening a little. “I didn’t see that on the menu. I
like chicken pie.” He picked up his fork. Maybe a
little. “And mashed potatoes. And gravy.” Daniel
pushed his fork into the pie and sniffed appreciatively as the rich,
creamy aroma wafted. Maybe a lot.
hid a smile. Pie was not on the menu. He had only to say
that Dr Jackson would be disappointed by its absence. Teal’c made
no attempt to converse with Daniel, rather he enjoyed the companionable
silence and the simple pleasure of Daniel savouring the meal Teal’c had
procured for him. Smiling at the man, Teal’c made a
decision. Such simple acts of kindness gave pleasure to them
both. There was one thing he knew Daniel desired, and perhaps he
would permit Teal’c to share the gift with him, share the ‘clarity and
serene stillness of the air you were soaring through’ in this hot air
balloon he had spoken of so longingly.
There is something I wish to do, but I require your assistance.”
glanced up, chewing heroically on the last mouthful of pie, swallowed
hard, and grinned. “Anything I can do to help, Teal’c, you know
that,” he said cheerfully, a little surprised by the momentary
tightness of Teal’c face. A moment only, then Teal’c was smiling
know that,” Teal’c said softly. “When the time is right, I will
ask you to accompany me on a journey.”
I ask where?” Daniel asked, openly curious.
at this time,” Teal’c smiled.
Daniel said equably. “When the time comes, I’m all yours. I
may have to annoy you with persistent questions in the meantime but – “
he let the threat tail off, grinning.
was to be expected,” Teal’c said dryly.
eyed the smaller covered plates thoughtfully. If there was lemon
meringue pie under there, he might have to marry the nice Sergeant who
ran the Commissary. Jack thought she was a harridan but then Jack
– Daniel bit down hard on thoughts of the asshole of his dreams and
snatched up the nearest cover. Cinnamon apple pie. The
asshole’s favourite. Daniel stabbed vindictively into the pie and
levered off a chunk.
do not believe it survived your attack, DanielJackson,” Teal’c observed
gravely after a few moments.
looked up sharply, then grinned, seeing the answering grin in Teal’c’s
raised eyebrow. “Touché,” he said lightly.
wish to speak of O’Neill,” Teal’c said calmly.
don’t,” Daniel riposted.
is in love with you.”
Daniel gasped, gaping up at Teal’c. “How can you – how – after – “
has made a mistake, DanielJackson, but the fact remains that he does
indeed love you, and he is speaking the truth to you.”
was with Sam!”
kissed Major Carter,” Teal’c agreed. This was not the time to
address his own conduct towards Daniel during that loop. “On a
single occasion. He knew that his actions were wrong and he did
all he could to ameliorate the consequences for Major Carter, resigning
from the military and waiting until the very last moments of the loop.”
isn’t the point,” Daniel snapped. It - it really wasn’t, not what
Jack had been doing with Sam. The point was Jack going all out
over it, using Daniel’s own insecurities against him, knowing it would
hurt Daniel. Hurting Daniel deliberately. “He was gloating
over it. Rubbing my nose in it. Blatantly.”
Teal’c asked simply.
Daniel gaped at Teal’c, completely floored. “Good question,”
Daniel admitted reluctantly. So, maybe he WAS getting a little
lost in what Jack did. Things had just happened so fast, for both
of them. Daniel was still feeling emotions Jack had left behind
him months ago, which perhaps explained the fact Jack hadn’t expected
the extremity of Daniel’s reaction. Jack’s petty display had
been, well, childish wasn’t too strong a word, and it certainly was
done with the intent to hurt, but not to hurt the way it had.
Jack had realised the mistake he’d made the moment Daniel had walked
away from him, and Jack had come after him, tried to apologise, tried
to explain, tried to understand. Daniel had been so caught up in
what HE was feeling that he hadn’t tried to consider what Jack might be
feeling. Hadn’t considered that at all. Jack wasn’t a
patient man, yet he’d endured three months of what appeared to be
constant fighting and rejections and he was still insisting he loved
Daniel. So maybe - maybe it was time Daniel got over this
world-class insecurity complex and took Jack at his word, because if he
didn’t love the jerk as much as he did, he wouldn’t have gone postal
like that in the first place. Given the circumstances, the
looping, it wasn’t fair of either of them to blame the other; neither
of them had behaved well, both of them overreacted and Daniel thought
maybe they should just accept it for what it was, and let it go.
were far more important things to worry about. Like Sam, who
loved Jack too, and couldn’t be blamed for loving him any more than
Daniel could. Jack was in love with him, and so they had to do
what was best for Sam. Daniel loved Sam, she was as close to him
as his own flesh and blood, and he hurt for her being the loser in all
this. He didn’t even know how deep her feelings for Jack were,
what kind of loss this would be to her. He’d been too busy
thinking of himself.
think you will find O’Neill to be most diligent in his pursuit of
‘emotional maturity’ and honesty, DanielJackson,” Teal’c offered.
“He will take NO risk of betraying your trust again. You have at your
disposal an O’Neill who is anxious, insecure, co-operative and
desperate to please. I advise you to use this gift wisely and
enjoy it while it lasts, if you will deign to accept it. You will
not see the like again.” Teal’c allowed his face to relax into a
smirk DanielJackson could not fail to see. “O’Neill
anxiously awaits your decision.”
need some time to think about it,” Daniel said demurely. “So he
can just be anxious a little longer.” He spooned up a little more of
the decimated pie and nibbled thoughtfully. He was –
infuriatingly – just as much in love with Jack as he had been, and
simply couldn’t imagine his life without a pushy Jack driving him mad
in it. A Jack-free future was just too bleak to contemplate so he
wouldn’t. He would do whatever he had to in order to put this
behind both of them. However, he wouldn’t have Jack so damn
complacent he thought he could get away with anything. Daniel
wasn’t prepared to leave this long before he tackled Jack, but he was
going to leave it until he was sure they both had enough distance from
the fight to be rational. Willing to listen. Compromise.
Teal’c inclined his head. “I submitted to numerous medical tests
this morning, though O’Neill was able to avoid Dr Fraiser.
General Hammond wishes to debrief at 15:00 hours, so O’Neill will be
forced to submit this afternoon. He will have no free time in
which to pursue your answer.” Teal’c would ensure O’Neill did
not. He still thought it wise to wait until both men were calmer
and had time in which to think of the other, and not of themselves.
debriefing would be a good time to tell Jack how he’s going to make it
up to me,” Daniel suggested. “Or – maybe – after.” He
paused, fighting a grin. “Some time after.”
will go nuts,” Daniel grinned, finally admitting to himself he was
strongly drawn to seeing just how far he could push Jack before Jack
is not our concern.”
suppressed another sigh. He had a weary feeling settling in his
bones that this briefing had lasted longer than the damn time loops
apparently had. All was not well with his flagship team.
Colonel O’Neill was as subdued as George had ever seen him, Teal’c
looked like some kind of avenging angel, hovering at Dr Jackson’s side,
and Major Carter looked like she was about to go off in someone’s
face. Like a claymore. Dr Fraiser had taken one look and
gotten between the Major and everyone else and somehow they were
limping through this briefing, more or less in one piece.
for Dr Jackson, well, Daniel was being as provocative as George had
ever seen him in a briefing. Not that this was a bad thing, per
se, he could always rely on Daniel to challenge assumptions and offer
alternatives, and his people were usually the safer – and the better –
for it. A mischievous Daniel was something new and the wonder of
it was that Colonel O’Neill hadn’t bitten back once, though Major
Carter had. Several times. SG-1 was stressed and
combative. This usually meant they needed to be out and DOING,
and George didn’t think he’d ever seen them need it THIS badly.
There had to be SOMETHING on the books. Some place remote, and
for the safety of an unsuspecting indigenous population, preferably
watched the colonel, concerned by the dark shadows under his eyes and
his passivity. It just wasn’t like him. The emotional
impact of the interminable looping had yet to be determined, and the
colonel was good at weaselling out of facing up to the emotional impact
of everything. “General, I’m recommending stress counselling for
Colonel O’Neill in particular.”
a break,” Jack snarled. “I’m NOT whacko! Stress counselling
stresses me out, you KNOW that.”
didn’t suggest you were ‘whacko’, Sir,” Janet said coldly, “Merely that
you’ve been through a traumatic experience, and put stress on your body
and mind we can’t even begin to assess without proper – “
here we go,” Jack snapped, interrupting. “If you think for a
SECOND I’m going to – “
think that’s an excellent idea,” Daniel said softly, smiling at
Janet. “I think Jack should acknowledge the emotional
consequences of the looping, for his own sake.”
be absolutely right,” Jack said bitterly, deflating.
a wise decision, Jack,” Daniel praised gently, hugely enjoying Jack
meekly doing his bidding.
realised everyone at the table except Daniel was waiting for the shoe
to drop. The punchline. Nuclear meltdown.
Something. Not meek acquiescence. Meek was
unprecedented. “It’s been a while since your last fitness
evaluation, Sir, if I recall correctly,” Janet suggested wickedly,
ready, willing and able to take full advantage.
you KIDDING me?” Jack growled. “I’ve already had objects stuffed
into every orifice I possess today, and I’m damned if I’m going to let
you tie me to a treadmill!” He scowled at Janet and felt his blood
freeze as Daniel emitted a soft, disappointed sigh and made with the
sympathetic eyes. At Janet. Aah, Jeez, he thought
wearily. Just shoot me. Shoot me now. “Why don’t you
just strap me to a spit and roast me over the fire?” Even to his
ears it lacked conviction.
can be arranged, Sir,” Janet snapped, smiling sweetly at Daniel.
couldn’t take her eyes off Daniel. After thinking about nothing
else all day, she’d finally decided that she couldn’t admit she knew
the truth to either the colonel or Daniel. She was not about to
humiliate herself any further than she had already. She would do
her duty, no question of that, but she had to know. Had to see
for herself what it was the colonel saw in Daniel that he didn’t see in
her, or in any woman. What was it about Daniel that could make a
man like the colonel - someone she had always respected and maybe even
admired – not only want to climb into Daniel’s bed but fall in love
with Daniel. Want it so much he would take all the crap Daniel
could dish out and come back for more.
loved Daniel; he’d been there for her when no one else had, when her
own family had left her high and dry. He would always be here for
her. She would never hurt him intentionally, she just had to
know. She had to know what this difference between them was,
because it was eating her – and their friendship – alive.
sighed as silence fell heavily across the briefing table. “I’m
throwing a party,” he said abruptly, thinking that maybe if he got
everyone together at his place, Daniel couldn’t get out of it, and once
he got Daniel onto neutral turf he might be able to get him alone long
enough to talk some sense into him. Handcuff him to the
observation platform or something. Yeah. A party. “A
post-loop sanity party. Tonight, my place. Hell, it might
just be enough to undo all the stress of the stress counselling I got
looming up at me. You’re all invited.” Jack glanced at the
glum faces. “Don’t all leap to accept at once,” he grouched,
hurt. “I’ll cook,” he offered, hoping the novelty value would
help. It didn’t. Jack glared at the general.
sighed and prayed for the strength to endure. “I’d be glad to,
Jack,” he perjured himself with barely a moment’s hesitation.
There had to be some unsuspecting planet out there, somewhere he could
send them. For a week or so. A month.
you, Sir,” Sam agreed at once. “My pleasure.” It wasn’t,
but away from the base, both the colonel and Daniel would have their
guard down and Sam would be there to observe and assess the dynamics of
this, whatever this thing was between the two of them. It would
also give her an opportunity to show the colonel just what he was
rolled her eyes and figured the colonel had already been through
enough. If he needed a peace-keeping force, she’d be there for
him. “That would be lovely, Sir. Thank you.” She
noted that the colonel brightened visibly. Still didn’t mean he
was getting out of those tests, and if he didn’t stop whining, she
WOULD have one of her nurses use the phrase ‘porky’ in his hearing.
exchanged a brief, guarded look with Daniel. “Very well,
O’Neill. I too accept,” he said graciously.
Jack asked casually, finally daring to look Daniel in the eye.
Whoa. He’d fallen down glaciers warmer than Daniel was right
now. He tried a tentative smile, which seemed to make things
Jack,” Daniel said lightly, knowing perfectly well Jack was going to
cull him from the party-herd and chase him all over the house until he
got an answer, or rather until he got the answer he wanted. Which
meant it was the perfect time to establish the ground rules of the new
relationship and see just how much Jack would take before he
GAVE. “Can’t wait,” he bared his teeth at Jack, who could take
that as a smile if he wanted to.
could only be grateful when the general took pity and dismissed
them. Tough room.
three months of Elaborate hell, it had finally dawned on Jack what he
should have done in the first place to prove to Daniel that he was
telling the truth about his feelings for Carter. Could have saved
him a hell of a lot of grief if he’d thought of it sooner. Daniel
would trust the evidence of his own eyes. It had taken some work
to get his hands on the tape of his second run through the Zatarc
detector, but Jack wasn’t 2IC around these parts for nothing.
He’d just had to abuse his rank and position shamelessly for his own
had thought long and hard about doing this and in the end he decided it
was worth the risk that Daniel would decide Jack was betraying Carter’s
confidence too. He’d managed to edit the tape to remove anything
that would embarrass Carter and left only his own miserable
confession. It made him feel sick to view it, to see the misery
in his own eyes as he spoke. He could only hope that Daniel could
see it too, and would understand, and forgive.
case scenario, well, Daniel wouldn’t forgive Jack, but Daniel would
still know exactly what Jack had said and how he had said it. It
would be one less thing Daniel had to keep him awake at night.
a deep breath, Jack tapped on Daniel’s door, hating that he wasn’t sure
of his welcome even here, where they had to work together.
was engrossed, poring over a manuscript with his magnifying glass,
making careful notes. Jack perfectly understood the patience and
discipline it took, they were necessities of his job too, and he’d
learned his lessons in ambush after ambush. So they were
different, but they were equal too. And together.
Soon. He hoped.
he said softly.
took a deep breath and lowered his magnifying glass slowly.
“Jack,” he acknowledged. “Um – how did the fitness tests
go?” And by the way, Jack, get your ass over here and KISS me
before I explode. I’m sorry and I love you too and did I mention
I love you too? And I’m sorry?
of the nurses said I was – er – never mind,” Jack said hurriedly, no
reason to tell the gorgeous and above all slender guy he was still
hoping to lure into his bed that the SGC nursing staff apparently
thought he was, quote, ‘porky’, whatever bull they’d tried to get him
to swallow about Looney Tunes. Speaking of which – “Thanks so
MUCH for the hour of word association games I had to put up with after
the briefing. Janet hustled me right out the Infirmary door.”
hour?” Daniel echoed incredulously.
did not go well,” Jack snapped. “Not well at all.”
Loop. Froot. Went downhill from then on, because every
single goddamn word associated itself with ‘Daniel’ and Jack had to
scrabble wildly to edit for blatant sexual obsession. He eyed
Daniel sourly. “I’m now signed up for an anger management
course,” he admitted bitterly. One Froot Loop too far.
back in his chair, Daniel eyed Jack speculatively, not missing the
slight flush. “Why?” he asked crisply.
think I’m on the books as a stressed out sex-fiend,” Jack
hesitated. He had a little dialogue going here and so far Daniel
hadn’t spit in his eye, might as well just go with the flow,
“Especially after the ink blots. The whole damn session was like
some surreal Freudian nightmare.”
Oh?” Daniel said lightly, not bothering to hide his grin.
well, any more of that attitude and I’m signing us up for couples
therapy,” Jack teased, regretting it the moment the words were out of
his mouth, a little surprised when Daniel’s face didn’t close down on
him but hurrying on regardless. “I brought something for you to look
at. The true life confessions of Jack O’Neill.” He placed
the tape in front of Daniel, right on the manuscript.
Daniel stammered. “This is the tape of your session in the Zatarc
detector?” he asked incredulously.
nothing from Carter on there,” Jack assured Daniel earnestly. “No
way I was going to let you see anything Carter said or did, that’s
private, that’s hers. Okay?”
Daniel,” Jack began patiently. “This isn’t top secret.
Janet did us a favour with the confidentiality thing but this was just
me and Carter agreeing to keep it in that room because neither of us
wanted to embarrass the other. That was all,” Jack
grimaced. Look where it got him. “There’s nothing here to
embarrass Carter. Just me.”
I – “
want you to watch it, for me,” Jack insisted. “I know you think
you should be able to just trust me without a word said or a single
thing done for proof but you can’t, and that’s not your fault, it’s
mine. Just this once, Daniel, look at the evidence and make a
rational choice to believe me or not based on the evidence alone.
Don’t cut me any slack because I’m your – “ Jack hesitated.
“Friend. Just look and decide and get back to me. Seeing
this doesn’t fix what I’ve done, but at least you’ll know.” Jack
laughed bitterly. “Hell, it’ll probably make things worse, but I
want you to watch it anyway.” He nodded briskly and marched over
to the door. “I hope you come over tonight,” he said softly,
staring out into the corridor. “I miss you.”
Get back here,” Daniel yelled, jumping up from behind his desk.
now? Jack sighed and turned back. He couldn’t have fucked
up with the tape ALREADY. Daniel hadn’t even had time to hit the
play button on the VCR. He sauntered back into the office and
frankly wasn’t in any way prepared for Daniel to try to climb him like
a tree the moment he was in reach. Jack was kinda glad he was
porky, though, ‘cause when Daniel slammed into him, he slammed into the
door and the door just slammed. Resoundingly. Jack was
feeling no pain at all, despite a probable concussion, mostly because
the slamming was at lip height, and he had Daniel plastered to him and
Daniel’s tongue plunging towards his tonsils and Jack was seeing stars
from the hellacious friction, and even the fact the OTHER office door
was wide open wasn’t nearly so terrifying as the prospect of coming in
his pants, right NOW, and hell, what a way to go. Come.
clamped his hands to Daniel’s ass and returned the suction with
interest. Daniel put up a fight, but persistence and a thigh
rubbed against Daniel’s raging erection won the day, so Jack was able
to plunge his tongue into Daniel’s mouth and go mental, thrusting hard,
going deep, tongues jostling for possession, stabbing and lunging
wildly as teeth clashed and lips ground painfully. Daniel’s hug
segued into a desperate chokehold and the stars in front of Jack’s eyes
turned to spots. He eventually had to admit Daniel’s lung
capacity was bigger than his and shove Daniel off him, making him
stagger, but the dopey disbelief on Daniel’s face reassured him it
wasn’t being held against him. Literally and figuratively.
Jack wheezed painfully. “OTHER door.”
Oh!” Daniel darted over to slam the other door shut, then dove
onto Jack again, Jack not seeming to mind at all, particularly when
Daniel started licking that spot right under Jack’s jawline.
yeah, just there, just – CHRIST – “ Jack groaned as Daniel’s tongue
roamed into his ear, “There. Er, we okay? Don’t stop, just
nod,” he said emphatically. “The tape?”
nibbled Jack’s lobe just to keep him going until Daniel could get going
again, and backed off reluctantly. “I don’t need to see it,”
Daniel said warmly, deciding a little tactile reassurance wouldn’t go
amiss. Just for emphasis. He aimed straight down.
obligingly hitched away from the door to give Daniel’s questing hands
access to his ass and returned the compliment. “You don’t?” he
I believe you. I trust you. I love you,” Daniel said
glad you – what?” Jack demanded.
smiled. “I love you.”
that was just me.”
was me too.”
So. Er - I gotta say it? The ‘s’ word?” Jack asked
if I do.”
THAT was just me.”
it was me too.”
was a jerk,” Jack suggested.
drove me nuts.”
don’t plan to stop.”
grinned. “Show me what you’ve got,” he invited.
After you’ve shown me what you’ve got,” Daniel challenged.
company,” Jack said ruefully.
to go home some time.”
your key. Want mine?” Daniel asked hopefully. “And I’ve got
your tape. Take it back.”
do,” Jack said seriously.
sighed and leaned in to nuzzle his cheek against Jack’s, smiling when
Jack got with the programme and nuzzled right back. “You were
trying to help Sam and I’m sorry I gave you such a hard time over it.”
just HAD to go and do that, didn’t you? Had to spoil the whole
damn thing. We were doin’ great with the touchy and now we gotta
get feely too,” Jack grouched. “I’m SORRY I kissed her and gave
YOU such a hard time over it.”
over it,” Daniel said emphatically.
Jack asked eagerly.
over it too.” Jack paused, thought about belief, trust and love,
put two and two together and made Daniel. “You were making me
sweat!” he accused indignantly.
as much as I plan to,” Daniel promised huskily.
See! This is EXACTLY why I was having such a goddamn hard time
with the word association!” Jack snarled.
slid a hand between them and checked out the lay of the land.
“You seem to be having a pretty hard time now,” he said placidly.
smirked and slid his hand over Daniel’s. “Gettin’ harder every
got that look on your face,” Daniel accused softly.
Jack hesitated, eyeing Daniel cautiously. “Then you were
right. It is my ‘let’s fuck’ game face. You know this isn’t
about that, right?”
isn’t?” Daniel tried a little gentle massage while he was in the
neighbourhood and Jack’s hand threatened to cut off his blood supply.
just about that,” Jack amended. Jack had this hand just lounging
around on Daniel’s ass, looking for a little action, easiest thing in
the world to just sidle it around and try a gentle massage of his
own. “Or this. Can you NOT arch like that? Not where
I can’t do anything about it, okay? Have some pity,” he
instructed. “I do love you.”
know, and I love you too, and we need to talk about Sam,” Daniel
suggested gently. “Decide what’s best, what’s easiest for
Sam. I don’t want to hurt her, Jack.”
argument here, Daniel,” Jack agreed wryly. “What are you
we should keep our distance at work, be professional.”
are,” Jack was insulted.
hug the crap out of me every time I turn round,” Daniel said tartly.
love it,” Jack insisted smugly.
course I - that’s not the point,” Daniel snapped.
love it,” Jack gloated.
won’t,” Daniel said firmly.
wasn’t planning to hold your hand and skip through the Stargate,
although –- “ Jack let it trail off temptingly.
Daniel asked weakly, mesmerised by the predatory look in Jack’s eyes.
have been wondering lately if anyone’s ever done it in a wormhole.”
had George and Teal’c, pretty much looking like George and Teal’c,
blatantly and uncomfortably ‘out of uniform’. He had Carter, in
heels and a stunning little burgundy mantrap that had made Janet blink
hard the moment she walked through the door. He had Janet, in
what he thought was a really nice copper coloured evening skirt and
cream silk blouse. He was himself looking fairly spiffy in cream
chinos and a pale green shirt. He had eatables. He had
booze up the wazoo. He had everything but the only thing he
see Daniel is going for fashionably late again,” Jack carped, scowling
at the clock.
don’t think the invitation said twenty hundred hours prompt,” Janet
grinned, accepting a generous glass of sherry. “Eight-ish was
what you said.” She eyed the hors d’œuvres dubiously.
eight-fifteen-ish and the peppers are caramelised, not burned,” Jack
you say so, Sir,” Janet said placidly, pointedly taking a slice of the
un-caramelised baked Brie and apple instead.
was deliberate,” Jack insisted.
it go, son,” Hammond grinned.
maintained his ‘hurt’ manner as he offered up the tray to Carter and
managed a grin and went for the Brie too. The show wouldn’t start
until Daniel got here, and the small talk was pinching as much as these
shoes. She was more the jeans and Doc Martens type.
carefully inspected the contents of the tray. He looked at
that supposed to mean?” Jack snapped indignantly. A tentative tap
at the door heralded the guest of honour and Jack let it go. For
now. Couldn’t care less, in fact, not when he had Danny and the
promise of his jammies at the door.
by the archaeologist,” Janet murmured as the colonel indignantly shoved
the tray at Teal’c and loped over to throw open the door, grinning like
Daniel’s smile didn’t really take off. He was desperately nervous
and Jack standing there looking like THAT didn’t help. Jack was
drop-dead gorgeous, particularly in that celadon – the glaze was
popular in Sung Dynasty China porcelain if memory served and he was
babbling here – shirt, and Jack seemed to have no idea of the effect he
had on the susceptible. It was the eyes, the fathomless warm
brown eyes. And the hair. That helped. Helped keep
Daniel awake at night. Daniel tried again with the smile and more
or less made it this time.
Jack leaned against the door and took his own sweet time looking Daniel
over from head to foot. And back. O-OH, momma.
Skin tight, charcoal chinos and a silvery-grey shirt, baring the hollow
of Daniel’s throat and the sleeves casually rolled above the
elbows. The colour did extraordinary things for Daniel’s eyes and
Jack’s hormones. “Jammies?” Daniel nodded, jerking his thumb towards
his car. Daniel had that same mongoose-cobra look he wore back on
base when Jack was speculating about the logistics of sex in wormholes.
grinned, stepped back and let Daniel precede him into the house so he
could get a good look at Daniel’s ass under that clinging grey
cloth. Just a little something on account until he got hands,
lips and teeth on Daniel’s ass under the sheets, which he sincerely
hoped would be in the midnight hour that very night. With only
two very uncertain smiles to go on, Jack was taking no risks.
Daniel’s ass was on the line, here.
chorus of welcoming ‘Daniels’ rang out and Jack hid his own grin as
Daniel blushed and treated them all to his sweet little smile.
sidled over to Sam and craned up. Sam obligingly dropped her
head. “Woof!” Janet murmured, eyeing Daniel appreciatively,
tilting her sherry glass in silent toast. “I’m feeling no pain.”
chuckled at her friend, eyes steady on Daniel. “Janet!” It
was unbelievable to Sam just how many women Daniel had bowled over
completely with his near-legendary ‘beauty’ and all that devastating
innocent, sweet tempered charm, mostly because Daniel was not only
impervious to the lures thrown out to him so blatantly, he was totally
unconscious of the lust rippling through the halls of the SGC every
time he emerged from the safety of his books. Which rather begged
the question. How could Daniel, who lived unheeding in that ivory
tower of his, not only attract the colonel but keep him as he
had? The colonel was the total opposite to Daniel, earthy, and
from all Sam had seen of him, sensual and demanding. The colonel
- Jack and Daniel just did not compute.
retrieved his tray from a stoic Teal’c and presented it with a flourish
caramelise?” Daniel asked incredulously, reaching cautiously for a
stuffed pepper. “I thought you kept Domino’s Pizza on speed dial.”
encourage him, son,” Hammond chuckled as Jack gloated. “Teal’c
had just succeeded in crushing the colonel’s culinary pretensions
wandered towards the fire, away from Jack. And Sam. He
wanted to keep a careful distance from both of them. He was
horribly self-conscious about being with Jack right under Sam’s
nose. Not that she knew anything, but still, Daniel didn’t want
to take the risk of upsetting her in any way. There were still
too many unknowns. Daniel wasn’t at all comfortable with just
leaving Sam hanging, and though Jack had reluctantly given ground on
Daniel’s request that they keep a professional distance at work, he
still had no idea how Jack really wanted to deal with the
situation. Daniel also realised he couldn’t make that decision
for Jack, because Jack was the one whose career was on the line.
Jack immediately had to abandon his duties as host, drop the tray where
everyone could reach it and wander over to join him. Daniel
busied himself with the pepper. “Oh! This is good,” Daniel
waited a beat. “You had the party catered, right?”
I can burn food with the best of them,” Jack contradicted,
grinning. “Want something to drink? I got a perky blueberry
or a robust grape,“ he tempted.
Daniel queried cautiously.
Aid,” Jack said dulcetly. “Nothing but the best for the cheapest date
bared his teeth at Jack.
up, Danny, that was a joke.”
nearly,” Daniel snapped.
room,” Jack griped to the room at large as he sauntered off toward the
kitchen, pausing just inside the doorway. “Oh yeah, about dinner,
check with me BEFORE you call 911, okay? It’s supposed to smell
in a good mood,” Sam observed, keeping her eyes fixed on the cause,
heroically chewing his way through the burned pepper. Daniel
glanced up suddenly and smiled tentatively at her. Sam smiled
back and waved the Brie meaningfully. Daniel relaxed and his
whole face warmed.
not surprised,” Janet smiled at Teal’c. “I can’t imagine what it
must have been like for you to experience the same time over and over
was most difficult,” Teal’c said mildly, looking at Daniel. He
was a little saddened to see that Daniel and O’Neill seemed to have
reached an understanding of sorts. Honour was only easy in the
Jack agreed, emerging from the kitchen with one wineglass and a
beer. “You came close to death on a number of occasions, Janet.”
Janet choked at the poker-faced delivery.
you shone that dinky little torch in my eyes once you must have done it
a hundred times,” Jack said flatly.
sensing that’s meant literally, Sir,” Sam commented, shuddering.
Janet apologised weakly.
sweat it, it’s not your fault,” Jack said easily, crossing over to
Daniel’s side again, noting how quiet and withdrawn Daniel was, “And
anyway, I got time off for bad behaviour,” he said casually, refusing
to rise to the bait of Janet’s muttered ‘I’m afraid to
ask’. “Here, try this,” he offered Daniel the glass. “It’s
that Leflaive Chassagne Chardonnay you like so much.”
Jack,” Daniel said softly, touched that Jack was making so much effort
on his behalf.
flavoured, obviously.” Jack toasted Daniel with his beer.
“Corona,” he grinned. “NOT the sun, Daniel.”
chuckled and touched his glass lightly to Jack’s. “May you never
eat Froot Loops again,” he said gravely.
shuddered violently. “I’ll second that,” he grimaced.
bit into the warm Brie, watching the colonel lingering solicitously at
Daniel’s side, thinking idly that gentlemen were supposed to prefer
blondes, not archaeologists. But it seemed colonels didn’t, well
this one didn’t, and she’d better stop thinking idly now, it was making
her head hurt, ‘cause this colonel was certainly supposed to prefer the
blonde. On record, in point of fact. Janet glanced to
Sam. The blonde with the face like a wet Friday, watching the
colonel doing the mein genial host thing with the archaeologist until
she saw Janet was watching her, and then she was just Sam again.
Janet took a hasty gulp of sherry that brought tears to her eyes as the
alcohol burned a path straight down. Oh, boy. Still waters
running WAY too deep, here, and Janet didn’t have her flippers, so she
was keeping out of it. Right the way over here on the couch
behind the general out of it.
was sniffing. “O’Neill!”
Jack said vaguely, focused on the fact Daniel had stopped taking a step
away every time Jack took a step towards. He’d thought they were
gonna wind up on the porch for a while there.
smell is becoming distressing.”
sniffed. “What IS that, Sir?” she shuddered.
Jack became the cynosure of all incredulous eyes. “The DRESSING,”
he said witheringly. “Gorgonzola.”
this smell customary?” Teal’c’s survival instincts were warring with
his duty towards accepting O’Neill’s hospitality. It seemed
likely this evening would end in his death. And possibly Teal’c’s.
Jack snapped, sniffing disdainfully. “No! Dammit!” He
thrust the beer at a sniggering Daniel and bolted, cursing.
chuckled. “Ladies and gentlemen, I guess that means dinner is
served.” A slight ripple ran through the guests as everyone
prudently stepped away from the dining-come-disaster area. “Don’t
make me make that an order, people. He’ll make us suffer forever
if we bolt out that door, tempting as it seems right now.”
rose smoothly to her feet and winked at Sam. They both ripped off
textbook salutes, grinning.
who are about to die, Sir,” Sam chuckled, heading purposefully into the
kitchen to help before Daniel could. The colonel was mourning
over the smouldering contents of a large pan. He held it up
solemnly for her inspection.
does it look?”
I have to tell you. It doesn’t look good,” Sam said gravely,
angry with herself for just going with flow of all this warmth and
charm, all of it false, totally false, and even that wasn’t stopping
Jack prompted, hoping she’d lie, let him down easy.
caramelised to me, Sir.”
take the wine, Sir,” Sam suggested, turning to take the open wine
that one,” Jack said idly, “the other one.”
stiffened. We don’t get to share Daniel’s wine, huh? She
lifted the other bottle and did a double take when she read the
label. “Frog’s Leap?” she asked incredulously. She was
bridling a little. Daniel got to have the really expensive wine,
the wine he likes, the one the colonel knows he likes, and has
obviously gone out of his way to get for him, and it's just for Daniel,
no one else, and the rest of them got the Frog's Leap? They
weren’t talking subtle here. Don’t tell? Don’t shout it
from the rooftops or take out a full page ad in the Gazette, more like!
good wine,” Jack said defensively. Thirty bucks a bottle
good. “Get outta here! Gimme room to work. We’re
talking disaster recovery, not dressing.”
worry, Sir, just stir it up. If people don’t ask, I won’t tell,”
Sam said sweetly. “None of this has to leave this room.” She left
the colonel before he could react, taking the wine to the table and
pouring for everyone except Teal’c, who had the carafe of water near to
hand. Sam hid a grin. The general had gone unthinkingly to
the head of the table, with Teal’c on one side and Janet on the
other. Which left the colonel with the seat nearest the kitchen,
Daniel on one side of him and her on the other. Social briefing?
sweet smile and murmured thanks softened Sam and she touched his
shoulder for a moment before reaching around him to pour for
Janet. Duties as hostess discharged, Sam took her seat next to
Teal’c and they all awaited the colonel’s pleasure, trying not to wince
at the desperate clashing or the salty language.
emerged from the kitchen with three plates carefully balanced. He
presented them with a flourish and dove back into the kitchen for the
looked doubtfully at Janet’s plate. Then his own as it was placed
carefully before him. Then he looked at Jack. “Um – hot
dogs and hot gorgonzola. Yum,” Janet whimpered. Maybe she should
stick with water instead of wine. People might need medical
sagged in his seat, cut to the quick. “Frankfurters. From
Germany. Got them from the deli over on The Place of the
Gods. Sheesh. This is a classic salad. Frankfurters,
mushrooms – “
Daniel murmured dulcetly.
got movement,” Sam yelped, rearing theatrically back from her plate.
scowled as they all dissolved into laughter, even Teal’c’s eyebrow
making a break for the top of his head. “I made the vinaigrette,”
he said sadly. “And the warm cheese dressing. Glad to know
two hours sweating over the cook books and artistically drizzled
dressings paid off in the entertainment value alone.”
and ale. It’s a classic,” Jack insisted, very conscious of Daniel
sitting curled almost at his feet, and extremely grateful to the
general for spreading out all over the couch and making this possible.
and Bud,” Daniel said cheekily. “I saw the can in the kitchen.”
Bastard,” Jack said lightly. There was a shocked silence.
“The ALE,” Jack drawled witheringly.
must say, Sir, you do a mean defrost. Hardly any ice chips in
this cheesecake at all,” Janet marvelled.
because he got it from the deli over on The Place of the Gods,” Daniel
grinned. “Along with the hot dogs and the beer.”
the gorgonzola,” George said sourly.
strangely enough,“ Jack leaned back because his fingers were itching to
tangle in Daniel’s hair. “I was going to offer you all a doggie
bag for the leftovers but I can’t because there ain’t no dog left to
put in the bags. And I’m not making any accusations here,
but I know I had a bag of chips right there on the worktop, and just
because they’re gone and Carter was the only one alone in the kitchen –
barely touched them!” Sam insisted, defiantly scooping up the last
slice of caramel pecan cheesecake, glaring Janet down. “Sore
make sure you get a copy of my diet plan first thing, Sam,” Janet said
brightly. “Can’t have you getting porky, can we?” she suggested
Daniel and Jack said together.
ground her teeth.
Tunes?” Jack enunciated crisply.
took the time to savour the rich aroma of the premium Colombian
roast. Took the time to sip slowly. Only then did she make
eye contact with her simmering superior officer. “Got you on the
treadmill without a whimper, Sir,” she grinned unrepentantly.
“I’m sorry, Colonel. I didn’t quite catch whatever it was you
just muttered. Something about Napoleon?”
Daniel said dulcetly.
was watching the colonel. Primarily watching the colonel’s
fingers, which were going to be IN Daniel’s hair if she didn’t do
something. Nobody was ready to go home, not with the fire, the
good food, the good conversation and the company. They needed a
distraction and they needed it fast. Fortunately she knew exactly
what would appeal to Daniel, and she also knew from the colonel’s last
New Year’s party, and some very persuasive arguments about the
entertainment value of Strip Scrabble, that he had the game somewhere
in the house. Even the colonel wouldn’t have tried for Strip
Scrabble without being able to cough up the Scrabble part, no matter
how much eggnog they’d scarfed down. “I have a yen for
Scrabble. Anybody care to join me?” she ruthlessly asked
Daniel. Daniel’s face lit up, the colonel’s face softened and
Scrabble it was. The mad scramble to find the game, get the board
set up, nominate the score person, Sam by universal acclaim, and
organise into two pretty unequal teams got the colonel safely away from
Daniel and probable early retirement.
didn’t know what the hell was going on between the colonel and Daniel,
but with what she knew of the colonel’s personality and recalling
various embarrassing après mission confessions, from which she
had deduced the colonel’s version of safe sex was both partners
carrying guns, she was damned sure she’d be the first to know come
Daniel’s next physical. And he’d better be A-OK, because if he
wasn’t, Janet might not ask but she would sure as hell TELL the first
time she got the colonel alone.
sat on the floor at the end of the coffee table, the fire warm on his
back and his letter tiles neatly stacked in front of him. He
folded his arms and glared. “You’ve got to be kidding, right?”
opposing team glared right back. All five of them.
Jack asked coolly, menacingly staring Daniel down.
got the Webster’s on standby,” George assured him gravely.
kick linguist butt,” Sam said briskly.
smiled softly and looked thoughtfully at his letters.
trying to psyche us out,” Jack snarled.
Daniel asked gently.
it’s working,” Janet snapped.
competitive,” Daniel mourned, shaking his head sorrowfully as he placed
each letter tile neatly onto the board. “E-R-I-S-T-I-C.
Eristic,” he beamed at them and sat back.
eyes turned to the general. George turn to the ‘E’s.
be right above erk,“ Daniel said brightly. “Which is another word
for what the four of you are.”
Jack demanded suspiciously. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
prefer erk,” Daniel smiled sweetly at Jack.
Jack let it go, for now. He’d pick it up later, AFTER what he
hoped wouldn’t be so much happy as fucking ecstatic hour. No pun.
to controversy or disputatious reasoning,” George announced,
selected another seven tiles at random.
you at least make it LOOK as if you’re trying?” Jack complained as
Daniel glanced at his tiles for about a nanosecond and started merrily
laying them on the board.
already on the board, O-G-A-T-I-O-N. Rogation,” Daniel said
smoothly. He glanced up at five identical expressions. “I
can feel the love,” he said whimsically.
give me a minute,” George snapped in response to a chorus of indignant
‘sirs’, thumbing rapidly through the Rs. “Pleading or
the colonel on the treadmill,” Janet noted meanly, ignoring the
colonel’s scorching look.
smiled beneficently upon them all and dove back into the tiles.
He stared at his letters for several seconds, milking it for Jack’s
sake. “Q-U-A-T already on the board, R-A-I-N. Quatrain.”
stanza of four lines usually rhyming alternately,” George admitted
after a short, depressed pause.
beamed at them and delved into the tiles, fingers roaming far and
wide. He was aware of five hostile gazes watching his every
move. Daniel looked slightly uncertain, then sorrowfully held up
the X and the Y tiles. Five faces were instantly wreathed in
smiles. Daniel grinned wickedly and slid the first tiles into
place on the board. The smiles congealed. “X-Y-L-O-C
already on the board A-R-P. Xylocarp.”
making that up, right?” Jack demanded of the general. “That’s not
a real word.”
hard and woody fruit, like a coconut,” George said bitterly.
you keeping score, Major Carter?” Teal’c asked.
the point?” Sam griped.
I?” Jack asked the general with exquisite politeness, reaching for the
dictionary. He made a great show of perusing the pages.
“Ah, yes. Here we go. S-M-A-R-T-A-S-S.”
believe that is pronounced ‘DanielJackson’, O’Neill,” Teal’c suggested
saw the pass the colonel made at Daniel. Some inane joke about
Daniel being good at clearing up debris, but she noted carefully that a
held breath was released and the soft brown eyes lit up when Daniel
joked back about his rubber glove fetish getting out. Sam
knew then that Daniel was staying the night, knew that while she was
being driven home, the colonel would be taking Daniel to bed, would be
making love to him for the first time.
had to laugh at her own naïveté. The colonel hadn’t
even noticed her too short, too tight, too bright dress or the heels,
although she was going to have some explaining to do to Janet
tomorrow. The colonel had admired Janet’s ‘classy’ evening skirt,
though, and he hadn’t been able to tear his eyes off Daniel all night
unless you were speaking directly to him and even then he was THINKING
talked about so many things during dinner, argued, teased, laughed
together. She’d had a wonderful evening with her dearest friends,
and it would have been perfect if the man she loved wasn’t about to
seduce just about her best friend in the world. Was so impatient
to get to it he couldn’t wait to get her out the door, because she was
the last to go.
leaned against the freezer and watched the colonel watch Daniel wash
the crystal goblets and the porcelain dinner service that had belonged
to his grandmother. Not a chance Daniel would break anything, his
own china was mostly seventeenth century, every piece unique and chosen
because he loved it. Daniel didn’t buy antiques to sell, he
bought to keep. Daniel was a keeper. Watching the colonel
follow every move Daniel made, Sam was pretty sure he’d be keeping Jack
toot of a horn caught her attention. Sam smiled. “Sounds
like my ride,” she said cheerfully. “I had a lovely time,
Sir. Thank you.”
still want to know what you did with those chips,” the colonel said,
die wondering,” Sam winked at Daniel. “Good night.”
wait. Wait,” Daniel said anxiously. “I don’t like to think of you
going home alone this late. I could go back with you.”
meant it too. Meant every word, even though the colonel and bed -
were waiting for him. Sam wasn’t sure what Daniel thought he
could do that she couldn’t, but the instinctive kindness of the gesture
softened her. “I’ll be fine, Daniel,” she said softly, leaning in
to kiss his cheek.
talk to the driver,” the colonel warned. “Make sure he walks you
right to your door, and then you call us, okay?”
ignored that betraying ‘us’ and blithely agreed that she would call,
just a couple of rings to let them know she was safe, no need to pick
up, etcetera, etcetera. She waited patiently while the colonel
gave the driver explicit instructions for the care of his precious
cargo, accepting that as Carter she was special to him, that he did
care a lot more than he was supposed to. She would just never be
any more than this. The colonel didn’t see her absence in his
personal life as a lack; he probably wondered what the hell his
alternates saw that he didn’t. Sam thought it was down to WHO he
saw that his alternates never got the chance to. Namely the
sweet, generous man hovering in the open doorway, waving as she turned
to get in the cab.
the gorgonzola?” she asked wryly, pulling the door shut. He’d
already turned away as the cab pulled out.
staggered into the hallway and kicked the door shut behind him.
He dropped the bag and was in no way surprised when the bastard landed
on his foot.
Could you come here for a moment?” he called politely.
trotted out of the kitchen. “Jack?”
in the bag, Daniel?” Jack asked softly.
few essential items,” Daniel said cheerfully. “Just like you
few essential items. Let’s just see, shall we?” Jack said grimly,
unzipping rapidly to rifle through the contents. Put it this way,
unless Daniel had ‘The Ins and Outs of Gay Sex’ in here, he wouldn’t be
doing much reading. Jack held up the first item that came to
hand. “The Book of the Dead?” he accused.
that’s a classic reference, Jack.”
nodded and let that one go. “Ancient images: the iconography of
analyses the close relationship between representations of the past and
theories about human evolution. She postulates this relationship
existed even before a scientific understanding of human origins
developed. How did mythological, religious, and historically inspired
visions of the past, in existence for centuries, shape this
remained pointedly silent.
was a rhetorical question, Jack,” Daniel said carefully, aware he was
skating on some unexpectedly thin ice here.
don’t do textbooks for xenological archaeology. That’s the best I
can do. The methodology is sound.”
you have one single article of clothing in this bag?” Jack demanded,
prodding the contents of the bag in disbelief.
a toothbrush count?” Daniel asked hopefully.
Then I guess one. I still think it’s downright weird, but you
asked, so I brought them,” Daniel explained awkwardly.
took fresh heart and delved down into the very depths of the bag.
He emerged triumphant and thrust the ‘by request’ item at Daniel.
“Put them on.”
not in bed,” Daniel said flatly.
won’t NEED them in bed,” Jack said firmly.
not running around in these just so you can get some weird-ass sexual
kicks out of seeing me in them,” Daniel snapped. “In fact, I’m
starting to wonder what other bizarre fetishes will be revealed.”
night is young,” Jack drawled. He eyed the bag sourly.
“Hernia permitting. Just put the jammies on, Daniel.
Please. I’ll be back in a minute. We’re going to need a
was slightly alarmed. “What for?”
shot him an evil grin. “Better start measuring up for shelves.”
could have been worse,” Daniel said coldly.
could have brought my fish.”
I swear to God, if you do that one more time I’m going home,” Daniel
Jack asked innocently.
Daniel smacked Jack’s hand away. “It’s a TOOTHBRUSH, Jack.
Jeez, you have got to put a lid on these territorial impulses.”
JUST a toothbrush,” Jack observed dispassionately. “Toothpaste,
mouthwash, FLOSS, soap, the other different colour soap for – for
what? For when you drop the first soap?”
face and body,” Daniel snapped.
you don’t want soap on your face that’s been on your ass?”
I have ALLERGIES.”
gave Daniel a hard look. He softened slightly. Daniel was
pouting and bright-eyed with temper and completely delicious in his
navy jammies and T-shirt. The jammies were the cute kind of
baggy, slung low on Daniel’s hips, had a subtle burgundy check, and
definitely leaned to the fuzzy. The T-shirt seemed to have been
through the hot-rinse once too often and a lot of sleek, flat creamy
abdomen was on display. Daniel’s navel was in Jack’s sights right
this minute and the whole of Daniel would be in Jack’s bed any
curled his lip as Jack’s eyes roamed appreciatively. “Look all
you want. You made me put them on, but you can’t make me take
them off again.”
problem,” Jack said easily. “Makes our first foray into friction
fuzzier than I’m used to, but at least this way I get custody of the
to’?” Daniel enunciated crisply.
You even brought your own shampoo. And conditioner,” Jack said
rapidly, refusing to skirmish.
pointedly opened the bathroom cabinet and displayed incriminating
evidence. “When I have four different flavours of lip balm in MY
bathroom, get back to me about the shampoo.”
strenuously ignored the damning contents of his cabinet, concentrating
instead on the more fruitful topic of all the stuff Daniel now had
strewn over every available surface of his bathroom. “And your
own razor, and the shaving foam, and let us not forget the hair brush,
the nail brush, the other, bigger brush, the natural sponge loofah and
last but not least, the unpronounceable cologne. It’s wasteful,
Daniel. You could use my stuff.”
I could just wear a T-shirt saying ‘colonels and archaeologists do it
in wormholes’,” Daniel suggested perkily, “If we’re going to blithely
ignore ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and go all out for in your face and up
your ass blatant.”
to’?” Daniel queried coldly.
you ask me to ‘elaborate’, I swear to God they won’t even find the
body. I’ll make you dig your own grave,” Jack promised
faithfully. He eyed Daniel thoughtfully. “You’re nervous
about the sex.”
certainly am,” Daniel said briskly, trotting out of the bathroom.
“I’m nervous that if I lie still too long, you’ll try to dust me or
BEG your pardon?”
should,” Daniel said equably, accelerating towards the - for now -
relative safety of the bed. “The thing you have for me in my
jammies is as nothing to the thing you have for cleaning. You
LIKE to clean. You like to clean NAKED. I can tell.”
from the man who pressed each individual pleat in his pants?” Jack
sneered to his Weeping Ficus. Actually, she looked like she was
outgrowing this spot by the door. Might be time to cut the apron
not the one with top of the line turbo glide sure shot steam iron,
about which I have a question. DO the stripes make it go faster?”
Daniel hopped into bed and yanked up the comforter emphatically, eyeing
his colonel with flat dislike. “You snarled?”
Daniel beamed, stretching out and doing a lot of pointedly possessive
sprawling and snuggling.
Jack’s lips twitched as Daniel pulled a pillow over his head. “We
don’t have to do anything,” he said gently.
the LAST time, I am NOT nervous,” a muffled voice snarled. “Maybe
I’m NOT used to it - unlike some people round here who kept it goddamn
quiet – “
started shucking his clothes, losing the battle with his attempt to
look supportive, and settling on just being outrageously horny.
I do happen to be the cultural expert. I know all about ancient
kicked off his shoes. “Plato and shit?” he suggested
Plato have much to say about the prostate?” Jack asked pleasantly,
unzipping his pants as loudly as possible, choking back a laugh as the
indignant heap under the covers went very still. Even Jack could
tell Daniel was annoyed with himself for reacting, and that was through
a crisp cotton sheet, a comforter, a pillow and two emphatically
the Greek we have prostates, someone who stands in front, the prostate,
from pro, meaning before, and sta, the root of histanai, to cause to
pulled off his shorts and started folding. “What does that mean?”
have no idea,” Daniel snapped, ostentatiously smoothing his pillow.
know I’m going to regret asking this, but do you know about the, er,
RECREATIONAL uses of the prostate?” Jack asked cautiously, edging
carefully towards the bed. Two things were likely to happen if he
touched Daniel. Daniel would belt him one or Daniel would
bolt. In one of Jack’s fondest fantasies, Daniel tore his clothes
off and hurled himself at Jack slavering with lust, but, realistically,
Jack was expecting a combination of belting and bolting.
not naive,” the pillow sneered. “Or nervous.”
can tell,” Jack said soothingly and just went for it, swooping up the
covers and pouncing on Daniel. Jack smoothly shifted the pillow
and settled the covers back over both their heads. Then he
propped himself on his elbows and smiled gently at Daniel.
Daniel’s hand crept cautiously down, patted, verified and snatched away
as his eyes widened and he gulped. Hard.
need to get personal. A simple ‘no’ will suffice,” Jack said
lightly. He stared deep into those wide, dazed blue eyes.
“I’m not saying Early Christian Martyr isn’t a good look on you but – “
not nervous,” Daniel insisted, scowling at all the tender-hearted
decided to take things slow, given Daniel’s pallor, amongst other
things. “O-kay, you’re not nervous, we’ve established that.
I’m going to cut you some slack and chalk the hyperventilating up to
not hyper – hyperventilating,” Daniel gasped.
you’ve got heaving bosoms right now, not that it’s unpleasant, don’t
get me wrong, but you’re a guy and technically you don’t have a bosom.”
love you too. If I try to kiss you, will you knee me in the
gaped up at Jack’s wicked, laughing face. Daniel wasn’t nervous,
he was equal parts aroused, terrified and disbelieving. He was
going to have sex with a man. Not just any man. With
Jack. His best friend. His lover. His huge, heavy,
horny – “It’s possible,” he gasped, “So I’d better kiss you.”
With that he reached up to cup Jack’s face and drew him down into a
serious cataloguing. Tastes, the rich bitterness of coffee
lingering in Jack’s mouth and mingling with his own mint taste.
Textures. Firm, straight lips moulding to his, pliant, not
pushing. The warm silkiness of the inside of Jack’s mouth.
Teeth both smooth and sharp, sleek and straight, rough and
nipping. Touch. Jack’s warm, bristled skin rubbing over
his. The softness of Jack’s hair tangled between his
fingertips. The constantly shifting pressure of lip on lip as
they angled, sought, strove. Tongues rasping in a rough,
deepening caress, pushing hard. Curling close and resting.
Easy gliding strokes that heated again to lunging jabs and harsh
panting, Jack’s brusque hands suddenly pushing hard at Daniel’s legs,
splaying them wide as Jack’s urgent weight settled, powerful thighs
flexing eagerly between his. Hard, he’d never imagined how hard
and sharp another man’s body was, how rough and alien, how wrong and
how right it would feel, heavy, insistent; strength and weight pinning
him flat, helpless, nothing held back from him, his own strength
accepted and revelled in.
kiss, darkening mood, Jack fumbling now at Daniel’s clothing, wanting,
needing, taking skin, releasing Daniel’s mouth to wrench the T-shirt
free, plunging back into the kiss, weight lifting a little, balancing
to allow Jack to yank down the bottoms, get them gone and tumble back
down onto skin. Hot, sweaty skin slipping and sliding as Jack
rocked them, still kissing. Just kissing, arms tight around one
another, rocking and kissing in this growing heat, the heavy musk of
this heat and the heady pleasure of friction jolting into him.
Achingly hard erections slick and stroking over and over as Jack’s
thighs drove him relentlessly against Daniel, Jack flushed and grunting
with effort, flinching as Daniel’s fingers clawed into his butt and dug
deep, held him just THERE as Daniel thrust up to meet Jack, not enough,
not nearly enough, legs hooking hard around Jack now, crossed at the
ankles, crushing Jack close, Daniel reaching above his head, scrabbling
for the headboard, for leverage to plunge him down into this pleasure
stabbing wildly through him, exploding white behind his eyes.
kissing, kissing and rocking. With Jack. His tongue pulsing
deep in Jack’s mouth, stifling the ragged breath sounds and wrenching
groans as they heaved and laboured, violent tremors in every clenching
limb as Jack slammed into Daniel, Daniel arching off the bed to meet
him, slammed again, tensed, back arching, face contorted in ecstasy as
he came and they came HARD, together, kissing still.
thought he kinda greyed out for a while there, gasping into Daniel’s
sweat-sheened shoulder, too far gone to even shift his weight even
though Daniel was struggling for every stuttering breath. Jack
fought leaden limbs and numbing satiation to roll them side by side,
Daniel tight in his arms, Jack’s leg draped heavy and holding over him,
sweat and semen cooling everywhere they touched.
love you,” he whispered into the damp tendrils at Daniel’s brow.
you too,” Daniel sighed, clinging closer. “Jack?”
Jack worked his fingers into Daniel’s hair, soothing.
nervous,” Daniel said gravely.
noticed,” Jack grinned.
have to be patient.”
will? Fuck!” Jack mock-growled.
not ready for sex,” Daniel announced sententiously to the Weeping
Ficus, just visible over Jack’s shoulder. The shoulder he was
I noticed how ready you weren’t,” Jack agreed gravely. “And
that’s a trick question, right?” he smirked. “I’m supposed to be
supportive here and say it’s okay, I can wait, but I won’t ‘cause I
promised to tell you the truth, and I’d be lying my nuts off.”
we stick with just kissing? Like this?” Daniel stroked the
thigh draped over him, exploring every ridge and contour of the taut,
heavy muscles, fascinated by the smooth, sensitive skin and the fine
hairs feathering beneath his palm.
Like this?” Jack cupped Daniel’s nape, massaging gently.
“If you want to take things slow, I could go for this. For your
sake. You’re a GREAT kisser. The BEST.” Jack’s grin
broadened as Daniel blushed rosily, and threatened to hit both ears at
once as Daniel’s hand roamed possessively all over Jack’s ass.
leaned up to nip and tug at Jack’s lobe. “Mmm.” He curled
his hand gently around Jack’s shaft, hot and heavy in his palm, simply
let it rest there as he closed his eyes and settled for sleep,
deliciously hot and sticky and sated, clinging contentedly.
“Mmm,” he sighed again. “’Night.”
Jack pressed a kiss into Daniel’s hair and let him drift, happy to just
lie here, to let hands and mind wander freely over Daniel. A
drowsy murmur eventually caught his attention. “Hmm?”
think I’m ready for a little foreplay. So-o?” Daniel
prompted. “You up for it?”
grinned, arching into the persuasive hand stroking him lingeringly,
luxuriously. “That’s flattering, Danny, really, but the old grey
mare just ain’t what she used to be.”
decided maybe a little oral stimulation would help firm up Jack’s
flagging interest. Daniel leaned in close and blew softly in
Jack’s ear, ready to talk dirty. “Wanna wax my floor?” he
Jack yelped, feeling a treacherous twitch of interest as his blood
galloped down the home straight. And another. More of a
jerk than a twitch. Crap, CRAP, crap; the betraying little
bastard was champing at the bit for the carrot, Danny was
dangling. Perfect goddamn timing as usual. “It was the
stroking,” he snarled to his smirking beloved. “Not the – not –
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