missed it when it was on general release,” Daniel coaxed. “It’s
funny. A comedy,” he added hopefully.
movie about Shakespeare and comedy are mutually exclusive terms,” Jack
announced crisply. “And as I recall, you lured me away from the
VCR with talk of Kevin Spacey.”
yes,” Daniel said tartly. “Kevin. The man you want to be
when you grow up.”
attitude is SO not helping your case,” Jack snapped, knowing perfectly
well he was no more capable of withstanding the impish look on Daniel’s
face than he was of withstanding that exact same damn look when Charlie
had wheedled the third vacation in a row at Disneyland out of
him. At least this time he wouldn’t have anybody laughing and
calling him a wuss.
for cryin’ out loud,“ Jack groaned as his inconvenient surrogate parent
complex mainlined appealing archaeologist-type wiles. He’d have
felt better about being so damn spineless if Daniel was a ruthless
little pro like Charlie, who’d had that cat-like ability to know a
sucker when he saw one, and it wasn’t Mom. Daniel was just
nice. Jack relaxed, letting a reminiscent smirk make an
appearance, which had Daniel scowling at him suspiciously.
Yeah. Daniel was sweet and nice. Jack was sorely tempted to
tell Daniel that Charlie would have eaten him alive, but that would
have meant Daniel getting his listening face and being the good friend,
in case Jack was insouciantly covering for some soul-scarring trauma
Daniel hadn’t yet managed to ‘assist’ him with.
Jack let himself enjoy the smile lighting up Daniel’s face, let Daniel
tow him into the line for the movie, wondering when it was the as close
to Friday night as they could get it, on-world off-duty ritual had
changed from beer-pizza-game-argument, or ‘discussion’ according to
Daniel, to this. A movie. Dinner and a movie. A
concert. A play. Dinner. Whack them back in time a
hundred years, stick one of them in dress, and they’d be
courting. This ritual they had was the millennium edition of the
once-a-week après church buggy ride.
felt a light feathering over his face and held out an inquisitive
turned to him, peering curiously over the top of his glasses. It
was a mannerism that tended to make Carter’s whole body go ‘awwww’ and
even Dammit Janet got misty-eyed.
precipitating,” Jack observed with clinical precision.
drizzle,” Daniel answered firmly, planting his feet solidly against any
suggestion they should bail.
sighed and hunched his shoulders. “Kinda penetrating for drizzle,
don’t you think?” He leaned across to swipe his fingers over the
steaming lenses of Daniel’s glasses.
Daniel said defiantly, pulling the glasses off to slip them into his
glared at Daniel, the rain, the rundown street, which was in the kind
of neighbourhood Jack customarily brought a gun to. The kids in
line, students, every last one of ‘em; Goths, geeks and pseudo-grunt
jock types hovering dispiritedly at some chick or other’s side, and in
a couple of cases, with one of the geeks, every single one of them
making Jack feel every single second of every year he’d lived.
Something clicked, and Jack realised he wouldn’t do this for another
living soul. Literally. If this was SARA he would have
bailed and made for the nearest multiplex and something that made
sense. Preferably with Kevin Spacey.
he was going to stand in this line, get soaked, get pissed, get an
argument over who paid for the tickets, and a lecture for clogging his
arteries with the butter he drizzled over the popcorn. He’d get
Daniel an ice cream and then he’d get attitude from Daniel for treating
him like a five year old. They’d get lousy seats because Daniel
would scour the rows for a place they could sit in without ruining the
night for some minx who was five-two and would hit on Daniel as soon as
look at him, and what the hell did Jack get out of it? He glanced
at the man at his side, surreptitiously hitching up the collar of his
could go,” Daniel said wistfully, peering longingly at the posters and
then ruefully at Jack’s pissy face.
here now,” Jack bitched. “It’ll take us an hour to get somewhere
with the sanity of Ben & Jerry’s and surround sound.”
yeah. That. He got Daniel. ‘The pleasure of his
company’ was trite, but true. Jack had the SGC and in lieu of a
life, he had Daniel. Everything Jack did, and most of what he
felt, focused on Daniel. Maybe it was as simple as Jack being
able to talk to Daniel. He shifted uncomfortably. Not being
able to stop himself talking to Daniel. Daniel empathised, Jack
spilled, often the moment the immortal ritual token protest ‘no, I
don’t want to talk about it’ had just tripped lightly off his lying
tongue. It bothered the crap out of Jack at times, how a sweet,
nice and slightly naïve thirty-five year old archaeologist had
gotten him in touch with his feelings, succeeded effortlessly where his
own wife had failed.
along the line, his life had turned into living up to Daniel’s
expectations, and only part of that was for Daniel. Jack had as
much need to be the one person in Daniel’s life Daniel could trust
unreservedly, could open up to, turn to, just fucking be there, as he
did to have that trust, to have Daniel’s respect and friendship.
Daniel’s standards were high, standards he held himself to, absolutely,
and so they were true. Anybody who measured up in Daniel’s eyes
had earned something, and it meant a lot to all of them who
served. Daniel saw them clearer than they saw themselves at times
when expedience and duty had them acting against conscience, and Jack
wasn’t the only one who used Daniel’s friendship to prop him up when he
can’t believe you’re writing this place off just because…“ Daniel began.
were selfish bastards, each and every one of them. Giving to
Daniel, and getting him to take, now that was a gift only Jack
had. He breezed through Daniel’s defences like they weren’t even
it’s a rat-trap-cum-death–trap in a neighbourhood the cops keep the
National Guard on speed dial?” Jack asked pleasantly. “I got rain
down my neck. I hope the indigenous peoples strip your car, sell
your own stereo back to you at an extortionate price at gunpoint just
before they take your wallet and your keys and clean out your loft.”
grinned at Jack, who was hunched and glowering. “Just for that
it’s nouvelle cuisine instead of steaks.”
joy,” Jack drawled. “And is this pre or après The Chinook?”
don’t know what you’re talking about,” Daniel lied without a
tremor. He knew perfectly well Jack would enjoy himself hugely
taking pot shots when they did wind up at The Chinook, which was on the
way to the restaurant.
car, Daniel. You only ever bring your car when you plan to drag
me places you know I don’t want to go and will in fact emphatically
refuse to grace with my presence if you told me about them before we
got there,” Jack sniped.
line moved up exactly two people. Daniel ignored Jack’s pointed
tracking of two obvious Bus-Ed students hustling at speed for the
safety of the nearest bar.
being a case in point.”
girl in front turned suddenly and scowled at Jack. “Jeez, your
dad is pissy,” she muttered sympathetically to Daniel.
Jack snarled, outraged.
tried and failed to choke down the sniggers. “C-colonel,” he
stammered, jerking his thumb at Jack.
girl, who seemed sweet despite the disconcertingly matte black tresses
and black lipstick, brightened. “Well, you’re lucky. My
boyfriend bailed on me to watch something stupid with balls.”
returned her smile and wasn’t in the least surprised to have Jack loom
up by his shoulder. He glanced over, saw the Colonel’s trademark
calculating comprehensive once-over and then the subtle relaxation that
meant more than the grin.
went to the multiplex, right?” Jack shot an evil look at Daniel.
‘Game’ was way too obvious for a cue as blatant as balls.
girl straightened, matched Jack look for look and finally grinned
back. “So ‘stupid’ is just a cunning disguise?”
refrain from the obvious response,” Jack said pleasantly, eyeing the
girl’s Big Hair with fascination as the line finally began to
move. “I’m Jack, and this is Daniel.”
and it’s a phase,” Lucy said sweetly. “The housewife hair is
looming right behind graduation, but I’ll enjoy anarchy to the full in
folks cutting you off after graduation?” Jack asked
sympathetically. “Dimples ruin the whole children of the night
effect, you know,” he added chattily.
should know. The rising sap level had me hearing violins.
Would it insult you if I said you two make a really cute couple?” Lucy
prefer hot,” Jack prompted hopefully, grinning at Daniel’s blush.
“No?” he asked when that failed to yield anything more than a politely
incredulous look and a flash of dimples. “Would it insult you if
I said you were wasted doing whatever it is you’re doing when you could
Lucy drawled, radiating ‘here it comes’ scepticism. “I generally
find aiming low is more effective in times of need.”
trying to recruit you to the Air Force, not pick you up,” Daniel
pointed out helpfully. “He thinks cryptic is cute.”
is clumsy but he’s cute,” Lucy grinned. “The defence of our
nation requires an anarchic art historian to be all she can be?
be surprised,” Daniel said, smiling gently. “What period?”
lose the will to live somewhere around the Dark Ages.”
were not so-called because they were dark,” Jack said automatically.
deep, Jack,” Lucy admired. “You’re really in the zone for that
stupid thing, huh?”
that or is that not the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?” Lucy asked the
street after a moment. “Only a guy as hot as you could get away
with laughing behind your hand like that, Daniel. You infected
with some kind of adorability virus or something? My monogamy is
frankly wavering and Jack looks like a goner to me.” She eyed them both
speculatively. “Ah, if only I had morals. Yes to a
threesome, Jack, no to the Air Force.”
said the two were mutually exclusive?” Jack asked innocently.
“Sexy uniform,” he coaxed.
on you,” Daniel said crisply, ruthlessly suppressing his wayward libido
as a treacherous memory of Jack in his class ‘A’ uniform and aviator
shades hammered home.
coat pocket disconcertingly played the X Files theme. She
pounced, pulled out a mobile phone and grinned up at them
unrepentantly. “I hate labels. Who says you can’t be an
anarchist and a conspicuous consumer?”
manages it every day, particularly the conspicuous consumption
part. No pie is safe in the Commissary, and he throws ‘authority
figure’ into the mix too. Which kind of explains how he always
gets his pie,” Daniel said reassuringly. “His attitude to the
establishment is fascinating for a man who is the establishment.”
as I say but don’t tell me what to do?” Lucy asked, twinkling up at
not anarchy in the Air Force, it’s one of those irregular verbs.
Initiative, insubordination, mutiny,” Jack said lightly. “And
speaking of the Air Force…you wouldn’t even have to move. The
Academy is just up the damn road.”
I gotta move now. Pip just text-messaged me. He’s got a
cheap bottle of Chianti and a large thin and crispy Hawaiian with my
name on it.”
pineapple?” Jack asked. “Pip?” he hissed at Daniel, who shrugged.
know it.” Lucy smiled at them and turned away. “Later,
where do you think you’re going?” Jack snapped.
froze involuntarily and looked pissed for doing it. “I could hear
‘young lady’ even if you didn’t say it,” she accused indignantly.
Air Force colonel,” Daniel said sympathetically. “Cute to ‘obey
me!’ in sixty seconds. We can’t let you walk off looking for a
bus, Lucy, not in a neighbourhood like this. You have two
choices. Either you let us put you in a taxi, or you let us drive
you back to campus. You don’t know us from Adam, so for your own
peace of mind, the taxi is the best compromise.”
Lucy prompted dangerously.
is quite capable of hovering at your side at the bus stop, scaring the
shit out of any driver dumb enough to stop, just to make a point.”
for the hell of it. He’s gloating offensively,” Lucy observed,
face softening slightly.
does that,” Daniel agreed solemnly. “He’s also a pathologically
over-protective Mother Hen with a gun, so don’t encourage him. I
have to work with that.”
I have to work with that,” Jack riposted, jerking his thumb at Daniel.
you,” Lucy sighed enviously. “Gee, Pa, can we take him home? Can
Jack snapped, faux-glaring. “Dial! Unless you want to hear
‘young lady’ in twenty three languages.”
winked, caved and phoned a taxi, muttering something about guys not
being allowed to go around being nice at her; it confused the hell out
eased back to observe, let the ebb and flow of conversation wash over
him as Jack made it clear Lucy was good people in his book and worked
his usual magic. It gave him a dull, sullen ache inside he still
wasn’t used to. Jack was charming, and flirty, and had a way of
focusing on you that made the world go away. And for Daniel, it
had. In one Apophis-fuelled nightmare in hell, Daniel’s defences
had been stripped from him, his deception of himself laid bare.
He was still struggling to comprehend how and when he’d begun to love
his friend more than he’d ever loved his wife. Balance was a
daily struggle, one he sometimes lost, and then he needed space, needed
to deny himself, channelling his intensity, his bitter regret at his
own dependency into the work. After he lost Sha’uri he’d sworn
never again. Never. He just hadn’t counted on not being
able to withstand Jack.
needed to be away from Jack so often his absence had punctured clean
through that shell of self-absorption Jack had worn as he and Sam had
danced denial around one other. It was ironic that Jack’s overt
interest in Sam had punched through Daniel’s last defence, forced him
to accept he’d tumbled headlong and heedless in love with Jack.
He wanted Jack. The first time he came with Jack in his mind and
Jack’s name on his lips, he’d wept a few hot, bitter tears.
Jack burned him up inside, hurt him in ways he’d grown used to, but
perhaps more deeply than even he could take now. Jack was as far
from him as Sha’uri had ever been, but Jack was at his side almost
every day of his life. Daniel had only himself to blame for his
predicament. Jack had seduced him from his independence, his
ability to be alone and not be lonely atrophied with his own active
collusion. He’d wanted, had chosen to be Jack’s friend, hadn’t
even realised that Jack’s place in his life had become necessary until
that place was threatened.
hadn’t noticed Daniel’s quiet, gradual withdrawal at work, which had
hurt, but he came calling quick enough when Daniel cancelled the
on-or-around Friday night ritual by making some excuse about pressure
of work. Eight o’clock had brought him Jack regardless, clutching
Thai takeout, a good wine, and a compromise movie, Jack-speak for ‘I
don’t know what I did but I’m sorry, yadda yadda, fixing it now’.
Daniel had been dubious about the gesture and the movie. Jack had
brought a martial arts movie that had Oscar nominations. It
hadn’t seemed a likely combination to either of them, and yet they’d
both loved it. It fit both of them, in their own ways, cerebral
seemed the ritual was sacrosanct if they were at home. Jack would
accept no excuse. Daniel depressed himself with his own gratitude
that Jack still needed his friendship, needed him in a way that he had
never and would never need Sam. Jack ‘loved’ Sam, but had never
even thought about spending time alone with her off base. She’d
never even been to his house except in company, and yet Jack was
beating down Daniel’s door if he stood him up on their ‘date’
night. Daniel wondered why the hell Jack couldn’t see the
contradiction in that, why Jack didn’t notice the small, important
things. Like Sam not being able to read Jack. Daniel loved
Sam dearly, but her strength was logical deduction, not empathy.
She’d never learned to communicate the essentials, always bombarded
them with too much information they couldn’t process and didn’t need,
and Jack never rolled his eyes at her and muttered ‘yadda’. They
had no signals, no shortcuts, and no empathy. If Sam wanted to
know what Jack was thinking, feeling, she had to ask Daniel.
wasn’t in him to gloat over that, he felt desperately sorry for
her. She had what Daniel judged to be a crush on Jack, and yet,
who was he to judge? He’d never so much as thought of being with
a man, but when it came to Jack he’d been just as susceptible as Sam,
and he at least had Jack’s friendship. Daniel sighed.
Though that cut both ways, skirmishing around the edges of what he
truly wanted, what he thought they could be. He was so sure he
would be good for Jack, so sure. God knows Daniel had seen with
his own eyes how incompatible the alternate Jack and Sam were.
He’d met the man Jack was when he was with Sam, and she brought out the
worst in him, all the destructive traits the Jack he knew battled in
himself. Daniel could see why they were drawn to each other, what
needs each fulfilled in the other, but they weren’t the best part of
either of his friends.
seen his own Jack and Sam get lost in those feelings they were denying,
let it drive them. If Jack pushed, you had to push back for
Jack’s sake as well as yours. He wielded his authority like a big
club when the mood was on him and hated himself afterwards. Jack
pushed Sam and she rolled over. It was her duty, but it was also
Sam, her own insecurity and need to be accepted. They weren’t
equals, could never be when Sam was Jack’s subordinate. Daniel
was proud of Sam for backing off, for making a decision and sticking to
it, and with distance came perspective for all of them. Neither
Jack nor Sam was willing to put personal feelings before their careers
and their commitment to the Air Force and that was the end of it, at
least as far as Sam was concerned. Jack was still denying it had
ever happened, which meant he was far from over it.
for Daniel, there was no price too high to pay for Jack, and what he
paid was silence. Daniel would never allow Jack to now that he’d
fallen in love with him. Jack would never return his feelings,
and it would eat him up inside to cause that kind of pain. It
wasn’t fair to Jack, so Daniel held his tongue and did his best to live
with what he had, which was still more of Jack than Jack allowed anyone
else to even glimpse, let alone share.
smiled to himself, watching the little game Jack and Lucy were
playing. There was a lot of Air Force dissing from Lucy, a lot of
Pip dissing from Jack, a lot of height jokes, since Pip was so named
because he was six four and you could take about a foot off that for
Lucy and still have a couple of inches in change, and a lot of dancing
around Lucy refusing to admit Jack was hot instead of sweet. Lucy
got in a good one about archetypal patriarchs, and Jack retaliated as
she climbed into the taxi, telling her she looked like a racoon.
Jack ordered the taxi driver to wait until Pip came out for Lucy and
ordered Lucy to give Pip hell, Daniel called his goodbyes and then they
girl,” Jack observed as they limped into the box office a good five
minutes after everyone else had already gone in. “She could
probably run the Air Force,” he announced with absolute certainty,
staring unenthusiastically round the foyer of the theatre. There
was only one cinematic experience that looked as if it met his exacting
standards. “Ah, snacks,” he gloated, making a beeline for the
heaped counter as Daniel paid for the tickets.
kept glancing back, keeping an eye on Jack’s shenanigans with the
popcorn. “That’s a heart attack in a box, Jack,” he called
I see your ice cream menu?” Jack asked loudly. He was a little
taken-aback when Rita – according to her nametag – produced one.
home made,” she said proudly. “As in, I make it.”
all to die for,” Rita said simply. “But I could recommend the
caramel pecan, the vanilla fudge, and the coffee to give it some oomph.”
scoops of everything. He’s a growing boy. And two spoons,”
a growing boy too?” Rita grinned.
just a greedy one,” Daniel teased. “Are you sure you’ve got
everything?” he drawled, as Jack staggered towards the doors juggling
his load of popcorn, ice cream, drinks and… “M&Ms? You won’t
bet? We’re talking kid’s portions if it’s that see food but can’t
eat it Ikea-looking place on Nevada Avenue.”
Daniel said absently as he held the door for Jack.
you’re going to need something edible inside you if you’re going to eat
that goddamn curried goat again.”
a traditional Jamaican dish, Jack,” Daniel explained patiently.
“It’s nicely spiced and it tastes a lot like beef for the
squeamish.” Jack eyed him sceptically. “Okay, it tastes a
little like beef. It was your own fault for raiding my plate and
helping yourself. And you enjoyed your salad.”
you said was the goat thing was Sencha’s ‘signature dish’. How
was I to know? And as for my salad, it had green tea dressing,”
Jack hissed as they snuck down the aisle. “What the hell is
that? And flowers. Who eats flowers?”
did. You’ll eat anything, including goat.”
quiet. People paid an exorbitant price to hear this movie and
they can’t if you keep yapping,” Jack said coldly as Daniel stared
around helplessly for two empty seats. Most of the audience
seemed to be at the front, which suggested the sound system
sucked. There were a few individual spaces near the back but not
two seats together. Ah, well, the back row it was. They
wouldn’t be able to see or hear, but at least it ruled out one of
Daniel’s height-related guilt trips. Jack nudged Daniel carefully
and they made their way back up the aisle, then along the row, which
necessitated fourteen people having to get up and make way for them
amidst much cursing and spillage. Students weren’t nearly so
polite to their elders these days. He refused to accept that it
might sound worse because he was elder than used to be.
are you doing, Jack?” Daniel whispered behind him.
the seat is clean.”
scowled and sat in the nearest seat, making Daniel stumble past him as
the lights went down without warning, not so much dimmed as
plunged. An anxious voice called an apology and asked about
was reluctant to admit he was…they were both totally overdressed for
this place. Dinner and a movie had him dressed in pants and
shirt, not jeans and tee, because dinner was never of the burger and
fries variety. Daniel always picked nice places with good food
and good service, the kind you cleaned up good for, so Jack did the
same. Daniel was wearing black chinos and a deep grey shirt, open
at the neck, sleeves rolled up, but he had his good jacket. Jack
had graced the evening with actual shoes, the usual cream chinos which
he filled out a lot more than Daniel did his, and more than he used to,
topped with a pale bluey-greeny short sleeve shirt Les Girls had gotten
him for Christmas, which meant it was from Carter, Janet and Cassie.
found his mind skittering away from the fact he was in the back row of
the movies with his best friend, wearing shoes and a shirt with a
Label, on a Friday night with a nice as in price - if not actual
cuisine - dinner in a nice restaurant to follow. When he added
all those factors together he kept coming up ‘date’. He glanced
at Daniel, oblivious, focused entirely on the movie, and figured he
might as well put this thing down now, try to assess Daniel as date
material. Putting the whole being a guy thing to one side for the
ate his popcorn slowly as he watched Daniel savouring the ice cream and
kind of living the movie, fascinated by the compelling constant play of
emotion over Daniel’s expressive face. Jack was in fact still
watching Daniel when he’d finished the popcorn and the remainder of the
ice cream, which he snagged neatly out of Daniel’s
Assessment. A fairly - er - thorough assessment, in fact.
was a good-looking guy; enough even the glasses came off as cute.
He was tall, slim and built. He was a genius who didn’t rub your
nose in it. He was shy, which was obvious to Jack because while
Daniel would talk the ass off anything that would listen to him, if you
touched him he couldn’t get away from you quick enough, Jack himself
being the main exception. Carter had her foot in the door on the
hugging thing, but Jack was ahead on points because Daniel would
actually reach out to him. Jack was in fact the only one Daniel
reached out to. Daniel was also charming, had the whole sweet and
nice thing going for him, which was as rare as a virgin in a
whorehouse, had an alarming tendency to tell the truth and to mean what
he said, and all in all, Daniel was quite the human.
relaxed and shook his head ruefully. Lucky he wasn’t in the
market for an archaeologist, because he wouldn’t stand a fucking
chance. If Daniel ever did hang out the ‘available’ sign, he’d
probably need round-the-clock SF guard.
shrugged off his wayward imagination, grabbed the M&Ms and settled
back. After five minutes of walking, talking Big Dresses and guys
in tights, he decided he would enjoy himself more having root canal and
let his eyes drift back to Daniel’s face. Daniel was enjoying the
hell out of this, and bizarrely he found it funny. Jack decided
Lucy was right. That laughing behind the hand thing was
cute. He kept right on watching the movie in Daniel’s face and
was vaguely surprised when the lights came back on just as abruptly as
they’d originally gone down. He made no move to get up, Daniel
was the despair of multiplex staff everywhere, the kind who liked to
listen to the music and read the credits. Jack tended to roll the
colonel out to play if they got pissy. He settled back, stretched
out his legs, wondering if whining about his back and his little ACL
problem would lure Daniel over to the home-comforts of the Black Bear
for ribs and ambrosial batter-dipped fries in place of those beech and
chrome bird perches that passed for chairs at Sencha.
Dench,” Daniel exclaimed triumphantly, turning to beam at Jack as he
fumbled for his jacket. “She was wonderful, acted Gwyneth
whatsername off the screen. And I think I just found Sam’s
thought you liked Carter,” Jack joked as he unfolded, taking this as
permission to leave.
face fell. “You didn’t like the movie?”
shrugged into his jacket and grinned unrepentantly. “Enjoyed the
hell out of it. Had fun, time flew, let’s EAT.”
glanced down at his watch. “You must be starved,” he murmured
sympathetically, “It must be all of half an hour since you finished
that family pack of M&Ms, of which I was offered none.”
want to spoil your appetite for the ribs,” Jack said easily, gently
steering Daniel’s erratic course through the movie-going detritus
littering the row, since Daniel’s eyes never left the screen. He
had to pull Daniel up the aisle in response to an unmistakeable signal
from Rita. She hollered ‘get the hell out, go home’ at
them. “We’ll call again, thanks,” Jack hollered back.
Quality of service more than made up for inadequate ambience in his
book. “Make more ice cream. Cherry chocolate is good.”
followed Jack out of the theatre and waited for Jack to move smoothly
out to his left as they turned right to head around to the car
lot. He didn’t know what Jack thought would happen, but Jack
always had to take the place closest to the curb, couldn’t physically
walk more than a few steps without switching. Daniel wasn’t even
sure it was consciously done, it was probably a drill learned so well
it was internalised and instinctual. Ditto with Jack and his back
to an open door or window. Didn’t happen. Daniel always had
to let Jack pick the table, and hoped he never worried about the line
of sight instead of the view.
felt calm and oddly mellow tonight, not edgy the way he often was when
they went out. Jack’s place, or his place, they had a well-oiled
routine that got Daniel through the intimacy, at once too close and
never, ever close enough. Beer, pizza, hockey. Wine,
take-out, movie. A little conversation and a lot of
control. Going out introduced too many variables, gave him too
much unstructured time alone with Jack, too great a margin for
error. Jack would lower his guard without warning and skate them
both out on thin ice, onto ‘well, what would you do?’ territory.
There wasn’t a more loaded question than that, whatever the context.
want ribs?” Daniel asked, grinning as Jack winked and smacked his
lips. “The Black Bear it is, then.” Jeez, you think he
loved the man or something. Daniel watched the ‘colonel unleashed
in candystore’ routine with wry appreciation. Definitely
drink, good meat, good God, let’s eat!” Jack beamed at him as they
strolled round the corner and into the lot. “Log cabin, warm
fire, comfort food, big portions. What more could
anyone…hey! Cool! You car is still here.” He glanced at
Daniel. “Don’t feel bad. It’s a Volvo thing,” he added
mock-sympathetically. “They design them to look like that so no
self-respecting car thief would be caught dead in one.” The Volvo
in question was a hot little charcoal grey sports number and a
convertible to boot. Daniel’s passion for old things did not
extend to the vehicular, unlike Carter, whose own Volvo was almost as
old as Jack. He liked his kids were so safety conscious and he
was learning to live with the fact they found shit like translating and
decay rates fun, both traits perfectly expressed in a Volvo, sporty or
classic or not.
who drive graphically phallic trucks shouldn’t diss Volvos,” Daniel
said crisply, as he unlocked the car.
could be persuaded to amend my opinion if I were to be allowed to drive
the damn thing.”
Daniel refused emphatically.
happen to be a Special Ops trained, fully certified offensive driver,”
Jack protested, doing his best to look hurt.
maybe,” Daniel muttered. “And I’m not touching offensive!”
I don’t want to be, so I’m driving,” Daniel said firmly, sliding in
behind the wheel.
certified to read maps too,” Jack said innocently.
you try to navigate you can walk home from here,” Daniel snapped.
“It’s the ‘24’ all the way, Jack, right from downtown Colorado Springs
to Manitoba Springs, then on to Green Mountain Falls. Twenty
the way you drive.”
Isn’t this better than stinky old Sencha?” Jack asked
expansively. He had logs, a warm fire at his back, an icy cold
Grolsch, his starter of red-hot wings was settling nicely and all was
right with his world. Like hockey, beer and TV, comfort food made
leaned back in his chair, which was, he admitted, way more comfortable
than the ones at Sencha, and eyed Jack with interest. “How is it
you can’t stomach the thought of curried goat and you’re still sulking
because they’re out of alligator tails?”
Cajun. And a man who can eat truffle and cognac pâte in
cold blood shouldn’t aspire to critique my culinary choices,” Jack
you gentlemen ready to order your entrée?” a quiet voice
looked up at Phillip – ‘your waiter this evening’ – and beamed.
“Prime rib. I’ve told you three times.”
Sir?” Phillip nodded subtly towards Daniel.
having pasta. I’ve told you that three times as well,” Jack said
like pasta,” Daniel complained indignantly.
comes to the best barbecue joint in town and wants tomato topped
tagliatelle,” Jack appealed to Phillip.
forgot the shaved garlic and the seasonal vegetables, Sir,” Phillip
informed him gravely.
was alliterating for emphasis,” Jack informed their waiter with his
closest approximation of dignity.
I may recommend the Filet San Luis to Sir? Colorado Grade A
Choice Filet Mignon stuffed with spinach, asiago and pine nuts,
encrusted in red potato scales and served with a Pernod beurre blanc.”
take two,” Jack said promptly. “He likes that French crap.”
prefer cuisine,” Phillip said smoothly.
French?” Jack asked sweetly. He had to hear the word drip from
Phillip’s pursed lips.
‘crap’,” the waiter enunciated. “Sir?” he prompted Daniel.
not eatin’ that pasta, not right in front of me,” Jack warned.
“We can’t eat out and have stuff I could cook. It strikes at the
heart of everything I know about food.”
doubt it would taste the same,” Daniel said absently, caving and waving
off Phillip ‘their’ waiter.
me? I think I can manage to heat a tin of tomatoes,” Jack
snapped, insulted. All the burnt sludge stayed at the bottom of
the pan. No harm no foul.
use fresh tomatoes for a start,” Daniel said demurely. “And if
you can shave garlic it’s a skill you’ve kept hidden from
anyone…um…‘privileged’ to eat at Chez O’Neill.”
barbecue,” Jack responded with dignity. “And the way you scarf
down anything I shove in front of you, I don’t know how you have the
Daniel and Jack looked up automatically as a woman’s voice called from
the bar. Daniel was surprised to see Jack cringe.
crap,” Jack groaned sotto voce to Daniel. “Needy neighbour,
divorcee, Jack can you this, Jack can you…hi Madeline!” he finished
cheerfully, smiling up at the woman.
looked curiously at Madeline as they got to their feet to greet
her. She seemed nice, her smile warm and definitely
nervous. She was a little taller than Janet, gave an impression
of softness, though Daniel wasn’t much of a judge of these things if
Sarah…never mind. Madeline was blessed with thick ash blonde
hair, a sweet face, and her heart in her big hazel eyes. Daniel
watched those hungry eyes following Jack. Oh, boy. Crush
Central! And she was so nice, no wonder Jack was floundering over
out and out rejection. Scratch Jack’s salty surface crust and he
was pure marshmallow.
is my friend Daniel,” Jack said warmly. “Doctor Daniel Jackson,
meet Madeline Kiszkiel, my neighbour. I didn’t see you?” he
prompted Madeline, hoping like hell she hadn’t been sitting two seats
over the whole time.
just came in to confirm the catering arrangements for the party were
all in place, Jack,” she said softly. She turned then to Daniel,
smiling a little. “Doctor of medicine?”
archaeology,” Daniel said gently.
linguistics,” Jack supplied. “Speaks twenty-three languages,” he
added with his usual perverse pride in Daniel’s motley assortment of
annoying arcane accomplishments.
Madeline rocked back on her heels. “You don’t look old enough to…“
Jack teased, smiling slyly at Daniel’s indignation.
you care to join us?” Daniel asked politely, ignoring Jack’s scorching
Oh no, no,” Madeline stammered, flushing. “It’s obvious you two
want to be alone. I…I wouldn’t want to intrude.”
Daniel said feebly, blushing as much as Madeline. It wasn’t, it
couldn’t be. He’d never given anyone the least sign to
suspect. Maybe she just meant they were deep in conversation or…
mentioned that he was seeing somebody, and now I’ve met you I…I can see
why he’s so…so smitten,“ Madeline smiled gamely. “I hope you’ll
bring Daniel to the party tomorrow night, Jack. He’ll make quite
a hit! Even if he is spoken for,” she smiled at Daniel, not even
seeing his stupefaction. “I’ll look forward to seeing you
both. Eight o’clock. Good night, Jack.”
Madeline,” Jack said weakly.
to have met you, Daniel.”
you,” Daniel managed to get out. He sank back down the moment she
turned away, glaring at Jack as he slid into his chair, the picture of
swear I never mentioned you!” Jack insisted. “I just…I…“
didn’t want to hurt her feelings, I understand,” Daniel said
wearily. Obvious? Oh, God. He was ‘obvious to a total
stranger at first sight’ obvious. He could only hope familiarity
went right on breeding contempt or he was in deep shit,
I just dropped some vague hints about being involved, no names,
certainly no genders,” Jack said forcefully. “It’s a
course, don’t worry about it.”
waiter’s voice made them both start, and they waited in silence as he
set down plates, fresh orange juice for Daniel, fresh beer for Jack, a
fresh jug of ice water, bowed and backed away.
made the effort, shrugged it off, smiled at Jack and sliced into his
steak. They ate in silence for a few minutes.
Jack mused, eyeing Daniel thoughtfully.
Daniel said flatly.
Jack smiled easily, all innocent eyes and evil intentions.
I am not colluding with you to deceive that woman. I am not going
to the party and I am not pretending to be your…your lover just because
you haven’t got the backbone to say no to Madeline yourself. What
goes around comes around, Jack. N-o. No.” Daniel was
proud he got that out without a tremor.
you say, Daniel,” Jack agreed meekly.
eyed Jack suspiciously. “I mean it, Jack. I’m not going.”
sat bolt upright as he heard the car pull in. He turned to his
guest. “Well?” he prompted.
grinned at him. “I observe and report back. You could tell
me why I’m spying on this boy for you, when you know him so well
yourself,” she said calmly.
could, but I’m not going to,” Jack said briskly. “I need a
completely unprejudiced assessment, and it’s not him you’re spying on,
it’s me.” Jack jumped up as Daniel tapped on the door. “And
don’t call him boy, he hates that.”
call you boy,” Iris pointed out.
seventy-three, you’re entitled,” Jack grinned. “And he’s the shy,
sensitive, sweet and nice type. You and I aren’t.”
blow it out your ear,” Iris drawled.
like him as much as you like me,” Jack insisted.
prejudicial and who says I like you, boy?” Iris retorted.
winked at her and yanked open the door. “Did you get it?” he
demanded. Daniel straightened and held up a small box for
inspection. “Shit,” Jack complained. “Looks
expensive.” He stepped back and waved Daniel past him. He
still didn’t know if this was a good idea or not, but after arguing
unsuccessfully with Daniel for most of the evening about attending the
party, he’d gotten all of two hours sleep because shit like ‘cute
couple’, ‘obviously want to be alone’, ‘smitten’ and ‘spoken for’
had slithered into his consciousness, murdering sleep and his peace of
mind in general.
was a shrewd observer and the only person he knew in Colorado who
wasn’t obligated to call Hammond the moment he asked them to check and
see if he had the hots for his best friend and just hadn’t known about
it. His plan to get Daniel here for observation had been
downright sneaky. He left it until four o’clock, called and
admitted he’d forgotten to buy Madeline a birthday present, could
Daniel get something and fetch it over? Of course Daniel
could. He was nice. This was not a survival trait anywhere
near an O’Neill.
he was here, Daniel wasn’t going anywhere but that party. He was
wearing black jeans and black tee that clung everywhere. If there
were any more like Madeline in the crowd, Jack would be beating them
off with a stick.
pulled up short as he took in a little old lady with clear blue eyes
and a cloud of soft white hair comfortably ensconced at Jack’s dining
table with a steaming mug of coffee and a heaped plate of chocolate
honey. He’s not a danger to baked goods, I brought them with
me.” She rose carefully to her feet and held out a hand.
darted forward, reaching her just in time for politeness.
“Daniel, Daniel Jackson.”
I’m the neighbour Jack ruthlessly exploits to keep a vague eye on the
place when he’s off on his jaunts. My main attractions are
caramel apple pie and Alfred.”
husband?” Daniel asked, allowing himself to be drawn into a seat and
plied with coffee – never knowingly refused even if Jack had a hand in
it – and muffins.
the dog,” Iris bared her teeth at Jack who was dropping into the chair
on her other side. “Jack is trying his damndest to seduce the
ungrateful mutt right out from under me.”
retriever,” Jack said dreamily.
as my behind, but he’s a looker, and he has Francis here wrapped around
his pampered paw.”
been privileged to see Francis here in full Assisi mode,” Daniel
agreed. “On several embarrassing occasions. He’s not safe
anywhere near a park.”
your tail and he’s toast,” Iris winked.
relaxed and smiled back. He was glad of a buffer between Jack and
him. They had another argument looming up because Daniel still
is coming to Madeline’s party with me,” Jack said sweetly.
Daniel bridled indignantly.
Iris beamed at Daniel. “That’ll be a thrill for all the old
tabbies who live round these parts. Myself included,” she grinned
roguishly. “Thanks, honey. I thought I was going to have to
bite the bullet and pull the Mrs. Robinson act for a while there.
He’s completely spineless, an absolute pushover, can’t say no.
I’d hate anyone to think I couldn’t do any better.”
you a cosy glow to know he’s actually got friends, doesn’t it?” Iris
twinkled. “I love him to death. What he can’t do with a
woman’s guttering…Oy!” She rolled her eyes theatrically.
gave up the struggle and chuckled, glancing over his glasses from Jack
to Iris and back.
Jack demanded, grinning, holding out an imperative hand to Daniel.
before beauty,” Iris insisted, holding out her hand.
handed it over. She opened the box carefully, peered in and
Daniel, just lovely. I’ve seen the Mackintosh House in
Glasgow. What an eye that man had. The silver – the blue
topaz – it’s perfect.”
beamed at her and waited for Jack’s reaction. Jack stared at the
box for a while. Then he looked up.
Iris said tartly.
really, I mean…“ Daniel began.
Daniel dropped his head to hide a grin.
defend me or anything,” Jack grumbled. Then he froze.
“Giftwrap?” he asked, horrified.
brought it with me, and the card. I’ll wrap the gift, but you’ll
need to write the card,” Daniel said reassuringly. Jack always
got Janet to wrap his gifts; she could do things with ribbons mortal
man never dreamed of. Jack shamelessly passed her work off as his
own, of course.
relaxed. “Is there no end to this man’s talents?” he asked
don’t know. I just met him,” Iris said crisply. “And now
I’m going to leave him. And you. If you’re a good boy at
the party I’ll let Alfred come over and play.” She waited until
Jack’s grin was ear to ear. “I will of course accept Daniel’s as
the final judgement on that. Walk me out, there’s a good
boy. Nice to meet you, Daniel.” She smiled at Daniel as
Jack took her arm and led her out.
trotted out to the kitchen in search of Scotch tape and scissors while
Jack was escorting her out.
still my beating heart,” Iris hissed, making a great show of fanning
herself. “Woo, that boy is smokin’!”
Jack couldn’t think of anything else to say. Smokin’ wasn’t
really a word he associated with Daniel.
I’m sorry, honey, I don’t know what answer you’re looking for here, but
you’re completely gone on the boy. My advice is park that
knee-jerk machismo, get yourself a how-to guide and make him happy.”
can you…“ Jack began.
Honey, you could tell yourself, or you wouldn’t have asked me.
You lose yourself in that boy, and you know it.” Iris looked up at him
gravely. “Be careful, Jack. Be very careful, and be
sure. Don’t be something Daniel has to survive. He’s so
open to you…you could hurt him so much.”
me something I don’t know,” Jack said dryly. “Lucky he’s the
hope he doesn’t have to be, now let me out of here before I start
stooped and kissed her soundly on the cheek. “Alfred?”
good and he’s all yours for the afternoon. Turn the hose on him
tomorrow, will you? The mutt stinks.” She waved
insouciantly and walked away.
watched until she turned the corner of the house, then went back
in. He didn’t have a goddamn clue what to do now. He kept
looking at Daniel and even though intellectually he could appreciate
how attractive Daniel was, even though emotionally he cared a great
deal for Daniel, loved him if he absolutely had to put words to it,
none of that meant diddly to his dick, which was still exclusively into
prowled over and sat down at the table again, watching Daniel patiently
wrapping the box. He took a moment and wrote out the card,
slipping it under Daniel’s nose with the pen. “Sign the card,
okay,” he suggested softly. “Daniel.” Daniel dashed off his
name and slid the card back over, not really paying attention.
One of the corners of the parcel was refusing to fold crisply and
Daniel was eyeing the emergency back-up supply of wrap.
was a bit of a bastard. Jack suspected he was right there on the
feelings, was pretty sure he was, now someone had opened his eyes to
the context, but the physical? Oh, momma. The only idea he
could come up with - and knowing Daniel the way he did he thought he
might get away with it - the logical thing to do was suggest to Daniel
they got naked together and see what happened. Jack suspected
ass-clenching embarrassment, but hell, he’d been wrong before.
He’d never considered himself as smitten, for a start.
watched Daniel wresting with the recalcitrant wrap, frowning and
nibbling his lip in concentration. Or maybe it was
irritation. His lips. Hmm. Maybe they could start
with something simpler, less confrontational and fraught with potential
humiliation. Maybe a kiss?
Daniel looked up, clutching the box, peering vaguely over the top of
you mind if I kissed you?” Jack asked carefully. He noted that
Daniel dropped the box without making the slightest attempt to grab for
it, blushing comprehensively.
I’d mind,” Daniel refused in a painfully wooden voice, heart pounding
so fast he felt sick. “I’m not happy about lying to the poor
woman like this in the first place, and that…it’s going too far,
Jack. I’d rather march in there and tell her she made an honest
meant for me,” Jack explained patiently. “I want to kiss
you.” Daniel sagged in his seat, gaping at Jack
incredulously. “I want to see what happens.” Oh, this wasn’t
going well. Not well at all. Was he repulsive or something,
when Daniel couldn’t make it more obvious he didn’t want to kiss him?
happens is I’m leaving, Jack,” Daniel said shakily, shoving back the
chair and striding away. He had his hand on the door when he felt
Jack’s hands close over his shoulders and Jack spun him around.
Daniel found himself with nowhere to go but to Jack or back to the
door. He went for the door and Jack followed, planting his palms
either side of Daniel’s face.
what’s this?” Jack asked gently, wincing inwardly over the bleakness of
Daniel’s eyes. “Daniel Jackson, knee-jerk homophobe? I
don’t think so, Daniel. Not you, not the guy who’s telling me all
the time not to be so judgemental. I didn’t explain myself too
well, but this isn’t idle curiosity and it isn’t for Madeline’s
benefit. I’m having a problem and I wanted your help with it, is
all. But hey, if it bothers you this much, just forget I asked.”
can’t…I can’t help you, Jack,” Daniel whispered.
don’t want to kiss any guy, Daniel, just you. I’m not even sure I
want to do that, but it doesn’t matter, you don’t,” Jack said
reassuringly. “Latest in a long line of lame O’Neill plans.
Just forget I…“ Jack trailed off as Daniel pushed away from the door,
looking like he was flying apart but coming anyway, then Daniel’s hand
reached out tentatively to skim over his jaw and settle, warm and
shaking against his throat, fingers spread over Jack’s cheek.
Instinct told him to freeze and just let Daniel do this, because it was
killing Daniel to have to do this, he could tell. He waited as
Daniel inched closer, eyes low, not meeting his, inched close enough
they were almost touching, Daniel’s eyes closing now as he stretched
up, hesitated and brushed stiff lips over Jack’s. He broke
contact almost immediately, then stretched up again, infinitely slow,
and kissed Jack again.
lips were warm, full, surprisingly strong and incredibly sweet.
Jack kissed back, letting Daniel lead, gave back just enough to let
Daniel know Jack was completely okay with this. It was kinda
nice, in fact. Jack smiled involuntarily. It was totally
Daniel. It was a minute or so of warmth and tenderness, and Jack
was a little disappointed when Daniel backed away again, still not
meeting his eyes.
I go now?” Daniel asked nervously.
jerked his hands away as if stung. He hadn’t realised…“Jeez, I
didn’t mean…I just didn’t want you bolting out upset like that.”
fine,” Daniel insisted in a stifled voice that told Jack he was
anything but, and Jack went with his gut, flowed into Daniel as he came
away from the door, engulfing him in a hug. Daniel hissed and
tried to back away, so Jack pulled him in closer, close enough to feel
how hard Daniel was. He was taken aback. Jeez, it had been
a long time for both of them, but that little Sunday school kiss wasn’t
enough to…No, no, not the kissing, but maybe kissing Jack was.
was so intent on getting the hell away from Jack before Jack knew what
he felt, he hadn’t been prepared for Jack to just grab him and hang on
and no way, no goddamn way could Jack not notice how aroused he
was. He never got to utter an excuse or explanation because
Jack’s fingers tilted his chin almost roughly and Jack leaned in and
kissed him hard, hard enough to drive Daniel back into the door and
Jack was still coming, tongue probing demandingly at Daniel’s
lips. Daniel wanted him so much, loved him so much, would it be
so wrong? If Jack wanted…it was just a kiss. Just a…Daniel
opened and Jack plunged in deep, thrusting provocatively as Daniel
moaned low in his throat and pushed back fiercely. He was
answered with aggression, wrapped his arms around Jack’s neck and held
on to him desperately, kissing Jack with all he was, all he could give,
breath strangling in his throat, Jack was so deep and strong and sure.
God, oh…oh…he’d never imagined, not this, not desperation, not the
roughness of rasping, restless tongues, not the soft swipes over his
palate or the urgent probing deep into his throat. Daniel clung
and kissed, not caring what happened, not knowing anything but Jack,
real, here, wanting him, finally seeing what had been here before him
the whole time.
was reaping the whirlwind and hating himself for not knowing, never
suspecting for a fucking second what he’d done to Daniel when he was
chasing Carter’s tail. He knew it now though, knew Daniel was
desolate; he had given up hope of Jack ever waking up to smell the
coffee. Jack was wide awake now, and it was over, no more being
alone, not for either of them, whatever it took. He couldn’t,
wouldn’t hurt Daniel like this.
wrenched his mouth away from Daniel’s as the breath sobbed in both
their throats, reaching between them to cup his hand strongly over
Daniel’s straining dick. This single touch of his hand was enough
to make Daniel throw back his head and cry out, his hips bucking and
heaving, moist heat saturating the fabric beneath Jack’s firmly
massaging fingers. He felt every twitch and tremor as Daniel came
long and hard, shaking pitiably, letting Jack hold him up.
watched Daniel’s face, flushed and wracked with the pleasure of his
shattering orgasm, thinking he’d never seen Daniel more alive, more
open. He leaned in and kissed Daniel again, easing him back to
himself gently, holding him close, offering all the reassurance he
could, hoping like crap Daniel didn’t panic the moment he could see
opened his eyes, humiliation, still-ghosting pleasure and anguished
uncertainty warring for supremacy. He bit his lip, staring
at Jack’s grave face, realisation crashing in on him that Jack wasn’t
even remotely turned on, and humiliation won by a mile. Not so
much the tender lovemaking he’d dreamed of as a pity-grope against the
front door. He twisted in Jack’s grip, trying to break free,
failing miserably. “Get off me,” he snarled, shoving hard.
“What the…why couldn’t you just leave me alone?”
I have this problem,” Jack snapped back, tightening his grip. “I
think I love you.”
of you,” Daniel flung at him. “I love you too, now the get the
fuck off me.”
think I’m in love with you,” Jack hollered. The effect on Daniel
was extraordinary. He went deathly pale, then flushed violently,
his eyes wide and completely defenceless, mouth opening and closing
without anything but wordless snuffs of air coming out. “I’m
sorry I didn’t get with the programme, Daniel, but that’s the first
time I’ve had my hand on another man’s dick and all I can say in my own
defence is that it’s always taken a hell of a lot more work with a
Daniel managed eventually. “I don’t…” He flushed miserably.
“I mean, I like to take my time but…too much information?” he asked
anxiously as Jack winced.
I just feel crappy about doing you against my front door,” Jack said
wryly. He glanced down, gave Daniel one last little stroke that
made him shiver and tried out a leer. “Bed,” he ordered
crisply. “I don’t know about you, but I’m in a mild state of
shock here, so I need something to cuddle up to. I’m coming up
short on golden retrievers so you’ll have to do. Please,” he
added quietly when he saw the fear and doubt shadowing Daniel’s eyes.
nodded and pushed away from the door. His gaze kept skittering
away from Jack’s and the sudden clasp of Jack’s hand over his made his
eyes sting. This was…it would be okay. Jack loved him, he
was sure…he hoped everything would flow from that. Being invited
– well towed along – to share Jack’s bed was more than he’d ever
expected, yet it was so like Jack, instinctively generous and
controlling at the same time. Daniel had no doubt if he tried to
leave, Jack would follow him, if he was actually allowed to make it out
towed him past the bathroom door and shoved the bedroom door open,
nudged Daniel toward it. “Back in a minute,” he said briskly,
darting away towards the bathroom.
pulled off his T-shirt, folding it neatly and setting it on the
bed. He was trying not to look too closely at the room.
Despite the invitation it seemed voyeuristic to be trying to analyse
Jack from the way he lived in this private space. Daniel was in a
haze of dark wood, cream walls, and plants, like the rest of the
house. The only splashes of colour Daniel could take in were on
the quilt, which was different shades of blue in a geometric pattern
that reminded him a little of the classic Greek keys, and photographs
dotted here and there. Heavy voile panels shaded the windows but
let the light filter in warmly to pool over the bed, and there were
louvered shutters instead of curtains, to match the closet.
deep dark secret is out, huh?” Jack said lightly from the doorway,
making Daniel jump. He didn’t fight the smile that grew as Daniel
turned nervously to face him, six solid feet of shy. Jack looked
again. Built shy. Whoa. Daniel was hiding his light
under a bushel, there.
Daniel murmured as Jack sauntered over and put a glass of ice water on
the bedside table, a washcloth in hand. Daniel flushed, mortified
at mute evidence of his own lack of control.
tell me you didn’t look! Jesus, Danny!“ Jack noted with
satisfaction Daniel’s bleak eyes gentled at the pet name. He’d
used the name freely until their run-in with the Gamekeeper, which was
when he realised the formal ‘Daniel’ was deliberate; conscious choice
or not, it kept that pet name special to the people who loved Daniel
most. Jack figured that was Daniel’s folks and him. “The
inhuman curiosity of the man,” he complained. “First time you let
me loose on your bedroom I’m peacefully exploring my way through your
underwear drawer. Talk about alien territory.
P3S-OCK.” He was pleased to see Daniel unclench a little more and
a tentative smile appearing. “Strip search. You strip, you
search, I watch,” he drawled lasciviously. “I only went into
Special Ops to satisfy my voyeuristic compulsions. Binoculars get
won’t diss your little scope, then,” Daniel said at once, trying out
I’m gonna have to really work at the TMI, thing, huh?” Jack said
jovially, casually handing Daniel the washcloth, closing in to clasp
his fingers over Daniel’s belt buckle and haul him close. He
ignored the soft gasp, kept up the smile, thinking be careful, be
fucking careful, O’Neill. Daniel was way ahead of him on this sex
thing. He didn’t think he was in love with Jack, he knew, and he
wanted. Jack was here for him, but it was anybody’s guess if he’d
be there for himself, and there was no point skirmishing around the
issue. He needed to engage. “Can I touch you?”
Daniel’s pulse racing sickeningly as Jack’s fingers fumbled at his belt
buckle, freed it and eased down the zipper. He felt hot and cold
at once, shivering as Jack hooked his thumbs beneath the waistband of
his shorts, smoothed the jeans down over his hips, pulling them down
with firm, serviceable tugs until they pooled at his feet. Daniel
kicked his shoes off and stepped free of the jeans. It was
incredibly erotic; to stand here naked before Jack as Jack stared at
him, eyes everywhere, assessing, and admiring. He…he thought
Jack’s fingers were ghosting down over his chest and stomach as Jack
took the washcloth from Daniel and swiped it over his skin, fingers
firm against him now through the barrier of fabric. Daniel
reached out to hold Jack’s hips, biting his lip as the soft cloth was
smoothed slowly over the skin below his navel. His breathing
quickening, Daniel leaned in and rested his head against Jack’s
shoulder, unable to suppress a moan as Jack’s fingers massaged down
onto his penis. He felt Jack’s fingers jerk as he began to harden
again, but the hesitation was only momentary.
beaver,” Jack snorted, but his voice was gentle. “Is that good,
Danny? Tell me what’s good.”
was good, the arm snaking around his waist to hold him close and
comfort him through this glorious madness. And this…the soft
nuzzling of lips in his hair, against his ear and the side of his
throat. Most of all, there was that warm, soft-rough cloth, Jack
behind it, swiping gently first over his balls, then fingers rubbing
tiny, firm circles over his penis. Daniel wanted more…he wanted
to make love, wanted…“Skin,” he sighed and Jack dropped the cloth and
Jesus, Jack’s hand was on him. Holding him cupped, heavy and
throbbing in the palm of Jack’s hand.
ego will never be the same,” Jack snorted again, voice still curiously
gentle. “Ridiculously flattered, here, kid. I think you
should see what you’re lettin’ yourself in for though. You good
for a minute?”
Daniel corrected, unpeeling himself reluctantly and staggering over to
the bed, hesitating for a moment as details came clear and he saw at
last the little nest of photographs on the bureau. There were
collages of snaps from Jack’s notorious barbecues, all of them in
casual clothes, laughing, Cassie and her dog in the middle of it
all. More from Jack’s parties, a few candid stills from missions,
nothing ‘alien’. Sam smiling at Daniel in one as she fussed with
the brim of his boonie…he remembered her teasing about saucy tilts and
overexcited locals, Teal’c’s eyebrow quirking in another, his version
of hysterical laughter. There was Hammond with his beloved
granddaughters, and several of Sam and Janet with Cassie. Plus a
few of Daniel with Jack which he must have gotten from Sam, who got
snap happy when the mood was on her. The one solo photograph was
of him, looking pensive in his good meet ’n’ greet the galaxy suit.
breath was warm on the back of his neck as his arms circled comfortably
around Daniel’s waist. Daniel felt a shock of soft, furred skin
against his back, ached when he realised Jack still wasn’t
aroused. He wanted to make love so badly, had waited so long, it
was more than he could take to refuse, though he knew he should.
Jack was more confused than anything else right now, and if they did
this, it would be for Daniel, it wouldn’t be lovemaking. It would
be Jack, the good friend, the man who loved him enough to do anything
for him, getting him off.
a kicker, isn’t it?” Jack asked wryly, rubbing Daniel’s belly, trying
to soothe away the growing tension stiffening his slim frame.
“Just look at us. Hell, look at me. Scary, huh? Who
knew a grown man could get that sappy that fast and stay that
way. No wonder I can’t say no to you. I didn’t know,
y’know? It was just us, the way we were together. I enjoyed
it and never questioned it.”
looked and finally saw that in every photograph Jack was looking at
him, a softness in Jack’s face that wasn’t there when he looked at
anyone else, not even Sam. Not even close. His heart
Jack said wryly, “Who knew?” He turned Daniel to face him and leaned
in, took Daniel down to the bed beneath him, Daniel’s face clenching,
moaning low in his throat as Jack’s weight settled over him.
shouldn’t,” Daniel insisted shakily.
not?” Jack asked reasonably, figuring he’d go with what worked on a
woman, scooting down to rasp his tongue over a nipple. Daniel
gasped, shuddered and arched beneath him. “Cool! Those
still work, then,” he gloated, setting to with a will, licking and
nibbling mercilessly until the tiny nubs were flushed and erect, Daniel
cursing and pleading and writhing wantonly. Daniel’s throat
looked interesting, so Jack roamed up there and started licking.
Lavishing attentions on the hollow at the base got that nice shuddery
thing going again, but Daniel actually whimpered when Jack’s curious
mouth hit on a tiny spot where his jaw curved up towards his ear.
He should have expected that Daniel would be just as subtle in this as
he was in everything else.
insistent call finally got through to Jack. He gave one final
swipe to that sweet spot and looked up questioningly into Daniel’s
flushed, pleasure-sweet face. He was doing okay, Daniel looked
holding me down,” Daniel said breathlessly. He winced when Jack
snatched his hands away from his wrists and then darted back to check
on him as his skin flushed livid. Daniel stared up at Jack’s
remorseful face and fought himself to do the right thing. Jack
thought this was the right thing, but he was wrong. He was so
wrong. “I think we should stop. You…it’s obvious you don’t
want me to touch you, that you’re not…not attracted to me,” he said
determinedly. “You’re trying to keep this about me, and much as
that matters me, I can’t do this. I can’t. It has to be
about us, because right now this isn’t lovemaking; this is a friend
doing the buddy-fuck thing. A good friend,” Daniel smiled
Jack snapped, “No. No! Don’t write me off before you’ve
even given me a chance, Daniel. I’m right there on the feelings,
I swear, my dick just needs to play a little catch-up.”
You listen,” Jack ordered. “I’m forty-five years old, the
original suburban male, who just happened to wind up spending the whole
of his adult life in the military. I never thought of myself as a
knee-jerk homophobe let alone you, but then sexuality hasn’t been an
issue I’ve had to face until last night. I’m doing okay, I’m
willing, but I’m asking you to give me a little lead-in time,
here. Be fair, Danny.” He scowled at Daniel’s stiff,
resistant face and decided to nip the nobility thing in the bud.
“Cut me a little slack on the physical stuff. For my sake,
please. Please,” he pleaded softly.
bad,” Daniel admired, “But I have this irresistible urge to scratch
your ears and give you a bone.”
‘bout a boner?” Jack asked eagerly, relaxing a tad. “I’m not
freaking out, in fact I happen to be enjoying this. It’s the
longest you’ve been quiet since I’ve known you, for a start.
Let’s just take it one step at a time. I need to find out what
works, here. Will you let me do this for you?” he asked softly.
I touch you?” Daniel asked hopefully, his necessary resistance melting
away from Jack’s determination.
turns you on,” Jack shrugged, intensely aware of the throbbing velvety
heat twitching hard against his belly. He was trained to gather
intelligence about potential threats, and couldn’t stop now. He
thought about the worst that could happen and just asked
outright. “Do you want to fuck me?”
now? Yes,” Daniel said at once. “Feel how much.” He
guided Jack’s hand between them, Jack hitching over obediently,
allowing Daniel to curl his hand around Daniel’s achingly hard
erection. He jerked hard as Jack’s hand closed strongly over him,
hips surging into the touch. Daniel nudged Jack’s fingers to
massage the underside in gentle circles, Jack’s thumb inquisitively
swirling over the head, pushing in a little, and again when Daniel
whimpered, shaking violently.
laughed suddenly. “For your information, no one has ever wanted
to buddy-fuck me, and for your sake, I hope it’s not because they just
knew I’d suck.”
you?” Daniel opened his eyes wide and batted them at Jack.
straightened up, his hand not faltering in its maddening stroking of
Daniel’s dick. He was enjoying making Daniel’s hips rock achingly
into his tormenting hand, was fascinated by the sleek, wanton writhing,
as if Daniel couldn’t bear what Jack was doing for him, and still
couldn’t get enough, the pleasure daze in Daniel’s eyes, Daniel’s slow,
knowing smile. In fact, he found all the pleasures he was giving
Daniel and Daniel’s surrender to him incredibly erotic. He’d
never imagined Daniel could be so sensual. He’d never had any
problems going down on a woman, and he’d had enough blowjobs in his
time to think he could work out how to suck dick.
for you, I’m easy,” Jack leered, letting Daniel pull away from
him. He watched and waited as Daniel heaped the pillows behind
him, leaned back and spread his legs, still with that slow, knowing
smile. “You’re not shy,” he observed, surprised.
with a lover, no,” Daniel agreed. “I’ve wanted you for a long
time, Jack. I need you, and I’m greedy, I want my lover and my
friend.” He smiled at Jack, finally allowing himself to show
everything he felt, let his hand slip down his body to close over his
penis and stroke luxuriously. “You have no idea how many times
I’ve come with your name on my lips, and now I want to come in your
mouth, Jack. If you want me.”
stared at Daniel, absolutely blown away by the trust Daniel was placing
him, like it was the easiest thing in the world for the man who
couldn’t be touched to just lie there completely open and touch himself
for Jack, for what Jack did to him. It could have been laughable,
to see another man pleasuring himself, but it wasn’t, it was the
biggest fucking turn-on Jack had ever known and scalding desire slammed
fiercely through him, leaving him shaken and breathless and
pounding. He’d never gotten a boner so fast in his life.
All that innocence at the core of Daniel, all the tiny, hurting losses
he’d mourned as Daniel’s gun became an extension of him, as Daniel
learned to kill as well as he communicated, all the things they’d done
and seen, for all that, the innocence, the gentleness was still there,
still at the heart of this man he loved. And wasn’t letting go,
and nice is fucking beautiful,” Jack growled, driving forward to snatch
Daniel up into a kiss, opening to him, sucking him into his mouth and
eating him alive. Daniel’s fingers were painfully tight in
his hair and who the fuck cared when they had this; moaning, grunting,
harsh jabs of tongue on tongue and clashing lips, and Daniel could
gentle him so easily, with a soft touch at his neck and softer sigh
into his mouth. Jack dragged in a harsh breath and lowered his
head to kiss Daniel as thoroughly as he’d ever been kissed in his life,
loving the way Daniel’s thighs parted and those long, long legs eagerly
hooked around his back.
was drowning in sensation, in Jack letting him in, letting him learn
silky, aggressive heat and slow-burn passion, Jack kissing him like the
end of the fucking world was nigh, greedy and harshly demanding,
wanting it all, taking everything Daniel had to give him and
more. So much more…He spluttered with laughter as Jack growled
into his mouth.
we have lift-off!”
opened his eyes and gazed down, disbelieving, as Jack went down on
him. Cried out in ecstasy as Jack’s mouth opened and took him in
without hesitation, sucking greedily. Jack lifted abruptly, an
odd look on his face, then his tongue swirled out, flickering over the
now weeping head of Daniel’s penis, curiously tasting the pearly
fluid. Daniel groaned, trying to writhe away from the intense
stimulation, Jack’s hands darting out to pin his hips against the
pillows as he licked the head over and over, waiting for the bitter
liquid to pool and drinking it down.
clearly liked the licking because he settled into it as Daniel lifted
his legs and wrapped them around Jack’s shoulders, reaching out blindly
to grasp the headboard and clench down on it, hard. Jack’s hands
slipped beneath his legs and curved up and over his hips to hold him
just so as Jack lapped at him, swiping his tongue gently over every
throbbing inch until he reached the base, then he turned his attention
to Daniel’s balls. His tongue gentled even further as Daniel
sobbed and writhed, legs first tightening then consciously
relaxed. Jack settled into licking over the sensitised flesh,
letting his tongue rasp and lift, finding a rhythm that had Daniel
howling as hot, heavy pleasure rippled through him in waves.
glanced up, realised Daniel was close, the way his head was thrashing,
took pity, kissed his way back down to the head and swallowed Daniel,
ready for some serious suckage. Daniel was hard and heavy in his
mouth, Jack certain he could feel the blood pulsing within, hotter than
he expected, hell more everything than he’d expected. He was
trying to enjoy how good Daniel looked, how good he felt, trying not to
compare and contrast himself with a lover who was not only sweet with a
capital scha-wing but was perfectly built and fuckably hot by anyone’s
standards. A lover who was moreover crazy about Jack, and who was
completely turned on by Jack even if he didn’t measure up to the gold
standard set by said lover, if the outright jerks of the dick gracing
his mouth as deep as he could get it were anything to go by. Not
to mention the faint, stifled screams of somebody who fucking loved
somebody and could somebody fucking finish him before he died?
well, Danny didn’t say the magic word, so dying it was. Jack
withdrew, ignoring the howl of dismay from Daniel and blew gently over
the head of Daniel’s penis. A thought occurred and he unclasped
one of the arms currently holding Daniel’s bucking hips down, reaching
out carefully to the table and the ice water. He fumbled in the
glass and found an ice cube. Daniel would either kill him or come
like a freight train, but Jack had to do something. The logistics
of male/male sex had completely escaped him. It was staggeringly
sexy, going down on Doctor Daniel Jackson like this, but his jaw hurt
like crap. Jack grabbed the ice, hitched up and kind of coasted
the cube down Daniel’s dick to press it against the head. Daniel
screamed, literally screamed, arching up off the bed, coming in long,
luxurious pulses all over Jack’s face, throat and chest, which he
figured he deserved after pulling a stunt like that.
came and came in an endless, blinding orgasm, near-fainting with
ecstatic shock. “Bastard, bastard, bastard, bastard.”
that’s my sweet boy,” he heard Jack gush as he yanked Daniel down the
bed, eager hands rough as they spread his legs and Jack’s weight pinned
him flat. Daniel gasped as Jack’s engorged, urgent penis ground
against his. He gaped up at Jack’s glittering eyes and taut,
needing face. “Bastard. Cube.” Jack glared at
him. “You want some? Cube!” he demanded. The cube was
in his hand a heartbeat later. Daniel dropped it back into the
glass, scowling. He’d never felt a sensation like that in his
life, wasn’t sure he ever wanted to again. The ice against all
that heat had ripped the orgasm right out of him.
I?” Jack asked sincerely.
just had no defence against that, Jack refusing to assume anything
despite having Daniel’s semen liberally coating his chin and…and…Oh
God, Jack just had just licked his lips, licked again, then swiped his
chin and licked his fingers clean. “Bastard,” Daniel murmured
again, blushing when Jack’s whole face went soft on him and then Jack’s
mouth was on him, his own semen slick against his tongue, and he
wrapped himself around Jack, urging Jack to move, to love him.
was burning up inside, past crazy, all over Daniel like a madman, only
Daniel’s gentle reminder he’d promised Daniel could touch him enough to
make him let go, roll over, take it. He stared and stared at
Daniel, eyes laying into him as he just sat on his haunches, mouth as
gentle as the gaze slowly taking Jack in, a little a time. Jack
could see Daniel was trembling as clearly as he could see how big a
deal this was to Daniel, but he was past anything but brutal,
possessive need. He was getting off on the explicit admiration
and he wanted action, right now. Then Daniel’s hands and Daniel’s
mouth were on him and his mind flamed away into harsh panting, shaking
and bursting dick as Daniel showed him how archaeologists touch, and it
was true, patience really did burn.
came back to himself with Daniel beneath him, sprawled open to him,
Jack’s body driving hard against his, his wrists pinned above his head
but their fingers were entwined and Daniel seemed okay with it.
Jack rocked experimentally and found he liked the sensations shivering
over his dick, into him and through him, liked them just fine. He
rocked again, and there was moaning, low and wanting, from both of
them, he thought. He dropped his head and kissed Daniel tenderly,
coaxing Daniel to open to him and kept it sweet, subtly
caressing. He felt Daniel’s lips curve against his and deepened,
angling for a spot where he could eat Daniel’s mouth and breathe.
rocked easily, enjoying the shivers of pleasure as Daniel paced him,
thrusting up as Jack pushed into him. Jack’s loving was easy,
rhythmic, but not gentle, not gentle at all. Daniel’s body jolted
up the bed every time Jack thrust. Jack got off on that, wanted
to be closer, his hands snaking beneath Daniel to cup his buttocks
greedily, hold him hard as Jack stroked into him, exulting in the warm,
pliant welcome. Daniel was hardening from the rough, perfect
friction, but lazy about his own pleasure in a way that told Jack he
was tired, this was love and closeness, wanting to give Jack pleasure.
knew the pleasure he wanted, knew exactly, and wouldn’t ask more of
Daniel when he was being so generous already. He was afraid
Daniel would give what he asked, afraid he wouldn’t. He didn’t
know enough about this stuff to judge, and his judgement was way off
regardless. He’d reached the age of forty-five never knowing he
loved sucking dick, and was probably going to be spending a lot of his
time from now on trying to get better at it in case Daniel made him
stop. The ice cube trick was never going to work twice.
wanted to fuck Daniel, right now, but Daniel had wanted to fuck him
just as much, and hadn’t, because he wouldn’t rush Jack. Jack
wouldn’t push Daniel into intercourse for his sake, any more than he
would have pushed Sara. Fair was fair and this…this was fine, and
when he moved just here, drove Daniel into the pillows with the
strength and weight of his own body, it was better than fine, it was
great. Jack pounded into Daniel again, shuddered as the pleasure
sheered through him, measuring himself in that deep glide of Daniel’s
body with his, then he heard a gasp, freezing him in place. “Too
much?” he asked roughly, cupping Daniel’s face for a moment.
Daniel assured, staring up into Jack’s anxious face. “I…I’ve just
never been with a man before,” he confessed. “I wasn’t expecting
…it’s so different. I had no idea what it was like to be with
someone as strong, if not stronger than me. I’m never rough in
sex, never used my strength against a woman.” He saw Jack’s face
twist. “I know, I know you haven’t, Jack. You
wouldn’t. It’s just obvious to me you’re getting off on using
your strength against me. You, um, you want to win.”
never been with a man?” Jack demanded furiously. “You’re a sneaky
sonovabitch, Daniel Jackson. You knew perfectly well I’d have put
your ass in your car untouched - more or less - if you hadn’t been
coming off like Homecoming King at Gay Pride. I’m screwing a
virgin for Chrissake!”
am I!” Daniel pointed out forcefully, batting his eyes. He
wrapped his legs around Jack’s back and dug his fingers into Jack’s
shoulders. “A thirty-five year old virgin may be sad, but a
forty-five year old virgin is tragic. Cuddling sounded nice,
still does, I’m taking a definite rain check on that one, but I wanted
to make love, if you wanted to make love, and there were so many
reasons for you not to, I just didn’t want to cloud the issue.”
sounds selfless and almost plausible if I didn’t know you were horny
enough to melt ice with your dick,” Jack marvelled. He howled and
flinched as ice water cascaded down his spine, Daniel laughing up at
him, the picture of innocence. “Oh, you are soo going to get it,”
Jack snarled, pounding into Daniel, the pleasure sheering again despite
Daniel’s happy sigh and a hint of ‘that all you got?’ in the
too-innocent eyes sparkling up at him. Jack dropped his head and
reamed out Daniel’s mouth until Daniel was wheezing and whimpering as
Jack slammed into him over and over, measuring himself now in how
Daniel flung his head back on the pillow in extremis, arching his
throat into Jack’s greedy, suckling mouth, not tired, not tired at all
it seemed, not just hard, but bursting, like Jack. Maybe Jack was
going on instinct with most of it, but he knew how a dick worked and he
reached between them as Daniel’s face flamed into the intense stillness
of orgasm, Jack’s hand squeezing hard at the base of Daniel’s dick, so
he climaxed without coming, sobbing as the pleasure ripped through him
and went on and on without release.
bastard, bastard, bastard,” Daniel moaned when Jack freed him at last
and he shot all over them both. When he could see straight, he
retaliated as Jack crowed his triumph, heaving up, throwing Jack
off-balance as he scooted out from under and dropped down on Jack’s
back. He wriggled rapidly down, got a good handful of Jack’s butt
and leaned in to lick a path down between the cheeks. Jack went
still, seemed to stop breathing as Daniel reached and probed his
entrance. He took a deep breath and thrust his tongue inside
Jack, shocked at his own boldness as he pushed and Jack just flexed and
he slid in as deep as he comfortably could, tonguing Jack mercilessly
as Jack quivered once from head to toe, cursed him for a sneaky fuck
and came, purely ballistic and howling.
kept up the torture until he was absolutely certain he’d made his point
about nobody being in charge in this or indeed any other bed, and let
Jack down easy. He scooted back up, nudged Jack over onto his
side, not at all surprised when Jack’s arms closed around him like a
vice. He was a little surprised to see Jack brimming over with
a memo. ‘Bout the new Air Force motto,” Jack said rapidly.
comes close’,” Jack quoted solemnly.
leaned in and kissed him fiercely.
On to Page Two
Feedback makes the difference between writing
and posting; please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org