Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
Rating: R.
Category: Angst.  Missing Scene.  Pre-Slash.  Romance.
Season/Spoilers: Season 5.  "Fifth Man".
Synopsis: Jack is just a man with a one-ass mind.  Response to the 'Jack asks Daniel out on a date' challenge.
Warnings: None.
Length: 48 Kb.

I want to hitch further up the bed, get away from Daniel, but that will put me in Carter's lap.  We're waiting for the all-clear from Fraiser and then we're out of here.  I need to be out of here.

Jesus, if Daniel was any closer he'd be in my cammos with me.  His arm is actually rubbing against mine, he's so close.  He keeps LOOKING at me.  He's hard to take in most moods, but tender-hearted, snuggling sympathy has one's dick burning in hellfire.

I mean, he can't do this to me.  He cannot just walk around being this hot and this clueless  He's driving me nuts!  Forget the frickin' Jaffa.  The most immediate danger is Death By Daniel.  Spontaneous human combustion.  I'm way too human.

I don't know how much longer I can go on...

"Jack?" Daniel asks gently.

"I've already got a mother," I drawl.

"Sir!" Carter snaps.

Yeah, yeah, you were all worried.  Whatever.  I'm worried.  Right now.  Worried I'm not gonna make it out of the Infirmary without becoming apparent.  More apparent, that is.

"Colonel?  Your MRI is clean," Fraiser announces.  "The chemical secreted by Ka..."

"Tyler," I snap.  Don't even try it.

"By Tyler has completely dissipated.  I'll clear you all to go home," Fraiser beams.  "Daniel, observe the usual post-zat drill and call me if you..."  She's smiling softly, taking the sting out of the sharp tone.

I don't know what the opposite of a hypochondriac is, but that's my Danny.

"If I glow in the dark I'll get back to you," Daniel grumbles, eyeing me a tad resentfully, like it's my fault he's still tingling.

Hot and tingling.

It was an accident.  I wouldn't have given Tyler the zat if I'd known he was going to shoot Daniel with it.


I think Fraiser thinks Daniel is hot and he gets her tingly.  She's not supposed to, but colonels in glass houses and all...Just let me get OUT of here and into a nice cold shower, take the edge off this puppy.

"Just a quick broad spectrum anti-biotic shot and you're out of here, Colonel," Fraiser tells me warmly.

As my kids jump down and trot out of curtain range, shooting me sympathetic looks, I hold up my arm imperatively.  "The arm, right?"  The arm.  Not the ass!  Not now.  Had Daniel's frigging biceps rubbing up against me for half an hour.  Glacial melt won't help me.

Fraiser squirts the needle pointedly and waits.

I look significantly at my arm.  She looks significantly at my ass.

"Humour me," I snarl.

"Now, Colonel."


Which is more embarrassing?  Admitting I have a hard-on, or letting her find out for herself?  And is it me or is it hot in here?  Burning up here.

"It's a perfectly normal reaction to stress," Fraiser says briskly, making little spinning motions with the needle.  "Drop them."

"They dropped decades ago," I drawl.  What, she's got twenty-twenty hard-on vision?

"I'd say that was debatable," Fraiser snipes sweetly.

She's got the needle and she knows it.  So does my ass.  It's quivering.  "Oy."  I edge down off the bed, pointedly turn my back and drop my drawers as instructed.  God knows how I'm going to get all this back in there.

"Just a small scratch," Fraiser croons. "There..."

Scratch my ass.  I wish.  I flinch and hiss as the needle punctures me.  Drives deep into the flesh.

"All done."

Getting the needle seems to have deflated things enough I can take myself in hand, nip and tuck.  Well, a good hard shove and I can button up.  I turn to face her with as much dignity as I can muster.  "You lie like a rug.  It hurts like crap and you know it."

Fraiser's face lights up.  "Good to have you back with us, Colonel.  Now GO.  I need the bed space."  She kerwooshes the curtain back with her usual vim and I find myself face to face with Hammond, who eyes me searchingly.

Carter and Teal'c have already booked, but Daniel is still large as life and twice as hot, right by Hammond's shoulder.  I sigh.  Could he at least take off the frickin' bandana?  I can't take that AND the biceps.

"I'd like a full debriefing, Colonel, 07:00 tomorrow in light of your exhaustion," the general suggests generously.

Thank God.  I'm not up to it today.

With the obvious exception, of course.  Couldn't be more up.

"Jack, I have some concerns I need to discuss with you and your people," he adds gravely.

"Simmons," Daniel snaps.

I stiffen.  Daniel is tense and edgy.  If my brain wasn't in my shorts I'd have picked up on it sooner, but the three of them were so damn busy hovering solicitously at my side and not in my lap where he belongs, peppering me with kisses...questions.  Er...I focus involuntarily on Daniel's mouth.  Lovely mouth.  Lovely everything really.  Lovely guy.

Lovely clueless little shit.  Killing me, here! was I?  Er...not the mouth, the ass...the asshole.  Simmons.  He messed with my team?  "General?"

Hammond nods tightly.  "We'll talk tomorrow, Jack," he says quietly.  "Doctor, a word," he calls crisply as Fraiser is edging away.

"Sir," I acknowledge, noting that Fraiser winces.  Daniel drops into step at my side, close enough to make with the arm brushing thing.  Maybe I should just cut through the Commissary, get myself an ice-pack.  "Fraiser?" I ask, desperately casual, totally focused on that satiny skin just smoothing over mine.  Over and over, with every step.

Daniel looks across at me with one of his tiny trademark grins, the one that makes my heart kinda flop sickeningly in my chest.  I know.  I KNOW.  It's totally embarrassing.  It's not enough I love this guy, not enough I fell in love with him, nooo, gotta go the whole hog and throw in a goddamn crush too.  I get goofy.  It's sad.  I'm sad.

Daniel glances around edgily so I kinda have to lean in.  Just so I can hear him.  No other reason.  None whatsoever.

Nothing to do with skin, satiny or otherwise, or those tendrils of hair I see framing his nape or...

Shit.  I lie like a rug.

"Janet ignored medical protocol and disobeyed orders to help you out," Daniel murmurs softly.

She did?  I guess my surprise isn't very flattering to ol' Doc Fraiser.  She's a bit of a Carter when it comes to...

"Sam put her up to it," Daniel whispers proudly.

Carter and Fraiser broke the regs?  Carter?  I mean, she did when her brain was in her pantyhose but...Carter?  "Jesus, Daniel, you're catching," I grumble.  Daniel's endearing little grin emerges again.  I can feel my vertebra dissolving.

"Sam gave Simmons shit too," Daniel murmurs.  "The loveless prick has been searching our personnel files, Jack, along with mission reports...anything he can use against us.  Alien 'influences', clouded judgement.  Prick," Daniel spits venomously.  "He makes Maybourne look good.  At least Maybourne believed in what he was doing, and believed he was doing it for the best.  Simmons is a political animal, a player.  He has no convictions of any kind.  I asked him what his position was and he had nothing to say.  Nothing."

Whoa.  Daniel is so uptight he's practically vibrating here.  "You two had a run-in?"

"I had an official interrogation," Daniel snaps. "We all did."  He lightens up suddenly.  "The honours definitely go to Teal'c though.  Simmons dared to question Teal'c's loyalty and Teal'c told him if his loyalty was in doubt it would be immediately apparent as he'd have no hesitation in killing Simmons where he sat!" Daniel says cheerfully.

"And you?"

Daniel blushes and hangs his head.

"Can't turn my back on you kids for a second," I bitch.  "Next P.E., I can just see what the General will have to say about my inspirational leadership and ability to motivate my team.  'Colonel Jerk O'Neill has indoctrinated SG-1 into his own regrettable mindset, which manifests itself in blatant insubordination and general pissiness'." I faux-glare at Daniel.  "Although you came already pissy.  No assembly required."

"Oh, and your record was pure as the driven snow before you met me?" Daniel sneers gently.

"I was a textbook officer," I reply with calm dignity.

"I thought they called it an 'Unfavourable Information File'?" Daniel queries gently, all wide-eyed innocence.

The usual thing happened.  We got from the Infirmary to the locker room door with me only aware of Daniel's presence and fuck-all else.  I grin and push at his shoulder before I hammer on the door.  "Carter?  You decent?" I holler.

"Yes, Sir, come on in," Carter calls out.

"Damn!" I bitch as we go in, Carter glancing up, smiling, as she folds something neatly back onto one of her shelves and heads for the door.  "Where's the big guy?"

Carter chokes a little.  "Armoury. to..."

"Don't start with the 'compensation' talk, Carter," I warn jovially and she grins.  "A man's relationship with his gun is sacred."

Daniel snorts.  "It's not size that matters, Sam," he teases.

"It's what you do with it," I finish gravely.

Carter looks like she has a lot to say but if she does, she's got yarn in her future.

"See you at the debriefing?" Carter prompts, heading over to the door.  "Glad to have you back with us safe, Sir," she says softly, smiling a little, hovering.

"Tearing up here, Carter and you'd better book before I give YOU something to cry about," I gripe.  I shrug and briskly tug at my T-shirt, which usually clears her out toot sweet.  I've already said thanks for almost getting wasted on the gateroom ramp, for insubordination, for the perfect fucking time, for pulling my nuts out of the fire, yadda yadda.  I was kinda hoping I'd been mushy enough for one day.  Not that I'm ungrateful or anything, what with looking at being dead or Goa'ulded if they'd turned up a minute later, I'm just too tired to play the thank you game, kinda bone weary and sapped out here.  "Thanks," I say simply.  She holds my eyes for a long moment, then nods, smiles warmly at Daniel and books as ordered.

Thank God.

I turn to find Daniel with his back to me dreamily undressing.  I've got acres of smooth, creamy skin and of course he's just pulled off the frigging bandana and now I have rumpled just-outta-bed hair to contend with.

Forget glacial melt.  Maybe I should just crank up the heat and jerk off.  It's the only humane choice.  I shuck my clothes in record time, kinda under my towel before I'm outta my pants, then I haul ass for the shower while Daniel is tackling his pants.  A man can only take so much.

I try not to look.  I always try.  I can't stop myself from thinking, but I try not to look.  I love him, but that doesn't give me licence to turn into some kind of voyeur.  It's incredibly difficult not to look, even when you can't avoid seeing.  The USAF doesn't exactly have privacy at the top of its priority list.  SG-1 is lucky.  We got these upscale digs, own closet, own shower stall.  We get to walk around a corner, we get a curtain you can pull.  It's amazing to me how erotic the human body is blurred by cascading water and steam-translucent white.

Teal'c has no hang ups about nudity, the Jaffa lived communally.  I used to have no hang-ups about nudity, same damn reason.  Air Force.  It's not expedient to get embarrassed.  Some days I make it.  Others...

Daniel has hang ups about nudity.  He tends to time it so we're undressed and in before he gets naked, he wears a robe to and from, he dresses and undresses with his back turned...I try not to look.  I lean against the wall, letting the water pound and stab into my shoulders, driving out the tension that never quits, not these days.

I hear the soft hiss of the curtain, then the spray behind me.  "Wanna talk about it?" I call.

"About what?" Daniel calls back.

"Whatever it is that has that poker up your ass."  O-kaay.  Baaad example.

"Thanks," Daniel says witheringly.  "No."

Glimpses.  The long, clean lines of his back and those slender, elegant feet.  The breadth of shoulder and the gentle flow of muscle over chest and belly.  Perfectly proportioned"Simmons upset you?"

TRY to keep the perving to when you're off the clock, O'Neill.  You're supposed to have some standards.  Officer.  Gentleman.  Whatever.

"He upset all of us, Jack.  According to Simmons, I'm emotionally guided and my judgement gets clouded, Sam is suspect because of Jolinar and the entity..."

"Probe," I established that.

"Probe, and Orlin," Daniel snaps, "and apparently Teal'c changes sides more often than Simmons changes the oil in his car."

"Say what?" I snort incredulously.  "You're kidding me, right?  What the...where the hell did that crap come from?"

"Our personnel records, apparently," Daniel snaps.

"There's nothing in them!"

"Simmons disagrees," Daniel says flatly.


"And what?" Daniel snaps.

"A suit like Simmons tells you you're emotional and you don't wipe the floor with him?  When'd you stop fighting back?  I must have blinked and missed that."

"I'm sympathetic to the Goa'uld, did you miss that too?" Daniel says fiercely.

"Horse pucky."


"What?" I call back innocently.

"Pucky?" Daniel asks incredulously.  "That's...that's not a word."

"It is."

"Is not."

"Is too."

"Is not!"


"Pucky is not a synonym for shit," Daniel bridles.

"It was according to my Great Auntie Nan."

"The English language in all its elegant complexity and beauty doesn't adequately express what's on the O'Neill mind so you HAVE to make up your own?"

Feel the love.

"Yeahsureyoubetcha," I say cheerfully, soaping madly and avoiding you know what.  Kind of deflating on it's own now, thank God.

"Cardophagus," Daniel snarls.


"That's a synonym," Daniel informs me un-informatively.

"I got that," I snap.  "A synonym for?"

"Ass," Daniel murmurs dreamily.

"Pucky," I call back but my heart is in his ass.  His ass.  Mmm.  One part of Daniel I haven't had nearly enough quality time with.

The silence as I shampoo half-heartedly is suggestive of linguistic victory.

"You gonna tell me or do I have to come in there and scare the pucky outta ya?" I demand as I rinse.  When I first realised I'd slunk snapping and snarling into love with Daniel I did this whole passive-aggressive number on him.  I'm better now.  I do supportive-libidinous so much better.  Maybe I could risk soaping the 'sensitive' parts...

"Well, make sure you bring the soap."

Shiiiit...he didn't mean...he didn't...I juggle madly and the slippery little bastard still gets away from me...


...skidding spectacularly under the curtain and clean across the slick tiled floor...


I snatch open the curtain and peer out just as Daniel bends down to retrieve the soap, which apparently hit him in the butt.


Jeez.  That's sad.  That's really sad.  I'm just a man with a one-ass mind.

The breath whooshes out of my lungs explosively.  Butt.  Right in front of me!  Does he HAVE to wave it around like that?  The curtain cupping a real eyeful as Daniel tries to scoop up the soap.  I just hang off my curtain and stare.  Daniel's ass is a thing of beauty.  It could make grown men weep, and if he keeps waving the damn thing around it goddamn will.  Pick up the soap already!  Have some pity, man!

He looks like he'd fit right in my hands.  It's kind of taut and...peachy.  I swear, he makes Carter look...wide.  Carter!  All I can think about is being buried in that sweet, tight ass until the day I die.  I know what to do.  I've read.  Extensively.  Daniel would die if he knew Jack O'Neill could research.  Extensively.  Got it all down, word and picture perfect.  I'm sure I could make it good, that I could make love to him as he deserves, slow, tender and deep.  I could.  I want to.

Just have this liiiittle problem.

"Hey, Daniel.  You wanna go out tonight?"

"Do I have to talk?"

"Swear to God you won't."

"Which god?"




"Okay, fine," Daniel's voice brightens up as he finally retrieves the soap.

I sag limply against the wall.  I've got so much blood pounding in my dick I feel faint.

"Where do you want to go?" Daniel calls happily.

This is my problem.  Daniel is my friend.  He loves to hang with me.  He's never sappy enough to say so, but he does.  He never says no, no matter how tired or anxious or hurt or angry he is.  Or I am.  If it's bad, we'll talk.  We both know that going in.  Neither of us is the kind that talks, but we each seem to have the key to opening the other up, and we talk regardless.  I'm beat, but I'm fine.  Daniel is pissed and upset.  He knows I'll nag him mercilessly 'til he spills, but he's coming anyway.

He loves to hang with me.  We've been dating for months.  Really dating.  Going out instead of staying in to watch a game or a movie.  We've been to dinner all over the city.  We've been to movies.  Concerts.  A play.  To a guy like me, that's dating.  Courting, if you will.  To Daniel, that's hanging.  If I get him season tickets rink-side for the Gold Kings, maybe he'll think that's dating.  I ask him if he wants to go out with me?  He wants to go.  I ask him if he wants to come over, he rents a movie, buys take-out and turns up bright-eyed and bushy tailed.  I ask him if he wants company, he cooks.  I turn up with flowers some day, he'll just thank me and stick the little buggers in a tasteful Etruscan vase or something.

Daniel never says no.  He said yes to Jell-o.  Jell-o.

I'm doomed to celibacy.  Daniel will never buy a clue on his own and I don't know what the fuck to do.  Any other man I know would look at me like I was nuts if I took him to a PLAY.  He'd ASK me if it was a frickin' date or something.  Tell me to get a clue.  Get a life.  Get a grip.

I want to get a grip.  On Daniel.

I am going to die if that does not happen soon.

I'm going nuts!  I know I am, because I can see the punctuation when I THINK.  Three exclamation marks to madness.  I'm on two point nine nine recurring.

Woo.  Look at that.  All I needed to do was calculate the Satan-skating odds of Daniel and I ever getting it and us together and my little problem just went away on its own.  Time to book if I can get out with a shred of dignity.  I snatch up my towel and haul ass while Daniel is rinsing, drying and making himself decent.

I'm dried and half-dressed in record time, just buttoning my shirt when Daniel emerges in his robe, damp around the edges and rumpled.

I sigh as interest resurges.  Hot, hot, hot.  It's so unfair.  I'm ordinary Joe.  I should NOT have to put up with Action frigging Jackson.  If I wasn't Special Ops I'd never have even met a man like Daniel.  I would never have found out what I was missing and I wouldn't be wearing myself out wanting what I'm never going to get.  I drop to the bench and yank on my socks.  I'm looking.  Boy, am I looking as I lace up my boots.  Forget the gentleman crap.  Pervert is WAY more rewarding.  He's just shucked the robe and we're talking clinging re the underwear.  The ass?  Mine eyes have seen the glory.  The ass is to die for and right now I'm thinking it may come to that.

"Where'd you want to go tonight?" Daniel asks chattily as he pulls on his jeans.

Black.  Tight.  Ass still very much in evidence, which means he's going to ruin the effect and bury it under something plaid in the vain, despairing hope people won't drool on him, present company not excepted.

"How about the Dale Street Café?" Only Colorado Springs' most romantic restaurant.  You eat in a frickin' summer garden.

"They do great pasta," Daniel murmurs agreeably, bending gracefully to tie his shoes.


Dying here.

Seriously.  Paper-bag time.  I need to breathe deep.  I need to breathe.

"And fish."

He stretches up and lifts something black and slinky from a hanger.

Slinky?  Daniel?

He drops it over his head.  Oh.  Sweater.  There goes the ass and my last remaining dregs of sanity with it.  Think I just hit three point one exclamation marks.  Maybe I could get Nick's old room in Oregon.  Maybe Daniel would come visit and I could get some hack to convince him sex was therapeutic.

Oo-h.  Sweater.  He doesn't realise how much it clings or he SO would not be wearing it.  That little dip where the collar falls open, baring the hollow of his throat?  Sweeeet.

I can't stand this.  I truly can't.  I'm going mad.

"Jack?" Daniel asks, faintly puzzled as he catches me staring.  Then his lips tighten.  "You want me to spill? I'll spill afterdessert."

"Daniel, would you like to go out with me?" I ask jerkily, getting to my feet.

"I think we already covered that, Jack," Daniel eyes me cautiously.  "Um...are you okay?"

"Nope," I say stiffly.  "I mean out, Daniel.  As in, Go Out With Me."

"I Am Not Arguing," Daniel says crisply.

You Are Also Not Clueing!!!  "On a date, you dimwit!" I blurt desperately as my unwilling feet plant me right in front of him.

"A date?" Daniel blurts back, eyes widening, lips...parting.

I'm going in.  "An assignation, engagement, rendezvous, tryst..."

"Tryst?  Old French..." Daniel mutters giddily as I cup his face in my hands and draw him in.  "Pucky..." he bleats, "Mmmph!"

Lovely mouth.  Didn't I say?  Lovely.  Just...sweet and soft and firm and pouting and parting...Daniel moaning as I slip in and say mine.  Shoulda been 'hi' but mine fits.  We fit.  We fit together perfectly.  I touch my tongue to his and feel him shiver against me as he leans in, grabs my waist for balance.  I touch and then I stroke sensuously, slowly.  I figure if he's going to knee me in the nuts I should go down with a bang as well as a whimper.

I don't want to surface.  I just want to feel.  God, he's incredible.  Warm, silken tenderness and tentative curiosity, pushing gently back against my probing tongue as I ease gradually deeper.

My hands gravitate down and cup Daniel's ass reverently.  His breath hitches and the hands at my waist tighten convulsively but he doesn't knee me or shove me away.  I knead and stroke him urgently as the kiss deepens from careful to passionate, tongues tangling and warring pleasurably, thrusting languidly against one another in deep, lingering glides.

Easiest goddamn thing in the world to fall into this man and never come up, never again.

Have to.  Have to breath.  So does Danny, unless that sob in his throat is joy.

I have to peel myself off him a molecule at a time is what it feels like.  He looks like I feel.  Dazed.  Flushed, crap.  Flushed and furious.

"You picked your goddamn time, O'Neill!" Daniel spits when he can talk.  "Simmons just told me my whole life is their business and you have to pull this?"

Furious and yet strangely not letting go. 

"Simmons?" I wheeze.

"Fuck him!" Daniel snarls, leaning in to snatch a fierce, bruising kiss of his own, which I give into shamelessly, biting his lip.  "I'm warning you, O'Neill, I am not waiting for sex as long as I've waited for you to ask me out," Daniel threatens dangerously.

"Whaddya mean, ask you out?  I've been asking you out for  six months!" I hiss furiously.  Er...Losing it here.

"Wanna grab some food, Daniel?  Wanna watch a movie?  Catch a game?  An opening?  Grr," Daniel growls.


"Don't tell me I'm cute."

Me?  Never.  "All dates," I insist.

"A date is me naked in your lap with a bowl of cherries," Daniel snaps.

He's blushing and...

"Do not tell me I'm cute!"

"Cherries?  I don't like cherries," I protest the only point I can actually make sense of right now.  I want him?  I get him?  Er...what's wrong with this picture, apart from me?  I get Daniel?  Daniel?  I'm gonna wake up dead any minute, right?

"I do.  I love them.  I'm eating, you're....watching."

How can he be so damn sexy and shy?  It''s nothing.  Nah.  Looking at those eyes and quittin' while I'm ahead.  "And I'm..." I trail off suggestively.

"Dressed," Daniel says crisply.  "Dying of frustration.  It's way more fun for me that way."

"I've got news.  I died from frustration months ago.  New plan," I insist.

"If it involves headgear of any kind forget it," Daniel says instantly.


"You've got a fetish.  Don't think I haven't noticed."  Daniel looks at me with narrowed eyes.  "That goes for both of us."

Headgear?  "A minor interest at best and just how is it you're not completely freaked by this?"  I still think this is going to blow up in my face somehow.  Too surreal to be true.

"By what?" Daniel asks sweetly, leaning in to blow gently in my ear.

"THIS and did I say you could stop?  Blow me!" I order.

"I figured you were doing enough freaking for both of us," Daniel adds a little lobe-nibbling and tugging to the blowing.

I'm completely without shame when I moan helplessly.  In total erotic thrall here.  There has got to be a grocery store between here and home.  Has to be.  I'll break in if I have to.  Freaking?  "Freaking?" I demand suspiciously.

Daniel blows again.  "Freaking.  It's taken you six months to work up the nerve to ask me out, Jack," he whispers, kind of swirling his tongue around in there, "I wasn't even expecting the kiss."

"If you mention sexuality I'm so outta here," I threaten, arching my neck so he can do the swirly thing.

"Well, you're not exactly experienced," Daniel murmurs, obediently swirling.

I hoot derisively.  "And you Aare?"  Daniel bites me, which makes us both shiver pleasurably and cling a little closer.

"I've read," Daniel admits stiffly.

"I bet I've read more."

Daniel jerks back to look at me disbelievingly.  "You read?  For me?"  His eyes go very soft on me.

"I read MORE."  I'm thoroughly prepared for any eventuality.  "And I'm not sweet."  Daniel looks unconvinced.  "Anybody walks in here?" I jerk my thumb at the locker room door.  "I'm telling them you were crying."

"I've got a huge bowl of cherries at home, right now," Daniel says flatly.  "It's up to you.  'Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are'?"

"Yes?"  I have so read that.

"Chapter Nine," Daniel drawls.

Chapter Nine?  O-kaay.  "You can tell them I was crying."  I'll blub all over the state if I don't get Chapter Nine.  I do like the idea everything at once.  "You think I'm repressed, right?"

Daniel gives a tiny shrug.

"You should know," I say lightly.

The shrug segues into a scowl.  "Could you get your hands off my ass?" Daniel asks coldly.

"See?  I'm way ahead of you," I point out pleasantly.  "You couldn't even touch mine."

"I'm more familiar with the terrain," Daniel says just as pleasantly.  "I've been watching it for months."

"You've been looking?" I ask, shocked.

"You haven't?" Daniel asks pityingly.  "And how could I not, the way you were flaunting it at me every chance you got."

"I'm an officer and by definition a gentleman," I snap indignantly.  "Whaddya mean, flaunting?"

"Waving it around every chance you got.  Exhibitionist," Daniel accuses briskly.  "I'm an archaeologist and by anybody's definition a pervert, so let's get right to the part where we make out like crazed weasels.  With cherries.  God knows you've kept me waiting long enough," he adds bitterly.

"I did not keep you waiting.  You kept me waiting."  This is such a self-evident truth it bears repeating until he caves and admits it, however long it takes.

"I fell in love with you!  I've been wanting you for months.  If you hadn't been so damn clueless," Daniel accuses, stalking over to the door, "I've could have been having you for months."

"You love me?"  Yeah, definitely gonna wake up dead.  He thinks I'm hot and he loves me?  No way!

"Of course."  Daniel's face falls.  "You don't?  I thought...I mean, that's why I...I waited," he stammers.  "So long," he adds, ruining the effect.

"Don't be stupid, Daniel.  Of course know,"  I wave a vague hand.

"You're cute when you blush, it's part of the whole nervous virgin charm."

Nervous what?  Jeez.  "Yeah, well, at least I'm not a nervous virgin in plaid."  Daniel stiffens and glares at me as I slouch over to my locker.  I grab the rest of my stuff, sourly watching Daniel dancing with impatience at the door.  Not exactly be still my beating heart time.  I completely love this guy, completely, but I'm fairly pissed to tell you the truth.  The honours are a little too even for my liking.


"Um-hm?" I pull on my hat and...

"Remember what I said about headgear."

"This is my frickin' hockey hat!" I love this hat.  I went to a goddamn play for him and he's giving my wardrobe attitude?

"Fine.  Wear it at games.  Just don't expect me to sit next to you."

O-kaay.  Completely love him, completely pissed.

This is real, alright.

"'Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are'?  Chapter Seventeen."  I glare at him.

"Oh."  Daniel bites his lip.

"What's your size?"


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