"Are you listening to me?"
"Yes, Jack, I'm listening."
Nothing infuriates me to the point of explosion as an archaeologist who says he's paying attention when nothing could be further from the truth. "Daniel!" I yell, taking perverse pleasure when he jumps in surprise, cursing me as he leans forward in the seat to allow the droplets of coffee that have spilled from the Starbucks' cup in his hand to drip onto the carpeted floor.
"Sorry," I apologize, searching the console of the Avalanche for some fairly fresh, unused napkins.
He grabs them from me, grunting as he wipes up the stains on his pants, transferring the cup from hand to hand as he cleans up the mess. "I was listening to you," Daniel gripes, shoving the wet, soggy napkins into the storage pocket on the door. "You were talking about music."
"No," I manage to spit out sarcastically, "I was talking about this music."
"Okay, you got me," Daniel says, pivoting in his seat to face me as much as the confining seatbelt will allow. He points with his revered Stabucks' cup towards the stereo setup in the dashboard. "What's the problem with this music?"
"Ha!" I pound the steering wheel for emphasis.
"Ha? That's an answer, Jack?"
"Flash in the pan groups, Daniel. Flash in the pan." Keeping my eyes glued to the road, I pop upon the console and one handedly begin to fling CD's at Daniel, and by the expletives that flow from his mouth, I'm obviously narrowly missing the coffee cup he's holding. "Linkin Park, Five for Fighting, SR-71 ..."
"Well, SR-71 stands for the Blackbird which was --"
"I know what it stands for, Daniel, and it certainly doesn't mean the music that I'm subjected to on the mornings when we drive in together."
I can hear Daniel rummaging through the CD's in his lap. "You forgot Evanescence or Goo Goo Dolls ..."
"Goo Goo Dolls, now that's a name and, oh, and what's that other one ... Crazy Clowns ...?"
"Insane Clown Posse, Jack." Peripherally, I see him tapping the dashboard with the CD. "That's Teal'c's, don't blame that one on me. Josh Groban's is Sam's and the Dido CD is Cassie's."
"See, that's my point. This is my truck." I pat the steering wheel lovingly. "Mine. Why is everyone's music tastes invading my personal space?"
"Invading?" Daniel asks, and I don't have to see my lover to know he's both hurt and upset with my terminology.
"Okay," I concede. "How about sharing ... not invading."
"Sharing?" With exaggerated slowness, Daniel drops his coffee cup into the drink holder and presses the eject button on the CD player, slipping the CD into its appropriate holder. Daniel straightens his pile of plastic squares -- like a card dealer lines up a deck of cards -- before reaching behind my seat to snag his briefcase and flinging it forward onto his lap. Daniel unzips the leather case and stuffs the numerous CDs into any available space, tucking the last two into his jacket pockets, and then drops the briefcase between his legs onto the coffee dampened carpet. I open my mouth and then close it, deciding it's safer to keep the state of the carpet all to myself rather than draw Daniel's attention to it.
"You were going to say something?"
"Daniel," I whine in exasperation. "Come on ..."
"No, no ..." he waves at the radio. "Now's your chance, turn on whatever you want, I'm just going to read." Daniel pulls a book from the briefcase, cursing not so silently when the book's removal upsets the precarious balance of the CD's. I count two thuds as some fall onto the carpeting. He leans over once more and drops the CDs into the opened briefcase. "I'm reading now, Jack. I'm done invading. Knock yourself out," he grumbles, opening up the book.
If I weren't driving, I would be rubbing my hands gleefully together, but instead I opt for pushing the first number on my preset stations. I'm practically bouncing in my seat, bopping along with the music, even setting the bass settings up to five.
"Come on, come on, touch me babe?" Daniel asks, closing his book. "That's music?"
"No, Daniel," I explain. "That's the Doors."
"The Doors are a musical group, quite tragic by the way, Jim Morrison ..."
"Oh," Daniel states, "the name of this band is the Doors.
"Yes, Daniel. That's the name," I explain slowly, kinda like Carter does when she's trying to make an off the wall scientific point with me.
"Okay, and Touch Me Babe are the lyrics to a song that you consider to be music?"
I may be wrong, but I'm picking up a condescending quality in Daniel's voice. "This isn't just music ..." I begin.
"You're telling me," Daniel whispers under his breath, loud enough for me to hear.
"Touch Me is one of the classics ..." The radio station I've tuned into is playing one of those two in a row deals and the cab of the Avalanche is filled with another song that has me smiling. I lean over and again adjust the bass on the stereo, ignoring the grimace Daniel is giving me. "Now this song ..."
"Come on baby, light my fire? Babe, baby ... didn't this Doors guy know anyone's name?"
"Okay, Daniel, so Jim Morrison isn't your cup of tea ... how about this?" I hit another preset station and two lines of the song manage to blare through the speakers before I fumble to another station.
"Oh, that's one I would hold near and dear to my heart, Jack. Did the words just say, 'In the white room with black curtains'?"
I forget that Daniel's ears are as astute as his mind, being a linguist, and of course, he would be able to pick up words with the snap of the fingers.
"Cream," I mumble apologetically.
"In the cream room? I thought ... I know I heard white."
"No, you heard white, the name of the band is Cream."
"Oh ..." Daniel nods his head in understanding, and opens his book again. "Someone should tell them that white rooms don't have black curtains."
Thankfully, I've found another station. "This one ... this one is a genuine classic." I sit back and relax, humming along, noting that we're almost to the mountain.
"Okay," Daniel states, slamming his book shut. "There's a bathroom on the right?"
I shake my head. "Bad moon ... bad moon."
"Sure, Jack ... bathroom ... bad moon, same difference."
I can't help but cringe at the second song the station chooses to play and count to ten before Daniel begins to laugh. "Jeremiah was a bullfrog?"
"He was a good friend of mine ... and the name of that band is Three Dog Night. And the Bad Room band was Credence Clearwater ... okay!" I shout, pulling into my parking spot and, with an action befitting my age and rank, I warn him with a graceful raspberry that he has crossed the line.
I barely manage to ignore Daniel's bastardized version of combining all the songs we heard on the radio this morning. The son of a bitch is still giggling in the corner of the elevator when I stomp off in the direction of my office.
I'm washing the dishes when my archaeologist pulls my shirt out of my pants and nimble fingers walk their way up my back. "Come on ... Come on, touch me, babe," he whispers into my ear. "Cause I am not afraid ..."
"Ahhh, did some research, Dr. Jackson?" I answer, and his hands slide from my back onto my stomach.
"All afternoon, downloaded a few songs."
"Taxpayer's money at work," I mumble as he blows into my ear, washing and rinsing the same dish again.
Daniel removes his warm hands from my body and reaches around and takes the dish from me. He places two hands on my shoulders and turns me so we now face each other, and slowly he begins to unbutton my shirt. "Wanna light my fire?" he growls.
He begins to argue, then laughs as I swipe my wet hands down the front of his shirt. "I can take you higher ..." I promise.
Daniel buries his face in my neck, kissing and nibbling at the sensitive skin under my jawline. "Heaven ... I'm thinking, stairway to heaven."
And me? I'm thinking that Daniel and I are going to be making some music of our own on this trip down memory lane.
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