WINDOW DRESSING BY DEVRA


Slash: Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
Rating: PG-13
Category: Humor, Slice of Life, AU (since Janet is alive and well)
Season/Spoilers: None
Synopsis: It's not the clothes that make the man
Warnings: None
Length: 29 Kb
Notes: Thank you to the sisters of my heart who always know how to make me smile. To Jo, whose halo is well deserved.

Never show your fear. After eight years at the SGC, one year ascended and six weeks back on Earth, that's one sentiment that's been firmly embedded in my brain.

I assess my situation, eyeing the open door behind the two individuals who are threatening me. Can I make a break for it? How far will I get before I'm apprehended? Once caught, will my punishment be even worse than the threats now hovering over my head?

I clear my throat and try not to fidget under two pairs of watchful eyes. They're waiting for me to fall apart under pressure, and though my hands are twisting and turning behind my back, my posture is ramrod straight, daring them to carry through with their intimidation. I see their burgeoning smiles as they believe they have the upper hand, but I'm not going to go willingly, they're going to have to take me kicking and screaming to-

"Are you ready to go to the mall?" Sam's voice is overflowing with controlled impatience and Janet stands by her side, tapping her foot as she checks her watch.

"Um-"

"Don't use the 'I have to finish up work' excuse, Daniel." Janet takes a step towards me and instinctively I step backward, and back again until my ass hits the corner of my desk, the point spearing me painfully. I resist the urge to rub my butt in front of these two women and try a dimple-producing smile instead. 

Sam waves at me. "Put the dimple away." 

My smile falters, then starts up again.

"*Both* dimples," she warns.

Damn the two of them as they double team me. With an evil twinkle in her eyes, Janet turns off my coffee pot as Sam plucks the pen from my hand, flips over my legal pad and shuts off my computer. "Hey!" I yell at the injustice of their well-meaning intentions, then cower under their dual-heated glances. "The least you could have done was save my work."

The smile she shares with Janet is wicked, vile and harsh, and cold fingers of anticipation work their way up my spine. I feel a sudden kinship with Cassie, and I can only hope I survive this expedition to commiserate with her.

The sympathetic glances thrown my way as I walk the halls of the SGC sandwiched between Sam and Janet make me wonder if people have been betting on my endurance. Janet literally growls at Jack when he turns the corner and barrels smack into me. He clutches my shoulders to keep us both upright.

"Daniel."

"Help me," I mouth.

"Step aside, sir," Sam orders, and with an _expression of helplessness and an empathetic squeeze of compassion, Jack moves against the wall. I swear I'm going to make him pay for the Taps he's humming as I'm dragged to the elevator.

*  *  *

"I put the child locks into effect, Daniel, so don't try and escape."

"I wasn't," I lie, tucking my right hand under my left armpit. Does Janet really think I'd jump from a moving vehicle? The chance of doing that and *not* getting injured are nil, and the end effect would have landed my ass in her infirmary, something I sure as hell don't want to do. The last thing I want is to be up close and personal with Janet, her needles and my body orifices.

It doesn't bode well when we get into the drive thru line at MacDonald's.

"I hope you're not stopping for me."

"Did you eat breakfast?"

I roll my eyes, trying to remember if I finished the muffin that Jack brought me. I do know I drank and probably licked the Styrofoam cup of Starbucks, but the taste of the muffin eludes me, so I'm thinking it's still sitting in the paper bag on my desk.

"The question requires either a yes or a no answer. Nothing more complicated than that."

"Okay, no!"

"Touchy, isn't he, Sam?"

"Definitely."

I scowl in response to the sickeningly sweet smile Sam gives me over her shoulder. "I'm not touchy."

"He's right, you know, he's not touchy, I'm betting he's hypoglycemic."

Feeling like a salmon battling against the current, I give up and keep my mouth shut as Janet converses with the tinny voice over the speaker and places an order.

Janet pays then graciously accepts the bag and a drink, passes it over to Sam who leans through the space between the two front seats and hands it to me.

"Sam? Janet? You didn't take what you ordered out of the bag."

"We ate our breakfasts *and* lunches already. You're lucky I didn't order you a Happy Meal, the way you're behaving. Even Cassie doesn't complain as much as you do."

Funny, I don't find Janet's statement amusing but she and Sam seem to get quite a giggle from it. "Cassie's a girl and girls *like* to go shopping," I retort, sticking a French fry in my mouth.

"Whiney *and* sexist, not a great combination when your body is going to be at the mercy of two women for the whole day."

I drown my sorrows in the chocolate shake.

*  *  *

Overwhelming. My first impression of the mall is overwhelming and I step back from the two women flanking me and press myself against the nearest pole. Now, considering I routinely travel through a wormhole, have my atoms scattered and put back in place and barely blink an eye, it's pretty disconcerting to be having a panic attack in a mall.

Janet connects the dots before I do, hell, even before Sam does. "Try to take deep breaths." Her voice is the one she uses in the infirmary. The one that means 'pay no attention to the needle/suture/drugs in my hand and you'll feel better in no time'. The tone she uses is slow and measured, forcing me to focus on her and not my immediate surroundings.

"Janet?" I hear Sam somewhere off to my left but I'm concentrating on struggling to fill my lungs with air. I wish Janet would just move back a step or two before she ends up wearing the chocolate shake and fries.

"It's just the mall, Daniel." Sam's trying to reproduce Janet's soothing voice quality, but I'm just not buying it.

"Yeah, but I bet this is the first time since he des-came home that he's been to someplace as large and-"

I nod. Six weeks since my ass, my naked ass, hit the ground and this is the first time I've really been *out* in public. Scary that a shopping mall can bring me to my knees.

"Do you want to go, Daniel?"

'Do I want to go?' How stupid is Sam's question? Of course I want to leave. I don't want to go shopping. I never did. I don't need any clothes besides the pair of jeans and plaid shirt I have on my back. Based on my reaction, I won't be going out in public for the next thirty years and I'm really fine with my life centering on the SGC, Jack's house, Jack's bed, and planets on the other side of the wormhole. If I need socks or underwear, or anything else, that's what online shopping is all about. Hell, don't they understand? To me, clothes are just window dressing-nothing more, nothing less.

"Of course he doesn't want to leave," Janet answers, "Daniel's gonna conquer this."

"I am?" I squeak.

"Sure ya are, honey."

Honey? Honey? Janet called me honey? This is bad. Very bad. Even all those times I've lay dying, she's never referred to me as honey. And I know, even if it takes her all day to move me from the pole I've become one with, my reaction to the mall has become personal, and our CMO will not fail.

"Down," I whimper.

"Fall down?"

I shake my head. "No," I whisper. "Need to sit down." Preferably in the back seat of Janet's car, but I'll settle for the empty wooden bench by the fountain.

I sit. Sam sits. I bend at the waist and bury my face in my hands, my elbows resting on my knees. Sam bends forward, leaning into me. Janet squats between my knees and peels my fingers back, one by one.

"Better?"

I nod, though probably not as enthusiastically as Janet would like because I feel her fingers wrap themselves around my wrist. "I'm fine."

Silence as she counts my beats per minute. "You're *right*, you are fine."

"Maybe we should just give him a minute or two more."

I twist towards Sam, surprised. "Janet said I was fine."

"I know." She hangs her head, but not before I see the stain of embarrassment coloring her cheeks.

I bump my shoulder into hers. "I really am fine."

Sam looks up at me and I see a hint of a wavering smile. "I just worry. You know-"

"Not going anywhere, I promise."

"Don't make promises you can't keep, Daniel."

"Hey, yoohoo, this conversation is a little too morbid for my day off. So Daniel, if you're done with your panic attack and Sam, if you're done as well, let's get this show on the road and go buy the boy a pair of jeans that actually fit."

*  *  *

I balk at the entrance to the clothing store. "I really don't want-"

"Daniel, you're going to have to re-enter the real world eventually."

"Hey! Give me a chance. I just got home," I sputter. "I will soon-"

Sam and Janet exchange looks of what I can only surmise is disbelief.

"Really soon," I promise.

"But not now." Janet taps my arm sympathetically. "I understand."

"Not now," I agree, sighing. "I'm glad you understand."

Both of them grab my arms and tug me forward. "Hey!" I dig my heels in, or at least attempt to dig into the mall's tiled floor. "You said you understood."

Sam snickered. "We understand, Daniel, we just don't agree."

*  *  *

I don't care if they're women. The first one that says 'you have to buy this shirt because the blue matches your eyes', I'm gonna deck. For the moment I'm safe, Sam and Janet have stuck my butt in a plastic orange chair, think infirmary style, and are busy making choices for me. While they aren't looking at me, the two sales people keep glancing at me, smiling. I smile back and give them a waggle of my fingers.

The girl blushes, embarrassed, and quickly turns her attention back to helping Sam and Janet. The guy studies me intently for a moment, then plucks a blue shirt off the rack, waves it at me, then points to his eyes, then to me.

*  *  *

I must have drifted down into a well of self pity because I jump when someone touches me, my arms coming up in a stance of self defense.

"Store, Daniel. Clothes. Shopping."

I blink once, twice and my surroundings begin to focus enough to notice Janet standing a good two feet away from me, her gaze locked on my upraised arms.

"Sorry."

There's a flicker of self doubt in her eyes, that maybe she has made the wrong decision in taking me shopping, but it's gone before I can even call her to task.

"Ready?"

"No."

"You're making this harder than it has to be."

I shrug, but I get up and follow her to the bank of dressing rooms in the back of the store, holding my head up high, ready to meet my fate.

*   *   *

It isn't the pyramid height pile of clothes in the dressing room or the claustrophobic feel of hangers making the room smaller than it seems that's freaking me out, it's the full length mirror before me. With my pointer finger I tentatively reach out and touch the stranger who looks back at me. I've been Earthbound for less than two months, and there are times, like this, when the feeling that I've stepped out of my corporeal body is very, very strong.  I press my forehead to the cool glass of the mirror and try to force reality back to where it belongs. 

Harsh banging on the dressing room door brings me back to Earth with a jerk. "Do the jeans fit?"

"Jeans?"

I turn until my back is against the mirror. "Which jeans?" I don't want to tell Sam that there's a *pile* of jeans sharing this space with me and I'm just a tad confused as to which ones she's referring to.

Her deep sigh of exasperation travels through the slats in the dressing room door. "Pick a pair, any pair. Just put a pair on and come out and show them to me and Janet."

"Model?" Stupid me, I thought that the dressing room mirror and I would be deciding on our purchases.

"Yes, Daniel, model." Janet's voice carries the same pitch and tone as if she was explaining to me why that sized needle needs to be stuck into my ass cheek. There's no room for discussion.

I shuck off my pants in record time and slip into a pair of jeans, hating their stiffness. Comfort versus style, hands down, there's no contest, cotton versus wool sort of thing. As quickly as I put on the pants, I take them off and start to finger all the jeans, finally selecting a pair that feels well worn. Okay, they feel fine but they're a bit tight and just as I get the first button unbuttoned to take them off, an impatient knock distracts me. "What?" I hiss.

"Come on."

"Fine." I rebutton the top button, take a moment to adjust myself then step over the mess I've made on the floor and walk out into the store.

"Happy?" I hold my hands out and turn around.

"Oh my, yes," the sales guy says. "Very happy."

The young sales girl agrees with a smile, and when I turn back around to reprimand Sam and Janet, the two of them are standing, nodding. Janet walks around me and utters an obnoxious 'niiice' while she's gazing at my six.

"They're too tight." I tug my shirt down and stomp into the dressing room, slamming the door behind me.

"Throw those pants over the door."

"Thanks, Sam." I toss the pants and the hanger over the opening.

"Bullshit, they're too tight," she says. "*I'm* going to buy them for him, so at least we can appreciate-"

I bang on the door. "I'm listening here."

"Good, now try on another pair *with* a shirt, this time."

*   *   *

I pull the snug fitting sweater away from my body. "Did anyone *look* at the sizes of these clothes before-"

Janet gently smacks my hand, then smoothes out the weird pull marks I made in the material.  "It fits fine."

"No."

"Do you want it in another color?" the salesman asks. "I have this really nice blue-"

"No. I want it in a larger size."

"No, he doesn't," Sam and Janet say simultaneously.

"Though the blue might be a better color because it-"

"Don't even say it," I warn, shaking my finger at the three of them.

*   *  *

"I don't need all this stuff."

"Okay, we'll put this shirt back." Janet pulls a plaid shirt from the bottom of the pile.

"No, that's the only one *I* got to choose."

"Bad choice," the sales guy whispers as he steps behind the cash register. I swear I see him crack his knuckles before he starts adding up my purchases. The jeans that were too snug, along with the sweater with the same attributes, Sam buys for me.

A pair of kahkis which I *did* like and some grey, long-sleeved clingy shirt, which I did *not* like, Janet buys.

The remainder of the humongous pile I put on my recently reissued American Express card.

*   *  *

Overloaded, we leave the store and head towards the mall's exit. "Sam. Janet." I'm tired, hot, cranky-and what does every kid want after being dragged shopping with their parents?-an ice cream.  I nod towards the brightly lit Baskin Robbins. "My treat."

"You'll ruin your dinner."

"I want an ice cream," I whine.

Sam steps back and puts a free hand around my shoulders. "No, the colonel will kill us if you don't eat."

"Huh?" Did I miss something while trapped in the dressing room?

"The colonel invited us for dinner." Sam rests her head on my shoulder for an instant, seems to catch herself, then pulls away, never losing her stride. "He called while you were changing clothes."

"Jack's cooking?"

"He claims he is."

"All the more reason for ice cream."

"Compromise, Daniel." Janet's obviously the mother of a teenager. "Let's bring dessert to the colonel's house. A few pints of ice cream, *my* treat."

It's not exactly what I want. I want an ice cream *now*, but I'll be a grown up about this and compromise. "Okay, but can I pick the flavors?"

*   *  *

For some strange reason, which Janet promises will straighten itself out in time, since I descended, my sleeping patterns are more screwed up than normal. I find myself drifting off and drooling when I least expect it, and my nighttime sleep has a tendency to be in snatches. Sorta like a whole bunch of little catnaps. It really has gotten better, and Janet says it *will* work itself out, but it doesn't stop me from being mortified when I fall asleep in the back of Janet's car in the twenty minute ride to Jack's house.

"You're exhausted, Daniel," Janet remarks, grabbing my arm as I stagger up Jack's walk.

"Not exhausted, I'm worn down from shopping. Your fault."

"Has nothing to do with the fact that you were up all night in your lab-"

"Daniel!" Janet tightens her grip on my arm.

"No one likes a snitch," I inform Sam, sticking my tongue out at her the minute her back is turned.

Jack flings open the door just as Sam makes a fist to knock. None of us are brave enough to comment on the towel he's got tucked into his pants like an apron. "Come in. Come in."

Janet and Sam walk in before me, I trail behind.

"You look tired, Daniel."

"He slept in the car," Sam tattles as she heads to the kitchen to put away the ice cream.

"Tired, hmm." Jack's warm breath, so close to my neck, awakens parts of my body I would rather stay asleep in mixed company.

"Nice apron," I comment, flicking the towel up with my hand, my fingers accidentally, on purpose, brushing against his groin.

*   *  *

"Smells great." I stand in the kitchen, sniffing the air. Sam stuffs the pints of ice cream in the freezer and Janet cautiously lifts the lid off a huge pot simmering on the stove.

"Wow." There's a quality of surprise in her voice, like when she's informed that SG-1 has returned through the wormhole without an injury.

Jack feigns hurt. "I can cook, you know."

"No, sir. We truly didn't know," Sam quips, helping herself to a beer from the fridge. "You've barbequed, but I don't ever remember seeing that little light on stove lit." She indicates the two red lights on the back panel of the stove.

"Daniel?" Jack looks towards me for help and I shrug, reaching around Sam to grab myself a beer. There's no way I can agree to Jack's prowess in the kitchen without really giving away his prowess in the bedroom. As far as Janet and Sam know, our relationship, mine and Jack's, centers around takeout menus and movies.

"Beer?" I try to divert his attention with a cold brew, but Jack just rolls his eyes at me, then snatches my cold beer from my hands. "Hey!"

He gives my beer to Janet, reaches into the fridge to grab another for himself and comes out with yet a different bottle.

"Try this." Jack waves it in front of me.

I step back, but Jack and the beer follow me. "You'll like it. Honest," he pleads as I accept the bottle.

"Okay." I twist off the top, take a tentative sip, and then another when I find I like it, licking my lips when I finish. "Interesting." I hold the bottle up to the light.

Jack puffs out his chest. "Good choice, huh?"

'Better than the tight jeans', I want to say. "Hoegaarden?"

"Yup. A top fermented Belgium white beer spiced with coriander and curacao orange peels." Jack gazes upward, pulling the rest of the information from the air. "It has a heady, spicy nose with a soft and delightful sour/sweet taste."

I take another sip. "And you bought this at the local corner deli?"

"Nope." He opens the junk draw and pulls out a crumpled circular. "The Beer Store. Online. I actually ordered you something I thought would make me vomit."

"How sweet, colonel. Always thinking of others." Janet shoots her bottle cap into the garbage.

"Thanks, I think." Shopping. Dinner. Specially purchased beer. I hide my confusion behind another sip of the stuff, hoping that Jack sprung for more than one bottle.

*  *  *

Jack throws us all out of the kitchen when Teal'c arrives, and I pretend not to notice the white bakery box he's clutching to his chest. We settle in the living room, shouting encouragement at Jack until he gets so fed up, he orders Sam back into the kitchen to help set the table.

We're all on our second bottles of beer by the time we sit down to eat.

"I am duly impressed, O'Neill."

"Why thank you, T." Jack raises his glass in salute. "Though there are those among us that doubt my culinary ability."

"Indeed," Teal'c replies, digging into his plate of meatballs and spaghetti. "I have never doubted your abilities in this field."

*  *  *

I'm sopping up the sauce on my plate with the last piece of fresh garlic bread and I'm onto my fourth bottle of beer when Jack brings up our shopping expedition. I roll my eyes, spit the word torture at Sam as I get up to get another beer. I'm up anyway, so I decide to pee and by the time I return with my beer, Sam and Janet are smiling innocently at the bags of clothes sitting by my chair.

I'm buzzed, but not buzzed enough to model for Jack and Teal'c. "Ha ha, very funny. Not on your life. You should have left in the car."

"Give it time." Jack points to my beer bottle. "Two more of those and I'm bettin' you'll be stripping in my living room."

"Nope."

Jack was wrong, it took three more beers, a piece of chocolate cake and a scoop of coffee ice cream. "Wanna see what I bought?"

"Never thought ya'd ask." Jack plops down on the recliner, then sticks his feet on the table, motioning for Teal'c to take a seat.

"Will we be sticking money down DanielJackson's boxers as I witnessed MajorCarter and DoctorFraiser do when I accompanied them-"

"You took Teal'c to a men's strip joint?"

"It was simply cultural, colonel."

"That's true, Jack," I agree, "if we can take Teal'c Jello wrestling, then it's only-"

"Daniel," Jack warns, making a zipping motion against his lips.

*   *  *

I'm sitting on the couch, eyes closed, directing my own private orchestra with my half empty bottle of beer. If I thought the jeans were tight *before* Jack's great dinner and dessert, they've now become *really* uncomfortable, but I'm too lazy to get up and change. There's a feather light kiss to my cheek and I pop one eye open. "Going, Sam? I'll be ready-"

"Stay, Daniel. Don't make Fraiser drive you all the way back to the base," Jack says as he hands Sam her jacket.

"Okay." No argument from me, he wants me to stay, I'll stay. This way I can go straight from these clothes to nakedness. Works for me.

Janet grabs my beer, upsetting my rhythm. "Glass of water. Two aspirin and *don't* call me in the morning."

"Promise."

I wave at Teal'c, instruct the three of them to drive safely, then go back to my orchestra.

*   *  *

I'm done conducting, and I think I'm done with my drinking for the night. I'm a little more than pleasantly buzzed, but that's okay, SG-1 is off tomorrow and my hangover and I can sleep in if Jack lets us. There's leftover spaghetti in the fridge, so actually, we don't even have to leave, we can stay in bed the whole day. Sounds like a plan to me. My gait is a bit wobbly as I go into the kitchen to inform Jack of tomorrow's schedule.

He's loading the dishwasher and I prop myself up against the door frame and watch.

"Very domestic," I hiccup.

"You're very drunk." He shuts the dishwasher, starts it, then fills a glass with water and shakes out two aspirin from the bottle on the shelf above the sink.

"Not drunk, tipsy." I accept Fraiser's prescription from Jack. I clean my mouth with the sleeve of my shirt, then place the glass on the counter. "Your fault. Beer was your idea." I step into Jack's personal space and he kisses me.

"You taste of garlic and that beer." He licks my lips, then his.

"Complaining?"

"No." I lean into the hand he's cupped against the side of my chin. "You did good today, Daniel. I'm proud."

"Huh?"

"You don't get it? Do you? The shopping, the dinner-"

"Is it my birthday? I'm not *that* drunk, am I?"

"No, not your birthday. Fraiser and Carter needed to connect with you."

"Shopping was connecting? They could have taken me to the movies. Less painful *and* less expensive."

"This way they got to touch you. And fuss over you. And convince themselves that you're really back."

"Shopping was a subterfuge?"

"Yeah."

"The dinner?"

Jack shrugs, embarrassed.

"The dessert. This was a welcome back party, wasn't it, Jack?"

With an adamant shake of his head, Jack denies my statement. "No, a welcome back party would have had Hammond, Ferretti, Siler, Davis, et al-this was a-" he grabs my shoulders and gives me the slightest of shakes. "This was a take you out, dress you up, good food, great dessert, get you drunk party."

I'm drunk enough to know that my eyes are filling with tears, but still sober enough not to let them fall. "Nice party."

"Nice pants." Jack's hands slide down my arms, then anchor themselves around my ass. "They show off all your amazing attributes."

"They're a little tight."

Jack's hands close around my ass cheeks and squeeze. "Seem to fit perfectly."

I tug my inseam down and readjust myself. "Not much growing room."

"We can fix that."

I lean back, giving Jack free access. With mind numbing slowness, he unbuttons the pants, sliding them down my legs, rubbing his cheek over my tented boxers as he travels upwards. On his second trip down, he pulls my boxers to meet and greet my pants at my ankles.

I whimper. I know I do, because Jack's too busy to make a sound, and for a second my hands fly in midair, floundering for support when Jack teases my cock with his tongue. I become one with the door frame and grasp onto the molding for dear life when he moves his teasing up a notch and surrounds my dick with his mouth.

I think this is fantastic. I think it's amazing what he does to me. I think the kitchen floor has to be murder on Jack's knees, but the way he's sucking me, he'll have the job completed in no time at all and all generals will be able to be returned to the upright position.

*   *  *

Jack's pressing my body into the door frame, kissing me, his weight is actually keeping me upright. I used to think it was weird to taste yourself on someone else's lips, but I don't anymore, and I haven't in a long time. I used to think that it would be strange kissing my best friend in his kitchen, but we all know how that turned out. It's funny how time changes one's perspective on things.

It's too late to be contemplative. I'm still too drunk to do anything but enjoy the moment. My sigh is deep yet content, and I feel as limp as my cock, dishrag limp. If Jack moves an iota, I'll go splat onto the floor and I can't help but laugh at the image. My head falls heavily onto his shoulder and I continue chuckling into his neck. He laughs also, then kisses my temple. "Glad I can make you happy."

"You do," I agree. My hand finds its way to his crotch, but before I can even squeeze, he removes my hand from the general vicinity of his groin.

"Don't take this personally, Daniel, but I think it's time for all drunk archaeologists to hit the hay."

The only part in agreement with Jack is my head, because it nods, but the rest of me stands there. "I'm cold."

"You're naked from the waist down."

"Oh."

There's silence, and I'm imagining that Jack is deciding if he should slip off my shoes first, then my pants and boxers, or just pull them up. I make the decision for him, toe off my shoes, then step out of my clothes.


*   *  *

The toilet flushes then I count Jack's steps and get to ten before he throws back the covers, lets in a rush of cold air, spoons up against me and tucks the covers around us.

"I hate when you let in all the cold air."

"Maybe if you slept in something besides your birthday suit on occasion, you wouldn't be cold.

I meld myself to his body's position. "So you like me in tight jeans and clingy shirts but not naked?"

"I'm never buying that beer again."

I pout into the darkness.

"Don't pout."

"Thank you."

"For the beer?"

"No, for the welcome back party that wasn't really a welcome back party."

"Thank you for coming back."

I shrug. "I'm not too sure I had any say in the matter."

"You're here. That's what counts."

"Those jeans are too tight."

"Subject change?"

"No, diversion. Don't really want to get into that whole ascended/descended thing."

"Okay. Then the jean aren't too tight."

"I'm going to return all the clothes, you know."

"I don't think you can."

There is a tightness to Jack's voice that makes me a bit nervous. "Why?"

"Carter and Fraiser cut off all the tags."

"And-"

"Threw them out in the trash."

"Damn!" In one shopping trip I've almost tapped out my American Express card. Next time, I'm leaving home without it. And without Sam and Janet. Or I'm going window shopping, it's easier and a hell of a lot cheaper.

"Daniel?"

"Where the hell am I going to wear this new wardrobe?"

"You can always model them for me."

"I need beer to do that."

"I think I might have a bottle or two left in fridge."

"I thought you said-"

"Okay, I lied."

"I just wanted to stay home all day tomorrow. I don't want to go out," I whine then get annoyed at myself. I'm an adult, I can take changes, but damn.

Jack's warm breath is doing this distracting little dance on the base of my neck. "We don't have to go out. You can model right here in the living room."

The guffaw escapes before I bury it in my pillow. "You realize what happened last time I modeled for you."

Jack's breath is replaced with the tips of his fingers, and I don't know if anyone would ever believe me if I told them how gentle Jack could be. "Yeah, that's sorta what I had in mind. You model. I undress you. You get the picture"

And I do. I get the whole picture, complete with visuals and I put a mental Post It up in my brain to send Sam and Janet flowers and chocolate for taking me shopping.

I'll make sure Jack springs for the gifts, though, considering he's the one who'll be reaping the benefits of my modeling career.


FINIS

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