|Slash:||Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.|
|Season/Spoilers:||Season 5. Any time after 48 Hours.|
|Synopsis:||Jack has ulterior motives for talking Daniel into participating in the SGC Charity Auction.|
|Warnings:||Some naughty words and some sap may be encountered.|
"I said NO!"
Oooh. Okay. He means it. He's beet red and beyond furious. I'm in sooo much shit right now. There's a reason for all this, and it has to do with the fact that I'm completely, totally, undeniably, head-over-heels in love with my civilian consultant. I happen to know he's in love with me, but he doesn't know I know. Teal'c actually has quite a big mouth when you get him in a roomful of people who like jello wrestling.
The light of my life is stalking back to his desk now. He parks his beautiful, rounded ass back in his seat and proceeds to noisily rearrange books and papers.
"I promised we'd both do it. It's for a good cause, Daniel."
Now he's yanking open one of his desk drawers and rifling through the files. He doesn’t even look at me as he speaks.
"Jack, this discussion is over. You'd better be gone by the time I find this file."
Crap. I thought he'd be a little embarrassed, but I didn't think he'd be pissed. As I said before, I have a goal in mind, and it requires his participation to work.
He's up from his chair and stomping over to the lateral file, which he yanks open while pointedly ignoring me.
"Are you still here?" Still not looking at me. Oh, baby, that's cold. Okay, I'm a man of action. I can do this. I have to make him hear me out.
I make like I'm leaving, but instead I close the door. And lock it. He straightens up and turns. Oh, boy. You know, the only other person I’ve seen get *that* look was last seen assuming the crash position on his replicator-infested spaceship hurtling towards Delmak.
"Just give me five minutes to explain." I'm beggin' here, Danny. Please.
Crossing his arms, he leans on the cabinet and glowers at me. "You're getting one."
He looks at his watch. "30 seconds."
"28 seconds. Tick-tock, Jack."
"Daniel, the Charity Slave Auction is something Janet and the nurses cooked up. They thought it would be great fun to arrange this event and offer up SGC personnel to act as slaves for a day. I'm doing it. Carter's doing it. Hell, even Hammond's going along with it. They booked the Peterson Air Force Base Officer’s Club, and some key political figures friendly to the SGC will be there. We'd get a chance to schmooze, plus it should bring in some badly-needed funds. I volunteered us to show our support. It'sallinfunandit'sjustforadaycomeon!"
He purses his lips and sniffs. "Hmph. And seven seconds to spare. You finished?"
"Yes," I sigh.
"Good. Now, allow *me* to explain."
I feel like a schmuck already.
"While I'm not opposed to supporting worthy causes," my love begins, "there are several things I find objectionable about this particular event:
"Number one, it's silly and trivializes the work we do around here. I mean, we're involved in a highly- classified government project. We're exploring planets, making friends and allies with powerful and advanced beings capable of providing information and technology light years ahead of our own. We're doing unbelievable, seemingly impossible things, and making amazing discoveries—particularly about ourselves and why we're here. This work is exceedingly important. So why must we stoop to raise funds and support for this in a manner reminiscent of a bake sale? What's next? A car wash?"
"Number two: it's degrading. Human beings paraded around on stage; ogled like prized cattle at a country fair. It's shameful and has no place in a civilized society. If you're unsure about how that feels, perhaps we can consult Teal'c. As I recall, he seemed to have first-hand experience with serving a master."
"And Number three: it has apparently escaped everyone's notice that my now-deceased wife spent most of her life enslaved, so you'll pardon me if I find the `slave' concept a bit insensitive, even if it is for only 24 hours."
Whoa. Didn't see that coming. I, um...don't know what to say to that.
"Close your mouth, Jack. You look like a mackerel." Daniel uncrosses his arms and returns to his file cabinet.
It has been confirmed: I am indeed a schmuck, Class A. And he's right, of course. Well...about most of it.
"You're absolutely right, Daniel. I'm sorry."
He pulls a file from the drawer and turns to face me again. I'm relieved to see his expression has softened a bit.
"But you're wrong about one thing," I say. His eyes narrow, and he cocks his head. "This isn't to raise funds for the SGC. We're trying to raise funds to help support widowed spouses of the SGC and their kids. The money collected will be used for college scholarships."
His gaze shifts and falls to the floor. Shaking his head, he shuffles back to his desk and sits down.
I continue. "Put in those terms, Danny, I absolutely agree. You're right, big guy. Not a lot of thought went into the theme, but Janet's heart was in the right place. I know you know she didn't mean to offend. Next time, I'll make sure they come up with something more appropriate."
He runs his hand over his face and sighs. God, he's so beautiful.
"What do I wear?"
I'm trying not to smile, but my heart is melting here. I don't feel like celebrating—this is not a victory. It's just that Daniel never ceases to amaze me. He always strives to do the right thing, even when it makes him uncomfortable.
He makes me want to do the right thing too. Aside from Charlie, Daniel is the only other person in my life who has inspired me to be a better man simply because he makes it look so easy. I really want to kiss him right now. I may need to rethink my strategy for reeling in a six-foot, blue-eyed multiple-Ph.D.
"Danny, maybe you should sit this one out. If you want to participate, a donation would be more than acceptable under the circumstances."
"No, Jack. It's okay," he says, leaning back in his chair. "It *is* a worthy cause, and as an academic, I strongly believe in giving kids every opportunity for a higher education. I'll do it, but just for the record, it's under protest."
"So noted. " I finally feel okay enough to smile again. I head towards the door, unlock it and turn back to Daniel. "Saturday, 7:00. The O-Club at Peterson. Suit and tie?" God, I hope he wears that black number with the blue shirt and tie - that really brings out those baby blues of his.
He smiles back and nods.
My work here is done. Time to spread the joy. Oh, Carter?
Great. That's just great. Hammond just "won" me in the auction. It seems he has plans for his "slave" to help him clean out his garage. Whoopdie-doo. I think he's looking to bag Daniel for the same reason. Three grown men to clean out one garage - I am mortally afraid of that garage.
Janet's having a ball playing MC and is doing a great job. Who knew she was a closet auctioneer? Hell, I thought she talked fast when she spewed medical-ese at me, but compared to this, she was positively slurring!
Carter got into the spirit of things, particularly when I was up on stage earlier. Nothing like a little charity slave auction to bring out the cheeky little barbs and heckling stored up in my 2IC's resentment list. In fact, both Carter *and* the SGC's Chief Medical Officer derived a great deal of pleasure at my expense tonight.
S'fine, Carter. Your turn's coming. I'm sure that little note I'm having passed to you about your dad being here tonight will be just the thing to make you go all foetal just as the bidding on you begins. Teal'c's in on it and so is McKay. I'll just kick back with a brewsky and watch the hyperventilation begin.
I just checked in on Daniel a few minutes ago in the men's room. He's nervous. Well, freaked-out. Okay, paralyzed. If he dies of fright right here and now, he's suitably attired for immediate burial. You see, he’s wearing THE suit – MY suit. My FAVORITE suit, and he knows it – the little bastard. Woof!
Rumor has it that the bidding on him is going to be pretty lively. At least 17 people have let it be known that HE is the item to save your money for.
He's heard the rumors, too. I think it's Frasier's nursing staff and a few other smitten SGC women (of whom he's only been made aware tonight) that have him all tied up in knots and more than a little nauseated. I considered finding a paper bag for him to breathe into, but he yelled at me to stop with the mother-hen thing, then kicked me out when I followed him into one of the stalls. Sue me — I couldn't help myself. It was probably a good thing he did. I was this close to grabbing his ass.
He shouldn't be nervous. I think Ferretti wants to bid seriously on him; his kid needs a French tutor. Carter told me Janet wants him to accompany her to her 25th high school reunion next month – completely platonic, she insists. Hammond and his garage-cleaning extravaganza looms large, with Daniel cited as his next pigeon. So unless these obsessed SGC women are pooling their funds, Danny's got nothing to worry about — I’ve got his back (and hopefully everything else.)
Oh, and speaking of my love, here he comes … although it looks like Teal'c is giving a little assist. He seems to be wondering around in a daze, but the occasional tug from our resident Jaffa puts him back on course.
"How ya doin', Daniel?"
Silence. Those gorgeous eyes are pinned on the part of the audience he can see around the screen. Funny, for a guy who risked humiliation and put his academic reputation on the line by publicly putting forth some pretty outlandish theories about pyramids to a roomful of so-called peers, you'd think this would be a walk in the park. Right now, I'm not sure he even knows his own name.
"Huh?" There he is.
"I said, `how.are.you.doing?'"
"Oh…um, fine." He glances at me briefly. I think I can see a glint of lust in there and he scans my dress blues, but then his gaze returns to the stage and Capt. Brianna Chambers, Lot #12, as Janet pounds her gavel.
"Sold for $250 to the gentleman in the Cardinals baseball cap. Look out, Captain. It seems your husband has something specific in mind for the next 24 hours."
The laughs in the crowd only serve to encourage our mini version of Dr. Mengele. Yeah, I think Janet's enjoying this a little too much. Dr. Warner's got something brewing for her when he officiates the bidding on her later. From personal experience, I can tell you Warner is ruthlessly funny. Oh, well – paybacks are hell, Doc.
I take another look at Daniel. His face is flushed, and he's tugging at his collar. I swear I think he's going to faint dead away on the stage. I'd like to assure him everything will be all right. Hell, there are a lot of things I'd like to assure him about. Patience, O'Neill.
"Daniel, don't worry. Janet will observe a certain degree of decorum for you," I tell him as I grab his shoulders and push him up the risers to the stage. He turns to look back at me.
"Next item up for bid is Lot #13: Dr. Daniel Jackson, archeologist, linguist ..." she begins.
"She won't embarrass you," I whisper to him, and he looks at her as she finishes.
"... babe!" Daniel throws another look at me.
"Much," I add, amending my prior statement. Trying to offer a smile of encouragement, I shoo him along the stage. Ooh, that butt. I just wanna ...
"Now don't let that bashful face fool you," cajoles Janet. "He may look innocent, but deep down he's pleading `somebody buy me. Please.'"
It appears our dear doctor likes to live dangerously. Daniel shoots me yet another ghastly look through narrowed I-blame-you eyes. All I can do is shrug my support. So much for decorum. Poor guy. He looks like he's standing in front of a firing squad.
"Who'll start the bidding at $100?"
The paddles start springing up all over the room. The spotters on stage are pointing out bidders as Janet rattles off increase after increase in bid.
"500! Whowillgimme550?550?550? 550! Whowillgimme600? 600? Wehavea600? DoIhear650?"
Whoa, this is nuts. Cat calls, wolf whistles, and numbered paddles are flying everywhere. Who are all these damned women anyway? And in particular, who's the post-menopausal hag in the sequins at Colonel Geary's table? She looks positively predatory, bidding on my Daniel.
The spotters are grunting their acknowledgments of bids, and Janet is following along pretty well. She has to stop once – the spotters were getting their signals crossed, and Ms. Estrogen Therapy is vehemently outbidding all comers. I'm getting a little worried here.
Daniel has noticed this woman, too. Every so often, he glances at me anxiously. He's flushed, and I seriously doubt he's taken a breath since he stepped up there.
This is my fault. I got him into this. Where's Teal'c? Never can find a Jaffa when you need one.
The bidding is up to $1800 with no sign of slowing. I spot Teal'c, and he's looking at me. Time to end this.
"5,000 dollars," booms that baritone voice from across the room.
Gasps can be heard along with one expletive of shock, then the room falls silent. All eyes are on Teal'c, including Daniel's. You know, when I planned this, I never thought to picture exactly how a Jaffa warrior would look holding up an auction paddle. And yet, there it is. Must. Not. Laugh. Must. End. Bidding. Now.
Janet's stuck in mid-sentence, Carter's mouth keeps flapping open and closed, and Janet's nurses are disappointedly ordering more alcohol. The Great Sequined One glowers at Teal’c and takes a swig of her martini. I'm not worried. Teal'c can take her.
I need to get things moving again before people can regroup here. I clear my throat rather loudly.
Janet snaps out of it and appears to be searching Daniel's face to get her back on track. Daniel just looks at her and smiles sheepishly.
"Uh...okay... The bid is...whoa...$5,000. Anybody want to top that? Anyone?"
Come on, Janet – Going, going, gone already! The hag has her checkbook out and is engaged in a heated discussion with a woman at another table. Time is of the essence, Doc!
"All right, all in, last chance, last call … Sold! $5,000! Congratulations, Mr. Teal'c!"
Daniel leaves the stage, clearly confused and worried, but relieved. I don't know who's more relieved – him or me. I walk over to an alcove, and he follows me.
"What just happened there?" he asks, waving in the direction of the activities.
"Well, it appears that Teal'c made a bid for you and won."
"Jack, Teal'c doesn't have $5,000."
"Perhaps he's working as an agent for someone."
"An agent?" Daniel's not buying it.
"Sure. The bidder might have wanted to remain anonymous. D'ya ever think of that?"
"Well, of course, but why? And more importantly, who?"
It’s at that moment that Teal'c makes his way over to the alcove where Daniel and I are out of the sight of prying eyes.
"Was that to your satisfaction, O'Neill?" Uh-oh. Busted.
Daniel turns back sharply to me. "You?"
I bounce up on my toes a couple of times and say, "Yup."
I don't answer him right away, and he gets that suspicious look on his face. He wants answers. "Why, Jack?" The question is more than a little pointed, and I do owe him an explanation. I just can't bring myself to look him in the eye.
"Um...well, I was kinda thinking that you and I ... well, we haven't spent a whole lot of time together. We've all been so busy, and ... and well, dammit you're my friend. A good one. It's been a long time since we ... you know, did stuff. I thought that we could just take a day and ... I don't know ... go to a hockey game, have a beer together, maybe even go to a museum. Stuff like that ..."
"Jack, you could have just asked, but $5,000???"
I look over at Teal'c who rolls his eyes at me. I glare back at him and exclaim, "What?!!"
"O'Neill, we are unobserved at the moment, and it is safe to speak the truth. You both share the same feelings for one another, and you both must acknowledge this truth and move forward. So, it is time to end this nonsense and confess your love for each other. As you say, O'Neill, `fish or cut bait!'"
I finally look at Daniel. I know he's in love with me, but there's that little part of me whispering that I might have misread him.
Daniel is wide-eyed and keeps looking from Teal'c to me and back again. He's just processing the information that I share his feelings, and slowly, a small, bashful grin starts on his face. I cup his chin so I can look into his eyes and make my point very clear.
"I'd like to fish," I say.
Teal'c nods his approval and steps away. We are now out of everyone's view, and I take Daniel's hand in mine. He gazes up at me, and I think I hear his heart beating. I know mine is pounding out of my chest.
"Me, too," he says quietly as I wipe away a tear that escapes a blue eye. Then he smirks deliciously. "Do I get to use your pole?"
Zing go the strings of my heart! This is going to be even better than I imagined!