Part Two

Slash:  Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
Rating: NC-17.
Category: First Time.  Angst.  Drama.  Hurt/Comfort.  Action/Adventure.
Season/Spoilers: Season 5 No Spoilers.
Synopsis: Desperate events evoke desperate emotions.
Warnings: Violence.  Extremely Intense emotional situation.
Length:   250 Kb  Originally completed and posted to the net 01 Jul 01.

Notes:  Once again, thanks to Biblio for holding my hand through this thing.  And helping me to see what needed to be dne to make it (hopefully) come out right.  Oh, and I take NO responsibility for Jack's inspired extemporization on the subject of cuppage.  I just added Daniel's reaction.  The rest is all Biblio's fault.


It's been hours since I ate anything. I think I had breakfast, but I'm not sure.  Geez, I can't even remember when I had my last meal; better not let Janet get wind of that!  I should probably try to...eat...something.  Or not.  Even if I had a clue what I want - which I don't - the mere thought of food is making my stomach churn.  I don't even want another cup of coffee.  I'm wired.

Jumpier than a rabid mongoose, actually.  I haven't got a clue what to do with myself.  I can't sit still, I can't concentrate, this place is getting to me.  The walls are closing in and I can't breathe. I've got to get out of here, but I can't leave.  I have to wait for him.

I can't stand this standing around, I want to DO something.  There's nothing to do.  Nothing I can do but wait.  Oh, I could scream around the city trying to find him, but halfway across the universe isn't the only place Jack is very, very good at the 'not being seen' thing.  He won't be anywhere anyone could hope to find him when he's in this kind of mood.  He'll come in from the cold when he's damned good and ready, and not a moment before.

Which leaves me exactly where I started.  Right back to square one.  Waiting.  Going nuts.  Bouncing off the walls of my apartment and trying not to turn into a gibbering, drooling maniac. Screaming, anyone?

This is nuts.  I have to calm down.  Try to read something.  Sit.  Fetch.  Heel, bark, roll over.

Chill, psycho boy.  I have no idea what sort of condition Jack is going to be in when he finally does get here.  The last thing he needs is me going off on him, doing some kind of demented 'where the hell have you been' thing all over him, like I'm his wife keeping tabs on him or something.  It's just - I've been sitting here for hours.  It's the middle of the night and he could be ANYWHERE.  Getting pissed to the gills, picking fights with bikers, mouthing off at homicidal maniacs, playing chicken in the middle of the interstate.  The memories crawling around in my head are bad enough and all I had to do was get a little exercise and see a lot of stuff I'd rather not have.  I didn't actually have to do - what he had to.

Was that a knock on the door?  It - it was.  It has to be Jack, couldn't be anyone else at this hour.  Oh God, he's here!  But he's knocking on the door, not using his key.  That's - that's not good.  He never knocks.  Not when he's - not when he's himself.

Jack never stands on ceremony, he just barges in and makes himself at home.  Sam and I each gave him a key a few months ago - just in case. I've got his as well.  For emergencies.  You never know, sometimes stuff happens.  At least, it seems to happen to us.  As soon as he got my key Jack basically viewed it as carte blanche to butt into my life whenever the mood struck him.  I got used to him just showing up and letting himself in.  He still manages to scare the crap out of me on a regular basis.  He tells me watching me peel myself off the ceiling is one of his reasons for living.  I'll be minding my own business, alone in my own living space, or so I foolishly believe, turn around and he's just standing there, grinning at me. How Special Ops trained colonels evidently keep their skulking skills honed and get their kicks at the same time.  I faked passing out from shock once just to see if it would teach him a lesson.  He threw a glass of really cold water on me.  It got ugly. He still just waltzes right on in whenever he feels like it.   Mi casa es su casa?

Apparently not tonight, though.  Tonight he doesn't feel comfortable enough to just walk in. He's waiting for an invitation.  I'm trying not to think about what his reluctance could mean as I scramble quickly over to get the door.

My hands are shaking so badly I can barely work the lock and get the damned thing open.  It's Jack, all right.  But he sure isn't all right.  He's slumped up against the wall on the opposite side of the hallway directly across from my door, glaring at me.  His arms folded tightly across his chest, his face dark with dread and hesitation.

I stand in the open doorway and we stare at each other for a minute or two.  My mind is a blank - there's so much pain in his eyes it's like a blow to the stomach. He takes in the stunned look on my face and the anguish in him abruptly spikes.  He thinks he's seeing - thinks I don't want him here.

"It's late," he growls as he swallows and looks away.  "I - I should go."

"You just got here," I reply as I back away from the door, deliberately leaving it open.

He'll come in, but I can't crowd him.  Can't rush him either.  I just continue backing into the apartment, counting on what brought him here being stronger than whatever else it is he's feeling making him want to turn tail and run.

He's scared!  Of what - I have no idea.  But he is afraid of something.  Of me?  That's - that's crazy. Why should he be afraid of me?

He's made it this far.  He won't run away now.  Even though he's more spooked and desperate than I've ever seen him before.

He sighs, pushes himself away from the wall and stands wavering in the middle of the hall for a couple of seconds.  Eyes locked on me, it's plain he wants to, but still is not quite able to bring himself to cross the threshold.  It's like the door to my apartment is some kind of line he's dreading stepping over.  If he crosses it - if he comes in, he's committed.

Whatever it is he came here for, if he walks through my door there's no turning back.

My, that's disturbingly fatalistic, but then so is the look on Jack's face.

"Come in, Jack," I say to him softly.  "I've been waiting up for you."

He grimaces and abruptly peels off his jacket.  His movements are rapid, rough, almost self-loathing.  He wrings the jacket cruelly in his hands and stares down at his feet, his jaw clenching.  Then he makes a strange, almost strangled sound and starts walking toward me.

I don't know what makes me look down at his shoes.  They're damp, so are the cuffs of his pants, and a couple of pieces of grass are clinging to them, like what happens when you walk through wet grass that's just been mown and pick up some of the clipping. So Jack's just been walking through some grass.  So - so what?

Oh my God. I know where he's been. I don't know how I know, but my head snaps up, our eyes meet and I see it.  I know where he's been.  Oh God, Jack. How long did you sit there and stare at that headstone?

Charlie. He's been with Charlie.

Jack slams the door behind him, flings his jacket to the floor and glares at me.  His face crumbles, he angrily jams the heels of his hands into his eye sockets.  He's reeking with fear and something darker - dangerous. I just stare at him and watch him trying to bring himself back under control.  There's nothing I can say - nothing I can think of to say.

He angrily scrubs his face with his hands and then lifts his head. His face - his eyes.  The wrenching bleakness in his expression, the complete lack of hope...  I know I was expecting him to be upset - but this is way over the top.  And it's wrong.  Now that he's here, he should be relaxing, feeling like he can kick back and just get to whatever he needs to, like every other time he's come over needing a shoulder or a place to let off some steam.  He knows this is a safe place, he's welcome and we've got no secrets from each other.  Never needed them. No secrets...  The way he's acting is so off, instead of feeling like he's safe, it's almost as if the reason he's so upset is because he IS here.

Like he doesn't - trust himself? If he stays, it's going to be bad?

I don't understand.  Why would he - everything's the same, nothing's changed.  It's still the same old place, still me.

It's ME!  Whatever he's so afraid of, whatever he's standing there hating himself over, it's something to do with me.

He's shuffling toward me, eyes sliding away from me before our gazes can fully connect.  Won't look me in the eye, hasn't said a word, his movements are jerky and reluctant like someone's got a pistol jammed into his back forcing him to advance.

He's coming toward me like he'd rather die than take another step and yet if he doesn't - it's the same thing.

Damned either way.

Something in his expression suddenly makes me think of Abydos.  What?  Okay, that's the second time I've looked at Jack today and been reminded of Abydos. He was such a different man, back then.  A dead man walking.  Dead inside, convinced he was damned, going through the motions, just putting in time until he could put an end to it.

He told me once he almost did it. He was already damned and disgraced in his own mind because he'd failed Charlie and Sara, and thought maybe a life for a life would restore the balance somehow.  He was sitting in Charlie's room with his gun the day they came to tell him he was being called back to active duty. So, he didn't do it. Because they'd just offered him another way, a better way to atone. He'd redeem himself by going out in a blaze of glory in the service of his country.  So Sara would be proud of him again, wouldn't have to hang her head being the wife of such a failure.

As long as the geek genius could crack the code and give him his one way ticket to martyrsville. I didn't let you down, did I Jack?  Performed to requirements. Did the job.  Gave you what you needed.  And that's why you're here right now.  You need - you need something from me, but...

Oh - oh God...

He tried to find some peace with Charlie, but it didn't work.  He didn't find what he was looking for, there.  So, he came here.  But coming here is making it worse.  He wants acceptance, release, a haven, but he doesn't think he's going to find it. Doesn't believe he's going to get what he wants. Instead, he's going to get what he thinks he deserves.  Scorn.  Rejection. Confirmation of how despicable he knows he is.

And I'm the one who's going to give it to him.  Just like Sara did.  Sara....

WHY?  What does he think is so terrible that I wouldn't - couldn't?  Again, I don't know how I know, but this isn't about what happened out there.  That's what's driving him to need - to need to come here, to me, but it's not what he's so afraid of.

This is about me.  What he needs from me to get through what happened out there.  And what he thinks I'll do when he -  when he....

I still don't know what the problem is, but there's only one way to find out, isn't there, Jack?

I meant what I said.  Whatever you need.  Maybe I don't understand what that means to you right now, but I do know how much you mean to me.

I've made my choice.  We're in this together, Jack. Whatever 'this' is. But right now, I think it's up to me to make the first move. The way he's looking like he wants to die Mohammed might not make it to the mountain, sooo....

Besides, I'll admit it.  The suspense is killing me too.

It only takes me two long strides to close the gap between us.  Jack freezes in surprise as I start to move, flinching when I reach his side.

"Don't,"  His voice is a barely audible whisper of anguish as he begs me with his eyes.  Don't touch him, or don't hate him - I don't know which one he means.  It doesn't matter, I'm not thinking this one through, just going with the flow.  I feel so calm and sure I know exactly what I'm doing it'd be freaking me a bit if I had time to worry about it.

Maybe later.

I lock my gaze with his, reach up, cup my hand around the back of his neck and carefully lower his head to my shoulder. He stiffens at my touch, but doesn't try to resist.

He starts to shake as I cradle his head and pull him closer to me.  His hands come up, he presses them against my chest and I can feel his arms quivering with tension. He's fighting with himself, so close to pushing me away and yet he doesn't and I just hold him there, stroking the back of his head, trying to calm him. He's trembling like a skittish colt, caught on the edge of wanting to bolt and letting himself be comforted.

See, Jack?  This isn't so bad.  You can relax.  You don't need to be afraid.

His hands clench angrily on my chest. He groans, a hopeless, heart-rending sound and then his shoulders sag.  His arms wrap around me, he crushes me so tightly to him I can hardly breathe, he turns his face into my neck and sobs.

It's all right, Jack, it's all right.  Everything's going to be fine.

I hug him close and try to soothe him as his body heaves with tears that won't break free.  His hands are fiercely fisted in my shirt and then they open and start to move across my back.  Slowly stroking, feeling, the arcs they're describing getting bigger, firmer, then getting bolder, more demanding, roaming hungrily, fingers clutching, needing.   He's breathing harder, his breath hot, harsh and gasping against my throat as his mouth sears the skin, nuzzling, seeking, wetly sucking, desperately tasting.

Jack's KISSING me - kissing my neck, feeling me like he wants...He wants to make love to me.  That's what he wants.  THAT'S why he thinks...


He loves me.  Jack's in love with me. He wouldn't be here - wanting this - wanting ME if he didn't, he's not that kind of man.  I honestly didn't know, not until this very second and yet, now that I do - there were so many things I saw but didn't SEE that are all making sense, now.  Making perfect sense.  How could I not have known - how could I have been so blind?  Oh Jack, I'm so sorry!  How long have you felt like this?  How long have you kept this secret?

And how do I let you know no matter what you think, this doesn't change a thing. Okay, maybe it does, what am I saying, I guess it changes EVERYTHING, but not - not the way I care about you and respect you - and - and - OH!  OH GOD!

His hands have dropped to my buttocks, clamp fiercely, he pulls me abruptly forward, hard, as he rocks his pelvis roughly into mine and I FEEL him, engorged with urgent need crushing against me...

I can't help it. It's one thing to know, another to feel - to KNOW.  I cry out with the incredible shock of the contact.  It's so intense, so unexpected, so overwhelming.

So....exciting...  Woah...

Jack freezes at the sound of my strangled gasp. He doesn't move, doesn't make a sound, just slumps wearily against me, waiting.

Waiting for me to push him away with shock and disgust.

I'm shaking too as I take his face in my hands, lift his head up from my shoulder so I can look into his eyes. He hasn't let go of me, his hands are still clamped to my ass, our groins glued together.  The resulting sensations racing through me are making it a little hard for me to focus.  Not just from what I'm feeling, but from what it's doing to me.  Which was the last thing I expected, it's true, but I'm open.

Also, it would seem, becoming incredibly aroused by being touched by my best friend. My, oh my...

Jack's eyes are stinging with tears he can't shed.  He blinks with the pain as  his naked, helpless gaze meets mine. His is the face of the lost and hopeless as he waits for the only fate he expects.

Now you know.  His eyes scream their shame at me.

I do indeed. I know how he feels.  I know what he wants. It's not just - physical. This isn't about sex, although he wants that too.   It's more.  Much more than that. Jack wants ME. Body and soul. He wants me to want him, to accept him, to - to -  knowing everything I know about him, every terrible thing he's done, the most terrible to date being to fall in love with his best friend.

He wants to love me and he wants me to let him.

I can do that for him.  It's a bit of a shock as I realise it, but what are my choices, really?  Will I or won't I?  Bit of a no-brainer.  Saying yes means - well, I know what it means, but weighing my sensibilities against the alternative - what it will do to him if I spurn him, especially when he's so strung out from expecting exactly  that - not an option.  Saying no to Jack right now will destroy him.  I can't hurt him like that.  Maybe I've never done anything like this before, but this is Jack we're talking about.  He's my best friend, the most important person in the world to me.  I trust him with my life, he's laid his own life on the line for me, so many times.   After everything we've been through together, the things we've seen and done, the way he's been there for me, how can I say no?

Especially since I've pretty much already said yes.  He just hasn't heard me yet.  Better start talking a little louder.

I brush my thumb across his cheek. He blinks in surprise, his certainty of my contempt wavering.  I've never done anything like this before - never even CONSIDERED doing anything like this before, well, maybe in an abstract moment of curiosity, once or twice, but then, hasn't everybody?  Even if they don't admit it.  He does have a rather amazing mouth, that lower lip so lush and full, I've always been fascinated by the shape and sometimes I've been looking at it and there's been a moment or two when I've...wondered... Uh...where was I?  Kissing Jack.  I'm going to kiss Jack.  I can do this.  Lips are lips.  If I close my eyes, what's the difference?

I can do this.  I - I want to do this. He loves me, and he's been suffering because of it.  He means more to me than I can say.  I would do anything for him.  Anything. Even this.

I lean slowly forward and touch my mouth to his. Barely touching, tentative and yet surprising. It feels pretty - nice - and I've given a little moan of astonished delight before even realising it.  Jack surges toward me at the sound, grinding his mouth into mine, turning tentative into tempestuous before I can catch my breath.  He's devouring my mouth, his hands are delving under my shirt, scorching my skin, I gave him an opening and oh God, is he taking it.

I'm not complaining. He's a good kisser, really - really good.  Amazing, actually, but - but I'd like to go a little slower, is all,  get used to the sensations, adjust. I like what I'm feeling, it's a little surprising, but good, if I like it, even better, it's not just for Jack, easier to do it if it's good for both of us. Feels good, his hands, touching me, his tongue scraping the back of my throat, I'm responding, becoming aroused, I CAN do this, wasn't really sure when I started, but it's happening. I'm getting into it.

Jack, however, has a big head start.  Also evidently a much firmer grasp on what he wants. It gets much firmer, he'll be leaving bruises.

Oh God, wait a minute - Jack, slow - slow down. I need a minute.  I can't breathe. He's coming on so strong, he's all over me so passionately, so - so forcefully I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. Pushing against me -  pushing me, pushing me back.  Too fast.  It's happening too fast.


My shirt is gone, his too.  He's still frantically kissing me, butting into me, pushing me urgently toward the couch as his fingers fumble with my belt. Too fast, he's going too fast, it's all happening so fast.  I feel like I'm being consumed by his passion.  Lost in it, drowning in his desire.  My mind is exploding with sensations, reeling with confusion, I'm on a rollercoaster careening out of control while I was thinking Ferris Wheel.

Jack's gone mental and he's taking me with him.

He sends me sprawling on the couch and ruthlessly strips the rest of my clothes from my body. I'm gasping, reeling, trying to keep up.  Suddenly, what's happening is scaring me a little. This is a side of Jack I've never seen before and if I wasn't so terrified right now I'd be laughing at what is possibly the most ABSURD statement I've ever made.

I'm okay with this.  I am.   Oh God, not going to freak.  I guess asking for a time-out is out of the question.  Guess I should have thought of that before I let the genie out of the bottle.  He's OUT now, and I'm - I'm -

 Oh well, I've made my bed, now all I can do is get...laid.


Jack hurls his naked, thrusting body on top of me and absolute panic grips me as he pins me flat. I can't help it, it's too much, he's too heavy, too horny, oh God, what's he doing? He's - he's humping me!  I didn't think this through.  I- I've changed my mind. I can't - I have to get up from under him, NOW.  I buck up against him, trying to push him off me and he cries out my name, starts kissing the side of my neck and my jaw as he mindlessly rams me into the cushions in an orgiastic frenzy.

I just close my eyes and hold on. It's too late.  It's already gone too far. He's already too far gone. He's past being able to help himself or stop what he's doing and I can't - I won't - I won't let him know I'm scared. I won't spoil this for him or let him think I don't want this as much as he does. I - I do. I would have if I'd had a little more time, if it wasn't happening so fast. I'm not sorry I started this.  Not.  I'm not I'm not I'm not.

I hold him close to me as he shudders and sobs his release into my neck, kiss his head as the shock of warm stickiness shoots across the skin of my belly.  It's okay, it's over.  We got through this. It wasn't so bad.  He'll feel better, now.   So will I.  I just need a minute.

Jack collapses on top of me, gasping and sobbing into my chest. I hold him tight, and try to fight down my own tears.  I don't know what I'm feeling right now.  But that doesn't matter because I feel tears, real tears, Jack's tears on my chest.  He's finally letting it go, releasing the horror and loathing, he'll start to come clean now.

I've done him good. That's all that matters.  I was able to give him what he needed. What it means...I'll - I'll sort it out later. I'll deal with this later.  Later.

I do know he still means everything to me.  That's a good place to start. No regrets.  I won't let him ever think or know -

"I'm sorry," Jack snuffles sheepishly into my chest as he shifts his weight off me and starts to gently caress me.  "I kinda lost it on you."

I can't say anything.  Emotion is roiling around in my chest and I try to gulp it back down before I - before I...

His hand trails lightly down my heaving, sticky abdomen until it comes to rest atop my flaccid penis.

"You didn't come," he whispers, his voice gentle, caring, concerned. I bite back a sob as his fingers curl reverently around me, softly touching, stroking. "Awww, Danny, it wasn't supposed to be like this."

"I'm sorry," he tells me again as he starts to nuzzle his lips against my chest. Kissing me lightly, tenderly, with evident appreciation.  "I shouldn't have been so nuts, but you don't know how long, how goddam long I've wanted to do this, to touch you like this, to FEEL you. You feel so good." His fingers are feathering lightly across my groin, exploring, gently coaxing, so gentle, so respectful, relaxing...,nice, His touch is making me tingle, his lips working softly against my skin, making me.... I'm getting...I'm feeling better, this is better, more my speed.

"Oh God, Danny," he groans.  "You have no idea what you do to me."

Oh I dunno, I think I'm getting warm. The apology is really helping.

"I'm sorry if I scared you."  Licking, he's licking me now.  Long, lingering swipes of his tongue on my skin, making me shiver and what he's doing down there....ohhhhh.....  I close my eyes and just sink into the sensations he's evoking within me. He's so careful, so concerned.  Every tender touch speaking more eloquently what he feels for me than mere words could ever hope to.

Kissing me now.  Mmmmmmm.  Nice and slow.  I like it slow.  I like this.  Kissing. Slow and long and deep and ohhhhh, this is better. Much, much better...

"This wasn't just about sex, you know," he murmurs as his mouth caresses me.  "I would never - you - you know.  Be that way with you."

I know.  I do. I - I did. I do. I got caught off-guard by how MUCH he wanted me, but he meant me no harm. And no harm was done. I may have been in over my head for a bit, but I was always safe.  I feel that, know it now. I'm with Jack. He's still Jack. Still the decent, caring human being I've always known him to be. Even if he can't see himself that way sometimes.

He's still the man I'd do anything for. As he would for me.  And we're still - us.  We came together all those years ago, have had this bond, this - this connection that was always there. We never felt the need to question it, it was what it was and so were we.  It never needed a name, but maybe now it has one.  And we still don't have to say it for it to be exactly what it is.

I've shared everything with him, life, death, joy, hardship, disappointment, expectation, grief, hope -  maybe this was inevitable. The next, logical step, the only thing left that we hadn't shared.  The last line we had to cross in order to be everything we could be to each other.  Like we were always meant to be?

After all, who else is there?  When I think about the future, years down the road, every time I've wondered who I'd want standing beside me for the rest of whatever is to come, his face is the only one I see.  The only one I WANT to see.

I guess that should have told me something.  That's okay, I think I get it now.

"I know you let me - you did this for me," Jack breathes into my ear as he kisses the side of my face.  "You didn't - you don't feel the same way I do and yet you did this for me. Thank you. I don't deserve this.  Don't deserve you. I don't know why you - you let me - "

"I do," I interject with a sudden, blazing surge of conviction.  I do.  I know why I did everything.  Why I'd do it again, without a moment's hesitation.  Whatever he wants, whatever he needs, again and again and again.

Oh God, definitely again.

I grab his neck and kiss him hard and then I tell him why, the words flying out of me as bliss swells within me like something else is swelling and throbbing as he pumps and I thrust up helplessly in response.  I'm getting lost again,  but this time it's good. My body is starting to convulse uncontrollably with the pleasure he's giving me. The touch of his hands, the feel of his mouth on my skin.  Tongue. Oh...God...tongue....

Not happening too fast this time.  Definitely not.  And good.  It feels really, really good.

He chuckles.  "Like that, do ya?"  Jack grins as he curls his tongue around my other nipple.  Jack's no linguist, but he takes the yes, God YES gist of my slightly strangled gurgle of response.

"Let's see what else you like, shall we?" he smiles malevolently at me as he licks his lips.

"Knock yourself out," I manage to gasp before I start screaming.


It's going to be morning soon.  Brand new day a'dawning.  Whole new ballgame looming on the horizon.  Not to mention sound asleep and drooling on my chest.

This is a first.  I'm lying in my bed, and I'm not alone.  The first time I've been able to say that since I got the bed.  I'm not just 'not alone', I'm lying in my bed with my best friend.  Who fell asleep in my arms after giving me not one but several of the most shattering orgasms I've ever experienced in my life.

Seeing as how neither one of us does casual I guess this is going to require us to slightly re-evaluate our relationship.

I can't help it.  Calling Jack my lover still sounds...weird, but after what we did tonight I don't think either one of us can go back to just warm handshakes, slaps on the back and stupid nicknames.

If it was up to me, I'd pass on the whole nickname thing because from now on, they're just going to get worse.  Not only are they going to be stupid, they're going to be sappy as well. It's the only downside to this new - understanding - between us I can see right now, so I suppose I shouldn't complain. Mind you, I do have my limits. He calls me baby and he's sleeping on the floor.

Omigawd, JACK'S ASLEEP IN MY BED!  A part of me still needs to freak about it for a little while, but not much longer.  The rest of me, most of the rest of me...we're okay.  Jack couldn't have tried harder to make up his earlier - impetuousness - to me. In fact, he's barely let me touch him at all, he was so determined to make it up to me.  He's licked practically every inch of me - several times, and I've got a whole new respect for and fascination with his mouth.  Whew. I've come so many times I'm wondering if I'm going to be able to walk.

He didn't have to be quite so attentive.  I know he never meant me to think this was just a one off.  A little stress relief.  That's not the way Jack operates. I know how much  he cares for me. That's why it was so hard for him to come to me in the first place.  He had no reason to think I'd want him.  He's been holding onto this secret for a long time, living with wanting something he never believed he could have, being my friend without letting his desires impinge upon the respect he held for me.  He would have continued to keep his secret if what happened on P7C-414 yesterday hadn't pushed him over the edge.

I'm glad. Not - not for what happened on the planet, but that it finally drove him into my arms.  He's here, now.  In my bed. In my arms.

Jack's my lover.  My best friend and my lover.  Lover. Jack is my lover. You know, the more I say it, it doesn't sound so weird.  It sounds...nice.

Feels nice too.

"Wha - where?"  Jack startles me as he snaps abruptly awake and reacts violently to some very unfamiliar surroundings and circumstances.  Panic flares briefly in his eyes; he doesn't know where he is or who he's with and for a split second I think he's going to leap up out of bed howling for his P-90. Then he looks down, sees me, sees it's me and freezes, an agonised look of uncertainty on his face.  I smile at him and reach up to touch his cheek.   He heaves a vast sigh of relief at the small gesture of reassurance, then grins wickedly and drops his head back down on my chest.  Right in the middle of the wet spot.

"Ewwww!" he groans as he swipes at the drool with the palm of his hand. "Can you NOT sleep with your mouth OPEN?  That's disgusting," he grumbles.

"Whatever you say, it's your drool, not mine," I gently tease. "As bodily secretions go, it's not too bad. It's less disgusting than other things you could be dribbling on me."

"Don't ever let anyone tell you that you don't have the soul of a poet, Doctor Jackson," Jack ripostes as he rolls off me. "It's a relief to know I won't be drowning in a sea of sentimentality."

"Pot calling the kettle black,"  I snort at him.  "Sap is your middle name."

"Yeah, well,  just don't spread it around, will ya?" he peers at me with mock severity.  "I've got a hard-assed reputation to protect."

I must be feeling a little sappy myself, I just let that one go.

His expression is very serious now, and full of concern as he reaches over to brush his fingers across my cheek.  "You - okay with all this?"  he asks softly.  His eyes saying clearly, 'tell me the truth'.

"Yeah,"  I reply, giving him exactly what he asked for.  "I'm fine."

"And - and we're..."

"We're fine."

"We are?" his grin is brighter than a kid's on Christmas morning.


"O-KAY!"  Jack crows as he leaps on top of me.  "Wanna take a shower?"  he leers as he waggles his eyebrows suggestively at me.  "I'll scrub your ass - BACK - I mean - back for you."

Yep, I could definitely get used to this.  In no time at all.


"OW!"  Jack yowls as he sulkily nurses the hand I've just slapped.

"Serves you right," I remorselessly inform him.  "Go get your own chocolates.  I brought these for Sam, not you."

Sam's eyes are sparkling with mischief as we exchange glances.  "That's okay, Daniel,' she begins as she reaches toward the box.  "I don't mind sharing. Besides, Sir," she says innocently as she plucks a chocolate from the box.  "Every one you eat, that's just one less temptation for me."  She shrugs and pops the chocolate into her mouth.

Jack sneers at me, thinking he's been vindicated as he sidles back up to the box to help himself once more.

But Sam isn't quite finished with him yet.

"I really shouldn't eat any of these," she grins ruefully.  "They're SO good, but I've got to watch my girlish figure, you know.  Stuff like this - straight to the hips.  I guess you're not as concerned about...expanding universes, huh, Colonel?"  she finishes as she gives his butt a pensively assessing once over, her serious scowl clearly conveying the impression she's not impressed with what she's seeing.

Sam, I could kiss you!  On second thought, maybe later.  Jack's ego has already taken a fairly stiff blow, no need to provoke him any further.  I won't, however, apologise for thoroughly enjoying the moment.

Jack's hand jerks back from the box like he's been stung.  Repelled by a very large ego bee.  He cranes his neck sharply around, trying to get a look at what Sam is shaking her head sorrowfully at and only succeeds in turning himself about in a swift circle like a dog chasing his tail. Which makes a pleasant change from his current full time obsession with chasing mine.

His slightly overweight tail, if the astrophysicist's estimation is to be believed.  Having just seen that 'tail' myself quite recently au naturel, I could put Jack's mind at ease about the state of his ass's universe.  I could.  But I'm not going to.

A little insecurity is good for him.  Teaches him humility. Is really, REALLY fun to watch.

Hey, I can be as petty as the next person.  I'm just really sneaky about it. With that surface layer of 'sweet and nice' they never see me coming.  With the obvious exception, of course.

"I am not fat!"  Jack finally blusters indignantly once he stops spinning.  He glares at the three of us, daring us to dispute him.  We say nothing. He crosses his arms huffily across his chest and retreats slightly with a suspicious sniff. The chocolates remain manifestly unmolested.

Sam looks so much better.   She's got a little more recuperation time in the infirmary ahead of her, but it's just so good to see her awake, alert, laughing and smiling and clearly on the mend.

So damned good to see her alive.

Teal'c has hardly left her side since she got out of surgery. He's been right there, lending a hand any way he saw one was needed.  Jack and I have tried to drop in on her as frequently as we could over the past few days.  Jack's still a little uncomfortable around her.  Still feeling a little guilty.  I'm beginning to understand why.  What he was trying to tell me, when we were here before, at her side, just the three of us.  I'm pretty sure I know what he thinks he did.

We haven't dealt with it yet, but we will. It's all part of this new thing that's 'us', now. We're still feeling our way around, discovering new things, finding out what we both want and need. And it isn't all about the bedroom, although, admittedly, to be honest, the last few days - we haven't exactly gotten out much. Which has been just as much my idea as his.  Maybe more. I wasn't quite ready the first time, but I've adjusted.  Uh huh. Catching on really quick.  Jack's the one not knowing what he's let loose these days. We've both had a lot of downtime over the past four years, more than making up for lost time, and okay, he's hot.  I'm not thinking about much else but him, and his butt and his mouth and his hands and his -

Okay, enough of that.  We're supposed to be here visiting Sam, not - get your mind out of the gutter for thirty seconds, slut boy.  Who knew I was such a mutt?  I'll die before I admit it to Jack, though.  He's getting too big for his britches as it is.

I'm doing it again, aren't I?

"So Daniel, how's your arm?"  Sam asks as she licks her fingers, eyes the box, smirks at Jack and then winces a bit as she tries to settle back in bed and evidently hits a sore spot.  Teal'c is instantly right in there rearranging the pillows propping her up until she can comfortably and painlessly recline.   Sam gives him a grateful look before continuing. "Janet said you took some stone shrapnel while you were saving my butt.  Did I thank you for that, by the way?"

Jack is muttering something as he sidles up to me.  He's up to no good.  I can see it in his eyes.  When his hand sneaks around and ends up on my ass his intentions are no longer in question.

"You'd do the same for me," I shrug. "I'm fine, Sam," I reply, ignoring the hand which has ceased to perch and is starting to roam.  "It was nothing, really.  Just a few scratches."

"That's good," she sighs.  "It was rough for a while back there, though, wasn't it?" she continues, giving each of us a steady look.  "Just before Daniel got the gate open I was almost thinking we weren't going to make it."

"You're not the only one," I admit quite truthfully.

"Didn't happen," Jack states firmly as he gives my right cheek a pat.  "We're good at what we do.  Better than them.  We're here, aren't we?"

"Sir, I've been thinking about those....soldiers,"  Sam says as she watches Jack's face closely for his reaction.

"The kid-bots?" his smile fades and he makes a dismissive gesture with his free hand.  "What about 'em?"

"I'm thinking they probably weren't actual - children.  That is, they weren't at one time kids who were taken and turned into  - uh - kid-bots, like the Goa'uld harvesting humans and turning them into hosts.  I'm sure they were clones, and if that is the case their bodies were probably genetically manipulated to present an immature, youthful appearance even though the bodies themselves had to have completed the growth process. It's also not likely they possessed any higher cognitive functions, in fact their brains could be - "

"Uh, thanks Major," Jack interrupts with false brightness.  'I get the picture.  Daniel already suggested something along those lines.  You're probably both right.  There's no way we're ever going to know 'cause we're sure as hell not going back there and in any case, it's all over and done with."

Maybe the deed, but not the aftermath.  Dealing with what happened back there is going to be a process for all of us.  We're not going to get past it overnight, but we will, eventually.  We're making a beginning, all four of us, and being together again and knowing it's just a matter of time before we're all back in the traces and heading out into the unknown as a team once more is helping to put a lot of the ghosts to rest.

We will get through this.  All of us. We're a team and we face everything that happens to us out there together.  This is no different.  As long as we've got each other, we've pretty much got everything we need.

We've already made a fair start, each one finding their own unique expressive outlet for working things through.  Teal'c?  Well, Teal'c serves.  He's been the indefatigable and completely willing extension of Sam's every whim.  She doesn't need to lift a finger, she's got Jaffa support.

Sam's been eating.  I've known her for four years and never once suspected she has been concealing this secret sugar addiction.  Sweet tooth doesn't even begin to cover it.  I'm seeing lots of 'you've got to keep them away from me, Daniel' moments in my future.   Hah!  I could tell her a little bit about secret, insatiable cravings at the moment.

Jack's opting for being bad.  He's very good at being bad, and right now he's being positively outrageous.  And he's just getting warmed up.

He's not the only one.

I suddenly find myself wishing I could appeal to the remainder of my team to help me deal with my most immediately pressing problem. Who is pressing into my side, smiling smugly, so proud of himself as he's copping a surreptitious but extensive feel right under Sam and Teal'c's oblivious noses.

You are SO pushing it right now. Cocky bastard.  Don't you try that innocent 'who me?' grin on me!

"I hope you guys haven't been too bored while the team is stood down," Sam sighs as she nestles her head back more comfortably into her pillow.  Teal'c solemnly reaches for the box of chocolates, which is now out of her reach, and offers it to her with a flourish.  She grins at him, but shakes her head, and he returns it to the bedside table with his usual, slightly intimidating grace. He cocks an eyebrow at us and then turns his attention back to Sam as she poses her questions.

"So tell me what's happening, guys," she says as she stifles a yawn.  "The way you've been popping in and out, you must be keeping pretty busy.  The general keeping you hopping?  What've you been up to?  Fill me in."

"Oh, ya know, same old same old." Jack shrugs deprecatingly.  "Daniel's speaking in tongues, trying to lick a whole new language, and you know Dannyboy, I can't make him stop when it starts to come," Jack's got a grin happening that would make the Cheshire Cat green with envy.  "I've been trying out a little cuppage."  Jack momentarily leaves off groping me in order to have both hands free for graphically illustrating his point. He uses them to describe a perfect butt in the air before an innocent face and a bemused audience. Then without missing a beat he drops his right one down between us, snakes it quickly around my back and commences molesting me again.

"I'm experimenting with a new technique, really pushing my boundaries as an artist," he explains earnestly.

I'll say. What he's doing with that hand is definitely pushing it.  Oh my...

"I'm still kinda new to this, still feeling my way, if you will, but I gotta say, it takes a lot of concentrated attention, careful smoothing and repeated moistening to keep the material malleable enough to withstand repeated handling, and just when I think it's all coming together perfectly, it goes to pieces on me completely."

I can relate.  I'm suddenly thinking about expanding universes again. I can't imagine why.  All I know is if he doesn't stop handling THIS material...

"After putting in all that time and effort, the last thing I want is premature firing.  Or worse, a limp handle," he beams. "I'm getting better though.  The key is preparation, preparation, preparation.  It's all in the balls," he adds solemnly.

You're damned lucky I don't give it to YOU in the balls.  Cuppage, my ass.  Oh God, now he's got me doing it too!

It's time to pull my nuts out of the fire before Sam and Teal'c get visual confirmation of just how good Jack is with his hands.

He yelps as I step on his instep. Hard.  "JE-sus! Daniel!  Watch where you're walking, will ya?"

"Oh, sorry, Jack," I flutter my eyes innocently at him, and he gnashes his teeth.  "That was careless of me.  But then, you know me, Doctor Klutz.  Accident waiting for a place to happen.  Don't know my left foot from my right or my ass from my elbow."

He didn't have any complaints about my manual dexterity or flexibility last night but he's hardly in a position to say so.

"Guys?"  Sam shifts her gaze back and forth between us, a slightly suspicious frown quirking her lips.  She's listening between the lines like crazy and knows there's SOMETHING going on with the two of us, but evidently decides she's more tired than curious. "I really appreciate you stopping by to check on me, but all this bonding is wearing me out.  I think I'd like to get some sleep."

"Very well, Major Carter," Teal'c bows slightly. "It is time for me to engage in Kel'no'reem.  I will return when you have rested."

"I'll bring those journals you wanted," I tell her as I feel Jack's hand close on my arm.

"A whole box of Twinkies," Jack winks at her.  "Mum's the word."  I think he's still got it in for her about the expanding universe thing.

"What's the matter with you?"  I chide him as I pull my arm out of his clutches, pointedly stopping him from towing me down the hall in his wake.

"What?" he feigns surprise.  "You're not into aural sex?"

"And that's the last time you touch me below the belt while we're on base," I scold him fondly.  "I thought we talked about this."

"In the sense you talked and I pretended to listen, we did," Jack grumbles. "Aw, lighten up! I was just having a little fun.  No one could see anything.  I knew it would bug you.  Sue me."

"Wouldn't be worth it," I snort. "I've seen what you've got.  But I will come and visit you in Leavenworth.  If I haven't got anything better to do."

"Okay," Jack mutters, and then pouts for several paces.  "So, where we going tonight, your place or mine?"

"Yours, I think," I answer after a moment's consideration.  "You'll be more comfortable waiting there.  I have some work to do on base - don't give me that look - the United States Air Force doesn't keep me on staff here simply to make it more convenient for you, they do expect me to put out from time to time.  I have to finish working on that tablet from P2B-382. The general is waiting on my report.  He needs to know if the term 'God Stone' they use in the text is the local name for Naquadah, and if it's worth sending out a mineral survey team to investigate."

"Work, work, work," Jack sighs theatrically.  "Is that all you ever think about?"

Wild horses with a ribbon device couldn't drag the truth out of me.  I decide to turn the tables on him.

"I could ask you the same question. Is THAT all YOU think about?"

"You're kidding me, right?"  He flashes me a rakish grin.  "What else is there?"

I'm thinking this isn't a rhetorical question.  I'm also utterly terrified he could be right.

"How long - " Jack frowns.

"As long as it takes." I finish.  "I'll come over when I'm done."

"Well, don't be all night or I'm starting without you."

The sudden mental image that statement gives me is remarkably distracting. Not to mention...stimulating.  I'm so - distracted - I almost don't hear his next question.

"Still got the key for my place?"


"You're the only one I gave it to, you know," he says softly.

No, I didn't know that. I'd just assumed...

He abruptly throws me off balance by swiftly reaching over and roughly ruffling my hair.  "You didn't say anything about touching ABOVE the waist!"  he crows. " Hurry home, baby," he grins.

"DON'T call me baby!"  I hiss.







"You forgot 'asshole,'" Jack jeers.

"I was getting around to it." I mutter.

"I was going to bring up that up later - about you getting around to it, that is.  I think it's time we upped the ante a little, just to make things more interesting," Jack smirks as he starts to saunter down the hall away from me.  'What do you say, are you in?"

I'm so in I'm about thirty seconds away from telling George he can damned well do his own translating, I've got bigger fish to fry.

Damn, when was the last time I ate, anyway?  Thursday?  Does whipped cream count?

"Can we do something a little different tonight and maybe actually eat something first?" I ask him.  "Just a thought."

"Sure," Jack waves a casual hand at me,  "Before, after, during, whatever, I'm easy."

"That's not news."  I have to shake my head as I watch him confidently saunter out of sight.  No, you're not.  You're not easy at all, Jack.  But I wouldn't have you any other way.


Back to Part One


PhoenixE, 2001-9.
Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate Productions, Sci Fi Channel, Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. These stories are for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. These stories may not be posted elsewhere without the consent of the author. Copyright on images remains with the above named rightsholders.
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