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
Season/Spoilers: Season  4  Second Story in the "Wild Side" Series.  Minor Spoilers for 'Need'.
Synopsis: Another perspective of the events of 'Missing Link'.
Warnings: Violence, Language, Intense emotional situations.
Length:  100 Kb  Posted to the web 22 May 06.  Originally completed June 2003.  Back in 2002? I wrote this wee story called "Missing Link."  I received some requests for follow-up story telling it from the other participant's  POV and finally got around to doing it a year or so later.  This story, along with a slightly revamped version of ML first debuted in June 2003 in the JD Six Pack #2 zine by Yadda Press,  The 'Wild Side' series was also included in the Reprise in 2004, and now here it is online.

Goddamn rat bastards, as soon as I get my hands free every single one of these dirt bags is going to be sorry they were ever born.  Starting with El Scummo over there, the one with the big mouth and the even fatter lip.  Courtesy of yours truly. At least I managed to get one good punch in before Shit-head and Company took me out.

I can’t believe I let those losers land me.  Crap, I must be getting soft in my old age, got water on the brain or something.  I don’t care if there were five of them, there’s no way these freakin’ amateurs should have got the drop on me.  If I’d been paying attention, thinking with my brain instead of my….

Yeah, gowan, say it, Jack.  Your dick, flyboy.  You left your brains in your shorts again.  Instead of keeping my mind on business where it should have been it was happily fixated on Daniel’s ass where it definitely had no business being.  Even if I wasn’t working.  Which I was.   I was ogling my archaeologist when I should have been watching the room.  Keeping an eye on the players, spotting the signs I should have seen and would have if I’d been looking there were some Mallik scum buckets crashing the party with intentions of making off with one of the guests of honour.

Which they did.  Oh lucky me.

Dammit, I can’t believe I let myself get that complacent.  This is frigging embarrassing.  I’ve been doing this how long?  Happy, laughing, smiling people, all of that can mean squat in a split second if someone inadvertently puts their foot in it or spits in the wrong dish or whatthefuckever.  There are no guarantees in this crazy business.  I should know that by now.  Do know that.  Yet, I let myself get caught with my pants down.  Metaphorically speaking.  No excuse, Jack, no excuse whatsoever.  You get sloppy, you get stupid, you get shit like this happening to you.  I guess I should consider myself lucky they settled for dropping a sack over my head and beating the crap out of me and didn’t kill me in the bargain.  Now that would have been really embarrassing.

I should get a big whack across the head for this one. Over and above the ones I’ve already gotten, that is.  Yeah, I damn well should.   I should have been paying attention.  Shouldn’t have let the happy smiles and the free booze and Daniel’s ass -  God, that ass… 

But I did; I let our success – Daniel’s success - go to my head, let – let wanting Daniel make me horny and stupid.

Dammit, I’ve got to do something about Daniel, either shit or get off the crapper, get my head examined, get the hell out of Dodge before I really screw up – something!  The next time I get sucked into the libidinous zone on company time someone could get killed.

Starting with me.

Actually, I’m probably being a tad melodramatic about the getting killed part. Yeah, sure, the current situation doesn’t look great, lured out, bonked on the head, trussed up like a frigging Christmas turkey, thrown on the back of a horse, taken for a wee joy ride and then tossed on this lovely cold, hard ground still hog-tied while these dingdongs are running around trying to find their asses or something, but other than possibly expiring from embarrassment I don’t think I’m in any danger of having anything more serious happening to me in my immediate future than more horse bouncing once these guys get it together and we start heading off again to wherever it is we’re supposed to be heading off to.  The chief rat boy over there might be slightly ticked off at me because I busted his nose but from what I've overheard – they need me alive.  They think they’re gonna use me to force the SGC to play footsie with their side and help them win this little war they’ve got going with our hosts and new allies – a war said new allies interestingly enough completely forgot to tell us about, mind you – so while the Dirt Bag gang here might rough me up a bit before they deliver me to their bosses they’re not actually allowed to do anything to me too permanent, damaging, disfiguring or fatal.

God, it’s nice to be wanted, isn’t it?

Okay, I seem to be catching a break here.  I’m not sure why we’ve stopped, but it looks like they’re setting up camp, building a fire, so I guess we’re staying put for a while.  I’m not exactly sure how long we were travelling; I was a bit groggy when they first threw me on the horse on account of being whacked upside the head once or twice so my time sense is a little – whacked - as well, but the constellation the natives call the Warrior is almost directly overhead so that means it's gotta be after midnight – no wait, look where the moon is, way later than that, crap, we've been traveling a fair chunk of the night.  It can't be long 'til dawn. 

Several hours since we left the palace, then.   Great.

Several hours on horseback.  Not exactly going full bore, true, but still, we've covered some ground and put some distance between us and our hosts.  My kids will have missed me by now; they'll be hot on the trail. The tracking at night thing, however, that could be a problem.  They’ll be looking, though, youbetcha, but whether they’ll be heading in the right direction or not, no way to be sure. 

Unless… let's not overlook the fact we are stopping, and it looks like we're staying put for a spell and wherever we are, it's not exactly my first choice for a place to take a breather if I knew for a fact a posse was on my tail.   We should be hotfooting it right back to their base and their other pals, but instead we're stopping – here.  Why?  This isn't a defensible position, there are only five of them, they have to know my kids and the SGC aren't exactly gonna take this lying down and my people will come after me.  Either they're dumber than dirt or…they know something I don't know making them pretty confident they don't have to concern themselves with any possible pursuit and for some reason they don't consider my kids anything they have to worry about.

Oh my, now that's a nasty thought.  And unfortunately becoming more and more unpleasantly plausible while I play dead here and pretend I'm still out so I can covertly watch these bozos.  They’re swaggering around like they haven't got a care in the world; they're mighty sure of themselves which says to me they definitely have some intel they're not sharing, like maybe they know the chances of anyone coming after us – and me – including my kids – maybe I shouldn't be holding my breath because it ain't gonna be happening any time soon.

Crap.  Let's hope I'm wrong on this one and the cavalry is on its way and these guys are simply too stupid to realise they should get their chicken safe behind enemy lines before they pull over and gloat about plucking him.

Yeah, I'd definitely prefer to vote for the too stupid to live option but in the meantime just for fun let’s assume I’m all on my own here.  No problem.  I might be tied up at the moment but that’s a small technicality I’m working on while I’m lying here pretending to be unconscious.  Which so far seems to be working because none of the bozos are paying attention to me.  Once the ropes are off the gloves are coming off too.  These mutts I can handle, but just in case, before anyone else who doesn't have my best interests at heart shows up and starts really stacking the deck against me I’d better get a move on with the Houdini routine.

Un huh, just like I thought, amateurs.  I don’t know who tied these knots but they shouldn’t quit their day job.  God, I’ve been kidnapped by a bunch of farm boys with delusions of thug-hood.  They’re making enough noise if my kids are anywhere within a ten mile radius, and I'm hopin' they are, they should be able to zero right in on us.  Why don’t you send up a flare while you’re at it?  Bozos!

Okay, getting somewhere here.  These ropes are starting to give.  Shouldn’t be long now.  I get my hands free and on that nice sturdy branch conveniently lying about three feet behind me and it’s bedtime for all these bonzos.  They’ve only got knives.  No problem.  Five to one?  Bring it on.  I’ve got to start earning my rep here and these yutzes have pissed me off enough I’m gonna totally enjoy cracking their freaking skulls.

That happy thought has barely finished firing my imagination when the back of my neck starts pricking; that itchy, scratchy feeling I get tells me I’ve got eyes on me.   There’s something out there in the forest watching us.  I stop working the ropes and freeze, opening my eyes a crack to see if I can see what I’m feeling.  Might as well have saved myself the effort.  It’s blacker than shit out there beyond what little light the fire is throwing out.  Nothing but an inky wall textured with the murky shapes of trees.  Trees, trees and more trees.  But somewhere in the midst of all that arboreal dubiousness – we got company.  Don’t have to be able to see ‘em to know they’re there.  Something else I know; whatever is out there – they’re dangerous.  My spidey sense is wailing big time. 

Trouble, we got more trouble on P3G yadda yadda.

Peachy.  Just what I need while I’m still temporarily inconvenienced is something with nasty pointy teeth slavering in the shadows eyeing me up for its next meal with nothing between me and being brunch but the amateurs of the hour who’ll probably scream like girls and run for their lives the second something big and scary pokes its head out of the bushes and moons ‘em.

Getting eaten will definitely ruin what’s left of my day so I’d better stop lying around here bleeding and get these damned – yes!  Houston, we have separation.  Now, all I have to –

“Kalkawt!  What are you doing?”

Crap!  Just my luck, rat boy’s picked this particular moment to cast an eye in my direction.  And if the scowl on his face and that big honking knife he’s pulling are anything to go by, he’s none too happy with what he’s seeing.  Which is me, about to work my damned hands free.  Oh my, what a revolting development this is.  I know I said before I didn’t think they’d kill me but the ugly mug coming toward me looks pissed enough to severely shake my faith in that particular premise and his knife ain’t exactly filling me with confidence for my future prospects either.

“Aw – kumquat yerself,” I spit at him as I roll on my back, preparing to defend myself the only way I can.  The ropes around my wrists are loose enough to slip out of, if I had the time, which I don’t and my feet – definitely still tied.  Won’t stop me from kicking his head in though, if he gets close enough to give me half a chance. 

He won’t be shivvin’ me if I have anything to say about it.

You’re damned lucky I don’t have a paper clip, you yutz, or you’d already be dead.

The shot and the scream happen on the heels of one another.  The former threat looming on my horizon is clapping his hands to what’s left of his head as he keels over like the so much dead meat he now so is and I’m whipping my head around in the direction of the muzzle flash sparking from the tree line I saw out of the corner of my eye.  I can't see anyone but that was a pistol shot.  9 mil.  No question. 

My kids are here!

I don’t even have time to shout ‘Woo hoo’ before the pistol barks again.  Another shot, flaring in the blackness, more screams then a gawd awful roar and I’m knocked out of my socks as Daniel tears out of the darkness towards us, firing and howling like he’s totally out of his frigging tree.

Daniel?  My God, what’s going on, here, not that I’m not glad to see you or anything but holy crap – he’s loping thisaway like a shrieking juggernaut of vengeance yowling and picking off farmboys with an ease that'd be giving Annie Oakley a serious case of pistol envy – Jesus he’s already popped three of my former playmates, making ‘em history before they even knew their number was up and he’s still coming, still screaming and taking a bead on the last gibbering wreck of what’s left of the dirt bag gang.

It’s all happening so fast and yet it's like I’m swimming through syrup, everything I’m seeing is so damned surreal.  Especially Daniel closing on me, pistol a 'blazing, drenched in drying blood I’m hoping isn’t his, foaming at the mouth and spitting hysterical gibberish. 

His eyes – oh my God, his eyes!

They’re wild, crazed and oh, so wrong, and they’re scaring the crap out of me because I’m suddenly getting a serious case of deja view and this is one particular memory I’d just as soon not be flashing back on.

Not now, not ever.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen Daniel behind a gun aimed at my head and completely out of his, crap, I’ll never forget that insane, murderous stranger in that darkened storeroom though God knows I’ve tried and I’m just as unsure of what he’ll do now as I was for longer than I care to think about back then.  I honestly don't know if he even sees me; he's that far gone and downright frigging scary and what's worse, I haven't a clue if I’ll be able divert him from this slay ride he’s on and stop him before he kills every last soul in this camp – including me – prior to coming back to his senses.

Well, here’s hoping.

“Daniel!”  I desperately yell at him not even sure he’ll hear me he’s so deep in berserker mode.

Bad, this is really bad, he’s way worse than when he was hopped up on the sarcophagus.  I don’t know what’s got him flying higher than a kite now, but I’m scared nearly badly enough to be pissing myself at the sight of my peace-loving, wouldn’t normally hurt a fly, mild-mannered archaeologist back in homicidal junkie mode and…armed.  Especially as he’s already wasted three men right in front of me in the space of a few heartbeats without even blinking and if that blood all over him is anything to go by he kicked off his killing spree by offing the scum bag who’d gone to take a leak in the bushes.

Jesus, Daniel, there’d better be enough of you left in there that still likes me because I’ve got no special desire to be adding my creaky old carcass to the body count you’ve already racked up this evening.  And somehow, nuts or not, I don’t think that’s what you want either.  

I’m hopin’, anyway.

Not getting to him, he’s not hearing me, he’s gonna waste the last weasel, can’t let him, have to make him hear me, see me, stop.

Danny!” I yell at him again. 

This time my yell yanks him like he’s on a chain and he shudders to a wrenching halt.  He’s stopped running, but he’s still shaking, his entire body twanging with adrenaline and the God only knows what else he’s got swimming around in his blood stream.  For a second he stands there, madly staring like he’s horribly confused, been knocked off his trolley midstream and he’s not quite sure where he is, what he is or what he’s supposed to be doing next.  Basically still a long way from normal but hopefully, well, hopefully now he's not baying for blood he'll be a little easier to handle.

Or not…

Then those mad blue eyes swing my way and in their icy, feral depths I see nothing but rampaging insanity.  Nothing else, no spark of recognition, no trace of the gentle, rational soul I know as Daniel Jackson.  In his place is the unreasoning, savage thing I sensed out there, not a man but a primal, murderous beast driven by homicidal rage and a huge whacking hunger to waste everything in sight.

As those bloodthirsty eyes rake over me I’m thinking drawing their focus has been a huge mistake we’re both going to regret if and when Daniel ever comes down from this.  Only thing is, he’s going to be the only one alive to do the regretting.

Oh God, oh crap, Daniel, Daniel – wherever the hell you’ve gone, I need you to come back.  Need you now!  Come on buddy, I know you’re in there.  You don’t want to do this; you don’t want to shoot Jack, that’s a nice archaeologist…

“Jack?”  Daniel suddenly bleats, a tragically plaintive sound as he blinks and shakes his head, looking damned lost and confused.  That’s my boy; I knew you were in there somewhere. 

Yeah, that’s right, come on down, Dannyboy.  Jack's here, and I'm gonna look after you.  Just – just trust me okay? 

He's standing there staring at me, breathing heavy, swaying back and forth.  He's looking, I think he's seeing, but whatever, I've got his attention and I’ve hooked a piece of him, now I’ll reel him in.  Easy and slow.

Come to poppa, Danny.

“Yeah, Danny, it’s me.  Take it easy buddy,” I gently coax while he continues to waver over me, swaying drunkenly and waving the gun around, blinking with bewilderment, his horrible confusion tearing at me. I want to help him in the worst way but I'm still tied up down here, and he's up there, skittish, uncertain and as like to bolt still as look at me.  Somewhere behind us the last erstwhile terrorist has finished pissing his pants and is crawling off into the forest, saving his ass while the getting is good but he's no longer my concern.  I can’t allow myself to be distracted from Daniel.  I’ve got him on the line, but only barely, I can’t risk him slipping the hook and boinging off into the whacko zone again, especially not as long as he’s still got the gun and I don't.

 We’re not out of the woods yet, and I’m not trying to be funny, here.

“You can stop now, Danny,” I smile at him.  “Put the gun down, you don’t need it now.  No more killing, okay?  Just – just put it down.”

“Jack?”  Daniel gulps again, his wild eyes sparking as they start to pool.  I don’t know if he’s understanding what I’m saying because he just stands there staring at me with those big, dumb, wounded eyes.  He's gasping and shaking, his mouth hanging open, his face an agony of bewilderment, the gun dangling from his hand.

“Put the gun down, Danny.” I tell him softly, holding his gaze.

I think I’m okay now.  He’s still nuts but he isn’t homicidal.  He’s looking, seeing, listening.  Maybe still not quite understanding yet, but I can tell while there's still a chance he might start yodelling and running amok through the shrubbery again, he’s not gonna shoot me.

But then, as I see the way he’s looking at me I realize the shooting me thing was never an option no matter how it appeared there for a bit.  He was never going to hurt me.  He never would – not any more now than he would have back then, even if he was off his nut both times.  I don’t know how he got in this condition and out here alone or why the heck Carter and Teal’c aren’t with him – one crisis at a time for crying out loud - but he didn’t come here to hurt me.  No – he came after me to rescue me, he –

“Jack!” he sobs again, the gun slipping from his shaking fingers and plummeting to the ground.  He bounds toward me, whipping his knife out and giving me another momentary fright until it dawns on me what he intends to do.  Through this entire surreal deal although I could have easily worked myself free I haven't, I’ve been sitting here like a stunned, trussed up dork and haven't made a move to get these ropes off.  Daniel is coming to my rescue, he’s meaning to cut me loose not cut me up.

What do you want from me, it’s been a pretty strange night!  And it’s not over yet.

Daniel drops to his knees beside me and the next thing I know I’m getting the crap hugged out of me.  I can’t do much more but let him as his arms squeeze the air out of my lungs and he babbles some gibberish in my ear.  He’s still not speaking in English and that worries me some, but although I can’t make out the words, there’s no mistaking the tone.

Yeah, I’m damned glad to see you too.  You have no idea.

Daniel’s still not letting go of me and yapping a blue foreign streak while he reaches around me for the ropes ‘round my wrists.  Between the two of us fumbling we get them off and then he turns to my ankles.  That’s when I finally get a good look at his knife and from the amount of gore caked on the blade not to mention decorating his BDUs telling a tale I'm betting is none too pretty.

Damn, Daniel, I hope you don’t remember any of this.  For your sake I hope whatever you’re high on kills every brain cell containing a memory of this night before you come back online again.

I know you don’t know which end is up right now and you’re certainly not responsible for what you just finished doing, but you’ll hardly let that stop you from working yourself over good when you are.  If once you’re over this you remember…

He cuts the cords around my ankles with one swift slice, flings the knife and then he’s grabbing me again, hugging me fiercely, his voice cracking and breaking over the unfamiliar syllables he’s sobbing into my neck.  Now my hands are free I can hug him back and I haul him in close, trying to calm him down.  He’s shaking like a jumping bean with the DTs, clutching at me like his life depends on hanging on and not letting go.

“Easy, Danny, take it easy,” I tell him, stroking his hair and rocking him.  My mind is racing while I’m keeping up the petting and the comforting patter.  I can’t risk him freaking on me again and bolting.  If he gets away from me God only knows what he’ll do and the way I’m feeling after being bounced around by the newly deceased scumbags I’d never catch him, especially in the dark.  And then there’s Carter and Teal’c – they’re so not here and there’s no way they would have let Daniel go screaming off into the blue in this kind of condition if they were in any shape to prevent it so what that could possibly mean…

Damn, he feels good and his hair smells so….

For God's sakes, Jack, get a grip!  The guy's so strung out he's shaking apart, we're out in the woods, Daniel's out of his head, might even be dying for all you know, you've got to get him back, get him some help and you've got two other team members unaccounted for this is not the time to be wasting time getting off or even thinking this way, I should let go now, get my ass in gear, get us both home.  Let go, Jack.  Still on the job, remember, and the job's not done yet.

Oh Daniel, don't wanna let go want – IwantIwantIwant…

Can't have, Jack.  Certainly not now, probably not ever. 

Forget about it.

“Come on, Daniel,” I softly urge him.   "Let’s go home now, buddy.”

“Isti!”  Daniel grunts belligerently, breaking free of my hold so vehemently he almost bowls me over.  I don’t have long to teeter ‘cause all of a sudden he’s grabbing my face, his fingers clenched and almost clawing around the back of my skull as he hauls me toward him, his feral eyes glinting madly in the darkness.

“Isti!” He growls again, his gaze searing straight into me and although I don’t get what he’s just said, what’s smoking in his eyes I have no trouble reading.

The pupils are wide and wild, dilated with desire, dripping with quite another hunger.  Not for blood, this time but the need they're screaming with is just as basic, primal and undeniable.

Oh my God…

Daniel is eating me alive with his hungry gaze and I’ve barely had time to adjust to this sudden change of appetite when his mouth is clamped to mine and he keeps right on following it, his weight sending me crashing to the ground with him leaping on top of me and pinning me flat with his considerable presence.

Considerably heavy and horny.

Oh my God…

I’m stunned, stupidly immobile and sprawled breathless and reeling beneath a hundred and eighty pounds of panting, heaving, thrusting Daniel packing a boner the size of a sledgehammer and the hottest mouth this side of a supernova.  While I may be shocked stupid this is happening I’m not sorry, although dammit, I know I should be.  Not because he’s kissing me and trying to drill me blind through both our drawers but because he’s doing it while – well, while once again he doesn’t know what the fuck he’s doing even as he's so fuckingly enthusiastically  - um - doing me.

Which isn’t right.  I shouldn’t be digging this, taking advantage of his hopped up state by letting him take advantage of me, I should be fighting him off, making him stop…stop…oh God…don’t stop, Daniel…

Fuck it.  I’m a bad, bad, terrible, awful man and a greedy, selfish bastard in the bargain; I know it.  I want him as much as he wants me, whatever part of his anatomy is in the driver’s seat at the moment and believe me, I know exactly what I’m doing.

Kissing him right back.  Clutching him, feeling him, clamping my hands on his hot, twitching ass helping him grind into me good, it’s so damned good, I don’t care if he’s crazy I’ve buried this itch so deep for so long and now, oh yeah, we’re scratching.  It hurts so good, such a blessed burn, we’re both grunting and rolling and kissing and tearing and I don’t care about anything else but his hot, hungry mouth clamped to mine while our mutual erections are having one incredible close encounter.  Again and again and….

I can feel the gates of paradise rising up to meet me when Daniel gives out this strangled groan and after a scary, god-awful shudder he flops down on top of me, limp and unresponsive.   I shake him, hard, but he’s out of it. 


Spooked by how ominously still he is I quickly roll him off me.  He slumps over to the ground, lifeless and still scarily inert and I’m scrambling up to check him out, cursing myself all the while for losing control not only of myself but the situation, for letting things get so out of hand and go so far, letting him get so worked up while he was still – goddamit if he’s had a stroke or blown a blood vessel or something –

Crap, he’s out.  Really out.  Freaking comatose. His skin is clammy and he feels too hot.  His breathing is shallow and his pulse is racing.  This is not good.  I’ve gotta get him back to base.  ASAP.

I grab for Daniel’s comm praying for whatever reason Carter and Teal’c have not been a part of the action so far they’re back online now.  Daniel needs help and so do I.

“Carter!”  I bark into the comm.  “Teal’c!  Report!”

I stop transmitting and wait.  Get nothing back. 


Again, I’m trying not to think what that could mean as I jump to my feet and frantically look around.  Like I said before, one crisis at a time.  Please, please, please cut me a break here it’ll take me all frigging night to get Daniel back to the gate if I have to carry him –


Seems one of my late abductors was a better farm boy than he was a terrorist.  Most of the horses have bolted, spooked, no doubt by the shots, but one of ‘em is still securely tethered, just over yonder. 

Thank you!

I’m in the process of hauling Daniel up off the ground so I can cart him over to the beastie when his comm squawks in my ear nearly giving me a heart attack.

Colonel O’Neill, DanielJackson!


I lay Daniel carefully back down on the ground and fumble with his comm again.  Dammit, my hands are shaking, my fingers stuttering all over the frigging place.  I finally manage to key the damned transmitter and then can barely get the words out my stupid throat is so tight.

“Teal’c!”  I gobble.  “Where the hell are you?”

It is good to hear your voice, O’Neill.   The big guy’s voice crackles into the still – oh my God, look at that, the frigging sun is starting to rise so I guess that would technically make it early morning - air. 

Major Carter and I are still in the palace.  I presume you are not.  DanielJackson –

“Here,” I cut him off.  “I’ve got him here with me.  Where that is, though, I’m not exactly sure.  I got extended an invitation to another party the Malliks were most insistent I not refuse, and they weren’t particularly interested in how I felt about the whole thing.  Daniel tracked us down and let’s just say they’re no longer a problem.  And you?  How you doin’ by the way?”

I’m not gonna ‘fess up to Teal’c I got suckered by the oldest trick in the book.  The Mallik equivalent of ‘phone call for Colonel O’Neill’.  The bastards got me out of the banquet by whispering in my ear Hammond had to talk to me ASAP at the gate and the second I stepped out of the hall – whammo.

I’m hoping his story is even better than mine.

The Mallik contingent which accosted you is also undoubtedly responsible for the events which have overtaken the banquet celebrants.

Oooh.  Don’t like the sound of that.  What I said before about a better story?  I take it back.

“Carter?”  I blurt out, apprehension twisting in my gut.

She is unharmed, O’Neill.  Teal’c’s com-distorted but still dammed impressive voice hastens to inform me.  As are our hosts.  However, she and the remainder of the Abandi remain in a deep sleep.  As I was also affected I surmise the ritual libation we were all obliged to partake of to bless the meal contained a soporific of sufficient potency to incapacitate even my symbiote for a time.

Well, whatever the hell it was – something that could knock Teal’c for a loop – God, no wonder Daniel’s been tripping!  But wait a minute, why only him, Teal’c said everyone else is sleeping it off.  Oh crap, maybe he got an overdose or something!

“The stuff was strong enough to get by Junior?  That could explain a lot.  Listen, Teal’c if there’s any of the doped drink still around bag it, tag it and get a message to Hammond.  We could have a serious problem on our hands when everyone wakes up.  Before he passed out Daniel was higher than a kite on something and I’m guessing it was whatever the Mallik spiked the drinks with.  I don’t know if everyone else who drank some is going to wake up out of their heads too, but in any case, the Doc will want a sample and I want some medics on site.   I’m on my way in with Daniel and you’d better tell Janet to get ready for him.  He's not looking good, here.” 

I break off, and look down at Daniel.  He’s hasn't moved or so much as twitched; he's lying at my feet sprawled and insensible, lightly panting, his skin pale and glistening with a luminous layer of sweat.  I run my finger carefully across his mouth, brushing away the moisture beading across his upper lip and his eyelids don’t even flicker.

God, I’ve got to quit flapping my lips and get him back.

“I’m bringing Daniel in now,” I grate, snatching my hand away from his face and forcing down every thought that could possibly distract me from what I have to do.  “Make sure they’re ready for him.  O’Neill out.”

I don’t wait for his confirmation.  I don’t need to.  Teal’c will take care of things on his end.  I’ll do what needs to be done on mine.

It’s really quiet in here now Daniel has screamed himself to sleep.


I dig the heels of my hands into my burning eyes and squish my eyeballs until those little sparkly thingees start decorating the insides of my eyelids.  I waste a few seconds watching the interior fireworks and then I take my hands away, groping with eyes still closed until I find Daniel’s arm.  I don’t want to look at the straps my fingers brush against as they move down his arm so I don’t, keeping my eyes screwed shut while I rest my forehead on the bed, my fingers entwining with the ones they’ve finally discovered at the end of the arm they’ve been stroking down.

Been here too and it bites.  Restraints.  Fuck.  They’ve got Daniel trussed up and strapped down like he’s some kind of frigging animal.   Not that they had much choice, but it still bites.

As days go, this one has really sucked. By the time I’d figured out where the hell the palace was mostly by letting the horse do the driving Carter had already been carried through the gate and the medics were keeping an eye on the other folks still sleeping it off.  Daniel wasn’t any better but he didn’t seem to be any worse.  He was still unconscious, but that all changed the first time Fraiser tried to get some blood out of him.

If I’d been thinking he was nuts before…  God, the way he dove for Fraiser’s throat snarling and spitting – if Teal’c and I hadn’t been right there to hold him back – I don’t wanna think about it.

It took three of us to hold him down while they got the straps on.  Daniel was  - well, it was just really bad, and let’s leave it at that, shall we? Howling and snarling and whatever the hell he was jabbering – my name was in there a lot but the rest of it – Teal’c said it was Abydonian, sort of, but it mostly wasn't making any sense and neither was Daniel.  That's what the big guy claimed anyway, but the way my Jaffa brother was glaring at me while Daniel raved and screamed my name a lot in between the alleged incomprehensible Abydonian, I think it’s a damned good thing for both of us whatever Daniel was saying, he wasn’t saying it in English. 

And that Teal’c was lying his ass off.

Daniel has been pretty much howling his head off ever since.  That is until he finally passed out about an hour ago from sheer exhaustion.  There’s not much they can do for him but let the alien crap work its way out of his system.  Everyone else, Carter included, woke up after a ten hour forced nap a little hung over but otherwise okay but Daniel…

Whatever the Malliks slipped everyone for some reason it hit him like some kind of alien LSD.  His senses seem to be unnaturally heightened as well and any sort of sensory simulation, however minimal…

The constant overload is significantly contributing to his freak out factor.  Fraiser has no idea why the drug had a different effect on him than everyone else, maybe he’s allergic to one of the ingredients or it was some sort of bad reaction with the shots he takes for his allergies, could be frigging anything.  Bottom line, they don’t know.  It’ll work its way out of his system eventually and then he’ll be okay.  Himself again.

  At least, that’s what Janet is saying, but she can’t absolutely guarantee snarfing this stuff hasn't screwed up his brain for good meaning he'll be permanently mental.  Or something.  We won't know until after it clears and he wakes up.

After he wakes up.  Hopefully sane and himself again. 

I’ve been trying not to think about that.  Not that I don't want him to wake up, of course I do, it's just…because of what happened – out there – what never would have – never should have…

  I give Daniel’s hand a squeeze and lift my head up so I can look at him.  He’s so peaceful now, breathing deeply, looking deceptively serene, his cheeks slightly flushed, hair tousled and darkly damp against the pillow.

He’s so damned gorgeous it hurts.  It really does, you know.

Do you know what it feels like to look at someone who’s so…see them every day, work with them, fight with them, be practically in each other’s pockets day after day, year after year, laughing, bitching, fighting…


They’re right there, right in front of you and yet for as close as you are, constant companions, bosom buddies, best friends to the end there’s this line you can’t cross, don’t dare even think about stepping over, for oh, so many reasons none the least of which is you’re a guy.

And so is he.

Back there we more than crossed it, but it doesn’t count.  I knew what I wanted – I made a choice but Daniel…

I’ve got to put it all behind me forget – forget everything that happened out there.  I don’t know how, mind you, but I’ve got to.  It’s the only decent thing to do.  Daniel couldn’t possible have meant any of it, I mean, he’s no more – that way – that I’ve seen than he’s normally capable of killing without caring.  The rampage he went on, blowing away the Malliks without batting an eye, that was down to the stuff he was high on.

So was the rest of it.  All part of the same bad trip.  I have to put the whole – interlude - behind me.  Lock the recollection up tight in my box of repressed memories and walk away.  It won’t be happening again.  I have to forget – forget his taste and his smell and how fucking incredible his skin feels, the sounds he makes when you touch him, how he shivers when you bite his lip…

It can’t happen again.  It won’t.   I have to forget.

But – not yet.

My hand is shaky as I reach out and cup his cheek, ever so gently, just to feel the sleeping softness of his skin one last time.  I’m sure he won’t mind.  This is the last time, I promise, Daniel.  I won’t look for what you can’t give, won’t ask –

It’s not your fault I love you, but I’ll never blame you because I do.

I stroke my thumb across his cheek and his eyelids abruptly flutter, reacting to my touch.  Crap!  I didn’t mean to wake him I thought –

“Jack?” his gentle, sleepy voice washes over me, caressing me like a prayer, making me shiver with the exquisite pain of impossible desire.   I want everything I can never have even more, especially as his eyes slowly open, glowing with a dopey, gently confused light.

I want to kiss them closed again, hold him in my arms, rock him carefully to sleep, feel his heart beat next to mine.

Oh God, how I want

“Jack,” he mumbles drowsily again, a slow, lazy smile blooming across his face as he turns his head into my hand, nuzzling his cheek against my palm.  His eyes close and he drifts off once more and I’m glad he’s gone, he’s safely sleeping and he’ll never know – never see.

He’ll never see me cry.

I know what I said a couple of days ago, what I promised myself – promised him, but I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do it.  Good intentions may be paving roads from here to hell’s half acre and that’s about all mine are good for because every time I look at him all I can think, feel, want…

Since crossing that damned line I have no idea how to mosey on back to my former state of keeping all these thoughts and desires buried deep in my repressed and self-stunted soul.  Now I've had a taste of him even keeping my distance does squat for making the wanting go away, only makes the problem briefly less…pressing.  For the last three days I’ve had a hard-on that only periodically ebbs and recedes but never completely fucks off and dies.  I can’t keep avoiding him forever.  Not and still keep him on my team. 

Or in my life.

I am so screwed.  Shut the fuck up I know what I just said.

I’ve tried to put the whole…incident…behind me; I really have, swear to God. As soon as I knew for sure he was going to be okay I took off and stayed away from him, for all the good it did me.  Mister Happy has been downright confused.  For the last four days he's been all dressed up with nowhere to go.  Fuck.  I gotta stop thinking about fucking.  Yeah, right.  Might as well stop breathing.  Can’t do that either.

Maybe – maybe it’s just too soon.  The memories are still too recent and – and pressing.  With a little more time and distance I’ll be able to settle down, put it away again.  For good.  I just need a week, two, ten, three hundred and forty five, all the time I've got left and I can do it.  I'll be able to forget I ever held him, kissed him, felt –

It’ll be okay, I'll lick this thing.   I will.  I’ll be able to look at him without wanting to throw him to the frigging ground and bury my dick in his ass.  Uh huh.  You’re pretty good at lying to yourself, aren’t you Jack?  It’s been four days since that night and the ache is getting worse, not better.  Distance is definitely making the dick get harder.  The more I try and deny it the more I want him. 

I'd laugh my ass off if the whole thing wasn't so fucking tragic.

I don’t know why I should be so surprised; I’ve always been pretty much the contrariest bastard who ever drew breath, except for him.  Daniel can definitely give me a run for my money in the 'stubbornest shit in the universe' sweepstakes.  But I'm right up there in the top ten with the best of them.   It’s one of my gifts. 

I'm extremely talented in the 'totally screwing up my life' department.

And from where I'm sitting, it looks pretty screwed up indeed.  Or should I say by looking at Exhibit A, one archaeologist who definitely hasn't been going out of his way to make my re-acquaintance once he reacquired his senses.

Now, Daniel says he doesn’t remember what happened on 956 but you know what, he’s a frigging liar.  My proof? When he woke up more or less sane again Daniel couldn't have helped but notice I was conspicuous in my absence, but he didn’t ask for me.  Not once.  He didn’t look for me when I wasn’t there with him in the infirmary and he’s not looking at me now he’s sitting in my truck silent and staring out the window while I drive him home.  Not one glance, not a single word.  Not since we walked out of the infirmary together side by side but with a distance between us making a hollow, empty space in my chest where my heart used to be.

He remembers, all right.  I don’t know whether he’s ashamed, disgusted or a combination of the aforementioned but whatever he is, looks to me like it’s pretty much a given the last person he wants to be around right now is yours truly.

I can’t leave it like this.  I can’t lose it all.  Maybe I’ll never have him – that way – ever again but if there’s even the slightest chance I can fix this mess so at least I don’t lose his respect and his friendship…

I gotta do something even if I do suck at this stuff.

I extend a cautious verbal feeler.

"Hey.  You okay?"

His shoulder twitches slightly at the sound of my voice, but he stays clamed up tight, staring out the window.  Oh boy, this is worse than I thought.  He’s never, not the whole time I’ve known him, completely, deliberately frozen me out like this.

I'm not taking it lying down.  Excuse me while I get my mind out of the gutter, regroup and try again.

I’m extending once more.  This time the tone of my voice making the non-responsive thing not exactly an option.

"Danny, look at me!”

It takes a while, and feels like forever, but he finally turns, eyes averted, his colour high.  I can see him drawing in on himself as he braces for the eye contact thing.  He’s going through with it, he’s going to face me but everything about him is screaming he’d rather be anywhere else but here.

Once again, like it always does his bravery blows me away even while knowing why he has to be breaks my heart.

He finally dares to dart a glance my way and of all the things I thought I’d see in his eyes – fear?  No – that’s not quite right but it’s close, but – dammit what’s going on here he’s sweating, breathing hard and –

Aw crap, way to go, O’Neill, keep your frigging eyes on the road.  Driving here, you moron!  I’d better pull over before I do something stupid like head the truck off the side of the mountain.  It’d be one solution to the problem but not my first choice.

I can feel Daniel’s eyes on me, burrowing into me like he’s trying to get into my head.  I see a half decent spot of shoulder ahead and aim the truck toward it.  Once we’ve stopped I leave the motor running.

Okay Daniel, you’ve got my undivided attention.  I know it ain’t worth much, but such as it is, I’m all yours.

I turn toward him, the seat belt chafing my shoulder like it's trying to hold me back.  I suddenly, desperately need to do something to stop this – urge – ripping through me to reach out and grab him so I grab the wheel with my left hand, clamping my fingers around it as if holding onto anything would save me from the next stupid thing I want to do which is chew my way through the seatbelt with my bare teeth and leap across the cab and – and - but I'm letting the belt and the wheel hold me back and I manage, just barely to make my right hand behave too.  Picking a bit of lint off the back of the seat here, tidy, must keep things neat and tidy, yup, I’ll just get this, won’t take a minute, can’t have lint messing up the seat, okay, Jack, stop being such a damned chicken shit, you started this and you’re not backing out, not now - look at him for God’s sake!

I know why I’m stalling.  If I look at him, he’ll see right through me.  He always does, knows what I’m thinking and now – this – it’s so huge, it has to be scrawled in big, stinky letters all over my face not to mention what’s happening in my pants – oh great, now I'm sweating like a stuck pig.  All I need to do now is let one rip in the cab and I'll pretty much complete my suave and debonair demeanour here.

Hell, if he already hates me coming at him right up the middle can’t possible make things any worse. So let's cut the crap and do this thing.  No point in either one of us suffering any longer than we have to.

"How much do you remember?"  I risk one quick glance at him before losing my nerve again and finding a new piece of lint to obsess over. 

His eyes still lowered he flicks his tongue out, nervously swiping it across his lower lip and my dick jumps to attention so fast I nearly get whiplash.  I only just manage to suppress a groan as his eyes dart up, flickering across my chest, my face, my fist white-knuckled on the steering wheel, my crotch.  Crap!  Back to the crotch then up to my face again, his eyes widening, mouth falling open, warm redness flushing his face as his gaze locks on my mouth and those lush, kissable lips curve ever so slightly, like suddenly they know something they're not saying…

Oh my God….

My heart is pounding, I'm wheezing and sweating like I just ran the four minute mile with a dozen Jaffa riding my ass and I'm so strung out on him I actually feel like I'm gonna throw up from the suspense of waiting for him to say something – anything, when all of a sudden I see – he knows, he gets it, he's got a handle on the current state of my universe, oh my God, what is he gonna do, he's reaching out, those long incredible fingers stretching toward me, I can't help but wonder what they'd feel like wrapped around my dick, squeezing, stroking, pumping – even when it's more likely what he's actually gonna do – punch my lights out for – for -  

It's hard, but I don't move while he touches those magic fingers to my forehead, which believe me is the last thing I was expecting and is a bit confusing and it takes me a sec to figure out exactly what he's done; actually I don't get it until I see him staring at his fingers and what's on them – my sweat – like he's looking at one of the secrets of the universe or something.  He stares some more and smiles, just a little, but it's the sweetest damned smile I've ever seen and then he sniffs his fingers, drawing in a deep and shuddering breath and closing his eyes as he smells me and the smile gets bigger, wider, swarming all over his face and approaching ecstatic. 

This time I think I do moan and believe me, you would too if you were looking at that blissful, dreamy face.  I'm hovering on the edge of mental thinking I can't possibly – there's nothing further he could do that'd send me closer to combusting all over the cab then I already am right now but once again I'm wrong.

I gotta learn to stop underestimating this boy.  I'll never know him so completely he'll run out of ways to surprise me.

Or make me so frigging horny I can't see straight.

He ducks his head and then darts his eyes up at me again, shooting me a glance through lowered lashes like a blue, heat seeking laser drawing a bead on me, watching, assessing, taking in my reaction as he lifts the pads of those fingers to his lips and licks….

Languorously swiping his tongue across the tips he tastes, smiles, licks his lips, looks – oh God, the way he's looking at me, his eyes dark and smouldering, he knows, God he knows what he's doing to me and he likes it. 

Desire so molten my balls are sweating sheers through me and I'm vibrating with how much I want him, can't stop it and the shakes only get worse as he sees and his eyes spark with – with -

I close my eyes to break the connection, to try and claw back some small shred of control.  Dignity being a lost cause, but as I take a deep breath and start working on picturing Maybourne in a string bikini Daniel finally gives me the answer to the question I'd completely forgotten I'd asked.

Namely how much of what we'd  - done – he remembered.

"Everything," he breathes in a voice so deep and sexy and blatantly bedroom… 

God, he's killing me here and he knows it. 

"Me too," I gobble, reaching for him.  I can't help it.  I have to touch him – have to.  Keeping away from him is no longer an option.  I have his hand, the one he's been teasing me with, with the smelling and the licking.  The fingers are still damp from his tongue touching them; I rub the moisture into my skin while running my thumb along their glistening length and then start stroking softly but deliberately, across his palm.

This time I'm watching him sweat.

Oh yeah, baby, you feel it too.  I know you do.

"Got a problem with that?" he gasps, breathing so hard he can barely get the words out. I keep stroking, holding his eyes.  The air between us crackles almost audibly with the unexpressed but overwhelming mutuality of our arousal.  Which suddenly seems to be an entirely inadequate word for this overwhelming burning need…

"No," I tell him, though by now my answer is as unnecessary as my next question.  "You?"

He gasps and shudders as I lift his hand and press my lips into the dampness of his palm.  Sampling his sweat, getting my first taste of him…

"No.  That's good, right?"  His hungry eyes widen, watching me nuzzle his skin.

I want to touch him, kiss him, hold him, feel him once more, pressed up to me, naked this time, skin against skin, skin I can feel, taste, want to lick…

He wants the same thing.  I can see it, smell it, taste it.  It's streaming out of his pores, desire seasoning his sweat, dancing on my tongue, singing in my blood. 

We both know what we want.

"Good for me."  I moan, releasing his hand and moving mine over to his thigh.  Touching, stroking, feeling the hard muscles shuddering beneath my fingers.  Good.  He feels good.  The coarse material of his pants rasps harshly against my fingertips.  Softer, I know the skin beneath is much softer, warm, yielding and I'm aching to touch, to know for sure.  Hot, it's so hot in here all of a sudden I'm having trouble breathing.  My shirt is sticking to my back, drenched and chafing.

Clothes.  I'm wearing way too many frigging clothes and so is he.  Why are we wasting time staring and sweating? 

Damned if I know.

The rest of our witty repartee basically bottom-lines at his place or mine.  At this point I don't actually care, as long as we're both agreed as to what is going to be happening when we get where we're going – I'll just point the truck in the right direction and….

Go, go go!

I swear to God I don't know how we've ended up on my bed – I vaguely remember closing my front door and then everything that happened from there to here - swallowed up in a lust-red haze of mattress-seeking instinct.

My bed.  Daniel and me, we're naked on my bed.   Naked and kissing and groping and writhing and horizontal mamboing our asses off all over my clean white sheets.   Oh yeah, however the hell we managed it we're definitely here, on my bed and what we're getting up to, while there's no denying it's great, absolutely incredible and so fucking hot, I have to admit maybe the way we're going at it, it's a little too…ape-shit.

Kinda nuts, actually. And the way Daniel is behaving, I'm concerned.  Now, you'd think indulging in a sweaty session of hot, wild and crazy monkey love would be nothing but a good thing, and normally I'm a big fan of swinging off chandeliers myself but because of what we both recently went through to get this far maybe it's not such a good idea to be quite so…animal.

Not for our first time, anyway.

Daniel is really starting to worry me. He's crazed, almost berserk the way he's going at me he's – God, oh God he's on me again, all over me, even more out of control insatiable than he was on 956 and I'm having serious flashbacks to the psycho zone again.  Not that I'm complaining; he's so fucking dangerous he should be illegal and what he's doing – loved it then, loving it now and I'd love nothing more than to let myself go every bit as mental right along with him as we fuck ourselves into fucking oblivion but this is all wrong.  Not – not that we're here, or we're doing it, it's not us doing it that's wrong it's the way we're, that is the way he is 

Goddammit maybe I can't explain what's wrong but that doesn't mean I don't know something is!  And I know it is because I know Daniel.  It would be flattering to let myself believe I'm the reason he's so frantically focused and driven, that is to say he's acting so nuts because he's so nuts about me, but there's more going on here than what seems to be going on.

Daniel's not right.  He's too desperate and he's not with me even though he's on top of me hammering me into the mattress like his life depended on it.  Even though every nerve in my body is howling at me to hammer him right back one look at the agony etched all over his scrunched, straining face…

Whatever's going on in his head right now he's not enjoying this.  No matter what his body is doing Daniel definitely isn't with the pleasure program.  And I feel like a selfish shit for not seeing it sooner.   I've been so anxious to get to our mutually agreed 'let's see who can get naked the fastest and get jiggy' plans I didn't see the warning signs.

Daniel has been acting funny ever since we left the infirmary but after our shared epiphany in my truck I figured I knew what that was all about; he was 'off' because he was horny, hot to trot and worried sick he wasn't ever going to get to, but once we'd cleared up that particular little misconception and were racing for my house and the consummation hour he'd be fine.

But he's not fine.  Far from it.  He's got a way bigger problem than suffering from maybe never getting to perform anxiety and therefore so do I.   I can't believe I've got a sweat slicked and lust crazed archaeologist energetically pounding me into my mattress and I'm capable of concern, never mind a single coherent thought and I also can't believe I'm thinking this, but I have to slow this down somehow.  I don't think Daniel knows what he's doing.  Well, he knows, but – he doesn't.  He's too – well, he's just too, take my word for it.

I peel my mouth off the one ravaging mine, whispering into his ear while rubbing the back of his neck, hoping the firm pressure will calm him down some.

"Easy, take it easy.  What's the rush?  We've got all day.  I'm not going anywhere."

Daniel shudders and rears back, chest heaving, eyes closed, the expression on his face anything but blissful.  In fact, I'd swear he was in pain.

Then he looks at me and I know for sure.

His eyes are wild again; wide, haunted and glittering, not with galloping desire or unreasoning madness but something far worse.

This is what Daniel looks like when he remembers.


"Can't," he pants, his eye beginning to shimmer with the tears he's fighting back.  He blinks furiously, his gaze bouncing all over the place, looking everywhere but at me.  A pretty neat trick considering the small distance his face is from mine there isn't much else to look at.

"Can't – can't stop – " he moans.  "Can't – can't – oh Jack – I can't get them out of my head!  Sorry - I'm sorry – "

Sorry for what he did or sorry he can't put it out of his mind long enough to get through this for me I don't know and frankly I don't care because I can see he's losing it and I know why. 

Oh Daniel…

He's been trying to stay one step ahead of it, to bury himself in the psycho sex zone so the newly created ghosts dancing in his head didn't drag him down and mess up our bedroom action but he can't do it, he can't run far enough or fuck fast enough to escape his own overactive conscience.   He can't be anything but what he is and what that is – that's why I love him and want to be with him right here, right now.

Even if all we're going to be up to tonight is him bawling in my arms.  That's fine by me.  And so is he.  Everything he is, everything he does, and has done.  For me.  A-okay, Daniel.

I'm a believer.  Now all I've got to do is make him one too.

His wounded eyes are overflowing with the horror of his memories, his anguish leaking out all over me as I take his contorted face in my hands, the tears racing down his cheeks bouncing over my thumbs and scurrying down the back of my hands.  He gasps as I touch him, tries to pull away from my comforting touch but I hold him tight while he soundlessly gulps and shudders.

He can barely talk but that doesn't stop him from trying.

"Oh God," he gasps.  "The blood – those – those men – what I did to them – I – I – couldn't stop killing and killing and – killed them all, I killed them – couldn't stop - "

"You did stop, Daniel," I tell him, holding his face firmly, making him look at me, hear what I'm telling him. 

"You did."

He blinks at me unbelieving, his face starting to crumble. 

"Not enough.  Not soon enough.  How can you even stand to look at me," he chokes and screws his eyes shut.

"Daniel, you were out of your head," I softly kiss his twisting mouth and slide my thumb across the wetness marring his cheek.  "Not that it matters because everything you did, you did it for me.  You were protecting me.  I for one am damned glad you did."

He sniffs, cracks open an eyelid and warily scans my face with a skeptical blue eye.  "What?"

"You heard me."  I plant another kiss on his mouth and he shivers.  "Don't get hung up on the bug juice thing, it's not the issue.  Bottom line, whatever state of mind you were in you had no choice.  They were the ones who created the scenario that got them skragged, not you.  They were hostiles, Daniel.  It's a cinch they weren't going to give me up without a fight.  They might even have killed me except for you. You did what you had to, what they made you have to do in order to protect me and you did it fast, clean and before they had a chance to react and do any damage to the person you were trying to rescue, namely me.  You did exactly what you needed to do, the only thing you could have and you did damned good."

He's got both eyes open now.  He's listening, still not totally buying it, but at least he's listening.

"But – " he unhappily bleats.

Oh no, my boy, I don't care if you take out an entire battalion with a potato peeler if it's my ass you're rescuing.  You gotta know I'd do exactly the same thing for you.

In a heartbeat.

"Same scenario, if you hadn't been high on the bug juice would you have just stood there and let them waste me?"

"No!" he cries, horrified at the very idea.  "I would have – "

"You would have done exactly the same thing," I smile triumphantly at him and kiss him again. 

This time, he lets me.  Doesn't pull away or try to turn his face aside, he sighs, opens up and lets my tongue slide into his mouth and gives it a nice slurpy welcome with his own.

Oh yeah, now we're talking.  I can still taste tears in his kisses, but he so wants to believe and he's so, so nearly there…

What the hell was that word he used back on 956?  I might not have known the language but I got what he was saying.

"Ishti?"  I whisper against his mouth.

He pulls back, looks down at me, the dawning of hope beginning to chase away the bleakness in his eyes.

"Ishti," he solemnly murmurs, and then smiles.  "You don't even know what that means," he says fondly.

"Oh but I do," I smile right back at him.  "You earned me.  I'm so yours.  So when are you gonna quit talking and take me, already?"

His eyes spark with that feral, unbridled gleam I'm really getting to love and my heart leaps, my toes curl and if my dick could sing it'd be launching into a rousing rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus.  I'm feeling so inspired I'd break out in song myself but my mouth is otherwise occupied. 

Not that I'm complaining or anything.  Hell no, not me.

Hallelujah baby, take my word for it, this boy can kiss. And lick, and nibble and  - and holy crap, those fingers, meandering all over me, going places no one has been for far too long feeling – oh God, what I'm feeling…almost as good as the way he feels, skin sleek and sweaty beneath my palms, muscles cording and rippling, his ass bunching and knotting in my greedy grasping hands as I clutch him and dig my hungry fingers into his firm, striving flesh, the power of his thrusts into me, against me our groins grinding, rubbing, slipping.  I want to hold his throbbing length, want to feel those long, strong filthy fingers wrapped around my aching joystick but there's no time, can't stop what we're doing, the rhythm is so driving, urgent, can't stop, mustn't stop, must have him slamming harder, faster, as he arches his neck, his back bowing, tendons straining I lift my head, tongue him from naval to breastbone, lapping up the sweat streaming down the front of his chest.  It's hot, as hot as he is and the taste - salty ambrosia sticky and rank with the glorious taste of him; I could lick it up forever.

He shivers, as I lick him some more, running my tongue over the undulating expanse of his chest.  He sucks in a breath when I latch onto the pebbly, aroused skin of one of his nipples, whimpering unashamedly while I tongue it and suckle.  Something rumbles in his chest, a desperate, strangled noise that can't quite make it out of his throat and suddenly he's uncontrollably shuddering and twitching, his pelvis ramming repeatedly into me with erratic but determined frenzy.  I got sparks starting to pinwheel behind my own eyelids, and I'm only holding off going off by the skin of my balls – don't want to, not yet – this is too good – just a few more seconds, might not have much more than that the way he's wheezing and gasping and jitterbugging into me  - oh, oh my God, Daniel, Daniel – gonna – gonna – oh God!


That's my name.  Please wear it out.

Daniel's soft, sleepy murmurs tease me back up and I surface slowly, barely able to breathe from a combination of the after affects of one humdinger of an orgasm and a whole lot of satiated and stupefied archaeologist lying on top of me and mashing me blessedly flat.  He's one big boy all but passed out all over me, babbling contentedly, saying who the hell knows what, but it doesn't really matter, he's here, he's happier and he's mine.

He is better now.  I'm not saying what we just did has completely exorcised the current crop of Daniel's most recently acquired demons but it helped.   I think he understands now there are some things worth any price. 

And some instincts go straight to the bone.

He's a really smart guy, but sometimes he doesn't see things the way they actually are, especially when the one he has to cut a break is him. 

The bug juice wasn't the real problem – it's what he thought it made him, basically, a murdering monster, that's what he couldn't deal with.  He was right about the instinct behind his actions being all him; it wouldn't have come out of him if it hadn't been in there already, but in that he's no more a monster than anyone else.  He's just – human.  With a fierce, basic, very human primal directive, if you will, to protect what's his at all costs.

We're all animals under the skin.  For all our 'intellect' and 'reason', give any one of us a good enough reason and the beast lurking in every single one of us…whoops, surprise. 

We can ignore our hidden monsters most of the time but turning a blind eye to our submerged savage side doesn't change the fact we still have one.  Every single damned one of us.   We don't much like owning it or even admitting it exists and when something happens to bring the beast raging to the surface…

Daniel was forced to come face to face with that part of himself we all like to kid ourselves we don't have.  Not a pretty picture by any means, but what he didn't understand when he was looking into the eyes of his own slavering darkness was where it had really come from; what he had done - what it was actually all about.

Yeah, he's capable of killing, of ripping out an enemy's throat with his bare teeth if he has to but that doesn't make him a monster.  Why he did it then and why he wouldn't hesitate to do it again; that's what he read wrong.

He got all messed up about it because he didn't understand what he did back on 956 wasn't about murder or mindless, slavering bloodlust, it was about love.  And any mother who's ever had to fight to the death to protect her child knows exactly what I'm talking about.

I understand exactly what he did and why.  I just hope I've helped him get not only do I thank him from the bottom of my black ole soul but I'd cheerfully do likewise for him. 

For exactly the same reason.

He's a better man than I am because he thinks every other life out there has value and is more important than his, but it's a point of view I don't share.  He's worth more to me than anything or anybody and I don't care who or what they are, anyone who tries to get between me and him or lay so much as a finger on him they're dead.  

It's that simple.  He's all that matters.

The truth?  All the other stuff aside, when it comes right down to it, in this, we're no different.  And that's nothing to be ashamed of.

I don't bother trying to shift him, I like him just where he is, thanks, I 'm quite happy to wrap my arms around him and give him a big squeeze.  I feel him smile against my neck; he heaves a small sigh then starts muttering again.  The way he's slurring his words he's almost out but before he completely wanders off into insensate incomprehensibility I make out what he's saying.

Just one word, but he keeps repeating it over and over again.


You betcaha, Daniel.  Absolutely.  Never gonna change.  And backatacha times three.



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Biblio, PhoenixE, babs, Brionhet, Darcy, Devra, Fabrisse, JoaG, Kalimyre, Marcia, Rowan and Sideburns, 2001-2008.
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