JD-DIVAS: STARGATE SG-1 JACK & DANIEL SLASH FICTION
BY PHOENIX E

STRANGE DAYS  BY PHOENIX E


Slash:  Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
Rating: NC-17
Category: Established Relationship, Humour, Angst, Romance
Season/Spoilers: Season 7  Spoilers for Ascension,     Story 4 in the 'Holiday Follies' Series
Synopsis: Sam tries to be 'one of the boys.'
Warnings: Not recommended for Sam or pizza fans.  anti s/j
Length:   122  Kb  Completed 15 July 06.  Notes:  Okay, I know this is part of the Holiday Follies series, but it's not a holiday fic, per se, although one is mentioned.  I couldn't find one to fit the scenario.  I'm sorry.  I'll try harder next time.  Hey, it's my series, I can bend the rules if I want to!  Also, this may be turning into an AU (or should that be AR) series, mainly because I'll  be kinda picking and choosing and adjusting the various canon elements I need for each story as it moves into season eight.  Some things that happened at the end of season seven, going into season eight I'm not nuts about (like Janet dying) and I refuse to recognize them.  But for now, for this one, nothing has diverged significantly from canon yet.  Oh, and thanks very much to my list sibs on the alpha gate for providing me with the toppings for Sam's pizza!  Hope you enjoy the results!

Mmmmmm….so long, so thick, so chocolaty…

  Um - focus, Daniel, focus!  You had a lovely weekend, wonderfully exciting, but it’s over and now it’s back to work.  We’re not going to be going off-world for the next three days; there’s no excuse for not bucking down and tackling this backlog of…stuff, so get your mind off other…stuff, and get down…to it.

I can’t help it, images of Jack in all his priapic, chocolate-covered glory…

It’s hard to concentrate as long as I keep remembering how incredible he is when he’s…. hard.

Not to mention tasty…

With a sigh I resolutely push aside images of chocolate phalluses dancing through my head, reluctantly reaching for the first folder from atop the precariously leaning stack of same currently taxing my groaning inbox.

I’ve barely cracked my chosen victim open when Sam comes strolling into my office.  What is she doing here, it’s only just turned nine AM – excuse me, make that oh nine hundred hours; if she drops in at all, which to be honest, lately, is practically never, it’s certainly not this early in the day.

She looks extremely cheerful.  Almost excessively so.  Should I be concerned?

“Hey Daniel,” she greets me, perching her hip on a corner of my desk.  “I’m glad you’re feeling better.”

What?  What’s she talking about? 

“Um…better?” 

Than what, perchance?

“Sunday,” she supplies, her eyes raking over the objects on my desk like she’s looking for something.  “The colonel said you left early because you weren’t feeling well.  I’m glad to see you’re over it,” she smiles, finally looking at me.  “Whatever it was.”

“Oh, that,” I shrug. “It must have been something I ate.”

“Certainly couldn’t have been the company,” she grins again.

Ooookay, what the heck is going on here; no matter what she’s saying Sam didn’t stop by to inquire after my health. She’s known about my supposed malady since yesterday: if she was that ‘concerned’ she’d have phoned to check up on me, which she didn’t, so that’s not it, and like I said before it’s not like she makes a habit, especially lately, of dropping by just to shoot the breeze, or whatever.

No, other than the perpetual quest for Jack there’s not much that can tear her away from the various assorted and sundry esoteric off-world technological mysteries her lab is fairly burgeoning with.  Sam never abandons her post and shoots my way these days unless there is something very specific on her mind.

Wondering what it could possibly be…that’s what’s got me…concerned.

Now, hold the phone just a minute, Daniel, you’re not being fair to Sam, sure, okay, maybe that’s the way it’s been for the past…oh wow, quite a long time, now, actually, come to think of it, but anyway, give her the benefit of the doubt, maybe, just maybe she doesn’t have an ulterior motive, maybe she really did just stop by to see me.  Sure, it hasn’t happened a lot recently, but that doesn’t mean that maybe Sunday made her realize we haven’t exactly been…close…lately and she’s decided to do something about it, mend a few fences, rebuild some bridges, make a fresh start.

Hey, that could be what’s going on here.  Let’s just hear her out and hope for the best.

“So, Daniel,” she ventures casually, swinging her leg for just the right ‘I didn’t really come here with the specific intention of picking your brains, I was just passing by and as long as I’m here I thought I’d ask’, effect.

“You spend a lot of time with the colonel, right?”

Okey doke, here we go. So much for that idea.  Hoping I was wrong, but, of course…

No.

Oh Sam, it never used to be like this.  We spent a lot of time together, hanging out, doing lunch, loitering around each other’s offices for hours, talking about all sorts of stuff, even things that had absolutely nothing to do with Jack.  Whatever happened to just, talking, and being together, simply because we enjoyed each other’s company, not because one of us, usually you, had an agenda? 

Once upon a time I was your friend, not simply a means to your ends.

I miss that Sam, I miss her a lot, actually, but right now she’s not here and I have to deal with the Sam I have.

“Yeah,” I casually return, looking back down at the folder splayed out on my desk.  As much as I was previously procrastinating about diving into my work right now I’d give anything to be knee-deep in translations as opposed to having this conversation.

“So,” she picks up my pen and starts examining it.  “What do you guys do?”

Fuck like bunnies?  As often as we can?  Take one colonel twice before bedtime, repeat frequently, and don’t call me in the morning?

What, what’s your problem, you asked!

Nah, I can’t say that to her.  I’d love to, but I can’t.

“Oh, I don’t know,” I shrug and reclaim my pen.  Hey, it’s mine, call me petty if you will but I have a real problem with people messing with my…stuff.

She wants a pen to play with she can find her own.

 Mine’s taken. 

“Stuff,” I toss off with a casual wave.

“Like?” she leans forward, prompting.

“I dunno, hang out,” I shrug again, desperately casting about for ways to answer the question without being too specific.  Or making things sound too interesting, because I’m getting those creepy vibes again.

“And do what?” she presses.

Dammit, I’m going to have to get more specific; she’s not gonna let this go.

“Oh, I dunno, we order a pizza, drink some beer, watch the game or a movie or whatever, sit around, burp, grunt, fart, scratch our balls,” I rattle off, trying to make things sound as mundane as possible.  “Nothing special.  You know, guy stuff,” I finish casually.

Nothing you’d be interested in.

“Okay!” she says brightly, pushing herself off my desk.  “Thanks Daniel!” she beams.  “I’ll see you later!”

And she’s off, striding briskly out of my office, a considerable spring in her step.

Oh dear, what just happened here and why am I desperately hoping her parting remark was simply a figure of speech…

And not something else she’s figuring.


“Hey honey, I’m home,” I jokingly call out to Jack after I close the front door and drop my brief case beside it.

“Save it, ‘sweetheart’,” Jack bellows back at me from the kitchen.  “You’d better have remembered the Tabasco sauce or you can just turn around, get your ass out the door and go get it.”

Ah, love, ain’t it grand?

“Yeah, I got it,” I holler back at him, fishing the plastic bag containing said requested condiment out of my coat pocket while en route to the kitchen.  “I had to go out of my way to get this, I’ll have you know, not that you give a damn.  And as long as I’m bitching, I don’t see why the responsibility for procuring this fell upon my shoulders, I don’t need it, I’m not cooking.  Why didn’t you pick it up yourself, you lazy bastard?”

Jack stops chopping as I spoon up behind him, wrap my arms around him and plant a kiss on the side of his neck.

“You do if you plan on eating tonight,” he mildly returns.  “And as to why I didn’t get it, well, I forgot,” he cheerfully admits.  “By the time I remembered we were out I was already here.  Besides, fetching and carrying, that’s what I’ve got you for.” 

“Huh, and here’s me thinking the only reason you keep me around was for the hot sex.”

“Well, there’s that, too,” Jack chuckles, twisting around in my embrace to wrap his arms around my waist.  “Gimme,” he growls.

From the lustful gleam in his eye I don’t think he’s talking about the Tabasco sauce.

“My pleasure,” I manage to get out before Jack’s mouth clamps onto mine.

Jack kisses me hungrily, like he hasn’t seen me for a week, even though it’s only been a few hours since the last time we…kissed, but I’m having no problems with the fervor of his greeting.  In fact it gets much more avid there won’t be much cooking happening in either one of our immediate futures, at least not in the kitchen –

“Yoo hoo!”  A bright female voice sounds from the front hall.  “The door was open, Sir, I hope you don’t mind I let myself in!”

“Shit!”  Jack and I yelp simultaneously, springing apart like scalded, spooked cats, flushed and hyperventilating with shock as the unexpected interloper rounds the corner.

“Hi guys!”  Sam cheerily greets us, teeth flashing in a face splitting grin.  She sallies bravely forward, apparently oblivious to the fact we’re both red-faced, panting and more than a bit…. mussed.

Well that is, if she’s noticed she’s not saying.

“Carter?”  Jack croaks, watching wide-eyed and horrified while Sam proudly sets what looks suspiciously like a large pizza box and a case of beer on the dining room table.  “Um…what?”

Oh, God.  I know.  Just as I suspected, Sam’s visit this morning wasn’t social.  It was reconnaissance.

And I’m the schmuck who gave her the intel.

Ooooh boy.  Jack is gonna kill me.

“Don’t worry, Sir, I’ve got the pizza tonight,” Sam beams happily at us.  “And the beer.”

But – but we were having pork chops.  With Jack’s special killer hot sauce, if his sending me on a side trip for the Tabasco sauce was any indication of his ultimate plans for those delectable looking chops currently sitting abandoned in the casserole dish on the counter waiting to be sauced…

“Um, yeah, I can see that, but - but – “Jack stutters.

“I know I probably should have called,” Sam admits with a rueful grimace.  “You know you said once we should hang out more, and yesterday you said you wanted to be friends, so, well, I started thinking doing that would be a good way to get to know each other and be friends, and there’s no time like the present, so here I am!”

Tah dah.

“Yeah,” Jack says weakly, giving her a sickly smile.  “Hanging out. I did say that, didn’t I?  And here you are.”

He did?  You did?  When was this?

I never thought I’d ever hear myself saying this but dammit Jack, you talk too much!

“You don’t mind, do you, Colonel?” she asks, hesitantly, for the first time giving a faint indication she’s realized that possibly, maybe, by showing up here unannounced and uninvited and definitely unexpected she might have been slightly…

Presumptuous?  Out of line?  Down-right rude?

Not to mention just plain not wanted?

And then the smug grin settling on her face the second she finishes speaking, the knowing gleam in the eyes she fastens on Jack while awaiting his answer abruptly puts the boots to that absurd notion.

I mean, what was I thinking?

“Mind?” Jack sighs, skeptically eyeing the closed pizza box lying on his dining table we both can’t help but notice is emanating odours neither one of us normally associate with…pizza.

Or anything else even remotely edible.

What the hell is on that thing and do we really want to know?

“Of course I don’t mind,” he lies valiantly, rallying enough to favour her with a semi-sincere smile.  “Pizza, huh?” he croaks after clearing his throat, fearfully fingering a corner of the box, clearly with the intention of flipping it back and checking out what lies beneath.

He’s a braver man than I am, that’s all I can say.

“It’s great to see you, Carter,” Jack says, starting to cautiously lift the lid, eyes narrowed suspiciously.  “But…what’s with the - the…”

He can’t quite bring himself to say ‘pizza’ – especially as whatever it is we’re smelling hasn’t yet been sufficiently threat-assessed to ascertain whether or not it’s even edible, never mind classifiable as the aforementioned entrée.  Yeah, we can both read what the box says; it proclaims the contents as pizza, but it’s from a place neither one of us recognizes, so the box, it could lie!

“The pizza and the beer?  Oh, Daniel said this is what you usually do when you hang out,” Sam lands me in it with enough cheerful enthusiasm to overwhelm a regiment of clinical depressives.  “So I figured as long as I was inviting myself over I shouldn’t come empty-handed.”

“Oh, he did, did he?”  Jack’s eyes flick up from the half-raised lid of the pizza box and he fires me a murderous glare.

Why are you looking at me like that, Brunch Boy?  It’s not like I make a habit of shooting my mouth off and all but handing Sam engraved invitations to barge in on us unannounced, unlike some other people I could mention.   Especially the one who is currently giving me attitude for one little teeny, tiny lapse of judgment while he’s been racking up the stupid points left, right and centre!

This is my first offence, and it only happened because I foolishly gave Sam credit for being a much better person that it seems she’s turning out to be.

A mistake I won’t be making again.

You’ve got a lot more to answer for in the slipped lip department than me, Jack, my lad, so hold the anchovies as well as the attitude and let’s just get through this as best we can.

Jack’s nose wrinkles, I can see he’s barely suppressing a grimace what with the full force aromas from the now fully revealed pizza hitting him face on.  He leaves off glaring at me to risk a quick glance below at what could possibly be generating such olfactory offensiveness.

I’m not following suit: what I’m smelling is bad enough; I’m not quite ready to actually look at it yet, thank you very much.

“I wasn’t sure what you’d like so I thought I’d take a chance and bring you something really special,” Sam pipes up.  “It’s my favourite kind of pizza.” 

“What is it?”  Jack says dumbly, eyes riveted to Sam’s malodorous, but well meant offering.

“Let me see, there’s sun-dried tomatoes - ”

“Tomatoes,” Jack echoes, barely audibly.  “That’s – that’s…okay, tomatoes….”

Belong on a pizza. Which ordinarily would be very okay indeed, but she said ‘sun dried’, an entirely different…vegetable.

Or would that be fruit?  Either way, not quite the same thing.

As Jack is unhappily discovering.

“Where are they?” Jack finally whines, after several seconds of futilely scanning the pizzal topography in an unsuccessful attempt to visually detect any tomato traces.  

“There, Sir,” Sam helpfully points at something.  I can’t tell exactly what from where I’m standing, deliberately out of smelling distance, or whether what she’s just obligingly identified bears even a passing resemblance to tomatoes, or not, but the expression on Jack’s face tells me all I need to know.

Definitely…not.

“Oh,” he says weakly.  “That’s them, huh? I never would have guessed.” He takes a deep breath.  “Those little white…lumps. All over.  I don’t suppose that’s the Mozzarella?” he ventures hopefully.

From the smell, I’m guessing that’s a no too.

“Well, you’re partly right,” Sam laughs.  “It’s cheese, but not Mozza.  Feta.  It’s much more flavourful than plain old Mozzarella and is an interesting contrast to the pesto sauce.”

Oh my, that explains the some of the smell, but not all, by any means.  Even from this distance I’m detecting a distinctly…distinct fishy aroma - way over and above what one might expect from an anchovy or two being tossed on top - intermingling unpleasantly with the fetid feta and there’s no way that smell is coming from the first two identified ingredients.  Or the sauce, which isn’t derived from tomatoes either, apparently.

Marine Surprise Pizza.  Oh my…

Jack’s eyes dart up, seeking me.  Help me, they silently scream from across the table. 

He’s been exceptionally brave so far, but I can plainly see he doesn’t have the heart to go on.  I guess considering I’ve so far shamelessly opted for the path of least visual offensiveness like the unrepentant chickenshit I am, the least I can do is throw him a bone, take over taking point and bear the brunt of the rest of the unsavoury revelations.

Hey, I once threw myself in front of a staff blast for this man, how bad can this be?

“So, a couple of…interesting choices.  Not ones I would have thought of but…interesting.”

No Jack, I’m not going to say what I really think any more than you are so quit glaring at me.  This isn’t my house, remember, I’m not in any way obligated to play the gracious host, I can still save myself, get the hell out of here with my taste buds unsullied and leave you to choke it down with Sam on your own.

“Yep, interesting. So, what else is on it, Sam?” I ask the question Jack can’t bring himself to voice, courageously drawing her fire.

Her big blue eyes swing my way and she opens her mouth to let me have it.

Did I mention the staff blast…thing?

“Some really good stuff, trust me, Sir,” she says to me, but she’s really talking to Jack.  “Lemme see, for starters, there’s tuna.  “Dolphin safe, of course,” she dimples.

Well, naturally.  Good God.

Hurray for the dolphins.  I’m so happy they don’t have anything to worry about vis a vis having to suffer for the sake of vile pizza.  The tuna and the rest of us poor victims here should be so lucky.

Tuna?  Did she really say tuna?  On pizza?  Okay, now that’s just wrong, on so many levels. It’s more than wrong; it’s so cosmically – incorrect – it’s almost akin to violating the basic principles of the universe.  It’s certainly bucking every unwritten but nevertheless sacrosanct precept of proper pizza construction.

The unbelieving horror in Jack’s eyes eloquently echoes my sentiments on this.

Now let me just say one thing here, in my defense, in case anyone is thinking we’re being unduly squeamish about a mere pizza, I’m not exactly…inexperienced…in the gastronomic department.  I’ve eaten around some. Although I’m primarily an archaeologist the anthropological aspect of my chosen profession has required me, while out in the field on both sides of the gate, to occasionally have to venture into some pretty kinky culinary territory, all in the interests of diplomacy and good interplanetary relations and all that sort of…thing.  I have partaken of some pretty – out there, and I do mean waaaay out there – stuff.  I like to think I have a fairly open mind, not to mention an adventurous palate, although I do draw the line at symbiotes, barbequed, or…not, and a dash of culinary curiosity.  I’m not scared to try new things, really, I mean, you’d be surprised how many things in the universe, no matter how awful they look or smell, taste exactly like chicken.

Seriously.

So, having said all that, I don’t know why I’m making such a big deal about this; compared to some of the stuff I’ve managed to choke down and survive in the past, Sam’s weird ass pizza should be a walk in the park.

Bring it on girlfriend, you don’t scare me: what’s a few unusual terrestrial ingredients thrown on a pizza, I’ve eaten baaka entrails dipped in a lovely sauce made mostly from the baaka’s blood along with a few other questionable ingredients I figured I was better off not knowing about and didn’t even throw up.

“Eggplant, broccoli, spinach, leeks, bean sprouts.”

I take it all back.

John the Baptist coming off his forty days in the wilderness, confronted with this mess as his first meal would turn tail and run screaming back into the desert.

Locusts and wild honey are definitely sounding like a much safer bet.

“Oh yeah, I almost forgot! Mushrooms!” she finishes with a giggle.

“Where?” Jack yelps, latching onto the one, identifiable, genuine, acceptable ingredient in the bizarre mix.

“There,” Sam points at one of the large, amorphous black blobs festooning the unmentionable mess.

“It doesn’t look like a mushroom,” he bleats.

“They’re shitake mushrooms, Colonel, I know they look kind of,” she shrugs.  “But don’t let that put you off, they’re really tasty.”

“Shit,” Jack mumbles.

As in, looks like.  He doesn’t say it, but he’s sure thinking it.

“Well, it sure is white,” Jack finally observes with a mournful sigh.  “I don’t suppose there’s some pepperoni hiding in there somewhere.”

“Nope, it’s completely meatless,” Sam proudly informs him.  “Much better for you that way.”

“Oh,” Jack murmurs.  “And that’s what’s really important…when it comes to pizza.”

Honestly, this just keeps getting worse and worse.  You wouldn’t think there would be so many ways to violate pizza but somehow Sam has managed to get it completely wrong in just about every possible way.

I’m just waiting for her to tell us it’s got a whole-wheat crust or something equally blasphemous and that will pretty much do it.

Jack, bless him, he’s really trying to be a good sport about this, but after what’s been done to this poor pie, well it’s way more than a man should have to bear, especially one who loves his pizza as much as Jack does.  The only thing that would have hurt him even more is if she’d –

No, no, can’t think of anything much worse, this is pretty much as bad as it gets.  This is really bad. I swear he’s gonna cry any second now.

Oooh, not gonna be pretty.  I can’t look. 

“What, no blue jello?”  Jack says with a lame grin.

“Don’t be silly, Sir, you don’t put jello on pizza!” Sam shakes her head fondly at him.

Don’t look at Jack, don’t - don’t look, mustn’t look, will start laughing if you look, laughing bad, really, really bad ohgodohgodohgod don’t laugh!

Sam glances at both of us, Jack manfully swallowing his grief and me holding back an entirely different impulse and oh, lookit here, I think, I think, I think, yeeeees, the light has finally dawned, it is just hitting her that maybe, just maybe we’re not as jazzed about her prize pizza as she is.

“Look, guys,” she frowns.  “I know it looks, kind of – different, but it really does taste great!”

Yeah, I’m gonna buy this from a woman who drinks diet coke.  On purpose.  Because she likes the taste.

“And, not only that – everything on it is really healthy!”

Healthy.  Oh well, that changes everything. Everybody knows it’s a universal given anything that’s good for you is almost always, without fail, so gosh darned yummy as well!

We’re doomed.

“I have it all the time. Give it a chance, I know you’ll love it as much as I do!” she gushes confidently.

Uh huh, I’m sure, seeing as how you know so much about what Jack’s culinary preferences, as evidenced by Exhibit Ewwwww here, currently stinking up the dining room.

Oh well, the evening is not a total loss; at least she got the beer right.

“Well, I guess we’d better tuck in before it gets cold,” Sam states, starting to make for the kitchen like she owns the place, or really wants to.  “Why don’t you guys grab a beer and make yourselves comfortable I’m sure I’ll have no trouble finding my way around your kitchen, Sir, I’ll just rustle up some plates and – “

“No!”  Jack abruptly barks, her sudden intention to further penetrate into his territory snapping him out of his pizza-induced stupor.  “I mean,” he quickly amends, to head off the hurt expression commencing to gallop across her face.  “You’re the guest here it wouldn’t be – tell you what,” he deftly selects a beer from the case and hands it to her, complete with a gracious, hundred watt, melty-eyed O’Neill full bore high beam, charm ’em right out of their pants smile that has me briefly seeing little green-eyed monsters dancing before my eyes even though I know why he’s doing it…still…

I just – when he – that – that smile, he’s just so fucking – and he knows it, knows all he has to do to get whatever he wants from practically anybody -

Arrrgh!

Don’t go there, Daniel, don’t, don’t, it won’t help, and besides, it’s nothing, you know what’s going on just…get a grip, it doesn’t mean diddley, it’s purely a tactical move.

What’s more, it’s gonna work.

Damn that man and his ‘you know you want me’ smile, he’s taken me out at the knees with it more than once even though I know all his tricks; Sam doesn’t have a chance.

“Here you go, Carter,” he presses the beer into her hands, his voice low and velvety.  Just this side of bedroom. My green imps start Riverdancing with a vengeance and I have to start swatting again.

“Why don’t you take this down to the living room and get comfy.  I’ll bring everything down and we can pig out there.”

Sure enough, the smile’s the charm, and she sure is, charmed that is, practically putty in his hands, complete with drool.  Eyes a flutter, she clutches her beer to her heaving bosom and scampers on her way, no doubt to install herself in the best vantage point in the room for implementing her acquisitions strategy while she waits to be waited on hand and foot by her adoring colonel.

She’s so gone she hasn’t even noticed I’m not following her, having been snagged by the arm by said colonel, who then proceeds to haul me into the kitchen.  Pretty sure I’m not gonna get either the smile or the voice, and for sure there isn’t going to be much adoring in my immediate future.

Beaucoup de bitching though. 

“There isn’t enough beer in the world to make me eat that fucking shit,” Jack snarls once Sam is safely out of earshot.

“Stop being such a baby,” I snap back at him, breaking free of his hold and rummaging in the cutlery drawer for the requisite utensils to accompany the plates he’s angrily snatching out of the cupboard.

“Jack, you ate candied eyeballs on P7A 401 last week and didn’t even blink.  How much worse can this be?”

“Eating shit off-world is part of the job.”

Jack slams the plates down on the counter, slams the lid on the casserole dish and slams it, and the chops, alas, into the fridge.

Bye bye pork chops.  Okay, now I’m gonna cry.

“I don’t take my work home with me, so I sure as shit don’t have to eat shit in my own house on my own time!”

“Well, okay, then, fine, you go down there and tell Sam she can take her shitty pizza and get the hell out of here.”

“I can’t do that!”

“Then shut up and eat it, shit and all.”

“Tuna, Daniel, who in the hell puts tuna on a pizza, and what the hell is pesto sauce?”

“It’s a white pasta sauce generally attributed to the Liguria region of Northern Italy made from a combination of basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil and pine nuts or walnuts, but that’s not important right now, what is – you have two choices here, and you know what they are.  You told Sam you wanted the two of you to be just friends; she’s obviously taken you at your word.  She’s showed up here expecting to hang out, because you said she could.  So, you either go down there and tell her you didn’t mean what you said, and she should go home and stop bothering you or – “

“I go down there and make nice and eat the fucking pizza,” Jack sighs, hanging his head.  “I can’t tell her to get lost, I did say we should just be friends and I did sort of, open the door about the whole, hanging out…thing…”

“Yeah, about that – “

“I can’t believe she actually remembered it, it was years ago, and ironically enough, pizza was involved on that occasion as well.  It was back when that Orlin character was floating around her place, only we didn’t know that then, just that something hinky was going on with her, you remember, you suggested Teal’c and I should go over there, check and see if she was okay, well, while I was there I might have said something along the lines of, we should hang out because we never do, I had to say something to explain why we’d come over, but I meant all of us, not just – her and me.  And so, here we are.”

“Yep.”

“I’ve gotta do this, but you – “

“Yes, Jack, I’m with you all the way.  I’ll eat my share, tuna and all.”

“So it’s definitely a fromage a trois,” he deadpans.

“Let’s just…get down there and get this over with.  It’s just one evening, and one pizza.  We can do this.”

“Yeah, we can.  I love you, you know.”

“You’d better.  And by the way, if I need my stomach pumped afterwards I’m sending you the bill.”

“We could dial up P7A 401 and send out for more candied eyeballs for dessert.  They’re not so bad, really, once you get over the whole having your food staring at you…thing.  A little crunchier than you’d expect but – “

“Jack?”

“Daniel?”

“Shut up.”


  Oh God, I’ve got so much work to do, and it seems like everybody wants it yesterday.  Well, even the indispensable need to eat, and certain people’s opinions to the contrary, I don’t work through as many meal breaks as they think I do, as evidenced by the fact I have temporarily deserted my post to stuff my face at the approximately the appropriate time the military has allotted for lunch consumption, but now I have returned, and here we are –

And here’s Jack.

Jack’s sitting at my computer, scowling at the screen.  What is he doing here, and why is he tying up my computer when he’s got a perfectly good one in his own office?

I don’t know so why don’t I ask him?

“Jack, what are you doing here?” I demand, continuing into my office and slapping the folder I’ve been carrying down on my desk.

Jack slowly raises his head, eyebrow arched in reaction to the tone of my voice.

Okay, I admit it; that came out a little more – snippy – than I intended.  I’ve been slightly, on edge, for the last few days, but we won’t get into that right now.

“I’m Googling,” Jack loftily informs me, sniffing with mild affront before turning his attention back to the screen.

“Okay, I’m sorry I snapped at you – I didn’t mean – “ 

Jack airily waves away the rest of my begrudging apology, his eyes still riveted to whatever he’s searching for.

“Okay, so you’re Googling,” I try again, taking a deep breath so whatever I say will sound a little less…you know, even though I am still annoyed.  I have work to do and it’s kinda hard to get on with it with him sitting there. 

“But what I mean is – why are you doing it here?  You have a computer, and you also have a desk, whether it suits you to acknowledge their existence or not.  They’re both waiting for you in the office you also frequently disavow any knowledge of.”

“Oh, that,” Jack murmurs with a shrug. “Yours is closer.”

Making it of course, more convenient for you, but in the meantime what am I supposed to do?

Barely resisting the impulse to scream I try again.

“Jack – I need you to – I need to get back to work!”

“No, Daniel,” Jack calmly returns.  “You need a vacation.  We need a vacation.  Which is why I am here.”

That made absolutely no sense, and my utter confusion must be showing, because Jack sighs and sadly shakes his head like he’s realized he’s dealing with a mental defective and is going to have to start using smaller words or something.

Although where you’d find a word smaller than ‘D’oh!’ I don’t know.

“Daniel, you and I both know, bad cheese jokes and occasional fantasies aside, a perpetual threesome was not the configuration either one of us had in mind for the rest of our relationship.”

Oh no, here we go, he’s not gonna throw that ‘it’s only one night, one pizza’ thing back in my face again.  How the hell was I supposed to know –

“Carter has been over every night we haven’t been off world, so need I remind you it’s been….far too long since we’ve had any ‘quality time’…

Translation: fucked, boinked, banged the drum, done the horizontal mambo, screwed our brains out, whammed, bammed, thank you Dan, done any heavy necking, even.

“And quite frankly, you’re starting to get a bit hard to live with.”

Me?  Me?  I’m getting hard to live with?  Why, you arrogant bastard, you’re the one who almost shot me the other night because I tried to change the channel!

My angry rejoinder dies in my throat as Jack’s dark, sad eyes suddenly meet mine, his expression wistful and longing.

“I miss you,” he says softly.

Even though he sees me every day, and most of the evening, for that matter, I know exactly what he means. 

You see, ever since the bad pizza night, Sam has been a constant in our down time universe, which has had some serious consequences for the intimate side of our relationship, as you can well imagine.  Not only have we not been able to sleep together, we haven’t been able to sleep together either.

Just too risky for either one of us to pull an overnighter, either at his place or mine.  Sam won’t leave until I leave, which is usually pretty late, and once I’ve gone, I can’t really go back, and Jack can’t really come over to my place – it’s complicated, but trust me…

It’s just safer to stay in our own respective beds.

Safer, but a whole lot more lonely. 

“Yeah,” I tell him sincerely.  “I miss you too.  Not been sleeping so good.”

“Me neither,” he nods.

Now I feel like a schmuck for getting mad at him earlier, and also for not…

You see, it just hit me, although I have noticed we’ve both been getting on each other’s nerves recently, this is really the first time I’ve thought about it, and why.  I haven’t wanted to admit it to Jack, but even though it’s been…inconvenient… in some ways, to have Sam constantly around, I’ve kinda been enjoying it.  Being able to hang out with her, and talk to her, just like we used to, it’s almost like good old times. 

And she seems really happy too, and not just because she’s getting to be around Jack.

At least I like to think the getting to reconnect with me, part of things, she’s liking that as much as I am.

I hope so.

“Carter certainly seems to be enjoying herself,” Jack softly continues, like he’s just picked the thought right out of my head.

“Yeah, she’s really happy, isn’t she?”

“And you like having her around, don’t you?”

Shit.  This man scares me sometimes the way he can just –

I can’t hide anything from him.  But then, I don’t need to; he’s Jack.

“Yeah,” I admit, hanging my head.  “She’s my friend.  Or, at least she used to be.  Before – “

I bite my tongue and shut up, having already said more than I meant to.  I don’t want to blame Jack for what happened between Sam and I, I’m sure it wasn’t just that, things got awfully complicated in all of our lives back then and for awhile none of us were really – connecting – as well as we used to and then I…

I really don’t want to think about that, and I’m sure Jack doesn’t want to be reminded either.

“Before I bailed on you and took Carter with me and started this whole mess in the first place.”

Jack’s gentle but frank admission is as uncompromising as the fierce devotion and affection in his expression.

“I had my head up my ass for a long time, running away screaming from the best thing that ever happened to me, and I did a lot of stupid things I can never take back before I finally figured it all out. I don’t count hiding behind Carter as the worst thing, although it was pretty bad.  No, what I did to you was far worse. I hurt you, Daniel, and while I was being such an ass you lost both of us, and then…we lost you.”

Jack looks away, blinking hard.  I should say something, but, feeling pretty gut-punched, here.  Although we both know what happened, and why, he’s never come right out and….

We’ve just never talked about it.  We put it behind us and…moved on.  I was okay with that, and I thought, so was he, I didn’t really need him to, to say anything about it, or apologize, even, but now that he has…

I should…say something.

“But – it’s okay now.  Things are good.  We’re good, that’s all that matters.”

“Some things are good,” Jack nods.  “Some things are great, never doubt that. Others…not so good.”

And then I get it.  The second emotional blow to my solar plexus knocks my legs out from under me and I collapse into my chair.

Jack says nothing, watching me sit there and hyperventilate, a mildly curious expression on his face.

“You gonna live?” he finally inquires.

Okay, I can talk now.

“All this time I thought, what you’ve been doing, putting up with Sam – I thought – “

“I know what you thought,” he smiles deprecatingly.  “But then, that’s the way you are Daniel, it’s always the other guy first, always everybody else but you.”

Omigawd, I can’t talk again.  Everything Jack has done since that first night Sam showed up, every bad meal he’s eaten without a single complaint, from vile pizza to that godawful meatloaf she tried to cook last night, every chick flick and bad sci fi movie he’s sat through without so much as a whimper, every conversation Sam and I have gotten into that’s gone over his head he’s endured with quiet, uncharacteristic patience and nary an eye roll or a sarcastic comment, every night he’s walked us both to the door and said good-bye to me with Sam watching our every move – all of that – why he did it even though he could have ended it after a couple of nights, could have ended it any time, and yet he hasn’t, and clearly doesn’t intend to because I thought…I thought…

I thought he was – is - doing it for her, all this unusual tolerance and endurance, it’s been all about making Sam happy but – but – but –

“Daniel, Carter and I have about as much in common as me and bread mould.  Honestly, I don’t give a rat’s ass about what she does, except that she does it, she does it very well and she does it when I need her to.  As to her likes and dislikes and her feelings, I know all I need to know about her in order for us to relate effectively as team leader and subordinate.  Over and above that I’ve got no interest whatsoever in discovering what makes her tick, nor do I possess any great, burning desire or ambition to be her buddy. Sure I care about her and all, as one of my kids, but making her day doesn’t figure all that high on my list of priorities. You however,” he says sternly, affixing me with a serious stare, “Are another story, pal.  What make you happy is of the utmost importance to me.  Nothin’ matters more, babe.”

I don’t know what to say.

“I took your friend away from you and that hurt you, bad.  Getting the two of you back together – fixing that – well, let’s just say I’m willing to put up with a lot to make it right.  If it makes you happy, it’s more than worth it.  Besides, it hasn’t been too horrible. I’m getting a really kick out of watching the two of you together – of watching you – how wound up you get when the pair of you really get into it, and how you kick her butt nine times out of ten in the debate department.  You’re the only person I know who can think rings around Carter, and talk her under the table to boot and I’ve got my own private ringside seat for the show.  You’re shining again.  I don’t really mind I’m not the only one who can make you glow like that.”

Okay, now I’m the one who has to look away and blink.

If my mouth would work there’s so much I want to say to him right now, but as it is I have to restrain a nearly irresistible impulse to…

I want to go to him and just…just hold him, and that would say it all and then some, tell him everything he needs to know I can’t get out right now, that’s what I really want to do but I can’t. 

Goddamned stupid security cameras.

“About Carter,” Jack suddenly says.  “You guys still carpooling?”

“Yeah,” I say after a minute or two.  I have to swallow this lump that’s crowding my throat, and then the talking thing?  I’ll be able to manage it.

He sits, waiting patiently for me to continue.

“She picks me up most mornings, now, or…me, her.  And then of course, whomever is driving that day takes both of us over to your place – and then home again.”

Which is of course the main reason why Jack and I can’t overnight anymore.

“But it’s been mostly her, doing the driving that is, because that’s the way she wants it.”

“Danny,” Jack says softly, intently, and something in his voice makes me look at him again.

“Be careful, okay?” 

He frowns, takes a deep breath, a tinge of indecision fleeting across his face.

“Just…be careful.”

His eyes are deep with an emotion I can’t read, and I know there’s something else, something more he wants to say, but he’s not going to.

Something about Sam?  About me?  Whatever it is, he’s worried about something.

I don’t understand.

“Forget it,” he shrugs and turns his attention back to the monitor.

Okay, that was…  Wait a minute, what is Jack doing there, anyway, what the heck has he been looking for, all this time? You know what, I never did find out.

 “Um…you never did say, what are you Googling…for?” 

“I told you; we need to get away.”

“So, you’re looking up some nice vacation spots?”

“Not where, when.”

“What?”

“I can’t just walk up to Hammond and say, excuse me, General, but Daniel and I need a day or two off, Carter is cramping our style, not to mention our sex life.”

“So, you’re looking up holidays?  I’ll save you some time, Memorial Day is coming up soon.”

“Oh, not nearly soon enough, Dannyboy, your tongue gets any more of an edge to it, you’ll be able to cut your own throat with it.”

I love you too.

“I’ll make one up if I have to.  International Archaeologist Appreciation Day, how does that sound?” he grins.

“Well, that might work for me, but what are you going to do?”

“Appreciate, Daniel, appreciate,” he leers at me.

“Hey guys!”  Sam pops her head around the corner, scaring the shit out of both of us.

“I’m glad I caught you both together!”

“Carter!”  Jack fires back at her without missing a beat, complete with cheery faux smile. 

I’ve always been impressed by the man’s…recovery time.

He’s quick.

Oh yeah, and very, very good.

“Daniel and I were just talking about you, saying, gee, I wonder where Carter is, it’s just about time for her to turn up, weren’t we Daniel?”

He’s also the most convincing, and charming liar I’ve ever met.

He’s certainly got Sam snowed.

“Thanks you, Sir,” she blushes.  “I’ve just got a minute, I have some stuff in my lab I’ve got to get back to – “

“I’m sure you do, Carter, but…” Jack generously invites her to continue.

“But I just wanted to ask you, Colonel, do you mind driving Daniel over to your place after work, I have to go to the video store and pick up the movie for tonight.”

I glance over at Jack and I can see he’s thinking exactly the same thing.

Chick flick, or bad sci fi, what will it be?

“I’m leaning toward Solaris at the moment, but I’ll see how I feel when I get there.  Do you have any requests?”

Bad sci fi it is.  Oh…joy.

“Tell you what, why don’t you surprise us,” Jack purrs at her.  “We trust you.  Whatever you pick, I’m sure it will be great.”

You know, even I believed that one.

He’s seriously starting to scare me.

Sam glows like one of her naquadah reactors on overload.  “Why, thank you Sir, I didn’t know you had that much confidence in me,” she beams.

Jack’s look of ingenuous astonishment is truly worthy of a nod from the Academy.

“Carter, I trust you with my life on practically a daily basis.”

His life, my life, our lives, sure, absolutely, no question, but the night’s movie?

It’s pretty much a given whatever she brings over is gonna be horrible, but once you know that, it’s really not all that bad.

I can’t speak for Jack but I’m actually starting to develop a fondness for bad movies, kinda like the whole car wreck on the side of the road…thing, you know it’s gonna be bad and you really shouldn’t look, but you can’t help yourself.

“I can swing by and pick up a pizza once I’m done  – “

“NO!” We both yelp.

“That is – “ Jack hastens to add, smoothly covering our gaffe. “You’ve treated us more than enough; it’s my turn to cook.”

“Oh?”  Sam perks up at this.  “Cook – you mean, actually…cook?”

“I could,” Jack nods.  “I can, you know.”

Yes, he can, and very well.  Which is more than you can say.

Sam gives me a secretive glance, a sly smile playing across her lips.

“Yes Sir,” she tells him meaningfully, her voice low and throaty and full of subtext plainly meant only for Jack.

“I know.”

All it takes is two little words and suddenly I hate her all over again.

“See you later, guys,” Sam waves at us and scoots on her way.

“Can’t wait,” Jack mutters, something dark and dangerous dancing in his eyes.

“Move over!”  I snap at him and start rolling my chair toward him.

“What?  Why?”

“That holiday you’re trying to find?  I’m gonna help you look.”


Oh my God, Sam has really outdone herself tonight, this has to be the worst movie ever. I love her dearly, but oh me, oh my, she has the oddest taste…in a lot of things.  Maybe it’s some left-over Tok’ra traces, some residual Jolinar-ness influencing her on some subliminal level.  Yeah, that could explain it. Sam’s strange judgment on matters victual and cinematic, although for obvious reasons we’ll leave off mentioning her taste in men, as to what’s responsible for it, I blame the Tok’ra, and if you’re wondering why, well, let’s just say based strictly on what I’ve seen of their décor and their fashion sense they wouldn’t be my first choice as intergalactic arbiters of good taste.

Or any sort of taste, for that matter.

Nope, the Tok’ra connection can’t be helping her at all.  Whatever input Sam might still be receiving from whatever Jolinar left in her head; it can’t be good. 

But getting back to movies and this stinker she’s selected for our viewing pleasure this evening.  No really, as bad movies go, this is pretty putrid.  It’s so bad I’ve involuntarily expunged the title from my brain in an attempt to protect what little remains of my grey matter. It’s truly awful; slow, ponderous, dull, I haven’t got a clue what’s going on, and what’s more, I really don’t care.

Across the room I can see Jack, wide-eyed, glassy and staring.  He’s plastered to the couch, his spine poker stiff, arms splayed along its back like he’s been crucified.  I think he may be in a coma.  Or possibly the bastard has perfected the art of sleeping with his eyes open, and hasn’t told me.

If he starts snoring that’s a definite yes.

At least dinner was good.  Thank God.  Jack fired up the barbie and we had some lovely steaks, big as hub caps, positively slathered in barbeque sauce.  We chased it down with mounds and mounds of the potato salad we picked up from the deli on the way home. And corn on the cob, drowning in butter.

Mmmmmmmm…  I can feel my arteries hardening as we speak but it was sooooo worth it!

And I must say, for all the obviously health-oriented menu choices she’s been sharing with us, Sam put away more than her share.  She’s still working on dessert, her third helping, I believe, sitting over there by Jack’s side shoveling chocolate cheese cake into her mouth like someone’s gonna snatch the plate away from her any second.

And about that…

The seating arrangements, I mean, not Sam’s capacity for cheesecake.

I have noticed a definite diminishing trend when it has come to the approximate proximity between her and Jack relative to where they both are situated on the couch.  That is to say, they both started out on opposite ends, but with each successive evening, although Jack’s customary position has not changed there’s been some noticeable…creepage… on Sam’s part.  It’s very subtle, but she’s definitely been working her way over to his side, and his side, literally.

She’s not quite there yet, but she’s certainly close enough to be considered considerably crowding his personal space.  Another foot or so and she’ll be sitting in his lap.

And where am I, well you may ask?  Monkey-not-so-in-the-middle?  I’ve been relegated to the chair in the corner.  It’s comfy, but also conveniently on the other side of the table and nowhere near the couch.  Or Jack.  On the plus side I get a great view of the TV, and Sam moving over and in on my colonel.

It doesn’t bother me.  Not now.  It would have, a little bit, I will admit, but that was before, before I found out…

Sam thinks she’s making progress, slowly worming her way into Jack’s heart, and he’s relaxing, getting comfortable around her, his blanket acceptance of all the various ways she’s insinuated herself into her life she’s reading as acceptance of her.

That’s what she’s undoubtedly thinking, and before Jack clued me in, so was I.

I’ve had time to think about what Jack told me in my office, earlier.  Now, don’t get me wrong, here, I’m not…unappreciative, of the personal sacrifices he’s made for my sake, far from it, I’m completely blown away, touched beyond my ability to articulate, even and believe me, not that he needed to or anything, Jack’s scored some major points in my books today, I mean, I knew he loved me, before, but knowing he loves me enough to sit through something like this, so I can have time with Sam, that’s pretty cool, incredibly cool, okay, it’s utterly amazing and knowing this, that my Jack is doing this for me, well, I should be the happiest archaeologist on the planet right now.

I should be, I really should, and I feel like a totally ungrateful slug admitting this, but, well…

I’m not.

There’s a couple of reasons why and they’re pretty good ones.  Unfortunately.  The first one being the very fact he is doing it, and why.  I know his heart’s in the right place, his motives are…well maybe not entirely pure, but certainly well-meant, as far as it pertains to me, and that’s the problem.  To make me happy, to ‘right the wrong’ he feels he’s done me; he’s kinda leading Sam on.  Just a little. Okay, a lot. Consequently, I’m more than slightly concerned about that, especially because Sam doesn’t know what’s really going on here, and him effectively using her – to please me – well, it’s not right.

Not only is it not right, when you really think about it, if the only way I can ‘earn’ relationship points with Sam is by throwing Jack at her…

Well, it’s kind of insulting, isn’t it?

As much as I dearly love him for the sentiment, and the sacrifice, I don’t need Jack to fight my battles and I certainly don’t need him to ‘buy’ anyone’s friendship for me, especially not Sam’s.

Which brings us around to the whole issue of Sam and what’s really going on here.  We all know when she first – inserted herself – into our cozy twosome Jack was the main topic on her agenda and having to make nice with me again was a necessary part of the bargain, but since then things have moved on.  Changed.  What’s happening between the three of us, it’s not all about Jack now.

At least, I hope to God it’s not.

Me and Sam, we’ve been reconnecting.  Spending time, a lot of time, just the two of us.  I want to believe what’s been happening between us, it’s real, that being around me again has made her realize what we lost, how far we’d drifted apart; she missed the friendship we once had, and yeah, maybe she missed me too, and now she’s here because she wants to be with me as much as she wants Jack, and when she’s with me, and he’s not around, it’s because she wants to be with me and not because…

That’s what I want to believe, but the problem is, and I really hate to say this, but it’s the truth…

I’m still not completely…sure…about that.  Or Sam. 

God, I hate myself when I start thinking this way, but I can’t help it, there’s just…something…off, about all of this. I wish I could be more certain of Sam’s motives as far as I’m concerned, or even had a bit more faith in the original foundation of our friendship, but the truth is, there’s no getting away from the fact there was a time I was convinced she and I were as solid as…

Me and Jack.

But he beckoned and she walked away from me without so much as a backward glance.  Jack’s big brown eyes and ‘come hither’ smile, that’s all it took and faster than you could say ‘Daniel’s a dope’ three years of friendship…

Down the dumper.

All right, let’s be fair here, Jack walked away from me too.  But that was different.

Or was it? 

He had a reason, though, he did it because he cared for me, way too much, and in a way he couldn’t deal with for a long time, so he didn’t dump me so much as try to excise me from his heart by cutting me out of his life.

And he certainly came back.  Once he’d finally worn himself out enough to face the truth.

Maybe it was something like that with Sam, for whatever reason she did it, maybe she realized throwing away our friendship was really stupid and she’s been regretting it for a long time, but hasn’t known how to put it right, thinking I probably wouldn’t forgive her or something, but now she knows as far as I’m concerned I don’t care what she did or why, it’s in the past; I’m just glad she’s back.

Someday we’ll get really drunk and sentimental, start swapping stories and it will all come out and we’ll laugh about what idiots we’ve both been…

And maybe pigs will fly right through the Stargate and crap on Ba’al’s head.

Oh God, Daniel stop getting sucked in by your own ridiculous hopes, look at what’s going on around you. None of this is real.  We’re all here under false pretenses, with agendas up the wahzoo.  No matter how perfect, cozy and chummy everything looks right now, it’s still all a sham and sooner or later the thin veil of pretense is going wear through at some vulnerable point and the whole ridiculous charade is gonna blow up in our faces.

Or…not.

God, I hope I’m wrong.  I know what my instincts are screaming at me, but just this once, please, please let them be wrong, let me be wrong, let it all work out for the best, let everything be the way I want it not the way…

Jack shakes his head, the abrupt, unexpected movement is a bit startling, and before either Sam or I have a chance to react to him re-entering the room, so to speak, he’s on his feet in one swift, fluid motion.

“S’cuse me,” he grunts at both of us.  “Have to see a man about a…”

“Oh!”  Sam sits forward, instantly responding.  “I can pause the movie for you,” she tells him, reaching for the remote.  “So you don’t miss anything – “

“No, no, that’s fine,” he vigorously shakes his head.  “I wouldn’t want to hold things up for the rest of you.  I might…be awhile.”

And then he’s off, booking out of the TV room at a positive gallop.

Bastard!  He’s gonna escape the dread denouement by hiding out in the can.

Damn, wish I’d thought of it first!

“Wow,” Sam murmurs, watching his rapid exit with a raised eyebrow.  “He must really have to go!”

“Well, you know Jack, he’s always been a bit of a procrastinator,” I quip back at her.

“Yeah,” Sam grins at me, a wide, genuine smile with so much warmth she has to really mean it.  “But there are some things you really shouldn’t put off until tomorrow.”

We both laugh and fall into an easy, comfortable silence making me feel so good I don’t even care about bad movies and George Clooney on the screen there, droning on and on about…something.

Okay, the movie has sucked so far but the ending is suddenly looking very promising.

I haven’t got a clue what Mr Clooney has been up to for the last hour or so, but you know what, it doesn’t really matter.  I don’t even mind Jack ditching me.  This is…Sam and me here, right now…

This is nice.

“The colonel has been very quiet these last few night,” Sam observes after a couple of minutes.

Yeah he has.  It’s called boredom.  With a capital B.

“He seems…preoccupied…like he’s got something on his mind.”

No, that’s not it, actually, it’s quite the opposite, he hasn’t got anything on his mind but getting through the evening with his sanity intact, but I can’t say that, so I’d better think of something else.  Something….something else. 

Oh wait!  I’ve got it!

“He’s worried about Teal’c.  Him having to be off-world with Bra’tac so much lately, trying to get all the Jaffa fifth column stuff worked out.  And now with the recent tensions flaring up between the Jaffa and the Tok’ra…complicating things…”

Which actually is the truth, partly.   Teal’c has been on Jack’s mind, and mine too, but not just for that.  I feel really terrible admitting this, but in a funny way, it’s been a good thing.  Teal’c not being here while all of…this…has been going on, I mean.

Things are complicated enough without adding the further wrinkle of our fourth wandering around the base in a Jaffa snit feeling left out and wondering why he doesn’t get to hang out here too.

“Teal’c,” Sam says thoughtfully, and then smiles knowingly to herself.  “Yeah, that must be it.”

Ooooh boy, the smugness level in the room just jumped up a notch or two.  Not buyin’ that one, huh Sam?

“And speaking of the colonel, gee, I wonder what’s taking him so long.”

I know, but I can’t tell.

He’s hiding.

“Well, he did say he was going to be awhile, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t get lost,” I throw back at her.

“Not in his own house,” Sam nods.  “One thing you can say about the colonel though, he has an excellent sense of direction.”

Yeah.  He’s never failed to bring me home, no matter how lost I’ve become.

“Still, I hope there’s nothing…wrong.  Maybe I’d should  – “ she says, starting to get up.

“Sam, I’m sure he’s fine,” I shake my head at her and wave her back down.  “He’s a big colonel, I’m sure whatever it is, he can handle it, and if he needs anything he’ll holler – “

“Daniel!”  Right on cue Jack’s voice rings out from down the hall, emanating from the general direction of the ensuite, if I am not mistaken.  “Come here, I need you.”

“Ah, that would be for me,” I grimace apologetically at Sam and push myself up from the chair.  “I’ll just go see – what’s…going on.”

“You don’t think he’s fallen in, do you?”  Sam whispers, eyes twinkling mischievously.

“Anything is possible, I suppose,” I grin back at her.  “But what you were saying before, about that sense of direction…”

“Daniel!”  Sam scolds me, and then giggles.  “He hasn’t had that much to drink yet!”

This is true.

“DANIEL!”  Jack bellows again.

“Oh my – you’d better – “

“Yeah.  And if we’re not back in an hour – “

“I know, I know, Search and Rescue.”

I leave Sam still laughing and head down the hall.  It only takes me a couple of seconds to reach Jack’s bedroom.  The door is partially open, and the lights are off.

Hmmmm.  That’s odd.  No light showing from under the bathroom door either.

Where the hell is Jack, and what’s he doing in the dark?

“Um…Jack?” I call out, venturing cautiously into the blackness.  And it really is...dark.  The blinds are closed, no light, even if there was any, coming in from outside.  It’s a good thing I know my way around this room pretty good, otherwise –

OW!  What the fuck was that?  That table’s not supposed to be there!

“Jack!”  I say again, a little louder this time.

Still no answer.  Okay, this is not good.

Although I was making with the jokes with Sam earlier, the urgent tenor of Jack’s last…summons, had me a bit concerned – and now this.  I assumed when he took off on us it was a clever movie avoidance strategy, but maybe I was wrong, it was something else, something really wrong.   I’m hoping he’s okay and he hasn’t had another flare-up of the GI problem that was making him so cranky when we were trying to deal with the Kelownans, I mean the Langarans, whatever those short-sighted butt-heads are calling themselves these days, I mean, the morons were facing the prospect of having their whole damned planet go up in their faces, as Jack so eloquently put it, and they still couldn’t get past their own short-sightedness and petty prejudices to –

Whaaaaaaaa!

A hand clamps over my mouth, a strong arm wraps around my chest, and I’m almost pulled off my feet, dragged ruthlessly backwards before I can even think of resisting or struggling. 

I hope this is Jack, ‘cause if it isn’t I’m in trouble.  No way I can break this hold, and wherever… whomever is taking me…

Wait – where are we going – can’t see a damned – so dark in here – what’s the rush?

Jack?  Quit fooling around here, with the rough stuff, let me go, you’re starting to freak me out.

Ow – that hurt!  What was that – a doorframe we just banged into?  Yup, smaller space, being shoved into it, sound of a door, behind us, slamming shut.  I’m briefly released, only to be whirled around and slammed up against it, pretty roughly, and before I can move or protest an implacable, but thankfully familiar weight slams into me from behind, wedging me securely between the door and a very hard place. 

Closet – we’re in the closet.

And I’ve definitely found Jack.  Or I guess you could say, more correctly, he’s found me.

And parts of him are very glad to have found me indeed.

Oh yeah!

He can’t be thinking what I think he’s thinking, can he?  I mean, he doesn’t mean – we should – he called me in here and jumped me in the dark so he could haul me into his closet and…

Is he nuts?  We can’t – Sam is just down the hall!

Ow! Man jammed up against a door, here, Jack, quit…butting…

Ummm, actually, that feels kinda…good.

No!  No, we can’t.  Too, it’s too stupid, too dangerous – as much as I want to – we can’t!

“Jack,” I struggle to get out, attempting as usual, to be the voice of reason, which I’m getting mighty sick of I might add, but saying anything isn’t proving to be easy, what with my face, and pretty much all of me, come to think of it, mashed up against the door.

And Jack, behind me, making with some pretty interesting, and insistent pelvic action, against my…behind.

Oy…that voice of reason thing?  He keeps this up I might lose my own argument.

Not to mention any hope of coherent thought…

“Shut up!” he pants into my ear, his fingers fumbling with my belt.  “Drop ‘em!”

I should stop him.  Us.  This.  I should.  This is beyond nuts this – this -

This is insane!

Stop him?  Yeah, in my dreams!  Talk about your irresistible force, right now Jack is so far beyond reason, not to mention reach he’s too damned hot for words.  Besides, I’m not exactly in a position to argue; I can’t move, I can barely breathe, Jack’s lust-crazed weight smashing against me, pressing me into the door so ruthlessly I’m practically a pancake, he’s got me well and truly pinned, not to mention on the edge of asphyxiation, and now he’s got my belt undone, my fly open, and he’s hooking his fingers into the waistband of my pants.

In a desperate attempt get some air I buck back against him only to have him slam into me again, pretty much expelling the little remaining oxygen in my lungs.

Oooh…stars, spots, pinwheels…seein’ em all…

Woooo…feels kinda…funky…

“I said – drop ‘em!” he snarls into my ear while he roughly wrenches my pants down over my ass to my knees.  He keeps me pinned in place with his body, his hands occupied with frantically working his own belt and zipper.

Insane or not, I’m fucked.

“I’m gonna fuck you hard, Daniel,” he grunts.  I hear the unmistakable sounds of clothes being roughly rucked down hairy legs and then I feel him, the bare skin of his groin slick and electric with excitement, hard and urgent against me.  Head swimming, knees getting weak, breath shallow, can hardly get any air, feeling like dropping straight to the floor but can’t – can’t move, won’t fall.

Jack has me.

“I don’t care if the entire SGC is sitting in our living room I can’t stand it any longer.  You can fight me if you want, but I’m gonna fuck you.  You hear me, Daniel, fuck you ‘til you scream! Nothing you can do about it, it’s gonna happen.  Gowan, baby,” he leers, licking my ear, his insistent erection drumming against my ass.  “Fight me.  Make it really…hard.”

Oh, I don’t think that’s possible.  I also haven’t got a coherent thought in my head or any plans of opposing his as next he grabs me, fisting me feverishly with his right while fingers ram into me, stretching, probing, invading with no finesse but plenty of intent.

Scream?  Goddammit I’ll bark like a dog, whatever you –

Ohhhhhh,  ohhhhh GOD, that’s good – fingers so deep, the way they’re ramming into me, this is gonna be rough.

I love it rough!

Jack clamps his hand over my mouth to muffle the involuntary groan escaping me when I feel his swollen, hungry head pressing into me.  I know what’s going to happen, he’s gonna shove it straight in, hard and fast, it’s gonna hurt like hell, God, it’s gonna burn, but I love it, I love it, when he does me like a maniac God, oh God, do it, do it, DO IT!

Ohhhh…..GOOOOOD!

Jack’s face is buried in my shoulder, his smothered grunts mingling with mine, he’s in, sheathed to the root in my willing ass, humping frantically, ramming me mercilessly against the closet door, one hand still clamped to my mouth, the other working me with exquisite fury.  I’m completely pinioned by the power of his passion, can’t move, gave up worrying about breathing. My entire awareness is rapidly constricting, I’m falling away into blackness and yet being carried up, up and away by the rising swell of ecstasy filling every scrap of my flickering senses. 

I could die right now, and just might, if I can’t catch a breath in the next few seconds but what a way….

Banging… what’s that...sound?  Thumping, banging…

Quit knocking, not ready for heaven yet.

Oh, oh, that’s us – me – the sound my body is making, as I’m being pounded against the door.  Jack making good on his boast he was going to fuck me through a wall one day.  Door, actually, but close enough, the rapid, rhythmic thuds of our coupling frenzy are filling the closet, our frantic assault making the door we’re madly battering rattle alarmingly on its hinges.  I don’t know how much more it can take – or – or me, for that matter, what’s gonna blow first, the door – or….

Meeee….oh God, ohgodohgod gonna…gonna…

“Hey Guys!”  Sam shouts from the TV room.  “You’re missing the ending!”

Oh…no…we’re….

NNNNOOOOTTTTTJAAAACK!  OHGODJAAAACCCKKK!

I’m screaming, sobbing against Jack’s palm, the smothering, sweating fleshy barrier barely holding back the sounds.  Tears streaming down my face, delirious and weak-kneed with the force of my release, still shaking and struggling to breathe I feel Jack shudder, bite down hard on my shoulder through my shirt.  Two quick pumps and then he’s hugging me, stroking my hair, my chest, kissing the side of my neck, my cheek all the time murmuring, words I can’t make out but there’s such tenderness in his touch, his voice…

I have to be getting this wrong, I’m still half out of my head with the after effects of oxygen deprivation and orgasm, but I could swear, it sounds like, Jack…

I think he’s…crying.

No, that can’t be, why would he…

Jack?

“Don’t ever leave me,” he says suddenly, softly, against my right ear.

That I heard.  I don’t know where it came from, but I heard it.

As if I ever would.  Or could.

But why would he even think -

“Daniel,” Jack sighs happily into my shoulder, his large, warm hand caressing my belly and liberally smearing it with my come.  Heaving a reluctant sigh he pulls out of me and gives my ass an affectionate pat.

“Come on, we’d better pull ourselves together, clean up some and get back to Carter.”

Sam!  I’d completely forgotten about her – how long have we been gone?

We both pull up our pants, barrel into the bathroom and make a fast, frantic effort at de-semenizing ourselves before tucking everything back in and checking each other for any incriminating evidence of our closet encounter we might have missed.

“Are we good?”  Jack asks me anxiously.

I shrug, he scowls, and we’re out of there.

As I follow him down the hall I can’t shake an uneasy feeling I’ve forgotten something. I know we both passed inspection; everything’s been properly licked, nicked and tucked, so why do I feel like there’s something…

Sam does not appear to have moved since we left her, and she smiles a greeting at us as soon as she sees us.

“Hey guys, everything okay?” She mildly inquires, with only the slightest hint of curiosity in her expression.  “I heard an awful lot of banging in there.”

Oh God!  The cover story!  I knew there was something we forgot!

Wait a minute, what did she say, she could hear us, but she didn’t run to investigate?  Perhaps George Clooney has powers we did not suspect.

Whatever, he’s getting a thank you letter in the morning.

While I’m having my brief mental fit Jack steps in to fill up the breach proving once again why he’s the colonel.

“I locked myself in the bathroom,” Jack tells her with a sheepish grin.

Honestly, this man never ceases to amaze me; the bullshit well he constantly draws from never seems to go dry.

“It’s my own fault, the lock has been sticking for a long time and I should have fixed it, but you know me and…”

“Procrastinating,” Sam supplies with a wink at me.

“Yeah,” he shrugs, ‘dumb Jack’ mode fully engaged and shamelessly presented for Sam to take full advantage of.

“Sir, you should have said something,” Sam scolds him like he’s a retarded five year-old. “I would have fixed that door for you in no time.  What would you have done if this had happened when you were here alone?”

She’s kidding, right, I mean she has to be, she can’t honestly believe a man with Jack’s training and background, not to mention his field experience 

Come on, the man is a colonel in the United States Air Force, he didn’t get those birds out of a Cracker Jack box, although he’d rather die than admit it he’s got almost as many degrees as I do!

How stupid does she really think he is, and if she really believes that …

The hell with love, real or imagined, I’m suddenly wondering if Sam even likes Jack.

“Then I guess I would have had a problem,” Jack replies, keeping the dumb act going strong.  “But lucky for me, my hero here,” Jack pats me on the shoulder and flashes a proud smile ‘round the room.  “Daniel to the rescue.  He got me out.”

“You were locked in,” Sam says slowly.  “And you called for Daniel, not…”

Her voice trails away, she’s silent for a second.

“You called for Daniel.”

Sam’s eyes dart from Jack to me, and then back again, assessing, a troubled crease beginning to form between her brows and for just a second there’s something…almost cold…

I’m not sure what I’m seeing, not sure what she’s thinking, but all of a sudden, I don’t know why, but I’m feeling…

“You missed the end of the movie, you know,” she lightly accuses.

“Oh, yeah, sorry about that,” Jack returns, bypassing the couch and throwing himself into the chair I’ve formerly been occupying.  “But I’m sure you’ll catch us up.”

Thanks, Jack, for taking my chair you rat bastard, I don’t want to sit near her either, we did clean up, but still, both of us are still exuding a slightly…musky odour not entirely masked by some hasty ablutions consisting mostly of a liberal lathering of critical body surfaces with Irish Spring…

Jack wanted to dump some aftershave in my shorts, but after I told him I’d break his nose first he wisely backed off.

“Ordinarily I’d be more than happy to, but I can’t tonight,” Sam informs us while starting to gather up her plate, fork and beer glass to take them on through to the kitchen.

“Huh?”  Jack grunts.

“I’m calling it a night early, Colonel,” Sam halts, plate in one hand, glass in the other, and stares at Jack.  Her posture screams ‘significant statement forthcoming’ and for sure, whatever bomb she’s about to drop, she wants a clear and unobstructed view of Jack’s reaction.

“Oh, that’s too bad,” Jack fires back, a little too eagerly, and he’s on his feet just as quickly.

“Here, let me get these for you.”

Easy boy, try and hide your disappointment.  I think pushing her out the door will definitely blow your cover as well.

“Yeah,” Sam continues, trying not to visibly react to the alacrity with which Jack snatches her last remaining excuses to linger from her hands.  “And I’m sorry to say, you guys are on your own tomorrow.”

“Oh?” Jack, bless him, is making a manfully heroic effort to hide his disappointment.

He gets any more depressed he’ll be dancing a jig.

“Uh huh,” Sam nods.  She hesitates, obviously seriously reconsidering proceeding with the rest of her ‘announcement’ in the light of Jack’s barely restrained glee at what’s come out of her mouth so far, definitely not the reaction she was hoping for, obviously, but then she takes a deep breath and decides to go for full disclosure.

“I’ve got a date,” she says proudly, thrusting her chin out, eyes locked to Jack’s.

And there it is.  She’s tossed the gauntlet at Jack’s feet, hoping like crazy he’ll pick it – and her - up.

Tell me not to go she screams at him without saying a word.

“Well, good for you, Carter!” Jack beams at her.

“Oh no, it’s not – like that.“ she hastens to add.  “Not a real date, I mean. I’ve never met him. He’s a friend of my brother’s.  All I know about him is his name is Pete.  He’s a cop, he lives in Denver.”

“Blind date then, Carter?”  Jack grins.  “Sounds like fun!”

“I’m doing it as a favour for Mark,” she says quickly.  “That’s the only…reason.  But – I - I don’t have to, that is, I can call it off, if you’d rather – “

Please, please ask me to stay.

“Don’t want to break up the team,” she finishes weakly, her eyes getting a desperate edge around them as she searches Jack’s face for some sign he’s not good with her going out with another guy.

And not seeing it.

“No, no Carter, you go on ahead, you go out and have a good time.  Don’t worry about us, Daniel and I will manage somehow without you.”

Sam’s face shuts down, her mouth set in a hard, firm line she swings around and scoops up her purse.

“I’m sure you will,” she mutters before pushing past Jack and blowing by me like I’m not even in the room.

Well, there she goes. Somehow I don’t think she’ll be back.

She sweeps down the hall toward the front door, an uncomfortable silence and the both of us in her wake.

Just as I think things have gotten as awkward as they can she pauses at the front door and turns to deliver her parting shot.

“Well, I’ll be going now,” she intones, unnecessarily.  “I trust you’ll see Daniel gets home,” she says to Jack in clipped, crisp tones.

I don’t care what happens to him, he’s your problem now.

“I assure you he’s in good hands.”

Sam’s eyes narrow, and she turns her attention to me for the first time.  For a fleeting, ephemeral instant the look she shoots me is so venomous, I feel something cold and terrible slice right through my heart.

“Oh Daniel, I won’t be able to pick you up in the morning.  I hope that won’t be too inconvenient.”

I’m guessing our carpooling days are officially over.

She doesn’t wait for an answer, just pulls the door open, slips through it, and slams it behind her.

And just like that…she’s gone.

I think…I think she’s really…

Gone…

I stand there, staring stupidly at Jack’s front door, the sound it made still echoing within me.

It hurts.

Why do I ache inside and why does it feel like – Sam shut that door on – on me.

On us.

I’m never going to see my friend again.

“Daniel I’m so sorry,” Jack says softly, touching me tentatively on the shoulder.

“I know,” I manage to choke out before twisting swiftly around into his welcoming arms to lose myself in his anchoring embrace.

 
htt
BACK TO EASTER EGOSp://jd-divas.com/phoenixe/easteregos.shtml

FINIS

FEEDBACK IS GRATEFULLY APPRECIATED: PLEASE CONTACT PHOENIX WITH YOUR COMMENTS ON THIS STORY.  THANK YOU.
PHOENIX E HOME  JD-DIVAS HOME

copyright
PhoenixE, 2006-9.
disclaimer
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.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]