A first time story.
"I'm glad we came," Daniel says into the still quiet of the warm afternoon sun. "You were right, this is just what we needed."
Jack lifts the boonie from over his face and looks round at the sudden comment - there hasn't been a sound, apart from the soft plop and splash of jumping fish, for at least an hour, and he'd thought Daniel was asleep. He makes an exaggerated lift of his brows even though it's an effort.
"You're admitting I can be right on occasion? This has to be an historic moment."
Daniel grins lazily. "This occasion, yes. Don't let it go to your head though, it won't last." He props himself up on one elbow and scans the intersecting ripples in the barely flowing water surrounding them. "You know, if this keeps up, you're going to be in serious danger of actually catching something. The fish here look like they're desperate to give themselves up. We should have gone up to the cabin so we could keep your reputation intact."
"Oh, I dunno." Jack glances at his rod where it rests, perfectly still, in its holster on the side of the boat. He's given up any pretence of trying to catch anything at least half an hour ago. He's slouched down in his seat, stretched out his legs and given in to the blandishments of sunshine and peace, though he's still alert enough to note in a small corner of his mind that the leather grip on his rod is coming loose, the bottom end peeling away from the cork: a job for later. "The damn fish are jumping all over the place, but I still haven't caught one. I guess I must give off some kinda anti-fish vibe. Could be a magnetic field of some kind that puts them off taking the bait: fish are sensitive to magnetic fields. I'll maybe get Carter to check it out some day." It's not a serious suggestion, and Daniel knows it.
"Just as well you enjoy the 'ing' part then," Daniel chuckles. "Seeing as the 'fish' bit is a complete non-starter."
"You won't be saying that when it comes time for dinner."
Daniel rolls down onto his back again and stretches luxuriously, delicately, like a cat, against the sun-warmed boards in the bottom of the boat, before recoiling slowly into his previous boneless sprawl. "I will too. I happen to know that you have steaks in the cooler up front, right alongside the hibachi."
"Logistics. If there's one thing our job teaches us, it's logistics. And contingency planning. Okay, two things. Logistics, contingency planning - and --"
"Bullshitting. You never expected to catch a fish and those steaks are the proof. Amongst many things, our job teaches us --"
Jack snickers. "Not to expect the Spanish Inquisition. And to supply desserts. See, I knew I shouldn't have let you loose on my Python collection. You pick things up too damn fast."
Daniel quirks an eyebrow. "Really? 'Too damn fast'? I don't recall you saying that to me ever before. Not in any circumstances. On the other hand, I do vividly remember 'Hurry it up, Daniel, I'm not getting any younger here'. That one was quite recent too," he continues reflectively, with a small, reminiscent smile.
Jack nudges Daniel's leg with his outstretched foot to make some sort of point, he isn't quite sure what. He just knows that he doesn't want Daniel running away with the impression that he's had the last word here. But he's feeling pretty warm and boneless himself, mind and body reacting with indolence to the heat of the sun in the clear, powder blue sky and the sudden break from routine. He settles his hat back over his face again, and tips his head back with a small sigh.
Daniel makes no response to that, except to capture Jack's bare foot with one hand and stroke it lightly, idly running his fingers along the top of it and up to the sparse hair on his shins, down round the ankle bone and back again. Normally it makes Jack squirm and wriggle to have his feet touched, but today it doesn't bother him at all - in fact, it's kinda nice. Soothing, lulling, in tune with the day. And because he doesn't object, Daniel's hand ventures that little bit higher, to cup and knead his calf. Also soothing, lulling, kinda nice. It's something they're not used to, out of doors, anywhere they might be seen. But here, that doesn't matter. There are no bystanders and he can just enjoy it, both the touch and the simple fact that Daniel likes touching him.
Jack's nearly asleep himself before the silence is broken again.
"There's something about water. About being on the water. It's very satisfying."
Just this once, Jack doesn't respond with a drawled, 'Ya think?' or a wise-ass comeback. He's pleased that they're on the same wavelength here so he takes the remark at face value and agrees with a sleepy grin that's hidden inside his hat but shows clearly in his voice, "Yeah. I think you're getting it - the 'ing'. The 'ing' is the best part."
But Daniel, being Daniel, can't just leave it at that even when he's lazing aimlessly in the sun in the bottom of a boat in the middle of a river. Although, Jack notices, he doesn't seem to be worrying at the thought like a terrier with a rat, like he usually does: his voice is quiet and light, as if he's talking to himself.
"The Celts had a big thing for water. They saw it as a gate between the worlds, between this life and the next. In a boat, you could be outside of time and outside of human perception: in a kind of limbo where magical things could and did happen. I like that idea. Never really saw it properly until today though."
Daniel makes no other comment, not a verbal one, anyway. He simply tugs at Jack's leg, giving the distinct impression that he wants Jack down beside him on the boards, and Jack of course, with a sudden insistent twitching in his belly, complies. Because he likes the idea of making out in limbo, in plain sight but somehow not, just as much as Daniel apparently does. So he gets up and moves forward very carefully so as not to rock the boat too much, and stretches himself out on the bottom boards, feeling the warmth seep into his skin.
It's a fairly tight fit with them both on their backs. Neither of them is exactly small, and there's a bit of careful manoeuvring before they end up comfortable, Jack lying on his back and Daniel turned onto his side, sharing the ratty old pillow that Daniel snagged from under the seat up front. No bitching though, just laughter as the boat rocks wildly at an injudicious movement while they're getting rid of their clothes before they get it right and settle down.
The kissing is good: deep and passionate for sure, but leisurely too. Jack likes it like this, likes taking his time. He likes it the other way too, the times when it's rough and urgent and Daniel matches him strength for strength before he finally puts out, but today's a day for a slow burn, warm and comfortable. And Daniel's obviously on the same page. Jack feels Daniel's dick swell and rise against his flank and captures his hand, moving it to cover his own swelling erection. Daniel's fingers curl round him with enthusiasm.
When he feels Daniel trail his fingers round to his ass and push carefully in, he hitches his leg to make it easier. After all, Daniel's had his fingers in him often. Never his dick though: Jack's never allowed that because he suspects it would dredge up too many unpleasant memories, memories that can be too disturbingly vivid at times, memories that he doesn't want associating themselves with Daniel and him, with what they have. They're threatening to bite him on the ass right now as Daniel's fingers work him. But they're couched in darkness and tension and dank, stinking air: they have the sour, prison taste of fear and desperation. They're nothing like what he's experiencing right this minute, as Daniel fists his cock just right, withdraws his fingers and shifts tighter into him to position his dick snug against Jack's butt, making his intentions, or rather his desires, clear. Jack thinks back to a time, not so long ago, when he wouldn't even allow fingers. Then one day he did, for no reason that he can remember, and that turned out okay - after all, it led to this. It makes sense that Daniel wants to take things that step further. And here, today, right now, Jack trusts: there's magic in the air, he can feel it fizzing along his skin, singing in his blood, like fine champagne. It feels churlish to refuse. The decision's made before he even realises it, and the memories retreat in the face of his acceptance and the sunlight. They wisp away like mist over the water, insubstantial now and irrelevant, as Daniel holds himself poised. Of course, he can't come right out and say all this - way too hokey, if not downright fey - but he can show it. So he does, he hitches his leg up further and lets Daniel in. And of course, Daniel doesn't say anything either, but the gasp that hits his shoulder in one quick, warm puff sounds pleased.
Jack feels it all, every last damn thing, with an intensity that might have surprised him in other circumstances. Right now it just seems inevitable, natural, welcomed in a way that he's never expected. And this time he has no inclination at all to urge Daniel to hurry things along. He feels the snub, slick touch nosing more insistently against his ass and quells his last instinctive denial, feels the moment when his body consciously relaxes even further and feels like he's flying apart at the long, slow glide that fills him right up, fills a space in his soul that he hadn't even realised was vacant. His world contracts until it's very small, a bubble of sunlit air that has only sensation in it. He feels the moment when his orgasm has to spill out; feels the strain quivering through Daniel's thighs as he braces his feet against the fishing platform to stay inside him despite the insistent contractions rippling through his ass, and it all seems so straightforward. There's this moment and the next and he's perfectly poised between them, nothing existing anywhere else. Just himself, gasping softly as his orgasm rolls through him; and Daniel, fucking him so deep and slow, pushing so minutely that the boat hardly rocks and shaking as his warm, moist breath huffs silly endearments against Jack's neck when he spills far inside.
It's tender, and gentle, and very, very sweet: and afterwards, Jack is filled to overflowing with the sort of profound, bone deep satisfaction that he hasn't felt for many a long year. And even though he feels a quick stab of amusement at himself for getting all metaphysical and flowery over fucking in a boat, for crying out loud, he can't find the energy to dwell on it, not here in the peace in the middle of the river. They are outside time, out of the current of the world and it's perfect.
Daniel's in no hurry to break the moment either. He lies there, still buried deep, until Jack suspects he really has fallen asleep this time. But that's okay, to lie here dozing and still coupled as the warm sun dries the sweat on their skin and Daniel softens inside him, for just as long as it takes. More than okay. It's just fine by Jack.
An indeterminate time later, Jack's pulled back into the present by a firm kiss on his shoulder as Daniel rolls away from him. He's been leaning back into Daniel and he rolls too, onto his back, as Daniel hauls himself up to sit, making the boat buck and rock. As his eyes fly open at this unceremonious and unexpected motion, they find Daniel's and Jack can read a curious expression in them, one that makes his chest feel tight. He feels he should say something, but he doesn't because he can't think of a damn thing to say that wouldn't sound sappy and ridiculous and send Daniel running for the hills. He just watches as the odd mixture of triumph and joy shades in a split second via Daniel's unique brand of diffident questioning into tentative apology. It's like watching the lights going out - but it turns on the light bulb in Jack's mind: he stretches hugely, feeling his joints pop, and says softly, as if to himself, "Yeah. It's all in the 'ing'."
The awkward moment is past and Daniel gets it. He definitely gets it. He ducks his head and smiles, classic Daniel SOP for dealing with a direct hit, and reaches for his cut-offs, tossing Jack's over to him, together with a pack of Kleenex that has mysteriously appeared from underneath the pillow.
"I'm hungry," Daniel announces. "You hungry? I could eat a horse."
He's all contained energy. Jack's noticed this before about him: afternoon sex, good afternoon sex, energises Daniel, gets him really wired and hopping. So, Jack knows that it was as good for Daniel as it was for him and Daniel now appreciates that the reverse is also true and that's just great, they won't need to have a huge discussion about it. Which neither of them really wants to do although he reckons they probably would if they had to.
"Sorry, we're fresh out." Dressed now, Jack retrieves his rod and reels in the line. No surprises when it comes up empty but he smothers a sigh anyway. "No fish either."
"Fish, schmish," Daniel says breezily. "I wasn't expecting fish. I never expected fish. I'd've been amazed if there'd been fish. But there is a steak in that cooler with my name on it, and it's calling to me. And you mentioned dessert?"
"Yeah? How'll you manage that, right out here in the middle of nowhere?"
Jack's managed it because he's basically a sap, he thinks ruefully: but a sap with sound logistical training. Daniel likes ice cream, so ice cream he gets. He prefers pie himself, so there's some of that in the cooler too. Pie and ice cream though, that works just fine, so god bless logistics. He jerks his thumb over his shoulder at the box under his fishing seat.
"Portable freezer and a twelve volt battery to run it off, courtesy of Siler. I borrowed it for the weekend."
"Well, god bless Siler, is what I say," Daniel says. "I don't suppose there's chocolate syrup too?"
"Lashings of it," Jack says cheerfully, "And yeah, I brought the good stuff."
"So, what are we hanging about here for? Point us at the bank and let's get going. Getting old here."
"It's a four-stroke engine, Daniel. It's not exactly going to get us anywhere at the speed of light," Jack points out as he futzes with it.
"It's not going to get us anywhere even slower if you don't get it started."
"Patience, Grasshopper. Some things you just shouldn't rush."
"Ah, I see. So it's not the start, it's the starting," Daniel says gravely, eyebrows waltzing, and then cracks up.
And there they are, situation normal - except there's nothing fucked up. Something has changed deep down but nothing has really changed at all. The dots are joined a little differently, is all. Jack makes a random wisecrack, Daniel tops it, Jack makes a more outrageous comeback, nip and tuck, and Daniel finally snorts with laughter.
"Oh god. You are such a juvenile."
Okay, that's what Daniel says: 'I love you' is what Jack hears and sees in his crinkled up, laughing eyes. And he's pretty certain Daniel knows it's mutual as he sends him his best mock menacing glare back.
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