Commander Daniel ( aka D.J.) Jackson studied the report in his hands carefully. Someone had actually used the quantum mirror they had locked away in storage and as a result they were currently playing host to two US Air Force officers and a friendly - or at least not hostile - Jaffa, downstairs in the guest quarters, where they were under guard. And that wasn't even the strangest part.
The NIA scientists had never managed to work out how the damned thing worked, and Daniel had resisted the temptation and the urging of his superiors to send a team through, just to see what would happen. He didn't want to lose any more good men. Losing his lover had been more than bad enough.
Captain Jack O'Neill had been CO of SG-1, previously a Navy SEAL and at one time, Daniel's commanding officer. Daniel had fallen for him as soon as he'd been transferred to Capt. O'Neill's SEAL unit. They'd both been involved in covert operations during the United States' brief conflict with Saudi Arabia and they had both been captured and tortured. It had been during their incarceration that their relationship had really blossomed and when they were eventually released, they had married. Daniel looked at the picture on his desk of them on their wedding day, remembering wistfully how good Jack had looked in his Dress Whites and how much he'd enjoyed divesting his lover of them later on.
Going through that experience together had made their union as solid as it could be and before Jack had died, they were even considering adopting a child. One short trip through the Stargate had not only put paid to that dream, but had robbed Daniel of the only man he'd ever loved.
When the SGC came online, Captain Jack O'Neill had been an obvious choice to lead the field units. He was career Navy, an Annapolis graduate and had been a SEAL for a long time, with plenty of battle experience. Too much, as far as the two of them were concerned. Daniel would have loved to have joined him off-world, he had a child-like fascination for studying other cultures, even though it was purely a hobby, but the injuries he received while being tortured in Riyadh had taken their toll and he was now, unfortunately, tied to a desk. Daniel had applied to join the SGC even before Jack had been given the posting, and the notification of Daniel's promotion to Commander and Jack's invitation to lead the premier field unit within the SGC had arrived on the same day. The Navy had made Daniel 2-I-C of the SGC under the command of Rear Admiral Tom Evans and the celebrations had been somewhat raucous and extremely passionate.
Tom Evans was in his sixties and heading for retirement; Daniel suspected that he was losing interest, merely coasting through his last couple of years. It was a prestige job for a highly decorated career officer, a gift from the Navy for a lifetime of service. Daniel was hoping to take over the SGC from Tom on his retirement. After all, it seemed to him that the Admiral left him to do most of the work and make most of the decisions. No-one and nothing went through that 'gate without his approval and no-one and nothing came back through it without a report appearing on his desk. As routine as gate travel had become, Daniel always insisted on at least being in the control room, if not the 'gate room itself when off-world teams returned and took a close interest in the well-being of his men. It meant that he worked long hours, but what else was a widower in a top secret job supposed to do with his time?
In the four years since Jack had died, Daniel hadn't had a relationship with anyone. It wasn't that he hadn't tried, homosexual relationships in the Navy were as common as anywhere else and had equal validity under the law, so Daniel had dated several of the sailors and marines within the SGC. Unfortunately, these men had very large boots to fill and he'd never found anyone who had come anywhere close to filling the space in his heart and life which Jack had left.
He rubbed his sore leg and flexed it, gingerly. It was time he met these people from another dimension. He was particularly interested in meeting USAF Colonel Jack O'Neill. Wincing, he stiffly raised himself from his chair, and picked up his walking stick which was leaning against it. It was made from ebony wood and had an ornately decorated handle. Daniel's late lover had given it to him on his birthday, just six short months before Jack was killed and now he thought of Jack every time he used it. In other words, all day, every day.
He leaned heavily on the cane and limped over to the door. The steel pins and bolts which now held his leg together in place of bone were causing him considerable pain and since Jack was no longer around to give him the regular massages which sometimes alleviated it, Daniel's condition had deteriorated. He fully realised it was time to go back and see the orthopaedic surgeon or visit the physiotherapist, but he was never able to make the time, or he just couldn't be bothered. Besides, strong painkillers usually took the edge off the worst of it and on the rare occasion when a memory of Jack would come into his mind and move him to tears, it was so much more convenient to blame them on the pain in his leg than the pain in his heart, even to himself. Perhaps especially to himself. He picked up the file and headed off down the corridor, a deep frown etching his handsome features.
The marines on guard outside the quarters which the visitors had been given, snapped to attention as they saw the Commander making his way down the corridor. Daniel saluted, smiled and motioned for them to open the door. He started as he saw the back of the man in his forties who was sitting at the table playing solitaire. As the man turned to face him, he couldn't hide the shock at seeing the face he hadn't seen in four years. His look of astonishment was mirrored on the faces of the three people in the room. The woman, Major Sam Carter, was the first to speak.
His eyebrows raised in surprise. "Yes. As a matter of fact, I am. Commander Daniel Jackson, US Navy Space, Information Warfare, Command and Control. I'm second in command of this facility. Major...Carter, isn't it?" he offered his hand.
Sam nodded and shook it, then saluted, seemingly unable to take her eyes off him.
"And you are...Teal'c?" Daniel asked the big Jaffa.
Teal'c nodded solemnly, giving a small bow.
Jack rose from his seat and saluted. "Colonel Jack O'Neill, US Air Force."
Daniel returned the salute and offered his hand to Jack. Shivers went up his spine as Jack shook it. Daniel didn't want to let go.
"Er, please, sit down," he smiled, easing himself uncomfortably into one of the armchairs. "I apologise for the accommodations and for the guards on the door. You obviously come from a military unit yourselves. You must understand that we have to take precautions."
"Since when did the Navy run the SGC?" Jack asked.
"Since 1993 when the Stargate was first used. If you come from an alternate universe, I expect a lot of things are similar, including history, but from what I've studied of the theory, many things will be different. I take it the SGC is an Air Force branch in your reality?"
Sam nodded, "Part of Space Command."
"Hmm," Daniel replied, trying to calm his racing heartbeat. This was Jack. Except it wasn't Jack. Jack was dead. Yet here he was, sitting in front of Daniel with a confused expression on his craggy face, and taking a great interest in the tattoos on Daniel's forearms. Particularly the heart shaped tattoo with the word 'Jack' written across the middle of it.
"So, how's it goin' with the Goa'uld around here?"
Daniel shifted in his seat and began to read the report he'd brought with him. Anything but having to look at that face with all the memories it stirred inside.
"Good, actually. Very good. I see you've given a comprehensive account of what's going on in your reality. You seem to be holding your own, which is great. We've had a few scary moments, but we've had some assistance." He turned the pages intently, unable to focus on one word of what he was looking at.
"From whom?" Teal'c enquired.
Daniel looked up at him. "The Furlings," he answered.
"You found those guys?" Jack exclaimed in surprise.
"Christ almighty, he even sounds like Jack,'" Daniel thought to himself. "Wonder if he's as big a smart ass?"
"As a matter of fact, they found us. On Abydos. They helped us to get rid of Ra. On the strength of the commanding officer of the team we sent out there to assist the people, they made the decision that humanity would be a suitable addition to their alliance. The Fifth Race."
"I've heard that one before," Jack mumbled.
"We got almost the same thing from the Asgard. Met them yet?"
Daniel smiled, "Little grey guys? Their commander is called Odin?"
"Our guy is called Thor. Pretty cool, aren't they?"
"You could say that, although apart from summit meetings we haven't had much to do with them."
"So, you're full members of the alliance?" Sam asked.
Daniel nodded, "We have been for the last five years."
"So bring it on, Commander. What technology do you have to fight the Goa'uld with?" Jack demanded.
Daniel peered up from his reading.
'I see his love of burying himself in a book hasn't changed, even if this one doesn't wear glasses,' O'Neill thought, wryly. 'And I wonder if he knows how fucking hot he looks with those tattoos and in that uniform? 'Jack' eh? Hmm.'
"Some. Not much, unfortunately. The others don't think we're ready."
Jack chortled, "Yep, heard that one, too. So, are we gonna be allowed out of here?"
"Soon, Colonel. Although I suspect the facility is much the same as yours. I'll show you around later, if you like? When I get the final okay."
"Sounds great," Jack replied, butterflies dancing in his stomach.
This was ridiculous. He'd always been attracted to the Daniel of his own reality, but after several beers and a heart-to-heart after a hockey game, Jack had discovered that Daniel was straight. It was an embarrassing disappointment, but Daniel had moved quickly to reassure him that their friendship wouldn't be altered and had told him that if he had been gay, he would have been more than happy to sleep with Jack. Jack figured this was bull, just to make him feel better and although he knew that the Daniel of this reality was very different, he was...hot. Hot in the worst way. Sexier than his Daniel on oh, so many levels. Not least the tattoos, which Jack had never really noticed on anyone else before. He was very interested in the one which said 'Jack' and wondered if there was another Jack O'Neill in this reality.
He shook any erotic thoughts about the well-built commander out of his mind. Even if this one was gay, if Jack O'Neill existed in this reality, entropic cascade failure meant that there was no way he could afford to get to know this man better. He watched this Daniel leave the room and felt his pants begin to tighten as he gazed longingly at the man's firm, round ass, encased in khaki uniform pants which stretched beautifully across it.
Daniel closed the door softly behind him and leaned back against it, closing his eyes.
"You all right, sir?" enquired one of the marines, a concerned look on his face.
Daniel smiled, "I'm fine thank you, Corporal. This damned leg is giving me hassle, that's all."
"You should go to the Infirmary and get the Doc to fix you up, sir."
Daniel patted his arm, "Thanks for your concern, I'll be fine," he replied and limped off towards the Admiral's office leaning on his cane.
"Must be pretty bad for him," the corporal said to his colleague as they watched the Commander make his way painfully up the corridor.
"Yeah, that guy looks just like O'Neill, doesn't he?" the other man replied. "How long were they together?"
The corporal shrugged, "No idea. A long time, I guess. They were married weren't they?"
"Yeah. That was a bad mission, so I heard. Can't imagine how I'd feel if I lost Tony."
"Don't think about it, buddy," his colleague replied. "Just do your job. That's what we're here for."
Daniel knocked gently on the Admiral's open office door and was beckoned inside.
"Leg bad today, Daniel?"
The younger man nodded, "Just a little, sir. I'll take some codeine, it'll be okay."
"Do you want to sit down?"
Daniel shook his head, "I think I'm better standing, thank you. It means I don't have to get up again."
The Admiral admonished him, "You should go and see Doc Fraiser, you know. It needs to be seen to. You've been in a lot of pain this last week or so. I know you hide it well, but I'm concerned about you, son."
"I know. I appreciate it. I'll be fine. Really. I just went down to see our visitors. Did you read the report?"
The Admiral nodded, "What's your take?"
"Well, I didn't speak to them for long, but they know about the Asgard, they seem to have had more contact with them than we have, and they've heard of the Furlings, but in their reality they haven't been able to find them."
Tom smiled, "Now, why doesn't that surprise me?"
Daniel chuckled, "No. It wasn't a surprise to me either. They seem genuine, the Jaffa is a part of their premier field unit, so he's obviously trusted and the woman they have with them, Sam..." he leafed through the report, "...Carter could be useful."
"And what about Colonel O'Neill? Did you see him?"
"Yes," Daniel answered quietly.
"And he looks like Jack, and he sounds like Jack and...it was odd, sir."
"Hmm. Are you going to be okay with this?"
"Absolutely! It may be a strange situation, but this is still my job, Admiral. I'll get it done. I would suggest that we take a trip back with them through the mirror and try to develop a relationship, see what experiences they've had against what we've been through. We've already established that they're not as advanced as we are technologically, especially when it comes to fighting the Goa'uld, but even as an anthropological exercise it would be useful, not to mention understanding the physics of the mirror better. It seems they've had more experience with using that than we have. Maybe we can help ourselves in another reality and do ourselves some good at the same time. I think they need all the help they can get, sir."
"And maybe you can do something to prevent the other Jack getting killed, hmm?"
Daniel closed his eyes and sighed, suddenly feeling very weary. "Maybe."
"Daniel, he may look like your Jack, but he's a different man," the Admiral said, kindly.
"I know, sir. Believe me, I know. My Jack O'Neill is gone but..." Daniel shook his head. "It's weird, sir."
"I can only imagine, son. Look, do this if you want to. If at any time it gets too much, let me know. I can always put Lieutenant Rosenbaum on it for you. I don't want you to be upset and I don't want a conflict of interest."
Daniel opened his mouth to protest and the Admiral held up his hand. "I know it wouldn't be intentional, Commander. Just be aware and look after yourself, okay?"
"Should we let them out?"
Daniel nodded, "I'm sure they'll be safe, sir. I expect there isn't much difference between their SGC and ours. I want to talk to Teal'c about how the Jaffa system works, maybe find out a little more about the Goa'uld symbiote. I'm sure the Doc would be interested. Other than the few times we've been ambushed by them off-world, we haven't had much to do with the Jaffa. He can perhaps give us a better idea of the System Lord hierarchy. I know we have the shields, but it wouldn't hurt to know a little more about the potential enemy. Especially when the Asgard and the Furlings seem to have such a low opinion of us."
"Oh, I don't think it's quite that way, Daniel. They just see us for what we are. Children. Compared to them we're still in diapers. You wouldn't give a kid a rifle, if you were in your right mind."
Daniel nodded, "True."
"You handle this however you see fit, Commander. Just keep me informed. Dismissed."
Jack finished his game and turned to Sam and Teal'c. "Is it me, or is this weird?"
Sam nodded, still bemused. "It's weird, sir."
"I concur. It is puzzling to see a man who looks and sounds exactly like DanielJackson, yet who is not," Teal'c agreed.
"How long til this cascade thing takes effect?" Jack asked.
"About forty eight hours, if memory serves. We have a little time... or a lot, depending," Sam answered.
"On whether or not we're still around in this reality. We may be..."
Sam nodded and a shiver ran up Jack's spine.
"If they haven't used the mirror before they won't have come across entropic cascade failure. We may or not be alive in this reality. Remember what happened to Daniel?" she asked, suspecting that Jack knew exactly what she meant and that was what had made him shiver, more than the possibility that he himself might be dead here.
"Hmmph, sounds like they're smarter than we are if they keep the thing locked in the basement. When they come back for us, Carter you find out as much as you can about what they've got. See if they're willing to share. Teal'c, they've never met a friendly Jaffa before...not that I'd exactly describe you as 'friendly'."
Teal'c raised a questioning eyebrow.
"No offence, buddy."
"None taken, O'Neill."
"So they'll probably want to poke around a little. Find out about Junior. Don't let them do any tests on you without asking me, first. If their Doc is anything like Fraiser, she..."
"...or he," interjected Sam.
"Right. Whoever. They'll be thorough. I'll find out what I can from Daniel...Jesus. Now that is weird. Anyhow, he seems to be a decent enough guy. If they have anything which we can use, it's up to us to find it as quickly as possible."
Sam shook her head. "Daniel with tattoos. Never thought I'd ever see that."
"Yeah, go figure," Jack replied, with what Sam thought was an odd expression on his face.
"You all right, sir?"
"Me? Peachy. Anybody up for a hand of gin?"
Several hands later, Daniel returned, smiling as he entered the room. Jack's stomach flipped as he saw Daniel's blue eyes glint.
"Are you guys hungry?" he asked.
"I could eat," replied Sam.
"C'mon down to the Mess Hall with me. I have to eat something thanks to these damned horse pills Doc Fraiser makes me take for my leg. The food...well, let's just say I imagine military food is about the same in any reality. It would be too much to hope for anything else."
"Sure. I'm going stir crazy in here. Lead on, Commander."
"Call me Daniel."
"Hmm. This way."
Jack couldn't take his eyes off Daniel all the way through to the Mess Hall. They stood next to each other in the elevator and Jack could smell his cologne. The earthy smell of the after-shave, mingled with the scent of a man who'd been at work all day in an air conditioned facility and no shower since the morning, was intoxicating and Jack had to work very hard to knock his libido down. This Daniel's upper body was much more muscular than the Daniel they had at home and he had a tan which he obviously worked on when he was on down-time. Jack was mesmerised by watching the muscles in his arms and back work underneath the smooth cotton of his shirt as they followed him down the interminable corridors.
Jack was fighting an erection and he felt lousy about it. This Daniel had no right turning him on like 'their' Daniel did. It was sometimes difficult and sometimes amazingly easy to distinguish the two. Jack's heart and hormones felt torn. Part of him - a very guilty feeling part of him - wanted to kiss this Daniel, touch him, take away some of the pain which was thinly disguised. Another part of him was sitting on his shoulder reminding him that this was a completely different person and taking advantage of this one because he was so much like the other, was unfair on both and not acceptable behaviour.
The Mess Hall looked the same and smelled the same as their own commissary, which made Jack's heart sink. He wasn't sure at this point if he could eat, anyway. There wasn't much room in there, what with the butterflies and the fact that it continued to do the most disconcerting back-flips every time Daniel smiled at him. Which seemed to be often.
They all chose trays and waited in line. SG-1 watched every move Commander Jackson made, just watching to see if he would choose the same things as the man they'd left safely behind in their reality, off-world on a mission with SG-9.
Commander Daniel was right. The food was about as bad, although the choice was better. To Jack's surprise the coffee wasn't too gross. He was so impressed he felt the need to mention it.
"This coffee isn't half bad."
"I wouldn't know," replied Daniel. "Never drink the stuff. When I'm at work I only drink water."
"That much of a connoisseur, huh?" smiled Sam.
"No, no. I just don't like coffee that much. Never have," Daniel shrugged. "I drink tea sometimes, wine if I have to, water, but I mostly drink beer when I'm at home. Budweiser or Rolling Rock. Do you have those brands where you come from?"
Jack almost choked on his sandwich.
"You all right, Colonel?" Daniel enquired, his face creasing into a concerned frown.
Jack took a swig of coffee and raised his hand, nodding as he coughed. Teal'c slapped him soundly on the back and almost sent him flying across the table.
"Whoa, thanks Big Guy, but you don't know your own strength. I think you pushed one of my discs out," Jack complained, still spluttering.
"My apologies, O'Neill. You were turning blue. I felt it was my duty to assist," Teal'c explained.
When he was sure Jack had recovered, Daniel went back to his roast dinner.
"Yes, actually we do have those brands of beer," Jack answered, when he could find enough breath to speak properly.
Daniel smiled, "So... if I can ever take you guys out of here and back to my place, you'll recognise what's in my refrigerator then?" He looked at Jack specifically, even as he was using the word 'guys'. Sam smiled, knowingly.
"I'll take you on a tour of the facility when we're done here. Major Carter, the guys in our technical department would really appreciate having a talk with you, if that's okay?"
"Sure, no problem," Sam shrugged.
"Thank you, Major. And Teal'c? If you wouldn't mind stopping off at the Infirmary, our medical chief would like to know more about your relationship with your symbiote. Nothing invasive, but if you could just explain it to them? If you wouldn't mind?"
"I would be happy to do so."
Daniel put down his cutlery and wiped his mouth with his napkin. "Good! Whenever you're ready."
SG-1 finished up their food and drinks and Daniel led the way back through the SGC, dropping Sam off with the scientists, then Teal'c with Doctor Fraiser in the Infirmary. Jack and Daniel continued on until they reached Daniel's office.
"C'mon in. Make yourself at home...if you see what I...anyway. We should talk."
Jack looked around the small room. There was a hockey pennant on the wall from the Chicago Blackhawks and various paintings of submarines. There were also some photographs, one of a graduation class and a couple of a man who looked exactly like Jack did ten years previously. A small bookcase stood in one corner containing books about language and culture, rubbing shoulders with some military biographies, including Churchill, Admiral Jellicoe and Eisenhower. Nestled in between 'One Perfect Op: An Insiders Account of Navy Seal Special Warfare Teams' by Dennis C. Chalker and 'The Warrior Elite: The Forging of Seal Class 228' by Dick Couch and Cliff Hollenbeck sat 'Brian MacFarlane's History of Hockey' and 'New York Rangers: Broadway Blues' by Frank Brown.
Jack fingered the books' spines approvingly.
"You a hockey fan?" he asked.
"Used to play, once upon a time," Daniel answered, easing himself back into his chair. He looked down at his leg and smiled, grimly, "Don't skate much anymore. Still like to watch though. You?"
Jack resisted the temptation to ask him what had happened. For an injury to be that bad, it had to have been a traumatic experience and although this man looked like Daniel, Jack didn't know him at all. At least, not well enough to ask such a personal question. "Played for a while," he replied. "Just rec teams, y'know. Lookin' at the size of you I'd guess you were D, right?"
Daniel chuckled, "Yeah. A million years ago. Take a seat."
Jack took the leather chair across the desk from Daniel and continued to look around, taking in the details of the room and this man, this frighteningly different but eerily similar man. On the walls were two plaques containing battle and service honours. One belonged to Commander Daniel Theodore Jackson, the other to Captain Jonathan O'Neill.
The picture on Daniel's desk of the two smiling men in Dress Whites confirmed what Jack had been suspecting. The Jack of this reality was, or had been, in a relationship with this Daniel. The picture looked like a wedding ceremony, the two men wearing prayer shawls, looking at each other and standing beneath a Jewish wedding canopy. Daniel noticed Jack looking at the picture.
"We loved each other. He converted. We got married. He's dead and the same rabbi in San Diego who married us, buried him. I don't really know what else to tell you, Jack. Other than I miss him like crazy and it's freaking me out seeing you sitting in that chair." Daniel sighed and poured himself a drink from the decanter of bourbon on the desk.
"I don't usually drink on duty, but I think this is a special occasion. Can I get you one?"
Jack shook his head, "No thanks, even though I do feel like I need it. This is weird for both of us, trust me. I'm dead. Dead! For chrissakes. Jesus, that's twice now. Just once I'd like to go some place where I have a 'happy ever after'," he groused.
"You're a lot like him," Daniel said quietly, after taking a long slug of bourbon. "And I wish you weren't."
"Ditto," Jack replied with a soft smile. "Fact is though, we have to get past whatever issues we have with the other Jacks and Daniels and get on with the job. Right, Commander?"
Daniel sighed heavily, "The job. Right. Shall I tell you our story so far, or do you want to tell me yours?...Wait a minute. 'Ditto'? You mean there's a 'me'?"
The shocked expression on Daniel's face made Jack laugh out loud.
"Yes, Daniel. There's a 'you'. Welcome to my nightmare."
"What? Here?" Jack teased.
"No. Nononononono. I didn't mean...shit." Daniel flustered.
Jack continued chuckling, "You really are a lot like him. Look, before we get down to business, we ought to get this out of the way. In my reality, I was attracted to Daniel - in a big way, but...my Daniel is straight. I'm not."
"And," Jack took a deep breath. "And if it's possible, I'm more attracted to you than I was to him. Physically, anyway. I don't know you well enough to actually 'care'...yet."
Daniel's eyebrows raised.
"So...so if you catch me checking out your ass while we're working, or if you see me looking at you with a goofy expression on my face, that'll be why."
"Oh...okay. Well, since we seem to be playing 'Truth or Dare', I'll just say that the feeling's mutual. I mean, I'm attracted to you, but you're so much like my Jack, I'm not sure if I'm attracted to you yet, or if it's just that I miss my Jack so much, I want to substitute you for him. Did that sound sensible?"
Jack smiled, "As sensible as this fucked-up situation can be. No pun intended."
"Look, there's this...thing about the quantum mirror that you guys won't know about. It's called entropic cascade failure. What it means, is that the same two people can't exist in the same reality for more than a coupla days. We have to find out if Teal'c and Sam exist in this reality, otherwise they'll have to go back to our reality soon."
Daniel nodded, "I should have guessed there'd be something like that, but I'm no physicist. I'll get on it. It won't be easy to find out about Teal'c, but I can almost certainly find out about Sam." He picked up the phone. "Does that mean I won't be able to visit you? Your reality, I mean," he corrected, quickly.
"No, it just means we have to be careful how long you stay. Sam reckons it's about forty eight hours before it starts to affect you. To be honest, I think it would freak my Daniel out in a big way if you turned up, especially if anything...well, anyway. Find out about Sam and Teal'c first."
Their eyes locked for a second and both men felt the charge pass between them. The look said "This is going to be complicated."
Sam was deep in conversation with one of the men in white coats when Jack and Daniel got to the lab. They were looking at the mirror and its hand device intently and expounding enthusiastically on String Theory, M Theory and the Eleventh Dimension. She was clearly enjoying herself.
"Carter. You got a minute? As fascinating as all this stuff is, you have bigger fish to fry right now."
"Like the fact that you currently live in Michigan, you have two lovely boys and you're married to a Math Professor," he turned to Daniel, "Why am I not surprised?"
Sam looked indignantly at him.
"So c'mon kids, time to go."
Sam picked up her jacket, "What about Teal'c?"
"It's probably best if he returns with you: we're waiting to hear back from The Furlings as to whether he's still Apophis's First Prime. You've both been incredibly helpful though, thank you." Daniel answered.
"Does that mean you're staying, sir?"
Jack shuffled uncomfortably. "Well, just for a day or so. It turns out that the Jack O'Neill of this reality is no more, so I can stay longer than you guys. I need to talk tactics with the Commander."
"Will I be able to come back? They have some fantastic new research on non-military uses of naquadah. Not to mention the fact that I really need to find out more about their shield technology."
Daniel shrugged, "We don't know. As far as we're concerned, you guys are the experts when it comes to this thing. I hope you can, but you'll have to tell us. If you can't, then we'll have to use Colonel O'Neill as a liaison. We'll be able to give you everything you need. This...what was it?"
"Entropic cascade failure," Jack answered.
"Yeah, that. It won't affect the Colonel since, as he said, in this reality he's erm..."
"Hmm," Daniel looked at Jack with a mixture of sadness and confusion.
"I'll meet you and Teal'c in our quarters for a quick briefing before you go. You can give Hammond the heads up." Jack turned to leave the room.
An hour later, Sam and Teal'c were safely back at their own SGC and sitting with Daniel and General Hammond in the briefing room.
"They have technology which could really help us, sir. Because they've had close contact with the Furlings..."
"The Furlings?" General Hammond interrupted. " But I thought they'd disappeared?"
"In our reality, they have, but in that one humans are the Fifth Race and a full part of the alliance with the Nox, the Asgard, the Furlings and the Gate Builders."
Daniel's eyes widened, "The Gate Builders? Who are they? Where did they come from? How and why did they build the gates? C'mon Sam, you have to tell me everything!"
Sam smiled as if indulging an over-enthusiastic child. "We don't know. We couldn't stay because we still exist in that reality, but Colonel O'Neill will be liaising with them to get us all the information we need. I don't honestly think the other races share much information with them. They have the same attitude towards them as the Asgard and the Nox, and the Tollan...pretty much everyone we've come across who's more advanced than we are, do towards us."
"So...that means that Jack must be..."
Sam nodded. "You, on the other hand, are second in command of the SGC."
"That is correct, DanielJackson. You are Commander Daniel Jackson of the United States Navy," Teal'c commented.
"That's not the best part, but I'll tell you that later," Sam smiled.
"You'll tell us now, Major, if it's pertinent to this de-briefing," said the General.
"It's not, sir. It's personal," Sam replied.
"Very well. Keep me apprised. Dismissed."
As the General left the briefing room, Sam picked up her paperwork, tucked it under her arm and slipped the other around Daniel's waist, hugging him close.
"Before the Colonel gets back we need to talk, Daniel."
Commander Jackson looked at his watch. "I'm off duty in a half hour. I've spoken to the Admiral and I've been given permission for you to have supervised access off base. How about dinner?"
"Sounds good to me. Any excuse not to eat the food around here," Jack grinned. "Have you got any civvies I can wear?"
"I'll organise it and have some sent down to your quarters. You go freshen up and I'll finish what I have to do around here. I'll get changed and I'll meet you back here in, what...45 minutes?"
"See you later, then."
Daniel smiled, "Look forward to it."
Sam and Daniel sat opposite each other in the commissary, leaning conspiratorially towards each other.
"So," Daniel took a sip of coffee and grimaced slightly. "You were saying?"
"Well. The Jack of that reality is dead."
"I got that part."
"But what I didn't say is that the Jack and Daniel of that reality were married."
"You heard me."
"This is getting more and more weird."
"Hmmph, not as weird as when that other Sam turned up and I found out she'd been married to the Colonel," she shuddered. "I just couldn't imagine it, I mean I care about him and all, and he's a good looking guy..."
"Yeah, he is. If I was that way inclined, I'd go for him myself. Unfortunately for us both, I'm not." Daniel interrupted.
"Now, why doesn't that freak me out as much as me being with the Colonel?" Sam asked, puzzled.
"Don't ask me. I wish I could feel that way about him, I really do. But...well, a man's body just doesn't do it for me. Y'know?"
Sam took a swig of her tea and nodded. "I know." She leaned in further. "However, that Daniel seems to be very attracted to Jack and if I know the Colonel at all, it's mutual," she smiled. " They were flirting. I swear to God they were."
Daniel stared into his coffee. This was ridiculous. He didn't want Jack that way, so why the hell was he feeling so jealous? They'd sorted out their relationship long ago and if Daniel had any ethics at all, he'd feel happy for his best friend. A million questions floated around in his mind. Was this Daniel better looking than him? Brighter than him? Sexier than him? (and if so, why?)' - and how about 'How the hell did I end up in the Navy?'
All questions which were unlikely to be answered, were really none of his business because this was a completely different person, and had nothing to do with the job in hand.
"Daniel? You all right?" Sam enquired.
"Mmm, fine. I'm fine, Sam. It's just a bit..."
"You're telling me. I'm a mother of two living in Michigan and married to a teacher."
"You don't have to say 'teacher' as if it's an insult," Daniel bristled.
"No, no. I didn't mean it like that it's just something I never expected, that's all."
"Maybe it's the uniform," Daniel muttered to himself.
"Nothing," Daniel took a bite of his doughnut and chewed it, thoughtfully.
Jack checked himself out in the mirror. Not bad. Not bad at all. He felt much better having showered and shaved. One of the marines had furnished him with a pair of black pants and a denim shirt to wear on his date. 'Date? Since when was this a date?' he asked himself. 'Get real, Jack. This is a date. You already know he's attracted to you, just be yourself and you never know what could happen.'
There was a soft knock at the door and Daniel poked his head inside the room. "Ready, Jack?"
"Sure. Let's go, I'm starved." Jack replied, smiling. Daniel was looking stunning in a pair of faded jeans, an emerald green silk shirt and a battered leather jacket. Jack shuddered as desire tingled its way through his body.
As they walked together to the elevator, Jack noticed something glinting in Daniel's ear. It was a small, gold hoop.
"They let you pierce your ears in the Navy?" he asked incredulously.
Daniel smiled, "No. I take it out before I start work and put it in when I'm finished."
"Hmm. Are you...? Never mind."
Daniel looked sideways at him and grinned, "I am, as a matter of fact."
Jack's mouth dropped open and his pants began to tighten. "Oh boy," he muttered as Daniel's soft laughter echoed around the corridor.
The steak-house looked like any other Jack had ever been in. They had never actually been out of the mountain at all in any of the other realities they'd been to, since they had all been under attack from the Goa'uld and it was both comforting and disquieting that this was all so very familiar. As they waited for their food to arrive, they chatted about hockey, about their backgrounds and eventually about their alter egos.
"So, you never got with him, then?" Daniel asked in between mouthfuls of steak.
Jack nodded, swallowing and taking a slug of beer. "We have these 'Hockey and Pizza' nights, kind of a team bonding thing, y'know?"
"Anyway, I'd been wanting to put the moves on Danny for a long time, but I never could summon up the balls. I knew he'd had a wife, but then so had I. We were real close. It was really hard to work out if he was interested or not."
Daniel smiled, "Gaydar on the fritz, huh?"
Jack laughed, "I guess. So, the others had gone, Daniel was staying at my place, as he often does, and we'd had some to drink."
"And?" Daniel grinned, leaning over.
"And I kissed him," Jack blushed.
"And I guess he was less than thrilled?"
"No, he wasn't...it wasn't like that. He just looked kinda stunned. Then he told me he cared more about me than he'd cared for anyone in his life and he loved me. In a way. Just not in a physical way. He said he'd tried sleeping with guys at college and it did nothing for him, although he thought I was an attractive man,"
"Which you certainly are," Daniel interrupted.
Jack smiled, a little shyly, " Well...the end of it was, much as he wished he could love me the way I wanted, he just couldn't and it wasn't fair on either of us for him to pretend."
"Smart guy," Daniel nodded approvingly. He picked up Jack's hand and rubbed the knuckles gently with his thumb. "And if I kissed you, how would you feel about that?"
Jack looked into Daniel's eyes and squeezed his hand. "Right now?"
"I'd wonder who you thought you were kissing."
"Ah." Daniel moved to take his hand away, and Jack grabbed it, pulling it up to his mouth and kissing Daniel's palm.
"But I'd still want you to," Jack said, rubbing his cheek against Daniel's palm. He wondered what had made him so brazen in a public place, but as his eyes darted around the rest of the room, he saw that the ratio of gay couples to straight ones was about 2 to 1 and figured he must be in the gay part of town. No-one from the Air Force would be there to see him and even if they were, the rules in this reality were very different from those of his own.
Daniel leaned across the table and licked his lips before kissing Jack, softly. Neither closed their eyes, just to be sure they really knew who the other was.
"Wow," Daniel exclaimed. "Well, that clears something up."
"Oddly enough, for me too. You're not my..."
Daniel said 'Jack' and Jack said 'Daniel' both at the same moment.
"How's that for a news flash?" Jack grinned.
Daniel laughed and took a mouthful of beer. "How the hell could that happen? Your lips taste totally different."
"Yours too. Nice though," Jack answered.
"Oh, very nice," Daniel grinned. "In fact, it was so nice, I'd like to taste the rest of you."
"That sounds like a plan."
Daniel became serious for a moment. "Can we do this, d'you think?" he asked.
"Shit, yeah! At least, I can. Don't forget I've never slept with my Daniel. All I ever had was fantasy. What about you?"
"It's been four years, Jack and although you're a lot like him, I can tell the difference. I want you, not the ghost of someone else. If I thought it was a case of me taking the chance to make love with my Jack again, I wouldn't be doing this. It would fuck me up and it wouldn't be fair on you."
Jack shivered when Daniel said 'make love'. He hadn't been with anyone sexually since Laira and he couldn't remember when he'd last been with a man. His groin ached and his ass was pulsing in anticipation of being filled after so long. He snaked his hand under the table, tracing up the other man's thigh to the impressive bulge lying to the left of his zipper. His finger rubbed around the denim clad head and Daniel had to stifle a moan.
"Nice?" Jack leered. "It certainly is from here. You been sucked off lately? I can't wait to get my mouth around this. Oh yeah."
"It's like that is it, Colonel?" he growled, rocking his hips towards Jack's teasing fingers. "Let's get out of here."
He threw some bills on the table and eased himself out of the chair. Jack helped him on with his jacket and took the opportunity to run his hands along Daniel's broad shoulders. He just managed to stop himself from kissing the younger man's neck.
As soon as they got outside, Jack gently pushed Daniel up against the wall and kissed him properly, tasting the younger man's soft lips, which were already swollen with desire. His hands went either side of Daniel's head, holding him steady as he explored the inside of his new lover's mouth with his tongue.
Daniel rubbed his erection against Jack's and moaned softly. "Oh God, Jack. We need to get to a bed. I am going to fuck you so good. I'm gonna make you beg for it, O'Neill."
"You talk the talk, Jackson, but do you walk the walk?" Jack replied, interspersing his words with kisses and soft bites around Daniel's neck.
"Fuck! Come on, before one of us comes in our pants," Daniel commanded and took Jack's hand in his, dragging him off to his car.
As Jack had half expected, this Daniel's bungalow was nothing like his Daniel's apartment. It was tidy, but then service life tended to make a guy that way. It felt like a comfortable home and was full of sports memorabilia. Hockey trophies stood on the dresser, along with pictures of the other Jack which this Jack studiously tried to ignore. Not that it was difficult, as soon as Daniel had shut the door behind him, he grabbed Jack and pulled him towards the bedroom. Once there, Daniel slowed the pace a little as he began to undress Jack while leaning against the back of the door. Jack took Daniel's hands in his and held them tight, stopping the younger man from taking off his clothes.
Jack gently began to take off Daniel's shirt, kissing his neck while he undid each button. He gasped after the fourth one as he exposed Daniel's chest and another golden hoop, this time in his right nipple.
Daniel smiled, "I told you, didn't I? Put your hand on my dick and pull the ring. Gently."
Jack put one trembling hand against Daniel's hard-on and gently tugged the nipple ring with the other. At the same instant, he felt Daniel's cock twitch beneath his hand and the younger man hissed.
"Aaah yeah. That's the way, Jack. That's the way," he whispered.
Jack rubbed Daniel's thickening cock through his jeans and flicked the ring with his tongue, turning and twisting it, then tugging it down again. Daniel was writhing beneath his touch and moaning softly. Jack stopped, conscious of the fact that it had been a long time for both of them and although he didn't know about Daniel, personally, he was about to blow it.
Jack knelt carefully in front of him and unhurriedly unfastened both his and Daniel's pants. He pulled Daniel's jeans and briefs down so that they pooled around his ankles, then shucked his own pants and shorts down to the floor. He grabbed Daniel's throbbing dick with one hand and stroked his own aching length with the other, looking up into Daniel's face and ignoring the angry scar running down the length of the young man's thigh.
Daniel's head was thrown back, resting on the door and his neck and chest were flushed with red. His eyes were tightly closed and his mouth was open, his moist, pink tongue poking out slightly from between kiss-swollen lips.
"Christ, you're beautiful. Oh God," Jack exclaimed and took Daniel's wet cock deep into his mouth, eliciting a loud groan from his lover.
"Oh man, oh Jack. Suck it. I need..."
Jack went down on him with all the technique he could remember, grasping the base of the shaft hard while working his lips and tongue up and around the rest of the shaft and the purple head, then downwards to lave the young man's hairy balls. He slid his lithe tongue up the vein on the underside, then flicked up and over the frenum which made Daniel jerk his hips forward. Taking almost the full length of Daniel's dick into his mouth, he allowed the other man to fuck as he alternately stroked his own cock, then fondled his balls when he got too close.
After a minute or so of this treatment, Daniel ditched the cane and clamped his hands onto the back of Jack's head. His movements became swift and jerky as the orgasm approached and his breathing was ragged.
One last thrust as his hands held Jack's head in a vice-like grip and Daniel's come was shooting into Jack's throat. He struggled to swallow it all and some dribbled out of the side of his mouth. As soon as Daniel was done, Jack wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and sank backwards to lie on the floor. He stroked his dick faster, squeezing and pulling his balls with his other hand as his eyes locked with Daniel's.
"Go on, Jack. Do it. I want to see you come. God, yes!" Daniel rasped.
"You want to see?" Jack panted. "You want to see me jerk it, Daniel? You get off on that, huh?"
"Yes! You gorgeous bastard! I want to watch you come. I want to see you shoot it all over yourself. Come on, Jack. You're close now, I can tell. Can you feel your balls tightening up? Hmm? I can see it, oh God! I know just what you're feeling. It won't be long now, not long. Oh Jack, come on, do it, do it, do it, jerk that dick. You look so damned good," Daniel whispered, growling and squeezing his semi-hard cock as he watched.
Jack's hand was a blur and his breath came in grunts, then all of a sudden his hips lifted off the floor and as he yelled, his come jetted out to land on his stomach and chest. His body jerked as spurt after spurt of creamy white boiled out of the end of his cock and ran down his fingers and hand. Even before Jack was finished, Daniel had eased himself onto the floor beside him and was kissing him, deeply. Daniel's lips moved down Jack's neck to his lover's chest and his tongue snaked out to lick up the salty fluid. The young man lapped up every drop from his sweating skin, then he sucked it off Jack's fingers and finally cleaned his sated cock, planting a soft kiss to the end of it when he was done.
Jack closed his eyes and put his arms over his head, getting his breath back. Daniel lay at his side, propped up on one elbow, his free hand drifting over Jack's body and stroking the grey curls on his chest.
"God, that was good," Jack groaned.
"You're telling me!" Daniel chuckled, "I haven't come a load like that in a long time. That was a helluva blow job, Colonel. Thank you, kindly."
"You're welcome," Jack smiled, opening his eyes and turning to give Daniel a kiss. "I haven't been inspired like that in a long time."
"We should really move, the floor isn't the most comfortable place in this room," Daniel winced.
"Don't know if I can," Jack murmured running his hands through Daniel's spiky hair and nuzzling into his neck.
"You and me both, buddy," Daniel grinned. "Who's gonna try first?"
Jack helped Daniel off with his boots, jeans and shorts, then Daniel helped Jack completely remove his. Daniel was obviously well practised at getting himself up despite his damaged leg and using his cane, he eased himself into a standing position. He held out his free hand to Jack who manoeuvred himself gingerly onto his knees and up.
"Pair of broken down buggers aren't we?" Daniel joked. Jack grinned and squeezed his hand as Daniel led him to the bed.
"Make yourself comfortable. You know, I'm sorry, I'm being a lousy host. Blame it on you being so drop dead gorgeous. You want a beer?" Daniel wrapped his robe around himself and tied it at the waist.
"I think I need one," Jack exclaimed, "but first, come here, you."
Daniel sat on the bed next to him and Jack put his arms around him, snuggling close to his warm body, warmth which was beginning to seep through the towelling material of the robe. It smelled of Daniel. This Daniel. The longer Jack spent with him, the more different he realised the two men were. It was no substitution. This guy was special, no matter what his name was or who he looked like.
Daniel stroked his hair and held him. "Hey. You okay, baby?"
Jack nodded, squeezing him tighter with Jack's face still nuzzled into Daniel's robe.
"Y'have to let me go, or we'll never get this beer," Daniel cajoled, smiling.
Jack looked up at him, gazing into his beautiful blue eyes which twinkled with amusement.
"I would never have taken you for a snuggler, O'Neill."
Jack laughed, letting go of him, "Oh, just one of my many deep, dark secrets."
Daniel leaned in close to his ear. "I like it," he whispered and limped off towards the kitchen.
Jack nestled under the covers, marvelling at how incredibly easy this was. There seemed to be no first-time nerves and already the two of them were 'comfortable'. No awkward silences. Perhaps it was because they were already partially familiar, but Jack wasn't convinced that was it. This guy had Daniel's body and some of his character traits, but humans are very much a product of their background and this Daniel's life had been vastly different from the one O'Neill knew. He'd been hardened by different things, been scarred by war in a way that Jack understood far too well. Lying in Daniel's bed, Jack felt completely relaxed. They fitted. At least as far as he could feel. Post orgasm endorphins were not the best objective indicator, so Jack decided to reserve judgement for a little while, until he had the chance to get to know this man a lot better, but it was so good being intimate with someone again, he didn't want to look a gift horse in the mouth.
Daniel hobbled back into the bedroom, the beers in one hand and his ever-present cane in the other. He seemed to be in pain.
"How're you doing?"
Daniel grimaced, "Been better. In the leg department, anyway. I'll be all right. I just took some painkillers." Passing the bottles to Jack, Daniel removed his robe, then set his cane at the side of the bed and eased himself into it, grunting with the effort.
"Anything I can do?"
Daniel smiled, "The pills will start working shortly and don't worry, I can take these with alcohol if I don't overdo it. Just lie there looking beautiful and fuck me hard later on. That'll take my mind off it. C'mere."
Jack shifted down the bed a little way and snuggled into Daniel's body, resting his head on Daniel's shoulder.
"Mmm, that's better. You're nice and warm. God, it's been a while since I had someone in my bed. This is nice. I could get used to this," Daniel murmured, shuffling to get comfortable.
"You ready to tell me what happened yet?" Jack enquired.
Daniel sighed, "Our unit had been deployed behind enemy lines. We were supposed to sabotage one of the Saudi army's munitions depots. One of the agents had been betrayed, then tortured and he ended up telling the Saudis about the operation before he died of his injuries." Daniel took a long slug from his bottle. "The whole thing went belly up and we were ambushed. Three of the guys were killed and three of us were captured. Me, Jack and an Ensign called Dave Morgan. They locked us up, hands chained to the ceiling, with our feet barely able to touch the floor. They used all kinds of 'creative' torture techniques on us to find out what else we were planning, including electricity on our feet and our balls, that's what finished Dave off in the end. His body couldn't take any more electric shocks and he ended up dying during one of the sessions. I have no idea what made Jack and I stronger, but we were. I'd fallen in love with him months before, but we'd never gone anywhere with it, really. We'd been dating for about three weeks before we went out on this mission. I was terrified I was going to lose him and he felt the same about me. Maybe that's what gave us the edge, the fact that we were determined to survive for the other, I don't know."
He reached over to the night-stand for a pack of cigarettes, took one out after offering one to Jack, who refused, and lit it, drawing deeply. The end of the cigarette glowed orange in the darkened room and the grey-blue smoke curled upward towards the ceiling, hanging ethereally in the air as he continued.
"Eventually another SEAL team busted us out, but not before they decided that we could be used against each other. They had a lot of fun on my leg with a baseball bat while Jack was forced to watch. By the time we got out of there the fucking thing was like jello. Jack had to carry me for about half a mile as fucked up and tired as he was. He was a helluva guy."
Jack didn't reply. No words would be adequate, so he snuggled in further and kissed Daniel's neck to show he understood. Daniel responded by kissing his head affectionately.
"It was a long time ago." Daniel finished his cigarette and put it out, then drained the bottle and deposited it on the night-stand. "So, how about you? What's your story?"
"Oh, same old, same old. Except for me it was Iraq. I was in covert ops, dropped behind enemy lines, operation went ass about and I ended up being left behind. I was in prison for months. The bastards got me hooked on heroin. I still have nightmares about it."
Daniel held him close, "You too, huh?"
"I guess we have more in common than we thought. So, can they do any more for you?"
Daniel shook his head. "I've got more steel in there than the Brooklyn Bridge. To be honest, I was lucky they didn't have to amputate, so this isn't so bad, I guess. Jack used to..."
"Well, when it got really painful, Jack used to rub it for me. Sometimes it helped."
"Would you like me to try? Or would that feel too weird?"
Daniel thought for a second, "Actually, it wouldn't. I don't know how it is for you, but you're way different from the Jack I knew. You feel different and smell different. You even look a bit different, now I'm looking at you more closely. I'll try anything to get rid of this fucking pain. Go for your life. There's some massage oil in the drawer."
Jack leaned over to the night-stand on his side of the bed, figuring this was probably once the other Jack's side, but putting that small fact out of his mind. He took out the small bottle and coated his hands with it, after pulling down the covers. Jack began to rub the large thigh muscle while being directed by Daniel.
He dug his fingers into the flesh, teasing the knots he found there, carefully avoiding the scar. It was a very bright pink - even after so long, and ran all the way from Daniel's hip to his knee. It must have been a half inch deep.
"Oh that's better. Much better. It's a good thing my scar isn't acting up as well. It gets infected every so often and I have to use a wheelchair. It's a pain in the ass. Almost literally," he chuckled, "but when it's kicking off, I just can't walk for the pain. Oh, that's good. That's real good, Jack," he purred. His cock was beginning to stir and lengthen against his leg, gradually turning and rising as if it had a mind of its own. Jack took the hint and gently rubbed upwards inside Daniel's thigh, sliding his hand between Daniel's balls and his leg.
He cupped the round sacs and pulled them, rolling them around in his hand as Daniel's cock rose to full hardness. The young man's eyes were closed and a half smile played around his lips. Jack was happy that he could make Daniel feel good and take away his pain for a short while. He dipped his head and took Daniel's dick into his mouth again. Daniel's hands gently urged him upwards so that they were face to face. Daniel kissed him, sliding his tongue tenderly inside.
"My turn, baby. Turn around. You feel like a sixty nine?" Daniel asked.
Jack did a one-eighty on the bed and lay on his side, shuffling downwards. He felt the young man's hands and tongue on his dick and rocked forwards so he could get all of himself inside. Daniel opened up his mouth and throat and took as much of Jack as he could. There was no urgency to their lovemaking as there had been previously, they each just became acquainted with the other's bodies using their lips and tongues to excite the other. Jack cried out when Daniel's tongue touched his asshole and he changed position, taking his mouth off Daniel and allowing him better access while his lover licked and laved.
It had been so long since anyone had done that to him and it felt so good and so right Jack almost wanted to weep. He wanted Daniel inside him, but he wasn't sure how they would do it, Daniel's leg being as bad as it was.
"Hey, stop a minute, will you? I really want you to fuck me, Danny. Where do you want me? Which position is easiest for you?"
The tender concern in Jack's voice touched Daniel's heart.
"Come around here," he urged Jack to move so that they were lying on their sides face-to-face and kissed him. "Been a while, love?"
"Let me play a little first, get you ready."
Jack raised his leg and slung it gently over Daniel's hip so that he could easily reach Jack's ass with his fingers. Daniel coated his hand with the oil and slipped it underneath so that he could stroke Jack's hole. He worked gently and lovingly to tease the opening, kissing Jack softly as he did so. His tongue slipped in and out of Jack's mouth as his fingers in Jack's ass mimicked his tongue's movements and soon Jack's muscles began to relax and soften.
Jack's cock was already leaking, the tenderness with which Daniel was loving him firing his desire and taking his breath away. When Daniel was sure Jack was as ready as he'd ever be, he shuffled his hips forwards and placed his cock at the entrance to Jack's body.
"Tell me if it hurts too much and I'll stop. We don't need to do this if you don't want it, Jack."
"I want it. Do you?"
Daniel moaned, "Oh God, do I. Just relax for me."
Jack held him and relaxed his ass muscle as much as he could. The skin began to burn as it stretched to accommodate the rounded head of Daniel's cock. Remembering a technique from long ago, he bore down and felt the pop as Daniel's cock-head breached his ass. It had been a very long time for him, and despite Daniel's extensive preparation, it still hurt just a little. Daniel felt him tense and stroked his back, holding him close and whispering in his ear.
"Relax, baby. Take deep breaths, that's it, thaaat's it. Open up for me, Jack. Let me in. I want you so much. Ooh yeah, now you've got it. That's the way." Daniel murmured as Jack's ass relaxed and he was able to slip all the way inside him. Jack held tightly onto him, keeping his breathing steady as he became accustomed to the fullness in his ass. Daniel kept talking to him, soothing away any fear or discomfort and relaxing him from the inside out, or so it felt.
Rocking slowly, Daniel fucked him, the head of his cock rubbing against Jack's prostate, making him gasp and hold his lover tightly. Daniel took hold of Jack's cock and began to stroke and pull it. The intensity of the physical sensations combined with the emotional intimacy of the act brought him close to coming very quickly. They kissed passionately, tongues duelling for supremacy inside each other's mouths as Daniel fucked him with every ounce of control he could muster until Jack's choked cry of "Daniel!" echoed around the room and his come spilled out of him onto Daniel's belly and hand. When every drop had been coaxed out of Jack's softening member, Daniel grasped Jack's hips and fucked him hard, grunting and moaning. He buried his head into Jack's neck and cried out Jack's name, stilling for a split second then thrusting deep inside, his come filling his lover's ass.
They lay wrapped together for some minutes afterwards, kissing and caressing each other gently until Daniel slipped out of him. Jack moved his leg and rolled onto his back, bringing his lover with him.
"I'm sticky," Daniel stated.
"So'm I," murmured Jack, on the edge of sleep.
"Can you be bothered?"
"Nuh uh, too tired. Shower in the morning. You?"
"Wild horses couldn't get me out of this bed, Jack. You're one helluva lover." Daniel whispered and kissed him.
Jack grinned, drowsily. "You too, Danny."
"Sleep well, Colonel."
Jack went to sleep almost immediately, but the dull ache in Daniel's leg kept him awake a little while longer. After cleaning a somnolent Jack and himself up with a couple of wet wipes from the pack he kept by the bed, he reached for his cigarettes and lit one as he watched his lover sleeping. It was the weirdest feeling, being here in bed with Jack O'Neill again, making love with him. Except it really wasn't his late lover and that was obvious in so many ways. He stroked Jack's face gently and sniffed, cursing his ability to cry so easily but grateful that O'Neill wasn't awake to see it.
He could feel himself falling for this man. This man. Not a replacement, not a substitute and panic gripped him as he realised that eventually this Jack would have to return to his own reality and his heart would be broken again. After his Jack had been killed, Daniel had made a promise to himself not to make plans and to grab the crumbs of happiness when they came along. He knew he had to just accept this for what it was, a brief joyous interlude, a memory to fall back on when he was lonely and depressed. He stubbed out the cigarette and switched off the lamp, then murmured, "This too shall pass," as he cuddled up to his lover and drifted off to sleep.
The smell of bacon and eggs cooking and freshly brewed coffee brought Jack gently out of his slumber and he got up to investigate. Daniel was pottering around the kitchen, squeezing juice and stirring the eggs in the pan. His short hair was tousled and slightly damp and he was just wearing a pair of tatty grey sweats. Every time he turned towards the window, the morning sun hit the nipple ring making it shine and his rippling back and shoulder muscles were making Jack's cock take a definite interest. Jack seriously considered forgetting the food and having Daniel for breakfast.
"Morning, Jack!" he grinned. "You had a good sleep."
Jack chuckled, just one more difference between this Daniel and his archaeologist. This one obviously did mornings. "Morning,"
"Sit down, what can I get you? There's Canadian bacon, scrambled eggs, I have toast, sausage and fresh coffee. Don't be offended if I don't join you having the coffee. Oh, and there's juice, too."
Jack sat down, leaned back in his chair and smiled, "Wow. Getting the five star treatment am I?"
Daniel blushed slightly, "Is it that obvious I'm trying to impress you?"
Jack walked over and embraced him then gently sucked his bottom lip. "Already done, babe. Last night was beautiful."
Daniel smiled and returned the kiss, slipping a little tongue in there while he was about it. Jack moaned and crushed Daniel's body to him. They caressed each other and kissed for a few moments until Daniel suddenly pulled back.
"Shit! The bacon,"
Daniel pulled the singed rashers out of the pan and threw them in the garbage. "Ah well, it was worth burning the bacon for a kiss like that. Besides, that was only the last batch."
"Just a minute, I thought you were Jewish?" Jack asked, raising his eyebrows.
"Oh, I am. I'm just not very good at it," Daniel grinned.
"Unlike other things I could mention," Jack smiled. "We're not going to be able to keep our hands off each other, are we?"
"And your point is?"
Jack began to laugh, "Food, Commander. We need food. What time are you on duty?"
"Not til 1300. If they need me before, they'll call me, but I doubt they will. We don't have any teams off-world at the moment, so things are pretty quiet. You're with me, so we can still talk shop...and fuck like mink at the same time. Sound okay to you?"
"Sounds more than okay to me, Danny."
"Why don't you call me D.J.? It's kind of a nickname. You know how we sailors are," he winked.
"You're amazing, D.J. C'mon let's eat. If I don't feed myself, I'll fade away and have no energy for fucking like the proverbial mink. And we don't want that now, do we?"
"Oh, that would be bad. That would be very bad. Here, have some sausage, Jack And some bacon, oh and here's some juice, vitamin C is very good for keeping up your strength, and I'll just go get you a coffee. Don't forget the eggs. A very good source of protein, eggs..."
"I can think of another one," Jack leered.
Daniel laughed, "Yeah, but I can't produce that much!" He loaded Jack's plate and his own with delicious smelling breakfast. "Say, did you ever have a nickname?"
Jack pondered as he ate, "Not really. I guess you could say 'Jack' is my nickname, seeing as my first name is actually Jonathan. They used to call me 'Fitz' at Officer Training School."
"My middle name is Fitzpatrick."
"Ah. Not Rory."
"No. Was that..."
Daniel nodded, "Yeah. Sorry. Go on."
"My parents had a warped sense of humour and a weird attachment to their Irish ancestry," he smiled wryly. "I was lucky, it was almost Cuchulainn."
Daniel smiled back, "Yeah, I see what you mean. 'Theodore' isn't exactly inspired either. I like D.J. way better. But I like Fitz. It suits you."
"Fitz it is, then."
It was an unspoken pact. They had both made a commitment to each other as individuals and the use of alternative names to 'Jack' and 'Daniel' served to underline their differences with their alter egos. All ghosts exorcised, they could now move forward and see where this thing took them.
They spent most of the day in bed, discovering each other's likes and dislikes, finding positions to make love which were comfortable for them both and it was with heavy hearts and sore dicks that they took the drive back to the SGC.
"I have to speak to the Admiral. Find out more about the shields you've got," Jack said as they got changed into their uniforms. He was trying hard not to look as Daniel took off his street clothes and removed his earring.
"Don't they make you take that out too?" Jack commented, looking at Daniel's nipple ring which he had an overwhelming urge to play with.
"No-one sees it and my shirt isn't tight enough for it to show. I guess I should take it out really, but no-one's ever said anything. Why? D'you want to take it out for me?" Daniel grinned.
"Don't fuckin' tempt me, D.J. Just don't. I can't believe I can get hard again, but if I get near you, I'll have you bent over a locker and while it's just grand that the Navy is okay with guys being together, I don't think having sex on base is what they had in mind."
Daniel laughed and covered up Jack's temptation by buttoning his shirt and tying his black tie.
The meeting with the Admiral went well. He seemed to be impressed by Jack's knowledge and attitude. Jack didn't feel the need to play dumb the way he usually did, in fact he felt freer to be himself generally. He hadn't realised how uptight he'd become over the years and it seemed that being with Daniel...D.J. rather, had broken down a dam somewhere inside him. No matter how close he and the Daniel back home were, the fact that Jack had harboured feelings towards him which weren't reciprocated had created a barrier in Jack's mind, if not in Daniel's. Looking back, he was able to see how much he'd pulled away from his friend. At times he'd been positively hostile, and Jack suddenly felt ashamed. He'd never meant it to happen, but there was a coldness in their relationship now which hadn't been there before and Jack wasn't sure they'd ever be able to go back to the way they were.
Both he and D.J. knew that this was a one shot deal, that Jack would have to go back to his own reality eventually and neither of them knew if he'd be able to return. D.J. didn't deserve another broken heart and neither did Jack. Not that he really knew how the other man felt, but for him there was a connection which he hadn't felt since...he would have said Daniel, but the connection he'd thought was there hadn't been there at all. Maybe he was wrong about this too.
Daniel's desk was covered with reports by the time Jack got there, but the younger man's face lit up as he heard Jack knock softly on the open door.
"Hey Fitz, c'mon in and shut the door."
Jack closed the door behind him and walked over to the desk, smiling. He leaned down and kissed Daniel softly, who opened his mouth to accept Jack's probing tongue. Daniel couldn't help himself and slipped his hands between the standing man's thighs and then around his ass, massaging it, then cupped his hand over Jack's dick and squeezed.
"D.J." Jack warned, "We'll catch seven kinds of hell if anyone finds out. Don't do that."
"Sorry," Daniel apologised. "You were right. I can't keep my hands off you."
He nestled into Jack's groin and held him close. "I can't help myself, babe. I haven't felt this way since..."
"Since Jack?" Jack asked.
Daniel nodded. "And that's where the comparison ends, I promise. Look, I have no idea what's going to happen and I guess you'll have to go back, but I have to tell you this before you go. I'm falling for you. For you."
Jack closed his eyes and let his head drop to his chest, "God, D.J."
"I'm sorry, that wasn't fair. I never expected you to feel the same way about me, I just...I had to tell you before you go back."
Jack knelt beside the chair and stroked Daniel's face. "No, it's not that. I...I think I'm in love with you. Course, it could just be lust," he smiled. "I have to stay for a while, the Admiral is ordering functional specs of the shields for me to take back, see if our boys can make any sense of them, because I sure as hell can't. There's something I want. Something I think I need, but I can't be certain if I can do it yet, so I don't want to say. Can you take some downtime?"
"I don't see why not, I'll talk to the Admiral and see what he says."
Daniel clicked the phone to speaker and was put through to the Admiral's office.
' Yes, Daniel?'
"I was wondering if I could take a couple of days off, sir?"
'Anything to do with our visitor, by any chance?'
"Not exactly, sir."
'Daniel, how long have we served together?'
"Off and on, ten years, sir."
'I know you, so don't lie to me. The reports won't be ready for forty eight hours. That's how long you have with him, use it wisely. You can go whenever you're ready. We don't have too much going on for a week or so.'
"Aye, sir. Thank you."
'He really does look a lot like Jack, doesn't he?'
"Yes, he does. But he's not Jack. I know that, sir."
'I know y'do, son. Just be careful, hmm?'
Daniel sat back and switched off the speaker phone.
"He's smart," Jack commented. "And he cares about you."
Daniel smiled, "Yeah, he's been like a father to me. Mine's been dead fifteen years." He ran his hands through his short hair and sighed. "Too much death."
"Yeah," Jack replied quietly.
"Come on. Let's get out of here and I'll give you a quick tour of Colorado Springs...hold on, that'll probably be about the same as in your reality."
"So, why don't we just go back to your place and back into that nice big bed?" he grinned.
"I like your style, Colonel."
"Well, you didn't seem to be complaining this morning!"
"No, I wasn't, was I?"
"I have to send a message back through the mirror. I just hope someone is down there. I'll look kinda stupid talking to myself."
"Not stupid Fitz, never stupid."
Daniel came through the mirror and was speechless. Both of them.
"So, where's Carter?"
"Well, not only is she busy, but we still don't know about multiple trips through this thing. This is the only time I've been to this reality, so I'm assuming...actually I'm hoping that I can still go back. Otherwise me, and the commander here, are in big trouble. At least I am," he replied uncomfortably.
"Christ, this is complicated," Jack sighed.
"You're telling me. Now I know how Sam felt. You've never come face to face with another you have you, Jack?"
"Ah, no. I haven't," Jack admitted.
"I wouldn't recommend it. No offence, Commander."
D.J. smiled. "None taken, Doctor. It's pretty weird for me, too."
"Okay Daniel, here's the deal. The Admiral is getting functional specs of the shield technology which I'll bring back with me. They won't be ready for another 48 hours, so you'll have to manage without me for that long."
"I think we'll cope, Jack," Daniel answered, with a hint of sarcasm.
D.J. stifled a chuckle. "If there's anyone from here you need to help explain anything, I'll send their details with Jack, so that you can check to see if they exist in your reality or not. If they do, we'll have to be careful how long they stay. I hope we can go back and forth between realities. It'll make things that much harder if we can't."
"Thank you, Commander. It's appreciated."
"Not a problem. Well, you have to excuse me, I have paperwork to finish up before I head home." He put his arm around Jack and squeezed, kissing him on the cheek.
"See you later, babe."
Jack's jaw dropped open. "Jesus, D.J.!"
"Oh Christ! I didn't think. I'm sorry, Fitz. I didn't...oops."
"I'll talk to you, later," Jack admonished.
"Okay," Daniel replied sheepishly and disappeared.
"Fitz?" Daniel asked with a slightly amused expression.
"Yeah. It's my middle name, okay? You got a problem?" Jack bristled.
"No! No, not at all. Do you have something to tell me?"
Jack sighed, "You want the whole megillah? Okay, here it is. You already know I'm bisexual. Well, around here that doesn't matter. Me and D.J. we..."
"...got it goin' on?" asked Daniel, smiling.
"Well, yeah. Shit, this is harder than I thought. So, at the moment we're together. I'm sorry if that freaks you out, but I'm taking it while I can get it...so to speak."
"So to speak," repeated Daniel.
"C'mon, Danny. Give me a break here. I...I think I'm in love with him and...I don't want to come back."
"I've known you a long time, Daniel. You know me as well as anyone in my entire life. You know what a lousy time I've had emotionally and well, crap! I just want to be happy. Isn't it about time?"
"I'm sorry." Daniel apologised. "You deserve to be happy, it's just strange that's all. I have tattoos for God's sake! And an earring! And I'm gay!"
"And that's not all," Jack grinned. "But you don't need to know that."
"Please tell me he's not devoted to Budge," Daniel groaned.
Jack laughed, "No, he knows nothing about archaeology. He used to play ice hockey and he's a big Rangers fan. Besides, he's not you, Daniel. He looks like you, but he's not you, trust me. I've gotten to know him. When I come back, I'm going to see Hammond. There's no reason I can't come back to this reality as far as we know."
"As far as we know. You may get back there and be stuck."
"I'll just have to take the chance. I want to stay with him, Daniel. Let's face it, other than the SGC I've got nothing and no-one. No-one to love, anyway. Here I can still work with the Stargate programme and have a love-life too. Out in the open, for God's sake. Is that so wrong?"
"Of course it isn't. I'm glad you found him, Jack. At least I think I am. I'm really not sure I'm comfortable with the consequences yet. It's just going to make things a little complicated. I mean, it's not like you want to move to Florida, now is it?"
"No, I guess not. You can brief Hammond and Carter with what I've told you and I'll be back in a couple of days with the specs. Try not to get into too much trouble before then, huh?"
"Shouldn't I be saying that to you?" Daniel teased.
Jack laughed, "Yeah, I guess so. He's a good guy, Daniel. He cares about me and I haven't felt that in a long time. Try to understand. Please."
"Oh, Jack. Look, is this anything to do with me? The fact that I can't..." he asked.
"No...well, not really. Look, when I put the moves on you and you turned me down, I really thought it wouldn't affect us. I tried, I really did. I never meant to hurt you, but looking back on it that's all I've done the last few months. I'm sorry, Danny."
"You have been a little... irascible. Not to mention pig-headed, arrogant and a royal pain in the ass," he added with an affectionate smile .
"Yeah, I know."
"I'm sorry I couldn't give you what you wanted, Jack. Not for you, but for me. I do love you Jack, but the physical thing is just not me. God help me, I wish it was. You can't imagine how jealous I felt when Sam came back and told me about you and...me. You are doing this for the right reasons, aren't you?"
"Yes, Daniel. Don't worry, we've both been over this. He wants me, not the Jack he lost and I want him, not the Daniel I can't have. It works between us. I don't know how, but it does and all I know is that we both have a chance to be happy. I wouldn't have to hide, sneak off to sleazy bars and have one night stands with guys I can't remember the name of, just to scratch the itch. For the first time since Sara, I can have a real relationship with someone and not have to be ashamed of myself because I fucked up the signals or I'm scared of getting caught."
"So, the nicknames are part of that?"
Jack nodded, "Part of it, I guess. The guys around here call him D.J. and they used to call me Fitz in Officer Training. There was another Jack in our class, so we used my middle name to avoid confusion. It was either that or 'Paddy'."
Daniel chuckled. "I'm happy for you, Jack. I really am. Whatever I can do, you know I'm here for you. I'll miss you like crazy, but you have to do this, don't you?"
"Yeah, I do. Thanks for..."
"Go on, D.J. will be waiting," he interrupted, smiling. "I'll see you in a couple of days."
"Bye, Daniel." Jack pulled Daniel close and hugged him, slapping him on the back.
"Bye, Jack," Daniel replied returning the hug, then turned and went back through the mirror, glancing over his shoulder at his friend as he did so, wondering if he'd ever see him again.
D.J. received a quick smack upside the head when Jack got hold of him in his office, although it was done with affection.
"Dammit D.J., I can't believe you just did that!"
Daniel raised his hands in submission, "Mea maxima culpa. I completely forgot how things are over in your reality. We don't encourage people to hold hands while they're on guard duty, but discreet PDAs are accepted as the norm. It just didn't occur to me that I shouldn't have done it. I'm sorry, Fitz. I never meant to embarrass you."
Jack kissed him. "It's all right, it outed me. I guess I needed a kick in the tuches. I told them I don't want to go back and I sorted out a few things with Daniel. He may not be my lover, but he's still my best friend."
Daniel held him, stroking his hair, "You okay about it? Staying, I mean. Because you must know by now it's what I want. I don't want to lose you."
"I don't want to go, D.J. I'm happier with you than I've been in so long, I can't even remember. It's like we just clicked, you know?"
Daniel nodded, smiling.
"I just hope I can come back. That's the kicker. I have to take these specs back, because we really need 'em. The Asgard will only go so far in helping us and they have their own problems with the Replicators."
Daniel looked puzzled, "The what?"
Jack smiled, "Well, if you've never heard of 'em that's a good thing. Trust me. Nasty little technobugs. Even as powerful as the Asgard are, they haven't been able to kick them out of their galaxy. The buggers are eating them alive. Anyway, it means that we have to fight the Goa'uld on our own, with a little help from the Tok'ra, but they tend to do their own thing and only come by when they want something. Arrogant assholes. These shields you have will be a big help. We've already been visited by Goa'uld motherships and if the bastards come back again, it'll be nice to know we have something to protect the planet with. The thing is though, no-one knows if you can come through this thing more than once. Someone came through from an alternate reality, then went back, but no-one's tried to go through again. I'm scared D.J."
"Aw baby," Daniel murmured and held him close.
"I don't want to get stuck back there and never see you again. Maybe I could get back something of what Daniel and I had, but even so, there's no way we could have what you and I have now. I love you, D.J. and I want to stay with you," Jack shrugged.
Daniel sighed. "I can't believe you'll do this for me. Leave everything you have back there. I know it's not been long, but I love you, too. It's like we're meant, somehow. Which is incredibly weird, because you're not even from my universe, but..."
"I know," Jack replied stroking his cheek and looking into his eyes. "We have two days, baby. Let's make the most of them."
The morning Jack was due to leave, they lay in bed together in sombre mood.
"It's gone too quickly." Daniel whispered, nuzzling closer to Jack's warm body.
"Yeah," Jack replied, stroking his hair. "I don't want to go, but we both know I have to."
"What's the time?"
Daniel leaned over to look at the bedside clock. "06:30."
Jack sighed heavily, "We should get up."
"Why does the universe hate me so much?"
"What d'you mean?"
"Why did I have to fall in love with you?" Jack grumbled.
"Aw Fitz, don't be like that," Daniel nuzzled in closer, if that was possible. "There's a good chance you'll be able to come back, and even if you can't, we've had a little time. Just be grateful for that. Let's face it, what are the odds, hmm?"
Jack snorted softly, "There is that, I guess. Come up here."
Daniel shuffled up the bed and Jack pulled him over so that Daniel was lying on top of him.
"I love you, Daniel Theodore Jackson and whatever happens, don't you ever forget that. Okay?"
Daniel leaned down and kissed him, "Okay, boss."
The kiss became more passionate and Daniel began to rock his hips against Jack's hardening cock. His lips travelled over his lover's upper body, mapping every inch of it, burning the taste and smell of Jack into his memory, just in case this really was it.
Jack turned in Daniel's embrace to lie on his stomach, offering his ass to his younger lover. Daniel kissed the nape of his neck, biting it softly and making Jack arch up into his touch. Daniel's hands worked around and under Jack's torso, pinching and rubbing his nipples. Jack moaned quietly as Daniel caressed him. Then Daniel whispered in his ear.
"On your side, love. I want to touch you."
Jack complied and immediately Daniel's long fingers wrapped around his swollen cock, holding it firmly and stroking in a steady rhythm, as he kissed and licked the sweat-sheened flesh of his lover's neck, slowing his hand every now and then to rub his thumb over Jack's shining cock-head. Daniel rocked his hips against Jack's buttocks and the older man could feel Daniel's erection as it slipped easily up and down between them.
Daniel removed his hand from Jack's cock and positioned himself. They had made love several times during the night, and Jack's ass needed no further preparation. He was more than ready, and wanted it more than anything. Daniel slid smoothly inside and Jack's breath caught in his throat at being filled by his lover yet again. He snaked one arm backwards around Daniel's body, pulling him even further in, and Daniel brought his arm forward to hold Jack tight into his embrace. They were as close as two people could ever get and Jack never wanted it to end.
Having Daniel inside him felt so good and so right, he could hardly believe it. He couldn't even imagine it being this right with the Daniel from his own universe. Daniel's talented hands brought him to the brink and back so many times as they made love that by the time his orgasm overwhelmed him, Jack was practically sobbing. Daniel buried his face into his lover's neck and groaned as he came, Jack's scant come trickling down his hand at the same time.
"D.J...oh fucking Jesus, D.J." Jack whispered as Daniel sobbed softly into the nape of his neck.
"Love you, Fitz. Love you."
Daniel was waiting outside the Admiral's office when Jack came out with the reports.
"Ready?" he asked.
"No," came Jack's dejected reply. "God, if there was another way to do this..."
Daniel smiled, broadly. "There is, but before I tell you, I wanted to give you something."
He handed Jack a small, velvet-covered box.
Jack raised his eyebrows, "Is this a proposal? We've only known each other a few days, D.J."
Daniel shook his head, "No, not a proposal, although I can easily imagine spending the rest of my life with you."
"Be careful what you wish for, babe. I'm a cranky old bastard, y'know."
"Just open the fucking thing will you? Jeez!" Daniel laughed.
Inside was a gold signet ring with a Hebrew inscription.
"Wow, this is beautiful. What does it say?"
"Ani L'Dodi V'Dodi Li - I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine."
"I...I don't know what to say. Thank you," Jack whispered and kissed him. "Is this in case I don't come back?"
Daniel continued smiling, "No, because there's no question of you not coming back."
"Have they found something out?" Jack asked hopefully.
"Nope," Daniel answered, a goofy grin still plastered all over his face.
"Then what are you so goddamned cheerful about?" Jack asked, becoming irritated and frankly, a little hurt by his lover's attitude.
"Because I'm going to take the reports to your universe. Not you."
"So, I'm standing in the jeweller's shop this morning, picking up the ring, and it struck me. I've never been to your universe, so even given what little we know about the mirror, there's no reason I couldn't go and then come back. It's simple," Daniel stated, with the triumphant air of a precocious High School physics student.
"Well, I'll be damned!" Jack exclaimed. "Why the hell didn't I think of that? More to the point, why didn't Carter think of that?"
"Because Carter isn't up to her neck, head over heels in fucking love with you, that's why," the younger man grinned.
Jack chortled, "Well, if you ask some people..."
"What?" Daniel asked, a little puzzled.
Jack waved him off, "Never mind. Just take the damned things over there and get your ass back here as soon as you can."
Daniel saluted smartly, "Yessir, Colonel."
"Oooh, that's right," Jack smiled, rubbing his hands together. "I outrank you, don't I? HA!"
Daniel leaned closer to whisper in his ear. "On the base you might, but you haven't seen me in my Dress Whites yet. I reckon I could get you to stand to attention all right."
Back to Wadjet's Home