"Coffee, coffee, coffee."
Daniel poured another cup, slurped loudly, then sighed just as loudly.
"Coffee, coffee, coffee."
He was absolutely positive that the reason he kept coming back from the dead was coffee.
"Coffee, coffee, coffee."
Each time he said the word, his foot beat out a Brazilian beat. Probably Brazilian because the coffee he currently had plugged into his system was, you guessed it, Brazilian.
Coffee and the Samba. Or should that be the Mambo? Tango?
The book Daniel needed was all the way across the room so it made perfect sense to the man currently flying higher than a kite, to tango his way over. With his imaginary partner, he stepped seductively into the dance, dipped said imaginary partner, then reached for the book and tangoed back to his chair. Sitting down, but body still moving, Daniel pondered the Tango. Maybe he would have done the Samba to get the book, but he wasn't sure if he remembered the difference between the Mambo and the Samba. No way would he want to make such a mistake as to retrieve a book doing the Samba, when in fact, he was doing the Mambo. No sir. Not Daniel Jackson, ballroom dancer extrordinaire.
He thumbed through the book, body still moving to a beat only his caffeine drenched brain could hear.
"Nope. Not it." Fingers flew, pages flew faster. "Nope, nope, nope. Well damn."
He tossed the book behind him and reached for another. Not here either. Well, really. It wasn't as if he didn't know his office backwards and forwards, right? Right. Umm, maybe the damn thing was at home? No, definitely no. It was here. Daniel looked over his bookshelves, eyes blinking fast. Oooh, maybe his book on Ancient Symbols?? Yeah, that's the ticket.
Deciding on not dancing over to the other book shelf, he gave a mighty push off and sailed over, his chair making a soft whishing sound. Daniel put out a hand to brace himself, then chuckled.
"Good save, Jackson. In fact, a damn fine save."
He reached up and took the book down, then started rifling through the pages, looking for a particular variation on a well-known symbol--
"GOT IT!!!" he yelled trimuphantly.
Jack walked down the quiet hall towards Daniel's office, pretty certain that his stubborn archeologist was still at work. As Jack got closer to the closed door, his anger grew proportionately. He was giving serious thought to the insensitivity of Doctor Jackson (after all, how was Jack supposed to get any rest if he knew Daniel wasn't?) and how best to remedy the situation, when a loud, "GOT IT!" filled the hall.
Oh goody. Daniel had it.
Jack stopped in front of the door and without knocking, threw it open. A rush of words, mostly four-lettered ones, were ready to spew forth, but the sight that greeted Jack froze every single one of them before he could open his mouth.
Daniel was at his worktable, body swaying to something, damned if Jack could identify what, and he was -- chortling. That was the only word to describe the sound coming from Daniel's mouth.
"Doctor Jackson, I presume," Jack said as he stepped inside, hands suddenly shoved into his pockets. He recognized a jacked up Jackson when he saw one, so 'careful' had to be the by-word.
Without looking up, Daniel said, "Oh, hi, Jack."
"Oh, hi, Jack? That's it?" Okay, so careful was out the door. Jack frowned. "Daniel, do you know what time it is?"
Turning to his computer, Daniel began to type furiously as he said, "More importantly, Jack, do I care? Does anyone, really? So many other questions that need asking. To ask the time, well, that just seems so mundane, you know? You have a watch, after all. And just think of all the things you could be asking? Like, 'Daniel, what's the meaning of life?' or maybe, 'Daniel, is chocolate really better than sex?' or even, 'Daniel, why are we here?' See? So many more important questions. But if you insist--"
Daniel stopped typing with his left hand long enough to look at his watch. "It's three-thirty," he said as he went back to using both hands. "Happy now? By the way, I don't have a clue as to the meaning of life, so don't bother asking. Chocolate can be better than sex, but only if you aren't getting any. Uh, sex that is. And as to why we're here? Damned if I know. I've always considered the human race to be a huge cosmic joke, myself being the punch line. Now, if that's all?"
Through the entire speech, Daniel hadn't once looked up or seriously stopped his typing and Jack was exhausted just watching him.
"Daniel, what could be so important that you've locked yourself in your office and are currently trying for the record of the man with the most caffeine in his bloodstream?"
"Far be it from me to mention that you just walked in, which would imply that I most certainly have not locked myself in. Although, now that you mention it -- maybe that's a good idea. Locking myself in, I mean."
"I have a key. I'm your commanding officer."
"So now you know why I didn't lock myself in. Is there something you wanted, Jack? Besides the time?"
Jack counted to ten, then let his breath out slowly. "Daniel, it's three-thirty in the morning. Wednesday morning, to be precise."
"So why did you ask if you already knew?"
"I didn't ask, I asked if you knew what time it was. I know what time it is."
Frowning, Daniel finally looked up from his computer screen. Jack almost gasped. The guy looked worse than the walking dead.
"Jack, if I wanted to know what time it was, I would simply have looked. But as I said, it's not of the utmost importance, you know? Now, if we're going to be successful on PJ3-2T8, you need to let me finish this. Otherwise, I won't be responsible if we're massacred the moment we step out of the wormhole."
"Daniel, why would we be massacred? The M.A.L.P. pictures showed a fairly harmless looking bunch of backward natives and not a Goa'uld in sight."
"Harmless, Jack? I don't think so. Or maybe you missed the drawings on the wall behind the big friendly guy?"
"I -- noticed them, sure. They weren't Egyptian, right?"
"Wrong. Well, right, in a way. They were a kind of perverted style of glyphs. I knew that I'd seen them before, so I've been searching since we came back from P6S-492 and were given our next assignment. A few moments before you stalked in here with your need to know the time and by the way, did you know you can call a number and at the sound of the beep, they'll give you the time? Anyway, the primary glyph turned out to be the symbol for Lector Priests. Very Egyptian, Jack. Very."
Jack walked over to Daniel, grabbed his shirt collar and pulled it toward him. He peered down, shrugged, then pulled at the bottom of Daniel's shirt until it came out of Daniel's waistband. Daniel jerked away and slapped at Jack's hand, then said rather huffily, "What the hell do you think you're doing?"
"I'm looking for the shut-off switch. You have to have one, right? I figure if I find it, I can shut you off."
Suddenly Daniel was up, his face cold and hard. "Oh, I just bet you'd love to find a shut-off switch for me. You could shut me down, ship me over to Area 52 and that would end your problems, right, Jack? Label me with Do Not Touch signs, box me up tight, nail me in and Voila! Happy Jack O'Neill. Well, guess what? I don't shut off. Now let me get back to what I do do, and to what our stupid government pays so much money, it's obscene, for me to do, okay? And no one asked you to come in here. You don't have to be around me other than on missions, and you have to admit, I've kept pretty damn quiet lately, so fuck off."
As quickly as it had come, the anger and energy dissipated. Daniel blinked a couple of times, then reached blindly for his chair. Jack quickly pushed it toward him and Daniel slid into it.
"Go away, Jack. I'm not bothering anyone. I'm not bothering you, I'm not bothering anyone. Just -- go away."
Jack was stunned. Shocked speechless. Surprised out of his gourd. Where the fuck had all that come from, anyway?
"Daniel, just when did you sleep last?"
"You just refuse to ask the difficult questions, don't you, Jack? You're gonna skirt around the meaning of life and the 'why am I here' questions, right? Maybe you'd like to know what I had for dinner?"
"Do you even know what you had for dinner? Or when you ate last?"
With a thoroughly disgusted look on his face, Daniel said, "Oh, for heaven's sake. My dinner is right here -- somewhere--"
With that, he began to toss books all over the place and papers went flying. Then with a small "oops", he disclosed a plate from the commissary. A plate that held something that looked like it had once been a sandwich, but was now converting itself into a living being.
Scrunching up his nose, Jack reached for the alien sandwich, picked up the plate and dumped it into the trash. When he turned back to Daniel, he said, "Yes, well, that was not a pretty sight. And just how old was that thing, anyway?"
Daniel was staring at the trash receptacle with a hurt expression. "Jack, you may have just thrown away the cure for cancer. I think I should rescue--"
Daniel pushed his chair over to the plastic trash can and started to reach inside. Jack stopped him by placing his hand over Daniel's wrist.
Jack frowned. Too thin. And -- shaking. Okay, time to change tactics. His friend was in trouble.
"Daniel, I don't think we're looking at a cure for cancer in that sandwich. A new life form, maybe, but no cancer cure. Now I want you to look at me, Daniel."
Daniel continued to stare at the trash can.
"Daniel, did you hear me? I want you to look at me now. Right here."
Jack made the military gesture for seeing, two fingers pointing at his eyes, and slowly, Daniel looked up.
"That's it. Now listen to me, Daniel. You've had too much coffee and not enough sleep. You're about to crash big time. If you crash hard, SG1 will have to go to that planet without you and we might get massacred. You wouldn't want that, would you, Daniel?"
Daniel, eyes fastened on Jack's, shook his head. "No-o-o."
"Good. Okay, here's what we're gonna do. I'm gonna help you up, we'll put your jacket on, then we'll head up top. We'll go to my place, you like it at my place, don't you, Daniel?"
"Good. When we get there, we're going to go to bed, Daniel, and you're going to sleep for a long time. Hours and hours. When you wake up, I'm going to feed us. Then we'll talk about these lecturing priests. All right?"
"Lector. Lector priests."
"Right. Lector priests. Okay, here we go. I'm sliding my arm around your waist and we're going to stand up--"
"You're already standing."
"Right. So -- join me?"
Jack got Daniel up, then got his jacket on him and zipped up. "Comfy?" he asked with a soft smile.
"Um, yeah. Now what?"
Uh-oh. The crash of Flight DJackson was imminent.
"Now we head out the door."
"Well, I can do that, silly. Do you need help?"
"Couldn't hurt, Danny. Maybe an arm around my waist?"
"Sure, sure." Daniel slipped his arm under Jack's jacket and they moved to the door.
The walk down the hall to the elevator seemed to defy logic. They moved from side to side and Jack just knew they both had to look like drunken sailors. Everyone knew Air Force personnel, when drunk, walked in a perfectly straight line. Jack had to assume that it was the archeologist currently attached to his side that was responsible for the sailor walk.
"You know, Jack, you have a real problem with putting one foot in front of the other. We should work on that one day. I'm pretty sure Teal'c could assist you."
"Oh, I'm sure of it. Right now, you're kind of -- listing -- to the right. Why don't you close your right eye?"
Jack almost stumbled, but he recovered like the Air Force Colonel that he was. "Okay, I'll bite, how would closing my right eye -- help keep me from listing?"
"Well," Daniel said in all seriousness, "you see, if you close your right eye, your left eye will compensate and you'll even out your walking stance. You know, I would have thought you'd learn that in military school, or whatever."
They were at the elevator and with a sigh, Jack pushed the button. "Yeah, well, I must have been absent that day."
"That's okay," Daniel said as they stepped in and the door slid closed. "I don't think you could have missed very many days, being a colonel and all."
Jack couldn't help it. He burst into laughter.
"What's so funny?"
"Nothing, Danny, nothing. I just -- you're so -- you're just so damn cute."
"Well, that's a new one. I've been infuriating, selfish, a geek, a dweeb, a scientist," Daniel gave a mock shiver at that one, "a trouble-maker, and a schizoid, but now I'm cute?" Daniel shook his head and sighed. "I don't think I've ever been cute before. No, I'm sure I haven't. Studious, yes. Overachiever, certainly, four-eyes, most definitely, but cute? Nope."
"You were actually called 'four-eyes'?"
Daniel leaned into Jack's face and cocked his head. He pointed to his glasses. "Well, duh."
Daniel was so close, Jack could feel his breath, soft and warm, brushing against his cheek. He gulped.
"Yes, well, kids can be cruel when we're growing up," Jack said lamely.
"This was last week. Airman O'Brian."
Somehow Jack managed to get Daniel to his car. He stuffed him into the passenger seat, got the seatbelt fastened, brushed Daniel's groin area during the seatbelt adventure, groaned, and finally got the door closed. Shutting his eyes against the memory of where his hand had been, he took several deep breaths, then jogged around to his side, jumped in and started the engine.
As he drove down the mountain, he was very aware of the jiggling archeologist next to him. Daniel, while winding down, was still wired enough for the need to keep some part of his body moving. He was also humming under his breath. It sounded - nice.
Jack negotiated the twists and turns, keeping his mind busy with exaggerated death plots against Airman O'Brian. He was thoroughly enjoying his efforts in planning the various places he could bury the body parts when Daniel's voice brought him back to the here and now.
"Jack, you missed the turn-off."
"I'm taking you to my place."
"Then you didn't miss the turn-off."
"You might want to rethink having me as your guest, though. I haven't been your favorite person of late, Jack."
Fortunately, Jack had a good reason to slam on his brakes. A red light.
Sitting at the intersection, Jack took several deep breaths and debated fact versus fiction. Truth versus a lie.
Fortunately the light went green.
By the time Jack pulled into his driveway, Daniel was quiet and still, but awake. When Jack turned off the ignition, Daniel didn't move.
"We're here. Might be nice to actually -- go -- inside?"
"You need sleep, Daniel."
"I won't be able to. Too tired. You should take me home. I can do a few things, expend some energy, then go to sleep, hopefully."
Jack figured, by the sound of Daniel's voice, that Daniel was on the verge. He opened the door and stepped out. "Come on, Daniel. Inside, now."
Daniel shrugged and slowly climbed out. He pulled up his collar and with hands stuffed in his pockets, he followed Jack up to the door.
Jack got them inside and as they both shed jackets, he said, "Maybe a nice hot shower will relax you enough to sleep. You know where everything is. I'll get you something to wear to bed."
"Jack, why are you doing this? Why am I here?"
Jack turned back and grinning, he said, "What's the meaning of life?"
Daniel's expression didn't change one iota. He continued to stare, one eyebrow arched.
There were no red lights to save Jack and suddenly -- Jack was incredibly glad. He couldn't have explained it, but after all these years, all the hiding, all the buried thoughts and dreams, and all of the denial, he was ready to not only face the truth, but tell it as well. Maybe it was the way Daniel looked at the moment, coming down off his coffee rush. Maybe it was the total lack of expectation in his expression, or the look of permanent defeat in his eyes. Whatever it was, Jack was ready to talk.
"Daniel, you're here because there's nowhere else I'd want you to be. You're here because I want to take care of you. And you're here because -- I love you."
Daniel's brows knitted together, then Daniel shook himself slightly, walked past Jack, continued through the livingroom, the hall and finally into the bathroom. Jack followed, but stopped when he heard the bathroom door lock.
"Yes, well," he said to the empty hall. "He took it well."
Daniel ignored his shaking hands as he stripped down to nothing. His legs weren't doing so well either. He turned on the shower, let it steam up, then stepped in and closed the shower door.
Jack had said that he loved him.
No mistaking what Jack had meant, either. Daniel was pretty intelligent and a linguist to boot. He wrapped his fingers around the showerhead, as much for support as anything else. He closed his eyes as the warm water pounded down on him.
Out of the fucking blue, Jack loved him.
A strange queasiness took over his stomach. After a moment, he recognized the sensation. He always felt the same thing just before going through the 'Gate. It was a kind of an odd excitement, mixed with a healthy dose of fear and anticipation.
Wait, anticipation? Okay, the fear and the excitement, yeah, that he could explain, but the anticipation? Maybe he'd finally gone overboard on the coffee and was now insane? Imagining things? Hallucinating? Yeah, that was it. Jack hadn't said a word out there. Daniel had just imagined--
"No, you didn't imagine it, you idiot," he said to the tiled wall.
No. Jack had said it.
Jack waited outside the bathroom, his back holding up the wall of his hallway. He'd wait the entire night if he had to because he'd finally said it, confessed all and damn it, it was now Daniel's turn.
He heard the water shut off and pushed himself away from the wall.
Any minute now.
The door opened five minutes later.
Heat, steam, the smell of sage-scented soap, and finally Daniel, wearing only his boxers and a towel thrown around his neck.
Warm and still damp, Daniel stopped as Jack stepped in front of him.
"Usually when one person tells another that they love them, the one being declared upon usually declares back," Jack said conversationally.
Daniel rubbed at the back of his wet head as he considered Jack's words.
"Declares back?" he finally asked.
"Yeah. See, it works like this. Male A, that would be me, tells Male B, that would be you, that he loves him. Then Male B, that would be you, tells Male A, that would be me, that he loves him back. That's a declaration."
Daniel yawned, then said with an exaggerated Southern drawl, "Well, I declare."
Jack took two menacing steps toward his archeologist, who immediately stepped back. Daniel's movement didn't stop Jack from asking, "Is that your way of making fun of me, or of saying that you love me?"
Daniel backed up a bit more and Jack narrowed his eyes. He'd known this guy for a long time now, he was pretty good at reading between the lines -- most of the time. But if he got it wrong tonight, it would be wrong for a long time. On the other hand, a man only lived once -- unless that man was Daniel Jackson, of course. Jack took two more steps toward Daniel. He was now inches from his target. Daniel had moved back at the same time Jack had moved forward and was now up against the wall.
Jack planted his hands on either side of Daniel's head and leaned in close. "Well," he said, "love or humor?"
Daniel closed his eyes and expelled a long breath. Jack thought he'd die as the warm soft air caressed him. He closed his own eyes as he bent his elbows and let his lips rest against Daniel's temple.
When Daniel didn't pull away, Jack let himself go the rest of the distance so that their bodies were now touching.
"I love you, Daniel. I've been running a long time and I'm tired. I've been afraid, afraid of what I'd see if I told you or of what I wouldn't see--"
He opened his eyes and let his lips move down as he took his hands from the wall and placed them on Daniel's shoulders. Daniel was breathing hard, but still hadn't moved. His body wasn't tense and Jack had the feeling that the only thing holding up the younger man were Jack's hands. His lips were so close now, so close to Daniel's and he was pretty sure he'd die if Daniel pulled away.
"Say something, Daniel. Anything."
Daniel's eyes drifted open and those lips moved--
"Ah, the power of words," Jack chuckled.
He focused on Daniel's lips and without thought, Jack did it. He kissed him.
Hard square jaw, soft lips, the very male scent of Daniel, the feel of his muscles moving under Jack's fingers and finally, lips parting under his probing tongue. A moment later, with some shock, Jack realized that it was Daniel's tongue in his mouth.
Oh, this was good.
Jack felt Daniel's hands come up and grip his head as Daniel thrust his hips forward in time with that magical tongue. A moan made its way from Daniel's mouth to Jack's and the entire world narrowed down to the man in Jack's embrace.
Jack slid his hands down Daniel's arms, then across damp skin. Daniel's pecs clenched as Jack slid one hand around Daniel's waist. They held on, their kiss deepening. Jack wouldn't have minded crawling down Daniel's throat. In fact, he was pretty sure that was what he was trying to do.
He had his hand resting at the small of Daniel's back and it seemed so natural to just kind of slip his fingers under the waist band of Daniel's shorts. His moan at the contact with Daniel's left ass cheek traveled down to his toes. He mumbled something into Daniel's mouth and was surprised when the man who was fast becoming his better half, chuckled. The sound rumbled in his mouth and he had to smile.
They pulled away then, both with gleaming eyes crinkled in mirth.
"Where'd you learn to kiss like that, Daniel?"
"Where'd you learn?"
"Susan O'Brian. Taught me everything I know."
One elegant eyebrow rose. Jack's smile widened. "Okay, Mark Turnbull."
"Taught you everything else you needed to know?"
"You betcha. You?"
Daniel ducked his head a bit and while hiding behind his glasses, said, "Couch cushion in foster home number two, then Leann Wise and finally Skippy Larson."
Jack's scarred eyebrow arched crookedly. "Skippy, Daniel? Skippy?"
"Hey, I didn't name him, I just--"
Daniel's glasses moved with his eyebrows as he said, "Well, yes, there was that."
"Now that we know where we each learned to kiss, and since I have my hand down your shorts, would now be a good time to ask you to -- declare -- yourself, Daniel?"
With a sly grin, Daniel worked Jack's zipper down, then slid his hand inside Jack's shorts. "I hereby declare this Air Force 'still semi-hard body' to be mine -- forever more."
Jack gave the firm silky flesh under his hand a a nice pinch. Daniel yelped and Jack, tightening his hold on the younger man, said, "Semi-hard body, Daniel?"
Holding back his laughter, Daniel asked innocenly, "Did I say semi? I meant to say so hard. Yeah, so hard body. Imagine a linguist making such an error."
Eyes sparkling with mischief, Daniel said, "Say that again."
Frowning, Jack said, "Say what? Tsk-ts--"
Daniel kissed him. Hard. It felt terrific.
Somehow they managed, while remaining locked together, to get down to Jack's bedroom. Stumbling, but never letting go, they tumbled onto the bed, where upon Daniel began to even them up -- clothes wise. He wasn't polite about it. Jack liked that in a man.
At the point at which Jack became unclothed, their lovemaking degenerated into a free-for-all. Libidos warred as each fought for an assumed dominance. It was heady, energetic, and more fun than Jack could remember having while attempting to make love with anyone. He suspected it was a perk of trying to make love with a caffeine addict. Which must mean that this was a new way of crashing. Long live coffee splash downs.
As Daniel shoved his tongue down Jack's throat and wrapped his long slender fingers around Jack's dick, Jack thanked God for Daniel and his coffee. This promised years of great lovemaking. Years and years. He only hoped he'd last.
"Come on, Jack," Daniel whispered, "do it. Into my hand--"
Eyes closing, Jack thrust repeatedly. God, just the idea of his cock sliding between those fingers -- fingers that had tenderly and lovingly held ancient artifacts, had revealed strange writings, runes and glyphs, and fingers that had danced in the air while trying to make a point with Jack -- just picturing those fingers was enough. He came hard, tremors wracking his body, his hips rising, rising--
Awareness came back slowly, but deliciously. His body seemed to be hovering about three feet off the bed and Jack really wanted to bottle this moment and keep it forever. Daniel was sprawled over him and Jack wondered why. The guy had to be needy as hell at the moment.
Somehow Jack managed to raise his hand and place it on Daniel's head. The hair was soft and damp, but now from sweat, not the shower. Jack stroked down, up, down--
"I'm not a dog, Jack," Daniel said sleepily.
"Good Danny, very good Danny."
"You know, you're the one who was humping like a dog."
"Speaking of humping, couldn't you use--"
"Not at the moment. Watching you come proved to be quite erotic, thank you very much."
Jack lifted his head and looked down at Daniel. "Well, I'll be damned."
Daniel smiled. "Go to sleep, Jack. We need to conserve your energy. I think there are a great many more things to do -- later."
Running a finger down Daniel's cheek, Jack whispered, "Do you still think I want to turn you off and send you to Area 52?"
"You know, Jack, right now, I don't want to think at all. I'm still not sure how we got to this point, but I've never believed in looking a gift horse in the mouth. Gift horses bite."
"Well, I do bite. But I don't think you'll mind."
Daniel chuckled against Jack's skin. "Go to sleep, Jack."
"You'll be here when I wake up?"
"Well, it's altogether possible that you're the dream here, a figment of my caffeine drenched state, in which case, you'll be the one gone when I wake up, but if you're really you, and I'm really here, then when you wake up, I'll be here. Well, unless I'm in the kitchen getting a cup of coffee. I could get up before you--"
As Daniel prattled on, Jack realized that their recent lovemaking hadn't quite used up all of Daniel's energy. In fact, it would appear that their lovemaking had actually -- enhanced -- the coffee high. Gee. Too bad.
Jack supposed he ought to do something about it. Really, he should. For Daniel's sake. But first, a little nap -- to the sound of Daniel's voice.
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