Not that Daniel can't trade quips with the best of them, namely me, but verbal jokes aside (and his are damn dry, too), what else does he do to relax? I mean, I can read during moments of quietude or listen to my opera, or even sit and veg, but there are times that require a certain... silliness, for want of a better word.
Daniel needs to be silly.
Someone needs to help him be silly. He needs a coach. A guide. A teacher. A colonel in the United States Air Force.
Jack O'Neill at your service, thank you very much.
But where to start? Mmm, with the basics, maybe? Like... ball-bouncing?
Yeah, that's the ticket. I'm gonna get him his very own ball. Blue. To match the color of his eyes. Don't look at me like that. Yes, I know the color of his eyes. Yes, I could pick out a ball to match the shade. Ya gotta problem with that? No? Good.
"Jack, you're staring."
"Yes, Daniel, I am."
Without lifting his head from his work, Daniel asked in a tone that said he didn't really care, "Why?"
"Because you're working."
"Thank you. That explains everything. Of course, it's four in the afternoon and I'm in my office, so I'd have assumed that I would be working, therefore any staring would be irrelevant. One stares because one is looking at something that requires staring, like a bee with two heads, or catching your best friend alone in his office and waltzing to Carousel--"
Daniel scratched at his temple, then adjusted his glasses. He cleared his throat. "Uhm, yes. The Carousel Waltz is what it's called. It goes like this...."
Daniel started humming the waltz from Carousel. Jack felt compelled to stop him, in spite of the rather pleasant sound. But really, Carousel? From an archaeologist who regularly saves the world? No. Just...no.
"Daniel, stop. We've somehow done a crash and burn."
"I was just trying to point out that staring at me for working in my office at four in the afternoon was hardly--"
"I get it, Daniel. I get it." Jack held up the bag in his hand. "I've brought you a present."
With the kind of pride a cat has as it sets a dead canary at the feet of its owner, he set the bag on top of Daniel's papers.
Daniel sat back, dropped his pen, and regarded the object with obvious suspicion. The kind of suspicion a cat owner has when coming home and finding the bird cage empty.
"Just open it."
Daniel picked up his pen and poked the bag a few times.
"Aw, jeez, Daniel, it's not alive. Just open the god damned thing."
Daniel closed one eye and regarded the bag with the other. With two fingers, he picked it up carefully, then shook it.
The bag went flying.
"Ah, God," Jack said, laughing and wheezing. "You're just so easy, Daniel. And does 'wuss' ring a bell?" Still chuckling, Jack retrieved the bag from the far corner of the room and handed it to Daniel. "Now will you take this, open it, then thank me for the thoughtful gift?"
With a resigned expression, Daniel took the offering. With all his suspicions still intact, he opened it. For a moment the room was silent. Then--
"Jack. It's a ... ball. Just...a ball."
"No, it's a blue ball, and it's rubber."
Head still in bag, Daniel said, "Aren't all balls rubber?"
Jack made a knocking motion on Daniel's head and said, "Hello? Golf balls? Baseballs? Basketballs? Ping-pong balls? Pool balls? Do I have to go on?"
Slowly, Daniel reached in and brought forth Jack's gift. He held it in his palm, tilted his head, then said, "A blue ball." He glanced over at Jack and asked coldly, "Is this a reference to my recent lack of dating opportunities?"
"Wha?" Jack sputtered out. "Are you craz...oh, I see what you mean. Blue ball. Um, Daniel? I'd have gotten you two blue balls, you know? And 'recent'?"
"Oh. Okay. So why have you given me a ball? Is there some significance here that I'm missing? Some male military ritual attached to this ball that has skipped my notice all these years?"
Jack leaned in and whispered, "Brace yourself, Daniel. The ball is for ... fun. Get it? Fun? F.U.N."
Daniel brought the ball in close and peered at it thoughtfully. "Fun? This is supposed to be fun? This little ball?"
Jack rolled his eyes, then counted to ten -- ten times. Finally he placed his hands on Daniel's shoulders and forced him back down and into his chair. He turned the chair until Daniel was facing the wall behind him. "Okay, this is what I want you to do. Just toss the ball at the wall, hard enough so that it comes back, and then catch it. Think you can do that, Daniel?"
"You want me to throw this at the wall? And then catch it?"
With the patience of a saint, Jack said solemnly, "Yes, Daniel."
"Because I said so? Because I'm your commanding officer and you never do what I ask you to do, but this is so harmless, that you can't possibly say no, which would mean this would be the first time you will have ever done what I asked you to do?"
Daniel thought about it, then shook the ball close to his ear. "I don't hear or feel anything inside. Are you sure it won't explode the minute it hits the wall? Because if it does, I can guarantee you that any chance you ever had of me doing what you asked, when you asked, would be completely gone."
"Daniel, throw the ball."
"Okay, but it--"
"Daniel. Throw. The. Ball."
Daniel threw the ball. It connected with a smack, then shot back to be caught expertly by its tosser. He held it up for Jack's approval. "Okay, I threw it."
"How did it feel, Daniel?"
"Jack, I threw a ball. How should it feel?"
Wearily, Jack pulled up the other chair and turned it around so that he could straddle it. He folded his arms and rested them on the top of the seatback, then dropped his head. "You're hopeless, Daniel."
"Does that mean I can go back to work now?" Daniel asked hopefully.
Jack lifted his head and his eyes narrowed dangerously. "No. I'm not giving up. Throw it again, only this time, you have to bounce it on the floor first. That means you have to throw it at an angle so that it'll bounce into the wall and back again."
"You're joking, right?"
"No, Daniel, I'm not. I'm completely serious. Throw it."
After giving his worktable a look filled with longing, Daniel threw the ball. It hit the floor, then the wall, then bounced back and into Daniel's waiting hand.
"Okay, how did that feel?" Jack asked.
Voice drier than the winds of Abydos, Daniel said, "Jack, what's going on here? I threw a ball. I did the wall-to-hand-2.5 degree-of-difficulty throw, then I did the floor-to-wall-to-hand-3.5 degree-of- difficulty throw. How am I supposed to feel?"
Jack could feel a tic developing in his eye.
Back in the relative sanity of his office, Jack slumped back in his chair. The ball had been a disaster. A failure. A complete non-success.
Jack O'Neill did NOT fail.
So what next? Yo-yos? No, they were out. Daniel hated them.
Okay, what next then?
Suddenly Jack sat up. He had the answer. After all, hadn't it worked for Teal'c?
Grinning, Jack headed up to the mess hall.
Daniel sighed heavily. "Not you again."
"Oh, yes. Me again."
"Brought me another gift, have you?"
"In a way." With a flourish, Jack brought his present out from behind his back and set it proudly in front of Daniel.
Looking at the silver-domed plate, Daniel said, "You brought me dinner?"
"No, I brought you," Jack lifted the lid, "this!"
Daniel blinked several times. He took off his glasses, wiped them with the bottom of his black tee shirt, then slipped them back on.
"Jack, this is a plate of ... mashed potatoes."
Taking up residence in the spare chair again, Jack shook his head. "No, Daniel, that is a plate of ... imagination."
"Jack, it's a plate of mashed potatoes. Not even the real thing, just those boxed flaky kind, you know?"
"No, Daniel, once you're done playing with them, these potatoes will be a work of art. Now I want you to make something, sculpt something. Get your hands funky and have fun."
"Jack, are these the ones with chives, 'cause I see little green things, and you know, with the some of those cooks, you just never know, you know?"
Jack gave the idea of murder some thought. He was pretty sure he could get away with it. Daniel started poking at the mound of white starch and said, "They better be chives, Jack. If they're anything else--"
"THEY'RE CHIVES, DANIEL!"
Daniel removed his finger from the mass and plopped it into his mouth. At the same moment, his stomach growled. "You know," he mused, "these aren't so bad. In fact, I could eat--"
Jack pulled the plate away and balanced it on the palm of his hand. "Daniel, this is not food. This plate represents materials in the art world and from these materials, you will have fun and create. And I think you should know, Teal'c created a near perfect replica of Karnac, and he surrounded it with several very realistic Jaffa. With staff weapons and everything." Jack slid the plate back down. "Surely a man as brilliant as yourself can top that? Although... come to think of it, Siler did an amazing sculpture of a woman with three breasts and a hole in her stomach. And... um, Daniel? Where are you going?"
"I'm calling Janet. We need MacKenzie. You've gone through the 'gate once too often, Jack."
Shaking his head in disbelief, Jack snagged his archaeologist's sleeve, and none too gently, yanked him back. "Whoa, boyo. I don't think so. And there is nothing wrong with me, if you don't count you."
Slapping Jack's hand away, Daniel said, "I'm wrong with you? Oh, no, 'boyo', you're wrong with me. Now take your damn ball and your plate of mashed potatoes and go home."
It was altogether possible that Jack had bitten off more than he could chew. And was his tic back?
Daniel stared at the ball. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't stop staring at it. Work sat undone and still he continued to stare.
Something was up with Jack O'Neill. Question was; what? Was there some huge punchline waiting to be unleashed on him? Was he on Jack's version of Candid Camera? Or was this simply a new way of driving him crazy?
Translations were going to have to wait. Daniel needed to get to the bottom of this or no rest for the weary innocent.
Jack sat at his desk and stared at the box in front of him. This was his last hope, but it would need to wait...he checked his watch...at least another three hours. He needed to let the halls of the SGC empty with the end of the day shift.
He fingered the box and grinned. This would do it. This would provide the fun desperately needed by Doctor Daniel Jackson. Originally, he'd thought of his bike, plus borrowing Teal'c's, but hey, been there, done that. Besides, two men on bikes rolling through the narrow tunnel-halls the SGC were a catastrophe waiting to happen.
Instead...there'd be two men on...ROLLERBLADES!
"All right, Jack, what's up?"
The man in question looked up as Daniel stormed in.
"Doctor Jackson, I presume?"
"Ha-ha." Daniel strode over and with great care, set the blue ball down on top of the box sitting in the middle of Jack's desk. "You can have your ball back, Jack, and I want to know what's going on. Now."
"Aw, Danny, that ball represents a heart-felt gift. A gift from the felt heart. I spent a great deal of time and effort purchasing that ball for you and I'm wounded by your lack of appreciation." He placed his hand over his heart and added dramatically, "Wounded man here, Daniel."
Smiling benignly, Daniel picked up the ball again. Holding it so that Jack could see it, he warned, "Tell me now, or you're going to find out just how well I can stuff this ball in places you'd rather not have me stuffing things."
Everything probably would have been fine, but there Daniel stood, a blue ball in his hand, and offering to stuff it--
Jack cleared his throat. Now was not the time for anyone, Daniel included, to discover Jack's penchant for... Daniel.
Time to change the subject. Or rather, stick to the subject. Of balls. Just not stuffing balls, or licking them, or fondling them, or--
"Daniel, I'm just trying to show you how to have fun, okay? People need to relax, to do more than work. You need to relax."
Daniel regarded him thoughtfully, then said with a smirk, "Okay, now drop the other shoe, Jack. The real shoe."
Daniel watched Jack's face, spotted the small beads of sweat start to form on his upper lip, watched as he squirmed in his seat... again, and certain pieces started to click into place. The pieces had nothing to do with why Jack had given him a ball, but everything to do with why the threat of stuffing said ball caused Jack O'Neill to sweat.
Grinning inwardly, he said, "Well, Jack?"
Sounding only slightly petulant, Jack answered, "You heard me. You need to learn how to have fun. You need to find the Daniel Jackson that first went to Abydos. He knew how to have a great time."
Daniel pulled up a chair and sat down. With legs stretched out in front of him and ball in hand, Daniel said seriously, "A lot has changed since then, Jack. And who says I don't know how to have fun?"
"Daniel, I spend more time with you than I ever spent with either Sara, or my parents while growing up. I haven't seen you have fun, or should I say, do fun things, since Abydos."
"Just because you haven't seen me having fun, doesn't mean I don't know how to have it." He started rolling the ball between his fingers. "I have fun all the time. It's just that my fun is usually more... internal... than say, your fun."
Jack's eyes were fixed on Daniel's hand, and the way the long slender fingers were working the ball. He managed to say, "Internal? What, you play chess with your pancreas?"
The fingers slowed and seemed to be stroking the ball....
"Actually, Jack, I play chess with my ... fingers just like everyone else. And my brain, unlike you."
Jack was having trouble breathing as he said, "What do you think I play chess with, Daniel?"
"The seat of your pants, Jack? By the way, since when do you care if I'm having fun?"
"I worry--" Jack coughed into his fist as Daniel began to palm the ball. He cleared his throat and finished with, "about you, about how you relax. I used...to be... you, remember?" As the truth of his words hit him, he was finally able to tear his gaze from the ball and the agile fingers. Fortunately for me, a young man showed me the error of my ways and I'm now the fun-loving, carefree, devil-may-care guy you know and love."
"Yes, well, Skaara simply showed you how to be young again."
Jack leaned forward and said softly, "I was talking about you, Daniel."
Shocked blue eyes met earnest browns.
"Oh, look, my linguist is without... lings."
The lingless linguist's mouth dropped open. Then he shut it. Fingers started working the ball again.
"Jack, that would be, 'Oh, look, my linguist is without... tongue. Linguist, from the Latin, 'lingu' or tongue. I'm without... tongue." Daniel licked his bottom lip and added, "But of course, I'm not. Without tongue."
With that, Daniel rose easily and pocketed the ball. Walking to the door, he said, "You know, honestly, there is an area of my life where I excel in fun." He looked over his shoulder, waited a moment, then added, "The bedroom. I'm pretty darn fun in the bedroom."
Daniel walked out and quietly closed the door behind him.
Jack leaned forward and banged his head on his desk three times.
>:-o :-o :-o
Daniel checked his watch. Yep, if he knew his colonel, and he did, Jack should be here an-y minute. He perused his wine selection, thought about the cheeses in the fridge, and chose the merlot. He pulled it out of the rack and set it on the counter. At the same moment, the doorbell rang. Smiling, Daniel went to let Jack in.
>:-o :-o :-o
Innocence personified, Daniel said, "Why, hello, Jack. What brings you here?"
Jack stood in the hall of Daniel's building and asked himself the same question. Then Daniel spoke again.
"Come to see how fun I can be in the bedroom?"
So help him, if Daniel was yanking his chain--
Putting his hand on Daniel's chest, he pushed - gently - until both were inside, the door closed and locked behind them. Hand still in place, Jack said through gritted teeth, "Explain that remark, and explain now."
Daniel smiled. Then he took the hand on his chest, laced his fingers with Jack's, and said, "I don't really need to, do I?"
"Damn you, Daniel Jackson," Jack hissed as he pulled the man close and clamped his lips over Daniel's.
The finger making lazy circles on his chest felt good. Jack kept his eyes closed as he enjoyed the sensation. He didn't even mind that in a very short time, the semen on said chest would dry. Weren't showers designed for just that kind of emergency?
The circles ended, to be replaced by what felt like rather odd formations.
"I'm having fun, Jack. See, mashed potatoes do nothing for me, but Jack-semen really gets me going."
Jack opened his eyes and lifted his head from the pillow. He glanced down his nose at his chest and Daniel's finger. He tilted his head, then closed one eye. When that didn't work, he tried with only the other eye closed. "Uhm, Daniel? Are those hieroglyphs?"
"Yep. And over here, a rather nice, if somewhat hairy, version of the Sphinx. When I'm done, I'm gonna get my camera and take a picture of this, then show it to Teal'c. I'm pretty sure that my glyphs and Sphinx are way better than his Karnac."
The word "camera" was Jack's undoing. With one swift move, he had Daniel flipped over, on his back, and staring up at him in surprise.
"Whoa there, Colonel, you're about to destroy my--"
Jack shut him up with a kiss, while at the same time rubbing his "artwork" against Daniel. When they parted, Daniel grinned up at him and said, "What, you didn't like my art?"
"Loved it, Daniel, just loved it. But I had to do something to protect Teal'c's ego. You might have destroyed him completely by showing him your... sphinx. How 'bout we keep that and all your other talents for having ... fun, just between us, okay?"
The only part of Daniel that was free of Jack's body was his right arm. He raised it and drew the back of his hand gently down Jack's face. Eyes twinkling with mirth, he coached, "So you admit that I'm a fun guy?"
His own eyes full of love, Jack gazed down at the man he'd just spent the last several hours sharing semen with, and said, "Oh, yeah, Danny, you're the funnest guy I've ever known."
One perfect eyebrow rose. "Funnest?"
"Right. Funnest. So if I'm the ... funnest... guy you know, and you no longer need to teach me how to have fun, then what's in the box you brought with you?"
Jack's eyes glowed with a sudden fanatic gleam.
>oooo oooo oooo
"Jack, I don't think this is a very good idea."
"Come on, Danny, you must have roller skated when you were a kid, right? This is no different... exactly."
They were in the park a few miles from Daniel's apartment. It was two-thirty in the morning and the park was deserted. Daniel raised an arm, and with Jack's help, he stood. He was wobbly, but at least he wasn't falling off his now roller-bladed covered feet. Should he be worried that he was also wearing kneepads, elbow-pads, and a helmet?
"I never roller-skated, Jack. The Egyptian desert isn't real conducive to skating, you know?"
"Hey, aren't you a fun guy? Open to new things? You can do this, Danny." With that, Jack gave Daniel a gentle shove and watched as the younger man shot forward, arms windmilling.
Jack cringed. Maybe he should restrict Daniel to the bedroom from now on? After all, wasn't that where he excelled at... fun?
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