"Because if you saw disaster coming, you would have left yourselves a note. Sort of a 'to whom it may concern," Daniel smiled.
Kira laughed softly and at the other end of the table an ugly knot of jealousy twisted inside Jack O'Neill's stomach. He hadn't seen Daniel smile like that in a while and it was obvious he was attracted to the blonde woman sitting beside him. He was almost blushing for crying out loud. For once Daniel had met a kindred spirit, another geek: a young, attractive female geek.
Jack sighed. He'd taken too long in telling Daniel how he felt; either that or he was doing the right thing in never telling him at all. Whichever way Jack looked at it, it was screwing him up. It had taken time for him to fall in love with Daniel Jackson, but once he had it was as all encompassing as it was pointless. Jack already knew Daniel was bisexual; the Pentagon personnel files were incredibly thorough. Daniel's last relationship had been with a man, a college professor named John Taylor, ten years older than him, so Jack had age in his favour if nothing else.
When Jack came to think about it, which he seemed to be doing more and more since Sha're's death, his age was the only thing in his favour. Daniel was bisexual, fair enough, but as a civilian he was allowed to be. Jack on the other hand was very much military, technically Daniel's boss and whatever Daniel's feelings toward him, the consequences of them having a relationship and ever being discovered were too horrible to contemplate.
Despite the futility of his desire, he watched Daniel at the other end of the table smiling, leaning slightly towards the young woman, Kira, and wanted to trace his fingertips along Daniel's lightly stubbled jaw, rubbing his thumb pad against Daniel's full bottom lip and...
Sam's voice shocked him back to reality.
"Oh, I was just thinking about amnesia. It doesn't quite track with Linnea's nickname," he replied nonchalantly, pleased with his ability to think on his feet, metaphorically speaking.
"The Destroyer of Worlds," interjected Teal'c.
"Yeah, that one."
Sam disagreed. "Well, actually, in sort of a sick way, it does. Kira said herself their society is on the verge of collapse, despite their efforts. This world is in trouble, Sir."
Jack didn't think he could take much more of Daniel and Kira's intimacy and decided to go back to Earth to let the General know what was going on. It was a mess, pure but not so simple. Another mistake come back to kick SG1 in the ass and one which they had a responsibility to fix, if they possibly could.
He waited in the 'gateroom with Hammond as the remaining members of SG1 came back through the wormhole and noticed immediately that Daniel was holding Kira's hand. Not just in the way you'd hold someone's hand to reassure them, but with their fingers entwined. Another rush of jealousy burned through him and he tried to shake it off, furious with himself for allowing such juvenile emotions to affect him.
"Daniel? You wanna show them to the Infirmary?" he asked, knowing that Daniel would be only too pleased.
Daniel nodded and led them away.
"Colonel, what if Dr. Fraiser's unable to reverse whatever caused this?" Hammond asked anxiously.
Jack shrugged. "I don't know."
Daniel found himself with butterflies in his stomach and sweaty palms. For the first time in a long while, he was attracted to someone he could have. Sha're was gone and he mourned her loss, but she'd been gone too long before she was released from the burden of Amaunet for Daniel to feel the pain of her passing too keenly. He knew it was better for her to be dead than go through the daily agony of being possessed by a Goa'uld.
The bottom line was that Daniel was lonely. He hadn't been intimate with anyone since Sha're; unless you counted a drunken one-night-stand with a guy up in Denver, but that had been the best part of a year ago. He needed someone. The 'someone' he wanted was...
Jack was his commanding officer, Jack was the bane of his life, Jack was almost certainly straight and Jack was Air Force. Jack was also gorgeous, sexy, funny, intelligent, and extremely quick witted when he let his 'dumb Colonel' façade slip. Jack was strong, and courageous, and tender, and seemed to care about him and was completely not available.
Kira, on the other hand, was very much available and apparently willing, if the look in her eyes was any indication. They had developed a rapport and were similar in many ways it seemed, and she was a very attractive woman. She was obviously attracted to him and Daniel didn't see why he shouldn't follow his instincts, at least as far as they could go given the current circumstances.
"Since the Vorlix close contact has become almost taboo. We were afraid that if we were ever able to regain our memories..." Kira began.
"You would find yourself waking up beside the wrong person," Daniel finished for her.
"You... are not from Vias," she continued, her voice becoming husky.
He began to back away, but she followed him.
"No. I'm not from... there... from Vias... no," he answered, still unsure that this was such a good idea. "Kira..." She stopped.
"I understand," she said, sadly and turned away from him.
"No. You don't. Um, okay," he began, still arguing with himself about whether or not he should just say 'the hell with it' and grab the opportunity, both literally and figuratively.
"I find myself very, very... very," he muttered, awkwardly. "But, uh, the fact is I only just recently lost my wife."
He didn't think there would be much point in telling her that he was in love with the Colonel.
She turned back to face him and said, "Oh," with no attempt to disguise her disappointment. He continued, "And I...Well, that's not actually, totally, true, I mean I actually really lost her a long time ago. The fact is I don't think right now I would trust myself completely to, uh..."
She silenced him with a kiss. Her lips were soft and warm, and Daniel welcomed the contact, his body beginning to respond. He found himself disappointed when she broke away.
"I'm sorry, I interrupted you," she apologised with a teasing smile.
"No, you didn't. No. I wasn't going to say anything..." he stuttered.
"I had to do that," she cut him off. " I had to do that in case... when my memory returns, I find myself attached to someone else, and I am unable to do it again."
Daniel nodded. "Right. I understand, that's... that's probably why I should do this."
He held her face in his hands and kissed her, softly at first and then passionately as she responded in kind.
They made love gently and tenderly, but still like strangers and even though it was satisfying enough from a physical perspective, Daniel felt emotionally cheated. They had fulfilled a need, but that was all, at least from Daniel's point of view. As she lay beside him sleeping, he quietly got out of bed, got dressed and left.
Jack rounded the corridor by the guest quarters in time to see Daniel close the door softly and pull on his jacket. He wanted to yell, 'Was she good? I'd be better!' but took comfort in the fact that what he could see of the expression on Daniel's face as he turned didn't indicate happiness or sexual satisfaction.
Jack leaned heavily against the wall and sighed. If he told Daniel now, it would seem like he was trying to ruin the first chance of a relationship Daniel had had since Sha're. If this woman really did make Daniel happy it wasn't Jack's place to screw it up out of spite, but one thing was for sure: seeing Daniel getting close to someone else had taken away any doubt there may have been in Jack's mind over his own feelings. If Daniel and Kira somehow managed to make a go of things, as unlikely as Jack thought that was, then he'd keep quiet forever. If they didn't, he'd admit how he felt to Daniel and take whatever consequences there might be.
A little while later Jack joined Sam in her lab. She had been reading Linnea's journal and called for Jack. She'd discovered something horrifying.
"The elders aren't missing, Sir. They are the elders. The fountain of youth worked. The amnesia was simply a side-effect Linnea didn't see coming."
A cold shiver ran down Jack's spine as a terrible thought occurred to him.
"Ah, wait a minute. Linnea is dead, right?" Jack asked hopefully, even as he knew what was coming.
"Well, if those two bodies Kira found really were the Vian elders that Linnea was experimenting on..." Sam began.
"Don't say it, Carter," Jack warned. If Kira was Linnea, what the hell was Daniel getting himself into?
"Sir, we wouldn't recognise her even if she walked in the front door."
Jack felt panic rise inside him. "Don't. Don't..."
He put his hands over his ears and started to sing to drown out what Sam was telling him. Daniel was having an affair with the Destroyer of Worlds. They'd let her out again and now she had access to even more technology than she had before.
Sam almost had to shout at him to get the message through.
"Sir, she has the knowledge of chemistry, the medical skills..."
When yelling was not enough, she pulled Jack's hands away from his ears and he stopped singing.
"I think we at least have to face the possibility that Kira is Linnea."
Jack was unprepared for Daniel's passionate defence of Kira in the briefing room. In a way, he was right when he gave Teal'c as an example of someone who had literally turned their life around. However, it cut through Jack to be shown in such a blatant way how deeply Daniel had fallen for her.
He was concerned not only for Daniel, but also for the SGC and the rest of the universe at large. If Kira ever regained her memory, either with or without the antidote, she would go back to being the brilliant psychopath they'd met on Hadante and had helped to escape.
Daniel's emotions churned inside him. Despite the relative disappointment of their lovemaking, Daniel still cared a great deal for Kira and the thought that inside that sweet person whose only thought was for the welfare of her people was the evil Linnea cut him to the core. She was different. She couldn't be Linnea, he told himself as he stomped down the corridors to her quarters, to inform her that she was irrefutably the Destroyer of Worlds.
After several visits, his coldness continued to sting her like a physical slap. They had been together. They had made love to each other and now it was as if Daniel had built a wall between them. It was hard to accept that she could be the monster he spoke of and even harder to accept that she could have done this to her people but then if she was Linnea they weren't her people, were they? If it was true, and Daniel obviously believed that it was, she couldn't blame him for being distant and cold. She didn't deserve his affection or his love.
She would help as much as she could to find an antidote for the amnesia, despite having to endure the looks of distaste and distrust from SGC personnel, not to mention the tight security. She couldn't blame them, even though she couldn't remember a thing and it seemed as if they were talking about someone else.
The first test on Orner was unsuccessful; in fact it was almost disastrous and Daniel quickly whisked Kira away back to her quarters.
It was painful and awkward, and all Daniel wanted was a cup of strong coffee and to relax in his office. He strode through the labyrinth of corridors and heard Jack's voice behind him.
"Hey, I heard the first test didn't go too well."
"She'll figure it out," he replied sullenly, not looking at him.
"Listen, I'm not sayin' the first woman you've fallen for since Sha're isn't a peach..."
It came out more sharply than he intended and he immediately wanted to bite his tongue. Daniel stopped walking and Jack could feel the anger emanating from him, but it didn't stop his treacherous mouth from continuing.
"But if she remembers who she is, you'll be the first to go."
Daniel carried on walking to his office, silently fuming and wondering if Jack had any idea what 'peach' meant in Turkish.
He thought back to what he'd said in the briefing room about whom Jack would trust with his life.
'Linnea, Daniel. She used to be Linnea. We were lucky she didn't knock us off the first time round.'
'Let me ask you a question: Who would you trust with your life more than anyone else in the world? Don't worry, I won't be offended if you don't pick me. Could it be Teal'c?'
'Uh, Teal'c. Just refresh my memory. What was your previous occupation?'
'I was First Prime of Apophis.'
'Right. Did a few nasty things back then?'
'We see the subtle point you're tryin' to make.'
'No, you don't.She is not the same person. She is not who she used to be. Let's not condemn her for who she may have been in the past.'
The kicker was if Jack had said anyone other than him, Daniel would have been offended. Deeply so. Jack was always the one Daniel cried out for when he was in danger or afraid. He wanted to think that it was the same for Jack, but he supposed it was merely wishful thinking. He took Jack's choice away from him so that he never had to know. Besides, if he hadn't suggested Teal'c it would have destroyed his argument.
Daniel still couldn't understand why Jack was being so hostile. It couldn't have been the fact that Kira was Linnea, because the antagonism had begun way before then. It seemed as if he'd taken a dislike to Kira as soon as she and Daniel had become close, and it had gone downhill from there. He shook his head and rubbed his eyes under his glasses. When Daniel came to think about it, Jack was behaving like a jealous lover, but... that was ridiculous. He was probably just concerned for Daniel's safety, being overprotective and showing it in his usual clumsy way.
As he took a swig of coffee, he felt a presence to the side of him and turned to look towards the doorway.
"Hey Daniel," Jack said quietly. "Can I come in?"
Jack didn't usually ask, so it was a good bet that this visit heralded an apology.
"Why not?" Daniel waved in the vague direction of the other chair in his office and asked, wearily, "You want coffee?"
"Nah, I'm good," Jack replied. "D'you mind if I close the door?"
Daniel peered over the rim of his glasses and frowned. "No, but why would you want to?"
"I need a little privacy for this, tell you the truth," he huffed with gentle laughter. "Yeah, to tell you the truth. That's why I'm here I guess."
Daniel went to the pot to freshen his coffee, the frown on his face deepening. "Would you please stop rambling and tell me what this is about, Jack? I'm very tired."
Jack sat down and sighed. "First of all, I'm sorry. I know I've been a complete asshole since we got back from Vias and I apologise."
"Well, thank you for acknowledging that. Do you want to tell me why?"
Jack's face reddened and he hoped that Daniel wouldn't notice in the dim light of his den.
"Because I was jealous of you and whatshername."
"Kira? You were jealous of Kira and me? You're unbelievable. You're the one who keeps reminding me that she was the Destroyer of Worlds! You've haven't had a decent word to say about her since we came back. It isn't my fault she was attracted to me, Jack and let's face it I haven't exactly had a girl on every planet. I was lonely, she was interested, and I reciprocated. Not that it's actually any of your business."
"No, it's not. You're right," Jack replied, softly. "But I wasn't jealous because you had her, I was jealous because she had you."
"And besides, it's not like we'll be getting married and living happily ever after. God knows what's going to happen to her if she ever gets her memory back and... what?"
Jack was rubbing the bridge of his nose, acutely aware of an impending migraine.
"I said I was jealous because she had you. I've... look, I'm not very good at this and I have a killer headache, so you're just gonna have to bear with me, okay?"
"Okay," Daniel replied, still somewhat stunned.
"I've had... feelings... for you for a long time. I just... I never said anything before because well... all the reasons why we shouldn't and why I can't and... ah crap, I'm just gonna say it. Daniel, I'm in love with you."
He closed his eyes and winced as if bracing himself, then after a second or two opened them again and looked up at the ceiling.
Daniel smiled. "I guess the world didn't come crashing down then?"
"I guess not, but is that all you have to say?" Jack asked, not shocked, merely a little surprised.
"I don't really know what to say, Jack. Except that as it turns out I'm in love with you, too."
"Hmm. Any clues as to why we're both so okay with this?"
Jack thought for a second and then looked up at him. "In the back of our minds have we just known? Is that possible?"
"I guess it might be. There's always been something there between us, or at least it's been there for so long I can't remember when it wasn't. Maybe it grew into love without us realising," Daniel smiled. "We haven't really been in much of a position to do anything about it, so I suppose we both just kept quiet. I didn't bring it up because you're Air Force and I thought you were probably straight. There didn't seem any point."
"My cunning plan worked, eh?"
"Which one was that?" Daniel teased.
"The one where I'm the hard-ass Special Ops Colonel who could leap tall Goa'uld in a single bound," Jack smiled then his voice dropped to almost a whisper and his dark eyes met Daniel's. "But at night, in my mind, I make love to you and you fall asleep with my name on your lips and you're there for me when I wake up afraid. I can be myself with you and not have to pretend any more, you understand who I really am and despite all of that you stay with me until we grow old."
Daniel moved towards him and put his arms lightly around him, Jack resting his head on Daniel's shoulder.
You could have told me," Daniel whispered.
"I know, but what difference would it have made? I'd still be in the Air Force," Jack shrugged.
"But at least I would have known."
"Yeah, well I'm sorry about that, but you could have told me, too."
"Mea culpa," Daniel replied, standing up again and placing a hand on his heart. "So, that's why you've been so insufferable since we got back from Vias? Because you were jealous?"
"Partly, and partly because I was afraid for you. I still am. You don't seem to be able to appreciate the danger you're in, Daniel. Not like that's a shocker, you rarely do."
"Kira isn't a danger, Jack."
"I know, it's just... well, I didn't come to talk about that again. I just came to explain how I felt and why I've been an asshole and apologise. I guess I'll go back to my room now and let you process all this new... stuff. Not to mention that this headache is gettin' to be a real bitch."
Daniel gestured to the cot in the corner, which he used on a regular basis and was made up with fresh sheets.
"You can lie down here, Jack... If you want to."
Jack nodded, then instantly regretted it and slowly walked over to the cot, with Daniel's help. Daniel pulled back the blanket and helped Jack off with his boots and jacket, then eased him back onto the bed.
"How are you feeling?"
"A little nauseous, but that usually fades. I don't see an aura, which means this is going to be a short one. I'll be okay in the morning."
"D'you want me to get Janet?"
"Nah. She'll just pump me full of crap that never does any good anyway. I just need to get some shut-eye is all," Jack muttered.
"I might be able to help. Do you trust me?" Daniel asked tentatively.
"Stupid question, Daniel," Jack snapped back much more sharply than he meant to.
"Sorry. I...I sometimes get tension headaches and I know that this is different, but the self-treatment I use can be used for migraines too. Will you let me try?"
Jack opened one eye, "Will it hurt?"
"You're not gonna use some hokey witchdoctor chant or somethin' are ya? Because if you are, I'd just as soon go to sleep, if it's all the same."
"It's oils and massage, Jack. Jesus, you're such a Philistine sometimes."
"It was developed by an Ayurvedic practitioner. It's a form of medicine from India..."
"Don't need the 'how, why and wherefore', Daniel," Jack cut him off.
"Sorry. I'm going to massage you with a mixture of plant oils. Lavender, geranium, ylang-ylang..."
Daniel put his hand on Jack's shoulder. "Never mind. Just relax and let me give you some massage. I'll do your temples first, to see if you can stand it. I'll be very gentle. Then if you're okay with that I'll ask you to turn over and I'll work on your neck and shoulders. D'you think you'll be able to lie on your stomach?"
"Seein' as I can't get comfortable in any position when I get one of these li'l bastards, I don't think it'll be a problem. C'mon Doc Jackson, do your worst."
Daniel poured some of the massage oil into a small saucer and picked some up on the tips of his fingers. Sitting on the bed beside him, he gently spread the oil around Jack's temples, taking care not to use too much pressure and moving his finger pads in a slow, circular motion.
"That's good. Keep goin'."
Jack could feel the tension and pain very slowly melting away as Daniel caressed his temples. He was rubbing so softly that was what it felt like, a caress. Whatever, it was working. The overwhelming scent in the air was of lavender which also served to soothe him; not only because of its calming properties, but it took Jack back a very long way in his past to his grandmother's garden, which had lavender plants on both sides lining the path up to the front porch from the gate. It was always the first thing to strike him whenever he went to visit and conjured happy memories of his childhood. He was almost asleep when he heard Daniel's soft voice in the distance.
"Can you turn over for me?"
He smiled and carefully turned to lie on his stomach, settling himself before Daniel began to work on the taut muscles of his neck. Daniel felt more confident now that Jack was less tense and he could see the pain subsiding, and rubbed harder to tease out the knots and coax the muscle to relax. Jack's pain was dissipating more rapidly and he lay comfortably with his head resting on his arms, enjoying Daniel's manipulation. The tension gradually eased as Daniel worked in a steady and soothing rhythm. Jack was quite disappointed when he stopped, then took in a sharp breath as Daniel's hands moved up inside his t-shirt from below. Daniel felt him tense and leaned down to whisper in his ear.
"You don't need to get up and take it off, Jack, I don't want to disturb you, but I have to get to your skin. If I massage through your shirt the oils won't be absorbed and it'll be kind of a waste of time."
"Mm'kay," Jack mumbled sleepily as Daniel eased the cotton as far up Jack's back as he could. His hands caressed Jack's tanned, muscular back and Daniel had to fight to stop them from shaking. He reminded himself that this was one friend giving another a massage to alleviate a headache, not foreplay, although he did want to store the sensations of having his hands on Jack's body for later, when he was alone.
He worked on the whole of Jack's back, not just his shoulders, coating his hands with the oil regularly and making sweeping effleurage strokes up and down the length of it, pausing at times to work on particular knots and areas of tension, and then continuing with the effleurage. Jack was becoming so relaxed he was almost purring.
"You're good at this, why didn't you ever tell me?"
Daniel smiled as he worked carefully down either side of Jack's spine. "I think it would have come under the heading of 'too much information'. It's something I like to do before I spend the night with someone, especially if it's our first time. I like to get to know their body, become familiar with sensitive areas and make sure my partner is completely relaxed."
Jack smiled. "That so?"
"Mmm," he replied, feeling his face flushing slightly and appreciating the fact that Jack couldn't see him. "If I was at home, I'd probably have scented candles around the place too."
"Sounds nice," Jack murmured.
"After all this is over, I'll show you... if you want," Daniel asked hopefully.
"I'd like that," Jack mumbled as he drifted to sleep.
Daniel continued to stroke him softly until he was completely asleep, not really wanting to stop. He gently pulled Jack's shirt over him, then the thin cotton sheet, and went back to the coffee machine for a refill.
He sat at his desk watching Jack sleep and chuckling softly. This was just like Jack. He'd come in with an apology, a revelation and a migraine. However, massaging Jack to sleep was infinitely better than the icicles that had passed between them in recent days. He didn't know where they could go from here, since all of the reasons why they shouldn't be together still applied, but he'd got the distinct impression that Jack at least wanted to try. Being in a relationship wouldn't be easy; they'd have to be extremely careful, but everyone on the base knew they were close friends and they'd stayed in each other's homes on numerous occasions. To the outside world it would be no different... except that now they'd be sharing a bed.
Daniel shivered at the thought. He'd had no idea up to now that Jack was bisexual too, or attracted to him, but then why would he? Jack had probably spent his whole career keeping it a secret. Perhaps he hadn't been with another man since he'd been in the service. Daniel felt a wave of sorrow for Jack pass over him. He'd been lucky enough to fall in love a few times in his life, twice with women and twice with men. He'd gleaned different things from all of these relationships and felt sad for Jack that he'd had to cut off a part of himself to keep his job. They had such a strong friendship, he couldn't decide whether it would have been easier or more difficult for Jack to keep his emotions in check. They had been about as close as two people could get without sleeping together and now it seemed that the last barrier was about to fall. The only questions were where and when?
Daniel awoke with a stiff neck, but sleeping on the cot in his room. Jack had obviously woken and carried him from the chair to the bed, settling him down without waking him. He smiled as he eased the sore muscles, the smell of lavender still strong on his hands.
Janet was planning another test on Orner today, to see if the latest version of the antidote worked. Daniel couldn't help but be concerned both about Orner and about Kira. If she took the antidote, she would remember who she was and the SGC would have to take her into custody. If she didn't take it, perhaps she could return to Vias and continue to make a valuable contribution to the planet's re-structuring.
After taking a shower and changing, Daniel made his way to the infirmary where the test was due to take place.
It was wonderful to see Orner, or rather Nodal, regain his memories, but terrible to watch Kira's pain. They talked as he walked her back to her quarters.
"What will be done with me?" she asked.
"Well, if you don't take the antidote, I see no reason why you can't go back to Vias. I intend to ask them," Daniel replied.
"They'll fear me. I would," she answered, despondently.
"For all that you've done for them, they'll be grateful," Daniel assured her as they stopped outside her room. The SF opened the door and she turned to him, stroking his face.
"All debts have now been paid."
"I'll come back after I've had a chance to speak with your people," Daniel answered as he turned to walk away.
"I shall miss you, Daniel," Kira said as she closed the door.
He stopped, then continued walking before realising what she'd said and running back to the room, throwing open the door.
In the infirmary Janet had discovered that a vial and an ampoule were missing and Jack's heart skipped a beat as he and Teal'c raced off to Kira's room, Jack drawing his sidearm as he ran. They burst through the door, Jack aiming the gun at Kira, but unable to get a clear shot, since Daniel was standing in the way.
"Step aside, Daniel!" he ordered.
"Don't! There's another way, Jack!"
There always was another way with Daniel. "Move!" he ordered again, although he didn't expect Daniel to take any notice.
"Give me the vials, Kira," Daniel said gently.
"There are two people inside of me, and one of them is a monster. In time, she will win," Kira explained, desperately.
"You won't hurt me, because there's another way, Kira," Daniel continued.
"I'm not her!" Kira yelled, tears streaming down her cheeks.
"No, you're not, but you can be her again. You can forget. All you have to do is forget."
Kira leaned on the wall behind her and looked blankly at Daniel, but it was enough for him to take the chemicals away from her and for the SFs to regain control. They took her back to the infirmary so that she could calculate the precise amount of D'Argol to use to re-create the amnesia.
Daniel sat on the bed, breathing hard.
Jack sat beside him, marvelling both at Daniel's ability to put himself in danger and his ability to wriggle his way out of it.
"You okay?" he asked.
"Apart from just being scared shitless? I'm fine, Jack."
"You never cease to amaze me, Daniel. You just don't think like the rest of us, do you?" Jack asked, with a slight note of irritation in his voice.
"I think that's what's called a 'left-handed compliment'," he smiled. "Although it always seemed a little unfair on left-handed people to me."
"You'll turn me grey, you know that dontcha?" Jack retorted. "I swear you do it on purpose. Are you trying to get me a medical discharge so you can take me home and have your wicked way with me? Is that it?"
"First of all, you're already going grey."
"And second of all, that doesn't sound like such a bad idea," Daniel grinned, leaning into him.
"Don't you dare kiss me, Daniel. Don't you dare."
The Vians stood in the 'gateroom waiting to leave as Kira was led in from the infirmary by Daniel and Janet. He introduced Kira to Jack, Sam, Teal'c and the General, and then to Nodal and his wife who explained that they were taking her home, to Vias.
She turned to look at Daniel with a slightly puzzled expression.
"I sense we knew each other well before my memory was lost. Did we?" she asked.
Daniel smiled. "No. We never really did. Goodbye, Kira."
She bid him goodbye and with a final smile, disappeared through the wormhole.
Jack breathed an audible sigh of relief. "Dragged our asses out of the fire, yet again."
"That was a close shave, Colonel." Hammond observed. "We'll debrief in one hour and then I'm standing SG1 down for a couple of days. It's been a tough week, people."
After the briefing, SG1 met up outside the gear up room.
"So, we have a few days off and I expect you all to leave the mountain," Jack instructed pointing his finger at each of them in turn. "Carter? No naquadah reactors or motorcycles to work on, no theses or books on theoretical physics to write, I trust?"
Sam rolled her eyes and indulged him. "No, sir. I'm going to see my Dad."
Jack rubbed his hands together. "Excellent! Teal'c? What about you?"
"Sadly, I must remain to complete my kel-no-reem."
"Well, okay. I'll let y'off this time."
Teal'c bowed. "I am grateful, O'Neill."
"What are you going to do, sir?"
"Funny you should mention that, Carter, I finally persuaded Daniel to come fishing with me at the cabin," Jack grinned.
Sympathetic looks passed between Daniel, Sam and Teal'c.
"Have a good time, Daniel," Sam said, patting his arm.
Daniel smiled. "I'll certainly try."
"I have to go pack, so I'll say 'bye now," Sam announced with a smile.
"Love to Jacob!" Jack waved.
"I too must take my leave to make preparations," Teal'c bowed again and turned away.
"Have a good one!" Jack called after him and then turned to Daniel.
"You okay?" he asked gently.
Daniel nodded. "I'm fine."
"With the trip too?"
"Absolutely," Daniel smiled.
Daniel had never been to 'the cabin' before, but as he looked around the living room he noted that the whole place was just filled with 'Jack'. He could see why Jack found this place so relaxing, and why he tried to find the opportunity to come here as often as possible. They were surrounded by forest, with a small fishing lake out the back and not a soul for miles. He grinned as he put his bag down and took off his shoes, placing them by the front door and padding into the kitchen to help Jack unload the groceries.
"I have a buddy in town who comes out to air the place every now and then, and sometimes my brother comes out for a fishing trip, but mostly it's empty when I'm not here. Got plenty of canned goods in the larder, but I always have to pick up the fresh stuff on my way out here. Y'like my li'l bolthole?"
"It's beautiful," Daniel replied and crouched down beside him as he loaded vegetables into the wooden rack, "...and at the risk of sounding ridiculous, so are you."
Jack put the handfuls of bell peppers he was holding into the rack and turned his head. Their lips were only inches apart and Jack looked into his eyes. "I don't think you sound ridiculous," he said quietly. "And the feeling's mutual."
Who leaned in first was a close run thing, and they smiled as each turned his head one way and then the other to avoid their noses clashing. They both began to laugh and Jack cradled Daniel's face in his hands. Their lips met, softly and tentatively in a short, chaste kiss.
"Whoa," Jack whispered.
"Yeah," Daniel agreed.
They both stood and Daniel drew Jack into his arms, pulling him close.
"Are you absolutely sure you want to do this?" Daniel asked.
"Absolutely sure I want to. Ask me if we should..." Jack tailed off.
Daniel stroked his hair and touched his face, enjoying the feeling of being close to him, being able to touch him in a way he'd only dreamed about. Jack's hair was silkier than Daniel had imagined. Even though they'd hugged before, he'd never really touched it.
He looked into Jack's face as if seeing him for the first time. Jack's eyes were soft and warm, twinkling with happiness. That was something he'd never really noticed in Jack's eyes before, except maybe once... He'd escaped from Apophis' ship and turned up alive in the 'gateroom when the rest of SG1 had returned, thinking he was dead. Jack had held him that day; really held him and the happiness he saw in Jack's eyes then was exactly what he was seeing now. Jack stroked his cheek and Daniel closed his eyes, leaning into Jack's touch.
"It's not gonna be easy, Daniel. If anyone found out..." he whispered.
"We don't have to take this any further, Jack. I don't want to make your life difficult."
Jack chuckled, "You already do that!"
"You know what I mean," Daniel smiled.
"Yeah, I know and I appreciate what you're sayin', but it's gone too far for me to turn back now. As long as you're sure?"
Daniel laughed. "Oh, I'm sure. I've been sure for over a year."
Jack kissed him again and moaned, "Mmm, I could get used to that," then continued kissing down the side of Daniel's neck as he whispered against the skin. "God, you taste good."
"Yeah?" Daniel breathed.
"Oh yeah," Jack growled.
"You want to take this somewhere a little more comfortable?"
Jack pulled back breathing heavily, and suddenly seemed to realise what he was doing.
"This is nuts," he exclaimed.
"What is? Don't tell me you've changed your mind?" Daniel asked, suddenly panicked.
"No! No, not at all, it's just... we've been friends a long time and...it feels a little weird y'know? I've wanted to do this for... and now we're doing it... I just never thought I'd..."
Daniel took his hand and gently led him through the house to the bedroom.
"Let's take our time. I'm led by my dick just as much as the next guy, but sometimes it can be fun to stretch things out a little," he smiled.
"That might not be a bad idea," Jack replied as Daniel began kissing his neck. "I haven't had sex for God knows how long and... Daniel... stop a minute."
"What is it?"
"I... I want you inside me. I mean... not necessarily right now, but... and... I've actually only done that once, so... God, this is embarrassing," Jack spluttered.
"It's okay," Daniel kissed his neck again, gently. "I'm pretty much in the same boat. I haven't had sex with a guy in nearly a year and no-one's been in me since... it must have been on Abydos," he struggled to remember.
"Abydos?" Jack's eyebrows rose.
"I'll tell you another time. It's a long story," Daniel smiled. "Don't worry though, that's why we should take our time instead of rushing into it and both of us getting hurt. I want you so badly... I...I just want this to be perfect."
Jack pushed him back a little. "Don't beat yourself up about it being perfect, Daniel. It'll be what it is. We'll work it out, we always do. It'll be great. It's you and me, right? If we can actually agree who's gonna be in who, we'll be ahead of the game," he grinned.
Daniel laughed and agreed. "That would certainly make a change."
"D'you think we should wait a while? Eat?" Jack began, wanting to dive into bed and go for it and scared out of his wits at the same time. "Maybe talk a little first? I'm not very good at it, as you well know, but this thing is too big for us to just dive into, dontcha reckon?"
"Isn't this a bit of a role reversal?" Daniel smiled.
"Yeah, I guess it is," Jack grinned. "Me wanting to 'talk' instead of 'do'. Go figure."
"Well, at the risk of shocking you even more, I don't think this is the time for talking. That's not what I meant when I said we should take our time."
Daniel leaned forward to kiss him, while slowly unbuttoning his shirt. Jack responded by easing his tongue into Daniel's mouth and licking softly around it while Daniel continued undressing him. Daniel didn't taste anything like what Jack had expected and his lips were softer and more pliant than he'd imagined too. It had been too long ago for him to remember what kissing another man was like, and too long since he'd imagined kissing a man other than Daniel, but Jack didn't want to stop. He loved to kiss, something that Daniel would find out soon enough, and drank down as much of Daniel as his tongue could taste.
His own hands fumbled with Daniel's shirt buttons, and he grunted with frustration into Daniel's mouth as they refused to co-operate. Jack felt him smile against his mouth and his eyes opened, looking into Jack's with an amused twinkle before he pulled away.
"You want some help with that?"
Jack felt his face flush as he continued to open the buttons. "No, I'm good, I just had a little trouble concentrating on the two things at once. You're a helluva kisser, Daniel."
Daniel smiled as he finished undoing the last button and stroked his hands up and over Jack's abdomen and chest. Jack began to breathe heavily as Daniel's hands ran over his shoulders and pushed the shirt sleeves down his arms and off. The shirt pooled untidily behind him as Daniel's eyes roamed his tanned skin approvingly.
"I know I've seen you naked in the shower before, but..." Daniel began.
"This is kinda different, hmm?" Jack murmured, quickly undoing Daniel's buttons and pushing his shirt to the floor too. His eyes widened as Daniel's bare torso was revealed and he answered his own question. "Oh yeah. Very different."
They reached for each other's belts at the same time and grinned, both of them feeling excited, nervous and a little goofy.
Daniel chuckled as he undid the buckle. "You're right, this is weird. I feel like we're a couple of teenagers about to get laid for the first time."
"Hey, at least we can laugh about it," Jack smiled, unzipping Daniel's fly, then moving in to kiss him again. Daniel's hands moved up to Jack's head as his lips rode Jack's gently.
"Mmmm," he murmured, drawing Jack's tongue into his mouth then working around his teeth and palate.
"Y'know," Jack mumbled as he placed kisses down the length of Daniel's jaw and neck, "as weird as it is, it feels kinda right, too."
He jiggled his hips to allow his jeans to fall to the floor and then moaned when Daniel took hold of his erection through his shorts and stroked it.
"Oh, absolutely right. God, I don't know what I want to do first," he whispered, leaning back his head to allow Jack access to his throat. Jack pushed his pants down over his hips and placed his hand over Daniel's hardness, rubbing his thumb over the head and making Daniel lurch forward into his hand.
"You like that?" Jack teased, smiling against his skin as he stroked, then bent to lick one of Daniel's nipples.
"Stupid question," Daniel breathed. "Come on, let's take the rest of it off."
Both men stripped off their socks and pants in record time, then Jack grabbed Daniel, kissing him hard and walking him backwards until they both reached the bed and Daniel fell backwards onto it, their lips never parting. Jack tried to take most of his weight on his elbows as they sprawled, both chuckling.
Jack kissed his chest and abdomen, his wet tongue travelling back and forth between Daniel's nipples, then tracing downward to the light line of hair disappearing into his shorts. He nuzzled Daniel's cock through the cotton and licked at the small wet spot that appeared on the material.
"Damn, Danny. I haven't tasted a dick in years. Mmmm..." he murmured as he continued to lick the solid heat. Unsatisfied, he hooked his fingers beneath the waistband and drew Daniel's shorts off in one fluid movement, grinning lasciviously as Daniel's cock sprang out, ruddy and leaking. He went down on it enthusiastically, forcing the circumcised head against his rough palate and sucking down until his nose was pressed into Daniel's pubic hair.
Daniel gripped the sheets until his knuckles turned white, mumbling and moaning his pleasure as Jack sucked and licked him. He didn't think he'd be able to last very long and stopped Jack from what he was doing with a tap on the head.
"Jack... Jack... don't let me waste it, at least let me taste you, too," he begged.
Jack got up and removed his shorts, fondling his cock and balls as Daniel watched, enchanted. Jack turned around so that they both lay on their sides, and then drew Daniel's cock into his mouth again. They worked on each other gently, needing to prolong the pleasure and each concentrating on the other, which helped to keep their orgasms at bay.
After a couple of minutes, Jack stopped, pulling his head away and moaning.
"Ah Jesus, I'm right there... I'm gonna come if you don't stop."
Daniel let Jack's cock slip from his mouth and urged Jack to turn around so that they were facing each other. He kissed Jack softly and caressed his shoulders and chest.
"Where do you want to finish?" he asked, quietly.
"I'm not sure," Jack answered, honestly. "I want to feel you in me, but I want to be in you... crap. I don't know."
"Lie there, I'll go get the lube. I didn't bother bringing any condoms, I didn't think we'd need them," Daniel said, getting out of bed and going to fetch his bag from the hall.
"Hell no!" Jack called after him. "But I'm glad you remembered the lube. I told ya, I've been out of the loop a while."
Daniel came back in with a bottle of Astroglide and slid back onto the bed beside him.
"The nation's favourite," he smiled, flipping open the top. "You want to prep me?"
"So, we're decided then?" Jack grinned. "Me on top first? Just the way it should be?"
"In a manner of speaking, I suppose... technically... you'll be top, but actually... I'm going to be on top," Daniel answered with a teasing grin.
Jack's eyebrows rose, "Oooh I like the sound of that, and yeah, I do want to. Get that sweet, round, beautiful ass that I've been slaverin' over for months over here so I can touch it."
Daniel laughed and presented his ass to Jack's admiring gaze. Jack stroked the hard muscular globes and slipped his hand into the cleft between them.
"Sweet," he murmured as he took the bottle and coated his fingers with lube. Daniel began to writhe as Jack worked the slippery fluid between the buttocks and around his asshole, stroking the pucker and watching it twitch.
"Oh Jesus..." Jack whispered, the full force of what was about to happen hitting him for the first time. Daniel moaned and thrust back against Jack's probing fingers.
"You like that, Danny? Hmm? You like it when I stroke like that? Or is it better when I do this?"
Daniel cried out as Jack's finger slid inside him, overwhelmed by a rush of sensation and emotion.
"Oh yeah, that's it. Open up for me, so sweet..." Jack murmured as his fingers gently worked the tight sphincter. "Damn, this is gonna be good."
When Daniel felt he was ready, he turned around so that he was looking at Jack, who could barely believe his eyes. Daniel's mouth was slack and his face flushed, his eyes were wide, showing only black and his breath came shallowly. Jack didn't think he'd ever seen Daniel look sexier.
"You have no idea," Daniel panted, stroking Jack's cock and coating it with lube. He shuffled forward and positioned himself, holding Jack's cock and placing it at his entrance. Very slowly, he began to sink down, grimacing at the first stretch and forcing himself to relax.
"You okay? We don't have to..."
"Shut up, Jack," Daniel smiled with his eyes closed. He breathed deeply and bore down, allowing the head to breach him. "Aah, that's better. Oh yeah... "
"Sweet Jesus!" Jack gasped as the tightness of Daniel's ass focussed on his sensitive cock head.
"Gently does it, gently," Daniel crooned to himself as inch by inch he settled himself down.
Jack stroked his arms and chest, also breathing deeply as Daniel sank onto his cock. He was very, very close and didn't want to embarrass himself by coming way too soon.
Finally, Daniel was sitting on his hips, Jack embedded deep inside him and he paused, allowing himself to both get accustomed to and enjoy the sensation. Jack coated his hand with the lube again and began to stroke Daniel's erection.
"Oh God..." he murmured. "God, Jack. Feels so good..."
"Yeah?" Jack whispered, "You should feel it from here."
Their eyes met as Daniel began to move up and down, then Jack became caught up in the moment and rocked his head back. He stroked Daniel's strong thighs, now and then gripping them and thrusting upward into the tight heat of Daniel's ass. He looked up again, watching Daniel with his eyes tightly closed, rocking up and down and circling his ass, looking as if he was somewhere else. Jack's hand on his dick made him open his eyes again and he felt a rush of love as Jack smiled, his eyes darker than Daniel could ever remember them.
His hand sped up on Daniel's cock and the dual sensations of being expertly stroked and having his prostate rubbed by the head of Jack's cock soon sent him over the edge. His cock spewed streams of opaque come out and over Jack's abdomen as he grunted and writhed. Jack gritted his teeth as Daniel's ass muscles clenched around his aching cock, holding back as hard as he could as Daniel twitched in the last throes of his orgasm.
Daniel relaxed on top of him and Jack kissed him deeply, rolling him over. Daniel instinctively raised his knees as Jack began to drive into him, hard. Daniel opened his eyes and gazed in wonder as Jack grunted out his orgasm, thrusting so deep Daniel thought he might split in two. Jack finally sagged into his arms, boneless and panting.
He moved to look at Daniel, who was smiling.
"Damn!" he gasped.
"Love you too, Jack," Daniel chuckled.
Jack rolled off and Daniel gathered him into his arms.
"Have we any idea of what we're getting into here?" Jack asked.
"Yeah, but we're going to do it anyway, right?" Daniel replied with a smile.
Jack laughed softly. "We never were very good at playin' it by the book. I see no reason to change now."
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