…the more things change…
“Who are we going to see again?” Daniel asked as he plucked at the sleeves of the flight suit Jack had given him to wear. Why was it, with his long arms, he had to get one made for a knuckle-dragger? The cuffs went past his wrists, for chrissakes.
“Is that jumpsuit itchy or something?” Jack asked him.
“No, no, it’s just the sleeves are too long.”
“They’re fine, Daniel.”
“No, look,” and Daniel showed him.
Jack rolled his eyes. “They do that on me, Daniel, when I don’t button the cuffs.“
Daniel winced. “Right.” He buttoned the cuffs, finding the sleeves surprisingly shorter now. Looking over his glasses, he decided to ignore the smirk on Jack’s face. Problem was, Jack wouldn’t leave it alone.
“You fit that a lot better than you used to.”
“Yeah. You used to swim in it.”
“Really.” Fascinating, he thought. Why did Jack feel it necessary to say that? “So, who are we going to see aga–?”
“Doc Fraiser. Janet Fraiser. She’s our CMO.” At Daniel’s puzzled look, he amended, “Uh, sorry. Chief Medical Officer. She’s also a good friend of yours.”
They were passing a break room when Daniel paused, frowning. Something nagged at the back of his mind, trying to awaken something he recognized. It wouldn’t give him a name, though. It could at least do that. His frown deepened with frustration.
“Hold on,” he told Jack, deciding to take action himself and look for the source of the memory that teased his brain like a manipulative lover.
“You remember something?” Jack asked hopefully as he followed Daniel into the room.
“Don’t know yet,” Daniel said as he looked around shyly at the few people sitting down at two of the five tables. He nodded to them, but continued on to the back of the room and toward the kitchenette. “Caf…?” He grabbed the glass carafe out of the white machine on the counter.
Jack bit his lips together and grinned. Daniel had just remembered coffee. He then had to press his lips together to keep from laughing because Daniel wrinkled his nose in a grimace.
“Who made this shit?” he asked, turning to look at Jack. “It’s vile.”
Laughter from one of the tables, and Jack shook his head, grinning fit to burst.
“C’mon. I’ll get you the good shit later.”
As they left, someone Daniel didn’t recognize, who was still laughing, called after him, “It’s good to have you back, Doctor Jackson.”
“Who was that?” Daniel asked as they continued their way down the corridor.
“Just someone else you know.”
“You’re not gonna tell me, are you?”
Daniel ground his back jaw as they walked. This was getting on his nerves and he stopped in the middle of the corridor and glared at Jack. “What are you doing?” he asked, the frown never really having left his face. He had to back up against the wall to get out of the way of passing airmen, who gave him a nod as they went by. That only pissed him off, too, even though he nodded back. It was only polite to return the acknowledgment.
“Doing what?” Jack asked, trying to affect surprise.
“You tell me shit about this uniform and about the doctor being a good friend of mine, but you won’t tell me the name of the guy in that coffee room or whatever that was? What the fuck is up with that? Are you trying to piss me off?”
“Is it working?”
“Not remembering anything by it, if that’s the point.”
“Not yet remembering or not yet the point?”
Jack only grinned wider and Daniel had the sudden urge to smack him one. It felt very familiar.
Janet moved around the exam room, picking things up, setting them down, wiping her hands over her white coat. They were sweating. News about Daniel had spread throughout the SGC as fast as a foothold incursion. Part of her still couldn’t believe it. She’d heard the gate alarm and figured he was on his way. She had no idea how she’d react upon seeing him and firmly told herself to remain professional. But…how could she? She’d watched him die, for godsakes. She’d never forget that day as long as she lived, and wondered if she’d ever forget this day. A cleared throat startled her and she whirled around, clutching the clipboard tightly in her hands.
“Here he is, Doc,” Jack said, grinning like a demon.
She froze, staring as Daniel looked back at her, not sure if he should say something specific, so all he said was,
She smiled widely at him, restraining the urge to grab him and hug the hell out of him. “Hi,” she said. She then noticed Jack, Sam, Teal’c, and Jonas. And frowned. “Okay, you guys have had your fun, now out with you.”
“But,” Jack started.
“Aht!” she said, pointing her finger at the door. She raised an eyebrow at Teal’c, who seemed just as stubborn to leave. “Out.”
Reluctantly, the four teammates left the room, with Jack calling after, “If she tries stabbing a needle in your ass, holler.”
Janet shook her head as she smirked and pointed at the infirmary bed. “Have a seat, Daniel.”
Daniel hesitated for a moment before moving over to sit. As he watched with curiosity while she took his vitals, the moment the penlight was flashed in his eyes, the memory recall was sudden and specific.
A penlight in his eyes and her voice telling him she had no idea what was causing his headaches.
Janet paused as she put her penlight back into her pocket. “Daniel? Something wrong?”
He blinked, then stared, hard, at her.
“What?” she asked.
“Did I have headaches before?”
She wondered what he was remembering. “Sometimes. Mostly from allergies or stress. Not often. They were usually mission-specific.”
“Oh. That must be what that was.”
He sounded disappointed. “What what was?” she asked as she grabbed a set of scrubs from a drawer.
“Nothing. I just had a memory of you shining that penlight and telling me you had no idea why I was having headaches.”
She now knew what he was talking about. “Ah. Well, that was a one-time thing. Like I said. Mission-specific.”
“Ah,” he said, not really knowing what she was talking about but something told him to take her word for it. She smiled gently at him, a smile he felt was familiar, and he watched as she seemed to fidget. “Is there something wrong?” he asked, returning her concern.
Yes, there was. Maybe it was him. “Seems like it. Is my being here bothering you?”
“No, no, that’s not it. I’m just wondering how to act around you so you don’t feel embarrassed or uncomfortable.”
Daniel sighed. “Kind of weird, I guess. Sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry, Daniel.”
“When I came in, you looked like…”
“Tell me. What?”
“Like you wanted to hug me…or something.”
She smiled. “Yes, I did.”
“But you didn’t.”
“No. You have a distance about you right now. Understandably.”
“I can’t help that.”
“No, I guess not. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. Closest thing I’ve ever come to memory loss was this time we had a foothold situation and I woke up hanging from this…” She stopped and grinned abashedly. “Sorry. When you remember that, I’ll tell you more.”
He finally returned a hint of a smile. “Okay. Can I ask you a personal question?” he asked. There was something so very familiar and he wondered…
“Go ahead.” Her curiosity was up now. Daniel had that concentrated look he got when trying to figure out a puzzle.
“Did we…were we…” and he motioned between them.
Janet’s browline rose as her eyes widened. “Um, no, what makes you ask?”
Daniel frowned. Okay. So, it wasn’t Sam Carter and it wasn’t Janet Fraiser. Yet he was remembering something, a warm, loving feeling for someone here. He couldn’t nail it. “Sorry, it’s just that I’m remembering a feeling. In fact, I’m remembering a lot of feelings, but just nothing attached to a face. I thought it might be Sam, but it wasn’t. Thought maybe it was you.” Janet gave him a curious smile. Secretive. “What? You know who I was involved with?”
Janet cleared her throat. “Maybe. But I think maybe that’s something you need to remember on your own.”
“Oh,” he said, disappointed. Guess he could see her point. Sort of. She handed him some white clothes.
“Here, put these on. I’ll be back in a moment.”
He stared at them. “What for?”
“You have a host of tests to go through to make sure everything’s okay. Can’t very well do that with you in the flight suit.”
He looked down at himself. “Oh. Right.” He didn’t get that, either.
Janet returned to the exam room and found Daniel standing up and looking around the room. When he turned round, she stared, blinked, and promptly blushed. The scrubs, not normally see-through because the wearer usually had on underclothes, were showing dark spots…and outlines. Definite outlines. She cleared her throat and pointedly looked at Daniel’s face. “Um, Daniel, don’t you have any underwear?”
A smile seemed to twitch his lips after he looked down at himself. “No. Just this.” He moved to the bed and showed her something that resembled a Hindu dhoti. It was colored midnight blue.
Janet groaned, and quickly wondered if Jack knew Daniel only had that to wear under his flight suit. If he put that on under the scrubs, it would show through in stark contrast. “Okay, um, nevermind. I’ll make sure that Colonel O’Neill knows to ask the quartermaster for a complete set of clothes for you.”
“You mean I have to wear a uniform? I can’t change back into my robes?”
“I’m afraid not,” she told him, and didn’t bother to hide her grin when he made a face of disapproval.
After the plan briefing on attacking Anubis, Daniel and Jonas made their way to the commissary for lunch. Daniel stared at his chicken dinner as they sat down.
“Is the food always this…” he started to ask but left the sentence unfinished.
Across the table from him, Jonas grinned. “Boring?”
“I don’t know. Seems fine to me. But Major Carter says the same thing, though she likes the jello, blue specifically.”
“Probably because it is blue.”
Jonas grinned in a lop-sided way that Daniel wasn’t sure if he recognized or was just getting used to. Jonas seasoned his food, then handed the spices over to Daniel. He started to shake the seasoning over his food when memory of Sam trying to talk and stuff her mouth at the same time popped into his head. He paused. Jonas didn’t seem to notice. Either that, or he didn’t bother to comment.
“Is everyone driving you crazy?” Jonas asked instead. “Trying to get you to remember them, or this place, your past, et cetera?”
Daniel rolled his eyes. “Kind of. Except Jack. He won’t tell me anything. I think that he thinks that pissing me off is the way to get me to remember.”
Jonas nodded. “Seems like that’s how he gets me to do stuff I don’t want to.”
“By pissing you off.”
Jonas jogged his brows in the affirmative. “Seems like. So, you don’t remember anything yet? Like this stuff?” he asked, pointing at Daniel’s tray.
Daniel didn’t miss the changing of the subject. Something… “No. Well, actually, I’m remembering, just not anything that makes sense. It’s more like if I experience it, I remember small things at first and the rest sort of comes.”
“Ah,” Jonas replied, looking like he was pretending that he knew what Daniel was talking about. “Teal’c likes the food. Or he should. He eats enough of it.”
Daniel regarded him carefully, realizing now that there was something distant when he mentioned Jack’s name before. That feeling was stronger now. He decided to test that. “I’ve not idea what any of them like. I can’t remember. For instance, no clue what kind of dessert Jack likes. At least, not yet.”
For a moment, a memory bubbled just under the surface but the only thing that surfaced was a feeling. A very personal, intimate feeling, which sent a burst of heat through him. About Jack? He’d felt nothing like this where Sam or Janet had been concerned. Why Jack? Whatever it was, it wasn’t just a personal feeling but something close. What the hell was it? As he tried to grab the memory by the throat, it escaped and reburied itself.
“Daniel, you remember something?”
“I thought I did but it’s gone,” he said with disgust. He took a bite of his food, then asked, “You didn’t really want to talk about food. Something bothering you about Jack?”
Jonas coughed. “No, no. I love working with the man. He’s a great guy.” Jonas smiled then, but to Daniel, it seemed sad. Jonas again tried to keep the conversation about food. “If this’ll help, Colonel O’Neill likes pies for dessert. Just about any of them that I can figure.”
Daniel paused just before taking a bite of his drumstick. Another image. Jack eating an…energy bar?…and offering him some.
Jonas raised a brow. “What? Did I say something that brought back a memory?”
“I think so. Does it show?” Daniel asked through a mouthful of food.
“Kinda. You sort of…zone.”
“Oh, um, a word the humans on Earth use. It means to pause in thought, concentrating only on that thought to the exclusion of all else.”
“Right, I remember.” He did, too. Since he’d been ‘home’, sometimes all it took was a little push. “Guess I zoned. I remembered Jack offering me a bite from some sort of bar. An energy bar? If that makes sense.”
“Oh. Yeah, they’re part of our rations, and they also have things like granola bars in the snack machines.”
Daniel frowned, noticing that Jonas had now become slightly uncomfortable.
“I’ve said something wrong.”
“No,” Jonas said, frowning with confusion.
“Yes, I did. Something I said bothered you. I saw it. But you covered well.”
Jonas shook his head as he looked down at his food. “It’s nothing, Daniel, really.”
Daniel knew that it wasn’t him. The more he’d talked to Jonas, the more he’d remembered him. Though the memories were only fragments right now, what he mostly remembered were feelings of friendship. Jonas’ behavior around him confirmed it, though the feelings of friendship were marred by feelings of extreme guilt. Sooner or later, Daniel would have to sit him down and tell Jonas his death wasn’t his fault. And god, that sounded weird. “Jonas, come on. What is it?”
Jonas pretended to look non-chalant. “No, really, it’s nothing, I swear.”
“You already know how stubborn I am. What is it?”
Jonas took a bite of food and mulled over whether or not to admit his feelings. As Daniel waited patiently, he knew if he didn’t, Daniel would persist until he did. He gave in. “I guess I’m a bit jealous.”
Daniel was surprised at that. “What? Why?”
Jonas winced. Jealous sounded wrong. “A better word would be envious. Your memory about the Colonel sounded casual and I’ve never seen him act casual around anyone, except maybe Teal’c and Major Carter. He’s never totally at ease with anyone.”
“Not you?” Daniel asked, bothered by the sound of that.
“Oh,” Daniel replied, trying to quickly figure out how to make Jonas feel better and make Jack look good at the same time. He didn’t know why he had to cover for them both, but he did. “Well, I don’t know if he was ‘at ease’ with me in the memory. Maybe I was on one of those missions you guys go on and he was sharing rations.” Daniel also knew that was wrong. They were in an office. Jack was…being familiar. Something else caught at the edge of his mind, another feeling of warmth. As soon as the memory seemed to strengthen, it slipped away, like sand through his fingers.
“Yeah,” Jonas said, a strained smile on his face. “That must be it.”
“Jonas, maybe that’s just the way he is. You must know that by now, right?”
“Yes, I know,” Jonas admitted, shrugging mostly to himself. “It’s just that I can’t help but wish that I could have gotten him to trust me.”
Daniel sighed and wiped his hands on his napkin before picking up his coffee mug. After a long drink, he looked Jonas in the eye, making sure his gaze was met. “I don’t think that he’s the sort of person who would have kept you on the team this long if he didn’t trust you to some point. I have the feeling that complete trust with this guy is hard to come by.”
Jonas nodded, still looking a bit sad. Daniel was wrong. He knew Jack had had no choice but to choose him. “I guess you’re right.”
They didn’t talk further about it and the lunch went on in silence, both eating. Daniel felt like he’d stepped on someone’s toes but was unable to keep from being concerned. Jonas ate his food rapidly, as if he were in a hurry, and once done, he sighed, smiled, and got up from the table.
“Well, I’m gonna head back to the office. I’ll see you there in a bit?”
“Yeah, in a while. I’m gonna take my time here.”
Daniel watched him leave and felt more empathy for him. It suddenly struck him that Jack must’ve been hard on him after he…ascended. It didn’t seem fair.
As Daniel was lost in thought, Jack stood across the room, observing him. He’d spotted Daniel from the buffet and even from the distance across the room, he could make out the outline of Daniel’s muscular shoulders in the flight suit. This wasn’t a good thing for Daniel to wear, either. Although there was something to be said for that flight suit. The damn things always accentuated the ass and shoulders…and waist. On Daniel they accentuated everything, especially since what he was essentially wearing underneath it was nothing more than a thick g-string. Jesus. Jack did not need that image. He’d grimaced when Janet had told him that all Daniel had been wearing underneath the flight suit was wrap-like underwear. No t-shirt, no anything else. Hell, even his boots and socks had been borrowed.
Jack knew he should’ve taken more time to get him a set of fatigues. And underwear. At the next opportunity, he’d make sure Daniel had all the proper clothes for their upcoming mission. The supply officer up on Level 4 could just get off his ass and open up the issue room.
As Jack walked over to Daniel’s table, he could see Daniel lost in thought — again. “Hey,” he said, startling Daniel a little bit.
Daniel looked up. “Hey.” He looked at the pie Jack set down, remembering what Jonas said. “You’re eating that for lunch?”
Jack’s nose twitched. “I’m not that hungry.”
“What kind of pie is that?”
Jack smirked. Sometimes getting Daniel to remember was fun. He hoped he’d have the chance to show him more, but he frankly hoped Daniel remembered more by the time he took him home. Which is what he planned when this mess was over with. He only had to talk to Hammond to arrange things. That VIP room wouldn’t do. Not for an extended period of time. “You don’t remember?”
Daniel shook his head with a show of disgust. “No, and it’s pissing me off.”
“I can imagine. It’s Bavarian chocolate.” Jack had this tremendous urge to offer Daniel a bite, but stomped down hard on it. Instead, he scooped a bite of the pie onto his fork, then waved the loaded thing slightly, indicating where he was sitting. “Didn’t I see Jonas in here before?”
Daniel nodded. “Why?”
“No reason,” Jack shrugged. “You seem to be getting along with him okay. Are you?”
“Yeah,” Daniel drawled. “Why? I did before I ascended. I don’t see why I can’t again. Am I not supposed to?” Jack didn’t answer him, and simply jogged his browline. Funny how that irritated the crap out of Daniel. He took a moment to think about how to phrase it, then waited for Jack to finish taking a drink from his coffee. “He thinks you don’t like him. That true?”
“Yeah,” Daniel drawled, “Jonas.”
Jack contemplated the question quietly as he took another drink of his coffee. After a moment, he answered with, “Doesn’t know me at all, I guess. Thought he did.”
“Jack, for as short a time as I’ve known you–“
“You’ve known me for almost eight years, Daniel.” And I want to lay you down over this table right now, and smear this Bavarian chocolate all over your–
“You know exactly what I mean. I may not remember much, right now, but I can tell right off that you don’t readily show who you really are. Except possibly with Teal’c and Sam, and maybe General Hammond. You don’t let people in, let them know about how you feel, except maybe when you’re pissed off.” He grinned, reminding Jack of the meeting a few days before when Jack had threatened to harm him…and when Daniel had purposely–though unexpectedly–called him ‘Jim’. “I think you do like him and I’m not exactly in the dark why you’ve never said anything.”
“Really? Do tell,” Jack told him, stifling a grin. Did Daniel actually remember anything about him, or was this another moment of intuition?
“You’re still sore about him replacing me.”
“I wasn’t sore, Daniel,” Jack said as some of the humour left his eyes. “I was…ticked off at the time.” Jack heard the emotion in his own voice and carefully hid it with a look of annoyance, hiding the real reason. When Daniel wouldn’t look away, and in fact, gave him a real look of annoyance, he relented. “Look, I didn’t want anyone replacing you. I don’t like change.”
Daniel knew Jack was covering. It wasn’t memory that told him. It was feelings. Always feelings. “But…?”
“But nothing.” When Daniel’s brows lifted expectantly, Jack signed heavily. “You’re like a dog with a bone, you know that?”
Daniel grinned but still wouldn’t take his gaze from Jack.
It was irritating, as Jack knew Daniel wouldn’t back off. “But…that was then. He’s a good guy, more than earned his absolution.” Daniel looked smug and Jack wanted to smack him. “BUT…if you tell him,” he said, pointing his knife, “I’ll kick your ass.”
Daniel’s mouth was full of cobbler. “You’ll try,” he mumbled around the food.
“You know, when we first met, you told me that the issues between my planet’s nations would seem insignificant once I found out what was really going on up there,” Jonas told Daniel.
“Yeah, I remember that.”
“You do?” Jonas asked.
“Well, that’s great,” Jonas said.
“It’s just…it’s all kinda coming back,” Daniel told him.
At dinner in the commissary, Daniel looked over and found Jack grinning like a mischievous cat.
“What?” he asked, taking a bite of the breaded chicken breast, which he had to admit wasn’t bad.
Sam looked over. “What what?” she asked, her own mouth full.
“Jack’s giving me a weird look.”
Jack pointed his fork. “You lied in the gateroom.”
“To Jonas. You lied. Why?”
Daniel froze in the act of taking a drink from his coffee mug. He swallowed the hot beverage and slowly set the mug down, feeling three pairs of eyes on him.
“Um, yeah. I lied.”
“That was pretty good, Daniel,” Sam told him as she spooned another bite of food into her mouth. “I bought it.”
“I knew it,” Jack said, shaking his head.
“Jack, it’s been two weeks here plus two months on that Ancients’ planet. I don’t think I’m going to get it all back right away.”
“Well, we’ll try to help you fill in the rest.”
“Oh, right. By being selective about what to tell me and what not to? That really helps, Jack.”
Sam paused with the spoon in her mouth, her eyes ping-ponging between Jack and Daniel. She wondered when Daniel was going to remember his relationship with Jack and knew that Jack was past frustrated. However, if Jack wasn’t telling Daniel everything, it meant he wanted Daniel to remember on his own. She cast a glance at Teal’c and he blinked slowly in place of a nod. He knew too. This meant that neither of them were supposed to tell. She simply couldn’t imagine how Jack was dealing with this.
“What wasn’t he telling you, Daniel?”
Daniel skated a glance over Jack as he turned his attention to Sam. “You know that coffee room just down the corridor from the infirmary?”
“Just after I’d come back here, I smelled coffee and knew immediately what it was. One of the men in the room snickered when I called the coffee crap–“
Jack snorted. “You said, and I quote, ‘Who made this shit?’ Unquote.”
Sam let out a short laugh and Teal’c smiled.
“Yeah, well,” Daniel said, returning the same smirk Jack had on his face, “the guy who snickered at what I said also welcomed me back as I left the room. I asked Jack who he was but Jack wouldn’t tell me. He said only that I knew him.”
Sam’s smile widened. “It was probably Major Ferretti.”
At the mention of the name, Daniel suddenly remembered the first and second missions to Abydos a lot more clearly. Bits and pieces fell together like a puzzle reforming.
“Daniel?” Sam nudged.
“What?” Daniel asked, startled out of the memories.
“Do you remember him?” she asked.
After a second, Daniel nodded, feeling quite smug when Jack looked very surprised.
“You do?” Jack asked.
“Yeah. Sam said his name and I could suddenly remember both missions to Abydos.” He abruptly frowned, remembering that one moment Shau’re was there, and the next, she was gone. Another glimpse of a memory, talking to some glowing woman and feeling like a failure because he couldn’t save her.
Jack recognized the look of sorrow. Shau’re. He didn’t want Daniel mourning again, so he tried to get his mind on something else. “You remember anything else?”
“Bit and pieces, but it is coming back, slowly.”
“Okay, so again, why’d you lie to Jonas?”
“I wanted him to think that things would be okay with me. He’s a worrier.”
Jack frowned. “I never noticed that.”
“Yes, you did, Jack. You just weren’t paying attention.”
“Well, I noticed,” Sam said.
“As did I, Daniel Jackson,” Teal’c put in.
The talk of Jonas reminded Daniel about Jack’s distant friendship with the man who’d replaced him. Because of it, or because he was remembering more easily, Daniel didn’t know, but another batch of memories flooded his conscious mind.
“For what it’s worth, I tried to get your point across to Jonas.”
Jack’s voice. The infirmary. He’d been lying in the infirmary, Jack at his bedside. Oh god. This was the memory of when he’d died.
“He’s in a tough position,” he remembered saying.
Then Jack’s voice. “You’re not gonna take the fall for this. I don’t care what’s at stake.”
“Why do you care?”
Something. That familiarity was there again. It was something deep.
Daniel blinked slowly. Love. It was love. Daniel was sure of it. He’d asked Jack that question because he’d been doped to the gills and wishing he would just die and get it over with. He’d resented Jack’s health and had suddenly felt insecure and even more resentful that Jack wouldn’t risk talking openly to him. So he’d asked the question. And Jack had looked around the room, eyeing the cameras, trying to come up with something to say for them.
It’d been an act, and Jack had probably thought the question was part of their second goodbye scene. The first had already been said privately. But Daniel couldn’t remember that yet, he only knew it had happened. It had been intimate, personal, but how intimate? Was it platonic or sexual? Daniel felt his heart pounding suddenly. Something was screaming at him to remember.
The entire time he’d returned home, Jack had hovered. He’d hung around during his physical; he’d gotten him clothes; he’d hovered to make sure Daniel’s field gear was on and stocked properly. Of course, that could just be Jack and his over-protective nature, but Daniel had a feeling that it wasn’t. He was quite certain the friendship went deeper than just teammate. But what he wasn’t so sure about was whether or not the friendship had passed into the sexual. Something from the first ‘goodbye’ tried to rise to the surface but Daniel couldn’t get at it. He focused harder, trying to find it. If it would just…cooperate and…
“Hello? Earth to Daniel?” Jack asked.
“What?” Daniel asked, startled so much that he dropped his fork. It bounced on its edge and fell to the floor.
“Jeez, Daniel,” Jack said, frowning as he picked up Daniel’s fork for him and placed it on the empty tray. Daniel stared at it, then at Jack. The gaze was so penetrating that it made Jack shift in his seat. He sent Daniel a silent ‘what’?
“Where were you?” Sam asked.
“Uh, was I supposed to be somewhere?” Daniel asked, then groaned when he realized that’s not what Sam meant.
Jack grinned. “No, Daniel. You were gone,” and he waved his hand in front of Daniel’s face. “Zoned, lost.”
“Yeah, guess so.”
“Did you have a memory flash or something?” Sam asked.
Daniel immediately shook his head, not wanting to discuss it with her yet. He didn’t know if he could. “Um, I thought so, but…” He caught Jack looking at him oddly and knew that Jack knew that he was lying. He cleared his throat. “Damn frustrating.”
Sam exchanged looks with Teal’c and Teal’c inclined his head at the door. Sam nodded. “Listen, we’ll catch up with you guys over the weekend or something, okay?” She squeezed Daniel’s shoulder and smiled broadly at him.
Daniel frowned, not understanding what the smile was for. “What?”
She shrugged. “Nothing. I’m just really glad you’re home.”
Teal’c nodded. “As am I. We shall see you later, Daniel Jackson. O’Neill.”
“Okay, later, Teal’c.”
Daniel gave them a single wave as they left, his frown deepening as they looked back him and Jack. He looked across the table and found Jack staring. “What was that about?” he asked.
“That smile of hers. Like she knows something I don’t.”
Jack grinned even wider. “Daniel, you have a memory problem so–“
“Right, let me rephrase that. She knows something that I’m supposed to. Er, yeah, scratch that. What the hell is going on?”
Jack shrugged, casually looking around the room without turning his head. “So, where were you?” he asked, not answering Daniel’s question.
Daniel sighed. Whatever it was, he had a feeling that he was going to be on the butt end of a joke. “If it’s re-initiation, I think I’ll pass.”
Jack looked surprised. “Daniel, it’s nothing. She just knows something that I’ll tell you about in a minute. Now, where were you when you zoned? You obviously didn’t want to tell her or Teal’c, which is okay, but I think getting a bit irritated ather for keeping things from you is sort of a moot point, considering.”
“Oh…right.” He stared at Jack and the more he looked into Jack’s face, specifically his eyes, the deeper his certainly became that they’d loved each other. But how deeply, and what kind? A deep rolling warmth settled into his belly and groin. He looked down, swallowing hard. He was definitely attracted to Jack, he knew that now. But the question was, had it been mutual? If he asked Jack, would Jack give him one of those, “Sorry, Danny, but I’ve moved on,” speeches? Or would it be more along the lines of, “I told you, Danny, I’m not wired that way.”
Wait a minute. Danny? Where the hell had that come from? It escaped his mouth before he could stop it.
“You used to call me Danny, didn’t you?”
Jack blinked and stared back at him. His gaze was so intense that Daniel felt a blush spread over his cheeks. He cleared his throat and quickly drank some of his coffee. Get a grip, Daniel.
“Um, yeah, I did. Did you just remember that?”
“No, it was something else,” Daniel said, shaking his head.
“So what had you so zoned?”
Another hard swallow. “I remembered a bit of the day I died.”
Jack felt his body freeze up. What exactly did Daniel remember? He wanted to ask but was afraid to. If Daniel should suddenly start to discuss it right there, he’d better delay him. He cleared his throat a few times. “You wanna talk about it later?”
A change in Jack’s body language, telling Daniel he shouldn’t talk about it there. Why not? Did that confirm that there was something personal? Daniel then remembered exactly where he was and who he was working for…Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. How bizarre was that? He couldn’t remember what his favorite book had been but he remembered that stupid rule?
“Yeah, I think so,” Daniel offered back, watching as Jack relaxed and grinned at him. “What?”
“It just so happens that I’ve asked Hammond if it’s okay to have you stay with me for a while, until you find your own place. You can still have your quarters here, if you want. But I thought you might like to get the hell off base.”
Daniel let out a long sigh of relief as the muscles began to unknot. Muscles he hadn’t known were stiff with tension. “Actually, I’d like to get the hell out of here. I’m getting claustrophobic or something.”
Jack’s lips twitched. “You used to, but not real claustrophobia. Just that bit about being underground too long. A lot of us get it. Anyway, Hammond’s getting all your credentials reinstated, like birth certificate, driver’s license, et cetera. I thought we’d leave here and stop off at the mall on the way home.”
Daniel blinked. “The mall? What for?”
“Clothes? Something you don’t exactly have?”
“You didn’t save those?” Daniel asked.
“Um, no. There was no reason to. I gave it all to the Salvation Army.”
“Besides, you’ve um, kind of outgrown some of that stuff. I think you’ll need new things anyway. Kind of a fresh start thing?”
“Right,” Daniel breathed. Jesus. When Jack decided to do something, he moved like the proverbial trade winds. There must’ve been something in his face because Jack’s eyes now looked wary. “What?”
“You don’t like the idea of moving in with me for a while?”
Daniel relaxed and gave Jack an engaging grin that lit up his face. “If you don’t mind the idea of me driving you out of your mind, then I’m more than liking the idea.”
Driving him out of his mind? Jack thought of the double meaning in that and did his best to make sure nothing showed but a simple, friendly smile. “Cool,” he said.
“Jack, I thought we were going to your house?” Daniel asked as Jack turned his truck right instead of left, heading down the main road, toward downtown Colorado Springs.
“Daniel, department store. Remember?”
“Oh, right. Now? Can it wait till tomorrow?”
Jack glanced over, then down at Daniel’s civilian clothes – jeans and a t-shirt he’d borrowed from Jack, and the jeans were just a bit too big in the hip. Once upon a time, Daniel would have swam in them, but now, they were simply too big for him. In any case, Daniel looked like one of those assless teens that walked around these days. Honestly, Jack couldn’t see how young straight women, much less gay men, could be attracted to that. Too much guess work – well, no, actually, no guesswork. You had to wonder if they had an ass. When he’d seen Cassie’s boyfriend wearing that style, he’d had to fight between admonishing the young man and being grateful that nothing would ever happen.
“Daniel, what are you wearing?” he asked as his examination finished.
Daniel hadn’t missed the onceover. As if he could. At Jack’s question, he grinned, and heroically fought off a laugh. “Okay, point taken.”
Jack didn’t bother to hide an evil smile. “Would you rather go with Sam and Janet tomorrow? I can always call–“
“No, no. I’ll pass. Not that I wouldn’t mind spending time with them but I’d rather have a quiet weekend, and…” Be alone with you. “I don’t trust them not to embarrass me in public.”
Jack kept his eyes on the road, trying to hold back his urge to look at Daniel’s face. “Think I wouldn’t?”
“No, I don’t think you would. Except maybe…inadvertently.”
Jack gave him a crooked grin. “How?”
Daniel looked down at what he wore. Only Jack’s brown leather jacket made him look reasonably decent. “I’m going into the mall dressed in jeans that are too big for me. I’m going to look stupid.”
“No, you’ll fit right in with all the other assless teen…” and he paused as he caught the look of amused surprise. “…agers. Okay, you’re not a teenager, but you get the point.”
Daniel folded his arms. “And now I’ll look even more stupid as a man nearly forty years old trying to imitate the current teen fashion. Swell.”
“You’re not nearly forty…” At Daniel’s upraised brow, Jack paused, then amended himself. “Okay, you win that one. If we’re still going by July 8th, 1965 as your birth date, that is. I’ll assume Hammond probably is. And that’s usually my line.”
“Oh. Right. Didn’t mean to impinge on the O’Neill lexicon.”
Daniel laughed softly. “And I’m not winning anything. I’m still going out in public, wearing jeans slightly too long for my boots…” He paused, pulling up one leg of the jeans and staring at the boots.
“What?” Jack asked, sending him a few quick glances.
“Is there a boot store in the mall?”
“Yeah. A few shoe specialty stores, why?”
“I like these. I’d like to get some.”
Jack’s list of surprises from Daniel just increased. “What? You never liked to wear boots before.”
Daniel shrugged and pushed down the pant leg. “Yeah, well, that was then.”
“What now?” Daniel asked, looking upward.
“Nothing, it’s just that I’m wondering what else about you has changed.”
Daniel sent him a curious look. “Have I changed that much?”
“Well, not exactly. But you are a bit bigger.”
Daniel couldn’t help it and grinned.
Jack’s lips quirked to the left as he attempted not to grin himself. But it was humorous. “I meant that you used to swim in jeans my size.”
“Yes,” he said, purposely pulling up the jeans unnecessarily. “I suppose I’m grateful that I’m not.”
“Daniel, you look fine. You’re only wearing my borrowed clothes, Major Pierce’s boots, and my leather jacket.” Jack looked away, wondering how the hell he was going to survive this. Getting Daniel underwear, too, though Daniel didn’t know about that part yet. “You’ll find something to fit and you won’t have to worry.”
“I’m not worried,” Daniel told him as matter-of-factly as he could. The urge to spill double entendres came from nowhere and he had to stifle it. “I’m sure I’ll find something to fit me.” And if I’m right about these feelings, it won’t just be jeans I’ll be fitting into.
After going through two smaller specialty stores, they entered the main department store with four bags of clothes and accessories. Or rather, three bags of new stuff and one bag of old. Daniel had immediately changed into some of his new clothes: a pair of light blue jeans, socks, new leather boots — which, to Daniel’s dismay, Jack had dubbed, “shit-kickers” simply because they had steel toes — and a tan, long-sleeved, collarless shirt. He had a new coat, too, made of suede and sheepskin, specifically selected for the nearing winter, but he kept it in the bag, choosing not to wear it inside the warm mall.
“Jack, why this store?”
“You need to get other essentials, Daniel,” Jack said as he led him through a maze of walkways. A few times, Daniel walked a bit ahead of him and Jack had to keep increasing his stride to catch up. That way, he didn’t have to look at Daniel’s ass. Those fucking jeans hugged him just perfectly and it was too easy to look there. It was like a goddamned neon sign that said, “Great ass here! Great ass here!” And that shirt didn’t help matters. Some kind of asshole silk blend that accentuated Daniel’s muscles, sliding over them in graceful sweeps. Jack had found himself staring at the tenting Daniel’s nipples made in the shirt and was promptly forced to humiliate himself by getting caught looking at women’s clothes…instead of Daniel. Jesus.
Jack therefore felt justified in perverse payback as he led Daniel straight to the men’s underwear section. He hoped to God that it didn’t backfire on him. Though as they closed in on the section and Jack spotted the more colorful and designer-style shorts and briefs, he began to quickly reassess the situation. His payback was indeed going to backfire and he was therefore, fucking doomed. He forged into the small aisles, regardless, as this excursion was absolutely necessary.
Daniel’s eyes opened wide. “Underwear?” he asked under his breath. “Jack.”
“Relax. It’s not like I’m holding your hand.”
Daniel bit his lip and sighed, looking around him. Jack caught a flash of blue silk boxers and had to turn away, zeroing in quickly on packages of plain ordinary briefs. Inappropriate flashbacks of sex were not helping.
“I’m not getting any underwear, Jack.”
Jack’s brow lifted. “Yes, you are.”
“Yeah, well, you can’t go around the base commando, Daniel. Jesus.”
Daniel didn’t have to wear underwear. It was simply necessary for Jack’s sanity that he did. Jack still couldn’t handle the idea of Daniel running around that way. It was bad enough having to know, after the fact thankfully, that Daniel had gone commando on Anubis’ ship, on Kelowna, in the commissary, but he was going commando right fucking now! Christ Almighty. When Daniel didn’t answer him, he looked over his shoulder. “Daniel?”
He found Daniel eyeing the boxer briefs. The short ones. The black ones. Daniel turned toward him, holding the underwear up against his crotch and looking down. He then looked up and grinned. “How do these look?”
Jack somehow refrained from groaning out loud. “Fine, Daniel. They look fine.”
Daniel smiled to himself at being able to bait Jack once more. Doing that was something familiar, and pieces of memory stole through his mind confirming it. “Okay, so maybe a few pair,” he said, more to himself than anything, but said it loud enough for Jack to hear him. He grinned again as Jack turned away, shaking his head.
“Hurry up, Daniel. I wanna get home and eat.”
“Okay, okay,” Daniel replied, still finding his friend’s reaction amusing. As he looked at a pair of black briefs, he suddenly stilled and held his breath. A memory, as if it had just happened, rose up and smacked him in the head:
He was standing in a bedroom. Jack’s bedroom, he was sure of it. He was also holding a pair of black briefs over his groin.
“These are yours, Jack. What’d you do with mine?”
“Why are you getting dressed, Daniel? We’re not done.”
In the memory, Daniel turned to look at Jack, sprawled on his bed. A naked Jack.
“No. Get your ass over here.”
Jack patted the bed.
“Okay, okay, my ass is coming.”
“Not yet, but it will be.”
Daniel tossed the underwear at Jack, who caught them and tossed them to the floor. Daniel made his way to him, kneeling on the bed.
“Sure of yourself, aren’t you?”
The memory of his dick being taken in hand at that point caused an intense flush to rise, coloring his neck, his ears, his face. Hell, his arms felt hot. His groin certainly was. The memory was so…vivid. As were the accompanying feelings and knowledge.
He remembered them. Not everything, but he remembered. He looked over his shoulder and saw Jack handing the clerk a few packages of underwear. Jack. His Jack. JesusHChrist. It was all Daniel could do not to go over there and kiss him, fondle him, have sex with him on the floor in front of God and everyone.
Jack turned away from the clerk to tell Daniel to hurry up again when he found Daniel staring at a pair of briefs in his hand, not moving. And he was blushing. Blushing? He couldn’t be embarrassed, not with the preference of going around commando everygoddamnedwhere. “Daniel?”
“Oh, right, yeah.” He brought up several pairs of boxer briefs, briefs, and regular shorts.
“You okay?” Jack asked.
“Fine. Just…thinking of something. I’ll tell you later.”
A curious glint in his eye had Jack suspicious. He remembered when Daniel used to get that look. It meant he was up to no good – which usually meant something good behind closed doors and shut curtains. But what the hell did it mean right now?
As they got back into the truck, the only thing that prevented Daniel from grabbing Jack and kissing him was the huge fact of getting Jack into trouble. Then there was the smaller fact that he had no idea if Jack still loved him…or rather, loved him that way. What if Jack was seeing someone else now? Daniel found that he didn’t like that idea. At all.
“At least you got enough to wear now,” Jack said as they pulled out of the parking lot.
Jack frowned. “Something wrong?”
Daniel cleared his throat and steered himself away from his thoughts. “No. I’m fine.”
“Gonna tell me what caused you to blush in there?”
“You remembered something, didn’t you?”
“I think so, but not everything. I’ll just tell you later.”
Jack shrugged. “Must be good though if it made you of all people blush.”
Daniel lifted his brows. “Me of all people?”
“Well, at least you have enough underwear now. And you’re wearing them at work whether you like it or not.”
Daniel’s lips twitched. “Jack, you don’t wear them at work.”
Jack gave him a long look, wondering when Daniel noticed. Before or during the change in the locker room? “Maybe, but I wear them on missions, and so will you.”
Daniel grinned and looked out of the window. “Whatever you say, Jack.”
“Are you humoring me, Daniel?” Jack asked as he drove onto the main road.
Daniel let a little more smile show through. “Maybe a little.”
“Well, stop it.”
“I’m serious, Daniel. It’ll drive me nuts.”
Daniel blinked and turned his head slowly to look at the man driving. “Really? Do tell?”
Jack suddenly realized how that had sounded, and how he had very likely meant it the way it sounded, and winced. “Um, we’ll talk about it later, okay. If you’re gonna humour me, fine. Just humour me with underwear on.”
He groaned and Daniel’s grin broadened.
All throughout their dinner, Daniel had been nervous. With dinner now over, he still was. He wanted to tell Jack so badly that his memory of them had returned, but he couldn’t. Not yet. He needed to prepare himself, just in case Jack had moved on. How the hell he would do that without his stomach tying up in tight little knots, he didn’t know. He pondered how to broach the subject, but couldn’t figure out how to do it without making himself look like a confused idiot. What the hell was the matter with him? Had he always been this goddamn muddled? Somehow, he didn’t think so and was quite certain that it was all because of Jack. Always Jack.
Always Jack? More images came to him, along with a load of feelings. Yes. Always Jack.
Someone saved my life tonight, sugar bear. You almost had your hooks in me, didn’t you, dear? You nearly had me roped and tied. Altarbound, hypnotized, sweet freedom whispered in my ear. You’re a butterfly, and butterflies are free to fly. Fly away, high away. Bye, bye.
What the fuck was that? The song snippet suddenly played in his head and a scene from some time in the past…
Daniel remembered. It had been a song that had played in his head over and over just after Jack and his team had left Abydos. He’d had the tape in his small tape player and after the batteries had run out, it was the only song he could hear in his head, almost like a record player constantly resetting, or a CD replaying the same song over and over. Except Daniel kept hearing the chorus. Which was fitting somehow, even now.
He’d had strong feelings for Jack, ones he knew ran no further than a simple caring, sympathy, and a definite sexual attraction. Then there were the confused feelings for, and attraction to, Shau’re, a young woman he hadn’t known — yet had had sex with anyway, wound up married to, and didn’t that just blow the lid off one night stands and shotgun weddings? He’d ended up staying on Abydos because it had seemed like such an adventure…and a place to belong. Because he hadn’t really belonged on Earth, not with his belief system continuing to alienate him from his fellow humans.
Then there’d been Jack…again. Returning to his dreams long before he’d shown up a second time on Abydos. Coming to save his life, though neither one had realized it at the time.
So that was why the song’s lyrics had suddenly popped into his head again. A kind of full circle, as it were. Only this time, Daniel didn’t mind being roped and tied, and altarbound. He was certainly hypnotized. As for being a butterfly, he would always be like one and…why the fuck was he analyzing goddamn song lyrics? Because he did that. He analyzed things, sometimes to death. Just like Jack. Only Jack’s methods were a bit different. And wasn’t that just funny? They’d always been the same, but different. Was that why the current situation was so difficult?
Daniel turned to look at the man next to him on the couch and found him staring. A large part of him froze at that moment, hoping that Jack would make a move and save him from having to do it, but after a long moment, nothing happened. Jack just sat there.
“What?” Daniel finally asked, not sure if he should be feeling both disappointed and relieved.
Jack stretched out his arm, his hand reaching for Daniel’s mouth. For one brief second, both of them held their breaths, craving — yet somehow fearing — the contact each privately demanded from the other. But Jack pulled his hand away a half-second later.
“You’ve, uh, got…sauce…” He pointed, then swiped a finger over the corner of his own mouth.
“Oh,” Daniel said, clearing his throat. It felt too dry, too tight. It was disconcerting that Jack’s eyes were riveted to his mouth. He wanted Jack to stop fucking staring and do something!
Jack felt a type of giddiness flipping his stomach, sending out a tingling throughout his body. He ordered himself to stop it, irritated at himself for feeling something so much more suited to a damn teenager. What the fuck was wrong with him? His heart was suddenly in his mouth as he watched Daniel wipe the smudge of sauce from the corner of his mouth and suck it off the end of his pinky finger. He cleared his own throat and looked away. Yep. Feeling like a teenager. Christ. He had to admit to himself that he ached to tell Daniel about them. He never thought he could apply that word to himself, but it fit. Goddamn, it fit. Every fiber in his body seemed to be screaming at him to tell Daniel, to grab him, caress him, kiss him. So why the hell wasn’t he?
Because what if Daniel didn’t like him that way any more? Jack was dealing with a man who hadn’t had all his memory come back yet, and damn if it wasn’t frustrating playing this guessing game.
But there was another reason, wasn’t there? And it was the real reason for his hesitation.
Plain old insecurity. It was pretty much keeping him from saying anything. Daniel hadn’t been the only one to go through changes. Not for the first time, Jack felt…old. Since Daniel’s return, that feeling had intensified. Only a year had gone by, but it may as well have been ten. Though his knees and back were getting more worn out, Jack couldn’t help but feel that he’d be…lacking. His performance, in bed, might just be sorry-assed. Though his short liaison with that young man in Boulder hadn’t made him feel inadequate, this was Daniel. This was different.
What if Jack couldn’t measure up…so to speak? Although Daniel had had this amazing ability to bring his dick back to life within a short recovery time, Jack knew that time was catching up. Recovery times would get further and further apart. Jack wasn’t crazy about that.
Basically, with all that was wrong with him, why on Earth would the man be interested in him anymore? Okay, so Daniel had loved him, a lot, and Jack knew that, but Daniel had also left him. And he hadn’t descended by choice. Those things sort of put a crimp on the ol’ ego button.
Daniel couldn’t help but stare while Jack was lost in thought. As he did, another Abydos memory hit him. Coming back home, sharing a beer, feeling uncomfortable. He snorted at the irony.
Jack looked over, startled out of his thoughts. “What?”
“Oh, I was just remembering.”
Daniel saw a flicker of…hope?…cross Jack’s face. It also looked like…fear? What the hell? “I remembered the last time I was in this same position. No possessions, no clothes, no place to live.”
Jack grinned and shook his head. “Well, at least we got some of your clothes sorted out.” He caught the small grin Daniel returned and silently ordered himself to spill everything he’d been dying to, but when he opened his mouth, what came out instead was, “I should get the bedding for your room out of the closet.” He stood up abruptly and made for the hallway.
Daniel frowned, following. When he reached him, his hand moved out automatically, unthinking, used to making the motion. His body, it seemed, was unafraid even if his mind was. Daniel wasn’t even aware that he was making contact. “It’s not necessary, Jack.”
Jack looked down at the hand that held his arm and a hot flush ran through him. He swallowed. “You wanna sleep on a bare mattress?”
Daniel let his hand drop, realizing that he’d touched him. He wanted to throw the man to the carpet. “Not what I was planning on, no.” If Jack only knew what he really meant.
Jack looked, turned, then looked again. There was something in those words. A double meaning? No, it was his imagination. “Come on. Help me make up your bed.” He handed Daniel some of the bedding.
“Um, I’m remembering a lot more, Jack,” Daniel blurted out, and felt a flush creeping up his neck.
Jack looked up sharply. “About Abydos or something else?”
Daniel wanted to say it then and there, but cursed himself for being a chicken shit. “Um, no. Actually, it’s about the uh, day I died.”
“Oh,” Jack said, wincing.
Daniel noticed as a blanket was shoved in his face. Then another. He frowned. “You expecting freezing temperatures?” he asked around the topmost blanket.
“Not…really. But it is November in Colorado, Daniel.”
“Yeah, I know.”
Daniel was confused, wondering what that meant, if anything. Then it dawned on him that Jack was making small talk, something he did when nervous. Soon after thinking that, it also dawned on him that he remembered that. He smiled to himself. The memories were opening up without having to concentrate. Just being here at Jack’s was what was doing it. Like he’d hoped.
Daniel then focused on Jack’s nervousness. Why was he nervous? As he dropped his armload on a chair and tossed Jack the mattress pad and fitted sheet, he thought further about that. Was Jack having just as hard a time as he was? Why hadn’t this occurred to him before? Was this why Jack hadn’t said anything? Could he be just as nervous about getting back together?
The idea hit Daniel like a brick and he quickly looked over his shoulder. He didn’t know why he did it, for there was no reason to, but looking behind him, through the doorway, his eyes were trained on Jack’s bedroom.
Daniel turned his attention back to Jack. “What? Oh, sorry.” He helped him make the bed, all the while unintentionally making Jack do all the work because he wasn’t paying attention. His mind was rapidly telling himself that it was time, come hell or high water.
But again, he went at it the wrong way.
“Jack, about me being gone–“
“Daniel, I don’t want to talk about it.”
“I’m just saying that it’s okay if you want to.”
“There isn’t anything you want to say? You haven’t said anything at all and it’s…kind of bugging me. You’re usually hip deep in sarcasm by this point.” He froze, realizing the implications of that and found Jack had also paused.
“Usually?” Jack asked, narrowing his eyes. “What else are you remembering?”
“Um, a lot, Jack. A lot. Ever since leaving the base.”
“Yeah. Not everything, but I’m remembering how you are about things, so if there’s anything you want to say…” About my being ascended…or maybe even about ‘us’.
“Not really, not now. It’s just a bit too weird to talk about yet and…” At Daniel’s intense gaze, Jack paused, considering. He decided that he’d give him one thing to quiet his questioning mind, and then he’d just have to suffer and stew. “Okay, fine. Here’s all I’ll say about it for now. I resented you being gone. Now, that’s all I’m gonna say about it, so stop asking.”
Daniel slowly blew out a breath. “I’m sorry for hurting you.”
Jack swallowed, hard. “Over and done with. Don’t worry about it.”
Another code phrase for ‘leave it the hell alone, Daniel’. Okay, Daniel thought. But they’d have to talk about it sometime. And he realized that maybe they should get back together first. It might make things easier. Or it might not. He frowned. It was time to stop fucking around and say something. Say everything.
“I remember other things.”
“I remember feelings.”
“Feelings?” Jack asked, his eyes growing large.
The moment the words left his mouth, another flood of images came at Daniel from all directions. Sam’s very short haircut. Jack with a week or two’s beard growth. Another woman telling him she wasn’t his friend. Jack arguing, Jack hitting him, Jack yelling some more. Then his own anger at Jack. He’d been royally pissed off. And jealous? Of…Sam. “I told her that I remembered feeling feelings but they weren’t for her, Daniel…”
Jack remembered the words he’d used back and correctly interpreted Daniel’s expression. “You just remembered that time underground, didn’t you?”
“Yeah, I did,” Daniel nodded quickly, looking puzzled, confused, almost disoriented.
Jack raised an eyebrow and a measure of hope ran through him. Was it time? “And…Anything else?” he asked.
Daniel opened his mouth…but nothing came out.
Jack swallowed the anger that began to rise. Getting angry wasn’t going to help. He went around the bed and made for the door. “Listen, you can grab a shower first. I’m gonna get you an extra pair of sweats to wear. We’ll have to do some more shopping, I guess. I kind of forgot about…leisure clothes…and stuff.”
Before Daniel could respond, Jack disappeared into his bedroom.
Daniel looked up at the ceiling, internally berating himself. What the fuck was wrong with him? Why didn’t he say anything?
“Jack,” he said, following after the man. He found Jack standing in front of his dresser, searching through the top large drawer.
“Here,” Jack said, handing him a grey Air Force t-shirt without looking at him.
“Jack,” Daniel said, taking the t-shirt. Jack didn’t stop and continued rummaging. With irritation, he slammed the drawer shut and opened another.
“I know it’s in here somewhere.”
Daniel’s patience wore thin. “Jack, for fuck’s sake, it’s right here,” and he reached over Jack’s searching hands to grab the grey sweatpants.
Jack paused, his eyes following Daniel’s hands, then moved up to look him in the eyes. “How the hell did you know?” Lots of questions in that one query, but he voiced only one of them. “Do you remember?” He paused and his eyes widened slowly as he took in the startled look on Daniel’s face. “You remember?”
Daniel started to tell him yes, that he remembered, but instead, the bed caught his attention, and not for the right reasons. He eyed it and frowned. It wasn’t the bed he remembered.
“Jack, what the hell happened to your bed?”
Jack’s brow creased when Daniel didn’t answer him. He took a look at his bed, then at Daniel. The man remembered his bed? “He remembers,” he yelled at himself. “Kiss him!” But he didn’t. Instead, his frown deepened as he felt angry. Why the hell was he angry?
“Excuse me?” he asked, his soft voice a warning sound.
“Where’s the king?” Daniel asked, ignoring the warning because he really didn’t hear it while his inner voice was screaming, “Who gives a fuck about the bed, you moron! Kiss him, fuck him, do *something*!” But he didn’t comply. He waited on the answer about the stupid bed.
Taken aback, Jack stammered as the anger in his eyes moved over to make room for confusion. “I put it in storage. Seemed too big for one person.” He suddenly shook himself. Why he was answering questions when Daniel was the one who should be? “Answer the goddamn question. You remember, don’t you? Me, us, my…bed.”
“Yeah, I remember,” Daniel said finally, but he really wasn’t paying attention. In his head, all he heard over and over was, too big for one person. He couldn’t sleep in his bed without him? He couldn’t sleep in his bed without him. Oh fuckingshit. He closed the minute distance between them and placed his hand on Jack’s shoulder. Daniel stared at his lips, his eyes, then his lips again. He edged closer. It was gonna happen, finally.
Except Jack pulled away.
He pulled away?
“You remember?” Jack asked.
“Yeah, Jack. I remember. Not everything but–“
“For how long?” Jack felt his heart begin to hammer from the tension building inside him. He was getting pissed.
“A few hours.”
“A few hours?”
“Yeah,” Daniel said slowly, realizing that this wasn’t an answer Jack liked.
Jack felt his irrational anger build. Instead of kissing and holding and a lot more, he wanted to argue. He needed to check himself into a psych ward somewhere.
“Why the hell didn’t you say anything?” he yelled, no longer caring to keep his voice level and controlled.
Daniel jumped slightly and because of it, he also started to feel angry. What was Jack yelling at him for? Whether he meant to or not, he yelled back.
“Because we were in the mall! What was I gonna do? Grab you in the middle of the store, in front of god knows who, and plant a lip lock on you? ‘Oh, hi, Jack. Love you, missed you, and by the way, your career is now over.’ I don’t fucking think so.”
Daniel heard the blood rushing in his ears from his blood pressure rising. He wasn’t supposed to be arguing, dammit!
“Okay,” Jack told him, relaxing only slightly because Daniel had a point. “I’ll give you that one, but we’ve been home for a while. Why’d you wait all through dinner?”
“I um…” Daniel started, pausing because he felt stupid and a blush colored his cheeks. “I guess I was worried.”
“Worried?” Jack shouted. “About what?”
“That you, you know…”
“What?” Jack asked, somehow louder.
Daniel swallowed. “Found someone else,” he said, his voice in normal range.
Jack couldn’t believe he heard that. “Oh, for cryin’ out loud, Daniel!”
“Well, I’m sorry, Jack, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility!” Daniel shot back, louder than Jack. He couldn’t help but feel defensive. Jack’s shouting was almost as bad as if he were laughing at him.
Jack snorted. “And how’s that?”
“Look in the mirror.”
“I don’t need to. I’m old.”
“You’re not old. You’re nine years older than I am, not nineteen or twenty-nine. You’re still…” and he motioned at Jack’s face and body.
Jack looked surprised. “What’s that mean?”
“You could have anyone you wanted. And you never answered the question.”
“Was there a question?”
“Have you found someone else?”
“No, I don’t think so!”
“You could have though!”
“But I didn’t. So you’re saying that the reason you didn’t say anything was because you thought I might have found someone else?”
“Yeah. It’s not unreasonable to assume, Jack.”
“You think it was possible that I didn’t love you any more?” Jack shouted, incredulous.
“Well, I do!”
“Okay, so do I!”
“Why are you shouting?”
“I don’t know!”
Jack seemed to calm down after saying so, and Daniel tried to as well. The whole thing seemed so comical. Why were they arguing? Well, because Jack was afraid, and when Jack got afraid, he got mad, too.
“Are you mad?” Daniel asked in a quieter voice.
“Yes, no, I don’t know,” Jack replied, lowering his voice. “Maybe. You should’ve said something.”
“I tried!” Daniel said with sudden exasperation, throwing up a hand gesture to put an exclamation point on it. “But…I had to go and over-analyze and…you know.”
Jack started to grin then. “Yeah, I know. So did I.”
Daniel started to reply to that but quickly changed his mind. “C’mere, Jack,” he said softly and pulled Jack into a tight embrace, his fingers clenching the back of his shirt in tight fists.
Jack tensed, then slowly, bit by bit, relaxed and tightened his own hold around Daniel. The feel of his body heat aroused him, but more than that, the feel of familiarity in the solid form, the relief in being able to hold him. He was aware of Daniel’s smell, and of his lips against the curve of his neck. He turned his head, settling his nose against Daniel’s skin and breathed deeply.
So familiar, yet somehow different. Jack knew immediately what that difference was. Daniel didn’t feel the same as he did because he had no idea of the passage of time. He couldn’t miss Jack as much as Jack had missed him. Therein lay the crux of everything, and how could he be mad? He had no concept of what Daniel was going through, yet Daniel did have an idea of what he was going through. He’d been through pains and losses. But even so, he had no idea what it was like to miss him. It made Jack sad.
Daniel closed his eyes and breathed in the smells, took in the weight and feel of the man in his arms. His memories began to trickle back into his cognitive mind, like a faucet left running to keep the pipes from freezing. And that’s what it felt like to him, having no memories for a while. It was as if his brain had been frozen. Now, it was beginning to thaw properly.
And speaking of thawing…or rather, of warming up. Daniel felt his body respond to Jack’s body pressed against him, the lips of his mouth against his neck. Then Jack tensed slightly and Daniel couldn’t help but respond in the same way. He frowned, puzzled and suddenly afraid that Jack would pull back and change his mind. Didn’t really matter though, as there was no way he was letting Jack go. Hell, they hadn’t even kissed yet.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, his lips beginning to move against Jack’s skin, and every time he moved them, the urge to kiss, lick, and bite increased.
“Nothing,” Jack said and tightened his hold.
Daniel pulled back just enough to look Jack in the eyes. “I’m gonna wanna know, but I think we have something to do first.”
“We do?” Jack asked, his eyes on his lips.
Daniel smiled at that. His thoughts exactly. He leaned in, keeping his lips parted as he brought them to Jack’s. Their kiss was chaste at first, and short. Another one followed, and another, each one lengthening contact time until their lips remained locked. Daniel sought out Jack’s tongue with his own, hesitant but excited to taste once again something he could only ‘remember’. When Jack’s tongue met his, a great heat suffused him. Strange that. It wasn’t his dick that responded — as such — but his balls, sending a warmth down the inside of his thighs that made his knees feel weak.
His hands moved then, unwillingly releasing Jack. He pulled his shirt over his head and threw it to the floor. Jack’s hands were suddenly over his ribs, feeling them. They moved upward and touched his nipples, his hands paused at his opened jeans.
“Jack,” he whispered against his lips. Jack made an airy, light sound that sounded like ‘Daniel’ but Daniel couldn’t be sure. It felt like he’d said his name against his lips. No matter. Daniel understood the depth of feeling behind whatever he’d said. He pushed his jeans down (he’d gone commando), thankful that his boots and socks were in the living room, and moved his fingers to work on Jack’s shirt.
They continued to kiss all the while, light touching kisses with occasional tongue, forcing each other to press close to get a real kiss in, but when they did so, their hands slowed down. They couldn’t concentrate on what they wanted to get done, and as soon as possible.
“Think Oma did you a favor?” Jack suddenly asked, his lips still on Daniel’s as he worked at the buttons of his jeans. “I mean, are you still the same?”
Daniel smiled against his lips as he slid Jack’s shirt off his shoulders. Jack was forced to move his hands away so that the shirt would slide down to the floor. “Are you expecting me to be different?” Jack’s jeans were now over his hips, soon to meet up with his shirt.
“Well, there are differences, Daniel,” Jack said, pulling back to look his lover in the eyes. His lover. He smiled at the thought, then at what he’d said. He was only half-teasing, though he had no intention of telling Daniel that.
“Like what?” Daniel asked, distracted as he passed his hands over Jack’s chest. He fingered the dog tags there, then abandoned them to brush over Jack’s nipples with his thumbs.
Jack breathed quickly through his nose. “Well, you’re just a little bigger, Daniel, muscle-wise. I’m only hoping that Oma either returned you to what you…had, or decided to be generous. It’d be a shame if she sent you back…lacking.”
Daniel snorted. “Selfish, O’Neill?”
“You bet your ass, Jackson. Once a man gets used to the good stuff he…”
Jack inhaled sharply as Daniel placed one of his hands over his erection.
“How’s that feel, Jack,” he asked, his eyes half-lidding at the pleasurable touch. He then bit his lip and moaned when Jack’s fingers curled around the shaft and took a healthy test pull.
“Jesus,” Jack whispered, his own eyes at half-mast as he felt the solid, silky warmth in his hands. He took in Daniel’s reaction, then looked down, stroking twice more. Daniel grabbed his shoulders and dropped his head back, moaning again. He was still biting his lip. “Yes, I’d say that feels pretty damn good…doesn’t it, Daniel?”
“Fuck, yes,” Daniel said, brought back to himself by the sound of Jack’s voice. He stepped away and turned them both until Jack’s back was to the bed. Jack’s eyes widened slightly before Daniel’s hands went to his chest.
Then down Jack went, on his back, his legs spreading open to receive Daniel over him. Daniel stared at his body before laying down over him, settling his weight. His heart raced as he felt the hot skin against his own. He groaned and wanted more. Not just to touch, but to move against it. To caress Jack’s entire body. His hands ran up and down his sides and in that moment, Daniel was aware of the man’s cock touching his own, pressed firmly against his lower abdomen.
He then caught a curious glimpse of hesitation on Jack’s face. He leaned down and kissed him lightly, even as he frowned in concern.
Suddenly Jack’s insecurity took over his brain functions. He wanted to please, but what if he didn’t? “Daniel, remember that part about me being old?”
“Jack, what did I tell you? You’re not old.”
“Daniel, I feel old. And I don’t want to disappoint–“
Daniel interrupted by placing his fingers in Jack’s, lifting them over his lover’s head and pinning them to the mattress. He thrust, riding the length of his cock against Jack’s. They both groaned, but Jack’s was louder and it made Daniel smile down at the man as Jack bit his lip. “Did you feel that?” Daniel asked, his smile returning, teasing.
“Yes,” Jack whispered.
Daniel thrust repeatedly, using a slow, building rhythm. “You don’t feel wrong or old. In fact, you feel good, normal. You feel a lot like it’s time to…”
“To?” Jack asked, his voice hitching as the pleasure spiked up and down his spine.
“Make you come.” He then kissed Jack, building it quickly to deep and hungry. His rhythmic hips quickened and he pressed in to be able to thrust hard.
The power and vitality of Daniel’s body sent Jack into orbit, wanting everything and wanting it right then. He wrenched his hands free, roaming up and down Daniel’s back, caressing with hard massages. Daniel groaned in his mouth, and the sound spurred Jack further. He moved his hands down, settling on Daniel’s ass with firm, clenching fingers, pressing down harder than Daniel was thrusting.
Daniel broke away, gasping. “God, don’t…do that. I’ll…”
“Come? That’s the intention, Daniel,” and he squeezed the round, warm buttocks in his fingers, holding them as he thrust up.
“Not yet, dammit,” Daniel told him, biting his neck, grazing his teeth up over his jaw. “I have plans.”
Jack smiled and bit back, laving the marks that were just a bit too rough…on purpose. “Have those plans long?”
“Just thought them up, actually,” Daniel replied breathlessly. He slid his hands underneath Jack’s armpits to grab his shoulders, holding him in a horizontal hug. His hips still moved, thrusting, but the rhythm slowed. He lowered his head, nipping along his lover’s collarbone.
Jack arched up to him, tilting his head back. “I need you,” he whispered, the words just barely audible. His legs spread wider, his calves lying over the back of Daniel’s knees. “I want you right now.” He thrust up again, making that want clear.
“No, buts, Daniel. We’ll have time for more later. Right now, I need, I want to feel you.”
“God,” Daniel said, his voice hitching. “Lube?”
Jack snaked out a hand to open up the bedside drawer as Daniel pushed up, kneeling between Jack’s legs. Retrieving the bottle, Jack immediately opened it and coated it over Daniel’s cock, stroking a few times. He poured more into the palm of Daniel’s hand, groaning as Daniel spread the silky stuff over his tight, puckered entrance.
He looked up into Daniel’s eyes to find him staring hard, the intensity of his gaze almost frightening. It made Jack flush.
“Something?” he asked.
Daniel gave a nearly imperceptible nod. “Something.” As his fingers spread the lube around and then entered Jack’s body, opening him, the tight, hot warmth caused him to remember more and more. Times exactly like this. On a different bed, in the shower, in the kitchen, on the couch, on the floor, against a wall, over a desk… Too many times ran through his mind and it was almost overwhelming. He sucked in a deep breath and ran his free hand over Jack’s thigh, the tactile sensation sending a rush through him. He lifted Jack’s leg over his shoulder, leaving his other leg to rest over his thigh.
Jack stared up into those intense blue eyes and found something else that was different. There seemed to be just a slightly different manner about Daniel that he couldn’t put his finger on. Maybe it was the thicker hair or more muscular body, but he didn’t think that was it. More…determination? No. Then Jack thought he caught it. Alpha. Daniel was displaying a harder alpha edge than he ever had in the long time he’d known him. It was turning Jack on something fierce.
As were Daniel’s fingers. Their slight burn was over and now they searched and mapped, twisting inside him. Jack groaned again as the need skyrocketed. His hand quickly moved to his balls and he had to squeeze them to stave off his orgasm. At Daniel’s quizzical brow, he shook his head. “Almost came.”
Daniel’s brow changed to surprise. “Just from this?”
More twisting and slow finger-fucking. Jack felt quite sure he would come if Daniel didn’t get inside him soon. “Now, Daniel,” he told him softly, a louder tone unnecessary; the words themselves, and in a soft voice, seemed to make things all the more imperative. When Daniel rubbed the slick glans against his hole, Jack let out a loud moan. Daniel pressed and pushed, gasping as Jack’s hot, tight body surrounded him.
“You said it,” Jack echoed. His eyes unfocused while he concentrated on bearing down as Daniel held his thigh tightly against his chest and pushed his hips harder, sheathing himself until he was balls-deep.
Resting, Daniel let out a long sigh. “God, you feel good.”
“Yeah,” Jack panted, his hands moving to Daniel’s thighs, pulling, entreating. Daniel began to move, and as the friction inside him sent tingling waves through him, Jack absurdly thought, “This is happening. This is real. He’s really here, inside me.”
Jack pulled his leg from Daniel’s grasp and wrapped both high around Daniel’s waist, using them to push Daniel down over him. Daniel started to slow down and Jack stopped him.
“Don’t you dare stop, Daniel. Don’t you dare.” His breathing was harsh, rapid, and his eyes refused to leave Daniel’s as he concentrated on the man’s cock inside him. His own throbbed against his abdomen and knew that the moment he touched himself, he’d come. He grabbed Daniel’s arms and pulled him against him, his hands then moving up to cradle the back of his lover’s head. He brought his lips to Daniel’s, hovering there, breathing in, pausing to gasp and hold his breath as Daniel’s cock rubbed his gland. “Keep moving, never stop,” he said, and kissed Daniel hard, holding his head firmly.
Daniel groaned loudly through the kiss, and abruptly broke away. “Never stopping,” he gasped, and stopped paying attention to anything he said after that as Jack’s hands moved down his back and clamped onto his ass, urging him to fuck harder. “Oh God,” he said, twisting his hips as he thrust.
“Yes, that’s it, Daniel,” Jack told him, his eyes closed, his mind and body attending to only one goal. That exquisite release.
They rocked back and forth, faster and faster. The bed’s legs squeaked over the wooden floor and the headboard hit the wall in sync with their movements.
Jack opened his eyes, looking at Daniel’s face and finding that beautiful expression, the same wonderful shine of sweat across the man’s face. Daniel was here, once again touching him, fucking him, making him feel alive and important. It was what he needed, what he…
Jack was suddenly hit with his own panic, afraid he might be dreaming, afraid to lose this again.
Daniel felt him tense around his cock and gasped, opening his own eyes to stare down into that damned handsome face. He started to slow down, but Jack’s hands and body made sure that he didn’t.
“What’s wrong? Did I hurt you?” he asked.
“No, not a chance, Daniel. And don’t you dare stop or slow down. In fact, move harder, faster.”
Daniel complied willingly, choking out a gasp as a warning shiver crawled over his balls. “What made you tighten up?”
Jack didn’t reply for a moment, choosing to look into those blue eyes, concentrating on feeling his orgasm approach. “Nothing. I suddenly wondered if this were another dream.”
Daniel cocked his head to one side. “I’ll have to make sure that there’s no doubt in your mind that you are definitely not dreaming.” With that he pulled back quickly and slammed into Jack with rapid, forceful strokes.
Jack’s clamped his fingers onto Daniel’s buttocks, the fingers digging into his flesh. “God, yes!”
“Does this feel like a dream, Jack?” Daniel asked as he continued, combining it with taking Jack’s cock in his hand and squeezing, pulling, again and again, his touch deliberately rough.
“Fuck no,” Jack cried out as his body reached its peak, the acute pleasure taking his breath away.
Daniel tightened his fist, the sound slick and good as he jerked his lover with unforgotten skill. “Come for me,” he urged, slapping his groin hard against Jack’s ass, his balls stinging. Oh god, he was going to come and damn it, Jack had better come first. Jack had better–
Jack suddenly tensed, his face a grimace, his eyes wide and startled. “Oh shit!” he shouted, feeling that lightning spark inside him and he was soon coming…and coming. A roar escaped his throat as his body arched, his head tilting back.
“YES!” Daniel said, exultant. Slamming home harder, he felt the release like a bolt of lightning. An indescribable heat rocked through him. “GOD, Jack!” he cried out, spilling into his lover. “Oh god,” he breathed, shaking as the climax seemed to go on forever. Arms wrapped around him and he felt himself carefully turned over onto his back. Jack’s tongue dove into his mouth and he met it, seizing the warm moist muscle with thirsty need. The kiss went on, stealing his breath, before Jack pulled back, staring down at him.
Jack felt an enormous amount of love wash over him. He wanted to say so much and Daniel seemed to read it in his eyes. He opened his mouth to speak but Jack stopped him with a kiss before leaning down to press his lips against the shell of his ear. “I love you so fucking much. You know that, don’t you?”
Daniel tightened his arms and legs around him, surprising Jack with his strength, as if their sex hadn’t been enough to do that. He rubbed his nose against Jack’s, his lips curving into a smile. His eyes felt heavy, sleepy, and for the first time in the two and a half months since he’d been…corporeal…he actually wanted to sleep. He closed his eyes and nuzzled Jack’s face with his own. Jack brushed a thumb over one cheek while rolling them onto their sides, careful of the edges of the bed. Daniel snuggled into him, running his fingertips over the hair of his lover’s chest, realizing for the first time that Jack still wore his dog tags. He curled his fingers around them and tugged gently. “I know, Jack,” he finally replied. “I’ve always known, and I’ve always loved you back.”
Jack woke abruptly and started to sit up in panic. He quickly relaxed when he found that what had happened wasn’t a dream. Daniel was there, asleep beside him in their narrow bed. He quickly cursed himself for getting rid of his bed, though he’d had to at the time. As he looked down on Daniel’s sleeping form, a need filled him. He reached out to touch, to make sure that Daniel wouldn’t turn into smoke and disappear.
Daniel was solid and warm. Jack brushed his fingers over a nipple and with a sudden urgency, leaned over and took the nub between his teeth, flicking his tongue over its rapid hardness. Sucking softly, he let go and moved to the other. Daniel moaned and turned completely on his back. Jack looked up and paused, waiting for those eyes to open. When they didn’t, Jack smiled, suddenly remembering one of the things he’d been dying to do.
Trailing soft kisses down his chest and over the fine hairs of Daniel’s abdomen, Jack made his way to his lover’s groin. He could smell the sharp tang of musk, the left over scent of Daniel being inside him. Instead of wanting to pull Daniel into the shower, as he would have done long ago, the smell aroused him and all he wanted to do was taste, and awaken. He took Daniel’s semi-soft cock into his mouth and the salty taste awoke his taste buds, making his mouth water. He sucked eagerly and felt the organ begin to swell with blood. Fingers combed through his hair and Jack smiled around the flesh in his mouth. He sucked harder, running his tongue rapidly back and forth before he began to move up and down the lengthening shaft.
“Jack,” Daniel croaked a harsh whisper. He spread his legs and pulled at Jack’s shoulders. The invitation was plain and Jack almost complied, but he had no intention of stopping. Time to make Daniel writhe underneath him for a while.
He let Daniel’s cock slip from his mouth and looked around the bed, the dark of the room making it difficult to see. Looking over the side, he spied the bottle on the floor and dropped a hand down, quickly retrieving it. Opening the bottle and spreading lube onto his fingers, he clasped the inside of one thigh, pushing up, spreading Daniel open.
Fingers tormented the opening and Jack smiled as Daniel’s body jerked at his touch. In the dark, Jack could just see the man’s opening and circled a single finger over the contracting muscle. Daniel moaned again, fingers now clutching at the sheets. Twisting the tip of his index finger, he teased before pushing the first joint inside.
He was met with gripping, tight muscle. Very tight. This tight? Oh Jesus. Dropping his face into the crease between groin and thigh, a soft laugh escaped Jack’s throat.
Daniel opened his eyes and pushed up on his elbows, a small, puzzled smile on his lips. “What’s so funny?”
“Daniel, I think you’re a virgin all over again.”
“What?” Daniel asked, incredulous. When Jack twisted his finger and pushed further inside, he dropped onto his back and closed his eyes again. “Oh fuck.” Jack’s finger felt huge, and he suddenly knew that Jack was right. Daniel also knew that if and when he’d meet up with Oma again, he’d ask her why. Or more accurately, how? The absurdity of it made him laugh, too. “Jesus.” His laughter increased as another thought occurred. Giggling, he rolled his hips slightly, adjusting to Jack’s finger. “Well, pop my cherry, Jack.” More giggling when Jack snorted against his hip.
Jack was about to laugh more, and reply with something equally strange and funny, but Daniel’s cock twitched against his cheek, distracting him. The laughter was replaced with sober lust as he took the head into his mouth and sucked it like candy. He made a hungry sound and the vibration made Daniel moan in response. One set of fingers returned to his hair, carding through it, imploring, guiding, urging for more.
Jack began to take in more, mouthing part of the shaft as he pulled out and pushed two fingers inside.
“Yes,” Daniel drawled, hissing on the ‘s’ as Jack began to move his fingers back and forth. The hum from Jack’s throat sent a thrill through his balls and he spread his legs further, his feet dropping off the bed. He suddenly laughed. “We need a bigger bed,” he gasped, then lost all forms of language as Jack’s fingers located his prostate. “FUCK!” Daniel vibrated, his legs shaking and his body grew rigid. “Shit…more, more,” came the whisper from his lips. Jack did it again, only this time, his finger lingered and Daniel bucked, taking Jack’s finger out of him as a result. “Dammit!”
“Not to worry,” Jack told him, and recoated his fingers before pushing them back inside to play. Daniel’s harsh expulsion of breath made him grin. “Like that?”
“Fuck me, Jack,” Daniel asked, spreading his legs as he lifted his knees. “Now, please.”
Another smile. “In a minute, Daniel. I’m not done.”
“Daniel. I’ve envisioned this for a year. Indulge me.” He took Daniel’s cock back into his mouth and began a torture so fine tuned to Daniel’s body that it seemed that Daniel couldn’t keep still if he tried. His fingers moved quickly, spreading Daniel open as much as he could. Three fingers were now inside, moving back and forth, side to side, twisting, rubbing against that tiny gland.
“Oh shit,” Daniel said, writhing underneath the man’s adept touch. When Jack took his entire length down his throat, Daniel began to thrust without realizing it. When he stopped, Jack made a noise of disapproval, so Daniel began to move again. Fucking Jack’s mouth. He was fucking…
“FUCK ME!” he shouted, coming quickly into Jack’s hot, wet mouth.
Jack eagerly swallowed, sucking and moving his head until Daniel’s body stopped shuddering. He let his lover’s cock slide free of his mouth, but continued to fingerfuck him as he moved his body over him.
Daniel spread his legs and raised his knees. “Now, Jack,” came his quiet, need-filled voice, only partly sated.
“Yes,” Jack whispered before kissing Daniel deeply.
Daniel moaned at the sharp taste of himself in Jack’s mouth and kissed harder. His hands sought out the lube and found it, bringing it up to coat Jack’s cock. It was Jack this time who moaned through their kiss, breaking away at the last minute when Daniel’s hand began to stroke.
“You want?” he teased, then swallowed hard from a shudder that passed over him when Daniel positioned the head of his cock against his entrance and pulled him down. His glans pushed past the tight barrier and Daniel let out a gust of air.
“God, yes,” he said, his voice unused. Only air seemed capable of escaping at the moment as Jack’s cock slowly filled him. He groaned at the burn, unable to keep from wondering if it had felt this…good…his first time. Cliched as it was, it was probably true. He hadn’t loved the man he’d been with. He’d cared, but it had been mostly lust and need. With Jack, there was that, plus a hundred other small desires rolled into one. Love.
The burning passed and was replaced with an enormous sensation of being filled completely. Everydamnwhere. His hands ran over Jack’s chest again, feeling the hairs, drawing circles. Two fingers curled around the dog tags that kept hitting his throat, and pulled them over Jack’s head. Dropping them onto the nightstand, he looked into Jack’s dark eyes, finding his gaze intense, lustful, filled with want.
“Okay?” he suddenly asked.
Jack grinned. “Oh yeah,” he said, amazed at the tight heat surrounding his cock. Daniel had never, ever, been this tight. It felt fucking astounding, and he couldn’t help the strange, satisfied thrill in being able to be Daniel’s first. “More than okay. You feel fucking great.” He then settled onto his forearms, taking the pressure off his knees. Daniel’s eyes widened.
“Crap, your knees–“
“Are fine for now. Don’t worry.”
“We can change to–“
Jack pulled his hips back and thrust, ceasing all of Daniel’s attempts to talk about anything other than fucking.
No sound came from Daniel as his mouth dropped open in shock and surprise. He simply grabbed the top of Jack’s arms and held on as the man began to roll his hips, rocking them gently back and forth.
“How’s that?” Jack asked, feeling smug as Daniel dropped his head back, biting his lip through a loud groan. That was Jack’s answer for the moment and he wanted another. Angling, he thrust harder, grinning at Daniel’s pleased but stunned expression. “Ah, think I nailed it there.”
“Yes,” Daniel breathed. “I think you did.”
Jack moved his hips in short, quick thrusts, aiming solely for a prostate massage. When Daniel grabbed the back of his knees and forced his legs high and wide, Jack knew he’d succeeded. “Want it bad, don’t ya?”
Daniel slipped a hand between them and grabbed his awakening cock. He stroked himself firmly, with purpose. “Hard, fuck, now,” he told Jack, eyeing him carefully as the man laughed softly at him. “Not kidding,” he said, and abruptly squeezed his ass cheeks tightly.
It was Jack’s turn to look shocked. “Jesus Christ, Daniel!” he exclaimed, and tried to stop moving to keep himself from coming, but Daniel’s hips were thrusting up, madly, wantonly.
“Hard and fast,” Daniel told him, his gaze meaning it.
Jack stared down and let out a tiny growl. “You got it,” he said. He carded his fingers through Daniel’s thick hair, then tightened them when he began his assault. It didn’t last long. It couldn’t. Daniel pulled him into a frenzied kiss while Jack plowed into him and that seemed to be all the other needed. Daniel broke away, jerking off rapidly, panting harsh sounds before shutting his eyes and baring his teeth. “Fuck yes, fuck yes!” His entire body shuddered as he spilled his seed over his fingers. He felt his ass clench around Jack’s cock, heard Jack practically howl his name as he pumped his semen into him.
Once more, they lay wrapped together throughout the afterglow.
When Daniel finally found his speech center as well as his breath, he said softly, “That should take care of any more nightmares.”
Jack pulled his head back, staring. “How’d you know I was–“
“Because I love you, Jack. I can’t help but know.”
The smell of coffee brought Daniel to consciousness. He opened his eyes, spied the white ceramic mug on the bedside table and groaned. He pushed up on one arm, precariously balancing his still half-asleep body and blindly reached for the mug. The coffee was hot, but without sugar or cream. Daniel took a careful sip anyway. Holding onto it and not letting it out of his sight, he slowly rose to a sitting position. As he sipped some more, his ears finally registered sounds around him and he picked up noise coming from the kitchen. Immediately after, his nose picked up faint cooking smells. Setting his mug down only when the contents were three-quarter’s gone, Daniel looked down at himself…and a slow smile spread across his face. He fingered the dried semen, winced at the soreness of his ass, and stood up, stretching.
He made his way to the bathroom, coffee cup in hand, and drank down the rest before relieving himself. The shower came next and he groaned as the hot water slid down his body, providing instant relief to the many muscles he’d used, including the one between his buttocks. Another smile made it to his lips as he remembered the night. He felt content, happy, satisfied that as he’d dropped back off to sleep, Jack had the same look on his face.
Washing slowly, Daniel let himself languish, leaning against the slowly warming tiles, closing his eyes. Because of that, he jumped about two feet when a hand touched his waist and a body pressed close against his back.
Jack only slid his arms around him, hugged him tightly, and kissed the side of his neck. “I’m sorry. Didn’t mean to startle you.”
Daniel shot out a nervous laugh. “Jesus, Jack. You haven’t lost your touch, have you?”
Jack’s lips widened to a smile against the wet skin. “Cool. Wondered if I was slipping.”
“Not a chance,” Daniel snorted, his laugh more relaxed.
Jack snuffled against his neck, then placed two fingers on his chin and turned his face toward him. “Morning,” he said, then kissed him long and deep. Daniel felt Jack’s cock stirring against the back of his thigh and buttock. He smiled into the kiss and Jack smiled in return, pulling his head back.
“How’re you feeling?” he asked, his fingers hurting. He wanted to hold and never let go.
“Fine. A little sore, but it’s that good kind. You?”
“Ditto,” he said, his voice low and soft. Daniel watched the mischievousness play with lust behind those amber eyes. His dick began to swell and lengthen. “Three times a charm,” Jack went on, running his mouth over a collarbone as he turned Daniel toward him. “Care to go for a hat trick?”
Daniel ran his fingers through Jack’s now wet hair, making a tiny groaning sound when Jack reached a nipple. “I could…yeah,” he said, not really paying attention to what he was saying. Daniel suddenly lost all cognitive function as Jack sat on the edge of the tub, leaned in and took his cock into his mouth.
Still damp from the shower, and shaky from afterglow, they sat at the breakfast table. Jack kept looking at Daniel as they ate and Daniel kept looking up from the newspaper, eyeing Jack through his lashes. They didn’t say anything; didn’t need to. Jack wondered what Daniel was thinking, though. For himself, his thoughts were of amazement. He hadn’t ever seen Daniel looking so…beautiful…before. Ever. It wasn’t something he’d normally think. Maybe it was because Daniel had changed, even in small ways. Maybe it was because Jack had forgotten what he’d looked like just after sex.
Or maybe, it was because Daniel was home.