Summary: Post-Fragile Balance
…a pair of jacks…
Pinching the bridge of his nose, Daniel’s fingers migrated to his eyes, rubbing. He was tired and the last few days had not been good ones. He looked around his on-base quarters and wished he had some place else to go other than Jack’s. Staying at his house right now was just weird, given Jack’s mood.
Seeing him as a 16-year-old had been unsettling, to say the least, not to mention the uncomfortable *underage* factor crawling over him every time he looked at Ja…Young-Jack. He couldn’t help the feelings. The boy wasn’t Jack but he was, and for all intents and purposes, he was a 48-year-old literally trapped inside a teenaged body. It just wasn’t fair. Not on Daniel. Not on Young-Jack.
Daniel couldn’t imagine what either Jack was going through. He’d tried. What with all that had happened to him, he thought he could reference it somewhere but…nope. There was no way.
And Jack, how was he handling it? He wasn’t…not directly. He was going through the motions, treating the situation like any other: something to be dealt with and gotten over, and if not over, then pushed away into its appropriately compartmentalized box.
When and if Jack wanted to look at Young-Jack, he would. But Daniel knew that this clone was freaking Jack out more than just a little bit. The ramifications of letting Young-Jack live were huge, yet there was no way they’d have allowed the boy to die. They’d had no choice but to arrange a life for the boy. While his knowledge was deemed a risk, it wasn’t really, not for those who knew Jack. Anyway, the only person that this really affected was Jack. Jack now had a copy of himself out there, one that that held his memories–memories that he’d nearly kill to keep buried.
Everyone had secrets but Daniel knew Jack and his preference to keep his to himself, even from Daniel. While most weren’t terrible, there were the ones Jack hadn’t wanted exposed, and he had to trust Young-Jack–hell, trust himself–to keep them secret. It wasn’t a situation Daniel would have wished on anyone. He had no idea how he would’ve handled it had the clone been his own. He could only imagine how Jack was forced to handle it. Certainly the worry of exposure was there, considering how Young-Jack was already acting differently than Jack would have acted, making decisions that Jack might not have made. In effect, the clone of Jack was no longer him.
Not for the first time, Daniel wondered just how different Young-Jack would become. He would always be Jack, with his personality quirks and the way his mind worked, but his decisions were already different, and the basis of everything he would be from now on. He was getting a second chance, and this time, as a 16-year-old emancipated minor. Daniel already knew what that was like, and strangely, that put Daniel in a position to understand Young-Jack better than Jack could.
Daniel knew that Young-Jack wanted to re-experience things, see what he had missed. He also saw Jack–Young-Jack–trying out new things he might not have done before…just because he could. Taking risks he’d never dared to at 16 because, let’s face it, he wasn’t afraid to now. He had the knowledge to back him up. Been there, done that, knew what to expect. Daniel snorted derisively as he sat down on the foot of his bed, staring at the desk across the room and the open letter that sat there. A letter from Young-Jack.
Some of it was funny, some of it was sad, and a part of it was very unexpected. Sure, he’d expected that Young-Jack would miss him. He was forced into a life he never should have had, forced to walk away from those he loved, especially Daniel, so why wouldn’t he be grieving? Daniel could sort of relate to that. The funny parts still made Daniel smile, despite the fact that he thought that he shouldn’t. The humor was wistful, after all.
Next to the letter was Jack’s journal, written while Daniel had been ascended. Apparently they’d had a chat because Daniel knew damn well that Jack wouldn’t have shared the journal with him. He’d have kept it private. Secret. So the fact that it had been sitting on his desk when he’d returned to his room to study more mission reports told Daniel that it was likely that Young-Jack had convinced Jack to leave the journal. A small smile flickered across Daniel’s face. He could easily imagine that discussion.
“You know, you should let him read the journal.”
“What? You shouldn’t be thinking of that, for cryin’ out loud. And especially that, with all that…’other’ stuff in it.”
“Oh brother. I have thirty-some years of sexual experience hidden inside this gawky, teenaged body so don’t go getting all ‘underage’ on me.”
Daniel’s smile faded slightly as he went to the desk and touched the letter with his fingertips. Thoughts of sex were uppermost in his mind. Young-Jack had flirted with him. Daniel cleared his throat, blushing with embarrassment as he remembered it. Whether he liked it or not, he’d felt a bit of arousal. Still did. It hadn’t been, and still wasn’t, appropriate, but the feelings had been there anyway. Ever since Young-Jack had moved past flirting and had tried to kiss him earlier when he’d stopped by to say goodbye. The smile on Daniel’s face tried to appear again when he remembered. He’d stepped away from Young-Jack so quickly that he’d nearly fallen to the floor as he’d run into the desk’s chair.
“What’s wrong, Daniel? Did you think I was going to try and kiss you?”
The little shit. He *had* tried. And he’d failed, but by no real effort on Daniel’s part because, god, the truth was, he’d been tempted. Jesus. Daniel couldn’t help feeling sorry for Jack’s future partners…and jealous. Thoughts of a randy Jack, sowing his oats, made Daniel’s cock take notice. Okay, so the idea was arousing and reluctantly, Daniel conceded that. Then his brain betrayed him by going further, feeding him thoughts of a hopefully-older Young-Jack going through another ‘first time’. And would it be with a man or a woman? Irrationally, Daniel wanted it to be with him though he knew there was no way.
He swallowed and his smile faded, his mood threatening to grow melancholy when thoughts of Jack’s–dammit, Young-Jack’s–loneliness and grief, having to start a new life, filtered into his mind. Truth was, Daniel hadn’t blamed Young-Jack for trying to kiss him. After all, it was goodbye. And it was a natural thing for ‘Jack’ to do.
Yet not any more. His life wouldn’t be easy for a while. Hell, it’d be damned hard.
And speaking of damned hard…his mind moved back to thoughts of the journal. Daniel skimmed the surface of the journal with his fingertips. ‘Damned hard’ was a two-fold expression in this case. One, it must’ve been damned hard for Jack to write the thing, and two, Daniel had read its entirety and hadn’t been able to stop himself from getting ‘damned hard’ when he’d read about Dylan. And then the fantasy.
Curiously, there was no jealousy. Perhaps it would creep up on him later, but mixed in with everything else in the journal, all Daniel could feel was relief and approval that Jack had found someone to take the edge off with.
Looking back at the three-page letter, he opened it, scanning the last page. This was something he had to deal with. Not a pleasant prospect.
I’m sorry but remember when I said nothing happened between me and Sam? Nothing did, so don’t panic, but well, I left out something. I think you need to talk to Sam, Daniel. She has feelings for me, like she did a few years ago, and I guess they never left. Damn her.
I didn’t know what to do about it then, Daniel, and still don’t. Maybe I kind of enjoyed and encouraged her attention, like I had before, only this time, I felt safe doing it. You weren’t around. And I knew it wouldn’t ever lead to anything, although I’m quite certain she was hoping it would, that it wasn’t harmless flirting. I think she took my own responses as a sign that we could start something, even if it was illicit. I also think there’s something wrong with me because I did nothing and what red-blooded bi or straight male wouldn’t jump at the chance to have sex with her?
Okay, don’t answer that (as if you could). I think it’s because of my military discipline, as unorthodox as it is most of the time, because every time I thought about crossing that line, all I could think of were the regs. And you know, that really never entered my mind with you. How telling is that? And okay, maybe the thought of having sex with her has crossed my mind several times, but the truth is, what held me back was the fear of committing to her. I know damn well she would have expected that and there was just no chance in hell. It wasn’t her. I know that and so do you. But it was, well, you. I couldn’t risk it, getting hurt again.
Sorry. I don’t mean to make it sound like I’m blaming you. I’m not. There isn’t any blame. There are just feelings. Sam’s. And all I’m doing here is giving you head’s up about them. As I’ve often said, Daniel, a lack of information can kill you, and that applies as easily to the home front as it does in the field.
I hope ‘Jack’ does right by you, Daniel. Maybe if you showed him this letter, it’d force him to be more honest. He’s been tightly closed down for a year, Sam or no Sam. That fucking Baal sort of created a lot of it. Defense mechanisms, I suppose. Won’t be easy for him to just open up again. And I’m gonna close this letter before I say something else really embarrassing.
What isn’t embarrassing to say is that I’m going to miss you. A lot. Your touches, your kisses, the way you feel. I don’t know that I’ll never be able to find someone else that is half the man you are. I love you, and I always will.
Jesus, I’m getting sappy. I’m blaming the hormones and you can, too. *g*
Should you ever need to find me, you can, and I’ll be there. I hope that you have a good life no matter where you are. Be happy, Daniel.
Your loving friend always,
John Andrew Campbell
p.s. I’m glad you chose that name. I like it. It fits. Even if it is Scottish. 🙂
Daniel sighed as he finished re-reading. Emotions stirred up again, warring within. Sadness. Anger. Love. Jack was right. Young-Jack, that is. He had to have a talk with Sam. But…just not now. In a while. Daniel would spare her the embarrassment if she backed off and looked for someone else. He didn’t want to have her for a rival. She was dear to him. But if she thought she could get between him and Jack, she was sadly mistaken.
Daniel couldn’t help grinning evilly. His possessiveness was showing. He picked up the journal and sat back on the bed, his pillow-cushioned back against the headboard. He opened the journal to a specific section and began to read it for the second time. Getting hard was much easier this time, and anticipation filled him. He opened his blue work trousers, sliding his fingers under the waistband of his briefs. When his fingers wrapped around his cock, a knock at the door startled his hand away. He buttoned up as fast as he could and slid to the side of the bed, covering his groin with the journal to hide any evidence.
“Come in,” he called out, quickly stifling the urge to laugh at the irony of the welcoming words.
An electronic hum from a key card and Jack entered, still wearing his civilian clothes, closing the door behind him.
“Hey,” he greeted.
“Hey. How’d it go?” Daniel asked, keeping his expression guarded, careful.
“Weird,” Jack answered, waving his hand as if that were the only answer he could give.
Jack spied the letter on the desk and knew immediately what it was. His eyes rested briefly on the journal in Daniel’s hands, but he nodded at the letter. “What’s he got to say?”
Daniel stared at Jack silently, and it must’ve been a little too long because Jack frowned.
Daniel shook his head. “Nothing. It’s just sad. He does have something pretty…interesting…to say on page three.”
Jack hesitantly took the page and sat down on the edge of the bed. When he was finished, he quickly dropped his hand down as his other rubbed his eyes.
Daniel sighed. “Were you going to tell me?”
“I don’t know,” Jack answered, looking up. “I don’t consider it anything to discuss, Daniel, because there’s nothing there. Pisses me off that he thought it was worth bringing up. It’s not.”
Daniel nodded, looking away. He stared down at the journal for the longest time and it didn’t get past him that Jack remained silent, waiting.
“Do you love me?” he suddenly asked. Jack looked puzzled and a bit angry.
“What kind of a question–“
“A very important one. Do you love me?”
“Do you love her?”
“Not that way, Daniel. You know that.”
“For the sake of argument, let’s say I don’t. Do you want Sam instead of me?”
“What? No!” Jack eyes flashed when he spoke the words harshly, gulping as they both realized his voice had risen.
They cleared their throats, regrouping, remembering where they were. Jack reached out and touched Daniel’s face. For reasons that Daniel didn’t want to examine, he flinched at his lover’s touch but was glad when Jack didn’t draw away.
“No, Daniel. I don’t,” he said more softly but just as forcefully.
Daniel searched Jack’s face for a very long minute, and when he was certain Jack meant it, he finally gave his lover a short nod, leaning into the hand that cupped his cheek. “Okay.”
Jack wasn’t ready for that. He’d expected…hell, he didn’t know what he expected, except possibly something scathing. “Okay?”
“Yeah. Okay. Let’s move on.”
Jack studied him and decided they couldn’t move on. “Not yet, Daniel. Why the sudden insecurity?”
“It’s not sudden, Jack. It’s always been there.”
A deep frown creased the space between Jack’s brows and Daniel reached over, rubbing his thumb over the creases, trying to smooth them away. When they refused to smooth out, Daniel sighed deeply.
“When she flirts with you again, Jack, and it isn’t that harmless flirting, I want you to tell me. I’m not planning on saying anything to her because I’m hoping our friendship is too important, that she respects me. But if she throws that away over something she knows is wrong, then she and I will have a talk. In the meantime…”
“In the meantime?”
“I fully expect you to reciprocate the flirting, just like you did before.”
“Jack, don’t tell me differently. You’re a natural flirt, whether you realize it or not.”
“Pot, kettle, Daniel.”
Daniel allowed a smile then, the first since Jack had entered the room. “Just don’t let it go past harmless, Jack, or you’ll feel how badly you’ve erred.”
Jack blew out a long breath. “No intention, Daniel.” He eyed him as he took the journal from Daniel’s hands. “Mind if we change the subject?” he asked, holding the book up by its spine.
Daniel was relieved. He hadn’t wanted to argue and was glad Jack didn’t either. “Not at all.”
Jack waggled the book back and forth. “Did you read this?”
“All of it?”
“All of it. I um, couldn’t put it down.”
Jack cleared his throat, feeling a heat come to his throat and cheeks. “And?”
“What did you think about it?”
“You want a review?”
“Daniel, will you just–“
With catlike precision, Daniel yanked the book from Jack’s hand, tossed it and the letter to the floor, and pushed his lover onto his back, straddling his legs as he lay over him. While staring into Jack’s searching eyes, Daniel blindly sought out his hands, clasping them firmly before pinning them to the mattress on either side of Jack’s head. The action brought out the lust he’d been feeling over the last few hours and he felt his dick fill, lengthening, hardening.
“Must’ve been hard to write,” he said, slowly rubbing his crotch against Jack’s. It wasn’t what he wanted to say, actually, but his lizard brain obviously had other ideas. He rubbed again, allowing a small moan to escape his throat when the friction sent a shudder of pleasure through him.
Jack joined him, beginning to pant as he thrust upward. “Actually, it was surprisingly easy to write. At first, I had no clue what to write, but it became easy once I started.”
Daniel nodded in understanding, unable to reply when he felt the long outline in Jack’s khakis. He wasn’t wearing underwear. God.
“We should go,” Daniel suggested breathlessly. “Leave here before someone sees.”
“Locked the door.”
Daniel looked over. It was locked and he hadn’t even noticed Jack doing that. “Someone could still open it.”
“Don’t care right now.”
Daniel snorted. “Yes, you do. You’re just being rebellious.”
Jack ignored that. “So, any questions?” he asked as he spread his legs, hooking them behind Daniel’s knees and opening his legs wide.
The sudden urge to fuck Jack was the foremost image in his brain and Daniel had to close his eyes. “God, don’t do that.”
Jack grinned, his eyes darkening as he watched the flush of arousal spread over Daniel’s face. “Yet you like it when I–“
“Not with your clothes on.”
“Especially with my clothes on.”
Daniel resisted the need to agree. “You’re such an asshole.”
“I have one, as you’re well aware.” He then leaned up, grabbing Daniel’s head between his hands and placing his lips to Daniel’s ear, licking slowly along the shell. “He slipped his cock inside it, too. Did that turn you on, reading what he did?”
Daniel’s eyes squeezed shut. “Yes.” He then consumed Jack’s mouth hungrily, his tongue on a merciless errand. Jack’s fingers tightened in his hair while Daniel moved his hands between them, reopening his own trousers, then opening Jack’s.
“Yes,” Jack encouraged, dropping his legs to let Daniel push his pants down over his ass. God, this felt good.
Their cocks spilled out, hitting each other, creating sparks of pleasure that increased as Daniel lined them up, rubbing quickly with intent. He didn’t say anything. He simply tipped his head back, keeping his eyes closed, and began rubbing and humping with an increasing rhythm that eventually became frantic. Jack’s mood and lust matched his own and they were soon kissing each other to stifle the moans. Hell, their breathing was noisy enough.
They were having illicit, forbidden sex in his room on-base, and Daniel felt his balls tighten even more, knowing he’d come soon. Especially knowing that anyone could override the electronic lock and discover them. Anyone.
Then Sam’s image found its way into his head. She was the one who opened the door, saw them humping against each other, come spilling over each other’s stomachs. She would see his bare ass, his balls slapping against Jack’s. The angle was perfect for it.
Daniel frantically kicked his shoes off, pushing his trousers and briefs off, and yanked at Jack’s. His lover didn’t ask as he threw off his shirt, leaving behind his dog tags.
“Yes,” Daniel whispered and his own utility shirt and tee hit the floor. His hands slipped underneath Jack’s shoulders as Jack spread his legs, hooking them once again behind his knees. “Yes.”
“Fuck me,” Jack ordered him and the tone almost made Daniel come.
Blindly reaching for the lube under the pillow, Daniel spread it over his cock, then Jack’s ass. He thought of having an audience as he pushed himself deep inside, thought of eyes watching the muscles of his ass clenching and unclenching as he thrust his cock in and out of Jack. His actions abandoned restraint as he soon met his thoughts.
“God, yes,” Jack groaned and slapped a hand over Daniel’s ass while he gripped his cock with the other. “What’re you thinking of?” he asked, knowing something was spurring Daniel on.
“Being…watched…interrupted,” Daniel answered, pausing between thrusts.
Jack let out a low growl, imagining exactly what Daniel had. Sam’s eyes on him, on Daniel’s cock hammering away inside him. The look of shock and surprise on her face had him raising his knees, his hand moving rapidly over his cock. “Hard and fast.”
“Who’s watching us?” Daniel asked as he complied, the sweat now dripping down his face and throat, drops periodically dropping onto Jack.
“Oh fuck,” Daniel groaned, burying his face into Jack’s neck as he slammed down, his hard movements pushing them up the bed. Jack’s hand was then at the headboard, holding them in position.
“She sees it, Daniel. Me fucking you, you fucking me. Owning each other. Look at me.”
Daniel raised his head, his eyes meeting Jack’s. Their thoughts weren’t particularly nice, and maybe even malicious, but neither cared, not bothering to fight them. In fact, the thought of her watching them was hotter than hell.
“She’s getting off on it, too, Jack,” Daniel suddenly said, the pitch of his groans a breathless, desperate whine as he felt his orgasm about to release. “God, seeing my dick in your ass…”
Jack gripped his cock tighter, causing pain as he stroked the head quickly. “Yes,” he whispered back, his voice so dry that the sound was mostly air. “Come for me,” he mouthed.
With a bite to his bottom lip, Daniel let go, coming hard, the sharp exhalations through his nose the only sign that his orgasm was more intense than usual. When he stopped biting his lips, he looked down, knowing what would bring his lover off.
“She’s not watching me fuck you, Jack.”
“Daniel,” Jack said, feeling it.
“She comes in and sees my cock in your mouth as I come down your throat.” The image sent a tremor through him and he shuddered violently.
“Fuck,” Jack said, pumping his cock hard and slow as he came, the semen spilling onto his stomach as he held back the loudest of his groans. Daniel rubbed his fingers into the sticky liquid, bringing them to his mouth before kissing Jack fiercely.
For a while, neither spoke about the risk they’d taken, nor the images that had made them come, but it was something they’d have to talk about. Sooner or later. Probably later. Much later. As they got dressed, their eyes came to rest on the spilled sheets of the letter that now littered the floor.
“Wanna talk about John?” Daniel asked, picking up the paper.
Jack shrugged. “No point, Daniel. I just hope his life is better than mine was.”
Daniel agreed silently, but he knew that Jack would talk later. After more sex, when they could take the time to snuggle and nap. He looked about the room, then caught Jack glancing at him.
“We can’t do this on-base again.”
Again, Daniel nodded without answering. They would, though, no matter what Jack said. There was something desperate about their lovemaking now. It wasn’t Sam, either. This was different, and Daniel would figure it out. Eventually.