…needing you way too much…
“Please, Jack. I need to do this.”
Daniel’s words to Jack reverberated in his head, along with everything else he remembered: yelling at his best friend in the mines, yelling at him as he’d held a gun on him, yelling at him as he’d struggled through his sarcophagus withdrawal; the awful things he’d called him; the sexual favors he’d been willing to trade, the fantasies he’d been willing to perform, just to get Jack to take him to a sarcophagus.
Sitting on the floor between his sofa and coffee table, staring at the flames of the three pillar candles he’d lit, Daniel wasn’t sure he’d be able to get over the shame of what had happened. Sam and Teal’c had been so nice to him, and they’d easily forgiven him. Jack had, as well, but Daniel couldn’t seem to forgive himself.
Normally, he’d have had a glass of wine with him, as it was his favorite thing next to JackDaniel’s to wind down with after work. But not tonight; not for the last seven nights that he’d been allowed back home after returning from P3R-636. Any mind-altering substance right now, including alcohol, made him afraid. Not for their addictiveness but because they could put him to sleep. And make him dream.
So, he’d opted for just staring at the candles, trying to come to terms somehow, some way, with what he’d done. He knew that it was the addiction that had made him act the way he did, but at the beginning, it hadn’t been the addiction, it had been the humiliation and fear. He’d wanted to rescue them, be there for them, and he’d underestimated Shyla.
He’d seen her interest in him and he’d tried to use it against her… but it had backfired. He hadn’t known about the pull of the sarcophagus; how it had made everyone else’s needs and desires pale to insignificance beside his own. Daniel hadn’t a clue how much he’d changed until he was withdrawing. The addiction was so powerful, it didn’t allow you to question it. It was extremely dangerous, that goddamn thing.
Because of it, the only thing on his mind had been to get a piece of her ass. Fortunately, she’d refused him until after the wedding. And in order to get it, Daniel had completely dismissed Jack, Sam, Teal’c… and Shau’re. He didn’t know how he could have done that. Hearing himself act that way, a part of him, somewhere deep inside, had tried to rebel and had been squashed down and silenced.
Daniel had thought about that as he’d recuperated in the VIP room set aside for his quarters during the last stages of his withdrawal. He finally knew that part of the reason the Goa’uld were the way they were was because of that goddamn sarcophagus. It turned them into psychopaths.
Like he’d become. Because of her. At the end, as he had supervised her withdrawal, she’d finally offered herself to him just to get into the sarcophagus, just as he’d done to Jack. She’d forgotten that the damn machine had been destroyed. Daniel guiltily remembered the smug feeling he’d had when he’d refused her, and the shocked look on her face. Payback. Daniel was extremely thankful that he hadn’t seen that same look on Jack’s face when Jack had told him no.
Sighing, he turned his head on his knees, continuing to stare at the candles. He fought off sleep a few times, and since his mind refused to settle, it became easier as the hours passed.
Sometime later, Daniel caught himself lightly dozing. Amused that he’d managed to sleep somehow without dreaming, he tried to do it again but was interrupted by a knock at the door. He’d left the door unlocked, on purpose. “Come in,” he called out, knowing it was probably going to be Jack. At least, it had better be. Anyone else would get someone surly.
The door opened and sure enough, Jack stepped through. Instead of the usual scold about not locking his door, Jack left the door ajar and stuffed his hands in his pockets as he walked over to where Daniel sat on the floor. “What’cha doin’?” he asked. He didn’t need to, though. He knew how raw Daniel’s nerves were, even three weeks after his recovery and final visit to ‘636.
“Nothing. Just staring at the candles. I was just wishing I had a fireplace.” He sighed deeply. “Thanks for not asking how I am.”
“Sick of it?”
Jack looked down at his best friend, feeling such empathy for him. “C’mon,” he said, nudging Daniel’s thigh with his shoe. When Daniel looked up at him, Jack saw the redness in his tired eyes. He’d been afraid of that. “C’mon. I gotta fireplace.” He held out his hand for Daniel to take. “Stay with me for a while. Veg out in front of the fireplace all you like.”
Daniel stared at Jack’s hand, not moving. It seemed like an inanimate object… but one he so wanted to grab and hold onto. He resisted taking it.
“Come on, Daniel. Take my hand.”
Hesitantly at first, he finally reached up and grasped his hand and let Jack’s strength pull him to his feet. Jack didn’t let go, either.
“Good,” he said with a soft smile. He started to lead Daniel down the hall but Daniel resisted.
“Where are we going?” he asked, confused.
Jack stopped and turned, giving him a long, caring look. “We’re going to pack an overnight bag or a suitcase, whichever’s easier, and I’m not doing it blind, so you’re gonna help.” Daniel grinned at him. “Then we’ll grab some stuff from your kitchen and I’ll make the arrangements for you to stay with me for a while. You need the company.”
Daniel didn’t want to argue with him, mostly because Jack made sense somehow. After getting his things from the kitchen, Jack handed him his keys and his coat, put out the candles, then quietly ushered him out the door.
“You hungry?” Jack asked as Daniel set himself down in front of the already-made fire.
Feeling himself strangely drawn to the flames, Daniel didn’t answer.
“Daniel?” he asked again, wishing that he could lift Daniel’s depression. When Daniel still didn’t answer, Jack shook his head and went to make some coffee, using the new machine Daniel had practically foisted upon him.
While the coffee brewed, Jack made spaghetti for dinner, all the while, keeping an extra eye on Daniel. After what had happened, and helping him detox, Jack realized that he could tell Daniel he loved him. That Daniel was his lover, his friend. Best friend, probably.
What Jack wondered about was sex. And whether or not they’d have it again. Daniel had been delirious for a while, during detox, and there’d been one moment in the VIP room where Jack had been visiting, watching him sleep, and Daniel had dreamed of Shau’re.
Daniel typically talked in his sleep when he had upsetting dreams, and in that one, he’d apologized to Shau’re for wanting someone else. For a while, Jack had thought Daniel had meant himself, till he realized that he must’ve meant Shyla.
But what if he hadn’t?
Jack didn’t want to give up what they had, but what if the guilt was part of the depression and Daniel was refusing to admit it? So far, that seemed to be the plan. Jack needed to find out, one way or another, before anything else happened between them. For now, what he could do is be his friend.
After all, Jack knew about withdrawal, knew when to leave Daniel alone and when to bother him. What was different here was that Daniel had been manipulated by a woman, not a pack of men. Jack couldn’t help but wonder how that would affect his relationships with women.
After coming home from Iraq, and all the healing he’d had to go through, Jack had had a difficult time of it. Sex had been hard to endure, not just because of the rape but because the drugs had left him partially impotent. More alarmingly, he’d found his desire for men had been polluted. It had taken an archaeologist to make him realize he could feel something for someone besides Sara.
And now, the situation was in reverse. It hadn’t been six months since that bitch Hathor, and now this. Jack tried to think of how best to help Daniel and the only thing he could think of was just being available. Except for sex. He’d have to bring it up, talk about it, and while he loathed the idea, and knew Daniel would, too, it’d have to be done.
Jack cringed at the idea. This wasn’t going to be easy.
With the coffee ready at last, he added a little milk and sugar to Daniel’s, then brought it out to him. Holding it in front of him, he actually had to clear his throat to get Daniel to break his concentration from the fire.
“Thanks,” Daniel said quietly and took the mug from him, sipping gingerly.
Jack squeezed his shoulder and returned to the kitchen to finish preparing dinner. Ten minutes later, everything was finished and Jack was carrying a serving tray out to the living room, setting it down on the hearth.
Daniel cast him a questioning look, and with a flourish of his hand, Jack said, “Dinner is served, sire,” and earned himself a soft grin.
Throwing a large pillow on the floor to use as a back prop against the coffee table, Jack gingerly got down on the floor next to somber friend.
“How’s your knee?” Daniel asked worriedly.
Jack paused, staring at him, realizing that here was one more guilt trip that Daniel had placed on top of his head. “It’ll be fine, Daniel. And you didn’t do this, Daniel, it’s not your fault.”
Anger rose up in Jack and he took Daniel’s hand and squeezed it, hard. “Stop it. Right fucking now. That sad-eyed bitch and her old man threw us in there, Daniel, not you. Who the fuck was in charge of keeping us in there while you were in your right mind? Tell me?”
Daniel sighed, nodding. “They were.”
“Damn fucking right.”
“I still feel guilty, Jack. I’m sorry.”
“Daniel, Dr. Warner said it’ll be fine. Surgery went okay and it wasn’t that badly damaged, not like we thought. It just looks bad.”
Daniel sighed with relief and nodded. “Okay.”
He didn’t reach for his food, so Jack picked up the bowl and handed it to him, along with the silverware. “You need to eat, Daniel.” When Daniel started to resist, he cracked at lop-sided grin. “Don’t make me nag, please. It’s an ugly sight.”
Jack earned a bigger smile for that. “Yeah, I guess it would be,” Daniel answered, tearing a piece of bread and dipping it in the sauce. He took a bite, then set the bread down with a sigh as he chewed slowly.
“It’s not bad, is it?” Jack asked.
“It’s fine, Jack. Tastes good, actually. It’s just that I don’t have an appetite.”
“You’re not sleeping either,” Jack said, pointing at Daniel’s eyes when Daniel frowned at him. “I know because of the eyes. You look horrible.”
“Thanks,” Daniel said, jogging his brows.
“I… keep having nightmares. I’m afraid to sleep.”
He swallowed hard then, fighting back the urge to shed angry tears in front of Jack. Sensing it immediately, Jack scooted himself over and put his arm around him, pulling Daniel close. Getting Daniel to rest his head on his shoulder, they both stared into the fire. “I understand about nightmares, Daniel. Boy, do I understand.”
Not bothering to lift his head or take his eyes from the fire, Daniel began to talk finally. “In the supply room, when I held that gun on you… you said you knew what it was I was going through. You said you knew what it was like. Was that what you meant about being in prison?” Jack nodded his head but didn’t say anything. Daniel took that as a sign to continue, so he did. “You said when I was willing to talk to you about Hathor, you’d tell me about Iraq.”
Jack nodded again. “Can you talk to me about Hathor?” he asked.
Daniel winced. “What’s there to tell? You know what happened.”
Jack sighed. “I know, but with the memory thing, you kept saying you didn’t remember. If you did remember, and needed to scream and rant, then you could. That’s all I meant. I don’t need to know the gory details. I only want those where real sex is concerned.” He made Daniel smile then and hugged him. “I’m just sayin’, if you wanna talk about it, I’m listening.”
Daniel sighed in return. “I know. Just not… now, okay?”
Jack understood. “Okay.”
“Does this mean you won’t talk to me about Iraq?”
Jack sighed again. “No, it doesn’t mean that, but I can’t talk about everything, either, and no, it’s not because you won’t talk. I’m not that petty, I don’t think.”
“It’s just that some stuff is…”
“Better left unsaid.”
Daniel took a deep breath. “I don’t remember everything right now anyway. That sarcophagus really fucked up my head.”
Jack hugged him again, then took a deep breath. “I was purposely addicted to opium when I was in prison. They got fields of it over there.”
“Well, they had one of those old-fashioned hookahs, you know the ones?”
“I had some nasty injuries before my capture. Their doctor got me hooked. After I’d healed, I was thrown into a prison barracks.” Jack paused, then added, “The guards and inmates had fun using me when I was stoned out of my gills.”
Daniel stared at him, unable to think of anything to say except “I’m sorry,” and that sounded so fucking lame.
Jack only nodded, seeing the understanding. “It went on for a couple of months. And that was completely separate from the occasional torture they inflicted on me.”
Daniel leaned forward and wrapped his arms around Jack’s neck, hugging him tightly. Jack hugged him back and rubbed his back with his hand. “Most of the stuff was a blur because of the drug,” he said quietly.
Daniel pulled back, looking at him worriedly. “You don’t have to go on, you know.”
“I know. I can’t talk much more about it anyway. Not the… details.”
Daniel held him tighter and understood, very clearly, why Jack couldn’t go on. “It’s not just talking out loud about it, is it?”
Jack shook his head.
“I get it, Jack. It’s why I can’t talk about Hathor. Every time I even think about what happened, I have nightmares.”
“Got it in one, Daniel,” Jack said softly, pulling Daniel into a tighter hug.
They sat there holding each other, eating part of their now-cold dinners and talking about anything other than work or their traumas. When Daniel asked about the sauce, Jack regaled him with a tale about his Gramma Lilly, the best woman he’d ever known, who taught him that the secret ingredient in the fine art of Italian cooking was being Irish.
With their meal finished and the dishes put away, Daniel sat back down in front of the fire, leaning his head on his knees once more.
“Daniel,” Jack said quietly from the kitchen. When Daniel didn’t answer him, he frowned and walked over. “What is it?” he asked, touching his hair. Daniel lifted his head and looked at him for a few long seconds before answering.
“Are we going to sleep together?”
Jack squatted down in front of him. “We don’t have to. Would you rather stay in the spare room?”
“Maybe I’ll be able to sleep if…” and Daniel suddenly felt childish and silly. Rising to his feet, he shook his head and Jack caught his arm, hand sliding down into Daniel’s.
“Stay with me.”
“Yes. And you’re right. It might be better. You’re still raw about this thing.” Daniel winced at the word. “I know you don’t like the word, but it’s appropriate. Would you rather I said vulnerable?”
“No,” Daniel said, cringing.
They made their way to the bedroom and Daniel stopped at the bathroom. He hesitated and Jack frowned. “What’s wrong?”
“It’s nothing huge, Jack.”
“Well, I’m not exactly in the mood, but…”
Daniel made a sweeping gesture at Jack’s body as he backed into the bathroom, holding onto the door. Jack looked down at himself as if he’d suddenly grown something he wasn’t aware of. “What?”
Daniel gave him another hint of a smile. “Just… don’t expect me not to react when you put that up against me.”
Jack smirked at him. “Okay, smart ass, I won’t. You showering first?”
“Unless you wanna share?” Daniel asked, not committed either way.
“No,” Jack said, using that grin that Daniel found extremely sexy.
“Okay, I’ll try not to hog all the hot water,” Daniel said, closing the door but leaving it ajar.
On the other side, Jack said, “Nothing huge, Daniel? Apparently, you’ve forgotten what my dick looks like.”
Daniel snorted. “I remember, Jack. My memory isn’t that fucked, pardon the expression.”
Jack grumbled on the other side. “Hmmmm. Your memory’s muddled.”
Daniel laughed quietly as he turned on the water, feeling relieved at the easy banter, that none of it tinged with the feeling of walking on eggshells. He was also feeling good that he could still wind Jack up… and that Jack was letting him.
Sometime in the middle of the night, Daniel was awakened. He felt a constant movement in the bed and as he roused further, he heard deep groaning coming from Jack. The conversations of the previous evening came to the forefront of his brain and snapped him awake.
Their conversations had prompted Jack to have a nightmare.
Feeling guilt-ridden at having caused this to happen to Jack, he sat up and focused. Jack lay on his back, body twitching, heavy perspiration ran from Jack’s forehead, his breathing shallow and rapid. However long this nightmare had been going on, Daniel knew it had to have been a while. Jack was soaked.
Daniel was suddenly reminded of the first nightmares he’d witnessed from Jack, sharing a tent during stressful missions. He’d learned to help by bringing Jack awake slowly, trying to calm and reassure. Only once had Jack lashed out before waking up and fortunately, he’d missed Daniel’s face; Daniel had learned to be careful from then on.
Now, Daniel didn’t much give a shit about being careful and inwardly felt he deserved a few bruises as some sort of inadvertent payback. More importantly, whatever happened, he needed to be there for Jack, to calm and reassure, just as Jack had done for him. Reaching his arm across him, he snuggled against Jack’s musky, sweaty body, dampening his own, and held him against him as he whispered in his ear.
“Jack. Jack. It’s Daniel. You’re having a nightmare. Wake up, Jack. Wake up.”
Jack started, his eyes flying open, and Daniel held him tighter.
“Shhhh, it’s me, Jack. Only me. Nightmare. You’re having a nightmare.”
He fully expected Jack to shrug him off, but he didn’t. Instead, Jack turned away from him. But not rudely. He snuggled back against Daniel, grabbing his arm and holding it to his chest. His body was slightly trembling and Daniel held him ever tighter, his face lying partly over his ear and jaw.
“It’s okay, Jack. I’m here. I’m never going to hurt you again.”
Jack squeezed his arm. “I know, Daniel. Thanks,” he murmured. He turned his head slightly. “You okay?”
Believing the tone in his voice, Jack answered, “Good,” then gave a relieved sigh and drifted off back to sleep.
The thought Daniel had as he once again drifted off was that even if he may have caused the nightmare, he was able to calm Jack back to sleep. That comforting thought let him sleep, not remembering a single dream.
. . .
The following day was blissfully normal, arguing good-naturedly about what to watch on TV or what to have for dinner. Daniel couldn’t help but feel relieved. Things were almost back to how they should be. Almost.
Throughout the day, he’d found himself staring at Jack, his face, his body, and feeling normal about the emotions they brought up. Including how his dick responded. That had been a worry.
Getting into bed that evening, and lying next to Jack’s warm body, smelling his musky skin, Daniel couldn’t help but get hard when Jack spooned against him. He wondered if it was a good idea to respond, if maybe it was too soon. But if his body thought it was, couldn’t it be right?
Daniel thought about it for a few minutes, and Jack seemed to know something was on his mind when he cleared his throat softly.
“Something on your mind?”
Daniel rolled over, facing him, and without a word, took Jack’s hand and placed it over his cotton-covered erection. Jack raised a brow as Daniel leaned in and softly kissed his lips.
“What are you asking?” Jack asked.
“Just this,” Daniel replied, but Jack moved his hand away, prompting a worried frown between Daniel’s brows. “What’s wrong?”
“Daniel, why haven’t you wanted to…” Jack began, suddenly feeling stupid. He should have left it alone.
Daniel’s frown smoothed out. “Talk to me. What is it?”
“You’ve never wanted to top,” Jack said quickly. “I was wondering why.” When Daniel’s brows went up, he plunged on. “Is it because of what I said about Iraq?” Daniel frowned again, adopting his thinking face, and Jack waited, knowing that the man was thinking about what he’d said.
After a minute, Daniel cleared his throat. “Yeah, I’m sorry. I didn’t think you’d really want to. Not after…”
It was Jack’s turn to look puzzled. “Remember what I said before? I wanted it, too? Remember?”
“I…” Daniel grimaced. “Sorry. I thought you’d said it to please me.” When Jack shook his head slowly, Daniel closed his eyes and groaned. “I’m sorry.” He took a deep breath, staring at Jack’s dog tags, fiddling with them, twining them between his fingers.
“I thought maybe it was me,” Jack said very softly.
Daniel’s eyes widened a bit in shock and immediately shook his head. “No, Jack, it’s not you. I want to,” and he let his voice lower for impact. “I really want to. Why’d you think that it was you?”
“I thought maybe it was because of Shau’re.”
“You know, betraying her somehow. Sounds stupid doesn’t it, considering?”
Daniel let out a short, incredulous laugh and sat up, looking down at Jack’s worried face. “It’s not stupid, Jack. It’s not what I was thinking, but…” He suddenly smiled and shook his head, amazed at the man’s tenderness.
Jack studied him back. “So… you want to but?”
Daniel winced. “When I’m back to normal… whatever that is,” and he leaned in to brush another kiss over Jack’s lips. “Then we’ll do it properly.”
“We have been doing it properly, Daniel.”
“Without the baggage. Deal?”
Jack gave him a wry grin and nodded. “But you had something on your mind before. Wanna tell me what?”
Daniel let go of his dog tags and placed Jack’s hand back down over his now-partial erection. “I may not feel ready for everything but,” and he leaned over, settling his body over Jack’s, getting a soft growl from him that sent a tiny shudder down Daniel’s spine.
“What do you want?” Jack asked, pushing down his shorts then taking Daniel’s cock in hand. He stroked once, watching Daniel shudder.
“That,” Daniel whispered against his lips. “Please.” Daniel closed his eyes and let out a long moan as Jack stroked him slowly, firmly, rubbing the head.
“You first, then me,” Jack murmured back, then sucked in a breath as Daniel brushed the back of his fingers along the outline of Jack’s cock.
“Not together?” Daniel asked seductively as his fingers rubbed more firmly.
“No. I want to watch you,” Jack replied, his grip tightening just a bit.
Breathing heavy with need, Daniel brought his hand away from Jack’s cock and combed his fingers through his chest hair instead. When Jack squeezed his cockhead, Daniel dropped down claimed his mouth for a deep, hungry kiss, getting Jack to move his hand even more.
Jack leaned up to lick at a nipple and Daniel stopped him. “Touch only my cock, Jack. Nothing else.” Jack arched a brow and Daniel quickly explained. “Tease me. Touch only my cock. I want you to touch me everywhere, but if you touch only my cock…”
“Ah. Then lay down.”
Jack waited and when Daniel settled onto his back, he went back to stroking his cock. The interesting thing was that Jack’s mouth began to water as he watched Daniel react to the pleasure he received. He loved what he did to make Daniel moan, to arch his body and tip his head back, but he wanted to add his mouth to the job. And couldn’t. It was having an amazing effect on his cock.
Daniel was panting now, harsh and very needy, with one hand grabbing his dog tags again. When his breathing began to hitch, Jack knew he was close. He leaned in to nuzzle Daniel’s cheek, encouraging him. “Feel it, Daniel. Let go. Come in my hand.”
His orgasm was lightning fast, and surprised, Daniel arched back, grabbing at the bedsheets as the shudders ripped through him. Jack kept stroking him, slowly, pulling hard, then moved over and captured Daniel’s mouth for a hungry, demanding kiss. Daniel kissed him back, breathing harshly through his nose as his shudders subsided.
When Jack finally pulled his hand away, Daniel grabbed it, gathering his come in his palm. Pushing up on his elbow, he spat into his hand and slid it under Jack’s boxers. As he took hold of his cock, Jack pushed them down eagerly, opening his mouth when Daniel attacked it with his own.
Jack loved it. The pleasure spiked through his body, making him thrust madly into Daniel’s hand, groaning when Daniel changed the grip or rhythm. Stroke after stroke, slowly increasing his speed, finding ways to make Jack’s pleasure last for a while longer, Daniel repeated what Jack had done for him.
Except that near the end, when Jack’s rapid panting signaled his approaching climax, Daniel couldn’t take it anymore. He moved down when Jack thrust madly into his fist and waited, hovering over his cock, whispering filthy words, encouraging him to come. And when Jack’s cock swelled, Daniel took him in his mouth and sucked as if it were his last meal. Jack howled in response, his whole body rising off the bed as he came hard into Daniel’s mouth.
Daniel moaned, urging more as the come spilled quickly and dribbled out of his mouth. Daniel swallowed what he had in his mouth, but he didn’t bother to wipe his face, or let go of Jack’s cock as he continued to pump the orgasmic tremors from him. Quickly, before the sticky fluid went cold, Daniel moved up and kissed Jack hard, smearing the stuff around his chin and the sides of his mouth.
Taken by surprise, Jack brought his sticky hand into Daniel’s hair as a response, kissing him back fiercely as he turned them over and lay on top of him.
When the spasms subsided, and their kiss broke for air, Daniel began to wipe Jack’s chin and mouth clean. Meeting each other’s eyes, they grinned smugly at each other.
“That was intense,” Jack whispered.
Daniel nodded, his eyes twinkling. “We need another shower.”
Chuckling, Jack got up and pulled Daniel into the bathroom with him. They took their time, washing off the sweat and come, kissing to distraction.
When they were back in bed, and spooned with Daniel in front, Jack asked, “Forgive the question, Daniel, but how’re you feeling?”
Daniel squeezed Jack’s hand and leaned back against him. “Like I’ll be fine. Thanks, Jack.”
“All of it.”
“Even the arguing?” Jack grinned, leaning over him.
Yes. Even the arguing, Daniel thought, before he pulled Jack down for a goodnight kiss.