Summary: Post-The Shroud
… This is new …
Jack didn’t look around as he walked into the new apartment and followed Daniel into the kitchen. He knew they were both still processing what had happened and he didn’t exactly know what the hell to do to help Daniel through this one. He’d been trying to pick up clues but for once, Daniel wasn’t helping, and with the silence Jack had been getting from him, it was hard to tell what Daniel was thinking.
So, maybe distraction was best. Though Jack wasn’t altogether sold on the idea, it did have its merits, so while Daniel was busy fixing drinks, he allowed himself a brief diversion by taking the time to study his lover, which inevitably led to examining the clothes he now chose to wear. Jack had become accustomed to the tan trousers and plaid shirts over the years but he definitely liked the newer look: dark jeans, T-shirt, this one white, and that blue-black leather jacket he’d picked up during a visit to D.C. Jack remembered that visit fondly.
The tinkle of ice brought his attention back to the present and he took the drink Daniel offered. “Ya know,” he said, grimacing a bit from the burn of the alcohol, “that was the whackiest thing you’ve ever done.”
Daniel couldn’t argue with that and gave a single nod as he sipped at his drink and sat down at the breakfast bar that divided his kitchen and living room. He couldn’t help but wonder why it had taken Jack so long to say that. Normally, that would have been out of his mouth long before debriefing. And man, that had been a tricky one, what with Woolsey wanting blood. Daniel made a mental note to find a way to repay Landry for getting that man off the base.
“Daniel?” Jack asked, frowning a bit at the silence as he sat down on a stool next to him.
“Hmmm? Oh, sorry. Was just thinking of Woolsey.”
Jack snickered. “I gotta hand it to Vala, calling him weasel to his face.”
“She doesn’t pull her punches,” Daniel said admiringly.
“No. Bit like you, actually.”
“Me? Since when have I–“
“When she’s honest, she says what’s on her mind, regardless of the consequences.”
“She definitely does that,” Daniel said, remembering another visit to D.C.
“Again, like you.”
Daniel grinned darkly, now thinking of recent events. “Yeah. Mostly.”
Jack didn’t like the tone and needed to redirect. “Did I say that was one of your whackier ideas?”
“You did, yeah. Though technically it wasn’t mine but Merlin’s.”
“Splitting hairs, aren’t we?”
“No, it was his idea. Although I agreed with it.”
“Daniel,” Jack said, annoyed.
Daniel cringed, his own irritation rising. “Jack, I know what you mean. Just… leave it alone.”
He got up and walked to the kitchen sink, staring out of the window above it, and Jack watched his face and body language, guessing what was about to happen. Daniel would do his guilt thing and retreat for awhile, then he’d use this to fuel his resolve in beating the Orii army. It never seemed to end, either. If it wasn’t the Orii, it would be Ba’al. Why couldn’t he just live and let live? Jack knew the answer to that before the thought even finished, and berated himself for asking such a hypocritical question.
Moving past the uncomfortable thought, he let his eyes travel appreciatively over Daniel’s face. That Prior look was just too goddamn creepy. “I wish I could thank Merlin for sending you back in…”
Daniel turned his head to regard him, an eyebrow raised.
Jack gestured at him. “…your original packaging.”
Daniel snorted and looked down into the sink, into his glass, not really seeing either. “One of the things that really creeps me out about Adria is that she actually preferred that Prior look.”
“Yeah, well, the bitch has no taste,” Jack said, then paused, considering something. “Or had. Do you think she’s dead, being half Orii?”
Daniel shrugged. “I don’t know but I doubt it. It may sound harsh, but it would be better for all of us if she were. She was really…”
“‘Disturbed’ comes to mind,” Jack offered.
Daniel tilted his head, a sardonic smile on his face. “That’s one word for it. And of course it’s really rather common, isn’t it? The psycho-pathological mindset, the blind obedience to follow whatever chaotic impulses are–“
“Daniel,” Jack interrupted, getting up to go to him. Daniel wasn’t exactly shaking, standing there stock still, but Jack could see the pretense of stability, the sheer force of will he was using to act as if everything was okay. He stepped in behind and put his arms around him. Daniel tensed, but Jack could feel an infinitesimal amount of relaxation as Daniel accepted the strength of his arms, his body. He let the moment stretch to minutes, waiting for Daniel to relax just a little more, to get reacquainted with his touch. When he finally broke the silence, his tone was calm and reassuring.
“Think about it later. You need to let this go for now. Focus on something else.”
Daniel sighed deeply. “I appreciate what you’re trying to do, Jack, but it’s not that easy, and it feels like it’s getting less and less easy every goddamn time something crazy happens to me.”
Jack gave him a squeeze; a little reminder of support. “I know you can’t shut it off, but it’d be nice.”
“It’d be nice,” Daniel answered, turning his head just enough so he could feel the familiar angles and definitions of Jack’s face and neck. The tactile sensation of it was a soothing balm against the rage that was banked down inside him, waiting to be told when to flare.
“Would sex help?” Jack asked, squeezing again as he nuzzled Daniel’s neck.
Daniel leaned into him, turning enough to find Jack’s lips, and reached up to hold the back of his head as he pulled him down for a kiss. It was wonderfully connecting, warming his body better than the alcohol, but it still wasn’t enough to distract his mind from what he’d been through. However, Jack was very good at it. “Possibly. But I can’t promise.”
Jack suddenly latched onto a memory, something that he hadn’t let go of, though at the time, he’d purposely let it slide. And what the hell. It was as good a diversionary tactic as anything else. “I’ll make you a deal then,” he said as he brushed his lips over Daniel’s rough cheek.
“What would that be?” Daniel asked warily.
“If you try to put it aside for now, I’ll try to forget Mitchell’s pet name for you.”
Daniel bit his lips and tilted his head away slightly, looking down into his glass again. He started to smile, unable to help it. “He’s been calling me that since day one.”
“Why?” Jack asked, drawing out the word.
Daniel shrugged, and grinned like a man in trouble when Jack tightened his arms around him. He loved this. He missed it. “Because he likes me, and no, not that way, so don’t go there.”
“I wasn’t,” Jack lied. “He hero-worships you though.”
“He used to, but not anymore,” Daniel said with a sigh of relief, then grinned mischievously and turned his head again. “You, on the other hand…” He felt Jack’s hold loosen so he set his drink down on the counter and turned around in his arms, laying his hands against Jack’s chest and liking the feel of the soft navy cotton. “He’s still got that thing for you.”
Jack gave Daniel a wicked smile and looked down, considering where on Daniel’s neck he’d bite first. “Mitchell’s grown out of it.”
Daniel watched Jack’s gaze and felt the stirrings of arousal. He lifted his chin, giving Jack a little more choice. “No, I don’t think so.”
Jack leaned in, bending to lick along the right side of Daniel’s jaw. When he reached his ear, he latched his teeth onto the earlobe winking at him. “Why is it that you never felt like that about me?”
Daniel closed his eyes, loving the way Jack did this to him. “Because I know you,” he answered, then reached down between them with a firm, desperate touch.
Jack smiled against his ear and murmured, “Yes…”
It didn’t take long before he had Daniel half-dressed, his asshole slicked with oil, and one leg raised around his waist. Jack buried himself easily, moving slowly, and when Daniel said it was time, he slammed against his ass until the orgasm was pulled from his body like a thorn. Afterward, sweaty and breathless and clinging to the leftover pleasure, Jack hugged him fiercely. “Yes, you know me,” he whispered, then proceeded to distract him some more.