PAST & PRESENT
NOTE: I skipped “Forever in a Day” because there was really nothing to say. “The Dream” pretty much carried the day. Past and Present, however, needed a chapter.
Just six weeks earlier, Jack had had to reassure Daniel that he wasn’t Carter Two’s dead husband. That there was no love there. He had no romantic feelings for their Sam in any way, shape, or form.
Now the situation was reversed. And Daniel had no damn idea what to say that wouldn’t make Jack angry.
What happened between him and Kyra?
Not one thing.
Jack had jumped to conclusions. Made the Ass-umptions.
And Daniel had stupidly let him because he himself had grown angry, thanks to a build-up of emotions over the last several weeks. The slights against him had been irrelevant, but the slights against his professional value were another thing entirely. While Daniel felt he could easily be replaced, he was the guy in charge of the Anthro-Archaeo-Linguistics wing of the SGC. He’d built it from the ground up and managed it well, if he said so himself. But he was a civilian among soldiers who looked eighteen half the time and getting a haircut had only made it worse.
First, teasing about Aris Boch. Then the four-eyed insult nonsense that everyone heard about and thought hilarious.
Then he’d lost Sha’re.
Daniel knew his attraction was a rebound effect. He and Jack had their thing, but it was on the down-low, which made it illicit. Illegitimate. Not taken seriously. He loved Jack. Jack loved him. But it wasn’t an In Love situation anymore. Her death had shone a harsh light on it. Neither of them was locked into their relationship. They could see other people. It was just understood, right?
Yeah, until it actually happened. More accurately, when one of them thought it had. And Jack had.
“So why the game-playing?” Daniel asked himself. It was childish to punish someone who didn’t have it coming. Even more so in a relationship.
Which this was, dammit.
Daniel rolled over in his bed, brain wide awake. He lay there, staring at stars he could see through his window. The angle of the building cut off light noise and he could just barely see the twinkling lights of Cassiopeia without his glasses. He knew she was there by habit. She always showed up at 3 a.m. The Witching Hour. Apropos.
Daniel was jerked out of the quiet moment by the beginning notes of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance filling the room. His phone’s new ringtone for Jack. It was too tinny since it came from a tiny speaker. He wished it had arrived in full stereo with four wall-to-wall speakers. He wanted a kind of heart-pounding drowning. But. Ringtone.
He sighed and grabbed the phone.
“Hey,” he said.
“Hey,” Jack said. He sounded just as wide awake.
“I’m sorry,” Daniel said softly, the music still in his head.
“For what?” Jack asked evasively.
“Don’t,” Daniel sighed. Silence. Also apropos. “It never happened.” The silence expanded. The music in his head grew louder. “You assumed. I let you. I’m sorry.”
Daniel looked at his phone. Jack had hung up.
Irrational pique turned vicious and Daniel threw the phone toward his dresser … and the corner hit the mirror and cracked it. Daniel rolled his eyes and let out a tsk of disgust. “Fuck you too, I guess,” he said wearily and sat up. He felt like eating. Rolling out of bed, he put on his glasses and padded into the kitchen and opened the fridge. There was a package of roast beef deli meat, but he’d forgotten to buy bread for it.
“Screw it.” He took it out, made some Au Jus, and as it nuked, rolled up several slices. Once the juice was ready, he took it and the slices and walked out onto the balcony to watch Cassiopeia. The light was too bright from the streetlights below so he could just barely make out the nebula and galaxies nearby. How many worlds were there in those galaxies? Would they ever gate to them? Not unless they managed the power consumption required. And would he even be around by then? Maybe.
Several minutes later, Daniel finished with the meat and was still hungry. Maybe heat the oven for pizza? He went back in and checked the freezer to see if his eyes agreed with his stomach. He was dithering about it, thinking that maybe something else was quicker—like a Hot Pocket—when he heard the front door unlock and open. His eyes grew wide, and he stepped into the dining area, mouth falling open when he saw Jack walking around the bookcase divider to go through the living room.
“What the hell, Jack?” he asked.
The man said nothing and just kept moving. Straight for him. Daniel took a few steps backward, hating that he had no clue what Jack was going to do. And they call Daniel unpredictable. He realized he hadn’t gotten dressed; just stood there gawking in his pajama bottoms. Unlike Jack, who still wore what he had the day before. Green shirt, khaki trousers, leather jacket. Had he never gone to bed?
Daniel backed up a few more steps, intentionally or unintentionally heading for his bedroom. Jack grabbed him in his arms.
“Jack, wait a minute, I mean, I think—” Daniel began, but Jack’s mouth was on his, his tongue wrestling with Daniel’s, cajoling it into a fervent response.
Daniel met its sudden ferocity as if Jack were water and he’d been deprived of it. They walked backward into the bedroom and as Jack pushed Daniel’s pajamas off, Daniel was hurriedly removing Jack’s belt. Shirts were thrown off, the trousers discarded, and Daniel fell onto his back on the bed, crab-walking on his elbows, ass, and heels, his legs spreading even as he did. When Jack fell on top of him, capturing his mouth again, there was no thought to lube or condoms. Daniel found himself ready, knees wide apart and raised—and then Jack was pinning his hands overhead and turning him over, knees pushing between his thighs.
When he entered him, Daniel groaned and Jack responded in kind, going in with one long, hot slide and he didn’t waste time with a warm-up; he moved immediately into maximum gear, going deep, jerking his hips through hard thrusts that said not so much need as ownership.
“Yes,” Daniel managed, face mashed against the bedclothes, the pillows to one side. “Yes.” Drool slid out of the corner of his mouth as he took the pounding Jack’s emotions put into him. It was brutal and good, communicating with no need for speech.
Daniel let him know that the feeling was mutual as he turned over and wrapped his everything around Jack, taking all the non-verbal messages and giving them back. When the climax approached, both were grunting loudly through a kiss that never ended until the white-out pleasure forced their lips to part in several gasps of surprise.
“Holy shit,” Daniel said as Jack fell on top and rolled to the side, taking Daniel with him so he could remain inside.
“That,” Jack breathed.
Daniel waved his hand, making meaningless sketches in the air. Jack nodded and did the same. Daniel nodded back.
Jealousy. Sha’re’s loss. Kyra. All settled.
Sometimes a hand gesture is all that’s needed. Sometimes it’s a good hard fuck. And sometimes, it’s both.