They were in Daniel’s stylish kitchen. Jack was more than a little envious of it. He thought about bringing it up but dismissed it. There was another matter on his mind.
“So …” he began.
“So?” Daniel asked. He jerked the spatula in a quick flip. He was making crepes for breakfast; more specifically, he was making them for Jack. His partner and team leader said nothing else while Daniel waited to turn it over. He slid the crepe onto a plate with others and redid the light butter coating. The recipe didn’t call for it and non-stick pans didn’t need it, but he liked the taste with the crepes he made for himself. Maybe Jack would too.
“I heard about the shootout at the baby snake OK Corral,” Jack finally said, getting to the point.
Daniel’s hand stuttered and the crepe went half out of the pan. He shot a brief glare in Jack’s direction. “Yeah. And?”
“How’re we feeling about that?” Jack asked carefully.
“We?” Daniel thought. He knew Jack was a bit angry with him even though he understood why he’d shot up a container of baby snakes, also known as Primta.
Unknowingly, Jack was thinking the same, but with an added cautiousness. When it came to taking actions without his consent, he needed to nip it in the bud before it got out of hand. Jack was freer with his command than others were, but no one should go off on their own based solely on their personal biases. Instead of shooting the container, they could have carted it off; Fraiser and others could have learned a lot from them and Teal’c would’ve had backups.
Daniel clenched his jaw, equally unknowingly mirroring Jack’s thoughts about the event. He said nothing though as he slid the crepe onto the plate, then turned off the stove and brought the plate to the kitchen table. Next came the bowls of cherry sauce, strawberry preserves, blueberry preserves, and whipped cream. That table had already been set, including placing the pots of coffee and iced water at the head of the table. He and Daniel typically sat opposite each other along the long sides.
“Let’s eat,” Daniel said, wishing Jack hadn’t ruined the morning.
With a sigh, Jack sat down and they prepped their crepes. Just before taking a bite, Daniel paused, fork hovering over his plate. He considered his words, then sighed again and ate the tantalizing bite.
“All you saw was death,” Jack said for him after finishing his second bite. He paused, savoring the flavors and textures. He made a mental note to suggest to Daniel that when he retired, opening up a small restaurant would be a good idea. The guy made mean breakfasts. On the other hand, it was one thing to make meals for two. It was quite another to make them for several dozen. Things just didn’t quite measure up, as if the increasing number of people diminished the tastes somehow.
Daniel sighed for the third time, nodding in agreement at Jack’s statement. He knew why Jack was mad and he could understand his position. Had he been thinking clearly, he would have come to the same conclusion. Take the snakes home and study them, putting aside several for Teal’c and Bra’tac.
They ate in silence until halfway through the meal. Jack could see how stiff the man had been holding himself.
“R’yac’s a cute kid,” he said.
Daniel’s tense shoulder and back muscles relaxed as he nodded, but they stiffened back up when he said a minute later, “You don’t need to tell me. It won’t happen again.”
Jack’s anger abruptly deflated and he realized that he had been holding his own muscles rigidly. He sighed too and gave Daniel a gentle look, nodded in response, and the two of them continued their breakfast in silence.
FIRE & WATER
It wasn’t making love.
Jack was on fire. And hungry. Daniel lay at his mercy, drowning in pleasure as his partner tasted, touched, massaged, bruised, ground, mashed, pounded, and flat-out consumed him as if it were the last time, as if it was the last thing they would ever do. Given the circumstances over the past three days, it wasn’t an unreasonable view.
Daniel lay panting in the afterglow, held tightly in Jack’s arms as his breath created moisture against Jack’s skin. He reached up and stroked the man’s damp hair, then dragged his nearly-non-existent fingernails through his chest hair. After a few long seconds of silence, he said, eyes searching for Jack’s, “That was intense.”
Jack let out a soft grunt and let go of him enough to look into his eyes. He then leaned back even further to stare at his face, taking in the curves and lines. “I had to make it really stick … in case …”
Daniel’s gaze softened. “Yeah.”
It didn’t need saying.
Neither did “Don’t do that to me again.”
Daniel realized that his body didn’t believe they were done. It was pent up with the need for more aggressive expenditures of energy. “Ever role play?” he asked.
Jack’s brows went up. “Seriously?”
“Answer the question,” Daniel said in the tone that also said, “I wouldn’t have asked otherwise.”
“No,” Jack drawled carefully, trying to discern what Daniel was up to … aside from the meaning of the question. There was also that look in his eyes that Jack had never seen before. “What’d you have in mind?”
Jack returned the “I wouldn’t have asked otherwise” look.
“I was just thinking that I wish what we just did had been my first time. And then I thought that I could pretend my first time had been with you. You know, reenact my feelings and such … if you’re interested in committing to stuff like that.”
“You know what I mean.” After a two-second pause, he added, “Tease.”
Jack gave him half a grin. “Would I have to get out of bed?”
Daniel gave a soft, breathy chuckle. “Roleplay has no rules unless you want to set a ‘time out’ word or phrase.”
“Isn’t that called a safe word?” Jack asked, liking this new side of Daniel.
Daniel eyed him. “We’re not doing BDSM. That’s what the safe word is for.”
“Ah,” Jack said, his eyes alight with mischievousness.
Daniel playfully pushed a fist against his chest. “You knew damn well what it was used for. You we’re just yanking my chain.”
“Maybe,” Jack said, then turned regretful eyes on him. “Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a while. You may be raring to go again but my energy needs refueling.”
“Copy that,” Daniel said, making Jack’s brows rise again. “What?”
“You just used military slang, Doctor Jackson. You feeling all right?”
“Don’t make abuse you,” Daniel said with a mock scowl.
“Pfft,” Jack teased. “As if.”
Daniel smiled but said nothing. He relaxed into Jack’s arms, who tightened them again. Thoughts whirled around Daniel’s mind as he recalled recent events, ones Jack did not know about. “I got a little tortured,” he said with a small shudder.
“What?” Jack asked, alarmed, and pulled back enough to give him a cursory look over Daniel’s body in case he’d missed bruises. He only saw the mild ones he had made.
“I allowed it, so it wasn’t really torture, but man it hurt.”
“Explain,” Jack ordered, tone hard.
Daniel grimaced, wishing he’d said nothing. In for a penny … “It was some sort of memory scanner, but a genetic one. He needed information about his mate and it was locked in the genetic code of my family. Or humanity’s family on Earth. I don’t know. But I gave him the information he needed.”
“Which was?” Jack asked, disturbed.
“That his mate was murdered by a Goa’uld several thousand years ago. In Mesopotamia, I think.”
“Jesus, he’s that old?”
“A genetic mind reader? That is completely, totally weird.”
“Not yet. Been sort of … processing.”
“Ah. After effects?”
“Headache,” Daniel said, then gave him a shy grin. “Which you made less painful, thank you.”
Jack grinned back. “You’re welcome. Just remind me that if we see him again, I’ll have to—”
“No you won’t,” Daniel said, rolling his eyes.
“No,” Daniel said, drawing out the word.
Daniel wasn’t in the mood for the usual back and forth. He sighed heavily. “I think he’s way stronger than he looks.”
“For a fish-man.”
“For a fish-man.”
Jack rubbed at his eyes. “God, we just used that term. Our lives are out there, you know?” and he made a sailing gesture with a hand.
Daniel nodded and his mind let go of Nem and returned to the earlier thought. “So.”
“How about a shower? I could get a little creative to help you, uh, revitalize.”
Jack started laughing. “It’s not the dick that’s the problem. It’s my knees.”
“Oh,” Daniel said, clearly disappointed.
“So, the … doer was on his knees when he broke your maiden?”
It was Daniel’s turn to laugh. “Your phrasing kills me.”
“I like to branch out.”
More laughter. “Okay. Well, yeah, that’s usually the position of the top, right?” Jack’s eyes were eyes sparkling, Daniel thought. Or maybe smoldering.
“You’re missing the point, genius.”
Daniel’s smile disappeared, trading places with a sultry grin. “Ohhh. So, on your side then?”
“Think you can fake it with a little twist in the facts?” Daniel gave him a small nod. “Okay. First, tell me the story. By the time you get through, I’ll be ready to undo and redo.”
Daniel made a face, cutting off the laughter that wanted to erupt. It was fought off by the deep heat spreading through him at the idea of their first role play. Their relationship could only get more interesting from there.
“So how old were you?” Jack asked.
“Um … twenty-three,” Daniel said carefully.
Jack’s eyes widened in shock. “What?”
“You thought I was twenty-five when we met, remember?” Jack nodded. “I was thirty. Imagine how young I looked when I was fifteen. At twenty.”
Jack winced. “Gotcha.”
“And the only men interested in a guy who looked like a teen …”
Jack scowled. “Creeps.” He gave Daniel a deeply sympathetic look that nearly bordered on pity. “So … who …?”
Daniel said airily, “A guy who looked exactly the same youthful age.”
Jack eyed him. “Was he?”
Daniel shook his head. “Two years younger, but he was experienced. But …” He let out an apprehensive sigh. “He majored in a vastly different area of study.”
“What’d he major in?”
It was Daniel’s turn to wince. “Uh. Engineering. And … ROTC.”
Jack burst out laughing. “Oh, a Mini Me!”
“Shut up,” Daniel said, coloring.
“So I wasn’t the first officer then. I definitely need to undo and redo.”
Daniel sniffed. “He wasn’t bad.”
Jack gave him a look and touched himself, making Daniel look. “Do tell.”