Trinity 13: Le Masquerade 2
Part 2 of 2
Summary: It’s time for Le Masquerade…and later on, some special gift-giving.
Author note: show me a story with multiple characters whose names begin
with JA and JAC and I’ll show you an infuriating use of the backspace key.
Welcome back my friends
to the show that never ends
we’re so glad you could attend,
come inside, come inside.
Jack was eagerly greeted with a thump on the back as Jacob ushered him inside Hammond’s home.
“How ya doin’, Jacob? How’s Selmak?” It had taken Jack a while to warm up to the Tok’ra, but he finally had, at least to Selmak, and it was clear that Jacob appreciated it.
“I’m great and Selmak’s just fine, too, thanks for asking,” Jacob smiled widely. “Go back to the den and you’ll find your costume hanging from a hook on the bookshelf,” and as Jack sauntered off, he called after him, “Scotch or JD?”
“JD please,” Jack called back as he headed for the den. “Where’s the boss?”
“Here, Jack,” Hammond said as he approached from the hall, greeting Jack at the doorway to the den. He held out his hand and Jack shook it with an affectionate smile.
“How’re the girls doin’?” Jack asked, knowing that Hammond had likely been on the phone with them.
“Just fine, Jack. On their way to Boston to visit the ‘other side’ of the family.”
“Here ya go, Jack,” Jacob said, coming up behind him with a short glass of liquor. Jack took it, then clinked Jacob’s glass with it.
“Thanks,” and as he sipped, he caught the strange smiles on their faces. “What?”
“Go on in the den and have a look at your costume,” Hammond said.
Jack gave them both a suspicious glare and they laughed, gently pushing him into the den. Jack looked around, then caught something metallic and colorful to his right. When he turned, he choked on the liquor he was swallowing, then turned back around and pitched them a wide-eyed stare and pointed at the costume with his glass.
“You don’t seriously expect me to wear that…do you?”
Hammond pointed to the other side of the room. “There’s mine, Jack.”
Jack turned and looked. Hanging from another hook was one similar to his, but gold, and with different colored silk? cloth hanging from the shoulders of the ornate breastplate. His mouth still open in shock, he walked over to his own costume, fingering the materials, then walked over to Hammond’s costume and did the same. He turned around to complain, and found Jacob standing next his own costume hanging up opposite Hammond’s desk. It was a silver-colored cloth ‘spacesuit’, like one would see in a ’50s B-movie. Jack grinned, recognizing it from one of his favorite movies, ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’.
“I’ll trade you.”
“Not a chance, Jack.”
Jack gestured at his own costume. “I think I’d rather go as Harvey the Rabbit.”
“Jack, Harvey the Rabbit was invisible,” Jacob told him.
“My point exactly,” Jack replied.
Jacob smiled back and shook his head. “Selmak chose all of them, and this one for me because he has a wicked sense of humor.”
“Well…she was a she when blended with the previous ‘female’ host. Now, he’s with me so…he.”
Jack thought about it then grudgingly dismissed it. “A’right. So, you’re obviously going as Klaatu, and I’m going as…?” and he grimaced while looking at his own costume.
Jack’s eyes went up. “You’re…not kidding, are you?” He was going to ask otherwise but Jake was already shaking his head. He sighed and looked at Hammond’s costume, then Hammond. “I guess that means you’re…Caesar?”
Hammond smiled. “Good guess.”
“Better watch your back then, Julius,” Jack muttered as he stared at his costume.
“I’ll keep that in mind, Antony, as long as you remember not to fall on sharp objects,” Hammond shot back, amused.
Jack gave him a wry grin. “Thanks, Jules.”
Comically, he lifted the ‘skirt’ of his costume, causing Jacob and Hammond to snort. “What am I expected to wear under this?”
“Well…” Jacob explained in that dry straight-faced humor he had, “if we were in ancient Greece, nothing, but as we’re fortunately not, you can wear whatever you want…except no underwear.”
Jack couldn’t help but be irritated that Jacob and Hammond were actually enjoying his reaction.
“So…I can wear jeans underneath it?”
“No,” Jacob replied while Hammond stood by, grinning his head off. They were both expecting this and were actually looking forward to it.
“No,” and he and Hammond finally fell about laughing.
Jack eyed his ‘uniform’, then Jacob. “You know, if memory serves, Marc Antony was a General, and Jacob…you’re a General, and I…am not,” and he paused. “So…how about–“
“Ah, come on, Jacob.”
“That’s your costume and you’ll wear it with pride.”
Jack looked over at his boss. “A little help here, sir?”
“Don’t look at me, Jack. I’m the other one wearing the skirt.”
“Yes sir, but you’ve actually worn them before.”
“Traditional Scottish kilts, Jack. These are quite a bit different.”
“Jack, you’ll look great.”
“It’s cold out there,” he said, still trying to save himself and knowing it was a lost cause.
Jacob and Hammond exchanged wry looks, expecting that last argument. “We have overcoats to wear.”
Jack finally nodded, grumbling to himself as he looked his costume up and down. “Now I’ll finally understand what Sara had to go through in the wintertime.”
Jacob looked at his watch. “We’ve got to get there early enough, guys. It’s five o’clock and we’re expected at six. So…let’s get a move on.”
“What if it doesn’t fit?” Jack tried at the last, knowing the excuse was feeble.
Hammond snorted. “Jacob managed to get our sizes.”
“That doesn’t mean anything when wearing a skirt,” Jack complained, a long ago echo of Sara going through his head. He began to remove the costume from the hanger, by layers, and discovered…to his dismay…that there were undergarments. “What the hell’s this?” he asked and turned around to find himself alone in the den. Harrumphing to himself, he removed the thigh-length leather tunic that held the leather ‘skirt’, then the white tunic and silken rope sash. He shook his head, not liking the idea of wearing short…dresses. “Of course this was Selmak’s doing. Spiteful wretch,” he complained to no one as he finished his drink and set the glass down. “At least it’s not a toga, for cryin’ out loud.”
As Jack picked up the elaborately engraved belt that fit around the long silver breastplate, he finally caught what was hanging from it: a scabbard. Within the scabbard, a sword, colored blue, and silver…and judging by its weight, the metal was real. Panicking slightly, he hefted the breastplate and sighed with relief at the lightness of its metal. Thank Christ that wasn’t real. He set it down and went back to examining the finely detailed sword hilt, fingering the design, then withdrew it from the scabbard. It made a satisfactory metallic glide and as he held it tightly in his fist and made an arc through the air, he smiled.
Forty-five minutes later, Jack was waiting in the foyer, completely dressed…and feeling very underdressed below the waist. He also felt that there was something rather sexual about wearing this kind of ornate leather skirt and the sword at his side made that feeling all the more phallic. Jack snorted to himself, certain that Daniel would have kittens if he heard what he was thinking.
He looked down at his bare thighs, amazed that he could bend over and see them at all, considering the awkwardness of the armor that covered both front and back. Then the rude thought came to mind…of bending over while wearing this…costume. The next thought was of Daniel or Jason behind him, and he felt a flush of giddy warmth. Swallowing hard, he focused his thoughts immediately elsewhere.
Looking at his lower legs, he was gratified that at least the front of his shins and knees were covered by elaborately engraved metal guards. He kept gliding his fingers over the breastplate, finding that the pectoral design, complete with nipples, probably had a lot do with that sexual feeling he had. He also had this silly urge to constantly tweak at the nipples and forced himself to ignore it or he’d end up embarrassing himself. He fingered the royal blue silk cloak, pinned at each shoulder by clasps engraved with the head of a hawk. The length of the cloak itself caressed the back of his thighs and he was absolutely certain that had an erotic feel to it.
“Jack, you look fine,” Hammond told him, startling Jack out of his thoughts. “In fact, you look great.”
Jack looked over at him and smiled. “Thank you, sir. So do you.”
“Yes, George, you look superb,” Jacob replied as he finished arranging the silver belt on his costume.
Hammond’s costume was similar, only a light gold, and purple for the color of the silk cloth, as befitting the leader of the Roman Empire. The clasps holding his cloak at the shoulders were engraved with lions instead of hawks, and additional material draped between them, making a scoop over his chest. He looked at the guards over Hammond’s shins and felt a bit of envy that they seemed to be much better looking than his own…but of course, Hammond was Caesar, wasn’t he? Taking a final look at his closely-woven sandals, he also observed that Hammond’s covered more of his feet and felt another surge of envy.
Suddenly realizing that he was staring, Jack apologized. “Sorry, General, I’m feeling a bit…distracted.”
“I understand perfectly, Jack. My legs aren’t feeling too secure, either, but yours look better than mine.”
“For some reason, General, I’m not so much worried about my legs as I am…” and he cleared his throat, “having to take a piss.”
“Why do you think they didn’t wear much in the way of underwear?” Jacob replied with his usual light sarcasm.
Jack conceded that reluctantly. “I guess I’d rather suffer through having underwear on as opposed to having myself swinging with my skirt–“
“Whatever. I just know I’m going to have a problem…aiming…if you know what I mean.”
“Don’t worry, Jack. You’ll do just fine,” Hammond grinned.
“From your lips, sir,” but he couldn’t get the idea of aiming in the wrong direction out of his mind.
Jacob and Hammond exchanged another glance and both sighed with fond tolerance. Putting on their overcoats, they left for the ‘Springs’ Grand Ballroom downtown; Jack in his truck, and Hammond and Jacob in Hammond’s SUV.
As the two older men followed behind Jack, Jacob said, “You know, George. I never thought I’d say this, but I miss driving my car.”
Hammond snorted. “I bet you miss a lot of things, Jake.”
He nodded. “You have no idea.”
“No, but I can guess.”
As Jack drove on ahead of them, he was getting a bit more antsy. He wasn’t so sure he wanted Daniel or Jason or…oh hell, anyone…to see him in this get-up. He wondered how the hell the Romans could ever have been taken seriously. That thought brought the memory of something that Daniel had told him a long while back, something about the Romans and Greeks and other reasons for this type of armor. He grinned mischievously, then the thought of bending over came back to him and suddenly, he didn’t feel so uncomfortable. He was now glad for the free flowing battle skirt as it would now hide a multitude of sins, though he was glad to be wearing briefs instead of boxers; besides, boxers would have a chance of showing and wouldn’t that be embarrassing.
Thinking again of how accessible he was in his leather ‘skirt’, a thought of a detour to Daniel’s came to him. As quickly as that thought had come, he had another. He remembered that Daniel would also be in leather; but in leather pants. He grinned even more mischievously, knowing that leather pants would not be able to hide things as well as a skirt…er, kilt…would. Daniel may be able to tease him a little bit for his legs showing, but the thought of winding Daniel up in return, and giving him a constant hard-on in process, would make the entire evening worth it.
~ o~0~o ~
Jason pressed the buzzer to Sgt. Carmichael’s apartment and waited less-than-patiently, tapping his booted toe. When she opened the door, they stared at each other with the open jaws of pleasant surprise.
“Wow,” they said together, then grinned.
“You look…just like her,” Jason said.
“Thanks…and you…damn, never realized you were built like him, but I guess you are, aren’t you?”
“I think that was rhetorical,” Jason replied drily.
She snorted at him. “So…what’s the problem?” she asked, running a brush through her now very black hair. He noted that she’d rearranged her hair style to include the bangs over her forehead, which she usually kept out of her face.
“Hmmm? Oh, um, I need you to tell me what’s wrong. I’m looking in the mirror and I think I’ve got everything but something’s missing and I can’t figure out what it is.”
She set the brush down and circled him slowly. “Well…you’ve got the black leather arm gauntlets, the silver-studded leather jerkin with that overly studded belt he wears, and that high collar looks smart.” Jason snorted at her critique and she raised an eyebrow at him, then went on. “The earrings are right for the earlier costume, though you do know that he only wore the one earring later on – you know the one with the dagger?”
He nodded. “I know, but hoops are easier to wear and less…gaudy. I like that dagger but not on my ears.”
“Speaking of that,” she said and walked closer to push aside the button-free opening of his jerkin. “Do you have the dagger necklace?”
He held it out. “It’s not exactly the same, but it’ll work.”
She nodded and his bicep caught her eye again, so she reached out and squeezed the muscle playfully, making him fold his arm and tighten the muscle. She grinned teasingly at him. “Do that all night and I’m afraid you’ll have to beat them off with a stick.”
“What?” she sing-songed back. “You teased me, I’m teasing back.”
“Okay, fair point.”
She looked around him again…shaking her head. “The boots look fine, the pants look…more than fine…”
Jason grinned at her in appreciation. “I hope others think so.”
“Oh, he will, I assure you,” she commented with a knowing smirk. “Is the belt separate or…?” and Jason grinned again as he unhooked the belt, showing that it and jerkin were attached. “Well, that’s convenient…” she said, clearing her throat as the flash of abs he’d shown her were once again covered up. She came back around, folded her arms, and stared at his face, his hair. “Honestly Jason, I don’t see–” then she paused and frowned slightly.
“What?” he asked as she tilted his chin up with her fingers and turned his face one way, then another.
“Hold on,” she said and quickly left for the bathroom, then came back sporting an eyebrow pencil.
“What’re you doing?” he said, backing away as she raised it to his face.
She sighed at him and pulled him by his high-collared jerkin to the hallway mirror and turned on the overhead light. “Look at your beard and moustache. They’re a little…sparse. You need to make the hair look fuller and this,” she held up the pencil, “is how you do that. How do you think women make their eyebrows look like they do?”
Jason wasn’t going to dignify that with a response so he shrugged. She rolled her eyes and pulled him into the bathroom. “Here, sit on the counter.”
Jason started to but couldn’t…easily. “Um, hold on.” He unhooked his jerkin, then unlaced the first few eyelets of his trousers’ opening.
“Jason?” Cari asked embarrassedly.
He snorted. “I’m not dropping them, Cari. I just realized that I tied them too tight to sit comfortably.”
He rearranged his jerkin, leaving it open, then sat on the edge of the counter. She carefully held his chin while she ‘filled in’ his facial hair with the black pencil she’d bought for her own costume.
“You just coincidentally had a black eyebrow pencil?” he asked absently as he couldn’t help but stare at her.
She leaned away from him, smirking sarcastically as she pointed to her own eyebrows with the tip of the pencil. “These aren’t naturally black, Jason.”
Jason focused on the now-black brows. “Oh, ‘course not. Sorry, I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me.”
She went back to filling in his moustache. “Because you’re not female, that’s why. You don’t wear makeup. It’s one of the reasons I envy gay relationships. You don’t have to worry about that sort of trap to catch someone with.”
“You consider makeup a trap?”
“Yes, which is why I wear very little of it.”
“Stop talking now,” she ordered as she moved the pencil over the top of his mouth. “If you talk and I get a smudge, I’ll have to wash and start over.”
“You mean I’ll have to wash my face.”
“Talking!!” she scolded. “No, I mean I’ll be washing that part with a makeup towelette to get the messed up part off. Washing your whole face will just waste time, not to mention that it will make your skin red.”
He started to reply but at her warning glare, gave a rumble of understanding instead. She smirked mischievously at him. “If you keep trying to talk, I might have to resort to that age old method of making a man shut up.”
His right brow went up. She moved to work on his goatee, and told him, “You can talk now but only a little.”
“What method?” he said through his teeth.
“I’d kiss you.”
He blinked at the blatant flirt, and for a moment, he thought she was serious. She was still smirking at him, letting him know she was kidding, so he snorted lightly, puffing out air onto her fingers.
Trying not to move his jaw, he replied through clenched teeth. “Never kissed a woman. Be a first.”
Her eyebrows went up in surprise and she stopped for a moment. “Really?”
“Well there’s…incentive. Now…don’t you dare move,” she replied and went to work on the hair just under the corners of his mouth.
He had enough sense not to grin at that, though he wanted to. She had suddenly reminded him of Daniel during one of their little games…and for some reason, he wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing. Something else he noticed…and considering her proximity he shouldn’t have been surprised. It was her perfume.
When she moved away from his lips, he said, “You smell good, by the way.”
She gave him a half-smile. “Thanks. So do you…by the way.” A moment later, she announced, “Done,” and turned him around to look in the mirror.
He blinked a few times, then stroked the hair with his fingers and then looked at his hand, surprised to find nothing there. “I thought–“
“That I was coloring the hair?” she laughed. “No, Jason. Just making lines on the skin underneath. It gives the illusion of thicker hair.”
He raised a brow as he continued to stare in the mirror. “Cool.” He turned away from her and retied the lacings at his crotch, making sure they were a bit looser at the knot.
“You good to go?” she asked as he turned back around.
“Good,” she said as they came back out into the entryway between the kitchen and living room. “So, how do I look then?” she asked, turning round in place. Jason smiled and made the same show she had of examining what he wore. “Well, that’s the original battle dress she wore, and my personal favorite I might add, including the roman-styled skirt,” and he folded his arms and stroked his goatee, exaggerating his appraisal. To her, he suddenly looked like his character.
He ran his fingers over the gold and silver designs that engraved the black leather on her arms. “Those gauntlets, arm bands and…boots,” he said, looking down, “are simply perfect. Tell me,” he said with curiosity as his finger reached out to touch the center of her breastplate. “Is that little–“
She slapped his hand away. “Jesus, Jason, do you have to be such a fucking tease?” and she showed him that she did indeed have the short dagger that sat camouflaged between her breasts.
He laughed mischievously. “I’m sorry but I couldn’t help it.” He walked around her again, examining the shoulder pads that hooked to the breastplate, then reached up and fingered the sword hilt as the blade nested in the scabbard strapped to her back. “You look perfect, Cari,” he complimented, then, “Oh, where’s the uh…um…the round thing?”
She snorted and retrieved it from the kitchen table and attached it to the looped snap at her waist. She grabbed her purse and gestured him out of the apartment. As they reached the parking lot, she turned quickly, snapping her fingers in a panic. “Where’s your sword?”
“In the truck, Cari. Damn thing’s real, too.”
“This ain’t exactly tin on my back, Jason.”
He smiled. “I know, it’s very cool. Now…let’s go see if we can make an impression.”
She snorted as she went to her car. “With that ass, I’d say so.”
Jason paused, pursing his lips at her remark before getting into his truck. He finally realized why he liked her so much. She was a female version of Daniel…and that was very scary.
~ o~0~o ~
Janet kept adjusting Sam’s lapels while Daniel walked around them, still in tee shirt and boxers, making sure their flat-black suits looked ‘just right’ and their black leather loafers weren’t scuffed too much. He was amazed at how the shoes looked…feminine…now that they were on women’s feet. He looked up in time to see that Sam had finally had enough with Janet’s fiddling and was slapping her hands away from her tie.
“Would you stop that. I’m nervous enough.”
“You both look perfect,” Daniel announced, standing back and folding his arms. “Now, put on the sunglasses and those hats.”
They did and Daniel beamed at them. “Now you’re perfect.” He kept staring and smiling until he caught them smirking back at him. “What?”
Janet motioned at his clothes with a finger, then tapped her watch. “Don’t you think it’s time for you to get dressed or are you planning to go in your underwear?”
Daniel looked down at himself. “What? This isn’t a good look?”
Sam and Janet both refrained from obvious comment as they lowered the heads and looked at him over their glasses, giving him a taste of what he’d been doing to them for almost 6 years. He barked out a short laugh.
“Okay, okay. I’ll go put on some clothes,” he said, laughing to himself as he went into the bedroom.
He picked up the flat mud-brown leather trousers off the bed and smiled at the idea of Jason and Jack seeing him with them on. He slipped them on and fastened them, running his hands over their soft feel. They felt almost like suede. It was a good thing he’d purchased this costume because there was no way he was giving these trousers back. He turned to look at his backside in the mirror, grateful that his pair wasn’t baggy, like Harrison’s were. These weren’t too snug, but they did hug his ass just enough and it was exactly what he wanted. He pulled on the off-white cotton shirt, rolled up the sleeves, then tucked it in and looped on the trouser belt.
The brown square-toed boots were next and he pulled his pant legs down over them. Next came the second belt, the one carrying the holster for the Colt .45 pistol and the leather snap loop for his whip. Putting the gun, unloaded, into his holster, he picked up the very real bullwhip, coiled it, then attached it to the loop on the side of the belt. He took a long look in the mirror as he pulled on the second-to-last item – the coffee-brown leather jacket – then put on the dark brown fedora hat. He smiled, then passed his hand over his stubble, and nodded.
“Not bad.” He turned and exited the bedroom. “Okay, I’m ready,” he said as he walked out into the foyer. Sam and Janet came out of the kitchen, the two of them sharing a beer. Janet looked, and with beer in hand and a mouthful of ale, she started to cough. She swallowed quickly as she tried to speak.
“Holy shit, Daniel.”
His eyes went wide in concern, misreading both her and Sam, as Sam’s jaw dropped to the floor. “What?” he asked loudly. “I thought I looked good!”
The women swallowed. “You do, Daniel,” Sam said, finally finding her voice. “Really.” Both she and Janet took a deep breath, unable to keep their eyes off him. Daniel looked very good.
“Oh,” he said, looking down at himself, then smiled as he adjusted his belt. “So, we ready to go or what?” he asked, picking up his keys and stuffing his wallet in his back pocket.
Janet walked up and adjusted the angle of his hat so that it dipped just a bit more toward his right eye. “Yep, good to go.”
They stopped off at Sam’s and all three of them went inside.
“Teal’c, aren’t you ready yet?”
“I am not,” he said from the bathroom.
Sam started forward but Daniel held her back and handed her his hat. “Hold on. I think I know what’s wrong. Do you guys have that makeup used for bruises and temporary scars?”
With understanding, they both nodded. “It’s in the bathroom.”
“Okay, well, he’s probably feeling very nervous so let’s not crowd him. I’ll get him out here and you go fish out the right makeup.”
They nodded, trying not to smile at the idea of a man such as Teal’c worrying about his appearance. They couldn’t help but feel for the Big Guy, though, as his days of wearing his tattoo as an anthem against slavery were wearing very thin. He now just wanted the damn thing surgically removed. Janet had yet to schedule the time for a girlfriend of hers, a woman skilled in reconstructive surgery, to do it. The woman was a regular Air Force medical doctor, but she specialized in helping those in the military get rid of physical scars that were emotionally debilitating. Plus, the woman wasn’t SGC. That wasn’t exactly a problem as Teal’c’s tattoo could be explained away in any number of ways, but it was simply a matter of security clearance. Reconstructive surgeons weren’t high on the list of priorities when it came to checking people’s backgrounds. Therefore, Teal’c had to wait.
When Daniel walked into the bathroom, he found Teal’c trying to apply make-up, ineffectually, to his tattoo. Nope. He wasn’t ready. “Come on, Teal’c. We can fix that.” He took the big guy by the arm and Teal’c resisted, looking down at Daniel’s hand. “What?”
“You’re pulling on my arm,” he said, convincingly sounding like the cybernetic machine he was masquerading as. He also sounded very threatening and to others that would be a problem. However, Teal’c had never intimidated Daniel, and still did not, much to Teal’c’s annoyance sometimes.
Daniel levelled him with an impatient stare. “Come on,” and he yanked harder, pulling him down the hall and into the kitchen. Sam walked up to him, touched his other arm in sympathy, then leaned up and kissed him softly.
“Why didn’t you just ask?”
“Because I wanted to do this myself,” he replied stoically. Sighing, she, and Janet gallantly refrained from laughing at what he’d done and disappeared in the bathroom. Daniel sat down on the table, then patted the spot next to him, gesturing for Teal’c to sit.
“You’ll find out, Teal’c, that in matters pertaining to make-up, those two – like most other women – know best.”
Teal’c thought about it and looked at the women when they returned with a large plastic basket. He examined their faces, their eyes, and didn’t see anything different than what his own wife had used. He had noticed from TV, how the Earth’s cultures seemed almost obsessed with appearance.
“Why are the women of your planet pushed into wearing makeup more than men?” he asked. Sam and Janet had no idea how to answer that easily. While Sam used the makeup towelettes to remove the ungodly amount of light-skinned make-up from his forehead, Janet went to work. She picked out a small jar, removed the lid, then with a very small white makeup spatula, began stirring and loosening the paste makeup in the jar.
Sam looked over at Daniel for an answer to Teal’c’s question and instead of answering, he gave her an expectant look. Sighing, she tried her best. “Well, women have been pretty much brainwashed to believe that they need it in order to feel beautiful enough to attract a mate.”
Teal’c thought about that. “Do all of the women on your planet wear makeup?”
“No. Some don’t believe in wearing it, but they’re a very small minority.”
“Most of the time, Teal’c, that small minority has to do with a religious belief in not enhancing your body in any way.”
“I see. So this religious belief is not a majority belief?”
“I have noticed that some men wear makeup as well.”
Sam cast Daniel a look that told him he was doing just fine thank you and to continue. He smirked at her, then went on. “The ancient Egyptians used kohl to paint black around the inner lid of the eyes. It was thought to ward off the evil eye and cosmetically, to make their eyes look bigger because that was the fashion of the time. Both men and women used it equally. In ancient Rome, it was mostly women who used kohl as well as other makeup and that’s probably where the idea started for women to be the only ones who wore makeup.”
“What is that?” Teal’c asked, referring to the makeup Janet was mixing up.
“It’s a special makeup, Teal’c,” she answered, turned to him to show him more clearly what she was doing. “It’s meant for bruises and scars. This color should work as I got it last summer when my arms tanned quite dark while I was on leave. I needed to get a darker makeup to cover up the scar I got when one of those replicators attacked me when I was in the briefing room. Even if it doesn’t cover completely, we can stop on the way and get some dark powder.”
Sam finished and stepped slightly aside as both she and Janet applied the makeup with their pinky fingers. It took a few ‘layers’ to cover the gold, and the skin tone was just a bit too light, as Janet suspected it would be. It did look better than what Teal’c had tried before and Sam held up the hand mirror for him to check. He was pleased.
The two women then studied the rest of him, and though he looked like an ordinary guy – jeans, t-shirt, boots, and leather jacket – what he wore was exactly like that of the second Terminator. They looked at Daniel for confirmation and he nodded.
“Teal’c, you look cool.”
“And that is good?”
“Definitely,” Sam replied.
Daniel looked at his watch and stood. “We’re probably gonna be late, guys.”
“I know,” Janet sighed, “but at least we’ll be fashionably late.”
“How late is fashionably late?” Teal’c asked.
“Since we don’t have to be there right at six o’clock, anywhere from thirty to forty minutes after.”
“I suppose it doesn’t matter since Jack’s always complaining that I’m late anyway.”
Sam laughed. “And that would be because…”
“Because I usually am,” he said, as if it didn’t bother him in the slightest, and probably because it didn’t.
. . .
As emcee and creator of the SGC Charity Gala, Major Louis Ferretti was the only member of the SGC not in costume, even if he did refer to his formal wear as a penguin suit. His presence at this event made his feel as if he were a fully functional member of the SGC again. Tonight, he would do more standing and walking than he had in a while, and though his back would complain later, he did not mind in the slightest. In fact, he was looking forward to it, even if he would still be sore come Monday. Though his back had healed, he was physically not 100 percent, so instead, he had been appointed head of the SGC Security Forces as that duty did not require him to go offworld. That job kept him on his toes and he knew that on Monday, he’d probably be wishing he could have just stayed in bed one more day. However, he did have things to do. Plenty kept him busy.
Dressed in elegant black tie, Lou looked around as he made his way for the wide grand staircase that was the entrance and exit to the ballroom. He was anticipating the arrival of guests with great enthusiasm. This was his baby and he wanted to make sure everything went well. He had checked and rechecked the expansive 500-person room, making sure that the four reserved dining tables were properly set for General Hammond and any special guests he had with him. If Lou judged correctly, General Jacob Carter would likely be in attendance. He looked over at the section of flooring specifically separate from the rest of the room: the dance floor. Off to its right, the music booth, manned by a deejay whose orders were to play, not playact. He was to be invisible, not the main attraction. That was left for the guests. Turning around once more to survey the room, he nodded to himself, certain that the evening would be more than fine.
The night would not be overly long; only two hours, and was meant specifically for standing – for mingling, which is why only there were only four tables. This would force people to mingle, to socialize, to show off their costumes. Sitting down, a person could hide and Lou was not about to let that happen. When a person showed up, they would get something to drink from the long bar and snack buffet, make their rounds, and wait to see if their costume was chosen as Best Costume. After that, the evening would be over.
Until everyone arrived, Lou still had no idea who would show up, but he did know who had bought tickets to support the event. So far, he’d managed to raise $5,000 for tickets, and an extra $50,000 in private donations, the largest coming from the Bank of Commerce for Colorado Springs. As reward for their $25,000 contribution, Lou had decided that they would be recognized as the award giver. Though there was no ‘real’ award given to the recipient for Best Costume, the bearer would receive a white ribbon, printed with gold lettering…and a little bit of fame or notoriety, depending on the bearer.
Lou would likely surprise Jason because he’d roped his two team members, Lt. Kaufman, and Sgt. McCaffrey, as greeters – and as official name tag writers. Some costumes would likely not be obvious to anyone, so Lou had decided that it might be a good idea to have names written on special tags. Though a small thing, Lou had gone to a lot of time and effort to find the tags that could 1) easily be written on, and 2) would go with just about any costume. What he had found were three-inch rectangular black tags with gold borders. Special pens, with quick-dry metallic gold ink, would be used to write the names. To Lou, these tags were a hell of a lot better looking than the tacky white tags with black ink that stuck out like sore thumbs. Unless, of course, the costume was white. For that, he had ten of those white tags tucked away in the inner pocket of his jacket. He somehow suspected that he wouldn’t be using them and hoped he’d be right.
Walking with the help of a very stylish and ornately headed cane, Lou moved around the room, then grinned at Kaufman and McCaffrey as he walked up the stairs and joined them. They stood nervously on either side of the entrance, small tables beside them, holding the name tags and pens. They had not escaped the requirement for costume so they each had written their own ‘name’ and had stuck the adhesive paper to the upper right of their chest: out of automatic habit – it was where names tags went on class A and B uniforms.
He looked at Kaufman’s name tag, grinned, then looked at McCaffrey’s. “It’s a good thing you two have decent handwriting.”
Kaufman exchanged a smirk with his teammate. “We…should, Major Ferretti–“
“Aht!” he interrupted. “Lou for the evening, gentlemen.”
“Lou,” Kaufman corrected. “Major Coburn makes sure that he can read our handwriting so early on, he made us write our reports until they were, and I quote, ‘neat and succinct’, unquote.”
Lou laughed, nodding his head. “Sounds like Jason alright. The man has the script of a calligrapher.”
“What?” Lou asked.
“Not when he’s writing quick notes, he doesn’t.”
“Yeah, well, who could write well on back of a P-90,” Kaufman laughed in return. They shared a snicker at a mission memory.
Lou looked over their heads and saw cars arriving and looked down at his watch. 6:05 p.m. “Okay, now remember, if anyone shows up without a costume, leave them to me.”
Kaufman and McCaffrey smiled with understanding. They knew their former commander very well, and they knew he was fully prepared to rebuke anyone who appeared without costume. Anyone. Though no one with a ticket would be refused entrance, he felt a certain decorum needed to be maintained – which meant that if you showed without costume, you weren’t showing support of your fellows and deserved a verbal slap in the head…which is what they’d get from one Major Louis Ferretti.
Kaufman bit at his pipe while he pulled at his collar and Lou smirked.
“At least you’re not wearing your coat, Holmes, or you’d be a lot more uncomfortable.”
McCaffrey snorted and Kaufman gave him an amused scowl. “Watch it, Watson, or I’ll make you walk home.”
“Ah, I’m sure I could find someone to escort me home, sir.”
“And Mrs. Watson is okay with that?”
McCaffrey served the scowl back. “Very funny.”
Lou snickered at the two of them, then folded his arms. “Okay, so what’s the bet this time?”
They looked innocently at him.
“Come on, the two of you make bets at the drop of a hat, so what’s it to be this time? What costume will be the most copied perhaps?”
They grinned. “It’s the only likely bet, sir. Besides, we’ve both agreed that leather will figure prominently in one color or another, and there would be no way to keep count.”
As if on cue, the outer glass doors to the lobby opened, and two figures in black entered, then stepped through the open secondary doors. Neither Lou or his former teammates recognized the man behind the costume as he and his female companion walked up to them. They were dressed in ankle-length black coats, his dull and flat, hers bright and shiny. His t-shirt and trousers were black cotton; she wore a sleeveless black top and tight pants, both black patent leather. Realistic weapons decorated their waists as well as strapped to one thigh. Their boots clicked loudly as they walked through the lobby and through the wide open inner doors. Their short, black hair was accented by futuristic-looking black sunglasses so it was difficult to read their expressionless faces. It was obvious who they were dressed as, but even as Kaufman wrote out the name Neo on the name tag, and McCaffrey wrote out the name Trinity on his, they still did not know who Neo was until he spoke.
“Don’t you recognize your 2IC, Holmes, Watson, or your former third in command, Major?”
Lou, Kaufman, and McCaffrey blinked as Captain Alex Wagner took off his glasses and grinned at them. Then Trinity took off her glasses. They didn’t recognize her right away but she looked familiar.
“Gentleman, this is Dr. Amanda Billings, the gal that unknowingly loaned the digital camera to our intrepid team leader a few months back.”
“Oh yeah,” they said, finally putting name to face as they shook her hand.
“You look positively wicked,” Lou told them, then to Alex, he added, “And I hope that hair dye isn’t permanent.”
“It isn’t,” Alex grinned. “Fortunately, Amanda didn’t have to dye her hair…too much anyway.”
Amanda ran a hand over her neat short hair, then abruptly thumped Alex on the shoulder. “It was your idea, Neo. If I can’t get it back to my brown within a week, I’ll show you exactly how Trinity made those amazing moves when she kicked the life out of those bad guys.”
“Well, Neo, Trinity, if you get tired of your coats, there’s the coat check,” and Lou pointed to the right. “Now, others are arriving so go get a drink, have some snacks, behave yourselves and have a good time. Oh, and the cheese puffs things are great so go have some before they’re all snagged up.”
“Any other orders, oh former fearless leader?” Alex quipped. Lou shoved him in the back, smirking at him.
The next to arrive was Nurse Anders, dressed as Betty Boop. Her name was written and placed precariously over the right side of her low-cut red dress. They directed her and her escort, dressed in a 1940s suit, to the right of the stairs to the two coat check rooms, manned by civilian staff Lou had taken care of ahead of time. The young man and woman behind the counters took coats and wrappings not part of a person’s costume and gave checkout tickets in return. After giving up their coats, ‘Betty’ took the tickets, and the arm of her companion, and headed straight for the bar and snack buffet.
Kaufman and McCaffrey looked at Lou and all three shook their heads as their eyes followed ‘Betty’ and her companion.
“It’s very weird how much she actually does look like Betty Boop,” Kaufman said confidentially. All talk was soon diverted as more guests arrived, their name tags written, and appropriate directions given. As the immense room filled, the guests would turn to look toward the staircase to see who was arriving. Lou found that the staircase was perfect for showing off the arrivals as it was pretty much the centerpiece of the room, especially as it was accented by a beautiful long, red oriental carpet.
He turned his head toward the lobby as he thought he heard the sound of metal. His eyes widened as General Hammond, Jack O’Neill, and – as he’d suspected – General Carter stepped through the open doors.
Kaufman smiled and picked up a name tag. “And your name, sir?” he asked Hammond.
Hammond gave him that eagle-eyed look he sometimes adopted when he was considering someone’s execution. “Caesar, Lieu–” and stopped as Lou cleared his throat, gesturing to Kaufman’s name tag. “Excuse me…Holmes. That’s Caesar.”
Jack looked at ‘Watson’ and grinned. “That’s Antony. Want me to spell it?”
McCaffrey smirked. “I think I can manage, sir.” He handed Jack his tag and gestured ahead. “You look absolutely cool, sir. Have a good time.”
“Thanks…and I’ll try,” Jack replied drily, then smiled as he saw Lou. “You old dog, why aren’t you in costume?”
“I am. I am really Thor,” he said in a nearly monotone voice.
Jack was quick to react. “Thor! Buddy, what brings you here?”
“I have heard of these strange ceremonies but have never seen them. You do realize that you do not look anything like General…Marcus Antonius.”
“It’s the hair, Thor. Life with Dr. Jackson.”
“I see,” deadpanned Lou and he blinked.
Jack snorted along with Hammond and clapped Lou on the shoulder for a decent impersonation of the Asgard. Kaufman schooled his features and looked at Jacob. He had to ask.
“That’s a nice outfit, sir, but who…?”
Selmak couldn’t resist. “Klaatu. That’s K.l.a.a.t.u.”
“Of course, sir.” He wrote out the tag and handed it to him. “Have a good time, gentlemen.”
Lou escorted them to the top of the staircase as he gave them the same tips about the choice of snacks, which predictably had the desired result on Jack. The guests below looked up the ten-step flight and began to whistle, clap, and cheer, with some shouting ‘hail to Caesar’. Hammond made a respectable bow of his head.
“I’ll refrain from having everyone kneel,” he cracked and a round of relieved laughter greeted him.
Jack looked around before descending the stairs then turned back to Lou.
“Is Daniel here yet?”
“Not yet, sir.”
Jack nodded with relief at the answer, wanting to be there first, then pointed at the reserved tables as they got to the bottom of the stairs.
“General, if you and Jake want to sit down and take a load off, I’ll get you something to drink and a plate of snacks.” The two Generals agreed and made for the tables in the far corner of the room. Jack watched his two companions walk over and sit down as he made his way to the bar. He caught sight of ‘Neo’ and knew immediately who it was. It took him a minute to recognize Amanda, but he did and waved them both over. As he waited for his order of drinks, he began discussing the finer points of ‘The Matrix’ film with the duo.
At the entrance, more guests arrived and Kaufman and McCaffrey sent silent pleadings to Lou for help with name tags so Lou stepped up and did it himself. A loud echo of laughter was heard as SG-4, aka The Marx Brothers, stood at the staircase before descending. Bonnie and Clyde showed up – complete with Tommy submachine guns, and next came MSgt. Siler, dressed up as Peter Fonda’s ‘Wyatt Earp/Captain America’ character from “Easy Rider.” Though they all thought it, no one bothered to ask what motivated him into dressing up as a character from a movie that just so happened to be one of Major Samantha Carter’s favorites.
More people arrived, and Lou, Kaufman and McCaffrey were seriously considering grabbing a few guests to help write name tags. As it happened, a few more of Janet’s nurses arrived, in a group of three and dressed as 19th century nurses, and true to their profession, they offered their help. Lou couldn’t help but laugh at the strangeness of it.
Outside, in the parking lot, Jason took hold of Cari’s arm and said, “Shall we?”
“By all means.”
Lou was writing up ‘Dr. Frankenstein’ for Doctor Warner when he saw Kaufman drop his pen. When Kaufman didn’t pick it up, he looked over, then followed his gaze back to the doorway and damn near dropped his own pen.
“Cat got your tongue?” Jason said to him with a wolfish grin as Lou stared at his costume, then focused on his earrings.
McCaffrey found his tongue before Lou and Kaufman did, though he wasn’t sure how as his eyes were practically glued to Cari’s bustline…er, costume.
“And you would be?” he croaked.
She rolled her eyes, then in a decidedly superior tone said, “Xena. Want I should spell it for you, too?”
“No, no, I got it,” he said, writing out the name tag and then very nervously tried to figure out where to put it. She took it out of his hand.
“Give me that. I don’t think I need one…” and she stuck the thing under her breastplate, between her breasts. McCaffrey very smartly looked elsewhere.
Lou cleared his throat and nudged Kaufman to snap out of his shock.
“Sorry, sir…you look way cool.”
Jason smiled and inclined his head. “Where’s my name tag, mortal?”
With a continuous smirk, Kaufman wrote it out and handed it to him. “Here you go, my lord Ares.”
Jason affected a menacing look. “Thank you. Much better than ‘Mon Capitaine Levasseur’ wouldn’t you agree?”
Kaufman cleared his throat, too. “Uh, yes, sir.”
“Yes, sir…my lord Ares.”
Jason gave him a crooked smile and took Cari’s arm once more. “You just saved yourself hours of paperwork detail, Kaufman.”
Kaufman audibly sighed.
“So, you must be Mr. Sherlock Holmes, yes?” Jason asked, pretending he hadn’t just been calling him by his name.
“That’d be correct, Lord Ares.”
“So, if someone gets murdered, I supposed I can look to you to find the murderer?”
“That won’t be necessary, my lord, as everyone here will know it was you.”
Jason flashed a wicked grin. “How true, Holmes. Won’t be much detective work if you know who did it. I’ll attempt to cover my tracks.”
“Thank you, my lord,” Kaufman smirked sarcastically.
“Well, my beautiful Xena, let’s go check out the other mortals,” and he winked at Lou and got a snort in response.
“Watch it, Ares. I’m a mortal,” Cari snapped back as they walked toward the top of the staircase.
“And what a lovely…mortal…you are,” he added, leering down at her body.
For effect, and for giving Lou and the boys something to snicker about, she grabbed his ass.
Jason jumped and grabbed her hand. “Hey!”
She sniggered at him. “Keep up that the snooty attitude, Ares, and I’ll remind you just how bold Xena can get.”
He swallowed. “Point taken. Nice grab, by the way.”
“I know. Felt nice…by the way.”
Jason coughed. “Okay, okay, quit it.”
“What? It did. I’m a gal. I like guys,” then in a much lower voice, “so do you.”
He was so tempted to grab her ass in return but as they were on the stairs and in front of a lot of people, it wasn’t a good idea. He sort of valued his life. Hadn’t he been comparing her with Daniel earlier?
Standing near Hammond’s table, Jack was still arguing the finer points of the weaponry used in ‘The Matrix’ with Alex and Amanda when fifty percent of the noise level in the room dropped. He and Alex turned to look at the staircase, figuring that’s what the attention was on, and at first, he didn’t recognize who the costumed duo was. However, that lasted for about three and a half seconds as the pair descended the stairs. From the man’s stance and his walk, Jack knew exactly who it was…and a very slow smile spread across his face. He felt the water beading between his fingers and his bottle of beer as he got a very vivid image and had to sternly order himself not to go there. Apparently, his body wasn’t listening.
Alex’s brain bottomed out somewhere near the 30th parallel as he took in the pair. Getting over the shock of seeing his CO like that, his eyes then glued themselves to Cari…er, Xena. Amanda knew immediately who her girlfriend was and practically squealed with delight as she took off toward them.
Jason and Cari heard the hush and valiantly tried to look regal as they descended the stairs amidst a throng of cheers and catcalls. When they’d reached the main floor, Amanda came running up and hugged her friend.
“You look bloody gorgeous!”
“Thanks. I was afraid I’d either leave you speechless or rolling on the floor laughing your fucking head off.”
Amanda burst out laughing then. “Thirsty?”
“Let’s be off then, shall we?”
Jason raised a brow as Amanda all but forgot to greet him but shoved it aside with a grin as he nodded to others.
“Amanda…er, Trinity,” Cari said, and nodded at Jason. “Be polite and say hello to Ares.”
Jason looked down at her and Amanda’s jaw hit the floor when she realized who she was actually looking at. “Major Coburn?”
Jason gave her a predatory smile. “The name is Ares. You are…Trinity?” he asked, looking Amanda up and down before taking her hand and kissing her knuckles. Amanda practically went weak in the knees.
“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to ignore you. It’s just that Cari’s blown my bloody socks off.”
“As good as you look, you’re definitely forgiven,” Jason said smoothly.
Cari rolled her eyes. “Jesus, if it gets any thicker in here, I’m getting taller boots.”
“Hush up, my armored vixen, or I’m chaining you to the bed when we get home to Olympus,” and he received a gawk from Amanda and a thump from Cari. “You know,” he went on, stroking his goatee, “that’s actually a pretty good idea.” He was thumped more soundly in the back, which prompted him to swiftly grab her around the waist as they walked so that any more annoying thumping would be considerably lessened.
They’d made their way to the bar and were just getting their drinks and moving away when Amanda said, “You should see Colonel O’Neill. He is so hot.”
Jason was swallowing a mouthful and started to cough. He ordered himself that he’d have to stop this choking business. It was getting embarrassing.
“Where is he?” he wheezed, pounding his chest.
Amanda turned and pointed at the General’s table. Jason looked over and when a few people in the crowd parted, he found Jack looking straight at him…and his own knees went weak as he took in the extremely sexy form of the Roman General.
“‘Scuse me, ladies. I have to go pay my respects.”
Cari sniffed dramatically. “Dumped for an over-the-hill army officer.”
Jason looked over his shoulder. “Watch it, wench.”
Cari snorted at him, shaking her head. “You have so got it bad.”
He gave her a growl and kept walking. Amanda smiled at her friend, then looked around the room. “So, since he’s off the market, what do you say we go hunting?”
Cari smiled. “Sounds like a plan to me.”
“His second-in-command was watching you like a hawk, you know. He didn’t think I noticed, but I did.”
“Captain Wagner?” Cari asked in surprise.
“Yes. He escorted me here. We’re dressed as a duo.”
“I saw that. You look bitchin’.”
“Thanks. So does he. Did you notice?”
“I noticed. Now…do me a favor, Amanda, and leave the match-making to me. I have a few plans for the evening and you’ll have to promise me you’ll play along.”
Amanda made a cross sign over her heart and held up her hand. “Promise. As long as you take Alex home when you’re done.”
“That’s Trinity,” she sniffed haughtily.
“And Xena to you, smarty-pants.”
Jason walked over, a tiny smile on his lips for Jack. He stopped in front of their table, then crossed his right arm over his heart, gripped the hilt of his sword, and bowed.
“My Lords. You are probably the only three in the galaxy that Ares would bow to.”
Jack grinned. “What about Zeus?”
Jason snorted. “I pay no attention to him. He’s usually fawning over my sisters and that stupid half-brother,” and he paused. “Enjoying the evening, sirs?”
“Fine, fine,” Hammond said. “Nice costume, Major.”
“Thank you, sir,” then he whispered, “but please don’t call me that in front of everyone. I have a rep to protect, you know.”
“Watch that tone, Ares,” Jack answered for Hammond.
Jason neatly deflected. “So…where’s Cleo?” he asked just as Jack was taking a drink. Jack coughed and gave him a scowl.
“Off in Egypt protecting our property, I’d imagine.”
“Generals, if you’ll excuse me,” Jack said quickly, “I’ll take this rogue with me to go mingle with the masses.”
Hammond laughed. “Go ahead, Jack.”
Jack took Jason by the elbow and steered him out into the crowd. “What’s gotten into you, Jason?”
“Is that a trick question?”
Sighing, Jack gave up and couldn’t help but grin at his lover. “Try to behave yourself.”
“Anything for you, dahlink,” Jason replied and clinked Jack’s beer bottle with his own before taking a sip. Jack rolled his eyes. A couple of hours were going to feel like six.
“Oh, for a few seconds, I’ll behave. Besides, I’m Ares. I’m not supposed to behave.”
“You’re a God standing next to a Roman General. For the moment, behave.”
“Oh alright. Priss.”
As they traded insults, the two of them tried to look as regal as they could. With consummate acting skills, the effect worked. They were greeted with respectful smiles and Jason managed to both glower and smile with derision in equal measure.
“Villain,” Jack continued.
“You know that word?”
They lapsed into fits of quietly contained laughter, and as they recovered, Jack leaned in and whispered in his ear just as Jason was taking a sip from his bottle.
“Your sword’s bigger than mine.”
Jason recovered quickly enough to whisper back, “Wanna test that theory later?”
Jack chuckled. “Definitely.”
The images that came to mind made them both clear their throats. Their attention was soon diverted to the staircase as more guests arrived, met with appropriate – and not so appropriate – greetings from the crowd. Cari and Amanda came up from behind and Jason was startled slightly as Cari put her arm through his. Amanda smiled at Jack and the consummate flirt took her arm and gave her his most charming smile. Jack’s smile faltered slightly as he saw Jason looking at the two of them with some sort of cat grin.
“Nothing. Just thinkin’.”
“Ah huh. Stop it.”
“Amanda…sorry…Trinity, pay no attention to his growls and grunts.”
“Don’t worry, Ares. I’m only paying attention to that smile.” That earned her another one.
Jason was about to say something else but from behind, he heard a familiar voice ask, “So…this is the God, Ares, is it?”
He turned and found his 2IC staring back at him…dressed as the character in one of his favorite films. “Your powers of deduction are astounding. You must be Neo,” he said smoothly as he reached out and shook Alex’s hand. “I’ve heard a few things about you.”
Alex grinned back. “Nothing like what I’ve heard about you, if half those rumors about you and Xena are true.”
Jason eyed him carefully, not sure if Alex was talking about the character or himself. Cari was, however, and she stepped in front of Jason, bearing down on Alex.
She purposely stood defensively, crossing her arms as she leered. “Explain that remark, Neo.”
Alex blinked. “I don’t need to, Xena. You know them as well as I. Not that there’s any truth to them, but you know how people love to talk.”
She pretended to relax, then winked at Jason. “Who said they weren’t true?”
Jason refused to answer. Actually, he was trying to think one up but couldn’t because Jack was grinning at him like a piranha.
“Would you two stop fiddling? You’re making me nervous,” Daniel scolded as they walked through the doors.
“We’re not fiddling,” Janet protested.
“You are,” Teal’c asserted.
The women grumbled together as they neared the name tag team. Lou was at the head of the stairs and he turned to see the new arrivals. Smiling widely, he walked over.
“T-man, you look amazing,” and he shook Teal’c’s hand.
“Thank you, Major. You look most becoming yourself.”
“Thanks. Ladies, you look…stunning. As usual.”
Janet and Sam exchanged glances, then they both said, “Sweet talker.”
Kaufman poised his pen for Sam. “Your name?”
Sam stared straight-faced at him, affecting her new persona. “Jake.”
Janet looked at McCaffrey. “Elwood.”
Names written and tags handed over, they walked past, trying not to smirk. Daniel walked up and Lou shook his hand.
“How ya doin’, Daniel?”
“Great. How’re you doin’?”
“Very well. Give Jack any more grey hairs?”
“You should know, now that you’re head of security.”
Lou nodded. “A nasty job but…yadda.”
Kaufman handed Daniel his name tag, which read Indy, and Daniel placed it just under the lapel of his jacket.
“Well, time to brave the front.”
“That costume suits you to a tee.”
“Thanks.” He followed Janet, Sam, and Teal’c, but waited several feet behind for them to approach the landing, then descend. Other people were ahead of them, so he took his time.
Lou went through the outer doors and looked around, then returned.
“Any stragglers can be taken care of by just one or two greeters so…who wants to mingle and who wants to stay here?”
The nurses automatically volunteered for duty and since their handwriting was actually better than Kaufman’s or McCaffrey’s, he agreed.
“Go on, guys. Have a good time. It’s time for me to walk around and assess the best costume.” He walked over and waited behind Daniel, noting that Janet, Sam, and Teal’c were finally at the top of the stairs.
“Why aren’t you up there with them?” he asked Daniel.
“For effect. Don’t want to crowd.”
“Ah huh. You just don’t want to go up there, do you?”
Daniel grinned. “Oh I do, I do, really, it’s just that I’m suddenly not in the mood to hear the sarcastic remarks about looking for that damned ark.”
Lou laughed and clapped him on the back. “You’ll be fine. Besides, you can always take care of them with that whip.”
Daniel grinned somewhat cryptically. “I actually know how to use this, Lou,” and his remark made Lou laugh even more.
From the floor, a bit of silence came and then Sam and Janet were greeted with respectful enthusiasm while Teal’c rated a rather loud cheer. The stoic look Teal’c returned only made the crowd that much louder.
Jack looked up and saw Sam and Janet, and nudged Jason. “Check out Jake and Elwood.”
“Nice. T certainly has the look, doesn’t he?”
“Definitely. Let’s go say hi,” and they started forward, with Amanda and Cari following nearby, lost in a discussion of their own…until Daniel got to the top of the stairs and their jaws dropped into their drinks.
True to his personality, Daniel heard the silence, saw the people staring, and turned around to look behind him, sure that those looks weren’t meant for him. He was greeted with fond laughter and more than a few people shook their heads…and he then realized that the looks were indeed for him. He wasn’t clueless as to how he looked; he just did not expect that kind of response because it wasn’t warranted in his opinion. From those he saw in the crowd, there were much better costumes than his own.
“Nice whip,” someone said and short laughter ensued.
Daniel raised his voice to answer. “It’s mine and I know how to use it. So, if there’s anyone out there who works for me…I just thought you should know.”
He was greeted with nervous laughter, as some weren’t too sure he wouldn’t use it.
“Well, fuck me,” Jason whispered as he watched Daniel stop midway down the stairs instead of at the top of them.
“He will,” Jack replied with a very hungry gleam.
Jason groaned at the anticipation and neither took their eyes off Daniel for a moment as they picked up their pace.
Daniel was almost off the stairs when he spotted Jack and Jason coming through the crowd. His mouth went dry and he tried to clear his throat but couldn’t.
‘Good God, did they have to look so fucking good?’ his mind shouted. His mind took in the costume Jason wore…and flashed back to a conversation in bed about fantasies involving that Greek god. He felt very warm, and warmer still as his eyes tried not to focus on Jack’s…thighs…and the delectable promise under that leather kilt. His mind repeated, ‘Did they have to look so fucking good?’
It really was a stupid question, he thought.
He watched as they stopped and greeted Teal’c, slapping him on the shoulder, then exchanged compliments with Sam and Janet, and all the while, they kept sending him hungry glances. He knew them…and their hungry glances weren’t for food. If he survived the night, Daniel would consider it a small miracle, then considered what kind of fun it would be not to survive. His lovers made their way over to him finally and met him with grins while their eyes went over his costume.
“Hey guys,” Daniel said with a hint of a smile. “You look…good.”
“So do you,” Jack said mildly, and Daniel caught the smoldering behind his eyes. Jason’s weren’t smoldering. They were pitch black.
“You look just like him, Jason,” he said, squeezing his shoulder. Jason smiled and didn’t want Daniel to take his hand away but knew he had to. He touched Daniel in return and that brief moment left Daniel with a much warmer feeling, which turned decidedly hot when Jack repeated the gesture.
“Doesn’t he, Daniel? But you…you look just like Indy. And much as I’d love to stand here gawking in front of everyone, let’s get you and the others something to drink.”
A half hour later, the two teams, plus Cari and Amanda, were sitting at the reserved tables. Hammond and Jacob had felt just a bit out of sorts sitting by themselves, so they’d invited the two teams, along with their guests, to sit. Others were invited to sit at the remaining tables and had gratefully accepted.
Lou kept making his rounds, his enthusiasm infectious, and he’d stopped by the tables to assure them that they only had another half an hour or so to go before the evening would be complete and the award for Best Costume handed out. Making sure that General Hammond had whatever he required, he was off again.
The evening was enjoyable, if somewhat boring after all the surprises had worn off. The music played by the deejay was classical and included a few waltzes every so often so that those who wished to dance could do so easily. Finally taking the initiative, Sam took Teal’c out on the dance floor to attempt to teach him to waltz. In no time flat, he became proficient, having no problems picking up the steps. Janet got up and asked Jack to dance as well, but on the grounds that he didn’t know who would be leading, he declined. Not put off in the slightest, Janet asked Hammond and he accepted with his usual poise.
“You know, you could have said ‘yes’, Jack,” Daniel said watching the dancers through the crowd.
“I feel weird enough as it is, Daniel. I’m not dancing in a skirt.”
“Well, General Hammond isn’t having any problems.”
“That because he’s more secure than I am.”
Jason coughed, “Bullshit.”
“Can the remarks, wise-ass,” Jack tossed back.
“Leave my ass out of this.”
“I never said a word.”
Daniel snorted. “Jack, you just said–“
“Daniel, why aren’t you dancing?”
“Because no one’s asked me yet.”
“Well, go ask someone.”
“Nice deflection but it won’t work.”
“What won’t work.”
“I thought we were past that.”
“Nope, you just tried a segue that didn’t work, that’s all.”
“Daniel, let Jack be an ass. It’s part of his charm.”
“No, it’s not,” Daniel continued.
“I don’t mind.”
“Because I’m bored…and what I’d really like to do, I can’t.”
“Reach across the table and thump him one.”
“You could try,” Jack snorted with disbelief.
“Please, it would be too easy.”
“Oh no, my friend, I’m not so easy.”
“No comment,” Daniel said quickly.
“Two seconds, and I’d have you on your back,” Jason added.
“In your dreams, flyboy.”
“In my dreams, you’re always on your back.”
“Watch it. That could mean something nasty.”
“Only in your mind…Antony. Besides, you’re Greek and not supposed to mind.”
“I’m not Greek, I just favor Greek things.”
“Guys, I think we should change the subject before we get too entertaining,” Daniel warned, watching Kaufman and McCaffrey fall apart.
Ignoring him, Jack went on. “So Ares, why aren’t you dancing?”
“The God of War doesn’t dance,” Jason replied coolly, giving his teammates the evil eye which only made them laugh harder.
“Not up to it, huh?” Jack went on.
“You can’t dance.”
“I can. I chose not to.”
“Maybe a different kind of dancing,” Daniel jumped in.
“Dancing in the dark maybe.”
“Thought we were supposed to stay away from that?”
“It just occurred to me that maybe you dance only in the dark…where no one can see.”
“As opposed to watching you trip over your feet?”
“Unlike you, I can dance.”
“On the head of pin, no doubt.”
“That supposed to be witty?”
“I thought so.”
“Guys!” Sam cut in.
The three men went on and on like that until they were interrupted. Though they didn’t mind the pretense of arguing, sometimes the subtext of what they said became so blatant that Sam or Janet would chime in and break it up. The silence wouldn’t last too long though, and under the veil of testosterone, they’d start back up again, pretending to snipe or insult…but the conversations always ended up peppered with double entendres or blatant come-ons. Jason’s teammates, including Alex, didn’t care, either. They found the banter entertaining and kept falling apart in hysterics. Aside from the humor, all Jack, Daniel, and Jason wanted was to get home so they could say what they wanted to say and do what they wanted to do…and in proper and timely fashion.
During a round of storytelling between himself and Jacob, General Hammond looked up and saw the crowd parting slightly as a figure in a black cloak, carrying a scythe, walked toward his table, stopped, bowed, and took off his white, ghostly mask.
“Sorry, I’m late, General.”
Daniel had to put a hand over his mouth to keep from laughing at the ironic metaphor.
Pointedly ignoring his favorite son, Hammond stood up to shake the newcomer’s hand. “Glad you could make it, Major, but the evening’s almost over with.”
“I know that, sir, but I felt I had to show up anyway. Since I’d already bought a ticket, it didn’t matter if I was only able to be here for ten minutes. It’s the show of support that counts.”
“Indeed it does, Major. Thanks for the effort. I believe you know everyone.”
Major Paul Davis shook Jacob’s hand, then nodded to everyone else…until his eyes rested on Amanda. He held out his hand.
“I’m sorry, I don’t believe we’ve met.”
“Dr. Amanda Billings,” Daniel said, standing, “this is Major Paul Davis, our Pentagon Liaison. Paul, this is Dr. Amanda Billings, head of my research department.”
“Charmed,” Paul said, shaking her hand slowly.
In her Welsh accent, which drew a surprised smile from Paul, she said, “I’m sure.”
“Sit, Paul,” Daniel motioned, giving Paul his seat next to Amanda.
“Daniel, it’s not–“
“Don’t argue, sit,” Daniel said softly, and shoved Paul down in the chair. “I’ll get you something to drink. What do you want?”
“Uh, bourbon on the rocks, thanks,” he said before he could stop himself.
“Amanda, why don’t you fill Paul in on the work you do. I promise, you won’t bore him to death,” he said with a barely contained laugh. Amanda didn’t notice as it seemed her tongue was dragging on the floor.
Paul seemed just as smitten and his eyes never left Amanda’s until Cari touched Amanda’s shoulder from behind and leaned over, looking at Paul and winking at him before speaking in Amanda’s ear. “Soon as you find your tongue, honey, remember…don’t hurt him. Be gentle…and have him home in one piece.”
“Where’s the fun in that?” she said, giving him her undivided attention.
Jason sighed with heavy emphasis. “Damn it. Lost another one to the Grim Reaper. Don’t suppose you work for that other useless brother of mine? Hades?”
Paul laughed and shook his head, having to take a moment to read Jason’s name tag to know who he was. “Ah…no, Ares. I’m afraid that Hades doesn’t come up to my department.”
“Department? Figures. I knew he couldn’t handle everything.”
“Oh, I think he does, but he’s like the CEO, whereas I’m in…acquisitions.”
“You certainly are,” Amanda replied.
“Would you care to dance?” Paul asked. She did and after Jason took his scythe for him, off they went. Cari could see Amanda talking all the while and Paul seemed to be listening with fascination.
Cari rolled her eyes. “Well, they’re gone.” She turned to Jason and nudged him with her boot. “So…whaddya say Ares?”
Jason blinked. “What’s that, Xena?”
Jack paused in his conversation with Teal’c. He knew a tease when he heard one and it sounded as if Cari was about to liven things up. Maybe they could get their banter going again. Daniel returned to the table just then, setting down Paul’s drink, grinning as he looked out on the dance floor. He sat down next to Jason, in the seat he’d offered Paul, and stared at the scythe.
“That’s a new look for you.”
“Old look, new tool.”
Daniel laughed, bit his lips together and felt another round of teasing insults was due, but Cari had other ideas.
“Ares…” Cari nudged again.
“Let’s go dance.”
“I don’t know how to waltz.”
“Come on, Jason,” Jack teased, “Go dance.”
“Yeah, come on, Ares,” Cari implored in her own teasing tone.
Jason rolled his eyes. “I told you guys before and I wasn’t kidding. I don’t know how.”
Just then, a woman in a cream-colored 19th century satin ball gown, complete with full length gloves, walked up to Daniel.
“Would you care to dance, Doctor Jackson?”
Daniel smiled. “Gladly,” and he stood up, took off his coat and draped it over the chair, stuck his tongue out at Jason, then escorted the young woman out on the dance floor.
Even in boots that seemed larger than his combat ones, Daniel moved with expert grace around the floor while Jack and Jason watched with envy. Not that they necessarily wanted to dance with their lover; they just wanted to touch him. Their envy however was mostly because he knew how to waltz with perfect ease, unlike the two of them. Jack knew how, but he hated it. Jason – on the other hand – wasn’t just stalling Cari; he really hadn’t a clue.
Cari seemed to pick up on it and began to push him again. “Come on, Jace. Just move your feet like Daniel’s doing.”
“Cari, that kind of dancing requires a guy to lead, and I’ve never learned to dance that way, waltzing or otherwise.”
Cari gave Jason the evil eye as she stood up. “It’s not that hard. Are you saying that there’s something you can’t do, even as the great god, Ares.”
Jason grumbled…but didn’t stand. Jack prodded his foot under the table just as his team tapped the surface of the table, further encouraging him. Rolling his eyes, he relented.
“Fine,” he continued to grumble as she led him to the floor, “but if you guys laugh, I swear…”
“Relax, Ares,” Cari said. “It’s a slow dance and besides, we need to keep up appearances, don’t we, so I’d never purposely embarrass you.”
He didn’t buy it but put his fate in her hands anyway as they went out to the dance floor. He followed her movements as he placed one hand around her waist and the other in her hand. As they moved around the floor, he caught Daniel winking at him in encouragement so he did his best not to step on Cari’s toes. When the waltz was finished and they returned to their seats, Daniel clapped on the shoulder.
“That was pretty good, Jace. Well done,” and he started to remove his jacket from the seat he’d given up to Paul but Paul deferred to him.
“That’s okay, Daniel. I’m going to go over and talk to General Hammond so–“
“Hey now, no business, Paul.”
“No…no, business,” he said enigmatically.
“Paul…” Daniel warned but Paul put up his hand.
“No talk of budgets or missions, I swear.” Daniel backed off and sat down, seeing that Paul was adamant. Paul then looked down at Amanda.
“Should you need a ride home, I would be honored.”
“Well, I came with–“
“Aht,” Alex intervened. “I don’t mind, Doc….er, Trinity. I’ll be just fine. Not wounded, I promise.”
“Well, if you’re sure.”
With that, she nodded at Paul and he smiled before moving over to sit next to Hammond. The moment he did, the two of them became engrossed in a quiet conversation only Jacob could hear and well-versed with years of following protocol, he pretended not to hear anything.
Seeing that his discussion would remain a mystery…for the time being…Daniel decided to turn his attention back to Jason.
“That really was a good first time, Jace. Really.”
“Thanks, Daniel. Who was that you were dancing with?”
“Oh…Lieutenant Elana Erickson. She works in the cafeteria.”
Jack groaned. “NOW I know who’s been supplying the cafeteria with chocolate fudge cake lately.”
Everyone at the table turned to Daniel.
“What? She asked one day what my favorite cake was,” he said, covering. She had asked, but the truth was, Daniel had helped her with some study courses and she’d repaid him with cake…whether he wanted to be repaid or not.
“Uh huh,” Jack said disbelieving.
“Daniel, I think she likes you,” Sam put in, giving him a wicked smile.
“Sam, don’t you start. Yes, we’re friends. That’s all.” He’d also promised Elana that he wouldn’t tell anyone. For some reason he couldn’t fathom, she wanted it kept a secret so he’d done as she’d requested. Now, it seemed, that promise was backfiring on him.
“Uh huh,” Jason and Jack echoed.
Daniel made a sound of disgust before taking a drink from his glass.
Another waltz started up and Cari stood up and held out her hand to Jason.
“I hate sitting here. Come on.”
He eyed her as he stood. “Cari,” he drawled, “you’re up to something.”
“I am not.”
They kept arguing the point back and forth as they wove their way back to the dance floor. Daniel exchanged amused glances with Jack. They watched him and Cari move around the dance floor, losing sight of them periodically as people moved around them or those on the regular floor blocked their view.
As Daniel broke his attention from them, he noticed that a lot of others were watching the pair as well…or so it seemed to him. He caught Jack’s attention and motioned around them.
“They’re watching him and Cari.”
Jack looked around him, and his eyes rested on Kaufman and McCaffrey. “Huh. So they are. What the hell for?”
“They’re representing a fantasy couple a lot of us thought had great chemistry…even if they weren’t a real couple,” McCaffrey informed them. “I think everyone here is waiting to see if those two make it real.”
Jack and Daniel stiffened. “Make what real?” Jack asked, snapping more than he meant to and he sent a momentary look of apology to McCaffrey. “Make what real?” he repeated more kindly.
“That they’re a couple.”
Daniel’s eyes widened. “They aren’t,” he argued. “I’d have known if they were.”
“You’re not with him every moment, are you?” McCaffrey asked.
Kaufman gestured at the duo on the dance floor. “Can’t you see that they make a great couple?”
Daniel gave Kaufman a look of worn tolerance. “Al, they’re in costume, so of course they look like a couple. But not in reality.”
Alex nodded suddenly. “I agree with Daniel. I’d have noticed and they’re definitely not a couple.”
“Sure they are, look at them,” Kaufman served back. Daniel didn’t like the fact that people were pairing Jason with Cari…hell, with anyone…and it irritated the hell out of him. He couldn’t really blame people, but still. He exchanged another look with Jack, and Jack’s eyes told him he was just as annoyed. Not so much at Kaufman or McCaffrey but at what they’d said.
“Jeez, the rumor mill is rife, isn’t it?” Jack said drily. “Didn’t think you guys would pay attention to rumors.”
“We don’t, sir,” Kaufman said for both of them. “Not normally. It’s just that the mill has been rather active of late.”
“Kaufman, let’s just leave the rumor mill alone, shall we?” Alex said, his authoritative tone coming out in the words. Kaufman grumbled and McCaffrey shared his opinion. They couldn’t figure out why Alex didn’t agree with them. They all wanted their team leader with someone…specifically, with a woman. Not that they cared who he was with, but they cared about the status quo and until it changed, they needed to keep up appearances and right now, they were reminded that rumors about Jason were two-fold. One was with Cari…the other…with men. They knew Jason paid little heed to rumors but they’d been growing steadily worse about his being homosexual and they needed to protect him.
Like them, Cari knew the rumors as well. The fact that Jason hadn’t been confronted showed that not many people believed them, but the seed of belief was planted and growing. She liked her friend – hell, loved her friend – too much to let anything happen to his reputation or his job. Dancing with him on the floor, she moved her hand from his shoulder to the back of his neck and pressed in a little closer when she saw the eyes on them.
“Cari, what are you doing?” he asked, worried about literally stepping on her toes.
“A lot of eyes are on us, Jason.”
“That’s because there’s not many people on the dance floor.”
“No…it’s because they think something’s going on between us.”
“Yeah, well, it’s none of their business.”
“True, but just this once, you might want to dispel…um…the rumors.”
“Rumors? C’mon, Cari, you know I don’t–“
“I know, but guess what? They’re growing.”
“Sort of, but mostly about you being gay. I think one of the nurses started it.”
“When did you hear about this?”
“Last month? Why didn’t you say anything?”
“Because I wanted to see if the rumors would take off.”
“They haven’t, but they haven’t died, either.”
Jason groaned. “Great. So, they’re staring at us because…?”
“Maybe because we are a kind of fantasy couple come true; you know, that whole Ares and Xena thing.”
“Uh huh,” he said, grinning at her. “And?”
“And maybe they want to see us kiss; you know, the leader of SG-2 kissing a member of the Security Force.”
“They’re just wicked enough to want to see that whole ‘don’t ask-don’t tell’ thing blown to shit in front of everyone.”
“It wouldn’t exactly be like that as I’m not under your command.”
“Technically, but we are under the same command.”
“But you think we should do this anyway?”
“To get rid of those rumors, yes. You’re a good man, Jason. I don’t want to see your future blown to hell because of sexist rules.”
“Thanks, Cari, but I can take care of myself.”
“Yes, but as a strategist, you should also know when to make the enemy think you’re up to something when you’re not.”
He grinned and nodded. “That way, they don’t see what you’re really up to.”
“You sure it’s not more than that?” he asked, his suspicious and teasing brow going up.
“No,” she drawled. “Why?”
“Oh, I just thought maybe you’d like to use me to catch someone else’s attention.”
“Cari.” He was certain of it now.
“I don’t play that way.”
“No, I didn’t think you would under normal circumstances, but these circumstances are far from normal.”
“What are you saying?” she asked.
“Just that I’ve also noticed that the interest seems to be reciprocated.”
“What? Who are you talking about?”
“Cari, don’t be coy. I’ve noticed you watching him, and I’ve seen him watching back.”
She made a growling noise. “You’re too observant…in most areas.”
“In most areas, yes. This one, I’m certain of.”
“So…we do this?”
He thought about it and what she said made sense. For both reasons. The rumors and kicking a certain Captain in the behind. “Okay…yes.”
“When the music’s over.”
“No tongue but we can fake it. Agree?”
“This will kill two birds with one stone, too,” he told her in a mischievous tone.
She recognized it immediately. “You’re a matchmaker, you know.”
“Maybe. But you like him, he’s a standup guy, and…I think you can take him.”
“Sorry, bad choice of words.”
“That’s only because you’re a bad, bad boy. Does he know you’re a bad boy?”
She snorted. “Figures.”
“Remember what I told you in the bathroom of your apartment?”
“I remember, Jason.”
He stared at her, then groaned. “God, I’m more nervous than I thought,” he said, feeling his hands begin to sweat.
“Don’t think, Jason. Just do. Like on a mission.”
“Okay, bad example, but you know what I mean.”
The waltz suddenly ended and neither of them moved. “Ready?” he asked.
“Ready…and trust me, this is for your own good and no matter what, don’t push me away,” she whispered, then put her arms around his neck.
“Cari, I wouldn’t be that rude, and besides, Alex is watching and we don’t need to stoke his fires any further, do we?” and before she could answer, he kissed her…like a lover would.
Across the floor, at the table, Daniel and Jack’s mouth dropped open with everyone else’s, only for a different reason. Jealousy, plain and simple. Not until a few minutes later would they understand why their lover had done that; neither were stupid and both knew Jason very well. Something was up. Sam, Janet, and Teal’c were also not happy about the show being put on, but that was to be expected because they supported Daniel and Jack’s relationship with Jason. Alex Wagner was also not happy, but not for homosexual reasons; he was becoming smitten with Cari as Paul was with Amanda…and therefore, almost as jealous as Jack and Daniel were.
Back on the dance floor, the couple made it look good. Jason’s hands were on her waist and not wanting to put on too much of a show, he kept them there. He was surprised by the slight difference in her lips…a woman’s lips. She was soft, like Daniel, but there was nothing male about it. As a result, he was a bit relieved that he didn’t rise to the occasion because of it. However, he did rise…a little. He could practically feel his lovers’ eyes boring into him, and because of that – rational or not – he was aroused. He was suddenly aware of shouts and whistles around him and felt a flush rise to his cheeks. As he broke away slowly, he was a bit vindicated by the reaction on Cari’s flushed face as she let out a slow breath.
“Damn, Jason. No wonder he loves you.”
“Cari,” he whispered seductively, sending a chill down her back.
“Bastard. You’re incorrigible, you know that?”
“I know. Think they got the wrong message?”
“I believe so,” she said, biting at her lips.
“Good, and it had better be worth it ’cause I’m quite certain I’m going to get killed when I get home.”
“Oh, I think you’ll manage not to,” she said, rubbing his nose with hers.
“Now, do me and yourself a favor and take Alex home. Or at least, out on the next dance.”
“But the kiss…”
“Is just a kiss and will help level the playing field…so to speak.”
“No, think about it. We kiss, it interrupts the rumors, then you and Alex dance and a whole new set of them will erupt. A classic soap opera if you ask me.”
“Please…we’re already in one.”
He growled playfully at her before they truly separated and went back to their seats amidst another flurry of attention. They sat down, trying to ignore those around them, and didn’t dare look over at General Hammond. Jason pressed his lips together, then sucked up the courage and looked at the faces around the table, just as Cari was doing.
He saw understanding, and almost relieved expressions from his teammates, but the daggers shot at him by his 2IC were trouble. Jason dismissed it, however. He knew Alex would get over it as soon as ‘Xena’ made her move. Jason next caught the confused looks of Sam, Janet, and Teal’c, though Sam and Teal’c looked a lot more threatening. He did a double-take at Daniel and Jack, however. Their reaction was almost…nonchalant. Then he realized that they couldn’t glower or show concern…and somehow, that made him more nervous.
He was very relieved, however, when Daniel finally asked, “So, did you give them what they wanted?”
Jason picked up his drink as he looked at him, then at Jack, and nodded. “I think they got their curiosity satisfied.” He purposely looked at Alex then…and winked. Alex blinked in response, confused. Before he could say a word, another waltz began, almost in response to the previous action on the dance floor, and Cari stood up again. This time, she held out her hand to Alex.
Alex’s confusion became worse. “But I thought you two…”
Jason leaned over the table. “That’s what you were supposed to think.”
Alex cleared his throat and frowned. “Oh…um…so…”
“Excuse me…Neo…but do I have to throw you over my shoulder?”
Jason grinned. “Don’t argue with a woman who could as easily kill you as kiss you.”
“Oh well, far be it from me…” and he trailed off as he stood and took her hand.
After they left the table, Kaufman and McCaffrey sent their own confused expressions Jason’s way.
“But…we thought…” Kaufman began.
“Cari’s my friend, gentlemen. Not, I repeat, not my girlfriend.”
Their disappointment was palpable and Jason knew why. He knew his team almost as much as his lovers knew him. He didn’t want to say anything but he felt it necessary; for them, as well as his lovers. “Guys, though I appreciate it, your concern is unwarranted…now. I took care of it on the dance floor. May I also remind you and anyone else,” and his voice rose just a hair as he let his rising anger over the whole thing become apparent, “My love life is my own business. I could be seeing someone off base and you’d never know until I wanted you to know,” then he lowered his voice. “Hopefully that kiss on the dance floor put any of those asinine rumors you two are so worried about to rest,” and he sat back and relaxed, taking a sip from his beer and fixed his two teammates with that gaze that pretty much told them to back off or else. “So…we good or do I need to have another chat with you about privacy?”
They nodded guiltily for trying to interfere. “We’re good.”
“Great. Now…all I have to do is hammer it into these five that there’s nothing going on and Cari and I were just setting Alex up,” and he looked over at SG-1 and Janet. He gave Amanda a knowing smile, figuring that Cari probably told her everything and that Amanda likely couldn’t care less.
Janet held up her hand. “Not necessary, Jason. Although,” and she leaned across and took his hand, “If you want to increase the rumor mill, I’m game.” He almost, almost, took her seriously…until she winked at him.
“Thanks, Doc…I’ll keep that in mind during my next physical.”
That got the appropriately disgusted snort.
Daniel and Jack took in the actions and reactions and came to the same conclusion: that Cari and Jason had just torpedoed the shit out of those rumors they’d been wanting to ignore. The two exchanged looks of understanding, then looked over at Sam and Teal’c. They also understood.
Sighing with relief, Daniel raised his glass to Jason, and Jason looked puzzled but clinked it with his beer bottle anyway.
“Well played, Jace.”
“Indeed,” Teal’c said, bowing at him.
“Thanks,” Jason replied, getting a nod from Sam. He looked at Jack and though he was sure that Jack also understood, there was something underneath the surface Jason wasn’t getting. He was suddenly sure that no matter what, he’d get whatever he was missing from Jack when he got over to Daniel’s.
“Yes, Jason,” Jack said. “Well played.”
“You certainly had them fooled,” Amanda finally said, keeping one eye of interest on Paul. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to fool no one as I make my intentions clear,” and she got up and went over to Paul and held out her hand for a dance. Smiling, he excused himself from Hammond and joined her on the floor.
“I admire a woman who knows what she wants,” Jack said, raising his beer in a toast.
“Me, too,” Jason and Daniel said together, grinning at the coincidence.
“I concur,” Teal’c said, looking at Sam meaningfully. She grinned back, the pushed him in the chest with her fist. It was a playful, friendly gesture, but to her team, and Jason, they knew better. It made Jack and Daniel very happy that Sam and Teal’c had finally found someone to be with…and this one looked like it would be forever, just as their own would be.
About twenty minutes later, the music died. Lou was standing on the grand staircase, tapping a glass with a buffet fork to get everyone’s attention. “Can I have your attention please.”
The sound resonated in the large room and it was obvious that he didn’t need a microphone to make himself heard when he spoke, though he did have to raise his voice. As one of the nurses stood next to him, holding a white ribbon, he tapped his glass once more. Everyone at the tables stood up, relieved along with others in the room that the evening was finally at an end…and that it was still early enough to go out elsewhere.
“It’s time to bring this evening to a close, though anyone who wishes to remain can do so as the ballroom will be available to us until eleven.” The news was actually greeted with a bit of enthusiasm from about half of the guests. “And now, it’s time to give out the small, but illustrious award,” and he was greeted with a few bits of laughter, “given on behalf of the Bank of Commerce of Colorado Springs, for Best Costume. Now, as much as I would love to give this award to our esteemed leader, and General, you look mahvelous, dahling,” he added raising his glass.
A bit of laughter and several hear-hears echoed in the room while General Hammond raised his glass in salute back to Lou.
“I think that would be a bit biased. So, I’m going to give the award to someone else.”
A round of ‘awws’ greeted that statement.
“Having made my rounds carefully, and taking several factors into consideration–“
“Come on, Lou, out with it,” Jack said, his voice permeating the room like a drum. A few nervous laughs agreed with him.
“Thanks, Colonel. Just for that, it ain’t you.”
Laughter greeted that and Jack raised his voice. “I’m hurt…but not surprised.”
“The award,” Lou said, raising his voice, “for best costume must go to Captain…” and a few groans came from everyone who wasn’t a Captain, “…Jordan Bradshaw of SG-8 for her wonderful costume as Galadriel from the film, ‘Lord of the Rings’. No one knew you had that much hair, Captain.”
Laughter and congratulations greeted the woman as she wove through the crowd, her gown flowing easily with her. She bore a striking resemblance to Cate Blanchard, as well. She wasn’t used to the specific attention and blushed a bit, making her pale Elven ears stand out. She gave her thanks, received the ribbon, then tried to disappear back into the crowd. Unfortunately, no one let her as she was now the center of even more attention.
“Okay, folks, I’d like to thank everyone for coming and participating. We’ve raised over $50,000 for the charity so thank you very much for that,” Lou announced. A bombastic round of cheers greeted that announcement as General Hammond made his way to Lou and shook his hand.
“Well done, Lou,” he said with pride. “Well done.”
Jack gave him a good thump and vigorous handshake, as did Jacob, Daniel, Jason, and just about everyone else in the room.
“I’m looking forward to a good drink and to get the hell out of these clothes,” Jack said, sliding a quick, and very specific, look past Daniel, who didn’t miss it for an instant. “Jake, do you mind if I get these back to you tomorrow?”
“No, it’s fine, Jack. Rental for those is paid for. Just don’t get drunk in it or you’ll never get out of it.”
“Speaking from experience, I take it?”
Half the guests made their way for the main doors, though Paul Davis took General Hammond aside for a few words before he left, with Amanda in arm.
Outside, Cari took her leave from Jason. “Thanks for the uh…eventful evening…Jason. Now, if you don’t mind, I think that Alex and I are going out for coffee or something,” and she winked, looking over his shoulder.
Jason turned and found Alex walking up.
“You don’t mind if I take–“
“Aht!” Jason interrupted. “She’s not mine, Alex. She’s her own. But…” and he sent a wink back to her, “if you behave yourself properly, she may share.”
Alex grinned a bit nervously. “Yes, sir,” then walked to Cari, taking her hand. “So, how proper is that exactly?”
“I don’t know, Captain. I’m winging it.”
Jason’s grin widened as he watched them walk off, and when he turned, he found himself face to face with his other teammates. They were giving him concerned looks.
“Sir, we want to apologize.”
“No need guys, but if you keep pulling this mother hen shit, I’m going to return the favor tenfold, and trust me, you won’t like it.”
They cleared their throats. “Um, that’s okay, sir. We’re fine, aren’t we, Al?” McCaffrey stated. “And uh, we gotta go.”
Jason shook his head at them as they walked off. He thought he’d settled that crap when he’d been knifed those months back. He just had to accept that he had some good guys on his team and every once in a while had to put up with some mothering. If he were straight and not dating, he had an idea they’d be just as bad. rumors flew no matter what you did and all he had to do was have a talk with them in a few days on the art of stomping down the rumors. He didn’t get to be Major without knowing how to do that.
Sighing, he walked toward his truck and spotted Jack and Daniel next to Jack’s. Watching them, he felt the warmth inside him building again. That wasn’t true. It had been building all night, but he’d been having to stifle it again and again. The idea of not having to stifle it any longer made the heat that much sweeter.
“Hey,” they both said.
“So, Daniel…we still meeting at your place for dinner?”
“You bet,” Daniel said, smiling provocatively.
Jason swallowed. “Then I’ll see you there.”
“You following or are you going to be a while?” Daniel asked.
“You have dessert?”
“Then I’ll be there as soon as.”
He walked…or rather, to Daniel’s mind, he strutted, to his truck. Daniel cleared his throat and gave Jack a smile and a onceover before he went for his car. “I’ll see you,” he said, making a little wave of his hand.
“You bet your ass,” Jack grumbled, watching him walk away.
~ ~ ~ o~0~o ~ ~ ~
Leaving the door unlocked and grinning about it, Daniel went to his bedroom, hung the jacket up on the special hanger and stashed the hat away. He liked the hat well enough but truthfully, he hated wearing hats, and though he really liked the jacket, he didn’t want to be careless with it. It was, after all, seventy years old. Unbuttoning his shirt, he scratched at his face as he made his way to the bathroom. The scruffy look was fine for some guys, but it bothered the crap out of him. He washed his face, then set to shaving and was halfway through when he heard the door open.
“Damn it, Daniel. You left your door unlocked,” came the expected growl.
“I left it open on purpose, Jack,” he said, drawing the razor over his chin. Jack appeared in the doorway and smirked at him.
“I thought so. Do me a favor and stop for a sec and help me out of this damned armor. It’s driving me nuts.”
Daniel smirked at him as he looked over the shoulders, frowning. “How the hell does this thing come off, anyway?”
“Don’t ask me. Jacob was the one who helped me with it,” Jack said irritably as he tried to feel for catches.
“Yeah, well, between you and me, I’m glad he’s not here.”
Jack cast him a sideways grin but before he could answer, they heard the front door slam shut.
“God! Why does every asshole have to be out driving tonight!” Jason loudly complained, making the two in the bathroom grin broadly. “Where the hell are you guys?” he continued as he walked down the hall. “If you guys have started without me, so help me–” He cut off the rest of that threatening sentence as he came to the bathroom and saw the two of them…still dressed. “Oh. Hey…” He took a look at Daniel’s face, half-covered with shaving cream, and smirked with understanding, then looked at what they were doing…or rather, were trying to do. “Want some help?”
“Please?” Daniel asked. “Help him get that damn thing off while I finish shaving.”
“Okay. Come on, Jack,” he said, turning around and going back to the foyer and then into the kitchen. Jack followed.
“Why not the bedroom?”
“You want me to take this off in the bedroom?” Jason asked, giving him a seductive smile.
“Yes,” Jack drawled, making it sound like his suggestion was the most obvious.
“Okay,” Jason replied, turning round and leading Jack into the bedroom. “But I’ll have to turn on the overhead,” and with that, he did. They both squinted until their eyes became accustomed.
“You’re taking all the romanticism out of it.”
Jason grinned as he pushed Jack to sit on the bed. “Just wait.” Standing in front of him, his belt was right in front of Jack’s face and Jack couldn’t resist leaning in to kiss the available skin just above the belt, within the buttonless jerkin. Jason inhaled and stepped back slightly, only to be stopped by Jack’s hands on his ass. “Jack,” he warned. “Do you want this off or not?”
“Who says I can’t play while you do that?” Jack argued, keeping his hands where they were, loving the feel of the soft, black leather.
“Not me,” Jason grinned at him as looked down over Jack’s shoulders, examining the catches on the shoulder epaulettes attached to both the front and back armored plate. “There has to be some sort of clip or hook.” His arm gauntlets, almost forgotten, were decidedly in the way as their silver studs caught at the fabric of Jack’s cloak. Grinning, he paused, taking them off, watching Jack’s eyes follow their removal. He dropped them to the floor, then pushed Jack’s legs apart and stood between them as he unpinned the cloak and dropped it onto the bed. “There’s that out of the way…but what about these?” and he bent down, tapping the shin-guards. Jack grinned at him.
“I think you’ll have to get to those first,” he said, his smile showing devilish meaning. Jason raised a brow, then slowly sank to his knees between Jack’s legs.
Jack only smiled.
“Well then,” Jason smirked, bending to his task as he ever so slowly unbelted the straps that held the guards in place. His fingers purposely touched under the exposed thighs, in light contact, before he moved the left guard away. Firmer touches over Jack’s calf muscle followed, then another caress over the top of his knee. His deliberately slow movements were driving Jack nuts, but he loved it, nonetheless.
As Jason removed his right shin-guard, Jack could smell the scent of his hair and breathed in deeply. When Jason stood up once more, between his legs, Jack couldn’t resist another deep breath, inhaling the fragrance of Jason’s skin, along with the smell of the leather. “You smell good,” he said softly.
“So do you,” Jason breathed. Jack’s aftershave and the smell of his hair wafted up to him as well as a bit of musk and sweat, smells that were distinctly ‘Jack’ and aroused Jason constantly. He found the connecting clip and with a strong nudge, had it out of its slot. “There’s one.”
“That’ll do,” Jack replied quickly as he was assailed with this overwhelming urge to glide his tongue up the bare sternum in front of him. “Now, turn off that damn light while I undo these side lacings,” and as he moved to do that, Jason playfully slapped his hands away.
“No, no, my General. I’m doing this,” he said, then turned on the table lamp before he moved over to turn off the overhead. Returning, he slapped Jack’s hands away again. “What did I just say?”
“Tsk, tsk. One day as a god and you’re already giving me orders.”
“I’m the God of War. I’m always giving you orders,” Jason grinned at him. He had the side laces undone and slipped the whole breastplate off through Jack’s left arm and set the thing carefully onto the chair by the dresser.
Daniel grinned, listening to them as he shaved. The closeness that the two men had achieved together still amazed and gratified him; the one thing he found that he loved doing was watching them. Sometimes, as if watching a film, he became lost in it – like now. He realized his hand was paused in mid-air, and smirking to himself, he went back to shaving.
“There.” Jason stepped back and took a good look at the sleeveless leather tunic and its skirt piece. “Looks good on you,” he said clearing his throat.
Jack leered at him and pulled Jason, by his belt, back to him. “I think it’s my turn. You know, I’ve always had this fantasy about Ares.”
“Really?” Jason said, starting to pull away as he started to unhook his sword belt. Jack slapped his hands away and did it for him, setting it and the sword on the floor, then unhooked the belt to the jerkin, slid the whole of it off his shoulders and laid it next to his sword.
“Really,” Jack replied huskily as he passed his hands over Jason’s abdomen and chest. Jason shivered as his nipples hardened and he suddenly inhaled as Jack slid a hand over his crotch to caress the outline of his erection. He nipped at his abdomen, moving lower towards his partially-hidden navel. Jason wound his fingers through Jack’s hair, closing his eyes and biting his lips while Jack teased and aroused.
“Jack,” came the whisper, then Jason suddenly straddled him, and sat onto his lap. “Jack,” he barely whispered once more as he took Jack’s head in his hands and kissed him hard.
Daniel finished shaving and continued to watch their actions through the two open doors. Rewashing and drying his face with a hand towel, he walked to the bedroom door, leaning against the frame. He didn’t want to disturb them, and they knew he was content enough to watch. When he wanted to join in, he would.
Jack broke their kiss, gasping, running his hands up and down Jason’s back. Jason opened his eyes and looked down, needing to touch him, to touch skin.
“Let’s get this leather thing off,” he breathed, his fingers finding the clips on the shoulders and unlocking them. “Come on, General,” and he moved off him and pulled Jack to his feet. Jack growled, pulled Jason into arms, then threw them both onto the bed, with Jason partially underneath him.
“Mine,” Jack whispered before locking his lips to Jason’s, searching out his tongue. Jason wound his fingers through Jack’s hair once more, moaning through the fiery kiss.
Daniel was mesmerized watching them. He folded his arms, biting his bottom lip, becoming further aroused. An idea came to him as he watched Jack caress Jason’s cock through the leather and he wanted to interrupt but watching them was much more fun…for now.
“Jack,” Jason tried to talk as Jack’s lips moved to his ear to play with an earring.
“What?” Jack replied, breathing hot against his skin, sending shudders through Jason as his tongue enticed and his hand caressed between his legs.
Daniel had had enough with watching. He pulled off his boots, then walked over to the bed, leaning over Jack. “Jason’s right. Let’s get you out of this, shall we?”
“Okay,” Jack replied, but he didn’t stop what his mouth was doing as he moved down over Jason’s chest, sucking on his nipples.
“Come on, Jack,” Daniel said, pulling Jack back on his knees. Jack gave a growl of complaint but didn’t stop Daniel from removing the leather tunic and tossing it to the floor. Once off, his lovers took in the white cotton tunic…and the thin silken sash around the waist. Jason ran his hands over the bare thighs kneeling between his own, watching as Daniel’s hands came around front to remove the sash and toss it onto the bed. Daniel kissed along the side of Jack’s neck, making him tilt his head back and groan while his hands moved downward, sliding over the tunic to meet Jason’s hands briefly before he moved them up, taking Jack’s tunic with them. Jason smiled at the show of briefs and wasted no time in caressing the obvious erection bulging beneath them.
Jack’s mouth dropped open as he moaned, giving himself over to his lovers’ touches. Daniel kept up his caresses as he slid the tunic up over Jack’s chest, then ran his hands over the pectoral muscles, pinching the nipples to hardness, bringing another moan from Jack’s throat.
Jason ran his fingers teasingly over the shaft, wanting, needing, to get the briefs off that covered it, but he didn’t want either man to move while he did it. “You don’t need these briefs, do you, Jack?” he whispered, continuing to caress up and down the hard outline of his cock.
“No,” Jack gasped without looking down at him. Jason grinned with feral excitement. What neither of his lovers realized was that he held a long, and very real, dagger inside his left boot. Raising his leg, he retrieved the blade, then carefully pulled at the waistband as he cut.
Upon hearing the rending of cloth, Jack finally looked down, and then froze in surprise. Daniel looked over his shoulder and his own excitement grew as he froze, watching Jason’s hands…and the knife that he held.
“Don’t move,” Jason warned softly and slid the flat of the blade under the left leg opening and pulled, making a small slice. He repeated the same thing on the other leg, watching Jack’s face all the while, making sure he was okay with what he was doing. He started to replace the knife back into his boot when Jack grabbed the wrist of the hand that contained the knife. He stared down into Jason’s eyes, making him hitch his breath at the feral light that gleamed dangerously back.
“You like living dangerously, don’t you?” he asked, both excited and slightly concerned by what Jason had just done…and what he’d let him do.
“I knew you’d let me. I’d never do anything you didn’t want,” Jason breathed back.
Jack released his wrist. “I know.” Placing the knife back into his boot, Jason slowly ripped the material.
Continuing to caress Jack’s skin, Daniel observed them and sensed a sudden animal intensity fill the air. He soon had confirmation of that as Jack moved from his touch.
At the sound of ripping material, Jack dropped forward on one hand and grabbed Jason behind the neck with the other, making him gasp in surprise as he pulled his lips to his own. He whispered against them, his dark eyes burning with hot intensity.
“There’ll be payback.”
Hitching his breath again, Jason started to close his eyes. “I can’t wait.” He opened his mouth and Jack consumed him. Jason was on fire now, as was Jack, and after quickly dispatching Jack’s briefs, he tried to unlace his trousers. Jack suddenly dropped him from his grasp to slap his hands away.
“I want you,” Jason argued, moving his hands back to his pants.
“You will get me, just not right now,” Jack argued back and slapped his hands away again. Jason growled a protest and received Jack’s tongue in his mouth in response.
Daniel suddenly pulled Jack from Jason, gaining a groan from both of them, then pulled the tunic over Jack’s head, throwing it to the floor.
“Jace, move further back but stay on your back,” Daniel told him and Jason complied until his head lay near the edge of the other side of the bed. “Jack…move with him and remain kneeling between his legs.” Daniel’s voice was low and husky, but not authoritative. The suggestions he made were just that. Suggestions. He reached to his left, under the pillow, and retrieved the lube, then quickly moved to his feet, and removed his trousers and socks…leaving his unbuttoned shirt on.
Jason pushed up on his elbows, looking at each of his lovers alternately, his gaze hungry. Daniel’s cock was seductively inviting, partially hidden by the long tails of the shirt. Jason’s eyes widened as Daniel retrieved a cock ring from the drawer and slid it on, then moved up behind Jack, pressing and rubbing against him. Jack leaned back into him, taking Daniel’s hands in his as they roamed over his chest. The feel of his shirt aroused Jack even more, and he suddenly turned his head to find Daniel’s lips, which had no trouble locking onto his for a long, deep, sensuous kiss. Jason didn’t wait and took hold of Jack’s cock, stroking slowly, firmly, building him for release. Jack broke the kiss, gasping, closing his eyes as Jason’s exquisite touch took care of him.
Daniel bit under Jack’s ear, then down along the shoulder. “Straddle his hips, Jack,” he whispered as he looked directly into Jason’s smoldering eyes. As Jack did so, it opened him as well. Continuing to look at Jason, Daniel lubed his fingers, then gently pushed Jack on all fours and touched his opening with the tips of his fingers. Jack moaned, arousing Jason to action.
“Yes,” and he pulled Jack onto him, seeking out his mouth, his tongue, his tonsils, while his hand continued to jerk him off.
Daniel moved his fingers in circles, pushing the tip of one inside to tease, moving back and forth. Jack growled into Jason’s mouth, and as Jason’s hand tightened, Daniel shoved his finger deep inside, wasting no time at all in fucking him with it. Jack’s hips moved back, raising his ass, and he broke away from Jason’s kiss, panting.
Jason pushed up on an elbow, reaching after him, his lips locking onto his throat, biting, and kissing. “Fuck him, Daniel,” he breathed against Jack’s skin. “I want to watch you fuck him.”
Daniel smiled through a haze of lust as he was already lubing himself. He positioned his cock and pushed, sheathing himself slowly as he grabbed hold of Jack’s hips.
“God, yes,” Jack gasped and closed his eyes as he was doubly pleasured by his lovers.
Daniel began to thrust in slow, circular movements, driving deeper into his lover. Jack leaned onto his forearms, shuddering as Daniel hit his prostate and Jason tightened his fingers around his cock. Knowing Jack was already close and knowing he couldn’t do this for long – not and take care of his plans for Jason – Daniel no longer hesitated and began to piston his hips.
Jason saw the look on Jack’s face and knew it was time. “Daniel, do it, make him come,” and he kissed Jack fiercely, matching Daniel’s thrusts with his hand. “Come, my baby, come in my hand, come for us,” Jason spoke between fervent kisses and smiled with satisfaction as Jack moaned loudly, his body jerking from both Daniel’s thrusts and his rapidly moving fist.
Jack’s orgasm hit him hard. “Oh God!” he gasped as he dropped his face into Jason’s neck, biting at the taut muscle. Jason stroked his hair, his back, as Jack’s body practically vibrated as he came over his fingers and stomach.
With equal satisfaction, Daniel bit his lip as he slowed, then stopped, willing himself not to come, even with the cock ring. The sex toy was meant to slow him down, but it hardly ever prevented him from coming anymore, especially when he was this aroused. He withdrew slowly and Jack collapsed to Jason’s side, panting through the afterglow, willing his heartbeat to calm. Jason leaned over and kissed his damp lips, licking the salty sweat from them. He smiled at him as Jack opened his eyes to look at him.
“Looks like Indy got you first, General.”
Jack smiled and nodded, still breathing too hard to speak just yet. Daniel, however, had no such problems as he knelt over Jason, carefully making sure he didn’t rub against him. He wasn’t worried about soiling the leather. He was worried about coming over him. If he rubbed, he knew he would.
“Hello, Ares,” he said, grabbing the back of Jason’s neck just as Jack had done and pulled him up to meet his lips. Jason pushed up to meet him, sliding his tongue around Daniel’s, taking in his sweet taste. “I think it’s time for the God of War to get what’s coming to him,” Daniel replied, pulling away. Jason eyed him warily, knowing that tone in Daniel’s voice meant mischief.
“Daniel?” he asked. Daniel smiled and let go of him, then grabbed the sash that Jack had worn, and straddling Jason’s hips, took his hands and began to bind his wrists. Jason swallowed, watching him, his heart racing with excitement. Finished, Daniel held his tied hands up for Jack, who pushed them over Jason’s head.
“Don’t move,” Jack whispered, then gave his bound lover a fierce kiss as he reached out to explore and tease with his fingers.
Daniel closed his eyes and slowly removed his cock ring, hissing as the blood flow receded and his dick softened. When he opened his eyes and looked down, finding Jason getting the life kissed out of him from Jack, all he wanted right then was to bury himself inside his lover, but…he had other plans.
Lowering his mouth to Jason’s stomach, and smiling as Jason moaned in surprise while his lips were still locked with Jack’s, Daniel made his way down. Soaking the leather with his busy tongue, he then teased the lacings with his teeth, enjoying that he was making Jason squirm. Holding onto his thighs, he settled his body between Jason’s legs and got down to the business of driving his lover insane. Mouthing the leather over the straining outline of his cock, Daniel made Jason gasp and beg, watching smugly as he clutched the sheets with his bound hands. When he thought Jason couldn’t take it anymore, and feared he would come inside his pants, he unlaced the front, then pulled the trousers down over his hips. Straddling his legs, he grinned at both Jack and Jason as he took the knife from Jason’s boot.
“Don’t you dare move,” he warned. Jason’s eyes went wide as Daniel brought the blade to his boxers and made short work of them as he carefully slid the flat side of the cold metal against his skin, slicing the waistband, then down along the seams. Dropping the remnants of his shorts to the floor, Daniel crawled over Jason and ran the blade very carefully up his stomach, resting it between his pectoral muscles.
“Daniel,” Jason gasped, aroused, and excited as Daniel repeated the slightly new and different play.
“Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you.” He suddenly picked up the knife by the blade and threw it. It sunk to the hilt into the drywall over the head of the bed. His lovers followed him with curious eyes as he turned his attention back to Jason, lying down next to him, leaning over, as if to kiss him. Instead, he pulled Jack toward him and kissed him hard, having Jason watch…and squirm beneath them as both Jack and Daniel’s hands fondled him, caressing his balls, his cock. Breaking the kiss, Jack leaned over and took a swipe over his navel, tonguing the ring and sending shockwaves through Jason’s body. Jason would have shouted had Daniel not chose that moment to kiss him deeply, his tongue searching out every surface of Jason’s. When Jack’s mouth found his cock, he let out a high-pitched moan of need and want, trying to spread his legs for more contact but couldn’t.
Breaking the kiss, Jason gasped, “Daniel, get these pants off me.”
Daniel shook his head. “I need you bound and…they’re helping.”
“Daniel,” Jason asked again, but didn’t press. He wanted to know what Daniel was going to do but didn’t want to find out with words. Daniel knew this, too. Pulling Jack’s mouth from Jason’s cock, Daniel kissed him fiercely, tasting Jason’s pre-come on his tongue. He released him slowly, almost reluctantly, before taking Jason’s pants down a little more, then turning him onto his stomach. Lubing his fingers once again, he teased Jason longer than he had Jack, making Jason strain to open his legs. Jack ran his tongue over the top of his buttocks, then travelled up his spine, sending shudders throughout Jason’s body. Jason moaned, clutching the bed sheets while his lovers pleasured him, getting him ready. Pushing two fingers in, Daniel opened him up, slowly fucking him as Jack caressed his balls. Panting harshly, Jason tried to move back toward Daniel’s fingers, but Daniel forced him back down as he removed his fingers and sat back.
Jack kissed him passionately, then broke away and with the lube, coated Daniel’s cock for him as he kissed him again. Daniel stilled his motions, knowing that if he didn’t, he could easily be lured by them. It wasn’t what he wanted. Right now, he needed to take care of Jason, to finish this interesting game. He pushed Jack to lay down next to Jason, the ran his hands covetously over Jason’s ass as Jack leaned over to nip along his nearest shoulder.
“Jack…Daniel,” Jason begged.
“It’s time, Ares,” Daniel informed him, his voice deep and filled with lust. Pushing slowly inside, Jason moved his ass up to meet Daniel’s cock, trying to find a way to open himself. When he was balls-deep, Daniel began to grind, pushing Jason into the mattress, making him gasp with need.
“Daniel, damn it,” he cried out, desperately needing to spread his legs, but the contradictory excitement that grew inside him at not being able to made him want more.
“Doesn’t it feel good, Ares?”
“Yes, damn it! Yes,” Jason replied, getting more aroused as Daniel treated him as if he were Ares.
“I’ll bet you’ve never had a mortal do this to you, have you?” Daniel whispered, laying completely over him, giving Jason a few teasing thrusts before grinding into him again.
“No, never,” Jason panted.
Spreading his legs outside of Jason’s and sliding his arms underneath to grab him by the front of his shoulders, Daniel began to pump his hips in a slow, hypnotic rhythm. Over and Over. Grinding, circling, building up the sweat between them. He nipped at the back of Jason’s neck, making him drop his forehead to the bed, groaning.
“Oh God, Daniel…” he gasped. Because he couldn’t open his legs, Daniel’s cock felt large inside him and he loved the feeling. Despite that, he tried to raise his ass, to open himself, but his body was trapped by Daniel’s weight and Daniel’s thrusts.
“You want more?” Daniel asked against his neck, his voice rough and hard-edged.
“Fuck yes,” Jason choked.
Daniel smiled against his skin, then moved back and tightly held onto Jason’s hips as he rolled them to the side, facing Jack. Jack pulled his bound wrists down in front of him, then leaned in to nip at his chest, his nipples, gaining a moan from Jason’s throat.
“Shove his pants down to his boots, Jack, then take his cock,” he said breathlessly, closing his eyes as he regained his rhythm, increasing his speed little by little. Jason tried to assist Jack but his hands weren’t able to cooperate. The moment his knees were somewhat free, he tried to open them, but was still restrained.
Jack gave him a filthy, lustful grin. “Need some help?” and watching Jason’s face, he took his cock in his hand and stroked firmly, but in time with Daniel. Jason leaned forward to kiss Jack but was interrupted as Daniel’s cock finally rubbed against his gland. He bit his lip and moaned loudly, closing his eyes through the exquisite torment.
“Feel good?” Daniel asked.
Jason nodded, his wordless voice giving assent.
Then Daniel thrust hard, pulling Jason’s hip toward him as he did, and Jason dropped his mouth open for an even louder gasp.
Jack got his attention as he tightened his fist, squeezing his cock as his hand sped up, making Jason groan louder. Daniel watched Jack’s hand, then gave him a lustful, approving grin just before he tilted his head back and moved harder, faster, feeling his orgasm imminent. Panting faster, his breathing matching Daniel’s thrusts, Jason only wanted more and Jack gave it to him as he stroked, rubbing firm, maddening circles over the head of his cock.
“Come for me,” Jack encouraged, biting along his jaw. “Come for me.” He nipped harder as his teeth moved over Jason’s throat. Jason closed his eyes, gasping through the need that built inside him as Jack’s hand taunted him, competing with Daniel’s speed and strength. Suddenly, he felt that heat climbing and exploding out of him. That wonderful, magnificent heat.
“Jack…Daniel, yes!” Jason cried out, his eyes wide with surprise as he went rigid, spurting his intense release over Jack’s fingers.
The tight muscles of Jason’s ass gripped Daniel hard as he slammed into him, his climax blinding everything as he let go, pouring long and hard inside his lover. Jack continued to stroke Jason, bringing out a whimper from his throat as the touch from his caressing hand grew sensitive and acute. Jack smiled as he withdrew his hand, loving how he made Jason twitch and tremble just by the touch of his hand.
Daniel pulled out and slumped against Jason’s back, winding an arm around him. He suddenly caught the look of mischief in Jack’s eyes. Jack had just remembered the endearment Jason used on him and he smiled back at Daniel as he leaned down, kissing Jason’s lips.
Jason kept his eyes closed, waiting for his body to calm when he felt Jack’s lips on his own, then Daniel’s at his ear. He smiled without opening his eyes, without saying a word. But Jack didn’t have a problem speaking. He leaned across, kissed Daniel’s lips, then pulled back a bit to tease an earring between his teeth. Jason could sense the man was up to play so he waited for it.
“Jace?” Jack asked.
Oh, here it comes.
Jason groaned, knowing Jack would use this on him for a good six months. “I had a moment,” was his only excuse.
Daniel bit at the back of his neck, right at the spot that tickled, not aroused, when bitten in a certain way and Jason shied away from them both, shivering. “Damn you,” he whispered through a half-smile, rubbing at the back of his neck…then realized it was the hand that had Jack’s semen coating it. He looked at it and groaned, gaining tiny laughs of amusement. “Oh, you think that’s funny?”
“Very,” Jack deadpanned.
“Ha, yeah, very funny,” Jason growled at him and scooted to the edge of the bed. Wiping his hand on the sheets, he pulled his boots off, then his trousers and stood up.
“Up for a shower anyone?”
Daniel removed his shirt and threw it on the floor, then lazily snuggled against Jack and sent Jason a smug look.
“Nope, not yet.”
Jason looked at Jack, his brow raised. Jack shook his head, grinning and pulling Daniel against him possessively. Pursing his lips, Jason left the room, an evil idea forming in his head.
Jack looked at Daniel, then kissed his lips softly. “You know, he’s up to something. He didn’t go into the bathroom.”
Daniel lifted his head and looked, seeing the bathroom door open and the room empty. He frowned. “You’re right.”
“Of course I am.”
Daniel snorted and hit Jack’s chest with the heel of his hand, then slid that hand up to cup the back of his head, pulling him in for a long kiss. Their kiss deepened and they soon forgot all about what Jason might be up to.
A few moments later, Jason came back and jumped onto the bed, standing over them. “So, who gets this shower first?” he asked, holding a can of whipped cream over them.
Daniel and Jack looked up at him, their eyes specifically saying, ‘you wouldn’t dare’. The moment they thought it, they knew they shouldn’t have as Jason’s eyes narrowed and he grinned wolfishly down upon them.
“Okay,” he drawled, then pushed the nozzle to the side and let the long stream of whipped cream rain down on them. Loud protests met with reaching, grasping hands and Jason was roughly dropped between them, still spraying, and laughing quite boisterously. Jack soon had an equal hold of the can and aimed it directly at Jason’s crotch.
“FUCK, THAT’S COLD!” Jason screamed, making his lovers laugh as loudly as he had before. Their laughs soon turned to screams of protest as the cold stuff found their own genitalia.
Breathing heavy from the exertions, the three lay there in a mess of quickly melting, and very sticky, whipped cream.
Jason then asked once more, “So, now who’s up for a shower?”
After a few showers and another round of silliness, including a rather significant wet towel snapping fight in which Jason bore the brunt of it, they cleaned up and set fresh linen down. Lying snuggled against one and other, the three lovers drifted off to sleep, feeling for all the world like the luckiest men on the planet.
~ o~0~o ~
“So…think he’ll let one of us shave him?” Daniel asked as he and Jack sat at the kitchen table, drinking coffee, and attempting to wake up.
“Well, you’re the one who’s good with your hands,” Jack teased, his smile growing filthy, even as he bit into his toast.
Daniel grinned back, then leaned over and kissed the crumbs from his lips. “So are you, Jack.” He went over to the coffee machine, poured a new cup, then flashed Jack an even filthier smile before disappearing down the hall. Grinning to himself, Jack returned to read his morning paper.
Daniel went to the doorway of the bedroom and paused, watching Jason sleep, wondering what the hell he was doing in bed. Usually, it was Jason who had to cajole him out of bed, preferably with sex and coffee. This morning, Daniel had gotten up without protest and had been greeted in the kitchen by an amazed Jack. Looking at Jason, Daniel just knew he had to be dozing; the man never slept in. Jason lay on his back, his head turned away from the door. The sheet covering him revealed his side, shoulder to knee. It looked very sexy and Daniel couldn’t help but feel a bit of arousal.
He put the cup down on the nightstand and sat down, continuing to stare at his lover as he reached a hand out to caress his skin. He was warm, very warm, and he wanted to crawl back in bed with him, but…he couldn’t. He was hungry…although his hunger for Jason was finding its way to the surface. However, there was plenty of time for that. Right now, it was time for Jason to get up…out of bed, that is. Leaning forward and snuffling against his neck, he kissed his ear.
“Rise and shine, love.”
“Already there,” Jason grumbled as he turned his head and stretched. He looked at Daniel sleepily, then grimaced, groaning loudly. “Not the right kind of ‘rise’, either…unfortunately,” he grumbled again as he kicked the covers off his legs and got out of bed.
Daniel sat there, admiring Jason’s naked form as he padded into the bathroom. He grabbed the coffee mug and followed, setting it onto the sink. “Here you go,” he said. “Thought I’d bring you some coffee to help you wake up.”
Jason managed a ‘thank you’ through another grumble as he relieved himself. Daniel furrowed his brow with confusion. “Aren’t I the one who gets out of bed grumpy?”
“Yes, so how come you’re in a good mood?”
“I’ve no idea. How come you slept in?” he asked, taking a sip from Jason’s mug. “Are you sure we didn’t switch bodies during the night or something?”
“No, I’m not…and hey, isn’t that supposed to be my coffee?” he groused, levelling that grumpy look at Daniel as he finished and washed his hands. Turning on the shower, he took the cup from Daniel’s hands and sipped at the hot liquid.
“What’s the matter?” Daniel asked softly, drawing a finger down his cheek.
Jason stared at him, forcing a smile, even though he wasn’t up to it just yet. He shrugged. “I don’t know. I never have a grumpy morning unless I have a hangover.”
“Yeah, but you don’t have one.”
“So what’s wrong?”
“Beats the shit out of me.”
Daniel reached out and stroked Jason’s goatee. “Going to shave that?”
Jason’s right brow raised up. “Yes. Why?”
“I could do that for you.”
Jason let another tiny smile show. “Another time, Daniel.”
“You sure?” he asked, showing disappointment. “‘Cause…I mean, I’m not just saying that and—”
“I’m sure,” he said, leaning forward and giving him a quick kiss. “Now, leave before I pull you into the shower with me and give you a wakeup call.”
Daniel gave him a rather provocative smile…practically daring him. He forgot – for the moment – that Jason took those dares seriously.
“Okay,” Jason sing-songed and grabbed Daniel by his arm as he stepped into the tub, prepared to pull him inside fully clothed, though all he wore were his shorts and t-shirt.
“Jason!” With a laughing shout of protest, Daniel wrenched himself free as he backed up to the door.
“You should know better, Daniel,” Jason replied, closing the curtain.
Grumbling, but with a smile, Daniel left him to wash.
Jason appreciated Daniel’s attention, and the idea of shaving him was a nice one, but he still wasn’t feeling all that…chipper, not like he usually was, and he couldn’t figure out just yet why he wasn’t. It wasn’t the fact that he’d slept in. He’d done that before and not had this cranky mood come over him.
Daniel poured himself a fresh cup and sat down.
“How’s Jace?” Jack asked.
“Like a bear with a sore ass,” Daniel replied, then snorted into his coffee at the unintended pun and at Jack’s smirk.
“That’s not a surprise.”
“Yeah, well, you know how he usually is in the morning?”
“Well, something’s off. He’s grouchy.”
Jack frowned. “You’re right. That’s weird for him. Did he say why?”
“No, and at first, I thought it was cause he woke up late, but the more I think about it, the surer I am that it isn’t that. He’s woken up late before, just not that often, and has always been his usual self. Not this time, though.”
Jack’s frown deepened. “We didn’t even get drunk so a hangover isn’t the reason.”
Daniel sighed. “That’s what he said. He doesn’t seem to know why he’s cranky. I guess we’ll have to wait until after he’s had some coffee and breakfast.”
Jack grinned. “Maybe you two switched personalities while you were asleep. I can’t for the life of me figure out why you are so…bright-eyed…this morning.”
Daniel playfully swiped at him, making Jack duck away, biting at his lip. “That’s exactly what he asked me. He isn’t going to let me shave him, either.”
“Damn, he is in a mood. Well, maybe we’ll just have to get him out of it.”
Daniel gave him a sappy smile. “Yes, you will.”
“What?” Jack asked, blinking.
“Go join him in the shower. Give him your brand of wake up call.”
Jack leaned over and wrapped a forefinger around one of Daniel’s. “Only fair. You got yours, didn’t you?”
Daniel smiled. “Only because you refused to remove your mouth from my dick.”
“Best taste before breakfast,” Jack said with a nasty grin, making Daniel snort.
“Except you didn’t get yours.”
Jack shrugged. “Maybe I didn’t want one just yet. We’ve only been up for an hour. Of course, at my age–“
“Go see him.”
“Why aren’t you with him?”
“Um…I kind of refused.”
Jack’s brows went up.
“Yeah, well, he was going to pull me into the shower fully dressed and I…pulled…away,” and a frown furrowed Daniel’s brow as an idea suddenly came to him. “That’s it, Jack.”
“Why he’s in a bad mood.”
Jack looked at him and it quickly dawned on him as well.
Daniel couldn’t help but grin. “He’s feeling out of sorts and doesn’t know why.”
Jack shrugged. “I guess we all feel it, Daniel, but he’s also woken up alone before. So I wonder why the mood now?”
Daniel shrugged that time. “I don’t know. Maybe ’cause it’s Christmas?”
Jack shrugged. “Maybe. Though he doesn’t celebrate it any more than you do.”
“I know, but his sister does so he’s used to the frazzled family thing. I’m used to being by myself.”
“You’ve not been by yourself. Not for a while now.”
“I know. Not anymore.”
Daniel grinned lovingly at him, then nudged him with his foot. “Go. Take care of his mood.”
“I was actually thinking of it anyway.”
Jack got up, ate the rest of his toast quickly, then downed his coffee. “Too bad we don’t have that jacuzzi installed in there. We could both wake him up.”
Daniel grinned, then his eyes widened. “Hey, remember that wet shaver I got? It’s under the sink.”
Jack grinned and headed down the hall.
Jason washed himself slowly, taking his time, still trying to shake the cobwebs from his head. He heard the cabinet door open and close but didn’t say anything. When the curtain opened, he turned to look and found Jack stepping inside. He spotted the shaver in his hand as Jack set it down in the recessed nook for additional shower or soap supplies. Jack then pulled Jason in his arms and turned them around so that he could get wet. Wiping the water from his face, he smiled at him.
“I hear you’re like a bear with a sore ass.”
“You could say that.”
Jack smiled lovingly at him as he put an arm around his waist and another over his shoulder. “We figured out what’s wrong with you.”
Jason gave him a tired look. “So…enlighten me ’cause I haven’t a clue.”
Jack stared into his eyes. “What were you thinking when you woke up?”
Jason frowned, trying to remember. “I don’t…” and he shook his head.
“You opened your eyes and…?” he prompted.
Jason now remembered, but he didn’t want to say. It sounded…silly. He shook his head. “It doesn’t matter.”
“You’re in a bad mood, so it does matter. You woke up, found yourself alone in bed and…”
Jason closed his eyes. “It’s stupid. I’ve woken up without either of you before.”
“Not that often though and the last time was at my place, I believe.”
“So. So what?”
“So…this one time, you suddenly felt abandoned. Lonely. Right?”
Sighing, he refused to meet Jack’s eyes, “I told you it was stupid. I’ve never felt that before and I didn’t like it,” he said, thinking about it as he spoke. “I guess I automatically shoved the thoughts aside, but not the feelings.”
“Why didn’t you just say something? That’s what we would have expected,” Jack asked, knowing already.
“Because it’s stupid and silly and childish.”
“For feeling lonely without us?”
“Because it sounds….clingy.” He still wouldn’t meet Jack’s eyes.
“Jason…it’s okay to miss us.”
Jack tightened his hold around his waist and cradled Jason’s face in his hand, forcing Jason to look at him. He leaned in, slowly, his mouth open, moving with deliberate intent.
“But I haven’t brush–“
“I don’t care,” and with that, Jack kissed him, deeply. The taste of breakfast was in his mouth and it stirred up Jason’s stomach…and the rest of him. His hands travelled up Jack’s back, gripping tightly onto his shoulder blades as Jack’s tongue searched his mouth, tasting him, beguiling him, forcing him to surrender his bad mood.
When Jack broke away slowly, Jason tried to smile at him, but he was breathless and very aroused. The smile he attempted was replaced by the look of strong desire. Jack gave the same look back. “Time for me to get you out of that mood, Jace.”
“I think you already have.”
“No, I’m just getting started.”
“But…” and he made a grimacing motion at his face, and the growth of stubble around the trimmed moustache and goatee. “I feel kind of…gross.”
Jack grinned and reached over and grabbed the shaver. “That’s the reason for this. Let me?”
Jason thought about it, then nodded with a bit of hesitation, leaning back against the tiled wall. He shivered slightly as Jack expertly used the small device on his face, getting the whiskers to drop to the drain and disappear. Jason watched Jack’s concentrated gaze, looking into those dark amber eyes as the soft buzz of the razor tickled his face. Before he knew it, Jack was finished. He passed his hand over his now-smooth face, smiling gently at his lover.
“Nice job,” he said.
“Not done yet,” Jack replied and took some of the moisturizing soap and washed his face for him. Jason grinned, feeling a little silly that Jack was doing it.
“I can wash my own face,” Jason said softly, looking embarrassed as he pushed Jack’s soapy hands away.
“Too late, I already did, so now…the rinse,” and before Jason had time to react, Jack aimed the shower head at him, drowning his face and getting Jason to sputter.
“Jack!” Jason complained, closing his eyes tightly as he groped for the shower head, turning it on Jack. Jack merely moved his head aside, laughing. “Bastard,” Jason reprimanded, finally able to open his eyes.
Jack levelled him with a long look. “Feel better?”
“No,” Jason said, with a small protest. He did, actually. A lot better. There was just one more thing, but Jack soon took care of that as he pushed the shower head to the wall, then grabbed the conditioner. As he poured it in his hands, he leaned in to steal a kiss.
“I told you. I’m not done,” he whispered against his lips, then took hold of Jason’s cock and slid a slippery finger between his buttocks and into his rectum. The suddenness of it had Jason hard in seconds, moaning through a deep kiss as Jack expertly took care of his deeper need. Sliding his hand up and down and tightening his fist, he drew moan after moan from Jason’s throat. With one finger, then two, he had Jason opening to him, wanting more.
“Fuck me,” Jason whispered, his eyes closed in pleasure as the shudders rippled through his blood.
Jack teasingly sped up his hand and his fingers, threatening to bring Jason off and Jason didn’t have the will to say no. He wanted whatever Jack would give him, but he needed his cock and he needed it badly.
“Jack, I want you.”
“You have me,” Jack teased further, tightening his fist even more.
Jason bit his lip and moaned, nearly in a whimper, as his hand reached down and took Jack’s cock and gave it a very firm stroke. “Inside me, damn it.”
Jack bit his lip in return but couldn’t help to tease Jason just once more as he sped up his fingers inside him. Jason gasped as he felt he could come at any moment. Another shudder passed through him and he stroked Jack’s cock harder.
Jack removed his fingers gently, almost torturously slow. “Turn around,” he whispered. Jason did so and spread his legs. Applying more conditioner to his cock, he positioned himself and nudged the glans against his lover’s opening.
“You sure?” he teased, his breath and deep voice tickling Jason’s ear.
“Jack,” Jason protested, then gasped, “Yes,” as Jack pushed inside, then enveloped him in his arms. “Yes, yes.”
Jack didn’t need to wait. Jason was very open to him and he began to thrust. The foreplay had him achingly hard and the tightness and heat from Jason’s ass nearly sent him over. All he needed was to thrust faster. He wanted to draw it out but Jason’s panting told him that neither of them would last long. Grabbing his lover’s cock, he stroked in time with his hips, holding him firmly while Jason braced his hands on the wall and spread his legs even further. Jack saw the bunching and rippling of his lover’s back muscles and knew what that meant. Before Jason had time to ask, he whispered, “Take it, baby,” and pistoned into him, gliding his cock over his gland with every deliberately aimed thrust.
“Jack, yes!” Jason cried out, his breath coming out in ragged gasps, his body sweating from the need. It was time. His fingers clawed at the tiles as he cried out wordlessly, his orgasm sending shockwaves through his nerves, bringing him what he craved.
Jack moved, faster and harder, and he felt that tingling, crawling sensation, that exquisitely hot, electric flood of pleasure. Then the wonderful squeezing of his cock by Jason’s muscles as they surrounded him, milking him, and Jack was sent into orbit. “Fuck yes,” Jack panted, his body jerking spasmodically as he filled his lover.
Jack’s hand gently moved from Jason’s cock to point the shower head back onto them. He withdrew his cock, then let the still-warm water wash away the sticky film of sweat and fluid. Jason’s mouth found his own, then his tongue. They kissed through the afterglow, stroking each other’s skin lazily as the last of the tension died away.
As the two came out to the kitchen, Daniel got up and gave Jason a slow, loving kiss. “Feeling better?” he asked him.
“Yes,” Jason said softly, a small smile on his face. He was feeling better and he didn’t want to examine the whys. They both gave him another kiss before pushing him down in his customary chair at the end of the table, filling his plate with eggs, sausage, and toast. Jason’s cheeks pinked a little bit in embarrassment, but he got over it quickly as his hunger for food asserted itself.
Jack sat back down and returned to reading the paper while Daniel disappeared down the hall. Jason ate enthusiastically, sending Jack occasional smiles of gratitude, to which Jack returned and sipped at his coffee while he read. When Daniel came back, he went into the living room instead of the kitchen, looking around as if searching for something.
“What are you looking for?” Jason asked over the edge of his coffee mug.
“My list,” Daniel replied, irritated that he couldn’t find it.
“List for what?” Jack asked as he folded the newspaper to read the comics.
“Christmas presents. We are going out later, right?”
Jack groaned. “I almost managed to forget.”
Jason laughed to himself and Jack gave him a scowl. “What’s so funny?”
“You two. I already took care of my presents.”
Jack set the paper down and Daniel stood up from looking under the couch. “When?” Daniel asked first.
“When I was offworld.”
Jack gave him a sarcastic look. “I didn’t know K-Mart branched that far.”
Jason tossed his napkin at him, which Jack deftly batted away…and onto the floor. “Very funny, asshole. The Diné love to trade so…”
Jack’s brows raised with interest. “Oh yeah? Did you get something for everyone?”
Jason smiled secretively. “Yes.”
Jack suddenly became twelve years old all over again. “So…did you get me something?”
“Jack,” Daniel admonished from the living room.
“Quiet, Daniel,” Jack shot back. “So…did you?”
Jason only smiled, not saying a word as he got up and refilled his mug one more time. It would be his sixth.
“Did you?” Jack asked again, a slight warning tone in there somewhere. Jason only smiled and when he sat back down and finally looked over at Jack, he saw Jack aiming the bowl of a spoon at him, like a catapult. In the spoon lay a fat glob of jam.
Jason snorted and shook his head. “Yes, Jack, I got you something.” He was going to add something to that but Daniel was sneaking up behind Jack just then so Jason kept quiet and made sure that he didn’t give Daniel away. Five seconds later, he wished he’d warned Jack.
Jack’s index finger was still poised on the edge of the spoon when…
Daniel sniggered as Jack jumped, startled.
Jason also jumped, startled, but not because of Daniel. He jumped because that glob of jam had hit his face beside his nose.
Surprised by Jason’s shocked expression and the look of the jam stuck momentarily…Daniel immediately lost it, stumbling backward, holding his stomach, peeking back at Jason only to laugh even harder.
Jack tried to look apologetic and tried to keep from laughing. He failed. In two seconds, he was cackling and escaping over to Daniel.
Jason sat there, rigid, bringing a finger up to carefully remove the jam from his face. Anyone else probably would have been embarrassed but he could see the humor. And watching his lovers cut up was even better. So…he made a show of it, wiping the jam on his finger onto his plate, all the while staring at them and leaving some of it on his face just so they could keep laughing. He remembered the shocked look on Jack’s face right as the catapult launched and that started to break his stony expression. He got up and went to the kitchen sink so they wouldn’t see him laughing and bent over the sink to wash his face.
Jack smacked Daniel playfully in the back of the head. “Look what you made me do.”
“I couldn’t help it.”
They walked back into the kitchen and found Jason over the sink, washing.
“Jason, I’m sorry.”
Jason wiped his face dry with a paper towel and didn’t bother hiding his smile. “No, you’re not. At least own up to the fact.”
“Okay, I’m not,” and he started to laugh. “You should’ve seen your face.”
“You should’ve seen yours and Jack’s…especially Jack’s,” he snickered. “His was priceless.”
Jack smirked. “So was yours.”
Jason bit the side of his lip and his lovers saw the mischievous look in his eyes.
“Uh oh. That’s the same look you had last night.”
Jason reached into the fridge and brought out the other can of whipped cream…and shook it dramatically. “So…who’s first?”
His two lovers turned on their heels and bolted. Jason slowly followed, shaking his head that they’d allowed themselves to be trapped in the living room.
Daniel looked with exasperation at Jack. “I shouldn’t have followed you, and what were you thinking, running in here?”
“I wasn’t. I was terrified of having to wash that shit out of my hair again.”
Jason waved the can. “I promise. It’s not going anywhere that can’t be eaten off…eventually.”
Daniel narrowed his eyes. “What’s that mean?”
“You can eat whipped cream off of anything…except carpet fibers,” and Jason made a show of spitting. “Not recommended.”
His lovers stared at him. “I sense a story there,” Jack responded first.
“There is, but not till later.”
Daniel stopped moving around and started to come toward Jason. “This is silly. You’re not going to get whipped cream all over my living room.”
Jason leered. “No, but I am going to get it on your face. I’m thinking a dessert Santa Claus.”
Jack started to laugh and Jason looked at him next. “And I’m thinking Rudolph’s antlers, for you. Or maybe his balls. I’m not sure yet.”
“How about his nose?” Jack said, then mumbled, “I can’t believe I just said that,” and made Daniel laugh.
The portable phone rang just then, so Jason picked up. “Hell’s kitchen, Lucifer speaking.”
Daniel bent over, unable to keep from laughing. Jack laughed but he didn’t think it was that funny. “Daniel?”
“Sorry, but with the image of the whipped cream and him saying that, the phrase ‘snowball’s chance in hell’ came to mind.”
“That was left field.”
“Not that far left.”
Jason shook his head, then realized he wasn’t listening to the person who’d called. “Hello. Sorry. Having problems with the li’l devils, I’m sure you understand.”
“Hey, Jan, how you doin’?”
“Great. We’re going to the mall. You guys want to meet up there?”
“I’ve got to punish my devils first, then we’ll be there about…” and he looked at the wall clock, which read 8:55. “Noon?” and he looked at Daniel for confirmation.
“Daniel says eleven.”
“Okay, we’ll meet you guys at the food court.”
“Jason, what are you ‘really’ doing?”
“Well, I’ve got my two friends held hostage by a can of whipped cream.”
“Do I ‘want’ to know?”
“Jack started it.”
“I did not,” Jack yelled. “Daniel did.”
Janet heard that and started laughing. “This early in the morning in the morning, Jason?”
“How early have you….?”
“Oh…yeah, never mind.”
Jason walked around the bureau to the side of the couch, letting his lovers escape…back to the bedroom. “Gotta go, Jan. We’ll see you at eleven…or thereabouts.” He hung up and raced after them.
They didn’t get to the mall until nearly 11:45.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o~0~o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
…And so this is Christmas…
On Tuesday, Christmas Eve, just before noon, Daniel was finishing up his report on the recent translation when Jason came walking in to fetch him.
“Um…” and Daniel looked at his watch. “Damn, time flies. Yeah, I could eat. Thought we were going home?”
“We are. You finish the translation already?”
Daniel nodded. “Just emailed a copy to the Pentagon, and I’ll give this hard copy to General Hammond.” He finally looked up at his lover and walked over to him. “You here to fetch me from the bowels of my office, I take it?”
Jason grinned. “Yes. I know you. So does Jack.”
“Jack sent you, in other words?”
“Partly. I was already on my way.”
“Come on, let’s go finish up with the shopping that you two didn’t get done, and we’ll head over to O’Malley’s for the Christmas dinner party.”
“I thought the meal was planned for Janet’s?”
“Change in plans.”
“Besides, you need red meat to keep your strength up.”
Daniel snorted. “Very funny. I think you fed me enough over the weekend.”
“Yes, but you worked that off,” Jason sent back, along with an absolutely filthy grin.
“Oh, so now you think I need building up again?”
Daniel laughed softly and continued to put his hard copy into a bound folder. Jason looked around the room while he waited, then raised a brow as he heard the electronic sound of the door being locked. He slowly turned around and found himself being backed against the bookcase.
“Daniel? Um, what are you doing?” he asked, knowing it was a stupid question. Daniel smiled cagily as his hands came to rest on either side of his face and he pressed in close, but not close enough.
“So…you busy?” Daniel asked, softly breathing against his lips.
“No,” Jason replied. “But–“
“No buts. Well, except for yours,” and a hand slid down.
“We have to go.”
Daniel nuzzled Jason’s cheek. “Is the feeling gone already?”
“Reassure me then,” he whispered, his lips over Jason’s once more.
“What’s gotten into you?”
“We need to go.”
“You’re not reassuring me.”
“Jack’s waiting,” he said, trying another tactic. He really didn’t mind this – in fact, he was loving it – but they had a lot of things to do and only one afternoon in which to do them.
“Je tu désir,” Daniel whispered, nuzzling, kissing, pulling gently on the edge of his ear.
“Daniel,” Jason warned. “Don’t start that up again…” but as Daniel licked that certain spot underneath, that did it. “That does it, you bastard,” he growled, grabbing him, kissing him passionately, refusing to let him go as he wound his arms tightly around him. Daniel thought about pretending a protest…until Jason’s hand quickly slipped inside his pants to immediately stroke his cock. Not five minutes before, he was alone, feeling good about finishing his translation, about leaving early, and not a sexual thought in his mind. Now, nothing but sexual thoughts were on his mind…and his dick.
He suddenly found that it was he who was now pinned to the bookcase, with his trousers falling down to his boot tops. Jason was on his knees, his hot breath on his skin and…his mouth surrounding his cock. Daniel’s moans combined with urging and pleading words as Jason skillfully pleasured him with his tongue. In less than a minute, Daniel was panting hard, his fingers clenched in Jason’s hair as his lover took hold of his hips, moving his cock in and out of his mouth as he sucked hard. Less than fifteen seconds after that, Daniel blindly grabbed at the shelving over his head, accidentally pulling out books and dropping them to the floor as he groped for balance. He suddenly threw his head back, his body rigid, as he came like lightning down Jason’s throat.
Jason sucked gently until his cock softened, then redressed him and stood up, kissing him firmly. “Now, Daniel, whenever you tease me like that, be prepared to go all the way.”
“Oh…I will, baby,” Daniel said breathlessly as he pulled Jason to him and returned the favor.
Dinner went smoothly, although the boys ended up examining each other’s plates to see just who got the largest portion of prime rib. They were all the same, of course, but Cassie settled it by saying hers was the largest. No one bothered to argue with a seventeen-year-old young woman.
Dessert, which was a large a large New York cheesecake divided up almost equally, was when they’d agreed to exchange presents as everyone had places to be the following day. Everyone handed the others their presents, then waited as one person at a time opened theirs.
Jack and Daniel handed out envelopes. It was safer. Janet, Sam, and Cassie each rated certificates to their favorite clothing stores.
When Cassie opened her gift from Teal’c, another envelope, her brow did a perfect imitation of one of his looks of surprise. He’d given her a membership to the local Martial Arts school.
“Uh, thanks, Teal’c, but what for?”
“I have observed the mating rituals of juvenile human males and you will need it.”
During the snickers that followed from the guys, and the rolled eyes from Sam and Janet, Cassie leered at Teal’c. “Observed?”
“He means on television, Cass,” Janet told her.
Cassie bit her cheek. “Ah huh.” She then fixed Daniel and Jack with a withering glance. “I don’t supposed you two had anything to do with this?”
They both gave her indignant looks. “Maybe,” Jack replied as he and Daniel then tried to look innocent. She didn’t buy it but she smiled anyway…a smile that broadened to a huge grin as the light dawned.
“Well this’ll be cool. I’ll be able to kick some ass.”
An ‘education’ argument came immediately from Daniel, followed quickly by Jack, Teal’c, and then Sam and Janet, on the meaning of self-defense. Cassie heard them all with appropriate humoring…having made up her own mind as to what self-defense really meant.
Teal’c’s turn also rated a few certificates from Jack and Daniel as well: to the local department store, where they would take him soon after Christmas. The department store was set up specifically so that Teal’c could buy a number of things, including a new DVD player, which was something he’d been wanting to get but hadn’t had the time for.
Janet and Cassie gave Teal’c a tin filled with homemade apple bars, for which Teal’c was developing an addiction, but he was a bit confused as to why food should be a gift.
“I’ll explain that to you later, Teal’c,” Sam told him and Cassie didn’t miss the exchange of looks between them. When it came to everyone’s – the adults’ anyway – love lives, Cassie was out of the loop. She knew how to keep secrets, but there were secrets and then there were secrets. Being a teenager, they didn’t want her blurting out anything during an inconvenient rant…which General Hammond sometimes heard when Cassie was visiting the infirmary – especially during checkups.
The only one who didn’t give any presents was Jason. He waited. For once, he got into the spirit of the thing, though he still wasn’t as big on receiving gifts as he was in giving them. Daniel sipped at his wine, then nudged Jason with his elbow.
“Come on. I know you brought them. Where are they?”
Everyone looked on with anticipation, although Cassie’s was more curiosity. She had no idea why the leader of SG-2 was included in this gathering – which she felt a bit proprietary of. She knew he and Daniel were best friends but…didn’t Jason have family to go home to?
Jason brought out his presents and handed them to everyone but his lovers. He was saving them for later. The women opened their small boxes and practically squealed with delight at the silver and turquoise bracelets made by Jason’s grandfather and his two new Diné apprentices.
“This is so crackin’,” Cassie said with awe, staring at it as she put it on her wrist.
The adults at the table mouthed, “Crackin’?”
“Thanks, Jason,” and Sam and Janet echoed her. He smiled back. “You’re welcome.”
He then handed Teal’c his box, which contained a package of incense, an incense bowl, and…a beaded necklace.
“From an admirer,” Jason told him, grinning like an idiot as he saw Sam’s possessive look. “Kidding,” he finally said. “It’s from the children of the village to the Big Protector, as they now call you.”
Teal’c examined the simple piece of jewelry as if it were priceless, then placed it around his neck. It actually seemed to suit him. He simply said thank you and bowed his head. Jason took that to mean that Teal’c was pleased.
It came time for Jack to open his presents. From Teal’c, he received only a…bumper sticker. It read, “My other car is a spaceship”. For some reason, Teal’c found that rather funny and his grin was so infectious that Jack couldn’t help but smile. From Sam, he received a classical music CD, and from Cassie and Janet, season tickets to the Colorado hockey team.
Daniel opened his presents, as Jason looked on with curiosity, hoping that he wouldn’t get any more clothes. Daniel didn’t. This time, it was books. From Teal’c, the newest release from Michael Crichton; from Janet, a book on home remodeling; from Sam, a little in-joke. The book was titled, “The Fine Art of Diplomacy.” Daniel handed the book to Jack.
“Here, I think this one’s yours.”
Jack took and smacked him on the arm with it. That sort of said it all.
Finally, from Cassie, Daniel turned over the old book and started to groan. The title read, “Wallis Budge, Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary.” He gave Cassie a look that would kill most people, but she calmly looked back at him.
Dubiously, he opened the cover and found her neat handwriting, written in the tell-tale red ‘correction’ ink. “To Daniel, for what it’s worth. Love, Cassie.” He flipped through the pages, reading, and started to laugh. Pausing for a moment, he looked at Janet, then passed the book around.
“Did you see what she wrote?”
Janet eyed Cassie with a disapproving scowl…though you could just see that she wanted to smile. “Yes, I saw that. Such language…although she had me in stitches.” Cassie had a gift for languages and had been learning the hieroglyphs from Daniel’s own translations. She therefore felt qualified, as seventeen-year-olds do, to ‘edit’ Budge’s work, in English, for Daniel as a present. Even if some of her translations were just a bit off, she’d revised the book with intentionally scathing sarcastic humor and he gave her a huge smile for it.
At last it came to Jason, but he didn’t have anything to open. He didn’t feel slighted either, but Daniel and Jack were frowning and they looked at the others suspiciously.
Janet gave them all a stern look. “Don’t shoot us. He said he didn’t want anything.”
“So you felt it necessary not to get him anything anyway?” Jack asked, feeling miffed.
Jason shook his head. “Don’t give them a hard time, Jack. I was emphatic.”
“Jack,” Daniel interrupted. “Remember when I told you how Jason was with birthday presents?”
“And did I or did I not get him one anyway?”
Daniel couldn’t answer that, as Jack had gotten Jason a present…after that rather extravagant trip to the cabin, that was.
Teal’c suddenly withdrew his hand from under the table and handed Jason an envelope. Jason’s brow shot up and he took it, giving Teal’c a long look of surprise.
“Your gift, I believe.”
Jason smirked at him, telling himself he should have known better than to ask. He opened the envelope and found three tickets for the NASCAR event at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway held at the end of the coming month of February. He smiled.
“Thank you, Master Teal’c,” and he showed them to Jack and Daniel. “Um, Daniel doesn’t care for NASCAR,” and with a look that Daniel nodded to, he asked, “so would you like to join Jack and I, providing we can all go?”
Teal’c smiled. “I would like that very much, Major Coburn.”
“Great.” He stuck placed the envelope in the inside pocket of his jacket, and when he looked back, he caught Cassie giving him a tiny smile…and a very long stare. “What?”
She handed him a small white box. His eyes opened wide in surprise, just as Janet’s did. She had no clue Cassie bought him anything. Jason carefully opened the box and found…a small piece of gold jewelry: a tiny gold ring from which hung an equally small gold teardrop. His brow raised up about two inches. It was a navel ring. Several things ran through his mind at the same time. One, this was a very personal gift from a teenage girl and he hoped to all the Gods that she didn’t have a liking for him. Two, it looked like real gold to him, so it must’ve been expensive. Three, how on Earth did she know that he had one? And four, which one of his lovers told her?
Typical impatience showed through when he didn’t say anything. “What? You don’t like it?”
He looked up, startled at the question. “Yes, Cassie, I do. I like it a lot. Thank you very much,” and he gave the open box to Daniel, watching his face.
Daniel’s eyebrows went up in surprise, and he had to quickly stomp down on the image of Jason wearing it before said image had its usual effect. “This is very nice, Cassie.”
“Yes, very cool.”
He passed it to Jack and Jason watched his face carefully as well. Jack’s eyebrows went up and he looked for all the world like he was very surprised.
“Wow. Nice. What is it?”
Jason knew right then it had been him. He directed his gaze back to Cassie, however, but kept looking back over to Jack.
“So, Cassie, who told you I had my navel pierced?” and he specifically looked at Jack, telling Jack that he knew anyway.
Jack smirked at Cassie, but she just shrugged. “Uncle Jack.”
Daniel started to cough, then looked around before leaning across the table. “Cassie, did you ask Uncle Jack how he knew?” then send a very puzzled look at Jack.
“No, I just asked him what I should get Jason for Christmas and he said, ‘get him a nipple or navel ring’. I knew Uncle Jack was just kidding but Jason looks like the kind of guy who would wear one, so I got him one.”
Jason’s brow went up again. “I look like the kind of…what kind is that Cassie?”
Jason shook his head.
“Well, duh,” she said, as if it were obvious to everyone. “One of those guys that wears the in-look. You always have such cool clothes.”
“I do?” he asked, not really thinking he did. He bought what he liked that was available in the stores.
“Yeah,” she said with annoyance. “Don’t tell me you don’t do that on purpose.”
Jason gave her a soft smile. “Cassie…I don’t have time to do that on purpose.”
“Oh,” getting his meaning. “So what did you think I meant when I said, ‘the kind of guy’?”
“Um…clueless here, which is why I asked.” Truth was, he thought she meant ‘gay’. It was an ‘in’ thing for the gay community but it was also just as ‘in’ with the younger straight crowd, too.
“Anyway, it’s very cool, and thanks.”
“Are you gonna wear it?”
Jason was taking a sip from his beer and coughed it back into his glass.
“Cassie,” Janet admonished.
“What, mom, I can ask. It’s not like I’m asking who he’s sleeping with.”
Jason started coughing even more, then started to laugh. “No, it’s not like that. Janet, don’t be cross with her. I think we tend to forget what we were like at seventeen.”
“On purpose, Jason,” Jack added. “We forget on purpose.“
“Well, there’s that part, yeah.”
“It can’t be that far away,” Cassie stated. “You’re only thirty or something, right?”
Jason snorted, smiling at her, then looked at everyone, especially his lovers. “Best compliment I’ve had in a while.” He was greeted with a few quick looks that implied payback.
Cassie froze. “You’re not thirty?”
Jason shook his head as he finally took a drink from his beer. “Sorry, Cassie. Forty.”
Cassie’s mouth dropped open. “Forty?”
“Yep,” he said dramatically, holding his hand over his heart. “I’m only six years younger than Uncle Jack.”
“But…you don’t have grey hair.”
Everyone started sniggering and Jack pointed at Daniel. “Prematurely grey. Courtesy of Daniel.”
Daniel didn’t look in the least apologetic. “That was the Goa’uld, Jack,” he said quietly, though a smile lit behind his eyes. “I had nothing to do with it.”
“The hell you didn’t.”
Cassie stared at them, smirking, then something else dawned. “So, where’s your presents to each other?”
“Um, they’re at home, Cass,” Jack explained. “We’re having an all-night movie fest at my house and we’ll open our presents tomorrow.”
“Oh,” she said disappointed. She wanted to know what they got each other, but it was probably some boring guy stuff anyway.
Despite the tree decorating the room, the lights decorating the house, and the ‘Tom and Jerry’ holiday drinks they shared, there wasn’t anything special planned, though they were watching films. All the three of them wanted was a peaceful evening, filled with nothing but lying around on the living room floor – which had been transformed into a large bedroom, filled with pillows, comforters, and throw pillows laid out before the couch – getting a bit drunk, making fun of Igor’s hump in ‘Young Frankenstein’, King John’s roaming mole in ‘Robin Hood: Men in Tights’, and the various things to howl over in ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’.
Just after midnight, Jack got up and went to the bedroom. When he returned, he had two small gift-wrapped boxes in hand. He stared down at his lovers, smiled and handed them out before sitting back down on Daniel’s left. Daniel put his down, got up and went to his jacket.
“Throw me my jacket, would you?” Jason asked, standing. Daniel tossed it over and Jason fished out a single small box, then set the jacket over the sofa and sat back down on the floor.
Daniel sat between them, though he turned round, facing the couch making an informal semi-circle. He handed Jason his gift, then Jack.
As Jason had only one box, he didn’t hand his out. He waited. However, his lovers seemed to want him to go first so he opened the larger gift from Daniel and found a new set of painting supplies. He grinned in a bit of embarrassment as he hadn’t been able to paint much lately, then pulled Daniel in for a kiss.
“Welcome. I’m going to demand another painting…lesson…from you.”
“Deal,” Jason replied and kissed him again, winding his fingers through Daniel’s hair. The simple act, along with Daniel’s tongue twining with his own, made him harden. Breaking away slowly, he licked his lips as he sat back, giving Daniel clear indication by his expression what he’d rather be doing. Daniel smiled back, then tapped the present remaining in his lap. Jason smiled and bent to it. Opening the small box, he slid the item inside into his hand. A key.
“I had no idea what to get you, Jace,” Jack said slowly, looking at the confused look in Jason’s eyes.
“You didn’t have to get me anything, Jack. You know that.”
“Yes, but I’m your lover, so it’s different now, isn’t it?”
Jason grasped the key in his hand tightly. “I guess so,” then his look of confusion deepened. “So…what’s this key unlock? And if you say, ‘my heart’, I’m smacking you one.”
Jack grinned widely. “Close. It’s the key to my cabin.”
Daniel blinked at the answer, just as Jason did. Looking down at his identical box, he immediately opened it and found a duplicate key. He blinked again, uncomprehendingly. “I don’t get it. Why the key to your cabin?”
“It’s kind of symbolic, Daniel. What I mean is, I’ve willed it to the two of you…just in case.”
Daniel and Jason’s throats just dried and when they swallowed, they did so with difficulty. They didn’t say anything for a few moments as they contemplated the enormity of what Jack had just told them. Jack smiled and started to open his present from Daniel, wondering all the while why Jason hadn’t given him his. Before he could open the box, he was grabbed and engulfed by two sets of arms. They still said nothing, and nothing was needed. After a long moment, his lovers let him go and settled back in their spots, letting Jack continue opening his gift.
Inside, Jack found a rolled up piece of parchment with a ribbon around it, and next to it, a piece of folded waxed paper containing a strange looking insect – a fishing lure. A note was attached so Jack read that first.
“Herein lies the Lure of Good Luck.
May it somehow provide fish for it to lure.”
Jack started to laugh and purposely ruffled Daniel’s hair, then pulled him in for a kiss. “Thanks, you sarcastic bastard.”
Daniel smiled back. “You’re welcome.”
Jack next unrolled the piece of parchment, printed in brown calligraphy. He read the words aloud:
“I, Daniel Jackson, do solemnly swear to one Jack O’Neill,
that I promise to ‘try’ and do the following:
~ to follow his orders in the field, within reason;
~ not to argue with him, as team leader, in front of others, unless he starts it;
~ not to be late, unless I have a really good reason;
~ not to bite his head off in the morning until ‘after’ I’ve had my fourth cup of coffee
~ to save his ass from the jaws of death at least once a year but hope it doesn’t come to that.”
Signed on the 23rd day of December in the year 2002 C.E.
Jack set the parchment down, gave Daniel a long look, then pulled him towards him even as he leaned over. “I intend to hold you to every one of those promises.”
“Including the one about the yelling?”
“Including the one about the yelling.”
Daniel wrapped an arm around his neck and pulled him into a deep kiss. Jason couldn’t help but smile at them…and the very thoughtful gesture that Daniel had finally come up with. He’d agonized for months about what to get Jack for Christmas and in the end, he’d said he’d find something that Jack couldn’t get for himself. This was perfect.
Daniel started to break the kiss even as he felt his groin heat up and his cock begin to harden. Reluctantly, he pulled away. Jack gave him one more kiss.
“Thank you, Daniel. What made you think of these?”
Sitting back on his calves, he sighed. “You can get whatever you want and frankly, I couldn’t think of anything original or anything that you ‘needed’. So, I decided to get you something you couldn’t get normally. Promises from me. In writing. This is the safe version, though, so you can actually hang this up in your office.”
Jack snorted. He looked over at Jason then, and brought his hand up to his face. “Your turn.”
They both looked at him expectantly as he opened the small wooden box painted with the same ceremonial colors he’d worn during their smoke ceremony; red, black, and yellow. He took the objects inside and set them in his open palm. Three silver rings, with small white tags attached, each marked with their names.
“Grandfather made these for me. For us.” Jack and Daniel raised their brows. “Anyway, um, the symbol etched on them, of three leaves crossing each other, is of the Diné so if you wish to wear them at work, you can.”
“What’s wrong?” Daniel asked when he saw Jason hesitate before handing them out.
“I’m…nervous as hell all of a sudden and I’m getting embarrassed because I am nervous.”
“There’s no reason to be,” Jack told him.
Jason smiled at him. “Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t. Guys, this is probably the sappiest and mushiest you’ll ever get from me so please, do me a huge favor and make fun.”
“We promise,” Daniel said softly.
“Daniel, you keep telling me that we are forever.”
Without hesitation, Daniel took Jason’s empty hand and squeezed it. Then took Jack’s and did the same. “We are.”
Jack swallowed and nodded.
“Okay, so…I thought I’d find a way of symbolizing it somehow…and I got this idea.”
They stared at him, waiting, then Jack looked at him steadily, his eyes going a little wide. “Jace, you wanna perform a ceremony?” he asked, his heart beating just a bit faster. He had an idea that he knew what is was. A strong idea. It made him feel just a bit giddy.
“The rings are a set and like signet rings only…they’re more like…”
“Wedding rings?” Daniel asked, his eyes growing wide and his own heart beating just a bit faster.
“So…this ceremony is…?” Jack asked.
“Just a private one, between the three of us. We don’t need it. But I am giving you these rings because I love you.”
They smiled and nodded.
Jason visibly relaxed. “Um, you’ll need to hold out your left hands so I can slip the rings on.”
With surprised smiles, they held out their hands. Daniel was closer, so Jason took off the label and slipped Daniel’s ring on his pinky. It fit perfectly. He did the same for Jack, and that too, fit well. He then slipped the last one on his own finger, then held his hand out, palm down and took Daniel’s wrist. “Daniel, take Jack’s wrist. Jack, take mine.” They did as instructed and made a triangle. Jason then whispered a few words in the Diné language that he hoped he’d memorized correctly from the note Lin had given him. He then released Daniel’s wrist, and the others followed suit, but took Jason’s hands in theirs. They seemed almost embarrassed, but quickly began to get over it as the touch between them sent warm sparks through their groins.
“Now what?” Jack asked, abruptly clearing his throat. “Never thought I’d ever get married again. Must say I like this ceremony much better. No words, very short.”
Daniel snorted. As he looked at Jason, his intuition suddenly told him that there should be something more. “That’s not the whole ceremony though, is it?”
Jack’s brow went up and he gave Jason a filthy smile. “Like maybe…a honeymoon or something?”
Jason gave them a sheepish grin. “Well, um…yes. The next time we go to the planet, together, we’ll finish the ceremony with one like the one we had…um…before…you know, with the oil…and um, the fruit paste…”
“And the drums,” Jack finished. The mischievous look capturing his expression made Jason wary.
“Yes, the uh…drums, too.”
“So, the ceremony isn’t complete then?” Daniel asked, sounding disappointed.
“Oh, it is. It’s just that it will be more so when we have the um…other part of it.”
Daniel’s smiled widely and when Jason actually blushed, his mouth dropped open. He caught Jack’s mischievous expression increasing. Jason gave them both an embarrassed look and tried to fight down the blush that wouldn’t leave his cheeks.
“Jack, don’t be naughty.”
“What?” Jack asked, affecting innocence.
“You’re going to tease him about something.”
“No, I’m not. He’s holding something else back.”
Daniel looked back at Jason and realized Jack was right.
“I’m not holding anything back.”
Jack’s mischievous grin turned just a slight shade of…green. Figuratively. “How’s Asatay, Jason?”
Daniel looked at Jack, then back at Jason.
Jason swallowed. “He’s fine, Jack. Um, this was his idea actually. I wanted to have my grandfather make you some rings, but it was Asatay who suggested…for lack of a better term, ‘wedding rings’.”
Jack’s mischievous look “So…he didn’t ask you to perform another ceremony with him, did he?”
“No, Jack,” Jason told him, his blush finally fading as the heat travelled elsewhere.
Daniel felt something flow through him and whether it was from their natural desires for each other, Jason’s gifts, or something else, he really didn’t care. He stood up, bringing Jason and Jack with him.
“Why don’t we finish that ceremony, right here, right now,” he said in a quiet tone as he quickly opened his jeans, then reached out and unbuttoned Jason’s with one hand while tugging on Jack’s.
Jack’s hands were just as efficient as his t-shirt was thrown to the sofa. “My thoughts exactly.”
“Mine, too,” Jason echoed.
Daniel stripped off his jeans just as Jack removed his t-shirt. “Jace, what did those words mean that you spoke?”
“The literal translation is, ‘I give myself to you and we are now one’ or close to that, anyw–“
Daniel grabbed him by the hair, cutting off his words with his lips. “Enough talking,” he said through a fiery kiss as his hands sought out exposed skin.
Jack’s jeans were already off and the moment Jason’s joined his on the sofa, Daniel dropped to his knees and took his lovers with him. Jack’s lips sought the nape of Daniel’s neck, then interrupted their kiss and pulled Daniel’s mouth to his. His agile tongue sent those earlier sparks into a burst of flame. Daniel’s desire coursed through him, guiding his fingers over both his lovers’ skin. As Jack kissed him, Jason moved behind, kissing down to the base of his spine.
Daniel broke his kiss with Jack, gasping. “Jack, get the lube. Jason,” he said, kissing him hungrily, “come here,” and pushed Jason onto his back and laid over him, rubbing their cocks together. Jack retrieved the lube, then joined them on the floor, biting gently over Daniel’s shoulders as his hands caress over rapidly glistening skin.
Daniel had a plan, or rather, he had a need. He needed them to be joined, as one. Kissing over Jason’s collarbone, his hands moved over his thighs and spread his legs. His lips ran over Jason’s jaw, his teeth grazing over the fine stubble. He felt Jack’s lips over his back, his hands over his ass, and his desire sky-rocketed. He couldn’t wait. He needed them both now.
“Jack,” he whispered huskily as one of his hands reached back and found Jack’s hip and pulled him against his ass. “I want you, now.” The cap of the lube popped off and Daniel growled against Jason’s throat as lubed fingers soon caressed his opening. He looked down into Jason’s expression of need and want, then reached back as Jack coated his cock. “Lube,” he asked and felt a generous amount of the cool gel pour onto his fingers. His eyes didn’t leave Jason’s for a moment, and as his hand reached for Jason’s sphincter, his eyes then widened as Jack’s fingers entered him. “Yes,” he whispered, and as his fingers entered Jason, Jason whispered the same.
Years of getting to read Daniel pretty well let Jack know exactly what he wanted, so he wasted no time. It was exactly what he wanted as well. He moved his fingers inside his lover’s heated body, opening him, teasing him, stimulating him. Daniel took Jason’s nipple in his mouth and sucked as his fingers worked inside him just as Jack’s worked to open him. He was on fire and he needed to feel them both.
He felt behind him once more, and Jack poured more lube into his palm. He slicked up his cock as Jason’s hands caressed his chest, pinching and pulling at his nipples.
“Jack, fuck him,” Jason demanded, and brought his knees to his chest, opening himself completely. “Daniel, fuck me.” He knew what Daniel wanted, just as Jack did.
“Jack,” he whispered and Jack didn’t hesitate. His cock ready, he slid slowly past the tight opening, loving the groaning sound Daniel made as he breached him easily. His hips pushed at Daniel’s and Daniel lowered himself to Jason, entering him with one smooth, gliding thrust. Jason moaned loudly and grabbed his own legs behind the knees, opening himself more. He closed his eyes, loving the feel of Daniel’s cock inside him and the different sensation of weight as Jack moved deeply inside Daniel.
Then Jack rocked his body, pushing his cock further into Daniel and Daniel’s cock further into Jason. Three different groans filled the air and mixed with loud, frantic panting. Daniel felt Jack push into him, thrusting and it forced him to do the same inside Jason. One action mirrored the other, but it was difficult at first until their bodies became used to the weight and the rhythm.
The sensation of being inside Jason while Jack was inside him was intense and he wanted more. Daniel took over the thrusting, plunging into Jason, then rocking back into Jack. His prostate was nudged and it spurred him on, moving faster and harder.
Jack felt Daniel take over and kneeling behind him, he simply held onto his hips and let his head drop back, immensely enjoying the ride Daniel was on. When Daniel sped up his movements, he met his backward thrusts with hard thrusts forward, eliciting gasps from Daniel’s throat as their sensations combined.
Below, Jason’s hands were over his head, tightly clutching the pillow underneath as his head arched back. His eyes closed, he concentrated on lifting his ass each time Daniel thrust into him and each time he did, Daniel found his gland. His skin now poured with sweat, his body tingling and alive, building pressure, begging for release. He moved his hand to his cock and began to stroke, knowing that it would make him come soon. But he wanted it; he wanted it badly, and he wanted his lovers to come with him. Slowing his strokes, he massaged the glans with his thumb, opening his eyes to find Daniel watching him, his blue eyes nearly black.
Feeling both of them react to his movements encouraged Daniel to step up the pace. Rocking back and forth in hard, quick thrusts, he smiled with smugness as his lovers moans told him they approved. He suddenly felt his balls tightening and that familiar blessed heat.
“Jack, Jason,” he whispered in warning.
Jason’s hand grabbed the side of his neck, caressing his cheek with his thumb as his other hand tightened the strokes on his cock. “Yes, Daniel, yes.”
Jack held on, knowing Daniel wanted to let loose. “Go for it, Danny. Go…for…it.”
Smiling and closing his eyes, Daniel let go. Thrusting madly in both directions, he felt Jack riding him, holding on, and it increased his need to pound into Jason. Jason arched his back suddenly, a hand pulling the back of knee even higher. He was coming.
“DANIEL!” he screamed.
Pounding with wild abandon, Jason’s tight muscles and Jack’s cock sent him into space. As his semen squirted over Jason’s gland, making him cry out, Daniel felt Jack’s cock pulse inside him.
“Let go, Jack!” he heard himself shout as his body’s violent tremors rippled through him.
Jack held Daniel’s waist in his callused hands and pistoned hard and fast, making Daniel’s orgasm all that much sweeter. The tightness of his ass and the volume of both his lovers’ cries catapulted Jack into oblivion. All he felt was his own body moving, thrusting, jerking, reacting to that which brought him over the edge and into bliss: his lovers.
Daniel reclined against the propped pillows, lying between his lovers, ice cream carton and one spoon in hand. He felt unusually smug, and happily sated, as he alternately fed the three of them the cold chocolate confection. Jack lay on his side to his left, his head propped up in his hand, while Jason snuggled against his right, a hand lazily drawing circles over his abdomen. Whatever he did to get blessed with these two in his life, he was extremely thankful.
Jack’s hand met Jason’s as he’d been working his caresses downward and their fingers locked. Jack pulled Jason’s arm over, forcing him to lean over Daniel’s stomach. Daniel had to raise his arms and hold the ice cream over their heads as Jack’s lips met Jason’s in a slow kiss.
Daniel spooned another bite into his mouth, watching the two of them with a strong sense of possessiveness. Nothing and no one would ever take these two away from him. Ever.
Jack pulled from his kiss with Jason, then opened his mouth for more ice cream. Daniel obliged, then gave Jason another bite. When Jack swallowed, Daniel could see the mischief in his eyes.
“Jack?” he asked, his mouth twitching on the edge of a smile waiting to happen.
“I was just thinking.”
“Uh oh,” Jason replied, his mouth also twitching.
“And?” Daniel prompted.
Jack suddenly reminded him just how much he loved him, though he wasn’t exactly sure why, given the words that suddenly flowed from his lover’s sarcastic mouth.
With his usual dry expression, Jack asked, “Which one of us is the bride?”
He suddenly howled as Daniel flattened his left nipple with a very cold ice cream-covered spoon.
Cont. in Trinity 14