Trinity 6: Thor
Summary: Jason’s recovery is interrupted by Thor.
Jason bit back against the pain as he moved the rolling cart away from his bed and slowly swung his legs over the side. The pain from his knife wound, as well as the repairing surgery, wasn’t as bad as the itching. Itching was supposed to be good, but it was driving him crazy.
Unfortunately, what seemed to be surpassing his insanity was Daniel’s constant mothering. Jason loved him dearly, but Daniel was getting on his nerves. After three days in the ICU ward, he’d been moved to his regular infirmary room and for a week, Daniel had visited every night, apart from a 2-day mission. Jack, unfortunately, hated visiting the hospital Jason had been moved to. The infirmary was one thing but the hospital was another. He had come by every other day or so but hadn’t stayed around long–unlike Daniel.
While Jason much appreciated his company, he’d finally had enough. Daniel needed time to himself and to be alone with Jack, and Jason was bound and determined to make him take it, even if he had to pick a fight. He winced at the thought; picking a fight wouldn’t be difficult. Daniel’s mothering hadn’t hidden the edginess he’d been displaying and Jason had a pretty good idea what was causing it: His selfish decision to leave Daniel and Jack out of catching that bastard Rogers.
Daniel was mad at him, but instead of venting it, Daniel was holding it in. Sooner or later, he’d give himself a migraine, which always happened when Daniel didn’t relieve his own stress. Picking a fight was probably the worst thing to do, but Jason didn’t see any other way.
Talking about it in the hospital room probably wasn’t a good idea because when they argued, they tended to yell. It was preferable to yell about something stupid, like Daniel’s friendly mothering, then let Daniel’s love for him spill out during the heat of a protective issue. Jason could handle being outed. He just didn’t want it happening to anyone else because of him. Even if Daniel was a civilian.
So, getting rid of Daniel would be easy, as would alienating Jack, which Jason felt he had to do as well. Daniel wasn’t the only one holding in the anger. If getting them to bitch at each other about him was one way to get the stress released, then that’s what he’d do.
Jason considered putting it off until tomorrow, but it had to be that night. Daniel would be over and though Jason didn’t want to do it, he’d have to kick him out. It’d be the best way to piss him off.
Jason shook his head and reached for his IV stand as he got to his feet. Impending doom set aside, first things first. He really needed to piss. Just as he was holding his IV bag in one hand and looking around for the crutch he had, Janet walked in. She stopped just as the door closed behind her and sighed at her patient.
“What am I going to do with you?” she asked moving to take his IV bag and hand him his crutch.
“Janet, I need to piss. Then I need to brush my teeth and shave. I feel gross. It’s bad enough that I can’t take a shower.”
“You get baths when you want them,” she replied with a sarcastic grin and Jason held up a warning hand.
“Can I stop having sponge baths?”
She smirked back. “No, I’m afraid not.”
“Then please, for the love of every benevolent god, would you please send in a male nurse. I’m going to kill off your female contingent if they don’t stop looking at me like I’m a potential roll in the hay or a future husband. Ick.”
“I’ve never heard Daniel complain…or the Colonel for that matter.”
Jason glared at her as she guided him to the bathroom and hung up his IV. “Janet, you know damn well why it doesn’t bother them. I’m the only one who’s gay. Gay. They’re bisexual, strange as that is.”
Janet gave him a patronizing grin. “Of course they are. Strange, I mean. Now, be a good boy and don’t break anything.”
“Out,” Jason glowered.
“Ingrate,” she laughed, closing the door.
Janet returned to his bed and started straightening up, pulling the sheets off as she pressed the call button. A nurse came in and Janet handed her the laundry bundle, then went to the small dresser by the bed, opened it up and pulled out new linen for Jason’s bed. The nurse set her bundle down, embarrassed that the base’s CMO would be making the bed, and assisted Janet in remaking the bed.
Janet smiled inwardly as they worked, amused at how almost every nurse on the floor seemed to vie to work Jason’s end of the ward. They didn’t care if the rumors said he was gay. All they wanted was the chance to be able to take his vitals, to chat with him, to hear about any mission details he chose to share with them, or to…gasp!…help him…bathe.
She considered Jason’s request and had to admit that it was a little unfair, with her knowing about him, to subject him to the female nurses. She made a mental roster in her head, choosing the corpsmen who were either straight or gay, and the nurses who were likely lesbian. She never asked, but sometimes, you could tell.
“When we’re done here, I’m reassigning the duty roster,” she told the nurse, getting a surprised reaction.
“May I ask why?” Maryanne asked.
Janet gave her a smirk. “Because the Major doesn’t appreciate all the flirting, Lieutenant. You’re a professional and should know better.”
Maryanne blanched. “Yes, ma’am, but… it’s just that he’d never said anything. And you know how it is. Flirting makes the men feel better.”
“And the women?” Janet asked, straightening from a tuck at the foot of the bed. With a cursory swipe over the linen, she threw the blanket on and Maryanne grabbed the other side, blushing furiously.
“I never thought of that.”
“No, but I’m thinking that during a slow day, everyone’s going to get a little class on sexual etiquette. People seem to forget that we have women in combat around here.”
“We don’t ma’am. It’s just that we don’t get as many injured because there aren’t as many serving.”
“Doesn’t excuse the attention deficits, nurse.”
Jason opened the door, breaking their conversation, and groaned as the nurse’s eyes practically fell out of her head. He stood there, wearing only the bottoms of his blue medical scrubs and shaving cream on his face.
“Janet, I need a new razor.” When he spied the nurse across the room, he smiled–close-mouthed–at her. “Morning, Maryanne.”
“Morning, sir,” Maryanne dissembled, and Janet shook her head, handed the woman the laundry pile and shoved her out the door. Turning back, she fetched a razor from the dresser and handed it to him.
“Here, Mr. Hypocrite.”
“What’d I do?” as he took the razor from her.
“I smiled and said good morning!” Jason growled at her. “Shit, Janet, you’re as bad as they are. Reading something from nothing. If the only way to get them, and you, to stop doing that is to act like an asshole, I will.”
Janet gave him her own growl in answer to that as she handed him new bathroom towels. When he turned, she stole the moment and slapped him on the ass, making him jump.
“Janet!” he said, eyes wide.
“Just a reminder, Jason.”
“About what women have to put up with all their lives. You need to chill out. Let them flirt, but I will do you the favor of changing your bathing nurses, okay?”
Jason sighed. “Thank you.”
“Thank me by behaving yourself.”
“Don’t I always?” as he started to draw the blade up his right cheek.
“Sort of. I hear you insist on doing half the bathing.”
“Yeah, well, they’re not washing my balls or dick, Janet.”
She grinned. “I’m not surprised. But let them bath everything else, and that includes your ass.”
Jason gave her a belligerent look. “No way.”
She crossed her arms and leaned against the bathroom door frame. “Yes way. You cannot twist, Jason. Reaching back to wash your own ass requires a slight twisting motion.”
“Janet, I’ve long arms. The only thing twisting is my rotator cup.”
She sighed and glared at him, not bothering to hide her exasperation. “Do as I tell you to, Jason, or you get the bed pan privileges restored.”
It was his turn to blanch. “You would, too, wouldn’t you. God. Fine, okay, they get to wash my ass, as long as they’re not staring at it. Even the guys.”
“You’re only annoyed you can’t let them touch–“
Jason tossed his towel at her, shutting her up. “You’re a mean, wicked woman.”
“And that’s why you love me.”
“That’s why I want to have your children, yes.”
There was a throat clearing behind her, and one of the nurses came in and handed Janet a clipboard, then left again. Janet watched her go, then gave Jason a sly grin.
“She heard that. Now she’ll tell others and pretty soon, base gossip with have the two of us in some hot, torrid affair.”
Jason started laughing as he rinsed his face. “A mean, wicked woman.”
Janet guided him back to his bed, easing him to sit before replacing the bags of his IV. Turning to him, hand on one of the controls to the smaller bag, she asked, “One to ten?”
Jason paused, thinking. “Four, maybe five. I don’t need any, Janet. Makes me sleepy. Itches like a bitch though.”
She nodded and pulled out some items from a drawer and set them on a tray. Bringing it to the cart, she set it down. “Okay, time to assume the position.”
“You take entirely too much delight in saying that to me.”
She sniggered, then laughed. “Be grateful it’s not exam time.”
He turned carefully, adjusting his arm and the IV, until he lay face down across the bed, feet on the floor.
He twitched as she cleaned the wound, applied the cream, and rebandaged. He couldn’t help but twitch through her ministrations, but she had a kind touch he always appreciated.
“How’s it look?” he asked.
“The suture’s are holding well, no thanks to you, and the skin’s healing nicely.”
“And when can I go home?”
Jason groaned. “Janet, it’s Wednesday. Can’t you just send me home today… please?”
“You have to have the IV for two more days, just to be on the safe side.” She finished the bandaging and patted him on his ribs. “Up.”
“The least you could do is let me eat,” he stated as he gingerly turned around and pushed himself back as she helped him lift his legs to the bed.
“Not till your kidney is processing normally. Soft stuff for you.”
“Oh God,” he whined, knowing damn well how petulant he sounded.
Janet gave him her stern look. “You won’t behave yourself if you’re at home.”
“Then send a nurse or corpsman over.”
“What about Daniel? He’s been here every day, staying very late, helping out.”
“He’s been too much of a mother hen, so I’m putting a stop to it.”
“He loves you,” she said softly.
Jason closed his eyes. “He needs to be somewhere else, Janet. He can’t waste his time–“
“Jason Coburn, he’s not wasting his time.”
Jason opened his eyes, giving her a sad look. “He’s pissed off at me.”
“Why on Earth would he be that?” she asked, surprised.
“Because I fucked up. I should’ve told him and Jack, and at least Jack, about Rogers, and I didn’t. I made a serious error in professional judgment that got three people killed and two, including myself, seriously wounded. In the field, that’s cause for discharge or court martial.”
Janet stared at him in disbelief. “Okay, I’ll give you that you should have told the Colonel or Daniel, but you did nothing else wrong, Jason. Nothing.”
“You know the regs as well as I. If this were any other base, Janet, Bradley wouldn’t be the only one in jail.”
Janet knew he was right and didn’t know what else to say except, “Do you think you belong in jail, Major?”
Jason thought about it. “Maybe,” then shook his head. “No.”
“Well then,” she said, as if the matter were settled. “As for Daniel, I can appreciate how he’s a bit angry, but he also loves you and fears for your safety, as you would for him, yes?”
“Yes, but the problem is that he’d mad, and in being mad, he feels guilty, so he hovers and pampers and it’s driving me insane. So, I’m going to send him home when he shows up. I just hope I don’t end up pissing him off so much I send him away for good.”
“Then talk to him.”
“Where?” Jason asked, waving at the room. “I can’t talk to him about it here. Not a good idea. You know how we yell.”
She nodded sadly. “I know. But there must be another way.”
“I don’t see one.”
She grudgingly had to admit she didn’t see one, either. Not in his infirmary room, anyway. “I might be able to send you home early, Jason, but not until I get the latest labs back. I have to see how your system’s progressing first.”
He sighed deeply. “Please try, Janet. I really need to be out of here and back home. I promise I’ll behave myself. I promise. I’ll be alone, but I’ll be careful. I live on a single floor, no stairs. Just send someone by to help change the dressing and make sure I’m taking my pills.”
“You actually think the Colonel or Daniel would stay away?” she asked, lowering her voice again.
Jason nodded. “After I get done with them, they’ll stay away.”
“Jason, don’t you dare–“
“It can’t be helped, Janet. They need to have their own lives and not be stuck caring for an invalid.”
“First, you’re not an invalid. Second, they wouldn’t be stuck. Honestly, Jason, you’re making me want to hit you right now.”
“Janet,” he implored gravely. “They’re mad and they’re not talking to me about it. If I can get them to at least talk to each other, then that’ll be enough.”
She frowned at him, confused. “Why’s the Colonel mad?”
He sighed again. “Same reason as Daniel, only his is more for the professional reasons. I didn’t just make a professional error in judgment, I also made a personal one. He’s not likely to forgive that for a long time.” She started to interrupt but he held her off. “On a personal and professional level, it’s all a matter of trust. I showed disrespect by taking their right to decide away from them. To decide whether or not to go with me and risk injury or harm.
“Daniel will see it as disrespecting his right to choose. I’m not sure if Jack sees it that way exactly, but I know he’s very disappointed in me for dropping my professionalism and thinking of them as my boyfriends, not my co-workers. That’s what I mean by personal error in judgment. He’s also dealing with his own guilt issues about Rogers.” Janet gave him a puzzled look. “He’s the base 2IC, in charge of screening the new people. Even though he didn’t get a chance, he still thinks he should have pulled the guy out.”
“He’s not a clairvoyant, Jason. And the psych evals were forged.”
“Jack knew the man a while back and didn’t remember at first. When he did, he still waited, thinking to give the guy a chance, to see if his attitude had changed. Because he waited, he’ll likely think it’s his fault as well as mine.”
“Peas in a pod,” Janet said with frustration, shaking her head. “The three of you must have majored in martyrdom or something.” Jason didn’t comment. Finally, she laid a hand on his arm. “I’ll take your request to General Hammond, and he’ll defer the decision back to me. If your test results this afternoon are okay, I’ll give orders for your release either tonight or in the morning, depending on how backed up the lab is. You’ll have to go by the strict rules I set down.”
“Yes, ma’am. Thanks, Janet.” He then looked at the door to see if anyone was about. “Could I ask you a, um, sex-related medical question?”
She went over and pushed the door closed. “Jason, after what we just talked about?” Moving back to the bed, she pulled his arm across the portable table, preparing to draw enough blood to fill four tubes. “Ask away.”
“If, by some miracle, things get worked out between us, what kind of activity am I allowed? I know what I can do, but sometimes, they can be a little over-zealous.”
She stared back at him as the third tube filled. She loved making him blush and he was doing it now when she didn’t answer him right away. She finally spoke in a whisper. “I think you know the answer, Jason.”
He nodded but gestured. “Confirm it for me anyway.”
She shook her head. “No penetration. No strenuous use of back and hip muscles until you start physical therapy. Everything else should be okay. Just be careful. Slow and gentle are the key words here.” She looked down, concentrating on the filling tube as she felt the heat rising in her own cheeks. She cleared her throat a few times. “That confirm it enough for you?”
He cleared his own throat. “Yes, thank you.” When he was done having his own version of a blushing heat wave, the four tubes were filled. “You sure you have enough blood? I know about that vampire in your basement, you know.”
She gave him a sarcastic, crooked smile. “Watch it now. He doesn’t need needles to draw blood.”
Jason grinned but didn’t reply. He then switched back to the previous subject for a second. “Thanks. It, um, gives me a little hope, if things should mend between us.”
“And you’re welcome,” she said quietly. “Just remember that you could pull internal sutures and you definitely won’t like that. You could bleed to death.” He stared wide-eyed at her as she pulled the rubber tourniquet off his arm and pressed down the cotton ball.
“You’re not just scaring me, are you?” he said as he took in her serious expression.
She shook her head then changed the subject. “Breakfast will be here pretty soon.” At his grimace, she waggled a finger at him. “I know, but you have to eat. Drink all the juice so you rebuild the blood I just took. I’m going to run off now and get my rounds done. I’ll see you either this evening before I go home or tomorrow morning after I get in, depending on these results and my time in the infirmary.”
“Thanks, Jan. For everything.”
“You’re welcome,” she mouthed, teasing him, then gave him a wink and left his room.
Daniel had shown up after work, as expected, and to Jason’s dismay, had practically done everything for him. He sat in a chair next to the bed, reading one of his archaeological magazines, mumbling and shaking his head at the information.
Jason glanced at the clock. It was only 5:30 pm but it felt later than that. He didn’t want Daniel playing nursemaid and felt guilty enough about his attentions. Jason had tried to broach the subject, but Daniel had denied being angry. Jason sighed heavily, knowing it was time to push, but he had to try one more time.
“Daniel, I wish you’d admit to me that you’re pissed off.”
Daniel dropped the book closed and stared at him. “Jason, I am not mad.”
“Really? Then why do you come here to nursemaid me without talking to me?”
“What the hell are you talking about? I’m not meaning to nursemaid you, Jason. And I talk to you.”
“About what?” Jason asked, pushing to sit on the edge of the bed.
“Whatever comes to mind,” Daniel replied, confused. “You’re the one who’s obviously mad here, Jace. What’s wrong?”
“You. I don’t understand you. We can talk about anything and everything, but you’ve been coming here for a week, seeing to my needs, and then you sit and do your research or translations or–“
“Jason, I’ve work to do,” Daniel replied, and knew it was the wrong thing to say the moment it left his mouth.
“Exactly!” Jason said, raising his voice enough to show emphasis. “You’re working, Daniel. You work all day, then you come here to do more.”
“Wait a damn minute–“
“You won’t admit your justifiable anger at me, fine. This isn’t the place to talk about it, fine. Then here’s the solution, Daniel. Leave. I want you to go home.”
Startled, Daniel stared. “Why?”
“Because you don’t need to be here.”
“But I want to be here, Jason.”
Jason sighed again. This would be hard. “No you don’t. You’re not here to see me. You’re here to take care of me, like some damn guilt trip you’re working off. I don’t need it. You need time for yourself and this isn’t it. I want you to go home.”
Daniel stared at him for a while. He knew Jason was serious and though he could agree with him, the request hurt him. He felt rejected. Daniel silently shut his book and grabbed his knapsack. “I’ll see you tomorrow then.” He wasn’t looking at Jason when he said it.
Jason felt his gut clench. “No, Daniel. I don’t want you to come back to stay all day. Just pop your head in, say hi, and then go home.”
“Daniel, you don’t talk to me. There’s no reason for you to be here if all you’re going to do is work. You won’t talk to me because you’re mad at me. All I can say is I’m sorry. About all of it,” and then lowered his voice to a whisper. “I didn’t want you in harm’s way. It’s not an excuse. It’s what I was feeling.”
Daniel’s eyes were bright with emotion, but he didn’t look at Jason as he went for the door. “Sleep well, Jace.” He then walked through the door and disappeared. Jason felt like he’d just committed suicide without a weapon.
“Shit.” Now for part two of his plan. He picked up his cell phone from the table and dialed Jack’s number.
“Jason, what’s up?” Jack asked tersely.
The tone told Jason that Jack wasn’t too happy about talking to him. It hurt, but it would make it easier. “Were you planning on dropping by this evening?”
Jack didn’t answer. Instead, he asked, “Daniel being a nuisance?”
“No. I sent him home.”
“Because he didn’t need to be here.”
“Great, so you pissed him off?”
“Easy to do, since he’s already pissed off with me, as you are.”
“Jason, I’m not–“
“Do me a favor. Go home, cheer him up. He’s probably feeling rejected.”
“Fine, whatever. You okay?”
“I’m fine, thanks for asking. How’re you?” So formal. Why did it feel like he was breaking up with them?
“Me? I’m fine.”
“Yeah, okay, Jack,” Jason said, wincing at the tone he’d purposely used.
“What’s that mean?”
“Jason, did you call to pick a fight?”
Yes, actually. “No, just for you to go check on Daniel.”
“Why’d you sent him away?”
“Because, like you, he won’t admit to being pissed off.”
“Well, you know I don’t do the talking thing that well, anyway.”
“You’re full of shit and you know it. You just don’t like explaining yourself to anyone, that’s all. But I’m not just anyone.”
“Don’t do that, Jason.”
“I pissed off both of you and you won’t talk to me about it, so until you do, stay away from me.” Jason hung up on him and stared at the phone. He was quite sure he’d never hear from them again, but something told him he was also feeling sorry for himself.
The door opened and Corpsman Rhodes walked in, wearing civilian clothes, and carrying a small bag. Jason was grateful to see him. He and another corpsman had been assigned as his ‘nurses’ later that morning. Jason had a feeling he owed Janet a serious amount of flowers or dinner or something. “Major? How’re you doing?”
“I have to get out of here, Kyle.”
“I can help with that,” Kyle offered and waved papers at him.
“Don’t tell me,” Jason smiled hugely, watching the large corpsman as he walked inside and sat down in the chair. “Those for me?”
“Yep, your blood tests came back clean. I also have here a written order for me to go by your apartment every day to clean and rebandage.”
“I’m going to marry that woman someday,” Jason sighed, winking at Kyle.
“She’ll kill you,” Kyle joked back, returning the wink as he set his things down and grabbed Jason’s clothes out of the locker and placed them on the foot of the bed.
Jason snickered. “Well, at least she’s given me you and not one of those damn nurses–not that they’re bad or anything, but it’s just…”
“Yeah, I know,” Kyle said with a huge grin. “You should have seen them, vying to get to be the one to stop by.”
Jason closed his eyes and winced as he got to his feet. “God.”
“Hold on, Major, let’s get you unhooked from all this crap first.”
Jason stood still as Kyle removed the IV. “What’s on the agenda?”
“First, getting dressed, which you’ll find will be a pain in the ass without help so don’t refuse. Second, it’s down to admin so you can sign on the dotted lines. Third, get your prescriptions filled. Fourth, you get outta here.” He gave Jason the cotton ball for his arm and disposed of the dirty equipment.
Jason, meanwhile, was grinning. “Is there a fifth?”
Kyle grinned back. “No bottles for you yet, sir.”
“I want to stop by Cari’s before we leave. Are you taking me home or do I need to shanghai someone?”
“Yours truly,” Kyle grinned as he waited for Jason to allow him to remove his scrubs.
Jason eyed him. “I’ll have to dress myself at home, Kyle. You’re not coming home with me, now are you?”
“Shame that,” Kyle flirted.
Jason sighed. “Funny how I can take that from you, but not them.”
“Not so funny, sir. I get it, believe me. As for dressing by yourself, you’ll make do. Just be careful.”
“Not a problem. The threat of coming back here will be a great motivator.”
“I hear that.”
With Kyle’s minimal assistance, he was soon dressed and all of his belongings gathered up and packed. Kyle went out to the hall and grabbed the wheelchair.
Semi-comfortable… sort of… Jason motioned ahead. “Okay, James, lead on.”
The last stop was Carmichael’s room and Jason found her with her girlfriend, Amanda, playing cards on the portable table.
“Sergeant, how’re you doin’?”
“Fine, sir,” and she indicated her girlfriend. “Sir, this is Amanda, she’s the owner of the camcorder we stole.”
Jason reached out and shook the civilian scientists’ hand. “Jason,” he said with his most charming smile. “Thank you very much for not filing charges.”
Amanda smiled broadly. “If I had, sir, Cari would have kicked my arse.”
“Can’t have that,” Jason drawled, glaring at Cari.
“You’ve no idea,” Cari said, rolling her eyes. “She refuses to have junk food.”
Ignoring her, Amanda added, “You’re welcome to use it anytime, sir. Glad it was of some help to you.”
Jason smiled. “It was of immense help and thank you.” Noting her Welsh accent, he winked, “Bit of a long way from home, aren’t you?”
Amanda winked back. “Yes, sir.” She sent a curious smile to Carmichael and Jason sensed something was up.
“Cari, what have you been filling this woman’s head with?”
Carmichael held up her hands. “Nothing but the truth, sir.”
Jason growled. “Well, make sure you get it right.”
Carmichael nodded, looking somewhat subdued rather quickly, and she pointed at several vases filled with orange roses. “Thank you, sir. They’re beautiful. You didn’t have to do that.”
He reached out and grabbed her hand. “Yes, I did. You saved my ass. If you hadn’t yelled that warning for me to get down, or immediately fired on that bastard, that knife would have skewered me. I owe you.”
She became a little misty eyed, then sniffed hugely. “No, you don’t. I only did my job.”
Jason relented. “Well, how about I buy you a big dinner when you can eat out?”
She shook her head. “You’re on, sir. But in the meantime, take care of yourself.”
He could see that it bothered her and he understood. “I will. You do the same. Amanda, you’ll see to it, won’t you?”
“You got it, sir.”
Daniel plopped down on his bed in a bad mood that was growing worse. Okay, so maybe he didn’t mean to be so smothering but Jason didn’t have to throw him out. Shouldn’t have thrown him out. He didn’t understand. Daniel didn’t want to go home. If he was home–like he was now–he’d dwell on what happened and that’s exactly what he was doing. And getting madder than he already was. At Jason for getting himself badly hurt, for not trusting him. Daniel wanted to hit something and hit it hard. Instead, he got into the shower, hoping the hot water would help. He needed something to eat but he wasn’t hungry–not with the migraine that was forming.
Daniel stood in the kitchen, staring into the fridge, not knowing what the hell to eat even if he still wasn’t hungry. He gave up and padded back to the bedroom to lie down. All the earlier anger hadn’t left him, though he’d tried to suppress it.
He didn’t want to be mad and tried to will it away by thinking of the latest translation when he heard the front door unlock. For a fraction of a second, he became alarmed, until he heard the familiar jingle of keys. Jack.
Daniel’s previous guilt increased. He hadn’t been with Jack since that one time almost ten days ago, having spent it instead mothering Jason. He’d thought that if Jason couldn’t get any, neither should he or Jack… except he was suddenly remembering the scolding he’d given his lovers for avoiding each other when he’d been laid up.
He draped his arm over his eyes, letting out a slow breath. “Shit.”
Jack made more noise than usual in the kitchen, which sounded to Daniel like he wasn’t in that great a mood either. When Jack entered the bedroom, Daniel didn’t raise his arm to check.
“Hey,” Jack said from the side of the bed.
“Hey. You sound on edge, banging things around. Jason piss you off, too?”
“On the phone, not in person. And after I’d calmed down a little, I realized he’d done it on purpose. And you as well, I suspect. You really did need a break, Daniel.”
Daniel dropped his arm to the bed. “Not you, too.”
Jack took his coat off and draped it over the chair, then his shoes and socks. He sat down next to a half-naked Daniel, dressed only in sweatpants, and pushed at him.
“You pickin’ a fight, too? I’m up for it.”
Daniel turned his head to him. “You wanna fight? Why?”
“Okay, you’re mad.”
“Well why shouldn’t I be? I hate what Jason did! I hate that he got himself injured and could’ve died! I hate that I’m fucking pissed off because I’ve got a goddamn headache!”
Jack raised his voice only a little. “Then I think you get to go first.”
“Because you already are,” Jack said with a grin.
“Well… he’s being a fucking asshole!”
Jack grinned. “Yes, he is. But there’s a method in his asshole madness.”
Daniel scowled at him. “So I’m being a fucking asshole? No way. I deserved to be fucking mad.”
“You’re cussing a lot.”
“And I really fucking hate it when you do that!”
Daniel wanted to yell louder, but instead, he started to laugh nervously and it mixed with his anger until the laughter was gone and the angry words finally started to leave him.
“And I hate it when you make me laugh when I’m mad.”
“So yell, get it out. You hate him for what he did.”
“No!” Daniel said, eyes wide. “I hate what he did, not him.”
“How is there a difference?”
“There is in Jason’s case. I know what you’d say and the arguments you’d use on his side of things, and I’d agree. But don’t waste your breath, Jack. He should have told us! He said he was sorry and I knew he meant it, but dammit, I’m still mad!”
“He thought he could be Superman,” Jack replied, raising his voice only slightly so Daniel would pay attention.
Daniel growled at him. “That was something I used to get on you about.”
Jack grinned wryly. “I know. It seems it’s Jason’s turn now.”
Daniel’s mood suddenly changed and he became quiet for a bit, taking on a somber expression. He gave Jack a pleading look. “What if I can’t trust him to keep his own ass safe?”
“You will, and so will I, and so will Wagner, if I’m any judge of the scared look on his face almost two weeks ago.”
“Shit, don’t say that asshole’s name.”
“He’s fine, Daniel. Needs to be slapped around once in a while, but he’s fine.”
Jack abruptly pulled Daniel into his arms, feeling his body heat, and becoming lost in it. “I was thinking that maybe Jason didn’t think he’d have time to come get us. He panicked, and perhaps that’s why he didn’t have Security notify me. He did everything for the right reasons. That’s what you and I have to remember. It’ll all work out, Daniel. Trust me.”
Daniel pushed away a little bit. “Aren’t you mad at him?”
Jack had tried to push the emotions away, but avoiding them was too hard, especially right now. “I’m angry with him, yes. But not for the same reasons and nowhere near as much as I’m angry at myself.”
Daniel pulled away more, his face a mask of shocked confusion, but Jack pulled him back into a hug. “Why at yourself?”
“I knew that bastard, Rogers. I gave him a chance when I shouldn’t have. That irresponsible decision cost lives.”
“But he needed to be caught.”
“Sooner or later, he would have been.”
“Daniel, let me finish. I’m not so much angry with Jason for what he did than with how he did it. He acted for personal reasons. He didn’t follow the correct protocol.”
“Fuck protocol. How can you be pissed at him for that?”
“Daniel, I’d be mad at him for him. If this had been any other base, he’d have been in the stockade as soon as he was released from the hospital.”
“They’d lock him up for saving your life because he’d violated protocol? How fucked up is that!” Daniel yelled indignantly.
“Pretty fucked up,” he said with tired patience, smiling now because Daniel was defending his lover’s actions, not condemning him.
“What’re you smiling about?”
“You’re defending him now. Still mad?”
Daniel stewed about it for a little bit, then said, “A little.”
“Scale of one to ten.”
“Five… maybe. But mostly… that’s guilt.”
“Why?” Jack asked, eyeing his lover because he thought he knew some of it.
“Because I mothered him, and because I stayed away from you.”
“Why did you?”
“Because I knew that being around you, I’d want to be with you, and I stupidly thought that if Jason couldn’t get any, neither should we.”
“A little hypocritical, don’t you think?”
“Yeah, well, I actually didn’t think of that until just a while ago.”
Jack sighed and shook his head at him. “What am I going to do with you?”
“Ask me when I’m not mad. And speaking of, are you still mad, after this little talk?”
“Annoyed really, not so much angry.”
“Care to explain that better?”
Jack sighed. “Because I identify with what he did. You used to get on me about making your decisions for you. It’s why I identify with what he did. I was wrong, and so was he, but I understand why he did it.” Daniel looked as if he were about to argue but Jack placed a finger on his lips. He couldn’t believe he was going to say this but he knew it would convince Daniel more than anything else would. “Daniel, sappy as shit as this will sound, especially from me, but what he did, he did because he loved us. No other reason. His common sense got shoved aside because he was leading with his heart, so I’m a bit angry with him for that, but I’ll get over it. He won’t do that again. He’ll still lead with his heart, but he won’t do it without covering his ass first.”
Daniel frowned, but nodded in agreement. “Okay, I see what you’re saying.”
“So… not so much angry. Any leftover anger I have is about that fight he picked with me over the phone.”
“Yeah, that’s really the reason I’m mad. He kicked me out. Why would he do that?”
“Because if he’d told you to go home, would you have?”
“Well, yes, but–“
“But you’d have argued about it.”
Jack was right. Again. “I hate it when you do that.”
“I know. Now, tell me again why were you ignoring me during the past ten days?”
“I already told you. It didn’t feel right that we should feel good while Jason was practically on his death bed.” He paused, then grimaced. “And that’s the reason you’re still mad. Not at Jason. Me.”
“Shouldn’t I be?”
Sheepishly, Daniel conceded that. “Yeah. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I overreacted.”
“Just like Jason did. For what you thought was the right reason. What’s more important? Being mad over trivial shit or his life?”
“It’s not so trivial now.”
“Yes it is, when you measure it against his life. We almost lost him, Daniel. I think I can get over being mad just to have him alive.” Jack slid his arms around him then, holding him close as he buried his face in Daniel’s neck. “We almost lost him,” he repeated.
They held onto each other, neither of them saying a word. Jack finally spoke again, but in a rough, emotional whisper. “I am constantly surprised by how much I care about him, love him. It’s not easy for me, as you know.”
Daniel partially laughed, then sniffed as he felt his nose clogging up. “How do you do that?”
“Take away my anger at someone else yet make it so easy for me to get pissed off at you?”
Jack smiled as he pushed back from him, brushing back the hair he’d mussed. He sniffed through a small laugh. “Are you mad at me?” he asked, his hands caressing Daniel’s hair, moving to his neck.
“No,” Daniel replied softly, staring at Jack’s lips now while his hands roamed down Jack’s back.
“Good. Do you mind if I change the subject for a minute?” Jack asked as he stared into those blue eyes.
“No.” Daniel felt one of Jack’s hands slide down to cup his ass and he began to get hard as he pulled Jack harder against him.
“Good. I brought some monster chef salads. Are you hungry?” Jack asked, breathing increasing as Daniel’s hands slid down to clamp over his ass.
“Not for that.” Daniel’s eyes roamed between Jack’s eyes and his lips, staring hungrily.
“Want to get naked and sweaty first?” Jack asked as he kissed lightly, feeling the heat between them building up. He missed this. He missed this a lot.
“Yes,” Daniel replied, his own breathing becoming shorter, harsher. Their cocks strained between them and each needed to feel the other’s skin. As Jack held onto him, Daniel pushed his own sweats down over his hips and let them drop to the floor, kicking them out of the way. He stood nude in Jack’s arms and inhaled sharply, smiling, when Jack’s hands returned the earlier crushing caress. “Your turn.”
“I’ve a bit more on than you. Won’t be as quick.”
“That’s okay,” Daniel said, giving in to the urge he’d been ignoring since Jack walked into the bedroom. He kissed him, hard, turning them around and pinning Jack to the wall. He missed this so much; Jack tasted fucking wonderful and Daniel didn’t want to break, not even for air, but…
“Do you want to go to the bedroom?” Jack asked, parting with a gasp and brushing his lips over Daniel’s chin.
Daniel began to remove Jack’s shirt quickly, efficiently. “No.” The shirt fell down Jack’s arms and dropped to the floor.
“Do you want to move to the living room?” Jack asked next as Daniel moved to his jeans next while Jack busied his mouth over Daniel’s throat.
“No,” Daniel whispered harshly, almost panting. Jeans dropped and kicked away, along with briefs, Daniel grabbed him again and rubbed. “God,” he whispered as their bodies felt electrified; cocks rubbing, nipples crushing.
Jack moaned through another kiss and pulled Daniel into a tight hug then backed him up against the fridge. He found another angle for thrust and grind and it was too much to stop and consider going elsewhere. Banging against the fridge would be just fine, thank you.
But. “Do you want to stay here?” he offered as he pulled his mouth away for a moment to bite under Daniel’s ear.
“Yes,” Daniel whispered back, maneuvering them to the end of the long empty counter. For once, Daniel was glad of the round-edged design. What he wanted would leave bruises otherwise. He wanted Jack to do that instead.
“Anything else?” Jack asked as his finger slid down the crack of his lover’s ass.
“Fuck me,” Daniel told him hungrily as he kissed him again, pushing up blindly with both hands and lifting his ass to the counter.
“Shit yes,” Jack hissed, biting down on Daniel’s neck and collarbones while Daniel raised his legs to wrap around Jack’s thighs, pulling him in as Jack bent over. “Fuck yes.”
“Nice that the counter’s low enough.”
“Yes, nice that,” Jack answered as he felt for the bottle of vegetable oil and flipped up the cap. He sloppily poured some over Daniel’s cock, over his balls, his free hand rubbing it into his lover’s hole before he pumped a healthy amount of it over his cock. “Prep?”
“Fuck no,” Daniel panted with need, his whisper a higher pitch. Jack pressed and slid inside with amazing quickness, finding Daniel beautifully hot and wet. Missed.
Daniel brought his heels to Jack’s lower back and pulled, thrusting his own hips upward, encouraging Jack deeper. He closed his eyes. “I missed you.”
They began to rock together slowly as Daniel clamped one hand over the edge of the counter and the other under a knee, pulling up to hold himself more open. “Take my cock.”
On the balls of his feet, Jack rocked forward as he took his lover’s cock firmly in hand, stroking and rubbing the leaking pre-come. “More?”
“Not like this,” Jack said, trying to thrust, but their position wasn’t letting him go where he wanted.
“No, not like this,” Daniel replied. He needed to feel that sharp, hard lust that came when Jack massaged his gland. He suddenly pushed Jack’s hips away, pulling his cock out of him. Jack started to object but Daniel pushed off and grabbed several large hand towels from the drawer and threw them over the kitchen’s butcher block table. He grabbed the edges, spreading his legs and bent over the small table, rubbing his cock against the rough surface. “Like this.”
Jack groaned at the sight of Daniel’s gorgeous ass and grabbed his lover’s hips roughly. “Hold on.” He slid inside, inch by inch, taking it slow, driving them both mad. When he was all the way in, and without a word of warning, he thrust hard and blessedly deep.
“Yes!” Daniel cried out.
“Again?” Jack teased as he rocked his hips, moving in and out with shallow strokes.
“Oh god, yes!”
Daniel gripped the far edge, hanging on and wallowing in the wonderful pleasure that spread throughout as Jack found his gland. “So good.”
Jack gasped, wanting to talk dirty but nothing was coming out of his mouth. He couldn’t stop. He needed this, needed Daniel. Jack laid over him, reaching for the edge of the table next to Daniel’s hands and thrust with wild abandon, grunting, panting, crying out single words of pleasure, encouraged by Daniel’s gasps and grunting sounds. It felt like they’d been fucking forever, and Jack wanted it to continue, but he could feel that knotting coil of heat in his balls as they started to draw up. The feeling made him move harder, dirtier, rougher.
Jack knew his thrusts were bruising, but Daniel kept calling out for more, his hole clamping tightly around him through every spasm of pleasure and suddenly, it wasn’t enough. He straightened, grabbing Daniel’s hips with bruising fingers, and rammed into him, hard and fast until Daniel’s muscles gripped him tight. He was coming, yelling Jack’s name, piercing the air with cuss words and growling sounds.
That’s all it took and Jack came hard, crying Daniel’s name as he dropped down over him, wrapping his arms tightly about Daniel as he waited for the shudders to fade.
Daniel moaned underneath him, the sounds he made when he was pleased and sated. Jack shifted his weight to his forearms, kissing Daniel’s back, waiting till he was soft enough to pull out. When that happened, he stood up, bringing Daniel with him, turning him around to take him in his arms and give Daniel a lazy, loving kiss.
Daniel picked up his clothes and followed Jack to the laundry, then the shower. Stepping inside together, he lazily soaped Jack’s chest, staring at the skin, the hairs, the erect nipples. Jack watched his face and combed his fingers through Daniel’s wet hair.
“I was, am, scared,” Daniel said softly and looked up into his dark eyes.
“Me too,” Jack replied and kissed him slowly. “Now what?”
“I want to do this until we can’t move.” Daniel caressed and cleaned, loving the slick feel as his fingers slid around Jack’s body, covering them both with thick, soapy suds, rinsing, washing their hair. When he grabbed the conditioner and used it like soap, Jack began to laugh. Daniel kissed him with sudden hunger, sliding his finger in Jack’s cleft and felt a twinge of interest re-igniting.
It’d be awhile, Daniel told himself, thinking to stay in the shower until they could fuck again, but he didn’t want to wait. Half-hard, he moved behind Jack and pushed his cock between his lover’s cheeks, loving the welcoming groan as he slid halfway inside. “Want the same thing you gave me?” he asked softly.
“Yes, but not as fast, and on the bed. I want something to hang onto.”
Daniel accommodated him; rinsed and wet, with lube liberally added, he fucked Jack, face-down and prone, until they couldn’t move anymore.
Jason’s eyes flew open, startled, and he grimaced as the sore muscles on his left side complained at the sudden movement. His breathing was fast, harsh. He lay on his right side and forced himself to relax and sink back down into the bed. His eyes found his bedside clock. Midnight. This was the second time he’d woken up. The nightmares had been a surprise. He hadn’t expected any. And he certainly didn’t expect them to be about Jack and Daniel.
He laid still until his panicked heart slowed, listening to the quiet of his apartment. Jason suddenly felt that peculiar melancholy once again, knowing it was echoes from the dream, but dreams, he told himself, were reflections of waking life taken to the extreme emotional edge. He told himself that what he dreamed was fear of abandonment. Still, he wasn’t in that great a place and thought that perhaps he’d subconsciously made his fears a reality. Wouldn’t have been for the first time.
Absurdly, the nightmare images comforted him because he knew they were false. Jack and Daniel were alive. They hadn’t been killed in Jack’s truck. But their voices hadn’t died with the truck. They yelled in accusing words and he wiped at the single tear that escaped as he pulled the comforter up over him.
“Stupid idiot,” he cursed himself, though he wasn’t quite sure what he was cursing himself for exactly.
He could live with the loss and guilt in pushing them away. At least they were alive. And those damn nightmares would never come true. His back ached from the surgery and he’d never get a restful night if he didn’t take one of the pain pills. He hated them, but Janet had been right. He’d need them. Sighing, he forced himself to get up and take a pill. When he returned to his bed and closed his eyes, all he could see was the nightmare.
Jack and Daniel arrived at work feeling much better now that the stress between them was gone. Of course, having hard, exhausting sex, twice, helped quite a bit. As the day wore on, and the information on a new mission was handed out, they’d come to a decision. To ask Janet and Hammond if Jason could stay at Daniel’s just as he’d done before. Only this time, it would be for Jason’s sake, not Daniel’s.
At around 4 pm, their duties had finally lightened up, and Daniel appeared at Jack’s door.
Jack looked up and smiled upon hearing Daniel’s voice. “Hey.”
“Wanna come with me to see Janet? I’m gonna go ask.”
Jack looked at his watch. “Damn, where’d the time go?”
Daniel smirked. “Where it always goes. Into the past.”
Jack winced. “Daniel.”
Daniel tried not to laugh. “Sorry.”
Jack stretched, then gave a brief yawn. He stood up, dropped his pen, then turned off his computer. “Whaddya say we call it a day and go visit Jason after we see Janet?”
“Think Hammond and Janet will allow the cohabiting?”
“If not officially, they will unofficially. We have to care for our own even if it’s not exactly legal.”
Daniel grinned. “In more ways than one.” His grin faded and he sighed guiltily. “Should’ve gone to see him this morning but I didn’t want to bother him after the fight.”
“Wasn’t technically a fight.”
“I got mad, Jason got mad, you got mad. It was a fight.”
“Good point. Let’s see if we can’t spring him from this joint, go home, and kiss and make up.”
Daniel grinned a bit wistfully. “Except that we can only do that quite literally with Jason. No make-up sex.”
Jack made a face. “We’ll get around that somehow.”
Daniel rolled his eyes and shut the door after them. Once in the elevator, he said, “Groping doesn’t count.”
“Doesn’t get you off.”
“Yeah, there’s that.”
“Doesn’t get him off, either.”
“Which is kinda the whole point, isn’t it?”
“I’ll assume that was rhetorical.”
Janet sighed tiredly as she took off her medical jacket and hung it in her office. She had one more patient to see, then she’d go home and sit in a hot bath until she pruned. Grabbing her keys and purse, she locked the door and took a step in the direction of the elevators when Jack and Daniel approached. She’d been busy and had forgotten to leave the guys messages about Jason, but at the moment, she wasn’t feeling all that charitable.
They should have checked on Jason that morning, as they had every morning–as she had at his apartment. His mood had told her that something hadn’t gone right, and after a bit of needling, Jason had told her about the fights he’d purposely caused. Jack and Daniel might still be angry with him, but to her mind, and given Jason’s condition, that was no excuse for ignoring him or pretending nothing was wrong.
“Hey, Doc, can we talk to you?” Jack greeted amiably.
She gave him and Daniel a cold look and they exchanged confused glances.
“Bad day?” Daniel asked gently, then thought better of the question when her gaze levelled on him.
“I’m on my way to see another patient,” she replied sternly and walked around them, heading for the elevators again. It was surprising to her just then when they followed.
“We were wondering if you could release Jason today,” Daniel said quietly, noticing that Janet wasn’t just in a bad mood. She was pissed at them for some reason. When she didn’t answer and kept walking, Daniel reached out and gently grabbed her arm. “Janet, hold up, what’s wrong? Have we done something?”
She stopped and turned around, shaking his grasp irritably. “If you’re looking for Major Coburn, he’s no longer here.” She actually enjoyed the moment of panic on their faces but didn’t have the heart to leave them thinking the worst. “No, not that, though I don’t see that making a difference.”
“Excuse me?” Jack asked, starting to scowl.
“He kept nagging me to send him home so when his labs came back clean yesterday afternoon, I discharged him last night. If you’d bother to check in with him instead of being mad at him, you would have already known.” With that, she turned around and left them standing there with their jaws agape.
Jason resisted the urge to scratch but he kept absently rubbing over the bandage with the back of his hand. He’d left his shirt off, keeping only his scrub pants on; the cool air outside alleviated the itching somewhat but not by much. He wanted to put ice on the damn thing and numb it to death but a frozen wound wasn’t a good idea.
Somehow, he managed to go through the day without going insane but not by much. There was nothing for him to do that wouldn’t involve using his back muscles, and Janet’s warning that he needed rest ‘or else’ had Jason curtailing his normal routine pretty severely. It wasn’t his preference to lie around, but he no other choices.
On the couch or in bed was okay if he was with Daniel or Jack or both, but alone? It was not what he wanted, so he spent part of the day online, reading, and the rest of the day sitting on the couch–as opposed to lying down–watching part of his slowly growing DVD collection. Through it all, his thoughts kept returning to his lovers, the fight he’d caused, to the nightmare he’d had since he’d woken up after surgery. He’d been able to ignore the latter till his actions yesterday had sent Daniel and Jack away.
He morosely surfed the cable channels, trying to find anything to distract him, when the knock at the door startled him. Getting up slowly, he grabbed his cane and opened the door to find Corpsman Kyle Rhodes standing there, med kit in hand, still dressed in his whites.
“Hello, sir, I hate to bother you.”
“No bother, Kyle,” Jason answered and stepped aside to let him in.
“Dr. Fraiser suggested I make my visits official,” he said, tweaking at the collar of his uniform.
Jason smiled a little and made his way to the breakfast bar. “Will this be okay or would you rather have me lying down?”
“Sitting is fine, sir, but you might want to roll the waistband of your pants down a bit. I don’t want to get the betadine solution all over it.”
“Gotcha.” As he untied and rolled the waistband down, Kyle went on.
“Dr. Fraiser said that, barring an emergency, she’d stop by on her way home, which shouldn’t be long now.”
Jason shook his head. “She’s such a worrier. Not that I don’t appreciate it.”
Kyle put on his gloves as he turned Jason on the stool, having him face the bar. He bent to his task, removing the old bandage, and cleansing the wound. Kyle’s hands were gentle, efficient, but it seemed as if he was taking longer than he did last night.
“Something on your mind?” Jason asked.
There was a pause, then Kyle asked, “Sir, may I ask a personal question?”
“If it has anything to do with those damn rumors, please don’t ask,” Jason sighed.
“Well, sir, it does and it does not. I just wanted to know what your personal viewpoint was.”
“On what, Kyle?”
“On whether you like guys. I know you were humoring me back in the hospital, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and… ask if maybe you’d like to…”
Jason grinned, wondering when Kyle would out himself more openly. “Are you asking me out?”
“Well, yeah, kinda, I guess,” Kyle repeated. “What are your views on the frat regs?”
Jason turned around to regard Kyle, having a good idea what this was about. Kyle was a rather nice looking guy and at another time, Jason would be interested. “First of all, they’re there for a reason, but some rules are made to be broken. Second, if you’re talking about getting together, then you have to know that I’m seeing someone. You’re a nice looking guy and all, but bad timing, I’m afraid. I’m sorry.” That was about as good as he could put it without revealing anything.
Kyle blushed a bit. “I’m sorry, sir. Did I offend you?” he asked as he finished the new bandaging and folded up his kit.
Jason smiled at him. “No, Kyle, you didn’t. I’m flattered, actually, and if things were different, I’d take you up on… well, whatever you have in mind.” He broadened his smile a bit, knowing he was flirting, just a little. Enough to let Kyle know he was sincere. “If I’m ever free, I’ll let you know. Fair enough?”
“Fair enough. Thanks for the honesty.”
Jason allowed himself to touch Kyle’s arm in a reassuring rub. “I’m nothing if not that.” He looked over his shoulder, gaze indicating his wound. “How’s it look?”
“Nasty, but healing.”
Jason gave him a bright, relieved expression. “And thank you for being honest.”
“Not a problem, sir.”
Jason was certain that Kyle was about to ask another question but there was a knock at the door, reprieving him. He also knew who it was and gave Kyle a conspiratorial grin. “Come on in, Janet,” Jason called out.
The door opened and Janet came in. “How’d you know it was me?” she asked, smiling sweetly.
“I’m clairvoyant,” Jason replied.
“How’s my patient, Kyle? Behaving himself?”
He smiled, winking at Jason in warning. “Yes, ma’am. Wound doesn’t appear stressed.”
“Good man,” Janet eyed Jason as she stepped behind him, taking Kyle’s spot. “I’ll take over from here. Thank you, Kyle.”
“You’re welcome, ma’am. Major, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
After Kyle left, Janet turned her attention to him. “Okay, Jason, vitals time.” He held out his arm as she pulled out the BP cuff and took his blood pressure. Removing it, she smiled secretively and gestured at his pants. “Jason?”
“You might wanna roll the waist band up a notch. I can see hair.”
“What?!” he exclaimed, looking down. He then looked back up at her and glared.
“Ha. Made you look,” she teased, making him relax.
“You are such a brat,” Jason complained, then sat quietly while she took his pulse. Snapping on gloves, she grinned at his startled look.
“Don’t worry, hon. No lube job today.”
“You don’t scare me.”
She smirked as she examined the wound, frowning when he jumped. She gave him a reproachful glare as she shone the penlight in his eyes.
“Why haven’t you taken any pain medication?”
“How’d you… ah, pupils gave it away?”
“And the fact that pain elevates blood pressure. Why?”
“Because I’m afraid of getting dependent on them, Janet. I took one last night.”
She sighed impatiently. “Take the pills. They’re also mixed with anti-inflammatories. If your muscles don’t relax, they won’t heal properly. That includes all of them, not just the one with the wound.”
Jason winced. “I forgot about that.”
“What other problems?” she asked as she applied the ointment and the bandage.
Jason gave her an odd look. “Nothing but the usual.”
“Ah huh.” She made a show of looking at his pupils again, then listening to his lungs. After she put her stethoscope away, she asked, “You’re not sleeping. Why?”
“How can you tell if I’m not sleeping?”
“Have you looked in a mirror?”
“Um, no. Circles?”
She answered by gently touching the skin under his eyes. The skin was just a hint darker and his eyes looked strained. “What’s keeping you from sleeping?”
He sighed. “Nightmare. Same one, over and over. Since I woke up from surgery. Never woke me up before, but last night, I woke up five times.”
“What are they about?”
“Jack’s truck exploding with Jack and Daniel inside.”
“Shit, Jason. Why didn’t you say anything?”
“Because there’s nothing you could have done. The nightmares will pass after the stress goes away.”
“What stress, other than the attack and surgery?”
“Personal stress.” When she gave him a look of concern, he sidestepped. “The nightmares aren’t just about the exploding truck. I’m nearby but can never get there in time. The scenes change a little in each one, but the end result is always the same. Usual guilt trip stuff. I know how to read them and what they mean. It’ll pass, Janet.”
“That’s not what you meant though, is it?”
Jason’s lips thinned as his expression darkened. “No, but I don’t want to talk about–“
Before he could finish, another knock at the door interrupted. “Open!” Jason called out.
Jack and Daniel came through the door and Janet felt Jason’s muscles turn to stone. She tapped his shoulder. “Don’t tense up, Jason.”
He slowly relaxed, doing as asked, but she could see it was difficult, given the present company. “I’ll leave–“
“You don’t have to.”
She gave him her best I Know Best expression and whispered, “I have a long bath waiting for me.”
Jason sighed, nodding. “Yeah, I can relate.”
“You can have that bath.”
At his relieved look, she smiled briefly, then locked her gaze on the two men standing by the door. “And you’ve other things to do.”
Daniel and Jack stood there, listening, noticing how tired Jason looked. They took off their jackets and hung them up, their eyes rarely leaving their lover.
“Why didn’t you call us?” Daniel asked him softly, avoiding Janet’s face.
“I think you know why,” Jason replied tersely, attempting to ignore how glad he was to see them. His heart ached for them but he wouldn’t meet their eyes. He looked away and stared at the breakfast counter.
“Where’s your medicine?” Janet asked.
“Bathroom. Medicine cabinet.”
“Back in a sec.” She left, tossing a warning look toward Jack and Daniel.
The silence was deafening while she was gone, so Jason asked, “Why are you here?”
“Because we’re supposed to be,” Jack answered, as if that was all that needed to be said. He was a bit puzzled and more than a little irritated with Jason’s behavior.
“Jason,” Daniel began, stepping toward him, but Janet returned and stepped between them, holding out a glass of water and a pain pill. Jason took the medicine and set the cup on the bar top.
“You’re welcome. Now remember, you’re under orders to take these, Jason. No arguments,” she admonished gently, then searched her kit. “You need your sleep,” she mumbled, and pulled out some drug samples. “Here. Take one at bedtime,” and she pressed the foil packet of four into his hand. “Let me know tomorrow if it helped.”
“Janet, I don’t want to take these.”
“Sleep is a requirement for healing, Jason, and you know that.”
“Yeah, but these will end up fucking up my sleep.”
“Then cut them in half.”
Jason sighed and followed her to the door. “Fine.”
“Don’t fine me, mister.”
He didn’t respond to that. “Thanks, Janet. Tell Cassie I said hello.”
“I will,” she said quietly.
“From me, too,” Jack added.
“And me,” Daniel echoed.
Janet shot them stern looks which softened when she allowed herself to see their anxious, worried faces–with no trace of anger. “Don’t upset him,” she warned softly, then turned back to Jason. “I’ll see you in a couple of days,” she said and closed the door behind her.
Jason turned and gave his lovers the once-over. For all his education and training, he didn’t allow himself to see that they weren’t angry or defensive. All he saw were the two men he’d pissed off. He figured they were here to tie things off and he really didn’t want to be close to them when they did it. He limped back to the breakfast bar, but not back to his seat. He moved around it, placing it between them like a buffer, and sat down on another stool.
Setting his cane on the bar, he gestured tiredly. “Get it over with, then leave.”
“Get what over with?” Jack asked, frowning.
Jason sighed, shaking his head. “Just–“
“Jason, we’re not mad at you,” Daniel interrupted.
Jason rested his elbow on the bar and rubbed his eyes. “Daniel, don’t…” lie. He couldn’t bring himself to say such a thing, so he left it alone.
“What did you think we were here for?” Jack asked.
Jason shrugged. He wasn’t going to be the one to say it.
“I’m about this close to smacking you,” Jack said, gesturing with two fingers.
“That’s news,” Jason remarked blandly.
Daniel looked back and forth between his lovers. “What?” He fixed on Jason, and it hit him. “Jason, we didn’t come here to end it. We’re not that mad, dammit! You can’t believe that.”
Jason saw the expressions on their faces and looked away, trying not to feel guilty and stupid for being wrong. Part of him almost wished he was right, only so they wouldn’t look at him like that. He shook his head sharply, wincing at the sudden movement.
“Was that a pain pill Fraiser gave you?” Jack asked.
“Yeah, so what?”
Surprising Daniel, Jack went swiftly around the bar, eliminating the buffer zone, and alarmed, Jason pushed off the stool, moving to get away. But he couldn’t move fast enough and Jack grabbed Jason by his shoulders and… pulled him into his arms. The surprise had Jason not knowing what the hell to do with himself so he let his left hand dangle limply to his side and his right rest uselessly on the bar.
“Stop it,” Jack said quietly. “We aren’t leaving you just because you pushed us away.” Jack separated enough to get Jason to look him in the face. He reached over and picked up the foil packets off the bar, flicking them in Daniel’s direction, who picked them up, examined them and nodded. “Thought so,” Jack said quietly. “Jace, we recognize these, having taken them ourselves on occasion. Why didn’t you tell us you were having nightmares?”
“Didn’t want you to know.”
“Don’t shut us out,” Jack told him, pulling Jason close again. His voice was gentle. Sexy. Jason closed his eyes, wondering why Jack would have to sound like that right at that moment. He accepted that they meant what they said but it was unfathomable why. It’d been his experience that when he pushed lovers away, they stayed away.
When he opened his eyes at the sound of footsteps and found Daniel at his side, he tried to move backward and found the bar instead. “Wait, why… I don’t understand. I pissed you off pretty good, twice, and… I don’t get why you’re still here.”
Daniel brought his hand to Jason’s chin, caressing it with his thumb. “For a smart guy, you’re behaving rather stupidly. We don’t toss out the word love like a piece of candy, Jason.”
“I sure as hell don’t,” Jack told him, scowling. Jason tried to look away, but Daniel turned his face toward him just as Jack slid a hand behind his neck.
He was pinned between them.
“Jason,” Daniel started. “Didn’t I tell you a few weeks ago that you’re mine? That I’m not going anywhere?”
Jason closed his eyes again since he couldn’t look away. “That was before.”
“For cryin’ out loud,” Jack whispered, leaning forward, “Look at me.” He tweaked Jason’s neck, making him open his eyes, and Jason found his lover’s eyes dark and intense with emotion. He swallowed hard just as Jack kissed him, soft but demanding, urging his mouth open.
Jason parted his lips and met Jack halfway while he blindly felt for Daniel. The ache inside was replaced with a different sort and he groaned, feeling the pain pill dulling his mind, his touch. Jack seemed to sense it and broke away slowly, brushing his lips.
Daniel leaned in at that point and took over, whispering “I love you,” before bringing a hand to the side of Jason’s face, guiding him into a tongue-twining, consuming sensual kiss.
Normally, Daniel’s kisses made him weak-kneed, as did Jack’s. But at the moment, Jason couldn’t withstand the pill’s effects and both his lovers. Jason’s legs started to fold under him as his balance left him.
“Whoa!” Daniel quickly caught him, holding him up, careful to keep his hold well above the wound.
“Time for bed, Jason,” Jack told him, nuzzling Jason’s neck as he took Jason’s other side.
Jason laughed sadly as his lovers guided him down the hall. “I wish I could oblige, fellas, but I’m just not sure I’m up for it, if you know what I mean.”
“I know what you mean,” Jack said, adjusting his hold when Jason tried to fend him and Daniel off. “Jason, deal with it.” After Jason sighed loudly and let them escort him to the bed. “When did you eat last?”
“Um, I’ll get back to you on that one,” Jason replied, slowly sinking to his bed, and easing onto his right side. The dizziness started to fade. “Not sure I can hold anything down.”
“No offense to our good doctor, but she fucked up giving you a pill when you hadn’t eaten.”
Daniel made a grim face. “Probably because she assumed that Jason had been reasonable and eaten something.”
“Hey,” Jason waved at them. “Still here in the room.” Closing his eyes, he expected them to leave at his snappy tone, but the bed dipped and he found Daniel sitting next to him, Jack crouching before him. “What?”
Daniel brushed the back of his fingers over Jason’s cheek before threading his fingers through his thick hair. “I’m sorry.”
“Going way overboard at the infirmary.”
Jason shook his head. “You do that.”
“I can’t promise I won’t do it again, especially now. Look at yourself, dammit.”
“Do you have soup?”
Jason gave him a sleepy, crooked grin. “Ran out.”
Daniel and Jack exchanged glances. “Looks like we’re going to the store, Jack,” Daniel said, getting up. “I’m going to get that little clipboard of yours to write up a list. I’ll be back.” He rubbed Jason’s hip then left the room.
“Why do you do this to yourself?” Jack asked after Daniel left.
“I don’t know,” Jason said, rubbing his stomach. He was feeling queasy. “I should’ve eaten but…”
“But?” Jack asked as he brushed Jason’s hair out of his eyes.
“I was a little depressed.”
Jack rolled his eyes. “Don’t you believe us?”
Jason winced. “I’m… trying. But this was our first big fight I guess–Daniel hitting me notwithstanding. I’m used to people walking out.”
“Get un-used to it. I don’t walk out.”
“You did on Daniel,” Jason snapped before he thought about what he was saying, then regretted it. When Jack pulled his hand away, Jason grabbed it, wincing. “I’m sorry, that was out of line. And not the same thing.”
“No,” Jack said tightly.
Jason looked down, refusing to meet his eyes, refusing to speak, and Jack hated that. He returned his hand to his lover’s hair. “Apology accepted, now look at me.”
They looked at each other silently for the longest time, as if seeing something they hadn’t before. “I’m sorry I stayed away, and I’m sorry I got mad,” Jack told him. “I understand what you did, Jason. If it weren’t for you in the first damn place, I might be dead.” He paused and stroked his cheek like Daniel had done. “You took a huge risk and it scared me. I get scared, I get mad. Promise me not to do that again without coming to me first.”
“Or me,” Daniel said from the door, writing on the clipboard pad.
Jason squeezed Jack’s hand, nodding. “I promise.” When he saw how much was on the shopping list, he shook his head, waving at it. “Don’t do all that. Just run down to the deli.”
“Daniel, do it tomorrow.”
Daniel eyed him. “Why?”
Jason had this sudden need for them to stay with him. He knew it was irrational and silly and berated himself for it. “Um, never mind, Daniel. I’m overreacting, I think. Go ahead, go shopping.” He pushed at Jack to get off the bed and Jack grabbed his offending hand.
“What’re you doing?” Jack asked, sensing his change in mood. “You’re withdrawing again. What’s goin’ on?”
Jason swallowed convulsively. “A little PTSD, I think. I didn’t want you leaving me.”
Daniel crouched where Jack had been. “Jack can stay here with you while I go to the deli. I’ll do the shopping tomorrow after work, so for right now, I’ll just grab some soup, salad, and sandwiches.”
Jason shook his head. “I can’t have meat right now. Plain soup would be fine.”
“Okay, any preference?”
“Onion, vegetable, whatever’s meatless.”
Daniel kissed them both on the forehead and left, leaving the clipboard on the dresser.
After he’d gone, Jack looked back at him and grinned. “So… can I see your scar?”
Jason started to laugh and winced instead. “Jack, don’t… ouch.”
“Shit, sorry, Jace. I got a better idea though,” and Jack got up and began to undress while Jason watched.
“Jack, I can’t–“
“Don’t I wish, but yes, Jason, I know. Doesn’t mean I can’t touch.” Leaving his briefs on, Jack pulled down the covers and looked his lover up and down. “Those gotta come off.”
“No they don’t.”
“Yes they do. You’ll overheat with the covers up.”
Grumbling, Jason eased himself back and forth as Jack carefully pulled his scrub pants off.
Crawling in behind, spooning him, holding him, Jack sighed and breathed against his neck. “Can I tell you a secret?” he asked, trading soft kisses as Jason leaned his weight against him.
“Okay,” Jason replied softly, eyes drooping a little. He realized his back didn’t hurt as much. Just a dull ache now.
Jack nuzzled his cheek. “When I saw Daniel in the infirmary after his appendix surgery,” and at the mention of that Jason groaned. Jack paused in his train of thought. “We were both in love with him then, weren’t we?”
Jason wanted to snap, say something digging and sarcastic–and realized he still held quite a bit of resentment toward Jack for his inaction and alienation. Instead, he said, “Yes. I’d only know him for a few months, but yeah, I was well on my way to falling in love with him.”
“Well, I never told Daniel this but… when I knew that he was fine, I was going through a war within. I’d already decided that I couldn’t handle him dying on me again and that the best thing for me to do was to back off.”
“Well you certainly fucked that shit up.”
“Big time. But the point is, I was standing there, asking him ‘Can I see your scar’ and I made him blush. He bit his lip and blushed. Daniel actually blushed. I had seen him blush before, out of embarrassment when we were offworld, but in the infirmary? It only made me want to do what I’d been thinking even more.”
“When I asked, ‘Can I see your scar,’ I meant ‘Can I kiss you.'”
Jason snorted. “So says the master of subtext.”
Jack gently slapped his ass. “Smartass. Point is, I think that’s why he blushed. He knew what I meant.”
“Daniel’s quicker than we are, Jack. Pushier than we are. Riskier than we are, even given what I’ve done. If he’d been feeling just a little bit better, he’d have let you see more than his scar.”
Jack shook his head, then shrugged. “It was still too close a time to other stuff and he was too mad at me.”
“Jesus Jack, did you always have your head up your ass?” Jason asked over his shoulder.
“No, just most of the time,” Jack laughed and pinched him on his ass.
“Ow!” Jason complained, grabbing Jack’s offending hand. “Listen you, move away. Let me scoot over and you lie down in front of me where I can keep an eye on you.” Jack laughed as got off the bed, waiting for Jason to edge over. When he was in the middle of the bed, Jack laid down next to him.
“Better?” he asked as his free hand came up and started tracing lines along Jason’s chest.
The result was all-over goose bumps and Jason felt his cock thicken. “Jack, don’t.”
“Jason, you can’t, I know, but I want to touch you, let you know that I’m not the only one who has his head up his ass on occasion.”
Jason started to laugh softly, his hand going to his back. He buried his face in Jack’s neck. “Asshole.”
They lay there, holding each other, remaining silent, and fifteen minutes later, Daniel walked into the bedroom. Setting the bags down, he surveyed the scene, then stripped to his briefs then retrieved Jason’s bed trays for the chicken soup and roast beef au jus–for himself and Jack. He sat cross-legged on Jason’s other side, using his knee and thigh against Jason’s ass so he could lean and relax without lying on his back.
Halfway through their meal, Jack, prodded by Jason’s elbow, told Daniel the truth about ‘Can I see your scar.’
Daniel smiled around the mouthful of food. “I know,” he mumbled.
“I think you’d have let him see if you’d felt better,” Jason told him.
Daniel shook his head though. “No, I wouldn’t have shown him, Jace.”
Jason and Jack held surprised looks of amusement and Daniel tried to explain it away. “It’s a very intimate spot. And at the time, I wasn’t comfortable with showing you anything, considering.”
“You let Janet touch you there.”
Daniel swallowed and chased his food with coke. “She’s my doctor. You really wanted to kiss me instead of seeing my scar?”
“Well, yes, but I also wanted to see your scar,” Jack said with a lusty tone.
“Well, you’ve seen it. So now what?” Daniel stated as he finished his sandwich.
Jack started to get a little nervous under the scrutiny when Daniel smirked and ate. Watching them, Jason started to snigger. “You two crack me up.”
The meal was filled with teasing and jokes; those and the presence of his lovers served to calm Jason down, and once the meal was finished, Jason felt a little more energized, even though he knew it to be a little falsely euphoric. He was very tired and needed to sleep but he didn’t want to, not with Daniel and Jack bookending him. He didn’t want to wake up alone.
Daniel piled the trays on the dresser and spooned up behind Jason while Jack still contented himself on his right, reclining on his back.
“So, now what?” Jack said in a bored tone, folding his hands over his stomach, exaggerating the affect by twiddling his thumbs.
Jason grabbed them. “I don’t know, but you can stop that.”
Sliding his arm around Jason, Daniel caressed his chest and whispered, “Can I see your scar?”
Jason stifled the laugh and smiled instead. “Later.”
Abruptly Jack’s hand joined Daniel’s and he leaned in, kissing him softly at first but it grew with passionate longing. Jason pulled away only to have his face caught and turned up so Daniel could repeat the performance. Jason groaned underneath the kiss, under their caresses. “So not fair,” he said, turning his face away.
“About that–” Jack started.
“What about… doing anything?”
Jason actually reddened, remembering Janet’s admonitions.
“Jason?” Jack asked as a teasing smile twisted his lips. “You asked Janet, didn’t you?”
Daniel made a noise and pretended he didn’t, then cleared his throat. “You didn’t. Did you?”
“Well…” Eyes closed so he wouldn’t have to look at all that skin–as if that helped–he told them what Janet had said. “At least you guys will be, have been, getting some,” he said quietly. At the rolling eyes of his partners, he frowned. “What? You weren’t?”
Daniel winced and before he could say, Jack spoke for him.
“That’s kinda what our own fight was about.”
“What?” Jason frowned.
“Not that Jack didn’t want to and not that I didn’t want to either but it’s just that you were–are–injured and I kind of went overboard on the mothering thing and–“
Jason’s frown creased deeper. “Goddamn it, Daniel.” Daniel winced again. “You ignored Jack because of me?”
“We’re fine, now, Jason,” Jack assured. “It was one of those things we had out last night, next to bitching about you.”
“So, you…?” Jason asked unfinished but made a hand gesture to complete the sentence.
“Last night,” Daniel cleared up for him. “Like Jack said, we’re fine now.”
Jason looked from one to the other and realized they were fine. Now. He let out a deep sigh as Daniel’s hand moved down his chest, to his abdomen.
“You, on the other hand, are not,” he whispered in his ear.
“Daniel, I can’t,” Jason lamented.
“Have anal sex, no. And no rubbing. But there’s more to sex than those two.”
“No, Daniel. You or Jack doing anything to me will make my back muscles tense up and that’s what Janet was talking about. I know what I do when I come, too, so…” He let out a frustrated sigh that time.
Jack grinned as Daniel gave him a very meaningful, filthy smile.
“But it’s been eleven days, Jason,” Daniel unnecessarily reminded him, and Jason could’ve sworn he was teasing. “Stress relief will help, not hinder. Don’t go all Buddhist on me.”
“Very funny,” Jason told him, hating it as he moved Daniel’s hand away from the waistband of his briefs. Problem was, Jack replaced it with his own. “Jack,” Jason scolded lightly and reached for Jack’s. Letting go of Daniel’s hand, which went back to where it’d been… only lower. Jason hissed, started to protest, but Daniel slid his free arm under Jason’s neck and turned his head again, kissing him deeply, only slightly distracting him from their hands as they gently tugged his briefs down.
…Revealing Jason’s very healthy erection. “Look at what we have here,” Jack teased in that tone that only made Jason harder.
Jason broke away, gasping, “I said I couldn’t. I didn’t say I couldn’t.”
“We need to take care of that right now,” Daniel observed, refraining from laughing but not smiling as he nipped down the side of Jason’s neck. He moved his hand, meeting Jack’s, and as his grabbed the base, Jack grabbed the head, thumb already getting busy.
“God, no, you guys are going to land me–“
“Shh,” Jack said, kissing him softly several times. “We do this right and movement will be minor. Remember when we were at the cabin?”
“How could I forget.”
Jack smiled at the compliment and nipped along his neck. “What we did to you while you lay there in bed?”
“Except I was clenching my muscles, Jack. I can’t do that here.”
“Point,” Jack conceded, “but this time, relax all of them, and let us do our job.”
“This is a job?” Jason asked as his eyes rolled back, letting out a groan as Daniel rubbed his own erection against his half-bared ass.
“We’re good at our job,” Daniel replied.
Jason flushed with excitement and softly gasped, “Yes, you are, god… dammit,” then his breath hitched as Daniel moved down and found a nipple with his tongue, adding to the fire going on below. “I want to thrust so bad,” he whispered, and Daniel gently wrapped a leg around his left knee.
“You’re not going to,” Daniel replied, gesturing to Jack with a nod. Jason looked quickly into his lover’s face and found that Cheshire Cat grin.
“What’re you–” he began but didn’t need to finish as Jack scooted down his body, delivering quick bites and swirls of tongue before he stopped at his groin. Jason stared as Daniel’s fist moved off and Jack’s moved down, exposing the head for his mouth.
“Don’t move,” Daniel reminded against his ear just as Jack tasted him.
“Shit. Shit, shit, shit.” His lovers had the audacity to smile as Daniel bit his earlobe and Jack sucked in the head of his cock.
“Still going to say no?” Daniel asked.
“No.” Jack sucked harder, digging his tongue in. “Fuck. Yes. God, yes.”
The next few minutes were heaven and hell. He wanted to move, to grab Jack by the hair and thrust, wanted Daniel to lift his leg and fuck him stupid. Instead, he fisted the bed where Jack had been and let his body go, accepting quickly what his body responded to with equally rapid enthusiasm. He couldn’t let Daniel kiss him–too distracting. Except Daniel chose that moment to talk dirty to him, knowing how much it turned Jason on to feel his lips pressed against his ear, his voice so maddeningly close, vibrating in his ear drum and straight down his spine.
“When you’re better, I’m going to throw you over that breakfast bar and fuck you so goddamned hard I leave bruises for a month–“
“Fuck, Daniel, fuck.”
“–Over and over, making you scream, making you come so fucking hard you can’t see straight–“
“Tie you down, blindfold you, suck you, shove a nice, slick dildo up your ass…” and Daniel chose that moment to push a dry finger inside.
“Fuck,” Jason hissed and turned his face into the pillow, closing his eyes. He couldn’t stop moaning, it was too good not to. With increasing volume, he let his lovers know how much he loved it all until, finally, he bit his pillow and screamed into it, muffling the sound as he came forever down Jack’s throat.
“Jesus,” he managed, letting go of his pillow but still clutching the sheet in a death grip as he tried to catch his breath. “Jesus.”
“You said that,” Daniel smiled, biting his shoulder.
“I think he’s having a religious experience,” Jack said smugly, making Jason groan. As if in apology, Jack moved up the bed like a man with a purpose and kissed Jason stupid. Well, more stupid than his lower brain functions were allowing.
“Stop,” was all Jason was able to say after that because Daniel was still massaging his gland.
“Feeling better?” Daniel asked, not withdrawing.
“Daniel?” Jason rasped, not opening his eyes.
“Jason?” Daniel asked, kissing his neck lightly.
Jason reached down blindly and felt for Jack’s cock and found his lover naked. He grinned, then blindly sought out Daniel’s erection… again, no underwear. This certainly explained the wetness on the back of his scrubs. “Move. Get in front of me.”
“Jack’s in front of you,” Daniel whispered.
“Yes,” Jason replied, and searched for Jack’s cock again. Jack groaned as he stroked him, waiting for Daniel to move.
“What’s on your mind?” Jack asked.
“I want to hear you, watch you,” Jason told them both.
At that moment, Jason wanted to take care of him, but the pill and body exhaustion was taking over; that nice languor that naturally drugged him after sex. He felt Daniel move and eased himself backward, giving them more of the bed.
Daniel crawled over him, giving Jack a look of desire that matched the darkening brown eyes staring back at him.
“Got something in mind?” Jack asked as he was pushed onto his back and straddled.
“I do,” Daniel replied, bringing the lube out from the bedside table. Flicking the cap open, he took hold of Jack’s cock and coated him, jacking him lightly as he went. “Want you to fuck me,” he said without a smile–his expression instead was one of very serious intent. “I want you to do to me what I told Jason I’d do to him.”
“You want me to fuck you over the breakfast bar?” Jack asked, knowing damn well neither of them had plans to leave the comfort of the bed.
Daniel bent over, hand still around Jack’s cock, the other still holding the lube. “Open your hand.”
“The one that’s going to, in turn, open me.”
“Ah,” Jack replied. Neither of them were smiling. There was only that dark intensity of purpose. Jack took the lube and with Daniel straddling him, thrust two lubed fingers slowly inside. He watched with fascination and lust as Daniel closed his eyes and rode his fingers, biting his lip to keep from drooling as Jack found his prostate.
Daniel pushed his hand away and grabbed his cock–Jack didn’t think Daniel felt ready for him, but then, Daniel never did. He was always so hot, so tight, and he hissed loudly as Daniel laid over him and positioned his cockhead, rubbing, moaning. He hadn’t even opened his eyes yet.
“This mean you’re ready?” Jack asked as his heart began to beat faster.
“More than ready,” Daniel answered and deliberately rolled off, getting onto his stomach on the empty side of the bed. He opened his eyes then and gave Jack the filthiest, neediest, look he’d seen in a while. “More. Than. Ready.”
Jack rolled over, onto Daniel’s back, his knees immediately pushing Daniel’s further apart than they already were. “This ready?”
“Bruising ready,” Daniel told him, reaching over his head to push the pillow against the headboard, to give him room to fist the sheets, the edge of the mattress. He looked to his right, at Jason, watching him. “Please.”
“Jesus,” Jack replied as he positioned his cock and pushed. Slick heat gripped him and he pulled back and pushed in again, slowly sinking inside and fucking Daniel at the same time. Daniel buried his face in the mattress, grunting, groaning, and spreading legs wider. To his right, Jason moved further away, eyes half-closed. Watching. Jack reached out and grabbed Jason’s hand, pulling it to his lips to kiss and bite. “Come here,” he said.
Jason slowly eased himself over, raising up on his hands, and Jack grabbed him by the back of the neck and kissed him hard. “You like watching?”
“You and Daniel are addictive,” Jason slurred, moving away to lie back down on his side. “Better than porn.”
Daniel smiled, groaning when Jack thrust just a little. “This is porn.”
“Really?” Jack asked, though he agreed, and draped himself over Daniel’s back, bringing his lips to his lover’s right ear. “This is what you want?” He rocked his hips, undulating a bit to sink himself completely before he withdrew halfway and slammed home.
“Yes,” Daniel choked out as he pressed his forehead into the mattress, hands white-knuckling the mattress. “Leave bruises.”
Jack did his best, but he was more interested in the long duration, pulling the pleasure out of them slowly until he’d have no choice but to fuck hard and fast to reach orgasm. It was so good; Daniel deserved nothing less. Jack made sure of it, and when the time came and he pushed back to his heels and grabbed Daniel’s hips, pounding into him with all he had, he was certain Daniel got what he wanted. His lover was calling his name, thrashing below him in layers of sweat, begging.
Seeing him like that was the catalyst and Jack began to come, breath catching as he cussed through each slow spurt of release. It lasted forever; Daniel’s orgasm drew out his own. And Daniel kept coming, contracting around him, squeezing him almost too-painfully hard. It was so good. Dropping down to Daniel’s left, Jack felt Jason reaching for them both, rubbing the sweat into Daniel’s back.
“So beautiful,” Jason whispered. He tightened his hold around Daniel’s waist, warmed by Jack’s fingers caressing his arm, and succumbed to sleep. That night, he had no nightmares that he could remember later.
“No,” Jason told them the next morning before they left for their own homes.
“Jason, you can live with me and–” Daniel began.
“I’ll be fine. You only live a few minutes away. You can visit, stay the night, which I insist by the way, but I’m not moving into your house or Jack’s and that’s the end of it.”
“Stubborn bastard,” Jack said on the way out.
“I’d say he got that from you but that would sound vaguely incestuous, never mind impossible, so…”
“Let’s just settle on being alike that way.”
Daniel grinned at him over the top of his Jeep. “In a lot of ways.”
Daniel was reminded of one thing Jason and Jack were not alike in and that was bitching about rainy, muddy terrain, which was what they encountered on their mission later that morning.
Jason, meanwhile, called General Hammond to ask who he was being replaced with. When he found out that he wasn’t, he didn’t have to wait to ask why.
“Your teammates have requested temporary reassignment, Major. They didn’t want anyone else taking over leadership of SG-2 and I agreed with their wishes.”
Jason felt a lot of pride in them for that, thinking that maybe things were indeed straightened out with his own team. It didn’t, however, keep him from worrying about how they were fairing with other teams.
That Saturday afternoon, Jason lay on the sofa, his feet in Daniel’s lap, his head in Jack’s lap (and a very tempting target that was turning out to be), while they watched Fellowship of the Ring for the fourth time and talked through each viewing.
Discussing the movies’ finer aspects, Jack commented, “This is almost better than The Matrix, although I don’t really see why I like these films. Or, The Terminator. Or Predator. Not generally into Sci-fi.”
Daniel shook his head, laughing softly. “Anyone can see why you like them, Jack.”
“Enlighten me, wiseass.”
“You asked for it now,” Jason warned.
“The way I see it,” Daniel began, sounding suspiciously like he was giving a lecture, “You like those films because they have a lot of killing in them. You need that to feed your alpha male hunter instinct.”
Jack nailed Daniel in the head with the extra pillow, and when Jason sniggered, Jack thumped his head.
“Hey, invalid here,” Jason protested.
“There’s nothing wrong with your head, Coburn.”
“True,” Jason remarked on further reflection, and arched his neck back, digging his skull into Jack’s groin. It gained him a growling sound and Jack taking hold of his head.
“None of that or no more blow jobs for you.”
“Ever?” Jason asked, looking up into that handsome, if sideways, face.
“Damaging your lover’s favorite bits is not a good idea.”
Daniel started laughing and Jason echoed it; it was a little easier to do now, and although he still couldn’t use his back muscles the way he wanted, he was now able to shower all he wanted.
Jack chose that moment for distraction and ran a hand idly through Jason’s hair. Chills went through Jason’s body, raising goose bumps all over his scalp. It relaxed him, and it was one of the few things that did, next to Daniel’s massages. What Jason wanted to do was go back to his exercises, especially Tai Chi, and when the time came for his physical therapy, he would combine the two, no matter what the therapist said. Jason knew how to heal when he stopped being impatient about it.
Jack carded his fingers through his hair, making Jason moan, and he looked down at his lover, watching him close his eyes. He did it because Jason liked it, and because he had this need to. Before, the only time that Jack would comb his fingers through Jason’s hair would be during sex, when he’d clench his hair in a tight fist, something that always turned Jason on. Jason liked the harder, rougher side to sex and Jack found he liked that. Daniel wasn’t exactly a softie, but he didn’t always like to be held down. Jason did.
Testing that, he curled his fingers into a fist, holding Jason’s head firmly against his groin. Jason’s eyes opened seductively and Jack’s cock stiffened. Jason suddenly inhaled and Jack looked to his right, finding Daniel’s hand massaging his lover’s cock outline.
“Dammit,” Jason said through a protest that held no weight behind it. “Daniel…” he said as he looked up at Jack, just barely rubbing his head into Jack’s cock. Jack choked off a groan and cleared his throat, making Jason grin smugly… even as the balls of his feet moved in Daniel’s lap.
“Jason…” both his lovers groaned.
“You two started it.”
Daniel snorted. “He’s right.”
Jack didn’t answer. He simply shot Daniel a particular look and Daniel started to move his hand more provocatively, sensuously. Jason’s eyes widened and he started to bend his legs and block him but Daniel held him firmly.
“Oh, no you don’t. You teased, you get teased back. Only fair, Jace.”
“But I didn’t start it.”
“Well, we will finish it,” Jack told him.
Jack grinned down at him when Jason looked up to see his expression. He sighed dramatically, and started to complain, until he felt Daniel’s hand move away. He thought he’d won, but Daniel’s hands were on him now, pulling down his scrub pants at the same time hot breath touched his cock through the cloth.
Jason’s eyes went round as saucers and he started to get up but Jack’s hand was across his chest like an iron band. “Oh, no you don’t.”
“Guys, stop. Kyle will be here soon.”
“No he won’t,” Jack scolded. “We know his last day was yesterday, since we can do his job.”
“When you’re here,” Jason pouted. “Daniel, stop…” he said, his tone serious. Daniel stopped, resting his face on Jason’s stomach.
“Why haven’t you guys been together?”
“We have,” Daniel frowned.
“Yeah,” Jason drawled, “but you know what I mean. You’ve had sex in the shower or someplace I can’t see,” Jason said as he carefully pushed himself off the couch and pulled up his pants, retying them. “Trust me when I say that it bothers when I can’t watch,” and he threw his lovers a secretive smile. “Once in a while, please? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need air, or a cold shower.” He grabbed his cane that lay on top of the coffee table but Jack reached out and grabbed the waistband of his scrubs, turning him around to face his lovers.
“What’s up?” Jack asked as he laid a hand on the back of Jason’s thigh.
“I am,” Jason replied, clearing his throat again. Jack and Daniel exchanged a long look, then up into Jason’s flushed cheeks. He looked back and forth at them, swallowing convulsively. “On second thought, I need a long cold shower.” He started to move but Jack wouldn’t let him.
“Jason, I’m gonna finish what I started,” Daniel murmured as he scooted over, wrapping an arm around Jason’s other leg while his hand moved up to cup him.
“Oh no you’re not,” Jason argued, moving his hand away. “You’re going to do something to Jack and Jack is going to do something to you.”
“And you?” Jack asked, cupping him again.
Jason sniggered. “I’ll just watch.”
“Just watch?” Jack asked.
“I’ll improvise if I get another idea.”
“I’ll just bet you will.”
“And just where is this improvised watching going to take place?” Daniel asked.
Jason stepped away, grinning, and eased himself into armchair on the other side of the coffee table. “Right here.”
Daniel gave Jason a wistful sigh. “Fine, but don’t you dare feel left out. Even when you watch, you’re with us.”
“That’s probably because I’m going to be getting off on him watching,” Jack said as he moved onto hands and knees and went after Daniel, pushing him onto his back. “Hello,” he said, looking down.
“Hello,” Daniel answered, and instead of arguing about who was on top, he pulled Jack down on top of him, kissing him thoroughly.
From the chair, Jason could already feel the heat. He’d never, exactly, watched. Not on purpose. Hand already inside his scrub pants, he pulled slowly at his cock as he let his legs splay in front of him. Jack and Daniel didn’t waste time. They never did. Not with him, not with each other. Clothes were fast removing and Daniel seemed to be intent on one thing as his hand reached under the cushion and pulled out the lube. Jason smiled when Jack told him to turn over, then all he could do was lose himself in watching.
Daniel was nearly overwhelmed by two things. Jack’s touch and Jason’s watching. It was so damned hot, like a new version of foreplay. On his hands and knees, he grabbed the arm of the couch, groaning as Jack didn’t waste any time either. Fingers lubed, he caressed Daniel’s cock with one hand while his other pushed two fingers inside him, zeroing in on his pleasure center.
Daniel rocked back and forth, undecided on which caress he liked best while he was quite sure that he loved knowing that Jason was jerking off, watching them. When Jack laid over him and pushed inside, Daniel dropped one of his legs to the floor, spreading wider, biting his lip as Jack began a slow, rhythmic thrusting.
Sweat built quickly, breathing increased, and Jack had to move faster. He bit and licked the back of Daniel’s neck, marking him lightly as he brought a hand up to comb through Daniel’s hair, tightening his fingers to hold him there. He thrust hard and Daniel’s tight muscle response was exquisite. He did it again, and again, encouraged by Daniel’s noisy panting.
“More?” Jack asked.
“God yes,” Daniel managed.
Jason pumped his cock more quickly, letting a small sound escape his throat as he sat there, mesmerized by the sight of his lovers. Jack pushed Daniel forward and his lover dropped to his chest, tightening his fingers over the armrest in a death grip. “Do it, Jack,” he breathed just as Jack obliged.
“I am so going to fuck you through the floor, Jason,” Daniel ground out, gasping with pleasure as Jack laid completely over him, hands next to his own, and fucked the hell out of him.
“God yes,” Jason whispered, hand moving in a blur while the other reached up to grab the back of the chair. He held on, squeezing harder, feeling his balls draw up. He couldn’t keep from coming and watching Jack fuck Daniel, listening to the sounds, was just too damn much. “Fuck,” he whispered tightly and spilled over his hand.
It seemed to set up a domino effect. Jack glanced at Jason, caught sight of the spurts as he came, and whispered, “He’s coming, Daniel,” and slammed into him. Daniel looked briefly, whispering, “Beautiful bastard,” meaning both his lovers, and let out a harsh gasp as his body locked up. He came hard, eyes tightly shut, body shaking, and Jack growled behind him and did the same.
Jason sat there, sprawled further down in the chair then he should have been, but didn’t have the urge to move. Nothing was hurting quite yet. He simply couldn’t look away from his lovers, who lay spent and sated, not inclined to move either.
After a few minutes, Jack turned his head and opened his eyes, giving Jason a gentle smile. “That was hot.”
“Oh yeah,” Daniel echoed, face buried in the cushion so his voice was muffled.
It made Jason smile. “I agree.”
“How’re you doin’, Jace?” Jack asked through a groan as he pushed off Daniel’s body, shakily getting to his feet.
“Fine. Just fine.”
“I’m good,” Daniel replied.
“Who’s up for a shower?” Jack asked and grinned as two hands feebly went up.
After the shower and getting dressed again, the men returned to the sofa, only this time, Jason reclined at one end and had Jack and Daniel sit next to each other. “You two are not going to tease me.”
His lovers sniggered, promising to behave. “I so don’t believe you.”
There was fresh popcorn, more DVDs, but Jack was sick of snack foods and after a five-minute argument with Daniel about what to get on the pizzas, ordered for delivery.
Jason lay there watching them, grinning like an idiot and when Jack noticed, he threw him a mock-scowl. “What are you grinning at?”
“Think we’re funny?” Daniel asked, dangerously crawled toward him.
“Daniel–” Jason started but Daniel dropped down and blew a raspberry on Jason’s stomach, making him howl with laughter at the same time he said ‘ow’. Jack joined in from the side, biting at Jason’s neck, and Jason tried to push them off, but he couldn’t, not while he was laughing.
Just when Jason was about to beg them to stop, all three of them disappeared in a large flash of white light.
They were on the couch one second, and in the next, on a very hard, cold floor the color of dark violet. There was subdued light everywhere, illuminating the grey-lavender walls. Daniel and Jack immediately sprang to their feet but Jason decided to stay on the floor, eyes wide. He had no idea where they were but as Jack rolled his eyes with Daniel, he was somewhat comforted by the fact that they knew. Hopefully.
“Guys, you know where we are?”
Daniel looked around hesitantly. “Never been aboard one but I’m guessing an Asgard ship.”
Jack nodded. “Got it in one, Daniel.”
Jack looked at Jason who had been doing the tennis-match thing and stooped to assist Jason to his feet. “Might be Thor’s ship but they probably all look the same.”
“Like ours do,” Jason added.
Daniel shook his head and looked about the room, finding a curious chair, then another curiously shaped pedestal inlaid with Runic lettering and an interesting schematic. “Wow.” An Asgard control center? He’d read about them but never got to see one except for that small one of Heimdall’s. He began to read the lettering, getting lost in their unique shapes…
“Don’t touch anything,” Jack cautioned.
Daniel made a face and pointedly ignored him.
Jack took Jason by the elbow. “C’mere, this is really cool.” He guided the man to the nearest large window and looked out and down. The view from up here always fascinated him and the effect it had on him was doing the same to Jason.
“God, look at how blue it is.”
“Yeah, nice, isn’t it?” Jack said and Jason eyed him.
“I wouldn’t call it nice. It’s beautiful.”
Turning away, Jason looked around and found something else to take his attention. While Jack busied himself with the view and Daniel with the designs and markings, Jason found himself glued to the ship itself, what it was possibly made of. He’d never seen any of the Asgard ships or technology until they’d been taken to the SGC or Area 51. For him, this place was unreal.
Jason didn’t bother with the usual questions because he didn’t want to appear stupid in front of his lovers. He went, instead, into recon mode, assessing dangers, what to do in protecting himself and the others, even if he wasn’t in the greatest shape right now. It didn’t matter that Jack had the experience. He had to build his own, however limited.
He scanned around the room, locating a few translucent doors, and peering through one of them, finding a long corridor beyond it. He felt, rather than heard, a tiny whisper of power, like a machine whine, coming from somewhere. To run a ship of this size must take an enormous amount of energy and…
A flash of light appeared over the chair Daniel had been examining and an Asgard appeared, startling him. Daniel backed away a few steps. “Hello,” he said cautiously. “Thor?”
Jack’s face brightened a little. “Thor! Buddy! How ya doin’?”
Thor blinked at him. “I am well, O’Neill.” Turning his head, he zeroed in on Daniel. “We have met before, Doctor Jackson.”
“Nice to see you again,” Daniel answered.
Thor’s gaze shifted left, to Jason, who stood motionless, mesmerized by those huge, blinking eyes. “I do not know your name.”
“I’m Major Jason Coburn,” Jason answered as he limped toward Daniel. Jack walked over, grinning, but Jason read concern in his eyes.
“Jason, this is Thor. Thor, this is Major Jason Coburn, leader of SG-2 and a very close friend of mine.”
Thor blinked. “Yes,” he seemed to draw out. “I am aware.”
Jack’s eyes raised, then he swallowed, hard. “Really? You been keepin’ tabs on me?”
“You are our liaison. We take interest in your welfare.”
All three men cleared their throats. “Oh boy,” Daniel said, failing at hiding his grin. Jason matched it, thinking that despite the shock, he liked the alien.
“So, Thor, what can we do for you?”
“I must first apologize for the abruptness in bringing you here from your home, but it is a matter of great importance. I need your assistance.”
“Really?” Jack asked, surprised, but he recovered quickly. “Well, hey, no problem, but if we’re going to be gone a while, General Hammond will be a little worried.” To put it mildly, he added silently.
“I will leave the necessary message,” Thor told him, then transported all of them into another hall with a wall holding a panoramic viewscreen. On the wall appeared a digital grid, and on the grid appeared a planet. Around the planet, a Goa’uld ship.
“This looks like the screen Sam described when she helped you get rid of those replicators,” Daniel said, taking a few steps.
“This is Cheron,” Thor said from his chair, conveniently facing the wall. “It is one of our smaller protected planets. It is no longer home to humans as they have perished long ago but the planet does have resources we use. Gondul, one of our additional scientists, had taken a science vessel to the surface to gather additional evidence of our ancestors, as Heimdall had been doing on another planet, but the Goa’uld have arrived to interfere. This time, there are no ships available for rescue.”
“And you’d like us to rescue another Asgard scientist?” Jack asked.
“I would appreciate it if you would go down to the planet and rescue Gondul and his research.”
“And the reason you can’t do that yourself is?” Jack asked.
“The Goa’uld would detect the energy output of our ship. We have minimal shields and no weapons.”
“Then how do you expect us to get him?”
“I have acquired an old Goa’uld cargo vessel that uses their own shielding, which will hide you from their sensors.”
“Okay, then why don’t you or your crew use it?” Jason asked, puzzled.
“We are at a deficit. I have no personal weaponry, nor do I have the personnel. This ship is carrying a skeleton crew.”
“Why’s that?” Jack asked.
“Because it was in, as you would term, ‘dry dock’.”
“Really?” Jack said, looking around. “Doesn’t look like it needs fixing.”
“It was in the process of being built and is not, as yet, finished.”
“Another O’Neill?” Jack asked hopefully.
“No,” Thor said flatly and just as flatly, Jack’s expression fell.
“So you won’t risk the rescue yourselves but you ask us?” Daniel said, annoyed. “We’re not expendable, Thor.”
“It is risky, yes, but I would not ask if I thought the chances of failure were high.”
Jack shrugged as he looked at his lovers. “Sounds like better odds than we usually get.”
“You want to do this?” Daniel asked.
“Sure, why not.”
Daniel narrowed his eyes. “All because they named a ship after you–“
“And saved my ass from the bugs.”
Daniel conceded that with a reluctant nod, but asked Thor, “Are you really asking us to do this because you can’t spare the bodies?”
Thor blinked at him. “That is very astute of you, Daniel.”
“I’m kinda quick that way.”
“What’s the bodies thing?” Jack asked.
“I think they mean the cloned bodies, Jack,” Jason told him.
It took Jack a moment. “So you don’t want to damage the ones you have,” he said, then added drily, “I can appreciate that.”
“It is imperative that we leave as soon as possible,” Thor said.
“Thor, has it escaped your notice that we don’t have any weapons, either?” Jack told him.
“I will acquire all that you need.”
Jack closed his eyes. “Oh boy.” Opening them with a sigh, he said, “So the plan is, we go down, guard the ship till he beams in, then fly back to the ship?”
“How far away?”
“Through hyperspace, not very far. I will then transport you aboard my ship.”
“And in a hurry, no doubt, since the snakes might track us,” Daniel surmised.
“Why didn’t you grab Teal’c or Major Carter?” Jason asked.
“I did not wish to involve anyone else. I also do not know where Major Carter lives. She and Teal’c are not on the base.”
Jack nodded. “Probably seein’ a movie.” When Thor blinked at him, Jack shook his head. “Never mind. They’re incognito. But couldn’t you locate them with the naquada they have inside them?”
“That would take time I am not willing to use. Are we agreed with the mission, O’Neill?”
Jack snorted. “We’re here. And it’s not like I’m gonna say no.”
Jason shook his head. “Well, I’m sorry, but I’ll have to say no.” Jack and Daniel gawked at him and Jason gestured at his back. “Hello? Not exactly up for a mission.”
“You are injured,” Thor stated.
“One moment,” and Thor disappeared. When he reappeared, there were two additional Asgard with him. They moved around Jason, taking him gently by the wrists.
Jason pulled back, throwing looks of alarm at Jack and Daniel. “What’s goin’ on?”
“They are taking you to be healed,” Thor told him.
“Where?” Jason asked.
“Within this room, there,” and Thor pointed across the large hall where two consoles appeared around a circular diagram in the floor. The two Asgard led Jason to stand within it and Jack and Daniel followed, staying just out of the way but close enough to view what was going on.
A transparent blue light appeared around Jason from ceiling to floor. It shimmered and moved like ethereal water. Jason stared down at his hands, which took on a lavender cast. He felt a cool tingling on his skin that slowly warmed.
“Cool,” Jack said, and Jason shot him a dirty look. “You know, Thor,” Jack went on as Thor walked up to stand next to him. “I got this trick knee thing…” Daniel back-handed him in the stomach. “Well, it couldn’t hurt to ask.”
“Jack, don’t take advantage. Be grateful they’re willing to help Jason.”
“Lighten up, Daniel.”
“Stop being an ass, Jack.”
“Wouldn’t that be Jackas–“
“Jack,” Daniel warned.
Jack couldn’t help but smirk. Daniel deserved to get riled up for spoiling Jack’s fun. They watched as the Asgard read holographic monitors over their consoles and the blue light over Jason turned colors.
“I feel like I’m in one of those alien abduction videos.”
“They will not harm you, Major Coburn,” Thor told him.
“If you say so,” Jason said nervously.
“Jason, you’ll be fine,” Jack told him. “I trust them.”
“That’s because you’ve been around these li’l guys. I haven’t.”
The light around him slowly turned a deep golden color and the two Asgard held up their palms. A blue beam issued forth from one of them and held Jason in place.
“Do not be afraid,” said the Asgard.
“Um, haven’t I seen you guys on the cover of a tabloid somewhere?”
“It’s okay, Jace,” Daniel assured him.
Jason felt a heat suffusing through his body, becoming very intense in his lower, left side, where his damaged kidney was. The heat became almost intolerable and he grimaced, closing his eyes. Jason realized he couldn’t hold his breath as his auto-reflexes were wont to do and as the heat flared and travelled, it stopped and focused below his intestines and above his rectum. Jason had the sudden urge to piss.
“Oh fuck! Jack, they’re messing with my equipment!”
“Hey!” Jack turned to Thor in alarm, pointing.
“He is being healed where there is damage, nothing more.”
Jason’s mouth dropped open and in a wavery voice, complained, “But I don’t have a problem with my prostate!”
Daniel felt something cold grab him by the balls and walked around Jack to stand next to Thor. He pointed. “They’re healing his prostate?”
“There were microphysical signs of eventual mutation and disease.”
“Not anymore,” said one of the healers. The light turned off slowly and the blue beam on him was withdrawn back into the Asgard’s palm. Jack was then reminded of how they extracted the Ancient’s knowledge. One of the few things he remembered.
Jason stood there, then felt around to his back. He didn’t feel any more soreness or pain discomfort and removed the bandage, running his hand over his skin. There was no longer a scar. “Fuckin’ A,” he whispered, then stared at the two Asgard. “Thank you very much.”
“You are welcome,” one of them said.
“What else did you do?” he asked, his attention also falling on Thor. “What did you mean by eventual mutation and disease?”
“We detected a minor malfunction within your reproductive system, stemming from the prostate. The cause was the existence of a cell that would have grown into a tumor. Your system is now functioning properly again.”
Jason went bone white, staring at Thor, his friends. “It would have been cancer?”
“Yes. In the gland you call the prostate.”
Jason turned to his lovers, face pale as a ghost. “Fucking hell. My dad had prostate cancer… would’ve killed him if… well, if it weren’t for the drunk driver that did it instead.” He shook his head at the shocked looks on Jack and Daniel’s faces. “Grisly blessing, I suppose but…” He blanched even more, turned slightly away from them, stepped away from the circle, then without warning, fell to his knees.
“Fuck, Jason,” Daniel said as he rushed over and dropped down to hug him, still unable to process that Jason would have had prostate cancer sometime in the future.
Jack hadn’t even realized he’d moved until he had his hand on Jason’s back, his own shock sort of blending with his lover’s. “Well,” he started to say, but everything comforting he would have said sounded lame all of a sudden, so Jack backtracked and simply said, “that fucking sucks.”
It made Jason laugh, oddly enough, and he looked over his shoulder. “Sappy bastard,” he said.
“He’s always been like that,” Daniel said, grinning at Jack.
“Tell anyone and… blah blah blah.” He grimaced at that moment, his knees reminding him he can’t kneel for very long before they started to sound like warped board with loose, rusty nails in them.
“O’Neill,” Thor said, breaking the mini-bonding moment.
“Thor?” Jack answered, turning to him.
Thor pointed. “It is your turn, O’Neill. Please stand in the circle.”
A slow smile spread across Jack’s face and a shocked one appeared on Daniel’s. Jason simply smirked, as if he’d seen it coming; truth was, he did, and he wasn’t exactly going to examine how he knew.
“Jack, go stand in the circle and no whining,” Daniel said with the blandest face possible.
Jason couldn’t resist snickering.
“Keep clam, boy wonder,” Jack glared at him as he slowly got to his feet but the words only managed to make Jason’s snickering turn into laughter. Jack shook his head as he stepped into the circle Jason had just vacated.
One of the Asgard healers, the shorter of the two, held out his hand and the crystal–or whatever it was–in his palm glowed a little bit. The same thing that happened to Jason began with Jack. He looked around him, at his hands, as the light changed from blue to golden.
“Please remain still,” Thor told Jack.
“Not like I can go anywhere, Thor.”
“Your instinct will be to retract from the heat.”
“Heat?” he asked, brow line climbing.
“It’ll feel good on those gimpy knees of yours,” Jason said, grinning crookedly.
“If these knees are healed, you are so getting it later. I’ll show you gimpy.”
Jason gave him a slow, wicked smile. “I look forward to it.” He glanced at Daniel and found him trying to look serious against their inappropriate sexual play–and failing. “What?” Daniel took a few steps and ran a hand over his back.
“How do you feel?”
Jason nodded his answer just as Jack said quickly, “I feel heat.” He did too, but it wasn’t a ‘bad’ sort of heat, it felt pretty good actually, it was just that it was also unknown and therefore a little scary. Suddenly the light ended and Jack looked down at himself.
Daniel and Jason grinned. “You were expecting new ones I take it?”
Jack looked up and shrugged. “Can’t tell with my clothes on but they feel like the same old knobby knees.” His lovers rolled their eyes. “Well, they are to me. That heat felt nice but it did get too intense there for a second.” He gave Thor a suspicious look. “How come it didn’t last as long as it did on Jason?”
“You are in excellent health, O’Neill,” Thor answered as he turned around and walked back to his chair and sat down.
Jack mumbled, “Well, I knew that.”
“Feel like a test drive later?” Daniel asked as he stepped in closer.
Jack grinned broadly. “Absolutely.” He turned around to Thor’s buddies again. “First, thank you.”
“You are welcome,” they said together and disappeared.
“Huh, I gotta get me one of those.” He turned to Thor next, then suddenly pointed at Daniel, then whirled.
“What?” Daniel asked.
“Thor, what about Daniel?”
“What about me?” Daniel asked, frowning. “I’m not injured.”
“Well, there’s your eyes,” Jack said emphatically.
“I’m fine, Jack,” Daniel assured, shocked that he’d forgotten.
“Do you wish your eyes to be healed?” Thor asked.
“Um, maybe some other time,” Daniel answered, not really knowing why.
“Are you certain?” Thor asked.
“Yeah, let’s just get this done.”
Jack took a deep breath, staring at Daniel. “Okay?” Daniel nodded. Jack nodded in return and had to redirect his thoughts and call up what he’d been thinking about a minute ago. “Right. Thor, can you explain to me exactly why you won’t risk your own necks.”
“Jack,” Daniel admonished.
“Hey, I’m appreciative about the healing deal but this rescue op still doesn’t make sense. I know they want to save their cloned selves but hell, we all take risks and maybe I’d wanna protect myself, too, but it sounds a bit selfish to me.”
“Your race is not the one dying out, O’Neill.”
“No, but it still looks a little cowardly.”
“Jack,” Daniel scolded.
“He is right, Daniel Jackson.”
“It’s because your own extinction is making you seek help where you wouldn’t have asked before,” Jason stated.
Thor blinked at him, as if in surprise again. “Correct, Major.” He paused, then added, “You do not have to agree to the request.”
Jack rolled his eyes this time. “You just healed my knees. Not like I’m gonna say ‘no’ but I’d like some additional support to make sure we’re not sandbagged.”
“I see. I will endeavor to make sure you are not ‘sandbagged’. And thank you, O’Neill.”
“We will now see you to your ship.”
Jack shook his head. “We need gear first.”
“One moment.” He disappeared, then two seconds later, reappeared with a gray slate and a stylus. “Please indicate where and what you will need.”
To their surprise, the grey slate was like a Palm Pilot. One item that was ‘open’ showed the diagram of the base. In 3-D. Another ‘document’ showed a list of gear.
“How do you know…” Jack began, then waved his hand at Thor. “Never mind.” He took the stylus and touched one section of the pad. A black dot appeared and a transport beam flashed several feet away. The item appeared on the floor. “Huh.” Jack shrugged his shoulders, and with Daniel and Jason looking over his shoulder, they watched as all the items they’d need were transported up, including weapons.
“Hammond’s gonna be pissed,” Jason murmured.
“Yeah, well…” Jack started, shrug indicating there was nothing they could do about that.
“I will make the requisite apologies to your General when we return.”
“Yeah, that’ll work,” Jack murmured as he handed back the stylus and slate. “Next?”
“Cool. Let’s get changed.”
Jack, Jason, and Daniel didn’t bother to leave the room. They simply stripped and geared up where they were, wearing covert black uniforms; there were three P90s, three sidearms, and two grenades each. Thor handed each of them an Asgard communicator and transported them to the Flight Bay.
Inside, they found an old Goa’uld Cargo ship, but this one had three seats, not two, and Daniel sat down in the center, reading the Goa’uld as an Asgard explained the basic operating controls, speaking mostly to Daniel–not Jack or Jason, the pilots of the three. Jack couldn’t help but take a bit of umbrage at that and it didn’t escape Daniel’s notice.
This was one of the few times that Daniel found he had a very distinct advantage over Jack and Jason in the field. He could read the language and he could commit information to memory very fast. He was feeling rather put off at the moment, however, because here were two grown men, very intelligent, with heavy pilot experience, and they were developing a case of pilot envy because the civilian was being taught to fly a technologically advanced ship.
Daniel had to wonder if Jack and Jason consciously knew they had that particular prejudice. Regardless, it was the one thing Daniel didn’t like about them. Military vs. Civilian mentality was something he’d had to get used to, but you’d think after nearly six years, they’d have gotten over it by now. At least with him.
He felt an equalizing surge of ‘getting his own back’ as the two ‘real pilots’ tried to catch what the Asgard was telling him–it didn’t matter if the little guy was speaking slowly or not; it didn’t matter if he spoke in Asgard or English. Everything on the ship, modified and not, was in Goa’uld and Asgard. Daniel could read both and there was no time for language class.
Daniel also found it very amusing that Jack and Jason hadn’t been informed of the mechanics of the operation. They’d simply been assigned their tasks like good little monkeys and Daniel was being assigned his. The comparison was accurate, too, Daniel thought. No matter how well the SGC and Earth adapted to the Asgard technology, they weren’t ready for it.
Before long, the tutorial was over and they were sitting in the bridge chairs and the Asgard had actually walked out of the ship, closing the side hatch behind them.
“Gonna tell us what they told you?” Jack asked as Daniel called up a holographic display, pressed a few buttons, moved a few small oval runes on the installed Asgard panel.
Daniel glanced at him as the ship lifted off the floor of the bay, turned and left the larger Asgard mothership. “We don’t have time, Jack. Besides, it’s preprogrammed. If we have to fly it, then we fly it manually like the Goa’uld do.”
He moved a few more ovals, and the ship entered hyperspace, shaking his head. “You already have everything else. Why are you and Jason so bothered by this?”
“By what?” Jason asked, fidgeting, and looking around. “I’m not sayin’ a word. This is my first time in one of these things.”
“No, but you and Jack are the pilots and you both have that look.”
“The look that tells me I shouldn’t be the one flying the ship.”
“I’ve more experience, Daniel,” Jack answered.
“Not on this ship, you don’t. I do. You can’t read Goa’uld or Asgard, I can.” Jack made a face and Daniel’s annoyance started to climb. “I defer to you and Jason on all things military, but this is not one of them. It’s a matter of getting the job done efficiently and we don’t have time for me to translate everything.”
Jason pressed his lips together grimly. “He’s right, Jack.”
“He is, and it’s really annoying.”
Daniel sighed and closed his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose. He wanted to argue about that but what would be the point? What had been a great diversion and good will mission had turned sour very quickly. And so was his mood.
“Who did Thor give the mission specs to? Who did he refer to in every fucking thing else?” Daniel abruptly got out of his chair and left the bridge.
Jack and Jason glanced at the panels in a moment of panic. “Daniel, aren’t we going to overshoot our destination?”
Behind a wall, out of sight, Daniel took several long breaths. “No. And if you hadn’t sat there and ignored what the Asgard were telling me, in English, you wouldn’t be asking.” Daniel grimaced, knowing damn well he was making it worse, but sometimes, one could take the rude alpha behavior for only so long before snapping.
The hour it would take to get to their objective was going to drive Daniel nuts in many ways. Jack hated waiting, hated travel time. It gave him too much time to pick a mission apart that he hadn’t planned from the beginning.
“So, Daniel, since you’re the pilot this time, what’re we doing here?” Jason asked. He had to. There’d been some interesting looks from the Asgard to Daniel, spoken in Asgard–well, on one side anyway. The body language had been clear, however. They’d been talking about Jack and Jason.
Daniel sighed and came out from behind the wall, leaning against the threshold frame into the bridge. “You really want me to tell you?”
“Yes, or I wouldn’t have asked.”
Daniel smiled to himself, expecting that. He tried to think of the word that would be most acceptable to them other than bodyguards. “You’re the pilot’s protectors.”
“What?” Jack asked, still perturbed that he wasn’t the pilot. “We’re babysitters?”
“No, pro-tec-tors. More than a bodyguard, less than…”
“What?” Jack asked, starting to scowl.
Daniel was in no mood and he scowled back. “Less than an asshole commander.”
Jack exaggerated a deep sigh. “I was just askin’,” he replied.
Jason, on the other hand, was satisfied with the explanation. It made sense to him. It didn’t make sense that Jack was getting defensive, that Daniel was letting it get to him. Daniel knew that when the military action happened, ‘command’ would turn over to him and Jack, or Jack, as senior. Or, as Daniel might see it, as top alpha male. It was going to be interesting, he thought idly, to see how their three different versions of alpha male fit on this mission, but Jason wasn’t exactly looking forward to it. Too many feelings could get raw.
He sat in his seat, silent for the most part, over the next two and three-quarter hours, watching with growing irritation as Jack had fallen into his ‘teasing Daniel during a mission’ mode. Problem was, now wasn’t the time for it and he didn’t even see it or didn’t want to. He was winding Daniel up with inane questions and Jason didn’t understand how Daniel put up with it.
“So how come they didn’t put this stuff in English so we could read it?” Jack asked.
“I don’t know, Jack, I’m not an Asgard.”
“You didn’t think to ask?”
“No, and neither did you.”
“I wasn’t the one they were actually talking to.”
“You were there, Jack.”
“And sometimes I couldn’t understand them.”
“I was translating. You chose not to listen.”
“It was confusing. It would’ve been better if they’d just said everything in English.”
“Then tell Thor your concerns after we rescue Gondul, since I’m quite certain he’ll listen. You, on the other hand, I’m not so sure about.”
It went on and on, long minutes of sparring, long minutes of silence. Jack started each attack and Daniel ended them, so it became somewhat equal, but it was misleading. Jack was putting Daniel on edge. On purpose. Somehow, someway, after they got home, this crap had to be straightened out.
Jack could be condescending on a good day, but this behavior of his would earn him a very cold bed if he ever pulled it on Jason. It suddenly became clear, as he watched Daniel’s body language carefully, that Daniel expected it. Part of Jason found that amusing, part found it disturbing. Expectation indicated a pattern of behavior that Jack dropped into and Daniel allowed. In Jason’s opinion, it wasn’t a good way to behave and it only reinforced his decision to try and put a stop to it.
When the ship dropped out of hyperspace at the precise coordinates, the men were on alert. The sensors detected an Hatak vessel on the other side of the planet. Daniel directed the controls with a few Rune changes over the Asgard console and took the ship into the atmosphere.
“Daniel, how’re we doing?”
“Fine, Jack, don’t worry.”
“Listen, since when could you read Asgard?”
Daniel rolled his eyes. “Since Cimmeria, which I combined with the data logged from the temple on Heliopolis. Plus Thor gave me a transfer pad to study.”
“What transfer pad?” Jack asked.
Sighing, Daniel held up the ‘palm pilot’ slate. “This. Doesn’t really help but it’s useful. You could have read it, or at least studied the picture diagrams, if you’d wanted to.”
“I was too busy sulking,” Jack said sarcastically.
“Listen, you’re in no worse a position than myself. I really don’t know much about a cargo ship other than how to fly it and what controls to use and where the weapons are. I have no idea how to repair it or–“
“Okay, okay, point taken, but you don’t have to be so snippy about it.”
Jason made a noise of disgust.
“What’s your problem?” Jack asked.
Jason slowly turned, looking past Daniel, and glaring at him. “So now you’re going to start growling at me?”
“I am not growling–“
“For the last hour, that’s all you’ve done, aimed at Daniel mostly.” Jack actually looked surprised. “Do you even realize what you’re doing, Jack? You’ve been in a fucking snit since we left, all because Daniel’s flying the ship and you’re not.”
Jack ground his jaw. “It’s just that I am a pilot and I have flown one of these and–“
“I’m a pilot and I never have flown one of these, but you don’t see me acting like a–“
“Point is, Daniel isn’t.”
“Not by your training certainly,” Daniel grumbled.
“No offense intended, Daniel,” Jack told him, looking sheepish. “It’s just that it’s what I’m used to.”
“In the Tobin system, you flew a cargo ship but with Jacob’s help. Now, you’re stuck doing what I usually do and you don’t like it one damn bit, do you?” Daniel asked.
Jack’s expression turned defensive and Jason raised his hand in warning. “Jack, don’t bite his head off. Daniel has a point.”
“Thank you,” Daniel snapped. “You can’t blame me, Jack, for liking the responsibility, just this once.”
“You have plenty of responsibility,” Jack told him grudgingly… and started to wonder when their situation got so out of hand–and it so wasn’t the time for it. He sighed, holding up his hand when Daniel started to defend himself. “Can we put a pin in this until after we get the job done?”
Tightly, Daniel nodded, and so did Jason. “Good. Now, is there any objection to me leading this mission?” He wanted to add something sarcastic but that would defeat the purpose of the cease fire.
“I was just piloting, Jack,” Daniel said, waving at the door as the craft landed next to a small hill.
“Okay, let’s get on with this…” Jack said, pausing as he looked through the viewscreen. “Wait… what the hell is that?” He pointed to the other side of the small hill and there sat an Asgard ship exactly like Thor’s only much smaller in size.
“Obviously, that’s Gondul’s ship,” Daniel told him.
“Isn’t it supposed to be bigger?” Jack asked.
“This thing got a locator?” Jack asked.
Daniel nodded slowly. “You’d’ve known that already if you’d been listening.”
“Can we put a pin in that, too?” Jack sighed as he got up and started for the rear section of the ship. “See if Gondul’s on his ship while Jason and I grab our gear.”
Daniel turned swiftly in his chair, mouth falling open as he made a snort of astonishment. “Sonofa…” he whispered, then shook his head and looked back at the console. “…bitch.”
Jason, meanwhile, had heard the cuss word and as he put on his field vest, he called out, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” Daniel answered.
Jason knew that was a lie; it was obvious, but he didn’t know what the reason for it was, other than Daniel was mad. He replayed what had just been said and winced. He didn’t say a word when Daniel walked past and grabbed his gear.
Jack looked up. “Daniel?”
“You assumed I wouldn’t need my gear?”
Jack frowned, wondering if the Asgard did something to his thinking because he should have thought of that already. “You’re right.” There seemed like more to say, but Jack simply shook his head instead.
Daniel didn’t bother to respond; he was too pissed off. He made his way back to the bridge console, gear in hand, and touched a panel with the fingertip of his free hand to bring up the life signs readout. He saw the blue dot that represented the Asgard, then three red dots around him.
“Shit,” he whispered. “Jack, we got problems,” he called out, but before he could say why, a new problem emerged when an Asgard beam flashed and four beings appeared at the threshold that separated the bridge from the rear compartment. Fortunately, there were two partitions that hid Jack and Jason’s presence.
Daniel rose from his chair, dropping his gear on the seat as he faced the arrivals. Two Jaffa and another man he’d assume was a Goa’uld, and Gondul–looking a little worse for wear if Daniel read Asgard appearance correctly. Poor little guy looked pale… for a greyish being.
Daniel wondered at that moment why he didn’t feel afraid, not even with the threat of ribbon device aimed at Gondul’s head, nor the staff weapons aimed at his own. Any normal person would have been. It then occurred to him that he wasn’t normal, didn’t have a normal life, and that a normal person didn’t have two very loving, and very armed, psychopaths for lovers. Which is exactly how he would describe Jason and Jack when a real threat showed up.
Perhaps another reason for the lack of fear was the shock on the intruders’ faces. They clearly didn’t expect humans. Probably Asgard, even in a Goa’uld ship.
“You are not Asgard,” the Goa’uld stated in his resonating voice.
“Really,” Daniel said blandly. “What gave it away?”
Behind the partitions, Jason grinned and shook his head. He and Jack were already geared up, having done it quickly, with long practice. Jack exchanged a few hand signals and Jason flicked the safety off from his holstered sidearm before he pulled his combat knife free of its sheath. Jack did the same, both mirroring the other as they positioned their knives with the tip facing the elbow and the blade poised outward. A swinging arm would make for an excellent cut.
Ready, they waited for a signal from Daniel. One thing Jack knew for certain was that no matter what his automatic response was to civilians, Daniel was never an ordinary one, even when he was green. Now, he had the training. Jack’s momentary sulking had him feeling guilty, and angry at himself. Useful tools right now, however, because instead of ignoring them, he’d use them, and direct them to the people they belonged to in the end. The enemy.
“Where are the other Asgard?” the Goa’uld demanded.
Daniel knew that with that ribbon device pointed at Gondul’s head, the snake wouldn’t hesitate to use it. He needed to give the snakehead an answer. Something diverting, keeping their attention.
“I killed them,” he stated matter-of-factly. “I came here to take the little bastard and his research. Give him to me and you won’t be harmed.”
The Goa’uld laughed. “You are insane. Where are the others?”
“The others are dead,” Daniel said slowly as if speaking to a drunk. “I just said that didn’t I? As for who I am, my name is Harry Maybourne. I’m a defector from the Tau’ri. And you are?”
The Goa’uld actually blinked in surprise, along with the Asgard, Gondul. “You look like Daniel Jackson.”
Daniel blinked. What was going on? Did they have a Goa’uld network? “Coincidence only,” Daniel answered, trying to think of something to say. Jack and Jason were probably waiting for some signal.
“You are a member of SG-1 according to our last report.”
Daniel shrugged, though inwardly surprised he had a reputation already. “Your reports need updating. I’m no longer with the SGC. I like to do things my own way. I’m also far more dangerous than you were probably led to believe.”
The Jaffa remained motionless but the Goa’uld sneered. “You have no weapons and are therefore not dangerous.”
Daniel snorted. “Looks can be deceiving. For instance, you don’t look threatening to me… I didn’t get your name.”
The Jaffa to his right started to move forward but the Goa’uld yelled at him to stay put. “I am Kingu. You will kneel before me.”
“Kingu,” Daniel repeated. “The dragon of chaos. Nicely appropriate, I guess. And no, I’m not kneeling.”
“I am your god and you will kneel before me.”
Daniel thought about getting into a semi-philosophical argument about gods and kneeling but decided that it would be a waste of breath. The guys were probably ready, anyway. “I don’t kneel but I can kick the shit out of you pretty damn well,” and he pointed at the toe of his boot.
“If he says one more word,” Kingu said, “kill him.”
Daniel only smiled.
Jack and Jason knew from the threat that Daniel’s baiting was at an end. They came out of hiding.
“Kneel!” demanded the Goa’uld, raising his ribbon device.
Daniel took a step back and dropped to his knees, hoping to reach into the seat for his sidearm but froze when he caught a gleam of metal from somewhere behind the Jaffa and the snakehead. “Snake meet Mongoose,” he said, turning away slightly to get his face away from the imminent blood spray just as Jason’s blade came into view.
It was quick; the knife pushed in quickly to sever the spinal cord at the neck, killing both host and symbiote before the Jaffa could recognize what had happened. By the time they did, the one in front of Jack was dead by the same method and Jason was quickly dispatching the second.
Before the dead hit the floor, Daniel grabbed Gondul and yanked him out of the way so he wouldn’t be crushed, and the result was the oddest feeling of a child with emaciated flesh squirming within his arms. Still, it wasn’t quick enough to evade the blood spatter, and Daniel could’ve sworn the Asgard’s eyes got even bigger when he realized what it was that was landing across his grey skin.
Jack and Jason made sure the three bodies were indeed dead, including the symbiotes inside the Jaffa while Gondul got to his feet slowly, blinking at Daniel, then Jack and Jason as they cleaned their off their knives, using the Goa’uld’s gaudy garments.
“Where’d they come from?” Daniel asked, pointing at the Jaffa and Goa’uld. “I thought the ship was on the other side of the planet?”
“They had a cargo ship which saw through my minimal shields and landed not long before you arrived,” Gondul replied, looking stunned.
“Their ring platform will activate from here, won’t it?” Jack asked Gondul.
Jack grunted acknowledgement and went to the ring platform in the middle of the rear compartment, dragging the dead Goa’uld with him. Jason followed with one Jaffa and Daniel took the other. Safely inside the ring, the controls were pushed and the rings whisked the dead away to the other ship.
Looking around, Jack said, “Too bad we can’t clean up the mess that way.” He put away his weapon, then wiped his hands off and did what he usually did when meeting new Asgard. He put out his hand.
“Gondul, I believe?” he asked.
Gondul put out his small hand tentatively. “You are correct,” he said in a small, nasal voice. “You were sent by Thor?”
Jack needed a more formal introduction. “That’d be a yes. I’m Colonel O’Neill, this is Doctor Jackson and Major Coburn. Now, where’s your stuff and let’s get the hell out of here, whaddya say?”
“I thought you had a Jaffa and a Major Carter on your team?” Gondul asked moving to the console.
Jack followed him. “Yes, well, they were busy and Thor didn’t have much time.”
Gondul blinked hugely, then tilted his head. “I see.” Jack absurdly wondered if all Asgard did that or if Gondul had been taking lessons from Thor. Gondul moved to the console and moved a few runes. “My ship is damaged. We will have to take yours.”
A transport beam flashed and in its wake were a few pieces of equipment. Daniel gave up control of the ship to Gondul and they left the planet and moved to hyperspace. The Goa’uld ship that had been in orbit never came after them; no one cared to ask or find out why, either.
On the way to the rendezvous, things were positively funereal. It bothered Daniel, but the silence was somehow comforting. Gondul periodically checked on his equipment and sat in front of the console, reading the information he was calling up while Jack and Jason cleaned their uniforms in the back room.
Daniel was a little dirtier than they were–having been in front of the blood spatter, not behind it–but decided to wait till they got to Thor’s ship. Didn’t stop him from using the cravats in his leg pockets to wipe off the blood on his arms and a bit on his face and neck. Sliding down a wall to sit and watch his lovers, Daniel felt gross; he wanted a shower badly.
Jack looked over and saw him watching and gave him a double take. “What’s goin’ on, Daniel?”
“Just watchin’, why?”
“Watching us…what? Clean?”
He nodded. “Yeah.”
“Do I need a reason?”
“No, guess not. Just seemed like something was on your mind.”
“Should there be?”
“No, guess not.”
For whatever reason, Daniel followed that with, “Seems like blood gets everywhere, doesn’t it?”
Jack gave him a serious look. “Yes, it does. At least you weren’t in that snake’s sights for once. Jason and I would have had a hell of time.”
Jason looked at Jack and frowned. Uh oh. He glanced at Daniel. Yep. He didn’t like the sound of that, either.
“What does that mean, Jack?” Daniel asked.
Jack was concentrating more on cleaning off the blood then on what he was saying. “Well, it’s just that we were there to protect you and there you were putting your neck on the line again. How are we supposed to do our job when you do that?”
Daniel’s mouth dropped open. “I was protecting him the same as you were, Jack.”
Jack looked up from his cleaning. “I know that, Daniel, but it’s not really your thing, to protect the way we do, I mean.”
“Excuse me?” Daniel got what Jack was saying, but the way Jack was saying it got his back up. “What’re you saying?”
“Daniel, Jack,” Jason warned. “Agree to disagree.”
“What?” Jack asked, finally getting the blood off the intricate lacing of the vest. He looked up, paying attention.
Daniel knew that Jack wasn’t really paying attention, and he caught the warning glance Jason also threw his way, but he ignored both. “Are you saying you can play the protective alpha male but I can’t?”
“Well… yeah, I guess,” Jack replied as he bent down to remove his boots next.
Daniel gave Jack a very long look and Jason said quickly, “Daniel, you know that he didn’t mean how that sounded.”
Daniel nodded absently as he drew up his knees and rested his arms over them. He looked at the partition ahead of him or stared into the mosaic of the ring transport. After about five minutes, he asked, “You think the same thing, don’t you, Jace?”
“That you aren’t an alpha male? No, Daniel. I don’t think that. Your way is different than ours, and I think that’s what Jack meant.”
“No, he meant that I’m not one, period, just because I’m the one who is non-violent most of the time.”
Jason couldn’t argue that. “Well, it’s not my opinion, Daniel.”
Jack glanced up, finally registering what was being said. “Wait a minute. Daniel, I never meant that you’re not–“
“Forget it, Jack. I know where I stand now.”
“Daniel, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it as an insult.”
Daniel stared at the floor, and knew that sooner or later, Jack would have to see his face, so he looked up and gave him as convincing a look as he could. “No need to apologize for being honest, Jack.”
“Daniel–” Jason told him.
“Drop it, Jason.” Daniel then changed the subject abruptly. “God I can’t wait to get home and get a nice, long, hot shower.” He closed his eyes–staring off into space would look suspicious.
Jason worried how bad that conversation had sounded. “Daniel–“
Without looking at him, Daniel sighed. “Jason, I said drop it.”
“I can’t. You’re mad.”
“Well, yeah, I am. My way of taking charge, or being an alpha male protecting his charge, is not yours. That’s fine. What bothers me is you, or Jack rather, made it sound like your way is acceptable alpha male behavior and mine isn’t.” He pushed off the floor and started for the bridge.
“Hold up, Daniel,” Jack asked, frowning deeply at him when Daniel stopped and turned around. “I didn’t say anything like that.”
“Not in those words, no,” Daniel answered, frowning back. “Point is, I didn’t like what you said, but it’s your opinion, and that’s fine. What else needs to be said?”
“Daniel, obviously it’s not fine,” Jack said with obvious frustration.
“What do you want me to do? Rant and stomp my feet?”
Daniel sighed. “I can accept your opinions. Doesn’t mean I have to like them.”
“And?” Jack asked.
“Just say it,” Jack prodded.
Daniel crossed his arms and stared back at his lovers. “Okay, fine. Here’s my opinion. I’m just as much an alpha male as you. My methods may be different but they don’t mean they’re any less effective. My way is less offensive, more defensive. I talk, you shoot. Point is, neither method is better than the other. They both have their uses. I’m pissed off because you make it sound like your way is the better way, when it isn’t. It’s just one way.”
“I’m not judging you,” Jason told him, now as frustrated with Daniel.
Jack scowled. “I’m not judging him, either, Jason.”
“Sounded like judging to me,” Daniel said, then held up his hand. “It’s okay, Jack. Sooner or later, you’ll see that my way is just as effective as yours.”
They watched him walk to the bridge and sit down next to Gondul, talking in his soft, inquisitive voice.
Jason sighed. “We are so dead.”
“Oh, I don’t know. I think we can stand up to anything he wants to dish out.”
“I don’t think he needs to ‘dish out’ anything, Jack. All he has to do is look at us and we’re minced meat.”
Jack shrugged. “Maybe.”
“I think we should just surrender now,” Jason added.
“Are you saying you don’t want him to show us his way?”
“Jace. Tell me you don’t like him like this and I’ll shoot you.”
“I won’t. How do you feel?”
“Like a moth to flame,” Jack admitted. “When he gets like that, Jason, I get hard.”
Jason stared at him, then let his mouth drop open. “You did that on purpose?” he asked in a whisper.
“Works every time,” Jack answered, smiling mischievously.
Jason rolled eyes in exasperation. “Jesus, Jack. You may get off on winding him up. I don’t. Not that way, anyway.”
Jack grinned at him, though the expression didn’t reach his eyes. There was worry there, Jason saw. “While I agree with it not being a good idea to wind him up, it’s suddenly occurred to me that I’ve yet to piss him off… as my lover. As friends, he’d stew for a while, then I’d crack a joke, he’d crack a joke, I’d tease him, he’d insult me, and we’d move on. Now, I want to see what would happen in the kiss and make up department.”
Jason simply gawked at him. “Are you insane? That’s just… wrong on every level, Jack. Manipulation is not the key to a good–“
“It’s a test, Jason, not something I plan to do all the time. This is just something I need to know. I can’t find that out by simply asking him what would happen, now that we’re having sex, if I pissed him off.”
“But… wrong, Jack.”
“Jason, do you remember how we handle stress together?”
A few images came directly to mind and brought with them a wash of heat. “I remember.”
“Well, we’ve never really fought.”
“Have you forgotten that little bit of self-pity I pulled coming back from the cabin?” When Jack looked at him and grinned, Jason cleared his throat. “Okay, you remember. Point is, you found out how Daniel reacted. He hit me. He’s just as alpha as we are. What’s there to find out?”
“Jason, the difference is that you scared him. You didn’t piss him off. Since I’m the one who usually does that, I think it’s time to find out what the result will be.”
Jason shook his head; he had a bad feeling. “I don’t think you’re going to like the answer. What you want–which I’m assuming is a good, hard caveman fuck–“
“Which I haven’t had yet from him–“
“Will only net you his avoiding us instead.”
Thor dropped them off at the SGC very early Sunday morning and they spent part of the day writing up reports until Hammond showed up… rather worried and pissed off at the same time. After they explained, and Thor came down to explain his reasons, Hammond wasn’t quite so pissed off.
Reports handed in, they had to endure rounds of tests from Janet when she heard about the healing beams. Jason was given his usual batch of tests but Jack underwent two MRIs for each knee.
Several hours later, Janet was satisfied that they were both healthy and she came into the empty ward Daniel was in with a smile on her face.
“I take it they’re fine?” Daniel asked with a soft smile.
She nodded at him. “I could kiss Thor for what he did. Aside from healing Jason, he took the Colonel’s reason to complain out from underneath him. I don’t think he’s realized it yet,” and she pointed at the crowd hanging out in the hall. Jack, talking to Sam and Teal’c, and Jason, talking to his teammates.
“And your labs are back and everything’s fine,” she added, checking off his chart. She looked up to find him staring into the hallway and finally realized how subdued he was. “What’s the matter?”
Daniel shook his head. “Jack’s opinion on alpha male behavior differs from mine.”
She raised a brow. “This surprises you?”
“Only when it’s applied to me.”
She winced. “What’d he do?”
“Nothing offensive, Janet, it’s just… what he believes. I never really paid it any mind till today… last night, whatever.” Daniel sighed deeply and pinched his nose bridge. “This is just one of those things I’ll have to get used to now that… things are different.” He could tell by her sigh that she wanted to comfort him, but there really wasn’t any need. When he glanced up and saw her looking over her shoulder at the group in the hallway, he gave a sad smile. “Giving their warrior accounts.”
She looked back at him, frowning. “And why aren’t you?”
“Because… it’s not my thing.”
“Not your thing, or you don’t think you are one?”
Daniel shrugged. “I don’t know. Given the circumstances, I’m kinda one by default but it isn’t who I am.”
“You sound like it’s a bad thing,” she said, her brows knotting in confusion.
“No, it’s not,” he said, shaking his head emphatically, as if to tear the thought loose, then said more quietly, “I love that they are, but sometimes it conflicts with who I am. Or maybe who they think I am or expect me to be, I don’t know.”
“Does it matter?” she asked, very much wondering if Daniel had actually thought about it and when he took his time answering, she realized he hadn’t.
“It matters, I guess. Normally, I don’t care what people think about me personally. I only care if I’m doing my job–or rather, what I think my job should be–but with Jack and Jason, and maybe Sam and Teal’c, it does matter what they think. Judging from the way things have been the last few years, and the way people treated me, I feel disconnected. Not that that’s a new thing for me since I tend to cause that very feeling in people.”
“Not with them, Daniel. And whether you think so or not, you’re just as much a warrior as they are. The only difference is your method, and the fact that you haven’t been trained to do it like they have.”
“Near enough,” Daniel said, rolling his eyes. “OJT does wonders.”
“You haven’t been changed by it, is what I mean.”
Daniel gave her a tight smile that time. “I don’t plan on doing that in the future, either, but I know I’ll get better at killing. It’s… necessary.”
“You know what I mean. You always speak first. We,” she emphasized, gesturing at the infirmary in its entirety, “tend to call you the snake charmer.”
Daniel laughed then; short and astonished. “What?”
“Well, you bait them, yes, but you manage to talk your way into or out of a lot of things, and whether you realize it or not, Daniel, it’s because of that charm. The Colonel has it, but he prefers to be…”
“A sarcastic asshole, which then gets him awarded a blow to the knees or face.” He shook his head. “It’s a wonder Jack doesn’t look like a prize fighter by now.”
Janet smiled and lowered her voice conspiratorially. “And aren’t you just glad for that?”
“No comment,” he smiled back. Sighing again, he looked wistfully into the hallway. “Sometimes I wish I was part of that group, and other times, I’m glad I’m not. But right now, the only thing I want to do is show how much of an alpha male I can be.” At her raised brow and cheeky smile, he added, “I promise I won’t hurt either of them.”
She nudged him. “Even just a little?”
It made him laugh again. “You want payback through me, is that it?”
“Maybe,” she hedged. “Would serve them right. Except the methods I’d use would only be teasing.”
“Like?” he asked.
“Like… well, this next Sunday is the annual barbecue. I’d tease with a lot of licking of sauces and eating.”
Daniel gave her an amused but disagreeing expression. “That’s not alpha behavior though.”
“Yeah, as I said, it’s only teasing. And prick teasing if not followed through.”
“It’d be fun though, but not my thing.”
“You could combine it.”
“I don’t know that I’d want to wait a week for that, but they could wait till next weekend for the main event I guess,” he said, the tone indicating an idea.
“So…” she began, nudging his knee. “What’re you planning on doing for the week then?”
“Letting them be,” he said, already feeling like it was a bad idea because he knew he’d miss them. But. “I need some space, some time to think. I don’t want to react from a place of resentment.”
“Probably a good idea,” she said, nodding in agreement. She looked him over curiously, and he sent back a silent query. “Other than this alpha nonsense from the Colonel, how’s things going with them?”
Daniel had to think about that for a minute. “We’re… figuring it out, Janet. Most of the time, we don’t argue, which is weird. And when we do argue, especially me and Jack, I’m suddenly feeling like it’s back to the way it was. It’ll take me a little time to get over that.”
“Is it something that can be gotten over?” she asked.
Daniel nodded without question. “Yes. I’m not letting Jack or Jason chase me away with their nonsense. I just have to figure out a way to figuratively crack the whip.” He leered suddenly, giving her a wicked smile. “A real whip, on the other hand, might not be such a bad idea.”
She returned the gleam in his eyes. “Teach them to behave and don’t break the skin.” Sam and Teal’c suddenly came through the doorway at the end of the ward and Janet tapped his knee. “You’re done here, hon.”
“Thanks,” he said quickly, and she winked at him.
Sam had a grin on her face. So did Teal’c.
“What?” he asked.
“Daniel… meet Mongoose?”
“Um, yeah. It was appropriate.”
“That it was, Daniel Jackson,” Teal’c said approvingly.
“So you guys read the report already?”
“No, we got the details from the Colonel and Jason. They’re bragging and Jason is making his team jealous with the description of the Asgard ship.”
Daniel snorted. “He was in awe of it. It was even funnier what he said to the Asgard who were giving him the once over.”
Sam, Janet, and Teal’c looked at him blankly. Daniel realized that Jason edited that from his report and it made Daniel laugh. He was probably trying to be discreet, but Daniel didn’t think it was necessary. Daniel waited till there was a lull in the voices in the hall, then said to Sam and Teal’c–and anyone else within hearing range: “Yeah, you should have heard him when they put him under that light. ‘Um, haven’t I seen you guys on the cover of a tabloid somewhere?’ Told Thor he thought he was the subject of an alien autopsy video.”
“Daniel!” Jason admonished, and behind him, his teammates were snickering.
Sam and Teal’c turned to look at him; what made things better was that Teal’c actually read those tabloids like someone addicted to soap operas. He found them hilarious, and to date, it was the only time Daniel had ever seen him laugh since that joke he told about the Goa’uld Setesh.
“Daniel, what other lies are you telling?” Jason said, walking in with Jack beside him and his teammates behind.
“Sam and Teal’c were kind enough to let me know about the stuff you left out, that’s all.” He slid off the bed and grabbed his fatigue jacket. “Now, if you will all excuse me, Janet says I’m free to go, so if anyone needs me for a translation, I’ll be in my office.” He walked out without a look to Jack or Jason, stuffing his hands in his pockets.
Jack frowned, then turned and looked at Janet. “What’s goin’ on?”
“Don’t look at me,” Janet answered. “Now that the excitement’s over, I’ve got a casserole to see to. I know you folks have homes to be in so…” She waved them out of the infirmary and made for the elevator.
Jason turned to Jack and folded his arms. “I guess you’re seeing the net result in your actions. He’s avoiding us, Jack.”
“Jason, it’ll get better, trust me,” Jack said.
“In what universe?” Jason asked, stalking off.
“Would you care to enlighten myself and Major Carter with what is currently transpiring–?” Teal’c started.
“Not really, T,” Jack grumbled.
The week had been torturously slow, and come Sunday, Daniel was antsy. He’d managed to calm down, to get rid of the anger, but now, he missed his lovers. Staying away from them, at least intimately, was showing some sort of inner strength but he wondered how fair it was. Or if it was fair that he be alone while they had each other. Thing was, he felt guilty for that because he was quite certain they were staying away from each other.
The barbecue at Hammond’s was slated to start at 1 pm. By 2, almost all of the ‘invited’ guests were there. Jack and Jason had been there early, having volunteered themselves for grilling duty, and Daniel had arrived with Janet, Sam, and Teal’c. By 2:30, everyone was there, eating, drinking, singing songs, playing games on Hammond’s enormous back lawn.
Dropping off an empty glass at the bar Hammond had set up outside, Daniel went inside to use the bathroom. Washing up, he remembered the little threat Jack had made about making out in one of the closets. When he left the bathroom, Daniel deliberately did not look around for a closet. Instead, he stood at the French doors that led to the backyard from the dining room and stared out at the throng of people.
Jack and Jason were at volunteer grill duty, wearing strangely sexy red aprons (both had “HOT SAUCY CHEF” written on them). They were teased by other personnel, comparing the spatulas and grilling forks to P90s, but his lovers only hammed it up as they cooked and served. Daniel smiled, listening to them through the partially open doors, until he heard Major Reynolds say his name and Jack answer with some comment about ‘protecting Daniel.’
Jason’s reaction was to look around to see if he had heard. Well, he had, and Daniel felt the heat suffuse his face. Protecting him? Had they forgotten just who it was who had the audacity to grab that snake from the incubator a few weeks ago and just who it was that baited the snake on the ship and allowed them to do their thing?
Apparently Jason hadn’t forgotten, but Jack seemed to have. Taking a deep breath, Daniel decided that later on, he would give Jack the true definition of alpha male. But for right now… perhaps Janet’s idea about being a prick tease wouldn’t be so bad. It wasn’t like Jack and Jason could do anything.
Getting himself another drink, this time a simple Screwdriver, he saw Janet at one of the picnic tables. To his left, he glanced over at Jack and Jason; they were looking in his direction. Daniel decided they had to know he’d heard. Veering to his left slightly, he walked over, but kept a few yards’ distance between them.
“Hey,” Jason greeted, looking Daniel over and Daniel felt a particularly familiar heat fill him down below. It didn’t help that Jack looked at him with that devilish grin, but in a way, it was perfect.
“Hey,” Daniel greeted back.
“How’re you doing?” Jack asked.
“Oh I’m just fine, Jack,” he said, looking back and forth between him and Jason. “In fact, I’m feeling so very safe right now, what with all these big strong men around to protect me.” He smiled and saluted them with his glass before he turned and walked back in Janet’s direction.
Jason glared at him, pointing his grilling fork. “I told you, but you don’t listen to me.”
“I listen just fine.”
“God, no you don’t. Plan backfired. He’s pissed off again. You just can’t keep your foot out of your mouth, can you?”
Jack looked down at the burgers he flipped, grumbling, “Apparently not. But the day isn’t over, Jason.”
“We are so fucked, Jack.”
“One can only hope that will be literal.”
“Jason, I’m the one who stuck my foot in it, anyway. It’s me he’s pissed at.”
“He’ll treat me the same way, Jack. I’m guilty by association.”
Jack sighed. “Well, we’re certainly guilty of a lot of things this last week but associating isn’t one of them.”
Jason sighed in return. “I miss associating with you, with Daniel.”
“Me, too, Jace.”
“We could have.”
“But we decided not to.”
“I know, and I’m going insane.”
“You’re not the only one,” Jack said, and cast Jason a sidelong look, directed below.
Jason groaned. “Don’t look at me like that.”
Jack smiled to himself, looking at his grill. “Why not?”
“It makes me hard. Wrong place, wrong time, Jack.”
Jack sighed, knowing Jason was right. “Later then. I can’t wait anymore.”
“Me either. Think he’ll stay mad long?” Jason asked as he watched Daniel sit down next to Janet.
Jack watched them, and when Daniel looked their way and lifted his glass to them in another salute, he made a growling sound. “I have no idea. I haven’t seen this bit from him before, but…”
Jack cleared his throat. “I’m gettin’ aroused by it. He looks…”
“Yeah, that’s the word.”
Jason let out a breath, adjusting his jeans. “Good, ’cause I thought it was just me.”
Janet’s side of the picnic table faced the grills, and Daniel purposely sat down next to her instead of across, just so he could watch his lovers periodically. After toasting them, he nearly spilled his drink when Janet nudged his elbow.
“I heard that comment you made,” she told him secretly.
“You were supposed to.”
“Should I assume that was in response to that remark the Colonel made several minutes ago?”
“You should,” Daniel said, draining half his drink, then sighed, telling himself he didn’t want to be drunk. When he was both mad and drunk at the same time, he made an ass out of himself. Time to slow down the drinking, which was fine. The buzz he was working on was good enough. Although the small voice in the back of his head kept thinking about closets and fucking. Then the metaphor hit him and he started chuckling.
“What?” Janet asked.
He told her and she spit her margarita over her leftover fruit salad. “Dammit.”
“Sorry, but you asked.”
She started laughing however, giggling even more the longer she thought about it. “It really is funny though.”
Daniel stared at her as she deliberately scooped up some of the whipped cream and sucked it into her mouth.
“No,” he said.
She smiled around her finger, then picked up her spoon. “You’re no fun.”
“I am, but what you’re asking is not something I would do. Nor any guy in a homophobic environment. Besides, that sort of teasing is a woman’s thing, not a guy’s.”
“That’s not fair,” she said. “I’ve seen… men… do that.”
“In this environment?” he asked.
“There you go. There’s no way in hell I’m playing that around a bunch of sexually-challenged men.”
Janet started laughing so suddenly she swallowed wrong and Daniel wound up slapping her back a few times.
“Sorry,” he said sheepishly.
She waved him off, still laughing. “Don’t be, Daniel. That was priceless.” She stood up, hitting her chest. “I’ll be back.”
A few minutes later, she returned with two plates of steak, setting Daniel’s down in front of her. “If you won’t play one game, play another.”
“What’s that?” he asked, eyeing his steak.
“You know what it does to guys to see someone eating meat?”
Daniel coughed. “Yeah,” he choked.
“Well, the metaphors won’t skip them by, Daniel. Let’s just eat, fool around. That should be enough.”
“Fool around? I’m not playing games, Janet.”
“No need to. Let jealous minds take care of it. Might even start rumors.”
Daniel gave in. “What the hell. I could use a good rumor.”
Janet proved what she meant by dredging a cut of steak through some sauce, then waved it in front of Daniel’s mouth till he opened and let her feed him. Just the once. He didn’t need that alpha opinion misjudged yet again.
Jason had to turn away from the grill for etiquette reasons. He grabbed his glass of beer behind him and drank it down. Jack didn’t need an explanation. Upon the first cough, he knew and looked over, finding Daniel sucking on his finger while Janet cleaned steak sauce off his chin.
“Fucking Christ,” and he cleared his throat, joining Jason in downing his beer. Jason turned around and looked at him.
“He can’t be doing that on purpose. It’s too natural.”
Jack stared, watching Daniel laugh with Janet. “That’s because it is. He knows exactly what he’s doing though, regardless. He’s not a fool, Jason, and neither are we. Let’s maintain a little dignity.”
“Dignity isn’t on the menu right now,” Jason growled. “All I want to do is drag him into the woods and–” His complaint was cut off as people approached for more food. He was satisfied, at least, by the agreeing look in Jack’s eyes.
A few hours later, Daniel was getting restless again. “Time to go over and harass them,” he said, getting up.
“You show ’em who’s boss,” Janet said, grinning.
“Janet, I’m not the boss.”
“Yes you are, Daniel, whether you like it or not.”
“I’m not, but maybe, for today, I will be, just to let Jack know a few things.”
“I hope it works,” she said, her grin turning devilish. “Just don’t damage them.”
“Where’s the fun in that?” he asked, walking off.
“Go get ’em, Tiger,” she called after him, getting Daniel to look over his shoulder and glare good-naturedly at her.
Janet had no idea, Daniel thought. What he had planned had only been a germ of an idea that morning, but watching his lovers throughout the day, that idea had grown… and had Daniel wishing he hadn’t worn his desert linen. Damn trousers showed off erections like a brightly colored banner. So not what he needed.
He’d tried to formulate his plan without getting hard and it’d been quite an effort. Just as long as he didn’t think too much on the details, he’d been fine. Being distracted by Janet and others throughout the day had been good.
And he’d found that he was no longer annoyed at the comment Jack had made earlier. Daniel understood where Jack was coming from and was only just beginning to suspect that Jack had done it all on purpose, since their time on the ship. That realization didn’t exactly bother him, but Daniel did have to let Jack know that picking a fight just to kiss and make-up wasn’t Daniel’s idea of what kept a relationship stable and growing.
Not that Daniel had any clue how to do that successfully, but it was time he set some sort of rules. At least he knew that Jason would agree. It was obvious that Jason didn’t like what Jack was doing–although he hadn’t put a stop to it. Jason needed to find out that he could. Jack wasn’t “in charge” of the relationship but he was acting as if he was.
Janet was also wrong. He wasn’t in charge, either. It was time that Jack understood that they were equal in the relationship… although in order to get this across, he himself would have to put on the hypocrite hat and take charge. “Here goes nothing,” he whispered to himself.
“What’s good?” he asked as he walked up to the grills, sipping on his glass of ice water. He gave his lovers a slight smile over the rim of the glass–something he knew they both liked. A lot.
“Everything,” Jason replied, staring at him while barely looking down at the chicken he was now barbecuing. No one was close enough to hear, so Jason took the chance, not caring what Jack thought. “I miss you,” he whispered as he repositioned the chicken on the grill. When he looked up, he found one of Daniel’s shy, charming smiles.
“Me, too,” Daniel replied, unable to keep himself from saying it. It was true, after all. He looked at Jack for a reply, but Jack was trying to act as if he didn’t care, so Daniel moved around to their side of the grill tables, looking over Jack’s shoulder. “Looks good, Jack.”
Jack caved, grinning. “The food?”
“Well, that too,” Daniel told him, walking away, letting the back of his hand brush both Jack’s ass and Jason’s. “I’m gonna get some more ice water. You guys need refills on your beer?”
“Please,” Jack answered, holding up his empty bottle.
Jason nodded and watched Daniel’s ass as he walked toward the bar. “Fuck,” he said, the word pronounced sharply.
“Yep, pretty much sums it up.”
“Wearing those desert clothes was on purpose.”
“It was. Is. Whatever.” Jack was about to make another comment when Hammond and Teal’c walked up, looking very purposeful. “You here to steal my job, sir?” he cracked with a grin.
“You two have been going non-stop, Jack,” Hammond grinned back. “Why don’t you two take a break and get something to eat.”
Jack wanted to tell his commander that he wasn’t exactly hungry for food but… he’d be lying. He’d have offered Teal’c his apron, but his friend was already wearing one. Red, like his own, only it said the traditional “Kiss the Chef” in large, white script.
“Thank you, sir,” Jason said as Hammond came round to his side of the grill.
They went to the grill Major Kovacek was manning, having had enough of hamburgers and chicken, and the man grinned like a shark at them. “Just in time, gentlemen,” he said, and pointed to two plates. “That one’s rare, that one’s medium.”
Jason took the rare, grinning at the man. “Opening up a steak house soon?” he asked.
“If the diplomacy job falls through,” the Major replied.
Stocking up on side dishes, they met Daniel halfway to the eating area. “I take it you’ll have these with your meals?” Daniel asked, setting down the beer when they reached the picnic tables.
“Yeah, thanks,” Jack replied as he sat down.
“Nice timing,” Jason said, taking a long drink.
“It was my idea, actually,” Daniel told them, not sitting down.
They stared at him but Daniel’s face was neutral.
“Join us?” Jack asked.
“Actually–” Daniel started, looking around.
“Please?” Jason asked. “Haven’t talked to you much today.”
“You can talk to me later,” Daniel told him, meeting his eyes for the longest look all day before turning to Jack and giving him the same look. He glanced away, looking down at his watch. “I’m gonna head out.”
“You alright?” Jack asked.
“Just want to be alone for little while. If you want, you can stop by when the grill duty’s over.” Daniel then set his glass on the table, nodded to them, and walked off in the direction of the grill. He gave the man an excuse about a sinus headache, then made his way to the front of the house, feeling all the while that his lovers were watching him.
He wasn’t wrong.
“Did I hear an invite in there?” Jason asked through a mouthful of steak.
Jack nodded, chewed, swallowed, and took a long drink of beer. “What I’m not sure I heard was when we should stop by.”
“When our grilling’s over,” Jason said.
“Our grilling is over, I think,” Jack told him, checking his watch for the time. “There’s nothing more to grill. We don’t have to clean up. Hammond has other volunteers for that. I vote we eat, go chat him up for a while. Should be no more than an hour before we’re out of here.”
“When we find out what’s up his sleeve.”
“Or down his pants.”
Jason groaned, and not because it was a bad pun.
“He’s not even here,” Jason said as they walked through Daniel’s front door.
“I saw that,” Jack said as he closed the door, looking at Jason’s backside as his lover went through the kitchen and down the hall. Jack waited till Jason came back from checking the bedroom… then waited just a little longer. It’d been a week since they’d been alone.
“He asks us to stop by and he’s not even here,” Jason complained, getting just a little annoyed now. “What the fuck is he pulling? It’s bad enough that he hasn’t even–“
Jack didn’t let Jason finish his sentence before he had him shoved up against the wall with his tongue in his mouth. Jack had had enough waiting. Jason had as well and brought his arms around him, hands fisting in the back of Jack’s shirt as he kissed him back, hard, and hungry. Breaking away, Jason found them both panting. “God, I needed that,” Jason told him just before grabbing Jack by his head and kissing him back.
Moaning together, they separated, hands not so much caressing as demanding to touch. “We should sit down and wait,” Jack suggested, moving them into the living room.
“Lie down and wait,” Jason suggested instead as he fell onto the sofa and pulled Jack on top of him.
Jack rubbed as much of himself over Jason as possible, growling, “If he isn’t here soon, Jace, I’m fucking you through this sofa.”
Daniel knew he shouldn’t have played this game. He should have waited… but he’d forgotten to restock his supplies, and the liquor and beer. By the time Daniel inserted the key in the lock, he was hard and his heart was beating rapidly. He didn’t know what waited for him on the other side of the door, but he’d soon find out.
Opening the door, he heard movement, the sound of cloth on cloth. They were on the couch. Throats cleared as he locked the door and set the bags on the floor. As he hung up his jacket, next to Jack’s and Jason’s, he found his hands trembled slightly in anticipation. He’d missed them so badly.
Finally, he turned around and found that Jack and Jason had gotten up from the couch. They were mussed. And fucking drop-dead gorgeous that way. Daniel had the sudden image of a sandwich with himself as the filling. He certainly felt as if he had the energy for it.
Without a word, he picked up the bags and went into the kitchen, putting the liquor on the counter and the beer in the fridge. He fished out the lube as he started to unbutton his shirt just as his lovers walked into the kitchen. He turned and looked at them.
“Hey,” they both said.
“Running errands?” Jack asked.
“Yeah.” Daniel looked them up and down; Jack’s shirt was half-buttoned, and Jason’s jeans were open. With the lube still in his hand, Daniel purposely unbuckled his belt. “Clothes off,” he said, feeling something intensely erotic coming over him as the words left his mouth.
His fingers unbuttoned his trousers while his eyes never left his lovers and he schooled his expression to one that was deadly serious. He removed his shirt slowly, then carelessly dropped it on the carpet as he stepped into the hall. “Bedroom.” With that, he backed up down the hall, his lovers following.
“Is that look on purpose?” Jason asked, whipping off his clothes.
“What look is that exactly?” Daniel asked as he stepped out of his trousers.
“That look,” Jack said as his jeans hit the floor.
Daniel was frankly amazed at the level of restraint in Jack, who’d normally have grabbed him and kissed him by now. He was giving Daniel the lead and Daniel was taking it. Thing was, Daniel had no intention of keeping it, but had no intention of giving it away. And he had to tell them this.
“I know this isn’t the place to talk about things,” Daniel said, stepping to the bed to pull down the covers.
“Talk anyway,” Jack said, turning the lamp on low.
Tossing the lube on the pillows, Daniel knelt, knees spread, at the foot of the bed, facing the head. “Lie down,” he said, amazed even more at the level his heart was beating. His dick twitched at the sound of their dog tags, drawing his eyes to their chests as they lay on their backs, propped up by their elbows.
“Now what?” Jack asked, looking Daniel up and down.
“Now… I have no idea. I did,” Daniel began, running his hands slowly up and down his thighs, caressing himself, feeling his skin tingle. He could swear that their presence made him sweat since he could feel it building up already. “I had a plan when I thought of this. I’d tell you what to do, and you’d do it.”
Jack started to move, to get up and come to him, and Daniel just knew he’d kiss him. But he couldn’t allow it. Not yet. “Stay, Jack. Just listen to me.” In a quieter voice, he added, “For once, just listen.”
“I always listen, Daniel. Even when it seems like I don’t, I listen.”
Jason looked over at Jack, his fingers moving to lightly caress his lover’s waist. “If you keep doing that, I’m going to have to kiss you, no matter what Daniel says.”
Daniel smiled, unable to help it. “Can you listen too, Jace?”
“I can listen,” Jason replied. “What is it?”
“No lectures, no bitch. Only plans I had, and why I had them.” He had his lovers’ attention with that one. “As I said, I was going to tell you what to do and have you do it. The reason I was going to do that was because of you, Jack. You think this relationship of ours, at home and off-planet, is yours to command. You’re used to being in charge, being the alpha male. What you don’t seem to get is that in this relationship, we have three alpha males who share at being the betas.”
Daniel leaned forward on his hands and knees, crawling just between Jack’s knees, hands braced outside of them, staring him in the face and glancing at Jason periodically as he spoke. “Do you get what I mean?”
“Kinda,” Jack replied, frowning just a little, trying to see where Daniel was going with this. Yes, he got it, but what was the point in saying it? “So I’m wrong in playing the alpha?”
Daniel sighed. “When we have sex, sometimes you’re top, sometimes you’re bottom. We share. Is there an alpha then?”
“Jason prefers to bottom with you, don’t you, Jason?”
“Yeah,” Jason replied, a smile twitching at his lips.
“Does that make you an automatic beta?”
“You and I switch. Does that make neither of us alphas?”
“With a dominant and a submissive relationship, who is the one really giving the orders?”
“Neither, but the submissive is the one in control,” Jack answered quickly.
“Yes,” Daniel said quietly. “The dominant is merely playing the role assigned to him, just as the submissive is. Alpha male behavior is no different. I asked you to strip by simply telling you to. You did it, without questioning. I asked you to get on the bed by telling you to. And you did that to. I then asked you to stay put by telling you. You followed my directions, Jack, Jason, because you wanted to. We’re naked–“
“I noticed that,” Jack grinned.
“–and there’s this promise of sex,” Daniel said, leaning down. “The point is that I know what you were doing, Jack.”
Jack couldn’t help but look guilty, but forgot the point of it, more or less, when Daniel leaned down and ran his tongue up the inside of his knee.
Daniel looked up without lifting his head and smiled filthily at Jason. “I know what he was trying to pull, Jace, and it worked. He got me mad. But…” and Daniel’s gaze switched to Jack, “if you think this is make-up sex, you’re mistaken. Our relationship isn’t going to work like that. No picking fights.” Daniel then deliberately bit the inside of Jack’s thigh. Not hard, but just enough to hurt a little.
“Ow!” Jack yelled, reaching to pull him away but Daniel’s gaze fixed on him, daring him, and Jack grabbed the back of his head instead. “Daniel.”
Daniel bit again, only a little gentler this time. “I got your attention, didn’t I?”
“Yes,” Jack replied with quiet intensity.
“Jason, are you listening?”
“Yes, but you don’t need to tell me.”
“No, but you need to be paying attention anyway.”
“Jack, no picking fights. I don’t enjoy getting wound up. It was okay when we were nothing more than friends, but now? No. You can’t.”
“What about once in a while?” Jack asked, because really, he had to. Not wind Daniel up? He couldn’t help himself. He pulled at Daniel’s neck and Daniel bit him again, with a lot more tease behind it.
“Only if it’s to make me smile or come or both.”
Jack stared down his body at the man and at that moment was only thinking of Daniel moving just a little to the left, and up. “Deal.”
“Jason?” Daniel asked needlessly, his hand sliding up the inside of his lover’s thigh.
“It’s a deal only if you bite me.”
Daniel paused, looking at him, and a devious smile crept across his face. “You’re bargaining?”
Daniel abruptly leaned over and latched onto the middle of his inner thigh. It was a large bite, but not hard; even so, Jason dropped immediately onto his back, hand on Daniel’s head. “Shit. Deal.”
“Just one second, Daniel,” Jack said, leaning up to move in for a sudden kiss.
“Jack, I’ve plans here–” Daniel started to say, but when Jack’s lips touched his own, he opened automatically, tongue searching through a firm, passionate kiss that made Daniel want to throw all his plans away. Almost. Then he felt Jason’s hand sliding over his skin; a reminder.
Jason pushed back up on his elbow and smoothed his free hand over Daniel’s hip, grabbing onto a firm, round cheek. He tugged, and Daniel broke the kiss with Jack to find him closer. He leaned down and kissed him, trying desperately not to succumb to Jason’s charms, too. Tearing himself away, he sat back on his heels, maneuvering himself between their legs.
“What’s the plan?” Jack asked.
Daniel gave them both a strange look. “I’m not drawing this out. Another time, perhaps. But the plan is that two people are getting fucked.”
“Which two?” Jason asked, sliding his hand over Daniel’s stomach while his other reached between the pillows for the lube.
Daniel looked at him intensely and moved his hand to the one that held the lube and took it the bottle from him. “Jack is, and so am I. At the same time. Which means…”
Jason pushed up on his knees and grabbed Daniel around the waist. “Which means,” he began, bringing his mouth close to Daniel’s, “you want a sandwich. All you had to do was ask.” He licked over Daniel’s lips, getting him to lick back.
“I’m not asking,” Daniel answered, groaning suddenly at the touch of Jack’s hands on his chest and abdomen. “I’m demanding.”
“Is that your idea of alpha male behavior?” Jack teased.
“No, it’s my idea of my behavior,” Daniel answered, inhaling slowly as Jason bit his neck and moved around behind him, hands caressing him everywhere.
Jack looked up at the two of them and spread his legs, taking the lube from Daniel’s hand as Daniel had from Jason. “Not wasting time, are you?”
“We’re having our foreplay right now, Jack.”
“Yes,” Jack replied as he flipped open the cap and began to prepare himself, grinning as Daniel stared down and helped, occasionally running his fingers around his cock.
“Like that?” Daniel teased.
“Dumbass thing to ask me right now,” Jack scolded, biting his lip when Daniel placed two fingers inside him and pressed.
“Oh yeah, I think you liked that,” Daniel teased again, taking the lube from Jack. He coated his own cock, wincing with pleasure as Jack reached under to roll his balls in his palm. Without a word, Daniel passed the tube to Jason, eyelids fluttering slightly as Jason passed a dry finger between his cheeks.
“Feels good,” Jason told him, kissing over his shoulder, his neck, fingers now covered in lube as he pushed them inside.
Daniel gasped in shock and fell over Jack, meeting his eyes. Jack gave him that crooked smile as he took Daniel’s cock in hand and raised his knees. “Past ready,” he said, positioning, then lifted up his hips. Daniel resisted playfully but widened his eyes in shock when Jason took hold of his hips and pushed him forward. “Shit!”
Jason bit his lips with pleasure as both Daniel and Jack groaned from the forced entry–and from Daniel’s automatic thrust in reaction. Jason loved that sound and slid a coated finger inside to hear more of it.
“Fuck yes,” Daniel whispered, clenching around Jason’s finger. He closed his eyes and leaned on his forearms, hands fisting the sheets for leverage as he thrust, sinking into Jack’s heat just as Jack wrapped an arm around his neck and pulled him into a hard and wanting kiss.
His tongue searched his mouth, tasting everywhere, and Jack’s free hand reached behind him, grabbing at Jason’s hand. Jason started chuckling and slapped Jack’s hand away, making Daniel break off the kiss to see what they were up to.
“What’re you doing?” he asked, looking into Jack’s mischievous eyes.
“Making love? Having sex? What would you call it?” Jack replied evasively.
Daniel started to fondly chide Jack just when he felt Jason’s cock pushing against him. He stared into Jack’s eyes, opening his mouth, holding his breath when Jack grabbed his head in both hands.
“Yes, Jason,” Jack whispered, his gaze boring into the blue eyes above him. He could tell when Jason entered–Daniel’s eyes fluttered again, rolling up, and a groan escaped his throat. “Fuck us,” Jack said, tightening his fingers, gaining a pleased groan in return. “Fuck us.”
Jason somehow managed to hold himself still, using his hands instead of his hips, running them encouragingly over Daniel’s back and down his thighs. “Fuck us,” he echoed, and choked out a cry when Daniel rocked his hips–quickly and unerringly onto his cock.
“Jesus,” Daniel hissed, rocking again, thrusting, feeling caught between them, having to move, to please them, please himself, to establish that certain rhythm; harder, faster, harder again. Daniel lost himself in the sensations. The smell of musk and sweat, the feel of Jason inside him and his cock inside Jack. Their hands were on him, winding him up in the way he loved, further encouraging his efforts as he worked them toward the edge.
It was so good, seeming as if it’d last forever yet never long enough. Daniel felt his balls swing less and less as they tightened and drew up, his cock filling just that little bit more. The warning sign.
“Shit, no, fuck,” he croaked, closing his eyes, unable to stop, unwilling to stop. The harsh, desperate words of “Yes,” and “Fuck me,” from his lovers spurred him on, making him thrust wildly. It was such an odd time to notice how his own sweat ran down the center of his back and the insides of his arms, or how hot and cool his lovers’ skin felt from their own exertions.
Their labored breathing was just as big a turn on as listening to them talk dirty. Daniel was going to come from it, he knew he was, but nothing was happening. He needed more, wanted more, then Jack whispered something that sounded like “Do it,” and Daniel was pushed and held down.
“God, yes, Jason,” he ground out desperately.
“Can’t hold…” Jason tried to say, but he couldn’t. He thrust in short, quick jabs, finding Daniel’s prostate with practiced skill just before he came hard and forever.
“Yes–” Daniel started to say just as Jack took his mouth, thrusting up with his own hips to keep the stimulation going. He groaned in protest when Jason withdrew, still erect, only to replace his cock with his fingers. For one purpose. “Fuck,” Daniel cried out, tearing from Jack’s kiss as Jason’s two fingers massaged his gland.
“Yes,” Jack said roughly, raising his knees higher when Daniel began to fuck him hard and fast. “Yes, come for me, come for me…”
Daniel didn’t know how the hell Jason managed to keep his fingers on his gland; his ass clamped down around them while he fucked Jack hard and so goddamn good. Jack’s muscles reflexed, squeezing him as he came with an amazing intensity, shooting between them in multiple spurts.
It was what Daniel needed apparently because in the next moment, he was cussing and yelling his lovers’ names, coming so hard he couldn’t see anything, couldn’t open his eyes. One moment, he wanted it to last forever, and kept thrusting until there was nothing more, then in the next moment, he found himself on his side… and didn’t remember rolling there.
He felt Jack’s come, sticky and cooling against his skin, mixing with the gritty feel of sweat, and inside, he felt heat and liquid–and a feeling of loss, wanting Jason back inside as much as he wanted his cock back inside Jack. He felt alone, yet there he lay, between his lovers. It made him laugh, and only then noticed how dry his mouth was. “Water,” he said thickly.
“Here,” Jack said after reach back. Daniel opened his eyes and to find his lover holding the bottle of water he’d grabbed from the bedside table. “Handy thing,” Jack said, taking off the cap.
“Yeah. Thanks,” Daniel told him as he drank. Knowing Jason would need some, he passed it blindly over his shoulder. When Jason didn’t take it, he turned enough to see Jason’s eyes were closed. “Jace?”
“Yeah, okay,” Jason replied, feeling for the bottle without opening his eyes.
Daniel grinned at him as he took a large swallow and handed the bottle back. “How’re you doing?”
“I’m good,” Jason answered groggily as he snuggled against Daniel’s body and let his head sink into the pillow. “For now.”
Daniel knew his lover would be history for a while and seeing him that way made him smile smugly.
“What?” Jack asked as Daniel handed the bottle back.
“Nothing.” He watched Jack’s throat move as he drank and had to lean forward to lick at his Adam’s apple. “He’s just asleep. How’re you doing?”
“Good. But I’ll be fine in a few more hours,” Jack told him as he snuggled against his other side.
Daniel frowned in confusion. “How’s that?”
“After we’ve had more sex,” Jack replied sleepily.
Daniel laid his head down, feeling trapped and yet extremely secure between two immovable bodies. Sated… for the time being.
Continued in Trinity 7