Trinity 7: Alphas
Summary: Daniel teaches some lessons offworld.
Daniel walked into the kitchen on sleepy autopilot and yawned several times as he poured his coffee. After adjusting it and taking a few satisfied drinks, he leaned against the counter, eyes closed, nose in his mug, and breathed in the steam and smell like a tonic.
Noises and the lack of running water told him Jack and Jason were finished in the bathroom so he made his way there, grunting a hello as he passed. He got smirks in return and for a moment, Daniel wondered if it was due to smugness. But as he entered the bathroom, he was relieved to find the absence of semen smell. Their grins weren’t sex smug, just good moods, and he could definitely relate. He had a lot to be grateful for. Things had gone well. Jason was healed, Jack was healed, and they’d helped the Asgard with a truly bizarre situation.
Everything was great and Daniel dreaded any minor little thing going wrong; it usually presaged some impending bad business. He headed into the kitchen and busied himself with making toast while Jason and Jack got the rest of breakfast ready. Reaching over Jason’s head to grab the bread, Jason grabbed it before he could and handed it to him.
“Here,” he said, a curious grin on his face.
“Thanks, baby,” Daniel mumbled, not completely paying attention as he tried to decipher Jason’s expression. Jason stared at him, a nasty smile forming and Daniel realized why. “Uh, I did not just say that.”
Next to them at the stove, Jack grinned as he flipped the pancakes. “You’ve just got a little brain damage, that’s all. Nothing to worry about.”
Jason winked at Daniel. “That’s okay, pumpkin, we’ll fix you right as rain later.” He couldn’t help but start laughing as Jack turned his head slowly and stared at him. “What’s the matter, darling?”
“You’ve had some blood loss lately,” Jack deadpanned. “I’m blaming that.”
“Blame Thor,” Daniel answered drily, and he would have left it alone, but that look Jack gave him was too irresistible. Waking up a bit more, he caught a mischievous glance from Jason as he buttered the toast and placed jam on the table.
“Toast’s done, Peanut,” he said at his most bland, slapping Jack on the ass.
Jason turned the eggs a final time and looked at Jack. “You like your eggs hard, don’tcha, Muffin?”
Jack turned a pancake with a quick flick of the wrist, giving Jason a long, measured look before he sent the same to Daniel.
Daniel grinned, winking at Jason as he faced Jack. “I believe he does, honey.”
Jason sniffed dramatically. “That’s good, lovey, because that’s all we got,” and he brought the pan over and slid the eggs onto their plates.
Daniel kissed him on the cheek before he went to grab the syrup. “Thank you, sweetie pie. What would I do without you?”
“I don’t know, gumdrop, but I never wanna find out.”
Jack set the plate of sausage and cakes on the table and sat down. “For cryin’ out loud, shut the fuck up or the two of you are wearing the syrup.”
Daniel sniffed that time. “He don’t wuv us no more, Jacie.”
Jason burst out laughing. “That’s okay, cupcake. You still have me.”
Daniel sniffed again. “Okay, but…” Sniff. “I don’t know if I can go on–“
The syrup pitcher was looming large over his head and Daniel held up his hands in surrender. “Okay, okay, I quit.”
“Ah huh.” Jack wasn’t buying it. By the end of breakfast, he smiled at them, making them think it was all over, but their sickening teasing deserved some revenge.
By the end of the workday, Jason and Daniel were more than ready to meet at Jack’s for dinner. Unfortunately, they knew something was up when Jack had left the mountain early. There’d been no emergency so the only conclusion they drew was that Jack was indeed up to something.
“Daniel, he’s up to something. Planning revenge maybe,” Jason said as they made their way to parking garage.
“He’s been quiet all day without one sarcastic word to me. I do not trust him when he gets like that. Hell, even Teal’c’s worried.”
Jason sniggered. “He noticed?”
“Jason, Jack sat through one of my mission briefings without comment.”
“Christ, I’m surprised Hammond didn’t send him to Janet.”
“So am I.”
“He… he doesn’t know how to cook cow’s intestines or haggis, does he?”
Daniel wrinkled his nose in a disgusted grimace. “God, I hope not.”
Agreeing to meet at Jack’s, they separated and went home. Not long after getting there, however, they found they had had good reason to worry.
Daniel didn’t look at his house as he walked in. Head down, thinking, he hung up his jacket absently and went for his bedroom, intent on showering. Then he stood there, staring at his bed for a few minutes before going through the rest of his house. In the kitchen, gawking at the display on his dining table, he grabbed his cell phone and called Jason.
“Daniel… does your house look like Hallmark hit it?”
“It looks like a thirteen-year old girl hit it. I’m surprised there aren’t Barbie dolls strewn everywhere.”
There was a disgusted snort on the other end of the line. “He’s gone insane.”
“Oh, I’d say so.”
Daniel went back to the bedroom to double-check, in case he’d seen wrong. But he hadn’t. His sheets and blankets were gone. In their place were satin sheets–deep pink satin sheets. With matching pillowcase ruffles. Lying in the center of the bed was a cheaply decorated heart-shaped box of chocolates with a discount tag attached. On top of that, a pink rose.
“Did he do your sheets?”
“Uh huh. Deep Pink. Find a pink rose and a box of cheap chocolates?”
“Uh huh. Pink and blood red. The box, that is.”
Daniel groaned. “And the flowers?”
“Daisies and carnations. I hate those.”
“Aww, c’mon, Jace. Daisies and carnations are nice.”
“For a spring bouquet, maybe, but they should be white, not this gross fucking color.”
“Pink is pink, Jace,” Daniel shrugged, the grimace still not gone from his face.
“No it isn’t, Daniel. This shit is fucking Pepto Bismal pink.”
Daniel sniggered in agreement. “And what’d you find in the dining room? Same thing I did?”
Jason made another disgusted snort. “Barbara Cartland would be proud, fucking bastard.”
Daniel made a clucking sound with his tongue. “We didn’t go that overboard this morning.”
“No, but I guess maybe he thought so. Maybe we should’ve just fucked his brains out instead.”
“I knew I shouldn’t have made him a copy of my apartment key.”
“He’d have found a way in anyway, Jace.”
“Yeah, you’re right. I’m afraid of what we’re getting for dinner.”
“We’re in such deep shit.”
“Think we can be really late?”
Daniel sniggered. “No.”
Jason sighed heavily into the phone. “I’ll get changed and meet you over there, but I am not going in alone. If I get there first, I’m waiting for you in my truck.”
Daniel sniggered again. “Cluck, cluck, Jace.”
“Oh, and you’re not feeling like running for the hills?”
There was silence, then Jason said, “You know, these satin sheets are sexy. All that sliding around–“
“Jason,” Daniel laughed, “that’s just so wrong.”
“Not the color, Daniel. The satin.”
Daniel had to admit they were sexy. “Think we could dye them?”
There was a snorting sound. “And fuck up the washer? No matter how much bleach is used in post-washing, the first whitewash in there will be sacrificed. At least in my washer, don’t know about yours. No, better to take them to someone who does adjustments.”
“Jason, that’s for clothing.”
“There’s that place next to the Dry Cleaners. If they won’t do it, maybe they can tell us who will.”
Daniel grinned as he reached down and pinched the material. “What color?”
“I’m tempted to make it a color Jack would hate.”
“Yeah, but then you’d have to live with it.”
“That’s why the temptation isn’t that strong,” Jason sniggered. “Lavender?”
“No,” Daniel laughed.
Daniel thought about it. “You could. Not me.”
Daniel laughed again. “Ew, Jason.”
“Just a thought. Crimson?”
“Hmmm. Bloody sheets metaphor, Jason.”
“Right, scratch that.”
“But dark is probably a better idea. Navy or black.”
“Except come stains show up more on dark sheets.”
“Come stains show up more on satin, period, Jason.”
“Hmmm. True. Too bad satin can’t be bleached. I’d like white, like that song.”
“Your closet romantic is showing.”
“Me first,” Daniel replied, lowering his voice.
Jason groaned into the phone, his voice deepening, the tone becoming secretive. “Naked, spread face down over the bed, me over you, cock moving slowly in and out of you, my hands gripping those sheets as we slide back and forth…”
Daniel cleared his throat as his free hand reached down to cup himself. “Evil bastard.”
Jason made a deep guttural groan and continued. “Finally fucking you hard and fast, gripping the sheets so hard, they rip–“
“God, fuck the mysterious dinner. How about I come over and–“
“Tempting but no. Right now, shower, shave, change, and get to Jack’s to take our punishment.”
Jason made a sound of frustration and Daniel had to grin smugly. “You did it to yourself, Jace.”
“Well… save it for later.”
There was silence, then, “Fine. You know, if he were into swords or paddles I wouldn’t be so worried.”
Daniel sniggered. “You just want him to tie you up.”
Jason groaned. “Daniel, goddamn it, don’t mention bondage in my weakened state.”
“Serves you right. And you started it.”
“Bullshit, you one-upped my ‘bite me’.”
“Hmmm. Right. But then you’re the one who went into sexually graphic material so… still your fault.”
“No, not my fault. It doesn’t take much where you and Jack are concerned. Fucking prick-teases.”
Daniel’s grin broadened. “Don’t be late, Jason.”
Jason make a chicken sound and hung up, making Daniel laugh nervously as he started to undress.
Daniel got there first, and as he waited for Jason, he had a fleeting thought that his lover wouldn’t show up. The idea was ludicrous, of course. A minute later, Jason pulled in and sucking up their courage, they went to the door and knocked before walking inside.
They were immensely relieved when they found nothing pink… till Jack came into view…
“Loves of my life!” he crowed, eyes wide with surprise, smile brimming.
Daniel and Jason’s jaws dropped as Jack stood before them, wearing a suit that should have been burned. The slacks and jacket were brown polyester, the shirt was a shimmering pale pink, and worst of all was the bow tie–pink with brown polka dots.
Jason stood there gaping, wondering where the hell Jack had gotten hold of that hideous outfit, while Daniel simply said, “Okay, that’s just so wrong.”
“What?” Jack said, aghast, turning around in a tight circle, looking at himself for flaws.
“He’s good,” Jason remarked.
“Better than we were.”
“I’m jealous,” Jason returned. “Jack, you’ve outdone yourself. And us.”
Jack blinked, putting on the act for all it was worth. “What’s wrong?” he asked. “Is it a bit much? Well, I just couldn’t help it. I love you two so very much that after I made dinner, I just had to dress up for you.”
“Dinner,” Jason stated, taking a step back.
“What? I can cook,” Jack said with enough of a defensive pout that Daniel had to choke back his laugh.
“Yes, Jack, you’re an excellent cook,” Daniel told him, stifling a grin, “and you grill a mean steak.” He craned his head toward the kitchen, then sniffed. “But… I don’t smell steak.”
“I don’t smell anything,” Jason grumbled.
“Now, now, don’t worry, I’ve got a sumptuous feast prepared,” Jack answered as he moved behind them and whisked off their jackets. Daniel and Jason stood there, letting him, too shocked to move. Their reactions were perfect, Jack thought, though he was hardly done with them. “Come in and sit down. I’ve been slaving away all afternoon and this just has to be perfect,” and he ushered them into the dining room.
Daniel and Jason stopped, staring at the table’s decorations: a pink and white checkered tablecloth, dark pink napkins neatly folded over china plates. Crystal goblets, not regular glasses, sat next to the silverware, and the entire effect was set off by the centerpiece, made of two red tapers framing a bowl of pink carnations and roses.
Not bad, Daniel thought; those were actually pretty. For Valentine’s Day, which it wasn’t.
Jason exchanged a glance with Daniel as Jack pulled out his chair for him. “So much for there not being any pink.”
“Well, we couldn’t see from the door–” Daniel began as he pulled out his chair but was cut off when Jack ran over and pulled out his chair for him, too.
“Sit, sit, I’m serving.”
“Jack, this is a bit much…” Daniel began, but was again cut off when Jack took the napkin off his bone china plate, shook it out, and proceeded to tuck it in his shirt.
“Nothing is too much for my handsome men,” he replied, rushing over to Jason to tuck his napkin in as well.
Jason rolled his eyes. “How long’s this punishment going to continue?”
Daniel snickered and Jack stepped back, looking horrified and offended. “Punishment?” His lip began to quiver a bit–a good touch, he thought–and he made the sound of a gasp similar to one heard just before a faint-hearted person started to cry.
“Oh, god,” Daniel started, dropping his napkin onto the plate, and pointing his finger. “Jack, don’t you dare. I’ll leave, I swear I will.”
Jack sniffed dramatically. “Fine, I won’t cry, Daniel, but don’t make fun. I’m really, really, really trying to make this perfect.”
Jason rolled his eyes. “You’ve succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations. Jack, we’re sorry. Aren’t we, Daniel?”
Daniel rolled his eyes as he tucked his napkin back into his shirt. “Yes, absolutely.”
Jack smiled and clapped his hands, going into the kitchen and returning with a corkscrew. “Here, this might relax you,” he said as he opened the wine. As he filled their glasses, he wondered how he was able to smile through his exhibition. It was getting a bit much. He was prepared to take only so much more of this act before he’d make himself sick.
However, Jack had a point to make. It wasn’t all that necessary anymore since Daniel and Jason had already gotten it, but sometimes, one needed overkill to truly make a point. In this case, the point being that if anyone was good at satirizing sap, it was him. He was the master of sarcasm, after all.
He went back to the kitchen, grimacing at his far-from-nutritious dinner creation. He didn’t plan on eating it–not for dinner, anyway. The real dinner was on its way, via Chinese food delivery.
At the table, Daniel made a face at the wine. Jason was just bringing the glass to his lips when he paused.
“What? Don’t tell me it’s vinegar and Kool-Aid.”
“No,” Daniel rasped and set down his glass. “Dessert wine.”
They craned their necks to try and see what Jack was getting up to in the kitchen, especially since he was nowhere near the stove, but they could see nothing.
“What’s for dinner, Jack?”
“Chinese food,” Jack called back.
Jason and Daniel both sniffed the air at the same time, as if they’d somehow missed the aroma of Chinese spice.
“I don’t smell anything,” Daniel answered, pushing the wine bottle as far out of the way as possible. He stood up, his chair scraping across the floor, and Jack appeared in the doorway.
“What’cha need, Daniel?”
“Water? This wine’s a little on the sweet side, no offense.”
Jack held up a finger. “Sorry. Coming right up.”
He bustled off, out of view again, and then came the sound of the faucet and the accompanying filter switch.
Jason cleared his throat and took off his napkin, draping it over his plate. “Okay, this has gone on–“
Jack appeared with wine glasses filled with ice water and set them down. “No, no, just wait, the surprise is coming. Just hang on.”
“What’s the surprise?” Daniel had to ask, wishing he’d just kept his mouth shut.
“Well, if I told you, you ninny,” Jack called back as he lit the candles on the three layer cake, “it wouldn’t be a surprise.”
“Of course,” Daniel said, covering his eyes as he rested his elbow on the table. “God,” both he and Jason said together.
Jack smiled down at his creation, swiped a smidgen of frosting off the bottom edge and ate it, nodding. It was good, of course, but the look of the cake was simply hideous. Not that it would taste bad, but it looked like a twelve-year old girl had made it. The top two layers were a bit crooked, and parts of the cake edges were thin with too little frosting while other parts were too heavily coated. Picking up the cake, Jack carefully walked into the dining room and set the masterpiece down between his lovers.
“Oh my–” Jason started.
“God,” Daniel finished.
Atop the cake were three groom figures standing underneath a white plastic wedding arch. They were surrounded by three red birthday candles, their wax already dripping on the bright pink frosting.
“Happy Anniversary!” Jack cried, clasping his hands together, beaming.
“Oh fuck,” Jason muttered, staring.
Daniel raised his hand, looking at Jack with an expression of complete surrender. “You win.”
“Don’t you want to know what we’re celebrating?” Jack asked, dropping his act abruptly as he yanked off his jacket and threw it on the floor. His tie followed.
“No, not really,” Daniel replied, sighing.
Jason had to know though. “What’re we celebrating, Jack?”
“First,” Jack said as he picked out the three red candles, blowing them out before setting them on the table. “I can be sappy. I can surpass being sappy. I don’t mind showing affection, as you well know.”
Daniel and Jason exchanged guilty looks. They nodded at him silently.
“I’ll prove it,” Jack said, plucking out the little grooms and their wedding arch, dropping them to the table. “Today is a day like any other, so technically, not an anniversary, but I have the both of you in my life.” He gave them a suddenly serious look and settled on Jason. “If it weren’t for Daniel, I’d be a dead man and that’s a fact. If it weren’t for you, I’d never have gotten him back in my life.”
“Jack, that’s not–” Daniel started to interrupt but Jack raised his hand, stalling him.
“Aht. I’m not done. Daniel, if it weren’t for you, I’d never have Jason in my life.” He gave Jason another long look. “It’s true, and you look at that as a negative. I don’t. It matters how we got here, but it doesn’t have anything to do with how I feel. I wouldn’t give you up for anything and don’t you ever forget it.”
Jason swallowed, feeling a blush creeping up. “I won’t.”
Daniel cleared his throat. “Thanks.”
Jack grinned at them both. He’d meant every word, but the sap needed to be given a bit of levity and vice-versa. “Everything up to now has been foreplay. Now for the main event,” he said–and scooped up a handful of cake, hefting it threateningly.
“Oh shit,” Jason said, and he and Daniel scrambled out of their chairs.
Daniel was trapped by the dividing wall and Jason was trapped by the kitchen. Neither could get out unscathed. “Jack,” Daniel laughed, holding out a warding hand.
“What?” Jack said, seizing Jason by his shirt front and Jason’s hand snapped out, holding Jack’s armed hand by the wrist, and well out of reach.
Jack grinned evilly as he moved his hand, letting them know that he could still throw. He was about to aim for Jason’s face when the doorbell rang.
“Shit,” he said with disappointment. “That’d be dinner.” Dropping the cake bits on top of the cake, he wiped his hand with a napkin and reached for his wallet on the kitchen counter.
“Jack, maybe I oughta pay for it,” Daniel said, moving to cut him off from the front door.
Jack scowled. “What for?”
Daniel cleared his throat and waved at Jack’s attire. “No, I mean, I’ll get the food. Do you want to be seen in that?”
Jack made a face and handed Daniel his wallet. “No.”
Jason, meanwhile, snickered and reached over to swipe some of the frosting off the cake, eyebrows lifting when he ate it. As Jack walked back in, he gave him a look of pleasant surprise and pulled his finger out of his mouth with a sucking noise.
“This is good, Jack.”
Jack gave him a scolding look in return. “Well, I’m not about to waste all those ingredients on something inedible, Jason. It just looks bad. Doesn’t mean it is. Like Shit-On-A-Shingle. Looks bad, but it doesn’t usually taste bad.”
“Ew,” Daniel said, returning to the kitchen with the plastic-and-paper bags and set the dinner on the table. “That stuff is foul, Jack.”
Jason and Jack shrugged. “Probably just us being military,” Jason commented with heavy sarcasm. “We’re used to it. Besides, Daniel, you tasted that S.O.S. on a bad cook day.”
“Jack, every day that shit’s served is a bad cook day,” Daniel told them as he opened up the bags and set the cartons on the table.
“Well, Daniel, no worries about the cake,” Jason told him before he glared accusingly at Jack. “Were you really planning on desecrating the cake just to get us dirty?”
“A point had to be made,” Jack grinned. “Shoving it in your face was going to be a bonus.”
“Hmph,” Jason said, moving around the table–and out of reach.
“And naturally,” Daniel said, snorting with amusement, “you made your point as eloquently as ever. Now, get out of those clothes and join us for dinner.”
Jack grinned evilly and crossed his arms. “Only if you get out of your clothes.”
“I meant…” Daniel began, but he and Jason exchanged expressions of amusement and decided what the hell. It wasn’t as if they’d never eaten dinner in the nude before.
After stripping down and moving the dinner to the living room, they passed the cartons around, filling their plates. “By the way, Jace,” Daniel began, mulling over a comment made earlier. “What was that crack about being military? Were you insinuating that just because you’re military, you have the line on bad food, because I beg to differ.”
“Oh boy, I sense a food challenge,” Jack said, using his chopsticks to pick up a prawn. “Civilian–and by that I mean academia–versus military. No contest, Daniel. We’ll win every time.”
“Really? Have you ever been in a university cafeteria?” Daniel asked, the corners of his mouth twitching. “And by that I mean visiting the snack machine at the Oriental Institute doesn’t count.”
Jason snickered at the glare Daniel received.
“Air Force Academy,” Jack said smugly.
“That’s a military academy.”
“Doesn’t matter. The military, even if the students are just that, runs the school.”
“Good point,” Daniel said through a mouthful of food, then swallowed and took a drink of his ice water. “Okay, state your evidence, I’ll state mine, and we’ll see who wins.”
Half an hour later, Daniel conceded victory to his lovers. Powdered eggs were nothing new, and neither was ketchup as a replacement for tomato sauce, but bland, lumpy gravy with lard for thickener and twenty-year old fruitcake made into a cobbler?
“Now that that’s settled, about those sheets,” Jason began, grinning at the disgust on Daniel’s face–over the food, not because of losing. They hadn’t actually made a bet. The only prize had been smugness rights.
“What about the sheet?” Jack asked, getting up to grab a few more beers.
“I’m thinking of dying them,” Jason said, taking the one offered when Jack returned.
“You can’t,” Jack told him flatly as he sat back down.
“If they were white, you could. Trust me. That’s a lesson I learned from Sara, and no, don’t ask. The sheets I bought are pink. They can’t be dyed over without blending.”
“Then black it is,” Daniel grinned.
“Black?” Jack asked, incredulous. “Are you serious? You can’t have black sheets, not without an entire bedroom theme to match.”
Jason coughed, then doubled over as he choked on his beer, laughing.
Jack glared at him, then at Daniel. “What?”
“Sorry, Jack, but going with the earlier homemaker theme of the evening, that just came out so… Gay Interior Designer,” and he made a flicking of his wrist for emphasis.
Jack rolled his eyes, sighing. “Cute. Point is, I’m not into Gothic decor.”
Jason pigsnorted, laughing harder and now leaning over the arm of the sofa. Jack slapped his ass with the back of his hand, saying nothing, but Jason’s laughing was making him grin.
Daniel watched them for a few seconds before making his point. “You watch Dark Shadows, Jack. Don’t give me that.”
“I used to, Daniel. When I was a kid.”
“The Sci-fi channel is showing Dark Shadows every morning.”
“When I’m at work, Daniel.”
“When your VCR is running,” Daniel countered, snickering.
“I’ll have you know, it’s not for the goth.”
“No, it’s for the vampire fantasy,” Daniel told him, biting his lip as he thought over the idea. “Which I really like, by the way.”
“I know,” Jack replied, looking him over.
Remembering a recent bite from Jack, Jason shuddered, then jumped slightly when Jack placed his hand on the top of his thigh. “Something on your mind?” he asked.
“You don’t have to dye the sheets, Jason.”
“No. Unnecessary. They can always be used for something else.”
The look Jack gave him made Jason feel very warm. “And that would be?”
Jack slid forward on the sofa, Jason’s groin in front of his face. Taking Jason’s beer from his hand, he set both bottles on the coffee table behind him and shot Daniel a positively evil look. Gripping Jason’s wrists, he pinned them behind his lover’s back and looked up seductively.
“They make for very tight bonds.”
Jason’s breathing shallowed and Daniel watched as his dick hardened. Another idea came to him and he moved over, kneeling in front of Jason, one hand cupping the back of Jason’s knee as he looked up at him.
“Daniel?” Jason asked.
“Remember our earlier conversation?” Jason started to open his mouth, but Daniel went on, knowing Jason remembered. “Face down, hands tied over your head. I’d reach underneath and jerk you off while Jack grabbed your hips and pulled you back against your restraints, fucking you hard. It’d only take seconds and you’d be coming all. over. the bed.”
Jason swallowed as Jack’s hands tightened round his wrists. “Jack doesn’t have satin sheets.”
“Don’t I?” Jack asked.
Jason found out that he did. And that satin sheets didn’t need to be cut in order to be used; that the feeling was amazing, having half his arms covered, wound up in a sheet that was wrapped vertically around the headboard. Daniel had been right.
It only took seconds. The moment Jack entered him, Daniel’s hand touched his cock. They gave it to him, hard and fast, and Jason came blindingly, jerking and shuddering longer than it took to get him off.
What he enjoyed just as much was the feel of Daniel’s weight as he lay crosswise over his back while Jack fucked him for what seemed like forever. Daniel lay there, eyes closed, groaning, obviously enjoying the fucking he received, wallowing in the pleasure of it.
Then Jack upped the tempo and brought him off, and the feel of Daniel’s warm come jetting onto his skin made Jason’s dick twitch with dry response as their pleasure became his, too. The last thought he had before succumbing to sleep was that Jack was taking full advantage of his new knees.
Daniel put down his tray and sat next to Jack at the end of the mess hall table. Across from him, Jason was seasoning his food so Daniel sipped at his coffee and waited.
It’d been a long few days for most of the teams. There’d been no close encounters with Jaffa or Goa’uld until SG-13 had had a run-in with a Goa’uld probe. It had brought in SG-1, 2, 3, and 6 for back-up. The members of which, except for Teal’c, were currently talking around Daniel, exchanging stories about the myriad of fire fights on the planet.
SG-13’s archaeologist, Balinsky, had been injured near the end, so Daniel had already caught up with him about the Ancients’ ruins there while visiting him in the infirmary. The ruins had been the remains of an old outpost of some kind, but after the fire fights, it’d been reduced to a smoldering heap of rubble. At least SG-13 had been there long enough for Balinsky to have made detailed recordings before all hell had broken loose.
Jason spoke something over his shoulder as he handed Daniel the salt and pepper, and Daniel wasn’t paying much attention. Normally, he would have been, amused by the macho bravado of the teams, but he’d been hearing about it off and on for the past several hours–and had already gotten Balinsky’s side of things in the infirmary.
Truthfully, that had been more entertaining. Balinsky wasn’t the type of guy to skimp on embellishments so his descriptive retelling of the “boring bits” before the battle had been funny. Colonel Dave Dixon, SG-13’s leader, was more sarcastic and cynical than Jack, especially when he talked about his four kids.
Daniel was grinning about something Balinsky had told him as he salted his food and felt Jack nudge him.
“What’s funny? What Dixon said?”
“Hmmm?” Daniel asked, realizing Jack meant something that Dixon had just said. “Oh, no, I wasn’t listening. Just remembering something else.”
“Care to share?” Jack asked.
He had a sober look and Daniel couldn’t be certain if Jack was teasing or annoyed with him for not listening. “No.”
“Why not?” Jack asked, frowning now.
“You’d find it boring and I’m not going to start explaining something only to have you stop listening.”
“I promise I won’t.”
“You can’t. It’s stuff between me and Balinsky when I was visiting with him.”
“Archaeology stuff, I take it?”
“No, stuff that went on before the probe alerted the snakes.”
“That doesn’t bother me, Daniel. It’s the roundabout way you have in getting to the point during your lectures that sometimes makes my eyes glaze over.”
“Sometimes?” Daniel asked, managing a grin.
“Yeah, well,” Jack shrugged. “You’ve always known that, Daniel. Sorry if I’m a pain about it.”
Daniel sighed, relenting. “You’re not. It just sometimes gets on my nerves, that’s all.”
“Guess we both have our limits,” Jack conceded as well. “But you know, we’ve had that ever since–“
Jack’s words were suddenly drowned out and cut off by Dixon’s loud laughter and comment about some sort of grand pronouncement about his skills in battle and Daniel’s jaw flexed in irritation. Equally annoyed, Jack rolled his eyes in response.
“Been smoking that burlap again, Dave?”
As he shook the pepper over his potatoes, Daniel tried to ignore their banter, an oft-repeated show of one-upmanship, which he found exceedingly boring and useless. However, the attempt was short-lived when someone brought up Balinsky’s injury and Dixon’s reply had Daniel holding the shaker in mid-air over his food.
“Well, he’s a civilian so it was inevitable.”
“‘Scuse me, but what the hell’s that supposed to mean?” Daniel asked, setting down the pepper and raising his voice loud enough to be heard a few tables away.
Jack glanced at him in surprise and so did Jason. It took a second for them to register that Daniel was not amused.
Daniel knew Dixon didn’t mean to be offensive; the man was rarely ever direct with it, but those off-hand comments and jokes made at the SGC’s civilian personnel’s expense grated after a while. Right now, Daniel was in no mood for it, and was frankly sick and tired of being made fun of. All civilian members of the teams had combat experience, including Balinsky. The man was a bit of a nitwit in the field sometimes, carrying his weapon at odd angles or stuffing his ammo mags in an inconvenient pocket, but that didn’t mean he was ineffectual when the time for combat came.
“Now don’t get your knickers in a knot, Doc. You know how most civilians fare in the field.”
“Yes, I do. When they’re new,” Daniel emphasized firmly as he lowered his voice. “But Balinsky isn’t new. He just isn’t military, and I’m getting tired of hearing you and the other members of this facility the military put us down. How would you like it if you heard the reverse?”
“We have, Doctor Jackson. Civvies complain about us all the time,” Dixon countered.
“Really? So you hear it on a daily basis, wherever you are on the base or off-world? In the mess hall? In the corridors? In the labs, the offices, gateroom, or Alpha site?” Dixon stared at him, seeming to chew on his answer, but Daniel took the opportunity to go on–especially when everyone else began to stare, too. “No, you don’t hear that from us. And do you know why that is? Because we respect you, even if we sometimes think some of you are a little too hard core. But we never put you down for being military, for being combat-trained, unlike what we get from you.”
“Hold on, I’ve never–“
“Yes, you have. Just now. Balinsky doesn’t put anyone in danger and he does his job, as do all the others.” At the looks of doubt he received, Daniel had to amend that… mostly because of Robert Rothman. “Some of us may be a pain in the ass, countering orders or arguing with you, but when we’re in the field and under fire, we do our damn jobs right alongside you. And for the record, Balinsky didn’t get injured because he zigged when he should’ve zagged. He got injured because one of our bullets ricocheted and caught him in the calf.”
Dixon chewed at his cheek as nodded gravely. From his seat just behind Jason’s right, he held up a hand in concession. “You’re right, and no offense intended. He’s my guy and he’s damn good at his job or he wouldn’t be on my team. But my point is that he’s a civilian. They’re just not trained for combat.”
“Yes, we are, Colonel. We’re just not in it as a career,” Daniel argued back.
“Yeah, that’s true,” Dixon went on, turning more in his seat, “but that’s also my point. They’re not trained. We are. We expect this. They don’t, even when they’re in the middle of it.”
“Uh oh,” Jason murmured, rolling his eyes. “Daniel, drop the issue.”
Daniel’s gaze switched to Jason and his brows knotted together. Why wasn’t Jason helping to defend his point? Or Jack? Because Jason didn’t have civilians on his team and Daniel butted heads with Jack on a continual basis, that’s why. Daniel’s annoyance notched up as he looked at Jack for back-up, but there was no help in his expression. He, too, agreed with Dixon.
Extending his gaze to Sam and Teal’c, he asked, “Anyone going to back me up here?”
“Daniel, he is right,” Jack said. “Some civvies are just not up to the task and you know that.”
“Really?” Daniel replied flatly, saying the word with deliberate arrogance. He shouldn’t let their attitudes get to him, but fuck, they needed reminding sometimes. As he looked around, he realized that the topic of conversation had the attention of several dozen people. For that reason, he stood up and said, “Bullshit.”
“Excuse me?” Jack said, brows rising with Dixon’s.
“Sergeant Davis is an excellent telecommunications technician in the U.S. Air Force. The first part of gaining that education was having to go through basic training, where he learned minimal combat skills, including how to fire a weapon. Civilians receive even less schooling, but we still receive it before joining a team or we don’t get posted. My point is, simply being a member of the military does not give you a leg up where combat experience is concerned.”
When Dixon grinned at him, Daniel found his anger rising. “What?” he asked, trying not to snap.
“You just reminded me that you’re a civilian, too. Sorry, Doc. Didn’t mean to ruffle your feathers.”
Daniel wanted to shoot him. Feathers–in this particular case–referred to chickens. As in coward. As in civilian. Dixon didn’t have to spell it out; Daniel knew what it meant. He was already well aware of Dixon’s thoughts about civilians in general, his own archaeologist notwithstanding. How Balinsky put up with the man, Daniel would never understand.
“Back off, Dave,” Jack warned.
“C’mon, Jack. I’m just teasing him. Doctor Jackson knows I don’t mean to belittle the civilians.”
“Do I?” Daniel said, lifting his chin a little bit, eyeing the man.
Just what the hell Dixon had meant by that, Daniel wasn’t about to guess. He thought about all the further arguments he could make and decided that he already had. Men like Dixon saw only what they wished to see, just as they heard only what they wanted to hear.
Finally, Daniel shrugged. “In that case, I think I’ll just take my chicken feathers and leave.” He glanced at Jack and Jason, then picked up his tray.
“Daniel, where’re you going?” Jason asked.
“To go join the civilian in the infirmary, see how he’s doing.”
“Daniel,” Jack started.
“It’s fine, Jack,” he interrupted as respectfully as he could, given the company. “I’ll see you later.” As he walked away, he said over his shoulder, “After the infirmary, I’ll be in my office. Studying something non-military. Just thought my commander should know where I am at all times.”
After he left, Jack turned and gave Dixon a long look. “Thanks a lot, Dave. What the hell was that supposed to accomplish?”
“What? The truth is the truth, Jack.”
Jason ground his jaw; this subject had to be dealt with. He turned in his seat, glaring at Dixon. “Except where Daniel is concerned, Colonel. Especially where Daniel is concerned. He isn’t like anyone else.”
Dixon smirked back. “No, he’s not, but you’re not exactly unbiased, Major, seeing as you’re his best friend.”
“I’m just as biased, Dave,” Jack countered, “but I’m also good at assessing the facts, and Daniel was right.” He paused and caught the eyes of everyone at Dixon’s table as well as the others further away, whose faces were turned toward the conversation. He also noted that the civilians who’d been in the background were now gone. He sighed, hating that. “We all have a bias where civilians are concerned, but some are better than others. You know how long Daniel’s been here.”
Dixon nodded. “From the beginning.”
“Exactly. He’s also one of a handful with previous war experience.”
“Anyone caught in any sort of conflict gets experience, Dave,” Jack told him. “You know that.”
“Daniel’s been all over the globe,” Jack explained. “Do you think he, as an American, was welcome everywhere? Even as just an archaeologist?” Murmurs followed his statement and Jack didn’t mistake their scoffing tone. He had a sudden desire to rearrange the latrine roster. “I’ve read his file. He’s been on every single continent on this planet and in many of those countries, including the ones under constant conflict.”
“Doing what?” Dixon asked. “I didn’t know there were dinosaur remains everywhere.”
Jason quickly bit off a curse. “His field of study is human ancestry and linguistics, Colonel,” he explained. “Part of his research was, and still is, the cross-pollination of cultures. Now what do you think happened when he found something that clashed with current cultural and political beliefs?”
The murmurs of conversation around them had the hint of skepticism and it angered Jack just how many people didn’t take Daniel’s previous experience into consideration. “Daniel’s had a lot of experience in defending himself as well as running for his life.”
When Dixon snorted derisively, Jack scowled at him.
“Do I have to point out that running away equals retreat?” Jack asked angrily.
Dixon sobered, staring back at him with equal, indignant anger.
“We,” Jack went on, “have had to retreat on a number of occasions. Does that make us cowards?”
“No, Jack, it doesn’t, but we were in battle. We have that experience, he doesn’t.”
“When we went to Abydos, he wasn’t given any emergency training. I couldn’t be bothered. He was a civilian; he didn’t have the right to carry a weapon, but I made him wear the uniform anyway. When we were captured by Ra, Daniel saved my ass. Twice. And he did it the first time by getting shot and killed. The second time, he was given a staff weapon to kill me with, and I know for a fact that he’d never used one before that.
“He learned by watching others and he used it on others without hesitation, saving my life. Again. Where the hell do you think he developed that kind of quick thinking, Dave? He didn’t get it from me, Ferretti, or anyone else here. He’s led a very active, and occasionally dangerous, life and he’s managed to survive. Granted, he’s not your typical civilian, and some of the civilians here aren’t up to the task of being in the field, but a lot of them are.”
Dixon sighed. “It’s hard to know that, Jack, when you’ve never seen Doctor Jackson in combat. The mission reports here don’t tell us everything. All I ever hear about are the arguments he has with you, brain versus brawn, yadda.”
“You want to know everything? Why?”
“I dunno. Help’s me see what in front of me, I guess.”
“The civilians aren’t the enemy, Colonel,” Jason broke in.
“And you don’t see Daniel’s motivation in the reports you read, but it’s there,” Jack went on.
“Motivation?” Dixon asked, confused. “What’s that got to do with anything?”
Jason rolled his eyes as Jack glared at him to behave himself. “Daniel isn’t the only one of use who’s lost someone,” he told Dixon, “but he’s the only one whose wife was taken as a host. Kinda puts a little motivation in your Wheaties to fight this war, if you see what I mean.”
“Point taken, Jack, but what war?”
“That’s what we’re in, Dave. We don’t have a front line, either, and that makes it the hardest war to win.” There was a lot of murmured agreement around them. “Like I was with Daniel, I’m not exactly accepting of civilians right off the bat, but then, I don’t accept anyone right off. They have to prove themselves to me. And I hate to admit it, but Daniel did have to prove himself to me.”
“Which makes my point–” Dixon started but Jack waved him off.
“No, it doesn’t. Have you ever seen Daniel at work during a fire fight?”
“Like I said, no, I haven’t seen him in action. The times my team has been with yours, he was always out of line-of-sight.”
“He does his job. Daniel will never have the military mindset because he’s not wired that way. He prefers to solve disputes and problems with words, not bullets. Doesn’t make him right or wrong, or better or worse. He’s learned that his way doesn’t always work, but the point is that it does work a good part of the time in situations that don’t involve the Goa’uld. He’s also learned how to forget all that in the middle of a fire fight. He’s not thinking of the best way to run and save everyone. He’s thinking of killing as many of the enemy as he can in the fastest way possible. He learned that especially with Ra.”
“Because he’s learned how to out of necessity, Jack, and that’s my point,” Dixon countered. “They didn’t choose this. We did.”
“Choose this?” Jason asked, eyebrows raised. “No one chose this, Colonel.”
“I myself had my doubts where Daniel Jackson’s abilities were concerned,” Teal’c suddenly put in, “but once I joined SG-1 and accompanied him on missions, I have learned that he is a capable warrior. In some ways, he is more so because he considers options that the rest of us do not.”
Jack smiled at him and clapped Teal’c on the shoulder. “Well said, T.”
Dixon nodded with respect. “I’d agree with that, Teal’c, but that too also makes my point.”
“I agree with Daniel,” Sam stated, turning to look at Dixon. At the looks she received, she squashed the blush the crept up, hating that she’d made herself the center of attention. “I’m a scientist as well as an officer in the Air Force,” and she gave Jack a knowing look. “I’m also a woman. That makes me twice the outsider.”
“Carter, you’re not an outsider,” Jack told her.
“Begging your pardon, sir, but yes, I am. Even though I have extensive combat experience, it’s still hard for me to be taken seriously, so I can see Daniel’s point and I don’t blame him one bit for being offended.” When no one argued with her, including Jack, she went on. “Listen, it took me a while to show I wasn’t just a geek, or some woman sleeping with the brass to get promoted.” She paused again, her expression daring anyone to confirm or voice such rumors. “But it’s taken Daniel a hell of a lot longer, and for some of you, he and the other civilians will never measure up just because of a military prejudice.”
Dixon shrugged. “Sorry, Major, but that is the long and short of it, except that comment you made about how the men view you. For me, military is military, regardless of the MOS or gender. Prove yourself and I’m good. As for Jackson, I’m all for giving him his due, and Doc Balinsky, too, and they do their jobs damn well, but that’s because they’ve earned it. If they didn’t, they’d be dead.”
“So would you be,” Teal’c added.
“And what about the rookies brought in?” Sam argued. “How many of them survive against the seasoned civilians?”
Dixon rolled his eyes. “They’re military. They adapt or they die.”
“Some don’t get the chance till it’s too damn late,” Jack said through a scowl, his brows knotting together.
Everyone knew who Jack meant. Lieutenant David Elliot. Jack still felt responsible for the young man’s death; like Hank Boyd, he’d recommended him and it reflected on him how those men and women performed afterward.
Dixon waited a few beats of silence, then lowered his voice when he spoke again. “Fine, you guys have made your point, but listen, I’m used to protecting civilians, not fighting alongside them.”
“You’re gonna have to rethink that position, Dave,” Jack informed him. “Until the Air Force starts sending in the military people with the proper expertise, we’ll have civilian experts. Now if I can get around my prejudice where scientists are concerned, you can get around yours where civilians are concerned.”
Dixon finally conceded Jack’s view, but Jack knew–as Jason and the others did–that some people in the military were too damned stubborn to change or see reason. Since the subject had been debated, there was nothing more to say, so he rose from the table, with Teal’c and Sam joining him.
On the way out of the mess hall, Sam nudged Jack’s elbow. “No disrespect intended, sir, but he could use a dose of Daniel’s methods for a while.”
Jack jogged his brows. “I’d offer Daniel out to him, but I simply couldn’t do that to Daniel. He’d have Dave in a rubber room inside of seventy-two hours.”
Teal’c managed one of those mischievous grins. “Given the provocation from Colonel Dixon, I do believe Daniel Jackson would agree to a joint mission.”
Jack pursed his lips as Teal’c’s idea sank in. “Joint mission? There’s a thought.”
Sitting at his desk, Daniel was still ticked off. Mostly at Dixon, but it had migrated to Jack and Jason as well, even though he knew damn well that he was thinking irrationally. Jack hadn’t wanted to get into it in the mess hall, unlike him. Confronted, Daniel didn’t give a damn where he was or who he was talking to.
Going over those minutes in the mess hall, Daniel told himself that Jason, Sam, and Teal’c, were only following Jack’s lead. He knew Jack and Jason were not like Dixon, but it didn’t get rid of the hurt he felt in not being defended. Time and again, he’d gone through this, and with colleagues, that was one thing. With friends–and lovers–that was another.
Daniel’s anger grew and the only way he could avoid taking his anger out on his lovers and friends was by getting some distance. They wouldn’t see it that way, of course. To them, time apart would achieve nothing. Jack would rather have him close, even in silence, and so would Jason–though Jason was more likely to make him talk.
Daniel sighed and shook his head. Running away wasn’t the answer. Perhaps the idea came because his lovers were part of an establishment Daniel didn’t like all that much. Perhaps because they were part of the mindset that made civilians feel inferior, in the way, never good enough, at odds, not part of the community.
Daniel had never been part of the ‘in’ crowd, not even in college, but he’d thought he’d at least earned some acceptance at the SGC. It just hurt to find out how wrong he was. Because Jack and Jason were part of the establishment that refused to respect his skills, they were guilty by association.
He wondered what had been said after he’d left and hoped Jack didn’t dismiss his behavior to Dixon with a “you know how he is” wave of the hand.
The thought only made Daniel’s dwindling anger re-ignite. Distance, wise or not, was his only course of action–providing he could get it. Perhaps he could arrange to join SG-11 on their current research dig.
The idea firmly entrenched, Daniel rose and headed for Hammond’s office. Approaching the doorway to the briefing room, he slowed, thinking he should’ve called first, but catching sight of the General through the starmap window, he breathed a sigh of relief…
Until he saw Jack, Jason, and Dixon inside Hammond’s office. Making an about-face, Daniel started for the exit when the door opened and Hammond’s voice called out.
“Doctor Jackson, would you join us please?”
Daniel turned around, stomach tightening as he walked through the General’s door. He was only slightly mollified by the sour look on Dixon’s face. What the hell had they been talking about? Had Jack hauled him into Hammond’s office for a reprimand? No, Hammond would not have called Daniel in were that the case. He took care of matters privately. Besides, the body language in the room didn’t speak of formal reprimand procedure so…
“Are you familiar with SG-11’s current research mission?”
“Yes, sir,” Daniel answered slowly, surprised at the coincidence. “I was, uh, just coming to see you about that.”
“You were?” Jack asked.
“Colonel,” Hammond softly chided and Jack backed off.
Daniel looked away from the three men and kept his eyes on the General. “I thought I could make myself useful on their dig, sir, if you and Jack would allow me the time away from SG-1.”
“That is what we have been discussing, Doctor,” Hammond told him, a small grin appearing, “only without your departure from SG-1.”
Daniel bit back a groan, easier done when he allowed himself to see the discomfort on Jack’s, Jason’s, and Dixon’s faces. This was looking encouraging, he thought maliciously. He didn’t want to be nasty, but it served them right.
“That means?” he asked.
“Major Caruthers contacted me this morning with the news that SG-11 could use some help with the remains of a building they believe belonged to the Ancients.”
“Really?” Daniel asked, feeling excited and trying not to show too much. “That’s great, sir.”
He’d suspected that’s what they’d find, given a faded piece of broken stone they’d brought back a few days earlier, but it had only hinted at an Ancient connection. “So you’re sending me on the dig, sir?”
“Yes. Major Caruthers would like your help translating sections of the interior of the building.”
“And?” Daniel drawled, waiting. Why else would Jack, Jason, and Dixon be in his office. If Hammond was going to assign them as police escort, Daniel was going to lose it.
“They need help excavating the building. I figured that your expertise in this area, combined with some extra muscle, would be in order. Therefore, I’ll be sending SG-1, 2, and 13 to P4X-237.”
“Yes, sir,” Daniel answered, knowing damn well that with SG-11 was Doctor Richard Curtis, the scientist in charge of most of the research digs. The man was an arrogant sonofabitch, much worse than Robert had ever been–and he was military. Which led Daniel to ask, “Sir?”
“Major Caruthers is the leader of the dig and the man should be, he knows his business, but if Doctor Curtis is still acting as the liaison for my department then–“
“Doctor Curtis has been reassigned, Doctor Jackson. I’m sending you in his place.”
Daniel nodded with understanding, keeping the relief from his face. Curtis was one man who made Colonel Dixon’s point for him. The man was an asshole. At least Rothman followed orders, even if he grumbled about it or ordered everyone else about in the process. If Curtis was being reassigned, hopefully off the base, then he’d pissed off not just Caruthers but everyone else just one too many times. Insubordination could go only so far, even Daniel had learned that from Doctor Jordan. “Where is Doctor Curtis–“
Hammond grinned at him. “Area 51.”
Daniel started to snigger and cleared his throat to cover it up. “Yes, sir. I’m… sure he’ll do well there, sir.”
“I’m sure,” Hammond said, his grin fading as he got back to business. “You will be the liaison between your department and the expedition’s leader, Major Caruthers.”
“Thank you, sir. For how long?”
“Until the assignment is finished, Doctor Jackson, but you won’t be staying on site that long. Only as long as Major Caruthers feels he needs the extra personnel. While there are no emergencies, I’m assigning SG units 1, 2, and 13 to the expedition so that they may gain experience in research sites as well as give you people time to get away from the combat.”
Daniel allowed a sigh of relief, understanding that all too well. Mild PTSD among the teams was workable, but the constant influx of combat stress was not. Hammond must’ve been talking to Janet and the base shrink, too. “When do we leave?”
“After the formal briefing, which is two hours from now. I suggest all of you get your packing done.”
Daniel smiled. “Yes, sir.”
Hammond grinned smugly as his eyes flickered over the chagrin on Dixon’s face while the four of them departed the General’s office. That simple act was enough to make Daniel feel better and break the remaining anger inside him. Hammond’s support meant a lot, and he’d never been one to diss the civilians.
Without a backward look at his lovers or Dixon, Daniel walked out of the briefing room and headed for the elevator. He didn’t want to make it worse, but there was simply no way in hell he could hide just how smug he felt. It was time to be a professional and leave the anger and pettiness at home.
It didn’t get rid of the butterflies, though. He had visions of Dixon and his teammates dropping valuable pieces of artifact simply because they didn’t give a shit–and because they wouldn’t take orders from him. While Daniel was, for all intents and purposes, in unofficial command, next to Caruthers, being on this dig in that capacity meant he could leave the orders to Caruthers and avoid Dixon and his men. If he could. It would be harder to avoid Jack and Jason, so maybe he could get Sam and Teal’c to act as buffers. That would work.
Daniel purposely didn’t keep the elevator door open, and just as purposely ignored Jack calling after him as he strode toward his office. Leaving the door open, he went to his lab table and began to pack.
“Daniel, didn’t you hear us calling you?” Jack asked coarsely, walking in.
“Us?” Daniel asked, pausing to look over his shoulder, catching sight of Jason. “Oh. Hey, Jace. No, I didn’t hear you, sorry. I was thinking about the dig and you know how I get, thinking only of that and nothing else, ignoring–“
“Daniel,” Jack interrupted, tone reprimanding, as he laid a hand on Daniel’s shoulder.
Daniel stepped away however, pulling out books from his shelf, one of them his Ancients’ notebook, and another that contained picture references to other Ancient writing. “Jack?”
“Stop that. We’re not the enemy,” Jason told him as he and Jack flanked Daniel by the bookcase.
Daniel paused with books in hand, then took a deep breath and turned round, taking in their concerned expressions. “I know. I’m just…”
“I know. What was that about going to see Hammond yourself?”
“I wanted to go to P4X-237 by myself.”
He received no answer; just sighs of guilt and disappointment.
“I get along just fine with SG-11.”
“You get along fine with my team, too,” Jason said, feeling defensive.
Daniel shook his head. “Not because of any respect I’ve earned, Jace. I get along with them simply because you kicked them in the ass and told them to stop their protective bullshit where our friendship was concerned.”
“I’m talking about military versus civilian. They’ve never treated you differently than the rest of us.”
“You’re right, they haven’t,” Daniel conceded sheepishly, realizing he hadn’t cooled off that much after all.
“We aren’t part of that particular problem, Daniel,” Jack reminded him.
“Aren’t you?” Daniel said, walking away and turning to look at them both. “You sure sounded like it to me. If you can’t defend me in front of others–“
“Daniel,” Jason argued, his voice sharp as his anger flared. “If you’d stuck around, you’d have heard the arguments for and against, and all Dixon could come up with for his side was the same lame-assed excuse: You’re a civilian,” and Jason punctuated it with quotation gestures.
“But the point is, I didn’t get the back-up right away. You waited till I left.” When his lovers stared indignantly at him, Daniel suddenly thought a walk on the mountain top was in order. God, he was catty. He knew they loved him, but that made little difference in the middle of an argument.
“Didn’t you just hear me?” Jason asked, reaching out to take his arm again, this time in a comforting gesture.
“I heard you, Jace,” Daniel said, and after another sigh, he shook his head. “I’m just fed up with the attitude. I wanted to go by myself because I thought that maybe I needed time away so I wouldn’t take my anger out on you two. It isn’t because of you but the whole goddamn mess.” Jack rolled his eyes and Daniel narrowed his in response. “What?” he snapped.
“Sorry, Daniel,” Jack apologized. “It’s just that I’m surprised it’s taken this long to get on your nerves.”
“I tried, Jack. Putting up with daily comments year after year takes its toll, and I put up with them because this is a contained community of nutcases, no offense.” Jason snorted and Jack grinned, turning away to hide for a second before turning back, straight-faced. “It’s just that I know what it’s like to be under a lot of stress so I kept giving leeway.”
“We won’t leave you hanging again,” Jason told him, taking one of the books from Daniel’s hand and holding it up. “We won’t even fall asleep during the briefing.” He then grinned and kept grinning until Daniel returned it.
Daniel took the book back, then gently slapped him with it. “Hammond would have your ass if you did. If he has to stay awake, so do you. Besides, you have to behave, otherwise…”
“Otherwise?” Jack asked, pretending to look offended, but he was beginning to look forward to the mission. And all its… possibilities.
“Otherwise, I’ll put you on digging duty and order you around till your eyes cross.”
Jason exchanged amused glances with Jack before saying, “Actually, if you do that, I might get hard, so I’ll try to… be good.”
“Don’t sacrifice on my account,” Daniel shot back, biting his lips together afterward to keep from laughing, once more feeling the anger leave him, only this time, it felt like it was going for good. Perhaps this wouldn’t be so bad after all. Providing he could get Jack to keep Dixon from pissing him off.
“The only one sacrificing anything will be Dixon.”
“What?” Daniel asked, not getting it.
“It won’t just be us getting the orders,” Jack reminded him, looking smug as hell. “SG-13 isn’t going there for guard duty.”
Daniel suddenly recalled that like himself, Balinsky had probably never had the chance to “teach” his teammates anything, since he’d been the one digging while his teammates walked a perimeter. This time, things would be different. Daniel wasn’t Balinsky.
Finally showing his lovers the supreme smugness he felt, he realized his expression matched theirs. At that moment, the guilt crept in as he berated himself for ever doubting them. His next thoughts turned to how he could make it up to them while they were all offworld.
Getting dressed in the gear-up room, Daniel rubbed at his forehead as he forced himself to stop clenching his jaw.
“Daniel, you’re gonna get a headache doing that,” Jack said.
Daniel looked up, then closed his eyes and dropped his head as he sat down on the bench in front of his locker. “Too late,” he murmured just as Sam came out of her dressing room, buckling her vest.
“Daniel, it’ll be okay,” she said, looking him over, sensing more than seeing his discomfort.
“Yeah, right. Mr. Asshole is joining us and judging from the looks he was giving me during the briefing, he’s going to be baiting me.” Daniel then pointed a forefinger at Jack. “I’m warning you right now, Jack. He’s going to get it back, times ten, if he keeps pushing me.”
Jack sighed. “I’ll have a talk with him, Daniel.”
“If he wants to dish it out, fine. I can take it, but not without consequences. I’m not a robot. I don’t have feelings I can switch off and on. Those guys are used to me holding it all in and taking it, but you’ve seen how I am in the field, Jack.”
Jack made a face and nodded. “He’ll be in for a wakeup call, Daniel, but I’ll step in before he goes too far, reminding him that he’s–“
At that moment, Jason and his team came into view and Daniel glanced at them as they drew closer. “No. I can take care of myself.”
Jack rolled his eyes again. “Daniel, that’s not the issue.”
“Pardon us,” Jason said as he stopped at Daniel’s bench, “but we couldn’t help but overhear… considering the level.” He cleared his throat apologetically. “Actually, as your best friend, it’s my duty to overhear.” Daniel gave him an impatient look, which Jason returned. “Jack’s right, Daniel, but what he didn’t get a chance to explain yet is that this is also an issue of protocol. Dixon knows that as the leader of SG-13, and as a Colonel in the Air Force, he has a certain decorum to maintain. He’s got a few stringent ideas but he’s not unstable. He goads and teases, but he won’t go too far and he’ll never go so far as to take a swing at you when you bite back.”
“Yeah, Jason’s right about that,” Jack said reluctantly.
Again, Daniel rolled his eyes, the effect pronounced by his annoyance. “Not that anyone cares, but I’m not at all worried about that. In fact, I’m not worried at all. What I am is extremely annoyed. I’d much rather be able to work in peace and get only marginally ticked off by personality clashes with the other members of the archaeology teams. But it seems that’s not going to be the case here. What I would appreciate, however, is back-up.”
“You say that as if we don’t do that?” Jason frowned.
Daniel started to answer but Sam interrupted him. “Daniel, you’re assuming.”
Daniel looked over at her and gave her a gesture of helplessness, throwing up his hands. “Well, when’s the last time anyone ever defended or believed a civilian around here?”
“Earlier,” Alex answered, surprising everyone, including Daniel. “In the mess hall. But you missed it because you left. Now, Major, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll take the boys down to the armory.” His tone was one of disgust and he made no effort to hide it.
Jason gestured at the door and Alex, Al, and Connor left the locker room.
“Is he pissed off at me?” Daniel asked, feeling his headache worsen.
“No, just being protective,” Jason said with a hint of annoyance. “What you were saying made it sound generalized. I know Dixon pissed you off, Daniel, but you presumed the rest of us are like him, and we’re not.”
All of them, including Teal’c, gave Daniel a rehash of what had been said after he’d left the mess hall and guilt started to creep in. Daniel closed his eyes. “Shit, I’m an asshole.”
“No, you were right to be mad. Just don’t assume,” Jack told him. As he finished lacing up his boots, he paused, then said, “This feels odd.”
Sam walked back out of her small dressing room, slipping on her field vest. “Doesn’t feel any more different to me than going on a naquada survey, sir.”
“Yeah, but those only last an afternoon, Carter. This time, we’ll probably be offworld for a few days.” He paused and looked sidelong at Daniel, who was just now putting on his boots. “Providing Daniel doesn’t commit homicide.”
“Thought we covered that,” Daniel stated as he laced up his own boots. “And for the record, Jack. I hope you packed extra stuff.”
“It’s likely to be more than a few days. Weren’t you listening at the briefing?”
“Yeah, but I thought that was for SG-11.” He paused and stared. “Wait, are you saying we’ll be stuck there for a week?”
“Don’t know yet,” Daniel grinned back. “We’ll see. But just in case, bring your extra pack.”
“Is that why you packed so much stuff in that other one?”
“Thought I was being anal, didn’t you?” Daniel grinned.
“No comment,” Jack replied, eyes darting quickly over Sam’s and Teal’c’s faces.
Closing his locker, Daniel adjusted his vest and the radio earpiece in the pocket.
Jason clapped him on the shoulder. “Ready to go, mon general?”
Rolling his eyes, Daniel looked over his shoulder. “Watch it, Jace. Jack will get jealous that you’re promoting me above him.”
Jack looked up at the comment, saw Daniel’s dry-humored smile, and refused to rise to the bait… or the innuendo under it. He’d save that for later.
In the gateroom, the teams waited for someone to return from the planet, with Daniel standing to the right side of the ramp. The person who came through was Doctor Curtis, a wiry, balding, pinch-faced man who, as Jack coined, looked like he sucked on a perpetual lemon. He stepped through and stomped down the ramp, stopping in front of Daniel. The look on his face was none too friendly.
Before Curtis could say anything, Daniel asked, “I thought you were gone already?”
“Had to wait to be relieved,” Curtis answered, making quotes with his fingers.
“Ah,” Daniel replied, then in an effort to try and make things at least look professional, he asked, “How’s the dig coming?”
“Amateurs,” Curtis replied gruffly, followed quickly by a sneer of disgust on the corner of one lip as he was made to move aside while Sam maneuvered the FRED into position. The gate shut off and began to redial the outgoing coordinates back to the planet.
Daniel watched the progress, his mouth twisting as he refrained from contradicting Curtis; there’d be no point.
“There a problem, Doctor?” Jack asked as he stepped up beside Daniel, adjusting the extra field pack in his hand.
“No, Colonel,” Curtis replied sullenly. “None at all.” With a dismissive glance at Daniel, he walked toward the exit.
Daniel sighed as he watched the wormhole engage and the FRED begin its ascent up the ramp. Dixon cleared his throat and Daniel looked over at him as he followed the FRED up the ramp.
“That guy’s a little… difficult, isn’t he?”
Daniel waved his hand at him. “No need to sugar-coat it, Colonel. The man’s an asshole.”
Dixon grinned hugely as Jack clapped Daniel on the back. “Let’s go, Daniel.”
Daniel nodded and waited for the FRED to clear, before stepping onto the top landing. To his surprise, Dixon appeared next to him, and asked, “So you know what we’ll be working on?”
“Yeah, I think so,” Daniel answered, making Sam and Jason snort.
“General Hammond has every confidence in our guy here, doesn’t he, Daniel?” Jack teased.
Daniel pretended to look confused. “I hope so, or this mission won’t last past breakfast.”
“Well, I hope it lasts longer than that, Doc,” Dixon told him with a cagey grin. “I could use the vacation.”
At that moment, Hammond wished them luck and Daniel stepped aside, letting Dixon and his team enter first, then Jason’s team, while SG-1 took the rear.
“Don’t worry him, Daniel,” Jack told him.
Daniel gave a derisive snort. “He has no idea, Jack. Vacation my ass.”
As they walked to the site, Dixon made supposedly casual remarks about archaeology not being hard work, or that Daniel’s linguist job wasn’t really a job but a hobby he was paid for. Daniel somehow refused to the bait, though he heard Jason make a comment or two about ignorance being bliss, so Dixon must in a state of Nirvana.
Daniel appreciated it; he would have jumped to his own defense but it would have required using words that Dixon couldn’t possibly have understood so in the end, his effort would have been wasted. Besides, it was enough for him to know that Dixon would soon find out what work meant.
Jack walked to his left, and it didn’t escape Daniel’s notice that he did it on purpose, keeping himself between Daniel and Dixon whenever the man closed the gap; Daniel wanted to be annoyed for the protective gesture, but instead, it made him grin. The one Jack was protecting was Dixon, not him.
Thinking over why Dixon was baiting him at all, Daniel caught Jack’s attention with a pointed finger. “Jack?”
“Thought you said he was a professional?” he asked under his breath.
“He is, just as he knows you are.”
“And yet you’re still doing your protective thing. Dixon’s safe, Jack.”
“Yes, well, he’s starting to annoy me, and if he’s annoying me, I can only imagine how you are dealing with his… sarcasm.”
“I’ve had better from you, Jack,” Daniel teased. “I’ll manage.”
Jack snickered quietly and was about to say something else when Major Caruthers interrupted, calling after them as they approached. “I’ll just have a word with Caruthers and let him know that we’re not all here to stand around on guard duty.”
“We don’t need guards, Jack. Ancients’ planet, no indigenous life forms bothering us.”
“True, but it’s always a good idea to stand wary anyway, Daniel,” and he lifted his P90 away from his chest as emphasis.
Daniel nodded resignedly as Jack walked over and met the Major, the two walking off toward the edge of the excavation. After greetings were exchanged, Jason sidled up to Daniel as they both set down their field packs.
“Dig isn’t that big. I somehow expected… I don’t know. Parthenon-sized, or something.”
Daniel snickered, slapping him on the shoulder. “It’ll feel like that come the end of the day, trust me.”
Jason rolled his eyes, then leaned forward and whispered, “I think my back’s in pretty good shape, and I’ll wear gloves. Don’t need to make my hands rougher than they already are. Kinda bothersome on sensitive skin.”
With a devious smile, he walked off toward his teammates, issuing orders, leaving Daniel to stand there and stare after him, impressed. “Nice one, Jace,” he mumbled to himself, then turned with a sigh, he set about opening his pack and getting out the tools and books he needed.
“Daniel, I have a table set up for you over there,” Caruthers called over, pointing, and Daniel looked to his right. A small fold-out table was sitting at the end of the row of four other tables of various size.
“Thanks, Will,” Daniel replied and hauled his two field packs over. Setting his required tools, assorted tags and labels, notebook and pencils on the table, the next thing to do before anything else was his bandana. Removing his glasses, he pulled out the plain green one to match his uniform and tied it quickly over his head.
“That standard issue, Doc?” Dixon teased as he strolled over.
Daniel ignored the question as he looked Dixon over. “You’re not planning to walk around with that P90 the entire time we’re here, are you Colonel? It’ll get in the way.”
“A man doesn’t leave his gun lying around,” Dixon retorted with a smirk.
Daniel withheld the retort, barely, and tapped the barrel as he walked past. “True. You never know what kind of critters might crawl up the barrel when you’re not looking.” Heading over to Will, who was now hip-deep in a shallower section of a very large digging operation as he explained something to Jack, Daniel realized Dixon was following him. He looked over his shoulder, then shook his head, figuring the man was going to be a pain in the ass and dog him the entire time.
“Will, a word?” he called, heading around the excavation at a quick pace, and when he found Dixon behind him, he frowned at him but kept going.
“You want the current stats?” Will asked as he pulled himself out of the hole.
“Well, we’re excavating this building here,” and he pointed to two half-unearthed walls and several broken pieces of two others. All pieces resembled the same sort of architectural material discovered on the planet that held the faulty time device. “Seems to be tiered, too, but I have no idea how far down it goes or if it opens up into anything.”
“Is it worth excavating?” Daniel asked, having learned long before not to get excited over pure research, but only over research with a money value attached. He’d been disappointed far too many times.
“Oh, yeah. Don’t worry, Daniel. I managed to convince the Pentagon that digging up the building would yield clues to other Ancients sites where we might learn more things of value about them, and maybe find an energy source or weapon we can use. From what I’ve gathered so far, this building is a location map.”
Daniel’s eyes widened and Will nodded. “C’mon, I’ll show you.” He eased down into the hole, Daniel following, and pointed at a broken section that his teammates Talbot, Scott, and Shauffer were currently hoisting off the ground using a framework of pulleys.
“Going by a copy of your Ancients’ language notebook, I’ve determined this to be part of a larger list of home planets. It’s difficult to read so we’ll have to run our clean-up tests and bring the words back to life, if we can.” He took a step forward and pointed at a corner not covered in dirt. “The language isn’t engraved like the stone buildings on P4X-639. It’s burned or stamped, we don’t know which yet. It’s quite fascinating.”
Daniel agreed with him. The look of the stone walls gave him the thrill of discovery he hadn’t felt in a while. As he and Will left the dig hole, Daniel looked around, finding Dixon’s team, Jason’s team, and his own teammates standing around. He snorted. “Will, didn’t you give anyone a job to do?”
Will grinned at him. “Colonel O’Neill said that should be your job. I told him what needed to be done, and he said that it should be your task to–“
“Direct traffic,” Jack said, walking up behind him.
Daniel looked over his shoulder, brows raised. “Really? Okay.” Looking back at Will, he asked, “Do we have more pulley kits? Tools? Where’s the cleaning area?”
Will pointed to a grid, taped in yellow and marked with stakes that sat just south of the dig site. The pulley system was already set up there to haul pieces over and set them down in their taped squares for cleaning. Metal crates sitting nearby held the additional apparatus.
“Cool. Let’s get people assigned and these top pieces out.”
“Exactly what I was thinking,” Will told him. Between the two of them, and with additional instructions from Will’s teammates, they directed the separate teams into one large research team, almost everyone having a duty to perform. Daniel purposely didn’t assign Jack and Dixon anything to do.
As the work began, Jack walked up to him as Daniel stood at his research table, making notes of the clean grid and who was moving what where. “Daniel?” he asked expectantly, and Daniel turned to him, finding Dixon behind his shoulder. They stood in their in their classic stances, arms resting on their P90s and straps, field vests on, sunglasses on their faces.
“Anything we can do?”
“You two actually want to help?” he asked, knowing he was purposely baiting Jack, but Hammond–and Jack, as on-site ranking officer–had given him half the authority with Major Caruthers.
Jack’s eyes narrowed. “What’s that mean? Of course I wanna help.”
“Well,” Daniel said, looking both men up and down and began to walk away from them toward a piece of wall that Jason and his teammates were preparing to hoist with their own apparatus. “Take off your gear and jump in then,” he said, jumping down behind the wall to adjust one of the crossed rope sections.
“Daniel, don’t give them a hard time,” Jason chided.
“Jason, they’re standing there like supervisors who don’t know a damn thing. They can join in, or not. As senior officers, they know what’s what. They’ve supervised thousands of jobs and people during their careers. They don’t need to be told. If they want to help, fine. They can jump in and help or stand around and wait for the cleaning to be done. Or they can pull unnecessary guard duty.”
Jack growled at him as he removed his P90 and vest, taking it over to Daniel’s research table. “C’mon, Dave. Let’s set up the additional tents.”
“We’ll need more people, Jack,” Dixon complained.
Jack stepped over to the FRED and opened a few of its compartments. “And we’ll end up standing around and helping. No, thanks. I’ve had enough of Daniel’s sarcasm for a while.”
Daniel snorted, overhearing. “See, Jason? Told you they’d find something to do.”
Jason rolled his eyes at him. “Shut up and grab that rope.”
The next day, after the moving was finished and the wall pieces were set flat, engraving up, in the cleaning grid, Daniel assigned the teams, including Sam and Teal’c, to different wall sections while Will gave them the tools they needed. The Major then asked each of his teammates to work with one of the additional teams, showing them how to properly clean off the centuries’ worth of dirt nearly imbedded in the stone.
Some sections were easy, others were not, and they had to be shown that ‘scrubbing’ it off wasn’t the way to go, no matter how smooth the original material had been. To Daniel’s delight, Sam and Teal’c, along with Jason and his team, took to the instruction easily. What amazed him most was Jack’s willingness to help Sam and Teal’c with their section. Dixon, on the other hand, kept leaving his teammates to their wall and walking around the perimeter, only to end up hovering around Daniel’s part of the grid to make a few remarks, then leave again.
As he heard the man approach for the umpteenth time, Daniel closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “Colonel, stop pacing.”
Dixon snorted. “I’m good at it.”
“Well, you’ve succeeded in getting on my nerves. Now do something else.”
“Like?” Dixon retorted, crouching down next to him.
Sighing, Daniel looked to his right, giving the man an annoyed look, then looked over at Jack, sitting next to Sam and Teal’c, watching him. Rolling his eyes at the smirk he received, he sighed again and asked, “You really wanna help?”
“Sure,” Dixon told him, though the look on his face clearly told Daniel he didn’t expect to be assigned anything important to do. It had been that way for the last day, and Daniel had to regret his own decision to keep Dixon away from anything requiring delicate work. The man was a bull in china shop and Daniel didn’t trust him, but enough was enough.
“Then here,” and he handed him a bottle with a long, slender pour spout, and a brush normally used for painting. “Sit there,” and he pointed to the upper right corner–furthest away from him. “Start at that corner I’ve cleaned off. Use only enough that will clear away the grit and leave a smooth surface. We don’t have that much on hand.”
Dixon sat down, taking the tools. “Can’t we just send for more?”
“We could, but the gate isn’t next door. Even though it’s five minutes away, it takes time out of the workday to constantly go back for supplies. It’s an inefficient way to work. Besides, you don’t need that much water.”
“There’s water at the creek,” Dixon told him, starting to squirt a little bit of the water on the stone, brushing away the wet particles.
“Can’t use it. It’s full of minerals and god knows what else that could contaminate the stone.”
“Doc, the stone’s been sitting underground, and before that, it was rained on. What’s the difference? For that matter, why don’t we just hook up some equipment to the stream bed and hose this stuff off?”
Daniel sniffed back the urge to smack the man, then decided, what the hell. If he wants to know, he’ll tell him. He got up and moved next to Dixon, guiding his hands with the bottle and brush, showing him exactly how to work while he launched into teaching mode.
He was loud enough to be heard by everyone and Jason grinned as he listened to Daniel’s recitation on the methods of archaeology, and this dig site in particular. When Daniel got going, he was sometimes worse than Sam, using words and phrases that not a lot of people knew.
“Guess he showed him,” Alex murmured next to him, giving Jason an amused look.
“It’s what Dixon wanted,” Jason answered, and with a wink, added, “Be careful what you wish for.”
“Truer words, Major,” his lieutenant, Al Kaufman, replied.
“Complaining?” Jason asked, looking over.
“Actually, no,” Al told him.
“Me, either,” Connor broke in, standing to stretch his back. “But I need a walk, Major. Take a piss while I’m at it.”
Jason nodded. “Not on the foliage though. Be careful. Ground only. And weapons on semi.”
“Yes, sir,” and his teammates stood up, stretching, and went to their tent to get their weapons.
“What’s goin’ on?” Jack asked.
“They need a stretch,” Jason told him, standing. “That’s not a bad idea, either,” he said, looking at his field watch, adjusted as close to planet time as was possible, then at the sky. “It’s almost dinner time, too.”
Jack nodded and stood up from his seat next to Sam and Teal’c. “Okay, folks, let’s start to wrap this up. Have a stroll, get the fire stoked up for dinner.”
“Actually, I could use a swim, sir,” Sam told him, stretching her arms and shoulders. “I’m stiff.”
Jack grinned indulgently. “T-shirt and shorts, Major.”
Sam snorted as his words caught the attention of the men of SG-11 and 13. “Yeah, in your dreams, fellas,” she replied as she walked off to SG-1’s tent; Teal’c followed, casting everyone a warning expression.
“You know, that’s a pretty good idea,” Connor remarked, then slapped Al indulgently on the back. “Up for a swim?”
“Yeah,” Al nodded thoughtfully. “That sounds like a good idea. It’s warm enough for it.”
They started off for their tent, passing Daniel, who’d stopped talking to look in Jack’s direction. “What’s up?”
Jack tapped his watch. “Time to stop for the day, Daniel. Carter’s goin’ for a swim and Jason’s boys are joining her.”
There was sudden agreement all around for that idea and Jack grinned. “We could all use the break, Daniel, so what say we join Carter?”
“That’s a damn good idea, actually,” Daniel said, standing and stretching.
“Thank god… I mean, thanks for the lesson, Doc,” Dixon said, slapping his shoulder as he got to his feet. Daniel grinned, watching him walk off.
After covering the artifacts with tarps, Daniel walked to his team’s tent, entering cautiously to make sure Sam wasn’t stripping down completely, and pulled off his bandana.
“Joining me?” she asked, her eyes practically imploring him.
“I think everyone is, Sam,” he told her, stripping off his clothes. He looked through his pack for his shorts, then paused, realizing he hadn’t brought any dark-colored pairs. “Shit.”
“Is there a problem, Daniel Jackson?” Teal’c asked just as Jack walked in.
“I didn’t bring my regular shorts,” he said with disgust.
“And that’s a problem because?” Jack asked, not bothering to strip. He didn’t plan on having a swim until later.
“Well, the ones I have are, you know, undershorts. Those dull green ones,” Daniel told him, taking off his trousers after setting his boots aside. Opening his arms and turning to Jack for presentation, he looked down at his groin, then back up at Jack. “The thin kind. You don’t just see outlines.”
“I’ve seen it before, Daniel,” Sam chided, rolling her eyes.
Daniel rolled his in return. “Sam, we’re surrounded by men who’re into size-comparison.”
“Planning on rising to the occasion?” Jack asked drily.
Sam sniggered and Daniel gave her a mock-glare. “Brat, thanks for the support.” She giggled after, slapping Daniel on the back as she threw a towel over her shoulder. He turned to Jack and emphatically said, “The water is cold.”
“Don’t worry, Daniel. I’ll back you up, if needed.” She started for the entrance, then stopped and looked at Jack. “Although I think the Colonel here is better qualified.”
Faking outrage, Jack started toward her and she darted from the tent, sniggering again. Teal’c grinned and went to exit, meaning to follow her, but Jack touched his shoulder, stopping him.
“Not going for a swim?”
“I shall lifeguard,” Teal’c answered, only half-joking, and left.
Jack started to call after him, to correct him on the term, but shook his head, dismissing the idea. Teal’c did it on purpose to bait him and most of the time, Jack forgot that until he was halfway through his correction. This time, he caught himself. Turning back to Daniel, he looked down his body, grinning.
“At least they’re shorts, not briefs.”
Smirking, Daniel told him, “Strip down, Jack, and join us.”
“I’ll save my swim for later,” he informed him, face expressionless but Daniel didn’t miss the light in his eyes.
“Ah huh. Monsters lurk in waters after dark.”
Daniel chuckled briefly, then stopped, looked at the doorway, and sighed. “Well, here goes nothing.” Grabbing his towel, he headed through the door flaps. “And if you don’t back me up in any comparison sport, you’ll regret it.”
Jack grinned and followed him out, murmuring, “Promise?”
Over his shoulder, Daniel threw, “With evil intent, Jack.”
“Ooooh, nice,” Jack teased.
Jason came out of his tent next door, barefoot and dressed down, joining them. He was wearing his black shorts and Daniel shot him a look of disgust. “Mr. Boy Scout.”
Grinning engagingly, Jason took on a teasing, scolding tone. “I keep telling you, Daniel, but no, you don’t listen, always insisting on focusing on packing up your work instead of what comes after.”
“I brought my toothbrush,” Daniel answered with a grin.
“And clean-up towels, et cetera, yeah, I know, but Jesus, Daniel. We’re on an Ancients’ planet with no people and no Goa’uld threat. You’d think you’d remember, just this once, that it isn’t an all-work, no play deal.”
“Within reason,” Jack added.
“Within reason,” Jason echoed, giving Jack a mild scowl. “You’re as bad as he is, sir.”
“Major,” Jack began but Jason cut him off.
“No, no, don’t start, Colonel. I know my business, as you do, but look,” and he opened his arms, turning round. “No threats.”
“So far,” Jack amended, tapping his gun.
Shaking his head, Jason relented. “Right, so far. But I’ll bet you anything you’re planning on taking a dip later, right?”
Daniel snickered, shooting Jack a monsters in the dark expression.
Noticing, Jason smirked. “Ah huh, thought so.”
Walking across the short scrub grass toward the small lake, the three were joined by others. Dixon had decided to join his teammates, to Jack’s surprise, and grinned at Jack as they stopped at the clearing along the lake edge.
On flattened boulder, Teal’c sat, holding Sam’s towel, and watching her swim. The women of SG-11, Lt. Barbara Scott and Dr. Sophia Shauffer, were in the water with Sam, swimming short laps, talking about something the men couldn’t hear.
“Nice scenery,” Dixon grinned, setting his towel and P90 on a smaller rock.
“Expecting trouble?” Jack smirked.
“C’mon, Jack. Better safe than sorry,” and he stepped into the water’s edge.
“Doesn’t exactly help if you’re in the water,” Jack told him as he sat down next to Teal’c.
“It’s close enough, but I could actually use the swim,” Dixon answered, glancing at Daniel before wading in and diving into the water, letting out a gust of appreciation.
Daniel ignored Dixon’s jibe and handed Jack his towel. “Here, make yourself useful while watching out for the creature.”
Teal’c straightened. “Creature?”
“He’s kidding, Teal’c. He means Creature from the Black Lagoon.”
Teal’c looked thoughtful, remembering the film he’d seen during one of their Team Nights. “Could such a creature actually exist?”
“Absolutely,” Daniel said, toeing the water before wading in. Hip-deep, he looked at Teal’c. “Remember Nem?”
Teal’c’s eyebrow rose. “Do we know that this water is uninhabited?”
Daniel shrugged and looked around him. “Guess we’ll find out. Though…” and he paused, glancing over at Jack. “There don’t seem to be any fish.”
Jack stared back at him, mouth curving up. “You’re in there.”
Daniel twisted his mouth in an effort not to smile and refrained from his usual retort, considering the company. Without another word, he dove into the water, heading for Sam.
“As you were saying,” Jason replied drily as he watched Daniel with admiration, then dove in, going after him.
“Good thing Carter’s not alone out there,” Jack commented to Teal’c as they watched Jason catch up with Daniel and two begin a game of Tag ‘n’ Chase.
“I do believe that she has the ability to take care of herself,” Teal’c replied.
“And then some,” Jack agreed.
They watched as the other team members spread out, some wading closer to shore, some swimming further out. The women grouped together, chatting, and laughing, teasing the guys when they swam past and tossing out a comment or two. Jack focused his attention on Daniel with his usual interest, but he also kept a judicious eye on Dixon. For now, the man seemed content with his own teammates, ceasing his two-day dogging of Daniel, but Jack was beginning to feel the hairs on the back of neck rise in warning. If he didn’t know better, he’d have thought Dixon was actually going after him.
As if reading his mind, Teal’c said, “Colonel Dixon seems to have changed his mind where Daniel Jackson is concerned.”
With a glance at Teal’c, the hairs stood up more. Teal’c noticing was bad news. “You noticed that, huh?”
Jack’s eyes darted between the two men in the water and the warning he felt worsened when he noticed that Jason was also keeping an eye on Dixon. It wasn’t overt, but he could tell, just as he was certain Daniel could tell. And Teal’c.
“Are you concerned?” Teal’c then asked.
“No, Daniel can take care of himself, but Dixon’s a married man. If he’s looking at Daniel for anything other than good-natured teasing, then he bears watching.”
“Agreed,” Teal’c answered as his watchful gaze on Sam switched targets. “But I do not believe there is anything to be concerned about.”
“Maybe,” Jack replied. “I shouldn’t worry, but I can’t help but be a little…” and he waved his hand in Daniel’s direction.
“Over-protective,” Teal’c finished.
“I believe Daniel Jackson would be annoyed if he knew you were feeling this way.”
“Don’t tell him, Teal’c,” Jack told him, eyeing Teal’c’s stern expression warily.
Teal’c tilted his head up regally, looking smugly out over the water. “I will not. I understand the emotion.”
Jack grinned, watching Sam. “Been doing your own over-protective thing?”
“Indeed,” Teal’c grinned. “You will not inform Major Carter.”
“No, I won’t tell Carter. She’d be more pissed off than Daniel would be.”
Teal’c’s grin deepened. “Agreed.”
After a few minutes of silent watching, Jack sighed, thankful that Dixon didn’t seem to be paying Daniel any attention. “Fortunately, Makepeace is out of the way.”
“It is useless to think of that comparison,” Teal’c told him, “as the two men were very different.” Jack conceded that with only a jog of his brows and Teal’c grinned to himself, thinking that now was the appropriate time for more teasing. “It is not your intention to swim after dark,” he said, eyes still focused on the swimmers.
Jack gave him a quizzical look. “It isn’t?”
“It is not. You instead wish to arrange a private meeting with either Daniel Jackson or Major Coburn.”
Jack coughed, then coughed again, hitting his chest, pretending that he’d swallowed wrong. “Where do you get that crazy idea?” he rasped.
Teal’c raised his eyebrow and simply looked at him, making Jack roll his eyes and mutter under his breath. A smile of satisfaction appeared next and he looked away. “As Daniel Jackson would say, you are easy, O’Neill.”
Jack grumbled again but didn’t bother hiding the amusement in his eyes. “I’m not planning anything, Teal’c.”
“I believe you are,” Teal’c answered.
“There are eleven people around here who’d have issues if I were found out, Teal’c. I’m not planning anything.”
“I will be taking my kel-no-reem at the campfire,” Teal’c said, grinning wider.
Jack leaned down and picked up some stray rocks, tossing them one at a time into the water. “We aren’t posting guards, Teal’c.”
“That was not my intention, O’Neill. You may need, if I understand Tau’ri expression, someone to cover your ass.”
Jack coughed again, then erupted in barely-controlled laughter. The image of having someone else covering his ass was what did it. “Teal’c, I’ll be fine.”
“Of that I have no doubt,” Teal’c answered.
Deciding to steer the conversation away from himself, Jack asked, “Besides, if I’m meeting Daniel, that would give you privacy.”
Teal’c’s long, stern look made Jack fidget. “To what are you referring?”
“You and Carter,” Jack said knowingly, tossing another rock. Teal’c didn’t answer and Jack grinned smugly as they both watched the ripples created spread further and further away. Jack tossed another one. “It’s cool, you know.”
“There is nothing between us,” Teal’c told him quietly.
“There’s interest, Teal’c. Someday, you may wish to act on it, and if so, all I’m saying is that it’s fine with us,” Jack told him.
“Us?” Teal’c asked.
“Us, T. Daniel, Jason, and me.”
Teal’c bowed his head once, a grin of appreciation tugging at his mouth. Any further comments from either of them were interrupted when Daniel suddenly waded out of the water, splashing water at them.
Teal’c turned his face away, but Jack hopped off the boulder and moved behind it. “Hey, no getting water on my gun.” Daniel stuck his tongue between his teeth and sniggered, making Jack bite his cheek to keep from returning the filthy grin. “Very funny. Go back out there, fish boy.”
Daniel halted as he walked toward the edge. “Fish boy?”
Jack grinned at him and looked down. “I can see your lure.”
When Daniel looked down, Jack started sniggering. Having fallen for it, Daniel made a growling sound and walked over, snatching his towel from Jack’s hands. “Think I’ll head over to the tent and change, thinking over your punishment.” He walked away and Jack watched after him, admiring the way the shorts now clung to his ass; and the way the water dripped down the back of his thighs; and the way the water shone over his back as Daniel removed his wet t-shirt, squeezing out the excess water.
“Think I’ll start dinner,” Jack mumbled and went in Daniel’s direction. Teal’c looked over his shoulder then turned his attention back to the water, and froze, swallowing, as Sam exited the water, grinning at him and holding out her hand for her towel.
“Don’t you like to swim, Teal’c?” she asked, rubbing at her hair.
“I do,” he answered, “but right now, it is enough for me to watch you swim.”
Daniel pushed off his shorts, setting them on a folding chair, and padded naked to his sleeping bag, on top of which he’d strewn his unpacked clothes. Searching through them for clean shorts and fatigues, he quickly spun the touch of a hand on his ass.
“Damn you’re cold,” Jack said quietly, then sniggered as Daniel lost his balance on the spin and went down, landing on his back.
“Jesus, Jack! Do you have to be so quiet?”
Looking down at him–legs spread, knees bent, body so wet… it was too fucking much and having already set his weapon down, Jack threw off his sunglasses and dropped down on top of him. He took hold of Daniel by his wet hair and planted a deep, passionate kiss on him, and Daniel eagerly gave it back.
Grabbing the back of Jack’s shoulders, he returned the kiss, and groaned as his dick twitched. “You’re so not playing fair,” he hissed, pushing Jack away. Voices outside were getting louder, nearer, and Daniel grabbed a dry pair of shorts and slipped them on quickly. Jack preferred to stay where he was, thumb brushing his lips as he looked Daniel up and down.
“There’s a conveniently placed growth of trees by the lake,” he said.
Daniel grinned as he toweled off the rest of his body. “Yes, and the point is?”
“Meet me there after everyone’s gone to bed.”
Daniel’s answer was to look Jack up and down. “You might want to change, Jack.”
Daniel pointed at the front of Jack’s uniform–bits of which were now wet. Jack looked down at himself but grinned instead of scowling.
“You splashed me,” he answered, getting to his feet, and grabbed Daniel’s wet clothes off the chair. “And threw these at me.”
“And since you’ve seen me naked before, no one will question that one,” Daniel said drily, shaking his head and pulling on a pair of trousers.
“Daniel,” Jack scolded mildly, staring at him. “After dinner.”
“Jason’s already meeting me there,” Daniel grinned, then abruptly cupped himself. “Got any ideas?”
The sudden image of dog-fucking Daniel while Jason fed him his cock made Jack feel entirely too warm. “Jesus.”
Grinning again with his tongue teasingly between his teeth, Daniel walked up to him and flicked a finger under Jack’s chin. “Whatcha thinkin’ about, Jack?”
Jack groaned, staring at Daniel’s mouth, wanting to kiss him again. Everywhere. “How to be silent.”
Moving along the camp periphery, silent and as unseen as he could make it, Jason was reminded of his long-past covert missions. Having told Daniel he’d meet him in the center of the small patch of forest, he arrived first, using a flashlight he’d covered with a cravat, giving enough illumination so that he would be seen; the green light from the flashlight would only look like a strange reflection–if anyone were approaching, that is.
Leaning against a tree, he opened his trousers and began to jerk off, fisting slowly as he waited for Daniel, and hopefully Jack, to arrive. Ten minutes later–an eternity it seemed–he caught his lovers moving silent and deadly through the forest toward him, the effect of which had an interestingly kinky effect throughout his body–most notably, his dick.
Daniel saw him through the moonlight filtering down through the trees and briefly touched Jack’s forearm, as if in signal. With a quick flick of his hands, his pants were undone before he’d even reached Jason. Stepping up to him, Daniel brought his hands to his lover’s face, fingertips brushing the mouth his eyes were focused on before he looked up into Jason’s dark eyes and laced his hands through the back of his hair, pulling him in.
Lips parted immediately, Daniel kissed him passionately, and felt more than heard Jason choke off the whisper of a moan. His lover’s hands were on him, just as Jack’s were, caressing him, persuading him, and he broke off for a moment to pull out the lube while Jack took Jason in his arms for a hungry, demanding kiss of his own. Jason returned the kiss eagerly, his hands pushing down Jack’s trousers and briefs, fingers seeking and wrapping around his cock.
Daniel dropped to his knees on the patch of cleared ground, placing himself somewhat between them. He slid on a condom he never wore at home and brought out another for Jack, leaning in to mouth it over his dick, sliding downward, his hands guiding the sheath to the base. One of Jack’s hands threaded through his hair and Daniel smiled as he pulled off, pushing Jack away, telling him silently to get into position as he handed him the lube.
Jack leaned over and kissed him, deepening the contact to stifle a moan as he lubed his cock. Daniel felt Jason step away and he broke the kiss and turned his head, hands grabbing Jason by his hips to hold him still as he took his cock into his mouth. Behind him, Jack spread a small amount of lube over his ass, then grabbed Daniel by his waist as he lined up and pushed his cockhead past the puckered hole.
There was no time for foreplay–having waited all this time. Daniel squeezed his eyes shut and dropped open his throat, letting Jason do the work in front while Jack took him from behind.
The noises were slick, accompanied by soft sucking sounds that came from both Daniel’s mouth and his ass as his lovers fucked him at both ends. Breathing increased, with each man having to cut off their moans of pleasure, and Jack tried to stifle the sound of skin slapping on skin by making his thrusts short and grinding, humping Daniel’s ass with occasional hard jabs.
The secretness filled them with lust, making it easier to reach orgasm quickly. Jason’s closed in on him first as he fisted Daniel’s hair and plunged in to let Daniel swallow against his cock. Easing out, he did it again and again until his balls drew up and Daniel sucked only at the head of his cock. Jason let out a gust of air, a warning, and dropped his head back, surrendering to Daniel’s mouth.
Jack did the same; eyes closed, letting himself feel as he moved his hips faster and faster inside Daniel’s hot, tight ass. He was fucking him, out in the open, in the middle of a mission, but the simple act of rutting was all that mattered now. Dirty and raw, he loved it; he grabbed Daniel’s hips tightly under his hands, pummeling his ass now in quick, sharp thrusts. The pleasure mounted higher, higher, and all Jack wanted was to reach that cliff and jump off–two seconds later, he was there, biting his lips and choking off the groans as he poured into the condom, wetting his cock.
Opening his eyes, he saw Jason standing before Daniel’s face, hands around his head, his own thrown back, throat working to keep the sounds away. The jerking of his body and pinched grimace on his face told Jack he was coming, too.
Taking advantage, Jack reached underneath and took hold of Daniel’s condom-encased cock, stroking a firm rhythm designed for quick release. Daniel pulled his mouth from Jason’s cock, biting over his abdomen until he latched on a patch of skin under his navel and sucked hard, arms circling Jason’s hips as he held on. He thrust repeatedly into Jack’s rhythmic hand–his own form of rutting controlling his actions.
Jason rubbed his back, hands doing the talking as they encouraged Daniel to come. When Jack ground his hips against Daniel’s ass and tightened his fist over the head of his cock, that was it. Daniel’s muscles seized and his body became rigid as he breathed out in short puffs of air against Jason’s skin, sounds that would have been cries anywhere else as he came hard.
“Jesus, that was hot,” he whispered a few seconds later, the words just barely a sound coming from him as the shudders passed through his body. The touches and kisses he received afterward told him that his lovers agreed.
The next late afternoon saw the teams swimming again, and once more, Daniel made plans to sneak off to the woods to be with his lovers. His imagination rose, varying scenarios occupying his mind as he left the camp. This time, it should be Jason on all fours, unless Jack wanted that instead. Daniel didn’t have a problem with either.
He stood at the lake’s edge, tossing pebbles, and watching the stars appear, thinking over who’d fuck who, when the sound of a male voice behind him made him jump. It wasn’t Jack or Jason.
“Not tired after the day’s goings on?” Dixon teased, snorting at having made Daniel jump.
Daniel looked over his shoulder, finding Dixon dressed only in t-shirt, dog tags, and shorts. The man walked up to stand beside him as he smirked, the muscles of his arms flexed, as if he were showing off, putting himself on display. Daniel didn’t miss the reflexive twitch of his right pec, either, as Dixon puffed up his chest, covering it with a long inhalation.
With the man this close to him, and half-dressed, Daniel could smell the clean sweat from under his nearest arm and it made his dick twitch ever so slightly. He had to admit that the man was one sexy sonofabitch. The sudden image of being fucked by him was quickly, regrettably, banished.
“You’re one to talk,” he replied. “Aren’t you tired?”
“Yeah, a little,” Dixon answered, rolling his shoulders. “I’m still a bit wired so I was planning to go for a walk around the lake. Wanna join me?”
Daniel wanted to decline, but he’d made such inroads with the man that he didn’t feel like he could. He caught a shadow–Jack’s–and turned so that Dixon wouldn’t see him gesture their oft-used hand code: Standby, which sometimes ended up meaning, this may take a while. Daniel had a feeling it would end up being the latter.
“Sure,” he answered, already moving off to their right. Dixon walked beside him, placing himself between Daniel and the lake and for a moment, Daniel wondered if it were an automatic protective gesture. As they walked in silence, passing the short crop of forest, Daniel had to sternly remind himself not to look back. Instead, he made another gesture with his hand–and for Dixon’s sake, or anyone else’s really, he made it look as if he were brushing something off his fingers.
The lake’s far left side was cut off by a cliff and a shrub-covered ravine, so they turned back, still walking in silence. As they approached the small forest again, now situated to their, Dixon finally began to speak.
“Doctor Jackson…” Dixon began, then corrected himself after having been told earlier that day to use Daniel’s first name. “Daniel.”
“Dave,” Daniel replied equally.
“Have you ever engaged in any stress relief?”
Daniel coughed in surprise. “Stress relief?”
“Yeah, you know,” and he made a jerking off gesture with his right hand.
“Yeah, I know what that means, but I don’t know exactly what you’re getting at.”
“Mutual stress relief,” Dixon told him.
Daniel immediately wondered what the hell the man was up to. His instinct told him that Dixon wasn’t setting a trap, but he could be wrong. “Yes,” he answered, purposely not elaborating that it was never as stress relief.
Stopping next to the forest, Dixon turned to him, looking into his eyes–the gaze was almost confrontational. “With men, I mean.”
Daniel stared back, refusing to show the amusement he now felt at the irony of the situation. A man who’d insulted him, dogged him for being a civilian, and somehow unworthy of respect or attention, was now coming on to him. Did he expect Daniel to fall to his knees and suck him off or something? Or did he expect Daniel stand there and quiver under the sexual attention?
“Yes, I know what you meant,” he finally said.
To Daniel’s further amusement, the man began to fidget. First time for everything, Daniel thought, then wondered if the man considered himself a good lover. If so, that fidgeting behavior had better not extend into the bedroom.
“You’ve taught me some things the last few days, and I wanted to apologize for my ignorant attitude.”
“You couldn’t have said this earlier?”
Dixon shrugged. “Had to wait for the opportunity.”
“Out of hearing range, you mean,” Daniel smirked.
“Sort of, but no. Had to think up a way to say something without coming off as an asshole. And I apologize for that, too. Being an asshole, I mean.”
“Okay,” Daniel nodded, as if accepting his apology, but mostly, it was simply in humoring the man. He didn’t believe for an instant that he was apologizing out of the fairness of his heart. He wanted something. Stress relief. The fact was, Dixon wanted a quickie, and apologizing for his bad behavior beforehand was his lame effort at making nice before making nice.
Daniel was about to tell him “No,” when it suddenly struck him that now might be a good time for a little payback, giving Dixon a lesson he’d never forget.
He also knew that Jack and Jason were waiting nearby, watching out of their own silly protectiveness. Hopefully, they’d get off on what he was about to do, but if they didn’t, Daniel was certain he could talk them out of their anger.
Dixon suddenly reached out and touched his shoulder and Daniel clamped his hand over his. “Dave, what makes you think I’d… engage in any stress relief with someone who doesn’t believe I’m an equal?”
“Haven’t ever had a one-off?” Dixon retorted.
“Were you thinking of their personal opinion of you then?”
Daniel squinted at him. “They were gay, not men hiding behind a hetero shield.”
Dixon stared back at him, though his eyes were unfocused as he thought. “Point taken.”
“Then answer me. Why should I let this little bit of stress release happen?”
“Don’t you need it?” Dave asked, tone slightly taunting. “Or are you happy with your own hand?”
Daniel glared at him for the assumption made, then took Dixon by the hand and led him into the woods, following the nature-made pathway to a trio of trees. After they stopped, Dixon hurriedly pushed down his shorts to reveal his erection and Daniel grabbed it, pulling, stroking, grinning as Dixon swore under his breath.
Then, without warning, Daniel shoved Dave backward against the widest of the trees, pressing a forearm over his chest.
“This what you want, Dave?” he asked, firming his grip.
Kneeling behind a sparse bush perhaps fifty feet away, Daniel’s lovers watched the surprising scene through the trees. They weren’t able to see everything, but what they could was enough.
“I knew that bastard was up to something,” Jack sneered, making sure his voice didn’t carry.
“I was hoping it was my over-active imagination,” Jason replied.
“Is Daniel doing what I think he’s doing?” Jason asked, the words whispered behind Jack’s ear as he stood behind him, arms around his waist.
“Revenge,” Jack grumbled, trying not to smile. He knew what Daniel was doing, and part of him was feeling jealous, but a larger part was getting off on the revenge.
Jason bit down the side of Jack’s neck as he reached around and palmed his groin. Jack let out a breathy groan, and Jason repeated it as he ground his own cock against Jack’s ass. “Think he’ll do it? Fuck his face?”
“He won’t,” Jack replied.
“I’m not sure if I’m disappointed.”
“I’m not sure, either.”
“What the fuck!” Dixon swore, pushing Daniel off him after the sudden use of force. He yanked up his shorts in a vain effort to cover himself.
Daniel stood there, smirking at him as he rubbed the fingers of his right hand against his thigh. “You think you want it all? A wife and kids, and a bit of slumming on the side?”
“What the fuck is your problem? I just asked for a simple–” Dixon started, breathing fast from surprise and lust.
“Stress relief, yes, I know. But again, why should you receive something from someone you don’t like? What are you made of?”
Dixon blinked at him. “I said I was sorry.”
“Because you’re attracted to me, because you want a hand job.”
“No, that’s not why. I never apologize when I don’t mean it.”
Daniel considered him for a moment, then said, “I don’t just get or give hand jobs. Do you understand?”
“It’s just stress relief! Why the hell–“
“It’s gay sex, Dave. Lust for a man. Call it what it is.”
“Jesus, it’s not… it’s just–“
Daniel took two steps forward, pushing Dixon back against the tree again, hands moving over his chest, feeling him, seducing him, slowly pulling down his shorts before his hand made it back around his cock. “You want me,” he stated, stroking again.
“Yes, but do you have to be an asshole about it?”
“Why not? You are.”
Dixon shook his head. “You’re a piece of work.”
Daniel grinned at him. “What do you want? This? This what you want?” He waited a minute, Dixon staring down at his hand as Daniel caressed his cock with firm, upward-squeezing strokes, making the man hiss.
“How?” Daniel prodded, twisting his palm around the shaft and head.
“What you’re doing–that,” Dixon breathed, and clamped one hand over Daniel’s shoulder. Closing his eyes, he moved his hips, urging Daniel to stroke faster. When the strokes were kept slow and teasing, Dixon reached for his groin, palming Daniel’s cock through his fatigues.
Daniel allowed it, indulging himself partly for selfish reasons–he knew he was being watched by his lovers, and giving them a kinky one-off would be fulfilling one of their private fantasies.
But behind that reason was another: The power to teach this man a lesson. It wasn’t malicious, but more a type of revenge. Dixon was an unfortunately common type of man whom Daniel disliked intensely. One who was gay, but refused to admit that he was, covering it with a hetero lifestyle that blatantly condemned gays on one hand while on the other, succumbing to his homosexual needs–doing so in such a way that made it seem dirty. It was one thing to use an illicit act as something kinky; it was quite another to use it because you thought of yourself, and others, as perverted.
Daniel also just plainly hated the duplicitous behavior. Dixon pretended to be straight, lying to himself as well as the woman he’d married, fathering children to co-opt that marriage into something normal, when in truth, it was the perversion. The man needed it rubbed in his face and Daniel had a feeling that it had been a very long time since anyone had dared to that Colonel Dave Dixon.
“You know what I’d really like to do to you, right now?” he asked, tightening his hand just a little bit.
Dixon made a noise and tried to hurry Daniel’s hand along with a few thrusts of his hips, to no avail. “See me come?” he asked, frustrated.
Daniel snorted. “That’s one, but no, not what I was thinking.”
Daniel watched his face as he spoke, like a predator watching his prey. “I’d like to fuck you against this tree, but I didn’t bring any condoms or lube. You want me to blow you, though. I can see it. So, if I blow you, then you blow me, nothing less than that.”
“God, the way you talk.”
Daniel grinned at the blush on the man’s face, easily seen through the trees from the light of the small moon. “Like the sound of that?” he asked, slipping his hand quickly into Dixon’s shorts, thumb rubbing firmly over the head of his cock. “Ever been sucked off by a man?”
Dixon nodded yes, adding, “Not for a while though.”
“Want me to suck you off?”
“God yes,” Dixon whispered, barely suppressing the deep groan Daniel pulled from him.
Daniel gave him a smile that was nowhere near nice. “I’ll do it, but it’s reciprocal. I suck you, you suck me first.”
“What?” Dixon asked, eyes widening as Daniel moved his hand faster.
“Have you ever sucked a cock, Dave?”
Dixon swallowed and didn’t answer.
Daniel grinned and increased the attention on Dixon’s cock, knowing he wouldn’t stop him. “You want to get off, and you’re willing to jerk someone off, but you won’t do what they really want. What I want.”
“What do you want?” Dixon asked, gritting his teeth as Daniel’s hand quickened slightly.
“For you to get on your knees and suck me,” Daniel said, whispering the words. “I want to watch my dick move in and out of your mouth, because that’s exactly what you want, isn’t it, Dave? Want to fuck my mouth? If you want me to shut up, that’s the only way you’ll get it.”
Dixon groaned and yanked Daniel against him for an awkward kiss but Daniel turned his face away, hissing in his ear. “You’re pretending to be something you aren’t and right now, right here, it’s offensive to pretend that bullshit with me. You want it, Dave, you earn it.”
“Jesus, can’t you just jack me off without the fucking lecture?” Dixon said, grabbing Daniel’s arm in an effort to control his actions, but Daniel stepped away from the tree, pulling Dixon with him, hand still on his cock. As Daniel stroked faster, Dixon suddenly grabbed him by both shoulders and held on as he thrust through Daniel’s hand. “Yes, yes.”
Abruptly, Daniel stopped and pulled his hand off.
“What the fuck are you doing!” Dixon hissed.
Daniel laid his hands on Dixon’s shoulders and pushed downward. “On your knees, Dave.” To his surprise, Dixon went to his knees. “I won’t ask you to suck me off, but I think it’s time you stopped pretending.”
Daniel pushed down his shorts and took his cock in hand, pointing the now blood-filled head at Dixon’s face. With a hand combing through the man’s short hair, he leaned in, brushing Dixon’s mouth. “Taste me,” he ordered gently. “Smell that? That’s sex, Dave.” Hissing at the touch of Dave’s tongue, he added, “Yes. Now, take me in and suck. Roll your tongue over the head.”
Growling silent objections, Dave did as asked anyway, and when he pulled back a few times, Daniel knew it was fear overwhelming him. He wanted to shove his cock down the man’s throat, but there would have been no point. Daniel had no intention in getting off with this man.
Stepping back, he moved around Dixon and dropped down behind, wrapping an arm around him while taking his cock back in hand. Dixon started to move away but Daniel held him firmly about the waist. “Just relax,” he growled against his ear. “Close your eyes.”
“God,” Dixon replied, dropping his head back against Daniel’s shoulder.
“You like my hand, don’t you?” Daniel asked, and as he asked questions that were only replied with a “Yes,” or “God, yes,” Daniel began to grind his covered dick against Dixon’s ass, making him feel a cock riding him there. The man was definitely a top, but he needed to wake up to the fact that it wasn’t all about him.
“Wanna fuck me, don’t you?” Daniel went on, and purposely ground hard against Dixon’s ass. “Fuck me so goddamned hard.”
Dixon couldn’t reply. There was only the sound of Daniel’s words and his breathing. It didn’t take long, either, and Daniel’s hand became a blur as he jerked him off, all the while speaking in his ear, giving the dirtiest descriptions he could think of. When Dixon shot his load, body shuddering madly, Daniel had mentioned fucking him with a dildo. The man was so damned green.
Afterglow barely passed, Daniel got to his feet and pulled Dixon to his. Surprise came again when Dixon leaned forward and kissed him.
“I wouldn’t mind doing that again sometime,” he said, flushed. “But you have to know, I’m not going to show favor when we get back home.”
Daniel snorted. “I don’t expect you to. What you can do is show respect by accepting that I’m not a weak civilian.”
“I never thought you were weak, Daniel.”
“Well, there’s progress.”
“Seriously, I never thought you were. Just… military versus civilian.”
“Sooner or later, you’ll see I can field strip a P90, save your ass in a fire fight, and give a lecture on the proper way to interpret Egyptian hieroglyphs.”
Dixon grinned, then slowly nodded. “I already know that.”
“Then where’s the fear coming from?”
“Not going to show favor? Are you afraid I’ll follow you around or something?”
Dixon just stared at him, dumbstruck.
Daniel shook his head, a slight sneer to his lips. “Jesus. This was a one-off, Dave. It’ll never happen again.”
Dixon suddenly reached for him, touching his cock through his shorts. “I haven’t returned the favor,” he said, his voice lowering, becoming seductive.
Daniel was literally surprised. He didn’t figure the man for a giving type. It was tempting, though, considering the way he was caressing Daniel’s cock through his shorts. So tempting.
“No, not necessary,” Daniel told him, blowing out a breath as he removed Dixon’s hand from his groin–his cock fighting it the entire time, damned traitor. “I did this for you, not me.”
Dixon stared at him, placing his hand back on Daniel’s groin, stroking slowly. “Who’re you meeting up with then?”
Shit. “I like to do this alone when I’m offworld.”
“Seriously?” Dixon asked, surprised.
Clearing his throat, Daniel backed away. “Yeah, seriously.”
Dixon seemed to think that over, then finally nodded and walked away with a mumbled, “Good night, and, er, thanks.”
Daniel didn’t answer as he turned about and walked out of the forest, going back to the lakeside to wash off his hand. He sighed with relief when he heard movement behind. “Don’t hate me,” he said, not turning round.
“Not a chance,” Jack whispered fiercely as he and Jason pulled Daniel into the forest. Just barely inside, Daniel was met with deep, burning kisses and amazingly adept fingers and hands. Standing there between them, with Jason’s hand on his cock and Jack’s fingers inside his ass, it didn’t take them long to bring him off, giving him an exquisite orgasm.
Back at the water’s edge, with his lovers now washing their hands off, Daniel sat down between them and rested his arms and chin on his knees. “I didn’t plan to do anything till he asked, and made such a two-face lie about it that–“
Jason cut him off with an elbow to his arm. “We watched, and we got off on watching you surprise the shit out of us.” He sent Jack a filthy, knowing grin which Jack returned.
“I didn’t expect you to do what you did, Daniel,” Jack told him, copying the way Daniel was sitting as he sat to his right. He caressed his calf as he spoke, his tone admiring. “You were quite the Dom.”
Daniel blinked, then suddenly smiled widely, smugness filling him. “I was, wasn’t I?”
“Don’t let it go to your head,” Jack added quickly. “Either of them.”
“Till we get home, anyway,” Jason grinned. “We’ve a few days left here, right?”
Daniel snorted as he took in the hopeful expressions on his lovers’ faces. “Sorry, guys, but we have a week’s worth of work to do, reassembling the structure, but I’m sure SG-11 can manage by themselves after that.”
His lovers groaned and Daniel shook his head. “You can always bow out and let two other teams take our places.”
“No,” Jack amended, sighing. “We’ll stick it out.”
“Good man,” Daniel smiled, slapping Jack on the back before getting to his feet and pulling his lovers to theirs.
“No more stress relief for Dixon,” Jason warned, giving Daniel that look he was familiar with.
Daniel held up his hands. “Don’t worry. That was a one-off, and I told him so. These hands will only touch the two of you.” They looked a little too smug so he added, feigning seriousness, “I’ll just send him to the two of you when he comes calling on me for more lessons.” When they stared at him, he asked, “What?” before he was dragged summarily back into the trees.
continued in Trinity 8