Joy's Fiction Stargate SG-1 Slash Fanfiction

Trinity 8

T


Trinity 8: Grief and Heritage

Summary:  Insecurities and grief color Daniel’s days; and Jason reveals some of his knowledge and past.


Daniel was frustrated.  If the piece of hard stone wasn’t in the way, he could get to what he wanted to uncover.  He sighed, realizing he was going to have to do this one section the hard way; picking away with his fine tool and small, soft brush.  He settled down onto his belly and got to work, focusing on the difficult job ahead.

He had been with SG-11 on this dig for almost a month now and he only had two more weeks to go.  As he worked, Daniel remembered when news of the dig site had come up and he’d helped SG-11 make up their reports.  When the dig had been approved, Daniel had jumped at the chance to put in for time on it, sending formal requests for reassignment to General Hammond and Jack.  His enthusiasm had been so infectious that they’d reluctantly caved in and allowed him to go.

Daniel’s reasons for going had been both professional and personal.  Professionally, he hadn’t been on a dig in a while and he was aching to get attached to this one.  It had all the earmarks of a Babylonian-related civilization and if Jack didn’t let him go, he would hear about it during the entire time of the dig.  That was Jack’s unspoken reason for letting him go, and Daniel knew it.

On the personal side of things, Daniel needed to be away from his friends, mostly from Jack and Jason, to spare them his moodiness; moodiness he knew was coming up.  He needed to be alone, to gain control of his feelings and, for a while at least, to grieve privately.

It was almost the end of November now and it was nearing the anniversary of both Shau’re’s capture and her death, and they were ironically only a month apart by the Earth calendar.  The previous year, he’d gone out into the field with SG-5, getting away from his team, and Jack, in order to get lost in his work.  Unfortunately, his grief had been complicated and overshadowed by the emotional and physical effects from the light in that damn Goa’uld palace by the sea.  He’d never told Jack just why he’d succumbed to the depression more than the members of SG-5, though they’d all been on the planet for the same amount of time.  Jack had never asked because their friendship had still been estranged.  That had only made things worse afterward and when the chance had come to go out with the re-manned SG-11, Daniel had taken it.

This time around, there was nothing but the new dig to distract him from his feelings.  There were no hidden threats on the planet and none were likely to be found.  The planet had been surveyed several times, and for several weeks, before he’d been allowed to go anywhere with SG-11.  Jack and Hammond were overly protective, as was Jason, making sure he had everything he needed and that he checked in twice a day, even if he had nothing to report.  Daniel had been amused that even the local lake had been surveyed to make sure there were no damned snakes.

Although Daniel needed this time to himself, he soon came to realize that he didn’t want to be alone anymore.  He knew he’d be supported in his grief, but he’d been alone with it for five years, and alone with the mourning of Shau’re’s death for two.  He was used to grieving alone.  Alone after his parents died; alone after his lover, Faisal, had died after he’d gone to Oxford.  He’d always been alone in his grieving so it was only natural to feel that he had to be alone this time, too.

However, things had changed.  He hadn’t wanted to be alone the previous year, but circumstances had taken care of that.  But it was different now…he had Jack and Jason, and Sam and Janet, and though he wouldn’t talk about it with them for fear of dragging them down with his feelings, he now felt better about their presence, about having them there for him.

For now though, he needed his private time to grieve.  He also had this dig to keep him occupied and distracted; it’s fascinating work was something that helped him do that very well.  He buckled down and got on with his work during the day, and at night, lying in his cot bed, he sent out thoughts of love and hoped that Shau’re was at peace wherever she was.

On Earth, things ran more or less smoothly, and with the odd squirmy mission now and again, the absence of Daniel Jackson was tolerated rather well.  Daniel had chosen his replacement to SG-1, with a small suggestion from Jason and Sgt. Carmichael, who was now back at her security assignment with the SGC.  Dr. Amanda Billings, the civilian assigned to Daniel’s research department, was the one to take Daniel’s place while he was gone.  She’d been excited, to say the least.  Jack had been aware that it had been her camcorder that Jason had used to film Major Rogers planting that bomb, so he hadn’t put up much of a fight.  He gave Daniel his word that he’d give her a chance to prove herself and she’d done so in more ways than one.  He wasn’t happy that she hadn’t had any field experience, and that she was a civilian, but Teal’c had reminded him that in the beginning, neither had Daniel.  So, Jack decided to give her his usual round of tests, ways to make her prove herself.  Some of them had been to test her mettle and fortitude under stressful conditions, and he had done his best to wind her up on their first mission out; to goad her; to push her buttons.

Sam and Teal’c had also done their level best to help her out, to shield her from Jack’s acerbic temper, but in the end, Dr. Billings had given her Welsh best back to Jack…and then some; calling him a few well-chosen names, pushing him back when he’d pushed her, and generally matching him in extreme uses of sarcasm.  Surprised, pissed off, and then reluctantly giving respect, Jack had accepted her after that.  Sam and Teal’c found the whole thing humorous and had no problem in telling and retelling their little adventures twixt ‘Jack and Amanda’ when they’d returned.  Jack hadn’t been amused but he’d let it go.  He’d pay them back for it in the future.  He had plenty of time.

As for Jack and Jason, things couldn’t have been better.  In Daniel’s absence, they’d first been a little hesitant to get together or even do ‘guy’ stuff together, but as the first week passed, they realized that Daniel would have kicked their asses if he’d found out that they’d been keeping their distance, so they spent time together after work, not just for having sex, though they’d done that, too.

They’d discovered that their sexual desire for each other increased after Daniel had been gone for a week.  It was also something of a revelation to them.  Jason would have explained easily enough, but decided to spare himself the ‘rolled, glazed eyes’ look that Jack would have given him.  Jack just accepted the desires as they were.  Jason wanted to analyze them…if only for a moment…then he would have accepted them.

Nevertheless, there was definitely something to Jack’s method.  Definitely.  After work one evening, Jack had followed Jason home.  Jason opened his door, looking back at Jack, giving him half a smile.  He saw the look on Jack’s face as Jack walked purposely toward him.  Jason had backed up, leaving the door open.  His breathing and heart rate increased by a factor of 100 as Jack had stalked toward him, slamming the door shut and locking it.  Jason had known what Jack wanted, and he’d wanted to give it; kneeling on the couch, being fucked mercilessly over the back of the sofa.

They’d gone to a Rockies’ baseball game two days later, the first Saturday afternoon after Daniel had gone on his dig.  They had realized later on just how much of a good time they’d had and had decided to take on a game every Saturday after that.  It was amazing how well they’d got on (without Daniel to mediate) and as the next few weeks passed, they’d grown even closer as friends.  They were soon planning things together that they wouldn’t have considered a month earlier, including work-related things.

They hadn’t considered how the intimate side of things were growing between them until the third Saturday during Daniel’s dig.  Jack and Jason had just finished that day together, coming home from their weekly baseball game.  Winding down from that, they’d separated and gone home around 7 pm.  Neither had been hungry, having eaten before arriving back in Colorado Springs.

At 10:30, Jack had been reading in bed.  Though he was tired and a little sleepy, he felt edgy.  Chalking it up to his body still trying to wind down from an active day, he turned out the light and tried to go to sleep.

At 10:45, Jason had been drawing while listening to one of the CDs that Jack had gotten him on his birthday.  He found himself unable to concentrate and decided it was time to get to bed early.  For him, going to bed before 11 pm on a Saturday was early, even when he was on a mission.  Regardless, he set his things down, turned off the music and went to bed.

Around 11:15 or so, Jack found he couldn’t sleep.  He lay there, thinking about a lot of things; one of them, missing Daniel.  He found himself thinking over and over about the day as well and he tried to force himself to scatter his thoughts, to drift.  To go to sleep.  By 11:30, it wasn’t working.  He was restless and had no clue as to why.

At the same time as Jack, Jason found he couldn’t sleep either.  He wandered around his apartment for a little while, not understanding what the hell was the matter.  Restlessness was something he usually had when something was wrong.  Other than Daniel being gone, nothing was wrong.  Everything was going well.  With his team, his missions, with Jack.  With Jack.  He stood before his stereo, staring the CDs, reaching out with one hand to run a few fingers over the edges of their covers.

Jason suddenly got dressed, grabbed his coat and keys, and left his apartment, not realizing that the reason he did so was because he found himself missing Jack.

. .

Jack turned on his bedroom lamp and sat on the edge of his bed.  Something was wrong, but he didn’t know what.  He got up to pace through the house, as he often did when something unknown was troubling him.  He stood in the dining room, staring down at the newspaper when a knock at the door made him jump.  He looked at the clock and frowned.  12:13 am. Cautiously, he grabbed his gun and took the safety off, then peeked out of the side of the living room curtains.  He frowned in puzzlement now, clicked the catch back on his gun and without putting it down, he answered the door.

The moment Jack’s door opened, Jason suddenly felt that he’d made a mistake.  What the hell was he doing there?  He didn’t have the courage to leave, however.  He’d probably woken Jack up, even if the light in his bedroom had been on.

Jack’s eyebrows went up.  “Jason….what’s goin’ on?”

“I…uh…um…” and he looked around.  “Can I come in?”

Jack waved him in, using the hand that held the gun, then shut the door behind him and put the gun away.  Jason watched him as he did so, not thinking twice about it.  He knew the reason for the gun and knew it’s what he’d have done, too.  Jack caught his attention and looked at Jason expectantly, folding his arms and leaning on the back of his couch.

“Well?”

Jason shoved his hands in the front pockets of his jeans, his gaze switching back and forth between his own feet and Jack.  “Um…I think maybe I screwed up and shouldn’t have come over, but I couldn’t sleep.”

Jack grinned at him.  “Me neither.  Might as well stay, since we can’t sleep.”

Jason winced a little.  “Actually, I think I can sleep, it’s just that something’s nagging at me, like I’ve forgotten something.”

Jack stared back in recognition.  “Yeah, as if you’ve gone on vacation but keep thinking you left the stove on, or a candle burning or something.”

Jason nodded.  “Yeah, like that.  Only it feels….”

“Different.”

“Yeah.”

Jack wasn’t dressed, but he was wearing his shorts and tee.  Even so, he was getting a little cold.  He rubbed his arm.  “Come on,” and he grabbed a glass of ice water from the fridge, then said, “let’s go to the bedroom.”

Jason snorted, following.

“Not like that, Jason.  It’s just that I’m a bit cold and I don’t feel like sitting around on the couch in my underwear.”

Jason nodded, understanding that.  When they got to the bedroom, Jack set the water on the nightstand, then crawled back into bed, puffing up his pillows, then turning onto his side with his arm propping up his head.  Jason took off his coat and set it on the chair by the dresser.  Jack laughed.

Jason turned to look at him as he toed his shoes off and sat down on the edge of the bed.  “What’s funny?”

“Jason, you have your sleep shirt on.”

Jason looked down at the old dark grey tee he wore, the one with a few holes along the bottom hem and a couple of tiny ones in the chest.  It was so soft and comfortable, he’d told Daniel once, that the only way he’d ever get rid of it was if it were to disintegrate in the washing machine.  Not that Daniel had complained about the shirt.  He liked it.  So did Jack.

Jason smiled sarcastically.  “I just needed to come over, Jack.  I didn’t pay attention to wardrobe.  I just threw my jeans on, then my sneakers, without socks, by the fucking way, and grabbed my coat and keys.”

Jack pulled back the covers, laughing.  “Well, you may as well take the jeans off and climb in here, since you’re already half-ready for bed.”

Jason gave him an even bigger sarcastic smile and stood up to remove his jeans.  Jack snorted and smiled.  Jason wasn’t wearing the usual boxers.  He had on a pair of very short boxers shorts.  Black shorts.  When Jason turned and sat back down, he noticed.

“What?”

“I’ve never seen those shorts before.”

“Oh, I usually wear them when I wear the black jeans.  Those jeans are tighter and my regular briefs ride up on me.”

Jack laughed at the thought.  “I hate that.”

Jason gave Jack another sarcastic grin.  “Hence the reason for the smaller shorts.  Don’t make fun.  You know what I mean.  It’s fucking aggravating going to the baseball game and wanting to stand every ten minutes and straighten your shorts.” Jack still laughed, but he nodded in understanding.  Jason tilted his head.  “I could get you some of these.  We wear the same size I think.”

Jack grinned.  “Maybe, except your ass is bigger than mine.”

Jason turned to look at his own but couldn’t since he was sitting on it.  Jack laughed at him.  “Jack, my ass is not bigger.”

Nonchalantly, Jack amended, “Okay, maybe I should have said rounder instead.”

Jason quirked a grin at him.  “Rounder?”

Jack gave Jason a long look.  “Rounder.  Like Daniel’s.”

Jason laughed softly.  “MY ass is nowhere near like Daniel’s.”

“No, it’s not, but it’s round, just like Daniel’s.”

Jason shook his head, still laughing softly.  “Whatever you say, Jack.”

Jack scooted over and moved lower in the bed.  “Turn the light off and get in here.”

Shaking his head again, Jason did so.  Getting comfortable, he turned his back to Jack and automatically snuggled up against him.  Jack lay an arm over him and closed his eyes.  He had a question to ask, though.

“Jace?”

“What?”

“Why did you have this need to be here?”

Jason felt embarrassed, not having admitted to himself just yet as to why he’d left his apartment.

“I don’t know, Jack.”

“Oh,” he said quietly.  “‘Night, Jace.”

“‘Night, Jack.”

Something then occurred to Jason and he turned his head toward Jack.  “Jack?”

“Hmmm?”

“I don’t feel that restlessness anymore.”

Jack opened his eyes and thought about that.  He made a frown.  “Neither do I.”

“Huh,” Jason said, making that noise one does when faced with a temporary mystery.  “Well, ‘night, Jack.”

“‘Night.”

As they’d fallen asleep, neither had bothered to say anything else about their mutual restlessness, but they’d both figured it out.  They’d missed each other just as much as they’d missed Daniel.  In some cases…more.

. .

Jason woke up with Jack’s hard cock pressed in his backside.  He’d become erect just at the feel of it, and knowing it was Jack’s, but he had done nothing about it because they both needed to take a leak and the idea was quickly extinguished.  However, the mood it put them in set the tone for the entire day.

Dressed only in their boxers, they’d washed up and had breakfast.  While Jack was finishing up the dishes, Jason was stripping the bed, preparing to do laundry.  As he was stretching across the bed, on all fours, reaching for the corner of the fitted sheet, the material of the boxers was also stretching tightly across his buttocks.  Jack had come to see what Jason was up to and when he got an eyeful of Jason’s position, he groaned as his dick hardened like a rock.  His alpha side came blazing to his brain, his body, and all he could do was stand there and….smolder.

Jason looked over his shoulder when he heard Jack groan.  “Jack?  What’s up?” Then he knew, as his eyes travelled to Jack’s obvious erection through his boxers.  He turned back around, pulling the sheet, then slowly backed of the bed, wadding up the two sheets in his hands.

“I think you know, Jason.  Do you have any idea how arousing that is?” Jack asked huskily.  Jason turned and moved past him.

“As a matter of fact, I do.”

Jason went into the laundry room and stuffed the sheets into the washer.  Jack watched him leave, feeling more aroused than ever.  He turned, grabbed the lube from the nightstand, then entered the laundry room and walked up behind Jason, still smoldering.  He placed the lube on the dryer and Jason froze.  When Jack touched his thighs, Jason’s cock was throbbing.  His heart beat wildly and he fought to concentrate as he turned the dial of the machine.  He knew it would further arouse Jack, but he had to reach over to the shelf behind the washer to grab the soap.  This unintentional teasing game continued as Jason leaned over, grabbing the liquid soap, and Jack growled deep in his throat.  His hands moved up Jason’s thighs to stop at his hips and Jason had no intentions of stopping them from going further.

Barely containing his composure, Jason poured the liquid into the machine, then shakily replaced the cap, and leaned forward again to put the soap back on the shelf.  Jack seemed to be waiting as he did nothing that time.  Jason closed the lid of the machine and pulled the knob, turning the machine on.  The water started to fill as Jack reached over and purposely let Jason see him grab hold of the lube.  Pouring a good amount onto his hands, he slid his hands under Jason’s shorts.  One hand moved to his ass while the other moved ’round to take hold of his cock.  Jason’s hands gripped the side of the machine as Jack moved his lubed fingers around his anus and began to rub and stimulate while his other started to jerk him off.

“Jack…” Jason whispered.

“Push your shorts down.  I’m not moving my hands.”

Jack’s deep commanding voice sent a shudder through him and Jason quickly did as Jack ordered….with a bit of difficulty.  Jack’s hands caressed him more actively, squeezing, pulling on his shaft, rubbing the head of his cock in his palm.  When his shorts dropped to his feet, Jason kicked them out of the way.

“Now…push mine down.”

With even more difficulty, as Jack purposely continued to caress him, Jason reached back and pulled Jack’s shorts over his straining erection, then down over his hips.  They fell to the floor finally and Jack also kicked them out of the way.  He pulled Jason’s body back against him, stroking his cock slowly while he pressed his fingers at his entrance and pushed inside.  Jason’s hands returned to the front corners of the washer, gripping fiercely, panting hard.

“Jack…” he whispered again, closing his eyes, and succumbing to the pleasure.

Jack ran his lips over his neck, biting, tonguing, arousing him.  His hand slowed, pulling, and tightening while his fingers caressed and stimulated his ass, causing Jason to moan and thrust his hips.

“Speed….up….Jack,” he gasped, panting harsh, rapid breaths.

Jack bit and sucked on his neck, running his tongue over his skin.  “I’m going to make you come right when I fuck you hard against this machine.” Jason moaned at his words just as Jack removed his fingers and pushed the head of his cock inside his entrance.  Jason’s panting increased as Jack sheathed himself deep.

“That’s it, Jack.  God, that’s it.” Jason leaned his forearms on the washer just as it started to agitate and spread his legs.  Jack growled against his neck as he leaned forward with him, placing his free hand around his waist and up over his chest.  The machine vibrated roughly, causing an amazing sensation to flow through them.  The vibration seemed to speed up their arousal and as Jack began to rock his hips, his cock brushed against Jason’s prostate, making him cry out.

“Fuck me, Jack.  Goddamn you, fuck me,” and his hands clawed at the machine.  “Oh God, that’s it, that’s it,” and Jason cried out then as his orgasm rocketed through him, making Jack increase his speed and thrust hard.

“That’s it, Jace, come for me, come for me,” and he slammed into Jason repeatedly and came with a loud cry.  The washer suddenly stopped agitating and began its first rinse, allowing them to come down from their blissful high.

. .

By late afternoon, they still had not talked about their need to be with the other, but they’d looked at each after lunch….knowing…and accepting.  Silently.  When they felt it necessary to bring it up, they would.  Until then, words were redundant.

Jack had discovered something about his sex life with Jason that startled him.  He realized that he rarely went down and stayed down until Jason came.  He realized it only by accident when they were in the kitchen, cutting up potatoes for homemade fries to eat with the late afternoon ball game.  They were teasing each other over who was right on last week’s game scores when Jason tossed a piece of potato at him, saying the usual tease,

“Think fast!”

Jack didn’t catch it until it had almost hit the floor, landing him in front of Jason.

“Prick!” Jack growled and Jason snorted apologetically, bending to help him up.  Jack waved him off, getting to his knees.  He looked up at Jason then and his eyes were suddenly level with Jason’s crotch.  Jason’s eyes went wide and Jack distinctly heard the sharp intake of breath.  He looked with excitement as he watched Jason get amazingly hard in seconds, the indentation through the cut-offs he’d borrowed obvious.  Jack grinned at him ferally.

“Getting a little excited aren’t we, Jason?”

If Jason’s eyes could have gotten any darker, they would have.  “Yes,” he whispered.  He leaned back against the wall, closing his eyes, and clearing his throat.  “God, yes.” He cleared his throat again and struggled to get himself under control, but another sharp intake of breath came, along with rapid surprise, when he felt Jack’s hands undoing his shorts.

“Jack…” and his hands came up to stop him.

Jack looked up quizzically.  “Why not?”

“Because I want you to stay there and you don’t usually…” and he inhaled sharply again and a wave of lust passed over him as Jack pulled his shorts and boxers down only enough to expose his groin fully.

“I will this time,” and Jack quickly took the head of his cock into his hot, wet mouth.

“Oh God, Jack.” Jason lost himself in Jack’s wet caresses and laced his fingers tightly through his hair.  “God, you feel good.” His breathing increased until he was panting hard, watching his cock move in and out of Jack’s mouth.  Jack’s hand suddenly gripped his buttocks hard as he sucked hard, making Jason gasp in surprise.  When Jack looked up into his eyes, that was all he needed.  “Jack,” he cried in a whisper, coming hard down his throat, clutching Jack’s shoulders with his fingers.  Jack held onto him, sucking him dry until well past the point of keen pleasure, then he slowly stood up and kissed Jason hard, letting him know just how aroused that had made him.

Jason kissed him back just as hard, moaning at the taste of himself in Jack’s mouth, as he pushed him up against the wall.  Holding onto him firmly, Jason slid down his body, biting through his clothes, pulling down his shorts and boxers to give Jack what Jack had given to him.

Jack felt his shorts being pulled down roughly and was highly aroused at the hunger that Jason displayed as he took his cock down his throat.  “Oh God,” he gasped as he combed his fingers through Jason’s black hair, holding onto him tightly, moaning words of encouragement.  “Yes, yes, suck me.” Jason did so as he urged Jack to thrust, moaning and grasping his buttocks as Jack panted hard and whispered to him.  Jason felt Jack nearing his quick orgasm and he wanted to make Jack come hard.  Moaning again, he simultaneously sucked hard while shoving a finger deep inside.  From the sudden stimulation, Jack tightened his fingers in Jason’s hair and came.

Jason held onto him until the shudders passed then slowly got to his feet.  His fingers grabbed hold of Jack’s shorts and closed them back up again and Jack did the same for him.  All the while they look at each other, amazed.

“I love you, Jack,” Jason finally said and pulled Jack into a slow kiss.  When they broke apart, Jack whispered, “Backatcha, Jace.” They kissed for a little while, then went back to what they were doing, with Jason occasionally tossing a potato slice at him.

~

The next few weeks passed by relatively quickly for Jack and Jason, but for Daniel, they seemed to drag on, hour after endless hour when he wasn’t working on his laborious excavation.  When his own excavation site was finally finished five and a half weeks after he’d started, Daniel was anxious to return home.  One of the things he most looked forward to, besides two warm bodies in the shape of Jason and Jack, was a nice long, hot shower.

He looked very tired when he came through the gate with SG-11.  The anniversaries were still to come, but he thought he had a handle on the grief, that it wouldn’t take him away from those he loved anymore.  He greeted Jack, Sam, Teal’c, and Hammond with a bit of excitement, having missed them a lot.  General Hammond gave him a few moments with his teammates, then asked him how the dig went.  In Daniel’s usual form, especially when he was tired or excited or both, he started to explain in pretty much one breath and one long run-on sentence about how his work was completed but that there needed to be more dig time set aside so that work on the buried ziggurat could commence and….

Needless to say, Daniel was gently interrupted and escorted possessively by his team mates to the Infirmary.  Janet saw him, gave him a huge hug, then shoved him down on a gurney to run her tests, whispering, “I have you now, my pretty,” making Daniel laugh.  He’d so missed his friends.

~

Daniel was sitting hunched over the lab table in his office, asleep.  He’d been transcribing his notes into the computer for his report to General Hammond and had nodded off.  Jason stood in the doorway, his arms folded, watching him.  Why did Daniel do this to himself? he wondered.  That blasted report could have waited until morning.  He started to close the door and go wake Daniel when Sam, Teal’c, and Jack came up behind him.  He pointed to their sleeping archaeologist.

Jack shook his head.  “For crying out loud, why doesn’t he just go home?” He walked quietly over to Daniel and placed his hand gently on his back.  “Daniel?” he said softly.  Daniel moved just a little bit, groaning, rousing.

“What?” he mumbled as both Jack and Jason moved to his sides and gently persuaded him to stand up.

“Come on, Daniel.  Let’s get you home.”

“Um, I have work to do,” he mumbled again as he ran a hand through his hair, upsetting the glasses on his face.  Jason sniggered and removed his glasses.

“Daniel, you can’t concentrate on anything, so let’s go get changed and go home.”

Daniel growled but he didn’t object.  They locked up his office then all of them went to the gear-up room to change.  As Daniel changed, he woke up just a little.  Looking over at Jack, he realized that though he may not be completely awake, part of him definitely was.  He had to fight the urge to kiss the shit out of Jack, then thinking on that, he knew Jason was over on his side and fought off the same urge to go and give him a surprise or two.  Actually, the only reason he didn’t do anything was because he was too damn tired.

When they were all finished, Daniel said goodbye to Teal’c and then left for the parking garage.

Before going off to her car, Sam asked, giving a wink to Jason, “Planning on any ‘homecoming’ activities?”

Jason bit his lips together, trying not to smile.  “That all depends on Daniel and how tired he is.”

Sam sniggered while Daniel pretended not to hear that remark.  He gave her a kiss goodbye then drove home, followed by Jack and Jason (purely for supervisory purposes, of course).

The moment Jack and Jason got inside Daniel’s home and the door was shut, Daniel put his arm around Jack’s neck and gave him a sweltering ‘special’ kiss.  His other arm snaked around Jason’s waist and pulled him firmly against them.  Jack responded eagerly, his having missed Daniel becoming very evident.

“You need some decent sleep, Daniel,” Jason whispered as he kissed along Daniel’s jaw.  Daniel broke his kiss with Jack and turned to give one of his specials to Jason.  Jack nuzzled his neck as his hands roamed, reacquainting himself with the feel of his absent lover.  Jason broke free of the kiss, gasping softly.

“Time for bed, don’tcha think, Daniel?” he asked, his voice gravelly, needy.  He had missed Daniel so much and his ardor was rising fast, surprising him.

“Yes,” Daniel whispered.  “Bed.  Definitely.” The three of them traded kisses as they moved down the hall, removing jackets, clothes.  Toeing off his shoes, Daniel’s legs got caught in Jason’s and that dumped the three of them unceremoniously onto the bed.  Laughing at their haste, they broke apart, stripping the rest of their clothes off and getting into bed.

Putting Daniel between them, Jack spooned up to him while Jason pressed up against his front.

“I missed you something fierce,” Daniel said quietly as he exchanged deep kisses with them.

“We missed you, too, Daniel,” Jack said, wrapping his arms around him and pressing his erection against Daniel’s ass.

Daniel hissed with pleasure.  “I missed that, too.” Jack grinned as he bent his head to kiss along Daniel’s shoulder.  Jason moved down Daniel’s front, kissing his nipples and moving toward his groin.  “Jason,” Daniel said, interrupting, pulling Jason back up.  He made a turning motion with two fingers.  Jason smiled.  He found the lube and handed it to Jack, then went back to kissing and nipping Daniel’s skin as he turned himself around for a 69 position.  Daniel and Jack moved down to give Jason room for his legs, and then Daniel settled down to teasing Jason with his tongue, roaming along his inner thighs.  Jason moaned and did the same, getting the same response in kind.

Not feeling the least left out, Jack was instead getting more turned on in having closer view of Daniel going down on Jason.  He lubed his own cock, then brought his fingers to Daniel’s opening, teasing the ring by moving his fingertips around in circles.  Daniel moaned in response just as he took the head of Jason’s cock into his mouth.  Jason, in the meantime, lapped and suckled on Daniel’s balls while he snuck his hand between his legs, finding Jack’s as well.  His fingers played and caressed, then taking some of the lube from Jack’s waiting cock, his hand reached back between his legs to find his anus.  Rubbing and teasing, he inserted a single finger, stimulating Jack to thrust.  Jack’s fingers, meanwhile, pushed inside Daniel to coax, relax, arouse.  Daniel moaned, sucking Jason’s cock hungrily while his hands caressed his balls and ass.  His own fingers probed Jason’s opening, then a single finger entered, making Jason’s body shudder as Jason took his cock into his mouth.

Amidst the moans and pants of his lovers, Jack finally pushed his cock inside Daniel, so turned on by the assault on his senses.  Jason’s cock in Daniel’s mouth; Jason’s finger in his ass; his own cock burying itself balls-deep inside Daniel.

When Jack started to thrust in slow, short strokes, Daniel groaned and tightened his mouth around Jason, moving his finger faster in Jason’s ass.  Jason responded with lust, sucking harder on Daniel’s cock and finger-fucking Jack in time with Daniel’s pleasuring.  Daniel pulled his mouth away and whispered, “Lube,” and getting it handed to him quickly.  Jason suddenly moaned loudly and sucked even harder as Daniel inserted two fingers inside him, pumping evenly with Jack’s short thrusts inside him.

Daniel’s free hand began massaging Jason’s balls, his mouth consuming his dick as he was overwhelmed by the stimulation to his cock and ass.  He moaned loudly then and Jason felt his body tense and his dick tighten and spasm.  Daniel moaned again, coming hard and fast as Jason swallowed quickly.  Daniel’s mouth and fingers worked Jason furiously, and with the contracting of his anal muscles around Jack’s cock, combined with Jason’s thrusting fingers, Daniel’s lovers came off, crying out in tandem.

The three men lay there, rigid, their hands clamping down on each other as they rode through the shudders their bodies craved.  Releasing each other, panting, Jason righted himself so that Daniel spooned against him just as Jack remained spooned behind.  They traded soft kisses, finally coming down from their highs.

Jack whispered against Daniel’s ear.  “Welcome home, Daniel.” Jason turned his head slightly, echoing the sentiment with a soft kiss, snuggling back into Daniel.  Daniel moaned in satisfied response, falling asleep soon after.

Daniel found out over the weekend just how close Jack and Jason had become, and though it was welcome, he found himself feeling a little excluded.  Having returned mid-week, he’d had the remainder of the week to type up his field notes into a coherent report for Hammond, then cataloguing his discoveries.  Come Saturday, he’d expected to spend a lazy day with his lovers.

He soon found out about their relatively ‘new’ Saturday activity – going down to Coors Field and taking in a Rockies game, providing they were playing in town and there were tickets still available.  That weekend, the club was on the road, so Jack and Jason had already planned to watch a few football games on TV.  It being off-season for hockey, they’d both settled into the football season quickly and easily.  Daniel found it slightly amusing, but more than just a little irritating.  The college football games lasted all…damn…day, and though he didn’t mind watching the occasional ‘touch’ football games the SGC members played periodically, he couldn’t stand watching the sport in general.

Unable to get into the games with them, Daniel sighed and sat down at his kitchen table to try and get some more of his work done.  After a few hours of boisterous whooping in the background, he knew he should not have tried working at home.  Giving up the idea, he went out back to get back to his project-within-a-project: building a cover to go over his pond so that when snow came, it wouldn’t mess with the design and seep into the ground.  He’d already figured out that he’d started his pond project too late but that was okay.  It would wait until spring.  As for the cover, a simple board wouldn’t do.  He needed something heavier, stouter; something that would hold a two-or-three foot layering of snow.  Daniel already had the plan, so he got to work building its frame as the shouts from inside carried on without interruption.

As the days passed, Daniel found himself slowly coming to the realization that Jason and Jack had indeed formed a deeper bond while he’d been gone.  He didn’t really blame them but he still found himself surprised.  They’d started to do almost everything together.  The following Tuesday, at lunch, he found them in the cafeteria laughing it up.

“Hi guys,” he said warmly, sitting down, smiling at them as they sniggered about something.

“Hey,” Jack and Jason said simultaneously.

“What’s so funny?” he asked, sipping on the iced tea he’d got and still trying to figure out what he wanted to have for lunch.

“The new recruits,” Jason snorted.  Jack nodded with a groan.

“And I thought Lt. Satterfield was a twit.  Sheesh.”

Daniel grinned.  “Hey, at least she shot me.”

“You weren’t exactly a moving target, Daniel.”

“I know, and I deserved it.  At least Sgt. Grogan stopped getting himself shot later on.”

Jack sniggered with disgust.  “After the first real shot got him, I think he learned to move a lot quicker.” Jason sniggered with him.

“So….I found a new pizza place and was wondering if you guys wanted to have dinner there tonight or if I should just bring some home.”

Jason and Jack made disappointing groans, shaking their heads.

“Rotten timing, Daniel.  We volunteered to ‘test’ the new recruits at the training ground,” Jack told him with an apologetic tone, though he and Jason were still sniggering.

Daniel made no bones that he was disappointed in the extreme.  “Fuck.” He sighed hugely as his lovers gave him apologetic looks.  “So the recruits are the reason you two have such evil looks on your faces?” Daniel asked.  They sniggered again.  “How long’s this one last?”

Jason winced.  “The rest of this week and then next, Daniel.  Tonight we have to stay a little late to prepare the missions.  Sorry.”

“Me, too, Daniel,” Jack added, giving him a sincere look.

Daniel shrugged.  “Well, shit,” and taking a sarcasm page from Jack’s book, he added, “The pizza place will still be there, alien incursion permitting,” and he received rolled eyes of support on that one.  Sam and Teal’c spotted them and walked over with their lunch trays, sitting down across from Daniel.

“What’s going on?” she asked as Jason and Jack traded a few more disparaging remarks.  Daniel told her with a disappointed growl.

“I, too, have volunteered for such an assignment,” Teal’c revealed with a smug expression and Daniel rolled his eyes.

Jack and Jason grinned maliciously.  “Cool.  The three of us can give ’em hell.”

Sam rolled her eyes, then gave Daniel a meaningful look.  “That’s exactly what it would be, too.”

Daniel smiled at her, nodding in agreement.  “Poor bastards don’t have a chance.”

Jack and Jason got up then.  “Well, gotta go,” Jack said, then cast a long look at Daniel.  “See you later?”

Daniel looked up.  “You know where to find me unless you two are staying here on base tonight.”

Jack and Jason shook their heads, indicating they weren’t and gave him abject looks of apology as they headed off together.  Daniel watched them, sighing to himself.  It didn’t go unnoticed.

“You feeling left out?” Sam asked as she took a bite of her food.

“Not from that stupid training, no.”

“I didn’t mean that.”

“Oh.  Yeah, I am feeling left out.  I just realized that I’m going to be doing stuff by myself for the next ten fucking days.” He smiled at her to take the harshness out of his words.  “Sorry.  I looked forward to spending time with them and now they’re off to do that crap.” He forced himself to push the bad temper from his mind.  “So, you doing anything this weekend, or next week?”

She shook her head.  “Other than the usual stuff I have to do during the week, then the things Janet and I do on the weekends, other than trying to catch Cassie putting on way too much makeup.”

Daniel snorted.  “Well, I found this new pizza place.  If you and Janet want, we can always go out to dinner there sometime.”

Sam brightened.  “Sure, this Friday?” and he nodded.  “Okay, but could we get the pizza to go?”

Daniel nodded, not really knowing, sensing she really did have plans.  “I think so.”

Sam smiled gently at him.  “I was planning on giving Janet a wave perm Friday night but we can also do pizza.  You could make fun while I roll up her hair.”

Daniel wrinkled his nose.  “Not after the last time, Sam.  That stuff is foul.”

Sam shook her head emphatically.  “Not this time.  I found a new product that doesn’t overwhelm the local environment,” and Daniel sniggered.

Daniel eyed her with doubt.  “Okay, but if that stuff even starts to reek, I’m calling the hazmat team.”

Sam smiled.  “Deal.  It’s a date….though…” and winked at him, “…not a date date.”

Daniel gave her a teasing smile.  “You’re loss.  Though after that shaving cream incident…”

Sam started to choke, then got herself under control.  “Shaving gel.  Don’t you ever threaten us like that again.  Good God, Daniel, you scared the piss out of me…and it took me ten minutes in the damn shower to get that shaving gel out of my hair.  Do you know how concentrated that shit is once it foams up?  Holy shit.  I had visions of a razor running across my skull.”

Daniel was sniggering madly.  “Then don’t ever put mascara on me again, Sam, or I swear you and Janet won’t be needing salon treatments for a long time.”

Teal’c raised an eyebrow as he’d heard mention of that incident he was told about after the fact.  “I still do not understand the humor in applying makeup to Daniel Jackson’s face.”

Sam sniggered and so did Daniel.  “Me neither, Teal’c,” Daniel replied.  “I would never do such a thing to Jack or Jason.”

With a mouth full of Jell-O, Sam said, “Liar.”

“Hey, I value my life, Sam.”

Sam sniggered.  “You and me both.”

For the next 2 weeks, Daniel saw Jack and Jason only periodically at work.  Though their sex life had dwindled to nothing, Daniel had expected that.  Those weeks of training Lt. Elliot’s team hadn’t left much for personal time, especially for Jack and Sam, so Daniel was prepared for it.  Now it was Jack and Jason who were kept busy.  Whenever Daniel had met up with his lovers, they had seemed genuinely glad to see him, even though it had usually been in the cafeteria so nothing but hellos were exchanged along with general conversation.  When Daniel talked with them about what they were doing, he couldn’t help but feel excluded and out of the loop.  He shrugged it off, dismissing it as his feeling a little bit sensitive to the overlapping anniversary dates of his late wife.

Daniel idly wondered if his lovers were having covert sex, then shook that thought off.  Probably not.  Not while they’re on duty, and especially not during training.  They were considered on duty 24 hours a day (even though, technically, they all were) and his lovers were too professional to risk their jobs in getting caught.  Even with this rational explanation, the thought of not being able to simply talk and bond with them made Daniel feel all the lonelier.

After the training was over, Jack and Jason were somewhat exhausted, though most of that was mental.  They’d gone home before Daniel had left his office and no message of any kind was left for him.  Daniel stood in front of his bureau, staring at his phone.  He was going to pick it up, then decided not to, figuring they would be sleeping.

Daniel wasn’t wrong, for that was what they were doing, separately and alone.  Jason and Jack missed Daniel a lot and missed being close with each other as well.  They had thought about calling him, but they’d been too tired and figured to do that in the morning.

Finally getting together with Daniel on Saturday afternoon, they shared stories with him as they’d eaten a pizza from Daniel’s new pizza place and Daniel started to feel as if they really did want to share things with him.  Then their attention had been diverted by more football and the momentary peace Daniel had found started to erode away again.  In an effort to drive it away, and his need to be with them, he’d watched the games with them, trying to find some sort of common ground again.

By Sunday night, Daniel was feeling even more excluded from his lovers because he hadn’t been able to get into the games and had become quickly bored.  Though their sex life was as passionate as it had always been, Daniel was starting to think that that was the only thing they had in common anymore.  He shook that thought away and tried to focus his mind on other things and for a while, it worked.

The next week didn’t bode well for Daniel’s encroaching feeling of loneliness.  The gnawing feeling that he didn’t have much in common with Jack or Jason anymore began to eat at him and he never once took into consideration that he was overreacting.  Instead, he began to wonder just what it was that they did have in common.  It was further worsened on Tuesday when Daniel asked them if they wanted to come over and watch a few movies that coming weekend.

“Uh, sorry Daniel, but we have to get our flight time in or we lose status and our flight pay.” Jack had sounded bummed about it, and so had Jason.  Nevertheless, Daniel felt further away from his lovers than he had before.  It wasn’t that they didn’t love him.  He was certain that they did.  It was only that they didn’t seem to have time for him, to share time, to do things with him.  They seemed to have time for each other, however, considering all the time they spent together outside of their missions.  In fact, he’d never seen them closer.

On Thursday night, Daniel came home, mentally tired after a hard day and as he sat down on the couch, he saw Shau’re’s picture on the shelf and his eyes quickly moved to the calendar on the wall.  He realized that Friday was the day.  The anniversary of Shau’re’s literal death.  He wanted to call in sick but knew that he couldn’t.  He really did have some work to do, and he also knew that if he did call in sick, he’d get the wrong kind of attention.  Which was funny when he thought about it.  He’d wanted Jack and Jason to take some time out for him for reasons other than making love, but this wasn’t it.

At work the following morning, he made the usual rounds, letting conversation and faces go past him in a haze, as if he were walking around on auto-pilot.  At last, freed from briefings about next week’s mission, and left alone to work, he holed up in his office all day.  He didn’t have to worry about Jason, as SG-2 was off on another mission.  He hadn’t even had a chance to say goodbye, but with the recent weeks’ events, that was to be expected.  Sighing, he forcefully thrust aside the feelings of grief and concentrated on his work.

. .

Around 2 pm, Teal’c came to see him.  He’d been avoiding Teal’c most of the day and was hoping Teal’c wouldn’t feel it necessary but he was fooling himself.  He knew the Jaffa better than that, and Teal’c’s permanent guilt over the killing of Amaunet, and therefore Shau’re, would always place him forever in Daniel’s debt.

He stood there looming in his doorway and Daniel knew he was there the moment he appeared, even though he hadn’t seen him.

“Come on in, Teal’c, and shut the door behind you,” Daniel said, putting down his pen.  He really didn’t want to do this, but he sucked it up and put on a brave face.

Teal’c shut the door and stood a few feet away from his desk, his arms behind him as usual.  “You are uncomfortable with my being here.” It was a statement, not a question.

“Yes.” Daniel sighed.  “It’s not necessary to seek me out and apologize for something you’ve already apologized for.  I’ve already forgiven you, and accepted that what you did, had to be done.  Why go over it again?”

“Is it your wish that I leave?”

Daniel could see that Teal’c was feeling the guilt of his actions just as keenly as he had when it had happened, so he got up and went to the side of his desk and sat against it, folding his arms.  He indicated that Teal’c take the seat in front of him and surprisingly, Teal’c did as he asked.  Daniel looked at him carefully for a time and decided to get to the heart of the matter.  He was rather proud of himself that his voice didn’t waver when he spoke.

“Listen to me, Teal’c.  I know you will feel guilt over this for the rest of your life.  So will I for ever having opened that stupid gate on Abydos.  But the facts are that we did what we did and some things just could not have been avoided.  There are so many things that you and I could have done differently and as a result, things would have happened differently but the more I think about that, the more certain I am that events would probably have yielded the same results.  Apophis might have come to Abydos by ship, in which case I wouldn’t even be here, at the SGC, and I might even be dead.  There is also the fact that you could have disobeyed your master and also ended up dead.”

“That much is certain.”

“Okay, so…this part is very important, Teal’c and it’s something we’ve been avoiding talking about but I think you’ve been expecting me to say it….and have probably been wondering why I haven’t.  Okay, so here it is.  You could have chosen someone else, couldn’t you?”

Teal’c nodded.

“But I also think that you knew that Amaunet would have chosen Shau’re eventually.”

Teal’c tightened his jaw and stared into Daniel’s eyes.  “I had suspected.”

“So, instead of putting all of those other women through the same torture as the Air Force sergeant that was kidnapped and the other women who were there who’d gone before her, you thought to spare them, didn’t you, by picking Shau’re.”

Teal’c nodded once but looked away, at some point past Daniel’s shoulder.  “Considering their fate later on, death might have been preferable.”

Daniel shrugged.  “Maybe, but it was a choice for them to make and you let them make it instead of handing them their deaths at the hands of a snake and that damned hand device.”

Motionless, Teal’c said in a flat tone, “It is a painful death.”

Daniel sighed.  “I know you are sorry and repentant for what has been done.  She was my wife, and I will grieve for her for the rest of my life, and maybe you will too, but you should not keep seeking forgiveness that I’ve already given.  Do you understand?”

Teal’c looked back into Daniel’s eyes and he seemed to relax minutely.  He stood up.  “I understand.”

“So, come this time next year, you won’t be looking for it, right?”

“I will not.  But you will not mind if I grieve with you?”

“No, Teal’c, but I do prefer to grieve in private, alone.”

“Colonel O’Neill understands your pain, as does General Hammond.  Could they not help?”

Daniel was silent for a long moment.  “They….would help…but they can’t.  Not this time.”

“I understand,” and he paused for a moment.  “You have never spoken to me about this.  Perhaps things have changed.  Are you still my friend, Daniel Jackson?”

Daniel gave him a puzzled look.  “Of course I am,” and then surprised Teal’c by giving him a big hug.  Teal’c then surprised Daniel by returning it.

“I am glad,” Teal’c said, releasing him.  “I will go now.  You will be working late again?”

Daniel shook his head.  “I’m going to go ask General Hammond if I can go home early.  I’ve already got most of my work done and this translation isn’t vital to anything right now except my own curiosity.”

Teal’c smiled, in his own way, then gave Daniel his typically short bow and left his office.  Daniel hadn’t lied about leaving, either.  After this discussion, he needed to get the hell off the base before something set him off, either into a rage or into a sobbing fest.  He felt rather proud of himself for not losing his temper or not giving in to his warring emotions.  Making sure he had his key card, he closed his door and went to see the General.

. .

Knocking on the door, Daniel waited until Hammond got off the phone and waved him in.  He knew it was serious when Daniel shut the door.

“Sir, I’d like to go home early, if that’s okay.”

“Is there something you have planned?” Hammond asked but he had a feeling that that wasn’t the case.

“No, sir.  If I could go to Abydos by myself, I’d request that, but…instead I’d just like to go home.”

The moment Daniel mentioned Abydos, Hammond knew what the matter was.  He looked at the calendar and Daniel thought that maybe Hammond had figured out what was wrong.

Hammond nodded sympathetically.  “Take your time, son, but remember, I do need you here on Monday morning.”

“I know, sir.  It’s just for today.  I don’t know if I’ll be around my home over the weekend, but regardless of where I am, I’ll have my cell.”

Hammond nodded and gave his sympathies.  “Sir, I’d appreciate it if you’d do me a favor, though.”

“Whatever I can do.”

“Don’t tell Jack why I’ve gone home.  I know SG-2 is due back later today and I don’t want Jack telling Jason, either.” He didn’t mind using Jason’s name in front of Hammond because Hammond was aware of their close friendship.

“Is there a reason, Dr. Jackson?”

“You know how Jack is with his possessiveness?” Hammond nodded.  “His mother-henning?” Hammond nodded understanding then.  “He’d drive me insane.  Besides, I really do need to be alone and they’ll just come over and want to help and I just might snap at them and I don’t want to do that, so…”

Hammond agreed, reluctantly.

Before Daniel opened the door, Hammond added, for the first time sharing a bit of his own grief and addressing Daniel by his first name.  “It’s not easy to lose a wife, Daniel.”

Daniel, his hand on the doorknob, turned his head to look at the General, then his eyes fixed on a corner of the room, thinking of his answer.  He looked down at the floor, then back to Hammond, and answered the only way he could.

“No, sir.  It’s not easy to lose anyone you love.” Neither of them added a thing to that as nothing was needed.  “Goodnight, sir.”

“Goodnight, Dr. Jackson.”

. .

Daniel left quickly, locking up his office, and getting off the mountain before his teammates noticed.  He knew that this would piss Jack off from his position as team leader and CO, but he couldn’t have cared less at the moment, despite his earlier reasoning of getting the wrong kind of attention.  From a personal point of view, he knew that Jason was planning on taking Jack to a stock car race the next day so it wasn’t as if Jack would miss him all that much.  That was a lie he told to himself, but frankly, he didn’t care about that, either.

. .

Daniel stopped off at the liquor store and got two bottles of Jack Daniel’s whiskey; two, just in case his liquor tolerance increased when he wasn’t looking.  When he got home, he changed, took a shower, put on some music, ate something, then sat down with Shau’re’s picture in his lap and got as quietly drunk as the proverbial skunk.

Jack had gone to Daniel’s office to ask him to go with him to greet SG-2 home and was not happy to discover that Daniel had gone home early without telling him.  As his CO, it was protocol for Jack to know and it worried him; as his friend and lover, it was even more worrying.  Hammond hadn’t been very forthcoming either.  Jack changed into his civilian clothes as he waited the usual hour for Jason’s team to get medical clearance to go home, then waited the extra half hour for Jason to make his debriefing to Hammond.

When Jason found him waiting for him in the gear-up room, he automatically knew something was wrong because Jack usually went home and left him voice mail whenever he was returning from a mission.

“What’s wrong?” he asked as he changed.

“Daniel went home early and didn’t tell anyone but Hammond why.  Hammond wouldn’t say either so that means Daniel asked him not to.”

Jason frowned deeply.  “That definitely means something’s up.”

“Duh.”

Jason scowled at him.  “Well, don’t get pissy with me, Jack.  We’ll go over to his house and find out what’s wrong, okay?”

Jack gave him an apologetic look and in minutes, Jason was ready and they were on their way to the parking garage.  They’d been quiet in the elevator, and Jason’s frown had increased.  When they exited the elevator and made their way to their vehicles, Jason held Jack up for a moment, especially since his truck was parked a few rows away.

“Jack?”

Jack turned to look at him and saw the frown.  “What?” he asked, his own frown deepening too.

“When was the last time we spent time with Daniel?”

Jack blinked.  “A few days ago, why?”

“No, Jack, not that kind of time.  Just hanging out with him.”

Jack didn’t know what he meant so he said, “Um, yesterday in the cafeteria.”

“That’s not what I mean.”

“What do you mean?”

“When’s the last time we did anything with him?  Ever since he came back from that dig, we haven’t spent any real time with him.  I just realized that in the elevator.”

Jack thought about it for a minute.  “Well, we spent time with him last weekend.”

Jason shook his head.  “I was thinking about that, but he spent time with us, not the other way around.  And even though we’ve been busy during the week, the weekends have been stuff that you and I like to do, not what he likes to do.  I know we didn’t mean to but….I think maybe he’s feeling alienated.”

Jack’s frown increased because he knew that Jason was right.  “It’s not that we don’t want to, Jace.”

“No, but we’ve just been doing our thing, more or less, the ‘guy’ thing, you know?” and Jack nodded.  Jason went on.  “I know we haven’t done all that much together, especially not as a…um…trio…but still, we could do something.”

Jack thought about it and then shook it off.  “Let’s go see what’s going on and then we’ll work on that something, okay?”

Daniel didn’t answer his door after a round of loud knocking, so Jack used his key.  They walked in and found most of the lights off, as they could tell from the outside, but they found a few candles flickering on the coffee table.  Daniel seemed as if he were asleep, in his underwear, on the couch, but as Jack turned on the lamp, Jason groaned.

“Oh no.”

Jack looked to where he pointed and one unopened bottle of JD sat on the dining table while one bottle, three-quarters empty, sat on the floor next to the coffee table.  Right next to it was a box of tissues, and a whole lot of used tissues lay scattered around the floor and the coffee table and some lay around Daniel on the sofa.  One was still in his hand along with a picture frame he clutched to his chest, the facing turned inward so that Jack and Jason couldn’t see who it was.

Jack suddenly looked up at the calendar, as if forgetting what month it was, and he groaned, deeply.  Jason became alarmed.

“What is it?”

Jack sighed heavily and gently removed the picture frame from Daniel’s fingers and handed it to Jason, not bothering to look at the picture.  Jason took it warily and slowly turned it over.  His face became a mask of guilt and sorrow.  Shau’re.

“Fuck.  What is today?”

Jack moved some tissues out of the way, then sat down on the couch.  He ran his hand through Daniel’s mussed hair, staring at the days’ growth of beard that shadowed his face.  The skin around his eyes looked a little red and puffy and that told Jack that he’d been crying, not sneezy as the tissues might have suggested.  Jack looked over at Jason, who’d sat down on the coffee table.

“Anniversary of her death.  I never did know the exact date, but I’m sure he did.  It varies every year because of our calendar system.  Kind of like the equinoxes.  They don’t follow the solar calendar on specific days.  They follow the tracking of the sun.”

Jason nodded, already knowing that.  “I know he’ll be grieving for a long time, and probably for the rest of his life, but why wouldn’t he have let us in?  Let us help?  Even when we were just friends, I knew he’d grieved for her every year, but I never knew exactly when it was ’cause his moods were flightier then.  Out of respect I never asked, not wanting to intrude, but I should’ve remembered to ask now, dammit.”

Jack shook his head.  “He probably wants to mourn in private.  I did.  I still do.  As for why he didn’t say anything, it’s spilled milk, Jace.  We know now and we’ll help him.  That is, if he lets us.  Come on, help me get him to bed.”

They didn’t even wake him when they lifted him off the couch, then Jason picked him up and carried him to his bedroom.  Since Daniel was already in his underwear, there wasn’t any need to undress him.  Jack got some water for him and some pain relievers for the headache that he knew Daniel would have.  Since Daniel had gotten so drunk as to have passed out, it would be a safe bet he’d be throwing up in the morning too.

“Has he gotten shit-faced around you yet?” Jack asked him as they sat back down on the couch.

Jason shook his head.  “Only time we ever really got drunk, on purpose, was….” and he grinned, pointing his hand at Jack, then motioning to the bedroom.  Jack grinned back.

“Ah.”

Jason became serious just then, remembering Jack’s comment about mourning alone.  “If you ever need to have my company, you know, no talking, but just my company, for either of Charlie’s anniversary dates, I’m here.  I always will be.”

Jack looked at him, then looked away, nodding in acknowledgement.  “I know.”

In the morning, around 7:30 or so, it was as Jack had predicted.  Daniel awoke with a blistering headache.  About 22 seconds after that, he got up and ran to the bathroom.  His headache increased in pain and sensitivity as he threw up everything he’d eaten in the last two years.

Jack and Jason had been up and in the kitchen, putting off breakfast for a while and just having coffee, when they heard Daniel slam the bathroom door shut.  Jason got up and shook off Jack’s hand as he ran for the bathroom.  Jack grabbed him in time before he opened the door.  Jason scowled silently at him and Jack gave him a warning shake of his head.  They leaned against the wall, listening as Daniel began to puke his brains out.  Jason couldn’t take it and shoved Jack away.

“Fuck it, he can hate me later.” He opened the door and got an angry response.

“Jason, leave me the fuck alone right now.”

“Fuck that, Daniel,” he growled back.  “Hit me later, too, and no matter what, I’m helping so just puke and bear it.” At those words, Daniel puked again.  Jason was on his knees, cold washcloth in hand and on Daniel’s forehead (occasionally slipping to the crown of his head when Daniel would heave again) as he rubbed Daniel’s back.  Jack stood in the doorway, his arms folded.  He was feeling a little pissed off and irrationally jealous.  The last time Daniel had gotten drunk and Jack had tried to help, he got a belt in the jaw.

Jason was just begging to ask the pointless question, why did you drink so much when you knew it would do this to you? but he said nothing.  Jack turned ’round and retrieved the aspirin and water from the nightstand and put them on the bathroom vanity.  He then went and retrieved a small bottle of Gatorade from the fridge and came back to lean in the doorway again.  From the sounds of it, the upheaval in Daniel’s stomach was done for the moment.

More than a little embarrassed, Daniel flushed the bowl and turned away, slowly getting to his feet.  Jason tried to help, and though Daniel didn’t push him away, he didn’t take comfort in his aid.

“Would you leave me alone in here for a little bit, please?” Daniel asked in a harsh but quiet tone.  Jack leaned over and set the bottle on the counter, then backed up and let Jason come out.  Not looking at them, Daniel shut the door carefully.  Jack and Jason waited outside in the hallway, not wanting to leave.  They had a hundred questions but knew that they’d have to wait until much later to get the answers.

Meanwhile, Daniel leaned heavily over the sink, feeling a mix of contradictory emotions.  One was anger that he was being pampered and the other was a sense of gratitude that he was being pampered.  All he really wanted at that moment was for his headache and nausea to go away.

Rinsing, then wiping his face with the cold washcloth, Daniel took his aspirin, drinking it down with the small bottle of Gatorade that Jack had left for him.  When he opened the door finally, Jack and Jason were still there, waiting.  He barely looked at them as he made his way back to his room.  He waved them off at the door.

“Thanks, but I need to be alone.”

Neither Jack nor Jason said anything, each knowing that voices right now would only make Daniel’s headache worse.  They returned to the living room as Daniel shut his bedroom door and crawled back into bed.

. .

Daniel woke up and felt his stomach lurch.  He repeated his trip to the bathroom one more time, emptying a stomach that no longer needed emptying.  Jack and Jason stayed in the living room that time and for that he was oddly grateful.  His head was still pounding and he crawled back in bed, pulling the covers up over him and told himself that he’d stay there until he felt better.  He didn’t bother wondering why Jack and Jason were there, preferring to let his mind drift.  He finally emerged from his bedroom again around 1 pm, finding that his headache was finally abating somewhat and that he could at least tolerate a little light.  He wandered out to the kitchen, not opening his eyes to much, just in case, and grabbed another bottle of Gatorade from the fridge.  When he started to go back to his bedroom, his eyes, out of habit, found the other clock on the wall across the living room and saw that his lovers hadn’t left.  He stared in confusion, wondering why they were still there.  He forced himself to look in their direction, noticing vaguely that a football game was on TV, with the sound muted, while they were silently playing cards.  He frowned at them as he took a long drink from the Gatorade bottle.

“What are you two still doing here?” he asked in a quiet but gravelly voice.

“We thought you could use our company, even if you’re not up to it just yet,” Jason told him with a puzzled frown, looking up from his cards.

Daniel was still confused.  “But aren’t you supposed to be at some stock car race?”

Jason and Jack both made the same dismissive gesture and Jack answered this time.  “We can do that another time, Daniel.  Right now, you need us, so….we’re here.”

Daniel was even more confused.  “Well….thanks, but it’s not necessary.”

Jack and Jason gave him a hard stare.  “Yes…it is,” Jason said.

Daniel got irrationally mad and turned down the hallway.  “Well, you might as well go because I’m going back to bed,” and he added, mumbling to himself, out of their earshot, “and you picked a fine fucking time to spend the day with me.  Assholes.” His stomach started to fight with him again, but only with waves of nausea that do nothing but make you feel sick.  He entered his bedroom, closing the door behind him.  His mind, still feeling like mush, couldn’t seem to grasp why they’d want to be here with him if he was sick.  He didn’t seem to remember the times he was injured and they’d gone out of their way for him.  Falling back asleep, all Daniel could remember was feeling that this was a one-off, a last-time thing, and that he should be preparing himself for getting dumped.  And hadn’t he subconsciously been doing just that?

~

It was evening when Daniel woke back up again.  He knew this as his eyes focused on his bedroom blinds and saw no light peeking through.  He had no idea if he’d slept until Sunday until he hit the button on top of his alarm, telling him it was 7:43 pm, Saturday.  His head had tolerated the noise, and when he moved, Daniel found that the ache was indeed gone.  He sat up carefully anyway, waiting for his stomach to lurch again, but it didn’t and he did feel a bit better.  Lying around in his underwear for twenty-four hours made him feel gross so he got up and grabbed a fresh tee shirt and boxers, then wandered his way to the bathroom.  He stopped and listened, hearing the low thrum of the television but nothing else.  Shutting the door, he stepped into the shower and let the hot water run on him for a while as he allowed himself to think.

Obviously, they now knew about the anniversary.  Daniel suddenly remembered blowing his nose constantly as the tears streamed down his face.  He shook the image off, not wanting to dwell in that particular neighborhood anymore.  The fact that there wasn’t any conversation out in the living room didn’t necessarily mean that Jack and Jason were still there.  Part of him, a large part, hoped that they weren’t.  It would make the distancing he knew he had to do all the easier.  A smaller part of him, though, hoped they were there.  As soon as he thought it, he willed that part away.  No room for love anymore.  No room at all.

. .

Jack and Jason were still there.  They were working on their own version of a Scrabble game when Daniel came back out into the kitchen to fix himself some soup and down more Gatorade.  They tried to help, they tried to talk, but before they could do much of either, Daniel had deftly pointed them toward the door, promising that he would not be drinking anymore.  Reluctantly, they did as he asked and left.  On Sunday, Daniel worked a little, but mostly watched the History and Discovery Channels all day while he tried to gain his strength back with pasta and rice dishes.  His stomach was still feeling a little leery of meat, so he’d left that alone.  Jack and Jason both called him up twice.  First in the morning, asking how he was, then again at night, again asking how he was.  He gave them the same answer: fine.  Everything was fine.  It wasn’t.

By the following weekend, after Daniel hadn’t answered his phone, both Jack and Jason realized a pattern was developing – and had been developing not just this past week but for weeks before then.  Jack had double-checked, hoping he was wrong, but in the end, he wasn’t and he and Jason were very unhappy and very worried.  Daniel had been giving them excuses for not going home with them, staying late every night, and often not going home at all.  It hadn’t been because of work.  Jack had checked and the work Daniel was doing wasn’t needed right away.  He was making up ‘work’ for himself to do, even though he had a support staff now.

Early Saturday afternoon, Daniel still wasn’t answering his phone.  Jack called the mountain and found that he wasn’t there, either.  Using security as an excuse, and as a ‘just-in-case’ scenario, Jack entered Daniel’s house and looked around.  Jason stood by the bureau and spied a few brochures by the phone.  Picking them up in idle curiosity, he saw they that were museum brochures for new exhibits in Denver.  One of the dates was for that Saturday.

“Jack,” Jason called to him and when Jack walked up, Jason handed him the brochure.  Native American Folklore and Mythology, it read.  On the inside, a circled section of symposiums and an exhibition on Navajo sandpainting.

Jack raised his brow.  “You think he’s gone here?”

“The dates are from yesterday through this Monday, so yeah, I think that’s where he’s gone.” He frowned at the other one, whose dates were for the following weekend.  Native American Textiles: Traditional and Modern Methods in the Art of Weaving.  A few exhibitions and symposium dates were circled as well.  Jason pressed his lips together.  “I would have liked to have gone to the one today and would like to go to this one next week,” he said quietly, handing Jack the other brochure.  Jason then added, “I guess we haven’t given him a reason to think we’d be interested.”

Jack continued to read the information on the brochure, although it was absent, non-focused reading.  “No….we haven’t.”

“Remember what I said last Friday about us not spending time with him?” Jason asked.

“I remember.”

“So…now he’s distancing himself.”

“I know.”

“I know he loves us, Jack.  You can see it in his eyes when he just looks at us.”

“I know that too, Jason.”

Jason started to get irritated with Jack.  “Instead of agreeing, can you do what you usually do?  Shoot me down or find a solution?”

Jack grinned sadly at him, setting the brochures down.  “I’m afraid there’s nothing to do until Daniel gets home.”

Jason gave him a disgusted look, knowing Jack was right.  “So, we…what…wait for him to come home, then ask him if he’d like company next weekend?”

“We could do that, yeah,” Jack said, his voice curiously neutral.  Jason didn’t like it.

“What the fuck is the matter with you?” Jason said, raising his voice in sudden anger.

Jack looked up at him, startled, then realized what tone he’d used, and where his mind was going.  He shook it off, shaking his head.  “I’m sorry, Jason.  It feels like we’re losing him and part of myself went into self-protective mode.”

Jason looked back at him in exasperation.  He went over and put his arms around him, hugging him close.  “Don’t do that to me, dammit.  You scared the crap out of me.”

Jack snorted, confused.  “How?”

“I suddenly felt as if I were losing both of you,” he said, pausing.  “I think I’d rather have you shoot me.”

Jack pulled Jason away from him suddenly, scowling.  He shook him once, by his shoulders.  “Don’t ever say that, Jason.  Not even in jest.”

Jason’s face grimaced, then flushed a little with emotion, his own anger still apparent.  “I’m sorry, Jack.  I know that hurt and it was thoughtless, but….I wasn’t kidding.”

Jack loosened his hard grip but didn’t release him.  He pulled him into a tight hug.  “And that scared me.”

They held each other for a little bit, then exchanged a long, deep kiss.  They let go…reluctantly.  Jason cleared his throat.

“So….how about we leave him a message, two of them, from each of us, then wait.  He should be back by six.”

Jack nodded.  They left Daniel’s house, and in a short while, Daniel’s phone recorded two messages.

As Jason had predicted, Daniel got home around 6, feeling somewhat tired but on the whole, he felt okay.  He’d enjoyed the exhibits and a few of the small symposiums.  One of the men performing a sandpainting actually let him try his hand at it.  Daniel remembered the feel of the very fine yellow sand as it slipped through his fist and onto the section he was allowed to fill in.  He’d only ever been good at a few things artistically and he felt oddly pleased that he’d done rather well as a novice.  What he’d enjoyed more however was the few private discussions he’d had with two of the men, called shamans.  They used to be known as medicine men but Daniel felt that was a description used by ignorant white men and refused to use it.  He’d discovered that sandpainting wasn’t just an art form; its uses were for religious purposes only.

He looked over at the bureau as he took off his jacket he froze for a second, noticing that the brochures he’d set by the phone were now on top of the phone book.  He slid his jacket off slowly, then hung it up.  “So…you’ve been here looking for me.  That’s…” he said out loud, not bothering to finish when he saw the number two on his message machine.  His hand started to shake as he pressed the message play button.

“Hey, Daniel.”

Jack.  At the sound of his voice, Daniel’s gut tightened and his chest hurt.  He clenched his jaw as the message played.

“I believe you’ve noticed by now that we’ve been there, looking for you.  We thought maybe you’d like to go out but you’d already made other plans.” Jack paused, then went on.  “We need to talk, Daniel.  Tonight.  ‘Bye.”

Daniel didn’t like the sound of that….and he literally gated to the wrong assumption.  The next message played.

“Hey, it’s me.”

Jason.  At the sound of Jason’s voice, Daniel felt anguish threatening.  He missed him so bad.

“I, um, missed you today.  I saw the brochures.  I’d have liked to have…um, never mind.  I’ll tell you this in person.  I’ll talk to you when you get home.  I hope you had a good time.  ‘Bye.”

Daniel poured himself a quarter-glass of wine and leaned against the kitchen counter, thinking.

If they were planning on dumping him, then he’d best get it done and over with himself.  He set down his glass and went to the phone.  His mind had been emotionally shutting off for a week now, but the moment he picked up the receiver and started to dial, he paused and had to hold the receiver away from him, his hand shaking badly.  A tear fell, then another, then another, dropping in flat splats onto the note pad he kept by the phone.  His hand held the receiver in a tight fist as he tried to regain control; his other hand hung up the phone and began dialing again.  However, he still couldn’t complete the dial so he slammed the phone down, calling himself a chickenshit coward.

He sniffed hugely, wiping the frustrated, angry, and scared tears away.  “Goddamn it, get a hold of yourself.” He couldn’t dial the phone, though.  The fear in him wouldn’t let go.  Not caring if he ended up with another headache, he quickly drank the rest of his wine and poured another quarter-glass.  He drank that slower, but it was still gone in ten minutes as he shucked off his clothes and changed to his jean cut-offs and a white tee.  If he was going to get dumped, he would at least be comfortable and half-drunk so he could get mad and hit both of them.  Hit them?  The alcohol was obviously affecting his thinking and he sniggered at himself.

He fixed himself some fettucine and basil sauce, then sat down at the kitchen table, propped his feet up on the table itself, pushed the bowl of pasta in his lap, refilled his near-empty glass, picked up one of the books he’d bought at the exhibition and started to read.  He read and reread the same page a dozen times and still could not concentrate.  He ended up flipping through the book, looking at the photos.  Though he slowed his drinking down while he ate, he had a good buzz going when the knocker on his door sounded, startling him.  Dread filled him.  D-day.  He snorted derisively at the pun.

He looked over his shoulder but didn’t bother to get up.  Despite the fact that he’d been trying to focus his mind on the book, his mind had never left the thought of his soon-to-be-ex-lovers.  He’d also ran a gamut of emotions in under 45 minutes.  From tears of loss at the phone to a growing, boiling anger at the dining table.  A small voice from somewhere deep inside told him he was still feeling the grief from the anniversary but he stepped on it, telling it to shut up.

“Come in,” he yelled, then added to himself, “you will anyway.” The door opened.

Yeo, there they are.  Frik and fucking-Frak.  He giggled.  Jason and Jack halted a little bit as they heard the giggle.  Jason shut the door and the both of them hung up their coats.  Daniel noted it over his shoulder.

Well, looks as if this dumping party is going to take a while.  He poured himself another quarter-glass.  Jack and Jason approached him cautiously.

“Daniel…what’s goin’ on?” Jack asked, walking up and kissing him on the head.  Jason moved to Daniel’s side and squatted down.

“Hey,” and he reached up and stroked Daniel’s cheek with the back of his hand.  His usual private greeting that had Daniel confused as hell.  He frowned at them.

These guys really go all out to butter you up before dumping you.  Am I supposed to be mad or thankful?

Shoveling a forkful of fettucine in his mouth, Daniel asked, “Well, let’s have it.”

His lovers exchanged confused glances.  “Have what?” Jack asked, pulling out a chair next to Daniel and sitting down.  Jason remained where he was.  Jack pushed at Daniel’s arm.  “That is more our question to you, Daniel.  Let’s have it.  Out with it.”

Daniel was even more confused.  He sat up, dropping his feet to the floor, and put his bowl on the table.  He swallowed the remainder of the food in his mouth quickly.

“Me?  It’s you who’s doing the dumping, not me.” He quickly drank the wine in his glass.  Jack and Jason exchanged glances again, only this time with their mouths agape.  They blinked repeatedly in confusion.  Jason reached out and grabbed Daniel’s hand.

“We’re not dumping you, Daniel.  We wouldn’t ever think of such a thing.”

Daniel snorted derisively at him.  “Oh, so I suppose that what you’ve been doing is your slow version of it then?”

Having figured things out, they knew what he meant.  Jack reached out and touched his shoulder again.  “Daniel, we didn’t do that on purpose.  We didn’t mean to exclude you in anything.  We fucked up and assumed you wouldn’t want to go with us to games and races.”

“And so what, the training stuff was just a happy coincidence, right?” Daniel snapped, getting up from his chair, refilling his glass and walking away from them.

“Daniel, that wasn’t done on purpose,” Jason stated, following Daniel into the foyer.  Daniel stopped at the bureau.  “Daniel, should you be getting drunk again?”

“Yeah, well, I’ve never been dumped this close to Shau’re’s death so…”

Despite himself, Jason was getting mad.  He looked over at Jack who looked amazingly tolerant and that made him madder.  He turned back to Daniel, whose back was still to him.  “Didn’t you hear me the first time?  We’re not here to dump you.  Who the fuck said anything about splitting up besides you?”

Daniel tossed back his wine, not listening, and sniped, “That’s what the two of you are here for.  Isn’t it Jack?”

Jack was worried but only a little bit.  He knew they could fix whatever was wrong and he’d also seen this kind of drunk Daniel before.  Even with Daniel’s depressive mood, he was a little funny when he got like this.  Not now of course, but it would come, maybe, unless…uh oh.

Jason, on the other hand, hadn’t a clue and he was pissed.  He’d had enough with reasoning, little as it had been tried.  Scared and angry, he reached out and knocked the glass from Daniel’s hand and sent it flying, crashing, into the wall by the dining hutch, then he turned Daniel around roughly and…..hit him.  Right across the jaw.  Jason hadn’t hit him that hard, so he didn’t send Daniel flying, and Daniel fell backwards, landing with resounding plop on his butt.  His hand flew up to the side of his jaw while his mouth hung open, staring up into Jason’s angry, hurt face.  Jack’s mouth was hung open too and a smile threatened to escape the corners of his lips.  Before either of them could speak, Jason did.  Both of them could practically hear the hissing of steam coming off of him.

“You listen to me, goddamn it.  That was what you deserve.  You gave one to me for not coming to you and talking things out, and now I’m giving it back for the same reason.  It’s bullshit, Daniel!  Listen to me.  WE.  ARE.  NOT.  LEAVING.  YOU.  GOT IT?  FUCK!”

Daniel knew, suddenly, just by that outburst, and that Jason had actually hit him, that they weren’t leaving him.  They had some fixing up to do, that was obvious, but they weren’t leaving him.  They weren’t leaving him.  The relief inside him was earth-shattering.  Daniel knew now, beyond a reasonable doubt, that they were okay.  The reason for it was two-fold.  One, Jason had just given back what Daniel gave him a few months ago, and two, what Jason had done was exactly what Shau’re had done a month after Jack had left Daniel on Abydos.  He’d fallen into a mood, as he called them, a depression, missing his home for some unfathomable reason.  Shau’re tried to get him out of the mood and when nothing worked, she’d hit him, right across the jaw, just as Jason did.  Only Shau’re had hit harder.

For some reason, be it relief or shock, the damn alcohol, or the fact that Jason actually pulled his punch when he hit him, Daniel started to laugh.  Jack bit his lips and did the same.  Jason narrowed his eyes.

“What the fuck is so funny?”

Daniel laid back on the carpet and laughed quietly.  It wasn’t a belly laugh or a howl.  It was just a half-giggling type laugh that he had when he got drunk.  And it was the same reaction he’d given to Shau’re after she’d knocked him on his ass.  The symmetry of it wasn’t lost on Daniel, either.

“Daniel!” Jason demanded.

“I’m sorry, Jace.  I got it.  You’re not leaving.” Daniel looked up at him from the floor and held his hand out.  Thinking Daniel wanted help up, Jason grabbed his hand.  Jack bit his lips harder and started to laugh more, knowing damn well what was coming.  He shook his head.  Though Jason knew Daniel pretty well and knew him better than he did in some cases, he wasn’t used to these tricks of Daniel’s, most of which Jack experienced in the field.

Jason found himself being yanked down on top of Daniel and kissed within an inch of his life (and Jack idly thought that that would have worked in the field).  Jason started to pull away and then thought, What the fuck am I thinking? and kissed Daniel back.

Daniel rolled them over and trapped Jason underneath him, then pulled back, looking down into his face.  His hand came up to comb through his hair adoringly.  He now seemed completely sober, which of course, he wasn’t.

“Shau’re hit me once, just like you did,” and he snickered.  “Only she didn’t pull her punch.”

Jack smiled, relieved and happy that, for once, Daniel was able to say her name out loud without looking sad.  He went over and sat down on the carpet next to them.  His hand reached out and laced through Daniel’s hair, brushing it back.  “You wanna tell us more?  We’d love to hear more.”

Daniel glanced between them and he suddenly felt that he could really talk to them about her.  He stared at Jason’s hair as he fingered its strands.  “You remember Shau’re’s hair, don’t you Jack?” he asked, only a slight smile on his lips.

Jack kept his smile the same as Daniel’s.  “Curled and very dark brown.”

The corner of Daniel’s mouth went up as he played with Jason’s hair.  “She died her hair with henna.  Her hair was naturally raven black, like Jason’s.”

Jason caught his hand, stilling his movements.  He was startled, panicky.  “Is that why you…’cause I remind you…”

Daniel shook his head.  “No, Jace.  I’m with you because of you, not for any other reason.  As for why I do this, it’s because I love your hair.”

Jason couldn’t help but let his own laugh escape that time.  The compliment embarrassed him a little.

Jack nudged Daniel in the arm.  “Why’d she hit you?”

Daniel looked down at Jason and smiled.  “I was missing home and wouldn’t get out of the mood I’d dropped in.  She’d tried seducing me last of all, and that was working, for the most part…” and he smiled and looked at his crotch to indicate that that part of his anatomy had been cooperating.  Jack and Jason smiled knowingly.  “…but I still wasn’t giving her my full attention, so there I was, half-naked, not paying attention to her caress, and she stepped back and hauled off a right cross I’d never have expected to come from her.  Then she started cussing at me in that dialect and I only caught half the words, she was talking so fast….” Daniel’s smile suddenly faltered.  “I’d only ever let myself cry for her when I was drunk.” He paused for a moment.  “Last weekend……thanks for being there for me…..I’m sorry I tossed you out.”

Jack started to rub Daniel’s back, soothing him.  “It’s okay, Daniel.”

Daniel shook his head but didn’t answer.  Jason pushed him back, forcing himself and Daniel to sit up.  He brushed his fingers through Daniel’s hair, just as Jack had done….as Daniel had done with him.

“You can cry for her…if you want to…” Jason said quietly.  Daniel shook his head again.

“I’m afraid to…” and he bit his lip.  Jack hugged him then, from the side.

“You’re afraid to cry because you’re not alone and not stinking drunk…is that it?”

Daniel tilted his head and glanced at Jack.  “Sounds stupid, doesn’t it?”

He got a close hug then from both of them.  “No, Daniel, it’s not stupid.  It was the only way I ever let myself cry for Charlie.”

Daniel looked up at him sharply.  That was the first time he could ever remember Jack admitting to something like that.  He looked at Jason then, as if looking for some sort of condition, or rule, or…something.  Something to prevent him from letting himself go.  Jason didn’t give it to him.  Instead, he said,

“I’ve lost my parents, Daniel.  I understand grief.  I also understand the need to cry.  You’ll have to let yourself cry for her sometime….without the uh, help.” Daniel looked down then, into his lap, as Jason looked at Jack, silently telling him the same thing.

Jack was about to say something when Daniel’s movements stopped him.  Daniel dropped his head down at the same time he brought his knees to his chest and both his lovers felt, rather than heard, the soft sobs that came from him.  Daniel didn’t make a sound until Jack pulled his head to his chest and cradled him, beginning to rock.  Jason went with it, leaning against his back as if sheltering him.  He laid his head down behind Daniel’s shoulders and wrapped his arms around him.

The deep sounds, similar to when Jack held him from sarcophagus withdrawal, rose up and released from Daniel’s chest.  He cried long tears of grief, burying his face into Jack.  His lovers held him, rocked him, and let him cry.

~

A long while later, when no more sound came from him, and his body stopped shaking, they continued to hold onto Daniel, not wanting to let go.  Daniel felt the warmth around him and realized that he no longer felt that deep sadness.  His mourning for Shau’re would never go away, but Daniel suddenly felt like there was some hope of its strong emotional tie lessening.  He knew that crying was therapeutic, but the heaviness in his heart was somehow lifted….and it was all because of Jack and Jason.  They loved him.  They loved him so much they’d encouraged him to let go of his grief…and he had.  He felt better for it as a result.  His head felt a little giddy, as it was wont to do after a good cry, but he also realized that he needed to blow his nose.  Or something more embarrassing than crying in front of your lovers would happen.  Okay, so maybe snot running down the face came with crying but enough was enough.  He smiled inwardly.  He did feel better if he was able to laugh at himself.

Daniel sniffed hugely and said from somewhere under Jack’s arms, “I need a tissue or six,” and pulled himself up, sniffing again, holding the palm of his hand against his nose.  Jason sat back, still keeping an arm around him.  Daniel glanced at Jack and half-laughed.  “Unless you let me use your shirt.”

Jack smiled.  “Ah, what the hell, Daniel.  It’s already wet.”

That made Daniel laugh, then snigger.  “Okay, thanks, Jack,” and leaned in to blow his nose on Jack’s shirt.

Jack reared back, “Hey!  I was kidding!” and Daniel put on a huge, pretending pout.

“You don’t love me,” he sniffed, getting an arm around his neck from Jack as he pulled him down to the carpet.

“You, yes; your snot, no,” he replied, making both Daniel and Jason laugh that time.  He pulled Daniel’s shirt up and started to wipe his face for him, getting Daniel to protest, to fight back.  “Here, use your own shirt while Jason grabs your tissues.” With that, Jason retrieved the tissues quickly while Jack made Daniel laugh even more while they fought for control of Daniel’s shirt.

Getting the real thing finally, Daniel blew his nose, loud and long, getting teasing rounds of ‘tugboat’ and ‘foghorn’ thrown at him.

The air was definitely lighter than when they came in but their making up wasn’t quite done yet.  Just one more thing to clear up.  Daniel knew it, too, which was why his laughter was never full and always held back.  His lovers seemed to have sensed the serious change in mood, so they waited a moment.

“You wanna tell us what else was wrong or shall I make an effort at figuring it out?” Jason asked him.  Jack looked at him and pushed at Jason’s head.

He already figured it out, Daniel.  Last weekend.  We were hoping it was just our imagination but then you started distancing yourself from us….” he shrugged and left the rest unsaid.

“Part of this is our fault for not noticing what we were doing,” Jason said, pushing back at Jack.  Daniel watched the two of them, blowing his nose one more time.  He was still amazed at how close they’d become.

Not answering directly, Daniel got to his feet and helped them get to theirs.  “I need to wash my face,” he said, motioning them to follow him.  When in the bathroom, and after running a cold washcloth over his face, he finally voiced his thoughts.

He gave them both a long look, then said, “Do the two of you realize how close you’ve become while I was gone on the dig?”

They looked at each other, then back to Daniel.  Collectively they shrugged, as if it was nothing, but Jason voiced it.  “I was very glad for it, actually.”

“I am too, Jace,” Daniel said, “It’s just that I got a bit envious and felt left out.  I blamed it on my grief at first, which is why I didn’t say anything.  But then I didn’t realize that my grief was making me overreact.” He wiped at his eyes, blinking, then grabbed the saline drops from the medicine cabinet and flushed his eyes with it.  Blinking again, he wiped his face dry with the hand towel.

Jack was watching him carefully, however.  He folded his arms and looked down.  “Um, Daniel?” and then he looked up again, finding Daniel staring back.

“What?”

“That’s not all there is to it, is there?  Why you didn’t say anything when you felt we were leaving you?” Daniel looked away and covered up his hesitation by rinsing out the cloth again.  Jack moved past Jason to stand next to Daniel.  He wouldn’t take his eyes off of him.  “We’ve been through this already.  Whenever there is a problem, you want us to come to you, and we want you to come to us, but this time it was different, wasn’t it?”

Daniel forced himself to answer, no matter how embarrassed he was feeling, but he took his time with it, trying to find the words.  He simply nodded at first, rinsing the water from the cloth, then shutting off the water.  He turned around to find Jack and Jason looking at him and he suddenly felt as if the bathroom had become much too small.  “Um, let’s get out of the bathroom, okay?” and he slowly left, moving back down the hall, deliberately avoiding the bedroom.  He sat back down in his chair and then remembered his wine glass was now shattered against the wall.

In the meantime, Jason, after getting two beers from the fridge and handing one to Jack, set about cleaning up the mess he’d made with the wine and wineglass.  He grabbed a sponge and a few paper towels and started cleaning off the wall first.  Daniel went to help, grabbing the garbage can along with a small short broom and dustpan.  Jack sat down and watched them, not feeling the least inclined to help since it was their mess to clean up, metaphorically as well as literally.

“So what was different this time?” Jack asked, prodding Daniel once more.

Daniel paused in his picking up small pieces of glass.  He still hadn’t a clue how to explain himself, so he just spit out the rough version.  “I thought that if I mentioned it, it would give you the window you were looking for to break up with me.”

Jason turned to him then, looking down as Daniel squatted next to the broken glass.  “Daniel…our relationship isn’t a puzzle or a cardboard cutout or a goddamn teenage love affair.  We don’t ‘break up’ as far as I’m concerned.”

Without looking up, Daniel continued with what he was doing.  “I know that, Jace.  Now more than ever.  It’s just….”

Jason stopped what he was doing, setting the sponge down.  He’d wiped the wall down anyway, and any other spots of wine he’d found.  He grabbed Daniel by the hand, then grabbed his beer, nodded at Jack, then firmly escorted Daniel to the couch.  “You want some more wine?” he asked, not sitting down.

Daniel rubbed on his knee.  “Yes, actually.”

Jack sat down as Jason refilled a new wine glass and handed it to Daniel before sitting down.  “It’s just…?”

Daniel cleared his throat, unable to look at either of them.  He ran a finger around the edge of the glass and when he realized he was fiddling nervously, he stopped.  “I know I was overreacting but some of it was in reaction to my…jealousy, I guess.  I started to wonder….um, if we had anything in common besides sex.  If that’s all we were really together for.”

Leave it to Jack to bring levity into it.  “Well, of course it is, Daniel.  What else is there?” Jack received rolled eyes from both Jason and Daniel for his oft-used method of using humor to soften the serious side of things.  Jack went on anyway.  “Daniel….what’s not to love?  I admit I fell in love with you first, before ever having sex with you, but now, there’s no way I’ll admit that it isn’t a strong pull,” and he grinned at the double entendre, as did his lovers, “and of course, it would probably help if you weren’t so goddamn gorgeous and weren’t great in bed….but those are just my opinions.”

“Jack.” Daniel rolled his eyes again.  He set his wine glass down on the coffee table and sank back against the couch.

“Okay, sorry…but I’m completely serious, too.”

Daniel sighed.  “I know.  I absolutely love making love with you two.  No doubt about it.  But it also bugged me that there wasn’t much else to do…involving me.”

“That’s crap, Daniel,” Jason said with a frown.  “I’d’ve liked to have gone to the museum today to see that exhibition.”

Daniel looked at Jason intently for a moment.  “Really?”

Jason stared at him with exasperation.  “Daniel.  Navajo here!…well, partly.  The rest of me is Scottish and don’t even go there with the haggis,” and Jason affected a shudder.  “I am interested in my background even if I don’t know much or show much interest, but that’s one thing I’m not sure I’ll ever participate in.  Anyway, I’d like to go with you next weekend, if you wouldn’t mind some company?” he asked then, brushing the back of his fingers along Daniel’s arm.

Daniel smiled softly.  “I’d like you to come with.”

Jason smiled.  “Cool.  It’s a date.”

“What about me?” Jack asked.  Daniel raised his brow.

“You’re Irish, Jack.  No question.”

Jack smacked Daniel on the arm.  “I meant about next weekend.”

“I know,” Daniel sniggered.  “You sure you want to come?  Seriously, Jack?”

Jack raised his brow at Daniel, giving him that ‘ask a stupid question’ look.

Daniel cleared his throat, surprised.  “Ahem.  Okay, seriously, you might find the pottery interesting, but I don’t know if they’ll have any live demonstrations.”

Jack brightened, then frowned.  “But the brochure only said weaving.”

“Yeah, but there’s an amended project sign down at the show.  It mentioned pottery but I didn’t see a listing for a moderator or a guest lecturer.  It would be cool not to see you get bored at one of these things.”

Jack winced a little.  “I can’t hide that, Daniel, sorry, but only during lectures.  Put me in front of something to look at or do and I’m fine.”

“Don’t be sorry, Jack.  Ever.  Not about who you are.  I don’t want you forcing a change just for me.”

Jack tilted his head.  “Not a problem, then.” He gave Daniel a slowly spreading grin.  That grin always made Daniel smile back.  “So, are we fine then?”

Daniel looked at him carefully.  “About us, you mean?” Jack nodded while taking a sip from his beer.  “Yes, Jack, we’re fine.  It’s just that I got a bit insecure and I think it had a whole lot more to do with the anniversaries than anything else.”

Jason sat back quietly, contemplating what Daniel had said about their sex lives.  He wondered if that was what they were doing to him.  Just having sex with him and nothing else.  Both Daniel and Jack saw him deep in thought.  Jack reached over and nudged him in the chest.

“What’s up?”

“I’m just thinking about what Daniel said about sex.” He looked into Daniel’s eyes.  “I didn’t think that that was all there was to it but I’m having trouble trying to think of a relationship with you *without* having sex in it.  Does it bother you that much, Daniel?”

“No!” Daniel said emphatically, not wanting to make it appear that he didn’t want sex.  He did.  He always did.  “It’s just that I suddenly wondered how shallow our relationship was if my only involvement in it was sexual.  I mean, you guys not wanting to do things with me, me not wanting to do things with you—“

Jack growled, interrupting him.  “Daniel…how about you accept that you love us and we love you and that we have these huge differences.  It means nothing overall.  We’ll just have to consciously put more of an effort in doing things together.  How’s that?”

His lovers smiled.  Things were beginning to be settled and they could feel it.  All three of them palpably relaxed.

Jason then changed the subject.  “So, what did you learn today?  Anything new?”

Daniel nodded but didn’t elaborate.  He looked at both of them expectantly, as if they’d go on to something else, but they didn’t.  “So, give, Daniel.  What’d you learn?” Jack asked.

Daniel gave him a mild warning look.  “Okay, but remember Jack, you asked,” and he took a deep breath, glancing at Jason.  He wasn’t used to having his lovers as an audience.  “Um, well, what I learned was only a brief explanation, which is why I picked up some books to read further.”

Jason perked up.  “Books?” Daniel pointed to the table.

“Navajo art forms, such as the weaving and the designs and uses of sandpainting.” Jason retrieved the large soft cover books and sat back down.  He handed one to Jack, then flipped through his.  Daniel went on a little hesitantly but when he saw he had their attention, he gave a fuller explanation of the little he’d learned.  “Um, the designs were extraordinary,” and he looked at Jack, “and the sand paintings, or dry paintings, are a very old Navajo tribal art form that predates American history.  It’s spiritual in their meanings and powerful by Navajo Mythology.  Traditional sand paintings are used in healing ceremonies usually conducted by a medicine man or what I prefer to call a Shaman because they’re very similar to other cultural Shamans.

“The Shaman uses materials considered to have significance in the ceremony, made up of different colored sands gathered from around the Navajo region.  The paintings are made and destroyed in the same day, but usually take days to prepare for, and are usually inside a ceremonial room, or hut.  Their purpose is to restore balance and health, in individuals as well as more broad matters like the natural world around them.  Some of the religious ceremonies are known as the Blessing Way.  When the ceremony is done, the painting is destroyed, using a circular motion, moving inward, to destroy the design.  The sand is then brought back to nature by literally bringing it back to nature.” Daniel made a spreading motion with his hand as if he were tossing sand into the wind.  “I didn’t get to learn about the specific designs themselves in relation to the mythology but that’s why I bought the books.”

Jason and Jack were actually nodding their heads, though Jason’s interest was more significant, considering his heritage.  Daniel waited for questions, though he didn’t expect any.

Jack surprised him, asking, “So, did you find out anything that would relate to what you’ve found already in other cultures that tie into the Goa’uld or Asgard?”

Daniel almost raised a single brow.  “Um, actually, no.  The historical information on the ancestry of the Navajo wasn’t on display.  I did talk to a man, named Rick Black Bear, who said that there were books I could get that were only recently published in the last five years that expound on the disappearance of the Anasazi.”

Jason had been engrossed, coincidentally, in a section of his book that mentioned the Anasazi.  He looked up sharply.  “They’re considered our ancient ancestors, especially since Anasazi actually translates as cliff dwellers or ancient ones, depending on who you talk to in the Dine’ Nation.”

“Dine’?” Jack asked.

“Navajo,” Jason answered, turning to a place in his book that showed a map.  “In that region where they were flourishing, called the Four Corners, there are ruins indicating a great crossroads, that showed a kind of Trading Post, where peoples from the four directions would come in for an annual trade.  It’s assumed in a few theories that the region used to have more water there, and when the water dried up, along with the animal life, the Anasazi were forced to migrate.  Some of them, the majority of them, my grandfather said, disappeared off the face of the planet, while the rest of them just migrated into the mountain areas of Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico.  There is, of course, no actual proof yet where they went but there are the Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon ruins that tell us a lot.  You might like to see them sometime, Daniel.  Some of the stuff they have is eerily similar to Mayan building.”

“I’ve actually been there,” Daniel revealed.  Jason smiled at him, appreciative that Daniel’s knowledge went into this part of the country as well as outside of it.  Daniel smiled at him and went on.  “I may not have taken part in the excavation work, Jace, but I did know about them.  I haven’t been able to find any new information from those archaeologists that worked on the digs.”

Jack, the typical cynic, said, “Unless they found something they weren’t supposed to and it was confiscated.”  He was not so subtly referring to the government and the NID in particular.  None of them commented on that.  There wasn’t really anything to comment on.  They all felt the same.

Jason surprised Daniel by asking, “Were there any books on the language or was it just a visual kind of art show?”

Daniel regarded him carefully, sensing Jason was getting to something.  “Um, you know me,” he said, suddenly self-effacing, referring to his gift for languages.  “I did look.  It is a fascinating language.”

Jason’s mind was running.  He wondered if he should say it…or not.  It would be a revelation to Daniel and he’d likely think, considering his interest in linguistics, that Jason had been holding out on him.  Well, maybe it was time to reveal his own knowledge and ability, however limited.

Lanh.  Ut zah,” Jason replied, not looking at either Daniel or Jack, but down at a large image of a sandpainting.  He’d said it as if it were something he said every day, but his body tensed, waiting for their reaction.

Daniel was stunned.  He found a few things going through his mind at the same time.  One was that Jason actually knew another language.  Another was ‘so this was how he had such an empathy for Daniel’s work, not just because he had an artistic ability!’  Irrationally, Daniel started to get cross with Jason for not ever telling him.  A scowl started to form.

“Why didn’t you ever tell me you could–“

Jason quickly put up his hand, scowling a little at him.  “Hold on, Daniel.  I don’t know all of my Dad’s language.  I only know a little.  I left home at 18 and haven’t been back since.  I had a falling out with my grandfather.  My dad was an Army Military Police officer, you know, so I had access to the Navajo code.  My grandfather hated that we didn’t learn the language as it was meant to be learned.  He also hated that my dad was in the military.  He was very old-fashioned and anything to do with the American Military grated his nerves.  When I joined the Air Force, or wo-tah-de-ne-ih, grandfather hit the roof; said I was deserting my heritage.” Jason sighed, showing that that fight had hurt him.  “I didn’t see it that way but he got mad and stayed mad.  I remember what little I learned up to the age of 17, then I started focusing more on the math courses I’d need for flying aircraft.” He shrugged.  “I’ve tried to keep up with it but…” and he shrugged again, looking away, dismissing what he knew as if it were an afterthought.

Daniel forced himself to relax, trying not to take it personally that Jason didn’t tell him.  Regardless of his anger, he knew that how he sounded could be taken wrong, even by Jason.  “It’s a beautiful language, Jason, and one of the few I’ve never been able to learn.”

Jason nodded.  “It’s not widely taught, is it?” he added with sarcasm.

Daniel realized that Jason held some keen resentments, more than likely justified.  He’d likely been forced to hide his knowledge because of the reception he’d have gotten within the closed minds of the military.  Navajo as a second language wasn’t a needed skill.  Suddenly he said, “The Code Talkers won the war for us, Jason.”

Jason didn’t look at him, or Jack, for a few seconds, then gave them quick glances.  “Yes, they did.  But that’s not exactly common knowledge, now is it?”

Daniel pressed his lips together.  “Nor was their shitass treatment afterwards.” Jason shook his head, agreeing that the Navajo veterans were practically ostracized for a while, until the 1960’s.  He was gratified that Daniel knew that, but not surprised.

Jack raised his eyes.  Having been surprised at Jason’s guarded ‘language secret’, he got over it and accepted it quickly.  It wasn’t a big deal to Jack and he was frankly irritated with Daniel for getting mad, no matter the reason.  He now felt it necessary to say something.  “Even though it’s a Hollywood film, ‘Windtalkers’ is getting the word out.  Those few X-Files episodes helped, too.”

Jason had to remind himself that he wasn’t sitting with intolerant people.  These were his lovers, and as such, the most tolerant people he knew.  Well, except that Jack had this thing about the Russian military, but that was understandable.

“Why isn’t your ability on record, Jason?” Daniel asked, puzzled.  “If we ever run into the Anasazi, you could–“

Jason interrupted again.  “Huh uh, Daniel.  I couldn’t.  You know how language shifts and evolves.  English isn’t the same as it was 400 years ago.  Taking that into comparison, remember that the Anasazi have been gone a long, long time.  If they’re out there, they very likely speak something entirely different.  Wouldn’t you agree?”

“Okay, I’ll admit that’s likely, but Jason–“

“Daniel, don’t go getting me into translations ’cause I’m not–“

“I wasn’t.  I’m just sayin’….listen, the ancient Egyptian spoken on Abydos is different than Earth’s ancient Egyptian.  It’s only natural that the Anasazi would have their ‘transplanted’ language alter as well.  I’m not saying you could translate, but you might recognize the sounds of words, like I did.”

“It’s not likely,” Jason said skeptically.

“You never know, Jace,” Daniel replied with his usual optimistic outlook.

“It’s a moot point, Daniel.  We haven’t met any Anasazi,” Jason said with continued skepticism.

“Yet,” both Daniel and Jack intoned.

They were thoughtful for a few minutes.  During that time, Jack suddenly felt uneasy.  He periodically made ‘Indian’ jokes or used racial names.

“Jace, I hope you don’t take offense, but I never mean any harm when using the words ‘kemo sabe’ or–“

Jason interrupted him by holding up his hand.  Jack stopped talking.  Jason was giving him a warning look, shaking his finger.  “Don’t do that.  Don’t go overboard.  I can tell when something is a racial slur and when it’s not.  I’ll periodically inform people what typical words mean, and then let them make up their own minds if they want to continue using them.”

“Like?” Jack asked.

Daniel gave Jack a disappointing frown, though he really shouldn’t be surprised.  “Kemo Sabe translates close to something like Soggy Shrub.” Jack’s eyebrows went up.

“The Lone Ranger’s so called Indian sidekick?” Jason half-asked.

Jack nodded.  “Tonto.”

“Tonto translates to stupid.”

Jack’s eyes widened.  “You’re shitting me?”

Daniel and Jason shook their heads.  “Nope,” Jason said, taking a sip from his beer.

“Shit.  That sucks.” Jack was serious for a moment, but Daniel and Jason knew him and they waited for it.  “Well, what about…” and he noticed their grins of sarcasm.  “Chief?”

Jason started laughing, looking to Daniel.  “He does that all the time.”

“Chief means chief, Jack,” Daniel said, sniggering.

“So…if I call you that…once in a while…you’d….what?”

Jason gave Jack a mischievous smile.  “Smack you in the head.” Jack frowned.  “Kidding, Jack.  But I don’t really like ethnic nicknames so just leave it to bastard, asshole, the usual.  Of course, you might use my name.  That would be good.”

Daniel laughed at him when Jack rolled his eyes at the sarcasm.  Jack pushed at him for laughing, then decided to make sure things were fine.  Sometimes anger took a while to leave, even when you laughed.  “Soooo….Daniel, are you sure we’re okay…on everything?”

Daniel smiled and grabbed Jack’s shirt front, pulling him in for a kiss.  “Yes, Jack, we’re okay….on everything,” then he let him go.

Jack licked his lips slowly.  “Good.”

“I should hope so,” Jason then replied, cupping Daniel’s face in his hand, looking at the small bruise forming and frowning.  “I’m sorry, Daniel.  That’s going be bruised for a few days.” Daniel pulled Jason in by his shirt front and gave him the same short kiss he’d given Jack.  When he let him go, he gave Jason a very specific look.  He put Jason’s book down on the coffee table, then leaned back, sidling closer, snuggling up to him, his hand brushing over his chest and down to his abdomen.

“You know more Dine’ words, Jason?”

“Yes,” Jason said warily, wondering just what Daniel was up to; part of it was obvious and he was definitely up for that.  “You think you’d be interested in a lot of make-up sex?” He ran the back of his fingers over the obvious outline of Daniel’s clothed cock.

Daniel looked at him, then at Jack.  Jason’s fingers were getting his body in the mood.  “Yes.  But how about I hear some words first?” Both Jason and Jack smiled with a bit of confusion.

“Why now, Daniel?” Jack asked, snuggling up to his other side.

“I just want to hear some.  Will you humor me?” Truth was, Daniel had a reason.  His reaction to hearing the words spoken to him would be his answer to them.

Jason looked at him even more warily.  “Okay, but if you laugh–“

Daniel put a hand up, as if taking an oath.  “I swear, not for that.  I wouldn’t ever do that anyway.  Now, talk to me.  Tell me something in your regular voice, as if you were simply speaking to me.”

Jack nodded at Jason when Jason looked to him for backup, so Jason took a deep breath and thought about what to say.

“Okay, here goes…..ye-nas-teh…..nih-tsa-goh-al-neh…..ha-gade…..”

The effect on Daniel was astonishing.  His breathing shortened and his heart started to pound.  His hands started to caress, his eyes blackening at every word, half-lidded and hungry.  He brought his knee up over Jason’s thigh, his calf caressing his lower leg, twining around to eventually hold him down.  Daniel didn’t know why the mysterious words excited him; they just did.  And now, Holy Christ, he wanted Jason…and wanted him very badly.

“More….” he whispered, his eyes never leaving Jason’s face….his lips.

Jack and Jason exchanged glances of surprise…Daniel’s reaction was turning them on extremely well.  “Jason…go on,” Jack encouraged, needing to see what else Jason’s words would do.

Jason looked at Daniel and smiled, then his voice became quiet, purposely seductive and alluring.

“Na-hot-nah, hash-tay-ho-dit-ne, bilh-has-ahn,” he said as he leaned in to nibble on the lobe of Daniel’s ear.  “Ye-na-zehn, yah-tay-go-e-elah….ha-gade…”

The deep rumble of his voice in Daniel’s ear did it.  Daniel stopped further communication with a passionate, fiery kiss, pushing Jason onto his back.  Jack leaned forward, almost over them, to whisper his own words into Daniel’s ear.

“Volo te,” he whispered, pulling just a little too sharply on his ear.  “Facis me amens.” Daniel’s reaction was to moan loudly while he writhed against Jason, his fingers reaching back to find Jack’s thigh, clenching, and unclenching the jean material.  Jason sought out Daniel’s body with his hands, caressing, massaging.  They pulled up his shirt, then opened his cut-offs and slid his hands over Daniel’s ass, cupping, squeezing.  Daniel moaned with want, gasping as he broke the long kiss.

He pushed himself back, his face flush, his lips bruised and red and wanting.  He opened Jason’s jeans, yanking them down along with his short boxers to expose his groin.  Without so much as a word, he took Jason’s rock hard cock in his hand and began to stroke him while Jason gasped and moaned, gazing up into his face, thrusting as much as he could to meet Daniel’s hand.  He thought to have penetrative sex but this felt hotter somehow.  Daniel was certainly on fire.  Time to turn up the temperature.

“Ha-gade, ye-na-zehn, yah-tay-go-e-elah,” Jason repeated, not caring what he said at the moment just as long as Daniel reacted the way he did, pulling the pleasure out of him.  Daniel’s hand tightened and sped up at Jason’s words, and his breath shook with lust as Jack opened his jeans and pushed them down, then pulled Daniel’s cut-offs down as well, revealing both of their raging hard-ons.  Daniel moaned with want, with need, as Jack reached around to grasp his cock, caressing him skillfully as he moved his dick between Daniel’s buttocks, thrusting and rubbing.

Jack knew he shouldn’t move to get lube and he shouldn’t speak anything other than Ancient’s Latin.  Doing either would destroy their delicious momentum and he had no intentions to do that.  “Tu pulcherrimus es,” Jack whispered, running his free hand over Daniel’s chest, pinching nipples.  Daniel made a gasping moan as his breathing quickened, lost in the lust that Jack brought out of him when he whispered those words.  He panted noisily as he gave himself over to the feel of Jason’s cock in his hand, Jack’s hand on his own, Jack’s cock rubbing between his cheeks.  His mouth opened, his eyes closed, and his head dropped back slightly, consumed by his senses.

“Lanh, ye-na-zehn, Daniel,” he said huskily, his tone hungry, desperate, knowing he was going to come just by the sight of Daniel’s arousal.  He let it all go, not holding back, and his body flooded with heat.  He arched back, shutting his eyes, his hips thrusting up, begging Daniel for more, and suddenly cried out, “Lanh, Daniel!” as he came powerfully over Daniel’s hand.  Daniel squeezed harder, milking Jason’s orgasm from him.

Jack sensed Daniel’s orgasm was close, so he whispered, “Ego te amo,” as his hand increased in pressure and speed until Daniel cried out, “Yes!” and came hard, clenching and tightening his buttocks to grab Jack’s dick firmly.

Jack groaned and tightened his free arm over Daniel’s belly as he thrust hard, the head of his dick at Daniel’s entrance, pushing through.  The sudden heat made him cry out then, jerking his hips as he came just inside Daniel’s ass.  Daniel dropped his head back further, gasping, clenching, and unclenching his muscles to draw out as much as he could from Jack.  His hand never left Jason’s cock, gently stroking, pulling acute pleasure from Jason as he writhed beneath him.

Resting his head on Jack’s shoulders, Daniel waited for his breathing to slow.  When it did, he whispered, “I have no idea where that came from…..but I loved it.”

Jason opened his eyes, his own body finally quieting.  “Wherever it came from, Daniel, I want more.”

From behind him, Jack rumbled, “More…definitely…more.”

Daniel smiled and brought his unoccupied hand up the cup the back of Jack’s head.  “You got it,” he whispered and found Jack’s mouth with his own.

. .

A little while later, Daniel laughed suddenly, realizing that none of them had taken their clothes off.  He leaned down to give Jason a kiss, the sweat cooling on his upper lip, and smiled against his lips.  “Almost time,” and got up from the couch and headed for the bathroom to clean up, looking back for them to follow.  They did, cleaning up after him.  When they joined him in the bedroom, they kicked off their shoes and began working on their shirts and trousers.

Daniel stood by the dresser and he closed the drawer as he turned to look at them.  He put his hand out.  “Stop.  Don’t take your shirts off.  Leave them on, with your dog tags.  Everything else, off.” The sight of their button down shirts opened all the way, showing their chests was sexy as hell to Daniel.  He wanted them to leave their shirts on.

“Oooh, he sounds so masterful, doesn’t he, Jace?” Jack asked in a very deep voice.  That voice sent chills down Daniel’s back.

“Yes, Jack, he does.  I for one don’t care.  He’s ours,” and his eyes spied the bandanas in Daniel’s hands as he removed his jeans and boxers.  He reached out, taking them gently from Daniel’s hands.  “Isn’t that right, Daniel?” He pulled Daniel firmly against him and kissed him deeply.  When he pulled away, Daniel’s eyes were almost black.

“Yes.”

“What do you want?” Jason asked softly as his hands ran over Daniel’s body, removing his shirt.  He knelt down to remove his boxers, looking up at his cock bobbing in front of his face.  He teased himself, Daniel, and Jack by looking at it and pretending that he was going to take him in his mouth, but not once touching him.

Daniel looked down at him, wanting that mouth on him so bad, but he had other plans.  He needed their touch and knew he’d get it if he asked.  He laid down on the bed and slowly, very slowly, spread-eagled himself.

“Tie me up.”

“Christ, Daniel,” Jack whispered.  He took one bandana from Jason and they tied the bandanas around Daniel’s wrists.  When they went to tie them to the bed, they found that Daniel had actually installed rings into his headboard; three of them; at the sides and in the middle.

“Daniel,” Jack whispered again, “what have you been up to?”

Daniel didn’t answer him.  He gave them both lustful looks of want as he began to writhe, pulling at his bonds.  “Jerk me off,” he asked, looking at Jason.  Jason looked at Jack and a wicked grin spread across his face.  Jack had become accustomed to that look and he gave it back.

“What’s on your mind, Jason?”

Daniel was going to direct them, what they did, but as Jason smiled at Jack, he knew that he was no longer in control and was now, at their mercy.  He felt his cock throb at the very idea.

“Get on the other side of him, Jack.” Jason got on Daniel’s left and knelt.  Jack followed, on Daniel’s right.  Jason reached out then to caress Jack’s chest and he suddenly pulled Jack forcefully by the back of the neck and into a blazing kiss.  Jack responded, and as they kissed, he reached down and took Daniel’s cock in his hand, wrapping his palm around the shaft just behind the head.  His thumb came up and began to rub in circles over the head, spreading the pooled fluid around.  Daniel hissed and tilted his head back.

“Yes…” he moaned.

Jason let go of Jack slowly and leaned back on his calves.  He began to caress himself as he watched Jack jerk Daniel off.  His hand roamed over his chest while his other began to stroke the length of his shaft.  He stared alternately into his lover’s faces as he knelt up and began to thrust his hips, fucking his hand slowly, sensuously.  His eyes then motioned suggestively to Jack and Jack’s hand left Daniel and wrapped around his own dick.  He began to stroke, caressing himself as Jason was doing.

Their effect on Daniel was amazing.  Daniel’s original idea evaporated.  What was happening before him was turning him on badly.  He writhed, wanting their touch, needing their touch, but he also wanted to watch them jerk off.  He thrust his hips up, moaning suggestively, willing them to touch him.

“Jerk me off, please,” he panted.  His fingers clamped down over the rings and pulled hard, writhing his body even more.  Jack and Jason watched him, watched each other, as their hands moved slowly up and down the shafts of their cocks.  Jason’s other hand now cupped, then massaged his own balls and he let out an involuntary moan.  He tilted his head back and closed his eyes as he rocked his body in a slow rhythm to his hands.  “Jason…” Daniel moaned.  “Make me come, Jason.”

The words aroused both his lovers.  Jason raised his head and opened his eyes.  Slowly, reluctantly, his hands left his own body and he reached out to take Daniel’s cock and balls in his hands.  As before, his thumb rubbed over the head and his fingers squeezed and pumped, squeezed, and pumped, rising up over the head and back down the shaft.  Daniel tossed his head back, writhing even more, loving the feel, the beautiful heat that claimed him, sending him closer and closer to release.  Jason moved then, releasing his balls and straddled Daniel’s legs.  Daniel looked over at him, thrusting up with his hips as Jason’s hand slowed down.  Jack suddenly straddled Daniel’s chest and bent forward, rubbing his dick across Daniel’s mouth.

“Lick me,” he demanded softly.  Daniel looked up, panting, gasping as Jason worked him, building up the heat.  His tongue snaked out to lick across the head of Jack’s cock, bringing his lips over his hot skin.  Jack pulled away a little, then pushed forward.  He began to thrust, in very short, fast movements.  “Suck me, Daniel.  Please, suck me.”

Daniel pulled hard at his restraints and sucked the head of his cock skillfully, bringing Jack close to orgasm.  Daniel’s cock was being stroked harder and he pulled his head off of Jack’s cock.  “Oh God, Jason.  Jack, please, turn me over, now.”

Both of them moved quickly, not letting Daniel go for an instant, keeping the feeling of being restrained with him.  The moment he was on his stomach, Jason’s hand moved back to his cock, stroking him slowly, enticingly.

Jack grabbed the lube and set it next to Daniel’s body and as Jason jerked him off in slow, excruciating strokes, Jack ran his tongue over Daniel’s ass, making him cry out in surprise.  When his tongue entered him, Daniel’s cries of lust became continuous as he spread his own legs and raised his ass.

“Fuck me, Jack, please.  Fuck me.” He yanked on the rings, his fingers gripping tightly, and the action and sound both encouraged and aroused his lovers even more.  Jack reached down to caress Daniel’s balls and Daniel’s warned him.

“NO JACK!  I’ll come, I swear.  Please, fuck me.  Make me come that way.”

Jack tongued him for another minute, his hand leaving his balls.  He ringed him with the tip of his tongue, running around the outer edge, driving Daniel insane.  Jason suddenly pulled him up to his knees again, then kissed Jack hard, caressing him.  Jack got another lustful idea and he pushed Jason onto his back, next to Daniel.  He took his hands and put them over his head.

“Stay, or you’ll get nothing,” he ordered.  He straddled Jason’s hips and took his cock in his hand.  He began to skillfully jerk him off, his eyes never leaving Jason’s.  Jason’s face flushed and his panting increased to rapid gasps.  “Yes, Jason, come for me, come in my hand,” and he did what Jason did for Daniel.  He cupped his balls and massaged as his hand tightened, pulling, jerking, his thumb rubbing mercilessly over the head.  His fingers massaged and caressed his balls, bringing Jason closer and closer and closer…

“Yes,” Jason gasped, tossing his head back and squeezing his eyes shut.  His body arched and Jack’s hand squeezed harder and pumped faster.

“That’s it, Jace, that’s it.  Come for us,” Daniel crooned as he watched Jason’s face.  His body rubbed his throbbing cock into the sheets as he watched Jason get closer.

Without warning, Jack thrust a finger up Jason’s ass, twisting and thrusting in and out rapidly.  Jason tensed and cried out, his hands gripping the pillow under him viciously as the semen pulsed out over Jack’s hand.

“Yes, yes, yes,” Jack whispered, chanting.  That spurred Jason on and his head tossed back and forth while he gasped out strangled cries of bliss.  When he couldn’t take it anymore, he slumped his body to the bed, grabbed Jack and pulled him down on top of him, rubbing his semen into his skin as his mouth sought his for a long, deep kiss.  Jack smiled against the kiss, rubbing back, his hands roaming over him, feeling his body shake.  Jason finally let go, nuzzling Jack’s face.

“Love you,” he whispered.

“You too,” Jack whispered back.  He moved back and Jason turned onto his side to face Daniel, kissing along his forearm.

“Fuck him, Jack.  Make him scream,” he told him, making Daniel moan at the sound of his words.

Jack resumed his previous caresses on Daniel, jerking him off while he slid his tongue down the small of his back and into the cleft of his ass.

“Jack, Jack,” Daniel moaned, and then moaned louder, a gasp escaping him as Jack pushed Daniel’s legs wide and his tongue rimmed him again.  “No, Jack, no, you’ll make me come, you’ll make me come.”

“I want you to come,” Jack whispered as he continued, circling the sensitive nerves with the tip of his tongue.

“No, please, Jack.  I want to come while you fuck me,” Daniel begged.

Jack’s tongue continued to tease him and then stiffened once more and plunged inside three times and withdrew completely.  It was enough to drive Daniel to the brink and then pull him away.  Jack released his cock and slowly crawled up over him, running his tongue up his spine.  Daniel’s body shuddered and shuddered again as Jack bit along his shoulders while his cock teasingly rubbed against Daniel’s ass.

“Oh God, yes, yes,” and Daniel writhed again, his muscles rippling with sexual tension as he spread his legs more and raised his ass.

“Here it comes, baby,” Jack warned and sheathed himself inside Daniel in one long, slow stroke.

Daniel gasped and his breath hitched as the pleasure consumed his senses.  His orgasm was close and when Jack moved, it wouldn’t take long. “Oh God, Jack, move!  Fuck me!”

Jack felt it, too.  “Yes,” he growled, biting into Daniel as he raised his hips and pumped slowly a few times, then pistoned hard, increasing his speed.  Daniel’s moaning pants encouraged him to go faster and he reached out to clasp his fingers over Daniel’s as they grasped the rings.  “I’m going to fuck you hard,” Jack growled again, angling, and grinding before he got ready to do as he threatened.

Daniel felt his balls tighten and he screamed out, “NOW!” and Daniel bucked backward, slamming back against Jack.  The action made Jack cry out with highly charged lust and he bent his knees, pushing Daniel’s legs to the point of pain and then he began to ram him, over and over and over and over….

“OH GOD, JACK!” and Daniel was coming and coming.

“Daniel, YES!” Jack growled as his teeth clamped onto Daniel’s shoulder as he came hard and long, his body slamming into Daniel, fucking him into the mattress.  Not waiting for their bodies to relax, Jack’s fingers reached up, just as Jason’s were doing, to release Daniel’s wrists.

Daniel held onto the rings as his body spasmed, the semen still shooting out of him in small spurts.  His eyes were squeezed shut as he rode out the bliss of his orgasm and he suddenly felt Jack’s arms about him, then Jason’s, as he was pulled against them in another sandwich.  Jack was kissing him then, deeply, lovingly, while Jason kissed his neck, his ear, his face.

“I love you,” Daniel mumbled against Jack’s lips as he pulled away, feeling the high bringing him down for a nap.

“I love you too, Daniel.  Always,” Jack whispered, kissing him once more, this time soft, gentle.

Daniel tugged at Jason.  “Love you, Jace.”

Jason pulled on Daniel’s ear with his teeth.  “Love you back,” he whispered.  Daniel smiled, his eyes closed still, snuggling back against Jason, and bringing Jack with him.

The following weekend was a blast for the three as they were finally sharing in something they all found interesting, including Jack, who found a book on how the ancient Navajo made their pottery.  They learned about the close style of hand weaving used in blankets and rugs, and they even learned how to make their own corn maidens.  The kachina doll exhibit would be stopping by next month so they made plans to visit that as well.

When they returned to work on Monday, they prepared for their missions.  The MALP readings for SG-1 showed only fertile farmland and a local lake, but no buildings.  There was a high cliff they could see from the water’s edge but they didn’t have a UAV ready for survey so they decided to go based only on the MALP readings.

Dressing in the gear-up room in their green BDU’s, Daniel and Jack saw Jason and his team returning from the gateroom.  Daniel last saw them in the pre-medical checkups and that had been over 2 hours ago.  They were supposed to have left already so something was wrong.

“Jason?” Daniel asked.  He stopped and Lt. Kaufman walked by him, a very sheepish, guilty look spread across his face.  Jason glared at him then turned to Daniel and Jack.

“Well, SG-2 is down for a while.  Kaufman got himself an inner ear infection.  Dr. Frasier won’t have him going through the gate and I don’t have anyone to replace him right now.  We were supposed to be checking out a dead mine, which means the mission can wait.  So…if you guys need me, I’ll be here…twiddling my thumbs or something.” He yelled the last part loud enough for Kaufman to hear on the other side of the dressing areas for SG-1.  He shook his head with disgust.

“Jace, an inner ear infection isn’t his fa–“

“Daniel, he did it himself.  It isn’t a left over from a cold virus.”

“How?” Jack asked.

Jason sighed.  “Water in the ears on Saturday, high altitudes on Sunday.  Something triggered it and Janet will find out what.  In the meantime, it looks like an inner ear problem, so he’s grounded.”

Daniel and Jack gave him sympathetic looks, though Jack’s were more as the commander of a team, not for any personal reasons.  Sam and Teal’c looked on, both giving their own versions of concern.

Daniel reached out and touched Jason’s elbow.  Jason turned to him and smiled.  “I’ll see you when we get back.  This shouldn’t take more than a day.  You wanna have some dinner later?”

“Sounds good.  I’m making it, though.  I finally got my pans back from my sister.”

Daniel eyebrows raised.  “Jace, you could’ve used mine.”

Jason shrugged with embarrassment.  “I like mine.”

Daniel laughed.  “You are so weird, Jason.”

Jason leaned in and whispered, “Isn’t that what you said last night?”

Daniel bit his lip and laughed, pushing Jason away from him.  “I’ll see you tonight.  What are we having, by the way?” he asked as he reached the door.

“Spareribs.”

That got Jack’s attention as Sam, and Teal’c were walking out before him.  “Well, looks like I’m inviting myself for dinner,” and he patted his stomach as he headed out the door.  Jason called after him.

“In that case, I’ll use strychnine in the sauce!” then he laughed as he went around to his side, greeted with sniggers by his team because of his bogus death threat.  “Watch it now, or you’ll find it in your rations.”

SG-1 walked around the DHD, surveying.  Sam had her handheld readout and followed it’s readings toward the mountainous wall that indicated a cliff would be on its other side.

“Sir, it looks as if there are energy sources coming from the other side of the…well…cliff.  It could indicate lifeforms, sir.”

“Alright.  Stay alert.  You picking up any carbon?” he asked.

“I can’t tell from the signals yet, sir, but yes, I think they’re human lifeforms.”

They moved around the inside of the small lake, skirting around the wall of the shrub and tree-covered steep hillside.  When they cleared it and came face to face with the distant cliffside, Daniel exclaimed,

“Oh, Wow.”

“What?” Jack asked.

“Remember when we were talking about the Anasazi?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, a lot of their dwellings were built into cliffsides in just that way.  We should probably look around for large pits, circular structures cut into the ground, too.”

“What, like cisterns?”

“No, Jack.  These would be large enough for human habitation, like bunkers, only they’re meant for hiding from the sun, not from people.  There might not be any since it doesn’t feel all that hot and arid here.” Daniel was scanning the high walls and the parallel steps cutting into the wall that led from dwelling to dwelling as the team moved along.  From the far end of the cliff, along the ground, people appeared, dressed in woven cloth, brightly colored.  From their distance, about 300 yards, Jack wasn’t sure but the designs on one person’s garment looked familiar.

“Daniel, didn’t Jason say the Anasazi were ancestors of the Navajo?”

“Yeah, he did,” Daniel replied absently as he was looking at the same design on the tunic of the tall man that came closer.  They did not appear to have weapons, but experience told them that that didn’t mean anything.  “The people don’t have the same method of dress that the Anasazi were purported to have, although evolution and human advancement would have changed that anyway.”

Jack made a tactical decision.  “Daniel, if these people are descendants, we’ll need Jason.”

Daniel nodded, then added, “Providing that he can talk with these folks.”

“Move out people, back to the Stargate.”

The tribal people kept their distance, seemingly curious about the strangers, but they kept advancing.  SG-1 reached the DHD and Sam dialed home.

Jason was sitting in his office when General Hammond called his name over the intercom to report to the control room.  When Jason got there, he saw Daniel front and center in the MALP’s camera.  In front of the General, he used Daniel’s formal name.

“Dr. Jackson, it’s Major Coburn, what’s up?”

Daniel had no problems using everyone’s first name except Hammond’s.  “Jason, I think….I think we’ve found the Anasazi.”

“Holy sh–” and Jason looked sharply at Hammond.  “Sorry, sir.”

Hammond graciously ignored the expletive.  “Dr. Jackson, why inform Major Coburn?”

“He speaks a little Navajo, sir, and if these people are Anasazi and if the language is still intact, we could use his help.”

Hammond understood, nodding, then looked at Jason.  “You are hereby assigned to SG-1 for the duration of this mission, Major.  Get yourself geared up and ready to go in fifteen minutes.”

“Yes, sir.” Jason left the control room in a hurry.

“He’ll be on his way shortly, Doctor.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“Hammond out.”

Before reporting to the gateroom, Jason had to inform his team, who were none too happy about him going anywhere without them.  Afterward, he hurried to his office and grabbed something from the top of his cabinet.  He was going to hang it on the wall, but decided that, if Daniel was right, it might come in useful as a gift.

. .

After the Stargate shut off, the alien people were staring at the Stargate and they began to hum…a low humming.  Then it stopped suddenly and they advanced, coming to an abrupt halt about 30 feet away from SG-1.

Jack gave Sam a tired look.  “Carter, tell me again why we’re on this planet?”

Sam hesitated a moment.  “Uh, possible site B for off-world training, sir.”

“And we couldn’t have waited for the UAV to do that?”

Sam shrugged, not having an answer for him.  It was rhetorical anyway.  She couldn’t answer a command decision.

Daniel gave Jack his typical expression of tolerance.  “Jack, let’s just give this a chance.  We’d be hesitant too, if we were them.”

Though he got irritated at Daniel’s attitude sometimes, Jack was glad as hell that Daniel was back with him; with the team, after that long dig he’d been on.  Jack had missed him greatly.  He sighed and nodded at Daniel, motioning to the alien group and their apparent leader.

Just then, the tall man in front of the group that Jack had taken for the leader took one step forward.  There was nothing in his demeanor that was threatening but Jack, ever cautious in these first meetings, set his feet and braced himself for attack anyway.  He gave the leader of the group a guarded smile, as did Daniel.  The man was tall, lithe, with shoulder length black hair tied in a clasp at the base of his neck; he wore a tunic and trousers, colored with beige and red.  His body language spoke of a man of importance and Jack would treat him as such.

[Who are you?] suddenly spoke the leader.

“You’re on, Daniel.”

“Jack, I have no idea–“

“Try anyway.”

Daniel rolled his eyes and muttered under his breath, “Jason, hurry the hell up…”


Continued in Trinity 9

Joy's Fiction Stargate SG-1 Slash Fanfiction

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