Visits: Love in Plain Sight
Summary: Estranged from Jack’s friendship, Daniel finds companionship elsewhere.
Note: Quote is from The Carpenters.
Looking back on how it was in years gone by
And the good times that I had
Makes today seem rather sad
So much has changed
Tuesday was an ordinary workday, but on this day, Daniel arrived at the base too goddamn early. 5 a.m. What the hell had possessed him? Feeling grumpy and out of sorts and cursing the restless night that had found him unable to sleep, he trudged into the elevator and made his way into the bowels of Cheyenne mountain. He could’ve stayed home, but he figured he may as well get some cataloguing done before he would be bothered by Jack, Sam, or someone else who wanted his opinion about something or other.
Swinging his coffee thermos beside him, head down in thought, Daniel strolled down the hall and nearly ran into Hammond. Coming to an abrupt halt, he moved his thermos and satchel out of the way before they hit the General.
“Quite alright, Doctor Jackson, it’s early. I see you’re trying to get a fresh start?”
“So’re you, sir,” Daniel observed. Hammond never came into the base this early without a damn good reason. Rank hath the privilege to sleep in.
Hammond grinned. “Well, it just so happens I’m here to catch the early birds and send them home.”
“Renovations on the infirmary wing have started ahead of schedule, which means this morning. Since we can’t very well function without an infirmary, I’m sending most everyone home and they can come back next Monday.”
“I know you’d rather work, Doctor Jackson, but I’d rather you didn’t stay any longer than a few hours. Go home, enjoy the downtime.”
“Yes, sir.” Immediately listing the items in his head that he’d need to copy to disc for work at home, Daniel moved on to the locker room that SG-1 shared with SG-2. After arriving, he found the place deserted and for that, Daniel was thankful. As he opened his locker and proceeded to change into his blue uniform, he found his thoughts constantly returning to the reasons for his restless night: yesterday’s debriefing.
It had to have been the longest debriefing on record; two and a half hours, going over the events of that blasted mission on the Goa’uld space station. Daniel’s report had been a bit lengthy, but nowhere near what his written report had been. Jack, Sam, and Teal’c had similar lengthy reports, all giving details about the catastrophe on Revanna. Daniel knew they’d been in trouble, but it was still jarring to hear how lucky it was they’d come home in one piece.
He’d been worried about them, ever since he’d found out that the base had been under attack–though until the moment in the cargo ship with Jacob, Daniel had been hoping that Osiris had been exaggerating. Unfortunately, he hadn’t been, but when Daniel had seen Jack and Teal’c heading for him and Jacob, he’d been relieved to no end. That is, until Jack and Teal’c had shown more concern for Jacob than for him. He shouldn’t feel resentful about it, he knew that, but it still rankled, especially because he’d expected more from Jack. Was the man his friend anymore? And if not, when had that happened?
Daniel didn’t know. At least Sam and Teal’c were still his friends and he’d be satisfied with that. He’d worked in sour atmospheres before, and he could do so again. It was just a pain in the ass. Unfortunately, the mood was more sour than usual, what with Jack’s grieving over Lt. Elliot’s death, probably feeling completely responsible.
Daniel could relate, and he’d hoped to offer him some support, but Jack hadn’t wanted any. There’d been that moment when Daniel had gone to give Hammond his written report and he’d run into Jack coming out of the General’s office. His team leader had barely looked at him, acknowledging him only with a passing nod… as if he were some unknown airman. The walls that had been put up told Daniel to stay away. And so he had. No words of comfort, no hello, goodbye, kiss my ass. Just silence.
Finding himself staring down at his blue fatigue jacket, he shook off the negative emotion and finished dressing, but as he walked to his office, he found his thoughts kept returning to Jack. Becoming increasingly annoyed, Daniel ordered himself to focus on the job.
Daniel turned, slightly startled, finding Janet coming toward him from down the hall. “Hey, Janet,” he said, as he slid his key card through the access port of his office door.
“What’re you doing here this early?” she asked as she followed him inside.
Closing the door, he indicated the chair by his desk. “Couldn’t sleep.”
“Do you know about the infirmary?” she asked, taking the seat.
“The General just told me,” he said, then held up a hand when she opened her mouth to do exactly what he expected her to do: tell him to go home. “I’m taking some work home with me, Janet. I’ve a lot of stuff to transfer to disc so it’ll take me a while.” That seemed to mollify her for the moment, giving him a chance to return the mothering favor. “And what are you doing here? If the infirmary’s under renovation, I assume the patients have been moved to the Air Force hospital?”
“They have, but like you, I have work here,” she smirked back, giving him an arched brow.
“Don’t worry,” he replied with a grin. “Six hours or so, then I’ll be out of here. That okay with you, Mom?”
“Wise ass,” she grinned. “Got anything planned?”
He blinked at her. “Planned?”
“During your downtime?” she said, her tone purposely condescending.
Daniel rolled his eyes. “No,” he drawled. “I haven’t bothered. I actually prefer to do this rather than ‘go out’,” and he made quotation gestures with his hands. “And stop trying to play matchmaker.”
“Who’s doing that?” she asked with mock innocence. “Not me, no, not me.”
Grinning and turning away from her to start up his computer and get the discs ready for transfer, he looked up at his bookshelves and sighed, wondering which ones he would take home.
“Daniel, how’re you doing? After it all.”
He shot her a side-long glance and looked away. Did she have to keep worrying about him? “I’m fine, Janet.”
“Yeah, your standard answer. But you’re not ‘fine’,” she said as she got up, returning the quotation gesture.
He moved around his desk, shoving a step stool over to the bookcase with his foot. “What do you really wanna know, Janet?”
Watching him, she crossed her arms, feeling a bit irritated. “Are the pills I gave you helping?”
He nodded as he got up on the two-step stool, throwing a glance over his shoulder. “Migraines aren’t as bad anymore. As for the emotional fallout from the mission, I expect I’ll have the usual nightmares and depression, but that hopefully won’t last long.”
“Hopefully. If you detect any signs of post-traumatic stress…”
Taking down a large book, he looked over his shoulder again and grinned at her with appreciation. “Yes, Janet, I’ll let you know.”
Smirking, she walked over and craned her neck. “If I weren’t so busy, I’d ask you over for the week.”
“Janet, I really do have work to do,” he said, “but I appreciate it. Besides,” and he added a knowing grin, “I have some planting to do, too.”
“You got in touch with that gardener I told you about?” she asked, surprised.
“Yes, thank you. Karl’s a magic man. Cured those trees in no time.”
“That’s great. And what’re you planting?”
“Shrubs, nothing special.”
She was quiet for a minute or so and Daniel sighed, waiting for her to start in on “the topic.” He wasn’t about to bring it up, just in case she conveniently forgot about it.
“So… you’re doing nothing else during the downtime?”
So much for that, he thought. “Janet, don’t ask…”
“Don’t tell,” she finished, rolling her eyes at him, then lowered her voice because the door was open. There weren’t people around and the security camera didn’t record sound, but still. “We both know how on edge you’ve been. You really need to… you know, get out there.”
“A relationship isn’t possible, Janet, you know that.”
Janet grimaced. “I know, but one outside–“
“No,” he said emphatically, and turned to step off the stool. Facing her, he gave her a sober but kind look. “I appreciate the concern, but c’mon, you know I won’t see anyone outside of the job and you know I can’t see anyone inside the job. Catch-22.”
She twisted her mouth, watching him as he went to his lab table and stuffed the books in his hands inside the satchel. She didn’t know if she should say it but found herself doing it anyway. “There’s always the bath… house.”
He spun around and stared at her. “Janet,” he said, whispering. “Are you crazy?”
“No,” she answered, trying not to smile. She knew she was pushing, but she hated seeing him look so lonely. “If certain people around here would just stop treating you like second-hand furniture…”
“Yeah, well,” he said with a tone of long-suffering acceptance. “That’s not going to change. May as well get over it.”
“So…” she frowned, confused. “You really don’t know why he’s been acting…”
“Nope,” Daniel said, his own irritation rising because of the subject. “And can we stop talking about him please?”
“We could go back to bathhouses,” she offered, grinning when he rolled his eyes at her again. Touching his arm, she said, “Just get some company, Daniel. You really do need it. After five years of being alone, and the stresses you’ve been under?”
“No more than anyone else,” he said dismissively.
“You know what I mean, Daniel,” she said, the ‘doctor’ tone coming out. “Please do yourself a huge favor and find an outlet that doesn’t include this,” and she patted his satchel.
With a sigh, he stopped fussing with the books inside the leather case and turned to her. “Okay, I promise, I’ll try.”
Knowing it was a dismissal, and knowing she had to get back to her duties, she reached out and rubbed his arm. “Just remember, I’ll be around. You have my cell number if you wanna talk about the weather or the price of the latest book.”
Smiling with loving appreciation, he took her hand and squeezed it briefly. “I’ll remember.”
Stuffing her hands in her coat pockets, she turned to leave but paused in the doorway. Looking back, she watched him return to his packing and sighed with resignation. She knew he wouldn’t go anywhere, see anyone, lift the depression he was experiencing, no matter what she said and despite what he promised.
Daniel looked over his shoulder after he heard her leave and took a deep breath. Janet was a dear friend, but she didn’t understand. He couldn’t risk going… anywhere.
Turning back to his bookcase, he suddenly craved coffee and remembered the thermos on his desk. How had he forgotten to pour himself a mug? A minute later, he was sitting behind his desk, inhaling the fragrance of his favorite brew, taking a moment of indulgence before he got down to business.
While he copied files to disc, he began to put into order the cataloguing of the finds brought back by SG-11, and halfway through the video stills, he froze, finding a statue of a Babylonian god that instantly reminded him of Baal. He was suddenly transported back to the space station and all its associated stress.
Nightmares of that goddamn event had plagued him all night long. Sarah, with that voice, with the knife, sticking it in him this time, watching his blood pour out of him… Jacob was being tortured across the room and Daniel tried to get to him but couldn’t. He was helpless.
Then came the other nightmare.
Daniel shuddered, cutting off the images. He understood the nature of the dreams, but he hadn’t thought that he’d been under that much stress dealing with those Goa’uld psychopaths. Who would have suspected cannibalism? That was so disturbing in its near expectedness, but worst of all was Damon, that Loh’tar slave of Baal’s. Shivering at the thought of him, Daniel couldn’t think up words suitable enough for that evil young man and vowed to himself that he’d do his best to steer clear of him, and his Goa’uld master, if at all possible. He couldn’t fathom being a slave for 24 hours, never mind one for 24 years, much less a slave for a Goa’uld.
Embarrassment also colored his feelings about Damon, because Daniel had naively underestimated how much the power of the Goa’uld had corrupted the young man. It was like walking into an alternate version of Shifu’s teaching dream: the influence of the Goa’uld without the memories of the symbiote. That just made it all the creepier.
Shaking his head to get rid of the thoughts, Daniel stared down at the mess on his desk and began to clear it away, throwing bits of paper away, tossing other stuff in the side drawer. As he moved aside some papers into the middle drawer, his hand bumped against something hard and Daniel extracted a framed picture. Turning it over, he found himself staring at an old picture of him and Jack, taken at a barbecue. He’d forgotten he’d had that picture in there and staring at it, and Jack’s smile and his arm around his shoulders, Daniel couldn’t stop the deep ache that filled him. Sighing, he put the picture into the bottom desk drawer and slammed it shut.
Shaking off the feelings brought up by both Jack and the Goa’uld, and finding it darkly amusing they should suddenly be in the same boat, he drained his coffee mug, poured another, and returned to the cataloguing.
He wasn’t at it for very long before he was interrupted.
“Ah hah! I knew it.”
Daniel froze, looked up, and then relaxed with a mixture of relief and a surge of happiness at the sight of the welcome intruder. “Hey, Jace. What’s up?”
“Haven’t eaten, I’ll bet,” said Jason.
One of Daniel’s few close friends, the dark-haired leader of SG-2 walked over and sat down, placing a breakfast plate on the desk. It contained a large, buttered croissant with what Daniel already knew was orange icing slathered on the top. Jason knew him so well.
“If you expect to live on caffeine only,” Jason went on, “I’ll have to drag your ass to the morgue in a few months. Please don’t make me do that, so…” and he tapped the desktop with two fingers. “Stop and eat. That’s an order.”
Daniel tried to feel annoyed and failed, but he managed a mock glare. “I think you’re suffering from delusions again, trying to give me orders.”
Jason sniggered, then cleared his throat and tapped the table again. “Eat. That’s an order from the best friend.”
Grinning back at him, and knowing it was a lost cause to object, Daniel reached for the croissant. “If you’re going to interrupt me, Jace, the least you could do is grab me a paper towel over there.”
“Yes, sir, Daniel, sir,” Jason said, saluting as he walked over to the small table where Daniel’s coffee machine sat, picked up the roll of paper towels, tore off a section, then handed it over in a flourish. “Your linen, sir.”
Daniel snatched it from him and pointed at the chair. “Grab a mug and sit the fuck down,” he chuckled with a mouthful of pastry. When Jason did so, Daniel poured him a mugful from his thermos.
“Oh, you’re too kind, too kind,” Jason replied, sipping at the hot coffee. “Nice. As I’ve told you ad nauseam, Daniel, you need to become the SGC’s coffee brewer.”
“That’ll be the day,” Daniel said into his mug as he washed down the food.
Already, Daniel was feeling a bit better. Leave it to Major Jason Coburn to ease his mind. He had taken Ferretti’s place as team leader after Ferretti had received a debilitating shot in the back by a staff weapon. Coburn had been with Ferretti’s team long enough to be given leadership, and through Ferretti, had practically inherited the friendship with Daniel. For reasons Daniel still found a bit unusual, because he didn’t form deep bonds with many people, his friendship with Jason had seemed destined–for it hadn’t taken long before they’d formed a genuine bond.
Though he missed Ferretti quite a bit, Daniel grew to love the new friendship with Jason. He found his companionship comforting in a way he’d only ever associated with Jack. And with Jack’s friendship all but gone now, Jason’s presence was a boon. While Daniel had Sam and Teal’c, and Janet, too, Jason’s friendship was different. There was something there, undefined but deeply felt. A kinship of a sort, though that wasn’t the right word.
The only other time Daniel had felt that was with Jack. Losing him, more or less, hurt. And one thing Daniel loved was that he could talk to Jason about it. He could never go to Teal’c or Sam because complaining about their team leader would be nearly treasonous to Sam and almost disloyal to Teal’c. Even if Teal’c would understand, his warrior nature seemed almost to prevent him from speaking ill of his commander. So Daniel had Jason. And Jason made him feel at ease, peaceful in a way that, again, was hard to explain. Ironically, Jason sometimes reminded Daniel of Teal’c whenever he affected a deadpan expression… only with a bit more lip-twitching. It always made Daniel laugh, and making him laugh was something that Jason did more often than Jack ever had. It was sad, in a way.
One other thing about Jason that Daniel found hard to interpret–or more likely, didn’t want to interpret–was that Jason’s friendship seemed to deepen after Jack had started to distance himself. Daniel didn’t know if it had been on purpose, but it didn’t really matter. Something lost, something gained. Not the same, but the symmetry was still there in one way or another. Jason was his best friend and Daniel had never really thought he’d actually have one. He tended to keep his guard up too much, he supposed. So how in the world had Jason snuck in there?
“Aren’t you supposed to be on stand-down?” Jason asked, disrupting his thoughts.
“I said, why are you here? You’re supposed to be on downtime,” Jason said, frowning. “Where’d you go?”
“Thinking,” Daniel answered as he swallowed the last bits of his pastry and followed it with more coffee.
“Hmmm,” Jason said, clearly finding this troubling. “Well?”
Jason rolled his eyes and gestured at the desk’s surface. “Why are you here? Downtime, remember?”
“I’m taking stuff home. Why are you here?” Daniel returned. “Aren’t you supposed to be on downtime?”
“I will be, once I get done with weapons inventory.”
“Lucky you. Who stuck you with that?”
“Me. SG-2 was the last to return from the field and I said I’d do it. Gives me something to do before I go home. Besides, I don’t mind doing it.”
“Such a nice guy,” Daniel drawled as he poured a third cup, thankful he’d thought to bring the larger thermos.
“Watch it. You’ll ruin my carefully cultivated reputation.”
Daniel snorted. “As what?”
Jason smirked back and avoided answering. “So… planning anything special during down time?”
“Nope. Just home stuff. You?” He offered Jason more coffee, but he declined with a raise of his hand.
“No plans. I didn’t expect the downtime so soon.”
“Me either. Are there many people here?”
“There were, but once they found out they could leave…” Jason whistled through his teeth while he made a skating gesture with his hand.
Daniel laughed at that, nodding with partial understanding. “Anything new then?” he asked, and Jason proceeded to regale him with comical tidbits from his last mission that included his teammates’ mimicking abilities.
“I meant off-duty,” Daniel teased, earning a dirty look.
“No,” Jason drawled, then narrowed his eyes as he examined his friend’s face. “You look tired, Daniel.”
Daniel nodded. “Nightmares.”
Jason frowned, knowing what Daniel was referring to. “Listen, if you wanna get together, get drunk, watch movies, whatever, let me know.”
“I will, thanks, Jace,” Daniel said, then gestured at the now-empty plate. “And for the food.”
Jason stood up and reached over, touching Daniel’s shoulder and squeezing it. “Anytime. Guess I’d best get to it. It’ll take a while. You need me, you know where to find me.”
The two exchanged grins and Jason left. Daniel paused, watching him leave, then forced away the feeling of loss as he went back to work.
Six hours later, Daniel had finished the cataloguing and was now restless, waiting for the remaining data to be transferred to disc. Thermos empty, he got up to get some water for the coffee pot though he already knew he didn’t need it. He was wired up enough to power the gate.
At the water fountain down the corridor, he looked around as he waited for the carafe to fill. The SGC wasn’t exactly empty but it wasn’t bustling with the usual flow of people, either. For five years, he’d gotten used to the hustle and flow, and for it to be nearly empty felt wrong somehow.
Carafe half-filled, he returned to his office and quickly set up the brew, then returned to his computer, finding one disc filled and ready for another. Replacing the discs, he looked up at the bookshelves, pursing his lips. Getting up on the step stool again, he rooted around the top shelf, frustrated when he couldn’t find what he needed.
Stepping down, a pile of dust came with him and he waved at the cloud, coughing twice. Scowling at the top shelf, he sighed and realized it was way past time to do something about this. A library wouldn’t be in such a state and some of the old tomes he had would suffer from the dust if he didn’t take care of it. Since he had nothing else to do but wait on the data transfers, he figured now was as good a time as any.
Grabbing some rags he had in the utility closet, he took the books off the shelf and proceeded to clean. Pausing to make another disc transfer, he moved himself to the next bookcase. Wiping himself down a bit, he got back on the step ladder and began to pull down the large tomes from the top and was met with a faceful of dust. Coughing again, he stared down at his front and grimaced. He was filthier than he thought.
“You’re still here?” Jason asked.
Startled, Daniel jerked, causing one of the heavier books to slip from his grasp and fall, hitting his foot on the way to the floor. “OW! Shit! Jason!”
With a growl, Daniel grit his teeth as he hopped down off the step ladder on one foot. Despite his wearing combat boots, the book’s impact still hurt, and he hobbled about for a moment. When he caught Jason covering his mouth, trying not to laugh, he leered at him. “If this book weren’t valuable, I’d throw it at your head.”
“Sorry,” Jason said and walked over. “You okay?”
“Oh, sure, now you ask.” Jason bit his lips together and looked contrite and Daniel couldn’t resist twisting the sympathy knife. “And as soon as my foot falls off, I’ll be just fine.”
Jason cleared his throat. “Well, that’s good. You’re of no use with one leg.”
Shooting him a dirty look, making Jason bite off another laugh, Daniel rubbed his foot through the boot. “What are you doing, besides sneaking up on me?”
“I’m done with the inventory. I thought I’d see if you’d left yet before I went to shower and change.” Jason walked over and sat down on the edge of his desk, crossing his arms. “Speaking of showers. You need one. You’re a mess.” He reached over and plucked a long strand of grey dust from Daniel’s hair with the tip of his pinkie finger and waved the revolting thing in front of him.
“Arrrghh!” Daniel exclaimed with disgust. Taking a more thorough look at himself, he sighed, then noticed the flecks of dust on his glasses.
Jason couldn’t keep the smile off his face that time.
“What?” Daniel asked, noticing.
“You looked like a Siamese, doing that.”
“Meow,” Daniel answered as he ran his fingers gingerly over his hair and brought back more dust strings. “I suppose I’m totally covered with this shit?”
Jason nodded. “Yep.”
“Laugh it up, Jace. You’ll soon wear some of this dust.”
“Go ahead, I dare you,” Jason goaded.
Hand full of dust, Daniel quickly reached over and mussed Jason’s hair with it, making him stumble away from the desk and Daniel’s attacking hand.
“Don’t go daring me, Jason, you know better.”
Jason sniggered, even as he tried to smooth his hair. “At least I’m already dirty.”
“So the dare wasn’t all that big a risk then, huh?” Daniel said as he walked around his desk and looked at the computer. Another disc was due. And Daniel was covered with dust. “Shit. Do me a favor and put a new disc in the drive. It’s the last one.”
Jason waved him back and Daniel smirked as he walked away from his desk. “What? Afraid I’ll do something else?”
“Yes,” Jason said as he changed the discs and tapped a few keys. “Done.”
As Jason walked to the door, Daniel blurted out hurriedly, “You’re leaving then?” He suddenly wished Jason would stay but was unwilling, or unable, to ask him.
“After I shower and change, yeah,” and he looked down at his trousers, streaked with black grease. When Daniel’s eyes widened, Jason showed him his hands. “Hands were clean though, don’t worry.” He then pointed at Daniel, smirking again. “And you’ll need a shower before you leave, unless you wanna get into your car like that.”
“No, not really,” Daniel answered. When Jason made a grunt of satisfaction, the sound made Daniel’s stomach jump with pleasure. He realized that he was inordinately happy to have Jason there and the fact of it made him feel uneasy. Was he that needy? Was Jason that necessary? Pushing the uncomfortable thoughts away unanswered, Daniel took off his glasses and put them on the desk, then bent over the trash can and brushed his hands through his hair. He gasped with surprise as he watched a lot of dust particles waft down.
Jason sniggered. “Told ya.”
Still bent over, Daniel looked up and threw him a mock glare. “Go take your shower, Jason.”
“I’ll see you down there, unless you feel it necessary to dust your entire office.”
“Oh no, I’ll save that for another time. As soon as the disc is finished, I’m out of here.”
“If I don’t see you in the locker room, gimme a call and we’ll do something.”
“Sure thing, Jace,” Daniel answered. He was so grimly distracted with pulling larger dust bunny clumps out of his hair, he failed to notice the deeply focused look Jason gave him before he left.
Coming into the locker room, Daniel heard the distinct sound of a shower running, and it came from SG-2’s half of the room. Craning his neck beyond the island of lockers that separated the room, he saw that Jason’s locker was open. Instead of calling out, Daniel decided to leave him in peace. At least, that’s how he liked his own showers. Well, for the most part. A sudden wistful memory intruded, when he remembered a time when Jack used to talk to him from the shower cubicle next to his own. Something he no longer did.
Shaking his head and ordering himself to dismiss it, Daniel placed his things on the bench in front of his locker and started to undress. He was grateful for the new showers. Though regular communal bathing didn’t bother him, what Daniel hated was the blatant hypocrisy of the macho slaps on the ass, the half-erections men sported, all the while making lewd and hateful remarks about homosexuals. Being in a private locker room now was much easier, for he no longer had to shoot dark looks at the men of the SGC, displeased at their homophobia.
Which was the other reason he didn’t care for the communal showers. The casual glances at nice bodies. The looks he covertly took might one day get noticed and interpreted… unfortunately. While Daniel had learned to cover it up well enough, there were some days when the loneliness did get to be a bit much. And he was a human male after all. With normal drives and feelings. Something a few people seemed to forget.
Berating himself for the pointless dwelling, Daniel dumped his dirty uniform in his laundry bag and placed it in his locker. Taking off his boxers, he put on his robe and took his shower bag and towel with him to SG-1’s cubicles, stationed on the right side of the large room. Hanging his robe on the hook outside of the cubicle door, he stepped inside and placed his things on the corner shelf. Closing the semi-opaque door, he turned on the powerful spray and waited a few minutes, wetting himself down, relishing the hot water as it ran over his dry skin and tired muscles. Lathering up, he quickly washed, rinsed, then shampooed his hair for an initial cleansing, then rinsed again. Finally, he washed again, moving more slowly this time, using the sponge he’d brought with him to scrub off the dirt. Next, he soaped up his hair and waited for it to condition his hair, rinsing off his body in the meantime.
He indulged in the feeling of the hot water, how it ran over clean skin, how it washed away the impurities of grit and grime in his hair. Fully rinsed, he took the time to concentrate on relaxing the muscles, letting the shower spray massage his neck and back, loving how it beat down relentlessly, numbing him…
Then thoughts of Jack intruded into his mind as naked images of past showers interrupted his peace. Cursing himself, he shoved the thoughts back, trying to rid himself of them. Think of someone else, he ordered, and he reached down and curled his fingers around his cock, stroking himself with no real intention of masturbating. It was nothing more than a comforting measure, allowing himself to wallow in the relaxing massages between his hand and the spray of the shower, in memories of pleasures long past.
As his thoughts wandered and the pleasure increased, the idle stroking of his dick became purposeful. He felt the long stirrings deep inside and leaned back against the wall, closing his eyes. It might not be a good idea to do this here; he tended to moan, but Daniel didn’t care. He could resist the temptation to moan while indulging himself in the thrill of jerking off in the base shower. Jason might be next door but…
Daniel opened his eyes halfway as he suddenly wondered if Jason was still in his section of the locker room. Thinking he might be heard, or worse, seen through the semi-opaque shower stall if Jason should decide to come over and talk, Daniel moved his hand away from his dick. His body protested the loss and in compensation, he slid his hand down and palmed his balls, thinking of the past. His muscles flexed with the memory of desires now unfulfilled and he willed his body to calm down, to at least wait till he got home when he could indulge himself properly.
Just when he’d gotten himself sufficiently under control, his surroundings were suddenly thrown into darkness as the lights were turned off.
For a moment, Daniel was startled, then a few seconds later, he frowned and called out. “Excuse me! Using the shower here!”
No answer came and he sighed with rising annoyance. Jason had better not be playing games. Now was so not the time.
“Dammit, Jason, turn the lights back on.”
Again, no answer. Jason had probably left, and Daniel was probably the victim of a power surge or some damn thing. Shit, was Siler messing with the power relays again?
Feeling behind him to turn off the shower, Daniel was startled again when the door to his cubicle opened. He froze, staring at the discernible silhouette of what was quite clearly a very nude man.
“Um, excuse me,” Daniel said. “Occupied?”
In his mind, Daniel immediately flipped through all the shapes he knew, wondering if this was a joke of some kind, or an accident. He knew Jack’s silhouette as well as his own, so it wasn’t him. It wasn’t Sam–and the thought almost made him laugh (of course it wasn’t Sam) –and it wasn’t Teal’c. When the man stepped over the threshold, a surge of excited confusion hit Daniel like a blow to the stomach. He could swear that body shape belonged to Jason, but Jason would’ve finished his own shower by now and left. Wouldn’t he? But if this really was him…
The man didn’t answer, he just stood there, waiting. For what? Daniel couldn’t see his face yet and he willed his eyes to adjust faster.
“Answer me. Jason, this is no time for one of your jokes so go turn the lights back on.”
The man closed the door behind him. Okay, not a joke then. Daniel’s arousal began to climb again as it dawned on him that the man wasn’t here to get his back washed. Or rather, Jason wasn’t there for that. Was he? Apprehension and excitement surged through Daniel as his breath quickened. When Jason–god, it had better be Jason–still didn’t move, Daniel started to doubt the identity of the man before him.
“Dammit, don’t fuck with me,” Daniel asked, getting mad, so he reached out, hand heading toward the man’s chest while he tried to see his face. “Jason, it’s you, isn’t it?”
Immediately, the man moved closer and Daniel’s hand hit his chest. Smooth, wet from a shower, and Daniel knew it was him; there were memories coming now, sparring in the gym and insignificant touches. Insignificant until now. When Jason was a foot away and Daniel’s theory was proven by the familiar shadow of Jason’s face, Daniel’s mouth dropped open. Thinking it was one thing. Having it confirmed…
Jason’s face was cautious but purposeful, a definite look of sexual interest in the dark sparkle of his eyes. He raised his right hand, startling Daniel again as he brought it up to his cheek, caressing it with the back of his fingers. The touch was very caring, very loving.
“Say something,” Daniel said as he covered Jason’s hand with his own. “Are you offering?”
“More than offering, Daniel,” Jason whispered huskily. He slid his fingers to the back of Daniel’s head and gently massaged his neck muscles. The effect was soothing but extremely erotic and Daniel’s cock began to fill quickly as his breathing increased.
Jason then slid his left hand around Daniel’s waist and continued downward to cup a wet buttock. Daniel inhaled deeply, finding himself more than willing to take what Jason offered him. With a surprising shock, he realized that he wanted Jason just as much as it appeared that Jason wanted him. Then his friend leaned forward, coming closer, closer, and Daniel’s breathing became shallower. Jason was going to kiss him…
“Yes,” he breathed, then Jason’s mouth was on his, soft and gentle, probably making sure that Daniel accepted him, but Daniel was done with the hesitation and the doubt. He opened his mouth and invited Jason in, and with a surge of happiness even more intense than the one in his office, Daniel welcomed the more passionate kiss as Jason slid his tongue into his mouth to curl around and taste him.
Tasting him back was amazing in how damn sweet he was and unable to help it, Daniel curled his toes. He wanted to do so much right then, especially when Jason pressed in, deepening the kiss and changing angles. Daniel remembered that his hands should be doing something and he nervously placed them over Jason’s hips, still not quite sure that this was real. But when he touched warm, warm, wet skin, his dick told him it was real, and told him again when Jason’s erection touched his own. The fact of it caused Daniel to moan into his mouth and in reaction, Jason pressed in against him, pinning him against the wall. It was as if he’d been waiting for the signal, and Daniel reacted by pushing back with his hips, sending shocks of pleasure through his own body.
“Daniel,” Jason said, parting their lips just barely enough so he could murmur his name, then he was back to capturing his mouth and trying to convey everything he felt. But he couldn’t keep it confined to his lips, and Jason reached between them and took Daniel’s dick in his hand, pulling once, twice, then again and again.
Daniel clamped his hands down over Jason’s buttocks, not just massaging them but exploring, memorizing every detail, but like Jason, he slid one hand between them to take a hold of his cock and began to mirror the strokes he was receiving. Jason gasped, breaking the kiss again, and Daniel’s only reaction to that was to nip playfully at his chin and jaw.
“Yes,” Jason whispered, and he began to copy him, just as Daniel was doing to him. He nipped along his throat, making Daniel moan louder when he reached the spot just under and in front of his ear. He rocked his hips suggestively when Daniel increased the attention on his cock and Daniel swooped in to kiss him, luring him in with that wonderful tongue.
“What do you want, Jace?” Daniel asked a moment later, kissing him between words.
Jason pressed his lips against Daniel’s ear and spoke very softly. “To be inside you, Daniel. Do you want me?”
Flashes of pleasure washed through Daniel as Jason’s deep tones vibrated in his ear. He closed his eyes and moaned again, arching his head back, presenting his neck for Jason’s tongue, which he gladly accepted. When Jason bit over his Adam’s apple and licked a trail down to the hollow of his throat, Daniel finally responded in a low, needy tone. “Yes.”
“Tell me more,” Jason asked, licking behind his ear, but removing his hand from Daniel’s dick.
“I want you,” Daniel panted, and he pulled back, stilling his hand and looking into Jason’s face. “All of you.”
At the look of need, Jason kissed him fiercely, plunging his tongue down in search of his tonsils. Daniel’s response was to return the favor and to grind his erection urgently into Jason’s, his basic need soaring. Jason thrust his tongue in and out of Daniel’s mouth, mimicking the motion of their hands and the two of them moaned as one.
Daniel could feel his arousal climbing, knowing that if they kept this up, he’d come this way, but as Jason must’ve thought the same thing because he abruptly cut off their kiss and began to slide his body down Daniel’s, hungrily kissing his skin along the way, nipping and suckling his nipples, biting and laving at his soft abdominal hairs.
When Daniel realized where he was going, he sucked in a breath of eager anticipation. “Yes, god, yes, Jason.” Then Jason engulfed his cock and when Daniel looked down, he found Jason looking back up at him. “Jason,” he whispered.
Jason loved the look on Daniel’s face as he sucked him, but more than that, he loved the taste of him, the hot reality of him in his mouth. When Daniel threaded his fingers through his hair, Jason opened a bit, encouraging him to thrust, and he complied, going slowly at first.
Their eyes locked together, Daniel watched with amazing lust how good it was to see his cock moving in and out of those sensually curved lips. And when Jason reached for the tube of conditioner, Daniel sucked in a breath, knowing what was coming. “Are you sure we should use that?” he asked.
Jason pulled back, licking his lips. “Do you want to stop and have me grab the lube from my locker?”
Daniel thought about it, then decided, “No. This is one time, and it’s water-based anyway.”
Jason hesitated. “One time?”
Daniel bit at his lip, hating that he’d been vague. The look on Jason’s face clearly said he’d misunderstood, but did this mean that he wanted more, or just more tonight? Either way, he’d ask later because now was not the time for conversation. “Conditioner bad, lube good.”
Jason smiled, his eyes conveying pleasure at the answer, and with renewed purpose, stiffened his tongue and orally wrote an arousing design down Daniel’s shaft before moving on to the delightful play over his balls. In his hand, he flicked open the cap and squirted the silky liquid onto his fingers. “Ready?” he asked, and as Daniel moaned with expectation and lifted his right leg, opening himself for access, Jason smiled against his balls, licking circles as he rubbed two fingers against Daniel’s wrinkled hole. Above him, eyes closing, Daniel’s breath deepened as he indulged in Jason’s preparation, and before Jason could think about sliding his fingers inside, Daniel reached down and guided him in.
“Yes,” Jason said, and placed a sucking kiss at the base of Daniel’s cock before he moved upward to take the head back into his mouth. Working carefully inside with his fingers slightly crossed, Jason groaned, liking the way Daniel tried to relax for him, the muscles trying not to constrict. When he began to slowly move in and out, Daniel’s mouth dropped open and loving the look, Jason pulled off his dick to watch. “You’re so beautiful like that.”
“Jason… you’ll make me come,” Daniel whispered.
Pulling his balls just a bit too tight, making Daniel gasp, Jason pulled and plunged one finger back inside, probing for his gland.
Daniel knew what he was up to and he stopped him. “No, Jason, it’s been a while, you’ll make me come.”
Jason leaned in and kissed the shaft of his cock, whispering, “Are you open enough?”
“Yes,” Daniel said, pulling at his shoulders.
Jason probed a little more, going slowly, then removed his fingers and rose, his tongue making a sensuous path up Daniel’s belly to his chest. When he reached eye-level, Daniel plunged his tongue down Jason’s throat, making Jason grab his ass in return.
Suddenly, Jason broke off, causing Daniel to stare at him in confused protest. “Not yet, Daniel.”
“What else is there?” Daniel asked, then thought he knew. “Oh, sorry.”
When he started to lean in, to take one of Jason’s nipples into his mouth, Jason pinned him against the wall with one hand while the other reached over to roughly caress his nipples, twisting and rubbing with his fingertips. Surprised, Daniel kept his eyes locked on him, loving the erotic tension that Jason was obviously building. When Jason took his dick in hand again, he began to stroke him more rapidly, pulling hard, making Daniel bite at his lip and groan with lustful appreciation.
Daniel reached down to do the same to Jason and it didn’t take him long before he had him distracted, breathing hard and losing his grip. “This what you mean?” he asked.
“Yes, Daniel, draw it out,” Jason said, regaining his control. His strokes became rougher and Daniel matched them, and soon, it became too much as Daniel nearly brought him to orgasm. Abruptly, he stopped, squeezing Daniel’s cock softly, then more gently, then barely caressing the head with his fingertips.
“Jason, stop teasing,” Daniel pleaded, shaking. He was immediately met with one deep kiss after another as Jason’s hands were suddenly everywhere, caressing, stroking, probing, building the passion again to excruciating levels in Daniel’s body. Daniel moaned ceaselessly now as he changed the angle of his kisses, his lips never leaving his new lover’s.
Jason drew away and looked intently at him as he slicked his dick with conditioner. “Grab hold of the base of the shower head, Daniel,” he told him.
Breathless, Daniel did as asked and gripped the short piping. When Jason bent slightly and lifted Daniel’s legs off the floor, wrapping them around his waist, Daniel’s mouth dropped open. He’d had an idea that Jason was strong, but this was… “Yes,” was all he could think of to say as Jason held him tightly and pushed, forcing Daniel to lean against the wall.
“Ready?” Jason asked.
“Past ready,” Daniel answered, then gasped with excitement when he felt the warm presence of Jason’s cock pushing at his opening. It was testing, teasing, and just when he was growing impatient, Jason pushed harder. Daniel sucked in breath and closed his eyes tightly, waiting for the burn to pass as Jason eased himself very slowly inside him.
“Yes, Jason,” he said breathlessly. “Yes.”
Jason threw back his head and groaned; Daniel was so damn tight, and he had to go slow, very slow. “Shit, you’re tight.”
“Don’t stop. Feels good, Jace.”
“I have no intention of stopping,” Jason answered as he pushed in a little further, stopped, then pushed again. When he pulled out a bit, then pushed back in, they both let out groans of nervous pleasure. The sound was so good, Jason wanted to hear it again, so he repeated the move. Daniel’s breath caught and it made Jason smile. “I love that,” he said, then stroked once more, then again, applying small, short thrusts to allow Daniel’s body to get used him.
“Jason,” Daniel whispered, though he had no idea what for. Instruction? Or to say his name. It didn’t matter. He was lost in this, in feeling him move inside him.
“Relax, Daniel,” Jason said as he leaned in and brushed his lips over his ear. “Relax.”
“I’m fine, Jace,” Daniel whispered back. “Now fuck me.”
Jason smiled and pushed the rest of the way in and when Daniel gasped, “Yes!” he thrust quickly, grateful for the water that beat down upon them. “You feel so good, Daniel,” he said, lowering the tone of his voice as he began to pump his cock into him. “The feel of you around me. Do you like it?”
“Yes.” Daniel loved the sound of the words as Jason spoke to him like that. It made him open up and take his cock much more easily. “More, Jace. Talk to me.”
“You’re so beautiful. You feel so goddamn good, so fucking tight. How do you want it, huh? Do you want it a little harder?”
Daniel nodded, unable to speak now as Jason adjusted and hit his gland. A curious gasping sound erupted from his lips every time he was rubbed in just the right way and he could tell Jason loved hearing it. The man increased his movements, continuing to angle his thrusts, keeping them deep and slow, seeming to enjoy the reactions he was drawing out of Daniel’s body. When he began to thrust harder, Daniel’s breath became shallower and he felt his balls draw up. “Oh shit. Fuck me, Jace. Fuck me very hard.”
His words excited him, and Jason panted, “Yes, Daniel. Oh God yes. Take it, take my dick.” He thrust in hard, pulled out slow, then repeated it, again and again and again. “Feel good, Daniel?”
“Yes…yes, oh god, Jace, please…”
Again and again, each time picking up speed, and Jason sensed Daniel’s orgasm was as close as his own and he slid his arms underneath the front of his legs, clamping his hands down on the back of his thighs and proceeded to fuck him as hard and quick as he could, slapping loudly against his ass.
“That’s it, Jason, yes!”
“Come for me… let me see… you… come…”
“Make me, Jason!”
Daniel bit back a scream as he tightened his legs and went rigid. Blinding white light took his sight from him momentarily as his orgasm grabbed control of his body, pulsing from his cock in thick shots while inside, it rushed through him like a heat wave. His semen spurted out over his chest and belly as Jason kept pounding into him.
“Come!” Daniel yelled, and Jason gasped loudly, biting his bottom lip hard as he came. The hot liquid hit Daniel’s prostate and he shuddered violently.
A long minute later, Daniel let go of the pipe and felt his feet touch the floor. He slumped forward, arms around Jason, and listened to his lover’s breathing as their bodies calmed.
“You okay?” Jason whispered as he kissed the side of Daniel’s face.
“Fine. You?” Daniel replied in an even softer voice and felt Jason nod against him. His logical brain returning, Daniel had a thousand questions for him, but they could wait. “Let’s clean up and get out of here,” he said quietly.
As they emerged from the shower room, Jason flipped the light switch back on and Daniel got a good look at Jason’s muscular body. Jason was slightly taller than Daniel, and his chest, hips, legs were just a little bit wider, heavier in muscle. He had the body of a god, Daniel thought, and thought he could eat him whole. He gave him a very long, appreciative look and Jason smiled back at him.
“See anything you like?” he asked as he followed Daniel out of the shower room.
“I think so,” Daniel said with a bit of sarcasm.
Jason found it so endearing that he reached out and ran his fingers caressingly through the side of Daniel’s hair. “I’m going to get dressed. Do you want to talk?” Jason asked, letting hope show on his face.
“Yes, I think so,” Daniel replied, leaning into his touch.
“Okay, back in a few minutes.”
As he dried off and got dressed, Jason felt hope flood his mind and body. He’d never thought that Daniel would have responded to him the way he had. They’d been great friends despite their differences and though Daniel still didn’t know about some of his interests, that could be remedied. Their sexual appetites certainly seemed alike, that was for certain, but what Jason wanted more than anything was to share his life, not just his bed, with Daniel. Now it was up to Daniel to decide if he wanted that, too.
Daniel walked over to his locker, feeling just a bit… unreal. He held his hand out and found it shaking, though from excitement or afterglow, he wasn’t quite sure. He also didn’t quite know what to do about this… step that he’d just taken. Their friendship had just changed. Forever.
He looked over his shoulder, expecting Jason to come walking around the locker island and part of him didn’t want him to. He had to admit it. He was scared. Except it wasn’t a bad kind of scared, just the scary bit of facing something unknown, and while most of the time that thrilled him–when it wasn’t an alien trying to kill him anyway–he wasn’t so sure it was supposed to be happening with Jason. Why Jason? Or maybe, why not Jason. Yes. Why not Jason? Who else knew him? Who else made him laugh and gave him support?
Absently rubbing himself dry, Daniel let the realization hit him–this sudden attraction to his friend wasn’t so sudden. He’d simply been ignoring it, and now, it hit him like a brick. He knew it had a lot to do with being lonely, a lot to do with sex, but mainly, he wanted someone to be there for him, always. To hold, to care for, to care for him. He’d had that for a short time with Shau’re and he thought he’d gotten it again with Jack, but Jack had been different. There had always been a wall between them. Not so with Jason, and now… here was Jason, taking a huge risk and giving himself to him. What did Jason want from him other than sex? Was relationship on his mind? Would he step on a friendship just for a piece of ass? Daniel had a feeling it was the former, not the latter, and maybe it would be what he’d always wanted… and more than he dared hope for.
When Jason returned, he found that Daniel hadn’t yet gotten dressed and was clad only in his boxers. He was straddling the bench in front of his locker, absently picking lint off his green pullover sweater. Jason moved over and sat behind him, wrapping his arms around Daniel’s waist.
Daniel had heard him coming and leaned into his hold. “Hey.”
“I’ve always liked that sweater on you,” Jason whispered beside his ear. “Those V-necks do something for me.”
“You should. You helped me pick it out on that shopping trip to the mall last year.” He paused, waiting for Jason to say something, and when he didn’t, Daniel decided to grab the bull by the horns. So to speak. “Jason?”
“What?” Jason asked, burrowing his face into Daniel’s neck.
“This may sound stupid, given what you’re doing right now, but… was this a one-off?”
Jason took a big breath, let it out, and sat up straight. “No, not for me. But if you want it to be…”
Daniel thought it over and decided to throw caution to the wind. Turning his head, he said, “I’d like more.” Jason smiled and tightened his hold around him. “Why me, though?” Daniel continued. “What brought this on?”
It was Jason’s turn to think carefully before he spoke. “You’re my best friend and I love you. When I first met you, Ferretti asked me to keep an eye on you if anything should happen to him. Even though you and I were friends by the time he’d left, I assured him I would.”
Daniel’s eyes widened and he turned slightly so Jason could see his surprise. “Jace, I don’t need looking after.”
“No, you don’t, but Ferretti was thinking of you from his old-fashioned point of view. He will always see civilians as needing protection, even if they know how to handle themselves. Do you see what I mean?”
Daniel nodded. “Do you feel that way?”
Jason frowned. “You know I don’t.”
“No, I mean, what I meant was are you with me, as my friend, simply because Ferretti–“
“At first, yes,” Jason said, interrupting him quickly. “Now? No. I care about you because you’re my best friend and I hurt when you hurt.” He paused then and cleared his throat. “After a while, I started to have feelings for you. I wasn’t sure you would be interested, so I just kept it to myself.” When Daniel turned his head further to try and see him, Jason noticed the frown. “What?”
“Why now? Why not last month or last year?”
“I don’t like seeing you miserable.”
“Okay, but I’m just…”
“Lonely, yes, I know, but you’re also spending way too much time alone, skipping dinners with Carter and Teal’c. Whatever is going on, and I have a really good idea what that is, it is nowhere near okay. So… I decided you’re more important than anything else in my life and I’m willing to take the risk, both in my job and with you possibly rejecting me. I’m offering you more than just my friendship. I’m offering you my bed for as long as you want it. I’m not offering a pity fuck or a buddy fuck, so don’t think that.”
Daniel tensed a bit. “Just your bed, Jace?”
“No. I said that just in case the word ‘relationship’ scared you too much.”
Daniel squeezed his arm. “It doesn’t.”
“Then you have it. I know you need it and you also need an outlet. It’s way past time, too, don’t you think? I know you are hurting. It’s not apparent to everyone, but I’ve been waiting for a certain someone to get his head out of his ass so you can have something good in your life. Except he’s not getting with the program and I’m tired of waiting.”
Daniel tensed a little, knowing who Jason was talking about. “He’s only… a friend, maybe. I don’t know anymore. I don’t even know if he ever was, given the way he’s been acting. As much as I know Jack, I know he keeps his heart buttoned up pretty good. I’ll never find out how he feels because I can’t ask, not him.”
Jason could see the pain on his face and held him tighter. “I know you love him, Daniel,” Jason continued. “But for the sake of your sanity, and to keep me from killing him, an intervention was called for.”
“This is an intervention, is it?” Daniel asked, grinning.
“Of a sort,” Jason grinned back.
Daniel smiled, and tightened his arms around Jason’s. “Thanks for intervening,” he whispered.
Jason kissed his neck. “You’re very welcome,” he said softly, nuzzling his skin. “Besides, I got tired of pretending I didn’t want you all the time.”
Daniel felt his groin stirring at the breath against his neck, at Jason’s voice in his ear, and he groaned. Jason smiled and slid his left hand down under Daniel’s boxers to gently take his dick in his hand.
“Waking up already, are we?”
“I guess so,” Daniel said, feeling a little surprised at his quickly rebounding arousal.
“No one’s here to interrupt us,” Jason suggested. “Let me please you again.” He firmed his grip and caressed Daniel’s chest with his free hand, cupping the pectorals one at a time. “Let me.”
Daniel moaned. “You’ve pleased me already, Jason.”
“Not enough,” Jason said as his fingers caressed his balls. “Never enough.”
“I’m not sure it’s a good idea…” His words were cut off when Jason pulled his hand up the shaft, making Daniel thrust into it. Jason passed his thumb over the head, rubbing firm circles around and around, coaxing pre-come out once more. A second later, he suddenly stopped any hint at foreplay and stroked Daniel in earnest.
“C’mon, baby, let go, take the pleasure,” Jason said, keeping his voice to a whisper.
Daniel groaned and reached up to hold onto his shoulders, hips riding the motion that wouldn’t stop. “Jason,” he breathed, pulse quickening, thinking it amazing how well Jason could stroke him like that.
“That’s it, Daniel. Let it all go,” Jason went on seductively, nibbling his ear.
“Jace…” Daniel gasped, tightening his fingers.
“Come in my hand, Daniel,” Jason urged as he began to nip down the side of Daniel’s neck.
“Yes, Jace,” Daniel groaned, loving the feel of his teeth.
“That’s it, Daniel,” Jason panted, stroking harder.
With a bitten-off cry, Daniel came hard into his waiting hand as Jason lifted Daniel’s chin with his free hand and kissed him deeply. Daniel responded enthusiastically, meeting the tongue in his mouth with sweet demand. It seemed like hours later when Daniel felt he was finally able to articulate himself, but he couldn’t think of anything to say; it was likely a first for him.
“Want to continue this somewhere private?” Jason asked, nuzzling his temple.
Daniel nodded. “Follow me home?”
Jason smiled. “Up for a visit?”
“Oh, yeah, definitely,” Daniel said, turning back to give Jason a leering look. “A long visit. We have five days.”
Jason laughed quietly, picked up the wet towel Daniel had dropped on the floor and carefully cleaned him up. “I need to make a stop at my place first.”
“You remember where I live?” Daniel asked as he stood up and finished getting dressed.
“Yeah, I remember. It’s the little cottage house and not the old loft apartment, right?” Daniel nodded. Jason remembered a small party Daniel had had at his new place where SG-1 and SG-2 had gotten together for a post-mission drinking bash. That was almost a year past. “It’s been a long time since you’ve had visitors, hasn’t it?”
Daniel tensed a little. “Yeah,” he said a bit sadly, remembering that it had been the only time Jack had ever visited. Suddenly Daniel remembered something he’d wanted to ask. “Wait… Jason, aren’t you involved with someone?”
“We broke up three months ago.”
Jason didn’t sound emotional, but Daniel did wonder if he still carried a torch. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but are you sure this isn’t a rebound thing?”
Jason gave him an amused look. “Yes, Daniel, I’m sure. Promise.”
Putting his arms around him, Jason gently nipped at his nose. “Now I get to show you plenty of other things I know how to do.”
Daniel grinned and bit him in return, attacking his chin. But he followed it with a long lick that moved over Jason’s mouth, making him open for a kiss. Teasingly, Daniel pulled away and stepped out of his hold. “I think it’s my turn, Jace. I’ve plenty to show you in return. You’ve your work cut out for you now.”
“Oh, slave driver, are we?” Jason teased back.
“You have no idea,” Daniel grinned, turning away from him to dress.