Visits 6: Cold Feet and Warm Hearts
Summary: Danger breeds angst after SG-2 needs rescuing, and Daniel brings up the subject of a relationship with Jack.
Note: Quote is from George Michael.
I won’t let you down
I will not give you up
Gotta have some faith in the sound
It’s the one good thing that I’ve got
I won’t let you down
So please don’t give me up
Because I would really, really love to stick around
Having just finished a shower and a post-mission check-up, Daniel sat down behind his desk with a heavy sigh and looked at the calendar on the wall. It had been two months since Jason had been shot and they’d been so busy ever since that they’d hardly had any time to spend together. Whenever SG-2 was on base, SG-1 was on a mission, and vice-versa, and Jason was getting ready to head back out again. When would they catch a break? The only time they’d had were short moments, ones where Jason would catch him in his office and give him a few long kisses. Daniel’s office had become the quickie refuge and he was beginning to resent it. Not that he minded the intimate moments, but they were all they had. They had to figure out something or their relationship would end up being nothing more than Friends-with-Benefits.
He looked at his watch, figuring Jason’s briefing should be over soon. It was 10 a.m. and they were due to head out at 11:30. Maybe they could steal a longer moment, providing Jason had the time to spare. He knew Jason would stop by and he hoped it would be without being in a rush. With another sigh, Daniel loaded the program he used to write up his mission reports, but before he could start on it, a muscle twinge had him reaching with his right hand to massage his left shoulder. There was a serious knot there. He sighed again and closed his eyes as he kneaded the spot with his fingertips. He was so very tired, body and spirit, and sat back in his chair, wishing he could just grab Jason and go home for a few days.
Suddenly there were hands on his shoulders, massaging him, and he looked up to find Jason smiling down at him. He was already in his field gear and Daniel’s heart sank. “I was just thinking about you.”
Daniel glanced at the open door and pushed out of his chair to close it, but Jason stalled him with a hand on his arm. “I gotta go,” he said, then pushed Daniel against the bookcase behind the desk, well out of sight of the open door, and kissed him firmly, twice. “Mission time’s been changed because SG-3 has some refugees they’re moving.”
He started to head for the door but Daniel grabbed him and pulled him back, kissing him again, adding tongue.
Jason growled in that sexy way Daniel liked and whispered, “I’d love to fuck you right here.”
Daniel agreed. “I love you. Don’t get killed.”
Jason smiled broadly and pulled away, again going for the door. “Love you back, and I definitely won’t. We get three days off when we’re finished here.”
Daniel’s eyes lit up. “So do we.”
Jason winked at him and left with a happy thump against the door frame. Daniel watched him move down the hall, greeting his teammates. With another sigh, this one laced with happy anticipation, he sat back down at his desk.
. . .
Daniel scratched at his cheek and glanced at the clock. It was just after 4 p.m. Absently telling himself he should have shaved after the mission, he paused the camera footage displayed on the computer monitor and backed it up a few frames. There was a blur among the glyphs found etched in an old rock formation discovered on P2F-559 and it was probably just a passing insect, but he needed to make sure. Rewinding and going forward frame by frame, he was on his third pass when a knock at the door interrupted him. He looked up and grinned hello. It was Jack. “What’s up?”
“Hey, Daniel,” Jack greeted, clearing his throat after. His expression gave nothing away, but Daniel was used to the man’s body language and he was definitely tense. That meant the news wasn’t good.
Jack didn’t like this, coming to Daniel with bad news. He knew it would happen sooner or later. When you got involved with someone in the business they were in, the risk was high. He’d never say that to Daniel because his friend understood the risks, but it still grated that he to be the one to come tell him. “SG-2 is in trouble.”
Daniel stood up quickly, knocking his wheeled chair back into the bookcase. Eyes bright with fear, he asked, “Is he dead?”
Jack immediately held up a hand and shook his head. “No.” And before Daniel could ask anything else, he kept his hand up while he explained. “They went to a Goa’uld-occupied world to smuggle out a Tok’ra spy and it appears they’ve been cut off from the gate or captured.”
Daniel grabbed his jacket off the back of his chair. “When do we go?”
“As soon as Jacob gets here.”
“Then let’s get geared up,” Daniel said as he hurried out the door.
Jack sighed and followed him, wishing he could have done anything to have spared Daniel the grief. He tried not to think about what else could happen, knowing it would show on his face, but it didn’t really matter. He knew Daniel was thinking it for him.
. . .
Daniel walked into the control room, adjusting the black bandana he’d tied around his head. He did a double-take when he caught Jack watching. “What?” he asked, puzzled.
Jack was going to say the color looked good on him, better than the others, but instead gave a nod and said with a smirk, “Matches your outfit.”
Daniel rolled his eyes and sat down at the control console next to Sam. “When’s your dad going to get here?” he asked, but before Sam could answer, a chevron lit up and the gate began to spin.
“Offworld activation,” Sergeant Davis announced.
“Let’s go,” Hammond said and SG-1 followed him down to the gateroom.
By the time they got there, the last chevron had locked, and the wormhole opened, sending out the brilliant blue splash. Jacob Carter appeared through the event horizon soon after, carrying a leather bag. The gate shut down and the iris closed by the time Jacob reached the bottom of the ramp.
“Hello, George,” he said, clasping the General’s hand.
“Jacob. Sorry to meet under these circumstances.”
Jacob gave him a grim smile. “I’d been planning to stop by anyway. Hey, Sam,” he said, turning to her and giving her a hug. Nodding to Jack, Daniel, and Teal’c, and glancing at the other SG teams gathering behind them, he said, “I brought some toys with me,” and handed the bag to Teal’c for inspection.
“What’s that?” Hammond asked.
“Recon camera, Tok’ra style,” he answered as Teal’c pulled out a flat electronic pad.
“A modified lo’cume,” Teal’c stated, impressed.
“Isn’t that vo’cume?” Jack asked.
“No, a vo’cume is a transmitting device,” Teal’c said. “This is a receiving device.”
“From the words, ‘vo’ and ‘lo,'” Daniel started to explain, “meaning–“
“That’s okay, Daniel, I got it,” Jack said quietly, making sure his expression communicated that he meant no disrespect.
Jacob took another electronic pad Teal’c handed him and grinned at Hammond. “I brought this so that you don’t lose a UAV or MALP. I know how the Pentagon is. Unless they’re using it, they don’t want to pay for it. And lo’cumes are extremely durable and can withstand a staff blast. A zat gun will short them out but they’ll still be salvageable.”
Hammond nodded with appreciation. “Thanks, Jacob. Now explain how we use this.”
“We dial SG-2’s location and toss the lo’cume through. It will give us an immediate reading for anything within close proximity to the gate.”
“What sort of information does it read?” Sam asked, taking both devices from Teal’c.
“Everything,” Jacob told her, “but most especially life signs for human, Jaffa, and Goa’uld.”
“Won’t Jaffa and Goa’uld read the same?” Jack asked.
Jacob shook his head. “We’ve modified it using a filter that can differentiate between immature and adult symbiotes, but not whether or not they’re Goa’uld or Tok’ra. Unfortunately.”
Jack smirked at him. “Still working on that, I’m guessing.”
Jacob returned the smirk. “However, we have this,” he added as Teal’c lifted a silver ball out of the bag. A Goa’uld flash grenade. “I believe we’ll use this first.”
Jack cleared his throat. “That’ll take our people with it.”
“I know, Jack,” Jacob explained, and looked at Hammond for permission. “It’s the safer bet, George. The first thing those Jaffa will do when they realize the prisoners are being rescued is kill them.”
“Indeed,” Teal’c said gravely.
“So this will ensure that we get to our people first.”
Hammond nodded and looked over his shoulder, nodding at Sergeant Davis. “Dial it up, Sergeant.”
“So how did you find out that SG-2 had run into trouble?” Jacob asked, looking from Jack to Sam to Hammond.
“SG-2 dialed the gate and sent a signal,” Sam said, “but staff weapon fire hit the iris and we heard Major Coburn through his IDC unit telling us to leave the iris up and that they were under heavy fire. No other messages came through.”
The wormhole engaged, and Jacob walked up the ramp and tossed the silver sphere through the event horizon. He waited a moment, then tossed the lo’cume through, too, and began to read the data on his pad as he descended the ramp.
“What’ve we got?” Jack asked.
“There are four humans, a Goa’uld or Tok’ra, and what appears to be a platoon of Jaffa,” Selmak informed them. “They’re in a semi-circle before the gate.” He frowned, adding, “But those are the stationary readings. I’m getting Jaffa movement beyond the range of the grenade.”
“Numbers?” Jack asked.
Jacob shook his head. “It’s hard to say. I’m picking up only ten or twelve, but there could be a lot more beyond the range of the lo’cume.”
Jack gave Hammond a pleading look. “We have to risk it, sir.”
After a glance at Jacob, Hammond nodded.
“George, I’d like to go with them,” Jacob said.
Hammond shook his head. “I can’t allow that, Jacob. We can’t afford to lose you.”
Reluctantly, Jacob followed Hammond out of the gateroom as they made their way to the control room.
In the meantime, Jack took immediate charge. “Listen up!” he said, standing at the end of the ramp, his eyes on SG units 3, 6, and 12. “SG-3 and 6, go left. SG-12, to the right, with us. Daniel, we’ll give you cover while you get to the DHD.”
Jack moved up the ramp, P-90 at the ready, just as the iris opened. “Let’s move out!”
. . .
Upon exiting the wormhole, Daniel moved right with his team and SG-12 and as he headed for the DHD ten yards away, he nearly stepped on Jason’s second-in-command. Captain Wagner and the rest of SG-2 lay sprawled just beyond the stargate platform, hands bound behind them. Daniel glanced at Jason as he passed him, trying not to show preference, but it was impossible not to feel it. He had a hell of a gash on the side of his head and his teammates didn’t look any better. But they were alive.
Sam located the Tok’ra operative, named Seshat, and as the other SG teams quickly dispatched the few conscious Jaffa that were trying to beat a retreat, Daniel began dialing the gate.
“We should hurry, O’Neill,” Teal’c called out as he hoisted Jason over his shoulder.
“Ya think?” Jack asked just as SG-12 gathered up the remaining members of SG-2.
The stargate activated and Daniel sent the signal, and in groups of three and four, the rescue unit stepped through the gate just as more Jaffa appeared over the hilly rise behind them.
Daniel and Sam were the last ones through the gate and they yelled in unison to close the iris. Staff blasts hit the stargate’s protective shield soon after and thirty seconds later, it shut down.
Slightly winded, Jack looked up into the control room and gave Hammond the thumbs-up.
“Well done, people,” Hammond said with a smile. “Debriefing in one hour.”
Janet and her corpsmen had been standing by and Teal’c gently laid Jason on a gurney with SG-12 following his lead. Two corpsmen took Seshat from one of the members of SG-3 and pretty soon, things were calming down just a little.
Daniel, however, was far from calm and though he didn’t show it much, Janet could tell. “It looks like it’ll be nothing more than a concussion, Daniel,” she assured him as she and her staff wheeled the unconscious men out of the gateroom.
Daniel wanted nothing more than to follow them and be at Jason’s side the entire time, but he knew he couldn’t. Jack came up beside him and slapped him reassuringly on the shoulder and Daniel offered up a wan smile.
“He’ll be fine,” Jack said, feeling like it was true. It had been the easiest rescue on record.
“I know he will,” Daniel said, but he didn’t feel that confident. It scared the hell out of him to see Jason unconscious like that. It was one thing to know about the risks of the job and accept them, but it was quite another when those risks involved people you cared about. Daniel had had plenty of scares with Jack, Sam, and Teal’c, and those were bad enough. Jason was entirely different. For the first time since committing to a relationship with him, Daniel started to wonder if they’d made a mistake. A second after that, he corrected himself because it was simply too damn late. They were tied together, for better and for worse. They were emotionally married, if not legally. Or, it was just as good as.
. . .
The debrief had been thankfully short and the post-mission check-up equally so, just like the rescue. Unfortunately, not everything went as smoothly. Because of SG-2’s compromise, as well as Seshat’s, they were put on 24-hour medical watch because the Tok’ra’s Zatarc machine was currently being reprogrammed and wouldn’t be available until early the next day. Jack found that extremely ironic. He leaned against the doorway leading into the ward where Jason was assigned a bed and waited as Daniel checked on his lover.
“Check back in a few hours, Daniel,” Doctor Warner said. “He should be awake by then.”
Daniel wanted to ask, “And if he’s not awake?” but knew the answer. “I’ll be back then,” he said. Catching sight of Jack, he stuffed his hands in his pockets and headed out of the ward. Jack joined him, matching his stride. “He’s going to be under watch for a while.”
“Only till the Zatarc detector gets here in the morning. Jacob has made sure we’re getting the use of it right away.”
“Only because of Seshat,” Daniel said sourly.
“Hey,” Jack said, taking him to one side of the corridor. “Not just because of him, but because SG-2 risked their lives getting him out of there. The Tok’ra may be a pain in the ass sometimes but they also know when to return the favor.”
“That’s a pretty damn big favor,” Daniel said, jogging his brows.
“And we’ll milk that for all it’s worth, trust me,” Jack replied, showing Daniel a smile in hopes that it would make him lighten up. Daniel didn’t smile back. “He’ll be fine, Daniel.”
Daniel only nodded as he looked back over his shoulder in the direction of the infirmary. “Concussion, Jack.”
“C’mon,” Jack said, starting back down the hall, waiting until Daniel joined him.
“Mess Hall. Carter and Teal’c are heading there soon. It’s dinnertime.”
“I’m not all that hungry.”
“Then come keep me company. If I sit through another one of Teal’c’s gargantuan meals, I’ll end up going on the diet for him.”
Daniel wasn’t in the mood, but he agreed, and as he sat through dinner, listening to Sam and Teal’c reassure him too, he started to feel a bit better.
. . .
In his office, Daniel kept looking at his watch and when three hours had passed since the last time he’d been in the infirmary, he made his way there. His heart was filled with anticipation and excitement, hoping to hear Jason complain about being stuck in bed, how bored he was, and why hadn’t Daniel come to see him sooner.
But when Daniel turned into the doorway of the ward, he halted in surprise. Jason was awake and smiling… and talking to Major Pierce of SG-12. Jealousy rose to the surface. Pierce was Jason’s ex. Why was he there? How long had he been there? Daniel knew his feelings were irrational, that his insecurity held no basis, but Jason looked too pleased for his comfort. The loving friendship Jason maintained with Pierce looked a lot more than that. Daniel knew that they’d broken up because of the job, and he didn’t think it likely that they’d get back together, but there was still that nagging doubt. Combined with the insecurity he was feeling, Daniel’s mood was darkening.
What made it worse was Pierce touching Jason’s shoulder and their clasping of hands. The looks they exchanged made Daniel feel infinitely worse and he backed away and left, walking very fast. Before he knew it, he was back in his office, closing the door. There was no way he could see Jason right now, not in this completely unacceptable state of mind.
. . .
Jack knew something was off when he rounded the corner to Daniel’s office and met a closed door. It meant he wasn’t in the infirmary visiting a certain someone so something was most definitely off. Sliding his key card through the port, he entered cautiously, the door sliding shut behind him. Daniel was sitting behind his desk, fiddling with a pen, and doing nothing but staring off into space.
Jack hadn’t seen Daniel this distracted since that first year after Shau’re’s abduction. Most of the time, he’d been unusually focused, but there’d been times when he’d just stop working and stare off into space, caught up in grief. Given that it was nearly 9 p.m., there was no reason to work, but Daniel usually did something while in his office, or he went home. But right now, there wasn’t a reason for him to go home. So what in the hell was he doing in his office? Shouldn’t he be in the infirmary, in Jason’s room?
Jack sighed and took the chair next to the desk, waiting for Daniel to tell him leave, but there was nothing; in fact, Daniel seemed to be ignoring him. Jack stretched his legs out and crossed his hands over his stomach, settling in, and when Daniel looked over, as Jack had hoped, he had a puzzled but gloomy look on his face. Still, he said nothing, so Jack simply stared back. Waiting.
It was nearly ten minutes later when Daniel finally spoke. “Aren’t you supposed to be home?”
Jack shrugged. “I could be, but I wanted to make sure the Tok’ra got that infernal machine here by morning. Was planning on crashing in my quarters.” He paused, then sighed with impatience. Daniel could be such an ass sometimes. “Why in hell aren’t you down in the infirmary? Fraiser said you haven’t been there since they brought Jason in.”
Daniel linked his hands together and sighed, staring at the screensaver on his monitor. “I…” he began, then suddenly got up and rounded his desk.
Jack sat up and looked over his shoulder, watching him pick up books off his lab table and put them on the shelf. Rolling his eyes, he got up and walked over, taking one of the books out of Daniel’s hands. Daniel glanced at him before moving away and grabbing a dust cloth. “Would you stop that and talk to me,” Jack said, grabbing the cloth.
Daniel threw him a dirty look as he snatched the cloth back with considerable force. “Since when are you all Mr. Sensitive?”
Jack stared at him, his anger rising, and ignored the question and asked one of his own. “And now you’re picking a fight. Why? What’s wrong?”
Daniel started to answer but suddenly thought better of it. He wanted to open up but just the idea of sharing his feelings about Jason with Jack wasn’t something he wanted to do. It was tantamount to rubbing his face in shit. We can’t have a relationship, but I’ll gladly talk to you about the guy I’m seeing? No way. “I don’t want to fight with you, Jack.”
“Then tell me what’s wrong?”
“I’m not up to talking about it so be satisfied with that answer, okay? You expect me to do the same when you’re in a pissy mood, so please extend me the same courtesy.”
There was no way that little tactic was going to get Daniel off the hook, Jack thought. “Why haven’t you been down to see Jason? If you’re worried that he’s not going to be fine, Daniel, stop worrying. He’s just got a bump and he’ll be cleared tomorrow.”
“I know,” Daniel said, absently wiping the table. “I’m happy for him.”
Jack frowned deeply, because those words meant Daniel was trying to act like Jason meant nothing. That was bad. “What happened?”
Daniel looked up. “Nothing.”
“Bullshit. What happened?” When Daniel didn’t reply, Jack warned him. “I’m not leaving you alone until you tell me.”
Daniel ground his jaw, stomping on the urge to hit him. “Are you going to follow me to my quarters, too?”
“Planning on sleeping here tonight then?” Jack asked, feeling a partial victory. Daniel wouldn’t see Jason, but he wasn’t leaving the mountain, either.
Daniel hesitated, feeling caught. “I’m too tired to drive.”
Jack gave him the “bullshit” look without saying it. “Out of all the times you pick to be stubborn, does it have to be now?”
“What’re you talking about?”
“Daniel, he’s not going anywhere. Go see him.”
“Fraiser said that he hasn’t seen you.” Jack paused purposely before adding, “He’s worried.”
“You saw him?” Daniel asked, torn between concern for Jason and resentment at Jack’s interference.
Jack was caught and knew it showed. “No, but if I were in his shoes, that’s what I’d be feeling.”
Daniel snorted with disbelief. “Yeah, right. He’s not worried, trust me.”
Jack ignored that. “If you saw him, she’d have said so. So, what happened? Did you start to go and chicken out?”
“No!” Daniel answered with a scowl. “He just …” He ground his jaw again, once more contemplating hitting him. Or taping his mouth shut. However, the idea of doing that dredged up a kinky scenario and he stomped on it mercilessly. “I went down there.”
“But?” Jack coaxed, growing more impatient.
“But he was busy talking to someone else,” Daniel blurted out and the look of surprise on Jack’s face had him walking away.
“Someone else like Fraiser or someone else like Major Pierce?” Jack asked, getting an idea what was wrong. Daniel glowered at him and moved behind his desk, staring at the bookshelf. So there it was. Daniel was feeling possessive. Would wonders never cease. “You’re talking to someone else,” he said quietly.
“Not the same,” Daniel said, closing his eyes.
“Isn’t it?” Jack asked as he walked around the desk and stood behind him. He knew he was too close, knew he was invading Daniel’s space, but that’s what it took to get him to talk.
“You’re not my ex,” Daniel ground out.
“No,” Jack sighed and stuffed his hands in his pockets. “And the operative word there is ‘ex.'”
Daniel turned around, shocked to learn that Jack knew about Jason and Pierce, but just as shocked to find Jack that close. He took a step back, hitting the bookcase, but he had no intention of telling Jack to step away. It wasn’t like he was threatening … or anything. “How did you know they were…?”
Jack only grinned. “I guessed. I’m not as stupid as some people think.”
“No, but it’s what you want them to think,” Daniel scowled. “I hate it when you do that.”
Jack knew he was starting to sidestep and quickly put a stop to it. “Jealousy isn’t warranted here, you know.”
“I don’t feel jealousy, Jack. I’m not some controlling, insecure shit. I love Jason and I trust him.”
“But that’s not true at the moment, is it?”
Daniel looked down–and unfortunately, it was at Jack’s belt. Looking back up, he said, “No. They were acting like it wasn’t over between them. So. I’m freaking out.”
Jack sighed. “Listen, I’m not the world’s authority on jealousy-free relationships, but I think there’s something you’re not considering here.”
Daniel blinked rapidly at him. “What?”
“You haven’t been in a relationship for a while. You’re out of practice.” Daniel looked dubious, so Jack added, “Have you ever had a relationship with someone whose life was on the line nearly every day?”
Daniel sighed, wondering what the point was. “No.”
Daniel stared at him. “Really?” he said sarcastically.
Jack narrowed his eyes slightly. “My point is that I think I have an idea what you’re feeling. I don’t think it’s jealousy, I think it’s possessiveness. You want him all to yourself.” Daniel rolled his eyes and tried to walk away but Jack grabbed his arm.
“Jack. Let go,” Daniel warned.
Jack didn’t, but he relaxed his grip. “Listen to me. When he’s hurt, you want to be the only one there for him, to look after him and protect him. And now you’re mad because someone else beat you to it and Jason didn’t send them away.”
Daniel knew that, but it was aggravating that Jack was saying it out loud. But … he wasn’t talking about the two of them, was he? It was true that Jack acted like a bear with a sore ass every time he was injured, and most especially when he refused his help. The only flaw in the theory that he was referring to their relationship was that they didn’t have a relationship. Romantically speaking. “Who’re we talking about?” he asked stubbornly.
Again, Jack rolled his eyes. “How long have you been together?”
“You know how long.”
“And when’s the last time you two had some time alone?”
Daniel reddened at the intimacy of the question, especially since it came from the man he still loved—from the man who was standing less than a yard away from him. “I don’t see how that’s your business.”
“I think you need the tactile reassurance.”
Daniel was taken completely by surprise. “Excuse me?”
“Absence does not make the heart grow fonder, it makes the heart sick. Whoever coined that stupid term hadn’t ever been in love.”
“So?” Daniel asked. “You’re not saying anything I don’t already know.”
“Doesn’t seem like it. I think you’re feeling vulnerable because you haven’t been able to have some time alone. I actually get that, since I was like that with Sara. It’s what broke us up.”
Daniel remembered thinking something similar just that morning. Friends-with-benefits wasn’t what he wanted. “And? Jack, I already know all this shit.”
“Then why are you here wallowing instead of being with him in the infirmary?”
Daniel closed his eyes, wishing Jack would move away. His feelings were quickly becoming conflicted, because here was Jack, sharing with him, giving out advice, and making himself more attractive by the minute. He was, in essence, acting like Jason. Why, oh why, did the two of them have to be so maddeningly alike? “Jack?” he said, giving in to the threatened emotion.
He said it without anger and Jack didn’t quite know why he didn’t stop himself, but he leaned just a bit closer. “You love him, right?”
Daniel moved away instead and stepped about a yard away. “I think you know the answer to that.”
“And I know he loves you.” Jack stepped closer, even though he knew he should stay away, like Daniel clearly wanted him to do. But again, something was telling him not to. Perhaps it was Daniel’s dilated pupils. “Things will work out. You’ll see.”
Daniel closed his eyes, wishing Jack didn’t smell so goddamn good. “I assume you’re still talking about me and Jason,” he purposely said.
“Partly,” Jack said. He stepped forward a bit more, even though he told himself not to. He also told himself that what he was going to do was shitty. He was here to soothe Daniel about his boyfriend. He wasn’t here to try to take him away from said boyfriend. But now that their feelings were out in the open … well, Daniel wasn’t exactly mad at him anymore … it was just so goddamn intoxicating, being this close.
He stepped closer still, and when Daniel looked away instead of moving away, Jack took that as consent. He knew the man. When Daniel wanted you away from him, he’d make sure you knew it. So right now, he was conflicted and sending mixed messages. Time to push. He slowly wrapped his arms around Daniel’s waist, getting off on the sharp inhale and the way he stiffened.
Jack brushed his lips just barely over Daniel’s and whispered, “Push me away.”
Heart hammering, Daniel whispered, “Let me go.” He froze up then, unwilling to move but unable to push Jack away. He knew he should make the desire evident and clear. Step away. But instead, he looked down at Jack’s lips and parted his own. Jack inhaled slowly, then ran a hand up Daniel’s back.
Daniel groaned and gave in. He wrapped his arms around Jack’s neck and brought their mouths together. He kept his open and paused, waiting for Jack to open his. When he did, he moaned in a whispery breath and invited Jack’s tongue to meet his own. His dick began to swell and because of that, he could feel Jack’s do the same. They were crossing a line now, straying into territory where Daniel had been wanting to trespass for years.
In his mind, he thought about opening his trousers, opening Jack’s, and then resting his forearms on the table edge while Jack held his legs and fucked him right here. Hard and fast. He moaned again, then abruptly reminded himself about the talk he’d had with Jason about a poly relationship. “Oh shit,” he said, palming his crotch as he stepped out of Jack’s embrace. “I shouldn’t have done that.”
Jack took a deep breath and stepped back just a bit. “I’m not sorry.”
Daniel, however, gave him a very significant look as he added, “Not without Jason.” The look on Jack’s face was priceless. Shock. His mouth twitched in the threat of a smile.
“What’s that mean?” Jack asked, thoroughly confused.
“We talked about you, or rather, my feelings for you. Jason was under the misguided notion that because I loved you first, he was just a stand-in.”
Jack didn’t know whether to smile or not. “What’re you trying to say?”
Daniel hesitated, but he’d already started this track, so he’d better explain. It’s just that he thought they should have this conversation off base. “We talked about what might happen when you and I were back on track. Or more specifically, what I wanted to happen.”
“And?” Jack asked, still confused, and taking another step back. Where was Daniel going with this? he asked himself.
“Jason’s attracted to you, you know.”
Jack blinked. “Excuse me?”
“You couldn’t tell?” Daniel asked, his tone teasing.
Jack frowned, even more confused. “When you feel like making sense…”
Daniel cleared his throat, realizing that he was stupid to even start this subject. “Nothing, never mind–“
“Oh, no you don’t, Daniel. Tell me what you’re talking about.”
“Have you ever considered…” Daniel began, pausing again because Jack had that guarded look on his face. “Having more than one relationship?”
Jack stared back at him, then backed up a step and sat down on the edge of his desk. “You’re serious, aren’t you?”
Daniel sighed, wishing he could take back this entire conversation. “It’s a stupid idea, so just forget I–“
“No,” Jack said, waving a hand at him. “Don’t do that. It’s not stupid, Daniel. It’s just… odd.”
“It’s not unheard of.”
“What, a threesome? No, not unheard of, but it’s … odd.”
“It’s called polyamory.”
“Is it really?” Jack was a bit surprised, but then, they had a name for everything. At least this one didn’t sound bad. Still, he couldn’t comprehend the idea of an open relationship, never mind absorb the news that Daniel was suggesting it. “How’s that work, anyway?”
Daniel didn’t like the look on Jack’s face, and he scolded himself for thinking he’d be receptive. “Obviously the idea isn’t such a big hit. How about we just forget I said anything.”
Jack lifted his chin and regarded him for a long moment. On the one hand, Daniel was trusting him again, and so much so, he was bringing up the idea of a relationship. Jack liked the sound of that, but he wasn’t too sure about that other thing. His track record in normal relationships wasn’t great so he wasn’t altogether sure he could manage Daniel’s notion without fucking it up. It was a recipe for jealousy, wasn’t it? Doomed to fail. On the other hand, he was considering a relationship, so wasn’t he halfway there?
“Spell this out, Daniel. And then tell me why you’re considering it.”
“I … love you both. I want you both. I can’t choose. If you’re willing, we could have a relationship. Together. The three of us.”
Jack’s sense of adventure kicked in and he tried to stomp it out but couldn’t. “Be with you and Jason? Have sex with him? You are suggesting that I have sex with another man?”
“Not another man. Jason. It’s a full relationship and so it isn’t cheating. We’re in a relationship together. It’s a polyamorous relationship. We love equally but differently. We can love together, and separately.”
“By love, you mean have sex,” Jack said, feeling a bit warm. “What if I have sex with him without you?”
“That’s part of the relationship. We can be together, all three of us, or we’re together in pairs. We’re in an equal relationship.”
Jack rolled his eyes. “Sounds like you want to have your cake and eat it too.”
“Yes,” Daniel admitted. “I love you. I want you. But I’m also in love with Jason. I won’t give him up for you.”
“But you’ll give me up for him. How’s that equal?”
“He was first,” Daniel said, his eyes pleading Jack to understand. “If it had been …” He suddenly realized what Jason had said and he groaned. “No. It couldn’t be the other way around. Jason told me that he’d never open up to ask me out if I were going out with you first. So the decision would be mine.”
“And you’d want him included. You wouldn’t be satisfied with just one partner?”
“It’s not that,” Daniel frowned.
“Then what is it?”
“Haven’t you ever loved two people at the same time and been unable to choose?”
“Is that what this is?” Jack asked, starting to understand.
“Yes,” Daniel said simply. “I don’t … I want …” He sighed and a huge part of him wanted to take Jack right there. Just wallow in his comfort and forget about his worry for Jason. But the moment that last bit rebounded in his mind, he knew it wouldn’t be possible. He couldn’t stop worrying about his injured love. The situation would be the same if Jack had been the one injured. “What do you say about my proposal?”
Jack chewed at his lip. “Let me think about this for a while, okay?”
Daniel stared back at him, eyes widening. To say he was surprised would be an understatement. “There’s no time limit. I know this is asking a lot. I hadn’t planned on mentioning it until we were away from here and … well …” His voice faded because Jack was grinning at him and in such a way that made Daniel blush. “What?”
Jack shook his head. “You always jump in with both feet, wanting everything you can get, like a kid in a candy store.”
“I do not,” Daniel argued.
“Yes, you do.”
“I do not. I see all the avenues and I want to take advantage of the ones that will…” Benefit him most. “Oh shut up.”
Jack grinned and stood up. “I’m gonna go check in with Walter, see if he’s heard anything through interstellar gate news.” He headed for the door and when he looked over his shoulder, Daniel was smiling a little. That was definitely an improvement on the man he’d come to see not long before. But. He also knew that Daniel wasn’t going to see Jason until he’d stewed on their talk for a while. So all he had to do was go reassure a black-haired man and see if he could plan a reunion before morning.
. . .
Jack entered the ward and looked across the room where Jason’s bed was stationed; sitting beside him was Major Pierce. Jack could suddenly relate to Daniel’s reaction in seeing Pierce. The two of them looked cozy–well, cozy enough given the SFs in the hall. As Jack stuffed his hands in his pockets and headed over, he wondered what the hell Pierce was still doing there. By his estimation, the man had been there for over an hour. Was he trying to win Jason back? Like hell.
When he was close enough to draw attention, Pierce got up from his chair. “Pierce,” Jack greeted, and nodded at Jason. “Don’t you have an inspection to prepare for?”
“Already done. Just waiting on implementation,” Pierce said calmly.
“Okay, here’s my point,” Jack said, losing patience. It hadn’t taken long. Seconds. “I need to speak with Major Coburn alone, so …” He made a whistling sound and gestured at the door.
“Yes, sir,” Pierce said. “I’ll look in on ya, later, Jason.”
“Thanks, Aaron. I’ll be in my quarters until I get cleared.”
Jason watched with surprise as Jack gestured at the guards to stand at the entrance to the ward. “Something wrong?” he asked.
“Nope. I don’t want this conversation overheard, if you get my meaning.” Jack surprised him again by nudging his legs over and sitting on the bed. “When are you getting assigned to your quarters?”
“Probably in an hour or so. I was supposed to be there already, but Janet’s staff has been kinda busy.”
Jack got an idea and rose to his feet, gesturing that Jason also get up. He was still in uniform minus the jacket. “I’ll take you there.”
Jason regarded him suspiciously but decided that if anyone could get away with releasing him to his quarters without medical supervision, it’d be Jack or the General. “Fine by me,” he said, relieved. His quarters didn’t have much but they had books and a better bed.
As they walked down the corridor, two SFs following behind, Jason said, “Thanks for the rescue, sir.”
“You’re welcome, Major, but you know we’d have done it for anyone.”
“Thanks all the same.”
“Say thanks to Jacob Carter and Selmak when you can. It was their fancy toys that got you out of there.”
“And gave me a headache to add to the bruises?”
“Ya gotta love those flash grenades.”
“Do I?” Jason asked, rubbing the back of his neck.
Not wanting the guards to hear what they shouldn’t, Jason didn’t ask about Daniel even though that was the biggest thing on his mind. Instead, he briefly discussed his mission to round up the Tok’ra spy. By the time they reached his quarters on Level 25, he was fully prepared for Jack to leave him with the SFs outside.
“Thanks for springing me, sir,” he said, sliding the key card through the port.
“Not a problem, but I wasn’t kidding about needing a word with you.” Jack gestured inside Jason’s quarters. “Do you mind?”
Bewildered, Jason walked in first and let Jack shut the door. Setting his card on the nightstand, he stuffed his hands in his pockets and relaxed his formal stance. “How’s Daniel?”
“He’s in a bit of a snit, right now,” Jack said matter-of-factly. “It’s why he hasn’t come down to see you. Or rather, why he didn’t stay when he came earlier.”
“What?” Jason asked, alarmed. “What happened?”
Jack grinned. “Pierce was with you.”
Jason was confused. “So?”
“Pierce was with you,” Jack repeated. “And the two of you looked a bit too friendly, holding hands.”
Jason’s confusion mounted. “Friendly? We were in the ward with guards posted.”
Jack raised a brow. “And?”
Jason wasn’t sure what was going on, but Jack’s expression seemed to be telling him something. And then it hit him. Daniel was jealous. The idea of it was so ludicrous, he wondered if Jack were pulling his leg. Staring back, incredulous, he asked, “You’re yanking my chain, right?”
“He’s not here, is he?” Jack said, because that was precisely the point. It was sad. Jason thought better of Daniel than Daniel apparently did. “He’s jealous and possessive. He doesn’t like that he is. So he’s embarrassed, ashamed, and not going to see you until he’s over it.”
“But…” Jason began, then paused, shaking his head. It made no sense. “I don’t get it. He’s not the jealous type so this has to be about something else.”
“What usually causes jealousy?” Jack asked.
“He’s not insecure,” Jason said, shaking his head again.
“He is now,” Jack said, as if it should be obvious. “He thinks you’re going to get back together with Pierce.”
“That’s stupid,” Jason said, aghast.
“Yes. But it doesn’t matter. He’s caught up in the stupidity of possessiveness.”
Jason laughed sadly and sat down on the edge of his bed, forearms resting on his knees. “Oh man,” he said, running his hands through his hair. Jealousy was one thing but possessiveness? Yeah, Jason could see Daniel being very possessive since it wasn’t that far from his normal protective nature. He felt honored and pleased, good or bad, because his own insecurity about Daniel’s feelings for Jack still kept him somewhat guarded. “Is he okay, otherwise?” he asked, looking up at Jack.
Jack took the chair out from the table next to the bed and sat down in front of him. “About everything else, yeah.” He gave Jason an intense look. “And, just so you know, we talked.”
“So?” Jason asked, getting impatient.
“About the poly-whatsit… thing.”
Jason’s eyes grew round as he sat straight up. “Oh.” Jack didn’t look put off by the idea but he didn’t look too thrilled by it, either. But then Jason didn’t know him well enough to judge what he was feeling, or whether or not he was being cagey. “And?”
Jack made a face and got up, beginning to pace. Jason turned to watch him, realizing that what Jack was feeling, or appearing to feel, was nervousness. “I’m going to guess that you have no idea what to feel about his idea.”
“Yeah,” Jack laughed. “It’s… odd, this… thing.” Jason jogged his brows, agreeing. “And isn’t it just like him to want to compromise on something like this,” Jack continued, gesturing between them. He stopped pacing and turned to Jason, biting at his lip. “I mean, I don’t know what he expects us to do.”
Jason laughed and ran his hand through his hair again. “Say yes.”
Jack frowned at him, annoyed. “Well obviously.”
Jason sighed and looked away from him, staring down at his hands as he absently picked at a nail. “Frankly, I’m okay with the idea.”
Jack regarded him, slightly surprised by the admittance, and cautiously looked at him in a different way; a sexual way. There were feelings there, but he wasn’t ready to address them, so instead, he put it aside and said, “I need to tell you what happened while we were talking.”
Jason looked up sharply. The tone and the words “what happened” sent warm, and not altogether pleasant, shivers through him. “Okay, tell me.”
“I kissed him,” Jack said carefully. “Right there in his office.”
Jason fell back on the bed and shaded his eyes. Dread filled him, but at the same time, he was aroused. Jesus. “Because you couldn’t help it,” he surmised. “I don’t blame you.”
“Right.” Jack couldn’t fathom anyone being okay.
Jason looked at him and sat up. It alarmed him when Jack sat back down, facing him. Was this going to be a confrontation then? “He’s wanted you for a long time, you know. That kiss was inevitable, although I’m surprised he let it happen in his office.”
Jack threw him a sheepish grin. “I wasn’t exactly subtle. We were talking about you and then we were talking about me and I just …”
Jason grinned sadly. “Had to kiss him.”
Jack smiled. “Know that one, do you? It’s what happened when I went into the locker room to change a few months back. The moment I thought about going to him, nothing could have stopped me.”
Jack shook his head respectfully. “That was really ballsy, what you did.” Jack frowned. “Wait. What did you do?”
Jason frowned a little. “He didn’t … oh, no. Of course not. Why would he?” He cleared his throat. “I went to him, there, in the shower. I walked right into his cubicle. I shut the lights off first.”
“Just let me finish.” He swallowed. “I told him I didn’t want to see him suffer anymore. And I offered myself to him. He took me up on it.”
Jack stared. “You had sex? In that shower stall?”
Jason nodded slowly. “It was … inevitable. Like that kiss in his office.”
Jack squirmed a bit, hating the images coming into his head. “What did Pierce want?”
Jason’s frown deepened. Jack was feeling protective. But how did he know about Pierce? “We’re just friends.”
“Apparently,” Jack said.
Jason looked puzzled. “How did you know about him and me?”
“It was an easy guess given Daniel’s reaction to seeing him. He wouldn’t react like he did if one of your teammates had been visiting.”
Jason pressed his lips together, seeing his point. With a sigh, he explained, “Aaron wanted to get back together.”
“That was obvious. And even more sickening. He somehow knows you’re with Daniel, so suddenly … what? He’s okay to go with you again?”
“I don’t know. I care about Aaron but I don’t want to get back together with him. Our relationship…” Jason made a face. “He’s too closeted, even when we were together he was so goddamned self-loathing.” With a sigh, he said, “That’s what broke us up, despite what I’d told Daniel.”
“That he couldn’t handle the secrecy. The real reason was that he couldn’t handle being gay.” Jason shrugged.
“He’s gotten over it, I think,” Jack said.
“Yeah, he’s gotten over it, and accepted who he is, but it’s a case of too little, too late. I don’t love him anymore, not in the way he’d like.”
“He looked like he took it a little too well. Unless you didn’t tell him no.”
Jason’s frowned turned into a scowl. “You really have a low opinion of me.” Jack only gave him raised eyebrows that said, ‘No shit.’ “Well, no offense, but fuck you. I love Daniel. I’ve always loved Daniel. And whether you get into this relationship or not, I’m sticking by him until the day I die. Now, do you have any goddamn sarcastic shit to add to that?”
“No,” Jack said, sitting back and regarding Jason with a lot more respect. “I’m sorry. I was testing you. You passed.”
“Fuck you for that, too,” Jason said, and he pushed back on his bed and rolled over and got to his feet. He couldn’t sit and chat any longer. “See yourself out.”
“I’m here about this open relationship Daniel wants—”
“Whatever. Same thing.”
“No, open implies that there’s no commitment. Poly relationships require them, just like monogamous relationships do. The only difference is that there are three or more people.”
“Or more?” Jack asked, surprised. “What, like a harem?”
Jason laughed. “You’re thinking like a straight.”
“Well, explain it to me then.”
Jason shook his head. “Oh no, you finish why you’re here.”
“That is why I’m here. I wanted to see to it that you knew about Daniel’s mood, and I also wanted to get your input on his idea. Desire. Whatever. But the biggest reason was that I felt you deserved to know about the kiss.”
“He’d have told me,” Jason said, sitting on the edge of his desk.
“No ‘probably’ about it, Jack. He’d have told me. We haven’t been together long, but we’ve been friends for a few years. I know him. He knows me. We not coming into this blind. You’re the one who’s the stranger. He doesn’t know you anymore. Just because you tell him you love him, everything’s not forgiven or forgotten.”
Jack chewed at his lip. “You sound like Daniel.”
“Really? I’ll take that as a compliment. I’ll tell you something else. I’ve hated you every minute I’ve been his friend because I’ve watched him suffer through your stupidity.” Jason got up and walked right up to Jack until he was no more than six inches away. He lowered his voice. “You hurt him. Do you even know that? It isn’t because he was in love with you. It’s because he loved you as a friend.” He stepped back a bit because what he was going to say next might just buy him a fist across the jaw and he needed to be ready to duck.
“He could have gotten over that sting operation fuck-up, but you distanced yourself not long after, so it was as if what you said to him was actually true. No foundation. No basis in fact. No reality. You were just pretending to be his friend. Now, he doesn’t actually think you were pretending, which is sad. You have a low opinion of me? Well, listen up, you sonofabitch. It’s nothing but a minor annoyance compared to the contempt I have for you. You are a sad, twisted, sick human being who can’t recognize his own feelings for someone until someone else is interested in them. And wow, once that happens, it’s ‘oh Daniel, I’m so sorry, can I fuck you now?’ You make me sick.”
Jack stared at him, anger well past the boiling point. He really wanted to slug him. Break his jaw. Hell, break a lot more things. At the same time, he saw why Daniel loved him. All the same. “Apparently it isn’t going to work. This poly thing.” He went to the door, but before opening it, he said, “I’m tempted to believe that you’re a Zatarc. It would be so easy to dismiss you that way. But I’ll prove to you that I love him. That I’ve changed. That I’ve done my soul-searching and my inner psychoanalysis. I didn’t have to. I could have just moved on and accepted you and him and went about my business. But I thought that even if couldn’t get close like you two are, I could still earn back his friendship. Ask him how he’ll feel about you standing in the way of that. Because I already know what he thinks about me standing in the way of you two.”
Jason crossed the room faster than Jack would have thought him capable. He shoved him against the wall and Jack had to resist breaking his ribs.
“Are you going to hurt him again?” Jason asked. “That’s the only goddamn thing that was honest and important among all that bullshit I just slung at you.”
Jack stared at him as the shoe dropped. “That was a test.”
“Yes. Congrats. You passed.”
Jack frowned, confused. If he didn’t know better, he could have sworn that he and Jason had a lot more in common than he’d like to admit. And maybe Daniel subconsciously saw it. Despite himself, he was aroused by the notion. And it would be fun to have angry sex with this man. One thing at a time. “I think we should make things a little even,” Jack said as he pulled Jason toward him. He was satisfied with the shocked look and the quickly dilating pupils. Taking the back of his head in his hand, Jack brought their lips together in a slow, torturous kiss. Like Daniel, the man inhaled sharply with shock and that made his libido sit up and howl. He turned them around and pushed Jason against the wall and what shocked and surprised him was the way Jason let out the tiniest of aroused moans. He liked force. All Jack wanted to do just then was tear off his clothes, take his thighs in his arms and use the wall for a bracing balance. Then simply fuck the hell out of him. Just pound into him like nothing could have—
Jason, meanwhile, felt a surge of lust slam through him and he kissed him back for all that he was worth. It was wrong, but not that wrong. Daniel wanted him to do this, didn’t he? Didn’t he? In front of him, though, right? Damn voyeuristic boyfriend, fuck that, just drop trou and get him to fuck you so goddamn—
Jason broke the kiss by pushing away, panting, and wiping at his mouth. “Jesus fucking holy shit!” He palmed himself, not caring what Jack thought about that. He was so goddamn hard! “Un-fucking-real,” he added in a whisper. He turned to face Jack, to see his reaction, and found him in the same state.
Jack smiled tightly, panting, and leaning against the wall. “Yeah,” he agreed, then cleared his throat and straightened his fatigue shirt, then headed for the door. “I’ll be back in the morning to take you to your exam. After that, you’ll be able to see Daniel and get things straightened out.” Jason could only nod. Jack left his quarters, feeling so smug and happy about his visit that it really didn’t matter if Jason said he hated him. That kiss said otherwise.
Just after 7 a.m., Jacob’s fellow Tok’ra, Malek, came through the gate with the Zatarc device. Jack had Jason and his teammates in the isolation room not long after and as he stood by Hammond and Janet in the observation room, Jacob oversaw the exams. Within the hour, SG-2 was cleared. Since they were due to have downtime for three days, Jason’s teammates went to the locker room to change and shower, but Jason wanted to see Daniel first. As he headed for the elevator, he found Jack following and schooled his features to pretend that nothing had happened the night before. “Going my way, Colonel?”
“You could say that,” Jack said enigmatically.
He noticed that Jack looked a bit tired. “Did you get any rest?”
“Not really. Tossed and turned.” He was amazed by the great acting on Jason’s part. He didn’t show one twitch or line that telegraphed what happened between them. He figured he’d test it. “Was thinking about Daniel’s offer.”
Jason nodded. “I see.”
“I’m still thinking,” Jack said, further provoking him.
“Ah huh,” Jason said noncommittally.
Jack frowned as they entered the elevator. Jason reached to push the Level 18 button, but Jack intercepted him and pushed Level 25 instead.
“He’s in his quarters.”
Jason frowned, wondering how Jack knew that. But then, it was his business to know, wasn’t it? “He hates those quarters. Did he go home to grab some things?”
Jack threw him a deeply sarcastic look. “If you have to ask, you don’t know him as much as you claim you do.”
Jason looked straight ahead. “Well, since I haven’t been able to see him, you would be in a position to tell me, which is why I asked the question.” He wanted to swear so bad.
The elevators opened on Level 25 and they both got out. Again, Jason was surprised, and he gave Jack a sarcastic look, and loaded a question with more. “Are you escorting me or watching my six in case I get attacked by some crazy person?”
Jack threw him an enigmatic grin as his gaze flicked downward for a second. “Well, it’s such a nice six.”
Jason blinked, and a blush shot into his cheeks. Jack grinned in triumph. “Oh, ha, ha, you got me.” He growled under his breath and headed for Daniel’s quarters. “Asshole.”
It was Jack’s turn to laugh. “I have one. So, do you.”
Jason shook his head as they reached Daniel’s door. “You are so mental.” He raised his hand to knock but Jack waved him off and held up his key card. There was a mischievous look on his face. “What?”
“I have an idea,” he said, and swiped the card. The door unlocked silently, and a green light signaled open.
Jason looked at him warily. “I’ve heard about your ideas. If this were any other day, hey, I’m game. But right now, I need to see him alone.”
“But …” Jack began but realized that Jason and Daniel had some things to straighten out. “Right. Tell him to … well, call me.”
Jason raised a brow as he watched Jack walk back to the elevator. He opened the door and stepped in, quietly shutting it behind him. Daniel was lying on the bed, outside of the blanket and sheet, which he hated. His arms were around his head, hugging the pillow. Jason frowned, wondering why he was sleeping that way. It was usually one arm. Daniel was also wearing nothing but his boxer briefs. Air Force blue, even though they weren’t Air Force issue. No, the Air Force loved tightie whities and ugly-ass boxers. Honestly. If they wanted better performance from their personnel, maybe treating them like royalty would do the trick. Jason imagined Daniel wearing silk and shivered. He put that on his mental to-do list.
Jason stood there, contemplating shedding his clothes and joining him on the bed, but they needed to talk, so instead, he just gazed down and admired the way Daniel lay there, so relaxed, so … vulnerable. It wasn’t a weakness of any kind. It was a reminder that Daniel could get hurt and in turn, he must’ve been worried sick when he’d heard the news about the mission fuck-up. It must’ve been that, Jason thought, which caused Daniel to overreact with Pierce. Well, and the fact that Pierce had probably looked like they were together again. Uh. No. Never gonna happen. The only reason he’d stayed with Pierce as long as he had was thanks to the man’s pleasant personality. He was boring in bed. Matched his view of his own sexuality.
Shaking off the thought, Jason allowed himself to indulge in his lover’s body, especially his torso. He had such a fine chest, such a sexy abdomen; the way the narrow line of auburn hair under his navel trailed down, becoming peach fuzz by the time it reached his pubic hair. Jason felt the urge to feel it against his lips and his dick agreed. Of course, the boxer briefs hid most of it. Sadly.
Sitting down next to him, hips touching, he took in the curve of his jaw and those full lips inviting a kiss. Placing his hands on either side him, he bent over and kissed him, keeping his eyes open. Sure enough, Daniel’s flew open and Jason quickly whispered, “It’s me.”
Daniel quickly got over the shock, but the surprise was still quite fresh, and so much so that instead of asking how Jason was, he said, “How did you get in here?”
Jason grinned. “Nice to see you too. And the answer is, Jack.”
Daniel grinned. “He did, huh?”
“Yes, he did. He wanted to play some sort of prank on you, but I told him to get lost.”
Daniel’s eyes widened. “You did?”
“We have to talk.”
Daniel nodded slowly, but he put his arms around Jason’s neck and pulled him down for a kiss much more passionate than the one they’d shared two days ago. Tongues met and tasted, wanting more, and with the smell and feel of him, Daniel moaned and encouraged Jason to wrap his arms around him, guiding them. Jason complied eagerly. When they broke apart, he let him go and sat back up.
“Jack let you in?” Daniel asked. “Huh.”
“I just got done with the exam, so Jack brought me here and let me in.”
Despite the happiness of seeing Jason, Daniel felt annoyed. “I thought he was going to stop with the shenanigans.”
Jason allowed that and shrugged. “I think he wanted to surprise you.”
“He would have,” Daniel said irritably.
Jason gave him a tender smile. “Don’t be too hard on him.”
Daniel’s frown changed back to one of confusion. “Are you feeling okay? Maybe that Zatarc machine didn’t clear you correctly.”
Jason sighed, a tiny smile on his face. “We had a talk last night.” He paused, trying to assess Daniel’s mood, and rather than set him up in the sort of trap a control freak would set, he came clean. “He told me about the kiss.” Daniel dropped onto his back and grimaced, shading his eyes, and Jason reached down and drew his hand away. “And …”
Daniel gazed up at him admiringly, wondering how the hell he ever saw Jason as just a friend. He moved his hand over Jason’s black t-shirt, tracing the curves of his pectorals before he reached up further to caress his face. The five o’clock stubble enhanced the curve and shape of his lips, making them all the more kissable. Jason turned his face into Daniel’s palm, making him smile. When at last he threaded his fingers through the jet-black hair, watching his dark brown eyes sparkle with love, he said, “I’ve missed you.”
“I’ve missed you, too,” Jason answered, slightly puzzled that Daniel didn’t seem to want to ask what he meant by ‘And.’ Or perhaps he was just collecting his thoughts. Jason didn’t really want to bring it up, but he knew he needed to because he knew Daniel would need to talk about it. “Jack also told me why you didn’t come see me.”
Daniel dropped his hand, shading his eyes again. “I’m sorry.”
“No, don’t be,” Jason said, once more removing his hand so he could look into those amazing blue eyes. “I’m actually flattered. But it also means we’re in the not-yet-secure phase. I’m sorry.”
Daniel winced. “I’m sorry, too. What do we do?”
“Trust,” Jason said. “It has to be earned, I guess. We trust as friends. I trust you more than anything, but I think you’re still gun shy, if you’ll pardon the expression, about getting fucked over.”
“Maybe that’s it,” Daniel said, thinking about it. “I don’t know.”
“We had a scare two months ago. And we had a scare over the last day and a half. I think you’re entitled to a little worry.”
Daniel nodded. “How’s your head?”
“It hurts,” Jason said, smirking. “And I still have those pain pills so I’ll take one when we get home.”
“Okay.” Daniel growled and closed his eyes. “And if I don’t seem to be with it, it’s because I need my coffee.”
Jason grinned. “Get dressed. We can leave. Let’s go by that café and grab you a latte on the way home.” Daniel nodded and got up after Jason got to his feet and gave him room. “Oh, Jack said to call him.”
Daniel paused a second as he put on his trousers, then continued. “Regarding?”
“Your offer,” Jason said. “I think. He wasn’t clear. Just … call him.”
“It’s been a while since anyone was jealous of who I was seeing,” Jason said off-handedly.
“I wasn’t jealous of him seeing you. I was jealous of you seeing him. Didn’t Pierce feel that way occasionally?”
Jason shook his head. “Aaron spent most of our time together worrying about getting found out.”
Daniel sighed and rolled his eyes. “Idiot.” Jason grinned with even more appreciation and Daniel gave him an annoyed look for it. “Stop it.”
Jason tried but failed. “Well.”
Daniel chuckled briefly. “Well, I may feel possessive on occasion, just so you know.”
“Good to know,” Jason grinned. “As for that kiss, Daniel–“
“I wish Jack had left it to me to tell you.”
“He was partly involved, Daniel. Maybe not with me, but given your idea about starting a poly relationship, I don’t see how you can feel it’s only your decision.”
Daniel nodded, grimacing. “You have a point.”
“I couldn’t be mad about the kiss. Or surprised, for that matter. I didn’t refuse him either.”
Daniel stared at him, completely flabbergasted. Not because Jason had kissed him but because Jack had kissed Jason. That meant that his instinct had been correct, that Jack would accept his invitation. The only question was when. Still. They’d kissed. Without his being there. Was there a bit of interest in that? Oh hell yes.
“You okay?” Jason asked, unsure.
Daniel blinked at him, realizing he’d not said anything. “Sorry. I’m just …” He grinned. “And?”
Jason cleared his throat. “Uh, well.” He cleared his throat again. “He kisses … he was …”
Daniel grinned. “Got you hard in seconds, didn’t he?”
“Uh,” Jason said, and with more throat clearing. “Yeah.”
Daniel grinned. He was fully dressed now and he looked around for his keys and found them on the bed. “Must’ve fallen asleep holding them.”
“Guess you were tired.”
“Yeah. So, on the way home, I want you to tell me how you came to be kissing.”
. . .
“You’re gonna be wired for a long, long time,” Jason warned as Daniel took a long drink from his large cup of espresso.
Daniel opened the front door of his house and stepped aside, shooting Jason a dirty look as he walked past and entered. “Trust me, you’ll like me wired,” he finally said, shutting the door.
“I already do,” Jason said as he hung up his coat, then very deliberately opened the top button of his jeans.
Daniel caught him doing that mid-sip. “Hmmmm,” he said, putting the coffee down on the bureau. “Do you have something in mind or are you just teasing?”
Jason smiled as seductively as he knew how and began walking backwards down the hall, pulling off his shirt as he spoke. “I have some very specific things in mind. All of them involve a shower.”
Daniel smiled and walked after him, toeing off his shoes and leaving them in the hall. “Need help?” he asked, quickly yanking off his shirt.
Jason snorted and winked at him. “It kinda requires your help.”
“Kinda?” Daniel asked, working on his jeans.
Jason backed into the bathroom and shucked off his jeans and briefs, leaving them in a ball on the floor. He was almost hard and his body was begging for Daniel’s touch and his dick bobbed as he turned away to start the shower. He inhaled sharply when hands caressed his thighs and ass and he turned around, pulling Daniel against him. “I love you,” he whispered before kissing him. Stepping backward, into the shower, he held his hand out and Daniel eagerly took it, joining him under the hot spray. They kissed again, and Jason backed Daniel against the tile as their hands sought out places to explore.
“Dammit,” Daniel suddenly uttered as he realized that one thing was missing from the bathroom. “I forgot to replace the lube. Hold that thought,” he said as he got out, dripping water everywhere.
“Hurry back,” Jason said as he leaned against the wall and stroked himself, then called out, “Or I’ll come without you.”
“Don’t you dare,” Daniel called back as he went to the bedroom and retrieved the lube from the bedside table. Returning to the bathroom, Daniel paused as he shut the door, looking at Jason’s wet, glistening body and the hand on his cock.
“Like what you see?” Jason asked seductively.
Daniel stepped back inside the shower, handed Jason the lube before he dropped to his knees and pushed Jason’s hand away. “Mine,” he murmured before taking his cock into his mouth.
“Oh man, I missed you,” Jason said as he closed his eyes and threaded his fingers through Daniel’s hair, body jerking from the pleasure induced by every lick, suck, and stroke. When Daniel took his balls into his mouth and began to finger his ass, teasing him, Jason decided that was enough. Gently pulling his hand away, he pulled Daniel to his feet and kissed him fiercely. “I want you,” he said between kisses.
“Turn around,” Daniel said, guiding him as Jason faced the wall. “I’ve missed you, too,” he said, then rubbed against him like a cat marking its territory. “So much.” He kissed his way down his back, nipping along the contours of his muscles, and he eased his butt cheeks apart. Leaning in, he teased his tongue over the puckered entrance, causing Jason to moan with encouragement, and worked him into a state of desperate need. Fishing for the lube on the floor of the tub, he squirted the substance on his fingers and began to massage his opening.
Jason panted, pressing his cheek against the tile, and when Daniel’s fingers entered him, he moaned again, louder. “Daniel, I need you.”
“Open your legs,” Daniel demanded huskily, and after Jason complied, he reached around to stroke his erection, his thumb moving up to rub circles over the head. He lovingly prepared his lover, delighting in the way he made him feel. A minute or so later, he was feeling as amped up as Jason was, but he wanted more.
“Daniel, I need you now,” Jason managed as Daniel’s fingers worked slowly inside him.
“You want it bad, don’t you?” Daniel teased as his tongue ran over a firm ass cheek.
“Yes, yes, now, dammit.”
“Suffer,” came Daniel’s reply as he continued to fuck him with his fingers.
Jason tried to thrust but didn’t know which direction to go as Daniel’s fingers and hand did their work, winding him up further. When his prostate was brushed, he tensed and pushed Daniel’s fingers away from him. “Now, dammit.”
Daniel smiled and stroked his own cock, using what was left of the lube on his fingers to prep himself. Rising to his feet, he rubbed his body against him as he positioned his cock, and when he pushed inside, Jason let out a loud satisfied groan.
“Yes, god, yes,” Jason said, not paying any attention to what he said. He was only tuned into his senses. The musk of Daniel was intoxicating and as he thrust in slow, short strokes, skimming across his prostate, Jason closed his eyes and wallowed in it. “So good, Daniel.”
Rocking against him in a smooth, easy rhythm, Daniel had to concentrate not to speed up or go too hard. He knew Jason would come if he did that and he felt so glorious, so hot, that he didn’t want it to end. He could hold back for a while, but not too long. “Stroke yourself for me,” he whispered against his ear.
“I’ll come in five minutes if I do that,” Jason responded, but his hand moved down there anyway, wrapping around his cock, and pulling in a slightly faster rhythm than Daniel’s.
Daniel wrapped his arms around him, hands gripping his pecs and tweaking his nipples, and after eliciting a moan from his lover, he asked, “You want more?”
“Yes, oh fuck yes.”
“Me, too,” Daniel whispered against his neck. “You feel so good.” His breathing was quickly becoming harsh and trembling and Daniel knew he couldn’t hold back any longer. Pinching his nipples and biting onto his shoulder, he quickened his pace, slapping loudly against Jason’s ass.
“Oh god,” Jason gasped, squeezing his eyes shut as he jerked himself off even faster. “Harder,” he requested, and when Daniel complied, it was all Jason needed. With a broken gasp, he came hard, spilling onto his fingers and shooting against the tiles. As his body spasmed and shuddered, Daniel tightened his hold and pounded rapidly until his climax exploded out of him. He held him tightly and eased out, spurting come down between his lover’s cheeks, and Jason moaned and rubbed back against him as he covered Daniel’s arms with his own. “I love you.”
“I love you back,” Daniel whispered. He reached up and took Jason’s chin, turning his face toward him, and kissed him slowly. The water from the showerhead beaded down, moistening their faces, and Daniel licked up droplets from Jason’s lips. “That was worth waiting for, although we’re not done yet.”
Jason smiled and turned around, putting his arms around him. “Let’s clean before the hot water goes.”
“Good idea,” Daniel said, looking around the shower before offering up a smile. “I was thinking.”
Jason knew that tone. “Uh oh.”
“I’m definitely gonna need to renovate if we ever want to have a threesome shower.”
Jason chuckled and dropped his forehead onto Daniel’s shoulder. “Always thinking ahead. Or is that with your head.”
Daniel smacked him on the hip. “Watch it or I’ll punish you.”
Jason smiled broadly. “Does that include tying me down?”
Daniel chuckled, shaking his head. “How can I punish you if you’re going to like it?”
Jason jogged his brows. “Because that’s the point.”
Daniel leaned in and bit along his chin. “Any other punishments you think I should inflict?”
“I’m sure you’ll think of something,” Jason answered as he possessed his mouth.
. . .
Daniel slowly opened his eyes to soft streams of sunlight over his hair and face. For a second, he thought he’d overslept and began to panic, but then his brain began to wake a little more and he remembered. It was still day. He looked over at the clock and found it was only 4:30 pm. When he turned to look at Jason, he found he wasn’t there. Then he smelled it. Food. Specifically, bacon. And coffee, on the nightstand. Pushing up on his elbows, he took the mug and sipped. The temperature was hot but not too hot. Perfect timing. A few moments later, Jason walked in, wearing nothing but his jeans, carrying a dinner plate.
Daniel smiled. “What’ve you been up to?”
“BLTs,” Jason explained as he set the plate on the bed, showing four sandwiches, and leaned over to kiss him.
Afterward, Daniel lay back, crossing his arms behind his head. “I can get used to this.” He deliberately moved his body in a sensual way and Jason smirked at him and picked up the plate.
“I can take my sandwiches elsewhere.”
“Oh no you don’t,” Daniel said, reaching for one as Jason laughed.
“Have a nice nap?” Jason asked.
Daniel nodded with a mouthful. “You’re the best damn sleeping pill. They should market you.”
Jason sniggered. “I think that’s called prostitution, but I could be wrong.” Daniel laughed in return and started to say something smart-assed, but Jason leaned forward and cut him off with a kiss. “And ya know, that’s not a bad idea for role play.” He paused, then grinned wickedly. “I hope Jack likes the kinky stuff.”
Daniel recognized that devious smile as he looked over the edge of his coffee mug. “Have I mentioned how much I love you?”
“I don’t remember,” Jason teased, and Daniel put down his sandwich and pinned him to the mattress like a predator with its prey. “Oh yeah,” Jason laughed, feeling hot all over. “I do remember hearing it once or twice.”