First Published: 1May 22nd, 2004
Rating: Adult
Pairing: Jack/Daniel
Word Count: 13kb

This is the sequal to Inferno

Summary: Jack is slowly recovering from the death of his son when a new trauma sends him fleeing for solitude. But Daniel knows what he needs.

He hesitated, letting the engine idle, afraid to turn it off because the next step would be getting out of the car, and he wasn't sure he could do that. He had a desperate need to see Daniel, but the thought of actually going into the hospital filled him with dread. He hadn't been there in months. The smells, the sounds, the busy, bustling staff going about their business all brought back too many memories.

The place embodied absolute failure to Jack.

Slowly, so slowly, he'd been putting his life back together after the death of his son. He'd done it with the help of a wonderful man, a man who had befriended him, even in the depths of his grief, and without whom Jack could not have come so far.

But now, all that work, all those hours of talking until he was hoarse, were shattered. He'd plunged back into the deep well of despair once again.

After what had happened that morning, his guilt knew no bounds. Parents shouldn't have to bury their children. It was so terribly wrong. The loss he'd so recently suffered was still too close to the surface. He didn't want anyone to feel the way he had during those long weeks after Charlie's death. He would have done anything to prevent that for another human being if he could.

But he'd failed again.

He looked at his hands, fingers white and shaking as they clutched the steering wheel. Waves of nausea rolled over him, but he fought them back, letting his head fall forward to rest on his hands. He could feel the sweat on his brow against the coldness of his fingers, and he shuddered.

He needed to see Daniel.

One deep breath, followed by another, and he was out of the car, striding purposefully across the parking lot. He focused on an image of Daniel smiling in welcome, throwing open his office door and offering coffee, asking what brought him here.

The nice vision of it calmed him a little. He could do this. It was only a building.

The automatic door whooshed open as he approached, making him flinch, but momentum carried him over the threshold, and suddenly he was back in time, walking slowly down the corridor behind the medical staff, eyes fixed on the dazzling white sheet that covered his son's body.

A mental shake to dispel the horror of the memory, and he was walking again. Daniel had said it would take time, and that he shouldn't hope for too much all at once. It had only been three weeks since Charlie's memorial service, and he was still waking up in a cold sweat most nights, but Daniel was helping him. Without Daniel... well, he didn't want to think about that.

He hadn't been able to come back here, not until now, and as his shaking legs carried him down the bustling corridor, he wondered if it were too soon. He could have called. Daniel would have come to him, as he always did. But Jack had been desperate.

As he walked, memories of the fire he'd just attended rose up and paraded across his mind in glorious Technicolor. He could feel the acid sting of nausea burning the back of his throat, but he couldn't repress the terrible thoughts of it a moment longer.

He and his team of fire fighters had managed to get most of the people out of the apartment building under their own steam, but there had been a couple of families trapped on the top floor. Jack's people had used ladders to reach the upper level, but by then the fire had taken hold, and the smoke and heat had constantly beaten them back.

Jack had been the last one out. He'd been fairly confident that they'd gotten everyone out, so he'd been surprised when even with his breathing mask to protect his vision, he'd almost tripped over a woman sprawled in the corridor. At first he'd thought she was dead, but a quick check revealed that she had merely passed out. He'd thrown her over his shoulder and had run back to where T and Sam were waiting beside a window.

As he'd handed his burden over, the woman had briefly regained consciousness and become agitated. Jack hadn't been able to hear what she was saying over the roar of the fire as it consumed the corridor he had just come down. She was screaming and struggling, trying to get away from T. It wasn't an uncommon reaction, and Jack had tried to sooth her. But she'd no more been able to hear him than he could her.

T had climbed out of the window and taken the woman in his arms, but she'd still been yelling. Jack had lifted the corner of his hood, his lungs contracting painfully as a gust of super hot air rushed in, but it was enough to finally hear what the frantic woman was saying.

"My baby, oh God, my baby's still in there!" Then she'd spluttered and choked as thick, acrid smoke poured over them.

Sam had waved T on, knowing that they had very little time left before the building collapsed.

Jack's mouth had dropped open in shock as the woman's words registered with him. He'd turned and taken a halting step back down the flaming corridor, but a firm hand on his arm had stopped him.

"Jack, we have to go. NOW!" Sam's voice had echoed around inside his helmet, thanks to their communication link.

He'd shaken his head as he tried to pull away. "She said her baby is still in there," he'd said softly, taking another step, feeling the heat even through the protective fabric of his suit.

Sam had tugged on his arm, forcing him to face her. "It's too late, Jack. You know that."

For an instant, he'd resisted, eyes pleading, locked onto his friend's. //No!// he'd thought. //Let me try. Let me save her child, even thought I couldn't save my own.//

He'd felt the old panic rise, even as he'd ruthlessly crushed it back down. He couldn't afford to fall to pieces, not on duty. His team needed him. His own fears and needs always had to take a back seat. But suddenly the fight had gone out of him.

He'd nodded at her once, and Sam had climbed out of the window. With one last glance at the flaming corridor, at the billowing smoke and tendrils of orange and yellow death reaching slowly out towards him, he'd followed her through the window and down to the ground.

Jack leaned on the elevator call button, willing the doors to open. His head was pounding with the effort to hold back the scream that had been building inside him from the moment he'd set foot inside the hospital building. He needed to see Daniel, needed desperately to talk about this before his damned psyche twisted it beyond his ability to control. Daniel would know what to do. He always did.

It was amazing how much he had come to trust the psychologist in the few weeks they had known each other. The man seemed to know instinctively what Jack was thinking, what he needed. He'd never had a friend as close as Daniel. To Jack, other men had always been either drinking buddies or fucking buddies, but never confidants.

Not that he wasn't attracted to Daniel. Actually, he was finding himself more and more drawn to him as time went on. There was a quiet strength and confidence about Daniel that Jack found irresistible, and yet he'd made no move to deepen and change their relationship.

Maybe it was because Daniel hadn't made a move either, seeming to be content to continue as they were. Daniel undoubtedly considered Jack to be his patient, although they never met in Daniel's office, nothing formal had been signed, no official records had been kept, and no money had changed hands.

Jack thought that most likely it was his own reluctance holding him back. It had been such a very long time since he'd been with a man. All he knew was, for whatever reason, he didn't want to spoil their burgeoning friendship with something as shallow as sex.

The elevator doors chose that moment to open, and Jack found himself face to face with his worst nightmare. For one terrible moment, his eyes met the dull grey gaze of the woman whose life he'd saved. She was in a wheelchair, a blue hospital robe draped over her shoulders. Jack's quick inspection showed him that both her hands were bandaged, her hair was frizzy and matted, and her face was red and blistered in places. But it was her eyes that seemed to suck the air from his lungs. They were dead.

He was familiar with that look. He'd appeared that way himself not that long ago. He knew that was what grief did to you, taking all the light from your eyes and leaving them cold and lifeless.

He stumbled backwards, all his senses receding into a dark tunnel as he backed away from the embodiment of his failure. Dimly he heard the male nurse who'd been pushing the chair calling out to him, asking if he was all right, but he couldn't stop moving, couldn't stop fleeing. He was down the corridor, out through the hospital doors and halfway across the parking lot towards his car when his legs finally gave way, and he went sprawling.

His mind whirled, unable to process the pain in his hands and knees where they'd impacted and scraped against the tarmac. His thoughts spiralled with images of all his past failures. He saw the faces of people he had *not* saved, people he had let down, lives he had let go, lights he had seen extinguished. Why had he ever though he could get past this?

He wondered, not for the first time, what in the hell Daniel saw in him that was worth the fight.

Daniel strolled into the fire station, hands shoved deeply into the pockets of his khaki slacks. The firemen on duty were used to seeing him come and go, so he just smiled politely and nodded to them.

Daniel stuck his head into Jack's cramped office. Not finding him there, he carried on into the mess hall. Sam was alone at one of the tables, drinking tea and reading a newspaper. He cleared his throat, smiling as she looked up.

"Doctor Jackson, hello!" she said, letting the paper drop to the table.

He ducked his head, meeting her warm regard with a smile. "Didn't I ask you to call me Daniel?"

"Yes, you did, Daniel." Sam kicked the chair opposite with her foot. "Here. Take a load off?"

Daniel slid into the seat and shook his head when she offered him tea. What he really wanted was to see Jack, but it was increasingly looking like he'd be out of luck. He must have gone home already.

Sam was looking at him curiously. "So, what brings you down here, Doct... I mean, Daniel?"

"I came to see Jack, actually. I take it I missed him?"

Sam frowned slightly, and her eyes dropped to the table. She seemed to be struggling with something. Finally she looked back up, right into a pair of concerned blue eyes. She sighed. "I'm sorry. He didn't tell you, I guess. He's gone. Took a week's leave and went up to his cabin in Minnesota."

Daniel's eyes widened in surprise. Jack hadn't mentioned taking any leave when they'd talked on the phone a couple of days previously. Perhaps this had something to do with what had happened at the hospital that morning. There'd been some sort of incident, but Daniel wasn't sure exactly what had freaked his friend out. He'd come by to find out and maybe offer his help.

"Sam, was he okay?"

The blonde fire officer chewed her lip. Jack was a very private person. It was really none of her business, but she was worried about him, and knew that he and Daniel were close. Finally coming to a decision, she took a deep breath. "No, he wasn't. He was really shaken up about not being able to rescue a baby from that big fire this morning. I think he probably went to the hospital to speak to you."

Daniel paled, knowing exactly how much courage it must have taken for his friend to go there, to the place that represented his greatest pain and failure. And now he was running scared. Daniel knew what he had to do. He had see Jack.

"Sam, can you give me directions?"

Jack sat on the pier, legs dangling over the edge. He sighed deeply. He could feel the sun beating down on his naked shoulders, feel the heat of it, burning his flesh, but he didn't care. In fact, he welcomed it. In a weird, twisted way, he saw it as divine retribution, God's punishment to him for letting another person suffer through what he had.

Idly, he scooped up another pebble and sent it shooting across the mirror smooth surface of the lake. Nothing was biting anyway, so it wasn't like he was scaring the fish away. The rod lay abandoned by his side.

A few moments later, when a shadow fell across him, somehow he knew who it was.

The shadow shortened as the other man drew nearer. Jack took a moment to wonder why he hadn't even heard the car approach. Had he been so lost in darkness? "What do you want, Daniel?" he said coldly, throwing a second pebble with even more force.

"Why did you run?"

Jack shaded his eyes and looked up. All he could see was Daniel's tall outline, silhouetted against the late afternoon sun. He knew that those eyes would be full of compassion and care, but he didn't want that from Daniel right now. He didn't want it from anybody. All he wanted was to be left alone.

"I couldn't stand it anymore. No matter what I do, it doesn't make any difference."

The boards creaked, and suddenly, Daniel was lowering himself down onto the pier to sit next to him. They sat in silence.

Jack refused to look up. He stared at his naked toes suspended a few feet above the glistening surface of the water.

Daniel's feet hung close to his. Jack noticed that the psychologist had kicked off his shoes, but he still wore dark brown socks. Jack couldn't help it. He let his eyes drift higher, taking in the cream coloured chinos, the white tee shirt that clung to Daniel's chest, the pale green short sleeved over shirt, left unbuttoned in deference to the heat. Then he looked at the man in profile, seeing the strong nose, long blonde tipped eyelashes, sweeping high cheeks, full lips and long, tanned throat visible beneath the open neck of his shirt.

He gazed at his handsome, compassionate friend, who never the hell knew when to just let it be, and he waited. He waited to see how Daniel thought he could make it right this time.

"People die," Daniel said gently.

Jack stared at him, nonplussed, but Daniel offered no more words of wisdom. That was it? That was all the eminent Daniel Jackson, PhD, had to say? This was supposed to make it all right?

Jack shook his head angrily, but found that his anger was directed inward, at himself. Since when did he rely on anybody else to make the shit in his life make sense? Jack O'Neill was a big boy now. He didn't need Jiminy Fucking Cricket here to ease his conscience.

But before Jack had a chance to speak, Daniel turned his intense blue eyes on him. They seemed to shimmer like the surface of the lake. "And there isn't a damned thing we can do about it," Daniel told him in a soft, no-nonsense voice. "Before your son died, you dealt with all this on a daily basis. You will do so again, when you finally stop running."

Jack felt his throat constrict. Now the anger was quickly directed outward. Who the hell did the arrogant bastard think he was talking to?

Jack got up and stalked off the pier and up the path to the cabin, aware that Daniel was hot on his heels. His attempt to slam the door in Daniel's face failed miserably as Daniel caught and absorbed the force, and followed him right inside.

Suddenly, Jack was being spun around and then propelled forward, slammed face first against the wall next to the door. Daniel pressed his body up against Jack's back. The voice in his ear was low and husky, sending a tiny shiver right up his spine. "You're a control freak, my friend," Daniel rasped. "That's it, isn't it? You need the whole universe to bend to your will, or you feel that you've failed, right?"

Jack tired to push away from the wall, but Dr. Jackson was not as puny as his loose fitting jackets and shirts made him appear. A tall, solid mass of muscle and sinew pushed back against him, and two hands caught his wrists, pinning them to the wall next to his head. Jack felt his heart begin to beat faster as a thin sheen of sweat formed on his brow.

"If you keep this crap up, it's gonna kill you, Jack," Daniel informed him in a soft, almost hypnotic voice. "You can't control everything. You have to learn to see that."

Jack squirmed frantically, beginning to feel truly afraid now. Daniel was strong, very strong. He wasn't sure he could take him in a fair fight. And that thought was so fucking erotic that he gasped out loud.

Daniel leaned in closer, his warm breath ghosting over Jack's ear. "You have to let it go, Jack," he whispered, lips caressing the soft skin on the back of Jack's ear. "You have to let go. Now. Here, with me."

Suddenly, Jack's head was spinning. Daniel was pressed against him, the heat from his body burning his naked back. He could feel every beat of the other man's heart hammering against him. What was Daniel going to do? Jack had never felt so helpless in his life.

He was pinned, overpowered by a superior strength, scared shitless, and so turned on that it hurt. His erection pulsed against the wall, and every tiny movement that Daniel made behind him was amplified right through his dick. But still he couldn't do it. He couldn't let go of the guilt.

"If you don't let me go right now," he ground out, still struggling to break Daniel's hold on him, "I'll fucking kill you. Don't think I can't do it." He flexed his shoulders and tried to jab backwards with his elbows.

"Kill me, huh?" Daniel sneered knowingly, pressing his thickly muscled thigh between Jack's legs and making him squirm again. "I believe I'd like to see you try it, big guy."

The heavy weight pressing against him didn't let up for an instant, but his hands were released. His sigh of relief was short-lived however, when Daniel immediately gripped him by the shoulders, spinning him around and slamming him back against the wall.

Daniel's face was only inches away from him, and Jack was barely able to breathe at all. Like a deer in the headlights of an oncoming semi, Jack watched as Daniel's lips moved closer, until he could feel each warm breath against his own mouth. There was no way Daniel wasn't feeling his arousal. No way. He was only wearing denim cut-offs, and Daniel had one thigh pressed against Jack's groin. He had to be feeling how hard Jack was.

Jack's blood was hammering in his ears as he was assaulted by several conflicting emotions at once. He wanted to run away. He wanted to stay forever. He wanted to fight this man every inch of the way. He wanted to capitulate completely. He wanted to beat the shit out of him until he begged for mercy. He wanted to kiss him. Oh, God, he really wanted to kiss him.

Jack should have been terrified. He was surer now than ever that he would lose this fight, if fighting were in fact what they were doing. But he was also convinced that Daniel was no threat to him at all. In fact, it suddenly occurred to him that Daniel might be just what he needed.

With a ferocious growl, Jack pushed off from the wall, used his weight to throw Daniel off balance, and they went down in a tangle of arms and legs with Jack on top.

"Caught me off guard," Daniel wheezed against Jack's neck.

Then the gentle puff of air muted into something altogether moister. Jack's eyes rolled back in his head at the feeling of sharp teeth closing on his throat, and a hot, wet tongue lapping at the reddened mark the teeth had just made.

Groaning, Jack rolled onto his side, but Daniel hung on, rolling him further. Suddenly, Daniel was on top, and yes, Jack could feel it too. Daniel was as hard as he was.

Jack shoved his hands into Daniel's hair, pulling his head down for a brutal, lip-bruising kiss. They both writhed helplessly against each other, whimpering and gasping into each other's mouths.

But Daniel wasn't about to hand over the reins to Jack. With a strength borne of desperation, he flipped them both over, landing them on the ancient black bearskin rug in front of the hearth. Daniel bent his head down to capture Jack's lips again.

Nothing seemed real to Jack now except the feel of Daniel's mouth, still crushing his own, and the heat of their mutual arousal. He wanted this desperately, but he needed to be the one setting the pace. He needed Daniel to back off.

He pulled his lips away and tried to work himself out from under Daniel, grabbing handfuls of bearskin and trying to crawl backwards. That only succeeded in placing his nipple in Daniel's direct line of sight, and like a heat seeking missile, Daniel's mouth locked on.

"God!" Jack gasped, his back arching in pleasure as a surge of lust shot to his groin. "Daniel! Oh, God!"

The teeth that had marked him earlier teased the hardening nub while one of Daniel's hands trailed almost lazily up Jack's leg, stopping for a second at the loose fitting leg of his shorts. One thumb caressed just under the frayed fabric.

Jack tried to zero in of the noise he could hear, a deep-throated growl that someone was making. Then he realized that it was coming from him. That was the moment he realized that Daniel had won. Daniel was well and truly in charge.

"On your knees," Daniel's deep voice commanded as he pushed up and got to his feet, and Jack found himself helplessly obeying.

Daniel pulled off his shirt and tee shirt and reached for the buckle of his belt, never taking his eyes off Jack. Seeming to reconsider, he stepped over in front of Jack, who was now kneeling on the rug. "I think I'd like you to help me get these off, Jack."

Jack gulped. What the hell was happening? What was he doing? His impending panic must have shown a little on his face, because Daniel's hands were suddenly in his hair, pulling Jack's face against his groin, letting him feel how aroused Daniel was. Jack's lips parted, and he mouthed the hardness just underneath the soft fabric, short panting breaths of need and want escaping despite his fear. He only had one coherent thought-- he couldn't do this! He couldn't let go like this! He had to be in control.

"Do it, Jack," the voice commanded again. "Now."

And God, he was on his knees, his hands moving, fingers trembling, taking too long to do something that should have taken a few seconds. He fumbled with the belt, finally getting it undone. Then he slipped two fingers under the waistband of Daniel's trousers, at last managing to get the button loose. Slowly he began to pull the zipper down.

His eyes flew upwards, needing to look into the face of the man who could make him do this. Although he's been of the receiving end plenty of times, he'd never actually given a blowjob in his life, had never wanted to or thought he ever would, and yet one look from this man, and Jack was panting like a bitch in heat.

Daniel gazed down at him, eyes black with desire, half hidden behind a veil of thick lashes. "That's it, Jack, nice and slow."

Jack couldn't look at his eyes anymore. It was like trying to look directly into the sun. He leaned forward and pressed his lips to the silky soft flesh and curly thatch of pubic hair that the lowering zipper was revealing. At the tiny moan of pleasure that caused, he got bolder, trailing his tongue upwards to ghost feather light licks around Daniel's navel. That earned him an even louder groan, and the fingers in his hair tightened.

At last the zipper was all the way down, and Jack pulled back, sliding his hands up muscular thighs, letting them rest on Daniel's waist. Straightening, he stretched up to take one pebble hard nipple into his mouth, and he teased it with his tongue.

Daniel's trembling hands now rested on Jack's shoulders. "Jesus, Jack, I've dreamed of this," gasped Daniel, his head falling forward, cheek resting on the top of Jack's head.

Jack was startled. He'd thought Daniel wasn't interested in taking their relationship any further. And yet he'd had dreams? About them together? Unbelievable.

With a smile, he moved his hands to the waistband of Daniel's trousers. He glanced up again, silently asking permission. Daniel nodded.

Jack slipped his hands inside the loose waistband, sliding his fingers around to the back. He briefly caressed Daniel's quivering buttocks before gently easing the material down. Daniel's cock, hot, hard and glistening, slapped against his naked chest, and he breathed in his scent, feeling his own cock thicken and fill inside his shorts. This was insane! This was crazy. What the hell were they doing?

Daniel stepped out of his trousers and kicked them aside and then reached down to push off his socks.

Jack expected him to move closer but was surprised when Daniel went down on his knees too. Jack had to look into those eyes. Somewhere along the line, Daniel had removed his glasses. Jack had always assumed that it was the magnifying effect of his glasses that made Daniel's eyes look so huge, but he'd been wrong. Without the glasses, his eyes looked enormous, wide and open, trusting and begging for trust in return.

"Daniel," Jack breathed, leaning in for a kiss.

Daniel turned his head away, not allowing their lips to meet. "I'm gonna fuck you now, Jack," he said in a low, matter of fact voice.

"No!" Startled, Jack pushed at Daniel's shoulders, trying to get some distance between them. Couldn't Daniel see? Didn't he understand? Jack had to be in control.

As if reading his mind, Daniel leaned in and whispered roughly in his ear, "What makes you think that the one on top has all the control?" With a seductive smile, Daniel urged Jack to his feet and led him by the hand into the bedroom.

Jack took one look at the bed and his panic rose again. He knew he needed to do this, and there was no one he trusted more right now than Daniel, but he just couldn't imagine what it would feel like.

He turned to face Daniel. "Daniel, please..."

Daniel clamped his hand roughly over Jack's mouth, his other hand sinking into the hair at the base of Jack's skull to prevent him from drawing back. He used his weight to force Jack backwards towards the brightly coloured patchwork quilt. Jack's hands came up, pushing at Daniel's shoulders, but it was too late. They fell back, bouncing a little on the soft mattress, and Daniel was all over him, mouth hot and hungry, biting, nipping, licking every bit of skin he could reach.

Jack was gasping and breathless, body arched under Daniel's weight, his erection straining against the rough denim of his shorts. His mind was still protesting, but his traitorous body had surrendered unconditionally.

Daniel's fingers slackened their hold on his mouth, one digit creeping past his lips. Jack opened his mouth, letting the finger slip inside, laving it with his tongue, sucking it in further, his eyes drifting closed at the sound of Daniel's stifled moan.

"God, yeah!" Daniel groaned against Jack's neck, shifting his weight to the side so that he wasn't crushing him. He slid another finger inside Jack's willing mouth, shivering with pleasure as Jack's saliva coated them.

As the fingers withdrew slowly to be replaced with lips, Jack's mind began a systematic shutdown. He barely registered the fact that Daniel was unbuttoning his cut-offs and pushing them off, nor did he notice the fact that Daniel had nudged his legs apart and was now kneeling between his splayed thighs.

All he knew was that as the moist, hot mouth left his, it worked its way lower to lap his nipples, licking wet trails of fire down his stomach, and finally, mercifully, enveloping his aching erection.

"F...uck!" Jack clutched handfuls of the quilt, writhing in ecstasy, eyes closed, his head moving from side to side.

Daniel's growl of pleasure vibrated down through his cock and made his balls ache. He no longer cared who topped and who bottomed, he just needed to come... right now!

But Daniel wasn't through pleasuring him. After only the briefest interval of sweet suction, he withdrew, rolling Jack onto his stomach, and then urging him onto his knees. Jack was shaking so badly, he had no idea how he was going to maintain the position. Behind him, Daniel ran his fingers reverently over Jack's ass, pulling the cheeks apart and breathing right... oh God, right there!

Jack's arms buckled and his head hit the mattress, but miraculously his knees held, and his ass remained in the air. Daniel's fingers gripped his hips now, his tongue trailing back and forth over his opening, teasing him, torturing him with every stroke. He pressed backwards, trying to impale himself. But Daniel moved with him, not letting the sweet torment end.

"You want me inside you?" he asked, voice pitched low and husky, lips still touching Jack's ass, driving him insane with need.

Jack had no spit. He couldn't make his mouth work to answer him. Did he want this? Did he want to let another man fuck him?

Daniel's finger pressed lightly over the star shaped pucker, which contracted at the slight touch. " Want to feel me slide inside you, Jack? Tell me. Is that what you want?"

Jack didn't know what he wanted. His previous experience with men hadn't prepared him for this. He'd only had full penetrative sex with one man. That guy had liked it dry and rough, and Jack would never forget how the other man had cried out with pain during the whole encounter. Jack had never been on the receiving end, and the idea of it was blowing his mind. He was scared of the pain but so fucking turned on, he couldn't think clearly.

"Oh, Christ!" Jack felt the cool, lubricated finger press slowly inside, and it was like nothing he could have imagined. "Daniel, oh, Christ, no, please, no more!" he begged, gasping, fingers tangling in the sheets. "I can't do this, can't give it up for anyone. I have to be in control, have to..."

"Sure about that?" Daniel pushed a second finger in alongside the first, long and slick, gently working against the rippling muscles contractions, until finally he brushed over something deep inside. Sinking his teeth into the pillow, Jack let it muffle his grunt of surprised pleasure.

"Tell me what you want, Jack." Daniel gently began pumping his fingers in and out, adding another when the tight ring of muscle that had fought him all the way finally began to relax.

Jack groaned into the pillow. He wanted Daniel. Any way he could have him, top, bottom, standing on their heads, it didn't matter anymore. Daniel had the power to make it better, to make it right. He needed that. He needed Daniel.

"Fuck me," he whispered inaudibly into the muffling pillow. Realising that he hadn't been heard, he managed to lift his head. "Fuck me, Daniel, do it now!"

"Okay," came the soft voice. "Lie down now." Strong hands circled his waist, and Jack found himself on his side, with Daniel pressed against his back. He could feel the heat of Daniel's cock as it slid against his ass, slick and sheathed. How the hell Daniel had found time for lube and a condom, Jack had no idea, but silently he thanked the man for remaining so clear headed. In his present state, Jack would happily have let him fuck him bareback, consequences be damned.

Daniel nudged Jack's leg up, and he guided himself into position. His hands were everywhere at once, in Jack's hair, on his ass, pulling him apart, exposing him to the cool air and making him gasp, gliding over his sweat slicked skin to graze a nipple, then rolling the sensitised bud between gentle fingers.

"Please," he begged, head falling backwards on Daniel's shoulder. Please stop or please don't stop? He didn't know. Was this what he wanted? Was this...

"Yes, Jack, now."

Jack's world shattered into a million tiny pieces as Daniel pressed into him, pushing against the strong resistance. Then he was in, slowly burying himself deeper and deeper in Jack's body. Jack was melting, accepting the invasion, welcoming it, needing it desperately.

Daniel grunted with the effort of holding back. Despite Jack's willingness, it was slow going, but he wouldn't hurt Jack under any circumstances. Finally he was completely sheathed. Jack felt tiny gusts of air against his neck as Daniel panted, obviously trying not to come right there and then.

Daniel murmured, "Let's give you a minute to relax, okay?"

They lay like that for a while, Daniel letting Jack get used to the feeling of being breached. It wasn't at all like Jack had expected. He'd thought it would be brutal and rough, that there would be pain and that he would be shaking with fear. But Daniel had taken him gently, lovingly. It felt like coming home.

Every breath he took, every minute twitch he made heightened his awareness of Daniel inside him. It was overwhelming, but not out of control. It was too much, but oddly, it was not enough. He canted his hips slightly, gasping as he felt Daniel's cock pulse inside him.

Daniel reached around and began to caress Jack's cock with long, leisurely strokes. "Will you let go for me, Jack?" he whispered, the words tickling the short hairs at the nape of Jack's neck.

It was one sensory spike too many. Groaning, Jack slammed himself back against Daniel, feeling Daniel's cock stab that sensitive spot inside him, and he lost it, lost his last fragile grip on his control. He wanted everything Daniel could give him, and he wanted it now.

"Oh!" Daniel's free hand closed on his hip, pulling him back to meet his thrusts. "Jack, easy!" But his own movements were no longer gentle or tentative; Jack wasn't the only one losing his grip there. Daniel's hips pistoned, driving his cock into Jack as far as he could reach, and Jack was matching him, thrust for thrust.

"Yeah, like that!" cried Jack, feeling his orgasm building, coiling in the pit of his stomach, desperate to break loose. "Oh, fuck, yeah! Do it, Daniel, do it."

"Jack...!" He could hear the desperation in Daniel's voice, but he didn't care. He wanted this!

"Make me come, Danny, make me... oh, God! Yeah!"

Daniel was in him, all around him, surrounding him, holding him down, bearing him up, touching him everywhere, dragging his ragged breath from tortured lungs. He was falling, but there was nowhere to go. Arms held him, and he flew apart.

"Yes! Daniel! Yes!" He was coming, and it was incredible, the most intense orgasm he'd ever had, bursting forth from him and making his muscles contract.

That seemed to be all it took for Daniel, too. With a cry muffled against Jack's shoulder, he spasmed, hips surging forward one last time, shaking them both with the sheer force of it.

Arms like steel bands around his chest, Daniel held him as they rocked through the aftershocks. It felt like hours before Jack's heart stopped trying to hammer its way out of his chest.

The first coherent words out of Daniel's mouth were, "Damn, it Jack!"

Jack's muscles relaxed one by one, and he turned his head, looking over his shoulder. Daniel's hair was plastered to his forehead, his eyes glittering, but he was smiling. Jack could still feel Daniel inside him, and he wriggled his ass a little just to hear the other man gasp.

"We just had cosmic, mind-blowing sex for the first time, and all you can say is 'damn it Jack'?"

Daniel nuzzled the back of Jack's neck, his own heartbeat still thudding in his ears, as his breathing slowly settled back to normal. "I was supposed to be taking it slowly, being gentle and considerate with you," he said as he slowly eased out.

Jack winced a little. He was going to have trouble sitting down for a while, he guessed. But it was a good hurt. He twisted around onto his back, needing to see Daniel's face. "And that's what you did. Daniel, it was incredible. I didn't know it could be like that. No one's ever made me feel so protected." He ran the fingers of one hand down over Daniel's cheek.

"But I lost control," Daniel protested. "I was so sure I could 'tame' you, but you made me crazy! I could have hurt you."

"Tame me? Like I'm a wild animal or something?"

Daniel rested his head on Jack's chest, playing with the light sprinkling of fine grey hairs. "Most men would enjoy their partners referring to them as an animal in bed." He glanced up into Jack's face. "But seriously-- no regrets?"

Jack slid his arms around him, hesitating before answering. Partner. He liked the sound of that. This may not have been something he would have chosen, but Daniel had shown him a side of himself he hadn't known existed. He may not want to be dominated often, but when he needed it, he wanted Daniel to be the one to do it.

"Regrets? I guess that depends," he finally said, running his fingers through the soft brown hair at the nape of Daniel's neck. "Are we gonna do this again?"

"If you want to."

"Then I have no regrets."

They lay in silence for a while, listening the each other's hearts in the silence of the bedroom.

But there was something on Jack's mind. "How did you know what I needed?" he asked softly, continuing to run his fingers thought Daniel's hair. He felt rather that heard the huff of laughter against his chest.

"Psychologist, remember? They pay me big bucks to know what will help people."

Jack curved his arms possessively around his partner, glad to feel Daniel squeeze him right back.

"You needed to know that you could let some one else call the shots, and it wouldn't be the end of the world," Daniel told him. "And you had to know that there's someone there to hold you down, literally and figuratively. Someone who can keep you from running."

They were quiet for a while. Jack stared up at the ceiling, wondering if Daniel was still awake. For the first time since the fire, he wasn't afraid to close his eyes and sleep, knowing that even if the nightmares came, Daniel would be there when he woke. Daniel had taught him that there was nothing wrong with relying on someone else occasionally. It wasn't a weakness, it was a strength.



"Why now? I mean, I'm not complaining or anything, but to be honest, I didn't think you were interested in me like *that*."

Daniel propped up his head on one hand and smiled. "I was interested in you *that* way from the moment I set eyes on you Jack, but you were still suffering too much grief then. You needed my professional help, and I couldn't mix business with pleasure."

Jack reached up to trace one sweeping eyebrow with his finger, "And yet, here you are, in my bed, sweat soaked and satiated, you *are* satiated I take it..." he said with a grin. At Daniel's nod, he continued, "... thank God. So, what changed?"

"I'd decided you didn't need me professionally anymore. You'd made such good progress that I felt it was time to pull back. But when Sam told me what happened at the hospital, I found that I couldn't abandon you like that. Coming up here wasn't the act of a psychologist, Jack, it was the act of a worried friend."

Jack held out his hand, and Daniel grasped it. "I don't need to run anymore. Not if you're with me."

Daniel searched Jack's face and knew he was telling the truth. With a smile that took Jack's breath away, Daniel pinned him to the bed again. "I'm glad you said that. 'Cause I fully intend to be with you until we're both too old to get it up anymore."

Jack felt the last of the tension slip away. It wasn't exactly a declaration of undying love, but then they *were* both guys. What Daniel was promising was more than Jack could have ever hoped for. He answered in the only way he knew how. "That'll happen to you waaaay before it happens to me."

"Will not!"

"Will too."




"Too...oo...oo, Daniel!"



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