"How's life at the Pentagon?" Daniel asked encouragingly when Paul just sat looking at his fingernails. Paul didn't meet his eyes, which Daniel found a little worrying.
"Oh you know – keeping me busy."
Daniel hitched himself onto the corner of his desk and looked at Paul quizzically. The two men had found several common interests that they shared over the last few months. Usually when Paul visited they would discuss the latest play they had seen or concert they had attended. Daniel knew that Paul had recently gone to see the Royal Philarmonic at the Carnegie Hall because he'd offered to get tickets for Daniel. Unfortunately SG1 were scheduled to be Off-world for two weeks so Daniel had regretfully declined.
"Is there something wrong Paul?"
Paul took a deep breath and let it out in a whoosh. He fixed Daniel with concerned green eyes and then quickly looked away. "Okay, look, I'm just going to come right out with it. I've...noticed you looking at Colonel O'Neill, Daniel."
Daniel's brow creased in confusion and he shrugged.
Paul tried again. "Or rather, I've noticed the way you've been looking at him."
Daniel crossed his arms over his chest deffensively. Jack was his CO! Of course he looked at him, and perhaps, occasionally a little hero worship crept in, when Jack wasn't being a complete ass-hole but... "The way I've... what do you mean?"
"Look, its ok Daniel. I realise you haven't been Out long but I have to tell you, you're barking up the wrong tree there. Jack O'Neill is definitely a ladies man."
"Out?" whispered Daniel desperately.
Paul stood up and rested his hands lightly on Daniels tense shoulders. "Oh crap. You're not Out, are you?"
"Out as in... of the closet?" Daniel squeaked incredulously.
"I'm sorry Daniel. I've put my foot in it. I was just hoping to give some advice to a friend." Paul looked absolutely devestated.
Daniel couldn't believe this was happening. Paul thought he was gay? "How..?"
"You made it kind of obvious Daniel. I thought you knew."
Something struck Daniel then, as he peered into the accepting green gaze of his friend. He might be going out on a limb here but he didn't think so. "That I was gay or that you were? Nope – news to me on both accounts."
"But I'm right about the Colonel?"
For once, Daniel didn't know what to say. He liked Jack a hell of a lot. He was an amazing person. He'd done the hero worship thing for years now but it went deeper than that. He cared for Jack. They were close friends. Daniel knew it to be a special relationship because they had nothing in common, no shared interests to keep them together like most friends had. It was a spiritual thing. Daniel had never tried to analyse it too closely. It just existed. Now he was being forced to look deeper at the bond he shared with Jack, and he didn't like it one bit.
"No! Jesus, Paul. Just....no!"
"Look, I've done enough damage for one day, Daniel," said Paul, clearly not believing Daniel at all. "I'm heading back to the capital tonight but if you need to talk about this, call me. I understand what it's like."
Daniel slid off the table and laid a hand on his arm. Finding out that Paul was gay really didn't change things for Daniel. Paul knew that Daniel was not sexually attracted to him, therefore they could continue to be friends. And he needed all the friends he could get. It was that simple.
"Thanks Paul. I appreciate your bringing this to my attention. I'll try notto broadcast confusing subliminal messages in the future."
"Somehow I don't think you'll be thanking me when you realise you're in denial, Daniel but I meant what I said – I'm on the other end of the telephone if you need me."
Before Paul could turn the handle, the door flew open nearly knocking him flat, and the object of their conversation stood framed in the doorway. Daniel leapt back guiltily, dropping his hand from Paul's arm like it was on fire.
"Hey, Davis. How's it hangin?"
Paul smiled weakly and threw Daniel a deep look. He met the Colonel's enquiring eyes.
"Fine Sir. I'll speak to you soon, Daniel?"
"Yeah – take care Paul."
Jack stepped aside to let Davis exit then strode into Daniel's office like he owned it, closing the door firmly behind him. "First name terms, huh? That's...nice."
"What can I do for you Jack?" Daniel said breezily, not making eye contact. He hurried round to the other side of his desk and tried to make himself look busy by shuffling paperwork around.
Jack shoved his fists into his pockets and leaned back against the wall. "Came to see if I could bug you into going for a beer. Its Friday, there's nothing happening here. I'm bored."
Daniel sighed and restacked his books "Maybe Teal'c..."
"Just booked passage to Chulak for the weekend. Some religious festival, the Jaffa version of thanksgiving so I gather."
"Has a date. Go figure"
Daniel pulled open a drawer and started rearranging his pencils. "Ferretti..."
"Wife and two kids, Daniel. He'll be lucky if he sees the inside of a Sports bar again before he's 50. Look throw me a bone here, I really need to get out of here."
"So go – I hardly think you need me to hold your hand. You're a big boy now aren't you?"
Jack got up and walked casually over to the desk. He began picking up Daniel's artefacts and scrutinising them carefully. Daniel watched out of the corner of his eye trying not to show how much it was bothering him. Jack gave him a smouldering look from beneath heavy lids.
"Do you have plans for this evening?" he asked casually.
"Meeting anyone? Major Davis maybe? Sorry.... Paul?"
Daniel licked suddenly dry lips and closed the drawer with a bang. He'd been afraid that Jack might have picked up on something, and this confirmed it. He'd probably just landed Paul in a world of trouble. "Ok Jack, that's enough. It's bad enough you're thinking what you're thinking about me but Paul is a nice guy. Why don't you just leave him the hell out of this?"
Jack's eyes grew wide and he snapped upright, his face gone stony and hard. "How long?"
Daniel got to his feet and headed for the door but two strong hands grabbed his shoulders, whirled him around and slammed him up against it.
"I said, how long Daniel? How long have you been fucking Davis?"
"You're not supposed to ask, and I'm not supposed to tell!" Daniel's teeth chattered together and Jack, realising that he was shaking Daniel, dropped him like a hot potato.
Daniel really did not like the cold anger he was seening in Jack's eyes. He'd never pegged Jack as homophobic. A little uptight maybe, but clearly he had gotten it all wrong. Even if he was in a relationship with Paul, which he wasn't, it was none of Jack's fucking business. Daniel was a grown man. He could make his own decisions couldn't he?
Jack took a step backwards, then another one. "Nice, Daniel. Quote regs to me. Peachy. Forget I said anything." Jack said through tight lips, reaching for the door handle.
Daniel's soft enquiry stopped him. "Jack? Does it really matter? " Daniel was pretty sure that Paul had it all wrong about him being gay, and even if he didn't, he was definately no attracted to Paul, but Jack's friendship still meant the world to him. He had to know if this would drive a wedge between them.
Jack swallowed hard and leant his head against the cool metal door. "I'm not a homophobe, if that's what you mean." Jack sighed wearily. "I just worry about you, is all." His voice low and insistent. Daniel stood behind him and rested one hand on his shoulder. Jack straightened and glanced back over his shoulder.
"Please tell me Daniel – how long?"
"If it really doesn't bother you, then why ask?"
Jack rarely called Daniel by that nickname on base. It usually slipped out at times of stress or when they were relaxing at some off duty activity. That he should use it now touched Daniel deeply.
This would be a good time to tell Jack that not only was he not involved with Paul, he wasn't involved with any other man and never had been, but something stopped him. Jack was jumping to a lot of conclusions here and Daniel wasn't even sure how much of it he could reasonably deny. Jack assumed that he was gay and always had been. Daniel needed time to think things through. One thing he was sure about however, was that he had to protect Paul. After all, this could effectively end his career if it got out.
"I'm not 'fucking' Paul, as you so eloquently put it. He isn't gay, so you can just hold fire on the court martial Jack."
"I see." Jack turned around slowly and looked sadly at his friend. "You are a terrible liar, Daniel Jackson. I wish you'd come to me with this. Did you think I'd freak or something? Thought we could talk about anything?"
Daniel sighed. Obviously Jack had made up his mind and nothing Daniel could say would change it. And to be honest, his reaction to all this was actually pretty good, now that he'd calmed down and stopped shaking Daniel. "I promise we'll talk, when I'm ready. I have some things I need to work through first. "
Jack gazed out in to the empty corridor and sighed. "Just – be careful ok? Christ what am I saying? You obviously know what you're doing! I just.....be careful."
Daniel nodded and stepped past Jack then headed off up the corridor.
The next morning, Daniel was on the phone with Paul, when Jack knocked and entered without waiting for permission. Paul had called to ask Daniel if he'd come to terms with things yet. Daniel was still pretty sure he was not gay, but was genuinely enjoying the friendly banter with Paul. Daniel was, however, still a basically pissed with Jack about the over protective alpha routine of the previous evening, so he decided to have a little fun at Jack's expense. Lowering his voice to a more intimate regiser, he threw back his head an laughed. "...I am not going to do that so you can just forget it. No! Because, just - no, ok? That's flithy. "
Jack looked like he was about to swallow his own toungue, so Daniel muttered his farewells to a deeply confused Major, and replaced the phone on its cradle. "Something I can do for you Jack?"
The Colonel straddled the guest chair again. "I er, I wanted to say sorry about yesterday. I was out of line. It was none of my business."
Daniel licked his lips and leant forward, placing his elbows on the desk and resting his chin in his hands. Jack seemed to be genuinely sorry for his outburst but he was curious as to how well Jack was really adjusting to the 'news'. Daniel had spent a restless night, trying to figure out the nature of of his feelings for Jack, and wondering if, given the right circumstances, it had the potential to go further. In light of Jack's blatant heterosexuality, he'd also wondererd if their friendship could withsand Daniel dating other men. He was still mightily confused about the whole thing, but figured it would do more harm than good to try to back paddle now. "Don't worry about it Jack. It must have been a shock for you." It had certainly been a shock to Daniel!
"Damn straight – if you'll forgive the pun."
Daniel felt the corner of his mouth twitch up and let the smile grow. If Jack was able to joke about this, then there was hope for their friendship at least. He had never been one for brooding too long. He would get over this and move on. "Consider it forgotten."
The team were off world for the next week; a scouting mission to ascertain if this planet, P4X2715, really did offer what the locals claimed; vast quantities of Naquada.
Daniel managed to maintain an outward degree of good humour and camaraderie towards Jack during the dailight hours, but at the point where he had to crawl into a tent each night with the object of his recently very vivid dreams, things would get a little awkward.
Jack seemed distant; there was no chitchat as they squirmed into their Air Force issue sleeping bags, just muttered good nights and then the familiar sound of Jack's soft snores to confirm that he was actually asleep. Daniel would then roll over and pray for a dream-free sleep.
When they stepped back through the Stargate at the end of their scouting mission, Daniel was overjoyed to see Paul smiling back at him from the control room. It had been a stressful week and he wanted to talk it over with his friend. Jack followed Daniel's happy gaze and saw the look reflected in Davis eyes. Scowling, he headed for the gear-up room leaving the others to hurry after him.
Davis was already seated in the chair next to the General's when the team filed into the briefing room. Jack took the seat on the other side of Davis and Daniel hesitated before moving round the table to sit opposite the major. Sam frowned at Daniel's odd behaviour but this wasn't the time to talk about it. General Hammond entered and smiled at his flagship team.
"Well Colonel – I take it the mission proceeded in an orderly fashion?"
Jack managed to drag his eyes away from Daniel's flushed face long enough to answer his superior officer. "If by that you mean was it boring, and that there were trees, then yes sir."
Hammond chuckled and rearranged the paperwork on his desk. "Good – the Pentagon has requested that Major Davis here accompany SG1 though to P4X2715 tomorrow when you meet with the village elders. Actually if everything went so well, perhaps Dr Jackson would care to represent the team alone? The rest of you are overdue for some downtime."
Daniel beamed happily at the general. It was rare that he got to go through the gate without the team and it made him feel like he was finally trusted to look out for himself. But Jack was clearing his throat loudly. "All due respect, Sir, you know what happens when the team get split. I'm not comfortable allowing our civilian consultant off-world without the team as back-up."
Major Davis smiled and steepled his fingers, "Sir – I would be with Daniel. I may be a paper-pusher now, but I have had the same military training as you."
"I doubt that Major" Jack said coldly. He fixed his glittering black eyes on Hammond again. "One goes, we all go."
Hammond got to his feet and nodded. "Very well – departure is at 0800. Get some rest people."
Jack was driving Daniel insane . He had always had a tendency to overprotected Daniel, but this was different. He was acting a lot like a father who knows his child's choice of life partner is somehow lacking. And that was unfair. From what Daniel could tell, Paul Davis was really a decent guy. A nice guy. Someone you would be proud to take home to the parents. But if eyeballs were guns, then Paul would be six foot under by now. Jack's eyes should come with a safety catches.
The first days' negotiations had gone well, but Daniel had begun to feel stifled by Jack's unwavering stare. He wouldn't have been surprised if Jack had actually gowled at Paul for getting too close to him. As the sun began to set, they made safe the camp fire and Paul cast Daniel a knowing smile when he followed Jack into the two man puptent they would share.
Jack lay tense and immobile while Daniel tossed and turned. Finally his restless motions stilled and he let out a sigh.
The silence stretched out between them. Daniel sighed again and rolled over to face his friend. In the tight confines of the tent, that put them very close together.
"I mean are you okay with me? It could be my imagination, but I don't think so – you've been treating me differently since you found out about... you know?"
"Don't be ridiculous Daniel – nothing has changed."
Daniel let his eyes fall, considered letting it go, then changed his mind. He had a feeling that everything had changed. He needed to know how much though. Would Jack be able to deal with a gay Daniel Jackson? "Are you uncomfortable sharing a tent with me? Is that what's wrong? Jack, you can relax – I'm not going to jump you. But if it makes you this uncomfortable, I'll sleep somewhere else."
Jack huffed out a breath. "Fine – go crawl in with your lover, Daniel. But don't you dare use me as an excuse."
Daniel gasped as Jack rolled over to stare at the tent wall. When Daniel made no move to go, he glanced back over his shoulder at the still prone archaeologist. Daniel pulled the sleeping bag up under his chin and let the breath he had been holding whoosh out. Why the hell was Jack so fixated on this? He was obviously angry, and while Daniel could look after himself, he was worried about what trouble Jack could cause for Paul.
"Unlike some people I could name, I don't do sex offworld," he said softly, hoping to bring the tension levels in the tent down a notch or two with the use of humour.
There was a moments hesitant silence, before Jack quipped, "You eat ONE slice of nanite pizza and they never let you forget it..."
Daniel sprinted to his front door and slid back the bolt. Paul smiled in greeting and shoved a bottle of very expensive red wine into Daniels hands. Thanking him, Daniel stepped aside. "Thanks for coming Paul. I hope you didn't cancel anything for me?"
Paul shrugged out of his wet coat and allowed Daniel to take it from him and hang it up.
"This was a last minute trip so I haven't even had time to check out what's on this weekend. I was looking at three nights sitting in a hotel room watching pay-per-view until I called you."
Daniel led the way into his cosy living room and offered Paul the couch then went off to the kitchen in search of glasses for the wine. He rattled about in there for a moment before hurrying back through. Paul accepted the glass with a smile and waited until Daniel was seated beside him to ask the burning question.
"So have you thought about what I said?"
It had been a month since the incident in the tent. He had not had a chance to talk about it properly with Paul before he went back to Washington but at the first opportunity, he'd picked up the phone. Paul had made a very good point. Why had Daniel not just flat out denied that he was gay, like any straight man would have done when his equally straight friend had gotten the worng end of the stick? Could it be becuase Daniel knew it was true, at least subliminaly?
He'd asked Daniel to give the matter some serious consideration until the next time Paul visited.
"Are you kidding? How could I think of anything else this last month? You were right - I have been looking at Jack, but I haven't been looking at any other guys. What does it mean?"
Paul leant back and sipped his wine. "Well it probably means that you're not really gay."
"Not really gay? What... you can be slightly gay?"
"I mean that you're not attracted to men per se – just to the Colonel. It might sound strange but it happens. Or it could simply mean I was wrong."
Daniel shook his head emphatically. "No Paul, I have been looking."
"Before I mentioned it the first time?"
"I guess so. Only not consciously."
Paul carefully put his glass down on the coffee table and turned to look earnestly at his friend. "Forgive me Daniel but you seemed really shocked when I pointed it out. Could it just be hero-worship that you're feeling?"
"Oh there's certainly that. And I know that I care for him deeply, always have. But I'd never thought in sexual terms before. When you gave me the heads up, I did an experiment. I tried to imagine what it would be like to kiss him."
Paul was grinning from ear to ear. "How did it work out?"
"It was the most erotic thing I've ever imagined, I got really turned on and couldn't look him in the eye for four days after!" Daniel delivered the whole sentance in one breath, staring at his fingernails and going redder and redder with each hurried word. It had been like opening flood gates. Once the idea was in his head, he had been unable to shut it out and had walked around semi hard most of the last week.
"Oh God, you're totally in love with him," Paul joked.
Daniel spluttered into his wine and had to rush to the kitchen for a towel. Paul followed, enthusiastically thumping him on the back. When his breath returned and his eyes stopped watering, Daniel fixed his friend with an icy stare.
"Oh come on Paul! I'm just getting over that fact that I might be attracted to my CO. This is going too far into the realms of fantasy."
The smile faded a little from Paul's face. "And fantasy is where it's going to have to stay. Jack is as straight as they come. I think you might have been much happier wallowing in blissful ignorance, my friend. "
"Yeah? Well if Jack's so straight, then why is he jealous of my relationship with you?"
Paul poured them both another glass of wine as they headed back to the comfort of the living room. "Why are you so sure he's jealous? We're not having a relationship, at least not in that sense."
"Remember in my office, he came in as you were leaving. He was acting really weird and possessive. He wanted to know how long I'd been sleeping with you, then on the mission, he seemed upset that I might want to sleep with you rather than stay in the tent with him."
Paul's eyes widened and Daniel hurried to reassure him. "It's Ok – I told him you weren't gay and that we were just friends but he definitely thinks I'm gay and I didn't bother denying it. He gave me some time, but soon he's going to want to talk about this. He thinks I've been keeping it a secret from him and he's hurt."
"Thanks for trying to protect me Daniel but the Colonel is well aware of my sexuality."
"He is?" That surprised the shit out of Daniel. He had assumed that Jack had just been guessing.
Paul took a long sip of his wine and looked at Daniel over the rim of his glass. He was silent for a long time and Daniel could see various emotions warring for prominence behind those green eyes. Finally he came to a decision and taking a deep breath he put down his glass and turned to Daniel.
"Eight years ago I was in a serious relationship with a guy on the Colonel's team. He was aware of the relationship and not only turned a blind eye, but when Aiden was killed in action, he personally came to my house to inform me of his death. He was so supportive. I really appreciated it."
Daniel's eyes clouded over with sympathy. He knew what it was to lose someone. How much harder must it be if you couldn't openly acknowledge the pain you were suffering? If you couldn't grieve for them in public, if you couldn't cry for them.
"God, I'm sorry Paul."
"It's okay. It took a long time but I'm really okay with it now. Still hurts like hell sometimes and I miss him a lot but Colonel O'Neill's support helped me through those first few months. Actually, I don't know what I would have done without him. Left the service, for sure. "
Daniel stroked his friend's hand sympathetically, remembering how lost and alone he had felt when Sha'uri had first been taken, then the aftermath of her death and the feeling of desolation that had haunted his every waking moment for months afterwards. Paul suddenly turned his hand and clasped it tightly around Daniel's. "Daniel, I wouldn't be surprised if you were in love with him. He's one of the most decent men I know, but he's never going to return your feelings."
Actually Paul was no longer sure of that statement but there seemed little point in getting Daniel's hopes up. On the planet, Paul would have had to have been blind not to notice the possessive alpha-male looks Jack was sending in his direction that clearly said 'mine – hands off'. But even if Jack was waking up to how he felt about Daniel, there was next to no chance he would act on it.
Daniel nodded. He got up and paced the floor restlessly for a few moments before sitting back down beside Paul. "So – I'm not gay but I could be in love with a man that can never feel the same way about me. What the hell am I going to tell him?"
"Well I don't think you should tell him how you feel Daniel. He may not be homophobic, but it would make things awkward between you. You guys have such a great team dynamic going on right now. This may drive a wedge between you that can never be repaired."
The advice was nothing he hadn't worried about himself. "I guess you're right. But he knows I'm keeping something from him."
"Well tell him you are seeing me; that you were lying to protect my career. He'll buy that and maybe get off your case."
"Are you involved with someone just now? I wouldn't want to cause any trouble." If Paul were seeing someone, it would have to be the best kept secret in the universe! Career military, vetted down to his cytomplasm by the Pentagon and working for one of the most top secret military projects on the planet, Paul couldn't sneeze without a report being filed somewhere.
Actually, the same applied to everyone on the Stargate Project. The same applied to Daniel himself. Sobering thought.
"Not really," Paul said. "There's this one guy with potential but I havn't made a move yet. My work and my life are under too much scrutiny these days." Which pretty much confirmed what Daniel had been thinking.
"Ok then, if you're sure you don't mind. It might be the easiest option." Daniell grinned and shook Paul's hand. "Congratulations, you are dating a linguist."
"Oooh, that sounds dirty."
They chinked thier glasses together and got down to the serious business of getting shit-faced drunk.
No sooner had they opened a fresh bottle of wine, than the doorbell chimed.
It had been quite some time since Jack had been round to the loft apartment. Daniel stood in the doorway looking puzzled and embarrassed all at the same time.
So, what can I do for you?"
Jack frowned and peered round his friend into the narrow hall suggestively. "Well you could start by inviting me in? Or do you have company?"
Daniel blushed crimson to the roots of his hair! Jack's mouth dropped open as he finally clued in that his friend was entertaining. He took a hurried step backwards and cleared his dry throat. "Shit – sorry! Shoulda called. I'll er...go."
Paul stuck his head round the front door and smiled warmly at Jack. He reached out, grabbing a handful of leather jacket and pulled him inside, ignoring the annoyed look Daniel was throwing his way. "Colonel – don't rush off. We just opened another bottle of wine. Oh - unless this is official business?"
Jack tried to back off but Paul was helping him out of his coat and acting so pleased to see him again that he couldn't be rude. Behind him, Daniel let out a frustrated little sigh. Paul was looking at him enquiringly. "No..that's ok. I was just..you know...in the neighbourhood. So how are you Major?"
Paul pulled Jack down on the couch beside him leaving Danny to curl up on the rug in front of the fire. "I'm fine Sir. Took a while but I'm okay now. Thanks for asking. I still visit his folks whenever I can. We all miss him."
Jack looked uncertainly down at Daniel. He probably was wondering how much Paul would have told him about an old lover. Jack sighed. "Sure. He was a good man."
Jack nodded and began scrutinising his fingernails. Paul took the opportunitiy to waggle his eyebrows at Daniel, who in turn gave a miniscule shake of his head. Paul narrowed his eyes and nodded in Jack's direction, not giving Daniel any option he said, "I think there are some things you and Daniel need to discuss. I'll be on my way."
Something about Jack's arrival here tonight and the look in those chocolate brown eyes made Paul smile warmly at his friend. Daniel leapt up and caught his arm.
"No Paul, you don't have to..."
"Daniel. Call me tomorrow okay?"
Paul hurried off to get his coat as Daniel glanced at Jack, still seated and looking decidedly uncomfortable. He hesitated for a moment but the sound of his door closing behind Paul galvanised him into action. He threw himself onto the couch beside Jack and turned to face him, tucking his feet underneath him. He was getting tired of this. It was time to talk.
Jack steepled his fingers and pressed them to his brow before turning slowly to stare at Daniel through hooded eyes. "I'm sorry – I really didn't want to intrude Daniel. I feel like such a shit. Why don't I go after him?"
Jack started to get up but a firm hand on his arm held him in place. He couldn't meet Daniel's eyes but he relaxed back into the sofa and sighed as his friend released his grip. "No - he's right. We need to talk."
"Look, it's fine. You're not going to say anything I haven't already guessed. You may not be military, Daniel but the fratinisationl rules still apply. I won't ask. You don't have to tell. "
"No, Jack. I want to tell. When you first asked about Paul and me, I wasn't aware that you already knew Paul was gay. I was trying to protect him."
Jack was still not looking at him. The Colonel reached forward and picked up Paul's unfinished wine glass. He stared into the fiery red contents for a moment then brought the glass to his lips, draining it in one gulp. "Fair enough. So - now you know that I know."
"Yes. Paul told me how much he appreciated your discretion and support when Aiden died. It went above and beyond."
Jack jumped to his feet and began pacing the living room, one hand rubbing the back of his neck the other jammed into the hip pocket of his jeans. When he finally began to talk, his words sounded angry but also guilt laden. "Oh it wasn't that simple! Aiden was my friend. My best friend. When he told me he was gay, I flipped! I didn't talk to him for weeks. When I did talk to him it was to tell him he was nuts, that it was a phase and it would pass. I got into so many fist fights, so that no one would think I was gay by association!" Jack braced his hands on the fireplace and hung his head in shame. "He forgave me for saying all that though. He was a bigger man than me. I came to terms with it eventually. I could see how happy they made each other. I was glad he had someone that loved him, but I almost wreaked one of the best friendships of my life out of fear."
"I take it you didnt report him? "
"Yeah, well you know me. Regulations are made to be broken."
Daniel poured the remainder of the wine equally between the two glasses and offered one to Jack. The older man stopped in front of the couch and stared down at the glass without taking it. At least he wasn't pacing anymore. Daniel waved the glass again and waited until Jack took it and slumped back onto the couch to answer Jack's statement.
"We both know you don't believe that. Sure, there have been times you've gone against regs but only when you had no other choice."
"Well like I said – he was my friend. Davis made him happy and I couldn't – wouldn't do anything to destroy that," he gulped down the half glass of wine and turned in his seat to fix Daniel with smouldering coal black eyes, "and I hope he can do the same for your Danny. I just wish you'd trusted me with this. I'm sorry I didn't clue in sooner but you never even hinted. You were married for cryin' out loud."
Daniel jumped up and began pacing as Jack had done a moment before. He couldn't do this – he couldn't lie to Jack. Using Paul as a convenient cover story while he sifted through the fragments of his old perceptions under the dawning light of his recent epiphany seemed suddenly unfair. Not just on Paul, on Jack too.
Didn't Jack deserve the truth? Hadn't he just been asking for it? How was he going to react when Daniel finally told him there was nothing between Paul and him? Hurt, betrayed, untrustworthy? He was tired of the lies and he wouldn't do it anymore! He went over to the French windows that lead out onto his balcony and stared out over the rooftops.
"I only just became aware of it myself Jack. This is all new to me too."
Jack shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "What are you saying?"
"That I've never had sex with a man."
"You and Davis.."
"But I thought.."
Daniel turned and walked slowly back to Jack, crossing his arms defensively across his chest. "Paul is a good friend who helped me face certain truths that I'd been sublimating for a very long time but I'm not attracted to him. You jumped to the wrong conclusion, Jack."
"But you were hiding something from me? If it wasn't your relationship with Davis, then what was it?"
Clever bastard – straight to the point.
Daniel knelt down and placed his hands gently on Jack's knees. Jack didn't flinch, he met Daniel's wide terrified gaze with courage and openness.
"I've fallen in love with someone Jack. I didn't mean to, and it certainly didn't happen overnight. I fought it tooth and nail because I know he can't return my feelings."
Jack's eyes dropped to fix on the long slender fingers resting on his legs. "Are you sure?"
It was said softly. Daniel stared deep into the velvet brown eyes, so open, so candid, so beautiful, and sighed. "Fairly. I'm told he's strictly a ladies man."
"You shouldn't believe everything you hear, Danny."
Daniel suddenly realised that Jack had been slowly inching closer until now they were barely six inches apart, still staring trustingly into each others eyes. He lifted one hand and let it come to rest on Jack's cheek, all the time watching his face for any sign of discomfort. None was given.
Jack reached up and covered Daniel's hand with his own, curling his fingers around Daniel's. He turned his face into Daniel's palm and pressed his lips into the soft skin. Daniel gasped and closed his eyes. Oh God, was this really happening? Jack couldn't be offering what it looked like he was offering. Daniel pulled back and yanked his hand free. "Jack, are you humouring me? Please, I couldn't stand it if... I don't want your pity!"
Jack reached forward and took Daniel's shaking shoulders in a firm grip and hauled him into a fierce embrace. Daniel couldn't stop the shaking. Jack took his face in both hands and looked right into his soul.
"Daniel, I'm trying to tell you that I love you! Have done since the moment I first laid eyes on you."
Daniel gaped at Jack like he had two heads. "You're gay?"
"I believe the term is bisexual, although its mostly women I've been attracted to in the past. "
Jack shrugged and ran his fingers through Daniel's hair. "I almost ruined my friendship with Aiden becuase I was afraid. I was afraid that if I accepted he could be gay, I would have to take a good long look at my own sexuality. I'd looked at guys, occassionally wondered what it would be like, had the odd erotic dream. But it wasnt until I met you that I knew for sure."
"Wow, really? You never said anything?"
"By the time I realised how deeply I felt for you, that it wasnt just about sex, I was already in too deep. I couldnt risk ruining another friendship. Fear again, Daniel. I was a coward."
Jack sighed and reached down to rest his hands on Daniel's waist. When he felt no resistance, he slipped them round to the small of his back and pulled Daniel still closer until their bodies were touching. Daniel sighed and relaxed into the embrace, letting the hand that cupped Jack's jaw slide into his hair. It felt amazing.
Jack groaned and fixed his eyes on Daniel's lips as he shyly moistened them with the tip of his tongue. With a muttered curse, he leant in and pressed his lips to Daniels.
The kiss went from curious to devouring in 0.6 seconds. They both felt the shock of desire flood thought them as the kiss deepened. Daniel arched against Jack as he groaned into his mouth. When Jack gasped, Daniel took advantage of the parted lips to slide his tongue inside, pressing even closer. Tremors arced through his body like lightning and as his knees began to tremble; he thanked God he was sitting down.
They pulled apart slightly and let their eyes flutter open; Daniel's wide and trusting; Jacks smoky and devouring. Daniel's hands went of their own volition to Jack's shirt buttons and began opening them one by one while maintaining that frank and open regard. Jack's eyes were sparkling with desire by the time his shirt fell open and Daniel finally broke their gaze to look down.
His hands followed his eyes in a detailed topological study of the terrain laid out before him, then his lips got in on the act, and Jack let his head fall back against the sofa's soft cushions and groaned.
"Daniel – what the hell are you doing?"
"Uhuh – but don't you think this is a little soon? I mean we both just admitted that we're new to this 'same sex' thing. Don't you need some time to adjust?"
Daniel had all the adjusting time he could cope with. Right now, he wanted Jack, and he wanted him bad. Daniel took Jack's hard nipple firmly between his sharp teeth and nipped, making Jack yelp. Then he sucked the nipple into his mouth and teased it with his tongue until Jack was writhing helplessly against him. Dragging his mouth downward he slowly began to unfasten Jack's belt buckle as he whispered, "talking of adjusting; let me help you here."
The button popped, the zip unzipped then suddenly Daniel found himself head to head with parts of Jack he had never seen before. Jack's eyes shot open and he gazed down at Daniel in wonder. It was all the encouragement he needed, so taking a deep breath, he fisted Jack's cock at the base and enveloped the rest in hot, wet heat. Jack let out a ragged groan and his hands curled into fists at his side. His eyes half closed again and he was clearly fighting the urge to drive his throbbing erection right to the back of Daniel's throat. Daniel could feel the muscles in his thighs and buttocks clenching with the effort. His hands burried themselves in Daniel's hair. His head fell back onto the cushions.
Daniel held the base of Jack's cock gently and let his mouth slide as far down the pulsating shaft as he could manage, then up again to press the tip of his tongue firmly into the sensitive slit. Jack was forcing himself not to buck but his movements were becoming more desperate and Daniel sensed that this would not take long. He let his mouth close over Jack once again but this time he sucked hard and cupped Jack's balls, squeezing gently. He heard Jack hiss with pleasure and repeated the action until Jack was panting harshly, his ass lifting off the sofa as the orgasm built deep within him.
"Ah shit Danny...stop before I....aaaah GOD!!!"
Even though he knew what was about to happen, Daniel found that he didn't want to stop. He needed to feel Jack let go for him completely, and so he sucked harder. Jack threw back his head and howled something unintelligible as he came hard rocking into Daniel's mouth again and again, sobbing and gasping until his breathing became more manageable.
Then Daniel released him and smiled up at him through passion-dampened lashes. Jack could barely lift his head from the sofa.
"I can't believe you did that!"
Daniel's gaze became concerned as he lowered himself onto the floor. "I'm sorry. I wondered what it would be like...I didn't think."
Jack slid down so that he sat on the floor with his legs wrapped around Daniel and his back braced against the sofa. "Hey, I'm not complaining! You sure you've never done this before? Because I have to tell you that that was the most earth shattering blow job I have ever had and I doubt I can return the favour quite as spectacularly."
Daniel smiled shyly and got to his feet reaching down to help a rather dishevelled O'Neill to his. "Let's take this challenge somewhere more comfortable.." he murmured as he lead Jack to his bedroom, "...and perhaps it will take some of the pressure off if I tell you I've never had a blow job before so I've got nothing to compare you with."
"Sara found the idea repulsive, and I was too embarrassed to ask Sha'uri because she was so innocent. I thought it might shock her."
"You've had sex with more than two people right?"
"Not willingly. Hathor didn't do anything for me she just used me if you get my drift?"
"Ok - Sooooo losing the mood now. Let's leave Hathor Queen of the Desert out of the bedroom OK?"
"No argument here."
They had arrived at the foot of Daniel's huge King-sized bed. Jack reached out and gently lifted the hem of his knit sweater up and over his head. Daniel shivered as Jack's fingers undid his fly and slipped inside his trousers to close over his hips, pulling him against Jack's taught thighs.
"So – if you've never had one, how did you know how to give one?"
Daniel blushed and self-consciously dropped his gaze from Jack's glittering eyes. "Ever heard of Blockbuster Jack?"
"You rent Porn?"
"Occasionally. I don't get out much you know!"
Jack slid his hands down Daniel's legs taking the trousers and underwear with him. A little wiggling got his own trousers off and then they stood facing each other, Jack still in possession of his unbuttoned shirt and Daniel wearing nothing at all. Jack smiled and pushed Daniel back onto the bed. He straddled the writhing body and pulled Daniels hands above his head, threading his fingers through the headboard slats. Daniel got the idea and held on tightly as Jack moved back down his body, kissing and licking as he went.
Daniel's eyes squeezed shut when the hot wet tongue poked into his belly button, his weeping erection thrusting up to nudge Jack's chin. Jack chuckled and mumbled something about some people having no patience then the world exploded into a kaleidoscope of unfamiliar yet achingly anticipated sensations. He felt his cock being engulfed right to the root and he cried out with the sheer force of his pleasure.
Jack captured his hips and pinned him firmly to the bed to prevent him from thrusting too deep and began sucking him in again. Daniel couldn't take it. He cried out again and gasped.
"Oh Jesus Jack, I want you so much!!!"
Jack was too polite to speak with his mouth full, so he continued his feverish ministrations until Daniel was sobbing his name, so far gone now that nothing could stem the tide of passion.
"Ohgodjack!... oh - JAAAAACK!"
The last was shouted raggedly as Daniel finally surrendered to the riptide slamming through his shaking body and despite Jack's iron grip on his hips, he arched right off the mattress then collapsed again in a boneless, spent heap of gasping archaeologist!
"Fucking Hell Jack! Why didn't you tell me?" he panted.
Jack licked the taste of Daniel from his lips as he settled himself comfortably at Daniel side. "Tell you what?"
"If I'd known it could be like that – I would have jumped you years ago."
"If we do that again – I insist on an oxygen mask - and a gag!"
Jack laughed and snuggled in closer. All these years they had loved each other on so many levels. At first it was only friendship. They had fought together, hell they had died together so many times that no-one could deny them the love and respect they shared with the rest of the team.
But this was where it had all been heading. They had finally come home. Daniel wrapped his arms tightly around his soul mate and hugged him tightly.
As the moon bathed the bed in silver light, the two men finally fell asleep wrapped in each other's arms.
Daniel had already dialled Paul's number before he was fully awake and aware of the time. A somewhat groggy Davis answered, a jaw-breaking yawn cutting off his greeting.
"You were wrong," Daniel stated, not even bothering with a greeting of his own.
"Hmmm? What 'bout?" Paul mumbled, then suddenly seemed to come to full consciousness. "Oh, about you being gay? I hate to have to argue the point, but..."
"No, no you were right about that," Daniel admitted happily. "You were wrong about Jack."
"Turns out he was not only ready to return my feelings, he was also willing, and boy was he ever able. Repeatedly. It was very impressive."
On the other end of the line he heard Paul choke down his laughter. "Lalala not listening. Too Much Information, my friend. But seriously? I could not be happier. If two people were made for each other, its you and the colonel. Good luck."
Two strong hands slipped around Daniel's waist and two warm lips began to nibble his earlobe. "Who ya talking to?"
Daniel's stomach quivered, and although he'd already had three spectacular orgams that night, his body's reponse showed him the night was not over yet. Ignoring Jack's question, he spoke into the reciever. "I think I'm going to need it, Paul. Speak to you later." He hung up and followed Jack back to the bedroom.
Paul hung up the phone and lay down again, grinning happily. Sometimes it was great to be proved wrong.
Beside him in the bed a tall figure stirred, groping the bedside table for his glasses. "What time is it?" he asked groggily.
"Early," Paul replied, taking the glasses from his lovers fingers and leaning over him, replaced them on the table. "Too early."
"Too early to play with my big wrench?" his companion pulled him down across his body and demonstrated the burgeoning length of the 'wrench' in question by grinding it into Paul's stomach."
Paul groaned. "Dave Siler, you are going to be the death of me."
Neither of them looked in the slightest bit upset by this revelation.