Jack O'Neill carefully refolded the newspaper and, dropping it on the ground, reached beneath the lounger for his beer. The sun creeping out from behind the trees had warmed the can and it's contents, but he drank anyway, too lazy to get up and fetch a cold can from the refrigerator. Too lazy to do anything.


Odd how the fickle human mind always wants what it hasn't got. Running missions to distant worlds day after day, cramming briefings and debriefings in between, he longed for some time to himself, just a couple of days when he could kick back and enjoy life's innocent little pleasures. It wasn't much to ask.

And then the General had uttered the magic words "R&R". Three rough trips through the Stargate in rapid succession had compromised their physical abilities, he said, their reaction time was down, their concentration was less than 100 percent. He gave them an additional three days and told them he didn't want to see any of them around the base until Monday morning.

That had been Tuesday. This was Friday morning, and Jack's fickle mind was telling him he was bored. So far he'd cleaned the house, mowed the lawn and done a couple of routine maintenance jobs on the jeep, and unless he could motivate himself to tackle the paint job on the outside of the house, the one he'd been putting off for the last six months, it looked like the rest of his vacation would be wasted on sleeping and watching daytime t.v. The prospect of a three day diet of game shows and mind numbing soaps was not one he looked forward to with any enthusiasm.

The morning grew warmer and he began to drift, not quite dozing but at the same time losing awareness of the world around him. He found himself thinking of their last trip through the gate, the unexpected confrontation with Apophis, the injuries Teal'c had suffered and how close they had all come to not getting out at all. Too close he acknowledged, recalling how Daniel had been trapped by crossfire as he activated the DHD, and how Teal'c had stepped in to protect him until the gate had been opened, turning his body into a living shield for the younger man.

Jack swallowed hard as the insidious chill of jealousy crawled over his skin. He knew it was stupid to view the events in that way, but still he couldn't get away from the image of Teal'c and Daniel, back to back, against Apophis' guards, Teal'c fending off the attack with blast after blast of his staff weapon while Daniel fired one-handed as he keyed in the sequence that would open the gate and take them home. It wasn't the first time they had been forced to make such an exit, but there was something different this time, something .... heroic and almost ... sensual in the way Teal'c had defended his friend.

Almost like a lover...

He shifted agitatedly on the lounger, annoyed at the sudden wave of irrational thoughts. Chulak had its own customs, its own codes and who was to say what traditions there were between warriors. Even so, he found it hard to believe that Teal'c would be interested in Daniel in that way. The space monkey was hardly warrior material and while he was sure that Teal'c had come to care about each of them in his own way, Jack was equally certain that the Jaffa was more likely to be drawn to someone who matched him in strength and ability.

On the other hand, we all get lonely... Jack mused, counting himself in that category. For Colonel Jack O'Neill, loneliness was a full time occupation.

Teal'c and Daniel ... He told himself it didn't matter, that it was none of his business if they were involved, but it was a lie. It mattered - a lot. He cared about Teal'c, he wanted him to find happiness in what was, to him, an alien world, and he would happily play matchmaker between him whoever took the Jaffa's fancy - as long as it wasn't Dr. Daniel Jackson.

Ah Danny he sighed How'd I ever let you get under my skin like this?

Time and again he had tried to pin down the exact moment when his feelings towards the younger man had changed, but there were so many things that could have been the catalyst. The only things of which he could be certain were that sometime during that first trip to Abydos he had fallen in love with Daniel, and that leaving him behind had been one of the hardest things he had ever had to do. Finding him again had been like someone turning a light on in the darkened room of his life.

Somewhere in the distance a car door slammed and a startled dog began to bark, but he closed his mind to the sounds. Drifting further away from reality, he abandoned his mind to thoughts of Daniel, resurrecting memories of his friend as he so often saw him, totally absorbed in the newness of their surroundings on some distant world, enthralled by some alien artefact, the gold-rimmed glasses perched on his nose, his beautiful blue eyes shining with delight at some discovery. But his favourite image of all, the one to which he clung when his futile desires plunged him into despair, was of Daniel seated on a rock, bathed in sunlight, gazing out across a lake of sparkling cerulean blue with such a look of longing on his face that Jack had ached to hold him. Only the knowledge that Daniel was probably thinking of his lost wife, Sha're, had made Jack hold back, but he had stood for a long time, just watching him, until Daniel had become aware of his presence and turned, and smiled - such a beautiful, poignant smile - melting Jack to the core. If only he could be the cause of such a smile on that face.

Smile for me, Danny, he wished silently Just once, just for me, so I can pretend you love me, the way I love you.

How many times had he made love to Daniel in his dreams? Too many to count, and not once had the dream been anything like the reality would surely be, if Daniel loved him.

A groan, painfilled and fuelled by frustration, slipped from his lips as he felt the familiar ache begin in his groin. Not now, dammit! he protested, but it was already too late. His cock was filling, straining against his jeans, taunting him with empty promises. {{You can have Daniel}} it told him {{I can give you the only Daniel you'll ever have... Right here, right now... Daniel's hands... Daniel's mouth... Daniel's cock inside you... You can have it all, Jack, whenever you want it....}}

"Oh Jeeez --!" The cry shattered the mid-day stillness, but even as he tried to focus on something - anything - else, his mind and body conspired against him, illicit desires coalescing into the familiar shape and form of his dream lover, standing over him, smiling, promises in his eyes. {{I can be whatever you want me to be, Jack. We can do whatever you want to do. Your show... }}

Almost without thinking, Jack slid his hand to cover his own bulging crotch, squeezing himself through the denim. The last remaining thread of sanity told him he should take this inside, but DreamDaniel shook his head. {{Nobody can see you, Jack, why break the mood? Go for it...}}

"Noooo --"

{{Think about it... What could be better on a day like today than lying in the sunshine, getting fucked senseless?}}

A warm breeze sighed across Jack's face and he imagined Daniel's tongue teasing his ear, the side of his neck, kissing along his jaw until it reached his mouth. Someone's hands opened his fly, freed him from the restriction of jeans and shorts and he gave a tiny gasp of pleasure as the breeze skipped across the head of his cock, chilling the film of pre-cum glistening there. Riding a wave of pure pleasure, he caught his lower lip between his teeth, holding his breath as he rolled his thumb across the slit, spreading more of the viscous fluid.

{{Yeah, that's it... Stroke yourself, babe... Let me watch you love yourself...}}

And Jack could resist no longer. Working his clothes further down, he spread his legs and slipped his free hand between his thighs, cupping and squeezing his balls as he thrust into his palm. His hands quickly lost their own identity and became instead DreamDaniel's, teasing him, pumping him, sliding back to probe him with a saliva-slicked fingertip. He rocked his hips, letting DreamDaniel set the rhythm, wanting this, needing this.


{{Jack... }}

"Oh yeah... yeah ... there! Oh Danny... " It felt so good. Danny's hands stroking him nearer and nearer to the edge of oblivion, Danny's cock working deeper and deeper inside him. "Fuck me, babe..."


"Fuck me, Danny... Please..." Ohdannybabyplease... fuckmefuckmefuckme...


All movement ceased abruptly as the voice sliced through the red haze of passion enfolding his mind. That voice... ohshitohshitohshit!

The sudden rush of reality returning was not unlike a bad jump through the Stargate, setting his stomach churning and slicking his skin with the cold sweat of fear. Not daring to breathe or move, he opened one eye, slitting it against the glare of the sun. The familiar figure stood three feet away, watching him, a whirlwind of emotions chasing each other across his features.

"Daniel?" The word formed on his lips but his parched throat could barely give it sound and it emerged as no more than an embarrassed squeak.

The blue eyes held his for a moment longer before sliding down the length of his body, coming to rest on his exposed genitals. "Ah - Jack..." Daniel shifted awkwardly from one foot to another, tore his gaze away to look at the grass, the trees, the house - anywhere but look at Jack again.

Wishing the earth would open up and swallow him whole, Jack forced his brain to resume function and shifted his hands to cover himself, at the same time wondering how the hell he was going to get all that back inside his pants without causing himself permanent injury for, despite the shock of Daniel's arrival and his own shame at being discovered beating off in his own back yard, his erection refused to subside.

Let's see you get out of this one, O'Neill his subconscious mocked. He cleared his throat. "Danny... I - ah - thought you were in -- New York."

Seemingly startled by the sound of Jack's voice, Daniel took a pace away. "I - got bored on my own," he whispered, voice equalling Jack's for unsteadiness. "Ah - look - um - why don't I just - er - go wait in the car while you - ah - finish - um... doing whatever you were - ah - doing..."

Jack started to protest, to explain, to apologise, but was abruptly silenced by a movement of Daniel's hand as the young man backed off, turned, and strode towards the side gate and the sanctuary of the drive.

As he watched his crimson-faced friend retreat, a tidal wave of misery washed over Jack. "Oh shitfuckdamn! What've I done... " he groaned, sitting up and burying his flaming face in hands that shook from an overload of adrenaline and unsatisfied arousal. How in gods name had he allowed himself to get carried away like that, and out here of all places, where anyone could see him. Not just anyone though, was it, ya dumbfuck! He saw you. Probably heard you too - 'oh, fuck me Danny' - Secret's out, Jack!

He stared at his hands, as if they were the cause of all his problems, a distant part of him wishing he could cut them off so that he would never again be tempted to touch himself like that. Not that it would stop his feelings for Daniel. They could cut him into tiny pieces and scatter him to the four winds and he would still go on loving Daniel.

But Daniel would never love him. The possibility had been remote before, but after this... He wouldn't be surprised if Danny never wanted to speak to him, or look at him, or even be in the same room as him, ever again. Destroying the dream of loving Daniel was one thing, but by his careless actions he had also destroyed their friendship and of the two, that would be the hardest to bear.

Disgust had at last achieved what shock and fear could not and he got to his feet, angrily stuffing his softened cock back into his pants, noticing as he did so that the sun was now obscured by heavy grey rain clouds. It seemed somehow appropriate. He fastened his jeans, tucked in his shirt, ran his hands through his hair, and when he could find nothing more to delay the inevitable, turned slowly towards the house and went to face Daniel for the last time.

He didn't expect to find Daniel waiting for him. In fact, by the time he had crossed the lawn and rounded the side of the house, he had convinced himself that he was unlikely to see Daniel ever again. It was all such a goddamned mess, plagued with 'if onlys': if only he hadn't let himself get out of control; if only he'd gone into the house to finish it; if only he hadn't called Daniel's name.... That was the clincher, the one thing guaranteed to turn Danny away from him. Without that he might have passed it off to Daniel as overindulgence in a hot little fantasy involving some girl he'd seen in the restaurant last night, a 'guy-type thing'. But they were past that now, well past, and the consequences had to be faced. Better to face them now than later, get it over with.

Daniel was leaning against the jeep, his body language - head bowed, arms wrapped tightly around his body - clearly defensive, defying Jack to get too close. He looked - lost... defeated... betrayed - and Jack felt each emotion like a physical blow, knowing that he and he alone had caused this hurt and cursing himself for his stupidity. This wasn't how it was meant to be. Time and again he had imagined the moment when he would pluck up enough courage to tell Daniel how he felt, or in another scenario when Daniel would come to him and confess all, but it had always been a happy time, the two of them laughing together with relief as they realised how stupid and blind they had been. Never had it been a cause of shame or sorrow.

"I thought - maybe you'd - gone..." he said softly, knowing he had to speak even though he had no idea what he could ever say that would put this right.

"Then you thought wrong," Daniel replied his voice quiet, controlled, unbelievably calm. Jack knew that were their situations reversed he would probably be climbing the walls by now.

He cleared his throat, wishing the ground would open beneath him or the sky fall in, anything to end this. "I didn't mean to embarrass you..."

Was that a laugh, and if so, what did it mean? And, wasn't that the tiniest twitch of a smile at the corner of Daniel's mouth, not a mocking smile but one that suggested to Jack that maybe things weren't quite as bad as he first thought. "Jack... " Daniel chewed on his lip, that little gesture of shyness that Jack had always found so endearing. "D'you really think that would embarrass me?"

Jack's heart gave a thump Okaaay.... Just what exactly is going on here? and suddenly it wasn't quite so easy to breathe. "Then - we're still - friends?"

"Still - ?" For a moment Daniel closed his eyes, and Jack wondered if maybe he had assumed too much. But then those gentle blue eyes were on him again, and Daniel was moving away from the jeep, and his hand was a treasured reality on Jack's shoulder, squeezing, telling him in his own quiet way that it didn't matter, that they could come through this. Oh God - Please let me be right!

Daniel gestured towards the house and said calmly "Let's go inside, Jack. I think it's about time you and I had a talk... "

"A talk?" he swallowed. It had to be done, but at that moment Jack would rather face down a whole cohort of Apophis' Serpent Guards than try to explain the last half hour. "Yee-aah... If you think we need to... "

The hand was still at his shoulder, steering him through the front door and into the living room, and although he knew he could easily get free, suddenly it was easier to play this particular game according to Daniel's rules, at least for the time being.

"Oh, I think we need to, Jack. I think there's a lot of things we need to say to each other."

Tell the truth and shame the devil, huh? You don't know what you're getting into, Danny... "If we're gonna have a heart-to-heart I think I need a drink," he said, heading for the drinks cabinet. "You want something?"

"I'll take a cold beer, if you've got one."

"Icebox... Help yourself." Feeling the need for something stronger, Jack poured himself a generous measure of scotch, knocking back half in one swallow. "So..." he began, trying to get them onto safer ground "You got bored in New York."

"Yeah. You ever realise how hard it is to talk about the Stargate Project without actually talking about the Stargate Project?"

"Every time my date askes 'What do you do, Jack?'. I learned a long time ago that working on something top secret is a sure fire way to screw up a relationship."

Daniel wandered in from the kitchen, slurping foam from the top of a can. "That's even more cynical than usual, Jack," he observed "even coming from you."

"Yeah, well, when you get to my age cynicism comes with the territory."

Daniel laughed, an uncluttered, natural sound. "In other words, you're turning into a crabby old man."

"Something like that. You wanna sit down? I spent all day cleaning an' you're making the place look untidy."

"A very crabby old man," Daniel teased. To get to the couch he had to pass behind Jack's chair; as he did so he allowed his hand to trail lightly across the back of Jack's shoulders, making the older man shiver. It was almost as if he needed the reassurance of touch and felt that need echoed in Jack, and he couldn't have been closer to the truth.

The tension increasing between them once more, Daniel sat on the edge of the couch, his hands dangling between his knees, turning the can slowly around and around. Jack expected him to begin the conversation with a demand for an explanation, but instead he said nothing and it was Jack himself who, after several silent minutes, said hesitantly "You wanted to talk... "

"Yeah, I did, didn't I..." a nervous laugh. "First, I guess I owe you an apology."

"For what?"

"Turning up out of the blue, wandering around your house unannounced. Invading your privacy... "

That hit the mark, but now that the subject was out in the open, Jack found that it wasn't so hard to talk about after all. "Well, it wasn't exactly what you might call 'private'," he said with a sound that might have been a laugh, had he felt brave enough to ridicule himself. He took another sip of his drink and shrugged. "Ah hell - I don't know what got into me, Danny. I suppose if you want an excuse you could blame it on the day, say I just - felt good and wanted - to feel even better."

"Jack, you don't have to apologise, and you don't have to make excuses." Daniel looked up then, his eyes wide behind his glasses yet devoid of any resentment. "Y'know, sometimes I get the feeling you think I'm a real jerk, someone who's never had any experience outside the lab or the museum. Sometimes I think you see me as a kid and - that hurts."

The pain in his voice was real, reaching down inside Jack and touching that part of him he had kept hidden away since the death of his son. It was true, there was an innocence about Daniel that had always caused him to look on the scientist as someone vulnerable, someone to be protected, shielded from harm - the way he had tried so hard to shield Charlie. Tried and failed. At first it had been easy to keep the feelings hidden beneath the layers of science-versus-military conflict and to sublimate them into his paternal concern for Skaara. But then Skaara, too, was taken from him, and suddenly all he had left was Daniel, and he knew, in his heart of hearts, that if anything ever happened to Daniel he would not be able to go on living.

Daniel took a sip of beer and set the can aside, his expression now controlled, unequivocal, determined once and for all to make Jack see how it was for him. "I'm thirty-three years old, Jack and, contrary to what you might think, I've been round the block a couple of times myself. I know what it's like to grow up without a family. I've been married, I've had lovers, and I've lost both, and I've been places and done things most guys my age don't even dream about. I've had a life, Jack. Hell, I even got caught in college once, doing what you were doing out there just now."

"I find that hard to believe," Jack murmured, wining himself a sad smile in return.

"Then maybe you just don't know me as well as you thought." His voice broke then, catching around a ragged breath. Shaking hands removed his glasses and set them on the table, returned to rub at his eyes, which were just that bit too bright for Jack's comfort. Caught by the sudden wave of misery emanating from his friend, Jack left his seat to kneel on the pale carpet at Daniel's feet, resting his hands on the khaki-clad knees.

"Hey, hey... C'mon, Danny, it's okay," he coaxed softly.

"You think?" Daniel asked doubtfully ."I'm all grown up, Jack - I wish you'd start treating me that way."

"Look, we all get a little hung up on things from time to time. Maybe you're right, maybe I do think of you as being so much younger, but if I do it's only because you still look at the world with a child's sense of wonder." Reaching up, he stroked the silky hair from Daniel's forehead. "I look at a tree and I see a tree; you look at a tree and you see a thousand years of history, that's the difference between us. I envy you your ability to see the good in everything, it's something I lost a long time ago."

He began to draw his hand away, but without warning Daniel captured it and pressed it to his face. "You see what you need to see, what you know in your heart you can trust." He turned his face then, and brushed a kiss across Jack's open palm. "I just wish - you trusted me more."

Suspended between the heady delight of feeling Daniel's lips against his hand and the despair he could hear in the unsteady voice, Jack thought that this time his heart really would break with the force of the emotions flowing through it. "Trust you more?" he whispered. "Ah Danny... I trust you with my life, don't you know that by now? How much more do you want?"

"With your life, maybe... " His throat worked as he tried to swallow, tried to form the words he had to say - words that Jack knew he needed to hear, even though he knew they would change his life forever. "But you still doubt me. If you didn't, you would have realised a long time ago - how much I love you."

With those words, Jack's safe little world of denial stopped abruptly, sending him spinning off into space. Daniel loved him. "Danny - " he started to protest, but was silenced by the touch of a finger on his lips.

"Let me finish... You're wondering why I didn't tell you: I didn't because I knew you couldn't accept it, not from me. The occasional fumble in the shadows, satisfying a need, scratching an itch, that's okay. But not love, not from another man. If nothing else you'd be throwing away your career, and I couldn't ask you to do that, even if you'd given me a reason to think you might be interested. But you didn't. Red-blooded Jack O'Neill, straight as a die - at least, that's what I always thought. And then I turn up here, unexpected, and I find you... And it's my name you're calling, me you're fantasising... " His voice trailed into a smile and he reached to touch Jack's face. "God, you looked so beautiful! I don't think I ever wanted you more than I did at that moment."

Acid tears stung Jack's eyes and he turned away from the raw emotion in Daniel's gaze. Here he was, worrying about what his friend would think of him, how he was going to explain it all without giving his feelings away, and all the time Daniel was just waiting for him to give some sign You stupid, arrogant, sonofabitch, O'Neill! he chided himself Too fuckin' scared of being wrong, of making a fool of yourself.

"How long have you felt that way about me?" he heard Daniel ask, and the softness of his voice and the sweet concern in his eyes destroyed the last of O'Neill's defences.

"Forever," he said. "Since Abydos - the first time." There was no point now in holding anything back. If he was to salvage something from this mess he knew he must tell Daniel the whole truth, and nothing but.

"As long as that? I didn't realise till after you went back through the 'gate."

Jack shook his head, unable to stop the grin that teased at the corners of his mouth. "Hey, I didn't realise till I got home. By then it was too late, but the feelings just got worse."


"Stronger. Harder to deal with. Don't they say absence makes the heart grow fonder?" Memories of that lonely, empty time came flooding into his mind, bringing with them a renewal of the pain he had carried, knowing Daniel was alive but beyond his reach, never daring to hope that he might see him again. "D'you know you are the only reason I got back into the Project?"

"What do you mean?"

"When they called me, told me what was goin' on and how they needed my help to save the world, all I could think of was here was my one chance to get back to Abydos and find you."

Daniel shook his head, eyes filled with wonder. "I should have known," he whispered. "When I told you about Sha're, I saw something in your eyes - I just never realised what it was. I've seen it dozens of times since and I thought I understood, but I couldn't quite let myself believe what I was seeing."

See it now, Danny, Jack begged, opening his heart and allowing everything he had ever felt for this man to shine in his eyes. Believe it now... His gaze unwavering, he took each of Daniel's hands in his and raised them to his lips, setting a kiss in each warm palm. "Maybe it's time we both stopped doubting ourselves. I love you, Danny and - I want to be with you. Always."

"What about the military. If anyone found out it'd ruin your career."

Jack had used that same excuse himself as one reason to keep his feelings for Daniel hidden, but all that had changed now. This was so much more than any of that. "So what?" he heard himself say. "I've done my bit to save the world. If they wanna kick me out because of the way I feel about you, then they won't get any argument from me. The main thing is, you're safe. Since you're not in the military they can't do a goddamn thing about it."

Daniel stared at him, incredulous. "You really think I'd stay on after that? They throw you off the project, Jack, and I'm right out that door behind you."

"No Danny --"

"Yes Jack. You're more important to me than any research. I can find plenty of things here on Earth to study, there's a whole wealth of things we still don't know." Suddenly his hands lifted to frame Jack's face, bringing them so close together that Jack could smell the sharp tang of beer on his breath. "You are the only thing in my life that's irreplaceable, Jack. Nothing else matters. Nothing..." and with that he closed the final gap between them, his lips falling lightly over Jack's in the sweetest, most undemanding of kisses.

Jack felt the world tilt and spin out from beneath him, not unlike the first time he had stepped through the Stargate. Daniel's mouth, softer than any woman's, his touch a benediction to Jack's world-weary soul, healing him in ways he had long needed to be healed. Wanting to laugh and cry and shout all at once, he did none of those, but instead slipped his arms around Daniel's body and, when the younger man tried to draw away, held him fast, tilting his own head to reclaim Daniel's lips.

"So that's what you taste like," Daniel whispered as they parted. "I always wondered."

"I wondered the same thing - only - not just about your mouth..." He felt like a kid again, on his first real date, wanting everything to happen at once but scared - so scared - and shy, and clumsy. Daniel was not his first lover, of either gender, but he was the most important for a long time, certainly the most important since Sara, and as he held him and looked up into those incredible eyes he kept repeating to himself over and over Don't let me screw this up! Please God - any god - don't let me screw this up...

"Really?" Daniel said, matching Jack's shyness with his own.

"Yeah. Dreamed about tasting you - everywhere."

"Everywhere?" Colour rising in cheeks tanned golden by alien suns, Daniel ducked his head at the frank confession causing Jack to pull back, afraid once more that he'd gone too far.

"Ah hell, there I go again!" he groaned.

"Will you quit with that! " and Daniel slid to his knees beside him, reaching for him, kissing him with such tenderness that Jack's fears evaporated. "I told you, nothing about this embarrasses me. I just... After all this time, after wanting you so much - I still can't believe this is real. I keep expecting to wake up on the plane... "

Jack stroked the silky hair, trailed his fingers down the long column of Daniel's throat and on down, over his chest, until they came to rest above Daniel's heart, feeling it beat strong and steady. He cleared his throat and met the nervous gaze with sudden confidence. "Then - maybe it's time I proved to you how real it is," he said "If you'll let me."

"Do I get a choice?" Daniel asked lightly.

Casually: "Oh yeah..." Just as it had as he lay on the lounger, his subconscious began to goad him. Go on, dummy! He wants the Jack O'Neill he knows, not some asshole stranger treating him like glass. From Daniel's chest, down his side, the hand slid over the hard ridge of hipbone to curve neatly over the tight ass. "You get to choose whether we do it here... or the bedroom... or... "

"I get the idea."

" 'Course, we could always try it al fresco... "

"JACK!" He chewed on his lip again, turning Jack's bones to soup with the endearing gesture, teasing, studied coyness, as only Daniel could be coy when the need demanded. "Only thing is - er - d'you think you can - um - you know - after... "

"After?" Jack frowned, then laughed as he realised exactly what his imminent lover was asking. "You mean do I think I can get it up?" He roared, ruffling the overlong hair, pulling Daniel close against him and nuzzling a kiss against his neck. His lips brushed Daniel's ear as he whispered "Let you into a secret, babe - I didn't finish it."

"You didn't?" Curiosity.

"No. I couldn't."

"You couldn't?" Concern.

Honesty. "Make that - I didn't want to. Not like that. Not with you so close..."

Suddenly his senses were overwhelmed with Daniel. He tasted the tongue as it slid against his own, inhaled the citrus-spicy scent of hair and skin, heard the murmured sounds of his pleasure as they clung to each other, felt the heat of his body, the bite of his hands, the press of his cock through their clothes. Here. Take him here his mind said and he shivered with the thrill of it.

The room was full of sunlight now, throwing patterns of colour across the rug, glinting off glass and chrome. He loved this room because of the light and the way it reminded him of Daniel in the way it turned everything to shades of gold. Making love to him - with him - here would be - just perfect.

He turned slightly, and Daniel nodded, allowing himself to be lowered to the floor, drawing Jack with him, mouth seeking hungry mouth. Wanting and giving. "It's been a while" Jack said, and his lover smiled "for me too" as he wrapped himself around Jack's body in a fierce embrace.

"Tell me what you want, Danny," Jack mumbled around a kiss.

"What I want... ?" Veiled glance away, uncertain, then slowly "I want you to - finish it. Like - out there... I want to watch you love yourself, Jack, make yourself come... and then - I want to be inside you."

It wasn't what Jack had expected, but in a strange way it was exactly what he wanted. How better to show how much he trusted Daniel than to make himself completely submissive, completely vulnerable. "Okaaay... " he replied, schooling the hesitation from his voice. "You might wanna organise a little 'help' first, save us stopping later."

"Well, I guess I could give Teal'c a call, but --"

"I don't mean that kinda help," Jack sighed and then realised - almost too late - that he was being teased. Seems you're as much in the dark about my past as I am about yours, lover. Something we better put right p.d.q.. "Danny... When I said it was a long time I meant it was a l-o-n-g time."

How could he put it into words that Daniel might understand without being offended? There had been men in his life on and off through the years, even - to his regret - during his marriage to Sara, but it was going on twenty years since he'd let a guy fuck him, not since he had come to the opinion that such a level of intimacy carried too many dangers, too many commitments, and in twenty years he hadn't met a man he wanted to make any kind of commitment to, let alone one that serious. Not until this moment.

Oh hell... There's that shit-eatin' grin again! he moaned, catching the radiance of Daniel's smile as his lover said softly "You let me take care of that, Jack. You just - lie back and enjoy," and the image that his words conjured made Jack shiver with anticipation.

Lie back and enjoy, huh? he swallowed, suddenly nervous "You - er - You're just gonna sit there an' watch, right?"


"Don't you - ah - think you're a little - um - overdressed?" he asked, gesturing to the cream linen shirt, khaki pants and desert boots that his lover was wearing.

Daniel shook his head. "No, I'm - I'm fine, Jack." Innocence - feigned or real? Jack could never be entirely certain.

"Uh huh... " Jack drew a deep breath and blew it out in a long, silent whistle. Suddenly things were not turning out to be as easy as he had imagined. Sliding slowly into an erotic fantasy when he was relaxed and half asleep was one thing, but lying here on the living room floor, with the subject of that fantasy waiting for a repeat performance, felt a little too cold blooded for his taste.

His hands were trembling as he reached for the waistband of his jeans, unfastening and unzipping under Daniel's watchful gaze. Never had he been so aware of being scrutinised and it was as unnerving as being hunted down by Apophis' guards, yet he found that the feeling of near-panic was actually accentuating his growing excitement. His erection was already straining against his shorts and sprang free, jutting upwards in a blatantly erotic display as he arched his hips and pushed his clothing down, exposing himself to his lover. To his delight, he saw Daniel's throat working hard around a sudden constriction and a wave of satisfaction flowed through him as he concluded the younger man might just be getting more than he had bargained for, judging by the deep flush around his neck and cheekbones.

Fear slipping away, he began to touch himself, just as he had earlier, stroking his cock, reaching to squeeze his balls. But it was somehow different this time for instead of closing his eyes and trying to picture Daniel's face, he had the reality there in front of him, eyes wide with astonishment, soft with desire, locking with Jack's as the latter stepped up the pace. This time, too, the words were not in his head but on his lips, laughing, exultant, determined to hold nothing back, to give Daniel exactly what he'd asked for.

"This what you want, Danny? Like this?" He pumped himself in short, rapid strokes that stole the breath from his lungs "Or like this...? rolled his thumb across the slit, spreading glistening trails across his skin.

Daniel's tongue peeked out from its soft enclosure to moisten suddenly dry lips. "Yeah... Like that..." and there was heat in his voice, the first distant crackling of lust. As it had in the garden, reality shrank down to the small area of the universe which he and Daniel inhabited at that moment. There was nothing beyond the small circle in which they lay; no house, no town, no SGC - nothing in his world except Daniel Jackson, all he would ever want or need.

"Faster -" Daniel whispered, and Jack watched in fascination as the long-fingered hand moved to the front of the khaki pants and began to rub slowly through the cloth. Jack broke rhythm only long enough to manoeuvre his own clothes down his legs, kicking shoes and jeans and shorts aside. Unhampered now, he spread his legs wider, all inhibitions gone, displaying himself, wanting Daniel to look at him, to understand how far he was willing to go for his lover's pleasure.

"Let me see you," he urged, forcing the words from his throat, rapid breathing drying his mouth, muscles in jaw and neck cramping from the fight to stave off the moment of orgasm for as long as he could. "Danny --"

With a sigh of assent, Daniel rolled to his feet. Slowly, so slowly that time seemed to stand still, he opened the buttons on his shirt and, with a wriggle of his shoulders, allowed it to fall. Jack whimpered, watching the play of muscles beneath the smooth, sun-kissed skin and wishing that he could run his hands over it, take the tiny buds of the nipples into his mouth, wondering if it would get Daniel as hot as the sensation always left him. But the thought quickly faded as Daniel reached to unfasten his belt and Jack held his breath, waiting...

Holding Jack's gaze, Daniel drew the zipper down, inch by merciless inch, the fingertips of his other hand teasing just inside the opening, featherlight over his erection, and without conscious thought Jack's own hand echoed the movement, releasing it's grasp of his swollen shaft and instead dancing lightly along his length, the sudden contrast stimulating him even more, driving him towards the edge. Then his mind divorced his body as Daniel slid both hands inside pants and briefs and skimmed them down his legs and off in one easy, fluid movement.

Jack couldn't stop the tears then, the combination of physical stimulation and emotional overload filling his throat and eyes as his senses were overwhelmed. Gods, how he loved this man! I didn't know he accepted Didn't understand... Knew I loved you but... Never realised how much till this moment... Daniel - fully aroused, naked skin flushed with a combination of sexual heat and that eternal shyness - it was an incredible sight. Jack could hear his own heart pounding, so hard he was sure it would burst from his chest at any moment, could feel the blood singing like champagne through his veins and he laughed aloud, triumphant, reaching a hand to draw Daniel to him.

All bets were off as Daniel flowed into his arms, moulding their bodies together, two rigid columns of desire trapped between them as they kissed. Hands and tongues explored, caressed, tore each other into tiny little pieces to be rebuilt as one single being, until it was impossible to detect where one ended and the other began. Jack rolled Daniel onto his back, imposing brief command, straddling him while he yanked his own shirt off and tossed it aside. His cock brushed against its mate and he smiled tenderly at Daniel as he gathered both shafts together in his hands, the sensation annihilating Daniel's control. Gasping, he threw back his head, arching his spine, and Jack leaned slowly down, gliding over him to fasten his lips on the sweet, soft flesh at the base of his neck.

"Fuck me," he whispered harshly into a hidden ear. "I'll do anything you want later, I swear - anything Danny - but right now I need you inside me. Please..."

Somehow Daniel got his eyes to open, gathered enough co-ordination to nod his head once in assent. " So - what do we do about - ah - ?"

A shrug, fires of desire banked a little by the interruption. "Improvise?" He flexed his fingers around the double handful of turgid flesh, noting with delight the hungry groan that purred in Daniel's throat as he thrust upwards. Both cocks were leaking now, growing slicker by the moment, but Jack was still not sure it would be enough. As he'd told Daniel, it had been a long time since he'd had anything bigger than a finger or two inside him. At the same time, he wasn't about to break the mood completely by stopping to fetch the gel from the nightstand. Great! Looks like we move to Plan B - whatever the hell that is "The things we do for love" he muttered.


"Don't sweat it, Space Monkey. Just remember, if Doc Fraiser asks why I'm walking like my ass is on fire, I get to tell her it's your fault."

Winning himself a look of pained adoration from the blue eyes, he settled himself between Daniel's knees and slid his hands under the beautiful butt. "Ready or not," he murmured and before his lover could stop him, curled his tongue around the head of Daniel's shaft and sucked its length into his mouth.

Sensations old and new slammed into him, the remembered taste and feel of past lovers, on which he had fed his fantasies for so long, now gave way under the onslaught of the uniqueness that was Daniel Jackson, spice and salt, musk overlaying the lingering tang of soap as he buried his nose in the crisp tawny curls, the velvet skin of the shaft, the silk of the crown, the bitterness that flowed from the tiny opening. He was drowning in the taste and scent and feel of him, floating away on a sea of Daniel, yet all the time he was aware of Danny watching his every move.

He could have stayed like that forever, feeding on the eager flesh, drinking him dry, but the need to be taken was too strong, the desire to set his love for Daniel apart from all the other pale, inconsequential affairs in his life, dominating what was left of his mind. He was determined that by the time this day ended they would be more than lovers: Daniel would own him, body and soul.

A sharp cry fell from Daniel's lips and he pulled back, forcing Jack to release him. "Jack whatever you're gonna do, you better do it now." he gasped, the words running together as he struggled to get his body under control. He wrapped his hand around himself, squeezing so hard the knuckles turned white, trying to hold back from the moment of climax.

Jack scrambled to his feet. The kitchen was closest and he stumbled there on unsteady legs, snagging the bottle of olive oil discarded after last nights salad. It wasn't ideal, but it was better than nothing, and he was already warming a palmful as he returned to his frantic lover, falling on his knees beside him and reaching for the slick rod now clasped between two shaking hands.

"Okay, here we --"

"Jack I'm gonna come!!" Tortured cry, eye wild with need.


"Can't stop it --!"

Disappointment surged through Jack but he pushed it aside. "Then go for it, lover."

"No!" He roared denial, fixing Jack with a wild stare. "Wanna come inside you."

"Danny - "

"Jack, please!"

Dammit! "Okay. Okay, you gotta - gotta think of something else."


"Well I don't know! Anything. Something boring - use your imagination."

"It's my fuckin' imagination that got me into this! Jaaacckk!" he wailed.

"Okayokay. Ah - tell me about - your flight home." Oh that's real inspired, Jack.

Nevertheless, it got Daniel's attention. "What?"

"What was the movie?"

"Movie? Ah - Movie... The - er - the one about - about - ah - It had Tom - um - Tom --"

"Cruise?" offered Jack

"Hanks. Didn't watch it though. Inflight movies - give me a migraine."

It was working. His voice had grown calmer and the little line of concentration between his brows showed that his mind was beginning to work elsewhere, his hands unclenched and his hips stopped their urgent bucking. Jack gave him a moment of two more, then said softly "How ya doin'?"

"Better." His breathing was still laboured but there was a rhythm to it now, deep slow breath inwards, released in a long, soundless sigh. "Sorry... " he murmured at last, an apologetic smile forming on his lips. "I let you go on too long."

"Wrong, lover. We both let it go on too long." Oil trickled from his fingers as he scooted up beside Daniel, it would stain the carpet, but he could worry about that some other time. Right now all he wanted was a kiss. "I love you, you know," he breathed against the swollen lips, and Daniel laughed and said lightly "Yeah, Jack, I kinda figured that one out."

Minutes lengthened as they lay against each other, listening to the afternoon stillness and trading lazy, loving kisses. Slowly, making sure this time that they were both in control, Jack allowed his lips to begin their return journey down the sweat-sheened body, tasting here, tickling there, never staying too long in one place. Reaching the still-rigid shaft he gave it one final delicate kiss before taking it gently in his oil-slicked hands, coating it from base to crown and back again in featherlight strokes.

He paused, "Okay?", and waited for Daniel to nod before he added more oil. Satisfied, he drizzled even more oil over his fingers and spread his legs, reaching behind to prepare himself.

"Let me - " Daniel whispered, but Jack shook his head.

"Next time, huh? I don't think either of us can hold out much longer."

It took every ounce of self-control to straddle Daniel's hips and lower himself slowly, slowly, onto the glistening column. Twenty years: it was like being a virgin again. The thought made him smile sadly, wishing he really could give that to Danny as a token of his love.

The first burst of pain made him cry out, face contorting. He looked up, to find Daniel watching him, concern written on every lovely feature, and he found a smile somewhere and stitched it in place, not wanting his lover to know what this was costing him. He took a deep breath and lowered himself again, relaxing- trying to relax at any rate. He felt the head pop past his sphincter, and this time it hurt like hell, as if it was cold, honed steel and not living flesh that pierced him, driving the breath from his body. He slumped forward, gasping like a beached fish, eyes burning with the acid sting of frustration. Dammit he berated himself You've been through worse than this. Worse? The sniper's bullet that had pierced his lung, the assassin's knife that had threatened to gut him, the blast from a staff weapon that had almost cost him his leg - with each memory he eased himself lower, and with each timid counter thrust the pain was less.

But still he needed more. "Fuck me, Danny..." be begged, all pretence at dignity cast aside.

"Jack?" Daniel's voice, hushed with doubt, was met with the colonel's most commanding tone.

Oh for crying out loud! "Just do it, Daniel!!"

Reluctant, Daniel braced himself and pushed his hips upward. Jack gasped as a full inch of steel slid into him, but it was more with the suddenness of it than pain now. A second thrust, met Jack's a moment too late, but the third was right on the beat, and this time Jack laughed - "Yeah!" - exultant. "Again!" he demanded, and Daniel dug his heels into the rug and surged upward, meeting the downward motion, burying his cock inside Jack in one magnificent thrust.

"Oh yeeeaahh. THERE!"

The pain forgotten in the greater pleasure, Jack rode him like a stallion, up and down in a deeply sensual rhythm, pulling off until his muscles held only the crown, sliding down again to take the whole of Daniel's length into himself, his back arched to increase the friction against his prostate. Daniel pulled his legs up, bent at the knees for better purchase, and Jack braced his hands against them, lifting himself until the slick invader was almost out of him, dropping down, his ass once more swallowing Daniel whole.

As he had predicted, they didn't last long. He heard the swell of blood pounding in his ears, turning his vision red, felt his heart somersault into his throat and the deep delicious burning gather in his balls, and it was all too good, too much, and not enough. Never enough, not till you can crawl inside me where I can keep you forever...

In the last glorious moment before they were annihilated he felt Daniel push himself up, his arms sliding around Jack's neck, and Jack reached for him, gathered him close, buried his face in the soft tawny hair, pulled back to claim his mouth, sucking on Daniel's avid tongue even as he felt the first scalding pulse of lava fill him, carrying him over into oblivion...

Aeons later somebody said breathlessly "Who needs a Stargate?", and Jack realised it was him and gurgled with delight, throwing one arm back to find some part of his lover to cling to.

Somewhere above and to the left of him, Daniel, sounding as if he had just run a marathon, agreed. "Oh wow... That was - incredible."

"No - You are incredible," Jack insisted. 'S why I love you so much."

Movement beside him, Daniel easing himself over onto one elbow to look down, searching Jack's face with those all-seeing eyes. "Do you? Really love me, I mean."

"Heart'n'soul, Danny, heart'n'soul." But it sounded too casual, too throw-away, and he wanted to leave his lover in no doubt. Finding the strength from somewhere to roll over, he took Daniel's hand in his and held it tightly. "I'm old, and I'm cynical, and there's a lot of things in this godforsaken world I have cause not to trust - but this isn't one of them. You're my life, Danny. From this moment on, nothing else matters.

Awestruck, Daniel shook his head. "I-I - don't know what to say."

"You don't have to say anything, just trust me that it's true."

"I trust you, Jack - I always have - and - I promise you, I'll never let you down."

Jack reached for him and pulled him into a loose embrace. "I know, Danny, I know."

The sun crept across the last pane of glass, heading down towards the trees. Jack knew they should move, clean themselves up, get back to the real world - but not just yet. Just a few more minutes. What they both needed now was time to come to terms with what they had done and what it meant. It wouldn't be easy - but then, nothing worthwhile ever was - there would be problems to face, decisions to make, friends to be told. Life goes on. What was that line from Casablanca - something about the problems of two little people not being worth a hill of beans? Daniel had become the centre of his universe, but that was just a drop in the ocean compared to what was 'out there', and as much as he wanted never to leave this room, never to move more than an arms length from Daniel's side, he knew that in a very short while they would have to put away their new toys and face reality.

"Jack?" Daniel's voice, soft, dreamy, as he reached to touch his colonel's face, drawing him back to awareness. "You okay?"

"Yeah, Danny, I'm - I love you."

"You said that already... several times."

"Then it won't hurt if I say it once more." Ducking his head, he pressed a kiss Daniel's chest, right over his heart. "Let's go to bed."

"It's still early - "

"Then we've got all night... And all tomorrow - if you're going to stay?" It was the nearest he could get to asking outright, a part of him still not quite believing.

Daniel sat up, his eyes suddenly serious as he took Jack's face between his hands. "All day tomorrow," he confirmed "and the day after, and the day after that. I'll stay, Jack - until you tell me to go."

Jack closed his eyes, absorbing the words, recognising the vow. All he would ever want, and this time he knew it would be enough.

He opened his eyes again and met the question in Daniel's, nodding slowly. "Then - I guess you're gonna be around here for a long time... "

The End