Hope by Raven1222
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Category: Jack/Daniel, Daniel/Other Male
Genres: Drama, First Time
Rated: Adult
Warnings: Adult Themes
Series: None
Summary: The team goes on a routine mission. Daniel finds more than he thought was possible.

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Author's Chapter Notes:
I would love to thank my lovely beta Joag. With your help this story became much better than originally thought possible. Thank you dear.

Disclaimer: This story is written for entertainment value only. Stargate, Sg-1, and its characters are the property of Sci Fi Channel/Viacom, Double Secret Productions, MGM, Gekko, et al. I do not own the SG characters or the SGC universe. I’m only playing with them for a while. All other characters are original and the product of my imagination.

I look across at my team. We are classified as the elite of the SGC. What a collection we are...

Major Samantha “Sam” Carter, an astrophysicist and the best 2IC that a commanding officer could ask for. She has an enthusiasm and spirit that can be contagious.

Teal’c, an honorable man and a formidable warrior. He made a new start with us, the Tau’ri, when he literally threw all he was brought up to believe out the window.

Doctor Daniel Jackson, one of the best friends that a person could ask for. He can become so passionate about the civilizations that we encounter. He certainly lives by his convictions.

I, Colonel Jonathan “Jack” O’Neill, ex special black Ops and master smart-ass all around. I admit to being a tad skeptical at times.

How four such different individuals have become gelled into one of the most successful first contact teams is beyond my understanding at times. Here we are, about to embark through the gate to see what, if any, technology we might locate to end the fight with the Goa’uld.

~o~

Micah and Robyn looked out across the land from the tower.

The Chappa’ai had activated and they could see four figures coming through the shimmering pool. It had been an eternity since anyone had come from the other worlds.

It would not be long before the travelers found their way to the castle.

Micah looked at his brother. “Come; let us have the servants prepare for their arrival.”

~o~

The team stepped from the gate and stopped at the edge of the rock pedestal.

“Sir, the UAV indicated that there’s an immense structure about fifteen klicks from here. From the readings, it’s most likely made out of naquada,” Sam reiterated what had been covered during the briefing.

“I thought it looked like a castle,” Daniel added. “And it’s definitely surrounded by a heavy forest.”

“Great, trees everywhere,” Jack responded with his usual enthusiasm.

Sam and Daniel glanced at each other and grinned. Teal’c lifted his eyebrow.

The valley before them was a lush emerald green. The trees’ branches, laden with green leaves, were swaying gently as they were touched by the breeze. The gentle wind brought the scent of possible rain later.


There was a mountain range about five klicks north of the gate. The UAV had shown what could only be called a castle by any one’s standards, appearing to have the mountain as its back wall. That castle was the final goal of their trek.

There were no signs of civilization immediately around the gate. The UAV had sent back data that the closest sign of life was three klicks from the gate in a forested area.

“Let’s head out, kids, and see who we can meet and greet,” Jack said as he descended the last two steps of the rock pedestal to the grass surrounding the Stargate and the DHD device. The rest of the team followed.

~o~

After travelling four klicks, the team arrived at what appeared to be a camp set up at the edge of the forest. They could see several wagons with canvas tops positioned in a large circle. The area in the center was about an acre in circumference with a cooking fire in the center. The fire was surrounded by rocks, keeping it from spreading to the grassy area. A large, black kettle hung from a spit hook that was planted in the ground on the right side of the flames. On the left side there was another spit hook with the hook hanging over the fire. The part extended over the fire held some form of meat roasting, with the juices dripping back into the fire. Wooden stools were set in various positions around the fire. Strangely, the place was void of people.

“The camp is reminiscent of something you might see in the late seventeen hundreds on Earth,” Daniel commented as they walked past one of the wagons, entering the circle that held the fire.

“It reminds me of a gypsy caravan I saw in movies as a kid,” Sam commented as she fingered the canvas of the first wagon they passed.

Each one of them looked around, trying to figure out where the people had gone. Teal’c spotted a set of eyes peering at him from the back of one of the covered wagons.

“Do not be afraid. We will not hurt you,” the big man said softly as he held out his hand in the direction of the hiding figure.

A little hand swept open the cover and a boy warily jumped down from the back of the wagon. He looked to be about five years old. He had raven black hair with eyes that matched. His skin was the golden brown of someone that spent most of his time in the sun. His clothes consisted of brown pants and a blue tunic shirt. His feet were bare.

The boy walked over to Teal’c and ran his index finger along the back of Teal’c’s hand. “You play in the sun quite a bit,” the boy said as he marveled at the color of Teal’c’s skin.

Teal’c smiled gently as he addressed the boy, “Not as much as I would like.”

The boy stared wide-eyed at the other members of the team. He walked over to Sam when she knelt on one knee to examine him, and he reached up to touch her hair. “I have never seen anyone with hair the color of the sun,” he marveled as he ran his small fingers through it. Sam just kindly smiled at him, not sure how to reply.

Daniel drew the boy’s attention to him by doing his usual peaceful explorer speech “Hello, my name is Daniel.” Daniel pointed to his left. “This is Jack.” He next pointed to where the boy was still standing beside Sam. “That’s Sam and the big guy is Teal’c. We’ve come to learn about your people.”

Jack noticed out of the corner of his eye that people were starting to approach them, coming out of the wagons as well as the forest. They all were dark haired and dark eyed. Their clothes were of festive colors that reminded him of a rainbow. The men, he noticed, were carrying garden tools such as hoes and hatchets. Tools practical for work but which could be used as weapons as well. A tall man, probably in his late twenties, stepped forward, placing his arm protectively around the child and drawing him back from the team.

Daniel stepped beside Sam and addressed the man who was obviously the boy’s father. “We’re peaceful explorers. We’ve come to meet you and learn more about your culture.”

An older woman with hair still the color of raven’s wings stepped in front of the father and son. “My name is Lucinda. I am the speaker for our tribe.” She appeared to be in her fifties and would be considered an attractive woman by any standards. She exhibited a cautious exterior to the strangers, which was to be expected. She wouldn’t be considered a good leader if she were too friendly.

Jack stepped up to the woman with his right hand extended to her. “My name is Jack and I’m the leader of our team.” Lucinda looked at his hand and after a brief hesitation, placed her hand in his. He clasped his fingers around her warm ones, giving her hand a slight shake before loosening his grip.

Daniel stepped next to Jack. Lucinda in turn looked at each of the team. “You are not from here,” she stated as she looked into the blue of Daniel’s eyes.

“Um, no. We came from far away,” he answered as he also shook her proffered hand. “We wanted to meet your people and visit the castle that we noticed on the mountain.” He noticed nervousness as Lucinda’s eyes shifted in the direction of the mountain region where the castle was located.

“Come, join us for evening meal,” Lucinda said as she took Jack’s arm, leading him to one of the stools near the fire. The boy took Teal’c’s hand while two other tribe people lead the rest of the team to a stool.

~o~

The dinner turned out to be very good. The meat tasted similar to rabbit on Earth. The stew was hearty, full of vegetables. The conversation ventured around the life of the tribe. The team learned that the tribe had not been at this spot for more than a month. For some reason that could not be determined, Lucinda said that they would be moving on to another location come the next phase of the full moon. Every time Daniel tried to get more information from Lucinda, the topic would be smoothly changed to other aspects of their life. After hearing her speak of her people, Daniel determined that this tribe would be considered gypsies on Earth. This seemed the most likelihood considering their nomadic ways and dress.

Lucinda excused herself and the rest of the people to left to retire in the wagons. SG1 laid out their sleeping bags in a circle around the fire. The team spoke softly to each other while lying in their sleeping bags, about to go to sleep.

“Jack, I believe we should head to the castle first thing in the morning. It might provide some more answers as to why the tribe doesn’t want to settle in this region,” Daniel said as he stifled a yawn.

“Colonel, I would really like to stay here and get some more soil samples. My earlier readings indicate this area seems rich in naquada traces. With more samples, I might be able to determine if it’s simply a trace or a larger deposit,” Sam said as she looked at Jack from her sleeping bag.

“Fine, Carter. Teal’c can stay here with you and help collect samples. I’ll go with Daniel to his castle and see if there are more locals there,” Jack decided as he lay on his back, bringing his cap down over his eyes. “It’s a plan, kids.”

Everyone was asleep within minutes and no one stirred until the sky was showing a nice pink hue in the morning.

~o~

SG1 was up at first light. There still wasn’t much activity in the camp so the fire was stoked and coffee was rounded up and poured into one of the containers they kept. They made a larger quantity than usual so that their host of the evening before might try it.

Shortly people began to come out of the wagons. Before long the camp was full of activity as a morning meal was prepared. The team assisted as best they could once they were instructed as to where various items were stored. The spit was utilized again for a meat that looked similar to a small wild boar. Jack couldn’t be too sure of that since he hadn’t seen the animal before the skinning process. What appeared to be apples were peeled and placed in water with some spices in the cauldron over the other spit. Before long the mouth-watering scent of food filled the air.

As the evening before, every one gathered around the fire and shared the prepared meal.

“Lucinda, we wish to visit the castle today. Could you direct us as to the best way to get there?” Daniel inquired of their host.

Lucinda put her plate to the side and pointed to the left of the camp. “Go in that direction for a drocmire and you should come across a path. Stay on the path through the forest and it will exit within a short distance from the entrance of the castle. I hope you find all that you seek.”

Jack quirked an eyebrow, wondering what would be considered the distance of a drocmire. He knew that they were approximately eleven klicks from their intended goal. Well they would find out when they headed out in a little while to get the show on the road.

“With your permission, Carter and Teal’c would like to stay here to get some soil samples,” Jack said to Lucinda.

“Of course. There will be no problem with your members staying here. Perhaps in this way we can learn more about each other,” Lucinda replied with a demure smile. “Will you be gone long?”

“Daniel and I will probably stay overnight and return tomorrow. We’re on a tight schedule and have to be back to our people in three days,” Jack explained, smiling at Lucinda. He liked this woman because he understood her. He knew that she was taking precautions and doing the best she could for her people as he did with his team. He respected this quality in any leader.

“Daniel, let’s get our gear and head out. We should be there depending on growth in a little over three hours,” Jack ordered as he rolled his sleeping bag up and attached it to his back pack.

Daniel was doing the same, anxious to get on the road and visit the structure that had drawn his attention since he’d first seen the initial telemetry from the UAV.

“Colonel, it shouldn’t take us long to collect all of the samples. When we finish, Teal’c and I will find out as much as we can about the locals,” Sam said.

“That will be great, Carter. You and Teal’c have fun digging in the dirt, and play nice with the natives. As for me, I’m going to go see a nice big rock and help make Daniel’s day, at least until the next nice big rock comes along next mission,” Jack said with a smirk, adjusting his cap before he turned from the group and headed in the direction that Lucinda had indicated to them earlier. Daniel was right at his heels like some happy puppy going on a new adventure.

Sam just grinned as she watched the two depart the area. “Well, Teal’c, let’s see what sort of samples we can get near the edge of the encampment.”

“As you wish, Major Carter,” he replied with a quirk of his eyebrow.

~o~

The path, as it turned out, was not well-traveled. The actual path itself was clean of growth, but both sides were thick with trees. The forest had ended about a quarter of a mile from the castle. As Jack and Daniel approached, they discovered that what would be considered the back wall of the castle was actually the mountain face. On each side of the structure was a tower. Strategically speaking, the fortress could withstand an army if need be. The ground, at least one hundred feet from the castle, was rock solid, therefore, there wasn’t any of the usual growth climbing the outside walls usually associated with castles or fortresses.

Jack nodded to himself, admiring the military aspect of it. Daniel shivered slightly as they approached the solid wood door. Daniel reached up and grabbed a metal knocker that was in the shape of a griffin. The loose metal was attached to the extended claws and the top of the wing. He let it fall against the other piece of metal a few times before releasing it.

The door creaked open slowly, inviting them in. They could see no one by the door. They both entered cautiously, looking curiously around the entrance. The foyer was about ten feet wide and twenty feet in length. There was a printed picture hanging at the end of the foyer. The picture showed two identical men staring at the door’s entrance. The men were handsome with their long dark hair flowing past their shoulders. They were dressed in clothes that could only be described as being late eighteenth century with velvet jackets and trousers, and white shirts with bell sleeves peaking out from the jacket sleeves. The only difference in the men that Daniel could tell was their eye color. One had green eyes and the other blue. At the end of the foyer, they could see that there was a door-less opening leading in both directions of the fortress.

Jack and Daniel moved slowly to the end of the foyer. Before they reached the spot where the picture was, the front door slowly closed. Unassisted. They both looked behind them and glanced at each other.

The doorway to the right showed stairs that lead to one of the towers they had noticed from the outside. The doorway to the left lead into a large banquet hall. A fireplace lit the room, making it glow eerily. The light from the fireplace and several candles along the wall were the only sources of illumination in the room. There were no windows, confirming the fortress rather than a castle aspect of the structure.

Jack and Daniel entered the banquet hall. Covering the stone floor was a rich red rug with a dragon raging fire upon the village. The walls had red tapestries hung from them, depicting various scenes of dragons, fair maidens, and angry villagers.

There was a long banquet table in the middle of the room with candles as the centerpiece. The table would seat at least twenty people. Jack noticed that there were place settings for four set up. It had wine goblets on the top left hand side of each plate with a linen napkin holding the various utensils.

“Good day to you,” a voice greeted them from the north tower region, startling both Jack and Daniel.

They looked in the direction they had just come from, seeing two young gentlemen looking at them with interest.

“Hello, my name is Daniel Jackson and this is Colonel Jack O’Neill,” Daniel said as he extended his hand to greet the new occupants of the room.

“Hello, my name is Micah and this is my brother Robyn,” said the man dressed in blue velvet as he took Daniel’s hand. He had blue eyes. His brother was dressed in green velvet and had green eyes. Daniel could swear that they were both wearing the same outfits from the portrait. He decided the portrait must be fairly recent as both of the brothers looked as if they had just stepped out of it. Daniel noticed that Micah’s hand seemed a tad cold. He contributed it to the fact that all castles or fortresses could be quite drafty.

Robyn inclined his head in a slight bow to Jack and said, “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“We were visiting the village to get to know the people of this region. The fortress caught my interest and we decided to come here as well,” Daniel said as he let go of Micah’s hand.

“We are glad that you decided to visit our humble surroundings,” Robyn said, looking from Daniel to Jack. “One of our servants saw you as you exited the forest and took the liberty of setting two additional places for evening meal. Please, join us,” he invited as he guided Jack to one side of the table next to his place. Micah led Daniel to the other side of the table, opposite Jack. Each of the two four men took the other spots at the set table.

“Thank you. We have traveled a bit today and are quite hungry,” Daniel said politely as he placed the linen napkin over his lap. At this moment two individuals entered the room, carrying a soup boat and a bottle of wine. The man went from one setting to the next ladling a thick borsch into the bowls that were sitting on top of the plates. The woman filled each of the goblets with the red wine.

Jack tasted the wine. It had a rich flavor and wasn’t too tart or sweet. He nodded his head to Robyn and remarked, “This is very good.”

“Thank you. It is made by the villagers. There are some vineyards on the other side of the village that grow a healthy crop each season,” Robyn said as he indicated to the woman to fill Jack’s goblet with more of the liquid.

Daniel tried the borsch. It tasted like creamed spinach. “This is very good. Where we come from this would be called spinach soup,” Daniel said before he took another spoon full of the substance.

Micah looked at Daniel and said, “Where do you come from?”

Daniel looked at Jack and got a slight nod from his friend. “We come from a planet called Earth. We came through the Stargate… the Chappa’ai. We’ve discovered that your region has quite a bit of a material that we call naquada. We would like to set up trade with you and your people for items you might need in exchange for the naquada.”

Robyn turned his head to Jack. “We have not had visitors come through the Chappa’ai in many centuries. We welcome the new blood to our region,” he said as he swirled the wine in the goblet that he was holding. Jack’s eyes shifted to the goblet. It was mesmerizing the way it seemed to catch the candlelight. It was almost hypnotizing. He shook his head slightly to get rid of the fuzziness.

Daniel noticed that Jack’s eyelids seemed droopy. He watched as Jack struggled to remain awake. Daniel turned to Micah. “Is there a place where we could rest? Apparently the journey was a little longer than we both anticipated, and my friend seems to need some rest before we head out tomorrow.” Daniel felt his own eyes trying to close. He shook his head slightly to get rid of the feeling.

Robyn rose from the table and went to stand beside Jack, gently placing his hands under Jack’s armpits and lifting the sleepy man from his seat. “I will take your friend to the south tower and make him comfortable in one of the rooms. Micah will take you and show you a room as well so that you might rest. Until tomorrow, I bid you farewell.”

Daniel watched as Jack was led out of the room in the direction that he and Jack had not had a chance to explore. He knew that he shouldn’t let Jack go off by himself with Robyn, but he didn’t seem to have the will to stop him. It felt as if he were outside his body watching everything that was happening around him. Belatedly, he realized that the food and wine must have been drugged. When he thought back, he didn’t recall Micah or Robyn eating or drinking. Both of the twins just seemed to have play with the items on their plates or goblets.

He felt himself being lifted under his arms. Micah started directing him in the opposite direction from where Robyn had taken Jack, back towards where he and Jack had entered the castle. Daniel was led to the staircase that he had noticed at the end of the foyer upon their entry.

Micah led Daniel up the steps. At the landing of each section, Daniel noticed that there was a closed wooden door indicating a room of sorts. Micah directed Daniel to the door on the fourth landing.

Micah opened the door and ushered Daniel inside, closing the door behind them. The room was immense. Daniel noticed that the color scheme was a rich navy blue.

“Um, I need to use your facilities,” Daniel said as he made eye contact with Micah.

“You will need to go to the next landing down. It will be the second door on the left,” Micah said as he smiled and touched Daniel’s check with the back of his hand.

“Thank you. I’ll be right back,” Daniel said as he opened the door and backed out of the room. He closed the door and propped himself against it for a moment as he looked about his surroundings. He then headed down the steps.

Daniel bypassed the lavatory and made his way back to the banquet hall. He proceeded in the direction that Robyn had taken Jack, towards the south tower. He had felt uneasy as Micah had led him in a different direction than Robyn had taken Jack. Daniel couldn’t find Jack any where.
As Daniel proceeded down the hall, he would stop and listen a moment at every door to make sure that he didn’t miss Jack. The doors were thick so the progress was slow going. It was so quiet in the halls that Daniel could almost hear his own heart beating.

He came to a set of stairs going up to what must be the south tower. He went slowly from landing to landing, again listening at each door he came upon. When he got to the fourth landing, he walked to the last door and put his ear to the door. He could hear faint voices. One of them sounded like Jack and he didn’t appear to be in any danger.

Daniel felt a little foolish. This castle just didn’t feel right to him and his imagination wasn’t helping.

Daniel almost jumped out of his skin when he felt a hand upon his shoulder. He turned to see Micah standing beside him. He felt stupid for letting his attention slip from observing the stairs.

“I was concerned when you did not return. It appears that you got lost,” Micah said as he cocked his head towards the door. If Daniel didn’t know better, it appeared that Micah could actually hear what was going on behind the door.

“Um, yes. I was looking for my friend. He had mentioned that we should leave before dark to check back in with our team mates,” Daniel lied as he moved away from the door.

Micah stepped towards Daniel and gently placed his hand around Daniel’s bicep, leading him back down the stairs toward the north tower. “Do not be concerned. Jack is in good hands. Robyn will keep him entertained.” Micah’s voice was almost hypnotic and Daniel allowed himself to be lead back to the North tower.

Daniel hadn’t realized that they were back in the bedroom until he realized that Micah had already closed the door behind them.

The room was as lush as the banquet room downstairs. Instead of red, everything was blue. There was a blue area rug covering the stone floor. Blue tapestries with scene of castles and dragons adorned each of the three walls. The fourth wall consisted of a fireplace with the warm glow taking away some of the chill from the stone room. Above the fireplace was a coat of arms with two dragons on it. The dragons were facing each other with their fore claws extended as if to strike each other.

Opposite the fireplace was a king size bed. It had a dark royal blue velvet bedspread. The bedspread had been pulled down for the evening, revealing blue satin sheets. The wall to the right of the bed had a vanity and chair. The wall left of the bed had the only exit. Next to the door was an armoire.

The only light in the room was generated by the fireplace and the rod iron pedestals that held candles. The pedestals were positioned in each corner of the room. Their soft glow added to Daniel’s dazed feeling.

What was it about their host that made Daniel feel uneasy? The team had encountered many humans in their travels, but Daniel didn’t recall meeting any that made him feel the way the twins did. It had to be something in the twins’ voices. Daniel wondered if Jack was feeling the same effects in Robyn’s presence. He rationalized that this was conceivable, considering the scientific evidence proving telepathy and telekinesis, just to name a few. Sam could probably provide better scientific facts to support that theory.

“You look exhausted from your journey. Let me help you get comfortable for bed,” Micah said as he walked behind Daniel and grabbed the collar of his jacket with one hand. His other hand moved from one of Daniel’s arms to the next in the removal of the jacket. Next Micah lifted each of Daniel’s arms as he removed the black tee-shirt.

Daniel found himself mesmerized as he watched Micah place his jacket and tee-shirt on the chair, and then come back to him. Micah’s movements were so fluid; it was like watching a cat stalk its prey. Daniel blinked, wondering where that analogy came from.

Micah returned to Daniel and guided him to the bed.

“Please sit,” he said as he gently pushed Daniel down.

Daniel felt himself complying with Micah’s wish. The twin had reached down and was undoing the laces to Daniel’s boots, then removed them. He placed his hands on Daniel’s chest, guiding him gently to lie on the bed. Daniel felt his glasses being removed and then felt his arms being raised one by one as the cover was tucked under each arm and across his chest. His eyelids felt as if they were being pulled down by lead. Then he knew nothing.

Robyn entered the room quietly and stood next to his brother as they watched Daniel sleep. Daniel looked so innocent lying there with the soft rise and fall of his chest.

The twins looked at each other and smiled demurely. They turned and glided out of the room. They would return later to acquaint their selves with what they knew would be a sweet delicacy.

~o~

Robyn and Micah went to the South Tower and entered the room where Jack lay sleeping. The bedroom was the exact layout of the North Tower except this one had a dark forest green as the chosen color. They could see Jack was still fast asleep. He had turned onto his side with his back to the door after Robyn had left him earlier.

The twins approached the bed, one on each side. Robyn gently turned Jack onto his back. Robyn slowly lowered the bedspread so that Jack’s bare chest was exposed. Robyn then leaned towards Jack, his lips caressing Jack’s throat, feeling the beat of the strong pulse beneath them. The blood of a warrior. Both of the twins knew that this would mean strength, endurance. They were looking forward to the intoxication that was promised by partaking of it. Robyn’s tongue flicked out, tasting the skin at the neck. He could detect the slight taste of salt. He rose up and smiled at his brother. Micah could see Robyn’s incisors lengthening to a quarter inch longer than their usual length. Robyn leaned back over Jack and put his mouth to Jack’s throat. His incisors sank into the tender flesh at the jugular. The heat from the red flowing liquid felt so good. The blood was just as intoxicating as he thought it would be. It had been so long since he or Micah had had a fresh supply. The natives’ blood had lost its appeal decades ago. It tasted stagnate compared to this new source. Robyn felt almost drunk with euphoria. Time seemed to stop for just a moment.

Robyn slowly withdrew, his tongue flicking over the minor wound and catching the final droplets, at the same time initiating the healing process of the injury. He rose up from the throat, his eyes not leaving it until the wound was fully closed.

Robyn looked at his brother as he licked his lips, removing any sign of the feeding.

Next, Micah partook from the other side of Jack’s throat. He felt the same euphoria that Robyn had felt. This was so delicious. He also withdrew his incisors from Jack’s throat, flicking his tongue to close the wound. “He will sleep the rest of the evening. I will have a servant deliver some juice and food before dawn so that he doesn’t have to leave the room before he can regain his strength,” Micah said as he stared down at Jack’s sleeping form.

“It is time to visit the other. He should be well relaxed by now,” Robyn said and smiled. They exited the room and closed the door. Robyn slid the bolt, securing the occupant inside for safekeeping.

~o~

Micah and Robyn entered the North Tower. Though they did not show it, they were surprised to see Daniel sitting on the side of the bed. He had put his shirt back on to fight against the chill of the room. He was still slightly dazed, so he didn’t register that he wasn’t alone anymore until Micah came into his line of sight.

“Oh, I didn’t realize you were here,” Daniel said to Micah, startled from his daze. He noticed Robyn had stepped over to the fireplace and was stoking the coals. Daniel started to rise from the bed but Micah gently put his hand upon Daniel’s shoulder, preventing him from rising.

“Please stay seated. The room is still chilled and staying in bed will keep you warmer.”

“Um, that’s okay. I can always put my jacket back on. Besides, I would love to see some more of your home. How old did you say this place is again?” Daniel asked as he tried to rise once more.

Robyn, by this time, had walked across the room and was on Daniel’s other side. He placed his hand on Daniel’s other shoulder to push him gently back to the bed. “It is late. You need more sleep.” Robyn’s voice sounded so silky. Daniel tried to stifle a yawn as his eyes again started to feel heavy.

He felt someone lift his arms and remove his shirt. He then felt himself being laid back on the bed with the bedspread placed over his chest. He could barely make out the soft glow of the room as his eyes were now mere slits.

Daniel felt something wet brush against the side of his throat, but at this point he didn’t care. He inhaled as he felt something sharp pierce his throat and a weight pressing against his body. Not that the weight was needed. He felt as if he were in a dream land, nothing was real. His eyes were drawn to the tapestry at the far side wall opposite the door wall where he could see the fair maiden tied to a post outside the castle walls. A dragon had approached her and was reaching out one of his front claws as if to grab her. Daniel felt the heat leave his throat and the weight lift from his body. Micah came into his line of sight and sat on the bed blocking the tapestry. Micah leaned over Daniel and licked Daniel’s left side of his throat. The blue-eyed man’s incisors grew and he punctured the tender flesh of Daniel’s throat.

Daniel raised his arm and grasped the front of Micah’s loose shirt. His knuckles could feel the smooth, hard flesh of Micah’s pectorals. He let the front of the shirt go only to place both of his hand on Micah’s back. The loose shirt allowed him to run his hands over the smooth surface of bare skin beneath it. His skin was so warm; it felt so good to run his hands over the area. It had been so long since he had felt a lover’s touch. Daniel could not hold back the moan of pleasure that escaped from his throat. Other than the initial pain, this felt erotic. The peace of being joined to another. Daniel felt his heart beating rapidly. He felt the mouth leave his throat and then Micah was looking down at him. Micah smiled and Daniel smiled back. Daniel felt a little bereft with Micah’s withdrawal, but he still was running his hands up and down the length of Micah’s back.

Micah leaned down and kissed Daniel’s forehead as he reached with his left hand, closing Daniel’s eyes. Daniel lowered his hands from Micah’s back and turned over on his right side and went to sleep.

Micah got up from the bed and joined his brother at the fireplace. Micah felt lethargic after his withdrawal from Daniel. They rarely took their victims awake. Daniel had seemed so trusting.

Robyn turned to Micah. “Brother, what is wrong?” he asked.

Micah knew he could not hide anything from his twin. After centuries together they knew each other too well. “I want these two to stay with us. I also know it’s not possible. They would never accept this life. Besides, the rest of their team will look for them in the next few days.”

Robyn looked at Micah with that knowing look. “It’s not really them, is it? It’s him,” he said as he looked over at Daniel’s sleeping form. “He is delectable. You cannot fool me, brother. I know your type and I believe in that bed lays a prime specimen.”

Micah smiled demurely at his brother. “He is just so adamant when he is talking about his field of study. His enthusiasm is unbounded.”

Robyn smiled back. “Yes, he is.”

Both brothers turned from the fireplace and left the room. As with Jack, Robyn bolted the door behind them.

~o~

Jack awoke the next morning to a sliver of sunlight peeking in the window. He couldn’t remember having slept so soundly in ages. He rolled over and saw a serving tray sitting on the bedside table. He propped himself up on the pillow and reached for the glass, which was filled with an orange colored substance.

He took a sip and decided it tasted like a cross between orange, mango, and pineapple. It was sweet and very delicious. He drank over half of it before he decided to see what was on the plate that was covered by a silver domed dish. He found what could not be anything but scrambled eggs and some form of meat. He picked up a piece of the meat from the plate. After tasting it, he decided it must be some form of boar since it tasted similar to ham. He took the plate from the tray and placed it on his lap, digging into what turned out to be a very tasty and hearty breakfast. After all, he thought breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Probably just an old wive’swife’s tale or something the breakfast industry came up with to get people to buy more eggs or cereal. He thought he must be getting more cynical at his age. If he really wanted the story behind it, he was sure that Daniel could fill him in. He just smirked to himself and finished the meal and the rest of the juice. He put all of the empty items back on the tray and settled back into his spot on the bed. He put his head back on the pillow and pulled the covers up to his chin. The room was still chilled at this early hour and he didn’t feel like getting up just yet.

Usually he was the first of his team to rise, but this morning, for some reason, he didn’t feel the need. He rolled back over on his side and within moments he went back to sleep.

~o~

In the other tower, Daniel rolled over and slowly opened his eyes. The room was still shadowed, the sunlight not quite reaching the room’s window yet. He stretched and snuggled further into the blue duvet. He felt more tired than usual. He noticed the tray on the bedside table but could not get himself interested in what it might contain. He lay there and just sort of numbly watched as the room’s shadows disappeared as the sun’s light penetrated the corners, driving away any night horrors.

Night horrors. He had a clear recollection of the events that had occurred the night before. The anthropologist in him found the experience titillating. The more basic part of his soul found it revolting. Why had he felt that way? Deciding not to be too over analytical, he suspected it must go back to his childhood and the early death of his parents. Maybe some part of him still longed for the closeness that human contact brought. But if he was being technical, it wasn’t really human contact in this context. Or was it? Perhaps Robyn and Micah were not created by some evil force that ancient myths always proclaimed them to be. Perhaps they were born as such and this was just another of those coincidences that made this world seem a little more alien than others they had previously encountered. He held no ill will against either man. If he was truthful with himself, he was very attracted to Micah. Apparently Micah felt the same way, if last night was any indication.

He rolled onto his back and stared at the ceiling, trying to settle his thoughts. Why after all this time in his life was he having these feelings? Same gender sex definitely didn’t bother him, but as far as that went, he had never found himself attracted to another male in that way. Or had he? He never realized it before now, but he was attracted to Jack. When did this happen? Upon examining their history together, it must have been when they were saving the Earth from Apophis and his mother ship. He told Jack that he would cover their backs and for him to get the hell out of there. Of course, he had thought he was dying at the time and it hadn’t occurred to him to use the sarcophagus until after Jack and the team had left.

When Daniel had gated back to Earth from the alpha site, it had been heart wrenching not knowing whether Jack and the rest of his team had made it or not. He had thought that Jack, Teal’c, and Sam would have already made it back to Earth. Thank God the team had made it back in one piece. Jack’s enthusiasm at seeing Daniel alive had resulted in him giving Daniel a hug right there in the middle of the gate room in front of God, man, and country. Daniel recalled the butterflies in his stomach at what he’d deemed an intimate touch at the time. Apparently, Jack hadn’t even given it a second thought.

So considering that Jack had not shown any interest and Micah had, perhaps that was why he was having this dilemma at the moment. Daniel had always thought of Jack as a big brother, but he realized that he was feeling more. Could it be the atmosphere of this place that was bringing out these feelings, or had they simply been hidden under the surface just waiting to come out. Either way, it would not become an issue because there was no way that Daniel would ever reveal this little secret to Jack. He didn’t want to risk their friendship. He valued that more than anything else that he could think of.

The room was starting to feel more comfortable as the light from the sun started knocking the chill back. He rolled over to the side of the bed and sat up, placing his feet upon the floor. His clothes had been placed on a chair near the fireplace.

He stood and walked to the chair, retrieving his shirt, jacket, socks, and boots. He brought all of the items back to the bed where he proceeded to dress. He started to feel more comfortable once he put his socks on his chilled feet. He put his boots on and laced them. The last item that he put on was his jacket as he rose from the bed and walked to the door. He tried to pull it open but it wouldn’t budge. Well this was great. He was a prisoner. He wondered how Jack was fairing.

He crossed the room to the bedside table where the tray had been placed. He picked up the tray and took it over to the dressing table. He pulled out the chair and sat down, removing the domed lid from the plate. It revealed scrambled eggs and ham. A glass was full of an orange colored liquid. Ah man, no coffee. He drank some of the juice, enjoying the sweet flavor. He wasn’t really ready to eat so he placed the cover back over the plate and finished drinking the juice instead.

He heard a noise at the door and turned in his seat in time to see Micah enter the room.

“Good morning, Daniel. I trust you slept well?” Micah asked as he approached.

“Um yes, about that. Have you and your brother always been like this or is this something that occurred later in life?” Daniel inquired as Micah reached for the domed lid. He lifted it, seeing that Daniel had not touched any of his meal.

Micah looked at Daniel, a bit startled, but caught himself before he revealed too much of his reaction to the question. “You have not touched your meal. You must be starved by this time. I will have one of the servants send some more juice, if you wish. After all, you must keep your strength up.”

Daniel touched Micah’s hand. Micah was warm to the touch. Daniel felt a tingle and recalled feeling that the previous night when Micah had been with him on the bed. “Why are you ignoring my question?”

“To tell the truth, our guests do not recall our encounters. You are an enigma to me. I am very fond of you, Daniel, and I know it is not possible but I would love for you as well as Jack to stay here with us.”

“No. You are right. It wouldn’t be possible for us to stay. Our people are expecting us back no later than tomorrow morning. Of course, if all turns out we can trade with your people for the minerals we need and provide you and your people with items to make life easier here.”
Micah leaned over to where Daniel was seated and lightly touched Daniel’s lips with his. Daniel didn’t resist and leaned towards Micah and into the kiss. Daniel noticed that the tingle was still there, and he really enjoyed it. Micah’s lips were so soft. Daniel probed with his tongue and was accepted when Micah opened his mouth. They finally parted when it was decided that oxygen was definitely needed if they wanted to continue this little game in the near future.

Micah stepped away from Daniel and went to stand by the fireplace. His brother had been correct. It would be extremely difficult to let Daniel go when the time came. He was so caught up in his thoughts that it startled him to feel a hand upon his shoulder. Daniel had approached him and he hadn’t even noticed. What this man did to him. He could definitely live an eternity with this lovely creature.

“To answer your earlier question, my brother and I were not this way at birth. My father came down with the curse and before his death he visited my brother and myself and gave us each the death kiss. We have been alive for several centuries. It has been an acceptable life, but it does get lonely at certain times,” Micah admitted as he turned to face Daniel.

Daniel lifted his hand from Micah’s shoulder to his cheek and lightly rubbed it with his thumb. “I understand how you feel. There have been very few times in my life where I wasn’t lonely. This is one of them. The team, well, they are my family. But there are times that family just isn’t enough to ease the ache of loneliness. You need that special someone who can see your heart’s desire and into the very depths of your soul,” Daniel said with a sad grin.

Micah traced a path down Daniel’s cheek with his finger, then traced Daniel’s lips with a light touch. He replaced his finger with his mouth. Daniel slowly parted his lips, allowing Micah’s tongue entrance. Their tongues dueled with each other like two snakes trying to get the advantage of being on top during mating season.

Micah, not breaking contact with Daniel, started edging them both towards the bed. Daniel felt the back of his legs hit the soft surface and he sat back upon it, bringing Micah with him by pulling him down by the back of his neck. His other hand had been stroking up and down Micah’s back.

Daniel pulled Micah’s shirt out of his pants and brought his hand around to the firm but soft stomach. The flesh was warm to the touch. This close contact felt so good that he wanted more. Much more. Daniel pulled back from the kiss. Micah was about to object but he saw that Daniel was trying to remove his shirt. Micah helped him pull what had remained tucked in his trousers out and he dragged the tunic over his head. He lay before Daniel bare-chested.

Daniel was lightly stroking Micah’s chest with his palm. Daniel brought his body back in contact with Micah and proceeded to kiss him again, more insistently this time. Daniel felt Micah’s hand rubbing his back. He felt Micah’s hands stop at the top of his jacket. Definitely too many clothes on apparently for what they wanted to do. Daniel parted again from Micah and got up from the bed. He never lost eye contact with Micah as he removed his jacket and dropped it to the floor. Daniel than grabbed the bottom of the black tee-shirt and brought it over his head, dropping it on the floor next to the jacket. Daniel then removed Micah’s boots and socks, placing each item on the floor next to the bed. Daniel sat back on the bed and removed his own boots and socks. He undid the belt of his BDU’s but did not remove them. He lay back down on his side, looking at Micah. He slowly ran his palm along Micah’s chest and along his ribs. He loved the smoothness of Micah’s bare skin.

Micah was doing some exploring of his own. He ran his hand along Daniel’s chest, along his ribs, and stopped on Daniel’s stomach. He looked at him as if asking permission before he ventured further into virgin territory to other men, hHe craved to explore, but had not dared to ever hope to feel and see before now. Micah saw Daniel’s slight nod, giving his permission. Micah unfastened the top button of the pants and slowly lowered the zipper. Micah was fascinated to see another garment below the pants. “What do you call this garment?” he asked as he ran his index finger across the soft white fabric.

“Um, we call that underwear. In our society we are taught at an early age to wear under-garments,” Daniel explained with a slight blush. He could feel himself becoming aroused the Micah’s light touch still stroking his groin.

“We have no such boundaries in our society,” Micah said as his hand reached inside the white garment, finally achieving his goal. He ran his palm over the wiry pubic hair and felt the bottom of the shaft that was nestled by the hair. He pulled the fabric back so that he could actually look upon what he was craving. He noticed that Daniel’s pubic hair was only slightly darker than his longer light brown hair on his head. His hand went up the length of Daniel’s cock and his thumb lightly stroked the tip, already moistened by pre-cum. Micah brought his thumb to his mouth and tasted the liquid. He heard Daniel’s in-drawn breath as Daniel watched him. He brought his mouth back to Daniel’s, allowing him to taste himself with the kiss.

Daniel placed his arm around Micah and pulled him so that they were chest to chest. Their mouths were devouring each other as if they could not get enough. Daniel ran his hand from Micah’s back down to the waist of his trousers. Daniel then slipped his hand into the back of Micah’s trousers, feeling the smoothness of his bare ass. Yes, definitely no confining under-garments. Daniel smiled as he pulled back from the all consuming kiss to get some much needed air. Gee, how was he going to explain this in his mission report? ‘We went to P3X yadda yadda. We met the natives, made a road trip to the castle that turned out to be a fortress. We met more natives and had a lovely meal. And, oh yeah, I got laid’. He couldn’t help but grin as he went through the scenario in his mind.

“What is it?” Micah asked as he stoked Daniel’s face.

“It’s just that this is so amazing and I can’t remember the last time that I was this happy.” Daniel said as he continued to stroke Micah’s ass. “We have too many clothes on. How about we remove them?”

“Excellent suggestion,” Micah said as he sat up and removed his trousers. His cock sprang up towards his stomach upon the removal of the confining garments. “Now for you,” he said to Daniel as he grabbed the sides of Daniel’s pants and tugged them completely off and dropped them on the floor beside the bed.

Micah lowered himself back onto his side and reached for Daniel, drawing Daniel back to him for another kiss. The kissing and stroking continued for quite some time as they each were learning their partner’s bodies and what seemed to feel good to each.

Daniel didn’t hear the door open and didn’t notice the other presence in the room until the bed dipped behind him and he felt another warm body lean into him from behind. Daniel felt warm breath upon his nape that licked its way to the side of his neck. He felt the incisors puncture his skin on the jugular and then the tongue licking and suckling. He continued with the depth-searching kiss that he was sharing with Micah. He pulled away slowly from Micah’s lips and starting kissing the side of Micah’s neck, giving Micah little love nips and bites. Daniel didn’t do it hard enough to bring blood, just hard enough that Micah would have an incredible hickey. Micah moaned his pleasure at this.

Daniel felt the mouth unclamp from his throat and the tongue run over it, lapping the last of the drops like a kitten lapping a saucer of milk. The slight pain disappeared at the ministrations. He felt Robyn’s hands joining Micah’s, stroking up and down his naked body. Daniel pushed Micah flat on his back as he straddled him. He started undulating his hips causing more friction for their cocks. Daniel was now desperate for completion. The room was still a bit chilled but his body was so warm with sweat. He could still feel Robyn’s hands upon him, now kneading his buttocks and parting them so that his anus was exposed. He felt Micah’s hands stroking up his back to his neck and back down to the top of his cleft. Daniel jumped slightly when he felt something wet at his anus. He took Micah’s mouth again in a passionate kiss and moaned in pleasure as Robyn continued to rim him.

Daniel felt himself being pulled off of Micah and urged back on his stomach. He next felt himself being breached by a finger. He lifted his buttocks up to meet the finger and pushed it further inside himself. He found himself fucking himself on the finger. His cock was brushing the bedspread from the movement. He could feel the length of it expanding.

Daniel felt the withdrawal of the one finger only to be replaced with two. He was about ready to explode from the need that he felt inside. His balls were heavy. Shortly, he felt the fingers withdraw again, soon replaced by three fingers. He pushed back again upon the fingers. He moaned again, ready for the next phase.

He noticed that Micah had moved behind him and that Robyn was now in place of where Micah had been earlier. Daniel felt himself being rolled back onto his side, facing Robyn. He felt Micah lift his leg slightly and then he felt himself being slowly breached by Micah’s cock. He felt the head of the warm cock at his entrance. It felt so good, different than with a woman, but he was loving it. It had definitely been way too long since he had been loved, and felt loved. He found himself pushing back onto Micah’s cock until he felt [Joag1]Micah’s balls hit his buttocks. Daniel held still for a moment, adjusting to the foreign object.

Robyn slid along the bed until he was chest to chest with Daniel. He started slowly kissing Daniel’s face. First his brow, his eyelids, his nose, before he got to the final goal of Daniel’s lips. Daniel opened his mouth, allowing the entry of Robyn’s tongue. Daniel felt Micah’s cock slide out till only the head remained in his anus. Micah than pushed his cock back into the warm opening. A rhythm was set with Daniel meeting Micah’s thrusts by pushing back while Micah was pushing forward, until Micah’s cock was fully sheathed in the warm crevice. Micah shifted his position on the bed slightly until he was hitting Daniel’s prostate with each thrust.

Robyn was stroking Daniel’s cock as they kissed. Daniel reached for Robyn’s trousers, lowered them past Robyn’s hips, and freed Robyn’s cock from the confines. He started stroking Robyn’s shaft as their tongues dueled for possession of each other’s mouth.

Micah could feel himself getting closer to completion. He started kissing the back of Daniel’s neck and then the tender, vulnerable side. He allowed his incisors to grow and he clamped down on the soft skin of Daniel’s throat. He heard Daniel moan. He started suckling the area and drawing more of the warm life force as he finally came to completion, shooting his essence into Daniel. Micah continued his thrusting, slowing until he heard Daniel’s and Robyn’s moans, indicating that they had reached completion as well. He stopped undulating his hips but did not withdraw from the warm crevice of Daniel’s ass. He wanted this to last as long as possible. He stopped suckling Daniel’s throat and flicked his tongue over the wound to start the healing process as he withdrew his mouth. He started nuzzling the back of Daniel’s neck, pushing his longer hair aside.

They all lay together in the after-bliss for several moments. Robyn and Daniel were still stroking each other while kissing and Micah was stroking Daniel’s back while he remained in the warm region that Daniel had allowed. Daniel had been so trusting. Micah never recalled anyone being so intimate with him and he loved Daniel more because of that. He didn’t want the moment to end, but knew that it must.

Micah felt his cock going back to regular size and withdrew slowly from Daniel. Daniel rolled over to face Micah and started kissing him. After placing one more quick peck to Micah’s brow, he pulled back and smiled at him. Daniel shifted onto his back and put a hand on each of the other men’s stomachs, lightly stroking. He didn’t want to break contact completely.

He noticed that the shadows of the room were deepening and knew it was time to get up. He rolled over onto his side facing Robyn first and pressed his lips to Robyn’s in what might be their final contact. He than did the same thing with Micah, only making the moment last a bit longer.

~o~

It was late morning before the three well-satisfied individuals left the bliss of their haven and started dressing.

Robyn looked at Micah and then back at Daniel. “If your people do find this ore that you require, you have our permission to mine it as needed. We will make sure that the population cooperates as well.”

“Thank you. That will make my people very pleased. Also, I want to thank each of you for what you have given me today.”

“What might that be, Daniel?” Micah asked.

Daniel smiled at each of them in turn and said, “Hope.”

He stepped across the room to each of them, giving them a soul searching kiss. Each gentlemen felt it down to their toes, if that were possible.

Daniel then stepped back, giving them each that shy smile that said so much. “Perhaps it’s time for us to wake Jack. I know he and I need to head back to our team. It’s getting late.”

Daniel took one more look around the room, then he turned and exited with Robyn and Micah.

~o~

The twins lead Daniel to the South Tower and opened the door to Jack’s room. Jack was still snuggled under the green duvets, sleeping soundly like a small child.

Micah and Robyn closed the door to allow Daniel and Jack some privacy.

“Jack?” Daniel said as he slowly lowered his hand to Jack’s shoulder, shaking him gently to awaken him.

“Um.” Jack sighed as he took his hand out from beneath the cover and started rubbing his eyes. His eyes still felt a little heavy, as if the sandman got a little too happy with the sleeping dust. He rolled over onto his back until he was facing Daniel. Daniel was standing beside the bed, looking down at Jack, waiting for him to wake up.

“Good morning, Jack,” Daniel said with a sad smile.

“What happened? Why am I so tired?” Jack asked as he sat up with his back against the pillows.

“Well, apparently you had a very busy night. We have an agreement that if we find an abundance of naquada, we have the right to mine it.”

“Okay, I’m good, but not that good. What really happened?” Jack said, not buying a word that Daniel had told him.

“Seriously, Micah and Robyn said that they would make sure that there are no problems in the mining operation if our people locate what we need.”

“Well, I guess our mission is accomplished. Now can you tell me why I slept so long?” Jack said, noticing the shadows on the floor.

“That is a bit harder to explain. I guess we were more exhausted than we realized. Before dinner ended last night we were both already half out of it. Robyn brought you to this room and I had a room in the other tower. Speaking of which, I believe you got the best deal. Your room is bigger than mine.”

“Sweet. Just give me a minute to get dressed and geared up and we’ll be ready to go back to the encampment,” Jack said as he swung his legs over the bed to stand up.

“Um, okay. Just go all the way down the stairs until you reach the bottom floor. Go straight at the bottom and you’ll end up back in the banquet room. I’ll be there saying goodbye to our hosts.”

“Daniel, is there any thing else that I should know?” Jack looked at Daniel’s face as if searching for the answers to all of the wisdom of the world.

“Um, no Jack. I believe you know everything you need to know at this point.”

Jack could not fail to notice the slight blush on Daniel’s cheeks as Daniel turned and left the room. He listened as his friend descended the stairs, until he couldn’t hear his footsteps any longer. Jack then got up and put his clothes back on. He collected the back pack that had been placed on the chair. He was definitely going to have a little personal chat with Daniel when they got back home. Something had occurred and he was determined to find out what it was.

Jack met Daniel in the banquet room where he was saying goodbye to Micah and Robyn and thanking each of them for their hospitability. Jack did not fail to notice that Daniel seemed reluctant to release their hands when he shook them and gave each of the gentlemen a hug and a pat on the back. Jack added his goodbyes to both and then he and Daniel left through the front door.

Daniel took the lead and Jack could not help but notice that Daniel seemed to be walking a little stiffer than usual. Perhaps they needed to have this talk now, before they got back home.

Trying to be as delicate as possible, like that was really his style, Jack stepped up to Daniel’s side and tried to decide how to broach the subject. “Daniel, did you sleep wrong last night?”

“Um, no, Jack. Why?”

“Well you seem to be walking a little stiff, as if you hurt something.” Jack noticed the blush was back on Daniel’s face and if he could have seen underneath the jacket and shirt, he believed that Daniel would have had a solid red body.

“Jack, let’s just say that nothing happened that I didn’t allow and leave it at that, please,” Daniel pleaded as he looked to the ground, finding it suddenly very interesting.

“Okay. You do know that you can discuss anything with me. I do consider myself your friend. I hope you consider me one as well.”

“Thanks, Jack, and I do… consider you a friend, that is. Maybe one day we will discuss what happened, but just not today,” Daniel said with a wan smile.

“Sure, Daniel. Whatever you say,” Jack said as he patted Daniel’s shoulder.

Daniel smiled at Jack before he turned his gaze to the direction where they were heading to meet Sam and Teal’c. Perhaps he could get permission to come back with one of the mining teams if everything panned out. In the back of his mind, he remembered a song he had heard a few times on the car radio while driving back and forth to work. ‘If you can’t have the one you want, love the one you’re with’. Daniel smiled again to himself as he thought of the night before. Yes, he wanted Jack. He didn’t want to lead either Micah or Robyn on, but they knew where his heart lay so there was no misunderstanding on anyone’s part. Maybe one day he would have Jack. Maybe today if he played his cards right.

“Jack? Um, what do you think of same sex relationships?” Daniel asked as his shoulder bumped slightly against Jack’s.

Jack stopped, slightly taken aback by Daniel’s question. Daniel noticed that Jack was no longer at his side and turned, walking back the few feet that he had gotten ahead. “Well, Jack?”

Jack reminded Daniel of a fish out of water, gapping with his mouth opening and closing. “I have no problems with same sex relationships. Why?”

Daniel decided to lay all of his cards on the table. The worse that could happen was that he would ask for reassignment to another team. He had to know if there was a future for his heart’s desire. “Jack, I have been attracted to a certain team member for a while but I was afraid his feelings might not be the same. I’m not afraid anymore.” Daniel whispered the last sentence as he leaned towards Jack and lightly kissed him.

Daniel parted from the kiss and looked at Jack. He couldn’t decide if Jack was going to pound him into the ground or reciprocate his feelings. He looked into Jack’s eyes and found the answer to his question, the answer he had longed for. Jack brought Daniel to him and kissed him deeply.

Jack released Daniel and started walking back towards the encampment. “Yeah, you’re right, Daniel. Perhaps we should discuss this later. Perhaps at my house tonight? We’ll order Chinese. Maybe watch a movie. Talk. And, um, anything else that comes to mind.”

“Yeah, Jack. That’ll be great,” Daniel replied as he got back in step with Jack.

The sun was bright over the valley as the tree line broke from the forest. They could see the encampment in the distance. Yes, Daniel thought, it is a beautiful day.

The end.
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