Falling by Jude
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Category: Jack/Daniel
Genres: Established Relationship, Romance
Rated: Adult
Warnings: None
Series: None
Summary: Jack and Daniel take a trip, and Daniel learns some surprising things about Jack.

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Author's Chapter Notes:
Warnings: Adult language.
Part 1

Jack peered through the windshield of his big Ford truck, the wipers set on high speed. He was driving home, down the mountain, away from the base, in one of the worst summer storms he'd come across in ages. The rain was as heavy as he'd ever seen it. Chains of lightning were coming down all around him, claps of thunder accompanying them almost immediately. None of that counting slowly to figure out how many miles away the center of the storm was. This storm was like right on top of him.

He slowed down. He thought to himself that he'd better get home in one piece, because if Daniel found out he'd died in a truck wreck, he'd kill him for sure. Jack smirked at his attempt at gallows humor. Good one, O'Neill. He had every intention of making it home; it was all he'd thought about all day. Dealing with administrative work on what was supposed to be his day off, and a Saturday to boot, was definitely not his idea of fun.

Three days before, on Wednesday, Hammond had insisted that the final budget figures for the second quarter of the year be on his desk by the following Monday, the final day of June. Also, a staff meeting for all command personnel had been scheduled for Saturday, to review the massive amount of SGC administrative agenda all the senior staff had to deal with. Saturday was the only day Hammond could find when everyone involved would be onworld and available. Jack had tried to worm his way out of having to be there, but George had given him The Look, and he had shut up and taken it like a man.

Later, when he'd had to tell Daniel he'd have to work on Saturday, he hadn't acted quite so manly. He'd whined, complained, and pouted, and pretty much had given Daniel the whole, complete, no- holds-barred O'Neill repetoire, hoping Daniel would understand.

Daniel and he had made plans for Saturday. They had talked about taking their mountain bikes to the Garden of the Gods, up near Denver, to spend the day exploring and picnicing. With their crazy schedules, they never made it up there as often as they would have liked. It was one of their favorite spots to be together, get some exercise, and enjoy the Tau'ri homeworld they had made so many sacrifices for to keep safe and whole.

"Shit, Jack. A meeting? And budget figures? On a Saturday?"

He'd run a hand through his hair, eyeing Jack and deciding how mad he should really get. In the end, Daniel had known he couldn't get angry with Jack. He knew Jack had tons of responsibilities at the SGC that he himself never had to touch. He'd always been amazed at the neverending demands of the SGC on its 2IC, who just happened to be his partner. Nothing new about that.

He was also used to the strange mix of love, exasperation, good humor and lust that always circled around his heart when Jack was around. The whole time he and Jack had been talking about having to break their Saturday plans, Daniel had been trying not to give in to the laughter bubbling up in his chest. Jack had been acting so flustered and apologetic, it had actually been funny.

Jack had put his forehead on Daniel's shoulder, his hands hanging onto Daniel's belt. He'd been relieved to feel Daniel's long arms come around him. "You mad?" he'd mumbled into his shirt.

"It's okay, Jack. I've got plenty to do to keep me busy. There'll be another time." Daniel had given him a big, theatrical sigh. He'd spoken into Jack's ear, running his nose in the short hair behind it. "But remember, payback is a bitch. Why don't you take me out to dinner on Saturday night? Buy me an expensive bottle of wine. Get me drunk and try to seduce me. Maybe I'll give you my phone number." He'd chuckled in spite of himself.

Jack had pulled back and looked at him, grateful as always for Daniel's good nature. He'd patted his cheek. "Hey. I've already got your number, all right. So. You still love me anyway?"

Daniel had smirked at him. "You know I do. If things like this didn't happen, I'd have to ask you where Jack was, and what exactly you had done with him."

He'd taken Jack's face in one hand, compressing Jack's lips together, and given him a big, silly, wet kiss. "Take that, you." He released his face with a little shove.

Jack had taken it. Gladly.

He'd put his nose to the grindstone all day. He'd sat through the interminable administrative meeting. He'd rounded up the budget figures Hammond would need for Monday. He'd gone through their June mission notes, organizing copies for Hammond and the rest of the team. He'd even worked on his own reports, with his recommendations for how SG-1's time should be spent in light of what had been accomplished in the last quarter.

Finally, he'd been able to shut off his computer about 1600, remembering to save all his hard work. All the reports would be printed and on the General's desk on Monday morning. The world was safe for another weekend. Goddamned paperwork anyway.

And now it was raining, taking him an age and a half to drive down off the mountain. Jack felt a little better about having let Daniel down about their plans. They wouldn't have been able to go in the rain anyway.

Part 2

Jack drove into his driveway a half hour later, pulling up beside Daniel's Subaru. He shut the truck off and zipped up his jacket, knowing he'd get soaked getting into the house. It was still windy and raining pretty hard, but most of the thunder and lightning seemed to have moved off. He slid out and made a mad dash to the door, taking a second to get the mail out of the box on the porch.

Using his key, he came in and closed the door behind him with a thunk, glad to be home safely and out of the maelstrom outside. What a day. He hung up his coat on the hook by the door.

He started leafing through the mail. "Daniel?" he called out. No answer. "DANIEL?"

Looking around briefly, Jack could tell that Daniel wasn't out in the living room or in the kitchen. He started for the bedroom, pulling an envelope out of the pile of mail. Something that actually was not a bill, and addressed to him, not to Dear Occupant. It had the return address of the New York State Air Force Academy Alumni Association. "DANIEL?" He started down the hall.

Finally he heard an answer. "I said I'm in here!"

Daniel was in their TV room, Jack's old spare bedroom. They'd installed a wide screen TV, a good stereo system, a comfy couch and a big rocker recliner. Daniel was laid out in the LaZBoy, his laptop open on his legs. As Jack came in, Jack saw him hit the save button and close it up. He put it down on the floor beside himself and stood up to say hello to Jack.

Jack threw the mail down on the couch and gave Daniel a peck on the lips. They looked at each other. "Miss me, honey?" He grinned at him.

"Nah," Daniel told him. Jack saw the twinkle in his blue eyes.

"Did too."


"How come you closed up your laptop so fast? Reading porn again?"


"You down to one word again?"

"Nah." He gave Jack his best grin.

"Shithead," Jack said kindly with a deep chuckle. He put his hands on Daniel's ass and hauled him close. God, what a shithead, and didn't he love him. Yeah.

Daniel sniggered into Jack's ear, nuzzling his neck. "What a long day. Raining and yucky, and I was stuck in here working. Did you get all that freakin' paperwork done? Why don't you shut up and kiss me?"

Only Daniel would ask him a question and then tell him to shut up. So Jack shut up and kissed him. Daniel kissed him back. Thoroughly.

After a minute or two, Daniel pulled back so they could see each other. "Guess I did miss you. A little." Jack patted him on the sides of his neck and ran his thumbs along his jawline.

Jack remembered the letter he'd brought in. "Oh!" He stepped away from Daniel so he could grab it from the pile of mail on the couch.

"Letter from the Academy," he told Daniel, waving it under his nose. "The New York Alumni Association. I wonder what they want?"

Daniel looked at it with raised eyebrows. He shrugged. "I dunno. You have to actually open the envelope to find out. That's how the mail works. And I asked you if you got the paperwork done?"

Jack was tearing open the envelope, only half paying attention to him. "Yeah, relax, it's all done."

He sat down on the couch, and Daniel came and sat next to him. Daniel took the rest of the mail away from him and started looking through it. Jack was intently reading the letter.

"Hey, look at this," Jack said, handing over the letter. Daniel speed read it and handed it back.

"You going?" He turned sideways to face Jack. He rubbed at Jack's upper arm, putting some pressure along the muscle there, and then started to caress his forearm. Jack put out a hand to cover Daniel's. He leaned back into the couch.

"I'd like to, if Hammond will authorize the time off. He probably would. It's three months away, so there's time to make a plan."

"Good food at those things. Great hotel. They pay the air fare for both the speaker and whoever goes with." Jack looked at him expectantly. "Wanna go?"

Daniel bit his lower lip. Buffalo, New York? He'd never been there. It didn't exactly have a reputation as a hot spot. "Buffalo, Jack? How come the Alumni Association is having that meeting thing in Buffalo, and not down in the city?"

He didn't know if he wanted to go, and thought answering a question with a question might be a good diversion. Except that it never really worked with Jack, who only played at looking dumb. Daniel knew that he was dumb like a fox.

"You changing the subject?" Jack smiled at him. See? Daniel thought to himself. You never get away with that.

"C'mon, Daniel, it'll be fun. They want me to speak to potential Academy candidates. A bunch of high school kids and their parents, and then the rest of the New York alumni, too. They'll be coming from all over the State.

"I get to wear my Class A's..." he said in a wheedling tone. "You always like to see me in my dress blues...c'mon, Danny! It'll be fun," he repeated. He waggled his eyebrows at him, grinning smugly.

Yeah, Daniel would go, if Hammond agreed. They never said no to each other unless it couldn't be helped. At home, anyway. At work, that was a whole different matter.

Daniel smiled at him. They both knew he would go wherever the hell Jack wanted him to. Even to Buffalo. And it would be fun. Jack always made sure that everything was as fun as he could make it. His motto, "Life is Too Damned Short", ran rampant through their life together. Daniel hadn't had a boring moment since they'd become lovers. Frustrating, maddening, tumultuous sometimes, but never boring.

Part 3

Almost three months later, on the third Friday of September, Jack and Daniel found themselves boarding their flight to start their trip to Buffalo. To make their 0630 flight, they'd had to leave home at 0415. It was an hour to Denver, and nowadays you had to check in early. No more showing up for 0630 flights at 0615 like you could do in the old days.

As Daniel took the window seat (Jack had lost the coin toss back at home that morning while they waited for an airman from the base to pick them up), and Jack settled into the aisle seat in their row, both of them were more than a little bleary eyed. They left an empty seat between them, hoping the third seat hadn't been assigned to anyone. The flight to Kennedy didn't look like it was going to be full.

They pushed their laptop cases under their seats and got their seatbelts on. Jack wanted to put the final touches on his speech once it was okay to get his laptop out. And sleep. He wanted to sleep. He squirmed around and tried to find a comfortable place to put his long legs. His instinct was to stick them out in the aisle, but he knew that wouldn't go over big with the people who were filing by.

"Never enough room in these planes," Jack observed. Daniel's legs were just as long, and Jack knew he agreed, but he didn't bother to say so.

Daniel stifled a big yawn. Jack wanted to yawn, too, like you always did when you watched someone else yawn. But he swallowed it and rubbed at his eyes. He put his head back on the seat, his eyes closed. Jack hoped there would be no crying babies around them. Not that it would keep either of them awake for more than a minute if there were. Both of them could sleep the sleep of the dead when they knew they were in a safe place.

Daniel could see that Jack probably wasn't going to be a great conversational partner. He looked like he was asleep already.

Daniel looked out his window and then watched the other passengers file in, idly wondering about them as he people-watched. He'd be glad to get his laptop out once the plane was airborne. He had brought his personal journal with him to bring his notes up to date and also had some email correspondence to catch up on. One thing about a trip out of town, he couldn't bring SGC work with him, and for that he was grateful. God bless the security restrictions. It was nice to have an excuse to take his brain on vacation.

Eventually, the plane filled up, and the seat between them miraculously stayed empty. No crying babies, either. Jack smiled to himself, and Daniel just happened to see it.

"What'cha smilin' about?" Daniel asked him, leaning over a little so his mouth was about five inches from Jack's shoulder. "I thought you were sleeping."

Jack wriggled his shoulders around a little, settling into his seat, reminding Daniel for all the world of a contented house cat. He left his eyes closed, but did turn his head towards Daniel a little. The smile was still playing around the edges of his mouth. Finally he opened his eyes, looking full into Daniel's face. He spoke quietly.

"Dunno. I love you. I'm glad to be getting away. And by the way, I have plans for your body. Just thought I'd tell ya that. Makin' plans here."

Daniel smiled then too. He lifted his eyebrows. "Hmmpf."

Jack wanted to kiss him. Couldn't. So he let his eyes rove over him instead. Daniel watched, feeling himself be mentally ravished. It felt good. Not as good as the physical kind of ravishing, but surprisingly good. Finally he took the back of one hand and playfully slugged Jack on the arm. He sat back up. He looked over at Jack. There was mischief in the brown eyes now.

He kept his voice just above a whisper. "Thanks, Jack. That was good. I get to be on top next time."

Jack laughed right out loud. He leaned over to Daniel and spoke softly. "You can now consider yourself a card carrying member of the Mile High Club."

Daniel indicated the window with his thumb. "We're still on the ground." Jack looked out the window, then back at Daniel.

"Oh, yeah. I forgot. Well, we'll do it again in a little while. It's gonna be one of those mornings with plenty of time, 'kay?" Daniel nodded at him, yawning again. This time, Jack joined him.

Part 4

At the Buffalo Airport, they were met by a car and driver. They piled into the back of the big black Crown Vic, only too happy to let their driver load their luggage into the trunk and then climb in to chauffeur them. It had been a long day already. They'd changed planes at Kennedy, boarding a smaller jet for the shorter flight to Buffalo. Now it was 1030 in the new time zone. It seemed like the height of luxury to have someone take care of them.

Jack reached for Daniel's hand in the back of the car, entertwining their fingers on top of Daniel's thigh. Daniel squeezed his hand and then released it. On the way into town, not a word was spoken by them or their driver, all three looking out their own windows.

As they neared their hotel in town, Daniel turned his head at last to study Jack. He swallowed at the welling of emotion he could still feel at unexpected times when he was able to watch Jack unnoticed. He'd found that he'd never felt anything as intense with any of his partners, male or female, not even with Sha'uri. Jack was difficult. Fascinating. An enigma. A royal pain in the ass, who also happened to be the sweetest, most giving person Daniel had ever known. Gorgeous, too, of course, that was a given.

Jack challenged him on almost everything except for their most personal relationship, which was close to one hundred per cent mutually satisfying, and the hottest damn thing Daniel had ever had in his life. Their intimate life was lacking in neither quality nor quantity, even after three years as a couple. Jack simply took his breath away, in bed or out of it. Daniel had it bad. Way bad. And he knew Jack did too, for him. That alone was one of the big reasons Daniel had it so bad, because Jack had it so bad for him.

Daniel smiled to himself. Jack had 'Plans for His Body'. Woof. He couldn't wait. Never could. He felt a twitch in his groin, just thinking about it. A shiver ran right through his belly.

Sensing Daniel's scrutiny, Jack turned to look at him. Yup, they were sure on the same page.

Part 5

Although they checked in at the same time at the downtown Hyatt Regency, they registered separately and were taken to their rooms by separate bell hops. Daniel knew that Jack would call him as soon as he was alone in his room.

Jack's room was actually a small suite. As he tipped the bell hop, and then closed the door behind the man, he looked around, pleased at what he saw. It was a well appointed room, divided into bedroom and livingroom sections by floor to ceiling glass and maple room dividers. It was decorated in shades of blue and dove gray. A king sized bed dominated the bedroom, along with a large cabinet that held a big TV, a Sony playstation, and a CD player. Near the window in the living room section was a desk and a small couch with coffee table, end tables and lamps.

The dresser held a large basket of fruit, a bottle of New York red wine and wine glasses. He picked up the note attached to the fruit, and read the small welcoming letter from the Alumni Association. Cocktails at 4:30, in the Hyatt Room. Dinner at 6:00, meeting at 7:30, reception following. Jack sighed. He and Daniel would be attending all four of those functions. That's why they were paying him the big bucks. Not. But it was a nice room, and a great excuse to get Daniel away for a couple of days.

Jack crossed the room and looked out the window. On the fifteenth floor, he had a view of the gray city. Buffalo was not much to look at, but that was okay. He hadn't come to see the sights. He turned away and walked to the bathroom. What he saw there surprised him so much, his first thought was to call Daniel. He used the facilities first, washed his hands, and then headed for the phone.

He asked for room service, and ordered them some lunch, steaks and salads, apple pie, and beer. Then he called and asked to be connected to Doctor Jackson's room, please. After two rings, Daniel picked up.

"Hey," Jack told him. "Get your ass up here. Wait'll you see my digs. I ordered us lunch. Hurry up. Room 1510." He hung up without waiting for an answer.

He opened his suitcase and pulled out his sweats and a tee shirt. He stripped everything he had on right off his body and slipped into the comfy sweat pants and shirt. He hung up his leather jacket in the closet, got out his Class A's that he would wear that night, hung them up, and scooped up his discarded clothes into a heap that he left at the bottom of the closet. He heard a tap at the door and went the few steps to let Daniel in.

Part 6

Daniel stood there, also dressed in his sweats. Navy on the bottom, pale blue Air Force tee on top. He had shoved his feet into his comfy black fleece clogs. Jack got hold of his arm and dragged him into the room, closing the door firmly behind him. He turned the deadbolt in the door and set the security chain, never letting go of Daniel's arm.

As he turned to Daniel, Daniel put his arms around his shoulders and plastered his full length along Jack. "Alone at last," he murmured into Jack's mouth. Their kiss was long and intense. They enjoyed their easy familiarity, their tongues exploring each other's teeth and palates. They both made little satisfied sounds in their throats. Their erections rubbed together as they pushed their hips into each other. Daniel put his hands on Jack's ass, holding him as close as he could.

Finally Daniel took his mouth away so they could pull back a little and see each other's eyes. "Wanna fuck you," he announced with a little knowing smile. "Now. And lunch is coming? How soon?"

Jack laughed softly. "Such sweet talk out of that virgin mouth. Soon. And I only asked you here to see my bathroom," he teased.

Daniel raised his eyebrows. "The bathroom?" He looked around for the first time.

Jack stepped back from him and indicated the bathroom door. "After you, kind Sir."

Daniel went into the bathroom, Jack crowding right up behind him, snickering. He hit the light switches.

It was a pretty good sized bathroom, with a nice big glass shower in the corner that looked adequate for two people. But the other side of the room was dominated by a huge, deep Jacuzzi tub, plenty big enough for two.

Jack leaned in to Daniel's shoulder, his hands on Daniel's butt. "Lookit that, Danny," he breathed into Daniel's ear. "I had plans, but I didn't know they'd include this. Lookit."

Daniel chuckled. Yeah. Lookit, indeed. Fun. "Well, allrightie then," he breathed. He turned and leered at Jack. "Tonight?"

Jack nodded. They both heard the knock at the door. Lunch time.


They sat across the small table from one another and tore into their lunches. They were both starved. No one got fed on airplanes anymore. They talked about what would happen that evening, what time things were scheduled, where and when they'd meet up afterwards.

Finally the last bite of apple pie had disappeared. Jack sat back and stretched. It was only noon, and they had most of the afternoon to themselves. He took a big mouthful of his beer and swirled it around his teeth and tongue. He looked Daniel over as he swallowed.

"So," he said companionably. "Still wanna?"

Daniel snorted, trying not to spit out the last big mouthful of pie and beer he was working on. He held his hand over his mouth, trying to smile and swallow at the same time. Finally, he was sure he wasn't going to choke. He grinned at Jack.

"You know it," he agreed. Jack's eyes were full of a teasing love that Daniel always found delightful.

Daniel stood up and went around the table to stand next to him. He looked down at Jack, running one hand into the silver hair he loved so much.

Jack stuck his arms around Daniel's waist and nuzzled his nose into his belly. He pulled up Daniel's shirt and ran his fingertips along the firm muscles over his ribs. He moved his hands onto Daniel's hips, nudging the waistband of Daniel's sweats down, rubbing his thumbs into his hip bones. The bulge in Daniel's pants was right under his chin.

"Ummm." Holding his shirt up again, he nipped at Daniel's bare stomach, licking around his navel, kissing his appendix scar. Daniel held Jack's head tightly, pressing his face even harder into himself. He squirmed around a little, laughing under his breath. Jack was tickling him.

To stop the teasing mouth, he leaned down to kiss Jack's hair, running his hands along the sides of his neck. Jack lifted his face to him with a smile, and Daniel lowered his head to capture his lips. Releasing him after a few moments, Daniel straightened up to look down at his lover again.

The teasing smile was gone. Jack's eyes were heavy lidded with desire.

"Ummm," he said again. He sat back in his chair to watch Daniel, looking him up and down, enjoying the hell out of the sight of an aroused Daniel Jackson, something only he ever got to see.

He reached out and grabbed Daniel's wrist, and they stared at each other for a moment.

"I am one lucky bastard," Jack said in a little wondering voice.

"Both of us are about to get a whole lot luckier," Daniel murmured. Jack nodded.

Daniel stripped his shirt off over his head, then pushed his own sweatpants off. He'd gone commando. He reached for Jack's shirt. Soon that was off, too, and Jack stood up to get rid of his own pants. Daniel slipped off his glasses and put them on the table.

With a final look and grasp of hands, Jack went to his suitcase to rummage around for the little bottle of lube. He brought it back to the bed and shoved it under the nearest pillow.

They stood by the bed and embraced again. Jack kept Daniel's head on his shoulder with a hand on the back of his head, loving the feeling of Daniel's soft hair, the warmth of his scalp, the warm possessiveness he felt any time they were together. "Mine," he whispered into Daniel's ear. Daniel answered him with a tighter squeeze.

After a minute or so, Daniel pulled back to look into Jack's face. He fingered the chain of Jack's dogtags, letting his eyes rove over the silver hair, the warm brown eyes, the big wide shoulders. He ran his other hand through Jack's curly chest hair. He smiled into Jack's eyes.

"Love you, you know that, huh?" Jack murmured. Daniel blinked and nodded. Jack ran his hand over Daniel's jawline, using his thumb to trace the high cheekbone under one sky blue eye. He sighed in contentment. Kissed the other cheek and rubbed his nose along Daniel's face. He saw Daniel's eyes close.

The heat between them was a solid presence, as always. For now, it was banked, steady, available. Later they would let the flame of their lust and love take over.

Jack decided that he could wait. Sometimes the anticipation was almost as hot as the rush at the end, in its own way. He spoke quietly into Daniel's ear, then kissed a path down onto his neck.

"Slow and easy, Danny. Let's take our time, 'kay?" He knew Daniel would know what that meant.

And so they slipped into their bed, wrapped in smooth sheets and warm blankets, the quiet room cool and peaceful. As the minutes passed, and they delighted in one another, there were lots of shared smiles and quiet laughter. Two best friends, happy with the easy familiarity of their long romance.

Much later, propped up on one elbow, Daniel used his fingers, liberally coated with lube, to get Jack ready. Jack had asked for slow and easy, and that's what he was giving him. Daniel watched his face.

Jack hummed to himself, his eyes closed, knees spread wide, his arms thrown back over his head. Daniel kissed him again then, waiting, slowly fucking Jack with his fingers, stroking the tender flesh, seeking out the most sensitive parts that they each knew so well.

Jack reached for him and pulled him down for a deep kiss, opening his mouth as wide as he could, sucking on Daniel's tongue. Jack pushed down against the knowing, skillful hand.

Both of them were whimpering deep in their throats. A minute or two more of that, and Jack opened his eyes, looking up at Daniel. He knew Daniel had been waiting for him to say when he was ready. "Now?"

Daniel slid his fingers out of Jack, making him moan a little, already missing him there. Daniel reached for the lube again, poured a big dollop into his hand, and then coated himself with it. He looked down at Jack. "Turn over on your side?"

Jack turned his back to Daniel, lifting his top leg so that Daniel could move one thigh between his legs. Soon, inch by inch, with careful patience and control, Daniel slid into him, his full length possessing him, until their balls rested right up against each other. He put an arm around Jack's waist, pulling him even closer to him.

Jack groaned. "Oh, shit, Danny." He was grunting deep in his throat. "Uhhhhh."

Daniel was a lot to handle, in every sense of the word. Jack was always surprised, all over again, like a student who never quite understood the lesson, every time Daniel made love to him. Surprised by the heat, the fullness, the pain, the pleasure, the intimacy. God.

Very gently and slowly Daniel started to move inside him.

"So tight, Jack. You feel so good," he managed to gasp between clenched teeth. He could already feel his orgasm looming. He kissed Jack's shoulders, running his chin back and forth on the soft skin there. Jack reached back to lay a hand on Daniel's hip, loving the movement under his hand.

Daniel moved his hand to grasp Jack's thick cock, working him, running his thumb over the swollen head, pressing the sensitive place on the underside where the head and the shaft met. He knew how Jack liked it, from long practice.

"Make it last," Jack murmured, turning his head around to try to see Daniel's face. "Wait. Wait. Don't leave me yet. Please, Danny."

"I won't," he promised. If Jack wanted a little more time, he'd do the best he could.

He stopped thrusting, letting himself fill Jack to the hilt, feeling the little squeezing motions of Jack's ass muscles. Jack put his warm hand over Daniel's, grasping his own cock along with him.

A couple of minutes went by. The gentle motions of Daniel's hand under his, stroking him, a little reminder that Daniel was waiting, were keeping him aroused, simmering along. He squeezed his ass muscles around Daniel, unable to keep completely still. Daniel continued to rain little kisses along his spine, licking his skin and nipping whatever spots he could reach.

Suddenly Jack groaned. He pressed his ass back against Daniel, and gyrated his hips. "Oh, God. Gonna come soon."

He could feel the ache deep in the small of his back, in his belly, in his guts, running down his legs, causing him to tense his muscles and grasp on to whatever part of Daniel he had contact with. He thrust into Daniel's hand, squeezing Daniel's cock deep inside him. "Oh, Gooood...Uhhhhh."

Daniel closed his eyes and threw his head back and began to thrust into him again, harder this time, hitting Jack's sweet spot over and over. Daniel's great skills as a lover never ceased to amaze his partner. Their orgasms, when they came, arrived almost at the same time.

Daniel buried his face in the side of Jack's neck and sank his teeth gently into the soft skin there, wishing he could leave his mark on the tender spot. He could feel little paroxysms of shivers run through Jack's back. After a minute or two, he slid out of Jack with a little rush of warm semen. He pushed an arm under Jack's head and wrapped his other arm around his chest in a tight embrace, nuzzling Jack's neck. They were a sticky mess. Nothing unusual about that.

Jack reached back and pushed his hand into Daniel's hair at the back of his head, holding Daniel's mouth against his neck. He turned his face towards Daniel, and Daniel moved his mouth up onto his jawline, trailing little warm kisses along his skin.

He murmured into Jack's ear. "Love you, Jack. That was fun.

Always is. You make me so damned hot."

Jack nodded, speechless and totally satiated.

It didn't get any better than this, and both of them knew it.

Part 8

They had set the alarm for 1500, to give themselves time to shower and dress for the evening. But a few minutes before three, Jack's phone rang. He shook his head, trying to wake up, throwing the covers back and getting to his feet. Daniel rolled over onto his back and reached for his glasses. When he couldn't find them, he remembered he'd left them over on their lunch table. He reached over to shut off the alarm clock, and then threw one arm over his eyes and listened as Jack answered the phone.

"O'Neill." There was a small pause. "Yes, hello, General Lovering. Yes, we had a good flight. Two flights, actually. Smooth as silk." He listened again. "Yes, Doctor Jackson is here too. In Room 832. Yes, he'll be attending with me tonight, so you can meet him." Jack turned and looked at Daniel. Daniel wasn't in 832 right now. Wouldn't be there much, in fact. He smiled to himself. "Yes. Right. We'll be down right at 1630 sharp. Right." He said good-bye and hung up.

Daniel felt the bed sag a little as Jack came over and sat down beside him. Jack's hand ran over his chest. He took his arm off his eyes and covered Jack's hand with his own. "I suppose I have to get up now, huh?" he asked lazily.

Jack smiled at him. "Yep." He sighed.

Daniel gave him a little push so he could sit up and swing his legs out of bed. He stood up and went to find his glasses. He started pulling on his clothes. Jack's eyes were on his ass, a sight he never tired of. He watched the beautiful six disappear behind the sweatpants, not really hiding anything, just changing the color he could see.

Daniel yanked his tee shirt over his head and down around his hips, spoiling Jack's view. He'd been very aware that he'd been doing a reverse strip tease for Jack.

"You all set for your speech tonight?" He didn't know if Jack was nervous or not. Jack wouldn't talk about it, any of it. Not what he was going to talk about, or anything. Daniel had asked once or twice, and then had dropped it. He would have pressed if it'd been anything he could have helped with, but it really wasn't, so if Jack wanted to be closed mouthed about it, so be it. Now he seemed a little willing to talk about it, though.

Jack yanked his eyes back to Daniel's face. He remembered to close his mouth.

He shrugged, his elbows resting on his thighs, fingers making a little tent. "Haven't done a speech in a while. I worked hard on this one, though, so I hope it's okay. It's for the kids. I believe in what the Academy is doing, the education they provide, and I want the Air Force to get the best kids they can. They're our future."

Daniel came over and squeezed his shoulder in silent agreement.

Jack stood up, stretched and yawned while Daniel watched him. That contented cat look was back again. Daniel smiled to himself.

Daniel started for the door, with Jack trailing along behind him. If they were going to arrive on time that evening, Daniel had to go get showered and dressed. They both had to.

"Bye, Danny. Come back when you're ready. We'll go down together, 'kay?"

Daniel glanced back at him with a smile. Then he looked over at the fruit basket and pointed at it. "Can I take some grapes with me?" Jack had forgotten all about the fruit.

Backtracking, they both went to the basket and tore it open. Daniel took a big cluster of grapes with him as he left. Jack bit into a big red New York apple, sucking at the juice in it. Yup. Good stuff in New York. Some of it he'd brought with him, of course. He headed for the shower with a grin.

Part 9

At the cocktail hour, Jack watched Daniel mingle. He'd introduced him to a few people he knew. "My friend and colleague, Doctor Daniel Jackson." He knew Daniel wanted to be just "Daniel", but he also knew that Daniel always indulged Jack in his pride. Daniel was just his Daniel to him, but in their world at the SGC, Daniel was a VIP of the first order. It didn't harm anything to use his title. It gave Jack pleasure, and Daniel didn't really mind.

Watching him, Jack stood a little taller, his eyes smug and self satisfied. As he worked the room, he could still feel where Daniel had possessed his ass a few hours before. He loved that feeling. Their relationship was their secret in this crowd, but Daniel's proximity was never far from his consciousness.

Daniel wore his new black suit, trim and custom tailored to his tall frame, clinging in all the right places. The pale blue dress shirt and tie he wore set off the color of his wonderful eyes.

He stood unassumingly, unaware of his own physicality, which was part of his raw attractiveness, in Jack's opinion. He showed an easy grace, wine glass in hand, making small talk with anyone who happened by. Jack could see his beautiful Danny smile, his eyes crinkled with good humor behind his glasses, his expressive mouth and eyebrows mobile as he chatted, adding to his all over appeal. Jack knew that Daniel was far from completely comfortable in this social setting. He was grateful that Daniel had even agreed to come. But to anyone who didn't know Daniel, he appeared completely at ease.

God, Jack was in love with him. His heart swelled. He had to force himself to look at the woman who was trying to have a conversation with Jack, dragging his attention back to what she was asking him. He gave himself a mental nudge to pay attention, for God's sake, before he embarrassed them both.

Daniel was hyper aware of Jack too. Jack in his Class A's was a sight to make his mouth dry and his underwear tight. He knew if he really concentrated, he could get through this evening. He'd had a lot of practice at making nice in his archaeology and academic circles, and could do small talk with the best of them. He also prided himself in being able to carry on a conversation while half his brain was on vacation across the room, wrapped around Jack.

He was chatting with General Lovering's wife. Daniel remembered that her first name was...er...um...Paula? Yeah, Paula. Late fifties, silver hair, expensive make-up, expensive dress, expensive jewelry, expensive perfume that she had layered on too heavily. He kept wanting to sneeze whenever he caught the scent.

She batted her eyelashes at Daniel, openly flirting with him. Daniel smiled and instinctively took a half step back. Oh, God. That made her put her hand on his arm to hold him in place. Daniel swallowed. Her husband was the President of the New York Alumni Association, the person in charge of the whole shebang that night.

He made an effort to keep things light and be as polite as possible. He took a sip of his wine and inclined his head towards her. She was an attractive woman. In her element, which Daniel definitely was not. He realized with a lurch that he'd been thinking about Jack too much, and not paying enough attention to the poor woman's words. God. What the hell had she been saying?

"So what do you think, Doctor Jackson? Should I get a second opinion?"

A second opinion? Shit, she thought he was a physician. Well, in that case, it abso-fucking-lutely didn't matter what she'd been saying. Daniel smiled at her again.

"I'm so sorry, Mrs. Lovering," he started. He took a big breath.

"Paula," she purred at him.

"Um. Yes. Paula. But I'm not a physician. PhD. No medicine." He shook his head in apology.

Her face fell. He hoped she hadn't been telling him about her gynocological problems or some awful thing. He felt himself start to blush. "Don't worry," he hastened to tell her. "Everyone makes the same mistake with me."

That put her smile back. She changed the subject. "You and Colonel O'Neill. You're stationed together at Cheyenne Mountain?"

Speaking of Jack, where the hell was he? Daniel felt like he needed to be rescued, big time. Between the top secret nature of their work, and their own top secret relationship, Daniel felt less than free to partake in much small talk. All he could think to do was to keep mingling, never allowing anyone to question him too deeply about their work, or about Jack.

He sighed again. "Ah, well, we work together. I'm a civilian consultant, actually." He glanced around and spotted Jack across the big room, about fifty people away. Close enough for a mad dash. He lifted his wine glass and drained it quickly.

"Would you excuse me, um, Paula? I need another drink. Maybe we can chat again later?" Without waiting for her answer, he gave her a little smile with an inclined head and got the hell out of there. He was a coward, and he knew it. Oh, well.

Part 10

Compared to the cocktail hour, dinner was pretty unstressful. Everyone was busy eating, so not so much conversation was necessary. Unfortunately, Paula Lovering was seated between Jack and Daniel. Fortunately, she mostly talked to Jack.

He watched Jack handle her. An expert, that's what he was. And everyone thought Daniel was the diplomat? Jack had her eating out of his big old hand. She was giggling like a school girl. Daniel smiled to himself.

Jack had been right. The food was great. It was only chicken, but it had been cooked in white wine. The vegetables were tender and delicious. Even the dessert was good, some kind of crme brulée. Daniel had another glass of wine. Jack was drinking coffee, feeling he'd better be stone cold sober when he had to do his speech.

After dinner, they had about a half hour free. As he went to get up from the table, Daniel heard Jack's voice in his ear. "Going to the men's room, Danny. Come with?"

They walked companionably out of the room, into the hall and down to the restroom. Used adjoining urinals, washed their hands and then stood and looked at each other. They had the room to themselves. Which they knew, because Jack had checked the stalls. They shared a little laugh.

"You doin' okay?" Jack asked him, with real sympathy in his voice.

Daniel laughed again. "I think I'm a little drunk, Jack. I dunno. Did you like Mrs. Lovering? She'll be calling you later for a date, by the way."

Jack snorted. "Ya think?" He shook his head. "Better not. I'll sic you on her."

Daniel looked him over, his hip leaning against a sink, arms crossed in front of his chest. "You look like the Grand Poobah tonight. Mr. Success. Colonel Big Frog in a Small Pond. I love you."

Jack just smiled. "You are drunk, huh?"

"Nah, not drunk enough. Are you nervous about your speech?"

"Nope. Fuck it. I'll slay 'em. You just wait and see.

"Two hours down and two to go, Danny. You're doing just fine. In fact, you're knocking 'em dead. All I heard from everyone was about my so nice, so smart, so polite, so attractive, is-he-available friend. You ever look in a mirror, sweetie? You are knocking 'em dead," he repeated. "Dead as a bunch of doornails."

Daniel smiled at him. "Smooth talker. Did you tell them I'm not available? That I am way taken, occupied, busy and getting laid twice a day by my SO?"

"No more wine, Danny," Jack muttered, taking him by the elbow to guide him out of the room. "I mean it."

Part 11

Daniel did the best he could. He kept up his end of the conversation, occupying the seat of honor between the Loverings. Jack was on the other side of the General. He could see Jack fidgeting, wondering when in hell they could get this show on the road so he could do his everlovin' speech, already, and be done with it.

The room was packed. Daniel thought maybe there were four hundred people there. Lots of eager high schoolers and their nervous parents, lots of alumni of all ages, lots of people dressed in their Class A's like Jack. And no one, Daniel noticed, as drop dead gorgeous in sight. No one.

He fiddled with his program. He'd read Jack's bio. Pretty impressive.. He'd never seen an O'Neill bio before. Native of St. Paul, Minnesota. 1977 honors graduate of the US Air Force Academy. Holder of a Master's Degree from Cal Poly. Both degrees in aeronautical engineering. A 26 year combat pilot veteran, decorated war hero in Viet Nam and in Desert Storm. Holder of the Purple Heart, the Silver Star, the distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Force Cross, the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Prisoner of War Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal. On active duty, stationed at Cheyenne Mountain, working with deep space telemetry. There was more, but those were the highlights.

Paula was attempting to chat him up again. Daniel was just drunk enough to know he wasn't drunk enough. He smiled and had to stifle a stupid giggle. He bit the insides of his cheeks, doing his damnedest to look polite and force himself to pay attention. Thank God, she seemed oblivious to his discomfort.

General Lovering rescued him. He stood up and made his way to the podium to introduce Jack. He caught Jack's eye over Paula's head. Knock 'em dead, Jack.

And by God if he didn't. Jack was warm and funny and involved with his subject. Daniel knew he loved kids, and was completely sold out on the idea of higher education, as well as on the merits of a military career, so the subject of motivating young people to seek out appointments to the service academies was a natural for Jack.

Daniel watched him with his mouth hanging open in admiration. Jack told jokes that were really funny. He told anecdotes from his college days and his service time. He even joked about what it was like to work in a top secret facility where if you told anyone outside what you did, you'd have to kill them.

He had the whole damned crowd eating out of his hand, just like what he'd done with Paula Lovering at dinner. He spoke for about forty minutes, only getting serious for the last five or ten minutes, doing a motivational speech the equal of which Daniel had never heard. And he'd heard some. Even done some himself. Wow.

When Jack wound up his speech and thanked everyone for inviting him, he left the podium to a rousing standing ovation. His eyes sought out Daniel's, and Daniel rewarded him with a big smile. God, Jack. Who knew?

Part 12

The reception afterwards was the easiest part of all. Most people had left right after the speech, since they'd already mingled and schmoozed and eaten and drunk. Daniel stuck to Jack's side, another glass of wine in his hand. Jack was working on a double scotch on the rocks. He needed it. Bad. He could still feel the dampness under his arms where he'd literally sweated that damned speech. Everyone had clapped him on the back and shaken his hand and told him how much they enjoyed his talk, please come again, bring Doctor Jackson back too! Yeahsureyoubetcha, was all he could think.

Finally Daniel had had enough. He got Jack's arm and spoke into his ear. "I'm going upstairs, Jack. I'll be along about quarter of eleven, 'kay?" Jack nodded. They didn't look at each other. Daniel put his glass down and headed out, saying good-bye to those in his path, thanking everyone, but not allowing himself to be seriously waylaid.

Up in 832, Daniel got out of his suit and hung it up. Slipped his sweats and tee shirt back on, and shoved his feet in his fleece clogs again.

He brushed his teeth and then went to sit on his bed and zombie in front of the TV for a few minutes. They had French stations on the cable in Buffalo, so he watched some French language news, then flipped over to a French soap opera. He was fluent in Parisian French, so the Canadian French was a bit of a novelty to him. He hadn't heard it spoken in ages. He actually enjoyed himself, indulging his fascination with languages. The accent was intriguing.

Right at 10:45, Daniel was knocking at Jack's door. It opened almost immediately. Jack was still in his uniform, so obviously hadn't been back for long. He drew Daniel in and gave him a kiss.

"You look tired, Jack." Daniel put his arms around him, and Jack put his head down on his shoulder.

"Hmmm...am." He yawned into Daniel's tee shirt.

He pulled his head back to look at him and then fished in his pants pocket for something. He grinned. "But guess what I got?" he asked in a little singsong voice.

Keys. He dangled a set of keys in Daniel's face.




"A brand new red Hyundai Tiberon. We get to use it tomorrow, long as we want. General Lovering liked you. Er...me. So he's lending us his wife's car. Guess what else?" Jack had the smug look on his face again. Time for O'Neill fun, Daniel could tell. He smiled at him and raised his eyebrows.


"Tomorrow, we're taking the 1700 flight outta this burg instead of the 1100 one. And you and I are going to Niagara Falls tomorrow morning. 'Cause the General and Paula think we should not come this close to Niagara and not see the sights. So there! What do ya think of that?"

Daniel thought it was way cool, and told Jack so.

Part 13

They were so tired, their shared bath in the big Jacuzzi tub almost got them both drowned. The wine and Scotch, combined with the long day, the travel, the excitement and trying to make nice with all those strangers for five solid hours had worn them right out.

Daniel sat at one end of the tub, and Jack was at the other, their legs lying alongside one another. The water was warm and swirling around them, and both of them slumped lower and lower, their eyes closed. The water was just under their chins.

Jack was wondering if someone could actually sleep all night in a tub like that. He yawned expansively. Took his foot and rubbed Daniel's stomach. Daniel wasn't asleep. A hand came over and grabbed his foot.

"Watch it there, buster."

"Can't, Danny, it's underwater." He yawned again. Daniel chuckled. A couple more minutes went by.

"Let's go to bed," Daniel suggested. Neither of them moved. By now, both of them had their eyes closed. A couple more minutes went by.



"Bed, Jack. You know, that dry, flat place where we can really sleep. And you know...." He nudged Jack's leg with his knee. You know.

"Nope, " Jack mumbled. "Too friggin' tired."


No one moved. A couple more minutes went by.



No answer. Jack heard a soft snore. Daniel was a goner.

Jack gently removed his foot from Daniel's belly and slipped it down along his leg again. He put his head back, just to rest his eyes. What a wonderful bathtub. He wondered how much something like it would cost. He'd have to go down to Home Depot and check it out back in the Springs. The whirlpool mechanism also had a heater in it, so the water never got cold. Such luxury. Such a great place to make love, if you only had a partner who was awake. If only you were awake yourself. He felt himself drift off.

The next thing Jack knew, Daniel was poking him in the chest. "Wake up, Jack. We've turned into prunes. We gotta go to bed. Now."

Daniel braced himself on the tub edge and lifted himself out of the water, making a big tidal wave. He stepped out of the tub and started toweling himself off. "C'mon. Move it, Colonel."

Jack sighed. He shut the whirpool off and reached to open the drain and let the water out. He got out and grabbed a towel.

Daniel looked at him. "Later, huh?"

Jack couldn't seem to stop yawning. He didn't even bother to cover his mouth. Daniel smiled at him. Daniel knew Jack would come calling, and it wouldn't be that long.

They tumbled naked into their bed, wrapped in each other and the warm covers, and were almost immediately unconscious.

Part 14

At first, when Daniel woke up, he couldn't think where the hell he was. It was too comfy to be some place off world. No tent or sleeping bag. But it wasn't his loft or Jack's house, either. It was pretty dark in the room. The only thing he was sure of for a few seconds was that it was Jack who had woken him up. Then he remembered. The Hyatt in Buffalo. The red numbers on the clock at the bedside glowed 3:42.

Daniel was lying on his stomach, his face turned away from Jack, his pillow bunched up under his head. Jack was kissing the back of his neck, running his hands down his spine, caressing his buttocks, murmuring into his ear about waking up for him. Daniel was so relaxed, he just let Jack touch him for a while. He was comfortably aroused, enjoying the massage, and he knew Jack would get more insistent eventually.

Eventually ended up being rather soon. "You awake, Danny?" came the soft voice. "Hey, gorgeous..." The gorgeous word was one Daniel only heard when it was time to really wake up.

Daniel got up on his elbows and turned his face into Jack's for a kiss. Jack had his warm arm across the back of his shoulders, drawing him close. The first taste of Jack's tongue in his mouth set Daniel's cock on fire. He rubbed himself into the mattress and groaned deep in his throat. A strong trembling shiver ran all the way through him.

Jack ran his hand up Daniel's neck into his hair, pressing Daniel's face into his, moving his head sensuously in little back and forth motions, tasting, licking, biting, bringing Daniel to a heightened state of arousal. He could feel Daniel's excited little tremors.

"Jack..." Daniel was making little thrusting motions against the bed, anxious to get closer. His mouth back on Daniel's, Jack ran his hand down Daniel's back again, insinuating his fingers into the cleft between his buttocks, seeking out the small opening there. Daniel spread his legs to give him better access. He was whimpering, kissing Jack as deeply as he could. Jack's index finger played around the rim of the little hole, putting a little pressure there but not pushing inside, and then running down around Daniel's balls before returning to tease his anus again.

He was driving Daniel crazy. No one else had ever understood his body like Jack did. No one else had ever known so well how he liked to be loved. No one else had ever cared nearly as much. No one else had ever, ever, ever been so bloody insatiably hot.

"Jack..." Daniel wanted him to hurry up before he imploded. Or exploded. Maybe both. Was that possible? Daniel thought so. Maybe.

"Ssshhh. I'll take care of you," Jack whispered. "Don't worry. Turn over, Danny."

Daniel moaned and turned onto his back. Jack moved over on top of him, lying between Daniel's open knees. He pushed up onto his hands and lowered his head to suck at Daniel's neck, finding the familiar hot spots there. He bit at his skin, then licked where he'd just bitten before moving on to a new spot. Daniel arched up into him, running his hands down Jack's back, grasping at his arms.

"Jack..." His total vocabulary seemed to have been reduced to one word.

"Ssshhh. It's okay. It's okay. Gonna take care of you. Gonna suck you." The soft voice was almost hypnotic in the dark. Daniel squirmed under Jack, wanting to be taken, wanting to be possessed, just wanting. He wanted.

"I want...I want..." God, he was so inarticulate. He swallowed and ran his tongue around inside his mouth that was suddenly dry. "I want..."

Jack chuckled deep in his throat. "I know. I know. Shhhh. Getting there. Getting there."

Jack took his time, working down Daniel's chest and flat, hard stomach, licking at nipples suddenly erect under his lips and teeth, nipping at the soft skin over Daniel's ribs. He could feel Daniel's rock hard cock, trailing wetness down Jack's chest as he moved down.

"Jack...please...Nnnnn...God, Jack. Please." Jack hadn't even touched his cock yet and already Daniel could feel his come gathering deep inside him, swirling, pushing, rising. Oh, fuck. "Pleeease!"

At last, Jack had his warm mouth around him, licking, stroking, one hand grasping the base of his cock, and then massaging around and under his balls. Oh, yes. Daniel groaned and thrust into Jack's mouth. He threw one arm over his eyes, his head moving back and forth on his pillow. Jack. Jack. Good.

He reached down and ran his hand into Jack's hair. He took it in his fist, yanking it gently as he writhed his hips under Jack's head. He spread his legs as widely as he could, his knees drawn up. Oh, yes. Oh, fuck. Oh, God.

Jack was putting pressure on the whole length of his cock, his tongue swirling around the shaft, his big hand working him. Daniel could feel himself deep in Jack's throat, and then pressed against the top of Jack's mouth, against his hot knowing tongue, being raked by gentle teeth. So warm and wet, so firm, so good. Good.

And then Jack slid two dry fingers into his ass, pressing firmly on his prostate. Daniel came, a shout of surprise and delight on his lips, his orgasm overwhelming him like a sudden storm. Jack swallowed and licked, continuing to fuck Daniel's ass with his fingers all through his orgasm. He did just what he'd promised to do. He took care of him.

Daniel had tears in his eyes from squeezing them shut so damned hard. God. Shit. Amazing. No, he thought stupidly, Daniel Jackson definitely was not "available". Nope. He giggled, gasping, trying to get his breath, listening to his own heartbeat thud in his ears.

"Jack." Back to the one word again.

Jack sat back and snickered. Daniel felt him reach for the lube under the pillow. He put a bunch on himself and then reached for Daniel's ass with probing fingers, cold and slick.

"Uhhh..." Daniel lifted his butt off the bed, pushing into Jack's hand, his body still hypersensitive and breathless from his recent orgasm.

In one fluid motion, Jack moved up between his legs, pulled Daniel up onto his lap, and started to push deep inside him. The shock of the warm, tight channel, after the coolness of the lube, was always amazing to Jack. When Daniel squeezed him with his ass muscles, Jack literally saw stars. Every time.

"Jack!" Jack helped him lift one leg up over his shoulder. Daniel's other leg clasped around Jack's waist.

"Gonna fuck you now, babe," came the soft voice again. "Gonna like this. A lot." Jack groaned, throwing his head back and squeezing his eyes shut.

"Ohhh....Jaaack..." Daniel's whole world was the dark room, Jack and that huge cock he was impaled on. He moved himself back and forth around Jack. "Do it, Jack. Hurry up."

Immediately Jack started to pound him, taking him fast and hard, their flesh slapping together as their sweat mingled. He didn't even try to last or keep his own orgasm at bay. Both of them were making little inarticulate moans of pleasure. After about ten deep hard jabs, he came, filling Daniel with his heat. He stayed still, feeling Daniel squeeze him, hard, deep inside himself, milking him, just the way Daniel knew he liked it.

"Daniel. Oh, fuuuuccck. Sweet Jesus. Yes." As the contractions deep in his balls faded, he pushed himself back into Daniel as far as he could, flexing his hips a little, savoring the feeling of their union, already thinking about how soon maybe they could do this again.

He withdrew from him, slowly, listening to Daniel gasp under him. Daniel reluctantly lowered his feet to the bed alongside Jack's thighs. Jesus.

Jack collapsed beside him, rolling onto his back. Daniel was giggling again, so damned inarticulate he couldn't even get Jack's name out anymore, forget anything else.

"What?" Jack asked him. He turned his head towards Daniel, smiling at Daniel's obvious delight. He could just barely see Daniel's profile in the dark. He heard Daniel try to swallow, trying to get his brain cells and his dry mouth working. After a couple of false starts, he spoke into the dark.

"If anyone should ask in future, you and I are definitely not available. Our asses are taken. No vacancy. Shit."

Shit, indeed. Jack laughed in agreement. Shit, indeed.

Part 15

Up at 0700, Daniel dressed, grabbed an apple to gnaw on, and went back to 832 to shower and shave and dress for the day. A scant 40 minutes later, he was back at Jack's doorstep, suitcase in hand and laptop case under one arm. Jack let him in, still damp from his own shower, wearing just a towel around his waist. His eyes took in his beautiful partner. Doctor GQ had just arrived. He closed the door and gave him a low wolf whistle. "Wow. New duds?"

Daniel gave him a little grin, setting his suitcase and laptop down against the wall. He straightened up and gave Jack a good view. Jack was a toucher, but he also loved the visual, so Daniel always indulged him. It had embarrassed him at first, but through their years together, he'd realized it was not only harmless, it felt pretty good, too, to both of them.

Jack leaned back against the door. His knees actually felt weak. His eyes roved all over Daniel. In just a few seconds, he took in quite a sight. Talk about one of the natural wonders of the world, he thought to himself.

Clingy tan denim jeans, a narrow brown belt at the waist, closed with a silver buckle. White tee showing at the throat, a pale blue woven corduroy shirt, shot through with narrow silver threads, tucked into the jeans, top three or four buttons open. And over it all, a coppery brown suede jacket, waist length, unzipped at the moment.

Brown hair all over his head in attractive little tufts, still damp from his shower, falling in short bangs. Wide set, limpid, intelligent blue eyes, framed by impossibly thick eyelashes, behind big round glasses. Pale perfect skin stretched taut over high cheekbones and a firm jawline. Full lips that at the moment were hanging open a little so the tongue could run over the lower one. Jack knew he was teasing him, and he didn't care. 'Tease away', he thought.

"Daniel?" Now Daniel was smirking at him, damn him. Smirking. "Daniel?"

Daniel stepped over to him and pressed their bellies together, squashing Jack back against the door. He gave him a little innocent look. "Hmmm?" He traced Jack's collarbone with one index finger.

"Daniel?" Daniel saw him swallow. Felt a suspicious bulge against his crotch. Daniel moved his hips forward a little.

"Hmmm?" This obviously was not going to be one of their more articulate conversations.

"Daniel?" Daniel's lips were only about two inches away now. Jack didn't seem to be able to get his eyes off them.

There was a knock at the door. He and Daniel stared at each other. A fucking knock at the door. Daniel just waited, raising one eyebrow at Jack. The silence was complete.

Jack swallowed again. "It's breakfast," he whispered. "I ordered..."

Daniel leaned into him, his hands on the door on each side of Jack's head. He pressed his lips onto his, ran them all around Jack's mouth. He pulled back, slowly opening his eyes. Jack's eyes were wide open and very round. No pupil was visible in the brown depths. "Breakfast..." he whispered.

Daniel cleared his throat, and spoke over Jack's shoulder at the door. "Just a minute," he called out.

Taking Jack by the arm, he gently shoved him into the bathroom, closing the door behind him. The look on Jack's face was priceless. Snickering to himself, he went to let the guy with the food in. He tipped him and let him out, and then went back for Jack, who was still standing right where he'd left him.

Daniel leaned a shoulder into the bathroom doorjamb. He pushed his hands into his pockets, adopting Jack's own favorite pose. He just looked at Jack, who was standing in the middle of the bathroom like he couldn't figure out what to do or say next.

"Hungry, honey?" Daniel asked. It took one wiseass to know another. He couldn't keep from smiling.

"Damn you," Jack whispered in awe. He cleared his throat so he could speak a little louder. "How fucking long have we been together? And I am never ready. You still surprise me." He came over to him and reached out his hand, grabbing onto the lapel of Daniel's jacket.

Daniel lowered his face and blushed. He lifted his eyes to Jack and moved his eyebrows up and down. "Yeah, well, it works both ways, y'know. You don't ever look in the mirror either."

They looked at each other. The O'Neill/Jackson Mutual Admiration Society meeting had been convened. Actually, it never had adjourned. It never really did.

"Let's eat," Daniel suggested. Jack leered at him with a knowing smile.


Part 16

In the hotel parking garage, they easily found the red Tiberon GT, just where General Lovering had said it would be. They stood and looked at it. Low, two doors, rear spoiler, oversized tires on alloy rims, and very red.

"Be afraid," Jack breathed. "Be very afraid." They stood and looked some more.

"Um, Jack? Can you drive anything this small? And are you gonna...er... kill us in this thing?"

Jack snickered. "Watch and learn, Daniel. Watch and learn."

He lifted his hand to point the keyless remote entry at the door. When he pushed the button, the car made a little high pitched beep, the lights flashed and the doors unlocked.

Jack walked over to the car and ran his hand along the roofline. "Ummm, the Tok'ra should know about this little beauty."

He opened his door and started to slide into the tan leather seat on the driver's side. He noticed Daniel was still standing there, staring. "Get in. Don't be silly. If you die, I die, so we can go together."

Daniel thought that was cold comfort. But he went around and climbed in beside Jack.

He looked over at Jack. His eyes took in the tousled silver hair, smooth skin still tanned from the summer's outside work at the house, wraparound sunglasses on a cord around his neck. In black jeans, a red V-necked sweater with a white tee shirt underneath, the ever present black leather jacket over it all, he was dressed to kill. Daniel only hoped he wouldn't. Kill anything, that is. Like him.

They put their seatbelts on. Daniel was hoping there were airbags. Oh, yeah, there were. It said "AIRBAG" in front of him on the dashboard. Thank God.

Jack had one foot on the clutch and the other on the brake. He was moving through the gears experimentally. "Six speeds forward," he breathed. He reached out and ran his hand over the dashboard, looking everything over.

Daniel rolled his eyes. His partner was making love to someone else. Something else. Whatever. Sheesh. "Jaaack."

Jack looked over at him, turning the key in the ignition at the same time. A low, throaty rumble, satisfying and deep, filled the small cockpit. Jack depressed the accelerator a couple of times, listening to the revving engine. He smiled at Daniel.

"Here we go, into the wild blue yonder..." he sang. And Daniel had to listen to Colonel Air Force sing the Air Force song, too? Insult to injury time. Daniel put his head back with a big sigh, listening to Jack cackle with laughter.

Jack shoved the car into reverse and got them out of the parking place. As they emerged from the parking garage, Jack made a quick left turn with a quiet squeal of tires.

Daniel wondered if the Loverings had any idea what their car was going to be put through in the hands of his crazy friend. Mr. Top Gun was in charge now. And their Tiberon was at his beck and call.

Daniel stretched out a hand and held onto Jack's thigh with a tight grip. Just to remind him that there were two lives at stake. Jack looked over at him and laughed. He was having a great time.

"That's okay, Daniel. You just hang on." He patted Daniel's hand.

And Daniel did. He trusted Jack, of course, with his life. Always had and always would. But he just hoped that his trust wouldn't be put to the test, this time without benefit of sarcophagus or Doc Frasier.

Part 17

A half hour later, after a trip on the highway that saw them weaving through slower traffic, many times at 80 miles an hour, and miraculously free of any speeding tickets or worse, Jack pulled onto the Rainbow Bridge. They paid the toll and crossed from Niagara Falls, New York, into Niagara Falls, Ontario. He pulled up to the Canadian customs booth and rolled down his window.

A stern looking young man in uniform looked them over, looking around Jack to see Daniel's face, too.

"Morning," Jack said politely.

"Good morning. Where do you gentlemen live?"

"Colorado Springs, Colorado. Here on business for a couple of days."

The man lifted his eyebrows. He probably didn't hear too many people say they were from Colorado. "Will you be in Canada long?"

Jack smiled at him. "Nope. Going home this afternoon. Just here to see the Falls. We'll be here just a few hours."

He ignored all that unwanted information. "Any firearms with you?"

Jack shook his head. "Nope." He'd left his piece at home, knowing he couldn't get it on the plane anyway.

"Have a good time," the officer said. Jack gave him a little salute, rolled up his window, and they were on their way, down around a corner to the right that circled around to put them on the road that ran alongside the Niagara River.

"Boy, that was easy. Hard to believe that was an international border. Been here before, Danny?" Jack asked, looking both ways to make sure it was okay to pull out into traffic.

"Nope. Spent a lot of time in New York, but never up north here.

Never been to Canada, actually. You?"

"I was here so long ago, we had to dodge the T Rex's to see the Falls." He snickered to himself, cracking himself up. Daniel clicked his tongue at him in disgust.

"Everyone knows they didn't have T Rex's around here, Jack."

Jack laughed. "And you think that's the only reason my parents and I didn't have to dodge 'em when we were here about one million years ago?"

Daniel didn't answer. He was fascinated by what he was seeing. Across the river, the American Falls, stretched out in a rather straight line, were magnificent. Farther down the road, he could see a huge mist rising up into the cool morning air, marking the location of the famous horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side.

Tourists were everywhere, dressed in the native clothing of many nations. The gardens along the road were well manicured, the flowers bright and impressive. Jack concentrated on not hitting any of the pedestrians, none of whom seemed to have any hesitancy about walking into traffic.

Another few hundred feet or so down the road, they passed the Table Rock House on the left. Jack pointed. "We'll go through there to the Falls. We just need to go a little farther to get into the parking area, and then we'll walk across."

A few minutes later, they were parked. As they got out of the car and locked it up, Daniel gave it a little pat on the hood. "Thanks for not killing us, little car. Yet," he said in a low voice.

Jack looked at him over the top of the car. "I heard that, you. It was my great skill as a driver that got you here. Don't you go thanking this car for anything."

As they met around the front of the car, Daniel looked him up and down. "I'm driving back to Buffalo. Gimme the keys."


Daniel held out his hand, wordless, his nose in the air, brooking no argument.


Jack did.

Part 18

The two of them leaned on the wrought iron fence, suspended between two granite pillars, the only thing between them and about four billion gallons of cascading water, just eight or ten feet from where they stood. They drank in the unbelievable sight.

Upriver, the wide Niagara River, raging along between Lake Erie to the west and Lake Ontario to the east, flowed over rocks and submerged stumps, looking as rough as any white water course. At the horseshoe shaped Falls itself, right in front of where the men stood, the water pouring over the edge was a pale aqua green, tipped with white foam, thick, almost seeming to be a life form of its own. The roar filled their ears.

Looking down the huge wall of water, crashing at the bottom onto rocks, they could see a mist that rose up taller than the falls themselves. A small boat, one of the Maid of the Mist fleet, was just coming in close to the falls far below where they stood. Daniel counted 25 people on board. They all had blue raincoats on. As they watched, he was fascinated to see the pilot bring his passengers even closer to the rocks and the falls. He held the boat there, minute after minute, giving the folks on board a good drenching and an experience they'd never forget.

Daniel pointed. "Hey, Jack, look at that. Those guys are getting soaked, I'll bet."

"Yeah. Did that with my folks. I had wet feet the rest of the day. And they keep you under there for like ten minutes. It goes on forever. We nicknamed the boat the Maid of the Downpour, I remember. Mist schmist. Even with the raincoats, you get real wet doing that."

They were silent for a while. Dimly aware of other tourists coming and going beside and behind them, they felt like they were in their own little world. They took their time and let their eyes rove around, studying the opposite American shore, the American Falls, the river upstream and downstream, and the walls of the Niagara gorge. Far over their heads, a helicopter circled, giving other tourists a truly bird's eye view. It was a busy place, and yet somehow an intimate, personal one, too.

Jack looked at Daniel then. Both of them were a little damp from the breeze that occasionally blew the mist over them. Daniel's glasses were speckled with it. He looked completely content. That look was one of the things Jack lived for. He smiled at him. "Happy?"

Daniel looked at him and nodded. Suddenly serious, Daniel heaved a big sigh. Jack looked at him expectantly. He could see Daniel wondering if he should say something or not. Jack cocked his head at him, curious. He half turned to him, leaning his side on the barrier. Daniel tore his eyes away from Jack's, looking at the Falls again. He spoke softly. "We could get married here someday, Jack," he said. "Here in Ontario, I mean."

He bit his lower lip. Even he hadn't known he was going to say that. It was a subject they'd discussed, but not recently, not seriously. There was something about standing at the old, traditional honeymoon location that had Daniel thinking about marriage. Rings. Commitment. Legal, binding, anchor stuff.

Jack was surprised that Daniel had brought it up, but not that much. His Daniel was a deep feeling, committed person, passionate about anything he cared about, and he sure cared about Jack.

"I know." Jack had a sudden lump in his throat. He knew. He knew that the miracle of their love was something so precious, it deserved to be honored in such a way. He also knew that the world they lived in was a harsh, unforgiving place. He knew.

"Not legal back home, though," he said.

He poked at Daniel's forearm for a second, just as a little reassuring point of contact. Daniel turned his head so they could look into each other's eyes. "You wanna talk about it when we get back?

"If it's something you want to do, or need to do, I'm game," Jack continued. "I'd like us to think about it some first, though. See a lawyer and stuff.

"Maybe it's even time to talk about me retiring again. Get married, wear rings, the whole nine yards."

He and Daniel were already legal next of kin, beneficiaries of each other's estates. They'd taken care of all that about six months after they'd become partners. In the State of Colorado, it was all they were allowed.

Daniel shrugged. He ran his fingertips over his upper lip with a little grimace. "We'll see, Jack. I'm just being dumb. We already belong to each other. I don't need a ring and a bunch of vows. Maybe some day, okay?" He was pleased that Jack didn't at least seem scared by the idea, or worse, reject it outright.

Jack smiled at him. "Sure, Danny. Sure." He tried to lighten up the moment. He looked out over the tumbling water again.

"This is so cool. So unexpected. My kind of fun, the kind you don't see coming. This was so nice of the General, to lend us his car and suggest we come here, huh?"

Daniel just smiled, relaxed and looked out at the river again. Yup, Life is Too Damned Short. The O'Neill motto come to life. It was cool, like Jack said.

Part 19

They took a walk on the wide sidewalk that ran along the river, heading back towards the Rainbow Bridge they'd come in on. The people there were as interesting as the natural wonders around them. They were all ages, all nationalities. Daniel identified five or six different languages just in the few minutes they were walking. Italian, German, French, Thai, and even some kind of Tibetan Chinese dialect, spoken between a man who was dressed as a Buddhist monk and his companion.

Both Jack and Daniel noticed several same sex couples walking by them, hand in hand. Daniel was so aware of Jack strolling along beside him, and he wished he could just reach out and do that simple thing, hold the hand of the man he loved. But there was no way. No way. He understood, but it made him sad.

He knew there was no sense in talking about it with Jack. Both of them knew the score. They knew what was at stake. And he was grateful to have the life with Jack that he did have. Both of them knew that someday, they would be able to be free. Daniel clung to that hope, and absolutely never talked about it with Jack. Not a damned thing Jack could do to change things, and Daniel didn't want him feeling guilty or angry, or feeling forced into that early retirement he'd mentioned. When Jack retired, Daniel wanted it to be because that's what Jack wanted and needed, not just because he needed to be with Daniel in public. Or worse, because he thought Daniel needed to be with him in public.

After a while, they headed back for the Table Rock House. It was getting on towards noon, and they were hungry.

It had been a pretty cloudy morning, but as they stood there, next to the Canadian Falls again, the sun broke through the clouds, bringing some nice warmth, changing the whole atmosphere. The most surprising thing was the huge bright rainbow that suddenly appeared right in front of them, right at the moment the sun came out. Rising in a perfect half arc that started just above the mist cloud and ended just above the rocks at the bottom of the Falls, it was breathtaking. Every band of color, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, stood out from the others.

Neither Jack nor Daniel had ever been so close to a rainbow before. Normally rainbows were off somewhere by the horizon, up in the clouds. This one was so close, they felt like if they just stretched out their hands, they could touch it.

"Jack..." Daniel breathed. "Look..."

"It's a sign, Daniel," Jack said in a soft voice. He swallowed. He didn't consider himself much of a spiritual person, but this was... well, he wanted to use the word "otherworldly" but the truth was, he hadn't seen anything like this offworld, either. This was like heaven on earth, whatever that meant.

"A sign?" Daniel didn't look at him. He couldn't take his eyes off the rainbow.

"My parents used to take me to Mass on Sundays. Latin in those days. Never understood a friggin' word the priests said. Mom and Dad made me go to catechism classes too. At least those were in English. One of the things they taught us was about the rainbow. It's supposed to be a sign for people to remember God. Something like that."

"Yeah, I remember that old story. Noah, right? After the flood. Yeah." Daniel turned finally to look at Jack.

Jack looked back. He smiled with a small shrug. "A sign, Daniel." He shuffled his feet around, shoving his hands into his pockets, and finally turned to face him.

"It could be our sign, if you want. You and I. You know, in the future." He hesitated, searching Daniel's face. "Too touchy feely for ya? Too sappy?"

Daniel smiled at him. "Nope. Just a little surprising, but it feels good. I'm glad we came here."

He stood up straight, stretching his back a little. "This has been quite a trip. I didn't know you could make speeches like a damned pro. I didn't know you could drive like an Indy 500 racer. And now I didn't know you knew anything about Noah and rainbows. Or sap, for that matter." He looked him over. "Anything else you want to share, to make this more memorable?" He took hold of Jack's elbow for a second, giving him a friendly squeeze.

Jack looked Daniel in the eye. He thought for a minute, pressing his lips together, squinting his eyes.

"Nope. Just love you, that's all. I fell for you a long time ago. And I haven't reached the bottom of it yet. Think I ever will?"

Daniel's eyes searched his. "Better not, Jack. I'm counting on it."

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