"Excuse me, sir. We're about to begin boarding new passengers. Please return to
your seat," the flight attendant said as Daniel moved down the aisle to exit the
"Sorry, I just need to stretch my legs," Daniel lied anxiously, not slowing down
as he pulled the strap of his carryon bag tighter across his shoulder as if someone
might try to take it from him.
He breathed a little easier as he cleared the ramp, dropping his boarding pass into
the trash as he walked by it. There was no way he was getting back on that plane.
The next stop was Denver, and Colorado was the last place on Earth he wanted to
be. On Earth, he laughed to himself. Or anywhere else, he amended. Abydos would
be nice. Anywhere but Cheyenne Mountain.
The airport here was large, but not too busy this time of the evening. Wherever
here was. Washington state maybe? Yeah, Cascade he remembered. He wandered the
concourse for a few minutes before the smell of coffee pulled him in to a little
eatery. He paid for a cup and found a seat next to the window. A nice place to
ponder just what the hell he thought he was doing. His cell phone rang, so he cut
it off. He was supposed to be in the air right now. That would buy him some time,
until he could decide what to do. In the meantime, he'd have another cup of coffee.
"No, he's still sitting there. I'm just saying it's suspicious the way he got off
the plane and all."
Jim tried to tune out the conversation that the two airline employees were having
as he watched Blair's plane soar out of site. He felt strangely empty and very alone.
Of course he was happy for Blair, he just thought it was a little soon to be jetting
off to meet Alisha's parents. They hadn't known each other for more than six weeks,
but the romance had been the whirlwind kind.
Strangely, Jim felt a little jealous. Okay, a lot jealous. Not that Blair had found
someone, but that the someone had not been him. He wondered if he would have even
noticed how his feelings had changed toward his best friend if the concept of losing
Blair hadn't suddenly bit him in the ass.
"Well, security is checking him out, but I think we should call the police."
The woman's worried voice struck a cord with him, so Jim tore his eyes from the window.
He needed something else to think about anyway. Pining over his soon to be married
roommate wasn't doing him any good.
"Excuse me," he said flashing his badge as he approached the two women. "Cascade
PD. What's the problem?"
"I'm sure it's nothing, Officer," the larger of the two woman said, and Jim for once
let it slide without the automatic correction: Detective.
"It's that man," the other woman offered, clearly more concerned with the situation
than her coworker. "I work down at that gate," she said, turning to point towards
the end of the concourse. "He was on a short layover while the plane took on new
passengers, but he got off the plane abruptly. Left his luggage and everything.
He's still sitting there in that coffee shop, almost two hours after the plane took
off without him."
Jim shrugged. "Are you sure it's the same man?"
"Oh yeah," the first woman said a little dreamily. "It's him."
"I'll talk to him," Jim said and started towards the coffee shop.
"Here," the woman said, calling him back. "This was his boarding pass. He threw
it away when he got off the plane."
With a nod and a half-hearted thanks, Jim took the paper and proceeded to the cafe
to question the guy. As he approached, he realized where the dreaminess had come
from in the counter girl's voice. The man was handsome, in a clean cut, all American
boy way. His skin was smooth, his lips full with an almost pouty quality, his chin
firm. The glasses made him look smart.
Or maybe there was just something in the amazing blue eyes that were suddenly focused
on Jim as he approached. They were keenly aware, but guarded, and held a lost, almost
desolate loneliness, something Jim felt might actually be reflected in his own eyes
at the moment. The other man must have seen it, because he relaxed and waved a hand
towards the chair across from him, as if he had been expecting Jim all along.
"Refill?" Jim asked, feeling uncharacteristically intrigued, and was pleasantly surprised
when the man nodded and gave a small, but very nice smile. Jim picked up the paper
cup and went to the counter, returning in a few minutes with the refill and a cup
of his own.
"Thanks," the man said. "I'm Daniel." He took his cup and blew gently across the
top of the steaming liquid. Jim tried not to stare at the puckered lips as they
cooled the coffee, thinking he had spent way too much time fantasizing about Blair
lately, because now he was projecting it onto perfect strangers. Perfect being the
key word in this case.
"Jim. Uh, Detective Ellison, actually." Jim sternly reminded himself why he had
come over. He took out his wallet and tried the usual flash of the badge, but Daniel
caught the edge of it and held it still for a minute as he examined it. He ghosted
long fingers over it before releasing it, as if he could read it with his gentle
caress. Jim folded the leather jacket slowly and slipped it back into his pocket,
a confused frown forming on his face.
"It's nice. Good quality workmanship," Daniel baited as he sat back and sipped from
"Thanks," Jim said, obviously uncertain if his chain was being yanked. "Can I see
"You show me yours, I'll show you mine?" Daniel asked before he could stop himself.
He was at a loss for his actions, wondering if he wasn't trying to get arrested.
Jack would have a cow if he had to come get him out of jail. Jack. He forced the
thought away as he pulled out his wallet and found his driver's license. "Did I
do something wrong, Detective?" he asked as he handed it over.
"I don't know. Did you?" Jim asked as he studied the license intently.
"Um, well, there is the loitering thing, but since I keep paying for coffee, I don't
think you can make that one stick."
"You left your flight," Jim explained with an amused smirk. "I think the airport
employees have you pegged as some kind of hijacker or something."
"And I accomplished that by getting off the plane?" Daniel asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Well, apparently, your luggage is still on the plane. On it's way to where?" Jim
asked and checked the boarding pass. "Colorado?"
"Don't worry. Someone will pick it up. They just won't be picking me up," Daniel
finished the statement by licking his lip absently. When he noticed the look Jim
was giving him, he smiled spontaneously, flattered by the attention for a change.
"Are you flirting with me?" Jim asked impulsively, hoping in fact that he was.
Daniel looked surprised. "Am I?" He blinked thoughtfully.
"I think you are," Jim laughed nervously, feeling like a horny teenager and way out
of his league.
"Oh. Well.... how am I doing?" Daniel asked self-effacingly. "I've never done this
Jim smiled in spite of himself. "Better than you think," he assured quietly. He
slid the ID back across the table and let his fingers brush the other man's hand
quickly before he pulled back. He couldn't believe he was actually doing this. Flirting.
In an airport. With a man. But it seemed so right. The sadness in the other man's
eyes soothed his own hurt feelings, as if he could truly understand. Misery loves
company? Could it be that simple? "So what do you do in Colorado?"
"Is that an official or unofficial question?" Daniel asked cautiously.
"Does it matter?"
"Okay then, let's start with something simple. Why did you get off the plane?"
Daniel sighed and looked out the window for a minute before looking back at Jim and
fixing him with a sorrowful gaze. "I don't know. It seemed like the thing to do
at the time. I just really, really didn't want to go back to Colorado. And then
it was too late to do anything else."
Jim listened carefully to the man's heartrate and studied his face for any evidence
of a lie, but there was none. Just a forlorn man someone must have hurt. Someone
in Colorado maybe. "Okay, so the interview is over. You want to talk for awhile?"
"Yeah, I'd like that, I think."
"So, what do you do in Colorado?" Jim tried again.
"I'm an archeologist. I work for the government."
Jim gave a short laugh. "For a minute, I thought you were going to say anthropologist."
"I do that, too," Daniel provided hesitantly, almost as if embarrassed by his multitude
"No. See? That explains it. I have a weakness for blue eyed anthropologists."
"It's true. I do..."
"They're still sitting there."
"You think he would have called for backup by now."
"It doesn't look like police work to me."
They laughed and drank coffee for the better part of an hour, talking about nothing
too heavy, nothing too deep. Just a safe, easy conversation. Jim glanced at his
watch and realized it was getting late. Reluctantly, he gathered his coat as the
clerk behind the counter switched off the lights and waited not so patiently for
them to clear out so she could pull the cage around the seating area. He gathered
the collection of cups and deposited them into a trash can.
Daniel sighed. "Back to reality," he muttered under his breath, sweeping a last
longing look over at the nice police detective who had distracted him so completely
from his troubled thoughts. Leaving his sleeves rolled up on his shirt, he slipped
into his suit coat and gathered his long overcoat and bag.
"I'll walk out with you," Jim said, finding himself to be a little melancholy that
the impromptu chat was over. He pointed the way out of the concourse, and Daniel
fell into step beside him.
"Yeah, I guess I should find a hotel before I get arrested for vagrancy," Daniel
said as he shuffled the bag to try and slip on his overcoat. Jim took the bag without
breaking stride and carried it while Daniel got situated then handed it back.
"Nah, you've still got a job," Jim teased, then thought about it a little more. "You
do, right? I mean, you won't get fired for not showing up in Colorado will you?"
"As if I could be that lucky. If I don't show up, eventually they'll come looking
"You must be important," Jim mused.
"No. Not really. I just.... know things," Daniel said unhappily. "Way too many
things. Sometimes lately, I just want my life back." They walked for a few more
minutes without saying anything. "Sorry. Didn't mean to get morose on you."
Jim pulled his jacket closed as they stepped out into the cold night air. "Well,
good luck," he said and stuck out his hand. Daniel smiled briefly, but looked away
as he shook Jim's hand. Neither let go immediately, standing on the deserted street
"Listen, thanks," Daniel said awkwardly.
"For what?" Jim asked with surprise.
"I don't know," Daniel sighed. "For not arresting me, I guess. It was just nice
to talk to somebody." He pulled his hand back, but still felt the heat of the other
man's grip. He clenched his hand and held it to his chest as if he could keep the
lingering warmth there.
Jim looked up and down the drop off zone, but there weren't any taxis at the moment.
"I could give you a ride," he offered sincerely.
Daniel looked at Jim as if no one had ever done him a favor before. "If it's no
trouble," he said clumsily.
"No. No trouble at all. There are lots of hotels between here and my place," Jim
stated eagerly, strangely gratified that the evening wasn't over yet.
Jack paced the airport lobby irritably. Daniel's plane was late, of course. Jack
tried to stop his sick imagination from coming up with all the ways that the delay
could possibly be Daniel's fault. Like somehow Daniel had gotten into the cockpit
and batted his eyes at the pilot to make a little detour around some ancient burial
site in Oregon. Jack laughed at the thought. If anyone could sidetrack a jumbo
jet, it was Daniel.
Deep down, he realized that he was just projecting his guilt onto Daniel. He knew
it because he did it often enough. But the only guilty party here was Colonel Jack
O'Neill. He had a lot of making up to do. Thankfully, Daniel was a very forgiving
person. If only he hadn't hit him. He didn't know how he'd make up for that.
Finally, the plane was on the ground and the passengers began to disembark. Jack
dreaded seeing the pained expression he knew Daniel would be wearing when he realized
just who had come to pick him up. Pick him up. As if. If only. The torrent of
passenger slowed to a trickle, and still no Daniel. Jack let his impatience get
the better of him and he pushed past the last few passengers and towards the plane.
"Sir, you can't get on the plane," a flight attendant informed him sternly.
"I'm looking for a passenger. Dr. Daniel Jackson. He should have been on this flight,"
Another stewardess joined the first one. "That's the man who disembarked in Cascade,"
"He got off the plane?" Jack asked incredulously. "Are you sure?"
"Yes sir. It caused quite a stir. That's what delayed us in Washington."
"I knew this was all his fault," Jack mumbled to himself.
"Wow. This place is great," Daniel exclaimed as he followed Jim into the loft. "Are
you sure this is okay? I mean, the Motel 6 would have been fine."
"Really, it's no trouble," Jim said as he helped Daniel out of his coat and hung
it next to the door along side his own.
"Is that a Polynesian death mask?" Daniel asked unnecessarily as he crossed the room
to examine the piece. "This is authentic," he proclaimed as he gingerly stroked
Jim smiled and nodded. "I'm sure it is." He approached the other man slowly, but
Daniel was off to look at something else.
"This is Mesoamerican," he declared as he focused on a small clay ball sitting on
the shelf. "Where was it found?"
"I don't know. I never thought to ask," Jim answered honestly, pleased at Daniel's
obvious delight, thinking how well Daniel and Blair would get along. And bore him
silly in the process.
"I'm sorry," Daniel said lowering his voice, suddenly very aware of himself. "I
hope I didn't wake anyone. Wife?"
"Divorced," Jim provided easily. "My roommate is out of town."
"The anthropologist is your roommate," Daniel reasoned, taking in the abundance of
artifacts. "Blair, right?"
"Right. The place seems kind of empty without him. He could answer all your questions
about, that.... thing."
"Yes," Daniel agreed and turned back to the curious ball. "It was probably found
in the lower Mississippi valley. Made some 3,000 years ago, these are the only cultural
legacy left by Mesoamerica's mother culture. We don't even know what they called
"You're a lot like him. Like Blair," Jim contemplated out loud.
Daniel glanced up and then away. "I suppose most anthropologists have similar traits.
Off the top of my head I'd say we're curious, persistent, verbose..."
"Talk a lot?" Jim teased, moving closer again, working up the nerve to try to kiss
the man. "I hadn't noticed."
Daniel snorted and turned to face Jim with a ghost of a grin.
"You? Married?" Jim asked before Daniel could speak, just to make sure before he
made an ass out of himself.
"Um, widowed," Daniel said and wheeled back around to the shelf, but not before Jim
could see a different kind of grief pass across his features. An older pain, one
not quite so fresh.
"No, no. It's been awhile. I'm getting better with it," Daniel offered with a sigh.
The mood seemed to pass, but Jim retreated anyway, silently chastising himself for
even thinking of... what he was thinking. "Okay," he said a little too cheerily,
"the bathroom is that way. You can sleep in Blair's room there, I'm sure he won't
mind. Or you can sleep upstairs with me," he said before he knew he was going to
say it. Daniel pivoted to look at him again with an unreadable expression. "Wherever
you're more comfortable," Jim added and started up the stairs, when he stopped to
look back, Daniel had removed his suit jacket and was placing it on the back of one
of the dining room chairs.
"Okay, thanks. I'll be up in a minute," he said almost casually he opened his carryall
and removed a smaller bag of toiletries.
Jim nodded and continued up the stairs as Daniel went into the bathroom. He tried
to calm down his racing heart as a voice in his head was screaming 'what are you
doing?'. At least he hadn't been wrong. Daniel had been sending him signals.
He focused his hearing on the bathroom and realized that he wasn't the only one who
was a nervous wreck. Daniel's frantic, almost comical muttering went a long way
to ease his own case of butterflies. Jim quickly took off his shoes and socks, shirt,
and jeans. As he lowered his boxers, he changed his mind and pulled them back up
before crawling into bed. He scooted all the way over, giving Daniel a clear shot
at the stairs in case he changed his mind. He hadn't intended, okay, he hadn't actually
planned for any of this to happen. But now that it seemed like more than a remote
possibility, his blood headed south in a hurry. He propped himself up against the
rails at the head of the bed and tried to loosen up.
"Have you lost your mind?" Daniel whispered to the mirror. He splashed some water
on his face and watched it drip into the sink. "I'll be right up? When did you
start thinking with your dick, Dr. Jackson? Don't answer that."
He used the toilet, washed his hands and then brushed his teeth. "At least stop
blushing like a virgin bride," he admonished his reflection. "Thank God it's dark
up there," he mumbled as he opened the bathroom door and started back towards the
Not dark enough, Jim ventured evilly to himself. Not only could he see the blush
spread across Daniel's face, he could feel the heat of it from three feet away. The
man was undoubtedly disconcerted as he reached the top of the stairs, but he hid
it well. No one but a sentinel would be able to tell.
"So," Daniel said conversationally as he began to unbutton his shirt, the slightest
tremble in his hands.
"Have you ever done this before, Daniel?" Jim asked kindly. "With a man?"
"Nooo," Daniel said reflectively, "but I've wanted to. I even had my victim all
picked out. Unfortunately he bolted on me. Can't really blame him I suppose. I've
done some research though."
"Research?" Jim asked suppressing a grin.
"Yes, well. You'd be surprised at the wealth of information available on the subject."
Daniel peeled off his shirt and untucked his undershirt. He kicked off his shoes
and stood there as if waiting for something. "Have you? Your roommate...."
"No," Jim sighed. "I waited too late, and now he has someone else. My own fault.
And I never really thought about it with anyone else. I mean not until you. I
don't want you to think that I spend my Friday nights hanging around the airport
looking for vulnerable anthropologists to pick up."
Daniel laughed a little at that. "Well you certainly could if you wanted to. I
mean physically, you're.... striking," he said uncomfortably, but with uncompromising
honesty. "Why me?"
"How do you shave without looking in the mirror, Dr. Jackson?" Jim said as he got
to his knees and moved to the edge of the bed where Daniel still stood with way too
many clothes on. "I feel like we made a connection," he added when they were face
to face. "Was I wrong?"
"No, I don't think you were," Daniel breathed as he took off his glasses.
Jim took them from his hand and placed them on the bedside table. He grasped the
bottom of Daniel's undershirt and slowly pulled it over his head, skimming skin with
both hands along the way. Daniel let out a surprised gasp but slid his arms around
Jim's smooth torso as soon as the shirt cleared his head. He leaned in and unerringly
found Jim's lips in the dark.
The kiss was guarded at first, soft and uncertain on both sides. Someone moaned
as lips parted and warm wetness was discovered and explored. Hands joined in the
investigation over shoulders and backs. Soon Jim was fumbling with Daniel's belt.
Rapidly fears and insecurities were replaced by sheer need. Tender, hesitant reconnaissance
segued into passionate, deep kisses and out and out groping. At last Jim managed
to get button and zipper undone and removed Daniel's pants and underwear with one
sweep. He pulled Daniel unto the bed and they tumbled together. Daniel took a moment
to remove a sock, but Jim beat him to the other one, kissing and caressing all the
way back up Daniel's body from his foot to his mouth.
Daniel returned the favor by urgently helping Jim out of his boxers. He let his
hand linger over the length of Jim's erection which caused Jim to moan and move insistently
into the touch. He found his own shaft captured by greedy fingers and together they
established a pounding rhythm and worked themselves up to completion. Daniel held
his prize until the last shudder then slid his hand wantonly over a muscled thigh
and across the flat, hard abs, drawing a line of wetness up Jim's chest. He covered
the man's face, neck and chest in soft nibbles, Jim in turn cupped his ass with both
hands kneading the pliant flesh and pulling Daniel closer to him.
When Daniel returned his attention to Jim's lips, they began to kiss softly, plying
each other with simple affection. Their sweat slicked bodies began to cool and dry.
After long tender moments, Daniel sighed softly and rolled to his side with his
back to Jim. Jim reached down to the bottom of the bed and pulled up the sheet and
comforter, covering them both as he spooned up to his bed mate, wrapping an arm tightly
around Daniel's chest. Daniel leaned into him and covered his hand with his own.
Jim couldn't help but feel a little disappointed that all they had accomplished
was jerking each other off, but it was incredibly gratifying to fall asleep with
a warm body snug against his own.
Light was streaming in from overhead when Jim woke, but it was still early, considering
how late they had been up. He lay quietly for a few minutes and studied the handsome
stranger in his bed. Daniel's lips were parted slightly as he breathed softly through
his mouth and his long lashes rested peacefully against the smooth lightly tanned
skin of his face. Jim traced cautiously along the sleeping man's left cheek, the
only imperfection that he could see, a tiny broken blood vessel and an all but healed
bruise, invisible to the naked eye. In sleep, Daniel looked much younger; innocent,
no trace of the world worn soul that Jim had caught shadows of during the conversation
the night before. No trace of the hunger and desperation as they hurried and fumbled
to get each other off. No evidence of the crippling loneliness that had so completely
reeled Jim in.
Jim guiltily tried to think of the nicest, quickest way to divest himself of the
remnants of the unfortunate one night stand from his bed. He decided that breakfast
was the least he could do. After all, the guy wasn't a bad person or anything. He
seemed genuine and kind. He was also good looking and easy to talk to. He just
wasn't Blair. Daniel had known what he wanted last night, Jim told himself. No
promises had been made or broken. It's not like they had made a commitment or anything,
and Jim definitely didn't want one. There was too much emotional baggage on both
sides for any kind of a relationship. Jim wasn't sure if he could deal with the
overwhelming pain that he witnessed each time he got caught up in the electric blue
eyes on a day to day basis.
Silently, Jim slipped away. He started coffee before getting into the shower to
wash away the dried evidence of the tryst of the night before. He regretted that
they hadn't pushed the boundaries a little more, something to quell his snowballing
curiosity. He couldn't help but touch himself as his thoughts dwelled on the talented
fingers that had played him so well, wondering what Daniel would think if he knew.
Would he offer to help? Or would he wake with the same sense of wrongness and shame
that Jim had.
The self abuse in the shower didn't really help, Jim decided as he poured two cups
of coffee and headed back upstairs. He was still thinking about things that he should
have just left alone in the first place. At least he had proven to himself that
he could be aroused by a man, and not just Blair, not that that was necessarily a
good thing. Somehow, it only added to his confusion.
Sitting one of the cups of coffee on the nightstand, Jim stood and sipped the other
as he watched his unexpected house guest wake. A small frown crossed Daniel's features
and he reached slowly across the sheet, his disappointment that the bed was empty
evident as he finally opened his unfocused eyes and sat up. It touched Jim that
Daniel wanted to wake up in his arms. At least he assumed he was the one that was
being searched for.
"Jim?" came an unsteady voice.
Ouch, Jim thought, once again feeling guilty he was about to evict his would be lover.
In answer to Daniel's plea, he held the other cup of coffee under the slow to wake
"Oh, yeah," Daniel said appreciatively and grasped the cup in both hands. "You're
a man after my own heart, Detective." He drained the cooling cup in a respectable
"I see you use the caffeine method of starting your heart in the morning," Jim teased
and settled on the side of the bed.
"There's another way?" Daniel deadpanned, looking around for his glasses.
"I can think of a few," Jim said coyly as he read Daniel's mind and handed over his
specs. He quickly realized he was losing sight of the plan. Dammit. Breakfast
and then out, he told himself firmly. But a little conversation would be okay, he
backpeddled. Maybe lunch.
"Such as?" Daniel queried with the lift of an eyebrow as he put on his glasses.
Jim shrugged and cursed his anatomy for betraying his carefully crafted strategy
as his dick reacted to the sweet, rumpled, naked man under the sheet. He felt his
breath as it hitched up almost imperceptibly. Daniel noticed right away and worried
at his lip for a second with his teeth. Jim bit his own tongue to offset the effect
the absentminded gesture was having on him. His heart joined the race with his lungs
and began to hammer embarrassingly fast.
"I've heard that morning sex will do in a pinch," Daniel said as he boldly slipped
a hand into Jim's robe and confirmed his suspicions.
"I've heard that too," Jim moaned as Daniel caressed the hard flesh hidden under
his robe and pulled him in for a coffee flavored kiss that curled his toes. Wondering
briefly what had happened to the shy man he had met the night before, Jim gave in
completely. So much for the plan.
"I'd like to try something, if you don't mind?" Daniel asked politely as he removed
the coffee cup from Jim's hand and began chewing on Jim's lower lip. He stopped
long enough to finish what was in the cup and set the empty down on the bedside table.
"Anything you want," Jim answered as he pinned the only slightly smaller man to the
mattress and began his own visceral assault with his tongue; tasting and feeling
and smelling all at the same time. Feasting on the sensations.
"We need some kind of lubrication," Daniel explained breathlessly as he arched into
the frenzied touch.
"Lube?" Jim asked, stopping to look into Daniel's face, just to make sure he heard
"Well, yes. I mean unless you don't want to...."
"I have some," Jim cut in. "I mean, I bought some just in case Blair.... Are you
"I want you to fuck me, Jim," Daniel said sincerely, blowing what was left of Jim's
Jim sat up and rummaged through the drawer next to the bed, finding the tube he had
hidden way in the back. "What do I do?" he asked, suddenly unsure.
Daniel licked his lips and took a deep breath. The virgin bride blush was back,
but he looked determined. "Um. Start with a finger. Or two. Or I can do that
part if you want."
"No, I'll do it," Jim said and started to remove the lid.
"I don't suppose... Never mind," Daniel said with a sigh and tried to get comfortable.
"No, tell me."
"I don't suppose we could kiss or something a little first?" Daniel flushed and
his embarrassment at what he perceived as neediness was evident.
Jim almost laughed at his own head long rush to do the deed, but caught himself.
Daniel frowned, and for a minute Jim thought he might bolt. "Of course," Jim soothed
and settled himself next to Daniel. "I just got a little caught up in the moment.
Daniel sighed again and tried to smile. The trust in his eyes was humbling and Jim
vowed not to mess this up for him. He wanted it to be memorable for both of them,
and not because it was rushed and tawdry. Stroking Daniel's hair back, Jim gently
removed his glasses and set them aside.
"You are so beautiful," he stated serenely.
"You don't have to do that," Daniel protested.
"Shh." Jim kissed his forehead, his nose, his chin, and them moved back to his mouth,
pleased as Daniel began to relax. Jim sucked the ever pouty lower lip into his mouth
and savored the silky warmth, eliciting a groan from the suckee. Daniel's hands
cupped his face before sliding down his neck and over his shoulders around and back
up in a rhythmic caress, bearing down subtly firmer with each pass as Jim robbed
him of breath.
Jim released the passion that he had always held firmly in check and found himself
giving more than he ever thought possible. To his surprise, it was received with
hungry grace and returned in full. Suddenly, it didn't matter if they went any farther.
Jim felt secure and needed and full of compassion for his new found friend. He
wanted him to stay not just for breakfast and lunch but for dinner and a midnight
snack, hopefully with him as the appetizer. After a long and dizzying mouth to mouth
encounter, Jim felt Daniel press the lube into his hand, the lid already gone. Jim
tried to push it back, but Daniel was insistent.
Daniel bent one knee, resting his foot flat on the bed and moaned as Jim stroked
a hand across his groin and up and down his thigh. Jim kissed his way down Daniel's
chest until he was comfortably nuzzling his belly and could easily reach his bottom.
He squeezed out a little of the lube and slipped one finger inside.
"Whoa," Daniel exclaimed as he bucked once unexpectedly.
Jim pulled his finger out. "Did I hurt you?"
"No," Daniel panted. "It was just cold. Note to self: warm lube."
Jim chuckled and rubbed a little more lube around in his hand for a second before
taking another, slower approach. This time Daniel only moaned deep in his throat,
Jim feeling the vibration all the way down.
"What does it feel like?" Jim whispered as he worked a gentle massage.
"Nice. More, please."
Jim slipped in another finger and pressed a little harder.
"Oh, God," Daniel ground out and pushed back. "Now, Jim. I'm ready."
Jim withdrew his fingers and moved back up the bed to get another kiss. "Are you
sure about this?" he asked tenderly as he brushed his lips over Daniel's face.
"You're killing me, Jim," Daniel protested before nipping at Jim's lip and holding
him still for a minute. "Fuck me," he commanded when he released him.
"Sir, this doesn't prove anything," Jack said as he waved the printed out e-mail
towards the General. "Don't you think the Russian stargate program would benefit
from having a Dr. Jackson of their own?"
"Jack, he got off of the plane of his own free will, per the airline staff," Hammond
argued. "If the Russians were planning on keeping him, they never would have let
him leave the country."
"They might have. This way, we think that it was his idea since he disappeared in
"Colonel, you have to admit that he didn't seem very happy before he left. I hated
to have to call him back from his leave. He really seemed stressed. Why else would
he have gotten off the plane?"
"It could have been a decoy for all we know. Or if it really was him, there could
have been threats that we don't know about. He could have been coerced or brainwashed,
he was there for over a week. This just isn't Daniel, sir. I can't believe that
he would willingly walk away from the SGC under any circumstances."
"Let's just give him a little time. He'll come home and then we'll deal with him."
"General Hammond, sir, Daniel is a friend of mine, but even I have to admit what
a huge security risk he is. He's unpredictable. With all do respect, sir, we have
to go and get him."
They lay together in a comfortable silence for a few minutes, Jim resting his head
on Daniel's shoulder, Daniel rubbing a hand softly on the back of Jim's head. The
only other movement was the orchestrated rise and fall of their chests.
"You okay?" Jim asked after awhile, venturing a look.
"Mmm," Daniel responded with a smile, keeping his eyes closed. His stomach picked
that moment to rumble intrusively. "Sorry," he mumbled and encircled Jim in his
"When's the last time you ate?"
Daniel's brow furrowed for a minute. "Not sure."
"Come on. I'll fix breakfast while you get a shower. Do you have anything in your
bag to wear? You can't just hang out in your suit."
One blue eye opened and Daniel raised his head so that he could see Jim's face. "I
should probably go," he said uncertainly.
"Where will you go?"
"Shouldn't the question be why?"
Jim grinned. "I think I can figure out why. You think you're imposing on me. I'd
rather know if you actually have someplace to go. Are you going back to Colorado?"
Daniel opened both eyes and dropped his head back to the pillow to study the skylight.
"No. I need a few days before I can face.... that place."
"So stay with me."
"This is supposed to be a one night stand."
"One, two, ten. Who's counting?"
"That's very nice of you, Jim. But I really couldn't."
"Why not? I want you to." Jim moved up the bed and propped himself up on an elbow
so that he was looking down into Daniel's face. "And it's not because of the sex.
You can even stay in Blair's room if you like. It just makes me feel better, having
you here. Selfish of me, I know."
Daniel swallowed and glanced away, his deliberation written on his face. He wanted
to stay, but he was afraid of getting too attached.
"Who hurt you?" Jim asked, capturing Daniel's chin and turning his face so that he
could see it again. "I'll break his legs."
"No, Jim," Daniel said fondly. "I hurt myself. I pushed when I shouldn't have."
"Stay?" Jim asked again and placed a soft warm kiss on Daniel's brow.
"Who could resist an invitation like that?" Daniel asked and pulled Jim in for more
kissing. His stomach rumbled again and Jim laughingly rolled away.
"You can't live on coffee, Dr. Jackson," Jim lectured as he went to a drawer and
pulled out some sweatpants and a tee shirt.
"So I've been told," Daniel replied as he sat up and put on his glasses. He winced
slightly as he got to his feet.
Jim's eyes went wide. "You okay?"
Daniel grinned sheepishly. "Just a little.... reminder. No problem."
"Okay, if you're sure. Breakfast in fifteen." He handed Daniel the clothes and
started down the stairs. "I have to go back to work Monday and Blair gets back home
on Friday, but you are more than welcome to stay as long as you like," he said sincerely.
"What about Blair?" Daniel asked as he followed, naked save for the clean clothes
thrown over his shoulder.
"He'll just have to understand," Jim said coolly. "He'll be fine with it," he amended
as he reached the kitchen.
Daniel swatted him on the butt as he passed, not counting on Jim's lightening fast
reflexes as he was grabbed into a loose wrestling hold. "This isn't exactly how
I pictured this morning," Jim murmured into the back of Daniel's neck.
"Sorry to disappoint you," Daniel laughed as he applied a move that Teal'c had patiently
drilled into his head a couple months ago and slipped free from the surprised Sentinel.
"Nice move," Jim said approvingly.
Breakfast was almost ready when Daniel appeared from the bathroom all scrubbed and
smelling of soap, his hair wet and spiky. The phone rang and Jim snagged it on the
first ring after swallowing the bite of sausage in his mouth. "Ellison.... oh,
hi Simon. What's up?"
Daniel helped himself to the other half of the link and licked the grease off of
Jim's fingers in the process. Jim groaned inaudibly and shooed him towards the stove.
Daniel grinned, rather pleased with himself as he began to divvy up the scrambled
eggs between two plates.
"Tonight?" Jim asked into the phone, never taking his eyes off of the barefooted
man who looked so edible in a pair of his old sweats "Um, sorry, sir. I've got
plans.... yeah, I guess you could call it a date."
Daniel looked up questioningly and Jim rolled his eyes. "No. No one you know....
don't count on it," Jim laughed and then grew serious. "That's interesting. No....
yeah, I'll uh, keep my ears open. Yes sir. Right. Okay, I'll talk to you later.
"A date?" Daniel asked cautiously, munching on another sausage.
Jim hung up the phone and grabbed the last two pieces of toast as they popped up.
"Nothing," Daniel said and carried the plates to the table where Jim already had
juice and coffee waiting. Daniel began to eat as soon as he sat down, obviously
enjoying every bite.
"It seems that the military is looking for a very important archaeologist who disappeared
from the airport last night," Jim said conversationally.
"Really," Daniel said as he choked a little and all but dropped his fork.
"Yeah, it's all top secret, hush hush. The airport is already full of special forces
and there's some Colonel on the way to coordinate the search."
"That son of a bitch," Daniel muttered and got up from the table.
"Where are you going?" Jim asked and followed.
"To get dressed. I can't let them tear up Cascade looking for me."
"Did you do something wrong?" Jim couldn't help but ask, stopping Daniel in his tracks.
"No," Daniel said vehemently as he turned back around. "They just think that they
"Look, as long as you're not running from the law, I'll protect you. They'll never
find you here. All they know is that you left the airport with an off duty police
"It's no use. I should just go face the music," Daniel argued. "I'll never be free
"Come on. You have to eat. Sit down," Jim urged as he steered his guest back to
the table. "Just call and tell them to leave you alone. It's a free country."
Daniel looked stunned as if the simple answer had never occurred to him. "Right.
I can do that. I'll just call and ask them to give me some time. I already e-mailed
the general," Daniel said and reached in his bag that still sat next to the table
and pulled out a Russian novel. Between the pages was a memo which he handed to
Jim. "It's okay, there's nothing classified in it."
"Classified?" Jim asked.
Daniel made a face and a dismissive gesture. Jim took the memo and unfolded it.
To his relief, Daniel began to eat again, he just didn't seem to enjoy it as much
now. Jim turned his attention to the paper in his hand.
From: Dr. Daniel Jackson
To: General George Hammond USAF
CC: Colonel Jack O'Neill USAF
Subject: Mission Status
Mission accomplished. No complications. I will forward a detailed mission report
when I get home. Please note that I am continuing my interrupted leave and will
not return to base on arrival.
For reasons that I won't go into here, I am tendering my resignation. We both know
my original intentions upon joining the project are now null and void. I have come
to realize that my continued presence is more and more in contrast to the apparent
goals of the powers that be.
I will submit a proper resignation on my return and will attempt to tie up any loose
ends within my department. It has been an honor working with you, and I sincerely
regret any problems that my leaving may cause.
Dr. Daniel Jackson, Ph.D. Ph.D. MSc. Hons. Oxon.
"So you're trying to quit and they just won't take no for an answer," Jim said after
he read the memo.
"More or less," Daniel said, pushing away his empty plate. "No time like the present,"
he said and fished around in his bag again, coming up with a cell phone this time.
When he switched it on, it was already ringing. "What?" he asked irritably as he
"Where the hell are you?" a voice shouted from the phone, causing Daniel to pull
it away for a minute and Jim to readjust his dial.
"Hello, Jack," Daniel answered dryly.
"Do you have any idea how fucking worried I am? Are you okay?"
"I'm fine. Now call off the dogs. I'll come home when I get damned good and ready."
"You're AWOL and you know it. That snippy ass little memo you dropped on the General
doesn't even begin to cover it."
"I was on leave before this mess with the Russians came up. I'm just picking up
where I left off."
"It doesn't work that way, Daniel, and you know it," the voice shouted, dripping
"I'm not military, Jack. I'll do what I please. So fuck off."
"Christ.... look Daniel. Don't you think I know what this is about? Why do you
think I didn't go to Russia with you? I wanted to give you a little space. I'm
sorry. Give me a chance to explain."
"I can't talk about this right now."
"Give me the phone," Jim said as he reached for it.
"What? No," Daniel argued as he pulled away.
"You're not alone are you?" the voice asked, suddenly sounding very suspicious.
"Is someone holding you against your will? Just yes or no, don't give yourself away."
"Let me talk to him," Jim asked again.
"Just back off for a minute," Daniel said, covering the mouthpiece.
"Daniel? What's going on?" the voice asked urgently.
Jim couldn't stand the look on Daniel's face and impulsively grabbed the phone. "Dr.
Jackson doesn't want to talk to you. Don't call again," he said and turned the phone
"Oh, Jim," Daniel said with a look of horror. "That was a big mistake. He'll never
stop looking now."
"That was him, wasn't it? The one that hurt you. He's military."
"Yeah, well, don't ask, don't tell," Daniel said bitterly. "I can't blame him, you
know. He really does care about me, but it's his career on the line. But really
Jim, you shouldn't have done that. Just because you popped my cherry doesn't make
you my personal protector."
Jim's jaw dropped. "Popped your cherry?"
"What? I work around marines. So sue me," Daniel shrugged and got up to clear the
"You're right, I shouldn't have done that. I'm sorry. And it's Blessed Protector.
Get it right."
Daniel pouted for a few more minutes, but found that he couldn't really stay mad.
Besides, he would have loved to have seen Jack's face when he realized that there
might be someone else. "Don't worry about Jack. Fuck him," he said at last.
"Such language, Dr. Jackson," Jim teased as he helped with the last of the dishes.
"And here I thought you were sweet."
"I am anything but sweet," Daniel protested. "I could out curse you in twenty-plus
languages, if I wanted to."
"Maybe, but you're all talk," Jim said. "You've never done anything like this before."
"No, I haven't," Daniel admitted. "The truth is, I haven't really had what you could
call consensual sex in something like four years. Don't ask," he added when he noticed
the concerned look on Jim's face.
"How can I not ask when you say something like that?" Jim sputtered.
"It's funny," Daniel sighed. "Some of the most private moments of my life are so
classified that I couldn't talk about them even if I wanted to. Outside of my job,
I don't really have a life anymore. There are so many things that I just can't tell
you, so please, don't make me lie to you."
Jim thought for a minute and then nodded. "I understand about security clearances,"
he assured. "I won't ask."
Jim hesitantly reached for a hug and was relieved that Daniel responded. "If you
want," he whispered into Daniel's ear. "This afternoon, I'll help you make up for
those four years."
"Promises, promises," Daniel purred back.
"But first," Jim said kissing Daniel once and turning to go into the bathroom, "I
need to go down to the station and make sure they don't have anything that links
you to me."
"I don't know. Anything. Hopefully the employees I talked to don't remember me
very well. They were a lot more focused on you at the time."
"Anyway, I'll pick up some lunch on my way back, and stop at the store for something
for dinner. Maybe we should grill some steaks."
"Jim, you don't have to wine and dine me."
"Wine. Good idea."
Jim sauntered into the bullpen and looked around surreptitiously. He smiled to himself
when he realized that Brown was working, which made his job so much easier. Any
info on the goings on would come right to him via the king of gossip himself. Jim
made himself comfortable at his desk and began to make out a grocery list. Steaks;
nice thick ones, potatoes to bake, something for desert....
"Hey Jim, thought you were off this weekend," Henri said as he settled at the edge
of Jim's desk.
There were already plenty of veggies in the fridge. Blair had stocked up on salad
supplies before he left. Was that a hint? Jim pinched at his waist thoughtfully.
"Hi H. What's up?"
"Haven't you heard? Some big time archaeologist disappeared from the airport last
night. There's a full scale manhunt going on. An Airforce colonel arrived this
morning and boy is he an asshole. You'd think it was his brother missing or something."
"Yeah?" What kind of wine?
"Yeah, and get this. I ran the missing guy's name through the computer and red flags
went up everywhere. I hit a government firewall and within ten minutes Colonel Asshole
was up here in my face!"
"No kidding?" Jim asked, putting down the list and listening. "What did you come
"Not a damn thing but a driver's license and an address. Oh, and I might have mentioned
to the colonel that you were at the airport last night. He wants to see you."
"Gee, H. Thanks for sharing," Jim sneered.
"Anything for you, man," Henri said with a laugh. "He's taken over an office down
on five. You can't miss him, it looks like a war zone down there."
"What kind of wine would you get with steak?"
Daniel glanced up from his book when the phone rang. On the fourth ring, the answering
machine kicked in.
"Jim Ellison and Blair Sandburg are unable to take your call at this time. Please
leave a message after the beep," a pleasant tenor voice requested, not Jim, Daniel
"Hey, it's me. Where are you?" the same voice asked over the line. "I've been doing
some thinking, and.... man, I really need to talk to you. Shit. I can't do this
over the phone. Listen, ignore me. I'll just talk to you when I get home. No biggie.
Bye. Oh, there are plenty of fresh vegetables in the refrigerator, so don't load
up on Wonderburgers while I'm gone, okay? Okay, Bye."
Daniel raised an eyebrow before he went back to his book. He could almost hear the
unspoken "I love you" at the end of the message. And Jim had no idea. Love was
funny that way he mused.
Stepping out on the fifth floor, Jim thought what an apt description Brown had given.
It did look like a battle was about to take place. There were lots of men in uniform,
and not just men in blue. Maps of the city were posted in the hall marked into sectors
and several monitors were set up to view the airport security tapes. Stacks of information
packets and handouts littered the tables. In the center of the activity a tall gray
haired man in BDU's gave orders and listened to reports as he studied one of the
monitors himself. Jim stood and watched until the man finally noticed him.
"What?" the colonel snapped. 'O'Neill' was stamped on his uniform, but now that
he had met the man, Jim preferred Brown's name for him instead.
"I'm Ellison. Brown said you wanted to see me?"
"Ellison? Right. You were at the airport last night. Why?"
Jim picked up one of the information packets and browsed through it casually. "I
dropped my partner off. He caught a late flight to LA to surprise his girlfriend."
Brown eyes assessed him coolly. "What time were you there?"
"I don't know, around ten thirty I guess."
"Did you see this man?" the colonel held out a laminated page with two color pictures
of Daniel. One was a head shot, almost like a passport photo. Attractive, but stiff.
The other showed a full length pose of Daniel in BDUs, complete with sidearm. Purely
fuckable, Jim thought as his body screamed it's agreement. He shifted uncomfortably
and his mouth went dry. Maybe two bottles of wine. Screw it. Three.
"Well?" the colonel asked impatiently and a little too possessively for Jim's liking.
"Mmm," Jim said with a wicked leer, calculated to get a rise out of the old boy.
"No wonder you're so hot to get him back." He ran a thumb over the full body shot.
The man yanked the page away and glared menacingly.
"I'd be glad to help you find him," Jim offered, meeting the murderous gaze with
"Piss off," O'Neill said and turned his back and walked away.
"What kind of wine goes best with steak?" Jim asked innocently, pocketing one of
"Daniel! Open up, it's me," Jim called from the hall. Within a minute the door
"Geez, Jim. Did you buy out the store?" Daniel asked as he grabbed one of the grocery
bags from Jim's over burdened arms.
"We've got to keep up our strength," Jim teased as he followed Daniel to the kitchen.
"I think lunch is in that bag. I got some deli sandwiches. Roast beef okay?"
"Sounds good," Daniel agreed as he began unloading the bag, glacing briefly into
the others as well. "How much wine did you buy? You planning on getting me drunk
and taking advantage of me?"
"Oh. Hey, this is the good stuff!"
"Yeah, well, I saw a picture of you in BDUs and nearly swooned. I just couldn't
ply you with cheap wine after that."
"Here." Jim dug out the black and white photo copy of the laminated page. "Nine
mil? Why does an archaeologist carry a weapon?"
"You'd be surprised," Daniel said distractedly as he studied the pictures. "I can't
believe they used this one," he grumbled. "Look at my hair."
"I met your colonel. O'Neill, right?"
Daniel looked up sharply, his mouth dropping open.
"Say something," Jim urged after a minute of the silent routine.
"I have no response to that," Daniel said softly and continued to unpack the groceries.
"He seemed a little frantic."
"Really," Daniel replied drolly. "Your roommate called, by the way."
It was Jim's turn to feel uneasy. "You talked to him?"
"Of course not, he left a message."
"Oh, right. What did he say?"
"Why don't you listen to the message?"
"Why don't you just tell me what he said?"
Daniel sighed. "Because then you'll miss the nuances of his voice. More can be
said in the tone than in the words. You need to hear his voice to appreciate what
he's trying to say. Or not say."
"I don't need to hear him, because you sound just like him," Jim groused.
"Fine. He said he needs to talk to you, but it can wait until he gets home. And
he said not to fill up on Wonderburgers."
Jim laughed as he hit the erase button. "Now was that so hard?"
"Speaking of hard," Daniel murmured seductively. "I believe you said something about
helping me make up for lost time?"
"Lunch?" Jim asked, eyeing the sandwiches still on the counter.
"If that's what you want to call it," Daniel said as he drug the unresisting man
to the couch.
Blair laughed at himself as he placed a hand on the hood of the truck, thinking that
he had been hanging around cops too long. Completely cool. Jim had been home for
awhile. Glancing up at the loft, he could see that the overhead lights were already
out. Only an occasional flicker of illumination flashed in the window, which made
him glad that he hadn't called Jim for a ride. It was late, after all, and Blair
had wanted a few extra minutes to decide exactly what it was that he wanted to say
anyway. If Jim was already asleep, he'd surprise him at breakfast. More than likely,
he was asleep on the couch in front of the TV. Blair shouldered his bag and headed
for home. For Jim.
Turning the key as quietly as he could, Blair opened the door and realized that the
loft wasn't completely dark, and the tiny flashes he had seen from the window weren't
from the TV at all. There were candles burning on the table where dishes and a couple
of empty bottles of wine indicated a cozy dinner for two. Blair froze in indecision
for several seconds. When he heard hushed voices from upstairs, he almost backed
out the way he had come. Then he noticed the coat hanging next to the door. A man's
coat, not one he recognized. Not Jim's, not his, not Simon's. No. His mind refused
to accept it. He listened closer to the intimate sound of the voices, both deep
as they shared a secret laugh. No. It couldn't be.
He had waited so long for the friendship to turn into something deeper, watching
as the object of his affection flitted from woman to woman. He had endured Jim's
light embraces, touches, pats, holding back his own desires so as not to give himself
away. He had convinced himself that Jim would never love him the way he was sure
they were meant to love for the simple fact that he was male. Therefore, he told
himself, this had to be a mistake. The sounds that spilled down from the bedroom
had a logical explanation, the smells of alcohol and arousal didn't necessarily mean....
Of course they did. There wasn't any other explanation. It was damned unfair.
Blair steeled himself and made a decision, pausing for only a moment to remove his
shoes. He had to see for himself. He had to know. Silently, he stole up the stairs
in the dark, his heart heavy and sick, until he could see the bed. Skin glistened,
golden in the candle light. Jim moaned as his lover lower his head to his groin,
nuzzling and kissing before taking the erection into his mouth. Blair crept closer
so that he could see his partner. Jim writhed and captured the short blondish hair
in his hands. And he was beautiful as he threw his head back, eyes closed, lost
in the rapture of the moment. Every bit as beautiful in his sexuality as Blair had
suspected, had fantasized. As was his lover. Of course. Jim had a thing for beauty,
appreciating it all the more for his enhanced sight. The man's body was angular
with moderate musculature, strong and sleek. His supple skin glowed in the candle
light and Blair couldn't blame Jim for the wanting of it.
It was like driving by an accident, and Blair could not tear his eyes away as the
stranger continued to slide his mouth up and down Jim's most private part, Jim shuddered
and arched with each stroke. The heat of the moment didn't escape him and Blair
felt his own body respond even as his heart broke. Then suddenly Jim was still.
"What's wrong?" the man asked as he looked up, still holding Jim tenderly in his
"Blair," Jim whispered.
A strangled gasp escaped Blair's throat and he covered his mouth with both hands
to prevent it from becoming a sob. When he dared to look, Jim was staring back at
him, with his mouth hanging open. Blair looked back down and found the stranger
staring at him as well, well and truly caught in the act.
Jim quickly reached a hand to the other man and pulled him up along side of him and
covered both of them with the sheet. "Why didn't you call?" he asked quietly, never
taking his eyes off of his roommate.
"I, uh.... surprise," Blair said lamely and slid down the wall next to the top of
"No kidding," Jim drawled softly.
"I should go," the other man offered and moved to get out of the bed.
"No, it's okay, Daniel," Jim said, placing an arm across the other man's bare midsection,
effectively holding him in place. Blair felt his face flush as he watched the protective
gesture. "Um, this is Blair Sandburg, my roommate and partner. Blair, this is Daniel
Jackson, my, um, friend."
"Friend?" Blair spat out. "I'm your friend and I never got the chance to suck your
"Blair," Jim warned, his face a mask of shock at the anger in the words thrown at
him. "Why don't you go to your room and we'll talk about this tomorrow."
"Let's talk about it now," Blair demanded. "Do you know why I came home? I came
to tell you that I called it off with Alisha. That I realized that I wouldn't be
happy with anyone but you, even if we were just roommates. I knew that you couldn't
ever feel that way about me because of your deeply ingrained hetero ways. I must
say you picked a hell of a time to notice boytoys. Although I admit that this one
is hard to miss. Is he as dumb as he is pretty?"
"As a matter of fact, Doctor Jackson is an archaeologist and an anthropologist,"
Jim growled. "So get off your high horse. He's as smart as you. Probably smarter,"
he added for spite.
"Oh, gorgeous and brilliant," Blair mocked. "Nothing but the best for James Ellison.
Does he give good head?"
"We're not having this conversation. If you can't be civil to my guest, you can
get the hell out!" Jim yelled.
"Fine!" Blair shouted back and stormed down the stairs.
"Jim, you can't let him leave," Daniel said urgently.
"Why the hell not? The smug little bastard."
"The man you love is about to leave. Maybe for good. Don't throw away what you
could have together because he pissed you off."
"I'm not going after him."
"That's a mistake."
"Then I will," Daniel said, grabbing the sheet with a yank and wrapping it around
himself. "Blair! Wait!" he called as he tromped down the stairs. "Wait," he said
again. Blair stopped at the open door to turn and glare at him, still in his sock
feet. "Please. Don't leave. Jim loves you," Daniel exclaimed.
"He's got a funny way of showing it." Blair's voice shook, but he slammed the door
"He thought he'd already lost you," Daniel explained. "I was just the consolation
"Why didn't he come down instead of sending you?"
"He didn't send me. Look, I'm nobody. I'm just passing through. Jim offered me
a little bit of humanity, and I grabbed it with both hands. I'm not saying that
I couldn't fall for him, but he's already in love with you. I don't stand a chance."
"He can hear you," Blair advised offhandedly.
"I don't care. I'm telling you the truth. Don't leave," Daniel pleaded. "Love
is too hard to come by to throw it away out of anger."
Blair looked up and Jim was standing at the top of the stairs in his robe. "You
love me?" he asked softly.
Jim sighed and came down the stairs. "Yes," he admitted, but didn't make eye contact.
"Why didn't you ever say so?" Blair asked in exasperation.
"Why didn't you?"
"Okay, good. You two talk, and I'll, uh, go," Daniel said and tried to slip past
Jim to get to his clothes.
"You don't have to leave," Jim said and grasped him by the arm. "You still don't
have anywhere to go."
"I'll find a hotel, it's no problem. As soon as I get out of here, you two can sit
down and have a heart to heart discussion. Get this all settled, once and for all."
"No!" Jim and Blair said at the same time, both suddenly very conscious of the fact
that if Daniel left, they would have to deal with each other one on one. There was
no sweeping this back under the rug. It was suddenly very real, and very scary.
"Um, Daniel, right?" Blair asked, thinking fast. "Don't leave. I'm sorry about
before, I was jealous, I suppose." He flipped on the kitchen light.
"I understand," Daniel said. His embarrassment apparent in the light.
"Come on," Jim urged, shooting Blair a dirty look and switching the light back off.
"Let's go back to bed."
"What?" Blair asked with disbelief.
"I should just sleep on the couch," Daniel offered and moved in that direction, but
Jim stubbornly held onto his arm.
"Just because Blair is home, that doesn't change anything between us. He can come
too if he wants."
"You want us to share?" Blair asked incredulously.
"You know where to find us," Jim said and easily pulled a drunken Daniel along with
him back up the stairs.
"Jim? What are you doing? He was going to stay," Daniel scolded. "I thought you
"I do," Jim insisted as they reached the bed. "But I can't do this with him. We've
been guys together too long. I don't know how to be with him. We need a buffer."
"Well, you're not going to be with him at all if you're using me as a buffer."
"Because he hates me already," Daniel exclaimed.
"Well, I'm not just kicking you out because he wants to act like a child. Besides,
I'm already comfortable with you, and Blair adapts really quickly," Jim reasoned.
"We just need to go slow to start with. Just to test the waters. Do you mind?"
Daniel looked up and realized that Blair had followed them back upstairs after all
and now stood regarding them a little uncertainly. "What do you think?" Daniel asked
Blair shrugged sullenly and looked at Jim. "I don't know."
"He's not comfortable with this at all," Daniel told Jim firmly.
"No, it's not that. I just don't know if I want to jump right in to the middle of
anything," Blair said. "You two seemed to be doing just fine without me."
"You want to watch?" Jim asked sincerely.
"Watch?" Daniel asked, his eyes getting bigger.
"Okay," Blair said and resumed his earlier place by the stairs. "Come on, Daniel.
You've already broken one taboo. Let's see how many we can knock out in one night,"
"That's very philosophical of you," Daniel grumbled. "But you're not the one on
display, are you?"
"Forget it," Jim said. "It was a stupid idea."
"No," Daniel said stubbornly. "If he wants to watch, that's fine with me. What
do you want us to do?" he asked, his bravery fueled by wine.
Blair backed down a bit and looked at Jim. "Just, um, do what you were doing before,"
he said at last.
"Everyone okay with this?" Jim asked the room in general.
Blair nodded and Daniel leaned in and kissed Jim soundly on the mouth, spitefully
hoping that Blair wasn't as cock-sure as he acted. If he wanted to watch, Daniel
decided to give him something to look at.
Jim shot a furtive glance at Blair before he responded to Daniel's attention. When
he was sure that Blair wasn't going to bolt, or worse, he let himself relax as much
as he could. Daniel was anything but relaxed as he lavished Jim with kisses and
bites, working his way down his chest and to his ultimate goal. Jim couldn't help
but moan as Daniel resumed his earlier task with a vengeance. 'Yes,' Jim thought
wickedly to himself, 'the doctor does give good head.' Losing himself in the experience,
he reached down and grabbed a double handful of hair, only to have his hands pushed
away. Instead, he reached above his head and clutched the rail above the bed, but
soon found his hands back on Daniel's head.
"Blair can't see," Daniel explained, breathing heavily as he pushed Jim's hands away
again, before dropping his head back down.
"Oh, God...." Jim moaned and focused as much of his attention as he could on his
partner. Blair was a little glassy eyed as he watched, never taking his eyes off
of Daniel's much appreciated efforts. Blair had moved closer to the bed and had
one hand clamped to the front of his jeans and the other tightly clutching a half
empty wine bottle which he was steadily trying to polish off. Jim could smell his
arousal, making it that much harder to hold back. It became too much and Jim threw
his head back as he came hard, Daniel holding on until the very last, swallowing
all but the tiny bit that overflowed and ran down his chin. When Jim regained some
sense of time and place, he watched as Daniel and Blair squared off across the bed,
each breathing heavily.
Daniel rose to his knees as he wiped a hand across his mouth, not breaking eye contact
for a second. Blair reached out a hand and Jim flinched until he realized that there
was no malice in the movement. Daniel leaned into Blair's touch and to Jim's amazement,
they began kissing, deep and passionate. Daniel's hands were sliding to the buttons
on Blair's shirt and Blair reached up to help, dropping the now empty bottle to the
floor. Jim settled back and watched, as together they stripped Blair out of his
clothes. Instantly Jim was hard again, but waited until Daniel settled Blair gently
between them before reaching out to touch the hairy chest that was still heaving.
Jim fingered the nipple ring that he'd been dreaming of for so long as Daniel and
Blair continued to kiss, Daniel freeing a hand to caress Jim's arm, including him
in their little circle.
"Blair," Jim's voice whispered into his fuzzy brain. "I need you to wake up for
me. Come on, Chief. Look at me."
Blair opened his eyes and stared at the man that he was entangled with under Jim's
comforter. The face was relaxed and deeply asleep.
"Over here, babe," Jim laughed quietly as he slipped a hand under Blair's chin and
turned his head.
"What's wrong?" Blair asked automatically, noting that Jim was dressed and he, well,
wasn't. Neither was his bedmate. Suddenly he remembered and began to pull away.
"Easy, you'll wake Daniel. Nothings wrong, I just got called in," Jim assured and
stilled Blair with a touch. "Listen to me. I need you to do me a favor."
"Anything," Blair said and tried to clear his head and pay attention.
"Be ready to take Daniel and get out of here if I call. Take him to the library
or your office. Somewhere safe. Don't bring him to the station. Okay?"
Much more awake, Blair looked concerned. "What's going on?"
"I don't have time to get into it right now. Daniel can explain things when he wakes
Blair studied the sleeping archaeologist a littler closer, his face clouding over
in a frown.
"Chief, I'm so sorry this happened. I wouldn't hurt you for the world. But none
of this is Daniel's fault," Jim more or less pleaded. "He's a really nice guy who
just needed a sanctuary for a while. Please, don't take this out on him."
Blair nodded and looked back at his partner.
Jim paused and then cautiously drew Blair in for a kiss. "I love you so much," he
said softly as they pulled away.
Blair's eyes grew wide and he nodded again. "I love you, too."
"Play nice," Jim advised mock-sternly as he stood to go. "I'll be back before you
know I'm gone."
"I already know," Blair breathed as he listened to the retreating footsteps and closing
of the front door. He considered Jim's words as he contemplated Daniel's part in
his new union with Jim. With a happy sigh, he settled back into Daniel's embrace.
He watched the sleeping man until he dropped off himself and joined him in slumber.
"What's so important on a Sunday morning?" Jim asked as he entered Simon's office.
He groaned inwardly as he took in Colonel O'Neill's stiff posture seated in front
of Simon's desk.
"Jim, this is Jack O'Neill. Colonel, this is Detective Ellison."
"This is the guy everyone's talking about?" Jack asked with a smirk.
"We've already met," Jim said dryly to Simon.
"Oh?" Simon answered warily. "I see. Well the Colonel has asked for some help going
through the airport security tapes."
"You mean you haven't finished with those yet?" Jim asked, turning to Jack.
"Yes, we did. But I'm sure we missed something. I keep hearing about this guy in
Major Crime who has some special talent with this type of thing. I'm just surprised
that it's you."
Jim rubbed his eyes and thought for a minute. "Let me just ask you something."
"Okay," Jack agreed cautiously, narrowing his eyes at the big detective.
"What's this guy to you?" Jim asked. "This all seems very personal."
"It is," Jack admitted. "Dr. Jackson is under my command."
"I heard that he was a civilian," Jim challenged.
"He is, it's complicated. Look, Ellison. Daniel is a friend of mine and I care
what happens to him."
"Maybe he's just biding his time waiting for you to leave him the hell alone. What
makes you so sure that something bad happened to him anyway?"
Jack groaned his frustration. "Frankly, detective, Daniel is a shit magnet. I can't
let him out of my sight for ten minutes that he doesn't get into trouble. It seems
like every evil force in the universe has it in for him. He's Murphy's law incarnate.
Can you understand that?"
"Jesus, Jim. Dr. Jackson sounds just like Sandburg," Simon broke in.
Jim stopped and stared for a minute, then let out a little huff. "Yeah, he does,
"Will you help me? Please," Jack asked.
"Of course he will. Won't you Jim?"
As Daniel began to wake, his mouth was dry and his head ached a little, subtle reminders
of too much wine. Slowly he became aware of the warm, naked body in his arms. He
hugged the pliant flesh a little closer and sighed, deeply contented not to wake
up as he usually did; alone. Chest hair rubbed softly across his side and fuzzy
legs twined with his own, nesting a warm, moist groin against his hip. Long, silky
locks tickled his nose from the head that rested comfortably on his chest.
Daniel reached up and patted down the hair, then rubbed his eyes, returning his hand
to stroke the curls. As he fully reached consciousness, his hand froze and his eyes
snapped open to glance down at the brown hair under his chin. Not Jim. Definitely
not Jack. Blair, his mind supplied helpfully as it replayed scene after scene of
the debauchery of the previous night.
His mortified conscious battled his overjoyed libido, libido winning out as his dick
began to swell. Blair slept on, peacefully unaware of their predicament as Daniel
tried to slow his breathing so as not to wake him. Daniel glanced around for any
sign of Jim, but found the rest of the bedroom deserted and the loft to be very quiet.
Calming his nerves, he took a minute to evaluate his newest, albeit incidental lover.
Sinking his fingers into the soft, curly hair he breathed in the herbal scent of
Blair's shampoo. He stroked his other hand down the smooth skin of Blair's back.
When he first saw the man, he remembered thinking how incredibly exotic he was and
how lucky Jim was to have him. Blair moaned and snuggled closer to him, but only
part of him woke. Daniel closed his eyes as the erection grew, poking him provocatively,
causing his own hardened member to perk up even more.
Blair gasped softly in his sleep and rubbed himself insistently against the plane
of Daniel's pelvis, eliciting an involuntary moan from Daniel. He stilled for a
moment then moved more cohesively, trailing a hand from Daniel's back around and
down to grasp his rebellious cock. He kissed Daniel's chest without raising his
head from where it rested.
Daniel caught him by the wrist and stopped the slow pumping. "I'm not Jim," he blurted
Blair jerked his hand back as if stung and raised quickly off of Daniel's chest.
"Sorry, I thought.... I mean, last night... I just thought...."
"Oh. Oh!" Daniel pulled back as well. "I thought that you were asleep. I thought
that you thought that I was...."
"No. I'm sorry. Shit. I'm so embarrassed," Blair said as he rolled away and lay
on his back to look at the ceiling.
"Oh, God. I am, too," Daniel sighed as he flopped over onto his back as well and
readjusted the covers. "I'm such a dork! I'm so sorry. I didn't think you would,
you know, if you knew it was me. I just thought that you hated me."
"What? No. Really. I mean I was mad last night..." Blair sent a hesitant glance
"And you had every right to be," Daniel agreed hastily, meeting Blair's gaze for
a second before looking away. "I'm really sorry about that, too. I didn't know
that I was getting in the middle of something. Jim is just so... so... you know."
"I know," Blair allowed himself a little smile.
"He loves you. His heart was broken."
"I understand. I should have called anyway," Blair peeked under the sheet and once
satisfied that his embarrassment had killed his erection, he rolled back onto his
side to face Daniel.
"Where is Jim this morning?" Daniel asked, changing the subject as he surreptitiously
checked his own state of arousal.
"He had to go to work. Said he'd be back soon. He also said to be ready to get
you to some place safe if he called. What's going on?"
"Well, nobody's trying to kill me or anything dramatic like that," Daniel explained.
"I work for the government and I'm playing hooky. Jim's hiding me. He has this
protective thing going on."
"Oh, yeah. He does that," Blair said with a sad smile.
"What's wrong?" Daniel asked gently and hesitantly reached a hand for Blair's face.
"Nothing. I just... well usually, I'm the one he's protective of. I guess I'll
have to get used to sharing."
"No," Daniel soothed. "I'll be on my way and you'll have him all to yourself. You
should be flattered. When Jim thought he lost you, he went out and found someone
he felt was just like you."
Blair laughed uncomfortably. "That's not true. I mean look at us. We're not anything
"Maybe we don't look alike," Daniel agreed. "But Jim told me right off the bat that
he has a thing for blue eyed anthropologists."
"Oh, so it's the science geek thing."
"Yeah," Daniel smiled awkwardly, not quite able to relax.
"So you're a doctor of anthropology?" Blair asked after a minute of uneasy silence.
"No, I just have a Master's in anthropology."
"Oh. Me, too," Blair said with relief, glad that the playing field was level at
"I know. Jim's talked non-stop about you for two days."
"Really?" Blair asked hopefully.
"Yeah," Daniel assured with a nod.
Blair thought hard for a minute, something tickling at the back of his brain. "I
thought that Jim called you Doctor Jackson."
"Yes. In linguistics and archaeology."
Blair sighed and rubbed his eyes, the playing field shot all to hell. "A double
PhD and a Master's in anthropology. He can't just fuck somebody dumb. Somebody
I can feel superior to. No. He has to go out and seduce a double fucking PhD with
a Master's in anthropology."
"Sorry," Daniel offered, his sincerity apparent. "But you have to know how very
proud Jim is of you."
"Is he?" Blair asked uncertainly.
"Oh, yeah. You're very lucky to have someone who loves you. I tend to lose the
people I love."
"I just broke off my engagement, you know," Blair said with a frown.
"I'm a widower," Daniel answered back defensively.
"I'm a bastard. I never even had a father."
"At least you had a mother. I was orphaned when I was eight years old."
"What?" Blair asked, not really sure if he wanted to know the answer.
"Never mind. Listen, don't expect me to feel sorry for you. You get to keep Jim.
It could have turned out differently," Daniel lectured.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that when I told the person that I'm in love with, well, that I'm in love
with him, I got knocked on my ass."
"He hit you?"
Daniel sighed. "Not at first. I told him and he just stood there looking at me,
so I kissed him. The thing is, he kissed me back. Then all of a sudden, he pushed
me away. When I reached for him he punched me and walked out without a word."
"Man. That's harsh," Blair breathed, accepting defeat in the twisted little game
"I thought so," Daniel agreed with a sigh and reached for his glasses. "And if I'm
truthful with myself, that's the real reason I'm hiding."
Jim sighed as he pretended to concentrate on another tape. His mind kept wandering
back to hot flesh, steamy kisses and not one, but two firm young bodies....
"I asked if you need to take a break," Colonel O'Neill's voice intruded on the memories.
"Um, no. I'm fine. Maybe I'll get some coffee in a minute," Jim said and stopped
the tape to rest his eyes a minute. He'd have to wait a few before he could get
"I just want to say thanks for your help," Jack mumbled softly.
"What was that?" Jim asked, although he had heard quite clearly.
"I said thank you," Jack repeated a little louder, but with a touch of irritation
in his tone. "I know I've been acting like an asshole, but this is important to
me. Daniel is important to me."
"Tell me about him," Jim asked, leaning back in his chair.
Jack frowned and shook his head. "I don't think so."
"Please. I'd like to know who I'm looking for."
"Fine. Just don't make any off color comments," Jack warned, pointing a finger.
Jim nodded his agreement and Jack sat down at the table across from him. He folded
his hands in front of himself on the tabletop and studied them intently as he spoke.
"Daniel is sweet. He'd hate to hear me say that, but he is and everyone who meets
him gets won over by him. Obviously he's smart, but not just book smart, he thinks
on his feet and makes these amazing leaps of logic that no one else does. And he
has this dry sense of humor that kills me, but I'd never let him know that.
"Most people don't realize it, but Daniel's the bravest person I ever met. Considering
my background, that's saying something. He'd give his life for his convictions,
and this I know for a fact. He has this moral certainty that what's right is always
right. We've had many an argument over that. Oh my God, the man can argue."
When Jack looked up, Jim was smiling at him. "What?" Jack asked suspiciously.
"He sounds like a good person," Jim said. "It also sounds like you're head over
heels in love with him."
"Shhh!" Jack jumped up from the table and closed the door. "Shut up!"
"Hey, don't protest so much. That doesn't do anything to change my opinion."
"Look, you can't go around spouting off things like that, dammit. I'm in the military.
It could ruin my career. Not to mention what it could do to Daniel."
"Right, Daniel. Sorry. I know all about the military mindset. But just between
you and me, your face gets this expression when you talk about him. You might want
to watch that."
Jack sat heavily back at the table. "Shit," he mumbled. "Don't say anything, okay?
I know you don't like me, but I'm asking for Daniel's sake."
"What did you do that made him go to ground?"
"Why are you so sure I did something?" Jack asked suspiciously.
"Nice try. What did you do?" Jim persisted.
"I pushed him away," Jack gave in and answered truthfully. "I did it for his own
good, as hard as it was. I was trying to protect him."
Jim nodded. "Maybe you should just trust him. I'll help you find him. If you promise
to make this right between you."
Jack looked up sharply and eyed the detective for several minutes. "Thank you,"
he said at last.
"I have to go home for a few minutes, but I'll be back after lunch. Maybe I'll have
some news for you then."
After brunch Daniel settled on the couch with his book as Blair called the station.
"Rafe, hey, how ya doin'? It's Blair. Is Jim around? He is. Nah, don't bother
him. I'll just see him when he gets home. Thanks, man."
"What's wrong?" Daniel asked as Blair hung up the phone.
Blair shook his head and wandered over to the couch. "Nothing. He's just in some
meeting or something."
"On a Sunday? Isn't that a little odd?" Daniel asked with a rumple of his eyebrow.
"Yeah, I guess. Maybe they got a break on a case or something. What are you reading?"
he asked as he put on his glasses and sat on the other end of the couch.
"It's a Russian novel I picked up in Moscow last week."
"Is it any good?"
"It's an interesting perspective," Daniel mused as he adjusted his glasses. "The
innocent, hard working communist has to overcome the decadent, evil capitalist. The
usual cold war spy novel. Just in reverse."
"Oh," Blair said with surprise as he pushed the book back slightly so that he could
see the cover. "When you said a Russian novel, I didn't know you meant that it is
actually written in Russian. Do you mind if I sort of read over your shoulder?"
he asked as he slid in a little closer.
"You speak Russian?" Daniel asked with delight, adjusting the book so that they could
both see it.
"Not really, but I read a little. I'd love to follow along if you'd read it out
"Okay," Daniel agreed quickly. "Can we find a more comfortable position?"
"Why don't you turn that way," Blair instructed. "And I'll just lean up this way."
Daniel rested his back against the arm of the couch and lifted one leg around Blair
so that he could recline against his chest. "Like this?"
"Yeah," Blair said as he positioned himself. When he bent his knees up, Daniel reached
around him with the book and opened it, resting it against them. "This okay?"
"Um hum," Daniel responded with a contented sigh. "Stop me if you have any questions."
Jim paused at the door to recon any possible trouble inside of the loft. He immediately
latched onto Daniel's voice which sounded like he was reciting something, or maybe
just reading, but in a different language. Blair asked a long complicated question
and Daniel explained liberally. Jim sighed a huge sigh of relief. He had started
to think that the two young scientists might not get along after all, or at the very
least, might be uncomfortable with each other without him around to mediate. When
he opened the door, he stood and gaped at them for a second.
"Hey, Jim. What's up?" Blair asked as he turned his head, leaving it resting against
Daniel lowered the book with a concerned look on his face.
"Nothing's up," Jim replied as he took in the two sexy pairs of eyeglasses turned
his way. Blair shirtless and Daniel barefoot, cuddled together on the couch kicked
his imagination into overdrive. And he liked it. "I just surprised... I'm glad
to see that you're getting along."
Blair grinned at Daniel, but made no move to get up. Daniel closed the book and
rested it against Blair's chest, keeping his hand on it, a slight frown creasing
"Jealous?" Blair asked mischievously, batting his eyes at Jim.
"Yeah. Of the book," Jim confirmed with a laugh. He crossed the room and knelt
beside the couch to brush a kiss over Blair's brow and another over Daniel's. "Relax,
Daniel. It's not like we haven't already shared," he added with a chuckle.
"So what was so important that you couldn't be disturbed?" Blair asked more seriously.
"Oh, Simon volunteered me to help with the airport tapes."
"Why you?" Daniel asked.
"He's got a reputation for finding things that other people miss," Blair supplied
"Ah. Attention to detail," Daniel said slyly as he slid a hand up Jim's chest. "I
can appreciate that."
"Don't get me started," Jim laughed, kissing Daniel's hand and moving away. "I can't
stay and I'll have a hard enough time trying to concentrate as it is, wondering what
you two are up to while I'm gone. I just came home to make sure you hadn't killed
"You want a sandwich?" Blair asked. "Or I could make you a salad."
"Nah, I'll just pick something up on my way back."
"Wonderburger," Blair informed Daniel with a knowing, if not approving, look.
"You're working with Jack?" Daniel asked.
"Yes," Jim answered softly. "He cares about you, Daniel."
Daniel closed his eyes and leaned back. "Do me a favor. Talk him into going home."
"He won't. Why don't I set up a meeting for you? Just talk to him."
"No," Blair broke in protectively. "He doesn't want to see him."
Jim sighed as he gave in. "It was just a thought. I've got to go," he said, checking
his watch and moving to the door. "Don't do anything I wouldn't do," he teased as
"Thanks, Jim. That leaves us wide open," Blair called out with a laugh. He settled
back against Daniel and looked up at him with an understanding smile. "Read to me,"
he said softly and opened the book.
Daniel hugged him for a minute with his eyes closed as he got his emotions under
control. "Okay. Where were we?"
Jim knew something was up the minute he came through the door. "What?" he asked
simply as the colonel turned an angry face towards him.
Jack pointed at the screen and moved away so that Jim could see it. "I found this
right after you left."
Tossing his jacket across a chair, Jim studied the frame. It didn't take Sentinel
vision to see who was captured on the tape. "Yeah, so. I already told you that
I was at the airport."
"That's Daniel," Jack said acidly, pointing to the back of the other person in the
"How can you be so sure? You can't even see his face," Jim argued. "It looks like
he's putting on his coat."
"It's him, believe me. I recognize the haircut. And the coat, I was with him when
he bought it. That's his damn bag in your hand, detective," Jack spat out. "So
don't tell me that you just happened to be walking in the same direction."
Jim thought about denying it, but knew that he was caught. "He doesn't want to see
you. I'm sorry."
"It was you on the phone," Jack said in a low, dangerous voice. "You've been keeping
him from me the whole time. Why? How do you know Daniel? Or did you just pick
him up for a cheap thrill?"
"It's not like that. You hurt him. He just wanted some comfort."
"Which I'm sure you provided."
"Go to hell," Jim said as he got up and moved to the door.
"I'm going with you."
"No. And don't try to follow me. I make one phone call and he'll be out of there
so fast you'll never find him."
Jack pounded the table in frustration then began to slowly pace the room. "At least
tell me if he's okay. He was pretty upset the last time I saw him."
"He was fine at lunch. As a matter of fact.... Never mind. You probably don't want
to know." Jim moved to the door, but Jack cut him off.
"Just wait," Jack sputtered. "I can't help but feel protective. Daniel doesn't
understand how attractive he is. He's pretty damn clueless for a freakin' genius.
He's vulnerable to people like..."
"Like me? You think that I seduced him, don't you?"
"What did you do?" Jack forced out between his teeth.
"That's between me and Daniel. If he wants you to know, he'll tell you."
"I'm gonna fight for him," Jack warned. "And I think I have the edge, because I
know for a fact that he loves me."
"And do you love him?"
"Yes," Jack hissed as if admitting it to himself for the first time.
Jim leaned against the wall and thought hard. The man's heart was already racing,
but it was an emotion issue. Jim's instinct's however told him that the Colonel
was telling the truth. "Okay. You can come with me. But if it upsets him, you
have to leave."
Jack sighed and squared his shoulders. "I can live with that. Thanks. Really.
"Don't thank me yet. If Daniel won't talk to you, I'm kicking your ass out."
"Enough for now?" Daniel asked as he closed the book.
"Hey, I could listen to your voice all day, but I know you must be getting tired,"
Daniel fingered Blair's earrings then played with his hair. "I used to have long
hair. Not this long, though. I miss it sometimes."
Blair turned around to face him and tried to picture Daniel with longer hair. "I
like it this way," he decided out loud, rubbing the hair on the nape of Daniel's
"I think a shower would be nice," Daniel said abruptly and patted Blair's cheek as
he got to his feet.
"Great. I'll wash your back."
"Oh? You on a water conservation kick around here?"
"Sure. You know, save the rainforest," Blair grinned expectantly.
"What about Jim?"
Blair shrugged nonchalantly. "We'll make it up to him when he gets home. Besides,
if he had a problem with it, he never would have left us alone together in bed this
morning, naked and all. And you heard him when he left. He's expecting us to do
something. We can't let him down."
"I don't want you to do anything because you feel sorry for me," Daniel decried.
"Daniel, kissing you last night, with Jim's cum still hot in your mouth? That's
the most erotic thing that I've ever done. Don't sell yourself short. You are incredibly
Daniel groaned and shook his head. "I'm going to take a shower. A cold one."
"Great. I'll wash your back."
Jim stopped in the hall to listen to the light-hearted argument coming from the general
direction of Blair's room. "Who's Budge?" he asked Jack as he slid the key in the
"What? Oh, I think that's some hieroglyph guy that Daniel doesn't like. Why?"
"No reason," Jim said offhandedly. "I just heard that he was a clueless bastard."
The argument suddenly silenced and Jim realized why with a jealous twitch. He opened
the door and glanced in, clearing his throat loudly to announce their arrival. He
hung up his coat and passed through the kitchen to the refrigerator. "Beer?"
"No," Jack answered. He slowly looked around as he moved into the room, spotting
Daniel's glasses on the coffee table. Before he could comment, Daniel came through
a glass door wearing nothing but a pair of sweat pants, his hair damp. Daniel froze
in the doorway staring disbelievingly from Jack to Jim and back to Jack. "Daniel,"
Jack greeted, his eyes wide and taking in the view.
"I'm sorry," Jim said softly to his friend.
"It's fine," Daniel assured with a deadly calm. "I'm just surprised. Hello, Jack."
"Having fun playing house?" Jack drawled distastefully, anger edging his voice. He
shot Jim a dirty look, but Jim only shrugged and took a drink of his beer.
"As a matter of fact, I am," Daniel answered coolly. The door shifted slightly and
a towel clad Blair slipped under Daniel's arm to stand next to him. Daniel lowered
his arm from the doorjamb to rest it across Blair's shoulders as Blair slipped an
arm around his waist. Daniel's eyes never left Jack's face as he gently placed a
kiss on the smaller man's temple.
Jim raised an eyebrow and stifled a laugh as he caught the startled Colonel's expression.
Jack glanced at Jim, "I thought...."
Jim shrugged again and moved closer to his lovers. Daniel looked at him uncertainly,
but didn't pull away as Jim kissed him on the mouth and reached a hand to lovingly
cup Blair under the chin.
Blair glared angrily at Jack. "You hit him," he accused.
Jim broke off the kiss and rounded on Jack. "What?"
"He did. When Daniel kissed him, he punched him out."
Jim looked at Daniel and traced a finger along his left cheek. Daniel flinched in
amazement when Jim found the exact spot where he had been struck almost two weeks
"You son of a bitch," Jim swore as he turned back to Jack. "You lied to me."
"I didn't lie," Jack managed through his shock. "What I told you was the truth."
"Daniel, I'm so sorry. He said that he loved you, and I believed him," Jim explained
hastily. "I just wanted you to be happy."
"Am I under arrest?" Daniel asked Jack pointed. "I am AWOL."
"No. Hammond called off the search yesterday. I just wasn't ready to quit."
"You disobeyed an order?"
"Sort of," Jack squirmed. "I am asking you to come back with me. The Pentagon is
frantic. They'll do whatever it takes to keep you."
"That's the only reason you want me to come back? For the Pentagon?"
"Can we talk about this later," Jack pleaded irritably.
"Don't leave, Daniel," Blair broke in.
"Go home, Jack," Daniel said quietly before he disappeared behind the French door.
After one final glare, Blair joined him.
Jim walked stiffly past Jack to the front door which he opened and stood waiting
for Jack to leave.
"Both of you?" the still traumatized man asked wearily.
"He's a handful," Jim goaded. "You don't know what you're missing."
"I can't," Jack tried to explain as he walked out the door.
"Your loss," Jim chided and slammed the door behind him, then headed full steam to
Daniel was sitting on the bed with Blair standing beside him, rubbing his back and
talking to him softly.
"How could you do that?" Blair attacked as soon as Jim entered the room.
"Don't blame Jim," Daniel soothed. "Jack can be pretty persuasive."
"Well Jim isn't usually so gullible," Blair argued, shooting daggers at Jim.
"I'm sorry, Chief. I really believed him," Jim explained. "We have what we want.
I just wanted Daniel to have the same opportunity."
"With that guy?" Blair asked incredulously.
"Jack's not so bad," Daniel defended.
"Then why don't you just talk to him?" Jim reasoned. "Stop worrying about what I
want and what Blair wants and what Jack wants. What do you want, Daniel?"
"I just want to go home, go back to work and pretend that I had a nice vacation,"
"What do you really want," Jim pushed.
"I can't have what I really want. I never get what I really want. It's okay, I'll
"You could stay here," Blair offered.
"That sounds wonderful, but I am a grown man and I've got to stop running away. I
"The Pentagon?" Blair asked, obviously impressed. "What do you really do?"
"Blair," Jim warned gently. "Don't start asking a bunch of questions."
"Can you imagine knowing something so wondrous.... so, so magical that it boggles
your mind, and yet you can't share it with the world?" Daniel asked exuberantly.
Jim and Blair exchanged a glance. "Yeah," Blair breathed. "I can imagine that."
"That's what my job is like. And as much as I've been wallowing in self pity these
last few months, I have to believe that what I do is important. In the end, I think
it will all be worth it. Even if I personally never find happiness."
"That's sad," Blair mused and pressed a kiss on the top of Daniel's head.
Jim tilted his head briefly as if he heard a noise. "Daniel, if Jack comes back,
will you promise me that you'll talk to him?" Jim asked as he knelt down by the bed,
placing a hand on Daniel's knee.
"He's not coming back."
Jim grunted. "Just promise me."
"Okay, if Jack comes back, I'll talk to him," Daniel agreed half-heartedly.
Jim got to his feet just as a knock sounded at the door. He quickly moved to answer
"It couldn't be," Daniel said, turning to look at Blair.
Blair grinned unexpectedly. "You never know."
Together they looked up to see Jack standing between the French doors. "I thought
you might like your suitcase. I retrieved it in Denver," he said and sat the bag
down and turned to leave.
"Jack, wait," Daniel called out and rose to his feet.
Jack turned around and cast an eye over Blair before returning his gaze to Daniel.
"You want to control your bulldog here?" he asked sarcastically.
"I'm going," Blair said. "But keep your hands to yourself," he warned as he gave
Jack the evil eye.
Jack held his hands up in surrender as Blair slid by him and closed the doors on
his way out.
"So," Daniel said.
"Why'd you hit me, Jack?"
Jack flinched, then swallowed. "I'm no match for you with words, Daniel. I had
to make you stop, because I didn't trust myself to stop. I did it for your own good.
I thought you wouldn't want me anymore if I knocked you on your ass."
Daniel deliberated for a minute and then gave a subtle nod. "I'll come home in a
day or two," he promised. "I just want a chance to say good-bye to my friends."
"Friends?" Jack asked acerbically.
Daniel flushed. "Close friends," he amended.
Jack watched his feet as he shuffled them around. "I'm sorry doesn't really cover
it. What can I say to make this better between us?"
"I don't know. Maybe you can think of three little words," Daniel prompted.
"I - am - pregnant?" Jack guessed with an amused smirk as he glanced up.
"It's - not - mine," Daniel countered, matching Jack's expression.
Jack smiled broadly. "See? We're great together, Danny. Come home with me."
Daniel pursed his lips thoughtfully. "Can we get past this? Can you forget what
a fool I made of myself over you?"
"Oh, God. Is that what you think? Because I do love you, Daniel. I'm just not
ready for any thing else. Not yet."
"How much trouble am I gonna get in here if I try to hug you?" Jack asked looking
over his shoulder at the doors.
"It may surprise you, but Jim is actually on your side."
"He's not the one I'm worried about. The short one scares me."
"Nice towel," Jim growled softly as he caught Blair around the waist and pulled him
"Just something I threw on," Blair moaned as Jim began to nibble seductively at his
"You and Daniel took a shower together?" Jim grilled absently.
"I love to see you use those great deductive powers of yours," Blair teased as he
grew ever more breathless under Jim's interrogation technique. "Jealous?"
"You keep asking me that."
"You haven't answered me yet."
"Yes. I'm jealous," Jim whispered huskily as Blair's towel began to slip. "What
did you do?"
"We showered," Blair insisted with a sly smile. "Chill out, you were alone with Daniel
for over twenty-four hours before I got home. I don't think either one of you qualifies
as an alter boy."
"I know, but that was before," Jim sighed, catching the towel as it fell.
Blair stopped and stared for a minute. "We can't just turn our backs on him."
"We won't. We'll just, um, be supportive together."
"Oh, I see. You have to go to work tomorrow. You're worried about me and Daniel
being home alone together."
"You're not coming in tomorrow?"
"Hey, I'm supposed to be on vacation, remember?"
"I'm calling in sick tomorrow," Jim declared and drew Blair in for a kiss.
"That might work. Because if I have my way tonight, you won't be able to move tomorrow
Jack coughed a couple of times as he came out of the bedroom. Blair grabbed his
towel back from Jim, his cheeks growing rosy as he tied it quickly around his waist.
"Sorry," Jack said, hiding a smirk.
Daniel came out of Blair's room in a pair of chinos and a pullover sweater, carrying
his suitcase. "There's a C 130 waiting for us at the airport," he explained. "Can
I have a minute, Jack?"
"Yeah, sure," Jack said and headed to the door. "Um, nice to meet you?"
Blair put his hands on his hips and glared before ducking into his room to find something
to wear as Daniel rounded up his things.
"That kid loves me," Jack declared.
"I'm trusting you to take care of Daniel," Jim said and held out his hand.
Jack shook the offered hand and smiled for the first time in days. "If you only
knew how difficult that is to do sometimes."
"I can imagine," Jim agreed with a tilt of his head towards Blair's room.
Jack grabbed Daniel's suitcase, just to make sure he didn't change his mind. "I'll
wait out here," he said jabbing a thumb towards the hall.
"Good idea," Jim smirked. "You probably don't want to see this."
"Crap," Jack complained as Jim shut the door in his face.
"Jim," Daniel started. "I don't know what to say. How can I ever repay you for
taking me into your home?"
"You don't have to. You brought me to Blair. I don't know that we would have gotten
where we are without you."
"You would have," Daniel stated with certainty. He held out his hand, but Jim used
it to pull him into a hug.
"If you ever need a place to go..." Jim whispered into Daniel's hair.
"Thank you." Daniel held on tight with his eyes closed.
"How much trouble are you in?" Jim asked with concern.
Daniel snorted. "I'll get away with it. You heard Jack, the Pentagon is frantic
to get me back. I'll probably get a raise out of it."
Blair insinuated himself between the two taller men and kissed Daniel on the lips.
"How am I gonna find out what happens to the hard working communist?" he asked.
"I'll e-mail you the ending," Daniel teased. "Besides, these things always end the
"Happily ever after?" Jim asked, reaching over Blair's shoulder to cup Daniel's face.
"Right," Daniel said turning his head to kiss Jim's palm as he disentangled himself
from the group hug.
"Call when you get there," Blair insisted, reluctant to release his hold.
"I will. Bye, guys." Daniel said gently as he turned the doorknob. Jack all but
fell through the door. Daniel shook his head and pushed Jack back into the hallway.
"Oh, good. You're ready to go."
Jack gave a mock salute and picked up the suitcase. Daniel pulled his carryon over
his shoulder and waved as they turned and made their way to the elevator.
"Is he gonna be okay?" Blair asked as he and Jim watched the elevator door close.
"He's gonna be just fine," Jim assured and hugged Blair tightly, vowing never to
let him go.
"I know it's only been three days, but I miss Daniel," Blair said as he lay in Jim's
arms, finishing the Russian novel that Daniel had left behind after all.
"Yeah. It was nice to have somebody smart around for a change," Jim teased.
"Pullleezzze," Blair drawled, looking up into the Sentinel's face. "Daniel's brains
are not what attracted you to him."
"What are you saying, that if he hadn't been gorgeous that I wouldn't have brought
him home?" Jim inquired. "How shallow do you think I am?"
"I'm not saying you're shallow, Jim. I'm just saying that you have a penchant for
"Oh, really? And what does that say about you?" Jim asked, squeezing his partner
just a little tighter.
"My point exactly," Blair said with a grin.
Jim laughed, but he didn't disagree. "What did you like best about Daniel?"
"Mmmm. So much to chose from. But I'd have to say those prehensile lips."
"Is that good?"
"You would know, man," Blair said with an evil smile.
"So what did you two really do in the shower?"
Blair snickered and tried to wiggle away from the increasingly tight hold, "Sorry,
big guy, I don't kiss and tell."
"Oh, you're gonna tell me. One way or the other," Jim warned seductively as he pinned
his squirming partner to the couch. "I don't care if it takes all night."
Daniel looked up from the massive pile of papers that had gathered on his desk to
see Jack lounging in the doorway. "Can I do something for you, Jack?"
"That's a loaded question," Jack said as he kicked the door shut and wandered over
to sit on the edge of Daniel's desk. Daniel waited with a questioning face.
"So," Jack began at last, stopping to clear his throat. "How was it?"
"How was what?" Daniel asked with a resigned sigh as he took off his glasses and
leaned back in his chair.
"You know," Jack said, playing with a pen on the desk. "Two of 'em?"
"Two of what? Lovers?"
Jack grimaced. "Don't just say it out loud like that," he protested.
"How are we going to talk about it if we don't say it out loud?"
"Forget it," Jack said and got up to leave.
"Come on, Jack. You're dying to know," Daniel baited.
"I'll admit to a certain amount of morbid curiosity," Jack sighed as he sank back
down. Daniel bided his time while Jack fidgeted. "So are you gonna tell me or not?"
Jack finally barked.
"It was great," Daniel confessed. "Jim was romantic and tender. Very giving. And
Blair was exciting and playful. Enthusiastic about everything."
"The feisty one? Yeah, he was cute," Jack agreed, seemingly lost in thought.
"Cute?" Daniel grinned approvingly. "Jack O'Neill, you dirty old man."
"What? He was. It's not like I didn't get a good look."
"Don't let Jim hear you say that," Daniel mocked.
"Hey, he went fishing in my pond," Jack blurted out.
Daniel's eyebrows shot up. "Really. That's an interesting analogy."
"You know what I meant."
"Am I, Jack? Am I your pond?"
"Can you wait for me, Danny?" Jack asked, his eyes growing soft. "I'm not quite
ready yet. But I'm getting there."
"I'll wait," Daniel said earnestly. "But I can't promise I'll always wait alone."