The Cabin

"Are you sure about this?  Okay, I'll see you next week.  Yeah, me too."

Jack hung up the phone and stared at it thoughtfully.  Daniel just accepted an invitation to the cabin.  Not only did he accept, he actually suggested it.  Jack frowned and picked up the phone.

                                                *****

Daniel hung up the phone and sat back, exhausted but elated.  He had called Jack in Washington because he needed to hear his voice.  The last mission had unnerved him: fifty years trapped on a ship with Teal'c, Sam, Vala, Mitchell and Landry.  Even though he didn't remember a thing, the idea itself was unsettling.  No one remembered, in fact, except Teal'c, and he wasn't talking.  They all had questions though.  Did they all survive?  Did one or more of them die of a horrible disease?  Did anyone marry or have kids?  Daniel was pretty sure Vala couldn't last fifty years without nookie of some kind.  Did she finally wear him down?  And what of Jack?  Daniel understood that the 50 years they were away was a blink of an eye to everyone back home, thanks to Asgard technology, but to him, it was fifty years with no contact whatsoever with his best friend.

Daniel jumped as the phone rang.  He glanced at the caller ID: Washington.  Jack.  Crap, he's changed his mind.

"Jack?"

"Daniel, not that I doubt you or anything," Jack said diplomatically, "but do you really want to go fishing with me for two weeks?"

"Uh, nooo.  I want to visit with you at the cabin for two weeks," Daniel clarified.

"Oh, well, that's different," Jack said.  "You had me worried there for a minute."

Daniel heard the humour in his friend's voice and he smiled. 

"I miss you, Jack."  The words slipped out unheeded and Daniel winced.  He sounded needy.

"I miss you, too, Danny," Jack replied softly.

Daniel smiled and closed his eyes.  Danny.  Only Jack and Jacob Carter ever called him that.  From Jacob it felt fatherly and nice.  From Jack it felt, well, it felt like love.

"You still there?"

"Sorry, yeah, I'm here," Daniel replied, giving himself a mental shake.  "Are you sure you don't want me to bring any food?"

"I'll take care of the food and beer.  You're in charge of the wine and spirits," Jack said.

"I suppose you want wine that comes in bottles and not those cardboard things?" Daniel queried.

"Don't even joke about it, Daniel," Jack said tersely.

"I'll try not to disappoint," Daniel said with a grin.

"You do that.  I'll see you on the 16th," Jack said.

"I'll see you on the 16th," Daniel confirmed.

                                                *********

Jack arrived at the cabin two days before Daniel was due.  He wanted to make sure everything was clean, aired out, firewood chopped, and the fridge and pantry well stocked.  Several times he caught himself whistling, humming, or even singing during his tasks and he had to chuckle.  Pete Shanahan may have been 'hum worthy', but Daniel was 'whistle-hum-sing-worthy'.  He couldn't remember when he had so looked forward to a vacation.  Of course, Jack knew it wasn't the holiday, per se, as it was the prospect of spending time alone with his best friend.  Two years and counting, he'd been in Washington.  Sporadic phone calls, e-mails, two lunches in the last year, and one Christmas get-together in the first year with Daniel, Carter and Teal'c was pretty much the only personal contact he'd had with Daniel since moving East, and as far as Jack was concerned, it sucked.  He'd known he'd miss the gate travel, but he'd weaned himself off that during his sojourn as General Hammond's replacement.  Jack knew no one could replace George Hammond, but he did his best for George.  He owed him that much.  Leaving Cheyenne Mountain altogether, however, was another fish entirely.  He knew he'd miss the briefings and the daily contact with his former team-mates, but he hadn't been prepared for the actual physical ache of missing Daniel.  His first phone call at his apartment in Washington had been from Daniel.  He hadn't set up his caller ID yet and just snatched up the phone.  The 'Hey, Jack' at the other end of the line caused his face to split into a silly grin.  The calls between them were fairly frequent in the beginning, but then e-mails started to take over and eventually those dropped off as was wont to happen with busy people.  It sucked and Jack hated it.  But, now was not the time for negativity because he was going to have Daniel all to himself for two weeks.

                                                ***********

Daniel mentally ticked off the days till his vacation.  Two more to go.  He only had two more days of avoiding Vala and her insatiable curiosity. 

"I'm doomed," he murmured.

"There you are, Daniel!  You're not trying to avoid me, are you?" Vala asked with a petulant expression.

"Why would I do that?" Daniel sighed.  Two very long days.

"Just tell me if you're leaving the country."

"No."

"Good, now we're getting somewhere," Vala said brightly, rubbing her hands with glee.

"I meant 'no' as in, 'No, I'm not going to answer your question.'"

"Come on, Daniel.  We just spent fifty years together!  How can you treat me like this?"

Daniel sighed and looked balefully at his tormentor.

"Don't stick your lip out like that and how do you know I didn't kill myself after the first year?  Better yet, maybe I snapped and killed you," he added with a smile.

"Oh, don't be silly, Daniel.  You could never kill me.  You love me," Vala replied adamantly.  "Now, I'm thinking somewhere where there's desert.  Ah, I'm right, aren't I?  You blinked."

"This is ridiculous.  Don't you have somewhere to be?" Daniel huffed.

"No, I don't believe so," Vala replied.

"Vala Mal Doran, Colonel Mitchell requests your presence in the gymnasium.  You are late for your sparring."

"Teal'c, thank God," Daniel murmured.

"Oh, thank you, Muscles!  I forgot.  Wouldn't want to miss that, would we?" Vala said gleefully.  "I'll check with you later, Daniel."

"I can hardly wait," Daniel muttered.

"I see she is still trying to find out your destination, Daniel Jackson," Teal'c commented.

"You know how Vala hates secrets.  Even keeping one is a challenge for her," Daniel said with a smile.  "Unlike you, on the other hand.  You have fifty years of secrets."

"Indeed," Teal'c agreed.

"I'm sorry you had to go through that," Daniel said quietly.

"We all went through it, Daniel Jackson."

"Apples and oranges, Teal'c."

"I have no regrets, and it is an honour to have known you for sixty years," Teal'c said with a bow of his head.

"Wow, guess I didn't kill myself then," Daniel mused.

"You had much to occupy yourself with, Daniel Jackson," Teal'c said.

"The Asgard knowledge base," Daniel nodded.

"Among other things," Teal'c said mysteriously.

Daniel raised an eyebrow then frowned.  "No, don't want to go there.  So, Teal'c, why haven't you asked me where I'm going?"

"Would you answer me if I asked?"  Teal'c inquired.

"Actually, yes, I would," Daniel replied.

"Thank you for your trust.  I am honoured," Teal'c said.

Daniel studied Teal'c thoughtfully.

"You know, don't you?" he asked softly.

"I know where you heart lies, Daniel Jackson."

Daniel saw the knowledge in his friend's dark eyes.

"I miss him," he said simply.

"As do I and Major Carter.  Please tell O'Neill he is greatly missed,"
Teal'c requested.

"I will," Daniel promised.  "Does Sam know where I'm going, or more to the point, who I'm going to see?"

"She is hoping she is correct in her hunch."

"And is she?"

"Indeed."

"Well, if I'm that transparent, Vala probably knows, too, and she's just annoying the hell out of me for the pure pleasure of it."  Daniel said.

"I believe you are correct, Daniel Jackson," Teal'c smiled.

"My God.  Fifty years with that woman.  I, uh, didn't kill her, did I?  Right, you can't tell me anything," Daniel said, waving his hand.

"As I said before, it is an honour to have known you for sixty years."

"Right," Daniel said thoughtfully.  "Thank you, Teal'c."

 

                                                            ********

Jack smoothed out the duvet on the bed and then stepped back to admire his handiwork.  The fluffy pillows were probably a bit over the top, but what the hell.  Jack smiled.  Daniel would probably ask if he was expecting the Queen.  The bed was only a single, but Daniel was no stranger to small beds.  Jack shook his head at the memory of seeing the tiny bed Daniel slept in when they set the trap for Osiris.  'All that money and that's the best you could do?'  Daniel's response, 'it came with the house,' sent shudders through Jack and he made it his mission to drag Daniel out to buy a real and proper bed.  Of course, the mission was a little too successful.  Daniel slept so well the first night in his new bed he was two hours late for work.  Jack smiled at the memory.  There were so many memories.  He sighed.

"Oh, for crying out loud," he chastised aloud.  "He'll be here tomorrow and you can make new memories."

Jack pulled himself together, put on an opera cd and then fixed up his own bed; a double bed.  Perfect for cuddling and other things.  Jack smiled and then frowned as a fleeting glimpse of him and Daniel on the same bed flashed through his mind.

"Crap, I know I miss him, but what the hell?  Where did that come from?"

Jack sat down on the bed and brushed his hand thoughtfully over the duvet.

"Okay, I know I've been alone for a long time, but that's my choice.  There's been plenty of women I could have had relationships with, but I didn't.  Why?  Because I didn't want to.  Why?  Because … because it's not what I needed.  Or, is it because it's never been who I needed?  Crap, look at me.  I'm talking to myself like a lunatic."

Jack lay back on the bed and closed his eyes.  He saw Daniel.

"Damn it," he whispered as he gave in to his yearning and imagined making love to his best friend.  He unzipped his pants and grasped his burgeoning cock.  In seconds he was rock hard.  He stroked himself as he stared into familiar blue eyes, dark with lust.  He panted and moaned as he moved closer to climax and then blue eyes full of shock and horror bore into him.  Jack gasped and rolled to the side, his seed spurting onto the wood floor, and tears trickling down his face.

                                                *******

Daniel pursed his lips then plucked the bottle of wine off the shelf and added it to the growing collecting in his cart.  He knew he had way too much, but it wasn't like the stuff would go bad or anything.  Maybe Jack will invite me again and the shopping will already be done.  He smiled at the thought.  He really must be missing Jack to be already planning his next trip to the cabin.  He moved onto the hard liquor and perused the choices.  Something for the fireplace.  He hoped the weather remained cool.  He was looking forward to a cold night and a warm fireplace; he and Jack together on the couch, holding each other. 

"Excuse me, sir, can I help you?  Sir?"

"Wha-?" Daniel said dazedly, giving himself a mental shake.

"Do you need help in choosing something?  You looked a little lost there, but from the looks of your cart, you're doing just fine," the store clerk smiled.

"Oh, uh, thank you.  No, I'm fine.  I was just thinking about someone … something," Daniel explained.

"Well, if you need any help, don't hesitate to ask."

"Thank you.  Actually, I think I'm done," Daniel said.

"Just follow me then and I'll ring you through."

"Thank you."

Daniel followed the clerk and swallowed hard as he tried to banish the image of Jack and himself from his mind.

                                                *********

Jack picked up his cell phone and looked at it thoughtfully.  Maybe he should call Daniel, tell him the cabin was damaged and cancel the trip.  They could do it another time.  Or, there's an emergency in Washington and he had to get back. 

"You're a piece of work," Jack muttered to himself.  "Daniel finally wants to come to the cabin and here you are thinking of excuses to blow him off.  Blow him.  Great, I can't even talk to myself now without … without … crap," he sighed as his cock hardened.

                                                ********

"Daniel Jackson, should you not be at home sleeping?  You have an early start tomorrow," Teal'c said.

"Oh, hi, Teal'c.  I thought I'd just finish up some stuff first," Daniel said lamely.

"It is two o'clock in the morning," Teal'c frowned.

"Is it?  I, uh, guess I got carried away," Daniel murmured.

"You are having second thoughts about your trip," Teal'c stated.  "Has something come up?"

"No, no, not really," Daniel said.  "I just … I'm … I'm a little confused," he admitted with a self-deprecating laugh.

"Can I be of assistance, Daniel Jackson?"

Daniel considered Teal'c's inquiry and then looked away.  He chewed his bottom lip, frowned, and then looked back at his friend.

"The other day, you said, 'I know where your heart lies.'"

"Indeed."

"What exactly did you mean by that?" Daniel asked.

"Your heart belongs to O'Neill," Teal'c replied simply.

"You mean, as in …"

"As in, you belong together, Daniel Jackson; body, heart, and soul."

"That's, um … how do you know this, Teal'c?  Did we talk about this when we were trapped on the Odyssey?"

"We talked of many things, Daniel Jackson.  Past loves, missed opportunities, hopes and dreams."

"But you can't tell me anything.  I get it," Daniel said, waving his hand.  "Well, I better get some sleep.  Big day tomorrow, or, later today," he added ruefully.

"I will see you out," Teal'c offered.

"Uh, thanks," Daniel replied.

The two men walked in silence through the halls until Daniel stopped and turned to face his friend.

"Teal'c, what if … what if Jack's heart lies elsewhere?" he asked, his eyes full of concern.

"Then you must see that he comes to his senses, Daniel Jackson," Teal'c replied gravely.

"Piece of cake," Daniel laughed nervously.

"I have faith in you both.  Now, let us resume," Teal'c said walking ahead.

Daniel smiled and shook his head.  Jack, for your sake, I hope you feel the same way I do.

                                                ********

Jack checked his watched.  He hated waiting and he really had no idea what time Daniel would show up.  He decided to go for a walk.  That way he wouldn't pace a hole in the carpet.

                                                            *********

Daniel drove up and parked next to Jack's rental car.  He was really here.  He turned off the engine and peered up at the cabin door.  Nothing.  He knew it was silly to feel disappointment, but he had kind of hoped Jack would rush out the door to greet him.

"Come on, you're not a teenager in love," Daniel muttered as he got out of the car.  He slammed the door and waited.  Zip.  Nada.  Bupkus.

"Well, I'm not lugging in all those bottles by myself," he said defiantly.

Daniel walked up to the cabin, knocked on the door then opened it.

"Hellooo?"

He stepped inside.  "Jack?  Anybody?  Well, this is a fine welcome," he murmured, his footsteps making the only sound as he walked through to the kitchen.  His eyes were immediately drawn to the coffeemaker, or more precisely, to the piece of paper propped up against the coffeemaker.  He strode over and picked up the note.

                        Daniel, sorry I missed you.  Went for a walk.  Won't be long.
                        Coffee's ready to go.  Help yourself.

                        Jack

                        PS Welcome home

Daniel smiled and felt tears prick his eyes.  Welcome home.  Teal'c was right.  His heart belonged to Jack and that's where home was, and maybe he'd lug in those bottles after all.  He tucked the note into his pocket and turned on the coffeemaker.

                                                ********

Jack emerged from the trees and his heatr beat faster when he saw Daniel's car.  He came.  He really came.  He quickened his pace.

"Daniel?" he called as he entered the cabin.

Seconds later, Jack was greeted by a smiling Daniel holding a mug of coffee. 

"Hi, Jack."

Jack looked at Daniel and cocked his head.

"Now, there's an image I've missed," he drawled.

Daniel smiled and shrugged.  "Some habits just aren't meant to be broken."

Jack smiled, closed the gap between them and enveloped Daniel in a hug which the latter returned as best he could without spilling any coffee.

"It's good to see you," Jack said, stepping back.

"Good to see you, too," Daniel replied.  "Do you want some coffee?  It's still fresh."

"Sounds good," Jack said, shedding his jacket and tossing it on a chair.  "When did you get here?"

"About forty minutes ago.  I didn't get lost once.  That GPS you gave me last year really works," Daniel said over his shoulder as he poured Jack some coffee.

"Glad you used it because I wasn't relishing the idea of scouring the countryside looking for you," Jack teased good-naturedly.

"But you're so good at it," Daniel grinned.

"Yeah, but I'm out of practice," Jack replied.

"You look good," Daniel said, handing Jack his coffee.

"Right, get your glasses checked.  I've put on at least twenty pounds and it isn't muscle," Jack complained.

"You needed to put on a few pounds.  You were looking a little gaunt there for awhile," Daniel said seriously.

"Yeah, but twenty?"

"Maybe you'll shed a couple of pounds in the next couple of weeks," Daniel said helpfully.

"With all that food in the freezer?" Jack cried incredulously.  "You checked it out, didn't you?"

"I did," Daniel chuckled.  "I kind of went overboard on my end, too."

"Glad to hear it.  If we get snowed in we've got it made," Jack remarked.

"Jack, it's May."

"Could happen," Jack shrugged.

"You're right," Daniel laughed.  "With us, anything could happen."

Both men smiled at each other, privately wondering if the 'anything' they desperately desired could actually happen.

"So, have you unpacked everything?" Jack asked, sipping his coffee and trying to take his mind off his fantasies.

"Yes and everything's put away," Daniel said, smirking.

"What are you grinning at?" Jack asked with narrowed eyes.

"You fluffed my pillows."

"Ah, you noticed.  My grandma always told me a bed should look inviting, even for a man," Jack said.

"God bless your grandma," Daniel smiled.

"Come on, grab your jacket and let's go down to the lake; you can fill me in on what's happening," Jack said.  "I'll put the rest of the coffee into a thermos.  Are you hungry?  I can make you a sandwich or something?"

"No, I'm good, thanks.  I stopped along the way."

"Okay.  I thought we'd have spaghetti tonight.  Is that okay?" Jack asked as he poured the coffee into a thermos.

"Sounds great," Daniel replied, "and maybe we can make a dent in the wine," he added ruefully.

"Now, you're talking," Jack grinned.

Jack was feeling deliriously happy, but he had the uncomfortable feeling he was being a motor-mouth and making Daniel nervous.  Daniel, on the other hand, was thinking Jack was being way too hospitable and almost nervous, or was Jack getting that vibe from him? 

Whatever uneasiness they felt rapidly dissipated as they sat down by the lake, talking amicably, and exchanging news and gossip.

"Oh, before I forget, Sam and Teal'c asked me to tell you how much they miss you," Daniel said.

"I miss them, too," Jack said.  "Landry still keeping you lot in line?"

"Yes, but I think I've noticed a few grey hairs," Daniel smiled.

"And why doesn't that surprise me," Jack said.

"Landry's very fair and he's got a wry sense of humour.  Thanks again for recommending him," Daniel said seriously.

"I had to leave you in good hands.  Speaking of which, how's Vala?" Jack asked with a raised eyebrow.  "Keeping her hands off you?"

"She's as annoying as ever," Daniel sighed, "but I'm kind of used to her now.  I think I'd actually miss her if she went away."

Jack nodded thoughtfully then probed a little deeper.  "So, do you think there's anything there?"

"Anything there?" Daniel frowned.

'You know what I mean," Jack said.

"Me and Vala?  You're joking, right?"

"So, nothing?"

"Ah, nooo."

"So, there is something," Jack said.

"No, I mean, no, as in there's nothing going on.  Why would you even ask?" Daniel inquired.

"Come on, she was all over you there at the beginning," Jack said.

"That was just Vala being Vala," Daniel said, waving his hand.  "She's not the settling down type, believe me.  But, enough about me, what about you?  How are the people in Washington treating you?"

"Whole different ball game.  I've never met so many brown-nosers and people with their heads up their asses in my life," Jack groused, tossing a rock into the lake.

"You hate it," Daniel said quietly.

"Pretty much," Jack shrugged.  "The high points are when Hammond and Davis come to visit.  Of course, all we talk about is the SGC and you guys."

"Why don't you come back?" Daniel asked.

"Doesn't work that way, Daniel.  My only 'out',/i> is retirement and I gotta say, some days it's pretty damn tempting."

"You never should have left," Daniel said.

"No, it was time.  My field days were coming to an end and everyone knew it.  I'm surprised they let me out in the field as long as they did," Jack said, rubbing his knee.

"You always brought us home."

"We brought each other home," Jack corrected, "but I appreciate what you're saying.  It means a lot."

"You could have stayed as general."

"Wasn't really my thing, Daniel.  Besides, I hated watching the three of you go through the gate without me."

"Being in Washington isn't your thing, either," Daniel pressed.

"Never mind me, let's get back to you," Jack said.  "I've got fifty years of catching up to do."

"Fifty?  Oh, that," Daniel frowned.  "Wish I could help you, but I don't remember a thing, and Teal'c's not talking."

"Come on, he must have given you something," Jack pressed.

"Well, I didn't kill Vala or myself," Daniel replied.  "I assume the Asgard knowledge base kept me sane."

"I still can't believe Thor's gone," Jack said, shaking his head.  "I kept waiting for him to beam me up while I was getting ready to come here."

"I can't believe they trusted us enough to leave all their knowledge to us," Daniel said.  "The Nox or the Furlings had to have been better choices."

"The Asgard wanted someone who would use the knowledge to fight and protect," Jack said.  "The Nox, as great as they are, would never do that, and the Furlings, hell, who knows what they even are."

"I felt a lot safer knowing the Asgard were out there," Daniel said quietly. 

"They still are, in a way," Jack said.  "It's just too bad you can't remember what you learned in those fifty years."

"Tell me about it," Daniel groused.

"I wonder who you hooked up with," Jack mused.

"Excuse me?"

"Come on, Daniel.  You don't seriously think you remained celibate, do you?"

"Well … no, probably not," Daniel admitted, his brow furrowed.

"I'm thinking Vala," Jack said sagely.

"Oh, God, you think so?"

"Or maybe Mitchell," Jack said, nodding thoughtfully.

"Mitchell?  Well, he does have a nice body," Daniel mused.  "Teal'c and Sam aren't too shabby, either."

"So, anyone but Landry?" Jack grinned

"Definitely not Landry," Daniel agreed.

Jack laughed and stood up.  "I don't know about you, but I could use a beer before supper."

"I'll have one, too," Daniel said, standing up.

"I'll get them," Jack said.  "Go stretch your legs a bit.  You had a long drive."

"Thanks, I'll do that," Daniel smiled.

                                                ******

Jack smiled to himself as he headed back to the cabin.  Daniel hadn't got all skittish when he suggested he hooked up with Mitchell.  In fact, he seemed quite open to the idea.  Jack frowned.  How the hell was he supposed to compete with a guy twenty years younger?

"Get a grip," Jack muttered.

                                                ************

Daniel tossed a few pebbles into the lake, his thoughts on Jack.  Was he serious when he said that about him and Mitchell, or was he just trying to get a rise out of him?  Of course, he could be right.  Anything could have happened in fifty years.  They could have had weekly orgies for all he knew.  Daniel shuddered and threw another stone into the lake.

                                                ******

"Here," Jack said, handing Daniel a beer.

"Thanks," Daniel said absently, taking the bottle.

"Why so pensive?" Jack asked.

"What?  Oh, it's nothing," Daniel answered vaguely.

"Daniel, we're here for two weeks.  Don't clam up on me the first day," Jack admonished.

Daniel glanced at Jack and saw the seriousness in his face and eyes.

"Sorry.  I was just thinking about the Odyssey."

"It kinda creeps you out, doesn't it?" Jack said.

"Yeah," Daniel replied softly.  "All those years and …"

"And what?" Jack asked gently.

Daniel looked at Jack and smiled sadly.  "And you weren't there.  Then I thought if you had been there, you probably would have died."

"Probably?  God, I hope so, otherwise I'd have been over a hundred," Jack aid aghast.

"Maybe the Asgard had a way of prolonging human life.  Maybe one hundred was middle-age," Daniel suggested.

"Well, whatever happened, it didn't happen," Jack said, "so don't sweat it."

"But it did happen, Jack, and Teal'c remembers it.  He's also aged fifty years."

"You know, you can be a real downer," Jack chastised.  "Now buck up.  Long lives to us all," he said, raising his bottle.

"Long lives,' Daniel smiled, raising his own bottle.

"So, meat sauce or vegetarian with your spaghetti?"  Jack inquired.

"Vegetarian?" Daniel grimaced.

"Meat, it is," Jack chuckled.

                                                *****

"You don't know how much I've been looking forward to this," Daniel sighed, leaning back into the couch, his feet up, a warm fire crackling in front of him, and a hot drink in his hand. 

"Me, too." Jack said.  "I'm glad you could make it."

Daniel glanced sideways at Jack and saw truth and seriousness in his friend's dark eyes, and maybe something … more.  Daniel blinked and looked back at the fire.

"Wouldn't have missed it for the world," he murmured.  "Or the universe," he added lightly.  "You know, I can't remember the last time I just sat down and did nothing.  That's not good, is it?"

"You never did know when to quit," Jack said.  "God knows, I nagged you enough."

"That you did," Daniel smiled, sipping his drink.

"So, who nags you now?" Jack queried.

"No one, really.  Mitchell gets a little worried at times.  I don't think he really knows what to make of me," Daniel said.

"I do," Jack said.

Daniel looked curiously at Jack.  "You do?"

"It's simple.  He's in awe of you."

Daniel laughed and turned away.  "Yeah, right."

"Suit yourself, but it's true," Jack said.  "Oh, come on, don't look so surprised.  You're a civilian in a military environment and look at you.  You can handle yourself better than anyone.  Crap, look at all you've done.  All you've went through.  Who wouldn't be in awe?  Hell, even I …" Jack bit his tongue and looked down at his drink. 

"Jack, you were in awe of me?" Daniel asked quietly.

Jack shrugged and made a waving motion with his hand.  "Was…am.  I've never met anyone like you before and sometimes I wonder … well, how the hell we became friends."

"I know I haven't been the easiest–"

"No, no, no, don't go down that road, Daniel," Jack interrupted.  "That's not what I'm talking about.  I'm talking about me.  All the crap I've put you through and yet …"

"And yet, here I am?" Daniel suggested quietly.

 "Yeah," Jack said.

"Maybe I'm a masochist," Daniel teased.

"Sometimes I did wonder," Jack mused.

Daniel smiled and returned his gaze to the fireplace.  Jack heaved a contented sigh and did the same.  They sat in silence, watching the dancing flames and listening to the sharp crack of spitting embers.

                                                                        *********

Daniel was in a warm, soft place.  A safe place.  He snuggled into the warmth.  Did something just grunt?  He frowned and then remembered.  He was at Jack's cabin.

"Jack?"

"Hey, sleepyhead."

Daniel cracked one eye open.  There was the fireplace, dying embers glowing orange.  The angle was all wrong, his vision was blurry, and what was he lying on?

"You know, you're not getting any lighter."

"Jack?"

"Daniel."

Daniel jerked to full alertness and sat up abruptly.

"Easy, you'll strain something," Jack cautioned, halting Daniel's sudden movement and easing him upright gently.

"I fell asleep, didn't I?" Daniel asked with chagrin.

"Yeah, that second Irish coffee put you into la-la land," Jack explained.  "Here, things will look clearer with these," he said, handing Daniel his glasses.

"Thanks," Daniel said as he put them on.  He blinked a few times, looked at Jack and glanced down at the cushion on Jack's lap.  He looked up and blushed.  "Sorry."

"Don't be.  You said some interesting stuff," Jack smiled.

"Oh God, I didn't talk in my sleep, did I?  What did I say?  No, don't tell me."

"Relax," Jack laughed.  "There wasn't a peep out of you, well, except for the snoring and snuffling."

Daniel grimaced and then absently scratched his head.  "What time is it?" he asked, yawning.

"Time for sleepy archaeologists to go to bed," Jack said, standing up.  "It's almost two thirty in the morning.  You've been asleep for just over an hour so you better go to bed before you wake up," he ordered, holding his hand out.

Daniel took the proffered hand and heaved himself to his feet.  "For once, I'm not going to argue," he said, yawning hugely.

"Music to my ears, even if it did take over ten years," Jack grinned.  "Now scoot, while I clean up and put the fire out."

"Okay, and I promise I won't fall asleep on you tomorrow, and I mean that literally and figuratively.  Goodnight, Jack."

"'night, Daniel," Jack smiled, clapping his friend on the shoulder.

Jack watched pensively as Daniel shuffled off to his room.  During Daniel's impromptu snooze, he'd had ample opportunity to study his friend's face and to feel the well-developed muscles as he absently massaged his shoulder and arm.  Physically, Daniel was in great shape, but Jack worried about the extra lines in his face.  It was inevitable though when he tallied up all the mishaps Daniel had suffered in the last eleven years, and being turned into a Prior had to have taken its toll.  Jack suspected the subsequent battle to defeat the Ori had also taken more out of him then he let on.  How much longer could Daniel go on?  Jack smiled and shook his head.  He'd been asking that question over and over for ten years.  Daniel was the Energizer bunny.  He just kept going, and going, and going.

"It catches up to all of us, sooner or later, Danny," he murmured.

                                                ***********

Daniel went to sleep, serenaded by the musical croaking of frogs and the smell of wood smoke.  Later, he woke up to the singing of birds and the tantalizing smell of fresh-brewed coffee.  He yawned and stretched like a cat before picking up his watch to check the time: seven am.  He smiled.  Jack still hadn't learned how to sleep in.

Daniel lay back and listened to the sounds of the morning while sifting through remnants of dreams.  They were fleeting images and not prone to scrutiny, except for one of sleeping in Jack's lap.  He could even feel Jack's touch.  He frowned.  No, that one wasn't a dream.  Did he actually fall asleep on Jack, or did he place him there, and if so, why?  He remembered a pillow, so presumably Jack had a hand in it.  Clearly, Jack hadn't minded and that sent Daniel's mind into other imaginings of a more physical and intimate nature.

"Okay, time to get up," Daniel muttered, "and I don't mean you," he added, directing his words to his semi-rigid penis.

Daniel quickly showered and dressed then made a bee-line for the coffee pot.  An empty mug was sitting there and he smiled at Jack's thoughtfulness.  He poured himself a mug, took a sip and then went in search of his friend.  He found him outside on the deck.

"Morning," Daniel said.

"And to you, too," Jack smiled.  "How'd you sleep?"

"Great," Daniel replied, sitting in the chair next to Jack.  "The fluffed pillows really made a difference," he added with a grin.

"Better than a lap, no doubt," Jack said.

"No complaints from me.  Thanks, by the way, for not rolling me onto the floor," Daniel added.

"You're welcome, but don't think I didn't think about it," Jack teased.

Daniel smiled then gazed up at the mostly clear sky.  "Looks like it's going to be a nice day."

"Yeah, I though we'd do a little canoeing after breakfast if you're game."

"Sure.  What's for breakfast?" Daniel inquired.

"You tell me, you're making it," Jack smiled.

"Fair enough," Daniel replied good-naturedly.  "French toast and bacon?"

"Perfect, but there's no rush.  Enjoy your coffee."

"Words I always longed to hear in the field," Daniel sighed wistfully, peering at Jack over the rim of his glasses.  "Better late than never, I guess."

"What can I say?  Getting soft in my old age," Jack said.

"You're not that old, Jack.  You make yourself sound like you're ready to be put out to pasture," Daniel admonished.

"Sometimes I feel that way," Jack shrugged.

"Well, don't," Daniel said gravely.

"Is that an order, Dr. Jackson?"  Jack inquired, his eyebrow raised.

Daniel looked away at stared out at the lake.

"Daniel?  Hey, what's bugging you?"

"Nothing.  It's just … nothing," Daniel said, shaking his head.

Jack studied Daniel closely and felt a warm rush of affection for his friend.

"We can't stop time, Daniel.  Well, we can slow it down, thanks to the Agard; go back in time; go to alternate realities, and that sort of thing," Jack said lightly, attempting to make Daniel smile.  "But seriously, things change.  People move on.  People die.  That's life."

"Well, it sucks," Daniel muttered.

Jack laughed.  "Yeah, it does that."

"Which is why we have to make the most of it, the most of what we have," Daniel said earnestly, fixing Jack with intense blue eyes.

"You mean, like don't waste time at the lake?" Jack frowned.

"No, I mean, like spend more time at the lake.  Spend more time with the people you— " Daniel bit off his sentence and looked away.

"The people you what?" Jack asked quietly.  "The people you love?"

"Yes," Daniel said softly, looking back at Jack.  "The people you love."

"That's why we're here, Daniel."

Daniel gazed into Jack's dark, welcoming eyes and swallowed hard.  He looked down at his coffee and smiled.  "I'm being squirrelly again, aren't I?"

"A little.  I figure you're glucose levels are low," Jack said sagely.  "Some maple syrup and you'll be fine."

"Right, French toast coming up," Daniel smiled, getting out of his chair and retreating into the cabin.

Jack didn't follow Daniel into the cabin.  Instead, he went down to the lake.  He thought best while gazing at the water and the reflections of the trees and sky, and right now, he needed to think.  Daniel's words and his own had hit hard.  They were running out of time and Daniel was bang on, as he so often was.  Spend more time with the people you love.

"Or the someone," Jack whispered.

                                                                        ********

Daniel couldn't sleep.  The day had been perfect as was the evening.  Things got a little emotional before breakfast, but there had been no lingering awkwardness.  Jack had been a delight to be with, and Daniel felt he'd laughed more in one day than he had in the last ten years.  He had never felt closer to Jack and that's what was keeping him awake.  He wanted more.  He wanted to be as close to him as he could get.  He wanted to hold Jack and to be held by Jack.  Daniel sighed.  This was only the second night and it was just going to get harder.  Daniel groaned as his cock stirred.

"I didn't mean you," he muttered.

                                                ***********

"Crap," Jack sighed as he lay his forearm across his eyes.  Three in the morning and he was still wide awake.  He couldn't stop thinking about Daniel.  More specifically, he couldn't stop thinking about what Daniel said about spending more time with the people you love.  What exactly did he mean?  Was Daniel trying to tell him something, or was that just wishful thinking on his part?

"Jack, are you awake?"

Daniel's soft whisper snapped Jack out of his reverie with a jolt.  He moved his arm and saw Daniel standing in the doorway, clad only in boxer shorts.  His stomach did a little flip-flop as he sat up.

"Yeah, I can't sleep.  I take it you can't, either?"

"No," Daniel replied.

"I could make some coffee," Jack suggested.

"I don't need coffee."

Jack's eyebrows rose.  Daniel saying he didn't need coffee was one for the record books.  It also made Jack shiver.

"What do you need?" he asked softly, thankful his voice didn't rise an octave.

Daniel stood quietly in the doorway then lowered his head slightly.

"I need…I need to know if there's a chance…for us."

Jack's pulse quickened and he was sure his body temperature just jumped ten degrees.  This was big.  This was huge, and the last thing he wanted to do was screw it up.  He was sitting in the middle of the bed.  Trying not to hold his breath, he shifted to the left and patted the empty space beside him.

Jack concentrated on calming his breathing as Daniel slowly advanced towards him.  Although the room was dark, Jack's eyes were accustomed to it and he could see the outline of Daniel's physique clearly.  There was no doubt his friend was in the best shape of his life.  He watched mesmerized as Daniel neared the bed.  His eyes were dark, but Jack knew there was longing and uncertainty hidden in the depths.

Jack rolled onto his side and pulled the covers aside.  He swallowed hard as the bed dipped and Daniel slipped in beside him.  Without hesitation, he wrapped the blankets around Daniel then slipped his arm under the covers and laid it across Daniel's body, embracing gently.

Daniel stiffened and his breath hitched as Jack's warm arm wrapped around his waist.  He closed his eyes, willed himself to relax, and then tentatively clasped Jack's arm.

"Is this enough?" Jack whispered.

Jack's warm breath tickled Daniel's neck and he shivered.

"It's … different," Daniel said, and then frowned at his words.  "I mean, it's nice, but …"

"Different?" Jack smiled.

Daniel smiled and relaxed a little bit more.  "A little," he said.

"Close your eyes and get some sleep," Jack said gently.

"No goodnight kiss?" Daniel queried.

Immediately, Daniel felt a soft kiss on the neck and he sighed in pleasure.  Without thinking, he turned towards Jack and pulled him close.  Arms and legs entwined, the two men held each other, relishing the feel of warm skin on skin.

Daniel felt another kiss on the neck and then Jack's lips were on his own.  The first kiss was just on the lips, but Daniel made sure the second kiss went deeper.  His tongue gently probed Jack's mouth and he moaned as Jack responded in kind.  Daniel's cock hardened as he plundered Jack's mouth and he rolled on top of him, gasping as his cock rubbed against Jack's rigid member.

"Wait-wait," Jack panted.

Daniel stilled instantly and he rolled off.  "I'm sorry, I'm sorry."

"No," Jack said quickly, pulling Daniel back.  "These damn shorts, they have to go," he said huskily, tugging at the offending garment on Daniel.

"Oh, right," Daniel gasped, pulling apart long enough so they could shed their respective clothing.

"That's better," Jack moaned, exploring Daniel's mouth while his hands slid over taut buttocks, kneading hard.

Daniel wondered if he'd wake up with fingerprints on his ass, but it was a fleeting thought as he soon became swept up in the incredible sensation of his own naked genitals grinding against Jack's.  Incoherent and beyond thought, the two men thrust against each other, their cocks warring as furiously as their tongues.  It couldn't last long and it didn't.

"Jesus," Jack gaped, trying to catch his breath, his hands possessively caressing Daniel's ass.

Daniel moaned intelligibly into Jack's neck.

"What language is that?" Jack chuckled, sliding his hand up a sweat-sheened back.

Daniel lifted his head just enough to look into dark, warm eyes.

"The language of love?" he murmured.

Jack's hear felt like it would burst and he kissed Daniel long and deep.  Reluctantly, he pulled back and kissed Daniel's nose.

"Think you can sleep now?"

"Mmm," Daniel replied.

Jack took that as a 'yes' and shifted his weight allowing Daniel to gently slide off him and to the side.  Jack rolled onto his back and smiled as Daniel snuggled into him, one arm lying heavily and possessively over his chest.  Jack patted the arm affectionately and kissed the top of his friend's head.

"Sweet dreams," he whispered.

"Dreams," Daniel murmured, slipping into oblivion.

                                    ***********

Daniel awoke and gazed blurrily and curiously at the ray of sunlight shining through a crack in the curtains.  He knew he was in Jack's cabin, but his room didn't have a window.  Deciding he was dreaming, he closed his eyes.  Images of himself and Jack, naked and kissing, flashed through his mind and his eyes snapped open.

 The night's activities rushed at him like a speeding freight train.  Definitely not a dream.  Lifting his head, Daniel looked cautiously over his shoulder and straight into bemused, dark eyes.

"Jack?"

"Daniel?"

"Um …"

"Were you expecting someone else?" Jack asked.

"Uh, no.  I'm, uh, naked, aren't I?"

"Yep.  Me, too."

"So, not a dream?"

"Nope."

Daniel rolled onto his side to face Jack.

"Morning," he said with a sloppy grin.

"Good morning," Jack replied, smiling.

Curious, Daniel lifted the sheets and peered underneath.  His eyes fixed on Jack's cock: hard, purple and swollen, a pearly-white drop glistening on the tip.  He swallowed hard and moaned as his own penis stirred to life.  He looked back at Jack whose eyes were dark and hungry.

Daniel pulled back the sheets and exposed Jack's arousal.  He tentatively touched the drop of pre-cum on Jack's penis and slid his finger around the tip causing Jack to moan and push his hips forward.  Entranced, Daniel slid his fingers down the swollen cock and squeezed.  Jack thrust into his hand and Daniel did something he never dreamed he would do.  Shifting onto his knees, he bent down and flicked his tongue over the glistening head.  Jack gasped and thrust upwards.  Daniel took the offering into his mouth.

Jack groaned and arched his back, seeking Daniel's hot, moist mouth.  The sensation was mind-blowing and he clenched his fingers into Daniel's shoulders to anchor himself.  He desperately wanted to watch Daniel going down on him, but he knew he'd only last a few seconds before he climaxed.  Instead, he closed his eyes and revelled in Daniel's attentions.  Even so, it was too much and he wasn't going to last.  He cried out as his semen spurt into Daniel's mouth.  Waves of pleasure washed over him and he thrust weakly as he felt Daniel's hunger suck up his seed.  Drained, Jack knew he should attend to his friend's needs, but he couldn't seem to coordinate his actions or his thoughts.  He felt cool air as his now limp cock was released, but before he could even think about his next move, Daniel collapsed onto his chest and cried out.  Jack felt a hot wetness on his belly and he wrapped his arms around the shuddering body and held him tight as Daniel came down from his sexual high.

"God," Daniel murmured.

"Uh, no, the name is Jack," Jack said, caressing Daniel's slick back.

Daniel snorted softly into Jack's neck and then nipped him gently.

Jack chuckled and squeezed Daniel tight.

"You're full of surprises," he murmured fondly.

Daniel rolled off to the side and gazed at Jack.

"Sometimes, I surprise myself," he said with a shy smile.

Daniel actually blushed and Jack felt overwhelmed by the love he felt for his friend.  He reached out and gently brushed back the sweat-soaked hair from Daniel's brow.

"I love you," he whispered.

"I love you, too," Daniel replied softly, his eyes glistening.

Jack pulled Daniel to his chest and they lay together quietly, basking in their shared confession of love.  Both men knew their lives would be irrevocably changed and decisions would have to be made, but they had twelve more days, and at this moment in time, life was perfect and to be cherished.

 

 

 

 

 

                                               

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Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate (II) Productions, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. This is a parody for entertainment purposes only. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. This story may not be posted anywhere without the consent of the author.