Casey's Lament

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  Beyond the Series - March 14-28, 2011
Spoilers:  None
Size:  35kb, short story
Written:  February 13-14,17,23,25-26, 2008
Summary:  Casey's heart flickers for Alex, while Jack and Daniel share an unexpected pick-me-up.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
1) Sometimes, Jack and Daniel speak almost telepathically.  Their “silent” words to each other are indicated by asterisks instead of quotes, such as **Jack, we can't.**
2) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
3) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my other fic(s), “Be My Valentine” and “Butting In”
4) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Robert, Tammy, Wolf Moldy, Tonya, Sara, Melissa, Keri, Linda!

Casey's Lament
by Orrymain

“It was a great party, Daniel,” Casey said as he and Daniel sat across from each other at a table in the mess hall of the SGC.

“I'm glad you had a good time,” the archaeologist replied, referring to the pool party he and Jack had hosted for a very select group of people on the previous Saturday.

“It was an interesting group.”

Daniel nodded, trying to smile innocently at the six-foot-one male nurse that had worked at the SGC for several years now.  The man's hazel eyes were daring him to deny the oddity of the grouping.

“To be honest, Casey, I just wanted to help Alex ... socialize more.  He's a great guy, but he's really devoted to his work,” Daniel admitted.

“He told me that you forbade him from bringing his day planner to the party,” Casey chuckled.

“That's, uh, true,” Daniel acknowledged.

“Casey, wanna take in a movie tonight?” one of the other nurses asked as she and a couple of others stopped by the table briefly.

“Can't.  I have an appointment,” Casey responded.  ~Or a date, depending upon your point of view.  My view is date; he may not agree.~

“Next time,” the woman responded as she and her co-workers continued on her way.

“Sounds like you're going to have a long day,” Daniel commented.

“I hope it's real long,” Casey replied cryptically, knowing the archaeologist wouldn't pry.

“Those can be hard days.  Uh, I have to go,” Daniel stated.  “Talk to you later,” he added as he stood up and walked out of the mess hall.

~Long is a good word.  Hard is even better.  If I'm lucky, both will be part of tonight,~ Casey thought, his blood burning in eager contemplation of tonight's appointment.

====

“o-r-y,” Daniel corrected when Jenny was showing off her spelling skills to her younger father, only the youngster had misspelled the word with an 'e' instead of an 'o'.

“Oops,” the tiny redhead giggled, turning around and skipping over to her twin brother.

“So close,” Jack teased as the lovers kissed 'hello'.

“Speaking of close, our pool party may not have been a failure.”

Disbelief edged in his brow, the older man refuted, “Daniel, Alex arrived in business mode, and he left in business mode.”

“Maybe, but he's seeing Casey tonight,” Daniel revealed, reaching up to scratch an itch at the back of his ear.

“A date?” Jack asked incredulously, reaching over to help his husband with his itch and then having his hand swatted away.

“I can handle my own itch, thank you, and, no, it's an appointment, for that remodeling, I think,” the younger man answered, ignoring his lover's sexy smirk.  “But I have a hunch Casey is hoping for more.”

“Hemmings told you that?”

“No, of course not,” Daniel replied.  “He only told me that he had an appointment, but he was practically drooling in anticipation.”

“Then how do you know?”

“I'd talked to Alex earlier in the day and invited him over for dinner,” Daniel explained.  “He told me he had an appointment.  Two plus two.”

“Daniel, Alex *always* has an appointment.”

“I suppose it could just be a coincidence, but I don't think so,” Daniel maintained. “If it doesn't work out, we can host another swim party.”

“Nooooo,” Jack responded, the green-eyed monster starting to make an appearance.  “Danny, I just about had a heart attack when I walked in and saw all those guys around your practically-naked body.  One swim party a year is about all I can handle.”

“I love you,” Daniel laughed, sharing another kiss with his lover.

“Enough to let me help you with your itch?”

“Maybe tonight when we go to bed.”

“Daddy, is 'victory' with an 'o' or an 'e'?” Jenny called out from across the room.

“'O',” Daniel answered, smiling at his husband as he headed over to talk with Jenny some more about her spelling.

====

Casey smiled as he puttered around his house.  It was a nice little place -- three bedrooms, two baths, a study, a game room with a pool table, kitchen, and a large combination living and dining area that featured a large-screen television and deluxe bar, done in a western style and with a small dance floor right in front of it.  The backyard was medium-sized and had been landscaped years ago in a desert motif.

The lighting was dim, soft music was playing, and the ambiance was perfect for two people, male or female, to spend a quiet night getting to know each other, which was exactly what Casey had in mind -- some intimate 'let's get together' physical conversation.

Hearing a car, Casey looked out the window, salivating in anticipation when he saw Alex emerging from his yellow Ferrari sports coupe.

The designer stood for just a moment, his practiced eye taking in the structure and position of the house, its position on the plot, and the general impression of the neighborhood.

~Nice-sized lots,~ Alex thought. ~Textbook 1970's ranch-style, built long and low to the ground.  Nothing stands out on the exterior.  The entrance is rather blah; looks like it hasn't had much attention.  That's not good: water damage on the roof above the door.  This is going to take some work, Casey.~

--

~He's wearing a suit?~ Casey bemoaned inside the house, looking at the clock and seeing it was 7:30 p.m.  ~We'll pay that no mind, Alex, my man.  I'll have that off of you in no time.~  Nodding when Alex noticed he was watching from the window, Casey opened the door, inviting the designer in.  ~No way you could look that fresh after working all day.  You showered, shaved, and changed before you got here,~ he thought as he inhaled the younger man's crisp clean after shave.

“I hope I'm not early,” Alex spoke politely.

“No, you're right on time,” Casey answered.  “Can I get you a drink?”

“Vodka on the rocks,” the designer requested.  ~That bar area looks like a make-out shack: cheap, sleazy.  Look at these dark panels -- makes the dining area look like a morgue.~

Unaware of the designer's interior observations, Casey whistled as he prepared their drinks.  When he brought the drinks over, he sat down on the sofa next to Alex, making sure their legs touched and then letting his hand touch against his guest's.

~Hot, hot, hot!~ Casey exclaimed to himself as he prepared to get even hotter.

====

Over the course of the next three hours it became apparent to Casey that he needed more than some simple redecorating.  Still, he was hoping to get Alex into a more romantic frame of mind.  He kept bouncing back and forth between despair that his home needed what he was sure would be tens of thousands of dollars of repair and desire to get Alex out of his freshly pressed suit and into his birthday suit.

~Come on, Alex.  Relax.  I know it's new, but your body has to be telling you something,~ Casey sighed inwardly as he accidentally brushed up against the designer, getting no reaction from Alex except for an apology for being in his way.  ~In my way?  Over me or under me, that's where I want you.  Be in my way, Alex.  Go with your gut, Man!~

Try as he might, Casey was unable to get through to the constantly on-the-job designer.  No matter what, Alex looked at Casey and saw a client, not a person eager to know him better.

~I'd like to design you.  You are one lean and crisp hunk of flesh that I want to know, in more ways than one, but you aren't budging.  Okay, look, I know I'm older than you.  How old are you anyway?  Early to mid-thirties I'd say.  Okay, I've got ten on you, but I'm well experienced.  I can teach you, Alex.  Give in, Man, and listen to what your body is telling you.  Why are you fighting it?~

Casey was frustrated in more ways than one.  He hadn't noticed the water damage above the window in the dining ell until Alex pointed it out.  He made a decent salary, but he wasn't sure he could afford to do what was necessary.

In the end, the nurse was glad to see Alex leave.  He had a headache due to a combination of Alex's clueless state and the yet-to-be-revealed cost of repairing his house.  He'd agreed to an external inspection by Garrett, the foreman of Archonics Ltd's preferred residential contractor.

~Bye, bye savings,~ Casey lamented.  ~Casey, you're a jerk.  This kid is green, so green he can't see interest where interest is raining on him.  He never even batted an eye.  Give it up.  He's another loss cause.  Face it, you really didn't want to nursemaid him through all that trauma of realizing his sexuality.~

Trying to lie to himself, Casey locked up the house and walked into his lonely bedroom.  He'd hoped to introduce Alex to the bed on a more personal level.  It just hadn't happened.  While he knew he'd be seeing Alex in another week or so for a follow-up appointment, he held no illusions that it would be anything but business.  After all, business was Alex's middle name; at least, Casey assumed it was.

====

At work the next day, Casey was in a bad mood.  In fact, his demeanor was such that Janet had to dress him down a bit.  Noticing the nurse's mood, Jack confronted him, and the conversation quickly turned to Alex and his all-business attitude.

“Look, General, I'm going to let the guy redesign my house because I've seen what he's done on your place, and he's good,” Casey explained.  “But I've worked too hard to get where I am.  I don't have the time, the energy, or the inclination to be a therapist, parent, or mentor, especially for someone who is totally clueless.  Excuse me, I have bedpans to clean,” he said, his frustration still guiding him as he nearly stormed out of the room.

Jack was left feeling like he and his lover definitely needed to stay out of the matchmaking business.  At the moment, he couldn't imagine Casey and Alex ever getting together, not because of any gender issues, but because the designer was simply a workaholic who didn't understand that life was more than one's profession.

====

“Danny, it was a bust,” Jack said as the lovers prepared for bed that night.  “I'm tellin' you, Hemmings isn't interested anymore.”

“Well, maybe ...”

“Angel, let's stay out of all of that matchmaker business.”

“I just hate that Alex can't see the light of day,” Daniel confided.

“I know, but we've done all we can do.  It's his life.”  Jack walked over to his Love and took him into his arms.  “How about we concentrate on our lives for a while?”

“Deal,” Daniel agreed, smiling before the lovers kissed.  “Um, we could share ... a ... well ... you know.”

“I love it when we're on the same page,” Jack replied as the soulmates became focused on their amativeness.

====

Ten days later, Alex returned to Casey's house and found the man waiting for him with a fresh vodka on the rocks.

~Geez, he looks good,~ Casey thought as he observed the designer, who was oh-so-close to him at the moment.  ~Wish he would be more scraggly and look less put-together.  Smell that aftershave.  Sure gets to me,~ he thought, walking away to try and break the spell he was under.

“Thanks for coming,” Casey stated as he ambled over towards his sofa.  He turned around again to face his guest, discovering that Alex's aftershave wasn't the only thing affecting him.  ~That ridiculous smile that makes him look so charming, and those emerald green eyes.  Now those are gems.  I'd like to see them looking at me while we ...~ He groaned inwardly as he chastised himself for his thoughts while at the same time trying to keep his body from reacting in improper ways.  ~Down, Casey!  Just pay attention to what he has to say.  He's good at this designer stuff.  I'm sure he'd be good at ... other things, too.  Wish I could verify that hunch, but c'est la vie,~ he lamented, realizing it was just not to be.

“I'm sorry I couldn't be here earlier in the week, but something came up during my trip to Florida.”

“Business is business; I understand,” Casey replied.  “Just give me the bad news, Alex.  What's it going to cost me to repair this palace of mine?”

The designer laughed and answered, “Not as much as you're thinking.  You already know the bad news, or most of it, anyway.  The good news is it can be fixed within the limits of what you told me you intended to borrow.  In the process, you can add a lot of value to your home.”

~You'd be good value,~ Casey opined, wanting to hit himself for continuing to think about a relationship with the man he was standing near.  “Sounds good to me.  How can we shape this place up?”

As his client listened, Alex laid out his plans for a small patio to be extended to the front, with a barrel vaulted roof connecting to the structure of the roof where it was still sound.  The bad framing would simply be cut out, giving the front entry the visible presence it deserved while also giving the house a much grander feel overall.

The window in the dining ell would be replaced with a French door.  To the sides of the door on the exterior would be quoins, or columns of the same stone that happened to be the largest stone in the facade of the front, offering supportive structure in place of what was sagging due to water damage.  These would add interest to the very plain wood sided rear facade.

A shallow barrel vault would include an elongated arch transom window atop the French doors.  The higher vaulted ceiling, which would start at the full width of the two doors, would proceed to narrow over the table until it came to a point at the invisible demarcation where the living room stopped and the dining ell began.

“We aren't trying to insert new building material where it is no longer sound.  The bad is being cut away and new, basically pre-built structures are being connected to the existing walls and roof to make the whole structure more sound than ever. We don't have to second-guess ourselves because we're cutting the old material away to points that are unquestionably still good.  This is what allows us to do it for this price,” Alex explained as he showed his prospective client the figure.

~He's kidding!~  Casey's eyes bugged out as he saw the number on the paper. “That's just half of what I am borrowing.  You're a genius, Alex.”

“Thank you.  I don't know about genius, but I like to think I am very good at what I do.”

“I think that's been established,” Casey sighed.  ~What a waste.~

“Actually, I just ...”

As Alex began with what would have been a revelation of sorts, Casey continued talking, his words overtaking his visitor's.

“What about the interior of the living space, here, and the game-slash-family room out back?” the nurse questioned.

“I propose a number of small changes that will add up to a huge impact,” Alex spoke.  “First, I'd like to pull out the bar at the end of the living room and put in low walls with columns at the other end.  We can install a tile floor and an overhead light fixture to create a proper entrance.”

“I like my bar there.”

“Casey, it's out of place.  Frankly, it's tacky.  Its looks like a horse is about to walk up to it, thinking it's a trough.”

“Alex, you're exaggerating.  I've had a lot of successful parties with this bar.”

“It looks like it should be in a brothel, Casey,” Alex insisted.

“It gives the place style.”

“Casey, I'm known for speaking my mind.  I'm up front with my clients, and I don't hold back, good or bad.  If you want this bar to remain here, there's nothing I can do to enhance this space.  It's cheap, and it makes you look cheap as a person.”

Casey sighed, nodding slightly but still uncertain, even though he'd actually come to terms with losing the bar quite a while back.  In fact, he wanted the change.  That's why he'd brought up the remodel in the first place.  Why was he arguing so much?

~Intensity.  Verbal sex without the sex,~ Casey admonished himself, though he was drawn out of his thoughts by a simple question from the designer.

“Didn't you just call me a genius?”

“Continue,” Casey responded.  ~That mustache of his turns me on.  Don't look at him, Casey.  Avoid temptation.~

Confidently, Alex expounded, “Second, we'll take the wall of the dining ell that is next to the garage and extend it into the garage about the depth of a base cabinet.  We'll use the difference in height between the garage and the house to hide the plumbing and electrical connections and tie them into the connections below the house in the crawl space.  That'll position the bar closer to the dining area, the kitchen, and the game room.  It'll also give you more storage.  The door to the game room is right there in the corner of the dining room, so the garage door into the game-slash-family room will need to be moved about three feet.  The door from the garage that currently breaks up that nice long wall in the living and dining area should be eliminated.”

“Okay,” Casey agreed.  “What do you have in mind for the back part of the house?”  ~We could go to the bedroom, and ... Casey, *stop*!~

“The problem there is simple -- that room has no identity,” Alex opined.  “You have a pool table and exercise equipment, and a lot of wasted space.  The room is absolutely huge, monstrous, and doesn't have enough windows.  I have no idea what they were thinking when they added on this room.”

“The same thing they were thinking when they installed a bar in the living room that drains out over the open floor of the garage?” Casey offered.  ~I liked it, though, and I scored a lot with that bar being so central in the house.  A man can do a lot with a bar and dance floor so close together and so near a bedroom. ~

“Very likely,” Alex laughed before continuing on with his suggestions.  “The end of the room next to the garage has no windows, so let's use that to our advantage.  If the new, relocated door from the garage is going to be here, let's make this a back entrance and hall area.  There's room for hooks to hang your jackets and coats, because you probably rarely use your own front door, and a bench with a tip-down shoe rack to keep shoes at the ready but out of sight.  This area is informal, so I don't think an enclosed closet is necessary.”

“What's this long narrow closet, then?” Casey said, looking at Alex's drawing of the remodeling home.

“Ah, yes, very observant.  I notice you love good audio-video equipment.  I suggest taking three-and-a-half feet here and making this an access area for all the stereo and TV equipment.  The plasma screen can be mounted flush with the wall and then we can enclose this portion of the room with soundproof walls.  The acoustics will be perfect.  With your home theater stereo set up in here, this will, in essence, be your media room.”

Thrilled at the thought, Casey's eyes widened as he responded, “Wow, can we do that and stay on budget?  Do I need a bigger screen?”

“Yes to the first, no to the second.  We'll move the sectional from the living room into this room.  It's a gray-taupe color in a good-wearing sturdy fabric.  The screen will be elevated a bit more than it is here, and the seating will be closer, so the eye will perceive it as bigger.  The accompanying acoustics also add so much to the effect that the screen will seem much bigger than it does now,” Alex explained.

For a few minutes, Casey actually forgot his lust for Alex's body as he marveled at the skill of the professional he was conversing with.  The other man's plans would lighten up the interior of the home, make it all much more sophisticated, and even help him to be more organized and entertaining.

“When can we start?” the eager client questioned when he thought Alex had concluded his presentation.

“In about a week or so,” Alex answered.

“Great!”

“Ah, don't you want to see the plans for the rest of the space?” the designer inquired.

“There's more?”  Seeing Alex's nod, Casey answered, “Okay, but I'm not sure you can wow me anymore that what you already have.”  With a sigh, he thought, ~You wowed me big time coming out of the water at Daniel's pool party.  Now that was *big* time wowing.~

The nurse grimaced as he realized he just couldn't stop thinking about getting Alex into bed, and a relationship, not necessarily in that order, though he wouldn't exactly object to that order, either.

“Let's test that assumption, shall we?” Alex countered with a smile.  “How about a pool parlor, and not just a pool room?  To do that, the exercise equipment has to go,” he said, holding up his hand to stop the barrage of protest.  “I just meant it has to be moved out of here.”

“Here?  Where?”

“Patience, as I always try and tell Jack and Daniel, not that it works with them.  I'm hoping it does work with you,” Alex said with a hopeful smile.

~Casey, stop smiling before you explode and embarrass myself,~ Casey thought as he took in the other man's suave features and manner.

“The remaining space is large enough that we don't have to center the table in the space,” Alex stated.  “So here is the entrance area coming in from the garage. To the right of that is the audio/video service closet; here is the hallway created by partitioning off the media room.  It's just blank wall.  I propose a set of French doors to admit light from the outside and eliminate the closed-in feeling.  There is room along the media room wall opposite the new French doors to place a computer desk and a few bookshelves, if you want.  Then all the way back in the left hand corner is a poker table.  Moving along to the right rear corner is an area with leather seating and a second TV so you can watch a game while playing cards or pool.  Finally, the pool table is here, with plenty of room to walk around.”

“I'm sold, but what about the exercise equipment?”

“The last time I was here, you told me that you never use that small bedroom just around the corner from the front hall.”

“There's too much to fit in there.  I'm not even sure what's in there anymore, but it's full of mementos and things from my past,” Casey admitted.

“Casey, in every design job there is at least one point of compromise.  The compromise is sometimes about space, budget, preferences, building codes, time, feasibility -- whatever.  This is your compromise.”  Alex paused, giving his words time to settle.  “You told me you wanted to do this job to blast out of your past.  Is that true?”

Casey knew what the man was asking.  He just needed time to admit that he was having a bit of a hard time letting go of the eighties.

~Stuck in the past.  He's right.  I want to blast out of it.  It's the same reason I'm sick and tired of these young studs who don't have time to deal with the truth about themselves and want to hide behind some woman's skirts.  Be a man, and I don't mean just between the legs.  Why can't I find myself a looker like Alex, with brains like Alex, who knows who he is and isn't ashamed of it?~

Looking at the vast array of exercise equipment, gizmos, and gadgets set up and strewn around the room, Alex chuckled, “You're a regular Mail-Order Annie when it comes to this stuff.”  Picking up an item, he continued, “This could be a museum of who's endorsed what fitness products -- Denise Austin fitness DVDs, Suzanne Somers' Thigh Master, Chuck Norris' Total Gym, Mari Winsor's Pilates equipment, Body by Jake's Big Guns for biceps.”  Putting the object back down, he looked around and observed, “I see at least half-a-dozen products supposed to give you beach-worthy abs.  Go buy what you need and use it, Casey.  I have to say, though, that you look pretty good to me, so get rid of everything that doesn't keep you in shape.”

Casey almost lost it at the compliment.  Did Alex just notice him, as a man would notice another man romantically, or was he just making polite conversation, buttering up his client as he pushed for more work to be done.

“I guess you're right.  I'm using a lot of my savings for this, along with the loan I plan to get.  Can we do all this on the budget we discussed?” Casey asked again, trying to calm his desire to believe Alex may have finally noticed his physique.

“Yes, for the most part.  You'll have to decide what furniture is most important.  I would do the new carpet, the new seating for the living room, and the exercise equipment now, if you can't afford it all.  Later on, you can get the new dining set, the poker set, and the leather seating,” Alex advised.

“That seems like sound advice,” Casey acknowledged.  “Let me pour you one last drink from the soon-to-be old bar.”

“It's a done deal, then?” Alex asked.

“Done,” the nurse answered, offering his hand.  ~I'd like to have done you as well, Alex,~ he sighed inwardly.
 
====

“Casey, wanna catch a movie tonight?” the same woman from earlier in the month asked the nurse as he once again sat opposite from Daniel during a break in the mess hall.

“Sure.  Call me later,” Casey sighed.

“Are you okay, Casey?” the archaeologist asked, sensing the gloomy tone of the man's answer to the invitation.

“Daniel, I think he noticed,” Casey spoke quietly.  “I think he's finally ready to explore.”

Daniel sighed, looking down at his almost-empty coffee cup, and surmised, “You're talking about Alex.”

“It was just something he said.”

“Casey, Alex dropped by the house Saturday night.  He introduced Jack and me to his ... new girlfriend.”

“Girlfriend?”  Casey saw the expression on his friend's face.  Daniel was telling the truth.  “Girlfriend,” he muttered, shaking his head.

“I'm sorry, Casey.  Her name is Soncirria.  They just met recently.  I'm really sorry,” Daniel spoke, feeling bad that his matchmaking attempt might be responsible for the sadness the other man was feeling now.

“Daniel, I'm telling you what I told the general a while back.  Every part of me tells me that Alex is gay.  He's running, and he's running fast.  One day, he'll get it.  I'm not gonna be around to see it because I've been through this denial thing.  I want a relationship that means something.  I do *not* want to nurture some in-denial pretty boy into facing the truth about himself.”  Casey stood up and said, “I'm over it, way over my little infatuation with Mister Looks-Good-Wet.”

~Mister Looks-Good-Wet?  Wow.  I think I must have missed that one.~  Daniel watched the nurse walk away and shook his head while thinking, ~Sorry, Casey, but I don't think you are.  Too much energy in that statement.~  He stood up and headed out of the eating area, almost bumping into his lover.  “Oh, sorry.”

“That's all I get?  'Oh, sorry'?” Jack asked in surprise.

“I just had to tell Casey about Soncirria,” Daniel said as the two lovers began to walk together down the corridor.

“How'd he take it?”

“A cross between anger, hurt, indignation, and a big, big river of denial,” the younger man answered.

“That's a big river,” Jack replied.  “Danny, I know you, and you're feeling guilty.”

“I can't help it.”

“Look,” Jack said, stopping them for a moment.  “Hemmings met Alex at the Doc's party.  He got hooked then, not at our little pool party.”

“Yes, but ...”

“But nothing, Danny.  It's not our fault.”

Daniel sighed, wanting to believe his husband's statement, but not sure that he could.

As they walked again, Jack spoke, “What you need is a quick pick-me-up.”

“A pick-me-up?” Daniel asked.  “What are you going to do -- send me a fruit basket?”

“Nope.  I'm gonna ...”

Jack took action, surprising his lover by opening a storage closet and pushing him inside.  He locked the door and began to kiss his Love.

“Jack, we don't have to do this anymore.  We can go home and ...”

“Aw, where's your spirit of adventure?” Jack quipped with a bright smile.  “Remember all the good times we had when we still needed to do this?”

Daniel grinned.  He couldn't help it.  They hadn't made out in the storage closet in a long time.  In an odd way, it felt like home.

“And if we get caught, we ...”

Jack laughed, “Quit.”

Both men let out chuckles as they began to kiss and fondle each other, anxious to make contact with each other's skin.  It was going to be a quick make-out session, so they both thought, but the lure of making love one more time in the storage closet got the best of them.

“Uppppppp it goes,” Jack said, his hand working magic on his lover's length.

“Oh, yesssssss!” Daniel replied, just short of losing his ability to speak.

While Jack and Daniel defied regulations yet again, their bodies joining together while personnel passed by the locked space, Casey Hemmings returned to the infirmary to continue his shift.

~It's a lie, Alex.  I swear, though, I'm gonna wash you right out of my hair and ...~  Casey groaned.  ~I am not going to erupt into some silly song.  Okay, Alex.  Lie to yourself.  Have your girl fling.  Try to live on the other side.  Tell folks you're straight.  When your world crashes, don't come running to me.  Suck it up, and, no, I won't be sucking anything of yours.  Hypocrite by omission.~

March had been a rough month for Casey Hemmings, who was lamenting his lack of a love life and his unrequited feelings for Alex Dennison.  Still, deep down, Casey knew he couldn't shake his feelings that easily.  There was just something about Alex that was keeping him hooked.  Maybe he would be around for the big crash after all; he was certain the designer's new girlfriend wouldn't last a month.

====

Meanwhile, for Jack and Daniel, the world was opening up new possibilities they'd never before imagined.  It all centered on their love, and there was an eternity full of that.  Life was about to expand to even new heights for the married couple.

“That was some pick-me-up,” Daniel said as he grinned sappily in the aftermath of what had been a surprisingly intense storage room foray.

“Care for seconds?”

“We don't have time.  We have a brood to go home to,” Daniel said, sighing slightly.

Jack sighed in sad defeat.  He loved the brood, but there was something about these stolen moments that was exhilarating.

“But ... there's always tonight,” Daniel said, arching his eyebrows.  “And tomorrow morning ... and ...”

“Oh, yeah!” Jack agreed, kissing his husband to seal the deal.  “Love you, Angel.”

“Love you, too, my Silver Fox.”

~~Finis - Finished - Done - The End - But is it ever Really?~~
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