Feeling Our Way

Author: Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Romance, First Time
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  NC-17 and NC-17 and NC-17 and NC-17 (oh geez)
Season:  2 - June 26 - July 2, 1998
Spoilers:  Serpent's Lair (minor)
Size:  149kb
Written:  February 18-20,22-24,26, March 4-5, 2004  Revised for consistency: January 14, 2007
Summary:  Jack and Daniel spend their first night together as lovers, and their first week together as soulmates for eternity.
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 past fic(s), “Wish Upon a Star”
4) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Charlotte, Jessi, Quingem, Michelle, Drdjlover, Jackette, Claudia!

Feeling Our Way
by Orrymain

//Thirty Minutes Earlier//
“Wow, look at that, Jack.  What an amazing sight.”

Daniel had turned to look at his best friend who had his eyes closed in deep concentration.

“Jack, are you okay?”

Jack opened his eyes and gazed at Daniel, a smile on his face.

“It was a falling star, Danny.  Don't you know what that means?”

“Oh, sure, you close your eyes and make a wish.  Is ... is that what you were doing?”

'Yeah, I guess so, but ... I think I was being selfish.”

“Selfish?  How?”

“Because I already got the biggest wish in the world.”

“What's that?”

“You.”

//Fifteen Minutes Earlier//
“I'm ... cold, Jack.”

His voice trembled, but Jack wasn't sure if it was from the evening chill or a panicked mind.

“I ... may have a way to fix that.”

Jack's hand was still on his soon-to-be lover's cheek, caressing it now, tenderly, wantonly.

“I was hoping you might ... think of ... something.”

//One Minute Earlier//
With a last look at the night sky as he locked the patio door, Jack whispered “thank you” to a falling star.  From now on, he'd always wish upon a star, and the wish would always be Daniel, safe, alive, and happy in his arms.

//Current Time//
Jack turned around and closed the small gap that stood between himself and a very nervous looking Daniel.  It was understandable; Jack had a few butterflies of his own.  Jack smiled and nodded towards the stairs.  Daniel smiled in response, and Jack took hold of his left hand.  Slowly, without saying a word, they walked up the stairs and through the doorway of the master bedroom.

Daniel gulped, worried he might actually faint from the nervousness flowing through him.  Jack took Daniel in his arms.  “Now, Doctor Jackson, with all we've seen in recent times, this should be a piece of cake.”

“You're kidding me.  You've got to be kidding.  Tell me, you're kidding, Jack!”

Jack laughed, “Okay, I'm kidding.”

Daniel let out a gasp of relief as he admitted, “I'm so nervous.”

“You're not alone,” Jack chuckled, but then grew serious.  “And you never will be, Danny, not anymore.  I love you.”

“I ... I love you, too,” Daniel managed to say, the words truthful, but still hard to say casually.

Their faces moved closer.  They could hear their hearts beating as they kissed again, and this time, Jack flicked his tongue against Daniel's lips.  Daniel opened his mouth, letting the tongue enter and touch his own.  Daniel made a noise as he tried to get closer to Jack, which seemed impossible considering they were practically suctioned together.  He pushed his tongue into Jack's mouth.  It was their deepest kiss yet, enough to make them gasp for air when they stopped.

Jack immediately began a new kiss, going for an even deeper, more intense union.  Each kiss was easier, less strange.  Daniel's lips were becoming familiar, his tongue inviting.  Jack hungered for more.  Daniel felt himself being drawn in to Jack.  He couldn't get close enough.  He moaned softly as the kiss ebbed.

“Geez, I love that.”  Jack saw the questioning look on Daniel's face. “That sound you make.  I make you do that.  Geez, Danny,” Jack said, beginning the next kiss.

Daniel's hands went up to Jack's neck, slowly moving to the back.  His fingers caressed the hairs on the back of the older man's neck.  They continued to kiss, becoming more and more familiar with each other's lips and tongues.  Jack seemed to be taking an inventory of Daniel's teeth, and Daniel appeared to be seeing if he could reach Jack's tonsils.

“Geez, what you do to me.”

“We ... haven't done anything yet, really,” Daniel spoke softly, their eyes glued to each other.

“Time to fix that, don't ya think?”

Daniel nodded, but neither moved, except for their hands.  Jack's hands were rubbing gently against Daniel's lower back.  He pulled up the material of the cotton/polyester burgundy tee Daniel wore and placed his hands on Daniel's skin.

“Gawd.”  Daniel closed his eyes at the touch, just the feeling of Jack's fingers making him lose his breath.  They kissed again, and as they did, Daniel mirrored Jack's movement, reaching under Jack's gray sweatshirt, moving his hands along Jack's back.

The feel of Jack's skin made him shiver.  He felt Jack's body heat move from Jack's back through his own fingers.  Daniel wanted to explore his soon-to-be lover's body.  He wished he could say the words, but he was so afraid that Jack would change his mind.

At the same time, Jack was startled by the shiver that ran down him at the simple touch of Daniel's hand against him.  He wasn't prepared to become Jell-O so fast, but he wasn't sure he could remain standing.  Those fingers made him feel more alive than he had felt in years.

“Clothes.”

“What?”

“Too many clothes,” Daniel breathed into Jack's mouth in between kisses, deciding to risk a boldness he was unaccustomed to.

“Definitely.  Let's do something about that.  Okay?”

They stared into each other's eyes until Daniel braved the first move.  He wasn't sure where he got the willpower, but he was growing desperate to feel Jack.  Slowly, he lifted up the sweatshirt, pulling it over the older man's head.  He tossed it over to a chair that sat in the corner.

Daniel's eyes studied Jack's hairy chest.  He swallowed hard, realizing how attractive he found Jack's chest.  His hands moved to the area, his fingers strolling through the hair there.  For a moment, Daniel was lost in the valley of Jack's chest, mapping it out in his mind, noting each mark or scar.  He was so focused on his task that he was startled when Jack called his name.

“Danny?  It's not like you haven't seen it before.”

“I haven't ... not like this.”

Daniel's voice was soft, timid.  He had never looked at Jack like this before.  Every inch of Jack fascinated him.  He felt like he could spend forever just studying this man who made his heart beat so soulfully.

Jack smiled, and decided it was time to have some fun himself.  He pulled off Daniel's t-shirt and dropped it to the floor.  Then he kissed Daniel again, his hands running freely up and down the younger man's back.

Jack pushed Daniel backwards, carefully steering him to the bed.  Daniel fell onto the brown bedspread, facing a still advancing Jack.  He pushed himself up a foot or two as Jack moved to lean over him.

Jack's hand caressed Daniel's cheek as they gazed at each other.  Daniel's cerulean blue eyes were full of questions, trying hard to see the answers in Jack's chocolate brown eyes.  Daniel was overwhelmed with feelings and desires.  They frightened him.  Jack saw the doubt, the fears.

“We don't have to do this,” Jack spoke in a calm, gentle voice as he continued his caress.  “It's okay, Danny.  I love you, and even if we never ... do this, I'll love you.  It's okay.  We can just ... lay here for awhile.  We ...”

Jack's offer was rejected as Daniel leaned forward, beginning a new round of kisses.

Their bodies began to make demands.  As their hands continued to test their new freedom through touching and massaging, their kisses became more and more needy and demanding.  For a moment, Jack thought they'd explode into some violent quest to get inside of each other.  He didn't want it that way.  Aside from the fact that they barely knew what they were doing, Jack wanted to remember every second of this first time.

“No, I want to do this right,” Jack said, moving off of Daniel and pulling him back up off the bed.  “I want us to remember every second.  We have forever.  I don't want us to rush it.”

Daniel froze, thinking Jack had changed his mind after all.  “You ... you don't want to ...”

“Danny, geez, I want you,” Jack kissed him, and for the first time, Jack moved his hands downward and inside the back of Daniel's blue jeans.

“Oh,” Daniel said, understanding, mirroring the movement.

Jack seemed to flinch, and when Daniel looked at him to figure out what he was doing, Jack made a more flamboyant movement.  “Shoes.  They are such a pain at times like these.”

Daniel chuckled lightly and watched his almost-lover kicking off his shoes.  After doing the same himself, they kissed some more.

“This is ... good,” Jack said.  He smiled softly as he moved to unfasten the top button of Daniel's jeans.

Daniel's breathing hitched slightly.  He was anxious, his heart pounding, but the anticipation was exciting.  Surprising himself, Daniel couldn't wait.  Besides, he needed Jack to understand that he wanted this as much as Jack did.

Daniel took the lead, unfastening the button to Jack's jeans and pulling down the zipper.  He wasn't sure he could breathe, but he kept going.  He needed to find something to center himself so he chose Jack's delectable chin.  There was nothing noble about the chin, but it had character and strength.  Then Daniel found himself moving down, sliding the jeans over Jack's ... erection?

The young man stared.

“Yeah, that would be for you,” Jack said with a grin.

“Mine.” Daniel said, knowing it was a silly thing to say, and yet, Jack was his, all his.  At least, Daniel hoped he was, but his inhibitions got the better of him again.

Realizing this, Jack stepped out of the jeans and pulled Daniel upright for another kiss to refocus on their goal.  Then, he unzipped Daniel's blue jeans.  He paused to run his hand over Daniel's groin.  Jack smiled. “Mine,” he whispered as he kissed Daniel once more.

Jack slid down in unison with the jeans and Daniel stepped out of them. Jack pulled off Daniel's socks, too, rubbing the young man's feet for a moment as he did so.

On his knees, Jack looked up at Daniel's expectant yet terrified eyes.

“I love you, Daniel,” Jack said as he placed a hand on Daniel's shaft, surrounding it.  He began to stroke lightly.

Daniel placed his hands on Jack's shoulders as Jack moved his hand in rhythm back and forth along the length.  He leaned close and kissed one side.

“Jack.”

Jack wasn't sure if it was a comment or a question.  He thought maybe Daniel wasn't ready, emotionally.  He stood up.

“Danny, are you okay?”

“Gawd, sometimes you're so dense,” Daniel said, kissing Jack again.

Jack pulled Daniel as close to him as he could.  Their erections rubbed together as they swayed in their hold, eliciting moans from both men. Their eyes locked onto each other.

“Let's get more comfortable,” Jack said, thinking the bed was the best option.  He took a moment to pull down the spread and sheets, then took Daniel's hand and pulled him onto the bed.

Jack rolled them over, making sure Daniel was in a good position.  He placed a trail of kisses from Daniel's Adam's Apple down to his belly button.

Daniel giggled.

“Giggling?  Daniel, you're giggling.”

“I don't giggle!” the younger man insisted with fervor.

Jack grinned broadly.  Daniel had the sweetest laugh, but he didn't let it out often.  Jack decided to test a bit more.  He flicked his tongue, kissed, even sucked a bit just above and around Daniel's belly button, and the young man laughed more.

“Gawd, Jack.”

“You're ticklish!” the colonel accused, proud and happy about his discovery.

“Am not.”

Jack licked the spot again, receiving more laughter from Daniel in response.  “I love your laugh.  You're going to laugh more from now on, Danny.  I promise.”

Daniel was still trying to settle from his laughter.  Inside, he wondered what it would be like to laugh a lot, to not be afraid.  He wanted to believe Jack, but life just didn't go that way for Daniel.  Still, he didn't want to think about the future.  He just wanted this moment, to feel Jack's love seep into his skin.

And then Jack flicked his tongue at the end of Daniel's shaft.  Daniel closed his eyes in bliss and anticipation.  Jack put his mouth around the tip, sucking lightly.  Daniel made a noise that excited Jack.  He was learning that turning Daniel on, making him respond, was very erotic.  He loved it, that he was responsible for every sound and quiver of Daniel's lean body.  Daniel was his, and that filled Jack with a loving power he wasn't sure he had ever experienced before.

Wanting to taste as much of Daniel as he could, Jack moved Daniel's length back and forth in his mouth, until he seemed to swallow it whole.

“Gawd, oh gawd,” Daniel gasped as his hands pressed into Jack's shoulders.  “Jack ... oh yes.”

Daniel's gasped words made Jack work the hardened length more vigorously, increasing the speed of the sliding movements and the intensity of the pressure he was applying with his tongue.  Jack moved his hands to Daniel's hips, pressing on them gently to keep Daniel from thrusting too hard.  He really didn't want to ruin this by triggering his gag reflex.

To his surprise, he found he was eager to try and swallow Daniel to the root, but not on their first time.  He slid his hands a little along Daniel's hips as his mouth closed more forcefully around Daniel's length.

“Oh ... Ja...Jack ... I ... I ...” Daniel began, unable to complete his thought.  closed his eyes as he came, a release that emptied into Jack's mouth.  Jack swallowed a few times, relishing the taste, then wiped away the excess as he moved up to see Daniel's batting eyelashes.  He leaned in for a kiss.  ~Like this.~

Daniel tasted himself in Jack's mouth.  It was uniquely erotic, and it made him want to taste Jack.  Still breathing hard, he flipped them over, causing Jack to laugh.

“Careful, Dannyboy.  I'm older than you.”

“Want you,” Daniel said as he went about his mission.

Jack saw the darkening eyes, silently pondering, ~Wow, he really does want me.~  The older man was full of his own doubts.  Although he acted confident, he also questioned the relationship that was blooming with each instant that passed.  Why would Daniel want him?  There was a decade of time between them.  They had lived different lives, and ... and Daniel was beautiful.  What was Jack?  ~Just a scarred, beat up old colonel with bad knees.~  Having seen the lust in Daniel's eyes, Jack's heart had swelled.  ~Maybe, just maybe.~

Jack's focus returned to the moment as Daniel kissed his way towards Jack's needy shaft.

Daniel had never kissed a hairy chest before.  He laughed a little.

“Funny?  You're laughing?” Jack questioned, tilting his head as he spoke.

“Tickles!” Daniel smiled, and for a moment, there was nothing in Daniel's life but Jack and laughter.

The younger man was free, and the feeling was incredible, and then it was over, the short laugh dissipating, and the reality of life and all its pain had reemerged.  But Daniel refused to give in.  He had a task to finish, and he wanted to know what it was like.  He wanted it.  He wanted Jack.

Daniel studied the erection before him carefully, as if it were an artifact. Then he licked it, from the root to its tip, first on the right side, then on the left.  Jack felt his muscles tightening as his excitement grew.  Daniel put his mouth around the edge of Jack's length and began sucking on it as if he were eating a lollipop, slowly, not wanting any bit of it to escape his mouth.

After having tasted a bit of the fluid that escaped from Jack's length, Daniel felt something strange happen to him.  He'd had sex before, obviously, but he had never felt this wired.  With each moan Jack made, and as he saw Jack's body responding to his actions, Daniel felt pleasure.  He'd never affected anyone like this, not even Sha're.  No, he wouldn't think about Sha're now.  He couldn't.

Daniel wrapped his tongue around the length, flicking it teasingly, causing Jack to moan again.

Jack leaned his head forward, his fingers quickly running through Daniel's shaggy hair, and called out, “Gawd ... Daniel ... Love you.”  He grimaced from his body's reactions.  He knew he was on the edge.  Daniel swallowed as much of Jack as he could and moved his tongue swiftly around the pulsating length.  “DAN ... IEL ... Geeeeeeez,” the older man shouted as he came.

Daniel had never tasted anything quite like Jack's release.  He couldn't describe it, how it filled his being, except that was powerful.  He moved up onto Jack's chest and kissed it in three places before Jack's hands reached up to cup Daniel's face, and they kissed.

Totally contented, Daniel laid his head on Jack's chest.  He closed his eyes as Jack's arms wrapped around him.  He felt the strong hands caressing his back, making small motions that felt so good against his skin.  But Daniel noticed something else ... the beat of Jack's heart.

~Safe.  I feel so safe.~  Daniel listened, concentrated on the sound, on each thump and beat.  “Safe,” he whispered, unaware he had spoken it aloud.

“I'll always keep you safe, Danny.  Always.”

Daniel's eyes opened, stunned by the comment, and then he spoke, “I ... I ... Jack?”

“I love you, Danny.  Love you so friggin' much.”

“I love you, too.  Gawd, Jack.  Love you.”

Jack knew it would take time for Daniel to trust their relationship, to trust him in this new intimacy they shared.  He'd give Daniel all the time in the world.  It would be easy, because Jack loved Daniel to the ends of the Earth, and beyond.

The new lovers didn't say anything for awhile.  Jack rubbed Daniel's back, and Daniel listened to Jack's heart.  He moved his left hand to walk through Jack's hairy chest, and that made him smile.

Jack felt the grin and questioned, “What?”  Daniel felt timid, so Jack had to urge him on.  “Danny?”

“Like it.”

“Like what?” Jack asked.

“This,” Daniel said, his fingers playing with the hairy chest.

Jack laughed, “Well, I'm glad it's finally good for something.”

“Sexy,” Daniel said, and then he almost gasped.  He couldn't believe he had said that.

“Yeah?  You think so?”

Daniel nodded, admitting it again, “Very sexy.”

“I love you, Space Monkey.”

“Space Monkey.  Where'd you come up with that?”

“It's just ... you.”

Daniel rolled his eyes, and the two settled again, growing quiet.  Each was harboring silent thoughts, their minds racing with questions and wondering what was next.

“Daniel?”

“Jack?”

Their names were spoken at the same time. Daniel raised his head to look at Jack, and they both smiled.

“Jack?”

“We really don't know what we're doing, but ...”

“But ... we'll figure it out ... now.”

“Now?”

“Now would be good,” Daniel said softly.  “... if ... I mean ...”

Jack rolled Daniel back onto his back and they kissed for a few minutes. Then, their eyes locked again.  Jack felt a strange shyness himself.  He was afraid of scaring his friend away, of wanting too much, but he wanted to feel Daniel in him, to know that sensation.  Only what if Daniel didn't want it?  What if this was all he was ready for?  Jack worried Daniel was just going along with him.  This man he loved so much wasn't known for expressing thoughts about his own wants, needs, and desires.

Daniel's heart was pounding, and butterflies filled his stomach.  He wanted so much more, though he was a bit afraid of the action he desired.  Maybe Jack didn't want the same thing.  Maybe he couldn't perform well enough.  Those thoughts had worried him all night, about the potential for disappointing his love.  His need was bulging within him.  He wanted the sensation of Jack's length pulsating inside him, to know what that was like.  But he couldn't say it.  He couldn't bear the rejection.

Jack's eyes connected with Daniel's.  One of them had to say it, or at least push them beyond this wall of fear.

“I'll bottom and you can ...” the colonel began, stopping when he saw the flutter in his Love's eyes, eyes that held some fear within them.

Daniel shook his head, his eyes a conflicting sea of blue.  Jack studied those beautiful eyes carefully.  He couldn't afford to make the wrong assumption.  Daniel wanted him.  Jack was sure of it, as sure as his own self-doubts would let him believe.

“I don't want to hurt you.  I mean, this is bound to ...”

“We didn't plan this very well.”

“Plan?  Who planned?  I never thought this could happen, that you'd ... love me.  You're so beautiful, Danny, like a work of art.  Look at you ... smooth,” Jack kissed the side of Daniel's neck.”

“Oh, gawd,” Daniel moaned.  Jack took note of the spot.  Daniel liked that ... a lot!

“We ... need something.”  Jack looked around, deciding they both wanted the same thing.  Jack was afraid of hurting Daniel, and he knew Daniel would be afraid of the same thing.  In the end, Jack decided that had been the reason for Daniel's shaking of his head.

“I'm a friggin' colonel in the Air Force.  I'm supposed to be better prepared than this.”

“Like a Boy Scout?” Daniel said lightly, unable to stop a smile from forming on his face.

“Definitely not a Boy Scout, but I should have thought ahead.”

“So you knew we'd be here, doing ... this?”

“I love you, Danny,” Jack said, feeling a bit calmer.  Daniel's subtle message was right.  This entire night hadn't been anticipated, so Jack shouldn't be frustrated or blaming himself for lack of proper preparation.

“But still, we need ...”

Daniel pulled Jack to him for a kiss, then asserted, “I don't freakin' care.”

It was Daniel's strongest voiced comment yet.  His eyes spoke words his voice couldn't yet express.  It verified for Jack that his assessment of their situation had been correct.

“It'll hurt.  It has to.  We're not used to this, Danny,” Jack said, his mind doing an inventory of what was in the bathroom that might be useful.  “Wait a second,” he requested as got off the bed and went into the bathroom.  He returned a minute later with a bottle of lotion.  Sitting on the side of the bed, he opened it and poured a generous amount of the liquid on both of his hands.  “Tomorrow, we go shopping, but for now, this should do the trick.”

Daniel watched, fascinated.  He felt like he was in the middle of a dream he didn't want to wake up from.  They were about to do something Daniel hadn't ever before contemplated doing until this night.

~This is so different.  I'm scared, Jack.  I've never felt like this, not with Sarah ... or ... anyone~ Daniel forced the thoughts of Sha're out of his mind before he good even think her name.  What he knew was that he had never been so in love with someone before making love with them as he was in this moment, with Jack.  Normally, those first time nerves had allowed Daniel to just deal with the physical aspects of the act, but this time, this time was different.

~I don't understand.  I love him more this second than I did an hour ago on the roof.  How is that possible?~

“Danny, you're thinking too hard,” Jack said, observing the scrunched up nose of his ... lover.  Jack smiled at the word.  He liked it ... a lot!

Jack had an idea.  He hoped they were doing this right, but regardless, he just wanted Daniel to feel loved, pampered, and wanted.  He kept the bottle close, on the edge of the nightstand.  Then Jack climbed over Daniel, stopping briefly to give him a kiss.

Gently, he moved Daniel over onto his left side.  Preferring to lean on the side of caution, Jack reached for a bit more lotion.  Maybe he had enough.  Maybe he didn't.  He wasn't sure.  This was all new territory, but he'd rather die than hurt Daniel, so Jack made sure there was a generous amount of lotion on his hands once again.

Moments later, Jack began a tender massage with the make-shift lubricant, his hand running along Daniel's side, slowly, teasingly, before reaching Daniel's buttocks.

“I love you, Danny,” Jack said, as he pulled in close behind the younger man.  Carefully, Jack reached with his hand and inserted a finger, pushing gently but firmly past the ring of muscle blocking his entry.

“Oh ... wow,” Daniel called out.

“Does it hurt?”

Thoughtfully, the archaeologist replied, “Not really.  It, uh, feels a little weird, though.”

“Weird?”

“Good weird,” Daniel said quickly, not wanting Jack to stop what he was doing.

Daniel really didn't know what to make of the sensation he was feeling. He'd felt his muscles involuntarily clamp around Jack's finger.  The thought of Jack's finger filled him with a warmth he'd never felt before, and, without realizing it, Daniel discovered his internal muscles had relaxed and he wanted more.  He needed more.
 
Jack made a circular motion with his finger, keeping a close eye on Daniel's reaction.  He'd felt Daniel's muscles clamp around his finger, but after a couple of minutes, he noticed Daniel's muscles were no longer anchored so tightly around the invading digit.  In fact, Daniel was beginning to thrust back a little, as if trying to take it further inside him.  Slowly, Jack pulled out his finger.  Daniel sighed from the loss.

“Danny?”

“More,” the eager explorer requested without thinking, being, for the moment at least, on automatic mode, which was a good thing considering how timid he felt.

Gently, Jack slid in two fingers.  He didn't move them for a moment, just let them sit there.  He felt Daniel's impatience and wished Daniel would say something, but he knew Daniel wasn't confident enough to express his sexual desires and pleasures, at least not yet.  Jack made another mental note to add that to the list of things to help overcome in the future.

Jack made the same circular motions, this time adding a bit of a scissoring motion with his fingers.  Thinking back on the small amount of reading he'd done, he began searching with his fingers for the hidden gland that would hopefully make the experience enjoyable for Daniel.  A few seconds later he found it, and as his fingers tapped gently against Daniel's prostate he was rewarded with another loud moan.
 
Daniel was beyond desperate for more than just Jack's fingers causing him to experience these new sensations.  He really wanted to feel his lover inside him, to be connected with Jack in the most complete way they could.  He hadn't ever realized how much he had wanted this, this union of their bodies, and yet, it had barely begun.  Then, all rational thought left him as Jack's fingers brushed against his prostate again creating an exquisite feeling of bliss.
 
As Jack continued to brush Daniel's prostate, he noticed his lover's burgeoning erection, a sure sign that Daniel was enjoying this experience.  He withdrew, and again Daniel let out a regretful sigh.  Jack quickly reinserted the two fingers, just for a moment, and then pulled them out.

It was a bit of an experiment.  Jack was discovering that even more than pleasing himself, he wanted to please Daniel.  He smiled inside as he pledged to make it his mission for eternity to find out exactly what made Daniel happy, and then do everything he could to please him.

“Freakin' do it, Jack,” Daniel said sternly.

~Okay, progress.~  Jack made a mental note to remember teasing as a way to get Daniel to fess up to his wants and needs.

“Patience, Love,” Jack said, using the endearment he had used for the first time just an hour ago up on the roof deck.

Jack slid three fingers inside his lover, making solid contact with Daniel's most sensitive areas, rolling them around and getting Daniel used to the contact and sensation.  He was rewarded with some more moans and Daniel moving back, trying to draw the digits further into him.  When Jack removed his fingers, Daniel again made an unhappy sound.

“You ready, Love?”

Daniel nodded.  Much to his surprise, he wasn't feeling nervous about what was going to happen.  He was feeling cared for, and most of all, he was feeling loved.

There was something else, too.  Daniel had never been one for nicknames or endearments.  Not only did Jack have an abundance of nicknames, creating new ones almost daily, but now, as they entered this new arena, Jack was whispering words of adoration and affection, calling Daniel his “Love.”  Daniel was surprised to discover he liked that.

~I like being your Love, Jack~  Jack's next movement spun Daniel into a new heaven he had never been in before, reinforcing the idea that being Jack's love was a good thing.
 
Taking a huge breath, Jack moved his shaft to Daniel's entrance and began to push.  He heard Daniel's gasp at the relentless pressure before the muscles gave way and allowed Jack inside.  Resisting the urge to thrust, Jack stayed still to give Daniel time to adjust to his size and presence.  He couldn't believe how good it felt.  Nothing had ever felt quite as good as this.  It hadn't even been this good with Sara, and Jack had always thought their sex had been incredibly awesome.

“Oh gawd,” Daniel gasped, his breath hitching.  There had been some pain as Jack had entered him, and he had involuntarily tensed.  Jack's erection felt huge.  Yet, as soon as that thought entered his mind, a warm glow spread through him and he found himself relaxing once again.  Jack was inside him.  Jack loved him, wanted him.  As he relaxed, the pain began to diminish.

“Love you, Danny,” Jack said.

“Jack ... love you.”  Daniel moved Jack's hand to his abdomen as if to keep Jack from withdrawing and moving away.

Jack began by moving in and out slowly a few times.  He tried to go further inside Daniel and moved a bit more quickly.  Daniel called his name and squeezed the hand he held. Jack struggled a little to get into a position that gave him decent support and leverage.

As his motions continued, Jack wasn't satisfied.  He watched Daniel, and didn't think he was either.

“Danny, I ... I think we should move.”

“Me, too.  Uh, um, gawd.”  Daniel was nervous.  It felt strange, a bit painful, but good, and he was eager for more than Jack seemed to be able to give from the side position they had adopted.

Jack withdrew, gently shifting a bit beside Daniel.  “Doggie style?”

“Horrible name for it,” Daniel lamented.  He'd immediately felt the loss as Jack had left him and wanted that feeling of connection back.

“As a dog lover, I agree.  As your lover, I'm dying here.  Let's try it.”

“My lover,” Daniel sighed, a smile on his face as he moved on the full sized bed, settling into a position on his hands and knees.  “Gawd, what an embarrassing position.  You know, Jack, in ancient cultures, many societies ...”

“Daniel, we're busy here.”

“Uh, sorry,” Daniel said, realizing he was about to ramble on because he felt silly.

“Don't worry, Love.  I'll be the silly looking one, soon.”

“Somehow, Jack, that's not very comforting.”

Jack scooted up behind Daniel.  He got a devilish smile, leaning over to kiss each of Daniel's butt cheeks.  That's when Daniel again found his voice.  He also stopped caring about how ridiculous he must look.  After all, it wasn't like anyone could see him.

“Kiss me later, Jack.  Gawd!”  Daniel had decided he was thinking too much.  It was time to get back to the program at hand -- lovemaking with Jack.

Jack laughed.  Daniel just needed to be prodded a little, and he'd say what he wanted.  Jack vowed he would do a detailed study on the young man, learning every crevice, every indentation, every freckle, every everything that was Daniel Jackson.

Making Daniel happy, giving him pleasure, seeing him laugh, and sending his lover to new heights of euphoria was now Jack's mission.  He wanted to know where to touch to cause Daniel to shiver, where to kiss that would turn Daniel into a quivering mass of Jell-O, where to place his fingers to make Daniel let out that little sound of delight Jack was learning to love with a passion.

Loving Daniel, every inch of him, gave Jack joy.  He determined his study would take the rest of their lives to complete, and even then, it wouldn't be complete.

Taking a quick look around, Jack tried to figure out where he wanted to put his hands.  He wasn't sure if he wanted to loom over Daniel and try to place his hands on the bed, put them on Daniel's shoulders and back, or what.  Finally, he settled on Daniel's lower back for a start.

Slowly, Jack again entered Daniel.

Daniel's head moved down, absorbing the feel of Jack's length.  It was strange and wonderful.  It hurt, and yet he wanted Jack to go deeper inside him.  After a few moments, Jack began to move back and forth.

“Tight, Danny.  Maybe ...”

“No.”

Despite Daniel's protest, Jack felt an uneasiness in his lover.  He withdrew for a moment and shifted his position a bit.  Then, he entered Daniel again.  Jack went further ... and further ... and further inside his lover until he was solidly impacting Daniel's prostate.

Daniel moaned, and as Jack moved Daniel seemed to move in motion with him.  They were like two pieces of a puzzle locked together.  It was the best moment thus far as they worked to discover what pleasured them both.

“Jack ... Yes ... There ... Gawd!” Daniel found himself calling out to his lover.

The sweat was beginning to roll off Jack's brow.  Daniel was sweating, too, as he tried to take in all that he could of his lover.  The impacts from Jack's length resulted in emotions and physical reactions that Daniel hadn't felt before; they were sensations he wanted more of.  He tried to angle his body to give Jack even better access.  He groaned from the feelings as Jack grunted from his efforts.

Having Jack inside him was making Daniel feel a completion he had never imagined.  ~I had no idea.~  He was unable to process much more than that as his pulse was raced and his blood pressure rose rapidly.

“Danny ... love you ... love ... you,” Jack panted as his thrusts grew in force.

Daniel's body was thriving from the powerful barrage against his prostate.  It was taking him to a place he'd never been before.  He couldn't think, and that was unusual.  His mind was drifting, letting the sexual act consume him completely.  He had never felt so open before, so vulnerable.

Just when Daniel thought he couldn't take any more, he felt Jack's hands move.  Daniel gasped and cried out Jack's name when the older man took Daniel's erect shaft in his hand and began to stroke it, keeping pace with his thrusts.  It was an overwhelming unison, to be worked so thoroughly inside and out.

Jack was at the end.  He felt his abdomen tighten to its limit.  His veins were bulging.  He was on the verge of letting go.

“Dan...ny ... ready ... geez ...”

Even pushed to his limit, Daniel wanted more.  He wished he could speak the words, but he couldn't.  He was afraid of pushing Jack.  Daniel wasn't used to speaking up for what he wanted, so he said nothing.

Jack grunted and gave a final thrust at the same time he squeezed once more on Daniel's length.  Within seconds of Jack's release, Daniel came.

“My Jack,” Daniel gasped and then fell forward onto the bed, totally spent.

Jack eased down atop him, exhausted and satiated, and spoke, “Love you, Danny,” though he wondered where he found the energy to speak.

“Too,” was all Daniel could manage.

Both men were almost afraid to speak.  This new experience had been beyond their expectations.  It had been a bit awkward, but once they had found their way it had awakened senses in them they didn't know they had.

As Jack withdrew, Daniel felt bereft, the feeling of connection not leaving him but diminishing.

Jack moved to his side of the bed.  He leaned over and brushed the hair off of Daniel's face before placing a kiss on Daniel's cheek, another on his neck, and then on the side of his nose.

Daniel chuckled, “Tickles.”

“Love you so much,” Jack stated, unable to speak the words enough.

Daniel opened his eyes, smiled, and replied, “I love you, too.”

Lying on his back, Jack reached out for his lover.  Daniel moved over and put his head against Jack's neck.  He moved his arms awkwardly, trying to find just where he wanted to place them.  Jack moved just a tad to his right to get more comfortable on the pillow.  Daniel lifted his head.  It wasn't the spot he wanted to be in, but he wasn't sure what spot he did want.

“Hey, what?” Jack asked.  Daniel shrugged, and then smiled.  “What, Danny?”

“Heartbeat,” Daniel said as he adjusted his body so he could lay his head across Jack's chest.  ~Aw, yes.~

The younger man heard the sound, the beat still rapid from their rapture together, and smiled.  Jack's arms reached across Daniel's back, surrounding the younger man.

Daniel flinched a bit, still not entirely comfortable.  He scooted his left arm up and around until he stopped to play with Jack's chest hairs again.  “Hmmm,” he sounded aloud, finally finding just the right place for his arms.

Jack loved all of Daniel's little noises.  He kept his left hand on Daniel's back, but moved his right to hold Daniel's hand.  Daniel tugged the joined hands towards him and kissed the hand that held is.  Then, he leaned up for a moment to kiss Jack on the lips.  The motion caused his left leg to climb over Jack's, so that when he settled again his leg remained hooked over Jack's left leg.

“This is right,” Daniel whispered, feeling a oneness in their position.  “I ...”

“I like it, too, Danny.”  Jack smiled and placed a kiss atop Daniel's shaggy hair.

“Jack?” The voice was timid, unassuming.

“I loved it.  I love you.  You?”

“Mmmm.”

“I'll take that as an agreement.”

“Mmmm.”

Jack chuckled.  How he loved Daniel!  And how lucky he felt that they were together.  Only hours earlier he had thought Daniel had died on the Goa'uld ship, and now, now Daniel was his lover.  He had wished on a falling star, and miraculously his dream had come true.

Jack's hands never stopped roaming Daniel's body.  It felt so good to have this warmth on him.  He laughed softly.

“What?”

“I have a nice warm Danny blanket, and I like it.”

Daniel smiled, confessing, “I ... I like my Jack pillow, too.”

“I'll always be your pillow.”

“Promise?”

Jack heard a tenderness in the question that reeked of vulnerability.  It broke his heart to know Daniel had such little self-esteem when it came to relationships.

“I promise, Love.  This pillow is all yours.  Comes with a lifetime guarantee!”  Daniel lifted his head, the need to see Jack's eyes compelling him to move.  Jack smiled.  “All yours, Danny.”

Daniel leaned down and the two began to kiss again.

Jack was amazed at the overwhelming passion he felt for Daniel.  His need to feel him, to touch, caress, kiss everything was almost beyond his control.  Maybe it was because he had wanted Daniel for so long, but never thought his dream of having him would come true?  Jack didn't know why for sure, except that his love was powerful.  His insides were screaming for more.  He knew now what it was like to have Daniel, to please him, to feel the warmth of Daniel, but Jack's body had an urgent need to extend its knowledge.

“I want you, Danny,” Jack whispered.

Daniel began to roll off of Jack but the older man stopped him, shaking his head slightly.

“No, Love.  I want to know what you felt.  I want you inside me,” Jack pleaded with lust and love.

Daniel's eyes were locked onto Jack's.  He was afraid and nervous.  What if he couldn't do it?  Or what if he hurt Jack?  He knew it was a little painful, though well worth it for the bliss he had experienced when Jack had topped him, but Daniel didn't want to hurt his lover.  He couldn't bear the thought of causing Jack pain, and knowing his luck, he was bound to mess it up.

What if it wasn't good enough?  This was still their first night together as lovers. What if he was responsible for the only bad moment?  What if Jack was disappointed?  Would Jack laugh?  Everyone laughed at Daniel.  Would Jack leave?  Everyone he had ever cared about left him, disappearing from his life.  He wanted to give Jack what the older man wanted, but his fear of failure and of ultimately losing Jack frightened Daniel into speechlessness and inaction.

The archaeologist's eyes were watery, his stomach full of knots.  His pulse raced, and his mind was so full of thoughts and jumbled emotions that Daniel was frozen as he stared at Jack, unable to move.

“Hey, it's okay.  One step at a time, Love.  Don't think.  Just ... do.  I love you.  You won't hurt me.  I want this ... please.”

Jack could see Daniel's breathing deepen.  He knew his lover was anxious and unsure, but they had to get beyond this.  He decided to use Daniel's sense of fairness and logic ... that had always worked.

“Hey, it's only fair, right?  Why should you get to have all the fun and experiences?  It's my turn.  You aren't going to be selfish, are you?”

“You're so full of it, O'Neill,” Daniel said weakly, knowing Jack's words were designed to motivate him into action.  One way or the other, it was working.

“Probably,” Jack laughed, “but I want to be full of you.  I want to feel your force loving me.  Do it, Danny.”

“Okay,” Daniel said scooting down, “roll over.”

“No, I want to see your eyes.”

“But ...” Daniel's heart began to beat even faster.  He just knew his blood pressure had doubled, even if that wasn't possible, but it sure felt like it.

“I want to see your beautiful eyes.  Just look at me.  Focus on me, Love. Come on,” Jack said, readjusting himself, spreading his legs slightly in invitation.

“Come here, Danny,” Jack beckoned, seeing Daniel's hesitation.  When Daniel moved up, the older man caressed the younger man's cheeks and pulled him down for a wet kiss.  He smiled.  “Make love to me, Danny.  Show me ... show me your love.  I love you.  Show me,” he demanded softly before kissing his soulmate again.

Daniel took a deep breath, deciding to push his fear away.  He hungered for Jack. He did want this.  He needed to focus, so again, he thought of Jack as his favorite, most precious artifact.  He slipped his tongue inside Jack's mouth for another kiss, then laid down a series of kisses from Jack's cheeks to his pectoral muscles.  Daniel licked and flicked his tongue against the skin.

“Geez,” Jack sighed at the feeling, his hands running along Daniel's arms, warming them as Daniel continued his 'study'.

Daniel placed more kisses as he worked his way down to Jack's hardened length. Unable to resist, Daniel flicked his tongue teasingly against the tip of the shaft, causing Jack to quiver, his head moving forward in want.

Daniel reached over and grabbed the lotion.  Jack watched as Daniel poured some onto his hand, and then more, and more.

“Danny, that'll do it.  You aren't going to hurt me.  We love each other ... and this is part of it.  It's okay.”

Daniel sighed as he put the bottle back on the nightstand and moved back into place.  This was a bit strange.  He wasn't sure of the best angle.  He continued to study the region in question.

“For crying out loud, Daniel, will you just ... oh gawd.  Oh yeah!” Jack responded when Daniel inserted a finger, tapping it lightly around the area.  “Oh geez, Danny.  You just love to play, don't you?”

“Only with you,” Daniel dared a chuckle.

Jack laughed, “Well play ... harder.”

Daniel withdrew his finger and Jack felt a horrible loss.

“Geez, if that's just from a finger.  Oh man, I can only ... oh my ... yes, want you, Danny,” Jack expressed when Daniel put in two fingers, rubbing them slightly against Jack's prostate, and then twisting them a bit inside his lover.

Daniel heard Jack's moans and the need for more in his voice.  He liked making Jack happy.  It was making him feel good.  Daniel slid in three fingers.

“Danny ... oh yeah, Babe.  Give me more.  Come on, Love.  I want you.”

“Babe?”

“You gonna argue over a word or ...”

“Or I think.”

“Or would be good, Danny, the sooner the 'or' the better,” Jack begged, anxious for action.

Daniel shifted again.  He wasn't sure where to put his hands.

~It's always my hands,~ the archaeologist lamented.

Nervously, Daniel leaned forward a bit and gently caressed Jack's chest as he struggled with his debate.  Slowly, his silent battle was diminishing as his own thirst for Jack began to take over.

“Danny, do it.”  Jack slid his hands down Daniel's sides, pressing his fingers slightly into the younger man's body.  “Look at me.  Just at me.  Do it.”

With another breath to calm him, Daniel entered Jack.  He didn't move much, wanting to give Jack time to adjust.

Jack closed his eyes for a minute, and Daniel was afraid he was hurting his lover, so he withdrew.

“Hey, where are you going?  Get back here.”

“But ...”

“Daniel, geez, stop your teasing and get in here!”

“I don't do orders,” Daniel smiled, entering Jack again.  But he was still timid as he moved very slowly and gently inside Jack.

“Danny ... geez ... more ... give it more,” Jack urged, knowing Daniel was still afraid of hurting him.

Daniel moved a bit quicker, but he wasn't going deep, so Jack decided to take matters into his own hands.  As Daniel continued his motion, Jack slid his hands down to his lover's rear.  Caressing gently while getting in synch with the movements, Jack pressed Daniel to him.

Jack shouted out from the initial impact.

“Jack?”

“Oh gawd.  Women complain about this?  They're insane!  Hard, Danny.  Come on -- NOW!” Jack was growing desperate, his body definitely controlling him now.

Daniel's hands pressed hard against Jack's shoulders, but as his speed increased he moved them to grasp the sheets next to his lover.  Jack leaned forward a bit as Daniel labored.  Their breathing became more difficult, both panting or gasping for air as they worked harder at their lovemaking.

Jack's legs hooked up a bit, trying to give his lover a better angle and more access.  Daniel pounded against Jack's prostrate.

“Dan...ny ... Love you ... faster Danny ... don't be afraid ... give it to me hard, Love.  Show me ... love me ... Gawd ... yes, whoa, yes -- there -- Emerald City tiiiime ... DANNY!  GAWD YES!” Jack's volume and cries increased with Daniel's efforts.

Daniel's thrusts were now done with a lightning speed and with a force that felt like a jackhammer against Jack.  Their bodies were sweating, their pulses racing faster than ever.  Daniel's need for Jack had temporarily suppressed all his nervousness and anxiety.

“Jack ... oh gawd, Jack ... need you ... want ... want you ...”

“I love you, Danny ... don't stop ... good ... this is so good ... My Danny ... mine,” Jack gasped.

“Mine,” Daniel repeated almost mindlessly, but then he wanted to say it again, to reinforce it.  He tried not to think.  He wasn't used to being possessive, but right then, Jack was his, and that's all that mattered.  As his shaft continued its barrage against Jack's prostate, Daniel's tone was its most forceful yet.  “Mine ... mine ... gawd, all mine.”

Jack smiled inside.  If he weren't grimacing from the sensations of his body, he would have smiled on the outside, too.

“Yes, Danny.  Yours -- all yours, forever!  Yours!”

Jack wondered how long this feeling could continue.  Daniel was going on much longer than Jack had.  ~No complaints.  This is ... incredible.~

“Gaaaawd,” Daniel exclaimed, totally surprised at his stamina.  He couldn't get enough, and that added to his nervousness.  This exceeded anything he had ever felt before.

As Daniel's sweat dripped onto Jack's moistened chest, Jack moved his hand to work his own shaft, which was demanding attention.  Daniel's head dipped down in concentration before he rammed into Jack one last powerful time.  He grunted loudly and Jack yelled Daniel's name.  Daniel didn't move as his release flowed inside his lover.

Jack worked his length a bit more until he came, his eyes closing from the feelings circulating inside him.  His chest was moving up and down heavily, and then Daniel collapsed onto him.  Their convulsing bodies were clamoring for air until their breathing began to even out.

“Oh Danny ... you're so beautiful, so ... incredible.  Geez, what you do to me!”

Jack tried to assess these new sensations, but he wasn't sure he knew how to process them.  What he did know was that it was one of the best experiences of his life, even if awkward in places.  He knew they'd get better and better at this.  That thought alone almost made Jack hard again.

“Danny,” Jack said again.  “I love you so much.”  Daniel didn't say anything.  “Danny?  Daniel?”  Jack looked down at his all-too-quiet lover, “DANNY?  Hey ... DANIEL!”  Panic-stricken, Jack rolled them over, shaking his lover.

“Wha...what?”  Daniel's eyes fluttered open as Jack settled the younger man onto his back.

“Hey, you with me?  You passed out, Danny.  Scared me half to death.”

“Passed ... passed out? ... But we ... I mean ... we ... didn't we?”

Jack smiled and kissed his lover.  “Oh yeah.  Big time.  You were awesome, Love.”

“Awesome?”

Jack saw the doubt.  “I love you so much.  What you give me, it's all I've ever wanted.  You're beautiful and sexy.” Jack ran his hands along Daniel's lips.  “Love these lips, so tender and succulent.” Jack kissed Daniel before adding, “And this chin, hmmm, love the strength of character.  Every piece of you makes me want you even more.”  Jack smiled, seeing the request in Daniel's eyes, the words Daniel wanted to say but couldn't.

“Jack?  Jack ... I ...”

“Shh.” Jack kissed Daniel.  “Danny, I know you're scared.  I know you've been hurt.  You don't have to say the words.  Someday you will, and when that day comes, I'll be the happiest man in the world.”

“It's ... not really fair, though.  I mean, gawd, Jack, you make me feel so ...”

“... Wanted?  Loved?  Desired?  Needed?  You are, Danny.  How could anyone not want you?  But you're mine, and I plan to make it a lifetime project to spoil you rotten.”

“Spoil?” Daniel questioned with a smile.  No one had ever said the kinds of things Jack was saying to him.  He was used to people talking about their own needs, but here was Jack, talking about Daniel's needs, not his.  ~I'm not sure I'd know what to do.  Spoil?  What does that mean ... exactly?~

Jack kissed Daniel's nose, causing the younger man to chuckle slightly, and then kissed Daniel's eyelids.  Daniel opened his eyes again, and saw such love gazing down at him.

“You have the most delicious blue eyes.  I've always loved these eyes.  You look so gorgeous in blue.  Everything should be blue to bring out your eyes, even BDU's.  I'll have to talk to Hammond about that -- getting blue BDU's.  I'll think of a reason.”

“Jack ...”

“Love your blue eyes, especially when they're looking at me.”

Daniel blushed as Jack continued with words of desire and lust.  He was lost in those words.  ~Please don't take him away from me~ Daniel heard his soul crying out to the Fates.  ~I know you will someday, but please, please let me have him for just a little while.~

Daniel's silent request was quieted by a passionate kiss.

“Jack?”

“What, Love?”

“I ... I mean, could ... would ...?”

“Danny, what do you want?”

Daniel was so afraid of expressing his wants, even now.  It was a simple thing he needed, but even that was too much.

“Danny?”

Daniel shook his head, hating himself for being afraid.

**Gawd, I'm a coward.  I just want you to hold me.**

Jack smiled.  “Well, why didn't you say so?”

Daniel's blinked several times.  “You ... heard that?”

“Crazy, isn't it?” Jack said as he rolled over onto his back, settling against a pillow.  “Come here, you, let me hold you.”

Daniel moved over and positioned himself as he had earlier.  It was quicker, less strange now.  His head was below Jack's chin, over Jack's chest where he could listen to the sound of Jack's beating heart.  His hand reached over Jack's chest just a bit, resting amid Jack's chest hair, and his left leg hooked between Jack's.

Jack's left arm wrapped around Daniel's back, making soft circular movements, and his right hand laid upon Daniel's right hand.

**Love this position, Danny.  Love holding you.  Don't be afraid to tell me what you want.**

**Jack, does this ... silent thing scare you?**

**It freaks me out, but ... it doesn't scare me, no.  It's not like we haven't done this before.**

**Yeah, but ... it's so clear.  I hear you in my mind.**

**Good, then hear me when I say that I love you, Danny, and always will.**

“I love you, too, Jack,” Daniel said, choosing to speak the words verbally.  He wanted to hear them, to feel them resonate from his voice.

The two finally fell asleep, satiated and contented from their first incredible night of lovemaking.  Their occasional awkwardness was just a part of the learning process, and both knew it would get easier, and better, as time passed.

====

Jack dreamed peacefully.  His fantasy dream had him and Daniel living together, making love every night, and driving each other crazy during the day.  Daniel, however, had a more haunting dream that was quickly turning into a nightmare.

Daniel was standing on the edge of a cliff, the ground giving way slowly.  His parents had reached out for him, but had disappeared in front of his eyes.  His grandfather had simply shoo'd him away.  A host of other people had just laughed at him.  And then there was Jack.

“Hold on, Dannyboy, I'll save you,” Dream Jack called out.  Dream Daniel watched as Dream Jack tried to get to him, until someone else got Jack's attention.

“Well, hi there,” Dream Jack said at the new person.  “Oh, don't worry about him.  Just a passing ... thing.  Let's go, Honey.”  Dream Jack walked away with the person, leaving Daniel on the cliff about to fall.

“Jack?  No, Jack.  Don't leave me.  JACK ... GAWD NO, JACK.  PLEASE DON'T LEAVE ME ... JAAAAAAAAACK!”

“Daniel!  Danny, I'm right here.”  Jack gently shook his lover into consciousness. “Danny, look at me,” Jack tried to raise Daniel's head to face him.

“Jack?”

“Yes, right here.  You were having a nightmare.”

“I ... I dreamed that ... that ...” Daniel shot up out of the bed.  He wanted to run, but wasn't sure where to run to.

Jack leaped up, catching Daniel by the doorway and turning the young man to face him.  His lover was trembling, and there were tears in his eyes just waiting to fall.

“Ah, Danny.”  Jack pulled the younger man to him, holding him firmly yet gently.  “I'm NOT going anywhere.  I love you.  Do you hear me?  I love you, Daniel Jackson.  You're everything I want.  I'm right here, Danny ... right here!”

The tears fell.  Jack heard the tiny sobs Daniel was trying to stop himself from making.

“Danny, trust me.”  Jack put his hand on the back of Daniel's head.  He kissed and caressed, and held Daniel to him, not letting him back away. “Please trust me.  I love you.  Love you so friggin' much.”

“There's so much you don't know about ... things.”

“I know the most important thing.”

“What's that?”

“That I love you.  You're not getting rid of me - not now, not ever.  Let go, Love.  I'll catch you if you fall.  Trust me.”

It went against almost three decades worth of self-protecting behavior, but Daniel loved Jack so much, and he had never trusted anyone the way he trusted the man holding him.  So Daniel unleashed his shell, and he fell, the tears falling like a stormy hurricane, the sobs like a mighty wind.  His body shook, trembling like a massive earthquake.  He thought he'd fall, collapse to the ground from the release of his fears.

But Jack caught him.  He held on tight, whispering word upon word of love, devotion, and togetherness.

“I won't let you fall, Danny.”
“We're forever.”
“It's okay, Love.  It's okay to cry.”
“I love you.”
“I'll always be here.”
“You're my lover and my best friend.  I need you, Danny, and I want you so much.”
“Trust me.  I'll take care of you, and you can take care of me.  You'll see.  It'll work out just great.”

On and on, the magical words soothed away the remnants of Daniel's nightmare. The tears slowly ebbed, the sobs subsided, and the trembling stopped.  He let himself trust Jack, and Jack hadn't failed him.  True to his word, Jack was holding on, loving him, protecting him.

~Maybe, just maybe,~ Daniel thought about their future.

“Better?” Jack asked, sensing Daniel had calmed and was feeling reassured again.

Daniel pulled back to look at his lover.  He nodded, and then felt Jack's strong hands cupping his face.

“I ... love ... you.  If you only remember one thing, remember that.”

“I love you, too.”

“I know.  Hey, we're all ... sticky and messy.  How about a shower?”

“Shower?”

“You know, water, soap, rag ...”

“I'm acquainted with it.”

“Acquainted?  I'm so glad to hear that, Doctor Jackson.”

“Smart mouth,” Daniel responded.

“And it's all yours!”  Jack grinned and then kissed Daniel again.  “Why don't you go ahead?  I'm going to do a couple of things, and then I'll be back.  Okay?”

Daniel nodded and headed for the shower.  He'd used Jack's shower many times before, but walking in the room now felt different.  He wasn't just the best friend anymore.  He was Jack's lover, and everything took on new meaning, from the cologne on the dresser to the after-shave on the counter.  He knew all the scents, the smells, only now they filled him up with a joy, a lustful need and want.

Daniel turned on the shower and stepped in, still adjusting the water temperature.  He simply stood and let the water spray down his front.  His eyes were closed and head tilted back slightly as he felt the water beating against him.

Suddenly, he felt Jack's arms around him.  He startled.

“Sorry, did I frighten you?  I thought you heard me.”

“No, I ... I was ... no.”

“Danny, I thought ... listen, if you want me to let you take a shower alone, tell me.  It's okay.”

“No, I just ... I didn't know you meant ...”

Jack kissed the back of Daniel's shoulder.  “I love you.  It's okay.  I'll take a shower when you're done.  Take your time.  I love you, Danny.”

Jack backed away and started to walk out.

“Jack, no.”  Daniel reached out, grabbing Jack's arm.  “Please, don't go.  I ... please don't go.”

Jack turned back and embraced his lover.  Without another word, he kissed Daniel.

“Jack, gawd.”  Daniel leaned into the security of Jack's hold.  He couldn't believe how incredibly safe and warm he felt when Jack's arms were around him.

Jack nibbled for a moment on Daniel's right earlobe, and heard a moan.
**So you like that.  I'm going to remember that, my Love.**

**Gawd, please do.**

Jack laughed.  “You know this ... whatever it is ... might get us into trouble one day.

“I know,” Daniel said sadly.

“Danny,” Jack put his hand under Daniel's chin, pushing upward so Daniel was looking into his eyes, “there will never be a single thought in my head that I won't want you to know ... except maybe if I'm thinking stuff I don't want to be thinking about.”  Jack sighed, his mind going back through time to Iraq and a slew of covert operations that were the source of his nightmares, “Except for those, you're welcome to my wacky mind.  It's all yours, along with the rest of me.”

“Promise?”

“Signed, sealed and delivered.  All yours.”

They kissed for a few minutes as their shower waterfall serenaded them.  Then Jack reached for the washcloth and soap and began to wash his lover's chest using gentle circling motions.  He went inch by inch, shoulder to shoulder, then downward, no spot going untouched.  Daniel was already breathing hard when Jack washed over each section of Daniel's abdomen.

Jack put more soap on the cloth and continued down Daniel's right leg.  He let the cloth sway a little as he moved it between the young man's legs.

“Gawd,” Daniel gasped.  He'd never had a shower like this before, and he wasn't sure he'd live to see another.  He was hard as a rock, and he wasn't sure it would take much before he'd explode.

Jack worked the washcloth all the way down the leg.  He tapped on Daniel's right foot.  Daniel lifted it, resting his hands on Jack's shoulders, fearing he might need the support.  He didn't trust himself at the moment.

Jack ran the washcloth all around Daniel's foot, across and under the toes, and then in between each toe.  Then, Jack bent forward and kissed the digits.

“Oh gawd,” Daniel gasped again.  He was sure he wasn't going to be able to hold it much longer.  Attune to the working of his body, he knew his blood pressure had risen, and he could feel the constrictions of his muscles.

Jack repeated his actions on the other leg and foot, and then the lightly put his mouth around the end of Daniel's shaft.  He flicked his tongue teasingly for a moment, and that was all it took.

Daniel came quickly causing Jack to have to swallow rapidly.  “I'm sorry ... couldn't ... oh gawd.”

Jack stood up, smiling. “Geez, what you do to me.”  Jack held his lover again.  He felt so high above the world.  Nothing felt so good to him as pleasing Daniel.  Jack caressed Daniel's back, using the washcloth to rub as he held his partner.

“Turn around,” Jack instructed his lover, and then he washed Daniel's back just as he had done his chest minutes earlier.  When he finished, he made a path down Daniel's spine, starting with the base of the neck all the way to his buttocks.  Kiss after kiss was applied so that no spot along the trail remain unloved.

Kneeling down, Jack massaged Daniel's soft butt cheeks. He squeezed gently and then kissed all around the right one, then the left, and then just at the top.  He ran the washcloth along the same area.  Daniel arched upwards, leaning towards the shower wall.  This was wonderfully erotic to him.  Jack ran the cloth down the back of Daniel's legs and nibbled just slightly on the area where the butt cheeks stopped.

Daniel groaned in pleasure.  His breathing hitching once again.  “I don't believe this,” he uttered, looking down at his slowly growing erection.  “I just ... don't be...lieve this.”

Jack was a happy man.  He was making Daniel feel in more ways than Daniel had before.  He could tell the younger man hadn't ever had a night-long session like they had just had, and obviously the shower was a totally new experience.  He felt incredible joy at the knowledge that he was causing all the moans, the groans, and the blissful aftermaths.

Jack stood behind Daniel, kissing his nape, and spoke softly.  “You're my heart, Danny.  All I want to do for the rest of my life is make you happy.  I know you don't believe that yet, but you will.  Forever, Danny. You're all I want or need.”

The colonel squeezed Daniel to him, rubbing Daniel's abdomen.  Daniel's head relaxed back against Jack's shoulder.  He looked at Jack and wondered what he had finally done to deserve someone like Jack ... even if was only temporary.  And then Daniel moaned and closed his eyes as Jack entered him from behind.

Jack moved very slowly, his hands massaging in a soothing manner.  If it weren't so passionate, it would almost be calming -- Jack sliding back and forth, gently, slowly inside of him, his hands caressing his stomach in small circles while pressing lightly, and the older man whispering promises of forever.

Daniel was sure it was a dream ... or maybe he had died on the alien ship.  For a moment, he felt ... No, that couldn't be.  It had been so long ... could it?  He wondered, pondered that feeling he just had ... when was the last time?  It wasn't the sex, but the emotion.

“Love, you're thinking.  Stop thinking,” Jack said, never missing a beat. “Let me take care of you.  No thinking allowed.  The shower is a ... a think free zone.“  Jack chuckled.  “Feel, Danny, just ... feel.”

Daniel closed his eyes and got lost in Jack.  It was even better than the night before.  It was longer, more erotic, and sensual.  And just before Daniel's body climaxed to orgasm, he spoke the word, the word that had been a stranger to him for many years -- “Hap...py.”

Jack's orgasm went beyond his body.  He'd heard Daniel's word just as he came, and it sent him to a place that was more than post-coital bliss.  It was euphoria making the person you love happy.  He knew no one had done more for Daniel in way too long, and for Daniel to have vocalized it meant more than anything.

For sixty-five minutes, not that they were watching the clock, they kissed under the water and held each other close.  Jack continued to whisper the sweet nothings that were slowly filling Daniel's soul with a feeling of belief that maybe Jack wouldn't leave him ... for awhile. Neither seemed to want to leave their shower paradise.

“Danny, I love you.  I'm going to make you happy all the time.  You wait and see.  It's going to happen.”

“I love you.”

Jack kissed him again, then exclaimed, “Hey, I'm starved!  How about some food?”

“No Froot Loops.”

“No, no Froot Loops today.”

They exited the shower.  Jack quickly threw on his gray sweatsuit.  He saw Daniel just watching him, smiling.

“What?”

“I ... like that on you, that's all.  Always have, but ... didn't know why, I guess.”

“But you know why now?” Jack asked, pulling the top down to his waist before walking over to his still-naked lover.

Daniel nodded.  “Sexy.  You look ... very sexy in it.”  Daniel's hands were caressing Jack's neck.  “Sexy,” he repeated softly before moving in to nibble on Jack's lower lip.  Daniel felt Jack shiver for a second.

“Like that?”  Daniel asked bravely.  It was a small question, but it was a major one for him.

“Oh, yeah,” Jack answered, so Daniel did it again, and then they kissed some more.

“I ... like it, too.”

Jack smiled.  Progress was being made.  He wasn't expecting too much.  He couldn't wipe out decades of loneliness in one night, but that was okay, because Jack knew he had thousands of nights ... and days ... to make Daniel light up with happiness.

“You're going to catch cold.  I'm going to start on breakfast.  Put on that navy sweatsuit of yours.”

“Blue?”

“Brings out your eyes,” Jack said as he kissed his lover again.  “Love your blue eyes.  Your soul is there.”

“Not ... not, uh, always a good place to be.”

“Daniel Jackson, your soul is heaven to me.  I love you.”  Jack scooted away and went downstairs, humming.

“Humming.  He's humming,” Daniel said to the empty room.  “Did I ... do that?  Did I really make him ... grin like that?  Gawd, I ... I love him so much.”

Daniel looked at the bed and took a breath.  He smiled.  Yesterday he had died, and today ... today he was in Heaven.

====

“Danny?” Jack shouted from downstairs.  “Danny?”

“What?”

“I'll be right back.  Just five minutes.  Okay?”  Daniel nodded.  “I can't see you nodding, Daniel.  Did you hear me?  Five minutes.”

Daniel laughed.  “Yes, I heard you. You're shouting.  How could I not hear you?”

“Well, just didn't want you to think ... you know, the way you think.”

Daniel rolled his eyes.

“Be right back, Daniel.”

Daniel put on his socks and shoes and stopped to look in the mirror.  He wondered how Jack could think he was beautiful.  ~Men aren't beautiful.~  But that's what he'd said, and not just once but over and over.  Daniel could still hear Jack's voice saying it.

He combed his shaggy brown hair as he got lost in the memory of Jack's touches and all that had happened the night before.  He smiled just a bit.  He missed Jack, all the more for knowing he was gone.  He wanted his lover back, to hold him.  He wanted to hear Jack's heartbeat, to feel safe.

“Danny, are you still up here?” Jack walked into the spare room.

“Um, yeah, I guess so.  It, uh, all depends on your definition of up,” Daniel said with a bit of a bashful grin.  It was another one of those moments when Daniel hadn't truly thought out his words.  He had just spoken the first words that came to mind when he had heard the voice of his lover.

Jack shook his head, smiled, and pulled Daniel close to him, accusing lovingly, “You're thinking again.”

“I can't help thinking.”

“Then make sure you're thinking 'he loves me.”

Daniel smiled.  His eyes asked.  Jack saw the request and embraced Daniel with a secure hold.

“This what you wanted?”

“I'm so glad you know me so well.  I can't say the words, Jack.  I'm such an idiot.  I'm sorry.”

“NO!” Jack pulled back a little, “Listen to me.”  Jack said, his voice stern, “Danny, your life has been a ... a nightmare in so many ways.  I don't expect that to disappear in twenty-four hours, or even a week or a year.  I love you, and I'm going to prove that to you day after day for the rest of our lives -- if you still want me, of course.”

As much as Daniel was insecure, Jack was, too.  The past day had been glorious for the older man, and he wanted it to last forever.  But he knew Daniel was married.  He knew that even if Daniel loved him as he said he did, that one day Sha're would return, and then, Jack would lose his precious lover.  It was a little fact Jack didn't want to think about much, but one he had to verbalize from time to time to keep himself realistic.

Jack sighed, “In time, you'll start to believe that's it okay, that's it's real.  You're not an idiot, Daniel.  You're someone who's been hurt over and over again.  I want to fix that, but I'm not an idiot either, and I know that's going to take a long time.  I'm here for the long haul, Love. No more putting yourself down.  I won't let you do that.  I love you.”

“I love you, too.  I also love ... food.”  Daniel smiled devilishly.

“Ah, a man after my heart.  Let's go eat.”

Daniel smiled a big smile, one of his biggest yet.  Jack took his hand and led him downstairs to a kitchen full of welcome smells.

“Jack?  You got Starbuck's.  Is ... is that where you went?”

Jack shrugged and replied, “Can't leave a coffee addict without his coffee.”

“But you were only gone ... I mean, there isn't one close to here.”

“Mrs. Valissi drinks it,” Jack spoke about the senior citizen who lived one house down from him.

“You ... borrowed coffee from her ... for me?”

“Danny.  She adores you.  You know that!”

“Oh my gawd ... Belgian Waffles and ... geez ...  Jack, you never buy this maple syrup.”

“But you like it.  It's what you buy when you want to drive me crazy.  It ... is the right one?”

Daniel stared at Jack's eager brown eyes and nodded.  “All for me?”

“Everything's for you, Danny.  Everything!”

At that moment, the phone rang.  Jack got up to answer it, smiling when he returned to the table in dining nook area.

“What?” Daniel asked.

“That was Hammond.  Apparently, Fraiser insisted we be given more downtime.  She said we went through a traumatic experience ...”

“That's the truth,” Daniel retorted, his voice almost a gasp as he recalled the nightmare events that had occurred on the Goa'uld vessel.

“Well, she's been beating him over the head with it,” Jack continued.  He leaned forward, placing his hand atop his partner's, and smirked, “We've got a whole week, Danny.  We don't report back until Friday at 0800.”

“Friday?” Daniel asked, his blue eyes bright with pleasure.

“Full physicals and one long, long debriefing,” Jack noted.  “But that gives us a lot of time.”

“Time is, uh ...”

“Good,” both men spoke in unison with voices that were clearly happy at the thought.

“Remind me to send the Doc flowers,” Jack teased as he gazed into his Love's eyes.

“She'll wonder why,” Daniel remarked.

“Let her,” Jack mused as the two let the news settle and then proceeded with their day.

====

Daniel stood, arms folded across his chest, as Jack put the last plate in the dishwasher.  Then Jack closed the space between them and kissed his love.  Putting his arm around Daniel's shoulder, he steered the young man to the sofa.  They sat down, and Daniel snuggled against Jack's shoulder, his long locks of hair rubbing against Jack's cheek and chin.

They didn't say anything, and the good part about that was they didn't need to.  They were simply enjoying the moment of closeness.  Words weren't needed.

“We need to go shopping,” Jack said after a while.

“Shopping?  For what?”

“For one thing ... a lubricant.  It's healthier, I think, to use something made for ...”

“Okay,” Daniel said, cutting off Jack's words intentionally and hoping Jack wouldn't notice he was beginning to blush.

After a few more minutes, they changed into other casual clothes.  Daniel had on an old brown and white plaid shirt and khaki pants.  Jack had on a tan shirt with blue jeans.

They decided to go to a mall in Denver, as there was less chance of being seen by someone they knew.  It wasn't being seen together that worried them.  After all, they'd gone shopping together a lot.  It was just the type of items they were buying that made them a little insecure.

In the mall, the first stop was to a drug store.  They stared at the various supplies.  Daniel was nervous.  He wondered how Jack could be so confident.  “Jack ... just pick one.”

“Well, this says it's the best.”  Jack picked up the Astroglide and placed it in the hand-held cart he carried.

Daniel started to walk away when he saw Jack putting five more packages into the cart.  His eyes grew wide.  “Jack?”

Jack shrugged and smirked.  “I have ... plans for us.”

“Oh gawd,” Daniel said, his face turning bright red.

“Danny, you're ... geez, Danny, you're blushing.”

“Can we get out of here?  I think I'm going to die.”

“No, you won't ... not yet anyway, that'll be after I ...” Jack whispered for 60 seconds into Daniel's ears.  “And that's just the beginning.”

Jack walked away.  Daniel looked down.  He was in big trouble.  “Think ... let me think ... Ra ... Ra ... yes, Ra ... Goa'uld ... being laughed at ...teased ... four-eyes ... the museum.”  Finally, Daniel let out a breath of relief, looking down and seeing everything “normal.”  Daniel turned to walk out of the store.  As he passed Jack at the checkout, he said, “I'm going to kill you, O'Neill.”

Jack laughed out loud as he watched Daniel exit the store and pace the area in the mall ahead of him.  ~Geez, I love him.~

====

They shopped around the mall for a while.  Jack pulled his lover into a bedroom store, and just the thought of the bedroom set Daniel off.  This time, he tried calming himself by counting to ten in every language he knew -- twice!

They looked at various beds and bedding, though Daniel didn't know why, but it was fun.  Just being with Jack was pleasureable.

Then, they went into a music store, and each bought a couple of CDs they wanted.  Afterwards, they ate lunch at one of the restaurants.  As they waited for their food, Jack whispered, “Danny.”

“What?”

“Table.”

Daniel shrugged, not knowing what Jack wanted.  Jack looked around and leaned forward.  “Put your hand on your knee.”

Daniel was sure Jack was going insane, but he did as requested, and soon felt Jack take his hand, holding it, squeezing it gently.  Jack smiled, and even sighed.

“I missed this,” Jack said, taking a sip of coffee with his free hand.

“Jack, we shouldn't ...”

“Drink your coffee.”

Daniel smiled.  He liked the contact, but he wasn't sure they were being smart.  But then again, that's why they had come to Denver.

After lunch, they window shopped for a while.  Eventually, they came across the Discovery Shop and went inside.  Jack watched Daniel searching through the store, studying the various items.  Jack could sense Daniel was having a good time.

“Danny, I'll be right back.”

“Where are you going?”

“Just want to pick up something.  I'll be right back.  Keep ... playing with your toys here.  Ten minutes, maybe fifteen.”

Daniel scowled, and for a moment Jack thought the honeymoon might be over until Daniel said, “Hurry, okay?”

Jack quickly left and took care of his errand, rejoining Daniel after 20 minutes.  Jack saw Daniel in the corner of the science store, staring at something.  It had taken a few minutes longer than he had anticipated, and he knew Daniel was wondering if Jack had taken off and left him.

“Not going to happen, Daniel -- not ever,” Jack said as he approached his lover, whispering, “Miss me?”

“Gawd, yes.  I thought ... it doesn't matter.”

“I know what you thought, Daniel.  You done here?”  Daniel nodded.  “You going to buy that?”

“No.”

“You looked pretty engrossed in it.”

“I know, but ...”  Jack picked it up and took it to the counter before Daniel could even react.  “Jack?”  Daniel was helpless.  There were people around.  He couldn't say anything, but when they were out of the store, he spoke up.  “Why'd you do that?”

“Because you wanted it.  Daniel, do you know you're entitled to want things for yourself? That you, Daniel Jackson, have a right to buy things just because you want them?”

“I ... I bought these.”

“CDs, Daniel -- petty change.  Pamper yourself, and if you won't, I will.” Jack winked.  “Speaking of which, next stop.”

“Oh, gawd.”

====

Two hours later, Jack and Daniel loaded the back of the truck with bags of items.

“Jack, don't you think you went overboard?”

“You look good in blue!”

“But ... geez, Jack.  Do you know how much money you spent?”

Jack smiled.  “Not enough. It'll never be enough.”  Shyly, Daniel smiled, trying to stop a blush but being unsuccessful.  “Geez, you're cute.”

“Jaaaack!  Stop it,” Daniel said.  He was being overloaded with Jack's love, and it was turning him into a body of gooey gob.

“Let's go home,” Jack said.  Daniel started to walk towards the passenger side.  “Daniel,” Jack called out.

The young man turned around and saw something flying through the air.  He caught it, staring.  He looked up at Jack.

“I know you already have the house keys, of course, but those can be an extra set now.  This has everything on it.  Drive us home, Love!” Jack passed by Daniel, getting into the passenger side.

Daniel stood motionless, watching Jack's movements.  He had only driven the truck a few times, all emergencies.  Jack's truck was ... sacred to Jack.  Not even Lou was allowed to touch it.  In fact, Daniel knew the few times Jack had let him drive the Ford vehicle had only been because of the immediacy of the situation, and Jack had nagged him about his driving the entire time.

This would be different, and Daniel knew it.  He gulped as he moved to the driver's side and scooted onto the seat.  Jack began rambling about the house and some changes he was thinking of making.  In fact, Jack chatted the whole trip home.  He never once nagged Daniel about driving the truck.

Jack was giving Daniel his total trust, and Daniel knew it.  Daniel desperately wanted to tell Jack that he loved him.  He hated that he still felt so unsure, that he couldn't speak the words unless Jack spoke them first.  It seemed so childish, but no matter how he tried to convince himself that it was okay to utter the words on his own, he just couldn't.  ~Gawd, what else do I need? Why can't I tell him?~

When they arrived home and Daniel unlocked the back, he just had to get it out or he was going to burst.

**Jack ... please.**

Jack looked at him, not knowing what Daniel needed.

**Tell me.  Gawd, tell me.**

**I love you, Danny,** Jack's mind spoke, not really sure if that's what Daniel needed at the moment.

**Gawd, I love you, so freakin' much, Jack.  I love you.  I love you.**

Jack smiled, and, after taking covert look around the neighborhood, he surprised Daniel with a quick brush of his lips against Daniel's.

“Come on.  Let's get this stuff inside.”

Daniel took a deep breath, loving Jack more than ever ... and he wondered just how long that “ever” was, because it sure seemed longer than just a day!

====

Daniel walked in the door loaded down with sacks of their purchases.

“Put them down, Love,” Jack spoke as he shut the door behind him.

“Here?”

“Here.”

Daniel carefully put the sacks down along the wall in the entrance hall.  He turned to ask a question, but as soon as he turned, Jack kissed him. Jack's arms pressed around Daniel's lower back, holding him close.

“Too long.  It's just been too long,” Jack said before kissing Daniel again.

“Yes, definitely too long,” Daniel gasped, placing his arms around Jack's neck, then moving them down a bit to rub against Jack's back.

“Want you so much,” Jack gasped between kisses.

“Want you.  Gawd, do I want you,” Daniel agreed, expecting Jack to lead them upstairs.  Instead, Jack's hands slid inside Daniel's pants for a moment, and then he pulled Daniel down to the floor.

“Here?”

“Here,” Jack repeated.

Jack ravished Daniel in the entranceway of the country-styled home.  Daniel couldn't believe what was happening in his life.  He'd never had this much sex in this short span of time before.  More importantly, the sexual act had never made him feel so nourished, so cherished, so euphoric, so ... so exotically enraptured in a union of two bodies ... ever.

“Oh, wow,” Daniel gasped as Jack collapsed onto him, both of their bodies trembling when they were done some time later.

Daniel wrapped his arms around his lover.  He felt like he was in a dream.  It had felt so good to be so loved.  His mind ran rampant with happy thoughts of Jack inside him.

“Love you, Daniel,” Jack spoke, satiated and spent.

“Too ... love ... always?”

Though exhausted, Jack lifted his head and looked at Daniel.  “Huh?”

“You ... too ... ever?”

Jack laid his head back on Daniel's chest and thought carefully.  “Okay, O'Neill.  Think now.  What is he trying to say?  Oh, got it.”

“Yes, Love.  Forever and always, I'll love you,” Jack placed a kiss on Daniel's sweat-soaked chest.

“Love you, Jack,” Daniel spoke, his brain beginning to function again.

After a few minutes, they got up.  They cleaned up and then changed back into their sweats for a more casual feel. Then, they took their bags upstairs.

“Hey, where are you going?” Jack asked Daniel who was headed for the spare room with the bags full of clothes and accessories Jack had just bought for him.

“I thought I'd put these away.”

“In there?  I don't think so.  Come on,” Jack said as he walked into the master bedroom.

Daniel looked towards the spare room for a moment and then followed Jack into his room.  When he got there, Jack was emptying out some drawers.  He then moved to the closet, quickly running through it and taking out a bunch of older clothes.

“Never wear these anymore.  Time for Goodwill.  Here, those are yours,” Jack pointed to three drawers on the left side of his dresser, “and this half of the closet is for your stuff.  If you need more, we'll figure it out.”

Daniel didn't move.  He was still holding the shopping bags.  Jack walked to him, and one by one, took the bags and tossed them onto the bed on top of his old clothes.  He scooped Daniel into his arms.  “How many times do I have to tell you?  It doesn't matter.  I'll tell you forever.  We, you and I, are forever.  This wasn't a one night stand, Danny.  Unless you decide you don't want it, this is for eternity.  I love you.  I'm going to go start dinner.  Why don't you put your stuff away?”

Jack walked out, leaving a stunned Daniel still standing where he had stopped when he first walked in the room.

~Oh, Jack.  I love you so much, but I'm so scared.  It's everything I want, but ... I'm not used to getting what I want.  Don't change your mind, Jack.  I don't think I could handle it.~

Daniel walked to the bed.  He looked back towards the doorway, and then at the dresser.  Slowly, he took out the clothes and put them away.  He then took one of the bigger bags and carefully folded Jack's clothes that were on the bed before putting them into the bags.

“Whatcha' doing?” Jack asked, leaning against the doorway.

“Um, I just ... I thought I'd put these in here so ... I mean ... I'm sorry.”

“Danny, stop it.” Jack went to his lover.  He took both of Daniel's hands in his, brought them to his mouth and kissed them.  “It's a good idea.  Thank you.  Dinner will be done in about 15 minutes.  Don't forget to get your stuff from the spare room.  Just ... put it wherever you want to.  We should have plenty of space.  Maybe we can move that little shelf in here if we need to.”

“Jack?  Thank you.”

“For what?  Loving you?  That's easy.”

“No, it's not.  I mean ... I have so many ... so much ... baggage.”

“Loving you is easy.  Living with you ... now that might be tough,” Jack chuckled, “but we'll figure it out.”  Jack kissed Daniel again, and then returned to the kitchen.

====

When Daniel came downstairs, he was again stunned into motionlessness.  There was a fire going in the fireplace and a bottle of wine in a bucket being chilled.  The table was elegantly set with two candles burning.  There was a small box on one of the plates, and flowers as the decorative centerpiece.

“Like it?”

Daniel nodded, taking it all in and finally moving towards Jack.  Daniel peeked into the kitchen.  “I thought you said dinner would be done.  I don't see anything ...”

Just then the doorbell rang.

“That'll be dinner,” Jack smiled.  When he returned, he had two big bags full of Chinese food.

“Wow,” Daniel said, looking at the array of food.  “All my ... all my favorites”  Daniel looked up at Jack.  “You don't like Chinese, Jack.”

“It's okay, but it doesn't matter whether I like it or not because the point is that you love it, and I ... love ... you!”

Jack had a huge grin on his face as he spread out their dinner.  He tossed the empty bag on the counter, and then picked up the box and handed it to Daniel.  “And this is for dessert.”

Daniel opened the box.  “Godiva ... I love Godiva chocolate.”

“I know.”

“Only one truffle?  What about you?”

“I thought we could share.”  Jack leaned in for a kiss.  “I'll ... show you ... after dinner.”

====

“And that's how you share a truffle, O'Neill style.” Jack grinned, his tongue licking some of the melted chocolate from his lip.

“Mmmm, like that.  You should have gotten more.”

Jack smiled.  “I did.  I thought we could share a truffle every night this week.”

“This week,” Daniel said, staring at Jack as the two sat on the sofa.  “Jack, shouldn't I go home?  I mean, shouldn't we ...”

“No, and the number one reason,” Jack caressed Daniel's left cheek, “is because you are home.”

“Home?”

Jack nodded.  “And we have a week off, and I don't intend to spend any more time away from you than I have to ... unless ... you want to go to the apartment?”

“Um, I ... I need to feed my fish.”

“Okay, tonight, or can we go tomorrow?”

“The funny thing is ... I don't really want to go there.  There are ... things there, ...  but they'll die, Jack.”

“Okay, tomorrow.  Hey, let's go over here.”  Jack stood and took Daniel's hand, and then walked him over to the blazing fire.  Jack had two Euro pillows there and a blanket neatly folded in a basket.  He laid down, getting comfortable on one of the pillows.  “Would you like to be closer to the fire or away from it?”

“Closer,” Daniel responded as Jack put the second pillow into position and watched as Daniel laid down.  “I like fires.”

“Hey, get over here,” Jack requested, seeing Daniel about a foot away from him.

“Didn't want to assume,” Daniel teased, moving closer to Jack.

“You want to watch the fire?”  Daniel nodded, the thought of watching the roaring blaze feeling him with another kind of warmth.

“Scoot around.  It'll be nice,” Jack suggested.

Daniel flipped his position so that he was resting on his left side.  Jack snuggled up as close as he could get.  He put his arm around Daniel's waist as he kissed his lover's nape.  Jack's hand snaked under Daniel's sweatshirt to warm the younger man's skin.  Daniel reached down, found Jack's hand, and took hold.

“I love you, Danny.”  Jack couldn't say the words enough.

“I love you, too, Jack.”

“It's a beautiful fire.”

“Perfect.  I've ... never done this, not ever.  I ... I like this a lot.”

“Me, too.”

The two enjoyed just lying together, holding on to each other.  Daniel, though, was surprised Jack hadn't initiated another lovemaking session.  Maybe Jack was tiring of him?  His spirit dropped at the mere thought.  In spite of his best efforts, Daniel hadn't been able to contain his emotions.  With each passing second, his need and want for Jack was greater than the last.

“Jack?”

“Hmmm?”

“Did you want to ... you know?”

Jack chuckled.  “I always want to ... you know, but this is nice, too, isn't it?”  Daniel nodded.  “Danny, did you want to?”  Jack could feel Daniel grow tense.  “Hey, talk to me.”

Daniel turned over, his back now getting the warmth of the fire.  His left hand reached out to Jack's face, his thumb tracing the lips.  “I like being with you.  I ... like it when you just hold me, too,” Daniel said shyly.

“Danny, we're forever.  This, being with you, cuddling,” Jack let out a puff of air, “it's beautiful and tender, and I love it.”

“So ... you don't expect us to always ... you know.”

“It's sex, Danny.  Sex.  S-e-x.”  Daniel blushed.  “Geez, Love, with all the studying and research you've done with ancient cultures, I'd think you'd be a casual talker about sex.”

“I am ... when I'm talking about people who have been dead for hundreds and thousands of years.  I'm not so good at it when it's ... personal.”

Jack smiled.  “Okay, Danny, I strongly suspect that we'll be ... you knowing a lot.  But just as much, I'd like to be doing this, just ... being together.  What do you think?”

“I think I'd like that, too.”  Daniel scooted over to his favorite position, so that he could listen to Jack's heart beat.

“This is nice, very nice,” Jack said truthfully.

Daniel was falling more and more in love with Jack.  Maybe, just maybe, Jack really loved him.  It wasn't about sex.  It was about them.  Daniel had dreamed of having this kind of relationship with someone.  He felt warm, and it wasn't because of the fire.

====

“Morning!”

“J'ck?” Daniel yawned.

“Daniel, if you ever wake up and say a different name, you'd better run for the hills.”

Daniel laughed as he lifted his head to look down at his lover.  “Are you telling me you're the jealous type?”

“Ridiculously jealous.  You're so beautiful!”

“Oh, Jack,” Daniel rolled his eyes, “I just woke up.  I'm ... all ...”

“You're gorgeous and sexy.”

“Sexy?  I don't think so, especially not right now.”

“Oh, yes, you are.  Love your hair all messed up like that.  Of course, you could always cut it and ...”

“Jack, I am NOT cutting my hair.”

“Military regulations say ...”

“I am NOT military.”

“I'd forgotten,” Jack teased.

“Yeah, right,” Daniel glanced over at the fireplace.  “Fire went out.”

“Well, my choice was letting the fire burn out or waking you up, and since I happen to love holding you, I let the fire die out.”

Daniel initiated a kiss, and that made Jack feel great.  It was the second day of their lifelong love affair.

“Hey, why don't you go take a shower?  I have an errand to run.  It'll probably take me an hour or so.”

“I could go with you.”

“Nah.” Jack kissed his lover again and then stood up, pulling Daniel up with him.  “You could cook us some breakfast if I'm not back before you're dressed.”

“Okay.”

Daniel watched as Jack left the house.  He stared at the bookshelves for a moment and went into a self-hug.  Jack had left him.  Of course, it would only be for an hour, and Jack had promised he was coming back.  And it was Jack's house, but ... but why didn't Jack want Daniel to come?  Was Jack ashamed of him?  Did Jack have some secret he couldn't share?  But didn't they share everything?

Daniel sat on the arm of the sofa, deep in thought.  He looked over at the big square pillows, remembering their night together.  Jack hadn't wanted to make love.  Was that a sign?  A hint that Jack was just patronizing Daniel?  Maybe Jack was wanting out.  Maybe.  Maybe.  Maybe.

A hundred maybes flooded Daniel's mind, but he couldn't think about it anymore.  He decided to trust Jack.  He always had.  He wouldn't stop now.  He'd ... wait ... and see.  He'd trust his lover.

“My lover,” Daniel said quietly as he walked up the stairs.

====

Daniel took a shower and went downstairs to fix breakfast.  He inventoried Jack's refrigerator, pulling out key ingredients.  He placed a skillet on the stove and melted some butter.  Then he sauteed an onion and red pepper.  Next, he added zucchini and then some seasonings and herbs and let the food cook for awhile.

When it was ready, Daniel added eggs and then let the mixture cook about ten minutes.  He sprinkled the top with cheese and sun-dried tomatoes and placed it in the broiler, waiting for the cheese to melt.

“What are we having?” Jack walked into the kitchen, kissing Daniel immediately after asking his question.

“Frittatas.”

“Looks good!” Jack peeked into the broiler.

“They'll be done in a minute.

“Do I have time for a two-minute shower?”

“Barely!”

“Be right back, Love.”  Jack kissed Daniel again and quickly took his shower, making it back downstairs in three minutes.

“Wow, that was quick.”

====

“That was wonderful, Love.  Thank you.”  Jack carried his plate into the kitchen.

“Jack, where'd you go?” Daniel asked, a bit surprised at himself for daring to ask.

“To feed your fish.”

“Wha...what?”

“I went and fed your fish.”

Daniel felt a relief from stress he didn't fully realize he had felt.  All those maybes.  They were all wrong.  He was glad he had decided to put his faith and trust in his lover.  He had told Jack he didn't want to go to the apartment.  He didn't want to think or talk about those reasons right now, but he had had to tend to his fish.  But just like always, Jack was ahead of him, taking care of Daniel.

Daniel smiled.  “Thank you, Jack.”

“You're welcome, Danny.  So, what would you like to do today?” Jack asked as he moved to take Daniel into his arms.

“Whatever you want,” Daniel answered.

“I want to do what you want, and that would be ...”

“I want to do whatever you want to do.”  Daniel chuckled.

Jack laughed and kissed him again.  “How about some yard work?  We were gone awhile, and the place could use a little loving care.”

“Sounds good, but we'll need to change our clothes first.”

“So true!”

The two walked upstairs to the master bedroom.  Jack flipped off the green shirt he had been wearing.  Daniel was unbuttoning his shirt when he glanced at Jack.  Seeing the bare chest, Daniel came unglued.  Yard work suddenly was unimportant.

“Jack ...” Daniel whispered as he walked over to his lover.  He ran his hands across Jack's chest, and then leaned into his partner for a tender kiss that beckoned for more.

“Danny, do you want to ... you know?” Jack winked.

Daniel answered with his most forceful response to date -- he pulled Jack over to the bed and pushed him onto it.

“I take it that is a yes,” Jack laughingly said as the two began another union of their bodies.  Daniel topped again.  He was less nervous this time around, feeling more confident, not just about what he was doing, but about Jack's love.

Jack released total control to Daniel.  He let his lover try whatever he wanted, and that didn't go unnoticed.  Daniel was timid about trying new things, still afraid of hurting Jack and displeasing him, but he did want more, and Jack said he did, too, so Daniel decided to experiment.

Turning Jack onto his stomach, Daniel licked and kissed a path down Jack's back until he reached the cleft between Jack's butt cheeks.  He had a sudden thought as he admired the opening he was intending to plunder.  Without warning he bent down and ran his tongue across it. He was rewarded with a loud moan from Jack.

A little more daring this time. Daniel pushed his tongue inside the small opening and smiled victoriously as this action elicited further encouragement and moaning from his lover.
 
"Please, Danny, I need you ... now.”  Carefully, Daniel slid one finger inside Jack, then a second, followed by a third.  "Come on, Love!  I'm dying here.”

"Good things come to those who wait, Jack," Daniel teased, his confidence boosted by Jack's encouragement and responses.
 
"I've waited, I've waited!”

To Jack's relief, he soon felt Daniel enter him.  As Daniel began to gently thrust inside him, Jack lost the ability to think, instead letting his body savor every mind-blowing sensation.

“Wow, Danny, that was ... terrific,” Jack gasped as their quivering bodies settled.  Holding Daniel to him, Jack added, “I love you so much.”

“We're ... getting better at this.”

“It almost scares me because this, what we have already, is pretty darn good.”

Daniel smiled.  “It is.  I don't want us to change, Jack.  In my life, everything I've done has been by study and books, and I love it, but ... this, us, I don't want it to be out of a book.”

“Me, either.  No books.”

They lay together for a while before they took a shower that almost became another love fest session, but they managed to stop at some fondling.  Then they finally went outside and began their yard work.
 
====

It wasn't the first time the couple had worked together on Jack's lawn.  In fact, it was pretty much a normal thing.  Every few weeks, Daniel would help Jack mow the lawn, trim the hedges, water, prune the flowers, pull weeds, and whatever else needed to be done.  But today, as Jack watched his lover pulling some weeds, he realized just how well they worked together, and always had.

Daniel was on his knees, leaning over, pulling the weeds, and disposing of them in a black trash bag.  Jack had just finished watering a couple of the outdoor plants.  The hose was still in his hand.  He couldn't resist.  The little boy in him was creeping out.  Adjusting the nozzle to a light spray, Jack called out, “Oh, Danny?”

Daniel turned, and innocently responded, “Yes?”

Jack sprayed ... and sprayed ... and sprayed the water on his lover.

“You're dead, O'Neill,” Daniel said, getting up and heading towards Jack.

Jack threw down the hose and began to run, but Daniel was a fast runner, and Jack had bad knees.  Still, they zigged and zagged their way around the yard for a couple of minutes.

“It was just a joke!”  Jack called out.

“Joke?  I'm soaking wet,” Daniel shouted as he continued to chase his lover.

“You look ... cute, all wet and sexy!”

“I always look sexy.  That's what you said,” Daniel spoke, not really realizing what he was saying.

Jack laughed, running behind a large planter.  “Very true, Love.”

Jack made a last ditch effort to head for the house, but Daniel tackled him about two feet before the patio steps.  They rolled over on the grass a few times as their mock fight continued, but then they burst into laughter.  Daniel's back was on the grass, and suddenly, their laughter turned to passion.

“I love you so much,” Jack breathed before he devoured Daniel's mouth.  He knew this taste now.  Still new, Jack knew it would never get old.

“Love you,” Daniel gasped.

For their yard work, they had put on old sweatsuits.  Jack reached his hand inside Daniel's pants and grabbed his hardening shaft.  He continued to kiss the younger man as his hand stroked in loving movements.

“Jack ... gawd ... we're ... outside.”

“Want me to stop?”

“Gawd, no, just ... oh gawd.”  Daniel decided not to worry about it.  If Jack had Peeping Tom neighbors, that was their problem, especially if Jack wasn't worried about it.

Then Daniel decided to take care of Jack at the same time Jack was taking care of him.  He worked his hands downward as they continued to kiss.

“Holy ... oh geez,” Jack said, feeling Daniel's hand against his length.  “Danny, let's try ... I mean ...”

“...same ...”

“Yeah,” Jack gasped.

The two kissed again, but as they gazed into each others eyes, they concentrated on their efforts.  Both were panting at the feel of the other on them.  They stroked in a perfect harmony.  Both felt the pulsating of the other's shaft.

“Jack ... can't ... hold ...”

“Now ...”

And together, each came, their hands filling with their releases.  It made for an intriguing harmony of their bodies.

Daniel closed his eyes as Jack rested against his shoulder.  Daniel wrapped his arms around him.  It felt good to hold Jack.  He loved the sensation. He kissed the top of Jack's head, and ran his fingers through Jack's fine brown hair.

“I love you, Danny.”

“I love you, Jack, but we're a mess ... again!”

“Shower!”

“Oh, gawd.  Do you know what happens when we take a shower together?”

“Yeah, pretty much what just happened here,” Jack said, laughing.

Jack raised his head and caressed Daniel's cheek.  “You've made me so happy, Danny.  My falling star.”

Eventually, the two got up, showered, and finished the lawn work.  They spent the rest of the day playing chess, which Daniel won, and then gin, which Jack won.  They worked together to prepare dinner, each watching the other as they prepared their meal, each silently thinking how much had changed over the past 48 hours, and yet, nothing had changed.

That evening, they listened to some of Jack's favorite operas as they snuggled on the sofa.  Then they went up to bed and made love ... and made love ... and made love again before falling asleep.

====

The next morning after breakfast and an intense kissing and fondling session in front of the kitchen sink, the two discussed what they'd be doing for the rest of the day.

“I need to pay some bills or they'll turn off the lights.” Jack laughed.

“We can't have that,” Daniel chuckled, thinking that being in the dark with Jack wasn't really a bad thing.

“Danny, I forgot.  When I was at the apartment, I picked up your mail.  You had quite a stack there.  I left it on the table in the entranceway.”

“I'll go take a look and pay some of my own bills.  Thanks, Love.”  Daniel gave Jack a quick kiss and started to walk out of the kitchen.

Jack reached out, grabbing Daniel's elbow.  When Daniel turned, he saw Jack with a huge grin, looking like a Cheshire cat.

“What?”

“It's just ... that's the first time you've said that!”

“Said what?”

“Love.”

“Oh,” Daniel said, blushing slightly as he walked into Jack's personal space and kissed him.  Daniel had his left hand caressing back and forth gently, from Jack's chin to his earlobe, and down to his neck.  “It ... just came out.”

“Could it be you're finally beginning to believe this isn't all a dream?”

“Jack, if it is a dream, I don't ever want to wake up.  Don't let me wake up.  I want to dream forever.”

Jack slipped his arms around Daniel's waist.  “We'll drift together on a sea of dreams forever, Love.”

“My poet.”

“No, I just say what I feel when I look at you.”

“I'd better check on my mail before we get ... distracted again.”

“Me, too,” Jack agreed.

“Thank you ... Love,” Daniel said, laughter in his voice, as he walked out of the kitchen.

Jack's soul was singing.  Things were going remarkably well!  He went to the study, passing Daniel along the way.  They shared a kiss before going their separate directions.

After 15 minutes or so, Daniel heard a loud muttering.  “On second thought, sounds more like a grizzly bear,” Daniel thought, braving the walk that took him to the study.  He saw Jack tossing papers all around his desk, opening drawers, throwing things around.

“Jack, what are you doing?”

“I can't find my checkbook.  For that matter, I'm not even sure what I have in the bank.  I know I put that statement here somewhere.”

“You need a computer.”

“Daniel, what does a computer have to do with my money?” Jack asked in frustration, still searching his drawers.

Daniel walked up to the desk, studying it carefully as he talked. “Because you could access your bank statement online and check your balance, and you wouldn't need your checkbook because you could make a payment through your bank.”

Jack glared at Daniel in disbelief.  “I wouldn't even know how to turn the thing on,” Jack growled.

“Here.”  Daniel handed his lover the items he was looking for.

“Where'd you find those?”

“Right here, under the clutter.”  Daniel laughed, walking out and returning to his own check paying obligations.

It took Jack roughly 45 minutes to handle all of his bills and correspondence as well as a few miscellaneous obligations he had realized he needed to take care of.  When he was done, he walked back to the living room and found his lover lying on the sofa, reading a publication.

“Beautiful.  Just beautiful!”

Daniel looked up and blushed, “I'm just ... reading.”

“I see that, so while you read, I'm going to watch this hockey game I missed last week.”

“You already know who won.”

“Yeah, but there were some great moments according to the paper.  I want to see it.”  Jack stuck in the videotape, grabbed the remote control and walked over to the sofa.  “Pardon me ...”

“Oh,” Daniel leaned up, starting to get all the way up.

“No, Love.  Get back here.”  Jack pressed against Daniel's shoulders, pushing him back down to lay on his leg.  “Comfortable?”

“Yeah.”  Daniel smiled as he found the perfect spot to rest his head against Jack's thigh.

Jack pressed “play” on the remote and watched the first few minutes of the game.  He held the remote in one hand that dangled over the arm of the sofa while the other arm rested on the back of the sofa, but then he decided to move.

He put down the remote and snaked his left arm under Daniel's which held the magazine.  He lifted up Daniel's new blue shirt to make contact with his lover's skin.  He smiled as he felt Daniel shiver from the touch.  Then, Jack placed his right hand on Daniel's head.  He walked his fingers through the young man's silky hair, massaging the scalp and keeping the hair from falling in front of Daniel's eyes as he read.

After several minutes, Daniel realized he had read the same paragraph ten times.  At the same time, Jack realized he had no clue what was happening with the game.  He was completely focused on the surge of emotion he was feeling from the contact with Daniel.

Daniel resolved to finish his article.  He wouldn't let the comfort of Jack's touch distract him ... much.

Jack vowed to finish this game.  He'd heard about that great play in the second period and was determined to enjoy it.  He wouldn't let the warmth of Daniel's skin and the lure of his silky hair distract him ... much.

Forty-five minutes later Daniel started to fidget.  He was done with the magazine, having tossed it onto the coffee table several minutes earlier.  Jack was still engrossed in the hockey game.

Daniel felt the hand still caressing his abdomen and smiled.  Jack's hand hadn't stopped its loving motions for more than a minute or two at a time.  He decided it was time to ... play.

“Jack?”

“Shhh, I just know that play is coming up anytime now.”

“Speaking of coming up ...”

“Quiet, Love.  It won't be long now.”

“It already is ... long.”

“Shhh,” Jack said, never looking at Daniel.

Daniel took Jack's hand in his.  He brought it up to his lips and kissed the palm.  He turned it and kissed the top of the hand.  Jack looked down just in time to see Daniel put his mouth around Jack's thumb.  He sucked on the thumb and flicked his tongue against it before removing it.

Then, Daniel took the middle finger and licked it slowly along the back.  Getting to the tip, he flicked his tongue against it.  He heard Jack let out a gasp.  Quickly, Daniel inserted the finger about an inch into his mouth and then slid it out.  He licked all the way along the top of the finger, and then swayed his tongue along the side of the finger before inserting it more fully into his mouth.

Jack had forgotten hockey even existed.  He was locked onto Daniel's actions, and Daniel knew it.

“Coming ... up, Jack?”

“Already there, Love,” Jack said as Daniel turned over, carefully unsnapping and then unzipping Jack's pants.

He worked Jack's shaft in the same manner he had just handled the finger, licking along the length, swaying his tongue to make contact with every part of Jack's most sensitive areas, flicking it against the tip, and sucking, long and hard, until Jack came, a moan of relief and pleasure escaping from his throat as Daniel swallowed.

“Geez, Danny.  Geez,” was all Jack could say as Daniel moved up to kiss his lover on the mouth.  “You're very good at this.”

“Hmmm,” Daniel said with another kiss, “so are you.  Of course, I don't have any recent proof of that.”

“Oh, you don't, eh?”

“Nope.”

“I'd better rectify that situation.”

“That would be one of your better ideas, Jack!”

Jack took care of Daniel's needs and then the two did what was becoming one of their favorite things to do together --- they took a shower.  They liked the feel of the water against them as they held and washed each other.  It was one of their most intimate times during the day.  Of course, this was only the third day of their love affair, but they knew they'd always love their time together here.

They had lunch and went for a walk in the neighborhood.  They hated that they couldn't hold hands, but every now and then, Jack would slide his hand against Daniel's, hooking his pinkie finger in his lover's.  They walked almost a mile that way together, with just two fingers covertly holding on.

Then they decided to do some work around Jack's house.  Jack had been talking about doing some touch-up jobs.  A few spots needed some sealant added, there was a problem with one of the window tracks, and the trim needed to be repainted on a back window.

Jack worked in the front yard while Daniel took the back.  About an hour later, Daniel had finished the trim paint job.  He took a couple of steps back to admire his well done work.

“Good job, even if I do say so myself.”  Then he moved forward, tripping over the paint can and falling into the roller pan.  He cursed in Abydonian when he realized he now had paint all over him.  Still swearing silently and hitting himself over the head for his klutz-like maneuver, he went upstairs to take a shower.

Meanwhile, Jack saw the delivery truck pull up in front of the home.

“I almost forgot about you guys,” Jack said as they unloaded their cargo.  “Follow me.  It's upstairs, but there's plenty of space; it shouldn't be a difficult move.  And you're removing the old one, right?”

The men nodded, dropping the new items along the entranceway hall.  They walked upstairs, took apart the current one, and brought it downstairs.  Then, they took the new one upstairs, and were beginning to put it together when the phone rang.

Jack excused himself for a moment to go downstairs since the delivery men were blocking his access to the bedroom phone.  It was a wrong number, leaving Jack cursing.  Jack decided he'd better check on Daniel.  He went outside but couldn't find him, although he did notice the paint on the lawn.

Jack laughed.  “Tripped over the paint, did ya now, Dannyboy?”  And then panic struck.  “Oh no!  Danny!  Oh crap!”  Jack ran upstairs.

Daniel shut off the shower and heard a noise in the bedroom.  He was already naked, so he figured a bit of an appetizer before dessert would be in order.  Not bothering to put on his robe and wearing only a tight towel around his waist, Daniel walked out.

“Jack, I ... oh gawd!”

“Daniel!” Jack said in panic.

The two delivery men looked at Daniel and back at Jack and then back at Daniel, eyeing him up and down.  Jack felt a surge of jealousy shoot through him.  The word “murder“ popped into his mind at the simple thought of the two delivery men ogling his lover.

“HEY!  EYES ON THE BED.  GET THAT THING UP NOW.  DANIEL ... FOR CRYING OUT LOUD -- MOVE!”

“Oh gawd,” Daniel said, retreating to the bathroom.

The delivery men laughed.

“I WANT THAT THING UP ...”

“Don't worry, Mac, I think it's ... up already.”

Jack scowled at them.  The men finished within a couple of minutes, and Jack walked them downstairs. As they took the old furniture out, one man said to the other, “Well now we know why he wanted the new bed!”

“OUT!  GET OUT!” Jack slammed the door, locking it.  He leaned his body against the door, slumping slightly.  “Oh, Danny.  DANNY!”

Jack ran up the stairs and went to the bathroom door, finding it locked.

“Danny, Love, open the door.”

“Are they gone?”

“YOU THINK I'D LET YOU OPEN THE DOOR IF THEY WERE STILL HERE?  OPEN THE FRIGGIN' DOOR!”

Daniel opened the door.  “You don't have to yell.”  Daniel backed up to the opposite wall, self-hugging.

“Danny,” Jack said almost as a sigh, “geez, I'm sorry.  I didn't know you were up here.”

“I've never been so embarrassed.  Gawd.”  Daniel was facing the wall, his head slumped as he inched towards the corner of the bathroom, trying to make himself as small as possible.

Jack walked to him, sliding his arms around his lover.  He could feel the tightened muscles beneath his hands.

“I'm sorry, Babe.  I wanted to surprise you, and I ... I just didn't know that you were up here.  I'm so sorry.  I love you, Danny.”  Jack kissed the top of Daniel's shoulder.  “Love you so much.”

After a moment, Jack turned Daniel around to face him.  He saw the nervousness and the embarrassment overwhelming the young man.

“I'm so sorry, Danny.”  Jack brushed his lips against Daniel's.  “So sorry.  Love you.  Need you, Danny.”  Jack kissed him again, and then held his lover as close as he could.

Daniel rested his head against Jack's shoulder, taking a big breath.  “I thought I was going to die.”

“You already did that,” Jack tried to tease.

Daniel raised his right arm to Jack's neck.  “They were staring at me.”

“Too bad.  You're mine.  They can't have you.”

“Yours ...” Daniel wasn't sure if was a statement or a question.

“Mine, Daniel.  No one touches you.  Geez, no one even looks or I'll kill them.”

“Jack?” Daniel moved his head back to look at his lover.

“Didn't you see me, Daniel?  Those idiots are lucky I let them walk out the door!”

“They weren't ...”

“Oh, yes they were!  I love you, Daniel, and you'd better get used to it.  I'm ... geez, I don't think I was this bad with Sara even, but ... just the thought of someone else ... mine, all mine.”  Jack kissed Daniel possessively.  “That is ... if you'll let me have you?”

“All yours, just yours,” Daniel whispered his answer.

Jack was tempted to make love right there, but he sensed Daniel needed the security of being held, and truth be told, right now, that's all Jack really wanted to do, so for a while, they just stood there, embracing each other.

“Jack, why did you get a new bed?”

Jack smiled.  “Come see.”

The older man led his lover into the room to see the new king-sized bed.

“Wow!  Big!”

“We'll have lots of room.  We're both big guys, Danny, so now we can be a bit more comfortable, especially when we're rolling around like we do a lot.”

Daniel blushed, and Jack kissed his temple as he kept his arm around Daniel's waist.

“What about bedding?”

“They left that downstairs.  Shall we make our new bed?”

“Our bed.”  Daniel smiled.

“Well, it sure doesn't belong to those two idiots who just left here,“ Jack laughed.  ”Shall we?“

Daniel nodded, and then Jack asked, “Do you want to get dressed first?”

“Actually, I thought ... maybe ...”

Jack grinned.  “Maybe is good.”

“But Jack, one more thing.”

“What, Love?”

“Babe?  BABE?”

Jack shrugged, leaning forward to place a kiss on Daniel's lips, and then he repeated his lover's earlier words: “It just came out!”

“Just don't call me baby!  Not ever, Jack.”

Jack grinned as he headed for the hallway.

“JACK!  I MEAN IT!  NOT EVER!”

Jack laughed all the way down the stairs, totally ignoring Daniel's fears of being Jack's “baby” and picked up the bags of bedding.  Daniel glared at him for a moment, and then said, “Jack, just for the record, you call me Baby, and I'm calling you my ... dumpling.”

“Dumpling?”

“Dumpling ... my darling dumpling!”

Jack gulped.  “Okay, no baby, but you are a babe, one sexy and handsome babe.”

Daniel didn't know whether to blush or roll his eyes.  He wasn't really sure what he did, but as he walked up the stairs carrying a couple of the bags he thought maybe he had done both!

The two set up the bed.  Daniel marveled at the ocean blue sheets, the sky blue shams, the navy blue accent pillows, and the beautiful powder blue comforter.  As when Jack had insisted on buying Daniel new clothes, he'd done it all in blues.

“You sure you didn't go overboard with the blues again, Jack?”

Jack took the comforter and walked over to Daniel.  He wrapped it around his lover and gazed into the blue eyes.  “Oh, no.  It's ... perfection ... blue perfection.”

“Did you do all this during that hour at the mall?”

“Amazing what you can do when you're motivated?”

“I'm ... motivated ... now,” Daniel said, his smile inviting.  Jack accepted the invitation.  The two kissed and then christened their new king-sized bed!

====

“No ... back off ... I SAID BACK OFF ... NOOOOOOOO!”

Daniel felt Jack's arms moving wildly.  He raised his own hands to pat Jack's left cheek.  “Jack!  Jack, wake up!  Jack!”

“What?  WHAT?” Jack bolted into an upright position, accidentally shoving Daniel off of him.  He was breathing hard and looked around the room as if he had never been there before.

“Jack,” Daniel said again, reaching out to touch his hand.

“Danny?  Geez, Danny.”  Jack began to collapse towards Daniel.

Seeing this, Daniel opened his arm to welcome his lover into his protective hold.

“Danny,” Jack said again.

“Hush, Love.  It's okay.  You're safe, Jack.  I've got you.”  Daniel leaned his chin against Jack's head.  He felt his lover shaking in apparent fear, and Jack's right hand was clinging to Daniel's waist.

“Danny ... I hate that place.”

“It's all right.  Whatever it is, it's not real.  Only you and I are real.  I'm here, Love.  I'm right here.”

This was new for Jack.  Oh, he and Daniel had comforted each other plenty of times over the past year, and Daniel knew about Jack's nightmares.  He'd helped his best friend through them before, but this was different.  This was Jack seeking shelter in his lover's arms, and Daniel was providing him with everything he needed.

Daniel felt the difference, too.  In the past, when he had woke Jack from a nightmare, Jack wouldn't hide his emotion, but he'd quickly try to put up his protective shield.  Daniel couldn't describe the way his whole being reacted when Jack literally collapsed into him, because it was him.  Jack needed him ... really needed him.  Daniel was the protector, and how good that made Daniel feel, to sense Jack's trust and belief in the younger man.

“Was it Iraq?”

“Hellhole, Danny.  Nightmarish hellhole in a cesspool of a country.  I don't want to go back there.  I never want to go back there.”

Daniel strengthened his grip on the older man.  His right hand brushed against Jack's face, his fingers lightly walking through the fine strands of his lover's hair.  Daniel's left hand massaged Jack's bare back, its motion firm yet gentle.

“Shhh, Jack.  You won't ever go back.  I ... I won't let you go back.  I need you, you know, and I have no plans to ever go there.  We're staying here, safe.  I won't let you go, Jack.”

“I love you, Danny.”

Daniel closed his eyes, hating himself for not being able to say the words first.  “I love you, too, Jack.  Gawd, I love you so much.  I won't let you go anywhere without me, not ever again.  Love you.  Shhh.”

After a while, Daniel laid back down against his pillow and brought Jack to rest atop him.  He never let go, not even when Jack finally fell back to sleep.  Jack was his to protect.  He wouldn't let him down.

====

When Jack woke up, his hands grasping a pillow, Daniel was on his side, his head in his right hand, looking down at him, smiling.

“Hey!”

“Hey!”

Daniel leaned over and kissed his love.  “Are you okay?”

Jack nodded.  “Thank you, Danny.  It was a lousy nightmare.”

“Unfortunately, I understand all too well, but I brought you something special.”

“Oh yeah?  What?”

Daniel, who had put on his new blue sweatsuit, got up and walked over to the chair.  He picked up a tray and brought it to Jack.  Jack sat up, his back leaning against the headboard.

“Danny, thank you,” Jack spoke appreciatively, after which he leaned forward, wanting another kiss.

Daniel had brought Jack breakfast in bed, and the breakfast was Jack's very favorite meal -- Froot Loops!  He also added a bowl of hot oatmeal, an orange and some apple juice, but Jack was the happiest to see his beloved cereal.

“You never get up early.”

“I ... just thought you should get something special.”

“I love you.”

“Me, too!  Jack, I have an errand I have to run.  It'll take about 90 minutes, okay?”

“You're coming back?”

“I'll always come back.”

“It's just ...”

“I'll always come back,” Daniel leaned forward for yet another kiss, “but I'm not leaving for a couple of hours.  I just wanted you to know I have something I need to do.”

“Okay.  Hey, what about your breakfast?”

“Waffles,” Daniel smiled.

“So you ate already,” Jack said a bit disappointedly.

“No, I waited for you.  I kept them warm.  I'll go get them.”

Jack grinned as Daniel went downstairs.  He remembered his panic from the night before and how safe he had felt in Daniel's arms.  Jack didn't trust many people, and except for Sara, he had never let go, never let his vulnerability show at all ... but with Daniel, Jack was having a difficult time holding back anything.

And he found he was ridiculously happy that Daniel had done a simple thing like bringing him Froot Loops.  It was Jack's comfort food, and it meant more than if Daniel had spent hours slaving over some exotic food dish.  And it meant so much to Jack that Daniel knew that.  His heart did a flip flop as he realized, too, just how much it mattered to him that Daniel had waited to eat with him.

“I can't believe this,” Jack said aloud.

“Can't believe what?” Daniel asked as he walked in with his breakfast tray of waffles and various side dishes.
 
“I'm a romantic sap, Daniel.”

“Sap?”

“I was sitting here thinking about ... you, and getting all ... all wacky wishy washy mushy touchy feely about ... stuff like Froot Loops and ... you waiting to eat with me.”

Daniel smiled as he gazed at Jack, looking at the not-so-tough-as-nails Air Force Colonel.  He got a bit of a far away look as he thought.

“Danny?”

“Jack, no matter what, we just be ourselves, okay?  I mean, whatever that is, whoever we are, we just ... do what is ... I mean, uh, what's right for us.”

Jack nodded, commenting, “Like being saps.”

Daniel shrugged, admitting, “I guess so.”

“Saps-R-Us,” Jack laughed.

Daniel chuckled, too, and then the two men enjoyed a leisurely breakfast in bed.

====

Mid-morning, Daniel left to run his errand.  Jack walked around the house, flipping through magazines, taking out the laundry, checking out the backyard for ... for what, he didn't know.  Jack found that he was frustrated.

“Geez, what did I ever do without you, Danny?  Look at me, alone in my home, and I'm ... I'm friggin' lonely.  I love you, Danny.  Come back,” Jack whispered, inwardly afraid Daniel would suddenly change his mind about their love affair.  “I couldn't handle that, not now.  Four days and I'm ... a sap.  Four days.  It seems so much longer.  It seems ... real.”

Jack sank down in his chair and put his head back.  He stared at the ceiling.  “Come back, Danny.  Please come back.”

====

“JACK!  JACK!”

Jack startled awake.  He had fallen asleep in his chair.  “DANIEL?”  He heard the tapping at the door.

“JACK, OPEN THE FREAKIN' DOOR!  HURRY!”

Jack ran to the door.  “What the ... Danny you out there?”

“Funny, O'Neill, grab this before I drop it!”

Jack took the large box that sat atop another larger box and put it down in the entranceway.  He watched in amazement as Daniel brought in several other packages and boxes.

“Danny?”

“Welcome to the Computer Age, Jack!  This is everything you need.  Computer, monitor, printer, fax, word processing and banking programs, all the appropriate accessories, blah blah, as you'd say.  It's all here.”

“Danny, I don't know how ...”

“Oh, and you get one more thing.”

“What?”

Daniel walked up to him, slid his tongue into Jack's mouth, and began a two-minute kiss.

“Is that what I get?”

“Mmmm, yes ... you're own personal computer geek to help you in every way.”

“You're the best accessory ever!  You didn't have to do this, you know.”

“I know, but I wanted to.  I'll show you how to do everything.”

“My Danny, what you do to me.” Jack took Daniel into his arms.  “Thank you for coming back.”

“What?”

“Oh, geez, did I say that out loud?”

“I told you -- I'll always come back!”

The couple set up Jack's computer and spent the rest of the day and night in a detailed, personalized one-on-one tutoring session that gave a new definition to teaching ... one ON one!

====

It was the morning of the lover's sixth day together.

“You know something?  I think we're getting the hang of this,” Jack teased a sweat-soaked Daniel.

“Gawd, I hope so,” Daniel said as he listened to Jack's heartbeat.

“I think the phone rang.”

“I'm not answering the phone.”

“It might be ...”

“Tough.  Hammond gave us a week.  We've got forty-eight more hours and we're going to use every minute of it.”

Curious, the archaeologist asked, “What are we going to do today?”

“I was thinking ... we'd just stay in bed.  What do you think about that?”

Daniel smiled, saying, “I think it's the best idea you've ever had, Jack!”

And so they did.  For twenty-four hours, except for trips to the bathroom and to the kitchen, Jack and Daniel stayed in bed.  They made love ... and more importantly to them now, they cuddled.

“I like this, Danny.  I mean ... just holding you, snuggling.  Geez, I'm a sap,” Jack sighed.

“I like it, too ... a lot, Jack.”  Daniel paused, growing more and more serious.  “Jack, I, uh ... I never had this with anyone before.  No one ever, uh, I mean ...”

“I know what you mean, Danny.”  Jack intentionally tightened his grip.  Except for his parents, no one had ever taken care of Daniel.  He was the little boy-turned-adult in the space of mere seconds when he had witnessed the death of his mother and father.  Since that time, he had had to take care of himself.  ~No more, Danny.  I'm taking care of you for the rest of our lives.~

**For the rest of our lives, Danny.  No one's going to hurt you.  I plan on holding you close forever.  I promise.**  Jack hadn't realized he had thought the words so loudly in his mind.

**Forever sounds so nice.**

**Believe it, Love.  As long as you want me, you're going to be in my arms.**

**Make love to me, Jack.**

“So demanding,” Jack laughed, happy that Daniel was getting more open about saying what he wanted, even if it wasn't out loud.

====

Jack cursed as he struggled with the email he was sending, but after four tries, he finally succeeded.  With a smile, he shut down the computer and went in search of his lover.  It was their last day together without the intrusion of work, and they'd been apart a whopping twenty minutes and to Jack, that was twenty minutes too long.

He found Daniel sitting in the middle of the backyard.

“Hey, what are you doing?”

“Sitting.”

“I see that.  Why?”

“I like it here.”

~He's cute.~  Jack shook his head and went to sit down next to his lover.  Putting his arm around Daniel's waist, he asked, “What's so wonderful about this spot?”

“I don't know.”

“Come on, Danny.  Tell me.”

Daniel looked at Jack, and then stared at the ground, suddenly finding it fascinating.

“Danny, I love you,” Jack spoke in reassurance, hoping to cajole his lover into speaking his mind.

Slowly, Daniel smiled and confided, “It's just ... I ... I love your house, Jack.  It's, uh ... it's the closest thing I've ... it's ...”

“Home?”

Daniel nodded shyly, explaining, “Even when my parents were alive, we traveled.  I never had a home.  I don't even know what's it like.  I think I've spent more time here than I have anywhere, even my apartment.  I mean, we've always ... before we spent time together.  I just ...” Daniel trailed off with a shrug.

“It is home, Danny.  I know it'll take you awhile, but someday, I hope you'll believe it.”

“Me, too.”

“So you're sitting here staring at the house.”

“It's a beautiful house.”

“I can't argue with that,” Jack said with a smile.  “Hey, hockey's on.  Let's go watch.”

“I do NOT want to watch another hockey game.  We can watch a documentary or something.”

“I don't think so.”

“Well, I do!”

Playfully, the colonel retorted, “Tough snookies!”

“You're strange, O'Neill!”

“Am not!”

“Are, too!”

“Not!”

“Too!”

“But you love me!”

“Heaven help me, I do,” Daniel laughed.

Happily, the older man remarked, “I love your laugh.  Laugh some more for me.”

Daniel shyly flinched a little, his dimpled smile hidden somewhat as he bowed his head in embarrassment.

“Laugh for me, Love.”

“Jack ...”

“Laugh for me,” Jack requested and then gently pushed Daniel onto his back and proceeded to tickle him.

“Gawd ... oh gawd ... Jaaaaaaaack ...” Daniel burst into hysterical laughter, the most yet.

“That's it, laugh!  It's good for you, and you're so beautiful when you laugh.  Let it out, Danny.  I know it's there!”

“Oh gawd ...” Daniel thought he'd die from his body's reactions.  Jack's fingers were working overtime.  He was a quivering mass of jelly.  “Jaaaaack ... gawd, stop ... can't ... breathe ...”

Jack stopped, seeing Daniel's breathing had hitched a little, and said, “Oh, Danny.”  He placed his palm along the young man's left cheek.  “I want you to laugh, Danny ... laugh.  Too many tears, My Love ... too many.  I want you to smile.  No more tears,” his cracked voice said.

“Gawd, Jack.”  Daniel wrapped his arms around his lover.  “It's okay.  You keep loving me, and I'll be okay.”

“I'm sorry, Danny,” Jack said, unable to stop the tears from falling.  “I just want you to be happy.  You've gone through so much.  No one should have had to endure what you have.”

Daniel was stunned.  Jack was actually crying ... because of his, Daniel's, pain.  No one had ever done that before.  No one in the universe had cared about Daniel the way Jack did.

“Jack?”

“What, Love?” Jack sniffled out.

Daniel struggled with the words.  His mouth worked to form the words.  He felt them.  He believed them with every fiber of his being.  Why couldn't he just say it?  Why did Jack have to say it first?  Why?  Jack needed him now.  Daniel was angry with himself even as he comforted his soulmate.

Jack knew.  He could hear the internal struggle.  He looked up into Daniel's own misty eyes and saw the war still being waged.

“I love you, Danny.“

The words gushed out, as if Jack had broken the dam.  “I love you, Jack, with all my heart.  I love you so much; forever, Jack.  Love you!”

“I love you, too, Danny.”

Jack laid his head back down, cherishing the moment.  He understood Daniel's hesitation.  And even if technically Daniel hadn't said the magical three words first, Jack knew that Daniel wanted to.  He would never forget this for the rest of his life.

====

“I can't believe it's over,” Daniel said at the door of the apartment.

“It's not over, Danny.  It's just beginning.  You and I,” Jack cupped Daniel's face, “we've only just hit our stride.  From now on, every day is our day because we love each other.”

“I love you, too!”

The two couple kissed goodnight, and, reluctantly, Jack drove home alone.  When he got there, he went straight to bed.  It was lonely.  The bed was huge, and it needed Daniel to be complete.  He understood it was the smart thing for Daniel to go to the apartment.  He needed to do laundry, to feed the fish again, but still, Jack missed Daniel.  He couldn't get comfortable.

At the apartment, Daniel tended to various matters for a few minutes and then sat down at his computer to check his email.  He hadn't checked it since before the impromptu mission that saved the world.  He reviewed the list, too tired to really read any of it, until he saw the most recent email, from Flyboy.

Daniel smiled as he opened it:

D.

I love you.  Have I told you that recently?  Did I tell you that you've made me feel more alive than I have in years?  Did you know that you take my breath away, that you are the most beautiful person in all the universe, inside and out?  The last few days have made me feel again, and I've felt so many things -- all good, and all because of you, only you.  Forever and always, D, I love you ... and I miss you already, and you know what?  You haven't even left yet.  You're out there, but just knowing you're leaving soon has my stomach in knots.  My muscles are tight.  My heart ... I miss you, D.

L.Y.S.M.

J.

Daniel couldn't stop the tears that fell.  He placed his hands over the computer monitor.

“Love you so much, too.”

====

Jack tossed and turned.  “Oh for crying out loud, I give up.  I can't sleep in this thing without Danny.”

“Good thing you said the right name, O'Neill.”

“Daniel?” Jack leaped up and hurried to the doorway, scooping Daniel into his arms.  “Danny ... geez, I missed you.  I love you,” Jack said, actually lifting Daniel off the ground and spinning him around.

“I love you, too.  I missed you, Jack.”

“It was a whole ... a whole ...”

Daniel looked at his watch and then answered, “... A whole seventy-eight minutes.”

“Seventy-eight?  Way too many minutes, Danny,” Jack said, leading his lover over to the bed and gently bringing both their bodies to a lying position.

“I got your email.  Gawd, Jack, you're such a sap!”

“Look who's talking!”

“Too much talking, Jack ... way too much.”

So Jack and Daniel stopped their communication of words and let their bodies speak for them.  They were still exploring, still learning about each other, but every day, their knowledge grew, as did their love.

Their future was uncertain, each had their doubts about their own self-worth, but both also knew the synergy they created together was far better than anything they had ever done individually.

“My beautiful falling star,” Jack whispered.

“I'm cold, Jack.”

“I can fix that.”

“Forever and always?”

“Forever and always!”

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