Hide and Seek

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Humor, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  2 - May 15-16, 1999
Spoilers:  None
Size:  20kb, ficlet
Written:  February 3-5,7,12,23, March 2, April 16, 2008
Summary:  A spur of the moment trip to San Francisco results in a rather unexpected outing at the mall.
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) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Irina, Linda, Melissa, Keri!

Hide and Seek
by Orrymain

Late Friday night, Jack and Daniel made a spur of the moment decision to get away for the weekend, the lovers wanting to get out of Colorado Springs before tackling their next mission for the SGC.  The couple decided on a quick trip to San Francisco, California, since the locale was a short ninety-minute flight away, and they could get both an early Saturday morning flight to the city by the bay and an early evening return flight to the Springs on Sunday.  The timing was perfect.

“This is the city,” Jack said boisterously as he and his lover headed for the rental car facility.

“Are you sure you want to add to the congestion?” Daniel questioned.  “I mean, we could use BART,” he suggested, referring to the city's rapid transit system.

The lovers stopped at the information booths, checking on the location of their hotel and the schedules.

“The Hyatt is almost a mile from the BART station.  Let's skip the rental car and take a cab to the hotel.  We can walk or use BART to get anywhere we want to go from the hotel.”

“Okay,” Daniel agreed.

====

“This place has changed,” Jack opined a couple of hours later.

“Every place changes,” Daniel responded as the lovers walked down Fisherman's Wharf.

“I'm not sure if it's for better or worse, though.”

“The sea otters seem to like it,” Daniel mused, looking over at a group of the sea animals who were enjoying the day on one of the floating docks.

“No rent,” Jack teased as he looked over at the animals, too.

“I brought Sara and Charlie here once.  It was still used by a lot of fishermen then.”  Jack sighed, “Look at that sign.  Do you believe that?  They're warning everyone not to eat the fish because we've done such a bang up job of polluting the ocean.”  He shook his head and snorted, “Toxic fish.  Crap, we're doing ourselves in.”

“Jack,” Daniel interjected, reaching over to take his lover's hand.  He smiled, liking the feeling of freedom.  He couldn't help it.  He was about to say something serious, but that single touch had suddenly thrown his thought away.  “I, uh, forgot.”

Jack turned to face his lover and caressed his cheek.  He smiled, looking down at their joined hands.

“Freedom is an amazing feeling,” Jack spoke with awe.

“People don't care here,” Daniel replied.  “They just ... live.”

“Yeah.  I wish it was like that everywhere.”

“Me, too.”

“Ghiradelli Square isn't far from here.  Let's get some chocolate and ice cream,” Jack suggested.

“We haven't even had lunch yet.”

“Is there something wrong with chocolate and ice cream for lunch?” the older man questioned.

Smiling and shaking his head, Daniel answered, “No, nothing.”

Hand in hand, the lovers continued their walk along Fisherman's Wharf, heading for the Square that had once been a huge chocolate factory but was now host to a few small stores, a small candy shop, and one of the best ice cream parlors to be found in the city.

“I can't belief the Wharf has become nothing more than one huge shopping mall,” Jack lamented.

“Jack, do you want to bemoan how it's changed, or would you rather take in what it still has to offer and, uh, well ...”

“... just enjoy being with you?” Jack completed with a smile.

“Something like that.”

“I'll take the 'or', Danny.  I'll definitely take the 'or'.”

====

Later that afternoon, the couple found themselves wandering in the city's vertical mall.  They weren't there for any special reason, but were just enjoying being able to be out in public without holding back.  It was so seldom that they were able to do that.

The couple window-shopped and enjoyed the nine-story atrium and then simply milled around, chitchatting.  Then they overheard a young woman calling out a bit angrily for her boyfriend.

“How do you lose a boyfriend?” Jack asked.

“Do you want a list?” Daniel teased.

“Daniel, I'm not talking about 'Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover'; I meant in a mall.  Look at her making such a big fuss over it.  He's gotta be around here.  All she has to do is look.”

“It is a big place, Jack.”

“Yeah, but if she really knows him, she'd find him like that,” Jack claimed, snapping his fingers.

“He could be on another floor.”

“Trying to get away from her,” Jack said sarcastically.  “Seriously, Danny, I don't get those folks who lose each other in the mall.  All it takes is paying attention and some good, old fashioned observation.”

“You think so?”

“Absolutely,” Jack responded.

“You have a bet,” Daniel said, pulling his hand out of his soulmate's.

“Huh?”

“You give me a fifteen minute head start, and then you see if you can find me.”

“No changing floors.”

“Nope.  I'll be right here on this floor, and I bet that I can get lost in this crowd of people and walk right by you.”

“No way,” Jack refuted.  “I'd know you anywhere.”

Daniel smiled and confidently suggested, “If I get by you, I win.  If you find me, you win.”

“I'm game, but what are the stakes?”

The younger man leaned in and whispered into his lover's ear, “You know that thing you want to try that I haven't let you try yet?”

Jack almost popped his cork just hearing the words, but he kept his calm and responded, “If I win, I get to do that?”

“Yeahsureyoubetcha,” Daniel promised.

“And if you win?”

“You spring clean my apartment, to *my* standards, next week while I read, or eat, or sleep in, or ... whatever.”

“I'm gonna win this bet, Dannyboy,” Jack promised with anxious and determined eyes.

“We'll see.  Fifteen minutes to let me mix in.  After an hour, if you haven't found me, I win automatically.”

“It'll never happen,” Jack insisted.

“We'll meet at the escalator,” Daniel stated.

“I know you, Daniel.  I'll see you even if you're all the way at the other end of the mall.  People just don't pay attention.”

“Forget the lecture, Babe.  Fifteen,” Daniel reiterated, backing away, his confident eyes shining at the challenge they were now undertaking.

====

~There it is,~ the archaeologist thought, heading into the salon he'd recalled seeing earlier.

“Hello,” a beautiful brunette named Liz greeted.

“Hi,” Daniel replied.  “Uh, I need a favor.  Fast.”

“What can I do for you?” Liz asked from behind the counter.  “Shampoo?  Set for that lovely head of hair?  Or ...”  She laughed, “I feel like a stewardess.”

Daniel chuckled and leaned over the counter, feeling freer in San Francisco than he had in almost anywhere that he'd been to before.

“You see, I have a bet going, and I need to change my look, really, really, *really* fast.”

“How drastic?”

“Drastic,” Daniel answered.  “But I don't want to dye my hair or cut it.  I just ... want to be ... unrecognizable.”

“Do you have an appointment?” Liz questioned, smiling at the cute archaeologist.  ~I'd never cut that hair.  He's hot, with a capitol 'H'.~

“No.”

“We're all booked up,” the woman replied solemnly.

Daniel sighed in defeat.

“But for you, we'll make an exception,” Liz announced brightly.  “I know just the thing.  Come with me,” she instructed, leading her client back into the interior of the salon.  “Gabriel, I have an urgent project for you.”

“I'll take him,” the obviously 'gay' man replied.

“Spoken for,” Daniel quickly rebutted.

“Pity.  What's the job?” the hair stylist queried as he automatically began to examine Daniel's face and hair, searching for the right 'do'.

“Punksville.  Can you do it?”

“How long do we have?” Gabriel inquired.

“Ten minutes,” Daniel answered.

“Sit,” Gabriel ordered, pointing to the chair at his station.  “It'll be crude, but I'll toot my own horn and say we can do something.  Give me the 4-1-1.”

“Well ...” Daniel began, telling him about his lover's cocky statement.

“Gabriel will set him straight.  Oh, I didn't mean that literally,” the man laughed.

Daniel couldn't help but laugh as well at the energetic and affable hairdresser.  He was the stereotype of a homosexual, but he was obviously a happy person, and he had a great sense of humor.

“What exactly are you going to do to me?” the archaeologist inquired.

“Not what I'd like to,” Gabriel answered, causing the shy man in the chair to blush in embarrassment in spite of his best efforts not to.  “We're going to spike you up and add some color.”

“Color?  I ...”

“Don't worry.  This washes right out.  We just spray it on, and you can wash it away tonight.”

“Oh, okay.  You're sure?”

“Who's your hair lover?”

Daniel's eyes widened as he simply smiled and waited for his hair transformation to be complete.

====

His hair done, Daniel glanced out the front of the salon, looking to see if his lover was around.  Not seeing Jack, he dashed down the mall to another store that he recalled seeing.  Normally, he'd have never had a reason to go inside, but it was definitely the perfect place for him now.

“Great hair,” Janis, the female salesclerk, spoke upon seeing Daniel.

“Thanks.  I need the look to go with it, and it has to be fast,” Daniel said, talking as rapidly as he ever had before as he explained his desperate need.

“Dude, do you ever take a breath?”

“Sometimes,” Daniel answered quietly.  “Can you help me?”

“I know exactly what you need,” Janis said, leading the young man over to the leather pants.

“Oh ... uh, wow,” Daniel expressed in a combination of amusement and terror.

“It's you; it's really you,” Janis said with a smile as her eyes focused on Daniel's crotch.

~Gawd, now I know how Sam felt when I said that on Simarka,~ the archaeologist thought.  ~Note to self: apologize to Sam when we get back.~

====

“Good luck, Dude,” Janis said as she watched her customer exit the store.

“Thanks,” Daniel replied.  ~Oh, geez, wow,~ he thought, seeing his reflection through the glass window and almost jumping in shock at the complete stranger he saw in that window..  ~Calm, Jackson.  Okay, time to make Jack eat his words.~

It only took the archaeologist a minute or two to catch sight of his lover, who looked a bit perplexed as he walked the mall.

~Not so sure of yourself now, are you, Jack?~  Walking down one side of the mall, Daniel glanced over and saw Jack amble by on the other side.  ~Yep, you'd know me,~ he mused.  He stopped and did some window shopping, waiting for his soulmate to come back in his direction, which didn't take that long.  Once again, the colonel didn't recognize his archaeologist.  ~I'm gonna love watching you clean my apartment.~

====

The hour was almost up, and Daniel decided to give Jack one last really easy chance to recognize him.  After all, that little thing his lover wanted to try sounded interesting.  It was different and new for them, but most everything was anyway.

Jack was making one last attempt to find his soulmate before admitting his defeat and going to the escalator where they'd agreed to meet.  He was frustrated and just couldn't believe he hadn't found his Love.

~This is unbelievable; just friggin' unbelievable,~ Jack groaned in dismay as he walked down the mall in the direction of the salon.  He studied the faces and outfits of the people all around him, striking out in the 'he's my lover' department.  ~He's gotta be here somewhere.  He wouldn't have left.  Danny wouldn't cheat.~

Jack just couldn't believe what was happening.  His lover was nowhere in sight, and the time was almost up.  If he didn't see Daniel during this last walk down the mall, he'd lose the bet.

~Woman.  Kid.  Too old.  Don't know what that is.  Punk.  Crazy, just crazy,~ he thought as someone walked towards him.  “Hey, watch where you're going,” Jack said as the man brushed against him a bit forcefully.  Muttering under his breath, he said, “Geez, I wonder if he thinks he's a dog.”

The man ignored the remark and kept on going, as did Jack, who was wondering what the world was coming to as he continued to search for his soulmate, but at the same time was thinking about the punk who he'd just crossed paths with.

Finally, the colonel sighed, raising up his arms in defeat.  He'd lost.  Reluctantly, he headed for the escalator.  The entire walk back he was shaking his head and bewailing his failure to win the bet.  He really wanted to try that something new.

Suddenly, Jack slowed.  There, by the escalator, was someone the colonel thought looked like a punk rocker.  The man was dressed in tight-fitting leather pants that were accentuated by a black belt with a large bronze-colored pirate belt buckle affixed to it.  The pirate had a patch over one eye and wore the traditional pirate's cap.

The man's black shirt had a skull and crossbones design.  Above the skull was the word 'Rock' and spread out across the chest below it were the words, 'Make Music' on one side and 'Not Missle' on the other.

Completing the stranger's look was a black leather jacket and black boots with no less than four buckle straps on them.  The man also wore some makeup with his blue-tinted sunglasses.  His predominantly blue hair with shades of pink in it was done up in Mohican style, with several big spikes lined up from the front of his head to the back.  In fact, it reminded Jack of the Statue of Liberty.

The punk rocker's right ear had an earring in the shape of an angel wing dangling from it, along with three diamond-like studs pinned to his ear.  Around his neck, he wore a choker which looked very much like a dog collar with spikes and studs as ornamentation.  Hanging from it was a charm with the letter 'D' on it.

“Oh, crap!”

“Dude, you lost,” Daniel greeted, breaking out into a smile and removing his sunglasses, revealing his smoky eyes, which further enhanced his punk look even more so.

“I so do *not* believe this.”

“Woof,” the younger man teased.

“What?” Jack asked a bit forcefully.

“Jack, do you have any idea how many times you walked by me in the last hour?”

“That was you!  You bumped into me,” the older man accused, extending his arm out slowly and then thrusting it towards his partner.

“I was giving you the best chance I could.  I mean, uh, blue hair,” Daniel said, his eyes rolling upwards towards his hair, “and the 'D'.  What more could I do?”

Jack groaned and then he began to study his lover.  It certainly wasn't his best look, but Daniel in leather?  There were possibilities there, and leather was showing off his 'assets' extremely well.  All of sudden, Jack was liking the look, and he was liking it a lot.

“Danny, as the kids say today, you're hot.”

“Oh, well, thank you.  Gabriel said the same thing.”

“Gabriel?” Jack asked with raised eyebrows and a hint of jealousy in his voice.

“My hairdresser,” Daniel teased.  “I'd better change.”

“No!” Jack exclaimed, putting his hand on his lover's chest.  “Let's just go back to the hotel.”

“Jack!”

“Think of the learning experience you can have as we go back to the hotel.”

“You mean all the looks?” the younger man queried.

“Daniel, we're in The City.  No one cares.”

“Oh, yeah, I forgot,” Daniel responded.  “You're right.”

“On second thought, Daniel, maybe you'd better change before we leave,” Jack suggested, seeing a few looks being aimed over at his archaeologist.

“Why?” Daniel asked, a quizzical expression on his face.

“Because no one looks at you in those pants but me,” Jack's Mr. Jealousy replied.

Daniel just blushed and then, chuckling, he grabbed his Heart's hand.

====

The couple made a quick stop at the punk store to get Daniel's clothes that he had left there while he and Jack had played their game.

As the lovers started to exit the mall, Daniel questioned, “So, are you ready to concede that finding someone isn't as easy as it seems.”

“I still say that guy didn't go in for a makeover.”

“No, probably not, but ...”

“But what a way to spend an afternoon,” Jack interjected.  “How'd he'd get your hair like that?”

“Lots of gel and spray.”

“Danny, the color,” Jack spoke, alarmed at the thought of Daniel going to the SGC with pink and blue hair.

“It washes out easily.  It's just a color spray; very temporary,” the archaeologist answered.

“Uh, you didn't really pierce your ears?”

“No, Babe, I didn't.”  Reaching up, the archaeologist removed the glued on studs and the dangling clip earring.  He held them in his hand to show his lover and then slipped them into his jacket pocket.  “This was fun, you know.”

“I love you, Danny.”

“I love you, too,” Daniel replied.

====

The only looks Daniel received on the return trip to the hotel were looks of lust; at least, that's what Jack kept complaining about.  The younger man was a bit amused.  His lover was turned on, big time, and it was a surprise to both of them.

As soon as they locked the hotel door, Jack pounced on his soulmate, letting his skin feel the leather up close.  He was on fire, and nothing was going to put him out except for some intense lovemaking.

“Jack,” Daniel gasped.

“What?”

“That thing you want to do?  Do it.”

“Oh, yeah,” Jack replied as the lovers escaped into a realm of erotic passion.

====

“You've got to be kidding?” Daniel asked the next morning as the lovers were eating breakfast.  He was back to his usual look, not even a hint of the punk look remaining.  ~He *has* to be kidding.~

“You might want to wear it again,” Jack explained.

“I'm not keeping that outfit,” Daniel argued.

“Daniel,” Jack whispered, leaning forward slightly.  “You know what that outfit did to me last night.”

“I thought that was me.”

“It was, but it added some spice, dontcha' think?” Jack challenged with a smile.

“Jack, there's a side to you that no one at the SGC would ever believe.”

“Come on, Danny.”

“Jack, you're sick.”

“But?” Jack said with a hopeful expression on his face.

“Gawd,” Daniel sighed.  “Fine.  Alright.”

“That's my Danny,” the older man chimed happily.

“It's only because of that ... thing you did,” Daniel said quietly.  “I mean, that was ... it was ... oh, gawd, it was ...”

“Danny, I'm not ...”

“... hungry anymore,” Daniel responded in unison with his life partner.

As quickly as they could, the lovers returned to their hotel room for another round of their latest sexual adventure.  Their trip to San Francisco had been a rousing success.  They'd gotten away from the Springs and enjoyed time alone, out in the open; and they'd had some unexpected fun.  The punk look would never again mean the same thing to either one of them, and the couple was glad for it.

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