Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Season: 1 - May 17, 1997
Size: 36kb, short story
Written: March 19-20,23-26,31, April 1,17,22, 2005 Revised for consistency: April 6-8, 2007
Summary: Daniel goes apartment hunting, and Jack goes with him.
Disclaimer: Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't. A gal can dream though!
1) Jack and Daniel sometimes say things that have double meanings. A simple “Jack” or “What are you doing?” could mean much more than the words spoken and could carry multiple connotations, including feelings, desires, fears, etc. These double meanings are noted like this: “Actual spoken words” **(double meaning)**
2) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better: QuinGem, Claudia, Tamara, Kat, Sue P., Cassi, Ali, Robert, Linda!
Jack reached for his black leather jacket and put it on. He
glanced over at Daniel and smiled.
“You know you don't have to come with me,” Daniel said quietly, standing by the door with his arms crossed tightly over his chest, looking like a fifteen-year-old torn between being wanting his independence and fearing it at the same time.
“What, and unleash you on Colorado Springs all by yourself? You might get lost,” Jack teased.
“Very funny, Jack.” ~Gawd, he is coming. Actually, that's a good thing. It'll make the day go quicker, and he does know the area better than I do.~
Daniel grinned, feeling more relaxed. He already had his jacket on. Actually, it was the same brown jacket Jack had given him on his very first night back on Earth after he'd returned from living on the planet of Abydos for quite some time. It had been three months since the fateful day his wife, Sha're, had been taken by the evil System Lord, Apophis. Since his return, the archaeologist had been staying with his friend and teammate, but now that he had finally received the first installment of his years-plus back pay from the Air Force for being a consultant, Daniel decided it was time to find a place of his own. It was the logical thing to do.
The archaeologist had enjoyed staying with Jack, though, and now that they were actually going apartment hunting and not just talking about it, somehow it didn't sound so wonderful; in fact, a large part of him wished he'd never brought up the idea of finding a place of his own.
Jack silently wished the same thing. Though they seemed to be as different as night and day, having the younger man around made for fun times, even when they argued. He knew Daniel wanted his own place, and that was natural. After all, Jack figured, Daniel was probably just being polite, enduring nightly sports lectures, often highlighted by pizza runs.
“Let's take my truck,” the older man suggested.
“What's wrong with my car?”
“Is that what that is?” Jack snickered.
“Jack!” **(Give me a break; it has personality.)**
“Daniel!” **(I'd like to live, and this makes Columbo's car look like a Rolls Royce.)**
“It's a cute little car,” Daniel said in defense of his old jalopy.
“A cute little car!” Jack laughed. “I can see how cuteness is important when buying a car, but ya know, it could use a few things, like doorlocks and maybe an engine that runs further than one mile at a time.”
“You're exaggerating, Jack,” Daniel sighed. ~Gawd, he's right, but no way am I admitting that. Besides, it *is* a cute little car. It has character!~
“Not by much. Get in.”
Daniel rolled his eyes, but did as Jack asked.
“Okay, traitor, where to?”
“Traitor?” Daniel asked, confused by the tease.
“You're the one breaking up the team.”
“We are not breaking up; I mean, I am not breaking up ... with you; I mean, we aren't ... you and I ...” Exasperated, more with himself than at his friend, Daniel asked, “Jack, why do you turn everything into an argument?”
“Who's arguing?” Jack grinned like the Cheshire cat, altogether pleased at seeing Daniel get so flustered . “Where to?”
Daniel let out a frustrated sigh and then reached into his jacket pocket to pull out a list of potential apartments he had made the night before.
Before the younger man could respond, Jack stated, “Danny, you don't have to move out, you know.” The two looked into each's other's eyes as they shared a moment of seriousness. “The house is plenty big enough for both of us. Of course, you probably want your privacy.”
“And you want yours. Jack, you've been a gracious host, but I know I drive you crazy.”
“Of course, you do, but you still don't have to go.” ~Crazy isn't always a bad thing; I haven't had so much fun since ... well, I don't want to think about that.~
“Yes, I do, but thanks for helping and making it easier.” They both smiled a little sadly, and then Daniel reviewed his list. “Um, let's start with this one.”
Jack looked at the address and shook his head as he silently thought, ~Oh, not a good start; definitely not, Dannyboy.~ He let out a negative-sounding groan. “I don't think so.”
“Jack!” **(Gawd, you're not going to make this easy.)**
“Daniel!” **(I'm older *and* wiser; trust me.)**
“Jack, go here, or I'm going to get out and go by myself.”
“You don't know the Springs very well.”
“Daniel!” **(You may be a genius, but on this, I'm smarter than you.)**
“Now, Jack.” **(Maybe, but I want to see it.)**
As they headed for the first stop, both pondered the impending move. It seemed odd to both of them that they really didn't want the move to happen; their connection was strong, and that seemed strange to them as well. Still, both believed that the other one really did want to be 'rid' of the other. Daniel was sure he was an imposition, and Jack was positive Daniel had only been humoring the sports and food nights.
While Jack's offer had been genuine, Daniel assumed he was just being polite; at the same time, Jack figured Daniel was the one not comfortable sharing the house, especially since they were so different in personality.
Neither confident enough in their gut instincts, Jack and Daniel continued to joke and tease their way through a day that would be one of transition, though at the time, neither knew exactly what their future held in store for them.
Jack stared at Daniel who was looking out the truck window at the run-down apartment complex.
“So, can we skip this one and try the next one?” Jack asked hopefully, not really wanting to waste any more time than necessary on this first selection.
Daniel gulped, refusing to be defeated on his first attempt. So what if he'd chosen an address that was probably in the worst part of town? The rent was right.
“No, I still want to see it.”
“Daniel, if it has a bathroom that works, you'll be lucky.” ~I'm not sure the tenants here would even care if their bathroom didn't work. I'm not sure I'd want to go to the bathroom, knowing who lived next door.~
As Daniel got out of the truck and headed for the dilapidated building, Jack just shook his head, thinking, ~Someday he'll learn, but, apparently, that day isn't today.~
Jack got out of the truck and hurried to catch up with the younger man.
“It's, uh, I mean, it does have that lived in look,” Daniel stuttered lamely.
“Danny, let's get out of here.”
Daniel sighed. The place was a pig sty.
“What did you expect, Honey?” the female landlord asked. “You get what you pay for.”
Daniel nodded, thanked her, and walked outside, with Jack following closely behind.
“Aren't you going to say you told me so?”
“No, but you might want to give me some credit for knowing the city a little better than you.”
~And give you the satisfaction of being right? Gawd, I'd never live it down!~ “Maybe. Let's go to the next one.”
Jack looked at the address and remarked, “You won't like it.”
“Jack, just drive,” Daniel sighed as he got into the truck.
“I like this place,” Daniel commented as looked around the empty apartment.
“You won't for long.”
“Jack, stop being so negative.”
“You gotta trust me.” ~Just look around for a minute, Danny. Attaboy! Keep turning your head and ... Bingo!~
“Jack, what is so baa...d?” Daniel stared out the window and wrinkled his nose in disgust. “Oh.”
“What's the problem?” the burly man showing the apartment asked.
“Thank you for your time, but I really don't want to be overlooking the local dump.”
Scrunching his nose as he tried not to inhale the nasty odors, Daniel headed for the door.
“You'll get used to the smell,” the man shouted. “Really; it's not so bad.”
“Nice try,” Jack said, patting the man on the arm as he followed Daniel outside yet again. As he released his hand, he stared at it, shook it for a moment as he tried to get the grime off, and then ran it along the side of his pants. ~Eww. Bad move; has he washed that shirt in the last ... decade?~ Catching up with Daniel at the sidewalk, Jack asked, “Where to?”
Jack chuckled, “It's not that bad.”
“Right now New York seems more appealing. I might get mugged, but ...”
“Danny, did you get mugged?”
Ignoring the question, Daniel pulled out his list and said, “Okay, here's the next one.”
~Evasion of the question, eh? The time will come, Doctor Jackson, when you'll answer me.~ Dropping the issue for the time being, Jack noted the address and unlocked the truck.
“What? No bad comments?” Daniel asked with surprise.
“No, that's a decent neighborhood.”
“Oh, well, good then,” Daniel said with a smile as he moved to the passenger side to get into the Ford vehicle. ~Finally! The law of averages said there had to be a decent neighborhood on the list sooner or later. You'd think I had picked all the worse places on purpose.~
“... hard to believe it's an accident; maybe it's fate.”
“What?” Daniel asked, having not heard a word Jack had said over the last two minutes.
“I said if I didn't know better, Danny, I'd say you'd picked out the worst neighborhoods on purpose.”
“That's dumb, Jack. What a ridiculous thing to say, even for you.”
“I think I should be insulted,” Jack said, pretending to be upset.
“Let me know what you decide,” Daniel teased.
“Smart aleck,” Jack rebounded.
“Wise guy,” Daniel retorted.
“Thank you, Daniel. Now that you've admitted that I'm wise, maybe you'll let me pick out the next place.”
“Just drive, Jack. Gawd.”
Laughing and bantering, the two friends continued their search for the perfect apartment.
“Nice,” Jack said.
“I like the view,” Daniel commented. He looked at the apartment manager. “What's the rent?”
“Nine-twenty-five,” she responded.
“A month?” Jack asked incredulously.
“You're joking, right?”
“No, that's it. Take it or leave it,” the manager said confidently.
“We'll leave it,” Jack quickly replied, making a move for the door.
Not budging, Daniel called out, “Jack, it's perfect.”
Jack turned as he spoke, “Daniel, that's highway robbery. No way are you going to spend even eight-hundred dollars for this place, let alone nine-twenty-five.”
“You won't find a better deal,” the manager argued politely, certain she had a pigeon, er, renter in Daniel who seemed very gullible in her estimation.
“Oh, yes, we will. Let's go Daniel.”
“Jack!” **(It's a nice place.)**
“Daniel, move.” **(It may be nice, but this lady is operating a scam. No way.)**
Daniel sighed, smiled at the woman, and followed Jack out the door.
“You'll be sorry,” the female yelled after them to no avail.
When they got to the truck, Daniel argued, “Jack, it is *my* apartment.”
“You need money to pay for food, gas, and utilities: you are not paying that woman ransom money.”
“You're exaggerating,” Daniel refuted, yet putting on his seatbelt.
“What's next?” Jack asked, knowing there was nothing wrong with the apartment, but simply refusing to let his friend pay such an outrageous rent for it.
“Well, it has possibilities,” Daniel remarked at the next apartment on the list. Actually, this one was a townhouse, but it had all the basics. “I wish it had a better view, though.”
“I thought you liked plants,” Jack responded.
“I do, but I don't want to live in one.”
The apartment in question was overrun with plant life, vines, and greenery which ran all around the small patio. None of the shrubbery had been pruned or trimmed, and an abundance of leaves and branches stuck through the patio rails. To Jack, it looked like a set for a Tarzan movie. Moving in here would require regular gardening, which Daniel didn't really have the time for.
“It's the first floor, Danny.”
“I guess it's okay.”
“Nope, let's go,” Jack said, walking towards the door.
“Because you aren't in love with it.”
This time, Daniel didn't argue. The place had things he wanted in his new residence, but it just didn't feel homey.
“Don't be so depressed. We'll find a cool place,” Jack said as he and Daniel were having lunch at McDonald's.
Jack chuckled, “Something appropriate for a geek of your stature.”
Daniel shook his head, torn between laughing and swatting his friend.
“Jack, I need a place to live, but according to you, there's something wrong with every place we look at.”
“You want to look out at the dump? How about that place next to the bar? You really want those hookers finding their way to your apartment?” He snickered, “Or maybe you do want that.”
“Right, Jack,” Daniel said, eating a french fry. Jack reached over and stole one of Daniel's fries. Immediately, Daniel swatted his hand. “Hey! Eat your own fries.”
Jack chuckled, “What fun is that?”
“Jack, it's bad enough that we're eating at McDonald's, but do you have to act like a kid, too?”
“What's wrong with being a kid?” Jack asked a bit seriously. ~You need to be a kid more. You're too 'old' for someone so young, Danny. Geez, the world won't stop if you play for a few minutes. Play's good; I know because I do it all the time.~
“It's just ... well, we're not kids.”
“Inside you, Daniel Jackson, is a kid, and I'm going to find that kid if it's the last thing I do.”
Jack took one of his french fries and threw it at Daniel, silently promising himself that he *would* find that kid even if it took him years to do so.
“Eat up, Danny. We have more apartments to reject.”
Daniel rolled his eyes and said, “I just love your positive nature.”
Jack threw his head back and laughed out loud. It was definitely an attention-getting laugh. Just as Jack took a bite of his hamburger, Daniel turned to see if anyone was watching them.
Jack roared, “It's okay, Daniel. Nobody even noticed the old guy and the young geek cutting up in Mickey D's.”
“Oh, no you don't. You haven't been living in that much of a shell.” Jack saw the blank expression on his friend's face. “Mickey D's, the Golden Arches, the Rainbow Room.” Still, Daniel's eyes looked clueless. “McDonald's, for cryin' out loud. Geez, gotta take you out more.”
Daniel just shrugged, wondering who was younger - Jack, or the little kid two booths down, playing with his own french fries.
Jack just shook his head. Of course, he knew he had an advantage; after all, he'd been living near or in Colorado Springs for several years now. He had known the moment they drove around the corner that this place was a 'no go', but Daniel wouldn't heed his words of warning.
~You'll learn; any minute now, I suspect.~
“Jack, look at all the storage space, and there's a pantry. The rooms are a little smaller than I'd like, but I love that breakfast nook,” Daniel said excitedly, his eyes roaming around the small kitchen.
“No balcony, and this is only on the second floor,” Jack remarked.
“You like balconies. You've oohed and awed at each place that had one.”
“Okay, I like balconies, but what does the second floor have to do with anything?”
“You're closer to the ground.”
“Annnnnd that means what?”
Jack walked over to the window and looked out.
Ignoring Jack, Daniel confidently stated, “I'm going to take it. It's only fifteen minutes from the Mountain.”
Jack smirked, “You don't want it.”
Still smirking, Jack turned and said, “Listen.”
“Lis...ten,” Daniel spoke, the word broken as he realized what his friend was talking about. As the cacophony of sirens blared, Daniel closed his eyes and let out a long, slow breath. “Please don't tell me.”
“Okay, I won't. Ah, more: the music of the night.”
Jack cupped his ear with his hand and leaned out on one leg as if he were straining to hear soft violins in the background.
“Jack, it's only afternoon.”
“Ya think it tapers off toward evening?”
Daniel moved to look out the window, 'accidentally' knocking Jack over onto his six.
“Grrrrrreaaaat. It's a big station, too. Let's go, Jack.”
“I would, but somebody pushed me over, and I can't get up. Didn't anybody teach you to respect your elders?”
“I have a hard time thinking of someone who steals my fries as my elder. Here, let me help the you up, old timer.”
As Daniel pulled him up, Jack said , “I don't get no respect.” Daniel shot Jack a puzzled look at the incorrect grammar; it was obviously intentional. “No respect, Rodney and me,” Jack explained.
“Your TV education is seriously lacking.”
“Actually, Jack, when I was watching TV, it was educational.”
“So no Mickey Mouse, Tennessee Tuxedo, Looney Tunes, Richochet Rabbit ...”
“Danny, we have to get your nose out of books. Didn't you ever watch anything that was goofy and silly, or just for fun?”
“Education *is* fun, Jack”
~I really have my work cut out for me.~ “Someday, Dannyboy, you'll learn to listen to me.”
“You may be right about this place, but, uh, let's not go overboard, Jack.”
Chuckling, Jack headed for the door, checking his watch as he did so.
~Yeah, it's about time to find the winner.~
“It's perfect! Great view, fireplace, spare room: I like it.”
“No,” Jack said simply.
“No? Uh, excuse me, Colonel, Sir, but as I keep having to remind you, this is my apartment.”
“Daniel, you're an hour from the Mountain, and ... well, you're too far away,” Jack quietly spoke.
~What was that?~ Daniel watched his friend who had suddenly turned around so that Daniel was now staring at his back. “Jack?”
“Oh, come on, Danny. Friday nights - pizza, the games. Yes, this is a good place, but you're too far out.”
“From the Mountain or your house?”
It was a joke, but as soon as he'd spoken, Daniel realized he'd hit the heart of the situation. He couldn't admit it, and neither could Jack, but that was the truth.
Jack tried to tease the archaeologist in response, saying, “Hey, I welcome the distance; it's easier on the ears.”
“Oh,” Daniel said. “Well, then I guess I should take it.”
“Or we could look at some more apartments.” ~Please say we can look at some more. Besides, the next place *is* the winner. Come on, Danny; trust me.~
Daniel looked at Jack whose chocolate brown eyes were begging Daniel to agree with him.
“Or we could look some more,” Daniel said, smiling, not quite sure why he acquiesced so quickly.
**Whew, that was close,** both thought, glancing at the other, and yet neither acknowledged they had heard the other's thought.
Each thought it was a quirky fluke, that their minds had played a joke on them. It wasn't the first time it had happened, but neither really believed they were hearing the other one, either.
Together, they left the perfect apartment behind, neither willing to say out loud what both felt in their hearts, that they simply didn't want that many miles between them on a daily basis.
“Decent view; I love the kitchen; thirty minutes from work. Hmmm, needs a paint job.”
“It might work,” Jack agreed a bit reluctantly. ~Still too far away; gotta find a way to nix it. Darn geek for seeing that 'for rent' sign and insisting we stop.~
“I think I'll ...”
“Danny, it's too small.”
“Unless you're planning on living in the kitchen, it's too small. You don't have a guest room for, you know, company.”
“Company? I don't, uh, usually have ... company,” Daniel said, looking out the window, a sad look in his eyes.
“Chinese dinners. Chess. You'll have company,” Jack assured the younger man.
“Oh.” Daniel looked around the apartment. It was closer to the Mountain than some of the others, but it was on the far side, meaning it was well over an hour from Jack's house. ~Too far.~ “I, uh, guess it is too small.”
“Let's keep looking.”
“It's getting late. Jack, I'll never find an apartment.”
“Let me see that list.”
Daniel handed Jack the list he'd made, culled from the newspapers and phone book. He watched Jack peruse the list.
~Play it cool.~ Jack hemmed and hawed for a second. “This one. Let's go.”
“Time's a wastin', Danny.”
This time Daniel made no attempt to fight the strong-willed Air Force colonel. He just gave in right away and followed along. Though he was a little frustrated at their lack of success, he'd been having a good time.
“Feel free to look around. I wasn't expecting you, so if you'll excuse me, I have a call I have to make. I'll be back up in about ten minutes to answer any questions you might have.”
“Thank you,” Daniel said to the apartment manager.
The two entered the loft apartment and began to look around.
“Danny, this is a great kitchen.”
“I can hang some pots and pans up here with the ceiling being this high; that is, if I have the money to buy any.”
“Good living space; it's not too big, not too small,” Jack said of the living room.
Daniel crossed the living room over to the balcony.
“Weird step,” Daniel muttered to himself.
“Huh? Oh ... the step. You have to step up and then down onto the balcony.”
“Don't get drunk,” Jack chuckled.
“Jack, look at this view. It's not as picturesque as some of the others, but it's the city. I think I like it better than the others.”
Jack moved to stand next to Daniel, and both looked out over the expanse from their eight-story-high advantage. The two looked at each and smiled.
“The balcony isn't that big.”
“You don't like it?” Daniel asked softly, afraid Jack was about to go negative with his view of the loft apartment.
“I love it. It's not too big, and it's not too small. It's all we need.”
“Well, barbecues. We'll just get you one of those little grills, and we can have steak.”
They went back inside and looked around some more.
“Nice size bedroom, and the bathroom is decent; could be bigger.”
“A lot of things could be bigger,” Daniel said a bit huskily. “I mean, uh, oh gawd, nothing.”
“Daniel, sometimes I think you should be working for Chippendales.”
“Some things could be bigger.”
“Jack, you're assuming I meant ...” Daniel studied his shoes, his hands in his pockets. He freed one index finger and lightly tapped it in the direction of his groin, his cheeks flushing even more at the innuendo. “... uh, that.”
“No. I mean, of course not. I ... oh, gawd.”
~You are so much fun to tease.~ Jack laughed and said, “Let's see the spare room.”
“It's a little small,” Daniel said as he flipped on the light switch and walked inside the room. “I'm not sure a second bedroom set would fit in here, but, uh, I could use it for storage, not that I have a lot right now, but, uh, once I get some of my stuff back, and ... well ...”
“It'll do,” Jack responded, moving out of the room and going back to the living room.
Daniel stood, his arms folded across his chest, and mumbled, “I'm so glad it'll do.” He knew Jack couldn't hear him. He looked around the room for another moment, and then he smiled softly. ~It'll be a good place to live.~ A minute later, he walked into the living room, shocked to see Jack taking measurements. “Jack, what are you doing?”
“Measuring the walls. You'll want some bookshelves for all those dusty books you love so much.”
“Y...you brought a tape measure?”
“I figured we'd need it.”
“So, you think I should take it?” the archaeologist asked.
“Twenty minutes from the Mountain; twenty minutes from home; right size; the rent isn't too bad; the ...” Jack began.
“Jack, how do you know what the rent is?” Daniel asked pointedly, his eyes boring into Jack.
“What?” Jack responded as innocently as he could. ~Oops!~
“I asked how you knew what the rent is because, uh, I don't even know what the rent is,” Daniel suspiciously inquired.
“The rent. Didn't you ask?”
“The manager is still in her apartment,” the younger man reminded.
Jack shrugged, choosing to simply ignore the question and saved from having to do so by the manager's return.
“I'm sorry for the delay. Colonel, isn't it exactly what I described?”
“Colonel?” Daniel asked, his voice raising and his entire facial expression one of surprise and near-exasperation. “Colonel?”
“That's my rank,” Jack acknowledged with a smile. He looked at the woman and said, “It sure is, Ma'am. Daniel will take it. Won't you, Daniel?”
“What?” Daniel asked.
“What?” Jack quickly responded.
Daniel shook his head, feeling totally confused, and clarified, “I mean, the rent. How did you ...”
“Say 'yes', Daniel,” Jack said, grinning.
“Good,” the manager chimed in happily. “I'll need the first and last month's rent, and you can move in right away, though the colonel said it would probably be a week or so.”
“What?” Daniel asked, looking a little like a cocker spaniel.
“I must apologize, but something has come up. Colonel, you have the lease. If you'll drop that off at the office before you leave, you can pick up the key. I'll leave it with my husband.”
Smiling, the woman turned and walked out.
“Jack?” Daniel asked with an accusing tone.
“Don't you like it?”
“That's not the point. Why, I mean, how did you ... when did you ... Jack!” Daniel exclaimed, clearly confounded as to just exactly when he had lost control of the situation.
Jack pulled out the lease papers from his pocket and placed them on the kitchen counter.
“Jack,” Daniel said, walking towards the counter, “I don't understand.”
“Yes, you do: sign.”
Automatically, Daniel took the pen. He talked a mile-a-minute as he signed the papers and placed the pen down.
“I don't get you. We spent the entire day looking for an apartment, and you had already picked this one out? I mean, what right do you have to do that? Why didn't you tell me? It's my apartment; shouldn't I have a say in it? I am a grown up, you know, though I realize that sometimes you lose sight of that. Then again, I'm not really sure how old you are: McDonald's, French fries. Gawd.”
“Tell me something,” Jack requested more seriously. “If I had just brought you here right away, before you saw all the bad apartments out there, would you have taken it?”
“Uh, well, I ... I don't know,” Daniel admitted. “But, geez, Jack, you picked out my apartment; I mean, you you actually came here and got a copy of the lease, and then instead of telling me about it, we play this game, like we don't have other things to do. There's a stack of work at ...”
“Danny,” Jack said firmly, drawing the archaeologist's attention. “Welcome home.”
Jack smiled, and something about it totally calmed the younger man. Daniel shook his head in exasperation and then gave his friend a small grin.
“Thanks, Jack,” Daniel said with a smile.
The two men had stuffed themselves with both pizza and Chinese, and they were well on their way to getting a morning hangover. At the moment, they were sitting side by side, their shoulders touching, on Jack's roof deck, enjoying the view of the clear night sky.
“I've liked staying here.”
“I've liked having you here.” Jack really didn't want to think about Daniel moving out, but neither could he stomach delving into those feelings, so, as quickly as he could, he tried to move the conversation on. “We need to go furniture shopping.”
“Sure. You have an apartment now. I assume you plan to put furniture in it.”
“Good logic there, O'Neill,” Daniel said, grinning.
“I have my moments,” Jack laughed.
“When we go shopping for my furniture for my apartment, can we please skip the run around and just go to wherever it is that you've decided my furniture is?”
“Daniel, I haven't a clue what you just said.” ~We're going furniture shopping together, and I didn't even have to coerce him into it. You're learning, Dannyboy. Togetherness is much more fun than doing things alone.~
“That's okay. I'm not sure I do, either.”
“Here's to us, Danny,” Jack said, holding his beer bottle out in front of him.
Daniel nodded and raised his bottle up, repeating, “Here's to us.”
The two gently touched their bottles together and took a sip.
Daniel was still taking a swig when Jack said, “Mine is bigger.”
Caught off guard, Daniel sprayed beer as he coughed, drenching them both.
“Gawd, Jack,” Daniel blurted as he wiped beer spittle off his chin.
“Serve towels with your showers?” Jack roared with laughter.
Starting with a chuckle, Daniel's laughter grew until both men were gasping for breath.
It had been a long day, but silently, Jack and Daniel both thought the same thing: it had been one of the best days of their lives, and each was grateful for the friendship of the other.
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