Category: Slash, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel .... and it's all J/D
Rating: NC-17 (it is their honeymoon, after all!)
Season: 7 - November 19 - December 1, 2003
Written: March 24-30, April 7,9,14,24, 2004
Summary: Jack and Daniel honeymoon down under!
Disclaimer: Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't. A gal can dream though!
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) This fic stands alone, but it does follow my past fic, “Heart and Soul” and precedes “Homecoming”
3) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better: Claudia, Heidi, Jackette, Kalimyre, QuinGem, Drdjlover!
November 19-20, 2003
Jack and Daniel gave a farewell glance towards the harbor.
“C'mon, Danny. To Oz!”
Daniel laughed. “To Oz, Jack!”
It was November 19, 2003, three days after their glorious outdoor wedding, and now, Jack and Daniel walked to their cab and headed for the Vancouver airport. They had reservations on Qantas for a flight to Brisbane, Australia via a brief layover in Los Angeles. It would be a long flight, almost a full day in the air.
The two had purchased first class tickets at the very front of the Boeing 747-438 Longreach plane. These planes had fourteen sleeper seats at the front that could be fully reclined, allowing for a more comfortable rest. In addition, they made sure to get the two center seats at the head of the area. This meant that most everyone else was behind them, and it would afford the two lovebirds the maximum amount of privacy possible.
The flight to Los Angeles was uneventful ... except that Jack and Daniel hadn't stopped looking into each other's eyes. They hadn't said a word, hadn't spoken through their silent communication, but rather, what they had done was join their hands together and simply look into each other's eyes. Their souls shared their deepest feelings. They were sure that nowhere in the world were there any two people happier and more grateful to be together than they were in this moment.
Finally, their flight departed from LAX, and Australia was on the horizon.
“I always wanted to fly Qantas.”
“Yeah, they had the best commercials years ago, but there's something I don't understand.“
“Right now I don't understand you,” Daniel mumbled.
“Danny, for years Qantas advertised on television using koala bears. Now, if you're an airline with kangaroos as your mascot, why advertise with koalas?”
“I don't know. Why?”
“You're the genius! All I know is, they had these great ads with this adorable koala. I always wanted him for a pet. Actually, I wanted to give him to Mary Lou Donovan. She loved the little guy.”
Daniel stared at his spouse. “Mary Lou Donovan?”
“Man, she was something. Little dynamo, kinda like the Doc. Cute little petite blonde, but boy could she ...”
Jack suddenly became aware of a stare, a very pointed stare, directed at him. He gulped, “But it was a very long time ago. I ... barely remember her.”
“Right.” Suddenly, Daniel laughed and reached over to take Jack's hand in his. He loved this freedom, and he wasn't going to waste a moment of it!
“How about a glass of wine?”
“Hmmm, sounds heavenly.”
Jack paged the attendant. “Could you bring the wine now, please. It's a special order.”
Daniel looked at Jack, surprised. “Special order?” Jack smiled. “Oh, Jack. You brought St. Julien's.”
“Of course. Only the best for you, my love.”
They enjoyed their wine and chatted about their trip. “Hey, they have computer games. Let's play,” Jack challenged his husband.
“Who in Netu created this game anyway?” Jack barked, his 3D animation having dropped to the gallows yet again.
Daniel chuckled. “You just need to concentrate.”
“I AM concentrating.”
“Concentrate harder.” Daniel laughed again, having won another game of Hangman, further frustrating his spouse.
Jack glanced over and growled. “Let's play poker.”
“I'm not very good at poker.”
Thirty minutes later, Jack barked, “Oh for crying out loud, no one draws to an inside straight and wins.”
“I do,” Daniel grinned.
“Okay, let's try something new. Monopoly.”
“Are you sure you want to play that?”
“Watch out, Dannyboy, my car is about to run down your ...” Jack hesitated. “What piece do you want?”
“It doesn't matter.”
“Wheelbarrow, thimble, dog ...” Jack stopped. Something registered in his brain. It was that tone Daniel had used to answer the question. With as much gusto as he had voiced his earlier comments, Jack said, “Hey, wait a minute. I want the battleship. My ship is gonna blow your car to smithereens.”
“Car? I thought ...”
“I forgot about the battleship. It has those big honkin' guns on it, and you know how I feel about guns.”
“I never played Monopoly much, but I always wanted to be the car. They'd never let me. Silly to be so ... I mean, it's just a game.”
Jack smiled. “No, it's not silly. Better enjoy that car before it lands you in debt.”
“Don't count on it, O'Neill. My car is a powerful machine. Once it gets revved up, watch out.”
Jack raised his eyebrows. “The car isn't the only thing being revved up.”
Two hours later, chocolate brown eyes pleaded with cerulean blue ones. “But, Angel, I'm your husband.”
“Sorry, Babe. Business is business.”
“You already have hotels across the board. This will bankrupt me.”
“I thought you knew that the little guys should never be underestimated. That'll teach you to ignore the Baltic and Mediterranean.”
Jack grumbled. “You win.”
“I already won.”
“I won the day I met you.”
“Aw, Danny.” Jack took a quick look around and leaned over for a kiss. He wouldn't have bothered to look, but it was habit, and some of the other first class passengers were still milling about. “I love you.”
“I love you, too. Thanks for letting me be the car.”
“You're the Rolls Royce of cars.”
Daniel smiled shyly. Then, the two sat back to watch “Finding Nemo,” one of fifty in-flight movies they could choose from to watch during the long flight. Later, they ate dinner and chatted. Jack excused himself for a few minutes to visit the facilities, and while he did, Daniel pulled out his laptop.
“Whatcha' looking for?” Jack asked when he returned to his seat.
“Kangaroos. I got curious about the symbol and decided to see if there was anything about it in my business encyclopedia.”
“Geez, you have everything on that laptop.”
Daniel smiled. “It pays to be prepared, Babe. Let's see. Here's some information on Qantas. It says the original kangaroo symbol back in 1944 was adapted from their one penny coin. It's gone through a couple of transformations since. They added the wings in 1947 and then put the whole thing in a circle in 1968. Then, they slenderized the kangaroo and removed the wings in 1984 and in 1995 to celebrate the anniversary of the company they used the flying kangaroo and some words. No mention of koalas, Jack.”
“I'm telling you, Danny, they had this cute little guy as the mascot. He hated Qantas.”
“Jack, why would an airline named Qantas use a koala bear in a commercial saying he hates Qantas?”
“I repeat, Daniel. They did. Is there anything in those encyclopedias about television advertising?”
Daniel sighed, shrugged, and then typed in the desired information, coming to a section that dealt with popular TV slogans and mascots. “Wow. You're right!”
“Hey, it happens!”
“According to this write up, 'I hate Qantas!' was the slogan for the airline and featured a koala as the spokesbear. The original commercials featured a koala bear sitting amidst the branches of an eucalyptus tree.” Daniel laughed. “The bear whined about tourists disturbing his peace and quiet, so that's why the koala hated Qantas.”
“Because they brought the tourists,” Jack repeated. “I told ya, Danny.”
“Yes, you did, Love. The first commercials were filmed at the zoo in San Diego, and later in Australia. Those had the little guy sitting in a director's chair sporting a hip pair of sunglasses and flying in a first class seat of a Qantas Jetliner.”
“I was right,” Jack sat back, smug.
Daniel chuckled. Jack loved it when he was right, primarily because it didn't happen very often. Daniel was content to let his lover have his fun. After all, he had learned something.
Eventually, the inside of the plane darkened and those with sleeper seats like Jack and Daniel had pushed theirs back to sleep.
Jack and Daniel placed a large blanket over themselves. Daniel was on the right and Jack in the left seat. They rolled over on their sides so they could look at each other. Beneath the blanket, they held hands. They were glad they had picked side-by-side sleeper seats. They were the closest of any in this section of the plane, unlike others that had several feet between them. They closed their eyes, intending to fall asleep.
“Danny, are you awake?”
“Oh yeah. You?”
“Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.”
“Let's just say my ... tail is ...”
“Jack, those, uh, bathrooms are ...”
“Doctor Jackson, are you suggesting we join the Mile High Club?” Jack winked.
“Miles high ... definitely suggesting.”
“Follow me,” Jack said.
“Wait a second,” Daniel reached over, grabbing a duffel bag. Inside was a smaller backpack.
“We're not going hiking.”
It was 2 a.m. The cabin lights were low, and as they looked around, the other first class passengers were sound asleep. The attendants were nowhere in sight. Covertly, Jack and Daniel slipped into the bathroom.
“What's in the backpack?”
“Necessities, Babe.” Daniel smiled, pulling out the lube, underwear, and a few other trinkets for their delight.
“Geez, I love you.”
“Want you,” Daniel said as he lunged eagerly towards his husband. Quickly, they shed their clothes. It was Daniel who ended up leaning back against the door.
Jack knelt down, his tongue flicking quickly against the very tip of Daniel's erection. Daniel moaned as Jack continued the teasing touches. Before long, Jack swallowed his lover whole. Then, he moved the shaft in and out of his mouth, picking up speed and intensity.
Daniel's breaths deepened. He leaned forward, his head almost resting on Jack's, and then as Jack sucked the shaft, Daniel came, his release full. Jack rose, wiping the excess from his mouth with his hand. He looked into Daniel's eyes. “Love you so friggin' much,” he said before kissing Daniel.
They shifted positions slightly, Daniel turning to face the basin and its mirror.
“Geez, mirrors,” Jack briefly chuckled as he moved behind his spouse.
Jack inserted a finger, then two and finally three, Daniel's moans longer and more needy with each plunge. And then Jack entered Daniel, lingering for just a moment to allow Daniel time to adjust to his size. Jack's hands roamed Daniel's chest as he waited. Daniel let out a noise as Jack “played” and then, finally, Jack began moving in and out.
“Stop ... teasing. Gawd, you can be ... aggravating.”
Jack laughed. Sometimes, he just loved to frustrate Daniel. It made him more ... hungry for their love.
Slowly, Jack moved. He “tapped” lightly against his lover's prostate, and then lightly again.
“So ... help me, Jack ... if you want ... more ... from me ... later, you had SO ... better ...”
Daniel's words were cut off by a powerful thrust. Daniel had to work hard not to cry out loudly, something he knew they couldn't do on the airplane. He bit down on the side of his hand to help deflect the cries of passion.
Jack moved quickly, pounding himself into Daniel. He knew exactly how his lover liked it, and Jack aimed to please, impaling himself rapidly, his shaft lashing into Daniel with a bombardment of direct hits. With a last thrust, Jack reached his end, his orgasm fulfilling and satiating, as was Daniel's.
Jack leaned forward against his husband, massaging his abdomen. “I love you, Danny.”
“Gawd, Jack. I love you so much.”
The two turned to face each other, and spent a few minutes kissing, holding each other closely.
“We'd better get out of here.”
“We'd better get dressed first,” Daniel said with a smile.
Daniel's backpack had everything they needed to clean up properly and feel refreshed when they walked out. He even sprayed a mist of air freshener before closing his backpack. When they were done, Jack opened the door and exited.
Daniel followed a moment later, carrying the backpack. As he reached the front of his seat, he glanced back and saw a female attendant. She smiled, shook her head, and looked dramatically at her watch.
“Oh, gawd.” Daniel sank down into the chair, returning it to the sleeper position and hiding under the blanket.
“The attendant saw us.”
“She smiled and looked at her watch.”
Jack laughed, tugging on the blanket. He managed to maneuver it so that he was under the blanket with Daniel.
“I can't believe you even had air freshener in that wonder pack of yours.”
“I come prepared.”
“Don't tempt me,” Jack snickered. “I know all about your ... comings, even second comings, and ...”
“I love you.” Jack leaned forward and kissed Daniel. The small arm rests weren't an obstacle or deterrent for the newlyweds, and thus, under the covers, they kissed more ... and more ... and more until they fell asleep.
Hours later, after breakfast, the two gathered their possessions. The plane had made a smooth landing, arriving twelve minutes ahead of schedule. The attendant smiled at the two men as they approached the door.
“I do hope you had an enjoyable flight, that you found it stimulating and exciting. I hope the accommodations were large enough and that you were able to relax and release any tensions you may have had prior to our flight. Do come again, gentlemen.”
“Oh, gawd,” Daniel said softly.
Jack laughed. “Believe me, Ma'am, it's a yes to all of it, and we will. We definitely will!”
The woman laughed pleasingly as she watched the two exit into the jet way.
November 21-22, 2003
After clearing Customs at the small airport, the honeymooners took a shorter eighty-minute air flight from Brisbane to Gladstone in Queensland, Australia. They arrived just in time to catch the morning ferry to Heron Island, a quaint island on the Great Barrier Reef, approximately fifty miles northeast off the coast. The island was known for its tropical climate, a pleasing eighty degrees year round as a rule, something which both lovers were looking forward to. Soon, they checked into the Heron Island Beachside Suite.
As they headed for their room, the newlyweds passed a small gift shop. Daniel barely noticed it, but Jack was drawn to an item displayed on one of the window shelves. “Danny, look! Looks just like Katie when she rubs her nose in her play yard.”
Daniel looked at the tiny figurine. It was a beagle digging in the dirt. He smiled. “I miss them.”
“They're fine. This is cute, though. I'm going to buy it.”
Daniel waited as Jack purchased the item. ~You're a sentimental softie, Love. I bet you won't admit that you miss our girls just as much as I do!~
The object purchased, Jack and Daniel went to their suite, which was set within a grove of trees, near the private boardwalk that provided access to the beach. Though they had only been on the island a short while, Jack and Daniel already felt a peacefulness from the natural beauty of the island.
As soon as they walked in, Jack took the collectible he had purchased in the small shop and placed it on the dresser. Daniel watched out of the corner of his eye as Jack stared at the item, smiling. ~Like I said, Jack -- an old softie, through and through!~
Soon, the two were looking out their balcony, taking in the white sands and amazing crystal clarity of the ocean waters.
“We made the right choice.”
“That we did, Love,” Jack agreed, placing a kiss on Daniel's temple, and then turning to check out the suite. He grinned when he saw the deluxe fruit basket sitting on the table.
“What's so ... happy about a fruit basket?” Daniel asked when he saw Jack's expression.
“Oh, you'll see, my love. You'll see.”
Their ocean view was gorgeous, and they loved the privacy the room afforded. They were also eager to take advantage of the outdoor shower. It seemed so exotic to shower outdoors on the deck.
They unpacked in silence, and then sipped a glass of champagne. Two minutes later, they were in bed, a place they would stay for the next two days, with minimal excursions to the bathroom or to get food, and to answer the door in the afternoons when a sunset canape platter was delivered for their enjoyment.
They fed each other tropical foods, and created a new favorite juice.
“Jack, what are you doing?”
“Creating a tropical treat. Shh! And don't move.”
“Oh, gawd,” Daniel said. His naked body was being massaged and layered with a variety of fruits and juices.
Jack began with a fine coat of pineapple juice. He poured some on his husband's chest and then rubbed it all over. He leaned over and licked a fine, invisible line from Daniel's right to his left side. Daniel was squirming happily from the sensation.
Next, Jack added a coat of orange juice. “Freshly squeezed ... by me,” he said with a huge grin on his face. Jack squeezed the juice gently from the first orange. “Open wide, Danny,” he instructed, aiming a few drops into Daniel's mouth.
Daniel licked his lips and Jack leaned over to lick those lips, too! Then, he moved down to Daniel's pectorals and applied a generous amount of juice. He let his fingers rub seductively against the muscles, Daniel letting out small sounds with each touch.
Jack tired of oranges, and picked up some mangoes. ~Exotic fruit for the exotic.~
Jack scooted down to Daniel's erection. He couldn't resist flicking his tongue against its tip.
“Gawd, Jack. Hurry.”
“My drink isn't done yet,” Jack smiled as Daniel rolled his eyes. “Close your eyes. Remember, your eyes are supposed to be closed. Everything's a surprise.”
“They're closed. They're closed. Get on with it.”
Jack laughed. He hadn't had this much fun since ... ~well, ever.~
Jack dripped the mango juice he'd squeezed onto the length below him. Daniel moaned and sighed as he felt the juice run down his inches. Jack licked slowly all around Daniel's shaft and groin. “Mmmm ... so good.”
He reached over for a mandarin and squeezed some juice from it. This time, Jack put his mouth around the end of Daniel's length and pressed very lightly, flicking his tongue at the same time. Daniel moaned louder. Jack moved downward, taking in more of his lover. He moved back and forth several times.
“Jack. Oh, Jack. Love you.” Daniel's hands reached for Jack in anticipation.
Jack took them, kissing each, and then moved up to mingle tongues with his spouse. “Love you, too, Space Monkey. Keep those eyes closed.”
The older man took some kiwis, and squeezed the juice all along Daniel's right leg. Then, he did the same on the left leg with another mandarin.
Jack picked up a small basket of fresh strawberries. Putting one in his mouth, he slowly rubbed it against Daniel's lips. Daniel nibbled on it, until he and Jack were sharing it.
Jack put another strawberry in his mouth, and again they shared it. This time, Daniel moved his hands to Jack's head, making sure they didn't part, not even for a second.
“I like the taste of berries on you. More berries. Definitely need more berries.”
Jack picked out an assortment of berries -- raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, boysenberries. He gathered up any kind of berry he could find, both ones that were in a gift basket left for them, and ones they had ordered from room service. He had all the berries together now, ready for action.
“Don't move, Babe,” Jack ordered, as he layered the berries all over Daniel, and then he squished them onto Daniel's skin. His lover was an interesting shade of purple berry when Jack was done, and he smelled delicious.
Jack ran his tongue from Daniel's neck down to his belly button, but he avoided that one ticklish spot. This wasn't a time to make Daniel laugh -- that would come later. He licked and kissed his “berried” lover all the way down to his toes, and then Jack returned to the main course.
He took a blueberry and mashed it gently against Daniel's shaft. He put another in his mouth and then added Daniel to the mix, sucking and licking.
“Jack ... gawd ... now ... do it.”
Jack's motion increased as he ate Daniel and the fruit. When he was done, he grabbed a strawberry. With his hand, he squished it, running it all around Daniel's erection. He stroked evenly and forcefully. Daniel was moaning and breathing more heavily now.
The older man bit into a strawberry and again took his lover whole, flicking the strawberry against the tip of Daniel's length.
“Gawd. So help me, Jack ...”
Jack laughed inside, but it was time. His lover was primed, and Jack was eager, too.
With zeal, and one more strawberry for good measure, Jack sucked Daniel to completion, the release mixed with the berries a new taste for Jack. He liked it, and vowed to try his Daniel juice again some time, but now, he had more of Daniel to sample.
“Eyes closed, Love.”
Jack moved up just slightly. He layered his fingers with the berry juices he had created, and then, inserted a finger.
“Wow. Cool. Oh ... yes,” Daniel responded as Jack moved his finger about. The process was repeated with two and then three fingers before Jack inserted himself inside Daniel, and began to thrust.
Instead of placing his hands next to Daniel, on the bed, Jack took a bowl of fruit salad, grabbing it quickly from the table, even as he was inside his lover, and emptied the entire bowl on to Daniel's chest.
Daniel had no clue what Jack was doing, but he didn't care. This was strangely erotic. The allure of the fruits and their smells was enticing.
Jack ran his hands up and down Daniel's chest as he moved inside him. With each move, he smashed fruits against Daniel's skin. He leaned forward and licked Daniel's chest, biting a grape and carrying it to Daniel's mouth. They shared the grape and the kiss as Jack moved his shaft against Daniel's prostate.
Jack picked up speed, mashing the berries more forcefully against Daniel's torso. He felt a need to get better access. Jack slid his left hand, full of berry remnants down Daniel's right leg, raising it slightly.
“Yes, better,” Jack said, getting the angle he wanted.
With precision, the older man bombarded his shaft against Daniel until finally, a last, rapid barrage resulted in his completion. He fell against his lover, the berries rubbing against the two convulsing chests. Daniel's arms wrapped around his soulmate.
“Oh gawd, Jack. That was ... incredible.”
Still inside his lover, Jack kissed the fruity chest. He chuckled.
“Funny ... what?”
Jack laughed at the fact that Daniel was about to lose his speech. It was a freaky trait, but often, after their lovemaking, Daniel would have a minute of lucidity, before suddenly losing the ability to speak logically. Jack loved having that strange effect on Daniel.
“We're ... fruity.” Jack burst into laughter at the thought. What their adversaries and those who didn't understand same sex couples would say about that. He laughed and laughed as he shifted positions, still remaining in Daniel's hold.
Daniel ran his fingers through Jack's silver-gray strands. “Fruity ... us ... mmm ... tasty ... good.”
Jack laughed more. “Geez, I love you.”
He intended to say more, but Daniel's massage of his temple, and then his back felt so good, that soon, having been satiated and spent, Jack fell asleep, as did his lover.
When they awoke, they were a gooey, sticky mess, but they didn't mind, though Jack had to endure a few “owies” from the combination of his chest hair and the dried berry juices. They moved to the outdoor shower and spent an hour rectifying the situation, and then they kissed under the shower waterfall. They had always liked the sensation of the water against their bodies as they loved each other physically.
At the end of the second day, Jack found a videotape that turned out to be an IQ test. This led to an evening competition, that wound the two up for more erotic activities. All in all, the first two days had been a heavenly success, and they had yet to venture outside of their suite.
November 23-24, 2003
Jack and Daniel finally greeted the outside world, the one that was beyond the heaven of their hotel suite, beginning their day with some early morning snorkeling to the edge of the reef which both found fascinating. The water was so clear that they could see twenty feet down which made the sharpness and clarity of the sea creatures stand out brilliantly.
The lovers were amazed at the number of sea turtles and reef sharks they saw as they made their way along the reef. The forests of staghorn coral were extremely colorful and breathtaking, too.
As they edged along the reef, Jack suddenly tugged on Daniel's hand. He wished he could talk, but with the snorkel on, that wasn't possible. Jack pointed down and to his right. Daniel looked. He smiled, but Jack couldn't see that.
In a dramatic moment, Jack pointed at the creature, and then to Daniel, and then to his heart. **My Angel!**
Daniel felt warm inside. He took another look at the Angelfish that was peacefully swimming through the coral. ~I hope you have someone that makes you feel like an Angel, too.~ Daniel continued to watch the fish as he silently talked to it.
After lunch, they went for a Birdlife Walk, gaining glimpses of some of the local birds. Then, they just walked around, enjoying the uniqueness of the island. There were no towering buildings; in fact, there was nothing taller than a tree. They picked up a few gifts for friends at different shops they visited.
“Angel, look at this one,” Jack called out to Daniel in the antique shop they were browsing in. “Isn't this just like Bij, with that prideful look of hers?”
“You mean the 'I am the queen of the manor' expression?”
Jack laughed. “Yeah, that one. She always looks so indignant when she prances around the house like she owns it.”
“She does, Babe.”
“Tell me that when she pays the rent.”
“Jack, we own the house. There is no rent.”
Daniel was still chuckling when Jack carried the wooden figurine to the clerk. Every time they had happened upon a store with collectibles, Jack was finding a beagle item to buy. ~That makes three in ... four days. Yep, you do miss the girls.~
That night, they took a wine and cheese cruise around the island, visited a local night club for a couple of hours, and then they enjoyed a walk on the beach before returning to their suite.
“Jack, let's try one of these,” Daniel said, putting the treats down on the table.
“The Dim Dunks?”
Daniel laughed. “Tim Tams, Jack.” Daniel took one of the snacks and studied it for a moment -- two rectangular chocolate biscuits stuck together with chocolate cream and covered in chocolate. His mouth watered just looking at all that chocolate. “Hmmm.”
The noise got Jack's attention, especially when he saw Daniel lick his lips in anticipation.
“Babe, would you bring me some coffee, please?”
Jack wasn't even sure he could move, so transfixed was he on Daniel's lust for Tim Tams. But he managed to get himself to move, and soon, had two cups of coffee on the table in front of them. Jack watched, his eyes huge with desire, as Daniel bit off a corner at each end of the biscuit, dunked one end in a cup of coffee, and sucked hard.
“That's it. I can't stand it.”
Before Daniel could even react, Jack had attacked him, ravishing him right where they were, Tim Tams and all. Daniel, of course, was fine with that. It worked out exactly as he had planned it!
The following day, at low tide, they went reef walking, stopping to look at clams, coral formations, beche de mer, and the variety of reef life. Several other guests of the hotel went on the walk with them, so it gave them a chance to socialize a bit. That afternoon, the lovebirds went on a turtle nesting tour, but they learned that most of the nesting was done at night. Daniel talked privately with one of the locals about the usual habits of the turtles as Jack chatted with a man from New Zealand about the recent Rugby competition.
Mid-afternoon, they went for a two-hour sail on a catamaran, topping that off with a swim. They ate a cozy dinner, and finished their evening with some heavenly stargazing. There had been so much else they had wanted to do, but all their side excursions to the land of love limited their time for actual non-lovemaking activities.
At 1:30 a.m., Jack felt something tugging on him.
“Jack, wake up.”
“Hmm. Something wrong?”
“No, but I want to go see the turtles.”
“Fine. Say hello for me.”
“Jack ...” Daniel shook his lover more vigorously. “Come on, Love. We need to get dressed.”
“Danny, we saw the turtles this afternoon.”
“But we didn't get to see them nesting. Please, Jack.”
“Daniel, they're turtles.”
The young man sighed. He stood up, quietly dressing so as to not disturb his husband, but the silence, more than anything else roused the stubborn older man. He saw the look -- the pout, and what was worse, the silent pout. He was doomed.
Jack got up and without saying a word, dressed, but he couldn't help but notice the smug look on his lover's face. As they headed out the door, Daniel spoke softly, “I love you, Jack.”
“I love you, too. Turtles! Geez, this had better be good.”
It was roughly 2 a.m. when Daniel looked at his watch. “Sandy said they come in at high tide. Let's settle in over here.” Daniel led Jack to a spot just off the beach. There were tracks there, and flurries of sand, indicating this might be a popular area for nesting.
The two crouched down, making sure they were in the dark so as not to frighten the creatures. It wasn't long before a loggerhead turtle floated in from the waters. The female searched for the right spot of sand to lay her eggs. Soon, she settled in just above the high tide mark, and then using all four of her flippers, the two-hundred twenty-five pound turtle dug a large pit for her body.
Jack and Daniel gave the turtle plenty of room. They didn't want to disturb her. Once she was settled, they quietly moved to a slightly better vantage point from the side, but still steering clear by at least two meters.
It took the large turtle two hours to build her nest, and then she laid her eggs. “Sandy says the turtles lay over one hundred eggs at a time, and they do it every three to eight years.”
“That's a lot of turtles. Hate to think what the college tuition would be.”
“Jack,” Daniel scowled quietly.
“Danny, how long do these guys live anyway?”
“She's a girl, Jack.”
“You know what I meant.”
Daniel smiled. “To be honest, I don't know, but they don't even start breeding until they are between thirty and fifty years old.”
“Here's another factoid for you, Colonel ...”
“That would be Mister ... left the Colonel at home, remember?”
“Gawd, yes. Thank you for that.” Daniel's eyes positively sparkled at Jack, instantly melting his heart.
“So, that little factoid ...”
“Oh, yeah. Um, they, the turtles, usually stay in the ocean. Only the females come to shore for the nesting process.”
The lovers watched as the female headed back to the ocean, her job finished.
“Wow, Jack. That was incredible.”
“The magic of life.”
“Too bad we didn't get to see some hatch.”
“Maybe next time, Danny. We can always come back.”
“I'd like that ... and I'd like ...” Daniel drew his husband near for a long kiss.
“You like? You get!”
Happily nested to each other, the two went back to their room to join their bodies in love.
November 25, 2003
“I hate to leave here. Let's do come back some day, Jack. There's so much we didn't get a chance to do.”
“We'll come back. I promise.”
Jack and Daniel boarded a Marine Helicopter for the flight from Heron Island to Gladstone, where they caught another small airplane for their next destination -- Canberra. The two had considered staying in several places, but finally, the art deco ambiance of the Hyatt won out.
They had a suite, much larger than they needed. “Jack, a simple hotel room would have been fine.”
“Not for you, Angel. This is our honeymoon, and we're going first class all the way.”
“You spoil me.”
“Forever and always.” Jack leaned over for a kiss as they explored their suite, complete with two bathrooms and even two balconies overlooking the park and garden. It was a contrast to their beach surrounding on Heron Island, but still very lovely.
Having unpacked and settled in, the two decided to get in some sightseeing right off the bat.
“Where to first?”
“How about the Telstra Tower?” Jack suggested. “We can eat there, too!”
Daniel laughed. “Is that all you think about, Babe? Feeding your stomach?”
“That and ... one other part.” Jack winked.
Daniel shook his head. “Like we haven't done that morning, noon and night for a week all ready?”
“And you say I'M an Energizer Bunny?”
“And you are. That's the best part.”
The newlyweds drove up the winding hill that led to the one-hundred ninety-five meter tower which stood on the summit of Black Mountain. They walked up to the very top of the tower and took in the sight of Canberra, walking around the platform which provided a three-hundred sixty degree view of the capitol city and its surrounding countryside.
They read some of the available literature about the tower's role in providing state-of-the-art telecommunications for Canberra as they sat waiting for food in the tower's rotating restaurant. On the way out, they viewed the exhibition on the lower level that traced the history of Australian telecommunications from the earliest days into the twenty-first century.
They decided to stop in for dessert at an eatery near the hotel, opting to have the Pavlova.
“Funny name for a dessert,” Jack said as he took a bite.
“It's named after the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, and it's a pretty good meringue,” Daniel spoke as he enjoyed a bite of the flat pastry.
“I can think of other things to do with this, Love,” Jack said with a lustful leer. “This cream topping and the strawberries ...”
“Hmm, strawberries. I love what you do with strawberries.”
“Tropical desserts,” Jack whispered seductively.
“You done yet?”
The lovers returned quickly to their suite for some strawberry loving of their own making. On their way out, Jack had purchased two of the cake-sized Pavlovas for use in their plans. It had been messy, but definitely enjoyable.
Afterwards, they decided to finish off their evening with a long, leisurely walk around Lake Burley-Griffin. So many of the national sites were visible from the Lake that it was almost like a walk of an historical site.
“Danny, look. It's that moron, Kinsey.”
Daniel startled. “What? Where?” He was so shocked he started to move away from Jack, afraid Kinsey would find out about their relationship.
Jack chuckled. “Where do you think you're going? Get back here.” Jack pulled his lover to him, kissing him soundly.
“Jack, you said ...”
“There.” Jack nodded upwards at a nearby tree. “See.”
Daniel sighed in relief. “Gawd, Jack. A ring-tailed possum?”
“Kinsey's a possum. He's a rat, too.”
“I may strangle you, Jack.”
Jack winked. “You can try. It might be fun.”
Daniel just shook his head as Jack continued to tease him. They laughed as they walked with their arms around each other's waists, spotting more of the possums in the trees.
When they returned to their hotel, Jack asked, “How about a swim?”
The two were surprised, but happy, to discover they were the only two using the club level pool.
“First one to do ten laps gets to top.”
“Maybe I want to top.” Daniel smiled.
“Gets to bottom?”
“Maybe I want to bottom.” Daniel grinned.
“Gets to top AND bottom?”
“At the same time?” Daniel broke out into hysterics.
“Daniel!” Jack splashed his lover.
“Hey!” Daniel used both hands to make a mighty splash against his spouse.
“I'll get you ...” Jack took off after Daniel, who used the breast stroke style to move swiftly down to the other end of the pool. He wasn't quite fast enough, and Jack grabbed hold of an ankle causing him to start sinking. Thinking fast, Daniel turned his 'sink' into a dive, bent over and cupped Jack's groin giving it a gentle squeeze. The incredible sensation resulted in Jack letting his captive's ankle go.
Feeling his ankle released, Daniel surfaced and swam freestyle to the deep end of the pool. When he got there, he was about to do a turn to head back when Jack grabbed him and pulled him under. “Nice try, Flipper”
“I'm not a dolphin,” Daniel proclaimed as he twisted under the water and grabbed Jack around the waist, pulling him under with him. They clung together as they floated to the surface. Then Daniel managed to pull away, swimming to the steps and climbing out.
“Hey, where are you going?”
“Nowhere, Love.” Daniel cannonballed into the pool within two feet of Jack, creating a giant splash.
Jack laughed. “Oh, is that how we're playing it.” Jack again chased his lover, and again, he caught him at the other end of the pool, but this time, Jack pulled the younger man into his arms and kissed him thoroughly.
“Mmmm,” Daniel moaned, totally contented. “Have I mentioned that I, uh, happen to love you?”
“Here and there,” Jack answered, kissing his husband again. “I have a suggestion.”
Their swimming done for the night, the two retired to their room and made love. Afterwards, they enjoyed a trail mix and fruit appetizer from room service, as they listened to music and cuddled, talking about the sweet nothings of their love.
November 26, 2003
The twosome began their day with a trip to the Canberra Observatory. Jack wanted to see the huge research grade telescopes under the domes there and chat with some of the professional astronomers who were frequently present. Daniel chuckled as he listened.
**It's like listening to Sam ... prattle!**
**I heard that!**
**I love you!**
**Love you, too. Now let me listen to this guy. He knows his stuff.**
Jack was able to look through one of the big scopes, which he enjoyed a great deal. Next, they went to the Canberra Space Dome to take in the planetarium.
“Just what we need, Jack ... to explore the wonders of deep space, star fields and planets.” Daniel laughed at the brochure he read.
“It'll be fun.”
“It is fun. Every second,” Daniel spoke seriously, getting a warm smile from his husband.
The lovers then headed out in their rental car to the Deep Space Tracking Station, taking a close up look at the huge satellite dishes that were used to track space craft and more. The station was located outside the Australian capital in Tidbinbilla.
“There's a lot of history here, Danny. It was part of the original push for space exploration. It's amazing how far we've come.”
“I know what you mean.”
“I'm older than you are. I remember this like it was yesterday. This antenna here was the one that received the first pictures of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon.”
“What's so funny?”
“1969. Been there ... twice.”
“Very funny, Babe. But it truly was a giant leap for mankind when he took that step, and we all got to see it as it happened.”
“Jack, did you want to do that? Walk on the moon?”
“I've done it, more or less.”
“Yes, but ... not like this. This kind of ... space exploration was your dream, wasn't it?”
“I joined the Air Force to fly jets, not be a monkey in space for NASA. It was Carter's dream, though.”
“Monkey in space?” Daniel laughed.
Jack broke out into laughter, too. “Sorry, that's not exactly how I meant it ... Space Monkey. What I meant is that my dream was to fly the jets, like the Top Gun business -- be the best in the sky. I don't know. Back then, I never thought about going to planets, for NASA or anyone else.”
“You really never thought about it?”
Jack let out a gust of air as he took in the large objects in front of them. “So ... maybe I thought about it once or twice. But like I said, I've done it.”
“Not the same, and you know it.”
“No regrets, Love. Not a one. Let's go inside and look at the exhibits. There's a moon rock in there that's almost four billion years old.”
“I'm sure it's encased, Jack. You won't get to play with it.”
“Darn. And I was hoping to use it for juggling!”
Daniel laughed as they headed inside for a look around. “Jack?”
“Will you still love me when I'm almost four billion years old?”
Jack thought. He thought so hard that Daniel jabbed him with his elbow. “That's a lot of wrinkles, Danny.”
Daniel rolled his eyes. “You'll never change.”
“Do you want me to?”
“No,” Daniel said seriously. “I love you the way you are.”
“I'm glad you love you, too.”
“Danny ...” the two continued to chuckle as they entered the Visitor's Center for a look around.
On the drive back, Jack and Daniel stopped at a picnic area, just to walk around a bit and take in more of the terrain. They walked for quite a while, not on a path, but just out among the fields, towards a large group of trees, many of which still showed the signs of damage from the costly fires that had plagued Australia earlier in the year.
“It's so sad.” Daniel stood, staring at the burnt brown bush in front of him. “Think how sad it was, when all those kangaroos had nowhere to go, except the open field by the Deep Space Tracking Station.”
“The PR guy said it made for quite a sight ... hundreds of kangaroos just ... hopping around by the satellites. It's actually pretty incredible that the fire jumped the station.”
Daniel bobbed his head slightly. Jack moved behind him, wrapping his arms around the younger man's waist. “Danny, it happens. I know it's sad.”
“Think about the koala, Jack. That one little, precious life. He's all alone, and what does he have to look forward to? Years of being locked up in some cage and why? Because the leaves and bark of the trees are too toxic for him to eat. I'm sorry. I just ... think it's ... sad.”
Jack knew there weren't words that would make it better, so he just held Daniel and kissed the side of his neck. His husband was such a compassionate man. The two looked out at what was once a rich and safe haven for all kinds of wildlife, especially the kangaroos and koalas, until that destructive blaze in the first part of 2003.
The two had heard about it from a tour guide they had chatted with in Canberra. “It was so sad. The fire broke out on the 18th ... of January, and spread through the city. We lost over five-hundred homes in the fire, and four people died. But the damage wasn't just there. Brushfires had already broken out in both the Kosciuszko and Namadji National Parks. So many of our beloved kangaroos and koalas died. In fact, where you're going to the Tracking Station, all the koalas died, except for one. That little guy was injured, but they've nursed him back to health. The problem is, they have to keep him in a sanctuary now because of the toxicity of the brush.”
The guide also mentioned that the Mount Stromlo Observatory had lost several historical telescopes including a seventy-four inch Reflector that for two decades had been the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. It also lost its library and archives. For astronomers, it was considered a major loss. Jack had sighed at that, knowing the loss was huge.
“It's just so sad,” Daniel echoed again.
And it had been in many ways. Jack had noted on their drive up to the station that there were stacks of tied up tree remains -- limbs and bark -- bound together for disposal. He'd seen park areas closed off, still going through repairs and reconstruction as a result of the fire. The loss of nature was, indeed, tragic, just as was the loss of human life and possessions.
“I know, Danny. Come on, Love. Let's go.”
“I won't forget it, Jack. I can't.”
“Jack, look!” Just as they were starting to head back to the parking area, Daniel spotted three kangaroos resting low under some more trees in the distance.
“Wow! They really blend in, don't they?”
“If they didn't move, you wouldn't even know they were there.”
Jack looked at Daniel. The smile was back on his face. “See, Love. It'll all come back.” Jack reached out and caressed Daniel's cheek. “I know it's hard, but there's still life here.”
Daniel nodded and watched the kangaroos enjoying the cool of the shade for a few minutes longer. Then he looked at his husband, and taking his hand, Daniel nodded. “Let's go back to the hotel.”
But Jack suddenly had other ideas. His lover had looked at him with those gorgeous baby blue eyes, and such a look of sweetness, that Jack didn't want to wait. He pulled Daniel closer and began to kiss him passionately.
Daniel moaned, his hands reaching around Jack's waist and moving under Jack's tan shirt to touch the skin.
“Want you.” Jack's tongue touched Daniel's, and then moved around in a new exploration of the young man's mouth. Their lips were glued as they pressed their bodies together.
Jack gently brought the two down to their knees on the ground. The brown blades of the thicket surrounded them as they continued to kiss.
“Jack, we shouldn't.”
Jack again moved them forward in his quest for love, carefully pushing his husband to a prone position on the ground.
“Foreign ... um ... not home ... gawd,” Daniel reacted to Jack's touches and ongoing kisses, his arms still under Jack's shirt to feel the skin that made him shiver.
“No one's gonna see, Love. We're in the middle of nowhere, just us and the roos.”
“Roos?” Daniel gasped as Jack reached inside his pants to stroke Daniel's length.
“Oh ... gawd,” Daniel moved his hands downward, wiggling them down inside the back of Jack's khaki pants.
After more kissing, Jack began to undress his lover.
“We ... shouldn't ... blades ... not exactly comfy.”
“We'll switch. You top, I'll ...”
But Daniel had other plans. He was just trying to state all the facts “just so we know what we're doing and have examined all the options.”
Soon, their passion was in full bloom, Jack thrusting inside his lover who pulled on blades of brown weeds to brace from the powerful impacts. They weren't in a hurry.
As Jack continued to move inside the young man, Daniel leaned forward, wanting a different feel for a while. He blinked as he looked over his husband's shoulder.
“Oh gawd. The roos.”
“Roos?” Jack panted.
“Wa...watc...watching,” Daniel finally got out.
“May...be they'll ... learn something,” Jack grunted as he moved faster and harder than before.
“Maybe ... we should ...”
“Dan...iel, I'm ... busy ... here.”
“Sor...ry,” Daniel gasped and chuckled at the same time.
Eventually, their lovemaking was completed, each reaching euphoria and blissfulness. When Jack rolled off of Daniel, he glanced out into the distance, and laughed.
“Geez, I thought you were kidding.”
“About the roos?”
“I was. Why?”
Daniel looked up, and in the distance, but not that far off, were three kangaroos, watching them. “Just as long as they don't think we're roos, too.”
Jack laughed. “Danny, you weren't really kidding. I mean, you couldn't have thought of that joke right in the middle of ...”
Daniel smiled. Jack actually looked nervous. “Afraid you've lost your touch, Babe?”
“If your mind is working during sex, oh yeah.”
Daniel rolled over onto Jack's body, straddling him. He leaned over for a kiss. “I saw them. I love you, Jack. I love how you make love to me. When you do, it's all I think about ... unless ...”
Jack laughed, “Unless your brain suddenly kicks in to solve some unsolvable puzzle?”
“We'd better go, Angel. It's starting to get dark, and I don't like the way that little roo over there is looking at you.”
“Gawd, jealous of a kangaroo!”
“Hey, you're mine, and only mine, and don't you forget it ...” Jack looked over at the critters, “Or you!”
November 27, 2003
“Welcome to the Kamberra Wine Company Tourism Complex,” the tour guide spoke to a group of about twenty visitors, including Jack and Daniel. “This is Australia’s newest urban winery. We service the biggest ever vine planting in the Australian Capital Territory.”
The attractive guide led the group to the center of the reception area as she continued her introductory remarks. “The name ‘Kamberra’ is derived from the indigenous name given to the limestone plains on which the national capital was built, and its translation is ‘Meeting Place.”
She handed all the visitors nearby a brochure as she continued. “The Complex features the Cellar Door where you'll be able to sample some of our wine offerings, the Meeting Place Bistro where you can have some food to balance out those free samples, the Federation Center which is an entertainment area, a Demonstration Winery, and amphitheater. There's an art gallery for viewing some of Australia's best art, and we have seven gardens you are free to stroll through and relax in while you're here. We hope you'll enjoy your visit with us today as we explore the Kamberra Wine Company.”
“Bet they don't have St. Julien's,” Jack whispered.
“Jack, hush. I want to hear what she says.”
Jack listened off and on, but most of the time, he Daniel watched. Daniel looked particularly sexy today, wearing a tight-fitting blue silk shirt, which he hadn't buttoned the top three buttons to. He also wore tight fitting designer jeans. Of course, Jack had a hunch he was being set up for something. Daniel knew the effect an unbuttoned shirt had on the older man, and the modest archaeologist rarely wore anything tight in public ... unless he had an ulterior motive.
~Whatever you have in mind, Love, I'm all for it. Just say when, and I'll follow your cue!~
The next stop on their wine tour was the Brindabella Hills Winery. They sat in the back of the shuttle bus, wanting privacy, for the twenty-five minute drive, enjoying the country view and talking about the different wines they had tasted in the city.
Daniel kept absentmindedly stroking Jack's upper thigh. Although Jack kept catching his hand, it wasn't long before his lover returned to the rhythmic stroking. By the time they arrived, Jack was busy thinking of cold showers, and anything else he could think of to squash his over-excited libido.
Located on a granite ridge high above the Murrumbidgee River, Brindabella Hills, they learned, produced a variety of award-winning wines, all of which the newlyweds tasted as they listened to the staff talk about the product.
“The Riesling is becoming the specialty of Canberra. We've done very well with them in competitions. Our Rieslings are crisp, dry with lean acidity. Our Chardonnays also do well with lots of citrus and fruit flavors with a balanced acidity. Cabernet Sauvignon is usually blended with a merlot now. The cooler regions produce a more leafy and minty refreshment, while the warmer areas result in a more rich and chocolaty vintage.”
The staff smiled as Daniel especially seemed to be enjoying the free samples. “Good stuff, Jack. Have some more.”
“No, I meant, I want some more.” Daniel had a sloppy smile on his face as he reached for another drink.
“Now that's a Shiraz. It's rarer, but quite excellent. It combines Clonakilla with a tad of Viognier. It's actually very respected for being so rare.”
Daniel continued to listen, and taste. He was indeed having a good time.
**You're so sexy, Daniel.**
**We're in pubic, Jack.**
**Gawd, I'm glad this is just our minds. Public. PUBLIC!**
**You're such a cheap date, Love.**
**I am not, Jack.**
**Too!** Jack insisted silently.
**I AM, TOO!**
Jack laughed out loud, in the middle of the wine taster talking about the vintage being sampled. Everyone looked at him suspiciously. Daniel looked away, playing with his glass, acting like he didn't know his husband.
“Sorry,” Jack said softly.
**You deserved it. That wasn't fair!**
**Was ... grrrrr ... I love you, Jack.**
**I love you, too, Angel.**
The lovebirds finally got some much needed food in their stomachs at the next stop, Pialligo Estate Wines. They had backtracked a little for this stop, since the vineyard and tasting room were only five minutes away from Canberra central. Still, the picturesque valley had incredible views of national sites, including the famous Parliament House.
Here, Jack and Daniel enjoyed lunch, and then sampled some of the winery's award-winning cool climate wines. They had time afterwards for a leisurely stroll through the rose garden, and were even able to go down through the vineyard to the river and olive grove.
They loved their time walking together even more than their wine, which they were still enjoying throughout the walk, especially one of the Merlots.
“Mmm, this wine is, mmm, so good,” Daniel ran his tongue around the edge of the wine glass he held. “Mmmm,” he closed his eyes as his tongue slid down to take a taste of the liquid. “Mmmm,” he repeated, sighing at the bouquet of the fine wine.
“Daniel, so help me, you 'mmmm' once more, and I'm going to make love to you right here.”
“Mmmm ... make love,” Daniel taunted, his tongue licking the wine from his lips. “Love wine. Mmmm.”
Jack was about ready to pounce when Daniel pushed him away. “Time to catch the shuttle.”
“I may just kill you, Daniel Jackson!”
“You'll have to catch me first!” Daniel took off running for the main building where they'd catch the shuttle. Jack gave chase gingerly. He knew he couldn't afford to catch Daniel here. Unlike the bush where they had made love the day before, this was way too public, so he didn't chase very hard.
When he arrived at the shuttle stop, Daniel was there, arms folded, with a full blown pout on his face.
“You don't love me anymore.”
“You didn't chase me. The honeymoon is,” Daniel waved his hand, “over.”
“Oh for crying out loud.” Jack reached over, taking Daniel into his arms, and gave him an O'Neill Special, the kiss that made his husband forget his name.
“Where are we?”
“On our honeymoon.”
Jack laughed. Daniel regained his senses about the same time as the bus pulled up and the two hopped on, eager to get to their next stop and “More wine. Need more wine, Jack.”
“I'm not so sure about that, Danny.”
“I am. Must have more wine. Mmmm.”
Jack closed his eyes, determined not to react this time. ~Cold showers, snow, Goa'uld.~ Jack tried desperately to quell his body's reaction to his enticing and currently annoying husband.
The next stop allowed the newlyweds to enjoy the wines produced from home grown grapes at the Yass Valley Wines at Murrumbateman. This was one of the three main areas in Canberra for growing grapes.
They made one last minute detour before catching the shuttle back to Canberra -- the Bywong Town Gold Mining Village which had recreated the early days of the 1800's. They watched workers doing their jobs in the town's active gold mine, using modern machinery.
“If anyone would like, before you leave, you're welcome to try your luck at panning for gold.”
“Let's give it a shot, Danny.”
“You're out of your mind.”
“Hey, we always say we do one thing we've never done before. This is my choice.”
“Okie badokie,” Daniel said with a sway. Daniel's eyes sparked with happiness and mischief, and Jack had to look away as he was consumed by a surge of love for the man in front of him.
**You're drunk, Dannyboy.**
**So are you, Colonel Jack, Sir.**
Jack laughed, and led his lover over to the equipment. They listened as a guide showed them how to use the sixteen-inch pan, the correct way to dip and tilt it, to shift through the contents they take from the river, and more. Then, they walked for a ways until they mutually agreed on a spot, or rather, Daniel did, plopping down to the ground and saying, “Here. Not moving another inch.”
Jack laughed. Daniel had the cutest, sloppiest look on his face. His lover had definitely enjoyed too much of the vineyard's finest!
The two panned for an hour. Jack was very careful to do as instructed. He grew frustrated when Daniel seemed to ignore the procedures and methods the guide had mentioned. Daniel's clothing choice wasn't easing his frustration either. “Danny, this is how you do it.”
“I like doing it this way,” Daniel said, simply sticking his pan under the water and scooping out some sand and ... gunk.
“I thought you were the one for always following the rules?”
“It's not like we're going to find anything, Jack.”
“Well, you could try.”
“I am. See? I'm panning for gooooooooldddd!”
“Danny, you are so drunk.”
“Are you going to take advantage of me?”
“Yeahsureyoubetcha!” Jack grinned.
“Oh goodie! Take 'vantage of me now, Jack,” Daniel said, leaning back on the riverbed.
“Definitely not. Too many people around.” Jack swallowed hard as Daniel's shirt slid up to reveal a tempting sliver of his lover's flat stomach. He groaned and looked away as Daniel stretched, making the shirt ride up even further.
“You didn't mind when the roos were watching.”
Jack shook his head, not believing what his lover was saying.
After another thirty minutes, the couple took their sandy material over to the rocker to shift off the river sludge. They watched as the box swayed back and forth, cleaning the gravel, waiting to see if any gold or ore would be revealed. Jack looked at Daniel and saw he was moving in synch with the rocker. It was almost hypnotic, and Jack had to force himself to tear his gaze away from the tempting sight of Daniel's swaying backside.
“Danny,” Jack gently took hold of his lover, afraid he'd fall over in a second if he didn't.
Jack chuckled. “Nothing. Just ... I love you.”
“Aw, Jack. That's so sweet.” Daniel placed his head against Jack's shoulder.
~Drunk as a skunk.~ Jack laughed. He felt Daniel nuzzle his neck followed by a warm mouth nibbling on his ear lobe. Before he could make up his mind whether to kiss or kill his all too enticing lover, Daniel had straightened up.
“Sorry, Prospector. Not a thing.”
Jack grunted, and watched as Daniel's find was put onto the rocker.
“Congratulations! You've found gold!”
“WHAT?” Jack barked. Daniel smiled and shrugged. Of course, it wasn't much, but it was a tiny nugget, one that Daniel proudly accepted.
“Oh for crying out loud,” Jack turned around, mumbling. “I don't believe this,” he said as he walked towards the main town.
Daniel ran after him. “You mad at me, Jack?”
“No, of course not.”
“Then why yell at me?”
Jack stopped. Daniel was looking up at him through batting eyelashes that made him swoon, and within seconds, Jack felt all the blood in his body run south. ~We can't do this here. Geez.~ “Danny, you are so drunk. I'm not angry. I love you. I'm ... glad you found gold.”
“Really?” Daniel leaned forward against his lover.
“Really. I'm proud of you, but we'd better get back.”
Daniel reached out and put the gold nugget in Jack's shirt pocket, over his heart, and then fastened it. “You are my gold, pure gold, the purest ever. I love you.”
“Danny,” Jack said tenderly, kissing his husband boldly in the middle of the historic old town. “Let's go back to the hotel.”
November 28, 2003
“I swear, Danny, these turnabouts are so confusing. What genius thought of these?”
Jack was driving their rental car, trying to get from the Hyatt to the Australian War Memorial. He wasn't prepared for the unique roads that grace the city of Canberra. Commonly called turnabouts, the arcing turns of the intersections were designed to keep traffic moving and avoid the need for stop signs. Jack couldn't believe anyone had come up with such a crazy plan, regardless of whether or not it worked.
“Actually, it was Walter Burley Griffin.”
“The guy the lake is named for?”
Eventually, they arrived at the Memorial, Jack still cursing the turnabouts. They wished they had longer, but this was their last day in the Australian capital, and they wanted to squeeze in a bunch of local historical sights, although they knew they'd only have an hour or so at each, which really wasn't enough time to do it justice. Daniel had suggested that it would give them an idea, though, of what places they'd want to spend more time at if they ever came back.
Knowing they were limited on time, they chose a couple of galleries to visit, beginning with Aircraft Hall which featured not only aircraft but works of art, photos, film, soundscapes, audio and multi-media that told the story of air power in the Pacific. Jack enjoyed seeing some of the classic flying machines of yesteryear, particularly the Kittyhawk, Zero, and MiG-15 planes.
They went to Anzac Hall next which focused Australian history with their aircraft. The hall was divided into sections that including “Striking By Night” which was the one area Jack had told Daniel he just had to see. Included there was a Lancaster bomber, G for George, which had recently been returned to public view after a five year conservation program had been undertaken to protect the aircraft.
The aircraft was the centerpiece of the area, and Jack and Daniel marveled at the stunning light and sound recreation built around it. The special effect program focused on a night operation that took place over Berlin in December 1943.
“Incredible, Danny. Just ... incredible,” Jack said when it was over.
They walked through the Sculpture Garden and took in the Memorial Wall before a quick stop in the shop where, Daniel chuckled, Jack found yet another beagle figurine he couldn't live without!
After the Australian War Memorial, they stopped by the Old Parliament House, Questacon, and The Bird Walk. Jack was sure Daniel's favorite would have been the science and technology center known as the Questacon which was full of geeky stuff, so he was surprised when his husband said, “Nope, I liked the aviary the best. Being eye-to-eye with King Parrots and Rainbow Lorikeets, Red-Faced Finches and Superb Blue Wrens was awesome, Jack, kind of like watching tropical fish. I liked it a lot.”
“We're not getting a bird, Daniel.”
Daniel laughed. “I know, but I did love seeing them. They were colorful.”
“Yeah, those rainbow-hued ones were breathtaking.”
“Jack, we're going to miss our plane.”
“So we'll catch a later flight. Please, Danny.”
“Gawd. Okay, Movie Junkie!”
Jack insisted on a trip to the ScreenSound Australia, the National Screen and Sound Archive. There were lots of exhibits and old movie and TV reels to watch, but the two had their most fun at the radio sound booth, where they were able to recreate old radio sound effects using common appliances and more unique things like shoe clops.
“You're a kid, Jack.” Daniel was watching his husband talk into a tube that went into the wall.
“Danny, try it. You can feel your words.”
“Jack ...” Daniel thought Jack was crazy.
“Come here, you.” Jack took Daniel's hand and placed it in his against the wall. “Close your eyes, and open your mind.”
“Well, when you put it like that.” Daniel sighed, took a breath and decided to open himself up to the experience, whatever it was.
Holding his spouse's hand to the wall, Jack talked into the tube. “La Mio Bello Stella Cadente. Forever and always, I love you, so friggin' much. My beautiful falling star.”
Jack stood back, and slowly Daniel opened his eyes. “Gawd, Jack. I ... felt that.”
“I love you, Danny.”
Daniel looked around. ~Oh, what the heck. We're leaving Canberra anyway.~ Daniel drew his lover in for a long, passionate kiss. If others saw, too bad! “Thank you, Love, for letting me feel your words.”
The two leaned their foreheads together for just a moment, and then returned to their hotel to pack their bags and go to the airport. They had missed their flight, but there were several daily, and they were able to get on a later one without too much of a problem.
Though it was late in the afternoon when they arrived in Sydney, the newlyweds decided to stroll around Darling Harbour. They looked in shops, walked through the Chinese Gardens and had some tea in the traditional tea house there, and then paid a quick visit to the Sydney Aquarium. “Equal time for the fishies,” Daniel had joked as they walked inside.
“Danny, it's Nemo!” Jack grabbed Daniel's hand and led him to the “Finding Nemo” exhibit. “Fits since we saw the movie on the way over.”
Daniel shook his head at his eight-year old husband. After seeing that exhibit, they took in the seal sanctuary which they learned was the first known natural haven for the seals.
“Jack, do you want to check this out?” Daniel held up a flyer he had picked up with some others at a Customer Service window.
“Yeah. Thanks, Love.”
They headed over to the Powerhouse Museum for a special exhibit -- Sport: More than Heroes and Legends. The special collection was a celebration of Australia's sporting history. Jack and Daniel made their way through the gallery, examining as many of the over five hundred items on display as they could. They particularly enjoyed the Olympic collection that included several items from the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
As they were about to go back to their hotel, Jack saw a quaint little shop they hadn't gone in. “Let's just go in here real quick.”
They looked around, separating for a few minutes, and then when Daniel glanced over to see what Jack was doing, he saw the older man staring at something.
“Danny? Look at this!”
“Oh, Jack. Our girls. Oh, I miss them so much!”
“Me, too. Let's buy it.”
“We have to. Gawd, Jack. This one looks so much like them.”
Jack went to the counter and paid for the item. It was a snow globe of two beagles playing in the snow near a snowman.
“You know what, Love?” Jack looked over at Daniel. “This would be great at the cabin. It would always remind us of them when we're there.”
“Brilliant idea, my genius.” Jack smiled his agreement.
They stopped by one of the hotel restaurants for a quick snack and to try yet another Australian desert, this time choosing Lamingtons, sponge cake squares coated in chocolate icing and coconut.
“Not bad,” Jack said.
“Jack, have one of these. They're different.”
“How?” Jack looked inquisitively as he reached over to take one of the Lamingtons that Daniel had gotten.
“These come with jam in the middle. They're very sweet.”
“Just like you, my love.”
“Jack, stop. You make me sound ... sappy.”
“Every bit as much as you are. Eat!” Daniel smiled as he finished his dessert.
November 29, 2003
“Hadante was much worse,” Jack said as he and Daniel walked through the Hyde Park Barracks Museum. The multi-story building had housed male convicts who worked in government employment around Sydney until its closure in 1848. After that, it had been an Immigration Depot for single female immigrants, a female asylum, and then for almost ninety years it housed law courts and government offices. The place offered a number of exhibits on the daily life of the convicts.
“That's true, but this is bad enough. Let's go, Jack. I'm not sure why we even came here.”
“Because ... I don't know.” Jack chuckled. “Let's go check out the Rocks Precinct.”
“I thought you didn't like rocks.”
“I love your rocks, especially the hard one.”
“Jack, don't start. It's too early in the morning.”
“Since when ...”
“Jack.” Daniel was giving his husband the death glare. They hanky-pankied a lot as it was. Daniel wanted to get in as much as they could of Australia in the few days they had left.
“Okay. Sorry. So how about a stroll down that way?”
“You just want to find more figurines of the girls.”
“You have something against beagles?”
“Of course not.”
After a while, they stopped for a drink. Jack had a Coke, and Daniel a Pepsi. Sitting at the next table over was a man in his twenties. Jack watched as another man about the same age approached the other.
“G'day, Wazza. Whatcha' doin'?”
“Same as you. Wagging 'n' enjoyin' a stubby.”
“Oy, this is hard yakka.” A derisive snort met that comment.
“Hey, ya best be good, Mate, or I'll dob on ya.”
“Seen Gaz lately?“
“Yeah, saw the larrikin last night.”
Jack shook his head at the conversation, but then got lost in his lover's eyes for a while as they enjoyed their drinks. After a while, Jack's attention went back to the two men at the other table.
“I best get a wriggle on.”
“Where to, Mate?”
“Chemist. Need some Chupa Chups, aspirin, and new bats for my mobile. You?”
“Gonna go for an icypole with me Sheila.”
“See ya Sunday at the barbie. We'll throw a few shrimps on, play a spot of cricket.”
“You've got Buckley's, Mate!”
“We'll see, ya Ratbag!”
The two apparent friends parted, all smiles.
“Is Australian a separate language?”
Daniel laughed. “Why would you ask that?”
“Because ... well, you know those guys who just left?”
“They talked non-stop for twenty minutes and I haven't the vaguest idea what they said.”
More laughter. “Truth is, Jack, I didn't understand much of it either.”
“It's a hoot, ain't it?” A man in his fifties said. “I always enjoy watching foreigners try and figure out our Aussie slang.”
“It's ... different,” Daniel said, “but then all languages have some kind of slang or another. In fact, even in ancient ...”
“Daniel, we're not at work,” Jack chided.
“He's a linguist. Loves to talk,” Jack said with a wink.
**It'll be all talk and NO action tonight if you don't behave.**
Jack turned his attention to the red-headed man. “Jack,” he said extending his hand. “And this is Daniel.”
“Glen, at your service, if you'd like a bit of a translation.”
Jack smiled. “Have a seat.”
Glen sat and the three chatted a bit about Australia and the hot weather. “Now, about our mate's conversation. For the most part, they were just giving each other a hard time, making fun, y'know?”
“I have to know,” Jack leaned forward. “An icypole with his sheila? I can think of ... actually, maybe I'd better not.”
Glen laughed. “You blokes would call it a popsicle.”
“Now that's the last thing I would have thought of,” Jack admitted.
“The other man was having a beer.”
“I didn't hear anything about beer,” Daniel said.
“A stubby is a 375 milliliter bottle of beer.”
“Stubby?” Daniel racked his brain trying to make some logical linguistic sense of stubby equating to beer, but he came up empty.
The minutes passed as the men continued to talk, and Glen translated the overheard conversation. “And they were,” he paused. “What's the term when you chaps don't go to school, take an unofficial day off?”
Jack beamed. “Hookey!”
“Yes, that's it. He was wagging, playing hookey from work. Yakka is work.”
“Yadda yadda to yakka yakka?” Jack said to Daniel who just shook his head.
Glen asked, “What's a yadda yadda?”
“It's ... just an expression,” Jack answered.
"Oh, no yakka comes from an aboriginal dialect."
“What about the names they seemed to call each other?” Daniel asked.
Glen sat back, trying to recall what the men had said. “Yes, uh, one bloke called someone a larriken. That's a mischievous bloke, up to no good.”
“One of them called the other a ... mouse, no a rat. I remember a rodent,” Jack said calmly.
“Ratbag. It's just a term, a friendly jab, harmless.”
“Now, I know a barbie is a barbecue, but I heard a name ... Buck something ...” Daniel said, trying to recall the name.
“Buckley's. It means you haven't a chance. Not a prayer. You're going to lose.”
“As in the cricket match the one man said.”
“Yes, that's right.”
After a few more minutes, Jack and Daniel thanked Glen for the pleasant conversation and translation and went on their way. “Danny, I never would have guessed any of that slang.”
“Me, either, but I doubt they understand our slang any better than we understood theirs!”
After spending a couple more hours taking in the area, and buying another beagle collectible, the couple went to the Queen Victoria Building. Made of sandstone, it was built in 1898 to house the city's produce markets and is one of Sydney's most prestigious shopping centers with over 180 shops. Naturally, Jack found another collectible he just had to have.
After lunch, they visited the Sydney Opera House and then spent some time at the Sydney Observatory.
The historic building had Jack smiling as they walked through the gardens and museum. “This place is amazing, Love. This ground, the hill, was going to be a mill, and then a fort and signal tower. And all this, what's here now, began as a ... clock.”
“Yeah. I was talking to one of the locals while you were in the restroom earlier. They built this big ball on top of the tower, and every day they lowered it at precisely 1300 hours. They'd fire a cannon over at Fort Denison at the same time. It was how the city and folks in the harbor knew the correct time. Sort of an early Times Square.”
“How long ago was that?”
“You would ask me something I don't know,” Jack griped.
“Sorry,” Daniel said with a chuckle.
“Well, it was sometime in the mid-1850's I think. They did quite a job with it, but not long after, they decided to build the observatory.”
The lovers visited several exhibitions. Daniel had other things on his list of things to do, but Jack was so enthralled that he couldn't stand to interfere.
“Angel, can we come back tonight? We can look through the telescope then and get a great shot of the southern sky. It's supposed to be very clear tonight, too, and some of the local astronomers will be here.”
“Jack, we were going to ...” Jack did his best to imitate Daniel's puppy dog look, combined with a pout. “You don't do that very well.”
Jack shrugged. “You're right. This was your day to pick what we do. I'm sorry. We've stayed longer than you wanted to anyway. Come on, Love. Let's go see one of those other things on your list.”
They rounded out their day with a couple of local museums, and ate a relaxing dinner, cozying up to each other at one of the nicer restaurants, having gotten a table in the corner. Jack exited the eatery and looked up at the night sky. ~Clear. Crystal clear tonight.~
Daniel had lagged behind to pay the bill. When he walked outside, he saw his lover looking up longingly. “Come on, Babe. We have some stars to see.”
“Let's go. We can just make the next tour if we leave now.”
“Danny, you mean it?”
Daniel smiled, grabbed his husband's hand, and walked to their rental car. ~He really wants this. He asks me for so little. Besides, I have to admit, it's fun to see the stars like this, too.~
Back at the observatory, the couple had joined in a tour, and Jack was in heaven chatting with the astronomers. Daniel smiled as he stood by happily listening. He loved to see Jack so animated and happy about something other than Froot Loops and The Simpsons. It made him feel even more certain that his wedding gift to his lover, that of a rare and expensive telescope, was the right choice. Jack had gone bananas over it the night before they left for Canada. ~Yeah, it was the right thing.~
“Danny, let's do this,” Jack said a while later as they stood by the Star Registry.
“What? The Jackson and O'Neill Star of Love?” Daniel smiled, a reminder of the special gift his husband had given him for their wedding, a treasured family tree of portraits.
“Nope,” Jack said, beckoning the clerk over. “One star, please!”
Jack looked through the Southern Star Catalog, a listing of stars observable and visible from Sydney. The stars were compiled into the catalog between 1967 and 1983.
“I want this one,” Jack picked out a star.
“And the name, Sir?”
Jack grinned. “Space Monkey!”
Jack was extremely pleased with himself, and then Daniel said, “Hey, I want to buy a star, too. He quickly made his choice. ”This one, please.“
“It sure didn't take you long. Here, I was being ...”
“Jack ... look,” Daniel pointed. “I want this one.”
Jack smiled at the spot where Daniel had pointed. It was the closest star to Space Monkey, practically touching it. “Two hearts that are one. Two stars that are one.”
“Geez, I love you.”
“Ditto.” Daniel wanted to say more, but there were a lot of people circulating, including the clerk.
“And what's the name for this star, Sir?”
Jack grinned. “I like that -- Space Monkey and Silver Fox -- together in the heavens forever.”
“Side by side, always.”
It cost $250 per star, but the newlyweds loved their unique gift. They each received a certificate naming their star, which they agreed they'd frame and keep at the cabin in Minnesota, star charts that showed exactly where their stars were and how to find them, and their names were recorded in the Name a Star Catalog. They also received passes to come back and view their star again. Daniel saw the look in Jack's eyes, and the plea.
“We can come back one more time before we leave, can't we, Danny? Tomorrow night?”
“Yes, we can do that.”
The lovers felt a special peace and serenity when the left the Sydney Observatory. They returned to their hotel and snuggled, and then made love before falling asleep in a euphoric bliss.
November 30, 2003
It was their last full day in Australia, and technically, it had been Jack's day to choose what they did. Originally, he had all day lovemaking on the agenda, but Daniel had been so understanding about the Observatory that Jack decided he wanted to do something extra special for his husband. It was something he had had on the back burner for the entire trip with reservations on “hold” and now, he decided, he wanted to go through with it. ~If I can survive going off-world for negotiations and first contacts, I can survive this.~
“Where are we going, Jack?” It was early in the morning when Jack had awoken his spouse, urging him to shower and dress for breakfast much earlier than Daniel had planned on.
“You'll see,” Jack said teasingly.
Jack had arranged for an all-day tour of Aboriginal Sydney. It was something Daniel had talked about doing, going deep inside the country to get to know the culture. Unfortunately, their schedule hadn't allowed them to go where Daniel had really wanted to, but Jack thought this would at least give him a taste of what he had desired.
The tour was specially designed for the couple. ~Geez, you'd think we were Howard Hughes. Danny is worth it, though. He's worth everything I own. He is everything.~ Jack hadn't hesitated to fork out some big time bucks for the special surprise.
It began with a stroll to and around the Royal Botanic Gardens, The Rocks, Circular Quay and the world famous Bondi Beach. They learned about Bennelong Point and Farm Cove and the uses of sandstone and various plant life in the Botanic Gardens. They enjoyed a native beverage and seedcake at First Fleet Park, and then viewed some early colonial housing. They ended this portion of the tour at Campbell's Cove where they boarded a boat for a cruise.
On board, they enjoyed presentations of traditional dance and music of the Aboriginal culture. An Aboriginal guide provided the commentary, providing lots of insights into the people.
After the cruise, they walked through the Art Gallery that captured so much of this unique culture in paintings and other forms of expression.
“I wish I could meet more of the people,” Daniel said softly as he studied the diversity of art in the gallery. He was so engrossed, he never noticed Jack walking over to the guide.
Minutes later, Jack tugged on his husband's arm. “I have a surprise, Danny.” Jack pulled the young man over to the guide, and the next thing Daniel knew, they were headed inland.
“I wish we had more time,” Jack said to the guide as he watched Daniel a few hours later talking with some Aboriginal elders. ~And I mean that. Look at him. This is his element. He doesn't have a care in the world right now. Ah, something is funny. What a smile. His eyes. Geez, Danny, your eyes are alight with life, sparkling, bright. I should have planned this for earlier. We could have come out here every day. I shouldn't have hesitated. Just look at you ... my angel.~
Daniel looked over at Jack, who stood with the guide several yards away. He smiled sweetly. **Thank you, Jack. I love you so much.**
**Love you, too, Angel. Talk to the people.**
Daniel returned his focus to the old man he was conversing with, and Jack continued his favorite hobby -- Daniel watching.
Most of the way back, Daniel spoke enthusiastically about all he'd learned. Not surprisingly, he'd been invited to come back anytime he was in Australia.
“They had so many languages, Jack. Darinung, Darug which had at least two dialects, Dharawal, Gundungurra, Guringai. It's sad though because the languages and culture are dying out. The native people of this land have so much to fight against. It's not fair. They were here first, but over time were wiped out, just like the Native Americans.”
“I know, Love, but at least with you at the SGC, that won't happen to other cultures we discover.”
“I love you, Jack.”
“Love you too, Angel.”
The couple barely made it back to Sydney in time to get to the Observatory before it closed. Jack had been willing to forego it, but Daniel had insisted.
“Space Monkey and Silver Fox are shining brightly, Jack.”
“They're happy. They have each other.”
“You got that right!” Jack leaned over and gave Daniel a quick kiss, and then all too soon, it was time to return to their hotel where, as they had done each and every night, they made love.
December 1, 2003
“I can't believe it's over.”
“It's not over, Danny. It'll never be over.”
The two stood looking out at the view from their suite. Their bags were packed, and they were about to check out.
“It really was perfect.”
“In every way,” Jack agreed, and then kissed Daniel on the temple.
“It's going to be hard going back.”
“Lying. Pretending. Geez, I hate it.”
“It won't be forever.”
“No, it won't. I won't let us lose these moments. The time is coming, Love. Soon.”
Daniel nodded. They wouldn't argue today, or any day soon. Right now, their world was nothing but love. They had a long fifteen hour flight ahead of them to Los Angeles. They knew they'd repeat their Mile High Club performance, and Jack was already planning his revenge at all the various games Daniel had won on the trip over. And then, all to soon, they'd be back in Denver, and then in their home in Colorado Springs.
“It'll be good to see the girls,” Daniel whispered. “I've missed them.”
“Okay, me, too, but I'll deny it if you ask me again,” Jack threatened.
“Right. I'll tell Bij and Katie you said that.” Daniel turned around to get his bag.
“You wouldn't dare!” Jack hurried after his lover. Daniel simply smiled wickedly. “Danny, do you know what they'll do to me if you tell them?” Daniel laughed loudly, picking up his duffel bag and heading for the door. “Danny! You love me! You wouldn't do that to me! I'm your husband, for crying out loud!”
Daniel stood at the door laughing, his face bright and full of happiness. “Geez, you're beautiful, Danny.”
Jack closed the gap and kissed his husband tenderly. “To our forever ...”
“To our forever ...”
As they headed for the lobby to check out, Jack and Daniel both knew that while their trip had come to a close, their honeymoon would last an eternity!
Feedback Welcome - click here to email the author