Re-lax-a-tion

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  6 - December 22, 2002
Spoilers:  None
Size:  22kb, ficlet
Written:  May 15-16, 2008, April 24,27, May 1,5, 2010
Summary:  For Daniel, it's frustrating, but for Jack, nothing is necessary.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
1) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
2) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Navi, Tammy, Irina!

Re-lax-a-tion
by Orrymain

“Hmm ... ouch.”

Daniel moaned as he stretched his sore muscles.  Having finished sweeping the patio deck in the backyard, cleaning the large patio door glass panes, and washing the kitchen floor, the hardworking man headed upstairs to get his get jacket and keys, which he'd left on the dresser.  He needed to go to his apartment and do some cleaning there, too.

As the archaeologist entered the master bedroom, he came to a sudden stop.  He stared at his lover, who was lying on the bed, stretched out with his eyes closed.  A smile adorned his face, though it wasn't a big one; rather, it was just a moderate, somewhat neutral curving of his lips.

“Jack, what are you doing?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing?” the sweating scientist echoed in a combination of disbelief and displeasure.  “You were supposed to be cleaning the bathroom.”

“Laaaaater,”  Jack sighed in a prolonged drawl, wiggling his fingers.

“Jack, we agreed that today we'd work ...”

“I am working, Dannyboy,” Jack insisted, cracking an eye open.  He sat up and smirked, “Work like this isn't easy.  You should try it sometime.”

With that, the colonel stood, stretched, and walked by his lover to exit the bedroom.

“If I worked like that, this place would be run over with dust and weeds,” Daniel grumbled.  ~My allergies would kill me.~

====

A few hours later, Daniel returned to the country-style home he shared with the colonel of his heart.  As he walked in, he maintained a steady pace; that is, until he reached a few feet inside the living room.  From there, he stood motionless and in silence as he watched in curiosity.

Jack was settled into his favorite chair, a comfortable and large piece of furniture that let him feel lost in because it was so roomy.  In this case, he'd pulled over the coffee table and had his feet resting over a pillow he'd placed there.  His shoes and socks were off, and once again, his eyes were closed.

As Daniel looked on, Jack tensed his right foot and then let it relax.  He did the same with his left.  After a moment, he smiled and let out a happy sigh.  He repeated the process, though it was more difficult to notice, with his calves and thighs.  Then he sucked in his abdomen, letting it tense up for several seconds before releasing the muscles.

The younger man shifted a little uncomfortably.  Since his soulmate was uncharacteristically wearing shorts and didn't have a shirt on, every reflex action taken was a bit of a turn on for Daniel.

Finally, Jack wiggled his toes, lightly shook his legs, shimmied his chest, and let out a long, deep sound of contentment.  He licked his lips and then grinned.  Throughout the entire process, his eyes had remained shut.

Hearing another moan of serenity, Daniel called out, “Jack, what the heck are you doing?”

“Nothing at all, Daniel,” Jack responded happily.  He opened his eyes and, still grinning, proclaimed enthusiastically, “It feels great.”

Though turned on in a big way, Daniel had just spent five hours cleaning the house and his apartment.  While he'd been gone, his lover was supposed to have wiped the kitchen appliances and wax the wooden entranceway, something he'd noticed hadn't been done yet.

“Jack, you had chores to do.”

“I'll get to them,” Jack promised calmly.

“Jack ...”

“Relax, Daniel,” the older man interrupted as he stood up and stretched.  He smiled at his archaeologist before advising, “I'm going upstairs.”

“What for?” Daniel inquired as spun around, seeing Jack pause right by the stairs.

“Strategy,” the colonel stated, his eyes twinkling with mischief.

“Excuse me?”

“Strategy,” the older man repeated, looking down as he wiggled his toes again.  ~That feels so good.~  Then he moved as if to tense his body, but there was only one part responding, which is exactly what he had in mind.  Raising his eyebrows repeatedly in an Groucho Marx like manner, he pretended to have a cigar in his mouth and quipped, “Nothing's hard work.  I wanna do something that's ... harder, more ... *suc*culent; maybe something that I can really *thrust* myself into.”

As Jack whistled his way up the stairs, Daniel looked down, feeling his body react.

~He's so ...~  Daniel wanted to say frustrating, aggravating, irritating, annoying, and a slew of other things, but all he could come out with was, ~... hard.~

In less than a minute, all thoughts of the remaining household chores fled Daniel's mind as he happily became the recipient of Jack's hardened and succulent thrusting maneuvers.

====

At Daniel's insistence, once their lovemaking was done and they'd had a short nap, the couple returned to the necessary cleaning of the house.  Though it was now a chilly thirty-six degrees outside, under threat of no more lovemaking for at least a week, something that was unthinkable to Jack, the colonel was outside, repairing a broken hinge.

Checking up on his Love briefly, Daniel mused, ~The human condition is extremely ... odd.  He really thinks *I* could stand a week without ... you know?~

Fortunately, the hinge job was minor and took only a few minutes to complete.

~Hard work,~ Jack thought, dramatically wiping his brow.  He grinned as he decided upon his next move.  ~Oh, yeah!~

====

With his soulmate busy doing something that Jack didn't really care about at the moment, the silver-haired man stripped to his birthday suit and then took the first step into the bathtub.  He entered very slowly, his foot submerging into the steaming hot water just an inch at a time.

Gently, the tall man continued lowering himself down, letting the water enrich his skin in small degrees.  When he reached just below his midsection, he shut his eyes tight and continued to move downward slowly, in spite of an urge to get out and run now.

Finally, Jack had lowered himself into the hot water until just his neck and head were still dry.  Then, in one fell swoop and with his eyes closed once again, he went completely under the bath water, allowing the heat to work its magic on every millimeter of his body.  Then he burst out of the bubbly water so he could breathe and settled in to enjoy his afternoon bath.

With his loofah sponge, Jack played a mock game of swords with the bubbles that circulated in and above the water and then made a 'Z' in the white suds.  Playtime done, he slowly and delicately bathed himself.

The bathing man reached over to a stool he'd placed by the tub and turned on the radio.  Opera filled the air.  He reached over and picked up the book he'd brought in and read a chapter.

As he replaced the book on the stool, Jack sank down into the still-hot bubble bath water and sighed contentedly, ~This is the life.~

Jack could feel the heat of the water penetrating his muscles.  It felt awesome and was especially effective with his knees.

“Jack, what are you doing?” a perturbed Daniel questioned.  He'd been looking for his soulmate for several minutes.  “You were supposed to go to the hardware store and pick up some more lint traps after you fixed the hinge.”

“Hinge is fixed; lint can wait.”

“Fine, as long as you realize that you're the one who is going to clean up the mess when the washer overflows because we *do* have laundry that needs to be done tonight.”

“Nag, nag, nag.”

“Excuse me?” an exasperated Daniel questioned.

“What?” Jack asked only now looking over at his angry lover.

“Jack, *what* are you doing?”

“Nothing, Danny.  You could join me.  Of course, then I'd be doing something and not nothing.”

Daniel stared and then opined, “You've lost it, O'Neill.”

“You're right, Love.  It's all in the water.”

The younger man stared in confusion, shook his head, and walked away, not having a clue what Jack had been talking about.

~Go away, aches and pains.  Farewell, stresses.  You're all in the water now,~ Jack thought.  A few minutes later, he made a sad discovery: the water was no longer hot.  ~Time to get out and find more nothing to do.~

====

Having taken care of the errands Jack was to have done that afternoon and then stewing in private at his apartment for a while, Daniel took a deep breath and decided to just let his frustrations go.  After all, he and Jack were supposed to meet friends at O'Malley's for drinks and some pool.

When he arrived at the house, Daniel began to feel annoyed when he couldn't find Jack anywhere inside.  When he went outside to climb the ladder to check the roof deck, he did a double take after glancing around the large backyard.

“Jack?” Daniel called out softly, as if questioning what he was seeing.  ~What the heck is he doing now?~

Though the temperature was now below freezing, Jack was seated on the grass, leaning against a tree in the far northwest corner of the lot.  He was smiling.

As Daniel approached, he could see Jack's eyes were closed.  For a brief second, he wondered if something was wrong, but he quickly dismissed that possibility.

“Jack, what the ...”

“Shhh!” Jack exclaimed in a hushed tone.  “Listen.”

With a frown, Daniel's eyes darted around the yard as he wondered if there were some unperceived danger lurking.

“Listen to ... what?”

“Hear it?”

“Hear *what*?”

“Life.”

“Okay, Jack.  I'm gonna go inside and call Janet,” Daniel maintained, really getting worried about his Heart.

Jack opened his eyes and, looking up at his life partner, replied, “No need.”

“Then what are you doing out here?”

“Nothing, Angel,” Jack replied, a soft smile gracing his face.

“Jack, you've been acting strange all day.  I really think I should call Janet.”

With a chuckle, the colonel stood and glanced upward at the sky while saying, “Sometimes, Danny, you just need to shut out the rest of the world and listen, and don't ask me to what.  Just listen to whatever is out there.”

“Doing ... nothing?”

“You got it.”

“No, I ... I don't, and that's a ... a good thing.  Jack, we have to go, or we'll be late.”

“Let's hit it,” Jack agreed, stopping to give his Heart a kiss before heading towards the house.

Daniel looked around for a minute as he pondered what Jack had said.  It had been a long day, and part of him thought Jack was just messing around, but there was a part of the archaeologist who understood.

~Except that's not like Jack.~

====

“Nice shot, Sir,” Sam praised after Jack successfully hit his ball into the corner pocket.

“When you got it, you,” Jack sighed, seeing his next shot slide along the end of the table, “got it.”

“You sure got it, Babe,” Daniel chuckled, standing up to take his shot.

“I'm sure you've *got it*,” a nearby patron mocked, talking to Daniel.  “Babe,” he repeated sarcastically.

Daniel closed his eyes at his slip of the tongue.  He'd just felt so comfortable.  For a brief moment, he'd forgotten about the outside world, and now he feared his slip could have a high cost to it.

“Pal, I wouldn't push it,” Lou Ferretti interjected, putting down his beer.  ~I don't think I'd use it in public, but those two do their own thing.~

“It's just a word,” Sam added offhandedly.  “Sonny and Cher made it popular.”

Sam followed up her words by singing the chorus of the famous song, “I've Got You, Babe.”  By the time she was done, both Lou and Jack had joined her, each on opposite sides of her, leaning in as they playfully finished up the chorus with her.

Daniel simply smiled, trying not to laugh.

The man wasn't impressed, though, and continued to make noises of disgust while sending out sneers of displeasure.

With the song done, Jack walked over to the other side of the table and nonchalantly interjected, “Who loves ya, Baby?”

“Kojak -- Mister Tough,” Lou mused.

“The Lollipop king,” Sam chuckled.

“Real funny,” the man spat.  “The geek must need protecting.”

“Excuse me?” the archaeologist challenged.

“I wouldn't go there,” Jack warned.

“What's the geek gonna do?”

“Geek?” Daniel echoed unhappily.  He glared at the man and then looked over at his lover.  “Deja vu?”

“There are a few differences,” Jack pointed out.

“No ... arm jewelry,” Daniel acknowledged, not wanting to actually mention the term, 'armbands'.

“You gonna chat or what?” the sarcastic patron questioned, an ugly smirk on his face.

Jack walked up to the guy and dared sarcastically, “Pal, we'll oblige the 'or what', but not inside the place.  If you want a piece of us, it'll be outside and when we're done with our evening.”

The man wasn't satisfied and started to throw a punch when he screamed out from the painful jarring of his arm as it was twisted behind him.

“That's me, the geek,” Daniel stated, having successfully maneuvered behind the man while Jack had challenged him dead on.  “This is a restaurant, and we have an agreement with the owner not to destroy it ... again.”

“Again?”

“Oh, yeah.  You're not the first ignorant moron we've dealt with.”

With a smirk, Jack added, “I strongly suggest you vacate the premises before we're done here.  This ... geek has skills you can't even imagine.”

As Daniel released the man, he backed off, his face twisted with hate as he spat, “Perverts.”

The gang simply shared looks of contempt for the man and returned to their game of pool.

“So, Sam, what was your day like?” Lou asked, purposefully switching the topic.

With a giggle, the blonde answered, “I trained some recruits in hand-to-hand combat.”  She glanced over at the man, who was still nearby and listening.  “So, *Colonel*, did you anything exciting today?”

Now aware he had been taking on well trained military personnel, the man grabbed his coat and fled O'Malley's.

Chuckling, Jack answered Sam's query by saying, “I did a lot of hard work today, Carter.”

“He did a lot of nothing today,” Daniel corrected.

“Hey, nothing is hard work.”

“Wished I'd done nothing today,” Lou interjected.  “Carolyn had me hopping like a rabbit.”  All of a sudden, he called out, “Ten bucks says you can't do that again.”

“Easy money,” Sam responded.

“Careful, Lou.  She's a pool shark,” Jack warned.

As Sam prepared for her shot, the friends continued to laugh and enjoy their evening together.

====

Later that night, the lovers were getting ready for bed.

As Daniel pulled down his sweatshirt, he asked, “Jack, what was all this nothing about today?”

“Relaxation.”

“Relaxation?” the archaeologist echoed rapidly.

“No, not relaxation,” Jack corrected, talking as flatly and speedily as Daniel had a moment before.  “Re-lax-a-tion.”  He smiled and added, “There' a difference.”

“There is?”

“It's the art of doing nothing,” Jack explained.  Already wearing his nighttime sweats, he smiled and approached his lover, taking him into his arms.  “Okay, I admit I was acting a little weird.”

“A little?”

With a nod, Jack affirmed, “A lot, but the truth, Daniel, is that I needed a distraction.”

“Why?”  Frightened that something might be wrong between them, Daniel began to back away, but his fears lessened when his Love tightened his hold, brought him closer, and then kissed him to the point of forgetting his name.  ~Who am I?  Oh, yeah.~

“We're great,” Jack assured his soulmate, understanding that Daniel had momentarily panicked.  “I love you, madly, passionately, forever and always ... Geek?”

“Careful,” Daniel warned, breaking out into a smile.  The couple kissed again, and the younger man felt his fears disappear completely.  “I love you, too, Jack, but ... I don't know what you're trying to say.”

“Remember that phone call I got this morning from Hammond?”  After Daniel nodded, Jack continued, “Kinsey's doing his thing again, or trying to.  He won't get anywhere, but he's giving out a lot of ...”

“... headaches,” both men spoke together.

“I didn't want to think about it.  It still feels like Christmas.  If I talked about it, I would have gotten more angry about that pompous prick of a man and ruined our day.”

“So you ...”

“... did nothing,” Jack affirmed.  “Look.”  He walked over to his nightstand and pulled out a magazine.  It was flipped open to an article, which he now handed to his soulmate.  “This is what I was doing.”

Daniel read the title of the piece -- “The Art of Doing Nothing.”  He laughed lightly as he perused the page.  “It's all about eliminating distractions.”

“I shut out the world today, Danny, and I kept my sanity.  Uh, outside, that listening to what's out there, that's a good idea anyway.  You have to be able to listen to be your best in Special Ops.”

“Was I a ... a ...”

“Daniel, I love you.  You are the *best* kind of distraction for me.  I just didn't want to bring you down.”

“How come it's okay now?”

“Hammond called while you were in the shower.  Kinsey's backing down, for now,” Jack advised.

“You left one out,” Daniel remarked as he reviewed the article again.

“Which one?”

“Tasting and feeling.”

Jack moved over to stand beside his soulmate so he could read the section with Daniel and then suggested, “Hot chocolate sounds good.”

“Mmm, berries,” Daniel added with a seductive lilt to his voice.  “Jack?”

“Yes, Love?”

“Let's go do nothing.”

“Nothing, it is,” Jack agreed, kissing his Heart and then walking arm in arm with him downstairs to enjoy nothingness together.

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