St. Julien's

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  2 - February 13, 1999
Spoilers:  None
Size:  13kb, ficlet
Written:  April 7-9, 11, 2012
Summary:  Jack and Daniel attend a special wine tasting event that forever affects Daniel's sensation of taste.
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!

St. Julien's
by Orrymain

Colonel Jack O'Neill was enjoying a peaceful shower.  The droplets of water spritzing against his back and chest felt great as he circled around.  The overtones of an opera playing on the radio penetrated his blissful waterfall.  Soon, he was singing with it; that is, until he hit an off note and cringed.

~Gotta stop this singing thing.~  Then Jack heard another sound that didn't quite fit in with the aria being sung.  Recognizing it as his telephone, he hurried out of the shower, water dripping onto the cold tile flooring, and grabbed a towel on his way out of the bathroom.  Wrapping the white object around his waist, he moved swiftly toward the nightstand where the phone was situated.  “Ah, geez, ouch!” he exclaimed when he stubbed his toe against the end of the bed frame.  “O'Neill,” he barked to the unknown caller.

“Jackson.”

“Well, now that we've established roll call,” Jack groaned.

“Where are you?” the archaeologist demanded to know.

“Daniel, you just called me.  You *know* where I am.”

“What time is it?”

“Please tell me you didn't call me just to find out what time it is!”

“No, I didn't.”

“Okay, then?” Jack prompted.  ~What is my crazy geek so upset about?~

“Guess I'll go by myself.  Night, Jack.”

“Night?  Huh?  What?  Daniel!”

“I'm here,” came the somewhat monotone voice over the telephone line.

“Okay, what did I forget?” the confused colonel inquired as he clinched the towel that was barely draped around his lower body.

“Nothing.”

“Daniel, it's not nothing.  Talk to me.”  There was only silence on the other end of the line.  The cryptic phone call continued for two more minutes with Jack feeling like a soggy green bean.  Finally, he groaned, “I need a drink.”

“Goodnight, Jack,” Daniel stated with finality.

“Wait!  That's it!  A drink!”  Jack groaned.  “I'll be there in a half hour.”

“Why?”

“Danny, I'm sorry.  I just forgot.”  Jack waited and still heard only silence.  “I'm sorry.  What more do you want?”

“Chocolate.”

With that, the phone call ended.

“I'll take that as an invitation.”  Heading back for the bathroom to turn off his shower, Jack mentally chided himself for forgetting that he and Daniel had plans to go to a wine tasting event in Denver.  ~Had plans for Danny; just forgot I had to get him drunk first,~ he chuckled.

====

The drive to Daniel's apartment took twenty minutes.  Jack dressed in five, made a stop, and was knocking on his lover's door forty minutes after Daniel had hung up the phone.  He had to hope for a positive outcome.  He did feel guilty for his memory lapse, but then he'd been feeling a little old lately, the result of his brown hair transitioning into a grayish hue.

An unhappy archaeologist opened the door, ready to verbally browbeat his colonel for forgetting their date and being late.  However, a stack of five two-pound boxes of chocolate stopped him cold.

“I know I'm late, but Patsy was doing a big business tonight.  Tomorrow is Valentine's Day.”

“Is it?” Daniel questioned curtly, not letting on that he was perfectly aware of the upcoming romantic occasion.

“For you.”

Daniel stared at the boxes, the aroma of the freshly made chocolates causing him to salivate.

Sensing his lover weakening, Jack lovingly cajoled, “Am I forgiven?”

“I'll think about it.”  Daniel took the boxes and placed them on his kitchen counter.  He really wanted to open one of the boxes and eat one, but the clock was ticking.  ~Shibatwray,~ he swore in a foreign tongue he had only recently learned as a result of a visit to a faraway planet.

“Danny?” Jack sing-songed cheerfully.

“What?” Daniel asked, not in the best of moods as yet.  Then he saw it.  He could feel his cheeks reddening from delight, and he was certain his eyes were twinkling with anticipation.  ~Gawd, I love that man.~

“You can eat it on the way,” Jack said, handing over an opened box of two rich chocolates.  “I love you.”

“I'm thinking about it,” a somewhat distracted Daniel responded as he picked up his jacket and headed out the door.

“You keep on thinkin' about it, Love.  That's what you're good at,” Jack teased, smiling at the success of his candy surprise.

====

“You look very sexy,” Jack complimented his partner.

“It's not blue,” Daniel commented about his outfit.  Along with his black pants and shoes, he wore a basic white shirt with a green pullover sweater.  The majority of the green in the sweater was very dark, but it had several lighter green and white horizontal stripes in the pattern.  ~He's a fanatic over that color.~

“You still look sexy,” the colonel maintained.

“Thank you.”

“Eat your chocolate.”

“Why?”

“So you'll stop being mad at me.”

Daniel actually let out a small laugh.  He opened the box and quietly enjoyed two chocolates while Jack focused on driving his truck to their Denver destination.

After several minutes, the archaeologist praised, “You look sexy, too,” as he thought about his partner's attire which included a burgundy dress shirt that had three buttons at the top, all of which were undone.  ~Burgundy and black go well together,~ he silently observed about Jack's black pants.

Jack smiled and reached out to hold his Love's hand for a few seconds.  Both men laughed, and thus ended the brief war over Jack's forgetful faux pas.

====

“I'd like it better if there were going to be bottles of Bud inside,” Jack told his Love after he had handed over the keys to the valet at the Denver Hyatt.

“There's more to life than beer,” Daniel replied.

“Yeah, but we're not doing that here.”

“Is that all you think about, beer and ... you know?” the younger man inquired as the two began walking to the main entrance.

“Hockey.  You left out hockey.”

With a sigh, Daniel shook his head and continued inside the well-known hotel.

As the couple waited for the elevator, Jack asked, “Have you ever been to one of these wine tasting things before?”

“Not officially.”  Seeing Jack's quizzical expression, Daniel elaborated, “Once when I was attending Oxford, there was this sort of ... spontaneous event.”

“Spontaneous?”

“Yeah, well, college students, last day of exams, a local wine merchant: put it all together at one time and you get a wine tasting event.”

“Drunk?” Jack asked as the doors opened and the two walked inside.

“I'll take the fifth,” Daniel responded.

Just as the doors closed, Jack quipped, “The fifth or *a* fifth?”

Silence fell as the doors closed and the couple headed upward to attend the event.

====

The wine tasting was nearing its close.  Jack, Daniel, and several others had enjoyed sampling many wines produced throughout the state of Colorado.  Gourmet cheeses had also been offered for the enjoyment of the guests.  In addition, three special wine experts from France were present.  Each brought a few of their favorite wines from their home regions.  On the way out of the large meeting room, the couple noticed a table with one of the French gentlemen.

“We didn't sample his wine,” Daniel noted.

“Danny, if we sample too much more wine, we may have to stay here tonight,” Jack responded, although he was far from being intoxicated.  Wine was more Daniel's style, and the colonel's intake had been far less than his lover's.  ~I want a Bud.~

“Let's see what he has,” the younger man urged, already walking over to the table.

“I guess my Bud will wait,” Jack told no one as he trailed after his archaeologist.

“It comes from the Château Beychevelle in the Versailles of the Médoc,” the foreigner told Daniel.

“Beychevelle,” Daniel repeated.  “That's, uh, from what exactly?”

“You are a student of the language?” the Frenchman asked in pleasant surprise.

“I dabble,” Daniel responded to the wine connoisseurs's query.

“Oh, yes, he definitely dabbles,” Jack interjected over his Love's shoulder.

Daniel never looked at his partner and simply continued his conversation about the wines the visitor had brought with him.

“Most believe Beychevelle is from the expression 'Baisse-Vaille'.”

“Lower sails," Daniel translated.  “That's why the label depicts a boat,” he surmised as he studied the bottle.  

“The original owner was an admiral,” the Frenchman advised.  “It is said the navy lowered their sails as a sign of respect to the Duc d'Eperon.”

“He was the original owner?”

“Jean-Louis de la Valette Nogaret, yes.”  The Frenchmen selected a glass and then poured wine into a third of it.  “This is one of my favorites.  It is a rich Bordeaux blend with a marvelous bouquet.”

Daniel held the glass of wine up, carefully studying its appearance and texture.  He swirled the deep red wine in his glass, taking note of how it ran down the glass and mentally considering its viscosity.  He closed his eyes and gently brought the glass to his nose.

“I'm surrounded by citrus.  I feel the Earth, but it's soft and ... harmonious.”  Daniel opened his eyes and took a generous sip of the wine.  He didn't swallow it immediately.  Instead, he swirled it around in his mouth, sensing its body. Then he swallowed it.  “Sweet; a classic claret.  I love it.”

“The complexity of the aromas fill my senses,” the Frenchman stated, his eyes closed briefly as if visualizing the experience.  “It is a delicate wine.”

“What is that thing?” Jack interjected, feeling a little left out as he pointed at the image on the wine's bottle.

“The beast?  He is the mythical griffin,” the distributor of the wine answered.  “He is pulling Dionysus' chariot.  He is ...”

“... the god of wine,” Daniel completed with a smile.  “Gawd, this is so good,” he opined, praising the wine as he enjoyed more of his drink.  “I love the finish.”

“Please, have more.”

Daniel happily accepted a full glass of the wine, while Jack sampled his first glass that was filled halfway.

“What is this stuff?” Jack asked, not having read the name on the bottle.

“It is Chateau Beychevelle 1959 from Saint-Julien,” the Frenchman informed the colonel.  “It is becoming rare, but other years are more plentiful.”

“No.  This is ... this is the year,” Daniel insisted as he enjoyed more of the wine.  “This is really good,” he declared yet again.

~St. Julien's,~ Jack internalized.  ~Danny definitely loves it.  Note to self: a bottle might come in handy after one of our arguments.~

After several more minutes and more St. Julien's for the archaeologist, Jack and Daniel bid adieu to the Frenchman and began the hour drive back to the Springs.

====

“Next time we check out the beers,” Jack announced as he followed Daniel inside the apartment.

“Maybe,” the younger man chuckled.  “The best was the St. Julien's.  It has such a full taste to it, very sweet and fruity.”

“Yeah, I've heard that.”

Daniel looked over at his lover and smiled as he replied, “Sorry.  I just ...”

“... really like it,” Jack spoke.  He walked over and kissed his partner.  “It was a great night.”

“Yeah, it was, even if you did forget.”

“We've had a couple of long weeks.”

“Are you saying you're ... tired?” Daniel asked, his lips less than an inch from Jack's.

“Never that tired, Danny.”

As they headed for the bedroom, Daniel pulled away and returned to the kitchen.

Jack laughed, “You and your chocolate.”

Carrying two boxes of the chocolates Jack had given to him prior the wine tasting, Daniel grinned as he responded, “I have plans for these chocolates, and you.”

Anticipating an interesting round of lovemaking, a happy Jack put his arm around Daniel and felt anything but old.

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

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