This was turning out to be a very bad day. Hadnít he said that once before?
Didnít matter. Jack cast a quick glance over at Daniel and urged the other
man to increase his speed with a gentle shove in his back. "Come on, Daniel.
Pull the lead out."
Daniel nodded silently and reached up to brush water and blood from his
eyes. Without slowing their pace, Jack gave Daniel a quick once-over. The
archeologist had slipped in the mud abutting the riverbank and fallen into
the water during their dash for freedom. Jack had made a desperate lunge for
him, one hand snapping out to grab Danielís wrist, wincing inwardly when he
heard Danielís sharp cry of pain. The wrist, damn it! It had only been a
week since the cast had come off after Reece had just about snapped it two.
Grimacing, his boots skidding in the slick muck, Jack had managed to slow
Danielís slide but not before the other man had gotten well dunked in the
water. Daniel was soaked to the skin, and shivering. A nasty gash high on
his forehead, inflicted during his Ďquestioningí, still bled sullenly, and
his eyes seemed a little glazed, his focus, slow.
Jack had hoped taking the river route and bypassing the meandering paths
that led from the city of Menthis would give them a greater chance of
escape. With any luck, Carter and Tealíc had made it back to Earth and would
be standing by with a welcome party, should any of the Menthins, or whatever
the hell they called themselves, catch up.
Spying a grouping of caves just up ahead, Jack decided to take advantage of
the shelter, for a few minutes, at least. Daniel was almost out on his feet,
and, apart from the hefty branch Jack carried in one hand, they were out of
luck in the weapons department. Their sidearms had been taken from them when
the Menthins had decided to interrogate Daniel. They had nothing left,
except their clothes Ė their radios, packs, everything had been stripped
from them the moment Daniel had opened his mouth.
Up until then, theyíd seemed a friendly enough bunch, still locked in the
way of many of the more primitive planets the team came across, believing
the Goaíuld were still gods, but willing enough to welcome them into their
town and show them around. They were suspicious the moment Daniel started
one of his lectures about mythology and the origins of the Goaíuld. Wanted
to know how he knew so much.
Damn it, anyway. Jack had warned Daniel his motor-mouth would get him into
trouble one day. Thereíd been no time to reconnoiter the maze of passageways
through the temple in an attempt to find their weapons. Once they'dí gotten
free, Jack had ordered Sam and Teal'cí to take off via the path through the
forest and had gone after Daniel, suggesting they split up in the hope of at
least one group getting back to the Gate. Theyíd been lucky that the
Menthins had decided a half-conscious archeologist only required one
bored-looking guard and they got out easily enough but even before they made
it to the forest, Jack could hear the shouts of a search party behind them.
Jack sighed and half-dragged Daniel toward the caves, pulling him up when he
staggered and collapsed to his knees, his chin sinking onto his chest. "Come
on, Daniel, just a little bit further, then you can rest."
Daniel squinted up at him and Jack could tell the other man had a headache
the size of Texas and was already suffering a degree of hypothermia.
Lighting the entrance to the cave with his flashlight, Jack nodded in
satisfaction that this cavern stretched back a fair way, allowing them
hopefully a chance to take cover or fight back, should they be discovered.
Probably not the most ideal place to hide out but he could get Daniel warm
and marginally dry and then hightail it the rest of the way to the Stargate.
After this, things could only get better, right?
OíNeill helped Daniel over to the side of the cave and lowered him down.
Daniel slumped immediately to one side, still shivering violently, despite
their headlong dash to safety. Jack propped him up as best he could then
pulled off his jacket and dropped it over Danielís shaking shoulders. "Donít
go to sleep," he chided Daniel who blinked at him drowsily and eventually
This wasnít good. A quiet Daniel just wasnít natural and though, at any
other time, Jack would have welcomed the respite from his friendís endless
chatter, right now heíd settle for hearing Daniel prattle on. "Have you
warmed up in no time," he said, patting Danielís bowed back. Heíd give
anything to be able to light a fire but he knew it would too easily give
away their whereabouts. Seating himself beside Daniel, he encouraged him to
take a few sips of water then swallowed some himself. "You hurt anywhere?"
he asked, reaching out to gently touch the cut above Danielís eye.
"Wrist," Daniel said croakily, "and a headache."
That was better. At least he was comprehending and talking. "Sorry about the
wrist." Jack lifted the aforementioned appendage and studied it carefully.
It looked a little red and perhaps swollen too. The thin white scar that
concealed the metal plate inserted by Doc Fraiser stood out against the
redness in stark contrast. "Can you move it okay?"
"Yeah." Danielís tone was flat and dull. Experimentally he bent his wrist up
and down then wriggled his fingers, grimacing a little. "Itíll be all
right." He titled his head up and rested it against the wall at his back.
"For what?" Jack asked, allowing his own body to mirror Danielís position.
"Getting me out of there." He looked over and stared at Jack, his eyes
suddenly glittering in the dimness. "They had thisÖ thing, like a hand
device. They were gonna use it on me to see how much knowledge I held."
"Ouch," Jack said sympathetically. "Looks like my timing was great as usual.
When are you going to learn to keep your big mouth shut? Daniel, I swear Ė"
"Whatís that?" Danielís gaze flicked to the front of the cave and Jack stood
quickly upon hearing the tramping of feet that drew nearer. Hefting up his
branch, Jack held a finger to his lips and moved to the front of the cave.
He chanced a quick glance out but could see no one. "Get to the back, as far
back as you can," he hissed urgently to Daniel.
Danielís eyes bulged and he shot the darkened recesses of the cavern a quick
glance, licking his lips. "What if Ė" He stifled a cough. "What if thereís
something back there?"
"Itís it or them," Jack ground. Striding over to Daniel, he hauled him up
with one hand and grabbed his jacket with the other, glancing around quickly
to ensure heíd left no evidence of their presence behind, then hurried the
reluctant archeologist to the back, pressing his body against the wall. He
took up position beside Daniel and held his branch at the ready, pressing a
finger to his lips in a shushing gesture. Daniel nodded and made a valiant
attempt to stop shivering.
A glow lit the mouth of the cave and voices could be heard. Jack grabbed
Danielís hand and squeezed it tightly, feeling the chill of his flesh.
Someone shouted a rough gibberish of sound then the light was gone and the
Jack felt Daniel sag against him but held his ground a while longer.
Finally, he let go of Danielís hand and took his arm, leading him back to
the wider part of the cave. "I think theyíre goneÖ for now," he said.
"He said there was no one in here, said he wouldnít come further in because
it smelled bad."
Jack nodded. "Thatís good then. Might buy us some time."
"What?" Daniel had given up on getting the jacket wrapped around himself and
allowed it to slip to the ground.
Jack watched him for a moment then held up a hand. "Spotted something back
there that might help." He hurried off, using his flashlight to help him
find what he was after, grabbed it out of the corner and strode back. "Look
what I found!" he announced triumphantly, holding up the large fur for
Daniel stared at a moment, looking suspicious. "What is it?"
Jack shrugged. "How should I know. Whatever passes for bear here, Iím
thinking." He shook his head impatiently. "Who cares. Itíll get you warm."
He tossed the fur onto the ground and then crouched down, reaching for
Danielís shirt. "Letís get those wet clothes off. Youíre bordering on
hypothermia. Weíll spend whatís left of the afternoon here, get your clothes
dry and head for the Gate as soon as itís dark."
Daniel flinched away from Jackís touch as if shot. "Take my clothes off?" he
asked, his voice just a little high-pitched. His uninjured hand grabbed for
the opening of his shirt and clung to it as though it was a lifeline.
Jack nodded and batted Danielís hand away. "Youíre too cold. You need to
strip off and get under the fur till your clothes are dry."
"How are they gonna dry?"
Jack rolled his eyes. "Well, weíre not building a fire. Itís pretty warm in
here. Weíll spread Ďem out on a rock and even if theyíre still a little damp
when you put them back on, youíll be warm by then, so hopefully you wonít
catch your death Ė"
"You donít catch cold from being cold," Daniel lectured soberly.
"No one else, maybe, but you, Iím not so sure of." Jack sighed. "Címon,
Daniel, Iíve seen you naked before Ė"
"Lotsa times. NowÖ give!" Jack pulled and was rewarded with a popping sound
and the sight of two buttons flying off and dropping to the ground.
"Well, thanks," Daniel said, sounding aggrieved.
"Iíll buy you a new shirt when we get home. Pants next, and your boxers."
Daniel glared at him but the effect was lost when a massive shudder shook
him from head to foot. "Oh, all right." Shuffling forward, he got himself
under the fur, then with clumsy contortions, kicked off his boots and socks,
followed by his pants and shorts.
Jack tried to hide a smile. The next part should be interesting. Quickly, he
stripped off his own shirt, boots and pants, leaving on his socks and
shorts. If anyone came calling in the next couple of hours, one of them had
to be reasonably ready. Grabbing Danielís clothes, he draped them over the
nearest boulder then walked over and crouched down beside Daniel.
He ignored Danielís strangled question for the moment, until he was beside
him under the fur, facing the opening of the cave.
"What are you doing?" Danielís voice was no more than a hoarse whisper and
heíd moved so far from Jack, he was almost out of the fur.
"Will you get back here?" Reaching out, Jack grabbed the suddenly
stiff-as-a-rock Daniel Ė bad analogy, he allowed himself briefly Ė and
dragged him back to his side. "Youíre hypothermic. Best thing for that
without any mod cons, is body heat." He pressed himself closer, flinching
when Danielís icy back touched his chest. "Christ, youíre cold."
"I Ė I donít think this a good idea," Daniel said, squirming in Jackís
embrace. "What if they come back?"
"You said yourself they didnít want to come in. Now relax, will ya? Havenít
you ever slept with a guy before?"
"Donít worry. Iím not after your virtue," Jack assured, muffling a smile
against the back of Danielís neck. "Try to get some rest and Iíll keep
watch. Iíll wake you in a couple hours and weíll get the hell out of here."
"How am I gonna sleep with youÖ with usÖ"
"Just try Ė Oomph! For crying out loud, Daniel. Lay still, will ya?" Jack
rubbed gingerly at his ribs, where Danielís elbow had smacked him.
"Sorry. Itís just feels a little weird, thatís all."
"I thought youíd seen it all," Jack retorted.
"Mostly." Daniel yawned and stilled and Jack felt his body relaxing into
Well, this was interesting. Jack allowed himself a smile, knowing that
Daniel was sleeping deeply and unable to see his grin.
Daniel had shifted in his sleep and Jack had moved onto his back to
accommodate him. Danielís now warm body rested, sprawled partly over Jack.
One arm was slung across Jackís chest, one leg had pushed between Jackís,
Danielís knee pressed gently against Jackís awakening erection while
Danielís own cock pushed insistently at Jackís thigh. Carefully, not wanting
to disturb Daniel just yet or have him freaking out over Jackís attentions,
Jack stroked his free hand down Danielís bare back. Nice.
He was so lost in the sensation that it took him a moment to realize that
two sleepy blue eyes were staring at him. Jack smiled and stilled his hand.
"MorningÖ or should I say evening."
"Mmm." Daniel yawned and stretched, causing his cock to push harder against
Jackís leg. His eyes widened suddenly in realization and a dark red flamed
his cheeks. "Oh God!" he said in a strangled whisper and rolled away from
Jack, sliding out from under the fur and stretching out a hand in a
seemingly desperate search.
"Your clothes are just to your left," Jack said. "I checked a little while
ago. No sign of our friends. Give me a minute and Iíll turn on the
"No!" Danielís voice was hoarse. He hung his head and took a deep breath.
"Itís okay. Iíve got them."
Jack watched as Daniel hurriedly pulled on his boxers and pants then reached
for his shirt. "Itís nothing to be embarrassed about," he said casually.
Daniel shot him a quick glance then busied himself pulling his arms through
the sleeves. "What?"
"YourÖ condition when you woke up. Morning wood, even if it is night time."
Daniel shifted back to sit on the edge of the fur and pulled on his socks.
"You donít understand," he said finally.
Jack sat up and scrubbed a hand through his hair. "What donít I understand?
In case you hadnít noticed, I didnít have a problem with it."
Daniel looked over at him and stared at Jack for a long moment. Then seeming
to come to a decision, he leaned over and pressed his lips to Jackís quickly
then pulled away. "Thatís what you donít understand," he said. "Iím sorry. I
know itís wrong and I have no idea why I just did that when I promised
myself a long time ago, that I would never say anything. I must have a
concussion or something. I Ė"
Jack reached up and clamped a hand over Danielís mouth, cutting off any
further words. "Itís not wrong," he said. His lips still felt warm from
Danielís kiss. Removing his hand from Danielís mouth, he slid it around to
cup the back of Danielís neck and pulled him close. "In fact, it feels very
right to me." And then Jack did what heíd wanted to do for the longest time.
He kissed Daniel Ė thoroughly, heartened when Daniel just gave a little moan
and opened his mouth, snaking his tongue out to explore Jackís mouth.
Danielís arms came up to wrap around Jackís neck, and he leaned further into
the kiss. Their tongues dueled lazily, tasting, exploring then reluctantly,
Jack pulled back. He stroked a finger down Danielís cheek. "See?" he said,
smiling a little, relieved to have this out in the open at last. "Not
"But youÖ" Daniel shook his head. "The last few months, youíve beenÖ I
thought you were angry with me."
Jack shrugged. "Denial." He pressed a chaste kiss to Danielís mouth. "Iím
sorry. I didnít think youíd ever feel the same way. It was the only way I
thought I could keep my distance. Prevent me from saying what I really
Daniel smiled then. "Iím glad."
"That you werenít angry with me."
"Me, too." Jack looked toward the mouth of the cave. There wasnít a lot of
moonlight. That was good. "We need to get moving," he said. "We canít be
more than an hour from the Gate. We can talk when we get home. Carter and
Tealíc will have mounted a search by now."
Daniel nodded and set about pulling on his boots. Both men were soon ready.
Motioning Daniel to stay behind him and, keeping his branch at the ready,
Jack led the way out of the cave.
Jack propped himself up on one elbow and ran a finger down Danielís chest,
scratched gently through the light pubic hair, then for good measure, traced
along the underside of Danielís straining erection. Daniel squirmed and gave
a little strangled gasp that made Jack smile. Leaning down, he licked the
drop of pre-come from the tip of Danielís cock and winced when Daniel fisted
a hand in his hair. "Take it easy, Daniel. Iím losing enough hair without
you yanking it out," he grumbled good-naturedly before settling in to taste
his lover some more.
"Sorry," Daniel groaned. "Thatís justÖ Oh, yesÖ " He began a gentle
thrusting with his hips then stopped. "Jack?"
"Mmm?" Jack asked around his mouthful.
"What about Sam?"
Jack stopped at that and raised his head, wrapped his hand around Danielís
cock and kept stroking with a feather light touch. He stared at Daniel. "Iím
doing this to you and you ask me about Carter?"
Daniel just shrugged.
Sighing, Jack moved up to lay beside him, idly skating a palm over Danielís
nipples, feeling them peak beneath his touch. "What about Carter?"
"I just thought that youÖ that sheÖ" Daniel scrubbed a hand over his face.
"I donít know what I thought. Thatís part of the reason I never said
anything about how I felt."
Jack pressed a kiss to Danielís mouth. "Sheís a member of my team. Of course
I care about her, and there was a time when I felt more than that for her
but it would never have worked out."
"The fraternization thing?"
"Nope. Because I was in love with you."
Daniel smiled. "Oh. Thatís good."
"Yeah. Now can I get back toÖ" Jack fisted Danielís cock and stroked it
Daniel arched his back and bit his lip. "Oh yeah. Definitely. I just wanted
to clear things up. You know, about Sam and -" He was silenced by Jackís
mouth descending on his.
After a moment, Jack pulled back and frowned at him. "Anyone ever tell you
that you talk too much?"
"You do. All the time."
"At least Iíve figured out how to shut you up," Jack retorted. He swooped
down to capture Danielís mouth again, hungrily tasting him. It had turned
out to be not such a bad day after all.