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Out and About 2


Summary: Daniel gets kidnapped. Will Jack find him? Duh! Contains a little consensual tying up.

Whoo-ee what a day! What a couple of days, actually. I've not been so busy in ages. At least I haven't been off-world. Translations, UAV interpretations, briefings - oy, my head is spinning. Poor old Jack is stuck back at the base for at least another hour. Just as well we took both our cars in. Going to get changed, get some dinner on and crash in front of the TV and veg for a bit, I think. Or not.

"Um, hello? Who are you?"

"Dr. Daniel Jackson?" asks the thug standing in front of me. Well, that was dumb.

"Um, what if I were to say 'no'?" I ask.

"Then I'd have to kill you. I'd regret that," he says. "Such a waste of energy." O-kay, maybe not so dumb.

"Then I am he," I say. "What do you want?"

"I want you to be a sensible person and come quietly with me. That would mean that I don't have to hurt you, you see?"

"Fair enough. Answer me this, is this a kidnapping or are you in some form of authority and I'm being arrested?"

"You are being kidnapped." Well, that answered that one.

"Ooh, that's exciting. By whom?"

"Me, and my friends outside."

"No, I mean on whose orders?"

"That's not for you to know at this point. Come on, get a move on, or do I have to get rough with you?"

"Oh Lord, no, I don't like violence. Do me a favour, though please, and let me go and get changed. I've been in this suit all day and I'm so looking forward to getting out of it. If I'm going to be held somewhere, please let it be in comfortable clothes. You can come with me, if you must. The bedroom's up there."

HE DOES! Got him; he's thicker than he appears. Jack once told me that control was the name of the game. If I'm in control, I'm less likely to get hurt. He knows I'm a doctor, probably thinks I'm a geek who can't take care of himself. Oh, boy, is he going to have a surprise or what? I get up to the bedroom. He stands by the telephone. I wasn't going to try something like that on, I am not as stupid as he looks. I grab a T, sweater and some sweats. May as well get comfortable. A slow strip in front of him and I realise that his interest in me just rose, as did another part of his anatomy. I would seem to have a weapon I can use. While his brains are in his pants I ask,

"Can I leave a message for my other half, please? He gets so worried if I'm not where I say I am."

Good, he's now gotten me pegged as a geek and a fairy. HA! The idiot said yes, as long as I don't tell him anything. What?

I grab a pen and some paper off my bedside table, brushing past the moron, smiling up at him as I do. If I can keep him distracted like this I've got it made. I quickly write that I've been kidnapped, I'm guessing by an ex-marine judging by his responses to me, and that I may be gone for a day or two. Some of this I write in Latin, making the twerp question me.

"Oh, it's just a few words to him, you know, 'I love you', that sort of thing." He grumbles about it but doesn't destroy the note. Just as well, I described him down to his birthmark on his chin.

"Do you have a name?" I ask. "I much prefer to talk to someone who's been introduced."

"You can call me Parker, everyone does," he says back. I think he thinks he's on a promise. He is. I promise to kick him hard in the nuts at the first given opportunity. I'd have done it already if it wasn't for the fact that he's got a gun pointed at me. Survival first, revenge second, Daniel. I write his name on the note, fold it over and take it downstairs and leave it on the kitchen table. Then I grab my briefcase, take out some papers, close it and say,

"Shall we go then?"

"What's in there?" he asks.

"Oh, just my old notebook, some papers, nothing much. If I'm going to be held somewhere, I'd like something to do. You don't mind, do you?"

"Notebook? Do you mean computer?"

"Yes. Oh! Are you worried that I'll try to use it to communicate? Don't worry, it's ancient. When the battery goes flat I'll have had it anyway. Not to mention I have no cable for plugging it into the Internet. No, it's purely to keep me occupied. You know, dotty academic, like to keep busy." It's so ancient, it's all of four weeks old. And of course, the satellite phone that's in the case with it doesn't plug in directly to the modem - much; heh, heh, heh. How much fun can a kidnappee actually have?

So far, let's look at the list. I've gotten changed, found out his name, left a note with as many details as I can cram in out for Jack, and got my ticket to freedom. All I have to do is stay conscious between now and arriving wherever it is we are going.

"Oh!" I stop dead. "We're not going far, are we? I mean, not flying. You see, I need to take some pills if I fly, you wouldn't want me throwing up everywhere, would you?"

He thinks for a moment, agrees that that wouldn't be a good idea and lets me get my pills. We're flying then. I go back into the bathroom, take them from the medicine cabinet and go back into the kitchen. I grab a glass of water and pretend to take them. I don't want to get dozy, I'll just have to swallow my terror when I'm up there. What I do want to do is to let Jack know that I'm being taken somewhere in a plane. Leaving the packet on the table will help him find me.

"Time to go," he orders. As he turns his back I pull the cable out of the clock in the kitchen. It's an electric one, but it has a traditional face. Jack will know what time we left.

Home, at last. Hope Danny's got something cooking.

"Hi, honey, I'm home," I call. Nothing. My blood has just run cold. His keys are on the table, his shoes are next to it, but he's not here. I know he isn't in the house, it feels empty. My stomach is churning as I check the house out. Not in the bedroom, but his suit is scattered over the floor and there's his writing pad and pen on the bed. He may have left me a note. Where? Kitchen, it's likely to be there.

And it is.

Just a quick note to say I'm being kidnapped.
By a moron.

(This bit's in Latin. Hoo boy, he's making me work at this one.)

I think he's an ex-marine, about 40, he's six four, 200 lbs
ugly as sin, with a strawberry birthmark on his chin.

(Dammit Danny, I know you have to keep what you're writing a secret, but this is killing me.)

I'm going to try to take my briefcase and the notebook.
Love you always, see you in a couple of days (I hope)
ps, his name's Parker

Go Danny! Phone, quick, dial the SGC. Get through to Hammond. Tell him Danny's been kidnapped and - oh! he's going somewhere by plane. Damn clever that. As I'm talking I turn around and see that the clock has stopped. Twenty minutes ago!

Hammond says he'll get onto NORAD upstairs and ask them to monitor all take-offs in the area and watch where they're going. By comparing them to commercial flights and other known entities, we should be able to figure out where he's going. I'm off to the air base as soon as I've spoken to Carter.

"Sam, hack into the Pentagon files, check out to see if there's an ex-marine called Parker." I give her the details that Danny's left. That might help us narrow down who's pulling the strings. I call Josh too. I have a feeling in my gut I know who's behind this. I tell him what's happened. He says he'll investigate his end and let Paul know too.

I should be feeling worried, but somehow I don't feel so bad. We're doing everything we can to find him, we have clues and we're following them up. I can't take a plane anywhere until I know where I'm going. All I can do is keep my cellphone switched on and hope to hear from someone soon. And I'll keep telling myself this to keep me calm. Until I calm down, that is.

The base has been notified of my arrival. An F-15 is being fuelled for me as I pull up. Another car pulls up close behind me. It's Teal'c.

"Glad you came, buddy," I say. It'll be good having him with me. Carter falls out of the other door.

"Colonel, Sir!" she's calling. "Found what we were looking for. Don't know if it's going to be any use, though."

Oh yeah, it is. I think my suspicions have grown.

I get back on the phone. "Josh, one of the goons has links with NID. Turns out he left the marines and worked with them for a while. His paper trail went quiet a while back. Sounds like he's either freelancing or more likely, doing some sort of covert ops."

"You know who isn't in town. He was meant to be in a meeting this evening. He's called in sick."

"Doesn't sound likely," I say. We say goodbye and I turn to Carter.

"Danny's taken his laptop and his sat phone. Hopefully he's going to email us with details when he can. I want you to go back to the base and monitor all our accounts. I have no idea which one of us he'll send a message to. Can you do that?"

"Of course, Sir. Call me if you need anything, and good luck."

I nod, and I must look a bit down because she's now hugging the shit out of me and kissing my cheek. "We'll find him, Jack, don't you worry."

The erks nearby have their eyes on stalks. So, I happen to have the prettiest second in the Air Force, and she's just kissed my cheek. What of it? I want my six foot, hulking great archaeologist back. Now. Or someone's going to pay.

I'm trying to keep calm, but it's not easy. We're in a transport plane, like the one I had to parachute out of over Siberia. I'm supposed to have taken my pills, so all my concentration is going on appearing unconcerned. Not a simple task. I take my mind off things by talking.

"So, Parker, what were you, a marine?"

"How did you guess?" he asks surprised. Duh! It was easy. The knuckles scraping the floor were a bit of a giveaway.

"Oh, I hang with the marines at the base," I say. "After I helped get them out of a dangerous situation, they made me an honorary Jarhead. Nice guys." His eyes open wide. What's a fairy geek doing being a Jarhead?

"Wow!" he replies. Not very articulate is Parker.

"So," I try again. "Where are we going?"

"You don't expect me to tell you, do you?" Yep, I do.

"Who am I going to tell? I'm in a plane, thousands of feet in the air, without any means of communication. I was just curious, that's all. I'd like to know how long it's going to be before we get there." I noted the take-off time. I want to know how far away we are going, if not the precise location.

"It will be a while."

"Oh. I haven't had anything to eat. Do you have something? I'm getting quite hungry. If my blood sugar drops I'm likely to pass out."

He's muttering, rooting around. He's found a candy bar in a bag. That'll do for the moment. Perhaps I won't kick him in the nuts. I thank him and give him a sweet smile. He's blushing a bit. Hell, I could be in trouble here.

One of the other goons is grousing about me talking. Tough. This is what you get when you kidnap me.

"Such a waste," I sigh.

"What?" the other goon asks.

"Such a rotten shame."



"What do you mean?"

"Well, when my Jack finds us of course."

"What do you mean, 'of course'?"

"Didn't they tell you?"

"Tell us what?"

"About my Jack?"

"What about your fucking Jack?" Hee hee, he's losing it.

"About his job, his old job."

"What. Was. His. Old. Job?" Ooh, I can hear the panic setting in.

"Black ops, government assassin." Okay, special ops not black ops, but what the hell. "Jack doesn't leave witnesses."

They're shifting around, starting to get worried. And so they should be. Bunch of amateurs.

"You're boyfriend is an assassin? Don't make me laugh!"

"He's not my boyfriend," I say primly, "he's my partner. And yes, he was. Air Force colonel. Spent four months in an Iraqi prison and said nothing. Hard man, my Jack." I sigh, making them think I'm some sort of 'femme' to his 'butch'. It's taking all my control not to laugh myself sick.

"He's not going to find you," Goon 2 says. "And even if he does, he's going to be so upset that his boyfriend's pretty face is so cut up."

"Are you trying to scare me?" I say as calmly as I can.

"W.w.wha?" I don't think he was expecting that.

"It's not working, you know. If you'd been sent to kill me you'd have done it already. I mean, why go to the trouble and expense of flying me somewhere just to cut me up or kill me? It would have been easier, cheaper and quicker to do it at home. So no, I'm not afraid of you." Been threatened by bigger twits than you, monkey boy.

"Why don't you shut the fuck up?"

"Why don't you jump out of the plane? Without a parachute. You know, I prefer talking to Parker, at least his words usually contain more than one syllable."

He's right up close now, sticking a knife in my face. "Parker," I say, as calmly as I can, "be a love and do something about this, would you? I'm starting to feel distinctly unco-operative and that wouldn't be good, would it?"

"Sit down, Watson, you're getting on my nerves." Aw, isn't that sweet. Parker to the rescue. Oh God, does that mean I'm Lady Penelope? I try not to snigger.

Goon 3 decides to talk. I really wish he hadn't.

"Shut up, the lot of you. You're giving me a headache." Ooh, two longer words. Where do they find these monosyllabic life-forms?

"Parker, what are you doing with these morons? I mean, you've obviously gotten more brain cells than the two of them put together." That wouldn't be difficult, each one has an IQ barely scraping double figures. "What are they doing here? Making up the numbers or something?"

Parker mutters something about me not being wrong. Of course I'm not wrong. I'm a genius, remember? IQ pushing 200 here. So how the fuck did I let myself end up in this situation? I must be really stupid sometimes.

Goon 3 gets up to walk towards the flight deck.

"Dead man walking!" I cry. Parker has to cover a giggle. I think he likes me. I can use this later on, I'm sure.

He comes back, scowls at me and says we'll be landing soon. Good, it's getting a bit cold up here.

We've finally landed. Checked the time, now all I have to do is remember how fast one of those transport planes fly. It's dark. I think we travelled east. I hope so, 'cause that's what I'm going to tell Jack when I get a chance to email him. I'd better cc Hammond, Sam, Teal'c, Janet, Josh and Paul. One of them should get it.

The airstrip we've landed at has no markings on it. Damn. I suppose it was too much to hope for a signpost. Okay, got to concentrate now so that I can remember the directions.

Parker's blindfolding me. I'm in the back of a car, still got my briefcase, thank God.

"Can you see anything?" he asks. I had to take my glasses off, so reading signposts now would be impossible anyway.

"Nope, but then without my glasses I'm as blind as a bat," I say. "There's really no need to cover my eyes."

"We'll keep it on anyway," he says. Ah hell, I think he's working out that I'm not as naïve as I'm making myself out to be. Got to be a bit more careful.

Turn left out of the airstrip. The car's getting up to speed. I'm guessing that we're travelling at or around the speed limit. I'm saying nothing, just counting in my head. 350 and we turn right. Cow mooing, must be on farmland. 476 and a left turn. Dirt track, I think we're nearly there. We're slowing down and finally grind to a halt. The blindfold comes off. I put my glasses back on and see that we're in front of a colonial style house, so I'd say we're in the Southern States. Given that we went east too, and for the length of time we were in the air, it's a pretty fair bet we're in Georgia or nearby. Good. That'll give Jack something to work with.

A transport took off from an unmarked airstrip about an hour after Danny pulled the plug on the clock. Given the distance from the house, I'd say that's our plane. NORAD is tracking it and it's heading east. I can't go after it yet. In this baby I'd overtake it in no time. Got to give it a good head start. The waiting's killing me. Teal'c has finally found a flight suit that fits him. No easy task that, pilots don't tend to be built like brick outhouses for some reason. At least not human ones, Jaffa ones are pretty commonly built like him. Some of the airmen around here are wondering why we're here. A major came over to ask if he could do anything. Teal'c loomed. He's good at that. Scared the poor guy witless. God, I can't do this, I need to be with Danny. Teal'c knows, he understands. He needs to see him too.

It's landing. Somewhere in Georgia. Great, we can go. I call up Teal'c, yell out a very basic flight plan to the hovering major and tell him to write it up pronto. Then we're in, firing it up, and away we go. I'll have to do all the flying and navigating, because Teal'c hasn't a clue how to fly one of these.

I confirm the flight plan over the radio. It's okay, I can remember stuff like flight plans easily, no matter how complicated they are - it's a knack I guess.

Just like last time I flew one of these, I'm rushing to be at Daniel's side. I know he'd enjoy the irony of it, seeing as how he hates flying and all. Hope he coped with being inside one of those transports again. He had nightmares after jumping out of one. Still gets them sometimes. Damn, he was brave that day. And I didn't have the decency to acknowledge it at the time. Well, when I get him home I'm going to. Note, brain, I said when, not if. Not getting him home and in one piece is not an option here. It just ain't goin' to happen.

I'm getting a message from Carter. Daniel's only managed to email us with his approximate whereabouts. How on earth does he do it? Teal'c's taking the directions. Given where the transport plane was seen to land, we can pretty easily work out where he's gone. I hope. It shouldn't take long. Carter says that Paul's arranging to get a truck down there from the nearest air base and some troops too. Yay, things are looking up.

Well, that was easy. They've locked me in a cellar - God, any more clichés and I'll die of embarrassment. And they left me. With my briefcase. I started up a game of solitaire as a cover, typed up the email as quickly as I could, cc'd everyone and plugged the sat phone in. I'm near an open, barred window, and somehow managed to get a signal. Within moments the message was gone. Thank goodness. Now all I have to do is wait. And hope.

Glad I brought the notebook. It's giving me something to do, I've been here for hours. I've typed up all the things I can remember so far, just in case I ever need to give evidence. Uh oh, I can hear footsteps, and they sound determined. I power the computer down and put it in my case. I slide it under the bench I'm sitting on. Don't want to draw attention to it, I may need it later.

The door opens.

"Is that you, Parker? It's a bit dark in here. Be a dear and switch the light on, would you?"

The light goes on. Is this guy simple or what? Oh fuck. I am in deep, deep, deep shit. The only marine I have ever hated with impunity is standing right in front of me. I don't bother to stand up and do the best I can to sound calm. This is one guy that will carry out his threats. I have got to be very careful that I don't lose control.

"Makepeace," I say, "I didn't think they let traitors out on day release. Aren't you waiting to be shot? Or do they still hang people like you?"

"Jackson, still mouthy I see. Being O'Neill's bedtime entertainment hasn't sweetened you any, has it?"

"Jealous? I know you wanted to see what it would be like when you were at the SGC, Makepeace."

"Pah! Why would I want a pathetic specimen such as yourself?"

"Because you couldn't have me?" I ask, batting my eyelashes at him as innocently as I can. I know he wanted me. He made it abundantly clear in the showers one morning.

Oh fuck, I said the wrong thing. Ow, he just slammed me against the wall. Okay, been here before.

"Hang on a minute," I say, taking my glasses off and putting them on the bench. "Don't want to break them, haven't brought any spares. Do carry on." Am I insane?

Ow! I'm not fighting back, I'll let him do all the work. Relax my muscles and let them take the impacts. Oof, breathe, Daniel, that's it. No air in my lungs. Concentrate, you can do it. That's better. I always improve with a touch of oxygen.

"Have you quite finished?" What is the matter with me? Have I been spending too much time with Jack or something?

"Shut the fuck up, Jackson, or I'll..."

"You'll what? Do it for me? Go on then. I've had enough of you anyway. You'll be doing me a favour."

"I don't think it's going to come to that, just yet," a very familiar voice comes from behind Makepeace.

"Oh, this just gets better and better. I should have known you'd have had someone pulling your strings, Makepeace, you've never had an original idea in your life. Kinsey, this is getting tedious. Have you brought me here to kill me? Torture me? Or do you wish to gloat over the fact that I'm stuck in a damp cellar? Could this get any more like a bad B movie? Sheesh. I tell you what, why don't we cut out the scenes where I get to meet the girl, she falls for me, I escape but you get me again - to be frank I've gone off that sort of thing - and go straight to the bit where you tell me just how you intend taking over the world. This is so embarrassing. Kidnapped by amateurs and wannabe megalomaniacs. I'll never live it down in the Secret Agent Knitting Circle. I'll have to hand in my lifetime membership."

"I see your tongue hasn't regained any sense of decorum, Doctor Jackson."

"You know, add a bit more of a sneer to your voice and you too could sound like one of those really bad James Bond villains. Somehow, though, I don't see you getting within a mile of a pussy so you can stroke it."

A couple of sniggers go around the room. Don't think Kinsey's well-liked here either.

"And as for decorum - what the fuck do you expect? I've been kidnapped, dragged halfway across the country in my least favourite form of transport, a camel would be an improvement on one of those things, I'm cold, tired, unfed apart from a candy bar - oh, thanks again for that Parker - and I haven't even been given a single cup of coffee! You expect me to be nice?" Some people - oy!

"Perhaps my expectations were too high. You will tell me what I need to know though."

"And that is?"

"What exactly is the conspiracy at the SGC to discredit me and who is involved?"

It takes me a while to compose myself. Rolling around on the floor laughing my ass off isn't very dignified, but, hey? What the fuck? I mean, this guy is so full of himself it's unbelievable.

"Oh *pant*, aah, *gasp*, you are so funny, *wheeze*, are you serious? *snort, howl, hoot*"

"I am not laughing, Dr. Jackson."

No, but I am. And so are your goons. Even Makepeace is amused.

"Could your ego get any bigger? My God man, you are unbelievable. You don't honestly think that anyone at the SGC even considers you for a second? You are nobody! We couldn't care less about you! Go away, I'm far too sensible to want to deal with you. You have no idea about what's going on out there, have you? Of course not, you'd be out of your depth in a toilet pan. Don't you get it? Who the president is in the good old US of A means squat to a System Lord. The Asgard have even been known to crack a smile at the thought of politicians and their self-importance." Oops, shouldn't have said that, there are non-cleared bodies in here, they shouldn't hear this.

"Leave me alone, Kinsey, just go and do what you do best - brown-nose with those that really are important."

"Dammit Jackson, you will tell me what's going on, and then you will tell me what that Zen crap was all about, the weapon specs you were given, or I will ask Makepeace here to finish what he started."

"Oh, very intelligent. Get him to kill me. Big threat that. Let's see if we can get this one past your tiny brain. If I'm dead, just how am I supposed to talk?" Think on that one, dickhead.

"He doesn't need to kill you, but he can hurt you. A lot."

"Undoubtedly he can. Go ahead. I've been tortured by professionals, Kinsey. It's a waste of his time, anyway. There's no conspiracy, never was. You are not important enough for us to worry about. I thought I'd proved that one to you by now. But then, you never were that smart. Why should you realise that? And as for the weapon specs, they never really existed. But somehow, I don't expect you to believe that. Go ahead, Makepeace. Jack will be here before too long. You know what he's going to do when he sees you. You may as well kill me now. It's the last chance you'll get."

I'm tired. Fed up and tired. I sit back on the bench and lay myself down. If he's going to kill me, I may as well be almost comfortable.

"I might just do that, Jackson," he says. I hear a click of a gun. Oh dear.

We finally landed at the unmarked airstrip. The transport plane was long gone. Just hope that Danny wasn't on it. As promised, the truck with the soldiers is waiting. Teal'c and I get in the front. He's the one with the directions and I'm the colonel. So there.

"Daniel Jackson said they turned left out of the airstrip, got up to around the speed limit and turned right after a count of 350. We should do the same," he says. Teal'c's gravitas couldn't have more gravity if he attached a pulsar to it. The driver just does what he's told. It takes us a count of 400 before we find a right turning. Okay, we're taking a little longer, but this has to be it. It has to be.

"We now need to count to 476 and find a dirt track on the left." It takes us to 515, but that's close enough. I can see a colonial style house about a quarter of a mile down the track. That's got to be it.

"Park it up," I say, "we need to go in silently." The driver obeys and I get out and go around the back.

"Dr. Jackson's note said he was in the cellar. There is no reason to assume he is still there. You, you, and you," I point to three grunts, "panic. The rest of you come with me," I say, getting looks from them all as if I've lost the plot. Okay, I have. "You three, stay here and watch the truck. If anyone comes, take them out quietly. Lethal force is authorised if necessary, but I'd rather they were alive - for now."

We creep up to the house. There's one goon on the roof. It's dark, getting towards sunrise though. We'll have to make a move now.

I can hear laughter coming from under my feet. It's Daniel. There's a window at the bottom of the house, it's open but barred. He's still alive and something's tickling his funny bone. I listen in. He's insulting someone. Oh my God, it's Kinsey. I was right! This gets better and better. We have to go in, now. Got to get this slimy bastard, and if I can catch him in the act - WOO HOO!

"T," I whisper, and point to the back door. He nods. I send the soldiers around the house, leaving some to guard the exits. No one gets away. T and I creep through the door and head off to the stairs to the cellar. I love these old houses, they are so predictable when it comes to finding your way around. The cellar stairs are in the kitchen. The back door also goes into the kitchen. Piece of cake.

This is where years of special ops training comes in handy. They don't even know I'm at the door. I tell Teal'c to stay and walk in. Just in time. Someone's pointing a gun at Daniel. He's lying down on a bench, trying to look like he couldn't give a flying fuck. He's good at this. I tap the gun holder on the shoulder. Kinsey's doing a goldfish impression. The goons in there haven't moved. I think they know the game's up. The thug turns. It's Makepeace? Oh boy, I'm going to enjoy this.

BANG! Ow, his chin is hard. My hand hurts. Just get up Makepeace and I'll happily hurt it again.

"You took your time," says Daniel as I help him up.

"Traffic was a bitch," I say, removing Makepeace's gun. Then I get to the good bit - the bit where he kisses me for rescuing him. It was all worth it just for that.

"Colonel!" A shout goes up at the door. One of the soldiers has come to give a sit rep. Oh my, he looks surprised. Well, nuts to him.

"Just a minute," I say, and go back for round two of the tongue wrestling.

"O'Neill, put him down," Teal'c orders.

"Yeah, for God's sake, O'Neill, remove your tongue from his throat. It's bad enough knowing you do that, let alone being forced to watch." My, my, for a dead man, Makepeace has a mouth on him.

"Jealous?" I ask. "Oh, don't think I don't know that you tried it on with him, Robert. He never said anything, but I know you. How could you have resisted?" I can't. Hmm, round three?

"Jack. Later," Danny chides. Oh, okay. I'm on a promise.

"Clean this mess up," I call to the soldier. "Nobody, no matter who they are, or who they say they are, is getting away."

"Sir. Yes, Sir!" Now you see, I like that. Respect, obedience, immediate action. So remind me, why am I in love with Daniel? Oh yeah. I remember. He kisses like no one else. Among other things, of course. Natch.

"Home?" Daniel says.

"Home," I agree. He picks up his briefcase, pats it and we walk out.

"How did you know where we were?" Kinsey asks.

"Daniel emailed us," I say, trying not to laugh my head off at the look he gives us.

"YOU LET HIM BRING A COMPUTER?" he screams at the goons.

"He said he couldn't communicate with it, that it was an old one." Goon 1 is shuffling around, not knowing where to look. Nice one Danny, good move that.

"I lied, sorry. I brought my satellite phone. Only took a moment."

"Not to mention we had NORAD tracking your every move, once we knew Daniel was flying," I add.

"HOW?" Kinsey doesn't look like he can take any more.

"Travel sickness," I say. Don't want to let on that Danny's happy pills are more than normal travel tabs.

He's hitting his head on the wall. "Idiots! I'm surrounded by idiots! I got you because they said you'd be a great asset!" he's yelling at Goon 1.

"They were only off by two letters," Daniel replies. "At least you're going to feel at home, Kinsey, surrounded by others of the same species. Tell me, as an outsider, what do you really think of the human race?"

Danny's talking to the rat bastard. Teal'c however says, "I think it is out of its collective mind, Daniel Jackson."

Danny cracks, so do I. Teal'c's good.

We're home! Together. Only twenty-four hours late. I'm starving but fortunately Mom's here and she's been cooking. Oh my, that smells good.

"Daniel! Are you all right, darling?" she's asking as she falls into my arms. Ouch! Oops, didn't want to tell anyone about that.

"Danny? Are you hurt? What happened? Did one of those goons hit you?"

"It's okay, just a couple of bruises. And it was Makepeace that did it, I think I pissed him off."

"Get your top off now," Mom's ordering. I know there is no point in refusing two O'Neills so I comply.

"Oh Daniel, look at you, you're covered in bruises." Mom's really fussing now.

"I'm fine, honestly, just a bit sore, that's all. I've had a lot worse, nothing's broken. He wasn't any worse to me than he was..." oh shit, I never meant to tell Jack that.

"Daniel O'Neill-Jackson, you sit right down there and tell me everything. Now." And he's not going to take no for an answer, I can tell.

"Can we eat first, please? I haven't eaten since yesterday." No way I was going to eat if I was flying home.

Mom hustles me to the kitchen table. Good, plain, honest food sits on a plate for me. I tuck in like I haven't seen food in a week, deflecting questions for now. Don't want Mom to hear this, not yet. I know Jack's going to go nuts, I just hope I can contain things.

Ah, I'm stuffed. Never felt better after any other meal I've ever had before. I thank Mom and Jack hands me a Jack Daniel's. Good. I could do with one. A large one. Preferably still in the bottle. Tell you what, just give me that bottle and I'll be a happy man.

"So? Are you going to tell me what he did to you?"

"Oh, just used me as a punch bag. I didn't react at all, just let him do it. It got him good and mad, I can tell you. Kinsey stopped him from finishing me off, believe it or not."

I've already given a quick debrief to the General at the mountain. Janet's seen my bruises. She okayed me to go home. I think she knows I'm going to want my own bed.

"Look, sorry about this guys, but I could do with a bath and bed. I'm really tired. Didn't sleep last night and only caught a few Zs on the plane on the way back."

Mom takes the hint. "I'll come over to see you tomorrow," she says, giving me a gentle hug and kiss on the cheek.

"I look forward to it," I say, meaning that too. Despite everything, I love her dearly.

Jack locks up and takes me by the hand to the bathroom.

"Mind if I join you?" he asks.

"I was rather hoping you would, Jack, I'm afraid I'll fall asleep in there. I'm sure you'll think of a way to keep me awake."

"Oh yeah," he says with a grin. He will.

We get undressed as the bath runs, Jack's wincing as he sees my bruises again. We clean our teeth and have a shave. I want to feel really clean before I get into bed. Mom said she'd changed the bedding. I appreciate that. After being stuck in a dirty cellar I need to have spotless things around me for now.

Hmm, that's lovely. Jack's doing my favourite thing, washing my hair for me.

"You need a bit of a haircut, Daniel. Just don't take too much off, okay?"

Sappy bastard. God I love him.

"Talk." I get the order.

"Not much to say, Jack. When he took over SG-1 that time, he tried to assert his authority over me. I called him 'colonel', he didn't deserve to be called by his name." That's what others in the forces don't understand between Jack and me, at least when we started out there. They all wanted me to call him 'colonel'. I said no, he's my friend. He'd earned my affection. Only a few others there have the same standing with me.

"The first morning he kept me back in the locker room and threatened me. Said that as I was putting out for you I'd have to be a bit more generous. I pointed out that I wasn't with you but he didn't believe me. Over the next few days he'd hit me, usually in the stomach or places less likely to be seen."

"What did you do back, Daniel?"

"I wasn't as physically strong as I am now, I knew I couldn't take him. I did, however, knee him in the balls one day. Told him to keep his hands off me."

"Did he?" His arms are tightening a bit around me, needing to protect me again. Aw.

"No, but he was a bit more wary of me after that. Threatened the others. Said if I didn't play nice he'd make life hell for them. Fortunately, you came back the next day. I'd taken to carrying a gun around with me. If he'd tried anything else on I'd have shot him." Jack looks surprised. "I would have done it, Jack. He was threatening Sam. I knew he'd have a hard time doing anything to Teal'c, but Sam as his subordinate was in a weak position. If he'd tried anything on with her I'd have happily killed him."

"And if he tried anything on with you?"

"I'd have shot him in the nuts," I say with an air of finality.

"Go Danny!" Jack says. He's looking a bit happier now.

"Jack? Your turn. Are you all right?"

"Relieved, babe, just plain relieved. I was so scared when I realised you weren't here. But those moves you made, telling me what I needed to know, the pills, the clock - oh, the note in Latin? What are you trying to do to me?"

I just grin. He's getting really good at translating it on the fly. I make him practise a lot by leaving him notes in it. It's good for him. I'll bet there's not many Air Force colonels that can actually speak Latin fluently. Mind, I doubt there's many archaeologists who are signed off on a P-90 either. Fair's fair.

"When I saw what you were up to, I realised you were in control, so I relaxed a bit." I look hard at him. "Okay, not much, but I did relax a little. I knew that you would do whatever it took to stay alive. That snake-baiting habit hasn't died off though, has it?"

"Oh Jack, you should've been there, it was hysterical." I tell him what Kinsey wanted and what I said in return.

"Secret agent knitting circle? Danny you are priceless!" He's howling with laughter and before long the two of us are having to hold each other up in the bath, we're laughing so hard. Oh God, are those tears in his eyes?

"Jack? It's all over now. You came and got me. I knew you would, I was waiting for you. You always find me."

He's sobbing his heart out, starting me off too. Dammit, why can't people just leave us alone. We only want to be together. Is that so much to ask?

"Come on," I get out between sniffs, "bed. I'm shattered."

He lets the water out and we grab our towels. We make our way to the bedroom, kissing and holding each other. He's being so gentle, trying not to touch my bruises, trying not to add to the hurt. I don't care if he does. After a time like this a little pain can remind me that I'm alive and in his arms. Nothing comes close to that.

"Jack, I need you," I whisper.

"I'll hurt you, Danny, don't want to hurt you."

"You won't Jack. Please, for me," I plead.

He nods, gets the lube. He knows what I want, but what I'm going to get is slow and gentle. He won't hurt me. If he did he'd never forgive himself. I allow him this, not really caring how he makes love to me, as long as he does. To feel him there, inside me is what I really need. It's as much reassurance that he's there as reassurance that he loves me. I don't really need that. All I have to do is look into his eyes and I know. He couldn't love me any more than he already does. As I couldn't love him any more than I do. So how come, when I see him tomorrow morning, I know I'll feel just that little bit more; that the pain I feel when he's not in sight will grow and not diminish?

His kisses feel like butterfly wings, fluttering over my battered body. I hurt more than I'm admitting to. If I'd told Janet just how much I hurt she'd have insisted on me staying in the infirmary and dosing me up with painkillers. That's not what I need right now. I needed a decent meal, a drink, a hot bath and an even hotter colonel making me feel like I'm the only thing in his universe. As it should be. He's the only thing in mine right now.

"Jack," I call him, I need him inside me now, I need to feel his presence. He responds to me, not needing to ask, just knowing what I want him to do. He prepares me as quickly as he can then takes one of my feet in his hands. He's kissing the inside of my ankle. Oh! That feels so good. More kisses up my leg, pushing it higher till it ends up resting on his shoulder. Yes! He's in, slowly pushing till all of him is engulfed by my body. He's rocking gently, his control is greater than mine. I need to come and now, the desire in me is overwhelming. I start on myself and hear a groan from him as he watches me get myself off. It's one of his little kinks, me doing this. I'd much rather do him than have him indulge in onanism, but hey, whatever turns you on. I'm happy to indulge him, because in doing so, I'm indulging myself, but I do feel a bit awkward. His movements are getting stronger, faster, he's thrusting in time to my own. I conduct us, he's watching me 'wave my baton' and the rhythm section is keeping time. Whoo momma, this feels so good. The symphony is building to a crescendo, the drums roll and the cymbals - crash! Yeah, both of us end the music on the same beat. He wants to lie on me, the way he always does, but he doesn't want to aggravate the bruising. I don't care. I hug him to me hard, not letting him go.

"Mine," I say. "All mine."

"Always, Danny. Always."

I'm watching him as he sleeps, still unable to believe my good fortune. I spent so many years pining after him and now, these last seventeen months (twenty-three days and twelve hours, give or take), he's mine and I still have a hard time accepting that he's mine. I'm his, he keeps telling me that. I can shout it off the rooftops these days too. Life's good. Real good. But every time things go right we end up with an ordeal like yesterday kicking us in the butt. I've got him home - again - but there's always that nagging voice in the back of my mind that says 'yes, but how long till you lose him for good?'. I know, no, I know he won't leave me of his own volition. But our life is so dangerous I could lose him to a staff weapon blast, a wormhole accident or worse, a snake. What would I do if he got snaked? He's made me promise to kill him if I can, not to let him suffer being a host. But could I? Could I end his pain, knowing it would take him from me for ever? Knowing that maybe, just maybe, I could have gotten him back and found someone to take the snake away? Could he live with the memories of being a host? Would he hate me? Oh God, early morning depression. I often get it when I study him.

"Jack," I hear him mumbling, "go back to sleep, Jack."

He's still asleep, but he knows what I'm doing. He doesn't have to look or ask, he just knows. I lay myself down next to him and pull him close. He snuggles back into my arms, his eyes still closed.

"Not goin' anywhere," he says before a snuffly snore takes over his speech.

I just kiss his neck and shut my eyes again.

Where is he? He's not in the bed. Damn, didn't mean to fall asleep. What time is it? He'd better be in the house. I scramble out of bed and through the bedroom door. I'm immediately reassured by the smell of coffee and bacon and the sound of him crashing around in the kitchen. His head appears around the corner.

"I'm still here," he says.

"I know that, I'm just heading to the bathroom," I say, trying to retain a shred of dignity. Okay, that's not easy to do when you're balls naked, but what the hey?

"Of course, Jack, breakfast is ready. You may want to put something on though, Mom's coming over soon." He's grinning like a madman so I scoot off and get ready.

Damn, he can even cook breakfast better than I do. Good bacon, perfectly done eggs, sausages, tomatoes, mushrooms and toast. A British breakfast. He learned to love them over there, he says. For someone who has to be reminded to eat, he doesn't half love his food. As long as there's lots of it. I've known marines that couldn't eat as much as he does.

"So," I say, my mouth full of bacon and getting a glare off him in return, "what do you want for your birthday?"

"You," he replies, his eyes positively sinful.

"I mean a present."

"So did I. Jack, I don't want anything, okay? I don't need anything. Don't waste your money, for goodness sake."

"But Danny," let's try the kid voice, "I want to get you something."

"Take me out to dinner. That will give me a night off from cooking. Okay?"

"I was going to do that anyway," I mutter.

"Well then, sorted. I'm serious Jack, you know I've never celebrated my birthday, I get as enthusiastic about it as I do Christmas. And you know what a wet blanket I am then. Please, leave it. It's only going to remind me that I'm nearly forty."

"Ha! I'm nearly fifty!"

"Typical! It's like the 'my gun is bigger than yours' thing! Won't even let me moan about my age, just has to go one better. Huh!"

I snort into my coffee, making it go up my nose. "Jack, you are gross." He gets some kitchen towel and throws it at me to clean up the mess. What does he expect? He has no idea how much he makes me laugh.

"You know something Danny? Remember when Ferretti asked what it was that held us together?"

"Sure, in the park that time, wasn't it?"

"Yeah. You were saying how much we had in common and all. There was one thing I meant to say, to add to it."

"Oh yes?" That's piqued his interest.

"Hmm, you never fail to make me laugh. Before I met you, I'd stopped laughing, what with Charlie and then when I got back from Abydos, Sara going. But when you came back, despite everything you'd gone through, you still made me laugh. Not just chuckles, or giggles, like I could get from the others at the base, but honest-to-God belly laughs. You're still one of the few that can make me do that. I just wanted you to know that. I guess I just wanted to say thanks."

He's got a tear winding its way down his cheek. He's not doing anything to wipe it away. Damn, I think I said the wrong thing. He's just picked up the dishes and headed over to the sink.

"Danny? I'm sorry, love, did I say the wrong thing?"

He turns around, gives me his biggest smile and says, "No, Jack. You just said the nicest thing that anyone has ever said to me. Caught me off-guard, that's all." He pulls me into his arms and we just hold each other tightly.

How do we get ourselves into these situations? We've just been off-world for ten minutes and already we're in deep doo doo.

"Jack, let me handle it," Daniel's begging.

"Come on, Daniel, let's just pack it up and go. I've got a bad feeling about this."

"Jack, they're smiling at us."

"That's what's worrying me. Nobody smiles at us like that unless we're in deep shit."

He's laughing at me. "It will be all right, I'm sure. The language is something similar to ancient Greek, but it seems to be a bit of a mix with, I don't know, a Celtic language? Could be. The Celts were allies of the Macedonians at the time of Alexander the Great. Perhaps this planet was colonised by a number of different races."

"That could explain the fact that some of the people look different from the others. On most planets they all look the same, Daniel," Carter's adding. Good point.

"You're right. I detect some hints of red hair. A typical Celtic colour." Daniel's off in full-blown academic mode. It's fascinating to watch, but it's not helping us right now.

"Daniel, if you want to do the meet and greet, may I suggest you actually do some meeting and greeting, before they decide that we're bad news?"

"Oh, of course, sorry." I think that three days' downtime has gone to his head.

He's chatting away, getting some mixed looks from the natives. The more they speak to him, the more he understands and adjusts his own way of talking to theirs. Damn, he's good at his job. Whenever any of the other teams have borrowed him, they always come back saying just how impressive he is. Don't I know it. That's why I don't lend him out as often as I'm asked to. There was a time when he was the one asking to go off with the other teams. That rarely happens now, thank God, and then only ever when he wants to go on a dig. I have to let him, he'd make my life a misery if I didn't. But I always tell him that I'm letting him go on them under sufferance, it doesn't pay to let him think that I'm happy about it. He used to think that, back then... no, I'm not going to think about it.


"Ah?" I ask.

"Jack, remember Babylon?"

"How could I ever forget?"

"Well, dear," I don't like that, whenever he calls me that in this sort of situation I'm not going to like the reason behind it, "they are assuming that we're either already together, as in two couples, or we're here to find partners. They don't tend to marry within their tribes, so obviously..." he's letting his voice trail off. Okay, this isn't a problem, as long as they don't mind same-sex partnerships. I'm guessing not, because Daniel's often told me about the ancient Greeks. So, Teal'c and Carter get to play house and Danny and I get to snuggle tonight. I can live with that.

Or not. "Um Jack? They think that you and..." He can't bring himself to say it can he?

"What? Me and Carter? Wouldn't be the first time this has happened. We can cope with that can't we?" She nods slyly. I think I may be wrong.

"No Jack. They think you and..." Damn, he nearly got it, but he's laughing his head off. Finally, he splutters out "T.t.teal'c. S.s.some s.s.sort of a.a.alpha m.m.male thing." He's lost it. I grab him and shake him hard.

"Daniel! What the fuck is going on?"

"I tried, Jack, really I tried. They couldn't see how you could go for me." Oh God, underneath his laughter I can see his heart is breaking. "They think because you're the leader, you'd want someone big and strong, like Teal'c."

I can't take this anymore. How many times does Daniel have to hear this crap? "T, Carter, cosy up. I don't give a fuck what these folks think, but there is no way in hell I'm letting them think I'm not with Danny." I grab him and kiss him hard. Fuck the rules. He's mine, they can all go to hell if they don't like it.

I can hear the crowd stirring behind us. Damn. They don't like it.

"Come on kids, we're getting out of here. I am not staying somewhere so rude." They've insulted Daniel, so they've insulted me. They can go fuck themselves. I tell Daniel to explain this to them. He tries to. Some of the people are shifting about, looking pretty rotten about what they said. Others are laughing. Daniel's face hardens. We turn and go, we've got nothing more to say to them.

That was not a pleasant debrief. Hammond's not a happy man. He thinks that we should have played along, but no, just no, there was no way I was going to deny Daniel. He's not in a very good mood, I can tell. And guess who's going to get it in the neck later? Tough. I'm a big boy, I can cope with a tantrum or two thrown my way. Hammond dismisses us, but I stay.

"Colonel? Are you going to add something?"

"Yes, Sir, my reasons - real reasons - for leaving. Daniel's face when they told him he wasn't good enough for me, George, I thought he was going to cry. He didn't, he covered it up with a laugh, but how many times has he been told that? Those bastards that beat him up told him, that much I know. I'm pretty certain that Makepeace said something to him, though he won't say if he did. Daniel's been through so much, his self-confidence has taken so many knocks that it's not funny. I wasn't going to pretend not to be with him, not just to keep some natives happy. It's one thing if our relationship broke a law or taboo. We've discussed this, it's not a problem. We keep our relationship away from work, at least we work damned hard at it. I don't think we've ever given you any cause to think otherwise."

"Apart from Babylon," he replies.

"Yeah, granted, but look at the sweet deal that got us. When we step through the gate, the only difference between now and before we got together is that we are more likely to double up the sleeping bags. Nothing happens," I add quickly, "just for sleeping purposes. We sleep better that way. I cannot, and will not, pretend to be with someone else."

"Understood, Jack. You'd better go and talk to him. Isn't it his birthday tomorrow?"

"It is. Won't let me do anything though, he hates the thought of it. I know why. I got him out of his skull drunk last year and made him spill. It's the only way to get some things out of him, sometimes. After his parents died and until he settled with his last set of foster parents, you know the ones that were going to adopt him, he had no birthdays. He was fifteen when they died. He didn't recognise that day again until his first one here. He never even let on to his various friends and lovers when his birthday was so they couldn't do anything about it. It means nothing but heartbreak to him. He and I, those first few years, we'd spend them together. I'd get him drunk, feed him, maybe we'd watch a movie or something. Then, when I started treating him like shit, it stopped. Two birthdays went unmarked. I know Carter and Frasier tried to do things with him. I know they bought him gifts, but his heart wasn't in it. Last year was the first one we celebrated properly. He was thirty-seven, George. It was twenty-two years since his last proper birthday. It's why he hates Christmas too. Too many painful memories and non-events. He once told me he preferred Christmas in the orphanage because he would get a present."

George's face is a picture of pain and sorrow.

"I know you've just had some time off, Jack, but tomorrow and the day after, take that too. Do something with him."

I thank him and then go to find Daniel.

"Danny? You in here?" His office is open but the light isn't on.

"Yeah, just having a lie down. Got a bit of a headache," he says.

I shut the door quietly and switch on his desk lamp.

"C'mere," I say, sitting next to him and pulling him tight. "I know you're upset, you can't hide it from me. Seems like every time I get you reassured about stuff, some thoughtless bastard comes and kicks you back down. Well, I've got news for those pricks, they couldn't have been more wrong. Stuff that alpha male crap. Sure, I'm the leader of the group. There's a damn good reason for that. I've been in the Air Force longer than Carter. You're a civilian and Teal'c's an alien. That's the reason for it, and that alone. I am so lucky to have you, Daniel, so lucky. You've got to believe me, babe. You know when you're sleeping and I watch you?"

He looks up at me, trying to hide the fact that he's upset. He nods.

"Do you know what I'm thinking?"

"What the fuck am I doing here?" he says, trying to laugh.

"Only in as much as I'm wondering how lucky can a guy get? Dammit Danny, I've got you. You! Have you any idea how many people would happily kill to be in my position? You haven't, have you? I'm the lucky one, not you. Air Force colonels are thick on the ground; beautiful, gentle, wonderful geniuses come along once in eternity."

"Don't you dare, Jack, don't you dare put yourself down! How dare you? You say such beautiful things to me, I don't deserve you. I am the lucky one here, and don't you forget it flyboy. Thick on the ground Air Force colonels may be, but there's only one Jack O'Neill, and I am privileged to even be your friend."

Hell, he's done it again. I'm trying to reassure him but he's ending up putting me on some sort of pedestal.

"Daniel, are you going to listen to me for once? Those idiots were wrong. I love Teal'c like a brother. I'm in love with you. I happen to know I'm not the only one, so I'm going to work dammed hard at keeping the others at bay. Those natives didn't know you. They had no idea they were talking about the bravest man on Earth when they were talking about you. And don't you dare interrupt me! You are. I've told you this before."

"I'm a sappy bastard who can't seem to stop snivelling. Look what you're doing to me, Jack," he sniffs.

I laugh a little, kiss his head.

"Hey, Hammond's given us two days' downtime from tomorrow."

"What?" He shoots up to his feet and scampers over to his desk. "Oh fuck, out, out, shoo, I've got a load of work to do then. Damn, I'll be late home tonight. Are you still here?"

I think I've been dismissed. I lean over, kiss his head again and watch him for a moment as he launches himself at some papers.

I never thought I'd finish that work. It's late, very late. I doubt that Jack is even up. I managed to grab a sandwich earlier, but I'm hungry again. The lights are off. I know he's here, I can feel his presence. I creep into the kitchen and switch the light on. I'm trying to find something to eat. There has to be something quick and easy here. Please? Oh, some cheese, bread, yeah, that will do for now. Oh God I'm tired. How I drove home I don't know. There's something comforting about a cheese sandwich; silly I know, but it's true. Especially with - yeah, there it is. Jack can't understand how I can eat this stuff. I got a taste for Marmite when I was at Oxford. I love the tangy taste and it goes great with cheese. One of the really good things about having the Brits here is they get some stuff brought over for them. This is one of them. Whenever there's a delivery, the quartermaster makes sure that a large jar of it comes my way. It's one of the silly things I miss about there. I had so much fun over there it wasn't true. Jack would never believe me if he heard some of the things I used to get up to. Like fronting a rock band. No, I won't tell him that one. He really wouldn't believe it.

Time for bed. I tiptoe into the bathroom, quickly and quietly get ready and head off to the bedroom. He's out like a light, I can tell. I know he loves to watch me sleep in the mornings, I understand why too. I love to watch him sleep at night. It's the only time his guard is let down. He still gets protective in his sleep, his arms wrap themselves automatically around me as he feels my weight push the mattress down.


"No, it's Sam," I say. He smiles against my chest and snuggles closer.

"Love you, Carter," he says, making me giggle.

"I knew you really had a thing for her," I whisper. He's still asleep. We can do this, talk in our sleep together. Okay, I'm not asleep yet, but we'll probably carry this on when I am. Sam once told me that off-world when she's on watch, she hears full conversations between us. Usually like this, gentle teasing, sometimes chiding, mostly loving. The first time she heard us she thought we were awake. She was bored on watch so she opened the tent flap to come and talk. She saw us, wrapped up in each other's arms, out cold, but talking to each other. She said it was the strangest thing she'd ever seen. Also came to the conclusion that neither of us ever shuts up - oh, and that we are both completely nuts. She's probably right on that count.

"Love you," I say as I shut my eyes.

"Hmm, love," he says, nuzzling his head closer.

Hmm, cof-fee. Now that's what I like best about living with someone, especially when that someone has been trained to wake up at 0600 sharp. And retrained not to wake me up on my day off till at least 9 a.m. and then only when he comes in bearing coffee. Nice coffee. Hmm. Hell, I sound like Homer Simpson on a caffeine binge.

"Good morning, Daniel." Okay, he's gotten the 9 a.m. and the coffee bit right, but does he have to sound so fucking cheery?

"'ckoff. Not'wake."

"Now, now, Daniel, that's not very nice. Come on, open your eyes. Yes that's a good boy."

"Grrr, not a boy! Thirty-freakin'-seven."

"Thirty-freakin'-eight, you'll find. Happy birthday, oh light of my life."

"Jack, don't attempt sarcasm this time in the morning, it'll only get you a knee in the balls. As you well know. And thank you."

"You're welcome. Anyway, you are."

Aw, he really can be such a sappy bastard when he puts his mind to it.

"So, what do you want to do today?" he's asking, obviously all dressed up and raring to go - somewhere.

"Sleep. Drink coffee. Eat. Screw, maybe, if I can get the energy, and then, um, sleep?"

"What? You do that everyday. Today's a special day. For a start, no work tomorrow. None today for that matter. C'mon Danny, let's do something. Huh? Please? I'll beg if you want."

"Okay, okay, enough already." Damn, he's worse than Cassie when she goes into a full-blown teenage sulk sometimes. "You choose," I say, fluttering the eyelashes and smiling sweetly at him. Sucker. It always works. He doesn't really expect me to think yet, does he?

He's just bounced off the bed like a kid. Sometimes I have to remind myself that he's forty-seven. A very, very, sexy forty-seven.

I just know I've let myself in for trouble, but if I know Jack, and I think I do, he's got something planned. It will make him happy if I go along with it. I'm heading for the shower when he shouts up that he's cooking me breakfast. Okay, I can hurry for that. If I don't have to cook it, I'm happy to eat it.

And it was worth it. Full breakfast like I cooked him the other day. I'm stuffed. My favourite feeling after, well, being 'stuffed'. Snigger.

"So?" I ask.

"How about a picnic?" he says, his face all lit up.

"Sounds good, where?"

"Surprise." Hell I hate surprises as much as he does.

"Ja-ack," I'm warning.

"Danny. Would I do anything that you didn't like?"

"Yes. You would. You do. Frequently."

"Not today, babe, today you're going to have fun."

"Whether I like it or not, huh?"

"Got it in one, Danny. My, you're on the ball this morning."

"Worried; wondering what you've got up your sleeve. That always puts me on edge."

He just grins and tells me to hurry up and eat. Everything's already packed. Just as well I told him to decide what to do then. See, I'd figured he had something planned.

"Jack, where are we going?" I ask for the fifteenth time.

"Daniel, as I have told you the other five hundred and seventy-three times, wait and see. You'll love it." His 'dad' voice is coming over. I can just hear him saying that to Charlie. I know he was such a good dad to him, I just know it. He couldn't have been a bad father, he cares too damn much.

"Are we nearly there yet?" Well, if he's being dad...

He snorts. "I thought you said you were a grown man."

"I am. I'm just not a grown man with infinite patience. You know that."

"Soon, just shut your whining, will ya? There's a good linguist."

Why? I mean just why am I with him? Oh yeah. I remember.

We've just pulled up on the side of a dirt track in the middle of nowhere. We're in the mountains, it's exquisitely beautiful and there's no one around. The sun is high in the sky, it's hot, dry and my favourite kind of day. He's picked up a bag and given it to me, he's carrying one himself, and off we go down a barely-there footpath.

A stream seems to have appeared out of nowhere. I'm loving this, I think I'll let him know just how much when we find somewhere to sit. Hell, he's good, he even has a picnic place in mind. And it's perfect. We can see for miles, but we're virtually invisible to those around us. If there was anyone around us, which I'm pretty sure there isn't. We're sitting in the shade of an old tree, watching the stream trickle past us and the sunlight dapples through the summer foliage. Damn, I'm getting poetic in my old age.

"This is perfect," I say. "Thank you."

He turns and smiles at me, making my heart leap. It's funny, there are times, even now, that I seem to fall in love with him all over again. It's not as if I ever stopped being in love, I guess it's just the 'love and friendship' thing takes precedence, as it should. But when this happens - wow - my heart skips a beat, my breath catches in my throat and my eyes open as if they've been shut for a month. All I can do in response is kiss him. So I do.

Our kisses are tender at first, sweet enough to inspire tears in both of us; not upset ones, just unshed, 'God I love you so much' ones.

"Jack," I whisper, "I want you. Please. Make love to me, here, now. I need you."

He lays me gently on the blanket he brought and undoes my shirt. It comes off quickly, leaving my chest bare to the warm sun filtering down through the leaves. He takes his off too, not wanting me to feel more exposed than him, I guess, but the feel of skin on skin is wonderful. We've had sex outside before, but it has always been quick, hurried in case of discovery. I don't think that we're going to be found here. I hope not, because I want this to take forever.

More kisses, caresses, sweet and gentle touches all over my body. I'd reciprocate, but I know that Jack wants to do this, to take charge. It's okay, it took me a long time to learn but I know now that he gets as much pleasure out of pleasing me as he does out of me pleasing him. I understand that now. I never used to. Don't know why, because that's how it was for me, making him happy always makes me happy. Sometimes, receiving is better than giving. Silly lesson to learn, but it's been the hardest one for me.

All clothes are off now, I should feel vulnerable but I don't. I feel more alive at this moment than I ever have done before.

"What do you want, Danny? Tell me what you want."

"Inside me, Jack, I want you to make love to me, to feel you there. Make me whole."

More kisses, he trails his lips down my body. He grants me relief first by taking me in his mouth. Oh yeah, love this. He says my tongue is skilled but his - oh my God, he's good at this. He's working me up then stopping, bringing me back from the edge. Yes! A finger, slicked and ready, inside me, preparing me as he works me up again.

"Please, Jack, no more, need to, please," I beg. Another finger, and another and WHOO-EE! At last, he lets me come. He loves to make love to me when I'm on my back. It's not the most comfortable way, but he says he loves to watch me. I let him, God, I'd let him do anything to me. I'm such a slut!

"Danny," he moans as he slips inside me. Oh yeah, that feels so good. Just as well those bruises on my back are nearly gone. I hear him call my name, mixing it with the names of various saints and other holy characters. He's so going to Hell when he dies. Along with me, natch.

We lay together, finally sated and still naked. He hands me a wet wipe to get cleaned up. Practicalities can't half kill the romance.

"Better get some clothes on," I say, not really wanting to move.

"Yeah, we should," he agrees, also not making any attempt to move.

A rattle in the bushes nearby has us up and dressed in seconds though. We laugh ourselves sick when we see a bird hopping out from under the cover of the leaves.

He's unloaded the picnic. Champagne, strawberries, finger foods in general. It's such a romantic meal it's making me smile. Not to mention quite drunk. He's sticking to one glass of the champagne because he's driving and it would be such a shame to waste it, wouldn't it? Some of the strawberries have been dipped in chocolate. Belgian chocolate I can tell from the first bite.

"Jack? I want to tell you something," I say as he pops another in my mouth.

"What's that, Daniel?"

"This is the best birthday I have ever had, bar none. Thank you. It means a hell of a lot to me. You've gone to so much trouble."

"No trouble, Danny, just a pleasure. I'm glad you're enjoying yourself."

"I'm afraid to say just how much in case something happens to spoil it. I'll tell you tomorrow, I promise, when nothing can happen to mar such a wonderful day. I love you, you know? It dawned on me earlier that I'd just fallen head over heels in love with you all over again." I don't think I have ever seen Jack smile more brightly than he's doing now. It's taking all of my self-control not to pin him to the floor and fuck him senseless.

"Danny, here," he gives me a piece of paper. I unfold it and read. It nearly makes me weep.

Lay your head upon my shoulder, love
and let me smooth your furrowed brow.
The burdens that you carried once
alone, are shared between us now.

The love I feel for you today
will only grow in days to come.
The war we fight will one day end
which you and I together won.

The memories of battles fought
will no doubt cloud our dreams.
But we will face our demons joined
and beat them as a team.

So lay your head upon me, love
and close your eyes for dreamless sleep.
And when you wake I'll still be there,
your heart and soul I'll keep.

"Oh God, Jack, that's so beautiful," I sniff. He wrote it, for me. "That's the nicest thing that anyone's ever done for me. God, I love you so much it hurts." I grab his hand and hold it to my heart, showing him where the pain is. It's physical, sometimes, it actually hurts me I love him so much. But it's the most exquisite pain and one I'll carry with me to my grave.

I kiss him. He's sniffing a bit too, sappy sod.

"Look at me, simpering like a girl," he says.

"No, not a girl," I grin, doing a lot of the simpering myself. I push him on his back, undo his flies and go down on him hard and fast. He's got to know how much this has meant to me, and I know of nothing more intimate than this. He's writhing on the ground as I put my tongue to its greatest use, licking and sucking and stroking his cock until I hear the cry that I've been aiming for.


Whoo ya, still got it.

"Definitely not a girlie, Jack," I say wiping my mouth with the back of my hand. He cracks up.

What a day it's been. Daniel loved the picnic. I was really nervous about giving him the poem, but he was so sweet about it. He folded it up and put it in his breast pocket, keeping it near his heart. Wow, have we gone sappy in our old age or what? I followed up the picnic with a quiet stroll and then to the most romantic restaurant in the Springs for dinner. He's tipsy, well pretty drunk, actually; high on champagne. I've got another bottle in the fridge just waiting for us to share it. Along with some chocolate truffles that I know he loves. He's not going to forget this birthday in a hurry. I'm sure it won't chase off the ghosts of birthdays past on its own, but it's a start. Next year, I'm thinking Paris. Or maybe a Nile cruise. I'll bet in all the years he lived in Egypt he never got to do that.

Whoa! I just shut the front door and found myself slammed up against it. Daniel's tongue is so far down my throat I think he's going to do an appendectomy with it. Oh yeah, bring it on, book boy. There's life in this old dog yet.



The light's just come on and the living room is full of our friends. Or should that be 'fiends'. Daniel and I look at each other in shock. Our jackets had just hit the floor and we were happily working towards RIPPING each other's shirts off.

"MOM!" we both yell. She is the one with the key after all. Daniel's gone white, now green. Aw fuck, he's gonna hurl. I grab him and run with him to the bathroom. Made it. Just in time too. Fuck! THE most expensive dinner I have EVER bought anyone has just come up for a second go around. For cryin' out loud. What's a guy gotta do?

"Sh, Danny, it's okay," I say quietly, stroking his back. It's not his fault. It's MOM'S.

She puts her head around the door. "Daniel, are you all right, son?"

"Oh yeah, just peachy," he says as he shakes like a leaf.

"Mom, what on earth possessed you to do this?" I ask.

"For once it wasn't me," she says. As if. "Daniel's friends wanted to throw him a party and they asked me to let them in. I had nothing else to do with this, honestly. I know you wanted a quiet day, I tried to tell them. They said you wouldn't mind, dear," she adds for Daniel's benefit.

"No, don't mind, just hate surprises. It was just the shock of it all, that's all. Much rather know things. Aw hell, what a frigging waste. Sorry Jack, I've spoilt everything again, haven't I?"

"No Daniel, you haven't. Did you enjoy yourself today?"

"Best day I've ever had in my life. Till now."

"Then that's all right then. Just try to forget this. We'll go down, have some fun, then send them home. Okay with you?"

"Sounds good, Jack."

I send Mom off, tell her to get the party in full swing or else. Daniel and I are going to get changed before we come down. She tootles off and in moments I can hear loud talking, loud music, and the sound of bottles and glasses being chinked together.

"Come on, Daniel, let's get changed and go face the mob."

The looks on their faces when we go down are sights to behold. Daniel's hair is long enough to be tied back these days, so he has. He's also taken his glasses off and put on his tightest white T-shirt and his black leather pants. AND HE'S MINE!

"Hi guys," he says, "sorry about that," and then he strolls around the room, working it like a pro. Damn, he's good at this. Jaws are dropping and in some of us, parts are rising.

Cassie's here. She's giving him a hug and handing him a present. He opens it and kisses her cheek.

"What is it?" I ask, slipping behind him and wrapping my arms around his waist.

"Look," he says and opens a small box. It has a pair of earrings in it, delicate gold studs, flattened out with a tiny pattern on it. "It's a hieroglyph, Jack," he says with infinite patience. "It's the symbol for 'ba' or 'spirit'." It is? It looks like a bird with a line sticking up from its butt to me. I don't say that, of course. He quickly pops one into his ear and grins at me. I nod and he sticks the other one in mine. I still don't know how I let him talk me into keeping that damned hole. Still, he likes it.

"So, what did Jack get you?" Cassie's asking. He looks shyly at me, I hope he doesn't tell her everything.

"He took me to a wonderful picnic spot, we had a fabulous time there, then onto dinner - which was glorious. And he bought me this." Oh hell, he's not going to show her, is he? He is! He pulls up the front of his T and shows her the diamond stud I got him for his navel. Okay, so I'm a convert to that, at least on him.

"Wow! That's way cool." Amazing, I've impressed a teenager. That has got to be a first.

"Very nice," a male voice comes from behind me. It's Paul. Haven't been able to thank him in person for his help over the kidnapping yet, so I'm glad he's here. And where there's Paul, these days, there's bound to be...

"Jack! How are things, buddy."

"Hey Josh. Glad you could make it. Things are good, thanks. You?"

"Ooh boy, the shit hit the fan over Kinsey. The President gave him a choice, apparently Daniel here asked him to do this. Either he could face kidnapping charges and go to jail, or..." He looks at Daniel who's grinning his head off.

"Danny? What now?"

"Or he resigns as senator, gives up his life in politics and goes and volunteers for the UNHCR in the field. I think a lesson or two in humility won't go amiss. He's never coming back, Jack. We've got the evidence. If he tries some sort of political comeback the papers will be full of it the next day."

"You devious bastard," I grin. My devious bastard. I'm so proud.

"Makepeace?" Shi-it, he just had to mention him, didn't he?

"Back in jail on death row for treason. They've added absconding, kidnapping and assault to that list too. Even if he gets off the row, he's never coming back out." Paul is talking. Too damn right he's not. Something they don't know, something they will never know, is that Makepeace is going to get out soon. But he's gonna turn up dead when he does. He can't be held, he knows too much. All he has to do is to start talking and the SGC is gonna be public knowledge. That can't happen yet. It would cause mass panic. I am not going to be the one to terminate with extreme prejudice. I want to be, but I know I could never look Daniel in the eye again if I did. It's hard enough keeping this a secret from him as it is.

The party's going well. Mom and Hammond have taken Cassie home, so we're left with the not so old adults here only. Things could get interesting.

"So, Daniel, do you want your presents now?" It's Ferretti talking.

"Presents? I thought the party..." His voice trails off as he looks at me.

"Presents, Daniel, it's quite normal, honest. Come on, don't be a party pooper."

"No, I'm surprised, that's all. I'm still a bit overwhelmed by everything."

We're all sat now, the music is playing quietly in the background. Some of us are on the chairs and couch, others, like Daniel are on the floor. He's actually resting his head on my thigh as he sits between my legs. I reach out and stroke his hair and he looks up at me and beams.

"Daniel, this one first," Ferretti says as he hands him a large, soft package.

"First?" Daniel's eyes are popping out of his head.

"It's from all the flyboys on the base," adds Lou.

He tears open the paper like a little kid, making everyone laugh. Underneath the laugh is a kinda heartbreaking sound. It's dawned on them that Daniel has never had a day like this before, not even in the years he's been with us.

"Oh WOW!" He's pulling a garment out of a bag. It's black and leather and... whoo yeah, a flying jacket!

"God, thanks guys, this is fantastic!" He sits up straight and puts it on and he looks good in it.

"Damn Daniel, you look positively sinful," Jan's calling out to him. "C'mere and give me a hug, honey, I want something to go home with tonight." I know what she's thinking, filthy, filthy woman, she wants to get off tonight on the thought of my Danny. He looks at me and winks. I know what he's thinking. Hell, it's his birthday, so I nod. He grabs her, pulls her up into his arms, lifts her off her feet and plants the biggest kiss he's ever given her on her lips. I know that look, she's getting the tongue and everything. He finally puts her down when she starts begging for air.

"Shi-it," she says, "that was even better than a brain melter, Daniel. When in hell's name did you learn to kiss like that?"

"Oh, it's a gift," he says with a grin and sitting down back between my legs. He's not kidding, he's naturally talented and it's up to me to make sure he gets as much practise as possible.

Josh looks at me, his eyes asking if I'm okay with all that. I am, he always comes back to me, and never, ever, does it without me knowing. He even told me about the kiss he planted on her in the infirmary when he was getting his own back. No secrets between us. Well, apart from the Makepeace one and the ones where I'd have to shoot him if I told him - obviously.

Sam's looking a bit jealous as she hands him a smaller package. "From Jan and me, and Ed, though he has no idea what's in there," she adds hurriedly.

Daniel looks a tad suspicious as he opens the packet. Then he laughs his head off when he opens the box. He gives it to me. Handcuffs. Leather freakin' handcuffs. I can't do that stuff, too much baggage. Much to Daniel's annoyance. He says he'd love to tie me down and have his wicked way with me. I'll bet. Daniel's face is a picture. He's not as drunk as I thought he would be, he threw up all the champagne he'd drunk. He is, however, very relaxed.

"If you're good," he says, "I'll let you use them on me." His eyes are twinkling and he's running his tongue over his bottom lip. I catch my breath and swallow. When is this party ending?

Daniel gets a few more presents, more run-of-the-mill stuff like books and a coupl'a shirts. Nice things. Teal'c gave him some smelly oil from Chulak - good for bruises apparently. He's really relaxed and happy.

Someone starts teasing him about being an older man and shouldn't he be looking for a much younger one now.

"Oh no, I've always preferred older men," he says, then looks over at Paul, "with one or two exceptions." Paul grins, he knows him too well, I think.

Sam says he'll be beating off the sharks if he goes out in the leather pants and jacket.

"So? I've been doing that as long as I can remember." It's my turn to look surprised. Very carefully, Jan asks, "Daniel, how long have you known you were bisexual?"

He shrugs, thinks for a moment and says, "I think I was about fourteen, but I didn't do anything about it till I was sixteen," he adds firmly.

"Sixteen? Isn't that a bit young?" Lou asks.

"I had a boyfriend, but I didn't get anywhere till I was eighteen, much to my annoyance," he laughs. "Faisal was a gentleman. He was also hotter than hell itself. For two years I had to put up with screaming sexual frustration. Oy! I wanted to kill him sometimes, I can tell you. On my eighteenth birthday I'd had enough. He took me out to dinner, we got back and I jumped him, wasn't letting up till I got what I wanted."

"Which was?" Jan asks.

"Mind your own business. Suffice it to say I had a stupid grin for days."

We all laugh at that, then he throws us for a loop. "I don't suppose I'd have gotten so frustrated if I'd had no idea what it was all about, but my girlfriends, well, let's just say I knew how to pick them."

"Danny? How old were you?"

"Fifteen," he says, "so you can forget trying to get that one over me, flyboy, because I know about you." He's right, I was nineteen before I went with a girl. Younger than him with a guy though, but I'm keeping that to myself because it was illegal. Hang on, he was fifteen? THAT's illegal. I'm gonna have to have words later.

"What happened to him?" Sam asks.

"Fai? We were together till I left Harvard, five years in total, then he went home to Egypt. I wanted to go with him, but I'd been offered the place at Oxford. He was killed in a car crash a few months later. Pity, a real shame. He was a brilliant man, but more than that he was a good friend."

"Hell, I'm sorry, shouldn't have brought that up," she says.

"Don't worry. One thing you learn as an archaeologist is that the past has a habit of coming back and biting you on the butt. Fai was an Egyptologist, naturally I suppose, and he always said that it's the dead that are the true immortals, as long as we remember them. I'm not going to forget him, just like I won't forget my parents or Shau're. They'll live as long as I do. It's not immortality, but it's the best I can do for them."

I raise my glass, and say, "To those that have gone before us. May we never forget them." We all stay quiet at that, staring into our glasses and confirming our own brand of immortality on those we've loved and lost. Daniel looks at me, his eyes searching mine. I smile and nod. He understands.

"Oh hell, Daniel, I forgot to give you this," says Lou. "The marines wanted to come, but they're all on some off-world training thing. They sent this for you."

Daniel opens the packet and laughs. It's a cap with a Marine Corps badge. "It'll go with the one I've got tattooed on my leg."

Lou, Paul, and Josh spit their drinks a bit.

"I went on a forty-eight-hour bender with them, six months or so ago. We all got incredibly smashed. I remember very little about it. The only thing I remember clearly was having the badge tattooed on my thigh. I said I couldn't have it tattooed on my arm because the flyboys would disown me, and I wasn't going to do that to Jack. It was one of those things, you know? All Jarheads that didn't have the badge were having it done, and as I'm an honorary Jarhead I was persuaded that I should have one too. I was shitfaced so I agreed. Jack threw a fit when he saw it." He cracks up at the memory. It was bad enough seeing him come home virtually unconscious, but with a thick pad on his leg, I just knew that I wasn't going to like what I saw. "I did offer to have the Air Force badge tattooed on my butt, if that would make him happy, but for some reason it didn't." He's lost it now, the champagne is definitely going to his head.

"So, are you going to show it to us?" Paul asks. I really wish he hadn't. He scrambles to his feet and drops his pants far enough down for everyone to see that there is, in fact, a Marine Corps badge on his thigh.

I see a number of people swallowing hard at the sight of his thigh - no way is it the tattoo. He seems oblivious to it though as he pulls his pants back up and sits back down between my legs. I think he likes it there - not that I'm objecting.

They've all gone, at last. Not that I'm not grateful that they came, far from it. I wish I'd known though, I feel rotten about throwing up. I guess I'd had far too much to drink and eat before getting home. The surprise just got to me. I'm gonna get to Jack tonight. He won't turn me down, I know. Hopefully this will help him past his mental block too. We get into the bedroom, I'm still dressed, he's starting to undress. I've brought the handcuffs and I wave them in front of him.

"Danny, you know I hate that," he says.

"For me, Jack, I want this. Please." I stalk over to him and give them to him, never taking my eyes off my victim. "I want you to tie me up. I want you to do whatever you want to do to me. I want you to have complete control over me and what I do. Don't deny me Jack."

His eyes go cold and steely. I trust him implicitly. Tonight, he's going to finally believe this.

"Get undressed," he orders. "Slowly."

I do, taking my jacket off first, dropping it on the floor where I stand. My T goes next. I can see he wants to touch me, but he's holding himself back. Then my pants. Still watching him, I slowly unzip them and peel them off me. Finally my briefs go and I'm naked in front of him.

"Lie down," he says, "face down." Oh God, this is going to be good. He catches one of my hands and fastens the handcuff to it. He whispers, "You must promise me something, you will say stop if you want me to. Promise me or this goes no further."

"I promise, I'll tell you Jack, promise. Now please do it. I want this. I need this. I trust you. Do what you want to me."

He slips the handcuff around the bedstead and clips my other wrist. I should feel exposed and afraid, but I've never felt so secure in my life. I moan, trying to tell him just how much this is turning me on.

"On your knees," he tells me and I comply. He's rooting around in one of the drawers and he finds one of my bandanas. My world goes dark as he ties it around my eyes. Oh wow, this is going to be better than I thought it would be. I listen carefully to where he is, and more importantly, to what he is doing. I can hear his clothes hitting the floor, his zip coming undone. That has to be the most erotic thing I have ever heard. I know he's going to fuck me, but hearing it and not seeing it coming is making me harder than I could ever have believed.

I think he's standing at my side, watching me for a moment. I move a little, groan, begging him to start. This waiting is more than I can bear.

"No talking," he barks. I shut up for once. Perhaps my colonel is getting off on ordering me around. This could be the start of something good.

"Wait there, I'm going to get something," he says. I can hear him going downstairs. I have no idea what he's got in mind. This is even better.

He's back, the bedroom door shuts. I can feel the bed lower as he gets on it from the foot. My senses are heightened, my hearing acute, my sense of touch is electrified. He still hasn't touched me. All of a sudden I feel something cold running over my butt. I yell, more of a moan really, but the shock caught me out. I can sense his resolve wavering. I move slightly closer to him, as far as the cuffs will allow, to let him know I'm happy with this. I think I know what's going on in his head. He's trying to prolong this, to make it even better in the end.

"You are not allowed to come," he says, "not until I tell you. Got that?" I nod, but that may be more difficult than it sounds.

Finally, he's touching me. He grabs the cheeks of my ass and spreads them and my legs as far apart as they can go. More cold stuff pours over me, he starts to lick it off. That's got to taste good, whatever it is. His fingers are going up my ass, the liquid has followed them and - oh fuck - his tongue too. This is good, this is really, really good. I want more, but he won't let me talk. I try to push my butt closer, but he smacks it till it tingles. Wow, I've never been into that, but hey, it's better than I ever thought it would be. He's a natural at this. He's finger fucking me, one, then two, now three fingers. I can't see, I can't talk, but I can feel and it feels fucking fantastic. I want more, I want everything and now.

He still hasn't touched me. I'm aching to get off, it's hurting. I think he knows because he's just pinched that place that stops everything. Damn! More cold stuff, down the back of my thighs now. He's licking it off before it hits the sheets, I'm sure. I know I'm going to have a hard enough time just getting to the bathroom after this, I doubt whether I'll have the energy to change the bed.

OHMYGOD! He's just pushed inside me. No warning, no slow entry, just a hard, needy thrust. I am not complaining. Oh no. He can do that anytime he wants. It feels so good. Want more, want to feel him pushing inside me. Need this now. He knows it, I'm sure. His strokes are long and slow, but hard and deep. He's building up, I know he won't be as long as we both want him to be.

"You cannot come, Daniel. I won't allow it," he says, over and over again as he pounds into me. He comes with a yell, my name as always in the invective, abusing me with words, though never with actions. He loves me far too much for that.

He's pulled out and grabbed me and flipped me on my back. Somehow, I didn't come. I can feel his mouth on me now, I can't hold out. I can't see him, but I know what he's doing. Fingers inside me, prodding my prostate. I call out, warning him that I can't hold on. He deep-throats me and I'm gone.

"Ohgodohgodohgodohgod! Oh Jack, that was fucking amazing," I pant. He scoots up the bed, undoes the blindfold, kissing me hard as he does. I can taste myself on him, mixed with champagne and cream. That's what he was using. A mystery solved. His kisses are frantic.

"Did I hurt you, Danny, tell me you're okay."

"Okay? That was the most mind-blowing experience of my life, Jack! I'm still seeing stars."

He relaxes a bit, finds the key to the handcuffs and lets me loose.

"You are really good at that," I say. "I want to do that again one day, as soon as you think you can face it again, that is."

"Danny, I never thought I could do that. I can't say no to you though. And you know that don't you, you bastard."

"Yep! Tell me Jack, did you have fun?"

"Oh yeah, like you said, fucking mind-blowing."

"So? Does it matter that I'm a cool, calculating, manipulative bastard? You had fun, I had fun, you discovered another one of my kinks and you played it perfectly."

"How come you don't like being ordered around in the field?"

"Who says I don't?" His face is a picture.

"Jack, I get off on you ordering me around. The reason I get pissy with you in the field is that there is fuck all I can do about it. You try walking around, trying to translate dead languages with a permanent hard-on."

He's lost it, well and truly lost it.

"Daniel, you are fucking priceless, ya know?" Oh yeah, I know.

We make it to the shower, clean each other, kiss a lot, clean our teeth and finally hit the bed.

"So Daniel, was today a good one?"

"The best ever, Jack, in more ways than one."