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Alpha Males 6

hanging out

Summary: Talk about cliffhanger, eh? Will Danny be able to save Jack? Will they go over the edge together? Will it rain? (I've forgotten my brolly again). Will Wales *ever* have a decent rugby team again? Some questions are unanswerable, but others... read on and find out which ones.

"Jack, hold on, please, don't let go. Someone will come, hun, they will. They'll miss us soon."

"Danny, I can't hold on much longer. Let me go, babe. I don't want you to fall too. Please, let me go."

I'm not sure how much longer I can hold on. That damned rockfall knocked Jack off the edge. The one, single, stupid, narrow fucking bit of path with a drop down the side along the entire walk and we get hit there. Fucking typical. Jack's been hit on the head. He's bleeding. I've got him by the wrist, he's holding mine. One hand - that's all I've got on him. My other hand is jammed between two narrow rocks. I slid it down as far as I could between the crack. It means that they're taking the weight. I feel like my arm is coming out of its socket.

Talnet! You must help him!

I am, but we are so tired. We have been here a long time, Qabil. I love you, my heart. You must never forget that.

NO! YOU WILL NOT DIE! No Tally, please don't give up. I would rather die than live without you. Daniel feels the same way about Jack. If you two die, we are following you down. We will not live without you.

You tell them, Qabil. I need to rest. I'm so very tired now. We haven't told Jack but a rock hit my leg as I dived to grab him. I can't go anywhere anyway. I think it's broken. I'm not looking at it to find out. Qabil's otherwise occupied too. Think I'm losing blood though, it feels a bit wet.

"Danny, there's a ledge below me and to the right a little. It's about twenty feet down. We should make it, Danny, but you're going to have to help us. Try to move us a bit, will ya?"

"I'M NOT GOING TO LET GO! How many times do I have to tell you? I'm not letting go, Jack." Crap - even I can hear how tired I am. It can't be instilling much confidence in Jack.

"Daniel, will you please listen to me. You're tired. We're tired. We can't last like this. We don't know how long it's going to be before someone realises that we're missing. PLEASE do as I ask. If you drop me now we're dead. If you help us, we should survive. Come on, babe. Use some of that Jackson stubbornness and get us over to the right. We only need to go about five feet. Can you do that?" He's pleading with me.

Oh Christ. I'll need to get my hand free.

"I'm not sure, Jack. My hand's caught in-between two rocks. If I get it out, we'll both likely fall. Give me a minute, let me think about this."

"I don't have a minute, Daniel. I can't feel my arm anymore. I can't hold onto you."

"DAMMIT JACK YOU HAVE TO! You promised me, promised you wouldn't leave me. Don't you fucking DARE let go."

"I'm trying, baby, I'm trying."

I let that go, we're not fighting now. GOD I can't do this.

"Jack, that ledge, how wide is it?"

"It's a decent size, Daniel, if you can get me over there I'll land on it. No problems."

Trouble is, I really can't move my hand. It's well and truly stuck.

"Danny, please. Now, babe, I can't hold on anymore. I'm going to fall."


I have an idea. "I'll swing you."


"I'll swing you - side to side. Please God you'll land on the ledge. Are you ready?"

"Yes, yes, do it. I'll yell for you to let go, okay?"

"Okay, Jack. I love you so much."

"I know, I know, I love you too Daniel. But we have to do this now, babe or I'm not going to make it. When we get out of this I'm gonna show you just how much I love you, I promise. But it has to be now."

"Here goes."

{Help me, Qabil.}

//I am, I am. I don't want to do this either but I think he's right. That's it, side to side.//


I've let him go. God help me I've let him go.

I hear a thud.


Nothing. There's no reply. NO!

"Jack? Jack? Please answer me. Please babe, shout at me if you want to, but please answer me."

I'm so tired. So fucking tired.

"Jack! Please answer me."

"Daniel, oh my God, what's been going on?"

"Pat? Is that you? Jack's dead. He's gone... down there. I tried to hold on, I tried so hard. We couldn't hold on anymore. I swung him to the side. He should have landed on a ledge. I've been calling him for ages but there's no answer. I tried to hold him. Honestly, I tried so hard, but we were so tired, so tired Pat. I tried."

Fuck. I can't even cry. I want to. I want to follow him down, but I can't even move. My hand is still stuck.

"Get my hand out Pat, I've got to go to him."

"Hush now Daniel, let's find out things first, eh? Come on. Let me get some help."

Pat stands up and yells - they must have a search party out for us. More voices, good. They can get me out and then I'm going after Jack.

"Daniel, you're not going anywhere. Your leg looks broken."

"Doesn't matter, Pat. Not gonna live without him."

"Hey, don't talk like that. We don't know if he's alive or dead yet."

Soldiers with ropes. Good. They can look. If he's not on that ledge...

"I can see him!"

"WHERE IS HE?" Okay - I know I'm panicking. I think I'm allowed to, don't you?

"He's on the ledge Dr. J."

"Is he breathing?"

"Hang on, I'm going to be with him in a moment."

The voice is getting fainter but I can still hear him for now.

"I'm down! He's still breathing."

Oh thank God for that.

I don't recognise that ceiling. Ah. It's coming back to me now. It's a Tok'ra tunnel. We made it. We're inside in the new infirmary. At least it's a prettier sight than the one back at the SGC.

"Jack? Thank God for that. You've been out for ages. You scared me you bastard."

"I love you too, Danny. You did it, you saved me again."

"The ledge was your idea, Jack. I hate you, you know. You made me drop you."

"I know. It's okay - you saved my life. Thank you babe."

He's sitting on the chair next to my bed. He's exhausted. Oh baby, I'm sorry.

"Don't call me fucking baby," he growls.

We're going to be okay.

Danny broke his hand and his leg. I've wheedled the whole thing out of him. He deliberately broke his hand to get it jammed far enough between the rocks to hold us. I for one will never complain about how damned stubborn he is again. He must have been in agony. I broke my leg and gave myself a nasty concussion by hitting my head hard as I fell - hence the unconsciousness. It was hard enough to even stun Tally. Fortunately, as the Tok'ra now live on Alpha in their own tunnels nearby, one was on hand to do the healing thing and we're both fixed up and as good as new. No plaster this time. I'm relieved. This instant healing thing is one of the best benefits to being Tok'ra.

[And I thought you loved my company, Jack.]

(Hey, I did think it was one of the benefits, didn't I. Course I love your company, Tally. You okay? That was a close one, wasn't it?)

[I'm fine. And yes it was. I was more afraid then than when Hasana and I were being tortured. I don't know why.]

(Probably because we both knew the Daniel and Qabil would follow us down if we died.)

[This staying alive pact of yours - it's good, Jack. But hard on the nerves.]

(Tell me about it.)

We've persuaded Janet to let us go and we're heading to the rings to go to our own quarters with the promise that we'll eat and sleep and rest. I didn't promise that I wouldn't make love to Daniel though - I'm going to want to, I know. I can tell that he wants it too. We daren't even touch each other in the corridor. Pat's there with Mom as we emerge from the rings on the accommodation level.

"Boys, are you all right?" Mom bustles over to us and hugs us both.

"We're fine. Thanks to Daniel," I tell her.

"Thanks to Pat for finding us too," Daniel adds quietly. I think he's in a bit of shock.

"Mom, we're tired. Could you get someone to bring us both some hot food to our quarters. We both need to recover from this. We'll be fine by morning, honestly, but we need to be alone just now."

"If that's what you want. I'll get something straight away."

She scoots off to organise some food.

"Pat, thanks for not letting me go," Daniel says. He must have threatened to jump. Shi-it - flashbacks to the balcony scene abound. Though he'll kill me if I call him Juliet just one more time.

"Hey, what are big brothers for?" Pat replies, returning the hug that Daniel surprisingly offered.

Pat lets us go. We make it to our rooms without touching, but as soon as the door shuts...

"Oh God Jack, I thought you were dead. I was stuck up there, couldn't move for ages - it seemed like forever. I didn't know, babe, I didn't know. I wanted to stop living. Qabil wanted to as well. He can't go on without Tally."

Somehow we're holding back from ripping each other's clothes off - for now. He lets go and we both start to kiss each other like men possessed. We've had closer calls than that but this was awful for Daniel because he was the one that had to let go. Too close to home, I guess - like the submarine for him and the Gadmeer ship for me.

"I'm sorry, Danny, I'm so sorry. I know it was a lot to ask."

"I wanted to hate you for that, I am cross with you for it," he moans into my neck. "I had to trust that you were telling me the truth, Jack. I didn't know that there was a ledge there. I thought you may be saying it to stop me falling with you."

"Thank you for trusting me, Daniel. That saved my life, you know."

There's a knock on the door, it's Mom with some food.

"Are you sure you're okay?" she asks. I think she knows we're not, but she's not pushing it.

"We will be, Mom, we will be. Just give us some time to sort this out, will you please?"

"Of course. I'll see you both in the morning, okay?"

"'Kay." Danny's still buried in my neck. Don't care. He can stay there as long as he likes.

We got through dinner, showered and ready for bed and now we're lying on it and holding each other tightly. Lips are finding any bit of skin they can get to. Clothes were redundant so we didn't bother putting them on, we're touching and kissing and holding and frantically pushing against each other. Forget taking it in turns tonight, this is gonna be friction and be quick about it. I'll make it up to him later.

Oh God that feels so good. He's on top of me, pushing hard against me. I thrust my hips up to meet his, our dicks are sliding up and down against each other. This is wonderful. More kisses, desperate clashes of lips and teeth and tongues.

"Love you," he pants. "Love you so fucking much O'Neill."

"God, Danny, love you too. More, harder please."

He grinds into me, bites down on my neck and sends me over the edge. I take him with me and we lay on the bed panting hard.

"I'm sorry, Daniel, sorry I asked you to do that. I'm so proud of you, grateful that you trusted me so much. Love you more than I can say."

"I know, Jack, I know. Same here. You were so brave, so brave to take that risk. You were right, I wouldn't have held out much longer. Wanted to die too, you know. Couldn't go on without you. I've lost too many people. Can't lose you."

"Me too, babe. Me too. Let's get some rest, eh?"

"I want that too, but Qabil wants to be with Tally."

"Of course. Let's get some sleep. Let them take over in private, eh? I'm guessing they 'want to be alone'." My really bad Garbo sets him off giggling, then he kisses my nose and I see his face change.

"Night Danny," I say and allow Talnet some quality time with her love.

My ass is sore. Very sore.

{Qabil? How often did you two make out last night?}

//Ah. Um, once or twice.//

{You can't lie to me.}

//All night. Sorry. You're not the only one with a sore ass. Give me a couple of minutes, I'll fix it.//

{Thanks, I think. Sure you've got any energy?}

//Not much. Lie still will you? It's hard enough to do this as it is. Oh dear.//

{Oh dear?}

//Jack's waking.//

{Shut up, fix my ass and leave him to me.}


"Morning Danny. Care to explain why I've got an ass that feels like it's been fucked with a scaffold pole and a dick that's so fucking red it could be used to show Santa the way?"

"Don't look at me, I'm suffering the same. Q's trying to fix me up. I think they got a bit carried away last night."

"Carried away? They should be fucking carried away. Hang on a minute."

He's withdrawn into his head. Giving Tally hell if I know him.

"She's sleeping. Can't wake her up. I can't go out there like this, Danny. I won't be able to sit without wincing. I know that everyone knows about us, but I can't go around advertising the fact."

"I know. Give her time."

"I don't have time. Dammit Talnet, fix my ass now or it's the last chance you get to use it... ah, that woke you, thought it would."

He's gone quiet again.

"That's better. Should be fixed in a minute. How are you feeling Daniel?"


*snort* "You have been."

"Tell me about it. It was your dick they used. Come on, let's shower and go get something to eat. We'll feel better for it, I'm sure. I could do with a coffee. By the way, I want some things for our quarters here."

"Oh?" he says as I pull him out of bed.

"Yeah. A small fridge to store milk and stuff, a coffee maker and a little cupboard for the coffee and mugs. What do you think?"

"Sounds good. I'll see what I can do. What's on your agenda for today?"

I reach up and turn on the shower head. Love shacking up with the CO, we get lots of privileges like a king-size bed and private shower.

"Um, making sure that everyone is settling down, getting lists of provisions and stuff that people only now realised they wanted but forgot to ask for. And if I'm really, really, really lucky, I'll do the job I was originally employed to do."

"Think that's asking a bit much, Spacemonkey. You've already opened the gate."


I'm going to hog the shower head for that.

So far, so good. At least my ass is back to normal. Trouble is it's hard to concentrate when your symbiote is doing the Tok'ra equivalent of snoring his head off. Not too many complaints from the staff - that has got to be a record - the lists request has been sent out to all the subdepartments and I'm actually trying to work on a translation. Something has got to go wrong now.

"Hey Deej, how's it going?"

"Hi Andy, fine. What's wrong?"

"Dammit, DJ, you're so suspicious. Nothing's wrong. Just worried about you, that's all. When you two didn't turn up for Father Pat's service yesterday we abandoned it and headed out to look for you. You looked fucking awful when they brought you back in. How come you're fixed up? Thought the Tok'ra wouldn't heal unblended humans."

Oh crap.

"Shut the door and pull up a chair, Andy. You're right. They will help when they can, but it's not good to do it unless the injuries are life-threatening. I'm going to tell you something secret now, okay? Millie, Mike and Gaz can know if it's necessary, but we need to keep it quiet. Jack and I are hosts."

That stuns him. We haven't told them even though we knew that they would keep the secret.

"To whom?"

"Qabil's with me, Talnet is with Jack."

"We thought they'd died..." his voice trails off.

"They would have, Andy. Look, they've been friends of ours in their own right. They were among the supporters of the alliance. We had to do this. We don't regret it either."

"Does this mean you're going to leave us?"

"No. It's temporary. When we can find a couple that are willing to host them, they'll leave us. I'm kinda dreading that, to tell the truth. Never thought I could do this - especially after Shau're and all, but it's surprising how good it is. We just have different lives to lead so we can't stay together. They have to get out there again. Jack and I have to stay here. You won't say anything, will you?"

"Stupid question DJ. Of course I won't. Won't even tell Millie unless she gets too curious. So, you two are okay then?"

"We've come that close to losing each other before - we'll survive it. We're going to have a holiday soon, a proper one. I'm looking forward to it. Jack and I need to spend some time alone, just hanging, you know?"

"After yesterday I'd have thought you'd want to do anything but hang," he replies with a snort.

He's got a point.

Back home now. We had the private service - it was good too. Pat made it as ecumenical as he could and said prayers for our protection. Nobody disagreed with those, I can say. Then we had the big shindig with all the brass. I preferred the service funnily enough, even though I'm agnostic. It all went well though, so we're glad. Alpha and the SGA are now officially functioning. Functional though...

We're going on holiday in a week, so there's stuff to buy and things to get ready. Just got back from arranging cover for when we're away. Sam's going to take over for Jack in the running of Alpha. Even though she's not as high a rank as some of the military team leaders, she knows Jack and his way of working. None of the colonels there want to run the place anyway - too much paperwork. She's going to be in contact with George constantly. He's technically going to be in charge. Jack will do the same when George gets a vacation. I've got Teal'c running my department. Nobody runs it the way he does. Love that guy - any disputes between the subdepartments get sorted easily when he stands there and looms. It helps that he carries a zat with him when he does it. He's been a godsend to me out there.

I think I'm going to have some fun with Jack tonight. We could do with the relief. We have to be back on Alpha tomorrow so...

Daniel? What are you doing? Why are you looking so menacing? Um, you're locking the doors. And closing the curtains. And taking the phone off the hook? Oh God. You want me to go where? Bedroom. Ah. Okay. I'm going. We're going to...? I'm not doing a damned thing. Ah. Ok-ay. Whatever you want babe. You want to play. I can do that. What's that? An old sheet. Uh huh? Over the bedding. This is going to get messy I take it. Eep.

He's shut the curtains. There's a romantic glow from the lights outside through the curtains. I could get to like this.

"Um, Daniel?"

"Not a word, Conor, you don't say a thing unless I tell you to, okay?" So, that game, eh?

Oh God. "Yes."

"Good. Now, do as I say and I promise you'll have a good time. A wonderful time in fact. You trust me don't you? You may answer."

"I do. Completely."

"That's good. I will not hurt you. I will do nothing that could hurt you even slightly. You know this don't you? You may answer."

"I know that, Nick."

"Then let me do what I want. One word from you and I will stop."

I say nothing. I know that if I call him by his proper name now, he'll stop, it's like a safe word. I'm nervous, but I also know I've never been safer in my life. No matter what he does I'll let him continue. I have to trust him the way he trusted me and let me go. Shi-it. I wasn't expecting this.

"I'm putting your lights out now, Conor. Use your other senses to work out what's going on. Even when I'm silent, I'm going to be right here by your side. I will never leave you. Do you understand that? You may answer."

"Yes. I understand."

He's tied something around my eyes. I'm still standing near the door.

"Strip, Conor, I want to watch you as you strip for me."

Jeez. Given my history I should be shit scared now, but I'm not. I am, however, incredibly turned on. He's going to find that out in a minute. My shirt's off, belt is undone. I've kicked off my shoes and now my pants have hit the deck. He's holding my arm as I step out of them. That constant reassurance means everything to me. He won't even let me stumble. All my clothes are off now and I'm so hard it's incredible. I can hear him undressing too. I have to picture this in my mind. I know he wants me as much as I want him. He's right - using my mind for this is intense. I can see him.

JESUS H CHRIST! How did he do that? Silently across the room and he's on his knees and sucking me hard. Oh God, I want to scream out loud but I'm trying to stay quiet. It's not working. At least he's allowing me to make noises even if I can't speak. I'm not going to last - no way José. He's taken me all the way, holding my hips hard. He's not letting me move. I can't touch him. I want to touch him. Can't stop my hands. Shit - he's stopped.

"Oh, no, Conor, no touching. I'm going to have to teach you a lesson, aren't I?"

W.w.what? He's taking me to the bed. At least I think that's where we're going. It is. Good.

"I'll have to teach you to keep your hands to yourself, won't I?"

Oh crap. He's tying me up. Silk ties. Typical Danny, he's put the end in my hand. No need to tell me. I can pull myself out of this anytime I want to. No matter how menacing he's sounding I know he's only got my welfare in mind. One word and he stops. One tug and I'm free.

OHMYGOD. He's poured something on me and he's licking it off. What is that? Where the fuck is it going? I'm not saying a word. Lots of hnnngs and eeps and oohs though. He's allowing me those - encouraging them even.

"Oh your knees, Conor."

Yeahyeahyeahyeahyeah. I am such a fucking slut. Still, if he wants this old ass of mine...

AARGH. That was COLD! He's laughing - the bastard.

I can feel so much more of what he's doing. I did this to him once before. The first time he was able to persuade me to tie him up. He said it was incredible. He's not wrong. Can't see or touch, can only hear, smell and feel. I have to trust him. I do trust him. That tongue - I think I'm gonna get it insured for a million bucks. That would be a small price if something went wrong with it. Talented doesn't begin to describe it. OH. That tickles.

Whoo-ee. That finger is long. And it knows where it's going. OhGodohGodohGod. Ye-es. Two? Three? Hnngg.

Where's he gone? Hell, he won't let me talk.

FUCKING HELL! I wasn't expecting that! So hard, so fast. Want more. I'm getting it. In spades. This is so good. He can do this anytime he wants. He's not touching me. I wish he would. Want to come. Need to come. Oh God I am coming. And coming. And I'm gonna pass out if I'm not careful.


Yup. I'd say he was happy with that too.

He's untying my hands, pulling me into his arms, the blindfold is off.

"Jack? Jack? Are you all right? Did I hurt you?"

"Fine, Danny, I'm fine. Let me get my breath back, will ya? Jeez Danny, you are so good at that."

"Thank God. I'm sorry, needed to do that, just needed to."

"Hey, I'm not complainin' am I? You'd have stopped the second I said your name, wouldn't you?"

"Of course I would."

"So stop your panicking, would ya? I loved it. I want you to do that again one day."

Love him, his eyes have lit up. "You would? It wasn't too much?"

"I would and it wasn't. What was that stuff you used on me?"

"Chocolate sauce," he replies with a filthy grin.

"I'm gonna be as sticky as hell then, aren't I? C'mon, shower."

"How about a bath? We haven't shared one for a while."

"Sounds good to me."

Four days to holiday time! Yay! A rainforest's worth of paperwork. Boo. Still, it's got to get done. I'm on Alpha and Daniel's on Earth. We've been apart for two days and I'm not sleeping well. You'd think that after all those years of being alone I'd be okay about sleeping on my own. Sheesh. I've gotten so used to having him there that I toss and turn all night.

[Don't I know it.]

(Huh. Well, what do you expect? I spent all that time dreaming of him in my bed. I'm enjoying being used to having him there.)

[I'd noticed. Jack, we need to find new hosts and soon. I don't want to leave you but...)

[I know, Tally, I know. Trouble is, unless we advertise the fact that you're alive we can't find any. Haven't the Tok'ra found a couple yet?]

(They're so busy setting up the new home and searching the galaxy for information that I doubt they're trying. I think we're going to have to find a Tauri couple.)

[Therein lies the problem. We'll find a way, love, I promise.]

(I know, my dear.)

So, what do we do?

Ugh. I'm enjoying doing this translation for SG-25, but I'm missing Jack. Still, if I was back on Alpha I'd get distracted and I know it. I'll be finished soon. I need a coffee and I'm out of it in my office, so it's off to the commissary.

{Oh crap. That loudmouth Johannsen.}

//Is he a problem, Daniel?//

{Nothing I can't handle. He's all talk. I could just do with a quiet coffee that's all. Don't worry about it. If I need to, I can deal with him.}

//Is he likely to get physical? He's a big man.//

{No, he's not likely to, but I'm not afraid of him. Besides, I'm a lot stronger than I look, aren't I?}

//You are indeed my friend.//

Two women - airmen, airwomen, whatever - are looking upset. What has that jerk been saying? I don't know these women. Perhaps they're part of the new intake of military personnel. Since we moved so many people over to Alpha we have the room to increase the fighting side of things. We're hoping that this will end the rise of the small Goa'uld more quickly if we can get more and more teams out there. Fingers crossed. I've got my coffee. Better go and introduce myself. Johannsen's behind the upset, that's for sure. They're doing their best not to say anything. As a sergeant he outranks them. One is nearly in tears.

"Ladies, good morning. May I sit with you please?"

They look a little unsure of me, but I smile, hoping that it comes off as friendly and in no way as too friendly.

"Um, sure, we were just having a coffee," one of them says.

"Me too. Can't manage without it. Are you two okay?"

"Sure." "Fine." Crap.

"Is the loudmouth giving you hassle?" I ask quietly. Oh yes, I'm right. "Don't worry about him, he's a jerk. I'm Daniel, by the way."

"Geraldine Carson," one of them says. "Holly Allen," she nods at her companion.

"What's Johannsen saying to you?"

"He's been making disgusting suggestions," Geraldine replies bitterly. Holly's pretty quiet. She's the one who's most upset. The other one is angry.

"Doesn't surprise me. He's a prick."

They look up at me and grin. Here he comes, over to us.

"Well, Dr. J, are you missing the General?" Ya know, he's not very good at sneering.

"Oh no, I usually hit him when I'm aiming for him. What about you? Read any good comic books lately?"

He's doing the goldfish thing with his mouth. Ah, he's regrouping.

"So, while the General's away, you think you'll play? These two aren't interested in playing though. Just like playing together. Don't like to share."

"I'm not surprised, Johannsen, I wouldn't want to share with you either. Besides, I wouldn't want you if I was alone and had been for ten years. Sheesh. Have you ever thought of plastic surgery? Last time I saw a butt that saggy it was on the back of a rhino."

That gets a giggle from the girls.

Johannsen can't answer that.

"Listen to me, Johannsen, and listen to me good. If the General - either general - hears that you've been making suggestive remarks to anyone at the base, or off it, he'll have your hide. Do yourself a favour. Apologise to the ladies and then go and play with the rest of the primordial ooze that you call your gene pool."

"You don't get to tell me what to do, Doctor," he growls.

I stand up and stare him down.

"Maybe Dr. Jackson doesn't, but Colonel Jackson does. This rank I hold, it's not to be taken lightly, Sergeant. I've got all the clout to go with it. So, if you don't want to spend the next two years scrubbing out toilets in Greenland, I suggest you do as I ordered."

He finally believes me, mutters an apology to the women and leaves.

"Thank you," Holly whispers.

"Hey, it's okay. You two really together or is it his overactive libido ruling his brain?"

"We are, have been for five years. It wasn't easy at first. When the law changed we hoped..."

"I understand, better than you can think. I live with General O'Neill."

Eyes wide open at that.

" do? We'd heard on the grapevine that they changed the law for him. Is that true?"

"Yep. We were found out. We quit and they needed to get him back or else the Asgard would withdraw their friendship. They wanted to make it okay for just the two of us, but we held out. We've got a few gay friends in the services. We wanted it to be okay for them too."

Holly reaches out and squeezes my hand.

"Thank you. That means a lot. We have to put up with a lot of crap, but still, we can live together, be open about it. We don't expect to work on the same team - we have different specialities anyway, but to be able to go out in public..."

"Tell me about it. Jack and I were friends for a long time before we got together. The minute we did get together we had to hide out. It was hard. It's worse for guys in a way. Women get to go out, do stuff together without comment. Two of my closest friends are women - straight women - but inseparable. They could act closer in public than Jack and I could. Do you get a lot of hassle?"

"Depends. Some guys are okay. Others like Johannsen think they can get away with rude remarks. Sometimes the remarks are laughable, other times they're pretty scary. Why they think that we'd even want to have sex with them is beyond me. If we liked guys..." Geraldine says, and gets interrupted with a giggle.

"Speak for yourself, I do. Just prefer you, that's all." Holly continues, "The women are funny. Again, some are fine. Others aren't unfriendly but they keep their distance."

"Afraid of being tarred with the same brush. Guilt by association. I know that one - it's going to take a long while before that attitude dies out, I'm afraid. Because that dumb law was around for so long, it's taking an age for people to get over it. We've had hassle. I still get it. Nobody starts on Jack at least. Hope you haven't been beaten up because of it?"

"No, we haven't, but it's come close on a couple of occasions. To tell the truth we're fed up. We love the service, but we're not sure how much more we can take. But the thought of leaving the SGC, knowing what's going on out there... It's not as if we have family who give a shit what we do."

"You've been disowned?"

"I have. Holly's family were just crap and didn't want to know about the kids anyway. The Air Force is the only family we have."

I have an idea.

"What are your specialities?"

"I'm a tech, and Gerry's communications," Holly replies.

"Do you feel like getting transferred to Alpha? I'm sure we could do with you. The majority of people over there are civilian academics and they're used to having openness in the workplace. And having a gay CO will sort of help, ya know. I don't get any hassle over there and everyone - including the military - would walk barefoot over broken glass for Jack. If you got picked on he'd go nutso."

They take one look at each other, one look at me and agree in unison, dissolving into a fit of giggles as they do. I'm off. I've got a general or two to talk to.

Translation's done and I'm waiting in the gate room for Gerry and Holly. Ah, there they are. The minute I mentioned to George they'd been getting it in the neck he went ballistic and then agreed to my request. We called Jack and he did the same.

"Ladies, are you good to go?"

"Terrified. Never been through the gate before," Holly replies.

"It's okay, don't worry. You'll get very cold the first dozen or so trips but you become immune after a while. All aboard the Wormhole Express..."

They step tentatively up to the event horizon and I push them through. Want to get back there asap.

"You rat!" Gerry howls as I step through. She's laughing though. I like her a lot. She's pretty protective of Holly, I think - the 'Jack' in their relationship. In which case Holly's a lot more dangerous than she looks.

I usher them to the rings, press the button on the bracelet I've got - we've all got them to control the Tok'ra tech - and we emerge in the corridor. Jack's there. They drop their kits and salute him, getting one back and a big smile.

"Welcome to the SGA, ladies. I hope you'll have a happy posting. You're both going to have to report to Colonel Carter and she'll give you your assignments and help you find your way around. You'll need some orientation - to help with the Tok'ra tech here. I understand you've been having trouble. If you get any trouble, go straight to Colonel Carter, Dr. Jackson here or if they're not around, Dr. Frasier or myself. I will not tolerate bullying of any sort. Any questions?"

"Um, no Sir. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to work here, Sir. We won't let you down." That was Gerry, surprise, surprise.

"I know. Dr. Jackson's an excellent judge of character. If you come recommended by him, it's good enough for me. Daniel, will you take them to see Carter?"

"Sure thing, Jack. I'll come and see you as soon as I'm done, okay?"

He smiles, nods and scoots and I escort the girls.

"I can see why you fell for him," Holly says. "He's very sweet."

"He's psycho - if you're an enemy. Don't let that gentle side of him fool you. Even the spec ops guys are shit scared of him."

"Does he scare you?"

"Nah. Never did. But then I wasn't bright enough to know just how dangerous he really is. He's very protective towards women and kids. Don't be offended by this, it's just the way he is. Sam Carter was his second when we were a team. He trusted her to do the job without hesitation. It's not a patronising concern he has, he's just a dad to all his people. A bit like General Hammond."

They nod. Jack's always concerned that he comes over as a male chauvinist, but he really isn't one.

"Daniel! You're back!"

I get a big hug from my sis. She was going loopy after Jack and I were hurt because she was so busy she couldn't come and see me as much as she wanted; i.e. all the time.

"Hey, Sam. Here's Holly and Gerry. They've been assigned to you."

"I heard. Welcome. Come on, let's get you settled. I'll see you in the bar tonight, Daniel," she calls, with a voice that tells me that she won't take no for an answer.

Made it through the day and we're all up in the bar. We've got one on the same principle as the one on Earth, and we have the same demands. Every time we have a reason, we have a party. And every time we have a party, we drink the bar dry. Jack and I are going on holiday in a few days so...

"It's party time!" Jan announces as we head up to the bar.

The barman looks worried and pulls up our favourite drinks. I'm glad that we haven't anywhere for a band just yet - but apparently one of the Tok'ra engineers is working on a crystal that will cut into the rock and make a stage. God help us all.

Round 1. I'm sticking to the JD tonight. As is Jack. It's our bottle. Sam and Janet are on tequila - no, they get very silly when they're like this. Teal'c's on the OJ and Ed's on beer. Import stuff. Hang on, isn't everything imported? No, brain, you're doing it again. I hate you sometimes.

"Same again, Daniel?" Ed calls.

"Absolutely. In fact, no matter what state I'm in, I'm sticking to the same drink, okay? So nobody needs to ask."

"Are you planning on getting drunk, Dan?" Sam sniggers.

"No, but it usually happens. Hey, where's Jack gone? I wan' my general."

"You gonna cry if he doesn't come back soon, honey?" Janet teases.

"No. But I will pout."

"Go on, you told me you could be separated without problems."

"We have been. Two days. That's long enough. Want him back now."

Ah, there he is.

"Daniel was panicking 'cause you'd disappeared, Jack." You wait, wench, I'll get you back.

"I wasn't panicking. Just missing you, that's all."

"Aw, and you say that I'm the sappy one."

"You are. I haven't been hugged in days though."

"C'mere then."

Oh no, I am not sitting on his lap. Not in public. Jack, put me down. That's it you lot, laugh it up. Ah, the door's opened. It's those new girls. They're looking a bit shy.

"Jack, shall I?" I nod over to them.

"Sure. Why not?"

I get back off his lap and go over to them.

"Ladies, glad you came. Can I buy you a drink?"

"Um, thanks," Holly replies. "White wine for me please."

"Yeah, thanks, same for me please," Gerry adds.

I get them the drinks and invite them to join us, introducing them to the ones they haven't met yet.

"So," Sam says after a good few drinks. "Where are you boys going on holiday? You haven't said yet."

"Not telling," Jack replies with a smug grin. "We'll send you a postcard."

I crack up.

"Oh yeah, can see the address on that.

Sam Carter,
Head of Physics,
Alpha Site,
Planet Alpha,
Other side of the Galaxy,
Via the wormhole,
Care of the SGC,
Cheyenne Mountain.

Oops, we'll have to shoot the postman."

Holly and Gerry are watching us closely as time goes on and we drink more. Jack and I are flirting with each other like mad, not holding back either. I think they're in shock.

"They're always like this," Janet tells them. "The minute they were allowed to be together, we all suffered the consequences."

"Tough," Jack says, staring into my eyes.

"What he said," I add.

Jack yawns. "Oh, I'm tired," he says, not meaning a damned word.

"Me too. Early night?"

"Good idea. Lots to do tomorrow."

The others groan and laugh. Sam pipes up, "Yeah right. Night boys. Get some sleep too, why don't you?"


I'm fucked. Well I was. And licked and slurped and nibbled and bitten and kissed and stroked. And fucked again. Oh boy. Two days away from me turns Daniel into a raging sex monster. I think we should have more days away from each other.


We're going tomorrow. Early morning flight to Cincinnati, then to Paris overnight and on to Cairo in the morning. We should be there in the afternoon. Probably exhausted. This is costing a fortune. But what the hell.

Daniel and I once discussed how well-off we actually are - as a result of me being teased for being tight. Which I'm not. I'm just careful. But I do splash out occasionally.

Anyway, he said we were rich. I said we were very comfortable. Then he pointed out that we have a house, two cars, a cabin and pond (we bought all the surrounding land too), an aeroplane, no dependants, have everything we want and more. We may not have as much money as Bill Gates, but we don't need any more than we have. Truth be told we don't need what we get. We could live as comfortably as we do on my pension alone. So, we're rich. And as we're rich, we're going in style this time. First-class all the freaking way. This holiday is costing me more than the Maui bash and probably more than the Albatross cost Danny. And I. Don't. Care. We're going to have fun. Though I doubt Danny'll appreciate the flight. Q will take over for him all the way. Still, we have a lovely hotel to look forward to in Cairo and then the honeymoon suite on the most luxurious liner to cruise the Nile.

Everything's packed. We're mainly taking new clothes with us. Danny's packed a couple of his best suits. I've packed a suit, God help me. He found a dark-grey one which looks pretty smart and insisted on getting it for me. I've spent so long in uniform that I haven't ever owned a suit. It's true. Never needed one. On special occasions I wear my Class A stuff. Funerals, weddings, christenings, the lot. When we go out I have a nice pair of black pants and a black jacket that looks good with it. But he's warning me that I'll need to dress up in civvies, hence the suit. I can do this I guess.

"Bed!" he orders.

"Is that an invitation?"

"It could be, flyboy. If you get a move on."

He doesn't see me for dust.

"My turn to play tonight, Daniel," I tell him as he slips into bed next to me. We haven't bothered with clothes. It's not worth the effort. They'd come straight off anyway. "Lie back and enjoy it."

"I'm lying, I'm lying," he moans as I start.

A kiss here, a lick there, and I'm only on his throat. I get amazed by the reaction that I get from him. It stuns me that we're still like this. Not quite as bad as we once were. We can go a night or three without making out now, but when we do - woo hoo! I shouldn't be this horny at my age. He shouldn't be this horny at his. He'll be forty in a couple of days. I was about this age when we met. I saw how cute he was - how could I miss that? Looking so innocent behind those glasses of his. That lovely long hair. Ooh momma. Just thinking of it is turning me on. I often wonder how come I didn't fall for him then. It took me a while, but then I was still only thinking of Charlie, so it's understandable. But now? Now I can't look at him without starting to want to get him into my bed.

And I've got him. And I am the luckiest rat bastard anywhere in the universe.

God, just watching and listening as he writhes underneath my touch. I defy anyone to resist this. He's so sensual. Taught me a hell of a lot too. I wasn't innocent or inexperienced when I met him. I'd had two long-term male lovers and a couple of boyfriends as a youth; I knew what I thought was the whole gamut of things to do in bed. How wrong could I get? I never knew that licking him gently inside his wrist - like this - could have him groaning with pleasure, eyes screwed shut as he tries to control himself.

I never knew that nipples could be so much fun for a guy either. When I do this to them - yeah, that - his back arches off the bed. I used to hate body piercings till I met up with his navel stud. A lick and he gasps, his hands grabbing me as his dick pokes me in my chest, twitching and aching to get off.

I never knew that nibbling the inside of his thighs would have him thrashing around, crying out, begging me to get him off.

And I never knew just how much I needed to hear all of this either. Or how much I could ever need a single person in my life.

You want to get off do you? Okay, babe, I'll let you. In a minute. Haven't licked this bit yet. That's it, legs up, there's a good boy and... oh yeah, love that reaction.

"Jack O'Neill if you don't get me off I'm gonna hurt you - now dammit."

Never knew just how damned demanding he could be either. Or how much I'd enjoy sucking him off. I mean, it used to be that I loved to get it. Really and truly loved to. And I loved Rick and I loved Josh - genuinely. It was great seeing them when I sucked them too. But I never got such a kick out of it. I did it - they'd do it back. That was the way it worked. Not for us. We never expect anything from each other. I've done this for him and he's fallen asleep on me and I've got nothing. And I don't mind a bit. Strange, but true. Daniel taught me that giving is as wonderful as getting and getting him off is enough. Still, never turn him down when he does the same for me. Well, he gets so much out of it, doesn't he? It would be wrong of me to stop him. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Come on, babe, you can let go now. Love the feel of your hot skin on my tongue, love to run my tongue up and down, sticking the tip in the eye and tasting you. I love to do what you like the best, slipping my fingers inside and stroking you. Where's that hot spot?


There, I think. Got it, got him. He's a'comin'. Whoo boy, is he ever?


Yeah. I know. Like I said. I'm the luckiest rat bastard in the universe. Daniel loves me.

"Oh God, Jack, that was amazing. C'mere, babe, you deserve a reward for that. Tell me," he murmurs in my ear, his hands gently stroking my sides, "what would you like? You can have anything you want because if you want it," oh God, my earlobes have never been so nibbled, "I want it."

Well, seeing as he's offering...

We made it. Three fucking planes, doped up to my eyeballs even though I let Qabil take over. Still, made it and made it without freaking once. I should get a medal. I wish I wasn't so afraid of flying. I can't understand it. I have flown - many times and countless thousands of miles - and apart from the odd dodgy landing and that one parachute jump, I've always got down reasonably calmly. I have to do something about this.

Still, for now, I'm in a beautiful hotel room overlooking the city of my birth. Home at last. It's my birthday. And this is the best birthday present I have ever got. I opened all my other prezzies back on Alpha before we left. The guys came to our quarters on our last evening there and then we went to the bar and we partied. And partied. And I had to jump a wormhole with a hangover. Even Qabil was hung over. Some sort of record that.

It's mid-afternoon, but I could do with a nap. Jack's in the shower, washing away the trip so to speak. I've already had one. Jack was giggling as I chatted to the bell hop that helped us with our bags. The young man was stunned that I spoke his language. He wanted to tell me about the city, till I told him I was a native of it. That thrilled him no end and he started to treat me even more warmly if that was possible. I love this place. The people, the sights, the sounds... it says 'home' to me in a way that Jack does. There's an element of peace among the chaos of the city for me whenever I come back.

"Hey Danny, what are you looking at."


"Yeah, I understand. You happy?"

I turn to look at him, my general with his towel wrapped around his hips, and smile.

"Happy? That doesn't even begin to describe it. Thank you Jack, thank you for everything. This is wonderful. Ack, wonderful doesn't even come close. I love you."

"Love you too, you're the best thing that's happened to me since Charlie was born, Daniel. Nothing and no one has ever come close."

"You getting sappy on me, O'Neill?"

"You got a problem with that, Jackson?"

"None whatsoever. C'mere, babe, and I'll show you just how little a problem I have with it."

He comes up to me and stands in front of me. I drop my towel and he takes a long hard look at me. His towel is moving - I think I'm gonna get another present in a minute.

My hand snakes out (it's got a mind of its own, I think) and I remove his towel. Oh yeah, he's got a gift waiting for me, that's for sure. I'm hungry. So...

"Oh my GOD Daniel."

I have no idea why I ever came to like doing this so much, but I do. I pull back and then swallow him again. I get a real kick out of going down on my knees and just swallowing him. That's it, Jack, you're getting the idea. Move those gorgeous hips of yours. His hands are on my head, holding tight to keep him in his rhythm. Back and forth as I keep taking him all, sucking hard, pressing his cock against the roof of my mouth. His groans are getting louder, he's getting closer and closer till... finally, he's coming and coming hard. I take him all, swallowing quickly and then try to catch him as he falls into my arms.

"Danny, Danny, wow."

"Bed," I tell him.

"Huh? I have to move now? Help me?"

I get up and pull him up, hauling him to the bed and we collapse on it together.

"Give me a bit and I'll help you out with that," he says grabbing my dick.

"Oh, I've got an idea what I want to do with that," I tell him.

"Whatever, Daniel, it's your birthday after all."

Well, if he's letting me...

I turn him over and push his legs apart. Grab my bag and the baby oil I put in it. Figured that would be less embarrassing than Astroglide if my hand luggage got checked out. The advantage of baby oil is that I can use it to massage him too. I love it when he moans and groans under my touch, calls out when my fingers breech him, sticks his ass up and begs me to fucking get on with it when I hit the sweet spot. I'm getting on, baby, I'm getting on.

"You getting sappy on me, Jackson? Baby?"

"Ah, shadup. It's my birthday, I can say what I want. And I'm telling you that you've still got the sweetest ass I've ever seen, O'Neill. Want to bury myself in it every time I see it. Love you so fucking much, you know? Never loved anyone the way I love you. Never. Not gonna leave you Jack, not till the day I die. Promise, babe, oh GOD, you are SO good. Feels so right. Want this so much. You're so hot, so tight, so fucking good! I can't last, ooh, I can't, I'm gonna come so hard in a minute, gonna fill you with me, Jack. You're mine, you hear? Mine!"

I need a nap. Think I said that before. But I really need a nap now. He's pulling me into his arms. I'm in the safest place in the universe now. I can sleep.

Would you believe it? I have to fucking fly again. Still, it's only out to Aswan. I can deal with this. I can. Honestly.

//Daniel. The last time I flew over this desert I was in Ra's ship.//

{Has it changed much?}

//Apart from the odd car that I see down there, no, not really. Just as well we're flying fairly low, I guess.//

{Well, this is a small 'local' flight. Can't get up there and compete with the jets for airspace. Do you know, I feel less afraid in this than I do in the big planes?}

//I'd noticed. But why are you so afraid of Jack's plane then?//

{I don't know. I wish I did. It shouldn't be much longer. Can't wait to get down there. We're going to board and then relax for the rest of the day. Tomorrow, we become tourists!}

//Have you ever been a tourist in Egypt?//

{No, never. It'll be fun. Apparently the cruise ship has a resident Egyptologist on board.}

//Should be fun...//

{No. I'm going to behave, Q, and so are you. I've had enough academic controversy to last me a lifetime.}

//I won't say a word. I promise.//

{I believe you. However, I think we can have some fun at Jack's expense.}


{Watch and learn, Qabil. Watch and learn.}

"Danny? What's up?"


"Come on, I know you remember, you're up to something."

"No. Just reading about the cruise, that's all."

"Uh huh? And what's so interesting?"



"Honestly. Look. Tomorrow we can either relax in Aswan or we can go to the Temple of Ramesses II at Abu Simbel. The ship even provides its own Egyptologist as a guide. You can ask any questions you want, Jack. Just think. Maybe you'll learn something."

"Daniel, don't you dare. Please hun, don't you dare even think about it."

"About what?"

"You know exactly what I mean."

"No I don't, enlighten me, please."

"Don't you dare go fucking with that poor guy's mind. He's only doing his job."

"I know, Jack, I wouldn't do something like that."

//You are good, Daniel. That look on his face. Wow. I've never seen him look more worried.//

{I know. I won't have to fuck with a tour guide's mind to get my kicks. Not when I've got me a general's instead.}

I'm seriously worried now. Daniel's gotten that look on his face. The one that say he's up to something. Anyway, I'll worry about that later. We've landed, and we're heading for the ship. Daniel's chatting to the cab driver and I have no idea what he's saying. Still, he seems happy. We're going to embark and spend the rest of the day on board, I think. We're nine hours ahead of what our bodies think and our sleep patterns are screwed. It's afternoon here, early morning back home.

The ship is okay - I'm not a guy for the water. If I had been I'd have joined the freaking Navy. Daniel's okay about it though, prefers it to flying. And the suite is to die for. We have a large bed, a freaking jacuzzi, a balcony, a living room. Everything we could want.

The steward didn't blink about us. Daniel told me we'll have to be discreet on land. This is a Muslim country and we don't want to offend people's sensibilities. That would be wrong. But we should be pretty safe on the boat. This is a country of contradictions in one way - the Arab culture, the more traditional side, has no problems with two guys being together. But the religion forbids it. It can't be easy on them. A secular government helps, I guess.

"You like?" I ask him.

"I love," he corrects. We stand looking out from the balcony. Daniel points out some stuff to me on land. My very own tour guide.

Bed for a nap, dinner this evening, a long sleep and we should be up for a tour in the morning.

Day 2 - the Temple of Ramesses II at Abu Simbel. It was this or lounging in Aswan. I wouldn't do that to Daniel. So, we're at Abu Simbel. The rest of the party have gone off with the resident tour guide. I'm attached to my own. He's giving me a personal guided tour.

"They moved this, you know," he says as he looks up at the spectacular statues. "Back in the sixties. The whole thing used to be about sixty metres further down but the dam would have covered them, so they moved this and Nefertari's temple up here. They're exactly as they were. A horrendous job, but they did it. Nefertari's temple is dedicated to 'her'."


He looks at me and shudders. Ah. Hathor. She who isn't named unless we have to. I put my hand out to him and squeeze his arm. Guess we won't be visiting that temple then.

[Jack? Why is Hathor so bad for Daniel? I know why even the thought of her sickens you, but...]

(Ah, I guess that Daniel won't mind you knowing. She raped him. Drugged him up and forced him to 'father' Goa'uld.)

[Poor thing. How did he cope?]

(Same way he always does. He's a hard man, Tally. He still hates her though. But somehow I think he hates her as much for trying to turn me into a snake as he does for the rape.)

[She used nishta on him, didn't she?]

(Oh yes, first time he'd been exposed to it.)

[Ah. Does he remember it?]

(In technicolour. I've been there for the nightmares. He's never said what happened but the thoughts and words that come out of him when he's screaming about her... it's terrifying. He was devastated. More by the thought that he could hurt others if the larvae got into anyone. She turned me into a Jaffa. I was very nearly the first recipient. If we hadn't had the sarcophagus I dread to think what would have happened.)

"Jack, see this," he's pointing to a carving below the statue.

"Yes, what is it?"

"That's the god Hapy."


"H-A-P-Y, Jack. Hapy. It's an androgynous god - male and female. This here, the stem of the lotus that it holds in one hand, that represents Upper Egypt, the left hand holds the papyrus, the symbol for Lower Egypt. Hapy represents unity. It's the personification of the Nile flood too, which brings fertility to the delta."

"I wonder if there's a you know what with its name?" I daren't say the word. Daniel retreats into his head. I guess he's talking to Qabil.

"Not as far as we know," he says carefully.

"Then this can symbolise us, Daniel. Somehow I think it's appropriate."

He smiles at me and agrees. Hapy it is. Our 'house god'. Daniel told me once that in some religions people have house gods, ones they favour from the pantheon of polytheistic belief systems. What? I do listen.

What a day. This afternoon, after lunch, we went on a felucca to see the botanical gardens and the Aga Khan's Mausoleum. This is perfect. Or it would be if it wasn't so damned hot for me. But I'm coping. Just. Daniel's in his element.

Dinner in the dining room tonight, so on with the cotton suit he bought for him, and the decent casual stuff for me. Shirt, cotton pants, jacket. Yeah, that should do. And wow - he's looking gorgeous in his. A pale sandy-brown, lightweight pants, white shirt and the suit jacket. He reminds me of one of those rich tourists from the thirties. Add a pith helmet and you're there.

"You look dangerous, Daniel, I don't think I should let you out looking like that. I'll be beating everyone off."

"Stick with me then, and keep me safe," he murmurs into my neck. Oh God.

"Come on, let's eat and then we'll come back for an early night. What do you think?"

"You have such wonderful ideas, Jack."

"That's why they pay me the big bucks, Danny Boy. Mush. We need to eat. Got to keep up our strength."

The dining room is classy. Wooden floors, a spiral staircase down the side. The tablecloths are bright-white linen, the china and cutlery very tasteful. I could get used to this first-class lifestyle.

The waiter comes and hands us a menu. Daniel quickly rattles off his order in Arabic, making the waiter smile.

"Jack, do you want me to choose for you? I'll pick something you'll like, I promise."

"How about that really nice thing that Nibal does, Danny, do they have that?"

I'm talking about this cool rice dish with mint and stuff in it. Lightly-spiced lamb, chick peas - I like that a lot. Daniel says something, the waiter smiles and replies and scoots.

"This is like a dream, Jack. I can't believe that we're actually doing this. No fighting, no meetings, no damned paperwork... it's wonderful. Thank you so much, babe."

"It's my pleasure Danny. I haven't seen you look so relaxed in a long time. We both needed this. Every so often we should splash out I think. As you said, we have the means to do this, we should make the most of it. What are we saving for anyway? Want a walk on the deck after dinner?"

"I do. And then that early night you promised me."

I'm thinking this is getting better and better.

Dinner was great. The food was perfect, the wine delicious, the company the best anywhere. We're strolling along the upper deck now, near to our cabin.

"Look, Jack," Daniel's pointing out something on the bank. I'm looking, but at him. The wind is pushing his hair back off his face, his hands are on the rails and he's staring out towards the desert. Truly beautiful. But still, I have to follow his gaze. There are fires, camp fires I guess.

"Remind you of anything?" I ask him.

"Oh yes, a lot. Such a peaceful time in my life. The people were so grateful for freedom, Jack, so grateful. That year I spent there, there was no fighting, no crime. Everyone was so happy. We partied at every excuse. Kasuf told me that the people had never laughed so much. If ever I wonder what we're doing it all for, I just remember then. They deserved freedom - of all the people we've met, they deserved it. They made the most of it, appreciated it."

I pull him into a hug. I can't answer that.

"So, Daniel, that temple we went to today," Jack says as he stretches out on the sun lounger on our balcony. "It was dedicated to Isis, but there were so many other goddesses mentioned, I got confused. What's the story?"

"You really want to know? Or are you just buttering me up?" I tease, laying on my lounger next to him.

"I want to know," he laughs, slapping me gently and pretending to be hurt.

"Okay. Basically, Isis became the embodiment of the different goddesses. 'Her', Mut, the others I told you about. Isis is like two distinct goddesses. The wife of Osiris, and in this context, the single name given to the collection of the others. Each individual goddess became a part of her, a different aspect of her personality. It's probably because of the Greek influence. Most of the Temple on Philae was built by the Ptolemaic pharaohs. They were still worshipping their own gods, but they embraced the Egyptian ones as well. It's one of the reasons that it's important in our job to study when and how the influence of the various gods changed. It helps us understand the history involved and the importance of each character. What did you think of the Temple?"

"It was impressive. I think I preferred the Ramesses one for sheer scale, but it was pretty incredible in its own right. So many different areas. I'm impressed that so much is still standing too."

I think Jack did have a really good time today. I did, that's for sure. I'd seen the Temple before, of course, but always with an archaeologist's eye. Today I looked at it as a tourist, just drawing on my knowledge, and Qabil's, to explain things to Jack as and when he asked about them.

We're resting now. Dinner soon and then maybe to the bar for a drink. Tomorrow we're 'doing' Edfu, but the day after is what I'm most looking forward to. The Valleys of the Kings and Queens. I've spent many happy hours there.

"We should get ready for dinner, Daniel. We've been invited to sit with the Captain tonight. Can't be late."

He's right. It's suit time. I've brought my lightweight dark-blue suit that I took to Maui. It's perfect for the warm evenings here. And Jack loves me in it. I intend spending the night seducing him. It's fun watching him get wound up.

"Wow, Jack, you look stunning. That suit is perfect on you. C'mere."

He's wearing that grey suit I bought him and he looks drop-dead gorgeous. A pale-blue tie sets it off just right. Hmm, he's in my arms, gentle kisses and hugs. Can't go to dinner looking mussed up.

"Time to go, Danny," his voice cracks.

"I suppose so," I sigh back. Pity.

We are introduced as we take our seats around the Captain's table.

"General?" the Captain asks Jack. "Are you Army?"

"Air Force," Jack winces.


"Oh yes," he says with a grin.

"Never felt inclined to go to sea then?" the Captain teases.

"Nope, that's what sailors are for," Jack snorts. I kick him under the table.

"The nearest he usually gets to water is when he's fishing at the side of the pond," I put in, getting a kick back.

The Captain smiles. A couple of women, I assume they are single, are looking our way. Oh dear. Still, this could be fun.

"And Doctor," he looks at me. "I daren't get it wrong this time. What are you a doctor of?"

"Archaeology," I reply.

"And one in linguistics," Jack adds.

"Impressive," one of the ladies says. "What branch of history do you study?"

"Actually, I study archaeo-linguistics, but I'm an Egyptologist by training."

"Bit of a busman's holiday for you then," the other woman twitters. She's about thirty-five, I guess. Okay-looking if you like that sort of thing.

"It's a special treat for me. I haven't ever had the chance to holiday over here. I've always been working."

More general chit-chat as dinner is served. Only the best for the Captain's table. Served with the appropriate drinks. A crisp Chablis with the starter, a full-bodied Burgundy with dinner, champagne with dessert. I could get to like this. I'm relying on Qabil to keep me sober. And patch up my liver.

//That's a constant job for me, Daniel. Just how much can you drink?//

{More than this, that's for sure. Are you enjoying yourself?}

//Yes, thank you Daniel. After millennia of fighting the Goa'uld this holiday is doing me good. Tally too. I think that being with you two is good for us.//

{You've certainly been good for us, that's for sure.}

"Which part of the trip are you looking forward to most, Dr. Jackson?" asks woman one, who I have now discovered is called Oriana Pipes believe it or not. Her companion is Charmaine Van Zant. Not sure which one came off best.

"The Valley of the Kings," I reply. "Old stomping ground for me. It'll be fun seeing it as a tourist."

"Perhaps we'll see bits that you yourself dug?" she asks.

"Unlikely. Most of my digs were on the far side, too far to travel in the short space of time we'll get. Not to mention that not all digs are open to the public. You may see some that my parents worked on though."

Jack's silently taking all of this on board. We were pretty much resigned to me being questioned the minute my training got out. He's grinning at me from across the table. I keep looking over at him and doing things like licking my bottom lip and biting it. I know what that does to him. The old look at him through my eyelashes trick is working too. He has to cover up a gasp when I slip off my shoe and plant my toes on his groin.

"Your parents? They were Egyptologists too?" the Captain asks.

"Yes, I'm actually Egyptian by birth. Cairo. I spent most of my young childhood crawling through tombs and scaring everyone to death when I disappeared." I'm having to act as innocent as I can.

"You haven't changed a bit then, have you?" Jack smirks.

"Doctor?" Miss Pipes asks.

"Oh, it's an old joke. Long and boring story, I'm afraid." Well, it's not, but I hate mentioning that what I do is a secret.

"Oh? So you're old friends?" Ms Van Zant puts in hopefully.

"You could say that," Jack replies with a laugh.

We got through dinner without any more questioning after some judicious subject changing. Jack kept asking the women questions about themselves though. I managed to extract him somehow and we headed to the bar. So now we're sitting at it and sipping brandy before we head off to our suite.

"Heads up," Jack growls. "Incoming."

Oh crap. Pinky and Perky.

"Doctor, General, good to see you in here. Dinner was wonderful, was it not?" Oriana pipes up.

"Yes, it was. Could we get you a drink, ladies?" Jack asks, ignoring the kick on his shins. They accept and he gets them some wine.

Damn it, they're flirting with us. Jack's flirting back, the bastard. He doesn't want to... does he? Oh God, no! Haven't been with a woman in years. Pretty much forgotten the MO. No. Can't even think that way. They don't do a damned thing for me anymore. Can't even say I'm bi these days. There was a time I'd have been interested in a bit of extracurricular fun, but not anymore.

Oh no, Charmaine is asking if we want to go dancing.

"Um, no thanks," I say, "I don't dance. We were rather hoping to have an early night, weren't we, babe?"

Their eyes open wide as we slide off the bar stools and I take Jack's hand. We wish them goodnight and I virtually haul him out of the room.

"You were flirting."

"I wasn't," he complains.

"You were, O'Neill, you were fucking flirting. That Pipes woman was all over you like a fucking rash."

"Green-eyed monster," he accuses.

I just look at him. He has the decency to look slightly abashed at that, but not much. The man has no shame whatsoever.

Right then. We're at the suite and I push him through the door and slam him up against it.

"You were fucking flirting, O'Neill. I had planned on spending the rest of the evening seducing you, but I don't think I'll do that now."

"Oh, c'mon Danny, I was only joking. You didn't think I'd... um, you know, did you?"

"You certainly gave that impression."

I'm trying for hurt here. I'm afraid it may be coming off as haughty. Whatever. Don't care. If he wants anything, he's going to have to work for it now.

"You know I'd never leave you for anyone," he's insisting.

"I wasn't thinking that you'd leave me for them, Jack. I'm not that insecure. But I had visions of you inviting them back."

"Not to... you don't mean to... I wouldn't Daniel." He looks horrified at the thought.

"You looked like you were going to."

"No, honestly. Women don't do a thing for me anymore. I'm sorry if it looked like that. I was only trying to get my own back for your attack on my scrotum with your feet. Not to mention the flirting through dinner, Daniel." Ah, going for the best form of defence, eh Jack?

"That was supposed to be a prelude for tonight, that's all, to get you interested. At least I wasn't leading two women on."

"Sorry Danny. This is going to cost me, isn't it?" He looks resigned.

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"Yeah, right. What do you want from me?" Now he looks put out.

"Nothing. I have what I want, Jack, you know that."

"Feel like a dip in the jacuzzi? I'll give your back a rub." Now hopeful.

"Will you fuck me in it?"

"Oh God, yes, anything Danny, anything you want." Heh, heh, heh. Got him where I want him. This is what I wanted all along.

"Go and put the water in it then. I'll get undressed."

Why do I get the feeling that I have been well and truly had? I learned the hard way, years ago, never to get in a battle of wits with Daniel. It's not worth it. Nobody ever defeats him. So how come I just feel like I lost one? Never mind. The water's in the jacuzzi and I'm heading into the bedroom to get undressed. As he heads out. Naked. Nnngg.

"Hurry up," he orders. "You have a rap sheet to work off."

This could be fun.

Suit's off and hung up and I'm heading to the bathroom. This is one big hot tub. And I've got one hot babe already in it. I wonder if he's done what he did on Maui and prepared himself already? Guess I'll find out in a minute.

"There's wine in the fridge in the other room, Jack. How about we have some?"

I head back in there and discover that there is also a plate with chocolates on it. He didn't plan this did he? The smirk on his face that he's trying to cover up when I bring them in says he did. He's such a devious bastard.

"So, Daniel, you didn't have this in mind earlier?" I ask him.

"I told you. I was going to spend the night on a slow burn, Jack. Gently seducing you until you couldn't take any more. But I'm not so inclined to do that now. However, if you want to try it?" Like I said. Devious bastard.

"Ok-ay, I think I could manage that."

I hold the glass of wine to his lips and he sips it, looking at me over the rim. His beautiful blue eyes are twinkling with a much better humour than he's pretending to have. I now have two options. I can get pissy because he's playing me, or I can go with the flow and get laid - though that means he'll think he's won. Well, he would have, but I do know what's going on and I'll be playing along, so it's a sort of Pyrrhic victory. What the fuck, I'll get laid. It's worth it.

"Chocolate Daniel?" I ask after sipping some of the wine myself.

"If I were chocolate I'd melt in this hot water, Jack," he teases.

I don't have to say anything in reply to that, he's seen my 'Daniel' look and his laughing eyes are acknowledging that.

I feed him a chocolate anyway, holding on to it as he runs his tongue over the sweet and my fingers. The chocolate has melted by the time I bring my fingers out of his mouth. He lets out a low moan when I put them in my mouth to lick them clean.

We are beyond arguing now and back into the sensual. He returns the favour, holding a sweet in my mouth and licking his own fingers clean. Message received and understood. We are both getting some tonight.

Chocolate flavoured kisses are followed by more wine and sweets, more touches and licks.

Added extras are forgotten now as we hold each other tightly. He twists me till I'm sitting on the seat that's on the edge, his hand stroking my dick firmly. He doesn't take his eyes from mine as he moves closer. I can't breathe.

(Tally, take over my breathing for me, please.)

[That's autonomic.]

(Not when I'm with Daniel.)

[I see your point.]

He's on his knees. No words have been spoken - no sounds uttered. He's straddling my thighs. His dick is poking me in the stomach and OHMYGOD. Sorry, but that always does that to me. He's skewered himself on my cock.

"Oh God, Jack, love to feel you inside of me. So good, Jack, so fucking good. Touch me, Jack, babe, please, touch me."

My left hand is holding him close and my right hand snakes in-between us. He lets out a hiss when I stroke him gently. Then he lifts himself up and slams back down. Shi-it. That's so good. More movement like that. I'm so caught up in him. Nothing else exists in the entire universe now - it's just him and me. If this boat sinks now we're going down with it.

"OhGodbabeloveyousomuch," his words come in a tumble as he falls for me.

"Danny, oh my Danny. Love you," I howl as I fall with him.

We hold each other close. No words are necessary now.

We're lying in bed, sitting up against the headboard. Got some sweats on for some reason. We're also finishing the wine and we're both a bit drunk. Make that a lot drunk.

"D'ya know," he says. "I'm gay."

*snort* "Never!" *howl*

"No, you miss what I mean," he taps me with a really limp smack. How clichéd is that?

"So, wha'd'ya mean Danny?"

"I'm really gay. Don't feel attracted to women at all. It's sort of sad, don'tcha think?"

"Why? You weren't gonna leave me for some chick were you?"

"No, 'course not. Just liked lookin'. Didn't ya?"

"Sure. 'Spose. Wasn't as interested in the women as you were to start with. You were a sort of three on the scale, weren't you?"

"Nah. Four I guess. Always preferred guys. Liked women okay, but loved the guys. You a five then?"

"Guess so. One serious woman for me. Never took the others seriously. Hell, all the girls before Sara were to cover for what Josh and I were up to. So, you put out about this?"

"Sort of. I mean, wouldn't ever consider going off with one. But I really liked to look - ya know, and play with the girls. Liked flirting with Sam and Jan and Svetlana."

"You've got a thing for her."

"She's a sexy woman. Don't want to flirt anymore though. Sad now I guess."

"Don't be sad. You got me!"

"I know. That makes me happy. Just I used to like tits, too. You haven't got any."

There's really no answer to that.

Day five. It's early and there's a knock on the door. Danny's still asleep. The steward is there and comes when I open the door. He doesn't give a shit about us. Walked in on us kissing yesterday and didn't blink.

"Coffee, Sir," he says. "Dr. Jackson requested, and I quote 'lots of coffee - very strong'."

"Yup, that sounds like him. Thanks," I tell him as I take the tray.

He goes and I take my life in my hands and go to wake Daniel. We had a busy day yesterday at Edfu and Luxor. But it's the day he's been looking forward to today.

No. I am NOT riding a camel. No fucking way. Mean things. They kick and spit and fart. Sort of like Daniel at times.

"Come on Jack. I want to show you something. We don't have time to make it on foot. It's too damned hot to walk there anyway. You've ridden a camel before, haven't you?"

"Yes, I have. And I hated every second of it."

"How many times have I flown for you?" he asks quietly.

Fuck. He's doing it again. Emotional blackmail, that's what this is. I'm not giving in. I'm not. I'm a special ops-trained general in the Air Force. I've been in battle, under fire, captured, tortured. I can withstand Daniel's blue eye treatment.

Fucking camel. It hasn't stopped farting all the time I've been on it.

"Daniel, are we going to get there soon? If not you're not going to be having any nookie for weeks, my ass will be too damned sore."

Daniel sniggers, says something to the guy whose camels they are and who's come with us, points and gets a nod.

We FINALLY come to a halt.

"Daniel, if you don't stop laughing at me I'm going to hurt you. Stupid fucking camel. Couldn't just kneel down like the others could it? Oh no. Not my camel. Has to tip me off, doesn't it?"

"Are you okay?" Daniel asks in-between gasps for breath. Even the camel guy is laughing his ass off. Shi-it, I want my ass off. It hurts.

"I'll live," I growl back.

"Good, c'mon, I want to show you something."

We leave the guy with the camels and head off up a trail. There's the sound of scraping and digging.

"See that? It's a new tomb," he says. "Only discovered recently. They haven't gone very far in yet, but so far it seems to be undisturbed. They're hoping that there'll be a mummy in there - something they can date. Given the structure of it, this would appear to be among one of the oldest tombs."

"They expecting treasure?"

"That's not what they're digging for, Jack."

"I know, believe me I know. Living with an archaeologist has taught me a thing or two, you know."

"Hmm, living with a pilot hasn't done much for my nerves while flying though."

Daniel comes to an abrupt halt, visibly shaken by something. Then he shakes his head and snaps out of whatever it was that bothered him.

"Daniel? What's wrong?"

"Nothing. Flashback, that's all. A guy over there, looks like someone I once knew."

"Could it be him?"

"No. He's dead."

"Let's hope it's not him then. Ow!" He backhanded me for that one.

His face tells me he's working something out. We head down the trail and up to the guy.

"Omar?" he calls out.

The guy looks up, shades his eyes with his hand and stares at Daniel. There's something familiar about him, but I can't place him just yet. It takes the guy a minute but soon his face breaks out into a smile.

"DANIEL! What are you doing here?"

He jumps out of the pit and hugs the crap out of Daniel - and Daniel doesn't shrink back.

"Omar, it's good to see you again. I'm on vacation - first one in ages. I'm being treated to a trip up the Nile. I'd heard about this find, wanted to see it with my own eyes. I didn't know you'd be here. This makes it even better."

Daniel looks at me and grins. "Omar el Haroun, this is Jack O'Neill. Omar was Faisal's baby brother. We haven't seen each other in twenty years," he sighs.

"Jack," Omar greets me as I shake his hand. "Welcome to our dig. Are you an archaeologist?"

"Nope, pilot," I tell him.

"General in the Air Force," Daniel adds with a smile.

"You and a pilot?" Omar laughs. "Never! You hate flying."

"Tell me about it," I reply before Daniel can say anything. "I hate dirt. We get on well."

I like this Omar. He's a nice guy. I'd say he was in his mid thirties. I know Faisal was a lot older than Daniel, so he really is his baby brother. And now I can see him up close, I realise he looks like Faisal did in Daniel's picture, so I can see why Daniel was so taken with him. He's gorgeous.

Daniel takes my hand as Omar leads us to see something. I'm sure it's all very interesting. It is to Daniel anyway. He's going nutso about some bits of pottery.

"Look, Jack, this is really old. Way before the other tombs in the area. They've found something here, something special."

I give him a hug as he sighs. He really misses this - the discovery and all.

"Hey, when we get back and the base is running itself, perhaps you can go out with one of your teams? You haven't been on a dig in ages, have you?"

"Not since..."

He doesn't have to say. Not since I went through the gate without him and lost my memory. He won't go now.

"I'll stay at the base. I have to now. It'll be okay, Danny, I promise."

"It's fine, Jack, honestly. I couldn't settle to a dig without you there. Come on, we have to go. We need to get back to the river."

He exchanges email addresses with Omar, insisting that the younger man keep him apprised of whatever he finds. He says he can't pick his messages up every day, but as soon as he gets the news, he'll be in touch. They embrace and we head back to find the camels.

Daniel hardly spoke on the way back to the boat. He's staring out of the cabin balcony, looking over at the place we came from. We heard all the other guests talking about the various tombs that they saw as we boarded. Some were excited. Some complaining that they weren't all full of treasure. What are those people on? They expected gold and stuff to be left lying around? Sheesh.

"Hey, you okay?"

"Yeah. Just reminiscing," he replies quietly. "I'm glad I went there Jack, don't think I'm not. I do miss it all though. But," he says as he turns and slips his arms around my waist, resting his head on my shoulder, "I wouldn't exchange what we do, what we have, for anything, Jack. Not even for a chance to come back here."

"So, are you going to tell us all about it?" Sam insists while sitting on my lap in the bar.

"It was wonderful," I tell her. "We did the tourist thing, a romantic cruise down the Nile, visiting all the temples and pyramids and generally eating and drinking far too much. I'd recommend it any day of the week. Haven't felt so relaxed in years. Maybe Maui came close, but even that wasn't as relaxing." Probably because I didn't get stoned or have any interaction with the local constabulary.

We've given them presents that we found for them out there. Just souvenirs, jewellery for the ladies, a fez for Teal'c, that sort of thing. It's party time again. The excuse this time is that we came back uninjured from holiday. Like I said before - any excuse. Jack's complaining that he wasn't uninjured, but if I told them about the camel he fell off I would be too. So, for once, I'm saying nothing. Doesn't mean I won't say anything later though.

I see Holly and Gerry and excuse myself from the guys and go and see them.

"Hi girls, how are things? Did you have any trouble when I was away?"

They smile and invite me to sit.

"No, none. It's been great, just as you said it would be. How come? There are military here, and not all civilians are good about it. So, how come we're so safe here?"

"Jack, I guess. When we organised the transfer of personnel he insisted that we only have tolerant people sent here. Unlike the SGC, the SGA won't be going on military missions. Our objective is discovery. We can't afford to have any bigots, racists or xenophobes here, it would go against all we stand for. Not to mention that he and I are gay, the other two department heads are women... let's just say we could foresee trouble. We needed all staff here to be able to get along."

"The civilians fight among themselves," Holly says.

"Departmental stuff, Holly. It's nothing personal. I'm not saying that everyone here gets on, or is a perfectly accepting human being. That would be naïve and stupid. But generally speaking, most people here are the live and let live type. It was absolutely necessary or else the SGA would fail."

They nod, agreeing that what I say makes sense. We can't run a place like this under the same style as a purely military base. It wouldn't work.

They question me about the holiday and I give them a quick summary of where we went.

"Sounds wonderful," Gerry sighs.

"It was. Something I've always wanted to do. Anyway, I'd better get back to the gang. Just remember, if you do get any crap here, you don't have to take it. Come to any of us and we'll sort it. Promise me you will."

They promise and Holly gets up and gives me a quick hug.

"Thank you, for everything you've done, it's made a hell of a difference to us."

"Welcome. See ya," and I head back to the guys.

"They okay, Danny?" Jack asks.

"Oh yeah. Happy. Are they good workers, Sam?"

"Fine, no problems. They settled in well, learned the tech really quickly. I think they're grateful to work somewhere that they're appreciated for their abilities. I can relate to that."

We all appreciate that too.

Jacob's here. That in itself isn't unusual. After all, the Tok'ra live here now. But I have a bad feeling about this. We're all in Jack's office. Jan, Sam and Teal'c too.

"So, Jake, what's up?"

"We think we've found Nirrti."


"Go on," Jack urges.

"You're not going to like this. She's found the remaining ships from Anubis' fleet."

Oh crap.

Jack gets on his communicator and orders the guys in the control room to call up Hammond... I guess things were going just a little too well for us, weren't they?