Summary: Someone's waiting for Daniel.
There he goes, I watch him as he leaves the briefing room again, his head down, his face unreadable. He and O'Neill are not seeing eye to eye these days. It's not as bad as it was after that debacle with that android and the replicators, but it's still bad. This last mission worked out, but those deaths will hit him hard, they always do.
I wish O'Neill hadn't turned from him the way he did, leaving the rest of us, me specifically, to pick up the pieces, time after time after time. Surely he knows how Daniel feels about him? Is that why he withdrew? I saw my dearest friend turn from a happy-go-lucky eternal student into a serious-faced, serious-minded soldier. It broke my heart when that happened.
I've done my best. I opened my arms to him, laid my soul bare, glad when he accepted what I offered him. But I know that it's not me that he loves, at least, not like that. He does love me, I have no doubt about that. As a friend. He's attracted to me too, which has to be a plus point, doesn't it? I know, however, that there have been many times when we've made love that he's bitten his lip to stop himself yelling 'Jack' instead of my name.
He knows I'll be in his office soon. Predictable, that's me. I know he needs me tonight, I can see it on his face. I'm pretty sure the General knows about us too, and I'm grateful beyond words that he hasn't said anything. He does his best to make sure that Daniel and I have time alone. He must know. He also knows that love isn't something you can ignore, no matter if the rules are being broken. It's not as if Daniel's in the chain of command or anything.
I'm afraid. I know I'm losing him, one way or another, and I don't want to. You see, I'm in love. I knew going into this that he'd never feel the same way, that he'd always want O'Neill over me. To be fair, he told me that. Laid his cards on the table, told me he loved me as a friend, that his love for me like that would never waver, that he was attracted to me, desired me even. But O'Neill owns his heart.
Daniel has never lied to me about that, no matter how painful the subject. He doesn't want to hurt me, he cares enough to physically hurt when I am hurt. He also knows that lies would kill me.
I always wait for the day he says that it's over, that O'Neill removed his head from his own colon and recognised his own feelings for the man. Maybe it will be soon. O'Neill is starting to pay a little more attention to Daniel than he did. Perhaps he's finally aware of the fact that Daniel is, actually, clinically depressed. He's on tablets for it. Janet knows, she gave them to him. I have no idea if he's taking them. I'm afraid.
Nearly there, at his office, my heart is pounding. Partially in excitement at getting a chance to be with him, partially in terror that he'll say 'no more'.
A brief knock, rhythmic, to the point. He calls for me to enter. O'Neill is in there, glaring at Daniel, no, glaring at me. Did I interrupt something? I hope it wasn't...
"Major, what are you doing here?"
"Just come to see Doctor Jackson, Sir," I tell him, keeping my face as neutral as possible.
"Paul," Daniel smiles at me warmly. Good. He's scowling at O'Neill. Better. "Are you in town for the night?"
"I'm afraid so. I'm down here for huge policy discussions. It's going to take an age."
He's grinning at me. It's something he does from time to time and never fails to waken my dick.
"Dinner? I can tell you about that exhibition up in Denver."
"You made it there?"
"Eventually." With a wink aimed at me, he turns to O'Neill and offers him dinner out with us, saying that he's sure that Jack will love to hear about the display of 'glassware through the ages' exhibition. O'Neill declines. What a shame.
"You like that sort of thing, Major?" he asks suspiciously.
"Couldn't live without it, Sir. It would make windows a touch difficult to see out of without it."
He shakes his head, but his face says 'touché', then he leaves.
"The cameras aren't on," Daniel says as the door shuts. Number one rule, no sex on base. However, there's nothing in that rule about hugs.
"I miss you," I tell him, not expecting him to answer me.
"Believe it or not, Paul, I miss you too," he says, more mutters really, his voice muffled in my neck.
I just hug him tighter.
Dinner was quiet for once. We spoke about nothing and everything, Daniel telling me about that exhibition, just enough so that I can convince O'Neill that we really did talk about that. I stay at his place. We've told the General that I can be contacted there. Hiding in plain sight and all. It came about after we stayed up late and got very drunk after his crystal skull episode. Neither of us was in a fit state to hide it the next morning and he realised that we'd spent the evening together. I made noises about becoming intimately acquainted with Daniel's sofa and he nodded, saying that if I were to stay with Dr. Jackson in future, to let him know so that he could call me there directly if he needed me. No fuss, no questions, no messing about. He's a good man.
I think he's as afraid for Daniel as I am.
We're back at his apartment, his lips are on mine as soon as he locks the door. Sometimes, he likes me to take the lead, to be the strong one. Tonight, he needs to be in charge. His emotions are just under the surface, threatening to break out. Something's wrong and I know it.
"Dan?" I break the kiss and pant hard as I stare up into his beautiful eyes. "Honey, what's wrong?"
"Nothing," he gasps, "just want you."
Like that is a hardship. Maybe I'll get more out of him later.
Clothes are flying off at a frantic rate, more kisses are being laid on our respective bodies than have ever gone on them in the same period of time before. He's desperate. I'm on my back, knowing that he needs to own me right now. Later, maybe he'll want it the other way around, but for now, he has to know that I belong to him. Oh, Daniel. If only you realised just how much I do belong to you.
No matter how much he needs to do this, he always makes sure I'm okay, that I want this.
"Dan, when do I ever not want you? Please, hun, my ass is yours."
He lets out a low, filthy groan and slides right on in there.
He's the best fit I've ever had. I can't explain it, I know your ass moves to accommodate whatever's there, but this fits. He goes just beyond the point when I'm begging for more, and stops just before the point when I'm begging for it to stop. He scratches that itch. It feels so good. So right.
"God, Paul," he gasps. I wish I was it for him, wish I was the one he really wanted to call out to.
He's gotten hold of my dick, working me hard in tandem with his own thrusts. I forget who I am, who he is. All I know is he fills me.
I spill hard taking him with me. He calls out my name, loudly. That's odd. Oh shit, now he's crying. Daniel never cries. He gets close, he's probably been closer with me than with anyone else, but he rarely goes over the edge - at least when he's not in withdrawal or under alien influence. He's as bottled up about his emotions as O'Neill is. As I am. Shit, as any man ever is.
I'm holding him closely, rocking him gently, he's crushing my ribs - well, he's not a small man by any means.
At last, he's calming. I'm not letting him go though, he has to know that I'm not put out by this, that if he needs to cry, he can.
"Dan? Are you going to talk to me now?"
"I'm sorry," he gasps.
"Treating you like this."
"Dan? Honey, you're not making any sense. Talk, explain."
"I love you," he whispers.
"I love you too, Dan." Oh shit, shit, shit. This is it, isn't it? Slowly, I push him off me so that I can look in his eyes. "Daniel? Are you ending this? Is that what this is all about?"
He's got a confused look on his face. It's cute.
"Huh? I tell you I love you and you think I'm splitting up with you? Sorry Paul, but that's a tangent even I don't get."
"I know you love me, silly," I comfort. "You told me that years ago. But I know how you feel about him too."
"You've been waiting for it, haven't you?" he asks in a whisper.
"Since the word go." I can't lie to him any more than he can lie to me.
"Fuck. I'm so sorry. I love you. I'm in love with you. I know I've been taking you for granted and I'm sorry and I won't do that again I promise I'm just fed up of being alone and not having you here and..."
And I shut him up with a kiss. He's finally said goodbye to O'Neill in his heart, I know this now. That's why he's so upset. Maybe I'm second best, but at the moment, I have him, he loves me and that will have to do.
It's been a couple of weeks since that night. He called me every night to say goodnight just before my bedtime. I woke him in the morning, every morning. We're tentatively talking about a future together.
I'm at my desk, he's on a mission. Um, P9Y-43C, wherever that is. Something to do with a scientific trade. Shit, the phone.
"Major, this is Hammond."
"General. What can I do for you?"
His voice is quiet. Serious. Something is terribly wrong.
"You'd better come to the mountain, son, as soon as you can. It's Daniel."
Fuck. He never calls him that. Oh God. Daniel!