Summary: Inspired by an out of tune Rod Stewart record on the radio. Thanks for the beta, Joy.
"Hey Danny, whatcha doin'?"
"Oh, hi Jack. Um, just trying to figure out exactly what this line says. It's either 'weapon of mass destruction' or 'armed for a big bang'. Either of which could be most interesting, depending on the context."
Jack sniggered. "Ah, decisions, decisions. Which equipment would be of most use in following the lead, eh? Your own mark 5 tactical nuke, or a box of chocolates, bottle of wine and a pocket full of condoms."
Daniel tried to smother a snort and failed, making Jack continue.
"Make love or war - one of life's questions."
"There are others," Daniel answered dryly.
"Oh yeah?" Jack had noticed the first twinkle in Daniel's eyes for ages and he was going to encourage it.
"Yeah. Like 'who told Rod Stewart he could sing?' and more to the point, 'why wasn't the advisor summarily shot?'"
"You don't like Rod Stewart?" Jack asked, chuckling quietly himself.
"Uh huh. You try being cursed with absolute pitch."
"Don'tcha mean 'blessed'?"
"You get forced to take a partner to a Rod Stewart concert and then get back to me on that one."
The bitter note in Daniel's voice made Jack laugh out loud. When he'd regained some semblance of composure, he said, "Fair enough. I guess he's not someone I'd use as background music to seduce a lady."
"Oh yes? Who would you use?" Daniel was curious now.
"Barry White, of course," Jack replied with absolute certainty in his voice.
"You've actually used Barry White records?" Daniel asked in astonishment.
"Doesn't everyone?" Jack was worried now. Perhaps this was where he'd been going wrong. Daniel sniggered and shook his head.
"Oh boy. No wonder you're not getting laid, Jack."
"Excuse me?" Jack's voice rang out. "What about you, book boy? What is your choice of background music."
Daniel giggled quietly. "Who needs music, Jack?"
Jack looked at Daniel and suddenly had a feeling that Daniel really didn't need music.
"So, what would you do?"
"It would all depend on who I was trying to seduce, wouldn't it?" Daniel said, a self-satisfied grin on his face. "You have to tailor the seduction to meet the personality."
Jack could see the logic in that. Daniel, meanwhile, was struck with a very wicked idea.
"Anyway, Jack, this is neither the time nor the place to discuss seduction techniques. Why don't you come over to my place after work. We'll get takeout, have a beer. There's a game on, I think. We can talk there. What do you think?"
"Sounds like fun. Nineteen hundred do ya?"
"It will do just fine, Jack. Just fine."
Jack said 'see ya' and left, leaving a very smug Daniel running a few well-used and usually faultless seduction routines through his head.
At seven o'clock on the dot, Daniel opened the door to Jack and welcomed him in. Jack looked at his friend and noticed something... different about him. The jeans he was wearing were just that bit tighter than normal, showing off Daniel's well-developed thigh muscles - and when he turned to walk away from him, a neat and gorgeous ass. Which seemed to be swaying ever so slightly as he walked. The shirt he was wearing was one that Jack had never seen before either; a royal-blue, soft cotton shirt which had been unbuttoned and showing that he had nothing on underneath. No glasses either. Or socks. Jack had to shake his head. Since when had he been assessing his best friend like that?
Daniel already had their dinner delivered, and Jack handed him a bag with a mix of Daniel's favourite beers.
"Thanks, Jack," Daniel sighed with a huge smile.
"Welcome," squeaked Jack.
They sat and ate their Chinese meal, gently teasing each other, fencing with the chop sticks, and, well, flirting ever so slightly. Jack was enjoying the hell out of himself. Daniel was laughing more than he'd heard him in a long time. The upshot was, Jack was more relaxed than he'd been in a long time.
After they'd finished eating and cleared up, getting under each other's feet and laughing as they chided each other, they headed into the living room. Daniel put the game on as promised and they both sat on the sofa, next to each other, bottle of beer in hand, feet on the coffee table. Daniel had made Jack take off his shoes and socks to 'stop me feeling as if I've dressed down', as he'd put it.
The game started and they cheered on the local team, booed together when the opposition took possession, jeered at the umpire - did all the things that two guys would do.
During the first break, Jack asked, "So, Daniel, this seduction technique of yours. How does it work?"
"Simple," Daniel turned to Jack and gave him a shy smile, dropping his head slightly and looking through his top eyelashes, "you find out what the recipient of your proposed seduction really likes. Favourite meal, favourite drink, so on and so forth. If you have a music lover, find out if there's a concert on, that sort of thing. How am I doing so far?"
"Good, good," Jack answered rather distractedly.
The game came back on and they returned to it. In the next break, Daniel elaborated.
"It all depends on how you already feel about the person too," he said. "If you're just after a quick lay and nothing serious, you don't have to go to town. But if you want to have a relationship with that person, then you will have to pay more attention to their needs."
There was something about Daniel's words that nagged at Jack. He was buggered if he could figure it out either.
More cheering and jeering was followed by more talk. By the sixth ad break, what had been bugging Jack finally clicked.
"Daniel, why do you keep saying 'person' and 'their', instead of 'lady' and 'her'?"
Daniel swallowed, it was now or never.
"Well, that's because..." His courage briefly left him, so he took a swig of beer, then he turned to look at Jack again and said, "That's because I've seduced both women and men, Jack."
The game came back on and Daniel used its return to recover his own imbalance. Jack was dumbfounded. But he was still on the sofa next to him so there was hope. After a moment of stunned silence, Jack turned to look at the game. Next thing Daniel knew, Jack's arm was wrapped around his shoulders and he was being pulled into a hug. It was just a brief, friendly, pal-type hug, but it was enough for Daniel to know precisely what Jack meant by it. Friendship intact, news irrelevant. Good. Now for part two, he thought to himself.
He lifted his beer and turned to face Jack with a wicked grin. Jack looked at him and snorted.
"You're a dark horse, Daniel," he said in admiration.
"You ain't seen nothing yet, flyboy," Daniel thought, but he only answered, "hmm."
More alcohol loosened their tongues and lowered their natural inhibitions. Jack was really curious about Daniel now.
"So, what's the most difficult seduction you've done... successfully, that is?" Jack asked.
"Probably Gaz," Daniel answered with a smug grin.
"Yeah. He was my best friend in Oxford. Six four, red hair, green eyes, built like a god."
"Sounds great," Jack replied, "what was the difficulty?"
"He was straight," Daniel sniggered.
"By the time I'd finished with him, yeah."
Jack burst out laughing at that. "How in hell's name did you manage that?"
"Told him I fancied him, that I wanted him and I asked if I could kiss him."
"He said yes?"
"Among other things, yes," Daniel chuckled quietly. Then he sighed. "I miss him. We were the best of friends, Jack. We never once fought, he always made me laugh. I lived with him for the best part of two years."
Jack felt a little sorry for Daniel now and put his arm back around his shoulder, hugging him close. "Why did you break up?"
"He was off to the Gulf, he's a geophysicist. He was offered a job with an oil company. I was off to Chicago. It was purely the fact that we wouldn't be able to see each other. He couldn't turn down his job offer, he wanted to make as much money as he could so that he could then afford to return to academia and work for a pittance. He figured that selling out for a few years and getting obscenely well-paid for it would help. Can't say I blame him. I was tempted to head off to Egypt instead. At least we'd have been closer. But I couldn't really turn down my offer either."
Jack nodded in understanding, rather liking it when Daniel sighed quietly and snuggled under his arm even more. They seemed to fit together rather nicely.
"I've never kissed a guy," Jack said suddenly, apropos of nothing after they'd watched yet more of the TV. Some film now that neither of them was really interested in.
"Do you want to?" Daniel asked in all sincerity.
"I'm not sure. I think I'm curious now."
"Do you want to kiss me?"
"I doubt I'd ever want to kiss any other guy," Jack answered thoughtfully. "Probably because I'd be scared that he'd hit me. You wouldn't, would you?"
"No. I'm not so keen on the idea of you using me as an experiment though. You mean far too much to me for that."
Jack understood and nodded without saying a word.
Daniel recognised that this was his cue. If anything was ever going to happen, it would be now. He released himself from Jack's hug and turned to face him, then he removed his glasses and set them down on the table. He wanted this to be comfortable and he knew that twisting to one side would be awkward, so he stood up. Jack was about to do the same when Daniel shook his head. Then, hands trembling ever so slightly, he straddled Jack's thighs and knelt on the sofa, sitting back on his calves so as to not put too much weight on Jack's knees. His shaking hands moved to Jack's face and he tenderly grasped it.
"Are you sure, Jack?"
"I have to know, Danny," Jack replied. And now Daniel knew for certain that he could, and in fact should do it. He leant in and gently brushed his lips over Jack's, softly and very slowly increasing the pressure. Jack slid his hands around Daniel's back and pulled him a little closer. Mouths opened, tongues touched, and Jack let out a low, throaty moan which sent shivers down Daniel's spine. There was definitely something there, not just plain attraction or friendship, but something much, much deeper. Daniel knew this now. The question was, did Jack?
Daniel pulled back and stared into Jack's eyes.
Jack wanted to tell him that his entire world had just been turned upside down, that his nerves were on edge, tingling with excitement and the knowledge that this was it, was right. He couldn't find the words. Still staring into Daniel's eyes as if he'd find the answers there, he just gave into his baser instincts and pulled Daniel back for round two.
In moments, they were lying on the sofa, kissing, tearing at each other's shirts as they tried to get skin contact. A few bumped teeth and noses had them giggling, and Jack knew that life would be like this from now on. Only Daniel ever made him giggle, not even Sara had managed that.
They broke apart again, now topless and revelling in the touch of skin on skin.
"Wow, Danny," Jack finally said. "I had no fucking idea whatsoever."
"I wasn't sure, Jack. I was very attracted to you, sure, but I didn't know if what I felt was just friendship. I don't think it is, is it?"
"No, I don't think so," Jack replied with a smile.
"So, are we okay?" Daniel asked with a touch of nervousness.
"We're okay, Daniel. We are, um, together, aren't we?"
"I want that, Jack. Do you?"
"Yes, I do. Not sure what I'm going to do with you now I've got you, but I'm a quick study and er, enthusiastic."
"I'm a good teacher," Daniel replied with a smile.
"Well, you've certainly taught me a thing or two," Jack retorted, then he sat up with a jolt.
"Jack? What's wrong?" The look of realisation of something on Jack's face worried the crap out of Daniel.
"You! You've been fuckin' seducing me all night, haven't you?"
"It worked, didn't it?"
"Yes. But were you doing that just to teach me a lesson?"
"Nuh huh," Daniel shook his head. "I was doing it to get you into my bed."
Jack calmed a bit. "You haven't got me that far, yet," he replied with a warm smile.
"Hmm. I think I'd better work on my seduction techniques then," Daniel answered, laughing as Jack tipped him back down on his back and tried out a few of his own.