Perhaps that was what this was all about? Not revenge at all, more a way of testing out how strong their friendship was, or if indeed it still existed? O'Neill felt that the coldness was seeping through into his soul, and shivered at that inner chill. How hypocritical of him to censure Nick Ballard when he himself had been acting in pretty much the same way, psychologically if not in actual physical absence.
He thought about why he'd first set foot on that path of estrangement. He'd told himself it was for Daniel's own good. He knew better now. It was moral cowardice. Moral cowardice masquerading as moral rectitude.
That was a laugh in itself, considering that he'd been contemplating crossing over that line this weekend anyway, given half a chance - and if things had gone according to plan. Which they hadn't. Oh boy, talk about exploitation. Drive the geek away so that he wouldn't be tempted into court-martial territory then, when the craving grew too strong, just whistle and expect him to come running back...?
It wasn't until Sha're died that he realized his feelings for Daniel went a little beyond friendship. He'd wanted to wrap his arms around Daniel, cuddle and comfort him - which of course he couldn't. It had been one thing to hug him public view in the 'Gate Room when he'd returned to the certainty that Daniel had been blown to bits on Klorel's ship, and the room had erupted with the euphoria that the Come-back Kid had come back again... But privately? In a place where privacy wasn't guaranteed? It wouldn't have been appropriate.
Then Daniel had tendered his resignation.
The finality of Daniel's walking out of his life had pierced him like a knife and pulled him up short - more so than when Daniel had 'died', because this was a deliberate act of rejection on his part - rejection not only of the S.G.C., but of him, Colonel Jack O'Neill. It had been a moment of self-discovery - that somehow, somewhen, he'd moved on from just plain liking Daniel - a lot - to loving him, to wanting him in all sorts of ways that he shouldn't. And it had frightened him.
He made up for that error, albeit unintentionally, when he, Carter and Teal'c had finally returned after their campaign against the replicators, and he'd virtually ignored Daniel in the 'Gate Room.
That question had hit him too hard for him to apologize and his prickling conscience just made him all the more prickly with Daniel.
God help him, he'd even told Daniel - double doctorate not withstanding - to
shut up, not once but twice in front of both his team and those damned
Eurondans. And that wasn't the worst thing he'd done by a lo-ong way... And
then he was hoping to get closer to him that weekend?
Yeah, this way madness lies. Why was it, that where emotions were concerned, common sense went out the window? He was a U.S.A.F. colonel - ex-special ops., for crying out loud. He wasn't supposed to have emotions, certainly not that sort of emotions. Wives were fine; you could take them out of the box, play with them and put them back. They wouldn't get in the way of your career and showed the world you were a great guy - hetero - straight. What had been going through his mind recently certainly wasn't.
The territory was not unfamiliar, though the paths had rarely been trodden for many years. The experiences in Iraq didn't count. For the rest, that had been a long time ago... Until Daniel Jackson came into his life, and unknowingly blazed a trail along those overgrown paths. What'd made him think there was the remotest possibility that Daniel would be interested?
Well, there had always been a closeness between them - until he'd started acting the part of a complete jerk anyway. And Daniel had never been one to shy away from new experiences - if it was a new experience? Plus he was a nice guy - obliging. Usually.
Then there was the way he'd been flaunting himself - there was no other word that captured the essence of the wayward archaeologist's behavior - in the weeks before the auction. He felt himself hardening just at the thought of the way he'd run his tongue over that sensuous lower lip. Or had it really been just an unconscious act on Daniel's part?
How the hell would he have approached the subject if their present situation were reversed? He guessed he would've started by talking to Daniel. He would've apologized... tried to explain - without going into details - why he'd become such a curmudgeon. Basically, he'd just've played it by ear - seen if there was sparkage. Then, if there was, maybe he'd've tried to manoeuvre Daniel into a position where, say, a kiss would have been possible. Or not, if he'd looked uncomfortable with the idea. In which case he'd've backed off and, hopefully, no harm done. Well, now it looked like he'd read the signs all wrong. He sighed glumly.
Ah well, another twelve hours and he'd be on his way home, so he might as well play along with Daniel's little game. He had to admit he deserved it. There was really no point in fighting it. He'd just humour him. Get through with the minimum of hassle. Then home, warmth and a comfortable bed... Alone.
Finally, Master returned to the land of the living. The door opened once more and a strident voice called down.
"Slave! I want coffee and breakfast. Now!"
"Coming Master," Jack replied, showing willing.
He put the coffee on to brew and set about preparing breakfast. When the coffee was ready, he took it through and placed it on the night-stand, carefully avoiding looking at Master, and returned to cook breakfast. It was really appetizing, especially to someone with an empty stomach. He found a tray - and a tray cloth! - laid the food out tastefully. He'd take it through then get something for himself.
Master was sitting up in bed wearing a black satin robe when Slave arrived with the food. He had no fault to find and told Slave to sit on the floor by the bed until he was needed again.
~ Suck it up, O'Neill. He's just trying to get a rise out of you. Don't give him the satisfaction! He's gonna want more coffee soon... ~
So he sat down and waited while Master had breakfast in bed. Finally, Master finished eating.
"Take the tray... Where are you going, Slave?"
"To the kitchen - Master," Slave replied.
"Did I tell you to take it to the kitchen?"
"No, Master," Slave sighed.
So no points for initiative, then. And his stomach was complaining. Loudly.
"Put it on the floor and help me out of bed."
Slave did so, trying not to be aroused by the sight of certain bits of naked flesh exposed by the long black satin robe.
"Now wait here."
A couple of minutes later, O'Neill heard the toilet flush followed shortly after by Daniel calling for Slave again.
"Wash me, Slave," he ordered imperiously, slipping the robe from his shoulders and allowing it to settle round his feet like an inky pool. There was a sharp intake of breath as Jack shut his eyes and willed his unruly flesh to behave itself. Daniel smiled slightly to himself, watching the reaction and thinking that maybe Jack would forgive him for what he had planned for the rest of the weekend.
He stepped into the cubicle, showered for a few seconds until he was completely wet, then turned off the water. Master then opened the door and handed the shower gel and the washcloth to Slave without a word and turned his back. Well, it wasn't a sight Slave hadn't seen before, but never quite this up-close-and-personal. He squirted a little gel on to the cloth and began to wash his Master's back, moving the cloth in smooth circles across muscular flesh made shiny by the moisture.
As he worked his way down the broad back, he fought back tantalizing and, under the circumstances, unwelcome thoughts that kept invading into his mind. He temporized by reaching round to wash the Master's chest and trying to concentrate on the fact that he was ravenously hungry and that Daniel was being a complete and utter asshole.
Bad choice of word. It didn't work, especially when, having finished both arms, he was going to have to travel south into much more problematical territory. At least the Master couldn't see the effect he was having on his slave. It didn't occur to him that maybe he was having the same effect on Master...
The words kept zinging round the inside of Jack's skull. And then he was into safer territory, working swiftly down the long legs.
"Slave, you've missed a bit!" Daniel said brusquely.
Without saying anything further, Master reached back and grasped Slave's hand. He removed the washcloth from it and applied the hand to his dick. Jack froze. Oh God! Master gave vent to a grunt of exasperation, laid his hand over Slave's, wrapped his fingers round that member and began to move it up and down the firm shaft.
"Work, Slave! It's your duty to bring your Master off when he requires it."
What the fuck?!
It wasn't fair. Daniel was giving him what he wanted, and it should have been wonderful. But this was so one-sided - clinical almost. Daniel was just using him, showing him that his feelings were of no importance. Slave just wanted to get away before he embarrassed himself.
Master had braced his feet against the edge of the shower's base and his hands against the back wall now, leaving Slave to get on with the job.
Slave's mind was in a whirl. Partly he was thoroughly pissed off at the way Master was treating him and partly he was trying to remember that this was still Daniel, even if he couldn't comprehend his off-center behavior. Almost mechanically, he worked his hand up and down the organ he couldn't see.
Again, Master wasn't playing fair. He wasn't even getting a look at Daniel aroused, the focus of some of his more erotic fantasies. And did this mean that Daniel was gay? Or bi- at least? Why get another guy to jerk him off if not? Or was it all just a part of this bizarre game-plan he seemed to be working to? Was Daniel aware of his own orientation?
Thus preoccupied, he wasn't aware that he'd slowed down, lost his rhythm, until Master called him to order.
"Faster, Slave," he grunted.
Well, if there was a possibility that Daniel might at some time open himself up to something more than friendship, he didn't want to jeopardize his chances by giving him a crap hand job.
He reached round with his other hand and cupped Master's balls. Master gasped in surprise but said nothing, surrendering to the added stimulation. Shortly afterwards, Slave's fingers felt pulse after pulse of semen as Da Master climaxed, husky cries fading into groans of pleasure.
His knees began to buckle and Slave caught him. Master grunted but said nothing, breathing heavily. After a few moments, he removed Slave's hands and shut the shower door.
"Go and get yourself something to eat, then make coffee."
Slave went into the kitchen to investigate the supplies cupboard. There was bread and four tins of corned beef. And that was all. He was tempted to raid the fridge, but decided he wouldn't put it past Daniel, in his current frame of mind, to have itemized everything in there. And marked the levels. But - he was well and truly famished by now and, as his mental cliché collection reminded him, 'hunger is the best sauce'.
He'd demolished the contents of two tins and was thinking of embarking on a third when Master ambled into the kitchen. He was wearing loose jogging pants and a T. Slave couldn't help noticing that he'd gone commando. With that came the slightly worrying question of why he'd done so?
"Where's my coffee?" Master demanded.
"Um, haven't finished breakfast yet... Master."
While the coffee was brewing, Slave washed up the few pots from the morning, then went to the fridge for the milk. It was inside the door near the bottom. He bent over to reach it and gasped.
A hand was sliding up his thigh under his tunic - which wasn't covering very much at all, he realized - and squeezing his buttock. His reaction was to stand up smartly - in more ways than one - but one hand had gone to his back, restraining him. The other was holding his balls. And just for a moment... fondling them? Then the hands were gone. Master had gone. O'Neill felt suddenly bereft. And bewildered. What the fuck was going on?
"Where's my coffee?" came a yell from the living room.
Slave pulled himself together and made haste with the Java. Master was sprawled out on the sofa, one long leg stretched out along the cushions, the other bent with his foot on the floor. The soft fabric of his pants was molded across a growing hard-on.
Already? Jack thought, wondering. He laid the tray on the coffee table, half expecting Master to goose him again as he did so. It didn't happen. Slave was almost disappointed. Was disappointed actually.
Instead, Master laid a hand on Slave's wrist, deterring him from pouring the coffee. The grip tightened, pulling Slave to his knees in front of him, then Master slid one hand down inside his pants to grasp his erection while the other pulled the waistband down to free it.
"Okay, Slave. Suck me off - and no spitting out."
"You heard," came that quiet menacing tone.
"Daniel, don't you think you've taken this far enough?" Jack asked indignantly.
Oh well, he could do this. He'd fantasized about it often enough and it wouldn't be the first time... He learned to overcome the gag reflex long ago too, and despite the inexplicable behavior, Jack innately trusted Daniel so that wouldn't be a problem. A piece of cake in fact.
And while Daniel was happily post-orgasmic - hng! - he'd grab that taser and put a stop to all this nonsense. But first...
There was a bead of pre-cum on the tip. Jack drew a soft hiss from Daniel as he ran his tongue across it, savoring the salty tang. Now, he was concentrating on what he was doing and to whom. He put aside the present circumstances - imagined himself and Daniel in a loving relationship as he explored the new territory with his lips and tongue.
His lover gasped in pleasurable surprise as Jack suddenly deep-throated him. His hands carded through the silvered hair - tenderly - for a while as the warm wetness of Jack's mouth alternated tantalizingly with the coolness of the air on his moist skin. Then the hands stopped moving - held his head in place, and Jack knew he was close. He pulled back a little and sent a questing finger along Daniel's perineum towards his anus. As he reached the tight pucker, Daniel went into orbit, howling. Jack felt the pulses of semen pass between his lips then hit the back of his throat.
As Daniel gasped and groaned his way through the aftershocks, Jack remembered the taser. He had to force himself to focus and felt across the seat towards where he'd last seen it, but his hand came up empty.
"This what you're looking for, Slave? - Bad Slave," Master asked, waving the weapon out of his reach.
With his other hand, he slid his pants back over his softening dick, looking pleasantly sated.
"But that was good, Slave - very good - so I won't use it on you this time. Now take yourself off to your room till I want you again."
Slave bolted back to the basement and jerked off.
Jack had nearly half an hour, as far as he could judge, in which to consider the latest development. He'd had his first taste of Daniel, and that was good, even if the circumstances weren't remotely like he'd ever imagined. It occurred to him that what Daniel had paid his high price for wasn't just a slave, but a sex slave. He wondered, in a little trepidation, what else Daniel had in mind for him.
It turned out to be gardening. There was an overgrown bed to one side of the house which Master had earmarked as a vegetable garden. He wanted it clearing, and then double-digging...
Spring seemed to have forgotten this part of the world. The sky was overcast and the air chilly, but the work soon had Slave feeling warm inside even if his skin felt cold - especially in his nether regions. The patch had been cultivated before, so the soil was loamy and not too difficult to dig - on the surface anyway. It was quite wet though, and soon soaked into the leather of his sandals. Despite the activity, his feet became icily cold.
~ Gonna end up with trenchfoot at this rate. Daniel, you are so gonna pay for this. ...Somehow. ...When I can think of something suitable ~
A light drizzle soon added to Slave's discomfort, seeping into his tunic and mingling with his sweat. By the time Master called him indoors to prepare a rather late lunch, he felt almost grateful to him.
However, although it was warmer in the kitchen, the lighter activity left his skin feeling clammy and cold and he didn't think his feet would ever warm up again. He'd be better off without the soggy sandals, he thought, so he took them off and balanced them over the radiator to dry out. Wryly, he realized that he was now barefoot in the kitchen. He supposed he should be thankful he wasn't pregnant too!
While Master was eating his lunch in solitary state in the dining room, Slave went to the kitchen - with permission - for something to eat. There was still plenty bread left, but only two tins of corned beef. As Master had said that was all there was for him, he decided to save one of them for later.
Digging also freed his mind to contemplate the future. He had, he estimated, around eight hours remaining before the purgatory ended. What then? It would be around 2300. He didn't think Daniel would be wanting to drive him home at that hour. Maybe he'd've hired a cab again, or better still, he'd invite his ex-slave to stay over - though hopefully not in the fucking basement.
Yeah, that seemed the most likely option. Probably the nice Daniel would return and want to make amends, or at least explain his behavior. And if he did, Jack just might throw caution to the winds and tell him exactly how he felt about him. After all he wasn't the one who'd started the sexual activity between. Then maybe he'd get to snuggle up with Daniel in that big bed...
When the light began to fade, Master had Slave tidying up the garage. There wasn't a great deal to do. Daniel had had little opportunity to accumulate much in the way of junk, and what there was - several packing cases of 'rocks' - Master had told him not to touch, or else... So slave put this chore down to the number of times it'd figured in his own arguments in favor of taking part in that fucking charity auction. Was it only yesterday?!
Master's next order was for Slave to cook his dinner - a big juicy steak, French fries and a side salad, with apple pie (bought in) to follow. This proved to be more of a trial than either the digging or the garage tidying.
He was starving again by now, and the smell of the steak cooking was driving him mad. If Master hadn't been hanging around in the kitchen, getting in the way and picking at the grapes in the fruit bowl, Slave would definitely have helped himself to a few fries at least. He had a very strong suspicion that that was why Master was loitering there.
While Master ate in the dining room, Slave was told to clean the small number of brass and silver items he possessed before having his own dinner - more bread and corned beef. This was rapidly developing the same degree of enchantment for him as fruit loops.
To make matters worse, Master returned to the kitchen with his plate while Slave was still eating. There was at least a quarter of the steak and half a dozen French fries left uneaten. Master dumped them in the trash. Slave almost whimpered...
His next jobs were washing up and tidying the kitchen, then he was to clean the cooker - hob, grill and oven. It would be easier while it was still warm, Master said. Slave was thankful that Master wasn't in residence too often. Euw!
When he'd finished, he thought about the discarded steak and fries and found himself salivating. He couldn't he reduced to this, surely. Looking over his shoulder, he went to the kitchen bin.
~ How sad is this? Moral - never ever again try to make Daniel do something he doesn't want to. ~
He opened the sack, and his nostrils were instantly assailed by the smell of brass polish... His heart sank. How much worse could this day get? Then he heard His Master's Voice.
Slave went through to the living room, belatedly remembering to avert his eyes, but Master was smiling.
"Not long to go now. On the whole, you've, ah, you've done very well - sooo, you can watch the hockey. And, as an added reward, I have a little something special for you. Come and sit on the couch."
Slave looked at Master a little warily as he came and sat down, but nothing untoward happened. Instead, Master stood up and went out of the room, returning with a glass of whisky for himself and a bottle of beer for Slave.
"Thanks - so long as I don't have to sleep in the basement again...?"
Daniel didn't answer. Jack tried to read his expression and couldn't. Which was just a little worrying... He returned his attention to the hockey and enjoyed the rest of the beer.
"So what was all this - this 'Master/Slave' bit about then, Daniel?" he asked during an ad. break.
"I - ah - I wanted to show you what slavery really is."
"Dammit Daniel, I know what slavery is like."
"Er, intellectually yes, I'm sure you do. But there's an enormous difference between knowing what slavery is like and actually living it. There's an old Chinese saying - 'I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand'."
"Okay, so I understand"
"You're beginning to..."
"Huh? What's that supposed to mean?"
"It isn't over yet, Jack."
"It isn't?" he asked niggled.
He hated it when people got cryptic with him and turned to look at the T.V. again. The movement of his head made his vision swim. Jeez, that Beelzebub had a lot more of a kick to it than he'd appreciated. Daniel was still talking but his voice was beginning to sound muffled.
"The big thing about slavery, Jack, is that you lose your autonomy. Totally. Your body - your life - belongs to your Master, for him to do with as he chooses."
Jack looked suspiciously at Daniel whose face was moving about in front of him as if water were rippling across it. His peripheral vision was growing grey and fuzzy.
"I bought you, Jack, and now I own you - body and soul. You're mine - to do with as I please."
Jack, jaw dropping, looked from Daniel to the empty bottle as it slipped from his slackening grip.
"You put something in my dri" he whispered as he slipped from consciousness on to the floor.