July 1987 -- two hundred miles from Los Angeles
Hanging out at an archaeological dig was not Sam's idea of how to spend his summer vacation. He was starting law school at Duke in the fall, which meant this was his last summer of relatively free weekends. The past three had been spent almost 24/7 in summer school so that he could finish his undergrad a year early. This one he was spending clerking at Whitman, Pritchard, and Carson. His duties were flexible enough so that he could take the occasional weekend off and go sailing. This weekend, however, he found himself watching a bunch of dust-covered scientists brushing more dust off pieces of dusty pottery. His new girlfriend, Trina, had talked him into coming out here. Sam couldn't be sure they had progressed far enough in their relationship to even call her his girlfriend. On the drive out to the site he had started having second thoughts about it as Trina had chattered on and on about one of her professors. He got the idea that this wondrous teacher of hers, who could do no wrong, meant more to her than Sam did, and that he was only along to provide transportation, and possibly act as a beard, diversion, or an excuse in case they ran into the guy.
"There he is!" Trina skipped towards a group of people while she dragged Sam behind her.
"Swell," Sam muttered hanging back. "They look busy. Maybe we shouldn't bother them."
"Don't be silly. They're only digging holes. How can we bother them if they're not doing anything important?"
"Trina!" Sam was shocked that anyone who purported to study archaeology could be so uninformed and discourteous towards the work of these people. He wrenched his hand free from her grasp and lagged behind, slowing until he finally stopped. He watched uncomfortably as Trina posed herself in the line of vision of one of the scientists.
The guy looked up, his longish hair falling into his eyes. He didn't bother to brush it out of the way as he squinted up at her. Trina said something in a voice too low for Sam to hear, but then she stepped towards the man and he leaped to his feet yelling, "Watch it!" His hands were out, waving Trina to get back. She stepped backwards and the guy grabbed her, picking her off her feet and swinging her to the side. He set her down outside the area in which he had been working.
Sam had an excellent view of him now and a lead ball formed in the pit of his stomach when he realized his suspicions about Trina were correct. She had used him to come out here. The professor was quite young -- he looked to be about Sam's age. Sam reassessed what he knew about the guy and realized he knew nothing. The young man was very good looking, even though his face was contorted with anger.
"...dare you? Didn't you learn anything in class? How can you be so, so..."
"Disrespectful?" Sam whispered.
"How can you not respect the work we're doing here?" the guy asked.
Sam felt like cheering, but then he got a look at Trina's face. She was humiliated and instantly Sam felt badly for her. As she apologized to her teacher and ran past Sam started to follow her, prepared to take her back home. He looked back over his shoulder and met the furious gaze of the professor. Teaching assistant, that's what he had to be. The guy was too young, a student, perhaps? The blazing blue eyes locked with Sam's and a surge of electricity shot through Sam's body, settling in his lower stomach and groin. Oh, god. He was getting a hard on just from looking at this guy.
Beautiful, absolutely beautiful; wild chestnut hair that flew around an angelic face, eyebrows that seemed to have a life of their own over those eyes, those brilliant sapphire blue eyes. And that body -- Sam let his gaze rove over the leanly muscled body, in a sleeveless t-shirt that showed off some decent biceps, and denim cut offs from which spilled deliciously long legs. His skin was bronzed from working outdoors in the Californian sun. Battered boots and thick work socks completed the outfit. He was the poster boy for archaeology.
Some of the anger dissipated from that knife sharp gaze as he looked back at Sam. The guy seemed startled, and then, incongruously, he blushed. Pink tinged his high cheekbones. Sam felt himself blush in response, aware that his cock was swelling and must be noticeable by now. As soon as he thought that the guy's eyes dropped and zeroed in on the bulge forming in Sam's jeans. His eyes shooting back up to Sam's face, the professor coloured even more and whirled around, dropping into a crouch and resuming his work. Sam turned to go find Trina but chanced one more look. Sure enough, he was being watched, a furtive glance over a shoulder. He tried to smile and hoped it came out as friendly. The youthful professor gave him a quick smile in return, not more than a flash of teeth.
The slamming of a car door brought Sam back to the here and now. Glancing around he saw that most of the people in the near vicinity were grinning and looking back and forth between Sam and the professor. A couple of them looked vaguely disgusted. Dreadfully embarrassed he walked quickly to his car where Trina was already slouched down in the front seat.
He got in and sat with his hands on the steering wheel, trying to process what had just happened. Besides, his hands were trembling and gripping the hard metal wheel stopped them from shaking.
"Sam!" Trina wailed.
He turned to her and saw that she was staring at his lap.
"Watching me get humiliated turns you on? You creep!"
"No! It's not what you think..." He couldn't tell her the truth, that he was sexually attracted in a big way to the man she had a crush on. "I'll drive you home."
"Do that." She folded her arms across her chest and went quiet.
Sighing inwardly, Sam started the car and wondered how they were going to manage a three-hour drive in utter, resentful silence.
Daniel busied himself righting the mess the girl, Tina, no, Trina had made of his area. Aware of his companions' chuckles and whispers he tucked his head down between his shoulders and dared not look up. After a few minutes, he felt a tap on his arm. It was Mac, MacKenzie Adams, the professor he assisted at UCLA and the leader of this dig, squatting beside him.
Keeping his voice low so that only Daniel could hear, he said, "Don't worry about it, Daniel. We've all had our groupies. You just seem to attract them in all shapes and sizes."
"And sexes?" he muttered.
Mac shrugged. "That boy looked like he'd want to get to know you better. Too bad he took off so quickly. We'll be stopping work in a couple of hours. You could have gone into town for coffee or... something."
"Mac!" Daniel blurted in a horrified whisper. "I cannot believe you sometimes!"
The older man laughed. "I came to terms with your diverse interests a while ago, right around when I saw you kissing Dave Ingold on that dig in New Mexico."
Blushing harder than ever Daniel said, "You saw that? Oh, man." He ran his hands through his mop of burnished hair.
"Daniel, you need to go out and have some fun. You're too young to turn into a stuffy old scientist like me. I heard that you turned Dave down."
Opening his mouth to protest, Daniel gave it up. Shaking his head, he said, "Dave turned me down."
Mac rolled his eyes skyward. "He never was too bright," and then he laughed.
After a moment Daniel chuckled, too. "Apparently not."
Mac clapped him on the back and returned to his area of the dig.
The sun was just setting when Daniel sat back on his heels and set down his tools. He stood up and stretched, arching his back and trying to work out the kinks. He covered his area with a tarp and straightened up, his back protesting again. He had spent too long bent over in the same position. He turned, hands on his hips, twisting to the side in an attempt to ease angry muscles. That's when he noticed the young man with the dark hair standing ill at ease a few feet away.
"Hello," Daniel said blinking in surprise. "I didn't think I'd...I didn't expect to see you again."
Awkwardly stepping forward with a glance towards the ground as if he was making sure he wasn't stepping on anything important, the young man said, "I'm Sam Seaborn."
"Hi." A grin formed on Daniel's lips and he saw an answering smile appear on Sam's face. God. Sam's face. He was gorgeous. The hair wasn't black as he first thought, but rather a darker brown than his own with a hint of gold from the sun. And those shy yet twinkling blue eyes shone out of a suntanned face. Sam's rangy body was robust and full of youthful energy even while standing still. His light grey t-shirt was snug enough to show off muscles that indicated Sam worked out; his long legs were enclosed in a pair of worn and tight jeans. A warm glow filled Daniel and settled somewhere low in his belly. He definitely wanted to get to know Sam better, intimately better.
"I, uh, Trina wanted off at the nearest bus station. I had to pay for her ticket home, of course."
Their eyes met in understanding. Then Daniel thought about Trina. "I'm sorry things weren't what she had hoped they would be."
"Me too," Sam replied, "Only not. I mean, I'm sorry her feelings were hurt, but she brought it on herself by making assumptions, and if she hadn't convinced me to drive out here I...we, you and I wouldn't have met."
"Oh! Yes, uh, I feel the same way even though we don't know each other. Wow. That sounds lame." He shook his head sending hair flying into his eyes again. He brushed it aside impatiently, biting his lip, and glanced shyly at Sam.
Sam smiled just as diffidently. "Not lame at all. So, do you want to go for coffee or something?" He stared in confusion when Daniel burst out laughing.
Driving towards town in Sam's car, the two young men began an awkward conversation that grew less self-conscious as they journeyed down the gravelled road.
"We started out looking for a Chumash village purported to have been here, but we just found evidence of another tribe that could be more than four thousand years old. It's a great find. We're just getting started so who knows what else is there?"
Daniel focussed on Sam and realized his companion was smiling softly.
"I talk too much. It's a bad habit," Daniel looked out the side window, embarrassed that once again he'd nattered on and on, and to a stranger no less.
"It must be very exciting to make a discovery like that." Sam didn't seem bored. That was...different. Usually people's eyes glazed over by now.
"It is," Daniel agreed. "I'm more interested in Egyptian history but any new find is captivating."
"Is that what you teach? Egyptology?"
"I'm more of a TA. I assist professor Adams in his summer classes, as a favour. He was my teacher when I went to UCLA. He's at the site back there. Older man with white hair and a beard." Daniel gestured towards his chin. "Looks like Santa Claus -- minus the excess weight. But, to answer your question, I'm moving back to Chicago for the fall semester to continue my studies in Egyptology at the Oriental Institute."
"So you're not a professor?" Sam had a funny look on his face.
"No! Where would you get an idea like that? I mean, I have taught some classes for Mac, but I'm not working for the university, exactly, I'm a student."
"Ah. Trina -- she's obsessed with the idea of me being her teacher. She kinda freaks me out a little."
Daniel gathered his courage and placed a hand on Sam's thigh. Watching out of the corner of his eye he saw Sam jerk his head around to look at him. Then he returned his attention to driving and stared straight ahead.
"What about you? Are you in college?"
"I did my undergrad at Princeton and this fall I'm headed to Duke for law school." Sam told him.
"Both of those schools are back East. Why are you spending your summer in California?"
"My parents live in Orange County. Where is your family?"
Biting his lip, Daniel replied, "They, uh, they died when I was very young."
When Daniel glanced Sam's way he saw that his new friend did indeed look sympathetic. He shot him a grateful smile.
"It's okay. I've learned to get along on my own."
"Were you raised by relatives?"
Daniel hastened to assure him that he was fine. "It wasn't all bad."
Belatedly he realized he still had his hand on Sam's leg. Just talking to Sam made him so comfortable he had forgotten his original intention.
Running his fingers lightly over the firm, denim-covered leg Daniel discovered that Sam was sensitive on the inside of his knee. There was the crease where the thigh met the hip that when he brushed it with his fingertips even through the jeans it made Sam squirm. His foot slipped off the accelerator and his back slapped against the seat as he straightened abruptly, his breathing suddenly a little ragged. He put his foot back on the gas pedal and steered the car away from the ditch.
Daniel pulled his hands back into his lap. "Sorry," he said contritely. "I couldn't help myself." Despite what he'd let Mac believe he was definitely not a Romeo with the guys or the girls. He was also not a virgin but that was due more to the persistence of his partners. He was painfully shy and it was only a surge of hormonal lust that had prompted him to kiss Dave Ingold in New Mexico. The rejection had stung badly and he vowed never to do anything that stupid again. And then he met Sam who was so sexy he shorted out the last of Daniel's good sense.
Getting himself back under control, Sam replied, "I don't mind you touching me. In fact I liked it, only...just don't make us have an accident." He smiled to soften the admonishment. "Maybe wait until I can park."
"Okay." Daniel tried not to shout, "Yes!" as he studied the road ahead. "There's an area up ahead with plenty of trees. It's really secluded."
Sam glanced at him. "Tell me how to get there."
Sam parked the car behind some thick brush fronted by a cluster of trees after Daniel assured him that it could not be seen from the road. An outcropping of rocks and what might be caves were nearby. Shutting off the engine he sat back and stared out the windshield. Beside him, Daniel did the same.
"You come here often?" Sam asked, and then winced at the unintentional double entendre not to mention that it sounded like a pickup line.
"I noticed it while driving by and decided to check it out. I, uh, I've been here a few times. It's not what you think," he hastened to assure Sam. "I only came out here to look around the first time. Thought it had..." he searched for the word.
"Potential?" Sam suggested.
"Yeah. Potential." Daniel started to smile but seemed flustered and looked away. "I mean that in a purely professional sort of way."
Sam leaned back slightly, giving Daniel a questioning look.
"I didn't...! I mean, the caves! Over there, the caves have Chumash drawings in them. We documented them weeks ago. Oh, geez..." He blushed furiously.
Sam thought he looked adorable, all flustered and sputtering.
Sam leaned towards Daniel. His eyes, especially through the lenses of his glasses, were huge at this short distance. Sam's mouth went dry. He reached up and carefully pulled Daniel's glasses off his face. Daniel blinked at him a couple of times and then tugged gently on Sam's glasses until they slid off his nose. Both pair were set aside on the dashboard and the two young men moved closer.
Their first kiss was awkward, noses bumping twice before their mouths crashed together with a click of teeth. They separated briefly to reassess the situation. While Sam was studying the beautiful terrain before him for the best plan of attack, Daniel's intelligent eyes flicked over Sam's face with purposeful intent. He reached out pulling Sam hard against his chest with the young scientist's soft lips covering his. Daniel slid his tongue between Sam's lips, and stroked the inside of Sam's mouth, tracing his teeth languidly. Melting into the exquisite kiss Sam pressed a little closer, winding one arm around Daniel's back and the other around his neck.
They broke apart again and Sam did a little survey of his own. His hands roved over Daniel's chest, tugging at the hem of the t-shirt until Daniel raised his arms and the shirt was gone. His fingers traced the lines of the body that was now his free to survey. He ran his hands briskly over the long legs. There were only the shorts impeding him from seeing all of Daniel now. When he reached for the button of the frayed cut offs his hands were gently pushed away.
"My turn," Daniel said huskily. His inquisitive fingers quickly divested Sam of his shirt, leaving Sam with tousled hair and reddened earlobes. Daniel's gaze darkened with lust and need. Bending forward he swiped his tongue up the centre of Sam's chest along the breastbone. Biting gently and soothing each bite with a lick he made his way to a nipple and sucked it into a hard peak, before taking it between his teeth. Gasping, Sam slid his fingers deep into the silky softness of his tormentor's hair; he arched up into the wonderful heat of Daniel's mouth, and then he dragged him up so he could wrench another kiss from him.
They separated reluctantly. "Back seat?" Sam suggested.
Instead of opening the doors and getting back in, they both climbed over the seat and fell together in a tangled heap of long limbs, their hormones firing on all cylinders.
Shifting around on the seat, Sam slipped down until the vinyl warmed his bare back and shoulders. Following him down Daniel lay on top of him, his hands delving between their bodies, going for the brass button of Sam's Levis. The rasp of the zipper sounded loud in the quiet otherwise broken only by their laboured breathing and an exchange of frantic kisses. A rush of air alerted Sam to the fact that his jeans were open and the material of his briefs had been parted. He looked down to see Daniel kneeling on the floorboard, his head bent over Sam's crotch. Impatiently he tugged on the jeans, pulling them and the shorts down to Sam's thighs. He reverently cradled Sam's cock and stroked it with calloused fingers. Sam's hips came off the seat an inch or so. His companion glanced up and smiled enigmatically just before he engulfed the head with his mouth.
Sam tossed his head from side to side as Daniel skimmed his belly with one hand, the other one gripping the shaft of Sam's cock while his tongue swept up and down the length. Daniel's technique lacked finesse but more than made up for it in enthusiasm and Sam wasn't particularly fussy, anyway. He was getting far more than he had hoped for when he returned to the dig after seeing Trina off at the bus. His hand slipped between his legs cupping his heavy balls and squeezing lightly, rolling them with his fingers. Daniel sealed his lips over the weeping head of Sam's cock and pressed his tongue against the slit. A chain reaction started low down in Sam's belly. His balls tightened, the fuse was lit, and he blasted off with a detonation that caught Daniel by surprise, not helped by Sam's belated yell that he was coming.
Chest heaving as he gulped in oxygen, Sam looked down the length of his body. Daniel wiped semen off his chin and struggled not to cough.
"I'm so sorry!" Sitting up, Sam reached for the other man. "I tried to warn you."
Licking the stickiness off his hand and apparently liking it, Daniel's tongue flicked at the corner of his mouth. Blue eyes met blue. Sam lunged forward at the same moment Daniel raised up to his full kneeling height. They crashed together in an eager embrace, kissing passionately. Sam tasted his own come in Daniel's mouth, something he had never before experienced. His first male lover had avoided swallowing, his second one had tried it and promptly ran for the mouthwash, and none of the girls liked doing it either. Daniel sucked on Sam's upper lip before releasing him. With foreheads pressed together they gazed at each other and grinned.
"May I help you with that?" Sam glanced down and saw that Daniel was practically bursting at the seams, literally. His erection was testing the strength of the worn cut offs. Daniel was a big boy and that intrigued him. Without waiting for an answer he deftly unbuttoned, unzipped, and exposed the young archaeologist for his viewing pleasure.
Sucking in a breath, Sam commented, "You're not wearing underwear."
"I ran out of clean shorts this morning," was the bashful response.
"Well, I gotta say that I'm glad you did. You're beautiful, Daniel." Reverently he touched the flushed, proudly erect penis with trembling fingertips. Running his thumb along the underside he swept it over the leaking tip and pressed lightly. Daniel moaned loudly and pushed him away but kept his hands on Sam's arms.
"Please. Not yet... I don't want this to be over too quickly."
Sam leaned forward and kissed him soundly. "We're not done yet. Let me get these off." He struggled to remove his running shoes and socks, and then jeans and shorts in the cramped space. They were both around six feet tall, and the back seat of a car was never what anyone could consider roomy no matter what the ads said. Daniel helped by pulling on the legs of the jeans until they cleared Sam's feet. He tossed the pants into the front seat; the shorts fell on the floor.
Staring, Daniel gulped visibly. "You're tanned all over."
Looking down at himself as if he'd been accused of writing dirty words on his body with magic marker, Sam replied, "I did a little sun tanning on my friend's boat a few weeks ago."
"You look so good," Daniel whispered.
"Let me see you. All of you." Sam reached for the shorts and helped his lover wriggle out of them. And then they were both naked. Sam gazed at the expanse of smooth skin unable to stop himself from touching. As he caressed Daniel's flank and pulled him closer, Sam took note of the golden colouring. "Looks like you've been playing in the sun, too."
"On rocks. No boat." Daniel dipped his head forward and licked at Sam's shoulder, the slow sweep making Sam tremble. He wrapped his arms around Daniel's warm back and revelled as his embrace was returned with strong, solid arms surrounding him. He parted his legs and Daniel moved between them, his hard cock poking into Sam's thigh as he lay back onto the seat pulling Daniel down on top of him. Sam lifted his legs and shamelessly wound them around the lean body, hooking his ankles together.
Daniel got the message and began to rock his hips, dragging his stiff erection across Sam's belly and through the nest of curls between his legs. Sam grinned stupidly when he felt himself start to swell again, his dick filling and lifting in response to the languid friction against it. He shoved his hips up to bring it to the attention of Daniel who caught on quickly and thrust harder. Sam's rubbed mindlessly alongside Daniel's slippery shaft, losing himself in the sensuality of the act. Bracing one hand on the car seat near Sam's head, Daniel shoved the other under Sam's ass, holding him closely in place. Gazing up at the beautiful face hovering inches above him, seeing Daniel's eyes half closed in concentration, Sam dug his heels into the firm ass under them.
Oh yeah. Much better. Panting now Sam pushed harder while Daniel met him on the down thrusts, their bodies thudding together in an increasingly wilder rhythm. Flesh slapped against flesh. The car was filled with the musky odour of sweat and semen and the sound of their ragged breathing. Then Daniel cried out and shuddered, hot come splashing on Sam's chest and abdomen. It triggered his own orgasm and Sam yelled as he spurted all over Daniel's front adding to the sticky mess. Daniel collapsed in Sam's arms. After a couple of minutes of the two of them breathing heavily in ragged concert he started to pull away. Sam reluctantly let him go. They might have otherwise fused together as the ejaculate dried and, besides, he didn't want to make Daniel uncomfortable. They had just shared an incredible and highly intimate experience but they had only met a few hours ago. Sam felt vaguely weird about it now.
Daniel appeared subdued and just a bit sad. Shadows lurked in the back of his eyes.
"Are you okay?" Sam quietly asked.
"Sure." The reply was uttered just a bit too quickly with what had to be false brightness. Daniel searched for his shorts and shifted around until he could pull them on without whacking his elbow on the door or his head on the roof. He looked everywhere but at Sam.
"Daniel." He sat up and reached tentatively for the other man, resting his hand on Daniel's shoulder. His thumb rubbed small, reassuring circles until Daniel looked at him, a tiny smile quirking the corner of his mouth.
"Are you okay?" Sam repeated.
"Yeah. I am." This time he said it with conviction. "You?"
"There was a moment of weirdness but it passed. I'm very okay now." Sam leaned in closer and kissed him, briefly sucking the full bottom lip into his mouth before releasing it. "You were fantastic."
"You were great too," was the pleased and sincere reply. Daniel blinked at him from under a fringe of sun-streaked hair. "Are you...Do you think we could maybe, um, see each other again?"
Grinning hugely, his heart pounding ridiculously fast, Sam said, "I'm going to be around all summer."
Then Sam found himself with an armful of hot, luscious archaeologist. It was going to be a very fun summer.
Present day -- Washington, D.C.
The members of SG-1 tried not to gawk as they were led through the corridors of the White House on the way to the Oval Office. Of the four of them Jack O'Neill had been in the West Wing before, but his meeting with the then President had been cancelled abruptly due to some national emergency or something. At least that's what he told his friends. Daniel Jackson wasn't so sure Jack hadn't left out some vital details. You never knew with Jack.
Today they were there to meet with President Bartlet and to receive medals of honour for their exploits with the top secret Stargate Command. Before they left Cheyenne Mountain Complex near Colorado Springs General Hammond had warned them not to speak of the project -- at all. Daniel thought that was a reasonable request given the high security clearance needed for anyone to even catch a whisper of the existence of SGC and the men and women who travelled via the Stargate to other worlds in search of technology and allies in their intergalactic battle with the Goa'uld. It was the fact that Hammond had felt it necessary to remind them. It was...curious.
Their guide on an abbreviated and hurried tour was an assistant named Donnatella Moss who had taken one look at the three men and visibly brightened. Then she became very professional and apologized on behalf of Chief of Staff Leo McGarry, who had to take an important phone call and couldn't conduct them to the Oval personally as he had planned. Soon they were standing outside the hallowed office of the President. Samantha Carter grinned at her teammates and Daniel smiled back at her. He thought she and Jack both looked terrific in their Class A Air Force uniforms. He was biased in that he favoured Jack over Sam. He loved her like a big sister but Jack was the man in his life, in his bed, and in his heart. Next to Daniel stood Teal'c, who was literally a man out of his place here given that he was a native of another planet. He had asked many questions about their destination on the flight out from Colorado. To hide the gold emblem on his forehead, which was not quite a dead giveaway as to his alien status, but might prompt too many awkward questions, he wore a brightly coloured scarf tied behind his head in much the same manner as the bandanas Daniel sometimes wore off world. Anyone looking at Teal'c would connect him with Africa rather than Chulak -- not that they were likely to run into anyone in Washington who knew of Chulak's existence.
Jack stood close by, his shoulders back and head up, looking every inch the hero. He wore what Daniel called his Colonel's face. There was Jack who was his friend, Jack who was his lover, and Colonel O'Neill who was all business and decorum except for the dopey jokes he persisted in telling under his breath, a product of his irrepressible sense of humour. To anyone who didn't know him he appeared to be the consummate soldier.
Donna Moss rapped on a door and entered. She returned a few seconds later, once again apologetic.
"I'm so sorry. This isn't going at all the way it's supposed to. The President had to meet with someone. He'll be with you shortly. Can I get you anything while you wait?"
Answering for all of them, Carter said, "No, thank you. We're fine." Daniel knew she had picked up on the nervous vibes from her male comrades.
Teal'c took the offer to include obtaining information and began asking more questions. His teammates were only too happy to turn his curiosity over to someone who actually knew the answers to his questions.
Finally they were summoned into the Oval Office. President Josiah Bartlet walked over to greet them cheerily.
"Come in, come in! Thank you, Donna. That will be all. Oh, and make sure you know who gets his butt in here before these fine people leave."
"Yes, Mr. President." She smiled at SG-1 and left the room by a different door than through which they had entered.
"Colonel O'Neill," Bartlet said to Jack. "Your leadership and bravery are held in extremely high regard by this office. Even after nearly four years of being aware of the Stargate project I'm still quite frankly astounded by the very idea of intergalactic travel. Although, to think that Earth is the only planet with intelligent life forms would be the height of arrogance and everyone knows I'm a humble man." He winked at them.
Jack let a smile out as he thanked the President for his kind words. Daniel could tell that Jack liked President Bartlet. He already knew that his lover admired the man in office, but now he knew that Jack liked the man, as did he. Bartlet had a way of coming across as disarmingly folksy when he wanted to charm people. It seemed genuine and it seemed to be working. Sam was obviously sold and even Teal'c was thawing just a mite.
Bartlet proceeded to turn his charisma on Sam completely winning her over forever. Then he went to work on Teal'c and it turned out he was the one charmed and won over. The big alien answered his questions in his rumbling, honest way and the President seemed awed. Finally he turned to Daniel who was so enjoying just watching his friends that he forgot he was part of this too.
"Dr. Jackson. I wish I had time to sit down over a meal and interrogate -- that's my wife's description of my style of dinner conversation -- interrogate you about your degrees and your love of language. I speak several myself but I've heard rumours that your accomplishments in the area outnumber mine."
Daniel fumbled, tongue-tied in a way he hadn't been in years. "Y-yes, sir."
"How many languages do you speak?"
"I've sort of lost count, sir. Twenty-five the last time I checked."
"Ah, you're being coy." Bartlet wagged a finger at Daniel in a mock scolding. "Anyway, my apologies to you all. This ceremony was supposed to take place in Colorado at your complex."
"Well, sir," Sam spoke up, "we're all delighted to be here."
"Yes, but I wanted to see where *you* work, Major."
They all laughed at that. Stargate Command was just as fascinating in its own way as was the White House, perhaps even more so because of the centrepiece, the Stargate itself. Just then a door opened and a man Daniel recognized from the news as Chief of Staff Leo McGarry entered carrying a small wooden box.
"About time you showed up, Leo. These delightful people have had to endure my wit and humour for minutes now."
"My sincere apologies," Leo said to them in a tone that spoke of long suffering friendship. The two had their act well oiled by now. "No one should have to put up with that kind of torment."
He quickly introduced himself to the team, shaking hands with each of them, and then handed the box to the President. He stood next to him. Bartlet removed a silver medal and stepped forward to hand it to Jack and shake his hand. Then he repeated the act with each of the others.
"I'm sorry I can't pin this on you or have it put on a ribbon to wear around the neck. Obviously this isn't something you can put on display either. However, know that it is bestowed upon you with the highest regard of your country and of our planet. Congratulations."
Leo grinned and congratulated them as well. Then there was a quiet knock on one of the doors. Bartlet perked up even more.
"Ah, I believe that will be for you, Doctor Jackson. General Hammond sent your records ahead and we discovered that you know one of my advisors. Come in!"
The door opened and Sam Seaborn walked in. "You wanted to see me, sir?"
Daniel felt himself flush with pleasure at the sight of his old friend.
Out of the corner of his eye he saw Samantha Carter follow his gaze and put two and two together to come up with the information that another Sam was in the room. Sam Seaborn responded to his name, stopping to stare at Daniel for a heartbeat, and then grinned broadly, "Daniel? Daniel Jackson?"
His feet moving of their own will Daniel walked quickly across to greet Sam.
"I didn't know you were in town."
"I had no idea you worked here."
"Oh, God. It's been so long..."
Talking over top of one another ended up with Daniel being in Sam's arms in far too many years. He hung on tightly to the strong man who was clinging to him just as fiercely. Sam's warm breath caressed his ear and sent shivers down Daniel's neck. Daniel ran his hands across Sam's shoulder blades and down to the small of his back.
"If you two would like to be alone...?" The President's amused voice punctured their little bubble and they parted in embarrassment.
"I'm sorry, sir." Sam turned to Bartlet.
"Nah, don't worry about it. I can understand two old friends meeting up again in... How many years has it been?"
"Fifteen, sir." Sam grinned at Daniel. "It is so good to see you again."
God, Sam looked great, and if anything he was even more beautiful than he had been at twenty-one. With the years had come a gentle maturity to his features, although he didn't look any older than he had when they first met.
He rubbed Sam's arm quickly and then let his hand drop. Remembering at last that there were other people in the room, Daniel turned to Jack in apology. He saw the grim spectre of jealousy tingeing Jack's features, but he was too much of an officer and a gentleman to let anything more show. Besides, their relationship was not publicly known and now was not the time to reveal it. Daniel was immediately regretful that he had given Jack reason for his reaction. He loved Jack with every fibre of his being but, apart from school, his summer with Sam had been one of the few good things to happen to him in the first half of his life.
"Sam will take you on a tour of the West Wing. I'd do it but Leo here wants me to do Presidential stuff. God knows why, I'm much better at reciting the history of the building."
"Certainly better than I am, sir," Sam put in.
"Yes, well, let's hope you've learned a few things by now, Samuel."
"We'll go with that, sir."
Leo spoke up. "We have a schedule to keep, Mr. President."
"I'd much rather talk to these folks, Leo."
"So would I, but duty calls."
"Yeah, yeah. Sam."
"Yes, sir. Thank you, Mr. President."
SG-1 also thanked Bartlet and filed out of the Oval Office. After Daniel introduced everyone the two old friends nearly babbled in their eagerness to get caught up with each other's lives. Jack stepped up until he bumped into Daniel's elbow. Daniel half-turned towards him and caught his eye. Jack was not pleased by the reunion but had apparently decided to give Daniel some leeway on the matter. The nudge was simply Jack's way of reminding his lover that he was there too. Daniel gave him a slow secretive smile, saw an answering spark in Jack's eyes just before he glanced away, and then turned back to Sam Seaborn. Carter and Teal'c followed behind them.
"...so you did become an Egyptologist."
Daniel focussed on Sam's words. It was a statement rather than a question and that threw him momentarily.
Sam confessed, "I followed your career for awhile when you started to make a name for yourself. I came across a newspaper article about when you were in put in charge of your first major dig somewhere I'd never heard of in Egypt. I tried to send you a letter of congratulations but it came back to me months later."
"I'm sorry. It was difficult to keep in touch with people back then as I moved around a lot and was often nearly incommunicado on those remote digs."
"I lost track of you after that when I got busy with my own career."
Daniel shook his head in self-recrimination. "I'm ashamed to say that I lost track of you when you went to law school after our...that summer.
"Well, my career hardly made international news. I did all right, though."
"I have no doubt that you did." Daniel nodded confidently. "And look where you are now."
Sam looked pleased at the praise but changed the subject. "This is the Communications bullpen and this is my office. Ah, here's my boss, Director of Communications, Toby Ziegler."
A harried looking bald and bearded man emerged from the office next to Sam's but paused long enough to nod politely, even though it looked like he would rather blow them off.
"Hello. Who are these people, Sam?"
After hurried introductions were made Toby apologized and took off down the hallway, calling back over his shoulder, "I want that speech on my desk by the end of the day."
"Wow. You write the speeches for the President?" Sam Carter asked.
"Yes, Toby and I do most of the writing. It's an honour and a privilege," Sam Seaborn said with pride.
Jack closed the distance between him and Daniel, settling himself at Daniel's shoulder. "Your job must keep you busy," he said conversationally to Sam.
"Extremely. None of us have actual lives any more. Not that I'm complaining."
"No personal lives, huh?" Jack seemed to fixate on that and suddenly Daniel understood that he was seeking reassurance that Sam was too busy to steal Daniel away from him. Daniel was at once pleased and furious.
He shot Jack a look that informed him of the latter state of his mind. When he turned back he saw that Sam was watching the two of them curiously, his blue eyes darting back and forth with curiosity.
"Let's continue the tour. I want you to meet someone." He led them through another part of the West Wing and they ended up outside an office. Donna Moss was working at a desk nearby.
She looked up at their approach and smiled. "Hello again. Are you enjoying your tour?"
They assured her that they were having a good time.
"Is he in, Donna?" Sam gestured towards the closed door of the office.
"Yeah, go on in. If he looks like he's busy he's really not."
Sam rapped once on the door and opened it. A man with wild, curly hair looked up from the desk.
"Hey, Sam." He stood up wearing a questioning expression.
"Josh, I want you to meet some people." Turning towards SG-1 he gestured to them to step inside and once again made the introductions. The curly-haired man's name was Josh Lyman and he was Leo McGarry's Deputy.
Daniel took note of how Sam moved to stand almost in Josh's personal space as they all exchanged pleasantries. Josh also noticed and gave Sam a searching look. In response Sam laid a hand on Josh's shoulder and kept talking to Carter who had asked him something. Daniel turned his head towards Jack who was watching how closely the two White House staffers were standing to each other.
"Sam...?" Josh asked finally. He didn't finish his question but Sam appeared to understand the unspoken words. He traded a look with Josh and the two of them proceeded to have a rapid, silent conversation. Then it was over and Josh walked around behind Sam to stand on his other side but paused to place his hands on the speechwriter's shoulders. He lingered over the touch just long enough for Daniel to get the message. As if to reinforce it Sam momentarily leaned back into the touch.
Next to Daniel Jack let out a slow breath and, from inches away, Daniel felt the tension ease out of his lover's body, as he also received and understood the significance. Sam belonged to Josh and it was a mutual possession.
Jack asked them, "Say, you guys don't have the power to make Senator Kinsey vanish, do ya?"
Daniel felt the remainder of his own tension release its hold on his body. Jack was more at ease now. He'd been far too quiet up until this moment. A quiet Jack was a dangerous Jack. Daniel could look forward to them being alone together tonight as there wouldn't be any arguments. Well, none that would threaten to break them up. Arguing was what they did, after all.
"Kinsey of the Appropriations Committee?" Josh asked. "Now that's something I've wanted to do for a long time. We just haven't figured out how to make it happen."
"Is he holding your purse strings?" Sam asked sympathetically.
"He was. He just has a way of making things difficult no matter where we turn," Daniel said telling them as much as he could without knowing how high their clearance levels were.
Josh leaned forward conspiratorially. "Can we make a pact? Whoever finds out first how to make him go away tells the others?"
"Deal." Jack stuck out his hand. "It was great meeting you, Mr. Lyman."
Jack nodded. "Sam, any friend of Daniel's is welcome at Chez O'Neill for a summer barbecue. That goes for you, too, Josh. If either of you is ever in Colorado Springs give me a call. I'm in the book."
Sam grinned as they shook on that. "Thank you, Colonel."
"Call him Jack," Daniel murmured.
"All right. Jack," he smiled. "I'll walk you out."
They followed Sam out of the office, and said goodbye to Donna who scurried off to answer a bellow from within. As they walked Sam stayed in step with Daniel. Their gazes met and slid away a couple of times. Daniel got the feeling Sam wanted to say something to him but couldn't while the others were within earshot. When they entered the spacious lobby through which they had entered the West Wing, Sam hung back.
"Could I have a word, Daniel?"
To Jack and his other friends Daniel said, "Guys? I'd like a minute to say goodbye to Sam."
The corner of Jack's mouth turned up and he nodded. "Take your time, Danny." He walked a short distance away and Carter and Teal'c went with him.
Sam shuffled his feet and glanced at the tiled floor. "It was great to see you again, Daniel. I thought about you a lot after we last...after our last time together."
"I thought about you, too, Sam. I always wanted to thank you for that summer."
Sam cocked his head and smiled in surprise. "Thank me? Why?"
"Before we met I was so focussed on my studies and my work. I didn't take time to have a life. I also wasn't very confident about my abilities to hold anyone's interest that way." Daniel took a breath and continued earnestly, "With you I found some self-esteem and some qualities about myself that I might otherwise never have known."
"I have to say that you always had some pretty fantastic qualities and I mean that in an entirely non-sexual way." Sam kept his voice lowered even though nobody was close enough to overhear their conversation. "That summer we became friends, good friends."
They grinned at each other. Sam wore the most adorable expression and it made Daniel melt inside just a little. That was interesting, he thought when he gauged his reaction. Apparently he still felt something for his summer lover of long ago. Then again, look at him. Sam was gorgeous and sweet natured, kind, smart, funny and a nice guy. How could he not still experience an attraction towards him? But Jack, who also possessed those qualities, was his one true love. He knew that with all his heart and he celebrated it on a daily basis.
"Sam, do you love Josh?"
The sappiest smile Daniel had ever seen on another man, apart from his own reflection in the mirror when he thought about Jack, appeared on Sam's face.
"Yeah," he breathed.
"That's great. I'm happy that you found each other."
"You and Jack?"
They grinned at each other again.
"Listen," Daniel knew it was time to leave. "What Jack said, about visiting us at the Springs? Please do. Anytime. If we're...in town we'd be happy to see you and Josh both."
He dug in the pocket of his suit jacket for his ever-present notebook and scribbled down all of his phone numbers -- the non-classified ones -- and both his street and email addresses. Then he tore off the page and handed it to Sam who asked for the notebook and wrote down his own information.
Clutching their pieces of paper they stared at each other.
"Yeah," Sam replied.
"I guess I have to go." Daniel's voice betrayed his mixed emotions and he bit his lip. Sam's gaze never wavered although he looked upset at their parting. Daniel glanced over Sam's left shoulder to where Josh stood in the doorway trying to be invisible and failing miserably. "You should go be with him."
Sam turned and saw Josh. "Yeah. I should. I want to."
Daniel nodded emphatically. "Me too. With Jack."
They embraced and this time it was two old friends saying goodbye. Daniel turned and walked toward Jack. Sam and Teal'c were pretending not to watch. SG-1 signed out, gave up their visitors' passes, and walked out of the White House. As they went through the doors, Daniel stole one last wistful glance backwards. Sam and Josh gave him a brief wave and then Josh put his arm around Sam's shoulders. Sam leaned into it as they returned to work.
"Danny?" Jack whispered.
"It's okay to love more than one person at a time."
His heart filling and overflowing with the love he felt for this amazing man, Daniel replied, "I know, but that was then. This is now."
Jack clapped a hand on Daniel's shoulder and they walked out side by side, as always.