The light and smoke from the fires made Daniel’s eyes heavy. A breeze would blow gently through the glade every so often, offering a brief respite, but the cloying smoke was sweet, and as he watched Jack’s face alight with joy from the entertainment, he found he really didn’t mind.
Peaceful planet, nice ceremony, pity about the lack of s’mores.
Their part was only to dance and enjoy themselves. Daniel could see Jack was one hundred percent into this plan. They had known these people over a year now. Not an overtly technologically based society, but one that was open to trade with the SGC for what naquadah they could find in exchange for things to make their lives a little easier - some medicines and hardy seeds. As nomads they didn’t care for much more, only to celebrate what they did have.
Daniel appreciated the philosophy.
Jack said it reminded him of Woodstock.
“You were sixteen!”
“I saw the documentary! And, technically, I was also forty-six.”
“And we didn’t go anywhere near White Lake.”
“Only because Carter wanted to…”
“Get us home?”
“Home is where the heart… etcetera…” Jack mumbled the dying embers of his argument as the call rang out for everyone to rise.
He watched as Daniel stood, brushing stray grass from his pants, and trying not to notice the one still clinging to his butt. There was something about this place that made you want to forget about rules and worries. The only thing that mattered was the coming together, the celebration and connection of people brought together across millions of stars by a stone ring placed in a field long before anyone could remember.
That, and the dancing.
There were drums – there always were. And string instruments that played a melodic twang that was intensified by the heat from the fires. Everyone around them swayed, feeling the rhythm of the sounds that floated around them. Singles, pairs, groups formed and moved together, synergy.
Daniel was almost mesmerised by the sight. The alien sky soaked up whispers of smoke and ash as they leapt from the fires, and he felt a light pressure when a hand gently encircled his wrist.
Jack’s dark eyes reflected the firelight, and his eyebrow raised in question. Will you take my hand? My heart? Been yours for a while. A little scuffed, but still good. I hope.
Daniel gave Jack a smile, and twisted his arm inside of Jack’s grasp to take his hand, fingers entwining and holding tight. Connection.
Jack released a breath he hadn’t realised he was holding and turned to face Daniel. “May I have this…?”
Jack’s smile matched Daniel’s own, and they stepped closer, arms coming around each other to hold. Their dance was more swaying and stepping softly to a faux-waltz that played in Jack’s mind, recalled from an amalgamation of weddings and parties past. The drums muted as they took over one another’s senses. Bodies attune to their movements, sway, step. The press of hand to cloth, transfer of heat, warmth between them.
“I didn’t know…” Daniel breathed, and rested his forehead against Jack’s chest. Jack didn’t reply except to hold him that much tighter as they swayed, arms around shoulders. Jack swept a hand up Daniel’s neck into his hair.
“You couldn’t know,” Jack spoke into the night air.
Daniel raised his head to stare at Jack again. “No, I suppose not.” He knew all of the reasons they had never uttered so much as a word about whatever this thing between them was. Never acknowledged it, just shoved it deep down inside, unknowing if it would ever be brought to light. And now it had. “You’re leaving us.” His words surprised himself.
Jack hung his head. “Thinkin’ about it.”
“Why? And is this only because…”
“Daniel,” Jack silenced him, saying his name like it pained him to do so. “Please. No, okay. Don’t pretend like this is an easy… you’re way smarter than that. This last knee surgery didn’t exactly, I mean, it’s not looking like it will be a long term thing. And I’m getting older, slower, hell I was gettin’ jealous watching you get up off the ground before. That and ah, other things.” Jack cleared his throat. “This... this...” Jack motioned between them, “is because I couldn’t hold it in any longer, and the smoke, and this place… these people, so simple, all I ever wanted.”
“You want to retire here?”
“No! I just, it's taken me a long time to figure out what I want in life, Daniel, maybe too long, but I had to…”
Daniel cupped the side of Jack’s face. All that was hidden now clearly on display, playing out in his features, from the grim set of his mouth to the deepening crease between his eyebrows as he studied Daniel in turn. You idiot, I love you.
Jack leaned in.
Daniel didn’t know why he expected Jack’s kisses would be rough, controlling. They weren’t. The tentative caresses against his lips belayed a certain nervousness, and Daniel realised he needed to respond. He pressed firmer against Jack’s mouth with his own, and a sob caught in the back of Jack’s throat. Daniel was overcome by the feeling pouring from the man in his arms. This was something Jack needed, and something he had wanted for a very long time.
“Shh,” Daniel whispered against Jack’s lips. “It’s okay.”
So they danced. Under an alien sky around a twilight fire. They exchanged a few kisses more, but mostly held one another as they swayed, learning the feel and heat of each other’s bodies in this new, but eerily familiar way.
Jack was hesitant to pull away, but the crowd was thinning and the drumming had slowed. Daniel gave Jack a questioning look, but Jack said nothing, and led Daniel away from the fire with a gentle tug from their held hands.
He led them to their tent, and pulled Daniel on top of himself once inside. His intention clear.
Daniel took his mouth in a claiming kiss, devouring him before moving down along his jaw and neck. Jack arched in response. Tonight, he was Daniel’s. Daniel pulled the edge of Jack’s shirt down to expose more skin, and bit at his collarbone. Jack was half hard in his pants. He pushed at Daniel’s jacket, pulling it off him before reaching for his belt. Once loosened, Jack slid a hand down the back of Daniel’s pants. Daniel growled, renewing his assault on Jack by pulling his shirt off and undoing his pants. This was Jack beneath him, half naked with an erection pressing against his inner thigh. He faltered.
“Don’t!” Jack warned. “No to the thinking. I want this, you, since… for a very long ti--"
Daniel shut him up with another kiss, and removed the remainder of Jack’s clothing. “What do you want?” he panted into Jack’s ear.
“Ung! Anything,” Jack’s voice was hoarse, “everything, it’s you.”
“God, Jack!” Daniel trailed his mouth down Jack’s chest, presses of lips against his breast bone, a rub of his chin on Jack’s stomach, and a nose at his pubes. He inhaled Jack’s aroma before tasting his cock for the first time.
Jack cried out. This was Daniel, lips around him, caressing him, loving him. Loving…
“I love you!” Jack hoped the words made sense coming from his pleasure-soaked brain. He suspected they did when Daniel pulled off to lie atop him once more and claim his mouth. “I do too, so much.” Daniel continued his heady kisses and lined his body up with Jack’s. Their erections kissed and slid next to each other as their bodies locked into the ancient dance. Daniel’s powerful strokes above him gave Jack everything. In that moment it didn’t matter if he stayed or left, he had Daniel and he wasn’t letting go. This quiet world, millions of light-years from paperwork and snakeheads, had brought him to Daniel. It wasn’t any one thing, the smoke, the dancing. It was Daniel. And it was time.