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"I can't believe you're going to make a new pot of coffee this time of night," Sam said.

All Daniel could see of her was two bare arms, reaching horizontally out past the end of the big sofa facing the fireplace, and the toe-tips of her feet, bundled in those pink fluffy socks that reminded Daniel vaguely of dancers' leg warmers from the eighties. Pink toes curled against the sofa's far arm, and ten fingers spread wide, as Sam arched and stretched, catlike.

"Addiction is a terrible thing to behold," Jack observed, his head hidden, as he was rummaging in the ancient refrigerator for another Moosehead. Daniel wasn't counting Jack's beers, exactly, but Jack had let his normal ascetic habits of Colorado lapse. He'd had several beers before dinner, and several more during and after, leaving him noticeably expansive and relaxed.

Sam chuckled, and turned on her side to face the fire, disappearing entirely except for a spike of golden hair. It sprayed across the thick pillow Jack had dragged out of a closet for her. Daniel smiled, leaning his hips against the kitchen counter, turning his attention to watching Jack, as the coffee maker hissed to itself. Out of consideration for Sam, they had turned out all the lights except for the little dim one in the hood over the stove, and it was yellow and soft, the color of butter.

"Good night, guys," Sam said, her voice muzzy and muted, well snuggled into her nest. Teal'c had already crashed, bedding down in his assigned spot in the loft. Daniel had managed not to react when Jack had ticked off the sleeping arrangements as they sat around the hearth after dinner. "The loft bed's pretty comfortable, T, if you don't mind bunking with me, Daniel? 'Cause I don't think either of the beds are big enough for anyone to share with Teal'c. And I know Carter will want the warm spot by the fire."

Jack had made these statements with never a flirtatious flicker, not the slightest hint of one, and Daniel had tried his best to answer in kind, very noncommittally. But it was still more than a little disturbing. So as the evening wound down, and bedtime approached inexorably, Daniel had not wanted to be the one to step into the little bedroom that several generations of O'Neills had no doubt inhabited. Had not wanted to be the one to turn down the flannel sheets and the worn wool blankets and slip into bed first, waiting and tense in the cold room. He had not really wanted to let himself think about what it would be like to sleep in the same bed with Jack for the first time in years. There had been that one time in the palace on P3X-112, and of course they had shared a tent offworld plenty of times, and they had snored in harmony in the cargo hold of many an al-kesh, but tonight seemed somehow so much ... closer. So much friendlier, so much riskier. So Daniel decided to wait, to see if Jack would get sleepy first and set the pace for the awkward time Daniel could foresee of getting undressed and getting to sleep. In the meantime, Sam and Teal'c would go to sleep, and Daniel would make coffee, and take his cup out on the deck and gaze at the big moon and try to soak up the environment here, Jack's old stomping grounds, a place that made Jack happy and relaxed and actually chatty. Daniel was a night owl by nature anyway, and it had been too long since he'd spent any time outdoors on his home planet.

So Sam had changed into sweats and an old gray T-shirt and headed for her assigned sofa, shortly after Teal'c had softly climbed the narrow stairs to the loft. Daniel knew she was tired, and she was definitely ready for bed. She'd sneaked as much time as she could with the mysterious new ZPM, neglecting her own packing to steal a few more hours running tests on its capacity, despite Jack's prodding that the Ancient surprise could wait but the team vacation could not. Daniel was pretty sure she'd not stopped by her home before this trip, but scavenged toiletries and clothes from the locker room and from one of the nurses. The pink socks, however, were familiar and hers. Daniel had seen them before, many times. Sam kept them in her locker for use on those endless cold afternoons they tended to spend in the infirmary.

Jack had personally dragged her away from her lab when it was time to head out to the airfield and their chartered Cessna, and she'd grabbed her borrowed backpack, and she and Jack had met Daniel and Teal'c at the surface. They'd all followed Jack out into the cool Colorado morning, and now it was late evening, and here they were.

Daniel watched his coffee, and worried at the little aluminum flap of the sugar jar, tweaking it up and down, up and down. Jack leaned against a counter, too, and drank from his beer and then intently perused the label. The entire label, all the way around. So, Jack wasn't sleepy yet. Glancing at the coffeemaker, Jack wandered back over to the fridge and pulled tomorrow's marinating meat out, and poked it, and turned it in the shallow bowl. Then he covered it in plastic wrap again and put it back on its shelf.

There was enough coffee in the carafe for a full cup. Daniel pulled it out and poured, added sugar, met Jack's eyes and cocked his head at the door. Jack didn't respond, just took another swig of beer and followed Daniel out.

The back door was as well-oiled and quiet as the front, but its screen had a squeak. Daniel heard Jack close both doors behind them, and he paced slowly out to the railing, sniffing the chill silent air, listening to the night. He lived so much of his life, now, in the artificial air of the mountain, his breathing in robot-like synch with the whirr and whoosh of the SGC's massively scary ventilation system. You could always hear the mountain mechanically breathing, even in the dead hours of the night, even when no one was around. His lab was never completely silent, intruded upon by the circulating air and the laboring bubbles of Jonas Quinn's fish tank, by the occasional pages ringing out in the hall, the buzz and chirp of telephones. The mountain's corridors echoed, never really at rest, never truly quiet. But here, it was quiet. Deeply, eternally quiet. He tasted his coffee again, and set the cup on the railing and leaned on his elbows.

The moonlight shimmered silver on the water. The moon was big tonight, and it gave more than enough light to see the landscape. Jack's own landscape, Daniel mused, of a small green-edged lake, and pine trees, the nearer sentinels of the vast, deep, green Minnesota forest, and, of course, the stars. Daniel wondered what it would be like to have a place like this to come home to, a place that went back in your family for two or three generations. A place that felt permanent.

He pulled in a lungful of the dark -- sharp pine and ripe mud and moldy leaves and the slightest hint of fish, against a backdrop of the dry smoke from the chimney -- and let it out. He could hear it plainly, hear his own breath, rushing out of him, dying away into the silver silence. He smiled. It was so, so quiet. So quiet the silence itself was starting to seem loud. Jack was absolutely still behind him. He sipped his bittersweet coffee and set the mug on the railing again, trying to do it as silently as Jack would. He failed. It made an audible tap. He leaned on the dry wood and heard it creak. The rising moon was starting to clear the pines across the lake and blot out the stars in its path. He felt more than heard Jack ease up beside him, hovering at Daniel's elbow and parking his beer on the wide railing beside the coffee mug.

"I bet this is a view you never get tired of," Daniel offered, his whisper sharp and more than loud enough. It seemed that the spreading echoes of his voice would make the moonlight waver on the water, in the air, as it poured toward them.

Jack whispered, too. "You got that right. Don't get up here enough to ever get tired of it."

Having acknowledged their companionship, they stood there and watched the fringed tips of the pines caress the rim of the moon. The water below the trees was black and still, except where the moonlight shimmered on it. It lapped a little, in invisible small waves, at the pilings below Daniel's feet. He wondered how deep the lake was, and if they would canoe across it tomorrow, or launch whatever little fishing skiff Jack must have. They hadn't really discussed that yet.

The moon swam slowly up, and when it was free of the tracery of the trees, dark lines sweeping toward it like Japanese ink, Daniel thought, Jack sighed loudly and bent to stretch his back. He pulled on the railing hard with both hands, making it protest, pushing his butt back and bending his knees so that his spine made a bow. Daniel watched, noticing how the silver light washed all the color out of Jack's dark blue sweater and made it a formless smear. Jack straightened, sighing again, and picked up his bottle and ambled over to the bench that was set against the wall of the house. He sat and stretched out his legs, grunting and huffing a little as he settled.

Daniel turned, still moved to whisper. "You want another beer?"


Daniel walked over and sat down beside him, and as soon as he did Jack bumped his shoulder, so of course Daniel bumped back. Jack bumped again, and Daniel had to chuckle as he bumped, yet again, in return.

"How long can you keep that up?" Daniel said.

"Keep what up," Jack said, and bumped him.

Daniel shook his head and gave it up, smiling with one side of his mouth. But their shoulders were touching now. So what, Daniel thought. We can touch. We're friends. His lower back and his gut and the backs of his thighs wanted to argue for something more in the touch, some kind of veiled potential, but it was the routine of many years to disregard his body's entreaties regarding Jack and find a distraction. So he sipped his cold coffee, but he left his shoulder pressed against Jack's, and as he consciously relaxed, his knee fell a little sideways and connected with Jack's thigh. And he chose to leave it there. So what, Daniel thought again, to pacify his warning mind and his excited body, all at the same time. A bridge of neutrality between arousal and denial.

Jack spoke softly, not whispering, surprising Daniel. He sounded sincere and a little yearning. "It's really good to have you all here. I can't think why we waited so long to do this."

Daniel leaned in a little, pressing Jack's shoulder for a moment. "Maybe because we all hate fishing, except you?"

"Yeah, that must be it." There was a smile in Jack's voice, and, forgetting he had no more beer, he raised the bottle to his lips again and then grunted in disgust. He put the bottle down beside him, making a clunk, and stretched both arms across the back of the bench. This brought his left arm across the tops of Daniel's shoulders. Daniel sipped his coffee and thought about that. It made him warm and happy. Very warm. Very happy. Jack was touching him, at his shoulders, at his thigh.

The moon rode higher, washing the dock and the walls of the house in silver, painting a widening trapezoidal track on the black water. An owl called from across the lake, and, nearer, an owl answered. The faint, plaintive cries made Daniel shiver. Jack brought his hand to Daniel's shoulder and squeezed, just a little, then moved his hand away. Moved it quickly, like he hadn't intended to squeeze, and would have interrupted the gesture if he'd thought about it in time.

"It's getting cold out here," Jack said, but he didn't move away, and neither did Daniel.

Daniel's skin was still thrilling with the goosebumps left by the shiver, and his eyes were dazzled by the moonlight on the lake. He was thinking, listening to his body now and not his habits. Jack, he thought. Jack is sitting here with me, so close. Sitting here in the dark with me, like we're two teenagers out after curfew. So... Is this it? After all this time?

He was well aware of the way he'd harbored a secret affection for Jack, all these years. It had survived their many conflicts, and even survived his ascension. It had gone on way too long to be called a crush any more. And he had wondered, now and then, when the universe gave them a respite from catastrophe, how Jack felt about him. He knew Jack loved him. But the years went by and they both went their mostly solitary ways, and he simply continued to wonder, and with a yearning that had become as familiar as the feeling itself; a poignant yearning without a hope of fulfillment. Tonight, he knew, was one of those times of respite.

So he was close to Jack, touching Jack, in the forgiving dark, sitting here in a place where Jack felt safe, comfortable, and, Daniel hazarded, like himself -- his best self. And tonight Jack was a little loose and lubricated by all that beer, but he was far from drunk. So Daniel could not put this touching down to that. Daniel had seen Jack truly shitfaced drunk only twice: Once, after the terrible anniversary mission to Abydos during which Daniel had had to deliver Shifu. That time, Daniel suspected Jack had set out to get Daniel therapeutically drunk, not so much get drunk himself. But those were early days, so his reading of Jack might not have been correct. And it was true that some horrible things had happened in D.C. at the same time Daniel and Teal'c had been with Sha're, as Daniel had found out much later, from Sam.

The second time Daniel had seen Jack get drunk was after Hank Boyd's team had been trapped by the black hole. Jack had appeared at Daniel's place the next night with a new bottle of scotch and a big bottle of cabernet, and had proceeded to methodically, mechanically get so drunk that he passed out on Daniel's couch. The next morning had not been cheerful.

But Jack was not drunk tonight. He wasn't trying to forget anything tonight, or induce Daniel to forget anything. Whatever they were doing right now, they were doing it (mostly) sober.

Daniel considered his options. He didn't often have the luxury of thinking about Jack with Jack's warm thigh and arm to press against. The touch made him almost recklessly cheerful. He was sitting here with Jack; no pressure, no agenda. Here they were, on vacation. Here they were, at Jack's refuge. So, maybe Jack was inviting something. It was possible. Not plausible, but even considering it as a possibility made Daniel's heart speed up. Jack was touching him. It was a romantic setting. It was very friendly. It was, in point of fact, possibly a click beyond friendly. It was dark and safe and moonlit and sweet. So, hey.

Daniel, giddy, decided he could, just maybe, finally do something tonight to acknowledge his feelings. He could make some humble gesture, like a pawn gambit in chess, something appropriate and proportional to tonight, to this calm familiar place. And if Jack refused the gambit, Jack would be able to do that in an equally friendly spirit, and withdraw gracefully. If Daniel did -- something -- and Jack did not welcome that -- something -- then Jack would simply pat his knee in a brotherly fashion, get up, say goodnight, and go to bed. No harm, no foul.

Except Jack would be getting up and going indoors to a bed he'd already invited Daniel to share, and thus, that would not be much of a retreat. In fact, it would not be a retreat at all. And he was struck with a shivery immediacy by the strangeness of his illogic -- he was trying to play out how this wouldn't, couldn't happen, when here was Jack, touching him, right now. After Jack had specifically invited him to share his bed. So, Daniel was being obtuse. Daniel was perhaps being unbelievably stupid.

He pursed his lips and thought hard and tried not to let his heart run away with him. Because just maybe, Jack had been as careful and respectful, all these years, as Daniel had always tried to be. And whatever was making Jack do this, sit here like this, Daniel had better wake up and, well, smell the coffee. He took another deep breath of the clean night air.

"It's not really that cold," Daniel said. "It's just that the owls surprised me. It's an eerie sound. In a lot of cultures the owl is a messenger of death."

"I thought it was about being wise -- Athena's owl and all that."

"Well, yes," Daniel said, and turned to look at Jack and found his face way too close. It surprised him, made him blink. Owlishly, he thought, and then he smiled, confusing himself. He caught his breath. Jack was continuing to look at him, too close, too still, his eyes impossibly deep and secretive in the silver light. Daniel was blindsided by the rush of affection he felt.

Jack. This is Jack. Here we are. Thoughts and emotions poured together, startling him with their intensity. Here they were, having arrived, despite everything, every attack by the Fates, here. Alive. Safe. Under this moon. He was transfixed, looking into Jack's eyes. The rush of emotion broke like a wave on a shore, and Daniel thought, Fuck it. I can do something. I will do something. It can be something he can duck. Something easy to ignore, if that's what he wants... But... but he invited me to bed, to his bed, here, tonight. He dropped his glance and then looked out at the lake again. With a nonchalance he did not feel, he put his hand on Jack's knee, and settled a little closer under Jack's arm.

There was a pause pregnant with suspense. The air congealed around them, the ripples on the lake froze, the moon hovered overhead, unmoving, and then, Daniel heard Jack puff out a breath, and then Jack slowly, gently, leaned his head against Daniel's.

They sat there, breathing, watching the moon. It was almost ridiculously romantic, Daniel thought. Their tableau was on the verge of an embrace. Jack was simply sitting there, not moving, but letting Daniel's hand burn a hole in his knee. Daniel closed his eyes. It was so vivid, how they must look. Like courting lovers, rather old fashioned.

So it was a game of signals, a game of inches. He would pay attention to what Jack was showing him, and he wouldn't rush this, whatever it was. He tried to will his heart to slow down, and he tried to attend to his breathing. Now Jack was leaning against him a bit more, moving slowly, slowly. Jack cupped his shoulder again, pulling him closer. And Daniel knew they had done it. They had crossed the subtle line that marked the boundary to simple friendship, after all these years. Spurred by the moon and a couple of owls. Daniel felt full, as full of joyful light as the glimmering surface of the lake.

He reached up to his shoulder and found Jack's hand with his, and at the same time he turned his head a little and pressed his cheek to Jack's. Their lips nearly touched.
Jack's body remained still, but he squeezed Daniel's fingers.

"Crazy," Jack breathed, and the word whispered right up against Daniel's lips.

"Yeah," Daniel said, and opened his eyes, and Jack's mouth was right there, right there.

They must have leaned together, because that's how they arrived at the kiss -- together. Lips met and clung, and Daniel's glasses were poking Jack in the temple, and the kiss faltered before it could gather any momentum, and Daniel turned his head and it was awkward, but Jack followed him, creating a second, half-formed kiss. Soft, and warm, and brief, and Daniel's heart was pounding now. He was sure Jack could hear it. Their lips paused, and Jack's hand was tight around his. Daniel licked his dry lips.

"That was a long time coming," Daniel said.

"Huh," Jack said, but he didn't want to talk about it. He wanted to kiss Daniel again. He brought his free hand up to Daniel's chin, and turned Daniel's face to keep his glasses out of the way, and he leaned in and tilted his head and it was a much better fit this time. It was lingering and careful and it made Daniel breathless. It made Jack breathless, too. As they kissed, and it seemed like one long kiss that broke and reformed several times, like soap bubbles, floating, Daniel let go of Jack's hand and wound that arm around his neck, and pushed his other hand up Jack's leg to rest at his waist. Jack drew Daniel in with the arm he'd put around his shoulders, and caressed his face, cupping his jaw. Warmer, now. Touching, straining closer. They stopped for breath.

"I love you," Daniel blurted. He hadn't meant to say it; hadn't meant to say anything, but his body had overwhelmed him and all those carefully concealed emotions were exposed. He was used to thinking about his love for Jack, thinking about it in order to keep it under control, thinking about it to keep from going off the deep end, and thinking about it, soothing that desire into a detached contemplation, was a habit. But now his body had overwhelmed his careful organized mind, and the habits of a decade were shredded and lying in a pile somewhere behind him, and he was breathing hard and clutching at Jack with restless hands, and his mouth and his body were on a careening course that he seemed powerless to arrest.

His words startled Jack, but not in a bad way. Jack flinched a little, but it wasn't a recoil. Jack held him closer, and pressed kisses along Daniel's cheek and jaw. Jack inhaled, sharply, and he said, "Me, too." He gripped Daniel's shoulder, his other palm scrubbing Daniel's cheek, then coming around to rest against his nape. Jack kissed his mouth again, harder, and Daniel grunted and tugged, because Jack wasn't close enough now, not nearly close enough. He felt Jack smile against his cheek, and Jack went with it. He slid and turned, half standing, and then he was balanced on Daniel's thighs, sitting in Daniel's lap, leaning in, leaning down.

He framed Daniel's face with big warm hands, and Daniel tilted his chin obligingly up and they kissed some more. Jack was heavy, but the bench was deep and Daniel had a good angle against the well-worn slats of its curved back. He seated his hands against Jack's waist, spreading his fingers, and kept kissing. He tightened his arms, wanting to feel more -- the swell at his groin, his waist, his chest. It was alive and glorious and everything and not nearly enough, not now that the impossible had become real. Daniel moved a little, hitching under Jack's weight, and kissed along Jack's mouth to its corner. The heavy pressure of Jack's legs on his own was a welcome counterweight to the arousal now burning in his groin. Jack's weight was damping an explosion. Daniel smiled, and swept his lips along Jack's cheekbone, came back to kiss his mouth some more, opening now, seeking a deeper connection.

Jack moaned a little, back in his throat, very softly, and leaned down, settling into Daniel, holding on tight. The kissing was wet and deep now. Daniel wrapped his arms around Jack's waist and held on. Dizzy and feeling oxygen-deprived, he stopped and turned his head and pressed it against Jack's collarbone. He could hear Jack's heart, hammering. Jack was definitely too heavy. Daniel's legs were squashed, but he didn't want to move.

"God," Daniel said. "My god."

"Stupid idea?" Jack was leaning his cheek on Daniel's head and petting his back.

"What.... how...."

Jack chuckled. "Blame it on the moonlight?"

They were still whispering, though there was no one near enough to hear them, not even Sam and Teal'c, if they'd been awake. The cabin's walls were solid. Daniel sat up and Jack leaned back a little and they looked at each other, solemn and too old for this, Daniel could almost hear Jack thinking.

Daniel smiled. "Works for me."

Daniel was surprised at Jack's reaction; he'd just smiled and agreed, he thought, but Jack's face softened and his lips parted and he took Daniel's face in his hands again and kissed him, urgently, like he was making up for all the lost time.

In the next pause, Daniel said, "I can't believe we're finally doing this."

"Like I said -- it's crazy."

"Crazy in a good way." Daniel felt it then, that Jack was kicked free of the moment and thinking again. Daniel realized his confused mutterings might have been a mistake, but he didn't seem to be able to stop the commentary, any more than he had been able to hold back from pressing himself against Jack and exposing his desire. But maybe he should shut up. He shouldn't keep talking and make Jack start thinking, because despite his babbling he really didn't want to think. He wanted to hold on to this, to revel in the moment, without a past, without a future, just for a little while longer. He patted Jack's back, as if to get his attention. "It's all right. Don't start thinking just yet."

Jack snorted. "That, coming from you, is just too much.... Okay. But I was just thinking that I'm glad... I'm glad I wasn't wrong."

Daniel held him tight, listened for his heart. So, apparently no amount of commentary could ruin this moment, and Daniel's chest expanded again. "You must've known I've felt this way for years."

Jack shook his head and pressed his lips to Daniel's temple. "I guess I wanted you to. I hoped you did..." He shifted, bone twanging the tendon in Daniel's thigh, and Daniel yelped. Jack winced. "Sorry. I'm too heavy for this."

Daniel laughed. He felt drunk, which was impossible. But he was. Drunk on moonlight and kisses and Jack, the traces of beer on his lips, the scratchy skin of his cheek, the damp soft heat of his mouth. "That was some good tactics, there, you know."

"Now my evil plan is exposed."


"Busted." Jack hitched himself back and stood up. He put a hand on Daniel's shoulder and Daniel stood, so close. Closer than he really should be, except now it was all right. "Come on," Jack said, and led the way inside. Daniel followed him, feeling the chill against his skin now that Jack wasn't touching him. He put a hand to his lips, unaccustomed to the pressure and intensity of kissing. His lips were swollen, a little stung. It was real. It was happening. It was wonderful.

They glided through the big main room, and Jack hesitated and then chose not to step into the kitchen and turn off the stove light. The fire had settled to glowing logs, and Sam was fast asleep, an unmoving lump under the blankets. Daniel glanced around the comfortable shabby room, then watched Jack's back as they walked on through, into the bedroom. The lamp by the bed made a bright little pool of light on the carpet and the edge of the mattress.

Jack quietly closed the door, and then went to the straight chair against the wall, moved his own small duffel to the floor, and neatly wedged the chairback under the doorknob. Daniel grinned.

Jack turned to him then, grinning as well, but with a hunger in his eyes that made Daniel swallow. Jack stepped to him and wrapped him close again and pressed his lips to Daniel's neck. Daniel felt Jack's hand at his belt, swiftly undoing the buckle, popping a couple of buttons of his Levi's, and then Jack stepped back, looking very solemn now, and slipped Daniel's glasses from his face and folded them and set them on the nightstand. Trying to breathe, to counteract how lightheaded he was getting, Daniel peeled out of his shirts and let them fall to the floor. It was surprising and gratifying to see how Jack looked at him, at his chest, at his shoulders, following that warm look with warm hands.

Jack touched his chest, smoothed over his shoulders, and pulled him close, his sweater a sweet friction against Daniel's nipples. Jack nuzzled his neck, and Daniel nudged his jaw aside and found his mouth again. The kisses were faster and urgent now, not gentle, abrupt insistent collisions, deep and hot and biting. Daniel's eyes fell closed and he lost track of the room, of the night. He knew only Jack's mouth, his tongue, the smoky scent of him, warm hands, and the scrub of his clothes against Daniel's skin and the inner glow that made Daniel press his hips in, rubbing his erection against Jack's, the buttons of their jeans catching and tangling.

Then abruptly Jack let go of him and stepped back and began to undress. Daniel watched him as he stripped, quickly, businesslike, tossing each piece of his clothes aside on the floor, his eyes never leaving Daniel. Daniel tried to focus, and he finished unbuttoning his jeans and pushed them down with his boxers and socks, hastily toeing out of his running shoes. A quick, confused grapple, then, warm skin, acres and miles of it, bliss, and they were sprawling across the bedspread. Jack was panting. Daniel ran his hands across Jack's back and kissed him some more, twitching involuntarily at the pleasure he felt when Jack's dick was drawn across his for the first time. They had arrived on their sides, their legs tangled and half off the bed, and Daniel squeezed his eyes tight and pressed his teeth against Jack's shoulder. He didn't want to come yet. It was too good, too sweet. Jack trembled against him, and then he loosened his hug and eased away. He took Daniel by the shoulders, and Daniel opened his eyes.

Jack was smiling, still hungry, still happy. "Gotta slow down," Jack whispered, and Daniel managed to nod. Daniel made himself wait, when what he wanted was to press himself against Jack, fuse himself to Jack's skin, get inside it. His body taking over the proceedings again. He realized he was grinning like a fool.

Jack got an elbow under himself and tugged at the bedclothes. They slid under them, and Daniel lay on his back as Jack's hands swept over him. He closed his eyes, happy to be warm and horizontal, bursting with amazement and arousal and delight that Jack was touching him, a rush of sensation. His hands were stroking, too, getting to know Jack's skin, rumpling his hair, palming the nape of his neck where his clipped hair ended and the soft skin began, and Daniel opened his eyes to see Jack just looking, drinking him in with his eyes and his hands.

"Jesus, Jack," Daniel whispered. "Why did we wait so long?"

"No talking. No analyzing." And Jack bent his head and experimentally licked Daniel's nipple, and when that got him a twitch and a moan, he grinned conspiratorily and licked the other one. Then he seemed to settle in, a goal identified. He snuggled closer to Daniel, a smooth drag of skin against skin, and kissed his way down Daniel's stomach until he was caressing Daniel's cock, hands and mouth careful and slow, small touches of his tongue, until Daniel was biting down hard on his back teeth against his moans, and clutching a double handful of bedspread.

"You really gotta be quiet now," Jack warned, and slid his lips over the head, not stopping until he was halfway down.

Daniel arched, and flailed, and found the side of his own hand and bit it. Jack chuckled, and tugged on his hip and buttock, getting Daniel to turn to his side. Daniel buried his face in the pillow, and Jack engulfed him again, warmth and wet and suction, and he twitched, and swallowed another moan.

He felt the vibrations of Jack's silent laughter. He squeezed the pillow and tried to hold it together, so aware of Sam in the next room; of Teal'c overhead. He had to be quiet. He had to. Jack continued to tease him, lips and tongue, then another slow slide all the way into that hot mouth. Through the burn of his own pleasure, Daniel was conscious of a certain amount of tugging and rustling.

"Hey," Jack whispered, hoarse. "Hey," and Daniel opened his eyes to see that Jack had, without ceasing to lavish attention on Daniel, get himself turned around so that his very interested, very aroused dick was now conveniently at Daniel's eye level.

"Ungh," Daniel said, or something similar, and solved his problem of wanting to moan by finding a new and equally satisfying use for his mouth.

Exquisite, this -- feeling Jack's mouth, and then echoing those precise, detailed sensations by creating the same sensations for Jack. Daniel felt that sagging feeling of intense, almost hypnotic arousal; that heaviness in his skull that meant his eyes were trying to roll back in his head.

He saturated his mouth with Jack's thick shaft, tasted and tested and sucked. His hips jerked against Jack's hands, his own hands clutched at Jack's muscular ass, and he floated, lost in the feedback loop of the sixty-nine.

It seemed that it didn't take much to synch them up. The gentle rhythm they set, moving together, seeking, at the same time, to hold back, to not inadvertently choke each other. The way they each were willing and able to divide attention between what they were feeling and what they were doing.... They rocked together, sucking and tasting, silently tumbling faster and faster toward the edge, and when they came, it was within seconds of each other.

Daniel involuntarily dug his nails into Jack's ass, feeling Jack clutch hard at him at the same time. He pulsed into Jack's mouth, tasting Jack's hot rush of come, and managing to swallow once, twice, before he had to pause and pull back. But Jack was still coming, and Daniel caught his breath and jabbed his hips, once, out of control, still caught in his own aftershocks and put his mouth back over the head to get it all. He smiled to himself, thinking that, without intending to, they had solved the problem of evidence and also achieved something that was as close to ecstasy as Daniel had ever hoped to feel -- all in one swoop.

He wanted to laugh, he wanted to weep. He lay there, sweaty and spent, Jack's wet dick between his lips, trying to breath around it, reluctant to let it go. Jack's mouth on him was a warm sweet intensity, wet and almost too much, too overwhelming, in the over-sensitized aftermath.

Finally, he gently, gently, let Jack's half-hard cock slip out of his mouth, and he pressed his face to the furry warmth of Jack's thigh and slid his hands further around Jack's waist and butt, hugging him close.

Jack let Daniel slide free, as well, and covered Daniel's dick and balls with a warm, cupped hand. Daniel noted vaguely that he was softer, already, than Jack at this stage of the proceedings, whatever that meant. Data was coming at him from all sides, but he had no reason to try to analyze or even attempt to make sense of it. He was held, he was warm, he was here, skin to skin, with Jack. That was all the meaning he needed.

Jack was moving again. After a timeless interlude when Daniel had lost track of everything, hovering between sleep and pleasure, he felt Jack slowly, methodically, perhaps a little stiffly, turn and shift until he was face to face with Daniel again. Jack drew the covers up to their shoulders. Daniel fumbled, trying to help, but he wasn't very effective. Jack pulled him close, pressed his mouth to Daniel's temple, and Daniel stirred and hugged him.

"My god," Daniel said, and that made Jack chuckle. Then Jack let out a deep breath, almost a sigh, and Daniel felt him settle and relax.

Daniel, finally a bit revived, leaned his head back to examine Jack's face. He looked just the same. Impossible. Reassuring. Jack met his eyes and smiled.

Daniel cleared his throat and said, "I don't know what to say, except, thank you."

Jack crinkled his eyes and shook his head. "You already said it all, before, Danny." Then he looked a little sheepish at the abbreviation of Daniel's name. Daniel smiled.

"There is that...." He searched Jack's eyes, finding a flavor of peace he'd never seen before, and an honesty and affection that was quite disarming. "I'm not going to launch into some all encompassing discussion of the future tonight--"

"Oh, good," Jack said, momentarily scrunching his eyes closed.


"Ah," Jack said, snapping a hand up from where it had been resting on Daniel's ribs to cover his mouth. "No buts. Not yet. Not tonight."

Daniel smiled. They were here at the cabin for a long weekend, after all. No cell phones. No plans. And this was only their first night. "You're right. Sorry."

"Glad we got that straight," Jack said, and he put his hands against Daniel's jaw and kissed him firmly, lengthily, with tongue, as if marking his place. Then he heaved himself over, pressing his back to Daniel's front, wiggling his ass against Daniel's spent genitals in a suggestive way that would have made Daniel gasp in arousal if he'd had any arousal left. He gathered Daniel's arms around his waist, and enclosed them in his own.

"Sweet dreams, sweetheart," Jack said, and Daniel, for once at a loss for words, pressed his mouth to Jack's neck, and closed his eyes. He could sleep, definitely. And he guessed he would definitely have to blame this all on the moonlight.