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Out and Away from Under

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The ground shook. Silently at first, and deeply, but the tremors were strong enough to resonate through Daniel’s body. It was an odd sensation, like a motion-sickness of sorts, and he swallowed a bit of saliva that rose to pool beneath his tongue as he tried to conceal himself more completely beneath the scrub. He’d become familiar with those subterranean vibrations through years of digs before he’d even met Catherine Langford or had heard of the program, but that didn’t make them any less disconcerting. Especially since the outcomes were so varied dependent on the geological features of the area. Or in this case, the planet. Daniel snorted softly. If that was even the cause.

“Daniel, boots.”

Daniel’s brows dove together in puzzlement and he brought his radio to his mouth. “What?” he demanded of Jack. Wherever Jack was.

“Pull your legs in more, damn it! I’m a thousand meters away and I can see ‘em plain as day!”

Daniel scowled slightly and rolled his eyes, even as he complied. “Better?” he asked in what Jack had labeled, a while back, his ‘snippy tone’—and Daniel knew it. But he didn’t care. Jack’s ability to make him feel like an incompetent ass on any occasion had faded over time, and with experience, but it still irked him to no end when it would happen.

“Don’t get snippy, Daniel.” Daniel rolled his eyes again. “Sure we don’t even know if whoever’s here has legs, let alone boots,” Jack continued, “But they’d still recognize a foreign object if they saw it. Just don’t want you getting killed over something dumb. Well, never, really, but-“

“Okay, Jack, I get it!” Daniel cut in, amusement tinging his voice this time. “Now shut up. I don’t want you getting killed over something dumb either.” A brief pause. “Unless I’m the one doing the killing.”

“Nice. Thanks, Danny. Didn’t know you cared.”

The radio crackled off and, sniggering, Daniel slid his back into his pocket. And just like that, they were back on even ground again. A small smile lingered as he narrowed his eyes and focused on the forest’s edge. That was disconcerting, too- how Jack could put him from pissy to pleased so easily. But that was another thought for another time. Right now there was recon to be done.

Jack’s commentary hadn’t been entirely facetious. Sam had detected numerous lifeforms during her scan but, thus far, they’d not seen any. Even the aerial camera had come up with zilch. But they were there, pods of them across what of the surface the UAV had covered, which correlated to what they’d been told- what had driven them to investigate the planet in the first place.

Nyan had been as eager to share as he’d been to learn during his recovery. Daniel smirked. To the point where he’d almost wearied of the chatter on more than one occasion. But he truly couldn’t fault the boy for it. It had reminded him of how he’d been his first weeks on Abydos and, for a second, Daniel’s expression faltered into a wistful smile with the thought. It seemed a lifetime ago and part of another Daniel’s story, but then he let it go and allowed his thoughts to move on- as his life had.

Most of what Nyan had shared had been entertaining at best. He’d known nothing of his own planet’s military strategy and little of its technology—which had, of course, earned a not-so-subtle comparison to Daniel’s early days from Jack. Daniel snorted softly. That Daniel seemed another person as well and Jack had even admitted as much. But Jack still found great pleasure in taking the piss out of him whenever he could. Not that Daniel really minded.

One story of Nyan’s, however, had piqued even Jack’s interest- that of the people of Sveh Prancret. A legend Nyan had found in a book he’d said was so old that Daniel’s fingers still itched for it, it told of a race with the power to set the sky alight, gust the stars from the night and cast the earth from beneath the enemies’ feet.

To be fair, Jack hadn’t been the only one who’d been excited over the potential. They’d all seen too many fables come true to discount it purely as myth. And they were all equally as eager to both put down the goa’uld and to get the various governmental agencies off of their back for, by then, the latter had done near as much damage as the former. After pumping Nyan for what information he had, Daniel and Teal’c had been tasked with the next step; reaching out to contacts across various worlds in search of a similar legend as it had quickly been deemed too risky to return to P2X-416 for the tome.

It had taken some time but, eventually, they'd found another reference. This one had read, …set the land ablaze, wash the stars from the sky and destroy the fields of the foes. Still no physical description of this seemingly formidable race but the tale was, essentially, one and the same. And this time, while there had been no mention of any sort of name, it had been accompanied with information on neighboring planets and enough references to seasonal star alignments to where, after a few different tweaks, Sam had been able to correspond it to what had been designated as P3A-819 off of the Abydos cartouche. Sveh Prancret, Daniel silently mouthed. The closest reference he’d been able to make through his own texts was a loose translation from Gujarati: nature of self. Interesting, but it had shed very little light on what they might expect.

The ground shook again, almost palpably this time, and Daniel’s lips thinned slightly. He didn’t know what was going on, but his unease was growing in direct proportion to the increasing tumultuousness underground. He loved the earth; loved to shift and sift it, loved the mysteries that lay within and beneath it. Loved how it felt between his fingers and toes. There were times when he’d felt almost at one with it, and he found it almost poetic that, one day, he would return to it. That his death and decay would be a force for new life and new mysteries to be solved. But he didn’t want that to happen that day. He’d closed the chapter on the brief time he’d spent with Sha’re; had moved beyond his mourning. He would never forget her but the doors of his life had once again been thrown open. He had things to do. Possibilities to explore.

“Daniel!”

Daniel quickly freed his radio again. “I’m fine, Jack. And yes, I felt it,” he replied, anticipating both of Jack’s questions.

“Good. And okay. Good to know it wasn’t me.”

The corner of Daniel’s lips curved slightly. “No, Jack. Though you’re welcome to make the earth move for me any time.” And then Daniel froze when his mind caught up with his mouth. What the hell were you thinking? his brain flailed at him, but it was obvious he hadn’t been. Not with the proper filters in place, anyway. Jack was one of those possibilities he’d been hopeful to explore one day but even so—

“What?”

Daniel winced as Jack’s voice cut through his panicked thoughts. His tone was odd, but Daniel couldn’t tell if it was just radio odd or due to what he’d said. Regardless, he wasn’t about to repeat it! Damn it! “What?” he went with instead. The innocent card. Surely he could make tha—

“Damn it, Daniel! Don’t pl- Shit. Hold on and look to your left. Seven o’clock.”

Rote had Daniel promptly obeying, his slip-up momentarily forgotten. His eyes went wide when he noted what appeared to be the top of a water funnel spinning up furiously from behind a forest of densely-packed tree tops. “Wash the stars from the sky,” he softly recited as he watched it continue to climb toward the troposphere.

“Yeah. Is what I was thinking, too.”

“So what now?”

“We go back to the ‘gate and get Carter and Teal’c. They should be done and ready to rendezvous anyway. Then we’re gonna go and find these guys. But Daniel?”

“Yeah?” Daniel asked as he started to work his way out of the brush so that he could stand.

“That other thing? We’re not done.”

Damn it!. Daniel’s eyes briefly fell closed but then, with a resigned sigh, he carried on. It wasn’t as if Jack didn’t know where he was anyway, and Daniel couldn’t avoid him forever. Not that he wanted to, really. Jack had been throwing signals of his own since well before Daniel’s issues with Sha’re had resolved; Daniel wasn’t so much of a masochist that he’d consider even just testing the waters of what would be a complicated relationship if he hadn’t had some sign of returned interest. But the timing had been completely wrong, not to mention the smart-assed comment. He certainly hadn’t been planning on approaching the issue that way and hoped that he hadn’t just blown it. It was pretty clear from Jack’s last comment that Jack had picked up on his implication.

Free of the brush, Daniel scrambled to his feet, eyes immediately squinting in Jack’s direction. Idiot, he promptly chided himself. He could see Jack coming but they were still too far apart to make out any expression. Daniel worried his lower lip but then quickly released it; the ground was shaking again, this time with enough force to rock his legs, and the concern in his features shifted. Jack broke into a run toward him then and silently cursing, Daniel followed suit to meet him. “Closer and stronger,” he called loudly to Jack as he fell into pace beside him. “I wonder wh- holy shit!” The area in front of them erupted in flames; though several yards away, the heat was intense and Daniel threw an arm up to shield his face from it. “Now what?” he started to shout to Jack, but his words cut off when Jack grabbed him hard by the shoulder and spun him in an eastward direction.

“Move your ass, that’s what!”

Daniel stumbled from the force of the shove that had accompanied Jack’s words but he quickly righted himself and broke back into a run, shooting a glare at Jack as Jack fell into step beside him.

“We’ll have to find another way around.”

“Thanks, Captain Obvious,” Daniel retorted. “But I don’t-“

“Damn it, Daniel! Stop questioning and trust a little bit, for cryin’-out-loud! And that’s Colonel Obvious, thank you very much.”

Jack’s droll remark at the end went zinging by Daniel without acknowledgment. Daniel’s brain was stuck back on what Jack had snapped first. He trusted Jack. He had to, or he would never be able to follow him into some of the situations they had, let alone want any sort of deeper relationship with him. It was Daniel’s nature to question- to examine and dig. It always had been, and had nothing to do with trust. And it had never occurred to him that Jack would take his questioning as a lack of it.

Daniel blinked, lifted his head slightly so that he could glance at Jack’s profile, and then he blinked again. In that moment or two of distraction, Jack had veered toward the right and had put several more yards between them; silently cursing himself, because he knew better, Daniel made the curve and picked up the pace.

And then the ground exploded up from beneath him.

Daniel’s eyes went wide as the blast threw him up several yards; he called out sharply for Jack and then panicked. There was no way that Jack would either see or hear him for all the dust and rock in the air, and Daniel was already plummeting back toward the ground. In the few seconds he had left before impact, Daniel tried to recall what he’d been told about free falling but it wouldn’t come. Instead, there was an intense, jarring pain—and then nothing.

Ô

It was dark when Daniel came to—dark enough to where he wasn’t even entirely convinced his eyes were open. He blinked, and then blinked again, and then brought a hand up to his face. A low grunt of surprise when he felt his glasses still in place, and then he removed them so that he could put his fingers to his eyelids and actually feel himself opening his eyes. That was something, he thought, that he could move his arms—and fingers—and without pain. Replacing his glasses, Daniel lowered his arms to either side and gingerly worked through testing the rest of his body. Neck and legs checked out fine and, when Daniel didn’t notice anything overly painful as he gently poked and prodded at his belly and ribs, he decided he was probably safe to sit. He’d felt everything, after all, which meant that his spine was likely okay, too.

Daniel went to push himself up but then stopped and, a second later, he was glad for the instinct. Raising his right hand, he checked for clearance, only to find he’d ended up under a ledge. It wasn’t very long, maybe a foot if that, but it was solid; keeping his right hand on it, he carefully scooted free whilst using his left hand to ensure he wasn’t moving beneath another. Then he sat up—and instantly wished that he hadn’t for how everything abruptly started to swim around him.

Mentally swearing, Daniel took a few slow, deep breaths through his nose to quell the nausea. It took a while, the dysphoria likely exacerbated by the utter darkness around him, but eventually, it calmed to a tolerable level. Jaw tensing slightly, Daniel shifted his left hand to the back of his head. Ah. A goose egg. Not the biggest he’d had, but it was bleeding and, as Daniel palpated around it, the nausea kicked into full gear again. Concussion. Great. And it’s getting stuffy in here. Wherever here is.

Daniel didn’t know if the heaviness he felt in the air was real or psychosomatic but, either way, he knew he needed to stay calm. Not an easy task given the situation, but he did know that, if the oxygen in the air was indeed getting thinner, rapid or gulping breaths would eliminate the breathable supply even quicker. So, again, he simply sat and took a few slow, deep breaths—a potentially steep initial investment, he knew, but one that would hopefully end up saving him in the long run. At the very least, he felt more in control as a result of it.

It was just a matter of time, Daniel knew, before Jack would come for him. Jack had known Daniel had been right behind him; would know from the destruction of the earth where Daniel had gone down. And even if none of that had been fact, Jack didn’t leave his people behind. What Daniel had to do was to figure out if there was a safer place for him to move to while he waited it out. A rescue wasn’t going to happen without more earth falling into the space.

It was likely a fissure, Daniel decided after several moments of slow exploration with hands and legs. The walls were more rock than dirt and, if he listened hard, he could hear the faint tell of water from beneath and behind him. He was very close to the bedrock, he figured, and any explosion with enough force to open the earth clear to the C-horizon would have killed him. A small thing, but encouraging nonetheless; he’d still have to deal with some falling soil, but at least he knew the whole damned space wasn’t likely to crumble in on top of him. And Jack should have a fairly easy time in digging him out.

Overly warm and nauseatingly dizzy after the exploration, Daniel wearily pushed himself back under the ledge he’d come to beneath. It was the only one he’d found in the grave-sized space, a realization which had brought him more wry amusement than panic when he took into account the times he’d already died or had been near death. Settling himself as comfortably as he could, Daniel tried to occupy his mind with thoughts beyond how badly his head hurt, how achingly thirsty he was, and how the air seemed to be getting thicker by the minute. He knew he needed to stay awake and, for a while, he managed by thinking about Jack and playing out myriad scenarios. We’re not done, Jack had said, and that both excited him and put him on edge. He just hoped it was one of the more pleasant tableaux that ended up coming to fruition, and it was to one of those that Daniel finally faded off, thoughts of Jack holding and kissing him leaving a smile on his lips despite the danger he was in.

Ô

“Daniel.”

Daniel’s brow furrowed slightly. The call was a bit more urgent than he’d been expecting, but then he smiled. It made him feel good, knowing he could bring Jack to that point of need.

“Damn it, Danny, c’mon.”

A rather sharp pat to Daniel’s cheek came and the furrow returned, and deeper. Jack instructed him in that same urgent tone to open his eyes for him then and, with a sound that was part moan, part grunt, and 100% disgruntled, Daniel complied. Or rather, he tried to. The task proved more difficult than it should have and, by the time he didmanage to force his eyes open, he was fully aware of his reality again.

At first, everything was blurred as if he didn’t have his glasses on, and Daniel was tempted to just let his eyes close again. Instead, he gave a slow, hard blink and, this time, when he opened them, he was treated to one of Jack’s full grins and an overwhelming relief in Jack’s eyes that touched him. “Jack,” he croaked out through dry throat and lips and he saw that beautiful smile widen.

“Thank God.”

The hand at Daniel’s cheek fell away, but with a caress that sent warmth washing through him. Smiling himself now, Daniel let his eyes fall closed. Jack was there. He’d be okay now. And Jack knew he’d be okay now, too.

“Here.”

Something cold touched Daniel’s lips and, with a contented sigh, Daniel parted them, the cool slide of fresh water down his throat as welcome as the gentle warmth had been a moment ago. He wanted to drink his fill but knew better; after a few good swallows, he tipped his head slightly and Jack lowered the canteen. “Thanks,” Daniel murmured and though he was a comfortable tired now from the relief of having been found, he made himself open his eyes to find Jack’s again. That relief was still evident in Jack’s gaze too, but it was tinged with something more; there was affection there, and promise—and a vulnerability that tugged at Daniel’s heart even as he lightly took Jack’s hand with his own. Jack’s smile returned at the gesture, and Daniel’s returned at Jack’s, and they just sat there, smiling and staring like love-struck teenagers.

“I made the earth move for you, Daniel.”

And Daniel blinked and then laughed as Jack’s thumb gently caressed through the dirt on Daniel’s hand.

“Yeah, you did.” He tipped his head slightly and let a smirk curl. “Not quite in the way I’d meant it, but in a most excellent manner, nonetheless.” Daniel’s expression sobered. “I knew you’d come for me, Jack. I trust you. I never doubted.” Voices called down from up above and he shifted his hand from Jack’s. “Thank you,” he murmured, though his eyes spoke so much more, and then he closed them, trusting Jack to take care of the rest.

Ô

The ground shook. Or rather, it seemed to. Daniel knew that, in actuality, it was just the sound of the explosion and the displacement of air that created the effect. But he wasn’t in the mood to dwell on the science of it. Fireworks unlike any he’d seen before burst in random patterns across the inky sky. True works of fire, some combined with lightning, all without chemicals, gunpowder or fuse. Gifts of apology and welcome from the people of Sveh Prancret, created from the nature within their selves.

Daniel smiled a bit as he thought about the people indigent to 819. Sam’s readings had been right. They were numerous. But, similar to the Nox, their lives were so closely integrated with the nature around them that they simply couldn’t be found unless they wanted to be. Or, unless you happened to get caught in the crossfire of one of their training drills, Daniel thought wryly. Regardless, the name of the planet made perfect sense to him now. For the Svehrians had managed true integration with the primary forces of nature, controlling not only fire and lightning, but the very earth, air, water and foliage that surrounded them with body and thought alone through a skill they called jahdou.

Jack, of course, had been very unimpressed. To be honest, Jack had been pissed. It hadn’t mattered that they’d been there uninvited and had essentially been spying on the Svehrians, or that the explosion hadn’t been deliberately directed at them. Jack had seen Daniel go up, had seen the damaged earth when the air had cleared, and had freaked out on the first person he’d seen afterward—a Svehrian boy named Saaya who had also seen Daniel fly up into the sky and had come to investigate. Daniel chuckled to himself as he recalled how Jack and Saaya had been chatting like family earlier whilst the boy had led them up to the vantage point that had been prepared for them. Nick had told him once that kids and dogs were always the best judges of character and, to Daniel, Jack was living proof of that.

What made the situation even more amusing- and endearing- to Daniel was that, apparently, Saaya had been as unimpressed by the situation as Jack. The boy hadn’t taken lightly to having found strangers in his land and, when Jack had lit into him, Saaya had called upon his particular jahdou. “It was the damnedest thing, Danny,” Jack had said as he’d sat with Daniel while they’d waited in the infirmary. “Next thing I knew I was flat on my back and bound from head to foot with vines that the kid just… called up from the ground.”

By the time the elders had arrived to see where Saaya had taken off to, Jack had been more subdued—enough to where they’d permitted him to speak and offer explanation. They hadn’t cared about Daniel at first, Jack had said, but more about why they’d been there in the first place. It had taken a bit of effort on Jack’s part but, eventually, he’d gotten them to understand that they’d come looking for allies against the goa’uld- the ahden, the Svehrians called them. The possessed.

Jack had gone on to tell the Svehrian elders that SG-1 would have contacted them properly had the team been able to find them. “I said I was sorry then,” Jack had shared, “Told them that I wasn’t mad at them, but worried for my teammate, and then the damned brat laughed.” A dull flush of color had risen to Jack’s cheeks when, surprised, Daniel had asked why. “He said that if you were just my teammate, then he was an ahden.” Jack had snorted softly. “The elders got after him for his cheek but I swear, I’ve never seen a kid so in tune before. And they all seem like that.”

Daniel’s stomach tightened in a pleasant way as he recalled the rest of that particular memory. Curious, but mostly because a flustered Jack could be fun, he’d asked Jack how he’d answered the boy—and Jack’s response had been more than he’d anticipated. “I told him he was too smart for his own good,” Jack had grumbled, and then he’d leaned forward a bit and had covered Daniel’s hand with his own. “I should have moved more slowly, Daniel,” he’d said somberly, his thumb lightly caressing the skin beneath it. “I should have scouted out the direction first since we’d seen something in every way but. That’s what you were trying to tell me, wasn’t it.” Daniel had nodded and Jack had quietly apologized. “It’s my fault,” he’d said. “I let you distract me. I mean, you have for a while now, but when you said what you did… God, Daniel, all I could do was hope you meant it and all I could think about was getting you someplace where I could find out, you know? But now, when I think what that almost cost me-“

Daniel had silenced Jack with a soft shh and a quick finger to Jack’s lips. Jack had kissed that finger and Daniel had gone warm; tongue sliding out to moisten his mouth, Daniel had then brushed that finger along Jack’s lower lip. Jack had softly cursed him as a tease and with enough of a growl in his voice that Daniel had started to go hard. Eyes shading, he’d made to repeat the caress—but had aborted the motion when the soft click of heels had reached his ears and had brought him back to reality moments before Janet had stepped into his bay. Fortunately, with how Jack was positioned to the camera, they’d both decided, later, that probably nothing had been seen, and then they’d talked about the need for discretion, along with many other things. Because, by then, they both knew they couldn’t ignore what was between them any longer. And neither of them wanted to.

Much to Daniel’s frustration, Janet had refused to release him that night. She’d been too concerned about concussion and pain and had restricted him to the infirmary for forty-eight hours. However, he and Jack both had known it wasn’t worth arguing over. Janet loved them all, ruled with an iron hand because of it, and wouldn’t hesitate to tighten it as much as she needed to get her point across.

By the time Daniel had been released, Jack, Sam and Teal’c had been sent back to Sveh Prancret, at the Svehrians’ request. Excited by the prospect and eager to return and meet the people Jack had told him about, Daniel had promptly rendezvoused with the team. What the Svehrians had to offer sounded promising, if not necessarily immediate. They would gladly ally themselves with Earth; were willing to teach their jahdou to those individuals that they determined capable of forming that sort of connection with the elements. But the testing and training would take a significant amount of time.

Jack had promised to take the offer to General Hammond who, he figured, would send a group of delegates back to the planet to work with the Svehrians to determine what particular qualities they were looking for. The Svehrians had been very pleased by the response and had invited them to stay for celebration—with Jack and Daniel having the seats of honor in a gesture of goodwill: forgiveness for their trespass and apology for the near miss. Daniel smiled. A small thing, but indicative of the Svehrians’ sincerity. Daniel’s lips curved higher. And the fact that it put him alone with Jack for the first time in days was even more of a bonus.

“I think that grin’s brighter than the fireworks, Danny.” Jack’s breath was warm against his neck, his ear, and Daniel’s eyes shaded; he felt, more than heard, Jack settle behind him and leaned back. “What’s it about?” Jack continued as he slid arms around Daniel’s waist.

“This.” Daniel nodded toward the flowers currently blossoming through the sky. “The Svehrians.” Jack shifted his legs, one to either side of Daniel’s hips and Daniel took the invitation and scooted back. “But mostly you,” he admitted in a slightly different tone as his ass nestled against Jack’s groin and Jack pulled him back tight against his chest.

"Oh yeah?” Jack’s voice was different too, lower, and Daniel might have been amazed over how two little words that he’d heard Jack say countless times could have such an effect on his libido, but then Jack’s hand wormed its way under his shirt to rest against his abdomen. “Like what?” he murmured with a nuzzle to Daniel’s ear, fingers taking up a lazy stroke across his flesh.

“Oh,” Daniel breathed, his body warming further beneath the simple caress. He moistened his lips, closed them, swallowed. “Being here, alone with you, so we could maybe do things like this,’ he admitted freely and with a slightly breathless laugh. He shifted a bit then, enough to where he could bring an arm up; hand cupping the back of Jack’s head, Daniel drew it down.

Surprise and a smile mingled in Jack’s eyes but, before Daniel could ask after the former, Jack gave a low chuckle of his own. “Fair enough,” he murmured and then he closed the distance between them. The kiss was slow and gentle—for all of a handful of seconds, and then their hunger took control. Insistent pressure and bruising nips replaced the scintillating slide of lips against lips, Daniel’s mouth was full with Jack’s tongue; groaning around it, Daniel tightened his fingers in Jack’s hair and Jack broke away with a gasped, “Ah, fuck.”

The reaction shot straight to Daniel’s dick. Such a simple thing, really, yet something so breathtakingly intimate. Jack liked having his hair pulled and, as fireballs lit the sky, Daniel did it again, his tongue slowly sliding out over his lower lip as he saw Jack’s eyes deepen closer to black. “Daniel,” Jack warned in that arousing growl, and Daniel shook his head; lips slightly parted, he found Jack’s hand and drew it to his groin. “Jesus, Danny,” Jack muttered and Daniel got harder, though whether it was from the abject lust in Jack’s eyes or from Jack’s hand on his cock, Daniel didn’t know. He didn’t really care, what with how Jack was now rubbing him. “What do you want?” Jack asked, voice even gruffer now with his want, and Daniel’s breath caught when the question was followed by an insistent squeeze to his erection and the order to, “Tell me.”

“You.” Jack’s mouth was on his neck now, almost as if in reward for giving his answer, and Daniel’s eyes fell shut as need jolted through him from the very erogenous spot. “Pushing into me, coming inside me, making me come- oh God,” he lowly groaned, his brazen confession and the growl Jack gave in response making him damp at his tip. “Make love to me, Jack. Please,” Daniel asked with neither fear nor hesitation. Jack wanted it too; he could feel it in the hot breaths that washed over his skin as teeth teased his ear and clavicle; in the press of Jack’s erection against his ass. And he knew Jack wouldn’t have ever settled behind him the way that he had if Jack hadn’t been certain their location was secure.

Jack’s reaction was instantaneous. With a lithe shift that belied every complaint Jack had ever made about his knees or age Jack was in front of him, pushing him down as he took Daniel’s mouth in a hot, bruising kiss. Arms coming up around Jack’s back, Daniel let him, lifting his hips as he devoured Jack’s mouth in turn when he felt Jack’s hand at his belt. In a matter of seconds Jack had him stripped from the waist down and was pulling away from the kiss, eyes greedily, possessively, roving over what he’d just bared as he jerked open his BDU pants in turn.

Fixing his glasses, which had gone askew, Daniel hurriedly pushed himself up onto an elbow to watch, his eyes darting up to Jack’s face when Jack seemed to fumble. Jack’s expression in that moment caught him off guard, it slightly shy, but mostly bewildered; brow furrowing, Daniel shifted to where he was sitting again. “What is it?”

Jack shook his head, Daniel arched a brow, silently telling Jack he wasn’t letting it go. Jack lightly rolled his eyes even as he continued to work on his fly. “You. Like this.” Jack gestured toward his slightly-splayed legs. “Hard and leaking, so open and eager and God, Daniel, your eyes…” the corner of his mouth quirked slightly as he moved on to his zip. “It’s just been a while since someone’s looked at me like you, is all.” Jack paused as, zipper open, he pushed his trousers down. “I don’t know that anyone ever did.”

“Jack.” Daniel reached for him, hunger still there, but it tempered with something softer now. He smiled, touched Jack’s cheek, traced along his jaw. “My gain then,” he said simply and he brushed a kiss over Jack’s mouth, parting with a gentle suck to Jack’s lower lip. Jack’s eyes shaded with the gesture and Daniel’s want rose again; kissing and nibbling at Jack’s mouth Daniel laid back, drawing Jack with him. “And it’s nothing you’ll have to go without again,” he finished, voice ragged with the breath that caught as his hands found Jack’s ass and Jack’s dick rubbed against his own. Jack shivered against him, beneath his hands, breathed his name against his ear; Daniel’s libido soared, knowing Jack was as effected by the contact as he was. “Inside me, Jack. Please,” Daniel pled again when Jack languidly rolled against him.

“Shh.” Jack lifted his head, kissed him, pulled away to settle onto his knees. Eyes never leaving Jack’s face, Daniel put his feet to the ground and parted his legs for him. “Fuck, Daniel,” Jack muttered and Daniel’s gut tightened hard when Jack’s fingers traced the length of his dick and then over his balls and taint to tease at his hole. He arched up at the hinted pressure and Jack gave a breathless laugh. “Easy, Danny. Just let me-“ Jack slid his fingers into his mouth and Daniel’s dick twitched as he watched Jack suck at them. “There,” Jack declared once he withdrew them and then the spit-slick fingers were inside him; Daniel’s head dropped back with a low, pleasured grunt as he pushed his hips up and Jack swore. “Remind me never to take you bookish type guys at face-value again.”

“I better be the last bookish-type guy you’re taking period,” Daniel retorted with arched brow and as tartly as he could with Jack’s fingers up his ass and flirting with his prostate as they were, and Jack laughed. Daniel grinned himself even as he blinked against a hinted sting in his eyes. It was so natural between them, so good, and Daniel couldn’t recall ever having felt such either so happy or so aroused. “I’m good, Jack, I swear it,” he said with his next breath, suddenly feeling that he needed Jack right then or he just might die from the force of it.

“You sure?” Jack asked, and Daniel nodded. Jack mimicked the gesture, slid his fingers free, pulled one of Daniel’s legs up onto his arm. Daniel felt the push of Jack’s head against his hole and, arching his hips up, took him, breaths coming in soft, short pants as he was stretched and filled. “You okay? Daniel!”

“Yes.” Daniel blinked his eyes open, swallowed, smiled. “Yeah. Yeah, Jack, I’m good.” He rolled his hips, softly gasped at the sensation, smiled again. “Real good.”

“’kay.” Jack kissed him gently, murmured against his mouth, “Let me know if I hurt you,” and then teased his lips with kisses and sucks as he set a slow, deep rhythm. Jack took his time, not fucking him, but making love to him as Daniel had asked, both of them saying more with their bodies and their responses to each other than they’d been able to yet with words.

Eventually, Jack’s thrusts became more erratic and more insistent; knowing that he’d brought Jack close to his peak urged Daniel toward his own and he moved the hand that had splayed over Jack’s right shoulder down and between them to stroke his dick. “Jack,” he breathed as his eyes rolled closed and Daniel ran his thumb over his head; his body spasmed with the sensation and, with a low grunt of Daniel’s name, Jack froze, hips jerking sharply against Daniel’s ass as he released. “Jack,” Daniel repeated, fist tightening, stroking faster; he could feel Jack’s seed slide out of his hole as Jack started to thrust again and, with a final hard pull to his dick, Daniel came, Jack’s mouth taking his to gently swallow Daniel’s wanton cry.

They laid there a long while afterward, holding each other, still joined, Daniel’s hand lazily carding through Jack’s hair or stroking Jack’s spine. After some time had passed, Daniel opened his eyes and then turned his head to murmur in Jack’s ear, “I wonder how long ago the fireworks stopped?”

“Oh, I’d say ten minutes ago? Fifteen, maybe?”

Daniel snickered, lightly slapped Jack’s ass; Jack smiled against Daniel’s neck. After kissing the flesh there, Jack shifted his hips, fully slid free from Daniel, and then sat. “Dunno,” he said reluctantly. “But I suppose we should—“ he stopped, waved an airy hand toward their clothes. “—before anyone comes up.”

“Yeah.” Daniel cast a brief, forlorn look toward the sky and sat up, but then put the disappointment behind him—and then quickly scrambled to his pants when he heard Saaya’s voice.

“…sleeping.” The boy took an apologetic tone. “They were quiet and didn’t come out for so long after the celebration had stopped so I looked in on them.” Saaya giggled then. “The flasks and food were empty and our brew is strong.”

Daniel’s eyes, which had widened when Saaya had said that he’d looked in on them, snapped over to the mostly-full basket of food and wine and then to Jack. Jack, grinning like an idiot, offered an easy shrug as he finished wiping himself off with his briefs and then reached for his pants; smiling himself now, Daniel rolled his eyes.

“Perhaps we should leave them alone, Major Carter,” Teal’c suggested, but Daniel continued to move quickly as he cleaned up and dressed nonetheless. He loved Sam but, sometimes, she could be as obstinate as Jack could be. “Daniel Jackson has just been released from the infirmary and we have both experienced how O’Neill is when he is dealing with the after-effects of too much alcohol.”

Daniel laughed at Jack with his eyes and then blew him an air kiss when Jack mimed a threatening gesture.

“You’re right about that,” Sam agreed, wry amusement in her voice. “Fine,” she said after a second or two. “We’ll leave them and, if they’re not down in time to make the 2300 ‘gate call, we’ll get them up then.”

The two thanked Saaya and then left; Daniel finished up with his fly and then lifted his head. “Thank you, Saaya,” he called out in echo. The boy giggled in response and, snickering, Daniel turned to Jack.

“Kid’s probably been out there standing guard all along,” Jack mused as he drew Daniel to him again. “Like I said, he’s pretty smart. In tune. Like you.” Jack kissed him then, slow and sweet. “You made the earth move for me too, Daniel,” he murmured against Daniel’s lips once they were done. “Maybe you should consider taking the Svehrians up on their offer.”

The comment was both teasing and reaching and, with a smile, Daniel shifted his head to where he could meet Jack’s eyes. “Tempting, from an educational standpoint,” Daniel replied honestly, and then he brought a hand up to Jack’s cheek. “But no. I belong with you, Jack, and with the SGC. For as long as I’m able to be.” It was the best he could promise. Daniel couldn’t say forever given the uncertainties that they faced, but Jack understood that. He could see it in Jack’s eyes as Jack’s mouth neared his own again.

"Good," Jack murmured, and he echoed Daniel’s promise through his kiss.