Author's notes: Thanks to Catspaw and Gateroller
Puck Stops Here, The Part 5
Puck Stops Here, The Part 5
Date Archived: 06/19/03
Category: Story, Alternate Universe
Characters/Pairings: Other Characters Jack and Daniel with a twist Jack/Daniel
Permission to archive: Area 52
Series: Chapter 5
Notes: Thanks to Catspaw and Gateroller
Disclaimer: Not mine except the ones which are.
Summary: Yet more puckin'
The two sharp suited advisers wandered slowly down the hospital corridor towards the entrance; their expressions grave.
"So," asked Zack. "Whadya reckon?"
"About what?" Jeff answered.
"About Jack being a fag," Zack replied, bluntly.
The smaller, portlier man shrugged. "How the fuck should I know? He's never made a move on me."
Zack chuckled. " I doubt you'd be his type, Jeff."
"Yeah, and fuck you too," Jeff snorted. "Why do you ask, anyway? Do you think he is?"
"Alls I know, is that there's no smoke without fire and I'm saying no more."
Jeff stopped him with a restraining hand on his arm.
"Are you telling me you know something?" he asked, raising his eyebrows.
Zack sighed. "Look, it makes no difference to me one way or the other. Most of my best clients are gay, for God's sake. They earn a lot of money and they pay their bills on time. Who they get their rocks off with is none of my concern and I'm happy that way."
"C'mon Zack Dish the dirt."
"There's no dirt, Jeff, I swear on my grandmother - oleha ha shalom. Just rumours, that's all. They've followed him around since he was in New York, but no-one ever had any hard evidence. If you'll pardon the pun."
"Whether he's gay or straight, or bi or into having sex with kangaroos, we have to save him as much as we can from that little bitch. He's a decent guy and he's been a lucrative client for both of us."
"Yeah. Who knew she was that bright?"
"Not bright, Jeff. Just a good eye for a patsy, and unfortunately 'Irish' back there was that patsy. I guess she'll move on to that dumb fucking Polack now. If both his brain cells ever bashed together there'd be a nuclear explosion and his whole head would be sucked into a black hole."
"Oooh, Zacariah, now that was profound. And nasty. He welch on a bill?"
"No and enough with using my full name, already. His family are Polish Chasidim; mine are Mitnagdim from Lithuania. Does that give you a clue?"
Jeff nodded, knowingly. "Okay, old country politics. I'm down with that. You wanna go down to Manischevitz and get some blinis?"
"Lead the way. I'll need something in my stomach if I'm going to pull O'Neill's ass out of the fire on this one."
Jack was becoming more depressed by the hour. He wondered if there were any more nasty surprises on the horizon. The only positive thing to come out of this whole mess so far was the kid. Daniel. Jack sighed. He couldn't exactly be surprised at the rumours; as much as he wanted to tell himself it wasn't so, he was attracted to guys as well as women. Maybe it was worth facing up to it and letting the whore do her worst? One thing was for sure, he wouldn't ever play again; not with this kind of injury, but truthfully it had only robbed him of a couple more seasons and then he'd have been forced to retire anyway. Sonovabitch could have waited until after the Stanley fucking Cup though.
It pissed him off to let her win and the thought of that ugly bastard Pankowski sleeping in his bed, swimming in his pool and, worse yet, driving his car made Jack nauseous... or maybe that was the pain meds; but in any event, it would almost be worth the furore of coming out as bisexual to stop that scenario from happening. It might even be a good thing; maybe he could become a role model for young bisexual and gay guys who were damned good hockey players, but unable to show it for fear of having the crap beaten out of them in the locker room. The people of the twentieth century weren't as enlightened as they purported to be, if the bald truth were told.
He was torn. Afraid that he'd never get any kind of job in hockey again, yet unwilling to just lay down and let that bitch walk all over him in her Jimmy Choo's. He wanted to call Daniel... but why him? They'd only just met, yet Jack couldn't deny to himself - even if he would deny it to anyone else 'til his dying breath - that he was more than attracted. He wanted to do things with this guy that he wasn't even sure were legal in Pennsylvania. He'd never felt so strongly drawn to a man before: physically, perhaps, but with Daniel there seemed to be the possibility of so much more than that. Love even? Maybe, but Jack didn't know how to fall in love with another man and besides, he wasn't completely sure the kid was that way inclined. Perhaps that was the other shoe; the fact that Jack was falling for a man who was straight. He chuckled to himself: yep, that would just about ice the cake. He settled back and flicked on the TV while munching on the leftover chips Daniel had brought with him. After a couple of days of hospital food, he figured he could fall in love with the kid just for that.
Back at the Marriott, Daniel was restless. He couldn't help wanting to go and see O'Neill again, but didn't want to push his luck. At some point, he was convinced that Jack would see through the 'fan' faade and realise that not only did Daniel have an adolescent crush, it was becoming inescapably deeper every time Daniel was with him. 'Jack's straight,' Daniel kept telling himself. 'He wouldn't be interested in you that way. He couldn't be,' but in the back of his mind he'd replay the look at the arena, the way Jack had held his hand in the hospital, and allowed Daniel into his personal space by hugging him. Was he making too much of it? Probably, but damn it felt good to be that close. Holding his pillow tightly, he tried to remember the smell of Jack's hair, the tangy fragrance of his sport shampoo mixed with sweat, and the touch of his hand, its finger pads slightly callused from years of having them wrapped around a hockey stick for hours on end, day after day.
Daniel's balls ached and his dick throbbed with wanting him and after he'd relieved the tension accompanied by a beautiful fantasy, Jack making love to him slow and deep, both of them looking into each other's eyes and holding on tight while they came together, Daniel cried with frustration that the man he'd waited his whole life for would probably never be his. He was just cleaning himself up when his cell phone rang.
"Hi Daniel, it's... ah... it's Jack. Jack O'Neill."
"Hey Jack, how's it going?"
"Well, ah... are you... I mean, can you... ah shit, I'm just gonna say it. Can you come down and see me again today? I'm gettin' bored outta my melon here. I really want someone to talk to that isn't after my money, one way or another."
Daniel smiled, "Sure. I'll see you in a half hour, okay?" He could hear Jack's sigh of relief.
"Thanks kid, I owe ya one."
"Don't worry about it," Daniel replied, trying not to chuckle as he imagined how he'd like to collect. "See you later."
Jack grinned like an idiot at the thought of seeing Daniel again. He wondered how long he could keep him in Pittsburgh before he really had to go back to school. He would need a little help for the first few days after coming out of hospital, after all; someone to make sure he didn't fall on his ass in the shower, someone to help him clean the pin sites in his leg... it was possible. He felt guilty, however. It was almost as if he were using Daniel, but what if Daniel wanted to do it? That would make it okay, surely?
It was nice being someone's hero; Jack hadn't felt so valued in a long time. Goals like the one he'd scored had been few and far between, which was okay for a defenseman, but not scoring goals didn't get you noticed. Jack had always been a hardworking D, out there doing the job with no fuss and no flourish. The most people had to say about him these days was, 'Hey, he's doin' pretty good for an old guy' and yet here was Daniel, whose beautiful blue eyes shone with genuine happiness whenever they met, who seemed eager to do anything he could to make Jack's life easier, and who was currently racing down to the hospital as fast as the traffic would allow.
There was a soft knock at the door and Jack wondered who it could be. It was too soon for Daniel, Jeff and Zack hadn't been gone all that long and the bitch wouldn't be back 'til the morning.
"Yeah, come in."
It was his physician, Doctor Reynolds. "Afternoon, Jack. I'm just going to have a little look at this leg of yours and if all's going well, I think we can let you go, once we've completed the paperwork."
Jack perked up at the news. "Really? Oh Doc, that's great! Not that the service around here hasn't been outstanding y'understand..."
The doctor smiled. "I'm guessing that's why there are empty packets of chips, dip, ooh look, Twinkies! And all kinds of other good foodstuffs all over this room, hmm? Fully satisfied with the accommodations?"
"Well, er, I mean, a friend brought them in and..."
"Don't worry, Jack. I think hospital food is designed to make the patients want to get well as quickly as possible," he chuckled, while completing his exam. "We'll need you to come in for physio three times a week, and you'll have to keep the fixator on for six weeks. We'll X-ray again after that to make sure the bones are knitting together, but to be honest, Jack, although it was a bad break, it wasn't a complicated one from a medical point of view. There's no reason why you shouldn't be walking reasonably well on it in a couple of months."
"Cool, thanks Doc. What about skating?"
"I think we both know your career is over, don't we?"
Jack sadly nodded his agreement.
"But as for rec skating, give it a few months; maybe 'til the season starts up again in September and start slowly. The ACL problem in that other knee still giving you trouble, by the way?"
Jack nodded, rubbing it reflexively. "Always does when I've been on my back for a while. It gets stiff."
"I'll ask the physio to work on it when he comes down. Maybe we should look into fixing that up for you in a few months time. Anyway, I'll get the paperwork done and filed and you can be out of here by dinnertime. How's that?"
"Sounds good to me, Doc. Thanks a lot."
"No problem, Jack. Looks like the Pens only have one more game to go to win the whole thing. Have you seen the highlights?"
"No, I didn't. I think the meds you guys gave me knocked me out," Jack smiled. "That's cool. I'd like to see 'em finish it, it might wipe the smile of that bastard's face who did this to me."
The doctor frowned, "Yeah. That was a nasty move. I hope they ban the sonovabitch, he's had it coming his whole career."
"Anyway, let's get you out of bed and see if you can walk up the corridor a little bit for me. Mike tells me you've taken to the crutches pretty easily."
Jack eased himself around and hung his legs over the side of the bed. "Yeah, he seems pretty pleased. Pocket dictator," he grinned.
Reynolds laughed, "That's what he's for. To be on your case until you get better. Think of him as another Scotty Bowman."
Jack chuckled, "I don't think the world's ready for another Scotty Bowman." He bore his weight on the crutches and his good leg and slid gingerly off the bed, placing his feet on the floor. At least he'd managed to get a pair of pyjamas to wear, even if they did have to cut off one of the legs to get it over the fixator. Hospital gowns weren't designed for public display and Jack was always afraid that someone would get a good look at something they weren't prepared for.
He slowly edged towards the door, taking a little weight on his bad leg and the rest on his relatively good one. The doctor smiled. "Doin' good, Jack. You've taken to those like a natural; it's just a matter of balance and rhythm. Like skating."
"Now that I can do," Jack replied, concentrating and making his way slowly up the corridor. "Only thing is it puts more strain on my bum knee. Can you do anything 'bout that?"
"I'll tell Mike, he can do a little manipulation for you, ease out the hamstrings a little. That might make it easier. When we get the fixator off, I'll authorise you to use the hydrotherapy pool - unless you have a Jacuzzi at home? That would do just as well."
Jack snorted bitterly. "I don't have a home anymore, Doc," then brightened as he saw Daniel walking down the corridor towards him, smiling broadly.
"Hey Irish, lookin' good!"
"Flattery'll get you everywhere, kid," Jack grinned through the discomfort. Daniel was quite a sight in shorts, tight-fitting tee and sandals. It showed off enough skin and muscle definition to pique Jack's interest, but not enough to make him embarrass himself.
"Okay, Jack. That's probably enough for now, besides, I have rounds. I'll send Mike down later on to put you through your paces again and have a look at that knee."
"Gee thanks, Doc. You're all heart," Jack grumbled.
"Can I help him back to his room?" Daniel asked.
"If it's okay with Jack. He's pretty steady on the crutches now, I don't think he'll be falling," the doctor replied, grinning. "He wants to get out of here today."
Jack smiled. "Sure, c'mon back and let me bore the ass off you some more. And you, get outta here and get that paperwork through."
Doctor Reynolds walked away up the corridor, chuckling.
Back in Jack's room, Daniel gently helped him onto the bed and put his crutches in the corner.
"Aaah, that's better. Hurts like a sumbitch when I walk. I know I gotta, but it's a royal pain. Thanks, Danny." He leaned forward and began to rub his aching knee.
"Welcome. That ACL thing kicking off again?"
Jack looked surprised. "How did...?"
Daniel smiled. "19...87, you were playing for... Vancouver. You only played for half the season, but I managed to get to a couple of games. I was playing in B.C. myself at the time. Kelowna Rockets."
Jack nodded in recognition.
"The Canucks were playing... Winnipeg, and you were checked hard against the boards by...Craig Endean, their left wing man," Daniel continued. "He popped your knee and you've had trouble with it ever since."
"Jesus Christ! You really have been keepin' an eye on me, haven't you?" Jack asked in amazement.
Daniel felt the colour rushing up to his face and chuckled. "I told you, I'm a fan. Anyway, let me have a look at this knee."
"It's right there, under the jammies. Kinda bends a little to let me skate and walk, but it's not much different from any other knee you ever saw."
Daniel rolled his eyes. "I'm a qualified sports masseur, Jack. Maybe I can help you with it."
"Oh! Oh... well... okay, go for it," Jack replied, instantly regretting his choice of words and hoping that having the young man's long, elegant hands around his leg wouldn't cause an unwanted reaction in other parts of him. What did the Doc say about stretching out the hamstrings to alleviate the pressure?
Daniel applied pressure around the joint, over the top of Jack's clothing. It wouldn't be as effective at treating the injury, but it might take Daniel's mind off the fact that he had his hands on Jack O'Neill's thigh. He really didn't intend to do any more than help Jack with the pain and was conscious of keeping up his professionalism and keeping down anything else.
Jack tried to relax while the young man worked. His fists were clenched, as was his jaw, but he could still feel stirrings as Daniel's long fingers rubbed around his knee and applied pressure either side. Worse was to come as Daniel began to strip the muscle of Jack's thigh to alleviate some of the tension in his hamstring. The young man's hands stroked all the way up from knee to groin, pressing hard, which was the only saving grace. Jack's head lolled back on the pillow as a bolt of sensation shot through his dick and an involuntary groan escaped his lips.
"Oh that's good, Daniel. Oh... ah..." His eyes snapped open. "Ah! Danny... I... er... I think we'd... oh... better stop...before I..."
Daniel looked up at him, with a half-smile. "You okay, Jack? I'm not hurting you, am I?"
Jack shuffled up the bed, away from Daniel's teasing fingers and put his hand over his groin.
"No! No, not at all, I'm just... I think we should... ah fuck!"
Daniel moved back slightly, and took his hand. "You know I'm attracted to you, don't you?" he asked quietly.
"Ah... I hadn't really... um..."
"And I'm not on my own here, am I?"
"Well, I... I mean... I don't...ah Christ, Danny. I don't know. I mean I do know but I... Look, I'm in a difficult position," he began, absentmindedly stroking Daniel's knuckles with his fingers. "Yeah, I am attracted. Of course I am, I'd be blind not to be: but not only do I not know what to do about it, because I've never been with a guy before - at least not since I was sixteen - but my wife has threatened to out me as gay if I don't let her have all my worldly goods. I'm not saying I don't want to. Jesus, thinking about having you in my bed has been keeping me up since I first laid eyes on you, so don't think it's that, I just..."
"I think I understand, Jack. It's cool. Listen, do you want me to come home and help you out for a few days, 'til you get more steady on your feet and can look after yourself?" he raised his hands. "No strings. Scout's Honour."
Jack snorted. "You were so never a Boy Scout."
Daniel chuckled. "Okay, you got me there, but I promise I won't push. It's your call: whether we take this any further or not, how far we take it, all up to you, Jack. I care about you too much to fuck it up. Even if we part as friends and nothing more happens, I'm happy with that. I just want to help."
Jack smiled and stroked his face. "Danny, you have no idea how much you've helped me already. If you won't get into trouble for not going back to school, that would be great."
"I've finished for the semester. I don't have to go back to L.A. until September. Think that'll be long enough?" he grinned.
Jack looked at Daniel's beautiful face, his eyes full of happiness, affection and desire for him and something inside him said, 'Fuck it.'
Daniel's heart somersaulted in his chest and he swallowed hard.
Jack pulled him down and their lips tentatively met, sending electric shocks through both of them. Daniel steadied himself on the pillow with one hand and stroked Jack's bearded cheek with the fingertips of the other while slipping his tongue gently inside Jack's mouth. Jack moaned and thrust his own tongue inside Daniel's mouth and they kissed until they were gasping for air.
Jack stroked Daniel's face with a look of wonderment on his own.
"Holy shit, Danny. That was amazing!" he whispered.
"There's plenty more where that came from, Irish," Daniel smiled. "Give me the chance and I'll rock your world."
If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Wadjet