Sam stopped, allowing Teal’c to pass her with a nod, as he followed Daniel down the hallway. “Yes, sir?”
“General Hammond would like to speak with the two of us.”
“Yes, sir,” she was clearly as puzzled as Jack was.
“Major Carter, a disturbing rumor has come to my ears. I was told that Colonel Makepeace struck Dr. Jackson during his tenure as leader of SG1. Is this true?”
“Carter, that’d better not be true!”
“I did not witness Colonel Makepeace attacking Daniel.”
“That’s not much of an answer, Major Carter.”
“General Hammond, all I can tell you is that Daniel showed up one day with some bruises. When I asked him, he said they occurred off duty. I told him if someone had hurt him, Colonel Makepeace, as his commanding officer, needed to know. He declined to report it, insisting that it was not worth the trouble it would cause.”
“The trouble it would cause?”
“Permission to speak freely, General Hammond?”
“In refusing to report Colonel Makepeace as his attacker, I believe he thought he was protecting Colonel O'Neill, sir.”
“Protecting me?” Jack didn’t like the sound of that.
“It wouldn’t have taken a genius to figure out that if someone was stealing stuff, it had to be an SG team leader, someone who was calling the shots. Daniel knew it wasn’t you, he figured it was Colonel Makepeace. Remember, Daniel had had dealings with the colonel before, sir, he knew what kind of a commanding officer he was.” Sam couldn’t keep the disgust out of her voice.
Jack winced as he recalled the black eye Daniel had gotten on a mission with Makepeace. He had ranted about it for a week and it had taken all his persuasive abilities to keep Carter and Teal’c from thumping Makepeace and SG3. He was beginning to bitterly regret restraining them.
“Exactly what did that bastard do to Daniel?” Sam dropped her eyes. “Carter, I asked you a question.”
She reluctantly lifted her eyes. “He had several bruises on his neck. They looked like...”
“Hands, sir, it looked like someone had choked Daniel.”
“Goddammit, why I am just finding this out?”
“I told you, Daniel denied that Makepeace had attacked him. Said it had happened off duty. That’s what he told Janet when she asked, too.”
“Dr. Fraiser knew.”
“She questioned Daniel at length about them. You’d have to ask her if he told her anything differently, sir.”
“Oh, I intend to, you can bet on it. But first, I need to see a certain archaeologist, General, if you don’t mind.” He stormed out the door.
“Permission to be excused, sir.”
“Granted, Major Carter.”
As soon as she was out of earshot of the general’s office, Sam dug her cell phone out of her pocket, dialing quickly. “Daniel, where are you?”
“In the elevator, heading out.”
“Well, keep going, the colonel just found out about Makepeace choking you.”
“Dammit! How’d he find out?”
“I don’t know, I tried to cover. But he’s fit to be tied. Just giving you a head’s up, Daniel. If you can avoid him altogether, you should. I doubt if the turtleneck’s gonna fool him.”
“Appreciate it, Sam.” She heard the unmistakable sounds of nature as Daniel hung up. At least he’d made it to the surface. Now, if he could just avoid the colonel, at least till he cooled off.
Daniel’s plan was to land at his apartment long enough to throw a few things in a bag and get the hell out of town. So far so good, he hadn’t spotted Jack’s truck in the parking garage as he pulled in. He lucked out, someone was just getting off the elevator and he leaped in.
He was still congratulating himself when he let himself into his apartment.
“Hello, Daniel.” He whirled around to find Jack sitting on his couch.
“Uh, Jack. What are you doing here?”
“Waiting for you. I figured Carter’d tip you.”
“I …I don’t know what you mean.”
“The hell you don’t, Daniel,” Jack surged to his feet. “Take it off.”
“I....what are you talking about?”
“The turtleneck, Daniel, it’s a dead giveaway.”
Daniel self-consciously touched his neck. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Either you take the goddamned thing off or I’ll do it for you.” His voice was icy. And not to be ignored. Knowing there was no way out of it, Daniel shrugged off his jacket and pulled the sweater over his head.
“Jack, it’s not as bad...”
“Shut the fuck up, Daniel.” Pushing him against the wall, he grabbed Daniel’s face and turned him into the light. There on his neck were the unmistakable prints of two large hands. “Jesus, Daniel. Why didn’t you say something?”
“I couldn’t, Jack. I wasn’t gonna blow your cover.”
“So you let Makepeace throttle you, to keep me safe.”
“Well, I wouldn’t put it like that.”
“How would you put it?”
“I don’t know. Taking one for the team?” He saw that Jack wasn’t laughing. “You know I bruise easily.”
“Are you gonna tell me why he choked you? Or am I gonna have to choke it out of him?”
“I don’t know.”
“Don’t know, or won’t tell?” Daniel shook his head, bit his lip. Jack sighed; he knew just how stubborn Daniel could be. But he’d eventually get it out of him. He’d just bide his time.
“It wasn’t that bad, Jack, doesn’t even hurt.” Not much, anyway, he amended silently.
“Dammit, Daniel, don’t tell me that doesn’t hurt. What did Fraiser say?”
“You’re a fucking liar, Daniel.” His hand was gently stroking the dark purple marks on that pale skin.
“Is this why you’ve been avoiding me? All those nice excuses. 'I’m working, Jack. I think I’m getting a cold, Jack. You need your rest, Jack.' One of these days, I am going to kill you. Very, very slowly.” He couldn’t keep his eyes off the bruises. “Just not today.” His dark eyes found Daniel’s confused blue eyes. And he smirked. “Why don’t I kiss them and make them feel better?” He felt Daniel’s moan as he tenderly kissed his neck.
“Jack,” Daniel’s head fell back, and Jack’s lips traveled to the other side, soothing those bruises, too.
“Any other boo-boos that I need to attend to?”
Daniel arched off the wall as Jack sucked lightly on one of the bruises. “N...no, I’m good.”
Jack’s lips found his, pushed them apart, and slid his tongue in. “You certainly are.” They were both moaning as Jack pulled Daniel’s T-shirt over his head.
“God, Jack, do you know how scared I was for you?” Jack’s lips had headed south again.
“And you did such a good job, Daniel, that scene in my house was great. I almost believed it myself. That hurt little boy voice was just perfect.”
“Jack,” Daniel’s eyelashes fluttered as Jack’s questing tongue traced his ribs. His hands held Jack’s head, encouraging his continued attention.
“And then, in the gateroom. I could have kissed your sad little face, right then and there.”
“I’d...Oh, God,” Daniel found it hard to think when Jack used his teeth, “advise against it, the Tollans might have been…oh...shocked.”
“No more than General Hammond.” His hands expertly unzipped Daniel’s jeans.
“Jack,” Daniel gasped as Jack began stroking him. “We...I can’t.”
“Feels to me like you just did.” Jack yanked sharply, smiled maliciously as Daniel shuddered.
Daniel fell back against the wall, helpless to stop the onslaught of emotions caused by Jack’s hand. “Not here, Jack. I can’t...”
Jack grabbed the turtleneck and wrapped it around Daniel’s dick as he came. “I repeat, you just did.”
“Dammit, Jack, I loved that sweater.”
“So wash it.”
“Like I could ever wear it again! Every time I put it on, I’d be thinking…oh, God, stop that right now.”
“Yeah, that’s just what I was thinking, too.”