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The sound of metal and plastic breaking was followed by a snicker as Daniel's alarm clock hit the wall.

In his barely conscious state, a memory intruded into Daniel's mind like an old, worn sock; still comfortable, but with holes. Daniel remembered lying in a tent, darkness ebbing, and Jack snickering at him after he'd cursed at some alien bird that had been doing a rooster imitation.

"Tired?" Jack asked, sliding his nicely warm hand over his ass.

Daniel wondered why Jack's hand was warm but when a finger slipped into his cleft, he stopped wondering. "You're a rotten, evil, dirty bastard, and I hate you," he mumbled from under his pillow.

Jack nuzzled the back of his neck and Daniel could feel him smiling. "I hate you more."

"No, I hate you more," came his muffled reply. "Go back to sleep."

"Make me," Jack told him as he bit a lovely section of back muscle, grinning over the skin that jumped from his touch.

Daniel started to snicker then. "God, I've been fucking..." He pushed up on his forearms so his words would be crisper and clearer. "A teenager," was what he'd been about to say, but couldn't because it wasn't true. The energy level was close enough, however. Jack looked thoroughly mussed and gorgeous and very much needing an early morning fuck.

It had only been three days since Jack had shown up; two since they'd had sex for the first time. This was new, but old, yet they hadn't stopped having sex for longer than six hours. Daniel groaned to himself, wishing Jack would stop eliciting this reaction in him. His dick filled and jerked, interest rising rapidly and he rubbed against the sheet. "You're not playing fair."

Jack grinned at him. Mischievously. Coyly. Fucking bastard. Then the grin faded and Jack's arm was around his neck, body pushing him onto his back. "Fair is what this is," he said, rubbing their cocks together, bodies together, kissing breathless until they were leaking.

Lube lay close by, then Jack was using it, sliding into him, heat perfect and thick. Daniel locked his legs around his waist, threw his head back and closed his eyes, rocking back and forth with the slow timing of Jack's rhythmic thrusts. It never took long, but occasionally, like now, Jack would take his time before he'd sit up and pull Daniel's legs over the crooks of his arms. Then he'd simply fuck him.


Daniel grabbed the headboard and stared up into Jack's eyes. He waited till the last second because he couldn't look too long. Doing so made him come in under a minute. Just seeing those beautiful eyes on him and having it be Jack who watched him, who fucked him...

"God," he moaned and grabbed his cock, stroking fast as he came all over his stomach. He brought his sticky fingers to Jack's mouth, extra come spurting when Jack hungrily licked them clean.

"Fuck, yes," he whispered before he shook through his orgasm, knowing it had been Daniel's come that had set him off.

Daniel pulled him down, settled around Jack and moved only when an arm fell asleep. Jack certainly didn't seem to care about moving--or about disengaging himself from his side. The thing that Daniel still couldn't get used to was that Jack was a cuddler. And he liked it. A lot.

. . .

Breakfast finished, Daniel figured it was time to get Jack to talk. Something had been on his mind. He set the dishes in the sink and turned on the water, then unconsciously hiked up his sweats and pulled down his t-shirt--getting ready to wash. Glancing sideways at the man sitting at the table, Daniel asked, "So... you gonna spill or do I have to torture it out of you somehow?"

Jack stared back at him, chewing, then swallowed the rest with some coffee before coming over and handing him his dishes. The look he gave was very familiar; old. It was that fixed intensity that sent warm rushes through Daniel whether or not his dick was awake to appreciate it.

"Don't give me that look," Daniel told him, fixing his gaze into the sink so he couldn't be distracted. Again.

"Sorry," Jack said with obvious insincerity, kissing his neck with the briefest of touches. Daniel wanted to growl. "Just been thinking about the old man."

Daniel rolled his eyes, then dropped his chin to his chest. "Jack, I wish you wouldn't call him that."

"What am I gonna say? The other guy? I'm not calling him General."

Daniel gave him that and shrugged. "It's what he is. So what about him?"

"I don't wanna go all deep or anything but... I've been thinking about what you told me and some stuff's not tracking. I never asked before because I didn't know where we were going and I didn't wanna... know too much. It's only been three days."

Daniel raised his head, eyes focused on the water hitting the plates. Three days. It felt like forever and he knew that it was apt. He had no intention of letting Jack go. "Ask."

Jack cleared his throat. "Listen, I assumed the old me was an asshole because I really can be one. But the stuff I said before? That was my resentment talking, given how he'd treated me when I was tossed off on my own at that stupid High School."

"You weren't being harsh, Jack. He really has been an asshole over the years."

"Yes, but the point is, I've been going over why."

"Does it really matter?"

"Yeah, I think it does."

"Okay, and since you'd probably know him better than I would, your conclusions are...?"

"I've an idea where all the anger's going. Maybe you can shed more light on it. Were there any events that stand out? Things that made him push you further away?"

Daniel sighed and shut off the water, letting the dishes soak. Taking a sip from his coffee, he leaned against the counter in front of the sink. "Things seemed to be fine between us, friendship-wise I mean, until he'd been made head of the SGC. I told you how having that job changed him. He turned to Sam for support and comfort, not me. I didn't feel like making an effort to find out why because I figured it didn't matter."


"No, seriously," Daniel said, gesturing with his hands as he talked. "We're both very secretive, stubborn people. I wanted to maintain our friendship but if he was in no mood for it, why push something that's off-limits?"

Jack was nodding, arms folded, as he leaned against the opposite counter. "I see your point. Anything else?"

Daniel thought about it and events just seemed so trivial. "We'd been drifting apart. Then came the mission where both Sam and I were injured. The mission was to get in touch with some allies and on our way back home, the gate got a little... whacky."

"Whacky?" Jack asked, properly wary.

"Remember Antarctica? Getting thrown out of the gate?"

"I'll never forget it."

"Well, that happened to us. I still don't get why it happened but somehow, some wormholes crossed ours, amped the energy and threw us through the gate at lightning speed. We hit the ramps and then the gate locked up. I broke my leg, Sam broke an ankle and arm. Teal'c just rolled properly."

"You mean he 'weeboed'?"

Stunned, Daniel stared at that grinning face and burst out laughing. Jack only looked amused with himself, which made Daniel laugh even more. "Yes, Jack, he 'weeboed'."

Shaking his head, Daniel gave the moment some silence before sobering up a bit. Jack was trying to lighten the mood, for whatever reason, and Daniel appreciated it, but this really was something serious.

He cleared his throat and went on. "After that, things between us drifted further and further apart. He seemed to be avoiding me, as if breaking my leg was somehow making him look bad."

Jack shook his head. "That's what I've been thinking about. I think you're reading him wrong." Daniel frowned sharply at him. "I don't mean that his avoidance wasn't read correctly, I'm saying that the reasons for it might be different than you think."

Daniel shook his head. "Where's this turnabout attitude coming from? A few days ago, you were as angry with him as I was, am, and now it's different?"

Jack suddenly crossed his arms and Daniel wished he hadn't asked. "Maybe I just don't want you leaving the SGC on a bad note. Maybe I'm being Mr. Positive for once and trying to find a way to fix things. If they can be fixed, that is."

"You want to fix it? I don't see how it can be fixed."

"I'm just sayin'..." Jack threw up a hand and then stuffed both in the pockets of his jeans. Daniel's jeans.

Daniel stared at him, at this very young man standing before him with a somewhat familiar face. Jack was offering to help, something Daniel never had with the older... version. And all he could think to do was take him into the bedroom and fuck him for hours. God.

"What're you thinking about?" Jack asked.

"How young you are. And how out of my fucking mind I am for wanting you."

Jack held out his hand, but Daniel shook his head, not taking it. "I don't understand how different you two can be. You're the same, and you're not. He and Sam are living together and yet you want me--"

"Wait a sec. I thought you said they were married?"

Daniel shook his head. "Just living together. Even with her working at R & D, they still haven't gotten married. They don't show any personal feelings at work when she visits and there's no ring on his finger. If it weren't for the fact that I know how they feel, I'd never suspect anything was going on. If they're married, they're keeping it a secret." Daniel suddenly felt a slew of anger rising up and trying to hide it, he walked out of the kitchen.

Jack went after him and reached him in the living room, grabbing his arm and gentling the grip as he turned him around to face him. Daniel refused to look him in the eye. "Still touchy, I guess," he said, eyes on the grey t-shirt. "Probably take a while to get over it so fair warning."

"I'm not him, Daniel, but would you rather I left?"

Daniel looked up sharply to see deep hurt and concern in Jack's eyes. Instantly contrite, he palmed his lover's cheek. "Leave me and I'll have to hunt you down. You should remember how good I am at that."

Jack grinned, grabbing the hand and kissing the palm. "I remember telling you that you'd have made a good CIA operative and you telling me to get stuffed."

Daniel didn't return the grin. "I remember that you told me once that we'd have made a good team if I hadn't been--"

"So anti-military."

"I wasn't, you know," Daniel told him.

"I know."

"Just yanking my chain then?"

"It was always so easy," Jack said, his expression turning very serious again. "To answer your earlier question, he's hiding from you. Running. Afraid of his feelings. He's ashamed, ashamed that he thinks he can't have what he wants. I won't talk to him, but maybe I can get you to see him differently. And you never know, Daniel. When you pack up your office, maybe it'll sink in to come talk to you. Part on better terms."

Daniel snorted incredulously. "Who're you again?"

Jack grabbed him and kissed him, passionately, until Daniel remembered what he'd been thinking about doing several minutes before. "This is nuts," he whispered as they made their way back to the bedroom.

"No, but these are," Jack said as he guided Daniel's hand to his balls. By the time they were naked and spread out on the bed, Daniel's mouth replaced his hand, his fingers opening, preparing. When he buried his dick deep inside Jack's ass, he took his time, the slow rhythm allowing more than the usual connection, but Daniel let himself feel as though they were doing more than fucking. They were bonding.

What intruded was the thought of doing this to the older man and Daniel squeezed his eyes shut and tried to rid himself of the images. He altered the tempo, changing the pace to frenzied and rough, but his Jack encouraged him for more--which only made it worse. Daniel felt as though he were fucking them both and wishing he could.

When he opened his eyes and focused on the young man beneath him, Daniel grabbed him by the hair and pulled his head back, making Jack yell and come. The grip around his cock made him thrust faster, faster still, and when he came, the person he saw was the young man clutching his cock, but Daniel was also thinking of the General. He reluctantly admitted to himself that it was going to take a while to get over Jack, especially with the new one in his life.

So many books, so many old tomes. Too goddamn many journals. Daniel packed them all away, however, having no intention of leaving anything the SGC hadn't already copied.

He placed a few old journals into a new documents carton and thought of Teal'c, wishing he could say goodbye in person. He wanted to go ask the General but was fed up with hearing him say no. The things his Jack had said had run around in Daniel's mind like marbles, stirring up dusty memories and logic circuits. Jack was right. If the General was indeed afraid, then he'd act exactly as he had been.

But it was hard to analyze properly when faced with all that angry concern for someone else. Concern for him was marginalized. While Jack had come to get him in Nicaragua, what if Bill Lee hadn't been with him? Would Jack have come for him then? Daniel had been stunned by Jack's indignant response to, "What're you doing here?" He'd actually been hurt by that question, and the assumption it made. "Of course I'd come rescue your ass. What's wrong with you?" Jack had said later.

Daniel hadn't bothered to answer him, figuring there was no need. He simply couldn't believe that Jack would have worried that much for him. What if he'd been in Sam's place on the Prometheus? Or at the Alpha Site? Even being caught behind enemy lines in the Rand Protectorate hadn't engendered too much feeling from Jack. Although there had been... some.

Was his Jack right? Was there something there? Daniel didn't want to believe it but what if he'd been wrong? After all, Jack wasn't all that touchy-feely of a guy.

Except where Sam was concerned. The good mood Daniel had been trying to maintain disintegrated and the resentment came back full force. He slammed the journals into the box and grabbed more off the shelf, taking deep breaths, telling himself it was a waste of emotion.

He looked around before assembling a few more boxes, trying to determine how many more he'd need. The room was nearly empty now, except for the shelves and the items in his desk he hadn't allowed the support personnel to pack. Reinforcing the box with duct tape, Daniel began to place more books inside when a tapping came at the open door.

He was absurdly reminded of Edgar Allan Poe. "Nevermore," he said to himself, the word filling him with a deep sadness.

"Nevermore what?" the General asked.

Daniel froze, book in hand halfway into the box. He slowly placed it where he'd wanted it and grabbed another, refusing to turn around and greet the visitor.

"Nevermore will I hear that sound, and nevermore will you find me here." The words, sounding stupidly cryptic, nevertheless sounded appropriate.

"You're in a poetic mood today," Jack said.

Daniel heard him take a few steps, and there was a moment where he was torn between hoping the steps were coming forward and moving away. When the door closed, the mechanism telling him it was being closed from the inside, Daniel knew that whatever he'd hoped, it no longer mattered. Story of his life with General Jack O'Neill.

Daniel turned to look at him, feeling weird. It had been a very long time since Jack had allowed himself to be alone with him. Resentment began to rise up again and for a few seconds, Daniel wanted to give in to it, to tell the General that he no longer knew one day from the other where he was concerned and had no right to assume a familiarity where none existed anymore.

But he reminded himself that such a display of feelings would have no positive effect on the General. Besides, Daniel couldn't bring himself to be spiteful. He just wanted to be done. Gone. "Come to say goodbye?" he asked, turning away.

"Oh, c'mon, we'll see each other," Jack said with a flippant wave of his hand.

Daniel snorted derisively and arranged the books he had in front of him by size. "Not unless you're planning on moving to San Francisco."

He didn't see the flush on Jack's face or the wide, startled expression. "You're leaving Colorado?" he asked.

"Yes," Daniel said, nodding. "There's no point staying. It's not like I'm consulting. Besides, I can do that from a distance, should the Air Force require my services for anything."

"Just feels odd to not have you here."

"There are plenty of people who can do my job."

"Maybe. But none who can replace you."

Jack's voice was quiet and Daniel turned to see him looking away. Always looking away, never sharing intimate feelings to his face. Anger rose within again and this time, Daniel let a little of it show.

"Why do you care?"

"What?" Jack asked, turning sharply, eyes wide. Daniel could feel a surge of victory at having caught him off guard.

"Once upon a time, I asked you why you care. I was dying and you couldn't manage to admit you even admired me, never mind liked me. Why are you here?"

"I just..." Jack started, then Daniel watched the walls go up like the high guard during a siege. He knew immediately that this Jack would retreat to familiar ground, to leave the question unanswered. Which he did. "Screw it," Jack said, turning. "Goodbye, Dr. Jackson."

Daniel ground his jaws and turned away, concentrating with every fiber of his being on not exploding. This would never be resolved. He'd never have his answer. Fuck it.

Then suddenly Jack's feet made a shuffling noise against the concrete floor and alarmed, Daniel turned back to find him hesitating at the door.

"You can answer me, Jack," Daniel said, letting a little spite out. "No one's going to know. You won't even have to look at me again to be reminded about whatever you're ashamed of saying."

"I never said..." Jack said as he stopped cold and flushed again.

"I don't want to admit that I'll miss you," Daniel suddenly said, feeling his cheeks grow warm, "but I will and I have no goddamn idea why after the way you've treated me. Why are you here to say goodbye to me when you've gone out of your way to convince me that you don't give a shit?"

"I just..." Jack started again, the emotion deep and dark in his eyes. But he couldn't finish, as if the words were trapped there.

Daniel sighed and turned away again, feeling the sudden anger and resentment leaving him. "I can't wait till you're ready to talk to me." It was as if he suddenly understood what his Jack had been trying to say to him. Without thinking, he said, "I'll be around for ten more days. If you want to say goodbye, resolve all the unsaid things, then give me a call."

The indecision on Jack's face made Daniel want to laugh, but he didn't. Instead, he gestured at the door. "Now, if you'll excuse me?"

Jack stared hard at him, and for a second, a flicker of something interesting crossed Jack's face, then was gone. He suddenly gave a crisp nod then left Daniel's office without a backward look. Daniel closed the door behind him, locked it, and leaned against it, letting out a slow breath. If he hadn't known better, he could have sworn Jack had been about to kiss him.

. . .

The young face with the amazing brown eyes stared back at him, dumbfounded, after Daniel told him what had happened, and what he thought the older Jack had been about to do.

"And if he'd kissed you?" Jack asked.

"I don't know," Daniel said, hiding the truth partly. He knew exactly what he would've done. He'd have kissed him back. Then hated himself after.

Jack seemed to know this, too. He was quiet a little too long so Daniel got up from the couch and headed into the kitchen, moving to make himself some coffee. Taking it from the canister, he pulled out the coffee grinder.

"I won't blame you if you decide you want out--" he began but was startled when Jack grabbed his bicep with a vise-like grip and spun him around. Jack's eyes were emotional, hurt. "What?" Daniel said, voice raised.

"Why do you do that?" Jack asked.


"Walk away. Why do you assume I'd leave you?"

"Everyone does," Daniel said before he could stop himself. The words were out and he desperately wanted them back. Jack's eyes conveyed the same wish, and Daniel waited for him to yell at him. But instead, Jack just took him in his arms, hugging him.

"No, Daniel," Jack whispered. "Not everyone."

Daniel realized he hadn't been holding Jack in return and slid his arms up the man's back, hands flat against the warmth. Jack held him there for a bit longer, then pulled away slowly and began to clean up the beans he'd spilled when he'd caused the grinder to tip over on its side.

He stopped when Daniel took over, cleaning up the rest. Feeling Jack's eyes on him like lasers, he didn't look at him when he asked, "You mad?"

"No, just confused."

"About?" He still didn't look at him.

"Why'd you invite him to call? Do you want us to meet?"

Daniel shut his eyes. "I don't believe for a second he'll call or show up." He was hedging a little and didn't care.

Jack leaned against the kitchen's island, watching Daniel make his coffee. "So I guess this means I won't be answering the phone."

Daniel laughed sharply. "You haven't been before so why start now?"

With a jog of his brows, Jack conceded that, but when he thought about that older guy wanting anything from Daniel, jealousy took root in his balls and showed up next in his words. "What if he calls, Daniel?"

Daniel swallowed again. "Then I'll go see him. I can't walk away if there's a chance to resolve things between us. If he's showing a little effort, I want to meet him halfway."

Jack grimaced and turned away, throwing up his hands. "Why do you do that? Give him the benefit of the doubt when he doesn't deserve it? You go all ethical for no good goddamn reason."

Daniel couldn't help but grin and stifled it before Jack turned around and saw it. "I know, it's annoying."

"He's not your responsibility," Jack said, finally turning around. "If he wants... whatever he wants..."

Daniel's eyes widened. "You think he wants to do something?"

Jack grinned at him. "I would."

Rolling his eyes, Daniel waved his hand at him. "You would. He wouldn't. He had that chance and backed off."

"You were on the base, Daniel. When he calls, if he asks you to meet him at his house, you can expect something. And here you stand, ready to exonerate and forgive."

"I don't think forgive is the right word," Daniel said sarcastically. He was suddenly thinking of a good hard fuck and the image in his mind woke up his dick.

Jack reached over and pulled Daniel to him as he sat on the edge of the kitchen island. "You want him, don't you? Just like you want me."

Daniel cringed, wishing Jack hadn't asked. "Jack, I love you."

"I know. And?"

Daniel rolled his eyes, hating this Jack's intuitive ability. "And I wish to god I didn't love him anymore. It's not the same. With him, it's old and bitter and full of too many hurts."

"I know," Jack said more gently, though it sounded as if he'd expected something else. Daniel didn't know what.

"I made the offer without once believing he'd ever call. I was goading him, Jack. Pushing buttons, trying to get my own back."

Jack sighed. "I know that, too. And it's quite logical to assume he'd never call. But."

Daniel made a growling sound. "But. He's you. Therefore, it's possible that because I'm leaving, he just might call."

Jack kissed the top of his forehead, then his hair. "Yes. Besides, he might have called anyway."

"Yeah, right. Two minutes before I back out of my driveway, limiting his time on purpose so he wouldn't have to commit to anything. SOP for him."

"Are you so sure?" Jack asked, looking at him carefully.

"No," Daniel answered with exasperation. "I'm not. It pisses me off. I can't predict what he'll do because this isn't a normal situation."

"No, it's not. But we are. Our lives are."

Daniel grinned, contemplating a tease and giving in. "Deep."

Jack grinned evilly, but before he could say anything, Daniel held up a hand, forestalling what he felt was about to become another long, lovely round of sex. "I hate to burst this lovely bubble but I need to know. If he calls, and I agree to meet him..."

Jack stared long and hard into his eyes. "I already told you. Not everyone leaves. I'm not going anywhere."

Jack then kissed him. Fiercely, wantonly, pushing him backward. At that point, neither of them gave a shit about making it to the bedroom. Clothes were hastily removed, the smell and feel of each other heightening the senses. With Jack's hands firmly on his ass cheeks and Daniel's back pressed against the wall, he tightened his legs around Jack's waist and painfully threaded his fingers through his long hair, whispering encouragements to fuck him deeper, harder.

There, in the kitchen, Daniel was suddenly all too aware of the youthfulness of the man fucking him. Jack held him easily in the air; he was so full of energy and so... exquisitely perfect. Daniel came because of it, murmuring Jack's name and meaning only his Jack.

At the sink, cleaning up, Jack said quietly, "I'll be here because I can't give you up."

Daniel stopped cleaning himself and stared at Jack, heat climbing over his chest, up his throat, over his ears. He knew, he'd thought it himself, but to hear Jack say it... It had only been six days. And fourteen years. "Me too."

"And because I won't give you up, it's why I don't think he will, either. He'll call, Daniel."

The next week went faster than Daniel had expected it to. He'd wanted to say goodbye to Teal'c, but hadn't felt like arguing with the General about going offworld. Instead, he'd written a long letter, sealing it in an envelope with several pictures of better times spent together. He then left that envelope with Walter, knowing he'd give it to Major Davis the next time the man visited Teal'c's new home on Takara.

That taken care of, Daniel had gone to say his goodbyes to everyone but had found himself dragged to a goodbye party. It had been strangely formal and unemotional one moment, overly emotional the next. He'd actually gotten presents. Major Davis had given him more books. Walter had given him a new set of archaeology tools. Colonel Reynolds had given him a long leather sheath, zipped closed, that had Daniel thinking a rifle had been inside. Reynolds had then informed him that it contained a modified M16 Intar.

"Is this even legal?" Daniel had asked.

"You prefer not to kill, Doctor Jackson," was all Reynolds had said.

Daniel had stopped off at Sam's old lab after the impromptu party and dropped a letter into the inbox, her name on the envelope. Someone would forward it. He'd called her at Area 51 a few days before, leaving a voice mail, trying to get together for lunch, to say goodbye, but she'd never returned his call. There were times when Daniel knew when to give up. But he would have the last word, whether she read the letter or not.

There were now two days left before the planned departure. The house was packed and the last to go would be the phone, electricity, and cable. Jack had convinced him to leave the cable hooked up on the grounds of sanity. He might be very different from his older self, he'd said, but he couldn't go without his hockey, baseball, and Simpsons.

Daniel had decided to go easy on him, but Jack refused to return the favor.

Sex. It had never been so hot, or so frequent. Not even in college had Daniel had this much action. They'd stop to fuck in the middle of packing, the middle of eating. Whenever it was, it was always in the middle of something. Including sleep. Daniel's favorite time. Even without the bed. Although it was a little difficult to grab floor instead of mattress.

Sometimes he'd top, sometimes he'd bottom, but Daniel really loved fucking him. He wondered if he could patent this boost in his libido, then snickered at the irony of the clone joke. Except Jack wasn't a clone. He was his own man and Daniel learned that every day and thanked all the gods for him.

Smiling to himself, Daniel looked up and caught Jack watching him, looking up from the floor. He was currently sprawled on a throw rug, lying on his stomach, watching the Rockies play the Cubs--a curiously nostalgic match-up. Daniel grinned and tried to think of something else. Mostly so that he could be surprised when Jack attacked him again.

"Why a boating charter?" he asked, partly to change the subject inside his mind as he checked off items on a Chinese food delivery menu--something they'd been living on for the past four days.


"Why a boating charter?" Daniel repeated as sat down next to him. Jack looked confused. "Well, as opposing to flying. You may be young but you certainly have the skills to fly private planes. Why not that? Why boating?"

"Ah." Jack sat up and crossed his long legs, something Daniel noted he did a lot. No bad knees to worry about. He brushed his hair out of his eyes, moving his fingers backward to scratch at the top of his head, and nearly reinventing that spikey cowlick in the process. The gesture was starting to become endearing to Daniel and he privately thought he'd gone insane. "I love to fly," Jack said in a quiet voice. He looked wistful as he said it and Daniel reached over and rubbed his knee. "Since I also love water, and fish, and I know about boats, I figured I'd make a good living on a charter boat."

Daniel laughed quietly through his nose. "You won't have any trouble getting clients. You could charm anyone."

Jack back-handed Daniel's arm, grinning his head off. "I figured that it'd be easier for me to get into charter fishing and boating than flying." Daniel grinned so smugly that Jack's brows crossed. "What?"

"I'm not surprised you'd want to do something as equally thrilling as flying."

"It's not just that. I know my stuff, Daniel, but I learned boats on Lake Superior and a little in the East. I need to learn what kind of boat is better for the Pacific, the weather currents out there, things like that. It won't take me long."

Daniel nodded. "Nothing takes you long." Jack grinned so mischievously that Daniel swallowed quickly. "But my question was more about making it in San Francisco. Do you actually want to give it a go there, or have you another place in mind? We haven't really talked about it."

"No, guess not," Jack replied, looking apologetic. "I figured I'd help you settle in first."

Daniel looked at him for a long minute, knowing somehow that Jack did have another idea. "What's on your mind?"

"Well... do you have to be in San Francisco?"

"I rented a house there, Jack. On the coast." Jack looked deflated, so Daniel added, "It's only a six-month lease. I don't have to move in." When Jack put on that guilty expression, Daniel returned the smack on the arm. "Tell me."

"I was wondering... what you'd think about moving to Crystal Cove instead."

Daniel frowned thoughtfully, trying to remember where it was. "Crystal Cove... isn't that Laguna Beach?"

Jack pointed at him, unable to hide his excitement any longer. "That's the place. Here..." He reached behind him and pulled out folded newsprint and handed it to Daniel. It was a section of classifieds from a California newspaper. "They have beach front property for sale periodically, nice little bungalows. I figured I could run a boating service from there to the port. And there happens to be a few of them for sale." He cleared his throat and waited for Daniel to bug out at the amounts the properties were going for.

Daniel didn't. He grinned. "Nice."

Jack blinked at him, surprised, then quickly recovered. "I'll take you up on that loan--"

"Don't be an ass. If we're moving in, then we share everything else. And this is one thing I insist on taking care of." The property descriptions had his heart pumping. He would actually prefer this place to San Francisco.

"But the money--"

"I have the money. And I'm also getting a partial pension because of the combat duty."

"No shit?" Jack sputtered as he choked on his beer.

"Special dispensation from General Hammond. It was something that he'd put me in for before retiring. Point is, remember when I said I never spent much of my money? I stowed most of it in savings accounts." He waved the paper at Jack. "I could buy one of these, easy."

Jack shook his head. "Daniel, how? There's no way, there's--"

"Jack, I've been making over two hundred grand in the last ten years. One hundred before that. That's the going rate for someone with my skills, then tack on combat pay and special dispensation for quartering. I saved the money. I rarely went anywhere because we were always gone or on base or I always had my head buried in my work. I'm forty-six, and I'd like a chance to enjoy the rest of my life. The SGC has things covered now. They don't need me and I don't need to save the universe."

Jack stared at him, then leaned forward on both fists and kissed him. "Then move in with me?"

"You have to ask?"

"I have to ask."

"Then I accept," Daniel said quietly, opening his mouth to kiss him back but pulling back for a tease.

"You didn't call for dinner yet, did you?" Jack asked, breath going shallow, eyes darkening.

Daniel recognized the look immediately. "It's daylight still," he teased again, not answering the question as he looked over his shoulder at the sheet that partially covered the front window.

Jack sighed. "I want you all the time. How weird is that?"

"As weird as me wanting you," Daniel replied, then pointed at the small wicker basket he'd purposely placed on the floor, using it as a catch-all, where it held the Cable TV remote, car keys. Lube.

Jack leaned forward a little more and snaked his right arm around Daniel's waist, pulling him closer. "Have you noticed something interesting outside the last week?"

Daniel smiled secretively. "No more surveillance. I still have strings in Washington. No worries about them. But it's still daylight. Easy to see inside."

"I don't really care," Jack said, kissing him, biting at his chin, his neck. "I want you."

"Right now? In the middle of your game?" Daniel asked, the false argument at odds with the spreading of his legs.

"I've a better game," Jack whispered as he lifted Daniel's t-shirt and kissed between his pecs.

When the phone rang, they both stared at it in surprise. "Ignore it," Jack said, eyes burning into Daniel's.

Daniel groaned. "I wish I could."

"Did you get our order wrong?"

"If I had, it'd have been your fault for distracting me earlier. But no, I didn't. I haven't even called it in yet." He reluctantly got up and moved to the bare kitchen and picked up the phone on the fourth ring.


"Hey, Daniel, it's me."

The General. Daniel swallowed and stared at his lover across the room. "You're actually calling me," Daniel said, looking away from his Jack so he could pay attention to the man on the phone.

"Yeah. Was wondering if you'd... like to come over for dinner tonight... before you leave."

"Timing it awfully close, aren't you?" Daniel asked, then felt his Jack's arms wind around him from behind. He was hard and Daniel closed his eyes.

"I... didn't think you'd accept. But I'm asking now, so doesn't that count for something?"

Not really, Daniel thought, then told himself to be more charitable. "I'd like to."


"I really don't want to see Sam. She's been avoiding me over the last week and I'm in no mood to get into an argument with her." With her, he thought.

"She's not here, she's with Fraiser. Will you come over?"

Daniel knew he'd say yes before he said it. And mostly because he was getting hard from the dick pressed against his ass. "Twenty minutes."

Hanging up before the General had a chance to say anything else, Daniel growled and stepped out of Jack's arms. "What the fuck are you doing?" It was rhetorical, as he held up his hand, not wanting an answer. Daniel took a deep breath, then combed a hand through his hair. "You're not making this easy. Why?"

"It's rotten timing, nothing more," Jack told him, but Daniel didn't buy it.

"Spit it out, Jack."

"He's gonna want to do something."

"And you think I'll indulge him?"

"If the situation were reversed, I'd give you what you wanted."

"Jack, I'm not going to--"

"I'm not jealous... much. And no, I'm not playing fair. All I'm doing is reminding you what'll be here when you come home."

Daniel gaped at him. "Unnecessary, Jack. I know what I have."

"But... I want you to give him a taste of it." He tried not to sneer but his lips twitched unfavorably. "I don't want to be mean but he needs to be dragged out of that fucking closet. For his own damn good. He'll chicken out with you, and I don't want you to let him. I know you don't need my permission, but I'm giving it anyway."

"Permission for what exactly?" Daniel asked, knowing what Jack meant but needing to ask.

"Doesn't matter." Jack suddenly smiled devilishly--the smile Daniel was learning as Jack at his kinkiest. "Whatever you do, I want to know all the gory details."

Daniel rolled his eyes. "Gory? Is he a bull for the slaughter?"

Jack suddenly lost his smile as he swallowed, hard. "Yes. I want you to give him something he'll never forget. Ever. And make him regret being an asshole to you. I would, if the roles were reversed."

"But I'm not you," Daniel argued.

"Drop the values for one moment and let your revenge and your dick take charge." Daniel grimaced and started to walk away but Jack snatched out and caught his wrist, pulling him back to him. "Fix things if you can, Daniel. But get what you want, too. If it's what you want. I'm giving you permission to do whatever you want."

Jack then kissed him, passionately, sneaking a hand between them to charge up Daniel's cock. All Daniel wanted at that moment was Jack's mouth on him. "Wanna hear something funny?" he asked.

"Yeah," Jack replied softly, hips lining up with Daniel's for a brief thrust before he cleared his throat and moved purposely away, out of his arms.

Daniel felt nervous knots growing in his belly, along with a strange desire that began to well up inside, one that he only ever associated with doing something extremely kinky. Like fucking in public with a chance of getting seen. Something he and Jack had done the night before in the backyard; in the wet grass, with the neighbor's backyard flood lights casting long, erotic shadows. God, that had been hot.

"I'm not sure I want to go," he finally said. Hedging yet again.

"Yes, you do," Jack said, reaching over to caress the outline of Daniel's half-hard cock.

Daniel grabbed his hand and held it away from him. "Jack."

"Give him a real going away present. You won't get another chance."

Daniel stepped up and caressed his cheek before kissing it. Then his mouth. "I won't be staying long."

"Yes, you will," Jack countered softly. "You'll talk, Daniel. You'll want to get things fixed. You might not take long, you might take two hours." He grinned hugely and pushed Daniel toward the front door. "One never knows with you, but give him more than a piece of your mind."

"And if he belts me for coming onto him? If I come onto him?"

Jack grinned wistfully. "Then he's a fuckhead and you'll be home a lot sooner."


"Go, Daniel," Jack said, opening the door.

"Right." Daniel wanted to argue but knew he was stalling. For some reason, this meeting put butterflies in his belly.

. .

On the way over, he debated telling Jack about... Jack, then laughed.

"Yeah, right. 'Hi, Jack, been nice knowing you, can't stay long, and by the way, I've been fucking your clone for two weeks now and he's moving with me to Palm Springs to be my cabana boy.' Yeah. That'll go down well." He sniggered as he tried variations on a theme. Before he knew it, he was in front of Jack's.

As he walked up the drive to the main door, he rubbed his palms against his thighs again, wishing he wasn't so nervous. After all, there wasn't anything to be nervous about, was there? Well... yes. He felt like an interloper. It had been a very long time since he'd been there last. After Jack's second Ancient download. The farewell team get-together. Except it hadn't been a get-together. They'd all just appeared like magnets at his house.

Thinking that he shouldn't have let that interloper thought into his brain, Daniel stared down at the ground as he stood sideways--facing the path back to his Jeep--and knocked. Readying for departure already? he asked himself. No. Rejection. Because another memory intruded in the back of his mind, with Jack telling him their friendship had no foundation.

It felt ironic, wanting to be rejecter but not quite making himself believe it. Wishing he wasn't angry, wishing he didn't love him still. Ten years ago, this would have been easier to deal with, to forget about, but nowadays, Daniel preferred to face his demons, not run from them.

When Jack opened the door, Daniel looked to his right, and found himself turning to face him. He swallowed; it had been a very long time since he'd seen Jack in civilian clothes and he looked like he'd last seen him, that haphazard team moment. Except this time, the man was in cutoffs. Jack never wore cutoffs. When had he started? And a white muscle shirt? He'd never worn that, either. Had it been Sam's influence?

Daniel shoved the thought of her aside and cleared his throat. "Hi." The simple greeting made the nervousness worse.

Jack offered him a cockeyed grin and stepped aside. "Thanks for coming."

Daniel walked in and turned to him as Jack slowly closed the door. He caught the smell of charcoal burning and it dawned on him that Jack had really meant dinner. Probably steak. Shit. If this get together de-evolved into an argument, then the meal wouldn't digest well. One of the things Daniel always agreed with Jack about was steak. No one dared ruin a good steak, in cooking or digesting.

Which meant that whatever Daniel had planned to say, he'd better say it before Jack threw on the food. As he took off his jacket, he said, "Before you throw whatever you're planning for dinner on the grill, we need to get some things settled. I don't want you wasting perfectly good steak on my account."

Jack gave him a curious look, then gestured at the French doors that led out back. "I made some Bloody Mary's for appetizers and drinks. We can have those while the charcoal's heating up in the grill's chimney." Jack then took Daniel's jacket and draped it over the arm of the couch as he led the way out to the backyard deck.

The grill's chimney was blazing already; Daniel could see the white ash and yellow heat through the holes. On the prep table, there were foil packs, presumably holding the steaks, a bottle of vodka, and a large pitcher filled with Bloody Mary mix. Two glasses held ice and celery, but nothing else. A half-drunk beer sat to one side.

"It doesn't bother you that I want to talk?" Daniel asked he sat down on the long deck bench bolted against the house. Jack didn't answer right away, focusing on fixing the drinks. When he handed Daniel his glass, he sat down next to him. Touching almost.

"I didn't invite you over just so we could ignore each other." He held up his glass to toast Daniel's. "Cheers."

"Cheers," Daniel said, clinking glasses, knowing he sounded flat. The tomato mix was nicely spiced and very good. Jack had always known how to make them.

"I'm sorry I didn't call before," Jack said, then suddenly got up to fuss with the grill but he picked up a set of tongs and just stood there doing nothing.

"Why?" Daniel asked, confused.

"I didn't know if I was going to call," Jack told him.

Daniel cleared his throat and nodded. "After all the shit between us, it's understandable." Jack fidgeted and Daniel wondered if he was torn about sitting down or standing. Instead of telling Jack to sit down, Daniel stood up and walked over next to him, setting his drink on the railing. "Why'd you shut me out all these years? What did I ever do to earn your contempt?" Going by the wide-eyed expression, Jack was obviously taken aback. Daniel gave him a sad, little grin. "Didn't expect the direct approach?"

"Guess I should have, shouldn't I?" Jack answered. "It's all I've ever gotten from you. I've always appreciated that."

Jack was making an effort, but he was also misdirecting and avoiding. Daniel was in no mood to coddle. "I haven't appreciated your diversionary tactics, like this one. You've hardly ever been straight with me, not even after I died that second time, with the Replicators. When you have been direct, it's been either cursory and abrupt, or rude and dismissive. Why can't you just be honest with me?"

Jack looked him in the face, gaze moving back and forth between his lips and his eyes. Daniel felt a sudden surge of electric warmth and swallowed quickly. He decided that now was the time to push Jack off that honesty cliff. "You know what I'd like to do right now?" he asked, not moving.

Jack swallowed then, then started to turn away. Daniel allowed himself to feel a tragic sorrow that Jack wouldn't give in. "Never mind. I should go. It's been nice knowing you, Jack. For the most part." He held out his hand. "Good luck to you."

Jack turned slightly, staring at Daniel's hand. He reached out and took it, then squeezed firmly and pulled just a little bit. "Stay."

"If you're not comfortable talking to me, there's no point, is there?"

"I meant... don't move away."

Daniel stared at him, at the audacity. "You have got to be kidding?"

"No, I'm not. Don't leave."

Daniel sighed. "I'm committed elsewhere. There is nothing more for me to do here, and no one to change my mind. You made it clear a while back I wasn't welcome in your life anymore. And what I want from you, you won't give me."

Jack had been looking aslant but whipped his head around, eyes even wider than before. "Give you?"

Daniel squeezed Jack's hand, then reached up with his left and caressed Jack's cheek, his thumb brushing his lips. Jack remained frozen on the spot, stunned. "I've wanted you for a long time, and I knew it was pointless wanting what I couldn't have. So I tried to maintain a friendship with you instead." Daniel pulled his hand away and withdrew his right from Jack's clasp. Then took a step back.

"Except you wouldn't let me have that, either," he went on. "After Shau're died, it was worse. You suddenly seemed focused on having your piece of ass with Sam, so you went after that and got what you wanted."

Daniel paused, his face growing hot. "The only reason I stayed was because of the work. That's no longer necessary. It would've been nice to have had your friendship, your support for the work I should've been allowed to do, but that wasn't authorized anymore and the science department wasn't given any room to breathe. Since my participation is no longer paramount, I'm leaving to go back to a job I love, not remain with a military I'm being stifled by."

No longer wishing to surprise Jack with anything else, never mind anything sexual, Daniel felt abruptly deflated and drained. He shook his head. "I really do wish you well." He turned away and headed for the doors but Jack's hand and voice stopped him. Grabbing his arm--almost in a mirror image of what had happened not an hour before with the younger man--Jack pulled Daniel around.

"No, wait..."

Anger flared in Daniel, unwilling to play this game. "Jack, you can't even be honest with me, so I'm done waiting."

"No, I just... this isn't easy, Daniel. I've been an asshole, okay, but I didn't mean..." He sucked in a breath, then said, "Our friendship was getting too close and... it made me uncomfortable..."

"Because it was me."

"No, no--"

"Oh, for fuck's sake!" Daniel spat, shoving Jack away from him. He decided to toss out his values. And lie. "I found out from the teenage you seven years ago how you felt about me. And here you stand, unwilling to be honest with me! You're afraid of your feelings for another man, Jack. You refused to talk to me about them and shoved me away instead. You turned into a fucking asshole."

His cheeks felt hotter and his temples were now throbbing. Curiously, Daniel was also aroused, especially because of the look Jack gave him, like a deer about to get hit. He pressed on, figuring that when he was done, Jack would no longer stop him from leaving.

"I'm an adult, Jack. I know how to have functional relationships. You could have opened up to me, told me the truth, then explained that it wasn't something you were comfortable with, whether personally or professionally. I would have accepted that, maintained a friendship. But no, you ran deeper into the closet. If you want to stand there and deny it, go ahead but I refuse to listen--"

"I'm not gay, Daniel," Jack said between his teeth.

"No, you're bisexual. And here's the answer to my question to you a few minutes ago."

Using all the years of experience at reading Jack's body language, Daniel attacked easily, throwing his arms around Jack's neck and yanking him in, pressing their lips together before Jack could react. They twirled around as Jack turned to push Daniel away, pulling their lips apart.

As Jack fell back against the railing, Daniel stumbled backward toward the bench. The look on Jack's face was priceless. Shock and lust. His dick was hard, seen easily through the cutoffs. Daniel felt smugly vindicated, no matter what else happened.

"What the hell..." Jack said, pressing the back of his hand against his mouth. But he wasn't wiping off Daniel's saliva, where he'd probed quickly at Jack's lips for entry.

"That was a kiss, Jack," Daniel answered him, then straightened and walked right for him, daring Jack to throw a punch. He stopped in front of him, watching as Jack slowly straightened. "Don't you think I deserve a decent goodbye?"

Jack couldn't say anything and Daniel saw the wheels turning rapidly. What was he thinking, he wondered. Then Jack raised his hand, slowly, reaching for Daniel's face.

Daniel looked at the hand, then into Jack's eyes. "What do you want, Jack?" he asked quietly.

Still, Jack said nothing as his hand reached Daniel's face and cupped his cheek. Just as he'd done to the younger Jack ten days ago. "I can't." All the pain and heartache went from Jack's face into those two words.

"Why are you so afraid?" Daniel asked, voice softening. "If you're afraid of someone finding out, take a chance that they won't. I won't out you."

Jack shook his head, unwilling to answer, and Daniel threw his hand away from his face and lunged, pinning Jack against the railing. He kissed him, hard, tongue probing for entrance yet again as one hand moved down, grabbed hold of a butt cheek, and held him firmly while he ground their groins together.

Then... there came the tiniest moan from Jack as he started to open his mouth. Daniel plunged inside, coaxing him with his tongue, his hands, his body, using all the little tricks he knew to get his partners to respond. When Jack started to kiss back, Daniel's lust soared and he went for broke. He undid his jeans, then went for Jack's shorts. He'd rub him raw if he had to but he had more in mind.

Jack's arms were around him but he broke the kiss, panting heavily. "We can't, Daniel."

Daniel noted that he wasn't pushing his hands away. He leaned in and kissed Jack gently. "I'm going to give you a going away present. And trust me, you'll never forget it."

"Daniel..." Jack began, the warning growl in his voice. Yet he still wasn't pushing him away.

With his eyes on Jack's, Daniel dropped slowly to his knees, waiting to be rebuffed, thrown aside. He wasn't. It took him less than five seconds before he had Jack's cock in his mouth, and two seconds more before Jack was clutching at him, thrusting. Desperate, Daniel thought as he swallowed him again and again.

He caressed his balls, sliding a wet finger over the perineum, and Jack made some gasping noises that made Daniel's cock spurt pre-come. When Daniel squeezed the balls sac tight as he swallowed him whole, Jack's cock surged. Inside, Daniel's heart soared with conceited victory; Jack wouldn't last much longer.

Then Jack proved it by making a choking sound and cursing, "Oh shit!" before he spilled down his throat. Daniel smiled to himself as he pulled every drop from him. When he allowed that Jack was done--going mostly by the jerking away from his mouth--Daniel released him and tucked the softening cock back inside Jack's trousers. He rose carefully, his own hard cock trapped behind tight confines, making him wince.

He knew Jack wouldn't return the favor, or even jerk him off. The thought brought sadness. "Goodbye, Jack," he said, licking his lips and swallowing as he buttoned up and turned to go.

Only Jack's hand was on his shoulder. "No, you can't... where're you going?"

Daniel turned around and reached out to brush his knuckles against Jack's cheek. "Leave it nice and pleasant."

"Nothing's settled. And you just blew me."

"And you just let me."

"I know." Jack's eyes looked down, saw the obvious outline in Daniel's cock. "Doing that for me made you..."

"Kissing you made me hard."


"Just as it made you hard."

Jack hesitated, then dredged up half a smile. "I guess."

Daniel breathed a deep sigh. "Jack, I have to go."

Jack suddenly placed a hand on Daniel's shoulder, then grazed his knuckles over the outline of his erection. "Because of this?"

Daniel swallowed. "Yes. I need to go before I make an ass out of myself."

Jack stared down at his groin, his cock, and with slow determination, unbuttoned his jeans. He stared at the fact that Daniel wasn't wearing underwear. "Shit."

Daniel took in a deep breath. "Okay, here's me making an ass out of myself." He opened his jeans enough to pull out his cock, showing its full erect state to Jack. He placed a hand on Jack's shoulder while he stroked his own cock. Jack looked up quickly, then down, and slowly... ever so slowly... wrapped his fingers around Daniel's.

"Yes," Daniel said, ordering himself not to come, but it was difficult, watching the exploration and thrill on Jack's face as he gave in to pent up desires and sort of touched his cock. Two more strokes and Daniel pulled his hand away, covering Jack's as his fist encircled him.

Jack paused, then felt him, with fingertips, driving him mad as he explored. "How's it feel to have your hand on my cock?" Daniel asked, amazed that his voice stayed even. If Jack would only tighten his fist and pump him for thirty seconds, that would be all he'd need.

"Different," Jack answered, voice very soft. He suddenly stopped and looked into Daniel's eyes. Without a word, he tightened his fist and jacked hard and slow, eyes boring holes into him.

Daniel stuttered a gasp at the sudden pleasure and grabbed his shoulders. "Yes."

They were quiet for the most part, until Jack whispered, "Watching you suck me was the most erotic thing I've ever seen."

Daniel claimed his mouth, kissing him fiercely as his hips locked and he jerkily came all over Jack's fingers. He pulled from the kiss, gasping quietly, feeling surreal. What now? he asked himself, then realized he'd said it out loud.

"I don't know," Jack answered, clearing his throat as he stared down at the come on his fingers. And on his shirt. And on the deck.

Daniel let out a nervous laugh. "Clean up, I guess." Tucking himself back into his jeans, he watched as Jack moved over to the table, grabbing paper towels meant for the grill to clean himself up. His movements were slow, automatic, and Daniel reached over and took his hand, discovering that it was shaking. "Let me," he said, and led him in the house, into the kitchen.

Standing at the sink, he turned on the water, and the sound of it moved Jack to action. He washed his hand off, then his shirt. But his hands were still shaking.

"I don't get this," Jack said, voice almost angry.

"What don't you get?" Daniel asked, feeling oddly calm. The surreal was still there, but Jack was talking. Sort of. Progress, and maybe too late for him, but maybe not for someone else. Daniel hoped so.

"Why this has to happen now."

Daniel only nodded, mostly because he wasn't about to get into a time argument--should have, shouldn't have. Enough of that already. "Because it did, no other reason," he said finally. "Question now is, do you still want me to stay for dinner?"

Jack thought about it. Then said, "Please."

. .

"And that's it?" Jack asked, eating chow mein out of the carton with his chop sticks.

"Yes," Daniel answered soberly. "Nothing else happened. We had a little sex, then he opened up a little and talked to me. Apologized, wished he could take things back. Before I left, I wished him well."


"And I told him that to be happy, he'd better not keep this a one-off. That he should find someone he was meant to be with."

"I think he was meant to be with you," Jack answered, setting down his food and draining his beer bottle.

Daniel smacked him on the knee. "No, we are meant. General Jack will find who he's meant to be with. All I know is that it won't be with Sam."

Jack blinked at him and realized that Daniel was holding back. "What's happened?"

Daniel took a deep breath. "When I said he opened up, it's exactly what he did. He said he went to get her at Janet's one evening and found them in bed."

All the color drained from Jack's face, then an instant later, red anger suffused his cheeks. "No way."

Daniel felt the angry blush himself. "It was the reason he came to me that day in my office. But he's a stubborn sonofabitch and didn't know how to talk about it."

"And tonight? What did he expect?"

"Nothing. Sex wasn't in the plan. When I lied to him about you telling me how he felt, that seemed to break the dam of silence."

Jack was quiet for a few minutes, digesting what he'd been told while Daniel went to take a piss and get undressed. He sat down naked on the padding of blankets made for their makeshift bed and noticed that while the food was gone, probably in the fridge, Jack had a fresh beer.

"You okay?" he asked, caressing Jack's cheek as they faced each other.

Jack nodded. "I feel sorry for him."


Jack abruptly pulled off his shorts and handed Daniel the lube. "Because he'll never know what it's like to have your cock up his ass."

Daniel's eyes darkened and he squirted the lube quickly over his cock and his fingers. As he turned Jack over and spread his legs, he slid lubed fingers through his hole, and whispered, "Just think. I'll be doing this to you on the beach in a week's time."

"God." Jack rested his weight on his forearms and growled, "Fuck me."

. .

From outside, at the back of the house, older Jack looked through the curtainless kitchen window. He remained firmly rooted in place, fuming at first, livid with irrational feelings of betrayal.

What calmed him down, a minute at a time, was watching Daniel slide his cock in and out of the ass of his younger self. And more importantly, observing how his younger self loved every damn minute of it. There was a moment when he raised his ass and shuddered, shouting, "Yeah, there, there," repeatedly. Jack wondered if that's what hitting the prostate felt like.

He was tempted to jerk off but forced himself to simply watch. It was difficult seeing Daniel fuck that younger version of himself--and fuck him for a long, long time. Would he have a sore ass if he did that? Could he do that?

When Jack could no longer risk getting caught, he slipped away and got back into his truck. A big circle of pre-come stained his shorts and wet his jeans and he rubbed himself as he drove around aimlessly, not paying attention to the destination.

When he found himself on the outskirts of town, Jack realized where he was. On any other day, he'd have driven past. But his talk with Daniel, and the memory of Daniel's mouth on his cock, had him pulling over instead. He sat across the street from the bar, watching the men come and go.

For five minutes, no one seemed to be leaving alone. Jack felt his hopes dash, though he really didn't know what he expected. He didn't know what the fuck he was doing. He started up his truck just as a man exited; Jack blinked, then hurriedly rolled down the window for a better look. The patron had a familiar face and Jack was shocked when the black-haired former leader of SG-2 spotted him and came walking over. Jack felt a twinge of guilt that Major Coburn now walked with a cane, but it didn't last long. The man looked fitter than ever.

"Guess I'm supposed to be busted?" the Major asked, thumbing at the bar behind him.

"You're retired. And there's no law against drinking," Jack cracked.

"No, but there's a law against being gay." Beyond him, two male couples left the building, kissing and groping as they went for the parking lot.

"Who'm I gonna tell?" Jack asked as he looked at the couples, then returned his intense gaze to the man standing before him. An excited, thrilling need stirred inside. "I shouldn't be here. But... I was curious."

Major Coburn flashed him a smile and took a casual half-step forward. "How curious?"

Jack stared at him quietly for a minute, then said in a much lower voice, "Get in, Jason. We'll have a brew at my place. Watch some baseball. Maybe talk a little about that curiosity."

"I'm not a great talker," Jason said as he looked at Jack's lips and licked his own.

Jack's cheek creased with the hint of a smile. "Neither am I."