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October 2009
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Feather [userpic]
SG-1 Fic part 2

Title: Kokopelii's Gift Part 2
Author: feather_autant
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Jack/Daniel
Fandom: SG-1
Summary: A kiva and a light change everything. (AKA Aliens made 'em)
Word count: 13606
Warnings: A bit more angsty than I usually write
Notes: Sometimes I get the complete story all at once, all right there in my head. This one took a bit longer. *g* Thanks to catspaw and carronlaforce for the betas, and an extra thanks to Cats for being an amazing sounding board and listening to me whine while inserting the appropriate ::nods:: and, "that might work," and, "that's been done to death," until the epiphany hit. Thanks also to thegrrrl2002 for helping me post this monster!

Daniel was having his own problems. He stared at the monitor, trying to focus on the translation, but couldn't. Christ. He could still feel Jack, still smell him, still taste him.

It was better than he'd imagined it would be.

He shook himself and stared again, then consulted his translation program. Okay, here, on this panel, was a description of the light. Daniel tried to concentrate. This word was ‘determine’ and this one was ‘willing’, or was that volunteer? He kept seeing the light in his head, flowing over and around Jack's shoulders as they strained to hold his hips still, pooling in the hollows of his collarbones.

Daniel stared at the bathroom door. Jack was in there, immersed in hot water, muscles relaxed. Wet. Naked. Flushed.

God, he was so near.

And naked.

Daniel could feel the weight of Jack's balls in his hand, the tickle of hairs on his palm. If he'd just moved his finger back a little, he might have felt Jack's opening spasming in orgasm.

Daniel was up and striding toward the bathroom before he realized he'd moved. He stopped short and went back to his laptop and sat down, clenching his fists, annoyed with himself. This was stupid. He needed to concentrate. He shut his eyes tightly then opened them again, looking at the screen, starting back at the beginning. The light. Determine and willing. It seemed to be describing the laser-light that had swept over them. It was deciding if they were willing? He certainly was, but Jack?

The light made the hollows of Jack's cheeks stand out, flowed over his hands as he touched, curled around his neck as he came. Daniel remembered the look in Jack’s eyes after the first orgasm. He’d looked stunned, but there was something else in there, too. Satisfaction, maybe?

Daniel wanted, no needed Jack again so badly it hurt.


Daniel shook himself and tried to focus. There was the word for couple. And here was the word for binding.

Determine, willing, couple, binding– Daniel stared at the bathroom door. He was leaping to conclusions, but he couldn’t think clearly, not with the hurt and need burning into him.

Jack was just on the other side of that door.

He gave in and moved.

Jack's eyes flew open when the bathroom door was flung wide. Daniel was standing there, panting, a desperate need written on his face. "You too?" Daniel croaked, then shucked his sweat pants and T-shirt when Jack nodded and climbed into the tub, straddling Jack's legs, water sloshing over the side.

The hurt quit the moment they made skin contact.

"Up for round four?" Daniel asked, then kissed him without waiting for a reply.

It was a pretty sight, their cocks pressed together encircled by two hands, his and Daniel's, fingers entwined. They thrust together, watching the slip and slide. Jack felt pleasure coil deep inside him, tightening down like a spring. It was coming, that sweet release, and he welcomed it, powered toward it, propelling Daniel along with him.

They quieted gradually, harsh breaths evening out slowly. Daniel's forehead was pressed to his, their loosening grips still around softening cocks. Daniel drew in a deep breath and blew it out, then lifted his head to look into Jack's eyes. "It hurt," he stated.

"Yeah," Jack said softly. "Me too."

"And then when we touched . . . "

"It went away."

Daniel nodded and eased himself down, stretching out against Jack's chest, resting his head there. "It's not the light we're addicted to."

"It's each other," Jack finished. They lay quietly for a while, in the cooling water. "C'mon," Jack said finally, nudging Daniel's leg with his foot. "We're gonna turn into prunes."

Daniel snorted a laugh and rose to his knees, then one knee, settling a foot on the bottom of the tub to stand.

Jack's breath caught at the sight of the soft, wrinkled skin covering Daniel's vulnerable balls, the spent cock.

Daniel stood, water cascading off him and reached out a hand to haul Jack up. They stood, a hairbreadth distance, then embraced strongly. "God, Daniel," Jack said into his neck. And dammit it if it didn’t feel so right.

"I know," Daniel said, then stepped out of the tub and grabbed a towel. Jack stepped out too and Daniel turned and started drying him off, not even realizing what he was doing. "I couldn't concentrate," he admitted.

"On the translation?" Jack asked, trying not to enjoy the soft cloth of the towel and Daniel’s touch so much.

"Yeah," Daniel said. "I need to figure out what the hell is going on." He paused. “I did manage to translate a few words.”


“Um, yeah,” he paused again then decided to plunge onward. “I think the light that swept over us was determining if we were willing.” He looked up into Jack’s eyes and thought he saw a flicker of fear before Jack slammed the door on his emotions.

“I wasn’t willing,” Jack said, going immediately on the defensive. “It was an alien influence.” He groaned in his head, his heart hammering against his ribs. He sounded like a kindergartner who’d been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, broke it, and blamed the dog.

“Yes,” Daniel agreed. “But I translated the words determine, willing, couple, and binding. What do you think it means?”

“How the fuck should I know?” Shit, there was no fucking way they could do this. He’d spent his whole life not doing this.

“Are you just saying that, Jack? Because I won’t judge.”

"No," Jack denied, stepping back, years of hiding slamming into place. "This isn't me. It's that damned kiva."

"Is it?" Daniel said, stepping close again, his eyes searching, looking straight into Jack.

Jack's heart thudded against his ribs in panic. "I don't want this, Daniel. I can't want this. No matter how much I m-might. . ." His eyes focused on Daniel's lips and he stuttered. It wasn’t fair, he couldn’t think. He swallowed hard. "Besides," he continued quickly, "this isn't something we would have done. It's an alien influence." Yep, plausible deniability was his only choice here.

"Are you sure about that, Jack?" Daniel asked, stepping into him, pressing their chests together. "Because I'm not."

Jack stepped quickly around him and tugged on his robe, tying the belt tightly. He desperately needed to be clothed right now, less vulnerable. "I'm military, Daniel," he said harshly. "Or have you forgotten that?" Then he deflated when he saw Daniel's face. "Listen," he said more gently, wanting to hold Daniel so damned badly. "It doesn't matter if I want you or not. I can't have you."

"You already have," Daniel said, pointedly, still naked, looking at the tub. "Four times in fact."

Jack sighed heavily. "We can't be together once this is over, though. Don't you get it? I can't be your lover and stay in the military, and I'll be damned if I'll trust anyone else enough to let them protect you. So," he shrugged helplessly then looked up at Daniel beseechingly. "You were never supposed to know."

"But now I do," Daniel said logically. "And I don't think I can forget it."

“But this isn't me!" Jack burst out. "You said so yourself!" He gestured wildly. "I would never have let you see this, Daniel. And I didn't. Kokopelii did."

"So you're saying this isn't real?" Daniel demanded.

"I'm saying it can't be real," Jack said sadly.

“You can deny this?” Daniel asked, running a finger down Jack’s chest, watching him shiver under his touch. “Go back? Pretend it never happened?”

“Yes,” Jack snarled. God, here he was, still wobbly from coming, and he couldn’t do this. “It would never work, Daniel.” He said it as harshly as he could.

“Really?” Daniel asked, stepping closer, and oh god, Jack could feel his heat. “What happens when we’re in the same room? You can’t take your eyes off me. And the tension is so thick you could cut it.”

Jack snorted, his brain working furiously. “That’s just because I’m afraid you’ll trigger something, fuck something up,” and his heart plummeted when Daniel’s face fell. Fuck, he felt like a class-A jerk. He watched as Daniel struggled to control his anger, intrigued despite himself, watching the play of emotions flit over his face. God, he really was in trouble here.

“You know,” Daniel said heatedly. “The world wouldn’t end if we got together.”

“There is no we!” Jack shouted. “There can never be a we!” And he watched as Daniel stiffened his spine.

“I wouldn’t want you to change,” Daniel said. “I’d still want you to be you, irritating as you are.”

“Oh really?” Jack said, eyebrows raised, voice dripping with sarcasm. “You wouldn’t want me to change, except my outward sexual orientation. And my career. And backatcha on the irritating thing.”

“Don’t ask, don’t tell,” Daniel yelled, ignoring the irritating comment. He’d started it, after all.

“There can never be anything to not-tell about!”

They stood, glaring at each other, panting harshly. Daniel opened his mouth to say something else and Jack grabbed his upper arms in desperation, partly to hold him away but mostly to shake him. “Daniel!” he shouted. “It’s an alien influence, okay?” Please, please let Daniel accept that. “The kiva made us . . . ” he couldn’t complete the sentence. “And then we were going through withdrawal! It wasn’t us, Daniel.”

“It is us!” Daniel shouted back. “At least it’s me.” He wrenched his arms away. “I love you, Jack. And it didn’t happen in that kiva, it’s been going on for a long time.”

Jack looked at him in shock. He’d actually said it. He swallowed hard. “I love you, too,” he said sadly, and felt an odd kind of wrenching behind his ear. “But it doesn’t change anything.”

“It changes everything,” Daniel countered.

“No,” Jack said, suddenly calm. “It’ll never happen.”

“You have such a full life you’ll throw this away?”

“Yes,” Jack said firmly.

Daniel searched Jack’s eyes, looking for the truth, and what he saw made him step back shakily. He wasn’t worth it. Jack would never let it happen. He brushed his hands over his eyes, and swallowed the lump in his throat. He suddenly felt sick. “This is fucked up, isn’t it?” he asked miserably.

“Yeah,” Jack said quietly. “We just need to get through this, okay?”

Daniel nodded, stooped to grab his clothes, and walked out, back stiff, gathering his shredded dignity around him.

Jack sat heavily on the edge of the tub. What was he going to do now? They were still snow-bound, and still under the kiva’s influence. Jack could already feel it building again. He hated this, hated being at odds with Daniel, hated fighting, hated the goddamned snow, hated himself, and hated Kokopelii most of all.

"Okay, look,” Jack said, coming out of his room fully clothed. He’d decided that ignoring their confrontation was the best plan. Yep, the ostrich approach just might work. “Last time we needed to gradually wean ourselves off the device. Maybe we should try to hold off, stretch out the times in between, wean ourselves off each other."

Daniel stared at him then nodded. "Try just touching?" he asked, trying to keep his voice even. He didn’t want to mention sex again. Or love. Or how incredibly terrible and stupid he felt.

Jack saw what he was going through and had to curl his hands to keep from hugging Daniel. He crossed his arms over his chest. "Yeah, I think so." Oh yeah, this was going to go right up near the top of his list of worst days ever. But he just couldn’t, couldn’t throw away a lifetime of denial and discipline.

Daniel nodded again, because each time they had sex his need got stronger, the emotions closer to the surface, and while he didn't have a problem with that, he knew for sure now that Jack did. The man had chosen to keep his life the way it was, and he’d been an idiot to think it might be otherwise. Daniel felt a sudden rush of sadness and guilt. He wanted this, looked forward to the next time, but it wasn't Jack who wanted him back, it was Kokopelii. He wasn't too thrilled to realize that a small part of him didn't care.

Jack saw the sadness on Daniel's face and felt a his heart twist. They'd just come and he couldn't wait for the next time, a part of him gleefully telling him that they wouldn't be able to hold off, to stop, already planning. He wouldn’t let himself touch Daniel’s face, even though he wanted to. "I'm sorry about this, Daniel," he said softly.

Daniel shook himself and smiled ruefully. "I hate this," he admitted. "Hate not being in control."

"Me too."

“I’m sorry I’m in love with you.”

Aw shit. “Me too,” Jack said around the lump in his throat.

Daniel nodded shortly and went back to the translation. Jack went to the kitchen, fighting the urge to take that camcorder and smash it. If only Daniel hadn’t figure it out, he’d be able to bask and enjoy what they were doing without consequences, and he had a sinking feeling that the repercussions now were going to be very costly.

He was missing Daniel’s help with the cooking despite himself--steak and potatoes, salad--typical, normal fare. His cell phone rang while he was viciously tearing up lettuce. “O’Neill,” he barked.


Jack sighed. “Hi Janet.”

“You two doing okay?”


“You sound tense.”

Jack sighed. “Just a little stressed.”

“Are you doing okay otherwise?”

No. “Yeah. Well, we discovered something.”


“It seems that . . .” Jack cleared his throat, aware that Daniel was watching him. “It seems that we’re addicted to . . . um . . . touching each other, not the light.”

Janet didn’t say anything for a long moment. “I see.” She paused again. “Listen, Jack. I know this is going to sound strange, but I don’t want you two to go into withdrawal, not if you can help it, okay?”

Jack snorted a laugh and shifted uncomfortably. He felt the pull, stronger now, felt his fingers itching to feel Daniel’s skin. “You giving us permission?” he asked, trying to keep his voice teasing but it came out harder than he intended.

“Do what you need to do to survive,” Janet said crisply, keeping it cool and clinical.

Jack held the phone away and stared at it. He held it to his ear again when he heard Janet ask, “You still there?”

“Yeah. Um. We decided to . . . uh . . . hold off on the touching thing, try to spread it out, wean ourselves off.”

“The storm isn’t going to move on for at least another sixteen hours, Jack,” Janet said, warmer now. “We’ll have to helicopter in to you once it passes here. It’s supposed to dump at least three feet of snow. So I need you both to stay alive until I can get there. Deal?”

Jesus. “Deal,” Jack said. He wanted to make some stupid condom joke, but bit his tongue.

“Good,” Janet said. “It’s eighteen hundred now. I’ll call at twenty-two hundred to make sure you’re still okay, then let you get a good night’s sleep. But Jack? I want you to watch each other.”

That wasn’t going to be a problem. He could feel Daniel’s eyes on him, and resisted the urge to look back. Not yet. They didn’t need to yet. “We will,” Jack said.

“Okay. Talk to you in four hours.”

Jack hung up and looked at Daniel in disbelief. “She gave us permission.”

Daniel looked as stunned as he felt. Jack threw his cell phone on the counter and turned away. Neither man said a word.

Jack finished cooking and pried Daniel away from the computer long enough to eat. The conversation was tense and stilted at first, but gradually warmed. Jack breathed a small sigh of relief. Maybe they’d get through this after all. It would take a little adjustment on both their parts, but they’d been through worse, hadn’t they? And they’d always managed to keep their friendship intact. They cleaned up the kitchen together then Jack put in a movie and Daniel went back to that damned translation. At nine-fifty Daniel slammed his laptop shut irritably. He scrubbed his hand through his hair. “I can’t concentrate.”

Jack looked up from the movie he wasn’t watching. He could feel it too. He was antsy, positively quivering with anticipation–palms sweaty, stomach doing flip-flops, hell, even his scalp was tingling with want and need. It wasn’t painful yet, but it would be, and Jack wasn’t looking forward to that.

They’d spent the last hour ignoring each other, the tension in the room palpable, the expectation growing. He got up and walked to where Daniel was sitting moodily, reached out, and touched his neck. Instantly he felt Daniel relax back into his hands, welcoming him. He started kneading Daniel’s shoulders, pushing hard with his thumbs, coaxing the tense muscles into giving.

“God,” Daniel moaned. “Please don’t stop doing that.”

Jack felt his dick jump and kept going, running his hands through Daniel’s hair, massaging his scalp, trying not to enjoy the feel of the soft strands running through his fingers. He felt Daniel shiver and was reaching down to pull his shirt up when the phone rang. They both jumped and Jack stepped back shakily, wrenching his hands away, pulling the cell out of his pocket. His conversation with Janet was brief. Daniel waited until he ended the call before standing up. He looked hungrily at Jack as he rose to his feet and pulled his shirt off over his head.

Jack watched and realized that they were losing control again; there would be no stopping it. He also realized that now that he knew how Daniel felt, he’d have a much harder time holding his own feelings in. He tried to fight it, but it didn’t really matter. The need was too strong to resist. He pulled his shirt off and they stepped into each other, both groaning when their chests touched. “God, Jack,” Daniel whispered against his neck, pulling him close.

“I know,” Jack answered roughly, trying to keep his voice steady, involuntarily wrapping his arms around Daniel. They stayed like that for a moment. Hands started moving, stroking over muscle, feeling sinew, tracing tendons. Jack’s cock started to fill and he could feel Daniel’s twitch through the fabric of their pants. “Daniel,” he choked, wanting Daniel so badly. He gave in. “Please,” he whispered. A part of him danced, because he’d be able to have this memory and still hide behind the safety of Kokopelii.

“C’mon,” Daniel said, his own need clear, and led the way into Jack’s bedroom and that perfect bed.

Jack followed. He pushed his sweats down, stepping out of them in the doorway, leaving them where they lay.

Daniel paused long enough to flick the switch on the fireplace then shoved the covers on the bed back and bent slightly to push his own sweats down, showing Jack his ass before he climbed in, Jack right behind him, so close he could feel his heat.

They faced each other, tracing lips and jaws, and oh god, it was already different this time, closer, deeper, more real, and Jack wasn’t going to be able to hold back. Their legs tangled up, their arms went around each other, and they both stopped for a moment, foreheads touching, sharing breath and heat, all misgivings falling away. Then their lips met, a sweet kiss, all pain and anxiety forgotten, because they both wanted to be here, both wanted this, and they somehow knew the other did, too, could feel it in the yielding of muscle, the shiver of skin, could see it in the other’s eyes, lit by the flickering firelight.

“Daniel,” Jack whispered, tracing lightly from Daniel’s forehead to his chin. He draped a leg over Daniel’s hip and pulled him closer, their groins touching.

Daniel cradled Jack’s skull and pulled him into a slow, deep kiss. Right now it didn’t matter what Jack had actually said. His body was giving him away. Daniel poured everything he was feeling into the kiss, and got the same back.

As the room warmed they pushed the covers back, taking the time to explore and learn, test different touches, see what worked best, fingers or tongue, lips or teeth.

Daniel was nuzzling underneath his balls when Jack felt his hole start to spasm rhythmically, hungrily trying to suck something, anything-- a finger a tongue, a cock-- in. His hips started to writhe. “Daniel,” he begged, not knowing how to ask.

Daniel raised his head and urged Jack over onto his stomach, helping him draw one leg up a bit, to open himself more. He blew cool air over the hole, watching it twitch and wink, then leaned forward to tease the soft hairs with his tongue, not touching the skin just yet, barely ghosting around the ring. He finally broadened his tongue and stroked fully over the opening, groaning when Jack ground down, lapping up the taste, teasing the nerve endings to greater excitement, lost in the pleasure of the moment.

Jack hugged the pillow hard, his hips moving uncontrollably, little movements rubbing his cock against the sheets and his hole against Daniel’s tongue. “Lube,” he groaned into the pillow. “God, Daniel. We need lube.” And there went his plausible deniability, right out the window, carried away by the storm.

Daniel heard him as if from a great distance, too focused on his task. He licked a few more times, unwilling to leave just yet, then finally lifted his head when he realized what Jack was proposing. “Jack?” he asked.

“I want . . . we need lube,” Jack choked. “Please, Daniel. I . . . “

Daniel crawled up and covered him, grounded him, entwined their fingers and asked very softly, “You sure?”

Jack shivered at the feel of Daniel’s breath on his ear. “Yes.” He hadn’t let anyone do this, not since the first time, so long ago. The crush of emotion had left him shaking. But he wanted that, wanted to feel that again.

With Daniel.

Daniel kissed his ear, his nape, between his shoulders, the small of his back, then said, “I’ll be right back,” and left.

Jack just tried to breathe.

Daniel returned immediately and set a small tub down on the night stand. “Crisco,” he explained as he climbed back on, warming the skin that had started to cool.

A genius. Daniel was a genius. Jack relaxed, accepted, and tipped his head forward, letting Daniel nuzzle the nape of his neck, then spread his legs so Daniel could slip between them, his cock nestled between Jack’s cheeks, just missing the opening and making Jack groan. Then Daniel ground down lightly and Jack felt hair rasping over the area and started moving his hips again, restless, a tingling starting deep inside.

“Beautiful,” Daniel whispered. “So beautiful,” and he knelt up slowly, trailing his hands along Jack’s back, to the curve of his ass, teasing the crack. He spread his knees, forcing Jack to open his legs wider. He snagged the tub and opened it, scooping out a fingerful, then paused to suck the spot on Jack’s neck that had gotten him a shiver before, that spot where his shoulder met neck, and was rewarded with a moan. He didn’t ask if Jack had done this before. It didn’t matter. He’d use the same care, pay attention, treat Jack’s body the same no matter the answer. He rubbed a little of the grease on his thumb, then started working it in, rubbing in slow, tormenting circles, pressing gently, deeply, testing pliancy and willingness. He struggled to hold back when Jack’s body sucked hungrily at him.

Jack felt his body pulsing, felt the pressure and pleasure of Daniel’s fingers. He pulled one knee up, opening himself further. He squirmed a hand down to cup his balls, pushing his fingers along his perineum, petting the soft, sensitive skin there. His body shuddered when Daniel’s fingers joined his.

It almost undid Daniel, seeing Jack’s skin glisten with sweat, watching Jack increase his own pleasure. He let his fingers slide back to the tight hole and pushed in.

Jack’s head jerked up and a shiver raced down his spine. God! There was stretching and fullness and the undeniable sense of connection, then emptiness when the fingers left him. He was about to growl in protest when he felt Daniel’s cock press against him, blunt and smooth and big. He dropped his head and breathed out deeply, relaxing his muscles.

Daniel pushed in slowly, so very slowly, and they both shuddered. He stretched out over Jack’s back when he was buried deep, curled his arms under Jack’s shoulders, bringing their bodies into full contact, and held on, not moving, just reveling in the feel and scent and taste. He could feel Jack trembling under and around him. Something loosened in his heart, a surge of emotions set free, and he breathed for a moment, awash in the feelings, then took a deep breath and whispered, “Move for me, Jack.”

Jack moved, rolling his hips, keeping it slow and easy.

Daniel moved with him, pushing in, pulling out, subtle movements meant to please. He reached down with one hand and hooked it under Jack’s raised knee, pushing it up further. He felt Jack’s body spasm at the slight change of angle.

That tingling place in Jack’s body was being caressed now, slow and sweet, and he let himself drown in the sensations wracking his body, the emotions flooding his mind. Daniel was covering him, holding him, inside of him. He reached his fingers back and felt where they were connected and his body quaked as another surge of pleasure traveled down his spine, the circuit complete, and he crested when another wave washed through him.

Daniel buried his face in Jack’s straining neck and pushed against his spasming muscles, trying to climb inside, and came too, long, luxurious pulses coming from deep in his belly, Jack’s body clutching at him powerfully.

They both lay there, panting, boneless, glued together by sweat and semen and something much more. Daniel finally garnered enough strength to entwine their fingers and nuzzle Jack’s neck. “That was,” he started.

“Amazing,” Jack finished, then squirmed enough so Daniel slid to the side. Jack turned in his arms and they faced one another. Jack reached up and traced Daniel’s face, outlined by the flickering light of the fireplace. They kissed softly and fell asleep between one touch and the next.

Jack awoke the next morning warm and comfortable, spooned up behind Daniel, his dick only half-hard. Well, he had come five times yesterday. He nuzzled briefly at Daniel’s nape then got up to go pee. He caught a glimpse of the clock and was startled to realize it was eight o’clock. He hadn’t slept that late in ages. Daniel had rolled over by the time he got back so he carefully climbed in and turned to look at him, watching him sleep. The deep hurting hadn’t returned, thank god.

He should get up, shower, start breakfast, pack up to leave.

He stayed in bed and kept watching.

Daniel stirred, the gradually lightening room waking him up. The blizzard had lessened into a snow storm, blowing itself out, and a soft diffused light gave everything a surreal quality. Daniel finally opened his eyes, saw Jack watching, and smiled sleepily. “Hi.”

Jack’s heart leapt because there was no pain there, no disillusionment or panic or dismay or discomfort, just a warm sleepy glow smiling at him. He smiled back. “Hi yourself.”

“Did you sleep okay?”

“Passed out cold,” Jack confirmed.

Daniel pointed to the bathroom. “I’m going . . . ”

Jack felt unease creep through him. “You go ahead,” he said. “I’ll get breakfast started.” He needed to get a grip here, needed some distance. He was absolutely certain he could get used to seeing that look every morning.

Daniel slid out of bed and closed the bathroom door. He took care of business then leaned his hands against the sink. He heard Jack get up then stared at himself in the mirror. “It’s just Kokopelii,” he told himself firmly. “Jack doesn’t feel the same. It’s just an alien influence. It’ll never happen.” He swallowed hard, because the kiva-hurt was gone and was being replaced by a different hurt in his chest. He wanted it to be real, wanted Jack to feel the same way he did. And he knew deep down inside that Jack loved him, but what did it matter? Oh well. He’d try to act the same, keep the friendship alive, accept what he was given. But dammit, a part of him was really pissed off about it. It was the ultimate tease, to be shown what was possible but out of reach. “Get ahold of yourself, Jackson,” he said to his reflection, then went out, pulled on sweats, and tried to prepare himself for what lie ahead.

Jack lingered in the bed for a moment, surrounded by the heat and smells, then tugged on his sweats and went out to start coffee. He was measuring out the grounds when he felt Daniel stand behind him, sniffing over his shoulder.

“Hmmmmm, coffee,” Daniel said, trying for some semblance of normalcy

“You’re such a junkie,” Jack said, adopting a teasing tone, then held up the filter so Daniel could breathe in deeply. He missed Daniel instantly when he moved away to look out the window. Coffee done, he poured two mugs and went to join him. “Storm looks like it’s blowing itself out,” he remarked, handing a mug over.

Daniel nodded and took a sip. “Janet should be here soon.”

Jack nodded, trying to keep his face from showing what he was feeling. He didn’t want Janet to show up and cure them. He wanted to keep going, admit what he wanted, bury himself deeper in what they’d started. “How ya doin’? Feeling any pain?”

Daniel thought for a minute. “No. But we did spend the night touching.”

“Yeah,” Jack agreed, memories flooding through him. And he wanted to touch again, so badly, but because he wanted to this time. It wasn’t a compulsion anymore. It was a choice.

A choice he couldn’t make.

What they really should do was shower, get cleaned up, wash the sheets, get ready for Janet’s arrival. “You up for some breakfast?” He didn’t want to wash Daniel off of him just yet. “French toast and sausage?”

Daniel smiled at him a little sadly. “Sounds good.”

“You don’t want that? We can make something else.”

What Daniel really wanted was to go back to bed, get naked again, and make love. He settled for breakfast. “No. That’s fine.”

“Okay,” Jack said. It was all so strange and awkward. Things got better when they started cooking, though, moving easily around and with each other. Cooking could be a very sensual thing, Jack mused, watching Daniel flip the toast. It was a kind of dance in itself, two people moving toward the same purpose, a sort of sharing.

They didn’t dig in like they normally did, both sort of picking at their food. Finally, Jack asked, “The compulsion. Do you still feel it?”

Daniel considered lying. Maybe he could get one more memory. “No,” he admitted. “It’s gone.”

Was that disappointment in Jack’s eyes?

“Me too,” Jack confirmed. “Why don’t we get cleaned up?” He looked out the window as a watery patch of sun tried to break through the clouds. “Janet should be here in a few hours.”

Daniel nodded, suddenly aware that he smelled like Jack and sex and had dried patches of semen all over his skin. He bit down on the urge to offer a shared shower and got up. “You want to go first?” The guy who got fucked should get the shower first, shouldn’t he?

“Nah,” Jack said casually. He wanted to smell Daniel on him a little longer. “You go. I’ll strip the sheets.” He watched Daniel walk to the bathroom and listened as the water turned on. He wanted to go to him, say he’d lied, that the compulsion was still there, ask for one more, but he didn’t. He sat and stared out the window at the cold, wintry light, feeling suddenly alone.

Daniel was not-working on the translation and Jack was not-watching another movie. The sheets were in the dryer, the Crisco put back in the cabinet, and all outward traces of what they’d done, gone.

Jack couldn’t take it anymore, the silence and pointedly ignoring each other. Fuck it. He got up, turned the TV off, and sat down at the table across from Daniel, ready to spill it all, tell everything, take a chance. He met Daniel’s questioning, hopeful eyes. “Daniel,” he started. “I . . . “ He stopped, his ears picking up the soft whump-whump-whump of helicopter blades.

They stared at each other.

“I guess they’re here,” Jack finished lamely. He couldn’t do this now, not now that they were about to be overrun with concerned medics. He brought his military persona back to the forefront while he tried to swallow his heart back down from his throat. Fuck. He’d been about to throw it all away.

“Yeah,” Daniel agreed, looking away. “I guess they are.”

They both put on their coats and went to meet the chopper.

Janet made them all stay at the cabin for two more days, close to the kiva in case they needed to go back and be weaned. But both men knew it was over. Finally, Janet agreed and transported them to the SGC for additional observation, just to be sure.

“Come in, Jack,” Janet said on the fourth day. “Have a seat.” She indicated the chair across from her desk and sat down. “I’ve got all the results.”

Jack sat down wearily. He waved his hand. “Go on. Spill.”

Janet opened the file on her desk. “We’ve been monitoring brain chemistry levels, hormone levels, things like seratonin, dopamine, phenylethylamine, oxytocin . . . “ She looked up when Jack sighed heavily.

“Janet,” Jack said testily. “Cut to the chase.”

She sat back. “Okay. We’re seeing changes in your brain, Jack. These levels mimic the same levels we find in people who are in love.” She watched Jack’s face as he shut down, slamming the door on what he was feeling. “It’s not you,” she hastened to assure him. “It’s the effects of that kiva.”

Yeah, right.

“But,” she said. “It still feels the same,” she paused, then continued more gently, “doesn’t it?”

“But it’s not real,” Jack said, needing to hear it out loud again, needing to somehow convince his brain and heart and Janet. It was real enough for him, all right. “It’s not real.” He braced his shoulders against the pain in his chest.

“Jack,” Janet said, looking at him gently. “I’d like you to talk to someone.”

Jack snorted a laugh. “About what? Being in love with my very male best friend?” His voice cracked just a little, then he shook his head. “I’ll deal with it, Janet.”

She looked at him sympathetically. “I wish there was something I could do for you, Jack.”

What? Take a pill and make the love go away? A part of Jack cringed away from the idea. That would make it all so clinical, unimportant, and it was anything but. “How’s Daniel dealing with this?” He hadn’t seen Daniel since they got back.

“I haven’t told him yet. He’ll be here in a few minutes, though.”

“Right,” Jack said crisply, getting to his feet. A little distance was the key here, a little time to get over it, put things in perspective and he’d be fine. “I’m going back to work now.” Janet nodded and he turned on his heel and walked back to his office, shoulders back, spine stiff.

Jack was burying himself in paperwork, the monotony dulling his senses. He started when he heard, “Hi, Jack,” and his heart leapt, his stomach did the butterfly thing, and his eyes snapped up to take in the sight. Daniel was standing uncertainly in his doorway. He’d been caught unaware, and Daniel had seen, could see it in his face. He quickly schooled his features and waved Daniel in. “What’s up?” Friendly yet distant, cool and collected. Check.

"I finished the translation," Daniel said, coming in and sitting down.

"Oh?" Jack said, his defenses coming up.

"Yes," Daniel said, then looked into his eyes. "I was right. The kiva was set up to be part of a bonding ritual. Kokopelii used it bind couples together,” he hesitated. “And to help them conceive.”

Jack gave a strained laugh. “Do I need to have Janet run a pregnancy test?”

Daniel ignored that. “It has a physiological as well as psychological effect, relaxing the couple, reducing stress . . . “ he stopped, because if anything, he was more stressed than ever. He cleared his throat. “Well, anyway, it was supposed to increase the pair bond and the chances of conception.”

Jack snorted and bent back to his paperwork, dismissing Daniel, wishing like hell he’d leave, go and let Jack deal with it, deal with getting over him and getting on with his life, such as it was.

“The device has a fail-safe." Daniel said very softly, so softly Jack had to strain to hear.

"What?" Jack said. “A fail safe?”

“You remember that blue beam that swept us?" still speaking low. He waited for Jack's nod before continuing. "It's a scanner. It reads the couple and makes sure both want each other and are willing. It's in place to prevent coercion and rape."

Jack stared at him, open mouthed, his mind working.

“And the kiva influence doesn’t last forever,” Daniel continued. “It’s all part of a very set ceremony. The ceremony ends when both parties say they love each other.”

“So that’s all we have to do?” Jack demanded. “Say we love each other and all this will end?”

“It already ended,” Daniel said gently.


“It ended in the bathroom,” Daniel continued. “Remember? We admitted it?”

Jack’s eyes darted to the security camera, then back to Daniel. His mouth gaped, no words coming out. But that meant that the last night wasn’t Kokopelii.

“That last night was us, Jack. Janet said it was the kiva making us feel this way, but she’s wrong. It was something we’d both wanted. I just didn’t admit it, not even to myself. The kiva didn’t make us do that, it just gave us a push.”

Jack felt alarms going off in his head. “I can’t . . . ” he started, even though he obviously had.

Daniel held up his hand. “Let me ask you something, Jack,” he said very carefully. He was treading on dangerous ground now. “If Charlie had lived, would you want him to have the home life you do?”

Jack stared, struggling for control. He’d always imagined Charlie going home after a hard day at work to a house absolutely crammed to the rafters with love and laughter and life, not to a cold, echoey, empty house.

“People usually want the best for their children,” Daniel said very gently, “but settle with less for themselves.” He locked eyes with Jack. “Why do you deserve less than your son?”

It was like Daniel had slammed him with a sledgehammer. Decades of discipline let Jack keep his features blank, but his eyes were burning and he had a lump in his throat. He didn’t attempt to talk, just stared.

Daniel looked at him sadly, got up, and left.

The moment the door closed Jack shattered into a million pieces.

He spent the next several hours putting himself back together, but the pieces didn’t quite fit the same way. There was an empty place now, a hollow spot in his soul that he’d filled with noble denial, almost smugly suffering in silence. But it was one thing to hurt himself, and quite another to hurt someone else. When it was just him, he could happily deal with it, but it wasn’t just him any more. Daniel was hurting too, and that changed everything. And dammit, why didn’t he deserve a chance at happiness? He thought about what his own father would have wanted for him, and while he wasn’t sure about the gay thing, he was absolutely positive his dad would be saddened at how lonely he was, how empty his personal life was. He’d grown up in a happy home, and realized he missed that intensely.

Daniel was maybe the only person who could change that, if Jack would let him.

He teetered on the fulcrum of indecision; on one side, the status quo-- safe but alone. On the other, hope––the unknown but the possibility of happiness. He toppled down on the side of hope.

He got up to go find Daniel, see if maybe they could work this out. His phone rang.

“Colonel? I’d like to see you in the infirmary,” Janet said.

“On my way.” Jack suppressed a frustrated growl. He’d find Daniel right after.

“Okay, Colonel,” Janet said, taking the blood pressure cuff off his arm. “I’m officially declaring you clear. Why don’t you go home, get some real sleep?”

Jack practically vaulted off the bed and smiled. Finally! He resisted the urge to grab Janet and kiss her. “Thanks, Doc,” he said instead, with a rakish grin. “What about Daniel?”

“I discharged him half an hour ago.”

Finally! He was going home. He didn’t plan on getting any sleep, though. At least not until he found Daniel, and if that went well, he wouldn’t be sleeping alone. He almost skipped on his way to the locker room, but faltered when he saw that Daniel had already changed and left. Maybe he was waiting topside? Jack quickly changed, signed out, and went to the parking lot, scanning. He felt his heart plummet. Daniel’s car was gone. What was he expecting? A declaration of love during shift change? He climbed in and headed for home. It was very dark and snowing heavily again, so he crawled along the roads, a vague plan of calling Daniel once he got there.

He pulled into his driveway but didn’t turn the diesel off. The last thing he wanted to do was go into that cold empty house, alone, and then end up in his cold empty bed, alone. He reversed out of the driveway carefully, barely able to see through the snow, and headed toward Daniel’s house.

The snow swirled across the street, making visibility tenuous at best. He leaned forward, his windshield wipers on full, peering ahead. The road narrowed and another car was coming. He pulled over as far as he dared to let the other vehicle pass.

Jack started. It looked sort of like Daniel’s car.

Jack continued on for a block, but became convinced it was Daniel, going to his house, going to him. He pulled into the nearest driveway and turned around. He drove a little more quickly than was safe. If it was Daniel, he didn’t want him to leave, and if it wasn’t, he didn’t want to delay turning back around and going to Daniel’s house. He drove around a bend in the road and met a car coming toward him. Sonofabitch! Was that the same car? He strained his eyes looking in his rearview mirror. His cell phone rang. “O’Neill.”

“Are you on the road right now?” Jack’s heart leapt at Daniel’s voice.

“Yes. Did we just pass each other?”

“I think we did.”

“Well stop, dammit!” Jack said, trying not to laugh. “I’m trying to find you.” He started looking for a place to turn around again.

“I’m already coming back your way,” Daniel said.

Jack looked in his rearview mirror and saw lights coming up behind him. It wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but he closed his phone and stepped out into the snow.

“You’re right,” Jack said when Daniel opened his door. “You were right about everything.”

“I was coming to see you,” Daniel explained, climbing out. “I was going to be noble, but I couldn’t let it go.”

“I’m glad,” Jack said, stepping closer. They were face to face, the snow swirling around them. One perfect flake caught in Daniel’s eyelashes. “I love you, Daniel. I think I always have. Maybe we have a chance at happiness here.”

“I love you, too,” Daniel said. “And yeah, I think we have a chance.”

They stared for a moment then curled their arms around each other and kissed, slow and deep, the need and want pure and true.

“I suck at relationships,” Jack warned when they stopped kissing.

Daniel shrugged. “Everyone does, until they find the right one.”

“Am I the right one?”

“I think so,” Daniel said, and kissed him again.

“Time for a new beginning,” Jack murmured against his lips. “C’mon. Let’s go home.”

They broke apart and drove back to Jack’s. Once inside they hung up their coats and walked to the living room, sat on the couch, and faced each other, then were kissing again, soft and gentle. “You know,” Daniel breathed. “We were at the beginning of the Goodnight-Loving Trail down in Dolores.”

Jack pulled away. “What?”

“The Goodnight-Loving cattle drive trail. Colonel Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving pioneered it to meet up with the Chisholm Trail in Denver.”

Jack laughed softly. “I think this Colonel will start his own goodnight-loving trail, right here,” and he kissed Daniel’s eyes closed. “The next stop is here,” he kissed Daniel’s nose. “Here’s the next,” he murmured, kissing Daniel’s lips.

He took his sweet time mapping the rest.

Daniel woke slowly the next morning. Brilliant white sunlight streamed through the window, reflecting off the fresh snow. He rolled over, reaching for Jack.

He was alone.

Daniel blinked, his eyes trying to adjust to the bright light. He was about to call for Jack when the scent of bacon and fresh coffee hit his nose. He took a moment to bask, stretched luxuriously against the smooth sheets, then got up and headed to the kitchen and Jack.

Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished