Intervals Betwixt 1: Hammer & Nail
Summary: Daniel agonizes over the decision to disable Thor’s Hammer and thus remove hope of saving Shau’re.
… hammer and nail …
Daniel sat down and forwarded a scene of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. It was Jack’s favorite film, but Jack wasn’t here, so when he watched alone, he skipped over parts he really didn’t care about. Specifically, the romance-comedy moments between whatshername and Indy. He really wasn’t in the mood for hetero scenes. When he realized that he’d forgotten his popcorn, he stopped advancing and let the idiot scene play out in the bar while he grabbed his snack.
In the kitchen, he turned on the microwave and listened to the popping. In his mind, he had walled off distraction so that he could focus on whatever matter was at hand. In this case, popcorn, DVD, stay-in clothes (sweats and tank), and peace and quiet.
Normally, Daniel would be pouring over whatever other teams had found, whether on base or at home. He was endlessly fascinated and determined to get SG-1 on an explorer basis no matter what the Pentagon’s lackeys in the White House wanted the President to do. Or more specifically, what they wanted Hammond to allow SG-1 to do. But there were times where Daniel needed his mind to relax. To be set on stand-by, if you will. Otherwise he’d get burned out from mental overload. These days, the only overload he allowed was sensory, and from Jack. But not today. And if Jack was serious, not for a few more weeks.
Pouring the popcorn into a bowl, he added a touch more salt and returned to the couch. The scene had moved on to the reason for Indy’s visit. Munching on his snack, Daniel suddenly revisited the moment in the cave when Jack had handed him Teal’c’s Staff weapon. He’d frozen at that moment, and then without thinking, after Jack had said, “Teal’c’s here now,” he’d backed up, aimed the Staff, and frozen again. That moment had lasted a lifetime. Teal’c or Sha’re and Skaara. Teal’c or Sha’re and Skaara. Teal’c or Sha’re and Skaara.
And there had been Jack’s face. His imploring, desperate desire in those deep brown eyes. Something had been transmitted there, in that look. The decision was made for him. And he’d just gone and done it. Daniel shook his head, ceasing to mull it over. What was done was done. There was no use dwelling over doing something so utterly profound…
Blinking, Daniel turned the sound up on the TV but after a minute, the movie wasn’t worth watching and he turned it off and went to the stacked VHS and the new DVDs in the bureau under the player. What was he really in the mood for? Inevitably, he pulled out Psycho. His go-to favorite when other stuff bored him. He admired Hitchcock. The man had had an incessant love affair with camera angles.
Settling back, he lay down on his side and plucked popcorn from the bowl on the coffee table and drank his Coke. Sam had once given him Diet Coke and the scrunched up look on his face had sent her into a minute-long giggle fest.
Norman Bates. The wonderful dichotomy of good and evil. People had praised Hitchcock’s ability to make you root for him even though he was obviously the bad guy. Or more aptly stated, the unintended bad guy.
Unintended bad guy. The words stuck in Daniel’s brain on a loop and he shook his head to clear it, blinking rapidly as he sat up and refocused on the movie. He succeeded quite well until someone knocked on his door. Annoyed, he hoped it wasn’t some idiot selling something. He wasn’t in the mood, not even for the Girl Scouts.
Opening the door, he found Jack with a hand raised to knock again. Dressed in a dark green shirt, khaki pants, boots. Ordinary and sexy. Damn him. Daniel’s annoyance grew. Jack had specifically said they would stay away from each other for a while, except at work. And yet, here he was. Didn’t the man ever stick to his own damn rules?
“You’re not supposed to be here,” he said.
“I needed to ask you a question,” Jack said.
“There’s such a thing as a telephone, Jack.”
“Yeah, but this is a question that had to be asked in person.”
Daniel chewed at the corner of his mouth as annoyance started to enter anger’s territory. “Don’t you get tired of breaking your own oaths and rules?” Jack opened his mouth to answer, his brows knotting in a warning of his own rising anger, but Daniel cut him off. “If you can’t abide by them, stop making them.”
He was going to slam the door in Jack’s face. He had the intention. It was flowing down his neck, over his shoulder, and into his hand. Shut the door. Shut it. Shut the goddamn door! The desire to hear Jack’s answer went to war with the desire to shut the door. But it wasn’t just Jack’s answer he wanted because embarrassingly, the sense memory of Jack sucking his cock flooded his brain. Trust his id to choose the one image that derailed his inner argument. In the silent seconds that passed, Jack waited, watching him.
“What?” Daniel asked.
“Ask me in.”
“What’re you, a vampire?”
“Fine. I don’t go where I’m not wanted.”
And suddenly Jack’s body language signaled that he was about to turn around and leave. And Daniel knew damn well that if he let him do it, their relationship would come to an end. Over this. It wasn’t rational or fair. But it would happen. And for what? Because Daniel wouldn’t let Jack talk? It was an occasion that required marking. Let him in.
“Jack,” he said, gesturing as he moved aside. If Jack wanted to talk, he’d get to. Otherwise, it was like pulling teeth. With garden shears. Jack wasn’t big on sharing unless he was sharing his anger. That he willingly did and sometimes, it cost him big time. Hammond had damn near thrown him in the brig that last time and only Jack’s training had kept him out. He’d relented and apologized. So why in the hell couldn’t he share other emotions?
Recalling the time with the Unity crystal, Daniel realized that if Jack were good at sharing, his relationship with his wife wouldn’t have failed. Guiltily, Daniel was secretly glad it hadn’t because they wouldn’t have gotten together otherwise. In fact, the only reason they had was due to that damn infected planet. Even the simplest of events had ginormous results. Or consequences, if you like. Not that Daniel was complaining. Ever since—
Daniel blinked, realizing he hadn’t moved. “Sorry,” he said automatically, then bit his lips together as he hated himself for saying that. He shut the door while he battled with himself over that goddamn auto-word of the weak-minded. Sorry. He didn’t have anything to feel sorry about so why had he said it? Because it was good manners when you were caught woolgathering, Daniel, so get with the fucking program.
His inner id was an asshole.
Rolling his eyes at himself, he gestured at the living room while he went for the kitchen. He didn’t need to ask Jack if he wanted a beer. He usually did, and Daniel had made a habit out of stocking Heineken because it was Jack’s favorite. If their relationship ended, then he’d have to give it to him or drink it all himself. And he didn’t want their relationship to end. Was it up to him? Hell, yes it was. Partly.
“Psycho?” Jack called from the living room, his tone telling Daniel he was amused.
For a second, Daniel thought Jack was calling him that until he remembered the movie. “A favorite,” he called back while thinking himself stupid. Why the hell would he call him that out of the blue? Daniel, you’re losing your fucking mind.
“Forget it,” Daniel called back and heard a responding grunt as he fetched the beer and returned to the living room. Finding Jack on the couch, he handed it to him from behind before going around to sit on the opposite side. The right side. Daniel preferred the left. And Jack was sitting there. Stupid, yes, to allow himself to be annoyed over something so dumb, but it seemed to be the day for that.
“Not you?” Jack asked as he twisted off the cap.
“No,” Daniel said, widening his eyes while jogging his brows. The expression told Jack that he thought it a stupid idea.
Jack’s expression was both curious and … delaying. Jack was wasting time talking about ‘to drink or not to drink’. Evasion. Daniel would have rolled his eyes again, but then he would’ve had to explain why or come up with a lie he wouldn’t even remember later.
“Because I’m not in the mood.”
Jack frowned, and it was one of those, “What’s wrong?” frowns. Daniel sighed.
“I’m just not in the mood for beer. I’d have a wine cooler, but I didn’t pick up any, so it’s just Coke.”
“What about Jack?” Jack asked, referring to the Kentucky whiskey.
“I have that, but it gets me drunk. I don’t want to be drunk.”
“Jack,” Daniel said, ending the topic. He made sure to show Jack he meant business while at the same time letting him know he was there to listen. It was a fine, and often-deployed, line. “Why are you here?”
Jack looked away, focusing on the movie while he picked at the beer label with a thumbnail. The first time Daniel had been at Jack’s house, it was he who’d done the picking, not Jack. He wondered if Jack did that on a regular basis, and if so, why hadn’t he ever noticed? Was he that egocentric? Something nagged at his brain and reflexively, Daniel refused to examine it.
Jack hadn’t answered, either. “Jack?” Daniel puffed out a breath. “Okay, let’s talk about why you wanted us apart.”
Jack took a deep breath. “I wanted space so that it would give us time to accept the reality of what happened.”
Daniel fidgeted. “And now?”
Jack fidgeted. “I think it’s stupid to do that.”
“Why’d you change your mind?”
More fidgeting. It took Jack a whole minute before answering. “It was my fault, not yours.”
“It was nobody’s fault,” Daniel said with a heavy sigh. “You didn’t ask to be transported to that mountain. Plus, you don’t control me. You never have and you never will. While we work together, I do what you ‘order’ me to do because that’s the protocol. But if I don’t like what you’re ordering me to do, I won’t do it. Fire me or throw me in jail, it makes no difference. You’ve never steered us wrong, even if you have been quite stubborn about it, but you’re usually right in the end. Even when I can’t see it at the time.”
Jack looked at him warily. He sensed a ‘but’ coming.
“But,” Daniel emphasized, knowing that look on Jack’s face. “This was one of those times where I went against what my insides were screaming at me not to do.” He paused as he got up, feeling the need to pace. Sometimes it helped to express himself properly. Sometimes it was needed while he said something uncomfortable.
“I’m sorry,” Jack said.
Daniel whirled and stared at him, startled. That had cost Jack something. He never apologized for something he considered the right thing to do, even if it seemed bad. Yesterday had certainly qualified.
“Why?” Jack asked.
Startled again, Daniel blinked and sat back down. “What?”
“Why did you do it?”
Daniel gave Jack a flabbergasted look. “Are you kidding? If I had refused, a few things would have happened. First, you’d have come across and done it yourself. Even if that meant punching me in order to get the Staff weapon from my hand. Second, you and I would have broken up, ceased the friendship, and I would no longer be on SG-1.”
It was Jack’s turn to blink, but he said nothing, seemingly considering whether or not that would have happened.
“And I did it because …” Daniel began, but the last word faded as the resistance inside told him to shut up, that he can’t say what he had been about to say.
“Because,” Jack finished, and he put the words in Daniel’s mouth, whether or not they really belonged there. “Teal’c is a friend, not just a teammate. You don’t turn your back on your friends. You don’t leave people behind.”
“Yes,” Daniel said, drawing out the simple word. He looked down at his hands. They were empty. He picked up his Coke so he’d have something to hold. He began picking at the label.
“But?” Jack prompted, incredulous.
“But,” Daniel went on, equally slow. He then frowned as he thought about the right way to say what had allowed him to destroy the only known way of freeing Sha’re, and Skaara, from their tormentors. It literally took a few minutes as he opened and closed his mouth several times. Then finally, gratingly, he said softly, “I did it for you.”
Jack blinked again, clearly nonplussed. “What?”
Daniel went on in that same soft, almost whispering, voice, “I was thinking that Sha’re was no longer the person I cared most about. I thought of you. I thought that you would be stuck in that place—figuratively speaking—if Teal’c had been forced to remain there. You would have hated me.” The label on his Coke was almost gone.
“I know Teal’c never would have remained there because the truth is also that I would have fired anyway. But I thought about losing you versus what I have already lost in Sha’re.” He paused again, his throat constricting. When Jack started to speak, he held up his hand to stop him.
“Please let me finish,” he said huskily. Jack subsided but it took Daniel half a minute to get control. He cleared his throat. “I’ve probably already lost her, Jack.” He swallowed hard. “Even though I’m still going to try and help her. I can’t not do that. But I couldn’t lose you, too.” He suddenly grew extremely annoyed. “But goddammit, why in the hell would I lose you? Just because I would find it hard to destroy that device? To basically give up on Sha’re? Is that fucked up, or what? I mean, dammit, what if I turned into this selfish prick who could only think of Sha’re and not you, even when we’ve been … and then, I mean, maybe we would never …” He finally looked up. “Does any of that make sense to you or is it just me?” Jack stared at him, his mouth hanging open slightly as he narrowed his eyes. Jack was either annoyed or very confused. “I lost you, didn’t I?”
“No,” Jack said instantly, but then nothing followed.
It was a full two minutes before Jack reacted. During that time, Daniel returned his attention to the bottle in his hands as he thought over what he’d just said. He was about to tell Jack that he had no idea what he’d been trying to say when Jack surprised him beyond his ability to conceive.
Jack set his beer down, got up, and moved in on him like a man with a willful need. As he closed in, his hand reached out, and Daniel’s attention went back and forth between Jack’s face and his hand. He didn’t know what to expect. He was thus shocked and confused when Jack cradled the back of his head and pulled him up to a kiss so intense that Daniel forgot to breathe. His friend’s tongue was probing, insistent, and Daniel found he could only respond in kind.
To hell with words. Only tongues and hands communicated and in under a minute, they were naked and sprawled on the couch. Jack lay over him, his weight pressing down, as they kissed until their mouths were numb. He undulated his body, getting Daniel to do the same, while rubbing their now-hard cocks together. It was wild, passionate, and so very unlike Jack. He usually telegraphed what he wanted with a preface of explanation.
But it no longer mattered. Daniel dug his fingers encouragingly into the firm muscles of Jack’s ass. Their movements grew frantic and Jack was thrusting against him with such intent that Daniel’s balls ached for something far more all-consuming. Raising his knees, he reached between them and pressed the head of his lover’s penis against his anus. Their lips parted as Jack looked down at him, eyes questioning, and Daniel nodded while he lifted his hips. It was primal speak. No lube. Go ahead.
With a deep growl, Jack slowed his movement as he lined up and pushed. It was maddening, having to slow down after all that build up. Daniel didn’t want to slow down. Ignoring caution, he pulled Jack down with forceful hands and the result was a hard burn and two sharp inhalations—one from each other. Daniel closed his eyes and tilted his head back but Jack captured his mouth again while reaching between them to encircle Daniel’s cock with steady, experienced fingers.
Over Jack’s lips, Daniel breathed “Fuck me,” but with no sound. Encouraged, Jack eagerly complied as he slowly stroked with both hips and hand until he was balls deep. Jack began his rhythm, easing his cock back and forth until Daniel’s body relaxed and expanded. He stared into his dark eyes as the heat filled his entire being.
Jack, inside him. It was glorious. Powerful. And it should never stop. Ever. He wanted this. Wanted Jack. It had to be both and it couldn’t ever be just a friendship, ever again. He laid his hands on Jack’s chest and pushed him up, signaling he wanted to watch them. Looking down, and around Jack’s stroking hand, he watched his cock slide in and out of his body and the pleasure made it difficult. His eyes half closed on each stroke.
Suddenly Jack hissed and grabbed his hands and placed them above his head. Heart hammering, Daniel spread his knees to better able him to watch Jack fuck him. When he chanced a look up, he found that his lover’s interest had been in watching him. Eyes now locked, they established a deep, heated rhythm that rocked back and forth, faster and faster, until the pitch of their joint fever lost all efforts at control.
It was exalting, magnificent. The sweat from Jack was intoxicating and Daniel was eagerly drowning in it. The burn had long since changed from invasive to demanding and he felt that particular buzzing of Jack’s cock, signaling he was close. That knowledge plunged Daniel deeply into his own need and he mouthed, “Faster.” Jack complied, his body out of control as he slammed into him. Daniel felt his balls tightening and the pleasure apex was on the teetering edge. He opened his mouth to say Jack’s name, but he was drowned in a hard kiss that both of them clung to while their minds and bodies were imprisoned in a blind intensity of release.
It was exquisite. A white-out of pleasure that never lasted as long as it should. One pump, two. A long pause where they both held their breath. Then came the inevitable as they sprawled in the satisfied and lazy haze of afterglow. Their eyes had shut through their shared orgasms and now opened to look searchingly at the other, as if trying to find meaning or explanation without needing to say a word. It turned out that, after everything that had been said, they really didn’t need words. Except three, Daniel thought.
“I lo—” he began but Jack swallowed the word with lips and tongue. Hours later, the sense memory Daniel had had in his mind when Jack was at the door repeated itself, but in reality. His tongue was a divine torture instrument and his mouth a pleasure palace. Jack had a technique that drew out the pleasure yet was able to get Daniel off in under a few minutes. He had no idea how Jack accomplished both.
Lying in bed those hours later, and while returning the favor with Jack’s cock in his mouth, Daniel knew that what he’d told his lover was correct, but it wasn’t the full truth. While he wouldn’t give up on Sha’re, Daniel sure as hell would never give up on Jack. And in a private, secret way, he proved it to himself as he swallowed every bit of Jack’s appreciation.