I know a guy who’s tough but sweet
He’s so fine, he can’t be beat
He’s got everything that I desire
Sets the summer sun on fire
I want candy
I want candy
Go to see him when the sun goes down
Ain’t no finer boy in town
You’re my guy, you’re what the doctor ordered
So sweet, you make my mouth water
I want candy
I want candy
Jason paused in the kitchen, drawing a comb through his still damp hair as he watched Jack scramble eggs in a large measuring cup. He was hovering, wanting to ask a question.
“What?” Jack asked, wishing he didn’t feel so damn awkward. Having sex with Daniel didn’t result in this nonsense, but then that was different. But why did this have to be? He’d decided to try this threesome thing out, hadn’t he? And trying to ignore Jason after what they had shared wasn’t just rude, it was impossible. He was a man Jack actually liked. A lot. That wasn’t an easy thing to say, either, given his reluctance to trust others. “Something on your mind?”
“Several things,” Jason said. For a moment, he stared at Jack’s hair, at that peculiar little tuft that almost always stood up. Equally peculiar was the sudden desire to tell him to use hair gel and Jason stifled the urge to laugh.
“Wanna be more specific?”
Jason chewed at his lip and looked over his shoulder, listening to the shower run. Daniel was still busy, and out of hearing, so it was now or never. “You know what today is?”
Jack cracked a crooked smile. “It’s his birthday.”
Jason nodded, then cleared his throat. “I, um, actually forgot, until yesterday. So I have to run out and get him something. Have you already…” Jack was nodding. “Right,” he added, hating Jack just a little.
The look of disappointment on his face was obvious and Jack cocked a brow. “You didn’t want me to go with you, did you?”
“No, no,” Jason denied. “Was just asking.” He thumbed behind him as he took a step back. “I’m just gonna get dressed and head out.”
When he turned to leave the kitchen, Jack asked, “Aren’t you going to have breakfast first?”
Jason shook his head as sense memories flooded back from what had happened only an hour ago. “Not all that hungry,” he lied. He was hungry, just not all that interested in hanging around Jack at the moment. The guy was giving off strange vibes that Jason interpreted as rejection and he was in no mood to face it. “I might pick up something while I’m out.” A few more steps backward and Jason was out of the kitchen, relief flooding him that he’d gotten away. Well, only just. He still had to get dressed and get out of the house.
Jack frowned as Jason disappeared. Intuition told him that Jason had just lied. The man’s stomach had been growling earlier so what exactly was the problem? Normally, Jack would let it go, telling himself it wasn’t any of his business, but it was. He was. He’d signed on for this and he’d promised Daniel that he’d try to talk things out instead of bottling them up. Plus, if this three-way relationship was going to work, communication was required. He didn’t need Daniel to tell him that.
With a sigh, Jack set the whisk and measuring cup down and walked out of the kitchen. As he neared the bedroom, Jason was leaving, and they nearly ran into each other. Jason stood there, frozen, staring at him like a deer in the headlights. Jack reached up to grasp Jason’s shoulder and felt the tension under the muscle.
“What’s going on?”
Thrown off-guard, Jason blinked rapidly. “What?”
“You’re acting weird. What’s going on?”
Perversely, Jason grew defensive. “How would you know if I’m acting weird?”
Jack lifted his chin. He felt a strange contradiction run through him; he wanted to both kiss Jason and smack him upside the head. “A, because I can read people. And B, because you were just fine before, and now you’re acting like I said something wrong. If that’s it, tell me what I said. If not, then tell me what’s going on.”
Jason sighed deeply and moved his shoulder back, pulling away from Jack’s hand. It was almost a relief that Jack let him go, but somehow, that stung anyway. Resisting the urge to touch Jack in return, he said, “I was just wondering how you’re doing after what just happened between us. Because if you’re not–”
“It was good, and though this will take getting used to, I’m fine about it.” He paused, then added, “And about you.”
Jason paused, staring. Though Jack seemed in earnest, it was so unexpected that Jason couldn’t really believe it. “Right. Good,” he began, feeling a nervousness he definitely couldn’t explain.
“And how do you feel about it?” Jack asked, frown deepening in confusion. What was wrong with the man? “You’re still acting as if I’ve gotten the plague and no one has told me.”
Jason sighed and absently ran his fingers through his hair. “Yeah, sorry. You’re getting a first-hand look of my tendency to run away rather than be rejected. Also known as Insecurity 101.”
“And you feel like that because…?” Jack drawled. He could guess, but he’d rather push Jason into explaining. It was odd because their roles were suddenly reversed: Jason wasn’t talking and Jack was. How truly weird was that?
“Because after all your reservations about this three-way relationship,” Jason said carefully, “I fully expected you to change your mind.” He swallowed then, waiting for Jack to confirm this statement.
Jack shook his head instead. “I just said I was fine about it, and you. So no, not changing my mind.” He wasn’t quite sure what the hell was going on, either with Jason or his own feelings, but he had this urge to hold him and that was unnerving. Perhaps it was simply because Daniel had been right about his attraction to Jason–although Jack felt that was more luck and accident than any foresight. On the other hand, Daniel was more perceptive than a lot of people and perhaps he saw something in his lovers that neither Jack nor Jason saw. It was damn annoying.
Equally annoying was the urge to test if Daniel was actually right, so Jack stepped forward and closed the distance between them. The look of surprise on Jason’s face was worth it, but even more likable was Jason’s refusal to step back. Next came that indefinable draw of attraction. Purposely, he pretended to ignore it and asked, “Do you always handle possible rejection like that?”
“When it really matters,” Jason said, even more surprised by Jack’s question.
Jack stared at him, tempted to kiss him. “So you go into a flight response.”
“Pretty much,” Jason swallowed, wondering why he was admitting to it so freely. “When I don’t think it’s going to go my way, I tend to run like hell till I’m ready to hear it.” He paused a few seconds, then grinned and added, “A bit like you, don’t you think?”
“It’s been said,” Jack replied with another crooked smile. He leaned in as if to kiss him but deliberately kept a bit of space between them. “Fortunately for us, no one’s going to hear that this time.”
Jason’s attention was momentarily distracted by how hard his heart was beating. “Hear what?” he asked, and the distraction shifted to the intriguing curve of Jack’s upper lip. If he kept pushing him, and Jason allowed it, he had a feeling that despite having had sex only an hour and a half before, he might just come on to him. But if you were in a relationship, was that even applicable?
“Rejection,” Jack whispered as he leaned in a bit further, intending to kiss him.
Jason parted his lips, could feel his eyes half-lidding, then suddenly Daniel opened the bathroom door, wearing nothing but a towel, and both Jason and Jack broke apart as if they’d just been doing something wrong, trading guilty looks.
Daniel frowned at them. “What the hell’s gotten into you two?”
“Nothing,” Jason said quickly.
Jack just shrugged his shoulders and turned slightly away from Jason, acting as if nothing had happened. To Jason, it felt almost like a slap, but he was equally as guilty, so he shoved that thought away.
Daniel stared at them, then broke into a grin. “Guys, it’s okay to be with each other when I’m not around.” Both Jason and Jack began to deny that they weren’t breaking apart because of that, but Daniel could see the guilty looks on their faces clear as day. “Guys! Guys?” he said, interrupting them. They stared at him, mouths open mid-protest and Daniel resisted the urge to laugh. Instead, he smiled and headed for the kitchen. “You weren’t doing anything wrong,” he called out behind him.
Jack and Jason traded guilty looks again, although for a different reason this time. Once more, Jason cleared his throat, mumbling that he had to get going. Jack didn’t try to stop him as he followed him down the hall and left him as he returned to the kitchen. He tried to ignore Daniel behind him as he picked up the whisk and remixed the already-beaten eggs. Once Daniel left the kitchen with a refilled coffee mug, Jack waited a beat, then called out, “Jason, are you sure you don’t want something to eat?”
Jason reappeared in the kitchen and it was almost like a déjà vu, except this time, he was dressed. “You sure you don’t want something to eat?” Jack asked again.
Jason took a few steps toward him, hesitated, then went for it, leaning in to give Jack a quick kiss on the mouth. “I really do have to get going.” He was pleasantly buzzed by the warmth of Jack’s lips and wished he had the time to keep that kiss going. Judging by the look on Jack’s face, the feeling seemed mutual. “Sam, Teal’c, and Janet probably have something prepared?” he purposely redirected.
Jack grinned mischievously and whispered, “Yes, and it’s a surprise, so mum’s the word.”
“Not a problem, since I’m not in on it,” Jason said, backing out of the kitchen.
Daniel came back in at that moment, dressed in jeans and a blue-grey t-shirt. Seeing Jack was alone, he frowned and looked back in the hallway, eyes on the front door. “Where’d Jason go?”
Jack jogged his brows. “Shopping.”
“Shopping?” Daniel asked, surprised. “For what?” He was thinking he didn’t need anything in his cupboards or fridge, apart from more beer, and then it suddenly dawned on him. “He isn’t.”
Jack smiled broadly. “He is.” He watched as Daniel looked over his shoulder, a frown on his face as he chewed on the idea of getting a present from Jason. Jack knew that pretty soon, it would dawn on Daniel that he’d be getting a present from him too, and sure enough, a few seconds later…
Daniel looked at Jack, eyes widening in shock. “Did you…?”
Jack smirked at him as he turned back to the stove and poured the beaten eggs into the frying pan. “Months ago.”
“Months?” Daniel was literally taken off-guard. “In all the time I’ve known you, you’ve never bought me a present.” When Jack shrugged, Daniel rolled his eyes at himself. “Of course, you could say the same about me.” That made Jack grin and Daniel added, “Sad pair, aren’t we?”
Jack grew serious as he moved the eggs around in the pan. “Not anymore.” Daniel was suddenly behind him, arms around him, and Jack flexed the muscles in his body, giving him acknowledgement for the hug. He liked this, and damn those eggs for not cooking fast enough. “We’re a sad threesome.”
Daniel grinned and rubbed his chin against Jack’s neck. “No, just a pair. I’ve never bought Jason a present because he doesn’t like them.”
“Oh, right. I remember.” Jack returned his attention to the eggs, which were now done. Stepping out of Daniel’s hold, he scooped them onto a platter and then headed for the sink. “So why is he going out to buy you something?”
Daniel smirked. “Because I don’t have the same view. And because he’s always bought me something.”
“Kinda hypocritical, isn’t it?”
“No, like I told you before, he doesn’t mind giving gifts. He just hates receiving them because most people give them out of a sense of obligation and the proof is when he gets something he can’t use or appreciate.”
“I sort of get that,” Jack said as he quickly washed the pan and spatula and set them in the drainer. “But since we’re in a relationship, I’ll have to change his mind.” He got the bacon out of the oven and Daniel grabbed the jam and already-made toast. They sat down to eat.
“You’ll get to next month,” Daniel said as he chased his food down with coffee. “August 20th is Jason’s birthday. He’ll be turning forty.”
Jack grinned, eyes narrowing. “Big four-o, eh? That requires something special.” When Daniel didn’t answer and spooned another helping of scrambled egg, Jack added, “Why do I get the feeling you have something planned?”
“I have an idea,” Daniel replied as he picked up his coffee mug.
“Your ideas are dangerous.”
“So’re yours,” Daniel shot back as he smiled around the mug.
“So am I involved in this idea?”
Daniel gave Jack a thoughtful, albeit slightly scolding, look as he sipped more of his coffee. “Yes, and from now on.”
Jack said nothing, but his smile took care of that anyway. “Gonna tell me about this one?”
Daniel shook his head. “No, I’m gonna think on it awhile.”
Jack nodded silently and after a minute of silent eating, he said, “I hope you don’t have any plans this afternoon.”
Daniel quickly swallowed. “No. Why? What’re you up to?”
Jack only gave him that crooked grin. “We’re taking you out.”
Daniel was fairly certain he knew who Jack meant, but sometimes, the man did things out of left field. Like now. “Who’s we?”
“Obviously Jason doesn’t know or he wouldn’t be out shopping right now. But I’ll tell him,” Jack said with a glint in his eye.
“Stop being evasive. Who’s we?”
“Guess,” Jack answered cheekily.
“Not necessary,” Daniel answered, because he knew it was Sam, Teal’c, and Janet. Jack didn’t really need to answer the question. Daniel just wanted to hear him say it. But Jack was playing with him, using that annoying manner of his that Daniel liked, so Daniel purposely decided to stop playing, to see how Jack would react. This was fun, and more than that, the knowledge that Jack was in charge of this birthday party meant a hell of a lot to him. He was finally seeing the man’s romantic side.
It was so endearing, so highly arousing, that he felt this sudden, overwhelming urge to launch across the table and eat Jack for dessert. His lover sat there looking sexy: freshly showered and shaved and looking too goddamn good in a white t-shirt and jeans. It gave Daniel an idea: sucking him off right there, just like he’d done to Jason months back. And in that very same chair.
Jack didn’t know what to make of the look on Daniel’s face. Instinct told him it was arousal, but how could the knowledge of four people planning his birthday be arousing? “What’re you thinking?” he asked.
“When’s this party supposed to start?” Daniel asked, pretending that it was the only thing on his mind. Sex could wait, like a present.
Jack knew that wasn’t what Daniel was thinking. The look on his face said so. “Around three.”
“Anything I need to do?”
“Nope,” Jack smirked, indicating he wished he could say ‘yes.’ “No dressing up, either. I couldn’t get the right reservations.”
“So where’re we going?”
Jack’s expression spread into a wicked smile. “How’s Chuck E. Cheese sound?” When Daniel’s mouth dropped open, Jack couldn’t help but laugh and soon after, a balled-up napkin came flying at his head.
. . .
Jason was getting nowhere in the Citadel Mall. The only time he’d gotten Daniel an actual present was the year before and that one had been easy: He’d taken him clothes shopping after SG-1 had returned from their mission. Daniel looked hot as hell in fatigues, but his civvies needed a serious overhaul.
“Daniel, if you ever want to get laid again by someone with your brain size, you need new clothes.”
Daniel hadn’t put up much of an argument and it had been worth it, even if Daniel rarely got a chance to wear all the clothes they’d bought. Jason smiled to himself as he remembered the eyerolls he’d received when he suggested they pick up a few things in the leather shop.
Browsing the counter of the store he’d just entered, Jason chewed at his lip, wishing he could buy something there, then wondered what the hell he was doing in a jewelry shop. He couldn’t even…
“Can I help you with anything, sir?” asked the man behind the counter.
“Just browsing,” Jason smiled, “but I’ll let you know.” Before he could say anything else, his cell phone buzzed and he pulled it out of the front pocket of his jeans and blinked in surprise at the ID. “Hi Jack.”
Hearing Jack say his name made Jason feel a pleasantly warm rush, but the call had to be about Daniel. He didn’t think Jack would call him just to chat. Was Jack even a phone person? “Hey.”
“Where are you?”
Jason sighed. “Pointlessly standing at a jewelry counter. Why?” There was silence on the other end of the phone, then Jack let out a soft chuckle and Jason rolled his eyes. “Yes, I’m a romantic.”
“I already knew that. You just reminded me how I ended up getting Daniel’s present.”
Jason cocked a brow as he stopped at a section of rings made of Black Hills Gold. “Okay, spill.”
“I was at jewelry shop a month ago, but I couldn’t find anything suitable.”
Jason grinned, partly with a tinge of anger. “Well, my problem is that I can’t get him what I’d like.”
“Let me guess.”
Jason made a growling noise. “Don’t tell me you weren’t tempted.”
“Okay, I won’t tell you.”
Jason sighed as he moved on to the watches and the idea suddenly came to him. “You got him a watch, didn’t you?”
“Sort of? What’s that mean?”
Jason grew annoyed. “Ah huh. Whatever.”
“Okay then, what are you looking at right now?” Jack’s voice was heavy with sarcasm on the ‘you.’
Jason purposely looked away from the counter and turned around, then paused as his gaze fell on the island display. He grinned hugely. “Earrings.” Jack’s response was a small, guttural cough.
“You’re not serious.”
“He doesn’t even have pierced ears.”
“Like that would matter.”
“He couldn’t wear them if he did.”
“Not on duty, no,” Jason sighed. “One of these days, he will.”
“We’ll be long dead by the time the military lets men wear earrings.”
“I hope not. I’d like to see them change while I’m still alive.”
“Don’t hold your breath.”
The banter made Jason smile. “Was there a reason to grace me with your voice or did you call just to wind me up?”
“I can do that?” Jack asked, and Jason could just imagine the smirk on his face.
“No comment. What’s up?”
“Listen, I didn’t have time to tell you before you left, but we’re taking Daniel out to dinner tonight.”
“We?” Jason asked, completely distracted by Jack’s news. He walked out of the store to pay better attention. “Are you calling to include me in on this shindig or–”
“Don’t be an ass, Jason, of course you’re included. Sorry I didn’t fill you in, but you bugged out of here before I could. Carter and Fraiser had the idea a few days ago and Teal’c and I found out yesterday.”
Jason couldn’t help but feel a bit annoyed, having been left out of the loop. Still, this was a big deal because last year at this time, Jack had acted as if he couldn’t have cared less. He really had changed. Why was it always the simplest of things that made people wake up? If it hadn’t been for that day at the restaurant, Jack would never have come around. And that, in itself, was an irritant. Why did it take seeing Daniel happy, particularly with someone else, for him to come around?
“Okay, so now you’re telling me. Where’re we going?”
Jason sighed. Why did the man have to be cagey? “Okay. I’m in no mood to wear my blues and I don’t want to waste money on a suit unless I’m going to a wedding. Specifically, ours. Which’ll never happen. So, again, where’re we going?” On the other end, Jack didn’t respond directly and Jason knew it was the marriage bit that had done it. “Cat got your tongue?”
Jason blinked. “What?”
“That’s the club.”
“Yeah, right,” Jason said, grimacing as he closed his eyes briefly. Buddies was the name of a popular men’s–read, gay—club. For a second, he almost believed him. “You should have gone for something believable, given that Sam and Janet can’t go in there.”
Jason laughed as another meaning for that phrase popped in his head. “We just did that, I think.”
“Not on the blanket.”
Jason chuckled. “Score one for you. So what time?”
“What?” Jason exclaimed. “That’s not dinner, that’s a late lunch.”
“It’s in Denver, Jason, so there’s the thirty-minute drive during rush hour to consider.”
“What’s so damn important in Denver?”
“The restaurant. It serves everyone, Jason, and I do mean everyone. Which means if you want to take Daniel out on the dance floor, you can, and not worry that someone from the SGC will be there.”
“Oh. Uh …”
Jason rolled his eyes. “What, you don’t dance? You’ll do it, or he’ll throw something at your head.” Jack laughed. The sound of it in his ear made his spine buzz. “So, this birthday party is for everyone?”
“Yeah. Carter, Teal’c, and Fraiser will be there.”
Jason sighed. “Doesn’t Janet know about us? I forget.” He looked up and down the section of the mall, trying to find Birthday Present inspiration, and as a result, he missed what Jack asked. “I’m sorry, what?”
“She knows. Anyway, 1500 isn’t the time we’re leaving. It’s the time they’re meeting us at Daniel’s. We go from there.”
“Right,” Jason said distractedly.
“Something else on your mind?”
“Yeah, Daniel’s present. I’m stuck.”
Jack gave him a teasing “Tsk, tsk. This is what you get for forgetting.”
“Yeah, yeah. C’mon, Jack. I need help.”
“Very funny, and I’m goddamn serious. I’m not coming home till I find something.”
“Try an antique shop.”
“He prefers to buy his own antiques.”
“Have no clue what he’d want. Really, I have no clue. I know what he likes but I don’t know the authors. I know what type of music, but not the bands. I know what kind of antiques, but not the years. Catch my problem?”
“Get him a book on Egyptian hieroglyphics.”
“That’s amusing. He may edit the book and send it back to the publishers.” Jack laughed again. Another spinal buzz.
“I know that, but what about some old thing, like… what’s that fella called? Budge?”
Jason let out a bark of laughter. “If I got him a book written by Budge, he’d cut off my balls and serve them to the neighbor’s cat.”
Jack sniggered. “You could always fake him out, then give him the *real* present.”
Jason rolled his eyes. “Not gonna happen. I value my sex life.”
Jack snorted into the phone. “Then get him something to wear.”
“I did that last year.” Jason looked over his shoulder and into the jewelry store. “I’d like to get him a ring, but I haven’t seen anything that I know he’d actually wear.”
“Try that kiosk down at the east end of the mall. They might have jewelry there. If I recall, it’s Native American.”
Jason lifted his brows. “There’s a thought.”
“And it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t wear it. I know he won’t use what I got him, but I got it anyway. Just do something similar. It’s easier.”
“I don’t buy people pointless presents, Jack.” Jack said something to someone off-phone and Jason wondered if he’d just been busted. “Jack?”
“I gotta run. Listen, just get back here by three. Good luck.”
“Yeah, thanks,” Jason said and hung up. He headed toward the east end of the mall, hoping that Jack’s idea panned out.
. . .
Daniel couldn’t remember ever feeling this way about his birthday, not even when he was growing up. Back then, his foster family had gotten him a cake and a few books, and after singing “Happy Birthday,” that would be that. Simple, no muss, no fuss. In college, he’d learned quickly to stop telling people his birthdate because one single party thrown for him was, in effect, like Dracula getting drenched in holy water. He’d learned very quickly to dislike parties and most especially, surprise parties.
In Chicago, he had avoided telling Sarah when his birthday was because she was one of those party people and would have hit him with the dreaded surprise version. On Abydos, it had been easy to forget about his birthday. Occasionally Skaara would ask him how old he was, and Daniel’s answer had always been the old standard, “Old enough to know better.” Besides, birthdays on Abydos weren’t as important as the seasons or the day of their independence from the Goa’uld.
At the SGC, he’d gone three years before anyone had known, never mind remembered, his birthday. When someone finally paid enough attention to care, that person had been Jason. To have his birthday recognized felt good, but it also felt odd. Two years after Jason had started marking his birthday, Daniel still felt odd, but this time it was because the one thing had happened that he’d been trying to avoid all his life: expectation. Too many times he’d been let down and avoiding his birthday was one way to escape that blow to his self-esteem.
But here he was, expecting. And the one thing he wasn’t thrilled about, he was getting: a party. Although technically, it was dinner, but he’d already been warned about the music and dancing afterward and right now, his stomach was filled with butterflies. The only reason he didn’t refuse was because this year, it was different. His friendships had gotten closer and he had two boyfriends. Still, a party had always been bête noire, so what the hell was he going to do? Ironically, he expected his friends to guide him through this event.
And back to the here and now …
They were here, and it was present time. Gathered out back, on the patio. Afterward, they were going to take him to a restaurant in Denver.
First up, before anyone else had a chance, Janet got up and gave him two CD. One of Sam Cooke and the other of The Platters.
“Here’s some music for your birthday.”
“Thanks!” Daniel said and gave her a hug. “Just a sec. Be right back.” He went inside and popped it in the stereo.
While his friends were waiting, enjoying the cool breeze on the warm, summer day, Daniel went to the kitchen to refill his iced tea. He was also stalling. He really wasn’t used to this kind of attention. If it had to do with his job, or if he was having sex, then that was a different story because those were areas where he expected attention.
But on a different personal level, the one that praised him for being a friend or for being born, he felt as if he were being set up for a fall. It was irrational, and he knew better, but the situation was still uncomfortable. Personal recognition had never come to him without a disaster following, so Daniel stood there, taking his time as he mixed the sugar and lemon in his ice tea and listened to his friends through the open kitchen doors.
They were joking, talking about Siler’s latest accident or what record screw up the science department had gotten into–at which Sam had offered the requisite protest but she was laughing anyway. As he listened to them, Jack’s and Jason’s voices were set apart and each time they spoke, he felt a warm sense of love and belonging. Their attentions were different. This was intimate love.
It might be extremely sentimental and something he’d probably not tell Jack anytime soon, but Daniel felt like he’d already received his gifts: Jack and Jason. They didn’t seem to truly understand—even though they thought they did—just how much they meant to him. If asked, he probably wouldn’t be able to say it, either. Their commitment to him was beyond words.
“Come on, Daniel,” Sam shouted.
Daniel looked over and she was holding up a shiny, red shopping bag and crooking her finger at him. “I’m coming,” he said automatically, and his eyes flickered over Jason’s face and caught the brief smile. If Jason and Jack had been the only ones outside, he’d have corrected those words so heavily laced with innuendo.
“Daniel!” Jack shouted from the lounge chair outside. “Get a move on.”
Daniel rolled his eyes. “Keep your goddamn shorts on, Jack!”
Again, Daniel caught Jason’s smile when Jason finally looked through the doors to meet his gaze, he was looking positively smug. Daniel shook his head at him as he walked to the doorway and nervously paused as he quickly searched for an excuse. “I was waiting for the cake. Isn’t there usually a cake with this sort of thing?”
Comically, Sam and Janet exchanged glances. “Cake?” Janet asked, pretending horror. “We forgot the cake!”
“I believe it is waiting in Denver, Doctor Fraiser,” Teal’c said with a grin. He was teasing her and grinned more broadly when Sam backhanded the tall Jaffa across the midsection.
“We were going to keep that a secret,” she said.
“I misunderstood,” Teal’c said, then gave Daniel a bland look as if he’d said nothing.
Daniel chuckled and stepped out onto the patio. “Okay,” he began, looking around for an empty chair. Jason promptly got out of his and with an arm flourish, indicated Daniel take his seat.
“Have a seat, sir.”
Jack reached over and grabbed Jason’s pant leg, yanking him over. “Don’t overdo it.”
As everyone laughed, including Daniel, Jason and Jack exchanged a look. Across from them, standing next to Sam, Janet’s eyes were drawn to Jack’s hand … and how he didn’t release his grip from Jason’s leg right away. She raised an eyebrow but figured it meant nothing so she looked back to Daniel as Sam pulled from the shopping bag a round-shaped gift.
“This one is from Teal’c,” she grinned.
Daniel sat down on the edge of the chair as he took it from her, giving Teal’c a surprised look. “You got me a present?”
With hands typically crossed behind his back, Teal’c bowed in acknowledgement. “I did.”
Daniel grinned and began to open the heavily-wrapped gift. Once one layer was removed, he could feel the texture through the remaining paper and he knew exactly what it was. Teal’c’s meditation bowl. Quickly removing the remaining paper, he revealed a roughly-textured, thick-sided round bowl. Light tan in color, the sides were decorated with spirals and hash marks. “Oh my god, this is the only one you have. I can’t take this.”
Teal’c smiled. “It is not the only one I have, Daniel Jackson. I managed to retrieve another after I joined Bra’tac and Rak’nor on that clandestine trip to Chulak last month.”
Daniel opened his mouth in astonishment. “That long ago?”
Daniel couldn’t think of anything to say that would match how he felt so he just looked up at Teal’c and said, “It’s amazing. Thanks.”
Teal’c bowed again. “You are welcome.”
With a huge grin, Sam pulled out the next gift. “This one’s from me. I hope you like it.”
“I’m sure I will,” Daniel said, giving her a puzzled smile. “Why wouldn’t I?”
Sam chewed at her lip. “I’ve never gotten you a present before.”
“Don’t beat yourself up, Carter,” Jack said as he sat forward and straddled the lounge. “None of us have ever bothered with birthdays.”
“You should have,” Jason said, showing both disgust and disbelief. “I do it with my boys. Know their birthdays as well as my own. Same thing with Daniel. I’ve always gotten him a card.”
“And I returned the favor,” Daniel said, reaching up to take his hand and squeeze.
“You have?” Sam asked Jason. “Always?”
Jason shrugged so he wouldn’t make anyone feel bad, and gave Daniel an adoring look. “It’s my way.”
Daniel grinned at him, and sensing guilt around him, and hating it, he unpeeled Sam’s tight wrapping around an object shaped like a book, and a thick one at that.
When no one commented on Jason’s remark, Daniel glanced around. “Don’t worry about it, guys. It really is his way. But he hates getting gifts, so next month, don’t give him something he can’t appreciate or use.”
“Cars, money, things like that, will be just fine,” Jason said drily.
Everyone laughed as Jack raised his glass. “Hear, hear.”
There were smiles as Daniel removed the last of the paper and gawked at the copy of Poe’s “Tales of Mystery and Imagination.” The dust jacket was old and worn, and pulling it back carefully, he found gilt-tooled black cloth binding. He looked up at Sam with a look of amazement. “You remembered.” Daniel lifted the cover and smiled. “First edition.” Sam was beaming at him as he carefully put the jacket back on the book, then stood up and gave her a hug. “This cost a lot of money,” he said in her ear.
Her smile broadened. “I know.”
Stepping back, he said, “Thanks, I love it.”
Sam was practically beside herself and Jack cleared his throat. “Any time now, Carter.”
“You got me something?” Daniel asked him sarcastically as he sat back down, and Sam pulled out a four-inch square box with a white ribbon and bow. She handed it to Jack.
“Guess so,” Jack replied in the same tone, then handed it over.
Smirking at him, Daniel purposely shook it side to side. Something heavy thunked three times before he stopped shaking it. “What’d you get me? Shrapnel?”
“I still might,” Jack snapped back. “Open it up or keep guessing what it is.”
“It’s not a wallet,” Daniel returned sarcastically.
“No, I’ll save that for Christmas.”
“You’ll get me something for Christmas?” Daniel asked, then realized he’d messed up by making assumptions. Jack and Jason were giving him looks of dismay. He blushed and didn’t open the box yet. “I’m sorry. It’s just … maybe you’re not the only ones who aren’t used to this relationship.”
“Wait, what?” Sam and Janet asked.
Daniel’s eyes widened briefly, then he said, “Me and Jason.”
“Oh,” Sam said.
Daniel removed the white ribbon and lifted the lid. His guilty smile faltered when he stared at the antique pocket watch inside. It was gold with an engraved train scene on the cover. Swallowing, he picked it up and opened it. Inside was an old chronograph watch, elegantly worked. He was about to close it when he noticed the etching inside the cover. “To Daniel, from Jack.”
With a lump in his throat, Daniel looked over at him. “Not shrapnel.”
Daniel sighed and squeezed his hand around the watch. “Thanks, I love it.”
“You know how those work, right?” Jack asked with a teasing smirk.
“Don’t be an ass,” Daniel answered with an eyeroll, making the others laugh. He wasn’t annoyed, for the smile never left his face, and the banter was typical for them anyway. Jack was barely sentimental in public, unless he was around children, and in private, he was–thankfully–a lot more sensitive. The look Jack gave him now promised there’d be some of that later and the lump in Daniel’s throat moved lower.
“And now,” Sam said, taking out the last present. “Jason’s.”
Daniel stuffed his new watch in his pocket before taking the present in Sam’s hand. It was like Jack’s in that it was a type of jewelry box, but this one was five-inch square and plain brown with a ribbon made of twine. With a few blinks of curiosity thrown at Jason, he pulled the string off a corner and opened the box, fitting the top underneath. Pushing back the white tissue paper, he once more frowned as he stared at the object inside. Lying on a brown suede pouch was a piece of basalt inlaid in silver. Embedded within the rock was a dusty yellow and brown ammonite.
“My Navajo ancestors used to carry them in medicine bags for health and luck on the hunt. I figured you could keep it in your pocket or put it in your field pack.”
“It’s beautiful,” Daniel said. He was completely awestruck that Jason had finally given him something from his Native American heritage, and at the same time, given him a reminder of the reason he’d gotten into archaeology in the first place.
Jason cleared his throat. “Glad you like it.”
“Let me see,” Sam asked and Daniel passed the box over to her.
“Is this a medicine bag?” Janet asked, fingering the pouch.
Jason nodded, then blinked in surprise when Daniel put an arm around his neck and whispered “Thank you” in his ear.
Jack nudged Jason’s leg as he looked up and grinned. “Told you you’d find something there.”
“Shut up,” Jason said, slapping his shoulder.
“Where?” Daniel asked.
“A kiosk at the mall,” Jack said, making Jason roll his eyes.
Teal’c was holding the box now and stared down at the ammonite with a strange frown. “What is an ammonite?”
“It’s a fossilized shell of a mollusk that existed between the Paleozoic to the end of the Cretaceous era, and given the southwestern area where this was found,” and he looked up at Jason to confirm, “this one is likely from the Cretaceous era.” When Teal’c just looked at him blandly as he handed the gift back, Daniel ignored the grins around him and said, “It’s a 100-million year old animal shell.”
As Teal’c’s eyes widened with surprise, Janet asked, “One hundred million years old?”
“Roughly,” Daniel grinned, “but then I’m not an expert in extinct species of animals. I was always more interested in human civilizations and language.”
“Luckily for us,” Jack said as he pushed off the lounge. “And on that note, I say we get out of here and get something to eat.”
Teal’c looked at Jason with a puzzled frown as everyone got to their feet. “You have said in the past that you are half Navajo. What is the other half? And what would they have carried on the hunt?”
Jason snorted. “Scottish. From Scotland. It’s the northern end of an island off the European continent. They were Celts. My memory is rather sketchy on that half of my genealogy. I don’t remember what weapons they used, but knives, certainly. Decorated. But regardless, they’d have hunted with blue paint on their faces.”
Jason nodded, and drew two fingers across his eyes. “It’s a thing relevant to Scota, the goddess of war.”
“I see,” Teal’c said, frowning in thought.
“I was try to recall whether I have heard of a Goa’uld with that name.”
“God, I hope not.”
“They stole those personas, Teal’c,” Daniel reminded him. “The original gods from this planet were nothing like those bastard snakeheads.”
“Some were,” Jack said, and Daniel jogged his brows, acceding the point.
While Sam, Janet, and Teal’c headed inside, Daniel remained where he was, a goofy grin on his face as he gathered up his presents. When he noticed that Jack and Jason were waiting for him, he asked, “What? I’m coming.”
“Not yet,” Jack grinned, purposely reminding Daniel of what he’d said earlier.
“I thought I got away with that,” Daniel smirked back as he took a step toward the door.
“Right, like we’d let you,” Jason said.
Looking over his shoulder, Daniel gave his lovers a wink. “Promise me this trip to Denver won’t take long?”
“No such promises,” Jack replied. “Besides, you never know what will happen on the drive back.”
From inside, Janet watched Daniel, Jack, and Jason, and how they looked at each other. There was something about it, like the exchange between Jack and Jason. She felt a shiver run down her spine as she pulled on her jacket and told herself she was just imagining things.
“What’s up?” Sam asked when she noted the concentrated look on Janet’s face.
Janet shook her head and turned to her, giving her a smile. “Nothing. Just my imagination.”
“Sure?” Sam asked.
Janet eyed the men coming inside and turned away. “Yeah, I’m just happy that Daniel’s finally getting a chance to have a good time. Ready to go?” Sam nodded, as did Teal’c. “You guys ready?” Janet called out.
“We’re getting there,” Jack answered.
While he and Jason went to the foyer, Daniel hurried to the bedroom and set his presents on the bed. Putting the ammonite in its pouch, he stuffed it into his other pocket, smiling that he now had Jack’s and Jason’s presents with him. Returning to the living room, he found them all waiting by the door. Jack was stoic, but Jason wore a frown. “What?” he asked, looking down at himself. His jeans and shirt were clean. What was wrong? Jason sighed and walked toward him, taking Daniel by the arm, and leading him back into the bedroom. “What?” Daniel asked.
“You’re changing your shirt.”
“Why?” Daniel asked, looking down at the brown t-shirt. “What’s wrong with it?”
“Nothing, but you’re not wearing that out on your birthday,” Jason said, going through his closet rack until he pulled out the dark forest green silk shirt. “Put this on.”
“It’s a dress shirt,” Daniel complained.
“And it’s your birthday, dumbass. Besides, it’ll go great with your jeans.”
“Since when?” Daniel asked.
Jason rolled his eyes. “There’s such a thing as Dress Casual and this is it.”
Daniel pursed his lips and thought of Jack’s white button down with his jeans, then looked at Jason’s black t-shirt. “You’re wearing a t-shirt. Why can’t I?”
“Because mine’s silk,” Jason replied as he stood there, waiting.
Daniel blinked, then cursed himself for not noticing. Jason’s t-shirt was definitely not the usual kind, especially since it clung to him more than normal. Reaching out, he touched the shirt just under the collar and felt the material. “Nice.”
Jason grinned and tapped the hanger with a finger. “Hurry up, they’re waiting.”
Daniel quickly stripped off his shirt and put on the other one, doing a little shake from the cool, sensuous feel of the fabric. “Look okay?” he asked.
Jason tugged the bottom of his shirt, then swiped at the shoulders, and with a smile, he said, “You look great. Not that you didn’t before, but this is better for birthdays.”
Daniel glanced at the door, then leaned in and stole a kiss. “Thanks.”
Jason growled a warning, making Daniel grin as they left the bedroom and walked down the hall. Sam and Janet nodded their heads with approval while Teal’c looked puzzled.
“He appeared adequate before.”
“He was, he just needed to look better,” Janet answered.
“Jesus, you too?” Daniel complained sheepishly.
“Oh hush,” Jack said, and after the others went through the front door, he let his eyes linger on the way the green silk brushed over Daniel’s nipples. “Much better.”
Daniel paused as he retrieved his keys and stared at him. “Really?”
Jason winked at Jack as he passed him out the door and Jack paused in the threshold, giving Daniel a light smile. “Really.”
The day was full of surprises, Daniel thought as he locked up the house and followed Jack to his truck. Once upon a time, Jack would have given a compliment grudgingly. Something like, “Well, you look better than you did when you were kidnapped by that Unas.” Daniel had grown so used to backhanded compliments that this one sounded almost gushing. It certainly made him feel a lot better. And the plus side was the way Jack and Jason kept looking at his chest.
Daniel hadn’t any expectations about the restaurant but walking into a place whose architecture resembled a giant log cabin whose walls were decorated with mounted animal heads wasn’t exactly what he had in mind. Fortunately, the animal trophies were fake and the music in the underground nightclub wasn’t Country and Western. Daniel would have turned around and gone to McDonald’s if either had been true.
They were shown to sectioned-off space that held a large circular oak table with upholstered chairs. Apparently it was a spot reserved for parties. They sat down and ordered drinks, and after the meals were ordered, Daniel could only slightly relax. He was dreading the presentation of the cake. He didn’t want to hear people sing Happy Birthday. Just the idea filled him with dread and his stomach was going a bit queasy as time passed.
On his right, Jack said, “You look like you swallowed a bug.”
On his left, Jason said, “He doesn’t want the fuss or attention, Jack.”
Daniel gave them both a tight smile. “Can’t we just—” he began, but Jack stood up … as did everyone else. “Oh no.” Daniel caught movement to his right, beyond the table, and he looked over and saw two waiters rolling over a table with a candle-lit cake. The moment everyone began singing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow,” he groaned and covered his eyes with his hand, waiting for the moment when the song ended. When it did, he said, “Please don’t sing the entire thing.”
“There’s more?” Sam asked as Jason and Janet giggled.
“Indeed,” Teal’c said. Then his bass voice boomed by itself and Daniel looked up from behind his hand in surprise as his Jaffa friend sang, “We won’t go home until morning, we won’t go home until morning, we won’t go home until morning, till daylight doth appear…” When he finished, he gave Daniel a great big smile and Daniel couldn’t help the green cast to his face.
Everyone smiled as Teal’c beamed proudly and bowed his head, then took the long cake knife from the waiter next to him and held it out for Daniel to take. “It is time to cut the cake, is it not?”
Daniel cleared his throat and this time, took a good look at the cake. It was six inches high and twenty inches across. Covered with yellow butter cream with traditional piping around the sides, the top was decorated with blue and red roses with leaves draping down the sides. In the center was “Happy Birthday, Daniel” written in uppercase so that the A in Daniel could be written like the stargate symbol for Earth.
Grinning, he looked at Janet and asked, “Did the cake decorator ask you what that symbol meant?”
She shook her head. “I just had to stand there and make sure he did it correctly.”
Daniel was amused that the decorator had been a guy, but he let Janet think he was smiling about her controlling nature. “Guess I should cut this?”
“Ya think?” Jack asked.
Smirking, Daniel cut the cake and gave a relieved smile when he found it was chocolate. “Awesome.”
“See?” Sam told Janet. “Told you it had to be chocolate.”
Daniel gave Janet a scolding look. “Let me guess. You wanted pineapple?”
Janet looked busted and she slapped him gently across the stomach. “Goes good with butter cream.”
“Like hell,” Daniel grinned as he handed her a slice of cake. “But I’ll remember that for your birthday.”
Jason sniggered and earned a dark look from Janet. “I hate to sound like Sam …”
“You’d need to grow a pair first,” Janet shot back.
“Hey,” Sam said, not sure if that was a compliment.
“It was a compliment,” Daniel whispered as he gave Jason a dirty smile. The look Jason rewarded him with promised something that might involve spanking and Daniel found the idea only slightly intriguing. Maybe he could trade that in for handcuffs.
After everyone finished their dessert, Daniel gestured at the remainder. “Janet, take that home. Or share it with the nurses.”
“You sure?” she asked.
“Yeah. It’ll go stale if I take it home.”
“Don’t you want to save some of that icing?” Jason asked, giving him a playful nudge.
Daniel’s mouth dropped open. “Uh … Jason,” he admonished. “Pass. We can talk about that sort of stuff later.” He widened his eyes to make sure Jason understood that it wasn’t something he was willing to joke about in public.
Once the cake was boxed up and stashed in Janet’s car, the group descended the stairs that lead to the underground club.
“Are you sure we should be going down here?” Daniel asked, and annoyingly, he was ignored. As they reached the entrance, Jason slipped his hand in Daniel’s, surprising him. “Need something?” Daniel grinned.
“Your hand,” Jason replied.
They both looked over their shoulders at Jack, who stood directly behind them, and Daniel felt a huge piece of regret fill him because he wished Jack could make the same kind of public display of affection. Not that he would, Daniel considered, but it would have been nice if he could.
“Let’s find a table,” Sam said, scouring the room.
At the far end, a benched table was just getting cleaned up and they headed over before anyone else claimed it. After a waiter came by and took their orders, Daniel looked over at Teal’c and wondered if he would rather be elsewhere. “If you get bored to death, let me know.”
Teal’c shook his head as he glanced around him. “There is much to observe, so I do not believe I shall be bored.”
Teal’c hadn’t bothered with a knit cap or a wig. His tattoo was plain to see. He might get asked to dance out of sheer curiosity. “And what if a woman comes over to ask you to dance?” Daniel asked. At the confused look on Teal’c’s face, Sam jumped in to save him.
“Don’t worry, Teal’c,” Sam said, getting up and she held out her hand. “I won’t let you get embarrassed.”
“That is not likely,” Teal’c said as he reluctantly rose. He cast a brow at Jack.
“Whaddya lookin’ at me for?” Jack asked. “I’m not dancing with you.”
Perplexed, Teal’c and Sam went out to the dance floor. The song playing wasn’t all that fast and Daniel sat back and grinned as Sam tried to teach Teal’c the dances of the Tau’ri, but he didn’t have long to watch. The moment the band switched to a slow-moving song, Jason reached over and took his hand.
“C’mon, let’s do something we never get to do at home.”
Daniel went, unable to refuse Jason anything. As his lover slid an arm around his waist in the neutral dance pose, Daniel felt self-conscious for the first time since high school. He immediately blamed the military’s DADT regulation, because if it hadn’t been for acquiescing to their homophobic crap for the last five years, he wouldn’t be feeling like a bug under a microscope.
“I know,” Jason murmured as he held his hand between them.
Daniel looked around without trying to appear as if he were doing so and sighed when he didn’t see any other gay couples dancing. “We’re the only ones.” Jason nodded. “We’re standing out.” Again, Jason nodded.
“It’s a risk, yeah, but it’s as safe as any we’ll be able to take for a while. In public, anyway. And this is a club known for mixed couples and very little hate crime.”
Daniel snorted. “I’m not worried about that. If I were alone, maybe, but between you, Jack, Sam, and Teal’c, I think I’m pretty well protected.”
Jason gave him a disarming smile. “You’re no damsel, Daniel.”
“No,” Daniel grinned back and forced himself to relax, swaying his body with Jason’s in time to the music. It helped that Sam and Teal’c were nearby, as if for moral support. Despite that, Daniel focused his attention on Jason and it suddenly dawned on him that this was a memory they were making, one that he should imprint as well as make all the effort to enjoy. With a smile that was mostly mischievous, he said, “Our first dance.”
“It is,” Jason replied in a low voice as he touched his forehead to Daniel’s.
Daniel’s grin widened. “Except for that time in my living room.”
“Doesn’t really count though,” Jason said. “It wasn’t exactly a dance.”
“I think it counts,” Daniel replied, shaking his head. “You also sang to me.”
“I did, yeah,” Jason smiled, then tilted his head slightly as he leaned in to kiss him.
Daniel almost froze but a second later, pursed his lips to meet the light touch of Jason’s lips. “Sorry,” he said, hating his trained response.
Jason shook his head and kissed him again. “It’s okay, Daniel. I know it sucks, and it takes a while to get used to allowing yourself the freedom.”
“How have you?” Daniel asked, puzzled. “You’ve been forced to be in the closet for a long goddamn time.”
“Years and years of being fed up, I s’pose. You’ve only been hiding for five years. Me, I’ve been forced to hide a great deal longer and for me, it’s habit, but it’s one that chafes like a bad suit.” He smiled rebelliously, adding, “And when I can break free, I will.” His smile turned shy and he said, “I need to thank Sam and Janet for choosing this place. Think buying them a house is too much?”
Daniel started to laugh, and in laughing, he relaxed even more.
Over at the table, Janet winked at Jack and held out her hand. “Why don’t we go join them, give moral support?”
“Which pair?” Jack grinned, dividing his view between Teal’c and Sam, and Daniel and Jason.
“Daniel and Jason,” Janet scolded as she stood up. “C’mon, Colonel, it won’t be painful.”
As Jack stood up, he grinned crookedly as she tilted her head back to look up at him. “Maybe for your neck.”
“I’ll manage just fine,” she said.
Daniel raised his brows as he saw Jack and Janet heading toward them and felt further bolstered by the presence of his other lover. “Get bored?” he asked as the duo settled in next to him and Jason.
“She did,” Jack said, giving Janet a teasing grin, “but I was fine just watching.”
“When aren’t you?” Jason quipped automatically, making Daniel cough in an effort to remind him to be a little more circumspect. To Janet, and her querying brow, Jason said, “You know how he watches everyone.”
It was believable, and Janet gave them a sarcastic smile as she nodded. “Sometimes too much when he’s in the infirmary,” she commented drolly.
The band’s song changed, but the tempo was kept the same so the couples remained out on the dance floor. It was at that point that Janet decided to pay a bit more attention to the way Jack kept watching Daniel and Jason. She’d covered her observations by looking over at Sam and Teal’c, as well as teasing Jack about his overprotective injury watches in the infirmary. But there was something going on and as she danced with her friend, patient, and technically, her boss, she began to notice something different in his eyes every time he looked in the men’s direction. Something softer, kinder, and more … loving.
First, the infirmary, when Jason had been injured. Then that moment on Daniel’s patio. Now there was this. She knew she wasn’t imagining things and she thought that perhaps it wouldn’t be a good idea to mention it. But if not now, in this place, then when?
“Colonel–” she began.
“Jack,” he corrected. “I think you can safely call me Jack when we’re dancing. Or socializing, period, so let’s drop the ranks.” He grinned slyly and added, “Especially when I have my hand on your back.”
She returned his smile and gave a nod of agreement, then with a deep breath, she asked, “You might change your mind. I’d like to ask you something personal.”
“I’ve been … noticing some things. It’s not my place to ask.”
Jack wondered if she was about to say what he’d been suspecting. She was bound to have begun noticing something was different between him and Jason. But maybe she was concerned about Daniel, too.
“If you’re worried about my feelings for Daniel with Jason …”
“Not … exactly,” she said. Glancing around her as they danced, she returned her attention to him and said, “There’s something going on between you, Daniel, and Jason.” Jack’s eyes widened, as did her own, because it wasn’t what she’d intended to say outright. She blushed immediately, feeling embarrassed and guilty.
Jack sighed, wishing he could save this conversation for later. He thought over instances where Janet might have seen him slip but he couldn’t think of any. The only real problem, and it wasn’t exactly a problem, was that Janet was more observant than your typical combat veteran. She had to be.
“And you’ve gotten this idea how?” he asked, purposely being evasive. He knew it was a cop out, that he was insulting her intelligence, and he hated himself for it, but he hadn’t been ready to tell her and damn her for asking.
Janet narrowed her eyes slightly. “When Jason was injured. There was a bit more concern than what you’d usually showed for his friend. Boyfriend. And today at Daniel’s, you were just a teensy bit too hands-on with him.” Jack started to open his mouth but she continued. “With Daniel, it’s the way you look at him.”
Again Jack’s brow rose. “The way I look at him? I look at him like I’ve always–”
“No, Jack, you haven’t always,” she said as gently as she could. “You used to look at him like an annoying, smarter little brother. Then suddenly, you turned hostile. And then just as suddenly, over the last year, your attitude has changed. Now I’m not saying I mind. Quite the contrary. You were being an enormous ass for a while.”
Jack gave her a crooked smile. “I was.”
“So what changed?” Janet asked, loving concern on her face. “While I’m glad to see it, I also see something else when you look at him.”
Jack swallowed. “What’s that?”
Like Daniel did when faced with something unexpected, Jack coughed. He actually hadn’t expected Janet to say love. He’d expected her to say respect. “Love,” he repeated, as if she’d said a word he was unfamiliar with.
She squeezed his arm. “You know what I mean.”
Jack allowed himself to look apologetic, even as he said, “Do I?”
“Are you going to stand there and deny that you love him, or that there’s something going on between you and Jason, too?”
“Technically, I’m not standing, I’m dancing,” Jack blatantly avoided, then wished he’d chewed off his own tongue when Janet fixed him with that cold stare. He grimaced and casually looked around, catching Daniel and Jason in his peripheral vision. It was time to be serious, he told himself, then sighed heavily. “I’m not denying.”
“Well?” she asked.
Jack gave her a warning look. “There’s a relationship, of a sort,” he said, “and I’m not saying anything else until I talk to them. You weren’t told because you don’t exactly need to know.” Before she could snap at him, he said, “Do I need to know who you’re dating?”
“If you saw someone with me that you knew to be my date, how would you react?” She lifted her eyebrow, expecting him to see the parallel.
“I’d wonder who he was and if he was treating you well,” Jack replied. “And if I saw you with a woman, I’d be surprised, but I’d wonder the same questions.” He paused, then said slowly as he bent down a bit closer. “But I wouldn’t grill you over it. And that’s how this is coming across.”
Janet thinned her lips with regret, then said, “I’m sorry, Jack. I don’t mean to paint you into a corner, but the first thing I thought of when I saw you with Jason was, ‘Does Daniel know?'”
Jack gave her a sarcastic look. “Did you want to save the good Doctor from the bad boyfriend?”
Janet returned the sarcasm. “Well, you know how it is, having that knife in your back.”
“Rest assured that the only knives involved here are sitting in Jason’s display cabinet.”
“He collects knives?” Janet asked, surprised, and realized that Jack had almost succeeded in changing the subject. “Nice try.”
Jack could only grin at her. “He collects pretty much any blade that is old or unusual.” He then added, purposely slow, “But I’ve never seen his apartment. He’s told me.”
“How long has this been going on?”
“The knife collecting?” Jack asked, knowing what she meant, and grinned his head off when she squeezed his arm again. “You really are easy to provoke, Janet. And again, I’m not confirming anything until I talk to them.”
Janet sighed. “Promise me something?”
“If I can.”
“Be careful. Others might be just as perceptive.”
“You can stop worrying. Next to Carter and Teal’c, you’re the only other person I drop my guard for.”
With a satisfied nod of relief, Janet concentrated on their dancing, but her attention kept getting drawn to Daniel and Jason. She suddenly wondered if Jack would like the opportunity to dance with them, either one of them. “Do you want to switch partners?”
Jack blinked at her, then cleared his throat after he recovered from the shock. “I wouldn’t mind, but … and again, I’m not confirming anything. Carter and Teal’c don’t know … about whatever it is you’re wondering about.”
Janet’s brows went up. “Are you serious?” As she and Jack turned on the floor, she looked around but didn’t see them, then spotted them just sitting down at their table. “Why haven’t you told them?”
Jack groaned and gestured at Jason and Daniel. “Get over here. We have a problem.”
“It’s not,” Janet said, alarmed.
“It is,” Jack sighed.
“What?” Daniel and Jason asked at the same time.
“Janet’s noticed my … behavior towards you, Daniel. And towards Jason. I’ve been trying to avoid confirming or denying until I talk to you but …”
“But I offered to switch dancing partners,” Janet said. “Jack for Jason.”
Daniel’s and Jason’s brows rose and both of them blushed a bit.
“Yeah,” Jack confirmed, understanding. “And Sam and Teal’c don’t … know. So we … can’t.” He sighed, looking away from them, shaking his head.
The music changed to another slow song, and if Jason was remembering correctly, it was an old, long song. “Fuck it,” he said, letting Daniel go. “It’s your birthday. Risk it.” He held his hand out toward Janet. “Madam?”
“Jason,” Daniel warned, but he was looking at Jack, who appeared to be just as unsure.
“You told me that it was time they knew,” Jason said as Janet took his hand.
“Right,” Daniel said, then let out a slow breath as Jack stepped forward. He gave him a studied, cautious look as he took hold of his proffered hand.
“Here we go,” Jack murmured.
“Yeah,” Daniel replied, swallowing as he put his arm around Jack’s waist. “Sorry if I seem like I don’t want to dance with you. It’s just …”
“Scared of the reaction we’ll get?” Jack asked with a sardonic grin.
“Yes,” Daniel grimaced.
“Like Jason said. Fuck it,” Jack said as he pulled him close.
Daniel swallowed again, filled with a mixture of excited arousal and fear. He kept glancing in the direction of their table, waiting for the crowd to part and Sam and Teal’c to notice.
“Stop watching. You’re making our first dance difficult to be good.”
Daniel blinked, dropped his mouth open, then snapped it shut. “You’re right.” After a minute, with his gaze locked with Jack’s, he felt the muscles of his body relax. “This is nice.”
“It is,” Jack replied. When Daniel started to look over, Jack hardened the touch of his hand against his back and thumped him. “They haven’t noticed. Stop looking.” Daniel nodded, but it was obvious that he was too nervous to enjoy the dance. “For cryin’ out loud,” Jack said, disengaging and grabbing Daniel’s hand. “Let’s go get this settled right now.” He looked over at Jason and Janet. “Table. Now. Time to spill the beans.”
“Heil Jonathan,” Jason cracked.
“Careful,” Jack replied.
“Then stop with the authoritative voice, Jack,” Daniel told him, but gently. “You get carried away sometimes.”
Jack made a face. “Okay, fine.” He led him off the floor but as they headed toward their table, he began to feel weird. Not for what they were about to do but because they were still holding hands. It was nice, but not what he was used to. When Daniel let go, he had a relieved look on his face and grimaced because he did. “Sorry.”
Daniel also gave him an apologetic smile. “Don’t be. It’s not exactly us, is it?”
Jack shrugged. “Maybe it can be in a few years.” He gave him an impish look. “Or twenty. Just not now.”
Daniel cracked half a smile. “Providing we haven’t driven each other crazy before then?”
“I think we can manage it if we stay alive that long,” Jack replied drily.
“Me, too. But for right now, I think the point is not to be holding hands when we let them know.”
“I think it’s okay for me and Jason,” Daniel said, “but not right now.”
Jack grinned at Daniel’s sarcasm. “Yeah, holding hands would be a bit … I don’t know. Sophomoric.”
As they approached their table, Sam looked over and gestured at them. “Get this! Teal’c is uncomfortable dancing with me.”
“I did not say that, Major Carter,” Teal’c said with his version of an eyeroll, making Jack grin.
“Not in those words, no. But you left me standing there in the middle of the song. Unless you have take a piss or you’re pissed at me, there’s no other tolerable reason to leave your partner on the dance floor.”
“You left her on the dance floor?” Jack asked.
“I …” Teal’c began, then stopped, realizing that he’d made a social mistake.
“Well, you did bow at me and excuse yourself,” Sam relented, returning the eyeroll.
Daniel started to laugh, then ceased and cleared his throat when Sam threw him a harsh look. “Sorry, Sam.”
She sighed, then raised her brows. “What’s up? Done dancing?”
“Not really,” Jack said. He took his chair, and like the dining table arrangement, Daniel sat between him and Jason. “We have to talk,” he said with obvious reluctance.
“To tell you something,” Daniel added. When Jack didn’t say anything, he frowned at him. “It was your idea.”
“Yours, too,” Jack shot back irritably.
“I’m not here,” Jason quipped with a heavy sigh.
“Sorry!” Daniel said, wincing. He took Jason’s hand and squeezed. It wasn’t in view of Sam and Teal’c but the body language was obvious.
“Me, too. I got a bit insecure.”
“We can’t put it off,” Jack told him.
“I know,” Jason said. “Let’s do this.”
“What are you three talking about?” Sam asked.
Clearing his throat a few times, Daniel rapidly spilled out the words. “I’m not just with Jason anymore.”
Sam stared at him, looking confused, and when both men looked at her and Teal’c, she asked, “You’re seeing someone else?”
With most of his focus on Sam, Jack said, “It’s me.”
Sam blinked at him as several emotions ran across her face, completing with a frown. With a slowly rising tone of voice, she said, “What do you mean it’s you?”
“Are you informing us that you and Daniel Jackson are in a romantic relationship?” Teal’c asked, lifting his chin.
“Yeah,” Daniel said. He wanted to tell her about Jack and Jason, too, but one shock at a time. He felt his cheeks grow hot. He wasn’t ready for this conversation. It was clear that neither of them understood. Or rather, they did. They just didn’t get it.
Especially Sam. She was blinking at him, at them both, her eyes growing wide, mouth dropping open. He could see her thinking, and figured she was remembering every single time Jack had been with a woman. She could also be thinking about the time Jack had said he’d cared about her more than he should. Confusion was all over her face and Daniel suddenly felt the urge to tell her they were kidding.
“I don’t get it,” she said, frowning. “You mean to tell us that after all this time, after all those … you’re gay?”
“No, Carter, I’m not gay,” Jack told her.
Sam’s frowned deepened. “What? Either your gay or straight, right?”
“No, I’m Bi. Like Daniel is.”
“I’m the gay one,” Jason added in a dry tone.
“But …” Sam’s cheeks turned bright red. “I don’t get it. I thought bisexual meant you weren’t sure.”
“No,” Daniel said, shaking his head. “It means you like both. Sometimes more one than the other. Me, I like men more. Jack …” He looked at him.
“It doesn’t matter,” Jack replied, refusing to show Sam any guilt as he also refused to talk about being bisexual, just like he wasn’t about to talk to Janet about his sex life.
Sam opened and closed her mouth several times but couldn’t make up her mind on what she wanted to say. She was angry and didn’t like it because it was irrational. The one thing she prided herself on was being very rational. She had no cause to be mad, not at this news. They were finally trusting her with the truth. The least she could do was behave like a mature adult. Problem was, she still couldn’t think of anything proper to say, and thankfully, Teal’c saved her from any foot-in-mouth response.
“Thank you for telling us, but I am puzzled. Was your relationship with Major Coburn unsatisfactory?”
Sam lifted her brows, realizing that Teal’c had asked the question she’d been struggling with. “Yeah, I thought you two were committed.”
Daniel cringed. “Crap.”
Jason and Jack knew what he meant, but Sam and Teal’c didn’t. Instead of answering, Jack asked, “Is that the only thing about this news that bothers you?” Their reaction was a lot calmer than he’d expected. Perhaps they were in shock.
Sam looked at Teal’c, then glanced at Daniel before she fixed her gaze on Jack. “I wouldn’t say ‘bother’, sir. It’s just … weird, and a bit confusing.”
“Why, because it’s Jack?” Daniel asked her.
“Daniel,” Jack chided.
“I’m serious,” Daniel said, frowning at Sam.
“No, well, maybe, I mean …” Sam began, brows furrowing. She then made a face and threw Jack an apologetic look. “Okay, yeah, sorry, it’s just gonna take some getting used to, that’s all.”
“Hang on,” Jack said, suddenly filled with irritation. “We didn’t tell you we had cancer or AIDS, so could you be a little less phobic please?”
Sam made a face. “Sorry, sir.” When Jack gave her a look, she amended, “Jack. Seriously, that’ll take longer to get used to.”
“I am still confused,” Teal’c said, and he looked back and forth between Daniel and Jason. “What happened?”
“We’re still together,” Jason said.
“And you do not mind?” Teal’c asked Jason, pointing at Jack. Then arched a brow at Jack and pointed at Jason. They shook their heads. “And you two?” he asked, pointing between Jack and Jason. This time, they nodded. All the while, Sam gave the four of them a confused look. Teal’c raised his brows and said, “I too apologize, if I have given offense, but it will take some time to adjust to the news that the three of you are in a relationship. It is most unheard of in Jaffa society.”
“Wait,” Sam said, eyes wide. “Three?” She stared at them, then at Daniel. “I thought you just said you were seeing both of them. But …” Her mouth dropped open and she sat back. “Three.”
“It’s called a polyamorous relationship,” Daniel said. “I asked. They said yes.”
Jason looked at Teal’c. “Not common in your society or you’ve just not come across it?”
“It is not done,” Teal’c said.
“As far as you know,” Jack said, surprised by Teal’c’s naivete. As experienced as his Jaffa friend was, there were some things that Teal’c never took into account. Perhaps Jaffa society was a lot more homophobic than Earth’s, but Jack understood biological systems. They were universal. Poly relationships may not exist in Jaffa society, but it didn’t mean that it didn’t happen under the radar.
Teal’c started to answer but paused to consider the matter. Eventually, he said, “A relationship among three people is not something I have ever heard of, but you are correct. It may simply have eluded me.”
“You Jaffa are a secretive bunch,” Jack said.
Teal’c smirked at him. “Look who is speaking.”
“Look who’s talking, Teal’c,” Jack corrected, but when Teal’c simply looked back at him blandly, Jack realized he’d just been set up. Again. “Very funny.”
“You … walked into that one, O’Neill.”
Sam grinned with the others, but at the moment, the focus of her thoughts was on Jack, trying to picture him kissing—and even fucking—Daniel or Jason. Or both at the same time. She suddenly felt extremely embarrassed and guilty, as if she’d invaded his privacy. She also felt completely weirded out. Imagining two gay guys was one thing, but her friends? Her boss? She could see the friendship and the caring they shared, but she simply couldn’t imagine them together. She wasn’t too sure what it meant, but she was pretty sure it wasn’t homophobia. Gesturing at them both, she asked Jason, “So you’re really…?”
“Not freaked too much, I hope,” he asked her.
“I wouldn’t say freaked,” Sam said, testing the word, and shaking her head. “Teal’c?”
“I am not ‘freaked’. I am surprised, but like you, Major Carter, I will become used to the idea.”
He gave Jack such a meaningful raise of his brow that Jack was made abruptly uncomfortable. “What’s the look for?”
Jason chose that moment to interrupt. “Be back in a few,” he said, getting up and disappearing before anyone had the chance to ask him where he was going.
“Probably needed to take a piss,” Jack surmised, then repeated his question to Teal’c. “So … what’s the look for?”
Teal’c opened his mouth, but paused. He’d intended to inform Jack that he could not understand why men would choose to be with another man, to violate societal rules, but he suddenly thought of Shon’auc and the word ‘forbidden’, as well as his own campaign to free Jaffa from Goa’uld control. If he questioned Jack on his choices, he’d have to question his own as well and admit that he was a hypocrite. A true understanding hit him at that moment and with a genuine smile, he said, “It is nothing, O’Neill. I am pleased that you have found people to share the rest of your life with. One day, I hope to do the same.”
“You will,” Sam said fondly. “Never give up.”
“What about you, Carter?” Jack asked.
Sam stared at him like a deer in the headlights. “Weren’t we talking about you guys?” she asked evasively.
Daniel nudged Jack to let it go and not embarrass her, so Jack shook his head dismissively. “You keep asking questions now that the cat’s out of the bag, so expect us to ask you if you’re seeing anyone.”
Teal’c was confused, picturing the releasing of a cat from a bag. “Cat’s out of the bag?”
“The truth is out,” Daniel translated.
“The Tau’ri have some strange idioms.”
“Almost as bad as our cliches,” Jack grinned.
“Indeed,” Teal’c grinned back.
“So Carter, seeing anyone?” Jack pushed.
“No, as it happens,” she said, trying not to blush.
Daniel grinned at them, and at Sam, as he was filled with content, glad that Sam and Teal’c weren’t mad at them. This really was the best birthday ever. He was about to say it out loud when Jason returned, looking like he’d just done something very bad and was proud of it.
“What’d you do?” Daniel asked him as he retook his seat next to Jack.
Jason only blinked at him. “I don’t know what you mean.”
“You did something. What?” Daniel demanded. It had to do with his birthday, he was sure of it.
The answer came from the DJ as he spoke into the mic, the bass sound filling the lounge.
“We have a birthday boy, folks! Let’s hear it for Daniel.” Strangers began to clap as the DJ put on The Beatles’ Birthday. A waitress approached their table carrying a platter of something in one hand and a large margarita glass in the other. Daniel felt his cheeks once more grow hot and was suddenly very grateful for the dark lighting of the room.
“Did you plan this, too?” he asked his friends accusingly as the waitress set the platter down on the table. It was filled with fried mozzarella, but in the center, stabbed into one of the food sticks, was a lit birthday candle.
“Happy birthday,” she said with a smile, then set an ostentatiously decorated margarita down in front of him. “It’s on the house.”
“Thanks,” Daniel replied with an automatic smile he didn’t feel. The margarita was red, as was the large red and black garter wrapped around the edge of the glass.
“Blow out the candle before it drips wax on the food,” Jack told him.
The candle tilted precariously, and Daniel rescued it out of the mozzarella stick just in time, then threw his lovers a look of nasty promise as he blew the flame out. Licking off the cheesy end with deliberate slowness, he handed the small candle to Jason and then gave both him and Jack a very dangerous smile. “You’re both dead men.”
“Sounds promising,” Jason replied, unable to keep the amusement off his face as he licked the end of the candle, then passed it to Jack.
Daniel’s eyes widened when Jack sucked the end unnecessarily. He cleared his throat, trying not to look at Sam, Janet, and Teal’c. “What am I supposed to do with this?” he asked, staring at the drink.
“Thank the DJ,” Jason said as the song finished with random clapping. Sam, Janet, and Teal’c joined in, grinning, but Jason and Jack simply leaned in and kissed Daniel on either cheek.
Daniel groaned and wanted desperately to disappear under the floor. He got to his picked up the large glass and raised it in acknowledgement at the DJ. Daniel flashed the auto-smile again and sat down, throwing Jason and Jack another look. Payback would come.
Sam, Janet, and Teal’c observed the display with broad smiles and Daniel finally looked at them in earnest, wishing to god that the blush would leave his cheeks. “Everyone dig in,” he said, gesturing at the platter, and hoping to divert attention quickly.
As the bar food was dug into, he carefully removed the garter from his glass–there was no fucking way he was drinking it with that on there–and tucked it into the pocket of his jeans. He caught Jack’s gaze, then Jason’s, making sure they understood that the garter was going to play some part in carrying out his threat. When that would be, he didn’t know, but there was definitely time to think on it.
Another slow song came on and Daniel stood up and held out his hand to Jack. “Come on. Time for our first dance.”
Teal’c and Sam stared at them as they went out to the dance floor, then focused on Jason. “You really don’t mind?” Sam asked him.
Jason shook his head. “Not one bit. There’s no jealousy. Daniel wouldn’t stand for it, anyway.”
“What would he do?” Janet asked, curious. “If Jack got jealous, for example. He seemed to me to be the type.”
“Oh, he gets a bit jealous, but that was with other women. And he wasn’t comfortable with why. Now that he has what he wants, plus me, that jealousy doesn’t exist.”
“You’re certain?” Sam asked.
“A hundred percent.” Jason gave the three of them a shake of his head. “You guys. If he did get jealous, Daniel would kick his ass.”
“That would be something to see,” Sam said, looking odd.
Jason frowned. “You really want him punished for not returning your feelings?”
She blushed, ashamed. “I … no. It’s only that I wish things could have been different. I mean, that he, and you, didn’t have to hide your feelings.”
“Thanks for saying,” Jason said. He got up and held out his hand. “Things’ll change, trust me. There’s a sea change coming. Now, dance with me?”
“How can you …?” she asked, confused.
Janet rolled her eyes. “I’ll dance with him if you won’t.”
“No, no. It’s just …” She sighed and stood up. “I have a lot to learn.”
“Allow me to enlighten you,” he said, taking her hand.
. . .
Just before 11 p.m., Daniel called it an evening. He was itching to go home, mostly because he wanted to get back to Jack’s and finish the evening with a private party with his lovers. After saying goodnight to the others, the three men headed back to Jack’s and they were unusually quiet. Not that Jack and Jason were prone to small talk, but Daniel had a feeling–eye contact during the last hour was partly responsible–they were just as restless and frustrated as he was. Therefore, the drive was an exercise in restraint. Daniel didn’t mind it, however. Sexual anticipation was a good thing most of the time, especially when it could count as foreplay.
Five minutes from Jack’s, however, Daniel had had enough of the silence. Listening to his lovers’ breathing was driving him crazy because he kept imagining that breathing becoming hot and heavy. “Thanks for the party,” he said, swallowing.
“You’re welcome,” Jack said, glancing at him out of the corner of his eye.
“Sorry if we embarrassed you,” Jason added.
“No you’re not,” Daniel smirked.
“No, but it needed to be said,” Jason replied with a nasty grin.
“I’m over it anyway,” Daniel told him, returning the grin. “In fact, all I’m thinking about is getting naked and having hot, sweaty sex.”
They didn’t say anything, but the throat clearings said they agreed with him. Once home, and once inside the house, the door was locked and then they proved him right.
“Lead the way, Daniel,” Jack said as he kicked off his shoes.
“We’re on your six,” Jason replied, copying him.
“I know,” Daniel said, moving down the hall quickly, shoes off, jeans open, shirt halfway unbuttoned. By the time he reached the bed, he was already nude, and clothes strewn everywhere. He heard them behind him, doing the same thing, and he was about to turn around and watch, but they attacked.
Jack first, with his lips locked onto his, his exquisite tongue diving into his mouth, and his hands exploring all over as if to reacquaint him with lost territory. Jason was doing the same. They were bookends and Daniel didn’t know who to pay attention to more, or if he should. But once they were on the bed, it didn’t really seem to matter. His mouth drooled for cock and he found Jack’s first.
To his delight, Jack showed more acceptance of Jason and beckoned him to slide his body over. The trio ended up making a circle, with mouths on cock like a sugar junkie on candy. They even made the same noises, albeit erotic ones.
After five minutes, however, Daniel wanted to switch, so he turned around until he was on Jason, Jason was on Jack, and Jack was on him. The sucking, moaning noises didn’t abate any, and neither did the caresses from their hands. But soon, Jack pulled back and decided it was time for something with a bit more heat.
He caused the bed to dip dramatically as he moved over to the nightstand and grabbed the lube in the top drawer. “I don’t know about you two, but I’d like a little more action here.”
“We’re getting some of that,” Daniel said as he kissed his way up to Jason’s face and attacked his mouth.
With deliberate provocation, Jack ran his hand over Daniel’s ass, fingers just barely dipping between the cleft. “How about another three-way, with you in the middle?”
As Daniel and Jason got to their knees, Jason gave them both a smile. “Sounds good to me. But who’s going to bottom, Jack, you or me?”
Jack looked at Daniel to decide. “Up to you. I’m easy.” He followed those words with a broad grin.
“You’re not the only one,” Daniel replied. It wasn’t a difficult choice. He’d been thinking of having Jack fuck him for the last four hours. He also wanted to bury himself in Jason. “You,” he said to his dark-haired lover, reaching down to stroke his cock. When Jason groaned with pleasure, Daniel reached up and tweaked a nipple, making him gasp. “Definitely you.”
“So,” Jack said as he popped the lube cap open. “The only question left is, sandwich or train?”
Daniel grabbed Jack by the back of the neck, pulling him in for a deep kiss. “A sandwich,” he answered breathlessly. Looking down at Jason, he said, “I want to see you.”
“Me, too,” Jason replied, then moved over and laid down in the center of the bed, head on a pillow. He snapped his fingers for the lube. “Please,” he said when Jack lifted a brow at him.
With a grin, Jack complied. “You always want to be first?”
“No,” Jason drawled, taking Daniel’s hand and squirting lube onto the fingers. “I only want you to wait.”
“Why?” Jack drawled back.
Jason looked into Daniel’s eyes and deliberately lowered his lids as if he were sleepy, then placed Daniel’s hand between his legs. “So you can watch.” After Daniel maneuvered between his legs and rubbed his asshole, Jason shifted his gaze back Jack. “I know you like to watch.”
Jack made a growling sound. “Observant, but I like doing, not just watching, especially tonight.” With that, he moved in behind Daniel and looked over his shoulder. While he watched Daniel slide his fingers into Jason’s body, he rubbed his own dry cock against his lover’s ass. “Give me the lube.”
Daniel took it from Jason, squirted the slick stuff onto his cock, then held it up for Jack to take. He did, while kissing his neck, and it sent shivers down his spine. Swallowing hard, Daniel rubbed the head of his erection over Jason’s hole, teasing him while giving Jack time to prep him as well as himself.
“In me,” Jason said, hands running over Daniel’s chest.
“Not yet,” Daniel replied, bending over to briefly kiss him. “I want this done at the same time.”
As Jason smiled, Jack chuckled. “Always thinking up something slightly different.”
“You have no idea,” Daniel said, and he’d talk to them about the idea of role play later. He then gasped as wet fingers applied cool lube over his anus and cleft, rubbing and caressing before sliding in. He looked over his shoulder and received a kiss from his older partner. “I want you.”
“You got me.” When Daniel grinned strangely in response, Jack raised the stakes. “How bad?”
“Bad,” Daniel replied, smiling broadly.
Bingo, Jack thought, removing his fingers, then with one hand on Daniel’s shoulder, he shoved him forward and waited for Daniel to get Jason’s legs positioned, knees to chest. “How bad do you want him, Jason?”
“Bad,” Jason replied, eyelids half-closing.
With another word or any warning, Jack only said, “Now,” as he pushed the head of his cock past the tight barrier.
“Fuck yes,” Daniel groaned, pushing into Jason.
Below him, Jason grabbed the front of his knees and pulled, the leverage raising his ass off the bed. “Fuck me deep.”
“Hell yes,” Daniel said, half to Jason, half to Jack. He then closed his eyes and moved his hips, gasping loudly as he sank into Jason and moved back onto Jack. “Fuck yes!”
“Jesus!” Jack exclaimed tightly as he clamped his fingers down on Daniel’s hips. “Do it, Daniel. Fuck us both.”
“Yes,” Jason said as he pinched his own nipples, twisting them lightly. “Do it please.”
Daniel opened his eyes and stared down at him, then rested his hands on the backs of Jason’s thighs, spread his own knees, and began to thrust, forward and backward, sending shocks of electric pleasure through his body. It only made him go faster, a bit at a time, drawing out deep, loud moans from his partners. Mouth open and panting, he reveled in the sensations, moving endlessly, loving how much he was pleasing Jason and Jack just by doing this.
Then Jason hitched a breath. “Harder.”
“How hard?” Daniel asked.
“Hard,” Jack said as he pushed Daniel forward and pushed deeper. “Let go.”
“Jason,” Daniel gasped, then kissed him as he did as they asked. He let go, and his hips flew, creating the loud slapping sounds of skin on skin, only doubly so with two assault fronts. “Fuck,” he said, slowing down as his balls began to draw up. “Fuck me now, Jack.”
“No, make him come first,” Jack said, staring down at Jason, locking his gaze.
“Yes,” Jason said, staring back.
“I want to watch him come,” Jack said, then slowly withdrew from Daniel’s body.
Daniel wanted to protest, but he understood the flush in Jason’s cheeks and roughness of both their voices. Leaning forward, hands now on Jason’s shoulders, he thrust into him, hard and fast, watching the smile of satisfaction spread over his face. “That what you want?”
“Yes,” Jason replied, shifting his hands behind his knees while his gaze was still locked with Jack’s. “Fuckin’ do it. Make me come.”
Daniel could feel Jack’s eyes on him, thought of him watching his ass and the way his balls were swinging. “Jason,” he warned, knowing he could come soon if Jason didn’t.
“I need you,” Jason said to Jack, partly in apology.
Jack pushed back into Daniel’s body. “It’s time for bad,” he said, snapping his hips.
“Yes!” Daniel croaked, his throat going dry.
Jack slid his hands under Daniel’s arms and grabbed hold of his pecs as he let loose a torrent of hip-slapping, spine-tingling thrusts that had both men underneath him moaning brokenly. “So good!” he gasped roughly, feeling the hot spike at the base of his spine move down over his balls. “Yes!”
“God!” Daniel cried out and clamped his mouth on Jason’s as he tried to thrust and couldn’t. Instead, he rubbed against Jason’s cock while his own rubbed over Jason’s prostate. Each jarring motion from Jack produced a pleasure-spiking emphasis that went on and on and on.
Then suddenly, as if on cue, Jason reached between them and grabbed his cock, stroking hand turning into a blur as he yelled at Jack for more. “Fuck him! Fuck us!”
“Give it up!” Jack yelled back, teeth clenched as his muscles neared their straining limits. Sweat poured off his skin, making control slip just a bit, but he kept going, watching Jason’s body tighten.
“Yes,” Daniel said, seeing it too, then reached down to pinch Jason’s nipples. It did the trick and he threw his head back and came, spilling his load all over his hand and onto Daniel’s abdomen.
“Goddamn,” Jack grumbled just as he pushed Daniel down on top of Jason, then let go one final volley. “Come!”
“Yes,” Daniel said in a high-pitched, tight voice, eyes squeezed closed as an explosion ripped throughout his body and exited his cock. He shot profusely, jerking with each and every pulse of come. “Jack,” he begged, then smiled and kissed Jason when he felt Jack’s cock swell.
Jack slowed, groaning brokenly as the hot spread of pleasure filled his body, echoing their responses as he came hard. “Yes,” he whispered repeatedly as he fell forward and rested against Daniel’s neck, hugging him tightly.
Eventually, the shudders from all three men faded and Daniel held onto them both as he pushed onto his left side. The mattress jostled, making them bounce slightly, and the movement seemed to be the impetus that pulled him from Jason’s body and Jack’s from his. “Dammit,” he said, feeling the come ooze out of him. There’d be a big, cold wet spot pretty soon, but for now, he didn’t want to move. Not yet.
Jason reached behind him, cupping Daniel’s neck as he turned his head to give him a cool, sweaty kiss. “Happy birthday.”
Daniel smiled, then briefly closed his eyes with contentment when Jack kissed the back of his neck.
“Ditto,” Jack said.
“Best birthday ever,” Daniel said, leaning back to capture Jack’s lips with his.
Jack smiled. “Where’s that garter?”
Daniel snorted with amusement. “In my jeans. Why? Got something in mind for tomorrow?”
“How about a little bit of birthday candle wax play?” Jason asked.
Jack lifted his brows in surprise. “You’re into that?”
“You’d be surprised,” Daniel smiled, kissing Jason’s shoulder as he moved his hips and rubbed against him.
Jason grinned as wetness spread between them but sidetracked himself with their subject. “So what about you, Jack?”
“I’m game, but I’m wondering what else you’re into.”
“Wanna find out later?” Jason asked as he yawned. “I’d love to have you tie me up.”
“Sounds like fun,” Jack replied, curiously interested. He reached over, sliding his fingers down Jason’s arm until he grabbed firm hold of his wrist. “Got something to use?”
“Not right now. Should I go shopping?”
Daniel loved listening to them, loved how his instincts proved right: they were well matched. He closed his eyes and sighed. “I love you two, you know that?”
“I know. Backatcha,” Jack replied, not letting go.
“What he said,” Jason added sleepily.
They were silent for a few minutes, then Daniel groaned from the cooling sweat. Despite being sandwiched between two warm bodies, down below wasn’t so much fun. “Don’t anyone go to sleep. I have to get up, take a piss, and clean up.”
“Don’t move,” Jack said, holding on tight. “I’m not ready.”
“Tough shit, I am.”
Jack leaned forward and bit into the side of Daniel’s neck, tickling him and making him laugh. “Jack!”
“What?” his lover asked innocently.
“Asshole,” Daniel complained as he used Jason for leverage and squeezed out from between them. He stumbled over his jeans but righted himself and headed for the bathroom. Still, he stopped and turned around, watching his lovers.
“Speaking of assholes,” Jack grinned, and for exclamation, he reached down and slapped Jason’s ass, making him jump slightly.
“Hey!” Jason protested, instantly grabbing one of the pillows and swinging it at Jack’s head. In retaliation, Jack lunged forward, pushing the pillow down over Jason’s face. That only made Jason roll over and they were suddenly in a wrestling match, trading pinning moves while laughter filled the room.
From the doorway, Daniel smiled, thinking it really was the best birthday ever.