The Eclipsed Series

Part Eight: Holding Pattern



Now

"Go to him."

"No."

Daniel sighed down the phone, loud enough to be almost tangible. "He's probably waiting for you. It's probably why he went out there, made sure he wouldn't be interrupted --"

"No."

I couldn't do it. Not because I thought he had to make the first move, but because this limbo was better than a final rejection and any courage I'd had had seeped away.

"No," I said for the third time. "He's gone away and he wants to be alone; I can give him that, at least."

Daniel muttered something in a language I didn't know. Somehow, I felt I could translate it. I tried again. "I go, and odds are he'll have just left and we'll miss each other -- He can't stay away for long; I can wait."

"Paul, I've put up with your shit for years; don't push me on this, okay?"

He sounded coldly angry and I flinched. Jack had warned me once, making enough of a joke of it that I hadn't taken it seriously, that if there was one person I never wanted to piss off, it was Daniel because he'd take a grudge to the grave and beyond if it involved someone he cared about. It came to me, sharply, that for all our friendship, Daniel loved Jack and tolerated me.

I caved abruptly. Hell with it. "I'm going. Fuck you, Jackson, I'm going, okay?"

His voice thawed out enough to let a smile trickle through. "Of course you are, Major. I never doubted that for a moment. Say hi to him for me, will you?"

I sighed. "First words out of my mouth, I promise."

I ended the call and started looking up flights. Daniel's a hard person to argue with because he never gives up until you're doing it his way.

And with me, he didn't even bother trying to hide what he was doing.


Then


"You went back in time," I marveled, still trying to get my head around it.

"Not for the first time."

I shook my head, ignoring the pun. "No. Saving the planet, yes, I can see how that'd get old," he gave me a knowing smirk and I grinned back, "but time travel? No way."

He shrugged. "Looked at one way, I never went. One of me went, so I didn't have to. Remind me to send him flowers or something, will you?"

I crumpled the piece of paper I'd tried to work it all out on and tossed it at the empty fireplace. "It makes my head ache."

"Mine, too," he agreed easily, pulling me in and giving me a kiss, casually affectionate and brief. "So let's forget about it."

"If you insist." We were sprawled out on his couch, buzzed enough on beer to be relaxed without being sleepy, his fingers playing with my hair in a way that would irritate the hell out of me if he kept doing it, but which just right then felt nice. Intimate. It took me a moment to realise, with an odd startle of shock, that I was about as happy as I'd ever been.

"I'm being reassigned."

I felt myself go still. Well, that really had been a brief, shining moment. "I hadn't heard."

"You don't hear everything."

I gave him an 'Oh, come on' look and he chuckled. "Well, you didn't hear this."

"True." I straightened up, his fingers sliding free. "Where?"

He was smiling; the wide, happy grin that made me smile, too, because it was so encompassing it took the world with it. "Washington."

"What?" I was matching his grin now. "You're kidding me."

"Nope." His smile faded. "It means leaving the SGC. I'll be connected still, sure, but --"

I was joining the dots about what desk he'd be sitting behind, my mind working overtime as I fitted together some comments, some hints. "You'll be right in my building…"

"Closer."

"Too close."

He blinked. "Well, that's one way of looking at it."

"Chain of fucking command --"

"That's an issue for you?"

"It isn't for you?" I knew what he meant; word got out about us and we were both fucked, but I'd always clung to the crumb of mitigation that we weren't, technically, in the same line of command. His new job, I might be, depending on the inevitable reshuffle. Hell, given my links to the SGC, it was almost inevitable that we'd be working together; they'd expect him to want me, given his habit of sticking with what worked, and if he wanted me, he'd get me. Generals got spoiled that way.

"I guess at my age, no. I trust myself to be impartial --"

I spoke without thinking. "Oh, please! If it was a case of SG-1 in danger, you'd throw every warm body you'd got through the 'gate to save them!"

Stupid, stupid… His face closed up, clouded over.

"I'd do that for any of my teams."

"Sure." I tried to make it sound sincere because it was true, he would. He'd just do it a little bit more for the golden team.

Just a little bit. Yeah.

"Davis --" Scary voice, calm enough to be a warning.

"No, I'm sorry. I know they all matter to you. Everyone under your command --"

"Yeah…" He wasn't convinced. In fact, he was glowering, good mood ruined. After three years, I was good at doing that. I gave him my best pleading look, all big eyes and hopeful smile -- look, see, harmless, less than the dust beneath your chariot wheels -- and he relented enough to ease back close enough that our legs were brushing, even that small point of contact reassuring.

"And, after this job…" I hesitated. We didn't talk about the future much, but it didn't mean I didn't think about it. Three years of scraps, eaten on the run… to hammer the metaphor into the ground, we were both a little hungry.

"I'm retiring." He sounded definite about it. "For good, this time. I want… I want some peace."

"You've earned it." I put out my hand, and he turned his head away, stretching out for his beer, the long line of his neck taut, timing it so that I wasn't quite sure he was avoiding me. "Jack -- when you do --"

"It'll all be different?" He shook his head, tipping the bottle up and draining it with a grimace because it had gone flat. "Not so much. Not for us. I'd like it to be, but it won't."

"No," I said bleakly. I had years ahead of me and he had years behind him, years no one, military or political would want, oh, let's be tactful and say 'tarnished', by scandal. Who wants their planet saving by a general who bends over for a major with a hard-on?

"But I'm not -- I want someone around." The bottle went back on the table and he spread his hands expansively. "I'm a solitary kind of a guy, but I've never spent months out at the cabin, and I don't know, by the end of the first winter, I might be talking to the trees… or the squirrels…"

He sometimes spoke of retiring to live in that damn cabin, building on, adding a deck, but I'd always put it in the realm of fantasy because you don't go from roaming the universe to a shack in the woods. You just don't.

"Someone around?" He couldn't mean me. He knew I couldn't --

He didn't meet my eyes. "There's no reason why not after all we've gone through. It's not like we'd be out of reach if they needed him --"

"Daniel. You're talking about Daniel. Living with Daniel."

I pictured it in a series of flashing stills; visiting him there and feeling just that; a visitor, with Daniel excusing himself at intervals so that we could fuck, nights where we'd lie waiting to hear Daniel start snoring before we reached for each other -- if either of us could get it up with him a few yards away. Or worse -- no, not going there…

He looked at me then. "Well, yes. It couldn't -- he's not military and he's getting older, just like me. I'm guessing he'll give up on going out in the field in a few more years and --"

"Are you insane?" I was having trouble breathing. "He wouldn't, and if he did, you'd just be confirming every fucking rumour about you two --" I ran out of words just as his slowly curving lips told me he'd been joking and sank back against the cushions, heart hammering. "You -- God, tell me why I love you again?"

"I wish I could." He wasn't joking now. "Do you?"

"Do you?"

We didn't say it. We never said it…

He stood, scooping up the bottles littering the table. "I'd like the chance to find out."

It was better than an apology for what he'd just done. "Maybe now… when you're in Washington…?"

He nodded. I think even then he knew they were sending me to Dakara.

He could save the world, carve out new histories for everyone on the planet -- I really was going to sit down and work through the implications when the sight of that tape with Jack, my Jack, no, a Jack -- stuck thousands of years in the past wasn't making my mouth go dry with panic -- but he couldn't make a space for us to find out what we had going for us beyond lust and longing.

Two, three years ago, I'd have settled for that much, but somewhere along the way it'd stopped being enough.

I guess that was the same as being in love.


Way Back When

I lay beside Jack in the dark, my hand clenched into a fist to stop it from reaching out and touching him. He needed to sleep. He needed to heal. Fuck the sarcophagus and the snake they'd shoved into him; his body needed more than that. Or less. Needed to fix itself the slow way, the natural way. The human way.

Except...

He would have been dead if he'd done that.

He had been dead. Over and over, he'd died. I'd read his report, and even stripped and clipped, terse to the point of shorthand, it conveyed a bone-deep revulsion at what he'd endured at the hands of both friends and enemies.

I'd found him staring into the bathroom mirror, eyes empty, face set in stern lines as if he were judging himself for some crime, some sin.

His knees were better but he still walked and knelt as if they hurt and I think inside his head they did, still protesting the dampness of the air, a position he had to hold too long. He clung to the memory of pain like a child to a blanket.

And when I'd touched him, my hand on his chest, he'd flinched, rolled over, given me a grunt that might have meant good night, and that had been that.

I didn't know much about the cumulative effect on the human body after sustained use of a sarcophagus. Who on Earth did, really? Enough to know that it wasn't advised, which was all I needed to know until it became important that I knew more. When Jack had escaped Baal and we'd found out what had been done to him, I'd gone digging through the archived mission reports and read Doctor Fraiser's report on Daniel's similar ordeal. He had been using it on a healthy body, which made a difference, but it was still worrying. Medical reports tended to shy away from the spiritual but there was a note from Daniel, hand-written and scrawled, bringing up the Tok'ra's belief that the sarcophagus was soul-destroying, a tainted device.

Judging by the way Jack had stared at my hand, he'd agree with that. He'd showered alone but I'd watched him dry off, his skin scarlet as if his shower had been scalding instead of the lukewarm one he preferred at this time of year.

I lay and thought it through. I knew him well enough that it didn't take long. It wasn't that he didn't want me touching him; he just didn't see why I'd want to. Dead skin and bone, miraculously warm and alive under the tentative press of my fingers. He thought it should bother me, thought it should matter.

And all I'd been thinking was that he was back and I hadn't lost him, two months after we'd both -- all -- lost Daniel.

"You stupid fuck," I said quietly and waited until he'd stirred awake and aware enough to be safe to touch before rolling him over and putting my hands on him, everywhere I could reach, getting him back.


More Way Back When

"I can't make it."

I froze, half in, half out of my pants, my phone tucked under my ear, the hotel carpet unfamiliar and rough against the soles of my feet. "Problem? Something I need to get back for?"

I answered as the major, not the man. Old habits. And if the world was ending, I wanted to know.

"No, nothing like that. This is, uh, personal."

Personal? O'Neill didn't have any personal beyond me, not that I knew of. Unless, maybe… his ex-wife? I kicked free of the pants, leaving them in a heap, and went to sit down on the bed wearing nothing but shorts, a chilly disappointment sinking in.

"I'm sorry?" It was as close as I was going to get when it came for asking for details. Pride. I had some. Some.

His voice was reluctant to the point of being ridiculous. "It's, uh, well, I forgot year before last and Carter gave me hell…and when she found out I'd forgotten this year, too…"

"It's Major Carter's birthday?" I guessed, trying to picture their personnel records in my head.

"Daniel's."

"Ah."

"So we're doing this thing, all of us. Can't get out of it. I mean, we just got him back from the dead…"

"I see."

"You're pissed, aren't you?"

"Not at all."

His voice warmed with amusement suddenly, the worst over now I knew, his hesitancy replaced by something far more familiar. "Liar."

"Fuck off."

"Oh, yeah. You're sitting there just steaming --  where are you? At the Holiday Inn, right?"

Three towns over, and even that didn't feel like enough to be safe. Sometimes, nowhere did. "Room 303, not that you need to know that now. I checked in an hour ago. After the flight I took. Lying naked on the bed I was hoping to get well and truly --"

"Stop it."

What? Making him feel guilty? Or making him wish he was here? "Yes. I just might. All of it. Because this isn't working for me."

"Paul --"

I thumbed off the phone when he used my name -- that was just cheating -- placed it very precisely on the night stand, and buried my face in the pillow so I could scream silently, leak some angry tears, and generally have a nice, private meltdown.

It took all of five seconds to get bored with that, and then I rolled over onto my back and stared dry-eyed at the ceiling of the room I'd paid to stay in for what was supposed to have been a dirty weekend crushed into one incandescent evening and whatever we had the energy for in the morning.

Sex. With Jack. That was all I'd wanted. Clean water for a thirsty man simple, not meaning of life stuff. Except for the part where sex pretty much was the meaning of life, even the way we did it, wary and violent and suspicious as often as it was friendly, even -- well, no. Not loving. Neither of us was that bravely stupid.

 It'd been weeks. Weeks and weeks and weeks and --

Stop.

And now he was with Daniel instead, Daniel, getting to give him a hug and make it last longer than was permissible because they'd all be drunk, well, not Teal'c, but he wouldn't care what O'Neill did. He'd ruffle up the short strands of Daniel's hair, jar Daniel's glasses askew and straighten them, taking his time, smiling into Daniel's blue eyes --

Stop.

Fuck Jack O'Neill and fuck Doctor Daniel Jackson, too. And his fucking parents for not choosing a better night, however many years back, plus nine months, to do what I was apparently doomed never to experience again.

I'd been planning to be waiting naked for him, sprawled out and hard. I hadn't wanted there to be any mistake about my intentions (him, in me, hard), any awkward fumbling around getting us both horizontal and happy. I'd wanted the wham-bam and I'd have said thank you any way he asked, and now…. Now, I felt humiliated, with the insane urge to pull on every item of clothing I'd stripped out of, smiling, and huddle under the covers until it was time to check out.

At some point, my dick, crushed and spiritless, twitched with a returning alertness. I frowned. I was angry with Jack, but not the good kind of angry that we sometimes let ourselves use as foreplay. No. This was rooted in disappointment and that wasn't ever going to turn me on. I wasn't pissed that he'd put Daniel first; wasn't at all surprised, or resentful. He'd had to. A birthday? How could he have gotten out of that with anything they'd have accepted as reasonable? He couldn't. And he wouldn't have wanted to. He had Daniel back. He had a miracle. I was just two years worth of everyday.

So he had to be there. That was fine.

What wasn't fine was forgetting Daniel's birthday and double-booking me.

And Daniel would've been pissed, too, if he knew, on my account, anyway, but he never would know. O'Neill would have scrawled his name on the card Carter had bought, tossed her some money towards the gift she'd picked out from all of them, settled down at the head of the table she'd booked in Daniel's favourite restaurant with a proprietary smile as if he owned the place… And never, with anything he said or did, let Daniel think he was so unimportant a person in Jack's life that his birthday had almost been forgotten.

Which wouldn't have been why it'd been forgotten, anyway; O'Neill was too male to remember his own birthday, let alone Daniel's; it wasn't a reflection on his feelings and Daniel would've known that.

I realised that I wasn't making any sense, but I couldn't seem to shut up.

Even so… Jack should've fucking remembered. Logic had left the building. I lay there, my hand idly scratching my stomach, and enjoyed a pleasant fantasy of O'Neill flinching and stammering excuses as Daniel ripped into him for fucking us both over.

I said it was a fantasy.

And I still didn't know why I was erect again, not hard enough that it wouldn't go away if ignored, but attracting my attention in a subtle, gently coaxing way.

Daniel… me… Partners in being screwed over by Jack O'Neill…Or, rearrange the words a bit and we had… Oh.

Perfect revenge. An orgasm, sticky, sweaty, as hot as I could crank it up, starring Daniel Jackson, front and centre, which would, in a twisted way, get back at him, too, for having Jack when I couldn't, for being the prodigal fucking son getting the fatted calf in the shape of a medium-rare steak with all the trimmings.

Daniel. Enemy and fellow victim.

My ability to be utterly convinced of two conflicting truths simultaneously came in very useful at work, as well.

I started to shove my shorts off and then caught sight of the clock. All the time in the world… no need to rush. I left my shorts where they were, took a final sip of my drink, and locked the door, already decorated with a 'Do Not Disturb' I'd known would make Jack grin as he pushed it aside, knowing it didn't mean him, couldn't possibly, ever, mean him.

Then I lay back on the bed, in a room lit dimly enough to be relaxing, not so dark I wouldn't have been able to see and be seen, and conjured up a memory I'd forgotten I'd saved.

Daniel. Naked and wet, hair two shades darker with water. I'd been good, been careful, not stared -- at Jack -- which meant I'd spent a lot of time with my gaze automatically flickering to Daniel, because he was talking to me, dammit, and hadn't shut up.

In the SGC showers with Daniel between Jack and me -- where else -- was no place to get hard, so I hadn't. Too exhausted, which helped. An hour of working out with them in the gym, pushing myself out of a need to show off for my… well, whatever he was, and the equally compelling need to watch him sweat and flex, and I was wiped out emotionally and physically. Jack's hair had been slicked back in the gym, beads of sweat gathering at his temples, his skin flushed and hot, his T-shirt clinging. Daniel had been an object in my peripheral vision, stripped to a muscle T-shirt, conscientiously lifting weights as Teal'c spotted him, giving him the odd word of advice in a low rumble.

It'd been torture and I'd loved every minute. Teal'c, barely warmed-up, had stayed behind to terrify three marines who wanted to try to kick some alien butt, although they didn't put it quite that way, and the three of us, perspiring gently, had crawled to the showers.

Which was when it had dawned on me that we'd be naked, all three of us, in a conveniently empty locker room, and I didn't dare catch anyone's eye because we all knew, but we couldn't mention it, mention any of it, and we couldn't even acknowledge that we couldn't mention it…

So we didn't, and Daniel, with the sangfroid of the diplomat he was at heart, had started to chatter, until Jack had relaxed and I had been distracted.

Until I'd been forced to look at him naked. Jack was a distant blur in the billowing steam, pink and soapy. Daniel was close enough to touch, a suds-filled hand cupping his balls and rubbing them absently, taking time to scratch and generally acting as if he was in the room by himself. And he kept closing his eyes as the water coursed down, a blissful look on his face, lips parted so the water filled his mouth and spilled out, trickling down his chin in rivulets…

Okay. That would do.

I stroked one fingertip over my hardening cock through the thin cotton of my shorts, focusing on the shape Daniel's lips made as they pursed and spat out a mouthful of water so he could tell me about… oh, God, what was it? A book? A movie? Something like that. And Jack had held the diametrically opposite view -- okay, had to be a movie because Jack and Daniel weren't likely to have read the same book -- and Daniel had turned, briefly, to Jack and I'd seen his ass, heat-flushed and splotched, just like it would be if he'd been on the receiving end of --

I kicked out of my shorts faster than I'd planned, my hand fumbling to grip and squeeze, my legs feeling the weight of Daniel across them, pliant and contrite.

I paused. Hardly likely, now, was it? He'd be talking the whole time, shifting position as he pushed his slip-sliding glasses back up… I added a gag and tied his hands together for good measure, so that his fingers brushed the carpet, flexing curiously, imploringly, as he made soft, muffled sounds that didn't sound like 'no' or 'stop' in any language.

Better…

I got a minute in, rocking my wrist in a slow, languid movement that was more than enough to keep me interested without risking coming, and found that Daniel's smooth curved ass had acquired a scar, a couple of freckles I'd licked dot to dot more times than I could remember, and an entirely different muscle tone, rangy and lean.

I gave Jack's ass a sizzler of a slap, stared at the scarlet handprint, and switched fantasies.

Daniel on his knees, shut up the best way, mouthing my cock as I traced the shape of his upper lip with my finger, wet with his spit, sliding it into his mouth, sandwiched between the slick, sheathed hardness and the lick of his tongue.

I pressed my hand against my thigh, upside down, yes, but just about where Daniel would rest his for balance, his fingernails, blunt and ragged, digging in, hurting just enough, just a little…

Daniel was good at this for a straight man … too good. I was just replaying the last blow job but two from Jack, down to the finger sliding into my ass and the biting kisses around the base of my cock that had reduced me to babbling incoherency, my toes curling, my heel grinding into the carpet hard enough to leave friction burns.

I gave up, jerked off to Jack, and came two minutes later, resentful, teeth-gritted, and messy.

He was a hard habit to break.

And that would have been it, if he hadn't turned up at one in the morning, tapping insistently, quietly on the door, a rhythm which fed into my dreams like a cold trickle of water into a hot bath.

I stumbled over to the door, caught in a sleep I'd only just fallen into, heavy and troubled. I shook off the disorientation enough to grab at the robe I'd left over a chair, shrugging it on and tying it before easing the door open cautiously.

He was standing close enough that I jerked back a little, my body wakening fully under the combined jolts of perceived threat and instant arousal. It really wasn't fair how quickly he could do that to me; I was sure it wasn't mutual. He smelled of smoke and beer but his dark eyes were clear enough; he wasn't drunk.

And he wasn't all that certain of his welcome, which was why I stepped back, letting him slip inside quietly, discreetly, into the waiting dark which I shattered, flicking on a lamp and blinking until my eyes adjusted.

"Paul…"

Twice in one night? I'd have to use the sparkly gold pen when I wrote my journal. Maybe outline it with hearts. He took an invitation into my room as forgiveness and his hand slipped up to caress my cheek, his tense shoulders easing, a smile only I got to see -- I thought -- lighting up his face. "Paul," he repeated.

"Most people settle for 'hello'."

The smile was practiced, charming. "Hello, Paul. Paul, hello."

"Fuck off."

Bye-bye smile. "I just drove eighty miles to see you when all I wanted to do was go to sleep. It's been a hell of a week, so you can drop the fucking attitude, Davis."

"Too tired to fuck me, you mean?" I smiled, thin and sour. "Don't worry about it; I've already come twice tonight and even with sex you can have too much of a --"

His eyes went to the bed and then the bathroom and I hit him, my fist travelling in a short, vicious lunge until it connected with his ribs. It never occurred to me that I was striking a superior officer until after the punch landed, but I'd retained enough common sense to avoid his face.

"Alone. I jerked off alone you mistrustful fucking son of a bitch."

He held up his hand to ward me off as I crowded in closer, my breath emerging in choppy, uneven pants, fists driving forward. He let me hit him until he realised that I wasn't going to stop and then did something fast and painful to my elbow that had me yelping and surrendering sulkily. I had other, better ways to hurt him, after all.

"You really are pissed at me, aren't you?" He sounded bewildered. "I thought you'd be pleased to see me. Thought you understood why I couldn't make it earlier."

"I am. I did. I'm still pissed." Cradling my arm, numb where it wasn't tingling spitefully, I went to the bottle of whisky I'd brought with me, pouring us both one into the cheap, thick glasses the hotel provided. The ice in the bucket had long since thinned to slush but I reached in and scooped out some slivers of ice, letting the chilled water stream through my crooked fingers before dropping the ice into the glasses.

"Mind telling me why?"

"You forgot his birthday."

"No."

He took the glass I held out, studying it before downing a healthy gulp and then setting it aside. I left mine untouched, watching the ice melt and lighten the amber to gold.

"No, I know when it is. When he was -- gone -- I was waiting for it to roll around, for Carter to remember and get upset. Knew she'd need helping out, knew I'd -- I wasn't going to do anything that day. Maybe go and sit in that room on base for a while, the one with all his stuff in." He smiled, a wry twist to his mouth. "Or not."

That room had given me the creeps. Full of Daniel's detritus, empty of him. If his ghost walked, it wouldn't have been there.

And it had walked. Through Jack's mind, through his dreams, through his hell.

Oh, yes. I knew about that now.

"And then, when he came back --" Jack shrugged. "I went back to forgetting. Hey; it's a guy thing. You know that."

I nodded. Couldn't argue with that.

"And since when did you give a rat's ass if I forgot Daniel's birthday?"

Good point.

"You think I chose him over you."

His voice went gentle, if not kind, knowing and I felt flayed, exposed. That was worrying, but I didn't get chance to think about it because he was close to me, pushing me back against the wall beside the window, empty space behind it, his hands insistent, remorseless. "You've really got to focus on the facts, Major Davis," he whispered in my ear. "Like where I am right now, and where you are, and where Daniel is."

"Where is he?" The words were hard to articulate with his breath warm against my face, the scrape of stubble burning my neck as he nuzzled into it.

"In my bed. Covering my ass if anyone calls and wonders where I am."

"What?" I tried to push him away and he didn't let me.

"Everyone came back to my place. Daniel fell asleep on the couch around eleven. Or pretended to." His tongue wet down a piece of my skin just under my ear and he bit it a second later, the angle awkward, making him grunt and push my head to where he wanted it. I let him, rolling my shoulders against the cool wall. "So there's a tiptoed exodus and he gets three blankets draped over him, then when we're alone he stands up and heads for my bedroom."

"Thought it was his birthday, not yours."

His mouth dropped down to my collarbone, and then to my nipple, and I screamed silently against his forceful, rapidly applied palm as he came close to fucking chewing it off. My dick was solid, leaking, jumping with every breath he took. This close, this intense, he was overwhelming.

"He told me he wasn't waking up with pins and needles and I should get going as there had to be a reason I'd stayed sober and he was guessing you were it."

His hand was still across my mouth and I licked at it, tasting salt and sweat and tough, smooth skin.

"You should be flattered, Davis. He doesn't remember everything yet, but you… oh, he remembers you."

I was sucking in air through flared nostrils and it wasn't enough given the way my heart was pounding. My nipple ached, a vicious throb of pain. I wasn't sure the wetness air drying on my skin was just spit, but I couldn't look down.

Couldn't do anything but lick and kiss and fuck at that smooth stretch of skin suffocating me slowly as his other hand roamed over what it could reach of my body. The belt of my robe was still fastened, but the robe itself had parted, exposing me to his eyes -- but he wasn't looking -- his hand, his mouth. He dragged that hand over me, chest to belly to balls, nails crooked and savage, hurting me as my chest heaved, trying to suck in more air past the seal his hand had made against my mouth.

"Are you going to pass out on me, Major? One for yes, two for no."

I had to think about it, but I moved the hand gripping his shoulder, tapping my fingers against his face twice and leaving them there. His skin was hot and he was chewing the inside of his cheek; I could feel the shape his teeth made in the hollowed skin. I let my fingers drift to his mouth and eased one inside, making him stop.

Stop everything.

His hands fell away from me and he wrenched his head back, his tongue swiping over my finger as it slipped free, and then made a sound I barely heard over the noisy, graceless gasps for air I was taking, a throaty grunt of satisfaction. I don't know what I'd done right, but he went to his knees and I swear the wall and his hands were all that kept me upright because there was only one reason for him to do that, and if my finger had appreciated that brief moment inside the wet heat of his mouth, my cock would give it all up to get in there and come.

Wouldn't take long for that to happen. Not long at all.

His hands locked around my ankles, squeezing tight and tugging my legs wider apart so that he could get between them. I felt each finger as a separate bond, burning into the thin, spare flesh. That was hurting, too.

Watch me not care.

His right hand slid away and up, urging my leg over his shoulder, putting me off-balance, struggling to keep upright, the heel of my foot grinding into his back as I tried to hook him closer, get his face against my groin. He wouldn't even have had to suck me; I just needed to get something to fuck against; his closed lips, hell, one abrasive rough rub from his chin and I'd have come, splattering him, hair, face, neck, wherever he let it land.

And I'd have licked him clean and been hard again by the time I'd finished if he'd have let me but he was keeping us apart with one hand shoved hard against my hip, fingers splayed. That hooked, curved thumb of his scratched a thin, hot line across muscles so tensed up they thrummed and he exhaled, his breath ghosting over my balls, making them crinkle up tight.

Not enough.

"I think about you when I shouldn't."

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned …

"I pick up the phone to call you, and holding it, imagining hearing your voice in the time it takes to dial and work through the Pentagon's fucking switchboard, gets me hard."

He was talking and the words were reaching my ears long after they'd registered on my skin as a flow of air and heat, snarled out and angry.

"I have fantasies about you even you'd flinch away from, and, no, I'm not going to share, but most of them revolve around getting you to shut the fuck up about Daniel."

He sighed as if he'd been wanting to say that for a long time and rested his forehead against my stomach, the head of my dick nudging his chin. "Are you going to let me suck you off now or do we have to keep on fighting?"

I whispered an answer, sincere and heartfelt. "Going to let you do whatever you want to do to me, sir."

He moved his head back and took me inside his mouth, sucking me slowly, slowly, soft, until I was kicking his back, clawing at his shoulders, begging with every filthy sweet word I'd ever made him shiver with for him to suck me harder, let me come.

He stopped, eased my leg off his shoulder so that I was standing on both feet, and rocked back on his heels looking up at me, his face expressionless. "Do it yourself."

"I've been doing nothing else for fucking weeks." It came out frustrated and snappy. God, I needed him to fuck me into a better mood or I was going to corrode away from the inside out.

"Not when I could see."

I took a deep breath, fisted my cock, and met his gaze because he was staring at my face, not the obvious target. "Look down, then."

"No."

"Watch me come."

"I am, Davis, I am."

I was getting close now but I couldn't -- I'd thought all it would take was a touch and I'd been wrong and my hand wasn't doing it and he'd be disappointed in me if I didn't --

"Jack -- please."

He sighed, and leaned in, flicking his tongue over the slippery, shiny head of my cock as it poked through the circle of my fingers and wrapping his hand over mine, forcing my cock back, pointing up, not out.

I came from that, eyes snapping closed, mouth hanging open on a low, anguished howl, shoving the back of my hand far enough into my mouth to gag myself. As soon as I could, I blinked and got my vision back.

He was looking at my cock now, his hand and mine gripping it, still hard, come lying -- not much of it; he needn't have worried -- in a trail on my stomach, a Morse Code message of dots and dashes that had to spell 'Fuck you, Colonel O'Neill' in at least one language.

"Messy," he observed.

"Not my fault," I hissed.

He took my wrists and pinned them to the wall, matter-of-factly enough to have my cock twitching before giving up. Three times in as many hours; I was done.

He came when he tasted me, his tongue starting at the top and working down, lapping carefully, cleaning me up thoroughly. I could tell when he came because he stiffened, shuddered, and swore under his breath, but he didn't pull back until he'd taken care of me.

Then he stood and walked toward the door.

I let him get there before I moved to stop him, pressing myself up against his back, my arms going around him.

"I can't fuck you tonight, if that's why you want me to stay."

"I don't need that."

He turned and stared down at me and then nodded and began to strip, grimacing as he peeled his shorts off. He was asleep before I slid in next to him, but he grunted out something that sounded like, "Yeah…" when I squirmed as close to him as I could get and put one hand on his ass, kissing his shoulder as his face was buried in his pillow.

For us, it'd been romantic.


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Part Nine

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