Keep it Secret

She never told her love, But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud, Feed on her damask cheek .

Jack's always been good at the blank face, the distant, empty stare when he's being lectured. Nothing a superior officer can call you on, nothing you can be made to drop and give them twenty for (except they don't need a reason for that, they never have). He can make it insulting, noncommittal, subtly discouraging; amazing how versatile no expression can be.

And he's glad of all those years he's spent perfecting it because it means he can watch Daniel strip down until he's bare as the day he was born, body wet with alien water, warmed by an alien sun, and be safe behind that blank-brick-façade as he guards him, weapon ready, attention split, the images gathered and stored, grain for the winter.

If he had to choose one moment, out of all of them, he thinks Daniel's anguished yelp as he tips a trickle of water out of his boot, accidentally soaking his spare pair of socks, is the keeper.

Daniel sees him looking and gives him a rueful grin. Jack smiles back, involuntary, unplanned, the mask cracking, letting Daniel see (too much, everything, all of it) --

-- knowing Daniel's as good at concealment as he is and all that Daniel's face will reflect is a shared amusement.

Doubly safe.

Or not safe at all.

He can never work that one out…

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