Pushed Into It

Many thanks to Green Grrl and Destina for their wonderful beta reading of this fic.

"Daniel?" Jack put a reprimand inside the name, a rock inside a snowball, and gestured with a sweat-sticky hand he'd had to peel off the butt of his P-90.

Boots. Socks. Off. And now Daniel was rolling up the legs of his BDUs, damn it.

"If we have to leave in a hurry, there's a lot of ground to cover, and doing it barefoot would suck," Jack pointed out.

Daniel gave him one of his puzzled, hurt smiles, as if he thought there was a joke he was missing, because surely Jack couldn't mean it. "You told me it was important to keep my boots dry," he reminded Jack. "Said you once had yours on your feet, soaking wet, for four days, and you couldn't walk for a week afterwards, because the blisters you got were worse than the bullet hole in your leg."

"We're heading home in an hour. An hour in wet boots won't hurt you." Jack frowned, something his muscles did without thinking around Daniel these days, bunching here, furrowing there, bit of work with the eyebrows. "And why would they get wet? Why the sudden urge to paddle?"

The trees around the lake rustled in the warm breeze and Jack's attention split between Daniel and the forest. This world felt empty, felt safe, had since they stepped through the 'gate.

Worried the hell out of him. And even though he could see Carter and Teal'c half a mile away, small figures getting samples from the rocky ridge that formed one wall of the valley, he still wished they were closer.

"I saw something. Something in the water." Daniel waved vaguely at the wooded hill behind him, the sun glancing off his glasses, hiding his eyes as effectively as Jack's sunglasses shielded his. "From up there. It looks like a statue or something, a fallen statue, half-buried. The water's shallow; I want to take a look." He stood, the soft white sand of the narrow beach slippering his bare feet. "This lake could have been formed when a river flooded the plain." Daniel smiled at Jack, blindingly bright. "There could be a whole city under there."

"Yeah, and there could be the local equivalent of Jaws."

Daniel shrugged, took out a piece of stiff, fluff-covered beef jerky from his jacket pocket, and hurled it out into the limpid blue. The water swallowed it with a silent, undramatic gulp and the ripples died away a moment later. "See?"

Jack nodded a grudging assent and moved, trying to find the place where he could do the impossible and look in two directions at once. Daniel discarded his pack and vest and waded out, water rainbowing up around him, his arms held out to the side as if he was fighting a strong wind. "It is a statue," he called back. He spread his feet wider and bent over. "Broken, though, not buried."

He was close enough to the shore that Jack could see the dark streaks the kicked-up water had left on the green of his pants, clinging fingermarks, touching Daniel in places Jack's hands had never been, pressing greedily against the hidden skin.

Jack blinked, and punished himself for staring by looking steadfastly at a boring bush for a full thirty seconds. It didn't move, burn, or disgorge a hidden army. Fair enough. Daniel's turn again.

Daniel had moved out far enough in the time he'd looked away that Jack felt a tug of panic, left over from when Charlie couldn't swim but loved the water. Stupid; Daniel swam well enough, the water was only up to his knees, and if the bottom dropped away sharply, he'd only get wet.

"You have to come and see this, Jack…"

"Really don't."

"I'm going to…" Daniel didn't finish his sentence just headed back for the shore, leaving a turbulent roil of churned-up water in his wake.

"Going to what?" Jack asked when Daniel was beside him again, bare calves beaded with water, gritted with sand.

"Swim. I need to go out just a little more and it's too deep for me to -- I'll need to go under."


Daniel dropped his boonie in the sand, sending up a puff of glittering grains, and tugged off his T-shirt. His BDUs were half-unbuttoned when Jack clamped a restraining hand over Daniel's busy ones. "What part of 'no' did your trained ears interpret as 'Yes, Daniel, go and do a mermaid impression for me?'"

Daniel glanced down significantly and Jack tightened his mouth and his hand, refusing to back down. "Jack, I want to bring some of the artifacts up to the surface. I need to get wet to do that, but I'm not even going to be out of my depth. Don't you think you're being a little overprotective?"

"Then wade in and get them! Just don't see why you're skinny-dipping!" Jack stepped back with a huff of frustration and Daniel's BDUs dropped to the floor.

"I'm not." Daniel tapped a finger against the white briefs he wore. "See?"

Jack reached out and hooked a finger in the waistband of the briefs, pulling the elastic out and releasing it with a snap. "Yeah."

Daniel's mouth hung open, his eyes wide. Jack bent, picked up the discarded boonie, and jammed it on Daniel's head. "That stays on, okay? It's hot out here."

"Want to put some sun screen on my back as well?" Daniel sounded curious, not offended, even though Jack was sweating plenty over what he'd just done. His finger had found the hollow of Daniel's hip, slid over warm, secret skin, and there'd been a moment, before he let go, when he'd seen a flattened dark shadow of hair against the pale flesh. Way out of line. Way.

"You won't be out there long enough to need it." Jack tapped his watch. "Ten minutes, and I'm calling it."

"Jack --"

"Nine minutes, fifty-five seconds."

Daniel, in briefs, a boonie, and a scowl, waded back out. Wet, the briefs turned all but transparent. Jack concentrated on smiling at the incongruous sight of the boonie perched on top of Daniel's brown hair and mostly naked body, and turned to scan the shore when his gaze dropped south for the third time in as many minutes.

He could hear Daniel puffing and splashing, mingled noises of satisfaction and frustration floating over on the empty air. Had to look, just had to… And he picked the exact moment when Daniel dived under, ass up, thin white cotton plastered to the spare curves, delineating the divide of his backside with a mouth-drying attention to detail. Daniel's boonie floated beside him, filled, and sank. Now, that was coming out of his wages, dammit.

Daniel's feet waved briskly in the air and an automatically counted eighty-four seconds later, just as Jack was contemplating the dubious joy of needing to give him mouth-to-mouth, he turned right way up. His raised hands were filled with a piece of shaped, carved stone and the water lapped at his shoulders.

"Jack! Look!"

Jack sketched a bored wave of the hand because Daniel would expect that reaction, before giving the shoreline a quick, dutiful once-over. Daniel was going to be walking towards him through the shallows soon, wet briefs both sagging and clinging, and he didn't want to miss any of that crowded, glorious minute.

And while he was studying a bird, preening and squawking on a branch, the sultry drowse of the afternoon was broken by a pained cry from Daniel and -- more worrying -- a splash as he dropped what he was holding.

"Daniel? What the hell?" Jack was running a moment later, sand spurting up as his boots skidded, his P-90 bumping his hip.

"Fine! I'm fine," Daniel called. He hadn't got far; the lake was smacking kisses against his nipples. "Just got my foot stuck and I think --ow. Ankle. Ow."

"Well, get it unstuck, and get your ass on dry land," Jack snapped, relief making him terse.

"Working on it…" Daniel took a deep breath and ducked under. He emerged a few moments later, gasping and shaking his wet hair back. "Okay, little bit of help here?"

"I knew it. I knew this would lead to trouble--" Jack gave the forest behind him an irresolute glare and thumbed his radio. "Carter? Wrap it up, and meet us at the lake. Daniel's hurt his foot paddling, and we're due back soon, anyway."

"Sir? Is he all right?"

"He's in the middle of the lake, Carter. Foot stuck, don't ask me how. You know Daniel. No immediate danger. I'm going to investigate. O'Neill out."

He looked up at the ridge and saw Teal'c begin to gather up their equipment and the flash of light as Carter took a look through her binoculars. Waving to show they were fine, he stripped off his vest -- no point getting his spare ammo wet -- laid it on a rock, and propped his P-90 beside it. Kept his boots on, though.

Walking away from his weapon was hard to do, but Daniel's face was screwed up in a mixture of pain and panic and that made it easier.

"Just relax," he called out, as the water rose around him, blood-warm and fresh. "Worst comes to the worst, I've got a knife. And a grenade. I'll get you out."

"Comforting thought."

"I like to look on the bright side."

He reached Daniel, smiling without feeling amused about anything much, to paper over the weirdness of holding a conversation in the middle of a lake.

"Actually, the knife might be useful." Daniel licked damp lips wetter. "There's a crack in the rock -- my fingers won't fit."

That didn't make a lot of sense. Jack took a breath, frowning again, and ducked under. The water was surprisingly buoyant considering it was fresh, not salt, and he popped back up again before he had time to register more than a dazzle of sun-lit water and the wavering lines of Daniel's body. Daniel grimaced. "That happened to me, too, and I usually sink like a stone. Hold onto me," he suggested. "Use me as an anchor point."

He could use all the technical phrases he wanted, but it still meant that Jack was going to have to put his hands on Daniel's near-naked body. He stood, biting his lip, and studying Daniel's face for any signs of indecision to match his own.

"Jack? I'm not very comfortable like this."

"What? Oh. Sure." Jack nodded, and then, on an impulse, reached out and slipped Daniel's glasses off his nose. The water on them had dried and left them smeared and smudged. Jack huffed on them and used his wet T-shirt to polish them. It made them worse, but he wasn't going to admit that. "Better."

He expected Daniel to take them off him, but Daniel stood quiescent, waiting for Jack to replace them, which he did, awkwardly, getting Daniel's hair caught under the hook of the arms, and having to slide his fingers along the thin skin covering Daniel's skull to tug the hair free. He felt the faint tremor as Daniel clenched his teeth, a signal transmitted through bone and flesh to vibrate against his fingertips, cryptic and barely there.

The slow relaxation of the skin as Daniel sighed in an elongated exhalation punctuated by a throaty 'Oh…' was even less easy to decipher, because Jack wouldn't let himself go for the obvious, the simple. This was Daniel, after all.

As he pulled his hands back, his fingers brushed the curve of Daniel's ears sequentially, each finger mapping the arched whorl until he had the shape captured in the echoing curve of his hand.

The water lapped between them in small, contained waves as he placed his hands on Daniel's hips, thumbs rigid, fingers stiff, and felt the answering, helpful pressure as Daniel put his hands on Jack's shoulders and pushed him down to his knees.

It brought back strong, visceral memories, the sort that could hurt or heal as potently a decade later as a day. He'd gone to his knees like this in a prison, in a bedroom, in an alley. Hating, willing, needing, in that order. Three different pairs of hands, three different men.

All of them had left bruises, bitten into the thin flesh of his shoulders. Daniel was being careful, being kind. Jack wanted bruises, Daniel-made bruises, wanted something he could remember, and touch with his idle hand as he worked aching hardness soft again in the refuge of his own bed.

He let Daniel's hands send him under, his descending mouth inches away from Daniel's body, glassed-over temptation, out of reach, out of range, out of bounds. He had time to triangulate the distance between his lips, pursed, leaking air, and Daniel's right nipple, hard and tight even in this warm water, the dark dent of his navel, the sharp point of his hip…

His knees struck sand in a hollow, soundless thud and he lurched forward, fighting to keep his head upright on his neck. It wanted to bend, offering up the nape of his neck for Daniel's curious fingers, taking his mouth to where it could shape itself usefully to a circle, a hole to be fucked, filled, taken.

He should have been moving, pivoting, one hand braced on Daniel's hip, the other fumbling out the knife sheathed at his waist. Should be visually assessing the problem, quick, quick, fast, before his lungs protested, and he had to rise to break the surface. It might be a scant foot above his head, but his lungs didn't care how close the air was; it was still out of reach.

And he wasn't doing any of that, because his blurred, blinking eyes were watching the amorphous shape of Daniel's dick uncurl, straighten, stiffen, fill.

When it was flat against Daniel's belly, angled to the left, rising from the heavy, tight balls, Daniel's hands flexed on Jack's shoulders without adding an ounce of downward push, telling him:

See. Look. This is what you do to me.

Clear as a bell.

Jack looked up into blue on blue on blue. Water, sky, and Daniel's eyes. Daniel was staring down at him, lips parted, the way they always were when he was thinking.

Time to look away. Time to do his duty. Jack twisted and glanced down, eyeballs washed dry by the water, stinging. He could see what had happened. Daniel's foot had slid, gloved hand snug, between two pieces of rock, his forward momentum dislodging a baby boulder, part of a statue, that looked like this world's version of a bunch of grapes. The carving had fallen across Daniel's ankle, trapping him. And Daniel had been unable to free himself without Jack's help because -- because --

For no damned reason at all.

Jack shifted the boulder with one hand and eased Daniel's foot free. The abraded skin across the top of Daniel's ankle welled blood, strands and filaments of scarlet winding upward through the glassy-clear water, and Jack saw the faint blue of nascent bruises scattered across and under the pale skin. One of Daniel's toenails was torn, jagged. Tender, hurting skin and bone, cradled in his palm. He released Daniel's foot and Daniel planted it down firmly in the sand and let it take his weight. His toes curled and spread, digging into the granular surface, sending flurries of sand rising in a cloud.

Jack's hand cuffed Daniel's ankle, his fingers not quite meeting around it, tendon and bone flexing experimentally under his grip. Not broken. Good --

Blood thrummed insistently in his ears, matching, amplifying, the throb of blood in his dick. He rose to his feet and gained the surface, dragging his hand up the long, wet-sleek length of Daniel's leg, as his reward for freeing him, feeling Daniel's hands slide away from his shoulders.

Jack panted silently, water coursing down his face as he replenished his lungs. He'd been down there longer than he'd thought. His ears drained as he shook his head, water droplets spinning out from his hair and flashing bright in the sunlight, and he heard the distant sound of people approaching fast. Carter would've been worried, Teal'c concerned. They'd be hurrying.

"Rain check?" Short, choppy words, because Daniel filled in the blanks better than anyone Jack had ever met.

God, Daniel's mouth could get stubborn fast. "No."


"You won't do it. You'll find so many reasons why it's impossible that --"

"Find?" Jack shook his head. "I don't need to look; they're right there."

"See?" Daniel rolled his eyes and then stepped a few inches closer, too close. "Now. It won't take long."

God, sometimes Daniel, sweet, thoughtful Daniel, according to most of the females at the SGC, could be a sadistic little bastard. Jack thought about what it'd take to make Daniel come; a touch, a word, a smack, a kiss?

"I'm in uniform." Jack felt it hanging heavy on him, government-issue, weighed down with water. Add guilt, and his knees would buckle. Really didn't want to send a mixed message like that.

"And I'm almost naked." Daniel pursed his lips. "I could make that completely naked. We've got time. Thirty seconds. I promise it's all you'll need, and no, that's not normal for me; I'm just very aroused and I've been waiting a very long time."

"No!" Jack breathed in and out twice before he trusted himself to speak again. Daniel was aroused? Daniel had been waiting? "You get your ass out of here and get dressed before the rest of my team get back, you hear me?"

Daniel sketched a mocking salute that made Jack want to hit him, and turned towards the shore, his hand managing to find, caress, and torment Jack's erection in the space of the quarter-turn. "Yes, sir."

"Daniel…" Jack splashed after him, wading in his wake, a roar of anger and outrage he couldn't voice swelling his chest painfully. "Dammit --" He launched himself forward, tackling him, plastered to Daniel's back as they fell forward into shallow water, inches deep.

He expected Daniel to fight, ass squirming, grinding, against Jack's erection the whole fucking time. Instead, Daniel was thrashing around under him, uncoordinated as hell, and Jack realized that with his weight on Daniel, and given the depth of the water, Daniel couldn't lift his face clear of it enough to breathe.

Jack braced himself on one hand, levered up enough to give himself room, and flipped Daniel over, dropping back down on him at once.

Daniel's eyes opened, staring up through the water, drowned blue.

Jack filled his lungs and ducked under, sealing his mouth to Daniel's and feeling the strong, stubborn, sulky lips part under his. The water ran through his short hair like fingers, like Daniel's would, lifting it from his scalp in a delicate caress.

Okay, Daniel would probably be more likely to tear and snatch at it, just to hear Jack howl, then blame it on getting carried away by whatever Jack's mouth had been doing to him.

The shared air took the edge off Daniel's need enough that as Jack began to pull back, after a warning touch of his hand to the spur of Daniel's jaw, Daniel had calmed enough to lick inside Jack's mouth. It was intrusive, rather than sexual; an attack, not a come-on, and it still had Jack's wet body jerking, heating, singing.

The blue eyes held satisfaction and a little triumph when he looked at them next.

The next exchange of air was slower, more deliberate. They knew what they were doing, and Daniel lay trustingly still under Jack, bare skin gleaming, mouth greedy, water-dark hair floating in thick strands.

Third time, Jack made him wait, just to see --

Daniel smiled up, secure, smug, safe. A double-dare smile.

Too easy, Daniel? Okay. Daniel's fingers curled and clung as Jack pinned his hands to the sand, Daniel's legs kicked, Daniel's head shook side to side, a clear no…

And Jack made him come anyway, one hand free, Daniel's wrists bony and hard against his palm, and watched Daniel's borrowed air burst out of his mouth, silver bubbles, rising fast, as Jack's hand palmed Daniel's cock roughly.

Come clouded the water and dissipated fast.

Jack transferred both hands to Daniel's face, cupping it, gripping it, and hauled him up out of the water in a flurry of splashes and curses and blows.

Daniel was gasping, nose streaming, gulping air and using it to chant obscenities.

Okay. He could talk. No damage done.

Jack stood, eyes on the as-yet-empty shoreline, and held out a hand to Daniel, warning him, "Pull me in, and I'll hurt you, Daniel. Playtime's over."

"You weren't playing."

Daniel's shoulders were red and scuffed by the sand he'd lain against as he limped away, Jack following. Carter and Teal'c were close now. Had to be. And Jack's dick was one sullen, throbbing ache of protest and it could stay that way because he wasn't taking care of it. Not here.

Daniel began to dress, with sharp jerking tugs when his clothes stuck on his wet skin. Still in one hell of a temper.

Jack pulled his vest back on, and picked up his P-90, feeling less naked "You got what you wanted."

He hadn't meant to say that; hadn't planned to mention what had happened at all until they were back home and alone, but Daniel had just bent over to pick up his socks and Jack could have sworn he'd wriggled his ass.


"You got to come," Jack clarified, lowering his voice and feeling awkward about the whole damn mess.

"That wasn't what I wanted." Daniel didn't sound pissed now; just tired. He sat on the rock Jack had used and put on one boot, tying it with a careful, exhausted attention to detail. The second boot he held, staring at it, before working the laces wider.

Oh, yeah. That was going to hurt going on.

Jack knelt in front of him. "Let me get that."

Daniel wouldn't let go of the boot.

Jack glared at him, his hand clamped around the heel of the boot. "Let me do it."

"I can do it myself."

"I want to do it."

"I don't care!"

An amused, slightly breathless voice interrupted them. "If Daniel's Cinderella, guess that makes us the Ugly Sisters, Teal'c."

Carter was loaded down with equipment, sweating, and still looked fresh and ready for anything. Go figure.

"We are not related, Major Carter, and you are not ugly."

And good timing, because he'd just been about to beat Daniel to death with a piece of his uniform, and there were regs about that, he was sure of it.

"His ankle's swollen," Jack told them. "Might need to make him a crutch or something."

"I'm fine." Daniel took advantage of Jack's divided attention and took possession of his boot, jamming it onto his foot and going two shades paler with the pain.

"Daniel --" Jack gave up and shook his head. "Fine." After knocking Daniel's hands away, he tied the bootlaces, making sure they were tight enough to give some support, and then got to his feet, stretching his hand down and hooking it under Daniel's elbow. "And we're moving out, people."

Daniel made it solo for about five minutes and then let Jack help him. Not that Jack had given him much choice; Daniel was starting to fall behind and that wasn't going to happen. Not when he was the slowest-moving of the party. Teal'c and Carter were too laden with equipment to have a shoulder spare, and Jack was closest to Daniel's height anyway. They ended up falling into a forced unison of a march, matching their steps and finding a rhythm, their arms moving from shoulders to waists as they tried to find the best hold.

"I wanted to," Jack told him after a while. The other two were out of earshot, though not out of sight. Daniel's hand tightened its grip on Jack's jacket, pulling it down so that the seam on the shoulder cut in.

"What? Drown me? Good job."

"Fuck you," Jack said mildly. Sometimes he thought that the universe couldn't cope with Daniel and him both being pissed off at the same time; Daniel only had to get that tight-lipped snippiness going for Jack's own peevishness to melt like snow in rain.

"Don't count on it."

Jack could hear Cassie drawling, "Whatever," in his head and wondered if Daniel would roll his eyes the way Janet had if he borrowed Cassie's favorite response. Probably.

"Your timing…" Okay, he couldn't say 'sucked'. Not without both of them thinking what it would've been like if he had. Daniel would've been hot in his mouth, clean and tasteless at first, lake-washed, with Jack's nose out of commission under the water, his ears dulled, all texture and shape, so Jack could've got acquainted slowly, one step at a time.

Daniel's cock in his mouth when Jack could see, hear, taste, and smell would have been overwhelming.


"Big time."

"You want an apology?"

"Would be nice."

"Fuck you"

"You can do that." Jack made the next slide of his hand down Daniel's back to his waist slower, more of a drag, pushing the touch through layers of fabric and smiling at the cat-stretch arch Daniel gave him back. "You always could have. If you'd asked at the right time."

"There never was a right time. There never is. I got tired of waiting."

"You? Mr. Take-his-time, let's do it right?"

There was sweat dripping through Daniel's hair now as well as water, and his face was flushed. He looked a mess, bedraggled and panting, and Jack wanted him doing that when he was naked, properly naked, with an intensity of need he found terrifying because of how vulnerable it left him.

"When it's important, I'm not always patient."

"Now, see, that's not right," Jack told him. "Big stuff, well, you're always good at hanging on in there. And this is -- oh. This isn't important?"

Daniel's eyes slanted him a look, half sympathetic, half annoyed. "It's important. Of course, it is. It's just -- this has been going on for months, Jack. It's too long when neither of us is saying anything about it. I'm not stupid. I know it's a problem for you. I've probably come up with reasons why it's a disaster in the making that you haven't even thought of."

"Somehow, I doubt it."

"Well, I don't plan on comparing notes." Daniel missed a step and their hips bumped, the jarring contact bringing them together and then pushing them apart. "But we just did… something, and the sky didn't fall, and now --"

"Now we're going to talk." Jack let Daniel set the pace and fell into step. "Not right now, now. Later now."


"What? Yeah, I promise."

"You'll have to drive me home," Daniel said thoughtfully.

"Okay…" Jack wasn't sure where Daniel was going with this, but, yes, he could do that.

"Then stop for a beer. It's the least I can do."

"I suppose I --"

"And there's bound to be a game on that you want to watch."

"It's not the hockey season."

"It's always the hockey season."

"Good point."

"And you won't be watching it, anyway. I don't have a television in my bedroom."


"Which is where you'll be."

"Of course I will," Jack said agreeably. "Talk a little louder, why don't you? I don't think the two in front heard you."

In fact, Daniel was doing a good job of not whispering -- which always carried -- and not mentioning names -- which always made people pay attention. His voice was a low tickle in Jack's ear, no more. It didn't mean Jack wasn't uncomfortable as hell. He had an exhibitionist streak in him, sure, but not about sex. Sex was private. He couldn't believe he'd just jerked Daniel off outside, with the rest of his team close by. God.

"You think I can't be discreet."

"No." Jack sighed. "No, you can. I know that. It's just safer if there's nothing to be discreet about."

"Then you'd better knock off the longing looks at my ass."

"I don't." Jack hitched Daniel's weight up a bit higher and got them over a fallen log. "Really. Seriously. If you expect me to get flustered by that, I won't. Because I don't."


"I'm not doing this," Jack said. "It's tempting, and it would be kind of reassuring on a day that hasn't turned out the way I expected at all, but I'm not doing the did/didn't, do/don't routine with you right now."

"Just the fucking, then? That's still going to happen?"

"Don't think I've got much choice about that, have I?"

Daniel was silent for three steps. "I can be pushy."

"Yes, you can."

"A lot of people don't get that about me."

"Huh. No kidding? They actually miss the bone-deep stubbornness, the way you argue until the other guy drops dead of old age, the fact that you're a total fucking spoiled brat at times? What, are they blind?"

"They think I'm shy."

"Now, see, I find that hard to believe after that little stunt you pulled back there."

"But I'd never push you into something this big if it wasn't what you wanted."

It was Jack's turn to be silent. Want. Want was easy. Need was easy, too. It was giving in and taking that was hard. Well, okay, saying no was hard, too…

He sighed. "Daniel, if you don't push me, it's not going to happen. Trust me on this. I just… I can't. I'm not supposed to, and I can't get past that."

"You want seducing? Persuading?"

"No." Jack stared ahead, watching Carter and Teal'c's backs move from sunlight to shadow. "Skip that part. It's a done deal."

"I don't understand, then."

"Work it out," Jack told him. He let his hand lift to stroke through Daniel's damp hair, combing it roughly into neatness. "You know where I live. You know when it's safe. You know what we can do and what we can't. I'll teach you how to be careful about leaving marks."

He felt the shock race through the body he was supporting and smiled grimly, though his voice sounded gentle enough. "You gave a lot away back there, Daniel."

"So did you."

Jack nodded and picked up the pace. It wouldn't be tonight, no matter what Daniel had planned, not when Daniel was hurt, but Jack still wanted to get back home.

And wait to give up even more than he had. Wait, with the patience he'd learned, been taught, for Daniel to come to him again.

And push.

It wouldn't take much.

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