"Are you even listening to me?"

Not for the last three minutes, no. Even Daniel had a boredom threshold.

Daniel eyed Jack's flushed, angry face thoughtfully and gave him a disarming smile. "You're tense. Worked up."

"No shit. Do you have any idea how close you came to getting yourself --"

God, not again..."How about you lie down, and I'll rub your back?"

Jack obviously had no qualms about making gift horses floss and gargle. "Why would you do that?"

"Because you're a pain in the ass in this mood? And because when I'm done with you we can get onto the inevitable, usually spectacular, make-up sex?"

Suspicions lulled, Jack gave him a final narrow-eyed glare, stripped off, clearly with a view to saving time later, and lay down, still muttering under his breath about archeologists who didn't get their butts out of temples that were falling down around their ears.

Daniel flexed his fingers and opened the nightstand drawer reserved for him, although Jack had never come out and said it. "Scented or plain oil?"

"Come near me with anything that smells of flowers and I'll ..."

"Spank me?" Daniel said sweetly.

Jack twisted his head around and gave him a smug, infuriating grin before burying his head in the pillow, allowing Daniel to slide more than the oil out of the drawer. "Didn't know that got you off. Sure. If you ask nicely, Daniel."

So dead. So very, very dead...

Daniel straddled Jack after thoughtfully turning up the music that had been playing, unnoticed, in the background as Jack gave him hell for doing his job. There was a bit coming up in a few minutes; a crescendo of drums and a swelling chorus...

Jack sighed in pleasure as Daniel worked his way down, neck to shoulder to arm, finishing with Jack's right hand, spreading the long fingers and rotating his thumb into the relaxed, trusting cup of Jack's palm. "Mmm... feels good."

Daniel nodded placidly and snapped a cuff onto Jack's wrist, grinding his knee into the small of Jack's back to hold him in place as he fastened the other cuff to the headboard. It closed with a satisfying click.

"Daniel?" Jack sounded dangerously controlled for one syllable and then his voice cracked into a howl. "What the fuck are you playing at?"

"Oh, I don't think that qualifies as asking me nicely, do you?" Daniel chose a target visually --left cheek -- and scored a perfect hit with the flat of his hand. Oh. Loud. Interesting acoustics in the room. The music wound up and Daniel waited for the final note to shimmer into silence before answering, using the time to get to a prudent distance. Jack still had a hand, both feet, and his head free, after all.

And he didn't look relaxed but, for some reason, he wasn't rolling over. Odd. Daniel had expected him to twist over, lash out, but Jack was still on his belly, his uncuffed hand gripping a bunched up handful of sheet.

"Daniel. I won't ask again."

"Remember two weeks ago? We had that discussion about exploring our fantasies? You told me that you didn't have any, but expected me to spill mine."

"Someone had to go first."

"Mmm." Daniel patted Jack's ass, watching the resultant shiver with interest. "It's okay, Jack. I understand that you're uncomfortable with verbally expressing anything that comes close to being personal."

"Yeah, well..."

"And yet astonishingly loquacious in front of a fascinated audience of SFs when you're angry."

"Daniel, you can't expect me to watch you come close to dying and be calm about it."

"Actually, I can and do. At least until we're in private. Maybe not even then." Too tempting not to give that spare, solid chunk of muscle just one more slap ... "Don't change the subject."

"I wasn't." Jack's voice was dry, the outrage missing. "So this is your way of teaching me a lesson?"

"No." Daniel reached up and unfastened the cuff attached to the bed. "My way of finding out something you weren't going to tell me."

"Think you have?"

Daniel put his hand on Jack's hip and rolled him over just enough to see... oh, yes.

"What do you think?"

"I think this is something that needs both of us in the game to work."

Daniel ran his faintly warm palm across Jack's ass, feeling it flex up an involuntary inch. "Not a problem my end. Why do you think I have some cuffs to hand. So to speak."

Jack rose to his knees, snapped the cuff back in place, and glanced over his shoulder. "Well, get on with it then, will you?"

Daniel responded to Jack's attempt to take control of the situation by unlocking the cuff around Jack's wrist and crooking his finger. "Call me a traditionalist, but I think I'd like to do this my way." He smiled and quoted from memory. "'Get your ass over here, right the hell now.'"

"You want me over your knee?" Jack shook his head, his eyes widening. "No way, Daniel. No way."

"It's what I want." Daniel moved so that Jack had room to get into position. "And it's what you want. I don't really see the problem."

"The other... you made me." Jack's voice was down to a mutter. "I can't do this by myself."

"You want me to make you? Force you? Jack, I don't think I could do that." Daniel's voice lowered, too, matching Jack's. He sighed, staring down at the floor. "We don't have to do this. I was just angry and scared, I suppose."

"Scared?" Jack moved over to him and wrapped his arm around Daniel's shoulder, a sympathetic weight. "You didn't look it. Pissy, and screaming at everyone..."

"Rothman broke his wrist. My fault."

"Not your fault." Jack kissed the side of Daniel's face, as Daniel kept his head resolutely ducked. "Hey. Odds are, it was Rothman's hammering that set off the whole collapsing deal."

Filing that one away to think about later, because Jack's suspicions were usually reliable and in this case they matched his own, Daniel turned his head away with a long sigh. Jack chased his mouth, leaning forward, reaching around...


Daniel grabbed, shoved, and manhandled Jack down across his lap, one spread hand pressing down hard enough to be felt. "Got you."

Jack tensed up and Daniel counted to five in his head. If Jack had changed his mind...

On three, Jack relaxed, settling and shifting and arching his ass up, just the barest bit.

"Be gentle with me," he murmured, the quiver in his voice not coming close to being recognised as anything but amusement.

Daniel flexed his hand and decided to ignore that request until Jack asked him really nicely.

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