"What's that word the
good colonel keeps muttering under his breath?"
Wesley asked quietly, his lips curling in a smile, his head bent over a
book so old Daniel was breathing in shallow sips in case he ruffled the
"Geeks," Daniel told him without turning his head. He raised his voice. "Jack?"
"We'll be translating this for hours."
"You want coffee?"
Wesley stiffened, his blue eyes arctic, and Daniel patted his hand. Long fingers. Elegant and strong. "Don't worry." His voice went from soft murmur to conversational again. "You bring a liquid anywhere near these books, Jack, and I'll strangle you with the strap of your P-90. Just go."
"He mouthed something else that time," Wesley observed as the library door swung closed. "And what's a P-90?"
"You don't want to know the first and the second… oh, it's a gun." Daniel waved his hand vaguely. "Rifle. Automatic. Something."
"And now you're underestimating me," Wesley said, one dark eyebrow lifting. "I appreciate that there are some things you can't tell me -- the exact reason why the US Air Force has even a passing interest in this book, for instance -- but please don't ask me to believe that you work with a man like that and don't know the details of his choice of sidearm."
"Why would an archeologist know about weapons?" Daniel parried.
"You're far from being just an archeologist," Wesley replied, his attention returning to the book. "Ah, now this is interesting… look, Doctor Jackson --"
He got a quick, sidelong glance. "You Americans are so delightfully informal. I wasn't permitted to call my father by his real name until I was ten."
"You didn't just call him 'Dad'?" Daniel frowned, suspecting a trap, or a joke, both of which were equally hard to negotiate. "What was his real name?"
"You total fucking bastard," Wesley said equably.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to… oh." Daniel grimaced. "Right. Got it. Sorry."
"No, I'm sorry. Unforgivable of me to embarrass you for the sake of a cheap crack at a man 4,000 miles away." Wesley pulled a notebook closer. "Right. I think we can agree that the use of this word here modifies the preceding verb, correct?"
"Wesley…" Daniel couldn't resist putting his hand on Wesley's again, just for a moment, earning him a surprised, speculative look. It was cool, well-kept, but there was a slash of dried blood across the back of it, a bruise dark against the pale skin as if something had struck it with force. "We can take a break."
"No." Wesley rubbed a hand through his smooth hair, rumpling it into youthfulness, the tension around his mouth deepening. "It's going to be dark soon."
"And, what? You've got a date?" Daniel said doubtfully. Wesley didn't seem the sort… "What do people do on Saturday night in Sunnydale, anyway?"
"You don't want to know," Wesley said. "But they tend to prefer to do it in their own homes if they're wise. Please be careful after sunset, Doctor -- Daniel. I know Colonel O'Neill is probably a very competent fighter, but he's not armed right now, one presumes --"
"One would presume wrong," Daniel said with certainty. "Jack's got something. Count on it. And even stripped naked he's still got his hands and feet. And his head."
Wesley swallowed. "Well, thank you for that interesting image," he said. "Christ."
"You must have seen him." There was that sidelong glance again, piercing and unhappy. "Were you interested?"
"In Jack?" Daniel gave a choke of laughter. "Noooo."
"I see." Wesley coloured faintly, his glasses reflecting the light and making his expression hard to read. "Look, Daniel, we really don't have much time. Mr. Giles will require the library later --"
"It's Saturday night!" Daniel protested. "Why would a school librarian be hanging around that late at the weekend?"
"He's very thorough," Wesley said abstractedly. "Working on a new system of cross-referencing."
"And that would've worked on Jack, whose eyes would've glazed over at the thought of it, but not on me."
Wesley sighed. "Can we just accept that we both have secrets we can't share and leave it at that?"
There wasn't much Daniel could do but nod. "Can we accept that we've both got one secret we can share?"
Wesley bit his lip, the flush deepening. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean --" He glanced across, his eyes haunted. "You mustn't tell -- God, no, of course you won't. I'm sorry, I'm just... you're so very --"
Daniel slid his hand into Wesley's. It was warm now, the palm slightly damp. "You said there was a section on Egyptology?"
Wesley stared at their linked hands. "Yes… at the back, in the stacks."
Using the tone Jack used and hoping it worked better on Wesley than it did on him, Daniel said firmly, gently, "Show me?"
Wesley rose to his feet, his tongue licking nervously across his lips. "Yes, of course."
"Show me everything," Daniel whispered a minute later, his hands busy, his mouth travelling over bared skin, smooth and scarred in more places than it should have been.
Wesley moaned in his ear, his hands scrabbling frantically, eagerly at Daniel's belt. They froze and Daniel jerked back. "What? Wesley is this too--?"
"No, no, I want to, I do, it's just --" Wesley's face twisted in an agony of indecision. "I know what it means, Daniel. The final section. I can -- I can see it. I need to write it down before I forget --"
Daniel leaned his head against Wesley's shoulder, the black suit jacket he'd stripped off the man lying at their feet. "Wesley?"
"Jack was right."
"We're geeks?" Wesley said sadly.
"Yeah." Daniel pulled out a notebook and pencil. "Dictate. Fast."
Wesley smiled, a proper smile for the first time, shy and amused. "Aren't geeks known for their ability to multitask?" He fell to his knees and finished unfastening Daniel's pants and then began to talk, his words muffled at times, Daniel's pencil skidding over the paper, his fingers gripping the pencil tighter and tighter until it snapped and he tossed paper and wood to the ground.
Saving the world -- again -- could wait just a few minutes. Just…a… oh God, yes --
"Daniel!" Jack's bellow held something new, a trace of panic. "Get your ass down here! Something with teeth just attacked me and I'm bleeding like a stuck pig."
"What?" Wesley pulled back, leaving Daniel whimpering with frustration and fury and grabbed at the two pieces of broken pencil, examining them and then tossing them aside with a muttered curse. Latin. "Daniel?"
"Mmm?" Daniel said tightly, trying to fit himself back into a no longer adequate space.
"You know I said we had secrets that had to stay that way?"
"Mmmhmm." Maybe if he angled it to the left…
"Colonel O'Neill has been bitten by a vampire and may possibly have to be staked through the heart."
"He called you a geek, Wesley; there's no need to take it personally; he says it to me all the time!"
Wesley rolled his eyes, grabbed a really long, wooden -- yes, a stake, had to be -- from his jacket pocket, and got to his feet. "Stay behind me and don't interfere. I am a member of the Watcher's Council of Great Britain and fully trained to deal with --"
"It turned to dust, Daniel," Jack said, appearing at the end of the row of shelves, his hand pressed to a wound on his neck. "You'd have been sneezing for hours." His eyes tracked over the scene in front of him and he averted his eyes. Jack's manners weren't bad, Daniel reflected, zipping up without any problem because Jack had that effect on him. Not when it came to the things that mattered.
"You staked it?" Wesley asked, his eyes wide. "Through the heart?" He gave Jack a grudging nod of approval. "That's awfully good for an amateur."
"Who is this guy?" Jack mouthed to Daniel. "Staked? No."
"Then how did you return it to its natural state?" Wesley demanded, his eyes flashing suspiciously. He bent down and grabbed the pencil halves, forming them into a cross and thrusting them into Jack's face. "Or are you already a soulless creature of the night and lying about killing your sire?"
The pencil pieces clattered to the floor a moment later and Jack bared his very human teeth. "I ripped its head off and I'll do the same to you if you don't step the hell away from my archeologist and tell me what's going on."
Daniel drew in a sharp, outraged breath. "Your archeologist? Since when?"
An annoyed, very English voice rang out from the library floor. "Wesley? What's going on? The place is crawling with -- Wesley?"
Wesley turned pink. "Ah. Mr. Giles. I should really… he'll want to know… the mayor. Oh, dear." He gave Daniel an apologetic look. "You've got what you need? What you wanted?"
"I've got what I came here for," Daniel said very precisely, picking up his notebook.
A smile of complete comprehension lit up Wesley's face. "Thank you."
Daniel nodded, and watched Wesley leave, feeling wistful.
"There's a door over there," Jack said after studying his face. "Carter and Teal'c are waiting. You ready?"
Daniel ran his hand over the backs of the books on the shelf beside him, breathing in the familiar, well-loved smell of paper and ink. "Yes."
"You've got a million worlds to play in, Daniel," Jack said, his voice gentle, his hand touching Daniel's shoulder lightly. "You just don't belong in this one."
"I know," Daniel said. He picked up Wesley's jacket and left it over the back of a chair as they walked toward the exit. "But it was nice to visit."
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