Summary: Jack and Daniel are in a casual relationship and Daniel decides he needs to change the rules
It felt like they had been doing this dance for at least a lifetime. The same damn steps to the same damn music. One-two-three, one-two-three...
Shall we talk?
Want a beer?
Had too much.
Let me help.
Hold me tight.
Don't let go.
The same damn waltz, over and over, and he couldn't remember who had decided that this was the tune they had to dance to - who the hell was leading whom. The first time was weeks after Daniel had descended. Jack had insisted he stay at Jack's place until his apartment was sorted out. He kept touching Daniel, as if he couldn't believe he was really there. They had gone to Jack's house, had a couple of beers... Next thing he knew he was tearing at Jack's pants while Jack was attempting to suck out Daniel's tonsils.
Daniel knew it was wrong for many reasons. For starters, there was the team to consider, not helped by the fact both Sam and Teal'c had been giving them knowing looks since the day after. Then there was Jack's career to consider, which Daniel had to do since Jack seemed disinclined to and apparently didn't give a damn about it.
Life was complicated enough without trying to match his steps to Jack O'Neill's. Maybe he should just end it, stop it right here; before he stumbled. He just needed to be the one to say stop. No more. No more frenzied scrambling to get out of their clothes, to grind hot sweaty bodies against each other. No more guilt. No more pulling on clothes while Jack pretended to be asleep, pretended not to notice that Daniel was leaving to go back to his own place, his own empty bed, so he didn't have to look him in the eyes and pretend everything was OK and nothing had changed. No.
"Want a beer?"
"Sure. Just one."
The answer was out of his mouth before he had time to think, as instinctive as breathing or blinking or checking out the way Jack's butt looked in jeans. So much for plans...
Jack was trying to act relaxed. When Jack was trying to act relaxed was when he was at his most tense. Prickles of awareness traced a path down Daniel's spine. They both knew where this was heading and both wanted it, even knowing that it was wrong on so many levels. He accepted the beer, gulping it down in several long swallows, knowing he shouldn't, knowing he needed to, not knowing what else to do.
Knowing he wanted to.
That was the killer. He wanted to. Jack could be leading this dance but Daniel was following just as fast as his feet could carry him. He wanted frenzied and naked and sweaty and, dammit, even the furtive made his heart pound faster and his groin twich. He stole a look at the man lounging on the couch, heart slamming up against his ribs when he saw the hunger on Jack's face, in the dark eyes that held him, stripping him bare so that flesh and soul were openly displayed. Wanting him. Had he felt this depth of hunger before his ascension? Had his time spent unable to touch, even though he couldn't remember it, made touching, tasting all the sweeter?
No, Jack, I'm not OK. I want you so much it feels like an addiction, eating away at my control, making me crave you, the taste of you, the –
"Yes, I'm fine." He paused, at a loss what to say, knowing what he would say, wanting to change it, wanting to...he didn't know what the hell he wanted and the words popped out before he'd thought in little more than vague feelings. "Drank too fast."
"Yeah, me, too."
Wasn't that part of the dance? That Jack drank a little too much, too fast, even if it was less than he'd drunk at last night's team meal? That beer went straight to Daniel-Cheap-Date's head, even though he'd been drinking moonshine on Abydos? That it was alcohol making them irresponsible and it wasn't really their fault they ended up in a sweaty, semen-splashed tangle?
"Sit by me?"
Daniel sat. Seconds later Daniel toppled onto his back, Jack pressing him into the couch cushions, a gloriously heavy weight covering him.
It was time to leave. He continued to lie, back pressed up against Jack, for a few extra, precious minutes. It was getting more difficult to leave each time, the loss of warmth and closeness more acute rather than getting easier to deal with.
He should leave.
Daniel slid away, knowing Jack would have his eyes closed but not looking back to check, this a part of the dance. This time they had scarcely paused for breath, let alone to undress, and he was still wearing his pants and underwear. A simple case of pulling on his crumpled shirt, tugging up his pants, fastening buttons, a moment to smooth his hair, find his glasses - where had they fallen? Ah, there they were, tucked safely where Jack always placed them, next to the couch out of harm's way. Funny how Jack took such care with them, even when things were frenzied. He reached for them and a hand reached for him, fastening about his wrist.
"Daniel, don't go. Please."
The beat had changed. He didn't know these steps, didn't know these rules.
Rolling off the couch, Jack released Daniel's wrist to tug up the pants slipping down his thighs. "I want to show you something."
Daniel followed, uncertain what to do, following Jack from habit.
The bedroom was lit by a single lamp on the nightstand. The bed was neatly made, no clothes scattered about, drawers closed, papers stacked as if it was on display and ready to be viewed by a prospective buyer. There was even a faint smell of jasmin. Jack headed over to the closet and pulled open both doors.
Daniel cast a questioning look at Jack then peered inside. Well...it was a closet. Clothes hangers stacked neatly along one rail while the other half of the closet was filled with Jack's clothes. Daniel spotted the jeans he liked Jack wearing beaneath a pair of pale chinos. Other than that...he was missing something.
The other half wasn't entirely empty. A jacket was hanging up, chocolate brown suede and missing for some time.
"Thanks, Jack. I wondered where that was." Daniel stepped closer, reaching for it and once again his wrist was caught. This time his hand was turned over and a kiss pressed against his palm then Jack was gazing at him steadily.
"Leave it. There's space for more. I cleared some shelves. There's a bookcase. I could clear more."
"Are you saying...?"
"I don't want you to leave."
His heart was beating ridiculously fast, a metallic taste in his mouth. He had to swallow to force words past his dry throat: "I - we can't do this. The others -"
"He can't be told." There was fleeting regret on Jack's face. "He watched me carry on without you, saw how I came alive when you came back. He already knows."
"The base. People will talk."
"Half the base thinks I'm screwing you already."
"The other half think you're a saint to put up with me. I think they might be right though I do think I have a shot at sainthood myself with the way you act sometimes..."
"I can't move in, Jack. This is crazy."
"'Well, sir, you see ever since Daniel came back he needs to be around people, probably because he was cut off from everyone, and I'd feel more comfortable if I could keep an eye on him. And the area his apartment is in isn't safe in my opinion. My house is more secure and, hell, it's a big place and I can't have a dog so the company would be appreciated...'"
"That's a little...calculated."
"Yes. If it gets you in my house and keeps Hammond happy I'll do it and whatever it takes. I'm tired of saying goodbye to you. I want you here. With me. All the time. No disappearing on me."
"There are so many reasons why this is a bad idea. There are reasons for the rules, Jack! What about Sam and Teal'c? What about the job, favoritism..."
"Daniel, you always had priority - from me, from Carter, from Teal'c. Like it or not you're a civilian and, yes, you're a member of the team but we're not going to stop watching out for you just that little bit more."
"I could stay tonight..."
Jack moved closer, making it hard to think, hard to refuse, his expression determined and dark eyes boring into Daniel, trying to will him and seduce him into agreeing. "Tonight's nearly over." One large hand lifted, calloused fingers drifting through Daniel's hair and outlining his jaw. "How about the weekend? Three nights to see what happens then Monday morning we go to work and we see what's changed."
"I don't want there to be a difference..." Daniel was ashamed of the pleading note in his voice, unable to stop the fear from bleeding through.
"I do. God, I am so sick of playing around with this. I never want to spend another night with you on that damn couch. I want to be in this bed with you right there next to me. I want to really fall asleep and know that when I wake up you'll still be there."
The hand in his hair had tightened a fraction, kneading his skull, thumb stroking his ear and sending pleasure spiralling through him. It was the plea in Jack's eyes he couldn't resist. "Maybe the weekend..."
"You could have that desk. Bring your laptop."
A half-chuckle, half-giggle bubbled up. "You're bribing me with a desk?"
Jack's eyebrows waggled. "I cleared the bookcases in the study..." He wrapped his arms around Daniel as he moved closer, rubbing his cheek into soft brown hair as Daniel smothered a laugh against Jack's shoulder.
"Let's just...try it for the weekend." Daniel's voice was muffled but the hope in it rang out clear.
"So we take off our clothes right now and we go lie in the bed. You'll be next to me. And you won't leave."
New rules. New steps. Ah well. Jack was used to playing the hero. If Daniel stumbled Jack would just have to catch him.