Summary: Daniel needs a hand. Jack will do anything for a friend.
Info: Written for the Pepesplace Elvis Challenge.
It takes Jack a while to find him, but there's a tightness around Daniel's eyes and a definite forced quality to his laughter when Jack finally spots him.
The amount of diplomacy and ass-licking going on in the SGC tonight is making Jack feel edgy and slightly reckless - he never did understand the necessity for politicians. He's yet to meet one he actually likes. The woman who has Daniel cornered, for example, could really do with a lesson in subtlety. Daniel's not the kind of guy who reacts well to blatant. Jack knows this.
He watches as Daniel shifts his body away from hers every time she moves closer. Jack notices how nervously Daniel plays with his fingers and how his eyes won't hold hers, even though he's smiling and talking animatedly. These are all Danielisms for, "help!"
When her aide interrupts her, Jack sees his chance.
Daniel smiles politely as she tell him that she'll be back in just a moment, but Jack is there before the smile has even faded.
"If it were this or sticking forks in my legs, I'd go with the forks," Daniel says, his voice low and his expression bland, never giving away that he's in any way disgruntled.
"That's too bad. We could really use her goodwill," Jack says sounding so serious, he almost has himself fooled.
Daniel sighs quietly and sips his wine.
"Of course, I suppose..."
Daniel's eyes are instantly alert and he licks his lips. "Anything, Jack, just get me out of here."
Jack must have given away his intent in the tone of his voice, because Daniel's eyes flicker to him speculatively.
"So what's it worth?"
"How do you mean?" Daniel asks carefully.
"I can get you out of the party, Daniel. For a price."
"What do you want?" Daniel growls a little and Jack has to cover a small shiver with a sip of his government funded Chardonnay.
"What have you got?" Jack likes to live dangerously.
Daniel thinks for a moment. "You remember Sunday?"
"Yeeeees," Jack hedges even though he knows damn well that Daniel sees through him every time.
"That... thing you liked?" Daniel elaborates with a significant and rather sexy lift to his eyebrow.
"You'll have to be more specific, Daniel. I like a lot of things."
A flicker of irritation crosses Daniel's face before he smiles graciously across the room at one of the crowd of international sycophants. "The thing with the fingers," he murmurs as he waves a hand in friendly recognition.
Jack clutches at his wine glass involuntarily, catching himself just before he breaks the stem.
Now he remembers Sunday.
"I'll do that," Daniel tells him. "You get me out of here, and I'll do that. Tonight. At my place. For as long as you can hold off."
Jack feels a sudden heat suffuse his body, and the jacket of his dress blues is a good length, but he's not sure it's going to be long enough. "H... how many fingers?" Jack doesn't stutter. Generals don't stutter. It was purely a reaction to the awful wine.
Daniel looks across at Jack slowly and deliberately, his eyes an invitation to sin behind his glasses. "Three?"
Jack tries hard not to choke to death.
"Ah, Dr. Jackson, there you are. I'm sorry about the interruption. Now what were we discussing?" The unsubtle woman is back, and with a move worthy of the Avalanche's best defenceman, puts herself between Jack and Daniel.
Jack didn't make General without knowing when his window of opportunity was closing. "Senator," he says, a little too loudly, "I'm afraid I'm going to have to steal Daniel for a little while."
She's good, but Jack is better. When she looks one way, Jack steps around the other and has Daniel by his sleeve before she even sets eyes on him. "A unexpected situation has arisen that requires our best man."
"General O'Neill, surely Dr. Jackson deserves a night off once in a while," she says with ill-concealed dislike.
"Well you know how it is when the fate of the planet is on the line," Jack smiles, at least as insincerely as the Senator. "No rest for the... uh... rolling... stone."
"Terribly sorry," Daniels says, "Perhaps you could e-mail me your questions? I'd love to help." He shrugs and gives a passable expression of concern and remorse before Jack drags him through the room, not letting go of his jacket until they are safely out of range.
"Fate of the planet?" Daniel asks quietly, easily keeping pace with Jack's speed as they make their way toward the elevators and freedom.
"I could still go and find you some forks if you'd rather," Jack says.
Daniel looks at him, a small, wicked smile curling around the corners of his lips. "No," he replies, "I'm good."
Jack walks even faster.