Summary: After 'Crystal Skull' Daniel still feels disconcerted.
Daniel played with the edges of the spoon's handle, the smooth steel clean and solid against his skin. He focused on his thumb as it settled on the hard border and how his fingers didn't slip through. He could actually hold it. Such a simple thing like picking up silverware now amazed him.
"If you don't mind my asking, what the hell are you doing?"
Glancing up at Jack, Daniel shrugged and smiled weakly. "Just checking."
"It doesn't really matter."
Jack shook his head and put his lunch tray down across from Daniel's. "If you ask me, I think those Nintendos must have peppered your brain."
"Neutrinos, Jack. And no, my brain's not peppered."
"Could've fooled me. Might want to lighten up on the spoon fetish. People might get the wrong idea."
"What idea's that, Jack?"
"This is the military. We don't play with our spoons in public." Jack picked up a fork and pointed it in Daniel's direction, his face suddenly more serious. "You've been acting weird ever since the invisible man routine. What's going on?"
Daniel put down the spoon and crossed his arms, not ready to talk about his troubled readjustment. "Nothing. I'm fine. Really."
"You sure? Dr. Frasier could run another check if you're feeling more weird than usual."
Amused, Daniel lifted his head and met concerned brown eyes. "What about you, Jack? How are you feeling? You took a pretty strong dose of radiation yourself."
Waving the fork, Jack dismissed the worry. "Me? I'm great. Stopped glowing in the dark just last night in fact. Carter, on the other hand, still twinkles if she's not careful. She's going to be a real hit around Christmas."
Snorting at the image, Daniel picked up the spoon again and tackled the cherry Jell-O while Jack ate his roast beef and mashed potatoes. After a few minutes, the older man drank down his iced tea and wiped his mouth. "You up for a little time in the gym later?"
"Not really. I've got some notes to go over with Rothman."
"Now there's a waste of government spending."
"You're a little hard on him, Jack. He did the best he could under the circumstances."
"If it were up to Rothman, you'd still be trapped on another planet."
"It wasn't his fault. Besides, it worked out." As he picked up the mug of coffee, once again Daniel marveled at touching it, being able to hold it, the heat tracing up his fingers.
"It's the simple things, right?"
Startled, Daniel looked back up at Jack. "What?"
"You keep getting distracted. The spoon, the mug. The simple things. You've been doing it ever since we got you back. Why is that?"
Putting the mug down, Daniel leaned forward, keeping his voice low and even. "It's hard to explain. I guess it's because when I was out of phase and nobody could see me, that wasn't the worst part."
"You're good with words. Mix them together and see what you come up with."
"I couldn't touch anything. My hand would just pass through solid matter, walls, spoons, whatever. People could go right through me and not even feel it. It was very disconcerting."
"Like a ghost thing, right?"
"I guess. So many cultures describe the afterlife like that. At first I thought I was dead." Jack's sudden shudder didn't go unnoticed. "You okay?"
"We thought we'd lost you."
"I know. I'm sorry."
Jack looked away, his body suddenly more anxious and full of energy as he rubbed his hands together. "Well, you're okay and that's all that matters. Guess I'll go look up Teal'c. Maybe I can teach him to enjoy boxing."
"He told me he knocked you on your ass last time."
"Lucky punch. I wasn't exactly myself. This time it'll be different."
"I'll tell Janet to have some spare bandages handy."
"Yeah, for a Jaffa he sure does bleed a lot. You'd think Junior would take care of that."
Standing up, Jack picked up his tray and hesitated. "How about a drink later?"
"No, at my place. I've got a couple of steaks. I'll grill out. We can just kick back and relax a little. We haven't done that in awhile."
Daniel flashed on the last time he'd gone to Jack's house, the harsh words, the lies about quitting and leaving SG1, the hurtful stabs at their friendship. "Sure, Jack. I'd like that."
"You didn't eat much."
"It was fine. I just wasn't that hungry." Daniel sipped the wine and sat back on the sofa, his body more relaxed.
"Were you hungry when you were invisible?"
"No. It was weird. I didn't get thirsty, either."
"What about the bathroom?"
Daniel frowned and looked over at Jack's amused expression. "I'm not even going to ask why you want to know that, but no, I didn't need to go to the bathroom. Like I said, it was strange. I didn't really feel anything physical."
"Not really. I could see and hear what everyone else did and I didn't have to worry about getting tired."
Jack shifted sideways in his chair and put his leg over the armrest while he took a long swallow of beer. "So, were you scared?"
Hesitating, Daniel took several deep breaths before he answered. "More frustrated than scared. At first I wasn't sure what was going on. It wasn't until I heard General Hammond talking to his granddaughter that I got scared."
"I don't get it."
"He told her he'd lost a friend, that he couldn't come see her because he really needed to find this guy. I've never seen him look so worried."
"I can see how that would be scary."
"Yeah, that and the fact that you and Sam gave up and went to bed with me still stuck out in Limbo."
Uneasy, Jack sat up and leaned forward, the beer bottle held tightly between his two hands. "You heard that part, huh?"
"Yeah. Anyway, that's when I found out Nick could actually see me. If I hadn't convinced him to act as a medium, I don't even want to think about how this whole thing could've turned out." He finished his wine and set the glass on the coffee table.
Jack stood up and got the bottle of wine and held it near the glass. "More?"
"No, I'm fine."
Nodding, Jack put the wine back on the table, but instead of sitting in his chair, he sat next to Daniel. He settled in comfortably, his arm over the back of the couch very near to the younger man's neck. "Want to arm wrestle?"
"Yeah, so you can touch something solid."
Laughing out loud, Daniel shook his head. "Have you gone crazy?"
Jack's voice dropped to a hush as he leaned in even closer. "I've been thinking about what you said earlier."
"The part about people passing right through you, about not being able to touch anything. You said it was disconcerting."
Daniel watched the brown eyes focus on his, Jack's words luring him closer. "What are you getting at?"
"I think you need to stop playing with spoons and coffee mugs." Jack's hand lifted tentatively and then cupped his cheek. "Feel that?"
Air stuttered in his lungs and his tongue fumbled. "Jack?"
Jack's fingers walked up his jaw, the lightest of touches sending fire straight to his groin. "What are you doing?"
"If you have to ask, it's been too long." Leaning in, Jack took off Daniel's glasses and put them on the table. Then his lips captured the younger man's mouth, his tongue pushing in, beer-flavored as it swirled its sweet pressure.
Pulling back, slightly winded, Daniel shook his head and put a hand on the older man's chest. "Tell me what's going on. I don't understand this."
"And I thought you were brainy."
"Not brainy enough apparently." Swallowing hard, he met hungry eyes and shuddered. "I didn't expect this."
Taking the hand over his heart, Jack kissed the palm and whispered, "You want me to stop?"
"I didn't say that."
A hand hooked the back of his neck as Jack drew him closer, his kisses light and airy on his neck, his teeth nibbling along the shoulder as he pulled the T-shirt back to expose the skin. Fire surged up through Daniel's belly as he lay back, bringing Jack over him, his weight solid and real, not the least bit disconcerting.
Closing his eyes, he drank in the contact, the eager touches as hands explored his chest, down between his legs, his cock burning to be stroked and petted. Rising up, Jack took his face between both hands and then kissed him even harder, the roughness clicking their teeth, their tongues doing battle. Lungs struggled for air as Daniel finally broke away long enough to speak. "Bed?"
"The sooner the better."
Getting up off the sofa both men hurried to the bedroom, but Jack stripped as he went, his clothes and shoes littering the hallway. Pulling back the covers, he sat on the edge and shook his head in disappointment. "You're not naked."
"Then help me."
So he did, the T-shirt peeling off first, quickly followed by the pants and boxers. Shoes and socks came away last so that finally, Jack smiled and pushed him back against the mattress. "That's better." Gazing directly at Daniel, Jack deliberately shoved the younger man's thighs apart and kneeled between them, his cock dark and ready. He lifted Daniel's hand and wrapped it around his shaft, holding it there. "Feel that?"
"Jesus, Jack. Of course, I feel it."
"Better than a spoon, huh?"
Laughing, Daniel gripped Jack's cock and stroked it, the heated silk in his palm so much like his own flesh, so familiar and yet different, slightly thinner, but longer. Jack's eyes squeezed shut as he groaned, his face a mask of pleasure. Adding his own thrusts, the older man picked up the rhythm and took only a few movements before he shouted out and jerked forward, his breathing mere pants as he exploded. Cream slicked his hand as Daniel held him against him, the body shaking, the salt of his skin welcome against his tongue as he kissed his lover's shoulder.
Erection withered, his body relaxed, Jack moaned into his chest. "I'm sorry."
"For being faster than a speeding bullet."
Chuckling, Daniel tousled his short, coarse hair and then whispered in his ear. "It's not over yet." Using his hips, Daniel pushed up and shoved his own cock into Jack's belly. "Time to finish what you started."
Jack sat up smiling, his hand traveling south to fondle heavy balls, the cock leaking in anticipation. "Any preferences?"
Rubbing his index finger along Jack's lower lip, Daniel grinned. "Let's try something besides your foot for a change."
Smirking, his face still flushed from his own coming, Jack shifted and leaned forward. His lips took in the crown, his tongue teasing and flicking the tip. The world swelled around him, air too wide to swallow as Daniel gripped the sheets, twisting up as Jack licked and suckled, his mouth flashing a slippery flame up his middle. Back arched, his mind rushed up and out, the red behind his lids suddenly flowed through his spine and into his nerves, each one winding into a coil. Skillful hands didn't pass through but smoothed over his skin, tweaking his nipples, running down slowly as Jack continued to suck harder. His thighs trembled as the swelling wave rushed and hammered through him, the spasms raw and powerful.
Catching his breath, he grunted as Jack flopped beside him and petted back his hair. "Feeling better?"
"Better doesn't half cover it." Stroking Jack's arm gently, Daniel closed his eyes and sighed. "Beats a spoon anytime."