Dangerous Interlude Author: Orrymain Author Email: (Feedback welcome)
Author Website: Category: Slash, Mini-Angst, Romance, Established Relationship Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D Rating: NC-17 Season: 2 Spoilers: None Size: 35kb, short story Written: December 6-7,15,21, 2003, January 14-15, 2004 Revised: August 16, 2004, January 17, March 18, June 1, July 10,31, August 5,31, September 3,4, 2005 Summary: Jack fries Daniel's brain cells, but then wonders if he really had a right to do so.
Disclaimer: Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't. A gal can dream though!
Notes: 1) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with in front and behind them, such as Where am I? 2) This fic stands alone, but it does lightly reference my other fics, "Adjustments and Parameters," "Goofy and the Boys"
2) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better: Drdjlover, Saki, Sheryl, Charlotte, QuinGem, Sentarla, Allexandrya, Gail, Linda, Claudia!

Dangerous Interlude by Orrymain

Watch out, Dannyboy, cause here I come!

An eager Jack opened the door to Daniel's apartment and walked inside, though he stopped before entering the living room. His face lit up as he grinned at the sight of his lover.

Perfection: that's my Danny!

Jack's Daniel was sexy and beautiful, all anyone could want. The slender male was the one thing in Jack's life that he was sure of, in that Jack knew he wanted every part of Daniel, and somehow, miraculously, Daniel wanted Jack, too.

I don't know why you want me, Danny, but I'm sure glad you do. Geez, I want you.

Deep in concentration, Daniel was seated on the sofa, a pen tucked behind his left ear; another pen was in his right hand, tapping against a notepad that he held in his left hand. Books were strewn everywhere: on the coffee table, the sofa, and the floor. Some were open, others were closed, and some teetered precariously on top of other books. From time to time, as Jack watched, Daniel mumbled indistinct words and phrases, sometimes in English and sometimes in Arabic.

The archaeologist was barefoot, and his shaggy hair was mussed. Jack figured his lover probably hadn't slept all night while involved in Whatever the heck it is you're so engrossed in.

Quietly, Jack stood at the edge of the room as he reflected on their relationship.

We're so new, but what a ride we're on, Danny.

The lovers had been through one break up, a host of adjustments, and a getaway trip to Los Angeles during which Daniel had let his inner child come out to play for the first time in years. It had been grand, everything Jack had hoped for when he spirited Daniel away to Disneyland.

You and Goofy. Someday, I'm going to get you to really laugh at that picture. He sure was a good guy.

Still, their relationship was new ground for both men as they stumbled their way through the learning corridors of each other's life, growing in their understanding of each other and making daily discoveries about the other.

We were best friends. No, correct that. We are best friends, but I'm only beginning to know you, Doctor Jackson, and for the record, I love every inch of you, even that genius brain of yours.

Their nation of two was blossoming steadily, but sometimes, one or the other would get scared. Daniel had, on occasion, tried to run from the intense commitment and feelings he had for Jack, not used to being so fully loved and cared for. Jack, on the other hand, didn't know how to love Daniel safely. His whole heart belonged to this man, and though he feared overwhelming his lover, he just couldn't hold back.

Of course, Daniel also loved Jack deeply. He'd finally learned how to live with the consuming guilt about cheating on Sha're, but a big part of him still didn't believe he had a right to be happy while his wife was being held hostage by a Goa'uld.

You do have a right to be happy. We both do. Otherwise, what's it all for?

Jack had begun to live again due to Daniel's presence in his life. Now that the older man felt the zest and zeal of each day again, he was equally determined that his young lover do the same without being laden with guilt. Sadly, he knew that his partner wasn't even sure anymore if he knew what it meant to be happy, or even contented. Daniel had confided that the last time he had truly been happy was the morning when his parents had been killed, some twenty-five years ago. As a result, Jack realized that the concept of happiness was now foreign to his life partner.

No one should see what you saw, Love, Jack quietly lamented as he watched Daniel fan through several pages in search of some piece of information.

On a summer day in 1973, the little boy Daniel's father and mother had each hugged him tenderly, telling him how much they loved him. Then they sent him off to explore the New York Museum of Art while they worked.

The word 'happy' had fled Daniel's vocabulary not long afterwards, when he had returned from his exploration to watch his parents finish their task.

Just minutes later, the cover stone that Melburn and Claire Jackson were helping to set in place had fallen, crushing them to death as Daniel watched in horror.

I promise you, Danny, that one day you are going to be so ridiculously happy that you won't even remember being unhappy. Okay, maybe that's a stretch. I don't think you could ever forget watching your parents being crushed to death anymore than I could forget ... Jack paused, not wanting to think about his own nightmare, his son's tragic death. Regrouping, he thought, But you will be happy, if it's the last thing I do.

The military man was actually a die-hard romantic and, as a result, was constantly showering his soulmate with affection. Sometimes, that scared Daniel a whole lot more than being alone. Jack was aware of this, but it was difficult for him to know where to draw the line.

I'm not convinced a line should be there. You deserve to be spoiled. You know something, Danny? I'm going to make it a project to spoil you rotten, starting today. Yeah, that's what I'm gonna do.

Jack and Daniel had been together for ten weeks. In spite of their fears and trepidations, each had grown happier and more contented with each passing day. Jack nodded his head, feeling like the luckiest man in the world as he continued to watch his studious soulmate. Then, as he moved forward, he heard Daniel talking out loud once again as he struggled to work through the problem at hand.

"Okay, if the Mayan symbol ... but no, the Aztec ... wait, the Goa'uld pattern is like ... no, no, no ... that's wrong. Think, Jackson, think."

Jack carefully moved the books that were on the sofa to the coffee table, but he didn't close any that were open to a certain page in case Daniel needed to refer back to them quickly.

"Hi, Danny," Jack finally said, leaning over to kiss his love on the cheek.

The only response was a contented sigh, which Jack assumed was some kind of acknowledgement of his presence. Daniel was lost, deep in thought. His mouth moved and made small sounds that Jack couldn't understand. It sounded like a language, though.

Jack reached his hand towards Daniel's abdomen and lifted his lover's tan polyester shirt up a tad so his hands could caress bare skin. As he did so, he kissed the side of Daniel's neck.

"Whatcha' doing, Love?" Jack whispered.

About twenty seconds later, Daniel answered, "Hi, Jack!"

Jack nibbled on Daniel's ear. Daniel actually cocked his head to give Jack easier access, though he never lost his concentration as he picked up a book and flipped it open to read a specific passage.

"It just doesn't make sense. The red accent should mean war or violence, but over here ... this symbol should mean calm or peace. What am I missing?" Daniel asked himself.

Daniel switched to another language. Jack still nibbled away on his ear, Daniel quivering for a moment under his light touch.

"So, Danny, the translation, or whatever this is, is giving you a hard time?"

In quick response, Daniel answered the prior question, saying, "I'm working on a translation based on some writings SG-8 found last week while on P4J-221. It's fascinating, Jack."

Jack blinked, thinking that was a strange response to his question of whether the translation was giving Daniel a hard time, but he shrugged it off and continued his massage of Daniel's abdomen. His hands traveled lower to reach just inside the sweatpants that Daniel was wearing.

"I have plans for us, Danny," Jack crooned.

Jack kissed Daniel's neck again and moved down as Daniel raised his chin to give his lover better access.

Still, Daniel was behind in the conversation, saying, "No luck at all. I ... I can't quite figure it out; it ... it doesn't make sense. I'm missing something, but I have to figure it out."

He's behind by one! Jack couldn't help but laugh, realizing that Daniel was answering his questions on a delayed basis. "You're so cute, Danny," he said, still chuckling.

"Sorry, no time for your plans, Jack. Have to get this done," Daniel said earnestly before writing down a couple of notes.

Ignoring the linguist's words, especially since Daniel's body seemed to be cooperating nicely, Jack raised the shirt up a little further.

"Excuse me, Love," Jack requested, moving the notepad out of Daniel's hand as he maneuvered the shirt off of his lover in one expert motion. Then Jack replaced the pen and pad where they had been. "Uh, by the way, I love you, quite a lot actually."

Jack's hand caressed Daniel's chest, roving over the soft skin freely as his fingers picked key areas to spend extra time on. These were areas where Jack had learned that Daniel was the most sensitive. As his fingers worked these magic spots, Jack smiled, hearing Daniel moan and feeling his lover quiver in between his words spoken in the language Jack didn't understand.

"Not cute," Daniel finally managed to get out; then he added as if annoyed, "Stop saying that."

Jack shook his head again, refusing to lose the 'Daniel is cute' battle.

"Oh, yes, you are. So cute, adorable ... kiss on the neck ... cuddly ... soft tickle above Daniel's belly button ... sexy ... tiny nibble on his ear ... and when we sleep, you're my warm blanket, my shelter from the world." Jack sighed happily as he contemplated the man who had given him life again, the man he loved more than life. "You're definitely cute, Love; extremely cute even. Look in the mirror sometime. You'll see," Jack stated definitively.

Jack kissed Daniel's shoulder as he moved from his lover's neck to his arm. He continued his downward path.

I love doing this, Jack thought as he placed kiss after kiss on his lover while his hand also rubbed against Daniel's chest.

"Love you, too, Jack," Daniel replied to Jack's earlier declaration of love.

"Lay down, Danny," Jack urged, gently guiding his puppet of a lover to a supine position on the sofa, removing the pen from behind Daniel's ear as he did so.

Jack placed another trail of moist kisses from Daniel's neck to his navel while the archaeologist continued to work on the puzzling translation in his head, his pensive words spoken in some off-world tongue.

"I guess this means we aren't going to the movies tonight," Jack spoke after Daniel's last foreign paragraph.

"Not ... not ... not cute," Daniel finally said, his voice struggling for speech as Jack licked a line at his lover's waist, going from right to left, sucking on well known hotspots as he did so.

"It's been ten long hours, Danny. I'm dying here. Need you so much. Want you, Love; want you now."

Jack gently slid off Daniel's sweats and underwear. He moved down his lover's legs with the clothing, stopping briefly to kiss the bottom of Daniel's feet, which caused Daniel to giggle.

"Can't go to the movies; have to finish this," Daniel said, seemingly oblivious to everything else that was happening, though he still giggled a little at the tingling Jack was causing on his feet.

At the edge of the sofa, as he removed his own clothes, Jack eyed his now-naked lover. He marveled again that Daniel's brain was behind in the conversation, but successfully multi-tasking nonetheless. He also loved that while Daniel's brain was trying to use restraint, every facet of Daniel's body was calling to Jack.

"Geez, you're beautiful," Jack spoke softly. Gazing at his lover, he happily whispered, "My beautiful Space Monkey."

Jack's hands slowly slid up Daniel's legs, a seductive, lingering progression upwards as he studied his partner, leaving kiss after kiss on his skin as he moved.

"Why am I lying down? Wait! Wait a minute! Maybe it's not related to the colors! Maybe it's ... it's spatial? The answer has to be here," Daniel insisted as he still held the notepad and occasionally scribbled down notes.

"Love you ... want you ... need you ... Danny, My Love ... My life," Jack sighed in between soft touches against Daniel's inner thighs.

"Oh, geez, not again with the Space Monkey thing," Daniel said, again lagging one statement behind. "It doesn't make any more sense than these writings. Space Monkey. What the heck does that mean anyway?"

"It means I love you," Jack answered just before he nibbled on the tip of Daniel's erect shaft.

Daniel started a bit, then moaned as Jack licked all around his lover's erection, but still, Daniel's brain was deeply engrossed in its work of discovering the secret to the translation.

Jack moved upward some more, kissing Daniel's belly button, and then he reached up and stopped Daniel's writing, removing the pad and pen from his path for a second time.

"Sorry, but I have an urgent need to kiss you silly, over and over," Jack intoned apologetically and then began to follow through with an intense series of passionate kisses.

Their tongues waltzed in unison, playfully dueling to see who could get in the deepest. Their heads turned as they changed positions every minute or so, their kisses full of desire and yearning. Daniel's hands had reached up behind Jack's head to massage the back of his scalp before reaching down to the nape and then downward to his back as he kept Jack pressed closely to him. It went on for several minutes; each of the hungering kisses leaving them demanding more and more.

Finally, as he smiled at his soulmate, Jack whispered, "Thank you." A few seconds later, he added, "Here's your notepad back."

Jack put the pen and paper back into Daniel's hands. He laughed when Daniel seemed to pick up right where he had left off. Jack did the same, moving back down to his lover's waiting length.

"Want you, too, very ... much; have ... have ... to finish ... this," Daniel moaned, his words halted when Jack's tongue flicked against Daniel's shaft.

Jack's tongue applied a little more pressure, and after a moment, he took his lover's shaft into his mouth, sucking on it hard like a lollipop, his tongue working the organ without pause.

Daniel dropped the notepad. His torso leaned forward as his hands reached down for his lover.

"Gawd! Jack! Love you!"

Jack would have laughed if his mouth wasn't already busy, as Daniel bypassed his translation for some of Jack's preferred agenda. Daniel pressed his fingers on Jack's head, walking them through the fine brown strands as Jack worked him.

"Oh, Jack ... Jack!"

Jack sucked harder, each second a joy. As Daniel came from Jack's effort, his release filled Jack's mouth. Jack swallowed the fluid a few times, and then moved up and kissed Daniel on the mouth.

"Love you so much, Danny," Jack spoke again. I could never get enough of you. Geez, I must be the luckiest man in the universe.

"Jack, love you," Daniel sighed, still seeming lost.

Jack kissed his lover again, this particular kiss having become known as the O'Neill Special. It was Jack's most exotic yet tender kiss that always left Daniel forgetting everything, and in fact, not caring about anything but the man kissing him.

"Jack! Gawd, Jack! ... Jack!"

"Love it when I fry your brain cells," Jack admitted out loud, realizing Daniel's vocabulary was down to a handful of words, mostly his name, and they hadn't even had the main course yet.

What you do to me. Say my name, Danny. When you say my name, you fill me up in so many ways.

In spite of the moment, Daniel still seemed behind to Jack. The last outcries seemed to be delayed expressions of an orgasmic high, but Jack was just happy Daniel had gone along with the program.

The older man kissed each of Daniel's eyelids, the tip of his nose, each cheek, and then reconnected with his mouth again. He nibbled first on the upper lip, and then subjected the lower one to a similar treatment.

"You're mine, and I'm yours, and geez, I love that," Jack spoke before another kiss.

"Jack ... love you," Daniel crooned softly into his ear.

The younger man still wasn't really focused on anything, lost in the strange bliss that Jack had inflicted upon him.

"Love you ... you make me crazy, but it's crazy in a good way. Let me love you, Danny. Need you," Jack whispered, his tongue engaging Daniel's forcefully, the long kisses full of desire and lust. "Danny, talk to me, Love," Jack begged as he looked in Daniel's eyes.

Jack wanted to make love to Daniel, with him, but he also wanted to make sure that his lover was on the same page; it was important. With Daniel's brain cells already fried, Jack wasn't totally sure the younger man was actually in the present. Daniel was still lagging behind, not only in their conversation, but with what they were doing as well.

"Geez, Danny, what you do to me," Jack verbalized softly. "Tell me, Danny," Jack requested. "Tell me you want me as much as I want you, and I want you so much."

"Love you, Jack," Daniel said, his own tongue becoming more demanding for a piece of Jack.

"Say 'yes', Danny."

"Yes, Danny," Daniel repeated as he held Jack close.

What are you saying yes to? I hope you're with me. We have to be, Jack decided because, obviously, Daniel was willing and ready.

Jack carefully moved his body into a slightly better position, straddling Daniel more. Even though their original plan for the night had been to take in a movie, Jack had come into the room prepared for any romantic interlude that might develop. He had taken a tube of lube from his pockets and placed it on the coffee table just before he'd removed his clothes. He reached across for it now, listening to the soft, still out-of-it voice of his lover.

"Jack ... Jack ... love you ... I'm not beautiful, though ... but love that you think so. Jack ... gawd, love you."

Jack wasn't sure how far back that went in the conversation, or if it was meant to be new.

"You are, too, beautiful -- very," Jack reiterated.

Jack kissed Daniel again on the lips and then prepared his lover, inserting one finger, then two, twisting them gently. Finally, Jack entered three fingers, tapping against Daniel's prostate and keeping his fingers in constant motion.

Daniel moaned again and then groaned when the fingers disappeared. Jack entered Daniel slowly, and stayed in place for just a moment, giving Daniel enough time to adjust to him.

"I'm here. Feel me." Jack looked in Daniel's eyes, and said softly, "I love you, Daniel, only you."

Jack leaned over for one kiss and then began to move gently, back and forth. The pace was steady, if a bit slow. He wanted to feel every second of this session, but soon, he found he couldn't wait any longer.

I'm not always as patient as I'd like to be. Need you; geez, gotta have you ... more ... much more, Jack thought, picking up speed as he moved inside his lover.

Daniel's hands moved to Jack's shoulders, holding on tightly as Jack's thrusts took on more power and went deeper inside of Daniel's tight channel.

Jack impaled himself as far as he could go. Forceful thrust after thrust made pounding contact with Daniel's prostate. The younger man's body moved backwards and forward a bit with the strength of Jack's moves inside him.

"JAAAAACK!" Daniel called out Jack's name over and over, his grip on the older man's shoulders tight. Sweat was pouring from their bodies, their breathing labored, as Jack's speed became frantic with need. "Love you!"

Jack grunted as he pushed inside his lover, and when he couldn't hold back any longer, he let go with a final push, exploding inside Daniel. He fell blissfully to Daniel's chest, convulsing from the orgasm.

"Gawd ... Jack ... love you ... Jack ... My Jack," Daniel said, holding his lover to him.

"Danny," Jack gasped, his eyes closing as he enjoyed this moment of closeness.

After a few lingering moments, Jack withdrew and shifted off to the side a little, his head still nestled on Daniel's chest. Daniel's hold was secure, protective, and possessive.

"Mine, all mine," Daniel sighed with his eyes closed.

The younger man was completely satiated and exhausted, as was Jack.

"Yours, Danny. Geez, I'm all yours, forever yours," Jack gasped as he struggled to regain a normal breathing pattern.

The two lay quietly for a few minutes, until their breathing had finally calmed. Daniel caressed Jack's back, speaking small, one syllable words of his love -- "Jack ... mine ... love you ... Jack. Jaaack" -- and ending again with a sigh of contentment.

I'm a happy man. You're my reason for being, as clich├ęd as that sounds. Besides, I just fried your brain cells, and I'm the only one you'd let do that.

It was true, and Jack felt immense pleasure knowing that sending Daniel to that euphoric oblivion was a pleasure that was his alone. He felt like a king.

I don't need to be a king, Danny. I just need to be yours; that's all. Jack groaned. The sofa wasn't very comfortable, so he moved completely off Daniel and then pulled him up. "Come on, Love, let's go to bed for a while," he suggested.

"Jack, love you; love you," Daniel responded sappily, his head leaning against his lover, feeling warm and good inside.

Jack held his lover to him, supporting him a bit as they walked to the bedroom and got under the covers.

Normally, Daniel was the warm blanket for Jack's body, but today, Daniel reached out for Jack, so Jack snuggled into his lover's protective hold, and within a few minutes, both were asleep.

Jack's eyelids fluttered open.

Different. Jack smiled, feeling how secure he was in Daniel's arms. The hold was as strong now as it had been when they had fallen asleep. Not going anywhere, Danny. You don't have to worry about that. Mmmm.

It was strange for Jack to be the protected one, but at the moment, that's exactly what he was. He also knew Daniel, in the innocence of sleep, was being possessive, holding on to Jack in a definite 'you're mine' bear hug.

My Space Monkey -- he wants me. Jack felt warm and happy. Maybe I could get used to this, too.

For a moment, he started to go back to sleep, but the smile slowly ebbed to a blank expression. Another minute passed, and Jack was frowning. Their lovemaking had been sensual and wonderful, but something was disturbing him, and the more Jack thought about it, the more uneasy he became.

Was this ... was this wrong, Danny?

Suddenly, Jack didn't feel worthy of Daniel's protection. In a way, he felt like he had betrayed his lover's love and trust. In a moment of despair, Jack used his Special Ops skills to untangle himself from Daniel's hold without awaking his soulmate.

Standing at the foot of the bed, Jack stared at Daniel.

Beautiful and innocent -- that's you to the core, and look what I've done. Geez, Danny, have I destroyed it all in one blasted night?

Jack's warmth was gone, and his happiness displaced. Instead, he was confused and afraid. Over and over, he replayed the night in his head. Over and over, his heart ached, his doubt overshadowing anything good that he had felt.

I'm so sorry, Danny.

When Daniel awoke, hours later, he realized he was alone. He glanced at the clock -- 9:30 p.m.

I hate it when he does this.

The young man hated waking up alone, something he had communicated to Jack since the very beginning of their tender love affair. He rose up and pulled on his warm blue robe, heading out into the living room. He saw Jack, fully dressed, standing on the balcony. His arms were stretched out against the rails and his head was slumped over.

Wha...what's wrong? What did I do? Managing to squelch his fears that he hadn't satisfied his lover, Daniel walked to the balcony. Even though he was afraid that he wasn't good enough for Jack, Daniel's arms automatically snaked around Jack's waist as he leaned his head against Jack's back and sighed. His doubts briefly suppressed, Daniel bravely asked, "Jack, what's wrong?"

"I love you, Danny. Geez, I love you so freakin' much," Jack proclaimed, his voice trembling slightly.

But I'm not good enough, am I? Still trying to overcome his doubts, Daniel asked, "And I love you, so what's the problem?"

Jack turned around, leaning his body slightly against the railing, and answered, "Danny, I fried your brain cells."

Oh, yeah, you did! Daniel grinned and blushed. He spoke shyly, but happily, as he responded, "I know. You're, uh, good at that."

Jack wanted to smile. In fact, he did, and he hated himself for it.

Daniel placed his hand over Jack's heart, and leaned in for a warm, slow kiss.

"Jack, it's me, isn't it? I ... I don't do ... I mean ..."

As Jack processed what Daniel was trying to say, he got a stunned look. How could Daniel possibly think that he didn't send Jack to a place of euphoria during their lovemaking? Sometimes, all it took was a look, and Jack would be happier than ever. Daniel completed him in so many ways.

With a happiness in his voice, he refuted, "Daniel, geez, you do, too. You take me to places I've never been to before. No one makes me feel like you do," Jack told him tenderly.

"Are you ... sure?" an insecure Daniel asked.

"Daniel, for crying out loud, you're ... hot, in more ways than one. Geez, what you do to me, in and out of bed. Danny!" Jack chided and then placed a kiss on his soulmate that had the younger man's legs turning to Jell-O.

"Oh, uh, so ... not me?" Daniel asked, needing the reassurance so he could pursue what really was wrong, and Jack's kiss had just reassured him plenty.

Jack smiled softly as he confided, "No, there's nothing wrong with you, and you do more than satisfy me; you exhilarate me."

Daniel wanted to grin, but if it wasn't him, then what else could it be?

"Um, so, wha...what's wrong then?" Daniel asked again, hating that his lover was feeling uneasy about something.

Gazing into Daniel's soulful eyes, the older man asked, "Do you know what happens when that brain of yours goes bonkers and short-circuits?"

"You mean when you fry it so much that I don't know my name anymore?" Daniel asked, unable to hide his happy smile from just thinking about it.

"Yeah, or where you are, or what you're doing," Jack explained. I really love doing that, but ...

"Yeah, I don't know my name anymore," Daniel retorted with a chuckle. "Or where I am, or ..." Daniel stopped, hearing his partner's deep sigh. "Jack, what's wrong?" he asked more sternly.

"Do you remember when I walked in here today?" Jack inquired, almost as a challenge.

"Not really," Daniel admitted. "I was working on the translation."

"That's an understatement." After a moment, Jack continued. "Do you remember when I said hello or kissed you the first time?"

"Jack, tell me what's bothering you," Daniel pleaded, not yet understanding what Jack was trying to say.

"I just did. Danny, I love you. It's just ... crap!"

Jack scooted around Daniel and went into the living room, pacing around for a minute as Daniel watched, arms folded, trying to read through the lines.

Jack finally sat down on the sofa and asked softly, "Were you with me, Danny, or did I ..."

Jack shook his head, then buried it in his hands, resting his elbows on his knees as he leaned forward.

"Jack, I ..."

"Danny, I like that I can do that to you," Jack confessed. "Geez, I love it, but ... Danny, did you choose to give, or did I take?"

What? Daniel finally understood. Oh, gawd. No, Jack. Believe me, no! As the emotion settled, Daniel actually felt warm inside. Gawd, someone really cares about me. He ... cares about what I want and ... and about what we do and ... I love him so much.

Smiling from both comprehension and the goodness he felt inside, Daniel walked to the sofa and sat next to the man who was now his heart. He reached over and gently turned Jack's face towards him. Daniel cupped his lover's strong cheeks and stared deeply into his eyes.

"My brain may have been fried, but only because I let it be ... only because it was with you. I trust you, Jack, like ... in a way that's actually very scary, because I've never trusted anyone like that before and ..."

"And that's just it," Jack said as he stood up and walked to the kitchen counter. "Did I betray that trust? Did I have a right to push you into ..."

"Jack, stop and listen to me for once," Daniel ordered firmly. Daniel walked over to where Jack stood and again cupped his face in his gentle palms. "Listen ... to ... me," he ordered. "Gawd, I love you, even more because ... because you're tearing yourself to pieces for something you don't need to be worrying about." Daniel kissed Jack tenderly and continued. "My Love, I get focused; but trust me, if it had been anyone else here, I would have known. Trust me, Jack. They've ... I mean ... people ... in the past, they've tried, but they've never gotten anywhere." Not far anyway.

Daniel blinked several times before turning, wrapping his arms around himself, and walking to the bookshelves.

Jack's internal 'Daniel alarm' began to blare deafeningly, and instantly, his focus left his own worries and moved to some unknown pain in Daniel's past. If the self-hug wasn't enough to convince Jack of his lover's nervousness, the look in his eyes was.

"Danny?" Jack reached out and pulled Daniel closer to him. His hands rubbed Daniel's arms in support. Daniel turned around and smiled, and Jack saw the vulnerability. He pulled Daniel to his chest, holding him lovingly. Jack didn't realize he'd spoken aloud when he said, "No one hurts you and gets away with it, not even me!"

Daniel nuzzled into Jack's shoulder and spoke vulnerably, saying, "I'll tell you about it, but not now, okay? No one hurt me, Jack; not that they didn't try, but ... everyone underestimates me, remember?" The two pulled back slightly so their eyes could focus on each other. "And Jack," Daniel said with confidence, "you didn't hurt me, or take advantage, or make me do anything I didn't want to do."

Securely, Daniel took hold of Jack's hand and led him back to the bedroom. He undressed his lover, and then they lay down again on the bed, this time in their customary position. Daniel had one leg hooked between Jack's, and his head was safely in place against Jack's chest. The older man's strong arms caressed Daniel's back, listening as his lover tried to explain.

"I multi-task. I know it's scary, but I did know you were here, and Jack, if I didn't want you to make love to me, I wouldn't have let you," Daniel informed his soulmate.

"You sure, Danny? I mean, crap, your brain was so fried," Jack remarked solemnly.

Daniel looked up, responding, "I trust you, Jack. I trust ... us, as much as I can. I mean ... there's no one I would let touch me now except you. You would never hurt me ... and ... the truth is that I wouldn't let you hurt me ... not, not like that."

"But ... were you with me? I need to know," Jack asked with a cracked voice as his eyes looked deeply into his lover's, searching for the truth he had to have.

Daniel's eyes also looked deep into Jack's soul.

He needs reassurance, and it's not a lie. Daniel nodded. "I'm always with you, Jack ... always."

"I love you, Danny," Jack said, feeling free again, the warmth beginning to return to his soul.

"I love you, Jack. Fry my brain again in the morning, okay?" Daniel requested, wanting for now to simply enjoy being in Jack's arms.

"Oh, are we on a schedule now?" Jack teased with a bit of smile.

"Well, it's just, while you were ... I mean ... while we ... I kinda realized what the red accent was for, but I still need to figure out the reason for a lack of symbols in one part of the text, and I thought maybe if you fried my brain again, it might come to me."

Daniel smiled sweetly, a hint of mischief coloring his shining blue eyes.

With an even bigger smile, Jack responded, "You're crazy, you know that?"

"Crazy for you, Babe," Daniel replied, a smile on his face.

The two chuckled and settled comfortably together, slowly beginning to fall into a restful sleep.

Daniel smiled as he listened to Jack's heartbeat.

It's strong; makes me feel safe. I am safe with you. Daniel loved this man so much, and he vowed he'd never hurt him. It's not important. So I ... well, I really didn't know what was happening until it ... had; well, my mind didn't, but my body sure did. My body knows your body, so ... even if my brain was ... occupied, the rest of me knew you were here. It wasn't a lie. You see -- no one's made me react like this, ever ... not ... ever.

Their lovemaking had been perfect and wonderful, and it had taken Daniel to a place of pleasure that only Jack O'Neill had ever been able to take him. Sure, Daniel had known it was Jack in the room with him, but he had been so lost in the puzzle of the translation, that he really had been behind, not only in the conversation, but in the actions. Jack would never know that, though, not if Daniel could help it. It was, Daniel decided, a mere technicality.

I trust you so much, Jack. We are so connected, My Love, that when you walked in the room, my soul knew I was safe and protected, and that allowed me to be totally lost in the translations. I am always with you because you are my heart and my soul. Daniel lifted his head and kissed Jack's chest over his heart then lay his head back down to listen to the sound that made his soul sing, the beating of Jack's heart. "Never stop, Jack."

"What?" Jack whispered, almost asleep.

"Frying my brain. I like it ... a lot. Never stop, Jack. Promise me," Daniel lovingly demanded.

"I promise, Love."

Finis - Finished - Done - The End - But is it ever Really?