Overheard

~ Co-written with Wolfling [website]

The complex was as quiet as it ever got -- which was to say, not very. It wasn't even dark, not here in the corridors. Security in this top-secret command post was tight, and they didn't let a little thing like circadian rhythms interfere with regulations.

Normally it didn't bother him. An adult lifetime of military service had taught him several things, not the least of which was sleeping through just about anything. Lights, noise, being shaken as you fell from a thousand feet... Trifles.

Mental turmoil, on the other hand, was completely different. His training had little to say on how to sleep when all you could do was lie in bed and think.

Hence his late night patrol through the corridors. If he couldn't shut his brain off, maybe he could at least wear himself down enough to sleep regardless.

At least it seemed to be working. He felt somewhat more distracted now, than he had--

"--shouldn't be feeling this way, but I can't help it."

He froze. The offices in this corridor should have been empty this time of night. That voice reached out to him and he cursed silently. If he'd wanted to hear that voice he'd have wandered the Visiting Officer's Quarters corridor, instead.

"I do not understand why you should not feel this way. Does your culture object so strongly to love between males?"

This time his jaw dropped. He really ought not listen to this conversation. He stayed very still, so they would not hear him.

"Well it's not exactly encouraged, especially in places like this. The military has an official 'don't ask, don't tell' policy. But that isn't what's bothering me. Well not the main thing at least. I'm married, Teal'c. How can I have these feelings for someone else when I'm supposed to love my wife?"

"And are human parents expected to only love one child? Love is not exclusive. You do not dishonor your wife by loving more than her."

Jack would have fallen against the wall in shock, had his legs not been locked in place. Good ole military training, standing guard all night finally came in handy. But he shook his head in bewilderment.

He heard Daniel sigh. "I'm not sure if Shar'ae would see it that way." A slight pause and then curiously, "What about your wife? Would she understand?"

"My wife has already taken another lover, Daniel. She and I both understand."

Jack was amazed at Teal'c's calm response. His own blood pressure was rising, at the conversation. The conversation he wasn't supposed to be hearing, he reminded himself.

Because it sounded an awful lot like something he didn't want to know.

"I hope you're right. Because I don't know how much longer I can fight this."

"Then do not, Daniel Jackson. Fighting is making you miserable. I believe this is one battle you would be best served by losing."

Jack closed his eyes. //Please don't be saying what I think they're saying,// he whispered silently.

There was a brief silence. When Daniel spoke again his voice was little more than a whisper. "But what if my feelings aren't returned?"

"They are."

He couldn't listen to anymore. Turning on his heel, he walked as quickly as he could without making any sound. Another point for the military -- boot soles designed for traction, also did remarkably well remaining quiet on the steel and concrete floors.

He walked for several minutes before he stopped -- before he the words he'd overheard began to replay in his mind.

Of all the things he'd never expected, this had to be top of the list.

Daniel and Teal'c -- lovers. He swung his hand out, felt it bounce off a wall, and kept walking.

He should have stayed in his quarters.

~~~~~

The next day Jack found himself closeted with Daniel as they went over some notes from their previous mission. Sam was doing some research on some samples they had brought back and Teal'c had been given leave to go see his family so it was just the two of them. Alone. Working together. Closely.

He focused on the reports in front of him, and tried to ignore the man on the other side of the table. Unfortunately Daniel seemed to be trying his best to make that an impossible task.

Several times now Daniel had started to say something and then stopped. And he was fidgeting, practically squirming in his seat. Jack didn't even want to think about what could be causing that.

He knew what it was, and his brain wouldn't stop telling him. Daniel no doubt wanted to 'come out', tell him about he and Teal'c. Now that the two had had their declarations of love and whatever else they'd had (no, he really didn't want to think about that) Daniel would now want to tell him, as their commanding officer, what was going on.

He didn't want to know. He didn't want to hear it -- but he couldn't exactly say that, now could he? It wasn't like he didn't want them to be lovers. No, actually it was that. Jack sighed, to himself. Life had been simple back when... back when... huh. When had life been simple?

Back before he'd learned about Daniel and Teal'c. Life had been much, much simpler.

"Jack?"

"What?" He said it sharply, and shook his head at Daniel's startled expression. "Sorry, my mind's sort of... elsewhere. What do you need?"

Daniel stared at him for a long moment, looking like he was searching for words. "Nothing," he finally sighed in defeat. "It's not important."

Jack kicked himself -- not hard, just enough to make a point. Regardless of his own feelings in this matter, he had to remember that for Daniel, things were much more difficult. He could probably use his CO's support right about now.

But try as he might, Jack couldn't figure out how to say it.

Daniel meanwhile had gone back to fidgeting. But he kept stealing occasional looks at Jack. He actually jumped and blushed when he realized that Jack was watching him as well.

Finally Jack kicked himself again, and spoke. "Daniel, was there something you wanted to say?" He couldn't have Daniel going on thinking... As Team Leader it was his job to make sure those under his command were -- well, 'happy' wasn't quite the word. This was the military after all. But he had an obligation to hear the man out.

Didn't he? Or was he just hoping he'd find out he was wrong?

Right. Like those declarations he'd heard last night were, what? Rehearsal for a play?

Again Daniel just stared at him for a long moment. "Actually... yes. There is."

"I take it this isn't about these mission notes?" He remembered that he wasn't supposed to already know what Daniel wanted to say.

"No. It's... personal."

Jack pushed the notebook away from him, trying to present a calm, 'you can tell me anything' exterior. Inside his heart was pounding and he wanted to scream 'no!'

Taking a deep breath Daniel began talking. "I've been doing a lot of thinking lately and I've come to a realization."

"And?" Jack said it so calmly, he wondered briefly if his brain had just given up and left. Or, to be more precise, his heart.

"For a long time now, I've had... feelings--" Daniel broke off. "Jack how do you feel about same sex relationships?"

Jack blinked. Feelings. This wasn't going to be some casual confession, Jack realized. Not that he'd thought it would be, but suddenly he realized -- Daniel was telling him this, because he was in love.

Jack wasn't sure he could stand to hear it. Before he could say anything, however, he realized -- he couldn't use his own feelings to hurt Daniel's. He answered slowly, and carefully. "I have no objections to same-sex relationships. Although the military doesn't exactly share that view, you know."

"I don't care about what the military thinks. I care about what you think."

"I think that a same-sex orientation is as normal as an opposite-sex one." Jack shrugged. //That's right. Keep it distanced. This isn't about what I feel...//

Daniel didn't say anything else for a moment, just seemed to be deep in thought.

Jack wondered if he could let it drop, get back to work and hope it would be days before he had to hear Daniel's confession. Jack looked down at the reports stacked beside his hand. "Daniel? Is there something you want to tell me?"

//I can't believe I asked that.// Maybe his instincts were right -- get it over with, and scream later, in the privacy of your room. Later, much much later, he could be noble about hoping Daniel and Teal'c would be happy.

"I--" He watched Daniel take a deep breath and braced himself. Here it came.

"I'm in love with you Jack."

He stared. Daniel was watching him, closely. No doubt waiting for a response. No doubt hoping for something besides a blank, gaping stare. Jack found himself grinning, but slowly shook his head. "I'm sorry? Did you just say...?"

Daniel nodded. "It doesn't mean anything -- well of course it means something -- but you don't have to do anything about it. I just-- I had to let you know how I feel. Figured I'd lied to myself and you about it long enough."

Jack blinked, and wondered if maybe he'd woken up in an alternate universe this morning. But Daniel sounded so sincere. "I thought..." //Heads up, Jack! Don't go telling him you were eavesdropping.// "Me?" He asked again.

"I don't know any other Jacks, Jack."

"But why-- I mean, why are you..." He stopped again, and tried to kick-start his brain. "I always thought you were terminally straight."

"I'm not."

"You should have told me sooner."

"Um, why?" Daniel looked wary.

With a sigh, Jack shook his head. "Because I've been torturing myself for long enough." He looked at Daniel, feeling as if he were standing in the eye of a hurricane. For now, everything was calm, and clear. "I've loved you for a long time, Daniel."

For a long moment Daniel just stared at him. Then he closed his eyes and a shudder ran through his body. "I never thought..." he said softly. "Teal'c said you did but--"

It was sheer luck that let Jack clamp his mouth over his exclamation -- //that's what you were talking about?// Instead of saying it aloud, he looked at Daniel. Looked at him. Gorgeous, wonderful, and -- if he weren't dreaming -- in love with him. Jack shook his head. "It can't be this easy."

"You think this was easy?"

Jack was taken aback by the expression on Daniel's face. He wasn't happy. He wasn't happy about this at all. Jack reached over and grabbed Daniel's hand.

"No, I don't think this was easy. But jeez, there ought to be more to it. Teal'c talks you into telling me, and I tell you..." Jack shook his head. Definitely an alternate universe.

Daniel was looking at him funny. "I never said Teal'c talked me into telling you..."

Jack let his head fall onto the desk. And he had been doing so well... "I... sort of went walking around base last night. I might have overheard a little of your conversation." He kept his head on the desk, his face to the floor.

"If you already knew what I was going to say why did you look so surprised when I said it?"

Jack shifted uncomfortably. Finally, he looked up. "I thought you were going to tell me you were in love with Teal'c."

He didn't try to think about the hours he'd spent, all morning, fighting the urge to drop Teal'c in a ditch somewhere and steal Daniel for his own.

Daniel laughed. "Teal'c? I'm not even going to ask you how you jumped to that conclusion..."

"Well, all I heard was you-- oh, forget it. I don't want to think about it anymore, anyway."

He tried to wipe the vestiges of depression from his mind by reminding himself that in fact his nightmare had not come true. More like dreams -- if you wanted to get all poetic.

A hand reached tentatively across the table and covered his. Laughter gone, Daniel looked at him with affectionate concern. It wasn't the first time Jack had seen that look directed his way and he wondered briefly how he could've misread it all those times before. "I'm sorry," Daniel said.

"For what?"

"For laughing. You really did think that Teal'c and I...?"

Jack leaned back in his chair, hand dropping from Daniel's. It seemed pointless to talk about this now. But he nodded. "I thought you... hell, Daniel, I've been walking around thinking I could never tell you how I felt and then in the space of two seconds I find out I could have, then that I was already too late."

"I'm sorry," Daniel repeated.

"Don't be, Daniel. Wasn't your fault I never said anything." For a moment Jack stared at the desktop. Then he sat up, slapping the wood lightly, and smiled. "So. Now what? You wanna keep working or should we sneak out of here early?"

Daniel's eyebrows rose. "Sneak out? You mean you're actually willing to play hooky?"

"Are you willing to give me a good reason?" Jack grinned. He felt like screaming again -- only this time it was of the 'shouting from the rooftops' variety.

Shock passed over the anthropologist's face quickly replaced by a wicked grin. "I can think of one or two."

"Well, then, let's get out of here before Hammond finds us and drops more paperwork."

Jack stood up, and slid the chair smoothly back towards the table. Reports could wait 'til tomorrow.

~~~~~

It didn't take long, all things considered, to get to Daniel's apartment. Halfway there Daniel had made a stop -- blushing nicely, Jack noticed -- at a drugstore. Jack had waited in the car, not wanting to make Daniel's purchase any more difficult. He grinned, as Daniel nervously let them in to his apartment, acting like he didn't quite know what to do with his hands. Or his guest. "Kinda reminds you of high school, doesn't it?"

Daniel blushed even harder. "I... uh... didn't have much luck in high school."

"Oh." After a pause, he asked, "You wanna make up for that now?"

Daniel blinked, then grinned. "You offering?"

"Well, we've got all afternoon. And all night unless you've got other plans..."

"No, no other plans." The grin had turned into a soft smile.

Jack stared at that smile. He had really been in love with this man much too long, if just seeing him smile made him want to -- well hell, now he could. Jack stepped forward and tilted his head slightly, leaning forward just enough.

He heard Daniel give a quiet gasp just before their lips touched for the first time.

The kiss told him, without any doubt that if this were an alternate reality it was just as real as actual reality and he, therefore, had nothing to worry about. Nothing except the usual and that could all wait until tomorrow. Jack wrapped his arms around Daniel, and held him close. Deep inside his brain he heard a whispered, //wow.//

He laughed.

"What's so funny?" Daniel asked, reaching up and caressing his cheek with an affectionate hand.

"Wow."

"Wow?"

"Wow. I didn't expect... I don't know what I expected, but kissing you today was definitely not on my list of things to do this morning."

"Mine neither. But it's an ad-lib I definitely don't have any problems with."

With a feeling of delight, Jack leaned in for a second kiss. As it prolonged, his brain gave him another observation. //Double wow.//

When they broke off, he glanced towards Daniel's bedroom. "Shall we?"

"Yeah."

Jack wasted no time -- he gave Daniel a gentle push towards the bedroom door, not giving the other man time to even turn around. Keeping his hands on the other man, Jack began exploring the body he would soon be reveling in.

Daniel chuckled -- the sound a bit rougher than normal. "Not wasting any time are you?" he asked as he stepped through the doorway and was pushed again, this time towards the bed.

"Why waste time? You have something you'd rather be doing than getting your clothes off?" Jack pulled his own shirt off, enjoying how Daniel's gaze seemed suddenly frozen.

The anthropologist stood there gaping, as he watched Jack efficiently strip. "Uh, no," he finally said, shaking off the momentary paralysis and reaching for the buttons on his own shirt. "Undressed... is good."

"I thought so." Jack felt himself smirking. There was something to be said for taking your time, undressing your lover -- but there would be other chances for things like that. Right now he wanted to be naked, in bed, with Daniel. Better yet -- naked in Daniel.

That thought made him shed his boots and pants in seconds.

The rest of Daniel's clothes weren't far behind. One thing about the anthropologist, Jack mused as he stalked forward towards the man, he may a slow starter but once he put his mind to something...

Jack dropped the rest of his own clothes on the floor and advanced. Daniel retreated again, until he was against the edge of the bed. Jack reached out and grabbed him for a kiss.

Daniel responded wholeheartedly, wrapping his arms around Jack, and pressing up against him, his customary enthusiasm for whatever he was doing definitely in evidence.

It felt incredible, as if his body had been doused in fire and ice at the same time. The feel of Daniel's body pressed against his own, warm and eager, turned Jack on more than he thought possible. Unable and unwilling to hold himself back, he began to attack every bit of Daniel he could reach, with his mouth.

A series of gasps and smothered moans were his rewards, as Daniel arched and shivered under his attentions, incredibly responsive to the least caress that Jack could give.

He tried to nudge them towards the bed, knowing if he didn't they'd fall soon. Rather fall on a mattress, Jack thought. But Daniel was making it difficult to do anything except stand there, and experience.

The decision was taken out of his hands however when Daniel seemed to decide it was his turn. The anthropologist went from standing there trembling under Jack's mouth and hands to out and out attacking. With a soft 'oomph' of expelled air, Jack found himself lying on his back on the bed, Daniel sitting astride his hips, grinning wickedly down at him.

Jack didn't mind. He lay more or less still, ready and willing. "Guess that answers that question," he said.

"Question?" Daniel asked, before leaning over and kissing and nipping at Jack's throat.

"Who's gonna be on top first." Jack held Daniel to him, letting his new lover explore. Suddenly he hit a spot, though, right above his collarbone and Jack's body filled with electric sparks.

Always inquisitive, Daniel wasted no time in searching out Jack's other hot spots, thoroughly exploring every millimeter of chest, arms and stomach, then going back and repeating the caresses that had gotten the most reactions.

Jack had fully intended to do more than just lie here, moaning and writhing, but Daniel didn't seem to mind all that much. At least, he was certainly reducing him to brainless protoplasm with enthusiasm.

Then Daniel's exploring dipped lower and Jack suddenly felt like a supernova had gone off behind his eyes.

He could make out the feel of hands on his hips, pushing him down. There was the unmistakable feel of Daniel's torso, lying against one leg. Unmistakable for that one sensation, hard and hot, pressed into his thigh. Everything else was his mouth, and everything else was indescribable.

Daniel brought him to the edge and pulled him back over and over until Jack's entire awareness was narrowed to where Daniel's mouth was and what it was doing to him. Then Daniel pulled back and reached for the bag he'd placed on the nightstand while getting undressed.

Jack exhaled sharply, blinking as the world slowly re-formed around him. "Jeez, Daniel don't stop!"

"Relax," Daniel soothed, one hand reaching out and petting Jack's stomach. "Just getting ready for the next step."

"Well hurry or I'm going to-- oh god..." He stopped speaking completely as Daniel touched him again. Bending one leg, he placed his foot on the bed and let Daniel touch him... This wasn't what he's anticipated but he wasn't about to stop it. Not when Daniel was moaning, soft and low and driving him crazy with it. He looked up and saw a wild fire in the other man's eyes and knew he wouldn't have stopped it for the world.

"Hurry," he whispered.

Daniel answered with actions, fingers gently probing and stretching, causing Jack to shudder and moan. Then the fingers were gone and Jack watched as, with shaking hands, Daniel rolled a condom on.

Moving until he was pressed against Jack's loosened entrance Daniel paused and looked up meeting Jack's eyes, waiting for final permission before preceding.

Jack could barely breathe, so he didn't try speaking. Instead he placed his hands flat against the bed, and pulled himself towards Daniel.

A low moan broke from Daniel's lips as the movement caused him to slip inside of Jack. He rocked his hips, sinking in slowly but steadily with each tiny thrust forward.

Jack let his body go as limp as he could possibly manage under the circumstances. It had been a long time since he'd done this, and he wanted to get past the discomfort as quickly as he could. Tightening his muscles, he let go as Daniel pushed in farther. His body began shaking, and he heard himself moaning as he tried to say his lover's name.

Finally, Daniel was all the way in and he paused to give Jack a change to adjust. He looked at Jack's face, his eyes saying things that he couldn't in words.

Jack saw it, and responded by wrapping his legs around Daniel's waist and holding him in place. For a long moment they remained there, trapped in that position, trapped in each other's eyes.

Then Daniel shifted just a bit and Jack groaned at the feeling. Daniel began to move, slowly pulling out and sinking back in, but gradually picking up speed as he moved.

Jack pulled his legs up, holding onto his knees as Daniel pushed in and out. Jack wanted to scream at the feeling building inside him -- wanted to shove with all his might and reach the edge, the end of this exasperating sensation of waiting. But if he did, he'd lose this. Lose the touch of Daniel, inside him for the first time, braced above him and inside him and bending over him... Jack closed his eyes.

He felt fingers close around his erection, pumping it in counterpoint to Daniel's increasingly hard thrusting.

That was when he lost it. Explosions, fireworks, antigravity wells all fought for metaphor in his skull. Time and space halted, as he came.

Caught in the throes of his climax, Jack was only distantly aware of Daniel calling out his name as he also came.

The world spun slowly, and Jack lay still and let it. World could take care of itself. Right now, all he wanted was to lie here, and wait for his body to reassert itself as a working organism. He felt Daniel fall on top of him, and rearranged his legs and arms to accommodate him.

Turning his head, he cuddled Daniel to him.

The anthropologist let out a contented sigh and snuggled even closer. "That was..."

"Mmm... yeah. Let's do it again." Jack felt himself falling towards sleep.

A fond chuckle drifted up to him and he felt Daniel kiss his shoulder. "Anytime, Jack." Daniel yawned. "But maybe a nap first?"

Jack hugged him, one-armed, and nodded. Then sleep came, and the next thing he knew he was waking up with a dead arm and a sticky lover. He smiled.

Perfect.