Den of Chaos Fiction
Stargate SG-1

Canon for a Minor Key
by Taselby


Written for Inyron, for the 2006 Jack/Daniel Ficathon, organized by the wonderful and incredibly patient Greensilver. Inyron asked for dark/angst and a first time story. I’m not sure how well I satisfied on the first part, and hope this is something like she wanted.

Thank you to JiMPage363, Ashlyn Donnchaid, and Synecdochic for reading, handholding, crisis counseling, and general wonderfulness.

Standard disclaimer: not mine, no money, no additives or preservatives, no warranties either express or implied. Please close cover before striking. Lather, rinse, repeat. See your physician if symptoms persist for more than seven days. Not for use if you are underage or thinking about becoming underage.

Rated Adult for the graphic depiction of m/m sex.

Set during season 4, post-“The Curse.”

At 0300 Jack gives up on sleep and makes his way down the darkened hall. He straightens a picture frame, steps over the squeaky floorboards, and promises himself to fix the running toilet in the front bathroom. Tomorrow. The kitchen is warm and humid, the dishwasher having finished its cycle some time ago, and the scent of lemon soap is strong.

He paces back and forth a couple of times and opens the window, staring hard out into the night. No stars are visible from here, but if he climbs up to the roof there might be a few shining in between the clouds. Osiris is out there somewhere beyond his reach, another snake wearing the face of someone Daniel loved.

He sets that avenue of thought aside for later, though he honestly hopes he gets Osiris sighted down the barrel of his weapon before that particular later comes. He splashes his face with water to rinse some of the grit from his eyes, and as long as he’s bent over the sink anyway he drinks from the tap until his stomach feels heavy and cold. The grainy edge of incipient hangover eases back far enough for him to remember that there are a few beers left and some pizza in the oven, and that’s not sounding like the worst idea he’s ever heard.

The beer is more of a nod to the idea of continued intoxication than a genuine effort; the bitterness that he would, on a normal day, call clean-tasting is instead merely bitter. He can’t quite remember what normal days feel like, but the pizza is chewy and good, starch and fat and salt packaged up into the perfect comfort food. Atherosclerosis delivered hot to your door.

There’s a deep, distant creak of bedsprings when Daniel gets up. The gurgle of pipes as he detours through the bathroom sounds almost like the house is waking with him, stretching to accommodate the notions of guest and hospitality. Creaking, making room for the concept of Daniel. Daniel’s not very good at moving quietly, and probably isn’t even trying right now. From the kitchen Jack hears him hit every creaky floorboard in the hall. There’s a thump and hiss -- probably stubbed his toes or sideswiped a bookshelf -- announcing his presence to anyone within earshot. Might as well call out a nice, loud yoo-hoo, over here while he’s at it. Daniel fumbles in the dark for the kitchen doorframe, leaning against it a little too hard to convince Jack that he’s completely sober, a clear silhouette against the front windows. Black and blue, variations on a theme.

Jack takes a breath and doesn’t look up. The shape of the beer bottle is cool and wet between his hands. The moist foil label comes away in long strips, falling in pale curls to the dark table. He can feel Daniel’s eyes on him. It’s not the skin-prickling sensation that observation usually brings, but there is something uncomfortable in it.

“Hey,” Jack says when it becomes clear that Daniel will stand there all night, waiting him out. It’s not that Jack can’t outlast him, no. But after everything else, ignoring him would be pointless and cruel.

Jack prefers his cruelties to serve a purpose.

One syllable is apparently invitation enough to lure Daniel into the dim rectangle of yellow light thrown out by the stove lamp. “Hey,” Daniel says, mirroring Jack with a technique straight out of First Contact 101.

Jack smiles, tight and private, eyes flicking up and back down. He drains the beer, then taps the stale rind of pizza crust against the empty bottle. Row row row your boat. “I thought you were asleep.”

“Funny,” Daniel says with a tip of his head, “I was going to say the same thing about you.” He pauses. “Are you all right?”

Jack glares at him, but he suspects the effect is blunted by the darkness. After a handful of seconds he looks down and rubs a bit of paper off the tip of his finger. “Yeah, you?” he says, because it’s mostly truth and because it’s expected. Daniel likes rituals, even if he doesn’t believe in any of them.

“Yeah, I’m okay,” Daniel says, fumbling at his hips for a second, hunting for pockets. He gives up and lets his hands fall. No crossed arms, no overtly defensive body language. He nods toward Jack’s beer. “There any more of those?”

“You hate beer.” Repeat the greetings, participate in local customs.

“That’s a little extreme,” Daniel steps past him, skimming the edge of the deeper shadows, his bare feet a whisper on the linoleum. “It’s not my first choice, but you’re out of bourbon and I still can’t look at tequila after P4F-718.”

Small talk. He can do that, though the drumming restless energy in his head ratchets up a notch at the useless conversation. He’d been hoping Daniel would sleep it off till morning, but he’s never been virtuous enough for that kind of luck.

Jack thinks for a moment, closing his eyes to the white light from the refrigerator. Way to kill your night vision, Daniel. “Oh, that one. That was all your fault, you know.”

Daniel twists the tops off of two beers and hands one to Jack. “How was it my fault?” The chair creaks faintly as he takes a seat. “Sam started it.”

“You’re the one who got her head all full of that Indiana Jones stuff, sneaking around in that temple, running from the natives…” he waves a hand vaguely.

Daniel’s mouth twists in annoyance, lower lip pulled to the side. Jack realizes that he’s staring and looks back down at his beer. Daniel doesn’t seem to have noticed. “Please, after all these years she knows that real archaeology doesn’t work that way, and…” Daniel pauses, and without looking Jack can feel the frown of concentration. “Wait a minute. You mean she was trying to drink me under the table?”

“There wasn’t much trying involved, Daniel. Of course, she joined you under there not long after.” Jack traces a finger through the water starting to condense on the bottle. Daniel is a hazy block of light and shadow in his peripheral vision, glasses obscuring his eyes, but not the force of his scrutiny. Observe the local interactions, ask questions and try to gain their trust.

Daniel winces and sips his beer. It’s a social custom, a pretext for group interactions, something to occupy the hands. A way to cover an uncomfortable silence. Occasionally anesthetic, but not just now. “I may never drink tequila again after that.”

“Certainly not at that restaurant. You guys are gonna get us banned from every decent watering hole south of Denver.”

“Well, now you’ve gone and uncovered our clever plot.” The joke falls more than a little flat. Daniel’s focus is starting to become uncomfortable, and Jack is keenly aware of all the questions Daniel isn’t asking.

“Yeah, well. System Lords you aren’t.” Jack starts working on the label of this beer. A bright curl of paper peels away under his patient fingers.

“No,” Daniel says, rolling the bottle between his palms, “I don’t think they generally frequent cantinas.” His tone is light enough, but the grace notes of the conversation are all wrong.

Jack drinks some more. The edge of hangover that threatened earlier eases back further. Through the darkness beyond the open window, there is the distant sound of a car alarm.

The quiet draws out. Jack can’t see the open window from here, not without craning his neck, but cold air pools around his ankles. There is still time to go look at the stars, but that impulse has already faded. He wants to promise Daniel that they will get Sarah back, that they will free her from Osiris. There is the Hammer, and the Tollan. And if determination and the power of Jack’s promises were enough, Daniel wouldn’t be a widower.

But Jack remembers that there are all kinds of free. Almost as many as there are failure.

“As avoidance tactics go,” Daniel says, long minutes after the alarm hiccups back into silence, “I’ve seen better ones.”

Jack closes his eyes against the sudden rush -- memory, shame, the sinister ribbon of heat in his body. It’s a weightless feeling, the sickening lurch of freefall. “I’m still refining my technique.”

“I can see that,” he says, doing that thing where he manages to look up at you despite relative height. Jack thought Carter might have a theory about that, something to do with all that earnestness bending local space. “You want to talk about it?”

“Wouldn’t that kinda defeat the purpose of all this lovely beer and avoidance?”

“Possibly, but in fairness, your current approach doesn’t seem to be that successful.”

“I suppose not.”

Daniel takes a breath, looks down and back up again. “Do you want me to leave?”

Jack thinks about that -- about how much of a complete asshole he can be in one evening by showing Daniel the door or the couch -- until the fresh beer is almost empty. The thing is, Daniel means it—a word from Jack and he’ll go. And they’ll see one another at work, and in a few days or a week or a month they’ll get together for a beer (just one beer) and never mention tonight again.

It would be the right thing to do – the responsible thing to do. Daniel would understand. Just wow, we were drunk and no hard feelings and yes, the job really is the more important thing.

His mouth feels thick, the words sticking in his throat.

He should probably make some coffee after this. As appealing as the thought of getting drunk, really drunk is, there aren’t too many things higher up on the Stupid Idea list. And he’s done enough stupid things for one night. “No, I don’t want that,” he says quietly.

“Okay.” Daniel doesn’t take the obvious opening, and Jack wishes that he’d show some of this restraint in the field, then chides himself for being unfair. Daniel’s… dedication to the mission, the lengths to which he pursues his goals, is one of the things that makes SG-1 such an effective unit. He’s reminded, over and over, that Daniel is one stubborn sonofabitch.

The tiny motor in the wall clock hums faintly, spinning out seconds, minutes, hours if he sits here long enough, though he’s already feeling restless and confined. A breath, and another. He digs his thumbnail against a spot of stubborn glue on the bottle.

“Crap,” he says, pushing the bottle away and scrubbing both hands over his face. Enough. The chair pushes back with a clatter and squeak. “You want some coffee?”

“Sure,” Daniel says, following him up, beer abandoned in a puddle of condensation on the table. “Hey, you mind if I turn a light on?”

“Go ahead.” He fills the pot with water, then reaches automatically for the good coffee. Daniel deserves it.

Instead of hitting the main switch, Daniel twists the dimmer knob just enough to take the edge off the gloom. Jack has a crazy thought about red checkered tablecloths and big glasses of good chianti. Of him trying to impress Daniel by ordering from the menu in Italian. He also admits, if only to himself, that he’s feeling more than a little random.

He thumbs the button on the coffee maker, and the warm scent of coffee fills the room. Daniel is rubbing absently at the back of his neck.

Daniel’s forehead is pink and just starting to peel, and looks innocuously like a sunburn. Jack doesn’t think too long about that, about the bruises on the front of Daniel’s throat, or the slightly awkward way he holds himself. A dozen times they’ve come close, and more than close, escaping by wit and skill, alien intervention and sheer dumb luck. Daniel’s blood on his hands, Daniel’s voice in the dark, Daniel breathing harsh and slow just one more breath just one more. There is one bruise, small and bright, just out of alignment with the rest. Jack flicks his tongue over his lower lip reflexively. “How’s your head?”

“Fine,” he replies automatically, which means that it still hurts like hell. But Jack already knew that from the dimness of the lights.

“You want some aspirin?”

Daniel sighs, irritated. “No, I—“ he stops and takes a deep breath, head sagging forward for long seconds before he looks up again. “Yeah, I’ll take a couple.” He grabs his beer off the table to take the aspirin and leans back against the counter, momentary spark of anger extinguished. He hold up the bottle and looks at the label intently. “How can you drink this crap?”

“I would remind you that you are drinking that crap.”

Daniel contemplates the bottle again, his mouth twitching in a wry smile. “You have a point,” he says, and takes another sip.

Jack smiles without real humor. The urge to reach out is strong, lay a hand on Daniel’s arm, his neck, a fast embrace around his shoulders. He turns and gets mugs out of the cupboard.

Daniel sets his beer aside and leans against the counter, wiping his hand dry on the front of his t-shirt. “So,” he says after a long minute of unbearable silence, “you were saying?”

The coffee maker gurgles and spits. Jack twists one of the cups around, ceramic and tile grinding. He concentrates on the vibration in his fingers. When he looks up, Daniel is watching him, calm, steady, intense. Crap.

He takes a breath and forces himself to meet Daniel’s eyes.

The reservoir empties with a hiss of steam, and there is a dizzy moment of saved by the bell, but Jack knows it’s only a temporary stay. Daniel pushes away from the counter and moves around him, taking the mugs and pouring coffee. He passes one to Jack. Their fingers don’t touch.

Jack’s chest aches, low and deep.

Daniel cradles his mug in both hands, breathing the steam before taking a careful drink. Jack never thought of coffee as erotic before Daniel. He’d never thought about a lot of things, but Daniel has a way of doing that to him.

He’s discovering, or finally admitting, that he likes what Daniel does to him. And that’s what he’s afraid of.

He tries to take a drink of his coffee, but ends up just burning his mouth. He sets the cup aside and sucks air through his teeth. Daniel is still waiting. “I don’t know where to start,” he finally says for lack of anything better.

Daniel nods. Acknowledgement, not agreement. It took Jack longer than he likes to admit and a fistful of gray hairs learning to reliably tell the difference. “How about you start with why you’re in here instead of in bed?”

Jack glares at him, but Daniel just accepts it and takes another long drink of coffee. Jack’s tongue burns in sympathy. “I couldn’t sleep.” He knows it’s a chicken-shit evasion even as he says it.

“I actually get that part, Jack.” There is a bright flash of smile over the rim of Daniel’s cup, lightning-fast, and then Daniel is all business again. Well, except for the way he keeps dragging the cup across his lower lip. “You’re freaking out because we had sex?”

Double crap. Jack starts unloading the dishwasher. There isn’t much: a few plates, more coffee cups than anything. He could have waited to run it, but he was feeling restless earlier, too. The clatter of the big wire basket sounds like the picture frames in the hallway, jarring as he and Daniel lost the balance of their mutually supportive drunk stagger and collided with the wall, chest-to-chest, his arms full of Daniel, his nose full of Daniel’s hair.

He pulled his head back and Daniel smiled at him, a crooked “wow are we screwed up” twitch of his mouth, and flexed his fingers against Jack’s arm. Jack took a breath, hesitating as the moment shifted, darkening into something else electric and dangerous. He pressed Daniel harder against the wall…


Jack’s fingers slip, and a mug falls from his grasp. It bounces once, the heavy ceramic thudding against the floor, and comes to rest in the middle of the floor. The cup isn’t broken, but there’s a deep chip in the rim. Dammit. Jack picks it up and rubs a thumb over the divot; ceramic dust falls in a fine powder. “No. Yes.” He presses his thumb harder against the nick. “Maybe, yeah.”

Daniel sets his coffee aside and leans back harder, boneless, deflated. He pinches the bridge of his nose in a way that pushes his glasses up on his forehead. “Is this because I’m a man?”


There is a flash of real anger. “We’re a little beyond Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, here, Jack. You don’t want me to go, but you can’t stand to stay in bed with me? That’s a hell of a mixed signal.”

“I know it is, and I’m sorry.” There is an urge to pace, to throw something, to grab Daniel by the shoulders and-- He sets the chipped mug down gently and brushes the white specks of ceramic off the counter with his fingertips. He closes the dishwasher. “I didn’t mean for it to happen this way.”

“But you did intend for this to eventually happen.” There is a thoughtful pause. Daniel runs a hand through his hair. “So it’s not my gender, and it’s obviously not me personally. How did you imagine this, Jack? Was it supposed to be candles and soft music, or a fast, hard fuck in the base showers? How long have you wanted me?”

“Jesus Christ, Daniel.” The words cut straight down through to his cock. “Longer than just tonight, okay? And the rest of it is none of your damned business.” He wonders if those are Daniel’s fantasies, wet and naked, legs splayed, face pressed to the industrial green tiles… God. He shifts his weight, and again, then just gives up and reaches down to adjust himself. It’s less humiliating than squirming, but not by much. Daniel smirks. Bastard.

“I’m still not seeing the problem. You want me.” Daniel spreads his arms, but it looks more like challenge than offering. “Here I am.”

There you are.

He swallows against the thickness in his throat. Looking at Daniel has never been quite this hard, and that’s the best barometer for how completely fucked up this is. Most days he can’t get enough of looking. Watching over Daniel in the field, dropping by his lab, inviting him over for take out, and right now… Right now his gaze slides to the side, catching Daniel in the periphery while his mind plays a litany of sweat and salt and yes and more.

And hard on the heels of that... Daniel is on his unit, vividly male, a close friend, and Jack is already overinvested to the point that even thinking about the day Daniel’s luck will run out leaves him blind with grief. Excuses.

He knows what he wants; he’s always known. He’s just spent so long never expecting to have it, rationalizing why he’d never have it, that now, presented with it – with Daniel, angry, determined, quite possibly less confused than Jack – he’s not sure how to reach out and take what’s being offered.

“This changes things,” he says, stalling. Unwilling to go back, unable to go forward.

A flash of patented don’t be an ass glare and a neat fold of his arms, and Daniel looks strangely out of place in sweats and a t-shirt. That posture needs BDUs and a utility vest to set it off properly. “Yes, but it’s a little late to argue that point. Things are already changed.”

There is a hollow feeling deep in his chest. The hard part is that he wants to believe Daniel. There you are. He reaches out and very carefully traces his fingers over the fresh bruise under Daniel’s ear. It’s appallingly intimate, and he has no real right to that just now, but Daniel permits it. “Things have already changed,” he echoes.

“Yes,” Daniel says softly, agreement and encouragement, exposing more of his throat to Jack’s fingers.

Jack touches them all, the rough handprint Osiris left, the mark he himself added earlier this evening, and doesn’t think about Daniel’s peculiar brand of luck. Heart pounding, he brushes Daniel’s hair back from his forehead and lifts off his glasses. He sets them carefully aside on the counter.

Daniel makes a tight noise and presses him back against the cabinets, kissing him slow and deep, confident, hungry. The edge of the counter is sharp against his ass and the whole kitchen smells like soap and coffee and the clear cold of the pre-dawn hours. Daniel is big and warm, tasting of coffee. Jack opens to him and lets it happen, one hand on Daniel’s waist, another in his hair.

The hard shape of Daniel’s cock pressing into his hip makes him turn and press back, rocking in a slow, hard rhythm, gasping. It’s only after he’s lightheaded from trying to breathe between kisses that he turns his face and rubs his cheek against Daniel’s, panting, the rough scratch of stubble grounding and good. Better when Daniel slides a hand into his sweats and palms the length of Jack’s cock.

At the contact – sharp, sweet, and so much better than it should be – Daniel leans back just enough so that Jack can see his face, and something inside Jack twists at the nakedness of his expression, and everything downshifts. Slow, hard, no warm-up, just zero-to-sixty and a sudden drop back down into third on the grade. Engine complaining, a deep throb he can feel through the stick. Jesus.

The curve of Daniel’s shoulders fits neatly to his palms, bone and muscle under the thin drape of t-shirt, and Daniel’s hand strokes firmly up the length of Jack’s cock.

Jack swallows hard, fingers tightening. “Daniel.”

Daniel blinks, eyes dark with arousal. Wary, aggressive. His hand stills, but he doesn’t remove it.

He pulls Daniel against him, a hard, full-body press that’s so close to what he needs it makes his breath catch. “Take me to bed.”

A bruising kiss and a fast lick inside his mouth. “Yes,” whispered against his lips, more felt than heard. When Daniel pulls back, there is spit on his chin.

The bedroom still smells faintly of sex, the blankets wadded in a heap at the foot of the bed, one pillow hanging between the mattress and the night stand. Daniel backs him up until his knees hit the edge of the bed and he sits clumsily, bouncing once, feeling more than a little stunned. When he looks up, Daniel is stripping off his shirt, a smooth contraction of muscles in the warm light. “Here you are,” Jack says and peels his own shirt off.

“Jack.” Daniel shivers when Jack hooks his thumbs into the soft waist of his pants and slides them around, feeling that tease of soft, hidden skin. He rubs his face against Daniel’s belly, not really kissing, just brushing his mouth over the skin, feeling the fine, colorless hairs tickle his lips. Daniel’s hands fall to his shoulders, flexing in rhythm, and Jack wonders whether it was Daniel face-first against the tiles in that fantasy after all.

The thought is unbearably hot. His hands are starting to shake, just a little. He presses them against Daniel’s hips and holds tight. This should be simpler the second time, he thinks, and it’s not like Daniel is a stranger.

No, a stranger would be easier. He breathes deep and eases Daniel’s sweats down over his erection, pushing them halfway down his thighs, out of the way. “What did you have in mind, Daniel?”

Daniel smiles, bemused, hands kneading Jack’s shoulders. “I don’t know. I didn’t think I’d actually get this far.”

Pure Daniel. Jack smiles and nuzzles back into Daniel’s belly. Licking, tasting, breathing the warm salt-musk of his arousal. This is new, dizzy and intense. He licks Daniel’s cock once, twice, broad flat strokes easing Daniel into it before he slips his mouth down over the tip.

“Oh, God,” Daniel breathes like he’s in pain, hips stuttering forward once in an involuntary thrust. Jack holds him tight with both hands.

Thick and slippery-sweet. Jack groans and slides down, losing himself in the scent and taste, the aching pleasure of finally having what he wants. He’s clumsy and graceless, too many years since he’s done this, but Daniel doesn’t seem to mind. Daniel is breathing hard, making small noises of pleasure and distress, fingers gently carding Jack’s hair.

Daniel’s legs start to tremble, his cock leaking like a sieve. He cups Jack’s face in one large hand. “Jack…”

Jack pulls back and drags a hand across his chin. “Get in bed,” he says, looking up at Daniel. He’s so hard it hurts, heart pounding, skin tight with the need to be touched. Now that he has this, he can’t think of what else to want.

The bed dips as Daniel crawls up, kicking his sweats off from around his feet, and flops heavily onto his back. He’s a beautiful stretch of pale skin and need, his cock arched gracefully over his belly. A clear bead of pre-come falls in a glistening strand.

“When you’re done staring, you might want to get naked and join me.”

Jack pulls his sweats off, hissing as the fabric rubs across sensitized flesh. “You’re such a hopeless romantic.”

Daniel reaches for him, suddenly serious. “Not hopeless.”

Jack holds Daniel’s eyes until he can’t anymore, then nods once. He traces his hands over the smooth swells of muscle, the ladder of ribs, the hard points of Daniel’s hips. He didn’t really get to touch earlier, during their fast, alcohol-numbed fumble to orgasm.

Daniel twists under him, pushing up, cock begging for attention. “Jack, please.”

“Yeah,” he agrees automatically and nudges Daniel’s legs apart to kneel between them. Daniel flushes from neck to crotch and spreads his legs wider, the tendons in his thighs standing out with the strain.

He looks at Jack steadily and moistens his lips. “Yes.”

The confusion only lasts for an instant before Jack takes in their position and the look of raw hunger on Daniel’s face. “Oh, my God.” Excitement spikes through him so hard he has to close his eyes and grip himself tight to keep from coming all over Daniel right there.

“Sorry,” Daniel laughs softly and it’s perfect, it’s just enough to ease him back from the edge, to let him breathe again without worrying that he’ll go off like a goddamned teenager.

“No, you’re not.”

“No, not really,” Daniel agrees, breathless. The bed shifts, and Jack opens his eyes. Daniel is sitting up, pulling him into a kiss and pressing something into his hand. Lubricant. Oh, God. Daniel must have found it, taken it out before. He kisses Daniel slowly, a tender, needy glide of lips and tongue that’s too revealing, giving too much away, leaving him bare, defenseless. He hates the feeling of exposure, but Daniel could always be trusted with his secrets. And if this is going to work, everything needs to slow way the hell down. Right now he thinks he might come if Daniel so much as breathes on him.

He pulls back and rests his forehead against Daniel’s, nods. “Lie down,” he whispers.

One slick finger, then two. Jack lies next to him and fucks him like that, stroking the hot silken inside of his body until Daniel is sweaty and red-faced, gasping and fumbling his hands against the headboard, looking for something to hold on to. Daniel is tight and soft, pushing down on Jack’s fingers, thrusting his wet cock into the air until Jack can’t resist it anymore and takes it back into his mouth, sucking gently at the tip. He slides his fingers deeper, harder, loving the arch and strain of Daniel’s body, the wet rasp of his breath, begging, cursing, Daniel fucking himself down onto Jack’s fingers, up into his mouth, panting, pleading, grabbing for Jack’s free hand and--

“Jack, Jack, Jack—oh, GodJack,” and Daniel comes like he’s trying to turn himself inside out.

Jack catches the first few spurts of fluid on his tongue before he coughs, so excited he can’t breathe, can’t think. He lays himself across Daniel, who is still pulsing, smearing wetness between them, and he pushes back, sliding, dragging his cock through the slickness, his body clenching in sympathy, following Daniel over the edge.

“Oh my God,” Daniel breathes after a long minute, sweaty and boneless, hand coming up to awkwardly stroke Jack’s hair back from his face.

“Yeah,” Jack says stupidly, and runs his tongue around his teeth to work up some spit. His mouth is bone-dry. He tries to raise his head and look at Daniel, but it’s taking more strength than he has at the moment, and he’s suddenly aware of how very little sleep they’ve had.

Daniel’s hand keeps petting him, exploring gently. Jack basks in the feeling. Happy, sated, cherished, Daniel’s heart thumping steadily under his cheek, come drying in a gluey smear on their stomachs. “We’re a mess,” he says.

There is a rumble of laughter deep in Daniel’s chest. “Yes,” he agrees in a tone that makes Jack think that they’re talking about different things, “but we’ll fix it tomorrow.”

Jack cracks an eye open at the silvering windows. “It is tomorrow.”

Daniel sighs, his hand tightening on Jack’s shoulder. “I know, but… can we just sleep now? I don’t want to talk any more.”

At that, Jack raises up and looks at him. Daniel is watching him, something indefinable and sad in his eyes. “Whatever you want, Daniel,” he says quietly.

Daniel nods and winces deeply. “Just don’t-- don’t go anywhere, all right? Don’t leave.”

Jack nods, then raises up and kisses him before moving over to make room for Daniel in the bed. They could fix it tomorrow.


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