He wasn't really sure when it started but first time round, Jack decided he must be going crazy. He'd always wondered what that would be like, if he'd know it was happening when he finally snapped, one bad experience too many tipping him over the edge. He'd seen enough people lose it along the way and had always wondered what it felt like from the inside - the only person he knew who could possibly tell him was Daniel and that wasn't a question he was going to ask any time soon.
It was a good excuse, even if it wasn't the case. It explained a lot, gave him an out for the things that shouldn't be happening inside his mind if he wasn't going insane. The things he shouldn't be thinking unless he was losing the plot in more ways than one.
Or maybe he was under the influence of something alien, something he hadn't realized he'd stumbled across on a mission off-world and it had scrambled his brain and libido. But somehow that seemed a little cowardly, blaming aliens for the way his imagination went haywire at the slightest provocation, like he was ashamed of his fantasies or something. Aroused, definitely - ashamed, not at all.
Daniel was oblivious, of course. That was one of the few constants in Jack's otherwise ever-changing universe. He could be unraveling in front of Daniel's eyes and there was a good chance he wouldn't even notice, unless Jack didn't respond at some point when he paused to draw breath mid-lecture. And maybe not even then. In some ways, he was glad Daniel didn't know what was going on with him; it was infinitely easier not to have to explain.
Meanwhile it was getting much more difficult for Jack not to drift away, lose himself in the fantasy, eyes on Daniel's mouth as he spoke to help fill in the details.
First time it happened had been in a foxhole, of all places. If you could call that scrape in the ground a hole. Dirt flying from staff weapon blasts was a little too close for comfort; Daniel had dropped like a stone and Jack had thrown himself down after. For once, Daniel seemed to be exhibiting some instinct for survival and Jack was more than glad to see that happen. He'd instinctively known Daniel was okay but he'd half-covered him with his body anyway, rattling off a few dozen rounds at the advancing Jaffa, enough to make them think twice.
It was only when there was a momentary lull in the shooting that Jack realized he hadn't moved, that he was still lying half on top of Daniel. He couldn't see Daniel's face, but he could see his hands, knuckles white where he was cramming the boonie down onto his head as if it were bullet-proof. Daniel was making good use of what little cover they had, lying with his legs half pulled up, every muscle taut against Jack's body as he surveyed the surrounding brush for potential threats.
The Jaffa started shooting again, but not before Jack was aware of something else - his own erection pressing into the curve of Daniel's ass. As he'd returned fire once more, Jack had wondered if Daniel realized but had taken his lack of movement as ignorance. He hoped that was the case. If it wasn't, Daniel hadn't mentioned it later and that was good enough for him.
Of course, the fantasy spawned by that moment had twisted that protective memory into something infinitely more entertaining, as was usually the case. His over-active libido turned the remembrance of how it felt to have Daniel pressed against him, even if there were clothes in the way, into something way more intimate. This time, when his cock was pressed against Daniel's ass, there was nothing in between. There was also a hell of a lot less shooting and a hell of a lot more moaning, from both of them.
The expression on Daniel's face told Jack that his head had snapped round much faster than the other man had expected; that surprise was mixed with a measure of irritation as well. Daniel didn't like to be ignored and as a result Jack tried to keep him happy by at least pretending to pay attention to the latest lecture on scribal characteristics in Linear B or whatever the topic of the day proved to be. And most of the time he succeeded.
"I'm listening," he said, gesturing with a hand at the papers Daniel held. "You were about to come to some conclusion, am I right?"
It was worth a guess, and the small smile that quirked Daniel's lips told Jack he'd hit the bulls eye this time around. Score one for Team O'Neill, saved from disaster.
It was Daniel's mouth, of course, that was the source of most of Jack's problems. If Daniel knew what all that lip-licking did to half the people around him, but to Jack in particular, he'd probably be so horrified that he'd stop talking for a couple of days. Instead of which he seemed oblivious and probably was.
Not that this stopped Jack's over-active imagination from running a variety of fantasies that involved that mouth being put to all kinds of other uses. Idly, Jack had wondered how normal it was for a man of his age to have an imagination quite as filthy as his and whether there was a career in writing gay porn in his future post-retirement. Whether he could have enacted any of these fantasies, given the opportunity, was another matter but there was no chance to test out the theory and whether Jack would need the Viagra he expected would be necessary.
He was glad Daniel had stopped wearing the boonie, though. There was something about it that made him feel like his fantasies were taking advantage, even when the fantasy-Daniel was a willing participant. It just served to underline the difference in age between them and how unlikely any of these fantasies really were. The hair was the same, though sometimes he fantasized about Daniel still having the haircut he'd had when they first met, just for variety, but that wasn't often.
How it usually went was pretty much the same, regardless of how Daniel looked in this particular fantasy. They were off-world, stuck together just the two of them, Carter and Teal'c off somewhere else that didn't matter - Jack wondered, as he indulged in this favorite of his, if the fact he'd never really have sex off-world was also part of the attraction of this scenario.
Even if he could admit to Daniel what he wanted, and in the even unlikelier event of Daniel going along with it, he wasn't someone who believed in jerking off on work time.
He settled down into the embrace of the battered couch he refused to throw out. His vivid imagination sure saved on the bills, rendering videos and porn in general a lesser place than most men his age would give them. Jack unbuttoned the top button of his jeans, then the next and the next, all the while working hard to concentrate on his fantasy.
Off-world, somewhere dry and not too hot. Just the two of them. Daniel almost vibrating with delight over some chicken scratch he'd just found, his hands emphasizing just how gosh-darned Important his latest discovery was going to turn out to be. Sometimes he was wearing the bandanna, though not always, even if it emphasized his cheekbones and mouth even more than usual. That was the condensed version, for when Jack needed to get from 0-60 in record time, and he was off duty now so no need to rush.
Daniel was hot and sweaty anyway, a smudge of dirt across his forehead where he'd wiped his hand without thinking. Hot, sweaty and utterly edible. Mid-lecture, perhaps sensing Jack wasn't really paying attention, he'd pause and take a couple of steps closer, close enough for Round 2.
Jack's cock was free now, still only half-hard in his hand as he closed his eyes and took himself back to that imaginary planet.
He wouldn't resist or even flinch when one of Jack's hands landed on his shoulder, would allow himself to be pushed to his knees, eyes widening but other than that unprotesting. And then he'd realize just what it was Jack wanted from him, the words that fell from his mouth trailing to a halt.
Daniel was good at sucking cock, of course, just like he was good at pretty much anything else he turned his mind to. Single-minded, his agile tongue as adept at wringing every last sensation from Jack's cock as it was at twisting itself round the oddest of languages. The sight of Daniel on his knees, cheeks hollowing as he worked Jack's erection, eyes closed with an almost rapturous expression on his face - if he could bottle it, Jack would swear it was better than Viagra could ever be.
And when it was almost over, when he was far closer to the edge than any man of his age had a right to be without shooting his bolt, Daniel would let Jack's cock slip from his mouth with an obscene slurping sound that Jack could almost hear even now.
By the time, back in the real world, Jack's pulse had settled back to normal, he wondered again just why it was that particular fantasy never got any further.
So there they were, just hanging out like friends did. Pizza and a game he'd taped from when they were off-world.
Tonight it was just him and Daniel - Teal'c had cried off, as he was taking a few days out to visit Ry'ac and basketball wasn't Carter's thing so she never came over for that. Jack wasn't sure it was a good idea to be alone with Daniel, considering the direction his thoughts had been running in lately, but there was nothing he could do about it without arousing suspicion. He'd just have to keep a lid on the inappropriate fantasy material running through his brain and hope he could bluff his way through the next couple of hours without incident.
"Make yourself at home," he said, letting the front door swing open when Daniel arrived. He didn't bother to wait and see Daniel in, just turned and headed back to the kitchen for the beer as Daniel dropped his jacket on the back of the nearest chair and made himself comfortable on the couch. SOP for game nights.
As he was closing the fridge door with his hip, Jack heard the TV click on. By the time he'd reached the doorway, the only thing Jack could hear was the soundtrack of the wrong video, the one he'd forgotten to remove. Jack felt the blood drain from his face as he realized just which tape was in the vcr and why it had been in there since the previous night. The tape Jack used to get off when he was too tired to concentrate on the fantasy - his Plan B.
The man on the screen, the one who was currently getting the fucking of his life if his reaction was anything to go by, bore a remarkable resemblance to the man who was currently staring at him open-mouthed from the couch. At the time he'd discovered that tape, Jack had found himself wondering how many times something could be played before it wore out.
"Turn that off," Jack said, amazed he could still form words that made sense. Daniel fumbled for the remote as Jack put the beer he was holding down on the coffee table. He paused for a moment and wondered whether sitting down was a good idea, all things considered, before sitting as far from Daniel as the couch allowed. And even that probably wasn't going to be far enough for either of them.
"I had no idea," Daniel began, the tape now off.
"I don't want to hear it," Jack said, though he couldn't bring himself to look Daniel in the face. He grabbed one of the bottles of beer, taking a hefty swallow just for something to do, something that didn't involve talking or listening to Daniel tell him how it was all going to be okay, how he didn't mind that Jack was gay and he was sure they could still be friends.
Out of the corner of his eye, Jack saw Daniel pick up the other beer, then heard him drink. He didn't have to look to know how Daniel's throat moved when he swallowed, how he'd probably lick his lips after the first mouthful went down, how he'd wondered just what the combination of Daniel and good beer tasted like. All of that was ancient history, and not the kind Daniel liked.
"So, you want to pretend this never happened?" Daniel's voice was a little too cheery and the sound of it made Jack wince. He hadn't thought it was possible to be more embarrassed than he was, but apparently he'd been wrong. "Or should I tell you how I feel about finding out my best friend has been lying to me?"
It took an effort not to snap back at that one, to keep himself still and concentrate on his beer. If Daniel was fishing for a response, he'd have to try better bait than that. Still, there wasn't really a good answer, at least not one that Jack could think of right now.
"I wasn't lying." Technically, that was true. None of them had ever asked him. Jack took another mouthful of beer and wondered why Daniel hadn't left already.
"So, I shouldn't think anything that one of my friends who I thought was straight to be watching gay porn featuring a guy that looks like me?"
Jack considered that question while he studied the label on his beer and decided there really wasn't a good answer to it.
"What did you think I'd do if I found out?"
Jack shrugged, since his fantasies had never included this scenario - Daniel had always been a willing participant but Jack had never had to deal with just how he got to be participating in the first place. He just was. And it had been a long time since Jack had danced this particular dance, so long that he wasn't sure he had the moves any more.
"And is there anything else you haven't been telling me?"
The blood had returned to Jack's face by now and he felt it heat as his guilty conscience finally caught up with him. It was one thing to fantasize about Daniel when he didn't know about it but quite another to admit that he did so to the subject himself. Daniel was silent but he knew the change had been observed, catalogued and considered.
"Things got out of hand." Jack could hear the half-hearted apology in his voice and winced at it. "You were never meant to find out."
"I think I'd figured that out for myself," Daniel replied. His voice was terse now, the false cheeriness of before a distant memory and Jack found himself wishing he could turn back the clock. What idiot had made these game nights a regular occasion for the team anyway? "So what happens now?"
If he was drunk, if they were both drunk, this whole situation would probably be much easier. A little fumbling, some clumsy groping and the whole embarrassment would just get replaced by monumental hangovers the next morning. At least that way they'd both be embarrassed instead of Jack being the only one carrying that burden at the moment.
"I need another beer," Jack said, putting the now-empty bottle he'd been cradling down on the coffee table.
"Get me another?" Daniel asked. "Somehow I think I'm going to be staying over." Jack froze halfway up from the couch. "Or am I making assumptions here, Jack?"
He straightened up, taking a quick look at Daniel before he spoke. Daniel was looking at the now-silent television, not at Jack, beer bottle rolling between his palms as he waited for Jack's reply.
After a couple more beers and some pizza, they'd made a half-hearted effort to watch the game but it was clear, to Jack at least, that Daniel was faking interest just to go along with what he thought Jack wanted. They'd watched about an hour of play before Jack finally gave in and turned off the tape.
"So," he said, "what happens now?"
Daniel had squashed himself into the corner of the couch, long legs stretched out and his socked feet resting on the coffee table. He looked utterly relaxed, long fingers curled loosely round a half-empty bottle of beer that rested at an odd angle on his chest.
"Before we watched the game," Daniel said, closing his eyes. "You were about to tell me all your deep dark secrets."
It was much easier this way, Jack decided. He couldn't have even begun to talk about this kind of thing without the assistance of alcohol and the knowledge that Daniel wasn't watching him.
"I've been..." He paused, searching for another word but in the end he knew there really wasn't one. "Fantasizing."
"Go on," Daniel said. He hadn't moved, his quiet words the only sign he was still awake.
"The video was my back-up. For when I was too tired to even imagine things." Silence. "You weren't supposed to find out."
It was stating the obvious but Jack didnít feel like he had much of a choice in the matter.
"I was in your fantasies?"
Daniel hadn't moved, still looked infinitely relaxed but his eyes were open now, his expression sharp and it was all Jack could do not to squirm. So much for all that covert ops training when all it took was one determined archaeologist to make him sweat. And not in the way he'd been fantasizing about, damn it.
This time around, the difference between reality and fantasy, Jack wasnít in control of what was happening. In his fantasy encounters, he'd called all the shots and thought that was how he liked it, but now he was the other end of the couch from Daniel for real it wasnít quite so easy. There wasnít enough beer in the world to make it as easy as the fantasy had.
"What did I do, Jack?" Daniel's voice had dropped, husky and quiet. Jack took a nervous last swallow of the dregs of beer in his bottle before using the careful placement of it on the coffee table an excuse to shift position. Damn, he had it bad if Daniel's voice alone, the understanding in it, was enough to make him half-hard this way. "What did you do?"
He glanced across, only to discover Daniel's eyes were closed once more, a half-smile quirking his lips again as he waited for Jack's reply. Jack was moving before he could think about it, before he could tell himself what a bad idea it was to take the bottle from Daniel's hand and place it on the floor, to insinuate his other hand behind Daniel's neck and pull him forward so he could find out just what the other man tasted like. If he'd thought about consequences, he wouldnít be here - that was pretty much the story of Jack's life in one sentence.
And then he was lost, pressed against Daniel, one leg moving with elegant ease into the new gap between Daniel's thighs as he shifted beneath Jack's weight, warm skin beneath his exploring fingers. The way Daniel was responding to his kiss, to every move Jack made, told him his fantasies had been way out in left field in some respects. This was no innocent he was taking advantage of, for which Jack knew he'd be eternally grateful - that was fine for fantasies but otherwise could easily prove to be a pain in the ass.
Now he knew what Daniel's mouth tasted like, exactly what he'd thought it probably would: beer and coffee and pizza with too much sauce.
The moment his mouth moved from Daniel's, he started talking again, another thing that Jack expected from the outset, another way to add to the list of how this Daniel was different from the one he'd imagined. Somewhere along the way the real Daniel had become so different from the Daniel he'd fantasized about that Jack knew now the object of his fantasy, the man who'd look innocent and really be innocent even as he sucked Jack's cock, never really existed.
"You really had no idea how I'd react, did you?" Daniel asked, as Jack moved his hand down across his crotch, checking that Daniel was really into this, that he wasnít just half-drunk and feeling like he should go along with the ride. The heat he found, the hiss of pain-pleasure Daniel made when he kneaded down on it with the ball of his hand, told Jack everything he needed to know about what Daniel thought. "We're both good liars, when we need to be."
"Didnít lie," Jack repeated, as he wrestled with the zip of Daniel's jeans. He ignored the snort of laughter those words generated. He couldnít look at Daniel's face while he did that - the expression he'd always imagined wouldnít be there and he wasnít quite sure what would replace it. The world would keep spinning if Jack didnít know, so what was the point? "Just didnít volunteer the information."
"Sure," Daniel agreed, as he lifted his hips a little to accommodate what Jack was doing, letting the worn denim of his jeans slide from his hips as the fly opened, the movement dragging down the waistband of his briefs and exposing a little of his lean torso. Any response Jack might have made died in his mouth at that sight, warm skin and a light dusting of hairs leading downwards. "Keep telling yourself that."
Daniel's voice was amused now, as he didnít bother to hide how he felt about Jack's continued denial. He ought to be angry, should be pushing himself off the couch and as far away from Daniel as he could, but the incipient taste of Daniel's skin called to him, making him bow his head and brush his tongue across the strip of flesh. Jack smiled to himself as he heard Daniel's breathing stutter, become harsher, the hot flesh beneath his palm becoming inconceivably hotter as Daniel responded to the touch.
He moved again, pressing himself against Daniel as much as he could, full body contact. The space caused by his questing hand was the only exception, the only place where Jack didn't feel Daniel's arousal transmit through muscle and bone, heat against heat despite the clothes they both wore. Daniel's erection, when he freed it at last, was almost hotter than he could bear to touch.
"Did you imagine this?" Daniel's breath as he spoke was like flame against Jack's cheek, the whispered words sending a jolt through Jack's body. "My dick in your hand?" He was hard enough to hammer nails now, the casual commentary Daniel provided running straight through his system like a steam train. "Or the other way round?"
He couldnít help the groan that erupted from his lips, even as he felt the soft chuff of Daniel's amusement against his face, Daniel's lips moving down his jaw line; it should have come as no surprise that Daniel was just as single-minded when it came to sex as he was with anything else.
"Jesus, Daniel," he breathed. "Are you trying to kill me?"
"Not a chance," Daniel said, raising his head with what looked like an honest to goodness O'Neill smirk of his own on his face. He could only have learned that from the source. "I have fantasies of my own we still need to try out."