That's when it all happened, when Daniel would make it happen, when he needed it most.
He needed to know that it was all real, that he was back at the SGC and all that ascension business wasn't just the worst possible kind of dream, a dream stuffed full of frustration at not being able to do much of anything but watch his friends suffer.
Logic said he should have asked Jack, his oldest friend in this no-longer-strange concrete world, but something stopped him. Maybe it was the guilt he saw in Jack's eyes every time anything reminded him of the things they'd gone through together, the way Daniel had suffered at the end before he'd taken a step he had no alternative to and the vulnerability he'd seen in Jack when his friend had teetered between death and ascension himself. A request of this kind would just add to the burden, adding unnecessary weight to shoulders already bowed by bad memories.
Sam was out too. Too many complications there, nothing of the strength he needed, the strength to make sure he didn't shatter into countless pieces. They were neither of them role models for healthy relationships but at least Daniel had enough sense to identify a fellow traveller. She couldn't give him what he needed anyway, even if he'd been self-centred enough to ask.
That left only one choice.
Sometimes it was the only time he felt really alive, really there with everyone else, when he was alone with Teal'c like this.
It was ironic, really. It all circled round the one thing they couldn't talk about with anyone else, regardless of whether the others suspected it or not, which Daniel somehow thought they probably did. He'd given up long ago on putting anything past either Jack or Sam and suspected that the fact neither had raised his behaviour as an issue was down to them deciding that if they didn't ask then they could pretend it wasn't happening. Masters of denial, both of them, in their own distinctive ways.
Besides which, it wasn't as if anyone thought that Teal'c of all people would do something out of line. He had his moments, those times when thoughts of vengeance took over his common sense, but other than that he was stolid reassurance made flesh.
Which meant when that flesh was holding Daniel down on the bed, covering him like a heavy blanket, muscled limbs wrapped around him, the last thing on anyone's mind was that any of this was a problem.
Daniel found himself clutching the pillow with knotted fingers, wondering just how tight his grip would need to be to tear the cotton. The only sounds, echoing oddly in his ears from the concrete walls of Teal'c's sparsely decorated quarters, were his own whimpers as Teal'c fucked him hard.
The one who did this to him was silent other than that, concentrating with the same avidity he brought to all his actions. He'd needed persuasion at first, to not hold back, to trust that Daniel knew exactly what he was doing when he asked for this. Now they didn't even have to have that conversation any more.
He screwed his eyes shut and concentrated on the sensations; the sweat-slick slide of Teal'c's skin across his own, the heated press of his own erection between stomach and bed, the places where Teal'c's fingers held his hips as he thrust.
It took a moment for Teal'c's movement to register, for Daniel to realise the reason for the cooler air that wafted across his back as he moved, pushing Daniel's knees further apart to change the angle of his thrusts. The new position sent shockwaves through Daniel's body and a subtle ache in his lower back that he knew he'd pay for in the morning.
Teal'c's movements increased in speed, his hands tightening their grip on thin skin over his hipbones, and Daniel gripped the pillow even tighter.
Even if Teal'c was the logical choice that didn't mean Daniel had stopped worrying about it all. Some nights, after they'd had sex, he'd lie awake and stare at the ceiling and wonder just how he'd got from there to here. How he'd come to be the person who could turn up at Teal'c's door and expect not to be turned away, expecting to be given whatever he wanted just because he wanted it.
More than enough give and take with Teal'c, over the years they'd known one another, neither of them keeping reliable score.
He'd lost so many people he cared about, one way or another, so the last thing he wanted to risk was one of the few people who still fit that description, particularly because of something he'd done. Or asked them to do, in this case.
But each time, he'd noted and put aside for later consideration, took less persuasion.
After the third time, Teal'c had been the one to make a move, seeing sufficient tension in Daniel's body to know he'd be getting a visit later that night and heading him off at the proverbial pass. That time round he'd invited himself over to Daniel's new apartment, rumpling a different set of sheets in a bedroom that hadn't seen much action. Any action at all, in fact, except what Teal'c was involved with now.
Teal'c's hands were warm, calloused, capable. He could already play Daniel's body like an instrument, the slightest touch sending jolts of arousal through him with apparently effortless grace. Daniel would judder beneath his touch, opening himself up like he'd never imagined possible, finding unexpected connection in what they shared.
In those long moments, when Teal'c was deep inside him, Daniel was sure he had proof this was reality. Maybe not the one he'd left behind, a lifetime of decisions ago, but a reality that was definitely worth living in.
So he'd take whatever Teal'c wanted to give him, grateful for the chance to share this whatever-it-was. Somehow, though he couldn't have said how, Daniel was certain he wasn't the only one who needed to be sure of something.