Between Flannels and a Hard Place by devra

Okay, Jack realized as he scraped the snow off his windshield for the fourth time since he'd begun his journey, this was pure stupidity. What the hell made him think that tonight, during one of the worst snowstorms of the year, would be a good time to go and *talk* to Daniel.

*Talk*. Yeah, that was a new word for confessing to your best friend that in your eyes he was slightly more than a best friend; and that your lack of dating over the years had nothing to do with your ability to attract women and everything to do with the fact that you were attracted to him.

He pulled his frozen body back into the driver's seat then cranked up the heat another notch, slipped off his gloves and warmed frozen fingers directly in front of the vented air. The roads were empty, just him, emergency vehicles and snow plows. He flexed his fingers. Ten reddened digits, but he chose to forgo trying to slip them back into sodden gloves.

Securing his seatbelt, he leaned forward, gripping the wheel like a ninety year old driver and accelerated slowly away from the curb where he had stopped. The truck managed another fifty feet before it slowed to a halt by a barely visible red light. A snow plow whizzed by, its driver confident in its traction ability as it splattered snow every which way, and for a millisecond, Jack debated turning back home and forgetting this insanity.

* * *

A thirty minute trip had taken him almost ninety. Cautiously, Jack pulled into Daniel's driveway, forcing his way over accumulated snow drifts, stopping just short of the largest mound, pretty sure Daniel's car was buried under it.

"Aw, shit." He knew it was snowing. Hell, he had driven in it, but as soon as he pushed opened the driver's side door, he realized that he'd forgotten he would have had to walk in it. He was sopping wet and freezing by the time he'd navigated to Daniel's front door, traipsing over snow covered bushes. He knocked, then rang the bell, then knocked again. He was forcing unresponsive fingers into his pocket to search for Daniel's house key when the front door opened.


"It's about time," Jack complained, pushing past Daniel.

"Time for what?"

Jack stripped off his jacket and dropped it onto the floor. He toed off his boots, ripped off his socks and kicked the whole soggy mess into the corner. He was working on unbuckling his pants, fumbling with his belt because of the pins and needles in his fingers when he was hit in the face with a towel. "Oh, thanks." Gratefully, he wiped his face in the towel, then moved to his neck.

"No problem," Daniel replied. "Though would it be too much to ask exactly what you're doing in my living room on the worst snow storm of the year?"

"You're wearing pj's." Jack stopped just short of rubbing his hair dry. Stunned. "I haven't seen pajamas like—" His fingers slid down his own chest, signifying the carefully closed buttons down the front of Daniel's pj top. "My dad used to wear those."

"They're comfortable."

"Blue. They're blue." Jack stepped forward and fingered the material. "And they're flannel with little—" he leaned in a little closer. "Pyramids. Are those pyramids? Daniel, you're wearing blue flannel pj's with pyramids."

"You're saying that like what I'm wearing is stranger than you appearing at my house after driving through a horrific storm."

"Well, yeah."

"You're dripping on the floor." Daniel pointed down to the scattering of puddles around Jack's bare feet. "And you have got to be freezing. Go take a warm shower."

"Sh...shower?" Now that Daniel mentioned it, he *was* freezing. "I have no... nothing to wear—" he looked down at his soggy pants.

"I'll loan you—"

"You're not giving me pj's like that, are you?"

"Of course not, you're going to get the brown ones with little fighter planes on them."

"You're kidding me. Right?"

* * *

Jack leaned his head against the tiles and allowed the pulsing water to center on the stress-related sore spot right between his shoulder blades. He swore Daniel had bought the house for the bathrooms alone. Damn, he knew he would have. Big and spacious with state of the art shower heads installed in stand-alone shower stalls large enough for two grown men.

In a state of shock, Jack slowly moved and turned off the water and stood there, unable to breathe. Oh god, he had actually driven to Daniel's house, in the snow storm of the century to tell the man that he had the hots for him? What the hell had he been thinking? He pushed open the door, stumbled into the bathroom and refused to look in the steam-covered mirror at the distorted reflection of such a stupid man.

Distractedly, he dried himself off then put on the sweats Daniel had lent him. He obviously needed a Plan B. A plausible explanation as to what he was doing at Daniel's house.

* * *

"What the heck are you doing?"

Daniel, in flannels, standing over the stove, stirring something in a pot was almost more domestication than Jack could handle.

"Finishing what I started before you showed up at my door."

"Which is?"

Scooping out a spoonful of the pot's contents, then cupping his hand under it to prevent spillage, he invited Jack to take a taste. Tentatively, he accepted the spoon, his eyes widening in surprise at the taste. "You were making hot coco?"

"You have a problem with that?"

Jack pinched Daniel's arm, hard enough that the spoon slipped from his grasp and clattered to the floor.

"Ow!" Daniel rubbed the spot Jack had just grabbed. "What the hell did you do that for?"

"What did I do that for?" Jack mimicked, throwing his arms in the air. "You're wearing flannels and making hot coco so I'm just checking that this is—that you're—that I'm not dreaming."

"Then shouldn't you be pinching yourself and not *me* if you think you're the one dreaming."

"Semantics." Jack bent, picked up the spoon and tossed it into the sink. Then he stepped around Daniel and lowered the flame under the pot.

Daniel reached towards the cabinet and took down two mugs. "You want marshmallows in your coco?"

Jack whimpered. "The little tiny miniature ones?"

* * *

Jack studied Daniel over the rim of his mug, admitting that very few people could carry off the flannel look as well as Daniel. The man, under his perusal, was sitting on one of the lumpy chairs that had been a carry over from his apartment, his legs stretched out and resting on the coffee table. Mesmerized, Jack watched as Daniel's sock-covered toes curled and uncurled with every sip of the hot drink.

Daniel tossed his glasses onto the table with a grunt of annoyance. "I hate when they get fogged up."

Jack raised his mug. "Your glasses fog up from the coco?"

"The steam, Jack." Daniel took another sip, then smacked his lips. "Think I put a touch too much Kahlúa in it, though." He stuck his fingers in the mug, removed a marshmallow and popped it in mouth, sucking the chocolate off his fingers. Daniel turned his concentration from the inside of his mug to Jack. "Are you okay? Do you want me to reheat..."

"No, fine." Jack raised his mug in a mock salute. "Fine," he repeated with a tad more conviction. Too many visuals sitting not three feet from him was forcing his body temperature up high enough that at the moment, running naked through the snowdrifts was an appealing thought.

"How long do you think we're going to be snowed in for?"


"Snow. Remember?" Daniel looked at him, naked concern emanating off of him. "Are you sure you're okay? You just seem a bit—" he screwed his face up in concentration. "I don't know, off?"

Jack gulped the lukewarm Kahlúa'd coco down, spitting the minuscule marshmallows back into the empty mug.

"Marshmallows don't do it for you?"

Images of Daniel sucking marshmallows from his long fingers clouded all of Jack's senses for a brief second in time. As if he realized he held a snake in his hands, Jack hastily bent forward and placed the mug on the coffee table. "I'm just not in a marshmallow mood. You know, with the snow and stuff."

"Snow and stuff?"

Daniel's curling toes distracted Jack for just a second. "Oh, umm. You know. Lotsa snow outside. It was a tough drive here. Snow's white. Marshmallows are white. Your socks are white." Shit.

"You're having flashbacks because of your drive here?" Daniel blinked at him, obviously seesawing between confusion and shock at the stupidity of the answers Jack was coming up with.

"Blinding whiteness can do that to you."

"Oh." Daniel used his toes and pushed Jack's mug closer to him. "Would you like something to drink *without* the coco, maybe?"

* * *

Banging his head against Daniel's refrigerator door wasn't doing a lick of good. He was a colonel in the Air Force. He traveled through a wormhole for a living and was on a first name basis with not only the President but some damn impressive, powerful aliens, yet here he was scared as shit of his six foot, pajama-clad, coco-making best friend.

"Jack," Daniel yelled from the living room, "do you need *help* trying to find the beer."

"No. No," Jack exclaimed, opening up the fridge door hard enough that the condiment bottles on the door rattled against each other. "Got 'em." He didn't, he had to push a multitude of items out of the way, but if he admitted to Daniel he couldn't find the beer, then he would shuffle in here, stand close enough to Jack so the flannel of his pj's would rub against Jack's hands... yup, much safer for all concerned if Daniel stayed in the living room.

* * *

Jack re-entered the living room with his fingers hooked around the necks of two opened bottles of beer and a bag of some strange type of wheat-sesame pretzels tucked under his arm. He handed Daniel one of the bottles and dropped the pretzels onto the table. "What the hell is wrong with regular pretzels? Or even those little nugget things? Only you would buy," Jack leaned over to read the bag more closely, "*braided* wheat-sesame pretzels."

"You know," Daniel illustrated his point with a waving bottle of beer, "I finally realized *why* you drove over tonight, which by the way, is a subject you've been avoiding."

Jack drained half the bottle on the first gulp. "Pray tell, Dr. Jackson, why did I drive all the over here?"

"In a blizzard, don't forget that point."

Jack pointed the neck of the beer bottle at Daniel. "In a blizzard," he amended.

"To annoy the shit outta me. You drove from your home to my home in snow—"

"Blizzard. It was—is a blizzard." Jack looked towards the window and shuddered.

"Blizzard, yeah. You're here because you had nothing at your house to entertain yourself with."

True, one could only jerk off so many times but that wasn't something he was going to admit to Daniel anytime in either of their lifetimes, so he lied. "That's it. My satellite dish is out. The weather. So I figured why not drive over to Daniel's to watch the game on his cable TV." Jack smiled. "And to annoy the crap outta you."

"So," Daniel said, a touch of a grin tugging at his lips. "If I allow you to watch whatever game it is you want to watch, you will sit there, quietly, and not comment over my flannel pajamas, my hot coco, my pretzels *or* my white socks."


Daniel leaned over, grabbed his glasses off the table then tossed the remote at Jack. "Knock yourself out."

* * *

Jack held onto his promise up until the break after second period. "Daniel."

"Yes, Jack." Daniel's nose was still buried in the book he was reading. "You know, the game's not over yet and asking me a question constitutes loss of privilege." He stuck out his hand. "Hand over the remote."

"My team was losing anyway." He leaned forward and slapped the remote into Daniel's outstretched hand. "Have you always worn flannel pajamas?"

Daniel sighed, stuck the remote into the side of the chair cushion, then turned a page. "You gave up watching a hockey game for *that* question?"

"It was distracting me." There was no way he could add that Daniel, as a whole, in flannels, was distracting him, enticing him with thoughts that there was only a single layer of soft fabric separating his naked body from Jack's view.

"What was distracting you?" Daniel asked innocently.

"You. Flannels. Hot coco. Braided pretzels. I feel like there's a whole side to you that I don't know."

"A whole new side of me cause I wear flannel pj's?"

Jack shook his head. If he thought it was dumb when *he* had mentioned it, the same phrase coming from Daniels mouth was damn idiotic.

"Okay," Daniel began with the sigh of a lecturer who had repeated the same lesson more than once. "I wear flannels 'cause I'm cold. I hate the cold and have cursed ever single winter, for the past eight winters, as to why the Stargate is in Colorado and not Hawaii. I happen to like hot coco, and without making you feeling badly, I learned how to make it in one of my foster homes—"

"With the Kahlúa?"

"No. That's one of own secret ingredients. And the pretzels, I had a moment of weakness and picked up the wrong bag at the supermarket. I'm human. I made a mistake. Hence the pretzels."

"They weren't bad actually."

"Thanks. I'll remember that the next time I go to the store to see if I can manage the same mistake again." He tossed the remote back to Jack who caught it deftly and made a showing of flipping through the channels. "They must be done with their break. I'm going to finish reading. You finish watching—"

Jack figuratively held his nose and took the plunge. "I lied."

Daniel rolled his eyes and closed the book. "You lied?"

"Uh huh. Lied." Jack stretched his arms out as wide as they would go. "Big time."

"Do I want to know what the lie is?"

Jack hemmed and hawed.

Frustrated, Daniel threw the book on the coffee table. "Spill."

Jack turned around on the couch and peeked out the front window. "Still snowing."

"Don't worry, whatever it is, I'm not going to throw you—"

"I get a hard on when I look at you." Okay, that really wasn't what he wanted to say, but from the expression on Daniel's face, he had made his point.


Jack nodded miserably.

"That's a bad thing?" Daniel asked.

"I thought it was." Jack cleared his throat and shifted on the couch. "It's not a bad thing?"

"Well, it's not Goa'uld ribbon torture device bad."

"No, it's not," Jack agreed.

"Though it's not as wonderful as finding a way to defeat the Goa'uld and freeing all the Jaffa."

"You're right, it's not."

"So, if you're getting a hard on every time you look upon me, I'm thinking that me and flannels is playing havoc with your libido."

Jack nodded again, a little more enthusiastically this time, covering his groin with a pillow in a gesture that wasn't lost on Daniel.

"So, Jack," Daniel inquired, pointing to the cock-covering pillow. "I do that to you even during a briefing?"

"Well, not *all* the time…"

"But you said that *every* time…"

"Three quarters of the time."

"So when don't I—"

"When you're lying unconscious in the infirmary," Jack blurted out.

"Yeah, I could see—well I could imagine—I'd have to worry about you if seeing me hooked up to various monitors and machines turned you on."

Jack tugged on the suddenly too tight collar of his sweat shirt. "There's something else you should know."

"A bigger revelation than your thinking your civilian archaeologist is hot? Or that you need a pillow to cover your genitals while talking to said person."

"You are one mean sonofabitch," Jack hissed.

Daniel shifted in the chair, turning so his whole body was facing Jack. "Go ahead, I'm all ears."

"I love you."

Daniel blinked at Jack. Once. Then twice. And the evil, lascivious smile he had been wearing slowly faded from sight.

Jack smiled encouragingly, hoping for some sort of reaction. And he did get one, just not the one he expected or wanted as Daniel stood with uncommonly jerky motions and backed away from Jack, stumbling over his own feet in a rush to put as much distance between the two of them as he could. "I'm—ummm—" he stammered, then pointed down the hall. "Going to bed. To sleep," he flashed a smile at Jack so fast that Jack thought he could have possibly imagined it. "Lock up. Please."

manip by Wilma

He opened his mouth, shut it, then just nodded, watching sadly as Daniel beat a hasty retreat. Even though he knew it was coming, Jack still jumped when Daniel slammed his bedroom door. "Nice going, O'Neill."

* * *

It was apropos the hockey team he was rooting for lost tonight, though watching them being beaten by the score of seven to two wasn't as unproductive as he thought it would be because while the Avalanches were being totally trounced, Jack was mentally composing his resignation letter. He realized, as he ruefully turned off the TV, he had painted himself into a corner. Daniel had seemed okay with Jack's physical desire; it was his heart's desire that had pushed him over the edge.

He pulled the curtain aside and gazed out the window once more. "Shit." The snow was still falling, his truck was in the process of being blanketed and the road was still covered with virgin snow, not yet touched by the sand or salt of a snow plow. He snarled at the weather conditions, then let the curtain fall back into place.

* * *

He locked the doors, checked the windows then re-checked the doors, then the windows again before finding himself in front of Daniel's bedroom door. Jack raised his hand to knock, realized he'd screwed up enough tonight and allowed his hand to fall to his side.

Jack was in the kitchen when the attack came, catching him totally unprepared. One minute he was bending into the fridge, the next minute an ass pinch caught him off guard. He stood, then found himself propelled sideways, sandwiched between the kitchen counter and an armful of flannel pajama'd Daniel, whose lips latched onto his, preventing the escape of any words of protest.

Daniel released his mouth, but kept his body pinned in place, and he struggled half heartedly, more for the feel of Daniel's hard on rubbing against his groin than for the need to escape. "You bastard," Daniel whispered in his ear, with a voice that sounded vaguely familiar and it took Jack a moment to remember this was the voice he heard in his fantasies, in his shower, in his empty bed when he jerked off. Daniel's voice. Low and seductive. Lascivious and inviting. Growly. The words spoke with unusual slowness. "What the hell took you so long?"

"I've passed out on the couch, haven't I? I'm dreaming."

"How can I convince you this is not a dream? Oh," Daniel said with a wink. "Does this work?" Daniel's long fingers curled around Jack's erection.

"Fine," Jack gave a surprised yelp at the touch, then cleared his throat to regain composure. "Works for me."

"Good," Daniel answered, the simple word broken into two syllables, long and drawn out. "Now answer my question."

"Question? There was a question?" Jack began to wonder if middle aged men suffered from hot flashes, 'cause damn, right at this moment he was about ready to spontaneously combust as Daniel's hand slid from his cock and languishly strolled up his belly.

Daniel kissed him again. With ease. No hesitation. No awkwardness. As if this was the *rightest* thing in the world. Which, Jack realized, it was. Daniel kissing him in the kitchen, the blizzard outside, the bedroom down the hall, the couch only feet away was—well, it was perfect. Nakedness would have been nirvana, and probably more than his body and brain could deal with at the moment, so he was more than willing to settle for perfection.

"It was the flannels." Jack rested the palms of his hands against Daniel's chest and rubbed.

Daniel licked his lips. "So, you drove over in a blizzard because your satellite was out, saw me in pajamas—"

"Not just any pajamas, Daniel. Flannels. With pyramids."

"Okay. Flannels. You saw me in flannels and decided you loved me?"

"No. I've loved you for a decent number of years, I just *decided* to tell you that when the satellite died, the storm became a blizzard and I battled life and limb to get here." For the first time Jack kissed Daniel. Slowly. "I've always been aware you were hot. I came to the decision that hotness crossed over into *incredibly sexy* when I saw you in flannels."

Daniel made a show of unbuttoning his top button. "And if I'm no longer wearing flannels."

In desperation, Jack threw his hands over Daniel's. "I think I'll explode."

"What a way to go," Daniel replied, his chuckle reverberating deep in his chest and he smiled a smile Jack had never seen before. Years of friendship, and he'd never seen such expression of pure happiness on Daniel's face before.

"So," Jack said, unable to keep an evil grin off his face. "I'm taking the fact that you've got pinned me up against the counter in your kitchen as an indication that maybe what I'm feeling might be reciprocated?"

Daniel ground himself into Jack. "It might."

Jack buried his moan in Daniel's neck then jumped when the latter let out a loud burst of laughter. "You're ticklish?"


"So," Jack said, "there's another part of your persona I'm going to get up and close personal with. Flannels. Hot coco. Braided pretzels..."

"In my defense those were an accident."

"Shush. Pretzels, and you're ticklish. Very."

Daniel took a step backwards.

"Oh, no you don't." Jack grabbed the front of Daniel's pj's and pulled him towards him, letting Daniel's weight slam into him, then gently poked Daniel in the side, and smiled broadly when his touch caused a burst of laughter.

Daniel pushed away and started to unbutton his top.

Jack's eyes widened. Playing around was one thing. Tickling, touching, but he wasn't sure he was mentally ready for nakedness. "Daniel, please—"

Daniel plunged back in for a kiss, pressing Jack painfully against the counter.

"Ow," he complained into the hollow of Daniel's mouth.

Daniel didn't answer, he just backed up a bit, then grabbed Jack's right hand and placed it on his almost bare chest. Jack's physical reaction was embarrassingly instantaneous.

"Go ahead, touch," Daniel murmured in his ear.

He's seen this body more times than he could count. Shower. Infirmary. But this was— "How fast can you get naked?"

"Why, Jack," Daniel answered with annoying coyness. "I thought you'd never ask."

* * *

"It's still snowing."

"That's nice," Daniel groaned, burying his face in the pillow. He reached out a hand and invitingly smoothed down the pillow next to him.

Jack ran his hands over the length of Daniel's blanket-covered body, paying particular attention to the mound of ass. "Can I ask you a question?" He slipped back into bed, hunkered under the covers and slid over to where he was close enough to see Daniel's facial lines of annoyance at having his sleep interrupted.

He turned to face Jack with a huff. "Ask away."

Jack's kiss brought forth a tiny smile. "Why did you leave the room when I told you I loved you?"


"Honesty would be nice."

"I needed to rejoice in private."


"Rejoice. Carouse. Let loose. Revel." Daniel sighed. "I needed to woohoo in the privacy of my own room."

"You got up, went into the bedroom—"

"I pumped my fist in the air, shouted halleluiah, said a few choice words that had to do something with 'it's about fucking time', then I took a breath, composed myself—"

"And look, we ended up right back in the bedroom woohoo'ing."

"But we aren't doing it alone."

"Not anymore," Jack agreed, running his hands over Daniel's side, snorting at the belly laugh Daniel burst out with.

Daniel grabbed his hand. "If you don't stop it I'm never going to wear flannels again." He sputtered indignantly when Jack stretched his finger out of his grasp and poked Daniel. "Or put on white socks, or make hot coco." He stopped suddenly and dropped Jack's hand. "Oh god, I sound like—"

"That's alright, honey," Jack answered with a quick peck to Daniel's forehead. "I love you anyway. Although, I will admit, your impression of the disgruntled, pissy housewife needs work."

"Call me honey again and you'll be woohoo'ing all by yourself."

"Better, much better, honey," Jack replied with a mischievous grin.

The End!

Author's Comments:

An homage to all the 'Daniel in flannel' stories. Thank you to the sisters of my heart who always know how to make me smile. To Jo, whose halo is well deserved though any and all mistakes are mine and mine alone.



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