All Grown Up by devra

There were times that Jack couldn't help himself, times when a Daniel-at-work was just too easy a target to annoy. There also were times when Jack's curiosity got the better of him. Combine the two, and Daniel didn't have a hope in Hell of coming away unscathed.

The planet was beautiful, even Jack couldn't dispute that. Definitely vacation brochure material, clear blue skies, sigh-producing temperatures and while traveling to the ruins, they passed streams just begging for a lure and fishing pole.

Daniel had spent the last hour video taping the ruins and to Jack's chagrin, he was now engrossed in note-taking, oblivious of both Jack and his surroundings.

"Daniel?" Jack leaned against the wall that held the archaeologist's interest, receiving a light pencil-tap to his calf to indicate Daniel's need for Jack to relocate his body. Jack slid two steps to the right. "Watcha doing?"

"Earning my paycheck." He waved his team leader away. "Go watch my six, walk the perimeter, dream about fishing the streams...think about how you're going to present to the General why we should come back here on a well-deserved vacation. Just you..." Daniel looked up at Jack. "And me."

Jack was quiet for a few moments, his mind drifting dangerously to thoughts of him and Daniel spending time alone on this planet, naked, sweaty..."What did you want to be when you grew up, Daniel?" Jack blurted out in a half-hearted attempt to try and circulate the blood that had gone south with those visual images.

A pause in the scribbling, the raising of an eyebrow and a slight tilt to Daniel's head was Jack's answer. Jack was sure if he *really* listened, there had been a mumbled 'duh' mixed in there as well.

"Me," Jack commented. "When I was really young, it was a toss up between a fireman and a policeman. I couldn't decide."

"Tough decision," Daniel remarked as he continued writing, his head bobbing from the inscriptions on the wall to the notebook on his lap.

"And you?" Jack prodded.

"Me?" Daniel tapped his pencil on the notebook and then the wall. "This is what I wanted to be doing when I grew up."

"Pffft, come on, Daniel...did you maybe want to be a camel driver, or a super hero..."

"Jack, the first eight years of my life were spent in a desert, with nary a comic book or a TV in sight. I had no idea who or what a super hero was until I came to the United States."

"Okay, so once you found out what a super hero was...who did you want to be?"

"I'm working here." Daniel's sing-song voice was tinged with a hint of exasperation.

"I wanted to be Spiderman," Jack admitted.

"I'm not even going to justify your answer with asking you why."

"Cool outfit."

"I would have thought Superman was more your style," Daniel commented.

"Nah...didn't like the whole Clark Kent persona. The glasses, the suit..."

"The geek image?" Daniel said, leaning forward to examine a marking more closely.

Jack smoothed down an errant strand of Daniel's hair. "I have nothing against geeks. I like geeks."

Daniel hid a smile behind a dust-induced cough, gratefully accepting and drinking from the proffered canteen.

"I hated that Superman changed in a closet...or a phone booth."

Daniel chewed the eraser on the pencil and copied down a squiggle. "You're shy?" he asked incredulously.

"Not shy," Jack stammered.

"Shy," Daniel stated succinctly, followed by a knowing smile.

"I hated that no one saw the real Superman behind the glasses. Lenses, ugly, black, plastic frames and a suit hid him from the world. That's totally unrealistic. Not even his friends saw him for what he was. Come on, how stupid can people be?"

Jack realized what he said the moment the sad smile swept across Daniel's face.

Daniel closed his note book, trapping the pencil inside. He stuffed the book and video camera into his duffel bag, awkwardly pushing his body into a standing position. Brushing himself off, Daniel shook out stiff legs and with hands on the small of back, bent backwards.

"Ow," Jack said in sympathy as he heard Daniel's bones pop back into place. "Ready?"

"No, but yes," Daniel replied. His face wore a look of resignation born of unfinished wonders and discoveries. Jack patted his arm in empathy before keying in the mic, calling for the other two team members.

"Gonna show me your 'S' when we get home?" Jack asked as they walked.

"My ass?"

"No." Jack said, stopping Daniel and sticking a finger between two buttons on the younger man's shirt. "Your 'S' in Superman. I mean the glasses don't fool me."

"I'm not a super hero, Jack."

"Show me your 'S' tonight and I'll be the judge of that," Jack chuckled.

* * * *

Daniel lay satiated, sweaty and spent. His head rested on Jack's chest, his left leg tucked under Jack's knee, the other thrown over Jack's legs. Jack's smothered his laughter as Daniel's hand skirted across his sensitive chest area, working its way under Jack's back.

"Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound?" Jack placed a gentle kiss in Daniel's short hair.

"Done leaping."

"Ahhh, must be the red kryptonite I have hidden."

"I won't ask *where* you hid the kyptonite, Jack," Daniel snorted. "Hey, at least I wasn't faster than a speeding bullet."

"Thank God." Jack laughed, grabbing Daniel's naked butt, kneading the muscles until Daniel squirmed, disengaging himself and flopping away from Jack's attention. "Nice 'S', Daniel."

"I wished to be happy when I grew up." Daniel said suddenly, his hand seeking Jack's under the blankets, sharing his warmth. "I wanted to grow up and be happy. And...and I wanted to be the Hulk."

"Why the Hulk?"

Daniel sighed, a hurtful sound of a young boy wanting the unobtainable. "I wanted to get angry at people...I was a little boy who couldn't get angry at those around me." Jack could feel Daniel's shrug against his arms. "The Hulk was about this nice, mild scientist who had another side of his personality he kept hidden from the world. He would get mad and angry at all the injustices done to him and to those he cared about...and when it was all over, and he went back to being that nice man, the only thing he had to show for it was the bad guys were all gone."

Jack squeezed Daniel's hand tightly. "Did you get what you wanted?"

"It took awhile for the happiness...but that's okay," Daniel reassured Jack. "And after today, I've decided that Superman is not such a bad super hero after all."

"It's the 'S'...see I told you."

"No it's not the 'S', or the leaping over tall buildings, though I really enjoyed that. It's whether he was Superman or Clark Kent...he always had people watching out for him."

"Watching his 'S'?"

Jack smiled as Daniel laughed, loud and long, eventually joining in. "Daniel?"


"We played Superman tonight," Jack's fingers danced over Daniel's chest, teasingly pulling at the nipples. "Do you think tomorrow night we can play Spiderman?"  

The End!

Author's Comments: This fic was written in response to the Alpha Gate Challenge #29: Action Jackson. Winter blizzards and a laptop are a dangerous combination...they have a tendency to produce fluffy, PWP fics like this. Thanks to Jo for the beta (I take full responsibility for any mistakes), to babs for her great challenges and for 900pm laughter.


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