Between the Lines by devra

Note: This story first appeared in Annie's zine Pretense 8

The hands that drew Daniel from sleep were as familiar to him as his own, and he couldn't help but sigh in contentment as they skimmed between his shoulder blades, traveled down his back and settled with a loving massage at the very end of his spine.

"You're such a slut." Jack's voice was just a ghost of a whisper in his ear before disappearing.

"What are you doing here?"

Jack gently squeezed his ass. "You need me to make up an excuse as to why I'm in Colorado Springs?"

"In my apartment..."

Jack slid down and kissed the sensitive spot under his hands. "More importantly, in your bed."

Lifting his head, Daniel squinted at the bedside clocked. "At 0-three hundred hours–"

"With a naked archeologist under my hands…"

"So what's your excuse? Fumigation? Gas leak? Frequent flyer miles' deadline tomorrow?" Daniel couldn't help but writhe under Jack's kneading.

"Hard on?"

Groaning, Daniel stretched. "Works for me."

* * *

Jack couldn't help but notice it. In the mission report, it had been a throw away line. A mere mention. On a face and a body that Jack knew better than his own, his fingers immediately located the one inch scar high on Daniel's left cheekbone. Even in the dark bedroom, with Daniel's face semi-buried in the pillow, it was beacon-bright. He traced the miniscule indent with a light touch.

"Just checking," Jack admitted as Daniel opened a sleepy eye at his ministrations.

"Still here," Daniel drawled. He yawned. "Everything okay?"

"Fine." Jack slid an arm up Daniel's bare back, settling on the nape of his neck. "Fine," he repeated. "Go back to sleep."


"Sleep, Daniel. We both have to be at the SGC in the morning."

Lifting his head, Daniel blinked at Jack in confusion. "I thought it was your hard on that brought you to Colorado?"

* * *

"Stop looking at me like that," Jack warned, glaring at Daniel's image that appeared in the mirror above his right shoulder.

"Like what?" Reaching for his toothbrush, he blinked innocently at Jack.

"Like that." Jack tapped the image's eyes with his own toothbrush.

"Jack, your guilt is screwing with my morning routine."

Reaching behind, he reached for Daniel's dick. "What were you saying about screwing with a morning routine?"

"Shit." Daniel toothbrush dropped from his hand, hit Jack's shoulder and clattered against the porcelain sink.

Swiftly, Jack turned to face Daniel. "Were you always this distractible?"

"Fuck you," Daniel growled as Jack teasingly skirted his hand along Daniel's groin.

"That can be arranged. I think we have time."

* * *

"We're going to—I'm going to be late."

Holding onto the door handle for support, Jack cringed as Daniel defied the laws of physics and maneuvered the car around a slow moving truck into an impossibly small space. "Late? We're going to be dead."

"Not dead. Just disappointed." Daniel made a hard left, flew into Starbucks' parking lot. Jack panted, praying and fighting for purchase as Daniel pulled up to the drive-thru window.

Dusting imaginary particles of fear off his body, Jack straightened. "I thought you were going to be late?"

Checking his watch, Daniel greeted the young woman at the window with a smile usually reserved for Jack when he was naked. In bed. A lascivious grin of wanton desire.

"Good morning, Daniel, you just caught me, I was going off shift in three minutes." Leaning down a bit she smiled into the car. "The usual?"

"Morning, Deena. Yeah, the usual for me and for Jack…" He turned his head. "What would you like? My treat."

"For this you nearly got us killed?" Jack hissed, keeping a smile pasted on his face. "For a coffee?"

"What would you like, Jack?"

"Sausage, eggs, hash browns, toast and bad diner coffee. My treat."

"Daniel, I'm just going to get your coffee while your friend decides."

"No, it's alright. I'll have a large coffee. Black."

"Would that be…?"

"Nothing but the coffee." Leaning over Daniel, Jack peered into the drive-thru window. "Do you have just coffee-coffee?"

Shoving Jack back into his seat, Daniel glowered at him. "Behave yourself." Keeping one arm across Jack's chest, pinning him in place, Daniel placed their order.

"That didn't sounds like coffee-coffee you ordered for me," Jack groused when the young girl disappeared from view.

"I ordered you a breakfast blend. Which is coffee-coffee. Honest." Daniel smiled that smile again, this time at him.

* * *

The coffee was smooth and felt great going down. The muffin was even better, but Jack would admit neither to Daniel. "I could have made a car payment for the amount of money two coffees and two muffins cost."

"Shut up and enjoy."

"What? Enjoy the ambience? We're sitting in your car in a parking lot." Tipping his cup towards the Starbucks' building, Jack shook his head. "Why didn't we just go *in*, order and sit at a table?"

"Because you don't live in Colorado Springs anymore and time together is…" Shrugging, Daniel focused on the steering wheel. "This isn't ambience?"

Reaching over, Jack ran his hand up Daniel's thigh. "I'm sorry. I was mistaken. You're right, this is ambience at its best."

* * *

Jack was surprised Daniel didn't ask the question until they were in the elevator. "So why are you really here, Jack?"

"I told you, I wanted to see you."

Daniel knew just where to position his body so the camera feed was of his back, blocking Jack, who was standing in the farthest corner of the elevator. "No. You said you had a hard on. As for seeing me? You saw me last night. This morning. And in a few minutes you're gonna catch a view of me in the locker room."

"Washington wants me to read between the lines."

"Clarify?" Nodding his head in understanding. "Oh, I got it. Spy. They want you to spy on us?"

"No!" Jack replied indignantly. "They want me to read between the lines."

"You said that before. About two seconds ago."

"There's been a change of personnel in high places and I'm supposed to…"

"Spy on us."

"This was my idea."

Sucking in his lips until they disappeared, Daniel peered at Jack in confusion.

"I bet you want me to explain?"

"Would be nice." Daniel looked over his shoulder at the changing numbers on the elevator board. "Shit. This is my stop."

"Not to worry. I'm a general. I can walk and talk."

Stepping out of the elevator, Daniel nodded at Jack. "I know you can walk and talk on a good day, but can you walk, talk *and* explain?"

Stopping short, Jack clapped his hands over his heart. "I'm offended." Dropping his hands, he regally lifted his head up high. "I'm a hands-on kinda guy, Daniel."

Based on the strange looks the two of them were receiving from a contingent of passing personnel, Jack was positive that the hallowed halls of the SGC had never been privy to a belly laugh from Dr. Jackson.

* * *

Thankfully the locker room was empty, and Jack kept his body pressed to the door, his gaze raking over Daniel as he stripped off his civvies.

Sitting on the bench, naked except for his boxers and socks, Daniel paused before slipping on his pants. "I'm sorry," he apologized, already distracted, his mind a million miles way. "You were trying to be serious and I—"

"Behaved like an adolescent."

Daniel cringed as the barb hit home. "Yeah. A teenager. Don't ask me why–" Jumping up as if he remembered a previous engagement, he offered Jack a tight smile, all mirth gone, as he hurriedly dressed.

Watching an oblivious Daniel dress was a pleasant way to pass the time. Even after all these years, he still managed to find BDU trousers and jackets that were baggy. It was the magical tee shirt hidden under the bulkiness of a two sizes too big jacket that gave a hint to the physical prowess of the man Daniel had grown into. Jack felt like a privileged superman with x-ray vision as Daniel buttoned his jacket.

Jack blocked his exit with an arm thrown across the door. "Sit," he ordered, pointing to the bench Daniel had just been sitting on.

"I need to—"

"A few more minutes. Honest. Whatever meeting, tome, artifact, scientist or team member you have a meeting with, can wait."

Daniel checked his watch. "The Kycian delegation waits for no archaeologist. Or general, for that matter. Or general leering at said archeologist. If you read your homework, you'd know that. Mission reports. Trinium. Huge deposit. Even bigger library. Something for everyone this time around. Stop me when it starts sounding familiar?"

"Vaguely," Jack growled, annoyed.

"Are you going back to Washington tonight?"

"No, tomorrow morning."

"Okay," Daniel replied, shouldering Jack out of the way. "Tonight. After dinner. We can discuss your hands on approach and how it applies to the SGC. SG-1. And me." He winked at Jack. "Especially me."

Jack was left holding the door open, wondering how the hell he'd lost the upper hand in this conversation.

* * *

Whoever said 'you can't go home again' was a hundred percent correct. Walking through the corridors on his way to the control room, the majority of the faces he passed were unfamiliar. He felt tired. Old. And strangely out of place in a world that had been his home for nine years. Nine years is a long time to suddenly feel displaced. It was scary to realize that he'd spent more time underneath a mountain and offworld than Charlie had been alive. Scary how time flies when you're saving the Earth, making new friends, killing off enemies and dying.

* * *

The self-depreciating mood slipped away in the sea of familiar faces in the control room. Stepping up behind Walter, he clasped his shoulder in greeting.

"General." He turned towards Jack and smiled. "Nice to see you here, sir."

"Yeah, I'm kinda attached to this place." Jack leaned over the man to get a better look at the contingent of very large, very green aliens dwarfing Daniel and Landry down in the gateroom. "Attractive group, aren't they."

Walter snorted, hiding his reaction behind a cough, nonchalantly moving his hand to check the audio feed into the gateroom.


Jack turned at the sound of Carter's voice, greeting her with a smile. "Carter." He nodded to Teal'c, who was following in her footsteps. "T." Jack flashed a quick smile at Mitchell walking in Teal'c's shadow.

Mitchell wedged himself between Jack and Carter, leaning over him as he leaned over Walter. "Damn, they're just as ugly the second time around as they were the first."

Poor Walter's fingers stayed their place, making sure the audio feed into the gateroom was in the off position.

Jack glanced over his shoulder and bent around Mitchell. "Teal'c, I do believe they're even bigger than you."

"I believe your observation is correct, O'Neill. Though from my understanding—"

"Yeah, they're hippies. Children of the sixties. Make love not war—" Jack tried to remember the exact wording in Daniel's mission report. "The Kyciens are a peace loving society, with religious beliefs similar—"

"Sir, you've actually read the mission reports?"

"Of course I do." Pointing to the contingent down in the gateroom, he continued. "Daniel is now reading from their book of blessings. See how he's…" Jack stopped when the silence in the control room overtook his diatribe. "Okay, I'll admit, Washington is a bit boring at times."

"A bit, General?"

"Oh, look, they're leaving," Jack commented as Landry, Daniel and the Kyciens departed the gateroom. "Getting the twenty-five cent tour?"

"The tour." Carter raised crossed fingers. "Then hopefully Daniel can convince them signing the trade treaty will be the best thing since—"

"Pizza," Teal'c interjected.

"It's really sliced white bread, Teal'c," Mitchell corrected.

"I do not like white bread, Colonel Mitchell."

"Okay, then," Mitchell smiled apologetically at his team mate. "Pizza it is."

"You say tomato, I say to-ma-to. Pyjamas, Pa-jam-as—What?" Jack shook his head. "Never mind. Anyone want to go for a cup of coffee? Breakfast? My treat?"

* * *

He wasn't hungry. The muffin and coffee with Daniel would be enough to hold him past lunchtime, but he wanted to *see* three quarters of SG-1 in action onworld. Interacting with each other.

Jack wasn't stupid. He'd made bad choices at times, but he wasn't stupid and neither was Landry, who knew he was here and the reason why. Maybe he'd become so indignant regarding the spying remark because Daniel, as always, had hit one out of the ballpark. Jack *was* spying. Reading between the lines of the mission reports. Studying the nuances of his team's written word. Filling in the blanks. Hoping he hadn't made a rash decision that they'd all pay for.



"You seem to be somewhere else, sir." Grimacing at the coffee, Carter put it down. Years of hanging out with Daniel and she, too, had become a coffee snob.

"Just empathizing with Daniel and Landry spending the day with the Jolly Green Giants."

"Daniel Jackson is a formidable negotiator. He will emerge victorious."

"No doubt in my mind," Mitchell agreed around a forkful of pancakes. "The guy could talk his way out of a paper bag. Or bore them to sleep then forge their signature." Chuckling, he broke off another triangle.

"Thank you for breakfast, O'Neill." Teal'c stood with his tray in his hands. "I have been scheduled to speak with new recruits this morning on hand-to-hand combat."

"Please remember not to kill them, Teal'c. The key word is *instruct*. Killing requires just too damn much paperwork."

"I will endeavor to remember your words of advice."

Carter stood also. "See you later?"

"I'll pencil you in."


"Carter, it's what all the A list says in Washington. Means I'm… never mind. Shoo." He waved at them with his coffee mug. "Go make the doughnuts."

"Colonel Carter is not making—"

"Could someone explain to the man—Carter?"

"Don't worry, I've got it covered, sir."

Jack watched them leave then turned his attention towards Mitchell, who was still enjoying his pancakes. "Finished?"

Dropping his fork, Mitchell gazed at the pancakes. Crumpling his napkin, he threw it atop the half-finished stack. "Guess I am now."

"Good." Jack stood. "I want to show you something."

* * *

Jack sat on Daniel's beat up couch and watched Mitchell nervously pace the cluttered workplace. "Do you have any idea what's so special about SG-1?" Jack threw out.

"Special?" Halting, Mitchell gazed at him as if he'd lost his mind. "Special?"

"Yeah. Special. Humor me, okay? I'm old and I'm a general. Here, I'll start if for you… SG-1 is special because…" Jack encouraged the colonel with a roll of his hand.

"They're SG-1. An icon. Jackson. Sam. Teal'c. Just their names…"

With a sigh, Jack shook his head and moved from the couch to the Daniel's workbench, sitting on one of the uncomfortable stools. He waved for Mitchell to take the stool across from him.

"I'm taking it that wasn’t the correct answer?"

"No. It *wasn't* the correct answer. Dr. Jackson, Colonel Carter and Teal'c are alive. SG-1 is alive. No other team has gone from the inception of the Stargate program to now with all the original members living and breathing. Of course, we all took a crack at breaking that record, but when *I* left the team, every single one of them was upright and in command of their facilities. *Everyone.* Now, I want to know why you're so hell bent on changing that?"

"Oh, ummm." Mitchell looked like he would have rather faced off against a Prior than Jack. Awkwardly, he cleared his throat. "Permission to speak freely, sir."

"By all means, Mitchell."

"Are you questioning my command decisions?"

Dumping Daniel's clay bowl of paperclips, he began to slowly unfurl one. "No. I'm not. I'm questioning your command indecision." Jack smoothed one clip and moved to another. "You're intelligent."

"Thank you, sir."

"I'm sure you've read every mission report from SG-1."

"Cover to cover," boasted Mitchell.

"But you forgot to read between the lines, Colonel. Sometimes there's more to the page than just words. SG-1 objected to your approaching the Lucian Alliance, didn't they?"

"Yes, they did."

"From what I remember, even Daniel tried to convince you to follow orders. Which in and of itself… but we won't even go there."

"In the end it all—"

"You're lucky you weren't killed or they weren't killed saving your ass. No one is infallible and there will come a time…" Jack paused, bending a stubborn clip into a circle. "Let's just say you don't want it to happen on your watch. The guilt will get you every time."

"You knew when you handed me SG-1 it was in name only." Mitchell grabbed a pencil and began to beat an annoying staccato on an opened book. "You really wanted me to have only the name and not the people attached to it."

"I'm a bit protective of them." Jack began a paper clip chain, then he gazed up, challenging Mitchell. "But since this is off the record, I'm sure you'll make sure to keep this between us."

"Of course."

"I'm glad they're back together. Honest. And the truth is, Mitchell, I recommended you for SG-1 in the hopes that you would be able to lure them back under one roof."

"It wasn't me, it was Vala." He raised his wrist. "Bracelets. And the rest sort of fell into place."

"Gotta love the SGC, huh. Expect the unexpected. Best laid plans… yadda, yadda." He tossed two yellow plastic-coated paper clips to the side and continued with the chain.

"But you're questioning my command?"

"The scenarios you're faced with offworld aren't like any simulation nor are they going to be as two dimensional as those mission reports you've studied. Each one is unique. They will involve countless scenarios, sometimes thousands of people, but…" Jack proudly held up the chain he'd completed. "They will always involve three other people besides yourself. Three very special people who will give their lives to save yours. To save Earth. And in Daniel's case, to save people who don't always deserve saving."


"Let them be your teammates, Mitchell. Listen. Learn. Pay attention. It's not a bad thing to be the new kid in class. You've got nothing to prove."

"Yes. I do," he said. "To myself."

"That's going to get you and your team killed." Jack put the chain on the desk and created a perfect circle. A stargate. Making a dent in the top and a point at the bottom, he smiled at the heart he'd just made. "My vision is to have SG-1's jerseys on display at the top of the gateroom upon retirement. You know, like they do in—"

"Hockey. Basketball. Got it. Sports analogy. I'm cool with the concept."

"Damn straight." Scooping up the paperclip chain, he dumped it back into the bowl. "Teams get the job accomplished by relying on the sum of the parts. Remember that, before you run off half-cocked, trying to bring home the winning run. Pay attention to the people still on the bases and don't worry about the fans in the stand.

"You're a good man, Mitchell. Hell, I wouldn't have picked you for the job if you weren't. But you need to remember three important things for your command to work."

"I'm listening."

"Colonel Carter. Dr. Jackson. Teal'c. If you remember those three things, nine outta ten times everything will be okay."

"And that one time?"


"You said nine out of ten times. What about that one time?"

"You run like hell and pray. Works like a charm."

* * *

"You want me to drive?"

Daniel was exhausted. Spent. More physically drained than if he'd gone a round with a platoon of Jaffa. Stupidly, he had assumed the meeting would be a formality. Just to show the Kyciens where to sign their names. Dot their "i's" and cross their "t's". Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. There had been lengthy explanations. Review of their book of Blessings. Clarification. Dim lighting. Candles. Buttered rolls. Stale sandwiches. Endless pots of coffee.

But in the end, the SGC was left was a signed treaty, new allies, a very happy Landry, and an ecstatic President. Daniel was left with a sour stomach, a mountain-sized headache and a libido that had died somewhere around his eighth cup of coffee. Add to that, he'd waited for Jack to meet with Landry and had gotten lost in trying to clean up the space that used to a desk.

Daniel was a big enough man to admit defeat. Tossing the keys into Jack's lap, he flung open the driver side door. "You driving probably would be a safer idea."

Adjusting the passenger seat to stretch out his legs, Daniel removed his glasses, folded them and stuck them in one of the console's empty cup holder. Resting his head against the side window, he heard Jack test the car's engine. "Sweet," Jack drawled at the eight cylinder growl and just before it settled into its purr, Daniel closed his eyes.

* * *

Slowly, he came to awareness. Complaining stiff neck muscles accompanied by an amazing smell of Greek restaurant fare somewhere in the car. Before Daniel even had a chance to extend cramped muscles, a warm hand was massaging away the kinks.

Cracking open one eye, cautiously, he tested the strength of his headache.

"Have a good nap?"

Opening both eyes, Daniel sighed deeply and nodded. "Yeah, I did." Sniffing the air, his smile broadened. "Gilshar's?

"Still on my speed dial." Jack's hum of appreciation was damn close to Daniel's ear. "I've been salivating just thinking about those bags in the back seat and…"


"Gyro with yogurt sauce."

Straightening, he playfully knocked Jack's hand aside. "Ahhh. The real reason for your visit. Lamb and yogurt sauce."

"Now that my secret's been revealed, whatcha say we head on into the house, so we can enjoy the gyros while they're still hot?"

Trying to stifle a yawn, Daniel failed miserably.

"Okay," Jack acquiesced. "I'll eat it while it's warm. You'll finish your nap and eat it after it's been reheated."

* * *

Daniel's growling stomach won out over his need to extend his nap and all it took was two bites into the overflowing, overstuffed, delicious sandwich for him to realize he felt a million times better with food in his stomach. Picking up a stray piece of lamb that had escaped from the pita, he dipped it into the yogurt sauce and stuck it in his mouth.

With his eyes closed and an expression of pure orgasmic bliss, Jack was making ridiculous "hmming" and "ahhing" noises as he chewed.

"Enjoying dinner, Jack?"

"Ya think?"

Daniel picked up his glass of wine, pointing it at Jack's pita. "I think I'm a bit jealous."

"Of seasoned meat and pita?" Holding the sandwich at arm's length, moving it from side to side as he examined it, finally nodding. "Yeah, you're right. I think you should be jealous."

* * *

"I'm not spying, Daniel."

"Hmmm?" Sitting down on the couch had been a bad idea. Sitting down on the couch after three glasses of wine, a full stomach, a fire in the fireplace with Jack by his side was an even worse idea.

Jack popped his shoulder, the one Daniel had been using as a pillow, up and down a few times. "Are you awake?"

"Awake. Yeah. Spying. I'm following you." Sitting up and stretching, he fought to ignore Jack's hand rubbing his back. "You came to Colorado Springs for the Greek food. And to give Mitchell hell."

Suddenly, Jack sat forward, flashing Daniel an expression of indignation. "I did not give Mitchell hell."

"You spoke to him."

"I spoke to Carter and Teal'c. Even had lunch with Carter. I don't hear you accusing me of giving her hell."

Jack didn't even wither under Daniel's scathing, you've-got-to-be-kidding-me glare. "Sam doesn't need you giving her hell. She knows when she screws up." Daniel shrugged. "We all know when we've screwed up."

"Except Mitchell."

"He's okay. He's learning."

Jack bore down on Daniel with his own patented glare. "The SGC, especially SG-1, is not the place for on-the-job training."

"So Washington's made you forget what's out there, Jack?" Daniel stood and began to pace. "Sitting behind a desk—"

"Shut up," Jack ordered.

"Excuse me?"

"Shut up," he repeated in a voice that had no edge to it. "Be quiet." Jack pointed to the loveseat opposite him. "Sit and zip it up. I want you—I *need* you to listen." His tone softened even more, begging. "Please."

"Sitting." Daniel drew his fingers across his lips. "Zipping." He rolled his hands to encourage Jack to continue.

"I came to Colorado, I will admit, for the food, you and to speak to Mitchell."

"He's a good guy, Jack."

"That doesn't always make one a good commander. He shouldn't be out to win any popularity contests. Mitchell needs to remember he has a team watching his six." Leaning back with a huff, Jack shook his head at the ceiling. "Mitchell was my choice. Based on his balls. His will. His stubbornness."

"Hmmm, funny. He reminds me of someone else I know," Daniel added, smiling back at Jack.

"When I went through the 'gate with you guys, I knew if something happened to one, it happened to us all. Our mission. My guilt as your commanding officer. But I was there and could witness how it went down, but in Washington, with Mitchell at the helm… I'm reading between the lines and not liking it a damn bit. I just wanted to make sure he knew I was watching him, even from hundreds of miles away."

"So you strong armed him."

Throwing up his hands, Jack adamantly shook his head. "I didn't touch him."

"Mentally, Jack," Daniel sighed. "You showed him you were the man."

"If that's what it takes to keep you, Carter and Teal'c safe, damn straight, I'm the man." He pointed at Daniel. "And weren't you supposed to shush?"

Scowling at Jack's remark, Daniel just kept on. "Being the man won't keep us safe. Talking to Mitchell, Landry or Hayes isn't going to keep us safe."

"I handpicked Mitchell for the job."

"So? And? That gives you a cornerstone on the guilt factor? It won't be his fault if something happened to us." Daniel sat back down on the couch. "Get over it, Jack. You couldn't protect us if you were right next to us. Chipping away at Mitchell's self-confidence isn't going to keep us safer."

"I didn't chip away at his self-confidence."

Daniel stretched out his legs onto the coffee table and dropped his head onto Jack's shoulder. "You did, Jack. Having your idol make comments about—"

"Daniel, I—"

"Shut up, Jack. You're in Washington. You *need* to be in Washington. The SGC needs you there, and short of cloning you, you're no longer going to lead SG-1 except in spirit."

"Cloning?" Pausing, as if the best idea in the world had just occurred to him. "Do you think—I mean, *he* has *all* my memories.

Daniel fought the shudder running through his body. "Don't even think that, the thought of a teenage you sharing a tent with me…"

"Oh god, you're right. Never mind, forget the cloning idea." Reaching out, Jack tentatively touched Daniel's latest scar. "I just want to make sure my team is safe."

Daniel grabbed his hand and guided it back down. "Safe in conjunction with the SGC is an oxymoron. No one knows that better than you."

"It's hard. Harder than I thought it would be," Jack reluctantly admitted. "The view of the Stargate is much different from my office in Washington, than from the briefing room."

"It's a control issue, Jack. You need to let go. Trust us. Trust me. Trust your instincts. Mitchell was the right man for the job." Gently, Daniel skimmed the deepened lines of age and worry on Jack's face. Had they always been there? Had complacency made him blind to Jack's position in Washington? "I don't want to play this game anymore. I want to go to bed with you and pretend you don't have a flight to catch in the morning. Can we—can you do that? Let's imagine our toughest choices are where to eat breakfast and nothing else."


"No. Waffle House. Diner coffee sucks. And they always make the pieces of onions in the hash brown too big."

"You just like the Waffle House because you can have whipped cream on your waffles. Tell me, Daniel, who has whipped cream on waffles at oh-seven hundred hours?"

Sliding his hand down Jack's torso, settling his fingers on Jack's cock, Daniel gave a slight squeeze. "We could always stay in and have breakfast. Pancakes? Eggs? Bacon?"

Jack cupped his hand over Daniel's, holding it. "What about the whipped cream?"

"Fridge. Second shelf in the back. We never did have dessert."

"Good idea." Using his hand, Jack moved Daniel's fingers from his own crotch to Daniel's. "Hold that thought, I'll be right back."

* * *

Daniel was drifting off to sleep the same way he had been woken up this morning, with Jack hands exploring the dips and valleys along his back. "Damn, I miss you."

"You miss this." Jack applied the heel of his hand just below Daniel's ribcage. "My hands."

Moving to allow Jack more access, Daniel agreed. "True. I miss your hands."

"I'm insulted," Jack griped close to Daniel's ear.

"Hey, if I can deal with you and your yogurt sauce fetish, you can deal with—" Daniel jumped, swiping backwards towards Jack. "Eww. Did you just *lick* me?"

"Residual whipped cream."

Lifting his head, Daniel smiled at Jack. "Any more residual whipped cream lurking around?"

Flicking his tongue over of number of spots, Jack shook his head. "Nope, dessert's all done."

"I think there may be another can—"

"Sorta full, Daniel," Jack apologized with a sigh, collapsing next to him. "And you have to go to work tomorrow."

Daniel squinted at the clock. "Today. I have to go to work today."

"I have to catch a flight today."

"Life sucks."

"Nope. I disagree," said Jack. "We're here. You're alive. I'm alive. We probably can manage about five hours sleep before we can shower in the morning, complete with a quickie, and then breakfast at the Waffle House before I have to leave."

"Diner's okay, Jack."

"Nah. The visuals with the whipped cream will hold me over until the next time I descend on the SGC."

"Which will be the next time you feel the urge to hand Mitchell his head on a silver platter?"

"No. The next time will be when I get a yen for yogurt sauce or you."

"Tough choice."

"Not so tough."

The bed dipped as Jack settled closed to him. Daniel was fighting to stay awake, but the lure of the comfortable mattress and weight of Jack's hands as they fought for purchase along Daniel's torso were making coherency an uphill battle. "Right there," Daniel ordered and Jack stayed his roaming hands. "Stay there. Don't move them. Feels good right—"

"Staying. Now," Jack agreed, kneading the skin under his hands. "First choice, actually. You."

"I know. I'm better than yogurt sauce."

"Yeah? How do you know that," Jack whispered in his ear.

" 'Cause you're not the only one that can read between the lines, General O'Neill. Me. Yogurt sauce. Yelling at various members of SG-1. That's the order of importance."


The End!

Authors' Comments:

Vicissitude first appeared in Pretense 8. As always, a huge thank you to jo, who never fails to impress me with her knowledge and patience. To the sisters of my heart, thank you..


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Since 09 June 2007