Sunrise over the Lake by JoaG

Jack paused from wiping down the rowboat's seats as Daniel left their cabin. He watched his lover's slow and limping progress as he made his way towards the small landing area, walking carefully so as not to spill the coffee he was carrying in one hand.

Smiling, Jack noted that Daniel's limp was much less pronounced than it had been last night. He turned and continued wiping the dew from the wooden seats, then threw the rag into the front of the boat.

As Daniel came to stand beside him, Jack took the coffee from him and took a sip. The mug warmed his chilled hands and the hot bitter brew warmed his innards. He leaned over and kissed Daniel's lips. Daniel leaned into him and Jack put his free hand around Daniel's back, feeling the heat of his body through the heavy sweater Jack had insisted he wear. Daniel yawned heavily, and Jack snickered as he remembered the trouble he'd had to get Daniel out of bed.

"Get in," Jack said as he reluctantly stepped away from Daniel. He watched as Daniel cautiously made his way towards the prow, then leaned over and handed him his coffee. Taking a good grip on the wooden bow, he pushed the boat into the water, jumping in at the last second.

He remained crouching as the boat continued drifting backwards, then he stepped over the seats to reach the oars once the boat stopped moving. The wooden seat was still damp and cold beneath his jeans; they'd have to wait till the sun came up to dry the mist away before they would be comfortable.

The air was cold and damp, Jack's fingers were red and chilled, but he knew he'd warm up in a short time, even while rowing slowly. There was just enough light to make out the various shades of grey; from the trees outlining the edge of the lake, to the lighter coloured boats still parked on the gravelled landing.

Jack turned the boat around and began making a slow circuit around the lake, much as Daniel had last night. The water lapped softly on the edges of the boat, making slight slapping sounds. When the darkness began to fade, he turned the boat towards the center of the lake. The farther away from shore he rowed, the heavier the mist became. Soon they were in a small damp cloud that reached their chests; eerie and soft and downright chilly.

"I thought you said this was supposed to be magical," Daniel complained as he leaned forward with his coffee mug. Jack let go the oars for a moment and accepted the mug, taking another sip. He handed it back and resumed rowing.

"It is. Just sit back and enjoy."

"I'm cold."

Jack smiled and continued rowing. When he estimated they'd reached the middle of the lake, he pulled the oars into the boat. "Move over." When Daniel slid to the side, Jack shifted seats and sat beside Daniel.

He reached an arm around him and they sat there, side by side. He could feel Daniel's chest moving as he breathed slowly. Daniel's sweater was damp with dew beneath Jack's fingers.

He was amazed by this man. Yesterday, for a time, he'd thought that this was the end of their relationship. Yeah, they'd had some rough times, but yesterday had been the first time he'd really thought they wouldn't be able to work things out.

He'd seen Daniel's face out there in the water; there had been something hard and determined, and Jack knew it hadn't boded well for him.

The boat rocked slightly, buffeted by a light gust of wind. Jack looked up and saw that the sky was now a vibrant blue. Across the lake, the first rays of sunlight crowned the top of the fir trees as the sun rose higher than the mountains around them. In its wake, the mist became thicker, contrasting the vibrancy of the blue and green above them.

A fly circled them, its buzzing sounding loud in the muted fog. He heard birds chirping, already looking for breakfast. A splash sounded to their left; a fish jumping for its morning meal.

Daniel leaned closer to Jack, and he nuzzled his neck. "You're right. It is magical."

"Just wait, you aint seen nothing yet."

Jack felt like he and Daniel were alone in a magical land, where glowing eyed monsters or creatures with snakes in their guts didn't exist and wouldn't haunt them. For just a short time, maybe they could forget the horrors that waited for them out there in the real world.

He laid his head on Daniel's shoulder, smelling the hint of coffee, sleepy Daniel and damp cotton. He closed his eyes, hoping to imprint this memory in his heart. This moment, now, forever, along with the one of last night, where Daniel had grabbed Jack and had hugged him tight.

They floated for what felt like an eternity, lost in dreams and senses, as the sun slowly rose higher and the sunlight gradually descended among the trees. Soon a ray of light spread across the lake, burning up the mist. Like a hand sweeping across the lake, the haze lightened, brightened and disappeared. Small tendrils remained in shadowy corners, soon to be chased away by the continuing spread of sunshine.

A duck flew overhead, and quacking loudly, landed with a splash. It ruffled its feathers and began swimming away from the boat. Jack glanced at Daniel and caught a slight smile at the corner of his mouth. Unable to help himself, he kissed the curled lip.

He moved away from Daniel and resumed his seat by the oars. He began rowing once more, watching Daniel's head sway slightly with each heave of the paddles.

"Jack, look." Daniel's eyes were wide as he stared to his left. Jack turned around, and grinned. Standing proudly on a fallen tree by the water's edge, stood a cougar. It overlooked the lake, ignoring the two men floating in the boat. The sun turned the tawny fur to gold, giving it an almost surreal look in the early morning luminescence.

They rowed past the large feline, who finally deigned to give them a look. It sniffed the air, then with a flick of its tail, disappeared into the woods.

Daniel, who had stood up to System Lords, innumerable hordes of Jaffa, Unas, alien bugs of various sizes and shapes and had travelled the stars, sat there with his mouth hanging open at the sight of one of Earth's own infrequently sighted wildlife. Jack couldn't help but smile as Daniel craned his head, trying to catch another glimpse of the beautiful creature as the boat drifted past.

"It caught our scent, Daniel. It's probably on its way to look for breakfast somewhere else."

"It was beautiful," Daniel whispered.

"Toldja this place was magical."

Daniel turned back to Jack, smiling widely. "Yeah, you did, didn't you?"

They made a couple more circuits around the lake, both of them warming up under the sun's growing heat, until Daniel's stomach growled loudly.

"Good thing I didn't bring my fishing gear, you'd be scaring the fish away with all that noise."

"I sort of remember you telling me we'd be eating trout for breakfast. I don't see any fish anywhere."

As if to mock his words, a large trout jumped out of the water barely four feet from the boat.

Daniel met Jack's eyes, and laughed. "I stand corrected."

"Ready to go back inside?
"Only if you plan on feeding me."

"Oh, I definitely plan on doing that. And then bringing you back to bed and making slow, passionate love."

Daniel's eyes crinkled as he smiled at Jack. Anxious now to get back to the cabin, Jack aimed the boat for shore and picked up speed.

Daniel looked relaxed, watching the scenery go by, while Jack kept his gaze on his lover's face. There were so many memories he needed to make, images of Daniel he needed to keep close to his heart so the next time he impatiently and thoughtlessly snapped at him, he could try and recall these few days to avoid ever seeing the look on Daniel's face as he'd rowed back to shore last night.

Daniel caught Jack staring at him, and blushed. He stared back at Jack intently, and Jack felt his face, and his groin, begin to heat up. He tore his gaze away from Daniel and checked to see how far away they were from shore. He corrected his course, and then guided them in smoothly.

He jumped out of the boat and pulled it up along the gravel, its buoyancy belying its weight as the boat slid easily out of the water.

As he and Daniel walked to the cabin arm in arm, Jack knew they would be back out here tonight, at sunset. But until then, Jack would ensure he and Daniel would be sated, both with food, sex, and love.  


Author's Comments:This is for Sideburns, since she asked nicely.

This story is totally unbeta’d. Any errors are mine.

And thanks to my Heartsisters, I'd actually chickened out about posting this; and they managed to get me to change my mind.


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