J/D, Shades of Gray, Angst, Explicit Sex, 2400 words
Summary: a moment of healing after deep betrayal.
. . . . . . . . . .
Jack stood on the precipice, listening to Für Elise through Daniel’s apartment door. It wasn’t a CD or MP3. There’s a distinct dichotomy of both echo and sharpness in live music that can’t be replicated no matter how good (read: expensive) the recording studio or the player’s speakers. Someone was playing the piano in Daniel’s apartment.
Was it the owner of the apartment who’d given Daniel the rental as long as he didn’t mind that it was already furnished? Had to be. Daniel didn’t play the piano.
Jack put his hand on the doorknob and turned it to see if it was open. It was. And at any other time in their shared history, especially after becoming semi-lovers (they hadn’t done The Act yet), Jack would’ve strolled right in and shut the door behind him. But today was a very different day. He was in the doghouse, deservedly or not.
Still. Who the hell was playing Für Elise?
Jack turned the knob quietly and pushed the door open four inches, then further, his gaze trained on the spot where the piano sat in front of the balcony doors. His brows rose. Daniel was playing. Daniel. Why didn’t he know that Daniel could play? He then dismissed the question because Daniel didn’t know he could play the harmonica. It just hadn’t come up.
Given current feelings, Jack backed out and shut the door, then knocked four times, paused, then knocked two more times. It’s Me. Jack then decided that he shouldn’t have used their personal code because anything personal had been destroyed by The Sting. Technically, his lying and what he said while lying, but it was all part of a sting that Jack had initially refused unless his teammates were cut in on it.
They can act, trust me.
Travell and Thor hadn’t bought it. i.e., they hadn’t trusted his word, even though they trusted him to expose the rogue operation. He had been forced to figure out how to let his friends know that he was okay, but he was On Mic twenty-four-seven, much to his outrage, and so his friends and teammates couldn’t be informed. It had pissed him off something fierce.
Unfortunately, he’d taken it out on Daniel just to be able to sell himself and drive the betrayal home. He hadn’t been able to find the planted cameras he had known were there, which were the sources of the mics placed all over his apartment, never mind the parabolic shit in the black van that had been parked two houses down. If they hadn’t been there, and only mics had been installed, he’d have written a note a long time ago, telling Daniel, Carter, and Teal’c (should they come calling) that it was all an act.
But he hadn’t been able to do that. And the knife was used instead. On Daniel.
Ten Days Ago . . .
Daniel: So…how are you feeling about all of this?
O’Neill: Yes to the beer. No to the feelings.
Daniel: That’s, ah, that’s too bad because I don’t really like beer.
O’Neill: Stop your worrying. I’m fine.
Daniel: Really. That’s, ah, that’s funny because I didn’t figure you for the early retirement type anymore. There’s another reason you’re angry, isn’t there?
O’Neill: Oh here we go. Pop psyche 101, right?
Daniel: No. When we were in the briefing, you said something about the Pentagon not giving us the backup we requested. What, er, what were you talking about?
O’Neill: Hammond and I were planning a secondary SGC base offworld. It was going to serve as a backup in case ours was attacked. I was going to command.
Daniel: And the Pentagon pulled the plug. So you’re acting out because you’re hurt, because you didn’t get a command?
O’Neill: Gimme a break Daniel. Their denial of the program was just another indication that they’re not serious about attaining our goals.
Daniel: Which you think is attaining new weapons and technology.
O’Neill: Protecting ourselves.
Daniel: But isn’t our mission also about establishing and maintaining diplomatic relations with other cultures?
O’Neill: What’s the point if we don’t gain anything to help our other interests?
Daniel: Well there’s a lot we could learn from people like the Tollan that has nothing to do with technology and weapons.
O’Neill: Stuff that interests people like you, Daniel. Not people like me. I want to see tangible gains from our efforts, and if people like the Tollan don’t want to share, we should just take.
Daniel: You really believe that?
O’Neill: Being sweet and nice isn’t going to stop three or four Goa’uld motherships if they decide to come back again. I’d rather be a thief and alive than honest and dead. It’s a cliché, but there it is.
Daniel: If you really believe that, I guess, ah, I guess I never really knew you at all.
O’Neill: Come on. You’re a bright guy. You had to sense some of this.
Daniel doesn’t answer.
O’Neill: Then no. I guess you couldn’t relate to me any more than I could to you.
Daniel: So this whole, ah, this whole friendship thing we’ve been working on in the last few years is . . .
O’Neill: Apparently not much of a foundation there, huh?
And then, yesterday, the kicker from Daniel after it was over:
We drew straws. I lost.
He hadn’t been able to tell that Daniel had been acting. But it hadn’t been Daniel who’d told him that. Carter had been, and still was, too embarrassed and too rule-bound to talk back to him. It had been Teal’c who had informed him that what had been said in the corridor had been an act on Daniel’s part and that he and Carter had gone along with it to give Jack an unnecessary taste of his own medicine.
He had sold a lie to Daniel.
Daniel had sold a lie to him—granted a much easier and less destructive lie.
Were they even?
Jack was sure they weren’t.
The door opened and Daniel stared at him without expression, meaning that he’d used the peephole to see who it was. Wordlessly, he pushed the door open further as he turned and walked away, returning to the piano.
Jack followed tentatively; warily. He had no idea what Daniel was going to do. End what little relationship they had, including ending the friendship? It wasn’t fair. The only thing Jack could do was Sidetrack.
So he walked around to Daniel’s left, tapped him on the shoulder, and told him to move over on the piano bench. Thankfully, Daniel did—albeit reluctantly.
And to Daniel’s surprise—it was getting old, Jack thought; all these goddamn surprises about each other—Jack began to play one half of a two-part harmony. The low part of “Heart and Soul.” Appropriate. It said everything while saying nothing, using the piano to mend their feelings.
Jack went through two renditions—slowly at first, then increasing to the typical tempo before Daniel began to tap his keys at the appropriate time. His timing was a bit off, showing his reluctance to engage, but Jack kept going until the familiar section was finished and they stopped on the keys together.
Then Jack started again.
They began to expand their parts in the various versions of the duet. There were some hiccups when they didn’t know what the other would do, but they went through the song about ten times before Daniel ended it with the upper high notes.
Then they just sat there. The smiles and humor and good feelings seemed to have vanished. Daniel moved as if to leave the bench, but Jack grabbed his left biceps and kept him seated, then slid his hand upward to the base of Daniel’s neck and applied pressure to make him turn his head and meet his gaze.
“How many more apologies do I have to make before you stop being mad at me?” he asked in a calm voice that was just a teensy-tiny bit shaky. He stared into those emotional brilliant blue eyes darkened by the apartment’s lighting and tried to somehow imprint his sincerity by his gaze alone.
Daniel stared back for a seemingly endless thirty seconds before he pulled his head away, dislodging Jack’s hold. But he didn’t get up. Instead, he began to play a nuanced version of the duet that started with the high notes first. It was then Jack’s turn to be reluctant to follow, but it was only ten seconds before he joined in, catching up easily. They played for no more than twenty seconds or so before Daniel stopped and turned to him. But nothing happened. Daniel just stared into his eyes, saying nothing. Saying everything. Jack leaned in slowly, feeling the heat between them as he brought his lips to Daniel’s in a hesitant kiss. He was about to open his lips when Daniel surprised him again and broke away, sliding off the bench and taking Jack’s hand as he moved. Jack felt questions on his lips, such as “What’re you up to?” or “Where are we going?” He didn’t ask. Daniel made it plain as he began to lead him toward the bedroom. Just before they reached the door, Jack resisted, planting his feet as they came to an awkward halt.
“Daniel,” he said, earning a knotted brow. “I thought you said bedrooms were off limits because that could lead to full-on sex.”
“That was then,” Daniel said, redoing his hold of Jack’s hand by twining their fingers together. “This is now. Pardon the cliché.”
“I am sorry, you know,” Jack offered, not sure he was ready to go that next step. But Daniel was asking, no, trusting, him to be careful—because there would be initial pain. It wasn’t an act that was as simple as a BJ.
“I know,” Daniel said quietly. “And wholeheartedly accept your apology. That doesn’t mean I’m over it. So how about you erase that distrust and resistance in me by fucking me into the middle of next week?”
There was a glint in his eye and the tiniest curve of his lips, which Jack mirrored as his body warmed to the request. “Is that an order?”
“No,” Daniel said, opening the bedroom door. “It’s a highly forceful suggestion.” He paused. “You game?”
“What the hell do you think?” Jack asked rhetorically.
Clothes came off slowly as they kissed their way to the bed. That was part of a long series of firsts. They hadn’t seen each other fully naked—in this context—and it was just as hot as it had been when only half-dressed.
Daniel lay back, scooting up to lay his head on the pillow, but when Jack settled comfortably between his legs and began to kiss his way over his chest and down his stomach, Daniel stopped him.
“What’s wrong?” Jack asked, worry on his face.
“Nothing. Just, next time, okay? Right now, if you go down on me and then enter me, I’ll come right away, pain be damned. So.” He pointed to the bedside table to his right. “Lube. But, uh . . .” He grimaced. “Shit, I should’ve asked. No condom. Is that okay?”
Jack raised a brow as he fetched the lube. “Yes. You were prepared, I think. Were you expecting this?”
“No. Anticipating maybe. Expecting? Never. We’re oil and water, you and me. What we want and what we get tend to clash.”
Jack popped open the lid of the tube of lube with his thumb. “Makes us either extremely open or seriously neurotic. Do I care? Not in the slightest. You?”
“No,” Daniel said, almost laughing as a smile appeared and disappeared. There was a touch of shyness as he took the lube from Jack’s hands. A clear sign of lustful impatience that made Jack smile, which turned into a gasp as Daniel spread lube on his fingers and began to slide his fingers around Jack’s cock, pumping delicately to resist setting him off. Jack hissed between his teeth but said nothing as he lubed his own fingers and did the same to Daniel’s cock. Except his fingers kept moving downward, rubbing in tight circles. With an extra helping of lube, he slowly slid two fingers past his anus and into his body, using his thumb to rub at the base of his cock. Daniel gasped and grabbed his hand, pulling him out.
“You can’t. Not now.” His voice was husky, demanding, and it made Jack’s cock jump in response.
“Now?” he asked.
“Now,” Daniel whispered back, squirting more lube onto his fingers to lube the head of Jack’s cock. “It won’t hurt as much as you think because it’s not my first time, but it’s been over ten years. It’ll burn.”
“We’ll go slow,” Jack assured, feeling only a moment’s worth of disappointment that he wouldn’t be first, but quickly dismissed the idea because it was their first. To hell with the past.
Daniel spread his feet apart and raised his knees as Jack settled between them, guiding his cock to Daniel’s opening. He pushed, and the lube made it easy to slide partly inside. Jack closed his eyes, but Daniel cupped his cheek.
“Keep your eyes on mine. All the time.”
Jack nodded and he settled his weight on top of him, bracing both forearms over Daniel’s clavicles and cradling his head with his hands. Then his hips began to move, slowly at first but it didn’t take long before he was moving faster. It burned for a little bit, but Daniel didn’t mind. He took hold of his cock and pumped in time with Jack’s strokes. Staring into his eyes, he moaned aloud and raised his knees further. He gave the command and Jack moved deeper, harder, and they watched each other’s pupils dilate when the orgasms approached. It sent them over the edge.
There came the afterglow, the typical pause. To each other’s delight, they were ready again. They were ready all throughout the night, in fact. By morning, they would be dead tired when they went to the mountain. Neither of them cared. They were healed, yet sore. And wouldn’t have traded it for anything. After all, makeup sex (even first times) was just the best. They had plenty of chances in the future to test this theory. Again, and again, and again, and again . . .
And at one point, Jack asked himself if they fought just to have astounding makeup sex.
He knew what Daniel would’ve said.
Jack wasn’t so sure. In the end, it didn’t matter. Feeling each other, deep in lust and love, was all that mattered.