I've always wondered: is it comPOTE or comPOtee or what?
Anyway, here's my J/D ficathon story for the mysterious alirose. Mainly, it's about cheese blintzes. And dead philosophers.
Daniel was... doodling. Jack was pretty sure that the sketches marching across Daniel's notepad were not the glyphs of some alien language. Except for the parts that were.
It wasn't like Daniel not to pay attention at a debriefing, but then, if Jack himself had been paying as much attention as he was supposed to, he wouldn' t have noticed that Daniel was drawing long necked birds-- cranes maybe, or egrets, and diamond-backed snakes in his margins.
When Hammond sent them on their way with a tasty 48 hours of leave, Daniel looked up at nothing in particular, but remained in his chair, idly drumming his fingers on the table.
"Hm?" Daniel turned his head, and narrowed his eyes slightly. It was a look Jack was learning to hate, because he suspected that it meant Daniel still had to take a moment to remember just who Jack was.
"The meeting's over."
Daniel's expression didn't change.
"That means we can go now."
Daniel lowered his chin about a quarter of an inch, and Jack guessed that was supposed to be a nod, because Daniel pushed away from the table and stood up.
"You wanna get some breakfast?"
"Uh, no thanks. I already ate."
Jack seriously doubted that, but let it go.
Daniel squinted at him again, and Jack thought: Maybe he just needs new glasses. Hey, it was possible.
"I think I'm gonna go get a head start on those Ngirin translations."
"You do that."
Then Daniel left the room and Jack saw that he'd forgotten his notepad on the table.
Jack leaned over and checked it out, turning it to face him with one finger. At the bottom of the page, Daniel had sketched a pretty fair representation of the Evolution of Man, and he'd penciled a circle of Stargate glyphs above it: looked like P4X-809. In the clean white space at the head of the page, he'd printed three blocks of text. One was probably gou'ald, one he didn't recognize at all, and the last one English:
It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I would shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees, I bleed.
Time to dig Daniel out of the mountain, Jack decided.
"Busy now, Jack," Daniel answered. He didn't bother to lift his eyes from the book he was reading.
"Pack it up, Daniel. We're going out for breakfast."
When Daniel made no move to obey him, Jack stepped closer and closed Daniel's book.
"That's an order."
Daniel got to his feet slowly, with a nearly inaudible sigh. Jack handed him the jacket he'd taken off the coat rack by the door and Daniel fell into step behind him, pushing one hand into a sleeve.
They ended up at a greasy spoon run by a regal old dame with apricot hair so fine it almost hovered above her scalp. Her nametag read 'Hostess', and Jack had never actually gotten around to learning her real name, even though he'd been coming to this place since he'd gotten back from Abydos. The first time. The place smelled a little like scorched eggs and a little like Pine Sol; Jack had decided that he liked it.
"Hey, honey. You want the special?"
"Who could refuse your blintzes?"
"You want blueberry, what?"
Daniel was frowning at the laminated, and probably sticky, menu.
"Um. I'll need a few minutes."
The hostess brandished a stained and ancient coffee pot, swirling the hot liquid inside as though she were likely to pitch it at Daniel any time now.
"How about some coffee, sweetheart?" Her tone was kind of abrasive, but her eyes were soft.
"Thanks very much, yes."
He pushed his chipped ceramic mug forward obligingly, but she shook her head.
"Lemme brew some fresh. I'll be back in a minute, now."
Jack had to wonder: was it the glasses? The little pout, maybe? He'd seen waitresses bring Daniel a slice of pie with the check, just because. Maybe he just gave off a vibe. Even Sam seemed to need to feed Daniel up, now that he thought about it.
Daniel made a small sound that seemed to indicate he'd heard Jack's conversational gambit, but he continued to concentrate on the menu.
"The scrapple's pretty good here. And the Spam and eggs, " Jack made an expansive gesture, kissing his fingertips, "are superb."
"Contrary to popular opinion, I do hope to live to a ripe old age. I don't think I'll get to 95 on potted meat product."
Jack blinked at his companion, who continued to hunch over the blue plate specials as if he'd never spoken.
"Oh, come on, Daniel. Live a little. Mmm, potted meeeeat..."
Daniel finally deigned to meet his eyes, and Jack was glad to see that he looked amused rather than irritated.
"You're telling me you've actually eaten Spam voluntarily?"
"Well. No. But I like the idea."
"So... it's theoretical Spam and eggs for you."
"Probably the safest kind," Jack agreed. "Me, I like a Denver Omelet, some home fries. A biscuit and grape jelly."
Daniel raised his eyebrows.
"Then why did you order blintzes?"
"I like to change it up a little now and again. Don't wanna get stale."
He picked up the notebook he'd carried in with him from the seat beside him and rapped it against the gold-speckled Formica tabletop a few times.
"You left this in the briefing room this morning."
Daniel made no move to retrieve it.
Jack cocked his head at him and flipped the book to a random page, held it open and pointed to a passage written in block letters.
"Somethin' going on with you, Daniel?"
Daniel licked his lower lip and gripped the edge of the table. He gave every impression of trying to think up a good cover story on short notice. Finally, he spread his hands on the table, and sighed a little.
"'Listen to the cry of a woman in labor at the hour of giving birth-- look at the dying man's struggle at his last extremity, and then tell me whether something that begins and ends thus could be intended for enjoyment.'" Jack finished reading aloud and closed the notebook, sliding it across the table to Daniel. "Ah, Kierkegaard."
"A little gloomy, don't you think?"
Daniel gave him a small, twisted smile and dropped his eyes to study his own outstretched hands.
"If I hadn't died so many times already, I'd guess I was having a midlife crisis."
There was an uncertain pause as Jack tried to come up with something supportive to say to that. After a moment he said, "Heavy."
Daniel nodded a bit, and they were quiet for a while as the hostess came by with Daniel's fresh coffee and a bowl full of creamers. Daniel thanked her gravely, ordered two scrambled eggs and wheat toast and spent some time doctoring his coffee.
He gave his spoon a final tap on the brim of his mug and said, "Did you know that St. Augustine said that 'the greatest evil is physical pain'?"
Jack felt something tighten in his gut.
"Daniel? Let me put this delicately-- you're not hooked on OxyContin or something, are you?"
Daniel looked confused, his mouth soft and slightly open. Oh sure, he was an egghead, but he was a mouthbreather, too, and Jack found that reassuring somehow. Glancing at the aisle and then back at Jack, Daniel answered, "No-ooh. Sorry to disappoint you."
Relieved, Jack settled back in his booth, ass squeaking against the brown vinyl.
"So this is, like, existential angst, then?"
"I don't know Jack." He took a deep breath and Jack was glad he'd made himself comfortable; now that he'd gotten Daniel talking, there was no telling when he'd stop. "I've seen suffering on almost every planet we've been to. I've been electrocuted, burned, shot-- I've died more times than I can count. Was this body, in particular, made to suffer? Was that its purpose? Because I don't think I've enjoyed anything that wasn't really good coffee in... a really long time, Jack."
Jack curled his fingers around Daniel's forearm and squeezed. Daniel's eyes went from blurred and lost to narrow and intense fast enough to make Jack's mouth go dry. Then the waitress brought them their breakfast and the moment passed.
As Jack crammed his mouth with hot cherry compote and sweetened cheese, he mulled over the morning's events, while carefully avoiding looking at Daniel directly.
O-kay. If this wasn't Daniel coming on to him... well, clearly, this wasn't Daniel coming on to him. Sure, Daniel was lonely, who wasn't? That didn't mean he was reaching for Jack specifically, just... you know, reaching. After all, he'd been a glowy energy being for more than a year, and he hadn't gotten laid since... Jack would lay odds that Daniel hadn't been laid since Ke'ra.
All Daniel needed was a nice, uncomplicated roll in the hay. The fact that he seemed to be looking to Jack for that roll was just Jack's fevered imagination. Probably.
He managed to keep his mind off of things until the check showed up. When Daniel slipped the paper out from under his fingertips, he steeled himself to meet Daniel's eyes.
They were sharp with speculation.
"Lemme get that. I invited you."
"Okay," Daniel said, and he passed the check back, tucking his fingers under the open cup of Jack's hand as it lay on the table. His fingers were warm, and slightly sticky with the strawberry jam he'd spread on his toast. Jack closed his eyes a moment and reminded himself why it would be a really, really bad idea to suck on Daniel's fingers in the middle of a restaurant. Or, you know, at all.
When he opened them again, Daniel was staring at him with eyes that were the fast, hard blue you got at Mach 2 and 30,000 feet.
Damn it, Jack thought. I am so gonna end up in bed with him.
Strictly speaking, it wasn't bed, and in the end, they didn't even get their pants off. It was just Jack sucking on the first two fingers of Daniel's hand, groping him under his shirt and humping him against Daniel's front door, with Daniel panting and struggling with the zipper so he could get his hand in Jack's pants.
After a while, Jack let Daniel's fingers go and bit down softly on Daniel's lower lip. This prompted the other man to make a sort of yowly sound that made Jack's toes curl. He crowded into Daniel's mouth with his tongue and he noticed that Daniel never completely shut his eyes while kissing, and that it gave him a strange, drugged look that belied his touchy-feely bump and grind and busy hands.
"...touch me...god, please..." Daniel muttered, cheeks flushed, as he scraped his chin along Jack's jawbone.
"I've only got two hands, Daniel." And he used them to skim Daniel's sweater and T-shirt up over his head. This left Daniel with deranged hair and a red, wet lower lip that Jack devoted himself to biting until Daniel stroked him just so and he seized up, almost standing on his toes to shoot against Daniel's hip.
A few gasps later, Jack remembered what oxygen was like and set his lips against Daniel's hot, pliable ear. "I hope, for your sake, that laundry day is coming up soon."
"You know, I really thought you'd be quieter," Daniel said, grazing his lips along Jack's throat.
"Yeah, and I figured you'd be speaking in tongues when I did this," Jack replied. Daniel drew a shuddery breath as Jack slowly got to his knees.
"Uh, which-- which one would you prefer?"
"Oh, any old thing will do." He lapped once at the impossibly soft head of Daniel's cock and watched his friend lift his chin and screw his eyes shut.
"A?lla` ka'm me`n glwjssa ve'age, le'pton d' au?'tika xrw^j pu^r u?padedro'maken, o?ppa'tessi d? ou?de`n orhm?, e?pirro'mbeisi d? a?'kouai..."
Jack had no idea what Daniel was saying, or what language he was saying it in, but even the throes of passion couldn't keep Daniel from translating ancient texts. An easy bob of the head made Daniel shake and stammer, and switch to English. "For when I see thee even a little I am bereft of utterance, my tongue is useless and at once a subtle fire races under my skin, my eyes see nothing, my ears ring, sweat pours forth and all my body is seized with trembling-- oh, god, Jack--" And he felt Daniel's hand in his hair, petting him, restless against the back of his skull, his hand squeezing a little spasmodically. "E?'ros dau?^t? e`ti'naksen e?'moi-- moi fre'nas," Daniel gave a low moan and Jack eased his grip and slowed his hand before swallowing him again, encouraging Daniel to continue. "Uh... a?'nemos kat o?'ros dru'sin e?mpe'swn. Now-- now Eros shakes my soul--" He came suddenly, Jack's only warning the strange pressure of Daniel's buckling knees against Jack's shoulders. He eased off to swallow and let Daniel slide down the door, boneless and sighing, settling on the ground with closed eyes and a lolling head.
Jack wiped Daniel's hair back from his forehead and dropped a kiss on his friend's fevered brow.
Eyes still closed, Daniel murmured, "A wind on the mountain overwhelming the oaks."
Jack let him wind down a bit before asking, "What was that, anyway?"
"That's some good stuff."
"It was Sappho. What I could remember, anyway." He blinked at Jack like a waking cat and smiled. "We should try this again. Lying down."
"I'm all for it. Just let me stand up first." Slowly, ignoring an ominous click in his left knee, Jack got up from Daniel's floor and offered him a hand.
Daniel bounced up and slapped his hands against the thighs of his khakis, sighing richly.
"I really needed that."
"Well, duh! It's the best thing about this whole mortal coil gig. Bet you didn't get up to any hanky panky while you were floating around all one with the universe."
Daniel gave Jack a dubious look and shook his head.
"Uh. I'd have to say no."
"See? Aren't you glad you got grounded?"
Daniel cocked his head and squinted a bit. After a moment, he said, "Yes."
Jack crossed his arms in satisfaction.
"So does this mean your mid-life crisis has been averted?"
"Oh, I dunno. I'd say it's just getting started, really."
Daniel grinned and scrubbed a hand through his hair before cracking a jaw-breaking yawn. "I could use a nap. Are you coming?"
Jack pretended to consider it.
"Well, not right away."
Daniel smacked him on the shoulder and towed him back to his bedroom. Jack followed obligingly, until Daniel pushed him down on the bed. He bounced twice and folded his hands behind his head to study Daniel as he finished getting undressed.
"So, the next time I peek into your notebook, can I count on reading something a bit more life-affirming?"
"I couldn't say. I was planning on writing Jack + Daniel on the cover with my red sharpie, though."
"I approve." Jack snuggled back into the covers as Daniel leaned over to tug Jack's pants down.
"I thought you might."