Daniel slipped into his jacket and then gave the locker room one last look. Satisfied that he hadn't forgotten anything, he headed out.
It was three-thirty and this had to be the earliest he'd ever gone home without an SGC doctor forcing the issue. Minutes later, as he entered the final elevator that would take him up top, he almost paused, almost changed his mind. Almost decided to go back to his office. But no, that would be even worse. No, he'd go home, to the pathetic little apartment he hated.
And speaking of pathetic little apartments, if he ever got his hands on Vala again… okay, he'd hug her, but then, then he'd kill her for causing him to miss his Atlantis opportunity.
Speaking of Vala -- he wondered what Sam was doing tonight. Unlike Jack, she'd kept her house even after she'd accepted the R&D position, which meant that now she was part of SG-1 again, she had a home. In his defense, though, he'd never expected to return to Earth once he'd left for Atlantis, so naturally he hadn't kept his home. And naturally he hadn't planned on being in the small hovel he now called home longer than the month lease he'd signed. And yet, here he was. Damn it.
Stepping out of the elevator, he almost wished Teal'c hadn't gone to Dakar during their downtime. He could have spent the evening with him and avoided the upcoming misery. On the other hand, he could get drunk, which would also aid him in avoiding his life and Halloween.
He signed out and started for his car. When he was a few feet away, he beeped the Jeep, thus unlocking it and shutting off the alarm system. Getting in, he debated on whether to stop at a bar on the way home to accomplish the deed, or a liquor store and bring the mind-numbing nectar of the gods home with him. The idea of driving after drinking decided him.
He'd stop at the liquor store.
Daniel made the drive down the mountain in silence, meaning absent of his usual habit of turning on the radio. He most definitely did not want to hear one. single. solitary. Halloween. record. Not. one.
Forty minutes later, he pulled up in front a neighborhood liquor store – not his neighborhood – because this was not his neighborhood, he was only borrowing it.
He was in and out in a few minutes, the proverbial brown bag in his hand.
Driving down the street, he noticed a few costumed kids – older kids – and
assumed they were on their way to some party since it wasn't yet dark. He knew there was a park only a block away, maybe they were headed there for some activity. Not that it mattered to him.
Daniel turned down his street and, for the first time that day, actually blessed Halloween. People in his apartment building – which had no parking of its own – were evidently out and about at parties and such because there was a place to park right in front.
Well, hallelujah and pass the Snickers bar.
He swung in, shut off the engine, grabbed the paper bag, and got out. Locking the car, he turned up the collar of his leather jacket against the blustery cold, and headed inside.
Letting the gate clang shut behind him, Daniel walked through the cheesy courtyard and took the stairs up to the second floor. No elevator this time and certainly no doorman. No indoor corridor, no carpeted hallways, just apartment doors that opened out into air. He should really think about moving now that his trip to Atlantis was on hold -- indefinitely.
He unlocked the door, stepped inside, and decided that Mitchell had been wise to turn down his offer of this place. He set the bag on the small entryway table – and no, it really wasn't an entry way, it was his living room – and took off his jacket. He hung it up in the small closet next to the door, picked up the bag and walked over to the couch – which wasn't his couch because he'd sold it – and all of his furniture -- along with his house. No, this was a furnished apartment, which for him, was a definite step backward in his life.
Not that said backwardness was the cause of his… mood, or whatever this was. No, that could be laid at the feet of one, General Jack O'Neill… with two l's and a sense of humor.
Jack O'Neill who had sold his house. Who now lived in Washington D.C. and whose home Daniel had spent five out of the last whatever Halloweens. Five of the best, spookiest, candy-eating, fun-filled nights dressed up and scaring Jack's neighborhood kids before doling out really great treats. Five Halloweens helping Jack decorate his home and turning it into: A funeral home the first year, a scary cemetery the next, a haunted ghost ship the third, a horror-filled and bloody hospital the fourth… and last year, a ghoulish insane asylum.
And this year? Daniel planned on scaring up a good drunk thanks to a bottle of Wild Turkey. Oh, sure, he'd been very tempted to grab the bottle of Jack Daniels, but that would have been just too… you know. Just – too.
He sat down, kicked off his shoes, leaned back, brought his legs up and stretched them out on the cheap coffee table. He took the bottle out of the bag and reached for the remote.
Mindless television and a couple of good stiff drinks should put the past and unfulfilled dreams of a happy future beyond his reach. At least for tonight.
When the doorbell rang, he was in no way prepared for it. No one visited him -- ever -- and he didn't know his neighbors, most of whom seemed weird at best. He checked his watch – only four-forty, too early for kids, but then, he knew for a fact that there no children in the building.
Curious, he got up, bottle in hand, and opened the door.
Daniel squinted at the sight before him. "Nice costume," he finally said.
"I'm dressed up as a general in the Air Force." Jack put his finger to his lips. "But don't tell a soul I'm faking it."
"My lips are sealed."
Jack, in his Class A's and wearing the sexy sunglasses that usually got Daniel's heart racing, said, "So, where's my candy? I'd hate to have to play a trick on you."
Daniel held up the bottle. "Will this do?"
Jack took off the glasses and regarded the bottle with suspicion. "Don't you know better than to offer a kid a drink? I may have to tell my mother on you."
"Is she attractive?"
"But is she attractive?"
"You that desperate?"
Jack cocked his head. "You okay?"
"You're supposed to be in Washington," Daniel answered.
"Ah, but I'm not."
"But you're supposed to be."
"But I'm not."
"Because," he leaned in, "I'm here."
"If you'll put on your shoes and grab your jacket, I'll show you."
Figuring he was suddenly one lucky son-of-a-bitch, he didn't question Jack as he hurried over to the couch, set the bottle down, slipped into his loafers, walked the short distance back to the door, took his jacket out of the closet, picked up his keys, and said, "Okay, I’m ready."
"Wow, you are desperate. You just did exactly what I told you to do."
"You gonna yap or are we going somewhere?"
"Cranky, cranky, cranky," Jack said as he stepped back to let Daniel out into the narrow corridor.
Once Daniel had locked the door, Jack then led him downstairs and out front, where a green Ford Explorer sat parked behind Daniel's Jeep. Jack unlocked the passenger door of the SUV and said, "Hop in and don't forget your seatbelt."
Surprised, Daniel nevertheless said grumpily, "Have I ever? And you rented an SUV?"
Jack started the gas guzzler, backed up and pulled carefully out into the street as he said, "Not a rental – I own it. And you often forgot your seatbelt and I'd have to put it on for you."
"Well, ye-ah, when I was unconscious, but otherwise, I'd never ride with you without it. When you're driving, seatbelts are a necessity if one wishes to live."
"Have I ever crashed a car, Daniel?"
"No, but you've had six speeding tickets. If you weren't a highly ranked mucky-muck in the Air Force, you'd have lost your license by now."
"Good to see you too, by the way," Jack said with an infectious grin.
"Uhm, Jack, where the hell are we going?"
"You don't recognize the territory?"
"I do, which is why I'm asking where the hell are we going?"
Jack made a right turn and a few moments later – pulled up in front of his old house. Turning off the engine, he said, "Here. This is where the hell we're going. Only of course, we're no longer going because we're here. The going is gone."
"Washington must be tougher on you that I thought," Daniel with a sympathetic shake of his head. He leaned across the seat and said conspiratorially, "You don't live here anymore, Jack." Then he patted the man's thigh in a Freud-like, reassuring way.
Looking out the windshield, his expression soft and happy, Jack said, "Yes, I do."
"No, no, Jack, you don't. You sold your house a few weeks ago when you accepted – without telling anyone – Hammond's job as head of Homeworld Security. You sold your house, the motorcycle you purchased because of Sam, and your truck. Any of this ring a bell?"
Jack answered by getting out the truck and starting up the walkway. Daniel sighed and followed. As he did, he noticed the Halloween decorations. Whomever the new owners were, at least they were into the holiday. Very nicely into it.
When Jack took out his keys and unlocked the front door, Daniel came to a dead stop.
"I never signed the final papers. I backed out of the deal, Daniel. Now, will you stop your yapping and get in here? We'll have a horde of ghosts and goblins arriving any minute and there's still a costume to put on and candy to get ready."
Stunned, Daniel found he couldn't move an inch. Okay, that wasn't exactly right – his mouth was doing a great imitation of a fish – opening and closing, closing and opening.
"Daniel? Why are you still out on the porch? Get your sweet ass in here."
Daniel frowned. Cocked his head.
Sweet … ass?
He knuckled his glasses back up his nose, fiddled with his ear, rubbed his nose, and said, "Oh. Okay."
"What the … Jack, what the hell is this?" Daniel held up a strip of soft white cloth trimmed in gold.
"That's your costume, Daniel," Jack said patiently.
"It's a strip of cloth, Jack."
"Hey, give me a break," he said as took an overnight bag and headed for his bedroom. "You can change in the spare room, but hurry, the kids usually start around six."
"Jack, I'll be arrested."
"Daniel, I touched down at the base three hours ago. Three hours. What kind of costume do you think is available on Halloween, three hours ago?"
"So you raided the linen closet? And just what did you find for yourself – three hours ago?"
"You'll see. Patience is its own reward, Daniel. Now go, change."
Daniel looked askance at the cloth and said, "How? What the hell is it?"
Jack, who was halfway to his bedroom, turned back around. Stopping at the entryway to the living room, he said, "Daniel, that's a to-ga. Got it? Greek item of clothing? Now hurry the fuck up."
Eyes on the cloth, Daniel said, "Roman. A toga is Roman. And this is most definitely not a traditional toga. The real thing covers a man – or woman – almost from head to toe. It goes over both shoulders and drops down, almost to the ground. There isn't enough material here to—"
"Daniel? Get dressed!"
"Sheesh, you don't have to yell," Daniel said huffily.
Well, what do you know? Sandals. Gee, Jack thought of everything.
Daniel faced the mirror and grimaced. He looked ridiculous. Okay, he looked exactly the way most people would envision a man wearing a toga – one strip of the cloth over his left shoulder thus leaving half his chest exposed – but really, it was… it was just… and too short too, what with the material hitting him mid-thigh. And talk about cold? Every time Jack opened the door to another trick-or-treat-asking child, Daniel would probably freeze his balls off. Balls that, if he weren't careful, would be flapping in the October wind.
Thank God for briefs versus boxers – at least today.
All he could say, as he headed out of the spare room, was that Jack had better be dressed just as ridiculously.
When he stepped down into the living room and got a look at Jack, he froze. "Jack?"
"Yeah? And oh, hey, you look good. Here, this goes with it." Jack held out a gold circlet of leaves.
Daniel ignored it and said, "Jack, you're in your uniform. Where's your costume? You went into your room to change into your costume."
"No, I went into my room to access my bathroom. I shaved."
Stunned, Daniel said, "You… shaved?"
"What, did you think I'd answer the door looking like a scruffy general? And here, take this. Without it, you're just a guy in a white sheet."
"I am not wearing a laurel wreath, Jack. In fact, I'm beginning to think—"
He got no further thanks to the door bell.
Grinning like a kid, Jack jumped up, put on his hat, picked up the huge bowl of candy that he'd obviously put together while Daniel was changing and headed for the door. As he passed Daniel, he dropped the wreath on top of Daniel's head.
"There, that's perfect. Now come on and help me start the doling out process."
Eyes narrowing dangerously, Daniel nevertheless followed Jack to the door.
Laughing, Jack closed the door behind the latest horde of rampaging, candy-needing children. "Okay, that was worth all my hard work, Daniel."
"You are the scum of the earth."
"Oh, come on, no one saw anything… but me. And maybe Cinderella's mother, judging by her appreciative whistle."
"You are the scum that other scum hire exterminators to remove."
"Cinderella's mother was very attractive," Jack offered helpfully.
"Not my type. I'm going to go and put on my jeans," he held up a finger in warning, "and don't try to talk me out of it."
Jack shrugged innocently. "Hey, I got my peep."
"You are the scum that exterminated scum steps on," Daniel said as he
headed for the spare room.
"Exterminated scum can't step on anything – they're exterminated," Jack yelled at him.
"Before they're exterminated," Daniel yelled back.
Laughing, Jack set the candy bowl down and sank into his recliner. Man, Daniel looked good in that toga, he thought happily. And he'd managed to get several eyefuls all night. Heh. God, he was good.
The doorbell rang again and he got up, bowl in hand, to answer. As he threw open the door, he found three children and… six mothers.
Okay, what math was he missing?
"Hey, guys. Oooh, Freddie, you look wicked," he said as he gave the small boy a mock shiver. "Here you go, dive in." He bent low enough so the children – a Freddie Krueger, one Sleeping Beauty and an Ariel – could take a grab. As he did, one of the women said, "I… we… aren't there two of you?"
Grinning, Jack looked up and said, "He's changing."
"Oh, that's too bad," another mother said without thinking.
He had to laugh then as he agreed. "I know exactly what you mean." He looked back down at the children and said, "Got enough?" At their happy nods and joyful thank-you's, he added, "Happy Halloween, kids!"
The children started to turn away, but the mothers remained, all six of them looking first at him and then beyond before finally looking – disappointedly -- back again. He held up his right hand and wiggled his fingers. "Bye, ladies."
Just then, Daniel reappeared, still in the toga, but now with his jeans underneath. "Hey, Jack, have you seen my glasses—"
"Oh, you put on jeans," one of the women said sadly.
He looked up sharply, blinked several times and finally said, "Well, huh… er… it's… you know… cold."
All six women were looking at his now denim-clad legs. They shook their heads sorrowfully, waved, and turned around to leave. As they moved down the walkway to the street, both men heard, "We'd better tell the others, don't want them to be too disappointed."
"Yeah, although, even in the jeans—"
"Oh, yeah. And the one in uniform ain't too shabby either."
Jack just managed to get the door closed before bursting into laughter.
After a moment, Daniel joined him.
Daniel sighed happily. There'd been no doorbell ringing for the last thirty minutes and he was now dressed, the toga balled up in the corner of Jack's spare room. He had a hot cup of coffee in his hand and decided that he was in heaven -- which meant he must be dead again.
"We did okay, didn't we? There are exactly eight pieces of candy left," Jack said, supremely satisfied.
"Toss four of them over here – the four chocolatiest."
"Is that a word?"
"Just throw 'em over, Jack."
Jack tossed two Milky Ways and two Baby Ruths – at the same time. All four spiraled in the air toward Daniel, who somehow, miraculously, caught them, two in each hand.
"Nice," Jack said, slightly awed.
"Good throw," Daniel said as he tore into a Baby Ruth.
"Don't spoil your dinner, Daniel."
Pausing mid-bite, Daniel looked up enquiringly.
"What, you think I'd have you over and not feed you?"
Daniel indicated the chocolate and Jack grinned. "Other than chocolate."
Before either man could say anything else, the doorbell rang – again.
"Ah, that would be dinner," Jack said brightly.
"Or," Daniel swallowed, "more kids." He looked guiltily down at his haul and at the half eaten bar in his hand.
"Nah, it's dinner," Jack said a split second before he opened the door to a guy wearing a green apron and carrying a large green bag.
Daniel, craning his neck to see, gave a vague thought to the … Jolly Green Giant, but discarded it when the man said, "Gourmet Express, sir."
"Ah, excellent. Right on time. Bring it in and set everything out there on the coffee table, if you would."
Daniel, having gone back to munching, watched with interest as the green bag was opened and several Styrofoam containers and two bags were removed and set on the table. When the man was done, he straightened and held out a clipboard, which Jack took. He signed something, said, "The tip is included," and handed everything back. He then guided the young man to the door, thanked him, wished him a happy Halloween, ushered him out, and shut the door.
Gleefully rubbing his hands together, he said, "All right, let's eat."
He sat down next to Daniel – as in next to – as in almost in Daniel's lap, and started pulling stuff out of the bags. The "stuff" included paper plates, chopsticks, and two half-bottles of what looked like champagne. There were also napkins, cups and four cartons. He pulled the Styrofoam containers over and made a small humming noise before saying, "Okay, we've got the shrimp-fried rice, the brown rice, the pork lo mein. We've got the candied walnut shrimp, the cashew chicken, and the crispy duck with pancakes and hoisin sauce. And we have the Professor Plum with the lettuce wraps and plum sauce. You want to help yourself or shall I fill your plate?"
Puzzled frown in place, Daniel licked his chocolaty fingers and said, "Jack, what's going on?"
"It's called dinner, Daniel. Usually eaten at the end of the day, a few hours after lunch? Sound familiar?"
"No… I mean, yes, of course, but no, I mean… oh, hell, Jack. Come on, what's this really about? You're supposed to be in Washington, this house was sold, you kind of made it clear that the SGC was history and, while I understand that, I mean, I know things didn't work out between you and Sam and I'm sorry, but … what the hell is going on?"
Jack sighed and sat back in the couch, dinner temporarily forgotten. "Damn, I was hoping to get a good meal under your belt before I had to do any talking."
When Daniel didn't say anything – just continued to stare expectantly, Jack sighed again and reached for the champagne. "I think I need a wee bit of fortification first."
He uncorked the champagne and then proceeded to shock Daniel by drinking right from the bottle. While he was guzzling it down, he handed Daniel the other one.
Daniel opened it and took a much needed swallow.
A few moments later, after Jack had wiped his mouth, he said, "It didn't work with Carter because—"
"You kept calling her 'Carter'?" Daniel said snidely.
"Ha-ha. Don't give up your day job, Doctor Jackson. And I called her Sam," he said defensively before adding sheepishly, "Sometimes. Anyway… the reason we didn't work was because we discovered we both loved elsewhere. For Carter, it turned out to be her career, which became extremely apparent when she realized that she had nothing -- except work -- in common with me. In my case, well, it turned out that I was in love with… you." He smiled brightly and batted his eyelashes.
Flummoxed was an interesting word to describe how someone looked, but Jack was pretty certain that until now – he'd never actually seen anyone looking flummoxed.
Daniel looked flummoxed.
He also gave every indication of a man who'd just been hit in the solar plexus by his best friend.
Jack reached over, slid his hand under Daniel's, and then gently pushed upward until the champagne bottle was at Daniel's mouth.
"Drink up, Daniel," he encouraged softly.
Daniel drank up.
When he was done – as in completely finished with his champagne, he reached for Jack's and finished that one off.
"Whoa, Danny, you're not going to be feeling very well later, you—"
"I don't feel very well now. In fact, I'd like nothing better than to vomit all over you, you sleaze ball."
"Whoa, sleaze ball? I tell you that I'm in love with you and you call me—"
"Damn straight, I do. You danced around Sam for five years, made goo-goo eyes at her every chance you got, treated me like shit half the time, yet refused to let me go to Atlantis originally, and then you packed up and, without a word, left the SGC, and now you have the gall to tell me you're in love with me? Now when we can't do a damn thing about it? Now when you're all the way 'cross country? And if you think for one minute, this late in the game, that I'm going to suffer through a long distance relationship with you, you're cracked in the caboose, Jack. In fact," Daniel got to his feet, albeit rather unsteadily, "I'm going to Atlantis at the very next opportunity, and you, General O'Neill," he leaned down and shoved two wiggling fingers in front of Jack's face, "with two l's, can go soak your head."
"Ah," Jack said as Daniel straightened up. "So you love me back, then."
"To quote a great man: Du-oh."
"Hey, when did you start watching the Simpson's?" Jack demanded to know.
"Oh, shut up."
Daniel moved backward, turned around, and headed for the front door.
"All your favorites here. Wouldn't you like to at least eat first? Get something besides a hangover for all your hard work?"
Daniel paused. "You did say Professor Plum, right?"
"And candied walnut chicken," Jack said enticingly.
Daniel turned around.
Most of the meal was history but Jack thought there might be enough left over for a decent breakfast in the morning. He glanced over at Daniel, who looked much as he'd always imagined he'd look after… well, after they'd made love. Sated, drowsy and happy. Sexy as hell too. He found himself grinning.
"What?" Daniel asked, followed by a not-so-camouflaged burp.
"Nothing. You just look… happy."
"Looks can be deceiving," Daniel said ominously. "I may be stuffed, but I'm not happy and you're still a dick."
"Thought it was sleaze ball?"
"But you love me. You love me so much, you'd do anything for me."
"Ha! In your dreams."
"You would. You love every inch of me. You think I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread, you—"
"You're gonna make me work for this, aren't you?"
Daniel looked at his watch. "For another… fifteen minutes. Then we fuck."
"Daniel, handsome Daniel, we're both getting older by the minute. We've wasted—"
"I've wasted… years. Why let another fifteen minutes go by when those same fifteen could be spent, as you so cleverly and linguistically put it: fucking?"
Daniel turned his head and looked blearily at Jack. "You're not going to change your mind about me the way you changed it about Sam, are you? I mean, we won't be in the middle of mind-blowing sex one day and you up and say, 'Wow, it seems the man I really love is… Teal'c', are you?"
"No, no way, Daniel. George, maybe… Lou Ferretti, possibly, but never Teal'c." Jack made a face. "He's like… my brother. Eewww."
"So I'm safe if I decide to take you back, right?"
Jack's face scrunched up. "Take … take me… back?"
"You heard me."
"Did I miss something?"
"Evidently. The courtship, the marriage, the—"
"Oh, we haven't had that yet. I think we'd both know if we had. I know you'd know, believe me, I know that."
"Definitely. If you'd been made love to by me, you'd know it. Trust me."
"I say we put that to a test."
"Do you now?"
"Yep. You're a scientist, put your theory to the test. Prove it."
"I'm supposed to fall for that?" Daniel asked dubiously.
"Yes. Because you want to. Because you want us to make hot monkey love."
"Space monkey love?" Daniel asked innocently.
"It's not fair to tease me, Daniel. I'm hot to trot here. Ready to experiment to your heart's content. Ready to be experimented on to your heart's content."
Daniel got to his feet. "So… in keeping with tonight's theme – would you be the trick – or the treat?"
Jumping to his feet, Jack grinned like the boy he was – deep down inside – and said, "I vote that we trade off."
Crooking his finger, Daniel said, "So follow me, General Trick."
"Something you should know, first."
Daniel stopped, shoulders slumping. "Here it comes."
"I resigned. I'm no longer a general, I'm the new civilian consultant for the SGC. I've asked for the office next to yours. Thought I should mention that in case – maybe -- you'd like to move in here… maybe."
When Daniel failed to respond – let alone move, Jack said, "Daniel? Did you hear me?"
Daniel slowly nodded.
"Like you said, no long distance relationship," Jack explained. "Not to mention the whole gay-military thing. This way, no hassles, no worries, no frequent flyer miles."
Daniel sat down, but because he was no where near a chair – he ended up on
Concerned, Jack rushed to his side and squatted down next to him. "Daniel, you okay?"
Blue eyes blinked back at him and, finally, Daniel shook his head.
"You're not okay?"
Daniel shook his head again.
"I thought you'd be pleased," Jack said hopefully.
"Wha'… what if… what if I'd … and you know, maybe not felt the same… and you'd have done all of this—"
"If you hadn't loved me back, if my impeccable judgment had been … somehow
… busted, I'd have ended up in Minnesota, growing a beard and turning into
a crotchety old man with a roomful of Daniel Jackson photos."
"You're already crotchety," Daniel murmured.
"More crotchety, then."
"You did all of this… all … of this… for me?"
Daniel smiled. Brilliantly. "Why, you old dog, you. Who knew?"
"Does this mean we get to the fucking part?"
"Oh, yeah," Daniel said as he got to his feet. Once up, he held out his hand.
Jack looked at it, smiled his own brilliant smile, and took it.
An hour later, Daniel ran his hand along Jack's stomach and said, "Of all the Halloweens with you, this one definitely ranked near the top."
Jack lifted his head, which wasn't easy considering how exhausted he was, and said, "Near the top? Near?"
"Come on, Jack, topping the year we did your house up as the ghost ship?"
"Us, together, having hot monkey sex doesn't top that?" Jack asked incredulously.
Daniel pretended to think about it even as he continued to rub Jack's stomach. "Well, maybe," he finally conceded, hiding his grin by ducking his head.
"You are so full of crap, Daniel, but I'm too happy for payback."
Daniel dropped his hand lower. "Oh, really?"
Feeling his dick jump as Daniel's fingers closed around it, he said, "Well, maybe not."
"So… trick or treat, Jack?"
"Treat," Jack said huskily.
|Genres:||Drama, First Time|
|Summary:||Jack's moved to Washington DC and Daniel is left with memories|
Author's Chapter Notes:
Another season 9 fic -- my way. *grin*