Hidden by Sistine
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Category: Teal'c/Sam, Jack/Daniel
Genres: Alternate Universe, Angst, Challenge, Drama, First Time, Hurt/Comfort
Rated: Adult
Warnings: None
Series: None
Summary: “Daniel had always been told that he was ugly. He couldn’t remember a time when he hadn’t been.” That was about to change.

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Author's Chapter Notes:
Written for the Past Lives challenge at Pepes Place. The first line was inspired by the movie ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’. One of the plot points was borrowed from ‘Man in the Iron Mask’. Bear in mind that this is a totally different Daniel, not the one we know and love on the show.
There may one day be a sequel to this but not immediately
1336 A.D, France

Daniel had always been told that he was ugly. He couldn't remember a time when he hadn't been. His birth parents had abandoned him when he was very young, and his foster parents had raised him. They were good people and very kind to him. They had nothing in their house that revealed his reflection and for that, Daniel was grateful. It was bad enough that his foster parents, whom he thought of as his real parents, had to look at him every day. That was why he wore his hair long - it reached his thighs now - to hide his deformed face from them and to cause them less pain.

He didn't know how old he was, only that he hadn't seen the sun since he could walk. All his life, he had stayed in this house, mainly in the attic, and seen no-one but those who had raised him. Sometimes, when he was curious, he would try to peek downstairs when company visited but he was always too far away to see. It was probably just as well; he didn't want to scare the guests.

Sometimes, too, he would feel his own face, trying to work out what made him so ugly, what part of him was deformed. It felt ordinary to him but obviously it wasn't, otherwise he would be allowed outside.

The attic where he lived was dark even in the daytime as there were no windows. His eyes had adjusted so that he could see well in the dark, and he could move freely about his room. Of course, there was little in his room to bump into, just a bed and a chest for his few clothes. He couldn't read or write but he could draw, and he had an active imagination, making up his own stories based on the ones his mother would tell him. Hers were always filled with gloom though, whereas his were full of happiness. In them, he was always discovered by a beautiful princess who didn't care what he looked like. But he knew that would never happen in real life.

"Daniel!" Robert of Kinsey, one of the village councilmen and Daniel's foster father, climbed up the ladder to the attic.

"Yes, sir?" Daniel stood, head bowed so that his father didn't have to look upon his face.

"Your mother and I will be out this evening. You know what to do." The fire from the torch highlighted Kinsey's cruel face but Daniel didn't see it.

"Yes, sir." Don't go downstairs and don't answer the door if someone knocks; how many times had he heard those instructions?

Kinsey nodded. "Good boy." He left, taking the torch with him.

Left alone again, Daniel lay on the bed and wondered what he could do to fill in the time. He was becoming increasingly restless with the inactivity of his life.

After about an hour, although he had no way to tell the time, he broke the rules and went downstairs. Everything was dark but that didn't matter to Daniel as he could see perfectly well. He explored everywhere even though he had seen everything before when he had been allowed to come downstairs for meals. It was different this time as he was able to examine things closely.

A flare of light was the only warning he had that he wasn't alone. Daniel spun around, saw a man in black staring at him, and then he fled up to the attic. Someone had seen him! His father was going to be so angry.

The man in black followed him up the ladder. Daniel sat in the corner of the attic, knees to his chest and head bowed, hiding from the intruder. "Don't hurt me!" he pleaded.

"I won't," the surprisingly gentle voice said. "I'm not here to hurt anyone."

Without knowing why, Daniel trusted the voice. He relaxed slightly but didn't look up.

Jack the Fox, known for his speed and cunning, observed the young man in front of him. He hadn't been aware that anyone else lived in this house. Was this a servant? "What's your name?"

"Da-Daniel." Why wasn't the man going away?

Jack crouched in front of him. "There's nothing to be afraid of. My name's Jack." What was with the long hair? He reached out one hand to stroke the dark blonde locks.

Daniel recoiled in shock. No-one had ever touched him except his parents. "What are you doing?" he asked fearfully.

"You have beautiful hair," Jack stated sincerely. "But why is it so long?"

Beautiful? Daniel knew the man was lying. "Not beautiful," he denied. He was ugly and so was his hair.

"You know, I hate not seeing who I'm talking to," Jack said, wanting - no, needing - to see Daniel's face. The voice was smooth and the hair beautiful, if somewhat matted, so would the face match?

"Ugly," Daniel stated. The man - Jack - sounded nice and Daniel didn't want to scare him away.

"I'll be the judge of that." Jack wondered whether that was true, given that the young man was so scared. "Please?"

Daniel slowly lifted his face upwards but kept his eyes downcast. When there were no gasps of shock or horror, he looked towards the stranger.

Jack kept his face neutral, although it was hard. Daniel was beautiful! His skin was almost pure white, and his eyes were a startling blue in contrast, though the black centres nearly swallowed the colour. Daniel was almost like a spirit, albeit a beautiful one. He reached out one hand to stroke the smooth, clean-shaven cheek and felt a tug in his gut. Never before had he believed in love at first sight but he did now. He loved Daniel.

Daniel trembled under the light touch, and he felt something strange inside him. The man, whose brown eyes displayed only warmth, had an unshaven face but it seemed nice. Not that Daniel had seen many faces to compare it to.

"Have you ever seen yourself?" Jack asked softly, seeing that Daniel was still scared.

Daniel shook his head. "Mother said I would weep if I saw myself," he shared.

Jack felt a moment's fury at Daniel's mother for telling him such a thing. Then he calmed himself and said, "I don't think you would. I don't think you're ugly at all."

Really? Daniel thought that a kind lie but couldn't understand why Jack would want to lie to him.

"How long since you've been outside?" Jack queried. He had seen that coloured skin before on miners who spent most of their lives underground.

"Don't know." Daniel hid his face again, ashamed. "You must go. They'll be home soon." He didn't want Jack to go but he didn't want the man to get into trouble for being here either.

On impulse, Jack took Daniel's delicate hand and pressed a kiss to it. "I'll come back," he promised. There was no way he would leave Daniel here with people who lied to him and kept him imprisoned.

To his surprise, Daniel looked forward to that.

********************

Fortunately, Kinsey didn't ask Daniel about the night's events until later the next day. With some charcoal, Daniel drew a sketch on the floor of Jack. It was a childish attempt as he hadn't had much practise in drawing people, but it comforted him just the same. Jack liked him even though he was ugly. It was a nice feeling to know that.

Kinsey came into Daniel's room after midday and saw the sketch. "Who is that?" he demanded. He knew that an intruder had been in the house as there were several things missing, and he had come up to ask Daniel if he knew anything about it.

Daniel flinched back from the tone and hid his face; he didn't like it when his father was angry.

Kinsey wasn't stupid; he knew that Daniel had to have seen the intruder because the drawing certainly didn't look like himself or his wife. "Have you been outside?"

"N-no," Daniel stammered truthfully.

"Then how did you see this man?"

"He-he came inside the house." Daniel didn't know how to lie and even if he had, his nervousness would have given him away.

Kinsey knew that if Daniel had seen the man, then the man had likely seen Daniel, and that wasn't good. "Did he see you?"

"Yes. But he didn't hurt me," Daniel stated, wanting to please.

Their secret had been discovered. Kinsey knew that if Daniel had been recognised as a member of the royal family, then things were liable to get messy very quickly. He might be called to justify his actions later but since he had been told that no-one could know that Daniel existed, there was only one solution: Daniel must die.

He patted Daniel on the head and said, "Your mother and I love you, son, but that man cannot be allowed to hurt you. I'm sorry." He left, locking the trapdoor to the attic behind him.

"Father?" Daniel ventured over to the trapdoor and tried to lift it but to no avail. "Father?" he called again, louder this time. There was no answer. He banged on the door and called out several times but his father still didn't come back. Bewildered, Daniel went and curled up on the bed. Had he done something wrong by admitting that Jack had seen him? Most likely, yes, because he knew his parents didn't want others to look upon him. Silent tears fell from his eyes at the thought of displeasing his parents. When Kinsey came to unlock the door, he would apologise fully.

But Kinsey never came back. Two days passed without food or water, and Daniel's cries to his parents went unanswered. This was far beyond any punishment he knew. He grew weaker with hunger and thirst, and lay on his bed, fearful that he was going to die. Why was he being punished so severely?

On the second night, a loud crackling sound disturbed him. He sat up quickly, making his head spin. What was happening?

Then he smelled it: smoke. Lots of it, filtering up through the floorboards. The house was on fire! Panicked, he went over to the trapdoor and started banging on it, calling for help. He didn't want to die this way!

Outside, Kinsey comforted his tearful wife. It had to be this way. Daniel could not be found. That had been the wish of the late King Philip V, who had not wanted his brother's son to succeed the throne. That was why Kinsey, who had been in the King's employ at the time, had been given Daniel to keep safe and to make sure that he was no threat to Philip's reign.

The story put about twenty years ago was that King John I had died at only five days old, but in reality, that baby had lived and had been hidden away. No-one else alive knew of Daniel's existence, and Kinsey was sure that the secret would have died with Philip or his brother, Charles IV, but that might not stop someone using Daniel to their advantage if the truth were discovered - and that would not be good for the current monarch, whose link to the throne was not a direct one. Of course, Kinsey could have groomed Daniel to take over the throne and then govern the country through him, and he had contemplated that idea for awhile. If he hadn't liked the new King, he would have gone through with it. However, he thought King Philip VI a good ruler and now this course of action was the only one left. It was probably something that he should have done long ago except his wife had always pleaded for Daniel's life. This time, Kinsey hadn't listened.

On the other side of the house, Jack could see the fire burning brightly and by some instinct, knew that Daniel was still inside. Winding a rag around his nose and mouth to keep the smoke out, Jack headed into the house to find him. The heat was almost overwhelming but Jack forced himself through to the ladder leading up to the attic. Fortunately, that had not yet burnt. He climbed the ladder and undid the lock on the door, all the time hearing Daniel's cries for help.

When the door opened, Daniel thought it would be Kinsey come to save him. To his surprise, it was Jack, and he grew more scared.

"Daniel, come on, we have to get out of here," Jack urged when the young man just sat there. When Daniel still made no move, Jack grabbed his hand and pulled him towards the ladder.

"I-I can't!" Daniel protested fearfully. He would be punished even worse if Kinsey found out that Jack had rescued him. The thought that he couldn't be punished if he was dead never crossed his mind.

"Yes, you can!" Jack wasn't about to let Daniel die. "You won't get into trouble, I promise." He would take Daniel away from these callous parents who left their son to die horribly in a fire.

At that reassurance, Daniel meekly followed Jack down the ladder and through the house, still trying to hide his face. That was why he didn't realise that his long hair was on fire until they got outside.

Jack cursed and quickly tackled Daniel to the ground, rolling him around to get the flames out. Once the emergency was over, he helped Daniel to sit up. "It's alright now, you're safe."

Daniel shook his head, his eyes darting everywhere to take in the outside world. "I'm not supposed to go outside," he confided, fearful that Kinsey would see him.

"This is an exception," Jack stated, angry at the people who had kept this beautiful man inside for his whole life. He still couldn't figure out why. "Come, we need to get you away from here."

"Why?" Daniel didn't protest when Jack helped him to stand but he was curious.

"Because... your parents would want you to be safe," Jack quickly lied. "So we have to go before others get here to put out the fire."

"Are my parents alright?" Daniel asked as he was led, an arm around his waist, through the back gate and away from the village that he had never seen.

"I'll explain later," Jack said, wanting to wait until they were safely away from the village.

"Why didn't they come to help me?" Daniel persisted.

"They were... otherwise occupied." Probably with making sure Daniel didn't escape. "Now, we need to keep quiet or the bad people will find us."

Not wanting that to happen, Daniel kept silent for their entire journey. Being only in the house, he hadn't exercised much and soon he was exhausted from the brisk march. But he didn't complain as that wasn't in his nature.

Jack finally came to the cave where he and two others resided. He lit a torch, as the one he had been carrying was about to die out, and headed inside, still holding onto Daniel. He could feel that the young man was very tired by the way he was leaning heavily on him, and Jack cursed silently as he realised that Daniel probably wasn't used to anything other than slow walking. "Are you alright?" he asked with concern.

"My side hurts," Daniel replied, unable to lie. "And my legs also. And my head..." He broke off, a wave of dizziness sweeping over him. Then the world went black.

Jack cursed out loud this time as Daniel went limp. He lifted the young man, who weighed little for a man of his height, into his arms and carried him further into the cave where he normally resided.

Two people were there to greet him in the brightly lit room. One was a blonde woman with a scar across her face, and the other was her partner, a large black man with huge muscles and of unknown origin. "Is that him?" the woman, Sam, asked. She had heard about the prisoner whom Jack had found.

"Yes, this is Daniel," Jack replied, placing the young man carefully on a pile of skins. In the bright torchlight, Daniel's skin looked paler than ever. "I got there just in time. His parents tried to burn him alive."

"Are you positive of this?" the black man, Teal'c, queried as he moved to get a better look at the unconscious man.

"No, but it fits. They've kept him inside his whole life, convinced him that he's ugly and deformed, and his door was locked from the outside when I got there," Jack related angrily, his hands clenching into fists. "You tell me whether they're guilty of trying to murder him."

"But why now? Why after all this time?" Sam questioned logically. "He doesn't look even twenty years old." So beautiful too, she thought, and her heart ached for him.

Jack thought about that as he brushed Daniel's hair away from the pale face. "Because they knew someone had been there and had seen him."

"But why try to kill him? It doesn't make sense." Sam liked for things to make sense.

"I know," Jack agreed. Daniel had been deliberately hidden away, so there had to be some kind of reason for it. "Maybe he's not their son. Maybe they stole him," he theorised.

"From who?" Teal'c wanted to know.

"That's the question, isn't it?" Jack looked at Daniel's unguarded face and felt himself fall more in love with the innocent man. They might never know where Daniel was originally from but that didn't matter. All Jack cared about was protecting Daniel for the rest of their lives.

********************

Daniel awoke to a bright light. Squinting, as his eyes weren't used to the light, he tried to work out where he was. The ground beneath him was soft and he ran his hands over it. Why did it feel so soft?

"Animal skins."

Jack's voice made Daniel jump in fright. He put a hand up to shield his eyes and then turned towards the voice.

"They're animal skins," Jack repeated as he sat down in front of Daniel. "Oh wait, you probably don't know what animals are, do you?"

Daniel nodded. He had never seen one but he had heard about them. "Mother told me about sheep and cows. We eat them."

"Yes, we do," Jack agreed. He gently took hold of Daniel's left hand and guided it over the skins. "This is from a cow," he explained, watching the wonder on Daniel's face.

"A cow," Daniel echoed. He opened his eyes slightly and looked at the brown softness beneath his fingertips. This was fascinating to see something he had only heard about in stories. Then he lifted his head to look at Jack through slitted eyes. "Where are my parents?"

Jack turned away briefly then forced himself to look Daniel in the eye. "They died in the fire," he lied, having discussed this with Sam and Teal'c earlier. "I'm sorry."

Daniel's face crumpled. They were dead? That meant that they weren't coming back, didn't it? He was alone, and his father had died angry at him. Feelings of guilt and sadness washed over Daniel and he started to cry.

Jack drew him into an embrace, holding Daniel for a long time as the younger man cried. He didn't feel sorry about lying and in any case, if Daniel confirmed their suspicions, the couple would be dead soon anyway; Teal'c hated seeing anyone mistreated, and Jack would gladly help him extract justice.

Eventually, Daniel ran out of tears but he stayed where he was; Jack felt safe. "Where will I go now?" he asked.

"With me," Jack said without hesitation. "I want to love you and look after you."

"Love me?" Daniel was surprised by that. "But I'm ugly."

"No, you're not." Jack gently encouraged Daniel to lift his head and then he kissed the dry lips. "You're beautiful," he said a few seconds later.

Daniel stared at him. "What was that?" It had felt very nice.

"That? That was a kiss," Jack explained. "Hasn't anyone ever kissed you before?"

Daniel shook his head, his eyes now fully open as they had adapted to the light. "What does a kiss mean?"

Jack's anger at Daniel's parents kicked up a notch but he didn't show it. "It's a sign of affection and love. If two people care about each other, then they show it by kissing."

A frown appeared on Daniel's face. His parents had never kissed him. This shook him to his very soul. "Didn't they love me?" he questioned, his voice shaky.

"I'm sure they did in their own way," Jack said, stroking Daniel's long hair. "Maybe they just couldn't show it. Some people can't."

"I wouldn't blame them if they didn't love me," Daniel continued, withdrawing from Jack's arms and hugging his knees to his chest. "My real parents abandoned me because I was deformed and ugly."

Jack put his hands on Daniel's face and looked directly into the sad blue eyes. "For the last time, Daniel, you are not ugly. You have the most beautiful eyes that I've ever seen."

"Really?" Daniel felt a tiny spark of something inside him at those words.

"Really," Jack confirmed truthfully. He gently kissed Daniel again and then drew back. "Are you hungry?"

"Yes, please." Daniel's eyes lit up when Jack produced some meat and water. He drank the latter first, and then gobbled the meat down, satisfying his hollow stomach for awhile.

Jack's list of grievances against Daniel's so-called parents grew longer at the indication of starvation. How could anyone have treated Daniel this way? "Would you like to go outside?" he offered. "The sun in shining."

Daniel's expression grew fearful. "Not allowed to go outside."

"There's no-one but my two friends around and I promise that they won't hurt you." Jack held out his hand. "Please?"

Daniel took Jack's hand with both of his and examined it. Jack had long fingers and a crooked thumb, and his skin was dark and rough; such a contrast to his own soft white hands. Then he looked at Jack's face. The light hair was sprinkled with grey, and the skin was a colour similar to the hands. And those brown eyes were still filled with warmth.

He was about to explore Jack's face with his fingers when he realised what Jack had said about friends. Daniel stiffened and looked about the cave nervously. "There are others?"

"Yes, but they won't harm you," Jack promised again.

Daniel thought it over for a moment and decided that he could trust Jack's word. He nodded at Jack and then allowed himself to be assisted to stand. His legs felt all wobbly and sore, and he had to lean against Jack. "Why do they hurt?" he questioned.

"Because they're not used to going fast," Jack replied. "They'll get better with more use. Come on." He led an unsteady Daniel to the entrance of the cave.

"Wow," Daniel breathed, stunned by the beauty he saw. There were green trees everywhere, and flowers, and the sun lit them up almost magically. "Does outside always look like this?"

"Pretty much." Jack decided it was too complicated to explain about the different seasons. He kept his arm around Daniel's waist, enjoying being this close. Nothing physical would be able to happen between them until Daniel fully understood what love meant.

Daniel wanted to venture outside properly but his eyes were beginning to water from the bright sunlight so he reluctantly told Jack to take him back. When they got back to the main cave, Daniel froze. Two people were standing there staring at him. Automatically, he ducked his head so that they wouldn't look upon his ugly face.

"It's alright, Daniel," Jack soothed. "These are my friends, Sam and Teal'c. You can look at them."

Daniel shook his head, his long hair hiding his face. When Jack shifted his hair back, Daniel looked at him in panic.

"You can't hide forever," Jack gently chastised him. He looked at the burnt sections of hair. "Besides, we need to cut this."

"No!" Daniel's protest was immediate. He needed his long hair.

"Daniel, it's been burnt." Jack held up some of the affected strands for the younger man to see.

"You said it was beautiful," Daniel pointed out, close to tears.

"It is beautiful," Jack agreed sincerely. "I don't want to cut it all off, just the burnt bits. Just to here." He touched Daniel just a little below his shoulder. "It will still be beautiful."

Daniel examined the burnt hair; it didn't look nice at all. "Just some," he agreed to the cutting of his hair.

"Just some," Jack promised. He got Daniel to sit down on the skins and then sat in front of him, holding his hands. "Sam's going to cut it, alright?"

Daniel peeked out at the woman who had appeared by his side. She seemed pretty even with the scar. Looking back at the floor, he nodded.

Having received permission, Sam carefully started cutting the hair with a sharp knife. Long strands of blonde hair fell onto the cow skin as she worked.

Daniel felt the loss of each strand keenly. His hair had been a comforting weight and now it was gone. When Sam was finished, he bowed his head to see if he could still hide. He could. That was good.

"Look at me, Daniel," Jack ordered gently, putting his finger under the young man's chin. When Daniel obeyed, Jack's breath caught in his throat. Daniel was even more beautiful than before!

"How do I look?" Daniel asked nervously when Jack just stared at him.

"Here." Sam handed Daniel a round piece of polished metal. "Have a look."

Daniel looked at his reflection. A pale man with blue eyes looked back at him. "That's me?"

"Yes," Jack stated, having regained his voice. "See, no ugliness, no scars, no deformities or anything."

Daniel traced over the reflection with a tentative finger. "I still don't see how you think I'm beautiful," he admitted. The man staring back at him seemed plain.

"Just trust me on this," Jack said, taking that hand and placing a kiss to the palm. "Can you do that?"

Daniel thought that Jack's eyesight wasn't very good but he replied, "Yes," nonetheless. For so long, he had wanted someone other than his parents to love him in spite of his appearance. Now, he had that someone.

********************

It took Daniel several days to gather enough courage to stand outside in the sunshine. He loved how warm the sun made him feel, warmer than when he snuggled with Jack at night. Jack had explained when two people loved each other, they shared a bed like Sam and Teal'c did. Daniel had accepted that easily, and enjoyed waking up with Jack spooned behind him, a heavy arm over his waist. Jack made him feel warm inside too, and that caused strange things to happen to his penis. It was different to the times it had happened when he was becoming an adult because this was being caused by his promixity to Jack. He asked Jack about it but the older man just said it was normal if one loved someone else in a special way. So he figured that he loved Jack too because his body was telling him he did.

Jack loved him in that special way, Daniel knew as he had felt the hard length pressed against him in the night. But Jack never did anything about it, which caused Daniel to wonder why. Didn't Jack think he was beautiful anymore?

"Of course I do," Jack replied when Daniel asked him about it. "But you're not ready to do anything else."

"Why not?" Daniel wanted to know.

"Just trust me." Jack didn't want to take advantage of Daniel - well, his mind didn't, anyway. "Now go to sleep, love."

Daniel obediently snuggled down with Jack but he couldn't get to sleep. Not long after Jack started snoring, softly, Daniel heard strange sounds coming from further into the cave. Carefully extracting himself, he softly headed into the chamber where Sam and Teal'c slept. There, he saw an amazing sight. Sam was on her back and Teal'c was pushing his erection into her repeatedly. It was apparently a pleasurable experience because they were both exclaiming loudly, and Sam was clutching Teal'c to her naked chest. Daniel watched for several minutes as the couple continued in that manner before they both stiffened and claimed their joy loudly.

Daniel found himself wanting to do that with Jack but he needed more information. He waited until Teal'c had rolled off Sam before scuttling over to them, hair partially covering his face. "Sam," he whispered.

Sam's eyes flew open in surprise. "Daniel? Were you just watching us?"

"Yes," he admitted frankly. "Do you... do you enjoy it when Teal'c..." He trailed off, not knowing how to express his question.

"When we make love? Yes, I do," Sam replied, a little shocked that she was having this conversation right now. She looked over her shoulder at Teal'c, who was fast asleep. "Why?"

"Would it please Jack to do that to me? Except he can't, can he?" Daniel knew he didn't have a hole in the right place.

"Actually, he can." Sam then proceeded to tell Daniel what she knew about two men making love.

Daniel was fascinated and eager to try it. "Thank you, Sam," he said gratefully and then hurried back to where Jack was sleeping. Taking Sam's advice, he put his hand on Jack's soft length.

Jack woke instantly at the unexpected touch. For a moment he didn't know why he had woken until he realised where Daniel's hand was. "What are you doing?" he queried in bewilderment.

"I want us to make love," Daniel explained calmly. He moved his hand up and down, and was pleased when the soft organ started to stiffen.

"Well, I've told you that you're not ready," Jack said, scrambling away from Daniel's hand.

"I am ready. I want to pleasure you," Daniel stated, puzzled at the rejection.

"And that's why you're not ready. You want me to be pleasured, you didn't mention that you want pleasure too," Jack pointed out. "And for another thing, you never argue with me. I'm not going to punish you if you do, love."

Daniel had never considered arguing with Jack. "But what if it makes you angry?"

"I'll get over it." Jack reached out to hold Daniel's hand. "I don't want us to fight all the time but occasionally is normal. Right now, I feel that you're still scared of me. You still hide behind your hair too."

"I'm not scared," Daniel hastened to assure him. It was just that the habits of a lifetime were hard to break.

"Then prove it. If you don't want to do something, tell me. I don't want to make you unhappy."

Daniel frowned, trying to grasp the concept of making Jack happy by not doing what Jack said. "It will make you happy if I don't do what you want me to?"

"Yes, but this isn't about me. This is about you making your own decisions instead of me making them for you." Jack wanted Daniel to show more spirit, to become more than he was.

"My own decisions," Daniel echoed. It was a scary prospect but he would try. Then Jack would know that he was ready.

********************

It took a month before Daniel was really comfortable in making his own decisions. If he didn't want to hunt, he would say so. If he wanted a bath in the stream, he would say so. In fact, that was the cause of his first argument with Jack, about whether he was allowed to go out on his own. He had wanted to see if he could do it but Jack had disagreed. They had argued and Daniel had won, although he had cried at the thought of Jack being truly mad at him. Jack had comforted him, kissed him, and then let him go to the stream on his own. It had been a good first step.

Jack loved the independent personality that was emerging, although he quietly prayed that it wouldn't mean that Daniel would leave him. He liked that Daniel didn't always agree with him, and that he was no longer hiding his face - or anything else! The times when Daniel was naked around him were very trying for Jack.

The night after their first argument when Daniel hadn't cried or apologised for making him angry, Jack took him to bed. Daniel was thrilled by this development. He eagerly stripped and waited for Jack to join him. Over the past few weeks, he had shed many inhibitions regarding his body, and so thought nothing of being naked in front of the man he loved.

Jack looked down on the tanned body with desire and love. Gone was the pale creature whom he had rescued and in his place was a lightly bronzed god. Daniel's hair was getting lighter, bleached by the sun, and he had put on some weight as well so that he didn't look so gaunt. Jack felt old and scarred beside him but Daniel's expression told him that the younger man didn't see that - which Jack was grateful for.

He lay down beside Daniel. "What do you want?" he asked.

"I want you to make love to me," Daniel replied, smiling shyly at him.

So Jack obliged, starting by kissing every inch of bare skin that he could reach. Daniel's erection was hard and leaking by the time Jack got there, and he immediately took it into his mouth.

Daniel yelped with surprise as moist heat enveloped him. His hands clenched in the skins beneath him as wave after wave of pleasurable sensation spread through him until he thought he would burst. "Jack, please!" he cried out as he exploded.

Jack swallowed quickly as Daniel's seed spilled into his mouth. There was quite a lot, and Jack wondered whether Daniel was making up for lost time. When the organ was limp in his mouth, he gently let it slide out and then he moved up to see Daniel's expression. The young man's full lips were moving soundlessly, and his expression was stunned. "Good, huh?" Jack teased.

Daniel turned dazed eyes towards Jack. He had never felt anything like that in his entire life! "I, uh..." He didn't know how to express in words what he currently felt.

Jack chuckled, pleased with himself. "Just wait till the next part," he warned. Retrieving the container of animal fat from nearby, he moved back down to kneel between Daniel's outspread legs. Sam had mentioned that Daniel really wanted to try penetration so Jack was going to help him out. He covered his fingers in the fat and then pressed one against Daniel's tight entrance.

The sensation caused Daniel to jump. He had been totally unprepared for how that would feel. It didn't give him pleasure; in fact, the second finger actually hurt a little, as did the third. He was the verge of telling Jack that he had changed his mind when pleasure burst inside him, leaving him gasping for breath. "What was that?" he managed to ask.

"Something that will make this good for you," Jack replied. He used this fingers for another minute before withdrawing them. Then he coated his erection with the fat and lined himself up at Daniel's entrance. "I'm going to push in now," he told Daniel so that the younger man would be prepared.

Daniel nodded and then held his breath as something large invaded him body. His muscles were stretched beyond belief and it hurt. "Jack--"

"I know. It's alright," Jack soothed. He put a hand on Daniel's flat stomach and rubbed it gently, trying to comfort his lover. "Just relax. I promise it will get better."

Trusting Jack's word, Daniel tried to relax - not easy when it felt like a tree trunk was inside him. He gave small grunts of pain as Jack continued to push into him and his muscles were stretched even more.

Jack rested when he was fully inside and gave Daniel time to adjust. He knew this part wasn't easy but he also knew about the pleasure that lay ahead. "Ready?" he asked after a minute had gone by.

"I think so." The pain had dulled somewhat and Daniel was ready for it to disappear completely.

Jack's thrusts were short and slow to begin with until the tight channel had loosened a little. Then the thrusts became longer but not faster until he was certain that Daniel was enjoying it.

When pleasure spiked inside him, Daniel started moving his hips in rhythm, getting faster and faster until it felt like he was bouncing up and down. Then it didn't matter because he felt so good, and his seed was pulsing out of him in time with Jack's thrusts. And then Jack stilled, spurting ribbons of warmth into his body, and it felt wonderful.

Jack lay down on top of Daniel, totally drained. That had been the best orgasm of his life! He managed to summon the strength to kiss Daniel's cheek and then moved to the side, being careful not to hurt the younger man when he pulled out. "Did you like that?" he queried breathlessly.

Daniel gave him a radiant smile. "Very much." He wanted to feel that again and again. "I love you, Jack."

"I love you too, Daniel." Jack held the young man to him as they both drifted off to sleep, thoroughly satiated. Their new life together had officially begun.
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