|Compromising Positions | Into the Black | Contact|
Body HeatNotes: Clichéd as all get out, a bit silly, and totally self-indulgent. Thanks to the evil minions, kelly_girl and dirty_diana, for the quickie betas. *smoochies* ladies.
It was supposed to be a quick recon mission – in and out in less than 24 hours – which of course, explains why everything went to absolute shit. None of them saw it coming. Jack and Daniel were just standing there, and suddenly they were gone. For once, it wasn’t alien technology that had zapped them to some far off place, but bad geography. The ground beneath them had just given away and they had slid down into a natural crevasse a little more than 40 feet down. Fortunately, neither of them was injured. Unfortunately, the sides of the crevasse were too soft to attempt to climb – all efforts just made the walls disintegrate under their fingers. Finally, Jack had sent Carter and Teal’c back through the gate to get rope to get them out.
"Carter, come in, Major Carter," Jack states through the walkie-talkie for the umpteenth time.
"Let’s face it, Jack. Something’s gone wrong," Daniel says, squinting in the low light, wishing his glasses hadn’t been lost in the fall. "They’ve been gone," he glances quickly at his watch, "an hour and a half. They should have been back by now."
"You think I don’t know that?" Jack replies grumpily, pacing back and forth like a caged animal.
Daniel suppresses a sigh and decides to drop it. He doesn’t feel like arguing with Jack right now and judging from his mood, anything Daniel says would be the start of one. He had explored the cave they were in when they had first fallen, in the hopes that it was man-made, but it had taken only a few moments to realize that it was a fully natural formation. That done, Daniel had spent the better part of an hour trying to find his glasses in the dirt pile near their landing site and staying out of Jack’s way as the other man paced and growled and grumbled.
His fingers finally find a narrow metal piece and he carefully pulls his glasses out of the dirt – both lenses are cracked and the frames are a twisted mess. With a defeated sigh, Daniel tosses them back onto the pile of dirt and brushes his hands clean. He remains crouched, out of the way, and watches Jack, knowing how hard it must be for him to be confined like this, not knowing what’s happened to Sam and Teal’c. Daniel’s never met anyone quite like Jack. Put a fishing rod in his hand and he can sit still for hours, maybe even days, but put him in his uniform and he’s got to keep moving, doing, leading. The dichotomy is fascinating.
Jack finally gets bored with pacing and sits down against a wall. With nothing better to do, he starts to clean his weapon. Daniel is amazed at how quickly and easily Jack can disassemble and reassemble it in the dim light of the oddly iridescent cave.
"They really do teach you how to do that stuff blindfolded, don’t they?" he asks.
"Yup," Jack says with a grin. He looks over at Daniel and continues to reassemble his P-90 without looking.
"Showoff," Daniel says.
"Hey, we all have to be good at something," Jack answers. "Me? I’m good with this stuff." He waves a piece of the gun at Daniel. "You?" he continues, sighing dramatically, "Well, you have a finely honed sense of exactly where and how to find trouble the second we walk out of the Stargate." Jack gestures around them at the cave walls.
"Are you saying it’s my fault we’re down here?" Daniel asks with good-humour, his eyebrows rising.
Jack grins at him and says, "Well, Daniel, you have to admit, that trouble does seem to find you, where ever you go. The ground didn’t mysteriously open up under Carter or Teal’c. I’m thinking next mission, I may just have to keep my distance from you."
Daniel makes a face at him and they chuckle together. They spend the next few hours bantering back and forth, trying to take their minds off the fact that Carter and Teal’c still haven’t returned. Ever since the sun sank, shortly after Teal’c and Sam left, the temperature had begun to fall sharply. Daniel blows on his hands to warm them and then tucks them up under his armpits as he paces around trying to stay warm. Unfortunately, there’s nothing in the cave to use for starting a fire, and they weren’t carrying any blankets or sleeping bags.
"You cold?" Jack asks.
Jack shrugs and says, "No. Minnesota, remember? This is nothing." He sits and watches Daniel try and warm himself up for a few minutes before making a decision. "C’mere," he says, patting the ground between his legs.
Daniel understands immediately. "Jack, I’m n-not that c-cold," he replies, stuttering as his teeth chatter. He can’t see it clearly, but he knows that Jack’s eyebrow is arched knowingly at him.
"Stop being a stubborn ass and get over here!" Jack blurts out.
Recognizing Jack’s ‘don’t fuck with me’ voice, Daniel sighs quietly to himself and moves over to Jack and settles himself on the ground between his legs. He leans back against Jack’s chest and Jack’s arms come around him enveloping him in warmth.
"Better?" Jack asks, his voice low and intimate in Daniel’s ear.
"Much," Daniel says, hoping his voice is steady. "You’re very…warm."
"Yeah. Sara loved it in the winter; she was always cold. She’d snuggle up close and put her freezing cold feet on me…" Jack trails off into an awkward silence. He didn’t speak much of his ex-wife and he couldn’t quite figure out what made him bring her up now.
"You know, Jack. I really don’t think this is such a smart idea, after all," Daniel says, starting to shift away. "There are enough rumours about us as it is. The last thing we need is another team finding us like this."
"What you mean ‘rumours’?" Jack asks, not letting Daniel go.
Daniel can feel his face flushing as he says, "That we’re…that you… that…," he trails off and then says very quietly, "That we’re sleeping together."
"What?" Jack replies disbelievingly, stiffening slightly. "You’re kidding, right? I haven’t heard any of this bullshit."
"Of course you haven’t, Jack," Daniel replies. "You’re a Colonel and have a bit of a reputation on base. They’re terrified of you."
Daniel can practically feel Jack’s frown as the other man processes what he means. "Are you being given a hard time?"
"No," Daniel responds, but he knows that Jack hears the slight pause before his answer.
"Daniel," Jack says, his tone of voice telling Daniel he’s not going to drop this line of questioning until he gets to the truth.
Sighing, Daniel replies, "There were a few SFs that were getting to be a … problem. But it’s been taken care of."
"Who, Daniel. I want names," Jack says fiercely, his arms tightening of their own accord around Daniel.
"You’re not getting them," Daniel replies stubbornly. "I told you, Jack, it’s been taken care of. I’m not letting you ruin their careers simply because they got on my case. Besides if you defend me, it’s just going to add fuel to the fire. Just drop it. They won’t bother me again."
"How do you know that?" Jack asks.
Sighing, Daniel says with embarrassment, "Well, if you must know, Teal’c came into the mess when they were…uh…well, never mind what they were saying, and gave them the look and asked me if I were in need of assistance."
"The look?" Jack asks.
"Yeah. You know the one, the one that says ‘I will gut you like a fish if harm comes to my friend’. Since then, they haven’t come near me." Daniel shrugs. "So it’s good. Problem solved."
Jack would like to think the problem is truly solved, and it may just be – but soldiers being the soldiers, Jack’s not entirely certain it is. He resolves to ensure that word gets out on base that if anyone messes with Daniel they’ll not only have an angry Jaffa to deal with, but also a very pissed off Colonel.
Daniel is suspicious of Jack’s sudden silence. "Jack. You wouldn’t happen to be plotting something, would you?"
"Who? Me? Plot? Would I do that?" Jack plays innocent.
"Yes. Yes you would."
"Well, I’m not. Not a plot in my head," Jack lies.
"Uh huh," Daniel responds suspiciously and then falls silent. They could play the ‘are too’ ‘am not’ game all night, so he decides to drop it. He settles a little more comfortably in Jack’s embrace, shifting so that he can rest the back of his head on Jack’s shoulder when he realizes something with a start – Jack was far more upset by the fact that he may have been getting harassed by the Marines than by the fact that people on base thought that they were sleeping together. He’s mulling this over when he hears a quiet sniffing sound.
"Jack, are you smelling my hair?" he asks.
"Uh, no," Jack replies.
"Jack," Daniel says, calling Jack on the poorly stated lie.
"Oh all right, I was. It smells…nice. What is it?"
"Just some store-bought herbal stuff."
"The one with the really stupid commercials with women enjoying themselves rather more than they should from a shampoo?" Jack asks.
"I have no idea, Jack. You know I don’t watch that much television. I got it because it was on sale."
They fall silent again and Daniel finds himself yawning. He closes his aching eyes for what he thinks is a few minutes and wakes up, stiff all over, Jack’s cheek resting against his head, Jack’s arms still wrapped around him, and Sam’s voice coming over the radio.
: :"Sir? Sir? Can you read me? Daniel? Come in, please.": :
Daniel shifts and groans loudly as every joint in his body protests the movement. Jack wakes with a snort.
"Jack. It’s Sam," Daniel says, rubbing his face.
: :"Sir? Come in please, this is Major Carter. Do you copy?": :
Jack grabs his walkie-talkie and replies, "Loud and clear, Major. Glad to hear your voice. You coming to get us the hell out of here?"
: :"Yes, sir. Sorry about the delay. We’re still not sure what went wrong, but the gate at this end just stopped functioning after nightfall.": :
"Yadda yadda, Major. How long till you get here?"
: :"We’re almost there, Sir.": :
"Great. See you in a few. Over and out."
Daniel gets up and offers Jack a hand. Jack takes it, and Daniel hauls him to his feet. They both groan as they stretch out their kinks. Daniel notices Jack rubbing his knees.
"Yeah. Just a bit stiff. Walking will loosen them up. Sleeping sitting up probably wasn’t the smartest idea ever."
"Why didn’t you wake me up?"
"Must have fallen asleep right after you did," Jack says, not looking at Daniel. He shoulders his weapon, the scent of Daniel’s soft hair still lingering in his nostrils, and waits for Carter to come for them.