WARNINGS: Language, UST
AUTHOR’S NOTES: My love and devotion goes to janedavitt without her, this story would’ve gone to hell in a hand basket. Thank you again, luv snugs.
AUTHOR’S NOTES2: This little something is dedicated to claudiasharon as a ‘get well, be happy’ pressie.
Daniel was in a bitchy mood. As he always was when he had had too much alcohol. And he was pacing. As he always was when he had too much time to think, and he realised that this was exactly the reason why he didn’t drink. And why he usually worked hard enough to keep himself away from thoughts that were not work-related. Not directly anyway. And especially when it came to the subject of his bitchy mood and frantic pacing.
Cameron Mitchell. The man was too stubborn for his own good. Or too straight, but that was something Daniel didn’t even want to acknowledge, because if he did… If Mitchell were… No, Daniel really didn’t want to ride this train of thought. It would mean he had to at least consider the possibility—
Daniel sighed. That was just how his brain worked. Once it latched onto something, it behaved like a terrier, and Daniel was well enough acquainted with his brain to know that he might as well give in.
He downed the rest of his drink and served himself a new one before he walked out on to his balcony. He really should stay away from alcohol. It was the same spiel every time. He drank, he got bitchy. He drank some more, he got pensive. He drank even more and got self-deprecating. Oh, yeah. It was the same pattern every time.
Tonight he had hoped that he could at least bypass the pensive mood. No such luck. And whose fault was that? Oh. Yeah. Mitchell. The man Daniel desperately wanted to have in his bed. The man who had been playing the oblivious ignorant the past weeks. Or had he?
Daniel put his glass on the concrete rail and leaned back against the wall, trying not to fall over while he contemplated the facts. There was always the possibility that Mitchell was straight as a line and wouldn’t know a bisexual man if he got a blow job by said bisexual individual. Or Mitchell was straight and was waiting for Daniel to take the hint that he wasn’t interested.
On the other hand, Daniel had seen the once-overs Mitchell had given other men. In Daniel’s book it meant that Mitchell at least wasn’t adverse to the idea of being with a man. Maybe, Daniel was simply not his type. And was still waiting for Daniel to realise that fact.
Assuming that Mitchell was interested… There were always the regulations to consider. They might not be applicable to him, but Mitchell was bound by them. He could get into a whole lot of trouble if he were to have a relationship with any man and they were found out.
Maybe, he was simply expecting too much of the poor man. Just because he and Jack had managed to make a relationship work for two years didn’t mean Mitchell was on the same page as they were. Jack had never had much regard for rules and regulations. Mitchell might be a hothead and impulsive, but he still pretty much did things by the book. This excluded having a relationship with Daniel, or any other man for that matter.
Daniel sighed again. All of the above were valid reasons why Mitchell might not want a relationship with him, but they didn’t offer much explanation as to why Mitchell was ignoring his advances completely. Or him, for that matter.
Daniel didn’t like being ignored, especially not on a personal level and certainly not by a man he wanted to have in his bed. A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ would be sufficient for Daniel to move on with his life instead of brooding over Mitchell every evening he spent at home. Of course, there was one more scenario Daniel needed to consider. The one where Mitchell wanted Daniel, and not just for a quick tumble between the sheets. The one where Mitchell wanted to have a relationship and thought that Daniel only wanted him for a quick fuck.
It didn’t matter. Daniel wouldn’t find out unless Mitchell told him what he wanted or not. But that would require that Mitchell stopped ignoring him outside of their job, and Daniel simply knew that he wasn’t important enough a personality to be noticed outside of his work. He had made sure of that.
He closed his eyes, a mirthless smile on his lips. He had reached the self-deprecation phase, and that was a sure sign that he’d definitely had enough for the night. Well, enough alcohol anyway, but not enough Mitchell. Nope, definitely not enough Mitchell. His bed would be cold and empty, and simply too big for a single person.
He walked back in, leaving his glass where it was. He could pick it up in the morning. For now, it was time to call it a night. He snorted. Yeah. A night filled with wet dreams about Mitchell’s ass and shoulders and thighs—
Daniel shook his head, which, he realised, was a very bad idea. The room started spinning unpleasantly around him, and he was lucky that his bed stopped the roundabout long enough to let him plop down unceremoniously and be dead to the world in a matter of seconds.
* * * *
His phone was insisting on using his head as a resonator. He was sure of that. Which brought him to the problem of the mother of all headaches nesting in his head. Crap! And just where did that fuzzy cotton feeling in his mouth come from? Not to mention that taste. He was pretty sure that he didn’t own a cat but whatever the beast had brought home last night, it had crawled into his mouth and died.
He blindly reached for the phone, yanking the receiver close enough to hear whoever was suicidal enough to call him at this time of the day. “Wha’?”
“Good morning, sunshine!” Daniel winced at Mitchell’s too cheerful and too loud voice. Why was the man calling him anyway? “I just thought I’d give you a wakeup call since you didn’t show up for the briefing this morning.”
“Briefing?” Daniel slurred. “What briefing? It’s Saturday, for crying out loud.”
Mitchell chuckled, the sound sending shivers down Daniel’s spine. “No, Dr. Jackson, it’s Friday, and not even using General O’Neill’s favourite line will change the fact that you overslept. We were supposed to go to PX3-872 this morning.”
“Crap!” Daniel sat up abruptly, almost instantly regretting the move since his head decided that a sledgehammer was a very interesting tool to be used for torture. “I, ah, I’m sorry.”
“Ah, thanks, Mitchell. I’ll see you in a few.” Without waiting for an answer, Daniel slammed the receiver back on the cradle and got up. It had to be Mitchell to pick him up. It couldn’t have been Sam, or Teal’c, or whatever airman didn’t have anything better to do at the moment. No, it had to be Mitchell. Why was it Mitchell? Something wasn’t quite right with that picture, but his head hurt too much to remember any specifics. But he knew one thing. He really didn’t know how he would survive the drive from his place to the Mountain without seriously embarrassing himself.
He grabbed two Tylenol from the cabinet and swallowed them dry before he hopped into the shower. He knew he shouldn’t jerk off with the object of his fantasies waiting for him downstairs. But he at least wanted to minimise the possibility of getting an instant hard-on as soon as he smelled his prey, and Mitchell’s voice already had given him an erection hard enough to drill holes into the Stargate. He was pretty sure that Siler wouldn’t take too kindly to Daniel doing that.
After an unsatisfying session with his cock and a quick rub down, Daniel got dressed without even looking at what he grabbed out of his closet. It didn’t matter anyway since he would change into his BDUs as soon as they arrived at the Mountain. Almost at the last possible moment, he remembered to brush his teeth to finally be rid of the vile taste in his mouth, not to mention the bad breath that would have had Mitchell driving away faster than Daniel could say ‘good morning’. At least his headache had receded to a dull pulsing behind his brows, although he was sure it was ready to rear its ugly head again as soon as he made any sudden movements.
Like bouncing down the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator. When he reached the bottom of the last staircase, he leaned against the nearest wall for a moment, trying to will away the pounding in his skull. He was almost tempted to swear off alcohol for the rest of his natural life, but both he and his head knew that it would be a promise he couldn’t possibly keep. Not as long as the situation with Mitchell remained unresolved.
Mitchell. Right. Daniel knew there had to be a reason why he had even gotten up this morning. Mitchell was waiting for him with coffee, and that thought alone was incentive enough to spur Daniel into moving again. In retrospect, it was still a bad move, though, since Mitchell was leaning nonchalantly against his SUV, his sunglasses low on his nose and his denims stretched tightly over his crossed legs as he watched Daniel almost falling out of the door. Could the man look any hotter than that? Daniel very much doubted it.
“If I didn’t know any better, Jackson, I’d say you’d dressed up for me,” Mitchell commented with a teasing smirk and an appreciative once-over, making Daniel look down his own body. Oh crap! He had picked those washed-out blue jeans Jack had named ‘fuck me pants’ because they didn’t leave any room for imagination, and a too-tight black T-shirt that clung to every curve of his body and rode up his stomach if Daniel moved a certain way. Oh. Shit.
Daniel shrugged. Mitchell had noticed, no matter how teasing his comment had been. Wait. Mitchell had noticed it and given him the once-over. What was that supposed to mean? That Mitchell was interested? Or that it had only taken Daniel to put on the ‘fuck me pants’ to get noticed? It didn’t matter. What mattered was that Mitchell seemed to appreciate the view. “I could say the same about you, Mitchell,” Daniel finally shot back with a grin, already reaching for the Starbucks cup. “Gimme.”
“No, I won’t, because that’s the wrong one. Hang on a sec.” Mitchell turned around and leaned into the open window of his car. Daniel wanted to kick him. Hard. Not only did he get a good eyeful of Mitchell’s ass, which was bad enough as it was, but also a glimpse of the golden, freckled skin when Mitchell’s shirt followed the stretch of his torso. Daniel shoved his hands into his pockets because he was quite sure that he wouldn’t be able to resist that kind of temptation much longer. “Here you go.”
Mitchell handed him a travel cup, the subtle aroma of Daniel’s favourite blend tickling his nose. “Mmm.” Daniel took a careful sip of the hot beverage, unable to keep the grateful smile from spreading over his face. “Thanks.”
“You’re welcome. Let’s go.” Landry’s already in a fit as it is because you didn’t show up.” Mitchell got into the driver’s seat, starting the engine as soon as Daniel had shut his door.
“I’m really sorry about that,” Daniel said once they were on their way to the Mountain. “I really thought it was Saturday.”
“The latter.” Daniel didn’t know why he had just shared that tidbit of information with Mitchell since it was none of his business. But the man seemed genuinely concerned about him and though he tried to cover that fact up with his cocky attitude, Daniel appreciated it.
“Thought so. You’ve been out of it for some time now. Care to tell me what’s going on?”
Daniel stared at Mitchell, feeling utterly confused. Why was the man bothering to ask Daniel why he wasn’t up to par? Somehow, Daniel had the impression that he was missing something here. Something vital. “If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you,” said Daniel eventually, looking out of the window. Why was it hurting as much as it did? He just wanted to get laid.
“Fine. Be that way. I’m going to find out sooner or later,
and when I do, you’d better be ready for anything that’s coming to you,”
Mitchell growled, turning into the underground parking lot of
Daniel rolled his eyes, “What are you going to do? Spank me?”
Mitchell spluttered, stepping hard on the brake. He stared at Daniel for a moment before a sly grin spread across his face. “No. You might like that.”
“In your dreams, Mitchell.” Daniel smirked. The bantering felt good. It felt—intimate. And it felt like Daniel stood at least a chance of getting what he wanted. Sooner or later. But unfortunately, there was still a job they had to do. “Didn’t you want to give me the short version of the briefing?”
“What’s there to brief? No indigenous life, no ruins, no nothing. Just a Stargate, trees, and some strange energy readings Sam wants to check out. And some sort of unknown mineral she wants to bring back for testing.” They entered the elevator together, almost running an airman over who tried to get out of their way. “Standard recon, if you want to.”
Oh, yes, I want to, Daniel thought. Standard recon of your terrain, Colonel. Aloud, he said: “Oh, I’m sure it’s going to be an interesting day, Mitchell.”
“Yeah, as soon as we get you out of these pants. How did you manage to get into them in the first place?” Mitchell asked, fiddling with his service card.
“Why don’t you find out for yourself sometime?” Daniel said boldly, refusing to blush when he realised just what he had said. If Mitchell had wanted an opening, this was as good as it would get.
Mitchell didn’t answer for a moment, but instead looked
Daniel up and down. “Be careful what you wish for,
* * * *
“No indigenous life?” Daniel shouted, half-turning to shoot at the very angry and very indigenous life that was currently pursuing them on their way back to the ‘gate.
“That’s what the UAV said,
“Great! So, what’s shooting at us? Alien life?” Daniel was well aware that he was being sarcastic and a little unfair. Fine, he was being an asshole since none of this was Mitchell’s fault, but he didn’t have time to feel guilty over snapping at the man. Men clad in leathers and furs were hunting them, throwing spears and rocks at them, and Daniel definitely had the impression that they hadn’t bought his standard line of SG-1 being peaceful explorers.
“That’s not funny,
“At this point, I don’t care!” Daniel looked at Mitchell, just to see time seemingly slow down. He saw the rock flying through the air, aimed at Mitchell’s head. He yelled a warning for Mitchell to duck, but it was too late. The rock hit Mitchell on the forehead when he turned to resume shooting at the hostiles. His eyes rolled back in his head and he sank to his knees. For a moment, Daniel feared that this was it. That rock had managed to do what a fleet of Death Gliders and Al’Kesh had not, especially when the spot where the stone had hit Mitchell started to bleed profusely. He fell backwards, his eyes closing before he hit the ground.
“Now that’s enough!” Daniel turned around faster than he had thought possible, moving towards their predators instead of away. A cold fury was pulsing through him, fuelled by worry and fear for Mitchell. He dodged the spears and stones that were thrown at him, striking at the first man he encountered. They had hurt Mitchell. In Daniel’s book, this meant retribution of the most primitive kind.
When the third native went down after his face had made acquaintance with Daniel’s fist, Teal’c got with the program and joined Daniel in fighting the aliens with his bare hands. Daniel heard Teal’c breaking the neck of one of the hostiles, his resulting roar of triumph effectively sending their pursuers fleeing into the trees.
“Are you hurt, DanielJackson?” Teal’c asked when the last man had vanished.
“No. I’m good. Better than good. I’m fine,” Daniel babbled, bracing his hands against his knees and trying to catch his breath. “Are you okay?”
“I am fine as well.” Teal’c helped him into a standing position, his face lined with worry.
Daniel’s eyes flitted to Mitchell, and he breathed a sigh of relief. Sam had helped him into a sitting position and was pressing a bandage to his head. He looked dizzy, but otherwise unharmed. “You guys okay?” Daniel asked nonetheless.
“Cept that my head feels like yours this morning, I’m good,” Mitchell quipped. Daniel supposed that, if Mitchell was able to joke, he wasn’t about to drop dead at Daniel’s feet. Though, knowing Mitchell, that was probably the time when he brought out his wittiest repartee. There was a cold glint in Mitchell’s eyes, but he nodded at Daniel and asked: “What about you? That cut on your cheek looks nasty.”
Daniel rubbed over his cheeks, wincing when the sweat and grime on his fingers burned in the wound. “I’ll live,” Daniel muttered, only now realising that he hadn’t even noticed the injury until Mitchell had pointed it out.
“Good.” Mitchell glared up at him. “At least long enough for
me to rip you a new one. What the hell were you thinking,
Daniel blinked. “Excuse me? Teal’c and I just saved us from getting killed by a bunch of hostile aliens!”
Before Mitchell could reply, a spear embedded itself into
the ground between Daniel and him. “We’ll talk about this later,
Daniel could only nod and comply, his fingers shaking as he pressed the symbols that would get them home. This was new. He was used to fighting off bad guys who were after their hides. He even remembered a couple of occasions where he had given his life in order to save others. But he had never felt like this before. So—furious. So out of control. It was terrifying, and Mitchell had every right to be angry with him.
He sent his IDC and turned towards his teammates, who looked at him with a mixture of awe and worry. “Let’s go home,” he said softly, walking into the event horizon without waiting for them to catch up.
As he had expected, General Landry was already waiting for them at the bottom of the ramp. “What happened?” he asked as soon as the gate shut down.
“Sir, I think it’s safe to say that PX3-872 is hostile,”
Mitchell explained calmly, coming to stand next to Daniel. “And remind me to
never ever get on
“He hit you?” Landry asked, looking Daniel up and down as if he was trying to decide if he should take a step back or have Daniel escorted to the brig.
“No, sir, he hit the natives that were throwing spears and rocks at us,” Mitchell replied cheerfully, shooting a glance at Daniel that clearly told him to let him handle this; Daniel just glared back. “Well, he and Teal’c. After—I was hit by a rock.”
“Very well. Report to the infirmary. Debriefing in one hour. Dismissed.”
“Yes, sir!” Mitchell looked at Daniel. “After you, Jackson.”
* * * *
Daniel sighed happily when the kinks in his back finally started to loosen under the pounding of the water. Being prodded and poked by an apprehensive medical staff was definitely not on his list of favourite things. Especially since he had been prodded and poked in front of Mitchell, who had stayed clear of the range of Daniel’s fists.
The briefing after that had been just as uncomfortable. Mitchell had seemed to be very clear on what he thought of Daniel beating up the natives, but Daniel was no fool. Though Mitchell had reported that Daniel’s actions had saved their lives, Daniel had been able to read between Mitchell’s almost cheerful lines. Mitchell was not happy with him. On the contrary. If looks could kill, Daniel would now test the theory just how often he could come back from the dead.
On the other hand, Mitchell’s reaction was a bit
hypocritical in Daniel’s opinion. It had been okay for him to go after Teal’c
and Bra’tac the way he did, risking his life and Daniel’s and Sam’s, but
it obviously wasn’t all right in his book for Daniel to do the same for his
teammates. No, not so much for his teammates, but for Mitchell. Daniel was
certain that he wouldn’t have reacted the way he had if Mitchell hadn’t been
hit by the rock. If it had been Sam, they all would’ve gone after the natives,
too, but Daniel wouldn’t have felt as out of control. If it had been Teal’c,
the big guy most likely wouldn’t even have blinked before going after the
aliens himself. And Daniel was quite sure that his friends would’ve done the
same for him. It was their job. It was what they did on a day-to-day basis. Why
had Mitchell reacted the way he had? More importantly, why had Daniel reacted
the way he had?
The answer to the latter was no mystery to Daniel. It was what he did when people he cared for were hurt. No. That wasn’t entirely true. It was what he did when he cared too much for them. He had done it for Jack, too, during their time together, and Jack had ripped him a new one every single time as well. Did that mean that Mitchell cared as much for him as he cared for him?
Oh, for crying out loud, Daniel, why don’t you just call a spade a spade and admit that you’re in love with the shrub?
Daniel smiled wryly at the Jack-like voice in his head. Yeah, he might as well admit it, if only to himself. He was in love with Cameron Mitchell, and that thought alone was reason enough for him to feel better, as he always did when he had finally figured out his own emotions.
He had no time to revel in
his newfound knowledge as he found himself slammed face-first into the shower
wall, his own surprise and Mitchell’s weight pinning him effectively against
the tiles. “What did you think you were doing,
“What you would’ve done for any of us, Mitchell,” Daniel shot back. “I wonder whether you’d be just as angry if it had been either Sam or Teal’c who had taken action against the natives.”
“That’s not the point.” Mitchell’s grip on his forearms loosened, but Daniel didn’t even think of shoving the man away. He sensed something within Mitchell that induced him to stay where he was. “You could’ve been killed! You could’ve been fucking killed,” he repeated softly, finally taking a step back and allowing Daniel enough room to turn around.
“Yes, I could’ve been killed,” Daniel replied, his tone matching Mitchell’s inflection. “But that’s a risk we’re all taking every time we’re stepping through the ‘gate. And just because I’m a civilian—”
“That has nothing to do with anything,” Mitchell interrupted him. “I know that you can hold your own. We all know that.”
“Then why are you that angry with me? Yes, I know that I acted rashly. But would you be as angry with Teal’c or with Sam?” Daniel gulped as he saw the change in Mitchell’s eyes. It was quite fascinating actually. Daniel could exactly tell what mood Mitchell was in just by the colour of his eyes. At the moment, they were changing from the almost colourless grey back to the warm blue Daniel loved. “You know that I’m right.”
“I know. And no, I wouldn’t have said a thing if it had been Sam or Teal’c.” He sighed and moved out of Daniel’s personal space. Only then did Daniel realise that Mitchell was still in his BDUs, which were now completely soaked. “Do you need a ride home?”
Daniel blinked at the sudden change of topic, but realised at the same time that he needed someone to drive him back to his apartment since Mitchell had picked him up that morning. He shrugged. “Yeah, why not? But—” He motioned to Mitchell’s wet clothes. “You might want to shower and change first. Why are we alone anyway? Usually the showers are swarming with people by now.”
“Teal’c’s guarding the door,” Mitchell said by way of explanation, starting to peel off his uniform where he stood. “I think that something’s happened between us and that we need to fix it as fast as possible.”
Daniel wanted to scream. No, nothing has happened between us, and that’s exactly the problem, he thought. And I’m not sure if we can fix something that hasn’t happened yet. He shook his head. “If he thinks so,” he muttered before he turned to leave the shower. He was stopped by a gentle hand on his shoulder.
“We’re going to talk, Daniel. But not here,” Mitchell said before he returned to undressing, leaving Daniel to flee the shower before he embarrassed himself.
* * * *
“Whoa, you certainly had a party with that bottle last night,” Mitchell commented dryly as he picked up said bottle from the floor to put it on the table. “You don’t look like an AA.”
Daniel snorted. “I try to keep it a secret.” He walked into his kitchen and opened his fridge, trying to determine what they could throw in the microwave for dinner. “I’m afraid we’ll have to order in,” he said loudly, jumping when he felt Mitchell’s hands on his shoulders. “Cameron?”
“Don’t think I don’t know what you’re doing, Daniel. I’ve noticed.” Mitchell pulled Daniel back against him. “I mean, how could I have not noticed that you’re interested in me as more than your CO and friend?”
“Maybe because you’re straight?” Daniel croaked, painfully aware of the body moulded to his backside.
“I’m many things, but straight isn’t one of them.” He sighed. “But that’s also the problem.” He grabbed two beers from the fridge and opened them on the counter before he handed one of the bottles to Daniel. “And we need to talk before something like today happens again.”
“What exactly do you have in mind?” Daniel asked, though he had a pretty good idea what Mitchell was talking about. “I mean, if you’re not interested, you could’ve just told me. I’ll get over it.”
Mitchell shook his head and took Daniel’s hand, leading him through the living room and out onto the balcony and into the cool evening air. Somehow, it was symbolic, Daniel thought. It reminded him a lot of last night, when he had stood out here, contemplating the possibilities. It was only fitting that they would resolve this situation here. “I’m interested in you, Daniel. I mean, how could I not be? You’re a walking wet dream, especially in those pants. And you still haven’t told me how you got into them in the first place. But wanting you doesn’t mean I can have you,” Mitchell added softly, leaning down on the banister, his bottle dangling from his fingers. “You’re too important to me.”
Daniel frowned. “Okay. I, ah, what are you talking about?”
Mitchell chuckled and turned to offer Daniel a one-armed hug; Daniel accepted it though he knew he shouldn’t. “I screw up. A lot. I screw up because I’m a hothead and because I’m impatient. I’m not proud of that, but it’s a fact. I don’t know what would happen if you got hurt because of me. And it would only get worse if you were my lover. I’m not about to become a liability for the team just because I can’t control myself.”
“You know that’s not true, Cameron,” Daniel retorted, taking both their bottles and putting them next to the glass he had left outside last night, before he pulled Mitchell back into the embrace. For a moment, he thought Mitchell would push him away, which he probably should have, but he sighed again and put his arms around Daniel. “Yes, you make mistakes. We all do. It’s what makes us human.”
“Only you can get away with a line like that.” Daniel shivered when Mitchell rubbed his nose slowly over his cheek. “I meant what I said. You’re too important to me and to the program. I’m already causing enough problems for the team as it is. God…” His arms tightened around Daniel, his lips sliding over his ear. “I already put you at enough risk as it is, Daniel.”
“So you’re telling me that we can’t do this because you feel guilty?”
“People I care about or I’m involved with tend to die on me. It’s a pattern that’s been haunting me since I was old enough to grasp the concept. I already care too much about Sam, Teal’c and you especially. I don’t want to lose you. Either of you.”
Daniel took a deep breath. “All right, if that’s what you think. I think differently, but ultimately, it’s your choice.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you. But I can’t do this. The situation between you and me is already volatile enough.”
Daniel nodded, breaking the embrace to take a step back from Mitchell. He could see the sadness in the man’s eyes and the guilt over what he knew he was doing to Daniel. But the same guilt was what was keeping them apart. Daniel understood that to a certain degree. His own record of being responsible for the deaths of people he cared for wasn’t that short either. However, Daniel had never even thought about not trying again and again. Yes, Daniel understood that he had to let Mitchell go. He had no right to push the man. Just because they were on the same page, didn’t mean they were reading the same book. If Mitchell didn’t want to try for whatever reasons, Daniel had to respect his choice. “It’s okay, Cameron,” he finally said, averting his gaze. “You’re not the first person I’ve fell in love with and who’s told me ‘no’. I’ll get over it.”
He heard Mitchell take a sharp breath, realising just what he had said; what he had just admitted. But now that it was out in the open, Daniel wasn’t going to take it back. That was not his style. “You’re in love with me,” Mitchell repeated slowly, his voice devoid of all emotions.
“I am.” Daniel dared to look at Mitchell, and regretted it instantly. While his voice had been flat, his expression and eyes were telling a story of their own. Daniel’s admission had shaken him, had lanced even more guilt through him than had already been there, and Daniel wanted nothing more than to take him back into his arms and make it all go away. He knew it was a futile notion when Mitchell backed away from him at the same time that Daniel took a step towards him. “Cameron…”
Mitchell shook his head and retreated back to the living room, closing his eyes for a moment. “You know, love’s a wonder. A precious one. But nothing about love is crueller than knowing that you can’t be with the one who loves you back,” he said, the pained tone making Daniel wince. Then, he fled, leaving Daniel to watch him until he disappeared through the front door.
“Great. Just. Great.” He slammed his hand against the wall, berating himself for his careless comment. Of all the possible scenarios… He certainly hadn’t reckoned with Mitchell—with Cameron returning his feelings. Now, everything made sense; the guilt; the need to protect; the unwillingness to risk Daniel for the team even more by admitting to his own feelings and acting upon them. It made sense, and Daniel hated himself for pushing Cameron into a confession the way he had. It wasn’t important that he had done so unintentionally. Only that he had. Speaking of guilt…
Picking up the half-empty bottles and the glass to bring them into the kitchen, Daniel remembered something that Jack had told him the night they had first made love to each other. He had never explained the meaning of the words to Daniel though Daniel had asked him more than once. Now, Daniel understood. Understood the dilemma Jack had been facing the second they had decided to give in to their budding feelings for each other.
“I wish I could lie. Your image would be long gone,” Jack had said, his voice having been uncharacteristically soft and serious. “Because I don’t know how you laugh. I don’t know how you cry. How you smell, how you talk. For me, you’re made of gold.”
Daniel hadn’t understood at the time. Now, he did. Outside the bedroom, Cameron would be untouchable for him. He wouldn’t be able to react to Cameron’s grief the way he wanted and needed to. He wouldn’t be able to make him laugh the way he was supposed to. He wouldn’t be able to use any knowledge he gained in their private time to aid them on their missions. No. Cameron would be unreachable, and Daniel understood that this would be a state someone like Cameron couldn’t take for very long. Cameron was emotional. He reached out to people. He shared his thoughts and feelings with his friends. And sooner or later, he would want to share that he had a significant other.
Maybe Cameron was right. Perhaps, it was better not to entertain notions that might give either or both of them hope. Maybe it truly was time to let the matter rest and turn in for the night, and Daniel was quite sure that it would be one of the longest nights of his life.
* * * *
The dip of the bed wakes him in the middle of the night. He knows he should be alarmed, but when a warm arm pulls him against an even warmer body, he catches a hint of aftershave laced with something else, recognising it as Cameron’s unique scent. “I thought you couldn’t do this,” Daniel whispers, afraid that raising his voice would scare Cameron away again.
A gentle hand worms its way between the pillows and Daniel’s face, tilting it towards Cameron. “Yeah.”
Daniel nuzzles Cameron’s palm, pressing a light kiss to it. “What changed your mind?” Daniel asks, his voice still barely audible.
“You did.” Cameron presses closer, his lips brushing over Daniel’s nape in a butterfly caress. “And before you ask how I got here… You gave me your keys on my first day at the SGC.”
“I know. I wasn’t going to ask.” He covers the hand on his abdomen with his, entwining their fingers. “So what did I do to make you change your mind?”
“You told me you’re in love with me,” Cameron admits, burying his face in Daniel’s shoulder. “You made me think about it. You know. I read the mission reports of SG-1 before I took command of the unit.”
Daniel revels in the feeling of having Cameron so close, feeling safer in his embrace than he has felt for a long time. “What about them?”
“You mostly. How much you’ve lost and how you got back on your feet every time something or someone tried kicking you down again. And when you admitted so freely to your feelings…” His arms tighten another notch as if he were afraid that Daniel would push him away. “It made me realise how strong you truly are, Daniel. And how weak I am in comparison for trying to turn down the incredible gift you’re offering me.”
“I didn’t mean to tell you, but I’m not going to take it back either,” says Daniel in return.
“I don’t want you to take it back.” The arm around Daniel’s middle pushes him onto his back while soft lips are covering his mouth. “I like the feeling.”
“The feeling of kissing me?” Daniel teases, licking his lips to catch the remnants of Cameron’s taste.
“That too, but I’m talking about something else.” Daniel’s stomach quivers when Cameron’s fingers start outline the contours of his abs. “The way I’m feeling when I’m with you.”
“How do you feel?”
“Protective. In love. At complete ease with the world. It’s difficult to explain.” Cameron’s lips quirk briefly into a smile before he grows serious. “We can’t tell anyone, Daniel.”
“I mean it,” Cameron insists. “If anyone finds out about us… Well, I’m not that worried about a dishonourable discharge since it’s become practice to grant gay or bisexual servicemen and women a honourable discharge. But I’m technically your CO within the chain of command though you’re a civilian. And, technically, they can court martial both of us despite your civilian status.” Cameron shakes his head, the fingers splaying over Daniel’s chest clawing almost painfully into his flesh. “Nights like tonight will be all we’re going to have for a long—”
Daniel touches his fingers to Cameron’s mouth, effectively silencing him. “I know, Cameron. This isn’t the first relationship with a military officer I’ve had.”
Cameron’s eyes widen before a grin spreads over his face. “So, the rumours about you and—They’re true.”
“You’re not supposed to ask, and I’m not going to tell you.” Daniel rolls onto his side, placing his arms around Cameron. “I don’t know how you laugh. I don’t know how you cry. How you smell, how you talk. For me, you’re made of gold.”
Cameron nods, telling Daniel silently that he doesn’t need to explain what he means. “As it should be.”
Daniel smiles, licking slowly over Cameron’s mouth. “As it should be.”
** The End **
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