a thousand petals, a thousand paths

Yep. Laptop on, monitor up, cold cup of coffee to one side, stack of books, several legal pads, too many pens to count, and a half-eaten apple. Late Friday evening/Saturday morning, Jackson-style. Daniel was seated on the floor at the coffee table, his back against the sofa, clad only in his silky blue boxers, the ones Jack loved to peel off him with his teeth.

This could not be tolerated, Jack decided from his vantage at the top of the darkened stairs, not when they had an actual weekend to enjoy, like normal people with normal jobs. Not when neither an air conditioner nor a heater was required to keep the house at a temperate range, not when mourning doves were beginning their pre-dawn cooing beyond his deck in the backyard, not when they’d just gotten back from being off-world for ten days and they hadn’t had a chance to touch each other all that time. The three orgasms they’d just crammed into early Friday night was only the beginning of what should be a sex-drenched weekend, in Jack’s opinion.

What should be happening right at this moment was one of two things: 1) they should be sleeping, or 2) they should be making love, preferably the latter. Most emphatically the latter. There was no third choice, certainly not one that involved a laptop and research.

But how, oh, how, was he going to pry his recalcitrant lover from the siren call of his moldy old mummies and dead languages?

Jack was a tactician, a strategist, and he’d recently been doing some covert research of his own for just this occurrence.

Silently, he slipped into the kitchen and set about making that special cup of coffee that Daniel liked so much, the coffee with the nutmeg and just a hint of cinnamon, and a splash of brandy to warm the cockles of the heart. He wasn’t worried about Daniel hearing him, Daniel wouldn’t hear the Army Marching Band if it crashed the living room wall when he was this deep in his reading.

Before he took up the coffee cup, Jack mussed up his hair, just the way Daniel liked it, made sure his breath smelled sweet (and people wondered why he kept toothpaste in the kitchen), made sure his boxers were riding low on his hips, and sauntered down into the living room, mug in hand.

Quietly, he sat next to Daniel’s laptop on the coffee table, reached over, and exchanged the old cup with the new. From his vantage on the floor, face lit by the spectral blue glow of the laptop screen, Daniel didn’t even look up, merely stretched out his hand and lifted the mug to his lips.

One … two … three … after three seconds, reality intruded and the blue eyes went wide behind the glasses, appreciation flooding Daniel’s face. “The O’Neill Kicker,” he murmured, and looked up at Jack, a tiny smile on his lips. “What’s the occasion?” he asked.

Jack shrugged. “Ti voglio bene,” he said simply, and kept his smugness to himself when Daniel’s mouth dropped open and his face was overcome with a look of sheer joy and surprise. Jack didn’t say the words often, but when he did, the sneaky special ops in him liked to spring it on Daniel when Jack was most apt to get the biggest response.

“I – I love you, too,” Daniel murmured in return, and sipped his coffee again to show how much.

Jack stretched out a foot and began to gently rub Daniel’s naked knee with his toes. “Je t’aime,” Jack said softly, and the mug went down to the coffee table with a thump.

“Jack?” Daniel asked, surprise and pleasure warring with concern. “Are you all right?”

Jack just grinned and cupped Daniel’s cheek in his hand, his thumb stroking over the swell of Daniel’s bottom lip. “Te amo,” Jack murmured before leaning in and kissing that plump lip. Daniel heaved a huge sigh, one replete with comfort and anticipation, and tilted his head just so to equally engage Jack in the kiss, his hands drifting up to lightly grasp Jack’s forearms.

Then Jack stood and pulled Daniel up with him. “Taim i’ ngra leat,” Jack whispered into the curve of Daniel’s neck, his Irish, for once, sounding nothing like fake. Daniel twitched, his breath catching, and moved into Jack’s hug, his lips seeking Jack’s, while Jack’s hands roamed down to the swell of Daniel’s ass, pulling their hips together, feeling the sudden urgent push of Daniel’s hard length against his own. “Aishiteru,” he said clearly to the dip of Daniel’s clavicle bones, and Daniel’s hands were in his hair, fingering the silvery strands, Daniel’s bare chest warm and heaving beneath him.

“Jack?” Daniel queried again, his voice a mere whisper. His eyes were huge, blue and sparkling and depthless with emotion as Jack removed his glasses and placed them carefully on the coffee table.

“Naku penda, Daniel,” Jack said, taking Daniel’s hand in his and beginning to lead him up the stairs towards the bedroom.

Daniel stumbled. “Swahili??” he gasped, tugging on Jack’s hand and making him stop. “What the hell … ?”

“Ich liebe dich,” Jack grinned, and pulled Daniel again towards the bedroom.

“You just went online and memorized all these,” Daniel accused, but his voice was soft and he was close on Jack’s heels. The laptop, research and notes had been unblushingly forgotten in the onslaught of Jack’s linguistic endeavors.

Jack shrugged again as he backed Daniel towards the bed, sliding off his own boxers. “Tora dost daram,” he tossed off and pulled Daniel down to the soft cotton sheets, urging his lover into the pool of moonlight that filtered through the window shades. With his teeth, he pulled the dark blue silk boxers off Daniel’s hips, just as he’d promised himself, mumbling, “Ik hou van jou, Daniel.” Then he let his lips talk with kisses, tasting every pore between Daniel’s neck and hipbone, his hands restless, stroking, tangling with Daniel’s hands, fingers knotting, twisting, legs shifting restlessly. “Philo se, Daniel, philo se,” Jack whispered brokenly to Daniel’s inner thigh, and Daniel’s whole body thrummed to the rhythm of Jack’s tongue on his skin.

“Jack, Jack,” Daniel groaned, his hands urging Jack up to him, kissing Jack fiercely, his own hands clutching and stroking, feeling skin that was weathered, skin that was soft as a rose-petal, felt the lines around the eyes, and the heat in the cheeks.

Jack raised himself up so he could meet Daniel’s gaze, the moonlight a caress on both their faces. “Ana bahebek,” he said roughly, his heart in his eyes, and Daniel was perfectly still under Jack’s hands.

“Ana bahebek,” Daniel whispered back, and a tear slid down his cheek into the hair by his temple. “Ana bahebek, ana bahebek,” he said, over and over as Jack slid between his thighs, hands curved under his shoulders.

“Daniel,” Jack said, as he slid into Daniel so smoothly, so deeply, his gaze locked with Daniel’s. “I love you. I love you so very much.”

Ti voglio bene – Italian
Je t’aime – French
Te amo – Latin
Taim i’ ngra leat – Irish
Aishiteru – Japanese
Naku penda – Swahili
Ich liebe dich – German
Tora dost daram – Farsi (Persian)
Ik hou van jou – Dutch
Philo se – Ancient Greek
Ana bahebek - Egyptian


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