Simple Hat

Another Piece of Me

My name is Kaz, and I am your friendly, neighborhood geeky crafter. The lovely Naelany asked me to contribute a little something, and I hope you like it.

I have a variety of things I enjoy with my free time: reading/writing fanfic, playing in photoshop, and video editing in the fandoms of Farscape, SG-1/SGA, and now Harry Potter. I’m still in the process of working on a few HP videos, but you can find my music vids for Farscape and SG-1 on my Youtube channel. Some of my fanfic can be found on Ao3 here. I used to have a website dedicated to my fannish loves, but I let it go a year or so ago and have been in the slow process of transferring things over to Ao3.

Please bear with me, this is my first time writing up anything to do with my crocheting. This hat…

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Justify My Love

Justify My Love

justifymylove_rc

Title: Justify My Love
Author: Kazbaby
Fandom: Farscape
Relationship: John/Aeryn
Genre: Romance, Dark, Mindfuckery, Violence (basically, everything that makes up Farscape)
Warnings: Attempted Non-Con, extreme violence
Timeframe: AU from Season of Death.
Personal Disclaimer: This is also a rough draft and presented for Evil Author Day, so unsolicited con-crit will be deleted.

Summary: We are the ones left behind and forgotten, we are sum of our experiences and nightmares. We are the ones that will make the heavens tremble with our rage.


Screams and Scorpius. Tocot on the floor barely reaching up and releasing one strap binding him to the table. His head is buzzing. Flashes of light. Harvey stating that he needs to die. Ignoring the bastard until he’s ready. He needs to see Aeryn one last time before he picks up his pulse pistol again, either in revenge or self-destruction. Finding his way to the frozen grave yard, he watches in silence as Grunchlik runs a disgusting finger across the glass of Aeryn’s cryopod, murmuring, this other hand groping between his legs as he licked his lips.

John can’t see anything else, the rage he’d felt when Scorpius left him alive on operating table resurfaces and a low growl builds in his chest, his eyes search furiously for anything that could be used as a weapon and spots a shaft, covered in frost in the corner. It had been used to lift the pod onto the anti-grav beds for transport after Aeryn’s funeral. He lifts it over his shoulder like a spear and shoves it as hard as he can through the traitorous alien’s back, gritting his teeth with the effort and ignoring the bastard’s pleas for help from Tocot. He wants to tell him that no one’s going to answer but he’s still broken. Probably will be for the rest of his life, but this fucker will never touch Aeryn and that’s all that matter’s at that moment.

**~~**

They kept each other from shattering, each using the bits and pieces left over from the ice. Plundering through Grunchlik’s – Tocot’s database hoping to find another Diagnosian – healer – anyone to fix what Scorpius prevented from being completed.

It took them days – weeks find even the barest hint of a solution, floundering against his inability to speak, his rage at the injustice of it all and Aeryn’s wavering self-control and fits of weakness and slowly dwindling forgetfulness. John doesn’t know if it was her time under the water or something he’d done or didn’t do when he kept hitting buttons on the cryopod, determined to thaw her. Refusing to leave her behind. His need to touch and be with her blinding.

Aeryn walked along row after row of corpses, now truly among the dearly departed.

They slept in silence. In peace in each other’s arms. Among the dead.

Codes and keys, weapons and a spare corpse or two in the hold seated next to the extra crates of birez berries. They commandeered Grunchlik’s best ship stowed away in one of several hangers. The rest they to burn.

All of it. Ships and buildings and bodies. If they’d had the means they would have only left an empty area of space in their wake. The losses too numerous to contemplate and best forgotten.

**~~**

They leave behind no trace. And when the new doc gives John his voice, they leave behind their names as well.

Aeryn Sun died under the ice and John Crichton soon joined her. Now they are simply John and Aeryn, Aeryn and John. Interchangeable. Inseparable. Indiscriminate in their harsh return of nature’s – the universe’s callousness. They seek to pay back what was stolen from them. They take pleasure at a moment’s notice after too many precious moments wasted.

Love and loyalty are the only allies they have remaining and these belong solely to the person standing the other’s side.

Everyone else is an enemy. Safer that way.

 

**~~**

Eight months later

There, in the middle of street between the candied yams and burnt pretzels (that’s what they remind him of anyway) she asks him, “Do you love me?”

He stops but doesn’t turn around to face her. “Hell of a time to ask, Aeryn,” she slips her arms around his waist, “Why are you asking right now? Or can I guess why?”

“Guess.”

Taking her right hand, John pulls her in front of him, his breath warm against her ear as he whispers, “And just how many guesses do I get?”

“One,” she pulls away, “Make it count.” Her feet move quickly, crossing the short distance to a small fountain in the center of the market. He smiles at the mischievous gleam in her eyes, biting his bottom lip.

Ignoring the crowd of people separating them, John paces back and forth a few times, never taking his eyes from Aeryn’s. He already knows the answer, but he likes to make her wait. It’s something that sparks their imagination every now and then.

Shakes things up.

Nothing mattered at the moment but her as she sits down. Leaning backward, palms resting against the rock wall. Curves and attitude, wrapped in leather that waited for him to rediscover over and over again as she spread her knees wide and reach down toward her boots. Cupping the inside of the calf muscles, he watches her fingers begin to move, tracing the supple arc upward, only to stop at the vee between her thighs.

Smile gone, he was done with his part of the game. Pushing people out of way, he reaches Aeryn and lifts her by the upper arms. Crushing her lips with his, they turn as one and soon John is sitting where she had sat only moments ago.

He pulls her close, and she straddles him. Leaning in, John’s teeth clamp around the hardened nipple protruding through the thin black cloth. Wanting the taste of her in his mouth, he separates the flimsy barricade, lapping and sucking until he can hear a soft groan escape.

It doesn’t matter who’s watching, all he cares about is finishing. They’d left too many things to chance and now all that matters is living in the moment. Aeryn grinds her hips against his groin.

She licks the corner of his mouth. “You guessed correctly.”

Feeling a tap on his left should, John doesn’t bother to turn around. “Go. Away.”

“You cannot be performing such carnal acts in public, in front of children and…” The man didn’t have a chance to see the human reach for the pistol and shoot. The thud of his body didn’t deter them from the focus of their attention.

“Argh, I thought he’d never leave. Now – where were we,” Aeryn asked, nibbling the side of John’s neck.

He reached the lips of her pants, slipping his fingers inside. “Just…about…here…

 

**~~**

 

Three cycles later

 

The bounties on their heads over the cycles used to worry them, back when they thought they were part of something that mattered, but now – even as the markers blasted out larger rewards – they didn’t matter so much. The people that they used to be were the ones Scorpious, and now the Scarrans wanted and no longer exist. But sometimes, idiots make a mistake and make a grab for John. They soon they find out what a mistake that is – too bad they never live long enough to make the same mistake.

**~~**

Smoke surrounds him. Minefield of sparks and starter fires and charred flesh.

He can feel the suble tickle as blood runs down the side of his neck. John turns his head and sees her.

Beauty p e r s o n i f i e d.

Glorious hellfire in her eyes when the muzzle of her gun lights up the room and bodies fall in her wake.

The smoke clears the chamber quickly. Someone was still in command of the ship, above them.

Not the Captain.

He lay at John’s feet, unrecognizable but for the ridiculous name tag he wore on the front of his jacket. What the hell kind of bounty hunter wears a name tag – on a hunt? Idiot deserved to die. Too bad it was so quickly.

John’s hand shook slightly, nerves cooked a little as his blood dripped and rolled down that tag. He looks over at Aeryn, knife-hilt held ready as she steps back from one of their captors.

“They ruined your shirt,” he states simply, breath starting to slow down now that the action has died.

Aeryn looks angry and growls at him to shut up as she steps over one body then another to get to him. He’s still cuffed and chained to the wall but he can still grab the sides of her hips and dig into them just enough to let her know that he’s happy to see her.

Crushing his lips, she slides her hands up his arms until she’s touching the linked restraints, grinding her hips against his Aeryn asks, smoky voice and sex dripping from each syllable, “You miss me?”

“Always. Got control of the ship?”

“One more loose end but I thought I would give you the pleasure of taking care of it.”

His arms drop to Aeryn’s waist as she rests her arms on either shoulder, cupping his head with red spattered hands. “You always bring me the nicest gifts,” he whispers in her ear before finding the pistol tucked in the small of her back.

Home Calling

Home Calling

Note: Short piece (drabble-size) written  for Camshaft22 as a prezzie.
Rating: G
Pairing: Sheppard/Atlantis

Brush strokes pass over the surface of his mind, fleeting and insistent. They pause at the edge as if barred. He knows what – who it is – and relaxes. Leaving himself open. An open book, pages blank and ready to be written (re-written) upon. 

The chair beneath him warms, raising his own temperature as it fills every millimeter with energy. Making him an extension of its surface. His eyes are open but there is no ceiling above him, no throng of scientists and, later, doctors exclaiming and demanding explanations. All there is blue, light and sea and sky – and her voice. She calls him by name, embracing him and comforting him as she tells him that he is home.

 

sheppard_chair_otp

Submit Humility

Author’s Notes: Written  during a bout of insomnia. Thanks once more to the ever patient Sarahjane for beta’ing this. Originally posted June 09, 2005
Setting: Set just before the funeral.
Disclaimer: Not mine. If it was, we’d have a Farscape channel.

He’d stood here only a few arns before, with Aeryn. Here and in the larger room just off to his right, talking and waiting for an answer. Zhaan had told him.

Now they’re all here. Everyone. Standing here, waiting to say goodbye.

The shivering won’t stop and he leans back against the wall where he’s crouched. He’d wrap his arms around himself to get rid of the chill, but the chains and manacles stop him and he doesn’t think he’s really that cold.

It’s a good thing, he thinks. The idea of someone else dying, because of him, because of his loss of control, because of his weakness, makes him want to vomit.

Pressing the palms of his hands against his forehead, he tries not to think of why they’re here. Why Aeryn isn’t telling him to stand up and face what’s terrifying him.

He rocks on his heels, humming. The crunch of snow beside him doesn’t make him stand, but it does make him feel slightly less alone.

One, two – Scorpy’s comin’ for you.

“You can unchain me, D’Argo. I’m not going anywhere.”

“I know, and that’s because those frelling chains aren’t coming off you until the chip is gone.”

“Good boy, it was only a test…”

Three, four – he’s at your door.

“What’s he saying now, John?”

“He’s quiet, but I can feel him. Fucker’s anxious for some reason. I keep getting dizzy because I can feel him pacing back and forth.”

“The neural clone must know that you are about to be operated on. Perhaps, that is the reason. He knows his death is coming.”

Five, six – grab your crucifix.

“Do you think that’ll work?”

“What?”

“A crucifix. Do you think Scorpius believes in something, some higher being? Believes in it strongly enough that he might have a – a personal weakness?”

“Maybe. I don’t know, John. An enemy always has a weakness. We have to just find this bastard’s and use it against him. He’ll pay…”

“Pay who?”

“You. Aeryn…”

“No one to pay. Aeryn’s dead, D’Argo. Because of me. Scorpy ain’t the only one who needs to ante up.”

Seven, eight – there’s no escape…

“She asked me about the neural cluster as she – fell. I don’t remember the cluster. I don’t remember anything since we got to this meat market. In a way, I should blame Aeryn for this.”

“What do you mean?”

“I told her. Warned her. She should have shot me right then.”

“She didn’t, John, because Aeryn knows – knew you.

“No. No, she told me to have strength.”

“She was right.”

“But I wasn’t – wasn’t strong enough, and now…”

Nine, ten – never seen again.

“I hope she’s not alone. Aeryn wouldn’t want that. I don’t want that for her either. You think that’s why so many believe in an afterlife? Cuz they’re scared to be alone in the dark for eternity?”

“I don’t have the answer you want to hear John, but for what it’s worth – I hope she’s not alone either.”

headlights in my eyes, we collide

Filler between “Beware of Dog and Won’t Get Fooled Again. Beta by Ivorygates and Sarahjane.  Originally posted May 19,2008

So leave me on my own,
Run me down and race away from me.
I’ve got nowhere to go to,
I don’t think I can get back on my feet.
– Rob Dougan (I’m Not Driving Anymore)

He rests one hand on the door, the other hovering just over the control to open it. Something in his gut is telling him that there is danger just on the other side, waiting for the first opportunity to latch its teeth deep into flesh too warm for comfort. Laughter is his only available weapon and he uses it, attempting to banish his fear to the darkest part of his psyche without success. There is no way to truly rid himself of the fear and paranoia that grow in silence; binding him in that same wordless cacophony. It keeps him off-balance and vulnerable.

He knows this and the knowledge wears him down further as he fights.

His lips form a prayer, a chant to fortify his strength, as he allows his hand to fall across the sensor. Pressing forward before his instincts force him to turn and run, to hide away from unwanted eyes, he breathes out the lungful of air he’d unconsciously been holding since stopping on the other side.

There is someone waiting for him and he speaks her name.

Several microts tick by before he realizes that he is unsure if what he’s feeling is relief or anguish. He uses surprise as a mask to hide the confusion, the growing need to run in the opposite direction when he sees her.

He stands there, staring in silence for a moment as her muscles coil, ready for the unexpected. When he voices no emergency, she visibly relaxes, but he can see the warning signs of worry, subtle and hidden from the others. They have grown close, their emotions and skill maturing into something wholly new to them both. At times it is conceivable that each of them knows what the other is thinking with accuracy that borders on the unreal.

She slides a canister across the surface of the table, offering him a drink; the opportunity to talk without pressure. He wants to, is almost desperate to do so, but not here. The possibility of unwanted interruptions is too high. What he wants to say he has imagined time and again, of lying down beside in the dark where he can hide from her appraising eyes. Arms and legs entwined as he whispers uncertainties against her skin.

His hope is palpable, but thread-bare to anyone willing to look more closely, and the woman observing him as he accepts the invitation and sits down beside her is doing more than that. She’s watching, waiting to cast judgment if he doesn’t take care.

Assuaging her hidden worry with a smile and a quip that only he truly understands, he focuses by staring at the features he finds worthy of adoration. Her lips – careful in their shaping words of comfort that he understands are still strange for her to form at times. He imagines tracing a line down the curve of her nose; the action has brought a smile in the past.

And finally he gazes into her eyes. Meeting them, he reaches out as if to take the offered drink but rests his hand upon hers instead. It’s only for a moment before he pulls away, clearing his throat to relieve the sudden heaviness in the room.

He laughs and picks up the container, taking a drink then stopping in surprise when he finds that it is a favorite, and a rarity. Making appreciative noises, he gives her a thumbs up signal and is pleased when she responds with a chortle of laughter.

Such a simple reaction and gesture puts her at ease, allowing her to let her guard down to an extent. And with her easiness, he starts to feel foolish over his earlier unnamed fear.

He sits there drunk on her presence and strength, his voice gaining in volume as he gestures wildly with a passing show of humor as he regales her with one of the Nebari girl’s excursions into forbidden sections of the ship; namely the Dominar’s quarters. She listens quietly, only interrupting his commentary to ask a question; not realizing nor understanding what she does – what she gives him – on a daily basis.

She quiets the discourse in his mind.

When his story comes to an end, neither says a word for several microts. The silence is not uncomfortable, but its edges are sharp and obvious with unspoken questions.

He wraps his hand around the cup of juice, mouth tingling with the flavor, and considers keeping the promise he had made to her several weekens before, a game of strategy played against even those that he cares for. It confuses him and he is unable to force away the wall of doubt it creates in one he trusts so implicitly. Many times he has stopped himself from coming to her door deep in the sleep cycle and telling her that he feels the shadows he sees out of the corner of his eye following him even into sleep.

When he is even capable of closing his eyes; paranoia and the instinct to always be on guard often supersede physical need. His judgment is starting to be affected by nightmares and it works to keep the words unspoken and locked away. He tells himself that he continues to keep silent for everyone’s safety. If they doubt him – his direction in a time of crisis – it could lead to his, to their deaths (he thinks, correcting himself). Images rush forward in his mind. The surrounding room becomes intangible as he witnesses several horrific sequences of events; each resulting from his need to speak of what follows him through the Leviathan’s long corridors.

Nauseous at what he believes his imagination conjures, at the smell of scorched flesh that mingles with the scent of the fruit wafting upward, he quickly throws the cup across the room. She doesn’t jump up in shock and that surprises him until he realizes that she knew something was coming. There is not much that she misses, always on guard, always watchful. Her training is as much a part of her as breathing, as the color of her hair, or the softness of her breasts under his callused touch.

He stares at the wall, unsure of what he will see, and refuses to face her, almost certain he would not find a scornful look or pity, but the possibility causes him to tremble. That is, until the touch of a hand atop his draws him into turning toward her. There is none of the expected, dreaded, emotions lining her face. What he finds instead is understanding and genuine concern mixed with something else, something unknown. It gives him a gift of peace, a moment that he can hold onto when it’s needed most.

She stands, never removing her hand from his person, accepting of what he requires; both physically and mentally. The time it takes for them to reach his quarters is not long. They both know there is no need for words as they almost lean on one another, silently recognizing what they mean to one another.

Closing the door, he pulls the privacy curtain in front of the latticework before joining her next to the bed. He touches a strand of hair, bringing it across her shoulder, glancing up and smiling as she caresses his face. They undress to only their underclothes, agreeing silently to what was not the only purpose of their stolen moments alone. No one knows from what quarter danger will find them and so their time together is precious, neither wanting to put a name to what they feel developing between them.

As they lie side by side he listens to her breathing, to the heart beating in her chest as they press tightly together, as if becoming one being. They each know each is the other’s strength, the other’s weakness. They’ve proven this fact over and over again as they’ve stood together under fire from those that hunt them all. His thoughts tumble; his mind is becoming dangerous ground, its surface littered by old memories so that he no longer knows where it’s safe to walk and where he’s going to plunge into a quagmire that suffocates his self even as it obliterates the treacherous memories. Too many things; his home, old dreams and memories lost forever to him. It is only a matter of time until he is unable to keep from adding his sanity and self-control to the list. He can feel himself weaken day by day, miniscule parts drifting away from the whole in order to hide with the shadowed voice that demands to be heard even as it secretes itself away.

He threads his fingers through her hair, brushing through the strands, and tries to ignore feeling as if eyes are staring over his shoulder at her, at the lovely pale flesh of her side before it rises up with the curve of her hip. He spreads out a hand protectively across her hip and tucks his chin into the crook of her neck. His lips form a prayer, a chant to fortify his strength. Prays to a deity he no longer believes in to protect her. Protect her from Scorpius. From himself. It is an errant thought, rushing by quickly even as it allows him to realize that he is breaking down and losing no matter how fast he runs. The old rituals are useless. He knows this, as do I. The more he fights, resisting reason in favor of self-preservation, the more he fades. Believing more in the person in his arms than in himself, he gathers his strength for the coming day. His strength is his weakness.

Aeryn Sun knows what it means to be a tool for that which is greater than herself, but villainous idealism continues to corrupt her and her usefulness in the coming days will be re-evaluated. For now she keeps him safe from others. As I protect him from himself.

Raining Here, With You

Note: This is actually a sequel to “And Always Find My Place”. Thank you to Ivorygates for once more making me think too hard with the edits on this and putting up with my run on sentences and tense changes from hell. All other mistakes are mine and all feedback is very appreciated as always. (I have no idea where I got the title for this and I’ve either gotten tired of seeing it or I just can’t stand it now but I haven’t a clue as to what to rename it.)
Rating: NC-17
Spoilers: Mentions events in Ethon
Characters: Cam/Daniel
Disclaimers: Sadly the characters belong to MGM and not me.


There’s rain starting to drip down toward the sill of the open window as I stare out of it. (More of a mist than actually rain, if I want to be picky.) I can almost hear the tick, tick, tick of the water landing on glass if I concentrate hard enough the sound is soft, barely distinguishable from the muted noise of cars in the distance. I’ve been watching out the window for a while now at the clouds swirling soothingly in and out of one another (not really sure how long). The news had predicted heavy thunderstorms rolling in from the north, dropping the temperature down to the forties despite it being just a week shy of the fourth of July. I’d say they’re pulling my leg — judging by the sweat rolling down my back — but from the way the clouds sit there, growing darker and more threatening, the predictions are going to fall a might short off of the mark: some places will see a dusting of snow. In July. It can boggle the mind if you aren’t used to visiting a cafeteria plan of climates any given day of the week.

From the sounds of it, or rather the lack of the sounds of kids playing outside on a Saturday, gives the day a more surreal feel and I’m edgy despite the need to sit back and wait.

Wait for what? The answer to that question hasn’t decided to reveal itself just yet.

Something catches my attention, out of the corner of the eye, and I see a hand waving.

“Doing that could get you hurt, you know,” Jackson states, giving me a semi-serious look as he leans back.

“What?”

This time Jackson just rolls his eyes. “Zoning.”

For a moment I consider denying the accusation, but then I look over at Jackson’s alarm clock and check (double-checking) the time and shrug instead when he asks if there’s anything wrong.

“Just enjoying the peace and quiet is all.”

“Uh-huh. Look at your hand.” He pauses long enough for me to look down and notice the tremor where my hand rests on my thigh. “Tell me what’s wrong. I’ve seen you on edge before – but never like this. Please.”

Giving him my best reassuring smile, I answer truthfully. And it is telling the truth if a person can’t pinpoint the problem. “Really. There’s nothing wrong. I was just getting lost in the clouds.” Waving absently at the window, I stand and grab the empty glasses sitting on the little fold-up table between the bed and armchair (feeling I really need to be doing something) and go to refill them both with sweet tea. “You need anything else while up I’m up?” I ask him, attempting to change the subject even if I don’t really know what the hell the subject is supposed to be.

Jackson shakes his head. “No, I’m good for now.”

I fill up our glasses with tea with the last from the pitcher and set the now empty pitcher in the sink to be washed later. I can’t figure out why something so normal feels like it’s another layer onto the weird feeling building up inside me.

Coming back into the bedroom, I try to think about dinner; what’s in the kitchen, what’s easiest for Jackson to deal with on a dinner tray across his lap. I’ve been trying to use my imagination, scaling down the number of dishes in my regular menu — too elaborate for a twenty-five by twelve inch tabletop

“You still miss it badly, don’t you? Flying.” Jackson leans against the piled up pillows beside him. With most I would think — expect — there to be an ulterior motive behind the question. Not with Jackson, not really. Not with any of my team. But still — there are some things I’d rather not talk about.

I set the glasses down just a smidge too hard, and some of the tea sloshes out onto the table. I’m cussing under my breath before rushing into the kitchen and back with a towel. If the table stained momma would have my hide even if it’s just my head invoking her spirit. It looked like it could be one of gran’pa’s handmade heirlooms and knowing Jackson, it was probably older than that. “No – I mean yes, I miss flying. But, like I said there’s nothing wrong with me and nothing on my mind. I was just enjoying the day…that’s it.”

“Okay,” he says slowly and sitting back. “I get it. Nothing wrong. Can you at least tell me if being here – you know, taking care of me — if it’s becoming an inconvenience to you, I’ll relieve your conscience and take…”

“Out of the question, Jackson. That busted up leg barely lets you get up off that bed with my help so I know there’s no way in hell you can care for yourself. Not for a few more weeks at least.” The way I’m sounding hits me, sounding too harsh even to my own ears, so I stop and check yourself. There’s no reason to take out my twitchiness on Jackson. The man was simply showing concern for a friend the same as me when I offered up my free time to help him while he was on the mend. “Can we just…forget this whole thing? I was taking advantage of the downtime is all and you are not an inconvenience, Jackson. You’re a friend and on my team and we take care of each other if the need arises,” I state calmly, firmly, only adding when Jackson is about to argue anyway, “end of story. Now — you need anything else while I’m up?”

“Sure. Sure, I’ll leave it alone, and yes, there is something you can get for me. Or rather do for me. It’s been a couple of days since…” he brushes a hand down his shirt and when I don’t get it on the first go, Jackson sighs. “Since I’ve had a bath. I’m starting to get a little ‘unpleasant’ for my tastes.” (Swear that man is downright exasperating at times.)

Busting out laughing, I can feel the weight in my mind vanish. “Sure. I’ll go get everything ready. Carolyn said that your leg should be set enough in another couple’a days to adventure into a regular bath.” I raise my voice to be heard easily as I go to the hallway closet and start piling towels into a basin, along with liquid body soap and shampoo in case Jackson wants his hair washed and was ready to try that little adventure again. Balancing the almost-full bowl of hot water in my lap and Jackson trying to balance on his elbows while on still a bit stoned on his pain meds (even though the dosage was low enough to that he could have walked the white line if he’d been capable of actually walking) had been asking for trouble and we’d both ended up with a ‘bath’ (the only consolation was that at least it hadn’t been cold water). It had taken almost a full day before the mattress had dried enough for him to lie on it comfortably.

I grab him a clean pair of shorts (specially cut sweat pants just for him) and pajama top from the dresser and throw them on the chair I’d been sitting in.

“A regular bath? Oh, now I really feel privileged. What I’d really like is a shower.” Jackson’s voice is distracted as he starts unbuttoning his shirt and pulling it off of his arms.

I don’t even bother to respond to that because I know too well that need to be free to move on your own and get out from sight of anyone wanting to help. A private shower is a sign of independence that you sort of take advantage of until you can’t just hop in anytime you feel like it.

It only takes a minute for me to arrange things so they’re in easy reach, I go fill up the tubs with hot water and give him some privacy after I tuck a couple of towels around him. I leave the rest so he can drape them over himself and ease out of his shorts. We’ve worked out a decent system over the past few weeks.

#

The water steams in the large bowl on table beside the bed while I dip the washcloth in once, twice, before wringing it out and giving it a little flip to spread it out against Jackson’s back. Running it up and down slowly, re-wetting the cloth every now and then to maintain its heat.

“Lean your head down,” I tell Jackson quietly, losing myself in the task; taking in every inch of exposed skin. Jackson does as he’s asked, his head falling forward. A soft sound of enjoyment escaping him as hot cloth rests against his neck, a small trickle escapes and runs down the side.

The bedroom window is still open and despite the sultry air in the apartment (Colorado sultry has nothing on the Carolinas set on slow melt, but it’s still sitting at almost uncomfortable), the breeze coming through the open window has a chill to it and I feel the subtle shiver that runs through Jackson. Man was not made for livin’ in the north, catching myself smiling at the observation I ask if my gracious host was comfortable.

“Yes, feels good as a matter of fact,” Jackson’s voice is a low rumble, his shoulders and neck more relaxed than when we began.

“Gotta tell ya, Jackson, I sure will be glad when I can dump your butt in the bathtub to soak a while.”

Jackson snorts. “You and me both, but there’s something to be said about having a faithful wash-boy. I think I’ll re-name you Pepe – or Raul.”

“That’s wash-man, thank you very much,” I respond and pop him on top of the head. “And I’m more of a Javier.

He chuffs out a laugh. “Well, you do this very well. I take it you’ve had some practice before now…,” Jackson’s voice trails off as I stop moving my hand. “I don’t particularly feel like talking about my family right now, Jackson.”

He twists around to look at me. “You talk about them all of the time.”

“Not about that,” my words are clipped to let him know that the subject is closed. It shouldn’t bother me, but for some reason the timing of it really stinks and I just don’t want to think about it. Jackson takes things at face value, whole and unfettered by preconceptions. It’s one of the things that I’ve admired about him since getting this post. He’s honest, even when he’s wrong and won’t let a subject go. It’s going to be someone’s — not Jackson’s — downfall someday.

Jackson surprises me though and simply nods and turns back around. “Okay, but if ever feel the need to talk…”

“Yeah, I know. Just… not now.” I try to keep my voice even to let him I’m not actually angry with him. I rinse out the rag and reach for the larger basin of water next to it as I angle my body to lay it in my lap. “Lean back and we’re going to try and get that mop of yours washed.”

“It’s not a mop.” He leans back, neck against the hard plastic edge and my thigh, lowering his head into the basin.

“Hair needs trimmin’,” I tell him as I grab the floating cup and start trickling water over his hair while my fingers comb through it. I stare down at his face: eyes closed, relaxed, and while not the most comfortable he’s ever been (who could be getting their hair washed in a tub while your leg is enclosed in a couple pounds of plaster), his face is unlined, mouth slightly open…

I don’t — can’t — stop staring at his mouth for several seconds before I force myself to look away, feeling a flutter in my stomach as I do so.

Something clicks in my head, call it an epiphany or wishful thinking but I suddenly feel like I know what’s set my unease. Unable to resist – I lean down, not really kissing, but simply resting my lips against his forehead and wait.

Wait for Jackson’s reaction.

Wait to see if I have the nerve to continue with what I’ve just started; whether the outcome is for ill or fortune.

All I know at that moment is the chill of his skin warming under my hand as it drifts, grazing his chin, his neck. The smell of him mixed with the soft scent of soap freshly washed away. When I move, my attention drifts to his eyes looking up at me. I hold my breath, almost wishing that my heart would stop beating because the sound of it is deafening in my ears until I notice the softest crinkle at the corners of his eyes a split second before he smiles.

“I was wondering when…,” he says quietly, hand coming up — slowly as if not to frighten me — and leaves it to rest on top of mine.

“You…you knew?” I feel like I’m going to pass out.

Nodding, he gives my hand a squeeze. “It’s okay, you can breathe now.”

“I wasn’t… I mean I didn’t — hell I don’t know what I mean but…”

“You’ve been as skittish as a mastadge after a storm for the last several days. I was thinking of digging into my stash of chocolate bars to help calm you down since I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want me convincing Sam to come over here and spiking your drinks,” his tone is light, teasing, and not something I’ve seen too often coming from Jackson.

“How long?”

“How long have I had a bag full of candy bars here, how long I’ve noticed how twitchy you were or how long have I known you had feelings for me?

“Start with the candy and work your way to the end,” I answer as I grab one of the towels sitting beside me and put it around his shoulders when I notice water begin to start rolling down from his hairline.

“Oh let’s see. Since Vala discovered where I keep them in my office; about two days after you took over a corner of my bedroom and half of my living room And six months ago.” He pauses long enough to glance up at me. “Not long after we lost the Prometheus.”

I don’t think the memory of that entire fucked up mission is ever going to not hurt. Too many losses, Pendergast, the Prometheus and I’d – we had almost lost Jackson and Sam on top of everything else. None of us like to bring the subject up too often, if we can help it.

“Shoulda had a couple SFs stand guard over your office with orders to break her fingers if she touches your sweet unmentionables.” I add more water to his hair and reach for the shampoo, pouring a dab in my hand I start to work it through his hair and let Jackson’s final answer actually sink in.

Six months.

Six months of keeping my feelings hidden (or so I thought) and being unsure of how he’d feel if even the notion of those feelings ever came out. Feelings that I’d been sure until a second before I started this that I wanted to deny even to myself in case they’d been misplaced. I hadn’t even wanted to think on them. I don’t want to let myself think on the idea that if Jackson noticed, did anyone else? Right now I just want to enjoy the fact that he knows and isn’t scrambling for the telephone on the nightstand in order to have my ass hung out to dry.

“You don’t have to worry – I won’t tell anyone,” Jackson says, his eyes now shut tight to keep any shampoo from getting into them.

I stop, for just a moment, relieved. “‘Preciate it.”

We continue on in silence as I finish washing his hair, proud of the fact that I don’t get the entire bed soaked in the process of rinsing out the soap and wrap the towel from Jackson’s shoulders around his head. He props himself up on his elbows as I scoot off the bed and dump the water out in the bathtub. When I come back into the room, Jackson is still sitting in the same position, the towel has come unwrapped and lying on top of head like it’s a head full of light blue flowing hair and I snort out a laugh before going over to the chair and grabbing his clothes.

Helping to finish drying off and pull on the old pair of shorts over the bulky cast, I ask Jackson what he’d like for dinner or if there was anything else he needed. Nervous chatter really and not something I’ve done around him since my first couple months on the team.

“If you keep constantly trying to feed me I won’t be able to get into my uniform when I go back to duty,” Jackson comments and looks to the empty side of the bed after he’s sitting up comfortably. He wants to talk. So do I — only I don’t know how to start this particular conversation since I’d never thought I’d ever have it in this or any lifetime.

Kneeling on the bed, I move to sit beside him with my back against the headboard. Staring at the far wall, I need a moment to try and stop the feeling as if I’m going to be sick (haven’t been this nervous since my freshman year in college). “Guess I’ll just have to help you work it off then.”

He laughs, and it’s an honest laugh. And it relieves a bit of the tightness that I’m wearing like a shroud. It’s the first time I think I’ve ever heard it before. “Don’t get cheeky.”

Tapping my hands against my legs is not the best way to show him that I’m not nervous about being beside him at the moment so I stop and say, “I should get those towels in the laundry before they sour and I need to feed your fish. I forgot to earlier today.”

“Um, Mitchell… You do realize they’re not real fish, right?”

He almost believes me when I look at him in shock.

Lightly punch-brushing his knuckles against my thigh, Jackson say softly, “Come closer.”

Inching closer to Jackson, my shoulder brushes against his; flash of heat, different from the summer afternoon air. I’m not actually sure how to start the ball rolling and I’m kind of wishing I hadn’t thought of it like that.

“So…”

“Yeah.”

“You haven’t been – aren’t – obvious. I just want to reassure you if you’re worried,” Jackson says as he lays his hand on my forearm for a moment before taking it away.

“The thought did occur to me.”

“The thought that says ‘shoot-run-hide’?”

“That would be the one.”

“I’m quite familiar with it.”

“So how did you…”

“Know that you wanted me for more than my keen intellect?”

I nod and resist smacking him for that one. Now who’s being cheeky?

“Gaydar?” he shrugs, “While you don’t come across as a closet Frankenfurter and wipe that shocked look off your face, I’ve been dragged to more than one showing of Rocky Horror. Usually by well-intentioned roommates that wanted to ‘help me loosen up’.”

The idea cracks me up and suddenly the image of Jackson in a little satin gold shorts playing Rocky pops into my head. A flick to my ear brings my attention back to the here and now.

“I never participated and I would not be caught dead in that outfit. Oh, don’t look surprised,” he tells me, giving me a look that gives me a barely restrained shiver. “The look on your face was a neon sign telling me exactly what you were thinking.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about, Jackson.”

“Besides, Teal’c would look much better in those little shorts. Doesn’t clash with this tattoo.”

It’s a good damn thing I wasn’t drinking anything at that moment.

“My point is that you have presented yourself as nothing more than the Upstanding Straight Air Force Lieutenant Colonel that they want you to be.”

“Maybe I want to be that too…”

“You’ve never…”

“No. Sorta hit me out of the blue if you must know.”

“But – So you…”

“…took a leap of faith,” I finish for him, understanding it as the truth even as I say the words.

#

Sitting behind Jackson, I hold on as he leans back slightly, head tilting onto my shoulder and I brush his hair back with a wet hand. I only have to dip my chin a little bit before my lips are caressing the side of his neck, nuzzling and laying whisper-soft kisses along the warmth of his skin.

The quiet of the gray skies outside my window had crept inside some time ago it seems and had lain in wait until the right moment, blanketing us. Cocooning and protecting us from the world, from our obligations to anyone but ourselves. It felt good and right and filled a place marked inevitable. My earlier fear is still sitting here with us, but it’s voice is far more quiet and I can feel its strength falling apart with each second I spend touching Jackson, making every inch of his body mine even as he’s doing the same to me given the awkwardness of our positions. That’s not to say that I’m not fucking terrified – there’s a new level and dimension of the future that is laid wide open to explore – but being terrified has never stopped me before.

There’s no rush in our exploration and it’s ironic that I can quietly thank my training and life in the SGC for giving me a sharper attention to the little, albeit important, details as I trace an old scar along his rib leftover from the planet of badly dressed drug dealers.

Jackson hitches his breath just a little and I ask, whispering against his ear, “That tickle?”

He turns his head slightly, leveling it enough that our lips meet and he kisses me. It’s short and sweet and I don’t want him to ever fucking stop. “I’m not ticklish,” he answers.

“Good t’know.” My hand runs from Jackson’s hip, across his stomach, fingers opening and closing slowly in time with my breathing. Savoring.

Jackson opens the drawer to the nightstand and reaches inside and brings out a small plastic bottle. Flipping open the cap, he says, “Hold out your hand,”

I do as he says and raise my hand, palm up; as he squirts out a dab of lotion. Setting it to the side, he takes my hand and guides it down to rest on the erection that had more than caught my attention long before this moment. I know that he’s felt mine nestled against the crack of his ass for the last half-hour.

Curling his hand over mine, he moves our hands up and down, the motion slow and measured at first running from base to tip. A moan rumbles in Jackson’s chest and I hold onto him, keep him from shifting his bad leg too much, by reaching with my other hand and brace him by taking hold of his thigh. “Careful,” I warn, trying to keep him in the here and now.

He simply nods, relaxing his body and I can see him lick his lips. I do the same, wishing that I could have another taste of them but compromise by nuzzling the side of his neck until I can kiss the hollow where it meets the shoulder.

There’s something to be said for taking one’s time.

We rock gently, forwards and back and I can see his face relaxed, lost in the feel of my hand on his cock. Up and down, from tip to base. Slow and steady as we continue to rock against my dick rests hard, between the cheeks of Jackson’s ass. The friction and heat are enough to scatter my thoughts and I lose a bit of myself with him.

He wraps an arm around my thigh, pushing back against me when my hand slides down further and cups his balls and squeezing enough to elicit a groan.

His grip tightens around my hand as we round the top once more and I pause to run my thumb over the slit, callous raking gently along the edge. I kiss the exposed skin behind his ear, tongue lapping the sweat beginning to bead along the hairline. I feel positively drunk and I want more when he digs his fingers into my leg muscle and shivers.

My nail digs in just a little rougher before I – we – move once more, our pace quickening. He shifts, grinding his ass into me and it’s all that I can do to maintain any measure of control, but it’s taken out of my hands (so to speak) when Jackson holds his breath, back bowing as his head jerks back onto my shoulder when he comes. I bite my lip, the sounds Jackson make minute cuts through my restraint. I hold onto him tighter, arm nestled back across his stomach until he’s ready to move.

I enjoy the feel of his body against me; I can feel his heart beating in his chest. Or is it mine? I can’t tell as I just let the moment fold over me. We don’t, can’t, get many moments like this in life so we take advantage of them when they come and savor them. It gives us something to reach for, grounding us for what we’re fighting for day in and day out.

Cleaning the two of us, really just Jackson, doesn’t take long since everything is still setting beside the bed. He lies back against me again, not talking, and it’s then that I notice that the silence and heaviness of the day has been replaced by the heavier sound of rain beating lightly against the window pane. Storm’s here. I should get up and close the window before the water can ruin the sill but I simply watch as the drops gather together and grow, forming something larger.

And Always Find My Place

Author’s Note: Prequal to “Raining Here, With You”. My many thanks to Ivorygates for once again doing the beta on this, all other mistakes are mine.
Characters: Cameron, Daniel, Sam
Spoilers: none
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Sadly these characters belong to MGM and not me.


Jackson gave me full rein of the apartment but only on the condition that I do not touch – or else – certain items, I nodded agreement at the way-too-long list (wouldn’t it have been more simple to say the things I could touch?) and it sounded way too practiced with him slurring over half the words as his pain meds started tugging him back into numb bliss. If General O’Neill were here right now, he could probably recite the words right along with ‘im, I thought, and left the now -sleeping man in peace with on his first night home in just over a month.

Normally, if one of us is informed of a extended stay in the infirmary, whether Daniel or myself (and I have started thinking we’re the posterboys for ass-whoopin’), we can suddenly find in ourselves the resources for a speedy recovery. There is nothing worse than lying in that bed.

The boredom is maddening.

But when it’s a shattered leg that requires going under the knife more than once – you’re left at the mercy of a world outside your control. Just thinking about it made my legs ache and sent phantom twitches up and down my calf muscles. I hadn’t noticed at first that I’d automatically started rubbing my hands over the area, trying to work things out before the ghost decided to become something a bit more real. Moving is usually a quick solution to the problem and I start on my own tour of Daniel’s home.

It’s a short trip through the rooms, noting the artifacts and history that look interesting (might make for conversation fodder when Jackson’s ready for it) and I end up standing in front of the few personal photos that he has hanging near the door. It’s a safe bet that Sam had something to do with their presence, probably enlisting Teal’c as a willing accomplice. I’ve seen that sometimes Jackson needs a helping hand to remember that he’s part of the human race because for them, for any gate team, the ordinary often takes extraordinary efforts to maintain.

There’s a photo of the team, version 2.0, hanging next to one that was taken, from the looks of it, not long after SG-1 took its first baby steps. Back when they were all relative strangers with nothing more than a goal in common. Despite the civilian clothes they’re all wearing in the photo, by the way they stand together so stiff and formal; making sure not to actually brush up against one another’s arm it’s easy to see that they haven’t yet begun to grow into their skin, as something more than just a team. If I’d come across this picture anytime before learning of the Stargate I’d have said they were either in front of a firing squad – or at a family reunion; not the humble beginnings of heroes and legends. The smiles they wear are cheerful, but that’s not what I see in the eyes staring out at me. It’s numbness, pure and simple. (Seen it often in my time. Most times it works out for all involved, a good team leader will go out of his way to get to know the men and women under his command. But then there are those teams that in the end are held up as example, chow hall gossip, on the importance of knowing the solider at your six. ) SG-1 was lucky, given that they were the first on the front line for so long, but more than lucky – they were fucking good. Now I’m the one who’s lucky.

It takes me a second to realize what it is about Jackson’s apartment that’s felt off since the corpsmen helped get him settled in his bed and handed over Dr. Lam’s instructions for the care and feeding of everyone’s favorite cranky archaeologist. No television. How in the hell can any man fight – and die – for his planet without a friggin’ television set?

Glancing back across the room, there’s at least an aquarium. It’s got several brightly colored clownfish swimming inside. I wonder who he has feed them when we’re gone sometimes for weeks off-world until I notice that there’s something off with the fish. I’m almost sure that I’m seeing things – have to be. Distracted by my attempt to see more clearly it takes me a second to notice I’ve got my nose pressed up against the cool glass, creating a semi-artistic design of smudge marks, in order to take a better look at the string and weight hanging beneath each fish. They’re all fake. I burst out laughing because somehow it doesn’t surprise me in the least that Daniel Jackson has little pieces of painted plastic ‘swimming’ in his fish tank. No fuss. No muss. Jesus, I really need a tv here or else by the time Jackson is capable of taking care of himself again, I’ll have started thinking the damn fish are real.

Calling Sam, I bribe her (woman has yet to resist my lemon bars) into stopping by my place and grabbing my portable and DVD player as well as my PS and a few games. She jokes around and asks if I want my teddy bear as well but I tell her I’ll settle for the afghan off the back of the couch and one of my pillows.

By the time she arrives Jackson has already woken up, bitching up a storm because his new pain prescription only seems to knock him out and doesn’t actually stop the pain that he has described as being similar to his legs being filleted from the inside-out (and if I haven’t come across it in a mission report yet I really don’t want to know the reason Jackson is familiar with that particular dance). She comes into his room offering a sheepish smile and a large mug of coffee. God bless her for knowing how to work that monstrosity of a coffee maker in his kitchen. I really need to have her show me how to work it before she leaves because I’m pretty sure that you need a degree in its use. The coffee manages to placate the man long enough for him to ask the reason behind the visit since they’d already planned on Sam coming by the next day.

He takes a sip of his coffee when she says why she came over, not in the least bothered that he hadn’t let me know about the lack of television. “I do have cable though…,” he mumbles over the lip of the cup in his hand. I think the man has taken one too many lessons in the Jack O’Neill School of Disclosure.

This is going to be a long recovery.