Russet potatoes, green beans, carrots and oven-roasted chicken did not get a single complaint. I think it was because Jack was too busy oohing and aahing over my food. He even at one point pointed his fork at me and demanded to know where the cook was.

"Jack she can cook," Daniel said between his own mouthfuls.

"Oh I guess between you guys solving all the worlds problems during your three days off, Carter learned to cook?" he said with a playful gleam.

"She has always been able to cook, Jack. She just never had the right encouragement."

Oh I was blushing like mad at that! Encouragement was playful hugs and kisses while sampling the food. The way he sampled I was amazed we had food left over, one of the reasons I did not want him in the kitchen while I was making dinner. That and the real possibility we would find burnt chicken while we were concentrating on... other things.

Gawd! I can't even keep my thoughts straight! Damn archeologist! He had a way of discovering some interesting things; using tools I'm sure he did not pick up on any dig.

�You can always quit the SGC and come cook at the University," Cassie said as she waved off thirds Jack was passing around before taking it all.

He caught my glance in his direction. "What? Cassie simply wore me out as we trekked clear to Washington and back. I�m hungry."

Three pairs of rolled eyes and an eyebrow was the response for that statement.

         ---

While trekking clear to Washington, Jack and Cassie had picked some lumber for our bon fire. With the help of Teal'c, they constructed a small tee-pee and lit the fire, giving Daniel and I a few moments in the kitchen together.

"Wonderful mean, Doctor," Daniel said, giving me a small kiss.

"Thank you, Doctor. Seems like everyone has re-thought my cooking abilities," I said grabbing the last dish and drying it.

"I know I will not starve under your food."

I blushed as I handed the dish to him as he put them in the cupboard. "Daniel, we need to talk."

He turned and I met his blue eyes, loosing my train of thought as I fell into them. " know. We need to tell Jack, or figure a way to make things smoother once we are back on active duty," he said hoarsely. Emotion coated his voice as he put the towel down and came toward me, wrapping his long arms around me.

I placed my head on his shoulder and held on to him. "Think Jack could go ballistic if he knew. Of course he did take Pete and me well. I think he only did that because it was outside the SGC, and he did not really expect it to last as long as it did. But us.... Daniel, I don't want to hide my feelings anymore."

"Me neither. But I like staying alive.� He gave a small chuckle, making his chest under my cheek rise and fall rapidly. It kept in time with my heart.

          ---

Daniel and I joined the rest of the group as we brought chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers out. Jack was busy showing Teal�c how to �properly� cook a marshmallow, making Cassie laugh as she watched Teal�c�s confusion when Jack told him that they were meant to be lit on fire.

"I see why not, O'Neill."

"Trust me, T, they are just better that way."

Daniel and I sat on lawn chairs letting the heat warm our bodies and hearts as we both began to be lost in our own worlds and thoughts. I felt like the marshmallow. I was on fire, being burned by my emotions and circumstances that had finally opened our eyes to one another. My feelings for Daniel made me as gooey as the insides of the puffy white sugar concoction, leaking out at the seams when squeezed by Jack's questions, penetrating gaze and lingering gestures.

How would he react to us? Would either one of us be able to even tell Jack? He had been our leader, our closed friend for so many years. Part of me said he would celebrate and maybe even tell us it was finally happening, but part of me knew he would wonder how he would break us up so either Daniel and I could continue our relationship within guidelines, or sending us into different paths.

I reached for Daniel�s hand as I watched the dancing flames, feeling just as confused, happy, nauseous and elated as I did when my dad died, and Daniel came back to us.
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