Winecup

Debra Fran Baker

debra.baker3@verizon.net


"I am not part of your military!" Daniel closed the door of his office behind him before turning. Jack stared at him, his eyes flashing.

"You wear the uniform. You follow - you're supposed to follow my orders. You might as well be. And I will not have you disgracing the uniform or the Air Force by...by doing what you did." He remained standing, straighter than Daniel had ever seen before.

"I did nothing of the kind. Not in the eyes of that world, and I don't think Sam or Teal'c care. All I did was make a friend. A potentially valuable friend."

"A friend you fucked. A guy you fucked." Since when did Jack ever have a voice that hard, that cold?

"Yeah. Or he fucked me." Daniel sat in his chair, and stared back at Jack.

**

PX4-652 was yet another clone of Earth, complete with pine forests and a culture that descended from the Etruscans, with a few other admixtures.

Daniel noted that the architecture, for example, was classic Etruscan/Roman, with a large courtyard surrounded by the rest of the building. He had a great deal of time to note the architecture.

"You should have been there, Colonel O'Neill! It was a mighty battle. Here, let me show you." General Teitu Laneis began rearranging the table implements. "This is where my infantry was. Here, on this side - the grapes - were the mated bands, and here the cavalry - the oranges." Daniel gathered that cavalry was heavily armored tanks here, as well.

"Did you have air support?" Sam leaned in, her eyes bright. Teal'c collected the small condiment bottles and began placing them just so, according to Teitu Laneis's description of enemy position.

And that when Daniel really started looking at the frescos in the courtyard surrounding the long table, and contemplating his wine glass. It was nearly empty of the rich red.

"More, scholar?" He looked up into a pair of laughing green eyes. Daniel frowned. The man was not wearing servant's livery. Servants did not wear tunics and kilts that draped softly over their bodies or glowed with rich colors. Nor did the soldiers lining the table.

Nevertheless, the man poured more wine into Daniel's cup, from the skin under his arm.

"You're not a...or a...who are you?"

He smiled. "My name is Cae Apunis. And I think you are as bored as I am."

Daniel took a sip of wine. "I'm...I'm not...bored."

"It is well you are not a politician, scholar. You lie badly." Cae Apunis's smile broadened. "Come, let us take a walk before they draft our winecups." The soldiers were now fighting imaginary battles.

"Call me Daniel." He echoed Cae's smile, and stood, winecup in hand. Cae set the wineskin down after filling his own.

Then he took Daniel's free hand in his own.

Daniel let him.

He did look back a couple of times, hoping someone would notice his departure, but they were intent in refighting some ancient battle.

Instead, he looked at Cae, and Cae was good to look at. Unlike the other men, he wore his long hair unbraided. It tumbled in chestnut curls down his back, melding with the warm colors of his tunic. That tunic, in turn, covered a firm and slender body, while the kilt revealed strong and well-shaped legs. And his face - Daniel supposed it would be ordinary, much like his own, except for his