Jack stopped by Daniel's office before the reception. As he suspected, Daniel was hunched over his desk, peering at glyphs scratched on a rock and making notes. Jack coughed loudly and Daniel looked up. "Are you coming?" Jack asked.
Daniel ran a hand through his hair. "Go ahead without me."
"Are you sure?" Jack found Daniel's tie lying on top of a filing cabinet. He tossed it onto the table, covering up some of the glyphs.
Daniel pushed the tie aside. "I just want to finish this up. I'll be along in a few minutes."
Jack had heard that one before. "Are you sure?"
"Did I not just say I was sure?" Daniel put down his pen and put his hands flat on the table.
Not this again. "Well, yes, but-- Okay." Jack rolled his eyes.
"Nothing." Jack leaned against the door frame.
"I said I'd be there." Daniel picked up his pen again and wrote a few words. "Just go without me."
"You have a nasty habit of getting involved in a project and forgetting to show up when you don't want to be someplace." Jack looked at a shelf full of artifacts, some ancient, some alien.
Daniel shrugged. "I lose track of time."
"You never lose track of time," Jack said. "You're just sneaky." He picked up a shiny metal doughnut and hastily put it down again when it beeped at him.
"I am not!" Daniel dropped his pencil and crossed his arms, but he was smiling.
"Yeah, you are. But it's okay." Jack pulled out a chair, turned around, and sat down, resting his arms on the back. "I'll wait for you." He smiled as sweetly as he could, enjoying the look on Daniel's face. That was, really, why he was here.
"How long?" Daniel asked, raising his eyebrows.
"How long will you wait?" Daniel's voice was light, but Jack could hear the undercurrent to the question.
He thought they both already knew the answer. "As long as I need to."
"It may be a while." Daniel turned the pencil around between his fingers, his eyes flicked away from Jack's face.
Something they both already knew. And this moment was in danger of getting too serious. So Jack grinned. "Yeah, but it'll be worth it."
Daniel smiled back. "Sarcasm doesn't become you."
"Hey! I was being sincere. Couldn't you tell I was being sincere? That was my sincere voice."
"I see," Daniel said. "It sounds a lot like your 'sarcastic voice.' I apologize."
"Hmph. I'm not sure I accept." Jack picked up the stone and squinted sideways at the glyphs. They made his eyes water. "Are you done yet?"
Daniel took the stone away. "I thought you said you'd wait for me."
"And I will," Jack said. "I said nothing about waiting patiently." He picked up Daniel's tie again, reached in and looped it around Daniel's neck. He started to knot it. Daniel reached up to stop him, then let his hands fall. Jack did up the top button of Daniel's shirt, then snugged the tie up so it was perfect.
Daniel looked at Jack but the light reflected off his glasses and Jack couldn't see his eyes. "I see," Daniel said. "Let's go, then." He pulled his jacket off the back of his chair and stood.
"Okay." Jack let his hand rest on Daniel's shoulder for a moment as they left the room.
The reception was boring.