…there’s always a downside…
“There is no evidence of any downside.”
Jack plopped down on his back on the infirmary bed, exhausted, just as Daniel and Sam were. He turned his head and looked at his lover in the next bed, watching him worriedly as Daniel massaged his shoulders, then dropped onto his back as well. Jack turned his head to the other side, watching Sam lie there, her arm over her eyes. He remembered looking down on her as she’d lain there under the lean-to on P4X-234, then shaking that thought swiftly away, he remembered looking at her in panic from the other side of the forceshield inside Apophis’ unfinished ship.
Another luck of the draw. Another won moment snatched from the hands of Apophis’ Jaffa. It was just this side of their amazing luck that Apophis wasn’t on that damned ship.
He sighed heavily and turned his attention to Daniel once more, then had to bite back a laugh as Daniel was now unintentionally copying Sam’s arm-over-eyes position.
The sound of air escaping Jack’s throat was heard however and Daniel lifted his arm to look at his troubled, and troublesome, lover. The look Jack had on his face made the corners of Daniel’s mouth turn up. Jack looked both amused and…well, besotted.
“Something on your mind, Jack?” Daniel asked, moving his hand to massage the shoulder muscle once more. That damned naquada had really done a number on him. Of course, falling onto his back hadn’t helped. Damned armbands.
Jack groaned and moved his eyes off Daniel, staring instead at the bedframe. Didn’t do any good to stare at Daniel, lying there on the bed, his shirt riding up slightly, pulled out of his trousers to reveal enticing skin. He remembered what he and Daniel had almost been doing just before that damned Tok’ra, Anise, had shown up. They’d hurriedly dressed and Daniel was still trying to put on his fatigue shirt when they’d entered the gateroom. Jack made a mental note to tell Daniel not to leave his office without dressing completely. No one would talk, or notice for that matter, but it just looked…unkempt. Although, on further thought, unkempt was a good look on Daniel…just…not at work. No, not at work.
“Hmm? Oh, sorry, it’s nothing, Daniel. Your muscles sore?”
“Yeah,” Daniel stressed as he tried to sit up. “That naquada.”
Teal’c came walking into the infirmary just then, his own brand of smugness lighting his face. Jack levelled a disapproving smirk at him.
“Don’t look so smug, Teal’c. Thanks, though.”
“You are welcome, O’Neill. I have made my report. General Hammond requests your presence when you are finished here.”
Jack grunted. “Yeah, well, we may be a while. Doc’s busy with SG-7.”
“I may be busy, Colonel,” Janet said as she walked in on the last part of his conversation, “but the three of you can at least start off the process.”
She had three clear plastic lidded cups in her hands, each marked with a white label. Sam sat up as Janet handed one to her, then Janet moved around, put one in Jack’s hand without waiting for him to take it from her, then handed Daniel his.
“Urinalysis, guys. Let’s get this started, then I’ll send the vampires in.” She refrained from smiling as she turned and left them.
“I will leave you now if you do not require my assistance,” Teal’c then told them, though his eyes remained mostly on Jack. Jack opened an eye and stared at him.
“Thanks, Teal’c. I think I can piss by myself.”
Sam snorted and slid off the bed, moving quickly to the unisex bathroom. “I’m first.” The door closed behind her.
Jack sighed and closed his eyes, choosing to remain prone. “Knock yourself out, Carter.” He heard Daniel’s boots hit the floor and walk around to the left side of his bed, then felt Daniel’s hand wrapping around his bicep.
“Come on, Jack,” he said, his voice heavy with strain as he pulled Jack to sit.
Jack looked down at the cup in his hands, then felt the slight urgency in his bladder. It hadn’t been there before Sam had locked herself in the bathroom. “Why is it that when someone else is in the bathroom, one suddenly has to go?”
Daniel snorted, then smiled at Teal’c as the Jaffa bowed to him, then with an amused expression, at Jack, before turning and leaving the ward.
“I’ll bet you anything,” Jack went on, notably after Teal’c left, “that when we go in there, I won’t be able piss to save my life.”
Daniel smiled and shook his head. “Murphy’s Law, number 512. Or in your case, O’Neill’s Law, number 6,037.”
Jack frowned. “I’ve got that many?”
“Last I checked.”
Jack’s brow raised in surprise. “6,037?”
“Or thereabouts,” Daniel grinned.
Jack smirked at him just as Sam left the bathroom.
“Go on in, sir, the water’s fine.”
“Funny, Carter.” He slid off the bed with a resounding thud on the soles of his boots. “Come on, Daniel. We can save time and do this together.”
“I can take a piss by myself, Jack.”
“I think he needs you to hold his…hand, Daniel,” Sam shot out with a wicked grin as she set her sample cup on the medical tray at the foot of the bed.
“Again, so very funny, Carter.”
Daniel laughed, winking at Sam’s smirk as he followed Jack into the bathroom and locked the door behind them.
Unscrewing the lid to the cup, Jack opened his trousers and stood in front of the urinal while Daniel stood in front of the toilet. As they filled the cups halfway, then emptied the rest of their bladders into the porcelain, Jack looked over his shoulder, grinning. Daniel didn’t need to see to know what he was doing.
“Careful you don’t piss on your boots, Jack,” Daniel quipped as he screwed the cap back on the sample cup, then tucked himself back into his trousers and flushed.
Jack just grinned, finishing himself. “Watch I don’t turn around and mark my territory.”
Daniel snorted. “Jack, don’t be an ass.”
Jack abruptly turned around, aiming his dick at Daniel’s boots, making him jump out of the way…though nothing hit the floor, or his boots.
Daniel stared at him, then at his dick, smirking. Instead of yelling at him, he said, “Seems you’re out of ammo.”
Jack leered. “I can take care of that with a little reloading,” and stroked, once.
Daniel cleared his throat and turned away. “Jesus, Jack.”
Jack laughed with smug mischievousness at having gotten one over on Daniel. “Gotcha. And it’s just Jack, by the way.”
“Cute,” Daniel said, washing up and reaching for a paper towel. “Wanna show me that again?”
Jack had tucked himself back into his trousers, so he shook his head and shot Daniel an evil grin. “Maybe later.” He wondered, for a fraction of a moment, why his cock hadn’t reacted to his touch, but dismissed it, blaming it on the fact that he was overly tired.
Daniel smiled back, pondering the ‘maybe later’ scenario while Jack washed up, then opened the door and followed him out. He placed his cup next to Sam’s then promptly lay back down on his bed. As he did, Daniel caught the grin his teammate was trying to hide and smiled to himself. Yes, they were both definitely thinking of the ‘maybe later’ scenario, complete with rough and finished drafts.
Blood drawn, scans taken, and debriefing out of the way, the three members of SG-1 now had time to kill until the lab results came back. Their bodies had been thoroughly depleted by the hormonal effects of the armband virus so Janet had given them a choice: an I.V. for eight more hours or specific foods and lots of water and gatorade. Lots and lots of water and gatorade.
As he finished relieving himself for the fourth time in ninety minutes, Daniel opened the door to his office bathroom and found Jack standing there, practically dancing in place.
“Why’d you lock the door?” he asked as he pushed past and unzipped, sighing with relief as his bladder emptied.
Daniel blinked in mild amusement as he closed the door and leaned against the wall. “There’s a bathroom in your office, Jack.”
Jack looked over his shoulder for a moment before returning to his task at hand. Or ‘in hand’. “I didn’t need to piss right then, and you know, I’m thinkin’ that damned elevator is rigged to make people piss.”
Daniel started laughing at him. “The vibration got to you, in other words.”
“Yes,” Jack complained as his bladder seemed to be taking its damned sweet time in emptying.
“That’s why I’m steering clear of it…as well as hiding out in my office.”
“Still…I wish you hadn’t locked your door. The next bathroom on this level is one corridor over. Too much walking.”
Daniel shook his head, still laughing. “Well, I have to lock the door or anyone could barge right in.”
Jack looked over his shoulder again and grinned at him. “Good point. Except I’m not anyone.”
Daniel developed a mischievous glint in his eye and reached behind him, locking the door. “No, you’re not are you?”
Jack’s lips twitched as he tried not to smile. “Something on your mind, Daniel?”
Daniel stepped forward, pressing against Jack’s back…and backside. Jack was in the act of tucking his dick back inside his briefs when Daniel’s hands reached around and stopped him. One hand grasped the hand that held his cock and the other reached down to cup his balls.
“Can I help you with this?”
Jack groaned in response, his body feeling warm shudders at Daniel’s touch. “Knock yourself out,” he replied encouragingly as he moved his hands to Daniel’s forearms. Daniel pressed his groin into Jack’s ass, rubbing deliciously as his lips kissed the back of his lover’s neck, nudging along the hairline. He stroked twice, very slowly, just as he’d done on other occasions.
But…Jack didn’t stiffen. His dick remained flaccid. Just as Daniel realized this, Jack came to the realization that he didn’t feel Daniel’s hard cock against his ass. Nothing at all except Daniel’s body.
Jack turned his head and looked into Daniel’s eyes. “We’re just tired. Try again.”
Daniel nuzzled his neck as he stroked twice more…then twice more. Each time, the sensation was there, but no reaction to the sensation. He rubbed his crotch against Jack’s ass, making thrusting movements, enjoying the feelings it created. Jack groaned softly under Daniel’s touch as his sensitivity was still there. Unfortunately, his dick remained soft, as did Daniel’s. Daniel released him slowly and dropped his head to Jack’s shoulder.
“Mission Control, we have a problem.”
They found Janet’s office open, but empty, which meant she’d be back soon. They closed her door and sat down in the two chairs before her desk, fidgeting nervously.
“What the fuck are we going to ask?” Jack asked.
“More importantly, what are we going to say when she asks us how we both discovered this…problem?”
Jack winced and shut his eyes. “Shit.”
“One of us should leave.”
“No,” Daniel shook his head. “She’d only call us in. It’s better that we’re both here. We should have thought up a story to tell her before we got here.”
“Yeah, no shit, Sherlock.”
“Sorry. I’m just…”
“I know…me too.”
“If we…you know…”
“You know it’s not that I don’t–“
“I know, I know…” Daniel replied quickly. “And you know it’s not that I don’t–“
“Yeah, I know,” Jack said just as quickly.
“Um…okay, so…about what we tell her…”
“I came to you,” and Daniel winced at the ill timing of that oft-used word. “We tell her that I went to see you because I noticed a…difficulty…and wanted to know if you’d…had the same…”
“Yeah, so then we came…walked…strolled…”
“Jack, I’m just–“
“Just get on with it.”
“Right. So, I went to you, then we both came…” and Daniel sighed with frustration. “Christ…I have to use the word, okay. There’s no getting around it.”
“Fine, whatever, Daniel.”
“We came here to find out.”
“So you came to me?” Jack asked.
“Yeah. Why…what’s wrong with that?”
“Well, what if I went to you?”
“It wouldn’t sound right. It sounds better that I went to you.”
Jack became indignant. “Why couldn’t I go to you?”
“Because you’re the one with the hard-assed macho image, not me.”
“I do not have a–“
“Yes, you do, Jack. You’re the military guy with the special training. I’m the science geek.”
“Who baits our enemies on a daily basis.”
“Okay, but not daily and I don’t use a gun to do it.”
“Oh, so now it’s down to guns.”
“In one form or another, Jack.”
“Sorry, couldn’t help but see the ironic metaphor.”
Jack sighed. “Okay, I guess I see your point. Macho types aren’t likely to be…forthcoming…with…equipment failures.”
“Right. It’s not to say that I wouldn’t be…and in fact, am having a rather hard…er, difficult time with this, because…I am.”
“Me, too, Daniel.”
“I know. It’s only…natural.”
“Except this isn’t natural.”
“No. This is…well, I was thinking about this on our way here. It’s got to have something to do with those armbands.”
Jack raised his brows. “That’s exactly what I was thinking.”
Daniel gave him a wry smile. “For once, we’re on the same page.”
“Sometimes we are, Daniel,” Jack smiled. When Daniel cocked a brow at him, he tilted his head. “In the field, Daniel. Not just…you know.”
“I knew that.”
“I did, too. Anyway, that’s not…what the fuck are we talking about?”
“Um, we’re on the same page about the cause of this.”
“Right. So, I was thinking…while we were wearing the armbands, did you ever once have a sexual thought?”
Jack blinked, thinking, then he looked at Daniel as the light dawned, and dawned very uncomfortably. “No. Not once. My mind was on kicking ass and not taking names.”
“Exactly. Mine was on reading and writing. Sam’s was on getting that book done.”
“Yeah, how strange is that?”
“No stranger than ours.”
“Especially when we were in O’Malley’s,” Jack added.
Daniel suddenly giggled. Really giggled.
“What?” Jack asked reprovingly. “That wasn’t exactly our finest hour, Daniel.”
“No, I was just remembering what Sam called that guy Matt. Goober,” and he started giggling again, which quickly turned to quiet laughter. It was infectious laughter and Jack couldn’t help but join in. “I haven’t heard that word in ages. The look on that prick’s face was priceless.”
“She comes up with the strangest words and phrases.”
“Tell me about it. I wonder if she’s finding anything wrong.”
Jack grimaced. “Daniel, I didn’t need that particular image right then.”
“Sorry. I couldn’t help but wonder.”
Jack reluctantly nodded in agreement and didn’t say anything for a few minutes. Daniel looked at him and could tell he was working out his end of it. Jack looked over at him, realizing that Daniel was watching him and gently nudged him with his elbow. Not for any reason. Just for contact.
“So…if we go by your theory, then since the armbands were temporary…”
Daniel nodded. “Then the effects are just as temporary, providing that the antibodies released aren’t causing the problem.”
Jack winced. “Yeah, providing that.” He sighed deeply and looked around. “Maybe the–“
Janet came walking into her office just then and halted, surprised at finding the two of them sitting there. She stared at them as she walked around to her desk and set down the clipboard in her hand.
“Daniel. Colonel. Something wrong?” She asked as she eyed them carefully, then went over and closed the door before sitting down at her desk. They hesitated so she raised her own brow to remind them that she was waiting for their answer.
“Um, Doc…we seem to have a…rather…disturbing side effect from the armbands.”
“We hope it’s from the armbands.”
Jack turned to him. “What else could it be?”
“I don’t know but this is the only–“
“Gentlemen?” Janet interrupted. “What is the problem?”
Daniel winced and Jack seemed to hold his breath. She knew whatever it was, it was making them uncomfortable. “Daniel, Colonel, I’m not a mind reader.”
“Janet…I was…um, I don’t really want to go…into detail…as to how I found out…but…um…I think the armband has created a hopefully temporary case of…um…impotence.” He said the last word in a rush and in a much quieter tone.
Janet read him well enough however, even if she didn’t hear the word. She stared at him worriedly, then at Jack. “And you’re here with the same…complaint?”
“Yes…ma’am,” Jack replied too quietly, then cleared his throat several times.
Surprised, Janet took a deep breath. “So…how is it that the two of you are here together?” She didn’t allow herself the luxury of guessing as she might guess wrong.
“Um, I…noticed…” Daniel said quickly, avoiding her eyes, one of the many signs Janet had learned that Daniel was either very embarrassed or lying. She decided the former, not the latter. “So I went to Jack to ask him if he’d…noticed anything…”
“Out of the ordinary…”
Janet could have sworn that Jack’s cheeks pinked slightly but blamed the lighting in her office.
“So…here we are.”
“I see,” Janet replied, worried but a little at ease. “Well, I can see why you’d be hesitant in coming to me about this. I have yet to go through the results of the blood work so I’ve nothing to tell you yet…” and she paused, flipping up the pages of data on the clipboard. It caught Daniel’s and Jack’s attention immediately.
“So, that’s our test results?” Jack asked.
Janet nodded carefully. “Along with Sam’s. But as I said, I haven’t gone through it all yet. I’ve only just returned. So…how about the two of you excuse me for a bit and I’ll come see you when I’ve finished. I assume that Sam is still her lab?”
“That’s where she said she was heading when we left the infirmary earlier,” Daniel told her.
“Ah huh. Well, if you’ll excuse me, Daniel, Colonel? The sooner I get through this, the sooner I’ll get back to you,” and she gestured at her door. When they hesitated, she lifted her right brow, which was a signal that she was about to bring out the heavy artillery. “I’m assuming that this problem isn’t a problem whenever you’re here on the base…right?”
Their eyes went wide, their cheeks definitely pinked, and they took two quick steps backward out into the hallway.
“No, Janet, it’s not…”
“No way! Why would you…”
“You don’t think…?”
When Janet’s mouth started to twitch with humour, they realized they’d been had.
“Very funny, Doc.”
“Uh yeah, a mile a minute, Janet.”
She snorted at them and shut the door.
Feeling slightly giddy with relief, Jack stuck his hands in pockets. “So…you wanna hang out in your office or mine?”
“Well, if I didn’t have this distraction, I’d attempt to get some work done.”
Jack thought about it, then nodded and pulled Daniel by his elbow. “Come on. I’ve just the thing.”
“Not that, obviously.”
“Jack, the cafeteria?” Daniel asked as they entered the double doors.
“Sure, why not? We’re supposed to be replenishing calorie intake as well as vitamins, yadda yadda.”
Daniel smirked as he followed Jack along the buffet line. He then leaned close as Jack grabbed a tray and silverware. “Aside from the fact that food has always been a substitute for–“
“Just about everything,” Jack interrupted, looking over his shoulder. He gave Daniel warning scowl before turning back and sliding his tray down the line. Daniel bit his lips together to keep from smiling and decided to back off from the teasing for just a moment. At least while they grabbed their food. He couldn’t help but grin, however, as Jack placed two plates of pie on his tray, followed by a large chef salad and a few single-serving cups of dressing. Deciding he was actually hungry, Daniel grabbed a salad for himself, though he took three cups of dressing.
When they sat down, Jack dived right into the pie and Daniel had to restrain himself from further antagonizing him. Even so, the light in his eyes gave him away.
“Don’t start that again. I’m in no mood,” Jack warned once more, his voice giving away his growing irritation, then he softened his words a bit and added, “I’m worried enough, Daniel. Just don’t try and joke about it right now, okay?”
Daniel did back off then as he understood Jack’s worry. “I’m just trying to lighten the mood. You’re not the only one who’s worried here.”
“That’s my trademark,” he answered through a mouthful of chocolate pie.
“Lightening the mood with sarcastic humour.”
Daniel shook his head as he poured the dressing over his salad. “You get that from someone or did you just make that up?”
Jack swallowed, then took another bite, mumbling, “Siler told me.”
Daniel nodded mutely through a mouthful of salad. As they ate in silence, each couldn’t help but worry about their dilemma, hoping that it was temporary and afraid that it was permanent. They wouldn’t voice their worries aloud however, for fear they’d jinx themselves somehow.
Finally, Daniel said, more for himself than for Jack, “We’ll be fine, Jack. You’ll see.”
Jack did the same. “Yeah, Doc’s probably got some magic pill that will make it all better.”
They both sighed and continued eating.
Daniel started to laugh quietly and Jack watched him for a moment as he tilted back in his leather-bound office chair. He shifted his feet, recrossing his ankles on the corner of his desk before returning to folding and refolding the paper airplane in his hands.
“What’s so funny?”
“Huh?” Daniel craned his neck up from the couch where he lay, looking above his left shoulder, barely seeing Jack over the edge of his desk. “Oh. I was just remembering that night again – O’Malley’s.”
Jack allowed a small grin. “Not very funny but it was the strangest fight I’d ever been in. Not one punch thrown…well, by us anyway.”
Daniel made a laughing sound in his throat and folded his fingers over his stomach as he lay there, staring back at the ceiling, his mind’s eye on the memory.
Jack suddenly sniggered, despite himself. “Goober was trying to throw a punch while Sam pinned him to the pool table.”
Daniel sniggered with him. “Which she did with one hand.”
Daniel looked up over his shoulder again, then back at the ceiling. “She wasn’t the only one who was funny. You tossed that one guy, then zipped around, making that other guy land a punch on yet another guy. In fact, I think, barring you tossing that dick–“
“If he still has one.”
Daniel sniggered again. “…we never landed a punch.”
“Best fight I’d ever been in. I really enjoyed you finally shutting that guy up.”
“The beauty of it was that I never touched him. All I had to do was step aside and let him crash into things. Then Sam took over and the dumbass was kitty litter.”
They both smiled, then suddenly stopped, the humour of the moment over. “We really shouldn’t have called attention to ourselves like that,” Daniel said more seriously.
“Fraiser said the armbands had our testosterone and adrenalin levels so far up, we couldn’t have backed off if we tried.”
“No…I suppose not. We’ve also lost our favorite steak house for the next twelve months.”
Jack shrugged. “Yeah, that sucks, but there are others. The Outback’s opening one by the school.”
Daniel looked over his shoulder, his eyes wide in surprise. “Really? I haven’t seen it.”
“Well, no, I should have said ‘is going to open’. The building is under construction right now.”
“Oh,” Daniel replied, disappointed. “Well, there’s a few other places, I’m sure.”
“Yeah. We could go check one of them out when we get out of here.”
Daniel groaned. “Crap. Now I’m hungry again.”
Jack grinned mischievously. “Remember what you said about sublimation.”
“No, I said substitution…for which you not-so-delicately told me to shut up.” Jack winced just as Daniel realized what he’d said. “Crap, sorry.”
“No, my bad. Gonna be a bit of a sore spot between us for a while.”
“Everything you say is sounding dirty.”
Jack thought about it…and couldn’t help but smile. “At least we’re thinking about it.”
Daniel gave a snort of disgust as his hand slid under his glasses to rub at his eyes. “It’s all we’ve been thinking about.”
“Yeah, I know.”
The door to Jack’s office opened up, interrupting them, and Janet came walking in and closed the door behind her. Jack dropped his feet to the floor and Daniel was off the couch in a flash.
“Well?” they both asked anxiously.
Janet valiantly withheld a smirk. “After the extra tests, what I’ve come up with is a guess.”
“A guess?” they both repeated as they tried not to let their disappointment show.
She nodded. “There’s no definitive reason. However, a tiny bit of both the virus and the antibody are still in your blood chemistry just as they are in Sam’s. Though she’s not noticed any…well, nevermind. The best I can tell you is that you should be back to normal after the antibody has killed off the remaining bits of virus. Unfortunately, this means that you’ll have to have blood drawn a few more times in the next twelve hours so that I can have your status monitored.”
Jack dropped down into his chair as Daniel brought his hand up under his glasses and rubbed his eyes again. “I feel like a pin cushion already,” Daniel remarked and Jack’s groan agreed with him.
Janet gave them both a look of sympathy. “I’ve informed General Hammond to keep the three of you on the base until the virus is gone.”
They both sighed, then Jack asked. “You didn’t tell him about…” and he made a gesture that made Janet bite her lip to keep from smiling.
“I only informed him that you need to be monitored, nothing more. Now, I want the two of you to try and get some sleep. In six hours, it’ll be time for another blood draw.”
“That’ll be two o’clock in the morning, Doc,” Jack complained.
“I’m aware of that, Colonel, unless you want to sleep in the infirmary, then you won’t have to go anywhere.”
Jack grumbled. “No, I’ll just camp out here.”
“I’ll go lie down in my office,” Daniel added as he set his watch’s alarm. With a heavy sigh and a long look to Jack, he nodded to Janet and made for his own office. After Janet gave Jack another look of sympathy and left, Jack leaned back in his chair and stared at the ceiling. It was going to be a long twelve hours.
The next morning, they got their update from Janet. The virus was gone.
“You’ll probably still be suffering from exhaustion and the other side effects,” Janet said smoothly, “but in another twenty-four, you should be fine.”
“Thanks, Doc,” Jack sighed in relief, with Daniel and Sam echoing his sentiments.
Hammond took one look at the three tired members of SG-1 and promptly ordered them to go home for two days. Sam tried to argue, but Hammond was firm.
“Go home, sleep, eat, and since this is the weekend, the upcoming MALP analysis can wait until Monday.” He gave them a somewhat fatherly smile, then turned on his heel and left them in the infirmary.
Once more, the trio was in the elevator, only this time, they were tired and heading home. Jack leaned against the wall, his hands in his trouser pockets.
“So, Daniel, how come you didn’t object to Hammond’s order to go home? You usually want to stay here and work.”
Daniel sighed. “I’m too damned tired and I can’t concentrate. I feel like I need to be doing something but I don’t know what. Jittery, you know?”
Sam nodded, understanding part of that, but not the whole of what he meant. Jack did and he jogged his eyebrows knowingly.
“Well, maybe we’ll feel more ourselves tomorrow.”
“One can only hope,” Sam said, then suddenly yawned. In reaction, both men tried to keep from yawning and failed. “One thing I do know I’m going to do when I get home is take a nice long soak in the bath. I haven’t had one in what seems like ages.”
Daniel’s forehead wrinkled in thought. “You know, come to think of it, that sounds like a good idea.”
Jack couldn’t help but grin, gearing up for a round of teasing. Tired or not, he was always ready for that. “So, oil or bubble bath?” he asked, affecting an innocent expression that neither of his teammates bought.
Daniel decided to play along. “Oh, I have some that’s both, actually, so bubble bath. I have a few different fragrances, for mood. I might use the one that smells of jasmine. Or maybe lavender, that’s always relaxing.”
“Honeysuckle works good, too,” Sam added, joining in.
“How about vanilla?” Jack asked, his expression still one of wide-eyed innocence as he tried not to smirk.
Daniel rolled his eyes and what he wanted to say, he didn’t. Instead, his answer was to serve in another direction. “I want to take a bath, Jack, not eat. Vanilla-scented anything makes me think of dessert.”
“You could eat in the bathtub,” Jack suggested, making Daniel stare in surprise.
“They have those trays meant just for that thing,” Sam added, trying to keep a serious expression. “Ones for extra bath supplies, such as candles, wine…”
Daniel grinned at her, his eyes widening, just as Jack’s were. “Candles?”
She nodded. The doors opened just then and they transferred to the next elevator before resuming their discussion.
“I haven’t had candles in my bath since I was first married,” Jack said with a soft smile of remembrance.
“Me, neither,” Daniel added with almost the same look on his face.
“You had candles in baths on Abydos?” Jack asked, surprised.
Daniel shook himself from his thoughts. “Oh, no, um, not while I was married. With a girlfriend at the Oriental Institute in Chicago.”
“Was that just before you left there and met Catherine in New York?” Sam asked.
Daniel nodded, then quickly directed the subject back to baths. “So, Jack, when you get home, are you going to have that bubble bath?”
Jack grinned. “I might,” he said as they exited the elevator and walked down the short hall leading the parking garage. “But first, I am getting kind of hungry.”
“Yeah, me too,” Daniel said, suddenly aware that he really was hungry.
Sam smiled at them. “Have a good weekend. Sir. Daniel.”
They watched Sam get into her car as they made their way one row over to their vehicles, parked next to each other.
“So…” Daniel started.
“You want to come over in a while?”
“Thought you were taking a bath?”
“Well, not the whole evening, Jack.”
“Oh yeah, gotta avoid that whole prune thing,” Jack said with a grin as he opened the door and his grin widened at Daniel’s look of disgust. “You want me to bring something?”
“I’m stopping on the way home, but you can bring whatever you like.”
Jack nodded. “Okay. See you.”
Daniel smiled to himself at Sam’s idea as he poured the bath oil into his wide bathtub and watched the suds form. While the bath filled, he went to the bedroom and threw off his clothes, then collected the dinner tray and set it next to the tub. He took a quick bite from the fish sandwich, then grabbed a few towels, set them on the toilet, and placed the bath pillow on the edge of the tub.
Just as he raised a foot to step into the bath, he heard a knock at the door. Sighing heavily, he went to the bedroom and pulled on a pair of sweats, then padded to the front door.
Jack grinned at him when the door opened. “Nice look.”
Daniel smirked and stepped aside. “Nice timing.”
Jack turned, looking at Daniel as he closed the door. “What?”
Daniel shook his head then walked back toward the bathroom. “I’m about ready to have my dinner and bath at the same time.”
Jack watched him with warm fascination as Daniel removed his sweats, handed them to him, then stepped carefully into the bath and shut off the water. Daniel looked up at him with an amused expression as Jack stared at the item in his hand.
“Well, I’m not wasting this bath water, Jack. If you don’t want to sit on the can and talk to me, then get your ass undressed and join me.” With that, he leaned over, grabbed a towel, dried his hand, then grabbed his sandwich and took another bite.
Jack gave him one of his smiles that formed only at the side of his mouth. “You realize we’ve never shared a bath?”
Chewing, Daniel rolled his eyes a little and nodded. To Jack, Daniel would probably have said, “Well, duh.”
“And um, isn’t that tub of yours a bit small for two men?”
Daniel shrugged as he swallowed. “Well, ideally, we should have a jacuzzi, but as I don’t have one, I’ll take what I can get.” He grinned as Jack rolled his eyes in return.
“If I get in there, there won’t be much room to eat…or do anything else for that matter.”
“True, but I wasn’t planning on doing anything.” At Jack’s look of disappointment, a disappointment they both shared under the circumstances, he added, “We can share the bath and eat after.”
Jack thought about it for a brief moment, then nodded, turned and made his way to the bedroom, tossing Daniel’s sweats on the bed. When he reentered the bathroom, he brought two beers and his own dinner: a cheese steak sandwich and ‘homemade’ fries. Daniel grinned as Jack set them down on the tray next to his own food, then took the bottle Jack offered.
“Thanks.” The steam from the hot water was already building up condensation on the bottle, so Daniel gripped it a bit more tightly as he drank.
Jack looked around, then smirked down at him. “What, no candles?”
Daniel smirked back. “If you want candles, Jack, you’ll have to go get them from the kitchen utility drawer, along with a saucer to put them on.” He expected Jack to shrug off the suggestion and get into the tub, but Jack did an about-face and disappeared. Daniel was surprised. He took another bite from his sandwich, then stole one of Jack’s fries. Jack returned with a saucer, upon which were seven of the twelve one-inch white pillar candles Daniel had in his kitchen drawer, along with a box of wooden matches.
Daniel reached out and took the saucer, setting it on the corner lip of the bathtub by the faucet as Jack picked up the tray and set it on the sink. As he undressed, Daniel lit the candles. When all were lit, Jack shut off the light and stepped into the bath and handed Daniel his beer before he started to sit down behind him. “Damn, this water’s hot.”
“I suppose you want it cold?” Daniel quipped.
“Don’t be an ass, Daniel,” Jack shot back, handing Daniel his beer.
Daniel snorted. “Isn’t that my line?” he asked as he bent his knees a bit more and scooted forward. He snorted at the water displacement from Jack’s body mass and watched the water rise near the top of the tub as Jack carefully placed his legs around Daniel.
Jack heard the drain plug release and frowned in confusion. “Daniel?”
“Water level’s too high. Gotta let some out.”
“Oh,” Jack mumbled as Daniel blindly handed him his beer before leaning back. After a minute, he shut the drain plug with his toe, then relaxed into Jack.
“You’re better than the bath pillow, although this isn’t as comfortable.”
“You don’t seem to mind elsewhere.”
“We have more room elsewhere,” and he lifted his bent leg for emphasis.
Truth was, as they relaxed, it was comfortable, as long as the water stayed hot. Jack inhaled, smelling the fragrance of the bath.
“I like that. What’s it called?”
“So you weren’t kidding back there in the elevator? Kinda girlie, isn’t it?”
Daniel shrugged. “Maybe. I have the jasmine and the lavender, as well as a few others. I bought them on impulse a while back when I was getting new bath towels. I’d prefer this Sandalwood spice scent but they didn’t have any.”
Jack looked at the fluffy white towels on the toilet as well as the wall rack. “Those’re huge.”
“Technically, they’re bath sheets. Five feet in length. I like them much better than regular towels.”
“Hmmm. Might have to get some myself.”
“They’re nice. You’ll like them.”
They sat in silence for a while, sipping their beer. Privately, they preferred the silence to the banter of inane topics of conversation…especially as they didn’t know what the hell else to say. Their minds were preoccupied. They were both scared that the armbands had created a permanent condition and neither wanted to voice that fear out loud. They were embarrassed by it and at the same time, didn’t want to pass that fear on to the other.
Jack had readily accepted the invitation to the bath for only one reason. He wanted Daniel close. He wouldn’t admit it out loud, either.
Daniel, too, wanted Jack close. He needed to feel Jack’s reassuring presence, and the comforting feel of his skin against him. He became aware of the silky feel of the bath oil that slid his skin easily against Jack’s and wished that his dick would wake up and take notice. But, it didn’t.
Daniel let his mind drift to other things, instead of focusing on the matter at hand, which was always in the background of his thought, like a radio playing in the distance. Jack had no such radio. His was more like an on-off switch from a TV turned up too loud. He turned the ‘TV’ off, and for a while, he let himself think of the mundane: the repairs that needed doing in his house; the maintenance he needed to do on his truck; the reports he had yet to read in his inbox at work. Unfortunately, that TV would switch on in the middle of a thought…the moment that he brought Daniel into the equation. Off the TV went and he was back to thinking of something else, anything else.
Daniel couldn’t keep his own thoughts from coming back to the worrying matter at hand. He interrupted Jack’s carefully controlled thoughts. “Jack, what if–“
“Don’t say it, Daniel.”
It was an order, not a request. Not an order from the Colonel, though. It was an order from Jack.
“The water’s getting cold,” Daniel said suddenly, and cautiously sat forward and pushed up.
Jack hadn’t noticed, but the moment the water moved, he realized it had cooled to less than body heat and was no longer as enjoyable. Daniel opened the drain to the tub, got out and held his hand out as Jack got to his feet. He then handed him one of the towels.
They silently dried the other off in the candle glow, using the contact as a means of comfort, then Jack picked up his clothes and headed for the bedroom. Turning on the light, Daniel snuffed out the candles and picked up the tray before turning the light off and leaving. He paused at the entrance to the bedroom, watching Jack as he laid down on the bed, looking very tired, and not a little depressed. Daniel could relate.
“I’m going to warm the food up a little,” Daniel told him quietly.
“No, don’t. Microwaving sucks the flavor out of fast food. You’d have to put it in the oven and I don’t feel like waiting. Besides, it’s fine cold. Just bring it in here, we’ll eat, then get a good sleep. Sound like a plan?”
Daniel couldn’t say no. “Actually…it does.”
Daniel awoke, disoriented, the bedroom dark. He turned his head toward the window and found the outside dark, then looked at the bedside clock. Just after 8 p.m. He sighed, hating to have slept the day away. He didn’t like sleeping during the day. It felt as if it were a waste somehow, as he spent a lot of his time underground. Besides, he needed the sunlight to avoid that ‘winter blues’ effect, but figured that asleep or awake, maybe it didn’t matter as long as he had it.
He started to stretch, then found he couldn’t move as his body was trapped by one of Jack’s arms and one of his legs. Annoyed, he still couldn’t help but smile, remembering when he’d first realized that Jack was a snuggler. It really didn’t come as a surprise to him, but it sure did to Jack. He’d expected to snuggle with Sara, but hadn’t expected to find himself wrapped around Daniel.
Daniel’s bladder suddenly made its intentions known and he groaned and pried himself loose from Jack and made his way to the bathroom. When he returned, he found Jack looking at him strangely.
“What?” and he looked down at himself, then turned around in a circle, making Jack laugh quietly. It always reminded Jack of a dog chasing its tail. Daniel gave him a real look of annoyance as he crawled back in bed and pushed Jack onto his back before lying over him. “What?”
Jack continued to smile at him, a very dangerous look in his eyes. No, not dangerous. Mysterious? No. Smug? No. Knowing. That was it. Jack’s fingers slid over Daniel’s back, then pulled him down for a long kiss, which deepened. Jack then rolled them over and thrust his hips into Daniel’s, brushing their cocks together.
Then Daniel got it. Jack was partially erect. Daniel smiled at him, then frowned and became unfocused. He wasn’t erect, halfway or otherwise.
“Maybe you just need a little awakening,” Jack whispered, and scooted down the bed under the covers.
Daniel started to say something, but at Jack’s words, he did feel his dick twitch. Before he could say anything, he inhaled sharply and let out a long moan as Jack took his length into his mouth. Daniel pulled the sheet off and pushed himself onto his forearms, watching. And feeling. He grew hard and full in Jack’s adept mouth and gasped as the rush came back. He breathed a huge sigh of relief as he dropped back, then closed his eyes and groaned as his lover coaxed a shudder from him. He heard Jack moan as if he were trying to speak, then Jack twisted himself about and presented his groin for inspection. Daniel enthusiastically complied with the examination, and with tenacious attention to detail, brought his lover a quick, strong release. Jack didn’t pull away when he came, but instead, intensified his swift actions. He soon had Daniel arching, coming explosively into his mouth.
They lay back, panting, relieved, and only somewhat sated.
Then Jack gave Daniel a fit when he blurted out, “Well, thank Christ, that’s over.” When Daniel started to laugh, Jack quickly amended himself, almost stammering. “I mean, not that that but…you know what I mean, dammit.”
When Daniel stopped laughing, specifically due to a bite along his inner thigh, Jack turned himself around and pulled Daniel on top of him. He looked up at his lover with a hunger in his eyes.
“Guess what’s next?”
Daniel’s mouth twitched as he tried to keep from smiling. “I can’t imagine.”
“Oh, I can, Daniel. Right now, I can imagine a lot.”