The only upside to physical therapy was getting to watch Jack work out. It wasn’t the same as regular gym workouts, since Jack had lost weight and muscle tone over the last three months, but it was as close to a sexual experience Daniel got to have—short of masturbatory fantasies. It had been an excruciatingly long road for the two of them, recovering from that Goa’uld queen’s assault. Even the pain of PT was preferable. But Jack didn’t mind the pain. Pain was good. It let you know you had work to do and it reminded you of your limits. Daniel only wished he could share it with him.
Which led to the downside of physical therapy: not letting Daniel do it with him. Jack would much prefer doing the work in the main gym, not the PT section on the Infirmary level, so Jack didn’t want Daniel with him … forcing him to watch from the PT gym’s entrance—where Jack couldn’t see him unless he stopped to turn around and look. Daniel had a feeling that Jack knew he was there anyway.
But two or three minutes into the Watch, Daniel had to leave. It was way too risky, standing there, arms crossed defensively when all of a sudden things began to stir. And Daniel would have to retreat to his office.
Like now. Daniel gave Fraiser, who was passing by behind him, a tentative, sheepish smile as he turned and exited the gym. He couldn’t wait to go home. Maybe there wouldn’t be any action, not even a little, but getting to spend time together was good. It was too bad the joint they’d shared a few months back had been the only time. Daniel didn’t give a shit about regs. They were in Colorado. It was legal. And he was a civilian. But Jack wasn’t, and he had to go by federal regs, not civilian ones. Damn shame. See him high had been one of the best presents Daniel had ever gotten, even if it had been circumstantial.
On the way back to his office, Daniel decided that a workout was a much better use of his time. The only work waiting for him was the ongoing study of Jaffa dialects.
. . .
Daniel was getting toned. Jack leaned against a support frame at the entrance to the gym’s workout room, arms crossed, gaze locked on his teammate and sometime partner. He wouldn’t dare use the term boyfriend because what they had was far more than that, especially after The Incident with that queen bitch snake of the universe. Boyfriend was too juvenile anyway.
Daniel was working the pec press. Jack’s favorite for Admiration Watching, even before Daniel. Men, women, it made no difference. For him, the hottest part of the body was the chest and abdomen, and they were best appreciated while the pec press was in use. Also known as the seated chest press. It wasn’t the one where the focused tension was on the forearms, set against cushions, and closed in with the forearms resting vertically together. That hid the muscular definition.
No, this ideal machine was the chest press where a person held onto handlebars that looked somewhat like police batons. Then the person grabbed them, arms outstretched, and brought them in perpendicular to the center of the pecs, then back out again. The watcher got to see the play of muscles from the six-pack—or would-be six-pack—up to the upper pectorals and biceps. It was hot.
Daniel had been using this particular machine for the last six months. It had helped, but he didn’t do it every day or he’d be a walking, talking voyeur’s dream. He was still too smooth. But Jack loved watching him anyway. And it was the only action he was going to have for the foreseeable future.
“See something you like?” Daniel asked, voice carrying.
Jack grinned. He’d waited to ask that when the room was cleared and they were alone. “Maybe,” he teased back. He pushed off the support wall and walked in, absently rolling irritated shoulders. He sat down gingerly on the seat of the nearby bench press.
“Saw you earlier,” he revealed.
Daniel’s inward press slowed in hesitation and he forgot was rep he was on. With an eye roll, he began again. What the hell. It wouldn’t hurt later. Much. Ten reps done and he stopped, hands still gripping the handlebars. “We’re taking advantage of being voyeurs,” he said, eyeing Jack, then letting his gaze travel over him.
Jack grunted. “’Bout the only action we get.”
“Right?” Daniel sighed.
They were silent then and Daniel wished he could go down on Jack right there. Or at home. But he couldn’t. Jack couldn’t. Tension on related muscles exacerbated the healing process.
“Frustration is …” Daniel began.
“Frustrating,” Jack finished. They gave wan smiles to the other and sighed. “Fuck it. Let’s just not think about it.”
Daniel snorted softly as he got up to move to the leg press. “Think that’ll work?”
“It has … hasn’t …”
“So far,” Daniel finished. They sighed again.
Daniel crossed his arms, uncrossed them, then looked around the mechanic’s room for something to do. Jack was avoiding him. It hurt. The man wasn’t taking things well. It was hard to blame him. But Daniel had an idea …
He went out looking for him and found him where he expected: Watching Teal’c grow. Their friend was almost finished. “Hey,” he said, walking up to stand beside him. He didn’t look at him.
Jack didn’t look back. “Hey.”
Daniel crossed his arms. “Look at the bright side.” He could hear the man’s fake jaw clench.
“What’s that?” Jack asked acidly.
“We’re never gonna grow old.” Jack growled. “We’re never gonna starve.” Jack growled longer. “We can screw like bunnies and never get tired.” Jack started to growl but it stuck in his throat. He turned to look at Daniel, brows arched sarcastically. Daniel wasn’t sure you could arch brows sarcastically, but Jack managed it. It was fascinating. “Side benefit,” Daniel allowed. “We can still go out.”
“No, we made—”
“A promise, yeah, but we can. We can just go find new places to check out. You’ve got access to them in your head, now that you don’t have a human’s degenerative problem. Just access that code you downloaded before.”
“It was erased.”
“Not your memory of it as you typed it all into the SGC computer.”
“Daniel, that’s not …” Jack frowned and thought about it. The memory of addresses came to him. “I’ll be damned.” He thumbed behind him. “We’ll never hear the end of it from what’s his name.”
“Harlan will get over it. Sam can devise a way for us to have mobile energy packs or something.”
Jack narrowed his eyes. “Or something. Meaning you and Carter have already been talking about it.”
Daniel fidgeted. “Maybe.”
They turned their attention to Teal’c. Daniel felt Jack fidget next to him. Then the man said, “Bunnies, huh?” he asked, and took his hand. Daniel was glad his cheek had been fixed. This would’ve been awkward otherwise.
Daniel crossed his arms, then uncrossed them. He looked around his office, not seeing it. He checked his watch. Time to go home. He wanted to be in the infirmary, but his presence might have been awkward. He had a good excuse. They were teammates. They cared about each other. But maybe he would’ve given off the Impatience Vibe. Besides, Sam and Teal’c were probably there to get Janet’s report.
In the end, Daniel couldn’t just hang around and not hang around. He went home. And fidgeted.
He was making dinner—Jack’s favorite—when his phone pinged. Wiping his hands on a paper towel, he dug it out of his pocket.
Daniel felt relief. And a little giddiness.
I’m making spaghetti and meatballs.
I’m not exactly hungry.
Yes you are.
Yes you are.
Fine. But that too.
Be done in an hour. We can wait.
You’re a sadist.
Want me to bring it over or have you come here for dinner?
There was a long pause before Jack said …
And where do you want to sleep?
Daniel winced. It was still risky to say anything even remotely relating to sex in texts. Even talking on the phone. But the point was, his bed or Jack’s. Daniel had a queen. Jack had a king. Given how they might have to be careful anyway … Daniel chickened out on the decision.
More lag time. Then …
I was gonna say yours. No need to haul the food anywhere.
Meaning you don’t clean up, I do. Lazy bastard.
Wash that mouth.
Don’t. Or dinner gets delayed.
Daniel grinned wider, then the expression turned to wide-eyed shock when there was a knock at the door. His mouth dropped open and he went to it. When he opened it, he said, “Why you sneaky little b—”
Jack pushed him aside, closed the door, and kissed him hard. He managed to speak as he did it. “You … and … I …”
“Wait,” Daniel managed. “I gotta—”
“Fuck it,” Jack said, dropping his coat, his shirt … and his trousers … all while keeping their lips locked.
“Oh shit,” Daniel said around his mouth as Jack rubbed him through the jeans even as he frantically tried to get them open.
“Hurry up,” Jack growled, then broke the kiss and turned Daniel around. He reached around to take him in hand while he positioned himself and pushed roughly inside his friend’s body.
“Oh fuck,” Daniel growled back and took his own manhood in hand while Jack grabbed hold of his hips and pumped hard. It was frantic, needy, rough, and good. And over too damn fast.
“Nice appetizer,” Daniel quipped breathlessly.
At least dessert took quite a while to consume.