He'd been stuck watching a march past at Andrews once; couldn't remember what it was for, but the brass band had sucked, the sun had been hot enough he could have fried an egg on his cap, and the sound of a hundred heels all hitting the parade square at the same time had reverberated through his skull. Oh, yeah.... and he'd had a bitch of a hangover.
He felt much the same now as he had then.
Hang on, he knew that one.
"Come on, Jack. Wake up."
His indignant protest that he wasn't asleep emerged as more of a muted snuffle. Something warm poked him in the neck. It was dark. Maybe he should open his eyes.
It was still dark.
Hard to concentrate with that damned band playing John Philip Fucking Sousa between his ears. He couldn't move his hands or his feet. Or much else. Damn. He knew this one too.
Heat along his right side, warm and lumpy under his left, another poke in the neck. He forced his head around to the right and got a nose full of soft hair and a familiar scent that had nothing to do with either the parade ground at Andrews or other even less pleasant memories. The band muted slightly. "Daniel?"
Quite the different tone in that last 'Jack'. It said, "Thank God." and "Are you okay?" and "Don't you fucking scare me like that again, you bastard." Oh yeah, Daniel could pack a lot into four letters. The weight of it helped anchor him back in the here and now. Which quickly became the where and when. "What...?"
"Tomb robbers." Daniel spat the word against his neck. Literally. For reasons Jack still hadn't quite managed to work out although he very much doubted they were good reasons, Daniel's face currently occupied the space between his collar and his hairline. The something warm poking him in the neck had been Daniel's nose. Nice to have that settled at least.
"There were maybe a dozen of them," Daniel continued and it took him a moment to realize them didn't refer to dozen noses. "They must have heard us coming and hid behind that row of stele. When we entered the inner chamber, they jumped us and took you and Teal'c out first. Sam got a shot off and I fed one my elbow but we didn't stand a chance. They took our weapons and our equipment, tied us hand and foot, and slung us into this sarcophagus. Fortunately, from what I overheard, they were on the way out when we ran into them so they're probably long gone by now. And I suppose it was also fortunate those thieving sons of pigs had already stripped the sarcophagus of all its contents but you'll forgive me if I..."
"Daniel. Shut up for a minute." Okay. Jumped. Disarmed. Tied. Slung. Left. He managed to get a grip on the high points. Wait a minute. "Us?"
The warm-and-lumpy under his left side shifted slightly and he realized his bound hands were gripping fabric.
"All of us, sir."
And crap! That wasn't fabric. Well, it was fabric but under the fabric... "Uh, sorry."
He could feel her sigh. Feel her body rise and fall, feel her breath against the left side of his head. "It's okay, sir. We're a little cramped for space."
"Ya think?" And speaking of cramped for space. "Teal'c?"
"He's... essentially on the bottom, sir. I think he's still unconscious."
"I am awake, MajorCarter."
"Oh." Jack felt her shift again. "Sorry." He didn't want to know what she was apologizing for. He didn't want her moving either but decided not to bring that up. When Carter moved against him, he moved in turn against Daniel and the whole situation was just a little more than his pounding head could cope with.
"Under the circumstances, there is no need for an apology, MajorCarter."
At least they threw Teal'c in first. Whole different story had the big guy been on top. And something occurred... "If this is a sarcophagus why I do still feel like shit?"
"It's not a Goa'uld sarcophagus." Daniel's breath lapped warm against his throat. "Well, it is a Goa'uld sarcophagus in that this is a Goa'uld necropolis but it's merely a big stone box to hold the dead. Although I may never know what dead or why they were placed here which would be handy to know as this particular sarcophagus appears to be almost identical to one from the 18th Dynasty found empty at..."
"Daniel. Yadda." Jumped. Disarmed. Tied. Slung. Big stone box. Okay. He had it now.
Tied. A brief struggle for freedom became very brief after a snarled protest from Carter and rather a lot of warm, moist breathing from Daniel. Jack swallowed and tried to ignore the way all the hair was rising on the back of his neck. No point in asking if Daniel could possibly breathe in another direction since there appeared to be no other direction. "Anyone hurt? Carter?"
"Nothing more serious than bruising and embarrassment, sir."
"I have taken a blow to the head but the pain is receding."
"I hear you, big guy." Given Carter's position, the hard curve under the back of his head had to be part of Teal'c. "You getting brass band music?"
"I am not."
"Lucky you. Daniel?"
"I'm fine, Jack."
"Would you tell me if you weren't?"
"Right." He gave his wrists another experimental yank, realized what his hands were doing when Carter grunted softly, and stopped, feeling his cheeks flush. Like there wasn't enough going wrong without adding groping his 2IC to the list. They had to get the hell out of here and -- Jesus! -- Daniel just draped a thigh comfortably over his. Somehow, he managed a dry, "You all seem pretty calm about this."
"Daniel and I did some thrashing while you and Teal'c were still out, sir. We're not going anywhere."
Thrashing? He was glad he'd missed it giving how he seemed to be reacting to the shifting and the breathing.
"Still," Daniel added, apparently unaware of the effect his breathing was having on the skin so close to his mouth, "we should look on the bright side."
"There's a bright side, Daniel?"
Carter's breath -- just as warm and moist -- was not having the same effect. Which Jack supposed was a bright side. Of sorts.
"When sealed properly, these sarcophagi are pretty much air tight. Since the air remains relatively fresh..."
Where relatively referred to the stink coming off four adults who'd had marched five klicks on a hot morning in full gear before being crammed into a box smaller than his hall closet. Jack couldn't smell himself but since he could smell the other three he had to assume they were getting a good whiff of him. It wasn't unpleasant -- yet; they just didn't make a deodorant soap that covered these situations.
"...it's safe to assume that the tomb robbers merely replaced the lid. Also, none of us are claustrophobic. We wouldn't want to be tossed in here with Sergeant Cooper."
"Speak for yourself."
"Uh, Carter. TMI."
"Right. Sorry, sir."
Jack could almost feel her blush. He could feel her embarrassed wriggle. So, apparently, given an audible swallow, could Teal'c.
"Can we raise the lid, DanielJackson?"
"I don't think so. I'm on top..."
Daniel on top. Not an image Jack needed to deal with right now.
"...and I just don't have the leverage..."
And he could definitely have done without Daniel's little wriggle intended to prove how tight they were packed in. Now the hair on the back of his neck wasn't the only thing rising. //Oh that's just great, O'Neill. Try to keep your libido out of this.// Too damned much wriggling going on, that was the problem.
"...although if my hands were untied and I could brace myself against the stone."
"Good luck finding the stone," Carter muttered. "Ow! Sir, your elbow."
"Sorry." He forced his mind away from the soft and yielding parts of Carter and found himself dwelling instead on the firm planes of Daniel's stomach currently pressed up against his other elbow. Which didn't help. In any way. All right, time for a command decision here. "We're going to have to get Daniel's hands untied."
"That is the obvious conclusion, O'Neill."
//You think you can do any better with the star attraction of your fantasy life pressed up against you, big guy? Be my guest.//
He could feel the frown against skin that had been sensitized by Daniel's breath. "Back to back then? I do you; you do me?"
And Jesus wasn't that an image. //Hey, Daniel's just thinking up ways to get us out of here.// That's what Daniel did. Daniel thought of things without ever considering how they might effect certain inappropriately horny colonels. //Get your mind out of the freakin' gutter, O'Neill.// Six feet of heated, heavy archeologist began to rub against him as Daniel started to turn. //Or not...//
Carter jerked. Her teeth jaw impacting with the back of his shoulder. "Ow! Colonel!"
"MajorCarter, if you could..."
Carter jerked again. "Sorry, Teal'c!"
A knee came up between Jack's legs. Too big to be Carter's! "Whoa! Careful!"
"My apologies, O'Neill."
"Damnit Daniel, just lay off the wriggling for a moment!"
His position essentially unchanged, Daniel stopped moving. "Wriggling?" he demanded, his voice low.
Before Jack could answer -- before he could think of an answer that wouldn't send him further up that specific creek without a paddle -- he felt Carter begin to shake. Small tremors at first but growing stronger.
"Sam?" The incipient pissiness in Daniel's voice had been replaced by concern. Which was a plus except that Carter seemed to be having fit of some kind which -- given the close quarters -- was a definite minus.
Over the last five years, SG-1 had been in a lot of tight places -- maybe not literally this tight but still -- and he'd never heard Carter sound so strained.
Apparently neither had Teal'c. The Jaffa gave a kind of a buck which shifted everyone's weight, either rolling him under Daniel or Daniel over him, it was hard to tell for sure. Carter had her face pressed into the back of his arm, then the pressure eased, she drew in a deep breath, and lost it totally.
Up until this point, if asked, Jack would have answered without hesitation that Major Doctor Samantha Carter was capable of facing anything the universe threw at her with calm deliberation. Right at the moment, calm deliberation was clearly not on the books. He'd never heard Carter laugh so hard.
"I'm sorry, sir... guys... A variation on an old cliché just popped into... my head...oh god..."
Daniel's chuckle came out of left field. Well, to be strictly accurate, it came from about two inches away from his left ear but was unexpected regardless. A chuckle. A snicker. A guffaw. And Daniel was off. Which only made Carter laugh harder.
Within the close quarters of the sarcophagus the laughter was pretty loud although, to give them credit, the easily amused half of the team seemed to be trying to muffle the noise against various parts of his body. The sound levels weren't the problem. The vibrations on the other hand... Daniel's body quivering all along his left side. Carter's body shaking under him like one of those vibrating beds Teal'c was so fond of...
From the way all four of them were rising and falling, Teal'c seemed to be breathing fairly heavily.
"All right kids, knock it off."
Carter sputtered something that might have been a "yes sir". Daniel merely sputtered.
"I mean it." His best command voice. Okay, the best command voice he was capable of under the circumstances. Please let that be Daniel's holster. "We need to get out of here before we miss a SitRep and they send the Marines through to rescue us."
Unexpected help from below. "I personally would not want the Marines to discover me in this position."
An interesting noise from Carter, but the laughter stopped. Daniel sighed, snickered one last time, and said, "So, back to getting my hands free... I just remembered. They used our plastic ties and those things have to be cut."
He should have been able to tell. In fact, now that Daniel'd mentioned it, the feel of the narrow plastic band cutting into his wrists was unmistakable.
"We have no knife."
It was Tealc's 'we are so screwed' voice. Jack smiled. "The inside edge of my belt buckle has been sharpened. We can use it to cut the plastic."
Everyone froze. The sudden and complete lack of movement was a little disconcerting. The silence stretched.
"The inside of your belt buckle has been sharpened?" Daniel repeated at last.
"It's a special ops trick," Jack told him trying not to sound defensive. Even in total darkness, he could see Daniel's eyebrows raise. "They take your weapons, but they almost never take your belt."
"The bad guys, Carter."
"It seems like a sensible precaution, O'Neill.
"Thank you, Teal'c."
"So, I've got to get around and get my back..." Daniel seemed to be working out the logistics in his head. "...up against your front."
It was the pause. Jack was fairly certain he'd have been fine without the pause. The pause just gave him way too much time to think things he shouldn't. And it wasn't like he hadn't been in these situations before. Hell, back in the day, he and Kowalski had been tied up and crammed into a drainpipe to drown and they'd managed to get free without his dick ever getting involved. They gotten free, finished the mission.
Mind you, other missions that had made similar detours hadn't ended so well and...
...Daniel was moving again. Given the lack of room, how the hell did he manage to brush or grind against every sensitive spot on Jack's body.
"Daniel, wait!" Carter's voice sounded a little tense. Since her left side at least was pinned under the weight of two grown men and her backside was pressed up against... the pouch containing a larval Goa'uld, he supposed she had grounds. "You're not going to be able to turn on your own. The last time you tried, it got a bit... uncomfortable down here. I've worked out the angles..."
Hang on. "You've worked out the angles? Carter, you can't see the angles."
"I know the parameters, sir. Getting parts to move inside a confined space is just basic engineering."
"You're an astrophysicist."
"I'm the closest thing to an engineer we've got."
"I'm thinking a sardine packer might be more useful."
"Let me know if you find one, sir..."
Ouch. Carter'd learned that tone from Daniel, no doubt about it.
"...in the meantime, if Teal'c rolls up onto his right side, I'll drop onto my right side lifting the colonel's left shoulder onto mine and, if Teal'c leans forward right at that moment, our combined movement will tip the colonel over onto his right side. Daniel, you'll have to use the momentum generated to flip you over before you slide down the colonel's body and..."
"...we all end up on our right sides stacked back to front like a set of babushka dolls," Daniel finished, adding thoughtfully an instant later, "Except that nobody's inside anyone else."
"It'll be tight" He rocked up against Jack's hip. "Really tight. But I think I've got room."
Jack ran over the F-18 preflight check in his head as one amazingly oblivious archeologist continued to test the parameters of their prison.
Anything had to be better than the position they were in now. "Do it."
Jack felt as much as heard Teal'c take a deep breath. Then the world shifted, Carter shoved, he twisted, and Daniel managed to wriggle -- and that was the only possible word for it regardless of how many times it had already cropped up in his internal monologue -- against every point on his body. Fortunately for his equilibrium, the movement finished with the slamming of Daniel's head into Jack's nose.
The band played a brief encore. Instinct jerked his head back. Something cracked against the curve of his skull. The percussion section cranked up the volume.
"We would have more room had the tomb robbers placed us in the sarcophagus head to toe," Teal'c growled.
"Yeah, I'll mention it in their performance evaluation." Smooth stone under his right side, a light touch of the lid against his left shoulder. His back mashed tight against Carter -- parts of whom were, well, mashing. His front mashed in turn by Daniel. The only thing separating his crotch from Daniel's ass were Daniel's bound hands...
//Do not think of Daniel's ass!//
...that were groping their way up his...
Long fingers flipped up the front of his buckle and began working the canvass belt free.
"Flip the buckle right back." He was amazed by how calm he sounded. The essence of command -- fake it when necessary. "It's the upper edge on the piece attaching the buckle to the body of the belt. Be careful, it's sharp."
"Don't worry, Jack. This may not be my favorite position, but I think I can grasp the essentials. Awkward angle though. I'm going to have to anchor one hand."
Jack could almost feel Carter frowning thoughtfully. "Maybe you could slip your thumb behind the colonel's belt?
"That won't work if the belt's undone, Sam."
"Could you not use a belt-loop as an anchor, DanielJackson?"
"Too far away." He was obviously still thinking hard about this. Concentrating on getting them free. While all Jack could think about was... "Hang on. I've got something."
And thank god he didn't say what that something was.
"Jack..." Daniel's voice sounded impatient and little muffled by the side of the sarcophagus. "...if you jerk away from my touch, we're never going to manage this. Push back into my hand."
"O'Neill! Allow DanielJackson to touch you as needed. This situation is becoming less tolerable by the moment."
Interpreting the sudden gust of hot air snorted into his back by Carter as agreement, Jack stiffened...//Jesus, Jack, don't think about stiff!//...as Daniel's clever fingers maneuvered his belt buckle into position and began to rub. Unfortunately, only the plastic band was in contact with the sharpened metal. Daniel's one hand had tucked itself into the angle of his groin and the sawing motion ghosted the other lightly up and down the length of his cock. A little less pressure here, a little more there. It was exquisite torture.
"This is interesting," Daniel announced suddenly in what Jack thought of as his 'Discovery Channel voice'; the one that usually came with either a pile of rocks that only Daniel could distinguish from a hundred other piles of rock or a power point presentation. He'd kill for a power point presentation right about now...
"I need to use a firm stroke. Too light," Daniel continued, flexing his fingers as he worked against the blade in a way that made Jack's stomach muscles tighten, "and it just slides away. Too hard and it's not the contact I need."
His own breath sounded harsh in his ears. Harsh and loud. Too loud. Wait a minute... were Carter and Teal'c breathing to the same rhythm? All three of them, breathing to the rhythm of Daniel's hand against his crotch.
That was just... disturbing.
Suddenly, Daniel tensed. Jack tensed. Behind him, he felt Carter tense. And through her, they were packed in so tightly, Teal'c. Then Daniel relaxed. He relaxed. Carter and Teal'c relaxed.
"That's got it!"
Jack briefly considered asking if anyone wanted a cigarette but his brain kicked in before his mouth and as Daniel's hands separated he said, "Push yourself up as far as you can on your right hand, I'll slide under you." No help for it; a discussion of the weather would sound salacious right now. "Shove one hand between me and Carter and..."
"The other along the edge of the sarcophagus in the only possible place it can go. I think I can figure this out, Jack, there's a limited range of options available." He pushed himself up as he spoke, his shoulder patch scraping along the bottom of the lid.
Given the lack of space, it was a damned good thing Daniel was so flexible. Feeling like a fish on a gaff, Jack flopped his lower shoulder away from Carter as far as he could. Felt Daniel's arm slide along his back, felt buttons catch...
"Hey! Not a button!"
...felt Daniel's other hand tuck in under his armpit. A knee dropped between his. Heated, heavy archeologist pressed back up against him, shoulder to groin.
And that wasn't Daniel's holster. Breath against his chin. Mouth so close. Not quite daring him to...
"The lid will be heavy, DanielJackson."
...and the moment was lost as Daniel straightened his arms.
As Daniel pressed his back against the lid, he slowly brought his knees up and under his body, inching them along on either side of Jack's right leg. The plastic binding them together dragged over Jack's ankle and up his shin just on the edge of pain. Almost a welcome distraction.
"It's not... moving..."
"If you stop speaking, DanielJackson, you will have more breath to use lifting."
Whoa. That was as sharp a tone as Jack had ever heard Teal'c use on Daniel. The big guy clearly wanted out in a big way.
A faint scrape of stone against stone.
"Daniel, you're doing it!"
He answered Carter with a grunt and a drop of sweat that splashed hot and salty against the corner of Jack's mouth. Jack licked his lips. Daniel kneeling over him, grunting, sweating -- hell, if not for Carter, Teal'c and the fact all four the them were crammed inside a fucking stone box, it'd be a dream come true. Several dreams.
A longer, louder scrape of stone on stone. The air was suddenly a little less ripe with the smell of SG-1.
Daniel was panting now, his breath gusting hot and regular against Jack's face. Then a long inhale. Caught. Held. Jack could picture the younger man tensing, stomach muscles clenched, face red, and blue eyes squeezed shut as he threw everything he had at the lid.
And the lid slid another foot or two.
Sounded like a foot or two anyway.
And a few inches more...
The slab of stone crashed against the floor of the tomb, the sudden noise creating a flurry of movement and apologizes that went on until Daniel collapsed and flattened the celebration.
"Sorry." His heart was beating so hard Jack could feel it in spite of two jackets, two shirts, and about two pages of regulations. "Just give me a minute... to catch my breath."
"Take the time you need, Daniel."
"..uck tha.." Carter squeaked. "...OVE!"
As Daniel sat back on his heels -- and Jack's knee -- Jack moved as much of his upper body as possible off his 2IC. And if that just happened to accidentally bring his thigh into contact with parts of Dr. Jackson he shouldn't even be thinking about, well, fortunes of war and all that.
"MajorCarter! Are you hurt!
"No need to yell, big guy. She's right there."
"I know where she is, O'Neill."
"I got a little squashed, but I'm okay."
"Are you sure?"
"I'm sure, Teal'c."
And an interesting noise from the Jaffa. Jack filed it away for future consideration as Daniel grabbed at his crotch. "HEY!"
"I need your belt buckle to free my feet. Then I'll go see if those tomb robbing sons of bitches left us a flashlight."
Jack would have admired the efficient way Daniel got the rest of them free had he not freed Carter first and had Carter not driven her elbow into his stomach as she climbed out of the box. With Teal'c looming over him, he decided not to mention the whole assaulting a superior officer thing and assume it had been an unavoidable result of muscle stiffness and crowded conditions.
And speaking of... thank god for shadows and the length of his jacket. Mostly shadows since his jacket had been pushed up over the top of his pants so that Daniel could get to his belt. //Not thinking about that.//
He took the second flashlight and swept the beam around the tomb as Daniel went to work on Teal'c and Carter checked their gear. Their packs had been riffled, everything strewn around the chamber but it seemed that only their knives and the food had been taken. He turned to see Teal'c stepping out of the sarcophagus and realized that Teal'c might also be thanking God -- or whatever he currently believed in, in place of gods -- for shadows. Shared a definitive guy moment with the Jaffa.
Then both imperious brows drew in. "One of us," Teal'c intoned gravely, "needs to eat more fruit and less pie."
Jack stood outside Daniel's door, took a deep breath, reached for the doorknob and had it nearly yanked out of his hand as the door opened.
He raised the bag and followed Daniel into the loft. "I stopped for supplies."
"Because I don't have...?"
He followed Daniel into the kitchen, tossed the pork rinds on the counter, tried to get a look at what the other man was cooking, failed, and pulled two beer out of the fridge.
Daniel accepted a beer and grinned. "It's a lamb and rice casserole. Nothing you don't like."
"The one where the rice turns bright orange and you've got the fire department on standby?"
"That's the one."
"Sweet. You make the flatbread?"
"Bought some from the Lebanese bakery." Leaning back against the counter, Daniel raised the bottle to his mouth. "But dinner's not what you really want to talk about, is it Jack?"
No one knew him like Daniel. No one ever had. At this point in his life he felt it was fairly safe to assume that no one ever would. He watched the full lips close around the bottle, watched him throw his head back, watched his throat as he swallowed.... forgot what he was about to say...
Right. "This afternoon..."
"When we were in the sarcophagus?"
"Yeah. I was, uh..."
Eyebrows rose. Jack tightened his grip on his beer and walked out of kitchen to finally stand staring out the window. He couldn't do this and look at Daniel at the same time. He'd spent every moment he hadn't been debriefing, or being medically assaulted, or driving through some of the worst traffic he'd seen in years, or... Well, he'd spend a far bit of time chewing at this. "I'm starting to worry about my ability to do my job. Every time you moved, every time you opened your mouth... I'm a trained professional; my team had been overwhelmed by a superior force, tied and trapped, and all I could think about was..." He took a drink.
"Was?" Daniel prodded quietly.
Something in Daniel's voice pulled Jack around.
"No one was hurt, Jack. We were together. The bad guys were gone. I had complete confidence in our ability to get free."
The blue eyes were gleaming. And the corner of Daniel's mouth... Was that a twitch? Jack frowned.
Definitely a twitch.
"You son of a bitch! I'm worried I can't do my job and you were yanking my chain the entire time!" He took a step forward. "I do you; you do me? Not your favorite position? You need to use a firm stroke? Whatever happened to discretion!"
"Is it my fault you have a dirty mind?"
"These days? Yes! And what about all that fucking wriggling!"
"Hey!" Daniel raised a cautioning hand as Jack closed the distance between them. "I do not wriggle."
"You do too fucking wriggle! And grope! And breathe! Hot breath panting right down my neck!" Setting his beer on top of the piano, Jack gabbed the other man behind the belt with his right hand and, as he yanked their bodies together, wrapped his left around the back of Daniel's neck to capture his head.
Claiming Daniel's mouth.
Re-exerting some control.
Getting lost in the heat and the taste and the incredible responsiveness of the man in his arms...
...and oh, fuck.
He pulled his mouth reluctantly away, sighed, and rested his forehead against Daniel's.
"I don't usually do so well tied up in tight places, do I?"
"You've got history." A gentle acknowledgement.
"Yeah." His own personal dark ages. Trust Daniel to remember the past. "Managed pretty well this afternoon didn't I?"
"Maybe you were distracted."
Maybe he was. "I'm going to spend the rest of my life with you leading me around by my dick, aren't I?"
Daniel leaned back far enough that Jack could see the light in his eyes. "With any luck."
"That casserole can sit in the oven indefinitely, can't it?"
Daniel's answer seemed to involve leading him around by his dick. Well, not so much around as across the loft to the bedroom. For all the space between them as they moved, they might as well have back in the sarcophagus. Without Carter and Teal'c of course...
"Cute, Daniel. But this has been bugging me; what the hell were you and Carter laughing about?"
Daniel lifted his head and grinned as long, clever fingers undid Jack's fly. "Think about it. Think about the position Sam was in. What's the first cliché that pops into your head with Teal'c plastered up against your ass and what's the one question you're not going to ask?"
The first question that pops into his head? "A little hard to think with you..." Then it came to him.
//Is that a Goa'uld in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?//
"Jesus." He started to laugh. "I admire Carter's restraint."
"You'd have asked."
Not a question. Because no one knew him like Daniel... no one ever... God! He threw his head back, cracked the lump the tomb robbers had given him against the wall, and that fucking brass band started playing again. But they seemed to be building to one hell of a crescendo, so who cared...
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