Author's note: Chapter 2 is thanks to all those lovely reviews for the first half. I hope this lives up to expectations.
Jack came to with a groan, the cracking pain in his cheek evidence of what had landed him in this tiny little hut-slash-cell on a stupid little backwater planet. He was pretty sure it had been a fist... but there must've been rings involved, because his face was definitely sliced. That sucked.
He took a quick inventory – other than his cheek, he was in good shape. No broken bones, no major pain. His shoulders and wrists ached, but he suspected that was because his arms were bound tightly behind his back with some sort of coarse rope. And he was cold, but that was mostly because he was, for some reason, shirtless.
A moan that was no doubt incredibly similar to his own of a few minutes ago sounded behind him, and he started to walk his feet sideways, spinning like a top. It seemed like a better choice than fighting all the way to his knees, knowing that he could just lose his balance and end up on his face. Squinting in the darkness, he finally made out the source of the noise... and nearly toppled over anyway.
Across from him lay one Major Samantha Carter. Thankfully, her back was to him. Thankfully, that was, because she was also tightly bound. And topless.
Well, not entirely topless. He had to believe that the thin strap of black across her back meant she was still wearing something. At least, he hoped she was.
Awkwardly clearing his throat, he tried hard to convince himself of that. Of course he hoped she wasn't completely topless. Of course he did.
"Sir?" The sound must have alerted her to his presence.
But it was too late. Probably still to out of it to realize her current state, she rolled to her back, over her bound arms, and faced him.
And it was delicious.
The way her shoulders were pulled back made her chest surge forward, straining against the way-too-lacy-for-off-world bra she wore. The black contrasted sharply with her pale skin, even in the dim light, and a million thoughts that Jack should never, ever have about his second rocketed through his brain in the millisecond it took him to look away.
He stared up at the ceiling, gluing his eyes to one loose nail in the ceiling, and whistled a little ditty. Something innocent. Something about not tearing the rest of his second's clothes off.
"Sir? Are you okay?"
He heard, rather than saw, her struggle up to sitting. "Ah, Carter... look down," he managed.
"Uh.... Oh, God," she exclaimed, and he knew she got it. More shuffling noises drifted across the hut as she, he knew, turned her back to him. "Okay, sir."
"Thank you," he pressed, bringing his eyes back to level. "So... thoughts?"
"Yeah!" she huffed. "Why take my shirt?"
"They took mine, too."
She was silent for a moment. "Um... I'm sorry? Sir, as offensive as I'm sure you find that...."
"Just sayin'," he told her.
"Yes, sir." Fighting her way to her knees, she rather lilted her way away from him, toward the wall of the hut.
"What are you doing?"
"Looking for a way out of here, sir. Unless you have a better idea." Again, he cleared his throat, and it drew her attention. "Do you have a better idea, sir?"
"Well, if we could free our hands...."
"Yes, sir. I was kind of looking for a way to do that, too."
"Stupid question, but... how 'bout we just untie each other?"
She tried to glance at him over her shoulder, but her gaze only reached about halfway. He was just a blurry shape in her peripheral vision. "We could... try, I suppose."
"You have the better knees, Carter. You'll have to come to me."
"I'll close my eyes, I swear."
He did as promised, only peeking maybe once or twice as she knee-waddled back to the middle of the hut and settled behind him.
Where he couldn't see her at all.
Okay, maybe that wasn't his best plan.
But as her fingers started groping for the ropes, missed a couple of times and hit his ass, he formulated a new strategy. "Y'know, if you can't get that undone, I could try."
"Well, sir, I think the knot is higher on your forearms than I can reach like this."
"Okay. Switching sides." He really was trying to find the knot and untie it, but he allowed himself at least as many, uh, miss-gropes as Carter had. Every time he hit bare back, she twitched a little, and he pushed back a grin. "Nope, can't get it."
That part wasn't a lie.
"Other ideas, sir?" she asked.
"Well, there's my knife."
From the weight of her silence, the implication was clear. It said, 'And you didn't mention this before why?'
"But I can't reach it."
"The one in your boot?"
"No, I think they took that one. It's my pocketknife."
He could feel her slump a little. She knew damn well where he kept that knife. "I'm going to go back to looking for a way out."
"With our hands tied? Won't get very far. The knife's really a better bet."
Pressing back against him, she twisted her head over his shoulder to stare at him. "Are you serious?"
"Never," he joked, feigning shock. If he leaned in a little, he could...
Yeah, kissing her was probably a bad idea, especially after he'd just invited her to go fishing around in his pants. He refrained.
With an exasperated sigh, she started to move again. He really wasn't sure which direction she was going to go – away was still a distinct possibility – but he felt a little better when her shoulder slid around his and she settled in with her back to his hip.
He could practically see her rolling her eyes. "Then turn around, sir."
It was easier than making her trek all the way around, and since he supposed she'd go around his back rather than his feet, there was really no point. He spun again.
As soon as he was settled, thin fingers brushed against his hip, moving further and further up and in, and suddenly Jack realized that the brilliance of this plan was also its massive downfall. The fingers dug in, creeping beneath the outer flap and into his pocket.
She was technically nowhere near his, um, jewels... but there was definite stirring going on. And if he leaned back ever so slightly to look around her arm, he could definitely see plump, pale mounds spilling over black lace. His nearly topless second in command was groping in his pants.
Yeah, this was a bad plan.
"Uh, Carter? Lower."
"You might want to keep your mouth shut for this part, sir," she suggested coolly, but she did, in fact, focus her efforts further down his thigh, lower in the deep pocket.
But the extra millimeters of space didn't help a bit, especially as her hand brushed the knife, driving it down into the deepest, most intimate corner of the pocket. The fingers pursued it awkwardly, feeling and prodding and brushing.
"I think... I've... got it," she mumbled in concentration
And then she grabbed for it.
He jolted upright with a gasp. "That's not it, Carter! Not the knife. Nope, nope, not the knife."
She froze. Silence reigned for an eternity, Carter unwilling to speak and Jack unable – not without seriously embarrassing both of them, anyway. Could his voice still crack like a thirteen-year-old? It would be bad for his manhood for her to hear that.
Then again, she still had her fingers on said manhood, so....
And then the last words he'd ever expected to hear from Major Sam Carter floated over her shoulder.
"But it's so steely, sir."
It was the tone, the over-the-top schoolgirl innocence, that really got him. He twitched under her fingers, coughing uncomfortably to camouflage the reaction. "Excuse me?"
"Remember that planet, sir? P3X-292?"
"Uh... havin' a hard time remembering anything at the moment," he managed.
"With the Kandarans? When you sat next to me at dinner and... didn't pay attention to your hand?"
Ah, yes. He had fond memories of accidentally driving his second to the brink, but he was a little shocked she'd bring it up. They had never, ever spoken of it again. "Oh, right. That."
"Yes," she answered, and if he wasn't mistaken, her tone was more than a little suggestive. And then she added, "Revenge is a bitch, sir."
He sucked in a breath, but it didn't prepare him in the least for the way she went after the knife with relish, fingers groping anything in their path. Biting his lip so hard he was afraid it might bleed didn't stop the deep, rumbling groan from escaping his chest. He might have sworn – it he could form a coherent thought – that she was laughing at him.
After what was both hours and milliseconds later, she announced happily, "Got it!"
Whether he was happy to get her hands out of his pants before he miserably embarrassed himself (further) or sad that she wasn't going to finish the job, he couldn't decide. Or maybe he just couldn't decide which feeling was stronger.
While he was debating that, breathing hard, Carter managed to fumble the knife open and saw through the lowest loop of her restraints. Free, she crawled around behind him and cut him loose, as well.
Again, in the only way he had to adequately convey the awkwardness of the situation, he cleared his throat. "It might have been better when I didn't have use of my hands," he croaked. With a full-out hard-on and his second still spilling out of her bra mere feet away, his current urges were almost uncontrollable.
That time, she definitely laughed at him as she pushed to her feet. "Do you want me to give you two a minute, sir?"
No, he wanted her to finish what she started, but he could hardly say that without going way, way over the line.
Though... where was that line, again?
He pushed to his feet. "Actually, Carter, I-"
The creak of the door and sudden influx of sunlight cut him off, and two figures stepped into the doorway. "Jack? Sam? You guys okay?"
Roughly – rougher than he meant to – he grabbed Carter's arm and yanked her over to stand in front of him. It was very important that Daniel not get a good look at the front of his pants.
Carter burst out laughing, the situation so absurd that she hardly remembered to cover her own partial nakedness.
"Uh, Jack? Shouldn't Sam be the one hiding?" Daniel asked. Teal'c just pulled off his jacket and handed it to her. She wrapped herself up in it, still laughing.
"Guys? What's up?"
Oh, he had to choose that wording, didn't he? "Nothing, Daniel," he ground out. "Absolutely nothing is up."
"Well, negotiating your freedom was pretty hard, so we should probably get out of here before things get any hotter."
Carter's giggles reached the point of hysteria at that, but she stayed dutifully just in front of her CO.
"Sam? You okay?"
"She's fine, Daniel," Jack insisted gruffly.
Between her bursts of incessant laughing, she managed to gasp, "Apparently." But she followed Daniel dutifully from their cell, taking it slow to make sure Jack could stay behind her – closer than was probably judicious.
And as he limped along rather painfully, one last contradiction hit him. He could not for the life of him decide if he was annoyed or extremely grateful that it was a long walk back to the gate.