She was dancing with him, a slow dance that could only be a prologue to some horizontal dancing in the future. Burying her face in his chest she inhaled the intoxicating smell of leather; the cheap cologne she knew he hid in his locker for those rare times he felt like it and the distinctive sweat that she had become accustomed to over the years.
"Sam." His voice rumbled in her ear.
"Hmm." Swaying back and forth she wallowed in the sensory overload.
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
She opened her eyes slowly, wondering why her Colonel was beeping like a Roadrunner on crack. Focusing in on the annoying crack that ran the length of her ceiling and had been on her repair list for the last five years, she rolled over to grab her phone from the nighttable beside her bed.
"Carter." The clock read 5:44.
"Yeah, Carter. It's me." The strained voice held some urgency. "Can you come on over?"
"What's wrong, sir?" Propping her head up on one elbow she frowned as she crashed back to reality. "Are you okay?"
"I just need your help." A whistling sigh. "Right now. Please."
"Are you okay?" She repeated, tossing back the comforter as she reached for her jeans. "Do you want me to call Janet?"
"Oh, God. no." Swear words followed that surprised even her, considering she had been a base brat. "I just need your help right now, Carter."
"I'll be there in ten." Hanging up the phone she continued to dress, blinking away the last vestiges of the dream.
The sun was just beginnng to crawl up over the horizon as she drove up into the driveway, shivering from the brisk air despite the light jacket she wore. Trotting up the short walk she rapped on the door.
Her cel phone rang.
"Sir, I'm outside your house."
"Good. See the rock to your left in the garden, under the rose bush?"
"Under the dead flowers, you mean?" She pushed her way through the lifeless plants.
"Under the rock you'll find the spare key. Just get in here, please."
Biting back a snappy retort she fumbled with the key, fitting it into the lock and sliding the deadbolt loose. Stepping inside she looked in the living room, expecting to see O'Neill stretched out on the couch.
"I'm up here." The annoyed shout came from upstairs. Taking the stairs two at a time she sprang up onto the second level.
"Carter." The moan startled her as she walked into the bedroom. Stretched on on his back, Jack O'Neill stared up at the ceiling. "Took ya long enough."
"Morning traffic." Walking carefully around the bed she surveyed the scene. "What's wrong?"
"Back spasms." He gestured with his right hand towards the night table beside his bed. "I can't take care of it by myself."
"I can call the base and have you."
"CARTER!" The yelp brought him up a fraction of an inch from the mattress; sending streaks of pain across his face. "If I had wanted Janet to sign me into a torture chamber for a few weeks I'd have called her." Exhausted by the outburst he sank further into the bed. "All I need is some of that heat gel crap rubbed into the skin." He sighed. "It doesn't happen too often, but when it does it's bad."
Sam pulled off her light jacket, tossing it on a chair at the far end of the room. "Where is it, then?"
"First drawer right here." He put his hand on the drawer to his right. "I can reach it, but it's no good me smearing it everywhere. And it really trashes the sheets."
Opening the drawer she spied the tube immediately, mentally taking note of the hand lotion lying next to it. The tube was half empty, with an expired prescription label on it.
"Is this still good?" She sat down on the edge of the bed, trying to ignore the fact that her CO was barechested with the thin sheet just stretching up over his waist. Against her better judgement her eyes began to roam over the naked form, wincing inside every time she recognized a familiar scar or bruise.
"Should be." Raising his right hand Jack motioned at her. "It's just the same crap from the pharmacy, that's all." Letting out a deep sigh he gestured her closer. "I can't turn over." A flush ran through his face at the admission. "You'll have to turn me."
"Ah." She licked her lips, trying to find the right phrasing and failing miserably in her mind. "Sir, are you. I mean, what are you."
A smile answered her, despite the pain. "Guess you'll finally get the answer to your unasked question, Major." Reaching out he touched the hem of her t-shirt. "Just be gentle."
Chuckling, she shook her head. "I promise." Pausing at the side of the bed, she frowned. "How do you want to do this?"
"Never thought you'd ask." Jack grimaced. "Best thing is probably for you to flip me." he waved towards the left side of the bed. "Like a giant pancake. Just do it fast."
"Famous last words." Reaching down she slipped one hand under his right shoulder and the left.
"I'm not going to bite, Carter." He let out a loud snicker as her hand cautiously approached his hip. "If it makes you feel any better, it's briefs."
She let out a short laugh as her hand slid under the sheet, finding material. "Okay, sir - this might hurt a bit."
"It's going to hurt a lot. Just do it." Gritting his teeth O'Neill nodded with his eyes tightly shut.
With a nod Sam pushed him over, hearing the muffled scream in the pillows under his face. Grimacing she knelt down by the side of the bed, seeing him turn his head to the side to face her. "You okay?"
"Fine." The response came out about two octaves higher than normal. "Just. fine."
Sam carefully pulled the thin sheet out from under him, straightening it out. "I'm sorry."
"Don't be." He mumbled. "I'd rather have you do this than Teal'c. He'd have snapped me in two by now."
"I'd have to agree with you on that." Wrestling the top off the tube she squeezed out a good handful of medication, rubbing it between her hands. "Smells awful."
"Tell me about it." A long pause. "Just make sure you got the right bottle."
Sitting beside him Sam looked over the bare skin, letting her breath out slowly as she tried to slow her heart. "So. where do you want to start?"
"Just go straight down the spine." His hands moved up, tucking under his head as he looked at her. "I'm going to put you in for a medal for this."
"I'm not sure how you'll word it for General Hammond." Her hands hovered over him. "This might be a little cold." Sam's palms landed on the exposed skin.
Her ears ringing from the shriek she began to massage it into the muscles, feeling the tension in every inch. "Sorry."
"S'okay." Jack whimpered into the pillow. "Just keep on going."
"So." Sam's hands moved below his shoulders, feeling the heat begin to radiate out from his back. "How did you get this?"
"Too many parachute jumps and missions and falls and damned Goa'uld traps and oh gawd." He pressed his face into the pillow.
"Sorry." She repeated, reaching for the tube again. "Are you sure you don't want me to call."
"I'll hunt you down and make your life so miserable, Carter." The muffled threat continued. "And I'll tell Jacob that every man on the base knows where your mole is."
"Doesn't matter. I'll be the first one out the door when he arrives through the Gate." Shifting his hips Jack sighed. "Put a little pressure into it, hmm?"
"I'm trying." She was almost down to his waist, pressing into the rock-hard muscles. "Let me get a better angle here."
"I sure as hell hope NID doesn't have this room bugged." The stoic reply brought a smile to her lips. "Otherwise we're both in big trouble."
"Like that's something new." She responded. Looking down at his bare back with some confusion she took a deep breath and straddled his hips; settling down into the mattress as she locked his legs under her.
"Hmm." The rumbling reply reached her ears. "You gotta do what you gotta do."
With a wide smile she pressed her hands back to his bare skin, feeling some of the tension disappear. "I'm no pro, but I've seen enough videos."
"With Janet? Or Cassie?" Jack chuckled, turning his head to one side so she could hear him clearly. "I'm going to have to ask the good doctor what sort of videos you girls are sharing." He grimaced as she hit a particularly sensitive spot, his hips bucking up under her instinctively.
"Whoa." Grabbing his hips in response Sam rode out the motion. "Sorry."
"Just keep on going." Clenching his teeth he shook his head. "I swear, it only happens every once in a while but when it does."
"Uh." Sam fell silent, her hands continuing its circular motion on each side of his spine. "How's that?"
"Ah." Her right hand traced the edge of a white elastic, peeking out from under the light blue sheets. "Sir, it's."
"Carter, I'm not going to jump you. Promise. Just a few inches further down, okay?" He shifted his hips again, rolling her from side to side. "Trust me, I'm not getting any good vibrations out of this. Maybe if I were a bit kinkier."
Letting her breath out slowly she took ahold of the elastic, carefully pulling it down three inches exactly. Reaching for the tube again she rubbed her hands together again to warm the lotion; tentatively kneading around and into the small hollow at the base of his spine, fingertips tracing a path over the thin hairs.
"Oh, gawd." O'Neill let out a deep breath. "If you ever quit the Air Force Carter, you can get yourself a job as a personal masseuse. Use me as a personal reference."
"Thanks, sir." She shook her head with a soft laugh. "I'll take that as a compliment." Delicately pulling the sheet up over him she moved off the bed. "How's that?"
"Wonderful." He mumbled into the pillow. "How about a cup of coffee?"
"After I wash my hands." Holding them up she wrinkled her nose. "Doesn't smell that great."
"Medicine never does." He waved one hand at the table. "And you wonder why I avoid the infirmary as much as possible."
"Well, sometimes it's not the medication but the application." She shot back, heading for the bedroom door. "Are you at least feeling better?"
"Oh, yeah." He turned his head to watch her. "Bring me up a cup and we'll watch the morning news." Waving a hand at the television set in one corner he let out a weary sigh. "And I ain't making no meetings today."
"I'll clear that up while the kettle's heating up."
She paused at the door, her hands carefully away from anything and everything. "Hmm?"
"Thanks." Sam could see the redness creep up over his face. "I really had no one else to call."
"Anytime, Colonel." Stepping into the hallway she let her breath out slowly, feeling her own face begin to redden. "Well, Janet owes me ten dollars on that one." She chuckled to herself.
"I heard that!"