Sharing had never really been a problem for the first few years on SG-1. Sometimes it was one tent for the four of them. Sometimes he shared with Teal’c, sometimes Daniel, sometimes Carter. And for a while it made no difference to him who he shared with. Except that Daniel would talk long into the night and his snoring and/or kicking often made it impossible for Jack to drift off. And Teal’c would Kel’no’reem rather than sleep, which meant candles, and Jack was convinced he’d knock one over and set the tent alight in his sleep, which meant he didn’t really sleep.
Carter though, she was the perfect person to share a tent with. She didn’t snore, she’d never booted him in the knee, and whilst she did talk sometimes she knew when he wanted her to shut up. And she didn’t light candles in the tent. And she woke up for her watch on time, without disturbing him. And she left him plenty of room when he was on watch first. And she smelled quite nice.
Not that that should have been a deciding factor in who he shared a tent with, but when you’re caught between scented candles from Teal’c and B.O. from Daniel, a nice subtle hint of coconut and lime shampoo wafting over towards you in the middle of the night certainly isn’t a bad thing.
It was the coconut and lime shampoo that he was blaming for his current predicament. Somewhere along the way, the sharing of the tents had settled down so that Teal’c and Daniel were always in one tent, and he and Carter were always in another. Which wasn’t a problem at first. Only, now he was very much aware that he really liked the coconut and lime shampoo, and he found himself staying awake, simply breathing it in. Again, that shouldn’t have been a problem, except he’d long ago started associating that scent with Carter and it was starting to do funny things to his insides. He vaguely thought of butterflies and fluttering sensations.
Then she rolled over and the thinking had pretty much stopped.
She wasn’t one for tossing and turning in her sleep, but this damned planet was so hot neither of them were in their sleeping bags. Her movements weren’t restricted. And Jack soon realised that when she wasn’t cocooned in fabric she had a penchant for rolling.
This time, she’d rolled right into Jack. He froze. Torn between turning over and breathing in the wonderful coconut and lime. Her head was against his arm, her tousled hair practically in his face. His nose won. He closed his eyes and breathed in. The tingling sensation continued and he decided this tent, in this moment, was his happy place.
The citrus smells carried him off to warm, sandy beaches, with people bringing her a cocktail and him an ice-cold beer. He was stood in the water, a line cast out to the sea, catching the fish for their dinner. She was sunbathing in a dark red bikini, the kind with the little shorts and the string tied up around her neck. In his head, she’d undone the ties for the bikini top and was lying on her stomach, her head resting on her arms as she slept. And the smell of lime and coconut drifting out to him in the sea.
“Hmmm.” She sighed contentedly. And he woke up. It took a moment for him to realise she wasn’t in a bikini; she was in her black vest top and green cargo pants. It took him longer to realise she shouldn’t actually have her head on his chest and he shouldn’t have his arms around her. He didn’t move though.
Her eyes fluttered open and he saw the moment she realised she wasn’t dreaming. Her pupils widened and she looked up at him, panicked.
“Shit, sir, I’m sorry!” She pulled away and he let go.
“It’s ok, Carter. It happens.” He couldn’t quite look her in the eye. The red bikini was still imprinted in his mind.
“So, you’ve woken up cuddling Teal’c and Daniel too, then?” She retorted. “Sir.”
He grinned and did manage to look at her this time. “Nope, but then they don’t smell quite so good. No coconut and lime.”
She looked confused for a minute and then went a vivid shade of pink.
He took pity on her and changed the subject. “Coffee?”
“Erm, yes please.”
The next over-night mission, he was rooting through his pack for shower gel to take down to the stream after a long day’s trekking. He found a small, bright green bottle he didn’t recognise. He popped open the lid and sniffed. A burst of coconut and lime hit him. He grinned.