Orders

by Annie

EMAIL: Annie

Gen fic in response to Donna's challenge on the Danielficrec's List.

Set no later than Season two for reasons that will become apparent when you read it.

"Jack?" My voice is strained and thin from the exertion of running flat out as I reach down to lift him to a sitting position. "You okay?"

"Damn! My knee!" His face is white with pain, and I hunker down, getting one leg behind his back and ease him back to rest against it.

"DanielJackson!"

I turn toward Teal'c's voice and see him down on his belly in the sand, his staff weapon firing toward the trees a few hundred yards away.

"They are regrouping!" he shouts. "We must get back through the Stargate!"

I turn my head, looking for Sam. She's a little behind Teal'c, weapon up and firing. "Go!" she yells. "We'll cover you! Get the Colonel out of here."

I haul Jack to his feet, hearing him cursing as the foot of his injured leg hits the ground. There's a stabbing pain in my arm that I do my best to ignore. A torn muscle is the least of our worries right now.

"You okay?" I ask over the noise of what sounds like World War 3.

"Stupid question," he mutters.

I can feel warm wetness trickling down my arm and my back as we make it to the DHD. It's like a sauna on this planet but I shove the feeling of heat and humidity to the back of my mind as I prop Jack against the platform and punch in the coordinates for home.

Finally. after what feels like an eternity, while metal rain falls around us, the gate whooshes into being and I grab Jack, and shout over my shoulder to Sam and Teal'c, "Gate's open. Let's go!"

I manhandle Jack up the steps, holding him steady till I'm sure he can stand more or less unaided. He looks over at me as I aim him at the event horizon, and put my hand in the center of his back. "You're coming through with me, Daniel," he orders. I nod and push him through, then turn to watch Sam come stumbling up behind me, still firing her P-90 as she retreats.

She hits the top step and tells me to go ahead, but I wait till Teal'c's beside me, his staff weapon held defensively over his shoulder, then we step through together.

Jack's seated on the ramp as we make it home, a med team already fussing over him. He glares over his shoulder at me as I stumble up behind him.

"I told you to get through the Gate," he says.

Suddenly I feel too tired to argue with him. "I did," I reply. "I just waited for Sam and Teal'c."

"When I tell you to go, you do it," he says, wincing as a bandage is wrapped around his swollen knee.

"I'll remember that next time." I slump down next to him at the bottom of the ramp. My head's spinning and I feel vaguely nauseous.

"Daniel?" Jack's lost the snarkiness and sounds worried.

I reach up and rub at the spot on my arm that's giving me hell, then pull my hand away and see my fingers are covered in blood. "Um… I think I got hit." I go hot and cold all at the same time, and I can feel Jack's hand holding me upright, as the room swirls around me in dizzy circles.

The next thing I remember is lying flat on my back on a moving gurney, the ceiling flashing past me at an alarmingly sickening rate. There's a pinch in my skin that I recognize all too well as an injection, then a rumbling sound fills my ears and carries me down into oblivion.

~oOo~

Bright light teases the edges of my vision as I crack my eyelids open. My left arm feels swollen to twice its normal size and is throbbing in time with the sound of the beeping heart monitor beside my bed.

This is the second time I've woken. The last time I managed to stay awake long enough to suck in a spoonful of icechips that tasted like manna from heaven to my dry mouth, before falling asleep again.

This time, I force my eyes to stay open and blearily take in my surroundings. Someone's sitting beside my bed this time, and I blink till I can focus more clearly. It's Jack, one leg heavily bandaged and propped up on the side of my bed. His head's tilted to one side and he's snoring lightly.

"Hey."

The voice comes from my other side and I roll my head over on the pillow and see Sam sitting in a chair, with Teal'c standing, looking suitably Jaffa-like, behind her.

"How are you feeling?" she asks, her voice hushed in obvious deference to our sleeping team leader.

I scrunch up my eyes while I consider her question. My arm hurts and I still feel exhausted, but compared to the alternative… "I'm above ground and breathing," I reply finally.

"I'm sorry. We didn't know you'd been hit till we got back through the Gate," she says apologetically, squeezing my free hand tightly.

"Nothing to apologize for. I didn't know either."

"I am sorry you were injured, DanielJackson." Teal'c bows his head at me, and I smile at him. "I'm fine," I say. "Is Jack okay?"

I know he must be, seeing he's sitting at my bedside, but I ask anyway.

"Jack's fine," comes a grumbled response from my right. "He's starting to get a little ticked off with having an archeologist on his team who doesn't follow orders, but apart from that he's basically uninjured."

I tap the bandage covering his knee lightly. "You look a little more than uninjured to me."

"I twisted my knee," he replies testily. "Don't even need surgery. You, on the other hand…"

I hear the sound of a chair scraping across the tiled floor and look over to see Sam standing up, backing toward the door with Teal'c at her heels. "Glad you're okay, both of you," she says. "Teal'c and I are just going to go get some dinner, right, Teal'c?"

"We have already eaten," Teal'c rumbles as he follows her to the door. He looks at Sam's expressive face and continues, "However, I too feel the need to leave the confines of the infirmary at this time."

"Jeez, thanks, guys," I call after their retreating figures. "Whatever happened to 'we don't leave anyone behind?'" I turn my head and look at Jack, who's just sitting there, as if waiting for me to defend myself. So I do. Kind of. At least, I try to. "What?" I ask him.

"I gave you an order."

"Yeah, I know. Sorry," I reply, my voice trying to convey the hope that this will be the end of it and I can go back to sleep now.

"We work as a team, Daniel," he says flatly, "or it won't work at all."

I feel a frown indenting my forehead. "I was working as a member of the team, Jack. I got you through the gate, then I just waited for Sam and Teal'c to make it through as well. To me, that's being part of a team."

He shakes his head. "I'm the team leader, Daniel. If I tell you to do something, you do it. No arguments."

"What?" I'm stunned by what he's saying and I know my voice reflects it. "Jack, you're a great commander, but you know as well as I do there have been times when I've gone against your orders for a good reason-"

"I agree," he says, surprising me, "but this wasn't one of those times. Daniel, think about it. If you'd collapsed before Teal'c or Sam got through the Gate, they would have had to hang back to get you through because-"

"We don't leave people behind," I finished for him, my face heating as the implications hit home. "I'm sorry. I just… I wanted to make sure everybody was through, and I didn't even know I'd been hit till I hit the ramp on the other side."

"Yeah, I know." Jack lifts his leg gingerly from my bedside to the floor, then reaches out and pats my shoulder. "You're still a geek, Daniel. I recognize that, hell, I accept it. There are times when your very geekiness has saved our bacon. But," he raises an admonishing finger and waggles it in my face. "Orders are orders. I'm the boss out there, so the next time I tell you to get your ass through the Gate-"

"I'll get my ass through the Gate," I say.

"Yeah, right, and pigs might fly," Jack says.

End

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