This is for GEM, in thanks for her friendship and support.
Disclaimer: Stargate SG:1 does not belong to me. No copyright infringement intended, no money has been paid for this (not that Id say no, if they offered. My mama didnt raise no stupid kids <g>).
Notes: This is a thank you and goodbye fic for the wonderful members of Jackfic. Thank you for having me here and letting me read such terrific stories about our favorite Colonel/General. Im sorry to be leaving but I may come back if the muse cooperates in the future. In the meantime, be safe, be happy, and be healthy. Its been a great ride with you all. Special thanks to Arnise (and Hoo, as well) for making this list such a great place to be.
I didnt want to remember. But I did. I remembered Carter coming onto me in the locker room, wearing that skimpy tank top. And, oh God, I remembered wanting to kill Daniel when he said he wanted to go see if she was okay. Some of it's still a little hazy, right up till ole Doc Fraiser, God bless her little high-heeled feet, worked the whole thing out and came up with a cure.
That reminded me we really should take Janet out to dinner or something. I mean, the doc worked this one out pretty much on her own and I don't think any of us gave her any real credit for it. Yeah, dinner - steak at O'Malley's maybe.
But first, I needed to check on Daniel. He was limping when we came back through the Gate from the Land Of Light. Mind you, those cavemen types on the dark side of the planet hadn't looked as if they'd been much easier on him than I was but I'm supposed to be his friend.
I'd been surprised when he'd mumbled my name after coming round from the effects of the combination tranc/antihistamine dart I'd shot him with. I figured he'd be pretty pissed off with me. I guess he was still pretty out of it at the time, though I had a sneaking moment of hoping he didn't remember much about me beating the crap out of him. I knew he had to though. I mean, I remembered it and I was under the influence of the virus at the time. Daniel wasn't, not then. But still, I hoped like hell, and then I put it behind me for now. After all, we still had work to do.
Once, the dark-side dwellers had been reunited with their families, I caught up with Daniel at the DHD, leaving Carter pink-cheeked and flat-footed from my little aside about our locker room wrestling match. I love that about her. Here's a woman who's seen the best and the worst the universe has to offer and she can still blush like a teenager when she realizes I remember that she tried to seduce me.
"Daniel? You okay? You're limping." I reached out and patted his back, just a fleeting touch to let him know I was there. A memory coming back to me, of him falling backwards in the control room, right after I planted my fist in his face, made me refrain from the hearty guy slap on the back I would have given him before all this had happened.
He started as I put my hand on his back, then winced at the pain the sudden movement must have caused him.
"Hey, Jack! Yeah, I'm fine. Well, maybe not fine exactly. To tell the truth, I'm a little sore, you know?" he said, stepping back a little so he was out of touching range.
I nodded and looked him over more carefully than I'd had time to do before. He looked exhausted, his face pale, his eyes huge and dark-rimmed, tiny lines webbing out around his mouth. There was blood on his torn pants leg but he pulled back as I bent to examine it further.
"It's okay, Jack. I don't think it's mine. Janet'll check me out when we get back, anyway," he said as he leaned forward again and finished the dialing sequence for home.
Once we were in the gate room we were descended on by a whole horde of medics and I lost sight of Daniel. By the time I caught my breath, I was in the infirmary along with Sam and Teal'c, being prodded, poked and punched full of holes by Doc Fraiser's faithful band of bloodsuckers.
I caught Teal'c's eye. "Where's Daniel?"
"DoctorFraiser has ordered him to have a radiological examination of his leg, O'Neill. She is also concerned about his ribs. She believes he has severe bruising to his chest."
I grimaced, closing my eyes against the memory of my feet kicking out at Daniel's chest and legs as he lay beneath me on the floor.
"Are you all right, O'Neill?" Teal'c's calm voice broke through my guilt.
"Yeah, yeah, just peachy, Teal'c. You and Carter okay?"
"I believe so. CaptainCarter seems to be mostly unaffected by her experience. DoctorFraiser has said her wound is superficial. For myself, I have no injuries to speak of. I am, however, in need of rest."
"Which you are free to go and do, Mister Teal'c um, Teal'c," Janet's voice intruded on our conversation and I watched as Teal'c stood and inclined his head at Fraiser, then left the room.
"Ah, Doc?" I felt like raising my hand, like a kid asking permission to go to the bathroom at school.
"You too, Colonel. Just take it easy for a couple of days. The General has authorized stand down for SG: 1 for a week. Let me know if you have any problems," Fraiser said.
"Okay." I stood and pulled my jacket back on. "Hey, Doc, how's Daniel? Is he all right?"
"The xrays don't show any bone damage but there's deep bruising to his thigh and his chest wall. Hes also somewhat stressed by everything that happened, understandably," Fraiser said calmly. She walked over and placed a hand on my shoulder. "He knows none of what happened was your fault, Colonel. I think he's worried that he may have said something he shouldn't have, that he was to blame for causing you to react the way you did."
"Oh, for crying out loud! It was that damn virus. Even Daniel should know that." I couldn't help the exasperation that seeped through my lips with the words.
Janet nodded. "Of course he knows that, sir. But Daniel doesn't want you to feel guilty any more than you want him to."
I nodded back. Daniel Jackson would blame himself for the invention of gunpowder if I let him get away with it. "So, where is he?"
"In the locker room, I think. I did suggest he stay overnight " she smiled grimly. "You can imagine how well that suggestion went down."
"Yeah." I could imagine - about as well as if she'd suggested it to me. I turned and headed toward the door of the infirmary.
"Yeah, Doc?" I turned and faced her, seeing the concern on her face.
"I'd feel better if neither you nor Daniel were alone tonight. You've both been through a stressful experience -" she said hesitantly.
I smiled at her, reassuringly, I hoped. "We won't be, Doc. You should get some rest too."
I looked closely at her, suddenly seeing past her confident exterior to how exhausted she really was. Before I could stop myself, I was standing in front of her and pulling her into a hug. "Thanks, Doc. We wouldn't be here without you."
She pulled away, her cheeks red, her eyes suspiciously damp-looking. "All part of the service, Colonel. But, thank you."
I held her at arm's length and smiled down into her eyes. "That wasn't the real thank you, Doc. Dinner. O'Malley's. Saturday night. 7PM sharp. I'll get a car to pick you up." I raised a hand as she started to interrupt with some crap about it all being what she was supposed to do. "Aah!" I said firmly. "Saturday night. 7 PM. No arguments. Colonel's orders!"
She nodded and smiled. "Go find Doctor Jackson, sir. You know how to reach me if you need me."
The locker room was quiet when I entered and for a minute I thought Id missed him. That wouldnt have put me off for long. Not tonight. I would have just headed out to his apartment and fronted up on his doorstep like one half of a Jehovahs Witness tag team, refusing to go till he listened to what I had to say.
I started to leave, my fingers going out automatically to flick off the lights when I heard a sound to my right. I tilted my head and picked up the sound of Daniels voice. He sounded pissed off.
"Shit! Damn, that hurts!" Silence. Then, "Ow, ow, ow. Okay, just move slower, Jackson."
I stopped just outside the shower alcove. "Daniel? You okay in there?" I called.
"Im fine, Jack. I I just knocked my leg against the wall. Its fine." His voice sounded strained with tiredness and pain. "Ill be all right. You should go home, get some rest," he added.
"Yeah, I should." I sat down on the seat outside the cubicle and waited.
Five minutes later, the door opened and Daniel limped through, a towel around his waist. He stalled as he saw me, his eyes widening. "Um, I thought you went home," he said.
I shook my head. "Nope. You said I should go home. I agreed. Didnt say I was going to, though."
My eyes narrowed as I looked him over. He was pale still, except for where livid bruises were beginning to leach through to the surface of his skin. One on his jaw, another at the top of his collarbone, a whole chain of smaller ones (boot tips, I found myself thinking guiltily) all the way across his rib cage and abdomen. My gut clenched, as in my mind, I saw him on the floor of the control room again, my feet lashing out viciously, even as someone grabbed me from behind.
He looked down, grimacing at the purpling marks, then he walked past me, over to his locker and began to pull out his clothes.
Standing up, I moved over and sank down onto the bench behind him.
He pulled on his T-shirt and sweater, then grabbed his boxers and stepped into them. As he pulled them gingerly up his legs, the towel slid up and my eyes were transfixed by a huge bruise on his thigh. He winced as the soft fabric of his underwear trailed over it and I involuntarily reached out and placed a shaking finger gently next to it.
"Did I do that?" I asked, my voice unsteady.
He swallowed hard, then pulled the boxers up, followed them with his jeans and collapsed onto the seat next to me. "I dont know," he whispered. "Maybe. It doesnt matter."
I could hear the burn of tears in his voice and I pulled him against me, putting an arm around his shoulder. "Its okay, Daniel. You can let go, if you want to."
He turned toward me, keeping his head buried against my chest, his shoulders shuddering as he tried to regain control. "Im sorry," he muttered. "Its over. Dont know why its affecting me like this."
"Its allowed, Daniel. Youve had a rough time."
He looked up at me then. "No rougher than you."
I grinned at him, then ruffled his hair with my free hand, the one that wasnt holding him close against my side. "Its not a pissing contest, Daniel. We all got damaged by this. Im really sorry for hurting you, though."
He straightened then, pushing himself away from me. Then he scrubbed a hand across his eyes and shook his head wearily, almost falling off the bench as he did so. "Forget it, Jack. I dont remember a lot of it anyway. Oh God, I am so tired. I think Im gonna go home and sleep for a month."
I nodded and stood up, pulling him with me. "My thoughts exactly. Lets go."
We were in the parking lot, headed towards my truck before he said anything more.
"Jack? My cars over there." He swiveled to point and almost ended up on his ass.
"I know," I said as I grabbed his arm again and continued towing him along.
He stopped, pulling me to a halt along with him.
"Daaniel?" I drawled his name out, raising my eyebrows in a question.
"You dont need to do this, Jack," he said, his eyes looking down, seemingly fascinated by his shoes. "None of this was your fault."
"I know," I said, as casually as I could. "Look, Danny " I waited till he looked up at me. "I just really didnt want to be alone tonight. I thought we could have a few drinks, grill some steaks, watch TV But if youve got something else to do tonight "
"No!" The word was out of his mouth before I finished speaking. "Um, I dont have anything else to do."
"Good." I smiled and headed toward the truck again, keeping one hand under his elbow for support as he limped along beside me.
I unlocked the passenger door and gave him an inelegant butt-up into the seat, wincing in sympathy at the groan that forced its way past his clenched teeth. Then I walked around and clambered wearily into the drivers seat.
I looked over at my passenger, my friend. He smiled shakily at me, gratitude evident in his tired eyes.
"Thanks, Daniel," I said.
"What for?" he asked, sounding surprised.
I shrugged as I started up the engine. "Ah, you know, just thanks."
He nodded, smiled back at me and curled himself up against the window. By the time we hit the highway, he was asleep.
May 15th, 2005