Written in response to Donna's camping challenge. This is based on a true story, though the man involved was a doctor who was in a car accident. Trapped in the car, and realizing that it would take at least an hour for the rescue team to free him, he knew that the hemothorax he'd suffered could quite possibly kill him before he was freed. So, he took his ballpoint pen, removed the ink barrel and used it to make a chest drainage tube. He survived his other serious injuries and is now back at work.
Warning: There be smarm here. If you are a diabetic, take your insulin, and if symptoms persist after reading the story, please see your doctor.
"You gonna believe me when I tell you this is going to hurt Carter more than it hurts you?" Jack asked, his hands holding Daniel firmly down to the ground.
Daniel shook his head. "Not buying it," he managed to pant out, between futile gasps for breath.
"Daniel, I'm sorry. I don't know what else to do," Sam whispered, her eyes blurred by tears.
"S'okay, Sam. Just do it." Daniel jumped beneath Jack's hands as he felt the first sharp thrust of the sharpened point into his skin, groaning as it burrowed deeper. He felt sweat breaking out on his forehead and he writhed beneath the restraining grip, feeling Teal'c's heavier hands confine his feet as well as his legs kicked up in protest at the agony.
Suddenly, there was a sharp pop that seemed to explode deep within his chest and just as suddenly, he found he could pull in a deep breath of sweet, lifegiving oxygen.
Jack's hands had moved from his shoulders to his head, his fingers combing soothingly through Daniel's hair. "Feeling better?" Jack's voice vibrated against the top of Daniel's head and he nodded, feeling too weary to speak out loud.
"What next?" he heard Jack ask.
"We need to keep him as immobile as possible and try to warm him up," Sam said. "I need something to tape the pen tube in place. Teal'c, can you look in my pack? There should be some bandaids in there."
Daniel watched as if standing outside his body as Teal'c rummaged through Sam's pack, the only one that hadn't been swept away by the flashflood that had swept through their campsite the night before.
"I have them," Teal'c said, holding the small strips aloft. He leaned forward and helped Sam wrap them around the puncture wound in Daniel's chest, keeping the barrel of the pen in place.
"I think there's some Tylenol in there as well," Sam said. She smiled ruefully down into Daniel's eyes. "I'm sorry. I know it won't help much but it's better than nothing."
"It's fine. At least I can breathe now," Daniel said, trying to keep his words to the barest minimum. He could breathe more easily but the temporary chest tube Sam had rigged up felt weird as he talked, tickling the inside of his chest and making the small incision she'd made in his skin with one of her razors, sting as it moved.
Jack moved around to crouch at his side. "Let's get a fire started now the rain has stopped," he said. "If we dig in under the bushes, we might find some dry wood that escaped the water." He shivered noticeably. "I'm feeling a mite chilled myself. Don't suppose you've got a lighter in that pack of yours?" he asked Carter hopefully.
Sam shook her head ruefully. "Sorry, sir."
Teal'c stood and dug into his back pocket. "I do." He gave a bow of the head at their surprised looks. "Before we came on this expedition, I did some research on the Internet. One site suggested that it was wise to carry several lighters. This one is supposed to be waterproof." He held it up and flicked it, smiling as it flared to light. "It seems the vendors did not lie," he said. "MajorCarter, you may have some flammable material in your pack that we can use to start a fire. There is a notebook-"
"That's my diary," Sam said, sounding horrified. "I've been keeping it since I joined the SGC " She looked down at Daniel and shook her head. "It's no biggie. Let's burn it," she said.
Daniel shook his head. "Wait and see if Jack and Teal'c can find something else to burn," he suggested. He grinned at her. "I keep journals too. I'd hate to lose them like this."
"It's not important, Daniel," Sam said softly. "What is important is getting you home to the SGC where you can be taken care of."
"So " Jack stood up. "Whose idea was this camping trip anyway?" He shot Daniel a quick sardonic grin. "Oh right, it was yours, Daniel. Something about bonding time "
Daniel shrugged, wincing as the makeshift tube shifted in his chest. "Seemed like a good idea at the time." He watched as Jack and Teal'c moved off to search through the underbrush for dry wood and leaves. It *had* seemed like a good idea at the time. A way to rebuild the team after Jack had gone undercover with the rogue NID team, a way to rebuild the friendship Jack had told him they didn't have. He knew now, of course, that Jack had only been playing a part when he'd said that, but his words had lingered in Daniel's mind even after the mission was over. Finally, he'd suggested they all get together on their next scheduled downtime, rebuild any trust that may have been lost.
It seemed almost a given that his well-intentioned plan would have led to them going camping in an area that had been swept by a flash flood, causing them all to be tossed into the river that flowed next to the campsite. On the bright side, if there was one, they'd managed to rescue Sam's pack and none of them had drowned, though Daniel had been tossed hard up onto a tree trunk and punctured his lung, hence the empty pen barrel that Sam had shoved into his chest to help him breathe. With all their other packs lost, including Daniel's which held their first aid kit, they'd had to improvise, work as a team Daniel couldn't help smiling despite the dire circumstances. Looked like his idea had been an inspired way to rebuild the team dynamic after all.
He coughed and winced and immediately Sam was bending close to him. "Are you okay? I've got some water here. Do you think you can swallow the pills if I lift your head a little?"
He nodded, and felt her hand under his neck, tilting his head up just enough so he could take the meds without choking.
A scuffling of feet to his left told him Jack and Teal'c were back, Jack grinning down at him as he held up a few dry branches and twigs. Teal'c carried a huge armful of what looked like dry leaves.
"Looks like the diary's safe for now, Carter," Jack said, crouching down and pulling over several rocks that he proceeded to rub dry with a handful of the leaves. "Maybe you can read us a bedtime story?" he suggested with a leer, raising his eyebrows and waggling while Daniel tried not to laugh, Carter blushed, and Teal'c looked suitably perplexed.
"I believe the intention of a diary is to keep its contents secret until such time as anyone named within cannot be hurt or embarrassed by what you have written," Teal'c observed. "I do not see how MajorCarter reading from her diary will achieve this."
"Spoilsport," Jack muttered. He set the rocks down and began to lay a fire, using the leaves as a base then adding small twigs on top. He took the lighter from Teal'c and held it down to the leaves.
Daniel realized he was holding his breath as he watched the flame lick the leaves. As it caught and began to blaze into a small fire, he breathed out, then had to grab for his ribs as the sudden change in air pressure within his injured lung stabbed at him. "I'm okay." He held up a shaky hand as all three of his team looked at him, worry evident in their eyes.
Keeping his eyes fixed on the small fire, he watched, as Jack and Teal'c gradually coaxed it higher until it was blazing steadily and he could actually feel the blissful heat emanating from it.
"Let's try to get some sleep. There's bound to be search planes and choppers over the area in the morning, checking for anyone left stranded by the flood," Jack said. "I'll take first watch, then Teal'c, then Carter. We need to make sure the fire doesn't go out."
Sam dug into her pack once more then crowed with delight as she held some objects up for them to see. "I'd forgotten I'd packed these," she said, handing Daniel a chocolate bar. "They're still sealed so they should be okay to eat, and Tadah!" Sitting back on her heels, grinning broadly, she showed them the large pack of corn chips she'd pulled from the bottom of the bag.
"If I wasn't so hungry, I'd be hurt that you obviously had so little faith in my fishing and cooking abilities, Carter," Jack mumbled around a mouthful of chocolate. He reached into the bag that Carter had opened and grabbed a handful of chips. "Okay, get some sleep, everyone. Daniel, you warm enough where you are, or do you want to move closer to the fire?"
Daniel never heard the question, nor felt the gentle hand that pulled the still-damp jacket up over his shoulders more snugly.
"Guess he's fine where he is," Jack observed, patting Daniel's shoulder carefully. "You two, sleep or Kelnoreem, whatever. I'll nudge you in a couple of hours, T."
Daniel didn't think he'd ever been so glad to be in the infirmary at the SGC. The sheets were scratchy, the food sucked, and it bordered on the ridiculous to be woken up every couple of hours to be asked if he was in pain or needed something to help him sleep when that's what he'd been doing when he was woken up. It was also warm and friendly did he mention warm?
Janet had clucked around him from the moment they'd been brought in, having been airlifted out of the flooded campsite by chopper earlier in the day. Daniel didn't remember much of the rescue, which he thought was probably a good thing. He had a vague memory of being lifted through the still overcast early morning sky beneath the belly of the helicopter - something he preferred to know as little as possible about.
Sam had sat at his bedside, watching with anxiety-filled eyes as Janet replaced her make-do thoracotomy cannula and replaced it with the real thing, asking several times if she'd done the right thing.
Daniel patted her hand as Janet told her she'd done a great job and that if she hadn't done it, they'd probably be making arrangements for Daniel's funeral right now instead of sitting in the nice, warm infirmary discussing whether she'd done the right thing.
He watched, grinning, as Teal'c suffered through having his temperature taken. It was no sooner done that Teal'c was on his feet, asking for permission to go find something to eat. Daniel couldn't help sighing with envy when Janet agreed and let him go. He eyed the covered tray the nurse had just brought in and wondered what culinary delights he might expect to find underneath it.
Jack sat beside him now, having shooed Carter off to get some rest, once Janet had cleared her. He had a covered food tray of his own set up on the edge of the bed next to Daniel's.
"Did you get hurt too?" Daniel asked. He was sure he remembered amongst the somewhat fuzzy memories of the day before that Jack had been uninjured.
"Nope, I'm fine," Jack replied, cranking the head of the bed up a few notches so Daniel was semi-reclining against the pillows.
"Why don't you go eat with Teal'c and Sam?" Daniel suggested. Jack was no bigger fan of infirmary food than he was, he knew. No point in both of them suffering.
Jack shrugged as he pushed the tray table closer to Daniel's chest. "You know what they say, misery loves company. Eat up before it gets cold or warm."
Daniel put out his hand and slowly lifted the lid. He looked at the plate then back up at Jack. "Thai? You got them to make Thai?" he asked, astonished.
Jack dug into his own food with relish. "Nope, had it delivered," he said around a mouthful. "Figured you deserved it."
Daniel began eating and neither of them spoke again till the plates were almost spotless.
Jack moved the trays over to the table near the doors and came and sat back nest to Daniel's bed, helping him to ease back onto his pillows. "You okay? Need anything for pain or-"
"If you ask me if I need anything to help me sleep, I may have to kill you," Daniel cut in. "I'm fine. Thanks for doing that, Jack. I'm sorry about how the trip turned out. I thought-"
"I know," Jack said quickly. "It was a good idea, Daniel. It may not have gone exactly according to plan but the end result was pretty much what you'd hoped for, wasn't it?"
"Yeah, it was." Daniel closed his eyes. "If you see the nurse, can you tell her I'm sleeping so I really don't need anything to help me sleep."
Jack laughed and patted his shoulder. "How about I sit right here and keep her away till you wake up again?" he suggested.
"Okay," Daniel mumbled. He wriggled on the warm, scratchy sheets and sighed with pleasure. "Thanks, Jack."