Forcing the heavy metal door open, Jack O'Neill braved a look into the dark room. His relief was almost palpable, he could make out three shapes lying on the hard ground, chains leading from the wall to their wrists. After searching for nearly 14 hours, his team, consisting of three quarters of SG1, along with SG4 and SG8 and a battalion of marines, had finally made a breakthrough. They'd found the hidden entrance to this underground complex of rooms and tunnels running under the ruins of the temple where Daniel and his team had been working. He had found his missing archeologists.
He had expected a fierce and bloody battle, but there had been no signs of Goa'uld or Jaffa. Daniel, Ramirez and Sullivan had been taken prisoner, presumably by the damned snakes. SG4, who had accompanied the archeologists to the planet, had never even realized that something was wrong until the civilians had not shown up at camp for their evening meal. They had been prisoners now for close to 36 hours.
Jack hadn't had a chance to chew out Hanson yet for leaving the civilians at the temple without any backup. It was standard operating procedure to have at least one man on guard when a civilian was required to work away from the rest of the team. Hanson hadn't had a chance to debrief the General either, as he and his men had joined the search for the errant archeologists as soon as he'd reported them missing.
Entering the damp room, he played his flashlight over the unconscious men. Spotting his best friend lying farthest from him, he quickly made his way over to Daniel, leaving the other two men to the care of Ferretti and Carter. Teal'c and Hanson stood guard at the door.
He could see in the harsh light that Daniel's hands were chained, but his stomach churned as he saw as to how they had been fastened. A thin metal-like rod had been run through the palms of both hands, affixed to a metal plate placed between his hands. Chains were affixed to metal bars attached to the rod on the outside of his hands. The wounds, although slight, appeared to be infected. "My God" Carter exclaimed, upon examining the similar restraints on Tomas Ramirez. Jack's shaking hand reached for Daniel's still slightly bleeding ones.
Carter took hold of Ramirez's hands, endeavoring to undo the chains. At her touch, Ramirez suddenly came to life and started screaming and struggling wildly. Before Ferretti was able to help her hold him down, Ramirez's flailing foot nudged the leg of the other seemingly unconscious man and Ben Sullivan also started struggling and yelling incoherently. "Help me hold him down," yelled Carter, when she saw that she and Ferretti weren't able to handle Ramirez on their own. Quickly Teal'c and Hanson left their posts and came inside to help restrain the man.
After a few moments, Sullivan quieted down, curling up on his side, sobbing hysterically.
As Jack looked up at the commotion, his wavering hand gently brushed Daniel's and suddenly Daniel curled up upon himself and started to struggle. Jack quickly grabbed Daniel's shoulders to prevent him from injuring his hands further. Daniel fell against Jack's chest, so Jack grabbed him and held him still, rocking his friend gently against him, trying to keep Daniel's hands still. He tried to force Daniel to look up at him, but Daniel wasn't focusing. His eyes were open but he didn't seem to recognize Jack. Jack wasn't sure whether Daniel could actually see him in the dim room, although there was some light coming in through the open door. Daniel was gasping, but unlike the other two men, he wasn't making any sounds.
Ramirez was struggling ferociously against the four trying to restrain him. Carter let him go and dug through her pack, and finding the vial she was searching for, drew the drug up into a syringe and injected Ramirez with it. She added her weight to the men holding down Ramirez, holding tightly onto his legs until the medication took effect.
"Daniel, it's me, it's Jack. It's okay, you're safe. Calm down, we're going to get you out of here. Daniel, look at me." Jack kept talking, all the while trying to calm Daniel, continuing to rock him in his arms. He looked over as the others carefully approached the now quiescent Sullivan, trying to catch their breaths after their hard struggle with Ramirez.
Feeling the body in his arms relax slightly, he looked down at Daniel. He was panting harshly, his body still shivering slightly, but his eyes had finally focused on Jack. Squeezing his friend's shoulders slightly, he asked "Daniel?"
Daniel stopped struggling completely and he slowly raised his bound hands towards Jack's face. Jack quickly grabbed his hands, not wanting Daniel to tug on the chains, but he curled his fingers around Daniel's. Jack could finally see recognition in Daniel's eyes.
Carter had readied the second syringe and at her nod, Teal'c and the other two men quickly grabbed Sullivan. At their touch, he began yelling and struggling once again. At the sound of the hysterical man, Daniel suddenly curled himself up as tightly as he could. Jack grabbed his neck and forced his friend's face into his shoulder. He could feel Daniel trembling, his harsh pants puffing against his neck. Jack placed his hand around his nape and gently massaged his neck, trying to calm his friend down. "Shhh, it's okay, it's okay. They're just taking care of Sullivan. He'll be all right," Jack murmured softly to Daniel.
Once Sullivan had succumbed to the drug, Carter turned to Daniel, and was surprised to see him lying there relatively calm in the Colonel's arms. "Sir?" she questioned, holding up the spent syringe.
"I don't know, Major" he answered. "He's more lucid than they are. Maybe we can get him home without the shot." She nodded and approached Daniel, but her touch on his leg caused him to buck and struggle once again.
Grinding his teeth together, holding Daniel tightly, Jack said to Carter, "Give him the shot." She nodded, took out a new syringe and prepared the needle. As she worked, Daniel stopped struggling. But as she approached Daniel once again, he tried to back away from her. Jack tightened his grip and spoke to him. "Hey, it's just Sam. You know Sam, don'tcha? She won't hurt you."
At Jack's soft words, Daniel stopped trying to move away, and lay still in Jack's arms, trembling and panting. He tried to burrow his head as far as he could into Jack's jacket.
"Daniel?" Sam said softly. Jack could feel him shake harder. She reached over to administer the drug, but he began to struggle again.
"Major, back off!" Jack barked. She quickly moved back, giving Daniel a worried look. After a few moments, Daniel calmed down again. Gently extracting an arm from around Daniel's shoulders, he extended it towards Carter. "Give me the needle," he said gently. Carefully, she handed it to her commanding officer.
"Danny, I'm going to give you a shot, it's going to help calm you down and stop the pain, okay?" At the lack of response from Daniel, he took it to mean Daniel understood. Quickly injecting the contents, he rubbed Daniel's shoulder and arm until he became completely limp. Carter turned and left the room.
Teal'c came over and started fiddling with the chains attached to Daniel's hands. Movement at the door caught Jack's eye, and he saw two members of SG8 arrive with a stretcher and quickly load Ramirez on it and carry him off. Teal'c finally released the chains but left the metal rods running through Daniel's hands. Pointing to the rods, he stated "It is best that we leave these for Doctor Fraiser to remove. They served to administer drugs, she will want to examine the contents." Jack winced.
Sullivan was also quickly carted off, and Carter soon arrived with a stretcher on which Jack and Teal'c carefully lifted Daniel and proceeded to carry him to the stargate.
- - - - - -
Doctor Janet Fraiser finished bandaging Tomas Ramirez's hands, and removing her surgical gloves, picked up a fresh pair and moved to Daniel Jackson's bed. Colonel O'Neill had been sitting beside his teammate's bedside ever since he'd been brought in.
The nurses had already removed Daniel's soiled clothes, exchanging them for hospital scrubs. They'd also cleaned him up and taken all necessary vitals. An IV line was affixed to his forearm. All that remained was for Janet to remove the rods from his hands. Dr. Warner had nearly finished doing so to Ben Sullivan.
She began to swab disinfectant over the wounds in preparation to removing the implement. "Colonel, was Doctor Jackson cognizant when you found him?" she asked.
"Not at first, it took him a few moments to figure out who I was. Not like the other two, they didn't recognize anyone. Daniel never recognized Carter, though. He took a fit when she went anywhere near him."
Janet began disassembling the mechanism as she spoke. "Did he say anything as to what had happened?" Jack winced as she pulled the rod through one of Daniel's palms.
"No, he didn't say a word…" Jack, sitting by the head of Daniel's bed, saw his eyes flutter and quickly warned the Doctor. "Doc, he's coming to."
"That's impossible," she replied, having just finished removing the rod from Daniel's other hand. "He has enough drugs in his bloodstream to keep him under for at least another four hours." And Daniel then did the impossible, he opened his eyes. "Doc!" warned Jack.
Daniel was lying on his right side, his arms extended in front of his body so that Janet could work on his hands. Upon seeing Janet treating his hands, Daniel tensed and attempted to sit up in the bed, trying to get away from her. He brought his injured hands to his chest, cradling them there. His breathing quickened and he started looking around wildly. Jack quickly grabbed Daniel's shoulders before he could get very far and held him firmly, trying not to get the IV line tangled.
"Doctor Jackson," Janet started. "Please, let me finish disinfecting your hands." She extended a hand towards his injured palms, but Daniel continued to try to back away, struggling in Jack's grip. "Daniel," Jack said. "Stop it, look at me," he insisted. At the sound of Jack's voice, Daniel turned towards him. "Hey," Jack smiled. "You don't wanna give the Doc a hard time, do you? Why don't you let her finish up here."
Daniel looked at Janet, then back to Jack. He slowly started to relax and Jack helped him lie down again. Gently grasping the wounded hands, Jack pulled them back out so that Janet could finish disinfecting them. As Janet touched him, Daniel started trembling. Trying to soothe his friend, Jack placed one hand on Daniel's arm to keep it in place, and another on his back, gently rubbing in circles trying to keep him calm. Although clearly upset, Daniel allowed her ministrations.
Sudden, loud screaming started up a few beds away from Daniel. Jerking his hands back, Daniel quickly curled up on the bed, bringing his knees to his chest. Jack could hear Daniel panting harshly. Sitting down on the bed, Jack lifted his friend up and maneuvered himself so that Daniel was cradled against his chest. Jack could feel Daniel shivering, and he rocked him gently, trying to keep him settled.
Janet left Daniel's side and went over to help Dr. Warner tend to Sullivan, who, unlike Daniel, had come to kicking and screaming. As they were attempting to restrain the man to the bed with leather straps, Ramirez woke up and added his howls and screams to Sullivan's. He was also quickly restrained.
Jack was dismayed at seeing his friend in this state. Daniel had always been there for Jack, hell, Jack considered Daniel to be his best friend. But right now, Jack didn't know what to do to help his friend. All he was able to do was hold him and try to keep him calm and still. Jack remembered the last time he'd held Daniel in his arms, it was when Daniel had been coming down off the high of the sarcophagus addiction.
Daniel was a strong and self-sufficient man. Having endured hardship at a young age when his parents died right before him, he was fostered off from place to place until he was old enough to look after himself. His own grandfather had wanted nothing to do with him, and Daniel spent his late teens and young adulthood in school, earning himself two PHDs and various other degrees. Even then things didn't go well for Daniel. He'd been laughed out of the archeological society due to his wild theories on pyramids and aliens. Actually, he'd been right about the whole thing, the problem was, he couldn't tell anyone due to the nature of his current work.
Jack had seen Daniel totally out of control twice in his life, once when he'd been suffering from addiction, and the other when everyone thought that he was psychotic. Jack was horribly afraid that Daniel was heading down that particular venue again.
Once the doctors managed to sedate the two patients, Janet returned to Daniel's bed. It took Jack several more minutes to get Daniel calmed enough to allow Janet to finish treating his wounds. When Jack had tried to slip out from beneath Daniel, Daniel suddenly twisted and grabbed Jack around the waist to try and keep him there. Jack relented and continued to hold his friend until Janet finally wrapped his hands in bandages.
Once finished, Janet injected a sedative into Daniel's IV. When he was certain that Daniel was deeply asleep, Jack extracted himself from underneath Daniel, and took his seat by the bed, watching as Janet took a blood sample from his slumbering friend.
- - - - - -
Janet Fraiser looked tired as she walked into the conference room. Nodding at the General, she quickly took her seat. "Doctor, how are your patients?" he asked. Jack, Carter, Teal'c, Ferretti and Hanson were also attending the briefing.
"Physically, they're going to be fine. They're all a little battered, but nothing too serious. Bruises and scrapes, mostly. They're all dehydrated and half-starved, and the injuries on their hands aren't severe and will heal without any nerve or ligament damage."
She took a deep breath before continuing. "As to their mental health, sir, I honestly don't know. Both Ramirez and Sullivan are either hysterical or nearly catatonic when they're awake. They won't respond to any of their teammates or friends. We've had to sedate and restrain them to prevent them from injuring themselves. If there's no improvement soon, I'm going to have to recommend that they be moved to Mental Health."
"But Daniel isn't reacting like they are," Jack interrupted, worried that Daniel was going to be shipped off to the loony bin once again.
"You're right, and I have absolutely no idea why." Looking at the General, the doctor explained. "Dr. Jackson appears to be responding solely to Colonel O'Neill, sir. He is clearly very upset when anyone else approaches, but has an almost childlike trust in the Colonel."
"He hasn't spoken since we've found him, has he?" questioned Sam.
"No, and that's also very strange. The other two are very vocal when they're awake, they're screaming and yelling and cursing, but Dr. Jackson hasn't uttered a word since he's been in the infirmary."
"He never made a sound when we found him," Jack added. "The others were screaming like banshees, but he was quiet even then."
"I'll exam his throat to make sure that there's been no damage to his vocal chords," Janet said to the Colonel. Shuffling some papers, she added, "preliminary blood work shows that one of the drugs that was administered to them was some kind of hallucinogen. It could be what's causing their delirium at the moment, but I still don't understand why Doctor Jackson is behaving differently. There's another drug in their system which seems to have increased their metabolic rate, and any sedatives we give them are only effective for short periods of time. I'm still running tests. I'll let you know when I have further results."
The General nodded and replied, "Thank you Doctor." Turning his attention away from the Doctor, the General questioned, "Major Hanson, maybe you can inform me as to why you hadn't assigned anyone to remain with the civilians while they were away from base camp?"
"Sir, there didn't seem to be any need. The planet was clearly uninhabited, and we had plenty to do ourselves at the camp."
Jack interrupted "That's no excuse, there should always, always! be someone with non-military staff. And you know Daniel. Hell, I warned you that he always walks into trouble."
"Sir, Doctor Jackson himself insisted. He was armed, and has had years of battle experience with SG1. Are you telling me that you don't trust your own man?"
"Hanson, I trust Daniel with my life. But the reason I insisted someone remain with him and his men was to prevent exactly what did happen," Jack yelled.
Hanson at least had the courage to say, "guess you're right, sir."
Turning to Jack, the General asked "Colonel, do you have any idea what the Goa'uld would have wanted with our civilians?"
"No sir, at this point we don't even know if they were Goa'ulds. Or why they didn't take SG4 rather than the archeologists. We also don't know what Daniel and his team had discovered at the site. Until one of them is able to tell us, we won't know why they were kidnapped in the first place."
Sam added, "Sir, Ramirez and Sullivan are newly appointed to the SGC. If they were tortured and questioned, they wouldn't have much useful information to divulge."
"Ahhh, but Carter, the snakes don't know that," Jack pointed out.
"Yes, sir. But I meant to say that maybe that's the reason why they're reacting differently than Daniel is. Maybe because they were tortured and weren't able to give any information away. Daniel, on the other hand, knows most of the SGC's classified information, so he would have been able to…"
"Carter, are you saying that Daniel gave in to torture?" Jack was almost growling.
"No sir, I'm just saying that maybe…"
"Damnit Carter, I know Daniel, I know he wouldn't talk!"
"People, that's enough," interceded the General. "We won't know what's been said and done until we can question our men, and that won't be until they're lucid enough. At this point we'll assume that Doctor Jackson has been compromised. Major Carter, your first task is changing all the codes in the computer. You know the drill."
"Yes sir", she answered.
"Colonel O'Neill, you are relieved of your duties for the time being."
"Considering what's happened, it's probably best you remain with Doctor Jackson to help his recovery so we that we can find out exactly what happened. I think you should return to the infirmary and see to our boy." Jack nodded.
"Doctor, you'll keep me informed?"
"All right, dismissed."
- - - - - -
Jack returned to the infirmary and was dismayed to find Daniel awake. Doc Fraiser had said he'd sleep for at least another hour, even with the alien drug somehow neutralizing the sedatives. He was still lying on his side, bandaged hands cradled against his chest. The other two men were awake also. They were restlessly fighting their restraints and at every sound they made, Daniel would flinch slightly.
Approaching the bed slowly so as to not further frighten the nervous man, Jack softly called to Daniel. "Hey, you awake?" Daniel didn't look up. Sitting down in a chair by the bedside, Jack gently took one of his friend's bandaged hands and said "Danny, look at me." At the gentle touch and familiar voice, Daniel looked up at Jack. Jack could see that Daniel was breathing fast, and he was sweating slightly. He was obviously upset and Jack could see tremors coursing through his body.
"Awe shit," Jack swore under his breath. Getting up, he sat down on the bed beside him. This he could do for his friend, and try and help ease the memories of the past 36 hours. "C'mere," he said, gently lifting his friend's torso up off the mattress and sliding his own body underneath. As Jack settled his friend, Daniel brought an arm up and circled Jack's chest in a loose hug. Daniel obviously didn't want Jack going anywhere.
Jack had never been the touchy feely type of person until he had met Daniel. He'd only been able to openly show his emotions to his family, it had never extended into his work. When his son died and his wife left him, Jack had withdrawn into himself and abandoned the few friends that he did have. Somehow, Daniel had coaxed Jack out of his shell, he'd even brought Jack away from the brink of suicide.
Daniel brought out both ends of the emotional range in Jack. He could irritate Jack to the ends of his patience, but he could also bring out the most protective instincts in him. And now those protective instincts had been extended to his latest family, which included Carter and Teal'c.
This seemed to be one of those instances where physical contact seemed to be the only thing that got through to Daniel. Jack noticed that he reacted to his voice, but it was mostly his physical touch that got through to Danny. He just didn't know whether Daniel understood his words, or if it was the tone of his voice. Obviously sedatives were not going to work, he had to get Daniel to relax, and then to sleep.
"Danny, why don't you try to get some sleep? I'll stay right here, okay?" Jack brought a hand up and gently stroked Daniel's cheek. After several minutes, Jack could feel Daniel's breathing start to even out and slow slightly. Sullivan or Ramirez, Jack wasn't sure which, suddenly yelled out, and Daniel stiffened up again. Jack sighed.
For the next two hours Jack continued to hold his friend, who would begin to relax, only to tense up whenever a scream or shout disturbed the peace. Finally he signaled a nurse and asked her to go get Doctor Fraiser.
"Janet, can we move Daniel to one of the isolation rooms? He's really jumpy here. I think some peace and quiet might help him get some rest."
After agreeing, Janet settled Daniel in the new room and Jack once again gathered his friend in his arms. This time the relative quiet helped, he felt his friend's body begin to relax and his breathing slow down and even out. Jack was beginning to cramp, sharing the small bed with Daniel was hard on his muscles and joints. After a half hour, thinking he was finally asleep, Jack started to get off the bed when he felt Daniel's arms tighten their hold around him. Looking down at his face, he saw Daniel's eyes were open and staring at the wall.
"Hey, you're supposed to be sleeping." Exhausted and red-rimmed eyes looked up at Jack. "Danny, this bed is hardly big enough for even one of us," Jack joked. Gazing at his friend, he added "Okay, I'll stay here with you, just…go to sleep."
- - - - - -
It was several hours later, and Daniel still wasn't sleeping. At least Daniel was resting quietly, Jack thought. He hated to think how he'd be reacting if he'd had to be tied down like the other two.
Janet walked in carrying a tray, on which was some medical equipment. Seeing that Daniel was awake, she poured some water into a nearby glass, adding a straw to the water. "Colonel, can you try and see if he'll take some water?" Handing the glass to Jack, he put the straw to Daniel's mouth, but Daniel made no attempt to take it. Discarding the straw, Jack took the glass and tipped a few drops of water into his friend's mouth. He was rewarded to see Daniel's tongue come out and lick the drops. Placing the glass once again to his lips, he tipped a bit more water into his mouth. Daniel's hands came up swiftly and he tried to tilt the glass in order to get more water. Jack pulled the glass away. "Easy there, drink it slowly." Daniel finished the water and closed his eyes tiredly.
"Colonel, I want to try and get a look down his throat. I'm going to give him something to relax him now." Taking a syringe from the tray, she injected the contents into his IV. Jack helped turn Daniel onto his back once he was asleep. Janet titled Daniel's head back and taking the piece of equipment from the tray, she used it to look down his trachea.
"I can't see anything physically wrong which would cause him to stop talking," Janet said as she placed the instrument back onto the tray.
"It's not only that he's not making any sounds," Jack said thoughtfully. "It's like he isn't really communicating. He hasn't even nodded his head in answer to a question."
"Come to think of it, you're right. He's definitely aware of his surroundings, and obviously recognizes you. But we really won't know anything concrete until all the drugs are out of his system, and it looks like it won't be for a couple more days. Do you think you can keep him quiet and calm for that long? I'd hate to have to restrain him also…"
"Doc, I'll do anything so you don't have to tie him up. Those chains were pretty nasty, and I wouldn't want to remind him of those and what he must have gone through over there."
"I've examined that contraption, Colonel. It was used to administer the drugs slowly and continuously through the wounds in his hands. Very crude but effective."
"So his hands, they'll be all right?"
"Yes, they'll be fine. There's a slight infection, but he's been given antibiotics, and they should do the trick fairly quickly. Colonel…Jack. You should take the time while he's sleeping to go and eat something. I don't think I'll be able to keep him under for very long, he keeps burning the sedatives out of his system very quickly. I've never seen anything like it."
"I don't want to leave him alone while…"
"I'll have a nurse sit with him, and I'll let you know if he wakes before you come back. Now go, scoot."
- - - - - -
Daniel could see the huge coverstone poised right above his head, teetering back and forth. He could hear the creaking of the ropes holding the stone up on the pulley. The coverstone suddenly turned into the stargate in the gateroom, and he saw the protective Iris which covered the stargate start to open up. It then turned back into the coverstone. He knew the pulley wouldn't hold, he could see it start to give. The coverstone was going to fall and crush him…it loomed menacingly, the shadow of the coverstone playing fitfully over his face at each swing of the rope. He tried to cry out and lifted a hand in warning, and suddenly the coverstone was falling, looming larger and larger, suddenly appearing as the stargate, then the closed Iris, then the coverstone again, and suddenly it was crushing him. He couldn't see, he couldn't breathe, he couldn't move. Strangely, there was no pain. Screams were sounding at the edge of his consciousness, and suddenly he could see, the screams were those of his parents as the stone fell, crushing them, not him. He was a child of eight, seeing the coverstone fall and crush his parents to death.
Gasping, he couldn't breathe, couldn't get enough air into his lungs. He was sitting up, and his eyes focused suddenly on a face near his which he didn't recognize. // Get away, get away. Pain, his hands, his head. Don't touch, don't touch me! Have to get away, if they touch, they'll hurt me. Can't breathe, can't get away. //
He batted away the nurse's hands as she tried to keep him on the bed.
// Jack where are you? You should have come, you should have come to help me. JACK! //
Two other nurses came in at the first one's yells for help. Two held him down as one started attaching leather straps to his arms, pinning him to the bed.
// They're touching me, NO! No, let go of my arms. Can't move my arms now. Let go of my feet! What do you want from me! I can't, I can't. Jack, please, please come! //
- - - - - -
Jack entered the isolation room expecting to see Daniel sleeping soundly, and instead he found bedlam. Three nurses were attempting to hold down Daniel while trying to catch his kicking feet in order to tie them to the bed. Daniel was struggling silently, his arms already restrained. Blood ran down his arm where he had pulled the IV out from a vein. Rage surged through Jack and he ran to the bed and angrily pulled the nearest nurse away from Daniel and attempted to untie the leather strap holding Daniel's hand to the cot.
"Get away from him," Jack shouted. The nurse that he'd pulled away from Daniel ran out of the room. Finally getting the leather strap untied, he grabbed Daniel's struggling body and held him down on the bed with his own. "Daniel, stop, stop this," Jack panted. Looking over to the other nurses, who had by now backed off, he yelled, "untie his other hand." No one moved.
Moving one arm up to try and hold Daniel's head still, Jack continued to talk to Daniel softly. "Danny, it's me, it's Jack. Shhhh, stay still. Calm down so I can get your other hand untied." The other two nurses had moved away from the bed, watching warily. The third nurse returned with two SF personnel, who were ready to remove Jack forcibly from the room. "Damn it, get Doctor Fraiser," Jack yelled. One of the other nurses quickly ran out to find the Doctor.
The SFs stood at the door, unsure of what to do. Jack barked at them, "untie his hand. He'll calm down if you untie him." The nearest guard hastened to the bed and quickly untied Daniel's hand. Grabbing both hands in one of his, Jack yelled at the nurses and guards, "everyone get the hell out of here." They quickly left the room. Jack kept talking softly to Daniel. Slowly, slowly, he felt the body beneath him stop bucking, and he felt the tension start to ease.
// Can't move, hurts, head hurts, can't breathe, someone…heavy, hands hurt. Tired, hurts. //
Loosening his grip on Daniel's hands slightly, Jack waited for a reaction. No movement. Slowly moving off of Daniel, he slid to the edge of the mattress and gathered Daniel in his arms. Daniel lay completely limp, his eyes unseeing, his breathing quick and shallow. "Danny, don't do this. Come on, look at me," Jack begged. Turning Daniel's head into his shoulder, he gently massaged the back of his head and nape.
Janet entered the room at a run. Her nurse's hurried explanation of the situation had caused her heart to jump into the throat. Seeing Jack half lying there with Daniel in his arms, she approached cautiously. "Colonel?"
"They tied him up. They went and tied him up." His voice got louder. "You told me you weren't going to have him tied down. You lied to me."
"Colonel, Daniel apparently woke up and started to panic. They tried to restrain him and he got violent."
"They should have let him be. He'd have calmed down on his own."
"Jack, you don't know that."
Lowering his face onto the top of Daniel's head, Jack silently acknowledged the truth in her words. Damn, had they just pushed Daniel over the edge? "Daniel, come on, look at me. Come on, Danny."
// My name, hear my name. Jack, where are…Jack! It's Jack, can feel him, smell him. Safe, safe. Jack! //
Jack felt movement, and saw Daniel's limp arm slowly come up and reach for Jack's chest. His hand opened and he grabbed the material of Jack's T-shirt. He felt Daniel attempt to raise his head. Lifting his own head out of the way, he looked down at Daniel and saw Daniel trying to look up at Jack. // Oh God, please, let him see me // Jack prayed.
Bleary blue eyes looked into Jack's chocolate brown ones. Recognition. Tiredly dropping his head back down on Jack's chest, Jack felt Daniel's whole body relax, the only tension being from the hand firmly holding onto Jack's shirt.
"Jesus, Danny. You scared the shit out of me! Why didn't you stay asleep 10 minutes longer?" Jack breathed into Daniel's hair.
Looking up he saw Janet looking at them, a relieved look on her face.
- - - - - -
Sam gently opened the door and popped her head inside the room. "Colonel?" she whispered. Jack looked up and motioned with his head for her to enter. She walked in quietly, and approached the bed. "Is he sleeping?" Jack shook his head. "No, he won't let himself sleep."
Feeling the tension build up in Daniel at Sam's approach, he spoke quietly, "Daniel, it's just Carter. You know who she is, you've worked with her for years. Come on, Danny, look at Sam. She's worried about you, y'know."
"Daniel, hi, it's me," Sam said softly, coming around and bringing a chair up near the bed. "Daniel, do you remember me?" she asked. There was no movement. She gently extended her hand and rubbed one of Daniel's fingers with her own. His fingers twitched, but Jack put his hand on Daniel's arm to prevent him from moving it away. Jack could feel Daniel's breathing start to falter, almost becoming gasps.
"Keep it up for a bit," he whispered to Carter. She continued rubbing Daniel's fingers with hers. Slowly she moved from finger to finger. Jack could hear Daniel's breathing start to even out once again, and he felt him slowly start to relax again. He relaxed the pressure on Daniel's arm. "Danny, do you want to look at Sam? You know who she is. Come on, look at her." Slowly Jack turned his body so that Daniel's face was exposed and gently tilted his head towards Carter.
Sam saw Daniel lift his eyes towards her, but there was no recognition in them. Tears started pooling in her own eyes, and she dabbed them quickly before the Colonel could see them. Daniel closed his eyes, and then opened them, lifting them to her face once again. Suddenly she felt a twitch under her fingers, and his fingers curled around her own.
"Daniel?" she breathed hopefully. A corresponding squeeze against her hand answered her. "Sir, I think he remembers."
"What?" Jack grunted sleepily. He had almost dozed off.
"I think he remembers me," she repeated. Slowly she brought her other hand up and gently laid it against Daniel's cheek. He lay there, eyes closed, accepting the caress.
- - - - - -
Daniel just wouldn't fall asleep. Jack uncomfortably shared the cot with Daniel lying in his arms for the past several hours, and watched his friend relax and start to drift to sleep, when suddenly his body would shudder and he'd wake up with a start. The man was clearly exhausted. Hell, Jack was exhausted himself.
Janet had relegated the task of caring for Daniel to herself and one other nurse. They decided it was best to keep the number of staff around Daniel to a minimum. Sam was the only other person permitted into the room. They would later see what Daniel's reaction to Teal'c was when he returned from searching the underground caves for clues from which they had rescued Daniel and his team.
Janet had brought in a bowl of watery porridge earlier and Jack had successfully spoon fed Daniel, coaxing and cajoling him into eating nearly half the contents. The next hurdle would be lunch. If Daniel was able to eat something then, Janet would remove his IV and move Daniel into one of the VIP rooms, where Jack himself would be able to lie down more comfortably in the double bed there, rather than in the tight squeeze of a shared infirmary cot. Jack's body was aching to sleep, and he found himself dozing occasionally until Daniel's twitches woke him up.
- - - - - -
// Safety, being held tightly, secure, no more questions, no beatings. No, stay awake – no dreams. Breathe deeply, can smell Jack. Aftershave, hint of shampoo, sweat, essence of Jack. Safe with Jack. He came! He came for me! Don't let me go, hold me, don't let them come for me again. Tired, so tired. Daddy…no, doesn't smell like daddy. Jack, it's Jack. Can't sleep, dreams, don't want dreams. Maybe this is a dream, don't want to wake then. Waited so long for Jack to come. Wake up Wake up! Jack might leave if I sleep. Arms holding me. Safe. Safe now. //
- - - - - -
"Come on, Danny, drink the soup. You like chicken broth." Jack, sitting on the bed beside Daniel, tried coaxing him to drink the lukewarm soup from a cup, but Daniel was too exhausted to take in any more food. Jack had managed to get him to drink less than half the soup, he'd been hoping that Daniel would have taken more. He sighed and put the cup down. Reaching over to the tray that Janet's nurse had brought earlier, Jack reached for the bowl of applesauce. Spooning up a bit, he lifted the dessert to Daniel's lips and forced the spoon into his mouth. Quickly removing the spoon, he watched Daniel's reaction. "Mmmm, that's good, isn't it Danny?" he said as Daniel finally got a taste of the sweet stuff and swallowed. Quickly spooning more, he fed Daniel the rest of the bowl. Bed, here we come.
- - - - - -
Janet wheeled Daniel into the VIP room, Jack walking slightly in front of the wheelchair in order to remain in Daniel's line of sight. The move was done late at night, where there were fewer personnel walking around and thus less chance of upsetting Daniel.
Jack helped Daniel into the bed, and then walked over to the other side, where he promptly sat down and removed his shoes. Sliding under the covers, Jack sighed happily, finally being able to stretch out fully after alternatingly lying cramped in Daniel's small infirmary bed or sitting in the hard chair beside the bed for the past many hours.
It was agreed that while Jack slept, Sam would remain in the room with Jack, with either Janet or her appointed nurse checking on him every few hours. Sam collected her computer and settled herself to work in the corner where she could keep an eye on her friend and CO. Janet busied herself by arranging the medical equipment and medication she had brought with her into the VIP room on top of a dresser.
Yawning, Jack turned towards Daniel and noticed that the young man was lying on his back, shivering. Lifting himself onto his elbows, Jack quickly put a hand on Daniel's forehead to test for fever. Nope, normal. Cupping Daniel's face and turning it towards himself, he noticed that Daniel's hands were cradled on his chest.
"Doc, I think his hands are bothering him," Jack told Janet.
"How can you tell?" she asked.
"I dunno, I just think he's hurting. Look how he's holding his hands."
"I think you're right, Colonel." Sorting through the meds that she had brought with her, she quickly found the one she wanted and shook two tablets out. Handing them to Jack along with a glass of water, she and Sam helped Daniel sit up while Jack put the pills into his mouth. Bringing the glass of water up to Daniel's face, he encouraged Daniel to drink and swallow the pills.
After laying him back down on the bed, Jack carefully coaxed Daniel onto his side and tucked Daniel's head onto his shoulder.
// Pain, safety, tired, hurts, Jack, holding me, hands hurt, head hurts, Jack's here, stay awake, hurts hurts hurts //
Jack felt the trembling ease off. Daniel's arm came and gently gripped Jack's waist, the way his son Charlie would do to Jack in his sleep when he would come and join him and Sarah in their bed after a nightmare.
Janet turned down all the lights except a desk lamp near Sam, and left the men to their rest. Sam had returned to her computer in the corner and quietly continued to work.
Jack quickly fell asleep. His soft snores caught Daniel's attention and cautiously lifting his head up from Jack's shoulder, saw that Jack was indeed asleep. Putting his head back down on his human pillow, he slowly closed his own eyes.
// Safe, Jack's asleep, tired, hurts, sleeping – Jack's sleeping, so tired, safe, if Jack's sleeping it must be safe, hurts less now, safe safe, sleep, Jack, safe safe, sleep, sleeee… //
Soon after nearly days of sleeplessness, Daniel Jackson was finally sleeping soundly.
- - - - - -
Something soft was tickling Jack's nose. He blew it away, but it continued to annoy him. Lifting his hand to bat it away, Jack felt something hard under the softness. Opening his eyes, he realized that his face was resting in Daniel's hair, with Daniel cuddled up on his side against Jack's shoulder. Carefully extracting himself from underneath Daniel, Jack realized that the arm that Daniel was lying on was numb. As he sat up, he saw Teal'c sitting where Carter had been earlier.
"Hey Teal'c, what time is it?" Jack asked quietly, shaking his arm to get the circulation moving again.
Teal'c got up and walked to O'Neill's side. "It is nearly noontime, O'Neill. I believe you have been asleep for nearly 12 hours."
"12 hours, shit! Danny…" He quickly turned to Daniel.
"Do not worry, O'Neill. DanielJackson has been sleeping as soundly as you."
"How long you been sitting there?"
"I relieved MajorCarter approximately six hours ago upon my return from the archeological site."
"Oh…Did you find anything?" Jack continued shaking his arm, trying to speed up pins and needles coursing through his limb.
"Indeed, O'Neill. I believe that at least ten individuals have been hiding out in the tunnels for several weeks. They must have discovered our interest in the planet and laid a trap for our people, waiting patiently for us to send a team out."
"Step into my parlour, said the spider to the fly."
"I saw no spiders on the planet, O'Neill."
"Forget it Teal'c."
"I believe that the archeological team was attacked shortly after they entered the temple. There was very little evidence of their having started to excavate. It must have been done swiftly and silently, if SG4 heard nothing from base camp."
"Shit. Teal'c, why didn't the snakes take Danny and the others away with them? Why leave them there when they'd finished with 'em? They must have known that we would come looking for them eventually."
"I do not believe that the captors were either Jaffa or Goa'uld. I presume that they hoped to get whatever information they needed from our people before we discovered them. Either they extracted the information and left, or they were unable to do so and ran out of time. We do not know at this point which scenario is correct."
"Yeah, I know," he said softly, staring at Daniel.
The door opened suddenly and Sam and Janet appeared, both carrying heavily laden trays.
"Gentlemen, lunch is served. Sir, we're going to need you to wake Daniel up, he's going to need to eat something, otherwise I'm going to have to put the IV back in." Walking over to the table, they placed the trays down. Teal'c went over and helped them clear the table of Sam's paraphernalia.
Jack turned to Daniel and gently placed his hand on his shoulder. Shaking him gently, Jack said, "Danny, time to wake up now." Daniel didn't stir. Shaking him again, he said, "Come on Danny, you wouldn't close your eyes before, now you don't wanna open them?"
Taking Daniel by the shoulders, he lifted the younger man to a sitting position. The movement woke Daniel up, who suddenly grabbed at Jack's arms in alarm. He winced suddenly as his injured palms jarred against Jack's arms. "Hey, it's only me. Wakey wakey, Daniel." Jack grinned at Daniel, who looked up at him sleepily and somewhat confused.
"It's lunchtime, we gotta get some food into you. You can't sleep all day without eating now, you know." Jack looked towards Carter and Janet, and Daniel followed Jack's gaze. Jack felt Daniel's hands on his arms tighten in alarm. "Hey, that's the Doc and Sam? You know who they are, remember. And that's Teal'c. You remember Teal'c, don'tcha Daniel?"
At the mention of his name, Teal'c had turned around to look at Daniel. Slowly he approached the bed and sat on its edge. Daniel let go of Jack and tried to squirm away from him but couldn't go anywhere as he was right up against Jack. "Daniel, this is Teal'c. He's part of SG1 – along with you, me and Carter. You remember SG1, don’t you? The guys that kicked Goa'uld butt for the past couple of years?"
"DanielJackson, it is good to see you awake."
Daniel was staring at Teal'c's tattoo. His breathing was starting to hitch. Jack, noticing what Daniel was looking at, said, "Danny, yes, that's Apophis's sign. But you know that Teal'c was Apophis's First Prime years ago…remember?"
"We met on Chulak, do you not remember, DanielJackson?"
"Danny, Teal'c saved our lives. We brought him back with us to earth. He's been with us for years. He won't hurt you."
"I am upsetting him. I will leave so he may recover."
"No wait. Teal'c, try taking his hand, that's what Carter did."
"That may not be a good idea, ColonelO'Neill. DanielJackson appears to be suffering discomfort with his hands, I would not wish to cause further pain."
Noticing that Daniel was cradling his hands again to his chest, Jack realized that Teal'c was right. Overhearing their conversation, Janet went to the meds and shook out two painkillers.
Slowly Teal'c reached into his jacket pocket and took out Daniel's glasses, which he had found at the dig site. Unfolding the glasses, he slowly reached forward and placed them on Daniel's nose. Daniel tried to squirm out of Teal'c reach, but Jack held him fast. At the feel of the glasses on his face, Daniel slowly reached up and touched them with a shaking hand. Then he looked at Teal'c, and Jack felt Daniel start to relax again against him.
As Janet approached the bed, Teal'c got up and allowed her to take his place. "Daniel, do your hands hurt?" she asked. He looked up at her silently. Slowly opening her hand and showing him the pills, she asked again, "Daniel, do your hands hurt? If they hurt, I want you to take these pills."
"Doc, whatcha doin?" Jack asked.
"Just trying something, Colonel."
Daniel looked from her face down to the pills and then back to her face. "Daniel," she repeated. "Take the pills if your hands hurt." Sighing, she pulled her hand away at Daniel's lack of response.
"Doc, let me try," Jack said. Repeating the request, Jack offered Daniel the pills. With trembling hands, Daniel tried to pick the pills up but wasn't able to coordinate his fingers properly. "Doc!" Jack said wonderingly. Gently closing his hand over Daniel's fumbling ones, Jack took the pills and held them to Daniel's mouth. Daniel opened his mouth and allowed Jack to pop them in. Jack took the glass of apple juice Janet offered him and helped Daniel drink from it.
Janet looked at Jack and said, "It doesn't mean anything, Colonel. He'll probably accept anything from you at this point. We're going to need to see how much he actually understands, we'll try running a few tests when he's a bit stronger."
Bringing the tray over to the bed, Janet placed it slowly over Daniel's knees. He looked carefully at the tray, and then at Janet. Sam brought Jack's meal over to him and she and Teal'c both settled down at the foot of the bed to eat their own lunch. Janet tried to assist Daniel with his food as he couldn't grasp anything with much strength with his injured hands, but he'd only accept the food from Jack.
- - - - - -
After helping Daniel to the bathroom and then taking care of his own pressing needs, Jack settled down on the bed beside Daniel and attempted to make a dent in the paperwork which Teal'c had fetched from Jack's office. The others had left and returned to their duties. Daniel had curled up beside Jack, and had slowly inched his way over to Jack's side so that his face was buried against Jack's hip, and Daniel's fingers were curled around Jack's shirttail, almost like a security blanket. Jack absently stroked Daniel's hair as he worked. He didn't think Daniel was asleep, even though he couldn't see his face. He lost track of time in his work.
// Tired. Jack's here. Safe. Hold onto Jack. Won't get hurt. So tired. daddy… mmmm… sleeeepy. Creak. What's that noise. Creak. Stargate swinging above me. The coverstone, the closed Iris. Coverstone, Iris opening, coverstone. No it's falling…falling…nooooooooo //
Feeling Daniel become restless beside him, he turned to look at him when suddenly Daniel threw himself onto his back, his arms and legs flailing wildly. Trying to grab Daniel and at the same time avoid a fist in his face, he finally managed to calm Daniel down by once again throwing his weight over his friend. Lifting his head to look at Daniel, he saw his terrified blue eyes searching wildly as he turned his head side to side. He had stopped struggling once Jack had immobilized him, so Jack grabbed Daniel's face to hold him still and spoke to him gently.
"Daniel, shhhh. I'm right here." Blue eyes met brown. "Hey, that was one heck of a nightmare, big guy." Jack saw Daniel close his eyes in relief. His bandaged hand came up and grabbed Jack's shirt once again. Turning over to take his weight off his friend, he pulled Daniel up at the same time, cradling him against his chest. Slowly Daniel's breathing started to slow down and he relaxed in Jack's arms.
- - - - - -
Supper was a similar setup as lunch, with Jack and Daniel's teammates sitting on the bed sharing their supper between them. Daniel still had problems using his hands, but his appetite seemed to be improving. His energy was flagging, though. Even though he had spent the rest of the afternoon lying beside Jack, he hadn't slept. He'd curled up again beside Jack once he'd finished eating, as sitting up was exhausting him. His hand found Jack's shirt once again.
Jack sat back against the headboard, a cup of coffee in one hand balanced on his knee, his other hand rubbing his face tiredly.
"Carter, has the Doc said if the drugs are starting to clear his system?"
"I don't know, sir. She did say that it would probably be a couple of days."
"Well, it's been a day already," he complained. "What about the others, Ramirez and Sullivan, what's their status?"
"They're not responding well to anyone, at least not like Daniel is. They're still restrained, they're not lucid yet."
"So why is Daniel so trusting here, did they use a different drug on him?"
"No, Janet said that they were all given the same drugs, and in the same quantity. Something must have happened to cause Daniel to react differently."
"Teal'c, do you know anything about these drugs they used?"
He nodded. "I have heard of these drugs, but they are very rarely used as the results are difficult to control. The two are usually used in tandem, one to break down the captive's defenses by disorienting him, and the other, which is a powerful hallucinogen, is used for mind control, usually in an attempt to extract information. This is probably why our people were not tortured excessively, they were expecting the drugs to do the work for them."
"Mind control. Do you think that they did something to Daniel's mind, maybe made him think that he can't talk?"
"No sir, that's not logical. They would want him to talk, so why make him stop?"
"What if he saw something that they didn't want him to reveal?"
"That doesn't make sense, wouldn't it have been easier just to kill him?"
"Oh thank you, Carter, for that lovely thought."
She glowered at him slightly. "No, I think it's more likely that they wanted information out of them."
"O'Neill, this is why the drugs are rarely used. A strong-willed individual may impede the desired effects of the drug. What if it is DanielJackson himself who caused his inability to talk?"
"You mean like will himself not to talk?" Sam questioned.
"Carter, could he do that?"
"Yes sir, I think so. With the use of the drugs, he might have convinced himself, somehow, to forget how to communicate so that he wouldn't reveal any information to them. Shit, that would make sense."
"Ah Geez, Danny." Jack looked down at his friend. "Okay, let's say by some miracle he managed to talk himself into not talking anymore. But what about this thing he has with me."
"I can't explain it. He's…clingy, like Charlie was when he was sick. That's what it reminds me of, a sick child. It's like…Daniel's reverted back to childhood. Trusting, clingy, insecure. It's like he's using me as his security blanket right now."
"You are correct, O'Neill. I remember my own son exhibiting similar behaviour when ill."
"I can't think of anything that could cause this. I'll go talk to Janet, maybe she'll have some ideas."
- - - - - -
Jack was getting mighty tired of being stuck in bed. He'd been lying in one bed or another for nearly two days. After a trip to the bathroom, he decided he was going to stay up, and paced back and forth, nearly driving Carter crazy.
She was going over the video footage Teal'c and his investigative team had returned with of the site where Daniel and his archeological team had been held prisoners. Jack was alternating between looking over her shoulder and pacing.
Daniel kept his eyes on Jack, tracking his movements back and forth across the room. That was starting to get on Jack's nerves.
"Damnit, Danny, I wish you'd close your eyes and go to sleep," he muttered to himself. Sam looked up at the Colonel.
"I'm starting to get cabin fever, is all" he explained. Stopping his pacing suddenly, he turned to Carter and said, "Look, he's quiet right now. I'm just going to go out and get a change of scenery, pick up some clean clothes for both him and myself from the locker room, grab a cup of coffee… I won't be gone long, okay?"
"Sir, you are sure that's a good idea. Daniel seems to be really attached to you. You haven't been out of his sight since the first few hours we got back…"
"Carter, I really really need to get out of here for a while."
"Okay, I understand," she sighed.
Going to the bed, Jack sat down beside Daniel and told him, "I'm going to go out for a little while. Sam will stay with you, okay? I won't be gone long." Not sure if Daniel was actually understanding him, he placed his hand on Daniel's shoulder a moment before getting up and walking to the door. Neither he nor Sam saw Daniel's hand come up in a pleading gesture for him not to go.
- - - - - -
Sam kept an eye on Daniel as she worked. He was curled up on his side, facing her but she couldn't tell if his eyes were closed as they were in shadow. He hadn't moved since Jack had left, nearly 45 minutes ago.
// Afraid, alone, Jack gone, hurts, head hurts, cold, where's daddy? So cold, mommy?, was Jack a dream?, come back please, hurts //
The door opened and Sam smiled at Janet as she came in for a last check on Daniel before heading off to bed. "Where's the Colonel?" Janet asked.
"Oh, he was getting a little antsy being cooped up in here. He went to stretch his legs, he should be back soon."
"How long has he been gone?" Janet inquired, walking towards the bed.
"Just over an hour."
Janet sat on the edge of the bed and realized that Daniel was shaking. "Daniel," she said softly. She reached a hand slowly but as her hand approached his face, he recoiled sharply. Inching back slowly away from her, his breathing started to come more quickly.
"Shit," Sam said, and got up, intending to go to the bed.
"Stay there," ordered Janet. Sam froze.
Moving her hand away slowly, she sat still for a moment, watching Daniel's reaction. On seeing that nobody came nearer, he stopped his backward movement.
"Sam, go find the Colonel," Janet ordered. With a last glance at Daniel, she quickly obeyed.
- - - - - -
Sam finally found Jack sitting in the commissary, nursing a cup of coffee. Having stopped earlier at their respective lockers and picked up a change of clothes for himself and Daniel, he'd walked around the base a while, stretching his legs and checking up on a few details of work. He was just on the verge of heading back to the VIP room.
At Carter's hurried explanations, Jack rushed back to their room. He came barreling through the door, with Sam just a step behind him. Stopping suddenly inside, he saw Daniel seemingly lying quietly in the middle of the bed, with Janet standing a foot away. He threw the bag holding their clothes on a chair.
"What's up?" he asked.
"He's on the verge of panicking, Colonel. Can you try and calm him down?"
Moving to the bed, he sat down and took a good look at Daniel. He was shuddering uncontrollably, his face streaked with sweat, and breathing heavily through his mouth. He was staring at the wall, ignoring everyone in the room.
"Damn, I wasn't gone that long," he told Janet. Turning to Daniel, he said, "Hey, I guess you missed me, huh? Danny, it's okay, I'm back now. Come on, lemme see those baby blues. Look at me, won't you." Daniel gave no reaction as to whether he was hearing Jack.
Kicking his shoes off, Jack slowly climbed into the bed beside Daniel and sat back against the headboard. Still no reaction. "Danny, come on over here, willya?" Jack patted his thigh. "Come on, look, see, a nice warm pillow for you to lie on."
// Jack's voice, just a dream…cold cold, head hurts, where's Daddy, want Jack, please be Jack, don't leave don't leave //
Slowly, Daniel lifted his eyes towards Jack. "Come here, Danny." Slowly Daniel wormed himself forward, and lifted his head and placed it on Jack's thigh. He slowly curled his body around himself, trying to control the shivering. Jack placed a hand in Danny's hair, looking up at Janet helplessly.
"Janet, he's got a fever." Picking up a thermometer from the table, she slowly handed it to Jack, who inserted the tip into Daniel's ear and then handed it back to Janet. "It's not very high, barely 100. I'll give him something for the fever, it'll also help if his hands are hurting. Sam, can you get me some water, please."
Sam picked up an empty glass and walked to the bathroom, while Janet rummaged for the pills. She shook out the appropriate dosage and took the water from Sam, handing both to Jack. He pulled up slightly on Daniel's shoulder. "Danny, sit up a minute, okay? I want you to take these." Daniel looked up at Jack and lifted himself shakily onto his arms. Jack quickly popped the pills in and helped Daniel drink the water. Daniel lay his head back down on Jack's thigh.
"Colonel, I want to take some more blood, can you help me, please?" Jack took Daniel's arm and gently offered it to Janet, who quickly made short work of taking the sample. Daniel lay quiescent in Jack's arms, eyes closed, shivering against his friend.
"I'll leave the thermometer close by. Check his temperature every couple of hours. If it gets any higher, have Sam or Teal'c call me or the infirmary." Jack nodded. Janet left Jack and Sam alone with Daniel.
"Sir, can I get you anything?" Sam asked.
Jack shook his head. "No, it's late. I think I'll try and get him settled and get some sleep myself."
Lifting Daniel's head up from his thigh, Jack slid down to a lying position beside Daniel, and then repositioned his head against his shoulder. Sighing, Jack closed his eyes and prayed his friend would quickly come back to himself.
- - - - - -
It took him a long time to fall asleep. He was still awake when Teal'c came to relieve Carter in the middle of the night. He could feel Daniel occasionally shiver beside him, but his temperature was back to normal. He knew that his friend wasn't sleeping, but he wasn't sure if it was his own restlessness that was keeping Daniel awake, or if it was due to something else.
Hearing voices, he opened his eyes and saw Carter and Teal'c talking in the corner. Looking at his watch, he realized he'd slept late, it was past 10 am. When she saw that he was awake, Carter came and sat on the bed beside him. "We got word from the Tok'ra that Dad will be coming by today. He apparently has some important information for us."
Yawning, he turned to check on Daniel, who was sleeping peacefully beside him. Placing his hand on Daniel's forehead, he was relieved to see that his temperature felt normal. Getting up, he went to the bathroom to take care of business. Carter had offered to get them breakfast and returning to the bed, he settled back beside a still slumbering Daniel.
"I was observing DanielJackson last night. It was only after you were clearly asleep did he permit himself to do so also. He lifted his head to look at you once you had begun to snore, and then promptly went to sleep."
"Teal'c, I don't snore," Jack said, insulted.
"Indeed you do, O'Neill."
"So, you're saying that he didn't want to sleep until he was sure that I was sleeping."
"Perhaps he felt safe enough to sleep only because you felt safe enough to."
"That would explain why he's trying to stay awake all the time. Maybe I should fake the snoring bit a little to get him to sleep more."
Carter came back with a breakfast tray. Handing Jack a cup of coffee while she divided the dishes up, Jack sighed and sipped it gratefully. Rustlings beside him soon revealed a disheveled head and sleepy eyes. Smiling, Jack took another sip of coffee. Suddenly Daniel sat up partway and sniffed. He stared at Jack's cup.
"Oh no you don't, this is mine. Anyway, Janet's gonna kill me if she saw you drinking this stuff right now." Daniel pulled himself up fully to a sitting position and leaned in towards Jack, his eyes still on Jack's cup. Begging blue eyes looked at Jack.
"Okay, just a sip," Jack relented. He offered Daniel his cup and let him take a drink, then placed the cup on the tray that Sam handed him, away from Daniel.
Daniel leaned back against the headboard, savouring the taste. Looking at the coffee cup sadly, he sighed. He pushed the blankets back and got up shakily. Jack stared as Daniel walked to the bathroom by himself. He shared a look with Sam and Teal'c. After a few moments, they heard the toilet flush and Daniel walked back to the bed.
Sam handed Daniel his breakfast. This time Daniel was able to handle the fork with only a bit of discomfort.
- - - - - -
Janet came in as they were finishing up, and she looked happy. "Last night's blood work shows the drugs starting to dissipate. I think that Daniel and the others will start behaving a little more normally soon. Actually, Daniel, you're looking a little more alert today."
Daniel smiled at her, and continued eating.
Sam added, "there doesn't seem to be any kind of adverse reaction from yesterday's episode."
"DanielJackson woke up this morning and smelled the coffee."
"What?" asked Janet, confused.
"He woke up and literally begged to have some of my coffee," grumbled Jack.
"Um, yeah, but just a sip."
"Colonel, you know better…"
"Doc, if you had seen the look on Daniel's face, you'd have given him some too."
At that, Daniel reached over onto Jack's tray and picked up his nearly empty cup of coffee and drained it.
- - - - - -
Jack guided Daniel to the bathroom where he had him undress. He then led Daniel into the shower. He himself had stripped to his underwear, and he stepped into the shower with Daniel. Daniel managed to wash himself, although he was very shaky on his feet. Jack remained at the edge of the shower only to ensure that Daniel didn't fall.
He helped Daniel into some old sweats that Daniel usually slept in when he stayed overnight on base, and settled him back into bed. Feeling stronger, Daniel sat leaning against the headboard, watching his friends. Jack wished he knew how aware Daniel was of his surroundings. It wasn't normal for Daniel to be so still, he normally had his nose buried in a book, his hands were constantly moving while talking…seeing him lying there quiet all the time just didn't seem right.
General Hammond accompanied Jacob Carter to the VIP room where SG1 were currently awaiting their arrival. Knocking softly on the door, they entered when the door was opened by Teal'c. On seeing her father, Sam went to him for a hug.
Daniel remained sitting on the bed, looking warily at the two visitors, but not showing any signs of anxiety. Jack was keeping a close eye on him. He remained lounging beside Daniel.
Looking at Daniel, General Hammond asked, "How's our boy doing?"
Jack answered, "he seems to be doing better today, sir. He had a bad episode last night, but he seems to have gotten through it pretty well."
Walking over to the bed, Jacob looked at Daniel. "Danny, George told me what happened. I'm so sorry."
Daniel blinked at Jacob. Nobody knew whether Daniel had even understood what Jacob was saying.
Jacob and George made themselves comfortable in the chairs by the corner. Sam went and sat on the foot of the bed, her hand reaching back and rubbing Daniel's leg. Teal'c stood at attention by the door.
Looking at Jack, Jacob continued. "One of our Tok'ra operatives learned that a trap was being set for the capture of some Tau'ri, but she was only able to get the information to us yesterday. Had we been able to warn you earlier, we'd have done so."
"Why'd they set up a trap? Who? What for?" Sam and Jack exclaimed together.
"Apophis has put out a reward for any information on a device which the Tok'ra had discovered a few months back," Jacob answered reluctantly.
"You forget to tell us something a few months ago, Jacob?" Jack asked sarcastically. That was just like the Tok'ra, keeping most information hidden from their allies if they thought they didn't need to know about it.
Glaring at Jack, Jacob continued. "Our operative heard about a bunch of mercenaries who discovered a planet where you guys had recently shown an interest. They were planning an ambush there. We'd also heard that they possibly had gotten their hands on certain rare drugs…"
"Looks like Danny got to experience those drugs firsthand," interrupted Jack. Looking over at Daniel, he noticed that he was rubbing the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger.
"Dad, Daniel obviously didn't know anything about the device you mentioned. We think that he sort of willed himself to stop speaking, so why would he have gone to those extremes if he couldn't tell them anything about it."
"Sammie, the mercenaries wouldn't ask about the device alone. They probably wanted to know about the Harcesus, the Tok'ra, the Asgard, the SGC. Any information which they could sell to Apophis would have made this worth their while."
"Dad, is there anything you can do for Daniel and the others?"
"No, sweetie, not in this case. The drugs will just have to run their course and we can only hope for the best that your men can recover from their effects."
Sam nodded her understanding. "Janet says that the drugs are nearly gone from Daniel's system. Maybe he'll be able to tell us more about what happened in another day or so."
"I hope so, Sammie." Jacob looked at Daniel, who was rubbing his forehead.
- - - - - -
George and Jacob soon took their leave thereafter. Sam left with them, wanting to take a bit of time to talk with her father before he left the base.
Noticing that Daniel had taken his glasses off and had laid his head back against the headboard with his eyes closed, Jack picked up the phone and called the infirmary. When Janet arrived, he told her he thought that Daniel might have a headache.
She told Jack that she wanted to try something. Getting some water from the bathroom, she then picked up three bottles from her supply of medications on the bureau. She went to Daniel and shook his leg lightly to get his attention. He opened his eyes and looked at her.
"Daniel, I want you to pay attention." Holding up three bottles of pills one at a time, she placed them on the bed before Daniel. Pointing to each, she said, "this one is for an upset stomach, this one is for a headache, and this one is a sedative." Pointing to the glass of water, she said, "this is for if you're feeling well. Can you show me if you need any one of these?"
With a frown, Daniel looked at the four items lined up in front of him. He glanced quickly at Jack, then at Janet, and resumed looking at the items. Jack was encouraged, it was a definite 'Danny' look.
// Tired. Head hurts. Oh, gotta concentrate. Headache, yeah, want to tell her my head hurts. Why can't I tell her? My brain feels like it's on novacaine…why can't I…oh, that one, that's the one, the headache bottle. //
Daniel reached out and picked up the bottle Janet had pointed out was for headaches. Jack reached over and squeezed Daniel's shoulder.
"That's good, Daniel," she said. Taking it from him, she shook out two pills and handed them to him. He took them from her and then took the glass of water she held out. Swallowing the pills and draining the water, he then sat there with the glass in his hands, not knowing what to do with it. Jack took it from him and placed it on the table beside the bed.
"He's improving steadily, Colonel. I think maybe by tomorrow you could take him home. It might be best for him now to be in familiar surroundings."
"I'd rather take him to my place, he feels just as comfortable there as he does at his apartment." Jack remembered all the times he'd taken Daniel to stay with him; when Daniel first came back from Abydos and had nowhere else to stay, or after he'd been injured and needed someone to care for him for a few days, whenever he was depressed or needed a friend. Heck, Jack himself had stayed at Daniel's place when the tides were turned.
"It doesn't matter where you take him, as long as he feels safe. It might also be a good idea for Sam and Teal'c to stay with you, if it's not too much bother. Having them around will be good for him, they're familiar."
"They're family," Jack corrected. "We're family." Jack looked over at Teal'c, who inclined his head at Jack's warm gaze.
After Janet left, Teal'c and Jack began discussing arrangements for moving Daniel to Jack's house. As they talked, Daniel slid down onto the bed until he was lying on his back. He could hear the drone of their voices, it was comforting and relaxing. He closed his eyes, willing his headache to ease.
A noise beside him caught Jack's attention. Daniel was snoring softly, lying sprawled on the bed. This was the first time in many days where Daniel had slept in the daytime, and he wasn't using Jack as his security blanket. Things were starting to look better.
- - - - - -
This time when Sam and Teal'c brought supper, Daniel got up out of bed and joined them for their meal at the small table provided in the room. He still appeared confused and disoriented at times, but more and more of his personality was cropping up in his expressions. A few times Jack thought that Daniel wanted to say something, but a bewildered expression would appear on his face, as if he wanted to speak but lost his train of thought.
Janet had wanted to see how Daniel would react today with Jack being out of Daniel's sight for a while. It was decided that Jack would go get their civilian clothes from the locker room, and the rest would stay and monitor Daniel. Jack was to come back after 20 minutes.
As the door closed behind Jack, Daniel got up and started for the door. Teal'c moved quickly to stand in front of it, barring the way. Looking a little confused, he looked at his friends sitting at the table, and then he glared at Teal'c. He went to the bed and threw himself down, leaning back against the headboard. He sat there with his arms crossed, a visible pout on his face.
"Ooh, he's not a happy camper," Sam said in an undertone to Janet. Both smiled.
After a few minutes, Daniel got up and walked to the door again. Seeing that Teal'c wasn't going to let him out, he turned back and started pacing. He was visibly becoming a little uneasy. Stopping a moment and giving Sam and Janet a pleading look, he turned back and threw an arm out in an agitated manner. He resumed pacing.
After several minutes of this, Sam couldn't bear to see Daniel so upset. She went up to him, and taking his arm, led him to the side of the bed. She could feel him trembling slightly as she sat him down. "Daniel, Jack will be back in a few more minutes. It's okay, he didn't go far."
He looked at her, then placing his glasses down on the bed, he rubbed his face briskly. Taking a deep breath, he tried to relax. Sam could see that Daniel was making an effort to control his emotions. He remained sitting, his arms hugging his sides. Sam sat beside him and wrapped her arm around his shoulder.
// Jack Jack Jack Jack Don't go Don't leave. Daddy left, Jack don't leave me too. Sam, please let me go find him. Jack. Where are you? Teal'c, please let me out. Jack. //
"Five more minutes," she thought to herself. Actually, Daniel was reacting better than they had thought he would. Janet said that there were still trace amounts of the drugs in his system, and these would take several more days to clear completely. He probably would remain at the same emotional state until then.
Jack had stood outside the door for the last few minutes, counting the seconds before going back in. He had no idea what to expect, but the sight of Daniel sitting fairly calmly beside Sam was a sight to sore eyes. Upon seeing Jack, Daniel got up hastily and rushed to him. When he reached him, he did an about face and threw himself back on the bed as he had done earlier. He wouldn't look at Jack. Confused, Jack looked at Daniel then at the girls, and asked, "what?"
"He wasn't too thrilled about you leaving, Colonel," replied Janet. "He's going to have to get over this, otherwise he'll be following you around the house like a puppydog."
Placing the clothes on the table, Jack walked to Daniel and joked, "Heeere Danny, heel Boy." Everyone snickered, but Daniel just glared back. He'd definitely gotten that joke.
- - - - - -
General Hammond came by to inform them that both Ramirez and Sullivan were fairly stable and lucid. They had just finished debriefing the General, but weren't able to remember much. Jacob's information was correct, the mercenaries had wanted information about the device the Tok'ra had discovered, but had also questioned them about the SGC and their allies. The archeologists hadn't been able to divulge much information as they had only basic information on those subjects. They also didn't know what had happened to Doctor Jackson, they had been so muddled with the effects of the drugs that most of their memories were too dream-like to be relied upon.
- - - - - -
They spent the remainder of the evening playing cards. Daniel joined in but he tired quickly, and his concentration waned. He left the group after a bit and picked up Sam's laptop. He fiddled with it for a while and started going through the videotape that Teal'c had brought back from his investigations a few days ago.
Jack was watching Daniel, not paying much attention to his poker hand. He was glad that they weren't playing for money at the moment because he'd probably be owing them quite a bit. He was happy to see Daniel doing things on his own, his natural inquisitiveness seemed to be returning. He had hated seeing Daniel lying there in an exhausted stupor.
Daniel watched the tape curiously, his memory at times just on the verge of being jogged.
// Pictures, images. Familiar, yet not familiar. Want to ask…can't, mouth numb, questions, tip of the tongue. Tongue won't work. Why? //
Suddenly when the image of a large room came into view, he tensed. He knew this room.
The video camera had filmed the image of Goa'uld script on the ceiling, painted in a large circle. The room was huge, and the person who had taped this scene had been standing directly underneath.
// Circle, coverstone, stargate, circle, coverstone, Iris opening. Pain. Voices, questions. Circle overhead. Iris opening. Coverstone falling. Screams. Daddy Mommy! Screams. Sullivan. Ramirez. Questions. Hurts. Lying underneath circle. Circle overhead. Questions – can't answer. Pain. Questions – no no no. Pain. Questions – stop asking! Jack where are you? //
Jack saw Daniel stiffen suddenly. He realized that Daniel had recognized something on the tape. He put his cards down and started to get up. Daniel suddenly gasped and shoved the computer away from him as if it had burned him. As he got up to run, he bumped into Jack, who had come up behind him. Jack grabbed his arms and held him. He could feel him quivering, his breath started to come in gasps.
Slowly, Daniel's knees buckled and he started to fall to the floor. Jack held onto him and helped guide him down, Sam and Teal'c rushed over to assist. Daniel was sobbing now, lying in Jack's arms.
Sam looked at Jack helplessly, and then picked up the computer. The frame had frozen on the picture of the circle painted on the ceiling. Turning the screen so that Jack could see, she shrugged her shoulders. Only Daniel could tell them what it meant, and he wasn't talking.
- - - - - -
After several minutes, Daniel got himself under control. He remembered now, he'd been lying under that painted circle, the aliens having drugged him. The circle had reminded him of both the stargate when the Iris was closed protectively before it, and also the coverstone that had fallen and killed his parents in a New York museum when he was a child, and the drugs had confused his memories with the current moment. He hadn't been able to tell if the screams were coming from him and his companions, or from his memories of his parents' dying screams and horrified museum workers.
He remembered thinking all along that Jack would find them, that thought had kept him strong during most of the interrogations. He knew that Jack wouldn't stop searching once he'd known that he was missing. He himself had nearly worked himself sick on those occasions that Jack had been missing and needed his help. Jack would find him, it had just been a matter of time. He'd had to hold on till then.
Taking a deep breath, he tried to sit up. Jack was holding him, but upon feeling Daniel pull away, he loosened his grip. Wiping his damp face with his hands, Daniel looked up at Jack with what he hoped was an apologetic smile. Standing up with Jack and Teal'c's help, he walked unsteadily to the bathroom and washed his face. Jack appeared behind him and handed him his night clothes. Guess that meant funtime was over. God he hoped he could sleep. He shakily got undressed and changed his clothes.
When Jack had seen Daniel go down, he was sure that Daniel had lost it, and that he'd regressed back to the state he'd been in when they had first found him. He was relieved to see Daniel calm himself down quickly and see his usual intelligence behind his eyes when he'd looked at Jack.
- - - - - -
Memories of what had happened in the room with the painted ceiling kept Daniel from falling asleep. After feeling like he'd been in a stupor for the past several days, tonight his mind had finally started feeling close to normal. Realization of what had happened to him in that room had embarrassed him. The drugs had confused his memories of his parents' death with the pain of the interrogation, and the need to feel safe and secure had caused him to confuse Jack with his father. He felt that he had been turned into a fretful, whining and spoiled child. Geez, how had Jack stood to be around him the past few days. He remembered the awful need to feel Jack's presence close by to keep the nightmares away. Always needing to hear the sound of his voice, his touch on his arm or shoulder to keep him grounded.
He couldn't seem to get comfortable in the bed. He tried turning on his side, facing away from Jack. Even now, he could hear Jack's breathing behind him, and he felt safe. He'd almost lost it earlier today when Jack had left the room. God how was he going to be able to get on with his life if he couldn't let Jack out of his sight for two minutes? He 'knew' Jack hadn't gone far, but he'd not been able to rationalize the thought. His emotions had taken control so quickly that he was panicking before he'd known it had happened.
He wished he could tell Jack how he felt, apologize to him for having been such a pain. He knew something was still wrong with him, because whenever he tried to say something, or to answer a question, his brain just wouldn't work. The words were there, he could picture them, outline them in his mind's eye in whatever language he wanted, he just couldn't get them past his tongue. He had heard his friends talking, saying that it was something he'd done to himself. If this was true, he couldn't remember. There was so much that he didn't remember during his captivity, he'd been heavily drugged for most of the time and most of what he did remember either came through in flashes, or in his nightmares.
He turned on his back. His head was starting to ache again.
He had tried to write something down, and nothing had happened. He had held the pen in his hand, he could see the words in his mind, but he couldn't get the message through from his brain to his hand. He thought of Janet's experiment with the headache pills and the multiple choice answer. That was pretty inventive on her part. That might work, but it would take a heck of a long time to ask 20 questions.
His brain still wasn't functioning at one hundred percent capacity. There were times that he was listening to his friends talking and suddenly he realized he had zoned out, had missed a large part of the conversation. Sometimes it was only for a few minutes, sometimes he thought it might be longer. He figured the drugs were still affecting him, that was probably why he still felt shaky and dizzy. And that darned headache that kept coming back was not helping him get to sleep.
Maybe he'd sleep if he turned back on his side. Oops, pulled too hard on the blankets.
// Whoops, sorry Jack. I know I'm keeping you awake, I just can't sleep. What? What are you doing? Darn, I don't want to sleep on top of you again. Okay okay, if it'll make you happy. Here, happy now? I have a Jack pillow underneath me. Yawn. Mmmm, feels good. Safe. Yaaaawn. Okay, I'll stay here for a moment, maybe you'll be able to fall asleeee…//
- - - - - -
Having had enough of Daniel tossing and turning behind him, Jack turned around and pulled him into his arms, placing his friend's head on his shoulder. He felt Daniel tense for a moment, then felt him relax against him. Two minutes later, both were sleeping soundly. Daniel's fingers slowly came up and entwined themselves in Jack's shirt.
- - - - - -
Jack escorted Daniel to the infirmary. He carefully watched Daniel whenever they met someone in the corridor, but Daniel seemed to be reacting well to being with people. Once in the infirmary, Janet checked Daniel's vitals one more time, took a final blood sample, then gave them her blessings to leave.
Teal'c accompanied them to Jack's house. Sam was staying at the mountain as she had work to complete, and would join them for supper. Settling Daniel on the couch and handing him the TV remote, Jack went about getting a grocery list made and then sent Teal'c out to fill it. He made sure he remained in Daniel's line of sight all the time. Daniel eventually dozed off and Jack took the opportunity to go upstairs and change the linen on his bed. While he was making up the spare beds for Sam and Teal'c, he heard footsteps on the stairs. Yup, there was Danny, still half asleep and probably a little disoriented.
"Miss me?" Daniel heard Jack tease. He scowled at Jack and went over to give him a hand with the sheets. Darn, he'd woken up alone and had almost panicked when he couldn't find Jack. He was ready to run outside to look for Jack, when he heard the creak of floorboards coming from upstairs. Janet was right, he felt like a puppydog having to follow his master around the house.
"I figure after lunch we'll take a trip over to your place and get you some fresh clothes, feed the fish and get your mail. You okay with that?"
Daniel had finished spreading out the bedspread and had leaned back against the wall as Jack placed the throwpillows onto the bed. Daniel was staring blankly out the window.
"Daniel, did you hear me?" Jack asked, taking Daniel's arm. A startled look from Daniel answered his question. "Hey, you still feeling a little spacey? I said we'll go to your place after lunch and get you a few changes of clothes, feed the fishies and pay your bills, okay?"
// Okay? he asks. How does he want me to answer that? Two stomps on the floor for yes and one for no? Hey, I wonder if that would work… //
Jack was baffled as he watched as Daniel stared at his feet.
// Nope, doesn't work either. Shit! //
He rubbed at his forehead. His headache was back.
- - - - - -
Daniel tried reading the book he'd brought back from his apartment, but the nagging headache prevented him from concentrating. After reading the same page several times, he slammed the book's cover in irritation.
Daniel really needed something for his headache. He'd been warned by both Jack and Janet that he wasn't to take any medication on his own because they were afraid he'd overdose himself as the drugs were still making him muddled at times. But he didn't know how to let Jack know that he needed something for his head.
Jack had noticed Daniel rubbing his forehead again. Remembering what Janet had done, Jack grabbed a bottle of pepto bismal, and two bottles of pills that Janet had given him for Daniel. Going to Daniel, he lined them up on the coffee table, along with a glass of water.
"Danny, remember this?" While looking at Daniel, he pointed to the bottle of sedatives. "Okay, this is for if you have a headache."
He pointed to the bottle of painkillers. "This is if you have an upset stomach."
Pointing to the pepto bismal, he said "and this is if you need to sleep. Dya need one of them?"
// Jaaaaack. What kind of test is this? I really really need those painkillers, but you want me to take the sedatives? You did point to the sedatives, didn't you? Or did I misunderstand? Or… shit my head really hurts. //
He looked up at Jack confusedly. He put his hand out and nearly took up the bottle of sedatives, and then pulled it back.
"O'Neill, perhaps you should try again." Teal'c suggested.
"Oh. Okay. Danny, this is for a headache," he repeated, pointing to the sedatives.
"O'Neill, perhaps you should look at the bottle first. Those are not for headaches."
"Oh crap. Sorry. Danny, you know which are for headaches?"
Daniel's hand shot out and grabbed the painkillers. "That bad, huh?" Shaking out a couple, he handed them to Daniel along with the water, and then insisted Daniel lie down on the couch. He covered him with a throw from a nearby chair and walked quietly into the kitchen to start on supper.
- - - - - -
The painkillers had taken the edge off his headache, but it was still nagging him by the time he dragged himself to supper. Sam had arrived with the news that Janet and Cassandra were going to drop in the next day for a bit. Cassie wanted to give Daniel a little something to help make him feel better.
After supper, they sat around in the living room, discussing the civilians' abduction while sipping their coffees. Sam told them that Sullivan and Ramirez still couldn't remember much more than what they had originally told the General. They were to undergo hypnosis in a few days. Daniel was only keeping half an ear open, until Sam mentioned 'why would they bother drugging only three civilians when they had seven SGC staff members to choose from'.
// Three? No, that's not right. There were more, weren't there? Why can't I remember? The room was full, three?…no five, or…more? There had to have been at least four others with me at times in the room. //
Jack had noticed Daniel suddenly stiffen up and a panicked look appeared on his face.
"What is it, Daniel?" he asked. Daniel looked at Jack and he opened his mouth.
// There were others! Jack, they took the others! SG4 !!! God, Jack, how do I let you know? //
Daniel jumped up and started pacing along the living room a couple of times and then walked right up to Jack. He was clearly agitated. He stared at Jack again, and Jack could see that his hands were shaking. He resumed his pacing.
"Danny, is there something you remembered? Do you want to tell us something?"
Daniel spun around and faced Jack, clenching his fists.
// Yes! I need to tell you this. How can I tell you this! //
"Daniel, is it about the hypnosis?" Sam queried.
He looked at her, then returned to stare at Jack.
"Is it about Ramirez and Sullivan?" Jack asked.
He turned and started pacing again.
"Is it about SG4?" asked Teal'c.
Daniel suddenly went up to Teal'c and grabbed his arms.
"That's it, it's about Hanson not assigning someone to guard you guys at the temple, isn't it?" Jack said.
Daniel ignored Jack and continued staring at Teal'c.
"I do not believe that is what he is trying to tell us, O'Neill."
Sam tried. "Okay, you remembered something about SG4…do you remember them looking for you?"
Daniel dropped Teal'c's hands and rubbed his face.
// How do I tell them? //
Jack said. "What would you remember about SG4 and your kidnapping, they didn't even know you were taken."
Daniel spun towards Jack.
// They knew they knew! They were there!!! //
Jack suddenly understood. He sat up. "Shit, Daniel. You mean they knew? Was SG4 also captured?"
Daniel grabbed Jack's shoulders.
"That's it, isn't it? Shit shit shit."
Jack lunged for the phone and dialed General Hammond's private number.
Daniel listened carefully to the conversation.
"Sir, it's O'Neill. You have to question Sullivan and Ramirez again right away. Ask them if they remember any members of SG4 being captured along with them…No sir, Daniel seems to think that SG4 might have been among the prisoners…it's hard to explain how he told us that, sir. You just have to trust us, he remembered something."
Daniel sat down on the couch. He was exhausted beyond belief.
"Thank you, sir. Yes sir, we'll be waiting for your call."
- - - - - -
Twenty minutes later, Jack hung up the phone. "You were right, Daniel. Sullivan and Ramirez remembered that one or two members of SG4 were with them during their interrogations. The General has ordered them back to the mountain, where they'll be examined more thoroughly and placed under observation."
Daniel was slouched on the couch. He shut his eyes in relief.
"My God, we didn't know, they could have been programmed to do anything," said Sam.
Jack nodded. "The General's also ordered that their movements be backtracked to make sure they didn't tamper with anything."
Turning to Daniel, he said, "You know, for someone who can't talk, you sure said a lot tonight. Come on, let's get you to bed. You look exhausted."
Helping Daniel up, he turned to Sam and Teal'c. "You guys gonna stay down here or are you coming up?"
"If it's all right with you, I'll stay here for a while. Don't worry, I'll lock up."
"I will remain with MajorCarter."
"Okay, goodnight kids."
Jack brought Daniel upstairs, then guided him to his bedroom. His eyes half-closed, Daniel hadn't been paying attention, but when he walked into the room he realized that Jack had led him into his own bedroom, and not the guestroom where he normally stayed. He stopped in the doorway, confused.
"Hey, you can go sleep in your usual room and then spend the night tossing and turning, or you can share the bed with me like we've done the past couple'a nights and get a good night's rest. It's up to you."
// Safe. I'm safe here. I'm so tired, why can't I focus? Jack understands. Want to sleep, don't want to dream. Want to sleep. //
Daniel walked forward into the room and sat on the bed. His sweats were already laid out on the bed for him. He kicked off his shoes, grabbed his clothes and shuffled into the adjoining bathroom to change. As he got into bed, Jack entered the bathroom and by the time Jack got into bed, Daniel was already asleep. As Jack stretched out beside Daniel, his friend turned around and moved closer to Jack, his hand coming up to grab Jack's sweatshirt. Jack grinned, and closed his eyes.
- - - - - -
Jack quietly left the bedroom, leaving the door ajar. He could hear voices coming from the kitchen, and went down to join his teammates. Grabbing a cup of coffee, he sat down at the kitchen table.
"Any news?" he asked.
"They've found all of SG4 and put them in confinement. I spoke to Janet a little while ago and she said that there were no abnormalities in their blood work. I'm going to speak to Dad later, maybe he knows more about those drugs. There might have been a third one that we're not aware of."
"When are Janet and Cassie coming over? You did invite them for supper, didn't you?"
"Oh, Janet didn't want to impose…"
"Carter, you call her up right now and make sure they know they're welcome to stay. I'll just set the BBQ up and we'll grill a few steaks."
"I'm on it, sir."
- - - - - -
Not long before lunchtime, Jack heard the shower start upstairs. He waited until he heard the water turn off, poured a cup of coffee and went up to greet Daniel. As Daniel stepped out of the bathroom nearly dressed, Jack handed him the coffee. Daniel's grin was quickly lost behind the cup.
"Don't tell Janet, she'll kill me if she finds out what I just gave you." An empty cup handed back was Daniel's agreement.
"Come on downstairs, I'll make you brunch."
- - - - - -
Cassandra Fraiser nervously walked up the path leading to uncle Jack's front door. She knew that uncle Danny was sick, mom had explained that he couldn't talk. He could understand whatever she said, but he wouldn't be able to answer back. She didn't know now if this had been a good idea to come by and see him, she didn't know what she was going to say to him. Switching the plate containing the home made chocolate brownies to her other hand, she turned around and watched her mom walk up to her side. Janet saw her adopted daughter's worried look.
"It'll be okay, sweetie, Daniel will be happy to see you. Just knowing you care will make him feel better."
"Mom, what will I say to him?" she whined.
"Exactly what you would say to him if he wasn't sick. Tell him how you feel. Just be there for him." The young teenager nodded uncertainly.
Janet rang the doorbell and the door was answered by Sam. She kissed Cassie hello, and took the plate from her. Jack came up and grabbed Cassie in a huge hug and spun her around. Squealing, she started hitting him on the back to let her go. "How's my favourite girl?" he asked. "I'm fine" teased Janet. "Moooom" complained Cassie, giggling.
"Hey, whatcha brought me?" Jack asked, seeing Sam go by with the covered plate.
"I baked some chocolate brownies for uncle Danny. I thought, um, he might like some…maybe to make him feel better."
"The same ones your mom brought a couple of weeks ago?"
"Sweet. I'll make sure to leave a couple for Daniel." Cassie giggled. "Go on in and say hi, he's in the backyard."
Reluctantly, Cassandra walked through the house to the backdoor. She saw uncle Teal'c sitting in a deck chair beside uncle Daniel. She froze when Daniel turned around at the sound of the door opening. Seeing her uncertainty, he stood up and smiled at her. He spread his arms out, begging for a hug. Sobbing, she ran to Daniel and wrapped her arms around him. "I love you, uncle Danny," she whispered in his ear. He hugged her tightly and rocked her in his arms.
"I'm sorry you're not well," she said when she was able to stop crying. Looking up at her uncle, she saw tears in his eyes too. Embarrassed, she had to get away. "I um, think I have to go wash my face. Excuse me."
Daniel stared at her retreating back, and sat back down, staring at his hands. Teal'c reached over and silently touched Daniel's shoulder in understanding. Daniel glanced at Teal'c, then laid his head back, massaging his forehead.
Janet came out shortly, with a glass of juice and a bottle of pills in her hand. Crouching beside Daniel, she said, "Sullivan has been complaining of constant headaches. The Colonel told me you seem to suffering from them too. I brought a different medication for you, this is a little stronger and is longer lasting. Let's see if they'll help, okay?" She shook out a couple and handed them over to him. He swallowed them down with the juice. "You'll need to take these with every meal, so if Jack forgets to give them to you, just bounce the bottle off his head as a reminder," she teased.
While her mom was talking to Daniel, Cassandra walked over to Teal'c. "I'm sorry, uncle Teal'c, I didn't mean to ignore you. She bent over and gave him a hug. Teal'c hugged her back. "I understand, little one. Daniel is very happy that you came."
- - - - - -
The pills were making Daniel drowsy and he was having trouble keeping track of the conversation. Janet and Cassie had left a short while ago. While Cassie had been a little uncomfortable around Daniel, he was happy that she had made the effort to sit with him.
Daniel decided he was going to go to bed. He got up and looked at his friends, and realized he couldn't even tell them goodnight. Sighing, he made his way upstairs.
Jack and the others watched Daniel leave. Worried, Jack followed him up and saw him enter the bathroom. He leaned against the doorjamb and waited for Daniel to come out. Seeing Daniel in his sweats, Jack realized he'd been getting ready for bed. "Just thought I'd tuck you in." Jack smiled and pulled the blankets away from the bed, inviting Daniel to get in. "You gonna be all right up here by yourself, or do you want me to come and join you?"
Not knowing how to answer Jack, he simply smiled at him, and turned on his side away from him. Jack reached over and tousled his hair. "Okay, I'll tell everyone you said goodnight." Jack walked out of the bedroom, leaving the door ajar.
Joining his friends, it was about 30 minutes later when they all heard Daniel yell Jack's name. Hurriedly running upstairs, they all piled into the bedroom to see Daniel in the throes of a nightmare. Trying to wake Daniel up, Jack sat beside him, gripped his shoulders and called his name. Daniel's eyes opened suddenly, and he called Jack's name again as he sat up.
Bewildered, Daniel looked around to see everyone staring at him. He recognized the bedroom and realized he'd been dreaming. He dropped back down onto the mattress and closed his eyes. In his dream he had seen the stargate again with the Iris before it opening, and then the stargate had turned into the painted circle on the ceiling. This time there was no memory of his parents' death, no vision of the coverstone falling.
"Daniel?" Jack coaxed. Daniel opened his eyes. "Dya remember calling my name?" Daniel frowned, looking at Jack, then glanced quickly at Sam and Teal'c.
"Daniel, you called Jack's name twice in your sleep," Sam said. Daniel looked at Jack for confirmation. He nodded.
Daniel sighed. He may have spoken unconsciously but he still couldn't utter a word consciously.
"Hey, it's a start." Jack consoled. "You gonna be all right now?" Daniel closed his eyes and turned again on his side. Sam and Teal'c said their goodnights and left Jack alone with Daniel. Jack put his hand on Daniel's shoulder, and waited until his breathing evened out and he fell asleep again before joining his friends.
- - - - - -
Janet had asked that Jack bring Daniel to the infirmary for a follow up the next day. They arrived at the mountain shortly after breakfast. There'd been a message for Jack to go see General Hammond upon his arrival, so after escorting Daniel into Janet's care, he left to see his boss.
Hammond informed Jack that the Tok'ra had confirmed there had been a third drug rumoured to have been used by the mercenaries. It was used mainly to alter memories, but could also be used to plant a command in someone's mind. They suspected that SG4 had been drugged to forget the capture of the civilians, and that perhaps one or more of the soldiers had been used to try and perform sabotage.
They'd had no luck so far in prompting more memories from the civilians. They were also still trying to trace SG4's movements, but it was a time consuming job.
Once Janet had finished with Daniel, he decided he wanted to go look for Jack. The craving to be near Jack was still there, but it was much weaker. Daniel decided that he was more bored than anything. Worried, Janet called after Daniel as he left, but he just turned around, his hands in his pockets, and smiled at her.
Wandering up towards the General's office, he tried to listen to see if he could hear Jack's voice. He didn't want to barge in if Jack wasn't there. The General was talking and Daniel could make out that he was on the phone, and that Jack was sitting before the General's desk, waiting for him to finish his phone call. Daniel wandered into the briefing room which overlooked the stargate. He went to the window and stood staring at the 'gate.
He felt slightly dizzy at the moment, the drugs still caused him to have occasional dizzy spells, and combined with Janet's latest headache pills, there were times when he wasn't too steady. The stargate wavered before him and suddenly he could see the painted ceiling superimposed over the stargate. He staggered slightly, catching himself against the bulletproof glass. The ceiling faded and he could see the stargate again, and suddenly he saw a vision of the Iris closing over the stargate, and then opening.
// Voices, he could hear voices. Crude sounds, speaking English, accented English. The words 'Stargate, Iris, Codes', why do I keep hearing these words? Were these memories? Can't remember. JACK! There's something I have to remember… //
Jack had seen Daniel walk by and go into the empty briefing room. The General had just hung up the phone when he heard Daniel crying his name. He and the General ran out just in time to see Daniel fall to his knees, and Jack reached him before he toppled over to the floor. He heard the General call for medical help. Daniel's eyes were open but he was definitely not seeing anything in the room. Jack supported Daniel's weight as he leaned limply against him.
Suddenly Daniel found himself on his knees, hardly able to support himself, leaning against something. He realized then that Jack was crouching beside him, holding him up to prevent him from falling over. He grabbed Jack's arm and found he could barely lift his head. He couldn't stop shaking.
Janet arrived moments later, looking unbelieving at Daniel. He had been fine minutes ago, how could he have deteriorated so quickly. His pulse was racing, he was sweating and shaking. His breathing was shallow and quick.
// Something about the stargate. Something important. I have to remember, it's right on the tip of my brain //
The thought made him want to laugh. // Tip of my brain, wish I could get it past the tip of my tongue. Damn, my head's so fuzzy, why can't I remember? // He lifted his head off of Jack's shoulder and looked at the stargate again through the clear glass.
"Daniel, what is it? Did you remember something?" Daniel could hear Jack talking, but he couldn't seem to be able to focus on the words. He could still hear echoes of the accented words in his mind // Stargate, Iris, Codes //. If only he could concentrate on that memory.
// Jack be quiet, you're making too much noise. I can't think. I have to remember. It's so fuzzy. Why can't I think? //
When the medics appeared with a gurney to cart Daniel off to the infirmary, Daniel grabbed Jack's arm tightly to try and convey the message that he didn't want to leave. He had to stay here, he had to remember.
"Daniel, you have to go with them. Come on, you're sick again."
When the medics insistingly tried to move him, Daniel started to struggle. Jack held him down while Janet injected Daniel with a sedative. When he'd calmed down and stopped fighting Jack, they placed him on the gurney and wheeled him back to the infirmary.
- - - - - -
// Infirmary. I'm in the infirmary again. What happened this time? //
He heard a rustling beside him and turned his head towards it. Jack was sitting on the chair beside him, staring across the room. Daniel moved his hand to get Jack's attention. Jack smiled on seeing Daniel's eyes open.
"Hey, can't leave you alone for any amount of time, can I?" he teased.
Daniel just stared at Jack.
"Shit Danny, what the hell happened up there. Janet said you were fine minutes before. And then you go and have a fit or something and get carted back here in shock."
// I don't know, I don't know what happened. I don't know how to tell you that I don't know. This is so frustrating! //
Daniel turned his head away from Jack, getting angry at himself.
"Did you see something in the embarkation room that scared you? Did you remember something maybe? About the stargate?"
// Stargate? Yeah, I was looking at it when I had some kind of flashback. I remember looking at it, hearing voices, the 'gate, the Iris…shit, I remember the mercenaries talking about it! That's it, they want to sabotage the Iris! Jack! shit Jack! //
Daniel sat up suddenly, swinging his legs off the side of the bed, and dizzily toppling on top of Jack. Jack grabbed his arms to hold him steady and tried to lay him back down. Daniel fought Jack, trying to remain seated. He tried to look at Jack, but his face kept wavering. Taking a deep breath, he put his head down onto Jack's chest for a moment, trying to take control of himself. Looking back up at Jack, he squeezed Jack's arms as hard as he could.
// I have to tell him! How? How? //
"What Danny? You remembered something?" Daniel lowered his head again and loosened his grip on Jack's arms.
// I didn't want to tell the mercenaries anything, I remember now them wanting me to give them information about the Iris, about the GDO codes. I was so close to telling them, and I wanted to not talk so badly that I must have willed myself then to stop talking. Okay, that makes sense. Now how do I will myself to talk again. Shit! //
"Shhhit." The word was slurred, but understandable.
// What? //
"Daniel, you know, if you're gonna start talking again, I'd really like to hear my name rather than hear you swear."
// wwhhaa what? //
"Danny, can you say Jack?"
// Jack what are you talking about? //
"Jck, whut r yu talkin bout?"
// I'm talking ! God! //
"Rrris, sabtaj! Jck, ssstaargte, Irsss"
"I got you Danny. Stay here, don't move."
Jack ran to the phone and called the General. "It's the Iris! They tried to sabotage the Iris! Get all available personnel to check out every little screw and bolt, get Carter to check the computer system. I'll be up there as soon as I can, Sir."
Jack returned to see Daniel standing by the bed, wavering slightly. "Daniel, get back in that bed."
"Noooo, wanna go up."
"Danny I don't have time to take care of you now."
"Jck, go! Now! Lll flllow."
"Crap. You'll fall flat on your face. Okay, lemme help you. But you make sure you stay out of the way."
- - - - - -
A meticulous search revealed an intricate bomb concealed in the inner workings of the Iris. A cursory look would never have revealed it. It was on a timer, which was set to go off in several more hours. Search crews continued searching in the off chance that further sabotage had been attempted. Nothing suspicious had been found.
Daniel sat at the conference table, his arms on the table, his head pillowed on his arms. The search had taken several hours, and he had refused to return to the infirmary. He hadn't spoken any more, the effort of speaking those few sentences had exhausted him. He was dozing on and off, partly aware of what was happening, and when he had the energy, he could lift his head up and see the goings on around the stargate.
He was aware of Jack coming to check on him occasionally. He'd tried to coax Daniel to go to bed at one point, but a deliberate and slow shake of the head on Daniel's part convinced him that Daniel actually needed to be here.
Things were winding down and the General had actually ordered Jack to take Daniel home to rest. Janet had come up twice to check Daniel's vitals, and had stated that at the moment he seemed to be suffering mostly from exhaustion. A good night's sleep and a proper meal would probably do him the most good.
Walking up to Daniel, Jack pulled a chair out next to him and sat down. Daniel shifted his head slightly towards Jack, acknowledging his presence. Placing a hand on Daniel's nape, Jack said "You ready to go home? The General's throwing me out of here. I just thought you might like to come along."
Daniel lifted his head up tiredly and pushed his arms up off the table until he was leaning back in the chair. "Go now?" Daniel asked.
"You got it."
- - - - - -
Two days later, Jack and Daniel were walking up to Janet Fraiser's home. Daniel was talking animatedly, one hand gesturing enthusiastically to emphasize his words, the other hand carefully balancing a cake box. "So you see, the real reason we civilians were taken was simply a diversion. Their main objective was to get that bomb up on the Iris. We were just icing on the cake, had we talked, any information they got would simply have been a bonus."
Jack tucked the bottle of wine he was carrying under his arm. "Sorry, I disagree. I still think that you were the main target. Had you talked, given them the GDO codes, the bomb would have been obsolete. I think the bomb was simply a backup plan, which incidentally, why do you think the timer was set for nearly a week later?"
"I don't know, either Hanson managed to sneak the bomb onto the Iris only a short time ago, or it was a planned attack set for a specific day and time. Guess we'll never really know."
"You know, you're gonna have to apologize to Hanson."
"That comment about leaving the civilians unguarded. He actually had two of his team members up at the ruins with us when we were attacked."
"Um, yeah, guess I'll have to go talk to the guy."
At their knock, Janet opened the door and invited the guys in, accepting the wine and dessert from them. Cassie came running down the hall and threw herself into Jack's arms, who hugged her and swung her around. Once her feet were back on the ground, she turned and grinned at Daniel and turned into his open arms. As he held her close, he whispered in her ear, "I love you too, Cassie."
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DISCLAIMER:The characters mentioned in this story are the property of Showtime and Gekko Film Corp. The Stargate, SG-I, the Goa'uld and all other characters who have appeared in the series STARGATE SG-1 together with the names, titles and backstory are the sole copyright property of MGM-UA Worldwide Television, Gekko Film Corp, Glassner/Wright Double Secret Productions and Stargate SG-I Prod. Ltd. Partnership. This fanfic is not intended as an infringement upon those rights and solely meant for entertainment. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author.