The Journal


The clouds parted as the tel'tak flew dizzyingly closer towards the planet, giving Jack a bird's eye view of the fast-approaching land mass.

"You sure you know where you're going" Jack glanced away from the encroaching mountains and looked over at Jacob, who was seated beside him, calmly guiding their craft down towards them.

"Trust me, Jack, I've done this hundreds of times."

"You, or Selmak?"

"Does it really make a difference?"

"I guess not," he finally conceded, turning back to the panoramic view before him.

"There!" Carter leaned over Jack's shoulder to point at what appeared to be a darker section in the mountainous area Jacob was now circling. The tel'tak slowed as Jacob began searching for a landing site.

"I'm going to try and land near the camp." Jacob was looking over to the right and Jack squinted into the sunlit area, trying to find the camp that Jacob was aiming for. Although experienced at flying jets and no stranger to aerial topography, it took Jack a good minute before he could make out the tents and other signs of habitation amidst the destruction.

Both Carter and Teal'c were leaning over Jack and Jacob's shoulders and he knew they were both searching for a glimpse of Daniel. The tel'tak roared over the camp, causing many heads below to turn and watch them fly by. Jacob managed to land fairly close, and within minutes, they were all hurrying towards the devastated mining site and excavation area.

Although the mountains were sparsely populated with growth, the few trees that had managed to grow in the arid land had toppled over. The ground was uneven, cracks in the soil making the going awkward and slow. But the worst had been the glimpse they'd gotten of the mountain's face as they'd flown over, a huge scar apparent in the yellow rock where it had collapsed. Jack presumed the tunnels that had been mined inside the mountain had most likely weakened it, tumbling down when the earthquake had hit.

"Colonel O'Neill." Jack stopped and turned towards the familiar voice. One of the miners he knew Daniel had been working with was hurrying towards him. The man's arm was in a sling and he was walking with a pronounced limp. "You can't know how glad I am to see you. Doctor Jackson will be so pleased to know you've arrived. Although he never admitted it, I know he was worried about his friends and how he'd be getting home."

A huge weight suddenly lifted off of Jack's shoulders. Daniel was alive!

"How is Daniel?" Carter moved ahead of Jack, leaning forward in her eagerness to get news about their missing friend.

"He's fine. He wasn't injured in the earthquake." Jack suddenly felt weak with relief, the muscles he'd unknowingly held tense during the past week of uncertainty let go all of a sudden. "He's been helping with the rescue effort. A lot of my people were injured or killed, and there's a lot more trapped inside the mine. We think we're on the verge of getting through. Everyone who's able to help is down there now. That's where I'm headed."

"Then what are we waiting for?" Jacob raised his eyebrows at Jack, and Jack nodded, realizing that these people needed their help. Anyways, that was where Daniel most likely would be.

- - - - - -

"Daniel, You're bleeding like a stuck pig. Will you just let one of the docs fix you up?"

Jack glanced at the blood-soaked bandage covering a deep gash on Daniel's arm, courtesy of a piece of razor sharp metal hidden in the debris they'd been clearing. Trust Daniel to simply wrap the wound up and keep on working. Jack placed a hand on his friend's shoulder, who was walking unsteadily as they made their way through the crowded camp.

Jack couldn't believe Daniel's luck. After surviving a horrendous earthquake virtually unscathed, cut off from Earth and his teammates for seven days, working almost non stop in a desperate attempt to help free those unfortunate souls trapped in a cave-in in a mining complex where the Stargate had recently discovered, Daniel ended up slicing his arm open minutes before the last of the wounded had been rescued.

"It's fine, Jack."

Daniel's pallor, unmistakeable beneath his filthy, sweat-streaked face, belied how fine he really was. His eyes were bloodshot and bleary, evidence of his exhaustion as was the slight tremor Jack could feel beneath his fingers. He finally guided his friend into the makeshift hospital and saw Daniel eying the hard-pressed doctors treating the more severely wounded.

"Not if you keep bleeding like that." Jack pushed him forward into the tent as a doctor stepped away from a patient. "Hey, can you spare us a minute?" The doctor looked at him in irritation, then his demeanour changed instantly when he recognized their uniforms.

"Of course, sirs. Please, come with me."

"Jack? This isn't necessary."

"Daniel. You've been helping dig out their wounded for the past week, the least they can do is sew you up."

Jack gave him another little push and Daniel turned to glare at him.

"Come on, we don't have all day. Jacob will be back any minute."

Despite his reluctance, Daniel followed the doctor into a quiet corner of the small shelter being used to treat the last of the wounded, and sat on the small camp chair beside a cluttered table when invited to do so. The doctor had Daniel lie his arm on the table and lifted the dirty bandage to have a look, and Jack wasn't surprised to see the gash was still bleeding heavily.

Jack stood by the edge of the tent, arms thrust into his pockets, watching as the doctor began gathering necessary supplies from a variety of boxes. Daniel closed his eyes, and Jack felt a wave of sympathy at the apparent exhaustion Daniel was suffering from.

He kept half an ear for the sound of the returning tel'tak. Jacob, Carter and Teal'c had conveyed the severely wounded to the city, and were hopefully returning with more supplies and aid for the people living in the surrounding areas.

Thank goodness Hammond had been able to enlist the Tok'ra's help when they discovered what had happened here. When Daniel had missed his scheduled check in, a probe which had been sent through the wormhole into the small cavern had revealed that there had been a cave in. A severe aftershock at that very moment had filled in the rest of the story.

Jack remembered how they'd all waited in dread as the MALP had lumbered to the three forms half buried under fallen debris in the small room, afraid to discover one of them to be Daniel. Everyone watching the video feed had breathed silent sighs of relief when the MALP's light had shown their friend wasn't among the dead.

Or at least, those visibly dead.

Further investigation had shown that the Stargate wasn't damaged, it simply was no longer accessible to the people, the tunnel leading to it buried under tons of rock, as was the DHD. Maybe years from now they'd be able to unearth it, but for the moment, the planet's inhabitants had far more important concerns. Like rebuilding the devastated cities in the quake's perimeter.

SG1's timely arrival several hours ago had been a Godsend for these people; the quake had damaged the roads so badly that the only way in to the dig site had been on foot. Most of the supplies here had been brought up on the rescue party's backs.

Jack swore this was the last time he was letting Daniel go offworld by himself. The man attracted trouble like there was no tomorrow.

Daniel hissed in pain, pulling Jack back to the present. The doctor was cleaning the area around the wound, Daniel's arm was as filthy as the rest of him.

"I'll be injecting a local anesthesia before attempting to suture this." The medic discarded the filthy swabbing, picked up some more and continued his work. "The wound's pretty deep but looks clean. You're very lucky you didn't cut an artery."

Jack heard a familiar sound as a shadow darkened the tent for a moment. The tel'tak's engines faded as Jack met Daniel's tired gaze.

"Our ride's here."

"There are more wounded to be transported. We're not leaving yet, are we?" Daniel's voice slurred a little and Jack realized that Daniel was on the verge of collapse.

Jack recalled how the tel'tak had been filled to capacity with the hundreds of injured who'd been trapped in the cave in for days. Jacob had already made two runs to large cities that hadn't been affected by the quake.

"These aren't critically wounded. Jacob said he can bring them to one of the closer cities. We'll be heading back as soon as we load them off."

Jack watched as the doctor finished cleaning Daniel's arm, then winced as he picked up a needle and began injecting its contents into the area surrounding the cut.

"Load them off? You sound like you're talking about cattle here." Daniel glared at Jack, then lost the effect of the look when he winced. "Um." He waved at his wounded arm, getting the doctor's attention. "Is that supposed to burn?"

Immediately, the doctor removed the needle, staring at Daniel in alarm.

"No, it's not." He moved closer to peer at Daniel. Concerned, Jack took a few steps forward, noting that Daniel's face was wet with perspiration. "Are you sure the discomfort began with the injection?"

"Yes. It was throbbing before, now it's..." He swallowed and closed his eyes. "Now it's really burning." His voice rose slightly in pitch as the doctor quickly wrapped a bandage around the wound.

"Jack?" Daniel was breathing fast and heavy and he put his uninjured arm out to grab the table's edge.

"Yeah?" Jack moved forward and clasped Daniel's shoulder.

"I don't feel very�"

Thankfully Jack was there to catch Daniel as he suddenly pitched forward. Moments later the doctor was holding a basin beneath Daniel's mouth when he lost the powerbar and water Jack and forced on him when they'd first been reunited.

- - - - - -

Danny watched from the doorway as his mom hung up the phone, looking sad.

"Claire, why do you do this to yourself?" His dad was sitting at the kitchen table, writing in his journal. He had that look that always made Danny feel like he'd done something wrong.

His mom sighed and hugged herself. "Dad's not answering the phone and I'm worried about him."

"Honey, he said he'd be home this week but you know how undependable your father is."

Danny didn't like the expression on his mom's face, like she was going to cry. His stomach cramped, reminding him why he'd gotten out of bed and had gone seeking his parents. Not realizing it, he imitated his mom's pose, wrapping his arms around his chest.

"It's Father's day, Mel. I just wanted to tell him..."

His dad got up from the table and walked to his mom, taking her in his arms. They stood close together, his mom with her head leaning against his dad's shoulder. They stayed like that a long time, Danny a little afraid to go tell them he wasn't feeling well, disturbed by his mom's sadness.

He shivered a little, staring at the floor, thinking of what she'd just said. Father's Day � Danny and his parents had had a very enjoyable supper, celebrating just that today. With his mom's help, over the past couple of days, Danny had painstakingly traced out hieroglyphics onto the cover of a blank journal and had proudly presented it to his dad that evening.

But he'd never realized that his mom would want to celebrate Father's Day with his grandpa. But of course grandpa was his mom's dad, too. Somehow that connection had eluded his five year old mind until he'd seen her unhappiness a moment ago. But his grandpa scared him. He'd only met him once a few years ago, although his mom had said that he'd seen Danny as a baby and he was too young to remember. What he did remember, though, was that his grandpa was a big man, and he and his dad had argued. A lot.

But now he didn't feel so good, his supper sitting sickeningly in his tummy and he was feeling both cold and hot.

"Mom?"

Although spoken softly, his call reached his parents. His mother raised her head and looked at him and he could see her eyes were wet and swollen. Suddenly feeling scared, he was sorry he'd left his bed.

"What is it, sweetie?" His mom wiped her face with the back of her hand and sniffed.

"My tummy hurts."

In a flash, she was kneeling beside him, her hand pushing back the strands of hair that always seemed to fall into his eyes. "Do you think you're going to be sick?"

He shrugged. All he knew was that he felt awful, and his mom was sad.

"Probably too much excitement tonight." His dad was already rummaging in the small cupboard where mom kept all the medicines.

"No, I don't think that's it." He was grateful when his mom picked him up. He leaned his head against her shoulder, feeling safe again, knowing that she'd make everything better. "He's got a fever." Her neck was cool against his cheek when he nestled against her.

He heard his dad turn the faucet on and then come towards them. "Here, drink this."

"The fizzy stuff?" Danny asked as he pulled away from his mom and looked at the glass in his dad's hand.

"Yes, the fizzy stuff." The water bubbled, and as his dad put the glass to his mouth, he could feel it splashing lightly against his face. He pulled back, not really liking the salty taste but enjoying the way it jumped around in his mouth.

"All of it, Danny." The glass bumped against his teeth and he opened his mouth, drinking it all down. The liquid sat heavily in his abused stomach, making him feel worse. "I'll give him the Aspirin in a little while. Let's just wait a few minutes."

His mom moved to the couch and sat down, shifting Daniel's legs so he was half lying against her. His dad came and sat beside them, his hand rubbing Danny's back. After a moment, his stomach gurgled and the escaping air surprised him as he belched loudly.

"That's my boy." His father chuckled as Daniel burped a second time.

"And what do we say?" his mom said after a few seconds of silence.

"Excuse me." Daniel forced the words out, not feeling like playing the courtesy game and sulking a little because he'd forgotten. He always wondered why he needed to say those words when none of the men working with his parents ever bothered. Some of them made the noises a game, trying to outdo one another when things were a little quiet and boring.

Despite his petulance, he began to relax as the discomfort in his tummy eased. He had begun to drowse when his dad shook him awake. He blinked sleepily at him, seeing two little pink pills held before him. "Wake up, Danny."
- - - - - -

"Wake up, Danny."

Daniel blinked, disoriented. The voice was familiar, but it wasn't his father's. He turned his head and saw Jacob kneeing beside him, a hand on his shoulder, still shaking him awake.

"Jacob?"

"Yep. How are you feeling?" Jacob leaned back on his heels, smiling down at Daniel. He could see the outlines of the tel'tac behind Jacob and figured they were on their way home.

He closed his eyes and tried to separate the various hurts and aches. He was lying on a soft pad, wrapped in a sleeping bag. The floor was hard beneath him, not exactly kind to his aches and pains. Some were instantly recognizable, like the dull pain from overtaxed muscles. Hauling rocks for seven days would do that to a person.

His arm was throbbing and he pushed the sleeping bag back, exposing it. There was a white bandage wrapped around his forearm. He vaguely recalled cutting it at the rescue site, and later Jack steering him to a doctor to have it looked after.

His head was pounding, and his stomach felt strangely heavy and swollen in his abdomen. Even as he thought about it, it cramped painfully.

"Like I've just gone through a bout of food poisoning." He massaged his sternum with his uninjured arm.

"Try allergic reaction."

"To what? I don't remember eating..." Jacob smiled at him again and brought held up a cup of water. Daniel shook his head as his stomach cramped once more.

"The local the doctor gave you before stitching you up. Both he and Jack never thought that any local meds might react adversely with someone not from there."

"I remember the doctor looking at my arm..." Daniel couldn't seem to remember much more, except an overwhelming desire to get the last of the earthquake survivors to safety so he could just collapse and sleep for a week.

"Well, you passed out in a spectacular fashion. I think you scared a few more hairs on Jack's head into turning grey."

"I did? I don't remember. What did I...?"

"Let's just say throwing up is never fun. Throwing up when you're unconscious isn't fun for those around you." Jacob's face was serious, his eyes expressing his concern.

"Oh. I guess that's why my stomach hurts?"

Jacob nodded, waving the glass of water before him again. "Do you think you can drink something? You're pretty badly dehydrated."

Not really wanting to drink, Daniel allowed himself a couple of sips. The water sloshed around alarmingly before his stomach finally settled. He drank the rest only because he knew Jacob was right. He'd been living on strict rations for a week, he knew he needed to drink as much as he could now.

"I'll give you more in a minute. Why don't you just rest for a bit."

He nodded and closed his eyes.

- - - - - -

The sound of someone knocking woke him up. He heard his parents talking softly together beside him, then his dad's footsteps echoed in the small apartment as he went to open the door.

"Dad!"

His mom got up, the sudden movement making Danny's stomach feel funny again. He kept his eyes closed as he felt himself handed over to his dad. He didn't feel any better, if anything, his head hurt more than before.

"Why didn't you call? I was worried."

"My plane was delayed and I didn't want you to worry." Danny recognized his grandpa's accented voice, and he felt his dad tighten his hold while Danny wrapped his arms and legs around his dad. He didn't want his grandpa here tonight, he just wanted his mom and dad and have all the attention on him.

"Worried? I expected you home a week ago."

"I'm sorry, Claire. I told you already my plans were uncertain. But I'm here now."

"Yes, you are."

Danny heard footsteps coming towards him and stiffened when he felt a hand on his back. "Hallo, jochie."

Daniel buried his face against his dad's sweater, hoping that by ignoring his grandfather, the man would disappear. He knew it was stupid, but there was always the expectation that by wishing hard enough, it would actually happen.

"Daniel, say hello to your grandfather." His mom's voice was stern, but the command only served to make Danny try that much harder to bury himself against his dad.

"Leave him be, Claire. He'll come around when he's good and ready."

"Daniel's not usually this shy. He's not feeling that great tonight." His mom passed her fingers through his hair, and he tightened his hold around his dad's neck.

"I think he might have caught what Abdul had yesterday. There's definitely some kind of virus going around."

"Coffee, dad?"

When his grandfather answered in the affirmative, he heard them move towards the kitchen area while his dad walked into the den. Within moments he was lying comfortably and securely in his dad's arms.

He tried to ignore the chatter from the kitchen, but the voices made his head hurt. He squirmed a bit, beginning to feel hot and sweaty.

"Have I not told you before that the desert is not a safe place for a child? Now he catches a fever."

"Yes dad, you have. Over and over. And we've told you that having Daniel here with us is our decision. And he'd get sick no matter where we stayed. He's a child. Children get sick. It's a part of growing up. "

Danny hated when adults talked about him as if he wasn't there. But this conversation was scaring him. Didn't his parents want him? As if his dad had read his mind, he kissed Danny's cheek.

"And what is this?"

"Daniel made that for Mel for Father's Day."

"I see." As his grandfather began reading the text he'd so carefully written on his dad's new journal, Danny relaxed in his father's arms. 'A good son is of the gift of the God, and he does more than is enjoined on him, he does right, and puts his heart into all his goings'.

"Pretty heavy stuff, kiddo." The whispered words tickled his ear and Danny smiled. "Your mom help you pick that out?" Danny nodded, remembering all the texts his mom had taken the time to go through with him so he could choose the one he felt fit perfectly.

"It's very nice, but the boy needs to practice his script. There is an error here, as you must surely have noticed."

"Dad!"

"Nick!"

Danny was too shocked by both his parents chastising his grandpa before he realized what he'd said about his gift.

"If you wish him to learn, you must point out his mistakes."

"Mistake?" Daniel pulled away from his father and stared at his father. But his dad wasn't looking at him, he had turned around on the couch and was glaring at his grandfather.

"He's five years old, Nick. What do you expect?"

"Daddy? I made a mistake?"

"I expect that if you take the time and trouble to teach the youngster to write this language, then you must ensure he's learned it well."

"Damn it, Nick! Daniel knows more about Egyptian lore than most of the children who live in the village put together! So he made one lousy mistake!"

"Mommy?" But his mom was too involved in yelling at his dad and grandpa, and she ignored his call. Feeling part shame, part confusion, and a lot sick, Daniel began to wail as the tears began falling down his cheeks.

"Hey? What's this? What's the matter?" His dad's softly-spoken question, so different from the tone he'd used while scolding his grandpa only moments earlier, had Danny taking a deep breath in order to howl more loudly. Totally caught up in his misery, he felt his head start to hurt and his stomach churned as his emotions ran away from his control.

He felt himself being picked up and hugged against his mom's softer body, her gentle, soothing sounds finally helping him calm down as he clutched her desperately. His breathing coming as long, gasping breaths, he shivered as nausea made him dizzy.

"Now, Danny, can you tell me what brought this on?" His mom wiped the tears from his eyes and made him blow his nose. He sniffled a few times before trying to tell her why his world had suddenly been devastated.

"I made a mistake." He hiccupped and felt the tears start up again.

"It's all right to make mistakes. Everyone makes them."

"But you didn't tell me. You let me think it was f...f...fine, and it wasn't." Feeling like he'd been betrayed, the tears started up again. "Daddy's gift, it's ruined!"

"No it's not, sweetie. And you know what? Sometimes a little mistake makes things even more special. Because if it's perfect, then anyone and everyone can do it that way. But a deviance, a change, can make it different, even more precious. Do you understand?"

"Because it's different from everyone else's?"

"That's right." Danny turned to his dad, seated beside him. "And every time I'll see that inscription, mistake or not, I'll think of you."

Daniel laid his head on his mom's shoulder, feeling tired and achy and sick. She put a hand on his back and rubbed gently. His stomach rumbled and liquid heat came up into his throat. He coughed it down.

"Mommy?" he cried as his stomach clenched painfully.

"Mel, get a bucket." She soothed his hair and sat him up slowly. "Are you going to be sick, Danny?"

Even before he could answer her, he leaned forward and�

- - - - - -

"Oh God!" Daniel sat up as waves of nausea assailed him. He breathed through his mouth, short, painful pants as he forced himself not to be sick.

"Hey, you okay, Daniel?"

Unable to trust himself to answer Jacob without vomiting, he shook his head. He tried looking at Jacob but the older man's face kept blurring in and out of focus. Oh geez, the last thing he wanted was to make a fool of himself by spewing in front of Jacob.

"Jack! Where'd you put the first aid kit?"

Daniel heard footsteps rushing into the room and moments later, Jack was kneeling by his side.

"Gonna be sick," he finally managed to blurt out between gasped breaths. Despite his efforts, he lost control of his stomach as it cramped and spasmed painfully. Hands helped him stay upright as he coughed and retched.

He felt something wet touch his arm after a moment and a sharp pinprick followed. "Hold on, the Compazine we gave you earlier wore off. You'll start feeling better in a little while."

He kept his eyes closed, the loop-de-loop movement of the room not helping his stomach. He continued to dry heave, feeling ashamed and very vulnerable until someone pulled him against their body and a supportive hand was placed against the back of his neck. He leaned in against them with relief, too weak and tired to stay upright without support for much longer.

"Try and relax and let the medicine do its magic." Someone placed a covering over his shoulders and he was held close and securely. For a moment he thought the person holding him was Jack, until he heard his friend's voice moving from behind him to the side as he circled around.

"How's he doing?"

"He's a little uncomfortable, but he'll be fine."

As Daniel dry heaved again, he ironically thought that uncomfortable didn't quite cover how he felt. His throat, neck and shoulders ached and burned with the involuntary actions of his body, his head was killing him and he suspected he'd never be able to eat or drink anything ever again.

He became lost in a fog of misery, pain and exhaustion, and a strong pair of arms that held him securely.

- - - - - -

The bed sheets were cold beneath his overheated body. Danny squirmed and tried to reach up for the lost heat of his dad's arms.

"Okay, kiddo, move over." Danny felt the bed dip as his dad sat beside him and he shifted back to make room for him, then laid himself as close as possible to his dad's outstretched leg.

"I'm sorry, daddy."

"What for?" His dad's voice seemed deeper, older. A hand touched his shoulder; the touch was heavier, different from his dad's usual feel.

"For messing up. I'm sorry I made a mistake with your gift."

"Hey, you with me here, Danny?"

A gentle shake to his shoulder brought Daniel fully awake and he blinked into Jacob's concerned gaze.

"What?" Daniel realized he was lying on the floor with his head and shoulders in Jacob's lap. Daniel swallowed then regretted it, his mouth felt thick and pasty and there was an awful taste.

"Here, do you think you can manage a bit of water?"

Before he could say no, a canteen was held to his lips and he swallowed gratefully as the liquid was dribbled into his mouth. As the water landed in his overtaxed stomach, he suddenly remembered why he felt awful. He waited, half expecting to throw up again, but after a few rumbles, his stomach quit complaining and settled down.

"You were talking in your sleep. It looked like you've been having some pretty intense dreams."

Those dreams were still prominent in Daniel's mind, the emotions and fears just beneath the surface, closer to reality now in his own weakened state. He found himself telling Jacob about them, those parts of his childhood he normally didn't talk about.

"I was dreaming about a time when I was sick as a kid. You know, those types of dreams that pick up again when you go back to sleep. And my dad was there, I'd forgotten how understanding he could be." And speaking of weird, how weird was it to be lying on Sam's dad's lap. Daniel tried to move away, but Jacob placed his hand on Daniel's shoulder, preventing him from repositioning himself.

"Sounded more like you'd committed a crime. You kept apologizing."

Daniel laughed softly, then winced as strained abdominal muscles protested. "Yeah, when I was five, I made my dad a Father's day gift. I'd spent hours writing out a proverb and unknowingly messed up on one of the hieroglyphs. I was devastated. I remember how hard I worked on that thing and felt like I was a failure. I got sick that night, I'd forgotten about that, how my dad had been really great about it."

"I bet your dad was really proud of your work, despite the mistake."

"Oh yeah. I still have that journal, believe it or not. I rewrote the script when I got better, but he told me he liked the original one better. He said it had been made with love, and that the mistake in it made it even more precious. Like it was a 'Danny original'."

Jacob was quiet for a few moments, and when he spoke, his voice was sad. "You know, that's something I ended up missing..."

"What?"

"Seeing my kids grow up. I'd get Father's day gifts months later since I was rarely home. Sam and Mark always made me homemade gifts, but by the time I got to see them, the kids had lost interest in them. I tried not to let it bother me, but..."

"There's nothing like seeing your child's eyes light up when you open something they made especially for you." Daniel turned at Jack's words. His friend was standing by the entrance, arms thrust into his pockets, eyes downcast. "I remember Charlie making me a handmade card, little cut outs glued to the front and inside the card. He couldn't have been prouder. Hell, I couldn't have been prouder myself." A smile graced Jack's face, and he looked at Daniel.

"Feeling better?" Jack entered the room and stood over Daniel.

Cautiously, Daniel nodded.

"Good. Looks like you had a pretty rough time of it." Jack knelt beside them and ruffled Daniel's hair, then stilled his hand as he touched the back of his fingers to his cheek. "Still have a fever, though."

"I'm sorry." Daniel felt bad for Jacob, remembering that Sam had once told him how her dad's career had been more important to him than his family. It was only when he'd come close to dying of cancer that he'd realized how much his children meant to him.

Daniel realized also that they'd all lost something precious... Daniel his parents, Jack his son, Jacob the early years of his children's growth and love. At least Jacob had his children with him now despite his Tok'ra itinerary; he'd been given a second chance at both life, and family.

Jack finally broke the awkward silence. "Teal'c said to let you know it's your turn to drive."

"Time flies," Jacob said with a laugh as he helped Daniel sit up so he could slide from beneath him. To Daniel's surprise, Jack slid into Jacob's spot and guided Daniel back down so he could pillow his head on Jack's thighs.

"Try to drink as much as you can manage, Daniel." Jacob handed Jack the canteen, stood up with a grace belying his years thanks to Selmak, and left the room. Jack waved the canteen before Daniel and he nodded. This time he managed to drink half the contents, the water sloshing in his stomach but not feeling all that uncomfortable.

"How's your arm?"

With a start, Daniel realized that the throbbing had melded into part of the overall pain and discomfort of his body. He raised his bandaged arm, showing Jack the still pristine dressing.

"It's fine."

"Head?"

"Aches."

"Stomach?"

"I'm not going to puke all over you, if that's what you're asking."

Jack laughed and lifted his right leg, bumping Daniel's head deliberately. "I trust you'll give me fair warning." They remained silent for a few more minutes. "You gonna show me that thing you drew for your dad?"

"It's just a beaten up cover of a journal I gave him. It wouldn't interest you."

"Try me. Speaking as a dad, I can pretty much guess how much your gift would have touched him. He must have been pretty proud of you."

"I hope so." Daniel sighed wearily.

"I know so." Jack adjusted the blanket around Daniel. "Why don't you try and get some more sleep?"

Daniel closed his eyes, and despite the fact that he was flying through space in a small alien craft after being stranded on another planet for a week, he felt as safe as his five year old self had felt in his dad's arm.

"I'm pretty proud of you, too." The admission was so softly spoken that Daniel thought he'd imagined it for a moment. He opened his eyes, surprised to see Jack looking down at him with a strange look on his face.

"Jack? You okay?" He was alarmed at the look on is friend's face and pushed himself up so that he was sitting facing Jack, ignoring the way the room began to spin again.

"I am now. But when we sent a MALP through to the planet and saw the cave in... we didn't know if..."

"If I was under all that rubble?" He put a hand to Jack's arm in empathy, then ended up having to grab hold of it when he lost his balance.

"Daniel will you lie down before you get sick again." Jack pushed Daniel down, but this time Daniel lay on the floor despite Jack trying to nudge him back to his earlier position. The floor was cold beneath his shoulders and he stretched his stiff muscles to try and get comfortable.

"We didn't know if you were even alive until we landed on the planet and asked about you." Jack placed a folded blanket beneath head and Daniel's shoulders, keeping his gaze on the motions rather than on Daniel's face.

"I didn't know if I'd ever get home." Daniel was relieved to see Jack glance at him quickly before looking away again. He realized now how hard all of this must have been on his friends. "I tried not to think about it, kept my focus on the rescue efforts, not knowing if the Stargate was buried."

'Hey, we'll be home in a day." Jack finally smiled at Daniel before handing him the water bottle. After drinking some more, Daniel settled back down, having trouble keeping his eyes open.

As he began drifting off to sleep, he pictured the dog-eared journal sitting high atop his bookshelf in his living room, those few hand-made cards he'd made for his parents stuck inside for safekeeping.

He decided he'd invite Jack for supper when they got home and Janet released him from her care, and maybe take that journal down, dust it off, and show it to his friend.  

FINIS!


Author's Comments:

 This fic was written in response to DebiC's Father's Day challenge on Tok'ra Flats

 
And thanks to my heartsisters, as usual, who have kept me on the straight and narrow, informing me with no holds barred if our Daniel isn't quite whumped enough. Thanks, guys! And who have made me laugh and smile, and who I have come to rely on so much in my writing, and will always hold a special place in my heart.

 

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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.