"You'll let us know if you or Daniel need anything, right?"
"You betcha." Jack walked Carter and Teal'c to her car, half his
mind on being polite and the other half on the person sleeping in his
spare bedroom. "But it doesn't look as if Daniel'll be stirring anytime
soon." He held the car door open as Carter folded herself into her 1961
vintage Volvo, wondering every time he saw her and the car, why she'd
chosen something so... dainty.
Teal'c slid into the passenger seat, looking a little uncomfortable
in the cramped space. Carter buckled her seatbelt and Jack shut the car
door as quietly as he could, still thinking about the exhausted,
slumbering man back in the house. He still couldn't quite come to grips
that Daniel wasn't dead, despite the fact they'd given him a memorial
and a wake, before going back to the planet in an attempt to rescue
"Janet said she couldn't find anything physically wrong with him,
sir," Carter reminded Jack. "But she said to be on the lookout for
anything out of the ordinary and�"
"I know, I know." Jack bent over and faced her through the window.
"Look, he ate well, he fell asleep at the table, we put him to bed.
He'll probably sleep 'round the clock so don't worry if he doesn't call
you before tomorrow."
"DanielJackson also complained of a headache." Teal'c leaned around
Carter to look at Jack. "Do not forget to provide him with medication,
should he need it."
"Teal'c, the man's sleeping! He doesn't need a pain killer if he's asleep."
"I meant should he awaken and be in pain."
"I know what you meant," Jack quickly replied at Teal'c's slight
frown. He chastised himself mentally; his teammates had been just as
bereft and upset as Jack at the thought of Daniel having died. He
remembered Carter crying in his arms when Doctor Mackenzie's hypnosis
session had broken through their brainwashing with the horrific
realization that they'd left Daniel behind. Alive.
Jack slapped the warm metal beneath his hands as Carter finally
started the engine. "Look, would you two feel better if you spent the
For a moment he thought they'd take up his offer, then the two
glanced at one another before Carter shook her head. "Thanks," she said
with a smile, "but I think we'd probably spend most of the night
peeking into the bedroom to make sure Daniel was really there. He'll
probably rest better if we leave him alone. And anyways, we did agree
to fix up his apartment while he slept here."
"Okay, but if you change your mind..."
"Thanks." She smiled brightly at him, and Teal'c inclined his head
ever so slightly. "But you will call Janet if there's any sign of�"
She broke off as Jack opened his mouth to complain again. Jack
stepped away as she put the car into reverse and he waved as they drove
He watched the car until it went around the bend, then he suddenly
remembered Daniel. Alive, asleep, safe and sound inside Jack's house.
He felt a chill as he remembered the visions of Daniel crying out to
him for help as the flames licked at him.
He turned quickly and jogged back to the house, toed off his shoes,
and then quietly walked to the closed bedroom door. He opened it slowly
and looked inside. Daniel was still curled on his side, back to the
door. Satisfied that Daniel was fine, Jack tore his gaze from his
friend's blanket-covered form and looked around the room.
He eyed the opened curtains, wondering if the sunlight would bother
Daniel's sleep, but figured that closing them would probably disturb
him more. Instead he shut the door softly behind him.
He sat on the couch and turned the TV on, immediately lowering the
volume. He cycled through all the channels, then clicked them all in
reverse order, unable to settle on any one show. He was too tense,
unable to relax. He still couldn't quite accept that Daniel wasn't dead
despite the fact he'd just checked on him barely ten minutes ago.
He turned the television off and got up, pacing to the kitchen
window to look out into his backyard. He debated cutting the grass, but
the lawnmower would disturb Daniel's sleep. And in any case, he wanted
to stay close by in case Daniel woke up and needed something. Instead
he made his way into the kitchen.
Carter had put the late lunch remains in the fridge for him,
knowing that half the time he forgot to do that himself. Still looking
for something to occupy his time, he uncharacteristically decided to do
the dishes. As he turned on the faucets, he smiled to himself at the
memory of Daniel sitting at the table just a short time ago. He didn't
think adults tended to fall asleep during mid-chew, like young
children. But there was Daniel, actually nodding off into his
half-eaten plate of Chinese take-out.
Jack smiled as he squirted some dish soap into the quickly filling
sink. They'd taken pity on their friend and had urged him to go to bed.
Carter had literally guided Daniel to the room, he was so out of it by
then. Teal'c had taken Daniel's shoes off while Jack had taken care of
the pants and shirt. Carter had put Daniel's clothes away while Jack
had turned the bed down after Daniel attempted to go to sleep on top of
the comforter. He'd slid under the covers, burrowed his face into the
pillow, and hadn't moved from that position since.
The suds quickly expanded, reminding Jack of the bubbles he'd kept
seeing during his flashbacks thanks to Nem's brainwashing device.
Suddenly hating the sight of them, he turned the water off, wiped his
hands on his pants and quickly hurried to the spare bedroom. He looked
inside again, just in case he'd imagined the past several hours, but
yes, there was Daniel, a lump beneath the blankets with only the top of
his head showing.
Heaving a sigh of relief, Jack returned to the kitchen and attacked
the dishes. Once they were done, he started on the stove. By the time
he'd cleaned his kitchen, the sun was beginning to set. He locked up,
took one more peek at Daniel, and decided to take a shower.
He had finally settled in front of the TV once more with a sandwich
and beer, when his cell phone rang. He put his plate down and hurried
to the kitchen, where he'd left it on the counter. As he picked it up,
he bet with himself that the caller would be Carter.
"Sir? How's Daniel?"
He had to hand it to her; she'd gone several hours without giving
into the urge to call. Probably she'd been afraid of waking Daniel.
"Sleeping like a baby. Tell Teal'c he hasn't complained once about
his head hurting." He spoke quietly as he walked out of the kitchen.
"Oh, Teal'c's back on base. We finished putting Daniel's stuff back an hour ago; I just got home and I'd been wondering if...."
"He's fine, Carter. Fraiser did say he was exhausted, and that means he's gonna sleep."
Jack suddenly realized he was standing outside the spare bedroom.
He reached for the door, opened it, and looked inside. The only light
was that reflected from the kitchen and into the hall, and it barely
illuminated the bedroom. Despite that, Jack could see that Daniel still
hadn't moved. People didn't lie that still for so long while sleeping,
did they? Suddenly, fear gripped him.
"Hold on," he whispered curtly into the phone.
He tiptoed into the room and leaned over Daniel. He couldn't see if
he was breathing and suddenly Jack's heart sped up and he felt light
headed. He reached out with a shaking hand, feeling for a pulse.
Daniel's skin was warm beneath his, his heartbeat slow, steady and
strong. He leaned closer, and was able to hear Daniel's deep, rhythmic
breathing. His face was relaxed, no signs of his ordeal evident. Jack
ran his hand through Daniel's long locks, easing a few strands out of
Jack tiptoed back out of the room, breathing a sigh of relief once he shut the door.
"He's fine," he managed to say as he leaned weakly against the wall, his legs trembling now as the fear bled from him.
"Nothing." Then he realized he couldn't lie to her. Not after the
emotional turmoil they'd all been through over the past few days. "For
a second I just thought..."
"It's our memories. The implanted ones are still fighting with reality. It'll probably take a few days for that to wear off."
Jack smiled to himself as he pushed off the wall and returned to
the living room. Daniel was going to have to accept a bit of coddling
and extra attention before that happened.
"You gonna be okay, Carter? Still don't want to come spend the night watching Daniel sleep?"
Carter laughed. "I have every confidence you'll take good care of him, sir."
Jack said goodbye, then immediately dialed the SGC, and asked to be
connected to Teal'c. He started talking the moment Teal'c answered.
"He's still sleeping, he hasn't moved an inch since we put him to bed. He's not feverish, and he's not in pain."
"So you can rest easy tonight, get a good night's sleep, and don't worry about Daniel."
"Thank you for keeping me informed. Have you contacted Captain Carter?"
"Yeah. Just got off the phone with her."
"She was extremely concerned and wished to return to your house tonight. I managed to convince her it was unnecessary."
Jack pause a moment, that wasn't quite the impression he'd gotten
from Carter. Yeah, she had been worried but he'd thought she'd trusted
him to watch out for Daniel.
Then Jack suddenly caught himself - it wasn't that she didn't trust
Jack, it was that her memories kept telling her that Daniel wasn't
okay. Hell, Jack was only dozens of feet away from Daniel and he
couldn't help but worry.
"Listen, Teal'c. Can you get a ride over here tonight? I'm gonna call Carter, tell her to pack a bag and hie herself over."
"You are certain you wish us to keep vigil on DanielJackson?"
"Hell, yes." I'm gonna be up all night checking on him; we may as well take turns."
"Very well, I will arriving within the hour."
Jack disconnected the phone, and as he called Carter, he
contemplated Teal'c's words. 'Keeping vigil'. He smiled, knowing that
Daniel was going to be so embarrassed in the morning.
"Hey, Carter? Change of plans."
Author's Comments: Many thanks to Biblio for the editing and for accepting this fic into her zine.
to contact me
Since 11 November 2005
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