Scenes from a padded room

By: Lyn

FEEDBACK TO: townsend297@ozemail.com.au

DISCLAIMER: The characters of Stargate SG-1 are the property of World Gekko Corps, Double Secret Productions and UA. This fanfic has been written for my own and others’ enjoyment. No money has been paid and no copyright infringement is intended.

CATEGORY: Missing Scene and Epilogue.

RATING: PG.

SPOILERS: Legacy.

AUTHOR’S NOTES: This missing scene and epilogue grew from a comment made on the SG-TS list.

For Besterette, who planted the seed.

"Colonel O’Neill?"

Jack looked up from his position beside Daniel’s unconscious body as Janet, Mackenzie, Teal’c and Sam rushed into the room.

"What happened, Colonel?"

Jack shrugged and moved aside as Janet knelt to examine Daniel. "I don’t know. He was fine. We were playing chess and suddenly he said I had a Goa’uld in me and he jumped me. One minute, he’s acting all whacked out and the next, he’s fine again, apologizing. I was about to bring him back to the infirmary when he collapsed."

Janet nodded, looking somewhat distracted as she placed the ear pieces of her stethoscope in her ears and listened to the archaeologist’s heart. Sighing, she looked up at Dr. Mackenzie. "He’s tachycardic and diaphoretic."

Mackenzie nodded. "Probably the high dopamine level we discussed earlier. What’s his GCS?"

"Let me check his pupil response," Janet answered, pulling a penlight from her pocket. Bending over Daniel, she lifted one pale eyelid and flicked on the light. Both she and Jack were bowled over as Daniel suddenly and violently regained consciousness, both hands and feet lashing out to repel his perceived attackers. The archaeologist reared up from the floor and scampered back until he hit the wall, his hands held out before him in a placating gesture.

"Don’t! Please don’t hurt me."

Jack untangled himself from the doctor and began to walk slowly toward his friend but stopped when Daniel’s eyes widened and he shook his head. "I won’t let you take me," Daniel whispered brokenly.

"Daniel, please," Jack answered, taking a small step forward. "We just want to help you. Let Doc Frasier check you out, okay?"

Daniel shook his head again, reaching one hand up to rub at his temple. "She hurt me, the light hurt my head," he said, sounding like a small child.

"I won’t let that happen again," Jack assured him. "Just let me help you, all right? Let me take you back to the infirmary so the doc can find out what’s going on."

Daniel shook his head again and began to edge along the wall toward the door. His face was white, sweat beading on his brow and slicking his hair into spikes. His whole body trembled and his eyes skittered from one person to the next, always returning to Jack. He looked to be teetering on the edge of a full-blown panic attack. "Don’t you see, Jack?" he pleaded. "There’s nothing wrong with me. It’s them. The Goa’uld are making it seem like I’m crazy so that they can take over. They’re infiltrating the base."

"Okay," Jack said slowly, taking another step until he was close enough to touch Daniel’s sleeve. "Let me help you. You show me where they are and I’ll help you fight them."

Daniel laughed, his voice rising with his hysteria. "If you believed me, you’d be able to see them." He looked desperately at the colonel. "I’m not crazy, Jack. I’m not like Nick."

‘Nick? Who the hell was Nick?’ Jack shook his head and concentrated on gaining Daniel’s trust. That bit of information could wait. "I know that," he soothed. Reaching out, he took hold of Daniel’s icy hand and squeezed it gently before pulling the young man toward him. He had just wrapped a comforting arm around the archaeologist’s shaking shoulders when a security guard came rushing into the room.

Daniel screamed in fright and launched himself at the guard, knocking him to the floor. He rolled adroitly back to his feet and brought his hands up once more in a classic defense position, only this time he was armed, the guard’s gun was clasped tightly in his fist. "They’re here," he cried. "They’ve come back for me."

"Shit!" Jack muttered the epithet under his breath, then glanced quickly at the others in the room. "Okay, that’s it. Everybody out," he ordered.

"Colonel?" Carter had stepped up to touch his shoulder but Jack turned his attention back to Daniel. "That’s an order, Major," he hissed. "Everybody out."

He didn’t watch to see if he was obeyed; his attention and concern was fully focused now on the trembling man in front of him. He took a step closer, trying to ignore the sight of Daniel’s finger pressed against the trigger, the weapon wavering slightly, his knuckles white around the grip. "Daniel? You have to let me help you. We’ll figure out what’s going on but you have to give me the gun."

Daniel shook his head and backed up a step.

"Come on, Danny. You know what you’re seeing isn’t real. We talked about it before, in the infirmary. You said you think it’s got something to do with the Linvris?"

Daniel nodded.

"Okay," Jack answered, advancing once more. "You have to trust me. Give me the gun." The colonel held his breath as Daniel seemed to weigh up his options and breathed a sigh of relief as Daniel let the gun drop to his side, only to bring it up again and fire just as Jack reached his side. The shot hit the far wall, whizzing by so close to Jack’s ear, he felt its heat.

He launched himself the last few inches at Daniel and wrestled him to the ground. Daniel screamed and bucked and Jack averted his eyes as two security guards came in and held the young man’s wildly kicking legs.

"Hold his arm steady, Colonel. I don’t want to hurt him," Janet said from his side and he nodded as he stretched out Daniel’s arm, holding it in place. He watched Janet inject something into Daniel’s vein and tried to shut out the inhuman scream of rage and fear that was torn from the writhing man’s throat.

"No! Please, don’t! Jack! I want Jack!"

"I’m right here," Jack said fiercely. He cupped Daniel’s chin in his hand and tilted the archaeologist’s face to look at him. "Look at me. I’m right here."

The fight seemed to go out of Daniel suddenly and he collapsed in on himself. His tear-filled blue eyes found Jack and he looked totally sane. "I’m scared," he whispered, and Jack’s heart clenched painfully. "I don’t want to be like Nick."

‘Nick again. Who the hell…’ Jack stroked his fingers across Daniel’s forehead. "I’m here," he said. "I’ll look after you." He watched as Daniel’s eyes drifted closed and his breathing slowed to that of sleep, then he struggled to his feet, feeling shaky and nauseous and turned weary eyes to the doctor. "What now?"

"I’m sorry, Colonel, we’ll have to transfer him to the Mental Health facility."

"No!" Jack objected. "Look at him, he’s terrified. How’s that going to help?"

Mackenzie stepped forward. "He needs to be medicated, Colonel and observed closely. The facilities at the Mental Health unit are much better suited to that."

"No," Jack repeated, shaking his head. "I’ll watch him. We’ll watch him." He indicated Carter and Teal’c. "We’ll take shifts." Carter was already nodding.

"I’m afraid it’s not your decision to make, Colonel O’Neill." General Hammond stood in the doorway, looking down at the unconscious anthropologist. "I’m going to have to acknowledge Doctor Mackenzie’s expertise in this case. I’m sorry."

Jack opened his mouth to protest, then seeing the set jaw of his commanding officer, closed it again. "Yes, sir," he answered. He turned to a smug-looking Mackenzie. "Let us know as soon as you have him settled. I want to see him."

The doctor gave him a curt nod and oversaw Daniel’s transfer to a gurney. Jack was ready to object again when he saw the restraints being buckled around Daniel’s wrists but a squeeze of his shoulder by Sam halted him. Jack looked at the bullet hole high in the opposite wall and closed his eyes against the headache he could feel budding behind them. ‘Jesus, what a mess.'

Epilogue:

Jack O’Neill sighed tiredly as Janet Frasier pronounced her patient, and Junior, fully recovered from Machello’s Goa’uld killing device. He scrubbed a hand through his hair and wondered once more if he was getting too old for this. "I’m out of here," he announced to the group assembled in the infirmary. "Beer, hockey game, pizza, in no particular order. Anyone care to join me? Carter?"

Sam Carter shook her head and edged her chair closer to the bed. "If you don’t mind, Colonel, I thought I’d stay and keep Teal’c company for a while, then I want to take another look at Machello’s machines. I’ll stay on base tonight."

Jack waved a warning finger at her. "Look, don’t touch, Major."

Sam grinned. "Yes, sir."

"Daniel?" Jack looked around but saw no sign of the archaeologist.

"Doctor Jackson left about ten minutes ago, sir," Mandy Kelly, the duty nurse said as she entered the cubicle.

Jack nodded. "Okay. I’m out of here." He leaned forward and placed a hand over Teal’c’s, waiting until the Jaffa opened his eyes. "You get some rest, don’t party too hard with Carter and no coming on to the nurses."

Teal’c raised an elegant eyebrow and wisely chose not to ask.

Jack was halfway to Daniel’s apartment before he realized that he’d steered his car in that direction. "Five minutes," he muttered, checking his watch. "Just to see how he’s doing."

He parked the car out front and trotted up the stairs to Daniel’s apartment. He knocked several times but no one came to the door and he was about to leave when he heard the sound of breaking glass from inside. Not bothering to search for his spare key, he put his shoulder into the door and crashed in, almost losing his footing on the way. "Daniel?"

Daniel looked up from where he knelt on the floor, blood dripping slowly from a gash in his hand as he gripped his wrist with his uninjured hand.

Jack made his way quickly to the anthropologist’s side and crouched beside him. "You all right?" Without waiting for an answer, he lifted Daniel’s hand. "Let me see."

Daniel nodded mutely and raised his bloody hand. "Glass broke in my hand," he whispered, his voice sounding shaky. "Stupid spasm ambushed me."

He allowed Jack to help him to his feet and winced as he hobbled to the couch. Sitting down gingerly, he indicated his equally bloody foot. "I am such a fucking moron," he said, his voice sounding bitter. "Dropped the fucking glass, then walked on it, trying to clean it up, fucking idiot." A tear trickled from his right eye and he reached up to wipe it away, daubing his cheek with smears of blood.

Jack intercepted the hand and pulled a supply of tissues from the box on the table. He pressed them against the gash on Daniel’s hand. "Hold this. I’ll go get your first aid kit."

Daniel nodded and looked down at his hand, pressing the Kleenex roughly into the gash, wincing as he did so.

"Hey, hey. Easy." Jack eased the pressure off a little and standing up, hurried into the bathroom. He filled a small bowl with warm water and antiseptic and retrieved bandages and tape from the cabinet.

Jack set the bowl on the table and pushed Daniel back so that he could lift his feet up onto a towel he’d laid on his lap. Carefully, he washed away the oozing blood and examined the cuts closely. One looked rather deep and Jack wondered aloud whether a trip to the emergency room was in order.

"No!" Daniel was up and bleeding all over the floor again in an instant.

Jack held up a placating hand. "All right. All right. I’ll see what I can do with some butterfly closures." He motioned for Daniel to lay down again, and after a moment’s hesitation, the archaeologist did so. He remained silent for the rest of Jack’s ministrations, hissing occasionally in pain but otherwise remaining mute.

Once he was done, Jack got up, emptied out the bloody water and put away the supplies. Passing by the kitchen on his way back, he poked his head into the refrigerator, wrinkling his nose at the microbrew he saw inside. "You want a beer?" he called to Daniel.

"Can’t," Daniel answered. "I’m still coming down off the fucking meds they gave me."

Jack walked back into the living room and stood looking down at the still prone archaeologist. "Since when did you start swearing like a sailor?"

Daniel placed an arm over his eyes and spoke from beneath it, his voice muffled. "Since when do you care?"

"Okay. What’s going on here, Daniel?" Jack lowered himself back down to sit beside his friend.

Daniel shrugged. "Nothing’s going on, Jack. Go home."

"Uh-uh," Jack answered. "Not until you tell me what’s going on."

"All right," Daniel replied his voice now low and angry. He pushed himself upright, biting his lip at the pressure on his hand. "You want to know what’s wrong? You left me alone in that room, that’s what’s wrong. You thought I was going crazy and you left me alone."

"We didn’t know what was wrong with you," Jack objected. "Frasier and Mackenzie both said it was schizophrenia and Hammond overruled me when I asked for you to stay at the base."

"I told you it was something to do with the Linvris," Daniel continued, his voice getting louder, tighter. "Why wouldn’t you believe me? You only came back when Teal’c got sick. Would you have left me there if he hadn’t?"

"Is that what this is about?" Jack asked, standing up and beginning to pace the room. "You think we care more about Teal’c than you?"

"Don’t be so fucking patronizing!" Daniel shouted back, standing up himself and glaring at Jack, his hands balled into tight fists at his side. "This has nothing to do with Teal’c."

"Then what?" Jack was yelling as well now and he forced himself to lower his voice as his headache threatened to erupt with renewed vengeance. "What is it about, Daniel?"

"I thought you were leaving me too." Daniel’s voice was a whisper now and Jack opened his eyes, not aware that he had shut them. Was that what he’d done? Shut Daniel out? Out of sight, out of mind?

"I wouldn’t have left you there," Jack said finally, his own voice hushed and tight with pain.

Sorrow dripped from Daniel’s words. "Are you sure of that? I didn’t know that. You never told me you’d be back. You called Mackenzie in to dope me up again when I tried to attack the dead Linvris I saw next to Teal’c and when I woke up, you were gone. I hammered and hammered on that damn door but nobody came. Not until two hours later, when Mackenzie came to pump more of that shit into me." He lifted his unbandaged hand now and Jack closed his eyes against the bruising that mottled it. Then he shook his head and opened them again, stepping close to the anthropologist.

"I’m sorry," Jack said, placing one hand on Daniel’s shoulder. He reached down and lifted Daniel’s hand, examining the swelling more closely, brushing his thumb gently over the split knuckles. "I should have told you I’d be back. You’re right. Regardless of what was wrong with you, I shouldn’t have left you there thinking you’d been deserted by your friends, your family. If you were mentally ill, you deserved that much support. More. I told you once I didn’t leave people behind and I let you down."

Daniel stood now with his shoulders hunched, his body depleted of energy. "I couldn’t bear to be left alone again, Jack. My parents, Sha’uri, all gone. It’s how I felt when Nem told me you’d left me behind. I felt so empty and so afraid." He lifted his tear-stained, blood-smeared face to Jack. "I thought I would go crazy just from the emptiness." He shuddered and Jack stepped forward, gathering him into his arms, rocking him gently as he sobbed out his fear, his frustration and his anger, just as he had in the storage room after the sarcophagus had left him broken and addicted.

Finally, Daniel’s grief was spent and the archaeologist was almost asleep on his feet. He allowed Jack to lower him back to the couch and cover him with a blanket. Jack looked at the blood that seeped through the bandages on Daniel’s hand and feet and with a heavy sigh, headed back toward the bathroom for more supplies. A sharp intake of breath and then Daniel’s hand grasped his with remarkable strength.

"Easy," Jack soothed. "You’ve busted open your cuts. I’m just going to rebandage them." Daniel stared at him for a long time, not relinquishing his grip. "I’m not going anywhere," Jack said.

Daniel nodded and closed his swollen eyelids, drifting off into a restless sleep that seemed to be filled with nightmarish visions from his past. Through the long night, Jack alternately soothed and cradled his friend as he startled from his dreams, calling for his parents and Sha’uri and once more for Nick.

‘Gonna have to get that story out of you one day,’ Jack thought as he settled into the armchair again and watched his friend slip back into sleep. His own eyes drifted closed as Daniel’s hand tightened once more around his own. "I’m here," Jack whispered. "I’m here."

FIN

-Lyn

-August 28th, 2001.

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