Burning Fences and Mending Bridges
written by: FCOL
Summary: While off world Jack saves Daniel's life, getting
injured in the process. (No Daniel did not touch something he wasn't supposed
Disclaimer:I don't own them, no matter how much I wish I did.
They had been arguing for the whole mission. Well if Sam was honest they'd been arguing for much longer than that. It seemed like Daniel and the Colonel never stopped arguing lately. Things had been going downhill ever since the argument they had on Euronda. Sam could still see the gut wrenching pain in Daniel's eyes when the Colonel had told him point blankly to Shut Up! Sam was still a little pissed that he had put her in the position to add to Daniel's hurt. Getting her to recite their standing orders. She admitted that yes Daniel had been a little overly disagreeable on that mission. He seemed to be trying to get Jack to snap. Well he'd done a marvellous job, and unfortunately now she and Teal'c were getting to enjoy the fruits of that particular little escapade. She glanced at the ever stoic Jaffa and saw a distinct frown. He looked just as bothered by the whole thing as she was.
This is indeed unsettling. DanielJackson and O'Neill have never spent so much time in disagreement. I wonder if the mission to Euronda has damaged their friendship beyond repair. I can see the hurt in MajorCarter's eyes. She is as upset by this situation as I. I do not believe that O'Neill or DanielJackson wish to hurt each other, but they do not seem to be able to find a common ground anymore where they could work through this problem. I must endeavour to speak to MajorCarter about this matter. Perhaps together we can come up with a possible resolution to the differences that seem determined to tear apart O'Neill and DanielJackson's relationship.
Daniel was studying the temple that they had come to P3X whatever to look at. His concentration was not what it usually was. He didn't really care what designation the planet was given, he didn't really care what the language before him said, he didn't care about much at the moment. The only thing that was on Daniel's mind was the fact that he was so mad at Jack he wanted to throttle him. Which was saying a lot about the normally peaceful young archaeologist. He hated violence, but Jack seemed to bring out the worst in him. Granted at times he brought out the good...but it had been far too long. Daniel could hardly remember the last time that they had a civil conversation. They always seemed to be at each other's throat. He doubted that they would even be able to talk about the weather without an argument ensuing. He was so lost in thought that he did not hear the steps of a very angry Colonel approach.
"Are you finished yet? You've been staring at the same spot for the last hour!" Jack was not in the mood to wait around for Daniel to take his time translating this. He had better things to be doing than babysitting a geeky archaeologist. It had been a long time since Jack had referred to Daniel as a geek...as anything other than a friend. Lately though it seemed to be getting more difficult for Jack to see why they had been friends in the first place. They had little to nothing in common. Daniel infuriated him at the best of times. He was always running off at the mouth, never showing any respect for the chain of command. Always running off, getting into trouble that the rest of the team had to drag him out of. Daniel was becoming more of a hindrance to the team than an asset. Maybe it was time he considered removing Daniel from the team. He'd be safer at the SGC and so would everyone else.
"No I'm not finished yet. If you want it done faster maybe YOU want to translate this?" Daniel let a slight snicker out at the thought of Jack being able to do something so obviously out of his league. Why did he even bother staying on the team? No one respected him, always trying to hurry him up. He never got the time he needed to really study anything. Always being rushed off to some other battle with the gou'ald. Sometimes he thought life would be so much better if he stayed at the SGC. At least then he wouldn't have to deal with a petulantly bored Colonel Jack O'Neill.
"Excuse me? Keep up the insubordination DR. Jackson and I'll have you on report!" Jack bellowed, not at all amused at being insulted by a lowly archaeologist. Moments like these were the reason that Daniel was such a risk. If you want the team to come back alive then you have to be able to follow orders. Something that Daniel had NEVER learned.
"Fine Jack! Put me on report. I'm sick and tired of having you breathing down my throat whenever I am trying to work. You think that I can just read this like you read your pathetic little sports magazines? If you'd get out of my face for more than five minutes maybe I would be able to get some work done!" Daniel screamed. Each sentence being punctuated with a higher more strained tone of voice. Things had reached a breaking point. If Jack wouldn't let him alone to do his job, then he was more than ready to step aside, leaving some poor unsuspecting military newbie take his place.
"That's it! Get your gear together NOW! We are heading back to the SGC. You are hearby OFF the team DR. Jackson! I will not tolerate this level of insubordination any longer!" Jack stormed back towards the two very stunned, remaining members of SG-1. Without even so much as glancing at them he ordered them to pack up and be ready to gate back in 10 minutes.
Daniel began to throw and stuff everything back into his kit bag. He couldn't believe that Jack had basically done the 'that's it I'm turning the car around' speech. He was actually almost relieved that Jack had said he was off the team. It saved him from resigning, and if Daniel only admitted this to himself, made Jack look like the asshole. At least in Daniel's eyes. He wasn't sure what Sam and Teal'c thought about the whole situation. He imagined that they were a little relieved as well. He was sure they hadn't been enjoying the screaming matches that he and Jack had been having lately. Of course, he hadn't enjoyed them either, but sometimes he just couldn't stop the words from coming out. Like just now. He really hadn't meant to say what he had. He was pissed at Jack, yes that was true, but he never really meant to insult him, basically calling him unintelligent. Daniel knew better. Jack was one of the smartest men that he had ever met. He never admitted it and showed it even less. Daniel instinctively knew though that Jack O'Neill was much smarter than he let on. Truth be told it was just one more thing that pissed Daniel off about Jack. He couldn't understand why Jack would want to be seen as dumb. It made Daniel think that he should be ashamed that he himself was smart, and dammit he had NO reason to feel ashamed about that. Stuffing the last of his belongings into the bag Daniel stood and began to make his way towards the gate.
Sam and Teal'c had each retrieved their belongings and were waiting for Daniel to finish getting everything together. The Colonel had stormed off and was now impatiently waiting at the DHD. Daniel didn't look at Sam or Teal'c he was lost in thoughts about how he'd like to just once get to beat the crap out of Jack. He was growing more and more frustrated as they headed towards the DHD. He decided that he wasn't going to say anything else to Jack, knowing that he was too close to blowing up yet again. Teal'c and Sam followed behind Daniel each throwing worried glances at the other. They could feel the team falling apart and they didn't know how to stop it. It was up to the two people in front of them and neither of them seemed eager to resolve anything.
Jack glanced up as he saw the three figures moving towards him. He quickly punched in the glyphs to Earth, followed by the IDC. Without a word Jack made his way to the open wormhole being followed by both Carter and Teal'c. Daniel stopped for a moment, bending to pick up a stray journal that had fallen out of his bag. As he walked up the steps towards the wormhole, he was too distracted to notice the rather large, sharp projectile coming right towards his back. He stepped through the gate and heard his boots clanging on the ramp. He turned seeing Jack begin to storm from the embarkation room. At the same moment Daniel felt something hit him in the back. Pain. Burning. Searing pain. As Daniel began to feel the darkness creeping upon him he called for the one person he had always counted on. "JACK!" Daniel saw Jack turned at the anguished cry that escaped his lips. He saw the horror in Jack's face, the fear as he yelled "DANIEL!", while he ran to his side. Just as Daniel hit the ramp Jack was hitting his knees beside him. He reached for him, blue eyes meeting brown. Daniel barely managed a gasped "Jack" as his heart stopped.
Jack was frantically looking for a pulse while screaming for a medical team. He hadn't heard Hammond order one as they all saw Daniel fall. The only thing Jack could hear was the gasp of his name from Daniel's lips. Dammit! He couldn't find a pulse, Daniel wasn't breathing. He was losing him. Daniel was dying in his arms. Jack pulled Daniel up, propping him against his chest. As he moved his hand from Daniel's back he saw nothing but red. Daniel was bleeding to death in Jack's arms. Where the hell was that med team? Jack screamed again for help, not seeing the rest of his team beside them, not seeing Hammond standing over them, not hearing him say the med team was on the way, not hearing Janet's heels clicking on the floor as she ran into the embarkation room, not hearing the urgent orders being issued by said doctor. The only thing that played over in over in Jack's head, was something that terrified him. He prayed to whoever was listening that it would not be the last time he heard Daniel say his name.
He could feel someone trying to pry his arms from Daniel's body. He didn't want to let go. He was scared if he let go he'd be letting go forever. He barely registered hands pulling him back. He could see Janet's team doing CPR, trying to revive Daniel. Jack suddenly couldn't see. His vision was blurred as tears filled his eyes. He watched, scared to hope, desperate to hope, that Janet would be able to save Daniel. That he would come out of this just like he had come out of so many other missions gone wrong. Jack felt a shudder course through his body as his mind replayed what might be the last conversation he ever had with Daniel. He had kicked him off the team. He had spoken so cruelly, hadn't cared if he hurt Daniel. Now...now he might have to forever live with the guilt that conversation engulfed him in.
Daniel had been lifted to a gurney, Janet straddling his body as the medics rushed him to the infirmary. She worked on him as they flew through the corridors of the SGC. As they neared the infirmary she finally saw Daniel take a breath of his own accord. She reached a bloodied hand to his neck feeling a very weak pulse. "I've got a pulse, he's breathing but I don't know for how long. Get an OR prepped STAT!" She looked down at the man who had become a very good friend. She saw how pale he was from loss of blood. She begged whatever deity was listening to grant Daniel another miracle and help him pull through this. She was, at this point, not so sure whether even a miracle would pull Daniel through.
Jack had watched as they wheeled Daniel out of the embarkation room. He felt himself being lifted from the ramp by hands that he didn't register as the rest of his team. Carter and Teal'c each on either side of Jack began to guide him out of the gate room and towards the infirmary. They knew that Jack was in shock. They all were really, but Jack was the one that felt Daniel's life slip from his grasp. He was the one holding Daniel, he was the one Daniel called for, even after the huge fight they had.
Sam wiped away a tear. She didn't know what she would do if Daniel didn't make it. She didn't know what would happen to the Colonel either. The screaming matches they were partaking in of late did not wipe away the fact that the Colonel and Daniel cared deeply for each other. They were family. And Sam didn't think that Jack could handle losing another family member. She looked at the man beside her. He was barely able to put one foot in front of the other. He was covered in Daniel's blood and looked like he no longer had a drop left in his own body. He was pale and if possible looked as if he had aged ten years. She squeezed his hand hoping to get some response from him, something to show her that he would be alright. She felt nothing as he continued to stare straight ahead, straight ahead to where Daniel was lying...God, Sam prayed, where he was laying still alive.
Teal'c was guiding O'Neill by the elbow towards the infirmary. He did not know what they would find when they arrived. Teal'c had seen Dr. Fraiser frantically working on DanielJackson's body as the gurney was wheeled out of the gate room. He was still not breathing when they had left. Teal'c silently cursed himself, he should have stayed at the gate and waited for DanielJackson. Instead they had all went through the gate leaving him to be injured. Teal’c wondered if it happened before or after Daniel entered the gate. What did it matter? Daniel had been hurt when the rest of his team...when Teal'c should have been there to protect him. After everything that happened with Daniel's wife Sha're Teal'c had silently promised he would always protect the young man. That he would somehow make up for the horrible wrong he had committed against Sha're and DanielJackson. He had failed, and because of that failure DanielJackson might be lying dead in the infirmary.
Jack could feel his feet moving he could see the passing doors and lights in the corridors. He knew that it was Carter and Teal'c beside him. He knew they were going to the infirmary to see if Daniel had made it. A sudden wave of panic hit Jack. He wasn't ready, he didn't think he ever would be...he just...he couldn't see Daniel. He didn't want to...what if Daniel didn't make it? Jack suddenly stopped dead in his tracks wrenching his arms free of Teal'c and Carter's grasp. He slowly backed up until he was stopped by the wall. He slide down until his knees were drawn up to his chest. He buried his head in his arms and let silent tears fall. He had never let Daniel be the last offworld. He had always made sure that his team was safely through. He'd left someone behind...he left Daniel behind...again. Jack's mind dredged up memories of Daniel lying in a corridor with a smoking staff blast wound in his chest. Daniel telling him to just leave him, that he would watch their backs. He remembered wanting to pick Daniel up and take him regardless of whether or not he'd be slowed down. He didn't want to leave him there...he didn't want to...but he had. Now...he had left Daniel again and once again he was afraid it would be the last time he saw Daniel alive. Jack could hear muffled words that he assumed were Carter and Teal'c trying to check if he was alright. Hell No! He didn't think he'd be alright ever again. He let the voices fade as he slipped back into his nightmarish thoughts of Daniel dying.
Sam had tried to ask the Colonel if he was alright but wasn't getting any response. She told Teal'c to stay with him as she ran to call for another med team. He was going into shock and she knew they would never be able to get him to walk to the infirmary on his own. She called the infirmary and returned to where she had left her two teammates. As she rounded the corner she nearly ran into Teal'c carrying the Colonel. Sam was, to say a little surprised would be an understatement. She looked in Teal'c's eyes though and knew that he didn't believe it wise to wait for the medical team to arrive. They needed to get the Colonel checked out, and they needed to find out if Daniel was still alive.
Sam and Teal'c began their journey to the infirmary once again, nearly being bowled over by the med team. Teal'c lowered Jack to the stretcher as he was whisked away. Teal'c and Sam jogged behind them, both beyond worried about Daniel and becoming increasingly worried about the Colonel. They reached their destination...finally after what felt like hours. The sight before them was disturbing to say the least. Jack was taken to a quiet section of the infirmary to be checked out while the rest of the staff were working frantically on Daniel. It had only been minutes since he was brought in, they were getting ready to take him to the OR. Janet was stripping away bloodied fatigues, holding a compress to Daniel's chest while a nurse intubated him. An IV had been started. They were rolling Daniel on his side to try and get a look at his back as Sam gasped. There was a large hole in Daniel's back, blood still pouring from the wound. Janet could see there was still something imbedded inside but didn't dare remove it until they were in the OR. Before Sam had time to ask if he was alright the gurney zoomed by carrying Daniel to the OR.
Sam made her way over to where Jack lay, staring at the wall. He had turned onto his side when the nurse had him settled. He hadn't put up any fuss which unnerved the nursing staff a bit. They assumed they would have to hold him down and stop him from getting in the way of the team working on Daniel. He hadn't uttered a single word since he was brought in. Sam slumped in the chair by the bed as Teal'c stood guard at her side. Neither knew what to say to the Colonel. They didn't have any news on Daniel. They didn't have the energy to try and distract him either. So they remained silent. Sam sat. Teal'c stood. The Colonel stared. And no one spoke a word.
The OR team worked frantically on Daniel. The arrow, if it could be called that, had pierced Daniel's heart. He shouldn't have been alive. They were all amazed that for the moment he was holding his own. They removed the arrow and began the delicate work of repairing his damaged heart. The hours crawled by as the surgeons painstakingly worked to keep Daniel alive.
Janet had left the operating room once to let the rest of SG-1 and the General know how things were going. The General thanked her and made his way back to his office. The rest of SG-1 were another story. Sam and Teal'c looked exhausted but relieved that Daniel was at the moment still alive. The Colonel...the Colonel had as of yet said a word. He was still staring at the same wall he had been since he was brought in. Janet was worried that he seemed to be unresponsive. She shooed Teal'c and Sam away so she could check Jack out herself. She drew the curtain around his bed and slowly walked into his field of vision. She softly called his name, getting no response she lowered herself into the chair before him so she could look into his eyes. Her heart broke. He looked like a man who had lost everything. Janet didn't doubt for a minute that would be the case if Daniel didn't make it. She gently placed a hand on Jack's arm trying to get him to look at her. "Sir?" He didn't move. "I know you can hear me. He's hanging on. We're doing everything we can...Daniel is a fighter Jack. If anyone can make it through this, he can." Janet stood, knowing she had to get back to the OR, she gently patted his shoulder, promising she'd be back when she had more news.
As Janet pulled the curtain open so the rest of SG-1 could return to the Colonel's side Jack quickly wiped away the tears that fell as Janet told him Daniel was alive. He had been laying there for hours, too scared to ask anyone if Daniel had made it. He wasn't ready to talk yet, wasn't ready to deal with the worries of his teammates. He knew they were hurting as much as he was but he needed time. So he resumed his study of the infirmary wall, not acknowledging the returning presence of Carter and Teal'c. He didn't deserve comfort...not after the way he had spoken to Daniel. Jack felt his heart tighten and skilfully fought his urge to cry. He was a USAF Colonel for cryin out loud. He'd been in many battles, lost many friends...too many friends, but death was a part of war. It was something that you learned to deal with. Jack didn't know if he could fool himself into accepting Daniel's death as a result of the war against the gou'ald. If Daniel died...Jack knew that the last good part of himself would die too.
Janet threw the blood covered gloves into the trash. She washed her hands and stood looking in the mirror. It had been too close. Daniel’s heart stopped on the table. They almost lost him. Splashing cold water on her face Janet kept telling herself he had pulled through.
She made her way back to the rest of SG-1...to Daniel's family. She saw that Sam had taken the bed beside the Colonel while Teal'c was performing Kel'No'Reem between his two teammates. The Colonel she hoped had also decided to get some sleep but as Janet made her way closer she saw his eyes were still open. She walked around the bed, again sitting quietly in the chair. "You should really try to get some sleep Sir." Janet smiled as brown eyes gazed back. "How is he?" Barely above a whisper, Janet was sure she would have missed it if she hadn't seen his lips move. "He's still in critical condition. It was very close Colonel, I won't lie. We almost lost him." Jack's eyes closed briefly, opening them again Janet continued. "He is stable, but the next 48 hours are critical. He'll be in ICU for a while. If everything goes well though, and there are no complications, he should make a full recovery." Jack nodded as Janet rose from her seat. "Thank you." Patting his arm once more she smiled and in her best doctor's voice said, "You're welcome. Now go to sleep before I come back with a very long, very sharp needle." She received a small smile from Jack as his eyes began to drift close.
As Janet left the Colonel's side she saw that Teal'c was 'awake', he stood and followed her so he could speak to her without waking MajorCarter or O'Neill. Janet told Teal'c what she had told the Colonel telling him she would be back after she got some sleep to check on them. Teal'c nodded his head slightly and returned to finish his Kel'No'Reem. He knew he would be of no use to DanielJackson, O'Neill or MajorCarter if he was not well rested. It had indeed been a long, worrisome day, Teal'c return to his meditation more peaceful knowing that DanielJackson had made it through. Tomorrow would bring the chance to build bridges and mend fences. Teal'c had no doubt that SG-1 would be able to work through this...that DanielJackson and O'Neill would be able to work through this...things would be better in the morning.
The morning came quickly and with it, it brought a flurry of activity. Daniel had been moved to the ICU. The rest of SG-1 had passed the night in the infirmary and were now all eagerly waiting to see Daniel.
Jack awoke first, stretched and slid off the infirmary bed. He saw Carter and Teal'c, smiling at the fact that they had both spent the night in the infirmary with him. He had a great team. The best the SGC had. He was proud and very grateful to have them as friends and teammates. He didn't think he told them that nearly enough. He reached down and placed a hand on Teal'c's shoulder. The Jaffa's eyes opening immediately. "Hey T." Jack smiled as he turned to the sleeping form of his 2IC. "How are you feeling O'Neill?" Teal'c asked as he rose from what looked like a rather uncomfortable position on the floor. "Better." Jack reached out and shook Carter's shoulder. Mumbling Carter lazily opened her eyes taking in the Colonel and Teal'c standing before her. Bolting upright "Sir! Daniel...is he....?" "He's holding his own Carter. Made it through the surgery. He's in the ICU now. Thought I'd go check on him, assumed you'd both want to come." Jack grinned. He felt better. He felt like things were going to be alright. He knew he and Daniel had a lot to talk about but knowing that he would be able to talk to him was all Jack needed to know right now. "Yes Sir" Carter hopped off the bed and fell instep with her CO, while Teal'c followed closely behind.
They reached the ICU and were greeted by a wide awake and immoveable Dr. Fraiser. Raising her hand before Jack could even say a word she began her list of orders. "Only one at a time, no longer than 10 minutes. He's still in bad shape, I don't want him agitated. No arguments Colonel or you won't see him until he is out of ICU. Do I make myself clear?" Thoroughly chastised Jack nodded. Carter and Teal'c let Jack go in first.
The sight before him sent a shiver down his spine. Daniel looked so small and pale covered with lines and tubes while surrounded by beeping machines. Jack made his way to his best friend's bedside and sat down. He looked at Daniel's still form in the bed before him. Gently, he took Daniel's hand in his own. Jack gazed on his friend, his friend that he had hurt too many times to count. "I promise Danny...we'll burn all those fences we put up and mend the bridges we broke. We'll get through this...you and I...I'm not ready to lose your friendship Daniel." Jack squeezed Daniel's hand then placed it gently back on the bed. He made his way out of the ICU to allow Carter and Teal'c their visits, and continued to the locker room for a much needed shower.
The 48 hour window had passed and Daniel was still with them. He had been moved from critical to serious but had not, as of yet, rejoined the land of the conscious. The remaining members of SG-1 had spent all their free time by Daniel's bedside. Janet had allowed them to stay as long as they wanted if they promised to eat and get some sleep as well as promised not to do anything that might agitate Daniel.
Jack walked back into Daniel's room, resuming his place by his best friend's side. He sent Carter off to get something to eat and to get some much needed sleep. She had sat with Daniel so Jack could get a couple of hours. He had done little more than toss and turn though, giving up and opting for a shower instead. Jack picked up the book he had been reading to Daniel for the past two days. As he turned the page he glanced towards the bed and was greeted with two blue eyes staring at him intently. Placing the book on the bed Jack rose off his chair, bending towards Daniel he whispered, "Hey Dannyboy. Welcome back. I'll get the Doc." Just as he was about to turn and call for Janet Daniel grabbed his hand getting his attention once more. "Jack...happened?" he croaked. He revelled in the feel of the ice chips Jack provided. His throat was dry and raw, making talking even more difficult.
Jack didn't really want to get into this with Daniel yet. He didn't want him to get agitated and undo any of Janet's work. "How much do you remember Danny?" Jack placed his own hand over Daniel's. Daniel shook his head. "Nothing." Jack's stomach did a flip, "Nothing?" He watched as Daniel's brow furrowed in concentration as he tried to remember what had landed him in the infirmary yet again. Nope there was nothing. He remembered the mission briefing to P3X..something, something, something. Daniel didn't understand why his memory was so fuzzy.
"I'm going to get the doctor Daniel. Don't move...we'll sort things out after Janet has checked you over." Daniel just nodded while he lay there trying to remember what had happened.
Janet checked Daniel over and nodded at Jack to follow her. "Well Sir, there's no infection which is very good. He seems to be fine physically, so far. I believe that the trauma of what happened has left him a little confused. It's not uncommon for patients to be unable to remember the traumatic event. Usually though, given a little time their memories return. So for the time being I'd rather you didn't agitate Daniel. Let him remember on his own." She gave him a pointed glare that made him swallow. He knew she meant business. Truthfully, Jack was in no hurry to have Daniel remember what happened. This at least bought him a little time to try and figure out how to fix things.
Jack walked back into Daniel's room as Janet made her way to report to Hammond and fill the rest of SG-1 in on this latest development. He slid into the chair beside Daniel and watched as Daniel's concentration made him oblivious to Jack's return. He smile to himself, having seen this look on Daniel's face many times in the past. It was something he knew he would miss if Daniel left SG-1. Clearing his throat he laid a tentative hand on Daniel's arm, drawing the man back into the here and now.
"Oh Jack! Sorry, I didn't hear you come back. What did Janet say?"
"Well it seems that when a person has a trauma like you, it isn't uncommon for them to forget the events surrounding it, but Doc says not to worry it should come back to you given a little time."
"What happened Jack?"
"Sorry Dannyboy, Docs orders. She wants you to remember on your own. No cheating on this one."
Daniel sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose in concentration. He had no intention of just forgetting about it. There was a whole mission missing from his memory. He would just sit here until it came back to him.
Jack shook his head looking at Daniel frying his brain trying so desperately to remember what happened. He knew without a doubt that as soon as Daniel did remember he would wish he hadn't. Jack wished that he could forget what happened too. Things just seemed to get out of hand. He hadn't really meant to kick Daniel off the team. True sometimes he thought that Daniel would be safer on base rather than going offworld, but he knew that Daniel was a very valuable member of his team. One that very often had saved his life as well as Carter and Teal'c's...not to mention the countless times he helped save the whole planet.
Jack spent all his free time with Daniel in the infirmary. It had been 3 days and Daniel had yet to remember what happened on P3X whatever. He had spent most of the time trying to work on the relationship he had with Daniel...trying to smooth things over, without Daniel realising that was what he was doing. Funny thing was Daniel was still so determined to remember that he barely registered that Jack was there so often. That in and of itself kind of bothered Jack, but he figured that as long as Daniel wasn't throwing him out of the infirmary room he was doing Ok.
After Daniel had recovered enough to be released from the base, Jack had offered to take him home. He wanted to spend some more quality time with Daniel, and wanted to be there, at least he thought he did, when Daniel finally remembered what happened. So Daniel went with Jack, somewhat reluctantly, as he wanted to go home, but he went nonetheless.
The first night had been rather uneventful, a few documentaries *fun*, part of a hockey game, some good food, and Daniel trying to weasel what happened out of Jack. It had started with small little questions. Did they remember to video tape everything from the planet? Daniel would need it when he went to study what they had found. Jack expertly dodged the questions, always being very good at evasion tactics. Finally Daniel sighed in frustration, coming to accept Jack wasn't about to risk the wrath of petite Doc Fraiser by disobeying her direct instructions as per Daniel's recovery.
Jack waited on Daniel happily, if somewhat out of a guilty conscience, making sure he did everything he was supposed to and enjoying the reaction little threats of returning to the infirmary wrought from Daniel. Never be it said that Jack O'Neill ever passed up the opportunity to tease, harass and downright panic his archaeologist.
They turned in, Daniel snuggled warmly in the guest room, while Jack tossed and turned in his own. He kept dreaming about the last conversation he had with Daniel before they came back through the gate. He only seemed able to dream though that Daniel didn't survive. He could see his blue, haunted eyes looking at him as he gasped his last breath with Jack's name dying on his lips. He saw Janet working frantically to save him and then he saw the thing that made him bolt upright in a cold sweat. Janet would look at him, tears in her eyes as she shook her head. Daniel was dead, there was nothing she could do. Jack had awoken the first time and flopped back down trying to fall asleep again, only to be woken an hour later by the very same dream. He threw off the covers, slowly padding his way into the bathroom for a nice hot shower. He wanted, needed to wash away the feeling that nightmare had left him with.
He walked from the bathroom, towelling his hair dry when he was met by a rather dishevelled and rather pissed looking archaeologist. "Daniel?" Jack began to walk slowly towards his friend but stopped as he heard Daniel hiss at him "You son of a bitch!" Daniel quickly spun on his heels making his way towards the guest room to gather his things. Jack followed a little stunned, not sure what had happened.
"Daniel? what's wrong?" He reached a hand towards Daniel's shoulder only to have his hand slapped away.
"Don't you dare touch me! Don't you dare come near me ever again! How dare you?! You bastard!" Daniel was panting, exhausted from his rant, but still looking very determined to leave. He grabbed his bag pushing his way past Jack. As he reached the bedroom door Jack found his voice again.
"Daniel what is wrong with you? Maybe we should go back and see Janet."
"I remember!" The words were left hanging in the air. Jack wasn't sure what to say. So he said the first thing that came to mind. "Remember what?"
Spinning to face Jack, Daniel's glare made Jack swallow quickly. His throat suddenly seemed very dry. What he wouldn't do for a stiff drink right about now.
"Everything! I remember everything Jack! The argument...You kicked me off SG-1!"
"Save it Jack. I don't want to hear it." Daniel stormed to the front door grabbing his jacket and slipping on his shoes. He yanked the front door open only to slam it directly in Jack's face. Jack reached for the knob pulling the door open to see Daniel climbing into a cab.
"Dammit Daniel!" Jack called but the cab was already pulling away. He knew Daniel would most likely go home to his apt. He figured that maybe he should wait and give him time to cool off, but Jack knew this was something that they had needed to talk about for a long time now. "Well, no time like the present O'Neill." Jack grabbed his keys and climbed into his truck. As he made his way over to Daniel's apt. he gave Janet a quick call. He told her that Daniel had remembered. Had in fact remembered a few things Jack wished he didn't. He brushed aside Janet's questions about that comment only telling her that he and Daniel really needed to have a conversation about a few things. He wanted to know if he needed to bring him back to the base or if it would be alright for him and Daniel to have some time before he dragged Daniel kicking and screaming to the infirmary. Thanking Janet he hung up the cell and braced himself for what was bound to be a bumpy ride.
Daniel paid the cab driver getting slowly out of the cab and trudging up to his apt. He enjoyed coming home to his apt. surrounded with artifacts he had found, his journals and books. It was slowly beginning to feel like home. It had taken a few years but he was finally settling into a normal earth life. He threw his keys on the table in the kitchen and flopped wearily to the couch. He barely had the strength to hold his head up. He had completely exhausted himself trying to get away from Jack.
Daniel closed his eyes as he thought back. He had been asleep. Dreaming. That was where things got bad. He had been dreaming about the mission, replaying the events of it in his subconscious. He watched as Jack walked over beginning yet another argument, only this one culminated with Jack kicking Daniel off of SG-1. Daniel shot up out of his bed, ignoring the pain in his back as he set out to find and confront Jack. In the end though all he could manage to do was curse Jack. Fine linguist he was. He began feeling his anger rise again as he remembered Jack asking, all the while knowing full well, 'remember what?'. Remember what indeed. Daniel stretched, dragging a blanket off of the back of the couch, pulling it around his shoulders. He felt every ache and pain from the strain of the past hour. He wanted nothing more than to sleep for the next 3 days and just forget all about Colonel Jack O'Neill. His mind had other plans though. He lay there replaying the conversation over and over in his mind. Seeing that Jack had meant every word, and had ever intention of kicking him off the team. Finally Daniel's body won the battle and he passed out from exhaustion.
Jack arrived at Daniel's apt. rehearsing his grovelling on the way up in the elevator. He knew that he had some major sucking up to do to get back in Daniel's good graces. He knew that he had been out of line with all the arguments that he had started. All the times he had spoken condescendingly to Daniel, ignored him, insulted him, hurt him. Scrubbing a hand through his hair Jack admitted to himself that he had been a bastard. Daniel was a grown man that had proven himself many times, yet Jack never seemed to accept that. He always treated Daniel like the newbie. Even Daniel would admit that they had become good friends these past few years, but when they were offworld Jack found himself slipping into the more comfortable 'hardassed' Colonel persona. Granted he wasn't as bad as he used to be, but there were something’s that were harder than others to change.
Jack reached Daniel's door, pausing, listening to see if Daniel was smashing anything. He knew he needed and wanted to have this conversation with Daniel, but figured he didn't really need to be impaled by some artifact within Daniel's reach. Hearing nothing he knocked quietly. Getting no response he tried a little louder. After waiting for another minute Jack decided to use his spare set of keys.
He walked into Daniel's darkened apt. glancing nervously. He still had a vague feeling that Daniel was about to jump out from the darkness and attack him. It was silly really, he knew that. He just couldn't get the look on Daniel's face out of his mind.
He slowly walked into the living room seeing a lump on the couch. Jack flicked on the side table lamp, the glow illuminating a very passed out Daniel. He figured that the storming out and trip over here had wiped Daniel out. He gently placed two fingers on Daniel's neck, checking his pulse just to make sure. Placing a hand on his forehead also checking for fever Jack decided he was fine for now. So he sat. He sat and he waited. He watched Daniel sleeping, somewhat peacefully. He could see the crease of either pain or anger flittering across his face every now and then.
Daniel felt like he was being watched. He shifted, trying, without opening his eyes, to figure out where exactly he was. Then with painful clarity everything came back to him. He slowly opened his eyes and was greeted with an intense brown eyed gaze. Daniel for one moment felt relief that Jack was there, and just as quickly the relief turned to rage. He pulled himself up as fast as he could, flopping his two feet on the floor. He stared daggers through Jack all the while trying to force his brain to come up with something to say to the man he had only just hours before thought was his best friend.
Jack watched as Daniel's eyes opened slowly. He didn't speak, waiting for Daniel to start. He watched as Daniel tried to sit up quickly, noting that it was still rather sluggish. He thought that he should have brought Daniel's meds over. He was due for some pain killers over 3 hours ago. He could see Daniel's brain working. Daniel's eyes had always been windows into his soul. One only had to look at Daniel to know what he was thinking. He was never very good at hiding anything. Especially from Jack. And as Jack sat watching the emotions play out on Daniel's face he felt a pain in his own heart as he realised that he was the cause of much of Daniel's pain. He silently vowed to himself that he would do his best to remedy that.
"Get out!" It was hissed venomously, but Daniel was still rather disappointed that his linguistic skills still seemed to be set too low. He had sat there staring at Jack for what seemed like ages and the only thing that he could come up with was Get out! Good one Jackson, he sighed internally.
"Can't" Jack decided the best thing to do would be to let Daniel get everything out before they could move on to fixing things. So he played the antagonist...a role he was very good at.
"What?" Daniel was caught off guard by Jack's voice, deep in internal conversation with himself. He looked up seeing the determined look in Jack's eyes. He cursed to himself knowing Jack had no intention of leaving, and unfortunately he was in no shape to either physically remove him, or leave himself.
"Can't leave. We've got things to talk about Dannyboy." Jack knew as soon as the nickname left his lips it was a mistake. Daniel was not in any mood to have Jack refer to him by a name that denoted affection. Especially since Jack had pretty much made Daniel think anything but that these last few months.
"Don't. Don't call me that." He rose slowly padding his way into the kitchen. He needed something to drink. His throat felt too dry, his body felt too tired, his heart felt too broken. He wanted coffee but opted for a cold glass of water. He stood with his back to the living room mentally preparing himself for the conversation that he knew was unavoidable at this point. He wished he had taken Jack's extra keys. Then he wouldn't have to deal with this right now.
Jack stared at his best friend's back. He noticed the slumped shoulders. Daniel looked exhausted and, Jack was bothered to admit, defeated. Had he been the one to do that to Daniel? Jack knew that Daniel valued their friendship, just as he valued it. But it seemed to Jack, that Daniel wasn't as able as he was to bounce back from a setback in the relationship. Each new argument seemed to add weight to Daniel's already too heavy shoulders. He scrubbed his hands through his hair as he rose, walking towards the kitchen.
"Daniel. We need to talk." He could see Daniel tense immediately. He knew that neither of them really wanted to talk about this. It just wasn't something guys were good at, discussing their feelings. But Jack also knew that if they were ever going to be able to mend the bridge that they had all but tore down, it was going to take talking...and the sooner the better. "I know you don't want to talk to me Daniel, I'm probably the last person in the world that you want to talk to, but I value our friendship too much to just let you walk away."
At Jack's words Daniel turn coldly staring into his 'friend's' eyes. "You can honestly stand there and pretend that you even give a damn about this friendship?!" Jack cringed at the way Daniel spat out the word friendship. "You have never once given a damn about what I thought Colonel."
"Daniel...I think we've been friends long enough for you to drop the Colonel." Jack sighed. Now Daniel was being petty, and when Daniel was petty it meant that he was in for a long night of grovelling.
"Look Jack. It's obvious that you don't want me on the team anymore. That you consider me nothing more than a hindrance, someone you have to babysit. Well screw you Jack. I am damn well old enough to not need a babysitter and I am sure as hell old enough to deserve more respect than you seem to be able to muster. Tomorrow I will ask General Hammond for a reassignment. You won't have to babysit me anymore Jack. Now please get out of my apt. and leave me be." Daniel tried to push his way past Jack only to be stopped as his arm was snagged by his former best friend's hand. He tried to pull away from Jack but the energy he had been expending today had left him drained. So he stood there, waiting for Jack to release his arm. He was rather shocked to find himself being pulled into a crushing bear hug that was over just as quick as it had happened.
"Dammit Daniel. I know I can be an ass sometimes, and I know that a lot of the time I say some things that hurt you, things that I wish I could take back the second they are out of my mouth. I know that I don't always treat you like an adult Daniel. You have to know though, that I do that because I care." Jack walked passed Daniel, flopping back into his chair. "That first trip through the gate to Abydos, you saved me twice. You saved my life when you took that staff blast and you saved my soul Daniel when you made me realise that killing myself and all the people on Abydos was not the way to deal with Charlie dying." Jack swallowed the lump that always formed in his throat when he thought of his son. "Without even realising it Daniel your actions showed me that it was important to continue to live. When we went back to Abydos and you lost Sha're. I wanted to tell you how sorry I was that she was gone, to tell you that I understood how painful a loss it is losing someone you love, that we'd get her back. You came through the gate, hell bent on finding her, and I knew that if anyone could it would be you. I promised that we..that I would help you get her back. God do you know how easily you got through all my defenses? I was trying to keep up my hardassed Colonel routine and here this geeky archaeologist had managed to break through my walls and take up permanent residence in my life." Jack watched as Daniel slowly lowered himself onto the couch. He was staring at Jack, not making any attempt at interrupting. "Daniel, you are my best friend. Why I don't know...I often wonder why you put up with all my crap. But the fact remains that you are still my best friend, regardless of how many times I put my foot in my mouth, or how many times we argue like we hate each other. I want you to know...I need you to know Daniel, that I never wanted you off the team. You, Carter, Teal'c and I...as mismatched as we may seem, we're family. I was pissed off that day on P3X something, something, something...there were too many things that we should have talked about that we didn't, and it all just culminated with the argument that day. I blew up at you, I said things I didn't mean, and I am so sorry."
Daniel looked at Jack, looked at the honesty in the brown eyes that softened as he spoke. Daniel knew Jack was being more honest with him than perhaps he had ever been. Daniel knew he had done and said many things that he regretted, just like Jack. Things that had hurt his best friend. Things he wished he could take back, but knew he never could. But perhaps he could meet Jack half way and do a little mending of his own.
"I'm sorry too. I said some things Jack that I didn't mean either. I can't take them back, but I do want you to know that if I could I would. I guess that I knew things were getting worse, that there was so much we had to talk about. It's funny, I'm usually the one trying to force you to talk. I guess I just let my feelings get so hurt that I didn't want to try to fix things. I let the walls go up, I distanced myself from you, from the whole team. I don't want off the team, I want to stay on SG-1. You guys are the only family I have left, I care about you all and I don't know what I would do if I lost any of you." Daniel felt a pang of loss, he had lost so many people he loved, his parents, Nick-even if he tried to pretend it didn't bother him that Nick chose the giant aliens over him, Sha're, Shi'fu...the list felt never ending. He looked up as Jack walked towards him sitting beside him on the couch. They sat shoulder to shoulder as Jack let Daniel collect his thoughts.
"You know, you won't loose us Daniel. We aren't going anywhere. We're always here, all of us, if you ever want or need to talk about something. We don't want to loose you either." Jack smiled and nudged Daniel, eliciting a small grin from the young archaeologist.
"Yeahseryoubetcha." Jack grinned, winking at Daniel. "So you got any coffee in this place or what?" Jack walked towards the kitchen knowing that they still had a few things to work out, but he sighed in relief knowing that they would finally be able to burn down the fences they had both built and begin to mend those bridges of friendship...after all, isn't that what family did?