Jmas Fan Fiction

 

Title: A Blessing and a Curse
Date: September 23, 2000
Status: Complete
Author: Jmas
Category: drama, angst, h/c…various other things….
Rating: PG-13 for language
Email: jmasg1@bellsouth.net

Disclaimer: Characters are property of MGM, etc.
Spoilers: The Curse, Forever in a Day, teeny ones for Devil You Know and Secrets
Summary: A tag for The Curse. Jack got his vacation, but he really missed the action…
Author's note: Do the losses balance with the gains for Daniel? Daniel seemed pretty confident and at peace with his position at SGC at the beginning of this ep…I just wondered if he felt the same way by the end.


A Blessing and A Curse

By
Jmas

Jack sighed and swallowed hard to keep his ears from popping as the elevator conveyed him and Teal’c down to the SGC level of Cheyenne Mountain. The fishing trip had been exactly what Jack had needed and even Teal’c had relaxed enough to stop questioning why they shouldn’t be concerned about actually *catching* some fish. For all Jack’s explanations, Teal’c just didn’t get it. Jack suspected Teal’c had indulged in a little subtle kel no reem when it looked like he was fishing, but they had been able to relax for the first time in ages and they had both needed it so badly.

With a sigh, Jack idly wondered how Daniel’s translating had gone. Actually he was feeling a bit guilty for cutting Daniel off on the phone the way he had. The only reason they’d gotten the vacation was because Daniel’s friend and teacher had died and it was a sure bet that his trip to Chicago … back among the archaeological community and peers who’d treated him so badly…hadn’t been anything close to a vacation.

Lost in his thoughts, Jack barely noticed when the elevator doors slid open to reveal Dr. Fraiser; a sunburned, rather scruffy looking Fraiser with a lab coat on over a T-shirt and khakis and looking remarkably small in dusty looking sneakers.

‘What the hell?’

“Doc?” Jack knew his voice bordered on the incredulous.

Fraiser’s eyes lit up when she saw Jack and Teal’c. “Colonel O’Neill, I’m so glad you’re back. You really missed all the action on this one. Oh, and before you ask, he’s fine. Well, he will be after a few days of rest. It’s just like the last time…”

The words trailed off as Fraiser seemed to notice both men’s confusion.

“Oh. I’m sorry. I just assumed you’d been briefed…” Jack shook his head briefly and Fraiser smiled apologetically. “I really am sorry, Colonel. Maybe you should check in with General Hammond first?”

Jack stood his ground. He wasn’t going anywhere.

With an understanding nod, Fraiser nodded and motioned for them to follow her back towards the infirmary. “You really did miss a lot…”

Fraiser launched into a rush of adrenaline charged explanation. Two jars of Goa’ulds – one dead, one alive. An old friend, and Jack didn’t miss the emphasis on the word ‘friend,’ of Daniel’s was now a host to Osiris. They’d all been to Egypt chasing after him or her or them, but Osiris had escaped in a ship buried under the sand. Carter and Fraiser had gotten knocked out when Osiris threw them up against the wall. Another friend of Daniel’s was in an Egyptian hospital until he stabilized enough to fly him back to Chicago with a cover story to explain away everything he’d seen in that Egyptian temple. And Daniel …

Daniel had gotten his brain’s scrambled again, but had toughed it out while they drove back through the desert and got his friend taken care of. Then he’d refused any care and pleaded with Fraiser and Carter to go home. Hammond had arranged transport and Daniel had collapsed on the flight. Fraiser explained the IV’s and medication she’d given Daniel and reminded them how shaky Daniel had been after his last exposure to a ribbon device.

“He’ll be headachy and nauseated for a few days…but he’ll be fine and…”

With an upraised hand, Jack halted the stream of words. It was almost too much to take in at once. Three days out of the loop and they missed a new Goa’uld and, damn it, if Daniel hadn’t lost someone else he cared about. They hadn’t been there to back them up and now Daniel was hurt, again, and there was a new enemy on the loose…an enemy with a personal grudge against one of his team. From what Fraiser said, Daniel hadn’t exactly endeared himself to Osiris any more than he had to Apophis or Heru’ur.

They’d reached the door of the room Daniel had been kept in after Amaunet had fried his brain. Jack had to work hard to shake off the feeling of dread and déjà vu. Of going through that door to see Daniel looking so pale and lost, trying not to give into the grief and barely succeeding.

Fraiser touched Jack’s arm. “He’s alright, Colonel. Go talk to him, then I’m sure General Hammond can fill you in on the full story.” Fraiser nodded encouragingly then wandered off back down the corridor, looking incongruously young in her civvies and lab coat.

‘Three days in Minnesota and the world’s gone crazy…’ Jack thought, hesitating at the door.

“Should we not go inside, O’Neill?”

Nodding, Jack turned the doorknob. Daniel was there, asleep, with a familiar red pattern spread like a rash over his forehead. Moving closer, Jack noted blackish bruises on both sides of Daniel’s neck…Fraiser hadn’t told them about that one. Evidently Osiris had gotten up close and very personal with Daniel in more ways than one.

Teal’c had moved around the bed and was looking down at Daniel with an expression that spoke of guilt – past and present. Jack could see the shadows of the last time melding with the new regrets of not being there when Daniel needed him. Jack understood entirely. They had needed the time away, but the ‘timing’ had stunk.

Daniel shifted, as if feeling that he was being watched, and his eyes opened, blinking heavily at the two faces hovering over him.

“Hello.” A slight wincing smile and more blinking must have cleared his vision. “Jack? Teal’c?” Daniel pushed up a little on the bed, but sank back down quickly. “Oh, bad idea…”

“Just…stay put, okay?” Jack urged, pulling up a chair to sit at Daniel’s eye level. “The old trouble magnet strikes again, hunh?”

Daniel smiled again with his eyes closed. “Looks that way…”

“Are you well, Daniel Jackson?” To Jack it looked as if Teal’c were in the mood to rip out some Goa’uld hearts for Daniel’s sake.

Daniel’s head shook a brief negative that turned into shrug. “Janet says I will be.”

Teal’c drew closer. “I was not speaking of your physical condition.”

Daniel looked up at their large and very protective friend, noting, as Jack did, the softening around the dark eyes and the grim mouth that told them just how concerned Teal’c was.

“I will be, Teal’c, I will be.” The déjà vu feeling flooded over Jack again. Another time and place…such similar words…such similar reasons. Daniel would be okay. Daniel was always okay. But there was another hole in his life where there had once been a warm friend…or maybe something more…and Jack wondered just how many holes Daniel could take before he split apart.

As Jack watched, Teal’c’s big hand reached out to lay on Daniel’s chest, some indefinable Jaffa gesture of support and caring…or maybe just a silent promise to a friend…but it seemed to help and Daniel nodded as if Teal’c had spoken. With a brief smile, Teal’c left the room.

Daniel swallowed hard a few times, eyes roaming around the room as he struggled for control. “So…how was fishing?”

Jack knew a request for a subject change when he heard one and obliged. “Didn’t catch a one.”

“Teal’c didn’t ‘get it’?”

“Hell, no.” Jack grinned. He should have known Daniel would understand. Daniel always ‘got it.’

Daniel nodded. “He will. In time.”

Jack nodded agreement. “So how are you…about all this?”

Daniel shrugged, looking Jack in the eye then away again. “I’m not sure. Sarah was…” Daniel’s voice broke a little and he coughed. “She was a good friend…back then. We were close and then we weren’t, but…”

“But it never really goes away...especially when you see them again.” Jack finished for him, understanding all too well.

“Yeah…” Daniel sighed. “But she’s gone for good this time.”

The unfinished thought ‘just like Sha’re’ lay between them, unspoken but palpably felt. But it wasn’t like Sha’re. With Sha’re there had been hope…the hope of innocence in the ways of the Goa’uld. With their years of hard-won experience, they now knew hope was tenuous at best. The odds that Sarah would ever be Sarah again were slim, if not nonexistent, and they both knew it. So in all likelihood Daniel was right. Sarah was gone for good.

“I’m sorry.” It felt like a pretty weak thing to say, but it was all he could think of…and he meant it. Daniel didn’t deserve this…any of what opening the Stargate had put him through. More and more it seemed Daniel’s life was being reduced to the work he did with SG1, his only family and friends the three people he worked with everyday and shared all manner of risks with.

Daniel nodded and let his eyes close again. “I know, Jack. I’m okay…”

Jack almost laughed at the words. “Sure, Daniel.”

Blue eyes stared over at Jack, the direct gaze telling Jack all he needed to know. Daniel was tired, soul tired and hurting, and not just from everything that had happened in Egypt. And yet, underneath it all, it seemed Daniel had reached some measure of peace with his place among them. He’d let go of the past…the academic life he’d known five years ago and discovered something…different. Better? Jack hoped so. Worthwhile? Definitely. Home? Yeah…that one felt right.

As Jack watched, Daniel’s troubled eyes cleared a little and he smiled. Jack decided it was time to chase away the remaining shadows.

“You know, next time I go fishing you’re coming with me.”

“I am?” Daniel looked dubious. Their last vacation together hadn’t exactly gone well.

“Yep. Face it, no matter what kind of trouble we get into it won’t involve snakes or … ”

“ Women…”

“Definitely no women…or artifacts or…”

“Ribbon devices…” Daniel’s hand hovered over his forehead.

“Nope, none of those either. Just two friends, kicking back, catching fish….”

“Or not…” Jack smiled. Daniel ‘got it.’

“Or not.”

Daniel smiled as his eyes closed and Jack knew he would be okay. Maybe not right away, but with a little help from his friends…he would be. As Daniel’s breathing slowed and steadied into sleep, Jack sat back in his chair remembering moments of friendship gleaned from years of tight places, hard decisions, death and near-death. They’d come through a hell of a lot of bad stuff, but they’d come out better, stronger, closer… They’d get through all this, too. In time. Together.

*fin*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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