Jmas Fan Fiction

Title: Some Things Never Change

Date: December 19, 2003
Status: Complete
Author: Jmas
Category: drama
Rating: PG

Pairing: None, ever
Email: jmasg1@bellsouth.net
Author website: www.ancientsgate.com

Archive: Stargate Fan, Comfort Zone, Alpha Gate, Gateworld Archive
Spoilers: Evolution 1& 2, Fallen, Meridian , references Daniel 's appearances in S6
Summary: Getting Daniel back alive allows Jack to reassess the past few months since Daniel 's return.

Author's note:  Well there had to be a good explanation for the lunch invitation and for the lack of comfort to go with the hurt.

Warnings: none

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.


 

Some Things Never Change

By Jmas

 

He forgot it was Christmas.

 

Can't blame him, after all. He just spent the better, or worst really, part of a week in a homegrown version of hell locked up in a shed in Nicaragua - when he wasn't being tortured by a guerilla fighter who was more than a few fries short before the Tele-whatsis ever got hold of him. Knowing Daniel , which I do, he spent most of his time with those wackos diverting attention away from Bill Lee . Hell, anyone can look at the cuts and bruises all over him and see that's true.

 

I sure got a good enough look at them….

 

Once we got back to the hotel, Burke went off in search of a doctor he recommended as being both qualified and discreet. Daniel being Daniel insisted on a shower before he'd even sit down. Even though he was out on his feet, there was no arguing with him and I couldn't blame him for wanting to wash the stink of that place of him. Lee just smiled the smile of someone who'd learned the hard way that arguing with a determined Daniel is an exercise in frustration then took off to do the same in the adjoining room after snagging the sweats Burke sent up from the shop in the lobby. There was no way anything of mine would fit him and Burke wasn't going after the luggage at their hotel until after he got the doctor and brought him to the hotel.

 

As I closed the door behind Lee , Daniel made his unsteady way to the bathroom, anchoring himself with one hand on the wall. The bullet wound had seemed clean when I bandaged it out in the jungle, but it was closer to the bone than I was comfortable with. Unfortunately, we couldn't afford the attention hospitals and X-rays would bring, so Burke 's medico would have to do.

 

Shaking my head, I turned back to my suitcase to find clothes for Daniel . Knowing pants wouldn't be a problem, I laid out my second best pair of jeans. I might have a couple of inches on Daniel, but he's longer in the leg where I'm longer in the torso so we're the same size there. A shirt was more of a problem since he's broader in the shoulders and chest than I am, but I found the USAF shirt I sleep in, figuring it was stretched out enough to fit loosely on what had to be sore skin. I was just about to look for the set of new boxers and socks I'd picked up at the NORAD PX before leaving when I heard the sound of something falling in the bathroom.

 

Rushing in without knocking, I found Daniel sitting on the side of the tub, stripped to the waist looking forlornly at the soap on the floor…and bruised all to hell from collarbone to ribs around to his back and up again. Brown-red burn patterns dotted the blue and black background of his chest, telling a story I didn't need to hear to understand. I'd seen the blood in that shed, the batteries wired to the jumper cables weren't a new concept to me either. Neither were the fruit and the open canteen of water on the table in front of the chair. I didn't have to ask to know Daniel had been tied to it more than once. Even a ditz like Burke got it in one glance, I could see his estimation of “the scientist” go up more than a few notches.

 

While Daniel didn't share much at all on the way back, being more concerned with staying awake and upright, but Lee talked our ears off. He told us how Daniel figured out where the device was hidden, how the underground temple had flooded and nearly drowned them before they'd finally found the exit and climbed out only to find Rafael and his goons waiting. Daniel had kept talking to the men, making it clear that although he was the younger of the two, he was the leader and therefore the one with the answers…in other words, the one to torture. He told us how Daniel had gotten them out of the shed and hidden Lee away when his strength gave out. How Daniel had led the bad guys to the place where we finally found them, the place where Rafael shot Daniel and the place where Daniel , even though he was determined to fight to the end, believed he was going to die. I saw it in his eyes when he looked at me out there.

 

Somehow I managed not to say a word as I helped Daniel out of his clothes and into the shower. I actually kept my mouth shut as I turned my back for the sake of his dignity, then stood guard through every gasp of pain and moan of sore muscles finally being allowed to relax. Didn't say a thing when he whispered that he needed help getting out or when I handed him the towel to wrap around his waist and helped him limp to the bed. I bit my tongue – hard – as I dabbed at his injuries with a dry towel and tried to dry his hair, I even smiled a little as he leaned into it like a pup getting its ears rubbed after a bath. I obligingly turned my back again as he stepped into the boxers I handed him and stood still and steady as he used my shoulder to stand and get them over his hips. Didn't say a thing, not one word as he put on my t-shirt…not until I felt his hand slip off my shoulder in a way that told me he'd just hit the wall of his endurance and resolve, and that the adrenaline he'd survived on had just informed him it was closing shop for the foreseeable future.

 

Turning fast, I caught him before he could fall flat on his face and add to his catalogue of bruises, then eased him onto the bed. Then I talked…apologizing for letting go off with just Lee in the first place, for not getting there sooner. I told him how I wished I'd never let him go off with Oma without so much as a word of protest. I told him I was wrong for not believing at first in Baal's prison that he couldn't help me the way I wanted him to, and for pushing him on Abydos to cross the line that got him kicked out of the Oma club and into his own private version of Lazarus Man. I told him all things I'd needed and wanted to say to him every day from the moment he left us until we found him again.

 

I didn't raise my voice, God knows it wasn't anger I was feeling….not even close. As he laid there, eyes blinking heavier and heavier as he sank further into the exhaustion even his infamous stubbornness couldn't keep at bay any longer, I just talked to him quietly and gently using the voice I'd perfected over the first six years of bedtime stories with Charlie. I kept talking as I draped a clean towel over the bullet wound, then pulled the blanket over him and sat down on the other bed to wait for the doctor. I'm not even sure how much he heard, but I kept talking anyway, suddenly having a lot to say that I'd been putting off way too long. I knew, intimately, that at that moment Daniel needed something soothingly real and familiar to keep him grounded, to let him know on the soul level that he was safe again, and that something was me. Should've been me long before then.

 

The doctor finally showed up, cleaning the wound the old fashioned way and stitching it up under local anesthetic that didn't quite suppress all the pain, then handing over antibiotics and enough painkillers to get Daniel home. I ordered up some room service soup and crackers and made Daniel eat before the painkillers had a chance to kick in. Checking in on Lee for the night, I came back and helped Daniel make a slow and painful trip to the bathroom on his brand new crutches -- paid for courtesy of Uncle Sam.

 

After I finally got us both settled into bed, just before I turned out the light, Daniel smiled at me and said, “Thanks.” I just nodded and hit the switch, but something about the way Daniel said it niggled at my memory. The tone, the quiet surety. Then it hit me, just why it sounded familiar.

 

Daniel says he doesn't remember his time as an ascended, and I certainly believe him because I've watched him struggle too often trying to remember, but I have to wonder if somehow, subconsciously, the memories are still in there. The way he said that one simple word to me was an echo of the way I'd said it after he'd helped me escape from Baal's prison. Could have been a coincidence, could have just been me, but something about hearing it sent a chill over me I still haven't shaken.

 

I haven't wanted to bring the subject of that night up with him since we got back, not that there was much chance to considering he slept most of the way home on my shoulder. As soon as we arrived at the mountain, Fraiser whisked him away for tests and an overnight stay in the infirmary that left him glowering until the next day when Hammond called us all in for debriefing.

 

Fraiser, much as she wanted to keep Daniel at the mountain, insisted he wasn't to be left alone until he could ditch the crutches, which is why we're standing here in the living room of his new place with him gaping at the Christmas tree in the corner as if he's never seen one before. Carter , Jacob , and Teal'c took care of it all - the stockings, the gifts, the garlands and wreaths I don't think Daniel 's even noticed yet - when they got back. It was all plotted with care over lunch in the commissary while Fraiser distracted Daniel with some ‘medical necessity' excuse she's sure she'll burn in hell for.

 

I can't help grinning at the expression on Daniel 's face as we just stand here in the doorway, but finally manage to gather my composure, such as it is at the moment, and aim him at the sofa so he can sit down before he falls down.

 

“Jack…how?”

 

I shrug my shoulders and grin, “Where there's a will, there's SG1.”

 

Wandering over to the tree and flicking a dead bulb with my finger, I try to put the things I've been feeling into words. A Christmas miracle of the O'Neill kind. “There hasn't really been much time for us to reconnect since you got back. What with the way you came back, the memory thing, the Anubis thing….” I turn to face him; he needs to know I mean what I'm saying. “But that's no excuse. That's what happened…before. If that year you were gone taught me anything, it's that you have to make the time for what's important. And, Daniel , this is important.”

 

Daniel nods his head a little, touched, but not really understanding. A raised eyebrow encourages me to go on.

 

“We almost lost you again, Daniel . That's three times in the six months since you got back counting the going among undomesticated Unas unarmed thing. One more minute and that maniac with the machete would have made it fourth time lucky.”

 

I watch as Daniel flinches and closes his eyes against the memory of just how close he came to dying again. We both know it would most likely be permanent, no Oma intervention this time thanks to me forcing him to choose on Abydos . As much as I know that Daniel has always made his own choices - and if he had wanted to help us pretty badly in the first place, he wouldn't have done it - I've had months to remember the way I pushed him, yelled at him, and played shamelessly on his sense of guilt and responsibility. What happened to Abydos is on both our heads and he needs to know it - and sometime over the next few days we'll get around to it, preferably with the help of a bottle of something stronger than beer and no witnesses.

 

Right now, though, he really just needs to know one thing.

 

“You know, of course, we aren't going to be letting you go off on your own like that for a good long while….”

 

He actually laughs. “Yeah, I figured as much.”

 

Make that two things.

 

Moving to sit beside him on the sofa, I catch hold of his arm and squeeze tight. “You also realize, I hope, that you're in for the biggest, gaudiest Christmas dinner you've ever seen.” Again I get the quizzical eyebrow; Teal'c 's been giving him lessons in more than meditation. ”None of us felt like celebrating anything last year, not after watching your body fade away while the rest of you turned into a glowy octopus before disappearing through the ceiling. We couldn't talk about it, couldn't even really grieve because you weren't dead gone, you were just…gone. From us. Which was bad enough, let me tell you.“ I cough a little at the ghost of pain. “'Not one day is taken for granted.' You taught me that quote.”

 

“I remember,” he whispers, eyes shining with emotion.

 

“You do? Cool.” It was part of Rothman's eulogy, I helped him write it, or rather I helped get him drunk enough to write it – same thing. “So remember this while you're at it, okay? There's no place you'll ever belong the way you belong with us. The yellow brick road ends right here.” I point downward, but I know he knows I don't mean his living room carpet.

 

A tear finally falls from his eye, barely missing the bruise still visible there. “I know, Jack .”

 

“Good.” I can hear the conviction in his voice, and figure we need to lighten things up for a while. It is Christmas Eve, after all. “So. Eggnog?”

 

He smiles a little, knowing what I'm doing and letting me get away with it…he'll never know how much I missed that. “I have eggnog?”

 

“Of course you have eggnog. You have all the traditional holiday favorites.”

 

“I do?”

 

“Yep. I made a list.”

 

“Checked it twice?”

 

“Naturally.”

 

“Please don't tell me I have chestnuts….”

 

“Okay, I won't tell you.” It's just a little bag.

 

“Open fire?”

 

“Set and ready for the match.”

 

“Fruitcake?”

 

“Two pounder. Hard enough to use for a spare tire.”

 

“Mistletoe?”

 

“ Carter 's bringing the Chapstick. Economy size. Be very afraid.”

 

“ Turkey ?”

 

“Gave its little giblets up just for you.”

 

“That's disgusting, Jack .”

 

“Yeah, I know,” I grin.

 

“Good to know some things never change.”

 

Giving him a look I know he can't misinterpret, I nod seriously. “Yeah, it is, Daniel . It surely is.”

 

Fin

 

 

 

 

 

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