Jack strode down the long corridor that led to the gate room, Janet giving orders the entire time, though he’d have been hard pressed to tell anyone what they were. All of his attention was focused on Daniel, lying too close to lifeless on the gurney between them, wheels spinning as they pushed it down the hall. He was fading fast, or so Janet had said. Jack had to agree that it didn’t look good. Daniel had lost consciousness shortly after coming back to his senses and letting Jack pull him down off the balcony railing of his apartment. His condition had been a rapid and steady nosedive until they were left with no other alternative, but to return him to the planet that had so badly screwed him up in the first place.
Jack suspected that they were going to cut it close, having heard the beeping of the heart monitor trip a few times. It seemed to go right back to a steady rhythm each time, but Janet assured him that wouldn’t be the case for long. SG-5 had proven it. Still he had been completely unprepared for the moment when the beeping turned to a steady wail, screaming that it had lost the pulse. They had just run out of time and all eyes were suddenly on the no longer breathing archeologist. Jack’s stomach twisted into a knot, hands gripping the gurney railing.
“He’s coding.” Janet announced. “No time to resuscitate.” She added, answering the question that her medical staff was silently asking. “Let’s go!”
Picking up the pace, they ran the last few yards to the already active gate, pulling up to the end of the ramp and tearing the useless oxygen mask from Daniel’s face. Without waiting for instructions or protests, Jack grabbed hold of Daniel’s shirt and hefted him off the bed and over his shoulder. Not an easy task. Daniel was heavier than he looked.
Moving as fast as his legs would take him, Jack dashed toward the gate and into the wormhole. A part of his mind registered that despite the fact that his ear was pressed against the side of Daniel’s chest, he heard nothing. No heartbeat, no whooshing of his lungs as they took in air, nothing. He was dead. But that wasn’t possible. He’d been alive just a moment ago and, besides, it was a well-known fact that you could never really kill Dr. Jackson. He hoped and prayed that was still the truth as he disappeared through the event horizon.
Jack stepped into the room on P4X347 a moment later, his knee protesting the extra weight on the landing. It was then that he noticed a change in the lifeless sack of potatoes slung over his shoulders. Daniel was still unconscious, but he thought he’d heard… Pausing for a fraction of a second to be sure, he listened. There it was again! A heartbeat and a short breath. He didn’t know if it was all of the bouncing on his shoulder or something to do with the trip through the wormhole, but he didn’t care. All he knew was that Daniel had resurrected just as suddenly as he’d died. Pouring him onto the floor as gently as he could and cradling his head to make sure he didn’t smack it on the concrete floor in the process, he looked him over, speaking his name over and over in a nearly whispered mantra.
“Carter! Teal’c!” he bellowed into the empty room before glancing up and seeing Loren watching curiously from the shadows. “Where are my friends?” he asked, glancing from the still unconscious Daniel to the boy and back again.
He felt like a fish out of water. All he’d been thinking was that he needed to get Daniel back to the planet. Janet had said so. But now that he was there he had no idea what to do. Daniel was alive, for the moment, but he didn’t know for how long and what, if anything, he could do to ensure that he stayed that way. Back at the SGC they’d had heart monitors, drugs, IV drips, oxygen masks, a plethora of impressive looking equipment. Here they had a small first aid kit in Carter’s pack. Considering what he’d just left behind it seemed totally inadequate for the job.
“With the light.” Loren replied.
“Get ‘em for me, will ya?” Jack asked, trying to control the feeling of helpless panic that was working its way through him.
“They won’t come.” Loren stated calmly, a tone, which Jack found instantly aggravating.
He didn’t have time for this. Daniel was barely alive and he needed the rest of his team there to help. He wasn’t sure Teal’c could offer much assistance, but Carter might be able to do something. All he knew was that he felt like he was holding Daniel’s life in his hands and he didn’t like the feeling one bit.
“Well try!” he barked, sending the boy scurrying toward the other room, cowering away from the sound.
Ok, so maybe that had been a little harsh, but he had neither the patience nor the time for coddling. Movement on the floor beside him reclaimed his full attention. Daniel’s head lolled to the side as a strangled sound escaped him.
“Daniel?” Jack called. “Come on, let’s go.” He insisted, jostling him again and slapping at his face.
Daniel moved his head again, rolling it away from the offending hand and bringing with it a glimmer of hope.
“Come on, Daniel. Up and at ‘em.” He insisted, continuing to slap at his face, hoping to get more of a reaction.
He needed to know that he was alright and he wouldn’t be sure of that until he saw those baby blues staring back at him, or at least some kind of snarky comment about the continued abuse.
“Daniel!” he insisted, in his best Colonel O’Neill tone of voice.
A moment later he was rewarded with a response. A weak one, but it counted.
“Jack?” Came the whispered reply.
“Yeah.” He answered, a smile creeping across his face. “You ok?”
“No.” Daniel croaked, his face twitching into a familiar frown.
“Can you sit up?”
“Can’t move.” He whispered, his face relaxing again and for a moment Jack thought he’d slipped back into unconsciousness.
“Daniel?” he called, gripping the man’s stubble covered face and moving his head from side to side.
“Don’t.” he protested at the touch, flinching away, but relaxing again when he realized that Jack didn’t intend to slap him this time. “Where are we?” he finally managed to ask.
“P4X347.” Jack replied with more than a touch of relief in his voice.
Daniel was thinking. That was a good sign.
“Frasier made me bring you back.” He added.
He watched Daniel nod as if the explanation made sense and couldn’t help but wonder how long before the lack of information registered and the always inquisitive man started asking questions. Feeling the tension begin to melt away, Jack checked the doorway across the room for signs that Loren had gotten somewhere with Teal’c and Carter. Nothing. Obviously if he was going to get them out, he would have to do it himself, but he wasn’t leaving Daniel until he was sure he was alright. He didn’t intend to be in that room for more than 5 seconds, but remembered what had happened the last time he’d wandered in there for what was supposed to have been a brief look around. If he couldn’t get back out right away he needed to know Daniel would be alright by himself.
“Come on.” He said, taking hold of the man’s arm. “Up we go.”
Pulling gently, he tugged Daniel into a sitting position, making note of the way his head lolled back as it left the floor. He wasn’t in much better shape than the rag doll Jack had carried through the gate. Pushing his legs up toward his chest, he managed to wedge him into a sitting position. This wasn’t working. He was no better than a boneless heap, one likely to tumble back to the floor at any moment.
“Come on, Daniel. Snap out of it.” He ordered, attempting to let go of him and watching as he began falling to the side before catching him again.
“Can’t.” Daniel protested.
Jack let out a sigh. Ok, so this was going to take a minute. Daniel had been dead not 5 minutes ago so at least they were making progress. He wanted to get the rest of his team away from the light, but for the moment they would have to wait. Daniel was still too weak and had yet to open his eyes.
“Loren!” Jack bellowed, lifting his face toward the ceiling in the hopes that the acoustics would carry the sound of his voice to wherever the boy had run off to hide.
He wasn’t surprised when he didn’t reappear.
“Carter? Teal’c?” he shouted into the mic attached to his shoulder.
“Damn it!” he groused, running a hand through his hair.
“Do you…have to be so…loud?” Daniel asked pitifully.
“Yes, Daniel, I do.” He groused. “Carter and Teal’c are trapped in the other room with that damn light machine and Loren disappeared to who knows where. On top of everything else I can’t go anywhere until you have the decency to at least open your eyes so I know you’re not going to check out on us again the minute I leave the room.”
Daniel opened one eye a fraction of an inch, just enough for Jack to see a slit of blue.
“Close.” Jack replied. “Try again.”
“What light machine?” he asked, the eye sliding closed again.
“The one that damn near killed you. SG-5 wasn’t so lucky, by the way” he added.
It took a second or two, but the news soon filtered through Daniel’s drugged gray matter and his eyes finally slid open.
“They’re dead?” he asked.
Jack nodded. “Sorry.”
“I don’t know. Something about brain waves and screwed up chemistry and…you’ll have to ask Frasier when we get back. Can you sit up?”
“But they didn’t kill themselves…”
“No. They just…died. That’s why you’re here. Frasier said it was the only way to keep you from joining them. Looks like she was right.” He concluded, making a mental note to buy the woman flowers when he got back. “Come on. Upsy daisy.” He added, grabbing Daniel by the shirt and hauling him up into a sitting position again with much better results. “You ok?”
“Oh yeah, Jack, just fine.” Daniel retorted.
“Just keep moving around. You’ll feel better.” Jack advised, not knowing if it was true or not. “I’m going to get Carter and Teal’c and you’d better be conscious when I get back.”
“Thanks for your concern, Jack. It’s touching, really.” He groused quietly as the colonel headed out of the room.
Head in his hands he missed the relieved smile Jack shot him before marching out of the room in search of the rest of his team and the missing boy.
|Summary:||Tag for The Light. Answers the question: Why was Jack merely slapping Daniel around when what he needed was CPR??|
Chapter End Notes:
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