Two seconds out of the 'gate, before the rest of us even have a chance to get our bearings and Daniel's off to some unknown destination that could only have caught his attention a microsecond after reintegration. I glance over at Carter and Teal'c in time to catch Carter's sympathetic grin and Teal'c's involuntary step forward, as if he could put our own particular brand of genie back in his bottle by sheer force of will. It's a feeling I completely sympathize with. Where did I put that leash anyway?
I say it again, knowing it's just as useless as it was the thousand or two other times I've said it, but what can I say? At least I'm consistent.
I motion for Carter and Teal'c to fan out and follow in the general direction I last saw the bouncing shaggy head of our anthropologist slash archaeologist slash linguist slash consistent pain in the ass.
I mutter it again as much in concern as in annoyance. Much as I might mouth off about Daniel's er...enthusiasm, sometimes I envy it. I seem to recall being that passionate about stuff...a hundred years ago. At least I had the sense not to let it get in the way of the job at hand and, unlike a certain scholar I won't mention, I always knew how to follow orders. I also didn't let it lead me into the kinds of trouble Daniel seems to draw like an industrial strength magnet.
Carter calls that she's found our errant knight of the Unknown Tablet. Following her voice, I come through the thick underbrush just in time to see Daniel reach out to touch the base of a gold-engraved ebony obelisk...
What have I told him about touching things! He's like a kid in a pet shop, he's just got to touch 'em all. How many times have I said it? At least a half-dozen per mission. He's a smart guy, you'd think he could remember it by now, right? Yeah, right.
And just like I figured...Daniel equals magnet equals trouble.
Before any of us has time to react, an intense blue-green light fills the clearing, its focus entirely on Daniel. Daniel is frozen in place, eyes wide, mouth open in obvious pain but unable to break contact with the black column.
Teal'c rushes forward and tackles Daniel to the ground. Somewhere along the line Teal'c has become more like Daniel's guardian angel than his self-appointed bodyguard. It's a guilt thing. Sha're, Skaara, Apophis...you know the story.
As soon as the contact is broken the light fades and Carter and I move to Daniel's side. It's pretty obvious the kid's in trouble. His body is jerking, lips already blue... Carter checks his pulse and confirms what I already know. He's in cardiac arrest. I motion for Carter to start mouth to mouth while I rip open his shirt and start chest compressions.
It's out before I even realize I'm gonna say it. How familiar is this?
Daniel staring down at the hole where his stomach used to be in Ra's throne room...
Daniel lying unconscious and in pain as his body attempts to fight the effects of the Broca virus...
Daniel being consumed by hellish flames courtesy of Nem's implanted memories...
Daniel lying in the corridor of Apophis' ship...chest still smoldering as the life ebbs out of him....
Carter pulls me out of those other waking nightmares by announcing she's found a pulse. I sit back on my heels, breathing a deep sigh of relief, then turn my attention to assessing Daniel's condition.
Thready pulse, weak but there. Thanks to whatever god looks out for children and headstrong multiple PhD's on a mission. The pale skin is cold and dry, forehead drawn in pain. A livid purple bruise stands out on his left temple, probably a result of Teal'c overly enthusiastic rescue. Carter states the obvious...we need to get him back to Doc Fraiser.
We wrap Daniel up in one of the emergency blankets and without a word Teal'c bends to pick up the limp form. He's been here before...we all have. Teal'c's attitude toward Daniel has always been a puzzle to me. Outside of the guilt thing, which I know Daniel's tried hard to lessen for Teal'c, I think they understand each other in a way I can't really connect with. Both separated from their true families, both somewhat isolated on a world not really their own.
For a guy who started out so socially awkward, Daniel can win friends in the most unexpected places. Must be that puppy-eyed, aw-shucks, I'm thinking three steps ahead of you but I could be wrong kind of attitude. Look how he got under my skin...
Nobody should outlive his or her own kid...
I'd never talked about Charlie to anyone...ever...probably why I'm a single man today, but there I was spilling it to this geek guy I'd only known a couple of weeks. Who could have known back then...
As we step through the 'gate I can't help thinking that Fraiser and Hammond are just gonna love this. It's a wonder they let us out on our own.
As expected, Hammond greets us with this weird little 'here we go again' expression and Fraiser's 'what did you let him go and do to himself this time' look is all too familiar. Hey, guys, I'm just a C.O., not a miracle worker. Is it my fault if Danny's got more energy than one of Carter's quantum particles? If we could plug him into SGC's generators we could cut our energy budget by 2 or 3 mil easy.
As Fraiser's crew carries off Daniel off in a flurry of STAT's and orders for tests, it hits me again...what is that drives this kid?
Knowing the drill, Hammond just waves us off after the medics. Debriefing can wait.
Doc comes out and tells us what we really already know. It doesn't look good...he's young and strong...the next 24 hours...yadda, yadda, yadda. Hey, at least his odds are a little better on this one...Doc knows what I'm gonna say so we don't waste time with it, she just moves aside a lets me in.
This vigil stuff is getting a little redundant.
The usual bed, the usual beeping mass of machinery, the usual too-pale, battered face looking small and nearly lost in the middle of it all...And look, someone's put my usual pillow and blanket in my usual chair. God, I hate being predictable...
I don't know why people always whisper at times like this. It just seems like the thing to do. Not that I ever really worry about what I'm supposed to do. Hmmm, sounds like somebody else I know...
Waiting around to see if Danny can pull another life out of his steadily shrinking supply is not my high on my list of things to do. But it helps me catch up on my deep-thinking time, something Danny has accused me of not being able to do. Funny that he'd be the one to provide the most opportunities and usually most of the subject matter.
All of us know the facts of Daniel's history: parents died when he was just a kid, flying through a rapid succession of foster homes that all too obviously didn't know what to do with a too-smart kid who could probably think rings around them on a bad day (been there, done that), graduating early with a dozen initials after his name, professional isolation and ridicule, finally proving his theories but restricted from revealing that fact, thrust into the forefront of an intergalactic struggle after losing another family and the only woman he ever loved...Sounds like a Showtime movie. The personnel file lays it all out matter-of-factly, but I know the reality of those facts.
In the past couple of years, Daniel's gone through beatings, torture, mind probes, what amounts to rape, finding his wife only to lose her again, addiction and a resulting emotional breakdown...not to mention death and near-death.
What the hell drives him to take all that and still come back for more? I know there's Sha're and all that, but a lesser man would have given it up a long time ago and gotten on with his life. Daniel still feels guilty for just looking at another woman. Hathor and Shyla put a hurt on him I didn't think he was ever gonna get over...the fact that he was under certain influences at those times didn't go very far in helping him to forgive himself.
He's just so damn passionate about everything! Out there trying to save the world...er, worlds, endlessly searching for clues to fight the Goa'uld, to find Sha're and Skaara, pulling all-nighters with irritating regularity trying to figure out that meaning-of-life stuff and oh, by the way Jack, as long as we're here let's just make friends and win allies and isn't that one of those roc---artifact things over there?
Of course just as often the other guys aren't interested in making friends, but that doesn't stop Danny from trying.
When are you going to open your eyes, kid? All of Danny's thoughts and emotions are reflected in those bright blue eyes with the over-large pupils that just seem to add to that innocent-puppy persona that most of the female population of this and every other world we've been to seems to find irresistible.
But to those few of us who really know him, Daniel's eyes are like his barometer. You can always tell when the pressure is up and if he won't look you in the eye then something's bad wrong. Daniel is entirely too honest for his own good and his eyes show it all.
I think that honesty is why it bothers him so much to keep the stuff we learn out there to himself. For Daniel it's like perpetuating the lies his so-called peers have accepted as truth for generations, a serious affront to guy who considers truth a sacred mission. I know I've got a bad habit of cutting him off when he goes into what I call his "'lecture mode', but I'm getting better about that and sometimes it's actually interesting, but don't tell him I said that....Our fights...er, debates are one of the best parts of our friendship. I'm learning to be a little more open-minded, definitely don't tell him I said that!, and I think Daniel's learning something about standing up a little more effectively for what he believes in. Of course calling Senator Kinsey a fool wasn't exactly a prime example of that, but at least he had the guts to confront to the jerk and say what we were all thinking anyway. Sometimes not being military can have distinct, and satisfying, advantages.
Daniel grinning one of those rare, shy grins after helping the Tollans go through to the Nox....
The very young do not always do as they're told, indeed...
Damn, when did it get to be 4 a.m.?
Somebody's left some coffee on the table for me. Must've been Carter. Coffee's not real high up there on Teal'c's list of priorities. Likes the smell, hates the taste. Unlike our Daniel Jackson here. Sometimes I wonder why he doesn't just skip the brewing process and chew the beans. It's not like he needs anything artificial to charge his batteries. From what Skaara and the kids on Abydos told me, he was the same way there with no coffee around for light-years...and Abydos had 36 hour days! Maybe it's the 'Great Mysteries' that provide their own kind of adrenaline rush. Maybe I should get Doc to remove his adrenal glands while we've got the chance....
I've been around these machines enough to know that the numbers are sliding a little closer back toward normal for Daniel. Normal? What about this infuriating guy is normal? Maybe that is one of those mysteries that aren't meant to be figured out and, unlike Danny-boy here, I can deal with the fact that there are some things that just aren't meant to be figured out...just accepted. That doesn't mean I'm not gonna read him the riot act when he gets over this...
One of the machines starts to beep in a different rhythm and I look up to see those afore-mentioned eyes staring back at me. And, sure enough, I know what's coming before he can even say it and nod understanding, he needs to save his strength. As I watch, his eyes run the gamut from apology to memory to concern for me. Never fails that his first thought is what did he do wrong, remembering why I've told him it was wrong, and realizing that we...okay, I worry about him when it does.
Maybe that eye thing goes both ways, because I can see him digesting the fact that this one was a little too close for comfort. Again that look of apology and then, as if I didn't know it, that look of discovery; he actually had time to read something on that obelisk and is about to wind up and tell me all about it...
|Genres:||Angst, Drama, Humor|
|Summary:||Jack gets a little reflective (yes, Jack!), Daniel gets a little whumped...|