AFTER THE WAR IS OVER
*Of all the stupid idiotic things to do … * I was flat on my back in sickbay waiting to be hauled off to the operating room, yet again. Mind you, the pain killing injection they’d given me did interesting things to my vision and my brain, it sorta bathed everything in a fuzzy round the edges glow. Even Teal’c looked soft and cuddly, and Carter… Well, Carter looked better than ever. It kind of reminded me of the sixties. No use telling Daniel that. He was only 4 in 1969 as he’d told me once. And the only history he was interested in happened a thousand years ago.
So, there we were; me flat on my ass again, and the kids grouped around me saying goodbye before they headed off on a meet and greet and I got towed into OR to get my knee fixed (again!). They all patted my arm and muttered appropriate get well messages before they headed off and left me to contemplate what another bloody mess I’d gotten myself into this time.
I wouldn’t have minded so much if I’d got hurt doing something really dangerous or at least interesting. But no, we were on PX54… something or other, and this little kid took a tumble down a hillside. And good old Jack O’Neill reached out to do a quick scoop and run with the boy and fell down the hill as well. No harm to the boy but a lot of harm to the O’Neill knees. We’d made it back through the gate by dint of me holding onto Teal’c and Daniel, and Frasier had taken one look at me and pronounced the dread words – torn ligaments and surgery.
So while the kids headed off to save the world yet again, I was stuck here, feeling like I’d just smoked my first joint ever, and grinning inanely at the IV pole because I thought it was a nurse. While I was still in la-la land and feeling no pain the orderlies came and wheeled me to the operating room.
"Hey, Colonel, how are you feeling?" I heard Doc Fraiser ask from behind my right shoulder somewhere.
I tilted my head to look at her. She looked soft and fuzzy, too. "Oh, you know, I’m fine. As a matter of fact, my knee feels much better. We probably don’t need to do this," I said, with what I hoped was a confident tone in my voice.
"That’s just the Demerol, Colonel. Doctor Martin is a very good orthopedic surgeon and he’ll take good care of you. Just relax."
I could feel myself smiling back at her and then the needle went into my hand. I felt the cold/hot rush of the anesthetic through my vein and then, it was, ‘Goodnight, Jack.’
I woke with a feeling of panic and the sensation of something hard and unyielding in my throat.
"Easy," I could hear a man’s voice murmur at my side. "We’re just going to get that airway out. The surgery’s over. It went fine. We’ll give you something for pain in a little while."
I drifted again until I felt the feeling in my leg returned, and with it, a sense that someone was grinding the ends of my bones together. I couldn’t hold back the groan of pain. Within seconds, I sensed someone at my side.
"Colonel, on a scale of one to ten, can you tell me how bad the pain is?" he asked.
"You sure that scale only goes to ten?" I managed to ask.
"Don’t worry about it, sir. I’m just going to inject this into your IV. Try to get some more rest."
I don’t know how much later it was that I woke and gradually focused on my surroundings. I felt better. The pain in my leg had eased to the feeling of a throbbing ache. As my vision cleared, I could make out the desk across the room from me and a male figure seated bent over in the chair under the lamp, reading. He immediately looked up and walked across to fold himself into the chair at my bedside.
"How are you feeling, sir? Any pain?"
"No, not really," I replied.
"Need something to help you sleep?"
"Hell, no! I’ve been asleep all day," I said, finally getting a good look at him. There had been something familiar about the voice before, but I hadn’t been able to place his face.
"Sorry, you didn’t get a pretty young nurse," he chuckled. "Just me!"
"That’s okay," I said. And it was. Ever since Carter had chewed me out for being a male chauvinist the first day I’d met her, I had begun to consider myself one of the enlightened when it came to the ERA. "I know you… don’t I?’
"From here? No, I don’t think so, sir. I’ve only been at Cheyenne Mountain a couple of weeks."
"No, not from here," I said, racking my brain. "From somewhere else. " I knew the voice and the face. But the face was different, somehow. Older. "Did we serve together somewhere?"
He smiled. "In a way. You really don’t remember me, do you?"
"I think I do. I’m just not sure from where."
"Well, the last time I saw you, sir, you were older than me!" he grinned. "My name is Michael. Ring any bells?" he asked.
I stretched my mind back. I was older than him? But now he was around my age. And then it hit me! 1969!
"How’s Jenny, Michael?" I smiled.
"Oh, she’s beautiful, just like always. We have 3 kids now. We kept your secret," he whispered conspiratorially.
"Obviously," I responded. "But how…?"
"Aah," he said, "long story."
"Well, hey, I’m not exactly doing anything. Tell!" I commanded.
"Okay, since you’re the only patient I have tonight. It’ll maybe keep your mind off your leg. But if you get tired, you have to tell me straight away. I really don’t want Doc Fraiser chewing my ear off in the morning because you didn’t get enough rest."
"Can it, Michael! Spill the beans," I said.
"You remember Jenny told you I’d been drafted?" he began.
"Yeah, you didn’t want to go. You said you didn’t want to kill anyone."
"That’s right! We went to the concert. Hey, it was great, by the way."
"So I’ve heard!" I grinned.
"Well, then we were going to head straight up to Canada. And then Jenny realized she was pregnant, with Jesse, our oldest. I couldn’t do that to them, you know. On the run, all the time. Being afraid, hiding out. So I thought maybe there was a way I could protect them from that and still not kill anyone."
"You became a medic?" I asked.
"Yeah. Oh, not right away. I mean I still had to do all the basic training and stuff but a vacancy came up and somehow I got in. It was like karma, you know, man?"
The minute he said that I could picture him and Jenny in their VW bus, painted all over, picking me, Daniel, Sam and Teal’c up off the highway, taking us wherever we needed to go and finally helping to get us home. Few questions asked, even fewer answers given.
"You stayed in the service?" I asked.
"Yeah, you know, I came back and realized I’d been in there so long I really didn’t know anything else. So I did my nursing training through the VA program and worked all around at different bases. And then this posting came up, at some top-secret facility and Jen said, "Go for it." I did. And here I am."
"How long before you realized we hadn’t exactly told you the truth?" I asked, curiosity getting the better of me.
"Oh, pretty much straight away," Michael declared.
I cocked an eyebrow, inquiringly.
"Well, no, a while. Me and Jenny were pretty green back then. We wanted to believe the best of everyone. We just knew you needed help and that we could help you. But of course, we wondered about what we’d seen. And then, after I got posted here I saw all of you around. I knew I still couldn’t say anything. But everything began to fall into place. But we never said anything to anyone all those years, just like Jenny promised," he smiled.
"I know, you didn't, Michael. You seem different, somehow… less, I don’t know, naïve, maybe," I ventured.
I saw a shadow cross his face, the same look I’d seen on the faces of my comrades when we’d come back from combat, probably the same one they’d seen on mine.
"Yeah, probably. I’m older now and you know, even though I found a way I didn’t have to kill anyone, I still saw plenty of killing."
I looked at him and suddenly saw before me the young man who didn’t want to kill, who’d picked us up and taken us where we needed to go to get back home. We’d been lucky with the people who’d decided to help us back then. All three had kept the secret for 30 years. General Hammond and Michael and Jenny. If they hadn’t decided to trust us, SG:1 would probably ended their days hiding out in some obscure corner of the USA , the Stargate project would most likely never have gotten off the ground, and maybe Earth would have eventually been taken over by the Goa’uld.
"I think you should try to get some more rest, sir. I don’t want Doc Fraiser chewing my ear off in the morning. This time I’m the one giving the orders. Or I could just put something nice and restful in your IV?" he grinned.
"That’s okay, Michael, I’m feeling pretty woozy now, anyway. But I just need to tell you a couple things before I say goodnight."
"Yes, sir?" he asked.
"Thank you for 1969, Michael and the name is Jack. At least when I’m in here, which seems to be more often than I’d like," I replied.
He nodded. "No problem, sir… I mean, Jack. Get some sleep. I’m just over there if you need anything."
He went back to the desk and picked up his book.
I watched him for a while before sleep came, glad that for one of us at least, the war was over.
|Genres:||Character Study, Friendship, Hurt/Comfort, Missing Scene/Episode-Related|
|Summary:||Just because I always wondered what happened to Michael and Jenny from 1969.|