Damn it, damn it to hell. I knew there something wrong. Things were too sweet, too easy, just a walk in the park. I know, I know, the MALP showed only an empty forest, the UAV didn't see anything but the city's ruins in the distance. But, as soon as we arrived the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I knew there was gonna be a problem. I knew it
Then, a little ways out, we started taking enemy fire. There they were, a group of Jaffa, all young bucks with plenty to prove to whatever stinking snakehead they serve. I turn my kids around and we haul ass like there's no tomorrow. Daniel and Carter are beating feet like nobody's business while Teal'c and I are bringing up the rear and returning fire so fast I can feel the P-90 heating up in my hands. We were less than a mile from the 'gate so we should be clear in just a few more minutes with the pace Daniel's setting even over the rough country that we're covering. Damn trees are actually helping this time as we twist and duck trying to avoid the branches whipping our faces and arms and the loose rocks are making it hard on the pursuing Jaffa in their heavy armor. They're crashing through the trees and losing ground fast. There's the clearing with the gate. We're almost home kids, almost home.
Fuck! Where did that bastard come from? He's right beside the gate and he's bringing his staff weapon to bear on Carter. Suddenly, Daniel shifts his direction of travel and shoves her down. But he takes the energy bolt on the side, right under the arm and across the front of his chest. They're both down now, and Daniel's vest is smoking and on fire. She's crawling to him, not paying any attention to the Jaffa.
Teal'c hears the blast and in one deft movement, he spins and takes the sonofabitch out like the pro he is. Then he turns around and continues to cover our backs.
I get to Daniel as fast as I can. He's completely out of it. If he's conscious at all it only just. I yell at Carter and pitch her my P- 90. She returns fire as she gets up to run to the DHD. He doesn't respond when I roll him over. Finally, I just grab him and sling him over my shoulder. I grunt and get to my feet carrying my precious burden. Fucking hell, he's heavy, but I don't care. We go together or not at all. I left him once, never again. I know I've got to be hurting him, his wound is laying right on my neck and collarbone but there's no other way and there's no more time. I feel his blood run down inside my collar. I grip his lax body with both arms; I feel his face and arms hitting on my back. I run as fast as I can. Carter hits the DHD and sends the signal to open the iris back home. We wait a forever moment, and then I carry my priceless cargo into the wormhole.
As I come out the other side, I'm yelling for all I'm worth. Still traveling at the same speed that I had entered the Stargate I'm half way down the ramp before I hear the iris close. The medics swarm over me and Danny, taking him from my arms, laying him out on the waiting gurney. Christ almighty! Is he dead? No, I know he was breathing. He's got to be breathing!
Fraiser is there and the medics start to work immediately. I turn to check on the rest of my team. Carter's crying and Teal'c is holding her up as George talks to them. He doesn't even approach me. I couldn't say anything anyway.
"He's alive, Colonel, he's alive." Bless the Doc. She knew what I needed to hear. One of the medics is taking a pair of scissors to Daniel's shirtsleeve and ripping it off for the IV. His eyes are still open and I bend down where he can see me. "Hang on, Danny, hang on." I only hope he can hear me. Then they're gone and I'm running after them like a dog after a car. We're heading for the clinic.
Doc is running alongside the gurney and they slam into the elevator. There's no room for me. I can only stand there and wait for the car to go and come back for me. I lean on the steel door and then realize that people are staring at me. They now know what I know. Daniel is hurt again...and it's my fault.
An eternity later the car finally returns to my level and the doors open. I dash inside and beat on the button that indicates floor 21. As I stand there, leaning my head against the door not hearing the chime and not counting the floors as I ascend up the shaft, I notice the bright red drops of blood that lead to a small pool on the floor of the elevator...Danny's blood and a testament to my failure as a commander.
Finally, I get to the clinic. I push through the swinging doors and run to the next set that lead into the Operating Room. Before I can push through, a nurse grabs my arm. "Colonel O'Neill, wait! You can't go in there now! They're prepping him for surgery."
I nod numbly. I can see through the small round window in the door that they are stripping him of his bloody shirt. Its thrown in the medical hazard container. It reveals a chest that more closely resembles burned hamburger than the smooth skin that was there less than an hour ago. He's still unconscious and I'm glad. The injury is gonna be hell. I can feel it myself
They count to three and heft him onto the operating table, careful of the dangling IV tubes. He flops bonelessly onto the surface. If Doc hadn't told me and I didn't know better, I'd swear he was already dead. But, I take hope in the skill and dedication of Doc Warner and Doc Fraiser. As if she hears me, Fraiser turns and looks at me and nods.
The little nurse tugs on my arm again and I take the hint and turn to go with her to the outer treatment room. Teal'c and Carter aren't there yet. I know I stink with Daniel's blood and my own sweat. The med techs do a quick exam on me and then I'm released to go clean up before facing Hammond. I run my hands through my hair and feel how sticky it is too. I need to shower and then go tell the General how I screwed up and almost lost the SGCs brightest and best. No excuse, Sir. I fucked up royally and now my best friend is paying for it. I take a deep breath and head to the showers.
There's no one in the locker room when I get there and I'm glad. I grab a bottle of shampoo, some soap and a clean towel and head for hot water.
I stand there in the pounding spray, my head ducked under the water. I can see red running down the drain, more blame for my guilt. Even with the soap it lasts a long while. So much precious blood, wasted, spilled, gone. I'm glad I'm in the shower. The tears don't show as bad.
After wasting as much time as I dare, I finally climb out realizing just how tired and sore I am. I pull on a clean set of fatigues and my boots, and scrub my hair dry. When I look into the mirror, I notice how gray I've gotten. Its scary, just a few months ago it was brown. Shit brown just like my eyes. But no more, I've been Jacksoned.
I enter the briefing room and see the other two members of my team are still there. Hammond looks from me to his notes then back again. "Colonel, I thought you'd still be in the clinic."
"No, Sir. The nurses did their worst then kicked me out," I try to grin and fail miserably. "Probably cause of the smell."
Teal'c nods in agreement. "O'Neill did indeed smell mature."
Hammond just shakes his head to that comment. "Well, the Major and Teal'c have given me enough for now. It sounds like a pretty cut and dried scenario. Both the MALP and the UAV failed to indicate any Gould presence on the planet. You walked into a bad situation, Colonel. You tried to get your team home intact...."
"...And failed miserably." I finished for him. "I screwed up and now one of my team is lying in the clinic operating room with our medical personnel trying to save his life."
The General looks at me sadly then turns to Carter and Teal'c. "I think I have everything people. You are dismissed. Thank you for your reports." Then he turns to me with a nod. "Colonel, I'd like to talk to you in private." My team gets up and nods the support I don't want or deserve. They leave us alone. General Hammond gets up and motions me to follow him into his private office. Once there he points to the chair. I sit down slumping on the leather.
"Jack," he starts out. Uh, oh, its gonna be one of those conversations. "Jack, this wasn't your fault."
I stare at him for a moment. Someone has obviously been feeding him a line of bullshit. "No, Sir. It is my fault. I led my team into a trap like a rank amateur. I...."
"Jack, come on. I know you better than that. Sooner or later even the smartest old coon gets caught. You were unlucky; Daniel was unlucky. It had to happen...."
"But always to Daniel." I reply.
"No, this time it would have been Major Carter." He looks at me frankly. "She told me that the Jaffa was aiming at her when Doctor Jackson pushed her down and took the hit for her. And we both know she'd be dead right now if he hadn't."
I sigh wearily and nod. It''s the truth after all. Daniel did it on purpose and we all know it.
"Look Jack, go check on our boy, go eat something, then get some sleep." He nods his dismissal. "You look like hell."
I get up wearily and head for the door. As I open it, I hear him clear his throat then speak softly. "Jack, it wasn't your fault."
I pause for a moment at the open space. "If you say so, Sir."
"I do say so, Jack. Now git."
Early the following morning, I'm in the clinic. I'd been run out last night by the mini medical marvel, Doc Fraiser. She had assured me that he was resting comfortably and I should be too. At my expression, she had pushed me out the door and closed it in my face. I'm a Colonel in the United States Air Force and I outrank her, but I know when to pick my battles so I turned tail and ran like the dog I am. After an imitation dinner in the chow hall and a night of tossing and turning on the couch in Daniel's office I reappear in the infirmary at 0500 hours. There I am met by a frowning male nurse; but him, I'll argue with.
So here I sit in the ICU of the clinic. Daniel is all decked out like a Christmas tree with enough tubes and wires to satisfy any medical aim known to mankind. The monitors tell me squat, except as long as they're beeping, blinking and buzzing that means my friend is alive and making them work. I take his hand in mine, strictly for his sake you understand, and I find that it's cold. He always has cold hands and feet. I know this because he's always complaining when we stay overnight on temperate planets. So I take it and gently rub it with my thumb, cupping his long fingers in my palm, careful not to make contact with the IV line embedded there in the top of his hand.
I think I feel the fingers flexing in my hand. That's always good. I look a little closer and see just the merest blue color peeking out from underneath the lids. "Daniel, come on buddy, it's time to wake up."
Sure enough, I'm right so I speak to him again. "That's it, open up those baby blue eyes." He frowns with effort and he finally looks at me then to where I am holding his hand. I say firmly. "Danny, wakey wakey." He blinks at me with an effort and I turn and start to call to the nurse at the desk when I see Fraiser coming on duty, "Doc! Doc! He's awake!"
Doctor Fraiser comes running. She looks down where I'm holding his hand and smiles. Then she pulls out the flashlight from hell and I release him so the good doctor can start her check of our friend's condition. After a moment, she nods at me. I smile back. Everything is gonna be okay. Now, I've got something to hang on to.
|Series:||A Day In The Life|
|Summary:||SG1 goes off world and things just seem to happen. A day in the life of Jack O'Neill, and it sucks big time!
Author's Chapter Notes:
Violence, injury and whumping abound. Jackspeak.