Ouch and more ouch, Daniel thought as he took his seat. He hugged his arm to him for a moment before reaching for his coffee mug. At least he'd been shot in his left arm. He could still write and type -- sort of. Except he really didn't feel like working. He really just wanted to go home. Home and sleep because Anubis was gone, the SGC was moving back to normal and he couldn't think of a single reason why he should stay -- except -- Jack.
Who'd probably come waltzing in sometime in the next four or five hours. Which was approximately how long it would take Jack to get up the nerve to seek him out and reassure himself - without any words what-so-ever, but lot's of posturing - that Daniel wasn't mad at him. Then he'd want the same reassurance from... Sam. And more.
Okay, so Jack would walk in, fiddle with stuff he'd pretend not to know anything about, ask a few silly questions and, while feigning indifference, would check Daniel out from top to bottom, listen to every inflection in his tone, watch his eyes and look for anything that indicated Daniel might be mad and-or unforgiving. Then he'd pull the same thing on Sam, but with looks that held a hint of longing in them.
Jack was an idiot.
To get his mind off Jack's idiocy, Daniel thought a bit about being shot by "friendly fire" and immediately decided that was the wrong term. That implied accidental shooting. So -- what was it called? Wait -- were he and Jack really friends anymore? Not so much. But they had a good relationship even if it wasn't what it had once been. He could settle and accept his third place standing with Jack. He wanted more, sure. A lot more, but a great deal had changed and he had to acknowledge that.
Funny how a man had to ascend and descend in order to discover where his heart lay.
Okay, back to shootings since thoughts of Jack and love only left him with a fine case of... whatever.
He supposed that if he had any problems with being shot, it was the fact that all three of his teammates had been granted that luxury. All three. Like -- "Wow, guys, here's your chance to shoot Daniel and thus get back at him for every lecture, boring recitation and let us not forget P3R-636 and several days in a mine while he wined and dined a princess."
Okay, in all fairness, he supposed those thoughts had never entered any of their minds. Of course not. Hell, Sam hadn't even been Sam.
And he had shot two SF's.
No. Guilt begone.
Okay, home was looking better and better. Maybe he could get there sooner if he took the bull by the horns and sought Jack out, tell him outright that everything was okay and get it over with? Yep, that'd work.
Daniel got up and, with some difficulty, got the sling off and started changing into his civvies as quickly as his injury would allow. He was a bit more unsteady on his feet than he expected but he could blame that on the hit from the zat.
Make that two hits.
Pulling his sweater on over his head he wondered if he now held a record of some sort. Within a short space of time, he'd been zatted, shot with a gun, and zatted again, and all by his teammates. Yeah, that had to be a record. With even more difficulty, he got into his jeans and, leaving his jacket on the table, he sat down to catch his breath and wipe the sweat from his brow. His arm now hurt like a son-of-a-gun and his head was running neck and neck with it for pain.
Could you get zatted too many times? Or ribboned? Maybe that explained him. Nah, nothing could explain him. He grinned. Daniel Jackson, unexplainable. Heh.
Okay, time to go. He got up, put the sling back on, picked up his jacket, walked to the door, turned off the lights and headed out.
Paperwork had been bad enough when he'd been a colonel, but now, now it was evil. And when you'd shot one of your own, it was evil in triplicate. He sighed, dropped the pen and debated finishing the report tomorrow. All was quiet, and he didn't want to relive the whole "shoot Daniel and Carter" thing again, not even in writing.
He glanced up, surprised. "Daniel, what the hell are you still doing here? Weren't you sent home? Not that I actually expected you to listen to orders... or anything."
"Ha-ha, and I'm on my way now. Just thought I'd stop by here first."
Daniel walked in and took the chair in front of Jack's desk. He slouched down a bit, as if to ease his arm, and said, "Thought I ought to thank you."
Jack felt his jaw drop open. He snapped his mouth shut almost immediately, feeling that an open-mouthed general wasn't a good thing. He raised a hand in confusion but before he could say anything, Daniel spoke again.
"If you hadn't shot me in the arm -- nice aim by the way -- and thanks for going for the left - Teal'c would have been forced to shoot again and we all know what a second hit would have done. Bye-bye Daniel. And of course, we both know that Teal'c would have done it. Would have been forced to do it."
Jack felt his jaw drop open again.
"Anyway, I just really wanted to thank you." Daniel rose in preparation for leaving. "Oh, and believe me, Sam knows you had no choice with her either."
"I'm heading home now, but Sam is still in her lab should you want to stop by and ... talk ... and ... stuff."
With that, Daniel was gone.
Jack closed his mouth.
Okay, what just happened? He quickly reviewed the last two minutes: Daniel walked in, sat down, thanked him for shooting him, told him Sam understood as well, and... walked out.
Yep, that about covered it.
Jack sat back in his seat and closed his eyes.
"You are going home now?"
"I feel that I must--"
"Teal'c, you know better. You had no choice."
"I am aware of that, DanielJackson. I was concerned that perhaps you--"
"I've already thanked Jack."
"Ah, you are, as usual, ahead of the ... game."
Daniel smiled at the slight pause which indicated that Teal'c had given thought to using the wrong phrase. He supposed he wasn't as much fun as Jack when it came to pulling a Norm Crosby.
"Take care, DanielJackson."
"So formal?" Daniel said with a raised eyebrow.
"You are alone... I worry."
Daniel gave a small shake of his head. "Nothing to worry about, T. Enjoy your weekend with Lou and Brian. I think you'll get a kick out of the NASCAR races. Just don't go betting anything, all right?"
Teal'c canted his head forward and said, "I have no desire to bet with Ferretti unless I have a sure thing."
"Uhm, Teal'c? We're not talking horse races here, okay?"
"Is there no 'sure thing' in car racing?"
"Not really. They go around and around for God knows how many laps, they crash, spin out, lose tires, engines, you just never know what's going to happen. But Lou will try to sucker you into what he calls 'lap' bets. Just don't fall for it, okay?"
Teal'c nodded. "I will take your advice to heart, DanielJackson. Take care of yourself and I will check in later to satisfy myself that you are indeed, well."
Surprised at how good it felt hearing Teal'c's words, Daniel ducked his head as his face heated up. The elevator opened and with a sense of strange relief mixed with regret, Daniel stepped in. The doors closed and he was on his way up and home, but with the memory of Teal'c's warm, concerned gaze following him.
Jack opened his eyes and sat forward.
Daniel had understood. He'd figured it out.
For some reason, that knowledge blew Jack away. He'd figured no one would have realized that he'd taken the responsibility out of Teal'c's hands, that if "Anubis" had continued reaching for that gun, that Teal'c would have had to fire the zat the second, fatal time.
And Daniel had known the care he'd taken to fire at his left arm.
All decided within a breath, a blink, and the fiery knowledge that somehow, something had to stop Teal'c. And Daniel had known.
And thanked him.
Jack got up -- and quickly sat back down again.
Why should he be surprised that Daniel had figured it out, after all, he was a damn smart guy and, in some ways, probably the smartest individual in the SGC, so of course he'd put it all together.
So why was the whole incident still bothering him? He knew he'd done the only thing he could to save Daniel and Daniel knew that as well. So what was wrong?
Jack thought back to Daniel's visit and concentrated on the one part of Daniel that, when unguarded, could give the universe away: his eyes. And there he found his answer.
Before he could react to what he thought those windows had revealed, a soft knock brought his attention up and he found himself staring at his newest colonel.
"Carter, how you doing?"
"No after effects, other than a slight headache. Par for the 'I've been once again inhabited by something I would really rather not have inside me' and the whole "boss has to zat you to save the day' thing."
Jack couldn't help the grin. Watching Carter channel him was a real kick. He wagged a finger at her and said, "That'll teach you, Carter. When trying to outwit Anubis, let us remember in the future not to put all our eggs into one brand new colonel."
"I take offense at that," she said as she sat down. "Half the eggs were with Daniel."
"Let's rephrase that, shall we? Daniel knew about half the eggs, but only you knew about all the eggs, hence, the saying, don't put--"
Sam raised a hand in surrender. "I give up, you're right."
Jack preened. "Naturally."
"Yes, well." She looked around the office rather nervously and finally got to her feet. "I guess I'm off."
"Hot date with Pete?"
Jack watched her fidget with the edge of her sleeve in the same uncomfortable way he was becoming used to whenever Pete's name came up. Maybe it was time to....
"That's a basket that's just right for placing a dozen eggs in, by the way," he finally said.
Her head came up sharply. "Excuse me?"
"Pete. A nice guy and just right for someone like you to put all her faith in."
Blue eyes widened in surprise before she smiled wryly. "Are you giving me your blessing, General?"
"Not that you need it, but yes, I am, Colonel. You deserve someone like him and he seems to have a good grasp of what you do and why. That's a very good thing."
"Yes, yes, it is." Sam moved to the door slowly, almost thoughtfully. She turned back and smiled gently. "Thank you, sir. Thank... you."
He nodded and watched her leave, the small knot of always-present tension suddenly unraveling from deep within. He glanced back down at the paperwork, picked up his pen and, with a flourish, signed his name seventeen times. The rest could wait until Monday. He had a teammate to visit.
Wearing nothing but light gray sweat bottoms, a sleeveless navy blue cropped sweatshirt and his blue and white sling, Daniel walked down the hall and into his kitchen. From the refrigerator he took a bowl of turkey salad he'd made earlier in the week and a bottle of apple juice. The pain medications he'd been given wouldn't go too well with wine, damn it.
He decided to eat in the living room so carried everything out and made himself comfortable on the couch with his feet up. He dug in and enjoyed the flavor of the turkey, cranberries, celery, green onions, and pecans all mixed together with his own homemade dressing. Not bad, for a scientist. Not bad at all. Would have been better with wine, though.
He was just about to take his third bite when his doorbell rang. He almost considered not answering since his car was in the garage, but when it rang again, more insistently as expressed through the length of time an impatient finger remained on the button, he realized he'd have to answer. Insistent door bell ringing usually meant... Jack.
Surprised at the idea that Jack could be ringing his bell, Daniel put the bowl down and got to his feet. Even as he walked to the door his mind began to dismiss the notion that it could be Jack so that by the time he opened it, he was totally unprepared to actually find the man standing on his porch.
"Yes, me. Your friend and commanding officer. Well, as much as anyone can be your commanding officer."
"Please tell me we're not going to do the whole 'Jack -- Daniel' thing. Couldn't I just come in instead?"
Looking confused, Daniel asked, "The whole Jack-Daniel thing?"
"You know, you say 'Jack', I say 'Daniel', you say 'Jack', I say 'Daniel' again and then you say--"
"Exactly. So how 'bout I just come on in?"
Biting back his grin, Daniel said, "Why are you still standing on my porch? Why don't you just come on in?" He stepped aside.
"Why thank you. I think I will."
Jack stepped over the threshold and Daniel closed the door. Moving past him and walking into the living room, Daniel said, "I was just eating some salad. There's enough for two if you're hungry."
When there was no answer, Daniel stopped and turned around. Jack seemed frozen in place, his gaze somewhere between the floor and Daniel's head.
Jack blinked. "Daniel?"
Brown eyes blinked again before moving up. "Daniel."
"Jack," Daniel said warily.
"I guess we're going to do the whole 'Jack-Daniel' thing after all," Jack said with a knowing half grin.
"Go get a plate and fork. There's beer in the fridge."
With some reluctance, Jack moved into the kitchen while Daniel, head shaking, sat back down.
What the hell was going on with the guy, anyway?
Jack opened the refrigerator and stuck his head inside. He kept it there. It wasn't a cold shower, but it was working. Years of seeing Daniel in every mode of dress and undress -- and yet it's today that he can't control himself? For crying out loud, he'd seen the man naked! And yet, in those sweats -- soft grey, hip-hugging sweats -- and all that pale skin revealed thanks to the cropped shirt, and God above, Daniel's ass....
Jack opened the freezer and stuck his head inside it, the refrigerator no longer working.
Slowly he backed out and grabbed a cold beer. He held it to his cheek as he closed the fridge. He took a fork from the silverware drawer but didn't make a move toward the living room and ... Daniel.
When had that name come to mean so much to him? Six letters. Just... six.
Suck it up, Brigadier General.
Okay, that was a poor choice of words. Nevertheless, he took a deep breath and started for the living room.
Daniel watched as Jack took a seat in the chair next to the couch. He didn't look at all well.
"Jack, your face is ... red."
Spooning up some of the salad, which looked pretty good, Jack simply said, "I had my head in the freezer."
Daniel's glasses bounced. "You... had your head in the freezer?"
Jack sat back, crossed one leg over the other, and tasted the salad. "Hey, this is good. Where'd you buy it?"
Still back in the freezer, Daniel said absently, "I made it."
"You made this?" he repeated, a forkful of the salad waving in the air.
"Uhm, yeah. Why did you have your head in the freezer?"
Jack swallowed another bite and said, "Libido."
Daniel thought putting his own head in the freezer might not be a bad idea.
"Libido? Libido and my freezer?"
"Uhmm. My libido running rampant thanks to your hips and ... other... body parts and yes, I had to put my head in your freezer."
"Rampant? You actually use that word?"
Jack took a sip of his beer and said, "In conjunction with my libido and your... assets, yeah, rampant fits."
Daniel wasn't altogether sure he was comfortable in the Twilight Zone so he picked up the bowl of salad and, because he couldn't hold it and his fork in the same hand, he rested it between his legs and started eating again. He noticed Jack watching the bowl and frowned when Jack looked rather longingly at his refrigerator again. He put the bowl back on the table, leaned forward and asked, "Okay, why are you really here?"
"Well, I shot you. I'm kind of worried about that." Jack took another bite of the salad and said again, "This is really good, you know?"
"Glad you like it and I thought we'd settled the whole 'you shot me thing'?"
"We did. You understand thoroughly why I had to do it but that doesn't help me one bit. It still hurt like hell."
"So you're here for... you?"
Jack gazed up at the ceiling, closed one eye and said, "Yeah, yeah."
"I'm sorry you had to shoot me, Jack. But I'd be dead now if you hadn't. And it had to be even more difficult to shoot Sam."
"No, sorry. No." Jack leaned forward. "It physically hurt to know I was sending a bullet your way, Daniel. Twenty million things went through my head in the split second before I fired -- and none of them good. I have more than a nodding acquaintance to what a bullet can do, even one as well aimed as mine. I knew the pain it would cause you and the damage it could do to... us, as friends. I had no reason to know that you'd fully understand--"
"Oh, really? All these years and you didn't think I'd get it? Gee, thanks. I feel all warm and tingly now."
Jack gave an impatient shake of his head. "I swear, you're a real piece of work. I go all fuzzy on you, tell you how much it hurt to shoot you, and all you pick up on is that I didn't think you'd grasp the concept behind my action?"
"Well... yeah. It brings us back to the old trust issue. Once again you didn't trust me to know what the hell was going on. Didn't trust me to trust you. Sums up our ... friendship quite well."
"Hey, I don't remember you're being so understanding the last time I needed you to trust me. Does Tollan weapons ring a bell?"
Daniel made a dismissive move with his hand. "Don't be ridiculous, Jack. Do you honestly believe that I fell for that shit you were handing out? I knew something was up, just didn't know what, so I backed off. I know you, Jack. You wouldn't--"
Jack stood up fast. "Wait, are you saying you knew all along that I wasn't--"
"Of course. How stupid do you think I am?" Daniel made a motion of blowing on his nails as he said, "Damn, I was good. A performance at least as Oscar-worthy as yours."
Jack grinned. "You're so full of it."
Daniel grinned right back. "Yeah, and as evidenced by my freezer, you may be overly fond of what I'm full of."
Jack's grin faded to be replaced by a more serious expression. "That's why it hurt so much to ... hurt you."
Daniel's grin disappeared as well. "But not Sam," he said.
"No, Daniel. Not ... Sam."
A speculative gleam came into Daniel's eyes. "I'm just taking a ... shot in the dark here, but should we be glad you had to shoot me?"
"If it gets me where I want to be -- where maybe we -- want to be, I'd say yes."
"Figures," Daniel said with smile. "Describes our relationship to a 'T'."
Jack moved over to the couch and watched as Daniel spread his legs enough to allow him to step in between them. Eyes alight with humor, he said, "You know what they say--"
"You always hurt the one you love," Daniel finished for him even as he reached for Jack's belt.
Jack indicated Daniel's bum arm with a nod of his head and asked, "You up for this?"
Daniel sat up straight and tugged at Jack's belt until the older man was firmly planted between his legs. "Oh, I think so. But you should remember something," he said as he craned his neck for the kiss that was coming.
"Oh? What's that?" Jack asked as he started down for those inviting lips.
"I'm a firm believer in tit-for-tat."
Jack reared back for a moment, caught the mischief in Daniel's eyes and said, "So let me see some of your tat, Danny boy."
End -- Shot in the Dark
|Genres:||First Time, Missing Scene/Episode-Related|
|Summary:||Jack is shocked to learn that Daniel understands exactly what he had to do in Lockdown|
Author's Chapter Notes:
Missing scene for Lockdown