"Daniel? You okay?" Sam Carter handed another tissue to her friend as he sneezed yet again.
Blowing his nose, Daniel nodded. "Be fine. Just..."he held up a finger as yet another sneeze threatened.
"Maybe you should go see Janet." Sam gathered the papers they'd been working on, a translation of some ancient technology they'd discovered on P2A-113. "You look beat."
"Allergies." Daniel didn't feel like wasting breath with more words than were necessary. At Sam's head tilt, he continued. "Earth allergies. Bad time of year, bad weather." Add to that the fact he'd been running himself ragged trying to do more than usual since two of the SGC's archaeologists were out of commission due to injuries received in freak accidents off world. Daniel rubbed at his face hating the way his skin itched. His usual antihistamines weren't doing much good and it was taking all his self control to not rip off his glasses and scratch his eyeballs with his fingernails.
"We could use a break, Daniel. How about some doughnuts and coffee?" Sam smiled.
"It's two in the afternoon, Sam. No doughnuts." Daniel sighed and tugged on his right ear, wishing the itching sensation inside would disappear.
"Ah, but there are. Didn't you know that Major Weiss always has some saved for you?"
Daniel felt his face grow even warmer. Major Weiss was near retirement and considered Daniel the son she'd never had. He nodded. Sam was almost as bad as Jack when it came to persuading him to do things he really didn't want to do.
He held up his index finger as the phone rang. General Hammond's familiar Texas drawl came over the line and Daniel pulled off his glasses to rub at his eyes no longer able to contain himself.
"Yes, sir. I understand sir. I'll be there as soon as possible."
He looked up to see Sam frowning at him.
"You could say that. SG-11 seems to have promised the Aqqirans their own spaceship." He covered his mouth as he cleared the tickle in his throat.
"Ah," Sam grinned. "I can see howthat might be a problem." She lifted the folders containing the translations. "Later?" At Daniel's nod she added, "And go see Janet. Trust me, Daniel."
Daniel nodded, waved a hand at her as she headed down the hall and blew his nose yet again. He might have to put in a requisition for tissues with aloe vera if this kept up much longer. And oh, great, the last round of nose blowing left him with stuffed up ears. The Aqqiran language was hard to understand with acute hearing; he was dreading the task in his current state.
"Ah, Doctor Jackson." General Hammond welcomed him to the gate room with a friendly smile of relief. Daniel recognized the look of confidence Hammond was giving him. "Good luck, son. I don't need to tell you the importance of correcting this misunderstanding."
"Ah, no, sir. You don't. I'm sure the Aqqirans will understand. From all our previous conversations they've demonstrated that they have an advanced sense of humor." Daniel smiled and waited for the gate to fire up. Trust SG-11 to screw things up with a culture that mistrusted the MALP.
'Look on the bright side, Daniel,' he told himself, 'at least the Aqqirans live in a tropical paradise.'
"Thank you, Archon Markus." Daniel bowed low and almost lost his balance as the Aqqiran leader slapped him on the shoulder. "We apologize for the misunderstanding." He straightened as Markus began to laugh. Daniel stared at the man's huge belly which shook with his mirth. He forced himself to look away, his stomach growing queasier by the moment as his headache increased.
"We feast. Come, we feast to celebrate our new alliance." Markus grinned. He stepped closer to Daniel, studying him. "Ah, but you must return to your world? So soon?"
"I only came prepared to settle the misunderstanding." Daniel bowed his head, sweat beading on his forehead.
"I understand." Markus snapped his fingers. "My staff will accompany you back to the Portal."
"I thank you." Daniel smiled at the king, wishing he felt better and could stay.
"You must come again, Daniel Jackson. Then we will feast." The king once again clapped a huge hand on Daniel's shoulder.
Daniel nodded and backed out of the room, head bowed. He followed Markus' closest servant to a cart pulled by the Aqqiran version of oxen and climbed in, sinking onto the seat with a sigh.
"The journey will not take long, honored sir. Please, rest and allow us to escort you."
"Thank you." Daniel settled back, closing his eyes. He knew Jack, and for that matter, Sam and Teal'c would lecture him about letting his guard down, but right now, he only had one thought in mind. No, make that three thoughts. Get through the gate, drive home, curl up and hibernate until he felt better.
The slow creak and sway of the cart as they traveled along the king's way soon had him closing his eyes. The warm sun felt good despite his over heated skin. He drowsed in the heat.
A change in the animals' gait startled him out of his half doze.
"What is wrong?" Daniel tapped on the nearest servant's shoulder.
"Rain, honored sir." The young man pointed to heavy clouds. "We are soon at our destination."
Daniel sat up, looking at the sky. No one seemed overly alarmed by the presence of the clouds although their pace was faster than it had been a few minutes ago. He pulled his jacket closer as the wind began to pick up and hoped they made it to the gate before he got a thorough drenching.
"We thank you for allowing us to escort you, honored sir." Markus' servants bowed low, unfazed by the rain pelting them.
Daniel squinted through rain covered glasses, his clothing plastered to his skin. "Yes, the trip was, uh, very nice. I thank you for the courtesy."
He punched the glyphs for Earth, hit his code on the GDO strapped to his wrist, and stepped through the gate, nearly tumbling out the other side.
Daniel pulled off his glasses and squinted at the general. "Everything's fine, sir." He shivered in the cooler air. "Archon Markus was very understanding of the situation." Daniel gave a smile and pulled his arms around his chest. "He looks forward to a continued alliance between our two worlds."
"Understood, Doctor. Now may I suggest that you shower and then visit the infirmary?" General Hammond nodded.
"I'm fine, sir." He followed the comment with a sneeze that rocked him on his feet. He sighed. He was doomed. "Yes sir." Daniel tried to maintain his dignity as he left the gateroom, hard to do considering he was leaving a dripping trail behind him.
Daniel watched as Janet wrote on a clipboard. She smiled as she turned back to face him.
"Well, Daniel. You've gotten yourself a nice sinus infection." Janet placed the clipboard on the bed beside him. "The gate travel didn't help." She held up her hand as Daniel opened his mouth. "I know, I know. You didn't have a choice. I'm giving you some antibiotics and I want you to go home and rest. Don't come back until you're feeling better."
"I have a lot of work to do, Janet." Daniel began buttoning his shirt once again.
"You may have a lot of work to do, but you're not going to be doing anyone any favors by trying to do it when you're not a hundred percent." She motioned to one of the nurses and handed her a slip of paper. "Take a few days off, relax and recuperate."
Daniel tried to sigh but the effort was cut off when he began to cough.
"Water, Daniel. Plenty of water, take the antibiotics until they're gone and aspirin for the fever. If you're not feeling better in three days, I want you back here, understood?"
"I understand." He accepted the small bag containing his antibiotics.
"Did you drive yourself to work today?"
Daniel paused. He didn't think Janet was going to be happy if he told her he'd been on base for the past three days.
"I drove to work," Daniel replied. It wasn't exactly a lie although he knew Janet would find out the truth eventually. At her continued stare, he studied his hands. "Three days ago," he mumbled.
"Yes. I figured it was something like that," Janet said. "I'd prefer you didn't drive, Daniel. You said you've had a few dizzy spells."
"I can ask Sam to drive me." Daniel wanted to get home. The thought of stretching out on a bed was becoming more and more attractive. "Jack has a schedule full of meetings," he explained as Janet quirked an eyebrow.
He rubbed at his forehead and waited until Janet took one more assessing look at him. He tried to look healthy and not as sick as he felt. The infirmary was empty at the moment, and he didn't want Janet getting any ideas that he needed to rest in one of these beds.
"Remember, Daniel. Three days." She gave a nod and waved him off as one of the nurses called her name.
"Doctor Fraiser, SG-14 is coming in. There are injuries."
Left alone but for a few nurses already starting preparations for the incoming wounded, Daniel got off the bed and headed for Sam's lab.
"Are you sure you don't need anything?" Sam was using her concerned voice, and Daniel forced a smile. What he needed was to be left alone. He didn't want her getting any ideas to come in the house and smother him with attention.
Daniel fumbled in his jacket for his keys and found the small bottle of antibiotics Janet had given him. He held them up for Sam's inspection.
"I see," Sam grinned. "But just so you know, you aren't going to win any contests for looking good."
"Your support is overwhelming," Daniel muttered, but despite feeling miserable he smiled back. There was something reassuring about the teasing laced as it was with her concern.
"Feel better." Sam squeezed his hand. "And if you need anything..."
"I know, I know. Call."
"I guess once the colonel comes by...well, you know."
"Yeah." Daniel said, adjusting his glasses. He had no doubt that Sam and Teal'c knew about his and Jack's relationship but it was something they never discussed--and right now his head was pounding and he only wanted to stretch out on a bed.
"I will. Promise."
Daniel sighed, looking at the walk to his front door and wondering when it had grown to a mile. He got out of the car, aware that Sam was waiting until he got inside when he didn't hear her pull away until he had the door opened.
He closed his eyes as he entered the house, leaning against the closed door. He didn't understand how he'd felt okay until Janet told him he had a sinus infection and then fatigue came crashing down on him with a vengeance. Pushing off of the door, he made his way to the kitchen more by feel than sight. He grabbed the water bottle from the fridge, put a pill in his mouth and took a swig. He knew from experience he should eat with the antibiotic but a quick look at the bare shelves of his refrigerator reminded him he was planning on shopping later. He settled for a half sleeve of opened saltines, choking them down with the rest of the water. His stomach growled, despite his nausea and he tossed the water bottle on the counter. Bed was what he needed; bed was where he'd go.
The dreams wouldn't leave him alone---dreams of Sha're dying, all of his teammates hurt at one time or another. Too many memories of death, of pain, of loss. Daniel half woke with his heart pounding and his mouth dry. He had no idea of the time--hating the way it slowed when you were sick and feverish. Just when he thought he'd need to drag himself from bed, water appeared, like the time he'd been lost for a day on Abydos and Skaara and Kasuf found him and gave him a sip from their water skins. He drank it, happy it was there, even though it tasted slightly bitter. He didn't question where it came from; it didn't matter. And then he felt the dreams pulling him back.
He woke again and lifted his head and turned his pillow over, angry that he couldn't find a cool spot on it. He pushed his feet down, trying to find a cool pocket for his feet and then pulled the blanket closer because despite his hot head and feet, he had goosebumps on his arms.
Squinting to try to see his clock was a losing proposition and he closed his eyes. If he was lucky maybe he'd sleep until he was well again. He could hear a neighbor's lawn mower and the sounds of a few slammed car doors as other neighbors came and went. The whir of his small fan provided a calming background noise. He began counting to one hundred in Abydonian but he couldn't seem to remember what came after twenty--oh well.
A cool hand touched his forehead.
"Shh," a soft voice whispered when he tried to talk. "I'm getting your medicine. I'll be back."
Daniel nodded. He hoped the person would remember to bring him some cold water. The nausea of earlier seemed to be subsiding and his stomach growled.
As if he'd conjured it, he could hear noises from his kitchen. Daniel pushed back the blankets and sat up slowly. His T-shirt was damp with sweat and the idea of a warm shower seemed appealing. Daniel opened his eyes, unable to guess the time. He shuffled into his bathroom, sighing in relief as the air warmed with the heat of the water. Quickly stripping, Daniel stepped into the shower. He groaned in pleasure as the water beat on tight muscles and the damp air helped to open his sinuses.
Maybe he'd just take a nap in the tub, he thought, as he leaned against the cool tiles and let the spray massage his shoulders while he closed his eyes.
Then again, maybe not. Of course that explained who'd been with him in the bedroom a few minutes ago. He ignored Jack in favor of opening his mouth and taking a drink of the shower spray.
"Daniel, are you in the shower?"
He would have shaken his head, but Daniel didn't know how he'd react if he did, so he settled for a muttered, "no, Jack, I'm writing the great American novel," realizing the effect was lost since Jack couldn't hear him.
"Don't open the shower curtain," Daniel warned as he heard the bathroom door. "Yes, I'm taking a shower, and no, I don't want help."
"You sure you're okay? Not dizzy or anything?" Jack sounded concerned and Daniel wondered if Sam had gone tattling like a big sister.
"Not dizzy," Daniel said. The energy he'd felt for a few brief moments was dissipating. He turned off the spray and reached out to grab a towel off the rack, only to have a warm one placed in his hand. Daniel rubbed at his hair, his body, ignoring the lump in his throat.
As he suspected, Jack was waiting for him when he finally emerged, leaning against the sink. Daniel saw his eyebrows rise.
"You look like shit," Jack said, but it didn't matter because he wrapped his arms around Daniel.
His shoulders were broader than Jack's now, and he'd bulked up, but Jack was still strong in a way Daniel wasn't, and he leaned into that strength, allowing Jack to support him for a few moments.
"You need to get back to bed."
"I'm hungry." Daniel started walking back to the bedroom, letting his towel drop when he remembered he hadn't taken a change of clothing with him into the bathroom.
A T-shirt and pair of old flannel pajama bottoms were tossed at him while he stood looking at his bed as if they'd miraculously spring from the rumpled sheets.
"Thanks," Daniel said, out of breath with the effort of getting dressed, but Jack was already gone, disappearing so silently Daniel wondered if he'd only been dreaming. But the noises were back. He found his glasses and began his slow progress towards his kitchen.
Well it hadn't been a dream. Jack was standing at the stove, stirring a small saucepan and there was a bowl on the table along with a glass of water and some crackers.
"Your meds are on the table." Jack didn't even turn around.
Daniel had to force himself to not gulp down the glass of water, settling for a few sips with his pills and two crackers.
"Here you go," Jack said, ladling soup into the bowl.
Daniel looked up at him, ignoring the fog the steam caused on his glasses. "Aren't you going to eat?"
Jack shook his head. "I already did." He slid his hand onto Daniel's nape. "Besides you only had one can of soup."
"Yeah, I was planning on shopping..." Daniel paused to eat a spoonful of soup, salivating as the flavorful liquid hit his mouth. "What time is it anyway?"
Jack pointed to the microwave. "0800."
"Eight? In the morning?" Daniel turned in his chair to look at the clock for himself. Surely Jack was joking, but there was sunlight coming through the window. He looked back at Jack. "What time did you get here?" He was sure he'd spent the night in bed alone--he hadn't been that out of it, had he?
"1900. You didn't look too comfortable in bed so I slept on the couch. Figured you didn't need any extra body heat."
Daniel finished the bowl of soup and looked longingly at the saucepan. "I don't suppose there's any more?"
"Sorry." Jack said. "How about if you go back to bed? I'll run to the grocery store, do your re-stocking."
He wanted to protest, he really did. Even though he loved Jack, years of independence and looking out for himself made him uncomfortable allowing anyone else to care for him.
"Hey, it's okay." Jack leaned forward and rubbed his hand up Daniel's bicep. "I want to do this."
"I have a list..."
Pushing back his chair, Daniel stood and stared at his surroundings. He knew he'd made a list, but he didn't remember where he'd put it.
"Go back to bed." Jack placed his hands on Daniel's shoulders, turning him slightly. "I can figure out what you need." Jack brushed his lips across Daniel's nape. "I'll be back soon."
Too tired to think or argue, Daniel gave a half wave and headed back to bed. He didn't feel as bad as he had yesterday, but he hated the weariness that accompanied a sinus infection. His whole body felt heavy and he stretched out on the bed again, trying to find the remote for the TV. He turned over, wiggling his fingers under the mattress on Jack's side of the bed---figuring the remote had worked its way underneath. He had to lie back and catch his breath before he had the energy to push the buttons.
Just as he suspected there was nothing on that he wanted to watch, but it provided background noise. He wanted to stay awake. It wasn't fair that Jack was stuck taking care of him on what should have been Jack's day off. He'd close his eyes for a few minutes and then go back to the living room. Then when Jack came back from grocery shopping, he'd help put the groceries away and they could watch a movie or something. Yeah, that sounded good--a perfect plan.
He heard Jack come into the bedroom as he drifted between sleep and waking. The bed dipped as his lover sat down on the edge.
"You awake, Danny?" His voice was pitched low, guaranteed to not disturb if Daniel was, indeed, asleep.
"Unnnhhh." Okay, Daniel had been going for actual coherence, but he was warm and drowsy and didn't want to move from his comfortable spot.
Jack chuckled, and the bed creaked as he shifted. "I'll bring you a ginger ale and some crackers after I put the groceries away. Don't go anywhere without me."
If he'd had the energy, Daniel would have rolled his eyes, but as it was the only energy he had was to turn over and reach out a hand to the warm spot where Jack had been sitting.
He opened his eyes as Jack came in the room--whether it was ten minutes later or ten hours, Daniel wasn't sure. Jack smiled at him and held up a can of soda.
Daniel nodded, sitting up. Jack handed him the can and he relished the cool, slick feel of the condensation on the metal.
"What time is it?" he asked after he'd taken a gulp of the soda.
"Just after noon. You hungry?"
Daniel shook his head although he ate a few crackers Jack handed him. At least his nose wasn't as stuffed up as it had been.
"Want some company?" Jack asked, stretching out on the bed beside Daniel.
"Company's nice," Daniel replied, covering his mouth when he yawned. "If you have something to do..."
"Nope, nothing to do." Jack grinned and Daniel nodded before lying back down.
Jack took the remote, flicking through the channels so quickly it made Daniel feel dizzy, but he stopped it on a documentary about a shipwreck and the archaeologists who were studying it.
Although he'd never shared a bed with Sam, Daniel had been the recipient of her well-meaning intentions when he was sick. But unlike Sam who believed talking and asking him questions about how he felt every five minutes would make him feel better, Jack's usual method of care consisted of providing food and generally staying out of the way. Which was perfectly fine with Daniel who didn't want fussing. It had taken him a few years to learn to take the comfort Jack did offer. And despite his need for independence, Daniel had to admit---it was nice to know someone was by his side, sharing his home in case he needed someone.
Jack's leg bumped against his and Daniel pushed his feet over towards Jack's side of the bed. His feet were cold and Jack had on a pair of wool socks. Jack obliged by moving his leg and then pulling his feet tight around Daniel's. Daniel sighed in relief as his feet warmed up.
The drone of the narrator's voice, combined with the sound of Jack's steady breathing, lulled him into a comfortable drifting state once again.
"A good man is hard to find." A memory of his mom saying that to his dad one time after they'd argued about something came unbidden to his thoughts. And he could still remember his dad's laugh and smile as his mom continued, "So I'll guess I'll keep you." Daniel smiled at the memory and then frowned as he realized he'd said the words aloud.
"Me too, Daniel. Me too," Jack whispered. Jack's hand came to rest of the top of his head and began a slow massage of Daniel's scalp.
Yeah, definitely a keeper. Daniel smiled and went back to sleep.
|Genres:||Established Relationship, Hurt/Comfort, Vignette|
|Summary:||Sometimes it's nice to let someone else take care of you.|