A Matter of Timing

 

Author: Lady D
Word Count:       Part I ~ 630
Part II ~ 1,030 (See authors notes),
Challenge/ Summary:  This story answers Riddles 17 and 18 / Things didn’t turn out as expected and Daniel suffers the consequences.  Was it a matter of timing?
Rating/Category: PG/ Gen, Team, Adventure, and a bit of Danny-whumping to boot
Disclaimer: Like a library book, (from the Adventure Section, this time) I can borrow many, many, many, many, many times, but I can never own.  [sniff]
Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Sci Fi Channel, Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions.  No copyright infringement whatsoever is intended. The story is for entertainment purposes only. The original characters, situations and story are mine. Please check with me first if you want to archive or link to this story.

Authors Notes: Happens after Politics.  Guys, I contemplated a part three…we’ll see if I get inspired again.

 

Part I

 

Jack dropped a rock into the abyss.  “Woah, that’s a drop into a bottomless black nothing.  Okay people, watch your step around that.  Wouldn’t want to loose anybody today.   Teal’c, hang back in case Carter or Daniel needs help.”

“Jack.”  Daniel looked at the wide berth around the hole.  Jack was being over-cautious.

“Daniel, take it slow.”  Jack slowly walked his fingers across in the air to emphasize his point.

Daniel placed a palm against the rocks. “I’m not gonna fall in unless there was something that loosened these— “The rocks under his hand started shaking.  “Uh, what’s that?”  Daniel looked around.  The whole place was beginning to shake.  “Not good.  Really, bad timing.”

“Earth tremor, now?  Daniel, grab onto something!”  Jack yelled, as he tried to make his way over to Daniel.   The path before Jack fell away abruptly and he had to reach behind him to stop from following it.  He’d have to go around the other way, it would take longer.

The cave started to shake even more and the team found it hard to keep their balance.  Rocks started separating from the walls and ground and tumbled into the black chasm below him.  Daniel’s eyes widen in apprehension and fear, the hole was growing toward him.

Jack saw the look on Daniel’s eyes the moment he realized what was happening too.  “Daniel, the rocks below you.  Grab something!” Jack yelled. “Reach up, find a hold!”

“Hold what?”  Daniel frantically searched the crumbling wall near him to find something to latch onto as the path below him started to fall away.  “There’s nothing, Jack.”

Jack!”  A large rock shard fell and bounced off the side of Daniel’s head.  He was momentarily stunned and lost focus.  Daniel was slipping. 

“Daniel!”  Jack was too far away to grab him.  “Teal’c, reach for him!  Carter, got that rope yet?”

Teal’c stretched his arm out from a rock-outcropping.  “Daniel Jackson, reach your left hand out to me now!”

“You’re too far, Teal’c!”  Daniel shook his head to clear it.  Blood had dripped into one of his eyes and was blocking part of his view. 

While trying to keep her balance and avoid falling rocks, Sam was furiously yanking equipment out of her pack.  She finally felt the rope and pulled it out.  “I’ve got the rope.  Just hold on Daniel!”

The rocks Daniel gripped started pulling away from the wall.  His feet were scrabbling for something, anything below to support him, but every time he tried to put weight on something, it shook apart and fell away.  “I’m trying guys, but these rock are coming—“

Then it happened.

“JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA……....

“Noooo!”  Jack dropped to the ground, stretching as far as possible but it wasn’t far enough.  He watched as Daniel’s frightened face dropped away to become swallowed by  the abyss.  “Daaaaaaaniel!” 

“Daniel!” “Daniel Jackson, no!”  Sam and Teal’c yelled from the other side of the abyss.

Hope faded as Daniel’s voice faded far below him somewhere in ominous pitch blackness below.  Jack’s stomached rolled into his throat.  His heart thudded heavily pressed against the ground beneath him.  

It had happened so fast.

“No, Daniel.  It can’t be.”  Sam cried, collapsing to the ground while gripping the rope uselessly, her tears fell into the unforgiving blackness below, after her friend.  She’d been too late.

“Daniel Jackson.”  Teal’c spoke solemnly.  He had not reached far enough.  He should have found a better perch to reach out to his friend.  He had not tried hard enough.

“No!”  Jack slammed his fist into the ground.  He should have made Daniel wear a damn rope.  He’d thought about it but the path had seemed so wide to navigate around the hole without it.  Now Daniel had fallen because of his blunder.  Daniel could still be alive, right?  After a fall like that?  Jack envisioned pulling Daniel’s lifeless body back up with him on the rope.  No! 

“Daniel, can you hear me!” Jack yelled fueled by renewed hope. “Come on!  Daniel, answer me, dammit!” 

There was no response.

 

Part II

‘Have to believe it’s not too late.  He could just be down there and can’t get out.  So he didn’t answer his radio, maybe it was damaged in the… fall. 

“Rope, now!   Carter, Teal’c, get over here to support me!  I’m going after him.  He’s down there and we’re gonna get him out!“  Jack felt a tap on his back.

“Uh, Jack.” 

“Not now, I gotta go after—“What the--? 

Jack spun around.  “Daniel?  How in the hell d’you get out of that hole and end up behind me?  Jack was up and enveloping Daniel in his arms in the next moment.  “Oh God, Daniel, ‘thought we lost you there, kiddo.”

“Daniel, oh my God, you’re alive!”  Sam shouted in shock and gratitude as she and Teal’c made their way over to them.  “Daniel Jackson, I do not understand what has happened, but I am extremely thankful for it.”

“Ooof!  You’re hugging me too hard, Jack.”  Daniel grinned sillily as Jack hugged him even harder.  He felt a strong but gentle hand on his shoulder from behind him and a smaller hand smoothed his hair, affectionately.  Surrounded by friends that cared so much for him felt good.  He hugged Jack right back.  “I’m glad I’m here too, guys.” 

He tried to pull away but Jack wouldn’t let him, so Daniel rubbed his friend’s back, then patted him on the shoulders and slowly pulled away.  “Jack, guys, its okay.  I’m, I’m fine now.  It’s okay.  All I know is I felt the air buffeting around me and knew I was falling fast.”  Daniel ducked his head. “I-I knew what that meant.  Then there was a flash, a warm feeling on my head and the pain left, then another flash, and I found myself—“

“O’Neill!”  Teal’c called.  “Sir,” Carter yelled startled, “behind you!  “There’s—“

“Greetings, O’Neill.”  A little familiar gray alien stood behind Jack where there had been no one before.

Thor!”  Jack smiled, huge with many teeth showing, and kneeled down to look his big-eyed, little friend in the eyes.  “That was you?” 

Thor merely nodded.

Jack clapped his hands.  “Yes! Thank God, you’re beautiful little gray butt was nearby.”

Jack tried to find someway to hug his big-headed, humongous-eyed, too thin, elongated, little gray alien friend that just seemed so top heavy with that giant head that Jack couldn’t understand why he didn’t just topple over.  He decided a hug might break him, so instead he gripped him warmly on the, uh… shoulders?

Thor blinked then looked at the hands on his shoulders nonplussed.  He blinked again  as he focused on his tall human friend’s face.  “As you Earthlings say, I was in the area and decided to stop by.  It is most fortunate for you that I did.”  He nodded to Daniel.  Daniel nodded back. “However, with this unexpected extended stop, I am late to reach my destination.  A readjustment of my course through hyperspace is now required to make up for this delay.”  He reached out and gently touched his friend’s shoulder in return.  “I must go.”

Jack looked over his shoulder at his very-alive friend, who was cleaning his glasses. “Thank-you, my friend, for saving Daniel.  You’ve always had impeccable ti—“

*FLASH*

“—ming” Jack turned back in time to see Thor disappearing.  He sighed.  Nothing changes.  “He did it again.  ‘Think he enjoys doing things like that.”

Daniel moved to help Jack up.  “Like transporting me from a fatal fall, Jack?”

“Nah.”  Jack took the offered hand, then afterward squeezed it, thankful that Daniel was here, alive, with them.  He brushed off his knees.  “Although, it was incredibly lucky he was around when…”  Jack put a hand on his chin and gazed up at the sky.  “Hmmm, always seems to be around when needed.  You don’t think he’s… observing us… or just me, do you?”

“Do you really wanna go there, Jack?”    

Jack looked over at Daniel, who looking dubiously at him, then back up at the sky that was filled with light fluffy clouds and who knew what beyond. 

“’Probably right, best not to think too hard on that one.  Better to just take the impeccable timing of our thin little Asgard buddy as a gift from above… literally.”  Jack adjusted his cap.  “Let’s pack it up and head home.  Daniel has a date with Doc.  Aht!  Daniel, no argument.”

Daniel grimaced as the team hitched-up their gear for the long hike back.  During the walk back each member kept a close eye on him.  He suppressed a smile.  Despite the anticipated infirmary visit at home, he was glad that he was still alive to be able to look forward to it … as much as anyone looked forward to infirmary visits.

END

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