Relative Pain

“Hey”
“Hey”
“So, how you doing?” Jack asked casually as he wandered into Daniel’s office.
“Fine”
“Ah.” Jack being Jack wasn’t too sure how to begin this particular conversation so he turned his gaze to the floor for inspiration.
“What?” Daniel asked looking up briefly from the mound of paper work on his desk.
“What?” Jack repeated lamely, the floor having had nothing to offer.
“Jack are you okay?” Daniel asked as he stood to get another cup of coffee.
“Yeah, yeah fine,” Jack replied casually scanning the cluttered office.
“Good.”
“Good.”
It was worse than high noon in a cowboy movie. Jack and Daniel stood facing each other, hands in pockets. Each one was waiting for the other’s first move. ‘Why the hell does it always happen this way? You’d think we’d be used to having these little chats by now…’ Jack thought. He decided to take the first step and come right out with it. “How come you never mentioned you had a grandfather?”
Daniel froze and felt a sudden chill run down his spine. Feeling self-conscious and decidedly queasy at the very mention of Nick, he turned quickly away from Jack and walked back to his desk as he answered. “Err, I don’t know. Never seemed important I guess.” Daniel placed the coffee cup on top of some files on his desk and carefully lowered himself into the chair.
Jack was actually surprised by that comment, even though he knew he should have expected it. Daniel wasn’t exactly forthcoming when it came to discussing his personal life. This had been proven by the fact that in the three years he’d worked on SG-1, Daniel had not once mentioned he had a grandfather. “You grew up in Foster care didn’t you?”
“Yeah,” Daniel answered slowly as the queasiness began to subside only to be replaced with a dull ache. It was the same ache he’d been feeling on and off for the past two days. He figured he was coming down with some sort of stomach flu; either that or it was just indigestion. Daniel was hoping for ‘just indigestion’. He’d spent the better part of two days in the infirmary since becoming visible again. As much as he liked Dr. Fraiser he was hoping he wouldn’t have to see her again for at least a week.
Silence fell between the two friends once again. Daniel subconsciously rubbed his aching side as he watched Jack roam his office feigning interest in the odd book or artefact.
Getting very uncomfortable in his current position Daniel wanted nothing more than to just lie down. However, he was damned if he’d be able to do that when Jack O’Neill ‘mother hen extraordinaire’ was in his office. “Jack is this going anywhere? I have lots of work to do.”
Jack continued to gaze around the cluttered office not once looking in Daniel’s direction; making it very clear to Daniel that he was pissed with him for never mentioning Nick’s existence. They were friends and Jack had believed he knew Daniel pretty well. The fact that Daniel had kept his grandfather a secret annoyed him immensely, so he wasn’t going to feel guilty about asking the various questions that had popped into his head since this revelation. “How come you didn’t live with Nick?”
Silence reigned again, broken only by a quick sniffle. Daniel was becoming even more agitated, but he wasn’t sure if that was due the burning pain gradually making itself known in his right side every time he moved or Jack’s questions about his childhood. “He couldn’t take me; his work took him all over the world. He thought it would be for the best if I found someone who could offer a more secure home.”
Jack made a disgusted face at that comment, his ire with Daniel momentarily forgotten. He read between the lines well enough to know good ole Nick had put his work first, abandoning his only Grandson. Feeling the slight anger rise in his gut Jack tried to calm himself for Daniel’s sake.
“Did you?”
“Did I what?” Daniel gasped, he felt like the temperature in his office had skyrocketed all of a sudden.
“Find a secure home?” This time Jack did look at Daniel and became concerned when he noticed how flushed he was. Sweat was forming on his brow making his hair damp.
Daniel really didn’t like the direction this conversation was going. Jack was after something and Daniel was damned if he knew what, he wasn’t feeling up to playing twenty questions right now. “Um, no I guess I didn’t, homes aren’t permanent when you’re in foster care and I was never adopted.” That last statement was said with resignation.
“Why not?” Jack’s tone was sympathetic; he almost regretted starting this conversation. It was now becoming a little clearer exactly why Daniel hadn’t introduced the idea of Nick to any of them, knowing how his friends would react.
“No reason I guess. Being too old was probably a big factor. I think most families usually prefer to adopt babies. I was also kind of difficult; I had a lot of ‘issues’ I suppose.”
Jack decided he’d file the ‘issues’ comment away for later. Watching Daniel pretend to search for something on his desk, Jack couldn’t help but notice the small tremors running through his hands.
Jack had been a father once and still kept his paternal instincts about him. He believed Daniel was hurting over the fact his Grandfather had, once again, chosen his work over him, even if Daniel wouldn’t admit it, and since Daniel wasn’t looking too good right now the last thing Jack wanted to do was bring up painful memories. Unfortunately the saying ‘engage brain before opening mouth’ flitted through his mind a little too late, he’d already asked his next question. “Nick never came back for you I take it?”
“No, he couldn’t prove his theories about the skull; I was eleven when he checked himself into mental health.” Daniel paused for a moment, putting down the files he was trying to sort, and turned sideways to face Jack. He’d forgotten about the pain and moved too fast. Taking in a big gulp of air to try and prevent the scream that was forming in his throat from escaping, he blindly wished he hadn’t had that third cup of coffee. “Jack is there something you want to know?”
“No not really, I was just curious. You never talk about you childhood... You know, you don’t look so good.” Jack trailed off, becoming concerned at how Daniel’s breathing had quickened. He looked like he was trying to prevent a full-blown panic attack.
“I’m fine. As for me not talking, there’s not much to talk about.” Daniel spoke matter-of-factly, his breathing momentarily under control.
“Your kidding right?” Jack said with utter disbelief.
“Um, no.” Daniel slowly drawled.
Jack moved closer, hands waving frantically in Daniel’s face, the concern for his friend’s health momentarily forgotten. “You’re eight years old, you watch your parents die in front of you and your only living relative refuses to give you a home because he has more important things to do. Resigning you to a life of temporary homes and Foster parents and you think there’s not much to talk about?” To say Jack was a little agitated with Daniel’s nonchalance would be putting it mildly.
“It was a long time ago, I’m over it.” Daniel wrapped his arms tight around his chest
“How come you never told us Daniel?” Jack got back to his original point, offence clear in his tone. His hands placed firmly on his hips.
“You read my file; you knew I was an orphan.” Daniel shot back. He should have known Jack wasn’t going to let that little fact go anytime soon.
“Yeah I knew the bare facts Daniel; it wasn’t ‘till that fiasco with the Gamekeeper that I found out exactly how your parents died! Exactly how many foster families did you have?” Jack asked his voice still showing signs of agitation.
“I don’t know exactly.” Daniel paused briefly for effect; he knew all right, he just didn’t want Jack thinking it bothered him that much. “I guess eighteen would be about right, most only lasted a month or two.”
“Eighteen! In what, eight years?”
“Something like that.” Daniel nodded. His emotions were starting to get the better of him. This was not a conversation he was comfortable having now, if ever.
“Daniel ...”
“Jack, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds.” Daniel broke in loudly before Jack could start again. He felt his eyes glass over slowly and was fighting hard to keep the threatening tears of pain at bay. The so-called ‘indigestion’ was definitely feeling like something a bit more serious.
“Uh huh.” Jack said misinterpreting Daniel’s reaction.
“Okay, so being in foster care isn’t one of my most pleasant memories but compared to the fact I watched them remove my parents bodies from the rubble and put them into body bags right in front of me. Then follow that up with my grandfather finally arriving at the orphanage only to say ‘sorry Danny I can’t take you’. Some of the crap I went through in foster care didn’t seem to be much of a big deal!” Daniel knew the moment the words had left his lips, the implications they held. Daniel was by no means ‘fine’ as he had claimed earlier. Nick’s leaving again had cut him deeply and the searing pain in his abdomen wasn’t helping any. Daniel let out the breath he had subconsciously been holding as he slid down further into the chair, placing his head in his hands.
Jack hadn’t meant to get Daniel upset, feeling like an ass, he moved to lean against the desk, reaching out to touch Daniel’s left shoulder to offer comfort. “I’m sorry.”
“What?” The warm gentle hand on his shoulder startled him. Daniel had put all his concentration into controlling the pain.
“I said, I’m sorry.” Jack repeated, letting his hand drop away.
Daniel lifted his head. “Why?”
“Why?” Jack abruptly stood from his relaxed leaning position, Daniel was being more spacey than usual for some reason and it was driving him crazy. “Why do think Daniel? You’re a good person, I know I would have adopted you in a second had I had the chance, I can’t understand anyone not wanting you, let alone mistreating you!”
“Th…er…thanks,” Daniel stuttered out, taken aback, “I thought I annoyed you most of the time?”
Jack crouched down so he was eye level with his friend, who was still slumped in the chair. Reaching out his right hand to brush the sweat drenched hair off Daniel’s forehead. “Well I wouldn’t say annoyed, more irritated, anyway the point is, I do…care…about you, despite you being a royal pain in my back side, and if you ever need to tell me anything…well you know.”
Jack fidgeted uncomfortably; he did mean what he said. Daniel was a good friend and if anyone had hurt him Jack O’Neill wanted to know. He may not have been there to do anything about it at the time, but he was sure as hell not going to let Daniel carry the burden alone anymore. Daniel deserved better than that. He had a family now and it was about time Daniel realised it.
“Okay.” Daniel answered, grateful and slightly embarrassed. A sudden explosion of pain in his right side prevented him from saying anything further.
“I mean it, anything at all.” Jack looked into the tear filled eyes of his best friend and offered him a reassuring smile. Rolling the thoughts around his head he still couldn’t come to terms with the fact Nick hadn’t given Daniel a home. Then Daniel’s face crumpled and Jack recalled how hot he’d felt when he brushed Daniel’s forehead a second ago. “Daniel? Are you feeling alright?”
“Dumb…question…” Daniel panted out as he fell forward doubling over in agony.
Jack caught him by the arms and lowered him to the floor, feeling his forehead again he realized Daniel was burning hot.
“Damn it Daniel, you’re ill! Why didn’t you say anything?” Jack chastised him while he reached for the phone. Jack was kneeling on the floor, keeping one hand on Daniel as he shivered uncontrollably. “Medical Emergency, Dr Jackson’s office!” he bellowed into the air, hoping a passing airman would hear his plea.
“I didn’t realise; I thought it would pass; besides you were saying some nice stuff about me, didn’t want to interrupt.” Daniel chuckled glad he could still joke through the pain. Jack actually laughed back.
“Jack?” Daniel’s voice quivered slightly.
“Its okay Daniel, help’s coming. Just try to relax.”
“Sure Jack, what ever you say.” With that Daniel closed his eyes and passed out.
*********************************************
“Janet?”
“Sam, I’m sorry I couldn’t come out to you sooner, but we had to operate immediately. Don’t worry; he’ll be fine we caught it just in time.” Dr. Fraiser reported to the remaining members of SG-1 that had gathered in her infirmary.
“Caught what exactly Doc?” Jack asked tensely. It had been hours since he brought Daniel to the infirmary and no one had told him anything. He was not a ‘happy camper’. As soon as Dr. Fraiser had kicked him out and taken Daniel to surgery he’d called Carter and Teal’c to tell them what had happened. The possible scenarios travelling through Jack’s head, while he waited, were disturbing to say the least.
“Dr. Fraiser, please elaborate.” Teal’c’s mind had been working overtime as well it seemed.
“His appendix burst.” Janet said smiling. She was glad, for once, this was something normal, something terrestrial.
“His Appendix? That’s it! I’ll kill him.” Jack spoke just a little too calmly; Janet could almost believe he’d do it. ‘God damn it I thought it was some radiation after effect or some alien virus or...’ Jack finished his tirade in his head.
“Sir, the important thing is Daniel is going to be fine,” Sam said, exchanging a glance with Janet to double check that this statement was true.
“Do not despair, O’Neill, you were not the only one who thought Daniel Jackson was in serious danger,” Teal’c commented to assure Jack he was not over reacting.
“Don’t get me wrong, if you hadn’t brought him in when you did he may not have made it into surgery at all. He’s very lucky indeed,” Janet added not wanting to down play Daniel’s current, very serious, albeit normal, condition.
“But he’s okay right?” Jack stopped his angry pacing and turned to face Janet.
“Yes, Colonel, Daniel will be fine. However I will be having serious words with him about reporting symptoms sooner. He must have been feeling ill for the past couple of days. Appendicitis starts like stomach flu. He should have noticed the stomach ache, indigestion, right sided pain and the low-grade fever. He really was lucky you were there.”
’He really was lucky you were there.’
The impact of those words settled morbidly on Jack’s mind. If he hadn’t decided to have that chat with Daniel and had, in fact, gone home like he’d planned, Daniel could have died. The very thought made him shiver. After all the crap they’d been through together, it could have taken something as common as appendicitis to bring them down.
“You okay Colonel?” Janet asked taking in the rather stunned look on his face.
Jack ran a sweaty palm over his tired face and through his hair. “Yeah, fine.”
“Can we see him Janet?” Sam interrupted.
“Of course, he’s still asleep, mind you.” Janet smiled as she led them through the curtained area.
“Hey Daniel,” Jack whispered the minute he stepped up to the infirmary bed. “Sir!” Sam protested, “let him sleep.”
Jack gave her a rather resigned look.
“Yes Colonel, let him sleep.” Janet’s voice held the no nonsense doctor tone, but she smiled as she said it.
Jack mouthed a ‘thank you’ to her as she left them alone with Daniel.
“Well Danny boy, another fine mess you’ve got yourself into,” Jack joked as he pulled over the spare swivel chair behind him.
“It’s hardly his fault sir,” Sam said taking Daniel’s hand in hers and squeezing it affectionately, “although I could kill him for scaring us like that.”
“Colonel?” Janet popped her head around the curtain, “General Hammond would like to see you.”
“Now?” Jack huffed.
“He’s not going anywhere Colonel,” Janet sighed pointing to Daniel, knowing full well the argument that was coming.
“I will remain with Daniel Jackson, O’Neill.”
‘Gob bless you Teal’c’ Janet thought to herself. Jack just nodded.
‘Yeah fine why not? It’s not like I have anything else better to do. Daniel nearly died, again! Damn it Daniel this is all your fault. I should have been home hours ago watching the hockey! But nooo… can’t let your old Colonel catch a break now can ya Dannyboy. Next thing I know Thor will be beaming me up saying he needs my help to save the planet. Huh, yeah right Jack, think all this hero stuff is going to your head, like that’ll ever happen…’ Jack laughed quietly to himself over his jumbled thoughts as he exited the infirmary and made his way to the General’s office.
Sam did her best to hide her smirk as she watched her C.O leave. She could tell the Colonel was less than impressed with the impromptu meeting and was probably cursing Daniel’s name for many and myriad reasons, but she knew deep down he was really glad Daniel was okay.
“What is it that you find humorous MajorCarter?” Teal’c enquired unsure of what she could possibly find amusing.
“Nothing really Teal’c.”
Teal’c just stared at her, making it clear an explanation was required.
Sam cleared her throat before continuing, more than a little embarrassed for being caught thinking such unprofessional thoughts. “It’s just the way Colonel O’Neill acts; he has this whole ‘I’m a military Man’ façade going on. The majority of the time he and Daniel are either bickering or winding each other up, behaving like schoolchildren. Yet when one of us is injured, he’s a big Teddy Bear at heart.” Sam realised, a little too late, that she’d let her mind wander and said out loud what she should have just kept to herself.
“Teddy Bear?” Teal’c gave her his trademark-raised eyebrow.
“Um, yeah anyway. I’m going to get some coffee, do you want anything?” Sam said indicating the infirmary doors.
“I am fine MajorCarter,” Teal’c answered.
“Okay, be right back.” Sam offered Teal’c a warm smile as she let go of Daniel’s limp hand and left, heading for the nearest coffee machine.
Tealc moved from his sentry position at the base of Daniel’s bed to sit in O’Neill’s vacated chair. Sam had been gone only a minute when Daniel started to murmur in his sleep.
“Jack?”
“Colonel O’Neill will be back shortly DanielJackson.” Teal’c tried to soothe his friend the best he could.
“Jack, help! I’m lost I don’t know how to get home.” Daniel hadn’t comprehended Teal’c’s reassurance.
“DanielJackson hear me. You must awake now.”
“No, Nick, I’m really here please…I don’t know how I’m going to get home.”
Teal’c lightly shook Daniel’s shoulder to wake him from the disturbing dream. Daniel opened his eyes immediately. They were wide with fright. Obviously not understanding where he was, he began to struggle against the blankets and the person holding him.
“It is Teal’c, Daniel; do not be afraid you are in the infirmary.”
Daniel let the words sink in as he ceased his movement. “Teal’c?”
“Yes DanielJackson,” Teal’c assured him.
“Wha’, wha’ happen?” Daniel’s mouth was dry. He was disoriented. Suddenly he felt pain flare up in his side and he jerked his body in response to the agony. “Oh my GOD! What the hell?”
“Dr Fraiser!” Teal’c shouted.
Janet had already heard Daniel’s cries and was next to the bed in no time, taking his pulse and administering pain relief. “Daniel I need you to stay still for me, calm down,” Janet spoke slowly, brushing his forehead ever so lightly. The cool hand helped ease Daniel back down onto the bed. “There you go its okay. You’re in the infirmary. Do you remember what happened?”
Daniel shook his head in the negative. He turned his gaze to Teal’c who still had a firm grip on his right arm. He couldn’t think straight, ‘why the hell am I in the infirmary, again?’
“Your appendix burst Dr. Jackson. We had to operate.” The look of panic on Daniel’s face made her elaborate. “You’re going to be fine Daniel, just try not to move too much, your surgical site is going to be sore for a while.”
Daniel once again turned his gaze to Teal’c looking for confirmation.
“Dr. Fraiser speaks the truth DanielJackson.”
“Jack?” The last thing he remembered was Jack telling him to relax shortly before he must have passed out.
“The Colonel had to see General Hammond for a moment, he’ll be back soon, I’m sure,” Janet answered with a smile.
Daniel nodded his understanding and watched closely as the Doctor walked away. “Teal’c?”
“I am here DanielJackson.” Teal’c moved closer to the bed so Daniel needn’t move to see him.
“What happened?” Daniel asked as he licked his dry lips.
Tealc caught the action and offered Daniel some ice chips. “It is my understanding that you collapsed while talking to O’Neill in your office. If he had not been with you at the time you might not have survived.”
Daniel gulped, that wasn’t exactly something he wanted to hear right now. His sketchy memory was coming back to him slowly. Jack had come to talk to him about Nick. Daniel closed his eyes in realisation that he’d been having some discomfort for the past few days, figuring it was just indigestion or something. He had been so wound up about Nick leaving again that he never gave it a second thought. Thinking about it now he knew he was an idiot, he could have died.
Tealc watched as Daniel considered the information he just offered. “Are you alright DanielJackson?”
“Fine Teal’c, huh, well, fine considering anyway.” He felt like crap actually, but at least his side wasn’t on fire anymore. Guess he owed another one of his many lives to the one and only Jack O’Neill.
“We have been most concerned for you. O’Neill has issued many death threats to the infirmary staff on your behalf.”
“He has? Oh boy I am in trouble.” Daniel could sense a lecture being directed his way sometime in the near future.
“Indeed. He is most annoyed you did not seek medical attention sooner, as am I.”
Daniel was amazed at how Teal’c could keep his voice in such a level tone, yet be able to instil the fear of god into him at the same time. No wonder he was once First Prime of Apophis.
Teal’c could see the look of confusion gracing Daniel’s face. He was clearly attempting to think of a reasonable and clever response. Teal’c decided to spare him the task and changed the subject. “What did your dream involve?”
“Dream?” Daniel repeated hazily.
“When you awoke you seemed to be most distressed.”
“Oh, OH! Dream, yeah umm it was…nothing really…” Daniel turned his blurry gaze towards his arm and started fiddling with the I.V protruding out of it.
Teal’c could tell by his actions Daniel did not want to discuss the subject. However Teal’c was not the type of person who backed down easily. “From the words you spoke I gather it had something to do with your Grandfather, Nicolas Ballard.”
Daniel eyed Teal’c suspiciously. ‘It’s a damn conspiracy! Jack had to have put him up to this.’ “Did Jack put you up to this?”
“Up to what DanielJackson?” Teal’c asked deadly serious.
“Um, never mind…” ‘Okay maybe not…’ “Look Teal’c it’s not that I don’t want to talk about it...”
“Then you may tell me about it.”
“Okay I lied; I don’t want to talk about it.” Daniel rushed out, nervous under the Jaffa’s scrutiny.
“I have heard you say many times that talking about a particularly painful subject can help a person better deal with that pain.” Teal’c had just demonstrated how well he actually knew Daniel; he had no way out now.
“Okay I know, I’m just a little uncomfortable talking about…stuff, personal stuff. I mean I guess I have issues over Nick leaving again.” Daniel’s mind began to wander. “I was eight when my parents died and when he said he couldn’t take care of me…I, well I guess I was hurt.” Daniel paused a second mulling over those last few words ‘Why the hell am I talking about this, I’m rambling, shit it must be Janet’s drugs…’ He carried on talking regardless, unable to prevent the words from tumbling out of his mouth. His attention was now more focused on the threads of his blanket than on what he was saying. “I spent the rest of my so called ‘childhood’ in foster care, that was bearable, I suppose. I always thought I would have been much happier with Nick, never really tried to make a home for myself at first. Always convinced Nick would turn up take me away and… err, anyway, I was a lot of …trouble.” Daniel finished hesitantly.
“I would never have guessed.”
“Yeah, um…” Daniel paused momentarily, ‘Did Teal’c just make a joke?’, and then continued to mess with the cotton thread of his blanket. “Nick leaving me a second time hurts just as much as the first I guess. Childish I know, but…oh why am I saying this, god I’m such a basket case sometimes.” He tossed the now, very frayed, edge of the blanket down, threw his head back on the pillow and closed his eyes.
Teal’c chose to ignore the outburst. “Perhaps what you are saying is the truth, and you just do not want to admit it to yourself.” He offered, finding Daniel’s open, albeit possibly drug induced, attitude interesting.
Daniel just stared long and hard at Teal’c, processing the very personal details he’d let escape. He was probably right of course. Daniel just hated to be seen as emotionally vulnerable. Another thought suddenly crossed his mind. “Jack’s going to have my ass in a sling when he finds out, he was trying to get me to talk about Nick before this” Daniel indicated the bed, and with a quick waft of his hands encompassing the whole in infirmary “happened!”
“I am sure O’Neill will not cause you bodily harm.”
“Yeah well, I think he’s going to be slightly annoyed with me all the same.” Daniel closed his eyes again; he was feeling very lethargic all of a sudden.
“It is only because he cares about you DanielJackson.”
“I know Teal’c.” Daniel sighed. He did know, Jack had proven to Daniel time and time again that he held a strong place in Jack’s life. Funny really, considering his own Grandfather didn’t have time for him when he’d lost both parents. Yet if Daniel was hurt or just needed someone, he could always count on Jack being there for him. Mulling these thoughts over in his head Daniel drifted off.
Teal’c repositioned the covers and sat back down letting Daniel sleep. Now he’d shared some of his burden, Teal’c hoped he might actually get some well-deserved rest. He had no doubt Daniel still had a lot to talk about, but he’d leave that for O’Neill. It would be much harder a task to accomplish without the help of Dr. Fraiser’s ‘Happy Pills’ as so many SGC personnel referred to them.
“Hey Teal’c.” Jack called as he charged into the infirmary.
Teal’c raised a finger to his lips to suggest quiet.
“He still asleep?”
“DanielJackson awoke for a short time, he asked for you.”
“Damn, is he okay?”
“He is fine, O’Neill. You must not concern yourself.”
“Yeah right, this is Daniel we’re talking about.” Jack replied sarcastically.
“Indeed it is, O’Neill. “
Jack let that comment pass. “What did he say?”
“DanielJackson was very confused; I had to wake him from a disturbing dream. I believe it may have reference to the recent departure of Nicolas Ballard. Daniel called out for you in his dream. He was most distressed.” Teal’c let nothing about his and Daniel’s recent conversation slip. He was quite confident Daniel would tell O’Neill himself once he awoke.
‘Daniel what the hell am I going to do with you fer cryin’ out loud’ Jack thought as he hoisted himself up to sit at the end of the bed by Daniel’s feet.
“Colonel!” Sam exclaimed as she entered the infirmary.
“Hey Carter, what you got there?”
“Coffee, figured you might need some.” She said handing him a steaming cup. Sam had figured the Colonel would head straight back to the infirmary so got him a cup just in case.
“Carter you’re a star!” Jack basked in the strong aroma before taking a big gulp.
“How’s he been?” She asked as she made her way around the bed.
“Had a nightmare, apparently, seems okay now though.” Jack sighed.
Sam noted how incredibly young Daniel looked in his sleep and couldn’t stop herself from planting a quick kiss on his forehead. “Poor Daniel. You know after all that has happen recently you’d think he’d be due a break.”
“Hey, it’s Daniel.” Jack said as if that explained everything.
“What did General Hammond want?” Sam enquired.
“Oh, just wanted to know how Daniel was doing, what exactly happened. Suffice it to say he is less than impressed that Daniel didn’t seek medical attention sooner.” Jack grimaced; he’d taken a lot of flack for that one. Truth was he was pissed at Daniel as well, but considering what the young archaeologist had been through over the past couple of days, being invisible and such, Jack was at least willing to hear Daniel’s side of the story. “Oh and he also wanted to let us know that SG-1 is on stand down till Daniel’s back on his feet.”
“Great!” Sam perked up, and then felt guilty when Jack and Tealc glared at her. “I mean, not for Daniel obviously, but I might actually get some work done. I’m working on some interesting projects at the moment; I just never seem to have the time.”
“Don’t you have a life, Carter?” Sam didn’t dignify that with an answer. She just turned to grab a chair and parked it next to Daniel’s bed.
The three of them sat in comfortable silence, each with their own thoughts, while Daniel slept on peacefully unaware of his audience. Jack settled himself more comfortably on the bed and began thinking about Nick again. Gazing at Daniel’s relaxed features, Jack came to the conclusion that Nick Ballard must have already have been nuts if he was willing to give up his grandson for the sake of his work, especially since that grandson was Daniel.
Fin. 

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Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate (II) Productions, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. This is a parody for entertainment purposes only. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. This story may not be posted anywhere without the consent of the author.