Daniel Jackson:  DOA

Klaxons blared as the last chevron engaged, sending the blue cloud billowing into the gate room. 

SFs took up position at the base of the ramp, weapons raised.

Three figures broke the surface of the wormhole, boots pounding as they rushed down the ramp. 

“Medic!” one of them yelled.  “We need a medic!”

“Medical team to the gate room!  Medical team to the gate room!” Walter’s voice echoed around the room.

Teal’c slowed to a stop, bending to lower his burden to the cold metal of the ramp. Jack and Sam reached for their teammate, easing Daniel’s descent to the floor.

Sam brushed Daniel’s hair back from his face, then reached up to wipe the tears from her own cheeks.  Jack gripped his weapon, knuckles white with tension.  Teal’c kept his eyes on the doors, waiting for the medical team to arrive.  All three of them remained on the ramp, surrounding their teammate. 

The blast doors opened and medics, led by Doctor Frasier, poured into the room.  Janet rushed to Daniel’s side.  “What happened?” she asked, hands moving to feel for a pulse.

Jack’s words were clipped and precise.  “We were at a dinner with the Moravans.  Their leader, Choco-something, offered Daniel a taste of some ‘delicacy’.  Daniel took one bite and a few seconds later, he just collapsed.”

“How long ago was that?” Janet asked, moving her fingers to another spot, searching once again for a pulse, beginning CPR.

“The trip to the stargate took approximately one-half hour,” Teal’c supplied.

“He quit breathing just as we reached the gate,” Sam added.

Janet continued to do CPR, assisted by one of the medics. 

For what seemed like hours, no one else moved or made a sound while CPR continued. 

Finally, Janet sat back on her heels and brushed a strand of hair from her face.

“Janet?”  Sam asked.

Janet looked up into Sam’s eyes and shook her head.

“Doc—what are you doing?” Jack demanded.  “Shouldn’t you get Daniel to the infirmary?”

Janet shifted her gaze to Jack.  The tear rolling down her cheek answered his question.

“No—I don’t believe it.  Check him again!”

“Sir, I’m sorry, but he’s gone.” Janet answered softly.

Jack looked from Janet to Carter, then Teal’c, and finally rested on Daniel.  Jack’s expression hardened, and he stood up, his eyes still on his friend.

Janet motioned for the medics to put Daniel on the gurney.  Once he was positioned a sheet was pulled over his body.  The gate room remained silent as the gurney was pushed from the room.

* * * *

The debriefing had been short.  Jack had sat silently, letting Carter tell the story, only supplying a ‘yes, sir’ or ‘no, sir’ when asked.  Hammond released them with instructions to take a few days off.  A memorial service would take place when they returned.

Jack had gone back to the locker room, showered, and changed into civies.  He stood, slamming the locker door shut.  Suddenly, he was pounding it with his fists. 

It wasn’t supposed to happen like this.  Daniel had faced System Lords, fought hordes of Jaffa, had made it out of the most unsurvivable situations.  Instead, he had been struck down by a piece of fruit, given to him by a friend--an ally who had been swayed by Daniel’s sincere efforts to become friends. 

Said piece of fruit was now in Doctor Frasier’s possession.  Jack had at least had the foresight to stick it in his pocket.  Fat lot of good that did.  Daniel was still dead. 

Leaving the dented locker, Jack headed for the surface.  He only needed to make one stop on the way home—for something to dull the pain.

* * * *

Janet Frasier adjusted the eyepiece on the microscope, wondering why she was even bothering to examine the fruit.  Anything she was able to discover would be too late to do any good.  Still, she found that searching for an answer was the best way to deal with loss. 

She used tweezers to pull a small sample off, dropping it into a test tube. 

“Sharon, could you send this for analysis?”

The nurse took the tube without comment and headed for the lab.

Janet sighed as she sat back on her stool.  How could something so innocuous looking be so lethal?  A piece of fruit.  She shook her head.  Why would someone who was supposed to be a friend offer Daniel something poisonous?  Had no one else tasted it?  Maybe the locals were immune.  So many questions—which was exactly what she needed to keep her mind off of the fact that it was Daniel down in the morgue. 

Getting up, she headed for her office to wait on the lab results.

* * * *

“Oh, my God!”  Janet sat in disbelief, the lab results sitting in front of her on the desk.

Snapping out of her shock, she reached for her phone.  No one answered.  Jumping up, she headed for the elevators.

* * * *

Sam grabbed a Kleenex and blew her nose.  She was supposed to be on her way home, but she just couldn’t bring herself to leave the mountain.  She felt like it wasn’t real—that any minute Daniel would come walking into her lab, some new discovery on the tip of his tongue. 

But that wasn’t going to happen—would never happen again.  She got up and turned off the lamp, heading for the door.  Deciding to make one more stop before leaving, she headed for the elevators.

* * * *

Teal’c unfolded his legs and stood up, then moved about his room blowing out the numerous candles perched on practically every open surface.

He had been unable to successfully kelnoreem.  Perhaps he would seek out his teammates.  He left the room and headed for the elevators. 

As the elevator door opened, Teal’c found he was facing O’Neill.  “O’Neill, I was on my way to look for you.”

“Well, you found me.  Was that all?”

Teal’c entered the elevator.  “I believe we should search for Major Carter.”

* * * *

Sam punched the elevator button, shifting from foot to foot as she waited.  The door dinged and opened to reveal Teal’c and the colonel.

“Major Carter, we were just on our way to search for you.”

“I’m on my way to see Janet.  Do you want to come with me?” she said, getting in the elevator.

“I’m going home,” O’Neill replied.  “You kids do what you want.”

Sam knew he was hurting—they all were.  She didn’t want him to shut the rest of them out, so she made a suggestion.  “Why don’t you go with me to get Janet and we’ll all go out for a drink together?”

“I would be happy to join you and Doctor Frasier,” Teal’c replied.

O’Neill remained silent, looking at the floor.

The elevator stopped and the door opened.  Standing in front of them was a very agitated Janet Frasier.

“Just the people I needed to see,” Janet said as she got in the car.  “Come with me.”

“Janet, what’s wrong?”  Sam asked.

“We’ve got to get to the morgue.  I tried to call the attendant, but no one answered.”

That got Jack’s attention.  “What’s the problem?”

“I did an analysis of the fruit Daniel ate.  It kept bothering me that none of the natives were affected, and I really didn’t believe someone who apparently was fond of Daniel would intentionally give him something poisonous.”

“Doc—cut to the chase!”

“I don’t think Daniel’s dead, sir.”

* * * *

His head felt like it was stuffed with cotton.  He tried to take a deep breath, but was only able to take a shallow one.  The air was stuffy around him, and something was covering his face. 

He had a pounding headache and his muscles felt weak.  He attempted to reach up and pull off whatever was covering his face, but his arm struck something hard.  Opening his eyes, he found he was in a very dark place.  He tried reaching with his arm again, slowly moving his hand to feel a hard surface above him.  Sliding it along, he found another hard surface beside him.  Reaching up, he was finally able to pull off some sort of fabric that was covering his face, only to find it was still pitch black.  Moving his other arm, he felt hard surfaces above his head and on his other side. 

It was a box.  He was in a box—a coffin? Panic struck him sharply as he considered what that meant.  He began moving his arms and legs, trying to push open the lid—if there was one—or at least get someone’s attention.  But maybe they couldn’t hear him—if he were underground, then--.  He shuddered at the thought of being buried alive. 

He tried to slow his breathing, tried not to hyperventilate.  His head continued to pound and his chest hurt as though he’d been punched. His weakened muscles soon ended his efforts to escape. 

The last thing he remembered was sitting with Chakon at the feast.  Where were his friends?  Were they trapped, too?  Chakon’s people had been friendly and anxious to become friends.  Surely they wouldn’t have turned on them?

He was becoming hot and breathing was getting more difficult.  And there was nothing he could do. 

* * * *

Janet and SG-1 burst through the doors of the morgue, finding the attendant was still absent. 

“Where would Daniel be, Doc?”

“I don’t know.  You three start looking for him while I look for the log.”

Jack, Sam and Teal’c began shouting to their friend as they began pulling on the drawers.  They were locked.

“Daniel!”  Jack shouted. 

“Daniel Jackson!”

“Daniel!”  Sam began pounding on the doors, hoping their friend would hear them.

“Quiet!” Jack hissed.

All three stopped their shouting and pounding.  A faint, muffled sound could be heard. 

“Keep talking, Daniel!”  All three teammates began walking past each of the drawers, leaning in close to listen for the location of the sounds.

“Here!”  Sam said.  Jack and Teal’c joined her in front of the drawer.

“Daniel, can you hear us?”

A very faint ‘yes’ greeted them, followed by “Get me out.”

“Doc?” Jack said, turning back to Frasier.

“Got it!” she said, holding up a keyring.

Janet swiftly inserted the key and three pairs of hands grabbed for the handle.  Teal’c won out and quickly pulled the pallet from the wall.

“Daniel, are you all right?” Janet asked, pushing her way to his side.

Daniel took a deep breath, relieved at being able to fill his lungs. He squinted up at his teammates.  “I’ve been better.”

Sam leaned forward and pulled Daniel into a hug.  He tried to reciprocate, but his arms were too tired.  He settled for resting his hand on her arm. 

“Good to have you back, Daniel,” Jack said, placing a hand on Daniel’s shoulder.  He couldn’t believe Daniel had done it again.  How many people that were DOA lived to tell about it?

“Indeed.” 

At that moment, the morgue attendant returned.  Stepping into the room, he took in the open drawer and the people standing around a corpse—a corpse that was now blinking up at him.

“Wha--?”

“Just a little misunderstanding,” Jack explained.  “Can you mark him off your list?”

“Mark him off—,” the attendant repeated incredulously.

“Yeah.  Say, do you have a gurney we can take him out on?”

The attendant didn’t speak, simply pointed toward the far corner of the room.

“Thanks.”  Jack walked over to retrieve the gurney while Teal’c and Sam helped Daniel sit up. 

Carefully, Daniel was transferred to the gurney and escorted back to the infirmary. 

The attendant watched them go, then took his log and crossed off “Daniel Jackson.”

* * * *

Hammond stopped in the doorway of the infirmary, observing the people sitting around the bed of one Daniel Jackson, recently deceased, and now back with the living. 

He stepped into the room and approached the bed.

“How’s our boy?”

“Much better, sir.  Thanks.”

“You gave us quite a scare, Doctor Jackson.”

“I was a little scared myself, General.”

“Well, it’s good to have you back.”

“Thank you.”

“SG-1, you will remain off the rotation until Doctor Frasier has cleared Doctor Jackson for duty.  Enjoy it, people.”

“Thank you, sir,” Jack and Sam both replied.

“So, that little piece of fruit made you appear dead?” Jack asked, turning back to his friend.

“That’s right, Colonel,” Janet said as she approached the bed.  “It contained a chemical that put Daniel’s system into low gear, so to speak.  His metabolism slowed--his heart rate and respiration weren’t even detectable.  But it looks like he’s recovering from it just fine.”

“Why didn’t it affect anyone else?”  Daniel asked.

“Well, I’m guessing the natives are immune to its effects, and no one else from your team ate it.”

Thank goodness, Daniel thought.  He couldn’t imagine what would have happened if the rest of his team had been affected the same way.  Would the planet’s inhabitants have buried them?  He shuddered.

“I’m just glad you figured it out, Janet,” Daniel said.

“I should know better than to write “DOA” on your chart, Daniel,” Janet said with a smile.

“That’s okay, Doc,” Jack said, “I often refer to Daniel as DOA in my reports.”

“Jack?”

“Yeah, you know:  Difficult, Obstinate, and Argumentative.”

Sam made a very un-lady like sound and Daniel gave her a betrayed look.  And he was pretty sure Teal’c was smiling.

“Very funny, Jack.”

“Of course, sometimes it’s Defiant, Obnoxious, and Accident-prone.”

“Are you sure you didn’t mean Dedicated, Open-minded, and Articulate?” Daniel countered.

“No, I’m sure.  Of course, there’s one that the entire base uses,” Jack replied with a grin.  “Damn Ornery Archeologist.”

Janet and Sam both burst out laughing while the corners of Teal’c’s mouth twitched.  Daniel tried to give Jack his best glare, but instead laughed himself. 

He could endure as much ribbing as Jack could dish out, because any of Jack’s acronyms were better than the original.

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