Things Left Undone
“Please, Jack, you have to do this for me. It’s all there in the progressive translation folder on my computer. I should have uploaded it to the linguistics department database for review, but I was waiting on verification of an established Etruscan timeline from Doctor Markash and her team in Chicago.”
“Daniel…” Jack shuffled forward on his seat and rested his head in his hands. The pleading look he gave Daniel was being firmly ignored. “You don’t have to do this.”
Daniel bit down on his lip and tried to clam his shaking, bandaged hands. “I do,” he said, voice quietly breaking. “It doesn’t end here, Jack.”
“How can you say that? Of course it does…”
“No. No it doesn’t. Not if you don’t let it. I can’t stop what’s happening to me any more than you can, and hoping for a last minute save is worse than foolhardy.”
“So you’re just going to lie down and die? No fighting the good fight?”
“No of us are irreplaceable. When I’m gone there’ll be someone to take over from me—”
“It won’t be the same and you know it!”
Daniel shrugged and flashed a small smile. “I’d be surprised if it was.”
“We’ve sent word to the Tok’ra.”
“I know.” Daniel ducked his head, and whispered, “I’ve left things unfinished, mission reports…”
“Please,” Jack pleaded, covering his mouth with his hand and closing his eyes tight.
“Jack, if I don’t tell you then no one will know where to look for these things. Doctor Markash’s report is vital for SG-9 if they’re going to have any hope of establishing a bilateral trade agreement with the Retali.”
“Typical,” Jack muttered under his breath.
He lifted his gaze to meet Daniel’s. “You’re sitting here on your deathbed worrying about things you’ve left undone…”
“And things I’ve left unsaid,” Daniel added softly.
“I don’t want to hear it!” Jack pushed the chair away and rose stiffly to his feet and turned away from Daniel. “All of it can wait. At least give the Tok’ra a chance to respond to our message.”
“I don’t want to die.”
“You…” Jack turned to face him. “Oh, god. I’m sorry, Daniel.”
Daniel bought his knees to his chest and hugged his legs, forgetting for a moment the IV lines that knotted and twisted with his every move. Jack slid back into his chair and reached out to touch Daniel’s arm, pulling back at the last minute and scrubbing his hand angrily through his hair.
“Do something for me?” Daniel said at last.
“When you go to… close up my apartment, I need you to get to something before anyone else does, especially Sam.”
“It’s important, Jack. In the hallway closet on the top shelf there’s a wrapped box and card. Its Sam’s birthday next week and I picked her up something special on my last trip to Russia. I really need you to give it to her for me. Can you do that?”
“Jeez.” Jack tried to rub away the tears in his eyes. “I don’t know…”
“Please. If I known I was going to… if there had been time, I would have…”
Jack leaned forward and rested his hand on Daniel’s arm, feeling the muscles quivering under his touch as what little emotional control Daniel had left was finally released.
The End



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