Written for the following Pentangular Gate prompt:
Five thing Bill Lee learned about Daniel while they were in Honduras.


Daniel hummed.

Bill shook his head and then regretted it because it hurt like hell, but he found it hard to believe that Daniel hummed. Especially in a situation like this.


The humming stopped. So did the movement of the hands moving over his neck and head. “Bill! It's good to hear your voice.” A hand patted his shoulder. “Do you think you can open your eyes?”

“You're humming,” Bill said, not wanting to open his eyes. The way his head hurt he didn't want to move at all.

“Sorry,” Daniel said. “I do it sometimes when I'm--” He paused. “Can you open your eyes.”

“No,” came the short answer.

Daniel chuckled. “I didn't ask if you wanted to, I asked if you could. Come on, Bill. It's pretty dark in here; the light shouldn't hurt your eyes too much.”

Bill sighed and surrendered to the inevitable. He opened his eyes to see a blurred but relieved Daniel leaning over him.

“Hey, that's better.”

He knew even in the dim light Daniel was checking the reactivity of his pupils, checking for a concussion which he was sure he had.

“Well, you look pretty good for somebody who looks so terrible,” Daniel said with a smile.

With a snort Bill told him, “Speak for yourself. You look like I feel.” And Daniel did look terrible. His left eye was swollen shut, his cheek was bruised, and a thin trickle of blood oozed from his hairline.

“They dropped you off and decided to have some more fun with me.” Daniel eased himself back to lean against the wall of their dilapidated prison.


Daniel snored.

Bill groaned and turned onto his back. He had to get stuck with a roommate who snored. It was cold in the predawn light, and already humid. He knew their shack would be stifling by the middle of the day and that an extra hour of sleep now would help him survive the oven later. Survive--that was the wrong thought. He groaned again, this time with the dread of what was to come.

“Bill, don't think about it.”

Well, at least the snoring had stopped. “Don't think about it? Don't think about it? They're going to take us and hook us up to that... thing, that battery, and they're going to torture us until we tell them something.”


Bill turned again until he was facing Daniel who had one arm tucked underneath his head. He still had his eyes closed. “Yep? Is that the best you can do?”

Daniel pulled himself up, wincing as he did. He stretched his legs out one at a time, and then rotated his head. “I'm stiff this morning,” was all he said.

Bill knew a change of subject when he heard one. He and Daniel both knew what was coming. They knew that their captors would keep on until one of them broke. It wouldn't be Daniel, Bill knew that. He would break first, he knew that too. But he planned to hold out as long as he could. Maybe if he told them everything right away, they'd leave him alone. Maybe once they knew all there was to know, they'd leave Daniel alone too.

It wasn't true, of course.

He looked at Daniel, now leaning against the wall with his eyes open but focused on some spot on the ceiling. Only the clenched fists gave away what Daniel was thinking.

Bill felt an unexpected bitterness. Of course the great Daniel Jackson wouldn't break under torture—it would Bill who would disgrace himself. He dragged himself over to sit beside the man he hated. He had to get one more jab in. “You woke me up with your snoring,” he said with venom.

“Sorry,” Daniel said. “I think my nose is broken.”


Daniel had a terrible sense of humor.

Really, the man had the most macabre sense of humor Bill had ever encountered—even in grad school where they'd taken all the lab rats to the cafeteria and let them loose.

Bill had spilled the beans and told the bad guys everything they wanted to know up to and including his social security number, his locker combination, and his shoe size. He'd told them about the Stargate, about the Telchak device, and the lunch menu in the commissary. He'd told them anything and everything, and then begged for Rafael to let them go—to let him go.

They'd laughed a lot, the bad guys. And then they'd taken Daniel again. Bill put his hands over his ears as the screams started. He rolled himself into the corner as they continued. Then the screams stopped.
When they threw the body inside, Bill wondered if he'd be trapped inside the hut with a dead man. He pulled Daniel onto his side but couldn't wake him, couldn't get any kind of response from him. Only the rough breathing gave any indication that Daniel was still alive.

After a couple of hours Daniel woke up and started to laugh. By that time Bill was more concerned about spending the night in the hut with a crazy man because at least a dead man would be quiet.

“Daniel?” Bill sat back on his heels, instinctively moving away from the laughter. “Are you okay?”

“Dumb question, don't you think, Bill?”

“Yeah. Maybe. But you're... um....”

“I'm... what?” Daniel pulled his legs up to his chest and groaned. “Ah, shit!”


“Hurts,” Daniel said. “Son of a bitch.” He hissed in pain.

“You were...” Bill stuttered, “you were laughing.”

After a minute Daniel said, “Yeah, I was thinking about water, dreaming about it I think.”

“Water?” Bill yelled. “You're laughing because of-- You mean the water that we haven't had any of in--” He couldn't remember when they'd last had water to drink. Days for sure. He ran his tongue over his cracked dry lips. “You were thinking of water?” he asked again.

“I was dreaming about the tunnel where we almost drowned,” Daniel said through clenched teeth. “It's ironic, isn't it, that then we had more water than we knew what to do with, and now we can't find a drop of water anywhere. Even when it rains outside, we can't get water in here.” Daniel started to laugh again.

Bill didn't think it was funny. “Daniel, that's not--” He didn't bother to finish. Daniel had passed out.


Daniel was an idiot.

This was not new information. Bill had known for quite some time that Daniel was not like normal people. The rest of the SGC called him a genius. Bill knew better. Sam Carter was a genius, but she was mostly normal. This man was certifiably insane. Bill lay sprawled in the bushes where Daniel had left him and covered his head. Crazy, nuts, that was Daniel who was still running through the jungle with madmen behind him. He heard the crazies pass, then stillness, then shots.

“Daniel, don't you dare leave me here,” he mumbled to the underbrush. “I didn't put up with you all this time to be left here alone.”

Daniel (the idiot) was dead. Bill just knew it. He'd died and left Bill alone in this damn jungle. Daniel had a lot of nerve leaving him like this. What was he thinking? Bill pulled his arms more tightly around his head and swallowed the bile in his throat. Damn the man. He wondered if anyone would retrieve their bodies. He wondered if he'd cleaned out his desk or updated his will.

He wondered if he'd crapped his pants.


Daniel Jackson, the idiot who hummed and snored and had a terrible sense of humor, was still alive. Bill tried to be surprised. He tried to be relieved. Instead, he was resigned. Of course Daniel was still alive—because he was Daniel Jackson, recently descended Ascended, which really had nothing to do with the fact that Daniel was still alive, but should have taught Bill something about what to expect from Daniel.

Maybe Daniel was still alive because he was a friend of Jack O'Neill who had shown up in a nick of time (even without a Stargate) and pulled their asses out of the fire. Bill was glad that he knew Daniel Jackson who knew Jack O'Neill.

He watched Daniel, slumped against a tree, grit his teeth as Colonel O'Neill tried to figure out where the bullet was.

“Dammit, Daniel, I can't leave you alone for five minutes.” The colonel held out the canteen and waved it in front of Daniel's face. “Shut up and drink.”

“I didn't say anything,” Daniel said as he took the water. Daniel's hand shook and Jack didn't let the canteen go.

“No, but you were going to.” O'Neill pushed the canteen to Daniel's mouth urging him to drink.

“Fine, I was going to,” Daniel said. He waved off the canteen and put his head against the tree.
“So what were you going to say?” Jack asked after a minute's silence.

“You told me to shut up.” Daniel kept his eyes closed but couldn't stop the smile.

“Daniel,” Jack warned.

“I wasn't alone, Jack, I had Bill with me.” Daniel opened his eyes and looked over at Bill. He grabbed the canteen from Jack and threw it a few feet. Bill caught it. “I wasn't alone,” he repeated. “I wouldn't have made it alone.”

Jack looked at Bill who looked like a fish out of water. He stood and patted Bill on the shoulder. “Thanks,” he said. Bill wanted to say something but he couldn't.

Daniel had done what no one else had done—he's rendered Bill Lee speechless.

Who knew?



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