Written as a birthday fic for Cheryl, as thanks for her tireless efforts on our behalf.

Title: Tired
Genre: General/Friendship
Season: Two? Three? Doesn't really matter.
Spoilers: None
Warnings: None
Summary: Daniel is very, very tired.
Disclaimer: Don't own them, don't profit from them!

 

Tired

 

The call back to the mountain shouldn't have come as a surprise. They hadn't had a moment's peace in months, one crisis after another, with a flu epidemic in the middle that temporarily took out half the other SGC teams. Still, Daniel had hoped for at least one night's sleep. Despite his reputation for being able to work without stopping for days—despite his usual preference, sometimes, for doing just that—every once in a while he needed to get a full eight hours . . . or ten, maybe. Or a week.

He let the phone slip out of his hand onto the bed, groaned and pushed himself to a sitting position. All right, he thought, that was way harder than it should have been. He closed his eyes and let his chin fall to his chest.

God, he was tired.

But he could do this. He'd never needed as much sleep as other people, right? First things first—find his pants. He looked around the floor of his bedroom, but didn't see them. He got down on his hands and knees and looked under the bed. Nothing. O.K., weird. As he stood up, he wondered, suddenly, if he'd walked out of the mountain in his underwear. But someone would have said something, wouldn't they?

Daniel gave a thought to the military, frat-boy sense of humor and his reputation for being an oddball, and he felt a sinking sensation in his stomach. Absolutely, most of the SGC personnel would let him walk through the mountain stark naked if they thought it would get them a laugh, and the rest would just think, There goes that nut Jackson again. He grimaced. No doubt by now the security tapes of the hallways were already making the rounds to great hilarity.

He sighed and walked to the dresser and pulled out a clean pair of khakis. He started to step into them and then stopped.

Oh.

He rolled his eyes. He was still wearing his pants. And his shoes. He'd apparently collapsed fully clothed on his bed when he'd gotten home. Well, there was one crisis averted.

As he went to change his shirt, wincing at the pull in his shoulder of his latest off-world injury, he tried unsuccessfully not to think of the misunderstanding that had led to the angry headman's jabbing him with the spear, but the farcical images played quickly through his mind anyway.

Daniel really couldn't blame Lieutenant Sincharus for laughing at the proffered gift of candied . . . well, a part of an animal, even an odd-looking alien animal, that most people would not consider edible . . . but Daniel did wish that the green lieutenant hadn't laughed quite so hard. Teal'c had to practically pick the young man off the ground and drag him away when the stage-whispered orders to shut up only caused him to laugh more loudly. Daniel himself was barely able to hang on to his solemn expression as he watched them go, so infectious was the laughter, and he knew that the rest of SG16 and Sam and Jack were not being entirely successful in their attempts to hold back their grins.

So, he'd turned back to the headman to offer his sincerest apologies and been faced with a man apoplectic with anger. Still holding the dish of “gourmet gonads,” as Jack would so nicely put it later, Daniel had been unable to react in time as he saw the spear coming toward him, and the blade caught him in the shoulder. Daniel dropped the dish, Sam fired her zat, and they all hoofed it back to the Gate as fast as they could, the rest of the villagers screaming insults after them.

At least they hadn't had to eat the stuff.

He'd been released from the infirmary yesterday morning with strict orders to take it easy and, of course, had gone directly to his office to catch up on the mountain of paperwork that was waiting for him. He'd put in a good twelve hours until even he, finally, had to admit he was completely done in, exhausted, wrecked. . . .

He'd been so tired that the words were jumping on the pages, and he probably would have spent what was left of the night sleeping slumped over his desk if the last time he’d nodded off he hadn't slipped off his chair and hit the floor with a crash. Even then he wasn't so sure he would have woken up if it weren't for the pain in his shoulder as he hit the ground. He'd pulled himself up off the floor and eyed the cot in his office for a moment, then decided that he really, really needed to sleep in his own bed. After a cold shower in the locker room and a drive that he couldn't remember, he'd finally stumbled into his apartment, more ready than he'd ever been for the weekend of downtime General Hammond had ordered.

Daniel glanced now at the red digital readout on his clock and shook his head. Three-seventeen in the morning.

A weekend, four-and-a-half hours—what was the difference, right?

Daniel bent down to tie one of his sneakers and felt suddenly dizzy. He reached blindly behind him to find the bed, took a step back and sat down heavily, waiting for the world to right itself.

Whoa. O.K., clearly there was no way he was driving himself to the mountain. He contemplated his options. A taxi? Sam? Jack? . . . or . . . maybe just a little more sleep? Daniel let himself fall backward so he was lying on the bed with his legs hanging off the side. He closed his eyes. Just a few more minutes. Surely they could get by without him for a few more minutes, just this one time?

He was starting to drift off again when he heard the door of his apartment swing open. It could have been a burglar, or an NID assassin, but he didn't even bother opening his eyes. He listened as the door closed gently and the muffled footsteps sounded across his living room carpet, coming to a stop outside his room.

“Daniel?”

Daniel stayed where he was. “Jack.”

“I thought you might need a ride.”

“Good thought.”

There was a short silence.

“So,” Jack asked, “you coming?”

Daniel still didn't move. “Not sure,” he admitted.

He heard Jack walk across the room. “You sick?” his friend asked, some concern in his voice. He felt the bed dip next to him under Jack's weight and Jack's hand on his forehead.

“Don't think so,” Daniel said.

Daniel felt a hand grasp his good arm, and he let Jack pull him up till he was sitting. He opened his eyes and looked blearily at the man next to him. He shook his head to clear it.

“Do they really need me on this one, whatever this one is?” he asked after a moment. “ ’Cause I'm just . . . a little . . . tired.”

Jack grimaced. “ ’Fraid so, Daniel. The rest of us, maybe, they could do without this time, but it's you they need.”

“Anderson? Wong?” Daniel tried, searching his brain for anything or anybody who could keep him from having to stand up again. “They’re getting pretty good, I think . . . and how about Armen? He really knows his stuff, and I’m pretty sure he’s already on duty. . . .”

Jack shook his head regretfully, and Daniel stopped midsentence. His shoulders slumped, and he sighed. “O.K. What?”

“SG-7 ran into some Snoopies on that supposedly uninhabited planet they were investigating.”

Daniel stared at Jack. “Sanopisians? There were Sanopisians on PX3-867? What the hell for?”

It was Jack's turn to sigh. “I don't know, Daniel,” he said patiently. “I guess that's one of the things you'll have to ask after you talk them into untying our people and letting them come home.”

Daniel slumped a little more. His brain felt as if it were filled with quicksand, his shoulder was cursing him for skipping his pain meds, and now he had to go tiptoe through a cultural minefield to try and convince possibly the most annoying people in the universe that SG-7 had not meant any disrespect when they accidentally did . . . whatever it was the hypersensitive Sanopisians thought they'd done.

Jack patted Daniel sympathetically on his good shoulder, and Daniel nodded in defeat.

“O.K.,” he said. “Let's go.” He stood up, waving Jack off as he swayed a little, and started to walk toward his bedroom door. He reached his hand into his back pocket to check for his wallet, found it wasn't there, and turned back.

“I just need my. . . .” he started to say, and Jack pulled Daniel's wallet out of the inside pocket of his jacket.

“You left it on the bench in the locker room.”

“I did?”

Jack just gave a little smirk, and Daniel nodded. Of course he had. It could have been worse, he thought. It could have been his pants.

He reached into his front right-hand pocket, then looked around his room. “O.K. Now I just have to figure out where I left my keys.”

Jack reached into his own pants pocket, pulled out a keychain and jangled the keys in the air.

Daniel looked at him and waited.

“Still in your door.”

Daniel reached up and rubbed his eyes. “Maybe I let myself get a little overtired this time.”

“Ya think?”

Daniel shrugged. “Could we just go now, please, and get this thing over with?”

Jack smiled. “Sure thing, Daniel.” He walked over to his exhausted teammate and put his arm around his shoulders. “C'mon,” he said, steering him toward the door.

“I know we're not taking it, but you didn't happen to see my car, did you?” Daniel asked as they walked. “Because I really don't remember actually, well, parking it.”

Jack stopped them both for a second and looked at Daniel, who was still aiming woozily for his front door, then shook his head tolerantly and started walking again. “We'll check on the way out.”

“Good, that's good. . . . Uh, Jack, how about coffee? Can we stop. . . .”

“Thermos in my truck.”

“The good stuff?”

“Don't press your luck, Daniel.”

“Right. Sorry. . . .”

They got in the elevator and Jack let go of Daniel and pressed the button for the parking garage.

“Oh, and Jack?”

“Yes?” Jack looked at Daniel a little warily, obviously wondering what else the archaeologist could have lost on his ill-conceived journey home.

“Just . . . thanks.”

Jack smiled. “You're welcome,” he said, and they rode the rest of the way in silence because, really, what more was there to say?

 

End

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