Snow White Beaches
By Taylyn10

“Can you get up?” Daniel asked.

The body lying on the ground in front of him presented a dark blur in contrast to the snow beneath him, a dark blur daubed with a dirty red. It wasn’t often that Daniel was glad to be without his glasses, but this was one of those times. That, and the concussion he was fairly certain he had, kept him from seeing the blood on Jack’s uniform.

“Jack,” he repeated, “can you get up? We need to go on… get to the ‘gate. I’m not sure I can—” He stopped when he realized Jack had passed out again. He’d been awake, if not lucid, off and on since their less than graceful fall down a hill—mountain—hell, he didn’t know what it was except that it was slick and steep. Jack had broken the landing for Daniel and broken his own ribs in the bargain. Since then, Daniel had supported Jack until he’d passed out, and dragged him after that on a thermal blanket salvaged from his pack. In a way, he was glad that Jack had passed out again. It would keep him from feeling any pain for a few minutes, but it wasn’t doing a damn thing to get them closer to the ‘gate.

Daniel figured it had to be close—a mile, give or take. He hoped Teal’c and Sam were already there and gone. It wouldn’t be a good idea to still be here on this desolate planet once darkness fell. With nightfall came bitter cold. Daniel laughed—bitterer cold would be a better description, if bitterer was even a word. It was already cold enough that he’d lost all feeling in his face. It was cold enough that his feet burned and his gloved hands could barely close to hold on to anything. It was cold enough that he wondered if he’d get Jack back to the ‘gate before they both turned into ice statues, frozen in time and left to decorate the barren landscape.
He looked down at the blur that was Jack.

They needed to move. Now. Before they couldn’t move anymore. He reached down to grab the shredded corners of the thermal blanket under Jack’s body.

“Right, if you won’t get up and walk, you’re stuck with whatever transportation you can get, so no complaints about the bumpy ride, okay?” Daniel wrapped the corners of the second blanket a little tighter around Jack’s body. The blankets and a couple of power bars were the only things he’d kept from their packs. Everything else was too awkward and heavy to carry.

“You know, you’re missing out on all the lovely scenery.” Daniel buried his face as deep as he could in the collar of his coat. Despite the fact that his voice was muffled, he kept talking. “There isn’t a tree to be found for miles. That ought to make you happy.” Daniel stepped into the deep snow and pulled on the downward motion. Every few feet he stopped to make sure Jack was still behind him. Once, he’d dropped the end of the blanket, unable to feel anything through his gloves, and he’d walked ten feet before he found his hands were empty.

His legs ached with the effort of moving forward. “No beaches, though.” Step. Push. “But you knew that before we left.” Step. Drag. “You told me at breakfast this morning that you didn’t want to go to a planet without a beach.” Step. Push. “But as usual, I didn’t listen—”

A groan from behind him brought him up sharp. He dropped to his knees. “Jack?”

“Shit!”

“I know,” Daniel said, reaching out for the flailing hand, “it’s not the beach.”

“What?”

Daniel didn’t know what the question meant. Did Jack want to know why they weren’t at the beach or did he want to know where they were now.

“Daniel?”

The pressure of Jack’s hand in his made him look down. Why could he feel Jack’s hand and nothing else?

“Are you…” The voice faded away.

“I’m ready to go,” Daniel answered. “We’re on P22, um… I don’t know exactly where we are, but we’re almost at the ‘gate. I think.” He looked off at the horizon, seeing only white. “We are; we’re almost at the ‘gate.” They had to be almost at the ‘gate.

“Can you walk? It’ll be easier on your ribs if you can walk on your own.

“Ribs?”

“Cracked, probably broken. I broke them when I landed on you.”

“Landed?”

Daniel sighed. Not lucid this time, then. “We got caught in a snowslide. It pulled us down the slope. You broke a couple of ribs.”

“Carter? Teal’c?”

“They’re fine,” Daniel lied. “They went back to the gate… to get help,” His white lie was as bright as the surrounding snow.” He shivered and pulled his hood down over his face. He hoped Teal’c and Sam were okay. They could have been caught in the same slide, but he hadn’t been able to find them, only Jack half buried in snow and bleeding from a gash in his side.

 “Daniel.” The voice sounded a little stronger. “Are you okay?” Jack looked at him, his unfocused eyes blinking behind frosted lashes.

“Me?” What a stupid question. Of course he was okay. “I’m fine. Cold,” he conceded.

“Your face,” Jack said, waving their joined hands upward.

Daniel brought his free hand up, but while he knew he was touching skin, he couldn’t feel anything. He’d hit his head on something during their tumble and lost consciousness for a few minutes, but it didn’t hurt much anymore. He focused on the present. “Can you stand? I’ll help you up, okay? Just take it easy and let me do the heavy lifting.” He pulled Jack to his feet, ruing the pain he was causing. He wrapped a blanket around Jack’s neck. “Put your arm around my waist,” he said, pulling Jack in tight. He grabbed Jack’s jacket in the back, twisting it tightly in his fist. He knew putting his arm around Jack’s waist or even his shoulders would cause even more pain.

Jack leaned into Daniel’s shoulder, shaking, his breathing harsh.

Daniel could feel the vise-like grip Jack had on him. “Okay, see the ridge up there?
That’s where we’re headed.”

“Ridge. Got it,” Jack said.

Daniel hoped he did because the ridge was nothing but a lump on the horizon to him. For that matter, Jack was nothing but a blur beside him. Still, they had no other option but to go forward. To stop now would be to consign them both to death.

“Stargate’s on the other side?” Jack asked.

“Just over the ridge,” Daniel lied again.

~oOo~

Daniel felt the slump just in time to grab Jack before he hit the ground. He eased them both into the snow, unfolding the blanket from around Jack’s shoulders and pulling it up to protect their faces from the howling wind. Even as a blur, the ridge was no longer visible. Darkness was less than an hour away and with it would come deathly cold. He had no idea what direction they were going, and he no longer had the strength to pull or carry Jack any farther.

They’d struggled more and more with each step, pulling a foot out of the snow, dragging it forward, to have it disappear a few inches in front of them. Daniel had relished the warmth of Jack at his side, the only part of him not frozen by the biting wind. And with the warmth, an assurance that Jack was still with him. Eventually, however, the bitter cold had drained their last of their strength.

He tried to feel bad as he covered them with the remnants of the blanket, but he was so tired he couldn’t find it in him to mourn their deaths. He pulled Jack in close, sharing with him the little body heat he had, and closed his eyes.

~oOo~

“It’s nice to see you awake.” The lady standing beside the bed was small, pretty, in charge. She had her hand on his wrist. “Do you know where you are?”

He looked around. Behind him he heard machines beeping. In the bed beside him a serious, gray haired man watched him. He had an IV in his arm. “Hospital?”

“Close enough,” the woman said, and smiled. “How do you feel?”

How did he feel? “Head hurts,” he said. “It hurts a lot.” A lot might have been an understatement. It hurt so much he wondered how it could still be attached to his shoulders.

“Can you tell me your name?” the woman asked as she wrote something in the chart in her hands.

He looked again at the man in the next bed who was peering at him intensely. “My name?”

“Take your time,” the woman said.

“My name is…” he struggled to find the answer. “Um… my name is…”

“Hey, I thought you said he was going to be fine.” The man in the next bed was sitting straight up now. He had a sling on his left arm and he winced as he moved.

“Colonel, you need to lie down.” the lady called across the bed. “You’re going to upset—” She looked down at him again. “Try again. Can you tell me your name? If not, it’s okay. You’ve had a blow to the head and it might take a little time for your memory to come back.”

“I… no, I… I can’t remember who I am.” He pushed the words out, fighting down the panic. His stomach churned and knotted. He didn’t know who he was. Suddenly, the room started to swim in front of him. The bile rose in his throat. The woman beside him must have noticed his discomfort because she thrust a basin under his chin just in time for him to throw up what little stomach contents there were. Just the movement of retching caused the pain in his head to jump up a notch or two.

“Dammit, I thought you said everything was going to be okay. What the hell’s going on?”

The voice of the man in the next bed echoed in his head. The woman holding the basin was also shouting but her words had no meaning anymore. The excruciating pain drowned out everything else.

~oOo~

He awoke feeling heavy: eyes, limbs, body, everything felt heavy, leaden.

“Hey, how ya doin’?” It was the man from the next bed standing over him with a robe thrown over his shoulders.

He blinked, turning his head slowly. “Better, I think.”

“Glad to hear it,” the man said. “You gave Doc quite a scare.

“Sorry,” he murmured.

“You would be,” the man said with a chuckle. “You need anything?”

He needed to be able to think straight. He felt lethargic and uncomfortable. “Water, please.”

“No problem.” The man shuffled to the bedside table and poured out a glass of water. He grabbed it and brought it to the bed. “I’m not sure I can hold this for you one-handed. Can you sit up a little to take it?”

“Sorry,” he said. “You’re hurt. You shouldn’t be here. The doctor wanted you to stay in bed.” He pushed the button to elevate the head of his bed and closed his eyes when the room rippled in front of him.

“Daniel? Are you okay?”

He heard the thump as the glass hit the table.

“Let me get Fraiser.”

“No,” he said, fighting to get the vertigo under control. “I’m fine, just a little dizzy. I’ve been lying down too long.”

The man looked worried but he didn’t say anything else. He picked up the water glass again and held it out.

Daniel—the man had called him Daniel—Daniel focused on the glass in front of him and reached out—slowly. The glass blurred a little and came back into focus. With a sigh of relief, he held it in his hands and then drank, greedily.

“Slow down there, buddy,” the man ordered gently. “You throw up on my good shoes and I won’t be nearly as forgiving as Fraiser.”

Daniel looked the man up and down carefully. “You’re not wearing any shoes, are you? With your pajamas? If I threw up, I’d be throwing up on your bare feet.”

“That’s even worse,” the man said. “So take it easy on the water.” He held out his hand for the glass which Daniel gave him.

“So, how are you feeling?”

With a sigh, Daniel rested his head on the pillows. “Thick-headed,” he admitted, “and groggy, kind of like walking in a fog.”

“Doc said you might feel that way for a few hours. She gave you something for your concussion, something to reduce the swelling… I don’t know, but she said it’ll go away soon.”

“Good,” Daniel said. He closed his eyes for a few minutes. This time awake, his lack of memory didn’t seem as bad. It bothered him, yes, but it didn’t upset him. Of course, it could be the drugs he’d been given. But he felt it was something else. This man in front of him made him feel at ease and secure, even though he didn’t know him. For the moment, that was enough. He opened his eyes at the touch of a hand on his arm.

“You look like you’re deep in thought,” the man said, “or half asleep. Do you want me to lower the bed again so that you can get some rest?”

“No,” Daniel answered. “I’m not really tired, I’m just not processing information very well.” He noticed the man shift from one foot to the other, restlessly. “You should be back in bed, though. You look tired.”

“No,” the man insisted. “I’m fine.”

Fine. He didn’t look fine. He looked… “Are you okay?” Daniel asked. “Your arm…”
“Ribs, actually. Broke two of them. Again. The arm is taped to keep me from using it and pulling on the ribs,” the man said. “I always forget how damn much that hurts.”
“Broke two? Again?” How could someone talk about two broken bones so casually?
“Would have been a lot worse than two broken ribs if it hadn’t been for you,” the man said, looking Daniel in the eye.

“Me?” Daniel stared at him.

“You dragged me for more than two miles—you who had a severe concussion. You should have left me there and gone on alone. You almost—” The man choked on the word.

He dragged someone—this man—for two miles? “I almost?” Daniel dug for the end of the sentence.

When the man pulled his hand away and tucked it in the pocket of his robe, Daniel didn’t think he was going to get an answer.

“Died, Daniel. You almost died. Again.” The man was angry. “You should have left me there and gone on alone. You have a severe concussion, six stitches on the side of your head. Swelling of the brain. You shouldn’t have been dragging me around. You should have left me. If Carter and Teal’c hadn’t come along when they did—”

“Don’t be stupid, Jack,” Daniel sputtered, just as angry as the man if front of him. “We go in together, we go out together. That’s the way it’s always been and that’s the way it’s always going to be. What would ever make you think that I’d leave you—”

Jack’s face was a picture. His mouth hung open and his eyes were wide. “Do you know who I am?”

“Of course I know who you are. You’re the ass that thinks I’d leave you behind to freeze to death on some godforsaken planet—”

“Doctor Frasiser,” Jack yelled. “Janet!”

Fraiser came running at Jack’s call.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“He’s got his memory back.” Jack couldn’t hide his stupid grin.

“All of it?”

“I think so,” Jack said. “He knows me anyway.”

“That’s good, Colonel, but that doesn’t mean he remembers everything.”

“It’s a hell of a lot better than where we were yesterday, when he didn’t even know his own name.”

“Hello,” Daniel interrupted. “In the room, here.”

She gave Daniel an apologetic look. “Sorry, the colonel—who should not be up and bothering my other patients” she raised an eyebrow at Jack and looked at the empty bed, “sometimes makes me forget there are other people around.”

“He has that effect on a lot of people,” Daniel agreed.

“Hello,” Jack said, echoing Daniel’s words. “In the room, here.”

“Who’s in the room,” Janet asked.

“I don’t know,” Daniel replied. “I’ve forgotten.”

Despite a snort from Janet, Jack frowned. “Oh, very funny, Daniel.”

Now it was Janet’s turn to frown. “Well, the colonel’s obviously told you your first name, but do you think you could tell me—”

“Daniel Jackson. July 8th. You’re Janet Fraiser. He’s Jack O’Neill. I’m in the infirmary at the SGC.”

Janet and Jack both smiled.

“And how do you feel?” she asked.

Daniel looked at the two concerned faces above him. “My head still hurts,” he admitted, “but I feel a lot better than I did—” He didn’t know when he’d been awake before, nor did he know how long he’d been in the infirmary.

“Four days, Daniel,” Jack said, seeing his confusion.

“Oh,” Daniel said, trying to absorb that information. “I’ve been in the infirmary four days?” Four days. He remembered being awake only once. “Well, in that case, I think I’m hungry too.”

Janet laughed. “We’re going to need to run some tests later on, but for now, I’ll see about getting you something light to eat.”

“What about me?” Jack asked.

“Did you hear someone, Daniel?” Janet said.

“I seem to remember hearing something,” Daniel answered.

“You two taking your act on the road?” Jack groused.

“Why don’t you get back into bed, Jack, and maybe Janet will let you steal off my tray later on.”

“Then there’d better be pie.”

“Jell-O, colonel, he gets Jell-O. But I’ll be sure to bring an extra spoon.”

~oOo~

Carter and Teal’c waved on their way out the door. They’d come by to visit—and steal pie off his tray. Daniel noticed that Janet had not only provided Jell-O, which he was allowed to eat, but two pieces of pie, one apple and one pecan, which he was not allowed to eat. Jack had eaten the piece of pecan and Teal’c and Sam had shared the apple.

“How can you eat blue Jell-O?” Jack wanted to know while fluffing up his pillows.

Daniel jumped, startled by the voice. “What?”

“Jell-O, blue Jell-O? How do you and Carter eat that stuff,” he answered. “Jell-O shouldn’t be blue. It should be—” Jack stopped. “Hey, you look a little pale. Are you okay?” He swung his legs over the edge of the bed.

Daniel waved him away. “I’m fine, really, just a little tired.”

“Yeah,” Jack said. “I probably shouldn’t have let Carter and Teal’c stay but they’ve been worried about you.” He looked Daniel over. “You sure you’re okay? I can get the doctor for you.”

“No,” Daniel said. “I’m… I’m a little…” Daniel started to shiver.

“Shit, Daniel,” Jack said, coming to the side of the bed. “What’s wrong.”

Daniel looked up at Jack who was now sitting on the edge of his bed. He’d heard the story of their rescue from Sam and Teal’c. They’d seen a little scrap of fabric, one small ragged scrap, the corner of the blanket he’d covered them with, flapping in the wind. They’d almost missed it. If they’d gone ten feet in the other direction, they would have.

“Daniel? Hey, talk to me, here.”

“I didn’t get us to the ‘gate,” Daniel whispered. The shivering increased. “I tried but I couldn’t do it. You’d be dead now if Sam and Teal’c hadn’t seen us. They almost didn’t see us.” He felt faint, weak, and the world grayed a little. “I thought… I mean I knew we were going to die and it would be my fault, but I didn’t know how close we came to…” He swallowed, gagging on bitterness in his mouth. “You almost…”

“You saved our lives, Daniel. You saved my life.”

Daniel didn’t know how it happened but he found his head resting on Jack’s shoulder.

“You walked two miles, dragging me most of the way. You made it to within fifty feet of the ‘gate. If we hadn’t been that close, Teal’c and Carter wouldn’t have found anything but two human icicles.” He rubbed Daniel’s back. “Do you hear me, Daniel? You saved my life—again.”

Daniel refused to be soothed by the closeness. “Right. If I hadn’t insisted we go to that particular planet—You knew we weren’t going to find anything there. You wanted to go to—”

“Planet hopping is what we do for a living, Daniel. Some pan out and some don’t. We all know that. Carter’s picked a couple of duds in her day, too.” Jack pulled away from Daniel, making him look up. He cupped the back of Daniel’s head to make sure he couldn’t look away. “No one’s responsible for bad weather or a snowslide,” he said emphatically. “No one. Got it?”

“But I—”

“Got it?” Jack asked again.

“Got it,” Daniel muttered.

You, you stubborn son of a bitch, made sure we both came home. We go in together, we go out together. That’s what you told me.”

As the shivering eased, Jack settled him back on the bed.

“I just have one question,” Jack said.

“What?” Daniel asked.

“Back on the freezer planet, why the hell were you talking to me about beaches?”

The End

 

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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.