Every New Beginningby devra
It had taken them eight years to get to the point where SG-1 actually felt they could take a break. And they did, away from the mountain and the SGC, hightailing it out the moment Jack was able to commandeer them from the place and onto his highly acclaimed cabin in the Minnesota woods, surrounded by lake, trees and well, lake and trees. No one had mentioned the sudden appearance of fish in the lake—he, Sam and Teal'c just ate what Jack proudly caught, only acknowledging the fried, baked and broiled presence with a raise of their eyebrows.
Last day of vacation and it was way too early to be up and functioning, but Jack wanted to get on the road before the day began. Sam was wandering around the cabin yawning, muttering under her breath about the lack of daylight and Teal'c was out by the truck helping Jack pack. Daniel had eyed the empty coffee pot with longing, only to be reprimanded by Jack as he checked the kitchen cabinets for left behind food stuffs. So he settled on a bottle of water and wandered miserably outside to lean against the side panel of the truck.
Daniel tried to ignore Jack's look of disdain as he passed by after depositing an oversized duffle bag in the back. "I forgot, okay," he shouted hoarsely as Jack tromped up to the porch to relieve Teal'c of a large cardboard box.
"No, not okay," Jack groused on his return trip as he grabbed a box of tissues from the box he was carrying and tossed it at Daniel's midsection as he walked by. He nodded at the brush surrounding the cabin. "Trees, lakes, plants, *growing* things—"
"I know. I know." Daniel plucked a tissue, tucked the box under his arm then blew his nose. Loudly. Sneezed. Then blew again.
Jack eyed him suspiciously around the back end of the truck. "Are you sure you aren't sick?"
"Not sick. Allergies. I've had them long enough to—"
"Forget the antihistamines, obviously."
* * *
Daniel was too uncomfortable to sleep and the times he had drifted off, he awakened with a sneeze followed by a rebound smack of his head against the back passenger window.
The first time he ignored it. The second time he ignored Jack's concerned glance in the rear view mirror. The third time he pretended not to see Teal'c's raised eyebrows and the fourth time he averted his eyes from Sam's annoyed grimace because his allergy attack was obviously keeping her awake as well. "Sorry," he grumbled, then made a feeble attempt to turn sideways within the confines of the seatbelt and rest his head against the backrest against the window. But centrifugal force, as well as habit, had him drifting back towards the window. The very next time he sneezed, the resulting smack against the window was enough to elicit an 'ow' from him.
"Daniel, even I know that for every action there is an opposite but equal reaction, so forcryingoutloud, could you *please* find a different position to sleep in."
* * *
Jack shook Daniel awake and he entered awareness slowly, rubbing his eyes to remove the gunk that held them glued shut. "Morning Starshine."
Daniel gazed at Jack who stood with one arm holding the truck door open, the other arm resting on the roof and a look of humor gracing his face. "Don't take this the wrong way, Jack, but shut up. Please." He cleared his throat, unbuckled his seat belt and stretched. "Where's Teal'c and Sam?"
"Dropped them off home."
"Why aren't I home?"
"I made a Generalish decision and decided your ass needed to be in the infirmary before home." Jack stepped back and made a Vanna White swoop of his arm, inviting Daniel out of the back seat.
He wanted to protest. Saying home was a better choice for him as well, but he couldn't recall a bottle of antihistamines anywhere in his office or his home so maybe a visit to the infirmary was one of Jack's better ideas.
* * *
During Daniel's examination, Daniel could sense Jack sidling closer and closer to where he sat on the gurney. Daniel dazedly answered the questions presented with one word responses and curt nods and accepted the gentle reprimands with a tight smile. He tracked the hand that patted his knee and both he and Jack furtively glanced around the room when the doctor left the room to fill his prescription.
"Jack," Daniel hissed.
"I know. Then again maybe I don't know," Jack whispered, moving even closer to where Daniel sat on the gurney. "Is this like those fish in my pond?"
"This is a bit more complex than fish, isn't it?"
"What do you think we should do?"
"I don't know, Daniel, do you think we should even do anything?"
"Was it the time travel? Do you think we should go back?"
"Do you really want to think of that as an option? 'Cause what will that give us?"
Daniel thought of the alternative and gazed at the door through which Janet had just departed, and remembered the gaping hole in his heart and life when she had died. "It'll give us nothing, you know."
"I know," Jack agreed with a shake of his head.
Daniel sneezed, sniffed and gratefully accepted the tissue that Jack had pulled out of the box on the table against the wall. He smiled as Janet approached. "Short of saving the world, this is possibly the best thing SG-1 has ever done," he whispered at Jack.
"My sentiments exactly."
"You know, I was so busy yelling at Daniel's digression, I never even said 'welcome home'," Janet said, opening Daniel's hand and placing the pill bottle in his palm. "You know the drill." She closed his fingers around the bottle.
"Same to you," Daniel said softly. "Welcome home."
"I didn't go anywhere."
"We know. Daniel's just a bit—"
"Confused. Tired." Daniel fidgeted then faked a yawn.
"Very tired," Jack added.
"Do not," she warned, "allow this to go any further than an allergy attack."
"I'll make sure he doesn't," Jack promised, reaching out to pat Janet's arm, ignoring her quizzical look.
Daniel captured her glance, smiled then shrugged as he cocked his head at Janet.
She seemed to take it in stride, snagged the chart hanging at the end of the bed and made a quick notation. Janet clicked the pen closed, then looked up at them. "You can go, but I want to see you back in here in forty eight hours." She gave Jack a threatening glance. "Unless there's a problem, then a sooner visit would be in both yours and Daniel's best interest."
"Yes ma'am," Jack answered with a lift of the brim of his invisible hat.
Daniel slid off the gurney, surprised when Janet grabbed his forearm. "Did you drop Sam off at home?"
Daniel and Jack nodded simultaneously. "Is there something wrong, Janet?" Daniel tried to quell his panic that maybe they had exchanged one life for another.
"Oh no. Not at all," Janet stuck the pen behind her ear. "Jacob arrived to surprise her," she chuckled. "The tables were turned when he found out she was out of town so I'd like to be able to tell him—"
Daniel grabbed Janet into a bear hug, lifting her off the ground, putting her down only when she began to protest and Jack started to laugh.
"Daniel's glad to be home," was Jack's explanation. He pulled Fraiser into a one armed hug.
"Life's been pretty boring these last few days while you were away," she laughed as Jack offset her balance. Janet pushed Jack away with a kidding shove.
"Hail. Hail, the gang's all here," Daniel whispered to Jack on their way out of the infirmary.
"And what a gang," Jack agreed with a backward glance over his shoulder and a waggle of fingers towards the doctor.
"Jack," Daniel started, only to be brought up short when Jack stepped into his path and waved a finger at him.
"Don't say anything. Don't think too deeply on this. And don't," he warned, "think of the implications. I'm going to give the same warning to both Teal'c and Carter. Though Carter," he said with a smug grin on his face, "isn't going to be looking this gift horse in the mouth, because of—well, you know."
"A gift horse? Jacob's a gift horse?"
"Yup." Jack slung an arm over Daniel's shoulder and steered him towards the elevator. "The best type of gift horse. A no-questions asked gift. Both him *and* Fraiser." He stopped in front of the elevator and pressed the button. "Do you think that Hammond's name is back on the door to the office?"
"That would be nice." Daniel laughed at the look of annoyance on Jack's face. "Only kidding." Daniel followed Jack into the elevator. "We did good, I'm not sure *what* we did, but I think in the end—"
"The end justified the means. And we didn't do good, we did great."
For Amy, just because she asked. Thank you to Jo, for reasons that are more numerous than space allows.
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