The Whole Shebangby devra
"Yes." Daniel coughed into the crook of his arm.
"No." Carolyn shook her head, enjoying this way too much as far as Daniel was concerned.
"That's impossible." This couldn't be happening. This mission was his baby. He'd fought long and hard to get General Landry's approval and to make matters worse, SG-1's window of opportunity was now or never. "Just give me the allergy medication."
"No... you'll get antibiotics. Cough medicine. Tylenol every four hours and an airman to drive you home after your chest X-ray."
"I have a briefing to attend" Daniel attempted to slide off the gurney.
"No way, Doctor Jackson." She placed a hand on his chest. "How long have you been coughing?"
"It's May." Daniel checked his watch.
"Oh, good answer. Now, how about explaining to me what it means."
"Allergy season. Blooming flowers. Grass. Trees. I cough every spring. Sneeze. Feel lousy."
"So you've been walking around coughing—"
"—And sneezing," Daniel added.
"Sneezing since..." She rolled her hands, encouraging Daniel's participation.
"About two weeks ago."
"Two weeks," she repeated with a shake of her head. "Why didn't you come to see me?"
"I was busy." He had been, preparing for this mission. Gathering facts and information. Living on coffee. Existing on Tylenol and expired allergy meds.
"Good. Then you can spend the next two weeks relaxing and recovering." She walked to the phone on the wall, picked up the receiver and pointed it to Daniel. "Hold on a minute, I have a phone call to make." Carolyn smiled at Daniel. "General Landry? This is Doctor Lam..."
* * *
Daniel had done his job well. Too well, apparently. Landry was now married to Daniel's argument of the necessity of SG-1 visiting P3N 874 today, not two weeks from now, when he'd be back at work. Hell, not even two days from today, which would give him enough time to handpick his replacement for this mission.
"You know, the two weeks I'm signing off as your medical leave is me being very optimistic."
He coughed. Long and hard, peripherally aware of Carolyn as she attached a pulse ox meter to his index finger. "I. Have. No. Time for this," Daniel gasped.
Carolyn tsked. "Maybe a week in the infirmary and two weeks at home instead."
"Please, no," Daniel croaked. "I'll be good."
"Daniel." She sat at the edge of his bed.
"I never get sick."
"Ummm... The width and breadth of your medical charts tell another story."
"Injuries. Death. Appendicitis. Body switching. Radiation poisoning. Allergies. But never, ever illness that wasn't off world related." He closed his eyes and laid back, annoyed that the bed was positioned in the semi-upright position. "Ever."
"There's always a first time for everything, you know."
Daniel opened one eye and sneered at her, his harrumph buried in congestion.
"I'm also ordering you a breathing treatment before you leave."
"Can't it wait? I need to..." Daniel began to cough again.
"No, it obviously can't wait."
"Doctor Jackson, you wanted to see me?"
"Daniel," he repeated automatically, clearing his throat as he glanced up at Doctor Aiden Hendrickson, one of the newest members of his staff, who was now standing awkwardly at the foot of his bed, weighted down by the requested files and paperwork from his office. It was by sheer dumb luck, coupled with being in the right place, at the right time, that was enabling Hendrickson to travel through the 'gate to the archeological dig of a lifetime.
* * *
Aiden was brilliant. Intelligent. And had promised Daniel his first-born child for the opportunity that had landed in his lap; but his enthusiasm, Daniel hated to admit, was exhausting.
Daniel sent the young man to the briefing armed with paperwork, notes, and hints on how to handle Mitchell, Sam, Vala and Teal'c.
* * *
"DanielJackson does not look well."
There was a sound of rustling papers. "It says here... hmmm... Samantha, can you read this scribble?"
"I think that's a... or a... no... I can't read that."
"Really? I thought being a doctor, you would speak doctor language."
"Vala," Mitchell interrupted. "I don't think you're supposed to be reading Jackson's chart."
"Why not? It was hanging right on the foot of his bed. Doesn't that mean that everyone can—"
"No, it doesn't. Put it back," Mitchell insisted.
"No." She grunted, hugging the chart to her chest. "Let go."
"Put it back, before Lam comes back and..."
"Well, she shouldn't have left it out for everyone to read if it's so private."
"Behave. Both of you, before your childish behavior awakens DanielJackson."
"Too late, Teal'c," Daniel whispered, opening his eyes.
"Daniel." Vala sat on the bed and bounced to test its buoyancy. "Mitchell wouldn't let me read your chart," she pouted, glaring at the man who sneered back at her. "How am I going to take care of you?"
"No?" Vala glanced around at the people surrounding his bed, her brows knitted together in confusion. "We're not taking care of him?" she mouthed.
"Mission. You. Go. SG-1." Daniel tried his damnedest not to inhale deeply and set off a round of coughing. He made a weak shooing motion with his hand.
Sam took front and center, elbowing Mitchell out of the way. "Hey," she said softly, motherly placing her cool hand on his hot forehead. "You never get sick."
"That's true. Sunshine usually just goes straight to dying, bypassing sickness."
"I believe it would be in your best interest, ColonelMitchell, to not continue this conversation."
Mitchell mumbled something under his breath and Teal'c growled.
"I'll give you twenty to one odds that Muscle's going to get Mitchell when he least expects it," Vala whispered in his ear.
He batted her away when she began to blow in his ear. "Stop it." The single command set off another round of coughing and his friends claustrophobically closed ranks around the bed offering him water, tissues and panicked words.
* * *
They sat around the bed, forced into submission by an extremely pissed Carolyn Lam. The chart was gone from the foot of his bed and Daniel now sported a nasal cannula and a look so evil that not one member of SG-1 was brave enough to make eye contact.
Daniel pulled the prongs of the tubing out of his nostrils and threatened the circle of people with it. "*This* is all your fault."
"Look, I feel incredibly guilty. I'll just stay here and take care of you." Vala wrestled the tubing from his fingers and stuck it back in his nose. "Ewwww." She wiped her fingers on his blanket-covered leg.
"Don't do me any favors. I can take care of myself."
"Do you have something to say, Teal'c?" Daniel growled as he flicked the tubing.
"Indeed I do not."
"Look. Guys. Go away. Go through the big circle on the 28th floor. Have a great time..."
This time Mitchell broke out into a full out belly laugh. "Great time? Jackson, that's an oxymoron. It's an archeological mission. Full of old buildings, chicken scratch, dirt, hot dry weather..." His voice trailed into nothingness under Daniel's heated gaze.
"You're upsetting the patient," Vala crooned, crawling into bed with Daniel.
Daniel began to cough.
"Shush..." Vala laid her head against his chest, her ear pressed to his shirt. "Congestion."
Daniel grabbed her by the shoulders and pushed her upright.
"Hmmm." Vala brushed off her shirt. "That was a bit ungrateful, Daniel. I mean—"
Daniel collapsed against his nest of pillows and closed his eyes. "Do me a favor. Please play nice with Doctor Hendrickson."
"We'll be good." Sam's said, her voice coated with a hint of something not kosher.
Daniel opened one eye just in time to watch her school her emotions. Hide the evil glint.
"We'll make sure he takes lots of pictures for you. Video. Notes," Sam offered up when she realized she'd been caught with her hand in the cookie jar.
* * *
Daniel glanced at the infirmary clock. By this time, SG-1 minus him would be halfway to the ruins that an archeologist's wet dreams were made of. While the ruins would be there for probably another thousand years, he'd wanted to be the one to video tape. Take notes. Stay up all night. He didn't want to be here. Sick. In bed. So far from the action.
He pressed the call bell. And pressed it again when no one answered his first call for help. Then one more time, just to make sure he was truly being ignored before he began pulling off leads and the pulse oximeter and nasal cannula. The monitors began to shriek in protest.
Carolyn and her staff descended on Daniel. She shooed her staff back to work and approached his bed. "Nice temper tantrum."
"I want to go home. I've breathed. Been x-rayed. Had antibiotics. An IV." Daniel coughed, then cleared his throat. "I want to cough at home. Be sick in the comfort of my own walls. Watch DVDs and TV."
"I'm sorry." He looked at her over the tops of his glasses. "Whining? I'm not whining—"
"Take it from me, Daniel, you're whining."
"Then let me whine at home."
Carolyn drew a breath and hesitated before exhaling.
Daniel tossed back the blanket, ready to jump from the bed and bid a hasty retreat.
She checked her watch and covered him back up. "Let me check your chart."
"Five minutes, then?"
"Always the joker, Daniel. Sixty minutes."
"Forty?" he asked hopefully.
"We're not playing Deal or No Deal, Doctor." Carolyn began to reattach leads, oximeter and the oxygen. "Patience is a virtue."
"You're *a* patient. You're not patient."
"I'm an archeologist," he rasped at her retreating back. "I wait thousands of years for something. I can do patient."
* * *
Great. He was stuck in a car with an elusive airman, who, from the minute Daniel had gotten in the car, had done nothing but grunt at him. He rested his head against the passenger window and watched the world go by, trying not to play the 'where I would be if I weren't here' game.
"Could we..." Daniel blurted out as the car sped past a grocery store. "Never mind." He was going home with his laptop, a bag of meds, a list of instructions and no food in the house. None. Except, if he remembered correctly, a sleeve of Saltines, a bag of Ramen noodle soup, a can of tuna and a jar of chunky peanut butter. His stomach growled in anticipation of denial and he closed his eyes, trying to ignore the problem.
* * *
He opened his eyes when the airman stopped the car at a strip mall and he groaned, uncomfortable and confused, jumping in surprise, fists raised when the door behind the driver's side opened and a man entered, his arms filled with bags. "Who the hell are... Jack?"
"Are you too sick too help me with these?" Jack shoved a bag at Daniel.
Dumbfounded, Daniel just nodded, but didn't make a move to help.
"Never mind, I got this." Jack put the bags on the floor by their feet. "Is that your laptop?" Jack tsk'd and shook his head. "Aren't you supposed to be resting? Good thing I'm here." Jack shut the door, leaned forward and patted the airman on the shoulder. "Doctor Jackson's residence, please."
"No problem, sir." The young driver turned around and offered Daniel an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry, Doctor Jackson, but General O'Neill ordered—"
"Pfftt... I didn't order. I asked nicely—"
"That I pick him up. I hope that's okay, Doctor Jackson?"
"No. It's fine. I think."
"You think? You think?"
"No, it's fine, Jack," Daniel said, not bothering to disguise the resignation or hint of sarcasm in his voice. "Absolutely fine."
* * *
The second Daniel stepped into his house with Jack on his heels, he felt sick. Shaky, achy, feverish, and his chest felt as if a herd of elephants decided to stop and take a rest. Jack walked around him, put the bags into the kitchen then appeared in the kitchen doorway and stared at him.
"Not feeling so good?"
Daniel opened his mouth to disagree.
"If you say 'fine'—"
"What are you going to do, Jack? Huh?"
"Put a pair of sweats on, Daniel, and get into bed."
That was what he had wanted to do, but he didn't want someone telling him that's what he should be doing. So, feeling like shit, he hesitated, refusing to cooperate.
"Or," Jack added with a shrug, "you can just stand there until you collapse on the floor. Bed or floor. Either one works for me. Your choice."
* * *
Daniel compromised. Sweats and the couch, though he'd dragged two pillows and the blanket from his bed.
There was a lineup on the coffee table in front of him. A steaming bowl of soup. A bottle of water. A handful of meds. A box of tissues and a recently added bathroom garbage pail.
"I'm not going to puke." Daniel leaned over, picked the basket up and moved it to the side.
"No?" Jack's eyebrows did an amazing Teal'c impersonation as he stopped eating his overstuffed sandwich. Slowly, he placed it down onto the plate balanced on his lap. "Really? You could've fooled me about five minutes ago. Coughing, gagging." He gave an exaggerated shudder and grimace before picking up his sandwich. "Can we not discuss this while I'm eating?"
"Why are you here?"
"Because this is the only room in the house with a TV."
"Because someone had to pick up the order from the New York Deli. Benny says hi, by the way."
Daniel waggled his fingers.
"Sent you over some of those veggie knish things you like."
"Nice of him."
"Hey, least he could do, I believe those were his exact words when I told him you were sick."
"Don't mention it, Daniel."
"But that doesn't answer my question as to why you're here."
"I didn't answer the question?"
"No, Jack, you didn't."
"Okay." Jack put the sandwich back on the plate with a look of sorrow, then moved the plate to the table next to the box of tissues. "I'm here because you're here."
"I'm always here."
Jack rolled his eyes. "No. You're not always here... here."
Daniel rubbed his forehead; the fever headache was expanding into a stress-related headache.
"It would help if you took some Tylenol. Because then the headache—"
"Focus, Jack," Daniel yelled in a squeaky voice that did nothing but make Jack smile.
"Okay, where's here, here, if you don't mind me asking." Sometimes with Jack, if you couldn't beat him, it paid to just join him.
"In your home. On your couch. Feverish. Sick. Coughing your guts up. You never get sick."
"You noticed that, too."
"Not as sorry as I am."
"I have every reason to pout."
"Yes, you do."
Daniel fiddled with the corner of the blanket. "You're agreeing with me?"
"If I say yes, will you eat the soup?"
"If I say yes, you have every reason to pout *and* stamp your feet, will you take your meds also?"
Daniel shrugged his shoulders. "Maybe." He coughed, hiding his grimace as the herd of elephants started tap dancing across his chest and made no comment when Jack pushed the pail even closer. Grabbing a tissue, Daniel wiped his streaming eyes, then spat into the tissue and tossed it into the garbage.
"Take the meds." Jack paused. "Pretty please," he added in a soft, filled-with-worry voice.
"Why are you here?"
"I thought I answered that?" Jack picked up his sandwich again.
"No. You did some fancy footwork and avoided it." He wanted the soup so badly, but he wouldn't give in to Jack.
"Your team was worried about you..."
"Well, Carter called and then Vala grabbed the phone—"
"She's a bit overwhelming."
"Understatement... So let me get this right. SG-1 called you. Told you I was sick and you what? Jumped on a plane?"
"Jet. As in Air Force. I jumped on a jet because there was this whole timing issue and I wanted to make it home just as—"
"Whoa. Home? Jack, in case you haven't noticed, you don't live here. This is not your home. Washington is your home."
"No. Washington is where I work. Where I live. This is my home. Colorado Springs."
"Home is where the heart is, Daniel."
"Are you saying what I think you're saying?" God, his head hurt way too much for this conversation.
"What do you think I'm saying?"
"That you—me—home?" Daniel pointed to himself then to Jack. "Even though you're in Washington?"
Jack bit into his sandwich and just nodded, smiling around the mouthful of corned beef.
"Now? After all this time? You declare your undying love—"
Hurriedly, Jack wiped his mouth. "Let's get this straight; I never mentioned the word dying, did I?"
"No." Daniel couldn't help the hint of a smile that tugged at the corner of his mouth. "You mentioned home."
"So..." Daniel reiterated.
"Me, you, home? Is that a yes?" Jack intently studied the crust on his rye bread.
"You live in Washington."
"I can take a jet. You can take a jet. We can get the family plan on our cell phones. You do get vacations. I get vacations. We can..."
"Yes." Daniel blurted out.
"That a good oh, right?" Daniel asked, suddenly concerned that in his fevered state he'd misinterpreted this entire conversation.
"Great oh, and Daniel? Since I told you why I'm really here..." Jack pointed to the table. "Time for you to keep your part of the bargain. Soup. Meds. The whole shebang."
"The whole shebang. Yeah. Right." Daniel smiled broadly as he reached for the bowl of soup. Maybe, just maybe being sick wasn't so bad after all.
This fic was written for a dear friend who was going through a whole bunch of rough patches.
Thank you jo, who is so much more than a beta to me and to Tammy, who was the originator of the wonderful idea. Oh, and Benny and his store from my fic Knishing for Answers make sorta a cameo appearance.
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