Waiting (Jack's POV) by devra

Waiting 3

Eyes opened, slammed shut against the lights...Harsh lights...infirmary-harsh lights. Home...starched sheets, uncomfortably stiff...sensations indicative of my being alive. Smells...sounds. Movement of my hand brings it in contact with something incredibly soft, definitely familiar. I edge my lids open...Daniel. On folded arms, his head is resting on my infirmary bed, my fingers weaving through his hair. His breath is deep and even in sleep, and so not to awaken him, I cautiously inch my hand down to his stubble-lined cheek.

Even in this state, Daniel is conscious of my touch. With a slight exhalation of breath, he moves to my ministrations. His face is warm with a slight fever, the heat becomes a source of comfort in my chilled hands.

It must be the pain medication, emotions close the surface type of thing... my vision wavers with the moisture that pools in my eyes. My refusal to blink keeps my sight blurred...I will not shed tears over what happened on that planet.

The bruises that Daniel wears stand accusatory in the brightness of the fluorescent lighting. Failure to protect him on this excursion through the Stargate weighs heavily on my conscious. My team member, my archeologist, my best friend, my lover.

This trip, Daniel has the honor of the infirmary chair...by the look of him, he has been seated in that abomination for hours...days. Next trip, our roles may be reversed and the chair will be mine to keep warm. The time after that...one time too many, we may tempt fate and only one of us will return. The chair will stay empty...our lives will be as empty as before.

Why do we wait? I have no answer to that. If something happens to either of us, we will curse our patience and go to the grave questioning our reasoning. Who do we wait for? For the world to accept us...honestly not in our lifetime. Which of us is waiting? If one of us would say the word, a sigh of relief would be issued and the military would be left behind.

Both of us are afraid of this consuming emotion we have. Body and soul...sappy words for a hardened, military man. Truthful words. Daniel and I are afraid to let go and lose ourselves...in the depth of ourselves...and because of that, we will wait. Until we are stronger to deal...we will wait.

My eyes drift shut, my hand sliding off the plane of Daniel's cheek to rest again on the cool stiffness of the sheets. I hear the echo of Fraiser's shoes, and sense a change in the air as she approaches the bed. The pull of the IV tubing...I drift further away from this reality. Unshed, pooled tears finally lose their hold, tracking down my cheeks.

I feel a familiar touch on my arm as I hover on this precipice between sleep and wakefulness. I wait for more, a voice calling my name...but for now, there is only the warmth of fingers tracing a pattern on my exposed skin... and it will be enough.  

The End!

Author's Comments: While this is a stand alone story it does touch on the other two fics Waiting: Janet's POV and Waiting: Sam's POV. It is now Jack's POV to contemplate his relationship with Daniel.

See Waiting 1 for Janet's POV

See Waiting 2 for Sam's POV

See Out of the Mouth of Babes for Cassie's POV


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