What a Way to go by devra

Daniel knew he was dying. He had experienced death enough times to be more than familiar with the symptoms. This fever, nausea, hacking up a lung wasn't the flu, it was the precursor to death. Janet just wanted to spare his feelings by telling him it was just a virus. Begrudgingly, she had admitted he had a bad case, but it was just still the flu.

Jack had been less than sympathetic. Said Daniel got what he deserved playing offworld with other teams. Sam had just patted his hand as he waited for Janet to sign his death certificate, then rushing off to wash her hands under Janet's glare. Teal'c had offered his condolences from across the room. Without a symbiote, Janet had instructed him to be a tad more cautious with his body. Janet had kept Daniel in the infirmary long enough to ascertain he hadn't been inflicted with some horrific, offworld virus before she had found a driver for him and sent him on his merry way with a bag of meds and instructions a mile long.

With a groan he turned over and his right elbow, connecting with the remote, accidentally flicked on the TV. An extremely loud rendition of the Jeopardy theme burst into the bedroom. He scrabbled under his body, searching for the remote. Growling, he flipped over, pointed it at the TV and hit the off button. Nothing happened except the contestant just missed the Daily Double. Daniel pressed the button again. Harder. Still nothing. Frustrated, he flung the remote at the TV, only to have it miss the mark by a long shot, slamming into the corner of the dresser, continuing downward onto the hardwood floor where it shattered into a million pieces.

Cursing, Daniel pulled the pillow over his head. This was all Jack's fault. Jack was the reason there was a TV in his bedroom. Daniel didn't need a TV in the bedroom. He could survive with just a book, or Jack, to keep him occupied. It was Jack who had attention difficulties.

Anchoring the pillow down, Daniel coughed into the mattress. God, it hurt when he coughed. Moving hurt. Breathing. Peeing. Even thinking about how much he hurt registered on Janet's infamous pain scale.

Plague. He'd brought back a new strain of the plague and he was going to go down in the history books as patient zero. Janet didn't care. Served her right if she was written up as the doctor who didn't give a shit and sent her patient home to die.

* * *

Daniel woke up to his head *on* the pillow and strong hands massaging the small of his back, over and over, pushing his body into the mattress with the pressure. Chanting. There was chanting in a deep and familiar voice. "Teal'c?"

The hands stopped and Daniel turned onto his back, opening his eyes. "Teal'c," he repeated in a voice that even a pre-pubescent adolescent boy wouldn't be jealous of. "What are you doing here?" he croaked.

Solemnly, Teal'c canted his head. "I am performing gi'not."

Daniel sluggishly searched his brain and came up blank. "Huh?"

"It is an old Jaffa custom that parents use on their children. I myself used it on Rya'c when he was but a small child. It is the belief that a child will heal from an illness faster if they achieve a state of tek'net."

Hating that Teal'c was making his brain work, Daniel flipped through his internal dictionary of Goa'uld. "Sleeping? I thought I *was* sleeping."

"You're illness was forcing you to sleep. I can see you are not rested."

"You can?" Daniel squeaked.

Teal'c bowed his head again. "Indeed, I observed your restlessness and your fevered mutterings in your sleep."

"Observed?" Teal'c watching him while he slept seemed to be wrong on so many levels. "So you intend to—"

"There will be a difference. Please, DanielJackson, I require you to be on your stomach."

"Sure. Why not." Hallucinating. Daniel was hallucinating. He knew from experience a high fever could do that to a person. Dying people did hallucinate.

Strong hands began at the nape of his neck and Daniel closed his eyes, breathing congestively in sync with the deep touches working their down his spinal cord. "Teal'c?"

"You must remain silent, DanielJackson."

"Okay," Daniel lethargically replied.

Down the length of his body, over his ass, down his thighs, calves, hell, even his feet. But it wasn't until the hands worked their way back up to his ribcage that Daniel began to squirm. And cough. Deep, down-to-your-very-soul hacking that hurt. Teal'c kept at it, until Daniel garnered enough strength of get up on his hands and knees and from there Teal'c helped him to turn over and sit up. Magically, a bowl was held up for him to upchuck disgusting gobs of crap that had been living in his lungs. Daniel pushed the bowl away with an "eww," and flopped back down.

By the time Teal'c finished with the gi'not, Daniel was becoming one with the mattress. Weak. Spent. As if he had run a marathon. Better than any sleeping pill or anesthesia, Daniel made a mental post-it to ask Teal'c if he would be interested in making millions packaging this old custom.

* * *

He awoke to gentle caressing of his cheek, the smell of menthol and an annoyed "tsk'ing." The sound of annoyance gave away who it was. "Sam?"

She sighed. "You're still feverish."

Daniel nodded. Speaking more than her name required too much effort. Sleeping had been better. Much better. And he hung onto the lasts vestiges of his dream state by the skin of his teeth.

"I'm making you some chicken soup."

Okay, that was enough to wake him up. "Cook? You?" Questioningly, he glared at her out of one eye.


"Ahh." Daniel tucked the covers closer around him. "Dreaming."

"Very funny," she said, smacking him lightly on his blanket covered arm. "I can cook."

He opened his other eye. "Can?"

"Recipe by Campbell's," she agreed with a smile. "Comfort food for when you're sick."

Daniel burrowed deeper under the covers. "Please," he begged, "no food."

Sam tugged the covers down. "Tough shit."

"Nice bedside manners," he groused, fighting with her for the covers. "You better be prepared, last thing I ate ended up…" he gazed pointedly at the opened bathroom door.

In a very unladylike manner, with a noise that sounded surprisingly like Jack, she snorted. "Yeah, let's see. You came home, opened your fridge and ate whatever you could find, 'cause Janet said you should take the pills with food. I'm betting it was lo mein from Hunan House.

"No," Daniel replied indignantly, patting the covers in place. "It was cold pizza from Carlos'."

Her eyes widened. "Oh, big difference, forgive me."

Gently, Daniel pushed her hand away when she went to touch his forehead. "Germs."

"Too late," she said, kissing him on the cheek. "In the infirmary, Janet was all over us about getting sick, infecting everyone else…"

Sam kept blabbering and Daniel kept nodding in agreement, until he nodded right off to sleep.

* * *

"For someone who didn't want to eat, you sure were hungry." She shook her head at the empty soup bowl.

"Thank you." He grabbed the last saltine off the tray as she lifted it away. "I'm going to clean this up." She handed him a napkin from the tray. "You go clean yourself up and I'll be right back."

* * *

He needed a shave. He needed a shower. Neither of which he had the energy for. Sticking his tongue out at the image in the mirror, he wondered if his will was up-to-date. His stomach did a sickening flip flop and for a second Daniel wondered if the soup and crackers were going to make a second appearance. Breathing through the wave of nausea, he allowed himself a minute before dragging his body back into the bedroom. Daniel dropped onto bed, crawled up the mattress, collapsing face first with a groan into the heap of pillows at the head of the bed. He jumped in surprise and shivered as Sam, in one fell swoop, pulled down the blanket and raised his tee shirt. "Sam?"

"Soup. Crackers and Vick's." She began to rub some cold goop onto his back. "This should help you breathe better."

Daniel tried to shoulder her ministrations away but in the end it was easier to allow her just to have her way with his sick, dying body and by the time she left he had been fed, water, medicated, and even had a cool mist humidifier keeping him company in the bedroom.

* * *

"Do you remember the last time you took your meds? A Tylenol? Drank some water?"

He could have cried. He had just wanted to die. In peace. Alone. Why wouldn't anyone let him slip from this world? Daniel moved a lethargic finger to his lips and shushed the irritating voice.

"You have the flu, Daniel. You're not dying."

"Am too. You don't know everything." He turned onto his back and scowled through his headache at Janet. "Dying. You sent me home to die." He turned his head and buried a cough into the pillow. "Ow." He rubbed his chest. "See."

Janet opened her medical bag and withdrew her stethoscope. "I know you're not dying, Daniel, because you complain much less when you are."

"Very funny."

"I try."

He jerked when Janet placed the cold bell on his overheated chest. "Hey! Couldn't you at least—"

"Shush and just breathe," Janet ordered.

Daniel went for an exasperated breath but it just ended up getting lost in a cough. He winced as Janet moved the bell over his chest like a heat seeking missile. He sat up at her insistence and tolerated her listening to his breath sounds. Efficiently, Janet recorded all of his vitals.

"And?" Daniel asked as he watched her pack her paraphernalia away.

"You have the flu. Fever. Cough. Body aches. Headache."

"Don't forget the nausea."

"Of course I wouldn't, you just didn't give me a chance to finish." She patted his arm. "Nausea."

"You're being very condescending."

"You know, you sound kinda cute," she waggled her finger at him, "with that voice. Trying to picture a twelve year old Daniel Jackson."

"Okay, if you're not going to take me back to the infirmary, can you at least afford me some dignity?"

"Look, Daniel. If you really want to go to the infirmary, I'll take you to the infirmary." Janet looked wounded, hurt. "I thought you'd rather suffer in the comfort of your own home than in the harsh, sterile, isolated environment of the mountain. The drugs that I'd be doling out wouldn't be any different than the ones *sitting* on your kitchen counter. And at least here, in the comfort of your own home," Janet patted the mattress, "you get to sleep in your own bed, go to your own bathroom, throw up in your own toilet—"

Daniel threw up his hands. "You convinced me. I'm suffering off base out of the goodness of your heart. Got it."

* * *

Janet moved his meds to the bedside table right next to his cordless and cell phones. She left a bottle of water, a sleeve of saltines and a pad and pencil for him to record the times he took his meds.

"Want some TV?" She fingered the pieces of the remote that either Teal'c or Sam had placed on the dresser. "Met an unfortunate death?"

"Sorta." Daniel searched the bed for that one comfortable spot.

"Book? Magazine?"


"Okay, I'll get some magazines and put them on the floor by the bed."

Daniel stared, confused. He could have sworn he had told her no. But obviously in this dying state, no one listened to a word he said.

* * *

He awoke to the gentle breeze of someone flipping through the pages of a magazine and humming.

"Go away," he begged.

"You certainly have an eclectic taste in reading materials—Hockey News?" Jack moved the paper down and peeked at Daniel above the pages.

"That's yours." Lethargically, he patted the paper, distorting the pages.

"Well then, what's it doing by the side of your bed?" Jack snapped the paper back into place then adjusted the blankets around his body and the pillow behind his head.

"Janet put it there." Daniel coughed. "And then she left." He paused, tried to take a deep breath, then coughed again. "Janet left me magazines, checked me out, made me take my meds."

"Good woman." Jack turned a page, moving his sock-covered foot up and down Daniel's calf.

"Sam cooked for me. Soup. And then she left."

"My sympathies." His empathetic head shaking was visible above the pages.

"It was pretty good. She also spread this stuff on my chest—"

Again, Jack lowered the paper and sniffed the air. "Ahh. Vicks, brings back memories. And I see she left you the humidifier. Smart gal, that Carter."

"Teal'c gave me this great massage…"

"Teal'c gave you a massage?" Jack lowered the paper even further. "A massage?"

Daniel gave a shallow sigh of longing. "Great. But then he left, as well." Slowly, he turned onto his side to face Jack. "See the correlation? People came, left me something and then said goodbye."

Jack tossed the paper over the side of the bed and turned to face Daniel. "Don't you want to know what I'm leaving you?"

"Dare I ask?"

"Me," Jack said, sliding closer to Daniel.


"Yup. And since I'm leaving me, I can't leave." Jack paused, slipped his hand behind Daniel and slid him closer. "Make sense?"

"No. Yes." It hurt too much to thinks so Daniel tucked his arms between their two bodies and shoved his feet between Jack's legs. Damn, the man felt so incredibly warm.

Jack chuckled "Obviously, you have no objection to me staying."

"I'm not sure." Daniel raised his head and blearily gazed at Jack. "First off, how did everyone get in my apartment?"

"Key. *My* key. Figured I'd let everyone mother you for a while before I arrived. This way," Jack kissed Daniel's forehead, "I can take care of you without any interruptions."

"Can I sleep with no interruptions?" He yawned, coughed into Jack's chest, apologized, then coughed again when Jack chuckled.

"No interruptions, I promise."

"Won't wake me up for soup?"

"Nope, no soup."

"Won't make me read? Watch TV? Force water, tea or Tylenol down my throat?" It was an effort keeping heavy lids opened and Daniel was slowly losing the battle to stay awake.

"No to the reading and the TV. I will warn you, though, the water, Tylenol and tea are going to be doled out on a need-to-be basis."

"I really am dying." Daniel tried to turn his head to cough, by there really wasn't room for maneuverability. "I've died enough, and this feels like death."

"Go to sleep, Daniel."

"I'm trying."

"No. You're not trying. You're talking. Now shut up, and I say those two words with love, and sleep."

"What are you going to do while I sleep?"

Jack sighed. "I don't know. Watch TV?"

"TV? Maybe you should finish reading the Hockey News instead, see I had a little problem with the remote..."

* * *

Daniel arrived at the SGC before dawn, desiring the quiet of the early morning before the storm of the day. He wasn't a hundred percent, but he was better. Functional. Able to concentrate without falling asleep or coughing until his eyes teared. Five days' recovery time was ample. He'd survived. Once again overcoming death.

Slowly, working his way through his overflowing inbox, he had spent the last hour separating the paperwork into priority piles. Reaching for the cup of lukewarm tea with his right hand, he plucked a tissue from the box with his left, while his gaze never left the monitor.

Somewhere on his desk, covered by a stack of folders, Daniel's phone rang. "Shit!" He jumped in surprise, ending up using the tissue to wipe of up the splatters of spilled tea.

" 'aniel Jac'—" He coughed, cleared his throat and tried again. "Daniel Jackson."

"Daniel?" The voice at the other end of the phone was but a mere whisper.

"Jack, is that you?"

"Yup. It's me."

Daniel held the phone away from his ear as Jack coughed. "Where are you? You sound horrible."

"Where am I? Home. Though I think I should be in the infirmary," he moaned. "I feel horrible. Feel like I'm dying."

"Been there. Done that." He tsk'd in sympathy. "Janet doesn't want you in her infirmary?"

"No, Janet doesn't want me in her infirmary," he mimicked in a high squeaky voice. "This is all your fault."

Daniel coughed.

"See, I rest my case."

Grimacing, Daniel drank the last remnants of tea to sooth his throat. "Never mind resting your case. Make sure *you* rest. Plenty of fluids. Tylenol." He sniffed, grabbed a tissue, blowing his nose. "I'll stop by after work. Bring dinner."

"Leave your work at the SGC."

Looking at the piles of paper, he just shook his head. "I'll leave my work in my office. Promise."

Jack coughed long and loud.

Daniel echoed the cough, but his wasn't as long and loud as Jack's.

"Maybe you should just work a half day."

"Maybe I'll just make myself a fresh cup of tea and take some Tylenol."

"And maybe you'll relapse."

"And maybe I won't."

"I need Vicks."


"You know, Daniel. Vicks. That smelly stuff that Carter rubbed on your chest. Before you come tonight, bring Vicks and the latest Hockey News."

Daniel wrote it down on a back side of a memo. "Vicks. Hockey News. Got it."

"Sherbet. Rainbow. It's a comfort thing with me."

"Comfort. Got it." Tearing the corner scrap of paper off, he stuck it in his breast pocket. "Now go to sleep, Jack, so I can call you up in twenty minutes and wake you."

* * *

Arming himself with a fresh cup of tea and some hot pancakes, Daniel worked his way through breakfast and the stack of files on the left hand side of the desk. Again, the jangling phone interrupted his thoughts.

"What, Jack?"


"Sam? You, too?"

"Me, too?" she squeaked.

"You and Jack both sound horrible. My germs. Sorry." He grabbed the back of another memo. "What can I bring you? Tylenol? Tissues? Sherbet?"


"Never mind." Scribbling sherbet off the list, he waited for her to speak.

"Janet stopped by before work and brought me a whole shopping bag of supplies, but the humidifier… could you possibly—"

"Done. Want some egg drop soup from—"

"Umm, please don't mention food."

"Sorry. Sorry. Just the humidifier." Writing her name atop the paper, he tore off the corner and stuck it in his pocket. "Around seventeen hundred hours?"

Sam's cough was harsh.

"Maybe sooner."

"No. Take your time. I'm not going anywhere. Just to bed so I can die in peace."

* * *

Blurring eyes forced him to stop working. He was going down for the count, drowning in the copious amount of paperwork on his desk. Frustrated at his shortcomings, he flung his glasses to the side, dropping his head into his hands and permitted himself the luxury of sleeping with his eyes open, sitting up, at his desk.

Voices in the corridor shook him out of his lazy drifting. Groaning, he stood and stretched languidly. He needed to regroup, take a breather, a change of scenery. Tylenol, tea and Teal'c sounded like a cure.

He snatched up his glasses, popped two Tylenol then went searching for Teal'c, who he surprisingly located, despite the time of day, sitting in his quarters, amid a sea of lit candles, looking horrible.

"I'm sorry," Daniel stuttered, wrapping his hands around his fresh cup of commissary tea. "Am I interrupting?"

Teal'c gazed at him with bloodshot eyes. "I would not have permitted your entrance if I had been preoccupied."

Teal'c's voice was deep and raspy and it hurt Daniel's own throat to hear it, so he shoved the cup of tea towards Teal'c. "I think you need this more than I do."

With a gentle nod, Teal'c reached up and accepted the cup. "Thank you, DanielJackson."

Shrugging, Daniel sat on the floor across from Teal'c. "My pleasure, considering those are my germs making you sick."

"Doctor Fraiser has assured me the tretonin is assisting in my recovery."

"Is it?"

Teal'c coughed then sneezed.

"I guess not."

"I no longer feel like I am dying."

"Oh. That's great." Daniel forced an enthusiastic smile that fell flat with a cough of his own. Sighing, Daniel added, "I think."

Lifting off the plastic lid, Teal'c tentatively sipped the hot tea.

"Can I get you anything else?"

"No, the tea is quite sufficient." Teal'c sneezed hard enough to rock a wave of tea over the side of the Styrofoam. "Though a box of tissues would be greatly appreciated."

* * *

"I feel lousy."

Janet looked at him and blinked, her red nose and eyes in stark contrast to her pale skin. She motioned for Daniel to jump up on the exam table. "You shouldn't have come back to work then."

"What about you? Why are you here? You look terrible."

Sticking an errant strand of hair behind her ear, she glared at Daniel and pointed to the table. "Sit."

Reluctantly, Daniel hopped up on the table, shaking his head when she unclipped her penlight from her breast pocket and waved it in invitation for him to open his mouth. "I'm not sick."

"You said you felt lousy. Open up." She pulled a pair of latex gloves from the box on the wall.



"Okay, maybe lousy was the wrong word."

Sighing, Janet reclipped the light and tossed the unused gloves into the garbage. "You're a linguist, Daniel, you don't choose *wrong* words."

"Jack's sick. Sam. Teal'c. You. I feel like Mrs. O'Leary's cow."

Patting his knee, she shook her head. "As well you should."

"I'm confused. Isn't this where you're supposed to make me feel better? Telling me it wasn't my fault."

Grabbing a tissue from her lab coat pocket, Janet blew her nose. She wiped, sniffed then blew again, shoving the dirty, crumbled tissue into her pocket. "I'm sorry, Daniel, were you saying something?"

Downtrodden, he just shook his head. "No."

"I'm kidding."


"Oh?" Mimicking him, she rolled her eyes. "How long have you been part of SG-1?"

"Give or take ascension?"

She hid her warning glare in a cough buried in the crook of her arm.

"Seven," Daniel added hastily. "Seven years."

"When you, or any of the team becomes injured, I treat you all. 'Cause every single one of SG-1 is in here, in *my* infirmary, hurting." Janet shook her head in wonderment. "After all this time you still don't get it. Do you?"

"Get what?"

"We care more than we should. Worry."

"That's why everyone came to my house?"

Janet tried to fight a smile. "Are you sure it's been seven years?"

"I've been really…" Averting his face, Daniel sneezed.

Withdrawing another tissue from her pocket, she handed it to Daniel. "Oblivious is the safest word I can think of."


"You. Oblivious. To familial interactions. It's not a bad thing," she hastened to add. "It's just…"

"Do. Not. Say. Cute," Daniel hissed.

"I'm your doctor. I would never refer to you as cute. Endearing maybe, but never cute."

"I'm sorry you're sick."

"Me, too, but I'm glad you're feeling better." She pointed towards the door. "Shoo. This is an infirmary. A place for sick people. Go."

Sliding off the table, Daniel made it three feet before Janet called his name.


"Do me a favor. Bring the colonel whatever he wants. Bring Sam soup, but please try not to catch their germs."

"They were my germs first," Daniel added.

"Yes," Janet admitted with a sneeze. "Which you so generously shared."

Daniel's face crinkled in confusion, his hands pointing to his chest then the door as he stuttered out his question. "Me… how… you… How did you know I was going to check on Sam and Jack?"

Grumbling, Janet made a show of pushing him towards the exit. "Family. Daniel. Without even realizing it, you're getting the hang of this family stuff."

* * *

Daniel yawned into the opened, brown paper bags he held in his arms before propping them up against the door, holding them in place with his hip, digging Jack's key out of his pocket. Leaving work early, he had the spent the afternoon running around. Sam had ended up with the humidifier, numerous boxes of Puffs, some movies and contrary to her objection, a quart of soup from the Chinese restaurant with extra noodles. Daniel had stayed for a while, poured her soup, plumped up her pillows, served her soup, gave her tea with honey and after two hours, dragged himself away before he fell asleep on her couch.

Admittedly, he'd been stupid. Daniel opened the door, readjusted the bags, kicking the door shut, carrying the bags into the kitchen because after he finished at Sam's he'd had to then make another trip to the grocery store to pick up Jack's sherbet. And the Hockey News. Some Vicks. And fresh OJ. And bread. Cold cuts. Eggs.

* * *

"Hey." Daniel sat at the edge of Jack's bed.

Jack studied him over the rims of his reading glasses, putting down his book with a sigh. "You look worse than I do."

Shaking his head, Daniel disagreed. "I don't think that's possible." He swiped his hand over Jack's forehead before he could be stopped. "You have a fever."

"You look tired."

"I'm fine."

Jack snorted, laughed, then began to cough.

Daniel handed him an opened bottle of water from the nightstand. "You're sick."

"I feel better," Jack replied hoarsely.

It was Daniel's turn to laugh. "Sure you do. I didn't feel human for at least forty eight hours."

"I'm better," Jack insisted.

"When did you last take Tylenol?"

Jack shrugged.

"Ate something?"

"Not hungry."

"Took your temp—"

Jack shoved the bottle of water back into Daniel's hands. "You're a pain in the ass. Do you know that?"

"Nah, you're just caught between payback and caring."

Pulling the blanket back, Jack patted the mattress. "Leave the payback at the door and bring the caring to bed."

"After I take your temperature, give you Tylenol and make you something to eat."

* * *

"I'm sorry," Jack apologized, handing the three quarter full plate to Daniel. "I told you I wasn't hungry."

"You don't want sherbet?"

"You bought me sherbet?"

"Isn't that what you said you wanted? Sherbet, Vicks and the Hockey—" Placing the plate on the night table, he sank back down onto the bed, pulling the scraps of paper from his pocket. "Sam wanted the humidifier and—"

"You made lists?"

"Yup." Daniel shoved a piece of paper into Jack's hand. "You wanted sherbet—"

Jack sneezed. "You went to the store?"

"Twice." Standing, he pushed Jack forward, fluffing the pillows behind his back. "The Chinese restaurant. Sam's house."

"And work. You went to work?"

Grabbing the dish, he stood in front of Jack. "You know I went to work."

"I didn't need the sherbet," Jack said softly.

"But you said—"

"I know what I said. But I didn't expect you to take me seriously."

He was flustered. Floundering and very confused. "I'm just going to clean up in the kitchen." Picking up the remote, he flicked on the TV. "I won't be long."

* * *

Elbow deep in soapy water, concentrating on scrubbing the eggs out of the frying pan, he was caught unaware when Jack pressed him against the counter.

"I didn't need the sherbet," he whispered in his ear.

Jack's chapped lips and five o'clock shadow created a pleasant friction along his exposed neck and he sighed, the warmth of the fevered body leaning into his feeling damned nice. "You should be in bed."

"Honestly, Daniel," Jack said huskily. "So should you. You shouldn't be shopping, cooking, doing dishes. Hell, the way you look, you shouldn't even be back at work."

Daniel felt the heat of Jack's mouth and he buried a cough in Daniel's shoulder. "Trying to give me back my own germs?"

Growling, Jack flipped Daniel to face him, kissing him hard.

Strangely erotic, Daniel's own chapped lips caught and stretched against Jack's as the kiss deepened. Trying and failing to keep his mouth closed against the onslaught until eventually Daniel had no choice but to gain purchase by wrapping his soapy hands around Jack's torso.

Jack broke the kiss. "Now if I wanted to give your germs back to you, I'd do something like that."

"I'm so glad you were thoughtful enough to think of my wellbeing."

"Always." Gently, Jack kissed the corner of his mouth. "Come to bed."

"Will I get more of—"

"If that's what'll entice you to bed, sure." Sheepishly, Jack cleared his throat. "I'm thinking, though, that my little germ spreading demonstration might have been it for the evening."

* * *

Jack took the Tylenol, keeping his eyes on the bowl of sherbet in Daniel's hands. "Now? Before it becomes a mess of rainbow glop?"

"Now." Handing the bowl to Jack, Daniel crawled into bed next to him. "Enjoy."

Jack waved a heaping spoonful in front of Daniel's face. "You want some?"

Settling against the pillows, he toed off his shoes. "Nope. I licked the container top."


"What?" Drawing the covers over his feet, he glowered at Jack. "You drink directly out of the OJ container. Same difference."

* * *

He jerked awake when a spot of cold touched his forehead. "Huh?" Sputtering, he sat up, narrowly missing thunking Jack in the chin with his head. Hurriedly, he wiped at his forehead, surprised when his fingers found nothing.

"I just kissed you."

"Kissed me? I though you…" Daniel gestured towards the bowl Jack still had in his hands.

Jack raised the empty bowl in the air. "I would never do something like that."

Taking the bowl and spoon from Jack, Daniel placed them on the floor by his side of the bed. "Just as a precaution. In case you're tempted."

"Why did you buy me sherbet?"

"Because you asked for it."

"Daniel, I ask you not to touch things on alien worlds. Not to take undue risks and do you listen to me? No."

"How does going offworld compare to buying sherbet in a store?"

"I'm sick. Work with me here, okay? It's the best analogy I could think of."

Crossing his arms behind his head, Daniel relaxed into the pillows. "You took care of me when I was sick, so…"

A hurt expression flashed over Jack's face. "So because I took care of you, you felt an obligation…"

Sighing, Daniel shook his head. "Not an obligation." He sat up quickly, kissed the lips hovering over his, then dropped back again into the nest of pillows. "A desire. A smart woman reminded me that family takes care of family when they're sick. You buy soup, and sherbet, the Hockey News. You dole out medication and tissues. Vicks and humidifiers."

"Germs be damned," Jack finished.

"Yeah, germs be damned." Smiling, as Jack kissed him once again, tasking of cool, sticky sweetness.

"The way you keep demonstrating on germ passing, we're never going to be well enough to get out of bed."

Sliding down, Jack rested his head on Daniel's chest. "You say that like it's a bad thing."

Carding his fingers through Jack's sweaty hair, he chuckled. "What a way to go, huh?"


The End!

Author's Comments:

Jo, owner of the ever sharpened red pencil, the halo and the bottomless well of patience, thank you for your beta, though any and all mistakes are mine. To those closest to my heart, thank you.




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Since 07 March 2006