Ice Stormby JoaG
He could hear the ice pellets hitting his bedroom window. The freezing rain was still coming down hard and relentlessly. The weather had turned from a mild shower to freezing rain late in the evening, and it looked like the sleet had continued for most of the night.
Jack swung his legs off the bed, grimacing as his bare feet touched the cold wooden floor. He quickly padded to his bureau and grabbed a pair of socks, hopping first on one foot then the other as he quickly slipped them onto his freezing feet. He made his way to the bathroom, flicking the light switch on as he entered.
”Damn,” he muttered, as the room remained dark. After emptying his bladder in the dark, he returned to his bedroom, debating whether to climb back into his warm bed. Instead he decided on going downstairs to check on his houseguest.
Teal’c was sitting on the sofa, resting comfortably. SG1 and SG8 had just gotten over a very exhausting and stressful two-week mission offworld conducting very important trade negotiations. Teal’c, Daniel and Carter had spent their first evening back on Earth at Jack’s last night; relaxing, watching a video, eating takeout, and just goofing around. As the weather had gotten worse, Jack had invited everyone to stay over rather than attempt to drive home. Teal’c was the only one who’d accepted Jack’s offer.
Teal’c opened his eyes as Jack stopped at the edge of the living room.
”You warm enough?” Jack asked, shivering slightly. Although he was wearing sweats and a tee shirt, they were not really thick enough to ward off the chill that had crept into the house during the night. He grabbed a sweater that he’d thrown over a chair and pulled it over his head.
”I am fine, O’Neill. It appears that there is no electricity.” Teal’c lowered his legs to the floor, putting his blanket aside.
”Yeah, I know. It happens occasionally. Probably a broken tree branch downed some power lines. Doesn’t usually last very long.” As he spoke, he started placing kindling into the fireplace.
”In the meantime, we can boil some water for coffee, scorch some bread.” He lit a match and held it under the bits of wood. As the fire caught, he began feeding it slightly larger pieces.
The phone rang, and he motioned to Teal’c to answer it. He listened with half an ear, realizing it was a call from the SGC. Wondering whether Carter and Daniel had power, he debated calling them this early, not wanting to wake them. He thought they might like to come over and stay warm, until it was time for their late afternoon meeting with General Hammond. Although Carter had a fireplace in her home, he remembered her complaining that she’d forgotten to get wood this year.
As Teal’c hung up the phone, he said, “General Hammond wishes you to know that the road up to the mountain is impassible. He instructs that you do not attempt the journey. He also asks that you inform Major Carter and DanielJackson to remain at home until the roads are safe.”
The fire now crackling happily, Jack took the phone and called Carter. She answered on the second ring, which told Jack that she was already up and about. She confirmed that she was in the dark, and after inviting her to come and stay warm with Teal’c and himself and admonishing her to drive carefully, he dialed Daniel’s number.
Jack walked over to the window and parted the curtains, waiting for Daniel to pick up. Even though it was dark out, Jack could see the ice glistening, a thick layer amassed over accumulated snowfall. As he watched, a plow drove by, noisily scraping some of the ice off the surface of the road.
”Come on, Daniel. Pick up.” Jack had lost count of the number of times the phone had rung, but he was sure it was close to a dozen rings. He looked over at Teal’c, concern reflected in the Jaffa’s eyes.
Daniel had left Jack’s house early last evening, saying he was feeling tired and that he had wanted to get some sleep. He had also been complaining of a headache. Jack had asked him to stay overnight, but Daniel said that he’d probably sleep better in his own bed, alone. Jack had laughed, knowing that if Daniel had spent the night, they wouldn’t have gotten much sleep. Even though they had shared a tent for the past 14 days, as a rule, they never indulged when offworld. Jack had let Daniel go home without any argument; he knew how exhausted Daniel had been. The mission had taken a lot out of his friend; he’d had little sleep and had been running mostly on adrenaline during the last days. Doctor Fraiser had confirmed that Daniel had come home quite run down.
Daniel had left Jack’s house just as the rain had turned to sleet, and Jack was now beginning to worry that something had happened to him on his way home. Just as he was ready to hang up and replace the phone with his car keys, the phone picked up and he heard his lover’s voice answer.
”Daniel? What happened? Are you okay?”
”Yeah, it’s me. Danny, are you okay?”
”Daniel,” Jack said, somewhat more loudly.
”I don’t feel so good,” Daniel said in a weak voice.
”Don’t know. Headache. Threw up. I’m cold.”
Jack walked to his closet and started putting his jacket on.
”Daniel, do you have any heat?”
”Do you have electricity?” He stamped his feet into his boots.
”Don’t know. It’s dark.”
”Listen, get back into bed. I’m coming to get you. It’s going to take me a bit longer to get there, the roads are icy.” He picked up his car keys, gloves and favourite black knitted hat.
”Did you hear me? Get back into bed, stay warm. Understand?”
The phone disconnected, and Jack looked over at Teal’c.
”Stay here, Carter’s on her way. I’m going to get Daniel.”
- - - - - -
It took Jack longer than he thought it would to reach Daniel. The sheet of ice layering his windshield was thick, and it took considerable time to scrape it off. Teal’c had come out and had given him a hand, but it still took a good twenty minutes of banging and scraping before he was able to leave his driveway. Other than the sound of ice pellets pinging off of the Avalanche, Jack could hear other people scraping windshields and tires spinning on ice.
What was normally a ten minute drive ended up being thirty. His four wheel drive had very little difficulty navigating the icy roads, but the lack of working traffic lights in some areas, and cars slipping and sliding all over the place kept his pace to a near crawl. He was relieved to see that many sections of the city still had power, although as he neared Daniel’s home, there appeared to be more areas that were without.
Finally pulling over at Daniel’s apartment building nearly an hour after speaking to Daniel, Jack carefully shuffled his way along the icy sidewalk and frozen snow. He had removed the flashlight from the glove compartment of his Avalanche, using it to make his way up the stairs and down the hallway to Daniel’s door. Using his key, he entered the dark apartment.
”Danny?” he called out, playing the beam over the living room. He walked to the bedroom, saw the rumpled, but empty bed.
Sounds of retching came from the bathroom, and Jack quickly made his way there. Daniel was on his knees, and Jack could see him shivering as his body convulsed over the toilet. He detoured to the bedroom, grabbing the quilt before returning and wrapping it around his friend.
As Daniel flushed the toilet, Jack reached over and wet a towel, wiping Daniel’s face when it looked like his stomach had settled for a bit. Jack could feel the heat emanating from Daniel’s body, even through the blanket. He gave him some water, which Daniel used to rinse him mouth, before attempting to swallow a few mouthfuls.
”Think you’re done?” he asked.
Daniel nodded weakly, trying to get his feet underneath him, almost tripping on the edges of the blanket.
”Whoa, easy,” Jack said. He helped Daniel up, leading him to his bedroom. As Daniel curled up on top of the covers, Jack tucked the quilt over him, kissing his hot temple. Jack then grabbed Daniel’s overnight bag from the closet and began stuffing clothing in it. Daniel raised his head with effort and watched Jack for several seconds.
”What are you doing?” he asked.
”I don’t know whether you’ve noticed yet, but most of the city has no power. It’s freezing in here, so you’re coming back home with me. We’ll have you lying down in front of a nice, warm fire in no time.”
Jack walked into the bathroom, grabbing whatever medication he thought might come in useful and to supplement whatever he had at home. He gave Daniel two Tylenol with some water before packing the rest of the pills. He turned off the water supply, and drained the pipes as well as he could, hoping that they wouldn’t freeze should the power stay off for much longer. Finally satisfied, he got Daniel up and helped him change from his sweats into a pair of warm pants and sweater. Bundling him up in his boots and jacket, he steered Daniel towards the door. Daniel stopped suddenly, then turned and made for his aquarium.
”What are you doing?” he asked, putting down the overnight bag.
”Feeding the fish, don’t know how long I’ll be gone,” he replied, as he reached for the block of food.
”I’m sorry, but the fish probably won’t survive.” Daniel looked up at Jack in confusion. “No heat, Danny. They’re tropical fish, they won’t survive the cold.” As Jack’s words sunk in, Daniel’s face fell.
”Aw crap,” Jack muttered. “Look, d’ya have something we can load the fish into?”
”You can’t bring the fish, Jack.” Daniel touched the glass of the aquarium, the water seeming opaque in the dark room. He turned around and started walking towards the door.
”Why not?” Jack asked, confused.
Daniel stopped, leaning weakly against the wall. “They need the air filter. They’d survive maybe a few days, but the buildup of ammonia in the water will kill them just as surely as the cold will.”
Jack eyed the aquarium, wondering if he could manage to carry it on his own. He was sure Carter could jury rig some kind of battery for the pump. Why did Daniel have to get such a big one? Jack finally turned from the doomed fish, putting his arm around his lover.
”I’ll buy you some new fish when this is over, okay?” Daniel nodded silently, as Jack finally led Daniel out of the apartment. They took the stairs slowly, having to stop at each landing so that Daniel could rest and catch his breath. By the time they reached the lobby, Daniel was shaking so hard that Jack thought that he’d collapse any second. He looked at the Avalanche parked several feet away, and then at the wet, icy sidewalk. The doorman had spread salt in front of the building, but all it had done was eaten small holes through the deep ice. Jack put the duffel bag down near the door, intending to come back for it once he’d gotten Daniel into his vehicle.
Holding onto Daniel tightly, Jack slowly led the weakened man over the slippery surface. With a sigh of relief, Jack unlocked the passenger door, and swore when he realized that it had frozen shut. He had to lead Daniel over to the driver’s side of the car and help him cross over the seat. He turned the engine on, turning the heat on to high. He strapped Daniel’s seat belt over him, and then returned to the building for Daniel’s bag.
Trying to rush back to the Avalanche, Jack’s feet slipped suddenly on the ice, and he found himself lying on his back, his ears ringing slightly from his head connecting with the icy cement. He picked himself up gingerly and glanced around unobtrusively. Jack looked towards the Avalanche, noting that Daniel had his eyes closed, and hadn’t seen his foolish slip. Jack grabbed the bag, and shuffled his way more slowly to the SUV, trying not to rub his bruised backside. He threw Daniel’s bag into the back, and sat a moment, rubbing his aching head. Jack looked back towards the way he came, and saw something black lying on the sidewalk. He raised a hand to his head, and realized that he’d lost his knitted cap.
Swearing, he made his careful way back and picked up his itinerant hat.
While scraping off the new accumulation of ice from the windows, Jack dialed his home. He was relieved to know that Carter had made it safely, and he informed them that they’d soon be on their way home.
- - - - -
Daniel was vaguely aware of the drive to Jack’s. Everything looked strange, and in his fevered state, he didn’t quite realize why. As he dozed, he thought that time was slightly off because it was taking forever to get there. He jumped slightly when Jack started cursing at something. He opened his eyes, looking around blearily. He saw several cars before them, one apparently having difficulty in going up a small hill. He could hear the tires spinning on the ice. Ice! He realized belatedly that the reason everything looked off was because it was covered with a half inch layer of ice.
He reached over and tried to turn the heat up. Jack slapped his hand away.
”It’s already on high, Danny.”
”I’m still cold, Jack.”
”I know. It won’t be long, we’re nearly home.” Daniel realized that Jack was right, they were only a couple of blocks away from Jack’s house. He laid his head back on the headrest, the sounds of the spinning wheels slowly fading. As the vehicle began to move tentatively forward, Daniel suddenly began to feel nauseous once more.
”Jack,” he moaned, his breathing beginning to quicken as his nausea grew.
Jack glanced over at Daniel, saw the sheen of sweat that appeared on Daniel’s face and quickly pulled the Avalanche over. He grabbed a plastic bag that he had placed by his side, and held it under Daniel’s mouth. Daniel’s stomach cramped as it was assailed by dry heaves. He could feel Jack’s hand on his nape, gently supporting and reassuring him at the same time. After a few more heaves, Daniel’s stomach finally settled once more.
”Sorry,” he whispered.
Jack squeezed Daniel’s neck once more, his thumb gently rubbing circles before letting go. He pulled the vehicle back out into the traffic, while Daniel shut his eyes and prayed that his stomach behaved.
- - - - - -
Finally pulling into his driveway, Jack carefully maneuvered the Avalanche beside Carter’s car. Someone had spread salt and sand on his driveway and walkway, for which he was grateful. He reached over Daniel, who appeared to be dozing, and tried to open the passenger side door. Thankfully it had thawed and it unlatched easily. He undid Daniel’s seatbelt before leaving the vehicle and walking over to Daniel’s side. The cool air roused Daniel, and Jack helped him out of the truck.
Upon hearing the Avalanche, Carter and Teal’c had come out of the house to give Jack a hand in helping Daniel inside. Teal’c went to Daniel’s other side, guiding the younger man over the still slick walkway. Jack motioned to Carter to get his bag from the truck.
Daniel slid his hand from over Jack’s ass once they were inside the house. Jack shot him a questioning glance.
Even with the blush of a fever on his cheeks, Daniel turned a dark shade of pink. ‘Umm, just holding on for support, Jack.” The smile faded from Daniel’s face as he held his hand up to his chest, wiping it on his jacket. “Did I miss something Jack? Why is your ass wet?”
”Never mind,” Jack answered, blushing furiously. His sweats were uncomfortably wet, he was soaked to the skin.
Before Jack could shut the door, a dark streak ran between their legs. Jack caught sight of something small and black running down the hallway, skidding into the wall before turning into the bedroom.
”Damnit,” Jack mumbled under his breath. “Carter, something just ran into the bedroom,” he called out as she came in behind them. Shutting the door, she dropped the bag beside it and made her way down the hall to investigate.
Jack held tightly onto Daniel as his wobbly legs almost didn’t make it down the couple of steps to the living room. The heat from the fireplace was welcoming; it had warmed up the room quite nicely. As he and Teal’c sat Daniel onto the couch, Carter came into the room with a black ball of wet fur held in her arms.
”Sir, it’s a kitten,” she said, as she held onto the cat abstractedly, her attention all on Daniel.
”Get rid of it, willya?” he grumbled, tugging at Daniel’s jacket. Teal’c was kneeling by Daniel’s feet, pulling off his boots. Daniel had opened his eyes, and Jack noted that he was looking at the small bundle held in Carter’s arms.
”It’s cold and wet out there. Let it stay.” Daniel asked, coughing slightly.
”Daniel, it’s probably full of fleas, and who knows what germs it’s carrying,” Jack argued.
”Please, Jack. Let it stay at least for a while?” Jack looked up at Daniel, exasperated. He saw how ill he looked, and decided that this wasn’t worthwhile arguing over. He’d begun shivering when Jack had removed his jacket. Nodding at Carter, he gave permission for the beast to stay. He picked up Daniel’s bag, pulling out a pair of sweats that he’d packed. Jack urged him to stand up and began unfastening his pants.
Carter put the cat down, wiping her hands on the seat of her pants. While Carter took Daniel’s temperature, Jack went and got warm blankets and a pillow. He tried to make Daniel comfortable on the couch, ignoring the small cat, which had decided it was going to explore the room.
”His fever’s pretty high,” Carter said, looking at the thermometer. Jack grabbed his cellular and dialed Fraiser’s home number. Disconnecting after a dozen rings, he dialed the infirmary at the SGC. He was relieved when Fraiser answered the phone.
”Doc, Daniel’s sick,” Jack started without any preamble. He sat beside Daniel on the couch, his fingers lightly stroking Daniel’s hot cheek. Daniel’s was still shivering, even in the warmth of the room, bundled under the blankets.
”Colonel O’Neill?” Jack heard the confusion in her voice and realized that his worry over Daniel had made him a little abrupt. “What are Daniel’s symptoms? There was an epidemic going around the SGC while you were away...headache, nausea, general weakness, fever.”
”Yeah, all of the above. His fever’s pretty high, and he’s been throwing up. He’s very also weak.”
”Sounds like he’s caught the bug. I’m not surprised. It probably hit him hard because he came back from your last mission a little run down. There’s not much to be done, sir, except let it run its course. Just make sure he doesn’t get dehydrated, and don’t let his fever get too high. If there are any complications, don’t try to bring him to the mountain if it’s too icy. Just get him to the nearest hospital.”
Jack realized that Fraiser had probably gotten caught at the mountain when the ice storm hit. If Janet was at the SGC, then her adopted daughter must be by herself.
”Doc, how’s Cassie doing? Is she with someone?”
At his words, three concerned pairs of eyes looked at him.
”Jack, is Cassie okay?” Daniel asked, trying to sit up. ‘We have to go and get her.”
Trying to keep Daniel down on the couch by pressing his hand against his chest, he listened to Fraiser.
“Yes, she’s with her boyfriend’s family. I never thought that her having a boyfriend might come in handy.”
Putting his hand over the receiver, Jack told Daniel, “Cassie’s fine, she’s with friends. Stay put.”
”Sorry, Daniel was worried about Cassie. I just told him she’s okay.” He eyed Daniel, who lay back, watching Jack.
”Colonel, I hate to prescribe something without seeing Daniel myself, but if he needs medication, let me know. I can probably phone a script in to your pharmacy.”
”Okay, thanks doc.”
”Don’t hesitate to phone if you have any questions, Colonel.”
As Jack disconnected the phone, Carter said, “Sir, they announced over the radio that the freezing rain will end soon. Nearly half the city has no power due to downed power lines. They don’t expect to be able to get the power back up and running until after the storm ends, but there’s another similar storm system on the way that might give us more freezing rain. They’re predicting that it’ll hit in another 24 to 36 hours. In the meantime, the temperature’s going to drop. I suggest we eat something, and then see what supplies we have, and then stock up before the crowds hit the stores.”
”Good idea. Stay with Daniel while Teal’c and I take inventory.” He got up from the couch, walking towards the kitchen. Tossing her a loaf of bread through the half wall separating the kitchen and living room, he said, “How about some toast?”
”Coming right up, sir. Oh, and better add some catfood and a litter box to your list,” she said with a grin.
- - - - - -
Daniel was lying on his side on the couch, facing the large picture windows of Jack’s living room. The house was preternaturally quiet; usually the hum of the refrigerator or the ping of the heaters was background noise. It was something you didn’t miss until it was taken away. Even the sleet had stopped falling, no longer driven against the windows like hail. Other than the occasional snap and hiss of the fire, the only other noise Daniel could hear was the dim sound of wheels spinning, as people tried to get their cars out of their icy driveways.
His head was pounding fiercely, and his back and legs ached. He couldn’t seem to find a comfortable position, and every time he shifted, cold air seemed to make its way beneath the blankets.
Sam entered the living room, and sat before him on the coffee table.
”I have some aspirin and juice, Daniel. Do you think you can sit?”
Daniel nodded, and pushed himself up. She handed him the pills, which he popped into his mouth. He took a tentative sip of the juice, then looked at Sam in surprise. It was good, not too tart, not too sweet.
”Cranberry apple,” she said as he took another sip.
”I don’t like cranberry juice,” Daniel said.
”Sorry, I can get you something else, if you want.” Sam went to take the glass away.
”No, this isn’t bad,” Daniel said as he sipped some more. He had to lie down again when his muscles felt like they wouldn’t hold him up any longer, and Sam took the nearly empty glass from his hand. The effort of sitting up had tired him. He felt so weak, so tired, so helpless. Sam tucked the blankets around him, giving him a gentle kiss on his cheek before going back to the kitchen.
He could hear her rummaging around quietly. He closed his eyes against the pounding in his head, feeling miserable and depressed. He was surprised when he realized that what he wanted was for Jack to come lie down beside him and just hold him, comfort him. It was strange, Jack and he had been lovers for only several months, but Daniel had come to depend on Jack for so much in that short period of time. It scared him sometimes, because he had never experienced this intense need of wanting to be with someone when he was with Shau’re. Maybe it was because he and Jack had been friends for so many years before becoming lovers. Had known each other well before knowing each other intimately.
But this feeling of wanting to be held, comforted, soothed, hugged...he wanted it...no...needed it to be Jack doing all of the above. Where was Jack? Shouldn’t he be home soon? A tickle in his throat caused him to start coughing, and Sam was soon there beside him with a glass of water. Each cough sent his head pounding fiercely, and his stomach soon began to complain.
Finally, spent, he curled up, shivering once again. Sam left him and returned to the kitchen. As Daniel lay there, hoping his stomach wouldn’t rebel, he felt something land on the couch near his feet. He opened his eyes, and saw a pair of green eyes set in a small dark, furry face staring at him. The cat, he’d forgotten all about it. It slowly made its way across Daniel’s body, unconcerned as to what body parts it stepped upon. Daniel could see its tongue coming out to wipe its mouth, and he guessed that Sam had fed it some of last night’s leftovers. It was a scrawny little thing, technically still a kitten. It’s full round belly swayed at each careful step it took.
It stopped a moment, sitting on Daniel’s hip. It began washing its face, it’s tiny pink tongue swiping at its paw before the paw swept around its delicate ear. After a minute, it stood up and descended to a small space on the couch near Daniel’s abdomen. It curled itself up, and promptly started giving itself a bath. Daniel could feel the heat of the warm little body through the blankets and he slowly freed a hand from beneath the coverings to pet its head. The dark fur was still a bit damp from its recent soaking outside. The kitten paused in its bathing when Daniel touched the tiny head. He watched it close its eyes in feline ecstasy as his fingers worked their way beneath the chin, and he couldn’t believe such a small being could create such a loud purr.
The effort of holding his arm up to pet the kitten soon became too much, and he reluctantly pulled his hand back under the blankets. The saying ‘weak as a kitten’ came to mind, and he thought that right now, that kitten could probably haul a heavier weight around the house than he could. It resumed its bath, and the rocking motions it made against his body soon lulled him into a doze.
The sound of the front door opening woke Daniel up, and he heard Jack and Teal’c enter the house, grocery bags rustling in their arms. A minute later, he heard Jack come down the stairs into the living room. He opened his eyes to smile at him, and was perplexed at the look of anger on Jack’s face.
”Damnit, Carter, you should know better than to let that cat near Daniel!” Jack shouted, walking towards Daniel, hands reaching for the sleeping cat.
”No, leave it alone,” Daniel said, struggling to get his arms out from under the tangle of blankets to hold the cat to him. Daniel’s movement woke up the cat, and as Jack neared, it hissed at Jack. Daniel finally got an arm out, laying his hand protectively over the soft fur. It got up and moved towards Daniel’s face, still hissing at Jack. It curled up against Daniel’s neck, eyeing Jack with a malevolent glower.
”Daniel, let me remind you that you have allergies. Don’t you think you’re miserable enough with this bug you’ve caught?” Jack stood beside Daniel, towering over lover and kitten.
”I’m not allergic to cats, Jack.” Daniel curled his arm around the cat, relaxing his arm so that only a finger need move to caress the cat’s fur. It began purring again, and nestled its head between its paws.
Shaking his head, Jack reached up and arranged the rumpled blankets over Daniel’s shoulders. As Jack stroked Daniel’s forehead, the kitten opened its eyes and hissed at Jack once more. Jack could feel Daniel shaking, and as he looked at him carefully, he saw that Daniel was laughing.
”Your guardian angel?” Jack quipped.
”I think Blackie feels he has to protect me against you, Jack.
”Blackie?” Jack asked.
”Why not,” Daniel said, with a shrug.
”He doesn’t like me very much,” Jack said with a smile.
”Then again, you haven’t been very friendly towards him since he came inside. Maybe you just need to show Blackie that you care.” Daniel grinned as he looked down at the slumbering kitten.
”I care,” Jack mumbled.
”Guys,” Sam said to them through the half wall, “just for your info, Blackie happens to be a she, not a he.” Daniel looked up at Jack in confusion, seeing Jack’s look mirroring his own.
”Oh,” they both said simultaneously.
- - - - - -
Jack smiled back as Daniel pressed his face into Jack’s caress, eyes closed, mimicking the cat’s earlier actions against Daniel’s fingers. Jack looked at the skinny little ball of black fur curled up beside Daniel, admiring its spunk as she had rebelled against Jack. Trust Daniel to make friends with just about anything, from an Unas to a little stray kitten. He sighed, and at the sound, Daniel opened his eyes.
”Your fever’s gone down a bit,” Jack said.
”Then why don’t I feel any better,” Daniel complained, coughing slightly.
Wary of the cat, Jack leaned over and gently kissed Daniel’s forehead. “Do you need anything?” Jack asked, pulling back reluctantly. “Water?”
Daniel shook his head, then said, “Juice? Sam gave me some earlier.”
”Be right back,” Jack said, with another quick peck on Daniel’s forehead. Daniel’s fever was a bit better, but Jack was still worried. He’d heard on the radio that the hospitals were overflowing with patients, most of them suffering from this epidemic. The power failure wasn’t making it any easier on the hospitals, either.
Jack brought the juice that Daniel had requested and scooping up the sleeping cat, quickly positioned her at Daniel’s feet. The cat stretched, and curled up again without opening its eyes. Jack helped Daniel sit up, holding the glass steady as Daniel took a few sips.
”Do you need anything else?” Jack asked as Daniel lay back down, trying to stifle a cough. He watched as Daniel tried to make himself comfortable on the couch. He knew from experience that the couch wasn’t quite long enough for him to stretch out his legs, and his knees or butt kept spilling over the edge of the couch when he wanted to curl up. He decided that he’d drag the mattress from his bed over here in a little while. Daniel would probably be more comfortable lying on it in the long run.
It looked for a moment like Daniel was about to ask for something, but finally he shook his head, closing his eyes. Jack thought that maybe Daniel was still a little shy around Carter and Teal’c. Their friends had discovered that he and Daniel were lovers only several weeks ago when Daniel had inadvertently disclosed their secret when given a truth serum by a bounty hunter. Their friends were happy for them, but Jack and Daniel had been careful not be overly intimate with one another in front of them.
”Hey, wanna let me in here for a bit?” Jack asked, nudging Daniel slightly so Jack could maneuver himself underneath Daniel. He squeezed in behind Daniel so that his lover was lying against Jack’s chest. Daniel turned slightly onto his side, facing Jack, his arm reaching over Jack’s body in a hug. Jack heard him sigh happily, then Jack frowned when the sigh turned into a cough.
Jack brought his hand around Daniel’s neck, gently caressing the short, soft hair. He half-wished that Daniel would let his hair grow again; he rued the fact that he’d never been able to indulge himself when Daniel’s hair was longer.
Jack couldn’t believe that it was barely 10 am. He felt like he’d been running around all day long. He went over the inventory in his head once again: they had plenty of wood, and now had plenty of candles, lamp oil, matches, and batteries. He’d picked up a supply of canned food, and they’d have to start cooking the meat tomorrow when it began to thaw if the power wasn’t back by then. It would probably keep longer cooked than raw. He had a gas BBQ that they could use, and they could supplement the cooking with the fireplace if need be. Carter and Teal’c had offered to take care of the cooking, they were outside at the moment checking on the BBQ, insisting that he stay with Daniel.
He had also picked up plenty of bottled water; the city reservoir for drinking water certainly wasn’t limitless, and if it lost power, it couldn’t be processing clean drinking water. He figured it was probably safer to err on the side of caution.
As Daniel coughed again, Jack was afraid that what he would be running short of was medication. He’d picked up a variety of cough syrups and lozenges, Aspirin and Tylenol; not only for Daniel but in the event that he or Carter came down with the bug also. He hoped that no one else came down with it, but felt it safer to be prepared. He trusted that if they did get the flu, none of them would get sick enough to have to go to the hospital. Being without heat in the middle of winter was hard enough on a healthy body.
Daniel shifted around restlessly again, seemingly unable to get comfortable.
”What is it?” Jack asked, kissing the top of Daniel’s head.
”Sorry. Everything hurts.”
”S’okay, it’s the fever. Do you want me to get up?” Jack asked. He should have known better, Daniel was uncomfortable enough as it was, and here he was hogging the couch.
”No, stay.” Daniel said, tightening his arm around Jack to reinforce his words. “You feel nice,” Daniel added. As Jack lay holding Daniel’s hot body to him, he realized that Daniel had fallen asleep. Jack felt such tenderness at the sight of Daniel lying in his arms. He wished fervently that Daniel hadn’t gotten sick, or at least not during this crisis. He’d feel more comfortable if he could have brought Daniel up to the mountain to get checked out by Fraiser.
Carter came into the room, and stopped in embarrassment when she spotted the two men lying together on the couch. Jack watched the emotions play on her face while she composed herself. She knew that they were close, but the only time that she’d seen them actually be intimate with one another was when Daniel had been drugged and had wanted Jack. It had been a shock to her, and she hadn’t taken it well for a time. Jack hoped that he hadn’t been mistaken in his belief that she had accepted their relationship.
He saw her smile at them, and realized that everything was okay. She came down the stairs, nearly tiptoeing, when she saw that Daniel was sleeping.
”Do you want us to bring in more wood,” she whispered.
Jack nodded, before saying, “I’ll come out and help you.”
”No,” she answered quickly. “Stay with Daniel. He needs you more than we do. We can manage, sir.” She grinned quickly at Jack.
”What?” he asked.
”You two are so cute together,” she replied, grinning again before turning tail and exiting the room before Jack could say something.
”Cute?” Jack said softly to himself. “You hear that, Danny?” he whispered. “We’re cute. I would have thought maybe a handsome couple, a charming twosome, but cute?” He nuzzled Daniel’s hair with his cheek before stretching slightly to ease a stiff muscle in his leg.
- - - - - -
Daniel’s coughing woke Jack. Teal’c was there before Jack could raise his stiffened and numbed body up to help Daniel sit up slightly. Jack managed to slide out from behind Daniel, as Teal’c laid Daniel back down onto the couch once his coughing had subsided. He saw that Carter was sitting on the floor by the fireplace, kitten in her lap, her eyes showing her concern.
”I will get the medication,” Teal’c said. Looking down at Daniel, Jack realized that his fever had risen once again while they’d slept. He looked at his watch and swore. He’d been sleeping for over two hours. He sat beside Daniel, worried as Daniel had already fallen asleep again. As Teal’c returned with the Tylenol and some cough syrup, Jack shook Daniel awake. He had to coax him to finish the glass of water once he’d swallowed the pills and syrup. Daniel was asleep again nearly as soon as his head hit the pillow.
Jack rubbed his face, feeling the stubble rasp on his hands. Why did this feel so strange? They had dealt with these types of situations before while offworld, with a teammate sick or injured and no help in sight. Why should he be feeling more worried now? They were on Earth, they weren’t exactly without medical help, albeit it was possibly slightly more difficult to obtain than if things had been normal right now.
”Sir, I’ve got some soup on. Maybe you’d like to freshen up first...it’ll help you feel a bit better. There’s still some hot water left.”
Thinking that she might be right, he got up and headed for the bathroom, feeling the chill in the house as he moved farther away from the fireplace. He swore when he hit the light switch through habit once again and the bathroom remained dark. He lit several of the candles that Carter must have placed on the countertop. He took the time to wash and shave in the tepid water remaining in the hot water tank. He was going to have to place several pots of water near the fireplace so they could continue to have hot water available.
He went to the kitchen and cracked a window open a bit. It wasn’t a good idea to keep a fire going for a long time without fresh air in the house. Returning to the living room, he accepted a bowl of soup and a sandwich from Carter. He ate with appetite and felt guilty that he felt well and Daniel didn’t.
After lunch, Jack and Teal’c went outside, chipping away at the ice in the driveway, stairs and walkway. As the sky cleared up, the air had gotten much colder. It was hard to believe that another ice storm was predicted to hit soon. When he and Teal’c had finished, they did the same for Mrs. Henderson, an elderly neighbour who lived across the street. Jack always helped cut her lawn in the summer, and shovel her driveway in the winter, when he was home. She, in turn, always cooked up batches of pies and cookies, generously sharing them with Jack. She also had a soft spot for Daniel, and often came knocking on the door with chocolate cookies whenever she saw Daniel’s Thunderbird parked in Jack’s driveway. Jack also ensured that she had everything she needed, bringing in several loads of wood and offering to get supplies should she need some. He and Teal’c also conveyed another neighbour and her young children to a local school where a shelter had been set up. By the time Jack arrived home, it had gotten dark.
- - - - - -
Jack went straight to Daniel when he finally entered the house. Daniel was still sleeping, his back to Jack with his face buried in the back of the couch. Blackie was curled up on the pillow beside Daniel. The cat hissed at Jack as he bent down to kiss Daniel’s temple. Daniel turned his head slightly and opened his eyes as he felt Jack’s lips caress his brow. He smiled sleepily at Jack before shifting slightly and going back to sleep. Jack was relieved to see that his fever had gone down again.
Carter had set up candles and oil lamps throughout the kitchen and living room, all carefully placed out of reach of the inquisitive kitten. Blackie got up, stretched, and totally ignored Jack as it bounded off the couch, up the stairs and ran straight to Teal’c. The big Jaffa carefully picked up the little feline. Jack thought that the kitten looked even more dwarfed in the man’s large hands. Teal’c absently stroked her as he stood by the fire, warming himself.
Carter had been playing solitaire while waiting for them to return. Supper was also kept warm by the fireplace. They ate homemade stew, with coffee and Mrs. Henderson’s cookies for dessert. Jack was thankful that they all had had such extensive practice in camping out that it wasn’t difficult for them to be inventive in creating tasty meals.
They tried to get Daniel to eat something, finally coaxing him into having a piece of bread toasted over the fire with some juice. His cough seemed to be getting worse as the evening wore on.
As Jack and Teal’c moved the coffee table, chair and other furniture out of the room, the kitten came scampering into the living room, batting at something shiny between her paws. Curious, Jack picked up the cat’s impromptu hockey puck, realizing that it was a button from his dress uniform that he’d lost several months ago. He had searched high and low for that thing. Smiling, he threw it back down the hallway, watching the cat run after it.
They brought Jack’s mattress into the living room, placing it by the window near the fire. He wanted to move Daniel onto the mattress right away, but it felt cold, having been in an unheated room all day long. He would wait until it had warmed up to room temperature. Jack left the curtains open, the nearly full moon peeking through the clouds. It shone eerily on the ice and snow in the yard, but still managing to illuminate the interior of the house. With the light from the fireplace and the oil lamps, the living room looked almost romantic.
The telephone rang as they brought the air mattress from the garage, and Jack was surprised to hear General Hammond asking to speak to Daniel. Jack’s first instinct was to tell the general that Daniel was sleeping and that he didn’t want to disturb him, but his training quickly kicked in.
”Sir, can you wait a moment, I need to wake Daniel up,” he said as he carried the telephone over to the couch. He saw the perplexed looks of his teammates as he shook Daniel’s shoulder, helping him to sit up as he handed him the phone. He mouthed to him that it was the general, and they watched as Daniel’s face conveyed his confusion as the general spoke with him.
Daniel’s response to the general was interspersed with bouts of coughing. “Yes sir, I know which urn that you’re talking about.” Cough. “I did see it in the temple,” cough cough, “but I was told that as an outsider,” cough, “I didn’t have permission to touch it.” Daniel had to stop talking for a moment as the tickling in his throat got worse. After clearing his throat and coughing a few more times, he continued. “They permitted me to examine it, but only from a distance.”
Jack had gotten up to get Daniel some water and some more cough syrup. He clearly remembered the urn that Daniel was talking about. His lover had enthused fervently after he’d gotten a look at it, wishing that he could have examined it more carefully. It was a relic which resembled Abydonian pottery, and he had wondered if the people on this planet were related to those of Shau’re’s.
The hairs on Jack’s neck suddenly rose in apprehension when Daniel said to the general, “No sir, I didn’t take the urn. I never touched it. Actually I was never left alone with it.”
Jack’s mind began racing when he realized why the general had wished to speak to Daniel. The general wasn’t accusing Daniel, but there was obviously someone with the general at the moment. Both Jack and General Hammond knew that Daniel would never take something without permission. It wasn’t in Daniel’s nature to be so discourteous and boorish. But obviously that artifact was missing, and someone was pointing a finger at Daniel.
When Daniel finally hung up the phone, he started coughing heavily, having tried to hold back the spasms while talking. Jack rubbed his back, watching helplessly as Daniel’s face grew red and sweaty from his exertions. When the coughing finally stopped, Jack could hear Daniel wheezing slightly as he breathed. He took the cough medicine without argument, and drank all of the water that Jack gave him. He’d slid back down onto the couch, lying there drained and weak.
”The people of P3J 221 think I stole something,” Daniel said when he could finally speak without coughing. “They’re so upset that they’ve threatened to break off all negotiations. The President’s gotten involved now,” he said with a sigh. “Jack, I think General Hammond thinks I took the artifact.”
”Daniel, we both know that you didn’t take it. Don’t worry about it for now, it’ll turn up.”
Now that Daniel was awake, Jack thought that this was a good time to move Daniel from the couch onto the mattress. When Jack urged Daniel to sit up, Daniel asked for help to get to the bathroom. He aided a very wobbly Daniel to the bathroom. Jack waited outside the closed door, frowning because Daniel had wanted a bit of privacy, and afraid to hear the sound of Daniel hitting the floor. When Daniel finally opened the door, he could see how much the effort of standing had drained him. Jack could feel him shaking beneath the arm he had wound around Daniel’s waist. He was sure that Daniel wasn’t shivering only from the cold, but from muscles that no longer had the strength to hold him up.
Jack laid him down on the mattress, smiling to himself as the kitten played with Daniel’s feet as Daniel moved them slowly beneath the blankets as he tried to get comfortable. She would pounce on them, then would jump back, fearful that the moving lump beneath the blanket would come after her.
After covering Daniel up with the blankets, he saw that Daniel was still shivering. With a glance towards his teammates, Jack slid in under the blankets. Daniel picked his pillow up and placed it on Jack’s lap, curling up around Jack’s legs and torso. Jack leaned back against the couch, stroking Daniel’s hair.
He thought to himself how lonely Daniel must have been for much of his life. Although Daniel was always willing to give so much of himself to others, including total strangers, he never asked for anything himself. Including comfort and solace. Sick as Daniel was at the moment, Jack realized that Daniel hadn’t once complained. Jack, on the other hand, would have been whining and griping the whole time. Jack tenderly traced Daniel’s jaw with the back of his hand, thinking of all the years that he had known Daniel, he’d never realized how much his friend had craved love and affection. How much he appreciated the simple touch of a hand, a quick kiss, a loving look.
The three teammates talked softly while Daniel dozed, trying to figure out what might have happened to the missing urn. The only conclusion that they could come up with was that someone was trying to blame SG1, or Daniel, with its theft. Even though the negotiations had been extremely heated, the people of P3J 221 had been very friendly and were anxious to trade with Earth. None of them could come up with any reason why anyone on the planet might try to sabotage the agreement.
They finally turned in early; Carter on the couch, Teal’c on the air mattress. Jack banked the fire and placed the protective grill in front of the fireplace before joining Daniel on the mattress. Daniel reached for Jack in his sleep as Jack cuddled up close to him. Jack could hear the kitten as it jumped onto the sofa to visit Carter. After a few moments, he heard a soft thud as she jumped off the couch. Blackie clambered over his leg, her claws digging in momentarily as she lost her balance. She walked along his leg, up to his hip, before balancing along his ribcage. She made her way towards his face, jumped onto his pillow, then curled up near the top of his and Daniel’s heads. He could hear her purring as she lay there, and he fell asleep to that comforting sound.
None of them got much sleep that night. Daniel’s cough got worse and the cold medication didn’t appear to do much good.
Shortly after the sun rose, the sound of sleet clinking against the windows announced that the second storm system had arrived. Teal’c had gotten up and lit the fire, and had put the coffee on. Jack got up to help prepare breakfast, loathe to leave his warm little nest, but needing to give Daniel something for his fever, which had begun to rise again along with the sun.
Jack quickly crossed the street to check on Mrs. Henderson, helping her with chores before coming inside to spend the day with his teammates. The day wore on, long and seemingly non-ending. They made their own entertainment, playing chess, cards, and simply talking.
- - - - - -
Daniel concentrated on the little furry body lying on his abdomen as he listened to Jack walk out the door, on his way to check on their elderly neighbour before closing up for the night. Daniel knew that he was worried about Mrs. Henderson being alone without electricity. Daniel suspected that she knew about Jack and Daniel’s relationship, but her attitude towards them hadn’t changed a whit. Actually, since Daniel had been spending even more time at Jack’s in the past months, she had gone out of her way to make Daniel feel welcome whenever she saw him.
As his fingers stroked the drowsy kitten, he thought that the kitten had already started to gain weight. She had been half starved, but Sam and Teal’c had made it their mission to try and fatten her up. Daniel wondered whether Mrs. Henderson might be interested in adopting the kitten. She seemed lonely, maybe he could have Jack ask her the next time he went over to visit her.
A round of coughing assailed Daniel, and he struggled to catch his breath, his head pounding in rhythm to his exertions. His chest had begun to hurt in the past few hours whenever he coughed, a symptom that he hadn’t yet mentioned to Jack. The ice storm hadn’t abated yet, and Daniel was worried that Jack would try and drive in these horrendous conditions to get him yet more medicine.
He lay back on his pillows, his breath coming out in wheezy rasps. He cleared his throat a few times, coughing up the mucus. Blackie got up and stretched, tired of being constantly disturbed by the spasms of Daniel’s cough. She ambled up to Teal’c and agilely jumped up onto his lap, making herself comfortable. Daniel smiled to himself, thinking how the little feline had quickly adapted to everyone, except for Jack.
He turned onto his side, curling up on himself and pulling the blankets up to his chin as chills plagued him once again. He was tired of feeling sick, it felt like this flu had been going on for days on end. He’d been surprised when Jack told him that this was only the second day of his illness.
Earlier that afternoon, Jack had helped him to the washroom, sat him down on the toilet and had given Daniel a sponge bath and a shave. He had felt immensely better after that, but now that the sun had set, Daniel thought that his fever had returned. He coughed once more, and he gritted his teeth against the pain in his head and chest.
He felt cool hands on his face, and he opened his eyes to a pair of worried blue eyes looking down at him.
”Your fever’s back,” Sam informed him. He could have told her that, he was experiencing the now familiar aches and pains that accompanied fever. He sat up to accept the pills and juice that she handed him, nearly choking as a coughing spell assaulted him as he swallowed them. He lay back down, wishing he could just go to sleep and wake up when this was all over.
Sam stayed beside him, and he was grateful for her company. He was afraid that they’d catch his germs, but he figured that the damage was already done. They’d all been exposed to the flu virus, both at the SGC on their return, and now, being cooped up in here with him. Time would tell, and he hoped that they all were healthy enough to fight off the germs.
He lay quietly, trying not to breathe too deeply. He could hear branches outside snapping every few minutes from the sheer weight of the ice, then the shattering sounds of the ice breaking up as it hit the ground. Every so often, a branch or chunk of ice would land on Jack’s deck, the racket startling both him and Sam.
He’d begun to doze when the ringing of the telephone caused him to jump. Teal’c answered, and as Daniel saw him glance over at him, he guessed that General Hammond wanted to question him once more. His suspicions were proven right when he took sat up to take the phone from Teal’c and heard the accented voice speaking to him.
”Doctor Jackson. I’m sorry to inform you that during a search of the SGC’s storage rooms, the missing artifact from P3J 221 was found among your belongings, along with an identification tag in your handwriting.”
”General, sir, I don’t know what to tell you. I didn’t take the urn, I swear I didn’t.” Daniel looked up at Sam, seeing a worried look on her face, probably mirroring the same look on his own face. How had that urn turned up? Who had forged his handwriting?
”Son, there is also a witness on P3J 221 who swears he saw you carrying the urn to your camp site.”
Trying to stifle a cough, Daniel said, “That person’s lying. I didn’t get close enough to touch the urn, I couldn’t have taken it, sir.”
”Doctor Jackson...Daniel. I need to speak to Colonel O’Neill.”
Daniel’s stomach plummeted, knowing that the general was going to order Jack to bring Daniel to the SGC for questioning. He couldn’t understand why this was happening, and his brain didn’t seem to be able to make sense of it.
”Jack’s not here right now...” he had to stop talking as the cough he’d been trying to hold back finally overwhelmed him. Sam took the phone from his hand and he heard her telling the general that Jack would call him as soon as he came in. He felt someone supporting him as he gasped and hacked and wheezed. He found himself lying against Teal’c’s chest, with Sam’s hands on his face. His own hands were grasping at his chest, trying to alleviate the pain. He felt Sam wipe the sweat from his face and neck with a wet cloth, but he was too exhausted at the moment to open his eyes, let alone thank her.
Jack chose that moment to come in, and Daniel heard him run down the stairs, calling his name. He heard Sam and Teal’c talking with Jack, but he couldn’t seem to make the words out. He could tell from Jack’s tone of voice that he was upset, and Daniel prepared himself for a tongue lashing. Jack was probably angry with Daniel because he was sick again. He shivered, and felt Teal’c pull the blankets up over his shoulders. His teeth began to chatter, and he berated himself for this weakness.
He was surprised to hear Jack’s voice beside his ear, speaking softly to him. Cold fingers on his face caused him to shudder more violently, his whole body responding to the cold sensations. He felt himself being shifted, and he recognized Jack’s familiar body in place of that of Teal’c’s beneath him. He reached a hand out blindly, and felt Jack’s chilled fingers entwining in his own.
”Are you angry at me?” Daniel wheezed, trying to speak between chattering teeth, and wondering why Jack hadn’t started yelling at him.
”Why would I be mad at you?” Jack asked softly, speaking near Daniel’s ear.
”You were yelling,” Daniel replied.
”I wasn’t yelling at you, Danny. I’m mad because someone’s trying to frame you.” Daniel realized that Jack was talking about the general’s phone call.
”You’re not mad because I’m sick?” he asked in a small voice.
”Aw Danny. No, I’m not mad at you. Don’t you worry about the urn, we’ll find out what’s going on.” Daniel felt Jack nuzzle his temple, and he was relieved that Jack was there to take care of things. He let himself relax, and drifted off into a fevered sleep.
- - - - - -
Jack waited till Daniel was sleeping, before picking up the phone and calling General Hammond. He could hear Daniel wheezing slightly as he breathed, and Jack was afraid that Daniel had just taken a turn for the worse. He had seemed to be doing a bit better that afternoon, and Jack had thought that Daniel had been on the mend.
Jack listened with half an ear as General Hammond ordered him to bring Daniel in for questioning as soon as the roads up to the mountain were navigable. Senator Kinsey was ready to bring Daniel up on charges, but the general wanted Jack to try and get to the bottom of this as soon as possible. Jack was anxious to get off the phone with the general in order to call Doctor Fraiser. He knew that the general was trying to warn him of something, but his mind wasn’t on the problem of the missing urn at the moment. He was more worried about Daniel’s rising fever and the ominous sound of his breathing.
Finally, he hung up with the general and was soon speaking to Fraiser. After hearing Jack describe Daniel’s symptoms, she agreed to phone in a prescription for some cough syrup and antibiotics. After calling several pharmacies, he finally found one that still had electricity. Carter offered to go pick up the prescription. Jack insisted that Teal’c go with her, and that she take the Avalanche for its maneuverability in this type of weather.
The main roads were fairly clear of ice, the cleanup crews working non stop to keep abreast of the freezing precipitation. The residential streets were horrible to drive in, though, and the highways had been closed to traffic for the past couple of hours. Even had he wanted to, he wouldn’t have been able to get to Cheyenne Mountain.
Jack sat there with Daniel lying in his arms, feeling the fever raging in his lover’s body. Carter had given Daniel Tylenol barely an hour ago, but the medicine didn’t seem to be doing much good. Jack lay Daniel down and poured some of the water heating by the fire into a large bowl. He added some tap water, making sure that the water was barely tepid. Adding more wood to the fire, Jack ensured that the room wasn’t about to cool off soon. Jack removed Daniel’s sweatshirt, then soaked a cloth in the water and began wiping down Daniel’s arms and torso. He patiently warded off the kitten’s antics, she thought that the cloth was a toy for her to play with, and kept on pouncing and batting at it as he passed it over Daniel’s skin. When she finally got sprinkled, she went looking for a drier game to play. Jack continued his ministrations until Teal’c and Carter returned an hour later.
Opening the container of pills, Carter said, “The pharmacist said three pills now, then one every six hours.” Teal’c handed Jack a glass of water, and together they sat Daniel up to try and encourage him to take the medication. The change in position triggered a coughing spell, and they had to wait till Daniel managed to catch his breath before he could swallow the pills and water. The cough syrup was also administered, and they let Daniel lie down again.
None of them spoke while they watched Daniel sleep. He was restless and fidgety, and had begun mumbling under his breath. The kitten had returned to the living room, having come to greet Sam and Teal’c when they’d entered the house. She began her game again with the wet cloth, and when she pounced on the cloth, she missed and her claws scratched Daniel’s arm. He jerked at the sharp pain and said clearly, “Don’t give me that!” Sam quickly picked the kitten up, moving it away from Daniel. As Daniel became more restless, Jack wiped Daniel’s face with it, trying to calm him down. Daniel batted Jack’s hand away, then yelled, “What are you giving me? Stop it. Don’t give me that!” As he became more restless, Jack tried to wake Daniel up.
”Danny, you’re dreaming. Wake up.” At the sound of his voice, Daniel’s eyes opened. He looked around, and Jack saw that he appeared disoriented. Daniel grabbed Jack’s hand, trying to sit up.
”Jack. I didn’t want ... to do it. He threatened ... kill Sam.” Another coughing spell stopped his words, leaving Jack wondering what Daniel was talking about as he helped prop Daniel up against his chest.
”He made me ... take...urn.” Daniel wheezed, as he tried to gasp between coughs.
”Who? Who forced you?” Jack asked. He wondered if this was a memory, or just a dream. Daniel seemed intent on telling Jack something, and he felt it was best to let Daniel get it out of his system. Maybe he’d rest better afterwards.
”Provost,” Daniel wheezed. Jack froze...Major Provost was the commander of SG8, and had accompanied them to P3J 221. Jack saw Carter and Teal’c come to the same conclusion. Provost had forced Daniel to steal the urn...and Daniel had lied to protect Sam.
”Daniel, you’re telling me that Provost stole the urn?” Daniel nodded, unable to speak. As Daniel tried to control his breathing, Jack motioned to Carter. She quickly shifted position, taking Daniel onto her lap. Jack rose and walked to the phone, dialing the general’s number. As the phone was ringing, he saw Daniel try to sit up.
”Gave me ... something,” Daniel panted. Carter tried to quiet Daniel, admonishing him to rest, not to speak, but he ignored her. “Knows I have ... lover ... doesn’t ... know... who. Hypo ... made me forget.” Jack knelt again beside Daniel, the phone forgotten in his hand until Jack heard the general’s voice at the other end.
”General Hammond? It’s O’Neill. I’m sorry, sir, can you hold on a moment?” Jack had his attention on Daniel, his hand gently cupping Daniel’s face.
”Provost drugged you?” Jack asked. Daniel nodded, wheezing noisily.
”Kill Sam,” he said laboriously. Jack nodded his understanding. He turned his attention to the waiting general.
”Sir, Daniel was forced to steal the urn; Major Provost threatened to kill Carter if he didn’t do it. Then he gave Daniel some kind of drug, to make him forget.” Jack’s eyes narrowed as he thought bad things about Provost. “For some strange reason, Provost thinks that Daniel is gay. Sir, I think that there’s a possibility that Provost gave Daniel a little something extra in that hypodermic. Maybe something to make him sick.” Carter’s eyes widened as she came to the same conclusion as Jack. Daniel’s illness had been very sudden, and it was now suspect as neither himself nor she showed any symptoms of illness. Teal’c was protected by his symbiote, so he was out of the equation.
”I understand, Colonel. Is Doctor Jackson’s health at risk?”
”Sir, his fever is very high and he’s having trouble breathing. It looks like pneumonia. I’d take him to the hospital but I keep hearing on the radio that they’re so overloaded they can’t do much for patients.”
”This dad-blasted storm is supposed to end sometime tomorrow. As soon as the weather permits, I’m going to have a helicopter medivac Doctor Jackson to the SGC. Can you hold the fort until then?”
”Yes sir, thank you.” Jack’s voice conveyed his relief that help would finally be arriving.
”I’ll contact you as soon as the chopper is free to fly.”
”Sir, one more thing. I’d like to check on some of our personnel, maybe see how they’re weathering this ice storm. You wouldn’t happen to have the address of, say, the leader of SG8?”
”Colonel. We both know that I can’t do that.” Jack heard papers rustling. “Of course, if you were to take a drive down to Riverview Avenue, you’d probably see a green Landrover parked in his driveway, beside his wife’s blue Tercell.”
Jack grinned. “Of course, sir. I had no right to ask. Thank you.”
He hung up and grabbed his keys and jacket. Teal’c followed him to the door, intent on going with him. Jack put a hand on Teal’c’s shoulder, shaking his head. “I need to do this by myself.” He looked over towards the living room. “Stay with them,” Jack ordered. Teal’c bowed to Jack, indicating that he was acceding to Jack’s request as a friend, and not a subordinate.
- - - - - -
Colonel Jack O’Neill was the last person that Donald Provost had expected to be knocking at his door late that evening. He had been enjoying the peace and quiet of the house after his wife had taken the kids over to stay at her mother’s place until the power came back on. He had used the excuse that someone had to remain here and watch the house, and he hadn’t yet regretted his decision to stay behind. The peace and quiet, plus the larger part of a case of beer, had helped make the evening very enjoyable.
He invited the colonel in, and led him to the living room, trying not to stagger. Ignoring all the empty beer bottles sitting on the coffee table, Donald offered the colonel a drink. What sheer pleasure it was to just sit and relax, have a few beers, and not worry about the wife’s nattering all the time. Sitting down opposite O’Neill with a fresh beer, Donald wasted no time in bringing up the topic of conversation that he suspected O’Neill had come about. Donald was proud of the job he had done during the mission, and had been dying to crow about it.
”General Hammond informed me that Doctor Jackson is being questioned for apparently sabotaging the negotiations. Damn, all that hard work, and he goes and blows it by stealing some kind of pottery.” He shook his head, pretending that it was such a shame, trying to hide a smile.
”That’s the reason why I came here. Daniel’s come down with a bad case of the flu, he’s kind of out of it for the most part. He’s not fit to answer any of my questions, so...”
Jackson was sick? Served him right...who knew what kind of germs the man was carrying around. Donald shuddered when he thought that he’d been forced to work alongside the archeologist during the past two weeks.
”...I was wondering, did you notice anything strange about Daniel’s behaviour lately?” O’Neill was fiddling nervously with his beer, keeping his eyes on Provost.
”Strange, how?” Provost tensed up slightly. He took a large swallow of beer, wondering whether O’Neill had any idea of what had really happened on that planet. Nah, he couldn’t. Donald had done well, the extra cash in his bank account being testament to that.
”I’m not sure. Was he been acting strange? Secretive?”
Okay, this was weird. Why would the man be thinking that his friend had been acting out of character? Unless, could O’Neill not know about Doctor Jackson’s deep dark secret? Donald was thrilled to be able to have one up on the infamous O’Neill.
”Colonel O’Neill, you’re the one who claims to be Jackson’s friend. You should know him better than I do.” Provost got up and nervously began stoking the fire, needing to hold onto the mantel in order to stop the room from spinning. He was waiting to hear what the man would reply.
”Well, that’s just it. I think I may not have really known Daniel as well as I thought I had. I think that he’s been hiding something from me, and I was wondering whether maybe you might have seen or heard something while you were working with him. He swore that he didn’t take that urn, but General Hammond said that there was a witness. The people on P3J 221 have no reason to lie, they just want their bowl back. You were with Daniel more than I was while we were on that planet...maybe you could help fill in the blanks. You know how it is, I can’t exactly trust someone to work with me if he’s keeping secrets from me.”
Donald looked at O’Neill, saw that his face was void of emotion as he took a sip of his beer. Donald scratched his balding head, hesitating a moment before speaking. So, O’Neill suspected something about Jackson. Well, Donald would tell him straight what kind of man the colonel had befriended.
”You’re right. Doctor Jackson has been hiding something from you. I’m surprised you never saw this...but he has a lover! A male lover!” Donald could feel his face getting red...this was a topic that he was emphatic about. There was no way that he would willingly work with any fags.
”Go on,” O’Neill urged. Donald looked at the colonel, seeing only curiosity and encouragement reflected in his face. As Donald returned to his seat, he missed the tightening of O’Neill’s jaw as the man ground his teeth together. Donald smiled, almost rubbing his hands in glee, anxious to share his knowledge. He grabbed his now near empty bottle of beer, downing it before speaking.
”I heard that a certain Senator was having Doctor Jackson followed, and that he was spotted in an amorous situation with another man.” Donald leaned forward intently. “Doctor Jackson was seen kissing another man,” he said in horror, nearly unable to say the words, “in his own car.” “The Senator wasn’t pleased and is in the process of having Doctor Jackson dismissed from the Stargate programme.”
”Senator Kinsey doesn’t have the authority to dismiss Daniel because of his love interest.”
Provost blinked owlishly at Jack a moment, then looked at him with increasing respect. Oh but the man was smart. “But the good Senator does have the authority to dismiss him if he can prove that Doctor Jackson has deliberately ruined our chances to trade with important allies. That piece of pottery he stole,” Provost grinned, “has given Senator Kinsey the perfect ammunition to be rid of that piece of man- loving shit.”
”Why am I getting the impression that Daniel was helped along with this theft?” O’Neill smiled at Donald, taking another sip of his beer.
Donald lifted his own bottle, then looked at it dumbly for a moment before he realized that it was empty. He staggered to the kitchen, grabbing two more bottles while talking over his shoulder at O’Neill.
”Gotta love technology. New experimental drug that totally erases the memories of the past several hours, and works like a charm.”
Donald had been awestruck when he had administered the drug to Jackson once the archeologist had packed up the stolen urn as instructed. Jackson had tried to overpower Donald, but Donald had been ready for him with the hypo. He had watched the man stagger out of the camp, and then continue his work as if nothing had happened. He had greeted Donald several minutes later as if Donald had never threatened both Daniel and his teammate’s lives.
Donald offered O’Neill the fresh beer, but he waved it away. “NID?” O’Neill prompted as he stood up. Donald guzzled half of his beer down before he politely walked his guest out, sorry that he was leaving so soon. He had enjoyed this talk, glad to see someone else who believed that gays shouldn’t be allowed amongst ‘real men.’ He had always admired O’Neill, but his respect for the man just went up a notch.
”Can’t tell you that,” Donald said cryptically. “But man, I’d do just about anything to make sure I don’t have to deal with any fags in the SGC, know what I mean?” Donald followed O’Neill until both were standing beside the front door. Donald swayed slightly, the room spinning once more.
”About Daniel’s supposed male lover...any idea who he might be?” O’Neill put his hands in his pockets, leaning casually against the door.
”Not a clue. But I got the feeling that he wasn’t important. It was Jackson that Kinsey wanted. I heard rumours that they’d had bad blood between them before.” He hadn’t been able to get the whole story, but he did know that Kinsey detested Jackson. With good reason, Donald thought.
O’Neill moved quickly, and before he knew what had happened, Donald was lying on his stomach. O’Neill had a knee pressing into his back; he felt something cold go around one hand, then the other was forced around the banister leading up to the second floor before it was also secured. Donald looked up at O’Neill in confusion, his muddled mind not registering right away that he was securely restrained.
”Hey, what’s going on? Why are you doing this? You can’t leave me here like this. I’ll freeze!”
He watched as O’Neill leaned back casually against the banister and used Donald’s phone to make a call. It was only when he heard O’Neill speak did Donald realize what was happening.
”Sir, I have Provost in custody in his home. He confessed to knowing that Senator Kinsey had Daniel followed. They think that Daniel has a male lover.” O’Neill stopping at this point and grinning down at Donald, “Provost told me that Daniel was given some kind of experimental drug that made him forget Provost threatened to kill me so that Daniel could steal the urn.”
”Hey, I never said that. I threatened Carter, not you.” Seeing O’Neill’s predatory look, Donald decided it might be time to keep quiet. He watched as O’Neill listened to the general for a few minutes. When O’Neill finally hung up the phone, he opened the door and as he was leaving, said over his shoulder, “Sit tight. SFs will be over sometime tomorrow to take you into custody.”
As the door shut behind the colonel, Donald squeaked, “Tomorrow? But I need to pee.”
- - - - - -
Sam sat on the makeshift bed beside Daniel. He’d fallen asleep soon after the colonel had left the house. His temperature had continued to rise, and she’d taken up the wet cloth, continuing to bathe him to try and control his fever. She was beginning to doubt that they could wait until morning to get Daniel medical help. If she didn’t get his temperature down soon, she’d try and convince the colonel to bring Daniel to the hospital.
She was also worried about the colonel. She knew that he’d gone to confront Provost, and she wished that he’d at least have brought Teal’c with him. She just hoped that Colonel O’Neill was able to hold his temper and not do something that he would regret later.
Teal’c returned to the living room, carrying a basin of fresh water. He sat cross legged opposite her, placing a hand on Daniel’s shoulder. They had propped Daniel up on several pillows, his breathing a little easier than when he was lying flat. Sam rinsed out the cloth in the fresh water, wetting it again, passing it over Daniel’s chest and shoulders. Daniel fidgeted slightly, mumbling under his breath. Dipping the cloth in the water once again, this time she dabbed Daniel’s face, then neck and throat. He shifted once more, this time calling out something that she didn’t understand.
She looked up at Teal’c, who had furrowed his forehead slightly in concentration.
”What did he say?” Sam asked.
Teal’c shook his head slightly, saying, “I am not certain. I believe he spoke Abydonian, but the words are not familiar.”
Sam dipped the cloth in the basin again, this time bring the cloth down Daniel’s chest, across his ribs, then back up his arms. He coughed slightly, and she tensed, waiting for him to start coughing in earnest, but he remained quiet. The cough syrup that Janet had prescribed was at least helping in that regard. Daniel turned his head, and called out once again in his wife’s tongue.
Sam looked at Teal’c, and he repeated the words in English. “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.”
”That’s beautiful,” Sam said to Teal’c. She looked at Daniel’s face, seeing the tension that hadn’t been there a few moments ago. He repeated the words softly, and Sam realized that in his mind, Daniel was probably saying those words to Shau’re. She was glad that the colonel wasn’t here at the moment. She couldn’t bear to see the look on his face, knowing that Daniel was calling for his dead wife.
She checked her watch, realizing that the colonel had been gone nearly three hours now. It was late. Teal’c had checked outside, and the freezing rain had slowed to a fine mist. The weather reports said that the weather would clear up completely by the middle of the night. In the meantime, more and more power outages were being reported.
She had glanced outside earlier, and the neighbourhood looked like a war zone. Tree branches were bowed over from the weight of more than an inch diameter’s accumulation of ice. Large and small branches, piles of shattered pieces of ice, broken power lines and poles, all littered the roads, sidewalks and private properties. The previous accumulation of snow had turned to mounds of slick ice, making walking difficult in places. She could see two cars parked along the street on which trees had fallen on top of, and she was thankful that no trees were near the colonel’s driveway. The sound of breaking tree limbs and ice smashing on the ground was a constant now.
Daniel cried out the words once again. He’d opened his eyes, searching the space around him. She took his hand, leaning over him, trying to console her friend. He didn’t seem to recognize her, and he tried to shift away. This time the movement did trigger a coughing fit, and Teal’c helped support him as he fought to breathe through the inflammation in his lungs. She managed to coax him into sipping a bit of water, but Daniel fell asleep before she had gotten him to drink more than two mouthfuls.
He slept restlessly for a short time while she continued to bathe him. He called the words out again and again, softly this time, nearly pleading.
”Oh Daniel,” Sam said, wishing she could soothe her friend. She jumped suddenly as the front door opened, she had been so intent on Daniel that she hadn’t heard the sound of the Colonel’s SUV as he drove up. He made his way to them, shedding his jacket and throwing it on the couch. It narrowly missed the sleeping kitten, which had curled up on the couch. As he kneeled beside her on the mattress, she told him that Daniel had been asking for Shau’re.
He nodded at her, taking the cloth from her hands and lovingly passing it over Daniel’s body. She watched the colonel, seeing the affection and worry in his eyes. Taking a deep breath, she moved back a bit, allowing the colonel to sit closer to Daniel. Daniel mumbled slightly, then repeated the foreign words. Sam was shocked when Colonel O’Neill grabbed Daniel’s hand, and repeated the same phrase.
Daniel’s eyes flew open, and he whispered, “Jack?”
”I’m here, Danny. It’s okay.” He bent over Daniel’s face, whispering in his ear, “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.”
She saw Daniel smile as he closed his eyes. He fell asleep again, and this time he slept peacefully. She was staring at the colonel, when he looked at her with an embarrassed grin.
”The words are Hebrew,” he explained. “Daniel and I thought that the words were beautiful, so he translated them into Abydonian. It’s just something we say to one another, since we can’t declare our love openly.”
Sam touched the colonel’s arm in understanding, then got up to fix him something to eat. She didn’t trust herself to speak at the moment, her throat was too thick with emotion.
- - - - - -
Jack stood at the large picture window, staring out into the desolation before him. He stroked the purring kitten in his arms, Blackie had decided this evening that Jack wasn’t that bad after all. The motions were soothing to Jack, it felt good to have something vulnerable and affectionate come to him seeking attention. He was a dog person himself, but he had never realized that cats craved affection also.
It was 4 in the morning, and none of them had gotten any sleep. They had been taking turns with Daniel, trying to keep his fever down. Teal’c was sitting with him at the moment, giving Jack a chance to get up and stretch his legs. Carter was stretched out on the couch, although Jack knew that she wasn’t sleeping. He could see her eyes as they followed him around the room as he paced quietly.
Hammond had told him earlier that Fraiser had discovered anomalies in Daniel’s blood tests ... something appeared to have suppressed his immune system. From what Jack had told her of Daniel’s symptoms, Fraiser suspected that this was a side effect of whatever experimental drug the NID had been fooling around with.
The freezing rain had stopped, but the damage was done. Snow removal crews were driving by every hour or so, spreading salt, breaking up the ice. He didn’t expect the road leading to Cheyenne Mountain to be open to traffic for quite a while yet. He hoped that the helicopter Hammond had promised would be ready at first light.
Teal’c called his name, and Jack quickly put the kitten down on the edge of the mattress as he took the three steps separating him from Daniel. Carter had gotten up from the half doze on the couch to join him on the floor. At first he didn’t know what had alarmed Teal’c, but as he realized that Daniel had begun shivering, he also noted that he was sweating profusely. He looked up at Carter, grinning. Daniel’s fever was finally breaking.
Jack figured that the antibiotics were finally kicking in. They covered Daniel up in blankets, not wanting him to get chilled. Jack stoked up the fire, then brought out dry clothes for Daniel. By the time they had bathed him and changed him, Jack had received the call that he’d been waiting for. The chopper would be meeting them in two hours.
It took them close to that amount of time to scrape the ice off the Avalanche, bundle Daniel up in blankets and make their slow and cautious way to the airport. Jack had handed the keys to Carter while he climbed into the back with Daniel. Even though Daniel seemed to be fairing a bit better, he was still very weak and confused.
Jack was very relieved to see Fraiser waiting for them beside the helicopter. Teal’c had waived the gurney aside, taking Daniel in his arms and making his careful way to the helicopter across the icy tarmac. They all climbed into the helicopter, watching as Fraiser set about examining Daniel. She immediately gave him oxygen and set up an IV, and by the time she’d finished, they had arrived at the Cheyenne Mountain Complex.
Daniel was whisked to the infirmary while the rest of SG1 was brought to see General Hammond. As Jack had suspected, Senator Kinsey had been stranded at the SGC when the ice storm hit. The man appeared to be in good spirits, and Jack suspected that the general hadn’t informed the senator of his little talk with Donald Provost. He smirked a little when the senator looked over at Jack across the long table in the briefing room.
Jack sat back and enjoyed the show. General Hammond led the senator on, finally dropping the bombshell when he informed Kinsey that Provost had talked and was currently under arrest. Jack could see Carter biting her lip in an attempt not to grin at Kinsey’s expression. When he thought that Kinsey couldn’t get anymore upset, Jack spoke up.
”Sirs, there’s another matter I need to bring up.” Both Senator and General looked at Jack, one angrily, the other with warmth. “Major Provost said something that worried me. There appears to be some rumour going around that Daniel is gay. Provost insinuated that Daniel was spotted kissing some guy in his car.”
Jack stared at Kinsey, daring him to speak up. He broke eye contact finally, and spoke to General Hammond.
”That was me, sir. And to set the record straight, we were not kissing.” Which wasn’t a lie, because Jack and Daniel had always been extremely careful when together in public. He’d thought hard and long as to what Kinsey’s spies might have seen, and it had finally come to him during the night as he sat vigil by Daniel’s side. “It was the anniversary of Shau’re’s death, sir. Daniel was driving, and he became very upset. He finally had to pull over before he crashed the car, and...well, you know me, sir. I was consoling him while he tried to pull himself together.”
”Consoling?” Kinsey roared.
”Yes sir. Consoling. As in hugging. You know, when your best friend is sobbing because he misses his wife, it’s kind of hard to just let him sit there all by himself.” Jack remembered sitting in Daniel’s Thunderbird, tears pouring down his own cheeks, while Daniel sobbed broken hearted in his arms. Tears for Daniel, for Shau’re, for Charlie, for Sara. It had been a tearfest, embarrassing and strangely liberating at the same time. They been on their way back to Jack’s after going out for supper when Daniel’s emotions had gotten the better of him. They had ended up making the most incredible love that night. If either had had any doubts about their relationship before, that night had sealed their devotion forever.
General Hammond looked at his flagship team with a twinkle in his eye.
”Colonel, I believe you have an ailing member of your team in the infirmary and that you’re all anxious to go and see how he’s doing. SG1, you are dismissed.”
As the three teammates eagerly stood and pushed their chairs back, Senator Kinsey grabbed his papers and bowled his way before them. They all shared a look, waiting a few seconds to allow the man a head start so they wouldn’t have to meet him at the elevators. As they made for the door, General Hammond called out to Jack.
”Sir?” Jack questioned.
”Good job, son,” he said. Jack nodded, knowing that the general knew about Daniel and himself. Not knowing exactly what to say, he simply nodded his thanks, then followed his teammates to the infirmary.
- - - - - -
Six days later, Daniel was sitting quietly beside Jack as they drove down from the mountain. Fraiser finally having released him from the infirmary, he was under medical leave for at least another week. Daniel stared wide-eyed at the destruction nature had bestowed upon the area. Most of the ice had either melted or fallen off the trees, but the remnants of the damage inflicted by the ice storms was visible as they drove by. Trees had been decimated to half their original size or less, the branches and limbs that had snapped off lying beside the surviving segments. Crews were still repairing downed power lines even now, and some streets still had ice-covered sidewalks yet to be cleared off.
As Jack drove the Avalanche into his driveway, Daniel was thankful to see that Jack had already cleared up the damage inflicted to the trees on his property. Daniel walked up the walkway to the house on shaky legs. He was much better, but still hadn’t regained most of his strength. Jack unlocked the door, and Daniel made his way to the couch. As he looked around, he realized that he had fuzzy memories of lying here sick, but felt that there was something missing. Jack took Daniel’s jacket, replacing it with a blanket and a kiss before he walked around the house, raising the thermostats. As Jack set to making a fire in the fireplace, the doorbell rang.
Jack answered the door, and a few moments later, a black furry ball scampered into the room. It squeaked what sounded like a meow, then ran back out of the room, up the stairs, and down the hall. Daniel grinned as he watched the kitten’s antics, realizing that this was what had been missing from his memories. He looked up at Jack, seeing Mrs. Henderson standing beside his lover.
”I thought that Blackie needed a new home. Mrs. Henderson was more than happy to take her in, on the condition that she let Blackie come visit when we’re home.” Jack grinned at Daniel. Mrs. Henderson came up to Daniel, saying that she was glad he was feeling better. She fussed over him a few moments before handing him a tupperware container. As he opened it, the scent of chocolate cookies wafted up to him. He thanked her as he took one out and bit into it.
Blackie trotted back into the room, and spotting Daniel on the couch, jumped up and climbed onto his lap. Purring contentedly, she settled herself there, watching as Jack escorted Mrs. Henderson to the door.
”We’ll bring her back after supper. Thank you for letting Blackie visit,” Jack said as the elderly lady made her cautious way across the street to her home.
Joining Daniel on the couch, Jack snatched Daniel’s half-eaten cookie from his hand, devouring it in one bite. Daniel hated to admit it, but the drive from the mountain had tired him out. He closed his eyes, feeling his head pounding slightly. At a gentle nudge from Jack’s elbow, he looked at Jack, seeing him patting his lap invitingly. Jack moved over to the edge of the couch and Daniel curled up on the couch with his head on Jack’s lap. He placed the kitten on the couch beside him, wrapping one hand protectively around her. Jack’s fingers played in his hair, his fingers mimicking the movements of his own fingers as he stroked the kitten.
”I need to go home and check on my apartment,” Daniel told Jack sleepily.
”Already taken care of. Carter, Teal’c and I went there the day the power came back on.” Jack’s other hand came to rest on Daniel’s chest, and Daniel raised his other hand to clasp it.
”I need to clean the aquarium out,” Daniel said with a sigh.
”Did that too,” Jack said.
”Jack?” Daniel asked, lifting his head and looking up at him.
Jack was grinning down at Daniel. “Hey, I’m not that dumb, y’know. Anyway, we stopped at a petshop, and the guy there told us what to do. The tank’s been cleaned out, and there are a couple of starter fish swimming around happily. By the time you’re feeling stronger, the tank will be ready for you to choose some more fish.”
”You did all that for me?” Daniel asked, surprised.
”Yeah,” Jack said softly. “Told you I’d get you more fish.”
Daniel sighed happily. He’d been disappointed that he’d lost the fish, but it was such a small matter compared to everything that he’d been through in the past week. He’d been cleared of all charges of theft, having proven that he’d been coerced into taking the urn. His memory of the event had returned, Janet saying it probably had something to do with dreams and his fever triggering his memory. He remembered trying to overpower Major Provost when he brought the stolen urn to him, but the major had been ready with the needle and had jabbed it into his arm. Details were fuzzy for a while after that, but thankfully General Hammond and the President had taken his word over those of Provost.
When Jack had told him that Senator Kinsey had had him followed, he’d thought that this was finally the end of his and Jack’s relationship. General Hammond had made it clear that heads were going to roll if he ever found out about any covert operations in regard to his staff. Jack had implied that the general knew about them, and had given them his tacit blessing.
Daniel was on the verge of falling asleep. He shifted slightly, making himself more comfortable, and became vaguely aware of Jack’s burgeoning erection in response to his proximity. They hadn’t been together now in nearly three weeks, and Daniel had been dreaming of making love to Jack for the past couple of days, ever since he began feeling better. Now here he was, lying in the best possible position to pleasure his lover, and he couldn’t work up the energy to do so.
Daniel dragged his hand up, laying it lightly on top of Jack’s groin. “Sorry,” he said drowsily. He was surprised to feel his own body begin to respond, and groaned slightly at his own erection. Jack stopped stroking his head a moment, then bent down slightly and whispered in his ear.
”Let’s take a rain check, okay? Go to sleep, Danny.”
”Mmm hmmm,” Daniel mumbled. His last thought as he fell towards twilight was how much he was looking forward to cashing in that rain check.
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