I found it ironic that Daniel and I had walked into Darween Bri 's trap. Considering that SG1's assignment had been to 'gate to this planet and capture the man ourselves. The Tok'ra had been actively seeking him for a while, and had finally requested our help in doing so. Bri had been waiting for us, I guess the Tok'ra forget to tell us that he had friends in the wrong places.
The man turned around, something held in his hands. He didn't hide the slight grin as he walked up to me, keeping whatever it was he was holding behind his back. I could hear Daniel's breathing speed up. I wished I could tell him that everything was going to be okay, but the gag shoved into my mouth prevented me from doing so. Still, I turned to him, hoping that my eyes would convey everything to him without words. 'Don't worry, everything will be fine, I love you, we'll get out of this'. I guess it worked, because he seemed to calm down a bit.
"Much time, colonel, I have not, guess you can."
No, I thought to myself, you don't. Because Carter and Teal'c are looking for us and they'll probably be barging in here any minute, guns blazing. I raised my eyebrows slightly, trying to attain a look of innocence. Inwardly, I steeled myself for whatever was going to happen. Was Bri holding some kind of torture device? I so did not look forward to finding that out.
"Unfortunate is so, your screams of pain would I enjoy hearing. Instead, I must to this resort."
As he spoke, he brought out the hypodermic syringe that he'd been holding behind him. Crap. Even though I'd had training to avoid spilling secrets under drugs and torture, it was never a fun experience.
"But, soldier being, fight this I think you can. Your friend here, contrary, is not. So, persuaded to talk, shall we see?"
Not Daniel. Please, not Daniel! I started to struggle in earnest against my bonds, trying to shout through my gag. I could see Daniel struggling also, his protests coming out as grunts. Our captor grabbed his arm and jabbed the needle in. I heard Daniel's outcry change to one of pain; Bri hadn't been gentle. Too soon, Daniel stopped struggling, his body relaxing against his bonds. He appeared to have a bit of a hard time holding his head up. He managed to look at me, his eyes slightly glazed.
I stared back in horror, not knowing what Bri had just injected Daniel with. He removed Daniel's gag, and I watched as Daniel tried to get the spit flowing back into his dry mouth.
"Jack?" Daniel said when he was able to wet his tongue. Bri grabbed Daniel's face and roughly turned it so that he was looking at him, and not me.
"Jackson Doctor, prepared I am to hear your secrets. Begin you will by giving Tok'ra location."
I watched as Daniel stared back at the man with a strange expression on his face. As the man let go of his face, Daniel turned quickly to look at me, and I could tell that the movement caused him to become dizzy. He closed his eyes a moment, breathing through his mouth.
I could have punched Bri when he pulled Daniel's face back to the front.
"Secrets, Jackson Doctor. Tell me now you will, Tok'ra are where?"
"Not secret," Daniel mumbled, glaring at the man.
"Tell me then, where Tok'ra are? Stargate designation, know you must." I wondered how long Daniel could hold off, praying that Teal'c and Carter had been able to figure out what had happened and were able to follow our trail. My heart dropped when Daniel answered, "I know where they are."
I waited with unease for Daniel to give out the coordinates, but to my surprise, he remained quiet. He was staring up at Bri, obviously fighting the drugs. Our captor turned suddenly and returned to his bag. I suspected that he was getting more of the drug, and I was right. As he injected a non-struggling Daniel with more of the stuff, I looked around in desperation. I hoped to find something with which to stop him with, but unless I could free myself, there was nothing that I could do to help Daniel.
Daniel's head dropped suddenly, as if it had become too heavy to hold up. Bri grabbed Daniel by the hair, raising his head.
"Where are Tok'ra?" he demanded once again.
I saw Daniel lick his lips, I could see that he could barely keep his eyes open.
"J'ck," he said softly. His breath was coming out in short pants.
"Tok'ra, Jackson Doctor. Tell me of Tok'ra."
"Don' love Tok'r", Daniel slurred. Oh geez, Danny.
"Gate address, tell Tok'ra address for me."
"Luv J'ck. J'ck luvs me. Issecret. Cantell noone."
Bri glared at me for a moment, and then let go of Daniel's head. It fell back loosely onto his chest. I hoped to God that Daniel would fall asleep at that moment, and remain out of our captor's clutches for a while. Where the hell were Sam and Teal'c? I looked around while Bri paced the small clearing.
Slowly, Daniel's body slumped sideways until it was resting against mine. His head lay against my arm, and I couldn't tell whether he was conscious or not. I wished at that moment that my arms were free, so I could hold him close, reassure him. Bri reached over and removed the gag from my mouth.
"Persuade could you, colonel, him to talk?"
I ran my dry tongue around my even drier mouth, trying to bide for time. I knew that Bri was getting angry, his command of the English language was getting worse. At that moment, Daniel stirred, and I lowered my head to whisper his name softly. He raised his head, and suddenly his mouth was on mine, his tongue flitting over my lips, trying to gain entrance. I heard Bri laugh, to my embarrassment, as he stood back and watched Daniel. What Daniel and I had was very private. For Bri to see Daniel like thisÖwell, I tried telling myself at least Daniel wasn't giving away State secrets at the moment.
I pulled away from Daniel, hearing a slight moan coming from my lover. He was still leaning against me, his head nuzzling against my chest. I jumped when he licked the skin on my neck, his mouth doing wonderful things. Damn, it was just that, the timing was all wrong here.
Bri approached after a moment, jerking Daniel upright once again. The movement caused Daniel to stare at Bri in confusion. As I watched Daniel, I saw his eyes widen in surprise, then alarm. I took my eyes off Daniel to look at Bri, and saw that he was holding Daniel's gun, aimed at me.
"One time more, Jackson Doctor. Tell me of Tok'ra, or shoot man you say to love."
"No, Daniel, don't," I ordered. Daniel's eyes, glazed as they were, never left our captor. "Words to say last, colonel?" Bri asked magnanimously.
Any last words, he asked? Sure, I could think of a few. Coughing slightly, I said, "Yeah. Night night," seeing movement behind our captor. I swore that I saw Bri's finger begin to squeeze the trigger, when suddenly blue light erupted around the man, and he collapsed in a convulsing heap at our feet. I was grinning like mad as Teal'c appeared from behind a tree. Carter appeared from behind another, but the look of concern on her face as she spotted Daniel quickly wiped away my grin.
He'd slumped over again, this time sliding onto his side, nearly on top of my legs. Teal'c quickly sliced through the ropes holding my hands behind my back. I reached for Daniel as soon as Carter freed his arms. I lifted his body up and rested him across my lap. His pulse was slow, but strong. His eyelids fluttered, and as he opened his eyes, I could barely see any blue, his pupils were totally dilated.
"Hey Danny, everything's fine now. Go to sleep, okay?" I cajoled softly.
I could see him fighting to focus, trying to figure out what his drugged mind was seeing. "You're safe, Danny. Go to sleep," I repeated. I looked up at Carter, who was watching Daniel worriedly. Teal'c had finished restraining Darween Bri, who was still lying unconscious at my feet.
"He drugged Daniel, tried to get him to talk," I explained. She nodded her understanding, relaxing slightly now that she knew what was wrong with Daniel.
"Carter, Daniel's not going to be fit to go anywhere for a few hours. It's probably best that I stay here with him, while you and Teal'c deliver thatÖmanÖto the Tok'ra. We'll follow as soon as Daniel's able to move, or else you come back and meet us here."
She nodded at me, taking one last look at Daniel lying in my arms before getting up.
"Sir, I'll leave you a weapon and my bag. There's water also."
"Luv you J'ck," Daniel slurred softly as he stirred slightly in my arms. I saw Carter freeze, knew she'd heard the words.
"I love you too, Doctor Jackson. Now close those eyes, and get some sleep."
"Nooooooooo, don' unnershtan. Luv you, want you."
"I know, Danny. But not now, we're not alone, okay?" I saw him look around blearily, trying to make out who else was around. "Sam and Teal'c are here." I could see Carter rifling through Bri's bag, trying to ignore our conversation.
The smile that broke out on his face was one of pure joy. If we ever had any doubts about the affection that he felt for his teammates, this put them all to rest. Carter looked at Daniel, and I was a little hurt when she turned away.
"They're going to take Darween Bri to the Stargate. So I want you to sleep now."
Ignoring my second, I gently stroked Daniel's cheek with my finger, watching as his eyes closed. I guessed the time was ripe to tell my other two team members the truth we'd hidden from them these past months. I looked up, seeing a closed look on the major's face. Teal'c, on the contrary, looked happy. I wondered if he had known about us all along.
"We'll talk when we get home," I told them. Carter picked up Bri's bag, exchanging it for her own packsack, turned and walked away, her body held stiffly. Teal'c, was simply Teal'c. He forced Bri up one handed, pushing the dazed man ahead of him, towards the Stargate.
"Alone?" Daniel asked. I looked back down at him, saw him looking back at me intently. I nodded, moving slightly to make myself more comfortable under Daniel's weight.
"Good," he said, as he twisted in my arms and threw himself on top of me. His teeth nibbling on the corner of my mouth, I felt his hand start to unbutton my pants.
"Whoa, Danny. Not here."
I grabbed his hand to stop its journey into my trousers. Before I could say another word, Daniel's tongue made its way down my throat, his other hand replacing the one I was holding. My penis quickly filled his hand, my tongue playing hockey with his. I knew that this was wrong, we shouldn't be doing this here, not offworld.
With a mind of its own, my hand let go of his, and began making its way down Daniel's body. As I began to fondle him through his BDU's, I realized belatedly that Daniel's body wasn't quite responding to my advances. I pulled back before I was too far gone, squirming away from my lover.
He lay there, looking down at himself, an incredibly sad look on his face. "Jack?" he said in a plaintive voice, realizing that I had an erection, and he didn't.
Understanding what was happening, I laid down beside him, pulling his head onto my shoulder. "It's the drug, Danny. It'll wear off soon, don't worry." I hoped that my erection would too, having Daniel in my arms, drugged or not, wasn't helping it much.
"Luvyou, J'ck. Wanna luvyou," he slurred.
"Shhh, I know. But let's wait till we get home, okay?"
He settled in my arms, his head nuzzled against my neck. I pocketed his glasses, keeping them safe while he rested. I ran my fingers through his hair, something that he loved, which would always ease him into sleep. This time was no exception, and within minutes, he was sleeping a deep, drugged sleep. I slowly extracted myself from beneath him, placing my jacket over him to keep him warm. I thought to myself, it would take Carter and Teal'c approximately two hours to get to the Stargate, maybe spend an hour with the Tok'ra. So they should be back here in five hours, at least. Hopefully by then Danny would be awake.
- - - - - -
Two hours later, Daniel began to stir. He opened his eyes and looked around, seeming a little confused.
"What happened?" he asked as he sat up.
"What do you remember last?" I asked, putting an arm out to make sure he wasn't ready to tip over.
"UmÖ Darween Bri, I think. Oh, um, needle. Ow."
He rubbed his face with his hand, knuckling his eyes like a little kid. I smiled to myself as I watched him. His pupils were still dilated, but he seemed a lot more rational now than he had been a few hours ago. As I handed him his glasses, he suddenly looked around warily.
"Where's Bri?" he asked.
"Carter and Teal'c caught him, they're on their way to deliver him to the Tok'ra."
I saw the relief in his face, saw and felt his whole body relax. He rubbed a couple of fingers against his forehead, closing his eyes.
"How are you feeling," I asked.
"Hung over, killer headache." I knew the feeling, I remembered the aftereffects of mind numbing drugs.
"Think you can walk? Maybe meet Carter and Teal'c on our way to the Stargate?"
He nodded, and his face paled at the movement. Must be one hell of a headache, I thought. He pulled his legs underneath him, and I hauled up on his arms, getting him to his feet. He wavered a moment, getting his balance. He nodded to indicate that he was ready. I picked up my jacket, the pack and zat gun that Carter had left behind for me, and we moved off, slowly.
- - - - - -
We'd been walking for nearly an hour, slowly but surely, when Daniel suddenly stopped and lurched to the side. He fell onto his knees, his stomach expelling whatever he had eaten in the past several hours. Shit, why hadn't he told me he was feeling that bad? We could have stopped, rested a bit. He'd been uncommonly quiet during our journey, but I had attributed that to the headache.
I knelt beside him, half supporting him, waiting for the worst to pass. After a few minutes of coughing and retching, he finally sat back against me. He was sweating and shaking. I offered him some water, with which he rinsed his mouth. He handed the canteen back to me with a trembling hand. I had him scoot back a few feet, maneuvering him till he was lying between my legs. His back was against my chest, and I was leaning against a tree. He lay against me limply, eyes closed, breathing rapidly. I could feel his pulse racing, not sure if it was from the exertion he'd just gone through, or a result of the drugs still coursing through his body.
"Danny, why didn't tell me you were feeling sick," I asked when his breathing finally began to slow a bit. He cracked open an eye, tilting his head slightly to look at me.
"Didn't want to slow us down," he said. I shook my head, looking down at him in exasperation.
"We're not racing to get home, you know. We could have stopped anytime you felt you needed to rest." I felt him sigh against me, and I thought that maybe he was in a rush to get back home so that Janet might help make him feel better.
"Wanted to get home, go to bed," he said sleepily. I wondered if he was going to fall asleep again. He seemed to be fighting to stay awake. I thought that maybe another nap might do him some good.
"We'll be home soon, and Janet will take good care of you," I said, rubbing my hand up and down his arm.
"No, wanna go to bed with you," he said, as his eyes closed and his head flopped loosely on my chest. I watched him carefully, and realized that he'd dropped off again. I estimated that we weren't quite halfway to the 'gate yet, we hadn't been making good time.
I contemplated again what I was going to say to Teal'c and Carter when I tried to explain what was going on between Daniel and I. Carter had looked pissed, I hoped that she hadn't been harboring any secret crushes on myself or Daniel. I had never led her on, at least, I didn't think that I did.
Teal'c was another matter. I figured that in his years of service to Apophis, he must have seen many relationships such as Daniel and I had. If I hadn't read the Jaffa's body language wrong, he was actually happy for us.
- - - - - -
Iím not sure who was more startled, Daniel or myself, when he launched himself out of my arms. Heíd been dozing for about 20 minutes, when the next thing I knew, he was out of my arms and crouching a few feet away from me. His eyes were darting everywhere, he was obviously disoriented and confused.
I pulled my feet up, getting ready to pounce on him should he try to flee. Gently, I tried to calm him.
"Danny, take it easy. Itís just me." Upon hearing my voice, he focused on me, but there was no recognition in his eyes.
"Danny?" I put my hand out slowly, and when he stared at it without comprehension, I slowly got to my knees. He looked up at my face with the movement, and I saw him blink a few times, and I could actually see the recognition register on his face.
"Jack, what happened?" he asked, as he let himself fall onto his ass. In a flash, I was by his side, enveloping him in a hug.
"Dunno, Danny. You woke up kinda fast. Were you dreaming?"
"I donít remember. I justÖwoke up now, seeing you kneeling there."
"Itís okay, just the drug. Itíll probably take a while before it leaves your system." I pulled away, looking at him carefully. "Do you feel up to continuing? The sooner we get you to Janet, the happier Iíll be."
He nodded, getting up a little shakily, but game to go. I made sure he swallowed some water first, gathered my gear, and urged him on.
- - - - - -
Not long after weíd started walking, Carter contacted me via the radio. They were on their way, hopefully weíd meet up in an hour or so. I kept an eye on Daniel, this time making sure he rested often. I didnít trust him to tell me how he was feeling, not after the way heíd pushed himself a short while ago.
Carter and Tealíc met us within thirty minutes. From Carterís flushed face, I could tell that they had double timed it. We took the opportunity to have Daniel rest, and he passively allowed himself to be led off the trail.
I propped him up against a huge tree, and he sat there with his knees bent, his hands clasped around the back of his bowed head. He hadnít said much except to smile at his teammates when theyíd arrived, and had answered Carterís questions with as few words as possible.
"Daniel, whatís wrong?" I asked him as I sat down next to him as Carter checked him out.
Without raising his head, he answered, "Dizzy, tired." Damn, why hadnít he mentioned this to me before? Carter didnít want to give him any meds, she was afraid of their reaction to the alien drug already in his system. I totally agreed with her call, Daniel was already experiencing enough side effects. I didnít want to take a chance that we might make him worse off.
"Okay, rest up." I pulled him over so that heíd be resting against me, and to my surprise, he fought my attempts. "Daniel." I chided. He looked up at me and scowled, then I saw his eyes furtively look around, glancing first at Carter and then at Tealíc sitting nearby.
I realized that he was trying to take care that we didnít act over-familiarly.
"Itís okay, they know."
"What?" he asked, blue eyes widening behind his glasses. He looked over at Sam, who for some reason, couldnít meet his gaze.
"It slipped out while you were under the influence of that drug," I explained. Tipping my head towards our teammates, I continued, "They heard."
"Oh shit!" he said, closing his eyes. "Sorry."
I rubbed his arm, showing that I wasnít upset. "Itís okay, weíll all talk about this when we get home, okay? Now come over here, so you can relax a little."
"Itís okay, Jack. Iím not, um, going to be able to relax in your arms right now," he whispered, looking ashamed.
"Would you rather relax in Carterís arms?" I asked. I was serious, I wanted him to be able to rest, and if he was uptight with me, maybe his Ďbig sisterí could do the trick. He shook his head, and I guessed that he was a little embarrassed.
"Okay, then lie down beside me," I ordered. As he made himself comfortable, I made sure that I kept my hand on his arm, letting him know that he wasnít alone. He was asleep within minutes.
- - - - - -
Another couple of hours finally found us at the stargate. Carter dialed us up while Tealíc and I held onto an exhausted Daniel. Heíd been nearly staggering the last hour, and Tealíc and I had taken turns in supporting and encouraging him.
The trip through the wormhole was too much for him, and he collapsed the second we stepped into the embarkation room. This time I held him in my arms until the medics took him away. We followed them to the infirmary, with orders to debrief as soon as weíd finished there.
Our post mission checkup went quickly and smoothly. I reluctantly left Daniel in Doc. Fraiserís care while we went to see the general. Halfway through our debriefing, Fraiser came to join us. She was clearly very unhappy.
"Colonel, may I ask why you thought it best to remain on that planet with Daniel drugged up to the gills?" Whoa. I never expected to be taken to task for not putting Daniel over my shoulders and running home with him right away.
"Like you said, he was doped up, doc. I thought it best that he sleep it off as much as possible before trying to get him home. We were at least two hoursí away from the Ďgate, and itís a lot easier to have someone walk home rather than be carried."
"And did it ever occur to you that he might need medical attention due to that alien concoction that he was shot up with?" Her expressive brown eyes flashed in anger in my direction. "Medical attÖwhatís wrong with him?" I demanded. I saw from their expressions that Carter and Tealíc were concerned at her words.
"Apart from being dehydrated," she glared at me as she said this, as if this was my particular fault, "his brain chemistry has been altered. Heís experiencing all kinds of symptoms which I canít even begin to treat until these chemicals have made their way out of his system."
Guilt spread through me faster than a charge from a zat gun. I had made the wrong call, obviously. I wondered belatedly whether I had chosen to keep Daniel on the planet because I was afraid of others seeing him so vulnerable. It was bad enough for Carter and Tealíc to have viewed him thusly, but maybe I had subconsciously wanted to prevent the people at the SGC from seeing him in that Ďamorousí state. I rubbed my hands through my hair in exasperation, wondering if I had deliberately harmed Daniel.
"Janet, I agreed with the colonelís judgement," Carter said as she spoke up in my defense. "I thought it best that he just sleep off the drug, he really was out of it." Thank you, Carter!
Fraiser glared at the two of us, then glanced over at Tealíc as he spoke up.
"I concur, DoctorFraiser. Had we thought otherwise, I would have made the attempt to convey DoctorJackson to the SGC."
Janet looked back at Sam, who was opening her mouth to speak again.
"Yes, Sam, before you say it, I know that the Tokíra have assured you from the sample that you left with them, that they think there wonít be any lasting effects from the drug. Well, Iím sorry, but Iím not convinced. He was given a very strong dose of something which weíve never encountered before, forced to walk for several hours when he should have been resting, heís dehydrated, exhausted, and experiencing physical malaise and occasional confusion and disorientation."
"Will he be all right," I asked in a small voice.
She looked at me without any expression, and replied, "I hope so."
I looked at the general, who was sitting back, watching this little interaction. When the doc. finally backed off, he again took control of the meeting and I tried putting my worry about Daniel to the back of my mind.
- - - - - -
I was sitting patiently as the rest of my team and Doctor Fraiser exited the briefing room. General Hammond had requested I remain behind, and I had a pretty good idea what he was going to ask. I fiddled with my pen as I waited for him to speak. I was tired and worried about Daniel, and wanted this over with quickly. Three hoursí of debriefing, three hours of torture, three hours away from Daniel. Daniel had been sleeping when Iíd left him in the infirmary in Janetís care. I didnít look forward to going back down there, she was definitely on the warpath.
"Colonel, Iím sure you know why Iíve kept you behind."
"Yes sir," I answered. I looked up at him, dropping the pen, folding my hands together before me on the table.
"Youíre positive that Doctor Jackson did not reveal anything of importance to this Darween Bri?"
"Yes sir, Iím positive. Daniel fought the drug, sir. He spoke of only one thing, and it had absolutely nothing to do with the stargate programme, Earthís defense, or the SGC."
"And this one thing wasÖ?" Oh here we go, I thought to myself.
"It was something very personal to Daniel, sir. Iím sure that thereís no reason for me to repeat it here." Please, let this be the end of it, I prayed.
"Personal, with no repercussions on his work?"
"No, sir. Absolutely none."
"I find it very hard to believe that Doctor Jackson would reveal something to this man under drugged influence which had absolutely nothing to do with his work. Considering that heís literally put his whole life into the stargate programme these past few years."
I looked down at my hands at this point, unable to face the general.
"And if I were to insist that you tell me of this personal declaration that was forced out of Doctor JacksonÖ?"
I swallowed before answering, still staring at my hands.
"Then, sir, Iíd say it would be probably best that you donít ask," emphasizing the last three words. At this point, I looked up at him, hoping that heíd gotten my message.
"I see." Yup, he understood.
"You're dismissed, colonel." And he was pissed. I stood up slowly and stiffly, making my way out of the room.
"Colonel." I stopped in the entranceway, dreading the words.
"Take care of our boy." I turned in surprise, seeing the smile on the generalís face.
"Yes, sir," I managed to mumble, then added, "Thank you, sir." I made my escape quickly, before he could change his mind.
- - - - - -
The sound of retching greeted me as I approached the area where Daniel was situated. As I cautiously peered around the privacy curtain that the nurses had erected around his bed, Doctor Fraiser took one look at me and ordered me out. I only caught a glimpse of Daniel lying curled up on the bed, the nurse and the doc. were hiding him from my sight. I couldnít help but ask as I backpedaled out of her sight, "Is he okay?"
Danny must have heard my voice, because I heard him call weakly, "Jack?" in between bouts of gagging and coughing. I called out, hoping that he would hear me.
"Iím here, Danny. Not going anywhere." After a minute the sounds ceased, and soon Fraiser popped her head around the curtain.
"Five minutes," she said as she stepped briskly towards her office.
I entered silently to find him still lying on his side. He was pale, sweating and his body was trembling. As I sat down beside him, the nurse finished fiddling with his IV and left us alone. As the curtain hid us from the security cameras, I took the opportunity to kiss him gently on the temple. He reached up for me and without hesitation, I reached over and pulled him into a hug.
I nuzzled his damp neck as I held him in my arms, and felt his body begin to relax slightly as he held on to me. I wanted to hold him as long as he needed me to, but I knew I had to let go before Doc. Fraiser came and chased me out. Itís funny, weíd both been in the infirmary, either sick or injured, since weíd become lovers. But not once did I feel this overwhelming need comfort Daniel like I did now. I think he felt the same way, he wanted me here with him, and I think at that point I decided that nobody was going to separate us. Not so long as he needed me to be with him.
"Danny, the docís gonna come in any second. I need to let you go now, okay?" I felt him nod, and I eased him back down on the bed. I cupped his cheek gently before sitting back down, then taking his hand in mine.
"I love you, Danny," I told him as his eyes drooped shut. He was smiling slightly as he fell asleep once again.
I turned my head at a slight noise behind me and I saw Fraiser standing there by the edge of the curtain with a surprised look on her face. I sighed to myself in exasperation. What was it with today? Was everyone going to stumble onto our secret?
She stepped beside me to check Daniel over again. I guessed she wanted to make sure that I hadnít tired him out. She must have been satisfied with what she found, she gave me an understanding look before she walked away. No mention was made of my leaving, for which I was grateful.
I sat by Danielís bedside for the next several hours, watching him sleep. He'd woken up once, disoriented and confused. It wasn't as bad an episode as he'd had on the planet, but it took him nearly a minute before he recognized me. The drug soon forced him back into slumber.
Finally I was forced to answer the call of nature, and maybe take the time to pop a couple of antacids. The burning in my stomach was due to the huge amounts of coffee I had downed, graciously supplied by the nurses who must have taken pity on me, and thus leading to the pressing need to empty my bladder. I stepped away from the privacy curtain, wondering why Fraiser had permitted it to stay up for so long. I was hoping that it was done deliberately in order to give Daniel and me some privacy together. As I looked up, I was surprised to see Tealíc sitting nearby. He rose to greet me as I walked towards him.
"Have you been sitting here long?" I asked. I wondered why he hadnít come in to see Daniel.
"A few hours. I did not wish to disturb you or DanielJackson."
I shook my head, saying, "No, you wouldnít have disturbed me. And Dannyís been sleeping most of the time. You can go and see him, if you want." Which I hoped heíd do, because Iíd feel better if someone sat with Daniel even for the few minutes it took me to go to the john. He inclined his head, and took a step towards Danielís bedside. "Oh, and Tealíc, I guess weíll have to talk soon."
"There is no need for discussion, OíNeill. I have known for several months."
"But weíve only been together for a few months."
"Indeed," he said, with a tight little smile.
"You knew from the beginning?" Tealíc responded with a bow of his head. Well, Iíll be damned. "And you didnít say anything?"
"There was no need. I saw that your relationship did not affect the integrity of the team. If anything, SG1 functions better now than ever before."
"Jack?" I heard Daniel call from his bed.
I peered around the curtain, saw him trying to sit up. "Hey, what do you think youíre doing?" I asked, pushing him back down while taking the control to raise the head of the bed slightly.
"Was that Tealíc I heard?" he asked, lying back down while trying to look past the curtain.
"Indeed, it is I," Tealíc answered, stepping in to stand beside me. Daniel extended a hand in greeting, which Tealíc promptly grasped.
"Itís good to see you," Daniel said, smiling up at his friend.
"Indeed, it is good to see you also, and it gladdens my heart that you are looking better." Tealíc smiled gently down at Daniel, letting go of his arm.
"Thanks, Teal'c." Turning to look at me, he asked, "Jack, would you do something for me?"
"Sure, Danny, anything. You know that," I answered, trying to stand still and not fidget. My bladder was really protesting now that I was upright.
"Would you go and get some sleep? You look like shit." He wasnít smiling, so I guessed he was serious.
"Danny, Iím fine. Iíll rest up later." The last thing that I wanted to do was leave him here alone. I wasn't fine, not really. My eyes were burning, my head was heavy with tension and my body was stiff from sitting in that dratted chair. Plus I really needed to pee. Add little food and less sleep to that mix, and I figured that I was probably good for another 20 minutes before collapsing.
"OíNeill, I will remain with DanielJackson. He is right, you do not look well. You would do better were you to get some rest. You need to be in good health when he returns home."
I smiled, remembering that Daniel was always a handful when recuperating from an illness or injury.
"Youíll be okay with Tealíc?" I asked. He smiled at me then, that special smile reserved only for me. My heart skipped a beat and I felt my face flush, like it always did when he looked at me in that certain way.
Daniel nodded, and waved his hand towards the exit. "Go on, get some sleep. Thatís what Iím planning on doing soon anyway." I could see his him begin to fight again to keep his eyes open.
I leaned down a moment, stroking his hair and whispering in his ear, "Wish we werenít getting our ZZZís separately. Iíll miss you."
"Miss you too." He licked his lips, and I saw his eyes staring at my mouth. He laughed suddenly, saying, "Go on, come back when youíre looking a tad better."
I nodded, slapped Tealíc on the shoulder, and then left Danielís bedside, trying not to knock anybody down while I ran to the bathroom.
- - - - - -
A few hours later, feeling slightly more refreshed after Iíd slept and showered, I made my way back to the infirmary. Tealíc was still sitting beside Daniel, who was curled up on his side, facing away from him.
"He has slept most of the time, except for one incident where he was ill." Tealíc kept his voice low, trying not to disturb Danielís sleep.
"Yeah, the drugís playing havoc with his stomach. Heís been sick on and off ever since." I realized then what Tealíc had just said. "Oh, only once? Maybe the drugís starting to wear off," I said hopefully.
I took my place by his bedside, and was surprised when a short while later, Tealíc returned with some food. I ate hungrily, realizing that I hadnít had any nourishment in nearly a day.
- - - - - -
I was thinking that I had to go try talking to Carter fairly soon. Iíd spoken to Fraiser, she said that Carter had been asking about Daniel, but she hadnít come 'round to see him. A sound from Daniel quickly drew my attention back to him. He was restless, caught in a dream, most likely turning into a nightmare. I was going to wake him up gently, but before I could say a word, he yelled my name and threw himself towards the edge of the bed. I made to catch him before he could tumble off, but realized belatedly that he was trying to throw up. I supported him and rubbed his back as the dry heaves shook his body. He groaned pitifully whenever he was able to catch his breath.
Finally, his stomach stopped trying to expel what wasnít there. Daniel lay partly off the bed, and partly in my arms. Totally exhausted, he didnít resist as I pulled him back up onto the bed. A nurse was there to wipe his sweating face with a damp cloth. He lay there listlessly, panting slightly.
I thought that heíd fallen asleep again, until he brought a hand up to rub at his forehead. "Want me to get the doc?" I asked. I figured that if he hadnít had a headache when he woke up, the dry heaves had surely been enough to bring one on.
He shook his head. "Whatís the use, they canít give me anything for it anyway." I sat down on the bed beside him and started to massage the muscles in Danielís neck and nape. I figured that it must have helped somewhat from the small moans of pleasure coming from him. I continued on, massaging his sweat-dampened scalp and temple. I could see him relaxing, and I was finally happy to be able to do something other than hold his hand.
Janet appeared at my side, probably lured by the sounds coming from Daniel. I guess she wanted to make sure that I wasnít ravishing her patient.
"Headache," I said in way of explanation.
Daniel cracked an eyelid open at the sound of my voice, and quickly pulled away from my hands when he saw Janet standing beside me.
"Hey! I wasnít finished". Damn, why did he have to be so skittish all of a sudden?
"Itís okay, Jack. I feel better now." Riiiight, I thought to myself.
"Well, Daniel, the latest blood tests show a slight decrease of the drug in your system, but your blood chemistry is still out of whack."
"That a medical term, doc?"
"It is when you've been up as long as I have." She smiled at me, taking the sting out of her words. "Do you need anything, Daniel?"
He shook his head carefully, not looking at either one of us.
"Do you think you could eat something?" I think I actually saw him get paler at the thought of food. "No," he said simply.
"Okay," Janet said. "Iím off to get some sleep. Iíll see you later." With a look in my direction, she left the area. I could hear her footsteps echoing down the room and out into the hallway.
"So, what was that all about?" I asked, meaning the dream and subsequent nausea. He looked at me with innocent eyes, but I knew better. "The nightmare, wanna talk about it?"
He scowled. He probably thought I hadnít picked up on the dream. "I donít remember much, just bits and pieces. A hand holding a gun, Darween Briís face laughing. Somehow, I knew that the gun was pointed at you." He paused a moment before saying, "Itís just a stupid dream."
"Not a dream, Danny. Bri took your gun and was threatening me with it. Thatís when Tealíc and Carter showed up and saved the day." He looked at me, and I think that he was relieved to know that some of his drugged memory was truth and not fantasy.
"Jack, is Sam okay?" He was fiddling nervously with the edge of the sheet covering him.
"Yeah, I think so. Why?"
"She hasnít come to see me. I just thought itís a bit strange. I guess sheís a little upset at knowing that weÖumÖ"
I put my hand over his, stopping his fiddling. Tracing small circles on his palm with my thumb, I told him, "Iím going to go talk to her later, Daniel. Iím sure sheíll come around. I mean, look at Tealíc, huh? Heís known about us from day one."
"Damn, why does this have to get complicated?" he said in a soft voice.
Before I could answer, a nurse came in, announcing that Doctor Fraiser had ordered some tests. I was asked to come back in an hour, so I decided to go and see Carter. It was more than time that we had that little talk.
- - - - - -
"So, watcha doing?" I asked, having stepped quietly into Samís office. I always enjoyed sneaking up on her, seeing if I could make her jump. This time was definitely an 8 on the Richter scale. She glared at me for startling her, but she didnít follow up with her usual smile.
"Danielís been asking about you," I said, deciding not to pull any punches.
She returned to her scrutiny of something or other under the microscope. "How is he? I havenít had a chance to get away from this experiment, but I spoke to Janet. She said he was improving."
"You had time to talk to Janet, but didnít have five minutes to come and visit Daniel?" I leaned back against the table, tapping a bit of a tune with the tips of my fingers.
"I happened to bump into Janet, I didnít exactly go looking for her." She glanced up at me, probably gauging my reaction, before returning to her analysis.
"Carter, I know that youíve just had a shock, and that youíre upset and angry. But please, whatever you think, donít take it out on Daniel." I saw her swallow, but her eyes remained glued to the microscope.
"We argued over telling you and Tealíc about us. Daniel wanted to tell you from the start, but he kept quiet because I insisted we wait till the time was right. But the opportunity never came up, and I kept putting it off. I guess I was wrong, but we didnít mean to hurt you."
She pulled back from her workstation, but didnít look at me. "I thought you trusted me more than this," she said quietly. "Every time we go out on a mission, you depend on me to be able to do my job, to defend my teammates, to protect Daniel. You never once let me think that I couldn't do my job properly, that I wasn't one of the guys, a part of the team. You've entrusted me with data and knowledge that only a handful of people on this world know about."
"Carter," I began, but she turned on me all of a sudden, slamming her hands down on the table before her.
"But you didn't think that I could keep your god-damned secret, could you? You didn't want to tell me because you thought, hey, Carter's a woman, she'll go gossiping to her friends as soon as your back is turned. She's not that important anyway, she's just part of the team."
"That's not it, and you know it." She was breathing heavily now, her anger putting color in her cheeks. I ran a hand through my hair, scratching viscously at my scalp. "This thing between Danny and me, it's new to me, to both of us. We developed our relationship very slowly, very carefully. And to be honest, we didn't know what it would do to the team dynamics. We tried very hard to make sure we kept our relationship separate from our work, and by keeping it to ourselves, that made it a little bit easier to do."
Carter turned her head from me, I could see her taking deep breaths, trying to calm herself. I put my hands in my pockets, trying to convince her ofÖwhat, I wasn't sure.
"We didn't know how you would react to the news, also. Whether you'd be happy for us, or whether you'd just spit in our faces. I'm sorry that we hurt you, that I hurt you." I looked down at my shoes, feeling a bit embarrassed.
"Sir, I couldn't be happier for you and Daniel. I just wish that you had believed in me enough to have told me all of this a lot sooner. Just give me some time, okay? I'll be okay with this, I just need to, you know, get over it."
I nodded at her words, took a few steps towards the door. "You'll go see Daniel?"
She smiled then, and nodded. "I'll finish up here, I'll be down in a few minutes. He is doing better, isn't he?"
"He's still pretty much out of it most of the time. He might be sleeping when you come."
"That's okay. I'm sorry, I should have come to see him sooner. And don't worry, I won't give him a hard time." She turned back to her work, but this time, I could see that a lot of the tension had left her body. Feeling a bit better, I made my way back to Daniel.
- - - - - - -
Not long after I returned, Carter finally ventured in to see Daniel. I left them alone, convinced by Carter's relaxed mien that she wasn't going to give him any hassle. He was happy to see her, tired as he was. I went to the commissary, deciding that pie and coffee might fit the bill right then and there.
When I returned to the infirmary, the flurry of medical staff surrounding Daniel's bed spurred me to rush to his side. This definitely didn't bode well, and upon seeing me, Carter informed me that Danny had suddenly developed a fever. He was still awake, but if the bout of vomiting and the medical tests he'd undergone earlier hadn't been enough to exhaust him, the fever would have done the job by itself.
Fraiser looked worried, her nurses looked worried; shit, I'm sure that I looked worried. Hadn't Daniel gone through enough already? I sat down on the bed beside him, and he turned to face me, his hand lying on my thigh. I wanted nothing more than to sweep him into my arms and comfort him, damn the regulations. But the fever was making him uncomfortable, and I didn't want to add to his pain. I contented myself with leaning over and stroking his cheek, wincing at the heat that was rising off of his skin.
Carter was allowed back in eventually, and I shifted off the bed, giving her the space so that she could try and comfort Daniel. She bent over and kissed his cheek, running her hand through his hair. He fell asleep at that point, comforted that we were both there with him.
Teal'c joined us as soon as he heard about Daniel. Their presence comforted me as much as it did Daniel. He was restless, his body aching from the fever. I nervously watched as the medical staff frequently came to check on him, fiddling with the IV and catheter. His fever kept rising steadily; and finally when it reached 103, Doctor Fraiser decided to throw caution to the wind.
"Colonel, I'm going to chance giving Daniel something for the fever and hope that there won't be an interaction with the drug." I nodded, thankful that she had warned me beforehand.
Turning to the nurse, Fraiser said, "Let's give him a gram of Tylenol now and every 4 hours. Let's also give him 650 mg of Aspirin in 2 hours and alternate it with the Tylenol. Let's try 10 mg Dexamethasone every four hours, and maintain his fluids at 150cc for the time being."
The medication only slowed Daniel's fever, it tenaciously kept rising as the hours crept by. Sponge baths were given and ice packs applied to his wrists, armpits and groin. I winced as I saw the medical staff position those on his body, they had to feel really uncomfortable.
It was when Fraiser brought out the big guns that I really got worried. Sponge baths and ice packs had brought the fever down for a while, but it would slowly start to creep up again after a few hours. They placed the cooling blanket under Daniel's body, and I knew that after this, there wasn't much else to be done. It broke my heart to hear him beg me to take it away. He kept complaining that it was cold, and damn, when I put my hand on the bloody thing, it felt like it was cold enough to keep a penguin happy.
His fever finally peaked at 105, and nothing that Janet did was bringing it down. He wasn't quite delirious, but he wasn't totally with us either. For three hours he fought the fever, and we couldnít do anything but sit there and watch him suffer. He lay there nearly panting, the pain reflected in his glazed eyes. Fraiser had increased his fluids to prevent dehydration, and she had given me the job of keeping his mouth and lips moist. It kept my hands occupied, while my brain kept imagining the worst.
I was talking to him, trying to keep him from attempting to roll away from the cold beneath him. It was while I was stroking his hair, that I felt the change in his body. Not only did his skin feel slightly cooler, but sweat started pouring off of him, almost like a deluge. He began shivering in earnest at this point, and Janet finally took the damned contraption out from under him.
Once his fever had broken, his sleep was finally deep and peaceful. Janet ordered me out of the infirmary, with instructions not to return for at least an hour. I took a quick shower, changed my clothes, had some coffee. When I returned, feeling a bit more refreshed, I found that the staff had done the same for Daniel. Well, except for the coffee. He looked much more comfortable and peaceful than he had in quite a while.
A few hours later, Janet came to report that not only was his temperature nearly back to normal, but his blood tests showed that all signs of the drug had disappeared. It was as if his fever had burned the stuff out of him.
She said that he would be sleeping for several hours now. She shooed me out; ordered me to go get some sleep and come back when I was looking slightly more human. Teal'c and Sam would take turns staying with Daniel, so I went off with a much lighter heart to follow the doctor's orders.
- - - - - -
It had been eight days since Danny had been drugged by Darween Bri, and Fraiser finally released him into my care. He was napping upstairs; he still needed a bit more time to gain back his strength. Hammond had given me permission to work from home the next few days, giving me ample time to care for Daniel.
He finally roused shortly before supper. Once we'd eaten, he settled himself on the couch.
"You never told me what I ended up divulging under Briís drug," Daniel said to me. His eyes were wide, the blue seeming more intense as he looked up at me from the couch. "I guess General Hammond wasnít too pleased. He never brought it up, and Iíve been a little embarrassed to ask up to now."
I sat down beside him, noting with satisfaction that he shifted closer to me as I settled my length on the couch. "Danny, there was only one thing on your mind when you were under the influence, and it had absolutely nothing to do with work."
"One thing?" I could see him nervously picking at a hangnail on his thumb. I placed my hand over his, stilling the movement.
"Yeah," I said softly, bringing his hand up and placing his index finger in my mouth. I sucked it gently, watching Danielís eyes as he looked at my mouth.
He swallowed audibly before asking, "and that one thing would beÖ?"
I let go of his finger, and placed a kiss on his palm before saying, "Well, at first I wasnít sure what you were thinking. But when Bri kept asking you to tell him about the secrets of the Tokíra, and you answered that you didnít love the Tokíra. Well, letís just say that Iím pretty flattered that your declaration of our love was the foremost thing on your mind."
"I told Bri that I loved you?" He almost pulled his hand away in shock, but I kept a tight hold.
"Uh huh, several times over, if memory serves." I grinned at him, and was glad to see him relax slightly. "So, no classified information disclosed, no State secrets divulged. Just an affirmation of love, to which I wish I could do the same for you."
"Jack, you donít have to take a truth serum to tell me that you love me. I know it every time I see you look at me." His thumb was rubbing slightly against my hand, and he brought his other hand to caress my cheek. I opened my mouth to his as he leaned forward to kiss me. I let myself relax into his embrace, my hand letting go of his and bringing it up to rub against the warm skin of his chest. I felt his hands tugging at my sweats, then reaching inside, exploring, caressing.
"Bed," I managed to wheeze before I lost all control, dragging my mouth reluctantly from his. He took my hand, and led me up the stairs to the bedroom. Our clothes were on the floor in seconds, and I lay down beside my lover, looking over his too thin body. His body may have been ravaged and weakened by illness during the past week, but his erection proved that his enthusiasm hadnít been curtailed. He leaned over and started planting wet kisses all over me, and I gasped as he made his way down towards my straining penis.
As I moaned in anticipation of our fulfillment, I realized that Daniel was right. He didnít need any drugged affirmation of my love for him to know how I felt. What we were doing now, the sensations coursing through our bodies; this was just a small part of our relationship. The secret to love was the totality of all the ordinary day to day things; the discussions, the arguments, the tender moments, the respect and consideration we both accorded one another.
As my body quickened towards orgasm, my thoughts beginning to fragment, I realized that there was nobody else with whom I wished to share this intimacy with. Tides of pleasure flowed over me as I called out my loverís name. He held me while my body shuddered the last of my completion, ecstasy slowly dimming to contentment as my body recovered.
I turned to Daniel, quickly bringing him to climax, his weakened body unable to maintain this kind of stimulation for long. I took him in my arms, where he fell asleep almost immediately. As I watched him sleep, I felt such a wave of tenderness, it bordered on pain. I was overwhelmed with feelings at this particular moment; Daniel was back in my arms, well on the way to recovery. Our closest friends now knew our secret, and fully approved of our relationship. As I settled myself for sleep, Daniel hugged me close, subconsciously snuggling up to me. My last conscious thought as I drifted off, was one of happiness, contentment and love.
Author's Comments: To Devra and Deb, without whom this story would still be sitting on my hard drive...my eternal thanks. I needed those pep talks, the kick in the butt and the encouragement to finally realize, I'm writing these stories for myself, and nobody else
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