Jackfic Archive Story

 

Tired

by Papaya

Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s).


Carter materialized. She immediately scanned her surroundings. She was looking for anything that contradicted the MALP's indication that this was a quiet, peaceful, and deserted planet. All was as expected, except for Colonel O'Neill. He was sitting on the steps with his arms stretched across his knees. Odd. Normally when they stepped through a wormhole he was so energized you could feel it coming off him in waves. She could anyway. He loved it as much as she did. That first step through onto a new planet, even one that promised to be as `boring' as this one.

The MALP had showed nothing of interest for him. She always felt a twinge of sympathy when they were headed for a world that would prove fascinating for her or Daniel and excruciatingly boring for him. Not that he looked forward to planets that would require his `special talents.' Still... This world looked to be full of wondrous discoveries for both her and Daniel. And it seemed absolutely deserted. In other words, it promised to be the Colonel's worst nightmare. Well, she amended, thinking of what his nightmares might include, maybe not the worst one.

Teal'c materialized behind her and Daniel, and she stepped down from the platform towards him, "Sir?"

O'Neill had looked up when Teal'c came through. An expression of what could only be relief filled his face. He got slowly to his feet and spoke calmly, "Welcome to P36 929 campers. Glad you could join me." And he shouldered his weapon and walked away.

Carter frowned at Daniel who frowned in response and they followed him down the steps.

Teal'c raised an eyebrow and followed them.

oO0Oo

The world they were exploring really didn't extend much past the stargate itself, at least, not for their purposes. The MALP telemetry had shown that the DHD had been altered in some way. This DHD had a much more elaborate base than any they had seen. It might be just ornamental, but Carter was dying to find out. The walls of the three sided room that contained the `gate were covered with inscriptions. Daniel was excited to get to those. Teal'c was helpful as usual. He always seemed to know just what tool she needed. The Colonel, after assuring himself they were all set on their assigned tasks, had wandered off through where the fourth wall should have been. He seemed preoccupied, but not interested in disturbing them for once.

Carter had her head buried inside the base of the DHD when she heard Teal'c's voice. "I'm sorry, Teal'c. " She said, emerging, "What did you say?"

"It is time that I should relieve O'Neill."

"Oh!" Carter looked at her watch, "Sure, Teal'c. Go ahead." She had already kept him far longer than she should have.

Teal'c left the `gate room' which was how he had begun to think of it. It was a strange set up. One he had never seen before. He began a normal sweep of the area, knowing that sooner or later he would come across O'Neill. His leader was ever vigilant, even on a planet that seemed as uninhabited as this one. He was surprised to complete his first circuit and find no trace of O'Neill. That was not entirely true. He could tell that O'Neill had swept the area, although not nearly as thoroughly as he normally would. Teal'c followed the signs to find O'Neill resting against a tree, his hat pulled low over his eyes. He was apparently, asleep.

"O'Neill!"

The Colonel looked up at him, squinting. Not asleep then. "Teal'c?"

"I will relieve you."

"Oh. Yeah. You can stand guard over the rocks. And trees! Don't forget the trees. And Water!" O'Neill called over his shoulder as he walked slowly away.

oO0Oo

Carter stuck her head out from the DHD's innards, "Daniel?"

"Daniel!"

"Hmm?" Daniel replied absentmindedly, and suddenly Carter was struck with the thought that she understood exactly why the Colonel loved to bug him.

"Daniel, did the Colonel seem preoccupied to you?"

"Sam, anytime I can work off world without him leaning over my shoulder I don't look in the horse's mouth, if you know what I mean."

Carter considered his words, "I'm going to take a little break." And she went off to check on said Colonel.

She found him under a tree, once again, uncharacteristically relaxed. "Hey, Colonel. Want some lunch?"

Jack frowned up at her, "huh? Shouldn't you have your head buried in the DHD, Major?"

"Yeah. I got hungry."

"Mmm. I'm not. I'm going back to my nap, if you don't mind. You interrupted my dream..." He pulled his hat more determinedly down over his eyes and shifted into a more comfortable position, and waited for Carter to leave.

oO0Oo

He was going to have to be more creative next time. Carter was already suspicious, and that was something he just didn't need. He needed her and Daniel to finish figuring out that room, or none of them were going to get home. Until then he would stay out of their hair. Besides, he didn't have the energy for much else.

oO0Oo

Carter returned to the DHD. She had to admit it was fascinating. The DHD had been altered, just as they suspected. But it wasn't clear yet how, or more importantly, why. Maybe Daniel's inscriptions would hold the key.

"Daniel? Do the inscriptions tell anything about the DHD?"

"It's all about the DHD one way or the other. For once, it was the DHD or the m'kshall as they called it, that they worshipped, not the ring itself. They seemed to believe it was what really held the power, the control."

"Mmm, does it tell how they changed it?"

"What? No." He paused, looking at her for the first time, "They changed it?"

"Apparently they added a whole subsystem. See if you can find anything about it."

oO0Oo

Teal'c settled himself on a rock across from O'Neill's still form. He noticed that even from his relaxed position, O'Neill had chosen a tree that was high on a hill, offering a commanding view of the surrounding area. Teal'c scanned the area once more before turning his attention on the sleeping man.

"What's up T?" a quiet voice came from under the hat.

"Your behavior of late has been unusual, O'Neill. I wondered at the reason."

"You mean a nap isn't normal field procedure?"

"Indeed."

"I'm tired. There's nothing to do. I'm taking the day off. You should too, unless you want to help Carter and Daniel."

Teal'c stood. Clearly O'Neill wanted to be left alone. Frowning to himself, he returned to where Carter and Daniel were working.

oO0Oo

Carter looked up at his approach, "Teal'c! Have you seen the Colonel?"

"Indeed I have. He claims to be `taking the day off.'"

Carter frowned, "There are some very unusual changes to the DHD. These changes should have caused some anomalies when we arrived. Since he was the first one here, I was wondering if he had noticed anything."

"Would you like me to ask him to return to the Gate?"

"Yes!" called Daniel from across the room. "Yes, I - wait a minute" he frowned at his inscriptions once more, "Yes definitely." He went on to mumble, "The first person here would have witnessed some pretty impressive displays... and..." He bent once again.

Carter half smiled at Teal'c who raised an eyebrow and left once more.

"Daniel? Want to explain that?"

"What does your `subsystem' tell you?" he asked, now frowning as well. Something was very wrong.

"It looks almost like a self destruct type set-up, but that doesn't make any sense!"

"Maybe it does. According to these writings, the inhabitants wanted to warn anyone who came through to stay away. "The glowing eyes are not welcome" is a loose translation."

"Ah."

Daniel mumbled to himself for another minute about sole survivors, and only ones while he ran his fingers over the inscriptions.

"Daniel?"

Daniel shook his head and ran his hands over one part of the inscription, paraphrasing as he went. "This is not good. According to this, only one body would be allowed to rematerialize, any others would... perish within the... wormhole. And then, only one would be allowed to exit - leave through the gate to warn the others not to return. After which, the m'kshall would be destroyed." He turned to look at her, "That supports the idea of a self-destruct."

"Well, that would be very effective at keeping the Goa'uld away. But, it obviously doesn't work - we're all here."

"You said something about anomalies. What did you mean?"

It was Carter's turn to frown at Daniel, "There would have been what looked like an electrical display - a mini lightning show, as the new software shut down the wormhole mid-stream... Certain elements would come apart; wires would explode from their receptacles... But that still doesn't make sense, since we're all here... unless..."

Daniel turned to face her, a very concerned look on his face. "...Unless someone stepped into that lightning show, and stopped the shutdown."

"That would be fatal."

Carter and Daniel stared at each other as it sunk in.

oO0Oo

Teal'c returned to where O'Neill was resting. This time he really was asleep and did not wake to Teal'c's voice. It was only when he reached down and shook his shoulder that O'Neill finally stirred, "Hmm?"

"MajorCarter wishes to see you back at the Stargate."

O'Neill tilted his head against the tree to look up at him and replied sarcastically, "Did she say why?"

"She has discovered something about the behavior of the DHD upon our arrival. She hoped you could be of assistance."

O'Neill climbed to his feet with so much difficulty that Teal'c finally reached down to assist him.

"I'm fine. Just tired." Was O'Neill's response to Teal'c's raised eyebrow, "Keep an eye on things from here, will ya?" Jack didn't need any more witnesses to his weakness. He stumbled down the hill towards the Stargate.

Teal'c watched him with concern, O'Neill was definitely not himself, but, typically did not want to attract any attention. He hoped whatever was wrong was not serious. He scanned the empty horizon once more and then looked back just in time to see O'Neill fall to his knees. He ran to his side. "O'Neill!"

Jack was on his hands and knees, panting. The 200 yard walk had exhausted him until he had stumbled over a tree root. He ached so much he wasn't sure he could stand under his own power. Then Teal'c was there kneeling next to him. He stretched out a hand and Teal'c helped him up. "Thanks." His eyes flicked up to the Jaffa's not wanting to see the concern he knew was there. "Better get back."

Teal'c pulled Jack's arm over his shoulder and together they returned to the gate.

oO0Oo

Both Carter and Daniel froze when Teal'c returned with Jack. The shocked looks on their faces was more than he wanted to see right then. "Report, Major!"

Carter took the hint and got right down to business as Teal'c helped Jack sit on the steps. He chose to ignore Daniel.

"Sir. We have determined that the former inhabitants of this world implemented a very effective way of keeping the Goa'uld off their planet."

"Yesss," came Daniel's belated response, "The inscriptions explain that only one person coming through the stargate would be allowed to rematerialize, and that person was expected to return - alone - to warn others to stay away."

Carter took the hand-off, "Except that we're all here, so either it didn't work, or..." They both looked to Jack for the answer.

Jack responded without meeting their eyes. "Yeah, I got here and the DHD started going crazy. You guys weren't showing up, so I just put it back together as it came apart. Wasn't that hard..."

Carter came towards him and sat down. "Sir, I know this is uncomfortable for you, but you need to tell me exactly what happened. It's our only chance of getting off this planet." She looked at him expectantly.

Teal'c and Daniel thoughtfully moved away.

"Aww, Carter."

"Sir."

Jack looked at her tiredly, "I told you. I step through, and the DHD goes crazy. There were all kinds of fireworks, pieces of DHD and wires popping off... I figured if I didn't do something, you'd get stuck in the... whatever, like Teal'c did that time. I'm not smart enough to get you out of that, so I figured I better make sure you got here. I just put everything back as soon as it popped off. It finally quit freakin out, and it took close to ten minutes before you came through. I didn't think it had worked."

Carter nodded, "Pretty impressive, actually, Colonel."

He shrugs it off.

"Now I need you to tell me your symptoms. You really shouldn't have survived."

"Carter..."

"Sir..."

"I'm just tired, achy. Feel like I've had a fever for the last month. Weak as a babe."

Carter nods again, "We'll get it figured out."

"I know. That's why I didn't say anything. We came here so you and Daniel can figure this out. You don't need me bugging you."

Carter smiled wryly and stepped away. "Now we just need to figure out how to get us ALL home."

"You'll do it." He pauses, "I'll sleep."

oO0Oo

Hours later Daniel sidles over to where Carter is buried in the DHD. "Sam? How's it going?"

Carter sits back frustrated. "I could really use the tools in my lab. I don't know if I can do it here." She's trying to keep her voice down so Jack doesn't hear. He seems to be asleep.

"Yeah. I could use some reference books too. But only one person can go back. And then there's at least the possibility that the DHD will be destroyed."

Carter shakes her head, still speaking quietly, "I don't think so. I don't think this was intended to be a one time thing. They would say that, because otherwise the Goa'uld would send an army through one man at a time."

"Then again, they probably only had dealings with one Goa'uld, so maybe it was a `one time thing.'"

"Kids?" Jack, of course, has been listening to the whole thing. "This isn't that hard. I figured sooner or later you'd need to head home. You'll all go."

Teal'c walks in just in time to hear this last. He raises an eyebrow and cocks his head.

"If you're going to figure this out, you need your toys from home. You'll all go. I did it once I can do it again..."

"I will remain with O'Neill"

"I don't think I could do it a third time, Teal'c, you'll go."

Carter proceeds cautiously, "Actually, sir, I'd feel better if you weren't alone. Assuming Daniel and I figure this out one of us will return and make the necessary repairs. Then we'll all be able to leave."

"Carter, you'll all go. That's an order."

They all look at each other. Carter kneels down right in front of him, eye to eye. "Sir, with all due respect, you may not make it alone. Teal'c's symbiote will help him survive the electrical charges."

Jack closes his eyes. He doesn't have the energy for this. "The electrical beams specifically targeted my gut." His eyes open and bore into her, "Why do you think that was?"

Carter closes her eyes, "Designed to kill Jaffa."

"There's no way I'm risking Teal'c." His tone tells her the subject is closed.

He pulls himself to his feet and begins to dial. Carter and Daniel scramble to gather their equipment. Teal'c stands and looks at Jack. Jack doesn't look up, "You'll all go at once. I want the wormhole open for the shortest possible time." Plus they won't be able to stand and watch him suffer.

The Gate kawooshes open. The three jog toward the Gate and the electrical storm begins. At the last moment Teal'c touches Carter's shoulder and leaps to the side off the platform. Jack doesn't notice. He begins to react to everything it's doing, not knowing if it's about to blow up. He falls to his knees, but continues to make repairs. He has to continue until he knows they're safe. One arm falls useless at his side, but he continues. He has to pause a couple times to clutch at his stomach with his good arm, but he continues. His vision is beginning to get fuzzy, he can barely feel the wires under his fingers. Finally the electricity subsides, and he collapses onto his side, unconscious.

oO0Oo

Daniel spun around as soon as he reached the SGC. Carter appeared beside him. He waited for a moment, "Where's Teal'c?"

Carter stops and looks back as the wormhole disengages. "He stayed." She looks at Daniel.

"Oh, Jack's not going to be happy about that..." he replies half under his breath.

They both head down the ramp to get to work.

oO0Oo

When Jack woke up he was in great pain. The world seemed to be spinning and something hard was being pressed into his gut. As his vision cleared he saw the heels of two boots, running. Ah - he was being carried over someone's shoulder.

"Be still O'Neill! We are being pursued."

Okay, it was Teal'c. Only Teal'c wasn't supposed to be there. No one was supposed to be there. He was supposed to be alone. Why was Teal'c there, and why were they running? It was too hard to figure out at the moment, so he decided the best thing to do was to pass out.

When he came to it was dark. At least he hoped it was dark, he hated not being able to see. He tried to look around, but with limited success. He was still weak, and everything hurt. He must have made a noise because suddenly Teal'c was there giving him a drink from the canteen.

"Hey, Teal'c," he managed, "Didn't I tell you to head home with the others?"

"Indeed."

"Thanks"

Teal'c sensed it was difficult to talk so he filled Jack in, "We were attacked in the Gate room. Several natives with bow and arrow came at us from all sides. I was able to break through their attack but they pursued for many miles before I was able to create enough distance between us. We are deep in the forest we observed from atop the hill."

Jack managed a nod. "So much for uninhabited - Now what?"

Teal'c did not answer.

oO0Oo

Sam straightened from her work, taking a moment to bend backwards to stretch the muscles that had been cramped for so long. Just as she returned to her simulation, Janet walked in. "Hey, Sam." She said in her `I've got bad news' voice.

"Hi, Janet."

"Any luck?"

Sam grimaced, "Well, yes and no, I've about got the subsystem figured out. I just need a way to shut it down. Did you have a chance to look at the report I gave you?" She knew that was why Janet was there.

Janet nodded.

"What's it tell you?"

"It's not good, Sam. That kind of electrical charge - his symptoms - it looks like every system in his body will just keep slowly shutting down."

"Can you stop it?"

"Yes, I can, if I get to him in time."

Just then Daniel walked in. "Hi, Daniel, have any luck?"

"Well - no." He looked sheepishly at the floor, "The inscription I thought would be helpful turned out to be a family history of the inscriber." He mumbled the last part, then looked up at Sam. "How `bout you?"

Sam glanced at Janet, then at her computer, "This simulation ought to tell us some- Yes! That's it!"

Daniel and Janet both looked at her questioningly.

"Let's go talk to the General!"

oO0Oo

Jack woke up again sometime in the night. He looked at Teal'c who was sitting nearby; alert, on guard, his staff weapon resting easily across his legs. But something about him wasn't right. Jack squinted to scrutinize him better, and realized his friend had at least one arrow wound, probably more.

"Hey, Teal'c, You got a thing there," he said, gesturing at Teal'c's shoulder.

"It is an arrow, O'Neill."

"Yeah, that."

"There are in fact three."

"Ah!"

"Are you well enough to assist me?"

It didn't matter if he was or not. "Sure!" He crawled over to where Teal'c was sitting. "Sorry, I've gotta do it one handed. This wing's still no good." He bobbed his chin toward his still useless left arm."

Teal'c was as stoic as ever as Jack pulled the arrows from his friend. It was not lost on him that all the wounds were on the opposite side from where he had been carried. No doubt Teal'c had used his body to shield Jack. He bandaged the wounds as well as he could one-handed.

He turned to face Teal'c who was pale and sweating. "I'll take next watch so you can do your kel'no'reem thing."

"Indeed, thank-you, O'Neill," the Jaffa's eyes closed and he relaxed.

Jack crawled to a spot with better visibility, arranged his weapons so they could be handled one-handed, and set himself to watch. He actually did seem to be feeling better. The sun would soon be up. Carter would be back; this might be a good day after all. Just those pesky natives...

oO0Oo

Carter was standing in front of a screen showing pictures of the altered DHD from different angles. The General, Janet and Daniel listened. "...So I know I can disconnect the subroutine the natives added, I'm just not sure what effect that will have. It's possible it could set off the self-destruct."

Daniel spoke up hesitantly, "Of course, we're working under the assumption that the DHD is still intact. Although, if it did blow up at least Jack's not there alone this time..."

Carter shot him an angry look, "If the DHD self-destructed then Teal'c is there alone." She let the words fall in the silent room.

General Hammond broke the silence, "Doctor, what can you tell me about Colonel O'Neill's condition?"

"The alien nature of the device created a different reaction than you would normally see from electrocution. If it had been the type of energy we're used to he probably wouldn't have survived. As it is, he is very tired, weak, he may lose feeling and or muscle control, in summary, every system is failing."

"How long does he have?"

"That's difficult to say with the information I have, Sir. And he suffered another dose of the energy since Sam last saw him. I would guess twenty four hours at the most." She turned to Sam, "The end stages will be marked by capillary breakdown. Nosebleeds, possibly bleeding from the ears or even eyes, he may develop open sores... I need to get to him before that."

Sam nodded and turned to General Hammond.

"You can leave as soon as you're ready."

oO0Oo

Jack watched the sun rise through the trees. It was especially beautiful in this atmosphere. The sky was a lattice work of color, reds, yellows, orange. He watched as the colors shifted and faded into a brilliant blue. He looked over at Teal'c again. He seemed much better already. His color was better, the bleeding had stopped some time ago, and his breathing was calm and even. It was good because Jack suspected today would be a busy day. He guessed Carter would be back any time, and the natives would be there to meet her...

"O'Neill, are you well?"

"Teal'c! I was just gonna ask you that. Junior fix you up?"

"My symbiote has nearly completed repairs to my wounds. I am concerned about the reception MajorCarter will receive when she returns."

Jack nodded, "Just what I was thinking. Tell me more about these natives."

"There were perhaps twenty young men armed with bow and arrow. They were not trained marksman, but they were fierce of heart. They would be a formidable enemy in a surprise attack."

"What if we surprise them?"

"That would turn the tide of battle in our favor."

"Yes it would, wouldn't it?"

"Can you travel, O'Neill?"

"Feeling much better, Teal'c! Lead the way."

They moved silently through the forest. Teal'c was purposefully moving slower than usual. He was trying not to emphasize O'Neill's weakness which was pronounced despite his protests.

They stopped at the edge of the forest to observe the native's activity. They were camped near the gate room. Several of the men were on watch.

Jack and Teal'c looked at each other. They slid back to a more protected area to prepare. "Teal'c, can you help me strap this arm down? It'll just get in my way flapping around like it is."

Teal'c did not comment, merely pulled a bandage from his vest and tied Jack's arm firmly to his chest. There was no need to plan; they both knew what had to be done. Jack nodded and they returned to their lookout. Jack used hand signals to direct him around to the other side so that they might surround the men. As much surrounding as two men can do, anyway.

When they were in position, they watched and waited. They would move with the distraction of the gate opening, and not before.

Jack was getting very impatient. The trip to the gate had worn him out. He knew his strength was fading fast. If Carter didn't show up soon... the world began to spin, his head began to pound. `No! Not now - Carter's...' His vision dwindled to a pinpoint, and went out.

At that moment the Gate began to spin. The men immediately went into action, grabbing their bows and arrows, taking up positions. Teal'c waited, almost too long until he decided O'Neill's weakness had overcome him and he was not coming. He stood and began firing, expertly herding the men into a tight group. One or two of them managed to fire back, but Teal'c wounded them. Unfortunately without Jack to back him up, he couldn't watch all directions at once. Three of the men snuck behind him and hit him over the head with a very large rock just as Carter stepped through the gate. She immediately headed towards the DHD where the fireworks display had once again begun. But she stopped before she took the second step. Teal'c was down, there was no sign of the Colonel and upwards of twenty men held arrows pointed at her heart.

The DHD continued its fireworks show, the arcs reaching all points on the walls. They seemed to be building, and Carter wondered if it would indeed explode when suddenly it stopped. The Gate closed and the DHD shut down just as she had suspected. She turned back to the men, "We are not Goa'uld!" she shouted. She didn't know if they could understand her, but she didn't know what else to do. "We are peaceful travelers, explorers. We'd like to know more about you. We too, fight the Goa'uld! Please!" She looked at Teal'c who was being dragged to the DHD. She knew what would happen if they opened the gate again.

They looked at her but did not answer. Three of them began to approach her slowly, warily eyeing the P-90 strapped to her chest. The very gun she was fingering. Her eyes darted from the approaching men to Teal'c who was being strapped to the DHD face down. She was trying to judge how many men she could take out before the Gate engaged, when one of the men straightened from his task and began to dial.

When he stretched his hand to touch the second symbol, a shot rang out and the man snatched his now bloody hand back, clutching it to his chest. Everyone spun to see from where the shot had come. Jack stood atop the boulder he had used for cover, legs braced, gun aimed, looking like death. Only Carter noticed the useless arm, and the blood that trickled down his upper lip. He did not need to speak. He sprayed the ceiling with a rapid burst of gunfire scattering bits of plaster on the men below to demonstrate the possibilities before bringing it to bear on the men holding Teal'c. He leapt down from his perch, landing squarely, aim never wavering. He gestured at Teal'c and they immediately untied him and lowered him gently to the ground, afraid to incur the wrath of this man.

He gestured again and the men slowly edged out of the gate room as he moved over to the steps. Teal'c stirred. Jack spoke over his shoulder, "Carter?"

"Yes Sir!" She moved to the DHD, bent and opened the base. She was only in there a moment and Jack heard the sound of wires being cut and something powering down. The he heard the sound of her dialing. He never took his eyes off the men watching them from the door. They still had their arrows trained on the trio, but most of them eyed Jack warily. When the gate opened Sam was at his side covering Teal'c as he slowly made his way up the steps. She glanced at Jack as she trained her weapon on the group at the door, and her eyes widened at the line of blood from his ear to his collar. "Sir? Are you okay?" He wiped at his nose ineffectually.

"As soon as we're in the gate room, I promise I'll fall down, let's just get Teal'c home." Teal'c stood and limped through the gate holding his head, Jack and Sam backed through together.

oO0Oo

As soon as they materialized on the other side, Jack made good on his promise. He tried to brace himself for the hard grate. He'd hit that ramp so many times he was sure he had grate-marks permanently imprinted on his backside. Why couldn't they install some other floor? They had that fabulous rubber stuff under the playground equipment at Cassie's old school; firm but giving. He'd have to talk to the General. His legs crumpled. But he never did feel that hard grate he'd hit so many times before. Instead, arms that were strong but soft held him. "Hey, Carter," he slurred, "Thanks." He was surprised to see the fear in her eyes. The woman rarely showed fear. What was she afraid of? He tried to look around. He didn't see anything threatening. He saw Daniel helping Teal'c off the ramp. He looked okay, Junior'd fix his head. He saw the doc running up the ramp with something in her hand, but she seemed to be moving in slow motion. He looked back up into those beautiful blue eyes. Oops, he must be losing it if those thoughts were escaping. But wasn't he just tired? "Carter...?"

"Just hang on, Sir, we've got you."

"Ohh...okay... good."

oO0Oo

"So not just tired? You sure?" He whispered to Janet. Jack was back in his favorite place, the infirmary.

Janet chuckled, "NOT just tired. And you knew it." She whispered back. They were whispering out of consideration for Sam who was sleeping in a chair next to Jack's bed where she had been all night. Janet knew he was too weak to even lift his head, and yet he had to put on his show. Oh well, at least he wasn't complaining about the confinement... yet. "Move your left hand for me."

"Again?" Jack raised an eyebrow at her.

Janet gave him her expectant look and he complied. The fingertips twitched. She smiled. She didn't really need the test, but she really was amazed that they were able to save him considering how far gone he had been. That finger twitch was a confirmation that he really was coming back to them.

"How's Sleepy doing?" Daniel stuck his head around the curtain and was met by much shushing from Janet and Jack. "Oh sorry!" he whispered as Teal'c appeared behind him.

"Huh? Jack?" Carter stirred and woke up groggy. "Sorry, how's the Colonel?"

Her three men smiled at her. Janet smiled to herself and turned away.

"Hey, Teal'c! How's the head?"

"I am well, O'Neill."

Jack turned serious eyes on the big Jaffa, "I'm sorry, shouldn't have happened."

"You are not responsible, O'Neill. It was the natives who caused my injury."

Jack made a face.

"We're glad you're back, Sir."

Jack turned his attention to Carter and smiled softly. He looked around at his team. Then he allowed his heavy eyelids to close. "Yeah, me too."

The End


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