Title: “Conversation in the Infirmary”
Status: Complete – Part of Series
Pairings: Jack/Janet Friendship developing into relationship
Sequel/Series Info: “Strength and Courage”
CONTENT LEVEL: 13+
Content Warnings: none
Summary: Jack and Janet deal with the “almost kiss” from their “Conversation in the Kitchen”
Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions This story has been written for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. All original characters are my own - yada yada yada - In other words - I don't own these guys. I never will....I just like to play with them now and then.
Feedback: Yes Please. Constructive Criticism to improve my craft is appreciated. Flames are not.
Archive: Please ask
Author’s Notes: My thanks to Wendy for beta-reading. She’s been a big help
“Conversation in the Infirmary”
Dr. Janet Fraiser arrived at
Janet walked through the front gate, nodding briefly at the Airman who checked her ID, and let her through. She was joined at the elevator by Daniel Jackson, who had arrived shortly after her. They both looked like they needed a cup of coffee - extra large, extra strong - before their day began. Dr. Fraiser mused for a moment. ‘Perhaps it was time for her to use her profession to her advantage.’
“Daniel?” the Doctor asked sweetly. “Do you still have that stash of Italian Dark Roast in your office?” Janet looked over at him with a mischievous glint in her eye, and continued, “Do you remember the last time I saved your life; you said you’d give me anything if I could stop the pain. Did that include your coffee?”
“Uh, yeah – I guess so?” Jackson answered, tentatively.
Janet laughed. “Good.” She declared. “Then you can bring an extra large cup to my office in a few minutes. I really need a cup of good, strong coffee this morning.”
“Rats!” Daniel exclaimed, grinning. “Never make promises you’re going to regret keeping!” They both laughed for a minute. Daniel paused, and looked at Janet with a serious expression on his face. Then he queried hesitantly. “Janet, do you know what was up with Jack last night? This isn’t ordinary behavior, and wasn’t one of the dates we watch out for.”
Janet remembered Sam saying that certain dates were rough on Colonel O’Neill. Charlie’s birthday, the anniversary of the day that Charlie died, and a few others. She looked over at Daniel. His face was full of concern. It was obvious that he cared about the brusque colonel – a lot.
Janet looked over Daniel’s head at a spot on the elevator wall, and avoided his questioning eyes. She looked down again, quickly. Fraiser knew Daniel cared, but she couldn’t answer. Janet spoke softly, but firmly. “That’s something you need to take up with Colonel O’Neill, Daniel. I can’t tell you.” Dr. Janet Fraiser had a code of honour of her own. One of the things she lived by was ‘unless not telling would cause harm, she never revealed a confidence.’ Jack’s reasons for last night’s drunken episode would be kept safe in her heart.
They parted ways at the appropriate floors, and Janet made her way to her office. She paused at the door, and put on her full professional persona. Dr. Janet Fraiser entered the room like the ball of energy she had a tendency to be. Her crew snapped to alertness, listening carefully to see what the day was going to be like. Janet explained about the possible inspection. She began assigning tasks for the day, and everyone swung into action. They were like a well-oiled machine, doing their jobs swiftly and completely, needing little supervision. Janet had trained them well. She walked into her office, and began sorting through the files on her desk. Janet Fraiser knew that her infirmary was already fit for any inspection. Her team was a good one, and they were proud of the work they did. It was a matter of pride to the medical team that any inspection would find the infirmary in perfect order. It would be ‘just what the doctor ordered.’ Janet punned to herself, grinning internally, as she settled down to work.
It didn’t take long until Janet’s desk was organized, too. If there was an inspection she wanted to have files on any possible request for information at hand, and easily accessible. When Janet glanced at her watch, she realized that the meeting would be starting within the hour. She was just about to get up from her desk when a rather embarrassed Colonel knocked on the door frame. Janet noted in relief that Jack O’Neill was dressed in clean BDU’s, was clean-shaven, and clear eyed. There was no observable evidence of the shape he had been in last night.
“You wanted to see me this morning, Doc?” the Colonel asked, hesitantly.
Janet smiled, and then motioned him in. “I did want to have another look at that cut, Colonel” she said briskly. Why don’t you pull that chair over by my desk and sit down while I get my kit?”
Jack sat down on a chair by the door, as Janet grabbed the necessary items from her doctor’s bag, and placed them on her desk. She looked over at Jack, who appeared somewhat nervous.
Sighing, Janet walked over and shut the door. “I’m going to take a look at this now.” She said professionally. The wound had changed little, but Janet washed it quickly. It seemed to be healing nicely. She scrutinized it carefully, and then said “When it is dry, I’ll apply a fresh coat of glue. It needs to air-dry, or the glue won’t set properly, so I’ll wait a moment.”
Janet grinned wryly, and hopped up to sit on her desk, and crossed her arms. “How are you feeling this morning, Colonel? She asked, with a laugh in her voice. “Any head-ache or nausea?”
O’Neill shook his head. He looked miserable. “No the stuff you gave me last night seems to have done the trick”. He took a deep breath, looked up at Janet’s face, and blurted. “Doc, about last night.”
“What do you remember?” Janet asked kindly. Jack leaned over placing his elbows on the desk and looked down at the floor. “Everything.” He muttered, bleakly.
“Then you remember that you protected me from six attackers without any thought for your own safety.” Janet said slowly.
Jack looked up, shaking his head. “I remember that you took one down with a move I had no idea you even knew,” he retorted, sharply, “and that Max stepped in before any more damage could be done.”
Janet Fraiser sighed. As usual, Colonel O’Neill was being too hard on himself. She leaned back on the desk, swinging one leg unselfconsciously. “So what are you remembering so darkly, Colonel O’Neill?” she asked gently.
Jack looked up at her with self-reproach in his eyes. “Janet, I was way out of line.” He said. “In your kitchen, when we - “he seemed to struggle to get the next words out. “We almost -“
“Ah!” Janet said firmly, leaning forward, and holding out one finger in a very familiar gesture. Jack almost laughed, except the situation had no humour to it, in his eyes. “I need to apologize to you, Colonel.” She said simply. “I know that what…” she paused, herself, looking out past Jack’s head into the busy infirmary, as she said softly “almost happened went beyond the boundaries of my professional ethics. I am sorry.”
Jack stood up quickly, and interjected, “You have nothing to be sorry for! I followed you around the counter. This was entirely my…”
“Ah!” Fraiser interrupted again, holding her hand out as if to say ‘talk to the hand’. Then she began speaking in her best bedside manner voice. “Think about what happened earlier in the evening. Do you think that if I hadn’t been a willing participant, you would still be standing? Trust me, Colonel.” Janet said emphatically “You wouldn’t!” Janet glared at him for a moment, and then looked down at the floor. “It was something we both wanted. And I should have stopped it. I’m sorry.”
“It was my fault.” Jack declared, empathically.
“No, it wasn’t” Janet retorted, just as forcefully.
Yes, it was! Jack exclaimed.
“No, it wasn’t!” Janet returned.
“Yes, it was!” Jack said, in an exasperated tone.
“No, it wasn’t!” Janet glared, just as exasperated.
“WAS!” Jack stood up, fixing her with his iron Colonel glare. “WASN’T” Janet returned just as forcefully, jumping off the desk with both hands on her hips and glaring Jack O’Neill down!
They glared at each other for a moment, and then Jack and Janet burst out laughing. “You sound like Daniel.” He said, grinning at her with that smile he reserved for his team, and those he was closest to.
Janet smiled back. Then pointed to the chair, and waited until the Colonel was sitting. It was time to finish the job. The doctor picked up the glue, and went to work on the Colonel’s cut. It took only a moment to finish that part of the job. As she was working, Janet Fraiser spoke softly. She admitted, “I think we both know that there was a spark of attraction, but we can trust ourselves that following through on it was a one time weakness.” She stopped and looked down at him, saying forcefully “on both our parts.” Janet reached into her purse, and brought out the small tube of foundation that she had used to cover the cut the previous night. As she applied it, she continued, “I appreciate your friendship, Colonel. I think we can put this aside, and still retain our friendship, can’t we?” Janet laid one hand on his arm, and looked into his eyes for a moment.
Jack O’Neill looked across the desk for a moment, and then nodded. He breathed a sigh of relief. Then he looked Janet in the eye, and said, “I’m glad that we can do that.” Jack grinned up at her, and admitted, “I was scared that I had blown it,” he said honestly. He gave her another grin, with a trace of hesitant sadness in it, because in the back of his mind he was wishing that Sam and Daniel had arrived a few moments later. Because, Dammit, he had wanted to finish that kiss. And he still did. Jack slid the mask of professionalism over his face, not realizing that Janet had just had the same thought, and done the same thing.
It had happened so slowly that neither of them was aware of when it did --- but their friendship had turned into a deeper form of caring. And now the only decision was to continue this deep friendship, or to change it into a much deeper, and more intimate relationship. Jack O’Neill and Janet Fraiser were both deeply tempted by the second, but their deep code of honour made the first the only choice they had at the moment.
“Thanks, Doc.” Jack said sincerely, as he walked across the office. When he reached the door, he turned back for a moment, and grinned. “I’ll see you at the meeting later.” Jack walked out of her office, and away from the infirmary.
Janet Fraiser watched Colonel O’Neill exit the infirmary doors, staring after him with an ache in her heart. She was so confused. Did her professional ethics apply in this situation? Doctors weren’t supposed to get involved with their patients, but Janet admitted it - that was exactly what she wanted to do. She didn’t want to lose this friendship. It meant a lot to her. But, at the same time, she wanted so much more. Janet Fraiser thought out her options, and the only one that made sense was to avoid the Colonel until she could get clear up her confusion. But that would hurt her, because Janet really enjoyed the Colonel’s company.
Jack O’Neill strode away from the Infirmary rapidly. When he knew he was alone, Jack leaned against the wall of the corridor, and rubbed one hand through his hair. “What am I going to do?” he asked himself bleakly. “I want so much more than this. I want it so much it aches.” O’Neill admitted to himself. He knew that he needed to check out the fraternization rules. Janet Fraiser wasn’t directly in his chain of command, but he was 2IC for the SGC. How did that work? Yet he knew that the spark of attraction that he felt for her had to be noticeable. The only strategy Jack could think of right now was evasion. He had to try and keep out of Janet’s way. And that was going to hurt --- because he really liked to spend time with her.
Outside in the shadows of the infirmary Daniel Jackson looked on, wondering. He had been observing his two friends for the last few moments, not wanting to disturb them. He had heard rumors about the Jack and Janet having coffee together more often than usual, but had dismissed them out of hand. Maybe, there was some truth to them. Daniel hadn’t been able to overhear the conversation, but he hadn’t seen that look on Jack’s face since the incident with the blue crystal clone from P3X-562. ‘Curiouser and curiouser.’ Daniel mused as he waited for Jack to leave. Then he grinned suddenly, his mind putting two and two together, and coming up with four. He thought for a moment, grinning to himself. Daniel had known true love with Shau’re. He saw the beginnings of that kind of loving blooming between these two special friends of his. They could find true love with each other if they tried, but Daniel knew that they would put honor and ethics first. Therefore, civilian that he was, he would be looking for opportunities to bring them together.
Daniel Jackson waited another moment, then exited the shadow, and knocked on the doorframe. “Coffee, as ordered, Madam.” Daniel said, gallantly. “Extra strong, extra large. Enough caffeine to wake up an elephant.” He placed the cup on her desk, and departed swiftly. As he walked out the door, he was already scheming. He was sure there was something he could do to help this burgeoning relationship along.