The following fanfiction is not intended to infringe on the copyright of MGM, Showtime, Gekko, or any other PTB. The characters, setting, and concept aren't mine, but the story is. Please don't reproduce, post, or sue without permission from the author.
Rating/Warnings: PG. Spoilers for "The Broca Divide".
Teal'c settled down beside Daniel Jackson, keeping one eye on the Untouched who surrounded Colonel O'Neill and Captain Carter and the other on the unconscious anthropologist. The ex-Jaffa could feel Daniel Jackson's glasses poking through the fabric of his shirt and resisted the urge to reach up and pat them. It would be a self-indulgent, revealing gesture, one that would show far more emotion than Teal'c had allowed anyone to see in decades. One did not survive as a Jaffa if one was given to excess sentimentality.
Daniel Jackson shifted restlessly, moaning against the pain as his muscles and bones contracted into their natural shape. The antihistamine was working, obviously, but it wasn't gentle. Teal'c placed a hand on Daniel Jackson's arm--simply to prevent him from rolling off the couch--and gave Colonel O'Neill a reassuring nod when the man glanced over to see what was wrong. Teal'c still found it odd that the colonel was so concerned with his troops. None of the Goa'uld or even the Jaffa he had served under when he was younger would have given Teal'c a second thought if he had fallen in battle.
Colonel O'Neill actually seemed to care if his people lived or died, and from what Teal'c had seen, had a particular fondness for Daniel Jackson. The look in the colonel's eyes when Teal'c had admitted to losing the anthropologist was enough to shake even a tried warrior, even with Jack still under the influence of the virus and even though Teal'c had understood that it wasn't directed at him.
Perhaps it should have been. Teal'c hadn't worked with the SG-1 team for long, but he had already noticed the way the other members of the team tended to protect Daniel Jackson. Daniel Jackson was not a warrior, even though he stepped fearlessly into battle along with the rest of the team. Teal'c had adopted the habit of looking out for the younger man but hadn't taken the responsibility as seriously as he should have until he had turned around to find Daniel Jackson missing. Teal'c had been remiss by not making sure the anthropologist was safe; as the only other member of the team present, it was his responsibility. For some reason, though, Colonel O'Neill didn't seem to blame him for the danger Daniel Jackson had been placed in.
Daniel Jackson stirred again, and Teal'c looked down at him to see if perhaps he was regaining consciousness. It would be a relief--to Colonel O'Neill and Captain Carter, of course--if he did wake up soon. Teal'c would also be glad to have such a useful member of the team back with them. Daniel Jackson frequently contributed useful information to the team's planning sessions, and his absence had distracted Colonel O'Neill and Captain Carter from any other duties.
Daniel Jackson shifted, one hand opening and closing futilely as if he was trying to grasp something that was escaping him, but his eyes didnt open. His facial structure was returning to normal. The smooth, open lines of his face had evened out into the oddly innocent expression that Teal'c was familiar with. How a man of Daniel Jackson's age--even if, by Teal'c's standards, he was nearly a child--could remain so uncorrupted by life was an amazement to the ex-Jaffa. Of course, Daniel Jackson hadn't spent his formative years in contact with the Goa'uld.
Colonel O'Neill shot another concerned glance their way, and Teal'c gave him another nod. The colonel didn't look satisfied. Teal'c had the feeling that he'd like to break way from the crowd of natives and check Daniel Jackson out for himself--he seemed to need those personal interactions with his people. Teal'c wondered idly what would have happened if his Goa'uld masters had tried such a leadership technique. Colonel O'Neill inspired a loyalty in his people--not just the SG-1 team, but also others that had served with him, like Kawalski and Ferretti--that Teal'c had never seen in his fellow Jaffa, even though they were serving their gods. Teal'c had noticed, somewhat to his surprise, that even he was beginning to feel that loyalty. It wasn't just duty or idealism that had caused him to commit himself to these people. It was also a feeling of commitment to Colonel O'Neill and to Captain Carter and Daniel Jackson, who had given him their trust with no expectations but that he not betray them.
Teal'c was more than a little uneasy with these new feelings that he was experiencing. He could not remember ever having them before--or, if he had, it was when he first became a Jaffa, before reality disillusioned him. However, he was willing to give them, and his new teammates, a chance to prove that his Jaffa training was wrong, that free individuals could band together and explore the Gateways honorably.
Now if Daniel Jackson would simply wake up and allow Colonel O'Neill and Captain Carter to return their minds to the business at hand . . .
Darkness. When he became aware, it was of darkness, and a grinding, joint-tearing pain that consumed his body. What? Where . . . am . . . I? He didn't know if he thought the words or said them, but he heard no sounds, so it must have been in his head. His brain was working so slowly he could barely string a continuous thought together. He remembered . . . a fire, a woman, Jack and Sam and Teal'c and almost trusting them, then threatpainblack.
With a huge effort of will, he opened his eyes. A big, blurry smear of color greeted him. The pain in his head was so intense that he didn't even try to squint the smear into a coherent form. He could hear something . . . Jack? He thought maybe it was, which would mean that Jack was okay, that he 'd been cured. That was nice. He could feel his eyes drifting shut and didn't fight it--maybe the darkness would soothe the pain in his head.
A weight gripped his arm, the only still thing in a spinning world, and he wanted to say thank you, but for some reason his mouth wasn't working right. That was frightening--even more so than anything that had happened so far. Even when the Touched had taken him and he'd felt the first effects of the virus taking over, he hadn't been that frightened. He'd fully expected Jack and Sam and even Teal'c to come after him with a cure just as soon as they found one. It was easier trusting Jack and Sam, given what had happened with Sha're, but Teal'c had shown his loyalty to the group, and Daniel didn't doubt he'd do whatever he could to get Daniel back. That knowledge had stayed with Daniel even when the anthropologist was least able to think, and had been the only thing that stopped him from attacking his teammates when they came for him while he was suffering from the virus. Now, though, his thoughts were clearing and the pain was abating, but he still couldn't quite get his body to work.
He could hear more clearly, though. That was definitely Jack's voice. If only he could let Jack know he was awake, Jack would be able to tell him if everything was going to be all right. With a massive effort, he found the mental connection to his mouth and forced a word out, "Jack?"
It sounded terrible to him, but apparently Jack wasn't feeling like a critic at the moment. "There's our boy."
Daniel opened his eyes--still a blur, but much better, and found that he could sit up. Somehow, once he'd found the connection to his voice, everything seemed to fall back into place. He was . . . not real sure where he was, but Jack and Sam were coming toward him with relieved looks on their faces, so it must be okay. They were both back to normal, which was a relief--not just for them, but because of what it meant for his own recovery. He felt . . . slow, like his brain had been dipped in molasses, but it was still an improvement.
"Where are we?" he asked carefully, and was happy to find that his voice worked the way he wanted it to and his head didn't fall off when he spoke.
"The light side of P3X797," Teal'c answered. Daniel squinted up at him, then took the glasses that he was holding out. That would certainly explain the blurriness.
"I thought we were going to give it a better name?" Daniel mumbled tiredly.
"He's back. He's normal," Jack said, grinning with relief.
Daniel didn't really listen to the rest of what they said to the Untouched. He was having enough trouble getting his thoughts sorted out. He was tired, filthy, and really wanted to go home. He stood and felt Jack's hand on his arm, helping him balance, and thought about asking if they were going back soon, but then decided that Jack had things under control and would get them home as soon as he could, and really didn't need a totally befuddled anthropologist muddying the waters. Jack would get them home as soon as he could.
Sam stared after the colonel, who was walking away with a satisfied smirk on his face. For a moment she wasn't sure, but then a smile broke out in spite of her desperate attempt to control it. Tank tops. Great. He'll never let me live this down. With a private chuckle, she started walking toward the Gate again.
She'd not admit it under torture, but she kind of liked the colonel's teasing. He didn't tease people he didn't like, and she knew when he included her in his group of people to pick on that she was truly part of the team. That was something of a first for her. She'd become resigned to having to fight her way through to whatever she wanted, and you didn't make many friends that way. This was the first time she was really a part of a team, a collective effort that was working together, that truly cared about each other.
It was a strange partnership. If she'd ever taken the time to think about what the ideal team would be, SG-1 wouldnt be it. Colonel O'Neill was a great leader, one she'd been truly excited about serving with, but she'd pictured Daniel Jackson as an old fogey who never made it out of the library. She'd never expected them to work so well together, or to accept her so easily. She honestly wasn't sure it had penetrated with Daniel that she was female yet, and Colonel O'Neill didn't seem to care. That little fact, one which had been such a huge issue for most of her career, had suddenly ceased to matter. All that the colonel cared about was that she do her job and not bother him with the technical details.
Teal'c was another story all together. Not that he'd ever treated her differently because she was female; he was simply different. She wasn't sure how to take him, yet, but she was beginning to trust him more and more. He had proven his loyalty today if at no other time, bringing back the blood samples Dr. Frasier had used to find the antidote.
The strange thing was, different as they all were, they worked well together. She knew all about opposites attracting, but she hadn't expected them all to interact the way they did. Even though they hadn't been together long, they'd already developed a level of trust and reliance on each other that she found . . . interesting. Good. Not something she wanted to give up any time soon.
They'd finally reached the Gate to go home. Jack, standing with a hand on Daniel's back to support the exhausted anthropologist, gave her a look that told her to dial home. Probably a good idea, given that Daniel, in his current state, was likely to land them on the wrong side of the galaxy. She gave the younger man's arm a gentle pat as she walked past, then started pressing the symbols that would take them home.
It'd been a long day. A long, damn near disastrous day, but they'd pulled through somehow. Not that Jack had doubted his team, but this was the first chance they'd all had to work together in a situation that wasn't totally an impromptu reaction to a crisis. He was proud of all of them, and intended to tell them that--tomorrow or the next day, after they'd all gotten caught up on their sleep.
Sleep. If only . . . He'd been wandering around the complex for hours now, trying to wind down enough that he could get to sleep, but every time he tried to slow down, he was hit again with the feelings of helplessness and loss of control he'd experienced when he'd contracted the virus. He had people he was responsible for, and he wasn't able to think straight enough to take care of them. It was not a feeling he wanted to repeat.
His wanderings took him into the rec room--actually, an unused room with several couches and chairs, a TV, and a pool table--and he was a little surprised to see the TV on and someone curled up on one of the couches. General Hammond had stood everyone down except the most essential personnel, and Jack had thought everyone had long since retired to any spare rooms they could find to sleep off the effects of the antihistamine or of caring for the Touched.
Closer inspection showed what Jack had half-expected in the first place: it was Daniel who'd chosen the couch as his crash point. Daniel hadn't really had time since his return from Abydos to find a place to stay. He'd been claiming one of the empty barracks rooms for the past few weeks, but those were all taken tonight as even the people who usually went to homes in the nearby town stayed over. Jack had a feeling Daniel had found the first semi-comfortable surface he could and collapsed on it without any regard for little details like shoes or covers or turning off the TV.
Luckily, the couch was longer than Daniel. Jack settled down on the free end near Daniel's head with a tired sigh, patting Daniel's shoulder when the younger man shifted restlessly. "Easy, it's just me. Go back to sleep."
Daniel mumbled something incoherent and went limp again. He looked even more battered than before, now that his bruises had had time to turn different colors. Jack winced, remembering suddenly that he was responsible for a few of those bruises. He'd not been thinking clearly at the time, but that was hardly an excuse. Daniel couldn't defend himself against Jack under the best of circumstances, what with his lack of training and his tendency to talk rather than fight in the first place, but Jack was pretty sure he hadn't even tried. Daniel hadn't seemed angry about it later, either, although he'd been pretty out of it himself by that point. Jack made a mental note to apologize when Daniel was awake enough to understand him.
Thinking back over the last day or so, now that he had the leisure to do it, Jack had to admit that he was more than impressed with his team. This was their first real trial, and they'd come together and worked with each other as if they'd been doing it for years.
Of all of them, it seemed strange that Jack had had the most confidence in Daniel. Jack had developed a lot of respect for the young anthropologist when they'd worked together on Abydos--at least, once he'd gotten over his initial "geeky scientist" impression and really got to know the man. He'd had similar hopes for Sam. Her ability to stand up to him on their first meeting had gone a long way to convincing him she was a worthwhile person to have on his team. Teal'c, though, he'd been a little concerned about. It wasn't that he'd lacked faith in the ex-Jaffa's loyalty, but he had wondered if the man would be able to take orders and work with the group. He'd taken the chance, though, and Teal'c hadn't proved him wrong.
Daniel shifted again, mumbling something Jack didn't catch, then said clearly, "Stop them, Jack, help me!"
It was an echo of his cry on Chulak--words that still rang in Jack's ears weeks later. Looking down at the younger man's drawn face, Jack had to swallow hard before he could answer. "Take it easy, Daniel. We'll find her. Go back to sleep now. It's going to be okay."
Daniel quieted, but drew his knees up to his chest protectively. Jack put his hand back on Daniel's shoulder and left it there, hoping the contact would provide some comfort. Yes, the team had done good today, but they still had a long way to go before they put everything right again.