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Never Leave Your Wingman Chapter 3/11

Jack’s feet hit the ramp just as Daniel stumbled in front of him.  He reached out and grabbed his teammate’s elbow, steadying him.  Daniel’s head was down, the fingers of one hand pressed against his forehead.
 
“Hey, you okay?”
 
“Yeah.  Headache just spiked.  It’s better now.”  He raised his head, eyes squinting against the obvious pain.
 
“Is there a problem, Doctor Jackson?” Hammond’s voice called from the base of the ramp.
 
Jack kept his hand on Daniel’s elbow, guiding him to the end of the ramp.  “Drank his juice too fast, sir.”
 
Daniel wrenched his arm free of Jack’s hold.  “I’m fine, General.  Just a bit of a headache.”
 
“Juice?”
 
“A drink we shared with the inhabitants of the planet,” Carter explained. 
 
“I thought the planet was uninhabited?”
 
“So did we,” Jack snarked. “Chalk up another one for MALP dependability.”
 
Ignoring the comment, Hammond asked, “What about the rest of you—anyone else not feeling well?”
 
“I’m fine, sir,” Carter replied.
 
“I am well, General Hammond.” 
 
“Fit as a fiddle, sir.” 
 
“We’ll let Doctor Fraiser have the last word on that. All of you report to the infirmary.  We’ll debrief in one hour.”
 
“Yes, sir,” Jack said, smiling.  “You heard the general, last one to the infirmary buys lunch.”
 
~oOo~
 
“Well, I can’t find anything out of the ordinary, Daniel.”  Janet Fraiser rechecked her notes as she stood by the archaeologist’s bed. 
 
“Then can I go?  My headache’s all but gone.”
 
“I see no reason to keep you.”  She tapped her pen on her chin as though trying to think of a reason to do just that.
 
“So, no juice hangover then?” Jack asked as he stood next to Janet, looking over her shoulder at her notes. 
 
Daniel shot him a glare as he slid off the bed and buttoned his shirt.  “It was probably just something in the air.”
 
“Has your antihistamine been working for you?” Janet asked. 
 
“It’s working fine; I haven’t had any problems.”
 
“Well, all your tests look normal, so you’re free to go.  If you have any more problems with headaches or anything else, let me know, okay?”
 
“Sure thing, Janet.”  Daniel pushed past the petite doctor and headed for the door. 
 
“Don’t forget we have a briefing in ten minutes,” Jack called.
 
Daniel lifted a hand and waved it in acknowledgment without looking back as he exited the infirmary.
 
So much for smoothing things over, Jack sighed.
 
~oOo~
 
“So, in return for finding a way to reverse what Nirrti did to them, they’re willing to let us have naquadah?”
 
“Yes, sir.  At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what they said.” 
 
Pretty sure?”
 
“Uh, well, my memory of exactly what they said is a bit… fuzzy.”
 
Hammond narrowed his eyes at Jack.
 
“Major?” He turned to Carter, whose memory was usually—ok, almost always—more reliable than Jack’s.
 
Carter squirmed in her seat and flashed a nervous smile.  “I, uh, I can’t remember the details myself, sir.  I’m sorry.”
 
All eyes turned to Teal’c; the man had a memory like a steel trap.  “I regret that I also cannot remember the specifics of their request, General Hammond.  I find this lapse most disturbing.”
 
Hammond’s face was turning a nice shade of red as he focused on the only member of the team who hadn’t spoken.  “Doctor Jackson, can you shed any light on the situation?”
 
Daniel sat staring at the table as though he hadn’t heard a word of the conversation. 
 
“Daniel.”  Jack attempted to get his attention but he continued staring.  “Hey!  Snap out of it!” he said more forcefully.
 
Daniel’s head came up slowly, his eyes meeting Jack’s.  “I’m sorry, did you say something?”
 
“Oh, for—”
 
“Doctor Jackson, are you feeling all right?” Hammond’s anger receded, concern taking its place. 
 
“I’m fine, sir.  What was the question?”
 
Jack didn’t know what was up with his friend, but this was definitely not his normal behavior.
 
“None of your teammates seem to be able to remember specifically what the people on PK2-767 were willing to offer in exchange for a ‘cure,’ for want of a better word,” Hammond reiterated. 
 
“Oh, well, they offered us… uh… naquadah.”
 
“You don’t sound very sure about that,” the general stated. 
 
Daniel looked across at Jack, his forehead creased in thought.  “That’s what they said, didn’t they?”
 
This just got better and better.  “Sir, something’s fishy about this whole thing.  Why can’t any of us remember what they said?  Even Teal’c can’t remember—you’ve got to admit, that’s a first.  I just don’t feel comfortable dealing with these people.”
 
“Jack, they did nothing that was threatening; they were very hospitable to us.”
 
“Weren’t you listening?  They said they were barely able to control themselves; if we’d stayed much longer, who knows what would have happened?”
 
“They asked for our help—I don’t think they’d risk hurting someone who might be able to solve their problem.”
 
“Daniel, they were experimented on by Nirrti.  She didn’t just give them wings and gargoyle faces, she made them so hard to control that even she gave up trying.  We’d be crazy to send teams there to mine for naquadah.”
 
“Jack—”
 
“That’s enough, people.”  Hammond’s voice was firm and commanded attention.  “I’ll present this to my superiors, but I’m going to recommend we forgo any contact with these people for the time being.  I agree that we could be putting our personnel at an unacceptable level of risk if we send them there.”
 
“General—”
 
“I’m sorry, Doctor Jackson.  If the Pentagon decides in favor of continuing contact, SG-1 will be the first to know.  I’ll expect your reports on my desk first thing in the morning.  Dismissed.” 
 
Hammond got up and returned to his office, closing the door; the message was clear.  Daniel had returned to staring at the table and it was beginning to annoy Jack.  He got up and walked around to his friend, giving him a slap on the back.  “Better luck next time, Daniel.”
 
Jack was totally unprepared for the reaction that followed.  Daniel jumped up, sending his chair flying backwards.  Carter and Teal’c froze where they stood, staring at their teammate.
 
“This isn’t over,” Daniel spat before he strode to the door and disappeared down the corridor. 
 
“What was that about?” Carter finally managed to say. 
 
“His behavior has been most unusual since our return,” Teal’c noted.
 
“Yeah, something’s definitely off with the good Doctor,” Jack agreed.  “Best we find out what it is.”
 
“Do you want me to go—”
 
“No, I’ll go talk to him.” Jack cut her off and sighed.
 
“Let us know if we can help, sir.”
 
“Don’t worry, Carter; I’ll keep you posted.”
 
~oOo~
 
Jack took his time making his way to Daniel’s office.  He hoped to give his friend a few minutes to cool off before confronting him about whatever was bugging him.
 
He stopped at Daniel's door and peeked inside. Daniel sat at his desk, already engrossed in something on his computer.  Jack lifted a hand, intending to rap on the door frame, and was surprised when Daniel said, “Not now,” without even looking up.
 
Jack sauntered into the room until he was standing at the corner of the cluttered desk.  “Aw, c’mon; is that any way to talk to your best friend?”
 
Daniel turned his head to look at Jack over the top of his glasses.  “Sure you don’t have me confused with someone else?”
 
Ouch.  That hurt.  “Look, we may have the occasional disagreement, but that shouldn’t affect our friendship.”
 
“Occasional?  I think you need to look that up in the dictionary.  You know, that big, thick book collecting dust on your bookshelf?”  He turned back to his computer screen.
 
Jack sighed.  Maybe he should have let Carter do this after all.  Nope—it was up to him to fix this.  “I know it seems like we’ve been butting heads more than usual, and I’m sorry.”  Wow, he’d said it twice in one day—new record.  “But I’ve never known you to hold a grudge or let it affect you so much.  You were totally zoned out in the briefing and I was just concerned.”
 
Daniel looked up at Jack again, forehead wrinkling in confusion.  “What do you mean, ‘zoned out’?”
 
“As in, you didn’t hear a thing Hammond or the rest of us had been saying; you were staring at the table most of the time.”
 
“I was?”
 
Jack’s concern shifted gears, from worrying about Daniel being mad at him to worrying about his general state of mind.  “I’d guess for at least ten minutes.  Wanna tell me what’s bothering you?”
 
“I don’t remember doing that.”  Daniel looked down at his desk, obviously thinking it over, then turned back to Jack.  “And there’s nothing bothering me.  I had a headache when we came back, but it’s gone now.  I feel fine, really.”
 
Daniel seemed sincere enough but Jack wasn’t sure where to go from here.  “Okay, let’s just chalk it up to stress from the mission.  If you have any more headaches, or anything is bothering you, come tell me, okay?”
 
“Yeah, sure.  But really, I’m fine.”
 
“Okay.  How about dinner later?  With Carter and Teal’c?”
 
“Sure, sounds good.”
 
“Later, then,” Jack said as he headed for the door.  He hoped that was the end of it, but a little voice in the back of his mind was saying, don’t count on it.
 
~oOo~
 
Dinner had been as normal as ever.  Daniel had been a bit less talkative but his mood seemed to have improved.  They’d said their goodnights and gone their separate ways.
 
After a pretty good night’s sleep, Jack was back at the mountain.  He stopped for coffee and a Danish in the commissary where he found Teal’c finishing off his own breakfast.  Going in search of the other half of his team, his first stop was Carter’s lab.
 
“Morning, Major. How’s it goin’?”
 
“Morning, sir.  Just finishing a summary of the preliminary findings on this piece that SG-11 brought back.  It’s really fascinating; you see—”
 
“Carter, have you ever come across a piece of technology that wasn’t fascinating?”
 
“Uh… not that I can think of.”
 
“Why don’t you save the explanation for the report.  You know how much I enjoy reading those.”
 
She gave him an amused smile.  “Yes, sir.”
 
Colonel O’Neill to the briefing room.  Colonel O’Neill to the briefing room.  
 
“Oy.”
 
“Wonder what that’s about?” Carter asked.
 
“No idea.  Carry on with your summarizing, Major,” he said walking to the doorway.
 
“Yes, sir.”
 
~oOo~

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
eilidh17
May. 9th, 2012 07:16 am (UTC)
*cough*... and where is the rest of this story, hmmmm? Just when I was about to rec it!

;)
immerrda
May. 9th, 2012 08:09 am (UTC)
Where's the Rest
This story really drew me in only to discover to my great disappointment that there are only three chapters. Where is the rest of the story? Is there a rest of the story. I would reallylike to read it! Hoping to here from you with more of this great story. Please?
dennydj
May. 10th, 2012 01:17 am (UTC)
Re: Where's the Rest
I'll try to get the others up soon. Sorry I forgot to finish posting it!
immerrda
May. 10th, 2012 08:02 am (UTC)
Oh, I sure hope so. I would like to friend you
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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