A Traditional Stakeout by Layton Colt

Part Seven: Family Training

Daniel walked into the infirmary and sat heavily in the metal chair beside Jack's bed. "Sorry, no luck," he said sadly.

"You told her you'd watch me and make sure I followed her rules?"

Daniel nodded. "She knows us to well, Jack. I told her just like you said-- but she knew that if she released you we'd end up at O'Malley's."

"Damn."

"You're stuck here for the night."

"Well, that's just great. A WONDERFUL end to a LOVELY day," Jack yelled-- mostly just so Janet Frasier would hear him, even as she was across the room.

She looked up irritated. "Keep it down, Colonel, or I'll have to sedate you. I have other patients trying to sleep."

Jack went silent and crossed his arms. "It's because she's so small--it gave her a power complex," he whispered to Daniel.

Daniel saw a nurse cast Jack a strange glance as he spoke. "I . . . ah, I wouldn't say stuff like that. Janet has minions everywhere."

Jack turned his gaze towards the nurse, then he glared at her until she stopped what she was doing and scurried away. "I can handle the minions," he said proudly.

"You know she probably just went to get Janet, don't you?" Daniel asked.

"I can handle the doc too," Jack said brashly.

Daniel grinned.

"I can," he persisted.

"Is there a problem here?" Janet demanded as she came up to them.

Jack remained silent. Janet looked at him for a moment, before rolling her eyes and turning to Daniel. Apparently Jack was giving her the silent treatment. "Daniel?" she prompted.

"No, Janet, we're fine, thanks." Then he threw in his sweetest smile for good measure.

Janet visibly melted. "Alright then. Keep an eye on him for me, would you, Daniel? And you," she said turning to Jack, "Stop scaring my nurses."

Daniel smiled at Jack. "And THAT is how you handle Janet."

"Show off," he said grumpily.

"Come on, Jack. Lighten up. Everything worked out."

Jack turned to glare at him. "For you. I'm stuck here all night."

"I'll stay with you," Daniel offered.

"You don't have too," Jack said. And then he gave him an assessing glance, "And if you're still playing the part of Daniel Michaels pain in the ass extraordinaire, I'm not sure I want you too."

"I was just putting myself in character," Daniel said.

"You did a damn fine job. Could have got an Oscar for that performance."

"Well I guess your acting ability rubbed off on me too," Daniel said.

"What are you talking about?"

"Nothing, it doesn't matter. I'm sorry if I annoyed the hell out of you, but that was kind of the point."

"What point?"

"Look, I don't think either of us were too happy about this assignment. I didn't think we should dwell on the parts we were playing so much. So, I put my sarcasm to full use, and kept you mad at me so you wouldn't think too hard about what we were doing."

"What?" Jack asked incredulously.

Daniel didn't respond. He leaned back in the chair.

"You mean to tell me you were pissing me off every chance you got to make me feel BETTER?"

"Unorthodox," Daniel grinned. "But it worked."

Jack shook his head in disbelief. "Yea, it worked. A little too well. I signed you up for extra training, you know."

Daniel's grin faltered. "What?" he demanded.

"I thought you needed it."

"Extra training! Jack!"

"It's only a two week course," Jack said reassuringly.

"TWO WEEKS!"

"Calm down, Daniel. You had it coming and you know it."

"EXTRA training? Isn't all the times I've gone into battle enough?"

"Daniel, I'm sorry. Don't worry, I'll be your instructor, and I'll go easy on you."

"YOU?"

"Who else?"

"Anyone. ANYONE else but you, Jack."

"It won't be so bad. We may have fun. We'll think of it as a camping trip. You wanted a family trip."

"Goodbye, Jack," Daniel said.

"Daniel, wait. Don't go yet . . ."

"GOODBYE, Jack," Daniel called again as he entered the hallway. "Enjoy your night! Don't let the nurses bite!"

"Daniel! Come on! I'm sorry! Don't leave me here!"

The End.