Disclaimer: Don't own, don't own. I just like to play with them for a while... Feeling kinda down, this began as a fluffy piece and ended up... well, read for yourself.

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By His Bedside.


It was amazing how little everyday things, which in the normal state of affairs would never be noticed, suddenly took on an important role when in a life or death situation. Breathing. That was one thing you never really thought about, never talked about. It was just something you did or something you didn't. If you didn't breathe then you were dead. It was as simple as that.

As Jack sat in the hard plastic chair next to the still form of his friend, he watched him breathe, watched as Daniel's chest raised then fell in a gentle, repeating monition. It was a comfort to see the chest move, in this case it was about the only indication that Daniel was even alive.

"Daniel... please wake up." Jack said softly, his warm hand grasping Daniel's pale and cold one. All Jack wanted right now was his best friend to open his eyes and give Jack that weak and slightly uncertain smile as he found out he had ended up in the care of the nurses, again.

"Colonel?" Janet said, breaking into Jack's thoughts. "Colonel, I feel it is my duty to tell you this... if Daniel doesn't wake up soon... then he will never wake up." She said, her eyes unnaturally bright. She turned and walked off, her high heels making an echoing sound which floated around the room.

**Flash Back**

"Sir! We are under attack! I repeat, we are under attack." Sam's voice, came though the radio, the urgency very real. Jack grabbed his radio.

"Understood, we'll on our way." He began to run along the path, back to the Stargate, Teal'C close behind. They had left Sam and Daniel near the gate, to have a look at some ruins while the other two scouted out the surrounding area. Jack burst out of the undergrowth and scanned the area for his 2IC. In the sky there was a death glider, firing at the building Sam and Daniel had to hiding in. In horror Jack watched as a blast hit the already unstable building. For a second there was complete silence, then the building fell in a crash of stonework and wood.

"Teal'C, get them out!" Jack yelled. Part of him wanted to help to dig out the rest of his team, but he knew Teal'C was the stronger of the two. Jack ran over the the gate and began to dial home, all the time his eyes fixed on the death glider. He fired upwards as the gate opened, trying to draw the glider's attention away from the others. As if from a distance he saw Sam and Teal'C run towards him, Daniel being carried between them.

**End Flash Back**

It's was a coma they said. He was just sleeping, unable to wake up. When the building had fallen down Daniel had flung himself over Sam to protect her.

"He looks so innocent when he sleeps doesn't he." A female voice said. Jack's head jerked up in surprise. It was night time and the only people in the infirmary had been Jack, Daniel and a nurse in the other room. Now however a girl was sitting in the chair on the other side of Daniel's bed. She was wearing a long black robe which covered all her body but her face. She had long black hair but it was her eyes that caught Jack's attention and held him. They were sparking and full of life, a laughing look that seemed to hide a deep sorrow. They were also wise, and understanding as she gazed at Jack.

After about a minute Jack blinked and tore his eyes away from hers. He didn't know why but he seemed to know the girl, as if he had seen her in a dream.

"Who are you?" He finally asked. She gave a smile, before pulling out two cups of coffee which had been hidden under her robe.

"Who do I look like?" She said, answer his question with one of her own. She passed him a cup of coffee, before drinking her own. In a daze he took it. As Jack stared at her, a tingly feeling of dread and fear rushed through him. Somehow he knew. She nodded her head.

"That's right Jack. I'm Death."

"You can't be! For a start why can I see you, death doesn't look like you and why are you drinking coffee?" Jack said, ignoring the truth in his heart.

"You can see me because I let you, how do you know what death looks like and why wouldn't I like coffee?" Death answered. She took a long sip of her coffee, her eyes closed in delight.

"I'm hurt really, that you don't remember me."

"I though Death was a skeleton... I do feel like I've seen you... but only for a second." Jack admitted, inwardly wondering why he hadn't called for help yet. Death nodded her wise head.

"You saw me for a second why you died. I was coming to take you to the Sunless Lands, before I realized you would not stay dead. The same went for the female, Sam and the Jaffa, Teal'C." Death said. She lifted her hand and slowly stroked Daniel's face.

"What about Daniel?" Jack asked. Death thoughtfully tapped out a rhythm on her leg.

"In normal cases I accompany each mortal twice in life. At birth, I speak to them and when they die, I guide them to what lies beyond their mortal years. I knew Daniel would be special when I first spoke to him." She smiled softly at the thought. Jack listened, spell bound.

"The truth is I don't know when he will die. He comes so close to it so many times that I have to visit him again and again, each time thinking this is it."

"Do you want him to die?"

"It doesn't matter what I want Jack O'Neill. The fact is I am there for everyone who dies." She said sharply.

"So why are you here?" Jack asked again. Death shrugged her shoulders.

"I was here to meet someone a few miles away. I deiced to drop in on Daniel. He is meant for great things." She smiled fondly.

"I am one of the Endless, sister to Dreams, older than time, yet rarely have come across someone like him. I don't know what happened to his survival instinct though." There was silence as Jack stared at the girl who could very well take Daniel from them when she left. For all Jack knew that could be why she was here... waiting for Daniel to die.

"How long do I have left?" Jack asked. Death gave a humorless smile.

"I can't tell you that." She paused and looked back down at Daniel's sleeping form.

"A while yet." She whispered, thought where she was talking to Jack or Daniel was a mystery.

"Do you know how old Daniel was when I first met him? After his birth I mean." She asked, startling Jack.

"It was when I collected his parents. He saw me, with them. He didn't see the shades of his parents, just me. He has seen me more than any mortal that has gone before and all that must come after." She stood up and gently placed a soft kiss on Daniel's forehead.

"It is not yet his time." She said, carefully stroking his brown hair.

"Wait!" Jack called. Death started at him, her timeless stare gazing into Jack, as if she was reading his very soul.

"I cannot give you details of what you want to know Jack O'Neill." she said sadly.

"Please... just tell me where he is. Is... is he in hell... please, they say someone who kills themselves go to hell but he didn't mean too, I swear." Jack begged, tears which had long been shed coming back full force. Death stared at him for another long second.

"Your Son was a good soul. I was sorry that what happened, happened. Rest assured that he did not go to hell."

"Thank you." Jack whispered. Death stepped away from the bed and paused, her back to him. She lifted her hood and covered her head.

"We shall met again Jack O'Neill." She said. "But only once more, only when the time is right." Jack blinked, and in the spilt second he had his eyes shut she was gone.

"Ja'k?" A weak voice rasped from the bed. Daniel was staring at him, his blue orbs watching him. His mouth was curled up in the weak and slightly uncertain smile that Jack had come to love.

"It's okay Danny... everything's going to be okay."


When all the hustle and bustle had died down, after all the tests Janet had wanted to run and after all his team mates had come to see him, Daniel had been allowed to fall asleep.

In his dreams she came to him, her eyes questioning.

"Why?" Daniel asked. Death sighed.

"He needed to understand." Was all she said before fading away.

In the real world Daniel sighed and turned over, Jack slumped by his bed, also asleep. In the shadows a black haired girl watched, her face covered in tears.

"A little while yet... but maybe not that long." She whispered, though again, if she was talking about Jack or Daniel was unclear.

~The End~

Really, that's it. Please, please leave a review!!

The Death used in this Fic is based on the Death created by Neil Gaiman in his 'The Sandman' series.