TITLE: Average, Everyday
ARCHIVE: Sure, knock yourself out. Just let me know where to find it.
FEEDBACK: Please. Good or bad, bring it on. Here, or by email. : )
CATEGORY: Action… wee bit 'o humour
SPOILERS: Ummm… none really
RATING: Gen, dammit! Gen!
SUMMARY: Daniel Jackson… night-time ninja
THANKS TO: Pettygrew, as always, for the beta and for the helpful hints… and will you quit it with the slash suggestions! Sheesh! grin Not that I mind slash. In fact… no! No. Must… write… gen!
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This fic was inspired by Michael Shank's story at GateCon. When asked for some insight into the show, something we fans don't know, he said (and I quote)… "Daniel's actually a night-time ninja. He fights crime in the streets of Colorado Springs… When everyone thinks he's up late studying stuff, he's actually fighting crime on the streets… There's a little tidbit for you fan fiction writers."
- - - - -
Daniel Jackson stepped out of the dojo and into the chill night air of Colorado Springs. He rolled his neck and then his shoulders. Training tonight had been tough but invigorating. He'd been apprehensive about joining the group, but every lesson seemed to reinforce his confidence. It was a great atmosphere with a dedicated and caring sensei. He slung the cloth-wrapped bokken, or wooden sword, over his shoulder and stepped away from the building. He'd been kept late doing some translations at work, and almost missed the class. As a result, he had to park some distance from the dojo.
As he walked back to his car, he ran through the day's lessons in his mind. They'd been using the staff or 'jo' today for the last half of the lesson. He'd been stuck on the kaeshi tsuki. He ran over the steps as he walked, muttering under his breath. "Opponent thrusts. You counter. Start with left posture, like the first jo suburi. Hold the top of the jo with your right hand, thumb downwards. Bring the jo up in a circular motion and move to your left with your left foot. Bring your right foot around to remain in hidari hanmi. As you move, thrust the jo forwards to your opponent's center, your left hand on top of the jo. Expel your breath explosively as the thrust is performed." Daniel shook his head. More than hand-eye coordination, he needed hand-eye-feet-weapon-opponent coordination. It had been a difficult lesson. He started to run through it again, mimicking his sensei's voice.
Daniel's thoughts were abruptly cut off at the sound of a muffled scream from down the street. He dropped the cloth-covered bokken off his shoulder and into his hand as he started jogging toward the source of the sound.
It didn't take long to find the woman. She was unsuccessfully trying to fend off three attackers who were attempting to get close enough to grab her. So far, her flailing arms and handbag had kept them at a distance, but Daniel could tell that they were simply playing with her and their patience was rapidly coming to an end.
"Hey!" He yelled, without pausing to think of the possible consequences. He toyed with the wrappings on the bokken as the men swung to look at him. "I've already called the police." He hadn't of course. His phone was in his car. He'd remembered his pager and had some spectacular bruises on his hip from landing on it during throw practices, but not the phone.
The lead thug was not intimidated. "Then we better make this quick, huh?" He grabbed the woman as his friends went toward Daniel. She yelled out and struck his face with her fist, but he was undeterred.
Daniel took a big breath as the other two headed his way. He freed the bokken from its wrapping and held it up in front of him. The thugs took one look at the wooden sword and laughed.
"What's this?" One nudged the other with his elbow. "We got us a ninja. Oooo… scary."
The other lifted one foot and hopped around in the parody of a crane stance. "It's the karate kid. Wax on, wax off." They burst out laughing and made little 'heeeaw' noises while doing exaggerated chops with their hands.
"It's Aikido, actually." Daniel tried to keep his voice level and his nerves under control. This was nothing like the dojo. No sensei here to give him encouragement and help him up. This was very, very serious.
Abruptly, the two thugs stopped laughing. One pulled out a knife. "Aikido, huh?" He drew the word out mockingly. "Well, karate kid, this is "Ai-kill-you." The other thug chortled and at some unseen signal, they rushed Daniel.
Daniel stepped swiftly to the side, turning and pivoting. The bokken swept down, impacting knife-thug's arm and producing a howl of outrage. The knife dropped to the ground as Daniel spun and slammed the full length of the bokken against the other man's chest. The bokken, being a wooden sword, had no cutting blade but it could still hurt. The second man stumbled back, arms wrapped around his chest. Daniel pressed his advantage, making a feint at the first thug, who was still eyeing his fallen knife.
Like many street predators, the men decided that the prize was not worth the fight, and they smacked each other on the shoulder and ran. Daniel's bokken dipped slightly with relief.
It was short-lived.
Daniel lurched forward as intense pain shot through his head. Using his distraction, the third thug had snuck up behind him and cracked him across the back of the head with a piece of discarded lumber. Daniel's only saving grace was that the wood was old and punky. It hurt, but instead of cracking his skull, the wood splintered and broke in two.
Still, it was enough to throw Daniel forward, dropping him to his knees. His glasses went flying The bokken slipped from suddenly nerveless fingers. Daniel looked up, breathing harshly. He could feel blood starting to run through his hair and down his face.
Thug Three grabbed him from behind as Daniel got to his feet. He gripped Daniel's right wrist, while his other arm curved around the archaeologist's throat.
As his air was cut off, Daniel's mind went into over-drive. Ushiro Tekubitori Kubishime. Defence when attacked from behind. Daniel dropped his weight forward, taking his opponent by surprise. As the thug momentarily lost his grip, Daniel restrained hand came up. He grabbed the other man's wrist and turned, like a dance step. He forced the man's arm up over his head and back, now pushing the man off balance again. Daniel dropped his weight forward, still restraining the man's wrist behind his head. The thug's balance was now completely thrown and he dropped flat onto his back, knocking the wind out of him.
Daniel skidded a step sideways, grabbing the bokken and returning to a ready stance. He was trembling with the effort, but managed to control it long enough for the other man's nerve to break.
"What the hell are you?" The man spat. "A damn ninja?" The attacker rolled sideways and scrambled to all fours. He was on his feet and running even as Daniel was calling out "Aikido" after him.
Left alone, Daniel let out a long breath and then looked around. It might not be exactly the most honourable thing, but he let his bokken droop and switched his grip, using the wooden sword as a cane.
"Miss?" He hobbled to the alleyway. "Miss, are you alright?"
He turned at the sound of sirens. Two police cars skidded to a halt. Before he could say another word, four guns were pointed at him.
"Drop the weapon. Hands over your head."
- - - - -
Jack rushed into the police station, wide-eyed and more than a little grumpy. He'd been settled in at home watching the game, when he'd received a call from a sheepish sounding archaeologist asking for a lift home from the police station.
He made his way to the reception desk.
"Can I help you?" The bored looking young woman behind the desk looked over the rims of her glasses at him.
"I'm here to pick up someone."
She waved him to the side, over to the booking department.
Jack ran his fingers through his hair and gritted his teeth, making his way to Booking.
"Yes?" Another bored looking person, this time a man.
"Jack O'Neill. I'm here to pick up someone."
"His? Oh, Daniel Jackson."
"Jackson?" The clerk looked around for a file. "Jackson."
An officer filling out paperwork nearby looked up. "Jackson?"
"The clerk turned. "Yeah, he's here for a Donald-"
"Daniel." Jack corrected.
"Sorry. Daniel Jackson."
"Jackson." The officer got to his feet. "Yeah, that's the kid we brought in."
"Oh for crying out loud." Jack muttered sotto voce. Daniel hadn't mentioned anything about being 'brought in'.
The officer continued speaking to his co-worker. "The ninja in room three."
Jack's head snapped up. "What?"
The officer… 'Officer Franklin' according to his name tag… shrugged. "Kid did good. Beat off three jerks attacking a woman down on Forty-First. We caught 'em fleeing the scene. Kid was still standing when we got there. Doc's with him now. Punks were blabbing on about him being some kinda ninja."
Jack shook his head and pointed to the paperwork, turning back to the bored clerk. "Uh… Hello. I'm here for Daniel Jackson? Archaeologist? Scientist?" He let the unspoken 'geek' hang in the air.
Officer Franklin handed him a clear plastic bag containing a pair of glasses and a pager. "Come on, I'll show you the way." Jack turned over the battered spectacles in his hand, noting the scratches on the lenses and a faint smear of blood.
"I think you better do that." He fell in step behind Franklin.
- - - - -
Daniel kept his head down as the doctor worked efficiently on the cuts on his head. He grimaced now and again, but the man was gentle.
"You're certainly lucky, Doctor Jackson."
"Yes, so I've been told." He responded quietly. His headache was getting worse.
"Doesn't look like anything will need stitches. I've cleaned it up and put some band-aids where I could. Watch that one scratch behind your ear, and I'd like you to stay with someone tonight. The blow to the head shouldn't be ignored."
"How is the woman?"
The doctor gripped Daniel's shoulder for a second. "You got there in time. She's a little bruised, but she's safe. She's already ID'd her attackers. We'll have you come back tomorrow to finish your statement and answer some questions."
Daniel nodded wearily. As he opened his mouth to say something more, the door opened. Eyes still on the ground, he quickly identified Officer Franklin's worn leather shoes. He frowned at the second pair of boots.
"Hey, Ninja, your ride's here." As the doctor finished his work, Daniel risked a look up. Jack was mouthing the word 'ninja' over Franklin's shoulder.
Daniel blushed but explained. "Aikido, actually."
"Whatever. You did good, kid." Franklin looked up at the doctor. "He gonna live?"
The doctor nodded as he peeled off his gloves. "Bruised and no doubt sore. I want someone to stay with him tonight."
Jack held out his arms and said "Taadaa".
Franklin nodded. "So Mister…"
"Colonel." Daniel corrected.
"Colonel O'Neill, here is taking him home." He turned back to Jack. "We need him back in the morning to finish the reports."
"Roger, wilco." Jack said, hands in his pockets. His dry tone belied the concerned look in his eyes.
Franklin turned back to Daniel. "Alright, Mister-"
"Doctor." Jack corrected.
"Doctor Jackson, get some rest." Franklin held out his hand. "What you did was pretty stupid, but brave. Wish we had more folks like you around. The lady wanted me to make sure you knew how grateful she was."
Daniel shook his hand, looking surprised. "I was just there."
Franklin nodded with a smile. The doctor squeezed Daniel's shoulder as he left. They closed the door behind them, allowing Daniel a moment to get his feet under him.
"So…" Jack started. Daniel closed his eyes and sighed.
"Aikido, Jack. I started taking it about four months ago."
"So, all those times you told us you were out late studying stuff?"
"I was studying…" Daniel looked around, eyes never quite meeting Jack's. "Studying Aikido."
"And the whole ninja thing?"
"I did a basic cut attack and block. I was a little surprised that I pulled off the Ushiro Tekubitori Kubishime but when you are being choked, I guess you have to…" He trailed up and risked a look at Jack's face.
Jack's mouth twitched. "Choked."
Daniel hastened to explain. "It wasn't that bad. Once I'd disarmed the one with the knife, it was pretty safe. It was just…" Daniel trailed off again, realising that he wasn't making anything better.
"Knife." Jack's voice was exaggeratedly mild.
"Anyway, I think I'd just like to go home now."
Jack considered him for a couple more seconds until Daniel's gaze dropped to the floor. He wasn't mad at Daniel, not by a long shot. It was the ridiculous risks the man took at times.
"Let's go. Spare bedroom's ready." Jack held up a finger as Daniel's mouth opened. "Ah! No, I am not driving you back to your car tonight." Daniel tried again. "And no, I am not driving you home." Jack gestured to the dried blood still making trails down the sides of Daniel's face and staining his shirt collar. "You need a keeper." Daniel frowned and Jack hastened to retract his words. "Company. You need company."
Daniel sighed and levered himself to his feet. He reached out and took the bokken from beside the door. One of the officers had retrieved the cloth covering. It was dirty now, but intact. Jack gripped his elbow as he swayed a little on his feet.
Daniel nodded and obediently trotted, head down, behind Jack as they made their way out of the police station. As they were just about at the door, a woman's voice called out to them.
"Wait!" The two men turned. A small woman with a smudged, bruised face hurried up to them. "It's you." She threw her arms around Daniel. "Thank God. Thank you." Daniel patted her awkwardly as she held him tightly.
"You the one who saved my wife?" A large man came up beside Jack. Daniel blushed a little and looked down.
"I was just there."
The man held out his hand and shook Daniel's gratefully as his wife finally released the archaeologist. Daniel tried to keep up, but their gratitude was overwhelming him. Finally, the other man steered his wife away from Jack and Daniel.
Jack let Daniel totter down the stairs before following.
"He's not a ninja, is he?" The husband asked.
Jack watched Daniel as he slowly descended the stairs, wincing. The linguist was going to be sore for days. He shook his head.
"No. Not a ninja." He smiled at the couple. "Just your average, everyday hero." He gave them a nod and then bounded down the stairs after Daniel. He clasped the back of Daniel's neck lightly for a moment, giving the archaeologist a brief smile, before pointing the way to the car.
[Note: and by the way, I watched 'Forever in a Day' today. One of the swords hanging on Daniel's apartment wall is a type of bokken.]