Title: The Fall
Rating: PG
Author: Mac
Disclaimers: Stargate and all related characters are property of MGM., Gekko Productions, and other people who aren't me.
As soon as Daniel stepped through the Stargate, he knew something wasn't right. The M.A.L.P. had shown no indication of fog, but that's what he saw three feet in front of him. He heard small stones falling and immediately became nervous.

Major Samantha Carter didn't notice that he had stopped and slammed right into the young civilian.

"Sam!" he cried out. She quickly caught him as he teetered near the edge of a cliff. "It's about to give away!" He watched as the M.A.L.P. dropped out of site. "We need to move!"

However, it was too late. Jack tried to stop from slamming into Sam, but the momentum from the Gate was too strong. Sam saw Daniel's eyes widened as she hit him and he disappeared into the fog.

"Daniel! Sir, we need to get out of the way!"

Jack silently cursed to himself as he tried to pull Sam out of the way. Again, it was too late. Teal'c barreled into the pair and she was gone. "Carter!"

"O'Neill, what has transpired?" Teal'c asked as he was about to step forward.

Jack pulled him back. "We're on a cliff, Teal'c. Carter and Daniel fell over."

"General Hammond, we have a problem," Jack said, explaining the situation to his commanding officer.

:::Do you need me to send another team out there?:::

"A medical team would probably be good idea, Sir. It looks like the fog is clearing."

:::Understood, Colonel. I'm sending for Doctor Frasier and her team right now:::

"Yes, Sir!" he replied. He glanced over at Teal'c. "Any luck contacting them?"

"None, O'Neill," he replied. " It looks as though the ground DanielJackson and MajorCarter were standing on gave away."

Jack moved as close to the edge as he thought was safe. "Ya think?"
Sam woke up feeling bruised and beaten. What happened? "Damn," she muttered, looking up. She couldn't tell how far she had fallen because of the dense fog. Her left arm was killing her and she could feel cracked ribs protesting whenever she moved.

However, she felt decidedly comfortable. It dawned on her that she must be lying against Daniel. She slowly got up and turned to face him. He was on his stomach, his head facing away from her.

"Daniel?" Sam didn't want to move him for fear of aggravating any possible injuries he sustained from the fall. She ran her hands over his body, feeling for broken bones without actually moving him.

:::Carter, this is O'Neill, come in. Daniel?:::

"Sir! I'm all right. Nothing Janet can't fix," she replied. "Daniel's unconscious, though. I don't think it'd be a good idea to move him."

She could hear him sigh in relief and take in a huge breath. :::Hammond's sending the Doc and some of her team out here. We'll lower her down to you so she can assess the injuries:::

"Got it, Sir."

:::How secure is that ledge you're on?:::

"Seems pretty secure, Sir. If the M.A.L.P. had landed here first instead of five feet to the left, we wouldn't be having this conversation."

Daniel moaned and opened his eyes a crack. "Sam?"

"Hey there. You had me worried for a minute. Daniel, don't move yet. Can you tell me where you're hurt?"

"Head, back, chest..."

She placed a hand on his shoulder. "Rest now. Janet will be down in a few minutes and she'll make sure we can move you."

:::Carter?!:::

"Yes, Sir. Daniel's conscious now," she told him, then relayed Daniel's condition to him.

:::That's good to hear. Stand by, Doc just arrived through the Gate:::

"You hear that, Daniel?" Sam was met by silence. She leaned over him a saw that he had lost consciousness again. "Damn it!" she cursed again.
"Colonel O'Neill, what can you tell me?"

Jack explained the situation to Dr. Frasier. "Carter hasn't moved him and he was conscious for about five minutes."

Janet nodded as Jack helped her prepare for he descent. The fog had finally cleared and they could see Sam and Daniel. It was a pretty long drop, about eight or nine feet, she'd guess.

"I'm ready when you are, Doc."

"Let's go then."

A few minutes later, she was standing in front of the other half of SG-1. "Sam, are you all right?"

"I'm fine, Janet. Just check Daniel out. I'll take care of myself."

Janet knelt next to him and checked for any signs of neck injury. She got up and walked over to the other side of him. There was a fair amount of blood on the ground. "So far so good. Was he able to move around at all when he was conscious?"

"A little. He tried to turn onto his back, but I wouldn't let him."

"Daniel," Janet said, giving his cheek a light smack. "Daniel?"

"Janet?" he mumbled.

She smiled at him. "Yeah, it's me. I'm going to check for spinal cord injuries. Can you tell me what you feel."

"Yeah."

"Okay," she said. She started with his legs, then moved up to his arms, his neck. Everything seemed to be in order. No signs of paralysis. However, she didn't want to turn him onto his back just yet.

"Colonel."

:::Go ahead, Doc:::

"Have you or Teal'c been able to find another way down here?"

:::Yeah. We're about five minutes from your current position. We also have some of your team with us:::

"That's good to hear, Sir."

Sam looked over at Janet. "Is he going to be all right?"

"Sam, you know I won't be able to determine that until we get back to Earth." At her nod, Janet knelt next to her friend. "We all know the Jackson resolve."

"We do," Sam replied. She winced when she moved too quick. He held up her right hand. "Janet, I'm fine. Just a few cracked ribs and broken arm. Just stay there with Daniel."

Janet saw that he was fighting the battle with consciousness again. "Daniel," she said as lighthearted as possible. She had a feeling that this concussion was much worse then any he's ever had. "You know the drill. No sleeping until we know for sure what your condition is."

"Hey there, Campers!" Jack exclaimed.

"Who can sleep with all that racket anyway?" Daniel asked.

Sam and Janet chuckled and Jack's expression. "Damn, we come down here to rescue your sorry ass and that's the thanks we get?"

"Colonel," Janet said. "We don't have time to massage your bruised ego. Let's get Daniel out of here."

Janet's med team set to work while Jack went over to check on Sam. "Carter, you okay?"

"I've been better," she said as he helped her up. "I hate cracked ribs."

"You and me both!"

Teal'c joined them as they watched the med team carry Daniel back up the hill. "Will DanielJackson be all right?"

Sam smiled, remembering Janet's words, "He has that Jackson resolve, Teal'c. He'll be fine!"
Two days later, they weren't sure if That Jackson resolve was going to pan out. Daniel had slipped into a coma a few hours after they had arrived back on Earth. Sam just couldn't concentrate on work at all.

Every time she wanted to go sit with Daniel, Colonel O'Neill was sitting there. She just didn't have the heart to ask him to move nor the strength to get herself a chair. She would visit for a few minutes, give Daniel a peck on the cheek, and head back to her lab.

She knew how close Daniel and the Colonel were, everyone knew. In fact, he seemed to be the only one who received condolences. 'I'm sorry about Dr. Jackson, Colonel, I know he's a good friend of yours.' and 'I hope he comes back to us, Sir.'

Sam wanted to scream. To let it all out, but she wouldn't give in. At least, not yet. Daniel would be strong for her if their positions were reversed so she was going to be strong for him.

She almost didn't hear the small voice call out. Turning around, she saw Cassie standing behind her. "Hey," she repeated.

"Cassie, when did you get here?"

"About an hour ago. General Hammond picked me up." Cassie glanced over at Daniel. "He offered for Mom cause she's taking a nap right now. How's Daniel today?"

Sam walked over with Cassie. "He's doing pretty much the same as yesterday, Cass," she replied.

"Hi, Jack," she said.

"Hey, kiddo," He replied, smiling sadly as she gave him a hug.

Sam again noticed that she was paying special attention to Jack. 'Damn it, Carter! Get over yourself! The Colonel has known Daniel much longer than you have!'

"Sam," Janet spoke up, placing a hand on her shoulder. "Come with me."

She followed her friend to her office. "What is it, Janet? I thought you were taking a nap."

"I was, but I sort of realized something while I was lying in bed and I'm sorry I didn't see it sooner."

"What's that?" Sam asked.

"How close you and Daniel really are." Before Sam could tell her they weren't involved romantically, Janet held up her hand. "I know what you're going to say. I don't mean it in that way, Sam. I mean that I know how much you care for one another. I know how much he means to you. He's like a brother to you. More so than Mark ever has been. Am I right?"

Sam nodded, holding tears in as best she could. She wasn't succeeding, though. "It's so damn hard, Janet! Everyone seems to think that Colonel O'Neill is the only who's hurting by this. No one has even bothered to ask me how I'm doing or tell me everything is going to be all right."

Janet wrapped her arms around her friend. "I am so sorry, Sam! I didn't even think. Will you please forgive me?"

"Of course I forgive you. It just..."

"Hurts," Janet finished. "I know, Sam. I wish I could pull him from the abyss. Maybe all he needs is you right now," she suggested.

Sam peered around the door frame. "And just how do you propose we peel Colonel O'Neill off that chair? If I'm going to try and get through to Daniel, I'd like to be alone with him."

Janet smiled. "Sam, you're talking to the only other person, besides General Hammond, who can scare the crap out of the men around here."
Jack watched Sam as she followed Janet into her office. He could see the fleeting moment of sadness in her eyes. She was taking this much harder than him. He was being an ass. All he'd been thinking about was how this was affecting him. How much his life would change if Daniel...

Damn it, O'Neill! Just once stop thinking of yourself!

He watched as Cassie gently took Daniel's hand into hers, placing a small kiss on it. He smiled and pulled her onto his lap. "Jack," she said, "I'm too old for this."

"Maybe. But I know you're hurting. You're holding it in. I can tell."

Cassie nodded. "Yeah. You guys are my family and every time something happens, I get scared that I'm going to be all alone."

Jack hugged her closer to him. "I know exactly what you mean, Cass. When I got back from Abydos the first time and walked into my empty house, I never knew I could feel so alone. I did, though. Sara had left me and Charlie... Charlie was gone. I suddenly missed Daniel."

He chuckled. "It was weird how much I wanted him back in my life, especially how much he annoyed me."

"Does he still annoy you?"

"Hell yes! But I wouldn't trade him for any other archaeologist in the world."

"Cassie," Janet called. "Could you come here for a minute?"

She gave Jack a peck on the cheek and ran over to her mother as Sam joined Jack. "Sir."

"Carter, I'm sorry."

"What?" she asked in confusion.

"I'm sorry for not seeing how you were doing. I'm sorry for thinking that I was the only one affected by all of this," he replied, gesturing at Daniel. "I'm so sorry."

The tears Sam was holding in finally let go and Jack took her into his arms. The pair were vaguely aware of Janet closing the curtains around them. "I knew it would be some time before Daniel woke up from his coma, but it's been two weeks. What if he never wakes up?"

"He will!" Jack replied vehemently. He sat Sam in the chair he had been occupying. "Now that you're sitting here next to him and talking to him."

"But, Sir..."

Jack held up a hand. "It's all right. I'm going to my quarters to get a nap in. Just call me if anything changes."

"I promise. Thank you, Sir."

"You're welcome, Sam."

As soon as he left them, she grabbed Daniel's hand and squeezed it gently. "Please come back to us, Daniel. We need you. I need you."
"Jack, wait up!" Cassie exclaimed, rushing after him. Janet was trailing behind her. "Want to get some dinner with us?"

He shrugged. He wasn't going to be able to sleep anyway. "Sure. I'll get Teal'c and meet you ladies there."

Teal'c, Jack found, was in the midst of Kel-no-Reem. He opened his eyes to see Jack staring at him quietly. "O'Neill," he said with a nod. "Has there been a change in DanielJackson's condition."

"Unfortunately, no, T. I'm joining Cassie and Janet in the commissary for some dinner and was wondering if you would like to join us."

"I would," Teal'c replied. "Thank you for the invitation."

They walked to the commissary in silence. When they entered, Cassie rushed over to Teal'c, giving him a hug. "Hi, Teal'c!"

"It is good to see you, CassandraFrasier."

She giggled. "It's good to see you too!" she said, taking his hand. "Come on, I grabbed the last slice of cheesecake for you. I know how much you love it!"
It was another two days before Janet saw something in the monitors that gave her hope. Sam saw it too and the friends smiled at each other and looked over at Daniel. Sam felt him squeeze her hand so she squeezed it back.

"Daniel?" she whispered, her voice thick with emotion.

"Sam?" he replied, not opening his eyes just yet. His throat felt like sand paper. He opened his mouth when he felt cold wetness on his lips. "Thanks," he said, loving the way the ice chips slide down his throat.

Daniel was finally able to open his eyes. He found himself looking into the relieved face of Samantha Carter. "Thanks," he said again.

Sam smiled. "For what, Daniel?"

"I heard you talking to me. I heard all of you talking to me. I was stuck in some really nasty cobwebs. Well, it seemed that way to me."

"Just don't tell the Colonel," Sam replied with a chuckle.

"Sam," Janet said, placing a hand on her shoulder. "Why don't you let everyone else know our wayward archaeologist is awake so I can check his vitals?"

She nodded, kissing Daniel lightly on the cheek. "Welcome back, Daniel."

"Is everyone all right?" Daniel asked as soon as Sam rushed off to tell the rest of SG-1.

"They will be once you're back on your feet," Janet replied. "I know you're going to be restless for the next few days, but you had a serious head injury."

"I know. However, I distinctly remembered my back and neck hurting badly before I lost consciousness."

Janet checked his pupils then jotted a few notes in his chart. "They were badly bruised, but healed within the two weeks you were in a coma."

Daniel stared at her. Two weeks! Two more weeks of his life down the drain. He suddenly felt very tired. He yawned for emphasis. "I think..."

Before he could finish, Jack came rushing into the infirmary, Sam and Teal'c on his heels. Sam stayed behind with Janet as the other two went to speak with Daniel. "Boys, not too long. Daniel still needs some healing to do," Janet told them.

"Gotcha, Doc," Jack said.

"Janet."

"Yes, Sam?"

She smiled. "Thank you. For everything. Not only for your life saving skills, but for being a great friend."

"Anytime." She looked around. "Where's Cassie?"

"Right here, Mom! Can I say hi to Daniel?"

Janet gave her daughter a hug. "Go right ahead, but not too long."

Sam walked over with Cassie. She chuckled at Jack's comment. He was shaking his head at Daniel. "See, what did I tell you about falling off of cliffs."

"Sure, Jack. Like I did that on purpose! I wanted to feel weightless."

"Well, sometimes you seem brainless so why stop there?"

Daniel glared at him, but Teal'c managed to calm things down by stating the same thing on everyone's mind. "We have missed you, DanielJackson. It is good to see you well again."

"Thank you, Teal'c."

Sam smiled and looked around at her friends. She never thought she would be so close to so many people. Growing up, she tended to be a loner because she was good in school and no one was interested.

But now. Now she had some real friends who knew how smart she was and loved her for it. Of course, they also knew that Sam had saved their asses before with that intelligence.

Yeah, life was good.