Since the team was on stand down for the time being, unless they were needed to temporarily join another SG team on a mission, Sam figured it wouldn't be a big deal if she hung around Jack's place for awhile. She was still worried about him and wanted to stick around, even though she was sure Daniel would be able to care for him. While Jack showered and dressed, Sam told Teal'c she'd be back and left to shower and change at her place.
Returning to Jack's afterward, Sam was a bit disconcerted to find that Daniel's car wasn't parked outside. With furrowed brows she knocked once before tentatively letting herself in. "Hello?"
"In here," The voice was low and raspy from disuse; definetly Jack's.
Sam headed into the living room, the direction Jack's voice was coming from. She found him resting on the recliner with his leg carefully propped up like usual. Instead of the sweats he'd been in earlier, the Colonel now wore a different pair, the knee brace secure over his pant leg, bandaging beneath. He had on a black Air Force t-shirt, and Sam noticed he hadn't bothered to shave. She kind of liked a little scruff on his face.
"Colonel," Sam smiled, though her brows were knit together in confusion. "Where's Daniel and Teal'c?"
"Daniel's taking Teal'c back to base. Got a call from Hammond saying Bra'tac was tryin' to contact him," Jack answered quietly.
"Some kind of trouble?" Sam asked, suddenly a bit worried.
"Nah," Jack waved a hand dismissively. "Just somethin' about meeting up with old friends," he gave a half shrug.
"Oh," Sam shrugged it off as the Colonel had. Her eyes were fixed on Jack with uncertainty. "Daniel just left you by yourself?"
"Yeh, I'm okay. I told him I'd be fine." Again Jack shrugged with indifference. He obviously didn't seem to mind being left to his own devices. "Besides, he's just droppin' Teal'c off. He'll be right back."
"You sound a little tired," Sam noticed, unintentionally voicing her thoughts. "Sir," she added hastily.
"Hn," Jack just grunted softly, not willing to acknowledge the fact that he'd worn himself out bathing and getting himself dressed. He'd firmly insisted Daniel atleast let him do that on his own.
"Why don't you get some rest Colonel," Sam suggested gently with a comforting smile. She patted his hand gently. "I'll be right here,"
"Okay," he murmured sleepily after a moment, succumbing to the pull of sleep as his consciousness failed him.
Sam was still sitting in the living room with Jack when Daniel returned. She looked up as the archaeologist hurried through the door and stumbled down the few steps into the lounge. "Easy Daniel, what's the rush?"
"Sam!" Daniel exclaimed somewhat breathlessly with surprise. His gaze shifted to the recliner. "Is Jack okay?"
"He's fine, just resting," Sam assured him with a comforting smile.
"I'm glad you came back, I didn't realize I'd be gone so long. To tell you the truth, I was really worried about leaving Jack on his own," Daniel smiled uneasily, crossing his arms. "Uh, how long have you been here?"
"Um, just a little over an hour," Sam answered after checking her watch.
Daniel's eyes shifted between Jack and Sam. He still seemed worried as though he was missing something. "Was Jack okay when you got here?"
"Mm-hm," Sam nodded reassuringly. "The Colonel was fine, but he sounded a little tired so I told him he should rest,"
Realizing the time, Daniel's eyes widened and he dropped his arms at his sides. "Oh, he needs to take his afternoon pills," he exclaimed suddenly, searching for the 'bag of goodies' from Janet. "I better wake him up," Daniel frowned suddenly, not wanting to wake Jack while he was sleeping so soundly for once.
Sam just nodded before retreating toward the kitchen. "I'll get the Colonel a glass of water,"
Daniel released a faint sigh, smiling thankfully as he prepared to wake his sleeping friend. With a look of determination across his face, he gently nudged Jack's shoulder in an attempt to rouse him. "Jack," Not receiving a response, Daniel nudged him again, then called out a bit firmer this time. "Jack, wake up."
"Mm," Jack's head shifted to the side as he grunted in response. When his eyes slowly fluttered open, in took a moment before the face he was looking at wasn't fuzzy and blurred. "What?" he murmured before yawning and blinking several times.
"You gotta take your pills Jack," Daniel told him with a faint smile.
Taking in a slow, steady breath, Jack fumbled to reach the lever on the side of the recliner so he could sit up.
"Hang on a sec," Daniel warned, waving off the Colonel's movements as he realized what his friend was trying to do. "Let me just stuff a few pillows behind you. If you bring the back of the chair up it will make your legs go down too. And I don't think you want that,"
Jack paused for a second, a blank look across his face before he slowly shook his head. "Yeh, forgot. Don't want that," His mind was still a little befuddled from sleep and the drugs he was already on. Grimacing, he belatedly realized how much his leg was throbbing. Come to think of it, his head didn't feel too great either. "Where's Carter?" he asked suddenly with slight confusion.
Daniel opened his mouth to speak, but by then Sam was already answering as she returned to the living room with a glass of water.
"I'm right here Sir," she said with a kind smile, handing him the water while Daniel held out the propper pills.
Closing his eyes, Jack swallowed the pills before holding out the glass so it could be taken from him. He leaned his head back with a groan while his right hand unconsciously massaged his right leg above the knee brace.
Noticing his friend's discomfort, Daniel stepped in, laying a hand on the man's shoulder. "Jack, you okay?"
"Just peachy Danny," Jack grunted through gritted teeth. His eyes were still firmly clamped shut.
"Colonel?" Sam's voice was soft and uneasy, urging him to let on with the truth.
"Knee's throbbing," he admitted finally with a groan, opening his eyes marginally. "Bad," Jack groaned again while his skull pounded. "Headache too."
Brows knit together in concern, Sam sidled up beside the recliner, perching herself on the armrest. She reached for his shoulder and pulled him forward slightly, gesturing for Jack to tilt his head down. Sam then examined the healing scar on the back of his head where Janet had removed the staples a few days earlier. Her fingers gently examined the back of the Colonel's skull where the damage had been. "There's no redness or bruising that I can tell," Sam paused, then allowed Jack to relax, resting back against the pillows once more. "Is there pain where the cut was?"
"No," Jack murmured, eyes still closed. "Just hurts in general," He groaned, bringing up both hands to rub at his temples.
"Hm," Daniel watched Jack pensively. "Well, it does take awhile to get over a concussion, and he did have a particularly bad one."
Sam eyed the Colonel worriedly while he groaned again. She found herself chewing at her lower lip. "Maybe we should get him back to the SGC to see Janet,"
"C'mon, I'm fine," Jack complained, though his expression said otherwise. "I just got out of the infirmary for cryin' out loud,"
Daniel sighed. "We know that Jack, but if there's something wrong you don't want to make things worse by putting it off. Might as well let Janet take a look at you and get it over with."
"Well tell the Doc to come here then, 'cuz I ain't movin'," Jack grumbled, moving one hand to rub the spot above his knee again, the other remaining at his temple.
Sam nodded and got up, leaving to retrieve the phone. "Okay then, I'm calling Janet,"
Jack groaned in protest, but that was all he managed to do. The pills weren't working quick enough and he was in alot of pain.
Dr. Fraiser arrived shortly with her medical bag, well-prepared to examine Colonel O'Neill. Daniel welcomed her inside, and after greeting eachother in kind, Janet was led to the living area where the Colonel rested with Sam close by. She worriedly gazed at her patient as he lazily turned his head in her direction. "How are you feeling Sir? You're looking a little pale,"
"Thanks Doc, nice to see you too," Jack quipped softly, grimacing slightly afterwards. He put a hand to his forehead and groaned. "Oy,"
"Janet, he said his head's bothering him, as well as his leg," Sam supplied, seeing as her CO didn't appear capable of responding for the moment.
"Any nausea, dizziness?" Janet asked gently with concern.
Jack released a soft sigh, closing his eyes in thought. "Mm...a little,"
Brows furrowed, Sam turned to Janet. "Lingering effects from the head injury?"
The doctor nodded affirmatively with a grim smile. "I'm afraid so," She began digging around in her medical bag, soon producing a liquid-filled syringe. "I'm going to give you something for that Colonel,"
"Okay," Jack murmured weakly, eyelids fluttering. "Make it quick Doc,"
Janet smiled gently as the Colonel held out his right arm, and after sterylizing the underside of his elbow, she injected the drug into his vein.
Sam and Daniel both shot alarmed looks toward Dr. Fraiser as Jack's eyes closed and his head slumped to one side, body going limp.
"It's alright," Janet smiled reassuringly. "The extra few hours sleep should do him good."
Much to Daniel's surprise, Sam stayed even after Janet made her leave and they knew Jack was alright. The doctor had left them with some stronger painkillers and a few sedatives, as well as a promise to return in the morning to check up on the Colonel. Jack continued to sleep on while Daniel and Sam made themselves comfortable, prepared for a long haul looking after their friend.
It was hours later and Sam and Daniel had both settled to play a game of chess, sitting on the floor on either side of the coffee table in front of the couch. Sam was just about to claim 'check' when Jack sat up suddenly and began yelling something incomprehensible, startling the two chess players.
Scrambling to her feet, Sam carefully moved beside the recliner, followed by a hesitant Daniel.
"He's dreaming," Daniel said softly, as if there was a need to clarify what was going on with the Colonel. "Jack's not quite awake, be careful," he warned, raising a hand slightly in gesture for Sam to go slow.
Jack's chest heaved with heavy breaths before his eyes snapped open. His brow was dotted with beads of sweat.
"Colonel?" Sam regarded him carefully.
He turned his head in her direction sluggishly. "Car..ter?" Jack croaked weakly, obviously struggling to regain his focus and leave the dream-like state he'd been stuck in.
Sam gently laid a hand on Jack's arm. "You alright Sir?"
Jack's head drifted from side to side momentarily. "Mm...yeh," he finally murmured distractedly.
Sharing a glance with Daniel confirmed that he, too wasn't sure about Jack's condition, whether or not their friend was doing better or worse. Her hand still on the Colonel's arm, Sam began rubbing soothing circles with her thumb. She noticed his heated skin was coated with a thin film of sweat. As her glossy blue eyes traveled over Jack, they settled on the bandage over his left arm, and Sam remembered what the Colonel had done in his delirium back on O'runak, still affected by the Das'huda plant's poison in his system. The wound had been cleaned and stitched by Janet once they were home, and the doctor had confirmed that luckily, there was no infection.
Daniel started to move past the recliner and out of the living room. He waved a hand in the direction he was going. "I'll go soak a cloth in some cool water for Jack's head," he explained, getting a nod and partial smile from Sam.
All the while Jack made no move to object as Sam stroked his forehead, waiting for Daniel to return with a cold compress to ease the heat from his body. It didn't last long before his heartrate slowed, easing from the rapid beat caused by his dream, and within seconds he was shivering.
"Colonel?" Sam called out to him with concern. Quickly, she snatched the quilt from the couch and hurriedly draped it over him. By then Daniel had come back in the room, holding the damp cloth, but Sam was waving him off. "He's cold now Daniel," Her voice wavered worriedly.
Tossing the facecloth aside, Daniel went over to stand beside the recliner.
Sam looked over to Daniel, just noticing he had something else in his hand.
"I found the thermometer Janet left us with," Daniel explained quietly, handing it to Sam. "He's probably got a fever,"
"Ya think?" Jack muttered weakly, eyes lightly closed. He then clenched his jaw in attempt to stop his teeth from chattering.
Sam's bottom lip trembled slightly with worry. She took the digital thermometer and carefully stuck it in Jack's right ear, waiting for the initial beep that would signal the temperature being recorded. Removing the instrument a few seconds later, Sam eyed the digital reading before making eye contact with Daniel. "100.3," she announced softly. "It's a low-grade fever."
"No need...to call in the Doc," came Jack's feeble whisper as a faint smirk crossed his lips.
Daniel frowned, but Sam was looking at him with a tight smile in affirmation.
"He's right," she said quietly. "We won't need to call Janet, just monitor him for awhile."
"Someone wanna turn the heat up?" Jack groaned as he shivered beneath the quilt Sam had covered him with. His eyes were now open, but barely. Clearing his throat when no one responded to him, he turned his head in Sam's direction, focusing on her with hazy eyes. "Carter, what time is it?"
Checking her watch, Sam responded with surprise. "Nearly 1700, Sir," She hadn't even realized that she'd completely skipped lunch and it was now about dinner time. "Are you hungry Colonel?"
He blinked and breathed slowly. "Yeh...a little," Jack admitted, feeling the rumbling of his stomach more than he heard it. He remembered barely eating anything for breakfast, even after Daniel had allowed him to take a shower. Afterwards he'd still refused to eat, determinedly arguing that he still wasn't hungry. Now, Jack realized, he might be feeling better if he'd had a little something in his stomach.
Shrugging, Daniel crossed his arms. "Uh, I guess I could uh...make something?" He grimaced slightly.
Jack smirked weakly as his hazy eyes drifted to Daniel. "How 'bout a pizza?"
Sam's eyes shifted between Jack and Daniel. She wasn't too sure a pizza was the best idea, but as both she and Daniel knew, the Colonel's cupboards and refrigerator weren't very well-stocked, and neither she or the archaeologist were known to be very accomplished cooks. With a faint smile, Sam eventually nodded. "Sure, pizza sound's good,"
Jack remained awake and lucid for awhile, even after the pizza arrived and he'd managed to finish off a single slice. Sam and Daniel continued looking after him in the hours that passed, checking his temperature every once in awhile and either offering another blanket, or taking two off as he switched from having the chills to being much too warm. The Colonel's fever never rose a degree above 101, for which Sam was thankful. She offered him plenty to drink, also making sure he took the necessary pills on Janet's list.
Daniel didn't seem to mind that Sam was taking over his job of 'Colonel-sitter' for the time being either. In fact, the archaeologist appeared almost amused with the open concern and affection Major Carter was presenting for her CO. Truth be told, Daniel was somewhat relieved to see the tension momentarily eased between the two. He'd known how deeply they each cared for one another for some time and almost wondered when they'd finally give in to their feelings, military regulations be damned.
Through a fit of boredom, having already played his Gameboy for an hour and watched a whole season of The Simpsons on tape, Jack decided he was sick of laying around. He sat up slowly, carefully easing down the leg rest on the recliner so that his injured knee wasn't jarred too badly.
"Colonel," Sam warned, reaching out to grasp his shoulder.
"I wanna move around a little Carter, I'm gettin' stiff layin' here," he complained, waving for her to hand him his crutches. Once she did so hesitantly, Jack hoisted himself to his feet, trying to keep any weight off his right leg. Luckily enough, the stronger drugs Janet had given him were doing wonders to numb the throbbing pain in his knee. However, he couldn't stop himself from swaying slightly, and soon both Sam and Daniel were on either side of him, each gripping an arm. "I got it, I'm okay," he murmured, waving them off.
Sam momentarily locked her eyes on Daniel, who nodded in assent to let go of Jack's arm. She released him reluctantly, but remained hovering at the Colonel's side while he hobbled slowly from the room, heading carefully up the few steps and moving toward the door that led to the back porch. "Sir, where are you going? It's chilly out there,"
"I know," he responded quietly, not stopping his movements. "Need some fresh air," Jack murmured while struggling slightly to open the sliding door.
Helping him out, Sam pulled the sliding door open so Jack could get through. Once he hobbled precariously over the threshold, she glanced back reassuringly at Daniel before following the Colonel out onto the porch and closing the door behind her. She followed Jack to the railing where he rested the crutches up against it and leaned into the post, lightly setting his right foot down but barely putting weight on the leg. "Colonel?"
"Yeh," Jack whispered impassively, staring out into his darkened backyard with glazed, pensive brown eyes. "I'm okay," he mumbled automatically, sensing Sam's concerns.
"Jack," Sam called to him, confidently using his first name. She laid a hand on his shoulder and moved to stand directly beside him. A warm smile lit up her face as the Colonel turned to her with a smile and a look in his expressive eyes that spoke volumes. Her heart fluttered wildly in her chest as she felt Jack take her hand in his and squeeze it gently. We're gonna be okay, she thought with a wider smile, happy tears fogging her vision.
We're gonna be okay, Jack thought at the same time. He was lost in Sam's eyes as they stood together hand in hand, their posture and expressions speaking more than words. They were close, and nothing would stand between that.