Stargate SG1 is somebody else's, probably MGM/Gekko Corp/Sci-fi, and I freely admit that whoever's it is, I'm borrowing their show and they retain all rights, etc
Author's Note: This is Sam/Jack so if you don't like the pairing, please turn back now! This is a bonus short story written in thanks for a friend on GW who designed a very beautiful signature for me. I hope this meets her requirements; she wanted Jack ordering Sam, someone almost dying and angst. Somewhere along the way, I think the story turned into a Jack/Daniel friendship story with a large helping of Sam/Jack so I hope she still enjoys it. Set in S10, very minor spoilers for that season.
His luck was finally up. Daniel Jackson said as much to the military General sitting beside him and received a scowl in return.
'Don't be stupid, Daniel.' Jack O'Neill winced as his bad knee protested. His hands were industriously trying to shift the mountain of rubble that had cut them off from the rest of the group. 'We're not dead yet.'
'I didn't say you,' Daniel argued tiredly, 'I said me.'
'It's bad,' Jack allowed, not meeting the younger man's eyes, 'but you're not dead.'
Daniel was immobile on the floor of the mine where he'd been buried when the roof had caved in an hour before. His body was a twisted heap and he'd been unconscious for such a long time. Jack had feared the worst when he'd scrabbled through the dirt and rubble to find him. Jack rubbed his arms to warm them; his jacket covered Daniel; a makeshift blanket to help keep the other man warm.
'I'm dying.' The words were out of his mouth before Daniel could stop them and he saw Jack flinch.
'No, you're not.' Jack shot back.
'Yes, I am.' Daniel retorted.
'No, you're not.' Jack repeated, more firmly than before.
'I am.' Daniel was equally insistent.
'Are we really going to do this now?' Daniel snapped, frustration seeping into every word.
Jack was silent.
Daniel sighed deeply. 'I'm dying, Jack. You have to accept that.'
The general couldn't help arguing back. 'We'll get out of this. The others are still out there.' That thought teased at Jack's own anxiety and he stifled it as quickly as he could. 'And you're not dying.' He muttered, ignoring the bloodied state of his own hands as he continued to dig.
'We're not starting that again.' Daniel stared up at the sagging ceiling.
'You could Ascend.' Jack suggested half-seriously.
'I'd need help to do that and I think Oma's a little busy these days saving the universe from Anubis.'
'What about Merlin?' Jack asked. The Ancient had occupied Daniel's head for the last few months.
'He's gone.' Daniel grimaced. It was getting harder to stay awake and stay focused. His eyes started to flutter shut.
'Hey!' Jack flung himself across the small space and nudged Daniel awake. 'Don't you dare check out on me here!'
'Sorry.' Daniel said automatically before he frowned.
'Talk to me.' Jack ordered desperately as he sat beside him. He had to keep Daniel conscious until help arrived.
'What about?' Daniel asked tiredly.
'I don't know.' Jack admitted. He gestured at the archaeologist. 'Pick something.'
'OK,' Daniel shifted his head slightly to get a better view of Jack, 'how about you and Sam.'
The general glowered. 'Anything but that.'
'You said I could pick something.' Daniel said stubbornly. 'This is what I want to talk about.'
'Well, I don't.' Jack retorted. 'Change the subject.'
'What's going on with you two?' Daniel ignored Jack happily.
'I'm not talking about this, Daniel.' Jack warned him again. 'My marriage is off limits.' He flushed. Was it that obvious that he and Sam were having a problem? Did everyone at the SGC know? Teal'c? General Landry? The new SG1 leader, Cameron Mitchell? Vala? Only Daniel, Teal'c and Landry knew the truth about his and Sam's relationship.
'Jack.' Daniel said gently. 'You're my friends. I can tell something's wrong.'
Jack leaned his head back against the wall of the mine wearily. 'Damn it, Daniel, just drop it.' He avoided the other man's gaze for a moment before he was inextricably drawn back.
Daniel waited patiently.
Jack fidgeted. 'We argued.' He said eventually. There was a heavy feeling in the pit of his stomach. They'd argued and…Sam had been on the other side of the wall when the roof had caved. If she was injured…if she was…he cut the thought off before he could complete it. Sam would be fine.
Daniel sighed heavily. 'Yeah, I kind of figured that much out on my own, Jack. What did you argue about?'
The military man glowered at him for a moment before shifting restlessly. 'I don't know exactly.' He waved at the archaeologist. 'One minute we're having dinner, and I'm telling her I'm joining this mission and the next we're yelling at each other and…'
'And?' Daniel prompted.
'She didn't want me on the mission.' Jack mumbled. The hurt he'd felt at that was still evident; it bled through and coloured the words. 'And then I was a jerk.' He admitted.
'Well, that goes without saying,' Daniel said, 'but what exactly did you say that made you a jerk?'
'I may have mentioned something about how many of the SG1 missions had gone South recently.' Jack kept the rest of the argument to himself. Daniel didn't need to know that Sam had valiantly defended the team's record; that Jack had jealousy wondered why she was so passionate at defending Mitchell; that the conversation had combusted at that point.
'She thinks I don't trust her.' Jack concluded sadly, recalling the words she'd hurled at him before she had disappeared into their bedroom, the closed door making it apparent she didn't want him to join her. They'd barely exchanged any words since; only those necessary for the mission. It ate at him to think that she might be injured on the other side of the wall, maybe fighting for her life, and believing he didn't trust her…
'Sam's probably OK, Jack.'
Jack jerked his head to Daniel; had the other man read his mind?
'She was taking the naquadah readings some distance from the cave-in; I'm sure she's OK.' Daniel reassured him.
Jack nodded. She'd wanted to come further into the mine but he'd ordered her to stay where she was, noting her own reports had clearly stated the mine's instability. He'd gone after Daniel who had found some kind of drawing on the wall; they'd been arguing about the archaeologist's finding when the roof had fallen in on them. Jack bowed his head. He was certain the last thing he'd heard was Sam's panicked voice calling his name…
'Why did you want to join this mission?' Daniel asked pulling Jack out of his inner musings.
'You really think we're screwing up?' Daniel pressed.
'No more than we ever did.' Jack said with a sigh. He rubbed a hand through his hair. 'I don't really know why I wanted in on the mission.'
'Yes, you do.' Daniel contradicted him.
'No, I don't.' Jack shot back.
'Yes, you do.'
'Jack.' Daniel cut him off. 'This is me, remember? I know you.'
There was a long silence.
'Sam almost died.' Jack said eventually.
'I know.' Daniel said crossly. 'We all almost died. The Lucien Alliance sent bounty hunters after all of us.'
'No…before…when you were…away.' Jack expanded with a wave of his hand. Away. Well, it was one description to cover Daniel's absence when Adria had captured him. Jack winced again.
Daniel blinked, his brow furrowed and Jack figured he was trying to work out exactly which mission Jack was referring to; they had close calls on most of their missions – they were SG1 after all.
'You mean the one with the village?' Daniel asked. 'When they were testing Merlin's cloaking device?'
Daniel was silent for a while. The mission reports he'd read had indicated Sam had almost died from a blast to her lower back and abdomen. Vala had helped heal some of the worst of it with the Goa'uld healing device she carried; it had been enough to get Sam back to the SGC where she'd undergone hours of surgery.
'That was a few months ago.' Daniel pointed out, his sluggish mind refused to make the connection. He searched Jack's harsh features. 'It must have been bad.'
Jack's mind filled again with memories; the terror of the phone call from Landry; the hours spent wondering whether she would make it through surgery; sitting by her bedside until she woke up…knowing his own life would effectively end if she didn't.
'It should never have happened.' Jack said angrily. 'She should have been wearing her armour and Mitchell should have had a guard watching her back.' He pressed his lips together, his internal criticism of the young officer out in the open for the first time since the incident.
'You would have had someone watching her back.' Daniel murmured.
Jack nodded. He would have had someone watching her back; probably Teal'c. Regardless of his personal feelings, Sam was too important to the mission not to have protected her. Not that mistakes didn't happen; they did, all the time. He and Daniel wouldn't be lying on the floor of some damned mine if they didn't.
'And then she disappeared to another universe,' Daniel noted. 'I send you all off after the anti-Ori weapon and we all get hunted by Lucien Alliance bounty hunters. It's no wonder you freaked out.'
'I didn't freak out.' Jack denied the charge automatically. His eyes caught on Daniel's and Jack relented under the knowing gaze. 'OK, so I may have freaked out a little.' He adjusted his position. 'I thought I had this beat.'
'Sitting on the sidelines.' Jack said succinctly. 'Watching you guys walk into danger without me.'
'And that's why you wanted in on this mission.' It was a statement, not a question.
Daniel's voice seemed weaker to Jack. 'I guess.' He shrugged. 'Seemed like a good idea at the time.'
'We miss you too.' Daniel murmured. 'Teal'c. Me. Sam.' He coughed. 'It isn't the same without you.'
Jack nodded. 'Mitchell's a good guy.'
'He is.' Daniel agreed.
'And he did get Sam back alive.' Jack continued. 'Sam told me he helped her keep focused when she was injured.'
Daniel caught the slight edge of jealousy and smiled. 'I'm sure she would have preferred to have had you with her.'
Jack shrugged. He cleared his throat. 'I don't know what I'd do, Daniel, if she…' his throat tightened again on the emotions pulling at him. She could be injured again, dying again, on the other side of the wall…
'I know.' Daniel had seen Jack distraught with grief before. 'She knows it too so you'll apologise for being an ass,' he murmured, blinking heavily, 'and she'll forgive you.'
'I'm cold.' Daniel muttered incongruously.
Jack shot across the small space. Daniel's eyes had closed. 'Damn it, Daniel. Wake up.' He brushed the younger man's hair away from his pale face as his other hand searched for a pulse. It was thin; thready. Where the hell was everyone else? He reached for his radio even though he knew it was useless given the naquadah deposits in the mine. There was a sudden rumble and the wall Jack had been working to clear disappeared. Zat gun, he realised. He nodded at Teal'c and Mitchell who were both lowering the weapons they held.
'Sir?' Sam hurried forward. 'What's your condition?'
Jack's eyes roamed over her, taking in the dirt in her hair, the scratch on her cheek and her own bloodied hands. He ignored the urge to hold her. 'Daniel's in bad shape, Carter. We need to get him out of here. Now.'
Sam nodded. 'On it, sir.' She gestured behind her and someone shot forward. Jack got out of their way. He recognised Vala immediately.
'The Odyssey can't get a lock, sir, because of the naquadah. I'll need to boost the signal of our implants.' Sam explained quickly, gesturing with the gadget in her hands. 'Vala's brought the healing device.'
The brunette was already bending over Daniel, muttering under her breath as she held the Goa'uld healing device over his chest. The steady orange glow hit the archaeologist's body.
Jack watched anxiously. 'Is he going to be OK?'
'There's a lot of damage.' Vala noted.
Her unusually serious tone worried Jack more. 'Carter?'
Sam kept focused on the gadget. 'Just a minute, sir.' She nudged him towards Daniel and gestured at Mitchell and Teal'c. They all made a tight circle. Teal'c placed a hand on Jack's shoulder to steady him and Jack gave him an appreciative glance. Sam made a final adjustment and Jack felt the welcome buzz of the Odyssey's transporter.
An hour later, he was in the ship's infirmary sat beside Daniel's bedside as he listened to the doctor tell him the archaeologist was going to be fine. His own hands had been bandaged; he had eschewed Vala's offer to heal them.
'Doctor Jackson was very lucky.' Doctor Piney noted. 'Broken leg, broken wrist…'
'I've healed those.' Vala interrupted.
'Yes.' Doctor Piney shot her a look through his half-moon glasses. 'We caught the internal bleed. He'll be up and about by the time we get to Earth.'
'Good. That's good.' Jack nodded at the doctor. 'Thanks.'
Doctor Piney heard the dismissal buried in the word and bowed his head in acknowledgement. He left the team alone.
Mitchell glanced around the group. 'Well, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to grab some food.' He tapped Vala's shoulder. 'Why don't you come with me?'
'Well, I'd thought I'd stay with Daniel.' Vala said, surprised.
Mitchell waggled his eyebrows expressively and jerked his head towards the door.
Vala looked around the original SG1 team mates and got his message. She sighed. 'But I guess I can come back later.' She slipped off the bed.
Jack gave Mitchell a nod of thanks as the young Lieutenant Colonel made his way out. Sam took Vala's place on the bed. Her hand sneaked forward to hold onto Daniel's. Jack glanced at Teal'c and gestured at the door. The Jaffa moved to stand guard. He would prevent their discussion from being overheard or the couple from being interrupted.
'We need to talk.' Jack said without preamble.
Sam's blue eyes snapped to his. 'Sir, I don't think…'
'I was way out of line.' Jack cut her off. He held her gaze. 'I do trust you.'
'I know.' Sam said softly. She moved off the bed and scooted around it to his side. She sat on the stool next to him and his bandaged hand covered hers. 'I'm sorry too.'
'For what?' Jack asked surprised.
'For making you feel like I didn't want you on the mission.' Sam expanded.
'I'd feel the same way about my old CO tagging along…' Jack began.
She shook her head. 'I just…' she bit her lip, 'I know it's stupid but I've got used to thinking of you as being out of danger and…'
'You were worried.' Jack completed, understanding dawning; she'd wanted him off the mission for the same reason he'd wanted on it; to protect and keep the other safe.
'I worry too.' He said simply and he saw the same understanding lighten her blue eyes. His fingers rubbed against her. 'So, we're OK?'
'We're OK.' Sam said firmly.
Jack nodded at her reassurance. 'I'm not going to stop worrying.' He admitted.
'Me either.' Sam replied.
Despite the fact that they were on the Odyssey and ostensibly on duty, he couldn't help himself; he leaned across and kissed her.
'You guys could get a room, you know.'
Daniel's croaky voice had them turning swiftly to their friend.
Sam smiled broadly at him. 'I'll get the doctor.' She laid a hand briefly on Daniel's arm before she moved out. Jack saw Teal'c go with her; probably to tell Mitchell and Vala the news.
'Hey.' Jack grinned at Daniel. 'See. You didn't die.'
'Guess not.' Daniel admitted. He waved a hand weakly at Jack. 'You two make up?'
'Yeah.' Jack shifted on the stool and because it helped changed the subject he reached for the glass of water by the bedside and offered it to Daniel.
The younger man wasn't easily diverted and after drinking he caught Jack's gaze again. 'The two of you should spend some time together.'
'Easier said than done.' Jack noted. Their various military responsibilities meant the couple spent more time apart than together.
Daniel frowned, his sharp mind ticking over the possibilities. 'Didn't you say President Hayes wanted to know more about the alternate universe Sam visited?'
Jack's eyes brightened. 'Yes.' He said slowly. 'He did.'
Daniel gestured at Jack. 'There you go.'
Jack nodded. He could arrange a trip to Washington for Sam; sure, she'd have to debrief Hayes but afterwards, maybe he could wangle a couple of days of leave for them both. He patted Daniel's hand. 'Thanks.'
'Guess my luck held out again this time.' Daniel said tiredly. 'I didn't die.'
'Not just your luck.' Jack contradicted him, his brown eyes held the archaeologist's. 'The day you actually die is the day my luck is finally up.'