Reaper

"Well, Doc...how is he?"

"Um...well...surprisingly alive. I guess."

"You guess?"

"I've never encountered anything like this, Sir."

"Can I see him?"

"He's not in a very good mood."

"So he's feeling like himself."

Jack flashed Brightman a tight smile and pushed his way into medical containment. Daniel sat on the metal table with a disgruntled look on his face. He didn't even look at Jack as he stepped into the room. He had a blanket wrapped over his shoulders and chest.

Jack wasn't sure how to approach this, like Brightman had said it wasn't like anything anyone had encountered before. Deciding on a friendly approach Jack stepped in front of him and waved hello. Daniel looked up at him and rolled his eyes in disgust.

"The...uh...the blood seems to have stopped."

"That's because I don't have any more." Daniel said sourly.

"Ah, right." Jack shifted his weight uncomfortably. "Should we get you some more?"

"What's the point? It will just leak out again."

"Can't they...uh... stitch you up?"

Daniel glowered at Jack in irritation. He threw the blanket back to show Jack the wound. Jack felt bile sting the back of his throat at the gory sight. The middle of Daniel's chest was simply missing. All around the deep wound the skin was burnt and peeling away. Peering into the fist sized cavity Jack could see Daniel's heart, but it wasn't doing anything.

"Does...um...does it hurt?"

"It stings a little." Daniel's voice dripped in sarcasm.

"Well," Jack scratched the back of his head in thought "I really don't know what to do?"

"You don't know what to do?!" Daniel cried incredulously. "Jack...I should be dead! Why am I not dead?!"

"Perhaps the Grim Reaper finally gave up on trying to take you."

"What?!"

"Face it Daniel...you die a lot. Perhaps you're not worth his time anymore."

"Jack!"

"What? It's true. You died when you first came through the Stargate with me to Abydos, Apophis kicked your ass on The Nox world, you flatlined on me after your crazy addiction to The Light on that one world, I'm fairly certain you were crushed to death that time you ended up with a serious Need for the sarcophagus, you came to your Meridian of deaths with that whole radiation fiasco, let's not forget what happened when you tried Reckoning with replicator Carter. If I was in charge of getting you across the River Styx I'd be sick of you too!"

Daniel glared at Jack once more. For a few minutes neither of them said anything. The saline fluids that Dr. Brightman had pushed into Daniel's system were now starting to drip from the edges of the catastrophic wound. Jack shrugged and looked apologetic.

"Well...say something."

"'Came to my 'meridian'?" Daniel repeated dryly with a raised eye brow.

"Did I not use that word right? I thought it could mean like 'peak' or 'high point'."

"Oh you used it right, I was just wondering what put a word like 'meridian' in your head."

"I don't know." Jack shrugged. "I was wondering what put a hole in your chest like that."

"A staff weapon."

"A staff weapon did that?"

"At point blank range."

Jack looked back down at the wound again, it really was spectacular. Curiosity was simply killing him. He couldn't help to reach out and see if the injury was truly real.

Daniel gasped violently and sat bolt up right in bed. Looking around his darkened bedroom he tried to reconcile what was dream and what was reality. He rubbed his hand against his chest. He was afraid to look down, but when he did he found his skin intact. The phone nightstand startled him as it rung shrilly.

"H...hello?"

"Daniel?"

"Jack?"

"Yeah, I...uh...I'm just calling to let you know I'm scrapping tomorrow's mission."

"What?"

"Yeah, so just take the day off. And...um...stay out of trouble."

"Any particular reason you're calling it off?"

"I...I just have a bad feeling about it."

"So do I."

OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO

Cerberus shook one of his three canine heads sadly. Padding over to his Master he looked up at him accusingly.

"What?" He asked innocently.

"You're not supposed to mess with Time like that." Cerberus replied.

"It just seemed easier."

Cerberus studied his Master for a moment. In all of his years of Service he had never seen him like this. It was unnerving, and it wasn't easy to unnerve a hound made to Serve the Underworld.

"You're going to have get over this Daniel-phobia of yours at some point."

"I know, I know. I just need some more time. I mean I try and I try to get him...but he always gets away! I just couldn't be humiliated like that again right now."

"Hey! How do you think I feel?" Cerberus barked. "I'm the one who's supposed to keep him here!"

"Well then why don't you?!"

"I don't know...he always seems to catch me when my back is turned."

"Well then I did us both a favour by reversing this last one."

"I'm telling you, if you keep this up no one's going to fear Death anymore." Cerberus shook all three heads sadly.

"I don't want to be feared...just respected."

"Yeah, well, that's going to go out the window too."

"Fine, fine. Next time I'll go get him."

"Promise?"

"Promise."