Thank you for all your responses! I'm glad you like the beginning of this story, and I hope you continue to enjoy the rest. I hope to hear from you on the other chapters too; it helps so much to hear what you think. :) Thanks, and enjoy!
There was the sudden sound of a gunshot, and the Goa'uld roared in pain. The beam snapped off, and Daniel dropped to the ground beside the tree again, hurting even more than he had been before but too weak to cry out. He felt his chest heaving air in and out that he hadn't been able to get when the beam had his paralyzed, and through blurry vision he saw the Goa'uld clutching…a shoulder he thought….and looking for the bearer of the weapon. He saw a flash of gold on the other side of Sha're and knew it had been Sam. Then another larger, darker shape came up beside him, behind the Goa'uld, and he wasn't sure exactly what came into contact with her head, but she dropped, unconscious.
A moment later Teal'c still blurry face was hovering in front of him.
"Sha're…" he managed to get to get out.
"She will be all right, Daniel Jackson, but we could not allow the Goa'uld to take your life."
Daniel nodded a little and tried to sit up, but that turned out to be a really bad idea. He yelped and dropped back against the tree.
"Whoa, Daniel, easy." It was Sam's voice. She came into view a moment later, crouching beside him as Teal'c was. So there was Teal'c, and Sam…
"Jack?" he croaked.
"He'll be fine. He got hit in the arm, but it's not bad. He's back in the clearing," Sam answered.
"What about you? Are you okay? Besides the obvious headache…"
He grimaced. "Well…it's not like I haven't been slammed around before, but…" he had clear his throat. "This time my shoulder dislocated."
"Ouch," Sam winced.
"Yeah…and that paired with being slammed into a tree and getting ribbon half to death don't go well together…" His voice trailed off, and he knew he wouldn't be conscious a whole lot longer. "Just…make sure you get Sha're back to the SGC, ok?"
Both nodded. "We will assure that she is brought to safety," Teal'c assured him.
"I don't know what we can do for her right now, but that's what we're doing running around the galaxy anyway, isn't it?" Sam sighed.
Daniel tried to nod, but got no farther then batting his eyelids, before they fell closed and he couldn't open them again.
When Daniel came to, he found himself staring at the familiar ceiling of the infirmary. It took him a moment to remember why he was there, and he immediately sat bolt upright in the bed. Unfortunately, his newly reset shoulder didn't like that, and he realized that his back and head still hurt badly, as well.
An arm went gently around his shoulders to keep him from toppling, and he glanced to his right to see Sam standing next to him. "You've really got to stop that," she admonished gently.
Daniel grimaced and leaned back against the pile of pillows behind him. "Sorry…" he started looking around immediately. "Where's Sha're?" He didn't see her anywhere, and that worried him.
"She's in one of the isolation rooms, and she's being cared for. The wound wasn't bad, so she'll be fine, according to Doctor Fraiser."
But even though he didn't feel the greatest at the moment, he could tell that she wasn't telling him all of it. "And?"
Sam hesitated, and the answer came from behind her.
"Hammond's making Doc keep her sedated for now." Sam turned, and Daniel saw that it was Jack, sitting up in the next bed and holding a bandaged forearm.
He swallowed. "Because of the Gould…right." He understood, was even a bit relieved that Sha're wasn't awake and aware of her captivity--and that he wouldn't have to see her being controlled by that parasite at first. But they couldn't keep her that way forever, and the whole situation was still discomfiting.
"Yeah…" Both Jack and Sam said this at the same time, in about the same manner, and they glanced at each other before looking back at him.
Daniel was just trying not to think about it at the moment, and looked at Jack. "What about you? Are you okay?"
The colonel shrugged. "The doc says I'll be fine. It's not as bad as it felt like it was. I'm just waiting for her to let me leave; said she wanted to keep an eye on me for a little while, just in case--since apparently we don't know enough about the effects of staff blast wounds yet." His eyes rolled at that.
"Oh…" he knew he wasn't being very talkative, but there was a lot on his mind. Sam seemed to sense this, and rubbed his shoulder silently. He gave her a brief smile of appreciation, just before Doctor Fraiser bustled up to them.
"It's good to see you awake; how are you feeling?" she asked.
At that question all three of them looked at him expectantly, and he winced. "Uhm…okay."
Janet's arms crossed in front of her. "I mean how do you 'really' feel? I can't treat you if you don't tell me what still hurts and how." So even in the few short months they'd known each other, she had gathered that much about him. Not that it was surprising, considering how much time he spent in the infirmary…
"Fine: my head's still pounding, and my back and shoulder are still aching pretty good. Happy now?"
The doctor pulled a sealed packet containing two pills out of the pocket of her lab jacket and held them out. "No, but I will be if you take this and don't complain that you're fine."
Daniel was too confused in general at the moment to protest, so he took the packet from her and she smiled at him gently.
"Good. I'll be right back with a glass of water."
He nodded, and she walked off again. Then he tried to get the packet open, but it hurt his shoulder to pull on it that way; it was tough plastic. He would have gotten it eventually, and he wouldn't have let either Sam or Jack knew that it hurt, but Sam took it away from him and ripped it open herself before he could try too hard.
She handed him back the tablets. "Here you go."
"Thanks," he answered, a little embarrassed. He was saved from having to sit there in the uncomfortable silence when Janet came back bearing a plastic cup of water. He thanked her, took some water from the cup and handed it back to her so he could swallow the pills. She tried to offer the rest of the water back to him, but he politely refused. He didn't really feel like consuming anything else at the moment.
"I want to see her."
Jack immediately sat up more at that. "Daniel, you're still recovering. You don't need to go anywhere."
"I have to agree with the colonel," Janet nodded. "I know you're concerned, but she's fine fore now, and with the head injury from the ribbon device, for the next couple of days your stability will be off, if I'm informed correctly. We don't need you tipping over out of the blue. It would only cause more damage."
"It doesn't have to be for long. I'll come right back here. I just need to see her."
Sam looked at the doctor. "Janet, there couldn't be any harm in it."
Janet "I don't know…"
"Look, you can come with me, put me in a wheelchair, whatever would make you feel better, but I just have to see her, please," Daniel pleaded. It wasn't that he didn't trust these people--now his friends--but Sha're was his wife. He couldn't be comforted only by words. He had to see her with his own eyes; it had been so long since he'd seen her…
"All right," the doctor finally agreed. "Five minutes. And I will bring you there in a wheelchair myself, and you will stay sitting down, understood?"
He sighed. "Okay…" It was better than nothing.
"What about me?" Jack piped up.
Janet looked at him. "I suppose you're free to go now. You'll be all right, just keep the bandaging on that wound clean and come back in here once a day to let me take a look at it."
Jack swung his legs off the bed and stood. "Yeah yeah, uh huh--but if I don't have to stay here, I'm coming with."
"Me too," Sam nodded.
The doctor looked between the three of them and nodded. "That's fine. I'll be back in a minute." She was indeed back in just a moment, and she and Sam helped Daniel get off the bed and into the chair. It wouldn't have been that hard if it was only his shoulder and head that were hurting--the medicine hadn't had time to kick in yet--but it was his back, too, from being slammed into that tree, and that made him stiff. Sam handed him his glasses, and he slipped them on before they got going.
They passed Teal'c in the corridor, who said that he had been heading for the infirmary to check on him and Jack, and the jaffa came with them as well. Janet wheeled him to a door that he knew to open into the observation room above one of the isolation rooms. He frowned.
"Why are we here? Can't we go down to where she is?"
"Not right now, Daniel--at least not until you're feeling better. We have to take precautions."
She came around in front of him, holding up a hand. "Daniel, and before we go in here, there's something else you need to know."
"What?" he asked miserably.
"General Hammond insisted that she be restrained." She must have noticed that he was opening his mouth to protest, because she continued quickly. "I know she's your wife, Daniel, and so does the general, but there's also a Goa'uld in there, and as I said, we have to take precautions to protect everyone else on the base. But she's unconscious, so she doesn't know it. I just thought you should know before we went in."
Jack was grimacing in sympathy, and Teal'c looked solemn. Sam's hand was squeezing his good shoulder again. Daniel took in a deep breath and let it out to keep himself from crying. This was not the way he'd ever wanted it to go when he had Sha're back. He could get near her, touch her, talk to her….He only nodded.
Janet sighed and got back behind the chair. Teal'c opened the door for them, and Janet pushed him in while the other three followed. Daniel leaned forward in the chair, not happy about being confined to it by Janet's orders even if he did know that it would hurt like heck to stand right now. Janet wheeled the chair as close to the windows as it could get, due to the consoles and observation tables right in front of them. Sam's hand stayed on his shoulder, and Teal'c stood close. Jack wasn't far either, and was looking down with concern on his face.
And there she was. She was just as beautiful as he remembered her, but something had changed. Maybe it was the innocence. She'd lost some of it, after helping to fight Ra for her people's freedom, and dying for it--then being brought back to life by the sarcophagus. But that battle hadn't lasted long, and she had still been Sha're--the sweet, innocent Abydonian girl he'd unknowingly married--though it had proved to him that she was, indeed, a woman.
But even so, she had always retained an aura of innocence about her that could only be explained by her character. Her endearing character, intelligent character. Who she was. The reason he loved her. He only hoped that it hadn't been destroyed by the parasite inside her. Even if the innocence was gone because of whatever horrors she had been forced to witness, trapped inside, she had to still be herself. She had to.
Sha're was flat on her back on the infirmary bed set up in the room below, amongst other equipment that he assumed aided in monitoring her condition and keeping her and the Goa'uld unconscious. She'd been taken out of the hideous dress the Goa'uld had her in, he noticed with thanks, and was in blue patient scrubs. He could see the bandages over the gunshot wound on her shoulder peeking out from under the collar on her left side. There was nothing remarkable about the scene. Her eyes were closed and she lay silently, breathing easily, silently, and slowly in the rhythm of deep sleep.
Daniel's throat clogged up anyway. We'll find a way to free you. I'll find a way. I promise. I won't let you stay that way forever.
"Daniel?" Jack asked quietly.
He didn't look up. "I'm fine, Jack," he replied automatically. He barely spoke above a whisper, for fear of the quiver in his voice being heard.
Instead of the originally proposed five, Daniel managed to wheedle fifteen minutes out of Janet before she took him straight back to the infirmary. The next morning, he was allowed to sit at the window for an hour, and later afternoon he sat there for another. Both times she brought him there in the wheelchair, and he was already getting tired of it. He never liked having to use it in the first place.
The third day, she let him walk there, and to his surprise it didn't hurt too much, though he was a bit unsteady. She made him sit down once he was there, and promise to stay that way, but she left him alone, and let him stay for a couple of hours before insisting that he come back to the infirmary and eat something. That afternoon he sat at the observation window more.
Jack, Sam, and Teal'c seemed to take turns sitting with him, and bringing him lunch from the commissary, whether he had gone back to the infirmary to eat it or stayed in the observation room. Sometimes two or all three of them were around at a time. But they didn't intrude; they were just there for them. He was glad that they could understand that, even though they had only known each other for a few short months. He was realizing that even if--when!!--Sha're was freed, and his Abydonian family restored, that he would always have another family here, with them.
It took all week, but finally Daniel's back had stopped hurting, his shoulder was only sore, and his head didn't bother him as much. Recovery was not over at all, but he could function normally, and he began lobbying to be aloud to go down into the isolation room itself. Until now only medical personal, and as few as possible at that, had been aloud access. That took another couple of days, to convince janet that he was feeling all right, and that, if anyone, he should be allowed access. After all, he pointed out, all he wanted to do was sit with her where he could at least touch her, even if he couldn't talk to her. There was no telling when that would happen. General Hammond was still wrestling with The Powers That Be over what would be done with her until a way to remove the symbiote could be found.
It had been ten days since the encounter on P32-739 when Janet opened the door a door below the one he'd been sitting on for so long, and let him into the isolation room. Daniel crossed the floor quickly but stopped just short of the bed and approached slowly, swallowing. She had hardly moved in a week and a half, but her face still looked peaceful. He wished it wasn't only an illusion of unconsiousness.
Gently he reached out and brushed her cheek, still frustrated inside that that was all he could do, but at least glad that he could it. It was more than he would have been able to do two weeks ago. Before that, he had not seen her and heard no word of her for months, since he, the rest of SG-1, and the other prisoners had broken out of Apophis's stronghold on Chulak.
Daniel stood there for a moment, looking at her, angry more than anything that they had no way of freeing her. They could keep, like this, or awake in a cell, as long as they wanted to, but if they never found a way to separate parasite from host it would all be for nothing. And right now there were no prospects whatsoever. Their only hope was to somehow run across another new civilization that had a way to do it safely, or to find a sarcophagus they could take so that it could be done by human means and Sha're could be revived once it was done--because earth technology had no way of fully removing the symbiote without killing the host. That lesson had been learned the hard way.
Finally he spotted a chair and dragged it over to the bed. He sat down next to the bed and took her hand in both of his. He sat where he was, just holding it, planning to do so until Janet kicked him out again for one reason or another--to eat, or sleep, or for safety. But he would not leave a moment before.
Jack dropped by the observation room every now and then to peek down and make sure that Daniel was all right down there, but he stayed no longer than a minute. Otherwise he would have felt as if he were intruding on a private moment between husband and wife, even though there were no words being exchanged, and the one didn't even know the other was there. Besides that, there way for Daniel even to know he was there, what with the one-way mirror window, but it didn't matter. They deserved the time alone despite the circumstances--maybe even because of them.
The others seemed to sense this all as well, and stayed out of the observation room altogether, though they never went far. They let Jack be the one to keep an eye on Daniel, though he always had to give at least a two word report every time he came back out. Daniel, for his part, stayed in there as much each day as he was aloud. When he wasn't with Sha're, he was pestering both Jack and General Hammond to know when SG-1 would go back on duty. He was torn between staying with his wife and wanting to go back out to find a way to free her.
Two or three times, Jack walked into the observation room just as Daniel was talking. He didn't know if it was to himself, or to Sha're, or both--except when Fraiser or a nurse was tending to her wound or the sedative feed, there was never anyone else in the room, though there were guards outside the door--he didn't know, but it was none of his business. When it happened, he quickly ducked back out again and waited half an hour or so before checking in on his friend again.
Three weeks after the incident, Janet finally pronounced Daniel fit enough for stargate travel once again, and SG-1 set out on its weekly missions again. Or bi-weekly, depending on how many addresses Carter's computers were spitting out. Daniel threw himself into it with even more vigor and determination than ever before, and when SG-1 wasn't out, he was with Sha're again. Jack wasn't even sure exactly where he slept during this time.
After a little while, Daniel did begin to spend time earth-side with his friends again, once he fully realized that it could and most likely would be a long haul, but he was hardly ever really there. His mind was elsewhere.
What had always been only SG-1s second or third objective officially, became the first in their hearts and minds. Not only did they want Sha're to be free, but they wanted their Daniel back.