This is pretty much just to let you know that I am still alive. On top of taking 21 credits last semester, not too long before finals, BAM! I went a round with cancer. It ended up not being bad but it scared that crap out of me and put me in a very non-story oriented mind set. I'm still trying to focus more on positive than negatives so updates may continue to be sporadic. Sorry. The SD and SJ versions of this chapter are nearly identical. I do not recommend reading both. Again, I own a whole lot a nodda.
Jack had gone to the infirmary first, where he had been notified by Dr. Lam (who looked as though she hadn't left the base or gotten much sleep) that Daniel had been moved to a private room. He saw Cameron at the opposite end of the hall as he approached what had become Daniel's temporary quarters. Jack figured that the man must have just finished with a visit. They hadn't allowed Daniel to stay in his on base quarters because they were too afraid that he would find some way to hurt himself with something in his room.
Jack hesitated outside of the door for a moment trying to think of what he would say. He still had no idea when he finally knocked softly on the door and let himself in.
He could see Daniel lying on the bed, unmoving. Once again the idea of how unfair this whole situation was came floating back to him. He wanted to joke around like he always did, but today he couldn't find the strength to pretend like he knew everything would be just fine.
"Hi Daniel." Jack didn't get a response, which didn't surprise him. He walked up to the side of the bed and sat in the chair.
Daniel turned his eyes away from his friend. He had been able to ignore his other friends fairly successfully, but Jack's mere presence was causing him to falter. He felt hot tears beginning to escape from his eyes and run toward the pillow. Daniel felt as though he had betrayed his friend. He thought Jack loved Sam and he had hurt her. Sam and Jack were his closest friends in the world, and he had harmed them more than he could ever imagine hurting anyone. I can't do this. He shouldn't be here for me after what I did. He should be with Sam.
"I'm sorry Daniel."
Daniel turned his head to look Jack. He felt confused by what Jack had just said. He couldn't think of what Jack had to be sorry about.
Noting Daniel's confusion, he continued, willing Daniel to understand, "You don't deserve this. After all the good you've done…you don't deserve this."
Daniel felt more tears as he realized what Jack was saying. Jack wasn't here to blame him, which he still felt he deserved, but he also wasn't here to forgive him. Jack was essentially trying to tell him that he hadn't done anything wrong and didn't need forgiveness. Jack saw him as the victim; though with the memory of how Tinhar had felt, he didn't feel like a victim. He felt like a criminal.
"Eh!!" Jack interrupted while raising a finger to silence Daniel as he already new what Daniel was about to say. "Daniel, if that's an apology you're about to offer, I don't want to hear it. It wasn't you."
His voice sounded calm, but it was clear in his eyes the turmoil that he felt. "Jack, I remember. I remember everything."
Damn. Jack lowered his head from Daniel's gaze to try to collect his thought. When he lifted his head he met Daniel's eyes and tried to put as much reassurance and force into his words as he could. "Daniel. It was not you."
"I can remember it like it was. I remember everything that he did and how he felt about it. I can remember getting excited because I was causing her pain."
Jack saw the revulsion that Daniel was feeling clearly in his eyes. Jack hadn't really considered that possibility. Go'uld tend not to share their memories and knowledge with their hosts. Either Daniel broke through anyway, or that bastard wanted him to know. Jack remembered the many Go'uld who had told them of the pain that they could inflict on their hosts. He had always assumed that they had meant physical pain, but he thought that this was worse, but it made one thing much clearer. After so many years the members of SG-1 had learned to lock away their emotions and hide their pain. This seemed to be the straw that finally broke Daniel. OK, maybe not "straw" more like dump truck.
"I'm sorry," was all Jack could say. Every time that he'd heard that one of his people had been injured he felt guilt about having had to leave his team. He was no longer their team leader, but he still felt responsible for everything that happened to his team since he left, and at that moment his guilt was returning in full force.
They sat in silence together for a while, neither knowing what to say. Daniel wasn't sure that he really wanted to know, but he finally asked, "How's Sam?"
At first Jack was going to give a flippant remark about her being Sam and able to deal with anything, but decided against it and answered sincerely, "I think she's going to be ok." He knew it would be a long road, but he was really starting to believe that while she would likely never be quite the same, she would recover.
Daniel didn't respond so they sat in silence for a while longer before Jack said that he had to go. He felt guilty leaving Daniel, but he was pretty sure that it was time to get Sam home.
Jack went to the infirmary, but Sam was already gone by the time he got there. Dr. Lam had made every effort possible to make the experience as quick and painless as possible. Since the Tok'ra had already seen to her physical injuries and documented what had happened, she had been able to skip portions of the exam.
Jack went to Sam's office figuring that was where she would have most likely gone. When he walked through the door he saw her sitting at her computer. She was holding a card in her hands and staring off into space.
"The department guys left me a 'Get Well Soon' card." She held it up where he could see. Her face was expressionless as she continued, "They probably don't know what happened yet since we haven't written our mission reports and Dr. Lam didn't see me until this morning so the nurses wouldn't know yet. They're the usual gossips." She paused for a breath and he could see her shake as she inhaled. "What's going to happen?"
He could tell that she didn't really expect him to answer. He paused for a moment before answering anyway, "You'll get past this."
It was a simple statement, one that he wasn't entirely sure that he believed, but he knew that it was an idea that they both needed to cling to. They had to believe that everything would be OK in the end. It had to be. Jack held the door open and asked with a nod of his head if she was ready to go. With a short nod she set down the card and walked out of the room.