Disclaimer: They're not mine. Neither are Legos.
Summary: An AU ending to the 4th season episode Small Victories. What if the camera feed to the sub had been cut before Jack and Teal'c were beamed away?
Author's Notes: This is my first story to be posted in this fandom. I've written a couple others, but this is the first one I've felt was ready to be posted. Beware of some serious Jack and Daniel hurt/comfort!
Daniel could barely breathe as he sat and watched Jack and Teal'c struggle with the Replicators. The order to fire the torpedoes had sent a sharp stab into his heart, even as he silently prayed for a miracle.
The image winked out suddenly, broadcasting nothing more than static. The room was still, the silence heavy. No one seemed to want to break it.
Daniel slowly blinked. Two fat, traitorous tears escaped from his eyes, leaving behind a trail for more to follow later, when he was alone.
His friends . . . his family . . . were gone.
A sympathetic hand squeezed his shoulder. Daniel nodded at Major Davis in silent thanks.
"Torpedoes have reached the sub," one voice announced in the deafening silence. "Detonation confirmed. Target is destroyed."
Davis' hand tightened on Daniel's shoulder. Despite the good news of having saved the planet yet again, no one rejoiced. The men and women in the room each silently mourned the brave sacrifice of SG-1.
"I'm so sorry, Daniel," Davis said softly.
Daniel nodded, unable to tear his eyes from the screen. "At . . . at least they went out saving the world. They would have wanted that."
He stood, finally looking away. He avoided the obviously pitying eyes of the people in the room. "E-Excuse me."
No one stopped him. The crowd parted without a word, understanding Daniel's need to be alone.
Daniel barely paid attention to his surroundings as he made his way out of the building. He turned in a random direction and just began walking.
The crowd of soldiers milled about in the control room, murmuring updates and requests to one another. No one seemed to want to untether the final connection to Jack or Teal'c.
A bright light suddenly filled the room. When it subsided, Teal'c, Sam, and Jack were left standing in the middle of the crowd. Jack held out his hands. "Ta da!"
SG-1 glanced around, bemused. Jack wiggled his hands again. "Hello? Saved the world, here! I'd expect a bigger reaction!"
Jack lowered his arms and glanced at his two teammates. "Tough crowd."
Paul Davis moved to the front of the stunned group of soldiers. "Colonel? Teal'c? How . . . I mean, the torpedo . . . ?"
"Yeah, the Asgaard beamed us out at the last minute," Jack answered. "God, I love those guys!"
"Didn't the video feed show that?" Sam asked.
Davis shook his head. "It cut out. A replicator must have severed the connection. We . . . we all thought you'd been killed in the explosion."
Jack searched the faces in the room, an uneasy feeling growing in the pit of his stomach. "Wait . . . where's Daniel?"
Davis looked at him. "When we confirmed the impact, he left."
"And you let him?" Jack snapped, incredulous.
"Sir, his appendix," Sam stated. "He's not well enough to be up and about for very long."
"He's probably got other stuff on his mind right now," Jack pointed out. He ran a frustrated hand through his hair, intense brown eyes locking onto Davis. "How long ago did he leave? Did he say where he was going?"
Davis gave a half-shrug, still in shock. "He just left, sir, about . . . I don't know, five, maybe ten minutes ago?"
That was all Jack needed. "Carter, stay here and fill everyone in. T, contact the SGC with the update. I'll go collect our archaeologist so we can all go home."
Spinning on his heel, Jack hurried out of the room.
Daniel fled from their temporary headquarters, head bowed low and tears swimming in his eyes. Each step sent sharp stabs of pain into his stomach. A small voice in his head told him that he was pushing himself too hard- a voice that sounded strangely like Janet Fraiser. That voice, however, could barely be heard over the accusations thundering in Daniel's ears.
You gave the order!
You send the torpedo!
You killed them!
Jack and Teal'c are dead, and it's all your fault!
Tears fell steadily down Daniel's cheeks. Nausea swelled in his stomach, and he fought it down.
Now what? How could he face Hammond, face Cassie and Janet, face Sam, knowing that he was responsible for his teammates' deaths? How could he continue at the SGC? He wouldn't be able to go anywhere, see anyone, and not think about Jack or Teal'c.
Daniel shook his head. His guilt would not be able to let him go. He'd let down so many people in his life. Now it seemed that he was fated to hear Jack's voice, bringing him torment. Daniel idly wondered how long it would be before Teal'c's voice took its turn.
Daniel stumbled, the pain in his abdomen sky-rocketing. He began to retch, unable to stop himself.
Firm hands gripped his arms and guided him to a nearby trash can just in time. Daniel coughed and threw up what little he'd eaten earlier that day. Gradually he began to calm, the haze of sickness easing to make room for the soothing feeling of someone rubbing his back. Eventually the rush of blood to Daniel's ears abated, allowing a familiar voice to wash over him.
" . . . okay, it's okay. Relax, Dannyboy, we're all right. It's going to be okay . . ."
Daniel's head whipped around to stare, wide-eyed, at Jack O'Neill. Disbelieving blue eyes searched Jack's face. "J-Jack?"
A small smile curled the corner of Jack's mouth. "In the flesh."
More tears filled Daniel's eyes. "Jack? A-Alive?"
Jack's heart broke at the sound of the hope that filled Daniel's voice. He wrapped strong arms around the young man and held him tight.
"Yeah, Danny, I'm alive," he said. "Teal'c too."
Daniel returned the embrace, taking care not to jolt his sensitive stomach. He buried his face into Jack's shoulder. "How?"
"Carter and Thor beamed us out at the last minute," Jack told him. "We thought you knew."
Daniel shook his head. Images from earlier flashed before his eyes, and nausea rose once more. Quickly, he turned in Jack's grasp and leaned over the trash can once more, dry-heaving.
"Danny?" Jack asked. "What's wrong?"
Daniel wiped his mouth, tears pouring from his eyes. "God, Jack . . . I killed you!"
"What?" Jack cried. "What the hell are you talking about?"
Daniel couldn't look at him. "I . . . I gave the order, Jack. Davis waited for me to say it, and . . . and I told him to do it. Oh God . . ."
"No! Daniel!" Jack gripped his arms and shook him. "Daniel, you did nothing wrong! Look at me!"
Daniel shook his head.
"Danny, please," Jack asked, softening his tone.
Tentatively, Daniel lifted his chin.
Jack lifted one hand to gently cup Daniel's cheek. "Danny, I was wrong. I never should have put you in that position. But, thank you, for being strong enough to do it."
Pain flashed in Daniel's deep blue eyes. "Jack, I killed you. H-How could you even stand to look at me right now?"
Jack shook his head. "Danny, you did what I asked. Teal'c and I were going to be torn apart by those damn Lego bugs. They would have tortured us. You did the best thing by agreeing to let us go more humanely. Please, Daniel, don't feel any guilt about this."
Daniel ducked his head, but didn't offer a reply. Jack knew that it would take some time for Daniel to work through his emotions and come to terms with his decision. Fortunately, he had all the time in the world, and Jack had every intention of helping him through every step of it.
Wrapping an arm securely around Daniel's shoulders, Jack began to steer the young archaeologist back to their temporary headquarters. "I don't know about you, Dannyboy, but I've had about all the excitement I can stand for awhile. Let's get you back to base so Carter can fuss over you, then you and I are going fishing, and I'm not taking 'no' for an answer."
"Fishing?" Daniel echoed uncertainly.
"And other things," Jack added ominously. He gently shook Daniel, drawing him closer into a one-armed hug. "Let's go home."