Disclaimer: I own nothing Stargate related.
Author's note: This is pretty different from my normal style of writing and is pretty much just a long piece of fluff. This is dedicated to Doc and Kim, for not only loving me like their own and giving me a sanctuary, but for trusting me to protect it while they were gone. I love you guys.
Cameron Mitchell sighed and leaned against the wall outside Daniel Jackson's quarters. Running his fingers through his short, sandy-brown hair, be straightened, and hoped his eyes weren't as red from barely-contained tears as he thought they might be. He could handle this whole 'fate of the galaxy in our hands' thing. He could even handle the fact that for now, they seemed to be losing that battle. But attempting to comfort a member of his team, watching while one of the strongest men he'd ever seen sobbed into a pillow was just about more than he could take.
When Vala destroyed the Mega-Gate, she had saved all their lives, and maybe even the universe. She had also absolutely shattered Daniel. The man had been through so much, and had sacrificed so much for the Stargate program, had lost so many people he cared about, and was still standing. Cam knew that if he had to go through a quarter of what his teammate -his friend- had, that he would be in the fetal position on the floor under a table somewhere.
But now, with Vala gone and most likely dead, it was like it was all catching up with him at once. Most wouldn't understand, since by all outward appearances Daniel didn't even like Vala, but Cam got it. They picked at each other like a pair of little kids, but would fight to the death for each other. And on top of everything, Cam knew the guilt had to be crushing him.
Not that Cam blamed Daniel for anything, or anyone there at the SGC for that matter, but Daniel had this overdeveloped conscience that tended to make him blame himself for everything. And from the ferocity of his grief, all that was catching up with him too. Ignoring Vala when she had tried to propose an idea had been the first thing he had tried to talk about, and that was when the tears came through. By the time he confessed that he felt the Ori being there at all was his fault (conveniently forgetting that the rest of them had just as much to do with it as he had), Daniel was pretty much a wreck.
Cam had tried to soothe his distressed friend with words, but as that didn't work he ended up just rubbing his shoulders while he cried. As Jackson finally fell into a fitful doze, he slipped out of the room. This was way more than he could fix by himself, he had to call for backup…
He sat down heavily in his office chair, the weigh of the day beginning to sink into him. Yeah, he needed this too. Maybe not as badly as Jackson did, but he definitely needed this. He picked up his phone and called General Landry. When he explained the situation, the general not only granted his request for four days of leave for him and Daniel, but told him to make it a week. With a snort, the general also told him that with all the insanity SG-1 gets themselves into, the break and the breakdown were long overdue. Cam thanked him, and hung up. One more call to make…
On the third ring, a female voice answered "Mitchell residence."
"Cameron! I haven't heard from you in weeks! How are you doing? Are you okay? You don't sound well, son."
Cam winced. Maybe this wasn't the best of ideas… "It's been a rough one, mom. On me and even worse on one of my men. He's having a really hard time, and I thought maybe if I could bring him back to the farm for a few days…" He couldn't finish that. Not to his mom anyway. Yeah, mom, maybe if I take him back to the farm for a few days and let the normalcy ease the pain of losing a friend, make him forget that the blood of this whole galaxy could be on our hands any minute…
Fortunately, as an Air Force wife and an Air Force mother, she knew the gist of what her son was trying to say. And deeply regretted what she would have to respond with. "Oh, Cameron, I'm sorry. Your father and I were just about to leave to go spend a week with your Aunt Shirley. She just had heart surgery, and she's not doing too well, you know…" She could hear him let out his breath in a sigh. It really was that bad, then. "Well, son, we were going to have the Carson boys from down the road come take care of things for us. But if you and your friend don't need us, you can come down here and feed the animals and such for us. Unless you just wanted a break…"
Cam grinned, liking the way that sounded. Now, not only did he have a plan, but he had a way to get Jackson to go along. He might not go along for a vacation, but he'd never turn down a friend needing help… "No, mom, that's great. We'll be there as soon as we can get packed and get in the car."
When he returned to Daniel's quarters, he was twisting and squirming in the bed, fighting whatever nightmare he was in the grip of. The pained whimper tore at his commanding officer's heart, and Cam rushed to his side. Grabbing his shoulders, Cam shook them firmly. "Jackson, wake up! You're having a nightmare, c'mon…" This was as far as he had gotten before Daniel jerked awake and years of hand-hand combat instruction under Colonel O'Neill kicked in. One hand went up to protect his face, the other drew back to strike.
Cam jerked back, letting go of his shoulders. "Easy, Jackson! It's me, it's Cam!" He put his own hands up to cover in case a punch was actually thrown. The difference between his stance and Daniel's was that his was purely defensive. Ever if the confused man attacked, he would never retaliate against him. He'd been there one too many times himself.
Daniel finally blinked into reality before he did something he would badly regret. "Oh, wow, Cam, I am so sorry! I didn't hit you, did I?"
"Nah, you didn't hit me. That had to be a real screamer, whatever you were dreaming about. Wanna talk about it?"
Daniel rubbed his eyes and looked around for his glasses. Cam promptly retrieved them from the night stand and put them in his hands. He put them on, and faced his friend. "I-I don't remember. I remember that I was terrified, and then…" He couldn't describe the feeling that followed the fear. "As clichéd as it sounds, it felt like my heart just broke in two. The worst emotional pain you can imagine. And that's all I can remember." He dropped his head, embarrassed.
"Don't worry about it. Anyway, I didn't come because you were screaming, I just found you that way. Listen, I need a huge favor."
Daniel straightened up a little. "What?"
"Well, it's kinda this family thing. Ya see, my Aunt Shirley had to have open-heart surgery and she ain't doing so well. My mom and dad have to go stay with her for a while. They need someone to take care of the farm for a week or so while they're gone. I couldn't say no, being their son and all, but it too big a job for me to do myself." He slapped Daniel on the shoulder. "So I thought I might be able to con my good buddy Daniel into coming along…"
Daniel looked at him for a second, confused. He must still be asleep, because Cam's request didn't make any sense. "Huh?"
"I need help. Surely you can manage a week of hauling hay and milking cows. Sam always says you ain't the same skinny little nerd who came in here 9 years ago, here's your chance to prove it…" Daniel still looked skeptical. "Look, I can't do this alone… the farm's in the middle of nowhere, and even if I could manage the work, I'd go nuts out there all alone. Come on… you wouldn't do that to me, would you? Make me stay out there for a week with no one to talk to but the cows? Come on, that would be cruel!"
Daniel's eyes showed that he was softening. "But-"
"Already cleared it with the general… we got a week."
"I know you don't know anything about farming, but I do. I just need a strong back and a willing pair of hands." Daniel made a face that was almost a smirk. "Yeah, that was way cornier than it sounded in my head. So, you in?"
"It seems I don't have a choice…"
Cam grinned and clapped him on the back. "That's my wingman!"