The Living Daylights

Based Upon Stargate: SG-1

Late Season 6

- . - - - . -

Jack walked down the halls of the SGC, minding his own business. He had just left Carter and Siler in Carter's lab doing something with a naquadah generator. They started to tell him what, but he stopped them before he could get lost in the technobabble.

He stopped dead in his tracks at the sound of an explosion. The sound came from Carter's lab. He was never a math wiz, but he knew that naquadah generator + explosion = bad.

In a heartbeat, he was sprinting back towards Carter's lab.

Arriving the same time as two airmen, he ordered one of them to 'get Doc Fraiser down here.'

Carter was sitting on the floor, leaning up against one of the mainframe servers, her eyes wide open. Half of her body was covered in burns. He couldn't see bone, so he knew it could have been a lot worse for her. Siler was on the other side of the room, unconscious on the floor, blood seeping from somewhere behind his head.

The other airman checked on Siler as Jack went towards Carter.

"Carter?" He wanted to touch her shoulder, but didn't, afraid to hurt her.

Her mouth barely moved as she breathed a response that sounded like 'yeah.'

"Fraiser's on her way, just hold tight."

Carter took a few deep breaths and glanced across her lab at Siler.

"Airman, how is he?" Jack asked for her.

"He hit his head, Sir, and these burns look pretty bad, but he's breathing alright."

Moments later Fraiser arrived with a medical team on her heels. She took quick stock of the situation and moved to Siler first, sending a few nurses over to Carter.

"What happened?" he asked.

"One of us tripped one of the safety connections, the residual naquadah in the system reacted, and . . ."

"It exploded?" he offered.

She smiled. "Yeah."

"You sure you're okay?" he asked. She looked terrible, but maybe that was just the severe burns and the shock of being that close to an explosion.

She nodded slowly. "Yeah, I'm okay."

Jack turned around towards Doctor Fraiser. "He going to be alright, Doc?"

She glanced at the watch on her wrist. "Damn," she whispered under her breath.

"Doc?" Jack repeated, getting up from his crouched position near Carter and approached her.

"What?" she replied, gently fingering Siler's skull.

"Is he going to be alright?"

"He should be, but I need to get him into surgery. His skull is fractured and he's probably going to have some massive swelling, and maybe some extensive bleeding." She glanced at her watch again and let out an angry sigh.

"Are you late for something, Doctor?" he asked, noticing her irritability.

She stood. "Get him to the OR, and keep him steady." She turned to him. "No, it's nothing, Sir."

Jack eyed her. "It's not nothing. What is it?"

She sighed, and looked embarrassed. "It's Prom tonight, and Cassie has a hair appointment that I am not going to be able to take her to now."

Without missing a beat, "I'll do it."

She looked up at him and smiled. "What?"

"I will take her. When you're positive that Siler is going to live, you can come take over."

"Thank you, Sir." She saw her staff begin to wheel Siler out on a stretcher and followed them. "You need to leave right now, and Cassie knows where the place is," she said on the way out the door.

Jack shrugged to himself. "I can do this." Taking one last look at Carter, who was being helped onto a stretcher by some nurses, he headed to the elevator. He had an appointment to make.

- . - . -

"Mom! You're late!" Jack heard Cassie yell as he let himself into the Good Doctor's home. He took a few steps into the house when Cassie appeared at the end of a hallway, in nothing but a towel.

"Mom!" she stopped dead in her tracks, suddenly acutely aware that she was wearing a towel. "Jack . . ."

He smiled, reading her embarrassment and state of pure shock. "Hi, Cass. Doc Fraiser got caught up at work when Carter and Siler decided to make a generator explode. They're fine, but I'm gonna take you to your hair appointment."

She stood still, still shocked to see him.

He threw the button-up flannel shirt that he had grabbed from his truck at her. "Here, so you don't mess up your hair."

She grabbed it as it hit her. "Thanks, Jack," she smiled. Cassie hurried out the hallway into her room.

"And hurry up, we're late!" he yelled from the kitchen as he helped himself to the refrigerator. He grabbed a can of whatever the Doc had, just thankful that it wasn't diet, and found a seat on the couch waiting for Cassie.

Several minutes later, Cassie emerged from her bedroom wearing a pair of blue jeans and the flannel shirt he had brought her. She headed towards the door. "Alright, let's go. Waiting on you," she complained sarcastically.

He got up from his place on the couch and followed her out. "You know where we're going, right?"

On the way to the salon, Jack explained what happened to Carter and Siler; at least, to the best of his abilities. He got her to the appointment, only slightly late, and took a seat while she got her hair done.

When she was done, he took her to get some ice cream, even though she was terrified that she was not going to be ready by the time her date came to pick her up. But, never-the-less, they had fun.

Jack took Cassie back to her house. While she went to her room and started to get ready, he took a seat on the couch and turned on the television. He had only been channel surfing a few minutes when Doctor Fraiser bounded through the doorway.

"Oh, am I late?" she asked, dropping her things on the kitchen table.

"Not any more than we were," he replied, turning to look at her. "Cassie's in her room, getting ready." He watched the doctor hurry down the hall and knock on her daughter's door.

A few minutes of channel surfing later, there was a knock at the front door.

"Oh my God, I'm not ready yet!" he heard Cassie shout from her room.

Jack stood up slowly. "I'll get it." He walked towards the door and paused. He put on his 'hard-ass Colonel' face and opened the door to reveal a slightly nervous looking teenager in a black tuxedo, holding a small container which contained a boutonnière. "Come in," he said briskly.

The young man stepped past him, walked into the main room of the house and froze, watching Jack watch him. Jack circled him once and settled in front of him with his arms crossed and a straight face.

The boy cleared his throat. "I'm," he paused and cleared his throat, "I'm Benjamin."

Jack didn't move.

"Cassie told me she didn't have a dad," he said slowly.

"Oh, I'm not Cassandra's father," Jack said, making sure to use Cassie's full name, knowing it sounded slightly more intimidating. "I'm Colonel O'Neill."

"Colonel," Benjamin repeated, swallowing hard.

"That's right, United States Air Force, Special Forces." Jack took an aggressive step towards the young man and watched him swallow hard again. "I'm not Cassandra's father, but she is the closest thing in this world that I have to a little girl, and I would do anything to protect her. Anything," he said darkly. "Is that understood?"

Benjamin nodded emphatically.

"What time does Prom end?" he asked.

"11:30" Benjamin breathed.

"And what time will Cassandra be home?"

"12:30," he replied.

Jack held his menacing gaze.

"At the latest," Benjamin amended.

Jack continued to hold the young man's gaze.

"12:15, at the very latest," Benjamin amended again. "Sir," he added hastily.

Jack smiled darkly. "Good. Because I would hate to see anything happen . . . to either of you," he hissed.

Benjamin shook his head emphatically. "No, Sir."

"Mom, don't touch my hair," Cassie said, entering the room from the hallway and breaking the eye contact between Jack and Benjamin.

Jack smiled. Cassie looked great in a lightly embroidered floor-length black dress and her hair all done up.

Benjamin took one step towards her and opened the container with the boutonnière. He was about to try to attach it to Cassie when he glanced at Jack. He paled under Jack's glare and nearly threw the boutonniere at Doctor Fraiser, who attached it to Cassie's dress.

Doctor Fraiser stepped back and grabbed her camera from the counter. "Time for pictures!" she announced.

Cassie groaned and Benjamin tried not to look afraid/nervous.

Once the pictures were over, and Doctor Fraiser's eyes were welling up with tears, Cassie threw her arms around Jack's neck. "Thanks so much," she said.

He squeezed her tight. "You look great," he whispered.

Cassie hugged and kissed Doctor Fraiser while Jack took the opportunity to glare at Benjamin one more time before everyone made their way out onto the porch.

Benjamin helped Cassie into what was obviously his father's borrowed sedan.

"Have fun," Doctor Fraiser bade through watery eyes.

"Be safe," Jack said, making eye contact with Benjamin once more.

Doctor Fraiser covered her mouth as they drove away. "Did you threaten him?" she asked in a high voice, trying to subdue tears.

"Yes, Ma'am," he replied, casually putting his hands in his pockets. "Scared the living daylights out of him."

"Thank you, Sir."

"Oh, anytime, Doc, anytime."

- . - - - . -