Title: Riding in Cars with Boys

Author: devra

Email: paravati@optonline.net

Rating: PG-13

Category: Friendship Pre/Slash story

Disclaimer: Standard request for producers not to sue for various

and sundry reasons especially due to the fact that I have no money.

Notes: I believe that the friendship/love between Jack and Daniel is a wonderful thing. In my corner of the universe, they will always stay that way. Feedback is always a welcome guest in my house.

Summary: Boys and their cars…need I say more.

Warnings: None

"You are positive that Dr. Jackson was aware of the briefing this morning, Colonel?" Hammond addressed his 21C with obvious annoyance.

The Colonel to whom this question was directed was busy attempting to twirl a pencil through his fingers and across his palm. So engrossed with this simple activity he totally missed the General's question, or more importantly was oblivious to his commanding officer's tone of voice.

Teal'c was not so self-absorbed, his left hand shot out, hitting O'Neill's upper arm having the desired effect of disrupting the good Colonel's balancing act.

"Damn, Teal'c what'd go and do that for, I had a good rhythm going".

Teal'c sat with his eyes straight forward, but Carter who was facing the Colonel opened her baby blues wide and moved the irises a fraction of an inch in General Hammond's direction. "Sir, Daniel?"

"Oh yeah, General. Daniel is…. late sir?"

"That is a given Colonel", glancing at his watch the General noted "approximately 50 minutes. I had been inquiring if Dr. Jackson was aware of this briefing before SG1's departure at 1300 hours for PX430 today".

The weather 28 stories above the SGC was horrendous, continuously rainy and windy weather had been the norm for the past few days in their corner of Colorado. Jack's mother hen propensities had just increased a notch when he realized the weather conditions made for slick driving conditions, which made for accidents, which made for calls from hospitals and police departments regarding injured archeologists. A quick glance at Major Carter reflected visible worry on her front. She excused herself from the briefing table to use the phone. Jack knew Carter well enough to know she was trying Daniel's home and cell phone.

With a sigh, Jack remembered his last conversation with Daniel on Sunday. SG1 had gone to dinner on Saturday night, and the only topic of conversation that Daniel would speak about was Monday's visit to PX430. Daniel droned on using archeological technical terms to the extent that his team members grew bleary-eyed over their dinner plates. They took Daniel home and plied him with enough alcohol enabling him to pass out thereby giving them the opportunity to watch a video in peace. Wishing he could hear Daniel's voice at this exact moment to alleviate the anxiety he felt, Jack was overwhelmed with guilt in connection to the part he played in that game. Jack could hear the hurt and anger in Daniel's voice during Sunday's phone conversation and gave a silent prayer for Daniel to be safe so Jack could apologize for his stupidity.

Lifting his eyes to meet Carter's as she came to the table. Her closed off face told the story. "No answer sir, on Daniel's home phone and the cell phone number is saying the 'phone is not in use'.

General Hammond proceeded to stand, his mind actually processing the situation as fast if not faster than the Colonel. A recent threat, known only to him and the President, against the SGC allowed him to add kidnapping to the list of possibilities. Placing his hands on the table, he leaned in the Colonel's direction "Colonel, I believe you…"

"Sorry, I'm late".

Four pairs of swung unison to the man standing at the end of the table. Their expressions went from confusion to elation to suppressed smiles in a matter of seconds. The exception would be Teal'c who only acknowledged the presence of DanielJackson with a raise of his eyebrows. Daniel stood before them dripping as if he just stepped out of a shower with his clothes on. He was holding sodden notes in his hand, which he placed gently on the table.

"Car trouble, Daniel?"

Daniel gave Jack the "how stupid are we look" look before answering. "Sorry General, my car broke down about three miles from the mountain and I walked it". Daniel accented his sentence with two sneezes.

Carter got up and handed Daniel a tissue from the box on the sideboard. He removed his glasses cleaned them, and then proceeded to blow his nose in the tissue.

"Thank you Sam."

"DanielJackson, why did you not use your cell phone to call for someone to pick you up?"

"Itwasn'tcharged" Daniel mumbled, wiping his nose on his wet jacket sleeve.

With a sigh, Carter got up to get Daniel another tissue. He nodded his head in acknowledgment when she handed it to him.

Jack cupped his hand around his ear and leaned in Daniel's direction "What's that you said?"

"I believe that DanielJackson said it wasn't charged".

Frustrated Jack turned to the Jaffa, "I know that's what he said Teal'c, I just want to hear our resident genius voice those words".

"Okay Jack, it wasn't charged, I couldn't call, I walked three miles in the pouring rain without an umbrella… "Daniel stopped to sneeze "and am soaking wet and freezing, would like a warm shower…" Daniel bent from the waist as he was gripped by a coughing fit. Straightening up and clearing his throat, he realized that Carter had gotten up and thrown the box of tissues to the table in front of him. Gratefully, he smiled at Sam as she placed a glass of water next to the box of tissues. He sipped the water, sneezed and continued. "I would like a warm shower, change my clothes and I'll be back in 20 minutes for the briefing".

"Daniel, I believe you are dripping on the General's floor".

Apologetically Daniel looked towards the General "I know, sir, really sorry about that".

Pushing himself away from the table and standing, Jack looked in the General's direction "Permission to order Daniel to buy another car sir. Four times in three weeks…"

Daniel attempted to protest, but Jack refused to look in his direction. Just held up his hand up to halt Daniel's forthcoming argument. General Hammond just stated "Dr. Jackson, permit Colonel O'Neill to finish".

Daniel sneezed and then blew his nose in reply.

"Also request permission to haul Daniel's butt down to Doc Fraiser, in his wet clothes, so she can reprimand him, stick him with big needles, and I'm quite positive declare him sick and thereby canceling today's trip through the Stargate.

"Jaack, it's just water. I'm fine, I just need a shower and warm clothes", Daniel replied and then sneezed. It registered with Jack, that Daniel's last sneeze must have irritated his throat, because Daniel's hands involuntarily went to rub his neck.

"Dr. Jackson, if Dr. Fraiser say's you are well enough to travel, we will brief as soon as your examination is done. If you are not cleared for Stargate travel, there will be no argument…"

"I understand General, but" Daniel was not willing to go down without a fight.

With an exasperated look in Daniel's direction "As I said, no argument and SG1's mission will be deferred until you are medically cleared. Is that understood?"

"Sir, I…"

Jack hurried to the archeologist's side, grabbing his arm and pulling Daniel out of the room before he said something to General Hammond he would regret at a later date.

Outside in the hall, Daniel's angrily pulled his arm out of Jack's grip. "I need my notes" as he turned to re-enter the room.

"Infirmary visit first, shower, then notes…promise"

Daniel opened his mouth to protest, but the look on Jack's face told him that wasn't an option. Jack's dragging Daniel to the infirmary had gone from one of friendship and concern to…well Jack was playing the Colonel role and Daniel was getting the full military treatment. Anger and annoyance directed towards a member of his team who had done something incredibly stupid.

Daniel stopped in his tracks, causing the grip that Jack had on his arm to falter. He turned to face Daniel and raised his eyebrows in question "Daniel?"

Daniel lowered his eyes, coughed, sneezed and sniffed. Wordlessly Jack handed Daniel his handkerchief from his pocket and shook his head in denial when Daniel attempted to offer it back after using it. Jack smiled inwardly, wondering as Daniel shifted from leg to leg if he was actually nervous at the situation he found himself in or that the cold, wet uniform was beginning to stick in all the wrong places.

"I'm sorry Jack, I didn't think…"Daniel's thought processes were punctuated by sneezes.

Deflated, all the fun being taken out of being in Colonel mode by the look of sincere apology shadowing Daniel's face. With an exasperated sigh, Jack realized that playing Colonel would have to last just a little while longer while he drove an important point home. The need for Daniel to receive the message was as important to Colonel O'Neill, as it was to, Jack O'Neill, SG1, SGC, but most imperative was that Dr. Daniel Jackson receive the message loud and clear. Angrily, Jack began "I'm giving you advance warning…do not attempt to interrupt me". Softening his voice he continued "Daniel you carry a gun when we go offworld to defend yourself…"

"Also to defend you, Sam…"

"I thought I told you not to interrupt me," Jack growled.

"Sorry".

Jack gave Daniel a look through narrowed eyes deciding to try another tactic, playing to Daniel's guilt factor "Daniel why can't you understand that you are a vital member to SGC and to SG1. That a cell phone is not a luxury; it is an important piece of survival equipment on Earth. A working car is not a luxury item; it also is an important piece of survival equipment. I don't have enough fingers on my hands to count the number of people and agencies that would like to get their greedy little paws on you, not me, Teal'c or Major Carter, you. The information contained in that brain of yours would be like opening a Pandora's Box. Not having a working phone…or a working car, making yourself a viable target is both dangerous and stupid." Jack looked up over lowered lids. 'YES. Point taken' Daniel's eyes were opened wide and his complexion had gone a shade paler.

"Oh" was all Daniel could utter.

Jack maintained his cool composure, but smiled inwardly. 'The linguist had been relegated to monosyllabic utterances. Now to go in for the kill'…."When we couldn't reach you, we were worried". Jack reached over to pat Daniel's cheek and stopped when he felt warmth that should not have been there. His hand involuntarily moved to Daniel's forehead 'Yupp, definitely warmer than normal'. Daniel backed up, aware that he was going to be on the receiving end of twenty questions. "Daniel…head hurt?"

"No", he answered too quickly. Jack's eyes burned into his "I'm fine".

Jack countered with "Sure, Daniel, you're fine. What were you were hoping for?"

Daniel lowered his head and whispered "Janet not to notice?"

Jack grabbed his arm and continued down the hall "You are delusional Daniel, I want to be present for this examination".

Janet met them at the infirmary door. Arms crossed, she resembled Napoleon overlooking a battle scene. "Don't think you're dripping all over my infirmary floor. Go shower, change into these…" she stepped away from the doorway and when she came back she thrust a pair of hospital scrubs at Daniel.

"No Janet, it's okay. I can get clean a clean uniform…"

"No you can't Daniel, obviously the nice doctor wants you to spend some time with her today, isn't that right 'doc."

Janet looked at Jack with menace in her eyes. "You are no better. Dragging him all over the base making a mess. Janet leaned forward to survey the hallway, Daniel and Jack following her line of vision. "Oops sorry Janet", Daniel's apology was muffled as he sneezed into the crook in his arm.

"Shower, now. Janet manhandled Daniel and pointed him in the direction of the showers. "You"…pointing to a Jack who deflected her anger with a sheepish grin.

Janet paused and looked around to make sure Daniel was out of hearing range. "Go tell the General I'll let him know the status of today's mission after I examine Daniel.

Two hours later, the mission had been canned, put to sleep, rest, deferred until a later date. Jack stood in the infirmary arguing with Daniel. "No I want to go home".

"How are you going to get there", Jack countered.

"Did maintenance have my car towed back to base?" Daniel asked.

"Aaarggghhhh", Jack grabbed his hair and glared at Daniel. "Daniel you are like a train of thought with no caboose. The car is history".

"Can I go home?"

"'Doc is he delirious?"

"No, just stubborn. I will repeat again what I told you before. Daniel look at me".

With a resigned shrug of his shoulders, Daniel turned towards Janet.

"One, you have bronchitis accompanied by a low grade fever. Your choice is to stay in the infirmary or…"

"My house", Jack countered.

"Or Colonel O'Neill's house".

"I can sleep in my office…I have…"

Jack and Janet both yelled "No" in unison and loud enough for Daniel to jump. Janet continued "We know you well enough…to you office equates work. Doctor's orders…rest for three days…then light duty then you can visit PX…

"430" Jack finished.

Daniel was duly impressed. Jack never remembered the numbers of planets, especially ones that SG1 had not visited yet. Especially because this planet was basically an archeological mission, not one to gain military advancement.

"Jack's house, least of two evils", Daniel responded jumping off the infirmary bed.

So Daniel was released from the infirmary with a list of meds and instructions and sent to bask in the warmth of Mama O'Neill.

The afternoon of the second day found Daniel enjoying his recuperation in the stillness of Jack's house. He had spent the previous day ensconced in the guestroom, sleeping off and on with Jack supplying him with endless juice, medication and chicken soup. Today his nursemaid permitted him to get out of bed while he went to run some errands giving Daniel strict instructions of what he could and could not do. Daniel had learned it was better to shake your head and smile in agreement instead of wasting your energy reminding the good Colonel that you were an adult. If you agreed with him he left you alone sooner.

Daniel was lying on the couch; the TV turned to the Discovery Channel. Daniel's eyes were closing and he could feel himself starting to drift off. The sound of something hitting the coffee table caused Daniel to jump up, heart racing.

"Daniel, you up?"

"Am now Jack." swinging his legs over the side of the couch and pulling himself up to a sitting position.

"Scoop over big guy, look what I got". Jack sat on the sofa and leaned across Daniel to grab the magazines he had put on coffee table.

Daniel rubbed his eyes to bring them into focus and adjusted his glasses. Jack had spent the better part of the afternoon visiting car dealerships. For hours Jack plied Daniel with the fruits of his labor by subjecting him to brochure after brochure of the cars he thought would be appropriate for Daniel. "See look at this one it has…. This other one has…4-wheel drive…this one antilock brakes, CD…" Daniel perfected the ability of sleeping with his eyes open.

Over a dinner, Daniel broached the subject of his old car. "Did Siler tow…"

Jack's fork clattered against the dinner plate. "Daniel, sorry you weren't able to attend, but your car was given a proper burial".

"Scrap?" Daniel asked with a lump in his throat. He was amazed how choked up he was getting over a car.

"Yup.. Now look at this brochure, the salesperson said".

For the first time in his adult life Daniel feigned exhaustion, and was in bed before 9 p.m. He woke up late the next morning whether as an avoidance technique towards Jack or an aftereffect of Janet's medication…all he knew was that he needed/wanted/had to have coffee very badly.

Stumbling into the kitchen he found a fresh pot started with a note from Jack on the counter.

"Enjoy the coffee. I will pick you up, we will go visit Janet and if you are okay…we will hit the car dealerships.

See you by 1100

JACK

Daniel knew there was not fighting this battle, all he could hope was that Janet would find a recurrence and he would be confined to base…indefinitely in solitary confinement.

No such luck, Janet had declared him on the mend and he and Jack were off to visit the car dealers. Well actually, Daniel was along for the ride. Their third stop was a Chevrolet dealer and Jack had to actually wake Daniel up when they pulled into the lot. The salesmen honed in on Jack and Daniel just sat back and watched. In this building, in this town, on this day…Jack had found his match.

"Daniel…look this is it".

Daniel was admiring the Camaro, and Jack had to literally drag him over to the car, truck, whatever it was that had caught his fancy at this time. Daniel actually started to laugh when he saw it. It was huge…an SUV named a Chevy Avalanche.

"I…I don't think so Jack", Daniel replied with an idiotic grin on his face. All he could envision was Janet needing one of those collapsible ladders to get into the truck.

The salesperson was indignant when he realized the purchase was for Daniel; but he was willing to play along. Jack was insistent that Daniel at least sit down and discuss the possibility of purchasing the truck. Daniel sat with Jack and the salesperson and listened to the droning of their voices as Jack argued what was to be included in the price, the color…"

"Black…or silver, Daniel".

"Whatever, Jack" Daniel could feel himself drifting…if Jack didn't hurry up with this or at least supply Daniel with a cup of coffee, they were going to find him face down and drooling on the salesperson's desk.

The salesperson definitely was of the belief that Daniel was strange. The other gentleman, the military man, was self-assured and secure in the knowledge of what he desired. The other guy…lost in his own world, barely acknowledging the existence of where they were…

"Excuse me…what can you do about the price", Jack wanted to know.

The salesperson leaned conspiratorially across his desk. "The Avalanche is for him?" he motioned in Daniel's direction with a tilt of his head.

"Umm yeah" Jack replied.

"Can he afford it?"

Even though Daniel gave the appearance he was somewhere else, he actually was paying attention to the gentleman behind the desk and guffawed at that remark. Daniel withdrew his license and social security card from his back pocket and slid them across the desk to the salesperson. "Run a credit check…then we'll see."

He rewarded Jack with an indulgent smile and then sat back in his chair with his arms across his chest. "Dr. Jackson, this is a side of you that I have never seen before. Intriguing." Jack whispered as the salesman scrambled off.

'This guy must have won a lottery or something. No one…not even a doctor has that much money available to him'. "Here you go Dr..Dr. Jackson and can I…."

Daniel was in a mean, wicked mood today and he sat back and took joy in watching the man trip over himself to grovel.

Jack was in love with that truck…and was trying his damnedest to convince Daniel he couldn't live without it. In the end, they all shook hands with the promise to think about it.

Life took precedence over the purchase of any car or truck. Daniel was declared fit to travel and then the next week was spent on PX430 digging for artifacts or locating mineral samples. Daniel was shocked the first time SG1 sat for their MREs around the campfire and Jack pulled out the car brochures. He looked at Sam helplessly, she just shrugged her shoulders as Jack focused in on the Avalanche brochure and sang the truck's praises. By the second evening, an idea had formed in his mind and he approached Sam. She smiled in agreement, acknowledged that she knew someone who could help Daniel, and promised to do anything she could to assist.

After their return from the mission, debriefed, showered, paid a visit to Janet, Daniel let himself into his apartment after a lift home from Jack. Out of the six messages on his answering two were hang-ups and the other were from the Chevrolet salesman. Daniel checked his watch and made two calls that evening.

SG1 was on downtime the following week and it was a beautiful Saturday morning. Daniel and Teal'c were going to assist Jack in yard work and Jack was just opening his truck door to pick up first Teal'c, then Daniel. The honk of a truck horn caught his attention. Dumbfounded, Jack watched as Daniel maneuvered a brand new Avalanche into his driveway. A slight twinge of jealously ran through Jack's body, but it was gone before it was truly properly acknowledged.

Daniel jumped out of the driver's side of the 2002 shiny black Avalanche. "Wow, she's a beaut Daniel. Look at the lines, the color…you know you could put a lot of…"

"Like it Jack?"

"Love it Daniel, you know that. The salesman must have shit when you went back to get it."

Leaning against the door of the car, he had a Cheshire grin on his face. "Really sure you like it?"

"Why Daniel".

"It's yours".

"I don't understand?"

Daniel walked over to his best friend and turned Jack's hand palm side up. He placed the car keys in Jack's hand, closing the finger gently around the keys. "Suffice it to say, I don't owe you a Christmas or birthday present, for at least another 20 or 30 years. This is yours Jack. Enjoy."

"Why Daniel?" Jack asked softly.

"Because I can Jack, but more importantly, because I wanted to".

"But you still have to get a car".

At that precise moment, a car pulled into Jack's driveway behind the Avalanche and Teal'c got out of the passenger side, and Sam the driver's side.

"Carter?"

"Daniel's car sir"

"Daniel?"

"Like it Jack. It is a '66 fully restored Ford Mustang. Sam arranged for me to purchase it."

"It's old Daniel".

"No Jack, think of it as an artifact."

Jack walked over to the Avalanche. "This truck". Daniel gave him a meaningful look, Jack returned the look with a lopsided grin "My truck has air conditioning and heat".

"Jack, I have a convertible and heat also".

"My truck smells new".

"My car has history."

Teal'c and Sam leaned against Jack's old Explorer, still in the driveway. Passing a look of understanding between the two of them. They realized they were in for the long haul.

"My car has a CD player".

"Had my car installed with a cell phone that charges constantly off the car battery. Wouldn't want you to worry."

"My car has anti-lock brakes and handles well in the snow".

"Good, this way I won't have to take out the car I love out in the snow. You can drive me".

"Daniel, we are in Colorado, it snows the majority of time".

"Well then you will be picking me up a lot or I will be sleeping on base".

Jack paused and smiled at Daniel. "But it's old Daniel, how can you love it".

"Jack, you're old, but I still love you".

"Touché" Sam said laughing.

Jack shot her a murderous look. "O'Neill, just say thank you to DanielJackson so we do not spend the day on your driveway".

"Thank you Daniel"

"You're welcome Jack"

Jack threw the keys in the air and deftly caught them. "Just remember Daniel, payback is a bitch"

fin