Title: Climbing the Summit

Author: Devra

E-Mail: paravati@optonline.net

Status: Completed

Category: Missing Scene/Angst/Hurt/Comfort

Pairings: none

Spoilers: Summit and Last Stand

Season: Season 5

Rating: PG-13

Content Warnings: none

Summary: A close friend points out the obvious to one clueless Colonel

Author's Notes: Colonel O'Neill may not want to be friends with Dr. Jackson anymore, but in the Summit and Last Stand it was so obvious that I cringed and then decided something needed to be done. Special thanks to my wonderful beta jenn…what a difference a word, comma, or a different point of view makes.

Daniel was cold…actually a step away from hypothermia would be a more apropos analogy. His slave outfit did not to protect him from the damp cold weather of this planet. SG-1 and Jacob were waiting the allotted time for the poison to have dissipated before they headed back to the Stargate. He touched his face tentatively; feeling the blossoming of the bruise that resulted from Yu's anger aboard the space station. With a shiver, Daniel knew that there had not been one redeemable feature from this mission. 'Countless lives lost, for what', He thought bitterly 'for the knowledge that a new Goa'uld had moved into the neighborhood. The scales certainly didn't balance out in the Tok'ra's or SG-1's favor this time'.  

Sam was sitting dejectedly against a fallen tree trunk. With her knees drawn to her chest, she had her face turned in the opposite direction of her father, Teal'c and Jack. Daniel crouched down in front of her and touched her arm hesitantly. 

"Sam", he said softly. 

Lifting her head and meeting his eyes, Sam gave him a tentative smile. 

Daniel took his hand and placed it on her chin, gently rotating her face until the cuts she had received in the underground tunnels were fully visible to him.  

"Sam?" 

"Collapsing tunnels." 

Sighing audibly, he took her backpack and fumbled in it until he located the necessary medical supplies. Daniel cleansed the cuts with water from Sam's canteen, used the sterile wipes and as he went to place antibiotic cream on her facial injuries; Sam gently touched the bruise on his face. 

"Daniel?" 

"Yu's farewell present". 

Sam then moved to Daniel's neck right above the slave collar. He hissed as she touched a tender spot. 

"Daniel?" 

"Sarah…Osiris. Not to be outdone by Yu, she wanted to make sure to give me something to remember her by." He finished applying the cream, eyes downcast. 

"Oh Daniel, I'm sorry." Sam replied.  

Daniel wiped his hands on his slave outfit and returned the medical items to Sam's backpack. 

Sam leaned forwarded and with her thumbs, gently wiped the tears pooling at the edges of Daniel's eyes. 

"Daniel?" 

Chuckling he sat down next to her. "Contacts. I should have taken them out about five hours ago".  

Sam turned to have a full view of Daniel's eyes. His normally clear blue eyes looked puffy, red and on the verge of progressing from annoying to downright painful.  

"Daniel?" 

"I know, I don't have my glasses on me, so the contacts stay in until we return to SGC. At this point in time, if I removed them I don't think Jack would appreciate having to guide a visually impaired archeologist back to the gate".  

Now it was Sam's turn to chuckle as she leaned her head on Daniel's shoulder. He placed his arm around her shoulder, as much to offer her comfort, as it was to give warmth to his cold body.  

They sat in quiet companionship as Daniel felt Sam's breathing even out. Knowing that she was asleep, Daniel closed his eyes. The irritation from the contacts was alleviated a degree if his eyes remained closed, the constant blinking had added to the discomfort. Without even being aware of his own exhaustion, he soon joined Sam in sleep. 

****

Jack and Jacob stood overlooking the two scientists in slumber. Jack sighed, shaking his head as his gazed wandered over to Daniel. Jacob laid a hand on Jack's forearm. "Go easy on him Jack, I don't know the full extent of what took place, but the mission didn't go as planned". 

"Obviously", Jack snorted. "He returned with the poison, didn't he?" Jack scrubbed his hands over his face. SG-1 had been sucker punched on this mission. This whole endeavor had gone to hell in a hand basket…SG-1 obviously was starting to believe all their PR mission reports regarding their infallibility and lives had been lost due to their short sightedness.  

Jack's statement as he looked upon Daniel Jackson became one of concern and friendship; thoughts that hadn't crossed O'Neill's mind in a long time. They were luckier than most- while those around them fell, SG-1 stayed intact. Physically bouncing back (Daniel grimaced and moaned in his sleep) though sometimes taking longer mentally to regain their footing.  

"Jack, just so you know even though Daniel returned with the poison, he obtained valuable information from the space station." The timbre of Jacob's voice changed and Selmak finished "Daniel did not fail, Jack, do not make him feel like he did". 

"I would never do that Selmak…never".  

"O'Neill", Teal'c answered, joining the two men. "Sometimes your actions and words to DanielJackson convey a different message". 

Jack was spared having to answer the Jaffa, because Daniel and Sam chose that moment to stir. "Hello sleepyheads" Jack said with sarcastic undertones. Jacob bent to help Sam into a standing position. Daniel stayed seated with his back against the tree. "Jack?" Tilting his head upwards and squinting at the three men through bloodshot eyes. "Okay? " he questioned. 

Jack squatted down over protesting knees shouldering his P-90. Daniel had covered his irritated eyes with his hand and leaned his head back against the tree trunk. 

Jack touched the bruise on Daniel's face. "Shit Jack" Daniel said jumping. 

"How?" Jack inquired. His look of concern had long vanished leaving a CO questioning someone under his command. 

"Yu", Daniel replied rubbing his forehead attempting to halt the headache that was now coming into being from the abusive contacts. 

"Me?" 

"No, Jack." Daniel asked exasperation creeping into his voice. "Not me, ahh…. Yu. As in System Lord Yu." 

"Oh," Jack stood extending a hand to Daniel to pull him upright. Looking the archeologist up and down he commented, "Nice outfit. Color matches your eyes". 

"Thanks," Daniel responded with a grimace. Standing, he rubbed his forearms to bring some circulation and heat into this body. 

Teal'c quiet placed a hand on the Colonel's forearm. "Sufficient time has passed O'Neill." 

Jacob leaned over checking Sam's watch. "Teal'c is correct, Jack. We can head back towards the Stargate now." 

Teal'c and Jack took point, Sam their six and Jacob and Daniel in the middle. Daniel felt naked and uncomfortable. No clothes to speak of…that accounted for some of the feeling. But the emptiness of not being armed on a mission was an emotion that took him by surprise.  

Jack and Teal'c paused on a hill overlooking the Stargate and the valley where the Goa'uld ships and forces had landed. No movement, no sign of any life, only a lowland filled with countless dead Jaffa. Even though his body was not visible, the situation that played out before them confirmed that Elliott had died in the effort to save his comrades.  

"Elliott did as he promised, he released the poison". Jack took out his binoculars for a closer survey. 

Daniel closed his eyes and hung his head. Although he was sure Jack hadn't meant it that way, he interpreted that to mean, "Elliott succeeded where Daniel failed". Teal'c looked in DanielJackson's direction and Teal'c noticed what the Colonel did not…DanielJackson was lost and floundering and O'Neill was doing nothing to ground the younger man. Teal'c was broken out of his reverie by O'Neill's insistence that it was time to head for home.  

Jack had led SG-1 through the gate, cradling the dead body of Elliott in his arms. General Hammond's statement was grim and tightlipped as Jack tenderly placed the body on the waiting gurney. Janet had checked the vitals of the young man, and shook her head in the General's direction. Janet turned her attention to the remaining members stepping out of the Stargate and as soon as Daniel had stepped off the ramp she had grabbed him, took one look at his eyes, and told him to remove the lenses in the infirmary and wait for her. She turned to the other members and reminded them to visit her first, then shower…Jacob included. 

"We will debrief as soon as Dr. Fraiser is completed her post mission examinations and you have cleaned up ", General Hammond informed them and, with eyes downcast, slowly proceeded up the stairs to his office. 

****

The debriefing had been long, hard and painful on all counts. General Hammond's questions to both SG-1 and Jacob had stretched out for an indeterminable length of time. Daniel exhaled loudly and stretched out on the gurney that Janet had directed him to. The harsh overhead lights glared in his abused eyes and he covered them with his hand. This was actually his second visit the infirmary following their return from the planet. On the first visit, Dr. Fraiser had a few choice words for Daniel over the stupidity of allowing contacts to stay in irritated eyes. She had applied antibiotic drops the moment the contacts were removed. She had warned him that he had better show his face back in the infirmary after the debriefing. 

"Daniel?" 

Daniel struggled into a sitting position upon hearing Janet call his name. "Sore muscles?" She asked shining her hated penlight in his eyes. Daniel grimaced and attempted to extricate himself from her examination of his painful eyes. 

"Daniel, this is just going to take longer if you don't cooperate. You didn't answer…sore muscles?"  

Rotating his shoulders, "Yeah" he acknowledged. "But why?" 

Switching off her penlight, Janet gave Daniel a lopsided grin. "Accident…cargo ship…high rate of speed…crash on planet…ring any bells Daniel?" 

"Oh yeah", Daniel replied ducking his head. 

Handing him four pills and a cup of water. "Jacob told me when I was treating his injury. His symbiote took care of the majority of problems". 

Swallowing the pills and the water. Daniel paused before handing her the empty cup. Contemplating what he had just done, he questioned Janet "What did I just take?" 

Laughing Janet replied "Aspirin and muscle relaxers". 

"Janet, those always knock me on my ass. I just wanted to sleep at home tonight, not here. I'll never be able to drive home", Daniel whined. 

Turning serious and with a no nonsense tone she replied "Daniel, with those eyes you were not driving yourself home tonight anyway. I will get an airman to drive you home". 

"There will be no need DoctorFraiser, I will gladly take DanielJackson home". The two people in the infirmary jumped at the Jaffa's sudden appearance. 

"Teal'c, that would be wonderful. Daniel?" 

"Sure Teal'c, want to drive my car?" He attempted to jump off the gurney, but was halted by Janet's hand on his arm.  

"We aren't finished here yet, Doctor." Janet held out her hand and started running through the list of instructions Daniel needed to follow if he wanted to leave anytime today. No driving, no drinking of alcohol or caffeine, no lifting heavy objects, antibiotic drops in his eyes three times daily, sunglasses in bright sunlight, stand down for a minimum of three days…and the one that made Daniel come to attention…no reading, writing, or computer research. 

Daniel attempted to glare at Janet. "Daniel your corneas are injured, they need to heal and rest". She handed him a bag containing his medication. "Eye drops, oral antibiotics and muscle relaxers…the first two must be taken, the third only if you need them. I want to re-examine you tomorrow. If your eyes aren't showing any improvement, I'm calling in an ophthalmologist for a consultation." 

Thoroughly chastised, Daniel then took his leave, the bag of meds tucked into his pants' pocket.  

****

"Thank you for offering to take me home Teal'c." 

"Thank you for allowing me to drive your vehicle". 

"My pleasure, Teal'c". Upon entering his office, he grabbed his keys and wallet from his top drawer and his briefcase overflowing with work from the floor. Daniel halted when he felt a strong arm prohibiting him from obtaining his work. 

"Must I remind you of DoctorFraiser's warnings? No work. No reading. No research. Please listen to them". 

Squinting in the big man's direction, Daniel ducked his head embarrassed. "Sorry Teal'c, force of habit". He tossed his car keys in Teal'c direction and they were caught deftly as a rare smile lit up Teal'c's normally stoic statement. "The car" Teal'c said with reverence in his voice. Daniel smiled as Teal'c grabbed his arm and hurried him along to the car. Teal'c could never seem to explain what a feeling of acceptance DanielJackson had given him when he permitted him to drive his car. 

Standing by Daniel's car in the lot, Daniel chuckled as he watched Teal'c caress the hood of the car. Both Jack and Sam refused to let Teal'c get behind the wheel of their cars. Daniel figured if he trusted Teal'c enough to keep him safe on alien planets, then he could trust him to keep him safe while driving his car. Daniel's car was a restored 1966 cherry red Mustang convertible. Sam helped him get it, Daniel loved it, Jack hated it, and Teal'c treated it with the homage it deserved.  

Teal'c gently lowered himself in the driver seat and Daniel followed suit into the passenger seat.

"Home, James", Daniel said. As Teal'c pulled away from the mountain Daniel panicked with the idea of being idle for 3 days, 72 hours, 4,320 minutes, 259,200 seconds… Feeling the weariness from Janet's pills pulling him down, he awkwardly removed his jacket and bunched it up by the passenger window to use as a pillow. Before the car was even in 3rd gear, Daniel was fast asleep.

The close friends of DanielJackson and ColonelO'Neill were aware of the change in the attitude O'Neill had with regard to the team's civilian member. This mission, in MajorCarter's mind, was the straw that broke the camel's back, the icing on the cake, the last hurrah. MajorCarter had come up with a list of analogies a mile long, but the outcome was that something needed to be done. Teal'c had been elected to be the arbitrator between the two men; however, he was not looking forward to his ringside seat in this battle. As a warrior going off to war, Teal'c had prepared supplies for survival. The back seat was filled with both pizza and beer that he had stopped for while Daniel slept.  

Without opening his eyes Daniel asked "Teal'c do I smell pizza?" 

"Yes, DanielJackson". 

"Okay, just checking" drifting back off to sleep. 

****

Daniel stood, weaving drunkenly. "I wanna leave now Teal'c. Take me 'ome". 

Jack slammed his palms into the chair and stood up. "You're not going home, you will barely make it out to the car. You wouldn't want to vomit all over those precious seats now would you?"  

This had not gone as planned. Colonel O'Neill was far from happy to see them at his house. Daniel had awakened when Teal'c parked in Jack's driveway and a smile lit his face on at the prospect of a visit. Jack's lack of enthusiasm when he opened the door to Teal'c and Daniel instantly removed the smile from Daniel's face. Jack invited them in and seated himself on the overstuffed chair leaving Daniel and Teal'c standing with the beer and pizza.  

"Um. Where should we put the beer and pizza, Jack?" Never looking at Daniel, the Colonel motioned to the coffee table. Never taking his eyes off the game on the television. A few words were exchanged while the pizza was doled out, but after that Jack conversed with Teal'c alone. Daniel sat in the far corner of the couch and proceeded to get completely and totally drunk.  

Breathing heavily and swaying dangerously, "I don't care…I…want…to…go…home!"  

Teal'c was angry with himself for not paying closer attention to DanielJackson and for letting the situation get out of control. Jack stepped forward and made a grab for Daniel's arm. Daniel took a step backwards and continued retreating, never removing his eyes from Jack. At the next backward step everyone in the room realized that the only thing left were the stairs to the door. Daniel's last step had him pinwheeling in midair, trying to maintain his balance, and Teal'c and Jack shouting his name simultaneously. Falling down the three steps Daniel landed gracelessly, hitting his head so hard against the floor that for a moment he saw stars. By the time the other two men appeared at the bottom of the steps, Daniel was on his side holding his stomach and moaning. "DanielJackson. Are you…"  

"I'm gonna be si'k".  

"Not here you're not." Colonel O'Neill hauled Daniel to his feet, dragged him up the stairs and propelled him in the direction of the bathroom. Jack sat at the edge of the bathtub while Daniel vomited continuously for over half an hour. At one point, Jack got up and placed a wet washcloth on Daniel's neck, which did nothing to alleviate the vomiting, it just made it look that Jack was taking an interest. Teal'c waited patiently in the doorway to the bathroom, shaking his head at the stupidity of the two men. "That was an idiotic move Daniel. I'm sure based upon the condition of your eyes, one of Janet's stipulations was no alcohol". 

Groaning Daniel answered "Jack, do me a favor and shut up please".  

"Why should I? You came here uninvited, drank the beer you brought to me and, unless I'm mistaken, you are throwing up in my bathroom". 

Turning around to face Jack, his back against the base of the toilet. He used his shirt sleeve to wipe his tearing eyes "Jack, I really…" 

Jack kneeled down until he was eye level with Daniel. "Do us both a favor, shower, take the medication from Dr. Fraiser, take two Tylenol, drink 8 oz. of water, and sleep it off in the guest room. You'll find clean clothes in the drawer. Leave quietly in the morning, don't wake me". Jack stood up turned on the shower and threw a towel from the shelf towards Daniel. He then stormed out of the bathroom. 

Even Teal'c was taken back by the harshness of O'Neill's words. Daniel pulled himself to a standing position, turning he noticed Teal'c in the doorway. "Sorry Teal'c…I didn't mean for…I shouldn't have…", Daniel hung his head in shame.  

"There is no need for apology, DanielJackson. You should listen to O'Neill and take your medication from Dr. Fraiser and drink your water. Then I will take you home".  

A look of relief passed over Daniel's face, "Thank you Teal'c I would really appreciate that". Teal'c stood in the bathroom while Daniel washed up at the sink, turned off the shower, and then he shadowed him to the kitchen where he drank his water, took the medication and applied the drops. No words were spoken between the two men. 

Teal'c handed Daniel the car keys "Wait in the car, I wish to speak to O'Neill". 

"Please Teal'c", Daniel protested placing a hand on his chest to subdue him "It was as much my fault as his." 

"That remains to be decided". He gently pushed Daniel towards the direction of the car. He waited until the saw the street lamp illuminate Daniel entering the car before he went to search for O'Neill.  

Jack was sitting on his observation deck; eyes pinned to Daniel's car in the driveway. He turned when Teal'c joined him. 

"Don't even say anything Teal'c. I screwed up". 

"O'Neill, why do you enjoy jerking the flooring from under DanielJackson's shoes?" 

Rubbing his forehead "Teal'c I…oh…you mean pulling the rug out from under Daniel's feet?" 

"That is what I said O'Neill. Would you have done the same thing to your son as you are doing to DanielJackson". 

"What the hell are you talking about?" 

"When DanielJackson arrived back on earth after Abydos, during his first year on SG-1, you looked after him like one would look after their child. Like a child, DanielJackson attempted to improve himself, to adapt to the world of the military at the SGC because he sought your approval. As he became more versed and comfortable in the way of SGC, you pulled yourself away from him. He would not like me to say it, but DanielJackson has become a warrior that I am proud to call my friend. Yet, I do not understand, the more he worked to fit into the military lifestyle, the more you pull your friendship away from him. He is hurting, and to him any attention from you is better than no attention at all. That is why he behaved as he did tonight. Even my own son will misbehave, knowing I must give attention to him to correct his mistakes." 

"He doesn't need me. He can take care of himself now." 

"O'Neill forgive me, but he doesn't need you to take care of him. DanielJackson wishes you to be his friend. He does not understand what he did that you no longer seek his presence. In his eyes, he became the person you wanted, yet you deny him your time. If your son had grown to manhood, would you stop being his father because he was an adult and no longer required your constant guidance or would you be proud to call your son, your friend? 

"Think about what I have said O'Neill and act wisely on my words. Do not lose something that you will be sorry for in the future." 

Teal'c descended down the ladder, got in Daniel's car and sped off down the street. Jack watched the rear lights until they became pinpoints of red in the night. Walking down the ladder he entered the house. He cleaned up the empty beer bottles and the pizza, hoping that tomorrow he could clean up the mess he had made of his friendship as easily as he was cleaning his living room.