"Come on, Daniel," I complain, drumming my fingers against the steering wheel. It's bad enough that I'd been running late, but Daniel has added insult to injury by keeping me waiting another ten minutes. I check my watch for the umpteenth time, mentally calculating the drive time to the mountain versus the traffic and Daniel's need for coffee with some type of breakfast pastry. And no matter how I work out the equation, the sum total adds up to an angry look on Hammond's face as half of SG1 walks into this morning's briefing late. I'm even debating honking the horn, but acoustically, I'm pretty sure the sound wouldn't travel up eight flights of stairs through cinderblock and concrete. But damn it, I honk anyway, not once, but twice, more to alleviate my own stress than anything else.
"Well, it's about time," I grumble when I glimpse Daniel exchanging pleasantries with the doorman. "Jesus, Daniel, hurry up," I yell in the confines of the truck cab, the closed windows rattling with my anger. My hand hovers over the horn yet again but I restrain myself as Daniel saunters, head lowered, to the Avalanche.
"Sleep well?" I inquire sarcastically as Daniel flops down into the seat, flinging his head against the headrest.
"Slept great, until your phone call woke me up."
"My phone call? What about the alarm? As in that little piece of technology that should awaken you on mornings that I don't."
I don't give him a chance to get a word in edgewise. "And what's with the sunglasses?"
"Allergies ... my eyes are itching like crazy."
"Shouldn't the shots take care of that?"
Daniel flexes his jaw and rubs his left ear. "You would think they would ... who knows, maybe I've built up a resistance to them-oh swing by Swensen's," he orders.
I pull into a local mom and pop coffee shop, two blocks from Daniel's loft. Truthfully, I would rather deal with an angry General than drive with an uncaffeinated, hungry archaeologist. "The usual?" I ask as I maneuver into the closest parking spot.
Daniel begins to unbuckle his seatbelt. "I'll go."
"No, no," I hastily volunteer, because if Daniel walks into the shop, he'll be swallowed up with small talk, lose track of time and we'll be even later than we already are and the fault will fall on me because I'm driving. "I'll go ... my treat."
"Thanks," he acquiesces a little too suddenly for my liking.
"Are you okay?" I question, trying to assess how he feels by looking, and not touching.
"Fine," Daniel yawns as he lazily pats my upper arm in a condescending-like manner. "We're going to be late if you don't hurry."
"And whose fault would that be?" I mumble under my breath as I leave the truck, slamming the door behind me.
"Stop rubbing them," I order as I catch Daniel's finger's slip under the glasses for the thousandth time on this never-ending trek to work.
"Drink your coffee," I cajole, not sure how drinking coffee will stop the itching, only that it will occupy at least one of his hands, and keep it from abusing his eyes.
"Coffee tastes funny."
"Then eat that chocolate thing that Mrs. Swenson told me she bakes special just for you."
"Not really hungry."
Daniel feels his own forehead. "Nope, I'm fine. Coffee just tastes yuchy, pastry is a little too sweet this morning."
"Yucky? That's the technical term from the coffee connoisseur? How could coffee that costs more money than renting a video at Block Busters taste yucky? Explain that to me, Daniel." I pound the wheel in frustration. "And stop scratching your eyes!"
"Shut up, Jack." He sighs, effectively putting an end to this conversation.
"Colonel O'Neill. Dr. J."
"Morning Airman," we echo. I scribble my name and wait impatiently for Daniel to dot all of his "i's" before I begin tugging at his elbow. "We're late," I hiss.
"Oh yes, Colonel, General Hammond asked that both you and Dr. Jackson report to his office the moment you enter the SGC."
"Thank you," I answer, wondering if there is any possibility that the General would allow the excuse 'the archaeologist made me late'."
"Hmmmm?" His nose is buried in paperwork as we ride the elevator to Hammond's office.
"I'm wearing them."
I lean in and tap the lenses. "Sunglasses?"
"Oh," he scrunches up his nose, gazing upward at the overhead elevator lights.
"What did ya think, the Pentagon was cutting down on electricity?"
"Ha ha." He shoves his folders at me to hold and plucks the sunglass attachment off of his frames and sticks it in his breast pocket.
"Ewwww." I hold the folders at arm's length for him to take.
I flick my fingers towards his red, swollen eyes. "They look horrible. Do they hurt?"
"Yes! They hurt and they itch," he yells, just as the elevator door slides open. "That's what I've been telling you. Excuse me." Head bowed, he shoulders past the group of SG personnel waiting for the elevator.
"Allergies," I apologize to the curious onlookers, pointing to my eyes. They nod in understanding and for me they part quicker than the Red Sea for Moses. "Thank you," I mutter, following Daniel's back as he scurries towards Hammond's office.
Daniel spent the first fifteen minutes of the briefing prattling and rubbing his eyes, and I spent the first half of the briefing lightly kicking him, until he retaliates so hard I jump.
Hammond sighs. "Is there a problem, Colonel?"
"No, sir," I manage, fighting the urge to lean down and rub my aching shin.
Daniel continues his spiel about the temple on PR9455 that SG1 is scheduled to visit at fourteen hundred hours this afternoon. Since the first MALP images were transmitted back to the SGC, Daniel has been chomping at the bit to examine the ruins. I've been privy to the numerous proposals he had submitted to Hammond, eventually wearing the poor General down until he had no choice but to agree to permit SG1 to get up close and personal with the temple that Daniel is enamored with.
Daniel is on a roll and keeps talking, choosing to ignore Teal'c's polite interruption.
T's next "Daniel Jackson" is much louder and harsher than the first, and if Daniel hadn't stopped talking, I believe the General would have intervened.
Daniel squints at Teal'c. "Yes?"
"You are crying."
"What? No, I'm not."
I slide my chair out of range of his long legs before I answer. "Yup, you are," I agree smugly.
He turns a lovely shade of magenta when his fingers come away from his face wet. "Allergies," Daniel replies apologetically, wiping his hands on his pants.
Swollen eyes narrow dangerously in my direction when I snort. As an act of good faith, I hand him a wad of crumbled napkins from this morning's breakfast. He blinks at me, the mere action produces a gentle flow of tears before he snatches the napkins from my hands.
"These better be clean," he whispers dangerously, waving them in my face.
"Doesn't look like allergies to me, Daniel." Bless Carter for her astrophysical observation. She leans forward, scrutinizing Daniel over the table.
"I agree, Major Carter. Daniel Jackson's condition bears a remarkable resemblance to a childhood ailment commonly known on Chulak as oc'slodin."
"Allergies," the stubborn one insists as he forgoes the napkins clutched in his hands and swipes at the tears with the sleeve of his jacket.
"Conjunctivitis," Carter says, stabbing a finger in Daniel's direction.
"Pink eye," I agree with a nod of my head.
"Oc'slodin." Teal'c adds.
"Allergies," Daniel states.
"Definitely not allergies." General Hammond makes it unanimous when he calls a halt to the briefing and orders Daniel to the infirmary.
"Well?" Under the harsh infirmary lights, Daniel's eyes look worse. As a matter of fact, he looks pretty rotten.
"What did Fraiser say?"
"She said enough." Petulantly, Daniel lands a resounding kick to be bedside table and I cringe in sympathy. "The mission's scrubbed."
"I'm sorry ... truly I am."
"Yeah, whatever." Both of his hands rise in the direction of his eyes.
"Drop 'em, Dr. Jackson. Now. Put your hands where I can see them."
I can see Daniel's reluctance to obey Fraiser's command, but his survival instinct kicks in and he slowly lowers his hands into his lap.
"How's he doing?"
"According to Janet, I'm a mess."
The doc has the good grace to blush. "I'm sending him home."
"A mess?" I recall Charlie having pink eye once or twice, but I don't remember the pediatrician ever calling him a mess.
"Pink eye, ear infection and a sinus infection," Daniel lists, but his look of indignation is lost in the teary, swollen eyes.
"Hmmmm, you are a mess."
I don't miss that he now has his hands tucked between his thighs to keep them away from his eyes.
"Can I leave now?"
"As soon as I explain the meds in this little brown bag."
"Meds ... as in plural?" It's simply pink eye, can't Daniel do anything the easy way?
"Antibacterial cream for the eyes, three times a day or the drops, whichever one works better for you, antibiotics for the ear and sinus infection, three times a day also and drops for the ear for pain, if you need. Take Tylenol for the fever ..."
"He has a fever? I knew it!" I yell triumphantly.
Fraiser rolls her eyes heavenward. "Colonel, please. Tylenol for the fever and call me if it goes above 102." Janet places the bag on the gurney next to Daniel. "Best case scenario, it's bacterial, and the pink eye will clear up in a day or two -- worst case, it's viral and will linger for 3 or 4 weeks."
"Three to four weeks, just zat me now," Daniel begs.
I smile, feeling as sorry for myself as I do for Daniel. Scratch that. As Daniel defiantly rubs his eyes right in front of Fraiser, I'm feeling sorrier for myself at the moment and I'm sure after four weeks with a pissy Daniel, he won't have to beg for the zat, I'll gladly put him out of his misery myself.
I arrive at Daniel's apartment bearing gifts -- food and me -- hopefully my presence will provide a welcome distraction. Daniel greets me at the door, okay maybe greets is too strong a word, but he does grunt at me when he opens the door.
"I didn't wake you?" I inquire as he walks away from me and flops on the couch.
"No, you didn't wake me, Sam did. I just heard you fumbling for your key so rather than jumping out of my skin waiting for you trying to find the right one, I decided to do both you and me a favor."
Daniel's mood certainly hasn't improved since leaving the SGC this morning. I put the bags in the kitchen, I'll broach dinner with him later, when he's returned closer to humanity, but I do take the new antibiotics and a glass of water in to him.
The TV is on, his laptop is on the table and powered, the mouse cord and plug tangled in a messy heap atop an opened book. Daniel seems to be sleeping, sitting up, with his head bent back against the cushions, and although his eyes are swollen, I'm not sure if they're open or closed. "Daniel?" I whisper, placing the glass and the pill bottle on the table before sitting down.
"I'm not sleeping, Jack, you don't have to whisper."
"Oh ... you sorta looked like you ... how are you feeling?"
"Like crap. My eyes burn, they itch and if I try to sleep, my head pounds from the sinus pressure and I can feel the blood pumping in my ear canal. Oh ... and the thought of food makes me want to puke thanks to Janet's antibiotics." He adjusts his body on the couch, punching the armrest. "Actually, before Janet told me what was wrong with me, I felt much better."
I remain silent, wondering how well the food I brought will reheat.
"You're awfully quiet," Daniel states as he reaches for a tissue to wipe his eyes. It's safer to keep my mouth shut and not draw attention to the extra little rub he gives before tossing the discarded tissue onto the table, to join the little pyramid of other crumpled tissues.
"That's really unsanitary, Daniel. Pink eye is highly --"
"I don't give a fuck. This is my house and if you don't like it, the door's right over there."
"Excuse me?" Daniel has just moved straight past pissy without passing Go and is fast approaching my zatting him, screw the three weeks. With this attitude he's not going to last twenty-four hours. "Would you care to rephrase that?"
"No," he says, dropping his head into his hands.
"Hey." I bump my shoulder into his. Even though he doesn't look up, I know I've got his attention. "If it makes you feel any better, I'm really sorry you didn't get to go today, that the mission got scrubbed. I know how much it meant to you."
I get a softly whispered thanks, which is muffled by his hands. And suddenly, I'm inexplicably saddened for Daniel. His anger, short lived as it was, is now depleted over the unfortunate turn of events, and he'll now retreat into acceptance.
I sling my arm around his shoulders and pull him towards me. He fights it at first and then leans into my embrace. "Be angry, it's okay."
"I don't need your permission," Daniel huffs.
"No you don't." There we go ... just needed the right fuel to ignite the fire again.
"Pink eye ... I can't go through the 'gate because I have pink eye?" Daniel shrugs off my arm and turns to face me. "It's ludicrous."
"Yes, but besides the eye thingy, don't forget the ear infection ... can't fly with an ear infection, could you imagine traveling through the wormhole ..."
Daniel brings his shoulder up to his ear. "Ow ... no, just the thought of that. But still ... pink eye?"
"Well, your peaceful explorer speech kinda loses its impact if you're crying."
"I ... am ... not ... crying."
"Tearing, whatever. The 'we come in peace' falls flat on its face if the planet's inhabitants can't see Dr. Daniel Jackson's baby blues."
Those baby blues are so puffy that only a sliver of color is showing. "Nice, Jack ... so you're saying that SG1 is a successful first contact team because of the color of my eyes? What about Sam, she has blue eyes also?"
"Nothing against Carter, but you have a nicer ass than she does."
"Jack, I'm truly amazed at how fast you manage to pull every one of our conversations into the gutter."
"It's a gift. A blessing, not everyone can drag a conversation down to that level like I can." I grab a tissue and move to wipe away the tears sliding down his face.
"Don't." Daniel latches onto my arm. He plucks the tissue from my hand and uses it to sop up the moisture and scratch at his eyes.
"They still itch?"
"It's all encompassing. I can't work or watch TV 'cause all I want to do is take out my eyes and rub them with steel wool."
"Thanks for that lovely visual, Daniel."
"What you need is a distraction."
He inches away from me. "A distraction? What sort of distraction?"
"Something that'll keep your mind so occupied that the last thing you'll be thinking of is how much your eyes itch."
"Oh ... and you can provide me with this distraction?" There is a lascivious smile on his face and he slides back towards me.
"First, you need to take the new antibiotic Fraiser sent over."
"Nausea? I'll be so busy puking my guts up I won't be thinking how much my eyes itch, or my ear hurts or --"
"The new antibiotic is not the distraction I have in mind. Though it's a necessary step to get to it. Think of it as a dangling carrot, if you will."
Daniel swallows a pill and gulps down half the glass of water. "It was a sleeping pill? Please say that Janet's taken pity on me and this is going to drug me so I sleep through the next three days?"
"Finish the water ... and patience, Herr doctor."
He downs the rest of the water and puts the empty glass on the table. "Patience, distraction ... this is interesting."
"It's going to get better."
"Oh ..." Daniel's 'Oh god' rises in pitch as I caress his cock through his sweats. "Distraction?" he gulps.
"I'm contagious," he whines as my grip tightens.
"I'm not going to kiss you ... on the lips," I hastily correct my faux pas. "Though I will expect repayment at a later date."
"Repayment ... I can do repayment." He lifts his ass off the couch to give me better access, and those pesky hands of his that only moments ago wanted to scratch his itchy eyes are gripping the couch cushions instead. My hand slips around the loose waistband of his sweats, slowly creeping, meandering over his stomach, down his groin, teasingly fingering his hard on.
"This is ..." Daniel swallows loudly, his breath hitching. "This is ..."
"Wonderful? Fantastic?" With each adjective I skim my thumb over the head of his cock.
"Distracting," he moans.
"It's working then?"
"Working ... oh yeah," he responds when my hand dips below his dick and massages his balls.
"Think Fraiser would approve ..."
"Please, stop talking," he begs, tugging his sweats down, exposing his stiff cock.
I tap it between my thumb and pointer finger. "Well, hello. Nice to see one part of you stands at attention when I speak." Daniel gasps in surprise when I go down on him, and almost immediately those troublesome long fingers find purchase in my short gray strands of hair. I really don't believe Daniel is even thinking about his eyes, or his ears, or even that aborted mission as he slinks along the cushions while my mouth glides up and down his length.
Daniel progresses from whimpering to speaking in tongues; a smattering of various languages clues me in that the linguist is enjoying my method of distraction. I chuckle around his hard on and the vibration sends Daniel right over the edge. He manages a death grip on my hair, and a second after he calls out my name in gratitude, he comes.
My plan worked and I only had to remind Daniel twice to keep away from his eyes, and as an added bonus, I also got him to eat and drink after he got to be merry before dropping off to sleep. He's on the couch and not the bed, but he's sleeping so deeply I hate to disturb him. I take his temp with the ear thermometer without him even stirring, 101.9. Close but no cigar, not high enough to warrant a call to Fraiser but near enough that I'm going to obsess over it and take it again in another half hour or so.
I never could let sleeping dogs lie and Daniel awakens when I use a warm washcloth to wipe the caked up gunk off his eyelashes.
"I can't see." His statement is calm as his forehead raises and lowers, and his eyebrows go up and down as he attempts to pry open his eyelids.
"No, you're not blind." I give his knee a reassuring pat. "You have pink eye and your lashes are glued together with this really disgusting looking shit." I grip his chin between my fingers and gently swipe one eye with the cloth before Daniel snatches it from my hand and rubs the crap outta both eyes.
Two eyes open and to me it appears that the swelling has gone down a bit, but the now visible whites of his eyes are a wonderful shade of pink, which contrasts very nicely with the blue. Daniel blinks rapidly and a tear or two pool and then slide down his face.
"Zat me now," he orders, covering his whole face with the washcloth.
"I take it this means you don't feel any better."
A groan is my answer.
"I could use my tried and true method of distraction," I offer.
Daniel drops the washcloth to the side, missing the table completely. "You could," he agrees. His glance follows my picking up the cloth and dropping it onto the coffee table. "You know, you're probably going to get this."
"So? We'll share medication ... you use the drops and I'll use the cream."
"How are you going to explain your contracting pink eye to Janet?"
"I was taking care of you," I state smugly.
"That's what you're calling it?" He laughs. "You'll regret it, the itching will drive you crazy."
"You'll scratch my itch."
"Oh I will, will I?"
"You owe me ... I remember something about repayment."
"Yeah, that does sound familiar. I can do that distraction thing."
"Yes, you can, and do it quite well, I must say."
"I aim to please," he states before yawning, effectively ruining the moment. He yawns again and I tolerate a moment or two of his scrubbing his eyes with the heels of his hands before I issue a reprimand in my best Colonel voice.
I wake up unable to open my right eye. I extract myself from the lump that's taken over the couch, pushing me into the corner. His bare feet are digging painfully into my ass, while my own are resting on the coffee table and I realize I've fallen asleep, sitting up.
I'm amazed how off balance I am with only one functioning eye. My depth perception is totally skewed as I stumble into the bathroom and grab a towel from the rack. "Damn, it itches," I complain to my reflection as I wet the corner of the towel and vigorously rub it across my eye. "Nice," I say to the Jack in the mirror, touching the puffiness under my eye.
Even in the bathroom, I hear the downstairs' buzzer. A quick squint at my watch reveals the time to be 0-seven hundred hours which clearly explains the stiffness in my muscles and joints as I go to answer the door. Hours sleeping shoved in the corner of the couch, sitting up, only proves I'm not as young as I used to be.
Oblivious to the buzzer less than ten feet from him, Daniel continues to sleep, one hand cupped over his eyes, the other hand flattened protectively over his ear.
"Hello?" I whisper into the speaker portion of the intercom.
"Jack? Who's here?"
Oh God, I feel like Abbott and Costello meet the Waltons. "Come on up, Doc."
You know, when Fraiser paces, with her lips pressed together in a tight straight line without even uttering a word, I'm twelve years old again, sitting in the principal's office of Our Lady of Perpetual Hope waiting for Sister Katherine to pass sentence.
"You have conjunctivitis, Colonel."
"My fault," Daniel sighs.
"No argument from me," Fraiser states without a hint of empathy in her voice. "Look at this unsanitary mess." Her hand sweeps across the littered coffee table. "Tissues, pill bottles, thermometer ... more tissues. Empty Chinese food containers ..." She leans over and glances into the open white cartons. "... Not so empty containers." Fraiser stops and places her hands on her hips and at that moment, when she gazes down at Daniel and me sitting side by side on the couch, I would bet my last dollar our CMO is much taller than her five foot stature.
"What am I going to do with the two of you?"
"Get angry, give us a lecture and then ..."
"Daniel," I warn. Quite clearly, Daniel never faced off against Sister Catherine.
Fraiser sticks her hands in her pocket and I don't know if I'm more frightened that I thought she was going to pull out a wooden ruler or the fact that she pulls out a pair of rubber gloves. It's scary to think a grown woman carries rubber gloves that close to her body. "You," she says, pointing a finger at me. "Clean up this mess." She snaps on the gloves, "Daniel, you stay so I can examine you."
The table is totally cleared before I chance sitting down next to Daniel. "Well?"
"Same as yesterday, ears, sinuses ... though his eyes look a little better. Make sure you remember to take the medication and Tylenol plus the drops, okay?"
"You?" I love the cursory glance that's thrown my way. "Colonel, you have pinkeye." I catch the two items she throws in my direction. "Drops or cream, take your choice, just remember to use them. Oh, and as a precaution ... treat both eyes."
"You came prepared?" I ask incredulously.
Fraiser looks at me like that had to have been one of the stupidest things I ever asked.
"Daniel, two more days home ... you know the scenario of when to call, then back to the infirmary before I clear you. Colonel, tomorrow, infirmary, even before you get your morning cup of coffee ... do I make myself clear?"
Dumbstruck, we both nod.
"Do yourselves a favor, watch TV, play chess, watch a movie ..." She points a menacing finger at Daniel's hand poised over his eyelid. "Do not scratch. Find some sort of distraction to keep your mind off of how much it bothers you. Or you will both be shipped off to the infirmary."
I miss the last part of Fraiser's rant, she's muttering too low and fast for me to pick up the whole commentary, but if I'm not mistaken, I believe she said something about restraints.
I have never been so glad to escort anybody to the door and I refrain from smiling until the door's closed and locked. I take a few steps until I'm blindsided by Daniel, who lovingly body slams me up against the wall.
He buries his mouth against my neck and limber fingers tug my shirt out of the waistband of my pants. "Daniel? Whatcha doing?"
"My eyes are driving me crazy."
"And so I'm following doctor's orders."
I moan as his hand lingers on my cock. "Orders?"
"Yup. Janet said distraction ... so this works me for." He flexes his fingers around my balls. "Work for you?"
I nod, grinning, trying to imagine all the forms of distractions Daniel and I can try until I have to report to Fraiser tomorrow.
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