IT'S A TOUGH JOB BY DEVRA


Slash: Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
Rating: PG-13
Category: Hurt / Comfort, Humor
Season/Spoilers: None
Synopsis: Jack helps Daniel regain his balance after a fall
Warnings: None
Length: 13 Kb

This is one of those instances where you know you've done something stupid seconds after it happens, like seeing your keys sitting in the ignition through the car window as you slam the door shut. And of course your cell phone's battery isn't charged. Or better yet, the cell phone is lying on the console in the car with the doors locked and the keys sitting in the ignition. And it's raining ... hard. And it's night. And cold.

I had the best intentions ... I always do. Okay not always, but today I did. I was going to pull Daniel out of his office and make sure he ate one decent meal today. Do the Colonel thing and order him to join me in the commissary for chewable intake ... not the coffee of which I'm sure he's already consumed gallons. The lunch may have been my outward and military excuse, but my need to see Daniel after being separated with no contact for almost 72 hours makes me one eager, horny, exuberant Jack O'Neill. The outcome would have been better if I had just tapped into the eager and horny aspects of my personality ... it was the exuberance that put Daniel where he is now.

"Hey Daniel, I'm back." First words outta my mouth when I entered his lab. First words shouted after I had been offworld for three days and Daniel had been Earth bound working on a trade agreement. First words Daniel had probably heard spoken by another human being in hours.

Slow motion went into effect as Daniel turned towards me in sweet recognition. An accident waiting to happen. I took a step forward, but there was no way, between the distance and the amount of files and boxes on the floor, that I was going to reach Daniel before he took a header off the chair he was precariously perched on. The one with the rollers, the kind you should never stand on but do when there isn't a ladder available. The one Daniel was standing on in an attempt to reach a heavy book on the uppermost shelf when his lover burst into his office, and yelled cheerfully.

Trying to halt his downward spiral Daniel grabbed a lower shelf, and only succeeded in having books and breakables join him on his journey ... onto the desk ... down to the floor. Calling his name, expecting the worse as I hurriedly maneuvered around obstacles, not expecting him to be conscious never mind coherent when I reached him. His eyes are open, unfocused with shock, but open ... and he's calling for me.

"Mmmm Jack?"

"Where do you hurt ... what hurts?"

I have to smile at the 'how stupid are you?' look that Daniel flashes in my direction. He is contemplating my question though, I see him assessing various body parts. Movements and twitchings are accompanied by groans and whimpers ... "Hold that thought ... I'm gonna call Fraiser."

"I can get up ... I'm fine ... just had the wind knocked outta me, that's all." I start to protest about possible back injury. Daniel gets his head and one shoulder off the floor, before he falls back with an audible thwack. His 'ow' is accompanied with a moan, followed by 'I think a call to Janet is a wonderful idea', which is immediately followed by a 'think I'm gonna be sick.' Which he is, all over the floor and the nearest object, me. And if there is one consolation in all of this ... I now know for a fact that Daniel has eaten at least one meal today.

I pull my handkerchief from my back pocket and clean Daniel up the best I can ... he's mumbling how sorry he is ... and I keep repeating something about the things one does for love.


Fraiser's unhappiness had increased to epic proportions by the time Daniel was sent to x-ray. His very loud, very vocal protests of her manipulation of his body parts are still echoing in the infirmary.

She slams shut the chart she is writing on. "May I ask what you are still doing here, Colonel?"

"I wanted to see how ... ya know." I stammer. Damn, she is the only person on this whole military base, besides the General, who can put me in my place with a look or a word. Her expression softens in the face of my concern. "He's going to be fine, Colonel." Wrinkling her nose, and waving her free hand in my direction she orders me to change clothes and shower. I look down at my stained clothes, and I have the answer to why everyone was giving me a wide berth.

"I need to shower and change and then I ..."

"Then I will find you, Colonel. Go back to your office ... do some paperwork. I'll let ..." She makes a move to lay what I would believe to be a comforting hand on my arm and thinks better of it. "Go shower ... first priority, please."


My archeologist is safe, banged up beyond belief with deep bruising to his back and side, legs, slight concussion ... he's a mess, uncomfortable ... but alive, breathing and sleeping in my bed ... our bed.

Early evening, and Daniel is balancing between waking and the painless dream state he now inhabits. The medication that Fraiser had given him at the SGC wore off about 2 hours ago according to my watch, but he is fighting the urge to open his eyes because I'm sure it's less painful where he is. I grimace in sympathy as every motion brings a noise of protest from Daniel.

I cautiously sit at the edge of the bed, placing my hand on his forehead.

"Please tell me I didn't do what I think I did. Please tell me I was ribboned or hit with a staff weapon ... Please tell me I didn't fall off a chair in my office," he asks mournfully without even opening his eyes.

"Yup ... that you did."

"Tell me I'm in the infirmary and any second now, Janet is going to stick something in my IV that will make me sleep until this is all over. Until I am able to move my body without ..."

"Home."

"Home?" he echoes incredulously. Finally opening his eyes to take in his surroundings. "Janet keeps me overnight for a stubbed toe ... why the hell did she ..."

"Self preservation."

"Explain." His yawn is followed by an 'ow'.

"Don't remember getting a little loud in the infirmary, telling Janet you were not putting your ass on those plastic covered, rock hard beds? Something about your ass being coveted by ..."

"Oh ... ow ... shit."

"At that moment Janet felt that it would safer for you to do your recovery at home."

"Flowers?"

"Roses ... a dozen."

"Candy?"

"Goes without saying, Daniel. Your performance is gonna cost you big time."

I stand, knees popping with the effort. "You've been sleeping for hours ... wanna come downstairs for a while? I'll make you something to eat."

"Right now the five feet to the bathroom seems like an impossible journey ... I cannot imagine the stairs."

I cringe at the expletives that come from Daniel's mouth as he maneuvers his body from a prone to a sitting position. "You kiss your Colonel with that mouth?"

"Ow ... ow ... ow ... don't make me laugh." He slowly extends his arm in my direction, wincing as he does so. "Gotta pee." I pull him to a standing position, steady him and step back ... waiting to see if he needs further support. He just stands there, looking at his feet, then at me.

"Daniel?"

"Can't I pee right here?"

"Peeing on the bedroom floor is not permissible."

"You let me throw up on you today."

"Throwing up is okay, peeing on the Colonel or the floor or anyplace that doesn't have a toilet or tree is not okay."

He sighs and whimpers with each straight-legged step to the bathroom. I follow behind, close enough to catch him if he topples ... again. I lean against the door frame as he pees, washes up and brushes his teeth.

We follow the same dance steps back to the bed. Daniel stands before the mattress, looking at it longingly.

"Wanna go back in?"

"Yeah."

"Want any help?"

"Got this ... yeah I think I can manage this." With great precision, and cursing in languages both familiar and unfamiliar, Daniel succeeds in positioning his body into a sitting position.

Pillows tucked behind his back, remote placed in his hand, glasses positioned for optimum TV viewing, I take my leave to retrieve the pain meds that Fraiser had dispensed.


Daniel eats the toast, complains about the lack of coffee, and takes the pill with great trepidation, eyeing it and questioning its ability to work. He leans back slowly, his thumbs rubbing tiny circles in his temples.

"Headache?"

"Concussion," he answers succinctly without mirth.

It's too early for me to be in bed, to sleep for the night, but I strip down to my boxers and tee and get into bed, under the covers. Daniel slithers painfully down the headboard and I move the pillows under his head so that we now lay side by side in the bed.

I'm pulled awake by the sound of my name being called ... very close to me ... in my ear ... 'Jaaaaack' ... accentuated by little breath puffs of air.

"Daniel?"

"Yup." He answers, followed by, "You were sleeping ... I'm not sleepy."

I turn to my side and come nose to nose with Daniel, who compliments of obviously strong painkillers, is now able to move his body. The glow of the TV screen enables me to see the drugged, glazed expression in Daniel's eyes.

"Feeling no pain, huh?" I lean in and give him a quick kiss on the tip of his nose.

I burst out laughing when Daniel giggles at my touch.

"You're giggling."

"Nope." He responds. "Not giggling ... chortling. Grown men don't giggle."

"Hate to contradict you, but you giggled."

"Nope ... guffawing ... snickering ... never giggled." I laugh again as his statement is accentuated with more giggling.

"Daniel ... you just giggled ..."

He places his fingers to my lip. "Ssshhhh ... don't say anything."

I take his hand in mine, kissing the palm. "Now you're pouting ... and giggling."

His faces falls, it would seem I've upset my archeologist. "Love you, Daniel, even if you are gi ... chortling and pouting."

The white of his smile shines in the darkness of the room. "Kiss it," he demands. Suddenly he sits up in bed, pulls his tee shirt over his head, flops on his stomach and folds his arms under his chin. Daniel faces me, reiterating the words "Kiss it."

I kiss his forehead.

"Hate that, Jack."

"I know Daniel ... I know you hate that ... but I'm clueless here ... what do you want me to kiss?" I shut my eyes at the thousand of visual images that come to mind at the loaded question.

Daniel sighs at my stupidity and turns so his bare back, mottled with bruises, is now facing me. I grimace in sympathy, touching the largest one gently. "They look like they hurt."

"Not anymore," Daniel answers with a giggle. "I haven't felt this way since college ... since that party ..."

"Is this what you want, Daniel?" I place my lips against the bruise covering his shoulder, filing away the college party discussion for another time.

"Kiss them and make me feel better. My mom used to do that when I fell." Daniel says with a sniff.

Oy ... danger ... danger ... drugged archeologist with fluctuating emotions.

My hand caresses, my lips touch gently each bruise lining his body. The heat of those discolorations warms my lips and hands. Daniel is quiet and his breathing is in such deep rhythm that I believe he is sleeping.

I pull him in towards me, maneuvering and sliding so my chin is resting atop his head. Daniel's body is loose and pliant in my arms, compliments of the doc's magic pills.

"Jack?"

"Yes?"

"I'm not gonna remember this in the morning am I?"

"Nope, don't think so, Daniel."

"I'm gonna hurt in the morning, aren't I?"

"Probably sooner than that," I reply, acknowledging his closeness by rubbing my cheek against the softness of his hair.

"Oh, then I better tell you now, thank you ... and I love you...love you, Jack."

His giggles vibrate against my chest in response to my 'rightbackatcha'. Giggles fade away, followed by yawns ... then silence. I feel myself drifting towards the downward pull of sleep.

"Jaacck."

"What, Daniel?" I swear half a pill next time ... half.

"You're snoring."

"I'm sorry ... go to sleep."

"That's okay Jack ... snoring is all right. It means you're safe and near me. Offworld or here. Snoring is good."

I tug him a little closer. No arguing with the logic of the warm body in my arms. "Thank you for loving me despite my shortcoming, Daniel."

Daniel yawns, rubbing his head soothingly under my chin. "It's a tough job, Jack, but somebody has to do it."

Daniel has already drifted to sleep when I answer softly, "I'm glad it's you, Daniel ... so glad it's you on the job."


FINIS

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Biblio, PhoenixE, babs, Brionhet, Darcy, Devra, Fabrisse, JoaG, Kalimyre, Marcia, Rowan and Sideburns, 2001-2008.
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