JD-DIVAS:STARGATE SG-1 JACK & DANIEL FRIENDSHIP FICTION BY PHOENIX E

ALTERED STATES  BY PHOENIX E


Gen:  Fiction Featuring the close friendship between Jack and Daniel
Rating: G.
Category: Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Drama
Season/Spoilers: Season 2 No spoilers
Synopsis: Jack gets tired of waiting for a certain errant archaeologist, goes hunting and makes a terrifying discovery.
Warnings: None
Length:   72Kb  Original completion date Early 2000.

 

 

Jack cast a baleful glance around the deserted commissary.  It hadn’t changed any in the last five minutes.  He picked up the spoon, banged it against his coffee cup.  Well, that took care of another couple of minutes.  He debated whether or not to get another cup of coffee, and then decided in deference to his kidneys, what he had already consumed didn’t need any more company.  So that left more fidgeting, wondering if they couldn’t have managed to find any chairs for this place that were a little more uncomfortable, and trying to think of anything else to do besides look at his watch. 

Again.

He wasn’t going to look he wasn’t going to look he wasn’t going to look.

An hour and a half!  An hour and a half, for crying out loud!  Fifteen minutes, Daniel had said.  'Just give me fifteen minutes.  Go on ahead, I’ll meet you there'.

And he'd believed him.  Schmuck.

It wasn’t like Daniel did it on purpose.  He never did.  On more than one occasion Jack had been made painfully aware of the difference between Military Time and Jackson Standard Time.  All it took was one little bright, shiny conundrum to beckon and  suck Book Boy in, and all bets were off.  Daniel's 'just five more minutes, Jack' - he'd fallen for that one before.  Five minutes his ass, more like five hours in the real world. Jack scowled at his watch.  

Skunked again for a bunch of squiggles.

Normally Jack wouldn’t have minded so much, but he wanted to get the hell out of this place already.  They’d been off-world for almost two weeks; it had been a bit of a hairy time but everyone had come back with all their parts intact, always a good thing.  Daniel had even found a few new toys to play with.  Probably what he was doing right now.

Well, that was all well and good for him but now the reporting and report-writing was done and they'd been cleared to go Jack wanted to put an egg in his shoe and beat it already.  Daniel had definitely given him the impression he wanted to do so as well. Which is why Jack had suggested they grab a coffee, put their heads together and see what sort of plan they could come up with. For the evening.   

So why, instead of leaving was he sitting here in the empty commissary with his empty coffee cup feeling like a schmuck?

Because he was one?

Well, enough was enough was enough.  Obviously Daniel had forgotten about him and he wasn’t going to stand for sitting around here all night being stood up for an artey-fact.  He could find better things to do with his time than cool his heels in this place.  With or without Mr. Obviously-gotten-a-better-offer.

Jack put the palms of his hands on the table and pushed himself up to his feet.  He started to stride from the room, fully intending to keep going until he got into his truck and off to wherever the hell it was he was going.    Fully immersed in his disappointment he ambled down the corridor on automatic pilot and was almost there before he realized his feet had taken him not in the direction of the exit, but towards Daniel’s office.

Schmuck.

Well, he was here.  He might as well see what was more exciting for Daniel than a night on the town with his best friend.

Jack gave the door a tentative rap with his knuckles.  No response.

Huh.  Daniel must really be into what he was doing.

Jack tried again, rapping a little harder this time.  “Daniel?”

Still no response.  What – was he deaf?  Jack sighed impatiently as he grasped the door handle, turned it and flung the door open.

The familiar sight of Daniel’s disordered office greeted him.  The desk piled high with books, papers and strange little curios from even stranger places.  The desk was also littered with a  couple of empty, unwashed coffee mugs and the decomposing remains of some  abandoned, unconsumed, unspecified foodstuff rapidly becoming even more unidentifiable. Daniel Jackson - the Oscar Madison of Archaeology.  Jack smiled to himself.  Daniel didn’t need to go anywhere to search for mysteries of the past.  He could conduct quite an excavation of his own desk.  There was enough crap stratifying  there to keep Daniel busy for the next six months.

Yup, Daniel had been here all right.  All the signs clearly attested to his presence.  Everything was here but Daniel.  Hello – what’s this?

 Daniel’s glasses were on the desk.  Right beside the really ugly statue.  That was odd.  Where would Daniel have gone without his glasses?  More to the point, how would he have gotten there, without his glasses?

 Whether it was possible or not it, he must have. 'Cause there was no getting around the fact the office was empty.   Daniel definitely was not here. Which meant he had to be somewhere else.  Unless he had learned how to turn invisible.  Now wouldn’t that be annoying….

Jack paused, momentarily confused by this development.  Okay, now he knew what Daniel had told him.  This was where Daniel was going to be until he joined him up in the commissary, like he said he was going to.  So, where was he?

Jack wasn’t angry with Daniel now.  Far from it.  Daniel might be absent-minded, but he wasn’t inconsiderate.  He wouldn’t have just ditched him.  Not without a very good reason and not without telling him about it first.

So where the hell was he?  Jack was starting to get a bit concerned.  It was also gradually dawning on him standing here staring at Daniel's fossilizing desk wasn't answering any of his questions.  So maybe he'd better stop standing around with his mouth open and start -

Jack was about to back out of the office and set out on his quest, fully intending to track Daniel down, even if only to make sure everything was okay.  As he turned to pull the door closed he spotted something he'd missed on his first visual sweep of the room.

The feet poking out from just behind the desk.  

Crap! Daniel?

DANIEL!

The word tore from him as he scrambled around the desk and threw himself to his knees beside the man lying there on the floor.  Face down.  Not moving.  Not making a sound.

Daniel was wringing with sweat; his black T-shirt soaked and sticking to his skin. Jack turned him gently over, concern biting through him as he felt the heat rolling in waves from every part of Daniel he touched in the process.  

Jesus, what the hell was going on here?

Daniel was unconscious, burning up with fever, his flushed face like a blast furnace.  Jack could feel the heat coming up to meet his hand as he moved away the drenched strands of Daniel’s hair plastered to his forehead in order to place his hand there in a futilely unnecessary gesture of confirmation.  He didn’t need to touch Daniel to know what his eyes already told him.  Crap – this was nuts – didn’t make any sense at all.  He had just left him, just been talking to him.  Daniel had been fine.  What the hell was this?

Jack wasted a few more seconds shaking Daniel and calling his name.  No response.  He was in over his head.  Get help.  Still not quite able to accept what he had just seen but forced to by the fact it was indeed happening, Jack shot up from Daniel’s side in order to call put in the call for help.

 


“I’m sorry, Colonel, but I have absolutely no idea what is causing this.”

Jack looked down at the man burning up in the bed beneath him.  Daniel was still out of it, but he was starting to move fitfully in the throes of delirium, muttering under his breath in snatches of unintelligible, exotic phrases.  Jack wished he could curse in as many languages as Daniel apparently could rant in.

He kept looking at Daniel because he didn’t want to look at the Doc, to see how desperately frustrated and unhappy she was.  Janet Fraiser was the epitome of the competent, dedicated medical professional, and she hated being stumped as much as he did. But like it or not, and they both sure didn't, it didn't change the fact  they had one very dangerous mystery on their hands.

“I’ve run every test I can think of, Colonel.”  Dr Fraiser continued.  I can’t find any organic cause for Doctor Jackson’s condition.  He seems to be exhibiting a massive systemic reaction to some sort of infection or invading organism, but I can find no trace of it in his blood work.  There is no evidence of any bacterial or viral infections, no alien organisms, and no toxins or any abnormal substances.  I can try and deal with the symptoms, but without being able to identify the causal factor I don’t know how to administer any sort of treatment.  Or if I there even is anything I can do at all. I’m sorry, Sir.”

“What can you do for him?”  Jack said softly.

“Well, until we find out what is causing this all I can do is try and bring the fever down.  Right now that is my biggest worry – brain damage and febrile convulsions.  I won’t say don’t worry, but I can assure you everything that can possibly be done will be done.”

“Got that right, Doc,” Jack set his jaw with determination.  “You keep him alive, I’m going to see if I can get you some answers.  I'm gonna back track him, see where he has been, what he's been doing.  Something caused this, and I mean to find out what.”

“Good luck, Colonel,” Janet said earnestly.  “Daniel could use some.”

Three hours later Jack was a thoroughly defeated man.  The trail hadn’t been a very long one; for once Daniel hadn’t done much since coming back to base besides go where he was supposed to.  The infirmary, the showers, the briefing room, his office.  That was it.  Jack had talked to anybody and everybody who had seen him, talked to him, passed him in the halls, thought about him, even.  

Nothing.  Not a clue.

Whatever the hell was going on with Daniel, it was only happening to him.  There had been no reports anywhere on base of anyone developing similar sorts of symptoms.  He hadn’t really been expecting any; Janet had said there didn’t seem to be any sort of alien organism involved.  Still, something was responsible for Daniel's condition and he had to look for it.  Look and look and look, although  there seemed to be nothing to find.

 


"What the hell is going on here?"  Jack snarled at Fraiser.  "Why  have you got him trussed up like this?"

Jack stood at Daniel's bedside, struggling to swallow the rage and frustration boiling up inside of him at the sight of the leather straps binding Daniel's arms and legs.  Daniel lay inertly on the mattress, breathing shallowly, huge droplets of perspiration sullenly beading his moist, clammy skin.

"Colonel, please calm down,"  the doctor said firmly as she strode swiftly toward the bed.  "We had no choice.  Daniel has been delirious.  Hallucinating.  We had to restrain him so he wouldn't hurt himself.  Or us," she finished, grimacing as she rubbed her right shoulder.

"What?"  Jack blinked, stunned.  "What are you saying, he's getting worse?"

"Yes, Sir, I'm afraid so.  We've managed to get his fever down so he's no longer in danger but when it started to drop, that's when the hallucinations started.  Daniel has been - raving.  He's been making little or no sense, most of what he's been screaming hasn't been in any language I recognise and it took three airmen to stop him from bolting from the infirmary and get him back into the bed.  We had to do this, Colonel," Janet soothed, laying a hand on Jack's arm.  "And no, before you ask, we still have no idea what's causing this.  Did you have any luck?"

"Do I look like I did?" Jack said glumly, his bleak eyes roving over the comatose form of his friend.  "He's quiet now," Jack murmured.  "Did you put him out?"

'No,"  Janet shook her head.  "I haven't dared to give him any sort of sedation.  Without knowing what's causing this - I might make things worse.  He's...resting.  Exhaustion.  He's been screaming and fighting the restraints - "

"It's okay, it's okay," Jack waved away the rest of her statement.  "I get the picture."

"We really are doing everything possible," Janet sighed.

"Yeah," Jack said, feeling numb and helpless.  "I know.  I'll just - I'll just stay here for awhile, keep an eye on him."

Janet merely nodded, patting him gently on the back before moving silently away.

Jack gripped the bed rail, clenching his hands upon it with enough force to shatter bones.  He felt so damned helpless!  He wanted to break something.  It wouldn’t change anything, but at least it would be doing…something.  This made no sense.  It shouldn’t be happening.  He should be able to find out why it was happening.  Jack was furious about Daniel's condition, even more furious with himself he had failed to discover the reason for it.  There had to be something!  What had he missed?

Go over it again, Jack.  There had to be something.  Daniel hadn’t picked up whatever it was off-world.   They'd all been together, all of the time, and everybody else was fine.  So that meant whatever had happened to Daniel had happened here. At the SGC.  Where had Daniel been where he'd been alone?  Where?   They’d all hit the showers pretty much at the same time so that wasn’t it.  Not alone during the debrief or the infirmary...

His office.  That was the only place.  The only place where he 'd been alone.  His office, where Jack had found him.  That had to be where it had happened.  Where the clue was.

Jack yelped with surprise, shocked by the feeling of a hand clapped around his wrist with a grip threatening to turn his bones to jelly.  Jack looked dumbly down at Daniel’s hand tightly gripping him and then up and over to be met by a pair of fever-clouded blue eyes momentarily alit by a feeble spark of recognition. 

“Danny?”  Jack breathed.

Daniel was struggling to say something.  Tell him something.  Trying to push away the madness long enough to tell him something important.  Jack leaned closer, aching to help.

“Eyes…” Daniel gasped weakly.  “Need to see…eyes….“

It was all Daniel could manage.  He fell back against the pillow again, his hand loosening and dropping away as well.  He could no longer see the man beside him staring down at him, violent happiness transforming  his face.

Eyes.  Jack remembered now.  What he'd seen on Daniel’s desk.  Danny’s desk! That was it!

"YES!" Jack whooped triumphantly, scaring half the duty shift in the infirmary, and tore from the room.  He pelted down the corridor to get what Daniel needed.

Jack made it there in what he considered to be record time.  He’d bowled a few people over in the process; he’d make his amends later.  This was an emergency.

There, sitting on the desk was the little mother causing all the problems. It was one of the pieces Daniel had brought back from the site they'd been poking around for the last couple of weeks.  Before the little - disagreement - with the locals had caused them to pack up and go home.

The six-inch tall statuette was carved out of black stone and looked like some kind of crouching toad with huge, baleful eyes that were pale yellow crystals set into the carved eye sockets.  The black toad was squatting on a thick base inscribed with a phrase written in early gibberish.  Well, Jack couldn’t read it, but he had a feeling that Daniel could.  

And had.

Daniel had been quite excited when he'd found it.  He'd babbled something about shamans and totems and spirits and he'd been saying something else at the time, but it was right about then Jack had tuned him out.  Now he wished he'd listened more closely.  But he hadn't, and his regrets about not listening weren't going to help Daniel any more than his previous inattention.

However, this ugly little bugger he'd come for would.

Jack started to pick it up, then stopped himself.  Maybe touching it wasn’t such a good idea.  Although Daniel had been swinging it around with impunity on the site.  Come to think of it, Jack was sure he could remember Carter holding it as well, at one point.  And she seemed to be fine.  Still, there was no point in taking any chances.

Jack took off his jacket and held it out in front of the nasty little article glaring at him as if daring him to try it.  He grabbed a magazine, used it to tip the statue over and into the folds of his coat.   After wrapped it up in the jacket he stowed the bundle under his arm and made tracks back to the infirmary.

The word had obviously gotten out.  This time people were staying well out of his way.

Janet was standing at Daniel’s bedside, but she turned to give Jack a ‘maybe we need to restrain you as well’ look as he came charging back into the infirmary.  “Sorry Doc, but I think I found it,” was all Jack was able to get out as he tried to catch his breath.  Damn, he had been doing some boogie-ing.  He was definitely getting too old for this shit.

Before she had a chance to question him or protest Jack loosened the restraints on Daniel’s arms, unwrapped the statue and put it in his hands.

Daniel’s hands clamped around it as if he was a drowning man clutching at his last straw.  He raised his head, locked eyes with the big, beady yellow ones staring back at him and gargled at the top of his lungs for a couple of seconds.

Well, that's what it sounded like!

"Wow!"  Jack jumped back as two thin beams of yellow light shot out of the statue's eyes and slammed into Daniel's.  He knew he'd been expecting something to happen but hadn't quite been expecting this something, and suddenly Jack found himself hoping he hadn't made an mistake trusting this thing would help Daniel.

Just for a moment, though. No matter what it looked like, he trusted Daniel, trusted he knew what he was doing.  It was going to be okay.

Daniel shuddered for a moment, the light pouring into his eyes making him shake alarmingly. "Daniel!" Janet exclaimed, quickly darting forward to take the statue away from him.  Never taking his eyes off Daniel, Jack held out his arm to block her attempt. 

"Don't!"  He warned her.  "Leave him alone.  He knows what he's doing.  It'll be all right."

 


An hour later Jack re-entered the infirmary.  He had finished tying up a few loose ends, making sure small squat and more-than-slightly-dangerous was under lock and key and he'd returned, bearing gifts.  Daniel was lying in bed, looking a little wan but a whole lot better than he had been, and definitely in his right mind again.  No fever, no screaming meamies.

Just Daniel.  Which was more than fine with Jack.  

“Howyadoin buckaroo?”  Jack grinned at him as he tossed the items on the bed he had gone back to Daniel’s office to get for him.  “Since you're gonna to be sacking out here, at least for tonight, I thought I would bring you a few things.  You know, your glasses, toothbrush, that sort of crap.  Oh yeah, and your pillow.  I know how much you hate the ones here.”

Daniel smiled at him as he reached over and retrieved the aforementioned item, a rather extravagantly oversized and luxuriously soft pillow.  He arranged it under his head and then sunk back into it, half resting his head on it, half hugging it fiercely.

“Thanks.  The pillows here are like rocks.  Funny, you wouldn’t think someone who has spent as much time sleeping on the ground as I have would be much bothered by something like that.”

Jack had his own theory about why that was, if the way Daniel was hugging that pillow was anything to go by, but he kept it to himself.

“So, how are you feeling?” he grinned.

“Like I’ve been dragged over ten miles of bad road by a herd of mastages."  Daniel grinned at him. "But a lot better than I was before.  Thank you.”

“Shucks, t’weren’t nothing.”  Jack made a dismissing gesture with his hand.  “But next time you don’t want to hang out with me, all you have to do is say so. I can take a hint, honest.”

Daniel flashed him a shy smile.  “Okay, I’ll keep that in mind.  Well, it looks like this evening is pretty much shot, but how about tomorrow?  Janet says I have to stay here tonight, but if everything checks out in the morning I should be free and clear.”

Jack made a show of pretending to mull this one over.  “Well, okay.  But if you stand me up again I am going to have to hunt you down and kill you.”

“Point taken.  Trust me, it won't come to that.   So, aren’t you going to ask me?”

“Ask you what?”  Jack feigned innocence.

“What stupid thing it was I did this time?”

Well I wasn't going to say anything but since you're the one bringing it up - "

 Daniel grinned at him before continuing. “Well, if my experience was anything to go by I'm guessing the statue is a device which enables the user to achieve an the altered state of consciousness necessary to accomplishing a shamanistic practice called journeying.  On Earth, native cultures use a combination of rhythmic drumming, dancing and sometimes drugs to achieve the ecstatic states these people apparently attained with this device. I’m not sure if the severe physiological reaction is supposed to be part of the experience, though.  If so, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to, but perhaps we can just chalk up my reaction to a fundamental difference in metabolisms."  Daniel shrugged and made a face.  "Whatever - it's a moot point.  It's not something I'm going to be trying again in order to see whether being sent into the fever zone was a one time thing or part of the ticket to ride.  So unless anyone else is insane enough to give it a go I guess we'll never know.”

“I don't get it," Jack returned.  "You say the statue put you into the twilight zone, but  – you were handling it before with no problem, and so was Carter.  How come – “

“You can pick it up and handle it to your heart’s content without turning it on," Daniel stifled a yawn before continuing. "Apparently it’s sonically activated.  The light is triggered by a specific combination of sounds, in this case, the phrase inscribed on the base.  Say it aloud and – whammo!”

 “Ah,” Jack grunted.  “You talk to yourself when you work.”

“That I do, “Daniel conceded grudgingly.  "The phrase looked familiar, but I couldn't get a handle - sometimes it helps to say it out loud.  I was having trouble figuring out how to pronounce the last two words. I guess I got it right.”

“Get any luckier and there won’t be anything left of you next time,” Jack grinned as he waggled an admonishing finger at the man in the bed.

“Good thing you found me when you did or there wouldn’t be anything left of me now,” Daniel returned with a grateful, but slightly self-conscious smile.

“That’s me, ole-always-arriving-in-the-nick-of-time-O’Neill.”  Jack reached over and ruffled Daniel's hair, a little rougher than he had intended to.  The next phrase came out a little gruffer than he meant it to as well.

“Enough talk, get some sleep.  I’ll see you in the morning.”

Daniel beamed at him and he knew he had to leave the room.  

Fast.

“ ‘Kay.  Night, Jack,” Daniel sighed as he settled himself back down onto the bed and closed his eyes.

“Night, big guy.”

Feet, do your stuff…   

FINIS

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copyright
PhoenixE, 2000-9.
disclaimer
Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate Productions, Sci Fi Channel, Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. These stories are for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. These stories may not be posted elsewhere without the consent of the author. Copyright on images remains with the above named rightsholders.
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