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

FOCAL POINT  BY PHOENIX E


Slash:  Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
Rating: R
Category: Established Relationship.  Angst.  Drama.  Hurt/Comfort
Season/Spoilers: Season 4.  No spoilers
Synopsis: Desperation, Darkness, Daniel and the colour Brown
Warnings: Nothing comes to mind.
Length:   55 Kb  Originally completed and posted to the net 21 Apr 01.

Notes:  Thanks to Biblio for the input, catching my misakes and for kindly and correctly telling me, after reading my first shot at this, I could do better.  Hopefullly, I have!



His eyes are brown.

Brown.  Nope.  Don't like that.  What kind of a word is that - brown?  It's got no 'je ne sais quoi', no sparkle, no fire.  No soul.   It's so…brown.   Okay, technically it's accurate, his eye are, well, brown, but we can do better than that. Brown!  How un…un… no way, it's just not good enough.  Brown!  Think of something better.  Think of something else.  Come on, you can do it.  Not like you've got anything  better to do, Daniel.

Except trying to stay alive, maybe, possibly, perhaps?

God, it's cold in here.  So damned cold.  I shouldn't be cold. Shouldn't be here.  I should be nice and warm, snuggled up with Jack in a huge, tacky bed in the tackiest theme suite in Vegas.  For an entire week. Seven glorious fuck-filled days.  Just me and Jack and a bed.  Buck naked.  Us, not the bed. I should be nice and warm and naked, and right about now Jack should be licking chocolate syrup off my stomach.  Or was it maple syrup?  He keeps wanting to try me with new things.

This sure doesn't look like Vegas.  Cold, dark, damp hole in the ground's more like it.  Yeah, oh yeah, definitely my first choice for where I wanted to be spending my week off.  Who needs Vegas, or Jack? Getting licked within an inch of my life and returning the favour as much as possible for the next seven days?  No, no really.  This is fine, this is nice.  I'm good. I'd really much rather be here, getting my ribs kicked in - several times - and then thrown into this lovely, dark, underground icebox to slowly starve or freeze to death. Whichever comes first. This is much better.  Thank you.

Brown.  Not brown.  A better word than brown.  Gotta think of one. Hey, I've got the time.

Cold.  Really cold. Think warm thoughts.  That's what they say you should do when you're - you're freezing.  Or is it don't fall asleep?  Can't - can't remember.  Stinking Goa'uld and their stinking, stolen technology.  This is all their fault.  Goddamned stinking Washington war mongers with their weapons obsession.

Fuck.

Teal'c was smart. Way smarter than us. As soon as we got the word we had the time off he beat it through the gate and went to see Rya'c.  Didn't waste any time making himself scarce.  He's nice and warm right now, I'll bet.  Not me.  I not only had to be the only one in the whole damned SGC who could read Goa'uld and was reachable by phone, but also the one stupid enough to go back to get the damned phone just as we were heading out the door.  Wait, Jack, we should answer it, it might be important.  Idiot.  I should have listened to Jack and let it ring.  Boy, I'm never gonna hear the end of this one. Told ya.  Told ya.  Yeah, I can hear him now.  Smug bastard.  Go on, rub it in.  When you're right, you're right.

This is one big, huge mistake. I shouldn't be here right now.  I should be with Jack.  Somewhere else. Anywhere else.  Just as long as it's with him.  I should have listened to Jack - Colonel 'I'm telling you, I've got a bad feeling about this' O'Neill with his 'brown until I can think of a better word to describe them' eyes.

I wish I could hear him right now.  Gloating, yelling, tearing me a new one.  He sure wasn't a happy camper when I got called back to the mountain.  He got even unhappier when he found out I was the only one going gating with SG-6.  Linguists only, please, colonels superfluous to mission requirements.

I wasn't exactly turning cartwheels of joy myself at either prospect.  Stinking SG-6.  They were just supposed to be on P8Y-716 to do a mineral survey, they weren't supposed to be finding half-buried entrances to abandoned Goa'uld underground complexes.  Over-achievers.  Bet they're all nice and warm right now too.

Bastards.

Oh course, no one realised that's what it was at the time. Nothing more than a front entrance to the rabbit's warren.  They thought it was a bunker.  An abandoned storage facility.  Possibly a weapons depot. Chock full of all sorts of Goa'uld goodies.  That's what the war mongers were looking for.  Hoping to find.  The possibility got everyone pretty excited, anyway. This could be the big one, all right.  We've hit the motherlode, so let's get the genius in and have him do the open sesame routine. Find out what we've won.  

Boy, were they ever fooled.

Oh yeah, all that fuss and furious expectation was definitely worth what we found.  Worth getting screwed over my plans to get screwed, worth having to listen to Jack rant and go into psycho protector mode, and definitely worth getting my head kicked in.

Several times.

Open the door and what do we find?  Poor Mother Hubbard's cupboard was bare. No weapons, no technology, no nothing.  Just a big empty room.  I didn't put it all together at time.  I was only just starting to check out the panels in the back when the Aert showed up.  It didn't hit me, not until the Aert grabbed me later, while they were occupying SG-6 with parlour tricks, brought me down here, started hitting me for real, what it was we had actually found.

The front door.  Not a bunker at all.  A vestibule.  Foyer. Check your hat and coat at the door and give the secret password. Those panels covered a concealed entrance to this underground tunnel complex. I'd lay money on it. I'll bet there's a set of transport rings on the other side. If I'd had a few more minutes to keep on snooping I'd have found them.  I would have found them if the Aert hadn't shown up just when they did.

The Aert must have been watching the place.  Saw SG-6 check it out and go away, then bring me back, watched me open the door.  They showed up to distract us - me - to get me out of there before I could figure it out.  Before I could get the inner door open and expose their secret.

That's why they've been hitting me!  They're angry - scared, they've been living down here, in these tunnels, hiding down here. That's why the UAV didn't pick up any signs on the surface of human habitation.  They don't live up top, they live down here. The entrance SG-6 found hadn't been disturbed for centuries, and the Aert brought me down here another way.  So there's more than one way down.  More than one entrance.  Probably all hidden. Hidden.  

That could be a problem.

The Aert have been lurking down here.  Underground.  Living in the complex, hiding. They're afraid of being found.  Afraid of who or what, I have no idea, but given their actions, I think it's pretty safe to assume they're afraid of something.  They definitely don't trust us.  They don't know who we are, where we've come from. They're trying to hide from us, protect their people underground, trying to keep us from finding out where they're living.

But I'm the only threat to them; I'm the one who was able to open the outer door. That's why they kidnapped me, but why all the rest of it?  Are they punishing me for doing it or are they trying to find out what I know?  If I'm the only one who can read the symbols? Who we are - why we've come?  What I've told the others?  I'd be more than willing to help them out and ease their worries, but it's not like they've given me a chance.  Peaceful explorers, here, we haven't come to wipe you out.  All they had to do was ask, but so far they haven't done any actual questioning, just yelled at me and hit me.  A lot.

I hope SG-6 is all right and I'm the only one the Aert invited to this little bash and greet ceremony.  I hope they've already high-tailed it back to the SGC.  They must have missed me by now.  I can't tell how long I've been here, but it has to be morning.  Has to be.  They must have missed me by now and gone back.  God I hope so.  I hope they're safe. I hope someone knows I'm missing.  Someone has to know by now.  They have to be looking for me.  Jack - Jack will be looking for me.

Where?  Where will he look?  Up on the surface?  Ooops!  Wrong answer.  I'm not up there.  But then that's us archaeologists, always getting lost in our work.

Brown. Can't get the damned word out of my head.  Eyes.  Jack's eyes.  I wish I could see them.  God, I'd love to be able to see anything but black.  That's another boring word.  I can think of lots of different words for black. I can, but I don't want to. I'm up to here with black. I'll keep working on brown.

Jack didn't want me to come here with SG-6.  More specifically, he didn't want me to come here without him.  Mad?  Oh yeah, he was really ticked.  Practically postal at one point.  Yelling at me for being the only person in the SGC who could read Goa'uld, like somehow this was all my fault. Doctor Indispensable.  It has to be you, it always has to be frigging YOU!

I guess I yelled a little bit myself.  It's not my fault the goddamned military - the goddamned military he goddamned works for - was so hot to trot for bigger and better things to blow up the galaxy with they couldn't wait until after we'd gotten our kicks to get theirs.  They had to see what was behind the door marked 'G' ASAP.  You know, Jack, no sacrifice is too great for the cause.

Okay, so maybe I was a little harsh.  I work for them too. I understand how important it is we leave no stone unturned, do everything we can to ensure the safety of the Earth.  I get it.  I don't always like it, the technological focus of our 'prime directive', but I get it. They could have been right.  There could have been something there, something which could have been a great help in the fight against the Goa'uld.  Jack gets it too.  He wasn't mad at me, or the fact we had to put our plans on hold for the greater good of the Earth. He was just being Jack.  Being worried for me.  Constantly obsessing about my ass.  Both having it, and keeping it safe so he gets to have it some more.  He's almost as attached to it as I am.

I gave him a hard time about that, too.  I told him he worries too much.  He was being irrational. You would think he thought I was some kind of accident waiting to happen the instant I was out of his sight.  What did I say to him  - what could possibly happen to me in broad daylight surrounded by four big guys with guns?  It's not like I was going to be here very long.  Based on what I saw from the video SG-6 brought back, I knew I probably wasn't going to have any problems getting the job done. Hike over there, do my thing. Say the magic words, pierce the mystic portal. Voila!  In and out. Piece of cake. 

Don't worry, Jack, I'll be back before you can even miss me.

That's what I said to him.  I guess I was wrong. I guess I've got a whole lot of 'I told you so's' from my colonel in my future.  I hope so, anyway.  God, I really hope so.

Okay, so what about this brown situation? What's another shade of brown? Tan? Definitely not. No way near dark enough.  And it certainly doesn't sound any more exciting. That's not it. Taupe?  That's worse than brown. Why is this so hard?  I'll just have to keep thinking, keep trying to get it.  No way I'm letting this get the best of me.

The service in this place really sucks.  I wonder if they'll let me complain to the management about the substandard condition of the accommodations.  On second thought, I'll pass.  I really don't need another beating.  I'll just lie here, try not to breathe too much or freeze to death.

Easy to say, not so easy to do.  I can't even get up and walk around to get the blood flowing.  Courtesy of the Aert, I'm a little too banged up for that. I've been here for a long time.  Don't know how long for sure, but it's been a long time.  Really long time. I could use a cup of coffee, but room service leaves a lot to be desired.  Coffee's brown.  Well, not when it's black coffee.  Then it's - black.  It's brown when you add cream to it.  The colour's pretty close, but coffee with cream is more than one word. Nuts. I've got to stop thinking about coffee. Or food.  Nuts are brown.  God!  Stop it! Think of something else.  I can't even play I Spy.  It's too dark to see anything, even if I could keep my eyes open.  Besides, like a lot of things, it's really not as much fun by yourself.

I've gotten used to the darkness, but the stillness is another thing. It's just so quiet. There's water dripping somewhere, but other than that, I haven't heard anything but the sound of my own breathing for ages.  Nothing to hear, here but me wheezing and that creepy, constant, irregular…wait for it…splat, echoing in the darkness.  Nothing else.  Nothing else moving, breathing, living.  Just me in the dark in this god-awful silence in some long lost and forgotten Goa'uld underground labyrinth where no one is probably ever going to find me. 

My, that's cheerful.  Making me feel a whole lot better. Maybe I should go back to thinking about food.

Maybe not.

Brown.  Nworb.  Nope, doesn't sound any better backwards. This is really starting to piss me off.

My forehead is still bleeding.  Something keeps running into my eyes.  I think I'll leave it, just keep them closed. Nothing to see here anyway.  I can't move my arm any more to wipe it away and it hurts too much to try.  It's so cold.  I can't stop shaking.  Side - my side's getting numb.  I'm getting numb.  Floor's cold.  I'm cold.

So far, as vacations go, I gotta say this one really sucks. I'm going to have words with my travel agent when I get home.  I don't care if this place did get four gold stars, it's definitely not my idea of a good time.  The attitude of the staff leaves a lot to be desired. The floor is way too hard. Would it kill them turn up the heat?  Lousy ambience, rotten décor, and I guess meals weren't included.  Now they tell me. Someone is definitely going to be hearing from me when I get home.

I really shouldn't complain, though.  This is nothing; I can think of someone who's got some real problems.  You know what they say, no matter how bad you think things are, cheer up, because somewhere out there, there's some poor bastard who's even worse off than you are. I wouldn't want to be in Major Edward's shoes right now.  You want to talk dead man walking, the second his foot hits that ramp and Jack finds out he's gone and lost me the major won't be long for this world or any other you can shake a gate at. Edwards would be better off seeking sanctuary from the nearest System Lord than owning up to Jack he's let his archaeologist get appropriated.  It was bad enough Jack was threatening to make Edwards sign for me before he let him take me off world like I was - requisition-able. 

One linguist on temporary issue, sign here as received in good working order.  You don't bring him back in the same condition you got him and I'm taking it out of your hide.

No deposit, no return?  You break him, you bought him?

Maybe Edwards figured he was better off taking his chances with the universe then he was going back to Earth and facing Jack a Jackson short.  Hell, if all the rest of them went with him, I can't say I blame them.  I think stouter hearts than his would be quite daunted by the prospect of having to tell Colonel O'Neill he was the one who finally managed to get the colonel's personal cross to bear killed.

Yup, that's me. Major Edwards, soon to be deceased.  I'm the guy that offed the archaeologist. I'm scheduled for termination at midnight. So, shall I put you down for my VCR?  The colonel's got dibs on the stereo.

No, no, don't think like that. I'm not dead yet.  I'm still breathing.  Hurts, everything hurts, but I can feel it hurting and I'm still breathing.  Freezing to death, possibly bleeding to death, but still breathing.  That's good, right?  Where there's pain, there's hope?

Ahhhh…SHIT!  That smarts.  Don't crack yourself up, Jackson, you're too cracked up.  No trying to be a lie-down comedian, your ribs will thank you for your restraint.  Think, think of something else. Something that isn't food, isn't funny and isn't brown. Something…think of something…keep thinking…

What is it with brown? Pick any other colour in the spectrum and you have some really interesting options.  Magenta.  That sounds nice.  I like that. Cerulean. Oooh.  Pretty.  Vermilion.  Now we're talking.  Fuschia.  That's got a nice, sensual sound. Aquamarine. Cool, but classy. Indigo. That's a good one.  Sounds exotic. Mysterious. Brown.  Why does it have to be brown?  I can't work with brown!

Brown eyes, brown, what else is brown…caramel.  Too light, but sounds sweet.  Sweet and gooey. Jack gets that way sometimes, but he'd kill me if I said so.  Mushy.  He says he hates mush, but he is such a romantic, and so demonstrative.  Completely uninhibited when it comes to expressing affection.  Jack's the grand gesture guy all the way.  He'd spray paint 'Jack loves Daniel' all over Cheyenne Mountain in twenty-foot letters…if he could. If things were different, he would.  He's not afraid to let me see how much he loves me.  He might not always say it, but he doesn't have to. He just - does it.  I like that about him, the way he makes me feel. Because he wants to.  No other reason.

How does he make me feel?  Cherished.  Special.  No one can make me feel as special as Jack does.  He doesn't know how much that means to me.  It's hard for me - hard for me to show him, though. I think he knows - I'm - I'm - of course he knows.  He must know.  I try. I keep trying.  I want him to know, want him to understand how much he means to me.  I just can't - sometimes I just can't.  Nothing to do with him, it's just me.

He should know.  He deserves to know.  I love him.  He should know that with as much certainty as I know he loves me.  As soon as I see him again - as soon as I get out of here - changes.  Going to be some changes.  Good ones.

Now all I have to worry about is the 'getting out of here' part.

Are they looking for me yet?  Does Jack know I'm missing?  There's no way to know, but I wish I did all the same.  Jack will come after me.  He'll come - he'll look.  He'll look.  Where will he look?  The others don't even know about this place. That's if they're not prisoners as well. No way to know that either.  Shit.  This is  bad, this is bad, isn't it?  I'm in trouble.  Think I'd better face some facts here.  I'm definitely in shit.  Very deep shit.  Oh yeah, major ca-ca.

 Jack will come looking for me.  I know he will, of course he will, but - now here's the problem.  The complication.  The wrinkle. The fly in the ointment. Where will Jack look?  He won't give up, he'll never give up, he'll scour the surface of this entire planet looking for me, but it won't do him any good.  Me either.  I'm not up there, not anywhere where he'll be looking.  Jack will be looking, but he'll be looking in the wrong place.  I'm not up there; I'm down here.  Not up top, below.  Underground.  Right under his feet, but he won't know it.  He'll be looking all right, but not in the right place.  

Down here, Jack, look down.

Way down.  Six feet under.  Oh, probably more than that.  Way more.  Way down there. Down in the ground, in the dark, in the quiet.  The silence of the grave.  I'm already in the ground, saves them the trouble of burying me.

The ground is brown.  Can be. So is dirt.  I'm surrounded by brown. Brown wins.  Oh God.

Maybe I should stop thinking like this.  Quit burying myself, I'm not dead yet.  Not dead, not dead, not going to die.  I know what it looks like, it's completely, utterly hopeless, nobody knows what's happened to me, no one has any idea where to find me, there's no possible way they can find me because they don't know where to look, nobody's coming for me because they can't find me, but that doesn't mean I'm going to die.  It isn't over 'til it's over and it isn't over yet.  I've been in worse spots than this, though exactly when or how - well, nothing's coming to mind at the moment, but I have, let's just go with that, I have been in worst spots than this, and I'm still here.

But I'm also here, and that's the problem. Big problem.  Huge.

I'm in trouble.

I'm not going to freak out here, not going to panic.  I have to believe, have to hold on.  Have to keep myself calm and try not to think about how bad it's looking.  Don't make myself nuts, it won't do any good to panic.  Show a little backbone, Daniel, have some faith.  You know Jack's out there, looking for you.  You know if you can't count on anything or anyone else, you can count on Jack.

Jack.  Think about Jack.  That's - that's what I have to do.  Jack.  Jack.  Toast? Toast is brown.  Unless Jack makes it, then it's black.  Great, thinking about food again, now I'm really hungry. That was helpful.

God, it's so cold.  Too cold.  It's getting hard to think of anything but how cold it is. I'm going numb.  Everything's getting numb.  That's probably not good, but at least I'm not hurting as much.  But that's not good either.  Not that the pain was great, but it was something, something to focus on.  Keep a grip on myself with.  Numb.  Getting numb.  And cold.  No more pain.  Just…cold… Feeling tired now.  Sleepy.  It's the cold.  Making everything fuzzy.  I don't feel anything, I just want to drift, drift off to sleep.  Go to sleep and never wake up again.

No!  Don't do that!  No sleeping! Don't give up!  Jack will come.  He will!  He won't stop looking.  I can't give up, I have to hang on.  I need something.  I need Jack but he's not here, so I need something else, something to focus on.  I can't fall asleep. Can't sleep.  Mustn't sleep. I won't wake up if I fall asleep. 

I give up Jack'll kill me.

Stop it! No laughing!

Focus. Focus.  Think.  Brown, brown eyes.  Chocolate?  That's a nice, warm brown, and comes in different shades. Light to dark.  It can be warm, warm and smooth, rich and melting, but it doesn't sparkle.  Not like Jack's eyes.  It's close, but it still doesn't do it. I wish I could find the word that would do those eyes justice. The way they look after we make love, all soft and dark and shimmering.  Luminous, warm and soothing.  Nice.  And that grin on his face.  Sloppy and sated and so damned sexy.  Shit-eating.  Oh yeah, shit is brown too.

Funny, that's funny.  Oh God, no laughing. Laughing hurts.  Jack's got a great smile.  As big as his heart.  I don't dare tell him what that smile does to me.  Don't want his head getting any bigger than it already is.  Big head, warm heart?  Oh, I can't feel my fingers any more.  Can't make them move.  Shit, oh shit, don't - don't get scared.  Focus.  Stay calm. Stay awake.  Don't think about anything else but…

Fingers. My fingers…my fingers in Jack's hair.  Jack's hair…the way it feels between my fingers.  Have to remember - remember how he feels.  Focus. Fingers.  Moving them.  Through Jack's hair, down, down onto his face. Feel it.  Fingers, can't move them - dammit!  Fingers on Jack's face, gliding, feeling, tracing across, reading, learning, loving, like I've done so many times, hundreds of times.  I know every contour, every angle, every plane.  Like reading Braille, only a lot more fun.  I've known every single inch of him, touch, taste, smell, all of Jack, a part of me, all I have to do is close my eyes, I can - I want to…

Oh God, Jack, I don't want to die like this.  Not so far away from you, not alone, not without being able to see you, touch you, tell you -

Stop it! Focus!  Talk to me, Jack.  I need to hear your voice.  It's so dark, there's blood in my eyes - can't -  I can't see you now.  The light in your eyes - I'm losing it.  It's so cold, so quiet. Talk to me. It's getting so hard to stay awake, to hold on. You have to help me hold on, Jack.  Talk to me. Tell me it's going to be all right. You're always saying that to me.  I need to hear it now.  Tell me you're on your way.  You're coming for me. Say my name as only you can.  You know the way.  Making it sound so dirty and divine at the same time.  Jack?  Jack?  Help me.  I can't do this without you.

I love you.  I hope you know.  I do…sorry…

"DAAANNNIELLLLL!"

Can't…can't stay awake…

"Daniel!  Where are you?  Dammit! Okay, here we go again.  Teal'c - you take that corridor.  I'll go this way.  DANIEL!  Come on, Daniel, help me out.  We know you're down here somewhere.  Daniel!  Grunt or something, can't ya?"

JacK?  That's funny, I could swear I just heard Jack.

"Jack?"

"Daniel? Jesus, Jesus, thank GOD! DANIEL!  Daniel, keep talking!  I'm trying to find you!  FUCK!  What the hell was that?  I hate this stinking place.  Daniel!"

Sounds like Jack, but it can't be. I'm been down here in the dark so long, I'm hearing things now, what I want to hear but it's not real.  Can't be.  Jack's not really here. My mind's going - probably getting close to check-out time.  Not exactly the way I wanted to leave here, but I guess my luck had to run out some time.  Damn. I know it can't be Jack, but what could it hurt?  I'll play along.

"Hi Jack."

"Jesus Christ!  Hold on, buddy, I'm coming!"

He's coming. That's nice.  Wish it was really true.

"Okay.  I'll just lie here then, shall I?" Like I've got a choice.  Death or death. I'm taking this rather well, all things considered, don't you think, Jack?  After all, it isn't even my first time.

"Danny?  Jesus, Jesus, Danny, oh God, look at you -  what did those bastards DO to you?  Sorry, so sorry, we got here as soon as we could! DOC! TEAL'C!  I've found him!  Need some help, here, he's hurt bad!"

What's that?  That's a light.  Hands on my face, Touching.  Wiping my eyes.  Know those hands.  I'd know them in my sleep.  Just like I know those lips. So soft against mine, so gentle. 

Mmmmm.  Warm…

"Jack."

"Easy, love, easy.  Don't try to talk.  You're safe, now.  I've got you.  The Doc is coming, we'll have you out of here in no time.  Crap, you're freezing!"

I'm a little cold.  Feeling a lot better now, though.  Jack.  It really is Jack.  I'm not imagining him.  He's real.  Real.

Jack.

"Get the hell over here with that stretcher!  I need a blanket - quick!  He's fucking cold as ice, here!"

His mood hasn't improved any, from the sounds of things. That's my Jack.  As sweet tempered as always.

"Come on, Daniel, stay with me.  It's okay.  You're going to be fine. I'm here now.  We're taking you home."

"That's nice.  I'd like to go home.  The service in this place…sucks. Management gives you attitude."

"Can't say I care for it too much myself, Danny. Hurry it up, will you, Doc?  I want to get him topside.  Like now!"

Won't get any arguments from me.

"Jack?  I made it.  Didn't give up.  Knew you'd come.  Hung - hung in - "

"You sure did, Danny.  You did good."

"I don't like it here.  Can we go now?"

"You betcha.  Doc's just got to fix you up a bit here, and then we're blowing this joint."

"Okay.  I'll let you drive. Don't think I'm up to it right now."

Jack's here.  It's all right.  I can sleep now.

 


 

I'm floating, swaying.  Moving.  It feels strange.  Feels wrong.  Like before, when the Aert came for me.  Took me.  

Don't want to go with them!  NO!

"Easy, Danny, you're safe.  It's just us.  Relax, we're almost to the gate.  Almost home."

Jack's voice.  Jack's hand on my shoulder.  Not the Aert.  Jack. Safe.  Don't need to worry.  I can relax.  Jack's taking me home. But what about - I have to know -

"SG-6?"

"All safe and accounted for.  I - ah - insisted on coming over and seeing how you all were doing when Edwards missed his morning check-in.  Found 'em all out like lights.  No sign of the locals, no sign of you.  Whatever they were drugged with, they've come out of it okay."

"You mean Edwards…still - still alive?"

My vision is still pretty blurry, after all that time in the dark, it's great to see light again, feel the warm, warm sun beating down on me but it's hurting my eyes. The world is swaying, my eyes are smarting, but I can see all I need to see. Jack walking beside me.  He's smiling.  He knows what I mean.

"Everything's fine, Daniel,"  he sighs and pats my shoulder gently.

"How - how long?"

Jack's not smiling now.  "Three days," he rasps as his hand tightens on my shoulder.  

Wow.  That's a long time. No wonder I'm feeling a little - off.

"We looked for you, but those bastards are good.  Vanished without a trace. We couldn't find squat.  We sent for Teal'c, but it took some time to find him. He and Rya'c were off in the woods doing some father/son Jaffa warrior bonding thing."

"I am sorry, DanielJackson.  I did not know you required my assistance."

TEAL'C!

"No - no - it's okay!  You couldn't - how could you - don't - don't worry about it."

I have to close my eyes again.  Trying to talk, the light, the motion, I'm starting to feel a little dizzy.

"He got here as soon as he could."  Jack is talking again, but I still can't look at him.  Stomach….queasy.  Have to keep my eyes closed.  "As soon as he saw the place, he knew what to look for.  Found the rings in no time."

I knew it.  I knew there had to be rings.

"That was the easy part. Those tunnels go on for miles under there.  We spent the better part of a day wandering around in the frigging dark trying not to get lost ourselves before we found you.  Your pals must have just dumped you and run when they realised we were down in the tunnels.  We never saw so much as a sign of them. Saw where they'd been, but didn't see them.  Screw 'em they're welcome to the stinking place.  We got what we came for."

Jack is rubbing my shoulder.  Gently, soothing, easing.  It's helping.  I'm feeling better.  Not so dizzy.

Better.

”So, are you going to say it?"

"Say what?"

"Told you so?"

"Rest, Danny."  Jack's voice is as soothing as his touch.  "It doesn't matter now.  We'll sort it all out when you're up to it."

We will.  I know we will.  I'm going to be fine.  Thanks to Jack.  He never let me down.  Was with me every step of the way.  Just like he is right now.  

Who needs luck, when you've got Jack?

Stopping?  We're stopping?  Why?  Oh, I know that sound.  We must be at the DHD.  Someone's dialling Earth.

"Next stop the SGC." Jack's voice is swelling with relief.  I open my eyes again and see him leaning over me.  So close.  He pats my cheek as the whooshing sound of the wormhole fills the air around us.

"Going through now, buddy," he smiles at me.  Brown eyes shining.

Yeah, they're brown, all right.  The most wonderful shade of brown I've ever seen.  Brown. Jack's eyes are brown. Gloriously, wonderfully brown.  

Brown. Not such a bad word after all.

It's a great word.  Brown. After today, it's my favourite colour.

FINIS

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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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