UNACCUSTOMED GRACE  BY PHOENIXE
Gen:  Fiction featuring the close friendship of Jack and Daniel.
Rating: G
Category: Friendship. H/C. Touch of Angst, Vignette
Season/Spoilers: Season 1 Brief spoiler for Broca Divide.
Synopsis: An ailing Daniel receives a visitor, much to his chagrin.  An early days tale of the beginnings of a legendary friendship.
Warnings: None.
Length:  31 Kb  Originally completed Feb 2003.  Posted to the web 27 Nov 05

Notes:  Jack playing nursemaid to an ailing Daniel is one of our most beloved fanon mainstays and one I'm particularly fond of myself.  When contemplating writing yet another tale dealing with the convention I started wondering how the whole thing might have come about, I mean, where did it start, the Jack looking after Daniel thing, or how could it have started and that brought me around to Daniel in the very early days, the quintessential loner up to this point in his life, before becoming a member of SG-1, how would he have reacted to someone like Jack barging into his life relentlessly determined to take care of him - how would Daniel feel about that?  So I went back to the beginning and imagined a little bit of a different 'first time' for our boys, and the result of all this musing was this tale.  It was originally written as a 'bonus' for the Lost Stories Zine by Yadda Press, and has previously only been available to those who purchased that zine.  But for what it's worth, here it finally is, a couple of years later, for your perusal. 


 

He was dying.  He prayed it would be soon.

Daniel’s anguished groan bounced off the bathroom walls as he shakily struggled to his feet and flushed the results of his latest conversation with the porcelain throne.  God, he was so sick.  The Black Death had nothing on the flu bug currently cavorting merrily through his gastrointestinal tract.  It just wasn’t fair.  The bruises he’d received courtesy of the Touched hadn’t even started to fade yet and here he was flat on his back again.  Or at least he would be, once he managed to crawl back to bed.  If he lived that long.

If he started now he might actually make it to the bedroom before the end of the week.

Daniel wavered dizzily over the sink as he rinsed out his mouth and then wiped it on his sleeve.  Seized by a sudden fit of shivering he clutched the blanket he’d dragged off the bed more tightly about his flu-racked body.  As he was uncertainly wheeling about to make his exit from the bathroom an enthusiastic banging noise emanating from the foyer area of the apartment penetrated his misery.

Someone was pounding on his front door.  Daniel desperately hoped it was that pesky salesman who’d been blitzing the building.  He’d cough all over him.  Bastard.

“Keep your shirt on, I’m coming,” Daniel staggered toward the door, wheezing.  Cough on him, sneeze on him, breathe all over him, he peevishly resolved while struggling with the chain and the deadbolt.

“Jack!”  Daniel bleated after finally succeeding in getting the door open to discover what awaited him behind it was not a salesman but something infinitely more terrifying.

Jack O’Neill with a cheery grin the size of Texas and a suspicious looking paper sack in his arms.

“You look like crap,” the grinning terror brightly observed.

“I’m sick and I wasn’t expecting to have to entertain,” Daniel grumbled, annoyed and bewildered by Jack’s presence.  “What are you doing here?  Don’t you have enough other people to pester that you shouldn’t need to harass me on my deathbed? I’m too sick to be any fun at all and I haven’t got the strength to be even marginally amusing, so Jack, please go away.”

Jack’s eyes widened in surprise and he immediately mounted a tremendously tragic face.  “Daniel, you’re gonna be mighty sorry you said that when you see what I’ve brung ya,” he scolded, rustling the sack in his arms. 

 “What?” Daniel stifled a sneeze, suspiciously eying the bag.

“Mrs. Petrocelli’s chicken soup,” Jack announced proudly as if informing the dazed and marginally delirious man gaping at him he’d brought him the Holy Grail.  “Best damned chicken soup in the Springs.  I’ve got tons of it here, and a few other things that are good for what ails you.”

“Um – “ Daniel grunted, momentarily confused until what Jack had just said gradually penetrated his muddled consciousness.  Oh – oh wait.  Jack hadn’t come here because he was bored he’d come – oh boy, this was even worse!

Panic seized the ailing archaeologist at the thoughts of a pathologically bossy colonel with a mission invading his space when he not only couldn’t stand up to him but could barely stand period.  Think, he had to think.  He couldn’t deal with Jack being controlling all over him when he was feeling this lousy, he had to get Jack to go before he barged in and started being…Jack.  Thanks but no thanks, he had to get back to his bed and do some serious dying.

“That’s – nice…but I just finished – that is – my stomach – I’m really not up to eating anything right now.  I appreciate the thought but I think I’ll pass on the soup, and oh yeah, thanks for stopping by,” he smiled blearily at Jack while desperately trying to close the door.

“Upset tummy?”  Jack clucked. “Not to worry, I’ve got something for that too,” he smugly added, effortlessly pushing past the dismayed shut-in who’d just blown his last best chance to shut him out.  “Relax, you’re in good hands.  Jack is here.”

“Oh God, I’m doomed,” Daniel muttered under his breath as he closed the door and turned around to see Jack making a beeline for his kitchen.  Feeling like he’d just been bundled onto an out of control freight train Daniel wearily wound his blanket more tightly around his shaking self and took a few uncertain steps forward, only to be stopped again by the dulcet tone’s of Jack’s disapproving voice.

“Jesus, Daniel, this place is a mess.  You really must be sick.  Not to worry, your troubles are over.”

“I wish,” Daniel sourly muttered.

He needed help and he needed it now, before Jack got too comfortable.  Or moved in.  He just couldn’t deal with Jack right now.  He was sick.

“I’m going back to bed,” Daniel announced, surreptitiously palming his cell phone from the counter while Jack still had his head in the refrigerator.

“Good plan,” Jack emerged from behind the fridge door,  flashing Daniel a cheery smile.  I’ll get things squared away here and check on you a bit later.  Maybe bring you a nice cup of tea if the soup thing still doesn’t work for you.”

“Tea,” Daniel weakly replied, suppressing a shudder.  “That sounds great.”

As soon as he sank down on his bed he flipped open the cell phone and hit the speed dial.

“Carter,” Sam’s also far too cheery voice answered him.

“Sam it’s Daniel,” he croaked.

“Daniel, how are you feeling?”

“Lousy.”

“Sorry to hear that.  Why are you calling?  Do you want me to kill you?”

“Would you?” Daniel whined.

“I’ll pencil you in for next Tuesday,” Sam laughed.  “But in the meantime, seriously, you didn’t call me to complain about being sick, now did you?”

“Sam, I’m in trouble here.  I’m desperate and I really need a huge favour.”

“Shoot.”

“It’s Jack.  He just showed up here and I need - I need you to help me get rid of him.  Would you call me – on my home phone and tell him the general needs him – or something. Please?”

The phone was silent for several seconds.

“Sam?”  Daniel said.  “Sam are you still there?”

“Yeah, Daniel, I’m here.  What’s wrong?  What’s the colonel doing?”

“He brought a bunch of stuff.  Chicken soup, he said.  And he’s out there…cleaning up my kitchen or something, I don’t know.  When I came in here to call you he was threatening to check up on me and bring me tea.”  Daniel sighed and rubbed his burning eyes.  “I can’t – I just want to lie down and die and with Jack here it’s…  Will you help me?”

“Daniel, let me see if I understand your problem,” Sam finally said.  “You’ve got yourself a full bird nursemaid and you want me to help you get rid of him.”

“Um…yeah…” Daniel said uncertainly, puzzled by her tone. Which didn’t sound encouraging or supportive.

“You’re as sick as a dog and you have someone there who wants to take care of you and you have a problem with that?”

“I – “ Daniel said weakly.

“Listen, Daniel,” Sam said kindly, but firmly.  “To tell you the truth I’ve been worried sick about you.  We all have been.  You hardly look after yourself when you’re healthy so I’m guessing you’re not doing a very good job right now.  Frankly I’m relieved the colonel is there keeping an eye on you.  You want me to help you, I’ll give you a piece of free advice.  Why don’t you be a good little invalid and let the colonel look after you.  It might be a difficult concept for you to grasp, but he cares about you and wants to help.  Do yourself a favour and let him.  Now, stop being so stubborn and rest up.  Get some sleep.  Call me when you’re feeling better.”

Sam broke the connection leaving Daniel starting at the cell phone in his hand, a tangle of confused emotions swirling through his head.

“Daniel?”

Daniel looked up to see Jack standing in the doorway, his smile still firmly in place but the deep concern in his eyes Daniel hadn’t let himself see before made his breath catch in his throat as how much Jack cared hit him.  He honestly hadn’t known, hadn’t thought…

Someone cared about him.  Jack – Jack cared about him. 

“How you doing, buddy?” Jack asked, his voice low and velvet with compassion.

“Better, now you’re here,” Daniel replied with a weak, but grateful smile.  And it was true.  He didn’t quite understand why he’d been so stupid before but he was suddenly very glad of Jack’s presence.  Sam was right, Jack just wanted to help and although the concept of having someone looking out for him on this side of the gate was strange, it wasn’t unpleasant.  Or unwelcome.  Just – unaccustomed.

That didn’t mean he shouldn’t or wouldn’t take the grace he’d been offered simply because he’d never expected it or imagined it was available to him.  Nor would he turn away the hand of an honest friend.

“Hey, that’s what I’m here for,” Jack said with such a pleased grin on his face Daniel was deeply touched at the evidence of the power of his simple affirmation.  “You need anything? Just say the word, you got it.”

“No,” Daniel shook his head as he crawled under the covers.  “I’m just gonna lie down, get some sleep.”

“Yeah, you do that.”

“You’re – you’re gonna be here when I wake up?”  Daniel asked, suddenly unsure again and needing the reassurance.

“Youbetcha,” Jack replied.  “I’ll be right outside the door as long as you need me.  Not going anywhere, scout’s honour.”

“That’s – that’s good.”  Daniel murmured, his eyes growing heavy as drowsiness began to drag him under.  “Maybe – maybe I’ll try some of that soup later.”

“Whenever you’re ready.  Oh Daniel, just one question before you flame out.  Where’s your TV?”

Daniel snickered and snuggled deeper into the inviting warmth of his bed.

“Don’t tell me you don’t have a TV!”  Jack said, appalled.

“Okay, I won’t,” Daniel mumbled.

“No TV,” Jack grumbled.  “Peachy.”

“Read a book,” Daniel sighed, immediately slipping into sleep.

Jack silently walked up to his side, a fond smile on his face.  He reached down, tucked the covers securely around the sleeping man, briefly felt his forehead and then rescued the cell phone from his lax hand. He pushed the speed dial as he tiptoed from Daniel’s bedroom and quietly closed the door behind him.

“Carter,” he cheerfully barked into the instrument.  “Guess who! Got a job for you…”

FINIS




Feedback not obligatory, but appreciated; if you want to drop me a line please contact me at olorien56@gmail.com
©  Copyright
Biblio, PhoenixE, babs, Brionhet, Darcy, Devra, Fabrisse, JoaG, Kalimyre, Marcia, Rowan and Sideburns, 2001-2008.
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. 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.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]