Summary: Daniel had a bad day at work
Daniel pulled into Jack's driveway and turned off the engine. Sitting there, he looked at the house, dark, yet inviting. Home, he was home. So why did he feel so cold? His hands shaking, he reached up and rubbed his face, then drew his hands back through his hair. He knew he was having a delayed reaction. He needed to settle his nerves a little before he went in. `Maybe I should just head for the apartment tonight and not disturb Jack." He wasn't expected until tomorrow anyway.
Daniel was back early and he was back early because it had been bad. SG6 and he had made a dash for the gate when their campsite had been overrun with animals that looked similar to hyenas. Two of the animals had attacked the guard on duty as the rest of the team had been sleeping. The man's screams had awakened him and as he had rolled out of tent with his sidearm in hand, looking for the source of the cries, Daniel had seen Lt. Robertson being dragged off into the trees by two of the animals. The young lieutenant was hitting them on their heads trying to dislodge their teeth from his legs, without success.
To his left he saw Colonel Janis running with his Zat. Following him, Daniel and the rest of SG6 headed out to assist with the rescue.
Robertson's screams were becoming fainter. Suddenly he heard Zats being fired, followed by more Zats and then P90's. Running through he trees he saw why there'd been more weapons fire. The two animals that had dragged off the young man lay on the ground dead, teeth still in the lieutenant's legs. Major Woods was trying to pull the animals jaws apart while the rest of the team had formed a perimeter, firing at a roving pack. Daniel could see that there was approximately 200 of the creatures coming over the hill heading for the men. Pulling in beside the Major, Daniel'd taken the man's P90 and started firing, shooting and killing as many of the animals as he could.
Once there were about 20 of the animals dead and in the path of the rest of the pack, he saw them stop and start to shred the carcasses. Seeing that the group had slowed, the Colonel had quietly called for the team to fall back. Major Woods finally had to fracture the dead animals jaws to get them off Lt. Robertson. But the young man was unconscious and his legs were bleeding badly, needing attention.
Pulling back to the camp, the team had quickly gathered ammunition, first aid kits and a few supplies. Daniel got his journal and stuffed it in his shirt. Along with that, he gathered his spare ammunition. It was all that he needed, the rest could be left behind. Instinctively, the entire team knew they'd have to make a run for the gate. The dead animals would only slow the pack down, not stop them. They were on the prowl for food and the team was the next on the menu.
The next 2 hours had been a nightmare. Taking turns carrying Robertson, the team had moved as quickly as possible towards the gate. After putting three or four miles between them and the pack. SG6 had stopped long enough to allow Sergeant Jeffreys to dress Robertson's legs. The animals could be heard in the distance howling. They had to move and they still had almost 5 miles to go to get to the gate.
The team had reached the gate without losing anyone but had sustained several injuries when random animals from the pack would suddenly appear in the night. Major Woods had broken his wrist when he had been knocked down by one of the animals which had jumped at him from a tree branch above the trail.
When they finally made it to the gate, there'd been several of the animals there waiting for them, as if the rest of the pack had been herding the men to this point. The team had attacked swiftly, killing all the animals, but not before Daniel had been bitten on his left thigh. Colonel had killed the animal biting the archeologist and then had followed Major Woods directions on breaking the jaw so he could pry the animal's mouth from Daniel's leg. As the jaws had come away, Daniel could see that the animal had three rows of teeth.
The pain had been excruciating, but with the Colonel's help, Daniel had gotten on his feet and dialed Earth. As the wormhole was established, Major Woods had screamed for everyone to get going. Turning to look, he saw the pack racing for them about 30 yards out.
As the last member of the team had stepped through the Stargate, the trinium shield was quickly closed. Until the wormhole disengaged, thuds could be heard impacting the barrier.
Convincing Janet he was fine to go home had been a challenge. He did not want to spend any time in the infirmary hooked to an IV. He knew he would sleep better in his own bed, or Jack's bed.
"I promise to come in tomorrow for another dose of IV antibiotics. You said yourself the bite was shallow."
"I know what I said, but Daniel, I don't want you alone in case you develop a fever or the wound starts to bleed." Janet quietly explained why she wanted him in the infirmary.
"Janet, how about I go to Jack's. I am always welcome there. I promise to even wake him up and tell him he has the job of checking on me."
"Daniel, it is almost midnight. I could make it an order for you to stay."
"But you won't because you know this is a superficial wound. Yes, it hurts. But you're going to give me some happy pills. You always do. Anyway, you and Dr. Warner have enough to worry about with Lt. Robertson. I'm not a good patient when I am feeling OK and you know it." Seeing the look of Janet's face, he quietly added. "Please Janet, I need to get out of here. Don't make me beg." He had felt the need to get out of the mountain. His emotions were near the surface and if he had a nightmare, he didn't want to be in the infirmary when it happened.
At that, Janet had let him go on the stipulation he stayed at Jack's that night. He had promised and now here he sat, resting his head on the steering wheel wondering if he should just head home. His relationship with Jack had changed recently and they were still feeling their way. The older man had always been his friend, some one he could count on. But lately it had become more. Jack had become his port in a storm, someone with whom he felt anchored.
Daniel started as there was a tap on his window. Standing there in sweats was the subject of his thoughts. He could see the look of concern on his friend's face. Sighing he pulled his keys out of the ignition and opened the door.
"Were you planning on staying out here all night?" Jack must have been watching for him.
"Janet call you?" Jack nodded and offered his arm for support as Daniel got out of the car. Grabbing his crutches, he locked the door. Turning back, he felt Jack slide an arm around his waist pulling his arm over his shoulder, supporting Daniel for the walk into the house.
Once inside, Jack set aside his crutches and helped him into the kitchen. Sitting Daniel in a chair, Jack pulled a bottle of single malt whiskey down and poured them both two fingers of the liqueur. "Janet won't like this but you and I both need this." Nodding, Daniel took the glass and threw back the alcohol, feeling the burn all the way down to his stomach, making him catch his breath. As the warmth spread through his belly, Jack got up and took both their glasses to the sink.
"Let's get you to bed." Jack again assisted Daniel as they moved down the hall and into the bathroom. Making sure the archeologist was steady on his feet, Jack went to pull out Daniel his gray cotton PJ bottoms he had bought him last Christmas. Giving the younger man enough time to perform his ablutions, Jack took a moment to get a grip on his own emotions. Daniel was alive and he was here. He didn't lose him. But dammit, no one was borrowing Daniel again. That's all there was to it.
Saying a little prayer to the powers that be, Jack went back into the bathroom and found Daniel sitting on the commode, head down, eyes closed.
"Come on, let's get you changed and into bed." Opening his eyes and looking up at his lover, Daniel nodded. Sliding his arm round Daniel's waist he again assisted him in standing and steadying him as he walked into the master bedroom.
Helping Daniel to the bed, Jack made quick work of his clothes and dressed him in the PJ's, looking closely at the man's leg and the dressing there. The archeologist's thigh was swollen and bruised. Jack also noted several other bruises on his back but nothing too serious. Daniel's leg was going to hurt for a few days but from what Janet had said, his injuries were minor.
Settling Daniel in bed, Jack made the rounds making sure the door was locked and the lights out. Sliding into bed, he pulled Daniel into his arms, thankful to have him there. He could feel the tremors running throughout the archeologist's body.
"You want to tell me about it?" Jack felt Daniel shake his head. Pulling him a little closer Jack gave Daniel a hug...and waited.
Daniel sighed. "It was awful Jack. They were like wild dogs, hunting in a pack, attacking anything and everything. Robertson may still lose his right leg. Janet's not sure yet."
"I know, the Doc filled me in on the team's injuries. He is in the worst shape. The rest of you are bumped and bruised....and bitten, but otherwise...Your safe. That's what's important." Feeling Daniel shake, he reached down and kissed the top of his head. "It must have been terrifying."
"Yes,....yes it was." Daniel's voice was hoarse with feeling. Jack suddenly felt a wetness on his chest. Not saying anything, he held onto Daniel, offering him solace and comfort, as he let his emotions go.
After a few minutes, the rain of tears passed and Daniel reached for tissues from the bedside table. Wiping his eyes and blowing his nose, he suddenly felt embarrassed. He had done his crying alone in the past. Even when Sha're had died, there had been few public tears. And now here he was, watering Jack's chest.
Laying back down, Jack again pulled him into his arms. "Better?"
"No, Daniel. Never apologize for feeling. If we lose that, we've lost everything."
Leaning his head back and looking into Jack's eyes, he saw the honesty and emotion. Lifting up a little, Daniel gently kissed him. Jack returned the kiss, deepening it slightly, letting the younger man take the lead. They lay there, tongues rasping against each other's, kissing, sucking on lips and offering solace and reassurance to each other. Gentling the kiss, Jack eased back and looked into Daniel's face, seeing that he was calmer now. Pulling him in, he hugged him. "Go to sleep, Daniel. I'll be right here."
It was what Daniel needed. This gentle acceptance, care and love reminded him of why Jack made him feel safe, and why he was his port in the storm.