Taking Care Of Jack
Colonels shouldn't get the flu. That should be a rule. Colonel, saved the planet a couple of times - no flu. But sadly, that's not how it works in my world.
Said world is currently blanketed in snotty tissues, with random scatterings of used cups and plates - most of which have not begun to produce their own life forms, and a lovely assortment of pills, potions and painkillers. I'm in hell.
Lying on the couch is making my back ache, in fact, everything hurts, even my toes. The flu has no right to be in my toes... I'm lying here dying, all alone! Where is everyone? I know General Hammond wouldn't send them on a mission without me, and whatever they have to play with in their respective labs can't be nearly as much fun as hanging out with me! I'll even clear a little space in the tissues if Teal'c wants to come over and kel no'reem. No one ever said that Jack O'Neill was not a gracious host.
My eyes are not completely focused on the old black and white film on the tv, and the volume is turned way down so the overbearing trumpets in the musical score don't murder what's left of my ears.
I am just about to slip into blissful unconsciousness when there's a banging at my door. I struggle to yell out to whoever it is to get lost, but at most I manage a rough gurgling sound, which wouldn't even scare the neighbour's cat.
Next thing I hear is the door opening. I don't remember hearing it forced open, but if someone is here to rob the place, they can take whatever they want, except maybe the Simpsons collection, as long as they promise to put me out of my misery...
"Jack?" I hear a voice call out from the foyer.
Daniel! My knight in shinning armour is here. The bastard. "Jack? Are you here?” he yells again. I groan, burying my head further into the pillow in the vain attempt to shield my ears from that heavenly bellowing.
I manage a growled "What?” before I'm assailed with racking coughs, which help give away my location and Daniel finally pops his head around the corner as he hops down the stairs.
"Hey Jack, how are you feeling?" Daniel is way too chipper to be in my presence right now.
"Go to hell."
"Okay...” Daniel replies with a smile as he spins around to leave.
"No wait" I don't want him to go, in fact, I really really want him to stay. "Take a seat will ya." I gesture around weakly with the one arm not tucked under the blanket.
Daniel surveys my tissue plantation and his nose scrunches up in that cute 'you're disgusting, why do I put up with you?' way, before finding a seat in one of the armchairs.
"General Hammond send you over?", I ask.
"Yes", he replies bluntly. Ow! Ok, I know I'm a tad cranky when I'm sick, but Daniel knows that, the little shit. He continues to stare at me, the face of innocence. If I want something, if I want him to stay; to dare I say it, even, possibly, take care of me a little, well I have to ask for it.
"So what does he want?"
"Who?" Daniel was too busy staring me down.
"Oh, right. He wanted me to check on you..."
"And you couldn't do that over the phone?"
"Would you have answered it? And, he wanted me to check up on you in person, in order to fully assess your capability in finishing these." Daniel reaches into the bag he brought with him and produces a stack of mission reports.
Just looking at the small neatly rowed lettering is enough to make the headache flair up again behind my eyes. I squeeze them shut and attempt to wish the reports out of existence...or at least out of my house.
"I guess that would be a no, huh?"
I pop open one eye just enough to glare at Daniel. Ok, so the General did actually send him over, but it would be nice if Daniel took a little interest in my wellbeing outside of work without my practically having to beg for it.
"Well, I guess I'll be..."
"How am I supposed to see these reports with watery eyes and a stuffed up head? You're gonna have to stay and read 'em to me." There, the feelers were out. I try for a cheeky smile, but I suspect I look like some kind of demented troll - hair sticking up at all angles, red runny nose and all kinds of bodily odours from a lack of showering.
Daniel cocks his head. 'Look at you Jack, I don't think Hammond's gonna jump on you if you don't get them done right away. In fact..." I can tell Daniel is trying to contain a small grin, but the corners of his mouth are betraying him. "I suspect he sent me over here with them as a means of getting me out of my lab for a bit, see, there was this tablet from P3X-8..." I let Daniel's voice wash over me as I recline further into my pillow. Daniel knew he was coming here to take care of me. I only wish I knew whether he genuinely wanted to - who am I kidding? Daniel would take care of anyone, well ok, maybe not Apophis, but anyone else, sure; or whether his visit was due more so to Hammond's reports, which I agree were a cheap shot at getting Daniel out of the mountain.
I'm so wrapped up in my thoughts, that I don't hear the soft "Jack...Jaaack..." Until Daniel is leaning over me, hand on my shoulder.
I look up to see a slight worried look in Daniel's eyes. "Maybe you should go to bed Jack. Get a few good hours sleep, it has to be better on your back than the couch."
You know, sometimes, Daniel can come up with some pretty good ideas when he puts his mind to it. I nod a fraction in acquiescence and begin to rise from the cushions with a little help from Daniel. Wow, I didn't realise how light headed one could get from being vertical. Daniel releases his hold once I am up, and I nod my thanks. No offence Daniel, but I would prefer to make it down the hall under my own steam ...and it would be a whole lot easier if this headache would ease up so I could see where I am going.
I'm almost at my bedroom door and I can hear Daniel puttering around my living room. As much as I want him here, if he touches even one of my snotty tissues... I mean, they're arranged perfectly, just where I want them. I'll clean them up as soon as ...you just don't touch another man's tissue - is the last thought in my head before the world fades to black.
"Jack...Jack!" Alright already, I said I was going to get off the couch and go to bed ...except this doesn't feel like my couch, and it's now raining... and where is my shirt?
"Jack?...c'mon Jack, time to wake up now." Daniel? I groan as feeling comes back to my body, aches all over and this relentless headache. "Oh god, Jack you idiot." I open my eyes wide enough to see that Daniel has dragged me into the en suite bathroom and that I am currently propped up against his chest, sitting on the tiled floor of my shower. The water is freezing cold, and I am soaked to the bone.
"What the hell happened?" I slur, managing to turn far enough to look at Daniel. He is still fully clothed, shirt plastered to his chest, drops of water running down his cheeks. "You didn't tell me you had a temperature!" Temperature? How the hell was I supposed to know? I was too busy dying. I guess he can tell from the perplexed look on my face that I still have no idea what happened. "You fainted in the hallway, Jack." Fainted? Please.
"I probably just blacked out for a sec, low blood sugar or some..."
"For 3 minutes?" Ok, so I had a temperature. I gather what little strength I have to shrug and look as sorry and pitiful as possible.
Daniel rolls his eyes, and continues to hold me up under the spray, arms around my torso. "If you wanted me to take care of you Jack, you could have just said so."
I thought I had.