A Cold and Windy Night
Category: Pre-Slash, Drama, H/C, Smarm
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Season: 1 - May 28 - June 1, 1997
Written: October 24-29,31, November 1,3-4,7-8,10, 2005 Tweaked: July 10, 2007 Tweaked Again: September 26, 2007
Summary: Jack and Daniel are hurt and trapped off-world during a storm, while Sam and Teal'c try to get back to the SGC for help.
Disclaimer: Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't. A gal can dream though!
1) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
2) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better: Linda, Claudia, QuinGem, Arawa, Kat, Cassiopeia, Linda, Heather!
A Cold and Windy Night
“Carter, I thought you said this planet was a paradise,” Jack shouted
as he flung his right hand up, trying to keep his cap from flying off
“It is, Sir -- on the other side,” Sam stated. Seeing Jack's look of disdain, the captain added in her defense, “I told you in the briefing that it would take four days to reach the source of the energy readings, and, um, paradise.”
“Yes, you did, but you didn't mention we'd have to go through a hurricane to get there,” Jack retaliated as he almost lost his balance while fighting against the windy onslaught.
“I didn't know it would be this bad, Sir. The UAV reported wind and some rain, but nothing like this,” Sam shouted as a sudden gust of wind forced her back two steps.
SG-1 had been on PS5-842, a fairly small-sized planet, for nearly three hours, and the less-than-stellar weather had worsened the further away they got from the Stargate. No one from Earth had ventured to the planet before, but the UAV had done two flyovers during the past three days. While the UAV had shown pockets of concentrated energy on the other side of the planet, the type of energy and whether or not it could be useful to Earth was yet to be determined.
The team continued on, taking grudging steps against the onslaught of the elements until the howling winds were literally blowing them from side to side.
“WE NEED SHELTER!” Jack shouted after nearly being blown off his feet for what seemed like the hundredth time. “CARTER, TEAL'C, LOOK FOR SOMETHING ON THE RIGHT. DANIEL, YOU'RE WITH ME. DON'T GO TOO FAR!” he warned his teammates.
“YES, SIR,” Sam acknowledged with a shout, which was now the only way to hear anyone.
Sam and Teal'c fought valiantly against the unnaturally strong wind as they searched for something to use as a shelter. They were, of course, in the usual forest, something SG-1 had gotten used to during their first few months of exploring new worlds. Jack loved trees, or at least he used to. After all, he had spent a good deal of his childhood in Minnesota, but now he was starting to make jokes about that fact that ninety percent of the time stepping through the Stargate meant stepping into a forest. Unfortunately, the trees in this particular forest were fairly sparse, although there were still plenty of them.
~Great, the one time I want there to be pine trees; heck, any tall trees at all would do, there aren't any,~ Jack thought irritably, knowing that the pine trees would have at least provided his team with some cover from the icy rain that was now beating down on them with fervor.
“JACK, I CAN BARELY SEE YOU!” Daniel shouted after twenty minutes of fruitless searching, nearly falling down again from his feet sliding in the freezing mud.
The two hadn't made any progress in finding a suitable shelter; it was beginning to look hopeless.
“WE CAN'T STAY OUT HERE,” Jack responded, starting to turn around. “MAYBE WE CAN FIIIIIIIIIIII...”
“JACK?” Alarmed from hearing his friend's words trail off into a wordless yell, Daniel called out even louder, “JAAAAACK!” As he looked in the direction Jack had been, Daniel realized he could no longer make out his friend's frame through the driving rain. He inched forward cautiously, his arms reaching out, hoping to make contact with the colonel's body. ~Did he fall?~ “JACK, ANSWER ME. JACK, WHERE ARRRRRRRRRRRRR...”
With the storm worsening and having lost contact with Jack and Daniel, Sam and Teal'c reluctantly made the decision to head back towards the Stargate. In this weather they had little or no hope of finding their friends without getting lost or seriously hurt themselves. Although they weren't even positive that they could make it back to the Gate, Sam and Teal'c hoped the hurricane-like conditions would lessen in severity as they retreated back towards the Gate. They hoped to find shelter; if not, they would return to Earth and then come back with help from the SGC.
Neither of them liked making that choice. Leaving their friends and teammates behind was not an idea they relished, but not only were their radios useless, they could barely see two feet ahead of them. Sam and Teal'c knew they couldn't help their teammates until the storm let up. Of course, they didn't even know if Jack and Daniel needed help. In fact, Sam secretly hoped the two had made the same decision to turn back, and the four would rendezvous at the Gate and get off the dreaded planet.
“J'ck?” Daniel's raspy voice called out even before his eyes opened. The scientist felt cold and groggy as he lay on the hard, wet ground. Slowly, his eyelids fluttered open, only it was difficult for him to keep them open. The howling wind was causing his partially unzipped jacket to flap about wildly, and the rain was pounding down even harder than before, making his skin ache with the force of it. Quickly, Daniel raised his right hand to shield his eyes as he leaned upwards, putting his weight on his left elbow. “JACK, WHERE ARE YOU?” he shouted, desperately trying to find the colonel.
As he took a cursory inventory of his aching body, making sure all the necessary parts were still there, Daniel realized he must have fallen down a ravine. He surmised that Jack must have done the same thing, and the fact that Jack hadn't answered his calls worried him immensely. Jack could be seriously hurt which meant that he really needed to find the leader of SG-1 as quickly as possible.
“Why is everything, uh, out of ...focus?” Daniel asked quietly, his hands rubbing his eyes. “Oops,” he whispered as he suddenly become aware that his glasses weren't on his face. ~They must have been knocked off in the fall. Well, it's not like I could see before I fell anyway,~ he thought silently.
“JACK? SAY SOMETHING!” Daniel commanded at the top of his lungs.
Still unable to see well due to the storm and the lack of his glasses, Daniel fumbled around a little before gradually inching his way along the wet grass and slimy mud.
“Gawd,” Daniel said with disgust when his hand went down into a mud puddle. The young man may have been an archaeologist and digging in the dirt one of his favorite pastimes, but crawling around in the mud definitely was not on his fun things to do list. Shaking off as much of the slop as he could, Daniel continued his search slowly and carefully, crawling along the rough ground almost like a baby would. “JACK, WHERE ... oh, uh ... Jack?” Daniel said as his hands came into contact with a body. ~Hope it's Jack.~ “Jack?”
Daniel blinked as he tried to identify the person. Using both of his sodden hands to shield his eyes from the hard-hitting horizontal rain, he was able to make out the blurry outline of his friend's face. His freezing fingers fumbled against Jack's neck and finally, after several long seconds, Daniel found a steady pulse. He uttered a sigh of relief and took a moment to calm down, now that he knew Jack was alive. Then, though, there was another problem -- what to do next.
The archaeologist desperately looked around for anything they could use for shelter, but at this point, he could barely see his hand in front of his face, let alone find anything that might help them. He was afraid to get up and walk even three yards to look for shelter, uncertain as to whether he'd be able to find Jack again. As a result, Daniel opted to stay where he was than risk leaving Jack alone.
Remembering their teammates, Daniel clicked his radio, shouting, “SAM, TEAL'C, THIS IS DANIEL. DO YOU COPY?” The radio was deadly silent with only a crackling buzz barely audible over the roar of the rain. “SAM, TEAL'C, IT'S DANIEL. COME IN, PLEASE,” he called out in another attempt to make contact. The archaeologist sighed, concerned as much about Sam and Teal'c just as he was about himself and Jack. He looked down at the older man, running his hand over Jack's forehead. “You feel a little warm,” Daniel said softly, biting his lower lip with worry. “Maybe it's just my imagination, but I don't want you to get it sick out here anyway.”
Having no other recourse, Daniel began to cozy up next to his CO, wrapping his arms around the unconscious man, believing their only hope of survival was to stay together, share their body heat, and try to survive the horrific force of hurricane-like conditions. As he got closer, he discovered Jack had a cut on the side of his face. Daniel reached for his medical gear, which wasn't much, just a few bandages and Tylenol. Sam had the primary first aid kit in her backpack.
In fact, Jack and Daniel were carrying limited supplies. Because the terrain they would have to traverse in their journey was rockier than most of the landscape they usually trekked and would require some climbing, they'd taken just the absolute bare essentials. Only Teal'c with his extra strength had been carrying a regular pack along with a few extra supplies for his teammates.
Doing the best he could, Daniel cleaned away the blood. He removed his green jacket and gently placed Jack's head on it, arranging it so that it shielded Jack's face from the torrential downpour that showed no sign of letting up. While effectively propping his head up slightly, it also helped keep the wound dry.
~Wait!~ Daniel reminded himself. He slid his hand down to his pant pocket, his fingers fumbling as he opened it and pulled out the contents. ~I hope these things work.~ Quickly, he opened the cellophane package containing the space blanket. The injured young man stared at it a few times, unable to focus on which side was the reflective side for almost a minute. ~I ... I think this is it.~
Daniel attempted to put the blanket over Jack by first tucking the blanket under his friend's feet. As he moved upward to secure the silver warmth, a huge gust of wind knocked him backward. Reflexively, Daniel's hands shot up to protect his face, a good thing since several twigs swept by him, cutting the skin on his hand slightly, though he barely reacted to the cuts. He turned his head to the side when the wind gust blew dirt and particles in his direction. Seconds later, the gust had passed.
“Crap~” Daniel exclaimed when he recovered and sat back up, seeing that the space blanket had been blown away. ~Jack has one ... somewhere.~
The archaeologist was about to search his friend's body when another wind gust began. It was just too much to fight against, especially with the worsening rain and being unable to see much at all. Thus, he reverted to his original plan, deciding that the best way to keep both himself and his friend warm was to share body heat.
“Ouch!,” Daniel cried out as he lay atop his friend. “What the ...” Daniel moved back and saw that Jack's MP-5 was still around his shoulder, lying against his chest. He carefully removed it, staring at it briefly. “You are not going to be happy when you see this, Jack,” Daniel said, realizing the weapon had sustained some damage. Setting the weapon off to the side, he covered the older man's body with his own. ~Well, he's more comfortable than the ground, though, uh, he wouldn't be my first choice to ... gawd, focus on survival, Jackson!~
With the blinding rain beating down against his back, Daniel used his own body to cover Jack as much as possible, using one hand to hold the jacket in place and the other to keep from being blown away. Burying his face against Jack's shoulder, Daniel closed his eyes, not sure either of them would survive this horrible night.
“TEAL'C, I'LL DIAL. TRY THE RADIOS AGAIN,” Sam ordered as she struggled to see the symbols on the DHD.
The storm hitting the planet had strengthened, not lessened, during their long trip back to the Stargate. The distance they'd traveled wasn't all that far, but they had had to struggle constantly against the strong winds trying to blow them sideways. It was only Teal'c's strength, holding Sam close beside him and shielding her from the brunt of the wind as they returned that had saved the female captain. Fortunately, in anticipation of returning at night, SG-1 had placed a few locator beacons along the way; had it not been for those, Sam and Teal'c may not have made it back at all.
“O'NEILL, DANIELJACKSON, THIS IS TEAL'C. RESPOND,” Teal'c shouted after clicking his radio. “CAPTAINCARTER, THE RADIO STILL DOES NOT FUNCTION. WE MUST RETURN TO THE SGC.”
“TEAL'C, I CAN'T SEE THE SYMBOLS,” Sam warned. “I'M NOT SURE I DIALED THE CORRECT ADDRESS,” she told him as the kawoosh thundered in the wind.
To make matters worse, as they had journeyed back, a wind-whipped branch had struck Sam's arm, crushing her GDO light panel. While she was reasonably sure the signal had gotten through to Earth, she couldn't tell if there had been a confirmation signal or not.
“WE HAVE NO CHOICE; WE CANNOT SURVIVE HERE,” Teal'c shouted, barely able to make out the stone steps leading to the Stargate.
Hoping she'd dialed correctly and that their transmission had been received, Sam called back her agreement, and then she and Teal'c quickly stepped through the Stargate to what they hoped would be safety.
Jack coughed harshly, suddenly waking from the darkness of his sleep. His eyes slowly fluttered open. He could sense it was daylight, and yet everything seemed overcast and dull. For that matter, he felt a heaviness pressing against his chest.
~I'm being crushed to death. That's it, I'm ...~ “DANIEL!” Jack called out in surprise, recognizing his friend's floppy hair.
“Wha...J'ck?” Daniel asked groggily, feeling Jack's breath against his face.
“Daniel, this is nice,” Jack commented quietly, “but I CAN'T BREATHE!” he complained in a louder voice.
“Gawd!” Daniel yelped, practically jumping off the older man in a panic and moving a few feet away as fast as he could. Sitting on the ground, he squinted tiredly as he felt the sun warming his face. “It's daytime,” he unnecessarily pointed out.
“Very good, Daniel,” a bemused Jack said. “Would you mind explaining to me why you were closer to me than I think my wife ever was?”
Blushing with embarrassment, Daniel glared at Jack, or at least, he would have tried to if Jack would just come into focus.
Jack began to complain louder, describing just how uncomfortable he was, only to find that when he attempted to get up, his head felt like a sledgehammer had hit it. He groaned in pain and collapsed back down with a thud, bringing both of his hands to his head.
“Jack?” Daniel asked in concern, crawling over to his friend.
“Daniel, who stepped on my head?” Jack moaned in discomfort.
“Uh, I think you fell on it. Last night, remember? The storm?” Daniel recalled, wondering if Jack had sustained a concussion.
“Storm? Oh, yeah. Carter? Where's Carter and Teal'c?” Jack asked, attempting to pull himself up into a sitting position.
“I ... I don't know,” Daniel said, twisting his body to look around at the still-blurry world. “We fell down a ravine I think. I don't know where they are. The radios don't work.” His voice trailed off, and it continued with a slight hysterical edge. “Jack, I couldn't see anything. The rain ... I've never seen or heard of rain like that. It was ... gawd, it was like a snow blizzard, blinding me and ...”
Jack drew his hands back at Daniel's tone. For the first time since he had regained consciousness, he noticed his friend didn't have his glasses on. He also spotted a nasty-looking gash on his friend's right hand and a multi-colored bruise on his forehead. Not only that, but as Daniel had rambled on, Jack became acutely aware of the sense of panic now obviously flooding through Daniel's body.
“Danny, it's okay,” Jack soothed, trying to reassure his friend.
“I ... I should have done something more, but I ... the wind blew the blanket away, and I ... I didn't know what to do. You were here, and ...” Daniel stammered apologetically.
“Danny,” Jack said, ignoring the incessant pain in his head as he moved closer to the younger man. “We're going to get out of here, just as soon as we figure out where here is.”
“Hey,” Jack interrupted, smiling at the flustered man. He reached over and put his hand on Daniel's shoulder as he stated with absolute assurance, “You did good.”
“Smothering you?” Daniel challenged, feeling a bit calmer with Jack's reassurance.
“Yes,” Jack agreed with a smile. “You kept me alive, but I'm not sure you bothered to take care of yourself. Daniel, you're a mess,” Jack said informatively, his hand still on his friend's shoulder as he offered his support tactilely.
“You're not exactly Mister Clean yourself, Jack,” Daniel retorted, motioning toward Jack's filthy garb.
“That's more like it,” Jack said with a smile, lowering his hand as he looked around. “So the storm is over?” Jack asked rhetorically.
“I, uh, don't know,” Daniel commented, shivering. “I sure hope so, though.”
“That's it, Danny; you just keep being Mister Positive,” Jack quipped dryly as he got up.
As Jack moved, Daniel simply stared at him, still processing the last comment.
Jack looked down and smiled. He extended out his hand and beckoned, “Come on, let's see if we can get out of here.”
Daniel grabbed his friend's hand just above the wrist, and stood up, letting go once he was on his two feet.
“Where's your med kit?” Jack asked, searching the ground around them.
“It's, uh ...” Daniel began a bit guiltily.
“Daniel?” Jack asked expectantly, raising his eyebrow pointedly.
“It's there,” Daniel answered, pointing to the ground. “But there's nothing left,” he added informatively. “I only had a few bandages. Uh, if you have a headache ...”
“Headache? My head is friggin' killing me, but somehow I don't think a Tylenol is going to do the trick.” Jack paused and sighed. “You?”
“When did it start thundering?” Daniel asked with a tiny bit of humor, referring to the pounding headache he had as well. A bit hesitantly, he confided, “Jack, I ... I can't see very well.”
“I knew there was something different,” Jack said, looking around for the glasses. “Crap!” the colonel suddenly exclaimed as he walked a few feet past Daniel, bent down, and picked up the frames. Examining the wire-rim glasses, Jack flipped them over and, with a shrug, handed them to the archaeologist. “I don't think they're going to do you much good now, Danny.”
Acknowledging the comment with a shrug, Daniel took the frames and stuck his fingers through the now-empty frames. The lenses had been broken beyond repair, shattered into a million pieces on the ground below.
“Better them than your head,” Jack comforted seriously.
“Right,” Daniel replied.
“Although, that's a nasty bruise,” Jack said, reaching up and putting his hand near Daniel's wound for a moment. “Your glasses were probably knocked off when your head hit the ground.”
“Good thing I have a hard head,” Daniel teased, wincing as he touched his head briefly.
Jack grinned and began, “Well, a hard ... never mind.” Jack sighed and, though his gut told him it was useless, he clicked his radio, saying, “Carter, Teal'c, this is O'Neill.” After two more attempts without any type of response, he told Daniel, “Let's get out of here. Wait where is my MP-5?”
“Uh, well, it was around here somewhere,” Daniel answered hesitantly.
“What's that supposed to mean?” Jack growled.
“I couldn't sleep on it, Jack. I probably would have shot myself, or you,” the scientist stated off-handedly.
Jack let out a snort, knowing his archaeologist could handle a weapon. He suspected it was more of a comfort issue. He wasn't happy about being separated from his MP-5, but he was aware that Daniel had been in a tough bind.
~Who knows? Maybe I would have done the same thing,~ Jack thought as he looked around for his weapon, finding it several yards away, next to a large boulder.
“The wind must have blown it there,” Daniel commented. “It, uh, I mean, I think it was damaged in the fall.”
Jack picked up the now-smashed weapon and examined it, commenting that, “Yeah, and it looks like it must have bounced off this rock, too. It's useless now,” he said, throwing the demolished gun down. “Let’s move out.”
Daniel bent down and picked up his jacket that had been a makeshift pillow for Jack. He quickly put it on and zipped it up. Even though the rain and wind had stopped, it was still quite chilly.
As the couple began to walk away, Daniel's eyelids fluttered several times. He also realized his eyes were stinging slightly. In addition to his growing headache, it was getting harder to focus. He was a little worried that, in addition to breaking his glasses, the fall might have resulted in damage to his eyes as well.
After just a few shaky steps, the archaeologist tripped over a rock, his body falling forward into Jack's.
“Whoa!” Jack called out, immediately steadying his own stance and then turning quickly to grab hold of Daniel. “What's wrong?”
“Oh, I don't know,” Daniel responded in desperation. “Been in a torrential storm, headache, cut hand, no glasses ...”
“Daniel, can you see?” Jack asked pointedly, resting his hand's on his friend's shoulder and looking him in the eyes with concern.
“Yes, Jack,” Daniel answered. Feeling more than seeing Jack's intense glare, Daniel clarified, “I see this ... oblong shaped-object with a point at the top.”
Jack grimaced in annoyance as he reached up to try and flatten the short brown hairs that stood up like an eagle's nest at the back of his head.
“And, um, well, I ...” Daniel hesitated unsurely.
“What?” Jack asked.
“I see brown eyes, eyes that ... that say we'll be okay,” the younger man admitted, feeling a little less embarrassed than he had thought he would at the revelation.
“And we will,” Jack said in a semi-cracked voice in response to Daniel's words. “Hold on to me,” he ordered gently.
“I'm sorry I'm being a pain, Jack,” Daniel apologized softly. “I mean, uh, another storm could start anytime.”
“Then we'd better get going,” the older man urged, putting his arm around his archaeologist. “And you are not being a pain, Daniel,” Jack hastened to add. “Yet,” he quipped, earning him a smile from his younger friend.
Jack figured they'd head back as quickly as they could towards the Stargate. He hoped the ravine would have a gradual incline so they wouldn't have to climb up. From what he could see, that would be fairly important because the way up was steep and slippery. The only good thing, in Jack's opinion, was that he knew they couldn't be more than three hours from the Gate.
With Jack leading his friend, the two began their long, arduous trek.
“Look, we aren't the Goa'uld or these ... Monotians you keep talking about,” Sam said in exasperation. “My name is Captain Samantha Carter, and this is Teal'c. We're from Earth and are part of a team called SG-1. We had gone to another planet, got caught in a storm, and we were trying to get home.”
“We do not believe you,” a tall, burly man dressed in brown furs responded angrily as he held a spear pointed in Sam's direction.
Other men dressed in similar fur-like outfits stood with their weapons trained on Sam and Teal'c, effectively surrounding the two damp and weary teammates, who were seated on two wooden crates, their hands tied awkwardly behind their backs.
“CaptainCarter is speaking the truth. We arrived on your world by mistake,” Teal'c explained in his usual, stoic way.
“That's right. I must have mis-dialed the Stargate address. We have to get back and help our friends,” Sam urgently pleaded.
Upon emerging through the Stargate to the barren beige world, Sam and Teal'c had been immediately set upon and captured by a tribe that called themselves the Medevans. The tribe had taken the two protesting humans to their village, which was nothing more than a few wooden huts. The terrain was flat and desolate, and it was very cold, which accounted for the fur wrappings the locals wore. Sam thought it was ironic that they had gated from one wet and windy world to another very cold one.
The Medevans were afraid that Sam and Teal'c were one of two enemies to their world, the Goa'uld or the Monotians, a race the Tau'ri had yet to meet and thus knew nothing about.
“You have come to spy on us; you want to destroy us!” the apparent leader argued accusingly, refuting Sam's claim.
“No, we're not!” Sam exclaimed agitatedly. “We're fighting the Goa'uld, too.”
“Then you are Monotians; they hate the Goa'uld,” the man replied, certain Sam and Teal'c were the enemy.
“Kill them!” a man from behind Sam shouted, causing Sam and Teal'c to twist their bodies around to see the angry local.
The man continued to incite the angry crowd, and within a minute, all but the leader were shouting, “KILL THEM,” as they raised their spears ceremoniously into the air. The leader only smirked with satisfaction as he listened to his tribe chant.
“Jack, is it my imagination, or is it getting even colder?” Daniel asked after the two had gone just two miles.
“Not just colder,” Jack affirmed as his body registered the chilly environment, “but I see a lot of dark clouds. Daniel, how long did it take that last storm to start?”
“About five minutes,” Daniel answered worriedly.
“That's what I thought,” the older man replied, stopping and taking in the surrounding area.
They had continued to follow the path along the ravine, not yet attempting to climb up the fairly steep incline. While there were several trees in this particular area, Jack couldn't see anything that could be a real shelter. He knew, though, that if the wind became as bad as it had been before, that they would definitely need to find someplace to take shelter in or by. As he was still debating the best course of action, a strong gust of wind suddenly kicked up, nearly knocking both men off their feet.
~Finally, something that might help us, if it doesn't kill us,~ Jack thought as he saw his solution about seventy feet away.
There was a spot where three big oak-like trees were growing close together. The one in the middle had a diameter of about five feet and was on a small slope. The other two were about three feet in diameter and on flat ground. Together, the three trees formed a C-shape. Jack only hoped it would be enough to block the wind and rain from harming them further.
“Holy Mariah,” Jack exclaimed, more to himself than to his friend, a reference to the folklore and famous song that called the wind Mariah. “Daniel, that's our best bet,” Jack said in a raised voice.
The colonel had barely spoken his last word when the rain began to fall.
“Where?” Daniel asked as he looked around, the world still a blur to him for the most part.
Jack's answer was to simply pull Daniel along after him over towards the three trees. They both stiffly sat down and huddled against the center tree, and each other, for warmth.
“We're going to hunker down here, Danny. If we're lucky, these trees will help protect us from the wind and rain,” Jack yelled and then grimaced from the rain that was hitting his face hard.
“We may freeze to death,” Daniel said loudly as the noise from the wind increased three fold, its whirr unable to be ignored as it slapped against their faces.
“Great,” Jack groaned. “We'll be Popsicles.”
“More likely icicles,” Daniel opined.
The rain and wind picked up dramatically within the next ten minutes. Jack pulled out his space blanket and placed it around them as they leaned back into the tree. The insulation helped protect their upper bodies from the cold and the elements, and for a while, it lulled the two into a calm.
At one point, Daniel's eyes closed, and he began to fall asleep. As he did, he shifted his position, his head, arms, and legs actually leaning into the SG-1 leader. The move caught Jack off-guard, so much so that he instinctively pulled backwards, raising his hands. Unfortunately, when he did so, it lifted the blanket, and with the strong winds, that was all it took for their one source of outside insulation to be ripped away by the storm. Daniel awoke and backed off, feeling self-conscious about his extremely close proximity to Jack.
“Danny, blankets just don't like us,” Jack remarked as he watched the blanket fly away, snapping in the wind.
“Gawd, Jack, I'm so sorry. I ... gawd, I fell asleep and ... gawd, it's my fault, and ...”
“Daniel, cut it out. We'll be okay,” Jack promised.
“We'll freeze,” Daniel responded quietly, adding, “and it's all my fault.”
“No, it's not. I'm the one who overreacted when you moved. I'm just not used to having anyone that close these days,” Jack admitted, coughing slightly afterwards.
“I'm sorry, Jack,” Daniel repeated.
“WHAT?” Jack shouted as the sound of the wind and the rain suddenly interfered with their conversation.
“I'M SORRY,” the archaeologist repeated.
~He takes the blame for everything.~ Shaking his head, Jack dismissed Daniel's comment. “Snuggle time,” Jack quipped, moving closer to his friend again.
“WHAT?” Daniel asked, having seen Jack's mouth move, but not hearing him, but Jack didn't repeat his statement.
Their blankets gone with the wind, the two friends nestled into the tree trunk as much as possible. They faced each other, burying their faces in the other's jacket. It was survival, and nothing more.
The wind was now so deafening that neither could hear the other, and the raindrops were so powerful that they felt like small pebbles were hitting their skin. The teammates tried to shelter their hands and faces even more as they clung to each other. Their only comfort was the feeling of each other's breath as their chests went in and out. It was a tiny comfort that would have to sustain them for hours as they fought the dangerous elements of nature.
“Say, uh, how about we make a deal?” Sam suggested hopefully to the tribe's leader.
Sam and Teal'c had gone round and round with the big and rotund man who was the leader of the tribe without making any progress, except that they were still alive. The leader enjoyed the attention the strangers were bringing, and flaunting his power. It was a game, but the Tau'ri weren't having any fun. They'd had a couple of close calls already when tribesmen had flexed their muscles and demanded the two be killed instantly. In that regard, Sam felt grateful the leader had an ego that was apparently bigger than the Stargate.
“My tribe wishes to kill the enemy,” the Medevan leader responded smugly.
“We are not your enemy,” Teal'c said forcefully.
Exasperated, Sam asked, “The Goa'uld, the ones with the glowing eyes -- you have to know that they don't talk like this. They don't dress like this, either.”
“This is true,” the leader said, having to agree with the blonde captain. “But he is a Jaffa, and he carries our enemy. *You* are the enemy!” he yelled.
“I am no longer,” Teal'c stated. “I fight now for the freedom of my people. The Goa'uld are not gods; they have enslaved the Jaffa.”
The leader paused in surprise, having never heard a Jaffa utter such words.
“Perhaps you are not Goa'uld, but you could still be Monotians,” the gruff-sounding leader accused.
Even louder than before, the chant of, “KILL THEM!” began again.
Sam looked around with despair and whispered to Teal'c, “If the colonel were here, I believe he'd say, 'oh, for crying out loud'.”
“Indeed,” Teal'c quietly responded.
As darkness fell, the wind began to ebb. The two men had spent hours huddled together against the huge tree. In the early afternoon, they had tried to make a run for it, hoping if they just moved forward, they'd either outrun the storm or eventually get to the Stargate, but the powerful rain and forceful winds quelled their attempt after only a few feet.
Without warning, a gigantic plume of wind had swept by, knocking them down to the ground, and rolling them like tumbleweeds for several yards before they managed to grab hold of each other and a smaller tree. When the gust died down just slightly, Jack and Daniel had quickly returned to their shelter and hunkered down for the duration of the storm.
Both were aware that for the time being, their only hope for survival was to hang onto each other by this tree.
“DANIEL!” Jack shouted all of a sudden.
“Jack, you don't have to shout,” Daniel responded in their still-huddled position.
“WHAT?” the colonel yelled.
“You don't have to shout,” Daniel repeated.
Jack stared at his friend, processing the statement, and then said, “Oh. I think I'm deaf.”
“No, you can hear me,” Daniel assured.
“Daniel, I need to ...” Jack said pointedly, raising his eyebrows.
“Me, too,” Daniel said, looking around their surroundings for a suitable place. “The winds have gone.”
“But not that rain. I swear that rain cut into my skin,” Jack said, grimacing as he looked down at his hand and saw several small cuts on it.
“Well, uh, be careful when you, uh ...” Daniel trailed off, tilting his head noncommittally.
“Daniel, I'll take care of my ... and you just take care of yours,” Jack suggested with a grin.
“Right,” Daniel agreed, getting up.
The rain was lessening, but not enough that the two felt safe in leaving the only spot that they'd found that could be a shelter.
When they returned to the C-shape formation, Jack looked at the archaeologist and asked, “You can see?”
Daniel looked off to his right and then to his left, thinking about the question. With a brief smile, he answered with surprise, “Uh, apparently.”
“That's good, Danny,” Jack replied, pleased that there was no serious damage to Daniel's eyesight.
“Still out of focus, but it's, uh, normal out of focus when I'm not wearing my glasses,” Daniel clarified. A moment later, he reached into his jacket pocket. Of course, their entire clothing was completely soaked right down to their underwear, but there was nothing they could do about it. Daniel pulled out something and opened it. He took a small bite as Jack's eyes widened. Extending the item out in his hand, he asked, “Power bar?”
“Yeah, thanks,” Jack said, taking the second half of the bar and eating it.
Though softened and dampened by the rainwater, the power bar tasted like steak to the two hungry men. While not approved officially by the military as items allowed to be taken off-world, power bars were something Daniel frequently carried with him through the Stargate, and in this case, the items were a godsend.
A sudden explosion of rain prompted Jack and Daniel to quickly resume their prior positions, their heads again buried in the other's shoulder.
“Boy, I tell ya, they'd better not find us dead like this, or I'll never live it down,” Jack complained.
“What?” the colonel asked.
“If you're dead, you won't have to worry about living it down,” Daniel challenged with a chuckle.
“Right,” Jack replied dryly.
“I think it's stopped,” Daniel observed a few hours later.
Jack raised his head from Daniel's shoulder and looked around. The rain had now softened to a light drizzle, drops lightly tapping on the nearby greenery.
“I don't think we should risk going anywhere until daylight,” Jack stated as he shifted slightly.
“JACK!” Daniel loudly objected.
“What?” a clueless Jack asked.
“I'm ... I'm cold. Get back here,” Daniel demanded, his 'request' followed up by a sneeze so hard that it made his back hurt for a second.
“That's some walloper of a sneeze you have there, Dannyboy. Might match my MP-5,” Jack teased.
“Right,” Daniel said dryly, letting out a sniffling sound as he searched for his handkerchief.
Laughing, Jack returned to the huddle, silently admitting that he was happy to do so since he was freezing cold, too.
Time passed slowly, and neither Jack nor Daniel could sleep. They'd shared another power bar, and now Jack was bored, very bored.
“Who am I?” the colonel asked brightly.
“What?” a surprised and startled Daniel responded.
“Come on, Daniel, play the game. Who am I -- twenty questions,” Jack urged. ~Give me a break here; I need something to occupy my brain, and I'm tired of thinking about Mary Steenburgen.~
“Jack, I ...”
“DANIEL, WHO FRIGGIN' AM I?” Jack barked.
“A grizzly bear?” Daniel questioned, a small smile on his face.
“Very funny. No. Nineteen to go. Who am I?” Jack asked for the fourth time, determined to get his friend to play the game.
Daniel sighed in defeat and asked, “Are you alive?”
“In the hearts of all,” Jack answered.
“What is that supposed to mean?” a confused Daniel asked.
“It means if you have a heart, I'm alive. Three down. Next?”
“I only asked one question,” Daniel argued.
“Am I a grizzly bear, am I alive, and what's that supposed to mean?” Jack repeated, counting them off on his fingers. “That's three. Next,” Jack demanded.
Daniel rolled his eyes, but then asked, “Are you human?”
“As opposed to?” Jack answered.
“Jack, you can't answer a question with a question,” an annoyed Daniel argued.
“Who says?” Jack snapped.
“I do,” Daniel replied, smirking.
“Well, I don't,” Jack stated.
“You're wrong,” Daniel argued.
“Daniel, I'm never wrong,” Jack spoke.
“Oh, please, Jack, you're wrong about a lot of things,” Daniel accused.
“Like what?” Jack snapped.
“You *are* a grizzly bear!” Daniel insisted.
“Oh, for crying out loud,” Jack whined.
“Come on, Daniel, you can at least try,” Jack pleaded, trying to ignore his convulsive shivering from the cold.
The rain had finally stopped, though every now and then a few drops fell, and off in the distance, the friends heard the occasional sound of rumbling thunder. The gusting winds were thankfully less than they had been earlier, but just when they least expected it, a sudden gust would kick up. They'd seen tree limbs and greenery blown about throughout the seemingly unending night. The worst part for them was the cold which chilled their faces and hands, especially when they weren't huddled together and thus left their skin exposed to the elements.
Because of the weather's odd pattern, especially with the winds, Jack felt they should try to stay awake, and thus, the current game was being played to try and keep their minds awake and alert.
“Jack, I don't know,” Daniel groaned.
“Sure, you do. Name this tune,” Jack said. He sang, “Now sit right back and you'll hear a tale.” Jack frowned, saying a bit agitatedly, “Daniel, everyone knows this.”
“Not me, Jack. Television was never something I, uh, watched much,” Daniel explained.
Undaunted, Jack continued to hum the tune, concluding dramatically with, “And the rest, here on ...” Jack stopped. “Daniel, here on ...” he prodded.
“Here on ...” Daniel shook his head unknowingly and then grimaced since he turned too far and exposed his face to a violent gust of wind that felt like a slap in the face. Hearing Jack groan, Daniel guessed, “Sesame Street?”
“SESAME STREET? DANIEL, IT'S GILLIGAN'S FRIGGIN' ISLAND!” Jack shouted in frustration.
“There was a TV show called Gilligan's Friggin' Island?” Daniel teased lightly in an attempt to placate his friend with humor.
“Oh, for crying out loud,” Jack sighed. “Your turn.”
“I don't know any,” Daniel said.
“Daniel, it's *your* turn,” Jack demanded.
“I don't know any,” Daniel said again, this time purposely shifting his body into the wind and away from their huddle.
“Danny, you really don't?” Jack asked softly, realizing his friend was pulling away from him.
“Jack, I was born in Egypt. We lived in the desert, and ... after my parents ... after they ... died, I read a lot. I didn't watch television much,” Daniel admitted quietly, the cold of the wind not nearly equaling the cold ache of his heart.
“It was pretty tough, huh?” Jack asked.
“I got by,” Daniel said softly.
~No, you didn't. I've seen that look and heard that tone before, Danny. You didn't get by at all,~ Jack thought sadly. “When we get home, we're having a few months of intense television watching,” he promised.
“You don't need to do that; I, uh, prefer books,” Daniel said shyly.
“You mean you prefer to shut yourself away in a corner somewhere, and reading a book is an easy way of doing that,” Jack stated less than tactfully, earning him a glare from his friend.
“I ...” the archaeologist tried to object, sneezing instead.
~My friend, the sneezing geek,~ Jack thought as a tiny smile formed on his face. ~I love books, too, but he needs to see the other side of books,~ he decided. “Danny, I can't pretend to know what it was like for you because my family was the greatest, but I can make sure you start catching up on culture.”
“Gilligan's Friggin' Island is culture?” Daniel questioned skeptically.
“Gilligan's Island,” Jack laughed, adding, “And yes, it was. The show was about people from different backgrounds learning to live together. There was the scholarly professor who could fix everything but the boat, the gorgeous movie star used to being pampered, the farm girl who just wanted everyone to be happy, the millionaires who had no clue what life on the farm was like, and the skipper.” Jack chuckled, “He was the leader, the mighty sailing man, and his mate was the bumbling Gilligan, who had a heart of gold and always meant well, even though he tended to get his team in trouble.”
Daniel cocked his head and replied in warning, “Jack, if you start calling me Gilligan, I'll ...”
Jack laughed heartily, saying, “I never made any comparison.”
“Tended to get his *team* in trouble?” Daniel challenged hotly.
“And he had a heart of gold and always meant well,” Jack said with a reassuring smile.
Daniel smiled, too, feeling placated by Jack's comment, as the friends huddled back together for warmth.
“Now, let's try this. I'll start, and you join in,” Jack said.
“Jack ...” Daniel whined.
“Join in, Daniel!” Jack ordered and then began, “Now sit right back ... Daniel, sing ...”
Rolling his eyes in annoyance, Daniel joined in, singing, “and you'll hear a tale ...”
Daniel sighed, “I spy ... something ... green.”
Jack gave his friend an incredulous look, after which he said dryly, “Daniel, everything around here is green.”
“Not everything. You're the one who wanted to play,” Daniel chided.
“Grass,” Jack guessed, going for the obvious.
“No,” Daniel said.
“I want another clue,” Jack ordered.
“Fine,” Daniel replied, looking around. “I spy something ... common.”
“Common?” Jack echoed. “Green and common are *your* clues?” he asked in disbelief, having no clue what the object being described was.
“Jack, this is your game. I'm not very good at games,” Daniel said.
Jack growled and guessed, “Moss.”
“No,” Daniel responded. “I spy something flat.”
“Leaves!” Jack exclaimed.
“No,” Daniel replied quickly.
“Our jackets,” Daniel revealed.
“Our jackets?” Jack questioned with a raised voice. “Our jackets are *not* flat!”
“They are when we aren't wearing them,” Daniel retorted with a smug grin.
“But we *are* wearing them!” Jack argued.
Daniel just shrugged innocently while Jack groaned in disbelief.
“How did I let you talk me into this?” Daniel questioned in between rounds.
“Sing or freeze, Dannyboy,” Jack quipped. “And a-one and a-two ...”
~He's so insane,~ Daniel thought.
With a groan, Daniel joined in as the two boisterously sang, “Fifty-two bottles of beer on the wall, fifty-two bottles of beer ...”
~It's a good thing you can't be caught dead singing,~ Daniel thought. ~Now *that's* something I'd hate.~
“I can't hear you, Daniel,” the older man coaxed.
Rolling his eyes, Daniel continued, joining in with Jack for the next round of, “Fifty-one bottles of beer on the wall ...”
“Danny, how ya doing?” Jack asked as the cold continued to chill their bones to the core.
“I'm okay, just a ... a little tired ... hungry ... um, brain dead, that's all,” Daniel sighed.
The two friends had run out of games, or perhaps it was the energy to play them that had disappeared. There were no more power bars to be shared and nothing else to satisfy their grumbling stomachs. They'd been silent for a while, each lost in their own thoughts as they continued to huddle, often with their faces buried in each other's shoulder. The wind continued to blow lightly, adding to their chill.
“Danny,” Jack said several minutes later.
“What?” the archaeologist questioned tiredly.
“When you were a kid, what did you wish for?” a curious Jack asked.
“I, uh, I ... at what age?” Daniel stammered, totally surprised by the question.
“Nine, ten maybe,” Jack answered, randomly picking an age.
“I don't know,” Daniel answered hesitantly.
“Didn't you wish for a fire truck for Christmas or maybe to go on a great adventure in the sky or ...”
“Do you think it's colder now?” Daniel asked in a total non sequitur, interrupting his friend's inquisitiveness.
“Yes. Danny, what did you wish for?” Jack asked again, refusing to be detoured.
“A family,” Daniel confided with a sigh. “At least I did until I knew it would never happen. Then I just wanted to grow up so I wouldn't have to think about it anymore.” Daniel paused and then said, “I think it's colder. We need Sam's equipment to run tests. The weather pattern here is very strange. It reminds me ...”
As Daniel droned on about things Jack ignored, the older man processed his friend's pain. He'd read Daniel's file more than once and knew many of the facts, but the pain -- knowing it and feeling it -- were two totally different things. The more Jack got to know Daniel, the more his heart felt for his friend, and the more the older man vowed to try and help Daniel experience so many of the things he never had, even those things as simple as “Gilligan's Island.”
“I think we can make it,” Jack said much later as the two friends stood.
“Me, too. My, uh, head doesn't hurt anymore,” Daniel commented, rubbing his cold hands against his head.
“Mine, either,” Jack admitted. “I think staying here was the right thing to do.”
“But let's not test our luck,” Daniel suggested.
“Let's not,” Jack agreed.
Together, the two friends and teammates headed back towards the Stargate.
“It's good to see you, Sir,” Sam said happily when she, Teal'c, SG-2, and a medical team met up with Jack and Daniel about one click from the Stargate.
“You, too, Carter,” Jack acknowledged, smiling at her.
“Are you well, O'Neill? DanielJackson?” Teal'c inquired with concern.
“We've, uh, been better,” Daniel answered honestly.
“But we're doing okay. Get us home, Captain,” Jack requested as he collapsed onto a stretcher and closed his eyes gratefully.
“Yes, Sir,” Sam responded, smiling.
As Daniel lay on his stretcher, he asked, “Sam, Teal'c, you guys okay?”
“We're fine. Our gooses were almost cooked, but I managed to, um, talk our way out of it,” Sam replied, a slight unnoticed blush appearing on her face.
“CaptainCarter, I do not recall any geese being on the planet?” Teal'c said.
“What planet?” Jack barked lightly, raising his head up to face his teammates, his intense glare telling them to reveal the information promptly.
“I mis-dialed the Stargate; it's in my report,” Sam stated.
“Right,” Jack said, nodding, too tired to ask for more information. “Home, James!” Jack called out.
“O'Neill, there is no one named James here,” the Jaffa responded.
“It's just an expression, Teal'c,” Jack explained, sighing from weariness.
“I do not understand why you would talk to someone who is not here,” Teal'c stated.
“Daniel?” the colonel called out.
“Yes?” the archaeologist responded.
“My headache is back,” Jack said dryly.
Two nights later, Jack and Daniel were laughing as they watched the stars from Jack's roof deck. Their injuries had been minor, but both were on light duty for the week. They were seated on the white lawn chairs Jack kept on the deck, an open pizza box situated on the ice chest that sat between them. Only two pieces of the supreme with extra cheese pizza remained. Jack was on his third beer, but Daniel was only a third of the way through his second.
“That was pretty amazing how Sam talked their way out of trouble on the planet,” Daniel chuckled.
“Yeah, once she found out those Monotians were celibate except for their regeneration cycle once every five years, she sure *talked* her way out of it,” Jack laughed, his eyes shining with amusement.
“Jack, behave. She just kissed a couple of them,” Daniel said in defense of their friend, though seconds later, he was laughing as hard as Jack was.
“What I would have given to have seen Teal'c's face when she planted one on him,” Jack chuckled, imagining the scene before taking another swig of beer. “Danny, why don't you try and get him to talk?”
“You know Teal'c, Jack. He just stands there and ... and ...” Daniel struggled to think of what he could say.
“Lifts an eyebrow, the Jaffa version of a smile,” Jack laughed. “Okay, Danny, let's run through it again.”
“Jaaaack,” Daniel whined.
“We have to finish lesson one before we can move on to lesson two. On three,” Jack ordered. “One ... two ... three ...”
As the stars shone over the skies of Colorado Springs, on a tiny deck in a suburban area, two friends could be heard singing about the castaways on Gilligan's Isle.
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