Characters: Cameron, Daniel, Sam
Disclaimer: Sadly these characters belong to MGM and not me.
Jackson gave me full rein of the apartment but only on the condition that I do not touch – or else - certain items, I nodded agreement at the way-too-long list (wouldn’t it have been more simple to say the things I could touch?) and it sounded way too practiced with him slurring over half the words as his pain meds started tugging him back into numb bliss. If General O’Neill were here right now, he could probably recite the words right along with ‘im, I thought, and left the now -sleeping man in peace with on his first night home in just over a month.
Normally, if one of us is informed of a extended stay in the infirmary, whether Daniel or myself (and I have started thinking we're the posterboys for ass-whoopin’), we can suddenly find in ourselves the resources for a speedy recovery. There is nothing worse than lying in that bed.
The boredom is maddening.
But when it’s a shattered leg that requires going under the knife more than once – you’re left at the mercy of a world outside your control. Just thinking about it made my legs ache and sent phantom twitches up and down my calf muscles. I hadn’t noticed at first that I’d automatically started rubbing my hands over the area, trying to work things out before the ghost decided to become something a bit more real. Moving is usually a quick solution to the problem and I start on my own tour of Daniel’s home.
It’s a short trip through the rooms, noting the artifacts and history that look interesting (might make for conversation fodder when Jackson's ready for it) and I end up standing in front of the few personal photos that he has hanging near the door. It’s a safe bet that Sam had something to do with their presence, probably enlisting Teal’c as a willing accomplice. I’ve seen that sometimes Jackson needs a helping hand to remember that he’s part of the human race because for them, for any gate team, the ordinary often takes extraordinary efforts to maintain.
There's a photo of the team, version 2.0, hanging next to one that was taken, from the looks of it, not long after SG-1 took its first baby steps. Back when they were all relative strangers with nothing more than a goal in common. Despite the civilian clothes they're all wearing in the photo, by the way they stand together so stiff and formal; making sure not to actually brush up against one another's arm it's easy to see that they haven't yet begun to grow into their skin, as something more than just a team. If I’d come across this picture anytime before learning of the Stargate I'd have said they were either in front of a firing squad - or at a family reunion; not the humble beginnings of heroes and legends. The smiles they wear are cheerful, but that’s not what I see in the eyes staring out at me. It’s numbness, pure and simple. (Seen it often in my time. Most times it works out for all involved, a good team leader will go out of his way to get to know the men and women under his command. But then there are those teams that in the end are held up as example, chow hall gossip, on the importance of knowing the solider at your six.) SG-1 was lucky, given that they were the first on the front line for so long, but more than lucky – they were fucking good. Now I’m the one who’s lucky.
It takes me a second to realize what it is about Jackson’s apartment that’s felt off since the corpsmen helped get him settled in his bed and handed over Dr. Lam’s instructions for the care and feeding of everyone's favorite cranky archaeologist. No television. How in the hell can any man fight – and die – for his planet without a friggin’ television set?
Glancing back across the room, there's at least an aquarium. It's got several brightly colored clownfish swimming inside. I wonder who he has feed them when we're gone sometimes for weeks off-world until I notice that there's something off with the fish. I'm almost sure that I'm seeing things - have to be. Distracted by my attempt to see more clearly it takes me a second to notice I've got my nose pressed up against the cool glass, creating a semi-artistic design of smudge marks, in order to take a better look at the string and weight hanging beneath each fish. They're all fake. I burst out laughing because somehow it doesn't surprise me in the least that Daniel Jackson has little pieces of painted plastic 'swimming' in his fish tank. No fuss. No muss. Jesus, I really need a tv here or else by the time Jackson is capable of taking care of himself again, I'll have started thinking the damn fish are real.
Calling Sam, I bribe her (woman has yet to resist my lemon bars) into stopping by my place and grabbing my portable and DVD player as well as my PS and a few games. She jokes around and asks if I want my teddy bear as well but I tell her I’ll settle for the afghan off the back of the couch and one of my pillows.
By the time she arrives Jackson has already woken up, bitching up a storm because his new pain prescription only seems to knock him out and doesn’t actually stop the pain that he has described as being similar to his legs being filleted from the inside-out (and if I haven't come across it in a mission report yet I really don't want to know the reason Jackson is familiar with that particular dance). She comes into his room offering a sheepish smile and a large mug of coffee. God bless her for knowing how to work that monstrosity of a coffee maker in his kitchen. I really need to have her show me how to work it before she leaves because I'm pretty sure that you need a degree in its use. The coffee manages to placate the man long enough for him to ask the reason behind the visit since they'd already planned on Sam coming by the next day.
He takes a sip of his coffee when she says why she came over, not in the least bothered that he hadn’t let me know about the lack of television. “I do have cable though…,” he mumbles over the lip of the cup in his hand. I think the man has taken one too many lessons in the Jack O’Neill school of disclosure.
This is going to be a long recovery.