I say no…then I tremble with your touch. I scream why…then I weaken with your kiss. Your scent intoxicates me. Your lips immobilize me. The thought of you tortures me. With or without you, I am a slave to your love. ~Author Unknown
'Daniel, I’m not leaving you here!'
Heavy fire was raining down on SG-1 and SG-2. They were miles away from the gate and some device the natives had attacked them with immobilized Daniels lower extremities.
Looking up at him, Daniel put a hand on Jacks blood and mud caked cheek. 'You’ll come back for me. I know you will. Now go, you have people depending on you to keep them safe.'
Daniel couldn’t look into those worry filled eyes any longer. 'Damnit Jack, GO! You have to leave!'
Guards appeared at the door and Jack hesitated for one excruciating moment before turning to run. He dodged gunfire for a few hundred feet before he found cover, and the SG teams. A quick squat-run took him to a large stone block where Carter and a few of the men were taking cover.
'Where’s Daniel.' Carter asked.
'We need to lay down some cover fire for those of us without weapons…'
'Sir? Where’s Daniel?' Carter was worried. She knew how much Daniel was to Jack.
'He’s…we’ll come back for him.' Jack said with jaw set tight, eyes unreadable. 'We’ll come back for him.'
Jack took a quick glance over the block--still replaying the last few moments over and over again in his head but acutely aware of his responsibility to get every one else out. He glanced at Carter one more time to make sure she was ready. 'Ready? Now!'
The team members lay down cover fire while the rest of them scattered in the direction of the gate, another mile or so off. Luckily, the people of this world didn’t have any kind of flying ships or they wouldn’t stand a chance of getting there before the local reinforcements did. Except for that, their technological advancement was very similar to Earth.
After all members appeared to be clear Jack, Ferretti and the rest of the team turned and booked it for the gate themselves. Upon arriving, Carter was standing with an arm extended holding the gate open for them rest of them. They didn’t even slow down. The remaining members ran through the gate at full throttle. Jack slowed only slightly to allow Carter through, making sure he was the last one to leave…or as close to the last one as he could be.
Daniel squinted--his eyes slowly coming into focus after being closed for so long. He rubbed at his lids gently, trying to rid them of the ick. How long had he been out? He didn’t even remember why he’d lost consciousness let alone when it had been. The last thing he remembered were those huge guards dragging him away. Literally, dragging him. He wasn’t able to move his legs and they didn’t feel like taking the time and effort to pick him up he guessed.
Daniel sat up, feeling stiff and a little groggy. Luckily he spotted his glasses nearby on a small block of marble, which served as a nightstand. Placing them on his face succeeded in banishing the final traces of blurriness.
Taking in his surroundings in full focus now, it finally registered he was in a bed. A low boxish sort of arrangement, cream-colored sheets, and a canopy of the same color hid him from the rest of the room and shrouded the space in an off-white glow. The material was probably some kind of cotton he thought offhandedly.
Daniel hesitantly tried to move, testing out if he was able to shift his legs. It was difficult but he managed to bend his knees enough to half sit, half lean on the edge of the bed. He pulled the curtain back from the edge and peered out into a tasteful cream and gold decorated room. The floor and walls were a light colored marble. Tapestries, which seemed to be of a Greek origin, lined the far wall. ‘Well at least it’s not Goa'uld’ he thought rather ruefully.
Next to the bed was a wooden cane, probably placed there for him in anticipation of his stiffness when he finally awoke. Daniel grasped the cool marbled handle and steeled himself for what he knew would be an uncomfortable movement. He was right. As he tried to stand, it felt as though he was trying to lift an impossible weight with only half of his usual strength.
The stiff muscles of his thighs, calves, and lower back complained as he approached a standing position. He leaned heavily on the cane, determined to stand and make it across the floor to the only source of natural light to the room.
'I’m glad to see you’re awake.' A small voice commented through the otherwise silent space.
Daniel jerked around, startled, and had just enough time to see a small female child standing in the middle of the room before everything tilted, his head connected with the cold marble floor, and everything went black.
Colonel O’Neil sat on the crisp white sheets of the infirmary bed. Its perfect militaristic corners taunting him with their clear-cut angles while a mess of unorganized thoughts whirled around in his head. Why did I leave him there? It wasn’t the right thing to do. I could have carried him. I know I could have. It was only a few miles. I should have tried. Why did I let him talk me into leaving him there? Cause he was right. God, he’s always right. I couldn’t have carried him the whole way. And that would have just left him unable to move in the middle of nowhere, or both of us captured. Damn him, why does he always have to be right?
'Colonel?' Dr. Fraiser had been standing there for some time, watching the agonizing show of emotions pass through Jack’s face one by one, and each, in turn, being buried deep under that practiced military mask he was known for. 'How are you feeling?' She asked, very clinically, in a way that made Jack know she meant she was interested only in his physical health, for now.
'You don’t look fine. Why don’t you take that shirt off and let me look at some of these injuries?' She said as she pulled closed the privacy curtain.
Jacks upper body had several bruises. Some of them already angry black and blue blotches mixed with yellow mustard colored fringe. Jack stared straight ahead while Janet tended to him, making sure there were no immediate dangers. She gently dabbed at the bloodied slash across his jaw, trying desperately to get the dirt out without causing any pain, not that Jack would have noticed anyway.
'What are these bruises from?'
'Rocks, sticks, that sorta thing.' He replied coldly.
'Jack,' she whispered quietly so as not to be overheard, 'you’ll get him back. We always do.'
Jack turned his head away. Silently, refusing to acknowledge the tears brimming at his bottom lashes. Silently refusing to admit he’d left his teammate and lover behind, injured and unable to defend himself. He refused to admit how ridiculous their last conversation was, how he hadn’t gotten to say goodbye, how he’d just turned and without even really looking back had run away. He refused.
The briefing room was silent. SG-1 had been assigned strictly to rescue missions for weeks, and still no signs of Daniel. Tensions were high and morale was wearing thin. They all knew the longer it took the higher the probability they would never find him, and that just wasn’t an option as far as Jack was concerned.
Not long after SG-1 and SG-3 had arrived back, they insisted they return through the gate to retrieve Daniel. General Hammond agreed, against his better judgment, to let them return after a quick infirmary visit. He didn’t really think Colonel O’Neil was in any kind of physical shape to be going back out again, but he also knew the man would not be satisfied to sit around and wait while other members of his team rescued someone he had been forced to leave behind. Jack felt responsible, and Hammond had never known him to back away from his responsibilities, no matter how hard they were.
The sight on the other side of the gate had almost been enough to crush Jack. He wanted to collapse, but the possibility that Daniel had been taken with the fleeing civilization kept him going.
There were bodies everywhere. A normal aftermath, pools of blood circling mortally wounded men, arms and legs at odd angles where they had collapsed chaotically. Some by themselves, others draped over one another in a morbid kind of embrace. It never got any easier to see things like that. And Jack prayed silently that he wouldn’t find Daniel, not here anyway.
A glint of light reflected in Jacks eye as he walked by one of the dead bodies. He knelt down and fiddled with a small device that seemed to be attached to the victims’ skin.
'What is it Sir?' One of the soldiers asked.
'I’m not sure. Carter, Teal’c, you got any ideas? '
'I have not O’Neill. But the do seem to be on a great many of the bodies.'
Jack removed it from the body and put the tiny device in a specimen container. 'We’ll have ‘em take a look at it when we get back.'
'Yes Sir.' Carter replied with a nod.
They searched what was left of the city. The buildings crumbled around them as they walked through the maze of fallen stone. General Hammond ordered them back to Earth after a full day of searching the fallen city and the area around it with no clues as to where Daniel or the other people of this world might be.
Jack waited until the last soldier was through and turned to look back at the faint trail of smoke in the distance that marked the location of the abandoned city. He stared at the terrain, scanning it for any signs of Daniel, waiting for him to appear over the crest of the hill waving his arms and smiling, apologizing for taking so long ‘the people were just so fascinating’ he would say while beaming with new discovered treasures already being analyzed and categorized in his brain…but nothing. Jack turned on his heel and stepped through, feeling as though he was leaving Daniel behind, again.