Title: Sweet Dreams and Flying Machines…
Genre: gen, drama, humor, h/c, semi-unhealthy dose of sappiness
Spoiler: The First Ones, Forever In a Day
Summary: Tag for The First Ones. The team helps an emotionally and physically exhausted Daniel deal with his loss.
Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate or any of its characters. No money made. No infringement intended.
“What’d that mean?”
"I have no idea…but I think I've just been invited to come back one day and find out."
Jack’s eyebrows shot up incredulously. “Daniel,” he gently took the younger man by the shoulders, turning him around to face him. Cooling his expression at the haggard look on his friend’s face and the feel of minute tremors running beneath his fingers, Jack let out a breath he hadn’t known he was holding and brought a hand up to cup the back of his archaeologist’s neck. He was warm. He was alive. “Let’s deal with one faux pas at the dinner table at a time, shall we?” And by the way, Hell no!
When Daniel merely closed his eyes and sighed tiredly, Jack’s own eyes deepened with concern. “You alright?”
“Jus’ tired,” Daniel nodded drunkenly as Jack pulled out his knife. The colonel glanced skeptically at his 2IC who had one worried eye on her younger teammate and one soldier’s eye on the rest of their surroundings. Without even looking he knew that Teal’c’s stance would match the major’s.
“Why do I find that hard to believe?” he stated pointedly, sadly, as he freed his friend’s hands. Jack winced at the angry ligature marks covering his wrists. Damnit to hell. Looking back up, he lightly grasped the archaeologist’s chin, tilting it to the side to get a better look at his cheek.
Daniel brought his hands up together and latched onto Jack’s sleeve in a feeble attempt to get him to let go. “I jus’ wanna go home,” he slurred, his eyes fluttering open for a brief second.
Jack couldn’t argue with that. He had no plans on sticking around, that’s for sure. And by the looks of it, Daniel didn’t look like he had plans on sticking around anywhere for much longer. Still, before they could let him rest and really assess his condition they needed to get him away from the hungry Barney brigade.
Stealing a moment, Jack cupped his younger friend’s uninjured cheek—his eyes narrowing with the worry he had been battling since Rothman had stumbled down the ramp. Daniel had really scared the shit out of them this time. So much so that Jack really wasn’t sure if…
Jaw clenching, the colonel finally, reluctantly dropped his arm—and he was surprised to find one of Daniel’s hands still attached to it. His fingers had gotten caught on the inside of Jack’s sleeve and he was too tired to even notice.
Wincing, Jack wordlessly raised his arm again—ultimately raising Daniel’s as well and gently plucked the hitchhiker off his jacket, easing it to his friend’s side. Daniel never once opened his eyes.
You gonna make this, buddy? he silently wondered. Then with a shrug and a half amused, half worried glance towards Teal’c, he tilted his head and the Jaffa took point. Finally, with one supportive hand on Daniel’s upper arm and one on his back, Jack gently nudged their wayward teammate out of the cave. Towards home.
Where he was never letting him out of his sight again.
Jack had ended up guiding Daniel all the way through the tunnels. A gentle pull or prod in the right direction was all the acquiescent man needed. And despite the fact that he rarely opened his eyes or mouth, Jack’s concern still did not belie the relief that Daniel was at least walking on his own…ish.
When they finally made it out into the open, however, his relief quickly went by way of ‘poof.’ Teal’c turned around just in time to find the colonel with a lap full of archaeologist and Sam falling to her knees beside them.
“I’m good,” the younger man mumbled into Jack’s chest, his eyes closed. “Just grrresting,” he added with a weak smile that was lost on the rest of his teammates. Sam furrowed her brow and looked to her C.O. for an explanation—which was a simple shrug, before he turned his attention back to the friend in his arms.
“Daaaaanniel?” he nudged gently. The sun was fading fast and Jack hated being in such a vulnerable position right outside Chez Unas. He knew Teal’c had their backs, but he still preferred to make just a little more distance before it got dark and they…uh… grrrrested.
Damnit, he felt like the bad guy though.
Daniel creased his brow and licked his lips.
Carter was the quickest and placed the canteen against his mouth. He had already emptied Jack’s on their way out. Eyes still closed, the archaeologist drank from it, not even bothering to move—which only heightened his teammates’ concern.
“Thanks,” Daniel managed to rasp as she took it away. He then started to sink even further into the colonel’s embrace.
“I’d feel better if I could give him a quick once over before we started moving again, sir.”
Jack nodded, trying to get as comfortable as he could with 180 lbs of archaeologist in his lap.
“Does anything hurt, Daniel?” Sam asked, getting straight to business and unzipping his jacket so she could check for signs of trauma.
“M’tired,” he instead grumbled, jumping and curling into Jack when she lifted his shirt and the cool air bit at his skin.
“Sorry,” she winced sympathetically, gently tugging him away from their C.O. “Lemme see.”
Daniel shivered, but allowed Sam access to his chest. And when he went to hide against Jack again, Jack was the one who held him in place. “Come on, Daniel. You know how Carter gets if she can’t poke and prod you at least once before Janet does,” he teased.
Sam didn’t even hear him—her concentration solely on the man in her C.O.’s arms. “There’s some bruising, sir, but it doesn’t look like anything serious,” she announced before running her hands lightly down Daniel’s limbs, checking for broken bones. She didn’t think there would be any—Daniel wasn’t carrying himself to suggest there were, but it never hurt to check—especially with Daniel.
“I’m tired,” he practically whined, eyes still closed as he clumsily struggled to pull his shirt back down. “Not dying.”
Cranky, Jack mouthed to Teal’c, who had been silently keeping watch over them. The Jaffa bowed his head and with what Jack could have sworn was amusement across his face, replied, “Indeed.”
The sound of soft snoring coming from his arms had Jack looking down and blinking in disbelief. “Uh, Carter?”
Sam looked up from her ministrations like a deer caught in headlights. “What?”
“What’s the matter with him?” he demanded. “I mean, as fond as I am of the guy, he’s drooling on my lapel.”
Sam was not fooled by the colonel’s act. He was worried. And as she watched him shamelessly check their younger friend for fever right there in front of God and country, she realized just how worried he was.
“I think he’ll be just fine, sir,” she said with a reassuring smile. “We’ll have to watch him, though. It looks like he may have a mild concussion. We’ll have to wake him up periodically just to be safe, but other than that I’m fairly certain he’s just completely and utterly exhausted.”
Jack looked down at the deeply slumbering man in his arms and then back up at his 2IC. “Carter, I’ve seen a concussed Daniel before. I’ve also seen Daniel crash and I must say that even this seems a little extreme for him.”
Warmly running her fingers through her younger teammate’s hair, Sam winced at another knot she found. “He’s been through a lot, sir.”
Jack winced too, as if he himself had felt Sam’s fingers skate across Daniel’s wound. “I know,” he conceded sadly, eyeing up the long deep scratch on Daniel’s cheek. And he hasn’t even been through the worst of it yet.
At that moment their friend decided to stir. As taxed as he was, something deep down was telling him that it wasn’t time to rest just yet.
“Daniel?” Jack called hopefully. He’d really like to get out of there some time today.
Groaning, the archaeologist awkwardly brought his arms up behind his head and stretched tentatively, accidentally smacking Jack in the chin as he brought them back down. Jack reared and with a baleful look, grabbed both of Daniel’s hands with one of his and lowered them to his stomach.
“Enjoy your catnap, did we?” he jibed gently.
Daniel looked up at him accusingly. “I would have if your stomach wasn’t making all those weird noises.”
“Everybody’s a critic,” Jack scoffed, then with a softer tone added, “Think you can walk? I’m beginning to lose feeling.”
Daniel groaned again and turned his head into Jack’s shoulder. “Can’t you carry me?”
Three sets of eyebrows shot up.
Shit. If Daniel is asking to be carried…
“Uh…” The colonel stumbled, but was the first to react to the uncharacteristic remark. “Do you need us to carry you?” Worried eyes looked into Carter and Teal’c’s as they waited for a reply.
After a long, tense moment, Daniel took a deep breath…and coughed. “God, Jack, you need a shower,” he grimaced, turning his head out of the colonel’s shoulder but kept it resting against his chest.
Jack rolled his eyes. “You ain’t exactly sunshine and flowers there yourself, buddy.”
Daniel’s smile faded with consciousness and his head started to slide down the colonel’s chest. His adrenaline had been spent, and safe arms were just too inviting to his worn body.
“Oh, for cryin’ out…” Jack gently righted his friend. “He can’t even stay awake long enough for a comeback!”
“I will carry DanielJackson,” Teal’c offered, kneeling down, his eyes aching with the need to help.
After a moment’s hesitation, because Jack had needs too, he gratefully nodded and slowly went to ease his friend into Teal’c’s waiting arms. Daniel grabbed Jack’s jacket with both hands, eyes flying open. “I’m up,” he mumbled, even as his eyes started closing again and his body began sinking back into the colonel’s.
Jack shook his head and damned overgrown lizards for the thousandth time that day. “It’s alright, Daniel. Teal’c’s gonna carry you so we make some distance from Camp Unas.”
“They’re no threat to us now, J’ck,” the archaeologist slurred, subconsciously holding onto Jack tighter as someone tried to pry him away from his warmth again. Blinking hard, he dazedly looked up at his Jaffa friend. “Teal’c?”
“I do not mind, DanielJackson,” Teal’c reassured gently.
Shaking his head, “No, s’okay,” Daniel muttered back, lifting his arms shakily. “Jus’ help up.”
“Daniel…” Sam and Jack went to interject, but Daniel ignored them with an, “M’fine.”
Oh, right, like they ever believed that one. Especially when their linguist was reduced to speaking short, gutted sentences.
When Daniel’s knees buckled, three sets of hands were quick to support him. And when he latched onto Teal’c as if his wrists were still tightly bound…three hearts broke.
/ “…just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone.”/
Daniel wasn’t going to make it much further.
How’d Jack know this?
Because the man he was referring to was currently “walking” with his head on Jack’s shoulder, eyes closed… and Jack didn’t even think he was aware of it.
“Alrighty, kids. Let’s stop for the night.” But Daniel kept walking. He had set himself on auto pilot and the destination was home. Jack tightened the supportive hold he had around the younger man’s waist and pulled him in against him.
“Daniel.” He nudged gently with the shoulder that was currently doubling as a pillow.
Daniel lifted his head, blinking owlishly at his surroundings. “Where’s Robert and the rest of the guys?” he unexpectedly asked the question everyone had been dreading.
Teal’c stiffened. Jack grimaced and closed his eyes, ducking his head. Damnit. And Carter looked worriedly over at the colonel, wondering what he would say. Would he tell the truth, or skate around it until they got their friend home safe?
Looking to the ground and cowardly wishing he was anywhere but there, Jack cleared his throat and forced the acrid truth out. “They’re dead, Daniel,” he spoke softly, taking everything he had to look back up into the pain he had just caused his best friend. “I’m sorry.”
Tearful blue orbs fell on Jack and Daniel stepped back, shaking his head. “H-how?” he stuttered, shocked, as Carter and Teal’c closed in on him, ready to catch the wavering man.
“Loeder and Sanchez were killed when you were attacked. Robert and Hawkins…they were taken as hosts, Daniel,” Sam answered delicately. And that was all Daniel needed to know. Eyes dark with sorrow and understanding, he didn’t need a picture drawn out for him. He knew what had ultimately happened. Nodding, three sets of hands grabbed at him when he started to sway.
“Easy,” Jack sounded, as they lowered him into Teal’c’s arms this time. Closing his eyes against the large man’s chest, Daniel panted, “Dizzy.”
Jack had a hand on his shoulder, Carter had a hand on his knee and Teal’c had a hand cupped around the side of his neck, all lightly squeezing their support. “It’s okay, just breathe through it. It’s the concussion,” the colonel eased.
Shaking his head, Daniel frowned and bit his lips. So tired, his emotions were right at the surface. But he would not cry, damnit. He would not cry.
ut he did want to know, “Why?”
Why did everything he touch turn to dust?
Jack couldn’t answer him. His voice refused to come forth, as did the answer his friend sought. And by the looks of it, Carter and Teal’c weren’t fairing any better.
One little broken “Why?” had choked them all up. Probably because something inside of them knew he wasn’t just referring to Rothman…to SG-11. Daniel’s question, like the pain he now fought so hard just to keep his head above, was spawned from a lifetime of heartache and despair. Not just one day.
And the exhaustion and head injury he now suffered was giving them all a glimpse of the weariness he usually stoically battled silently within.
Jack was brought back to the present by the concern in his 2IC’s voice.
“I believe he has simply fallen asleep, MajorCarter,” Teal’c responded, affectionately tightening his arms around the younger man.
And Jack found himself relieved. He wasn’t ready to lie to his friend. He wasn’t ready to tell him that someday it’d be alright.
He wasn’t ready to pretend he believed it.
/ “…sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground.” /
A thick, smothering fog had fallen across Daniel’s mind. He couldn’t remember where he was, why his soul felt so tired or why his body so drained. But there was one thing he did easily recognize. Grief. And the constricting, breath-taking hold of it happened to be currently wrapped around his heart.
Eyes flying open, Daniel sat straight up—pain exploding in his head, he swayed right into a friend’s firm grip.
“Jack?” Automatically clinging back, Daniel squeezed his eyes shut tight as he panted and waited for the dizziness and pain to abate.
“Yeah, take it easy, will ya?” Jack chided, gently guiding the trembling man to lean against him. “You nearly took a nose dive right into the fire.”
The linguist merely grunted his acknowledgement, not wanting to risk moving his head now that it had found a secure place to rest.
“I don’t like my archaeologists extra crispy, Daniel.”
A faint smile tugged at his lips. “I’ll try to remember that.”
“Here, Daniel, eat some of this.”
Daniel cautiously pulled away from the shoulder his head had been resting on and opened his eyes to Sam’s solemn ones. And that’s when he remembered where he was, what had happened and why grief had found his heart once again.
His stomach recoiled from the thought of putting anything in it now. “No thanks, Sam,” he said, turning away from the MRE she offered and burying his head back into Jack’s shoulder. He didn’t care what he looked like. His body was too tired. His spirit…too worn.
Later he would find something to blame the clinginess on. Right now though…right now he was just going to hold on.
/ “…my body’s achin’ and my time is at hand. I won’t make it any other way…”/
Jack opened his mouth to urge his friend to eat, but closed it again when Daniel suddenly brought his hands up and wrapped his fingers in Jack’s jacket with such desperation it stole the colonel’s breath away.
With a heartfelt sigh, Jack pressed his cheek against Daniel’s temple and brought a hand up to cup the back of the younger man’s head. “I’ve got you,” he whispered simply, bringing his other arm around Daniel’s back. Jack wasn’t even aware that he had started rocking him. Glancing at the rest of his team, he found that Carter was on the verge of crying and Teal’c looked as he did just after having to take Sha’uri’s life for Daniel’s.
It was so hard seeing each other broken.
Harder still was knowing you were responsible for the pieces at your feet.
When Daniel tightened his hold, Jack responded in like. And though no tears were falling, Jack didn’t need them to know that his friend was hurting…that he was crying. Tears were running. Jack knew for sure. They ran deep. And Daniel’s body was violently shaking from the force of them.
“Ssshh…” Closing his eyes, Jack continued the soothing rhythm, desperately wishing he could just rock away the pain, rock away the raw ache he had ultimately caused him.
In a moment of self pity, he thought that it was not the goa’uld they needed to protect Daniel from. It was themselves. It was Daniel’s very own friends. It would seem that they were giving the slimy bastards a run for their money when it came to testing the resilience of a certain archaeologist’s soul. Not to mention his ability to forgive those who cut him deepest. Of course, Jack amended, if it weren’t for said slimy bastards in the first place, they wouldn’t have been forced into taking the lives that had once been held so closely by Daniel.
/ “Won’t you look down upon me, Jesus. You gotta help me make a stand. You’ve gotta see me through another day.” /
Slowly opening his eyes, Daniel woke on his side and was immediately aware of four things.
It was morning.
He was hot.
He had to pee.
And he appeared to be the meat in a very large SG-1 sandwich.
Peering behind him, over a pile of blankets and somebody’s arm, Daniel was relieved to see Teal’c kneeling beside them.
He must be the chips, the archaeologist thought idly, before a still sleeping Jack gently eased Daniel’s head back onto his arm.
“Sshh, s’alright,” murmured the colonel, “go back to sleep.”
Daniel blinked, uncertain against his friend’s chest. “Uh, Teal’c?
“You became very ill last night, DanielJackson. Do you not remember?” the Jaffa prodded gently. The sadness in his eyes giving testimony that it was not something he, himself, would soon forget.
Daniel tried to move again, but every attempt he made to get up was thwarted by equally tightening arms. It must have been bad for Sam and Jack to be holding onto him so tightly, but he couldn’t remember…
He remembered being utterly exhausted.
He remembered losing another…
And he remember being very, very cold.
“Your body went into shock.” Teal’c had mercy on him. “It was too worn to…”
Daniel closed his eyes when his friend’s words were lost in misguided regret.
“DanielJackson,” the older man struggled now to continue, but this time, Daniel managed to turn his head to see him and caught the words before they left his mouth.
“Don’t,” he whispered, desperation spilling through the cracks in his voice.
But the Jaffa went to push on. To reassure him that if he had had a choice…
“I know,” Daniel replied hoarsely, once again stopping him before the words could be spoken. Then despairingly he laid his head back down into the crook of the colonel’s arm. “I know.”
But it didn’t make it any easier saying goodbye.
And though Daniel wasn’t actually close to Hawkins, he knew where Teal’c’s lament lay, as he also knew where Jack’s would.
Speaking of Jack…
“Do you plan on letting me go anytime soon?” he asked matter-of-factly into the older man’s chest, not surprised when he got an answer.
“Not until we get a GPS installed,” mumbled the colonel sleepily. He hadn’t even bothered to open his eyes.
Daniel sighed. “Sam?”
“Dr. Lee says he can have one ready for injection in a few days,” she supplied with a smile he could feel on the back of his neck.
How’d he know they were really awake? Years of sharing tents. That’s how.
“Uh…okay,” he surrendered to the overprotective…sandwich. “buuuut what happens if I can’t hold my bladder that long? I mean, if you ease up a bit I could probably maneuver…”
“Oh, for cryin’ out loud,” Jack griped, untangling himself from the archaeologist.
Daniel grinned shyly and let his friends reluctantly help his abused body up.
“Whoa,” he breathed, putting a hand on his head and falling into Jack.
“Still dizzy?” Sam asked with a frown.
“Only when I move.” Daniel cautiously stood a bit straighter.
“Oh, well good then,” the colonel quipped, his supportive hands never leaving the archaeologist’s shoulders. “You’re back to normal.”
Daniel chortled lightly and then shakily started to walk away on sore muscles to do his business. Stopping, he looked down at the hands cupping each of his elbows. “Uh, guys?” He didn’t have to turn to know Teal’c was hovering behind him too. “You were kidding about the GPS, right?”
“Well, you’re still pretty unsteady on your feet, Daniel,” Sam said gently, she didn’t want to offend him by assuming he needed help…‘course she hadn’t even realized where her friend was heading, until, that is, Daniel raised an amused eyebrow. “Oh! Er, well…I mean…at least let the colonel or Teal’c help…er…accompany you,” she floundered.
“I’m fine, really.” Daniel offered a weak smile, “Just a bit sore,” and started awkwardly on his way again, never meeting her eyes—not wanting her to see where it really hurt. After a few steps he realized he still had Jack and Teal’c in tow.
Carter heard him say resignedly, “Course, there’s always that “safety in numbers” thing, right?”
“I am a firm believer in the “Buddy System,” DanielJackson.”
“Of course you are.”
/Oh, I've seen fire and I've seen rain. I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end. /
“Colonel O’Neill, if you don’t cut that out…”
“Whaaat?” Jack whined, shrugging out an arm innocently. “He’s asleep. What’s he care?”
Doctor Janet Frasier took a deep, steadying breath. He was worse than having an entire platoon of five years olds dangling off her lab coat. She brought up a warning finger, but her voice lacked any real threat. She understood where his restlessness lay. “Every last bit of it, sir. I want it cleaned up before you leave. Got it?”
“Yes, sir!” Jack saluted. “Er, ma’am. Ma’am!” He winced.
Janet raised an un-amused brow and Jack ducked his head, fidgeting and trying to study the paper he had been folding in his lap. His hiney would so be paying for that one for the next few…millennia.
“Sir,” he heard her voice soften, but he didn’t look up. “He’ll be fine. He’s got a nasty bacterial infection, probably from the lake water getting into the wounds around his wrists, and a mild concussion. We’re also treating him for dehydration, but sir, even without these ailments it’s normal for him to be sleeping so much. I heard he was taken on quite the cross country hike,” she tried to put a little levity in her voice.
“Yup,” Jack threw another paper airplane. It feathered across Daniel’s thigh and veered between the hospital bed railing where it finally took a nosedive onto the infirmary floor and rested among dozens of others.
When he didn’t say anything else, Janet frowned and raked her brown eyes over the countless paper planes lying all over her patient and the floor around him. Each one represented a minute of worry. She forced a weak smile. Better than grey hairs.
Her infirmary was suspiciously looking more and more like a little boy’s room, however.
“A few more minutes, sir, then you should really be getting some rest too,” she hinted softly before reluctantly turning on her heels and heading back to her office.
She knew in an hour when she did her rounds she would find him sitting in the same hard plastic seat.
The colonel nodded absently, his eyes on the wing he folded—his mind on his best friend lying in the hospital bed beside him.
Daniel would be fine. He knew this. Daniel would always be fine. Hell, when Daniel finally decides to wake up, he’ll be claiming to be “fine” before he gets both eyes open—which was why Jack wasn’t even going to bother asking him.
But sometimes fine just wasn’t enough.
Fine still hurt. Fine still grieved.
Daniel deserved the chance to be better than just fine.
Jack had to force his heart back into motion when he saw his friend’s blood on the wall. He willed himself not to panic by repeating over and over in his head that it wasn’t a lot. But it was a lot. Any amount of spilt blood was too much when it belonged to someone you cared about. When it belonged to Daniel.
And it seemed anymore that the younger man was always bleeding—whether from broken flesh or from something cut deeper within.
The colonel straightened and leaned in towards the bed. “Daniel, hey…’bout time.”
Daniel cleared his dry throat and sassed, “I’m sorry. Have somewhere to be, do ya?”
“As a matter of fact…” Jack looked down at his watch as he handed Daniel a cup of water. “No…not really.”
After taking a blissful sip, Daniel handed him the cup back. “You don’t have to stay, you know. Nothing is going to knock me over the head and drag me off in here.”
“I wouldn’t be so certain. I think I really pissed Frasier off.”
For the first time since he woke, Daniel looked down at his body/flight deck. “Reeaaally,” he uttered dryly. “I can’t imagine why.”
Jack merely grunted. Sitting back in his seat, he started folding yet another soon to be airborne device
“Why am I covered in your field report?”
Jack casually looked up.
“Actually, more interesting, I’m sure…How did your field report come to be an entire fleet of fighter jets?”
“See!” Jack brought his arms up appraisingly. “You get it!”
Daniel just sat there blank faced and blinked at him.
“They are not airplanes! They’re fighter jets! Frasier doesn’t either see, or appreciate the difference,” he said snootily. “Thank you, Daniel,” he finished with a disturbing amount sincerity before sitting back in his seat again and going straight back to work.
Daniel stared, mouth agape. “Yeeeahsureyoubetcha,” he then drawled tentatively, licking his lips and picking up one of the “fighter jets.” After a few moments he sighed, “Jack…”
“I don’t want to hear it, Daniel,” Jack cut in, never looking up. “Yes, it was necessary. Yes, it was how it had to go down. But no,” he met his friend’s eyes, “it’s not alright.”
Daniel swallowed hard and nodded. He had known from the beginning that Jack had been the one that had taken out Robert. He didn’t know how he knew. He just did the second he looked him in the eyes after he was told they were dead.
Daniel didn’t blame him, of course. Just like he didn’t blame Teal’c for Hawkins or even Sha’uri. He blamed the goa’uld. And to a degree, yes, he even blamed himself. He was, after all, the one that had opened the Stargate…
“Knock it off, will ya.”
He looked up to find Jack fiddling with his miniature fighter jet.
“Blaming yourself. And you know you are!” Jack pointed an accusing…jet at him.
Daniel looked down at the one he was fingering. “Yeah, well…”
“Yeah, well nothing, Daniel!” Jack chided sternly. “Yes, you opened the Stargate, but never, not once, in fact, have I caught you in your office chiseling away plans for your evil snake empire.”
“You didn’t invent the goa’uld, Daniel. And if we hadn’t found out about them before they found out about us, then we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.”
“Daniel,” The older man cut him off again, leaning in and completely stopping what he was doing and focusing all his attention on his friend. “I know, Daniel…I know it doesn’t ease the ache knowing this, but do me a favor, will ya?”
Daniel’s mouth was suddenly dry—dryer than he could ever remember it being. “What?” he asked thickly.
“Don’t shoulder any of those evil, slimy sons of bitches’ guilt. It’s theirs. All of it. You hear me?”
“Yes, Jack. I hear you,” the archaeologist said louder, having to look away when his eyes filled up with tears.
The older man watched him sadly, his words suddenly soft. “We’ll beat them, Daniel.”
Watching the seconds on the wall clock tick by, Daniel swallowed hard. “I know.” But would there be anything left worth fighting for by then.
/I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again…/