Let’s Go Home. You’re Too Sick.

“Let’s go home. You’re too sick.”


“Not,” was the only word Daniel Jackson managed to get out before his breath hitched. “huh-CHOOSH! Huh-SHOO!” He pulled a tissue from the pack on his upper arm and blew his nose.


Jack sighed and stopped the team in its tracks. “If you’re too sick to put up a fight, you’re too sick for a mission.”


Carter spoke up on behalf of the mission. “This is the best chance we’ll have to investigate this celestial phenomenon, Sir. If we start back now, there won’t be time for another team to reach the high ground of the lookout area before it starts.”


huh-UHShhhh! Uhh-CHOO!” Daniel readjusted the tissue. “Huh-Uh-uhhSHOO! HUHSHOO!


Jack scrubbed his hand up and down his face as he thought, and then he turned to Daniel. “Is it allergies or a cold?”


huhh-UHSHIH! I think… Hahhh-UHSHOO! I think both.”


“Then I’m definitely taking you home. Teal’c and Carter, you keep going. Get your measurements and recordings.” He would have liked to have seen the phenomenon himself, but as long as Carter captured it on film, he could pretend. Sometimes being team leader was about more than getting to see two stars switch places in their dance across the night sky. Sometimes it was just about taking care of your teammates.  “As soon as Daniel and I get close enough to the gate, we’ll send a message back to Stargate Command for another team to come through. With any luck, they’ll be close enough to back you up in the event of an emergency.”


“With any luck, there will not be an emergency,” said Teal’c.


Jack nodded his agreement. He knew Teal’c would watch Sam’s back for her. Sam was usually capable of looking after herself out here in the field, but when she got distracted by something sciencey, she definitely needed someone else keeping an eye out for trouble. That decided, Jack grabbed Daniel by the arm and pulled him along, back in the direction of the gate.


It was slow-going. Daniel sneezed dozens of times over and, every time, he had to stop. There was a whole ritual to it. Hitching breath, a mad fumble for one of his many handkerchiefs, a production of holding the handkerchief up as his face got closer and closer to it with each breath until he finally reared back and snapped forward for a strong albeit smothered sneeze. And only one would be enough to make him go through all that. When there was more than one—say, a fit of three or four—he sometimes had to lean against a tree or sit down on a rock for a second to catch his breath. Once he even leaned into Jack for support.


“Don’t… think… I can make it…” Daniel said, rubbing his nose with the back of his wrist. The beam from the flashlight still in his hand zig-zagged around chaotically.


“Sure you can. Because I’m not carrying you. And you’re not going to feel any better until you walk through that stargate and get back to a planet you’re only mildly allergic to instead of severely allergic to.”


Daniel must have known Jack was right, because he gave a smile and kept going.


About twenty paces later, their radio signals kicked on. Jack contacted Earth and not fifteen minutes after that, an alert, peppy, allergy-free SG-8 team jogged past them on their way toward the lookout point.


Daniel looked a little relieved to see them, as though their presence confirmed that he hadn’t completely ruined the mission or put half his team in danger. Jack wouldn’t admit it to him, but he felt the same way. With one hand on Daniel’s back they continued onward toward the gate, toward home.


They would have made it back within half an hour, but they didn’t. They passed some sort of flowering bush that sent Daniel’s sinuses into overdrive. Daniel had a massive sneezing fit “huhhh-UHSHHOO! uhhhPTshhhhh! Huhshhhh! Huhh-UhhhKShhhh! HihhChooo! HuhCHIHHH! H’SHIHHHH! IhShurshhhhhh!  Hehptuchhhhh!” until Jack could drag and manhandle him past the spot.


When they finally got to the gate, Jack dialed the first two symbols into the DHD but as his hand rested upon the third, Daniel cried out, pointing upward. Jack turned and looked just in time to see the two starts melding into each other. They were far off specs of light in a fast sky, millions of light years from earth and, yet, Jack was watching them with his naked eyes and seeing something virtually unimaginable. He turned back to see Daniel walking around the stargate and planting himself in a patch of grass there.


It seemed a comfortable enough place to sit, though Jack wondered if the grass might make Daniel sneeze more. Still, he sat down beside the man and they both watched in wonder. They could see the patch of sky through the stargate, framed by the curve of the ring. Even as Daniel sniffled and rubbed at his nose, they watched as the stars seemed to come together then split back apart. The angle of tilt and the rotation of the planet they were on were just right to let them see this incredible sight. He just hoped Carter was able to get the measurements and readings she’d wanted to.




And he hoped he could get Daniel home before the man lost all ability to breathe. “All right. That’s enough. Let’s head back and see if there’s anything Doc Fraiser can do for you or if it’s better just to put you to sleep for a week until this runs its course.”


“Ha-ha,” Daniel responded. Then “hahh… hah-AhhSHURKkkshhhH!


Jack patted his arm and then got up to dial home again.