Title: Janet's Little Helper
Disclaimer: Not mine, not a one.
Category: Seasonal fluff in answer to Ness' Xmas challenge.
Synopsis: ::deep breath and begins to sing in a very off-key voice:: Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and since we've no place to go..Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Janet's Little Helper
Daniel Jackson put down the last of the slippery bags he carried with a sigh and closed the closet door. He stretched with a quiet groan and felt the muscles in his back pop protestingly.
//Ok, that's it, I am *never* listening to Sam again when she tells me it will be easier going Christmas shopping as a group.//
He rubbed a weary hand over his face with a sigh.
//Especially when I think she's only asking me, Teal'c and Jack along so we can share her pain and become her own personal bag boys.//
Nodding grumpily to himself, Daniel walked slowly across Sam's living room and towards her front door.
//*Especially* when she knows there's a chance she might be recalled back to the SGC and that only leaves me to drop her bags back to her house because she can't trust Jack and Teal'c not to peek. 'Tis the season to be jolly, my ass!//
Daniel turned automatically as the phone on the wall behind him began to ring and then remembered he wasn't in his own apartment. He shrugged to himself as the answer phone kicked in and was almost out the door before he heard a familiar voice. "Sam, are you there, it's Janet?" Daniel paused again and then with barely a flicker of guilt listened to the soft sound of his favourite Doctor's voice as she left a message for her friend. He frowned as he realised her voice sounded a little tense and then felt a flicker of concern as he heard a pained catch in her voice. "Dammit, I guess you're still out with the guys. Ok, listen will you call me when you get this message? I've had a bit of an accident, it's nothing serious, but I could really use your help over here if you can come over a little earlier than you planned. I'll see you later. Oh!" Janet paused as though struck with a sudden thought. "You'd better bring your spare keys, I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it to the door!" Daniel's heart went into overdrive with worry at the sound of an embarrassed laugh. "I think I've been spending *way* too much time with Daniel lately, he's starting to rub off on me. You're not going to believe what I've done to myself."
Daniel's eyebrows rose as she rang off and then he was watching his hand lift of it's own accord to the hooks on the wall where Sam efficiently kept her spare keys to all her friends homes. He found the keys to Janet's house and lifted them off the hook as he mentally justified his next actions.
//Sam's going to be at the base for a good couple of hours and if she comes home and realises that Janet's been left alone and hurt all afternoon she's only going to feel guilty.//
His eyes fixed on his feet as they carried him across the room to the answer machine.
//It's the day before Christmas Eve and we've only just found the time to do our shopping we've been so busy with work. Everyone's been looking forward to the party at Janet's tonight so much, Sam really deserves what little time she's gonna have to get ready before we all meet up.//
His gaze transferred from his feet to the hand that wasn't clutching Janet's house keys as it came up from his side and very deliberately pressed the delete button on the answer machine.
//Really I'm doing everyone a favour. I can go make sure Janet's ok, sort out whatever problem she has and make sure everything is ready for the party when the others get there tonight.//
Smiling slightly to himself, Daniel turned on his heel and marched to Sam's front door again, jaw clenched with determination as he prepared to ride like the proverbial white knight to the fair damsel's rescue.
//And it has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that I've been trying to get Janet alone for weeks to talk to her about maybe going out with me sometime and she's alone in a house with mistletoe and unable to offer much in the way of evasive tactics if I decide to make my move.//
Daniel tripped over the doorstep on his way out as the last thought entered his mind and resolved not to think again until he reached Janet's house. Obviously he was doing himself no favours listening to his higher brain functions instead of just going with his instincts.
"Janet?" Daniel poked his head around Janet's front door and peered down her hallway. "It's ok, it's just me. Daniel." He stepped inside and shut the door, grateful to be out of the snowstorm that had blown up out of nowhere on the drive over. "Janet, are you ok?" Not pausing to take off his coat, Daniel made his way into the living room where a half dressed Christmas tree sat by the fireplace and tinsel lay draped over the couch and coffee table. "Janet?" Aware his voice was probably a little louder than necessary due to worry when he got no answer to his first few calls, Daniel continued through to the kitchen. "Janet, are you alright?"
"Daniel?" Janet frowned as she hobbled into the living room and glanced around in confusion at the empty room. "Is that you?" She peered around the doorway to the kitchen and then yelped as her nose made contact with a chest coming at high speed in the other direction. "Ow!"
Daniel stumbled back and then made a grab for Janet as she lost her balance and nearly tumbled to the floor. "Whoa, sorry, are you ok?" He tightened his grip on her shoulders as she cupped a hand to her face and blinked at him through reproachful eyes. "Sorry."
"Daniel, what are you doing here?" Janet blinked again and gently probed her nose to check it hadn't broken in the collision. "Is everything alright?"
"That's what I'm here to find out." Daniel looked her up and down, clad in warm sweats and holding her suspiciously swollen right foot off the floor. "And apparently it's not. Sam had to work and I was dropping some stuff off for her at her apartment when you rang and left your message." He moved to her side and slipped an arm around her waist for support as he began to guide her to the couch. "What have you done to yourself?"
"I fell." Janet gripped the back of the couch to keep her precarious balance as Daniel swept away the tinsel and smiled gratefully as he helped her sit down. "I was standing on a chair trying to dress the tree and I overbalanced and wrenched my ankle."
"Ouch." Wincing in sympathy, Daniel sat down on the coffee table and lifted Janet's foot into his lap not seeing the surprised look on her face at his actions. He gently ran his fingers over her ankle and then down over her foot, probing as delicately as he could for a break in the bone. "Do you need me to run you to the emergency room?"
"Um." Janet swallowed as his warm fingers stroked her skin in a very un-medical manner and tried to speak. "No, that's.um..ok. I just need to get a support on it, I think."
"Hmm." Enjoying the look and feel of her delicate foot in his hands *far* more than he should have, Daniel forced himself to remember she was in pain and he was here to help. "You sure?" At her slightly dazed nod he leaned forward, snagging a cushion off the couch and rising to place it and then her foot on the coffee table. "Ok, tell me where you keep your first aid kit and I'll bandage you up and then you can tell me what you need doing around here."
Janet was aware she was gaping up at him like a guppy but couldn't seem to make herself stop. "What? You don't have to do.." She stopped short as he laid a hand over her mouth and fixed her with a stern expression.
"Janet, you can barely walk and in a few hours you're expecting at least twenty people through your door for a party. Now unless you'd like me to call everyone you've invited to tell them it's all off.." He waited for her to shake her head and then nodded. "Right, so if I'm not telling people it's all off then you need some help. Here I am. Ready, willing and able. Now stop arguing with me and let me get you comfortable so you can tell me what I need to do, ok?" He grinned at her wide-eyed nod and took his hand away. "First aid kit?"
"In the bathroom, under the sink." Janet watched him as he stripped his jacket off, revealing a blue knitted sweater over his worn jeans and then walked off to get the first aid box. "Thanks." She turned her head to keep watching him as he disappeared and then just kept staring at the doorway blankly. Obviously she'd hit her head without realising it during her inglorious crash to the floor earlier and was now hallucinating her clumsy, pain-wracked ass off. Janet shook her head and tried to clear it. There was no way Daniel Jackson, object of more of her secret fantasies over the years than David Cassidy and MacGyver combined, had just waltzed into her home as though he owned it, stroked her foot and then ordered her to effectively sit down and shut up when she had tried to tell him she was fine. Janet's eyes narrowed suspiciously, maybe she was unconscious. That would definitely explain the most un-Daniel like behaviour and why she was following said orders without so much as a squeak of protest.
When Daniel came back into the room, he stopped short and watched in confusion as Janet deliberately pinched herself on her arm and then probed her skull with questioning fingers. His eyebrows rose as she evidently didn't find what she was looking for under her hair and then pinched herself sharply on the arm again. "Um, Janet, what are you doing?" The amused question had her starting guiltily on the couch and then hastily grabbing for her ankle as she jarred it painfully. Daniel hurried forward and peeled her hand off her ankle, nudging the cushion off the table and sitting himself back down to hold her foot in his lap once more. He rubbed softly at the puffy skin as Janet swore quietly under her breath whilst the pain receded back to a dull throb and then grinned at her. "What on earth were you doing just then?"
Flushed red with pain and the embarrassment of being caught trying to wake herself up from a cranial trauma induced dream; Janet squirmed as his fingers stroked softly over the bone in her ankle. "I was checking to see if I'd hit my head when I fell. Everything seems a bit.er..strange."
Daniel carefully replaced her foot on the cushion and then hastily stood up and began to work his fingers through her freshly washed hair. "Do you think you have hit your head? Can you feel a bump?" He ignored the silky feel of her hair flowing over the backs of his hands and concentrated on the warm skin of her scalp and any possible lesions. "What feels strange?"
//Er, this? You acting like I'm made of china and touching me like I'm suddenly a one-of-a-kin, centuries old artefact that's worth it's own weight in gold?//
Janet wriggled slightly as his fingers brushed the back of her neck as he anxiously checked her over and cleared her throat. "I think..I think I'm ok, Daniel." She waited for him to pull away. He didn't. "Um, Daniel? Really, I think I'm ok. It's probably just a delayed reaction to twisting my ankle." His long fingers were now coasting over the back of her skull and skating towards the smooth skin behind her ears. "Daniel!"
"Yes?" Daniel's hands dropped back to his side hastily. "What?"
"I think I'm ok." Janet twisted her head round awkwardly to stare up at him and then her own eyebrows went up as she caught a glimpse of the guilty flush on his skin. "Are *you* ok? You look a little hot."
Daniel managed a feeble smile.// Janet, you have no idea.//
He edged out from behind the couch and resumed his seat on the coffee table, avoiding her worried eyes. "I'm fine, just warming up after being out in the snow. Now, let's see what we can do about that ankle and then I should probably tuck you up on the couch and make you something to eat. Or have you had lunch?"
By now absolutely convinced that she was in reality lying unconscious on her floor and was trapped inside her own head, Janet gave up and decided to enjoy herself because by the looks of things she'd be spending all of Christmas in the Infirmary trying to recover from a spectacular head trauma. "No, I haven't eaten. You?" She watched as his head shook as he bent industriously over her ankle and began to wrap gauze around it competently. "You're very good at that."
Daniel glanced up and flashed a wry grin. "I should think I am the amount of times I've had to watch you fix us up." He shrugged as he looked down again. "Besides, it's kind of a given that if I don't end up injured on a mission then someone else does. I've had a lot of practice." He finished up with the bandage and patted her shin lightly. "There, all done. Let's get you all nice and comfy and then I'll see about fixing us lunch. Are you hurt anywhere else before I pack the kit away?"
Janet felt her jaw drop slightly at the faintly suggestive gleam in his eye as he glanced over her body, then reminded herself that she was trapped in a pain induced dream and this wasn't really Daniel Jackson to all intents and purposes leering at her. "No, it was just my ankle." She licked her suddenly dry lips as a flicker of disappointment showed in his eyes before he began to pack away the first aid kit. "Thank you."
"No problem." Daniel stood up and linked his hands under Janet's knees to swivel her on her butt length ways on the couch before puffing up a comfortable arrangements of pillows for her nestle against and pulling the fleecy blanket that she and Cassie liked to snuggle under off the back of the couch and tucking it carefully around her. "I like taking care of you, it makes for a nice change of pace." He raised the blanket again and slipped another cushion under her injured foot for support before lowering the fluffy material. "Do you need anything for the pain?"
"I already took something before I got in the shower." Janet smiled at Daniel's puzzled look and ignored the little shiver of happiness she felt at his words as she explained. "I figured I should shower before my ankle couldn't take the weight any more and that would be one less thing for Sam to help me with later." She laughed in embarrassment. "Just as well I did, seeing it's not Sam that came rushing to my rescue."
This time there was no mistaking the leer. "I wouldn't have minded." Daniel grinned at the stunned expression on Janet's face and gathered up the medical pack. "Get some rest and I'll go put this away and start lunch. Sandwiches ok?"
Speechlessly Janet watched him saunter out and then her head fell back against the pillows as she stared blankly at the ceiling. Ok, note to self; definitely make a point of receiving self-induced head injuries more often. Dream Daniel is *way* more fun than regular Daniel.
"So Cassie's suddenly grown to be eight foot tall, right?" Daniel stood eyeing Janet's Christmas tree warily and then turned to grin at her fighting the urge to sleep on the couch. "That's the only explanation I can think of that would reasonably explain why you have a Christmas tree in your house that you have no hope of decorating yourself seeing as it stretches from floor to ceiling and you don't even reach half way up it."
"Hey." Wanting to look more annoyed, but having difficulty focusing after Daniel had made her a massive cheese and ham toasty with an equally large hot chocolate, started a fire and then drawn the curtains against the now howling blizzard outside, Janet settled for blinking in annoyance over the fleecy blanket he'd tucked around her. "I'm not that short."
"Janet, this time of year you could double as an elf." Daniel's grin softened into an affectionate smile as she tried to hide a yawn. "Go to sleep, it's probably the best thing you can do."
"I shouldn't be so sleepy." Janet's eyes drifted shut and a worried frown creased her forehead. "M'already asleep."
Daniel looked up from where he was sorting though a tangled pile of tinsel and frowned worriedly. "What?" He quickly crossed to the couch and knelt at her side. "Janet, can you hear me?" He pushed back a thick strand of shiny brown hair from her flushed cheek and tried again. "Janet?" A soft snuffle was his only answer as her breathing began to deepen and slow with sleep. "Oh hell, maybe you really have knocked your head." Daniel muttered under his breath as he began to feel her head once more. "Just don't slip into a coma on me, ok? That is *not* the ending to the day I had in mind." Five minutes later he sat back on his heels, slightly reassured that he could find no evidence of any suspicious lumps, and chewed thoughtfully on his lower lip. "Ok, so no bleeding or trauma to be found." He cupped a hand to her cheek and smiled as she murmured and turned her face into his touch. "Just over-worked and over-tired." He stood and looked down at her and then bent to brush a soft kiss over the cheek that had been nestling into his hand. "You just sleep, I'll take care of everything." He trailed his fingers over the curve of her jaw one last time before he turned back to the Christmas tree and eyed the monster doubtfully. "I can do this."
"No, don't worry, Cass." Janet blinked sleepily as she woke over two hours later and listened in confusion to the soft, male voice speaking behind her. "I'll just stay here tonight and look after your mom. Your mom has the number where you are, right?" There was a pause as Daniel evidently listened to Cassie's reply and then laughed. "Yes, Cassie, I'm sure that a grown man can look after one house and one slightly injured woman overnight. You just stay where you are and ride the storm out and then I'll come and get you in the morning as soon as the roads are clear." He paused again and then chuckled. "Ok, try and call later if the lines don't go down. I will. See you, Cassie."
"Ugh." Janet swallowed to try and ease her dry mouth. "Daniel?"
"Janet, how are you feeling?" Daniel wandered into her line of vision and then grabbed a glass of soda from the table and held it out to her. "Here this will help." He watched as she sipped gratefully at the cold drink and smilingly took it from her when she'd had enough. "Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you up. I should have taken the phone into the kitchen."
"That's ok, what's going on?" Janet tried to pull herself up and flinched as her ankle gave a warning twinge. "Ow."
"Here, let me help you." Daniel carefully helped her back up against the pillows and grinned ruefully at her. "Looks like the party's going to be delayed after all. There's a state wide severe weather warning gone out and we're pretty much on our own till the morning." Correctly interpreting the flash of concern in Janet's eyes, Daniel patted her arm reassuringly. "Cassie's ok. She's at her friend Jennifer's house and I spoke to her mom and she said that she'd take care of Cass there tonight. I called into the base and Sam says that the guys are gonna stay there tonight and wait for the roads to be cleared of the snow tomorrow. They both send their love."
"Oh no." Janet missed the hurt look on Daniel's face, more concerned with the fact that the poor man had tried to do something nice for her and was now going to e trapped all night in her house. "Daniel, I'm so sorry."
"What?" Daniel looked down at her hand, which was squeezing his sympathetically, and realisation dawned. "Janet, don't be silly, I don't mind being here with you." He swallowed and looked up into her worried eyes. "I think this is pretty cool actually. I was really looking forward to the party tonight and now I get to enjoy being here anyway but without everyone else cluttering up the place." He turned his hands under hers and linked their fingers together carefully. "I've been trying to get you on your own for some time now."
Janet felt her mouth drop open at his nervous confession and then heaved a sigh as she realised what was happening.
//And we're back to the head trauma. Goddammit, I've been out for a really long time, maybe I should start worrying.//
"The thing is, I really like you, a lot differently than I like my other friends and I was wondering whether you'd like to come out with me sometime." Daniel licked his lips worriedly as Janet eyed him with resigned suspicion against her pillows and clarified hurriedly. "Obviously not right now, what with the blizzard and everything, but maybe when Christmas is over we could go out to dinner or something? Maybe the theatre?" Daniel licked his lips again as Janet continued to watch him silently and then suddenly pulled her hand away from his and pinched his arm sharply. "Ow, what was that for?!"
Janet ignored his outraged look and pinched her own arm hard. She completely failed to wake herself up and only succeeded in earning herself a throbbing patch of skin to go with her throbbing ankle and a puzzled look from Daniel. "I'm not waking up."
"Ye-ees, because you're not asleep." Daniel watched Janet pinch hopefully at her arm again and then started to grin as he got a very bold idea. "But if you're still in any doubt I know a way I can convince you." He leaned forward and cupped her suddenly worried face in his. "Don't worry, it won't hurt." He kept his eyes on hers as he leaned in and brushed his mouth over her slightly open one. Encouraged by Janet's sudden intake of breath, he tilted her face upwards and took her lips more confidently with his, sliding his hand around to cup the back of her skull and keep her still as he deepened the kiss.
Janet stared at him speechlessly as he pulled back and waited for her reaction. Daniel could feel an embarrassed flush rise up his neck and shifted uncomfortably. "You always wake the princess up in the story with a kiss." He smiled nervously. "You didn't wake up that must mean you're not asleep."
"Or I'm not a princess." Janet's tongue darted out to flicker disbelievingly at her tingling lips.
Daniel went for broke. "You are to me." He leaned in and kissed her again, just catching the tip of her tongue with his before it retreated back into her mouth and then his own followed it in. Many, many minutes later he raised his head and found himself sprawling above her on the wide couch, arms firmly wrapped around her body and his legs carefully arranged to avoid jostling her ankle. "Ok?"
Janet opened her eyes and found herself drowning in his smiling ones. "Yes." She saw her hands had become tangled without her permission in his hair and she was pressed pretty intimately against him from neck to navel. She smiled shyly and licked her lips again. "Although I may need you to keep convincing me about the whole not unconscious thing."
Daniel's smile seemed to be more brilliant than the lights of the fire and the Christmas tree she could just see twinkling over his shoulder. "Not a problem, I'm not going anywhere." He bent his head again and sighed happily against her lips. "Merry Christmas, Janet."
'Let It Snow' Lyrics by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne.
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