Title: On the Threshold
Date: February 18, 2004
Category: Romance; missing scene; angst
Spoilers: Anything up to and including season 5's Threshold
Summary: Missing/tag scenes for Threshold; Janet has a lot of issues to resolve after the events of the episode.
Archive: Gateview; DanandJan Archive; Heliopolis; FanFiction.net; JanetFraiser.com; anywhere else, please ask permission
Feedback: Pretty please!
Disclaimer: Stargate does not belong to me.
Author's notes: Okay, this one has taken me a lot of courage to post, because it's set in the middle of a series that I haven't even written yet! My apologies up front for that. I'm hoping it's understandable enough to be a stand-alone fic, but I just thought I'd give fair warning, as it starts out with Daniel and Janet having a friendship that goes much deeper than anything we've really been shown on screen, and doesn't exactly have a completely satisfying conclusion. My missing scene fic for the episode Chain Reaction ("Change Reaction") is also part of this nonexistent series of mine, so if you've read that, you probably have a pretty good idea of where they stand with each other at the beginning of this fic.
It's split up into three parts simply because Notepad tells me the file's too big when I try to HTML it all together. It makes it look nice and long, though, so I'm not complaining. ;)
*Many thanks to Lady Anne for betaing, and to everyone who encouraged me to post this fic now rather than waiting goodness knows how long for the rest of the series to be written (I will write it all eventually! I will!). Love you guys! :)
"Alright, I think it's time everyone leaves so that Teal'c can kel'nor'eem in peace," Janet announced to the crowd of people gathered around her patient's infirmary bed. A collective groan arose from the other members of SG-1, but Janet's no-nonsense glare kept any outright protests from being voiced.
She watched as each one said a reluctant goodbye to their friend, feeling a pang of guilt that she'd finally been forced to bring their visit to an end. Not one of them had left Teal'c's side since the Rite of Mal'shor'an had come to its dramatic conclusion, even though Master Bra'tac had long since returned to his own quarters to rest. She knew that if they had their way, they would stay with him around the clock until he was back on his feet and fully fit for duty. She also knew that wouldn't happen unless he was able to meditate and allow his symbiote to heal his weakened body in ways that her medicines would never be able to do.
"See you later, Teal'c. It's good to have you back." Sam placed a light kiss on the Jaffa's cheek before obediently turning to go.
"Thank you, Major Carter."
"We'll be back to see you again in a few hours, buddy," Col. O'Neill told him, patting him fondly on the shoulder.
Teal'c inclined his head in acknowledgment and gratitude. The colonel flashed him a quick smile before he, too, turned towards the door.
Daniel stepped closer to the infirmary bed as O'Neill moved away. "It really is good to have you back to normal, Teal'c," he said, giving him a gentle smile. He reached out to clasp Teal'c's forearm in the customary Jaffa way.
Teal'c returned the gesture of friendship wholeheartedly. "Thank you, Daniel Jackson."
The tenderness each member of SG-1 showed toward the Jaffa brought more unwelcome tears to Janet's eyes. She had been fighting them back all day - tears of frustration, tears of anger, tears of grief, and finally tears of relief. She wasn't about to let them spill over now; not until she was at home, alone, and could release them all at once over a carton of Haagen-Dazs and an old movie.
She turned away and pretended to be studying the readings on a nearby piece of monitoring equipment as she once again felt Daniel's eyes watching her. She had been acutely aware of the way he had been stealing concerned glances at her ever since this ordeal had begun. Although she knew he meant well, it made her feel distinctly uncomfortable whenever she found him studying her every move with that sympathetic, knowing look on his face.
She turned back to Teal'c once she heard Daniel leave the room. "Is there anything I can get you to make you more comfortable?" she asked.
"No, I am fine. Thank you, Doctor Fraiser. Once again, I feel I am in your debt," was his respectful reply.
Janet's heart lurched at this statement. 'In my debt?' she thought. 'I didn't do anything but stand back and let you slowly suffer and die.' She didn't voice those feelings aloud, however. "Not at all, Teal'c," she managed to say past the lump that had risen in her throat. "Get some rest."
She returned his polite nod and forced a small smile; then she drew the curtain around his bed and quietly left the room.
As she rounded the corner into the hallway, she almost bumped right into Daniel but managed to stop herself short just in time. He was standing next to the door with his back against the wall and his hands stuffed deep inside his pockets. It was quite obvious that he'd been waiting for her.
"Daniel! You... startled me." The words sounded weak and forced even to her own ears, so she wasn't surprised to see a look of confusion and concern pass over Daniel's features.
"I'm sorry, I... just thought I'd wait and walk out with you," he stammered.
He fixed his scrutinizing gaze on her again, and Janet found herself growing rather annoyed at the way he seemed to be seeing right through her carefully constructed fašade and finding something beyond it to be worried about. All she wanted was to retreat to the privacy of her office so that she could quickly finish up her paperwork and go home. Why couldn't he just leave her alone? Why did he always seem to be trying to read her mind? Or more to the point - how was it that he was usually able to do so?
Her thoughts were swirling so fast and furiously that she wasn't even sure what sharp reply she gave him, but it obviously wasn't anything that dissuaded him from following her as she brushed past him and began walking away.
"You gonna be okay?" he asked.
"Yes, he's recovering quickly. He should be good as new within a few..." She was cut off mid-sentence when she felt Daniel's hand lightly grip her elbow. Coming to a complete stop, she turned to look at him in surprise.
"No, actually I asked if you were going to be okay."
Janet stared at him for a moment, feeling confused and a little embarrassed that she'd been caught not paying attention. "Yes, of course I am," she replied, as if it was the most ridiculous question she'd ever heard. "Why wouldn't I be?"
"I was watching you in there, Janet. I saw what this whole situation was putting you through. It was tearing you apart to just stand by like that while Teal'c was suffering."
Daniel's voice was quiet and his tone was caring, but somehow the words struck a raw nerve for Janet. "I was given my orders, and I followed them, Daniel," she all but snapped at him. She pulled her arm from his grasp and continued walking.
"Yes, you did," Daniel said, easily matching her pace to walk by her side. "No one can fault you for that. Still, I know that it took a lot out of you to do that, and I... I figured you might like to talk about it with someone."
"Thank you, Daniel, that's very kind of you," she said as cordially as possible, "but everything worked out in the end, so... now I'd just like to finish my paperwork and go home." They had reached her office by this time, and although Janet tried to enter it alone and close the door behind her, Daniel was one step ahead of her. He leaned one hand against the inside of the doorframe as she passed through, as though he somehow knew that she'd been about to shut him out.
"Can that wait until tomorrow?" he asked. "You look exhausted."
"When was the last time you slept?"
"I don't see what this has to do..."
"I'm only asking you the same questions you're always asking me."
She had been avoiding any eye contact with him until then, but she glanced up at this statement and couldn't help but smile at the teasing look on his face. Her tone was softer when she next spoke. "I really have to finish this paperwork, Daniel, but I promise, as soon as I'm done I will be going home to eat and get a good night's sleep. Happy?"
Daniel grew serious again before answering. "Only if you let me give you a ride. I don't think you should be getting behind the wheel of a car just now."
Janet closed her eyes and sighed wearily, knowing that he wasn't going to let up until she agreed. She also knew, however, that he would try to use the opportunity of being alone with her to get her to talk about what had happened, and that was something she dreaded. "Fine," she said in resignation, suddenly feeling too tired to put up a fight. At least for the moment.
"Good. There's something I need to do first, but I'll be back in a few minutes. We'll leave as soon as you're ready." With that, he walked off in the direction of the elevator.
Janet slumped down into her chair and rubbed her face with her hands. As much as part of her appreciated Daniel's concern, all she really wanted was to be left alone. The events of the past few days had taken more out of her than she cared to admit. At times she'd even found herself questioning whether she had a place in the Air Force after all. She had meant it when she'd told Sam she would be resigning if they allowed Teal'c to die. She'd been growing more and more frustrated lately with the way the military approached various matters, and that would have been the final straw. Even now, she was swinging back and forth between feeling as though she'd done the right thing by obeying her orders, and wishing she'd questioned them more than she had. When it came right down to it, she was a doctor first and an Air Force major second, and sometimes the two just didn't mix. 'It also doesn't leave much room for being a human being,' she thought wryly. No wonder her head felt like it was spinning.
These feelings that were plaguing her mind were mostly due to the influence of one man - Daniel Jackson. Their lengthy, in-depth discussions over the past few months had brought many grey areas of military protocol to her mind that she'd never really allowed herself to think about before. In almost every instance, she staunchly defended the rules and regulations by which she was forced to abide, but Daniel's arguments, while always respectful, were very persuasive. Their conversations often left her feeling that he had a point and that the military way was wrong.
Plus, there was the fact that she was growing more and more attracted to him as time went on. What had started out as merely a professional, working relationship had quickly developed into a close friendship, and that friendship was slowly becoming more than the regulations would technically allow. She knew that being alone with him now, and discussing her feelings about the Rite of Mal'shor'an, would most likely do more harm than good.
She stifled a groan as she tried to focus on the paperwork in front of her on the desk. 'What I wouldn't give for today to just be over.'
On to Part 2