Title: Price of Appreciation
Author: Julie Petersen
Pairing: Daniel/Janet, Janet/Teal'c friendship (only friendship!)
Rating: A solid PG-13
Spoilers: Post-ep fic for Upgrades, so spoilers (obviously) for that one.
Summary: After the events of "Upgrades", Janet feels she needs to show the human trio of SG-1 what it feels like to be marginalized
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters or anything relating to Stargate. Doesn't mean I don't want them, though...
AN: Sorry if Teal'c seems a little OOC. I find it hard to write him, so I had to take a few liberties. Hope I got it close!
Archive: Archive away, Meg...and anyone else who wants it.
Price of Appreciation
"Now, because I'm not sure of how the antibodies will react in your system, I'm going to have to ask that you stay on base overnight so I can keep an eye on how you're feeling," Janet said as she looked three quarters of SG-1, sitting in front of her with sheepish looks on their faces. Janet found it easier than expected to keep the anger she was feeling out of her voice, especially considering the emotional roller coaster she had been on for the past few days, an emotional roller coaster caused by the three sitting in front of her.
Sam, Jack, and Daniel all had slight ashamed looks on their faces as they sat in the infirmary, hearing out Janet's words. Teal'c sat off to the side, his eye also on Janet as she spoke, his normal stoic face betraying, as usual, no emotion.
Still, there was a tiny spark of concern in his eyes for the petite doctor in front of him. Countless times in the past, she had saved their lives, bringing them back from the brink of death it seemed, all without receiving her proper due for taking such good care of all of them.
A small part of his concern was for his teammates, as well. The armbands they had been given by the Tok'ra had nearly killed them. If the antibodies hadn't kicked in when they did...Teal'c didn't even want to think about the possibilities. However, he knew his team was going to be fine.
Though Janet wanted to keep the rest of SG-1 on base for observation, Teal'c could hear in her voice that she was confident they were going to be fine. This brought a sense of relief to Teal'c, for the wellbeing of his friends, but he also felt much concern for Janet, who was clearly struggling to hold on.
A glance at his teammates showed him that none of them noticed Janet's obvious struggle. Annoyance at the rest of the SG-1 hit him for not noticing how their ordeal had clearly affected Janet. And Janet wasn't the only one who had been affected by SG-1's actions. Teal'c had, too, expressed concern over the effects the armbands were having and his concern had been brushed aside as the rest of SG- 1 played with their new powers like irresponsible children.
As Janet wrapped up her speech on proper rest and bade them a good night, Teal'c watched SG-1 for any hint they noticed the worried look on Janet's face. None of them did and they barely thanked her for what she did. Though his outward expression remained neutral, anger flared up within Teal'c at their ignorance and disrespect they had given one who had tried so hard and cared so much for their well- being.
Janet walked quietly into her office, Teal'c watching her go as her heels clacked softly on the ground. Her door clicked shut and she was cut off from the rest of the world. Though she had left, Teal'c still kept his worried gaze on her door.
"Hey, Teal'c, you coming?" Jack's impatient voice called out to him. Teal'c turned his head and saw Sam and Daniel standing behind Jack, waiting expressions on their faces.
"I will join you in a moment, O'Neill," Teal'c said solemnly, "There is something I must take care of." Confusion and curiosity danced over the faces of his Tau'ri friends, but they nodded, respecting Teal'c privacy and walked off to an unknown destination. Teal'c waited until they had disappeared entirely, even waiting until he could no longer hear the sounds of their voices, before turning towards Janet's closed office door.
Inside her office, Janet struggled to hold in tears of the anger and hurt she had experienced over the last few days. Having her medical advice brushed off as if it were nothing, worrying sick over the lives of three of her closest friends, and none of them acknowledging her help or worry both angered and hurt Janet greatly.
She had expected more out of all of them...well, maybe not out of Jack, but certainly from Sam and Daniel. Her position had been all but mocked for how seriously they had taken her and her personal concern had been ignored as well. She might as well have not even been their friends. It made Janet wonder if she should even bother sometimes.
It didn't help that part of her felt something more than friendly for Daniel. The fact that he had so radically changed from the effects of the armbands scared Janet. If that was a little bit of power did to him, Janet didn't want to imagine him with any more. Unbidden, the tears that had pooled in Janet's eyes spilled down her cheeks and she was in no position to stop them.
She stood there, hands braced on her desk as tears rolled unchecked down her face, her feelings overriding everything else. But, a knock at the door made her jump and she frantically tried to wipe away her tears.
"Come in!" she cried in a wobbly voice. The door opened to reveal Teal'c on the other side and Janet could detect a slight hint of worry on his face. Not knowing how long she had been standing there and worried that his worry was for SG-1, Janet tried her best to reign in her emotions and switch back into doctor mode.
"Teal'c, what is it? Is it SG-1? Are they fine?" she asked, worry creeping into her voice. Teal'c offered her a nod.
"They are fine, Doctor Fraiser," Teal'c said, "However, I am not here for the rest of SG-1. I have come to ask of how you are doing." Janet's mouth dropped open in shock at Teal'c words and tears sprang to her eyes again at his concern. Eventually, she found her voice, but she could not prevent her tears from silently falling down her cheeks.
"I honestly don't know," Janet said as she wiped away her tears, though more came, "These past few days have been very hard for me, Teal'c." Teal'c gave her a slow nod.
"I have noticed that fact, Doctor Fraiser, and it caused me to be concerned. I noticed you seemed angry at my teammates not too long ago for their behavior."
"Then you'd be the only one who noticed," Janet mumbled. Teal'c raised an eyebrow in further concern and, for some reason, that simple action made Janet snap.
"God dammit, Teal'c!" she yelled, releasing all her anger, her hands balling up into fists as she started beat on Teal'c's chest, sobs shaking her body. Teal'c merely stood there, a gentle expression on his face, letting Janet pound on his chest, knowing she needed the release of all the pent up emotions she had been keeping inside for the last few days.
She beat him until she lacked the strength to continue, tears still running down her cheeks. She began to sink to the floor, exhausted, but Teal'c grabbed her wrists before she could fall and led the small doctor over to the couch that she had stashed in her office. He made her sit down before sitting next to her.
Janet reached over and grabbed a tissue from the box on her nearby desk, wiping away her tears and blowing her nose.
"I'm sorry for that, Teal'c," Janet all but whispered.
"It was, as you say, no problem," Teal'c said, waiting for Janet to speak, since it was obvious she had more to say.
"I just needed to get it out," she said, "I've been worried sick over those three since this whole armband issue came into play. Not that I'm not worried about them all the time for just doing what you guys do."
"I am well aware of your worry," Teal'c said, "I do believe it makes you a better caretaker." Janet gave him a small smile before going back to what she was saying.
"I only wanted to help them," Janet said, "Those armbands were killing them Teal'c. If the antibodies hadn't kicked in when they did, all of their organs would have shut down. Their bodies weren't made to handle the stress of that much power and it nearly killed them. I don't even know if they know it. They certainly weren't listening when I told them the first time." Janet took a pause as she sighed deeply.
"So, my medical concern and advice was shrugged off, like I was just a nagging housewife! And my personal concern didn't get much more consideration. I tried talking to Sam about taking off the armband, but she refused to listen to me, telling me how much she could get done with them on."
"I had a similar experience with O'Neill," Teal'c said, "And my concern was disregarded just as easily, it seemed. I feel much the same of my teammates as you do, Doctor Fraiser." Only Teal'c was infinitely more disappointed. He left his life, his family to fight with these people and this was what they were like when given a taste of power?
"So, they ignored you, too, huh?" Janet said quietly, "Why am I not surprised?" Teal'c noticed Janet's eyes were drooping, he spoke up.
"Why do you not retire to your place of residence and rest, Doctor Fraiser?" Teal'c suggested, "You have been through much the past few days." Janet gave Teal'c another smile, touched at his concern for her. She always knew how much he thanked and appreciated her for her services as his doctor, always trying her hardest to make sure he would be alright when he wasn't.
"I'd love to, Teal'c, but I can't. With the antibodies still in SG- 1's systems, I can't leave them for any significant amount of time," Janet said. Teal'c only looked at her with a raised eyebrow, as if challenging her reasoning. Janet sighed.
"But, I could go home for a few hours. Take a shower, spend some time with Cassie before she goes to sleep," Janet said. Teal'c gave a nod.
"Then you should go," Teal'c said.
"And if anything happens while I'm gone, you'll give me a call, right?" she asked him. When Teal'c gave her another slow nod, Janet let out another sigh, this one relieved, as she stood up and grabbed her purse.
"Then I'll be back in a few hours," Janet said as Teal'c stood up next to her and began walking with her as she made her way towards the elevator. She pressed the button for the elevator and turned back to Teal'c, unaware they had an audience...
Sam, Jack, and Daniel all sat in Sam's lab, waiting for Teal'c to show up. Sam was currently playing Solitaire on her computer; Daniel was sitting patiently next to her, staring at his hands; and Jack was spinning around on one of Sam's lab stools.
"Where is he?" Jack questioned, "What could be taking him so long?" Sam shot an annoyed look at her CO.
"Sir, it's not your business what Teal'c does," she said. Jack let out a tortured sigh.
"I don't care what he's doing," Jack said, "I just want to know when he's going to be finished." Jack looked over as his 2IC for a brief moment before his eyes drifted over to Daniel, who's expression seemed to be slightly depressed.
"You okay, Daniel?" Jack asked, shocking Daniel out of whatever reverie he'd been in. Jumping in his seat, Daniel looked over to Jack.
"Yeah, I'm fine," he said. Jack raised a speculative eyebrow, which caused Daniel to let out an annoyed breath.
"Really, Jack, I'm fine. I'm just a little tired," he said. Jack seemed to accept that and went back to spinning in his chair. Truth be told, however, Daniel wasn't really that tired. But there was something that was bugging him and it bothered him that he couldn't figure it out. He was just about to give it another try when he heard voices from outside Sam's lab.
"Thanks Teal'c," he heard Janet's voice say as he got out of his seat to peer out of the door to Sam's lab, seeing Teal'c and Janet standing by the elevator. Behind him, he heard Jack approach as well, soon followed by Sam.
"Do not concern yourself with it, Doctor Fraiser," Teal'c said. She smiled up at him before rising on her toes to press a kiss to his cheek, jealousy flaring up inside Daniel for no logical reason.
"Well, that's for being such a good listener...and a punching bag," Janet said with a chuckle. Teal'c merely smiled and the rest of SG- 1 exited Sam's lab, approaching the elevator as it opened.
"Going home, Janet?" Sam asked, but Janet ignored her as she got into the elevator, not in any mood to speak with her, not caring if she was acting petty.
"Good night, Teal'c. I'll see you in a couple of hours," Janet said as the elevator doors slid shut, her gaze never falling on the rest of SG-1.
"Ooh, ouch," Jack said, "What has the Doc in such a fit?"
"Yeah, she didn't even acknowledge us," Sam said.
"Do you think she's mad at us?" Daniel asked his other teammates. Jack gave a shrug.
"Why would she be mad at us?" Jack asked and both Sam and Daniel gave shrugs. At this, Teal'c raised both eyebrows.
"You truly do not know?" Teal'c asked, surprise written on his face. The look on his face indicated to the other three that he knew something they didn't.
"But you know, don't you Teal'c?" Jack said in a friendly tone, hoping to draw it out of Teal'c.
"I do," he said simply.
"Care to share?" Daniel asked, hoping to understand the reason for Janet's behavior. As Teal'c finally realized his teammates truly didn't know the reason for Janet's anger, both of his brows lowered into the look that the rest of SG-1 had dubbed his disappointed look.
"No. If you do not know, then I will not tell you," Teal'c said. His friends' mouths dropped in shock; Teal'c usually never held back information like this.
"But, why not?" Sam asked, unable to form a more complicated sentence.
"Because then you truly will not be as sorry as you can be if you figure it out for yourselves," Teal'c said, "Then you can offer Doctor Fraiser the proper apology she deserves."
"Is that what you were doing, Teal'c?" Jack asked, "Apologizing to Janet?" Teal'c's expression only turned more disappointed.
"I had nothing to apologize for," Teal'c said, "I merely visited her in her office because I was concerned for her wellbeing."
"What happened to Janet?" Sam asked, her worry for her best friend taken up another notch. Daniel was merely speechless at Teal'c words.
"She was most distressed and angry, but if you cannot figure it out for yourselves, I will not tell you why," Teal'c said before giving them a small nod of his head and walking off down the hall.
"Teal'c, wait," Daniel said, reaching out to grab Teal'c's arm. Teal'c turned around, the disappointment that still resided on his face making whatever Daniel had to say die in his throat.
"Doctor Fraiser is not the only one who is displeased with you," Teal'c said harshly before turning back and walking down the hall, away from the rest of SG-1. Daniel, Sam, and Jack stared, flabbergasted at Teal'c's actions and words, unable to believed what had just transpired.
"Guys, I think Teal'c is angry with us, too," Sam said. Jack shot her look.
"And what was your first clue?" he bit. Daniel sighed.
"Jack," he said in a warning tone. Jack backed off and rubbed his eyes with his hands.
"So, what did we do wrong?" Jack asked and, once again his human teammates couldn't answer the question as none of them could figure out what they had done to make two of their closest friends were suddenly so angry with them.
Janet sighed with relief as she pulled into her driveway, happy to be away from the SGC for no other reason than she was happy to be away from SG-1. On her way home, Janet had called General Hammond, realizing she ha forgotten to tell him she was leaving the base for a few hours.
Surprisingly enough, he hadn't chastised her at all; just told her to report back in the next morning and he would have one of the doctors on the night shift watch after SG-1 for any signs of something wrong. Thanking the General, Janet had then proceeded to call Cassie to tell she was on her way home and to ask her if she wanted anything from the grocery store while she was there.
Cassie had given Janet a small list of the things she wanted before bidding her mother goodbye so she could go finish up her homework. Janet had stopped by the store and picked up the items Cassie asked for as well as several items carrying chocolate; Janet figured she could use the pick-me-up chocolate so readily supplied.
So, her errands done for the night, Janet was more than happy to be home as she got out of the car, gathering the groceries on her way to the door. When she got inside, she found Cassie sitting in the living room, watching TV. Putting on her best mom gaze, Janet sighed.
"Cassie, don't you have homework to do?" Janet asked. Cassie looked over at Janet.
"Mom, I finished it 10 minutes ago. I was almost finished when you called," Cassie explained. Janet searched Cassie's face for any hint of a lie and found none.
"Well, then would you put these groceries away while I go change?" Janet asked. Cassie got up off of the couch and walked over to Janet, taking the bags from her. Peering into the bags, Cassie noticed the chocolate and smiled sympathetically.
"Long day?" Cassie asked. Janet sighed as she removed her high heels.
"You have no idea," Janet breathed, "Just put those away. I'll be right down and we'll decide what to do for dinner." Cassie nodded and bounded off for the kitchen, leaving Janet to head upstairs. Carrying her shoes with her, Janet trudged up the stairs, the effects of the last few days and her emotional outburst in front of Teal'c finally catching up to her.
Once upstairs, Janet headed to her bedroom and changed into a comfortable pair of leggings and a T-shirt before heading back downstairs. In the kitchen, she found Cassie putting away the last of the groceries and she smiled as she sat down at the kitchen table.
"Thank you, Cassandra," Janet said. Cassie turned and smiled back at Janet.
"It was no problem, mom. You looked like you needed the help, anyway," she said before sitting down at the table across from her mom.
"So, what do you want to do for dinner?" Cassie asked. Janet shrugged.
"Don't know," she said, "I'm too tired to cook. Do we have any of last night's pasta left?"
"Let me check," Cassie said, getting up to look in the fridge. A quick peek inside answered the question.
"Yeah, we do," Cassie said, "Want me to heat it up in two bowls?" Janet gave a relieved sigh.
"Please," she said. Cassie did as she said and distributed the pasta into two bowls before putting them into the microwave individually. While that was being done and Cassie was watching the microwave, Janet got up and poured two glasses of water, setting them on the table as she sat back down.
Within minutes, the food was ready and on the table, Cassie having grabbed a couple of forks on her way back.
"Thank you, sweetie," Janet said, "I really didn't have the energy to cook." Cassie smirked.
"Let me guess. SG-1?" Janet's face darkened at the thought.
"Yes," she grumbled. Cassie's face immediately became concerned.
"Did something happen to them? Are they ok?" she asked, concerned for the people who had become her surrogate family. Janet smiled reassuringly at her adoptive daughter.
"Yes, they're fine," Janet said, "But I'm not very happy with them." At Cassie's inquisitive look, Janet launched into the horror story that was the armband incident and the effects it had on the human portion of SG-1. By the end of her story, Cassie's face had also taken on an angry look.
"Those inconsiderate jerks!" Cassie exclaimed, slapping her palm down on the table. Though she loved them dearly, how dare they treat her mom that way?
"My thoughts exactly," Janet said.
"You should get back at them," Cassie said, "Ignore them until they realize they've done something wrong. So they know how it feels." Janet gave her daughter a wry look.
"I think I already started doing that," Janet said, "On my way out, I ignored them as they said goodbye. I don't even think they know what they did." Cassie smiled, though it was tinged with anger.
"They'll realize it eventually," Cassie said, "They're good people, mom. You know that." Janet sighed as she pushed her empty bowl aside.
"I know," Janet breathed, "That's why it hurts." There was a pregnant silence for a few moments before Janet stood up.
"Well, I don't know about you, but I could use some chocolate," Janet said. She approached the counter and grabbed the various chocolate confectionaries she had bought earlier that evening before returning to the table. Cassie gave her mom a wide grin before mother and daughter dug in.
The next morning, Janet's alarm woke her at 6:30 on the dot. Normally not a morning person, Janet woke up in somewhat of a good mood. Her talk with Cassie helped and she decided that SG-1, minus Teal'c who actually listened to her, needed a bit of payback.
She actually hummed to herself as she took a shower and took special care into making sure her hair and makeup were perfect, choosing to go with her hair down today, putting a little mousse into her hair to give it a bit of a sexy tousle. She even wore perfume, a special scent that she rarely wore because it was so expensive. But, it smelled great and lifted her spirits.
Dressing in her uniform to save time at work, Janet headed downstairs to find Cassie sitting at the table, eating a bowl of cereal. She looked up as Janet entered the room and gave her mom a wide smile.
"Hey, looking good today, mom," Cassie said, her voice bright with humor. Janet smiled at Cassie as she began brewing a quick cup of coffee.
"I feel good today," Janet said. Cassie's grin turned into the classic cat-got-the-canary grin.
"It's payback today, isn't it?" Cassie asked. Janet nodded as she sat down at the table next to her daughter.
"I'm looking forward to it," Janet said. Cassie gave her mom an amused look.
"You get them, mom," Cassie said. An evil grin spread on Janet's face.
"Oh, I intend to."
Janet's good mood arrived with her when she got to work. There was something about the thrill of payback, especially when it was nothing harmful, that got Janet excited.
As she made her way to her office, several people stopped and greeted her, telling her how nice she looked. Janet smiled at each of them and thanked them for the compliment. Each compliment she received only made Janet happier and, though she didn't notice it, there was a bit more sway in her hips that day, a more confident stride that made people stop and take notice.
She reached the level of her office and was almost at the door when she ran into Teal'c.
"Good morning, Teal'c," Janet said, her voice bright. Teal'c gave her a smile.
"Good morning, Doctor Fraiser," he intoned, "May I say that you look very beautiful today?" Janet chuckled.
"You wouldn't be the first to say so today, Teal'c," Janet said as she unlocked her office, "So, is there anything I can do for you?" Teal'c shook his head.
"No," he said, "I merely came to see how you were doing compared to yesterday. Your mood had improved greatly. For what reason is this?" Janet gave Teal'c an impish grin as she set her bag down on her desk.
"Today is payback day, Teal'c," Janet said, "Since SG-1 ignored me when I was only acting concerned, I will ignore them until they realize what they've done. Now, I know it sounds a little petty, but it will make me feel better." Teal'c nodded in understanding.
"I see," he said, "Then I will assume you are still upset with them." Janet gave Teal'c a look.
"I'm not as upset as I was," Janet said, "But don't tell them that. It'll ruin all the fun of revenge." Teal'c gave her a conspiratorial smile.
"Indeed," he said, "I will leave you to your business, then. Good day, Doctor Frasier." Janet smiled back.
"Bye, Teal'c," she said as he turned and walked out of her office. She gave a satisfied sigh as she sat down in her chair and began to go through some of the paperwork that had gathered on her desk.
It wasn't until a few hours later that the first of the human trio of SG-1 made her way to Janet's office, butterflies in her stomach as she approached. Sam had stayed up most of the night, trying to think of what she, Jack, and Daniel had done to make both Janet and Teal'c mad at them.
So far, she had been unable to think of what it was, but knew it had something to do with the armbands and their effects. Only, Sam couldn't remember what she might have done to make Janet and Teal'c so disappointed and angry with them.
As she approached Janet's office, she noted the door was open and a quick peek inside showed her the brown-eyed doctor, sitting at her desk as she went through paper work. Sam walked up to the doorway and rapped her fingers on the frame. Janet looked up at her guest and gave Sam a smile.
`My first victim of the day,' Janet thought as Sam stood in the doorway.
"Hey, can I come in?" Sam asked.
"Sure," Janet said, motioning to one of the chairs in front of her desk before looking back down at file in front of her. Sam sat in the proffered chair and looked at Janet.
"You look really nice today," Sam said, cursing herself inwardly for the awkwardness of the sentence.
"Thanks," Janet said absently as she concentrated on her work. Sam noticed Janet didn't follow her single word up with anything and frowned.
"Are you busy? Because I can come back another time," Sam said. Janet looked up and smiled.
"No, no, I'm not busy," Janet said, her eyes returning to the file, "I just have a lot of work to catch up on. The whole thing with the armbands took up all of my time while you wore them, so I have all this paperwork to process." At the mention of the armbands, Sam fidgeted in her chair.
"Yeah, about the armband," Sam said, "You see-"
"I mean, you weren't the only other patients in the infirmary the past week," Janet said, completely cutting Sam off, "But, your case was so urgent. You're lucky your organs didn't shut down before the antibodies kicked in." Sam, who had been taken aback by the rude interruption, froze at the mention of organ failure, her brain suddenly remembering that Janet had warned about that a few days ago when they wore the armbands.
"Really? I must have for-"
"But, that's all over now," Janet said, standing up as she picked up the file that had her report of the effects the armbands had produced in SG-1.
She glanced over at Sam quickly, noticing Sam's annoyance at her constant interruptions. Inwardly, she smiled. Outwardly, she was just as calm as she had been.
"I have to go deliver my report on the armbands to General Hammond," Janet said as she began walking out of her office door.
"Janet, I-" Sam started, only to be interrupted again by Janet as she flashed the tall woman a smile.
"Thanks for the chat," Janet said nicely, "We should do it again sometime." With that, Janet strode out of her office, a wide grin planted on her face as she realized she had gotten Sam.
Sam just stood there and watched as Janet walked out of the infirmary, wondering what the hell that had all been about and knowing she should know what it was.
On to Part 2