Title: The Man With The Child In His Eyes
Disclaimer: Not mine, not a one.
Category: Angst and Romance.
Synopsis: Janet's POV on Daniel.
A/N: Sequel to 'Leave Right Now'
Dedication: For Meg, because thanks to her I couldn't get this out of my head when I went to bed last night.
The Man With The Child In His Eyes
Well, here we are again. It's some godforsaken hour of the morning and once again SG1 are occupying my Infirmary and conspiring to do all they can to weasel out of their mandatory physical checks and go to their quarters for some shut-eye. I ask you, is it my fault they got recalled from their diplomatic mission to whatever unpronounceable world they were on this time because the JCS are planning a surprise visit in a few hours time? Is it my fault that, yet again, they have to make nice with some pencil pusher from Washington when they could be out tramping merrily through unknown fields of alien worlds and meeting strange new peoples? No, it is not. But somehow all four of them are whining, or in Daniel's case sulking, that they have to be stuck with needles and then make do with four hours sleep before donning their AF best and trying to keep the thinly veiled insults to the visiting dignitaries to a minimum for the next twenty four hours. I should just do everyone a favour and knock them all unconscious until the visit is over.
I finally finish with Colonel O'Neill and watch him lope from the room with a scowl before turning my attention to Sam and Teal'c. Both of them settle down into a state of displeased resentment instead of outright mutiny when their CO leaves the room and I manage to finish up and send them off in record time before turning to the last member of the team and onto the home straight before I can get forty winks myself. Daniel smiles as I approach and his eyes shine brighter with pleasure as I return his gesture with a somewhat distracted one of my own. I place my hand on his arm absently as I run a practiced eye over the monitor he's hooked up to and I'm mildly alarmed to see his heart rate is elevated. Daniel's face falls sheepishly and he confesses with a small smile that not only has he not eaten but he's also managed to skip sleep almost entirely for the last twenty-four hours. Well, for God's sake!
Without a word I spin on my heel and march to the Infirmary phone where a quick call to the commissary ensures a hot, if somewhat tasteless, meal will be send up with all due haste and then I turn back to the still sheepish Doctor Jackson and catch my breath at the look of sheer joy that has taken up residence on his face before he realises that I have seen it and he carefully wipes his face blank. I keep my eyes averted from his as I cross back to his side and start to think up reasons to allow him to stay here and not send him back to his quarters when he has eaten. We go through this dance a lot, you see.
Daniel would rather die than admit it, but there are times when he doesn't want to be on his own in the little grey box he calls his room here on base and he needs the security that being around others can bring. I make a big production of shining a light into his guileless blue eyes and then frowning in apparent concern at the imaginary anomaly I find there. The eyes flicker as I listen intently to the soft puff of his lungs inflating and deflating through my stethoscope and then I straighten to glare up at him and order immediate bed rest under my supervision as I suspect he may be suffering from slight dehydration and exhaustion. The look in his eyes takes my breath away and I can almost see the little orphaned boy he once was turn cartwheels at the fact he's going to have someone who cares tuck him in tonight.
Fifteen minutes later he's in bed, still hooked up to his monitor, and eating his way through a pile of eggs, bacon and toast under my gimlet eye. It's hard to remember that the man telling me all about his latest discovery with enthusiastic waves of his fork is nearly forty. His whole face is alive with the excitement of the unknown and I find myself grinning at him as a forkful of eggs flies unnoticed through the air to land with a splat on the next bed as he tells me how the writings on the wall of some grotty old temple could possibly be the key to unlocking the mystery of some alien technology Sam has been wrestling with for months. He looks so young when he's happy.
Finally I manage to get the last of the food inside him and lying flat under the blankets and now comes the biggest trial of my night so far. Saying goodnight to Daniel. I move around the bed and straighten his blankets, making sure the wires from the monitor are still firmly attached to his chest, and then finally look into his eyes staring sleepily at me from his pillow. I've lost count of the amount of times we've been in this position. Daniel flat on his back and relying on me to see him safely through the night but it never gets any easier to say the final goodbye of the night. I smile as I pat his arm and look pointedly at the beeping monitor standing beside the bed and tell him that I'm going to get some paperwork from my office and work beside him if he doesn't mind to enable me to keep a weather eye on his vitals. The smile that creases his face makes my heart clutch and I turn away before he can see the look in my eyes. How twisted is it that the only real security and safety this man has known comes with seeing white lab coats and hearing the beep of life saving equipment? He deserves so much more than that.
When I settle myself at his bedside and begin to wade through the stacks of medical reports that have been awaiting my attention in forever, he's already slipping away from me. The lines on the monitor beside me gradually begin to slow and then the only other sound in the room is the even sound of his breathing. I put down my pen and allow myself the luxury of watching the man I love sleep peacefully beside me. I know that the feelings I have for him could never be returned the way I want them too. If nothing else, the fact that it took him so long to remember that he knew me after he returned from his ascension would convince me. It hurt more than I could say to see his familiar eyes look at me with doubt and confusion as I examined him and then as he gradually reclaimed what was left of his life I was once more left on the sidelines of his beloved team.
He cares for me, but Daniel cares for everyone. Despite all the terrors and horrors he has seen and lived through there is still a small part of him that will forever remain innocent as long as he can still find joy in the unknown. In a sea of military procedure and tightly controlled emotion, Daniel is the wind that blows through us all to bring the much-needed breath of sometimes forgotten humanity. He is our conscience, our soul, and as much as I would like him to be mine alone I know that it could never be. I am too indentured in the military mindset, too bound by regulations and my duty and he needs someone to love him freely and without constraint. Like his Sha're. Wild, free and unspoilt enough to see what hundreds of women from his own planet could never allow themselves to find under the surface of the absent minded academic. Sha're was everything Daniel needed and when she was finally killed it broke something in him that could never be repaired. Which is when he started to need his unnecessary time under my care.
And I don't mind. I'll take what I can get. I'm the only one that seems to see the need in him for security when he comes back to us from his missions and I find a quiet joy in the fact that he allows me to him like no others do. Not even his team see the look in his eyes as he takes a last look of wary comfort at the familiar Infirmary before drifting off to dream land once more and sleeping the night through under my care.
And I know I'm the only one that sees the look of gratification in his eyes when he wakes in the morning and more often than not finds me dozing in the chair by his bed. That look alone is enough to get me through the long, lonely nights in my own bed when I sleep at home with only the fast disappearing shade of my almost grown daughter for company. No, it doesn't matter that I only get part if him for myself. This part, the part that no one else will probably ever see, is enough. I brush my hand over his wrist on the weak pretext of checking his pulse and then settle back in my chair to close my eyes and allow myself to drift away beside the forever unclaimed part of my soul. My Daniel.
The Man With The Child In His Eyes.
I hear him before I go to sleep
And focus on the day that's been
I realise he's there when I turn the light off
And turn over
Nobody knows about my man
They think he's lost on some horizon
And suddenly I find myself
Listening to a man I've never known before
Telling me about the sea
All his love, 'till eternity
Ooh, he's here again-
The man with the child in his eyes
He's very understanding
And he's so aware of all my situations
And when I stay up late
He's always waiting
But I feel him hesitate
Oh, I'm so worried about my love
They say "No, no, it won't last forever"
And here I am again my girl
Wondering what on earth I'm doing here
Maybe he doesn't love me
I just took a trip on my love for him
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