Title: Darkness Closing In
Category: Hurt/comfort, angst
Season/Sequel: Sequel to Darker Side of the Moonlight
Summary: The morning after the night before
Author's Notes: Actually, this came about because of Notting Hill - go figure! Been a while since I've actually had anything fic wise to post... I'm just not especially happy with things that I write at the moment... when I actually manage to write that is! And then when I think I'm happy with the fic, it's time for a title... anyway enough from me! Happy Daniel/Janet day for July everyone! (And yes, it would have probably been nicer of me to post a happy fic, or a piece of fluff... but nah!! *g*)
Darkness Closing In
Daniel woke up to see a wide pair of brown eyes looking up at him.
"Good morning," he whispered to her, still hardly believing that she was there, in his arms.
"Morning," she replied, her eyes scanning his face quickly.
"How did you sleep?" he asked.
"Good." She gave him a small smile, making no movement to pull away from him. He was perfectly content to continue lying there holding her, and smiled when she nestled her head into his shoulder.
They lay entwined together for a few minutes, until she started to wriggle slightly. He let her go, and she sat up, brushing hair out of her eyes.
"Janet?" he asked, puzzled as she just sat there looking at him. He rolled over and propped himself up on his elbow.
She hesitated. "I don't want things to get..." she paused, and looked down briefly, biting her lip. "I mean, I... I just don't want things to get weird between us."
"Was last night weird?"
"Yes... no... I don't know," she sighed, frustrated. "I guess it wasn't, which in itself was weird..." She trailed off and brought her knees to her chest, hugging them tightly.
Daniel sat up himself, and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. "It's okay," he reassured her. "If it helps, I didn't think last night was weird either. It was... nice."
She smiled slightly, looking him directly in the eyes and seeing the warmth and affection there. "It was," she agreed quietly.
His eyes flickered to her lips and then back up to her eyes again. He subconsciously leant forward, wanting to kiss her. He knew that he couldn't, so instead, pushed himself off the bed away from her and stood up. "Can I get you something for breakfast?" he asked. "Toast... or if you're lucky, there might be some form of cereal around."
She shook her head. "I'm not hungry at the moment," she said. "Maybe a bit later?
He stood there for a moment, thinking. "How about a bath?" he suggested.
She just nodded, and he disappeared into the bathroom. A minute later, she heard water running into the bathtub.
Janet wrapped the bed covers around her tightly, and leant back against the headboard. It just felt so nice to be warm and comfortable and safe. Last night had been the best night's sleep she'd had in a very long time and she couldn't help but wonder if it was something to do with her companion.
When she had woken that morning, she had found herself still enclosed in his arms; same as she had been the night before when she fell asleep. If anything, they were holding her even more tightly.
Daniel's head appeared around the door. He still hadn't brushed his hair and she hid a smile at the sight of it sticking up in all directions. "Do you want a drink? There's water, milk, tea, coffee... no, you're not allowed coffee, are you... uh, orange juice, hot chocolate?"
"Uh, water, and the morning tablets," she said, grimacing slightly as she started to move off the bed. Daniel was at her side in an instant.
"Are you okay?" he asked, resting his hand on her shoulder.
"Just a bit stiff," she said, standing up shakily. "The bath should take care of that."
Daniel watched her take two slow and careful steps by herself in the direction of the bathroom before stopping. He was immediately at her side and took her arm carefully. She looked up at him in despair.
"Hey, you're still getting better," he said. "You have to give it time, okay?"
"I know," she sighed. "But I'm just fed up of it. All I want to do is be able to walk to the bathroom by myself. I don't want to have to be dependant on you just to walk between rooms."
"It's okay," he tried to reassure her. "Everything will be fine."
"No it won't," she said in a low voice. Tears were starting to glisten in her eyes as she looked up at him. "You saw what those bastards did to me; how is everything supposed to be 'fine' after that? I can't do anything for myself. I can barely eat anything, I can't walk anywhere, I... I'm too scared to go into my own home for crying out loud!"
He pulled her close and held her as she cried in his arms. He gently moved them back towards the bed and sat them down.
After a few minutes, she raised her head and looked up at him with red-rimmed eyes. "I'm sorry," she said. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that."
"Don't apologise," he said quietly. "Janet, you never have to apologise to me, not least for crying. I can't even begin to imagine what you must have been through, but I do know that no one would fault you for a few tears."
"This isn't me though," she mumbled. "I don't cry... not like this. I'm always supposed to be the strong one."
"You don't have to be strong for me. Let me be strong for you instead for once. I'm here for you, I'll always be here for you." He rubbed her back comfortingly. "Do you want to try that bath now?"
She nodded slowly and he rose before helping her up. She didn't try to resist the help. He wrapped an arm around her waist and she leant against him as they slowly made it to the bathroom.
"Um, I think I ran the bath a bit hot in the first place, so it should be okay now," he said. She nodded again and he carefully released her. "Do you need anything else?"
"I kinda need you to leave," Janet said raising her eyebrows as she nodded her head towards the bath.
"Oh. Oh!" Daniel replied, blushing as he turned to leave the room. "Um, the towels are clean and there's shampoo if you want to wash your hair and if you need me for anything, uh, not that you will, I mean, I, uh, just call, okay?"
A small smile played across Janet's face. "Sure," she said, turning towards the toilet. She paused. "Daniel..."
"Uh, yeah, going," he said, finally leaving the room and closing the door behind him. He shook his head in disbelief letting it drop down onto his chest. Standing there for a moment, he tried to ignore the fact that Janet was naked in his bath, just on the other side of the door. Janet... naked...
Shaking his head, trying to ignore the images his imagination was conjuring, Daniel headed towards the kitchen to grab some breakfast for himself. He chose to forgo his normal coffee because he knew that Janet would be able to smell it as soon as she left the bathroom and he didn't want to remind her about the drink she couldn't have. The doorbell rang as he was finishing off his second piece of toast, and he headed towards the front door.
"Where's mom? Why did she come back here instead of home? Is she okay? Can I see her? How is she doing? When will she be coming home?"
Daniel just stood there, blinking, as Cassandra Fraiser launched into half a dozen questions as soon as he had opened the door. Sam rested a hand on the teenager's shoulder, quietening her.
He moved out of the way and indicated that they should take a seat in the living room. He saw that Sam was clutching at a bag, and presumed that they must have gone over to Janet's house earlier that morning. He had called Sam the previous night, after Janet had fallen asleep in his arms. Daniel had only said that they were both at his house, and that it was likely that she'd be staying with him for a couple of days, so if she and Cassie could fetch some clothes and stuff for her, that would be great. He hadn't wanted to risk waking Janet, who had been sleeping next to him, so had been as quick and succinct as possible on the phone.
"Where's Janet? Is she still asleep?" Sam asked as she placed the bag at the end of the sofa before sitting down.
"No, I ran her a bath about fifteen minutes ago, so she's in it still," Daniel explained taking his own seat. "She was a bit stiff this morning, so hopefully it will help her."
"Daniel, why is mom here with you?" Cassie was looking curiously around his house and he realised that she'd not seen it before.
Daniel hesitated, not sure how much Janet wanted to tell her daughter about what happened to her. "She just didn't want to go in there by herself," he said slowly. "I think it's all been a bit overwhelming for her, so she asked me to bring her here."
"Was it anything to do with her kidnapping?" Cassie asked. "Is she scared of being alone now?"
Again, he hesitated. "I think that had something to do with it," he said. "Which is why she's gonna stay here for a bit, and also so I can help her if she needs it. She seems to get tired easily, and is still having a bit of trouble walking, so I'll be able to make things a bit easier on her."
Cassie nodded. "It makes sense," she agreed. "What about me?"
"That's up to you, Cass," he said. "You're perfectly welcome to stay here in my spare room, or you can continue to live with Sam."
"Where will you sleep if I'm in the spare room?" It seemed to Daniel that Cassie's gaze was daring him to say 'with your mother', but that was a detail about the previous night which she didn't need to know.
"Oh, I'll just sleep out here on the sofa," he said easily. "It's no big deal."
"I'll stay with Sam, if that's okay," Cassie replied, looking between both adults. "I'll come over and see mom all the time, but I don't want to steal your bed away from you, Daniel, and I'm sure if you're looking after mom then you don't need me to look after either."
"If you're sure," Daniel said and she nodded emphatically. "Remember that you're always welcome here."
"Thanks, Daniel," she said, smiling slightly, before looking towards the clock. "Uh, Sam?"
Sam checked her watch. "Daniel, we've got to go. This is really a flying visit... the general needs me back at the mountain and Cassie has a class in about forty minutes. We really came over to drop off some of Janet's stuff, which is in the bag as you might have already guessed, and see how she was."
"Not a problem," Daniel replied. "I'll let her know that you dropped by when she gets out of the bath. Any idea when you'll next come and visit?"
"We'll try and drop in this evening, if that's okay," Sam said as they rose and headed towards the front door. "Any time good for you?"
"Probably better to be earlier than later," he suggested. "I don't know if it was all the excitement of leaving the hospital, but she was really tired last night and went to bed pretty early. So she might be in bed if you leave it too late."
"Noted," Sam said. She stood in the doorframe. "Take care of her, Daniel."
His face and voice was serious as he replied, "Always."
Janet appeared at the bathroom door half an hour later, wrapped in a towel with her hair hanging wet around her face. Daniel couldn't help but gulp at the sight and tried to concentrate on her face, which was drawn with pain. "Are you okay?" he asked worriedly, moving towards her.
She took a step forward and winced. "I got out of the bath a bit awkwardly, that's it," she said. "Guess my ankle's not quite as healed as I thought it was."
"Why didn't you call?" he demanded, as he made her lean against him, despite the fact that she was still wet from her bath. She flinched slightly when his arm snaked around her waist for support, and he was acutely aware of the fact that she was only wearing a towel.
She scoffed. "Daniel, I was naked," she pointed out, amusement tingeing her voice. Daniel blushed.
"Uh, yeah, good point," he said, flustered. "Um, Sam and Cassie came over when you were in the bath with a bag of stuff." They entered the bedroom, and she could see the bag on the bed. "They couldn't stay long, but they'll be back again later."
She nodded as he directed her down onto the bed. "Do you, um, need a hand or anything?" She raised her eyebrows and looked up at him. "Oh, right, the being naked thing."
"Actually, could you help me with my hair?" she asked. "I tried to dry it, but it still hurts to raise my arms above my head and shampooing it was enough."
He smiled at her. "Sure, I'll just go fetch another towel," he said, disappearing and reappearing with one. "Turn around." He sat down next to her on the bed and began to rub her hair vigorously. "Have you got a brush, or a comb or something in that bag?"
She leant forward, and opened the bag in front of her, rummaging through it until she held up her brush in triumph. He took it from her, and began to gently run it through the damp hair. It brought back memories of how he would use to comb through Sha're's thick black tresses back on Abydos, although this brush was going through slightly easier than the rough comb had done.
She sighed quietly under his tender ministrations and he couldn't help smiling slightly. Almost subconsciously he moved so that the small distance in between them decreased even further. He continued to brush through her hair, even though it was now untangled. If Janet had noticed, she ignored it and didn't pull away.
He stopped brushing, and she turned around to look at him. She was clutching the towel tightly around her chest. "Thank you," she said quietly, her eyes quickly flickering up to meet his. He smiled awkwardly and started to move off the bed.
"Uh, call me if you need me and I'll come in with my eyes closed," he said and she actually giggled slightly. "Do you want any breakfast now?"
"A piece of toast would be nice," she said. "And I still need to take my various drugs."
"They're in the kitchen for when you're ready," he said. "I'll just go and put the toast on."
"Thank you, Daniel." She turned to her bag, effectively ending their conversation. Janet heard the door close behind him and allowed her shoulders to slump. She hated being a burden on anyone, but knew that she was unable to look after herself at home. If the hospital staff had realised the extent that she was still suffering from her period of imprisonment, both physically and mentally, then she knew that they would not have released her the previous day. Janet had just wanted to leave the hospital, and before Daniel had tried to take her home, she had honestly thought that she would have been able to cope. That she was at Daniel's house and had spent the previous night in his arms had just proved that she couldn't.
She rummaged through the bag, noting that Sam and Cassie had packed loose and comfortable clothes for her, along with a bag of toiletries, a couple of books which had been on her bedside table and her beloved stuffed dog. She smiled as she pulled out the dog and regarded it fondly, before placing it pride of place upon a pillow.
Slowly and painfully, she carefully dried herself before grabbing a pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt and managed to dress herself. Her throat was dry and she started to cough as she tried to stand and walk out of the bedroom. Her ribs protested and she moaned pitifully. Daniel rushed in with a glass of water.
"Janet! Are you okay?" he asked, quickly coming in to kneel in front of her and handing her the glass. She sipped at the water and smiled at him.
"I'm fine," she assured him. "It's just a silly little cough and it hurt my ribs a bit."
"No blood or anything?" His worry was evident in his eyes and voice and she shook her head.
"No, no blood, my lungs are fine, I promise," she replied. "There's no residual trace of the bronchitis, and the antibiotics are just for a precaution. It's only because I'm still so stiff and sore and weak that coughing hurts."
"As long as you're sure," he said, rising from his knees and offering her his hand. She took it gratefully and he tucked her arm in his and led her through to the living room. When she was seated, he fetched her the plate with a single piece of toast on, along with another glass of water. She smiled and thanked him as she took the plate and started to nibble on the toast. He left again to return with the various containers of drugs. Janet pulled a face as he placed them on the coffee table next to her water glass. Daniel hid a smile at her expression, sitting down opposite her.
"You don't have to sit and keep me company all the time you know," she said, reaching forward for her water.
He shrugged. "I like spending time with you," he said nonchalantly and she ducked her head slightly in embarrassment.
"I like spending time with you too," she replied with a smile. "Although I wish the circumstances were a bit better."
"Me too. But we can make the best of a bad situation, can't we?"
She gave a small laugh. "We can try. I don't know how much we can do with the state I'm in at the moment," she said. "With how I've been, I'll end up spending most of the day in bed."
A mischievous grin spread across Daniel's face. "Well, I'm sure we can find some things to do in bed."
Janet flushed scarlet. "Daniel, I... uh, I..."
"Well, we can read, or we could play cards, or we can just talk," he suggested, with the grin still prominent.
She just looked at him and the grin disappeared and he suddenly found the edge of the coffee table absolutely fascinating. "Sorry."
Janet shook her head in disbelief, reaching forward for her medications. "I'm sure you have plenty of other things you need to do other than staying with me virtually every hour of the day. And what about SG-1?"
"At the moment, SG-1 are working on separate endeavours," he explained. "Jack's working on setting up a new Alpha Site, Sam's got a variety of projects on the go and Teal'c... well, I don't know what Teal'c's up to. I think he's gone to see how the rebel Jaffa are doing with their new colony and then he's going to visit Ry'ac and possibly Ishta."
"And you're babysitting me?"
"I'm helping a friend through a traumatic time," he corrected gently. "People know where I am if they need me, and I can work on things just as easily here as I can back in my office. Besides, you're more important than any old artefact or translation."
Janet bit her lip and looked at him shyly. "Coming from you, that's a compliment," she replied with a small grin.
He laughed, leaning forward to gather up her plate and glass. "Do you want anything else?" he asked, standing up.
"No, thank you." She tucked her legs up underneath herself with a small hiss of pain, and he looked at her in concern. "I'm okay. You've got to stop worrying about every twinge of pain. I'm honestly all right and I'll tell you when I'm not, okay?"
"I'll try," he promised. "I can't help worrying about you though."
She smiled bashfully up at him, and he grinned sheepishly before disappearing into the kitchen with the dirty crockery.
"So, any idea what you want to do today?" he called, loading up the dishwasher.
"No, not really," she replied, curling further into the corner of the sofa. Daniel reappeared from the kitchen and moved across the room to stand behind her. "I'm not sure if I feel up to going out or anything today."
"That's fine," he said. "I wasn't expecting you to want to go out anyway. We'll take it easy for the next few days, and then see if you're up to trips."
She nodded slowly. "Maybe we could watch a film?" she suggested and he headed towards the cabinet by the television.
"What do you feel like watching?" he asked.
Janet shrugged. "Nothing too taxing," she said. "Or with lots of explosions and things like that."
"No problem," he said, pulling out a DVD. "I think this'll do."
"What'll do?" Janet asked, trying to strain and see the case, but his body blocked it.
"You'll see." The grin was evident in his voice as he put the disk in the DVD player and moved backwards, grabbing the remotes from the coffee table before sitting down next to her.
Janet readjusted herself so that she was leaning against him instead of the arm of the sofa, focusing her attention on the television. She just turned to look up at Daniel when a familiar blue castle appeared. "Disney?" There was a note of amusement in her voice and he shrugged.
"Figured that Disney's always a safe bet," he said and she smiled as 'Toy Story' came up on screen.
She nodded in agreement as she laid her head on his shoulder. He looked down at her and smiled at the top of her head before turning back to watch the film.
By the time the end credits had started to roll, she was virtually asleep on him. Daniel carefully moved out from underneath her and lowered her down so that she was lying on the sofa. She stirred slightly and he quietly told her to go back to sleep. He pulled the blanket off the back of the sofa and draped it over her. Pausing for a moment, he stood there just looking down at her relaxed face.
He shook himself and headed towards the spare room where he'd left some translation work. He would let her sleep for a couple of hours before waking her for a late, light lunch.
Just over an hour later, a sudden scream from the living room led him to jump up and run to the woman, thrashing around on the sofa.
"Janet! Wake up, it's just a dream." He tried to place a calming hand on her shoulder, and she tried to curl up in a foetal position.
"No, no, no, no, no, no," she whimpered, shaking. "No, leave me alone. I don't know anything. Please don't touch me."
Her brown eyes shot open, wide and full of fear as she stared up at him, her breathing erratic. She struggled to sit up and he sank down next to her before she threw herself into his arms. He held her close as she buried her face in his chest, shaking and trembling. "Hush, I've got you," he murmured, rocking her gently back and forth. "It was just a nightmare, I've got you now. You're okay, shush."
"They... they... I..." she choked, shuddering. Daniel rubbed her back comfortingly, just holding her. She started to calm down after a couple of minutes, and pulled back. He reluctantly let her go and she looked up at him.
"Do you want to talk about it?" he offered and she looked down, refusing to meet his eyes.
"I was back in that room where you found me," she said in a lifeless voice. "That's where they kept me most of the time. Sometimes they'd drag me down the stairs to another room where they'd tie me to the chair to interrogate me." She absently began to rub her wrists, where a couple of marks were still evident. Sometimes they'd beat me when I didn't say anything. Other times they'd just leave me tied there for hours."
Daniel reached out to take her hand and she jumped slightly at the contact, looking up as if to confirm that it was really him. Her eyes glistened with tears and she quickly looked away.
"They wouldn't feed me for days on end. Even when they did, I struggled to keep it down." Her hand moved to her jaw, and Daniel could remember the horror when he'd seen that what he'd thought to be dirt had been bruising instead. "After they'd hit me... I couldn't chew or anything. And as for the talking they wanted me to do..." She laughed bitterly before falling quiet, lightly tracing a scarring slash along her left wrist. "I must have looked a sight when you found me."
Daniel hesitated. "It wasn't pretty," he agreed quietly. "The drive to the hospital was the longest journey of my life. Even though you were unconscious, I knew you were in so much pain."
"Unconscious was a normal state for me," she said. "I never knew if I was going to wake up again."
"But you did and you're safe now, I promise," he replied, reaching across to cup her cheek and using his thumb, brushed away a few errant tears which had fallen.
Janet smiled slightly, biting her lip. "Can I stay here for a bit longer?" she asked quietly.
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