Title - Breaking Daniel Jackson
By - Kellifer_k
Rating - Mature (just for concepts and a naughty word)
Warnings - None
Summary - Daniel reached out blindly and found Janet's wrist. He circled his fingers around it and squeezed gently. "Just help me survive this." Daniel said, a note of resignation in his voice.
Breaking Daniel Jackson
When Janet saw SG-1 emerge from the event horizon minus one bespectacled archeologist, Janet's heart moved somewhere towards the vicinity of her throat.
Never leave a man behind…
The only other time SG-1 had come back through the `gate without Daniel was when they had thought he was dead. Janet felt a coldness sweep her body but then she took a moment to really look at the other members and knew that wasn't the case here.
Sam definitely looked distraught but Teal'c was his usual stoic self and Jack simply looked pissed off.
Royally pissed off.
Weapons were lowered and the General came forward, confusion plain on his face. Something else that worried Janet was that SG-1 looked like they had been stripped of all equipment, save the GDO on Sam's wrist. They had a few new accoutrements however. Sam was limping slightly, Teal'c had his right arm curled into his body protectively and Jack was sporting one hell of a black eye, plus a nasty looking gash on his temple. Janet clicked into professional mode and moved forward but Jack was one step ahead of her, shoving Sam in her direction so that she would be tended to first.
"Where's Doctor Jackson?" Hammond asked, concern in his tone.
Janet caught Sam who had been thrown off balance further by Jack's non-to-gentle shove and made her sit on the bottom of the ramp. There was a large rip in the bottom of her pants leg and blood was caked on the material from ankle to knee. Teal'c was behind her a moment later, a steadying hand on her shoulder. She leaned into the touch a little and Janet realized Sam must have been really exhausted to show any kind of weakness like that.
"The natives aren't very friendly." Jack snarled, by way of answer. He waved a hand, indicating his general lack of weapons and bedraggled state. "They jumped us as soon as we were through."
"Get checked out and then we'll debrief." Hammond ordered, turning sharply. He was halted by Jack's answer.
Hammond turned back around and looked at Jack, more curious than anything else.
"We just came back to collect the Doc and any supplies we can carry."
Hammond was not an easily ruffled man, but he practically gaped at Jack. "You drag yourselves back through the gate looking like that and you think I'm going to let you just waltz on back through, taking Doctor Frasier with you no less?"
"Yes Sir." Jack nodded once. He tried his usual cocked grin but winced halfway through, momentarily forgetting the state of his face.
"Get checked out, then we'll discuss it." Hammond begrudgingly allowed but Jack didn't move, crossing his arms over his chest. With an effort and Teal'c's hand at her elbow, Sam stood also, mirroring Jack's pose, showing her support.
"No, Sir." Jack repeated. "We're on a pretty limited timetable if we want to get back to Daniel while he's still in one piece. The Doc can patch us up when we head back through."
"I won't allow-"
"I'll go." The words had left Janet's mouth before she'd thought about it. Hammond's gaze snapped to her and he grunted.
"It's very nice of you to volunteer Doctor Frasier, but I don't think you all understand that nobody is going back to P4X-989 until I get a really good goddamn explanation."
"They'll kill him," Sam said, her voice hollow.
A quick scrub down, a change of clothes and dressing of the more obvious wounds later and there were again four figures standing at the base of the `gate ramp, waiting as the chevrons clicked into place. General Hammond had tried to get them to take another SG team, or let another SG team go in their place, but Jack had said no to everything, making clear to Hammond that they had only been released on the barest of sufferance and only to retrieve their own doctor.
The Nysaduli people, Jack explained, had offered their own form of medical assistance but considering their circumstances, hadn't been surprised when Jack had refused.
Hammond had asked again just what had happened and Jack had explained as best he could.
They had been set upon as soon as they came through the `gate, without the chance of getting off even a single shot. Jack had simply felt a sharp pain in his neck, had only had time to reach up a hand to finger the dart lodged in his skin, before keeling over. They had all awoken, dazed and groggy and in a small wooden room, each chained to a different corner.
This can't be good, Jack had joked.
When a representative of the Nysaduli had come to see them, naturally Daniel had moved forward, trying to make contact. That had been their first mistake. In doing so, Daniel had been identified as the leader, and no attempts to dissuade the representative from that way of thinking had been successful.
Did you wish to trade with us, the representative had asked.
Daniel had looked quickly at Jack, who, not seeing the harm in it and actually thinking it might be their way out, had nodded curtly.
Yes, Daniel had agreed.
You understand what is involved, the representative had asked.
A quick nod and even though Daniel had had misgivings, he had answered, yes, again.
The representative had looked pleased and had instructed their bonds to be removed. They'd been taken to another larger, long dining hall where the chatter was loud and the food plentiful. Jack had been slightly disturbed that neither their weapons or radios had been returned but Daniel had not wanted to push things.
Jack had reluctantly agreed to let it slide.
Right up until the festivities were winding down and the representative, accompanied by some rather large escorts, had come to remove Daniel from their company. The representative had explained, rather stiffly, that the leader of their people was to undergo a series of trials to show their people were worthy of trade.
I thought you understood what was required, the representative had said mildly and Jack got the feeling that the man knew full well a bluff when he heard it.
There had been a struggle and then Jack, Sam and Teal'c had been forcibly marched to the `gate. The representative had claimed to be a reasonable man and had advised them that they could let their people know what was happening and bring back any healers they wished to, but the slightest suspicion that greater forces were coming back through to extract Daniel, and he would be killed immediately.
Janet looked sideways as the event horizon bloomed into life, casting the watery shadows across the three grim faces beside her.
Not so soon, Janet prayed.
We can't lose him again so soon.
The village and the people in it looked to Janet like a strange blend of early Mongolian, feudal Japanese and colonial American culture. Jack noticed the way Janet was regarding her surroundings and smiled tightly.
"Looks like a history book threw up a town, right?" He prompted and she glanced at him sideways.
"Daniel had a theory, didn't he?" Janet guessed.
The skin around Jack's eyes tightened and Janet regretted immediately what she'd said, but then his face relaxed and he looked almost his old self again. "Yeah. He said we must have been on one of the few planets where a number of different Goa'uld dropped their people so you get a pretty diverse bunch of people. Over time, the cultures would eventually blend but each group of people seemed to have found a basic common ground but have fundamentally held on to their own culture. Daniel said a common language has developed and the people now regard themselves as one, but they also mostly all talk a second language which would be true to their original dialect."
"Daniel got all that from a couple of hours?" Janet, having never actually been in the field with Daniel, had had a basic understanding of his function on a front line team but had always wondered about it. She had to admit that she hadn't really grasped the scope of Daniel's talent. He had always seemed perfectly clueless when it came to reading people in his day-to-day life.
Jack's smile grew broader. "Yep, he sure did." He said. He seemed to spot the person he was looking for as they entered the village because he raised a hand. "Representative Hirul!" He hollered and Janet winced, She saw Sam look at him sharply and Teal'c merely raised an eyebrow.
Hirul halted and turned towards them, raising a hand in greeting to mimic Jack. "You returned." He said in heavily accented English and Jack nodded curtly. Hirul shrugged. "Often potential trading partners chose to abandon their leaders if released. We had hoped this would not be the case with you."
"Yeah, yeah, take us to Daniel." Jack snapped impatiently.
"I assure you, he is as you left him." Hirul said.
"We'd like to see for ourselves." Sam said curtly. She inclined her head towards Janet. "We brought our healer and we'd like to be able to tend Daniel."
"Of course. I will take her to Doctor Jackson immediately."
"Where Doctor Frasier goes, we go." Teal'c intoned.
"As you wish." Hirul inclined his head slightly, having the gall to look offended at the inference that Janet would not be safe.
When the door opened, Janet felt an icy spike of dread trace her spine seeing the huddled figure on the large bed of blankets and furs. For a second she thought they had killed Daniel, but then the figure stirred and Daniel raised his face, blinking in her direction blearily. In the dim light and without his glasses, Janet knew Daniel probably wouldn't be able to make out who she was.
"Daniel," she breathed, entering the room and dropping down beside the makeshift bed.
"Janet?" Daniel managed to sound both relieved and annoyed to see her at the same time. He looked up and over her shoulder and spotted another blurred figure in the doorway. "Why the hell did you bring her here? It's not safe," he snapped, assuming correctly that it was Jack hovering in the entrance.
Janet had thought Jack's black eye had been impressive, but it paled into comparison beside the hefty bruising mottling one whole side of Daniel's face. Janet reached forward and Daniel instinctively shrank away and she sighed, knowing she was going to find a whole range of other, equally impressive injuries.
"Same condition as we left him my ass!" Jack snarled and Daniel shrank back a little further.
"Let me examine him, Colonel." Janet said, flicking her head in a, leave us be, gesture.
Jack looked like he would argue, but then nodded and retreated from the room, pulling the door closed behind him with a scrape of wood.
"I'm fine." Daniel said, finally relaxing a little. "I'm sure it looks worse than it is."
"Oh, well if you say so." Janet sighed heavily. "I'll just pack up my stuff and head back through the `gate." Janet knew it was a mean trick, but she shot a hand forward and poked Daniel in the abdomen. He hissed and curled in on himself. "Yep, absolutely fine." She snorted.
"Seriously. Jack shouldn't have brought you here. These people have a different understanding of right and wrong than we do. I'm not begrudging their societal beliefs but they're a little morally… lax."
Janet looked over Daniel, noting the various bruising and abrasions that pretty much told the story of the brutal handling he had received at the hands of the Nysaduli people, and he was still trying to be the neutral diplomat. Janet reached a hand forward but this time to trace his brow tenderly, amazed at the resilience of the man before her.
"Plus, they broke my glasses." He mourned.
Janet smiled and reached into the bag she'd brought in, extracting Daniel's spare pair. He looked so pathetically grateful that Janet had to fight off the large urge to lean forward and press her lips to his forehead. Daniel accepted the glasses and automatically made to slip them onto his face but Janet arrested his hand halfway through the motion. "I wouldn't." She said, taking them back and setting the aside carefully.
Daniel raised a hand and traced gentle fingers across his cheek, mapping the swollen skin and nodded. "Probably right," he agreed.
"Apart from the generous way they've been touching you, how have they been treating you?" Janet asked, regretting the time it took to clean up the rest of SG-1 and get back to Daniel, then feeling guilty for thinking that way. She knew she was supposed to treat each patient with equal concern but it was getting a little hard.
Time to hand SG-1's care over, she thought ruefully.
"I'd like to say okay, but they've given me something which means I can't keep any food or liquid down." Daniel said, crinkling his nose.
Janet's brows knitted in concern. "Something to do with this testing?" She prompted, worried about how much abuse they were going to heap on Daniel before this was over, if it ever would be over.
"I think so. Hirul won't explain the specifics but I got the gist. It's kind of a breaking of spirit and body, to test the metal of the potential trading partners. If I break, they won't trade with us."
"I can give you an antiemetic to try and counteract whatever they've given you so we can at least get some water in to you." Janet said, rummaging through her bag. A hand over her own stopped her search momentarily.
"I was also warned about cheating. You can't bolster me artificially. They claim they'll know."
Janet looked at Daniel for a few moments and then threw up her hands. "What have they let me come here for then?" She demanded, appalled at the prospect of being close to an ailing Daniel and not allowed to help him.
"So far as I can tell, you're allowed to treat my wounds and stop infection, stuff like that." Daniel shrugged but winced with the motion. He had risen onto an elbow when Janet had first entered the room, but now lowered himself down onto his back.
"How long will they test you?" Janet asked, disgusted with the whole situation and not afraid for that feeling to bleed into her tone.
"Don't know." Daniel said, dropping an arm over his eyes carefully, so as to block out the dim light of the room without putting too much pressure on his bruised face.
"If you've been sick, you'll already be dehydrated. Another day and you'll be in a lot of trouble."
Daniel reached out blindly and found Janet's wrist. He circled his fingers around it and squeezed gently. "Just help me survive this." Daniel said, a note of resignation in his voice.
"We should just go, tell them we're not interested in trading." Janet said.
"Too late for that." Daniel's voice was soft, on the edge of sleep. "They said if I try to bow out before the completion of my tasks, my people would be forfeit."
The hand that had been holding her wrist slackened but Janet raised her opposite hand and closed it over Daniel's, keeping the contact.
"The not good kind of bad." Janet and Jack had been having the same conversation for the last ten minutes and Sam looked about ready to knock their heads together. Jack opened his mouth, probably to try and wheedle more specific information out of Janet but Sam interjected.
"Sir, we need to formulate a backup plan," she said, knowing that it was the inaction that was driving Jack most insane. They'd now been cooling their heels for twelve hours without any further indication of what trials Daniel was supposed to face and Janet's concern had moved up a level to deep worry. Daniel was showing signs of lethargy and muddled thinking and she knew if they didn't get any food or water in to him soon he would decline rapidly.
She had been allowed in to see him only an hour before and had tried to get a little fluid into him with slow sips of water but Daniel had brought it back up almost immediately. She'd thought about rigging a field drip to introduce fluids that way but had been politely discouraged when she was caught preparing it. Her bags had been searched and she'd been relieved of everything but the very basics.
"We have no weapons and DanielJackson is surrounded by guards at all times." Teal'c said, his frustration radiating off him in palpable waves.
"Damned if we do, damned if we don't." Jack growled, kicking a boot into the nearest wall.
"They can't just let him die, can they?" Sam asked. She had never felt so powerless to arrest something terrible from happening.
"I wouldn't think so, but who the hell knows? Maybe the test is that they see if we'll just sit on our hands and watch him suffer until he kicks." Jack's fists were clenched and Janet recognized that he was just aching to hit someone or something. "If only he hadn't spoken up in the first place."
"Don't you start blaming Daniel," Janet snapped, not quite knowing where the acid in her tone had come from. Jack looked at her, scrubbing a hand through his hair.
He looked exhausted.
"For cryin' out loud, I'm not blaming Daniel," he sighed, dropping down onto a wooden bench. "We just need to get him out of here."
It scared Janet how defeated Jack sounded. She glanced across the room and could see Sam was thinking the same thing.
"Not much longer." None had heard Hirul enter the room, but he looked around at the small huddled group with a small, satisfied smile playing across his lips.
Janet saw Jack's whole body tense and knew it was taking every inch of control in his whole being not to launch himself at the smug little man.
"Unless you release him or allow him at least to drink and eat, he's not going to last much longer." Janet snapped, stepping in front of Hirul, as much to stamp her authority on the situation as to be an obstacle to Jack giving in to temptation.
"In two hours he will be taken to the arena. There he will solve a simple puzzle and the best a fighter of our choosing. If he succeeds at both tasks then we will enter into trade negotiations."
"He's not exactly at his fighting best." Jack said, rising. Janet was more concerned about the mental component of the task, knowing that Daniel in his current state would have trouble focusing on walking in a straight line, let alone higher brain function.
"Our people always indulge in a cleansing ritual before undertaking tasks of great import. If your leader is strong of body and mind then he will prevail."
"Send someone when it's time." Jack said, knowing that the urge to throttle Hirul could not be ignored forever.
"As you desire," he said and then turned to Janet.
"You can now tend him however you wish to prepare him." Hirul said. He glanced towards the doorway and an attendant moved forward, holding out the supplies Janet had been relieved of.
Daniel was understandably shy about accepting any fluids and batted pathetically at Janet when she held a cup to his lips. She smacked his flailing hands away and set the cup aside. She then took Daniel's face in both hands and held him steady, eye to eye.
"Water won't cut it now so I have to give you this oral rehydration solution. It might taste a bit funny but it's got everything you've lost. They said I could treat you how I wished so I'm assuming it's safe to give you something."
"I don't want to be sick… hurts." Daniel croaked.
"You have to trust me. You asked me to help you through this and I'm going to. We're all going home soon." Janet saw Daniel's eyes search hers for a second before he finally relaxed. She brought the cup back to his lips and he took a tiny, experimental sip. He pulled away for a few moments and she let him, watching him wait to bring the fluid back up and the slow relief that flooded his face when he didn't. He reached for the cup himself but Janet held it away from him, glancing pointedly at the way his hands trembled.
He sighed and submitted to her ministrations.
Janet changed the bandaging on his ribs, checking again that nothing was broken but it seemed to only be a bad bruising. She washed the scrapes and bruises on his arms and legs with disinfectant and then after about twenty minutes when she was sure he was no longer going to bring anything up, got him to swallow a couple of painkillers. He needed to be lucid and alert so the painkillers were not as strong as she would have liked, but Daniel seemed to understand and took the capsules mutely.
When she had done all she could with the limited supplies, she allowed Daniel to lie back down. He pulled on Janet's hand until she lowered herself onto the makeshift bed beside him and then curled into her side, dropping his head onto her lap. She carded her hand through his hair and then walked her fingers over his temple, concerned by how cool and moist he felt.
Janet leant over Daniel, who had fallen into an immediate but fitful sleep, and looked at a large gash on his arm that had concerned her. The skin around it looked angry and red and was peeling. She placed fingers against his throat and counted the thready beats under her fingertips. Daniel's heart rate was definitely up and Janet knew that they didn't have much time.
Jack appeared in the doorway again, a questioning look on his face. "They said about ten more minutes." He said, but noticed Janet's wan expression. "What now?" He asked.
"I can't be sure, but I think Daniel may be in the early stages of toxic shock." She said. Jack raised eyebrows, a silent request for her to elaborate. Janet rubbed her temple and then looked back at him, fingers still entwined through Daniel's hair.
"Within 48 hours of infection there's usually fever, dizziness, confusion and difficulty breathing. Daniel's heart rate is definitely up and if I'm right, pretty soon his blood pressure is going to plummet." Janet explained. Her hand drifted down to the cut on Daniel's arm and she traced it with light fingertips.
"So, fighting and puzzle solving probably not the best idea." Jack said, his tone light but his eyes troubled.
"I don't even know if he can." Janet said.
Janet was further surprised when Daniel made it out of the multi- roomed lodge they had been sequestered in on his own steam, shrugging off both Teal'c's and Sam's attempts to assist him. He looked pale and shaky, but resolute.
An area in the middle of the village had been cleared and a large square etched into the earth. It looked like the whole village had turned out to watch the spectacle and Jack eyed all that dared glance his way. Most dropped their gaze, disturbed by what was promised in Jack's.
Janet had been allowed to escort Daniel to a small curtained off area beside the square and once they were out of public view, Daniel let himself be helped to sit down. "I feel like shit," he grumbled and Janet knew that he was probably understating matters.
"Maybe there's a way we can-"
"There's no way out of this." Daniel cut her off, taking Janet's hands with his own. They felt clammy but she didn't pull away, instead grasping them more firmly and raising them to press just under her throat, perhaps in a small way trying to transfer some of her own warmth into him.
"I never realized…" Daniel ducked his head, trying to catch Janet's gaze when she had lowered her face.
"What?" He prompted.
"How much it would hurt to lose you." Janet said in a rush, feeling that right then was one of those `now or never' moments in her life. Usually she went for the `never' option and wasn't exactly sure what had prompted her to forgo her usual reticence. She looked up into blue eyes that were filled with warmth and concern despite Daniel's own pain and thought, oh yeah, that's why.
"Still here." Daniel brought one of his hands back towards himself, still with Janet's own curled in it and with their entwined fingers he thumped his chest.
"Not now… before." She clarified.
"Oooh. I guess I just don't like to think about it. It's still patchy." Daniel looked towards the slight opening in the curtained off area and could see through the parted fabric someone approaching. "I'm feeling a little muzzy headed," he said, his brow knitting in concern. "I thought I would be feeling better."
"You will." Janet promised, knowing that to tell him of her concerns was moot at that point. "Just be careful."
Daniel stood a little shakily but then leant down and pressed cool lips against Janet's brow. Gooseflesh broke out where he had made contact and Janet shivered.
"We get to finish this conversation later, okay?" He said, something unreadable in his eyes and Janet smiled bravely.
"It's a date."
The first task, the puzzle, Daniel was presented with two sandglasses. He was told to measure accurately nine minutes although the first sandglass was four minutes and the second seven. Daniel scratched his head for a second before starting.
"Okay, so maybe it was a good thing they picked Daniel." Jack allowed, knowing he would have had no chance.
Daniel turned both sand glasses over at the same time and then the smaller over again when it ran out. Jack lost track of what he was doing after that and felt a headache coming on just thinking about it. After a number of times Daniel stepped back and looked expectantly up at the watching crowd and Huril, who nodded stiffly.
There was a curtained off section on the other side of the square and out of it emerged a man who had attached a long chain a large, ugly looking shaggy creature that looked like a cross between a bear and a saber tooth tiger. Jack surged to his feet when Daniel paled at the sight.
"What the hell is going on?" Jack demanded, struggling against the men who had appeared by his side as if by magic. He stilled though when he looked behind himself and for a second Janet was confused, until she felt a slight brush at her throat that felt like a cobweb. A slim youth was by her side holding an equally thin but wicked looking blade to Janet's pulse point. She could feel its presence with every thump of her heart.
Sam and Teal'c, who had looked ready to join in with Jack's vigorous protests, both froze as he had.
"I suspected the small healer would be the best way to remind you of what is at stake here." Huril said, his tone satisfied. "You will abide by our ways until such time as we release you. That includes combat of our choosing."
"It's fine." Daniel grated, totally forgetting the slavering beast behind him, now riveted on the threat to Janet. "Let's finish this."
There was the sound of a chain being released and then the creature was running full tilt at Daniel. Despite the threat to Janet, Jack still automatically surged forward and was kicked in the back of the knee for his trouble. He went painfully down and one of the men that had been holding him lowered an arm onto the back of his neck, forcibly holding Jack's face against the ground.
Daniel tried to sidestep the creature but as lightheaded as he had become, his feet tangled and he received a glancing blow on the creature's way past. Daniel reeled, knowing if he went down he would be barring his most vulnerable spot to the creature, his throat. He knew he had to keep his feet.
The creature rounded, ignoring the watching crowd. It was a thing of almost dark beauty, long black coat and pointed snout. It opened its jaws wide as it made another pass and needle sharp teeth snagged in the back of Daniel's shirt, narrowly missing the vulnerable flesh beneath.
The creature slowed, shaking it's head, the material caught in its jaws. Daniel centered himself, spacing out his feet and watching as the creature gave up the attempt to remove his shirt from its mouth and charged.
At the last moment, Daniel sidestepped again, more successfully this time, but also reached for the shirt that was snagged in the creature's jaws. He snapped it taught with an elbow and there was a sickening yelp. Daniel saw there was blood on the shirt and knew he must have pulled some of the creature's teeth free. So agonized, the creature blindly charged at it's own keeper who took off, trailed closely by the howling beast.
Daniel sank to his knees gratefully.
"They let you go after that?" Hammond asked, incredulous. Jack shrugged, not really listening to the General, more intent on the pale figure in the infirmary bed.
"They actually believed that we were going to send a delegation through to organize trade after what happened."
"I'm locking the address out of our dialing computer." Hammond said gruffly.
"Good to know." Jack nodded. He watched as Janet Frasier moved about Daniel's bed, all cool efficiency. She noticed both the General and Jack in the doorway and came over, tucking her stethoscope into her coat pocket.
"He's on broad spectrum antibiotics and is getting medication intravenously to stabilize his blood pressure. We were able to get him back before his liver and kidneys were affected so I think the antibiotics will be enough to stabilize him. He'll need to stay here for a couple of days."
"Understood. Thanks Doc." General Hammond said, finally letting Jack retreat to his favorite spot, the chair by Daniel's bedside.
Hours later, Janet had had to chase Jack, Sam and Teal'c out of the infirmary with the promise that she would get them if there were any change. She knew none of them would be leaving the mountain that night and suspected that Jack would probably sneak back into the infirmary in a few hours time anyway. She often found him asleep in one of the uncomfortable infirmary chairs the morning after but had never been able to catch him coming back in.
She wondered again if she should handle to care of the SGC's flagship team over to another Doctor as Doctor Arnor gave her a questioning look. She'd been off now for about four hours but she was as likely to leave the mountain and any of the others.
Janet was checking Daniel's drip for the fifth time that night when she felt a gentle hand on her arm. She looked down and tired blue eyes regarded her. "Did I just fight a big panther, or was that a dream?"
Janet grinned. "I'm afraid that was real." She said, dropping a hand onto Daniel's shoulder and squeezing gently.
"Huh. Thought it was a little bizarre to be real, but there you go. I guess I've got a better story than Jack's one about the mashed potatoes and his old drill sergeant." Janet raised a questioning eyebrow and Daniel smiled weakly. "You need Jack, a lot of beer and a good four hours to hear that one." He amended and Janet nodded.
She smoothed hands over his blankets and turned to head back into her office but fingers brushing her hand stopped her. "You're not going are you?" Daniel asked.
"No, I'm going to be here as long as you are." Janet said.
Daniel sighed, a contented sound that warmed her, his eyes already sliding closed.
"Good. We're supposed to have a conversation." He said.
Janet watched Daniel drift in to sleep, reassured that he was safe and whole. Before she left the infirmary to go to her office, she pulled up a chair by his bedside, knowing she would find Jack there in the morning.
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