Title: Holiday Mayhem
Author: Julie Petersen
Spoilers: Post Chimera
Summary: Daniel forgets Janet's birthday party; can he find a way to make it up to her?
Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with Stargate and anything affiliated with Stargate is not owned by me.
AN: This is my response to Meg's November Challenge. For details of the challenge, go to the Challenge Archive.
I'd like to thank Red and Misty for their help and support, Red for giving me ideas for the end and Misty for her continual support in finishing this fic(though I think she just wants me to move on with "The Legend of the Akakami).
All Janet wanted to do was go home and curl up in bed. The day had been so hectic and so emotion filled that Janet couldn't take any more. The extraction of Osiris and subsequent salvation of Sarah had filled her with a myriad of emotions that she couldn't identify or separate and nor did she care to at the moment.
If she really wanted to dissect her emotions, she'd figure out that the root of all this lay with Daniel, but that was not a conclusion she wanted to come to at that time. She just wanted to forget him and Sarah and everything for one night.
She had just walked away from seeing Daniel pull Sarah into a gentle, tender hug and the sight unsettled her. She wanted him to hold her like that, to stroke her hair like that, to tell her that everything was going to be ok like that. God, she had wanted all that for so long, it was a punch to the gut to see someone else receiving it, someone whose body had been used to do terrible things.
It wasn't that she didn't feel for Sarah. Having your body taken hostage by an alien being and used to do whatever it wanted must have felt so violating. But it didn't stop the surge of jealously from racing through Janet.
Retreating to the comfort of her office, Janet sank gratefully into her desk chair, the plushy surface giving so invitingly. She leaned back and absently rubbed away the tension in her neck. What she wouldn't have given for a professional masseuse right at that moment.
`I guess this whole situation is more disappointing than anything else,' Janet mused as her eyes slid shut. Over the past several weeks, since the whole Lifeboat incident, she and Daniel had been getting closer, spending more time together outside of the infirmary. She made extra visits to his office just to say hi; he stopped by hers for the same reason; and they usually ate lunch together, often spending far more time than necessary lingering over poor quality food and awful coffee.
Janet felt they had established a real connection and it had been a long time since she had felt so close to a man...which was why the events of the past few days had been particularly gut-wrenching.
Unknowing to the cause in the beginning, Janet was wounded as Daniel started pulling away, avoiding her gaze, and acting like the past several weeks hadn't happened. And then, once she found out what was happening and was told what type of dreams he was having, of a woman who he had once been enamored with, disappointment took up a permanent residence in the pit of Janet's stomach.
She hid herself behind medical professionalism and no one was the wiser. And now with her birthday and Thanksgiving coming up, Janet felt less like celebrating either than ever.
Tears of disappointment welled up in her eyes and she blinked them away, refusing to cry over having her hopes let down. She turned her gaze to the pile of paperwork on her desk. Yes, paperwork was good...paperwork was a distraction and a most welcome distraction at that.
Sarah gave a sigh of relief through her tears as Daniel's arms wrapped around her, gathering her in a strong, comforting embrace. She valiantly tried to push images of what she had done while Osiris had control of her body out of her head and concentrated instead on the feel of Daniel's arms around her.
It had been so long since he had held her and Sarah found that she had missed the sensation. It didn't hurt that the Daniel holding her was a Daniel she had always wanted to see: still just as smart and gentle, but with a strength and confidence he had always lacked when they were together.
She allowed a small, teary smile to grace her lips as he whispered comforting words to her, his hand stroking her hair with a gentleness that alone would have made her cry. She breathed in his clean, masculine scent and foolishly entertained the notion of their relationship being restored.
Eventually, her tears stopped for the moment, and she pulled away, looking up at him with a grateful smile.
"Thank you," she breathed. Daniel smiled back, his smile open and gentle.
"It's no problem. Believe it or not, I somewhat understand what you've been through."
"You deal with things like this all the time?" Sarah asked, her voice quiet. Daniel nodded.
"Yes, and more," he said. Sarah looked into his eyes and saw a wisdom and strength that made him seem older and incredibly sexy. Unable to stop herself, she leaned forward and pressed her lips against his. Daniel froze and gently placed his hands on her shoulders, pushing her away.
Her eyes flashed with disappointment and Daniel couldn't help an inward smile at the irony of the situation. They were silent and Sarah searched his eyes for any sign of reciprocation, but found none.
"I'm sorry," she said.
"It's all right," Daniel responded, "You've been through a lot and it's only natural you're a little confused. But I haven't felt like that for you for a long time, Sarah." Though his tone was gentle, the words still stung and Sarah struggled to keep the disappointment off her features.
"Could you still accompany me back to Chicago? I don't know how to face my family and friends after so long. I could use the friendly support." Daniel smiled gently and gave her shoulders a gentle squeeze.
Daniel gave a sigh of relief as he left the infirmary and headed for the solitude of his office. He was tired, so tired and all he wanted to do was sleep forever. Happy that the situation with Osiris had been resolved and Sarah had been saved, he entered his office with a lightness in his heart that he hadn't felt in quite sometime.
Something definitive, tangible had finally been accomplished. Another Goa'uld had been taken care of and the universe was slightly safer than it had been only 24 hours before. Daniel entered his office and flicked on the light, heading straight for his couch instead of his desk.
He lay down and closed his eyes, his mind going over what had to be done over the next few days. He had to take Sarah back to Chicago and help her get settled back in.
He was sure General Hammond would give him the time off to help Sarah. She had, after all, just been rescued after being the host of a Goa'uld for the past 3 years, and it would take some time for her to readjust to life on Earth. He would just be there for a few days to help her get on her way.
Happy with his plans and shaking away the feeling there was something he was forgetting, he allowed himself to drift off into the land of unconsciousness.
-2 days later-
Sam inspected her appearance in the mirror as she put the final touches on her makeup. It wasn't often she had the chance to dress up, so she enjoyed it whenever the opportunity arose. Her knee length black skirt and light blue sweater were dressy without being too so, perfect for a birthday party.
Janet's birthday party was being held before her actual birthday, due to the fact that her birthday was on Thanksgiving and she would be at her parents' house with Cassie this year. Janet knew that SG- 1 was to have dinner with her and Cassie at O'Malley's that evening; what she didn't know was that a large portion of the rest of the SGC would be joining them as well.
Sam, Daniel, and Jack had spend the last couple of weeks planning Janet's semi-surprise party, inviting members of the SGC, reserving the majority of O'Malley's, and the like. Sam smiled; Janet was going to love it.
A quick glance at the clock told Sam it was time for her get a move on it. After one last glance in the mirror, Sam grabbed her purse and rushed out the door. She climbed into her car and drove off towards Daniel's place. They had agreed a few days ago that she would pick him up and take him home, the official reason being that he was a lightweight when it came to alcohol and would most likely not be able to drive at the end of the evening.
Sam, however, knew there was an unspoken reason. Sam knew Daniel had strong feelings for Janet and knew that if events of this night went the way she thought they would, Daniel wouldn't be leaving in Sam's car. Sam had to smile widely at the thought. Almost nothing would make her happier than seeing two of her best friends together and happy.
Janet had confessed to Sam months ago of her feelings for Daniel and, in response, Sam had subtly been getting confirmation from Daniel of his own feelings for the petite doctor with off-handed comments and questions about Janet. His responses had spoken volumes to Sam and she knew both Daniel and Janet harbored the same feelings for each other.
With positive thoughts floating through her mind, Sam pulled up in front of Daniel's house and got out of the car. Folding her arms over her chest to maximize her body heat in the evening chill, Sam walked up to the front door, her heels clacking on the ground, and grew confused at the darkness she could see through the windows. A quick glance at the driveway showed Sam that his car wasn't there and her confusion grew even more.
She rang the doorbell and waited for several moments for Daniel to answer the door. When no response came, Sam came to the quick conclusion that Daniel must have gone ahead of her and forgot to tell her.
Shrugging her shoulders in acceptance, Sam went back to her car and drove off towards O'Malley's. Arriving there not too long later, Sam found a parking spot and headed inside to where everyone else was waiting.
She scanned the large crowd of friends and colleagues for a sign of Daniel's presence and frowned when there was no sight of the SGC's resident archaeologist. Spotting Jack and Teal'c, she walked over to them, a confused look on her face.
"Good evening, Carter," Jack spoke as Teal'c gave her his usual solemn nod, "Everything ok?"
"Have either of you seen Daniel?" she asked. Jack's brow furrowed.
"Wasn't he supposed to come with you?" Jack asked.
"Yes, sir, he was," Sam said with a sigh, "But when I went to his house, his car wasn't there and his lights were off."
"Maybe Daniel Jackson decided to come of his own accord," Teal'c said. Sam looked over at him with a doubtful expression.
"But why didn't he tell me?" Sam said, "Something strange is going on." Jack threw Sam a look.
"Carter, I'm sure Daniel will show up. He's been looking forward to the Doc's party all week. Why wouldn't he show?" Comforted by Jack's words, Sam allowed a small smile to grace her lips.
"You're right," she said, a bit more confidence in her voice.
"Of course I'm right," Jack said. Sam then excused herself to circulate around the room, saying hello to various friends and colleagues, before delegating herself as lookout for Janet's car.
Not too long later, she saw Janet's car pull into the parking lot and used her loudest voice possible to silent the room, a nagging voice in the back of her mind reminding her that Daniel hadn't arrived yet. Everyone quieted, waiting with bated breath for the guest of honor to walk through the door.
Seconds later, Cassie bounded through the door, Janet following right behind her.
"Surprise!" came the cry throughout the room at the sight of Janet. She started, her hand flying to her chest and pressing over her heart as she tried to calm herself. A wide smile of true surprise spread over her face and Sam knew they had done right in planning this party for her. Beside her, Jack and Teal'c had pressed through the crowd to greet Janet.
"Did you guys do all this?" she asked, slightly breathless. Sam smiled and nodded as she moved to hug the smaller woman.
"Yep, all for you," Jack said as he hugged Janet.
"Ooh, you guys didn't have to," Janet said excitedly as she turned to hug Teal'c, who wrapped his arms slowly around Janet as he returned the hug.
"Yes, we did," Sam said gently. Janet pulled away from Teal'c and smiled at Sam with a thankful smile. At that moment, Janet suddenly realized that someone was missing.
"Where's Daniel?" Janet asked, "I thought he was coming for dinner." There was no mistaking the disappointment in Janet's voice and Sam could literally feel Janet's excitement wane.
"Maybe he's late," Sam said, trying to keep a cheerful tone, but was inwardly just as disappointed. Daniel had been so looking forward to Janet's party; why wasn't he there? And where was he? Sam decided she was going to have a big talking-to with Daniel when she next saw him.
She watched as Janet circulated the room, greeting everyone who cared about her enough to show up and celebrate her birthday with her. It was obvious that she was disappointed that a certain archaeologist was absent and Sam couldn't blame her.
From out of the corner of her eye, she saw Cassie approach and turned to greet the young woman.
"Hi, Sam," Cassie said with a small smile on her face.
"Hey, Cassie," Sam said, "So, you like what we did for the party?" Cassie's smile widened.
"Yes, and mom loves it, I can tell. But..." she trailed off, looking uncertainly and worriedly at Janet.
"What is it, Cassie?" Sam asked.
"Where's Daniel?" the young woman finished, "He was supposed to be here. Mom was looking forward to seeing him here. He promised he would be here, Sam." Sam laid a comforting hand on Cassie's shoulder.
"I'm sure he'll show," Sam said, though a small niggling hint of doubt pressed uncomfortably in the pit of her stomach. Cassie gave a resolute nod at Sam's words.
"Yes, he will. He's never broken his promise before," Cassie said, "At least not for something like this."
As the evening wore on, Daniel didn't show and Janet continued to get more disappointed and more withdrawn from the crowd of people around her.
Sam frowned worriedly at Janet, anger bubbling inside her at Daniel's absence. He hadn't called or anything; he just hadn't shown up, which was so unlike him.
From beside her, Jack was also worried about Janet. He couldn't believe Daniel wasn't there after everything he had done to help set up and coordinate the party. It was so unlike him that Jack knew something was up and that it wasn't good.
A glance over at Sam showed the same worry and, from their seat around a large table, Jack turned to her.
"Carter, care to dance?" Jack asked, jerking his head in the direction of the dozen or so couples on the dance floor. Sam, though flattered by his offer, knew he needed to talk to her.
"I'd love to, sir," she said as they both got up, leaving Janet, Cassie, and Teal'c at the table. Once on the dance floor, Jack wasted no time.
"Where is he, Carter?" Jack asked. Sam frowned.
"I have no idea. I can't believe he would forget, though."
"Yeah, me neither," Jack mused, "Call him in a couple of minutes." Sam nodded.
"Just as long as you ask Janet to dance. She needs someone to pay special attention to her. God, I could just kill Daniel right now. He was looking forward to this party. He even told me he had something special planned for Janet." Jack nodded.
"Yeah, I heard that, too," Jack said, "I was hoping something would happen between them." Sam looked surprised at Jack's words.
"You, sir?" Sam asked, the corners of her lips turning upward in a smirk. Jack looked affronted.
"Hey, I can't wish my friends to be happy? Give me a break, Carter." They danced for the next couple minutes until the song ended, chatting lightly about various things. Once the song ended, they separated.
Sam went and grabbed her cell phone from her purse before going outside as Jack went over to Janet to ask her to dance. Sam stepped out into the cold November air and shivered as she called Daniel's phone.
As she waited for him to pick up, she realized that she was really angry at Daniel and she really wanted to know why he hadn't shown up. Wrapping an arm around her torso, she struggled to keep warm in the evening air as she waited to hear Daniel's voice.
On to Part 2