The sirens woke Adrienne violently, so much so that she knocked her stack of books onto the floor, the crash jolting her into reality for the second time. She’d heard base wide sirens before, however, these were sirens she had yet experience, but she knew the sound, Daniel had explained the difference. They were intruder sirens; someone must have infiltrated the base. Leaping from her bed as the recognition set in, Adrienne grabbed her staff weapon, Eric, racing out into the hallway.
“AdrienneRowan,” Teal’c shouted for her as she exited her room, the voice loud and booming behind her. Halting, Adrienne glanced behind herself to see that he was running from his quarters as well, a few doors down, and was shirtless, wearing loose yoga type pants and barefoot, so he must have been deep into a mediation, since although he told her he slept post-symbiote, it was only meditation that continued to fuel him, physically required or not.
“Are you well?” he inquired, his expression appearing as confused as Adrienne felt, scanning the hall as doors began to open all around them, personnel stepping out, looking around while the sirens raged on.
“Yeah T, ca va bien, what in da hell is goin’ on?” Adrienne asked, her accent thick and uncovered at this hour.
It was then they heard the screams coming from the furthest end of the hall and saw Vala stumble from her room, rubbing her eyes in confusion when the screams intensified. With a sharp pang of fear, Adrienne realized where the screams were coming from, sheer horror racketing through her body. She wasn’t a sprinter, but she ran faster than she ever had before in her life in the direction of her best friend’s room, in the direction of the love of her life, moving personnel out of her way with Eric as she ran.
“Addy!” she heard someone shouting behind her, “you don’t know who’s in there.” But she didn’t care, letting her weapon drop casually behind her stride as she pushed the button to activate the head, intent on blasting away whoever this who could be. Stopping short at the door, she discovered it was locked, no forced entry, and coded herself in frantically, DAJ1965, slamming the portal open and rushing into the darkness as the screams grew even louder.
“No, leave me alone, NOOOOO!!” and she could make out his outline, and his alone on the bed in the corner, as he was pushing himself backwards against the wall. Her eyes into overdrive, she searched the room for the intruder, ready to make them Jaffa BBQ, but there was no one there, just Daniel, screaming, lashing out into the air, his face panicked and terrified. She ran over to him, tossing her staff weapon aside, as Teal’c and Vala burst into the room behind her, guns pointing around them in search of the intruder, the others who had been awakened to the alarm staying at the door.
“Clear,” she heard Vala declare behind her, a fact she already ascertained but remained silent. Reaching out her hands, she approached him, slowly, unsure whether or not he had a weapon on or near him.
“Indy,” she stepped closer, “it’s me. Der’s no one ‘ear.”
“Leave me alone, go away!” he screamed and took a swing at her, his right fist flying toward her face. There was a crash of metal on tile, as Eric bounced on the floor, seconds before Adrienne’s left arm flew through the air, catching his advancing attack, pinning him against the wall, her right elbow to his throat, gently but forcefully before she brought her face close to his.
“Daniel, it’s me, it’s Adrienne. Der’s NO ONE ‘ere,” she pleaded a second time, but he kept thrashing wildly and trying to scream, his eyes tightly shut. Pushing her arm more intensely to his throat to subdue him the screaming subsided, leaving him desperately gasping for breath, the lack of oxygen slowing his movements. She was afraid to hurt him as she watched the life escape from his body and held on, equally as afraid of him hurting himself or someone else.
“DANIEL - CUT IT OUT!!!” she shouted directly in his face and suddenly he relaxed, no longer fighting, his arms falling to his side. Assured that he was calming down, she let herself back up a bit but Daniel didn’t did say a word, didn’t move back at her, he just melted forward into her shaking violently, his head buried deep into his hands. There was a flash of brightness as Teal’c clicked on the light, the world of the nightmare dissipating around them.
Adrienne looked around the room as Teal’c and Vala continued to investigate, holding tightly to a trembling Daniel in her arms. His gray undershirt was soaked with sweat and he had kicked all of the blankets and his pillow onto the floor but she couldn’t see his face, his hands having moved from his cheeks to her thighs, grasping tensely at her yoga pants, his face buried between her knees.
“DanielJackson, there is no intruder in your quarters,” Teal’c said as he approached the bed.
“Daniel,” Vala continued, “it’s all clear. What in the hell is wrong with you?”
“Leave,” he ordered them from Adrienne’s lap, his voice shaking as he continued to tremble. Running her hand down his back softly, Adrienne to calm him as she could hear him mumbling and swearing, demanding that they leave, leave him alone.There was commotion at the door, orders being shouted, so she glanced up but didn’t move her hand, instead leaning forward, holding onto him like she was afraid to let go. The gawkers moved aside at the strong feminine voice as Dr. Lam that entered the room, cautiously approaching the bed.
“Dr. Jackson, it looks like one of your episodes, let me give you a sedative...” she started in, reasoning with him, talking about some kind of episodes much to Adrienne’s confusion. What episodes, Daniel had never mentioned episodes, never mentioned anything like this. There was motion in her lap and she was finally able to see his face, bloodshot eyes hovering above deep dark circles, sweat glistening down his brow accenting the rage on his face.
“LEAVE ME ALONE AND GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!” he screamed, so loud it hurt Adrienne to be so close but she couldn’t escape him; she was too afraid to move. His face now as red as his eyes, the large blood vessel in his neck bulging Daniel was practically convulsing in her arms as he glared viciously at the doctor. Noting the entrance of two large orderlies, Adrienne began to stand and back away, hoping the they would come hold him so the doc could sedate him, but he held onto her tightly, his hands crawling up her leg to grab hers, squeezing her fingers tightly.
“Dr. Jackson, it’s going to be alright, just let go of Dr. Rowan and we can calm you right down,” Dr. Lam requested, remaining calm and professional, like always. She wasn’t afraid for herself, but appeared to be quite worried about what he might do to Adrienne, shooting looks of concern at the cajun woman that normally would have made Adrienne feel like maybe she didn’t hate her so much were it not for the fact that Daniel was completely falling to pieces right in front of her.
“NO!!! You can’t fix this with GODDAM DRUGS!! JUST LEAVE!!” he answered, his voice cracking slightly at the end before collapsing back into his assistant’s arms, reaching this time for her hips, holding onto her for dear life. Taking a breath as she scanned the room, at least a dozen people bearing witness to this disaster in the middle of the night, Adrienne reached down this time and began to smooth his hair, not caring what anyone thought of that particular gesture, bringing her lips to his ear.
“Shug, you’re scaring everyone, can ya least calm down fa me?” she whispered quietly.
“Make them leave,” he told her through gritted teeth, his head shaking on her legs.
“Ok, ok,” Adrienne replied, glancing back at their growing audience, a good twenty or so people now, all staring at them with wide eyes and gaping mouths, “Shah, all ya, it’s ok, I gaht ‘em.”
“Dr. Rowan, I know you two are close, but you weren’t here when these, incidents, began. I need to examine him or at least give him a sedative until the morning.” Dr. Lam now looked more like herself, giving Adrienne the grumpy look, the concern from earlier vanished.
“Put it ova dare,” she indicated to the desk across the room, “I can give it to ‘em when I git ‘em calm.”
“It’s best if I give it, just to make sure.” Dr. Lam was beginning to argue, but Adrienne could sense that she had already won, the handsome stoic woman faltering in her words and her approach. Clearing her throat, trying to control her words and accent a bit better so that her position was clear, Adrienne smiled softly, caressing his back softly as she peered back up at the physician.
“Where do I stick it? In his arm, like a vitamin shot? I think I can handle that.” Adrienne assured her, knowing since Carolyn signed off of her prescriptions for the B-vitamin shots anyway, she couldn’t argue that Adrienne didn’t know what to do.
“Yes, like a vitamin shot,” the doctor answered and walked over to Adrienne handing her a radio, letting out a sigh, “Here, I’ll be on call for the rest of the night, then Carson takes over at 8. But Adrienne, if he gets violent again....”
“I’ll call, I promise. Just go. Everyone go,” Adrienne ordered, using her head to point the way out since she still did not have use of her right hand, Daniel clasping that one tightly, while her left was still rubbing his back.
“AdrienneRowan?” Teal’c asked, worried about leaving her alone with Daniel in this state. She might get hurt, not because she couldn’t handle herself, but because she wouldn’t want to hurt him in order to defend herself.
“I promise Teal’c, go back to bed,” she answered. With the tall warrior leading the way, everyone filed out slowly, whispering and peeking back over their shoulders. Adrienne could just imagine the nonsense and gossip that would be around the base come morning: Dr. Jackson’s gone crazy, Dr. Jackson killed his assistant, Dr. Jackson’s assistant was rubbing all over him to calm him down, but at the moment she pushed the thought aside. Vala was the last to leave, looking back at Adrienne with concern before she closed the door, unsure if she was leaving her friend in a safe situation. Adrienne nodded yes and shaking her head, Vala shut the door behind her.
“They’re gone Daniel. What happened?” Adrienne leaned over again to his ear, still speaking in a whisper.
“There was someone in here,” he answered as he began to sit up, not letting go of her arms.
“No, there wasn’t. Vala and Teal’c gave it the all clear, I looked around myself. Dr. Lam says this is one of your episodes,” Adrienne said, her last statement more of a question than anything.
“I DON’T HAVE EPISODES!!” he let go of her arms, screaming at her but she didn’t flinch, slapping him across the face in warning.
“Get a grip, or I’m outta ‘ere,” she threatened, her accent slipping in again as he held his face in shock. He didn’t answer, just crumpled forward again, resting his head into his hands. Slipping away from him, the realization that they were alone in his room as he lay in her arms finally setting in, Adrienne sat back toward the foot of the bed, giving him some space and herself time to calm down.
“Who was here?” she asked, giving him the benefit of the doubt.
“I don’t know who they are, but they keep coming back whenever I’m alone,” he admitted and his statement scared Adrienne; it sounded as if he was having schizophrenic visions. The worry trickling back in, she glanced over to the desk where Dr. Lam had left the sedative, trying to judge how long it would take her to get there should he flip out a third time.
“I’m not insane,” he said to her, apparently catching her peek and he sat up in the bed, inching himself back against the wall, “I don’t know who they are. But they wait until I’m alone.” Shaking her head and trying not to think about the injection only a few feet away, Adrienne moved over to beside him, joining him in leaning against the cool concrete wall to let him explain.
“Do they want to hurt you?” she asked.
“I don’t know, but I get the feeling that they want something,” he answered, turning his head to look her deep in her comforting eyes, “Ad, I haven’t slept in three days, but I couldn’t go any longer, so I tried to tonight.”
“Three days?!” she exclaimed, shaking her head in disbelief. She had noticed this week that he seemed very tired, so much so that she had brought her personal coffee maker to the lab, the one she had purchased after her last had disappeared, but her first thought was that he was coming down with a virus or something, not that he was choosing not to sleep.
“Yeah, about, but I decided tonight that I’d give it a try, that maybe I had been imagining things. And then they came,” Daniel said, his voice dropping as he looked back down to his hands resting on his knees. He had also considered going to Adrienne’s room, since she was staying on base this week as well, but he just couldn’t. Besides that fact that he was walking that fine line between being her best friend and being madly in love with her, if this threat was real, he wanted her to have no part of it; he didn’t want her to be in any danger.
“What do they say?” Adrienne inquired, curious.
“They don’t say anything. But I feel them, they want me to come with them, but I don’t know where. When they communicate with me, it’s like they’re inside of me,” he explained, continuing to glare downward. That sounded terrifying, but Adrienne was still skeptical, it seemed such a strange dream to have, and out of nowhere, they hadn’t been on any kind of mission with any real excitement in weeks and she was certain that nothing they had encountered in the lab would have caused this. Rising from the bed, Adrienne stood, bending down to pick up her staff weapon, and he looked at her in terror that she was going to leave, but she held up her hand and silently pointed at the light. She switched it off, setting “Eric” against the wall, counting her steps back over to the bed, crawling in with him carefully.
“I take it they won’t come if I’m here?” she asked, hesitantly. She hadn’t let them share a bed since she realized how she felt about him, at least not voluntarily, she wouldn’t have turned him away were he to show up, but it just didn’t seem right anymore. None of that mattered though, he needed her right now, and he needed her to not be thinking about him in that way, he needed the friend he had come to count on. She wasn’t really, she was scared for him, but her stomach was fluttering with nerves as she slipped herself in beside him.
“No, they won’t.” he answered, “I’ve been napping in the library on and off and they don’t come around even if the librarian is the only other person in the room.”
“Vala will be so jealous,” she joked, trying to ease the tension and her innards. She heard him laugh lightly and felt him begin to scoot toward her much to her surprise. Her heart raced, he was so close, this man that she loved. Hoping he didn’t hear her deep breath in, Adrienne reached down, grabbing the pillow from the floor and arranging the rest of the bed as best she could in the dark with. She pulled up a blanket over the two of them and wrapped her arms around him, holding him tightly in her arms all the while dying inside.
“Better?” she asked, hearing the shaking in her own voice.
“I hope so,” he answered quietly. She laid there awake until she was sure he was asleep, hoping he didn’t notice her tears, and let herself follow.
When she awoke the next morning it took a moment to remember the events of the nights before. Daniel hadn’t moved and was still sound asleep lying close to her. Slowly she pulled her arms from around him, inching away, when she realized that she had slept by the door, Daniel huddled to the safety of the inside. Forcing herself to focus, to stop thinking about her confusing relationship with that handsome man lying asleep beside her, she decided that she needed to go find Dr. Lam, Sam or someone to see what in the hell was really going on. She managed to escape and cover him back up gently, pausing for a moment to gently kiss his head stopping herself before she whispered “I love you,” into his ear. Remembering the radio on the nightstand Adrienne tiptoed over to his desk, feeling around for a piece of paper. By the dim light of his alarm clock she scribbled onto the scrap she had found,
Don’t freak. I can be back in moments. Just do an all call.
She tucked the note under the clip of the radio, walking over to the bed, leaning over and sliding it into his hand. Squeezing his shoulder one more time, she scurried out of the room in search of answers.
The first place she went was the infirmary. Lucky for her, Dr. Lam was still there, a quick glance at the clock indicating that it was only a few moments after eight.
“Hey Doc, here,” Adrienne greeted and handed her the needle from just a few hours before. Carolyn took the instrument and looked it over, peering back at Adrienne with scolding in her eyes.
“I thought you were going to give it to him?” she asked.
“I was, but once I let him talk he seemed to calm down,” Adrienne crossed her arms in front of her, planning to get down to business, “Now would you like to tell me what’s going on since apparently he hasn’t slept, intentionally, for three days and seems to think someone is after him,” Adrienne tried to be as polite as possible while expressing her frustration. One of the bravest and most wonderful men she had ever known had slept in her arms last night like a frightened animal for no visible reason with the SGC medical staff claiming something like this had happened before, something Adrienne have never been informed of. She wanted answers and she wanted them now.
“Shhh,” Dr. Lam put a finger to her lips and motioned to the office, where Adrienne could see Carson making himself a cup of coffee.
“Good morning ladies!” Dr. Carson Beckett greeted merrily as they entered the room, Carolyn excusing herself behind Adrienne to shut the door, “Coffee?”
“No thanks,” Dr. Lam answered as the knob clicked into place, “Carson, Daniel flipped out again last night.” Understanding what Adrienne apparently was not, Dr. Beckett made a sad face, shaking his head.
“I thought we had it licked. It’s been almost a year...” he replied, the happiness from his earlier greeting now gone.
“Over,” Dr. Lam countered, “In fact, once the Ori were gone for good the spells seemed to stop. But you should have seen him last night.”
“How bad?” Carson asked, setting down his cup as he walked over to the file cabinet, presumably to pull out Daniel’s rather extensive medical record.
“Bad enough where Adrienne had him in a choke hold to calm him down. Bad enough where somehow he set off the intruder alarm,” Dr. Lam explained.
“You alright lass?” Carson paused at the drawers, directing his attention to Adrienne.
“I’m fine; I can lick him when he is not spazzing out. But what are these episodes? Vala’s told me about nightmares, but episodes? It was more like a psychotic night terror,” Adrienne said, instantly regretting her word choice. Psychotic as he may have seemed or not, he was calm enough later, and she didn’t want to doctor to think otherwise.
“That’s essentially what they are. To be perfectly honest, we have no idea what really triggered it or what shut it off the last time,” Dr. Lam answered honestly.
“Well, he seems to think someone is after him or that someone is trying to take him away,” Adrienne added, Carson nodding immediately in understanding.
‘I know, the Ori or the other Priors, or that scary Adria woman,” he responded, but Adrienne was already shaking her head.
“No, he didn’t say anything about the Ori. He says he doesn’t know who or what these things are,” Adrienne corrected. The doubt apparent in her face, Dr. Lam shook her head, disregarding Adrienne’s presence in the room completely and looked at Carson.
“We have to call Sam. This is beyond the night terrors now, he could have hurt someone. Carson, this was far worse than last time, far worse; I’m afraid he is having a total psychological break,” Carolyn stated, Carson nodding in agreement. Granted, she had only been here a little over a year, but this was crazy. Who in the world would just assume that someone was having a nervous breakdown from one incident in the middle of the night? What had happened to Daniel before??
“What are you talking about!?!” Adrienne exclaimed, “He seemed fine to me until just a few days ago.”
“I’m sorry Dr. Rowan, I am, but it’s a good thing you were hired. How can I explain... you weren't here, after the Ori. It's not that he's crazy, we know he's not, but everyone has limits. There were dreams, nightmares, he was haunted for lack of a better word. They got better over time, but he was never violent. He can’t continue like this, we can't continue to put him in situations that could be potentially stressful,” Dr. Lam stated plainly.
“No, no way. No way are you going to suspend him! And where exactly would he go? He has no one, he has nothing but this job!!” Adrienne panicked, fearful of not only losing her partner in the lab but at the idea of him alone in that small, impersonal apartment. He didn’t even keep Jonas’ fish there. This place, this job, was his entire life and honestly she couldn’t continue on in this life without him. Before Dr. Lam could answer, the phone in the office began to ring and Adrienne could tell by the look on her face as she listened to her caller that this situation was just beginning to get bad. Sighing, Carolyn hung up the phone, peering back over at Adrienne and Dr. Beckett.
“Sam’s on the way. Adrienne, you might as well stay, she’s going to want to know everything that happened after we left,” the doctor stated. Accepting that she wasn’t going to get any more answers for now, Adrienne nodded in agreement and turned to take Carson up on his offer for coffee.
When Sam arrived she didn’t seem angry at all, but listened carefully and quietly to Dr. Lam, then asking Adrienne what happened. Sam’s face was pensive as she explained, including every detail of what had happened, right down to leaving him the note this morning, trying to stress that Daniel had calmed down easily in her presence. The one details she did leave out having to sleep with him in her arms, not wanting to embarrass him or even think about it herself, the memory still tearing her up inside; she wanted to hold him, so badly, but not like this, not with him on the break. Peering up, she tried to read Sam’s face, and it was obvious that this situation was a bad, the expression on the general’s face was one of concern and sadness.
“So, what you’re telling me Carolyn is that this time is far worse than the last, and since we know from experience that they grow progressively worse, we’re not looking at a good outcome?” Sam asked, for clarification. Worse? Adrienne thought, how could he get worse? Last time she checked, trying to punch your best friend was pretty damn bad. Who in the hell has nightmares where you try to clock your assistant?
“We still need to get him in here and run some tests, but General, I’m just not sure what we can do. We really didn’t do anything last time; they just went away on their own,” Dr. Lam responding, Sam’s body language showing her agreement.
“No, you’re right, but I can’t send him home like this; he has no one and he can’t stay in his quarters setting off the sirens every night. Do you know how many calls I got this morning alone? There’s even a rumor in the mess that he broke Adrienne’s neck and has escaped the base like some mad man,” Sam said as she crossed her arms across her chest, bringing her hand to her chin. Adrienne felt sorry for Sam; being the head of the SGC was a job she would never want, and here she was having to decide the fate of one of her dearest friends, a decision that seemed to have no plausible solution.
“General, I can’t keep him here either. After what I saw last night, he’s a threat to the other patients in that state; we don’t have the man power to have someone watching him in case he attacks someone here,” Dr. Lam looked to Dr. Beckett for support and he nodded. For a moment everyone stood in silence, making little eye contact, no one sure what they should do.
“I’ll take him,” Adrienne spoke up without hesitation, “he can come home with me or I can go home with him.” Surprised, Sam looked over at Adrienne, her face not one of approval.
“Adrienne, I know you care about him, but I can’t expect you to be his babysitter. And we need you here; we can’t just shut down the entire archaeology department indefinitely,” Sam added the last part, not really wanting to send Adrienne home with Daniel while he was violent, hoping her friend would buy the work excuse since if anything the young woman was as dedicated to her job as Daniel was. It didn’t seem to have the intended effect, however, as Adrienne crossed her arms staring back at Sam with confidence.
“I’m not asking to be his sitter. There’s something going on, and I would like the opportunity to figure it out. You have an entire linguistic staff to fill in for us and I’m his assistant not the SGC’s. And I’m a team member and a member of my team needs me. Right now, he needs me, just not in the lab,” Adrienne laid out her argument. And I love him, she added to herself, more than I have ever loved anyone else in my life. Before Sam could answer, the sirens went off again. Sam pulled out her iPhone and sure enough, the alarm was sounded from Daniel’s room. The general didn’t need to speak, Adrienne was already gone, tearing off in that direction.
This time, once Adrienne got through the SF’s trying to subdue him, it didn’t take her long to get him calmer, falling to her knees as he smashed himself into the corner screaming, but she didn’t have to fight him this time as the stopped screaming the moment she wrapped her arms around him. Trembling again, his face buried into her neck as the held onto her terrified to let go, he insisted everyone leave again, but Sam refused, instead turning to order everyone out as she remained herself.
“Daniel,” Sam started but he cut her off.
“I know, I know. There’s a danger, something’s going on and I can’t be setting off alarms, I know. I’ll pack up my things and stay at my apartment until Dr. Lam can figure out what is going on,” he told her from the floor, Adrienne feeling awkward and beginning to ease herself from his grasp, but he wouldn’t let go, so she just sat there as he clung to her.
“I hate to do this to you, but I’ll be sending either Carolyn, Carson, Cassie or Jennifer to check on you periodically and I need you to stop by the infirmary before you leave so they can take some samples and run some tests,” Sam ordered, but gently. Finally releasing his assistant, Daniel stood and walked over to his closet, pulling out the black duffle bag and began to pack some things from the dresser that he would want at home. Approaching him cautiously, Sam started to talk to him again, so Adrienne took the opportunity to slip away and pack her own things. She knew that if she gave him an option or a chance to think about it, he would refuse her help, so it would just be easier if she appeared ready to leave. As expected, she found him an hour later in the infirmary, where Carson was filling one final tube with blood, Daniel sitting on the edge of a hospital bed, frown firmly in place.
“That’s that last one Doctor and I’ll run these first, see if there is anything I can find,” Carson told him.
“Thanks, and I’m sorry to put you all through all of this trouble,” Daniel apologized. Smiling, Carson just patted his arm and set the tube into the sample tray, carrying it carefully over to his workstation. As Dr. Beckett stepped away, Adrienne could see that Daniel had showered and changed into jeans and a black t-shirt and was momentarily jealous, deciding a shower was her first order of business when they got to his place.
“Ya ready to go?” she asked.
“Yeah, I was just heading... wait... why do you have a bag?” he questioned, turning his head as he looked at the duffle in her hand, obviously packed for travel.
“Because we’re going to have an adult slumber party.” she answered jokingly, trying to lighten the mood.
“Nuh uh, Sam ordered you to babysit me!?” he questioned, sounding angry, so Adrienne threw up her free hand, shaking it in front of her face.
“No, she actually ordered, well, preferred I stay here, but, I informed her that I’m coming home with you,” Adrienne replied.
“Ad, I - “ but he didn’t finish his sentence, she didn’t give him the chance.
“You what? Don’t need me? I beg to differ Indy,” she reached over and grabbed his bag from the floor, effectively ending the argument, “Come on, we can rent some bad movies and I’ll cook ya Mexican.”
He laughed, “You and Mexican food.”
“See,” she told him, “you’re better already.” Relenting, since he knew he wouldn’t win an argument with her, especially when she was worried about someone else’s well being, he got up from the bed and followed her out, trying not to think about the fact that she was coming home with him, indefinitely...
They left his jeep at base and took her 1965 Beetle to his apartment, Daniel regretting allow her to drive the moment he had to stuff his long legs into that tiny cab. As promised, Adrienne stopped at the grocery store to pick up the proper ingredients and some movies, leaving him to wait, albeit nervously, but rushed along, returned to the bug faster than he expected. It was near lunch when they arrived at his apartment and Adrienne wasted no time starting the films and popping out the ice cream, her vast Mexican spread to wait until dinner.
“Diet?” he asked. She smacked him lightly, making a playful frown.
“Helping friends burns calories,” she stated and started the movie, the two of them sitting side by side with bowls of Chunky Monkey and Diet Cokes. As she had expected, Daniel was asleep thirty minutes into the film, the empty bowl of ice cream sitting on his legs, his body slouching onto the arm of the soda. Thankful he had not fallen asleep on her, he wasn’t light by any mean, Adrienne shifted him over so he wouldn’t kill his neck, stuffing a pillow under him and kept watching, straightening up as she did.
They went on and off the entire day like this, watching movies and talking, while he fought sleep and napped. Adrienne assured him that it was ok if he slept, that he was making up for a good 20-24 hours of missed sleep, but he would apologize every time he woke up, especially at dinner when he was too tired to eat her homemade empanadas, that smelled fantastic. He made sure he had at least told her that much. At about 8 p.m. she could tell he wasn’t going to last much longer, the look on his face going from needing a nap to total exhaustion, and she stood, gazing down at him, insisting that he go to bed. Not responded, he remained frozen on the sofa, terrified, locked in place and unwilling to try to move.
“Come on,” she insisted, offering her hand, hoping that he would understand that she was here and everything was going to be all right.
“I feel ridiculous, I’m too old to act like this,” he replied, yet stayed where he sat, his hands in his lap, picking at his fingernails.
“Look,” she reached down and grabbed his hand, pulling him to his feet, “let’s give the doctors time to look at your blood and see what they say tomorrow. There’s no reason for you NOT to get a good night’s sleep while we wait.”
Knowing she was right, he nodded, taking a breath before following her into the bedroom. He grabbed some pajamas from his dresser and began to change there, pausing once he realized that she was still in the room as he undid his jeans. I can’t, he thought, it’s not appropriate to change in front of her anymore, but she didn’t seem to be paying attention to him in the least, having dashed over herself, a sink running in the distance. Pushing the thought aside, he shucked his pants to the floor.
Satisfied he was going to sleep, Adrienne went to put on her own pajamas and brush her teeth, having to dash out of the room the minute she realized that he was changing in front of her. See Addy, she scolded her irrational emotions, the man wouldn’t be acting like you’re his little buddy as he has been all day if you stood a chance in hell. Trying to concentrate on the task at hand, figuring out what was wrong with her best friend, she was just spitting out mouthwash in the bathroom of his office when she heard footsteps behind her.
“You go to sleep,” she ordered him. “I’m gonna grab a blanket and watch movies until I pass out. Sofa ok?”
“I need you to sleep with me,” he declared, an embarrassed look on his face as he said it, “They won’t come if you are here.”
“Oh,” Adrienne said, expecting that last night was an isolated incident and that just her presence in the apartment would be enough, it had been all day long, but apparently, now, it wasn’t. The nerves popped up inside of her again, this time nerves and excitement. Of course she wanted to crawl into bed with him, to wrap her arms around him and make it all go away. Letting out a sigh, she nodded her head, not for herself but to ease the sheer terror she could read in his perfect eyes.
“Ok, I’m coming,” she agreed and followed him to his bedroom, remembering the last time she had slept here, after her date with Ronan, when she realized that she loved him. A shiver rocketed down her spine at the memory, intensifying as Daniel got into the bed and moved to the right looking back at her to see if she was coming. Drawing up every ounce of courage, Adrienne climbed in beside him and moved herself close, slipping her arm around his waist. He smelled so good, she had never noticed it before in all the times they had done this, had shared a sleeping space, as innocently as they were doing now. It was tearing her up inside as she held him so very close, fighting the urge to kiss his neck softly, to run her cheek against his stubbly face. Acting as if she had a cough, she cleared her throat and readjusted, concentrating on his comfort and his alone. That night, like the one before, in the same throws of agony as the previous night, Adrienne slept holding Daniel.
The next morning, it was Dr. Cassie Frasier that came for the first scheduled check-in as Sam had promised. Her smiling face on the other side of the peephole was a relief to Adrienne, as she had always felt comfortable around Janet’s adoptive daughter, the young woman had a kind and caring way about her that was soothing. S
“Hey Cassie,” Adrienne greeted, as she opened the door, referring to the doctor by her first name, since Cassie hated being call Dr. Frasier. She said it reminded it too much of her mom, another wonderful person that Adrienne was sad to have never met.
“Morning Addy. Any change?” she asked, stepping into the apartment, looking for Daniel.
“He’s in the shower right now and no change per se, but there was no incident last night,” Adrienne answered.
“That’s great!” she exclaimed, walking over to the small table near the kitchen to open his rather large medical file to take notes, “What did you do to get him to stop?” Adrienne flushed, trying to select the right words to get her point across, as she knew Cassie was just trying to lay out a plan, figure out what was going on. Finally, she decided that the plain truth would have to do, no matter how hard it was to admit.
“I held him. All night. While he slept,” Adrienne admitted quietly.
“Oh,” Cassie pulled the pen back, unsure as to what she should write.
“Apparently, they won’t come if I’m right there. I couldn’t even get away with sleeping in the next room,” Adrienne continued, trying to explain without having it look like she was taking advantage of him, like they were using this to hop into the sack together. Fortunately, as she was hunting for more excuses, she heard the shower shut off, giving her a reason to leave the conversation.
“Be right back,” she told Cassie without thinking of how this was going to look to the young doctor either. She’d busted into his shower dozens of times, but no one knew that. God, no wonder everyone thinks we’re together, Adrienne fussed at herself, coming to a stop outside of the door.
“Hey,” she called out as she knocked on the bathroom door.
“I’m decent, not that that’s stopped you before,” he joked from the other side. Rolling her eyes at his smart remark, she opened the door just as he was pulling a t-shirt over his head, his perfect bare back the only thing she could concentrate on. He turned to face her, and she shook her head quickly, hoping he hadn’t noticed her stare, gazing at her pitifully despite sleeping last night. He stood there, wearing only a white t-shirt, gray sweatpants and no socks yet he was still the most gorgeous human being that she had ever laid my eyes on.
“You look awful,” she told him, unable to resist the urge to approach him and place her hand on his arm. She rubbed it gently and looked up into his eyes.
“I feel sick for some reason,” he answered. Adrienne took her hand away and reached up to feel his head with the back of her palm, not trusting herself this morning to rest her cheek against his. He was cool, so she made a face and shook her head, confused.
“Well, you need to tell Cassie that, she’s right outside,” Adrienne suggested, pointing to the living room. Not appearing particularly enthused, Daniel rolled his eyes, as if he had been through all of this before, trudging from the bathroom to see the doctor.
“Ok, Daniel,” she had never called him Dr. Jackson, Adrienne noticed, probably because she had known him since she was 10, “we haven’t found anything unusual so far, but Carson wants to take the samples over to Atlantis base, to run a few more advanced scans. Jennifer thinks the equipment there might be a bit better,” Cassie apologized and explained.
“They aren’t going to find anything,” he told her, removing the blood pressure cuff from his arm.
“Yes, but I do find it interesting that with Dr. Rowan, uh, here, you didn’t have an episode,” she added, uncomfortably, Adrienne noting as well that Cassie referred to her as Dr. Rowan.
“I told everyone already, because they only come visit me if they think I’m alone,” he answered but Cassie gave him the same look Dr. Lam had; the one of disbelief. Everyone thought he was going crazy. Not knowing what else to say, his vitals perfectly normal, Cassie began to pack up her things, preparing to leave.
“Ok, well, I’m headed back if you two are alright. Someone will check in later,” she started for the door, motioning for Adrienne to follow. Not one to miss any details, Daniel shot his assistant a look, but she placed her hand on his arm gently, assuring him with her eyes that she believed him, that she wasn’t going to let anyone convince her otherwise.
“Are you sure you’re ok with him? He’s really not himself right now,” Cassie asked, looking over at a much different looking Daniel, a sullen quiet Daniel who was now showing the signs of nausea that he had been complaining about earlier.
“Yeah, I’m fine. I just wish I could figure out what is going on with him,” Adrienne sighed.
“We all do. Rodney is already trying to lay claim to the space,” she said as she made a face and left, Adrienne carefully closing the door behind her.
Day two Daniel managed to stay awake most of the time. He tried to get some work done on his laptop, but it seemed just to make him nervous and antsy to return to a place that for now he was not welcome so Adrienne made him shut off the computer, whisking it away to hide it in the closet. Worried sick about him since he wouldn’t eat anything or drink very much for that matter, she tried to quell his boredom with games and making him listen to her stories, pages and pages of a Lord of the Rings type journey taken by two small children. He knew she had been working on it for a while, since well before they were friends, but had never really gotten a chance to hear it. There was a lot of detail and sometimes he had to stop her to ask for clarification, but overall he thought it was pretty good, and told her so. Adrienne couldn’t have been more pleased.
It was about 11 when Adrienne started to feel tired, mostly from the emotional exhaustion of dealing with him. She hadn’t had the reaction she feared after seeing him in the bathroom, they had spent the day like they used to, having fun, like friends, not one romantic thought creeping into her brain. It was the intense worry about him however, this person she cared so very much about, who really seemed to be falling to pieces. This time, she didn’t even try to avoid what she knew was coming, she just shut down the apartment and declared it time for bed. He followed and like the past two nights, crawled so very close to her and Adrienne consoled herself with the thought that however awkward that this may be, at least she got to be this close to him for now, even if it wasn’t in the way her heart ached for.
Adrienne was just about asleep herself when she heard the voices. They were distant, foreign, almost ghost-like, but they were calling her name.
“Adrienne.... Adrienne Rowan....”
She sat straight up and saw she was alone in the bed.
“Daniel?” she asked into the darkness but there was no answer. Ripping the covers back, she ran over to the light on the corner table, clicking the switch. Momentarily blinded by the brightness, she rubbed her eyes to help them adjust and saw him, sitting on the floor in the corner of the room, his head to his knees.
“No, I’m not going back, no,” he was repeating, shaking. She walked over to him, but still being half asleep did not block his swinging arm in time; taking the back of his hand upside her head. That seemed to wake him from his trance, since she could see him crawling onto his knees as she fell back onto the floor.
“Oh God, Adrienne, are you alright?” he rushed over to her.
“Yeah, ow, finally get to feel how hard you can hit,” she tried to joke. Concerned, he pulled up her face into his hands to see if he had split her lip again, running his thumb gently across it, when the world went black.
“Daniel..... Daniel.....” he heard a familiar voice calling him.
“No, Oma let me come back. I’m not going back, I can’t...” Daniel began to argue, fearful, searching around himself in the darkness for Adrienne, panicked wondering where she had gone.
“Goodson, I do not wish to bring you back, I wish to warn you. Why do you fight me so?” the voice asked. Daniel squeezed his eyes, no glasses covering them, squinting and focusing, and saw that he was in a dark tunnel, or some other place void of everything, the only glimmer in the darkness the image his father in law facing him.
“Goodfather, it was you? Why have you come to me? I thought the ascended were forbidden to communicate with us?” Daniel was confused, he remembered the rules himself, although he had found ways to break them.
“Oma sent me, she could not come herself. She knew you would trust me and believe what I say...” he voice was getting distant and Daniel felt like he didn’t have much time.
“Tell me what goodfather? What has happened?” Daniel asked, fear rising in his voice.
“I need to tell you to beware. Anubis has escaped Oma. We know not where he goes.” Kasuf answered and at the mention of the name Daniel felt sickness in his stomach. If Oma could not subdue Anubis, then who could? And where was he going?
“For now, he has fled goodson, but he will not stay silent for long and we are not certain if we will be allowed to warn you again...” even more distant was the voice this time, the final words floating through the air.
“What does Oma suggest we do?” Daniel was frantic now, as the vision of his father in law began to fade into the distance and his understood that this wasn’t a place, that Kasuf was in his head, trying to give him this message as quickly as he could.
“See what is in front of you,” Kasuf answered and was gone leaving Daniel alone in the cold darkness.
Adrienne frantically pushed down on his chest, slamming her fists into him.
“God dammit Daniel WAKE UP!!!” she screamed and then leaned over to breathe once more in his mouth, forcing air into it. No response, Adrienne sat up onto her knees, tears streaming from her eyes, pushing onto his chest again.
“You can’t leave me, please Daniel, you can’t leave me,” she cried out, leaning down to listen for a breath, a breath that wasn’t there, her tears dripping onto his face.
“Daniel, no, you can’t, I love you,” she cried, all rational thought out of the window, leaning over to his lips to say goodbye. There was soft contact, and she kissed him quickly and gently, pulling back to sit on her heels crying heavily. And then he blinked.
“Oh my god,” she was crying, taking deep breaths in and out, gasping for air, “I thought I lost you.” He sat up slowly and reached his arms around her, pulling her close to him, still shaking a bit himself from the experience, but obviously he had appeared dead to her, so he concentrated his energy on trying to calm her down.
“It’s alright Ad, I’m fine, really, it’s ok, but I know what’s going on with me. We need to get back to base, now, ” he put his hand on her face to make sure she was alright, wiping her tears away with his thumb and tenderly tucking her hair behind her ear. Nodding she stood, not wanting to worry him more, trying to put out of her mind what just happened, what she had just done, reaching down to help him to his feet. Without any conversation, they got dressed quickly and left the apartment, the beetle jetting furiously into the night.
The mood was somber as they sat in the briefing room. Daniel had explained everything to them and for once Adrienne didn’t feel alone, since Cam and Vala also were unfamiliar with Anubis, asking almost as many questions as she did throughout the briefing.
“We must call JackO’Neill,” Teal’c said finally, once all questions had been answered and all information shared.
Sam nodded, “What a phone call... honey, remember the guy that tried to kill us back in the day... well....”
Daniel spoke up, “Kasuf didn’t give me any indication that he was coming for us, just warning us that he was free.”
“And he gave you no clue as to how to defeat him or at least protect ourselves should he decide to come this way. And Adrienne heard her name too; they said nothing to her? Why didn't he just come to you directly, why approach it like this?” Sam pushed.
“No,” Daniel shook his head, “he appeared to be struggling to communicate with me, it was almost as if this place he dragged me to, this void was a hiding spot. I'm not sure if he could say more; maybe Anubis didn't flee. He did say something about seeing what was in front of me, but I have no idea what that means. It could be that Anubis was right there watching, or is right here watching, but it was all so vague." Looking equally as puzzled, Sam glanced over at his assistant, looking for conformation.
“No, he’s right,” Adrienne confirmed, “after that initial time, I heard nothing, just saw Daniel...” she started to breath heavy and Cam reached over to grab her arm, taking her hand in his and squeezing it tightly. It’s rather disconcerting to see a friend drop dead in front of you, he had first hand experience with that, and it’s even more disconcerting to see someone you love drop dead in front of you and Cameron was fairly certain that whether or not the two of them chose to admit it, that was exactly what was going on.
“Well, I think we just need to keep our eyes open,” Sam concluded, having nothing else to say but she allowed Daniel to remain on base, feeling as though these were not spells, but rather his body reacting to the Ascended trying to communicate with him. Daniel looked relieved and so was Adrienne, but there was a small part of her that was sad, a part of her that had hoped maybe this would have been the point, that maybe he did feel the same way about her, and tonight as she lay there holding him, he would roll over and tell her that he loved her, that she was all he ever wanted. Sitting at the briefing table, she started to debate sitting Daniel down and talking to him, telling him everything, but as he stood from the table, smiling and happy to be back to normal, she decided against it.
Daniel walked into the lab, clicking on the light to make sure everything was as he left it. He checked his desk and his computer, pleased to find that Sam had kept her word and kept everyone out, especially Rodney. This week had been a nightmare, in every aspect of the word and he was glad it was over. Partially. It had been nice to be that close to Adrienne, sleeping in her arms. He knew it was more than just her presence that kept Kasuf and the others at bay, at least for the first few nights, he knew it was his love for her made him less vulnerable to their intrusion. There was a small part of him that wanted to just go down to her quarters tonight and crawl into bed with her and this time hold her in his arms, but he couldn’t. He might love her, but that was a line he just couldn’t cross.
Satisfied everything was back to normal, or at least for the most part, he decided to shut off the lights once more and pick up his work in the morning. Sleep, he had learned, was a precious commodity. On the way to his on base quarters, he decided to swing by Adrienne’s room and thank her one more time, to see her one more time. She believed him when no one else did, and didn't leave his side. He would never admit it to her, but he had grown quite used to relying on her, in a way much different than he had the rest of the group. Was THAT what Good Father meant? Was Adrienne what was right in front of him? He pondered this all the way down to her door, knocking and shouting her name when he arrived.
“Ad, hey it’s me, let me in!” he yelled but got no answer.
She might be in the shower, he thought, standing there for a moment longer and knocking again. Still no answer. He started to panic when he heard her shouting from down the hall and turned to see her jogging toward him, red in the face and caked in sweat. She was wearing her running clothes and he instantly felt stupid that he hadn’t assume she would immediately go for a run, after all exercise was her number one source of stress relief and dealing with him and watching him die was certainly stressful.
“Hey, everything ok? Please tell me Rodney didn’t get his itchy little fingers all over our stuff,” she said as she lightly moved him over, coding herself into the room, entering and motioning behind herself for him to follow.
“No, just like we left it thankfully,” he answered as he entered. Breathing a sigh of relief, she took off her iPod armband and tossed it onto her dresser, sitting on the bed to remove her shoes.
“Good to hear. You ok?” she asked, tilting her head.
“Yeah, I’m fine. No more visitors,” he smiled.
“Ok....” Adrienne trailed off, as if she wanted to ask, so why are you here bothering me after I have had to spend three days of my life as your nanny?, but she said nothing more and he felt bad, down here, bothering her some more.
“I wanted to thank you, for being there,” he said, nervously running his hands through his hair.
“It’s ok. That’s what friends do,” she stood and walked over to him and then paused, screwing up her face, “I’d hug you shug, but I smell like the gym.” Agreeing, although the smell wasn’t nearly as bad as she probably though it was, he laughed, nodding his head. She raised her eyebrows playfully and walked over to her dresser, to pull out clean clothes, giving him a non-verbal cue that she wanted a shower.
“That’s all. I just wanted to thank you again,” he said and made his way back through the door they had left open.
“You’re welcome. Is there anything else? You look like you need to tell me something,” Adrienne said, her arms full of clothes. Tell me, she thought to herself, or better yet, stay. I just want to hold you in my arms again.
“No, that’s it,” he answered quickly.
“Ok, close the door behind you please. I’ll see you in the morning Indy, but if you need me, please call. I’m gonna stay here tonight, just in case,” she added, turning to head for the shower.
Without another word he stepped out of the room, closing the door behind him. Stepping forward toward his own quarters, he paused, glancing back at the key pad. He almost coded himself back in, just to be there when she got out, to talk to her, to hold her, to tell her everything....
Instead, Daniel shook his head, took a breath and headed for his own quarters.