Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s).
E-mail - email@example.com
Category - POV, Jackfic's February Monthly Word Challenge - Agony
Content level - 13+, Jack's mouth
Pairing - Sam and Jack
Season - Season 7, after 'Heroes'
Spoiler - none
Summary - O'Neill ruminates over one particularly unpleasant "meet and greet" and then some.
Author's note - My muse took a year off. That and the addition of a back problem flair-up - "Spinal fusion" were the first words out of my neurosurgeons mouth and my response was "over my dead and rotting corpse" - Thank you, Jack - have sidelined me creatively for most of this year. Not being able to sit for long periods at the computer, plus the fogginess caused by strong medication has been an additional bonus. Why am I telling my readers this? Because I want them to know why it's taken me so long to respond to the February Jackfic Monthly Word Challenge. This has been a WIP since February. Feedback - always welcome, Soles.
Disclaimer - I own nothing in the Stargate Universe.
His badly put-upon knee, propped up on a mountain of pillows, hurt like a bitch. The once-again dislocated shoulder, now bound tightly to his torso, pounded painfully in time with his heartbeat. His head, dented again by enemy endeavor, was ready to fall off and roll under this supremely uncomfortable bed. But then at least, the glaring infirmary lights wouldn't affect it.
Couldn't someone turn down those infernal lights?
As the 2IC of the SGC, as a Colonel even, didn't he rate a slightly more comfortable resting place?
Did that really sound as selfish as he thought it did?
Who cares - rank hath its privilege.
Now THAT sounded selfish! As well as egotistical, self-centered and - and - selfish.
As he floated just above the pain, he could feel the occasional ebb and flow of others around him. He just couldn't summon the effort to make his awareness known. Old Doc Fraiser must have slipped him the "good stuff" and he wasn't above taking advantage of it.
Pain flared on all fronts as he tried to move into that mysteriously evasive, slightly more comfortable position. Yet, trying to find that comfort zone was easier said than done, as the ice pack slid away from his knee to land squarely under his ass. Talk about your frozen ass-ettes, he sniggered dopily, half expecting to hear Fraiser's signature tap-tapping as she came to check on him.
His drunken gaze stared up at the ceiling for several blank minutes, until he remembered, she was gone and would never again be back to check on him . She would never roll her expressive eyes at his shenanigans, nor would she see him through many of his life's singular crises. Never again.
Agony, he decided, came in too many different shapes and sizes. And the pain, which he felt over the young physician's death, was still too new to have scabbed over. The death of a friend, who'd seen you to hell and back many times over, was the deepest agony.
It was exceeded only by the death of your only child, and that of watching your marriage slip and disintegrate before your eyes, yet were incapable of doing anything about it. But that was another time, another story - one he still couldn't bear to ponder.
O'Neill surreptitiously wiped at stray involuntary tears which slid down past his ears, the pain in his injured shoulder jolted alive with the automatic movement. Silently his teeth ground together as he rode out the wave. He wasn't normally given to dismal, self-pitying observations. Maybe the "good stuff" had been a bad idea after all. The "good stuff" always wormed it way past his heavily defended emotions.
Finally, after seconds became minutes and minutes congregated into a larger whole, O'Neill took a deep cleansing breath, savoring the moment. His discomfort, both physical and emotional, at last lay dormant and
those thoughts were hidden, wrapped in a warm fuzzy blanket of narcotics. To stop further depressing thoughts, he began to mentally prepare his last mission report. That mission alone was enough to make his blood boil, but he probably wouldn't get very far due his drugged state. Although it would definitely take his mind off his own petty problems.
And, if he had ANY say in the decision making process, planet P3R-991 would NOT become anything more than a tiny number on a vast star chart. They had nothing to offer - no naquadah, no naquadria, and no technology with which to fight the Goa'uld. There were no ruins of past civilizations for Daniel to navigate through, drool over and lose himself in. Hell, the civilization there now was just barely civilized. And certainly there was no technology of any importance. Heck, they'd only just recently discovered the wheel. They were backward, repressive, and superstitious - not necessarily a bad thing, unless you liked it that way. Sometimes it just didn't pay to go looking for new friends and neighbors.
It was strange how many planets they'd visited where the inhabitants had progressed so little, or so slowly. Made you wonder who, among the Ancients, was responsible for the decision making when it came to passing out something as advanced as a Stargate. And what had they seen, or invisioned, for P3R-991 and its stagnant society?
He'd had no problems with the locals, until they started picking on Carter. "Live and let live" was his motto when SG-1 stepped through the gate for a quick "look see" on 991. But Carter's bright blonde head and definitely female form had stirred up a ruckus. Because she was a female, the testosterone laden locals decided she was fair game.
Unfortunately for the 'wheelies', Carter was sick and tired of that attitude. And if he were honest with himself, HE was very tired of that way of thinking. He was tired of Carter having to defend herself, her brains, and her womanhood with every ignorant, backwater yahoo, every ornary Chief Meatball who had more hormones than brains, every sleazy civil servant who thought nothing of females and even less of smart females, and every lovesick lothario who thought he was the answer to every womans prayer.
All too apparently, they'd never heard of women's liberation, nor that women were stronger than men.
Carter didn't deserve the bullshit, And she was definitely stronger than those bozo's.
And just because they'd discovered the wheel on P3R-991, didn't mean they'd actually learned anything from it.
Like "what goes around, comes around."
He'd helped Carter, with an assist from Daniel and Teal'c, put a stop to the crude and rude behavior quickly and forcefully. And if he hadn't the other male half of his team would have jumped in, fists flying. He'd made it very clear that she was a warrior, equally worthy of their respect and honor as any man, and if she didn't get it, the inhabitants would suffer more of the same consequences.
He doubted they'd even comprehended what he sought to explain to them. They certainly didn't treat their own women very well, and as far as he could tell, the inhabitants were only interested in "increasing the gene pool". Well, maybe not so much increasing it as testing its tepid waters.
O'Neill took a deep, cleansing breath, waiting for his heartbeat to slow; there was no sense in getting worked up again.
They'd been content to leave well enough alone, until the local head honcho decided he wanted Carer as a gift.
"Yeah, like that was ever going to happen!"
He felt it was his due as the Chief.
"Right. 'Chief' greasy, horn-dog!"
And as payment for the damages done to his own warriors.
"No %$#&ing way!" He'd explained, in colorful profanity. "Survival of the fittest, my man. It's not my fault Carter mopped up the floor with your 'warriors'."
And then in further detail, he also explained how the Tau'ri didn't "give" their people away - as gifts or as any other gratuitous offerings, nor surrender to connivance, nor submit to terrorists - no matter how Neanderthal. And, "he certainly wasn't going to leave the best 2IC he'd ever had with some smelly savage!"
End of discussion!
SG-1 made the decision, relatively soon after, to leave P3R-991. And then, all hell broke loose!
Of course, he had to admit he'd been spoiling for a fight, especially after Chief Meatball grabbed Carter's arm and started dragging her to his hut.
"Wait just one damned minute, lover boy!"
SG-1's diplomatic aspirations went straight down the tube from there.
He surrepticiously glanced around his cubical and grinned. SG-1 had returned home much the worse for wear, bloodied but unbowed, and somehow he'd been the only one who'd had the shit kicked out of him. Which was as it should be, him being the leader and all. Daniel had two whopping shiners, Teal'c escaped with a few scrapes and bruises, and Carter's dignity remained intact.
Changing positions once again, O'Neill paused for a moment; waiting for the discomfort to subside, to stare down at his opposite hand. It was held securely, so warmly and tenderly by "the best 2IC he'd ever worked with." She must have fallen asleep soon after him. They'd all been dead tired. He smiled at her bright, tousled hair. After the doctor's go-ahead she'd come, straight from the showers - wet hair, no make-up, and worry clearly broadcasting in her brilliant blue eyes, to sit with him.
He'd been worried that she was mad at him for jumping in to help with her mop up. For all that she resembled an angel, she could kick up the very devil of a fuss when her intrepidity was questioned, even by an ignorant, smelly, fat slob of an alien.
But she'd come here for him - her friend and CO, worried about his injuries, and his comfort. She'd even apologized, or had tried to, for the altercation on 991. It was times like this that he had to dig deep into his soul for the right words. Carter deserved the right words - even if she was way smarter and could talk circles around him.
She 'was' a warrior - even though her packaging was softer and easier on the eye than his, Teal'c's or Daniel's, and was due the respect of that office. She'd earned that right through service and deed, and no slimy alien could take it away from her, or impeach her valor, nor tarnish her honor. 'Nuff said!
He took a deep breath. She doesn't need me, or anyone, else validating her life, her career, or her accomplishments.
He watched the gentle movement of her breathing and smiled. For whatever reason, Carter wanted, no needed, 'his' approval, and even though they had history, and a necessarily restrained 'fondness' for each other, it pleased him as nothing else did. And that in itself was agony, a perverse pleasure.
Suddenly, the grip on his hand tightened as Carter raised up her blonde head from its awkward position on his bedside. She looked around groggily, trying to orient herself in the subdued light. O'Neill watched as she gained her bearings, and finally recognized just where she was, yet never released her grip on his hand.
His heart swelled as she turned her dark sapphire scrutiny on him and smiled. He smiled in return, looking long and deep into her eyes. She spoke first.
God, sometimes agony could be so sweet.
If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to