Author’s Note: Thanks very much to my Beta, Letomo. The following ways of notation may be found in this story. This is excluding whatever I need to represent chatting, texting and stuff like that. Speech:
“Who’s on first.” Thought:
*What’s on second.
#I-don’t-know’s on third.#I do not own Star Gate or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Nor any of the works of Dr. Seuss. President George H. Bush and his bodyman make an appearance. I hope it is dignified enough to pass muster. The continuation of the Faith O’Neill series. Hope I didn’t mess up to many military and medical things. Thanks for reading and let me know if you like it. Rephaite February 23rd 1991, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House
The President stood looking out, the Oval Office dark behind him. Secret Service men stood outside all exits, he knew. But for now he could feel alone. It was rare for him to have a moment for himself during a time of war. The rain lashed down against the windows, hard and uneven, driven by the harsh wind of the late February storm. There was a knock and he looked up disturbed. “Yes? What is it?”
The door opened and Tim McBride, his bodyman came in. “Mr. President? A report came in. Colonel O’Neill has arrived in Germany and will be flown to Bethesda tomorrow.”
A slight tension in Tim’s voice told the President things were very wrong with his officer. “How bad?” “Very bad. He was tortured for the entire period of his captivity, sir.”
The President rubbed his face with his hands. “I’ll call Mrs. O’Neill,” he walked to the desk, leaning over to flick on the old fashioned desk lamp that sat on it, his hand lingering on the desk he had chosen. A statement, that desk, that he preferred business and substance over decoration, no matter how hallowed by age. He sat down heavily. “Do you have a report on his condition?”
Tim nodded and handed him a slim folder. The President had gotten used to reading medical reports of subordinates, crewmates and friends during his time in the Navy. He ran a hand over his hair and sighed as he took in the list of injuries. “Hell.”
Tim nodded feelingly. “Yes, Mr. President.”
BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS National Naval MedicalCenter (Bethesda Naval Hospital), February 28th 1991
He ached. A lot. Everywhere. Even after the operations and the stitches and the intravenous fluids and the gruel and the food. It was going to take a long time for him to recover, if he ever did. Every time he closed his eyes he heard the music and saw the lights. Every time the door opened he tensed, expecting a jailor to walk in, to begin another beating, another torture session. He was in a room all by himself. His nightmares kept others awake, even if he would have preferred someone to talk to.
There was a knock on the door. Jack made a groaning noise. His throat was still recovering from the intubation. The door opened. A woman came in, dressed in jeans and a sweater, followed closely by a tall, graying doctor, a white coat over his colonel’s uniform.
The woman turned to the man. “Thank you, you may leave.”
The doctor gave her a slightly condescending look. “Mrs. O’Neill-”
Sara held up a hand. “Shut up. I’m tired of being treated like a child. I’ve got a Masters in biology. I’m a mother of three. My husband spends a regrettable amount of time in hospitals after his missions. The fact that the President himself has taken an interest in his case and you felt the need to throw your weight around does not give you the right to act condescending, listen in on private conversations with my husband or to interfere with normal relations between a man and his wife. Do I make myself clear?”
The doctor opened his mouth and Sara's glare intensified. “The only thing I want to hear from you is 'Yes, Mrs. O'Neill.'”
The doctor seemed about to protest, then grunted, turned on his heel and left.
Sara checked the door carefully, and then turned to Jack. She leaned in and kissed him on the cheek. “Hello love.”
Jack grinned, the scabs on his face cracking slightly. “Man, you ought to have been a TI, Sara.”
Sara snorted. “I've got three children and you,” her face hardened. “I'm bringing them tomorrow.”
Jack opened his mouth to protest but Sara glared at him. The glare might be slightly less fierce than the open she directed at the doctor, but it was still pretty bad. “Faith can barely sleep for anxiety, Charlie keeps crying and they set off Debra. They need to know that you're alive Jack, not just up here,” She touched his forehead gently, “But in here,” and touched his heart.
“Sara, I'm a mess!” Jack protested.
“They know that, Jack. You're in hospital. They know that means you're ill, injured. It also means that Faith is having anxiety attacks. You know she hates hospitals. But they need to see you,” Sara insisted.
Jack looked at his bandaged hands, then back up at his wife. “W-won't they be frightened?”
Sara glowered at him. “Are you planning to scare them? They're your children, Jack. I told them you were hurt, they know. But they want to know you're alive, need to know. I'm not going to let you wallow in misery and think they don't want to know you.”
“What about Debra? She's barely old enough to know...” Jack gestured vaguely, grimacing in pain as his abused shoulder joints let him know the movement was ill-advised.
“She knows her daddy, Jack. She’ll know you.”
Jack swallowed. “Okay. I-if you say so.”
“I say so and I know so, Jack. They love you and a few bandages are not going to change that,” Sara leaned in to kiss him.
BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS
The sound of children was not uncommon in the corridors of Bethesda Naval hospital, but Jack knew the voices he heard. He’d been awakened by them when they had nightmares and had been corrected by them when he 'read a story wrong'. These were his children's voices.
He took a deep breath and looked at his hands, tried to think if there was anything he could do to appear less battered. Sara had been adamant the children had to see him, no matter how injured he was, even if only for a short time.
The door opened. A head looked around the doorjamb, with shoulder length black hair falling in a silken curtain around her shoulders and neck, her dark eyes anxious. “Daddy? M-may we come in?”
Jack smiled. “Of course, honey. Come right in.”
Faith stumbled into the room, followed by Charlie, who looked at Jack wide-eyed and then Debra, who held onto Sara's hand, her eyes wide and frightened.
Faith bit her lip and walked up to the bed. She took a deep breath and then she was in his arms, sobbing. “You're gonna come home, Daddy. You're here. Everything is gonna be okay now.”
Jack swallowed and closed his arms around his eldest daughter, tears coming to his eyes. Then Charlie was on the bed too, and Jack moved one arm to hug him close as well. “Yeah, yeah, daddy's gonna be coming home real soon. I promise.”
Debra looked at Jack, then turned and hid her face in Sara’s leg, her little arms clasping her mother’s hip. Jack’s face tightened.
Sara smiled at him and sat down, Debra on her lap. Debra stuck her thumb in her mouth and looked at the wall with deep concentration.
Faith stopped her crying and reached into the colourful bag Sara's mother had made for her from rags and yarn. “Mom said I couldn't bring you any Jello, but I got this.”
Jack grinned at her as he saw what she held out. Sara was very strict about junk food and candy, limiting their children's candy intake. But they did get a treat every Saturday. And in Faith’s hand, limpid and half melted, was her weekly small Hershey bar.
Sara sighed. “Daddy's not allowed that either, honey.”
“B-but how will he get better if he doesn’t get anything he likes!” Faith whined.
“He can have it when the doctors say he can, Faith, not before. But it was very sweet of you to save it,” Sara smiled at her daughter.
Faith pouted. “Okay. I'll go ask a doctor,” she jumped of the bed, glared at Jack and then Sara. “Don't go anywhere!”
Sara smiled. "Okay. But you can't go further than anyplace from where you can touch the door.”
Faith looked about ready to protest, but a raised eyebrow from her mother quelled it. “Yes, Mom.”
She reached into her bag again and handed a thin book to Charlie. “Here. You read him this.”
Jack had to stifle a laugh. Every time one of the children was ill, Jack would read them from Green Eggs and Ham. And Faith had brought the battered old book to read to him.
Charlie self-consciously cleared his throat and began to read. “I am Sam, I am Sam, Sam I am.”
Faith nodded in approval and then went to the door, hesitated, took a deep breath and then stepped outside, looking around. An auburn haired woman was walking by, stethoscope around her neck and a clipboard in her hand.
“‘Scuse me! Are you a doctor?” Faith asked.
The woman looked up, slightly disturbed. “Yes, yes I am. Do you need a doctor?”
Faith shook her head. “No, Daddy needs a doctor to tell him he can eat Jello and candy.”
“Daddy eh?” The doctor looked amused. “Your daddy likes Jello?”
Faith nodded and grinned. “We made him all colors of Jello Pudding for his birthday,” then she frowned. “You’re an Air Force Doctor, aren’t you?”
The Doctor nodded, looking surprised. “Yes, I am. Is your daddy in the Air Force?”
Faith smiled. “Yup, and I’m gonna be too. Can you come in and have a look at him? Please?”
The doctor gave her a look, then looked at the clipboard, then her watch and sighed. “Very well. I’ll have a look.”
She tucked the clipboard under her arm and walked into the room. Her brows rose when she saw the scene, Charlie reading to Jack and Sara with Debra in her lap. She smiled and took the clipboard from the foot of the bed, reading it with pursed lips. She listened for a minute or two while Charlie rather laboriously read Green Eggs and Ham, with Jack occasionally telling his son with a deadpan expression that he was reading it wrong.
When Charlie was done she gave Jack a thoughtful look. “Does your stomach still hurt, Colonel?”
Jack shook his head. “Naah, I can barely feel it.”
The doctor snorted. “That doesn’t reassure me. May I?” she gestured at his middle and Jack nodded.
“Kind of you to ask,” he quipped.
The doctor smiled. “Well, I try to be polite. I only start being nasty when idiots don’t listen to my sage medical advice,” she felt his stomach and Jack winced slightly.
“Still sensitive, hmm?” The doctor looked at Sara, who grinned.
“It’s amazing really. He cut his finger on the can opener last Thanksgiving and whined for a week,” Sara gave Jack a fond smile.
Jack scowled. “That was huge cut! That can opener ought to be on a list of WMD’S!”
The doctor smiled. “Well, anyway, as your stool has been clear for three days, I see no reason to withhold Jello from you, and will so advise my colleague in charge of your case.”
Jack grinned at Faith. “Atta girl, Faith!”
Sara smiled. “As long as he doesn’t just get Jello,” she rose and put three year old Debra on the bed with Jack. The girl frowned, leaned into him, peering into his face, then made a happy noise and snuggled into his shoulder.
Sara winked at him and then gestured at the Doctor. They left the room and the doctor gave Sara a look. “I assume you want to talk to me?”
Sara nodded. “Is there anyway you can be Jack’s doctor? The guy he has now… they, we don’t get along. At all.”
The doctor blinked. “That’s very irregular.”
Sara waved a hand. “Jack’s Air Force and so are you. Shouldn’t an Air Force officer be treated by an Air Force Doctor?”
The doctor grinned. “Trying to provoke an inter-service incident?”
Sara shook her head. “No. You’ve got a sense of humor. Jack needs that. He needs teasing,” she peered at the woman’s name tag. “Please. Dr. Fraiser?”
The doctor sighed. “And here I hoped only your daughter was that good at persuasion.”
Sara smirked. “She learned from the best.”
“Okay, I’ll ask, but I make no guarantees, okay?” The auburn haired doctor extended a hand. “I’m Janet Fraiser.”
Sara shook the proffered hand. “Sara O’Neill. You met Jack and Faith, the others are Charlie and Debra.”
Janet smiled. “Well, I’ll go see the patient I was headed for,” her face sobered. “You might want to take Debra to see an ophthalmologist, the way she looked at Colonel O’Neill makes me think she might have an eye problem. From the way she acts, probably progressive. She might just need glasses,” Janet reassured the worried looking mother.
Sara blinked. “Oh… Oh, that would explain a lot.”
Janet smiled. “Okay, I really need to go now. I’ll let you or the Colonel know as soon as possible, alright?”
Sara nodded. “Thank you! And for Debra too!”
BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS Bethesda Naval Hospital, March 3rd 1991
Jack glared at the small, auburn haired woman who leaned on the foot of his bed.
“I do not need to get stuck with more needles, do I Doc?”
Janet Fraiser smiled sweetly. “Not if you do what I tell you, no. Which means, Colonel, that you’ll get your bony ass out of this bed and into physical therapy for assessment.”
Jack muttered something under his breath, then threw the blankets off. An orderly wheeled up a wheelchair and together with Janet helped Jack in.
Janet smiled at Jack. “See, that wasn’t that hard, now was it. And if you think I’m mean, wait until you meet Colleen, your PT. She wouldn’t even fold for Faith.”
Jack smiled. “I’ll buy a lot of things, Doc. But everybody succumbs to my girl’s big brown eyes.”
BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS Colorado Springs, April 17th, 1991
The man stood in the street in the quiet suburb of Colorado Springs was thin and tired looking. He leaned on a crutch and wore a pair of jeans, comfortable sneakers and an old sweater. He had been allowed to go home from Bethesda a few days ago. Colleen and Janet had told him that his knees were permanently damaged.
Though for now they would do and he would probably be allowed back on active duty when the current injury was resolved, the doctor and the physical therapist were certain that there was a likelihood of worse things if he continued in his current career path. Too much strain would eventually lead to him losing the ability to walk without help of a cane or walker.
Jack smiled. *Sara wouldn’t mind me giving up the Black Ops. Nor would the kids. I might even get back in the design game again. That wasn’t too bad, really. Maybe teach a few classes at the Academy…*
He tapped his cane on the tarmac thoughtfully. The door of his house flew open and Charlie ran out, followed by the tottering and screaming Debra.
One of Debra’s dolls was clutched in Charlie’s hand and he was laughing and taunting her. Jack sighed and hobbled forward to interfere when Debra threw the sippy cup she still liked to use. It hit Charlie in the back of his head, bursting open and drenching the boy with orange juice.
Jack laughed. “Charlie! Give Debra her dolly. And go inside and get clean.”
Charlie stopped in his tracks, grimaced at his father, shrugged his shoulders to try and get the wet shirt of his back, then handed the glaring Debra her doll, and walked back inside.
Debra pushed her new glasses up her nose, clutched the doll in the crook of her elbow and against her body, stuck her thumb in her mouth and nodded solemnly at her father.
Jack laughed again and stuck out a hand. Debra toddled over and took it and Jack led her back inside as well. “That was a neat throw, Debby. Let’s go and get you some fresh orange juice.” End note: In this case the word rephaite refers to the ghostlike, unhappy wanderers of the underworld of Jewish mythology, not to the mystical giants.