I’ve had enough!
‘Oh, that’s weird; I can’t feel my fingers.’
Daniel watched the pen fall from his hand, it rolled across the manuscript he was translating, onto the table and then disappeared over the side.
“There once was a meatball all covered with cheese,” Daniel sang, and realised that he was punch drunk. “It sat on the table until somebody sneezed.”
Irrevocably, he slumped forwards, mashing his nose against the priceless manuscript.
‘I’m so tired I want to die.’
He closed his eyes and snored.
“Daniel?” Someone was shaking his shoulder insistently. It could only be Jack, Sam would be gentle. Teal’c would cajole him awake from a distance.
“What?” Daniel turned his head on the table, squishing the manuscript further.
“Meeting with General Hammond in five minutes.” Jack leaned down to peer into his face. “You all right?”
“Yeah.” Planting his hands on the table he forced himself upright.
“Right.” Jack reached out… Daniel backed away almost falling off his chair.
“What are you doing?” he demanded suspiciously.
Daniel froze as Jack unhooked his glasses, which were hanging by one arm off his right ear. Then with great deliberation, the colonel reset the glasses on Daniel’s face. Extending a finger, Jack pushed them up Daniel’s nose.
Mulishly, Daniel pouted, pursing his lips together.
“You sure, you’re all right?”
“Yeah, I just--” he rubbed his forehead, “--fell asleep.”
“You get your translation done?” Jack nodded at the mussed up document.
“No, I’ll finish it up before I head home for the night after General Hammond’s meeting.”
Sighing deeply, he pushed himself to his feet, wincing as he stretched.
“I’m all right, Jack.” Daniel stalked out of the room.
Daniel let General Hammond’s soothing voice wash over him as he doodled on his notepad. The weekly briefing from the various departments in the SGC was usually interesting. ‘Well,’ he admitted to himself, ‘parts of it are usually interesting.’ The security briefing was usually deathly boring.
“Doctor Jackson?” The voice held a hint of vexation.
“What?” Daniel looked up, mouth open in consternation. The rest of the department heads were staring at him. He guessed he’d missed something. “What?”
“Your report, Dr. Jackson?”
“Oh. Oh. Oh. Er…” He jumped to his feet. “I’ve made no
progress with the Pictish runes from P3X 956, but
that’s hardly surprising given that there’s no documentation on the Pictish runic structure. I passed on my appraisal of the
archaeology from M4C 342, so the new SG:11 team have a
go. I think, though, they should take a specialist in Roman Culture with them.”
Daniel winced, racking his brain. “The Fudo-Myoo
sculpture found on P7X 222 guarding the Stargate indicates that we should tread
carefully there. The Fudo-Myoo is a deity that
protects Buddhism and its advocates. However, there’s no indication of any Goa’ulds (at least so far) from Buddhist roots, therefore
we may be dealing with the adherents of Oma Desala. I think that the mission to PX7 222 should be
postponed until SG:1 returns from the mission to PX5
585, which shows interesting indications of Ra’s heavy hand, and potentially
it’s been abandoned since he died on
“They are, Dr. Jackson,” General Hammond said evenly.
“Excellent. If you could ask them to look in the citadel for more slates, we’d find it very useful.” He scratched his sideburn and pondered momentarily. “I translated the Ra-Herarhty cartouche that the MALP video taped from the asteroid orbiting PX7 K2, and it indicates that bio-warfare was used on the asteroid. I’ve liased with Dr. Fraiser and we recommend that the mission is scrubbed. The MALP is now in decom. SG:2 have been informed. I’ve started on the scrolls brought back from Mashu, but I don’t have anything to report yet, apart from the fact that it’s related to Sokar, sorry about that. I need to send the idol from the Norse settlement on PK–whatever for radio-carbon dating as I think it’s older than it should be. Perhaps Sam…uhm… could look at it?” He looked hopefully at his fellow team member, smiling tentatively until she nodded. “Oh, and I haven’t managed to identify the shards that the previous SG:11 team brought back from PX3 712, but I’m fairly sure that they are from funeral pots.” Daniel took a deep breath and sat with a thump. He caught himself and then rose again. “They’re the main items. There’s a backlog of pottery, scrolls, translations et cetera, but based on a cursory study, they’re not important at this time.” He sat again.
“Thank you, Dr. Jackson.”
“Yeah.” Jack rose to his feet. “No SG-team fatalities, upbeat missions. Veni, vidi, vici.” Grinning, he slumped back into his chair.
“Thank you, Colonel,”
Daniel tuned them out as he mentally struggled with the Mashu scroll.
“Daniel?” Someone was shaking him again.
“What? Did I nod off during the briefing?”
“No, you were just doing the staring into the distance thing. Nobody noticed any difference,” Jack cracked.
Daniel shot him a dirty look. The rest of the department heads
were leaving the briefing room in droves.
“I suppose I better get back to my lab, lots to do.” Daniel didn’t want to move; he just wanted to sit and perhaps sleep. They were going to PX5 585 in the morning and he had so much to do. His brains were beating against his skull, determined to get out and splatter everyone. There was so much information banging around in there, he though he might explode.
He didn’t want to go to PX5 585, he wanted to go to bed… for a week. There was no light at the end of the tunnel. At least when he was doing his PhDs, he knew when he handed in his thesis that he’d have a break. When an essay was handed in as an undergraduate, he got the weekend off. Not that he always took the weekend off, as there was so much to do. But at least at the end of the semester, he had some downtime.
General Hammond was regarding him with eyes filled with knowledge. Daniel came to a decision.
“Sir,” he stood. “Sir?”
“I’d like to take some of my backlogged vacation time. I’d like--” Daniel consulted his watch, “--to start now.”
“What?” Jack spluttered.
“What?” Jack spun on his superior. “We’re going to PX5 585 in the morning.” He jerked back to face Daniel. “And SG:2’s waiting on that translation about the watchimacallit…”
“See. See. See,” Daniel suddenly seethed, he brought his hands up to his head, hands splayed, underscoring his frustration. “It never stops. There’s always a hundred and one things to do. If I have a vacation, now, tomorrow or even in a month, it’ll make no difference. There’ll still be a hundred and one things to do! I want a vacation, not time off because I’ve been zatted or exposed to some kind of alien narcotic. I need a holiday! You hear me--” Daniel stamped on the floor in frustration, “--a holiday.”
Jack stepped into Daniel’s personal space, unimpressed by the
spitting ire. “And what, pray tell, are we supposed to do while you’re
Daniel’s eyes flashed angrily. He pictured himself with a Goa’uld ribbon device slamming Jack up against the wall. Or maybe going straight for his jugular with his teeth.
“Er, yes?” Somehow the general had crossed the room without him noticing and now stood at their side regarding them like a parent with recalcitrant offspring.
“Stop by and see Dr. Fraiser before you go home.”
“What? I’m fine,” he protested.
“Humour me, Dr. Jackson.”
“Yeah, he’s… What?” Jack leaned in closely, scrutinising the linguist with his deep set eyes. “You look like shit.”
Daniel threw his hands up in frustration once again, and stomped out of the room.
Daniel sat on the edge of the infirmary bed swinging his legs as Janet consulted the sheaf of notes resulting from his blood work. He had spent the last few hours wearily loafing about in the infirmary being prodded and poked by a variety of instruments wielded by overly attentive staff.
“Blood sugar is perilously low. And your blood pressure’s higher than I would like it.”
“Doesn’t that cancel out?” Daniel asked around a mouthful of chocolate bar.
Janet fired him a quelling glance.
Daniel swallowed mightily. “Sorry, I’ve been around Jack too long.”
“My diagnosis is exhaustion and stress and my prescription is a vacation.”
“You know,” Daniel said pithily, “I didn’t need a medical doctor to tell me that.”
“Sorry, I’ve been around Jack way too long.”
“So why today, Daniel? What made you decide now was the time to take some time off?”
“I don’t know.” He slumped. “I realised I just want to go to bed. To sleep and shut my brain off for half an hour. There wasn’t any straw that broke the camel’s back. I just realised that if I don’t…”Daniel broke off, looking away from the attentive physician, with her vials and needles and reports and psychiatric recommendations.
“Yes, Daniel,” Janet prodded sympathetically.
Daniel searched for an answer she wouldn’t pass onto the SGC psychiatric consultant, Dr. Mackenzie. “You know, most people get vacations. If I had tenure, I’d get twenty-two weeks a year. I think time off is written into the Constitution.”
“And so what made you decide today?” Janet continued relentlessly.
“That if… that if… I don’t have a break… I’ll probably do something terminally stupid, like fall asleep when I’m on watch or mix up some translation and send a team to a poisoned planet.”
“Time off is allowed, Daniel.” Janet patted his knee. “In fact it is recommended. The SGC won’t fall apart without you.”
Daniel raised a mockingly sceptical eyebrow. “Of course it won’t.”
“I recommend that you go home, spend a quiet weekend just eating and sleeping. Monday morning decide where you want to go on vacation. I suggest somewhere with white sandy beaches, a warm sun and martinis.” Janet gestured flamboyantly to the door. “Just remember to slap on the sun cream and send us a postcard and we’ll see you in three weeks.”
“I’m free to go?” Daniel slipped straight off the gurney and arrowed to the door.
“Yes!” Fraiser said to his retreating back.
Jack was waiting for him in the corridor. Propped up against the wall, he had his hands thrust deep into his baggy trouser pockets.
“You all right?”
“Yeah.” Daniel reluctantly came to a halt. “I got three weeks vacation.”
“Got any plans?”
Daniel caught his tongue between his teeth to stop himself smiling. “I’m thinking sandy beaches. No coniferous trees. Just warm, sun baked beaches,” he said blissfully.
“What do you mean, no trees? How will you cope?”
“Easily.” A tired yawn blindsided anymore jocularity.
“I’ve got car keys.” Jack held them up and jiggled them in Daniel’s face.
“I’m sure I’ve got mine somewhere.” Daniel patted at his pockets. “I’m sure I have. I can drive. I wonder where I left them?”
Daniel squinted at the keys. “Hey, they’re mine.” He snatched, but Jack pulled them out of reach.
“Ah a ah. If you’re too tired to work, you’re far too tired to drive.” Jack slung a heavy arm around Daniel’s shoulders. “We’ll stop by the supermarket, ‘cos I’m sure you haven’t got a scrap of food in. You show me how much to feed your fish and Tuesday morning I’ll drive you to the airport, for your ‘summer holiday.’”
“You were listening?” Daniel said, aghast.
“Of course I was.” Jack shepherded down the corridor. “I thought I might be able to con you into going fishing.”
“I’m desperate, Jack, but I’m not that desperate.”