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Pairing: J/D
Categories: Established Relationship, Angst
Season: 8
Episode: Lockdown, Fallen
Rating: PG
Warnings: None
Summary: Daniel is shot.


by Night Spring

You were shot.
I know, you shot me.
Not the point.

First week of command, and I have to shoot Daniel.

Of course, it'd have to be Daniel, and I'd have to be the one to shoot him, primarily because no one else would dare to do it. The SFs should have shot him -- the second one, especially, after the first one was shot, should have reacted faster. But he hesitated.

So yes, I shot Daniel. And no, I don't want to talk about it. Yes, it tore me up -- would have been easier to kill myself than have to shoot Daniel -- but what's most disturbing is that I had to shoot him -- that nobody else would do it. Anybody else in the SGC, other than perhaps me, would have been gunned down before they got off the second shot. But Daniel... faced with having to shoot Daniel, I'm convinced every single man, and woman, in this command would hesitate that one second too long. Even Teal'c.

Part of that, of course, is the personal affection and loyalty Daniel commands from everyone who's had direct dealings with him -- and any new arrival to the SGC is quickly indoctrinated into the cult of Dr. Jackson. The obvious respect and regard with which the senior staff speaks of Daniel is usually enough to impress on the newbies that Daniel is special to the SGC, and the few skeptics are sent on an afternoon of Dr. Jackson detail for Daniel to work his personal magic. It's been that way all the way back to the beginning of the SGC. Hammond's always made clear he held Daniel in high regard, and ensured that Daniel is accorded the same same level of respect as me, the ranking officer after Hammond.

So I tell myself nothing's changed -- the SFs would have hesitated to shoot Daniel, even under Hammond. They would have. And I'd still have been the one who had to shoot Daniel, because nobody else would. Yes, I can keep telling myself that till the cows come home, but that doesn't make the niggling feeling of doubt go away. For one thing, now that I'm general, Daniel ranks with me -- he's not equivalent to the 2IC, he's equivalent to the commander of base. It's a dynamic both Hammond and I are responsible for, and it's way too late to change it now. But I wonder also how much people pick up, if not consciously, on a subconscious level, what Daniel means to me. I know the signs are there for people to see -- I don't exactly try to hide how important Daniel is to me, I couldn't turn it off if I tried. And how much does that influence people, when, like that SF, they need to make a split-second decision to shoot or not shoot? He's looking at months of recuperation and a medical discharge -- his body will never be the same again, despite the best medical care our planet has to offer.

It would have happened under Hammond, I tell myself. Daniel's too valuable to SGC, to earth, not to accord him the level of respect and protection he gets. Even if somebody else had taken over command of this base after Hammond, they would be a fool not to treat Daniel as the most valuable person to the SGC. So I tell myself. But in my heart of hearts, I know my personal affection for Daniel factors in this -- is crucial in this. Was even Hammond totally objective where I and Daniel were concerned? He and I had this whole "not going to talk about the honkin' big elephant on the briefing room table" thing perfected to a fine art. He felt more than he should for SG-1, and particularly for Daniel, and strangely enough, for me. He let me get away with a ton of shit, including indulging Daniel. Would Hammond have allowed everyone to treat Daniel as if he walked on water, if not for me? I took Hammond's natural respect and affection for Dr. Jackson, and enhanced it -- to the point everyone hesitates before shooting Daniel. And god forgive me, I haven't the heart to have it any other way. While Hammond was here, he at least shared part of the responsibility. He would have shot Daniel himself, or he would have been here to tell me I did what I had to do. To tell Daniel I did what I had to do.

Now, it's all my responsibility. The price I pay for having Daniel here, with me. The price I pay for loving Daniel. For having him sitting across from me in my office, making himself at home like he owns the place, like he owns my heart -- which he does -- pointedly reminding me yet again that I shot him.

Yes, I did shoot him, and I will shoot him again. Because I'm the only one who will do it. Because I made it that way. And god forgive me, I can't stand having it any other way.

There's nothing quite as disconcerting, let me tell you, than waking up with a gunshot wound, and not having any recollection of how it happened. Well, actually, I'm sure if I thought about it for a minute, I could probably come up with more disconcerting situations -- but none of them has happened to me -- yet. Well, waking up naked in the middle of a field with no memory of who you are or what you are doing there may come a close second, but strangely enough, having no memory meant not having any reference points to get you disconcerted. But I digress.

I don't know why I'm fixated on who shot me, but it seems very important. Who, in the SGC, would dare shoot me? After all, Jack would send people to Antarctica for looking at me the wrong way. In fact, I'm not sure he hasn't done that a few times already. But of course, it was Jack who shot me. Jack shot me? Jack shot me? The idea refuses to sink in, floating around in my head without finding any anchor. Jack can't shoot me, he's supposed to protect me! It's the last thing in the world he'd do, the last thing in the world he would want to do -- and Jack shot me. Jack shot me. Jack. Not anyone else, Jack.

It's Sam who tells me I wounded two SFs, and it's then that it finally starts to sink in. Jack, in the line of fire next. Jack getting the shot off a second before I -- no, Anubis -- can get a shot at him. Of course Jack had to shoot me, Jack had to shoot me. Nobody else at the SGC would dare shoot me, they are too afraid of the Wrath of Jack. He was scary enough as the colonel and the de facto 2IC of the base. Now that he's general -- well, people can't jump faster for me. Did Jack think it was bad having Sam snap to attention? At least he could tell her, "At ease." With me, it's more subtle -- everywhere I go, people sit up just a tad straighter, is just that little bit more careful how they speak to me, and as I said, they can't jump fast enough to carry out my "requests." I want to tell them, "Hey, it's still just me," but I'm not, am I? I'm the only one on base that calls the general "Jack." I mean, Jack's never treated me as a subordinate, and I've never acted like one, and that's not changing because he's now the general. I've always had this weird position in the social hierarchy of the SGC, a privileged status you'd have to be a nitwit not to notice -- and anyone who gets assigned to this command is definitely not a nitwit. But this new level of respect I get because now I'm the "not-subordinate" to the general has been -- interesting. Jack may be breaking in his new desk, but turns out I'm breaking in the halls and corridors of the SGC. For starters, my new non-rank comes quite handy in securing an early release from the infirmary. Wouldn't have worked on Janet, though, she had her own non-rank that would have carried over into Jack's command.

So, since no one else dares to do it, it's up to Jack to shoot me, like he shot Skaara on Apophis' ship, like he shot Sam when that entity had her body, like he shot Ressee... shit, not going there.

Jack does what he has to do, no matter what the personal cost to him. Hasn't known him to do otherwise yet. Yeah, he can shoot me, and come to think of it, he's pulled the plug on me before, and will do it again. And it's good to know Jack can and will shoot me, and dreadful to know Jack can and will shoot me, that every day we live, he lives with the possibility and responsibility of having to make that decision. I don't know how he lives with that, I don't know if I could shoot Jack if I had to. Would I hesitate that one millisecond too long? God, I hope not. If I loved him, I would stop him, before he did anything horrendous. God, I'm glad I (Anubis!) didn't kill anyone, I (Anubis!) didn't kill Jack -- have to find out how those SFs are doing, hope they are going to be okay.

Sometimes, I do wonder whether being responsible for my life, in addition to everyone else's, is unfair to Jack. How much burden can a single man carry? But that's always been a part of our lives, from the very beginning. From the moment I pushed Jack out of the way of the staff blast, it's been there, between us. My life, for his. To use, whatever way he needs. His life, for me. To live, whatever way I need him to.

Which doesn't excuse Jack's mother hen routine -- I mean, it's just my arm, I can walk! Yes, I was shot, you shot me, thank you very much, what was the point? So, let's go get Anubis. And while we are at it, can we figure out how to get the mess to turn out edible french fries? Or better yet, I'll just go put the Fear of Jack into whoever was responsible for the great potato mixup in the first place...

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