SUMMARY: Jack gets sick and Daniel realizes a few things.
SEASON/SPOILERS: Season 4. Small mention of Divide and Conquer.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is my dip into the sea of slash. Hope it turned out okay.

A thank-you to Sharon for the beta and the kind words.

DISCLAIMER: The characters mentioned in this story are the property of Showtime and Gekko Film Corp. The Stargate, SG-I, the Goa'uld and all other characters who have appeared in the series STARGATE SG-1 together with the names, titles and backstory are the sole copyright property of MGM-UA Worldwide Television, Gekko Film Corp, Glassner/Wright Double Secret Productions and Stargate SG-I Prod. Ltd. Partnership. This fanfic is not intended as an infringement upon those rights and solely meant for entertainment. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author

"For crying out loud, Daniel, it's only the flu!"

/Only the flu. And everyone says I neglect my health,/ Daniel Jackson thought to himself as he picked up strewn used Kleenex. Jack O'Neill was sick. Well, actually, according to the colonel, he was 'slightly under the weather.' According to Janet Fraiser, Jack was well on his way to pneumonia if he didn't 'get his ass out of the mountain and in bed.' And who was elected to make sure Jack did just that?

Daniel wanted to kick himself sometimes. The archeologist knew that often he was guilty of the same thing Jack had pulled. He overworked and rarely took the time to recover from any illness. Still, he suffered in silence, up until the very end. Once O'Neill had admitted defeat and confessed he was sick, he started complaining. A natural attention grabber.

Daniel wondered how Sara had ever survived a sick Jack O'Neill. First he complained he didn't need help. Then once help was finally accepted, began the avalanche. Not enough tissue, not enough water, too cold, too hot. Daniel swore if the older man was anyone but Jack ...

But he *was* Jack. The very same man that Daniel had been 'involved' with for the past two months. He'd taken the leap after grieving for Sha're for almost a year, even if the leap was still completely hidden from everyone, including their fellow teammates.

Still, that didn't mean Daniel couldn't get fed up.

"Well, what do you know? There's a couch under all that tissue," Daniel muttered to himself as he finally plucked the last Kleenex from the couch cushion. He was exhausted beyond belief. Jack was *finally* sleeping, under the three quilts that he'd made Daniel go up to the tiny attic for. The archeologist had smiled, reminded himself he loved Jack, and braved a shaky ladder and many dust bunnies all for Jack's winter supplies. An allergy attack later, he returned with his prize, only to find Jack asleep already. Sighing, he simply bundled the sick man up, resisted the urge to crawl next to him, and headed off to clean the living room from Jack's, "I'm sick of sitting in bed," ordeal two hours before.

Now, he flopped onto the couch, reveling in the quiet. If he was lucky, Jack would sleep for a couple of hours and he could get started on some of the paperwork he'd brought from the SGC. Just as he settled down, the phone rang. Immediately he was fumbling for the portable, crossing his fingers that Jack wouldn't wake up. Daniel finally managed to grab it at the third ring.

"Hello," he breathed, keeping an ear open for a grumpy colonel.

"How's the colonel doing?" Sam Carter's voice. Daniel paused a moment before answering, then sighed.

"Still asleep, thankfully."


Daniel sat down on the couch again, giving his work another glance. "Yes, thankfully. Do you that Jack apparently has a Goldilocks sense when it comes to chicken noodle soup?"

Sam laughed. "Somehow I'm not surprised. Didn't you learn anything from what Janet told you?"

Daniel shuddered at the reminder. The last time Jack graced the infirmary with his presence, Janet and her nurses were more than annoyed at his antics. The man that couldn't stay put, didn't listen, and complained endlessly about everything. The day he was released, Daniel was sure that Janet threw a party. Well, at least her nurses did.

"I listened. But would you believe that in the entire five years I've known him, I've been lucky enough not to experience the 'flu- stricken' Jack O'Neill. Therefore, I certainly wasn't expecting to deal with it first hand. He's usually drugged."

"There's a first time for everything. Although I'm immensely grateful that I'm not obligated to take care of him."

Another sigh. "I'm not obligated to do anything, Sam."

"Everyone is obligated to take care of their significant other when they're sick, Daniel."

Daniel shot straight up off the couch. Maybe he'd heard that wrong. There was no way she could know. Or could she? Just how obvious was he? And what did this mean? He panicked for a second before he spoke. "My what?"

Another laugh echoed through the phone line. "Don't worry. Your secret's safe with me. No one knows. Well, except Teal'c. He clued me in, actually. For a Jaffa, he is awfully observant about human behavior."

Great. Just great. Now Sam knew about the relationship he and Jack had tried so hard to conceal. It didn't even matter that she said no one else knew. Teal'c had picked it up, who's to say no one else had? Jeez, he was too tired for this, and he, for one, was not about to break it to Jack that their teammates were more than aware of their sex lives.

"Daniel, I'm serious, don't worry about this. I'm completely okay with it. And I'm not telling a soul." A pause on the line. "It's kinda cute actually. You both flirt with each other."

Flirt? They did not flirt. They were simply ... since when was pushing up his drooping lenses flirting? "We don't flirt."

"Oh, yes you do."

So she did notice. Oh just wonderful ... what happened to Teal'c clueing her in? Daniel realized he zoned for minute because Sam was still talking.

"....and you both go out of your way to do things for each other. I certainly don't see Colonel O'Neill going out of his way to insure the restaurant we're going to doesn't put celery in the soup because I'm allergic."

"If you were allergic he would, I'm sure."

"Maybe." She sounded doubtful. "But he wouldn't send it back to the kitchen three times because they couldn't get it right. Daniel, it's not a bad thing. I'm a bit jealous, actually."

Jealous? How was she jealous? Jack had all but admitted he'd had feelings for the woman in front of several people due to that Zatarc crisis. That very crisis caused a bit of a rift between Jack and Daniel until they realized it was because of the underlying sexual tension slowly building up between them.

It wasn't Sam that Jack wanted. No more than Sam wanted him, Daniel would discover after an interesting conversation with the major over a batch of newly baked chocolate chip cookies. They were friends. Friendship brought deeper feelings that perhaps a major and a colonel shouldn't be feeling for each other.

But that was it.

So why was she jealous? Did she change her mind?

"Jealous?" He held his breath for a minute.

"Sure." She seemed to sense the hesitation in his voice. "Not because I changed my mind and suddenly want the colonel, Daniel. Fact is I can't even call him 'Jack' to his face, and I'll always be 'Carter' to him. We're never going to be anything but friends. Which is all I want. What I meant is that I'm jealous of the fact that you both have such a stable relationship. I'm sure ten years down the line, when he's sick again, and you're cleaning up after him, thinking about how much you want to kill him, you'll still love him just as much as any other time."

Daniel thought that over. Annoying. Sure. Love? Yep. "Still doesn't keep him from complaining that daytime television sucks."

"Well, he's right. It does suck."

"Don't tell Jack that. I don't need someone to provoke a conversation about Jerry Springer."

"Never mention it to Teal'c then. He's addicted to it. He's very amused by the entire string of obscenities that can come out of one teenage prostitute's mouth."

"We *have* to introduce him to something else."

"Daniel, we have introduced him to lots of new things. I think he just enjoys Jerry Springer."

"No wonder his first view of Earth was that we were a completely violent people."

Smiling, Daniel moved the phone away from his ear to listen down the hall. Yep, he heard moment. He looked at the clock. A little over an hour. That was a good nap in the land of Jack. Daniel figured he should brace himself. "I gotta go, Sam. The 'significant other' is up and it's only a matter of time before I'm back on duty."

"Okay. But don't tell him I know. That's one thing I want the honor of telling the colonel personally."

Daniel had wicked visions popping up in his head. Jack was in for it, he could tell. Well, after taking care of him for the past three days, Daniel wasn't about to ruin Sam's fun.

"Deal. As long as you cut me in."

"Of course." Suddenly, there was a thump from the direction of Jack's bedroom, loud enough to be heard over the phone. "I heard that. You better go check on him. Talk to you later."

Daniel gave a good-bye in return and went to find out just what Jack had managed to get himself into now. A step into the bedroom and there was Jack, tangled in the three quilts, hair messed, and looking confused. Daniel could see the sweat covering his face and had no doubt the sheets were soaked as well. Jack looked blearily eyed in the linguist's direction.


Daniel cocked his head for a second, wondering what would tumble out of the older man's mouth next. "Yes, Jack?"

"I don't feel very well." For the first time, since he'd known him, Jack sounded small. Daniel immediately frowned. Something was wrong if Jack was admitting he wasn't feeling well. Well, at least when it wasn't accompanied by further whining and/or demands.

"Of course you don't." Keeping calm, he helped Jack untangle himself from the blankets and practically hoisted him back onto the bed. Jack, for the most part, stared at him, a small contented smile on his lips. Silent. Stepping into the bathroom, Daniel retrieved a thermometer from it last position on the countertop. He managed to make it one step back into the bedroom before he heard retching. He immediately winced.

Jack hadn't been vomiting before this. Daniel hoped that he'd been spared that, but now it didn't seen meant to be. Reaching the bedside, he was grateful that Jack, sick as he was, had managed to find the waster paper basket on the side of the bed.

"Sorry. You didn't need to see that," Jack mumbled, although Daniel doubted in his current state, his friend would remember little, if any, of the exchange. Still, Daniel gave Jack his space, knowing well that the man hated anyone seeing a weak side of him. Perhaps that was the reason Daniel had yet to suffer through the trials of a sick Jack. It could explain the complaining as well.

Daniel sighed as he took the garbage and headed to the bathroom to rinse it out. Jack was too complicated for an over-analyzing archeologist sometimes. Resigning himself to that fact, Daniel took the basket, along with a wet washcloth and another dose of Tylenol, and went back to tend to his sick charge.

An hour later when Jack missed the basket and hit Daniel's bare feet, the archeologist was thinking of everything but Jack's complexities. He was too busy trying not to further dirty the bedroom carpet. And to top it all off the sad thing was he couldn't remember if he'd ever thrown up on Jack. But he had a feeling he had.

Yep, he definitely wasn't going there. As Daniel ran his puke- stained toes under the tub's faucet, he figuring holding each other while they puke was part of the whole 'significant other/best friend' deal.

That's what it hit him.

He kept calling Jack his significant other. Daniel realized that not once in the entire two months of their relationship had he ever referred to Jack as his 'lover,' not even in his own mind.

And he wasn't really sure why. He loved Jack. Jack loved him. That was simple to discover, even if the words were longer in coming. They had sex, so they were definitely 'lovers,' yet Daniel hadn't thought about referring to Jack as that ever.

Even with love, even with sex, Jack was still his best friend. The only best friend he'd ever had. Moving around in the foster care system didn't leave him with lots of room to make friends. And being at least two to three years younger than a lot of his peers in college wasn't exactly an inviting friendship atmosphere either.

It was back to the same thing. Jack was his best friend. That's why he didn't think of him as simply a 'lover' -- that word seemed too cheap to describe the feelings he felt toward Jack. And for him, best friend meant more than lover ever did, for it could possibly include the entire package. Daniel could live (although not as well he supposed) without having sex with Jack. However, he didn't think he could have been happy without Jack's friendship.

Sam once told Daniel he was the glue that held SG-1 together, in friendship as a team. Daniel never took that seriously. After all, if Abydos hadn't happened, he most likely would have been homeless, humiliated, and alone on some street corner somewhere. He hadn't taken his role at the SGC into any consideration. But even if he had such an impact, he wouldn't have it without Jack. Or Sam or Teal'c as well, he knew, but Jack was there before either of them stepped onto the scene. The man who lied about blowing up an entire civilization.

The water was cold under Daniel's toes, and the archeologist realized the water shook him out of what could have become a long lust after a man who was way too sick to respond to whatever hormones his thoughts awakened.

/My lover,/ he thought, and again his mind cringed at the word. Jack was Jack. He was Daniel. 'Lover' was someone else, non-descript and different. Shutting the water off, he marched back into the master bedroom, watching the man he loved sleep.

Man he loved.

Which equaled lover.

And he thought Jack was complicated.

One word.


It still didn't sound right. Daniel looked down at Jack, now content in thick gray pajamas and covered in blankets. Daniel was staring so intently that he failed to notice Jack wake until the man stirred enough to draw his attention.

"Jack. You're up. Want anything? Water? Aspirin? I can -"

"I can get my own damn aspirin, Daniel."

Yes, Jack O'Neill was on the road to recovery. Cranky, yes. But better. Daniel smiled.

"Yes, you could. But I'd rather not have you in heap at my feet."

Jack cracked a smile as his eyes threatened to drift closed again. "Sure about that?"

"When it involves puking on my toes, yes." There, payback for the soup. Jack immediately cringed.

"Oh God, please tell me I didn't." He looked toward the floor and Daniel's feet. "Christ, Danny, I'm sorry."

Daniel shrugged. "I guess it was payback for whatever time I'm sure I threw up on you."

Jack shook his head, closing his eyes when dizziness struck. "Never threw up on me."

Daniel was immediately grateful.

"Now Carter. That's a different story."

Oh great. He vowed that tomorrow morning there would be a box of Godiva chocolate on Sam's lab bench.



"I'm going back to sleep now."

For a second, Daniel flashed back his earlier thoughts. /Lover?/ Thinking spontaneously, he tried something new.

"Okay, lover." The younger man tested the word out, the two syllables sounding completely foreign on a tongue that had certainly spoken more complex languages.

Jack turned his head to Daniel and opened his eyes at half mast. "I know I'm sick and maybe a tad off on the mental comprehension scale, but did you just say 'lover?'"

"Um, yes, I guess I did. Trying a new, um, nickname thing. I mean, that's what we are now."

Jack contemplated that for a second before responding. "Daniel?"


"Just use Jack. It sounds right from you. I mean, I guess you say it differently. Whatever. Stick with Jack." With that statement completed, Jack turned back into his pillow and closed his eyes.

Daniel smiled. Maybe he did say Jack's name differently, just as Jack's "Daniel" was different from every other person who called him by name. Even the "Danny" was distinctly Jack; the only other people to call him that in years were his parents, and Jack was definitely *not* his father.

Daniel shifted to get up, when he felt a hand at the small of his back. He turned to see Jack looking up at him.

"You look tired. Stay."

"I'll get sick, Jack. And you need rest."

"Newsflash, Danny. I've gotten rest, and hell, about you getting sick, you've probably already been exposed. And besides, I'm way too tired and sick to do anything."

Daniel smiled. "Okay." Simple as that.

He laid back, Jack next him, finally getting better. It was perfect.

They were lovers.

They were best friends.

But in the end, they were simply Jack and Daniel.


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