* * * * * *
Daniel's eyes slowly opened, the fuzziness receding to what he was used to, when he wasn't wearing his glasses.
What he saw stopped his brain for a full 3 seconds.
He saw Sam curled up on her side
watching Teal'c and Jack talking quietly - probably trying not to wake him.
He felt around on the ground for his glasses and slipped them on his nose.
Blinking twice, he focused on the spot where Sam had been, but she was gone.
Of course she was gone.
The events of the previous day came flooding back, knocking him upside the brain with enough force to make
him dizzy and nauseous.
Images of her body in various stages of death refused to leave no matter how he tried to concentrate on her smile, her frown, anything else but what was currently going through his mind.
He sighed and
shoved himself to a sitting position, fully aware that the guys were watching him closely for a wince or or sound...anything that indicated he was less than physically alright.
With that in mind, he deliberately controlled his
facial muscles as twinge after twinge made itself known.
He'd slept on the floor...of course his body was stiff and sore.
Teal'c reached out and handed him a mug of coffee.
It wasn't hot, but it wasn't cold, either, so he could live with it.
Daniel turned to see the concern in Jack's eyes.
"Yeah, I guess."
No one was convinced, but then, no one had to be.
No one was okay right at that moment.
Daniel wasn't going to say anything, but it wouldn't stop nagging at him.
"I saw her."
Jack and Teal'c simultaneously turned to him, confused.
Daniel suppressed another sigh.
"When I woke up, I saw her laying on her side next to Teal'c. I know it wasn't real, but it was almost as if I could just reach out and touch her. Then, after I put on my glasses, she was gone."
Daniel knew he'd made a mistake in saying anything when he saw Jack's jaw tighten and his eyes narrow.
realize we're going to be put through all the psychiatric hoops as soon as they figure out how to get us out of this office, right?"
Daniel nodded and rubbed the bridge of
his nose to allieve the pressure headache that was starting to build.
"I know, Jack. I'm not going to tell them I'm hallucinating. It's probably just shock.
Sheesh, she died yesterday. It'd probably be more weird if I wasn't messed up, I guess."
Jack slumped against the wall, all the energy leaving him as fast as it had come.
Teal'c straightened and then stood.
"I can not remain in here any longer. Nothing is going to bring her back this time and while I will still grieve, I can not
allow myself to drown in it. Then, two would have died instead of one and she would not want that."
The corners of Jack's mouth tugged upwards a bit.
"You're right, of course. Just a bit harder to do than to say."
Daniel slowly stood.
"You're right. It's weird. I just feel as if she's here in the room with us right now. I can't explain it."
Jack gave Daniel an exasperated look.
"Please don't go on like that. Last thing I need is the thought of her tagging along with us."
Daniel looked at him in shock.
Jack stared right back.
"I believe the word 'bathroom' says it all."
Jack kept staring until Daniel's mouth lost the battle and curved into a smile, his eyes twinkling a bit.
"I can just see
her rolling on the floor laughing at the stuff that happens in the men's bathroom."
"Gee, thanks Danny. I really wanted that image, too."
Jack flexed, his left shoulder flinching automatically at the pain the movement caused.
"O'Neill. I will escort you to the infirmary now."
Jack gave Teal'c a quick look and saw the stubborn set of the Jaffa's face.
"Oh all right, but you're taking me out to breakfast afterwards to make up for it."
Daniel's smile was still shaky, but it helped the other two keep it together long enough to leave Daniel's office.
Daniel collapsed into his chair as soon as the door closed.
"Sam, I wish you were here."
* * * * * *
Sam was curled up on the floor again.
Sometime during the night when
she was still curled up on her side on the floor, Teal'c had left his chair and sat on the floor.
On her head.
She had her eyes closed and was just listening to everyone breath when she felt fluids and solids all around her.
So naturally she opened her eyes.
And puked...dead style.
That's where your reactions take you up on all fours with exertion, but nothing comes out.
You just buck like a lunatic until the urge leaves.
She then sat down and waited until Teal'c and Jack were both awake and away from her position before laying down again.
She'd then started thinking about every
ghost/dead/undead story she'd ever heard, seen, or read and multiple theories were spinning around her.
She might be solid because she remembered herself as solid and as her memory faded so would her solidity.
She might be
solid because other people were constantly thinking about her and the strength of their combined thoughts were what was keeping her around.
She might have unfinished business she hadn't identified yet.
She really wished she'd
paid more attention when people had talked about near-death experiences.
She might have been better prepared.
She listened to the guys talk and then Daniel mentioned his hallucination.
Her first emotion was sympathy and sadness for his obvious distress.
She sat up with a jolt and stared closely at Daniel.
He'd seen her.
He'd described exactly what she was doing.
Without his glasses on, he could see her.
Or maybe he would always be able to see her, but it was only when his subconscious was in the process of giving control to his conscious he was able to acknowledge he could see her.
There were so many scientific papers written on that phenomenon that it was quite likely.
First thing to do was get him to take off his glasses and look at her.
Then, she'd know.
How to do it...
She watched as Teal'c and Jack got up to leave.
She stretched out her legs so that the guys would step on them as they left.
It was the weirdest sensation.
No pain, but she would feel every liquid and solid object as it passed through her.
The door closed and she moved closer to Daniel so she'd stay within the barriers and wrapped her arms around him as he collapsed into the chair.
Every maternal instinct in her was in overdrive now.
She watched as more tears streaked down his face now that he was 'alone' again.
She tried to get his glasses off his nose, but only moved them a millimeter down the
She got what she wanted, though, when his hand reached up and removed them.
Then, his arms crossed on his desk, oblivious to the paper stacks he was dislodging, and his head dropped into the crook of one arm as silent
sobs overtook him.
Oh well, it's not as if she was on a time limit.
Patience was probably going to be a requisite lesson.
Fighting down her own tears in response to the complete desolation her friend was going through, she
almost didn't hear the door open.
Glancing up, she saw Janet's face twist a bit and her eyes fill with tears.
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