Title: T is for Thanks
Rating: PG-13 for Angst
Word Count: 830
Spoilers: 7x01 Fallen, 7x06 Lifeboat, 7x11 & 7x12 Evolution, Pts. 1 & 2, 7x17 & 7x18 Heroes, Pts. 1 & 2
Prompt: The Letter T
Beta: Superspecial thanks to eilidh17 for not only a great beta job, but a quick turnaround to make it in time for Gen Fic Day and Janet Alphabet Soup!
“Dr. Frasier did everything she could. I think she went three days without sleep. Even in the end she didn’t want to let me go. I owed her, a lot more than I ever gave back.”
Janet found Dr. Jackson nursing a cup of coffee in the commissary, seemingly lost in his thoughts, or perhaps new memories. In the past months, she had only engaged him in the infirmary in a very formal manner since his return and she hoped she would eventually re-attain the easy-going comfortable friendship he willingly offered before he ascended. Her heart jumped when she was greeted with a genuine smile and any risk to take the seat across from him diminished into nothingness. She greeted him by name as she sank into the chair, returning his smile with one of hers. But then the conversation stopped there.
After a few minutes, each rotating their coffee mug, neither willing to meet each other’s gaze, Daniel cleared his throat. “I never said thank you, by the way.” His voice was quiet, reserved.
“Pardon?” Janet tried to hide being completely thrown off guard.
“For helping to get all those people out of my head, for helping me get back into sorts after I returned…” His gaze returned to his cooling coffee momentarily before he looked back up at her, gave a sanguine grin and took a deep breath, “for everything?”
Janet stared at the top of his head for a moment before grabbing his hand and pulling towards the center of the table. “Having you back after we, after I lost you, is more than enough. Watching you,” she couldn’t continue as she choked down a tear, “I couldn’t do anything. I have never felt as helpless as I did that day.” He squeezed her hand in his.
“Thank you, Dr. Frasier.”
Daniel woke with a quite start, his breath caught in his chest with the memory of Raphael racing towards him. He exhaled and willed his heart to slow as he pinched the bridge of his nose, trying to shake off the adrenalin rush. Janet pushed back the curtain just then.
“I see you’re awake!” She beamed him a smile. Daniel’s effort to return her smile did not go unnoticed by the perceptive doctor.
“When can I get out of here, Janet? I’m going crazy!” Daniel always could pull out a perfect whine to get what he wanted.
She took his wrist in her grip and turned her attention to her watch. “Not too much longer I think. The systemic infection seems to be finally leaving your system. You were touch and go there for a little while.” She gently replaced his arm on his chest and gave it a pat.
“Don’t remind me!” He chuckled weakly. “What I wouldn’t have given three days ago to be put out of my misery!”
Daniel was startled as he watched Janet’s face go dark with grief. “Don’t say that.” Her voice was reserved, guilty.
He pulled her arm into his grasp. “Janet?”
She took a seat on the bed, allowing her arm to remain in Daniel’s possession. “Don’t ever say that, Daniel. Ever.”
“What are you talking about?” He quickly thumbed the remote to sit up in bed, his full concentration on the woman in front of him.
“When you-” She choked on her words, “when you were dying, I seriously considered-” She shook her head to fight off the tears.
He squeezed her hand. “Putting me out of my misery.”
She nodded, using her free hand to wipe away a tear. “The pain you must have been in. I didn’t know which was worse, watching you die that horrible death, or knowing that I killed you right before the Tok’ra or the Asgard showed up.”
He pulled her into his arms and she welcomed the embrace. He began processing the information. If she had let him die earlier that day, had she not fought to keep him until that very last moment… He might not have accepted Oma’s invitation to ascend. He’d be dead now. He tightened his hold on her and he promised himself never tell her what might have happened. “Thank you, Janet,” he whispered into her ear. “You made the right choice. Thank you.”
Daniel watched as Emmett Bregman walked back into the lit corridor and left him alone to embrace the solitary darkness of the corner of the isolation room. Ever since his descension, memories flooded into his mind uncontrollably, even ones he already remembered. Images beat into him, the emotions so strong it physically hurt. He remembered Janet smiling every time when he woke up in the infirmary over the past seven years, the way she soothed him by swiping her hand through his hair when he was in pain, and the casual checking of his pulse from his wrist as she stood by his bedside and engaged him in conversation. He held tightly to his wrist as he broke into sobs. Thanks would never be enough to make up what she gave him.