A/N: Hey all, I'm back. This little piece picks up three weeks after the other! For anyone who is reading this and has not read the other, you should go back and read Better than Affleck. Also, I still haven't watched post Daniels ascension more than an episode or two. And I'm still uncertain if everything I'm writing works with canon background.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, but my OC!
Distance Between Us.
Three weeks later
Brow furrowed in concentration, Daniel Jackson distractedly bent the thick blue folder he held in one hand on the palm of his other, his gait quick as he made his way to Sam's lab. The sole's of his boots tapped against the concrete floor as he walked. He went through his mental checklist again.
He was certain he had gotten everything organized and readied that he needed to before he left town. Janet had just given him the examination he was due for before he could use a suit again. He had a kit that he'd built precisely for missions similar to this. Although he would not need much of it this first trip, that was why he had packed a smaller one. Though he had gotten it out all the same. He'd made sure he had extra batteries for both cameras, his basic tool kit, two extra lenses, and he was taking Sam the rest of the notes she needed. He would normally spend the last few days pouring over notes and reacquainting himself with anything that could be helpful, but he wanted to see Addy. He'd been planning on going next weekend, but with everything that was happening, it could become difficult for him to leave. Despite not being offworld for the entire mission, this endeavor could take up almost as much time as it would if they were going to be gone. Quite possibly more because of that very fact.
It had been three weeks since she left, the first one of which he really felt her absence. They were together so much over the previous weeks, Daniel had grown used to her being there. They had not planned it, but they saw each other every day. She had only stayed the night with him a couple of times, but it just felt natural to see her as much as he could.
There was also the fact he and Sam had both spent much time pouring over data in the last few weeks and that alleviated most of the guilt he might feel.
However, if he forgot anything, he wasn't going to have very much time to fix the issue on Monday morning. They were due to leave at 0800 and Daniel knew he would probably be here by 0500 because he was who he was. And he would double-check everything anyway, no matter how meticulous he had been yesterday and today. All of his and Samantha Carter's work had paid off: General Hammond had finally agreed to let them explore P4X-336 further. The planet had no breathable atmosphere, so they wouldn't be staying offworld. The fact that they could not made Jack O'Neill happy. Jack really did not care for extended stays off planet with nothing to do. Daniel normally didn't mind it, but then again, when he was offworld for extended periods, he was always busy. Honestly, though, he wasn't so certain how he felt about the idea now. Closing that thought down before it could go any further, Daniel refused to think about all the things he was already keeping from her.
Pursing his lips, Daniel checked his watch as he rounded the corner just ten feet from the door to Sam's lab, he realised he didn't have much time now. Not if he wanted to depart by two thirty. If he left by two thirty, that should put him ahead of evening traffic when he reached Denver, and he really did not want to be in Denver after four. Evening traffic would add at least an hour maybe two onto his trip and Addy had only managed to rearrange her schedule enough to not be on call tonight through Sunday morning. He would also prefer to miss Jack before he left the mountain if he could manage it. Daniel's sudden announcement this morning that he was going to be out of town this weekend had given Jack new ammo. Daniel wasn't military, but he was still salary and worked hours like he was; so he'd talked to General Hammond, making sure it was alright for him to go. The older man had given Daniel a surprised look but said 'of course' as long as he was ready. Jack had immediately gotten that glint in his eyes, however. The one that made Daniel instantly regret opening his mouth.
Jack had stopped giving Daniel a hard time about not having a life and now asked questions about Addy. Anything from a few weeks ago, in the commissary one morning when Jack asked Daniel if his new friend preferred pancakes or waffles to if she minded how much time he spent with his head shoved in a book. The best one yet had been the day Jack was trying to talk Sam into going to see the Broncos and Bears play in Denver, Sam had been busy. Jack had turned around and asked Daniel not if he wanted to go, but if Addy was a football fan. Daniel confirmed the question and Jack had responded with a moment of silence followed by a, "Huh, she's a real person then." Daniel had yet to confirm or deny that they were together that day in the commissary, but it apparently hadn't made a difference to the older man, who had found a new subject to needle him with. Daniel had finally told Jack he was in fact with her two days later on a mission. It wasn't that Daniel necessarily wanted to keep her secret, but that the entire situation was just new to him. Or it felt like it. It had been so long since he had someone in his life, he himself was still getting used to it. He had searched for Sha're for three years, found her twice, only to lose her in the end. Daniel still wasn't sure about certain things with Addy but he knew he didn't need Jack making him anymore unsettled than he already found himself.
For a moment, the sound of Addy's voice after he had asked her if she wanted company this weekend filled his head, his chest tightening. "Yes," she had said softly and his heart had beat a little harder. He had missed her over the last three weeks since she went back to Fort Collins. A lot actually. But it was more than just simply that: he missed the feel of her and the tightness he sometimes felt in his chest just being near her.
"Daniel," Sam said as he stepped into her office, stopping his thoughts.
"Sam," he said as he made his way across the open space to her workstation. "I think that's all of it," he said, handing her the folder.
"Thanks." Sam laid it on the table beside her, her attention returning to her computer screen. "Are you ready to go?" She asked, her attention coming back to him.
Sam studied Daniel for a moment, "Addy must be happy you're coming to see her?"
"I think so," Daniel said, meeting Sam's gaze, a slight smile lifting his lips.
"It's been a while right?"
"Yeah. Three weeks, " he replied with a nod. "Do you need anything more before I go?" Part of him was feeling a little bad about leaving Sam to handle everything on her own. He usually made sure he was around in case she needed help.
"You should come and take a look at this," Sam said. Pushing her chair back from her computer a bit.
Glancing down at his watch again, Daniel made his way around Sam's workstation. "What is it?"
Sam grabbed the remote to the vcr, hitting rewind. Sam pushed play and said, "This is the latest imagery from the UAV. I just downloaded it." They had sent a longer range UAV out earlier today. "This is about an hour from the gate on foot. I think," she said.
Daniel watched the aerial footage. Below a large city opened up. There were signs of a village near the gate, but had suspected there was a settlement nearby because of the roadway near the gate and the large dry river bed on the other side of the road. For all of their stargate they were still a primitive people. So there settlements would be close to easily accessible water. "Is there more?"
"I am not sure. I haven't watched that far yet."
Daniel nodded, glancing down at his watch again. The urge to grab a stool and stay right here and watch this with Sam was there. But he wanted to see Addy and he had told her he would meet her at the animal hospital she was working at.
"What time do you need to leave by?"
Brow creased, Daniel looked over at Sam, having to think for a moment before he could answer. "Two-thirty."
Sam watched as Daniel attention returned to the screen. Jack seemed intent on messing with Daniel about Addy and Daniel played right into it. In all fairness, she supposed it wouldn't matter if Daniel was open about his relationship or not. Jack was like a child with a new toy, he would never let the younger man be. Truthfully, she knew that all of them, even Teal'c to a degree, were curious about the veterinary student who had caught Daniel's interest, but as for Sam, she was just happy for her friend.
He was different now, lighter maybe. Sam was glad to see it after everything he had been through the last few years, but she did wonder how Daniel would do with keeping so much from Addy. For she and even Jack, they were used to half of their lives being classified. Daniel wasn't, not really, but he had told her Addy's father was a retired Army Colonel so that could work in his favor.
Jack stepped into the room, effectively ending any further conversation that may have come and Sam's thoughts.
The older man stopped in the doorway, partially eaten apple in hand, he rested his shoulder against the door jam nonchalantly. He watched Daniel closely for a moment.
"So when do we get to meet her?" Jack asked then took another bite from his apple.
Daniel turned his upper torso, arms folded over his chest, he squinted at Jack through his glasses for a minute before he returned his attention to Sam. It was on the tip of Daniel's tongue to tell the older man never, but he kept his words to himself, knowing anything he said would only fuel Jack's amusement.
"If you keep avoiding the topic, I might start to think you don't want us to meet her." When Daniel made no reply the older man went on. "She got a tail or something?" Inquired Jack with a shrug.
As Daniel remained silent again, Jack took the advantage. "No?" he asked with a shake of his head. "Extra fingers then?"
Squinting as his attention stayed on the computer screen. "No," he began in a far more even tone than he felt like using. "I assure you Jack, Addy has the appropriate number of fingers. No more. No less."
"Ahhhh," Jack began, drawing out the sound. "I see, she is perfect then."
Straightening up, Daniel looked at Jack, his lips slightly puckered, "I don't remember ever saying she was Perfect."
"That's the issue. You never say anything," Jack observed, moving further into the room he rested his elbow on the top of one of Carter's filing cabinets.
Keeping his elbow on top of the filing cabinet, Jack pivoted, watching the younger man leave the room. "Hey sure, you bet ya," Jack said in response to Daniels see ya. He turned around, taking another bite out of his apple, a pensive look on his face. "What do you suppose she's like?" He asked Sam after he finished chewing.
"I don't know, sir," the blonde said, folding her arms over her chest, a thoughtful look on her face.
"Good looking," Jack said, then took another bite. She had seemed so across the restaurant that night before Christmas.
"Intelligent," Sam added. Amused and not at all surprised the first thought he had was that Addison was good looking. Sam's smile grew as Jack's attention dropped back to his partially eaten apple; he silently stared at it, still wearing that thoughtful expression. "And she likes football."
"Pretty and smart and she likes football," he said, nodding. His attention came back to Carter. "You don't suppose she's stuffy like him, do ya?"
"I don't know sir," Sam said, eyes sparkling slightly. "I thought you said 'liking football' meant she was a real person?" she continued, thoughtfully.
"Yeah, but she's a Broncos fan, that means she was an Elway fan."
"I see," Sam said, even though she didn't.
"Well, I guess there's no accounting for taste," Jack said dismissively. He started to turn and walk off and then Sam spoke again.
"I think I can understand it, sir."
Jack turned back around, his eyes narrowing.
"I mean, what was Elway, like thirty-eight when he retired. And he had a what do you guys call it," Sam trailed off as if looking for the right word. "Canon," she said a couple of seconds later. "Canon arm. I think he threw something like an eighty-yard touchdown pass." Smiling innocently at his perplexed look, she continued, "Anyway, if that's all sir, I have work to do."
She was very much aware that Jack stood there for a moment, watching her suspiciously like she was about to sprout another head before he left the room. The smile Sam had been fighting grew after he left. She really didn't know much about football. She had watched a handful of games with her father when she was really young. But other than that and the occasional boyfriend, she hadn't really paid any attention to the sport. The stuff she had said about John Elway had come from an article in the Denver Times when Elway had retired. The title was something like, Denver Says Goodbye to a Hero.
"She's about six months old," the voice on the other end of the phone replied to Addy's question of a second ago.
"Lucy is a Great Pyrenees correct?" Addy asked next, her attention drifting over the note Maggie had just given her. She smiled happily biting her bottom lip. He was here. She gave the tech a nod, and mouthed, tell him, I'll be out in a bit.
"Yes," Ms Bragg replied.
Addy rapidly popped the end on the pen, she held with her thumb. Telephone, tucked between her shoulder and her cheek, she pushed her chair back, grabbing another hand piece of paper from the desk drawer. She scribbled Lucy's age and breed across it. She had another piece of paper, but when she was writing quickly she sometimes couldn't understand her notes so there was no way anyone else could.
"Could it possibly be parvo?"
Lucy was throwing up white foam, showing signs of dehydration and parvo had become an epidemic in the summer but it was the middle of a Colorado winter. "No, that's more of a late spring and summer illness. Extreme cold kills the bacteria." Influenza was also unlikely as it didn't induce vomiting. It was more likely, she had eaten something that was bothering her stomach or she had a bacterial infection of some kind. "Has she eaten anything that she shouldn't? Has she had her first heat?"
"I'm not sure if she's eaten anything she shouldn't but she was out in the barn… oh, wait she did destroy her bed," was the response.
"Fiber filled?" Addy asked.
"Okay, you need to bring her in." That was it. What most likely happened was the fiber fill couldn't pass through her stomach and was acting like a valve so everything she ate or drank was being vomited right back up. Fourth year students were basically given as much responsibility as the actual doctors but they still had to be careful. Their job was to take calls and confer with the licensed veterinarians if need be so Addy could only say so much.
"All right," Ms Bragg said. "Do I need to make an appointment?"
"No, if you are going to come now, I will let them know."
"Okay, I will leave in a few minutes. I should be there within the hour.
"Alright, thank you Ms Bragg. I will let the others know to expect Lucy."
"Okay," the other woman said and hung up her phone.
Addy placed the phone on its receiver. She checked her watch, making a notation of the time on her paper. She made a note of what she thought was wrong. For veterinarian's, It wasn't all that unusual to see puppies or dogs that chewed their beds or stuffed animals and end up with filling caught in their stomachs. That's why, especially for puppies, folded blankets and rope toys were a better choice. For their owners however, it was scary. Their pets couldn't hold anything in their stomach and quickly became dehydrated and stressed but as long as the issue was treated it was not a life threatening situation. Addy finished writing, checking the other sheet of paper to make sure, she had written everything down. Satisfied, she crumpled the first note up, throwing it in the waste basket as she pushed her chair back and got up.
It was said the fourth year student created a huge source of free labor for the industry. Addy could attest to that, and answering phones was part of it. Addy had been on call and answering phones for weeks. In a couple of weeks she started her second Large Animal Internal Medicine rotation. That was part of the reason she was so glad Daniel had called. Once that rotation started she was going to have even less time if it was possible. If she was extremely lucky and spent as much possible time preparing as she could squeeze out of her schedule, she would have two or three days between programs. If she managed to pull that off, she intended to spend those in Colorado Springs, but she had yet to say anything to her father or Daniel and probably wouldn't until she knew more.
Addy stepped into the lobby, her attention instantly seeking him it stayed there for a moment. He sat on the other side of the lobby from her, head bent over a magazine.
Addy smiled, handing Maggie the notes she had taken while on the phone. "Lucy will be here within the hour. Also, tell Jess thanks again," Addy finished, the older woman had had her daughter go clean Addy's apartment for her and pick up a few groceries. Addy hadn't had time to clean in sometime and with her schedule, Daniel had not given her enough notice to do it piecemeal either.
Addy attention returned to Daniel, dragging her teeth slowly over her bottom lip as she watched him. He was presently still flipping through the pages of a magazine and still hadn't seen her. Addy let her gaze drift over the strong line of his profile. Her stomach giving an odd little flip. As silly as it might sound, Addy had forgotten just how handsome he was, but it wasn't that that had that breathless feeling stirring. She had missed him so much, talking on the phone wasn't nearly enough. Some nights when she was particularly exhausted she wished she could wrap herself around him and fall asleep listening to the sound of his heartbeat. She had known before she left town she didn't want to leave him. She would be glad when the next few months were over and she was back in Colorado Springs, but even then she didn't know how much she would get to see him. She had finally decided that she wanted to pursue a specialty so she had accepted the large animal program in Pueblo, but Daniel had also talked her into applying for an exotic program as well. Surprisingly there were three offered in Colorado this year. One at the Wildlife Sanctuary, northeast of Denver, one at the Pueblo Zoo and the other at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in The Springs. The later would be amazing. She had spent hours volunteering there as a teenager but that would be one of the most sought after in the state. The Wildlife Sanctuary would be her second choice, if it were just her involved. It was northeast of Denver and every bit as far away from home as she was now. They may have only been together about six weeks but she didn't want to stay this far away from Daniel.
But she applied at all three and started writing papers. The one she had written on Chronic Wasting Sickness in the North American deer population would help but she needed at least one more published paper to even be considered. She still wasn't certain if the one she had written while on break would be published. But when she spoke to doctor Anderson about applying for an exotic program as well, he had been encouraging and had offered to and did write her a letter of recommendation.
Daniel looked up then, catching her gaze, an answering smile appearing around his lips as he stood and started toward her. Both of their smiles grew bigger as they made their way toward each other.
"Hi," Addy said, feeling nervous. They had spoken to each other almost every night for the last three weeks but still standing here under his gaze made her feel antsy.
The sudden almost shyness about her held Daniel speechless. Color spread across her cheeks, and tenderness spread through him.
Unsurprisingly it was Addy who found her voice first. " Daniel," she said, still filled with nervous energy, her smile growing.
"Hey," he finally replied, clearing his throat immediately after.
Not waiting for him to say more Addy moved closer throwing her arms around his waist. For a second he stiffened, causing Addy to smile even more, then his arms were around her. She had questioned earlier if he would "I've missed you so much," she said, tightening her arms around him for a second before she stepped back, meeting his blue eyes.
"Me too," he said.
Thanks for reading!