I couldn't resist including this comment from Nell, my beta, made at one point when she was checking this chapter - 'Janet gets to say those precious words that each of us Jack fans wish to say!' - It made me LOL and I wonder if you can guess which word(s) she is referring to?
Suppression Chapter 13
"Welcome back SG-1."
The familiar figure of the SGC commander waited at the foot of the ramp watching as his premier team strode towards him. He watched them hand over their weapons to the armory officer before he again spoke.
"How did the mission go, Colonel?"
Giving him the full O'Neill charm routine, Jack smiled brilliantly and replied, "A piece of cake, Sir. Never better."
General Hammond's alarm antennae began to vibrate.
"Glad to hear it. I'll look forward to the debrief in an hour, people."
"Can't wait, General!"
"A moment, Colonel?"
Jack paused, hoping against hope, watching the backs of the rest of SG-1 file past.
"I believe you may be required to miss the debriefing, but as you've made it clear the mission was 'a piece of cake' I'm sure the remainder of your team will be able to deal with the matter at hand in your absence."
If the general wasn't mistaken, he thought there was just the faintest hint of anxiety in the question; he hid his smile behind a dispassionate mask.
"Yes, Colonel. I understand Dr. Fraiser has a number of issues she wishes to raise with you. She indicated they may take some time and that if I had no objections-."
"Sir, I may have said the mission was 'a piece of cake', but in fact there are some points which do require urgent attention. I'd be failing in my duty if I didn't-."
Clapping a hand on Jack's arm, George beamed benevolently.
"Now we wouldn't want that, Colonel, but I did promise the doctor that I would ensure she had priority and if you're worried about anything, I'm sure your team will ensure I'm fully apprised of everything."
Jack grimaced. There were times when having an efficient team was definitely detrimental to one's health.
"I don't suppose you could..." Jack was willing to try wheedling.
It didn't work.
"I don't suppose I could, son."
Shuddering as he tried hiding how pathetic he was feeling, Jack left the gate room, feet dragging.
The hospital gown dropped onto his lap jerking him out of his little reverie. He needed to get to Sam pretty urgently but as circumstances were ganging up on him, it didn't look like he'd have an opportunity in the near future.
Damn, but he had to sort this mess out and fast.
But then the gown fell onto his lap and such thoughts flew out the window of his mind.
"What's this?" he asked distastefully as if viewing some long dead carcass.
"You know the drill, Colonel."
Janet's perfunctory explanation did little to appease Jack's questioning mind. He tried again, but Janet simply chose not to answer as she pushed through the curtains surrounding the bed he was perched on.
Hearing the comings and goings in the rest of the infirmary he was aware that Teal'c and Daniel had just completed their post mission exams and were about to be released. He moved towards the split in the curtain to catch their attention, only to find his way blocked by a solid-looking male nurse.
Jack frowned. Just spitting out their rank usually had said officer jumping out of his way, performing cartwheels at the same time. Not this time.
Jack glared at the name tag.
"Lt. Brown, I'd be obliged if you'd get out of my way. NOW!"
"Apologies Sir, but I can't do that."
Hardly believing what his ears were hearing, Jack snapped "Excuse me, Lieutenant, but if you don't want to be emptying bed pans for the rest of your Air Force career, you will-."
"Thank you, Lieutenant, I'll take care of this. You can go take a break."
Brown didn't even blink as he turned and left Jack alone with the CMO.
Jack schooled his features. "So what's going on here, Doc?"
Turning on her full dictatorial, power-mongering glare, Janet skewered the Colonel into silence.
"Correct me if I'm wrong, Colonel, but I believe you are the one who needs to do the explaining!"
The old Air Force adage 'admit nothing' rang loudly in his ears and he held his tongue.
Janet's eyes narrowed menacingly.
"Your choice, Colonel. Strip!"
"When can I go?"
Willing herself not to sigh out loud, the night duty nurse plastered a none too patient smile on her face and for the umpteenth time answered,
"That's Dr. Fraiser's call, Sir. You'll have to ask her, but I believe she's waiting for the results of some of your tests to come through."
"Go get her."
Having filled out the notes on her latest routine check, the nurse raised her head, explaining, "I can't do that, Sir."
Jack's patience was past wearing thin.
"Why not, for crying out loud?"
"She's in a meeting and asked not to be disturbed unless it was an emergency."
Rolling his eyes dramatically, Jack drawled exaggeratedly, "This. Is. An. Emergency."
Trying another tack, Jack asked, "Who's the meeting with?"
"I think it's Major Carter, Colonel"
"Carter?" Jack exploded. "Where are they? Doc's office?"
Leaping from his bed oblivious for once to his flapping smock, he threw aside the curtains and marched barefoot across the infirmary floor.
"Sir, Sir, you've got to return to your bed. Dr. Fraiser made it quite clear that you were not to-."
The squeaking of the duty nurse didn't even register as Jack threw open the door to Janet's office, his dark eyes narrowing grimly as he spied the CMO and his own 2IC deep in conversation.
"Have you had your pint of blood - or should I say pound of flesh - yet, Doctor?" he demanded witheringly.
He didn't even acknowledge Sam's presence.
Not missing a beat, Janet stared from his bare feet all the way to the top of his silver grey head and casually answered,
"You're free to go to your own quarters, Colonel, just as soon as Nurse Bowden administers your final shot."
He couldn't hide his dismay. "Another? I've had three already; what the hell's this one for?"
Smiling sweetly, Janet replied smugly, "I could say it's for a pain in the ass, Sir."
Jack's eyes flashed fire even though somewhere deep down he actually felt a glimmer of admiration. There were few people who dared take on Jack O'Neill.
"But you won't," he spat back, knowing he'd been well and truly stitched up.
"No, Sir, I won't."
To say that Jack was pissed off would be putting it mildly. Every door he passed through was given the same resounding treatment - a full and worthy assessment of the capability of the door's hinges. None, so far, had failed, but there was still a number of doors he hadn't given the O'Neill test. He'd get round to them.
"Serves you right."
Too late, the grimace of pain which had flitted fleetingly across Jack's face as he gingerly settled into his desk chair had been spotted.
"It's late, Daniel."
Closing his eyes, Jack tried to draw on any meagre hint of patience that might still remain somewhere deep within him.
"You can't expect to play with fire and not get burnt, you know."
Jack's black eyes bored into the archaeologist dangerously.
"You'd do well to follow your own advice, Dr. Jackson!"
Daniel obviously chose to ignore his own counsel and came to perch on the edge of Jack's desk.
Pushing up his glasses, he adopted a serious expression as he asked, "So what happened?"
It was the shutters coming down that had Daniel uncharacteristically slamming his open palm down hard on the desk, making papers jump in the air before settling again.
"I hope that hurt," Jack muttered sullenly.
"Not as much as your backside, I'm betting," came the glib reply. "So what the hell happened back there? When Teal'c and I set off for the temple everything seemed to be hunky-dory."
"Nice linguistic skills you've got there, Doctor."
It was Daniel's turn to flash Jack a warning scowl.
"What happened, Jack? How did you screw up? And so help me, if you comment on my choice of language one more time, I will set Teal'c on you."
"Answer the damned question!"
Throwing his hands in the air, Jack spluttered, "So why does it have to be me that's screwed up, for crying out loud?...Don't answer that!"
Groaning, and not just from the pain of his shots, Jack rested his elbows on the desk and dropped his face into his open palms. He was the picture of dejection.
Talking through his hands he mumbled, "I misread a situation."
Daniel was trying hard to retain his equilibrium which was always difficult when dealing with Jack.
That did it.
Leaning low, Daniel poked a sharp finger into Jack's shoulder.
"Listen to me, you son of a bitch! You have almost got SG-1 non-operational, so don't you dare try and use some military hogwash of a reason to get out of this."
Lowering his hands, Jack realized that Daniel was brimming with fury, but that was just a veneer covering the deep sadness that was overwhelming him. Daniel could see before his eyes his very own family dropping to pieces and it was too painful to allow without putting up a fight.
Jack mumbled, "Go talk to Carter."
"I did. She told me the same thing."
He waited a little longer then jumping off the table, Daniel kicked the trash can and called out, "Okay, Teal'c. I guess it's going to be your way."
With a slightly self-satisfied expression on his face, Teal'c stepped into Jack's office.
"What's going on here?" For some reason Jack was beginning to feel his anxiety levels start to rise, though he wasn't sure why.
"I tried to get you to talk to me; I tried to get Sam to talk to me..."
"Now," continued Teal'c slowly, hovering over Jack's shoulder, "we will ensure you and Major Carter communicate with each other. And, rest assured O'Neill, you will not be permitted to leave the room until you have sorted out your differences."
If he had been going to his own firing squad, Jack could not have been more reluctant as he trudged the SGC corridors. And in the end Teal'c had voiced his threat.
"Procrastinate further O'Neill, and I will not hesitate to convey you myself to Major Carter's quarters."
Teal'c never threatened then failed to carry it out; the pace increased.
But once outside Sam's door, Jack continued his delaying tactics. Moving from one foot to the other, he was the very picture of indecision as he glanced at his watch.
"It's kind of late guys."
"It is not," replied Teal'c.
"Don't you think it would be better for Carter if I were to wait until the morning? That way she'll-."
Teal'c's large fist banged twice on the door.
'Shit!' This couldn't be happening. If he moved now, he might just...
The firm hand on his shoulder ensured any thought of escape was redundant.
He waited. And waited some more and eventually the frantic beating of Jack's heart began to slow as he came to the realization that Sam wasn't in her room.
Smiling widely, Jack shrugged his shoulders. "Looks like she's left the base. No sweat, I'll see her tomorrow."
Putting on his most apologetic front, Jack explained, "No can do, guys. Janet's confined me to base."
"And since when has a simple order stopped you from doing what you want?" demanded Daniel dryly.
"You know what she'll do if she finds out I've-?"
"Did you not tell me, O'Neill that you are the master of the unorthodox interpretation of orders?"
(Chapter 14 to follow)