Title: Times Like This
Category: drama, h/c, teeny tiny bit of humor
Season/Spoilers: season 7, my own take on 'Homecoming.'
Summary: Janet is a very wise woman.
Author's Notes: Oddly enough, the rather unoriginal idea for this little ficlet hit me as I cleaned my bathroom this afternoon. Go figure. I guess I just needed a small little feel-good fic. 'Specially after seeing so many commercials on the Scifi Channel today for the premier. <g> This is for Babs, Jo, Darcy, and Devra… for the wealth of clippys and their infinite patience with my profound *lack* of clippys. You guys are the greatest. Disclaimer: 'Fraid they don't belong to me. Though, that's probably for the best… <eg>
Warnings: MAB! While not actually *speculation*, it's season 7 *inspired* and could probably be AU.
"Doctor Fraiser, really… I'm fine… I don't see how my lying around in bed is going to help me get my memory back."
Janet smiled slightly as she skimmed her patient's chart with the tip of her pen. Satisfied that everything was still in the same pretty damned decent shape as it was last time she checked, she clicked the butt of her pen and suavely stuck it back into her breast pocket while hanging the chart back on the foot of the bed.
"Daniel, stop that."
"Stop what?" he replied, with an expression that made it painfully obvious to the doctor that he really had no idea what he'd done.
"You haven't called me 'Doctor Fraiser' in years, Daniel. It's creepy."
Daniel lowered his eyes and smiled awkwardly before looking at her again. "I'm sorry… but you know I..."
"Still feel as though you just met me, I know." Daniel smiled back at her as she finished his sentence for him, having heard the phrase over and over again, not only in regards to herself, but almost everyone who had ever been close to Daniel over the years.
It had actually hurt to watch the fallout when Daniel had unknowingly called the Colonel 'Colonel O'Neill' instead of Jack… the Colonel had simply waited quietly for Daniel to finish whatever he was saying, then he slipped out of the room, thinking nobody would notice, his head hanging and his feet dragging just slightly. She could actually *see* Sam's eyes turning red as she'd winced the tiniest bit when he'd called her 'Major Carter.'
Teal'c was easier… it wasn't like they called him by another, less formal name… but the familial tone that Daniel had once used as second nature was gone, replaced by his current style of detached frankness. Teal'c had done his best to hide any sting, even cracking a smile as he'd tried to strike up a conversation with his friend. They'd all done their best, but things were taking their toll. Janet was no psychiatrist, but she wasn't blind, either.
In a way, though, she was glad for what she now saw in Daniel. He had an ease about him that Janet had thought he'd never get back again. He smiled more. While he wasn't exactly comfortable being 'himself' yet, he still managed to pull it off with some level of grace. He laughed. He talked.
Because all of the horrible things that had happened to him had been… erased. His heart seemed lighter, his mind less burdened. And she couldn't help but see that as a minor miracle.
Janet gave her patient a tight-lipped smile and patted his covered leg gently before turning to finish her rounds. "Get some sleep, Daniel. It never hurts," she said quietly. Before she could take a step away, though, she felt a hand gripping hers, holding her in place. She slowly turned back to see Daniel looking at her quizzically.
"What?" she asked as he let go of her hand. He tilted his head and squinted a bit behind his glasses, making Janet's heart skip a beat at the purely *Daniel* expression.
"What?" Janet asked again, concerned. She sat down on the edge of Daniel's bed and looked down at him as he tried to compose the words he wanted to say.
"I *do* remember. A lot," he said. Grinning wryly at Janet's immediate confused and surprised expression.
"Yeah. I mean, I *think* I remember."
"Daniel, why haven't you said anything?" Janet leaned in, trying to speak softly, hoping she was conveying friendly concern instead of insatiable curiosity.
"I guess… because I'm not sure if what I remember is real or not… It's there… but it's like what I'm remembering… It's like I wasn't really there. Like I'd just read about it or something. I remember events, as if from second hand accounts… I can quote you facts, names, places… but there's no feeling behind it. I remember the concrete but not the abstract… and somehow, ironically," he stopped and smiled, huffing out a short laugh. "That makes it *less* real. Does that make any sense?"
Janet smiled and gripped Daniel's hand, pleased when he squeezed back. "Yeah, it actually kinda does."
"I know they missed me. Colo-Jack, Sam, and Teal'c. I know I *should* miss them. But I… just can't find the emotions through the thoughts. I'm sorry," he said, sincerely, furrowing his brow in the obvious hope that he'd been able to express himself clearly enough for her to understand. She thought for a moment, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath.
"Maybe you don't have to, Daniel. Maybe what's really important at times like this, when you're not really sure of yourself, to remember that you're not alone. You might not be sure of yourself, Daniel, but we are. So maybe all you really need to know for now, is just how much a whole lot of people care about you."
"You know, Janet. I know I put up this brave and confident façade," said Daniel, puffing out his chest and pasting a huge, cheesy grin on his face. "But I think that's exactly what I needed to hear."
Janet beamed. "Glad I could be of service, Doctor Jackson."