The Ghost

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Jack(s)
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Re: The Ghost

Post by Jack(s) » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:11 pm

Next part is coming up. Thanks for all your patients. Been a bit busy...

xxx

Doctor Frasier was just standing next to the Colonel to check his vitals as Daniel walked in. “How is he doing?” he asked while taking a chair to sit next to his friend.

"He is still out from the narcotic he had during the operation. Otherwise, his vitals are looking good. He is in remarkable shape for his age," she replied while checking some boxes. Janet was thinking about telling Daniel that he should not stay for too long. But as soon as she was thinking it, she threw it overboard as she knew how it worked. Every time one of them was in here seriously injured one of them would sit with their friend. It was a 24-hour watch and she admired it.

"Thank you. I will ring the bell when he comes to." Daniel knew the procedure. Sit, wait, ring the bell when he comes around. He could do this. The archaeologist opened his laptop and started on some translations he was working on at present. His concentration was so not with him and after a few minutes, he put the electrical device on the floor. Watching his friend lying there in front of him, he wished he could do something to make him better.

Xxx

Sam entered the infirmary to relieve Daniel for some rest. He was dozing already and as she laid a hand on his shoulder he jumped.

"Oh, hey Sam. What are you doing here?" Slightly off, he looked around. A glance at his watch showed him that six hours had passed since he had sat next to his friend. Checking now on Jack, Daniel saw that his friend was still out, and the monitor was beeping in the rhythm of his heart.

“I will go and get something to eat. Have fun.” He smiled and let Sam take the warm seat. The Major just smiled back and watched her CO. He was looking peaceful. She tried to imagine what he would be thinking or dreaming about.
The time flew by. The nurses made their last check and smiled encouragingly. So far still no change. The operation was 8 hours ago, and he still wouldn't wake up. Sam grew concerned and hoped that this would change very soon. Taking his hand in hers, she rubbed her thumb lightly over the back of his hand.

“Colonel, please. You have to wake up.” She pleaded.

“Why?” a soft voice asked from the bed.

“Colonel!” Sam nearly jumped out of her skin.

“That’s me, last time I checked.” He smiled and turned in her direction.

“Let me get Janet for you.” Sam pressed the bell in the same second and could not tear her eyes off her friend. He`s done it once again…came back and cracked a joke.

“How you are doing, Carter?” Jack looked at his 2IC and tried to give her some comfort. His memory came back slowly, and he imagined that it would have been quite a shock for her.

“I am fine. It’s you we are all concerned about.” She smiled broadly.

“Ah, Colonel. Welcome back. It’s nice of you to join us.” Janet marched into the room and started to check him all over. “Your vitals are looking good given the circumstances. Despite them, how are you feeling?” She ticked some more boxes and scribbled some notes down after checking his pupils.

"Tired. Like someone did throw me under a train." He grinned to show that no one needed to be concerned about an old soldier like him. First, he was just going for his fine bravado. But, in the last second, he decided for once, to tell the truth. They all deserved it.

“Are you in any pain you can`t handle right now?” Janet was thinking about how to word it right for him. She knew that the Colonel was against painkillers if he was thinking he didn’t need them.

“I am ok for now doc.” He told her honestly and promised to say something when he got in too much pain which would happen eventually.

"I will leave you two alone." She was on the way out as she turned around once more "Sam, don't stay too long. The Colonel needs to rest." With that, she was gone good knowing it wouldn't happen anyway.

After she assured the good doctor that she would not stay for too long, Sam turned her attention back to her CO. Jack was watching her and could not believe how beautiful she was. So close and still too hot to touch. He wished the regulations wouldn’t stand in their way and it would end like a fairy tale where they lived happily ever after.

“Sir, you should go back to sleep.” She smiled and was on the way to stand up.

“Stay with me,” he coughed, “please.”

“Sir?” she looked him directly in his deep brown eyes. “You heard the doc as good as I did.”

“Don’t care, Carter. Stay. Please.” He closed his eyes as a wave of pain washed over him. Now he regretted not taking the doc up on her offer of some pain meds.

“Sir, you are in pain. I will go and get the nurse. OK?” Sam looked at him in concern.

“Only if you stay.” Opening his eyes, he managed to put a schoolboy grin on his face. She had to be careful not to melt away. He was still her commanding officer.

“Ok, when it makes you happy. I will see what I can do for you.” She grinned and entered the competition of the smile of the year contest.

“It does.” He closed his eyes again.

Sam left him alone for a minute while she was looking for a nurse. Teal`c was still standing outside and had all the immediate area covered. The news that his friend was awake put him a bit more at ease.

The next morning came. Sam had been sitting next to the Colonel's bed all night dozing on and off from time to time. It was irritating her that every time she left his side he became restless. Even in sleep, it seemed he sensed her nearby.

Daniel came early in the morning with a cup of strong coffee for her. Both watched the sleeping man. Both teammates swapped sides and now it was Daniel's turn to take care of his friend. He knew from previous stays at the infirmary that Jack could be a pain in the backside if it comes down to `I want to go home; I am feeling well yadi yadi yada. ` It was always the same and still, he wouldn't have it any other way. The man in front of him he respected too much. Over the years they became good and close friends. He would do everything in his power to help his friend with whatever he needed and he was sure that Jack would do the same.

Taking his laptop out, he sipped on his coffee when a nurse came in. "Good morning, Dr Jackson." She smiled at him and went on to check the vitals of her patient. Taking some notes, she always had an eye on the visitor next to her.

It was not a secret that a few women on the base had an eye on Daniel Jackson, especially some nurses. She was one of them. In her eyes, this man was everything she wished for: loyal, handsome, good looking, charming… oh, she could carry on the whole day. Instead, she finished and wished him a good day.

Some dark brown eyes opened slightly and just saw how the nurse left. Closing again and hoping to find some more sleep a voice started talking to him. “So, Jack. How is it going?” Daniel asked, realizing his friend was awake.

“Leave me alone,” Jack mumbled, not in a mood to talk to someone. He was still in pain and his Major wasn’t here. He had hoped he would wake up and the first thing he would see was her. No such luck and Daniel now was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“And a good morning to you too,” Daniel quipped.

“What you want? I told you already to leave me alone.” Jack opened his eyes again and looked at a happy smiling face which belonged to his friend.
"I want you to get yourself better and I want to help you to find the bastard who is after you. Right now SG1 is on downtime so long till the guy is caught and you can enjoy your life in peace again. But this involves you speaking to me or anyone else. We need some information about what's going on and who it is you think you are seeing." Daniel hoped that it was quite clear now that he would not go away and would not let the matter drop, but he also knew how stubborn his friend could be and taking some help was never his priority.

"Nothing to talk about. I just have seen someone who is a long time dead. Can happen to anyone. Now let it go." Jack closed his eyes just to open them again as he heard his name.

“Jack”

“Daniel”

“Jack, don’t be an ass”

"I am not. This guy whoever he just wants some fun. Let him have it. He will soon be tired and move on." Jack was hoping that he could go back to his well-deserved rest now.

“What if he leaves you alone and picks someone else? How could you live with that?” Daniel tried to challenge him.

"Not my problem." With that, the conversation was finished as he closed his eyes again and turned his head slightly to the side.

“Yeah, the great Colonel Jack O`Neill just picking the easy way out. Everything is not his problem.” Disappointed, Daniel got up and left his friend still in disbelief at what he had just heard.

Sam sat with her breakfast as Daniel stormed in and got himself a coffee first. Sitting next to Sam a little while later, he shook his head, still angry and mad over the conversation he had had in the infirmary.

“What happened to you?” Sam looked at him a bit irritated.

“Jack happened,” he grumbled.

“He is awake?” Sam still looked confused. She knew that her CO could be a pain but seeing Daniel so angry she wondered ‘What did he do now?’

Daniel explained what had happened. After he was finished, he sunk into himself. His steaming coffee still in front of him on the table he played with his thumb.

"Daniel, I believe that the Colonel just wants to protect you. Knowing him he wants to deal with that matter himself and want us out of harm's way. He is our leader and a good leader protects his team. He would never forgive himself if something would happen to you, me or Teal`c." She tried to explain.

“Ah, and you know this all how?” he fired back still hurt.

“Because he and I are Air Force and that is what I would do in his position,” she admitted.

Daniel looked at his friend in surprise. He just felt like someone smacked him over his face to wake him up. He should know better. All this Jack O`Neill bravado. He always pushes his friends away if it gets too dangerous because this old stubborn Colonel still didn’t get it that he has friends, very good friends.

“Ok, makes sense. What’s your plan? We need to find that guy. Otherwise, sooner or later, he will kill him and that is so sure like the amen in a church.” Daniel’s face had changed as the fire of his helpful nature came back.

“So far we don’t even know what the guy looks like. All we know is that Jack said the guy is dead. He died a long time ago.” Sam mumbled under her breath.

Xxx

Jack opened his eyes again. Looking around he noticed that he was alone. No one was waiting for him to wake up, no one who had a friendly word for him. He frowned to himself. Sometimes he didn’t even know himself what he wanted. Too much fussing around would annoy him and when no one was here for him it wasn’t right either.

Checking himself over he felt ok. Not much pain so far which was a good sign. His stomach rumbled and he realized that he was hungry. A bit of bacon and eggs would be nice for him to have now. He sighed. If he would have been nicer to Daniel a bit earlier, he could have asked him if he would bring him something from the commissary.

His thoughts had gone back far, far back to a time he never wanted to relive again. He closed his eyes as he saw the whole scenario right in front of him: the hot stuffy air, the glimmerings in the distance. He was on a point high above everything. Beneath him, a little village snuggled itself on the hill. Farmers worked in the fields and traders came and went.

His mission was simple: wait for the guy, shoot the guy, get to the meeting point, get picked up. Just a piece of cake. He was lying on his spot for a few hours now and his eye had grown a bit tired. The dry air didn’t always help to keep the eyes moist. The sand in the air didn’t help either. There, the man in question arrived. He got out of the car and stepped to a group of men. Jack didn’t know where he was exactly. His orders had been clear about eliminating him.

He aimed his rifle and one single shot escaped. The sound flew over the whole dessert. The man crumbled and dropped dead to the ground. Jack had watched the whole scenario. A shot, right between the eyes. He packed his stuff together and made his way to the pickup point when he heard voices. Quickly looking for a different route he started to run in a zig-zag kind of way. He hated killing, but he also was a soldier and knew what must be done to keep the planet safe.

The shouting and screaming came closer and closer. He had to do something otherwise they would get him and he didn’t want to know what would await him.

Very quickly he had set a few traps hoping that would buy him some time. As he ran further, he heard some explosions and more screams. All of a sudden a boy was standing in front of him. He knew that kids could be dangerous but still. What if the boy was just as innocent as they come? Jack was sure the kid didn't ask for any of this and with that, he was moving on. Let the boy stand where he was standing. Not paying attention that the kid got himself a knife from God knows where and aimed it in the direction of the stranger.

A sharp pain erupted in his right thigh. He nearly dropped to the ground but managed to stay up. Cursing and fumbling around to get the knife out, the voices came closer again. As he turned around to see the boy staring at him. Jack lifted the knife into a throw position and released it. He saw how the boy closed its eyes and waited for the kill. It never came.

Jack just had smashed the knife into the ground and now, in much pain, limped forward to the meeting point. It was still a great length to go and he had to hurry as otherwise he would be left behind.

He heard voices talking and was thinking that in the next minute he would be captured, but nothing happened. The voices went away and he managed to reach his chopper. He didn’t know what this was all about but assumed that the boy saved his life on the end as a thank you for sparing his own life in the first place.

Coming back to reality, it took him a few seconds to realise where he was. He was safe inside a mountain. No one could get to him. He trusted the security and all the safety measures in the first place.

Xxx

Hammond was on the phone again and still tried to find something out about the black ops life of his 2IC. It was easier to find a needle in a haystack. Nobody would say anything and he was about to lose his patience. He knew how hard it was to get something to investigate if it was classified. But even a General could dream of an easy mission in that matter.

But, so far, all was a dead end. He was on the end of his rope and didn't know how to handle it. The Colonel wouldn't open his mouth which was understandable, and no one was talking. All he could do was give the Colonel his security team every time he would go home. The time of taking any chances was over. Jack O`Neill was a man who came too close to death a few times too often.

He called Major Carter, Dr Jackson and Teal`c to his office and informed the rest of SG1 that he was sorry but there was no way of getting anywhere in the Air Force to find something out.

“I am very sorry. But, right now, there is nothing I can do for him. I will not be letting him go home so soon anyway. That should buy us some time. Dismissed, people, and keep your eyes open.” He sighed and hoped that sooner or later they would catch the guy who was messing everything up.

Xxx

Teal`c took his place outside the infirmary again. He was standing by his friend every day for twenty hours and used four hours to meditate. So far no one would harm his friend.

“Sir?” Sam stepped quietly into the room where her friend and CO was lying.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” he snapped at her before she could even say anything.

"Not here for that. It's your problem. I just wanted to check how you are feeling and as I can see you are almost back to normal." She snapped back at him. Her feelings had been hurt at how he reacted to her. With that, she turned around and left him. Outside the door, she leaned against it and took a deep breath not even realizing that Teal`c had watched her.

“Are you well, Major Carter?” he asked her gently while he observed his teammate.

"He is just such a big stubborn idiot. Why can't he see that we are his friends? We are concerned about him and want him on his feet again. Why can't he see that he will die if he doesn't take help from us? He can't do it himself. Teal`c, I am scared for him. Nobody has seen him so far. So no one knows what the Colonel's ghost looks like." She took another deep breath and was about to apologize to her alien friend as he was about to speak.

“I believe you are correct in that matter, Major Carter. But as I recall, Colonel O`Neill is a great warrior amongst the Tau`ri. Every warrior has his pride and O`Neill has his. We must approach him in a different kind of way to get him to open up to us. Be friendly and kind. Do not bring the subject up anymore with him. Soon, I believe he will relax and then we must be there. He will talk to one of us.” As he finished, he bowed his head. Sam once again realised how wise her friend was.

But for now, she had had enough. She didn't want to face him again soon. Too much hurt by how he was to her. Even with the knowledge, she had before and now it still hurt too much. With that, she went to her lab. Her work could not do itself alone so she had to do it.

Jack was slumped in his bed. He was just assuming she was here to get him to talk again and he was so not having it. As he recalled her words, he imagined them more and more that she shouted at him. The words became louder and louder and with each recall, his breath got faster and faster. He tried to calm himself down, but nothing worked. The first tears spread across his eyes and he was feeling embarrassed, but he needed help. Just with the last of his efforts, he managed to ring the bell as he cramped up.

A nurse walked in with a friendly face as she saw that his whole body was now in a spasm. She saw the tears falling and the breathing going even more rapidly now. She pressed the emergency bell and tried to talk to him. Her soft voice was just for him right now to soothe him.
As the Doctor entered, she was very quick in realising what had just happened and gave Jack something to calm him down, not even asking him. The Colonel had nothing to say in that matter and Janet doubted that he even could.

After Jack relaxed a bit and his breathing slowed down, Janet checked him over and asked him what was the cause of his attack. The Colonel looked at her and denied any knowledge of what or why it had caused a panic attack.

“Sir, you need to speak to someone. You can choose - either one of your friends or Doctor James Mackenzie. It’s your choice. But I am not having that.” She saw that he had understood her and was thinking about his options.

“Thank you for your help,” he said softly and closed his eyes. He knew why had panicked. The thought of Sam being so angry at him that she shouted at him while he was in the infirmary just made him sick. For now, he had to push that to the side. It was no good to brood about it. He had to figure out how to get to the little ghost who was chasing him first before he was out for target practice again.

Xxx

Sam was sitting over a doohickey when Janet came in. She walked over to where her friend was sitting and watched her for a bit. "What are you working on, Sam?" the Doctor asked quite interested in the strange-looking box which was on the table in front of the Major.

"Just something SG11 brought back from their last mission." She waved with her hand as it was not something special. "What brings you to my little dungeon?" She smiled and waited while her friend was clearing her throat.

“Not long ago you went to see the Colonel, didn’t you?” Janet asked softly so as not to scare her friend.

“Yeees,” Sam dragged it a bit wondering what was going on now.

“May I ask what the conversation was about?” Janet stayed with her soft voice for now.

“What is it? Why do you want to know?” Sam became irritated.

“Just tell me first. You know I can tell you nothing about my patients. But I need to know what you both have been talking about.” Janet stayed calm the whole time.

“Well, I entered and he told me he didn’t want to talk about it and I told him that I wasn’t there to see him for that but rather to see how he was doing.” Sam sighed after she recalled the last conversation with her friend. “That’s all. It was very short. I was upset so I left again. If he wants to be grumpy, he can do this but on his own. Maybe I overreacted a bit as I should know how he can be.” She looked at the Doctor. “Is he ok?” Now she realised that Janet never visited her if she wasn’t concerned about something bad.

“Ok, I understand. Just one last question. Did you shout at him?” Janet wanted to get to the bottom of all this. She had enough of kids playing soldiers and vice versa.

"I may have raised my voice a bit. Nothing more than usual when we argue. So again, what's with him? Is he ok?" Sam's concern rose above herself and she felt like someone was sitting on her chest. She knew she had feelings for her CO, and she knew that she never could have him. So, she acted as normal as possible. Now she realised that the hurt and raised voice was probably because it was he who snapped at her. She would have taken it from everybody but him. It did hurt.

Jack was lying in his bed while staring at the ceiling. His brain already had been in overdrive again. In here was nothing to keep him occupied. The fallout with his 2IC was the last straw and he had to be careful not to completely lose himself. If he would have had his game boy or YO YO that would give him something to do. But right now? There was nothing for him to do.

He loved his Major. She was his missing part. More than that. She was beautiful, intelligent, a fine officer to work with and she had nearly the same sense of humour as he did. Now she was gone. She stormed out of his room before he could say anything else, could apologize or at least they could talk about it. He was such an idiot. She was just concerned about him and he had to fight her off. `Jack, you are such an ass. ` he was congratulating himself.

While he was still deep in his thoughts the door opened, the sound made it clear and a few footsteps followed. He wasn't bothered to look at who it was as he wasn't interested. He just will not speak any more to anyone. That's the best way to not get it wrong and hurt his friends even more.
“Hey Jack, how you are doing?” the voice asked sweetly. A syringe was in one hand and was prepared to stick it in the IV line of the Colonel.
Jack`s head followed the voice and his eyes grew big. How was it possible that he was here? Searching for the call bell with one hand he never let the man in front of him out of his sight. Panic started to creep up, but Jack would not show it to him for one single second.

“Jack, Jack, Jack. I would not do this. If you call somebody or tell someone afterwards, I was here the blood will be on your hands. They will all die, like all those years ago. So many people died. Their blood is on your hands. You killed them.” The voice remand sweet and soft.
Dropping the idea of ringing for help or shouting, he just watched as his nightmare came closer and closer.

"I got your daily shot here. You suffer already from two panic attacks as you didn't have your medicine. Just let me help you." With that, he emptied a big syringe into the IV line. With a big smile on his face, he just watched his victim and how the drug took over his body. He knew it would take up to an hour to kick in but also knew that applied right into the bloodstream the effect was almost immediate.

“Where is Teal`c? He was standing outside…” Jack managed to ask before the drug took the ability to speak from him again. His body was limp, and he lost any feelings. He was exposed to the shadow of his past and if no one came, he surely would lose the battle for his life if it came to this.
"He is still outside. But I can assure you I know how to pass him. He never saw me going in here and he will not see me going outside. So, for that Colonel, you are on your own. Do people still believe you? You are the only one who claims to see me. I am not finished with you yet. The game's only begun. Let`s start to make it more interesting, shall we?" With that, he rang the call bell and vanished. Jack`s eyes grew wide. He feared for whoever would come to him.

“Colonel? How can I help you” a young nurse came in.

Jack just looked at her as he still was unable to move and speak. He began to see little creatures crawling up the walls and blinked a few times. This wasn’t real. Nothing of that was real. He tried to talk to himself inside his head and reassure himself that all would be fine. The drug would wear off and then he would speak with his CO.

“Why did you press the call bell, Colonel? What can I do for you?” The young officer grew more and more irritated.
Jack started to roll his eyes as he saw more and more creatures crawling up the walls. By now they had even been crawling up the nurse in front of him and there he was and couldn`t do anything. He wanted to scream and shout. He wanted to save her. But he couldn’t. No sound climbed out of his mouth.
“I will get you a Doctor. Just hold on, Colonel, and sorry that I could not figure out why you wouldn’t speak to me.” She apologised and left to get some help.
Jack had closed his eyes with the hope that his hallucination would disappear. As he opened them again all the creatures were gone. In his head, he sighed in relief as he noticed that there was water on the floor. The level was rising and nearly reached his bed. Swallowing his panic down he tried to stay calm, telling himself that this was also a hallucination. That it also couldn't be real, that it would disappear the same as his little crawling friends had disappeared. Now, the ice-cold water reached his bed and he felt so helpless. The liquid surrounded his face and swamped over his mouth and nose. The Colonel struggled to breathe as he tried to inhale the much-needed air but only got water in it.

He tried to kick and punch and with much effort, he managed to free himself. The feeling was gone which held him down and with a big loud bang, he landed on the floor. He shook his head. The water was gone. All looked normal to him. No more hallucinations. He tried to set himself up and to check if his body had received any more injuries. But the feeling still wasn't back. So, he lied on the floor like a fish out of the water. In the same second his friend stormed in.

“O`Neill, are you all right?” Teal`c asked in concern. He was not prepared to find his friend lying on the floor not moving.

Jacks speech slowly came back as he tried to answer to his friend “I am fine T. Just help me up will ya?” His big Jaffa friend scooped him up and placed him carefully back in his bed. Jack knew he would have a few more bruises in a couple of days.

“Which decision made you sit on the floor?” The alien asked in confusion.

"Oh, Teal`c. I don't know. Maybe I just fell out of bed. They are quite high. Have you ever realised that?" Jack tried to change the subject.

“I have not, O`Neill,” he replied while helping his friend back into bed.

By now Doctor Frasier had arrived and while Teal`c explained what had happened she checked the Colonel over. On a hunch, she took some blood to investigate it. She knew that he would not tell what happened if that would bring anyone in danger. The Colonel had said for not answering the nurse when she asked him before how she could help that he was blinded by her appearance. Janet knew better. The Colonel was a man of honour. He never would say anything to get someone else in trouble or, if not, something was wrong.

Xxx

The phone rang and Janet picked it up in her office. "Are you sure? Have you checked it?" The news she received had been very disturbing and she didn't know how to deal with it. The Colonel would still not talk about it and kept another secret to himself. She had to talk to him.
A few minutes later she entered his room where he was staring at the ceiling again. Nobody from his team was with him. She wondered about that briefly but pushed it to the side as she had more important matters to attend to.

“Colonel O`Neill? We need to talk and don’t give me a hard time answering my questions because if you do so I will contact the General to take the appropriate measures. Are we understood?” Janet had one of her sterns looks on her face.

“Please. I can’t talk about anything. Just leave me alone.” Jack pleaded scared about the welfare of his friends and colleagues.

“Sir, we found the same drug called Ketamine in your bloodstream again as the previous times before. That’s the reason why you didn’t answer my nurse. He was, here wasn’t he?” She looked at him.

Jack didn't know how to react. He wasn't sure if his room was bugged and if he would say anything, he would make it worse. The Colonel stayed silent. With his eyes, he tried to tell her. Janet was smart and gave him a pen and a piece of paper. At the same time, she left the room and ordered a complete sweep of the room just in case. Jack wrote down what he had to. `2x yes.'

As Janet came back and looked at the writing she smiled. It wasn’t funny but the thought about the Colonel not using many words in speaking and not using many words in writing had something comical to it.

She wrote down what happened next and he calmed himself down. He knew the doc was smart and that she would count on it. After over an hour later the whole infirmary was swept clean and nothing was found.

General Hammond in person came down to speak to his 2IC and set some rules. The first rule for the Colonel was to speak about the man who was hunting him down.

Jack was not happy about it. He knew he had to tell his team and his CO as much as he could but at the same time, he was worried about them. The less they all knew, the better for them, especially for his Major. He would rather die himself than lose her.

"Jack, this is not a game anymore if it ever was one. We need to get to the bottom of this. This involves that you must make the table clear. He is clearly out of your past. But why he is so angry with you?" Hammond looked with deeply furrowed brows at his friend.

“I don’t know. Maybe because I killed him, and he didn’t want to die?” Jack quipped.

“Colonel, that’s enough. Everybody knows that you have been BLACK OPS and knows what that means. But I will not tolerate that a maniac has come around, terrorizing my staff and threatening to kill someone. Is that clear?” Hammond did hold himself back, but his patience wore thin and Jack realized it.

“Crystal, Sir.” He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. As he opened them again, he began to tell the story of who he was reminded of earlier.

"So, you shot the guy and he is dead?" Daniel asked in disbelief

"Yes, he is dead," Jack replied, getting annoyed that one of his friends doubted him.

"So, Colonel, you have no idea who that person is who wants you dead?" Hammond asked with a much calmer voice.

“I don’t know, Sir. He looks like the guy I shot. But I have no idea who he is or where he came from. Suddenly he was in my life and not even the infirmary or the whole mountain is safe from him." Jack looked more and more exhausted which Janet noticed and ended the interrogation. After she shouted everybody out, she offered the Colonel a mild sedative to calm his nerves.

As she suspected, he declined it and asked to be left alone. He needed to think. The best way to do so was to be left alone. Teal`c was standing again outside the door. After checking closely, there was no other way in or out of Jack’s room and, so far, it stayed as a mystery how the guy could appear and disappear and how he was pleased that no one was seeing him.

Xxx

Two weeks later

"Home sweet home. Come on in, Danny boy." Jack was finally released out of the infirmary. No ghost appeared again. No hallucinations and no drugs.

Nothing out of the ordinary. His team had visited him every day and had spent a great deal of effort to keep him occupied. The General had started an investigation but, so far, there was no outcome. The man Jack had described was dead for over twenty years as he had said and there was no evidence that there was someone else. Jack had given up on the idea that the idiot would be found. In his head, he closed the file and pushed it to the back of his head. He had better things to do than chasing a ghost. That was what he was - a ghost - nothing more and nothing less.

Daniel had driven him home and had volunteered to play babysitter for his friend as the Colonel was not allowed yet to do too much. His leg healed nicely but he still wasn't allowed to put too much pressure on it. The same was true for his shoulder. Now everybody knew that the Colonel wasn't the most patient man on earth and always pushed himself to and beyond the limit of himself. To go home, he had to accept his friend at his side. This agreement with the medical staff always worked as everybody was ever so happy when he left the infirmary.

"How about Chinese tonight Daniel?" Jack asks happily.

“Did the Doc does not say light food for a week?” Daniel replied knowing he had lost the argument already.

"Chinese food is light. Otherwise, I would go with pizza and beer." Jack grumbled playfully back

"Ok, you got me there. But only with water. No beer tonight. That's the deal, take it or leave it." Daniel tried to reason with his friend. Much to his surprise, Jack took the deal. For him, it was more important to get a decent meal after such a long time.

The stuff out of Jacks bag was quickly unpacked and both men sat in the living room and chatted till the food arrived. Spreading everything out on the table, the smell of Chinese and the quietness talked for itself.

“Jack, that was a good idea.” He praised his friend for the idea to get a meal like that. “So, what’s the plan for you tomorrow?”

"No idea yet. I have got some exercises I must do every day. Apart from that, I'm not sure. The first snow is about to fall as well. So maybe I'll take a short walk around the neighbourhood. You want to join?" He rubbed his belly and sat back in his chair. It was so good to be home again.

“Sure, if you like. But you can go on your own if you are more comfortable with it. I know you need your privacy and over the last few weeks you had nothing of it,” Daniel pointed out.

“Good thought. We will see and decide tomorrow if that’s ok with you. For now, we can watch some hockey.” He had already gotten up and slumped himself on his sofa.

“Yeah, fine with me. So, who is playing?” the younger man asked.

"No idea, I am a bit out of the loop. But it`s good to watch a game." Jack grinned all around his face. His mood was as good as it could get at that moment.

"Ok have fun then." Daniel took a chair with lots of cushions on it and made himself relax. The memories of the last night he spent here with Jack crept upon him and he tried to push them to the back of his mind. He was making sure that history didn't repeat itself. Not on his watch.

The game was good. Jack loved to see the L.A. Kings playing against the Vegas Golden Nights. In the end, Vegas won 3:2. So he could see a few goals and it had even gone into overtime. Sticking only to water all night he craved for a beer. But he gave his younger friend a promise. For him, a deal was a deal. Tomorrow he would be allowed to drink a beer and he was so looking forward to it.

"Daniel, make yourself at home. You know where to find everything. I will go to bed now and have a night of sleep like no other. Tomorrow it's a new day with fresh possibilities." He waved his friend goodnight and disappeared.

The archaeologist watched his friend go and shouted after him, "Goodnight, don't let the bed bugs bite." A soft chuckle told him that Jack had understood him. For Daniel, it was far too early. A glance at his watch told him that it was just after 10 pm. As always, he had his laptop with him so he could work on some translations. Making some fresh coffee in the kitchen he remembered how nice it was to watch Jack being happy. Not often had his friend showed himself so happy as when he could watch a hockey game. A smile flew over his face and as the coffee was ready, he got a mug out of the cupboard and took it into the living room.

Outside in the shadows was a figure standing watching every move and taking the whole atmosphere in as everybody felt safe in the house. But for how much longer. He had watched the whole night, the game and the meal. The chat he had listened to and the plans for tomorrow. It was good that he had disappeared for two weeks. Of course, now he had to start again with his game, but he knew that once your body knows the drug Ketamine it will not take long to get used to it again. He just must start on a higher dosage from the start and be more careful. His revenge was near. He could feel and taste it.

But for now, he must wait and be patient. His revenge was only against a certain Colonel. But he would not shy away if someone else got' in his way… The day will come, and he will die. Soon, very soon. With that, he was gone…

The next morning came. Jack was awake with the first light showing itself on the horizon. A glance at his watch told him that the new day was already seven hours old. Wiping a hand over his face he made his way to the bathroom. Knowing Daniel, he would sleep till about ten in the morning as he probably had gone to bed by four or five this morning.

The hot shower was fantastic. He enjoyed every minute of it and the privacy of his four enclosed walls. Not that he minded taking a shower in his workplace. But at home, it was still the best way to get clean while enjoying the feeling.

He knew it was a bit of a cliché, but he tried singing in the shower. The song which popped into his head was from Frank Sinatra. So, he began to sing the lyrics from `My Way`. He got louder and more passionate as the song rolled from his tongue.

Once finished he dried himself and walked quietly down into the kitchen. As he had suspected Daniel was still sleeping on his sofa snuggled in like a child. Carefully he made himself a cup of coffee and stepped in front of his house. He waved at some neighbours who happened to walk past and enjoyed the crisp air of this beautiful day. A slight film of fog was hanging in the air and the sun took the fight on to break it through.

Jack was gazing at the sky sipping on his coffee. Life just could not be better. Knowing his younger friend and that he would not join him, Jack decided to go on a walk without him. Finishing his coffee, he wrote a quick note and got himself into warmer clothes. He didn’t know how long his walk would last. He was hoping for an hour or so, but he knew he would enjoy himself alone with mother nature. Despite, how far he would go.

He had been gone a while and came to a lake. He knew the area very well and, in the summertime, this lake was full of happy kids who were playing in the warm water. Now it was empty, the veil of fog giving something mystic to it. He stood there for a while and watched as two ducks flew away shouting in the morning air.

He also recognized a movement behind a tree and, nosy as he was, he had to investigate it. Jack saw a dark figure standing there and watching him. Was his ghost back? Did he still not deserve a bit of quiet time and peace? Jack sighed and walked towards the hidden figure.

“Hey, watcha doing?” Jack shouted and warned in the same second that he did not mean any harm.

The man didn’t reply. No, he was standing there like a statue. “Good morning sir.” Jack tried again with the same result. As he nearly reached the man of his request, he felt a sting in the back of his neck. Thinking it was a mosquito he just slapped at it. Feeling a metal container, he pulled it out and looked at a stunning arrow, the same type which gets used by animals. He turned around but saw no one. Looking back at the man in front of his face, he looked puzzled.

"I am sorry, he made me do it." With that, the dark figure behind the tree vanished into the shadows of the forest.
Jack knew what would come. He would lose it again and drop to the ground without being able to move. No words would come out of his mouth again and that would feel like he was in a state of a coma. The effect had already taken place. His knees began to buckle under his weight. Still fighting the feeling the Colonel searched for a tree to hold him up.

The fight continued and he lost. Dropping to the ground like a sack of flour, he saw how a pair of shoes came into his line of vision. “Good morning, Colonel. How nice of you to join me on this beautiful day.” With a sweet ironic charm, the man above Jack teased him. O`Neill recognized the voice that it was the same as the one in the infirmary. So, his ghost was back and held him tied again.

"Do you not think it is rude to lie on the floor when someone invites you? Come on, I'll help you stand up." With that he placed a rope around Jack's torso binding it tied behind his back. With the help of a tree and his strong branch, he managed to pull the Colonel onto his feet. He pulled him so far up that the shoe spikes hardly reached the ground. Jack grimaced. As he still didn't have any feeling, he was helpless to see what the man would do to him. He was certain that he still wanted to play. Otherwise, he would be dead already.

TBC
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Re: The Ghost

Post by bftlovesRDA » Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:07 am

Oh - you left us just when something bad was going to happen....ugh.....now we have to wait.....hope for not too long! :D :D :D

Well done!
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Re: The Ghost

Post by tvero80 » Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:35 pm

:shock: This is what I call a cliffhanger ! How long will we have to wait to get the next part , Jacky ? I'm like a cat on a hot tin roof !
Great section !!!You are talented !
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Re: The Ghost

Post by JackGywer » Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:08 pm

Uh, you know, I love all your FF! Although I already know the story, I really enjoy reading it again. Can't wait to read more :?
Poor Jack :shock: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: The Ghost

Post by Jack(s) » Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:10 pm

tvero80 wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:35 pm
:shock: This is what I call a cliffhanger ! How long will we have to wait to get the next part , Jacky ? I'm like a cat on a hot tin roof !
Great section !!!You are talented !
not long comes in a few minutes :D

thanks for you nice comment and reading my FF. means a lot to me :oops: :oops: :oops:
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Re: The Ghost

Post by Jack(s) » Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:12 pm

JackGywer wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:08 pm
Uh, you know, I love all your FF! Although I already know the story, I really enjoy reading it again. Can't wait to read more :?
Poor Jack :shock: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
You must like them if you read them again. That's nice and makes me happy. so next part will come very soon
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Re: The Ghost

Post by Jack(s) » Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:14 pm

bftlovesRDA wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:07 am
Oh - you left us just when something bad was going to happen....ugh.....now we have to wait.....hope for not too long! :D :D :D

Well done!
Thanks, B, I made a friend a promise and I stick to my promises, so here comes the next part. Enjoy it all whoever else reads the FF.
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Re: The Ghost

Post by Jack(s) » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:56 pm

Here is the third and final part of this FF. As i made a promise to a dear friend of mine, here comes the last part so soon. Enjoy

xxx

Jack’s arms now got taken behind the tree and were being cuffed harshly. The guy used handcuffs before, Jack noticed. That was an awkward position to be in, but the guy wasn’t finished with Jack. Getting the rope off the branch, he used it to wrap it around the Colonel. That way he could not fall.

The capturer also knew that gravity and body weight would pull the Colonel down eventually. So, for his little bit of fun, he placed a rope around the tree and O`Neill neck. As he had done that, he watched his work and pleasingly nodded to himself.

Jack knew that if he would slide down just an inch, he would strangle himself to death. But as bound as he was, he also knew there was not much he could do especially not under the damn drug. He so wished that Daniel would wake up and despite his note come looking for him.

Jack closed his eyes. This was just so humiliating to him. The man in front of him started talking and as he realised that Jack did not listen to him, he just punched him in his ribs.

“You will listen to me,” the guy cleared his throat.

“You remember me? Course you do. I have seen it in your eyes.” He walked around the tree and took a big pause before continuing dramatically.

Jack’s mind was racing. He wasn’t so sure now that he would survive this as the villain would just talk first, and then tell what and why and after that he would kill him. He had to think of something and think fast. But right now, in his position, he could not come up with anything.

“You killed me. I didn’t do anything wrong and you have shot me. Why? What did I ever do to you? You did it the cowardly way and took it as a sniper. If you would have been a man back then, you would have faced me and shot me between the eyes.” His voice rising, he walked around the tree again.

"They made you a Colonel. For what? Shooting and killing innocent people? You have no idea what you have done to my family. I must admit I had a nice funeral, but I also left five little kids and my wife behind. For what? Because your government didn't like my face? Or how I walked?" He was standing right in front of the Colonel and was shouting in his face. At last, he just spat in O'Neill's face to underline his emotions and how he felt about the man in front of him.

“O`Neill, you are nothing. You are so small in this world. Nothing you do has any meaning. And the little Major of yours, she has a crush on you. I asked myself why. What does she find on you?” He looked at Jack in his deep brown eyes.

The Colonel felt the feeling coming back in his limbs which made it even harder. Now the pain would come as well. He started choking and his face began to redden. He wanted to tell the guy who was standing before him how sorry he was. He wanted to have a normal conversation with him, but it was not possible. His restraints were too tight, the air had gotten thin for him.

xxx

Daniel woke up. Stretching his legs and arms. He checked his watch. It was around eight. Daniel sat himself up and looked around. The house was quiet. First things first. A cup of coffee. Then he would greet the day. He wondered briefly if Jack was already up and as he had his coffee now in his hand, he walked back to the living room. Now he saw the little yellow paper sticking to the television. He picked it up and read `be out for a walk to the little lake I showed you before. Its seven and I go for an hour or so. J.` Daniel looked at his watch again. Now it was far after eight and from his friend, there was no sign.

It took Daniel not even a second to think that maybe something would be wrong with his friend. He just had a gut feeling about this. Jack was always right on time. That meant he should have been here or at least in the next few minutes. While slipping into his pants and shirt he phoned Sam. He told her what had happened and that he might need backup. He knew it would not take too long for Sam to come as she only lived about ten minutes from their friend's house. Daniel told her to meet him at the small lake as he would be already on his way.

He hoped that he would find his friend on the way back, unlikely but still possible. Jack could have missed the time. Daniel knew how much Jack cherished mother nature and how much he missed that over the last two weeks stuck in the infirmary under a mountain.

Daniel jogged down. It was about two miles to the lake and even though he was fit as he ever could be, it still took him longer than he wanted it to. What was it that when his friend didn't need him, he had plenty of time but when his friend needed him, he never had the time he wanted to have?

The General had told them that the guy was never caught, and Jack still needed to be careful. Jack was careful, he knew that, but a situation can also change very quickly. He pushed himself near to the state of collapsing just to run even faster.

Daniel heard a car behind him. Turning himself, he saw the waving hand of his friend the Major. She was very fast by his side and he didn’t even want to know how many street regulations she had broken to reach him with lightning speed.

“Daniel jump in… it is still a mile to go. The street stops just about a hundred yard before the lake. So, we are faster with the car.” She shouted to him through an open window.

Daniel took the invitation without asking and as he sat in the little car, he tried desperately to catch his breath. Both pairs of eyes had been plastered on the street watching out to see if they can find the Colonel or any sign of him.

Nothing. The seconds stretched into minutes and the minutes into hours. Like in slow motion Sam drove the car right as furthest up as she could go. Daniel jumped out already and headed to the lake.

No bird or any other animal visited the lake at this time. The water was still, and in other circumstances, Daniel would have enjoyed the view and would have taken it all in. He could understand what made Jack come up here this morning.

Sam was next to him in a few seconds and gazed over the lake as well. Nothing, no sound, no voices. Complete stillness. Sam felt as this would be the moment when the earth stood still.

xxx

Jack tried to summon all his energy he had left and pressed a croaking "please" out of his mouth. The man just laughed.

"Now you want to reason with me. Now you want to make it right. Colonel Jack O`Neill from the United States Air Force. Let me tell you, it is too late." With that, he gave him another shot of Ketamine. He watched closely as the body on the tree began to relax again.

"Now you will die. A slow death is how you deserve it. Rot in hell where you belong." The man sat on a fallen tree branch and watched his prey all trussed up on the tree slowly choking to death.

XXX

“Sam, have you heard this?” Daniel was spinning on his heels. He had heard a voice. He had heard a sound. Unfortunately, it was gone, he couldn’t make out from which direction he had heard it.

“I heard nothing. You sure there was something?” Sam asked him but regretted it in the same second. Daniel was at least as concerned about Jack as she was.

"Yes, I am. We must find the source. We must find him. I can't shake the feeling that Jack is in trouble and needs us." Daniel's eyes showed more than just worry. He was scared that the two of them would be too late, too late to save a life. But not just any life, no it was the life of a great man, a great leader and the best friend anyone could ask for.

Slowly the pair of them went on and searched. Trying to make no sound so as not to spook anyone, it took time to cover the first few yards.

“Sam, look. Someone is sitting and watching something.” Daniel pointed in the direction he had seen something. He could not see what or who it was and was hoping that Jack was sitting there just forgetting the time as he drank in the feeling of being around with mother nature.

As both friends came closer, it was clear to them what the real picture was. Sam took her berretta and motioned Daniel to move around and come from the other side. They had to catch Jack’s tormentor now or nobody knew if there would be another chance.

Jack was standing quietly at the tree. Sam could not tell if he was still alive. She just saw that in the dark light his face looked pale. She gave Daniel the signal and both came out at the same time. The dark man shot up in the air and started running with Daniel behind him chasing him over stones and fallen branches.

Sam took her knife and started to loosen the ropes around her CO. First around his neck. As this one was gone. Jack’s head just fell. She felt for a pulse. Panic arose even more as she could not find one. Was she too late?

She pleaded with her CO and friend. She reminded him that he had the luck of the Irish and that he could not die. Not now and not like that. He had to survive even if it was just for her.

"Colonel, Jack. Come on. Stay with me. I know you are in there somewhere. Help is here. You are not alone anymore. I will get you down from that tree as soon as I can. Please, you must fight and stay with me. If you lose, the other guy wins. You hate losing…I know that." She felt for a pulse again and this time she had found one… very weak and very slow, but it was there.

“That’s how you do it, Sir. Come on. Don’t let the other guy win.” She pushed him with her words and didn’t even know if he understood what she was saying. But she knew him, and she knew what a fighter he was.

She wondered briefly if Daniel got the guy he was chasing. She got her answer in the next second as Daniel came back empty-handed as she saw. With a questioning look, he shrugged his shoulders and told her that the guy just vanished right in front of him into thin air.

“Sam, this is so weird. He was there and then was gone. But we have to deal with that later. How is Jack doing?” He helped Sam to get the heavy limp body down from the tree. He even remembered that he still had the key in his jean’s pockets from weeks ago when he uncuffed Jack in his bedroom.

Laying Jack on the floor, Sam gasped as she saw how raw the neck of the Colonel was. No doubt that he would have not lasted much longer.
Daniel stood by his friend who was still unconscious as Sam was walking back to the car to get a signal. She had to get help and do that fast. Now Her CO had to get back to the infirmary. He just managed to get out of there. She felt so sorry for him.

After making the call she walked back to Daniel and Jack. The condition of her CO had not changed a thing and so this was now a waiting game till help arrived and he would be back in safe hands.

For Sam and Daniel, it felt like the time stood still. How long would it take for help to come? Sam couldn't tell how long it took on the end for Doctor Frasier and some of the SF guys to come. Jack never regained consciousness at this time. His body just laid there on the forest ground. Sam was scared that the Colonel would have given up on fighting. She knew everybody gets tired after a while and even her CO, whom everybody knew what a strong man he was and how stubborn he could be beyond imagination, would reach a point where he had had enough. She was just hoping that this point wasn’t today.

She tried to talk to him not knowing if her words would even reach him in his state. The Colonel’s eyes still had been closed as she began,

“Jack, I know you are tired. But right now, it’s not the time to give up. You must fight. You must fight for what is right. We all need you. That’s your friends and colleagues at the SGC. Please don’t give up.” She stroked him softly over his temple.

His chest was barely noticeable that it was moving. As the cavalry arrived Sam and Daniel stood back hugging each other watching every move. Janet was thinking for the first time that her friend and favourite patient maybe wouldn't make it this time. The dose of Ketamine was so high, his heart was about to give up. Quickly she tried to figure out how to get him stimulated but came up with nothing. Everything she tried seemed to be not working on him.

Xxx

SGC – Infirmary

“He is flatlining! Come on, people. Charge the defibrillator to 200 and step back. I also need 1 mg of epinephrine. Get another IV on it. Today if possible.” Janet shouted her orders around and was proud of how fast her staff was coming up with what was needed.

It was bad this time. SG1 was on a mission and came back a week ago. The Colonel was seriously injured in his head and fell into a coma. Now, a week afterwards, his heart had stopped just like this out of the blue. Janet was glad she still had him attached to the monitors, otherwise, he probably would have not survived at all as no one would have noticed.

Jack's head was still covered in a thickly layered bandage and for a week he was not coming to. His team sat with him the whole time. Now the turn of events was even scarier as no one knew why and how this was possible.

The first shock was given, and his heart still didn’t kick a beat out of it. Janet took it further and asked for 220. After she still didn’t see a result, she jumped to 250 and then 300. Finally, it was unrhythmic, but there was a beat. The life of a certain Colonel was saved, for now.

“Janet, what happened? Why did his heart stop?” Sam asked her friend in confusion.

"I don't know. Nothing makes sense and we must wait till he wakes up, hopefully. Before that, there is nothing we can do. Only pray and trust that he is strong enough to get through this." She answered truthfully.

Xxx

On the lake in the forest

"We have to shock him. His heart just gave up. I think he is tired of fighting and just wants it to end. Sam, speak with him. You are his best friend and he has always responded to you differently…. more positive I would say," Janet announced.

As she had opened his top-up she sucked in a deep breath. His torso was bluer and more purple than he had normal skin colour to show. After getting the defibrillator attached to his skin, she started to jump-start his heart like a car engine. It took a bit, but the effort was fruitful. His heartbeat …. not fast or normal. But, hopefully, it would manage to set itself in the next few seconds. Janet gave him a shot of epinephrine to help his body to cope with all the trouble.

A stretcher was brought to the scene and in the next second the Colonel was securely on it and would be back in the infirmary soon.
Sam took a deep breath and sighed. This was getting too much for her as well for her CO. They had to do something to help him.

Xxx

SGC – Infirmary

Jack was a miracle in itself. He had beaten the odds so many times that Sam had lost track of it. He was still in there. She could feel it. Why his heart had stopped she didn't know. He was in this coma-like situation for almost a week with no sign of any change whatsoever. Till now. She would love to help him but didn't know-how.

Daniel and Teal’c had been standing behind her and all three watched their friend and leader. Jack still had his eyes closed but he seemed to come around. His eyelids flickered a bit and his mouth began to open slightly.

His team watched in amazement and each cheered him on. There it was, the moment when one tough Colonel would open his dark brown eyes again and look with a sluggish grin to his friends. Daniel pressed the bell to notify some official that the Colonel finally had come around.

“Hey, what do I have to do to get some water around here?” he rasped softly. Sam was the first one to respond and gave him a beaker with water and a straw.

“Slowly, I know you are thirsty, but you know it’s not good for you if you drink too fast.” She smiled at him and took the straw a few times out of his mouth and back in again till he signalled he had had enough.

“Sir, how are you feeling?” Sam couldn’t wait any longer with that question.

"Just peachy. Boy, I had a weird dream…" he trailed off.

In that second, Doctor Frasier walked in and shooed the rest of SG1 out. She needed some time with the 2IC of the base. Looking at Jack she was so happy to see him finally awake.

"Colonel, how are you feeling? And a "just fine" you can stick yourself where the sun doesn't shine. I want honesty. Are we understood with each other? Otherwise, I must get some big needles and will have to take some samples from you." She smiled and watched him.

“Does peachy count?” He had a boyish grin on his face.

"Don't push it, Sir," Janet warned him in a teasing tone.

Jack coughed and with his long fingers, he grabbed his neck just to check if all was still there where it belonged before he answered his friend. "I just feel tired. My body hurts as if someone used me as a punching bag. My neck hurts as if someone wanted to strangle me. But apart from that, I am fine really." He looked at the woman in front of him and waited with the hope that she was satisfied.

“Thank you for your honesty, Colonel. If you like, I can give you a mild painkiller, just enough to take the edge off and give your body a chance to heal. You have lost a lot of blood with your headwound. So, it is normal that your body aches.” She assured him as best as she could.

“Thank you, doc. No painkiller needed so far. If this is ok. I will let you know when I’d like to have that good stuff of yours.” He smiled and hoped she would go. He liked to have his team back in and he liked to continue the chat they all had a moment ago

"As you wish. Your vitals are looking good. You came around after the shocks I gave you." She watched him closely. Sometimes, after an experience like he had, the pump would hurt awhile and could cause some discomfort. He didn't say anything at all about it which made her wonder for a second.

“What are you talking about? What shocks?” Jack looked irritated and couldn’t figure out what Janet was talking about.

"Your heart stopped beating. Colonel, you died. So, I brought you back and hope you don't suffer from any aftereffects. You had us all scared there for a second or two." A thin smiled crossed her lips.

“I am sorry.”

"It's ok, just don't do it again if you don't mind." With that, she turned to the door. With one last glance back, she offered to let his team back in. A slight nod from the man in the bed was enough. Outside his room she found SG1 waiting patiently.

"He would like to see you all again. Just don't stay too long. He is still tired and needs a lot of rest." All three friends nodded and watched as the petite doctor left.

Daniel remembered where the interruption was and now was asking his friend the question. He wanted an answer to it for the last few minutes. "What dream?" Daniel now was curious.

“Some numb nut was after me and wanted to kill me after he played a bit with my body. But it was just a dream.” He looked around just to make sure. “Right?”

“Jack, it was a dream, but do you remember? On Px something, in that village, the pie they gave us.” Daniel tried to help trigger the brain of his friend.

“Oh, you mean that stuff they called pie. They said it helps to clear up the past and sort out the demons.” Jack started to fiddle around with his sheet. He knew when they warned him that it could be bad. But he also knew that he could cope with his demons as he always did. Little did he know that he would get shot and spend a week in the infirmary. With a soft touch, he checked his head.

"Sir, just be careful. Your wound is still fresh. You have lost a lot of blood. It took Janet a bit to get you fixed up after we came back. Sir, do you remember anything about it?" Sam was worried a bit that he had lost the memories of their last mission.

“I remember. The guys from the other village came out of nowhere and the primitive weapons they had. They aimed at you, Sam.” As the memories came back more and more, Jack looked at his 2IC. He was concerned that she had still taken some wounds from the battlefield.

“I am fine, Sir. You have saved my life. Now it’s up to you to get better as fast as possible.” She smiled at him which warmed his heart. But he never would tell her that.

“That’s good.” He closed his eyes.

“We will go now so you can rest. Janet told us to not stay for too long. So, stay safe and we will be back tomorrow.” Daniel announced looking at his two friends.

“Ok,” Jack mumbled and drifted off into the land of dreams.

Xxx

There he was again. The man he saw so many times by now. Why did he not leave him alone? He was a demon from his past and a dead body in his cellar.

“Oh, I see you’re back. I have missed you. After we had been so rudely interrupted in the forest. I am not finished with you, Jack. You took my life. I will take yours.” The ghost was standing right in front of the Colonel’s bed in the infirmary.

“I just followed orders. I didn’t question it. If you get told which target to kill you do it. I am sorry that the intel was wrong and an innocent man had to die. But I can’t take it back even if I wanted too. Please forgive me.” Jack spoke softly.

He truly felt sorry for the man he had shot so many years ago. After he had learned that he was given the wrong target, he was devastated and wasn’t sure how to cope with that knowledge. He wanted to take it back. He was a soldier and here to fight for his country, not a slaughterer here to kill innocent men.

"It is too late, an eye for an eye. I will come and I will take your life when you least expect it. Live, live your life and fear for it for on every corner it can be happening. I will wait." With that, he disappeared again as so often before.

Xxx

The heart monitor started beeping faster. A signal alerted a nurse who checked what was happening. She saw the sweat appear on the Colonel’s face and that he was sleeping. What was happening to him? She tried to wake him up. That was easier said than done. She knew how easy it was to wake him as the long years in the service showed the aftermath, always alert and always prepared. But now she couldn’t wake him up. He was just not responding.

Calling the Doctor she continued to wake her patient with no luck. As Doctor Frasier entered the room the heartbeat was racing like 180 miles an hour.

"What happened?" she asked wondering herself what had happened.

“I don’t know. He is asleep and will not wake up. His heart is beating far too fast. Doctor, what shall we do?” the nurse asked with concern on her face.

"Get him a cold wet cloth first. I will see what I can do to wake him up. His heart is strong but right now I don't know how long it will hold after he had a failure earlier." Janet injected something in the IV-line which was still attached to the left hand of her patient.

“Come on, Jack. Time to wake up. There is nothing for you there where you are right now. Whatever holds you there it is not worth it. Believe me.” She talked to him while fiddling around on his instruments.

The nurse came back and the cold cloth found its place on his forehead. Janet had taken the temperature of the Colonel before and found it a bit high but not life-threatening. After around five minutes, the monitor showed that Jacks's heart had slowed down. After another three minutes it was back to normal and he opened his eyes. Looking in two very concerned faces, he began to get irritated.

“Sir?” Janet looked at him.

“Still here,” he answered tiredly.

“Are you ok? What did you dream?”

“What makes you think I dreamed?

“Sir, your heart rate was all over the place and we couldn’t wake you up. Now you are awake, but we didn’t do anything for it. So, what did you dream about and what is going on?” Janet demanded to know.

“Can we not talk about it?”


“We have to.”

“No, we don’t.”

“Sir, we do. Your life is on the line and I am not always here to fix you up. So, what was your dream about?” She was on the edge of losing her patience with him.

Jack threw out a big deep breath just to let his Doctor know that he was not pleased with this situation whatsoever. His demons belonged to him. He always dealt with them in one way or another.

“Look, I was a young officer. I had my orders and even it was not my fault. I made a mistake which cost an innocent man his life. Now he appears in my dreams all the time since we were on PX God knows what and I had a piece of what they call pie. Happy now?” Jack gave her one of those blank looks he liked to give people he was annoyed with.

"What does the man want of you?" Janet asked believing every word the Colonel had just told her. Working for the SGC had shown her a lot of weird things and there was still so much more to discover.

“My life,” Jack quipped now staring at the ceiling.

“Can you reason with him?”

“I tried. He doesn’t take anything on board from what I said. I apologised so many times now. He said he only is happy when he can take my life. An eye for an eye as he stated. Doc, so long as I don’t sleep, he can’t touch me. So, any other ideas?” Jack turned his gaze back to the small woman who was standing quietly next to his bed.

"Maybe you can contact his family. Apologize to them and see if you can support them somehow. Maybe then he will find his peace and leave you alone. But I am not sure about it. You can't stay awake forever. So next time you see him, just ask him for a solution to this problem." She smiled encouragingly.

“I have to try,” he stated dryly and closed his eyes. Oh, he was so tired, tired of all this, tired of the whole `fight to stay alive` act. Tired of not being in control and staying here in the infirmary.

"Colonel, I will stay here with you. Try to sleep and sort it out. Otherwise, it will never go away." She squeezed his arm slightly and smiled encouragingly.

"Ok, Doc. I will try but no promises. I hope we will see each other again. Otherwise, it was nice knowing you and a pleasure serving with you. You are a fine officer and a hell of a doctor. Never forget this." He closed his eyes before he got tears coming up and he would go all mushy on her.

It was time to save his sorry ass. No one could help him. He had to do it alone. Was he scared? Of course, he was. He wanted to live and spend the rest of his life with one certain Major. But all in order and first things first.

The Colonel found himself in the infirmary. Not sure if this was now his dream or reality. Looking around, he saw nobody. `Relax Jack, you are safe for now` he told himself and put his head back on the pillow. But he also knew he had to find him. He had to help put his ghost friend to rest. But where would he find him?

Jack took a deep breath and slowly released it. He felt ok and decided to get up. Nobody would get harmed again. Not on his account anyway. He had too much blood already on his hands. As he walked through the infirmary, he was surprised how empty it was. Where was everybody? Curious over what’s going on he checked out the whole base. It was empty.

“That’s how it feels O`Neill. You are all alone like me.” A voice came from above

“Oh, come on. I know who you are. At least show yourself.” Jack grimaced slightly while checking out where his `friend` was.

“You come to die?” The man had now materialized in front of the Colonel.

"No, not particularly. I wanted to talk to you and hopefully, we both together can figure a way out to set you free so that your soul finds some peace. How does that sound for you?" Jack asked hoping that his opponent took him up on that offer.

"I told you before I will take your life. Then I am free. There is no negotiation necessary. So, Colonel, we can do it the hard way or the easy way. Which would you prefer?" His voice took a sweet cynical tone which let Jack have the shivers over his spine.

“Look, I don’t want to die at all. I came here to look for you. I wanted to talk to you and tell you how sorry I am. I wish I could change the past, but I can’t. Not now and not ever. Mate, you are dead and killing me doesn’t bring you back. I wanted to help you find peace. How does killing me give you that?” Jack swallowed hard and hoped that he could reach him somehow.

"I will feel better. I am sure of that. You have anything else to bring to the table? Otherwise, I will leave, and you can watch over your shoulder. I will get you sooner or later. Just keep watching." The man lost all interest now. He knew what he wanted, and he would get it.

"Nope, nothing more. You are more stubborn than a mule," Jack quipped and felt how he flew through the air crashing into the concrete wall behind him with a bang and an "oy" from the Colonel. "Why did you do that?" Jack tried to get himself up which was not as easy as it sounded. His body ached already again, and he wished the guy would stop playing with him. Get it done and over with.

“Because I can.” He laughed and with that disappeared again. Leaving a pissed off Colonel behind.

Xxx

“Janet, how is he doing?” Sam was now standing next to her friend and watched her CO. The monitors already spiked again, and his heart was racing.

"I have no idea what's going on. He stayed quite calm the whole time and in the last few seconds his heartrate just went through the roof." With a concerned look, she checked his vitals again. So far there was no sign for the Colonel to wake up.

“So, you believe him? With the dream and so?” Sam asked but wasn’t sure she wanted to hear the answer as she made up her mind herself a long time ago.

"Yes, I believe he has to face his demon. Sometimes the past comes back and bites us in our butt. In this case, it happened differently, but I believe the Colonel must find a way to fight his past. If he can`t, well, we know how it will end. I just don't want to have it this way. Earth would lose one of his best officers." She sighed and looked at her friend. "Just don't tell him that. I never would live that down." She smiled and left Sam with her CO alone.

“Sir, you have to fight it. I know you can. I don’t know how to help you apart from staying here right next to your bed. I will not leave you and if this helps, in my thoughts I will fight with you. Sir, we…” she paused and looked at him before continuing, “I need you. Don’t leave me. What shall I do without you?” Sam blinked a few times to not let her tears flow. This was not the time nor the place to do so.

Xxx

Jack just stood there in disbelief. How could someone be so unreasonable? He tried to apologize on so many occasions and this guy would not have it whatsoever. This was weird. As he stood there, the base filled up with personnel again. Everybody was busy and didn’t pay attention to him. He went on to the control room to ask Walter if there was any unusual activity in the base a few seconds ago but he denied it after checking all the sensors and machines. No camera had anything on tape and so the Colonel didn’t have any proof. He needed to think. In a few minutes, he had changed and had grabbed his car keys. Time to go home and sort stuff out from there.

Unlocking his front door, he stepped inside and took a deep breath. So good to be home. He knew that he had to be careful but also knew if his ghost came back to haunt him, he wouldn’t stand a chance against him. No, he would lose pathetically.

Making himself a cup of coffee he was leaning against his kitchen counter. Looking outside his window in the garden, he noticed that a strong breeze came up. The leaves started to shake violently. Taking another sip from his cup, he went outside to check if everything was secured, not that his chairs or table would fly around, and he would have to pick it up from a neighbour’s garden.

Ones outside, he saw him again. How casually he was standing there. Jack tried to ignore him. There was nothing he could do. As he watched the man, he saw how the guy picked up two fingers and pointedly signalled with the gesture from his eyes to the Colonel that he would watch him. With that, he was gone.

"Bastard," O`Neill muttered under his breath. Walking back into the house he realized that the wind had died down again. `What on earth was going on?' Jack was thinking to himself.

This guy started to freak him out. He had fought so many enemies, but he didn't know how to fight him. Time and time again he tried and tried again. Nothing would help and defeat him. Jack decided that a walk would do him good. A bit of fresh air and the world would look a lot different in his eyes, a lot better so he hoped.

Xxx

Sam was still sitting next to her friend. His heartbeat was normal again and so long as it was beeping there was hope. If she could figure out how to help him in his dream, then he didn’t have to face it all alone. Oh, he was strong, no doubt about it and he would never admit that there was something that scared him apart from what was necessary to make someone else feel better.

“Oh, Sir, how can I help you?” she whispered while stroking softly his hand.

“Sam. How is he?” Daniel came in and looked concerned, more than before.

"He was awake. Janet and he had a theory on how to get rid of his ghost from the past. But so far it doesn't seem to work. His heartbeat spikes from time to time. I assume that is when he is with him. But I don't know how to help him. I speak with him and hopefully, he knows that his friends are here for him. I know he must do this on his own, but I feel so helpless. What if he can't do it? What if he loses that fight? What if he never comes back? Oh, Daniel…" Sam trailed off and fought more than ever to not shed a tear. Her feelings just overwhelmed her so much now that she didn't know if she still would have the strength to fight it any longer.

"Come here, Sam. You know how strong and stubborn he is. He would do anything to get it right. His sense for justice is so strong. You know he will win. You have to believe in him and with him." Daniel gave his friend a big hug and held her for a long time, so long till she calmed down a bit and saw a new silver lining on the horizon.

“Daniel, what if we find a way into the dream of the Colonel. Maybe we can reason with his ghost to let the Colonel go. Maybe he will listen to us when he sees that he has changed and does so many good things now. What if we prove that the Colonel is such a valuable asset to save the whole universe? This guy must listen to us and if he is a good innocent guy as he probably believes he is, he will see our point.” Sam spoke with new hope.

“Sounds good but I have no idea how to get into someone’s dreams. Do you?” Daniel asked, carefully choosing his tone as to how to ask since he didn’t want to discourage her. Sam needed a goal to work for and right now she had found one.

"Nope, not yet. But I or we will find a way. The Colonel needs our help and so we will give it to him." Sam was determined to find a solution.

Xxx

Jack walked slowly the same way he walked before. He chose to visit the lake again as he loved the scenery so much. He had to clear his mind. Had to straighten some stuff out and find a way to convince the man that he was not worth it to kill. He was sure that his death would not change anything for the better.

Taking the fresh clear air in, he let his gaze wander over nature in front of him. The forest had come into view a few minutes ago and it was just peaceful. The birds sang their song and no human being was around. He was standing alone with himself and his thoughts. He listened to the sounds and the freedom which engulfed him. But how to convince a man who would not listen to him he had no idea.

“I see you needed some time to think.” A voice behind him stated dryly. Jack turned around and looked his so-called friend deep in his eyes.

“Kinda” he admitted.

“It will not save you; you know that do you?”

“Why not?”

"Jack, Jack, Jack. Come on now. You are smarter than that. I told you before how this game is to be played and how it will end. So, don't dwell on it. But if you insist, we can end it right here. I promise you I can make it quick." With a cynical laugh, he stepped a bit closer toward the Colonel.

"I am in no hurry. I kinda like my life and how I live it now. Look, I have changed. The world has changed. There is so much more at stake here than you ever could imagine. If you kill me, you could kill the whole universe with me. This whole thing is so much bigger than the both of us. I know and understand that you like to have your revenge and your freedom but, believe me, you will not get it if you kill me." Jack tried to show him a bit of the bigger picture.

He wasn't concerned about his life. No, he was concerned about everybody else. There are still so many enemies out there to fight and he knew that he must play a big part in it. How he knew he wasn't sure, but it was just one of those feelings that crept upon him.

"You are lying. You just want to save your sorry ass all over again. I had enough of that. Colonel Jack O`Neill from the United States Air Force you are found guilty of all charges and you must die. The death sentence will be brought on you by my hand and I promise you it will be quick." A burst of small laughter followed, and he raised his hand again.

Before Jack could react in any way, he was flying again landing a few yards behind him hard on the ground. A groan escaped his mouth and he tried to get up. Feeling dizzy already this was easier said than done. Feeling how an invisible power helped him up from the ground, he was hovering just inches over the place he was just lying on. Jack winced and flew again. This time even further and the trees came nearer. Landing hard he realised that he didn’t stand a chance whatsoever.

The blackness around his eyes came into his vision and he had to fight hard to not losing his consciousness. The feeling of floating came again and there was nothing he could do about it. He was the play ball in a sadistic game he couldn’t win. Flying again, this time he hit a tree. Crying in pain as his spine crashed on the impact. He landed on the floor and could not move. He so wanted to die now. How long he must endure this?

"Colonel? Are you still with me?" The guy laughed as he lifted O`Neill again. Jack was unconscious by now. His head was hanging on his chest and a thin stream of blood streamed from his right temple. "Oh Jack, I was hoping you had more in you. Well, I did promise you that I will make it quick." With that, he sent the Colonel on his last flight. With a big splash, the motionless body entered the water.

Xxx

“His heartbeat just went haywire. We need to do something.” Janet shouted and already ordered her staff to get specific medication. Before she could do something, a long beep tone announced the death of a certain Colonel.

“Sam, you have to hurry. Whatever your plan is you must do it now if you want to save him or we are about to lose him for good this time. I don’t know what’s going on in his dream, but he is about to lose.” She shouted at her friend who was busy fiddling around with lots of wires.

“Colonel, please hang in there. The Major will come and help you. She is pretty good at it and you know it. Don’t give up.” Janet was pleading to her patient but had little hope this time. This whole scenario was so beyond her capability.

“I am about ready. Fingers crossed that it will work. You can attach the wires to his head now,” Sam announced as she made herself comfortable on the bed next to her CO.

“Ok, here goes all or nothing. Sam be careful” The Doctor replied while getting the cables ready and injected some more ephedrine into the IV line of her patient.

Xxx

“Sir, where are you?” Sam stood at the lake. She was sure that she calculated everything right and when she entered the dream of her CO it would send her straight to where he was.

“Who are you?” a voice asked her.

“I am Major Samantha Carter. Who are you?” Sam turned herself in a full circle without anyone to see.

"Oh, so you are his 2IC. You are a very beautiful lady. I am sorry to tell you, but you are too late. I am one happy ghost who is now finally free. Now I can leave and rest in peace." Laughter reached Sam's ears and she started to get angry.

“You bastard. At least show yourself. You have no idea what you have done. You have no idea what his death means to the planet and the universe.” She shouted at the figure which was materializing in front of her.

"So, he kept telling me. But I am sorry now it is too late." He looked at her and saw a deep sadness in her eyes. "You love him?"

“Yes,” was her short answer. The tears began to form in her eyes. What difference did it make? She was too late. Too late to save him. Too late to save the love of her life.

"Tell me about him. He said before he died that he had changed. I didn't believe him." The man sat on the ground and invited Sam to sit near him.

“He is the best friend you can ask for. He has lost everything in his life and still gives everything for his friends, planet and universe. He never asks for anything in return. If you would have listened to him, he would have told you about how far humanity has come. He never spoke about you as he never spoke about his past at all. But sometimes I could see it in his eyes. The sadness over what he did. The past he couldn’t change. Now the only man in my life I ever loved with all that I had to give is gone. Nothing matters anymore.” The first tear dropped, and she looked at him.

"I hope for your sake that you will find peace and can rest with the knowledge that the universe is doomed and that you affected with his death not just your existence. No, you affected everybody's existence." She sniffed and stood up.

"I have to go now and prepare for a funeral. I wish you all the best." With that, she walked away.

“Wait” he called softly behind her.

Sam turned around. The tears were streaming now freely, and her eyes were already red and raw.

“I am sorry. Do you mean what you said about him?” the ghost asked even softer now

“Yes, I mean every letter and every word what I told you about Colonel O`Neill. Why do you ask? It doesn’t change anything now. He is gone.” Sam looked at him irritated.

"That's where you wrong. I wanted to kill him. I planned it all out and, in the end, I just could not do it." He looked at her with sad eyes. "Killing someone else doesn't bring me back to life and he told me that he is important for the rest of all of us. It was not what he said. I saw it in his eyes that he was not pleading for his life. He was pleading for his friends and the whole universe. I was hoping that someone would come to save him, to speak on his behalf and tell me that he indeed had changed, that he had learned from his mistake." With that, he raised his arm and stretched it out toward the water.

Sam watched him closely and at the same time watched the water. Bubbles appeared and then a very big air bubble showed itself. Inside was the Colonel. He didn't move and his eyes were closed. Sam waited. Her tears dried up and she watched as the Colonel was laid like in slow motion onto the ground.

"I told you I couldn't kill him. He had enough air for about three hours." The bubble erupted and gave precious cargo freedom. Sam was next to her CO in no time. Checking him for his pulse she was relieved to find one. Weak and slow but it was there.

Xxxxxxxxxxx

Janet watched the heart monitor of her two favourite colleagues and saw that a slow heartbeat appeared back on the scene where the Colonel was attached. “Sam. Whatever you did, it’s working. Keep it up. Bring him home.” She cheered her friend on.

The heart line picked up a bit more and after a few more seconds it showed a regular heartbeat of O`Neill. Janet didn’t even try to use the defibrillator this time as she knew that would not help at all. She was just a silent bystander hoping that the friendship SG1 had would save another life and another day.

Xxxxxxxxxxxxx

“Colonel, can you hear me?” Sam asked her CO softly. But so far there was no reaction to it.

"Major, I have to go now. The love of your life will be all right. Just give him a bit of time. I wish you all the best and the Colonel is blessed with a friend like you." With that, he vanished into thin air. Sam looked in his direction for a few more seconds before turning her attention back to the man on the ground.

"Sir, it's over. Come on now. You can sleep another time. We must go back. You can't stay here." She pushed one of his silver-grey hairs out of his eyes softly stroking his cheek and giving him time to come around.

“Cart…” he spoke before opening his eyes. The feeling that someone was being so nice to him, he liked it and wanted to hold it forever.

"It's ok, Sir. He is gone. It's over. Your ghost from the past. I met him and he seemed very nice. We talked and I told him a bit about you. He said he wanted to kill you but, in the end, couldn't. When you are feeling up to it, it's time to wake up. Some people in the infirmary are anxious to see you again." She sat now behind him and nestled his head in her lap.

“That’s nice. I am so tired. I want to sleep. Just let me, will ya?” he winced like a little boy.

“You can do these once you wake up. You need to have a different dream, one which is pleasant so you can recharge your batteries. This will not happen in this dream,” she explained and hoped to get him to come around with that.

“I can`t move. He tossed me against a tree which broke my third vertebra. I can’t go home, Sam. Never again.” He looked at her. His eyes showed sadness and she knew how helpless he felt.

"Sir, that might be so, but remember this is just a dream. You are fully functional in the real world. You just must wake up and all will be ok. Please. Just try it. I will stay for so long with you." She reassured him.

“And how on earth do I do that? I never forced myself before out of a dream. And right now what we have is nice. I don’t want it to end.” There was this little boy again which didn’t understand why certain things were not meant to be.

"Sir, please. You must try it. You are free to go. I promise you. We will find a way as I want to spend the rest of my life with you. We will find a way around the rules and regulations and we will defy all odds. So, please, can we go now?" She grew a bit impatient.
"Ok, if you insist, Major." With that, he closed his eyes and told himself to wake up. Nothing of that was real and he was to go back to the real world.

Xxx

Sam opened her eyes first. A nurse helped her to get rid of all the cables and wires. Sitting up as soon as she was able to, she watched her friend. Jack still had his eyes closed. The Major looked at Janet and then back to the equipment.

“He was going before me. Why is he not waking up? What is holding him?” Sam’s voice had a nervous sound to it as she asked her friend.

“I don’t know. All his vitals are back to normal. He should come to any second now.” Janet was as puzzled as her friend.

“Colonel, can you hear me? It’s time. You promised to try to wake up. We had an agreement. You remember?” Sam stood now next to her friend as she saw how his eyelids started to flicker.

“That’s it. Just a bit more. Sir, you can do it.” Janet and Sam cheered him on till the first gap was visible. “Colonel, why don’t you just show us the deep brown eyes of yours.”

“Don’t want to, want to sleep.” He mumbled

“You can do that in a few minutes. I promise that I will let you sleep as long as you want. But right now, you must wake up as I have to check you over.” The Doctor announced hoping the Colonel would comply and would not have one of his stubborn fits he could have from time to time.

“All right, all right. Water?” he opened his eyes fully and smiled as he saw his Major standing there. Oh, how lucky he was to have her in his life. Sam gave him a beaker with some water and a straw. The cool liquid just was so most welcome, how it rushed down his throat.

“Colonel, can you just move your fingers for me?” Janet watched his hands, but nothing happened. “Sir, can you please follow my orders?”

“What do you think I am doing?” he snapped back. First, he had to wake up and now he was accused of not doing what she asked of him. He had already had enough and wanted to go home.

“Ok, now your toes. Can you move them for me?” As she lifted his blankets, her glance was locked on his feet.

“How is that for you?” Jack asked in a happier mood. He remembered that if he is nice, he is more likely to go home sooner.

“Thank you, Colonel. You can go back to sleep now, and I will speak to you when you are awake again.” Janet smiled at him and watched his eyes close.

“Janet, what is happening to him?” Why does he think he is moving his fingers and toes and didn’t do it at all?” Sam`s voice sounded in a bit of a panic.

"I don't know. The only thing is I can come up with is, he needs time. He didn't have a good sleep for God knows how long. His heart stood still twice. The last time it was over a minute. I know the Colonel is in good shape but even he isn't superman. The best thing is we can do for him now is to cheer him up and on. When he wakes up, I will do the test again. Hopefully, till then, his nerves will have regained the command from his brain." Janet smiled reassuringly but wasn't sure herself.

“Janet, while I was with him in his dream, he told me that he can’t move. He told me that his ghost broke his third vertebra and he can`t feel anything. Could it have something to do with that?” Sam asked with concern. Why was she not thinking of that earlier?

“It could, but just to make sure we have to take an x-ray. Just to figure out what is happening. So far, we know that his dream and his real-life body experienced the same trauma. I just hope that it might be swollen muscle tissue and that this is not permanent. But only time will tell.” Janet looked back at the Colonel who was sound asleep.

“I will give him a sedative and then make the x-ray. The sooner we find out what’s going on the better we can help him.” The Doctor announced to her friend who was having red eyes again and she could see that the tears wanted to come.

“Why? Why is it always him? Why does he always have to have such bad luck? He isn’t perfect. Who is? But by God didn’t he have enough trouble in his life? He doesn’t need it any more of that crap!” Sam was going quieter as she spoke. Stroking his hand, she smiled at him. She had promised him to fight with him at his side and that is what she would do.

Daniel and Teal`c came to check up on their friend and found Sam standing next to him stroking his hand. “How is he?” Daniel asked in a soft tone.

“He is sleeping. He woke up briefly and has gone back to sleep. So, when he wakes up, I do hope he feels better.” She answered her friend but left the little note out that the Colonel could not move at all. No need to get all concerned about it. She would wait till Janet had the results and had a plan on how to proceed with that.

As Janet came back, she saw all three members of SG1 standing by their CO. It warmed her heart to see such a friendship. Yes, SG1 was special.

"The Colonel is sleeping. Why don't you all get a bit of a rest yourselves? As we all know, when he is getting better, he will be cranky. He needs you then the most and you need to occupy him, so he doesn't drive my staff crazy. So, go on, get something to eat and a few hours’ sleep. I don't want anyone of you back for the next eight hours. Are we understood?" Janet looked around and just as Daniel wanted to say something she asked if she had to make it an order. Solent nods came from all three and in the next minute, the infirmary was empty and running on a skeleton staffing as it was deep into the night by now.

"So, Colonel. Now to you. The Major told me about what happened in your dream. I have here a portable x-ray machine. So, don't worry about it but I must check what it is with your neck. When I asked you before you didn't move your fingers and toes at all. I just didn't say anything for your sake. You have been through enough and by God, you deserve a good sleep." Janet talked and explained everything to her patient about what she was going to do even though she knew that he was asleep and would not hear her.

A few minutes later she got the photos and hung them on a lightbox. Carefully checking the Colonel's vertebrae, she could not see any harm that had been done to them. Smiling and checking that no one was near to see her, she celebrated the good news with a little victory dance.

Now it was just up to him and his body and how fast he would recover. It was hard but now she even had to wait till the Major would come back. She wanted to share the good news with her but also wanted not to disturb her. `But that’s the best news ever and Sam would be concerned if she doesn’t know. She needs to know` the doctor was thinking and took her phone to contact the Major.

Sam took the news with a smile and relaxed in her bed. Now she knew the Colonel would be just fine. He had survived worse situations in his life. He was strong and he would come out of this one even stronger. Of that she was certain.

Xxx

sorry, I have to split the end in two post as the message to send is "only" 60k characters I hade a lot more to post. so the end comes in the next post
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Re: The Ghost

Post by Jack(s) » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:57 pm

and here comes the rest

xxx

The next morning came and Sam, Teal’c and Daniel had been sitting together in the commissary. Enjoying a good breakfast before visiting their leader was always good. The friends laughed and joked, and all seemed fine and wonderful. No rain clouds could be seen on the horizon, only sunshine.

Making their way to the infirmary, the bet was on as to how long the Colonel would behave himself once he felt better. All three agreed that it wouldn’t take long at all for the Colonel to grow inpatient with everybody and make the lives of the nurses into a living hell.

Coming into his room, they all approached his bed in silence. As he still had his eyes closed there was no saying if he still was asleep. Daniel and Teal`c took a chair and sat near the side of the bed while Carter was looking for Doctor Frasier. She wanted to check up on how her CO was doing and who was better to ask than the source.

It didn’t take long at all to find her and after Janet had shown her the pictures and explained what she was looking for and didn’t find any of it she saw the smile cross the face of one certain Major.

“It is just really up to him when he decides to wake up and how fast he will be back to normal. Physically he is fine. Psychically I just don’t know. We must wait for him to wake up.” She patted her friend on her shoulder.

"He will come around. I am sure of it. Once he knows that there is nothing wrong and his body is fine, nothing will keep him in bed for long. Janet, you know him. So, we have to believe in him." Carter announced and spoke to herself with some confidence.

“I am sure that he will be ok. Now go to him. If he wakes up, he will be looking for you. That I am sure about more than anything else.” She smiled and turned her attention to the computer screen in front of her leaving her friend standing and finding the way out for herself.

Back at Jack's bed, Sam arrived just in time to see him stare. In her mind, she cheered him on to come around and open his eyes. As he had finally done it, she couldn't believe how beautiful those deep brown eyes were. She had seen them many times before but now they looked so much clearer.

"Sir, welcome back. How are you feeling?" With a bit of hesitation, Sam wanted to know straight away how her CO was feeling.

“Peachy,” he turned his eyes towards her while putting a sly smile on his face. “Water?”

"Sure." Daniel reached him with some of the precious items he requested.

"It`s good to have you back, Jack, believe it or not. But you had us all a bit concerned there for a while." Daniel grinned all over his face.

“So am I. It is good to see you well again, O`Neill,” Teal`c announced. As he stood up, he bowed to his friend and left the infirmary. Giving his three human friends a bit of time on their own. He also notified the good doctor of the waking up and was now on his way to the General as he had requested.

As Janet entered the private room of the 2IC of the base, she heard a light chatting going on with a bit of laughter. That was what it was all about. Friendship and love were victorious again.

"Hello, Colonel, how are we feeling on this fine morning?" She stepped closer to his bed and saw his grin over his face. Her heart skipped a beat as she was so relieved to see him once happier again. Now it was just the question of his movements. Would he be able to move his fingers and toes? The last test was about 12 hours ago, and a lot could happen in that time. Especially when it came to Colonel O'Neill.

“Fine, when can I go home?” He looked her straight in her face. As Jack saw her jaw drop he couldn’t hold it anymore and released a big laugh.
The whole room broke out in laughter which was far more than just a fun laugh. It was laughter which released stress, concern and pain.

“Now, Colonel, I’ve got a little test for you and if you pass it, you can go home tomorrow. How does that sound for you?” Janet smiled and saw the flames of hope coming up in the eyes of her patient.

"Sure, what test?" Jack looked a bit irritated. He didn't recall any of the movement tests from the night before and was a bit confused.

“Sir, please move your fingers on your right hand for me?” Janet ordered.

“Sure, whatever you want. So long as you tell me that I can go home tomorrow.” Jack looked at her and then at his hand. All five fingers were moving in perfect order.

“Perfect, Sir. What about your left hand?” Janet sounded more relaxed now as she moved her gaze to his left hand. He moved it like nothing ever bothered him and so she moved on to his toes. These were also no problem and if she would have not seen that he couldn’t move them a few hours ago she wouldn’t believe it herself.

“So, Doc, are you happy with me? Does it mean that I can go home tomorrow?” Jack beamed at that idea.
"Yes, that's what we agreed on. But I want you to take it easy. No exercises for two days, relax on your sofa, watch hockey or the Simpsons you are so fond of and I will only let you go if you promise me that you will have one of your friends with you who will take care of your needs and also take care of what you eat. I know you like beer and pizza but that is not on the agenda for the next few days." She smiled at him and prepared for the argument she was sure would follow in the next second or so. In her head, she counted down from three, two, one and there it was.

“Aw, Doc. Please. I promise that I will be a good boy and I will have my friends around but no beer or pizza? You want to kill me all over by yourself?” Jack whined like a little boy while he looked at her with his puppy look. It was good knowing he had lost the argument in the first place and didn’t have to start it but also knew that this was a little game between the doctor and him which both parties seemed to enjoy a bit.

“Colonel, that’s the deal. Take it or leave it.” She smiled at him understandingly but stayed firm.

"Ok, OK." He waved his hand in defence and grinned over his whole face.

"After this, all has been sorted, I wish you all a good day." With that, she left. Just before exiting his room, she paused and listened once more to the laughter and jokes between these three friends. She just hoped that Teal'c would be back soon from the General's office to join in.

xxx

General Hammond was ever so pleased to hear the good news over his best friend and 2IC. He wouldn't know what to do without him. Sure, the Colonel was most of the time a pain in the backside and mostly responsible for all the grey hair he had, but in the end, he wouldn't have it any other way. It was just the way this man was. All the qualities he brought with him: the bravery, the judgmental part, the cockiness and to know when to be a badass. He trusted him with his life and the life of his grandkids.

For a moment his thoughts had gone back to when he was relieved of his command and Jack moved hell and earth to get him reinstated. Or when there had been the virus from that planet, and he was the first one who would volunteer to save them all even when this meant risking his own life. This man had risked everything. So now he knew he owed him everything. He knew that Colonel Jack O`Neill was one of the best officers he ever had the pleasure to work with.

Now that the Colonel was getting better, he would visit him and check on how his 2IC was doing. If he was still as predictable as ever when it came to staying in the infirmary and getting better, he probably was driving the nurses crazy already.

It didn't take Hammond long to follow Teal'c back to the infirmary. The good news over the awakened officer spread through the base like a wildfire. Hammond knew how important Jack was for the whole SGC. He wasn't just the glue which held SG1 together. No, he had his way to sparkle throughout the whole mountain.

Arriving at Jack’s room and entering it Major Carter snapped to attention straight away. Hammond smiled at the ever so correct Officer. He knew Sam for so long and followed her military way from the beginning to the present time. So now he had to tell her “at ease, Major” while coming closer to Jack’s bed.

“How you are feeling, son?” He asked still a bit concerned.

“Fine. Doc promised that if I am a good boy I am going home tomorrow. Everything is in working order. She just said I have to take it easy for a bit.” He grinned over his whole face while announcing the news.

"I am glad for you, Jack. You had us all a bit worried there." Hammond smiled and, in the manners of how Jack would use them he ended his visit when stating "Well, have fun kids. Don't stay up too late." With that, he turned himself around ready to leave.

“General,” Jack called him and waited till he turned himself around again. “Thank you, Sir.” No grin but a friendly smile between friends crossed his face.

"You just get back on your feet son." With that, he finally left and returned to his office.

Teal`c stayed with his team members and all four had a really good time. Jack looked around at his friends and realized once more that is it. He couldn’t have it any other way. That was the best team ever and he had the best friends ever.

Xxx

The next morning came and Daniel had volunteered to take his friend home. He was patient and knew how to handle one cynical Colonel who thought he could disobey orders from the doctor. Jack had not told him anything about what all had happened in his dream. This was a thing Daniel didn’t need to know. It would just concern his friend and he would be more paranoid as he was anyway.

As they entered the Colonel’s house, Jack looked around. Mistrusting it all a bit, the quietness and comfort of his house did worry him. But all seemed fine. No ghost and no hidden figure.

“Home sweet home, Daniel, come on in. Make yourself at home as well. You know where everything is. I will take a shower before I do anything else if this is ok with you.” Jack announced and even though he did ask his friend more or less if this was ok with him, he was already way up to his bathroom without waiting for the answer his friend may have had.

"Sure, I make some coffee…" Daniel's voice trailed off as he realized that Jack was already out of hearing. Laughing to himself he got the duffle bag of his friend in the house and made a coffee, the most important beverage on planet earth.

Jack was already undressing and turned the shower on as he looked in the mirror. He could swear to see his ghost behind him smiling. He smiled back and thanked him for another chance, another chance in life to make things right. He knew what he had and wanted to do. This involved him having to take some leave and speaking with the General. But, first of all, he needed a clean bill of health from his Doctor and this was not as easy as one would think. Sometimes he felt that the little Napoleonic powermonger was a bit overprotective.

But, thinking that, it was better this way than the other way around. He liked his life now. He had friends and a good workplace, he had the action in his life that he would need, and he had seen some awesome places. Why would he ask for more? No, Jack O`Neill was a happy camper and this would stay so for a long time if it went all to plan.

Xxx

About a month later

Jack jumped out of the bus. The dust immediately covered his shoes. He looked left and right and didn’t quite know which direction he had to go.
Still looking around, he heard someone calling his name. Following the sound of the voice who called him, he saw his ghost friend. Smiling, he followed him.

After a long walk which didn't seem to end, he came to a little village. Watching closely which house his friend entered, he walked up to and knocked on the door. Standing a step back, he waited.

Hearing some noises from behind the door, his heart began to jump up in his throat. This was a thing he had to do. He owed it to his friend and himself that much. As the door opened, a small woman stood in front of him checking him out from head to toe.

“What do you want? I don’t buy anything, and I don’t have any money to give to strangers.” She announced and was about to close the door. Jack saw that coming and blocked the door gently.

"Ma`am, I am not here to ask for money or to sell you anything. I am here to apologize on behalf of my government and the big mistake it made over twenty years back. I am here to give you some answers you might have and to give you some closure. May I can come in?" Jack asked with a soft voice trying not to startle her more than she was already. She looked strong despite her age. Something was going on with her but he couldn't put his finger on it.

"Nobody owes me anything. You should leave. I don't have time for this." She replied in all her bitterness still staring at the man in front of her with ice-cold blue eyes.

“Please.” Jack swallowed hard and was thinking about if what he was about to do would be the right thing or not. “I am the man responsible for the death of your husband over twenty years ago.” Jack took a step back as he was not sure how she would react to that kind of news. He also knew that she had five children, and, in this country, it was normal that a whole family was living under the same roof. So he wasn’t sure what would await him and who was at home. He could fight if he wanted to but right now he only was here to apologize and not to pick another fight.

The small woman looked at him again. Her face softened a bit. “What makes you say that? Nobody is foolish enough to admit such a crime.” She stated while never leaving Jack out of her sight and taking in a deep breath.

"I may be a fool, Ma`am. But I believe also in justice. I had a dream a while ago and your husband came to me. He spoke with me and made it clear what a big mistake my government made oh so long ago. I never spared a thought for his family, but he showed me what he left behind. So here I am. From the depth of my heart, I do want to apologize for the cold murder of your husband. I surely can`t take it back and set the past right. But I can change something now." Jack looked at her with honesty and sadness in his eyes.

“Come on in. Don’t stand there like a fool. The streets are not safe for an American. You should know that. What I don’t understand is how did you find my house?” she asked him with curiosity while leading him into the kitchen. When she woke up this morning she certainly was not prepared for what or who was now in front of her walking through her house.

"It is a very long story, Ma`am," Jack announced while he took the chair which she showed to him.

"I got plenty of time. I don't have to go anywhere just yet. I like the stories. One of my sons is a good storyteller. He told me a story once, a story of a man who would come and tell me that he killed my husband by accident, and it was up to me to judge him. By law, it is my right to get you killed. So, make it a good story and I will maybe reconsider my rights." She smiled at him while giving him a cup of very strong coffee.

Jack started from the beginning when he was a young officer working black ops right till the end where he was here sitting in her kitchen. He told her about a woman he loved but couldn't have due to regulations and that he was planning to change that if he ever goes back to his country. He spoke for over an hour. She didn't interrupt him once. He could tell that she wanted to know everything and if it was not for her eagerness to hear a good story it for her sanity.

Jack didn't come for himself in the first place. Sure this was one reason - he wanted to get it all done and over with. But the main reason why he came was for her. So, she would get some closure. He watched her sitting in front of him as he had finished. It was quiet and she didn't say anything. He wanted not to disturb her and wasn't sure if he just should leave. But then she had told him that by law she could get him killed. He didn't want to run anymore. He was tired of running and hiding. It was time to get the table cleared and move on with the life they all had or stop it right here and now.

He would take the punishment she gave him just to make her happy again. He brought her some money as well but had the feeling that she wasn’t interested in it whatsoever. So, he planned to leave it when he would go wherever his destiny would lead him.

"I liked the story. My hubby did kick your sorry American ass didn't he." She smiled and slapped her hand flat on the table. After a few minutes of quietness, it was so loud that the sound made Jack jump a bit.

“Yes, Ma`am. He did. I don’t want to be rude or anything. But have you decided what you want to do with my sorry American ass?” Jack tried to smile but more than a small grin he didn’t manage.

“Well, Jack…” she paused and enjoyed the drama it brought with it. She watched him and how he started to itch around a bit. For a normal eye that wasn’t even visible. But for her trained military eye, nothing stayed unnoticed. Jack didn’t know that the old woman in front of him was ex-military and knew exactly how it works in the changes of command. You get an order and you deliver. End of story. Doesn’t matter the casualties. She had high respect for the American sitting here in her kitchen drinking her coffee and telling her a story about two men who could not be more different and who became friends after all.
"…. The way I see it, you are as much of a victim of all of that as I am. It is enough blood spilt already. I will not let you get killed. I will respect and honour you. If you ever need a friend when you are in this area, don't be shy. Ask for me and you will have some strong friends who will help you. Everybody knows me around here. I am well respected. So, go on now. Catch your flight home and have a happy life with that Major of yours." With that, she stood up and delivered a textbook salute to the Colonel in front of her. That was the moment it dawned on him. He snapped to attention and delivered the same salute out of respect and honour for her family.

“Colonel O`Neill,” she called him as he had already exited her house. He turned around and saw her eyes twinkle. “Stay safe. You’ve got my blessing.”

"Thank you, Ma`am." With that, he turned around again and walked the long way back where he knew he would catch a bus back to the airport. Not much longer and he would be back in the United States, back at his base deep in the mountain under NORAD. He would see his friends again and would save the world and the universe another time. Jack never counted it but heard some rumours that Teal`c had it all on record.

By this thought, he smiled. Oh, how he missed his friends. Another day another dollar and the usual monthly team night would come for sure.

The End

----

Thats all whats to this story. hope you enjoyed it. leave a comment and make a little writers heart happy :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: The Ghost

Post by bftlovesRDA » Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:09 pm

What a story! Thank you, thank you, thank you for it. Well written and well told.

I'm glad it had a good ending. That made me a happy camper!!!!
B

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