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Happy Birthday, Darlin'
Jack and Teal'c walked into the room an hour later. Both were carrying duffel bags. It was apparent that neither were going to leave their friends…their family…until the ordeal was over.
Casey and Daniel were playing a game of gin. For the most part, other than a headache, and occasional bouts of moodiness, Daniel was faring well.
"What?" she asked.
"I can't take just sitting here! I've been sitting for three fucking weeks!" He began to pace around the room. His hands were shoved into his pockets, his shoulders hunched forward.
Dr. Montigue had left orders that no one other than himself was to enter the room unless specifically requested by Casey, Jack, or Teal'c. He had taught Casey how to take Daniel's blood pressure and pulse, and insisted that it must be done hourly for the first twenty-four hours. He gave her the 'safety range' for both, and if the numbers rose above or fell below that range, she was to contact him immediately. She glanced at the clock, and grabbed the blood pressure cuff. "Sit down, Daniel. I need to take your blood pressure."
"You just took it."
"Humor me," she responded. She watched as he flexed his hands yet again, rubbed them over his thighs. 'I know it's hard, Beloved. I'm here. Let me help. Send me the pain.'
He started, looked over at her. 'No way. I can't…I won't do that to you.' His legs and hands were cramping, hurting. How she knew, he didn't have a clue. He sat down on the side of the bed, held his arm out so that she could wrap the cuff around it. "I'm sorry, Angel."
She smiled. "It's okay. You don't have to apologize, Daniel. You're going through withdrawal." She put the stethoscope earpieces in her ears and took his blood pressure, then his pulse. "Well, you're still alive."
He grinned. "That's good to know."
"Would you like to try and eat something?"
"Yeah, maybe some soup. My stomach is kind of hurting."
"I'll get it," Jack said quietly. "Any particular kind?"
"I don't care!" Daniel shook his head, shot an apologetic look at his best friend. That man only smiled encouragingly.
Casey raised an eyebrow. "See if there's any kind of chicken soup…chicken with rice or chicken noodle. Either will be better for his stomach."
Jack nodded. "What about you, Case? When was the last time you ate?"
"I'm not hungry," she replied.
Daniel frowned. Goddamn it! She had just…literally just…started eating again before all of this shit happened! "Babe, you'll need your strength. Please, for me?"
She looked at him, saw the concern in his face. He had more important things to deal with than worrying about her! "Sure. A cup of chicken soup sounds good."
Another nod, and the general slipped out the door.
Daniel was pacing again. Now he knew how caged animals felt. God, he couldn't take it! It felt like the freaking walls were closing in on him. Frustrated, in pain, his body screaming for just a tiny bit of that lovely purple powder that brought such sweet oblivion, he walked to the nightstand and tossed everything on it to the floor.
Casey jumped, then knelt down and began to gather the hospital items. There was a pitcher, thank goodness she hadn't filled it with water yet! Four cups. A deep bowl in case Daniel was in bed and felt sick. The stethoscope and the blood pressure cuff. She put them back on the metal tray and sat it on top of the nightstand again.
"Say it!" Daniel sneered.
"Tell me how childish that was!"
She shook her head. 'Relax, Beloved. Deep breaths. I'm here for you.'
He stared at her. "Christ, Casey, knock it off! Quit trying to be so goddamned noble!"
She flinched. She had known that this was going to be…difficult. She hadn't realized how much it would hurt. She understood that he didn't mean what he was saying. Chances were he wouldn't even remember when this was over. It still didn't keep the words, uttered in such a hateful tone of voice, from hurting. She shook her head, refused to reply. She started to move away from him.
Daniel grabbed her arm, spun her around to face him. "Don't walk away from me when I'm talking to you!"
His grip was like an iron vise around her upper arm. "Daniel, you're hurting me," she said softly, calmly.
Teal'c was on his feet. "Daniel Jackson, release Casey Jackson at once."
When Daniel saw Teal'c standing there, his mind seemed to 'reset'. He looked down at his hand, saw how tightly he was holding her. "Sorry," he mumbled, pulling her into a hug, pressing his face against her neck. He was certainly glad he'd had the foresight to ask Jack and Teal'c to be here with them. He had no idea how badly he might hurt her if they weren't. This thought sent him into a tailspin of anger and remorse. What would he have done had Teal'c not stopped him? Casey - his sweet, beautiful Wife - was trying to help him, showing her love simply by being at his side through all of this. And how did he repay that love? By getting physically abusive! Great! Just fucking great! If that redheaded bitch hadn't kept shooting him up, giving him that purple powder to snort…that wonderful purple powder…oh, god, he needed it so badly! Just a snort…just enough to make the pain go away, just for a little while…"Casey, get the vials. Just a little bit. I just need a little bit…then I can quit. I promise."
"I can't do that, Daniel. You either stop now, or you're on medication to help you withdraw for the rest of the year," she said quietly.
"I want it, goddamn it! Get it for me!" He raised his hand with the intent to slap her. The look of surprise in her eyes, the way she stepped away from him brought him back from the edge and to his senses…for another moment or two. He wiped his hands over his face. "I love you, Angel."
"I know, Daniel. Just take a deep breath. We'll get through this."
He bit back his laugh. According to the clock on the wall, it was barely two hours past the time for his fix. If he was already getting violent, how much worse was it going to get?
Jack walked back in, a tray in his hands, four cups of soup, two cups of coffee, one iced tea, one glass of water, and one apple juice. "Doctor Montigue says that juice is your beverage of choice for awhile. And he wants you to try and drink as much water as possible. When you start sweating, you're going to dehydrate yourself."
Daniel sat down to eat, only to find that his hands were shaking so badly that he couldn't hold the soup, let alone get the spoon to his mouth. "Case? I…" he shook his head.
Her heart nearly broke at the lost look in his eyes. "I'm right here, Daniel." She took the soup and carefully fed him, urging him to finish it completely. She held the juice so he could sip it, then cajoled him into drinking the water.
"I'm kind of tired," he announced, as soon as he had finished eating.
"Do you want your sweats, or just sleep in your boxers?" she asked.
"Boxers," he replied. At this point he was barely aware that Jack and Teal'c were in the room. His legs were shaking; he couldn't stand long enough for her to get his jeans off. Jack held him gently under the arms so that she could get them past his hips. When she had him undressed, she tucked him into the bed. She glanced at the clock. It was nine-thirty. Ten hours since his last fix. If Betsy had been double dosing him, it was going to get worse now.
"Casey, want me to warm this up for you?" Jack asked softly, nodding at her now cold soup.
She dropped wearily into one of the recliners, nodded and laid her head back. She continued to watch her Husband. He was sleeping now, although not peacefully. She ate the soup that Jack handed to her, then went to sit at Daniel's side.
He was sweating, his eyes moving rapidly beneath his closed eyelids. She filled the bowl with cool water, found a cloth in the cupboard and began to gently wash his face, his arms. She lowered the blankets a bit and wiped his chest as well. She noticed that his stomach was beginning to heave. She opened the bedside table, relieved to find another bowl. "Jack, I need you and Teal'c."
Both men were instantly at her side. "What do you need, Case?"
"Hold him up. I think he's going to throw up, but I don't know if he's going to be conscious when he does it," she replied softly.
"So how are you so smart about all of this?" Jack asked quietly, as he put his arm around Daniel's shoulders.
"Doctor Montigue explained a lot to me. The rest is just…common sense, I guess," she replied.
As predicted, Daniel began to vomit. When he was finished Jack took the bowl and cleaned it out while Casey cleaned her husband.
When his teeth began to chatter, Casey found two blankets and put over him. She sat beside him on the bed, singing softly, his hand in hers, gently brushing his hair from his forehead.
"Daniel is one hell of a lucky man," Jack commented quietly when he was sitting back in the recliner, watching Casey take care of his best friend.
"Yes, he is. She loves him deeply," Teal'c, who was sitting beside him, agreed. He was also watching. The gentleness, the tenderness was typical of the woman. That she loved the man who shivered on the bed was obvious to anyone who looked at her.
"Yeah, she does. As much as he loves her."
An hour later, Daniel began to vomit again. Only this time it was a bit worse. His body was beginning to purge itself. "We're going to have to change the bed," Casey said calmly.
"Okay, T, you help Case get Daniel cleaned up. I'll deal with this," Jack instructed.
"I can-" Casey started.
"Casey, I've done this before," Jack said softly.
She nodded. "Thanks."
"We're family, Case," the older man said. For him, it was that simple.
Teal'c held Daniel upright while Casey bathed him in the shower. When she had him wearing clean boxers, Teal'c carried him back into the room and put him into the clean bed. When it was clear that he was going to sleep, she cleaned up the bathroom, and washed out his boxers.
By three a.m., Daniel seemed to be sleeping quietly. Jack insisted that Casey get a bit of rest. She had called Duncan, asked his advice and opinion on how long Daniel's withdrawal would take. The Highlander had told her that when several of his Immortal friends had suffered from addictions, and the subsequent period of withdrawal, it had taken about five days. He also told her that no longer than Daniel had been given the drugs, two days would probably be all it took to rid his system of the addiction. And that, he said, was only because of the particular drugs he had been given. He had encouraged her, telling her the things she already knew, but needed to hear.
A A A A A A
"Casey! Oh, god, no!"
She jumped to her feet. Daniel was having a nightmare. "Shh…I'm right here, Daniel. I'm okay. Shh…it's okay." She ran her fingers over his face.
He pushed her away. "Get away from me, you bitch! You killed her! You killed her!" he was sobbing now. "You killed my Angel!"
"Daniel, look at me," she demanded softly. "Open your eyes, Daniel. Look at me." She held his head with both hands, he didn't seem able to hold it up.
He opened his eyes. Tried to focus. His eyes rolled back in his head and he passed out.
She sighed. Jumped slightly when she felt a hand on her shoulder. Jack was standing behind her.
"I'm surprised at how fast this is all progressing. Must be the Immortal thing," he said quietly.
"Really?" She turned to look at him. "You really think it's going fast?"
"I had a friend who got himself addicted to heroin. I got a hotel room, and about six miles of plastic. I covered everything in that room. We were there for ten days before he could stand by himself," he said, his eyes taking on a haunted, far-away look.
"How long had he been on heroin?"
"About eight months. Bad habit, he was shooting up at least four times a day. Took three weeks to get him over the physical part. Right after that, we did an op in Iraq. He was killed."
She could sense his grief. "He died clean and sober, Jack. And he was grateful for your friendship, and all that you did for him."
Jack looked at her, then nodded. "Thanks." He looked down at Daniel, who appeared to be asleep again. "Get some sleep. I'll sit with him."
Exhausted, emotionally as well as physically, Casey nodded and stretched out on the cot.
"Casey?" Daniel's eyes were rolling, he was trying to focus on the face in front of him.
"She's sleeping, Daniel. She needs the rest."
"Right here, Space Monkey," the man replied softly.
"God, I hurt!"
"I know, Danny, I know. But you're beating this thing."
"Yeah, you are."
"Have I hurt her?"
"No, Daniel, you haven't," Jack assured him.
"Okay." The young man closed his eyes again.
Jack smiled, tucked the blankets around his best friend. If he was worried about Casey, Daniel was doing just fine.
A A A A A A
By six a.m. Daniel was able to get up and go to the bathroom by himself. Jack brought in more juice, and Casey managed to get the archaeologist to drink it. She was also able to get him to eat some scrambled eggs and toast. He kept telling her he wasn't hungry, but she knew that his body needed all of the nutrients it could get, especially since he hadn't been eating well during the three weeks of his imprisonment.
Casey was rubbing his legs, which were cramping. Again she was singing softly…it seemed to keep him calm. She continued to take his vitals, carefully recording them. Dr. Montigue arrived, checked Daniel over and told him that the worst was yet to come, and then it would be over. He drew more blood for another tox screen, telling them that he would bring the results later in the day.
Daniel looked at the clock. It was time. He was sure it was time. "Casey? I need it now," he said. He held his arm out toward her.
"No, Daniel. You're getting all of that shit out of your system. I'm not giving you anything."
"Goddamn it! I need it!" He threw the tray that held the remnants of his breakfast at her.
She reached out, tried to soothe him, felt the chaos of his emotions. Sent her love anyway. When she knelt down to clean up the mess, Jack and Teal'c shooed her away, told her to take care of Daniel.
He ran his hands over his face. He was starting to shake again. "Case?"
"I love you."
"I love you, too."
"Please, Angel, I need it. Just one shot?"
"One vial then?"
She shook her head. "No. You can't come home if you're still addicted, Daniel. It wouldn't be safe for Emily or Nicholas. I won't have you doing that shit in my house, around my babies. You're strong, Daniel. You want to quit this. You can do it," she said softly.
"You're a real bitch, you know that, don't you? I'm in pain here, and you're copping a fucking attitude!"
The words stung, but she shrugged them off. He had no clue what he was saying. She remembered their conversation in the jeep before entering the hospital. She clung to his words of love.
"I think I'm gonna be sick."
She grabbed the bowl. "Okay, let's get you to the bathroom. I want you to sit on the toilet. I'll hold this for you. Can you walk?"
"I don't think so."
With Teal'c's help she was able to get him to the bathroom before his body completely cut loose. He moaned in pain as his stomach rejected everything he had eaten, and his bowels forced out everything else. She gently washed his face. "Do you want to take a shower?"
"Y-y-y-es-s-s," he stammered, shaking like a leaf.
"Teal'c? Feel like another shower?"
The Jaffa smiled. "Indeed."
Teal'c helped Daniel stand, and Casey lovingly washed him. Fifteen minutes later they had him tucked back into bed.
"Case, why don't you take a quick shower. We'll keep an eye on him," Jack suggested.
She gave a nod, grabbed her bag and went into the bathroom. She gave in to the urge to cry as the water ran over her face. It was so difficult! Daniel had always been so strong, so in control. Seeing him this way broke her heart, and made her furious at Betsy Harris. She hurriedly finished and went back into the room. She needed to be there for him.
Daniel had thrown up again, although thankfully he hadn't had any other accidents. Jack and Teal'c each took a turn in the shower, and they all felt a bit better for it.
Casey sat on the bed beside him, wiping his face, his arms, his chest as he continued to sweat. His body was flushing itself of the toxins, and soon, very soon, he would be free of the drugs that Betsy Harris had addicted him to.
A A A A A A
He opened his eyes, tried to focus. "Case?"
"I'm right here, Daniel."
"I know, Sweetheart. I’m so sorry," she whispered.
"You want me to rub your legs again?"
She gently, carefully massaged his legs, his feet, his arms, his hands. She could feel the muscles tighten. When a cramp in his foot made him cry out, her soft hands caressed the tension, and the pain, away.
His eyes were rolling again. He tried to hold his arm out to her. "Need!"
Casey shook her head, wrapped her hands around his arm and gently caressed it. He jerked away from her.
"No, my Heart. I will not give you any of that poison. I love you. I want you with me. That poison will take you away from me," she said softly. "Do you want to leave me, would you rather have the drugs?"
Her words were filtering into his brain. Leave? Not have her near? No, he didn't want that, never wanted that! He wanted her to be with him, he wanted to be with her. He shook his head.
"Then fight, Daniel. I know your body is demanding a fix. You're stronger than those damned drugs. You can do this, my Heart. You can beat this."
"Always, Daniel. I'll be here to help you, always," she replied.
Satisfied, he closed his eyes again. His hand searched over the blankets. His fingers closed over hers when they found them.
She smiled, leaned down and kissed him on the forehead. Maybe it's almost over, now, she thought hopefully.
He felt her lips against his skin. He liked it when she did that. His Casey. She was safe. She loved him. He'd had his much needed fix of her sweet honey, her sweet skin, her sweet love. That thought made him smile. He didn't want to leave her…never wanted to be away from her. He had to do something…something important…something for her. What was it that he had to do? Oh, yeah. Fight. Fight what? He was tired. He'd fight later, whatever it was. As soon as he rested, just a little bit.
A A A A A A
When he opened his eyes, Casey was curled up against him. He smiled, shifted, lifted her slightly so he could get his arm around her. He looked over to see Jack and Teal'c watching him carefully. "How long has she been asleep?"
"About thirty minutes. Longer than she slept all night. She'll have to wake up in a few minutes to take your vitals again," Jack replied. "How are you feeling?"
"I’m sore. Bit of a headache. Kind of hungry."
Jack grinned, reached over and slapped Teal'c on the shoulder. "He's hungry! Always a good sign when the patient is hungry!"
Daniel grinned. The grin broadened when Casey snuggled closer to him. "Do we have to wake her up? If she hasn't been sleeping…"
"I guess I could have one of the nurses come in," Jack said.
"Do it. I don't want her disturbed," Daniel said.
Jack looked at Teal'c again. "Definitely getting better. He's getting bossy."
"Very bossy," Teal'c said, not even trying to hide his smile. "I shall go find a nurse to come and take Daniel Jackson's pulse and blood pressure." He lifted his large frame from the chair and slipped out the door.
Daniel placed a kiss on Casey's forehead. "I…uh…I haven't hurt her, have I?"
The older man grinned. "Seems we had this conversation at about three-thirty this morning. No, Daniel. You haven't hurt her. She's been something, that's for damned sure."
"She's an amazing woman," Daniel replied.
"That she is," Jack agreed. "Okay, as soon as T gets back, I'll go see about some lunch."
One of the male nurses on the floor came into the room and took Daniel's vitals. He made his notations, then left the room again, not before giving the occupants a smile. Standing orders were that no one was allowed in here unless they were summoned. Rumor had it that Dr. Jackson had been kidnapped, and then turned into a junkie. He certainly didn't look like a junkie! Maybe that was just a cover story…maybe he had some alien virus or something, the nurse thought. Whatever the reason for the doctor's presence, he would at least be able to tell the other nurse's and the orderlies that he had taken the man's vitals, and he looked too healthy to need to be in the hospital!
Daniel bit back a groan. He could feel the tremors coming on again. He looked at the clock. It must time for another fix. He had missed two so far, at least he thought that's how many he had missed. Had she been giving him the shots and the powder at different times? He jerked slightly. Wait a minute! Why was his body reacting this way, just because of the time? He searched his mind. Subconscious! Subconsciously his body was aware that it was usually around this time that he had been given the drugs. Okay, so now what? Casey shifted slightly beside him. He smiled down at her. She had told him to fight. That was exactly what he was going to do!
When Jack came back, reporting that a nice lunch of sandwiches and hot coffee and some fruit would be brought up, he noted that Daniel had a gleam in his eyes. "What's up, Danny?"
"I started getting the shakes again. Only because my subconscious is used to getting a fix about now. So, I've just got to focus my mind on something! If you could go to my office, and get one of those tablets from-" he broke off when he saw Jack grinning. "What?"
"I’m not going to be bringing any of your rocks here. But I think we could come up with something that will keep your mind busy," Jack replied.
Jack opened his duffel and pulled out a small, travel chess set.
Daniel grinned. "You want me to whip your butt in chess? How is that supposed to keep my mind busy?"
"Oh, you are so not funny," Jack retorted. He was jumping for joy inside. The Space Monkey was whipping this addiction, and whipping it good! There would probably be a couple more 'episodes'. Some more shakes, more cramps. He would probably be good and sick at least one more time. But it was almost over.
When Casey opened her eyes, they were in the middle of their third game. "How long have I been asleep?" she asked.
"Couple of hours," Daniel replied. "Check."
She started to jump off of the bed. Daniel's arm tightened around her, effectively keeping her in place beside him. "I'm supposed to take your vitals every hour!"
"Been done, Case," Jack said. "We had a nurse come take care of it." He made a move, captured one of Daniel's rooks.
She looked up at Daniel. His color was much better, he seemed…well…again. "How do you feel?"
"I’m cramping a bit. Sore as hell. But otherwise not too bad," he said. "Checkmate."
"No. Not checkmate," Jack argued. He studied the board. "Damn! Let's set 'em up again. I've got to figure out how you've been cheating!"
"Cheating? At chess?" Daniel laughed. "Not likely!"
Dr. Montigue poked his head into the room. "Well, now, this looks cozy!"
Daniel glanced down at Casey and grinned. "I have no complaints."
The doctor smiled, and began to examine his patient. "I have the results of your first two tox screens. The first was a bit lower than I had originally anticipated. The second one is more than half of the first. I'll take more blood right now, and I'm sure it will come back half of that."
"Which means?" Jack asked.
"By this time tomorrow I doubt that there will be any toxins left in Daniel's system. Now, since you were drugged on a 'schedule', I don't know what kind of psychological addiction you may have."
"I'm already fighting that," Daniel informed the doctor.
"Good! The sooner, the better. That is the part of the addiction that will take the longest to 'kick'. You're doing very well, Daniel. I'll check back later," the doctor said. He patted Daniel on the shoulder, squeezed Casey's hand, then left the room.
"Hear that, Space Monkey? I told you that you were beating this thing!" Jack grinned.
Daniel kissed Casey's forehead. "Yep. I am."
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