A Time to Heal
Bundled up, both Colonel O'Neill and Captain Carter were whisked back to Stargate. General Hammond taking one last look around before boarding his own transport. Both patients remained stubbornly unconscious during the flight back to Colorado, all Dr Jackson could do was to wait while the paramedics worked on his friends. He was lost in his own thoughts when one of them touched his shoulder, "I thought you might like a coffee," he said, "we've done all we can for now."
"How-" Daniel's voice cracked, "how are they?"
"Stable for now," the man replied, "we're warming them slowly."
"Captain Carter said something about Colonel O'Neill, a broken leg and internal bleeding-"
"The cold might have helped," the paramedic said, "slowed the bleeding."
Daniel nodded and taking the proferred cup, thanked the paramedic.
When they landed, Dr Jackson watched as both of his friends were whisked off the transport, knowing that the best thing he could do would be to stay out of the way. He climbed out when they'd gone, only to be met by General Hammond, "General," he said respectfully.
"They're in good hands, Doctor," the General said, "come with me."
Curious, Daniel followed him up to his office. Taking two glasses from the sideboard the General opened a cupboard and took out a bottle filled with amber liquid. Pouring two glasses he pushed one across the table to Dr Jackson, "Drink," he ordered, "you look like you need it."
Daniel took the proffered glass and gingerly took a sip of the dark liquid, the smoky taste bit the back of his throat and made him choke.
"Laphroaig," General Hammond said, "I have a friend in the British Embassy."
Daniel took another sip, finding the texture smooth. He finished his drink and then set the glass on the desk, "Thank you, Sir."
Both his friends had been changed and were lying under warmed blankets, the Colonel seemed to be resting comfortably but Captain Carter seemed uncomfortable, her eyes moving restlessly behind the closed lids.
"How are they, Doctor?" Daniel asked as he entered sickbay.
"The Colonel's resting comfortably, we'll get him into theatre in the next few minutes."
"And Sam?" Daniel asked.
"She's not regained any cognizant level of consciousness yet," Doctor Frasier replied, "you can stay for a little while. Maybe your presence will help her realise that she's not alone. I must go."
Daniel bent over his friend, his lips tightening as he looked at Sam's face. Eventually, he sighed and straightened up. To his surprise, Teal'c was waiting for him, "Colonel O'Neill and Captain Carter – they will recover?"
"I think so, Teal'c," Daniel replied, "they're in the best hands, all we can do is wait."
"I shall remain here," Teal'c replied.
Daniel nodded and then returned to his quarters, there was no way that he would be leaving the base while his friends were still in sickbay, finally after half an hour, Daniel got up and walked down to sickbay to sit quietly next to his friend.
They had been waiting for almost two hours when Doctor Frasier poked her head out of the door, "You can come in now," she said quietly, "they're both still unconscious, but I think they'll be all right."
"Captain Carter has not woken up?" Teal'c raised a jet black eyebrow.
Doctor Frasier smiled tautly, "I have every faith that she'll be all right. She'll probably pass into a natural sleep as she warms up."
"Can we see them?" Daniel asked, rising to his feet.
"For a few minutes, then I want you both to get some rest – I know you're not going to leave the base while your friends are here – but if I find you a couple of rooms on the base, will you try to get some sleep?"
Reluctantly both of them nodded and Dr Frasier smiled, "I can prescribe a light sedative if you're having trouble-" but both Daniel and Teal'c shook their heads, "I'd prefer not," Dr Jackson replied.
"And I doubt that any of your drugs would affect me," Teal'c responded, "I shall just perform Krel'no'reem, it will aid me better than sleep."
"Very well," Dr Frasier smiled and allowed them to enter. Daniel regarded both his friends cautiously, "Are you sure that they're all right?"
"It's a waiting game," Dr Frasier replied guardedly. "Now go and get some rest Dr Jackson, I promise I will call you if there's any change."
He couldn't wake up, he'd half-known he was dying as the cold crept up his body, numbing his mind and leg. Although he'd confessed to Captain Carter – Sam, that he had no regrets – he'd lied – the death of his son still haunted him. In his half-frozen state he'd imagined that it was Sara bending over him, and he'd tried to speak to her, to tell her that he was so sorry, but the cold was creeping over him and the last thing he thought he remembered was her warm voice telling him that he could sleep before greyness closed over him. He was warmer now, but he still couldn't seem to break through to consciousness, he was in a maze of some sort, wandering down long dark corridors with no end in sight. Squaring his shoulders, he took a deep breath and soldiered on down the corridor.
She was trying to escape but every time she got close to the light, something would push her down again. She was becoming tired and she knew that if she stopped fighting she'd be lost forever. She could feel sweat beading her forehead, straightening her shoulders she took a deep breath and began the long trek towards the small disc of light in the distance.
Lieutenant Murray was working alone in the computer room when she felt the air shift around her. Swallowing hard she turned around and came face to face with a a familiar figure, "Grandfather!" she said, a tinge of exasperation in her tone, "you must stop doing this!"
"There are two bilaganna in your Medical Bay, you can help them."
"I doubt they will let me perform a Sing for them." Rebecca replied archly.
"You do not need to," the figure replied, "I told you many years ago, you have a gift, Little Wolf."
She started at his mention of her Diné name and then shook her head, "I think you're wrong-"
"And this from someone who sees her Grandfather's spirit?" the figure smiled, "and you know that I am right. As I said, all you will need to do is touch them and say the right words."
"And what the hell are the right words?" Rebecca gaped.
The spirit shrugged, or appeared to, "The right words are whatever you want them to be."
Rebecca glared at him but her Grandfather didn't seem fazed, "Are you coming, Little Wolf?"
"And how am I supposed to get down to the Medical Suite?" she asked pointedly.
"I thought you would know, Little Wolf," she thought that Grandfather looked surprised, but with him it was hard to tell, "when you walk with me you have the gift of the Coyote."
Sighing, Rebecca got to her feet, "Do I need to bring anything with me, Grandfather?"
"Just yourself, Little Wolf."
To her surprise, the corridors were quiet and deserted as they, Well she, actually, she thought, knowing that no-one else would see the spirit beside her, walked down the corridors. "Is this your doing?" she murmured.
He didn't reply and Rebecca had the feeling that he'd already told her everything she needed to know. Sighing, she squared her shoulders and followed the slightly shimmering figure down the corridor. "Grandfather!" she hissed, "his friends will be keeping vigil, I cannot just walk in to the room-"
He turned and she thought she caught the edges of a smile, "Little Wolf, what did I tell you?"
When you walk with me, you have the gift of the Coyote, she remembered and taking a deep breath, followed the ghost.
Teal'c was sitting outside the Medical Bay seemingly in a state of deep meditation, she swallowed hard and felt her heart thumping in her ears, and then her Grandfather was standing beside her, "Do not worry."
Reassured Rebecca walked forward and stepped into the room. Both the man and the woman lay, seemingly asleep – but again the Sickbay seemed deserted, I do hope that you haven't done anything foolish, Grandfather, she thought.
Slowly, she walked over to the end of the beds and stared at the supine figures, her heart in her throat, "You can help them.. You have a gift."
She looked up to see her Grandfather regarding her quietly, "I have brought you this far, Little Wolf, the rest is up to you."
Jack was still stuck in this blasted maze. He took a quick look around and wiping the back of his arm across his forehead, wondered again where the hell he was. Looking down at himself he noticed that his weapons were gone – he grimaced, he had no memory of them being taken. Straightening up, he squared his shoulders and took another step into the maze the movement taking him deeper into the labyrinth.
Sam was aware that her strength was waning, she seemed to have fought her way to the light for so long now, and each time she'd fought her way up she seemed to have sunk further. She knew if she stopped then she was lost. Seeing the light in the distance, she took a deep breath and made one final attempt.
Rebecca swallowed hard again and then laid her hands on Colonel O'Neill's and Captain Carter's shoulders. She took another deep breath and wondered if her Grandfather had been wrong.
"What the hell-"
Rebecca looked up to see Doctors Frasier and Jackson standing in the doorway, Teal'c looming up behind them.
"Do not worry, Little Wolf," the spirit said, "I shall hold them. Continue."
Dr Jackson frowned, "Did I just hear someone say something?"
"My grandfather," Rebecca replied. She took another deep breath and said, "Colonel O'Neill, Captain Carter, you are both safe. You will recover. I promise. I promise."
Jack stepped forward, determined to escape this nightmare place and as he did so, he felt a warmth surge through him; the maze vanished like cobwebs and he heard a soft voice high above him, although afterwards he could never remember the words, and suddenly released he sank back into sleep.
As Captain Carter moved forward to try and break through to the light one final time, she felt the pressure on her shoulder and a wave of peace ran through her and then she heard the voice, although like Colonel O'Neill, she didn't remember the words afterwards either. She took a deep breath and knowing now that they were both safe, she sank into slumber.
"Goodbye, Little Wolf," her Grandfather's voice was warm in her ear. "I hope to see you soon on the Reservation."
"I will try, Grandfather." She replied.
Then Dr Frasier was walking into the room, putting her stethoscope in her ears and bending over her patients. As she checked them, the Colonel's eyes flickered and he blinked hazily up at her, "Hey," he slurred, "you found us-"
"Just about," she smiled down at him, "you've got a nasty case of hypothermia and a broken leg."
"How's Captain Carter?" he asked sleepily.
"I'm about to check," she replied, "keep still."
Fifteen minutes later she returned to bend over the Colonel. "She's finally sleeping, properly – as you should be," she admonished.
Jack smiled sleepily and then closing his eyes slipped into slumber.
Dr Frasier turned to the young woman standing at the end of Colonel O'Neill's bed, "And now," she said, "I think you'd better explain how you did that. I need some coffee, will you come with us Dr Jackson."
"Try to keep me away!" Daniel replied.
Eventually they were sitting in the Doctor's office, Rebecca cradling a mug of coffee. "I'm not sure where to start," she began.
"Try at the beginning," Dr Frasier said, "if there is a beginning."
"I am Diné," Rebecca said, "or half-Diné-"
"Navajo," Daniel interjected, "You are a shaman?"
Rebecca shook her head, "No, my Grandfather was a Hatalii, my mother was Navajo. After my father died, my mother brought me back to the Reservation and I grew up there until I decided to join the air force – it wasn't until I went back to the Reservation that my Grandfather told me that he believed I had this gift. He died about a year ago but his spirit still comes to see me sometimes – like tonight."
"So how did you get through the guards – and Teal'c?" Daniel asked.
"My Grandfather's totem is the Coyote," Rebecca replied.
"Ah," Daniel smiled, "the trickster god. So, your Grandfather appeared to you tonight and said that you could help the Colonel and the Captain."
"Yes," Rebecca replied, "he said that I could help them – and I had to try." She sighed and took a sip of her coffee, "I'll have my resignation typed up and on General Hammond's desk in the morning-"
"Who said anything about resigning?" Dr Frasier interrupted, "but I think you might be in the wrong profession."
Rebecca shrugged, "It pays the bills, and this 'gift' is not something that I can use all the time."
"I still think that a sensitivity such as yours would be better employed in the Medical Profession," Dr Frasier said, "if you would consider it, I'd be willing to speak with General Hammond."
"You'd support me on this?" she gaped at the older woman.
"As would I," Daniel replied, "thank you."
Rebecca blinked and opened her mouth, then closed it again, finally she found her voice, "I will consider it, Captain."
"Then perhaps it's time you joined the medical team," Daniel said slowly, "you said your Grandfather was a Hatalii, do you know any of the chants employed in healing."
"Most," Rebecca replied, "my Navajo name is Little Wolf, Grandfather was teaching me before he died. For Colonel O'Neill and Captain Carter I would normally perform a Lifeway Chant but it takes time and I wasn't sure that I had it."
"I do not wish to offend, would you tell me of your people?" Daniel asked. "And make some of the paintings for me?"
"I will tell you the chants gladly," Rebecca said, "but if I make a sandpainting, I must not use a true likeness, it is sacred to my people. I will make you one with reverse colours if you wish."
"Can we start immediately?" Daniel asked eagerly. "Or are you still on duty?"
"I think that we can let Lieutenant Murray leave now," Dr Frasier said, "as I suspect you'll be going home too, Dr Jackson. Just don't keep her up too late."
"Thank you," Rebecca smiled. "For everything."
"My pleasure, Lieutenant." Dr Frasier replied, "and you will think about everything we discussed – I'd hate for your ability to be wasted."
Rebecca nodded and stood up, "Thank you, Captain."
"See you tomorrow, Lieutenant," was all Dr Frasier said and then she was gone.
"Ready?" Daniel asked, "then I'll take you home. We can start tomorrow."