"Ow," Daniel said. "Ow, ow, ow." He tried sitting up, looked around in some confusion at his surroundings -- a run-of-the-mill hospital room -- and sank back to the floor. "Usually it's a Waffle House," he murmured, and then, "Ow" as an afterthought.
"I'm so sorry," said the man standing across the room, nervously glancing at his watch. "This is all my fault. Well, not that you're here, and not in a Waffle House, which – well, I don't know whose fault that is. I don't understand that, to be perfectly honest. But the rest of it, which you don't actually know about, but I assure you is probably more confusing than not being in a Waffle House, is that--"
Daniel looked down at himself, and back up at the man. "Are you Tok'ra?" he broke in.
"No, I'm Ned," Ned said. "And I'm so sorry. I was looking for my friend. Emerson. He just had his tonsils out, and his room is on this hall, and I must have gotten the room numbers mixed up. These rooms all look alike, have you noticed that? I came in here, and I tripped—"
Daniel looked at him, raised one eyebrow, and then grabbed his head and said, "Ow!"
"Over you," Ned continued, moving closer to Daniel, and keeping one eye on his watch. "Actually, I fell on you. But in my own defense, you were lying on the floor. And I have to wonder why you were lying on the floor, and not on the bed, because if you'd been on the bed I wouldn't have tripped over you. I mean, I realize it's none of my business, but it is a fact, if you lie on the floor, you run the risk that someone may fall on you. And if you'd been in the bed, I would have noticed you're not Emerson, because you look nothing alike. He looks like him, and you look like—"
"Daniel Jackson!" Teal'c said from the doorway. "You are… looking better." He gave Ned a quick once over and took position between Ned and Daniel, like a Rottweiler on guard duty.
"Thanks, Teal'c," Daniel said, sitting up carefully.
"It could be temporary," Ned said weakly, giving his watch a panicked look.
"That would be most unfortunate," Teal'c said.
"He says he tripped over me," Daniel said, as though that explained everything. He rubbed his head, and then rubbed his chest. "I take it I was on the floor because I—"
"That is correct," Teal'c said.
"And you had to, uh, leave me, because—"
"There were…pressing concerns at the moment," Teal'c said. "I regret we did not have time to place you on the bed."
"Ned here thought I was his friend Emerson," Daniel continued. He tried standing, but quickly gave up the idea.
"I see," Teal'c said.
"He doesn't look at all like Emerson," Ned babbled. "You, on the other hand—" He edged forward as he talked, one hand out toward Daniel.
"I'd stay where you are, if I were you," Sam said as she entered the room. She had a healing device in one hand, and a zat in the other. She looked briefly from Ned to Daniel. "Daniel! You're…looking better," she said.
"Miracle recoveries are often temporary," Ned said, a little desperately. He took a look at what Sam was holding and put his hands in the air. "Maybe I should check his pulse…"
His watch beeped.
"Damn," Ned said.
Daniel stood up then, weaving a little. "No, I think I'm okay," he said. He looked from Sam to Teal'c. "So, I was...?"
They both nodded.
"Sorry," Daniel said. "So, I guess that means that the information we got from the As…" He stopped himself and started again. "So, there really is a Go…a guy with a z…a bad guy running around this hospital?"
"Dressed as a doctor," Sam agreed.
Ned's eyes widened.
"Talk about a lousy bedside manner," Daniel said. He rubbed his head again. "Ow. I don't make enough money for this." He flickered a smile at Sam. "Thanks for…uh…" He gestured to the healing device.
"I keep one in the car, now." Sam said. "Especially when we go out of town. I mean, let's face, statistically someone will need it."
Daniel nodded. "I didn't know they could fix…uh…" He gestured to his head, and then his chest.
"I'm not sure they do," Sam admitted. "Not for me, anyway. But anyway…I didn't use it, Daniel." She looked at Ned, whose eyes kept darting toward Daniel.
"This isn't what it looks like," Ned said plaintively.
"It appears," Teal'c said, "that Daniel Jackson has recovered from a regrettable incident, and that you had something to do with that recovery."
"Well, then, things may, in fact, be what they look like. Except…not," Ned said, cautiously lowering his hands and sidling toward the door. "Because sometimes things appear to be one thing, but actually turn into another thing, due to purely unintentional consequences, about which I can only say—"
"Damndest thing," Jack said, suddenly appearing in the doorway. "The G…" He took in the extra person in the room, and shifted gears smoothly. "…guy I was chasing? Keeled over. Just dropped down dead. I guess it's true what they say about having too much stress in your life." He looked Daniel up and down twice, and then said, "Daniel! You're…looking better. That's going to save a lot of paperwork." He turned to Sam, who was still holding the healing device and the zat. "Good work, Carter."
"Not me, Sir," Sam said, nodding toward Ned. "Him."
Jack turned to Ned, did a sitrep, and turned back to Sam. "Tok'ra? Nox?"
"Ned," Ned corrected.
"They're designations, actually." Daniel said, because he couldn't help himself. "Not names."
"Well, then…piemaker," Ned said.
"Really?" Jack and Daniel said at the same time. "I love pie," Daniel added.
"Everyone loves pie," Ned and Teal'c said together.
"True," Jack said. "But not everyone who can bake can also make…" He waved a hand at Daniel.
"It was an accident," Ned said weakly.
"He tripped," Daniel said.
"I was looking for my friend Emerson," Ned said.
"Of course you were," Jack said. "So…do you accidentally wake the dead very often?"
"I wouldn't say, 'often,' " Ned said. He looked longingly at the door. "Or, possibly, 'accidentally.' " He looked back at Jack, now more curious than panicked. "You seem more concerned with the circumstances of the…of the event than you do about the fact that I…" He looked around the room. "Not that I have a great deal of previous experience to go on, because I generally avoid telling people that I can, occasionally, and mainly temporarily…do what I do. But I had assumed that that sort of news would be accepted with a lot less calm, and a lot more screaming. And possibly some sort of weapons." He looked at Sam. "What's the glove thingy?"
"It helps her raise the dead," Jack said.
Sam made a face. "Just the injured, really."
"Oh," Ned said. "I just use my…" He wiggled a finger.
The sounds of hospital life drifted by the door. "Maybe we should continue this discussion elsewhere?" Daniel suggested.
"Good idea," Jack said.
"I'd rather not," Ned said.
"Not really a choice, I'm afraid," Jack said. "But look at it this way – you and Sam here can compare notes."
"Gee, that does sound swell," Ned said with a sickly half-smile.
"We…have a great many resources. We might be able to figure out why you're able to…" Sam offered.
Ned thought about this for a minute. "Would any of the figuring involve…?" he asked, looking at Sam's gun.
Sam smiled. "I promise we're the good guys," she said.
Daniel, Jack and Teal'c all nodded. Finally, reluctantly, Ned nodded, too. "Not that I think you can find an explanation," he said. "But it would be nice to ask the questions with somebody new."
Sam nodded sympathetically.
"But I have to go see Emerson first," Ned said earnestly. "I'm not sure if he wants visitors, but I should check. And anyway, I brought him a pie. It's with Olive. In the car."
"You brought a sick man a pie made of vegetables?" Jack asked, aghast.
"An olive is a fruit, Jack," Daniel said.
"This Olive is a Snook," Ned said. "I mean, she's a person. The pie is peach, with a hint of vanilla and lemon."
"You know someone named Olive?" Jack asked.
"We know someone named Thor," Sam said.
"Point taken," Jack conceded.
"I thought we might have heard from him today," Sam added. "What with everything happening here…"
"We'll just have to muddle through on our own," Jack said. "For starters, we probably ought to confiscate the pie."
The others stared at him.
"What? It could be evidence," Jack said, ushering everyone into the hallway. "And anyway, you don't eat pie after a tonsillectomy. You eat ice cream."
"But pie is---" Ned began.
"The meaning of life," Jack finished.
"That's not definitive," Daniel groused. "I only got to translate half the tablet, it could just mean that--"
There was a flash of light, and then Ned was alone.
"Huh," Ned said.
Olive came skittering down the hall just then, resplendent in lime green and sunshine yellow, holding a Pie Hole pie box. "There you are!" she said. "When you didn't come back, I thought I'd better go after you. I mean, it's a hospital, and it's not like anything could happen here – anything non-medical, I mean – but you never know. You know?"
"I have no doubt that I don't," Ned said.
"Oh," Olive said, and then, undaunted, she raised the pie box. "Well, never mind. We have pie, and that's a fact." She smiled at Ned. "No matter what the question is, pie is always a good answer."
Ned couldn't help but smile back. "Now that, I know," he said, and they trooped off to find Emerson.