DOPPELGANGER BY PHOENIX
Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves
Angst. Hurt/Comfort. Action/Adventure. Drama
Small Spoiler for Cor Ai. Stargate the Movie.
Serpent's Grasp/Serpent's Lair.
from an aborted mission and it's business as usual.
Or is it?
situations, violence, torture, character death is
alluded to but does not actually occur in the course
of the story.
Originally completed early 2000.
was something definitely screwy with Daniel. Maybe it was
simply a case of 'once a wingnut, always a wingnut' but
this was right off the wall, even for SG-1's resident –
it was strange enough that the guy had already polished
off half a dozen beers and he was not only still standing, but
also showing no apparent neurological impairments, but this
– this was definitely pushing the envelope.
uncomfortably on the couch, trying not to stare at his
companion. Who had better than half the contents of Jack's
fridge arranged on the coffee table before him and appeared
to be attempting to work his way though the buffet in a
fairly systematic fashion.
truly dedicated consume-everything-in-sight type of binge
– no that wasn't it. It was more like – sampling. He would
take a bite of this, a spoonful of that, consider it, then
move on to something else. When he wasn't just touching
it, seemingly as fascinated with what it felt like as what it
the way he was carrying on you'd think the guy had never
he could read his mind Daniel suddenly turned to him, grinned
widely and attempted to speak around the obstruction of
his latest mouthful.
is really GOOD! What's it called again?"
mayonnaise, Daniel. And you're
actually supposed to…put it on something. Like bread. With
a knife. You know – condiment? Not – out of the jar with
a spoon." Jack shuddered. "Oh – oh – stop that! Just… stop.
You're grossing me out, already! That's disgusting!"
froze, his eyes widening. Hastily he swallowed, and put
down the spoon and the jar of mayonnaise.
Jack," he said quickly. "You're right of course. This is
very silly of me. Not the proper way to act at all. I apologize
for upsetting you."
that was it. This had to be some sort of elaborate practical
joke. Daniel was having him on big time. Getting back at
him for what had happened on the mission. That had to be
what it was. Had to be.
had been bothering Daniel when they went through the gate
this morning to P3S-354. He had been acting antsy all through
the pre-mission brief and as they had been drawing their
equipment. His behaviour hadn't improved once they hit
the other side.
Daniel had been a bit 'off' for the last couple of months.
Ever since the business with Xi'a. He'd come back from
it and all, but the incident had left some effects that were
at times, a little wearing on the nerves.
had picked up a case of the heebie jeebies that was making
each trip through the gate a rather trying exercise in
'by the pricking of my thumbs.' He just had this 'feeling' he
'couldn't explain' – that 'something' was about to happen.
Almost all the time now.
really annoying was that nine times out of ten he'd been
right. This whatever-it-was had saved their butts more
than once but what it was doing to Daniel almost didn't make
it worth it.
had dutifully gone for his little chats with Doctor McKenzie
which had resulted in the good Doc pronouncing him a little
fatalistic but otherwise fine.
to concede that as much as it bugged him, Daniel's propensity
to skittishness wasn't an impediment to his performance
in the field and actually had become more than a bit of
a useful tool.
Jack hated to watch his friend go through it, and if it
was up to him, he'd find some way to make it go away. Jack
fervently hoped that the Doc was right – this was just a
phase Daniel was going through and it would pass.
hoped so but if THIS was what was replacing it….
to P3S-354 had been – weird. They had sent the MALP through
24 hours ago and the video it sent back had promptly sent
Carter into paroxysms of scientific ecstasy. The gate on
P3S-354 resided in futuristic looking building that was
loaded with all sorts of – stuff. Technical stuff. Stuff
that made Carter pretty happy anyway.
appeared to be abandoned, but to be on the safe way they'd
left the MALP there with the camera set to go on if something
tripped the motion detector. When they'd checked it the
next day it had not been moved or interfered with in any
way, nor was there any evidence of activity in the building.
pronounced the place deserted and decided to go for a look-see.
very plain from the way he'd been fidgeting during the
brief Daniel wasn't too keen on going. He didn't try to get
out of it or anything, it wasn't anything he'd said, and when
Jack had leaned over and asked him if everything was okay he'd
whipped his head around, a tight-lipped smile on his face,
jabbed his glasses back up on his nose with his index finger
and simply said, "Fine. Fine. I'm fine."
liar, pants on fire.
and Teal'c fanned out, starting to give the place the once
over. Daniel stuck pretty close to him, practically banging
right into him at times, all the while vibrating like a
plucked string. For some reason, having Daniel there like
that – bugged him. He didn't know why, it just did.
on bugging him as he made his way around, Daniel still
hovering and vibrating. Jack resisted the urge to smack him as
he moved along what looked like a wall full of computer -
thingees - Daniel trailing just behind him, darting his eyes
about with a furtive, slightly hunted expression on his
about ten minutes of this Jack couldn't help it. He braked
and spun so abruptly Daniel bumped into him and then swiftly
retreated, backing off in embarrassed haste.
Jack demanded testily. "What is it now?"
head came up, chin jutting out defiantly. Behind his glasses
his eyes narrowed, but not quite enough to conceal the
hurt expression in them.
He said in a voice as shuttered as his expression. "Nothing
at all. Pardon me for bothering you."
away in a cloud of offended dignity. Jack watched Daniel's
stiff-backed progress feeling an overwhelming desire to
pull chunks of hair out of his head.
was fairly interesting, because he couldn't for the life
of him figure out where all the anger was coming from and why
it should be so specifically directed at Daniel.
he should find out if there was something funny going on
one eye on Daniel, who was engaged in a rapt study of the
items on a small table in the centre of the room, his back
to the man who was watching him while trying not to look like
he was, Jack crossed over to Carter. She was engrossed in
examining a pedestal-like structure which looked like it was
some sort of control console. She glanced up to acknowledge
him as he reached her.
it going, Captain?"
was shining with her excitement. "Sir, this place is absolutely
amazing. I – I can't even BEGIN to speculate on the function
of most of what I have seen here. It might take years to
evaluate all of this equipment. Sir, this very well could
be THE technological find we have been looking for."
Jack gave her a 'very impressive' nod. "Well, that's fine,
Captain. Sounds good. Listen, ah, what about the place
here? What kinda readings are you getting? Everything clean?
No – funny stuff? Oh I dunno, strange radiation or emissions
or anything along those lines? Pixie
dust? Laughing gas?"
him a puzzled look before replying. "No sir, nothing like
that. I would have reported any dangerous or anomalous
readings immediately. Why do you ask?"
procedure. And yes, I know you would have informed me immediately
if there had been – anything - like that – to inform me
of. Good job. Carry on… I'll just be…over there. If anybody
O'Neill. Next time see if you can sound any more like a
crookedly at Carter and ambled away in the general direction
of Daniel, rubbing the back of his neck with a rueful hand.
No outside explanation for his outburst existed. That only
left one other possibility.
letting Daniel get under his skin again. Over reacting.
Again. Best bite the bullet and mend the fence.
across the room was arrested by the beeping of one of Carter's
she began. "I might have been a little premature in my
around to look at her. "Meaning?"
understand why, but all of a sudden, the radiation level
in the room is rapidly rising." She frowned at the instrument
as if she did not believe what she was seeing. "It's going
off the scale, sir. Well past safe levels. Colonel, this
entire complex is being flooded with high intensity gamma
radiation. We can't stay here, sir."
flew out of him before he even knew what he was saying.
out loud Daniel, what did you touch?"
– where the HELL had that come from? He could feel Sam
and Teal'c's eyes upon him, no doubt wondering, as he was,
if he had lost his mind.
accused snapped around to face him, visibly bristling as
he started to stride toward him.
I didn't touch anything. Whenever anything goes wrong,
why do you always ASSUME it's my fault?"
Jack tried to stop it, it still came out. Like something
inside him beyond his control was deliberately trying to
provoke Daniel. And doing a damned fine job of it.
because it usually is."
halted in mid-stride, a stunned expression on his face.
His mouth gaped open, then began working with the force of his
anger. At first only a few strangled sounds came out, and then
he shook his head and waved Jack away as he started walking
again, past him without looking, heading towards the others.
have to take this," he muttered. "Screw you, Colonel, sir."
He hadn't meant to say any of that. Wasn't fair, wasn't
right, wasn't what he really believed. And yet, he couldn't
seem to help himself. He didn't care what Sam said; there was
something weird going on here. Radiation or no, they were
getting the hell out of this place. Now!
dial it up, Daniel," he said in a low voice as he started
to walk after him.
stood in front of the DHD, his arms folded across his chest,
a very stubborn look on his face.
he said in a decidedly petulant voice.
do you mean – you CAN'T?" Oh boy, it was happening again.
then I would have to TOUCH something. Apparently I'm not
allowed to do that."
continued to stand there, staring at him, his jaw set,
lips tight, eyes staring daggers, looking for all the world
like a kid about to hold his breath till he turned blue.
resemblance to a truculent twelve-year-old was at complete
odds with his confrontational glare and stance. He just
looked so – cute. Jack closed his eyes, lowered his head,
biting his lip to bite back an almost uncontrollable urge
– to laugh.
crying out loud!"
Carter, using one of his most favorite expressions in a
very disgusted voice as she crossed quickly to the DHD and
input the destination chevrons.
all due respect, sir, could you two settle this on your
own time? We hang around here much longer and we are going
to get fried."
he couldn't reply. The urge to laugh was getting too strong.
But he didn't dare give into it. He'd already done enough
damage. If he laughed at Daniel right now, there was a
very good chance he wouldn't be forgiven for a long time.
and Teal'c were already heading for the gate. She had tried
to get Daniel to follow her, but he'd shrugged off her
arm and refused to move. He still stood there, glaring at Jack
as he approached.
shaking with the effort of suppressing his laughter as
he grabbed Daniel by the arm and hauled him after him toward
he snickered. "Let's get the hell out of here. You can
punch me out when we get home. Promise."
almost reached the event horizon when Daniel suddenly pulled
his arm out of Jack's clasp and took a step back.
– forgot my pack. Left it by the DHD. I'll just go and
intending to wait for him, but Daniel had other plans.
A sudden shove sent him flying into the event horizon.
Homeward bound. By the time he emerged in the gate room he was
almost prostrate with laughter.
a couple of minutes for him to get a hold of himself. He
was well aware he was getting more than a couple of strange
looks from his teammates.
" Carter said, with an edge to her voice. "Where's Daniel?"
right behind me. He had to go back for his pack."
and looked at the shimmering event horizon. Nothing happened.
happened for some more.
five minutes of this, Jack found himself getting more than
a bit concerned.
he was about to hit panic mode and get them to redial P3S-354
Daniel came bounding through the event horizon, pack in
he had been mad, amused and worried all in a row. Now all
he was – was relieved.
bounced down the ramp toward him, an enormous smile on
his face. It there was any residual annoyed-ness in him over
what had just gone down across the universe, you sure couldn't
tell from looking at him.
took you so long?" he began as Daniel reached him. "We
were starting to get a little worried."
put a hand on his shoulder and looked at him with earnest
want to say how sorry I am Jack. I wish to make up. I don't
like fighting with you. It upsets me very much. So, I wish
to tell you that I am not offended by what was said, and
that it is forgotten."
he smiled, squeezed Jack's shoulder warmly, and walked
away, towards the opening blast doors.
at him for a moment, and then looked at Sam and Teal'c.
Who had been doing a fair bit of gaping themselves.
probably shouldn't be complaining, but will somebody explain
something to me? What – was THAT?"
"Got me, Sir."
equally unable to explain DanielJackson's behaviour. Or
your own, for that matter."
have to bring that up, huh, Teal'c?
'til much later that Jack was to remember Daniel hadn't
answered his question…
of life forms detected in specimen collection area. Scan
Dead. Metallic. Inhuman. He had heard it before. Heard
it say those words…
species detected. Initiating specimen collection program.
He was dreaming again. The same dream. The one he had been
trying to remember.
life forms to select optimum specimen for collection.
standing in a huge room filled with the strange, vaguely
menacing machinery and the eerie, faceless beings. Black,
blank identical figures touched parts of a huge console
in the centre of the room blinking with soft lights and
unfamiliar symbols. A huge globe of diffused light hovered
several feet in the air above the console.
was an image in the light. A representation of a large,
unfamiliar, room. Scared him for some reason, he didn't know
why. Didn't want to look at it, but couldn't help it. The room
in the light was full of more equipment and machines not
unlike the ones here, where he was standing.
was more. There was a Stargate in the other room too, the
mobile, liquid, activated event horizon pulsing softly.
Four people emerged from it. People with faces. Very familiar
specimen detected. High receptivity to telepathic stimulus
suggests previous conditioning or exposure. Maximum compatibility
with patterning protocols confirmed. Initiating isolation
in the room had been walking around, investigating, but
now were starting to move back toward the Stargate. They
were leaving. Going away. The woman activated the gate, and
walked through the event horizon with the dark man. Something
bad was about to happen. He had to warn them. He had to say
something before they were gone. Before they all were gone…
Probe. Initiating patterning program. Initiating specimen
collection sequence. Activating.
two men were approaching the Stargate. Wait, they were
stopping. No – don't stop! Keep going! This is where it
starts getting bad…
The last man was alone. It was happening… Oh God…
acquired. Probe patterned and launched. Target species
evaluation program on line and functioning. Encoding of
specimen's physical and mental/experiential source data
commencing. Construction of baseline database commencing.
Specimen termination and disposal program on standby. Program
to be activated automatically upon successful encoding of all
be afraid. It's only a dream. Dreams aren't real, they
can't hurt you. Mommy used to say that. Dreams can't hurt…
All you have to do is wake up, Danny…
Shattering, screaming, hot fire coursing through him...
godgodgod hurts so much too real only a dream wake up now
down the corridor, a seething mass of angry, frustrated
astrophysicist. Damn damn
damn DAMN! Why did
this always happen? They hit the jackpot again, only to
have it snatched away. Again! This was – what? The third
time this year? The key to the secrets dies, the damn place
blows up and now – well this was the best one yet.
tried to redial P3C-354 hoping to find out from the MALP
whether or not the radiation levels were still rising or
if they had leveled off. There was always the hope they could
go through with suits and attempt some sort of salvage
operation. But – no.
they sent to the MALP kept bouncing back, as if they were
being deflected by some sort of barrier. Which could only
mean that the destination wormhole was now sealed by something
akin to their iris. Effectively locking them out. Damn.
obstacle to her plans must have been part of some automatic
defense program that they had unwittingly triggered somehow.
Along with the radiation that had made them clear out in
the first place. Well, guess they should be grateful it had
let them get out of there before locking the place down. Damn.
Wasn't this just – peachy.
now that the post-mortems were completed all she wanted
to do was find something that would get her mind off the whole
lousy, rotten, stinking thing. Damn. Where was a punching bag
when you needed one?
the bend in the corridor and stopped dead. Daniel was standing
there, about fifty feet further down the same corridor,
leaning up against the wall, looking extremely attractive
in his civvies. A fact which did not appear to be lost
on the woman who was standing in front of him. Hell, almost
on top of him. Whoa!
the woman right away. Willis. One of the newer techs assigned
to the Astrophysics section. She hadn't been here very
long, but had already quite distinguished herself as one
of the more persistent hunter-gatherers stalking the elusive
and oblivious Daniel.
him, on any given day he had a pack of panting females
sniffing around him and he was completely unaware of it. It
was usually quite funny to watch but what she was seeing right
now wasn't particularly amusing.
was Daniel not looking so oblivious, he was also clearly
not running. Nor did he appear to be in the slightest bit
perturbed by the overwhelming indications he was about to
get – gathered…
on cue Willis reached out, grabbed him by the lapels and
pulled him down into a blistering kiss. Sam's eyes widened
with disbelief as he avidly responded, pulling her to him
firmly, kissing her back with an enthusiasm that made his
astonished team-mate slightly nauseous.
she had already seen way more than she ever cared to, she
was about to beat a hasty retreat back down the way she
had come when suddenly Daniel put his hands on Willis's
shoulders and pushed her away. He shook his head and started
to walk away from Willis, toward her.
suddenly scorned had a rather ugly look on her face and
was about to come after him, possibly to debate the issue
a little further, but then she saw they were not alone.
of Captain Carter and she turned tail and ran. Good thing
too. Sam made a mental note to have a talk with the Lieutenant
about her on duty conduct at the first possible opportunity.
she had to figure out a way to deal with the man walking
toward her. A big smile on his face as if knowing she had
seen what she had just seen did not bother him in the slightest.
voice was as clear of shame or guile as his face. His blue
eyes sparkled with genuine affection as he reached her
side. She suddenly felt very confused.
I've always been very fond of the name Samantha. Such a
lovely name. So lyrical. It's Aramaic. Means 'The Listener.'
Did you know that?"
by the strange light in his eyes, Sam shook her head.
Daniel continued softly. "It's very appropriate, don't
you think? Much more suitable for someone with a heart
as compassionate and understanding as yours. I've always
thought it was a shame you prefer to be addressed by the
diminutive. Sam is so harsh. So – unlike you. I've never
told you that, have I? There are a lot of things I've never
he was stroking her cheek with the lightest of touches.
Those eyes – my god, you could drown in them…
fond of you, Samantha."
Daniel please don't do this... not this…
never told you that either. I should have. You've been
such a good friend. You've helped me far more than you
could ever know. You deserve to know you are appreciated. That
your friendship is appreciated. It is, I assure you."
He said friend. Thank god he said friend. I – I think…
you too, Daniel."
was her voice. She actually managed to say something. Maybe
she should have just kept quiet because the look of genuine
happiness on his face was starting to make her feel a little
weak in the knees.
That means a lot. It really does. I'm grateful. I haven't
had many friends in my life. That makes the ones I have
now even more special."
his eyes grew distant, pensive, releasing her from their
spell. She heaved a grateful sigh.
mean a lot," he murmured. "I'm beginning to understand…"
Are you okay?"
shifting his focus back to her. His face wore a deeply
puzzled look, as if he was struggling with something. Looking
to her for explanations or answers.
that woman was very stimulating," he began. "She wanted
me to kiss her. But – I - I wouldn't do that, would I?
It wouldn't be right."
no idea what was going on now. Safest to just – go along.
the right thing is very important to me, isn't it?"
are you sure you're okay? You don't usually talk like this."
kindly at her again. "Maybe it's time I started. Thank
she knew what was happening he leaned down, kissed her
softly on the cheek and then moved past her, walking quickly
away down the corridor.
released from the mesmerism of his presence, Sam collapsed
against the wall. She needed it to hold her up. Needed
it for several long minutes while she just stood there
and trembled, caught in a strange mixture of fear, confusion
and regret. As soon as the trembling stopped and her legs
would work again she went to find the Colonel.
time Sam found him Teal'c had already come to him with
a very similar tale of having just had an extremely uncharacteristic
conversation with Daniel. Teal'c had been unwilling to
divulge the contents of that conversation, but the fact
the Jaffa was disturbed enough by it to report it to him
was more than an indication there was a problem.
equally evasive when it came to spelling out just what
had gone down. It was almost as if they were both torn between
needing to do the right thing, and wanting to protect the man
they were concerned about. It was damned peculiar.
assuring both of them he would get to the bottom of it,
Jack set out to find the object of all this concern. Whatever
the problem was, he was hoping they could straighten it out
without involving anyone else. Daniel had been scrutinized,
poked, prodded and evaluated quite enough these past few
months. The last thing he needed was the pall of another
'evaluation' hanging over him again.
That's all it was. Had to be. He'd find Daniel, they'd
kick back, have a little chat, clear the air, get it all out.
Nothing they hadn't had to do before. SG-1 been turned loose
for the weekend, so he had plenty of time to make Daniel come
clean. If that was how long it took, that would be how
long it took.
are friends for?
On a hunch
he decided to save himself some steps and check with the
security desk. Yup, the bird had flown. No problem. Had
a feeling he knew where Daniel was going. Best get there
so as to not keep him waiting too long.
take a major expenditure of mental energy to work it out.
If Sam and Teal'c were anything to go by, it would seem
Daniel was working his way down the list. Only one name left
on it. Saving the best for last? Or avoiding the worst till
Daniel had been waiting for him when he got home. And then
had promptly taken him on a trip through the looking glass.
Sam and Teal'c had said to him had in any way prepared
him for his evening with the Mayonnaise Kid.
hadn't done a lot of talking at first. He'd been too busy
roaming all over the house – touching stuff. Like a little
kid on his first visit to Disneyland.
conversation finally came it had been a lot of "hey Jack,
remember when we," or "what about the time when," or "how
about this, I really enjoyed this."
following along on this trip down memory lane Jack was
stunned to realize just how many things he possessed had
direct associations – with Daniel. He had never, ever seen
this before. How – connected - his life had become with this
man. There were pieces of Daniel all over the place.
that scared him. He wasn't sure why, but he didn't have
time for it at the moment. This wasn't about him.
the guided tour they'd segued into adventures in dubious
gastronomy, and now here they were, trading glances over the
mayonnaise. Daniel had this very strange look in his eyes.
Jack felt himself starting to sweat.
are a lot of things I've never told you, Jack. I don't
know why. I don't understand a lot of the things I do. A
lot of the things I don't allow myself to do or say. Why do I
feel these things, and not share them? It doesn't make sense
to me. It doesn't make me happy to keep them to myself. I'm
sure I'd be a lot happier if some of my questions were
gone… finally… awake, but still in the nightmare. Can't
move. Cold. So cold… Everything hurts… Where… Open eyes…
so hard... hurts…
In the dream. Not a dream. Real! God. I'm really here.
Awake - not dreaming. Can't move. Why? So cold… Clothes?
Where? Lying on something... some kind of table… no clothes.
Over head...lights... some kind of device…don't like the
looks of it it's coming down – toward me..,. ohhh – this
can't be good… saw it before – and then the pain… no –
not again! Have to get out of here! Have to get off this
table! Shit! Can't – can't move. Can't get away! What's
that – oh shit. Those – those things are here too. Coming
back. I think I'm in big trouble, Jack. Hope you guys are
on your way back for me...please god come back for me Jack…
again... ahhhh hurts so much why are you doing this – stop
it! Please ... no more pain…
punch me out when we get back home. Promise."
like that would have made it all better….
so angry at you, Jack. I didn't need to hear those things
from you. I was only trying to remember. I was scared.
Didn't know why. Wasn't trying to be a pain. Just trying to
figure out what was wrong.
mean to be a bother. I never mean to be a bother. Always
seem to be one though, huh? Well, looks like I won't have
to worry about being a bother much longer…
the last words that passed between us hadn't been harsh
ones. Wish I could take them back. If only my last act
hadn't been – to shove you away. Change that too, if I
could. Too late now. If you were coming back for me, you'd be
here by now. You're not coming. I'm on my own. I'm going to
die here… alone…
why now. It's all starting to come back to me. It's okay;
I don't blame you for leaving me behind. It's not your
fault. You don't know…
everything now. Those black things in the gate room. Coming
out of nowhere. All of a sudden they were just – there.
A bunch of faceless, black figures that looked like store
mannequins except I've never in my life seen a store mannequin
that could move around, paralyze me and make me feel so
them grabbed my face. I thought I was going to pass out
when it touched me. Thought I was seeing things it hurt so bad
because all of a sudden I wasn't looking into my face
reflected back at me in the black surface of the thing – I
was looking at my face. Literally.
beside myself. Hey Jack, I made a joke! Jesus. Wasn't laughing
then. Come to think of it, not a lot to crack me up here
me. Right down to the nick under my chin where I cut myself
shaving this morning. By the time it let me go I was starting
to pass out from the pain. Last thing I remember is watching
myself go through the Stargate. Then I woke up here.
whatever happened to 'ignorance is bliss?" Why did I have
to remember all that? What good does it do me to remember
watching some – thing - take my place? Stealing my life.
Sealing my fate…
does it do to remember that I was – left behind? As far
as Jack and the others are concerned, I'm home, safe and
sound. They won't be looking for me, because they don't
know I'm lost. There's a wolf in the fold wearing my face, and
they don't even know it. I know it, but I can't tell them.
Can't warn them that they're in danger. From – from me…
safe? What's going on? What does it want? Why is it there?
What does it intend to do? God, I wish I knew. Wish there
was something I could do.
everything. Struggling, calling out to the mannequins to
let me go until I lost my voice, struggling some more.
Pointless. All pointless. Struggling is pointless. Can't
break free from this table, trying to communicate with these
things is a waste of time. I'm just a thing to them. Something
for them to do whatever they please to whenever they please.
For as long as they feel like it. Powerless. Completely
powerless. Can't free myself. Can't warn my friends. Can't
move. Can't escape. Can't even wipe my eyes. Shit. Stop
it. This isn't helping. Have to think. Have to get out of
this. Too much at stake to give up. Don't even know how much
time I have before they… finish it.
hurt my friends… please…
I need you to help me understand why I don't hate you."
raised his head and looked across at the man who was sitting
cross-legged on the floor in front of him. The soft, flickering
candlelight played across DanielJackson's features, softening
them, adding a strange, otherworldly dimension to an expression
not understand what you wish to know, DanielJackson."
friends, are we not, Teal'c?" The blue eyes bored into
him, seeking – something. For just an instant they were
the eyes of a stranger.
should not be."
it would not be possible. With a lesser soul. You are a
very unique man, DanielJackson. To be able to forgive as
you have done is not common."
before him nodded thoughtfully. "Forgiveness. Yes. That
is what I wish to understand. It is a difficult concept.
So highly thought of, and yet so seldom embraced or embodied.
More of an ideal than an actual practice."
would seem." DanielJackson suddenly tilted his head slightly
as a warm smile spread across his face. 'I do forgive you,
have forgiven you. A long time ago. You were the man who
offered my wife up to the thing that stole her from me,
and yet, I forgave you. I forgave you. I've never told
you why, have I Teal'c?"
upon him held him and terrified him. The Jaffa who had
been the First Prime of Apophis, who had faced without
flinching countless dangers on a hundred different worlds and
dared to oppose the System Lords themselves suddenly felt a
fear he had never known. He would have given anything to have
been able to look away.
could not. He had no choice but to accept the regard of
the man before him, and listen to his words.
no choice, Teal'c." Daniel's smile was the brightest light
in the room. "I tried to hate you. I needed to hate someone
for taking Sha'uri from me and you were there. You would
have thought hating you'd have been a very easy thing to
couldn't. I saw what you were. You didn't deserve it. It
wasn't possible to hate someone as honest and honourable
as you are. Doing that would have been as much an insult
to Sha'uri as it was to you."
not deserve these words from you. You do not know – what
I have done."
you are the most honourable man I have ever met. The honesty,
courage and valour you embody didn't come out of nowhere.
Those qualities were always there within you, and they
expressed themselves constantly in everything you did because
they were a part of you. They were there even when you
were forced by circumstances to perform acts that shamed you.
I defended you in the Cor-Ai I meant everything I said.
Those weren't just cleverly constructed arguments, spoken
merely in an attempt to influence the decision. They were
you see – the true measure of anything done lies in the
intention behind it. What is in the heart determines what
is good or evil, not what the hand performs, even in service
of another. Your heart was pure. There was no true will
to harm within it even as you were forced to commit harmful
were even times, by your own admission, you placed yourself
in danger trying to mitigate the evil acts you were forced
to carry out at the behest of the man who controlled your
fate. When your heart demanded you resist in the small
ways that made a difference. Hanno's father was one of those
ways in which good came of harm. Because of the choice you
made. To do – good!
I hate a man who was so strongly principled? So obviously
noble, brave and caring? How could I not want such a man
for a friend? And what can I give him now, except my thanks
for being my friend."
looked down at the hands folded in his lap. Hands that
had hurt. Hands that had killed. Hands soaked in the blood of
countless innocents. This was the first time he had looked at
those hands – and been unable to see it.
he was able to read his thoughts, DanielJackson's soft
voice reached out to him again.
is not an easy thing, is it my friend? Especially when
the one it requires you to forgive is – yourself."
be no less brave in this than the one who has shown me
puzzled to see DanielJackson suddenly close his eyes as
if he was in pain.
you have no idea what you are saying," he murmured softly.
"I am not at all what you think I am. I only wish I really
was the man you value."
opened his eyes and looked at him searchingly, with deep
sorrow and regret in his expression.
my friend. I pray you will remember me with kindness, and
forgive me for what I have been a part of."
to his feet and fled from the room. Teal'c watched him
depart, perplexed and suddenly afraid. Something was very
wrong. It was imperative he speak to O'Neill immediately.
space of peace. Pain gone. For now. How long have I been
here? Feels like forever…
hurts...getting hard to think. Can't struggle anymore.
Too tired. Pointless anyway. No way to move. Can hardly
even turn my head anymore. Getting hard to see. Notscarednotscared.
Funny, Daniel. Who are you kidding…
is okay… wish I knew… would make it easier…
file of physical data completed. Phase two of encoding
program initiating. Beginning activation, absorption and
encoding of memory engrams.
Ahhh! What? Head! Splitting godnotagain…
those sounds, those voices… hot. It's so hot. So loud,
confusing… People all around I'm up so high. What…
but not walking. Holding onto something soft – my hands!
So small… Hair. Dark hair… My hands in his hair…
this is Cairo. Walking through the market. Riding on Daddy's
shoulders. Up high, so I can see everything. I remember
this…..practically the first thing I remember…
people so much noise I'm a little scared but I'm a big
boy that's what they tell me so I try but Oh! Strange man
scary face comes too close to me try not to be scared don't
mean to cry…
You're scaring him! He's just a baby. Give him to me! Come
here, Danny come to Mommy."
small and she's so big she hold me hugs me tight and all
the scary noises go away. Safe. Mommy has me now…not scared
any more. No more bad things. Mommy won't let anything
bad happen to me Mommy makes it all better…
Wrenching pain… something taken…hurts… where was I somewhere
–safe… can't remember…
know this place. Abydos. The caves, we're in the cave…
the people…know them. Not well… There's Jack. Kawalsky.
Ferretti? The boys are laughing at me. Nabeh has just told
me something startling. I have to find Sha'uri. It's something
to do with Sha'uri.
even met her. Can you really love someone after only a
few hours? I don't know, but whatever this is – it is the
most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. I only
wish it hadn't happened now – not when we don't even know if
any of us are going to be alive in the morning.
is looking down at the grain she is grinding. She looks
be angry. I didn't tell them that you did not want me."
you? Oh, if only you knew. I didn't turn you away because
I didn't want you. I didn't want to – to make you do something
you didn't want…… Not want you? It's taken everything I've
had – not to touch you…
it in her eyes. She wants me, I want her stupid not to
– to kiss… so sweet, sweeter than I dreamed nothing matters
anymore but this…
emptiness – something taken what's happening where… Dark.
Everything's dark. Hard to breathe, side… on fire… pain,
nothing but pain slipping…so black…
tight. So tight not falling now hear the voice from far
away, pulling me back.
on Danny, help's coming."
Jack's got me. He won't let anything bad happen to me.
It's going to be all right. Jack says so…
else somewhere – used to – can't remember.. something gone…
Jack – Jack where are you what's happening why can't I
stealing my soul…
we've both had a bit too much to drink, maybe we should
call it a night."
please listen to me. I have to tell you something and we
don't have a lot of time."
Someone had changed the channel when he wasn't looking.
Daniel had switched into big- time-heavy meaning-of life-stuff.
The kind of conversation that usually made his head hurt.
Ah geez, he wasn't in the mood for one of these right now.
The night had already been weird enough as it was. Jack
groaned softly and sat back down on the couch, hoping he
could make one last-ditch attempt at heading Daniel off at the
he even got a chance to open his mouth Daniel nailed him
right between the eyes with a look he had absolutely no
defense against. The one where Daniel's soul just sorta
started spilling out of his eyes and made you want to go out
and kill things hoping it would make him feel better. Anything
just so he would stop – looking like that.
me, Daniel, and get it over with…
flashed him a tight smile that did not touch his eyes and
hunched forward, staring at the hands dangling between his
try and keep this brief. We don't have a lot of time. I've
already been so selfish. Squandered so much of the little
time he has left. Didn't mean to be so greedy. I only wanted
these few short hours. Some time with you. Before I gave
this life – back to him."
felt so confused if he was standing on his head things
wouldn't be any less bizarre.
– what the HELL are you talking about?"
head shot around. Jack was shocked to see that his eyes
were filled with pain, and tears were rolling down his
Danny, what the hell is going on?"
he blurted out between clenched teeth. "Just SHUT UP and
hear me out. Please. Just – hear me out. Oh god, you have
no idea how hard it is to talk to you. Between your fear
fell forward; his slumped shoulders started to shake. Jack
just sat there, staring at him, frankly too weirded out
to say or do anything. He had fallen several paces behind the
situation a long time ago, and didn't look as if he was going
to be coming up to speed any time soon.
several, long, silent seconds Daniel's head suddenly snapped
up. He sniffed, took a huge breath and said, in a rapid,
clipped voice, "Okayokayokay. I'm fine. I can do this.
I can do this."
gasped a shaky laugh. "Oh, this is so hard. There is so
much fear in him. It's hard to tell what he wants you to
know. It was so clear with the others, but you…"
Daniel was calm. Whatever he was trying to get to, he had
it. Jack could tell by the fond look in his eyes.
both a pair of damned fools. You know that, don't you.
Lashing out at each other all the time as if the simple
act of admitting you care about each other is some sort of –
crime. There's nothing to fear here, Jack. You matter to him.
All he's ever tried to do is give a damn.
throw it away, Jack O'Neill. He's the truest soul you'll
ever know. He'd follow you through the fires of hell and
back again, if you asked him. Just BECAUSE you asked him.
Don't throw it away. You never know. Believe me, you just
never know how quickly things change.
here trying to tell you this, and it might already be too
late. He's lucky to have found a friend like you. He understands
this a little better than you do, but not by much. All
I know is if this life was really mine to live – I wouldn't
be afraid. I wouldn't let anything stop me. Not even you."
finally fell silent. He stared straight ahead, his eyes
impossibly bleak. Jack waited. Just making sure he really was
Daniel? Done? Can I say something now?"
with the pronouns? Why are you referring to yourself in
the third person? Like you are talking about someone else?"
turned to look at him once more. He couldn't have had a
more mask-like look on his face if he tried. Jack could feel
his skin starting to crawl, as part of him knew what was
coming before Daniel said it.
for a long time actually.
talking about someone else, Jack. I'm talking about your
friend. Daniel Jackson. I may look like him, but I am not
Daniel. Right now your friend is still on P3C-354 and he
doesn't have a lot of time left. And just so I don't have to
waste any more of it trying to convince you I am telling the
smiled ruefully and flashed his eyes at him. Literally.
Twin red spots flared in the pupils of Daniel's eyes, swiftly
expanding outward until they completely filled his eye sockets
with a soft, mechanical red glow. As quickly as the light
had appeared, it winked out again. Like a switch turning
off and on.
normal blue eyes looked at him as what definitely wasn't
Daniel said to him in a slightly apologetic tone, "See?"
On to Part Two