NOT FORGOTTEN BY PHOENIX
Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves
||Established Relationship, Angst,
Action Adventure, Alternate Universe. Drama.
||Late Season Two/AU
Universe Story Six in the Doppelganger Series
||There are some things even death
||No one dies in the story but references
to previous canon character deaths.
Originally completed in 2000.
it, Jack, just let it go. Don't worry, I've got you."
God, he was sick. Sick and being sicker. Ah no – not again…
shuddered as another wave of nausea ripped through him evoking
the resulting uncontrollable reverse reaction from his
stomach. He lay miserably at the edge of the bed draped
over Daniel's lap, one of Daniel's hands supporting his
forehead while the other held the pail he was uncontrollably
upchucking into. For the fourth time in less than two hours.
wasn't exactly his idea of a romantic way to spend a Sunday
afternoon but at least he had the small consolation of
knowing he was not alone in his suffering. A particularly
virulentl strain of completely (thank god!) terrestrial
flu was marauding through the halls of Stargate Command
and had already carried off better than half of the personnel
to the feverish realms of lousy, stinking pukedom.
the first couple of days of the plague the infirmary had
become absolutely overrun with absolutely incapacitated
sufferers; by the time Jack had succumbed Dr. Fraiser had
already asked those who had people who could look after
them at home to please – go home!
he was, lying in his own bed, being tirelessly and
uncomplainingly ministered to by his own personal Florence
Nightingale. Who looked like he could use some rest and
he was a fine one to talk, not being exactly the picture
of suave and debonair himself at the moment.
heaved a few times more and at last it was over. He lay
limply across Daniel, barely having the strength to even
breathe. Daniel put the pail down, stroked his head for
a moment and then gently laid him back in the bed. Daniel
reached over for the damp cloth on the bedside table, and
used it to sponge Jack's feverish face and carefully clean
his mouth. Jack tried to muster a weak smile as he blearily
looked up at the man leaning over him.
me," he croaked.
favoured him with a slightly crooked smile, lifted Jack's
head up and brought a glass to his lips. Crap. More of
that 'stuff' the doc wanted him to drink. It seemed a waste
of effort to try and drink it – as fast as he got it down
it decided it didn't want to stay. At least it didn't taste
like total crap the first time 'round, but definitely wasn't
any better coming back up..
you won't be terribly offended if I pass," Daniel
murmured. "Come on, now, Jack," he gently
coaxed the man who was making a face and turning his head away
from the glass. "I know you don't want to but try and
drink some of this. We have to get some fluids into you."
them into me isn't the problem," Jack grumbled.
"Keeping them in me – now that's the problem.
Ohhh God – wanna die now…"
know, I know," Daniel sighed. "That's it, one more
sip. There you go. That's enough for now. Let me just take
your temperature again," Daniel said as he gently put
Jack's head back down on the pillow.
you're not gonna stick that thing in my ear again, are you,
just for a second, don't be such a baby and stop calling
me Flo," Daniel scolded as he reached for the instrument.
"Besides, be grateful for advances in medical technology.
Not so long ago I would be sticking it somewhere else."
slightly different circumstances that could be fun," Jack
never mind any of that," Daniel replied, frowning
slightly as he looked at the results registering on the device
in his hand. "With the fever you have you're not going
to be doing anything but sleeping for awhile yet."
Daniel's voice was getting farther and farther away. The
room was so hot, and it was spinning. He hadn't realized
it could do that…
seems a little high to me," Daniel was still speaking but
Jack could barely hear him now. "You rest, Jack, go back
to sleep. I'll be back in a minute. Just going to dispose
of this – and make a phone call."
wanna check that stuff for my spleen before you dump it?
Think I honked up several major organs this time."
Jack. Go back to sleep. I'll be with you in just a
Yeah. He could do that. Couldn't do much else, but he could
do that. Cool lips on his forehead. So cool, so soothing.
He wished they would stay with him longer, wished they
were not suddenly withdrawn, wished Daniel wasn't going
away. Where was he going? He was leaving… Leaving…
– don't go… Don't leave me… Daniel…
falling into hot, sweltering darkness, feeling lost, confused,
so alone. The emptiness swirled about him, clutched at
him, sought to smother him. He couldn't see, couldn't breathe,
couldn't find his way out of this terrible, lonely place.
you leave me? The words roared inside him, tearing chunks
out of him, leaving him dazed, bruised and bloodied. The
loss grew bigger, darker, as terrifying as the blackness
around him. Why? Why? Why? Why did you leave me?
cried out as he was suddenly bathed in blinding light.
Not a comforting illumination, but a harsh, artificial
brightness even more lonely than the previous darkness.
His hands flew to his assaulted eyes; he blinked furiously,
trying to adjust to this new state of being.
his hands away. He could see again. As he looked around,
taking in his surroundings, he suddenly wished he couldn't.
this place. Had been here before, a long time ago, in a
nightmare he had been trying to forget ever since. Tried
to forget but never, ever could. Though it no longer existed
on the outside, it had never left him on the inside. Persisted,
lingered, even though things were better. A black stain
like some festering cancer eating into the heart of his
happiness. Not forgotten, not forgotten…
was back. Back in this terrible place where everything
meaning anything to him had been taken from him.
deck of Klorel's ship. Or whatever the hell they called
the control area. Good one Jack, fine time to worry about
recognized where he was Jack felt his knees turning to
water. Groping for some sort of support he found the console
which faced the triangular outer viewing port and leaned
up against it. His eyes were locked to the huge golden
doors giving out to the corridor beyond. To the place where
– the place where…
go out there. Couldn't go out there. Knew what he would
see. What he would find. Couldn't see it. Not again. Dear
God, not again, please don't make me see this again…
were opening. Terror gripped Jack at the sight. He wanted
to run away, avert his eyes, scream, but could do nothing
as the enormous metallic doors continued to slowly open.
Just enough to admit a single figure. A man dressed all
in black, with sleek, shining chestnut hair, compassionate
eyes bluer than the bluest sea, and a smile he would have
died himself to see again. Just as he was seeing it now.
Jack," the man said warmly as he began to walk toward
him. "Long time no see."
Jack blurted out, his voice dangerously tremulous with
disbelieving joy. "Danny? It's – you. Really – you?"
Jack, it's me." The man before him affirmed as he
continued to walk toward him. "Danny."
– you're …"
Daniel shrugged and grinned shyly at him. "Well, I'm not
the same as you are now, that much is true, but I've been
around all the same. It's a little different, but not so
bad. God, I'm so glad you can finally see me, Jack!"
a small sob Jack found he could move and swiftly closed
the gap between them. He ran to Daniel, threw his arms
around him, hugging him fiercely to be as strongly embraced
don't care how you're back don't ever leave me again…
never left you, Jack," Daniel was whispering softly into
his ear. "Even when I had to go. A part of me remained,
always will remain. What's the best of me lives in you.
Will always be with you. Wherever you go, I'll be there.
In you. And in – him."
bemused, happy beyond understanding, Jack pulled back slightly
from the embrace so he could look into the eyes of the
man in his arms while Daniel continued to speak.
been trying to tell you this for a long time, but you could
never hear me. Now, for the first time you've come back
here, to this place you never really left, and you can
see me – hear me. Now I can tell you what you have to know.
not your fault, Jack. What happened. I think in my heart,
I knew I was going to die. That's why I said what I said
to you before we left. I couldn't part from you and have
you never know. I love you, have always loved you, will
always love you and because I do, I want you to understand
what happened was not the end. Not the end of love, of
me, of you. It wasn't your fault, and it doesn't change
are different now, Jack. I understand so much more now.
When we are encased in flesh we imagine what our senses
tell us is all there is to know never dreaming there is
so much more. Incarnation is the only state in which consciousness
is suspended in one point in space and time and even then
– there are moments when the spirit and will can transcend
this restriction. You're here, aren't you? I'm sorry if
that sounds cryptic, but I don't know any other way of
explaining it to you except to tell you even though you
couldn't see me or feel me, I have never been very far
exist in different worlds now, but love remains. Go back
to your world, back to your life, go back to him with my
blessing. I want you to know – I knew. I've never felt
forgotten, never felt as if you loved me less every time
you loved him. You couldn't – because we're the same. I
can't explain this to you either, but just know it is so.
When you love him, you love me too.
it go, Jack. Let all of it go. The pain, the guilt, it's
not necessary. Love him. And when you do, know I'm there
with you. When you look in his eyes, you'll see me as well.
When he says 'I love you' – I'll be saying it too."
love him," Jack said in a small voice. "But I love
you too. Never forgot you. Never. Love you both. There were
times when… It just seemed… I love him but it seemed
untrue to you. Didn't want to forget you and yet… How –
how did you know?"
you," Daniel smiled fondly at him as he stroked his
cheek. "Like I said, I've been trying to get through to
you for a long time. Glad I finally made it."
too," Jack smiled back at him. "Daniel, there is so
much I want to tell you, so much I want to say…"
saying it all right now," Daniel returned. "But you
have to go back, now, Jack. He's waiting for you, out there,
and there is someone waiting for me – here."
looked up, past the man in his arms, back the way he had
come, to see a slender, dusky skinned, dark-haired woman
standing just inside the open doorway. Well, what do you
know about that…
guess things have worked out okay in the end after all,
huh?" Jack quipped, a faint smile on his face.
can't complain," Daniel shrugged slightly, grinning back
at him. "Like I said, love is all that matters, and love
never dies. Now kiss me goodbye my love, until you kiss
took his Daniel's face in his hands and kissed him, feeling
the truth of everything he'd said in the simple feeling
of his mouth. He'd only kissed these lips once, and yet
he'd felt them move beneath his own a thousand times and
more. The way Daniel's tongue darted playfully forward,
licking his lip, then deeper, sweeter, so familiar, so
beloved, melding, moulding into his own such a perfect
was here, with him within and also out there – the same,
the same, one in the love he had for both of them, one
in the essence of love they held for him and were.
caressed the beloved face and kissed the welcoming lips
he felt the pain of their loss pass away. He had Daniel's
blessing, and his promise. Nothing was lost, nothing
forgotten. Love never dies. His head swirling, filling with
the power of Daniel's love he began to feel lighter, fuller,
stronger, felt himself moving upward, outward, surging
back toward the light, still feeling as if he was holding
Daniel tightly, crushing him to him, clasping his warm,
firm body tightly to his own, bringing him back up and
out with him, not letting go, not losing, never losing,
not this time Daniel was his, he was coming home…
Jack! Can you hear me? Jesus Jack – I'm sorry – I'll I'll
go and call for help!"
Jack cried out as he clutched the man in his arms
convulsively, implacably. Not letting go, never letting go;
not now it was finally all right. "NO! You're not leaving
me! Not again!"
opened his eyes to find himself cradled in Daniel's arms,
his own limbs locked resolutely around the man holding
him. Daniel's face was drawn and deeply terrified.
You gave me quite a turn there. Your fever spiked all of
a sudden, you were delirious, raving, I thought you were
going into convulsions…" he frowned, laid his hand on Jack's
forehead. "Well, I'll be damned, looks it like it's
broken. You're definitely cooler. Good news, Jack,"
Daniel smiled down at him. Same smile same eyes same Danny.
"Looks like you're going to live."
leave," Jack reiterated stubbornly, still not quite
feeling as if he was fully back.
chuckled and ran his fingers through the sweat-drenched
tufts of the hair framing Jack's forehead.
worry, I'm not going anywhere. I never left you, Jack.
Been right here with you all the time."
Jack murmured, his eyes starting to close again, not in
delirium but in the beginnings of true, cleansing sleep.
"Good. Everything's okay now. Got you back…not going
away again…got both of you now…"
hugged the sleeping man tighter to him as he leaned down
and kissed him softly on the forehead.
no idea what you are talking about, Jack, but whatever
makes you happy makes me happy too."
shifted himself onto the bed, stretching his full, tired
length wearily onto the mattress, pulling Jack closely
to him. He was tired, so tired, but now that Jack's fever
had broken he could risk grabbing some sleep. Daniel sighed,
closed his eyes and let himself slowly drift into slumber,
carried gently into oblivion by thoughts of Jack. And Abydos.
empty feeling in the pit of his stomach getting bigger
and noisier finally woke him up. Hungry. He was hungry.
opened his eyes to find himself looking into Daniel's sleeping
face. His features were slack with the utter relaxation
of profound slumber, his breathing deep, soundless. Man,
was he out!
the look of him, he could surely use the rest. Jack continued
to watch him, realizing he didn't even know what day it
was. How long had he been sick, how long had Daniel been
there for him, picking him up, wiping him down, cleaning
up after him. There'd been way too much of that. He'd been
one sick puppy. Danny sure had earned this rest.
between not wanting to disturb him and yet needing to touch
him Jack risked reaching forward and lightly brushing his
fingers across Daniel's forehead. Just brushing the hair
back. His skin was cool to the touch. That was good, Daniel
was just tired, nothing more. Wouldn't wish what he just
went through on anyone, but especially not Danny.
to trail his fingers downward, brushing them across Daniel's
cheek, along his chin, down his neck. There was a faint,
sighing quality to Daniel's next exhalation, the corner
of his mouth twitched slightly, but he continued to sleep.
Emboldened by his success, Jack moved his hand on downward.
two buttons of Daniel's shirt, just enough to be able to
slip his hand beneath the material so he could feel the
beating of Daniel's heart under his hand. Jack leaned back
on the pillow and closed his eyes, letting the feeling
of Daniel beneath his palm swarm up his arm and into his
own heart as Daniel's warm nearness enfolded him.
reassurance, strength, understanding – sometimes Jack
couldn't get his head around all of it. Just how much all
of it meant to him. Just how much Daniel meant to him.
realize he was moving his hand restlessly over Daniel's
chest until it heaved suddenly beneath his touch and the
sound of soft laughter startled him into opening his eyes.
to God, Jack, don't you ever think of anything else?"
sorry," Jack mumbled guiltily. "Did I – ah –
Daniel grinned. "How am I supposed to sleep with all this
rubbing going on? Oh well, I guess as long as you're feeling
up to being horny, it means you're on the road to
I'm a little more hungry than horny." Jack admitted with
a rakish grin.
sat abruptly up. "Hungry! That's great! Okay – don't move.
I'll make you some soup."
grimaced. "I'd rather have a cheeseburger."
squinted at him like he was a bug under a microscope.
"You are so nuts," he said finally, shaking his
head. "Cheeseburger. The man has been upchucking for
three solid days and the first thing he says he wants is a
cheeseburger. Soup! "Daniel declaimed sternly,
rising from the bed and shaking a finger at Jack. "Clear
soup. That's it! If it stays down – and that's a big if –
we'll talk about gradually expanding your dietary
Flo," Jack bared his teeth at him. "God, I love it
when you flash your eyes at me and flare your nostrils like
that. Gets me all hot. Go on, stamp your foot! Make me
bark like a dog!"
turned an appealing face to the heavens. "Lunatic. I'm
living with a lunatic." He turned and began to walk out
of the room, shaking his head and muttering to himself.
"I don't get it, I try to be a good person, do the right
thing, laugh at all his jokes…"
me, beat me, make me write bad cheques!" Jack yelled
after him. Oh my, he was starting to feel SOOO much better…
polished off the first bowl of soup, asked for a second
and was still trying for the cheeseburger when he finally
decided it was time to ask Daniel why he was being so quiet.
you woke me up, I was in the middle of a dream," Daniel
began softly. "I was dreaming about Sha'uri. I haven't
dreamt about her for awhile, and suddenly, there she was.
I was wondering. Jack?"
about?" Jack replied, having a feeling he knew the
you get back on your feet, how do you feel about coming
to Abydos with me?"
staring at the gate, waiting for it to finish dialling
like he expects it to turn a different colour or something,
doing that thing he does with my sleeve when he's really
nervous or bugged. Tugging at it. Doesn't even realize
he's doing it. He's a little wired right now. Going to
Abydos was his idea and I know he's ready to do it and
all but still, it's not every day you come back from the
now I'm working really hard at keeping a grin off my face.
Not easy. Danny has no idea what's waiting for him on the
other side. It's going to be a revelation, in more ways
than one. Also gonna be entirely my fault - everything
that's about to happen to him. I'm rather proud of that
Chevron locked and loaded, event horizon in place, I turn
back to glance up to the control room and Simmons gives
me the high sign he's sent the signal. I guess we can go.
at Danny. He looks like he's going to faint. Takes an involuntary
step backward. Swallows, licks his lips and turns to me,
those damned blue eyes as big as saucers. It positively
kills me when he looks at me like that. I don't even want
to go into to what it makes me want to do. Not much of
which I can talk about in mixed company.
– if they don't want to see me?" he says in a slightly
panicked voice, licking his lips nervously again. I'd better
get him moving, my mind is starting to … wander…
to see you, Danny? God, as if! I grab him by the arm, lean
over and give him what he needs to hear.
know I'm right here for you. Every step of the way. You
know, don't you?"
looking at me the same way a kid does. You know the look
– the one of absolute faith and trust. The one telling
you the little person believes you are omnipotent – can
fix everything, take care of everything, chase all the
scary monsters away, make all the bad things take a powder.
The look they give you until they gradually begin to figure
out you're not a god after all, just an ordinary, stumbling
Joe Schmo with feet of clay. No big deal, nothing special,
with no magical powers to right all the wrongs in the universe,
just as powerless against the working of – whatever – as
everybody else is. It starts to happen about the same time
they find out there's no Santa Claus, and hits them just
about as hard.
hasn't figured it out yet. He still thinks I can do anything.
I'm alternately flattered by his faith and bowled over
by the responsibility. If nothing else, it makes me want
to try harder, and that can't be a bad thing. Maybe he's
right. Who knows, stranger things have happened. Mind you,
I still can't bring myself to tell him about the Easter
Bunny. Let him work it out for himself, I can't do everything.
I pull him on up the ramp and through. I keep my hold on
him as we step out the other side. Instincts are right
on the money; he's on his way down when he sees what we've
done with the gate room in the pyramid.
are locked to the huge SGC Abydos crest hanging from the
ceiling. He whirls around and almost falls over again as
the tinny, scraping sound of the iris closing behind us
causes him to start and gape at the gate. Stares stunned
with that gorgeous mouth hanging open all the way down
to his knees at the spit and polished honour guard lined
up and waiting at the bottom of the stairs.
after me in shock as I pull him down the stairs, giving
a little nod to Jordan. Good man. He's been doing a good
job. I'm very pleased with what has been happening here.
Also very pleased to see how smartly the boys and girls
have turned out. All bright and shiny – nice to see goofing
off here in the boonies hasn't made them go all soft.
barks out the present arms command and snaps up a stiff
salute to Danny.
to SGC Abydos Doctor Jackson."
they look good! This is working out so well. Danny is blushing
so hard the roots of his hair are turning red. From the
look on his face I am going to be getting one big thank
you later. And he doesn't even know this is only phase
one of the surprise.
hope I'll survive his gratitude.
to me, barely able to talk he's so excited. "Youyouyou
– you did it!" he burbles.
Major Jordan the nod to dismiss so we can all go back to
being regular people again, realising Danny isn't going
to be making a lot of sense for a little while.
guys!" I call after them. "Really appreciate
got a right to be excited. After all, this was all his
idea. During the long months he spent cut off from his
adopted world, trying to deal with the pain of Sha'uri's
loss, knowing there was no way he could communicate with
his father-in-law and brother, he had a lot of time to
think. He's pretty good at that. Thinking, that is. He
came up with something which made a lot of sense.
motivation was primarily a desire to ensure his adopted
world was protected, but he was also not unmindful of the
benefits Earth could reap from Abydos' primary natural
resource – that lovely little Naquadah mine sitting there
abandoned ever since we made Ra go bye-bye. The Abydonians
had no use for it, we could certainly find one and we had
something we could give them in return. Protection – and
the benefit of our advanced technology – with certain stipulations.
no fool. Back on Earth we've already seen too many sad
examples of what happens when 'civilization' meets 'primitive,
pristine and unspoiled.' Danny was dead set and determined
that wasn't going to happen to his people. I've been pretty
bull-headed about sticking to that part of the proposal
myself, ever since I brought the anthropological team through
with me on the first trip.
than getting things set up in the gate room - installing
the iris, the control and communications console, and wiring
the place for sight and sound – we didn't do anything else
until the reports and recommendations came through from
the team who had by that time been living with the Abydonians
for two months. Some of them are still there. Hell, Mason
even pulled a Danny – got hitched to one of the girls and
permanently changed his address.
know what it is about this place. Something about it calls
you, deep inside. Makes you want to stay. I don't understand
it, but I certainly have felt it. Love it almost as much
as Danny does, not just for the people. That's why I made
all of this happen for him, in his place, after he died.
only just gotten around to drawing up the proposal and
submitting it to the general. He'd spent months on it –
it was solid. Word was it made quite a stir in the Pentagon.
I think the boys upstairs were just embarrassed some know-nothing
civilian had thought of it before one of their high priced
think tank boys had. Whatever, word was coming back it
looked like it was going to be a go. As soon as the year
was up and the Abydonians re-opened their gate.
he was gone. I had to do something to try and deal with
it. So, I did. Made sure it happened. For him. A little
bit for me too. Mostly for him.
at his face now, I'm so glad I did. Almost as glad as I
am he is actually alive and here to see it. Some days it's
just so damned fine to be breathing and this sure is one
you, I can't wait to get going. There's more to come.
gives me a nod letting me know they've sent on ahead. The
wheels are in motion. I pull Danny out of the pyramid and
we're on our way again, hiking across the desert. Danny
is talking faster than the speed of light, firing questions
at me, not waiting for the answers. I just nod and pretend
I'm listening – well I am – but I can't make out half of
what he is saying and don't really need to – not like he's
going to let me get a word in sideways or anything.
onward and I figure he is going to keep babbling until
we get there or time runs out and the sun explodes, whichever
comes first. So I'm pretty much taken by surprise by what
he does as soon as we get behind the first sand dune and
can no longer see the pyramid.
out a whoop, giving me a couple more grey hairs in the
process - like I need 'em – and tackles me, knocking me
down into the sand. Before I've got a chance to say 'for
crying out loud' I've got a hundred and sixty pounds of
excited archaeologist swarming all over me kissing the
life out of me. Like I said, Danny can be pretty impressive
when he's grateful. Sweet. Very sweet…
I wouldn't be having any problem with this whatsoever but
we haven't really got time for this right now. The welcome
wagon is on its way. Just another little something I cooked
up. Danny doesn't know everybody knows he's here. He figured
he was going to just sneak in the back way, say 'oh by
the way I'm not dead,' and sneak back out again.
when Apophis runs for president…
I've gotta get him off me before the party happening in
my pants gets any more interesting than it already is.
Time and a place for everything, Jack, and right now this
ain't it. . Ohhhh shit – not the tongue… God, Danny… don't
him away. "Danny – we're on duty!" I manage to squeak.
Well, technically we're not, but the remark has the desired
effect. Those big blue eyes go wide with 'omigod what was
I doing' as he realizes he's broken 'the rule.'
both pretty hot for each other. There's a news flash! Our
mutual combustion potential doesn't show any signs of going
away any time soon and believe me I'm not complaining,
but at times it does pose some problems. So we both sat
down, pretty early on, and made an agreement with each
other. Imposed 'the rule'. It's really the only one, but
we're both pretty committed to sticking to it. No matter
what, no exceptions – as long as we are wearing the uniform
- it's strictly hands off. Doesn't matter if there is no
one else around to see or not.
just too easy to slip up if you start developing careless
habits. Taking stupid chances. We're both crazy about each
other, but we love this whacked out planet-hopping life
we're leading almost as much. Certainly enough to do whatever
we need to do to keep everything we love – just the way
beams a shy apology at me. "I'm sorry, I forgot," he says
ruefully as he rolls off me and gets to his feet. Not half
as sorry as I am as I do likewise, a little more slowly,
grinning bravely at him as I try to ignore the ache in
my crotch. I gotta get this dog a leash it's really starting
to lead me around way too much…
him on the back, waggle my eyebrows at him with a 'save
it for later' leer, he pushes me back with a disgusted
snort and we're on our way again. No big deal. Over and
done with. We say a lot to each other without ever saying
a word. We never fail to get the meaning across either.
Guess we're luckier than most, that way.
on a little farther; he talks some more, asking me questions
he wants answers for now. All having to do with the base,
nothing to do with what awaits him on ahead. He's thinking
about it, I can tell just looking at him, but he doesn't
want to know, doesn't want me to say. I think he's scared
they may have forgotten about him and doesn't want to find
out his fears are true.
hears it first. A low rumble in the distance ahead, that
starts to turn into the sound of voices. A lot of voices,
chanting something. Over and over again. We can't make
out what it is. Can't see what it is yet, there's a huge
sand dune ahead of us, blocking our view. Whatever it is,
glances at me, puzzled. I shrug, give him a 'how am I supposed
to know' look, and motion to him to follow me. Let's just
trot up the side of the dune and take a boo, shall we?
the top of dune and the sound rises up to greet us. We
can hear what they are chanting – the living sea of people
lapping across the desert in the distance before us. Like
a swarm of freakin locusts.
I wasn't expecting this. I thought Kasuf, Skaara, they'd
bring along a little party of some of Danny's closer friends,
meet us part way, have a little private, intimate reunion,
allay some of Danny's anxiety about the reception he would
get, you know that sort of thing. But I can't believe what
must be thousands of people in that crowd. Every
single living soul on Abydos must be down there, in the
throng, surging forward to meet us, a cry of "Daniel! Daniel!
Daniel!" pouring from thousands of throats, all mingling
together to create one, unstoppable roar.
for a guy who still has a hard time believing his best
friends like him.
staring, breathing really hard, a little too hard, a strange,
frightened expression on his face. I don't get it – I don't
understand what the problem is – until he gives a little
cry and jerks around, making ready to bolt.
pal, not going to happen. You're not going to run away
from this one.
like you. They really, really like you. Deal with it.
him, hug him hard, he cries out, struggling against me,
then gives up, falling into my embrace, hugging me back.
I squeeze him until he stops shaking. When at last he pulls
back from me his eyes are shining, his face bright red
with embarrassed pleasure. It's sinking in, he's getting
it. He still can't believe it, but he's getting it.
to look away from me, knowing everything he's feeling is
pouring out of his eyes. I grab his face in my hands, still
not letting him run away from what is happening. A single
tear slips from the lash, runs down his cheek.
I guess they missed me," he says in a quiet, horribly
you? Danny – they love you."
the truth is the hardest thing of all to believe. As I
look into the eyes of the best person I have ever known
I can see how far away he yet is from being able to believe.
In spite of everything he sees. In spite of the sound of
a multitude chanting his name. Well, at least he got the
chance to see it. As for the rest of it, we'll work on
him back around to face his people. They're still coming.
A cry goes up. They've seen us. A single figure breaks
from the crowd, starts streaking across the distance yet
stretching between us. It has to be Skaara. The figure
continues to run, waving frantically at us, an excited
stream of mingled English and Abydonian issuing forth.
sees him too. His self-consciousness forgotten, he cries
out excitedly, waves back, and takes off. After sliding
quickly down the side of the dune he races across the sand,
making a beeline for the boy making straight for him. They
meet, embrace fervently. I start down after them.
had such beautiful eyes. Deep, dark, sparking with life.
How many times did I lose myself in them, seek to plumb
the depths of them, wonder at the good fortune which had
so smiled upon me whenever they would look at me the way
they did a week ago.
it was a dream but it was so real. She was so real. She
danced into my embrace, laughing, the silvered, melodic
trilling which used to delight me so. Wound her arms around
my neck, mussed my hair the way she always did, as she
turned those lovely, lovely eyes upon me and said, "live,
my Dan-yiel. Be happy. Live and love for me."
like I can feel her still. Right beside me. Here, now,
even with all these people, the noise, laughter, uninhibited
revelry. Jack's off colour comments… I can feel her at
my side and she's laughing. Just as if she was the one
holding me instead of the one who also shares my heart.
believe how drunk I am. That's what it is. What it has
to be. I am well and truly – potted. And the party is only
believe Jack. Can't believe what he's done for me. I was
so afraid they wouldn't want me. I wasn't even sure if
they would remember me. Jack keeps telling me I really
have to get over this fundamental belief in my own basic
talk about inferiority complexes. He puts himself down
a lot, says when it comes to smarts compared to me he's
a forty-watt light bulb standing next to the sun. That's
just so not true. When it comes to knowing what's really
important he's one of the smartest people I have ever met.
He has a hard time seeing it that way though. The same
way, I guess, as I have trouble seeing I mean more to people
than I am able to accept.
Nothing could have been a more solid assurance of that
fact than the welcome Jack arranged for me. All those people…
I still can't take it in. All of them, coming to meet
me, moving across the desert in a living black wave stretching
beneath us as far as the eye could see, all coming – for
me. Because of me.
swarmed when the crowd reached me, barely had time to hug
Kasuf and see the tears streaming down his cheeks before
I was literally lifted bodily and carried back to the village.
I couldn't even see Jack for all the people, but knew he
was there somewhere.
pretty much been partying ever since. The celebration we
had after the death of Ra lasted five days. If the enthusiasm
of the throng about me is any indication this bash is going
to go on long after that. Shortly before we left Jack told
me he had booked us off for two weeks. I wondered at it
at the time why so much time, but it's starting to make
a lot more sense now.
you I expect to die of alcohol poisoning around day six
so the whole question will be rather moot…
is mumbling something obscene into my ear again. He has
such a way with words. He's sitting behind me, legs on
either side of me, strong arms wrapped around me hugging
me to his chest. Just as well, if he wasn't holding me
up I'd be flat on my face.
back against him, feeling his chin on my shoulder, his
lips close to my ear. I've barely recovered from my reaction
to his last filthy remark when he lets another one fly
in a low, leering voice. I burst into hysterical laughter
once more and I feel him pull me back slightly, hugging
me with his legs as well as his arms as he gets off on
my response to his ribald enthusiasm.
completely safe here. To be ourselves, to freely show our
affection for each other. We're among friends, people who
know us, love us, and could not be happier for us in our
good fortune. Besides, they see nothing wrong in what we
feel for each other.
Abydonians are no longer slaves, but generations of being
treated like cattle bred for nothing but labour have left
their mark on the collective psyche of these amazing people.
They have no time for petty moral judgements, for imposing
arbitrary rules of conduct upon each other.
is a precious and fleeting gift they embrace fiercely with
both hands, a sweet nectar to be snatched at every opportunity
and gulped freely however it comes. They savour with a
fierce, defiant avidity learned from centuries of living
under the shadow of the certainty every second of existence
is completely conditional upon the whims of a capricious
deity who could snuff them out at any time - just because.
dead and gone. The people are free now, in control of their
own fates and destinies in a way their ancestors could
never dream of. Yes, freedom is theirs but the hard won
lessons of the past remain. The scars linger, perhaps never
to totally heal. They live what they know, the way they
have been taught. Life is fleeting and all the more precious
for its brevity, happiness a gift beyond price. However
it comes you take it. You don't question it. You don't
presume to tell it in what form it should – and should
of life, there is a lot of it happening all around us at
the moment. I can feel Jack stirring restlessly behind
me as the erotic current thrilling through the room begins
to spiral around us as well. Jack hasn't had as much exposure
to the Abydonian attitude of unconcerned abandon when it
comes to public displays of certain types of affection.
A very uninhibited people. As I said, when happiness comes,
you take it. Odds are the next fellow is much to busy with
his own particular pursuit to wonder what you are up to
Jack's hand stroking my hair; he brushes it aside to kiss
the side of my neck. His lips are warm and electric upon
my skin. I close my eyes and shiver with delight. He places
his hand on my stomach and begins to move it slowly back
and forth, rubbing me with sensual, tantalizing slowness.
My senses swim, desire swirls, shooting teasingly, the
smell of smoke and incense, rich food, the sounds of music,
of laughter and softer deeper moans all around me jumble
and tumble about in my alcohol-soaked brain.
never been more happy. Never felt more loved, wanted, safe
as I do at this moment. Joy, love, security wrap around
me as tangibly as the reality of Jack's arms. Abydos is
the safest place in the universe – these people – the dearest.
The only thing missing – the only people not here whose
presence would give me the satisfaction of knowing everyone
I love is here with me in this moment are Sam and Teal'c.
I know she's here all the same. Maybe not in the flesh.
Maybe not so as to be seen. But she's here. I can see her
in Kasuf, in Skaara, a piece of her in every face in this
room. Her people dance, feast, drink, laugh and love in
her name, celebrating her life as they celebrate my return
to life. We know as long as one of us lives to be able
to speak her name she is not forgotten. She lives in us,
and for her we continue to live, as she would want.
closed lids my eyes see her once more. For a fleeting instant
she dances before my inner vision, holding her hands out
to me, smiling as she says, "live, my Dan-yiel." I hear
her laugh. She's laughing at me. She loved to laugh at
me. I loved to listen…
Danny," Jack's voice sounds in my ear again, low and
husky. And filthy. "Wanna see how far I can stick my dick
down your throat?"
hiccup, choke; the laughter can't tumble out of me fast
enough. My chest heaves uncontrollably as I try to laugh
and breathe at the same time and am not too successful
at either. Jack rocks me and roars, tears stream down my
face, his arms are fast and firm around me. I'm dizzy,
giddy, and delirious with joy and drunken euphoria.
sprawl limply against him the paroxysm of laughter possessing
me gradually subsides. I can open my eyes again although
everything around me is still pretty blurry. No, that's
not right everything is fine - I'm the one who is blurry.
slide back to Kasuf and Skaara, both sitting close to us,
a little to our left. They have been watching us. Kasuf
in particular has been studying us for most of the evening.
Good man, Kasuf. Truly a father to all of us, his simple,
profound wisdom and understanding available in full measure
to all who seek it and him.
missed him very much. Felt my failure to save his daughter
most keenly in what it would mean to him. He's been a father
to me like the one who gave me life never had a chance
to be. I look at him again, and see something in his eyes
I don't understand. It's not unlike fatherly pride, but
it's also more than that. More than love, certainly understanding.
at me, looks at Jack. Leans over and whispers something
to Skaara. My brother grins at me, the deeply mischievous,
playful, knowingly innocent grin uniquely his own. After
giving his father a respectful nod he rises to his feet
and slips away into the crowd. Something is going on. If
I wasn't so drunk…
sidles up to us, putting a hand on both of our heads in
a brief, blessing gesture. "Your happiness brings great
joy to my eyes and heart," he says sincerely, looking at
me, but mostly at Jack. "I wish to thank you, O'Neill,
for bringing the son of my heart back to me."
see Jack's face, but I can hear by his voice how touched
he is. "He's part of you," my lover replies. "It was
the least I could do."
are now part of him," Kasuf continues. 'This much is
obvious to these old eyes. That makes you part of us now,
heard Kasuf use this tone of voice before. He's about to
make a statement. Say something important. I wish my head
was clearer, so what was going on wasn't slipping by me.
Jack seems much more in the frame than I am.
it is proper now to call you son as well," Kasuf
continues. "Would this please you?"
hugs me closer. "I want what Danny wants," he replies
is looking at me again. His eyes are kind and full of love.
He cups my cheek with his hand as he speaks again.
you brought my daughter much happiness. She would wish
the same for you now. What is the wish of your heart? Would
you have this man? I will say the words for you if that
is what you desire."
at him, trying to get my mind around what he is saying.
The – the words? Then I see Skaara. He's standing behind
his father, the cup in his hand. Suddenly I understand
what Kasuf is saying to me. What he is offering me. Offering
both of us…
you want, Danny," Jack murmurs into my ear.
wells up in my throat, swelling it. I can't speak, can
barely breathe. It's too much, and not enough. Everything
I've wanted since I knew the truth of what I feel for him,
and yet never dared let myself believe I could have.
both lost so much, seen dreams formed in innocent trust
and expectation turn to disappointment, regret and sorrow.
We've both lived, loved, watched a part of our heart and
soul depart from us. We've both grieved, cried, wanted
nothing more than an ending to pain and suffering. Both
swore to ourselves we would never love again.
here we both are, standing on the threshold of another
dream. Mad to even consider it, in light of everything
that has already happened? Perhaps. But then, even at the
best of times life itself is a dream, a kind of madness
which teases us, torments us, provokes us, dares us to
find the key which will make sense of it all.
there is no ultimate key to everything – no definitive
answer. Maybe it just is – what it is. Whatever you make
of it, whatever happens to you. Maybe the only meaning,
the whole point of it – is simply - to live. The best way
you know how.
I know for sure, any living I do from this moment forward
I want to do with him. I haven't known a lot of things
in this life I am absolutely sure of, but this is one of
them. Live and love, Sha'uri said to me. Life and love.
What it's all about. All summed up in him.
'meaning of life stuff' I've been searching for all my life,
Jack? Hot damn, I think I've found it.
can't speak but I have no doubts as I lean my head back
against him, turning my face toward his neck. I nod my
head, moving it up and down against him and he puts his
face into my hair saying in a thick voice, close to breaking,
"Well, you heard the man…"
take us to the same place where Sha'uri first came to me.
Giggling, laughing, patting us fondly, our family, friends,
witnesses and well wishers. It's fitting we signify the
beginning of our true oneness in this distant place which
first brought us both together.
supports me strongly as I stumble next to him, my head fumbled
with a potent mixture of strong drink and even stronger
desire. I feel his heat rising, scorching my skin as I
clutch his waist and feel him tremble with wanting me.
as he lays me gently down on the bed, feeling foolishly
nervous, hopelessly drunk, impossibly happy. I try to reach
out to clasp him, but I can't get my hands to work. He
catches them, presses them to his lips, chuckles softly
and says, "Christ, Danny, you're tanked. What am I going
to do with you?"
you want," I say. At least, I think that's what I say.
It could have been, "My dog's name is Spot," from the
way it sounded from where I'm lying.
softly again as he sits down beside me and slowly, carefully
begins to undress me. I'm getting impatient, still trying
to grab him, unintentionally slowing down the process as
my jerky, flailing movements frustrate his good intentions.
He leans down, kisses me wetly.
down, can'tcha?" he scolds. "Keep helping me like
this and we'll be here all night." He finishes in spite
of my assistance, settling me beneath the blanket. I miss him
briefly, and try to get out of bed again to find him. He
catches me in the nick of time as I am on my way to the
floor, puts me back in bed and slides in beside.
willya?" he whispers as he strokes my face. "Yer
gonna hurt yourself. I was just getting naked. That's it,
Dannyboy you're cut off. No more Kool-Aid for you. C'mon now,
sweetie, close your eyes. You're in no shape to do anything
but sleep this one off."
what he thinks. He's so close now I can't possibly miss
him and I don't. A few minutes of dedicated lingual massage
of the interior of his mouth and he's not much interested
in sleeping. I might be drunk but I'm not that drunk…
a perfect counterpoint to the sounds of my own excitement,
he moves over me. Full, long, heavy, hard, his urgent reality
covers me, presses upon me. Electrifies me. My heated skin
thrills with his touch, aching for more. My mouth is full
of him, my mind expands with swelling sweetness, carrying
me up, bearing me away on wave after undulating wave of
his deft, knowing, gentle hands on me, positioning me,
preparing me; he is inside me with such tender skill I
feel him already filling me before I know what he has done.
He rocks me with the power of his love, his firm, steady
strokes in and out stoke the fire inside me as his hand
moving in time upon me sends me screaming on a journey
with only one destination.
fall back fainting, returning from that distant country
of unimaginable pleasure I feel him shudder with the force
of his own release. A soft sigh escapes him; he collapses
on top of me, finding my mouth, covering it with wet kisses
of gratitude. He wraps his arms around me, rolls onto his
back, pulling me with him. He takes a moment to settle
me comfortably next to him, tucking my head into the crook
of his neck. We lie quietly. He strokes my hair; I listen
to the sound of his deep, level breathing.
suddenly, briefly, the sound making his chest vibrate.
"I guess this means we're official," he says softly, kissing
the top of my head. "Not that we can tell anybody. I hope
you didn't have your heart set on a big wedding."
this wasn't?" I return sleepily. "Did you happen to
notice the size of the guest list?"
no kidding," he chuckles. "Mighty glad I'm not
paying for it. "You okay?"
I try to stifle a yawn and end up sneezing. "Sorry. How
better. You realise of course, as soon as everyone has
grabbed a couple of hours of shut-eye they are all going
to get up and go at this again. The way these guys party
I figure the additional excuse to get down has added at
least another week to the whoopee making."
Jack, we don't have that much leave."
worried about?" Jack says as he kisses me again.
"We're not going to make it through three more days of
this, never mind three weeks."
Well, there's nothing to worry about then."
your old man," Jack sighs as he hugs me tight. "Jack
won't steer you wrong."
me Jack, I'm counting on it.
the Stargates on all the planets in all the galaxies in
the entire universe why did she have to go and walk through
THIS one. And why this particular, lousy, stinking minute.
Why not five minutes before? Five minutes after - either
way they could have been safely on their way back home
without ever having known Apophis' fancy woman was on her
own strolling around the universe acting like she owned
the frigging place.
she wasn't exactly on her own. Having a half a dozen Jaffa
backing you up tended to substantially reduce the impression
of vulnerability. Still, they could probably take them.
They had the advantage of surprise. But why bother?
peered cautiously around the base of the statue he was
crouching behind. Carter was covered a couple of feet behind
him. Teal'c was squatting behind the low wall a little
ahead. Daniel? Where the hell was Daniel? Jesus Christ…
had just wrapped up this little jaunt to D4S-123. Well,
been asked to leave would be little closer to the truth.
The locals had not been happy to see them. Seemed downright
terrified, not to put too fine a point on it. As he risked
another glance at the gaudily clad woman standing in front
of the huge stone building housing the Stargate lah-di-dahing
it about and yammering something at her Jaffa, Jack had
a feeling he knew what the locals had been so scared of.
where Apophis had been hiding the little woman since he'd
fallen on hard times? She didn't seem too impressed with
slumming it. Well, things are tough all over; Jack just
wished she would shut up already and move it on out so
they could get to the gate and get the hell out of here.
He didn't plan on acting on it in the here and now, but
knowing she was here was a useful piece of information.
Decide what, if anything to do with it once they had some
time and space for more considered reflection and planning.
right now, he didn't want any trouble. Too many locals
around. They started an unnecessary firefight sure as shooting
by-standers were going to get hurt or killed. So they'd
just lay low right were they were at until she was gone.
Then they could 23-skidoo the hell out of here.
wished he knew where Daniel was. He couldn't see him anywhere.
Daniel was the only one who'd actually made it into the
temple or whatever the heck it was, had seen the Stargate
was already activated, seen the first Jaffa come through
and had warned them. Jack could've sworn he'd come back
out again, but now he was wondering if Daniel was still
inside. If so, he hoped he had the sense to stay hidden
and out of trouble.
is Danny we're talking about, Jack. Daniel 'Trouble is
my Middle Name' Jackson. For crying out loud, Daniel, where
the HELL are you?
flashed a hand signal at Carter and Teal'c telling them
to just – sit tight. It looked like – oh crap – what the
hell was this now? A group of locals were commencing to
bow and scrape their way toward Goa'uldette and her happy
gang of wandering minstrels. It was starting to look as
if the show was going to run a little longer than he'd
originally anticipated. Well why not? Why shouldn't the
universe go out of its way to inconvenience him? Sonofabitch
– hope the home-grown sycophants don't snitch on them!
movement from the doorway of the stone structure caught
Jack's eye. Ah, one mislaid archaeologist who was going
to find himself in a shitload of trouble from his CO slash
SO if he didn't lay low better had just been located. Danny
was peeking around the massive stone lintel, his pistol
in his hand.
in his hand?
don't you dare do anything stupid. You MOVE out of that
building and if the Jaffa don't get you – I sure'n hell
will! Toasted either way, dearheart. Trust me!
happened next went down very quickly and made very little
sense. Lady G started looking around, as if she knew something
was up. She took a step back from the Jaffa, looked around
some more, then cast a beady eye back in the direction
of the building behind her.
– she's made him!
froze, staring at the woman who was staring at him. Jack
signalled to his team-mates to prepare to fire and brought
his MP-5, up, sighting on the nearest Jaffa. The second
she made a sound he was ready to rip.
Queen turned her head back. Danny ducked out of sight.
Jack's finger tightened around the trigger…
She didn't say anything. Just stared at the bunch of locals
sprawled in the dust before her. Jack eased off on the
trigger. She took another step back. What was going on here?
sound – that was the Stargate! Suddenly Danny shot out
of the temple, moving so fast Jack thought he was hallucinating.
Before any of the Jaffa could react he'd gotten to Lady
G, had grabbed her from behind and put his pistol to her
head. After issuing a warning statement to her Jaffa he
started to quickly pull her back into the building. The
Jaffa made as if to follow them but she gobbled some Goa'uld
at them and they threw their staff weapons to the ground.
Danny hustled the woman up the stairs and they were swallowed
up by the dark interior of the building.
scrambled to retrieve their staff weapons and give chase.
As soon as they were clear of the locals Jack gave the
signal to open fire.
Cimmerian sun was low in the sky as they emerged from the
event horizon. The woman in his arms started to suddenly,
violently struggle. Daniel grimly hung on, waiting for
the beam to take them to the Hammer, trying to remember
if his will was current and up to date. He certainly hoped
so, because he felt on very firm ground expecting as soon
as Jack caught up with him, he was pretty much going to
be the very, very, very late Doctor Daniel Jackson.
he'd seen her walk through the gate he remembered who she
was. He'd only seen her once, during that first trip to
Chulak on their failed mission to rescue Sha'uri, but she
was as striking and unmistakable now as she had been then,
standing beside Apophis as his newly implanted queen.
was the woman who'd had the terrible misfortune of being
selected for the dubious honour Sha'uri had also been in
the running for. The woman who had been chosen for a living
death after Sha'uri had been passed by. Who probably would've
given anything to have died in her place in order to have
been spared the life she was now forced to lead.
a hauntingly beautiful woman. It was impossible to ascribe
a definite racial type to her, based on her features. Her
long, luxuriant snow-white hair was a startling contrast
to her mocha coloured skin. Her enormous green eyes had
an oriental cast to them, but her features were definitely
Caucasian. Except for her full, lush sepia-coloured lips.
She was very tall, with a strong, athletic carriage. There
was an elusive feral quality to her movements and expressions
which told him whatever she had been before the Goa'uld
had taken her, she had not lived a life of pampered luxury.
hid in the abandoned temple and watched her walk past him
Daniel had first felt panic and then a growing sense of
outrage. Anger for what had been done to Sha'uri, rage
at what was still happening to this poor woman against
crouched in the darkness waiting for the party to leave
so the rest of the team could join him Daniel became seized
with a feeling of responsibility to the woman who had just
walked by him. As if there was a connection between them
he did not understand. Some deep, unconscious reason why
he had to do something to help her. Obligation.
Duty. An oath – sworn and as yet unfulfilled.
no sense, and yet, there it was.
was a bond between them. Daniel didn't know why he felt
this so strongly, but as he crept forward and risked looking
out at her from the shadows of the doorway the urgent,
inner conviction of of obligation steadily mounted. There
was something he had failed to do. Something he'd never
had a chance to do. Some wrong he'd never been able to
being given an opportunity to make it right. A second chance
to do what he had failed to do before.
He'd never even met this woman before! Catching her debut
appearance as Apophis' Queen didn't really count as an
introduction. Daniel knew he didn't know her and
consequently didn't owe her. And yet – he did. He just did.
The feeling wouldn't go away and got stronger with each
passing second. Until it was a screaming siren of affronted
justice inside him. He had to do something. Had
to help her. Sha'uri would want him to.
the tall, white-haired woman turned, looked him straight
in the eye, her entreating gaze appealing to him as clearly
as if her lips had actually moved and spoken the words.
me. Free me.
when he knew what he had to do. That's why they were here
now, on Cimmeria.
began to struggle desperately against his restraint like
a crazed thing. A torrent of Goa'uldish abuse spewed from
her lips in echoing, dead tones animated by hysteria and
fury. Daniel clenched his teeth and fought to maintain
his hold on her as the obelisk before them suddenly roused
itself, faintly singing its low song of power rapidly banking
to completion, preparing to launch the probing beam of
light which would spirit them away to their final destination.
we go," Daniel muttered under his breath as the light
finally took them.
knew he probably should have just stood put by the gate
and waited for Daniel and the ex-Goa'uldette to come back
down to him, but that would have meant cooling his heels
for hours. Waiting. Gouging his eyes out with an ice pick
would have been more fun. Jack wanted to get to Daniel
ASAP, even though that required him to try and remember
the route they'd taken down from the mountain the first
time they'd come here and retrace it. In the dark.
seeing as how he didn't happen to have an ice pick he'd
decided to give it a go. Which was why he currently was
where he was now, somewhere on route to a point B he wasn't
sure where the heck it was from a point A he wasn't entirely
certain he remembered how to make his way back to.
lost, merely temporarily geographically challenged.
quite need it yet but Jack pulled out his flashlight and
started banging it lightly against his thigh as he walked.
His anger over Daniel's unexpected defection did not entirely
eradicate his concern for his other team-mates. Who by
now should be safe and sound back at the SGC.
had been slightly injured in the fracas back on D4S-123.
A glancing blast from one of the staff weapons had shattered
the side of the column she'd been using for cover, sending
stone chips and shards flying. Some had caught her in the
arm and nicked the side of her face. They weren't major
injuries, and as Jack hadn't deemed the archaeological
retrieval mission an emergency and he was more than confident
he could round Daniel up on his own he'd told Carter to
stand down, get herself back the the SGC and get looked
as they had mopped up the opposition Jack told Teal'c to
take her home while he went after Daniel. Though he was
sure she was, Jack knew he would be easier in his mind
when he knew for sure she was okay.
sent one half of SG-1 home after telling them he was going
to Cimmeria to retrieve the truant quarter. What he didn't
say was whether or not he was going to bring Daniel home
alive – or dead. He hadn't made his mind up yet, and he
had several long hours ahead of him trudging uphill in
darkness to consider his decision.
he was pretty honked at Daniel, but at the same time he
couldn't help but shake his head in grudging admiration
at the vast humanity of the man. It drove Jack crazy the
things he loved the most about his partner were also the
things which made him the craziest.
stomped onward through the lengthening darkness becoming
more furious and frustrated, realising when he caught up
with him he was going to have to chew Daniel's head off
- for doing the right thing.
wasn't strictly correct. It wasn't what he had done;
it was the way he'd done it. Daniel's heart was
definitely in the right place. It was his head that needed
a little kicking in. To facilitate the insertion of the
common sense which it seemed – still – to be woefully lacking.
anger stemmed from a deep feeling of betrayal, a belief,
engendered by Daniel's actions, his lover didn't trust
him. Hadn't looked to him to back him up, hadn't asked
him, had just assumed he wouldn't – and had gone off half-cocked
on his own and done it anyway. That hurt, and yet……
Jack thought about it as he walked through the darkness
with only the Cimmerian stars for company the more he had
to face the fact he wasn't sure if maybe Daniel hadn't
been right. If Daniel had come to him seeking help and
approval for his impromptu rescue mission would he have
agreed to it? Would he?
he have said, 'forget it – nothing to do with us. Not our
problem.' All he'd wanted to do was get the team home with
no complications. Getting Goa'uldette away from her playmates
and bringing her here would have been – a complication.
An extremely risky one and possibly, an unwarranted one.
What would he have said? Jack honestly didn't know.
the benefits of coming to the aid of a stranger against
the risk the venture would have placed his team in – even
for Daniel's sake - what would he have decided? Jack realised
he was entering the shadowy realm of moral ambiguity wherein
he really hated to tread.
stuff was never cut and dried. There never seemed to be
a 'right' answer. Most of the time there never was an 'ideal'
solution. Only the best one you could come up with given
all the variables and which usually involved doing what
needed to be done in such a way as to minimise the damage.
As much as possible.
here is where he and Danny abruptly parted company. There
was never any ambiguity whenever Danny looked at things.
There was only right and wrong. Black and white. What needed
to be done, no matter what. Danny would throw himself off
a cliff to save a total stranger if that was what needed
to be done and never think twice about it. He saw – knew
– and did. Without any heed for personal consequences,
complications, ramifications or fallout. It was the very
heart of what he was. It was what had gotten him killed
on that first mission to Abydos, saving the life of the
man who now was contemplating whether or not to hand him
his head when he got his hands on him again.
unerring instinct for 'correct action' and the driving
compulsion to follow through and do - no matter what
was also the singular quality Daniel possessed which had
saved ALL their asses and their entire world. More than
realised when Danny had gone and grabbed Goa'uldette he'd
done it because to him it had been the right thing to do.
He'd simply seen what needed to be done and had just gone
and done it. Asking for his CO's help or fearing he would
impede him in his purpose had not been a factor in the
decision. Daniel probably hadn't even thought of him and
how he'd react to his impromptu rescue mission until well
after the fact.
was thinking about him now, though. Bet that was all he
was thinking about. No doubt savouring what he imagined
where his last few hours of life. Well, until a few moments
ago, Daniel wouldn't have been far wrong thinking that
way. But now?
Jack fumbled at his vest for his comm, keyed the instrument
and spoke into it.
You reading me?"
silence. Then Daniel's voice issued forth from the device
in his vest pocket.
Cautious, guarded. Wary, even.
wonder why? Jack snorted to himself.
howzitgowan?" Jack continued in a light voice. "We
bagged our quota of damsels in distress for the day, or you
have any more heroics planned I should know about?"
sorry…" The tone of Daniel's response was deeply
contrite, but not ashamed. "I know it was stupid and if
you scrub me from the team for the rest of my life I won't
blame you but –"
you had to do it – yeah, I know," Jack replied in a
tired voice, cutting off the rest of Daniel's response.
"I'm not saying I approve, not saying that at all, but I
walked on through the long ensuing silence. He smiled to
himself as he tried to visualise the stunned look no doubt
on currently owning Daniel's face. Well, Daniel Jackson
wasn't the only one in this world full of surprises.
not mad at me?" Daniel finally replied in a slightly
Danny, I'm not," Jack replied to the comm. "I'll
confess I'm still not pleased with what you did, though.
That's not going to pass without some consequences. Hammond
will have more than a few things to say to you as well.
My regards to the lady, but you are still in some pretty
deep doo-doo here."
I figured," Daniel sighed. "Jack, I'm
sorry if this sounds completely uncontrite of me but whatever
happens to me it will have been worth it. Speaking of Luena,
when you meet her, I'm sure you'll see what I mean."
Ooooohh – so it's LOO-EE-NA now, is it?
you'd better tell her you're a married man," Jack growled
into the comm.
of laughter was his only answer. Jack frowned at the instrument
in his vest pocket and quickened his pace.
Huh! Loo-EE-na! What kind of a stupid name is Loo-EE-na?
realised he was muttering, walking even faster. He just
suddenly felt this need to get to Danny as soon as possible.
No reason. He just… wanted to. His sudden, urgent desire
for a reunion had nothing to do with the fact Daniel was
out there… in the dark… alone. With Loo-EE-na…
to do with that whatsoever.
that he didn't trust Danny or anything, but he had seen
Loo-EE-na and she wasn't exactly chopped liver, there was
the whole gratitude thing probably going on…
he did trust Danny but didn't know her from a hole in the
ground and Danny wasn't exactly too hard on the eyes either,
and he did tend to be a bit of a babe in the woods when
it came to certain things – noticing when women had the
hots for him was one of them and who knew what might
be going through her head, they were out there all
alone, it was a gorgeous night, stars shining, moon was
starting to rise… oh crap…
under his breath, Jack started to run.
one of Danny's favourite phrases: Déjà vu.
it wasn't so long ago we were right smack in the middle
of a homecoming party. Well, here we are again. Luena's
people are every bit as glad to see her, but they have
a completely different way of expressing it than the Abydonians.
Not that they don't really get into life, they just seem
to approach the whole thing from a much more contemplative
point of view. Which means a lot of thinking – a hell of
a lot of talking.
happier than a pig in shit. Died and gone to heaven. Plunked
down in the midst of a whole passle of people who think
just like him. The whole lot of 'em all sitting in a big
circle tossing around this 'higher purpose higher meaning'
stuff until their brains implode and start dripping out
their ears. Well, that's okay, let him have his fun. Me?
I'm quite happy sitting here enjoying the view.
try and explain all this 'dreaming' stuff Luena was talking
about as we were going back down the mountain. He said
it sounded like what this anthropologist named Castanets
or something had been taught by a guy named don Juan.
This guy Castanets wrote a whole bunch of books about it,
apparently. I always thought don Juan was some kind of
world class Romeo, shows you what I know.
he did try and explain it but to be honest, I wasn't paying
much attention. Not that I didn't appreciate him making
the effort, but most of my energy was going into trying
to win over the warrior princess before she decided to
try and take my head off. It wasn't exactly love at first
sight. As hard as that might be to believe. She really
had this attitude thing going, but to be fair, I guess
I did too. Turns she was very grateful to Danny for having
freed her, as I'd pretty much figured, but she wasn't interesting
in jumping his bones. Determined to keep them in one piece
was more what she had in mind. That much we certainly have
it was a bit of relief to get it straightened out and determine
she wasn't determined to make a play for Daniel. Because
to be honest, if it had come down to me having to fight
her for him, I'm not completely convinced I could take
was a sight coming at me the first time. Had a new look
and a whole new attitude to go along with it. Danny had
left us with an over-done version of a sulky Cleopatra
and come back with this wild-eyed, muscle-bound, lean,
mean, no-accessories-included six-foot Amazonian package
of unbridled female fury. She also seemed to have taken
custody of his knife – no doubt what she had used to hack
her dress off mid-thigh. I didn't ask and wasn't particularly
interested in finding out if she knew any other ways to
I could say I won her over with my good looks and boyish
charm, but the fact we were all getting along pretty famously
by the time we made it back to the gate was entirely Danny's
doing. That boy could charm water buffaloes out of trees,
next time you have a problem with one, give him a call.
If he isn't too busy saving the world I'm sure he'll be
more than happy to lend you a hand.
kills me to admit this and will never do it to his face,
but turns out – once again – Danny knew what he was doing.
De-Goa'ulding Xena here is a big bonus for our side.
is going to be a very happy man when he finds out what
we have here. Nothing less than a very co-operative and
surprisingly emotionally balanced young woman who has the
memories of Apophis' queen in her head and who is more
than willing to tell us what she knows. She seems to be
able to get to it pretty easy, if the stuff she has already
told us is any indication, and it doesn't seem to bother
her too much to do it. Free access to all that Goa'uld
insider information? I think it's a good enough pay-off
to keep Danny's butt out of that sling.
think of much better uses to put it to anyway…
my mind is wandering again, but I just can't help it. Like
I said, admiring the view. Danny is so cute when he's focussed.
Right now he's sitting here, arms wrapped around one bent
knee, his chin resting upon it, his expression absolutely
rapt, those, big, blue eyes completely given over to the
woman standing the middle of the circle. Matarei. Luena's
mother. She also seems to be the Lord High Grand Poobah
of the place. What do they call it? Lanolin? No, that wasn't
it. Lan or Lon something. Anyway, Danny knows. I'll get
it from him later.
might be older than Luena but she is every bit as physically
stupendous. As are the Telshar – that's what they call
themselves – as a people. I haven't seen anybody yet over
12 who is under five feet ten and isn't built like a brick
shit house. Men and women.
Matarei's physical presence isn't what is the most impressive
thing about her – as damned inspiring as it is. That amazing
frame is overlaid with a tangible aura of wisdom and serenity
and not a small amount of understated, carefully rationed
charisma. She obviously throttles it back quite a bit,
but I have no doubt if she decided to turn the high beams
on the woman could stop a charging rhino just by looking
at it. Handsome woman, impressive human being.
been addressing the group for quite a while but I haven't
been listening. I can't seem to keep my eyes off Danny
and to be perfectly honest, I'm having impure thoughts.
Again. All this smoke and the low, flickering light of
the torches isn't helping much.
I don't know what these guys are burning in that fire pit
but it smells a little funny. They've been passing around
a clay pipe, everybody's taking a hit. It hasn't made it
to Danny and me yet, but all of a sudden I feel like I'm
back in Larry Mason's garage, drooling over his Dad's Playboys
and getting high. God, those were the days.
what Daniel did when he was fifteen? Somehow can't see
him as having a Larry Mason in his life. Too bad for him.
Suddenly I realize I don't know all that much about Danny's
life before he came into mine, and that bothers me. As
well it should. I'm gonna have to do something about that.
Who's spinning the room? Damn! I feel weird and I don't
like it! It's getting worse, vision swimming, feel myself
starting to fall over and reach out for Danny – just about
the same time I feel him grabbing hold of me. Things are
getting very far away – someone has their hand on my head
– voices, low, steady drumming, a woman's voice, overtop
all the other voices lowly chanting, the sound rising,
getting louder, rhythmic, hypnotic, rising in power, beating
in my blood with the throbbing of my heart.
heart – Danny's. I can feel it beating in my head. Like
I can feel him – his fear, confusion, excitement, as strong
and real as my own. Oh, this is spooky, I can feel his
concern for me. Clearly, distinctly, every emotion running
through him as if they are my own. Okay, this is weird.
But I like it…
Matarei's voice. Saying something, over and over. What
is she saying – what is she doing to us?
as you desire. Never apart though separated. So you shall
see, so you shall feel, so you shall know. So you shall
find your way back to each other. One as you desire…"
that's nice. I think I'll go to sleep now…
went back home today. Just for a bit of a visit. She'll
be back. God help us all. She's spent the last three weeks
spilling her guts and everybody is so happy with what she
had to say they've stopped just short of dancing in the
streets. What's really funny is instead of getting crucified
for pulling a lone wolf stupid Daniel might just get a
medal for this. All I need, there'll be no living with
we got home from Luena's pot party, the first chance we
got Daniel and I compared notes, and he had the same weird
sensation of knowing what I was feeling as I did with him.
He heard Matarei say the same things too, though he doesn't
know what any of it means any more than I do. If it had
just been me I could have chalked the whole thing up to
a trip induced by second hand smoke, but the fact Danny
experienced it too seems to rule that one out.
it's not as if we haven't already been through more than
our share of weird-ass stuff in the past few years; here's
another one for the scrapbook. Whatever it was she did
to us – and I'm betting she did something - it doesn't
seem to have left us any worse for the wear. Nothing showed
up during the medical, I tried buttonholing Luena about
it, all she would say is Mom granted us our heart's desire.
Her way of saying thanks.
to sound ungrateful or anything, but I would have settled
for a card and a warm handshake.
been a little down since Luena left. Not simply because
she's gone, though it's partly because of that. Okay, I'm
missing the big lugette a bit myself. She's quite a pistol.
Most of the male segment of the base population are hopelessly
in lust and the female contingent can't stop laughing at
the guys 'cause Lu could care less about raising the collective
libido levels of the SGC and won't give a single one of
them the time of day. No, she seems to have this 'mission'
she can't be distracted from, and whatever it is, it seems
to have a lot to do with Daniel. Okay, I'm in there somewhere
too, but only because, I think, I'm with him.
bugging Daniel, I think, is something she said to us both,
before she left. I gotta admit it's got me thinking as
well. No laughing – I do occasionally use my head for more
than holding my hat up.
of us saw her off. She motioned for Daniel and me to follow
her up the ramp. Wanted to say something to both of us
in private. I know she meant well, but I could have done
without hearing it, to tell you the truth.
us both by the hand and called us by those funny nicknames
she has for us. 'Leader Who Follows.' That's me. You could
make a case for it being insightful, I suppose. However,
what she calls Daniel – that's just plain scary. 'Unborn
One'. I don't know how she knows how right she is.
Danny doesn't seem to feel any great need for her to
elaborate. Thank God. If he ever had to pick a time to suspend
that normally insatiable curiosity of his, I'm deeply grateful
this was it.
she addressed us by the nicknames and then laid this little
bit of a dubious benediction on us. "Don't worry, when
the darkness comes, I will return to help you find him,"
she says to me. To Daniel, she says. "Your heart is pure.
It will protect you. Be what you are and nothing can harm
you. Or him."
huh? Then she tucked her little Sagan box under her arm
and off she went back home.
been thinking about what she said ever since, and from
the look on his face, I can tell Daniel has been too. He's
sitting there on the other side of the couch, staring into
space. If he sticks that lower lip out any farther pigeons
will be able to roost on it.
of thinking. Tired of sitting around here getting bummed
out. I think it's just about time we changed the mood a
over and poke Daniel in the ribs. He's ticklish as hell,
really hates it when I do that. Of course, that's why I
do it. He's also incredibly cute when he's mad. Don't
wanna say how hot it gets me when he goes off all over
me....uh - never mind....
that out!" he snaps at me. Oh baby…
him again. He flinches and turns on me, blue eyes snapping,
breathing fire. He's really mad now. This is going to be
good. I probably should hate myself when I pull this crap
on him, but he always thanks me later.
said, cut that out," he hisses, glaring at me through
me," I taunt him as I reach out to poke him again.
out a huge, frustrated yell and leaps at me. We tussle
briefly, end up tumbling over the arm of the couch, taking
the lamp with us as we go. Damn, just replaced that thing
last week. I suppose we could try to go a little easier
on the furniture and fixtures but somehow it wouldn't be
quite so much fun.
around on the carpet for a bit, Danny swearing a blue streak
at me. He's been doing that so frequently lately I'm getting
pretty good at picking out the Goa'uld cuss words. I hear
'em often enough!
up on top of me, grabs a hold of my shirt, lifts me up
off the floor with it until my face is only a few inches
broke another lamp," he growls in a voice still stiff
know," I reply, grinning from ear to ear. His voice is
angry, but I can see his eyes coming alive with quite another
emotion. Just like I planned. "Whose turn is it to pay
for it this time?"
don't know," he replies, his voice thicker, lower.
"I don't care. Bill me." He groans, closes his eyes,
looks at me again with lust leaking out of them. Works for me.
don't know why I let you get to me like this," he
breathes, looking at my mouth. "Must be because I love
you so much."
think?" That's all I have time for. His mouth is clamped
on mine, we're lying on the floor, clothes flying, who
gives a shit about the lamp if I wasn't so busy I'd get
up and break the other one to celebrate.
I'll follow him all right. Undomesticated equines and all
couldn't keep me away from him. I kiss him, deep, hard,
madly, he's crazy right back at me. Licking me, biting
me, mental all over me. I can hardly hold onto him he's
so turned on. He's not doing a bad job of lighting my fuse
with Luena, doomsayers, darkness and whatever else, I've
got him; I'm not letting go and God help anyone who tries
to make me. There isn't anyone or anything gonna take him
away from me.
off, so does he, he collapses on top of me, breathing hard,
he sighs, nuzzling my cheek. "So what do you say, wise
guy, had enough already, or want to go for the best two
falls out of three?"
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