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Fanfiction: Returning Home - Part III

For author's note and disclaimer see Part I


The wind ruffled his hair and Daniel hunched over, moving an inch closer to the campfire. They had set up camp to the side of the ruins, closer to the tree-line. Two small tents had been erected under the shelter of the trees. The campfire was almost mid-distance between the tents and the ruins to ensure sparks didn't set the forest alight. Teal'c and Jack had placed two large logs either side of the fire-pit. Jack and Sam sat on one; Daniel and Teal'c on the other.

Daniel grimaced. If there was one thing he was sure he hadn't missed during his Ascension it was the MREs.

'Let me guess: tastes like chicken?' teased Sam, catching his expression.

'Well, it is chicken.' Daniel replied bemused by the teasing.

Sam seemed about to explain but she paused and shrugged dismissively as though indicating it wasn't important. She stood up and threw what remained of the coffee in her mug on the ground. She gestured around the team. 'Well as I have the last watch, I think I'm going to turn in.'

'Goodnight, Major Carter.' Teal'c offered solemnly.

Daniel had a mouth full of food so he settled for waving at her with his MRE packet.

Jack blew on his coffee and took a sip, watching as Sam stepped away from the campfire and across the clearing to the tents.

Daniel finished the MRE and threw the wrapper on the fire. It flared brightly for a long moment. He reached for his coffee and took a welcome sip.

'You're done with the pillars, right?' Jack asked, breaking the silence eventually.

'Yes.' Daniel warmed his hands on the side of his mug. The fire crackled and popped in a comforting familiar way in front of him. 'They're fascinating, really. I think they're telling the story of...'

'So, you'll want inside the building tomorrow?' Jack said.

The brusque almost desperate interruption brought back enough memories of all the other times Jack had cut him off that Daniel smiled, disconcerting the other man if the wary look on Jack's face was anything to go by.

'I'll need to see the inside of the building tomorrow.' Daniel agreed cheerfully.

Jack nodded. 'Carter's concerned that the structure isn't good.' He waved his mug at the ruins beside them. 'Especially in the tower.'

Daniel frowned. He had been studying the pillars when Sam had reported her findings to Jack. 'So...' He wondered if the military man was going to ban any inside study and started to prepare his arguments.

'So,' Jack continued, 'in and out; no more than two of us at any one time.'

It seemed an acceptable position. 'I can video the inside and do the analysis back at the SGC.' Daniel agreed.

'Good.' Jack said. 'You and Carter can start first thing after breakfast. Teal'c and I will take care of the camp.'

Daniel looked down at his mug. The personnel assignments made sense: Sam had a better understanding of the structural capabilities of the building and weighed less than either Jack or Teal'c. Perhaps, Daniel acknowledged, it was a good opportunity for him and Sam to talk. He was aware that he couldn't continue to prevaricate without damaging their friendship and working relationship. And he figured Sam had been trying to give him the space he needed; she had quickly desisted from her attempts to talk to him on the walk from the Stargate and had kept her distance all day.

Jack got to his feet and tossed the remaining liquid in his mug on the ground. 'I'm going to get some shut-eye.' He looked at him carefully. 'You OK for the first watch?'

Daniel nodded an acknowledgement. Jack had the watch before Sam; Teal'c the one before that and he had first watch. He tried to remember if it was their usual watch pattern but gave up when the information remained tantalisingly elusive.

Jack entered the second of the tents and the sound of the zipper being closed filled the air for a moment before the soft breeze and the fire replaced it.

Daniel breathed in deeply. The scent of wood-smoke and earth filled his nostrils. There was a hint of perfume from the patches of purple flowers that were dotted about the clearing. The bitter aroma of his coffee drifted up from his mug. Daniel took another appreciative sip.

Teal'c shifted beside him. 'You are avoiding, Major Carter.'

Daniel's head jerked towards him and his blue eyes blinked behind his glasses. 'Uh, Teal'c...'

Teal'c simply stared back at him.

The archaeologist returned his attention to his mug for a long moment before he emitted a long sigh of resignation. Apparently the tension between him and Sam hadn't gone unnoticed. He figured it had probably been the reason Jack had placed them together on the walk; another reason why he was assigning them to the building the next day.

'I'm not avoiding Sam,' Daniel said quietly, ignoring the small voice in his head that contradicted him, 'it's just...I haven't been ready to talk to her.' He tried a smile. 'You know Sam; she's bound to have a hundred questions and...'

'You are not certain you have answers for her.' Teal'c concluded.

Daniel nodded enthusiastically. 'Exactly.'

'I believe Major Carter understands your need for space while you recover your memory.' Teal'c said.

'Then why does she keep looking at me as though she's scared that I'm about to disappear?' Daniel blurted out.

Teal'c raised an eyebrow. 'Perhaps because you did disappear when you chose to Ascend, Daniel Jackson.'

Daniel felt breathless at the bluntness of the statement. He didn't know what to say. Teal'c regarded him solemnly and Daniel tried not to squirm under the intense gaze.

'Major Carter mourned your loss greatly, Daniel Jackson.' Teal'c stated. The Jaffa turned his attention to the flames. 'For many days neither O'Neill nor I could find the words to comfort her sufficiently.'

What could he say, Daniel thought tiredly; knowing in the abstract that they had grieved for him and truly understanding the extent of the pain and loss they had experienced because he Ascended were two different things. He sighed and drank down the rest of his coffee.

'I've already decided that I'll talk with Sam tomorrow.' Daniel said. He tried a smile. 'After all, we are going to be stuck in a building together.'

The joke fell flat as Teal'c turned to glance at him. Daniel was reminded of a stare he had once received from the brother of a former girlfriend; one that had warned him not to hurt her.

'I'm not going to hurt her, Teal'c.' Daniel said sharply, stunned that the Jaffa would think he would and feeling another twinge of jealousy as he registered that Teal'c's protectiveness was another sign of the closeness that had developed between his team-mates in his absence.

'I did not believe that you would intend to do so, Daniel Jackson.' Teal'c rose from the log to stand. He bowed his head slightly before he made his way to the tent he was sharing with Sam.

Daniel helped himself to more coffee and tried to shake off the defensiveness he felt from his discussion with Teal'c. Maybe he was making too much of the fact that Jack, Janet and Teal'c had separately encouraged him to talk with Sam as though they were on her side. It wasn't even about sides; Daniel knew that. And it was highly probable that his team-mates had encouraged Sam to talk with him or rather to give him space while he remembered.

He sighed heavily. He felt guilty. He had chosen to leave. Although Daniel had read it in Jack's report of what had happened, experiencing the memory of his dying and his blurry conversations with the Ascended being, Oma Desala, had made it crystal clear to him. He could have been saved by Jacob Carter - or specifically the Tok'ra symbiote he carried in Selmak. Maybe that wouldn't have been a complete success but he could have lived. But he had chosen instead to let go: to Ascend.

Fundamentally, he hadn't been happy, Daniel mused. He had been questioning his life at the SGC; questioning whether he was making a difference. He had felt tired; worn out with so many defeats and losses. It would be easy for him to blame it all on his grief for Sha're but he knew some of it had been building even before her death with each trip through the Stargate where he failed to save her.

And he had drifted apart from SG1 that final year - partially because of the fallout from Jack and Sam putting their duty first despite their feelings; partially because Teal'c had been trying to cope with his brainwashing experience before acquiring a Jaffa army which took him away to the Alpha site more and more; but also because Daniel had been trying to hide how he felt from the others. His Ascension had been the ultimate way of putting distance between himself and his team-mates.

Ironically, his Ascension had brought the others together. He could see it in their interactions. The cracks had mended between them. Jack and Sam had found a different space, more of a friendship underneath the layer of professionalism rather than the mix of forbidden love and attraction that had been there before. Teal'c seemed comfortable with his respective responsibilities to the Jaffa and the Tau'ri.

Daniel took a large sip of coffee. He was back and he knew he needed to mend the distance between him and the others. He and Teal'c were OK; he and Jack were surprisingly fine after their discussion; but he had to stop putting distance between himself and Sam. Tomorrow, he determined. Tomorrow, they'd talk.


Sam felt the floor underneath her tremble as Daniel took another step into the centre and looked down hurriedly to check that it wasn't about to collapse. She let out a slow breath as the floor steadied.

This was a bad idea, Sam thought. Every moment they spent inside the rickety building, she questioned her previous risk assessment about its stability. Not that she and Daniel had been inside for very long. They had entered five minutes before with the strict instruction from the Colonel not to linger.

Daniel pointed his camera towards some more ornate writing and began silently mouthing the words in Ancient.

Sam opened her mouth to ask him what he had found and snapped it shut. She turned away and checked the far wall again.

Space, Sam reminded herself, she was giving Daniel space. And trying not to feel resentful that he needed space or that everyone - especially the Colonel and Janet - kept reiterating that Daniel needed space as though she didn't know. Sam rolled her eyes. She couldn't really blame them. She had been the one to tell Cassie the same thing. Maybe it was just that she wanted Daniel to tell her he needed space; some reassurance that their friendship was important to him and he'd get round to talking with her in the same way that he'd apparently already talked with the Colonel and Teal'c - and she was so trying to be OK at being left till last.


She closed her eyes briefly before reopening them and studying the crack that ran the length of the ceiling.

It was stupid to feel hurt that Daniel hadn't visited her during Ascension, Sam told herself briskly. Janet had suggested that perhaps he'd visited them in dreams as Cassie believed and there was no real evidence to prove he had or he hadn't. It was unlikely that she was ever going to get an answer given the issues with his memory.

Funnily enough, Sam mused, she had thought things between them had improved that morning. She had returned from a perimeter check to find Daniel the first one up and about. They had worked together in seamless coordination to get coffee brewing and breakfast cooking. It had felt like the old days; comfortable and friendly. Not that they had talked but then everyone on the team knew that Daniel didn't speak until after his first mug of coffee.

But by the time the coffee had brewed, Teal'c had been awake and soon after that the Colonel had crawled out of his tent. She had gone for a bathroom break and returned to find the guys in the midst of some discussion about Yu and Ba'al. Understandably, the Colonel hadn't been happy at Teal'c helping Ba'al climb to the top of the slippery Goa'uld pole but as Teal'c had stated there were few candidates who could match Ba'al for territory and the size of his army.

Sam sighed heavily and winced as she realised she had sighed very audibly.

Daniel cleared his throat. 'I'm done with this room.'

They headed to the next one.

Sam immediately crossed to the far wall again and carefully examined it. There was a larger crack that ran vertically down the intersecting bowed wall on the left of the building. She frowned. She could almost put her entire hand in it.

'Tastes like chicken.' Daniel said suddenly.

Sam spun back to look at him with a frown.

'I get it.' Daniel explained sheepishly. 'Uh, from last night?'

Sam's mouth formed a small O. She smiled at him. 'You remembered?'

'Eating macaroni cheese and it tasting it like chicken on one of our early missions?' Daniel smiled. 'Oh, yeah. Although I'm thinking it really wasn't a memory I wanted to have back.'

Sam gave a brief laugh. 'Sorry.'

He pointed the camera at another wall. 'Just when I think I have most of my memory back...' he shrugged.

'It must be annoying.' Sam sympathised; unable to stop the hope rising inside that Daniel seemed happy to talk with her. Don't push it, Sam warned herself; let him steer the conversation.

'A bit.' Daniel's smile softened the bluntness of his words.

'Well,' Sam began and stopped as a crack shot suddenly across the floor between her and Daniel.

'Uh-oh.' Daniel said as he lowered the camera. 'That's not good, is it?'

Sam gestured at him; her eyes on the walls either side of them. Despite her calculations, their weight had been too much for the building; it was going to collapse. 'Get out of the building, Daniel.'

He looked over at her. 'What about you?'

'I'll be fine.' Sam said, hoping she sounded confident. 'I'll step over the crack as soon as you're out of the room.'

'Sam...' Daniel protested.

'Go!' She ordered briskly.

Daniel took a hesitant step towards the door. The wall behind him trembled.

Sam's eyes widened with horror as a section broke away and began to tumble down towards Daniel's head...

She moved, throwing herself over the crack and pushing Daniel forcibly through the doorway into the small atrium of the building.

There was a rumble and Sam felt something fall on her, knocking her to the ground. She yelled at Daniel to go as she saw him turn back for her. Something grazed her head and for a second she saw stars.

A moment after, she felt Daniel covering her.

The building heaved a huge groan and descended around them.

For what seemed like hours but what she knew could only be a few minutes there was nothing but the sound of stone falling, and Daniel's rapid breathing; all she could see was dark and dust.

Finally, everything went silent.

'Daniel?' Sam croaked. She pushed at him weakly. She could barely breathe for the dust and he was lying over her. She began to panic that she would suffocate.

Daniel moved backwards and a second later he turned on a flashlight.

Their radios crackled.

'Carter!' Jack's voice sounded anxiously through the radio. 'Carter! Report!'

Sam made to reply and started to cough. The movement sent a shaft of pain through her head.

Daniel raised a hand and pressed down on the radio. 'It's me, Jack. Sam got hit by some rubble and is injured. I'm OK but, uh, there doesn't seem to be a way out.'

There was a beat of silence.

'Roger that.' Jack said. 'Keep Carter conscious and talking. We're going to need help getting you out without making it worse. Teal'c and I are going to the Stargate to request engineers. We'll back as soon as we can.'

'OK.' Daniel replied.

'Hang in there.' Jack signed off and silence descended.

Sam licked her lips. 'We should make an assessment of what we have.'

'Right.' Daniel said. 'I have one video camera, uh, smashed. I have a couple of protein bars in my vest. The flashlight and...aha! My water canteen.'

'That's good. I have some chocolate and my water canteen too.' Sam said weakly. She blinked. Was that black dots in front of her eyes?

Daniel eased back over to her. 'I should check your injuries.'

'I'm fine.' Sam said automatically.

'How many fingers?' Daniel held up his hand.


He gave a nod and Sam sighed as he probed the back of her head; the blow to her back which had sent her to the ground had been deflected by her vest. He resettled her into a more comfortable position; taking off his jacket so she would have a pillow. They each took a gulp of water to wash the dust from their mouths before agreeing to save it as much as possible.

Daniel sat beside her. 'I think there's air getting in from somewhere. I feel a draught.'

'That's good.' Sam said muzzily. Her head ached. 'We won't suffocate.'

'Always a bonus,' quipped Daniel. 'Although I'm thinking it's a better way to go than radiation poisoning.'

Sam tried to make sense of the words. 'You remember...that?'

'Dying?' Daniel nodded. 'I dreamed about it.'

Sam struggled to know what to say.

'I guess you've been through something similar.' Daniel commented.

She looked at him questioningly.

'The thing with Nirrti?' Daniel prompted. 'You suggested in your report that you thought the machine worked by mutating genes within individual cells with high levels of radiation.'

'It was just a theory.' Sam murmured. She winced and reached up to finger the bump at the back of her head gingerly.

'I think it was a good one.' Daniel said enthusiastically. 'I wish I could have seen the machine.'

'I wish you could have too.' Sam said. 'I wish we could have studied it but given the danger...I understood why they destroyed it.'

'Maybe there's another one out there somewhere.' Daniel suggested. He paused. 'I don't know whether to hope there is or be horrified at the possibility.'

Sam coughed again and groaned at the pain it caused.


'I'm fine.' Sam answered automatically.

There was a moment of silence.

'Daniel?' Sam prompted.

'Sorry, I was just thinking about the year I missed.' Daniel admitted. He nudged her arm with his hand as he gestured. 'When I first got back it felt like everyone knew me but...me. Even now, you'll say something or Jack will say something and I...I don't know what it means. And then I think maybe I don't know what it means because maybe it's something about this last year and I wasn't here, or I was here in some way but I don't remember it. I feel like I'm constantly at a disadvantage.'

Sam absorbed the frustration in his words; she could see his hands sweeping back and forth before he hugged his torso in all too familiar gesture. 'I didn't realise.' She said softly.

'I know you have questions and want to talk.' Daniel said. 'I just don't know if I have any answers so...'

'So that's why you haven't wanted to talk to me.' Sam concluded.

'That, and, uh,' Daniel said, lightly, 'I might have thought you were mad at me.'

She remained silent trying to gather her thoughts.

'Uh, Sam?' Daniel gave a nervous laugh. 'Isn't this where you tell me you're not mad at me?'

Her nose itched and she rubbed it absently. 'I was mad at you.'


'You left, Daniel.' Sam pointed out. 'One moment you were dying and that was hard enough, but then you were just gone and you chose to go.' Her anger pent up for so long tumbled out sharply. 'So, yes I was mad at you.'


'And then I was mad at the Colonel for letting you go and not wanting to acknowledge you were gone,' Sam continued in a rush, 'and Teal'c for being so damn accepting of it...'

'Sam.' Daniel tried to interrupt.

'And then I got mad at me.'

There was a stunned silence.

'You were mad at you?' Daniel checked.

'I wasn't a good friend to you, Daniel.' Sam confessed with relief. 'You were unhappy; I knew that especially after the whole thing with Reese. But...I don't know when but we'd stopped talking and after we came back from the mission with Grieves and Kershaw you seemed, I don't know; better? But I...I should have talked to you.'

Daniel reached out and slid his hand around hers. She gripped his tightly.

'I didn't want to talk about it with anyone; I didn't know how to talk about it.' Daniel paused. 'And I still don't want to talk about it really.'

Sam squeezed his hand in understanding and let go.

Daniel sighed heavily. 'And I knew you were just as unhappy and I didn't know how to make it better because I knew you couldn't talk about the thing you couldn't talk about it.'

Sam stiffened at the allusion to her feelings for the Colonel; his for her. She tried hard not to just deny there had been a problem although the words crowded in her throat. She swallowed hard and searched for something else; something that could reassure him. 'That's not a problem anymore.' She said quietly.

Daniel was silent and she wondered with a flicker of fear if he suspected that she wasn't exactly being honest; that she still loved Jack.

'What about you?' Sam asked hurriedly.

'I don't know.' His words held a bite that had her wincing. 'I left to make a difference but I'm not sure I achieved anything.' He grimaced at his own bitterness. 'I don't know if I'll ever remember the last year and in some ways I think I'm kind of glad that I don't remember it.'

'Why?' Sam asked, curious.

'You remember what I said to you when I was Arrom?'

'That you weren't sure you wanted to know who you were because you might not like you?' Sam answered.

'That.' Daniel gave a humourless laugh. 'That's kind of the way I feel about the last year. I'm not sure I want to remember because I'm not sure I'd like Ascended me.'

Sam was quiet; unsure what to say.

Daniel nudged her. 'And isn't this where you say if you were me you'd want to get to know Ascended you-me?'

'Daniel, the only time I saw you when you were Ascended was at Abydos.' Sam replied.


Sam shivered. 'You didn't visit me like you visited the guys.' She tried and failed to keep the accusation out of her voice.


'Look,' she said hurriedly, 'it doesn't matter not really.' She ignored the voice in her head whispering that it did. 'Cassie thinks you visited her in a dream to reassure her about Nirrti; Janet thinks it's possible you could have visited others the same way, in a dream, but we just don't remember it. So really, I don't know if you visited me or not.'

And they would never know if Daniel didn't remember his Ascension.

'I don't know what's worse,' Daniel muttered tiredly, 'thinking I visited you but didn't really help you like with Jack or that I didn't visit you at all.'

He sounded so disgusted with himself that Sam tried to reach out. She found his arm and patted it.

'It's OK, Daniel.' Sam reassured him. 'You're here now.' And suddenly, it was OK. It didn't matter whether he had visited her or not. She was just happy he was back and she was determined to be a better friend to him whether he had decided to return to his mortal form or whether he had been punished for trying to help them at Abydos.

It was evidently the right thing to say because Daniel moved, slipping his hand over hers again.

A comfortable silence descended and Sam felt no urge to break it. Her headache had receded a little and her vision was better. With any luck it was just a mild concussion, she mused.

'Sam,' Daniel began.


'I just want you to know...it wasn't your fault I left.' Daniel said slowly. 'And I may not know for certain whether I visited you or not and why, but I do know one thing...'

She bit her lip as she waited for him to complete his statement.

'What you said back on the planet...you're the reason Arrom decided to get to know Daniel Jackson.'

Sam let her fingers tighten around his briefly.

'So, we're going to be here for a while, right?' Daniel asked.

Sam calculated the distance back to the Stargate, how long it would take to pull together an engineering team and for them to return and rescue them. 'A while.'

'How about you tell me about everything I missed?' Daniel suggested. 'And you know; anything embarrassing I can use with Jack?' He waggled his eyebrows at her and looked hopeful.

Sam laughed: it really was good to have Daniel back.


'Hey, Daniel, do you...holy crap!'

Daniel tore his gaze away from the book he was reading on Ancient Babylonian culture and glanced over his shoulder.



Jack waved a hand around Daniel's office and Daniel followed it.

There were stacks of books everywhere; a pile of artefacts on the floor and the shelves were completely empty.

'What's going on?' Jack shoved his hands into the pockets of his leather jacket. He had changed out of his BDU which signalled his intent to head home.

Daniel shrugged, not wanting to admit that reorganising his office was probably some deep-seated primal need to mark his territory after Jonas's occupation. 'I couldn't remember what I had.'

'Right.' Jack looked back at him with his best CO 'you're not fooling me' expression.

'Are you heading home?' Daniel asked, gesturing with the book he held.

'Yes.' Jack allowed. 'Home.' He rocked back on his heels. 'So...'

'So?' prompted Daniel, nudging his glasses up his nose.

'Just wanted to check you're OK staying in quarters.' Jack said finally.

Daniel felt his lips twitch. 'I'm good.'

'OK.' Jack said. 'Just, you know, thought I'd check.'

'Thanks.' Daniel said sincerely.

Jack turned towards the door. 'Oh, hey. I looked in on Carter. Can you sneak her some jello later?'

Daniel nodded. 'Sure.' Janet had confined Sam to the infirmary for observation given her knock on the head.

'You know she likes the red, right?' Jack said innocently.

'Yeah,' Daniel drawled, 'not falling for that.'

Jack tapped the door, offered a smirk and disappeared, loping away with an easy grace that spoke of his ability as a fighter.

Daniel turned his attention back to his books. It had seemed like a good idea when he'd started but he was beginning to wonder if he shouldn't just put them back where he'd had them in the first place; Jonas hadn't actually moved anything as far as Daniel could tell.

His eyes settled on one stack of mission journals. He picked up the top one and opened it.

'This is my first mission as a member of SG1. Perhaps I shouldn't be writing this journal. Some might argue that it's disrespectful of Doctor Jackson but I believe continuing his practice is a way of honouring his work and honouring the man I only knew for a short time. He saved my people. I only hope that I can make the same kind of difference one day as he did, and while I know I can never replace Doctor Jackson on SG1, I hope to one day find my own place...'

Daniel set the journal back down. He should probably check whether Jonas wanted the journals shipped to Kelowna. They were his property. Daniel frowned as he wrestled with the urge to keep reading.

'Daniel Jackson.'

Daniel smiled at Teal'c, grateful for the interruption. 'Hey.'

'Would you care to join me for our evening meal?' Teal'c asked. The Jaffa didn't say anything about the office being in complete disarray and Daniel might have been fooled into thinking he hadn't noticed at all if not for the way Teal'c's eyes carefully stayed on him.

'Sure.' Daniel sighed. He could come back and sort everything later. He walked over to join Teal'c in the corridor and closed the door behind him.

They walked in comfortable silence to the mess, grabbed their food and headed to the usual table to eat.

Daniel sprinkled salt over his non-descript stew and took a bite. He grimaced.

'Does it taste of chicken, Daniel Jackson?'

Daniel's eyes snapped up to meet the Jaffa's. 'Funny.'

Teal'c inclined his head but there was a smile drifting over his lips.

'Actually, I'm not certain,' Daniel poked his fork at the meat, 'but I think this might be chicken stew.'

Teal'c raised his eyebrow. 'Nyan and I are meeting to watch a film later if you would like to join us.'

Daniel shook his head. 'I told Jack that I'd check in on Sam.'

Teal'c's dark eyes gleamed with approval but he didn't say anything and Daniel was pleased at the lack of a 'I told you so.' It was weird, Daniel mused, but since he and Sam had talked it out in the rubble, he couldn't really remember why he'd been so reluctant to talk to her.

Daniel wondered briefly at Sam's conviction that he had visited Teal'c during his Ascension and whether to say anything to Teal'c. He shrugged the thought away; if Teal'c had needed to discuss it with him, he would have said something.

'I was thinking about seeing Cassie at the weekend.' Daniel murmured.

'She will be pleased.' Teal'c said warmly.

'I'll talk to Janet and get it organised.' Daniel said, scooping up more of his stew. 'You want to come with me?'

'I would enjoy the opportunity to visit with Cassandra Fraiser.' Teal'c replied.

'Good, because I was hoping you would drive.' Daniel smiled as Teal'c's eyebrow lifted again.

They finished their meal discussing the merits of the film Teal'c was planning to watch and it wasn't too long before Daniel found himself walking out of the elevator and towards the infirmary with a bowl of blue jello.

'Daniel!' Janet's call had him halting mid-corridor and turning around.

Her heels clicked sharply on the concrete as she made her way to him, holding a clipboard tightly to her chest. 'I was hoping you would stop by,' Janet began.

'If this is about visiting Cassie I was just coming to see you.' Daniel remarked lightly.

Janet smiled. 'It is and you were?'

Daniel nodded. 'I thought Saturday?'

'Sounds good.' Janet said. 'You want to stay for dinner?'

'That would be great.' Daniel said with feeling, remembering the dismal meal he'd just had.

'Then it's a date.' Janet beamed at him briefly before her wording registered in her own mind and she blushed. 'I mean, not a date but...'

'It's OK,' Daniel hurried to assure her, 'I understood what you meant.'

Janet smiled back at him sheepishly.

Daniel held up the bowl. 'Uh, I'd better...'

'She's in ward four, round the corner; second door on the right.' Janet said, taking a step away from him to head in the opposite direction. She gestured with her clipboard at him. 'Don't stay too long; she needs rest.'

It was a short walk to the ward and Daniel slowed as he heard voices. His brow creased as he recognised the male voice drifting through the open door. He took a step inside the room and hovered uncertainly.

'Daniel!' Sam spotted him and grinned as she motioned at the visitor sitting on her bed. 'Look, who stopped by!'

Jonas raised the hand that wasn't constrained by his sling. 'Hi.'

Daniel closed the distance to the bed and raised the bowl he held. 'Jello?'

Sam took it from him eagerly. 'Great. You would not believe the stew I had for dinner.'

'Oh, I could probably guess.' Daniel said mildly. He folded his arms around his chest and looked over at Jonas. 'Back already?'

Jonas gave a shrug. 'The Joint Ruling Council agreed that we should request an informal and ongoing alliance with Earth to share information about the Goa'uld.' He smiled again. 'I was nominated to make the trip and present our request to General Hammond.' He pointed at Sam. 'He told me what happened so I thought I'd come and see how Sam was doing.'

Daniel felt vaguely guilty that he'd made Jonas explain. 'It's good to see you.' He remembered the journals and cleared his throat. 'Actually there was something I wanted to talk to you about?'

'Sure. I should probably be headed back for the gate room anyway; my bodyguard is probably getting restless.' Jonas slid off the infirmary bed.

'Bodyguard?' Sam teased.

'Tell me about it.' Jonas caught hold of her free hand and gave it a squeeze. 'Take care.'

'You too.' Sam said firmly. 'Don't be a stranger.'

Daniel touched her leg gently. 'I'll come by in the morning and grab you for breakfast?'

Sam smiled at him. 'Thanks.'

Daniel led the way out the infirmary. They were clear of the ward before he spoke. 'She really means it you know.'

Jonas looked at him inquiringly as they got to the elevator and Daniel pressed the button to call it.

'The 'don't be a stranger.'' Daniel clarified as they got into the compartment. 'She really means it. I know she misses you, and so does Teal'c.' He pushed his hands into his pockets. 'He told me earlier, and I quote 'your taste in movies is distinctly lacking compared with Jonas Quinn, Daniel Jackson.''

Jonas laughed and leaned back against the far wall.

'And I know Jack will probably never say it but...' Daniel shrugged.

The Kelownan crossed his arms over his t-shirt. 'I'm sure I'll be by with the alliance negotiations if the President approves the request.'

'He'll approve it.' Daniel said confidently.

'Because of our naquadria.' Jonas said knowingly.

'So,' Daniel said brightly, 'how goes it on Kelowna?'

'It's OK.' Jonas said with a touch of defensiveness. 'I mean, it's not like the welcome back you received. Not everyone's happy to have me back.' He gave a sad smile of resignation. 'And it's not like I had a choice really.'

The doors opened and they exited the elevator.

'Apart from the Council, they've put me in charge of the science projects again though which is pretty exciting.' Jonas said with enough enthusiasm that Daniel could tell it was genuine. He glanced at Daniel. 'I'm hoping to do better this time.'

Daniel followed him into the gate room and Jonas looked up at the control room and gave a thumbs-up signal to Walter Harriman who nodded in acknowledgement.

The gate began to spin. It was dialling Kelowna, Daniel realised.

A slim redheaded woman marched across the room dressed in Kelownan military uniform. 'Professor Quinn.' She barely glanced at Daniel. 'Are we returning to Kelowna now?'

'We are.' Jonas motioned at her and back at Daniel. 'Senior Officer Terra, Daniel Jackson. Daniel Jackson, Senior Officer Terra.'

Daniel exchanged a small nod of hello with the woman as the wormhole erupted. To her credit, she barely reacted.

Terra looked up the ramp and back at them. 'I'll leave you to say your goodbyes.' She said diplomatically. She walked swiftly away and disappeared into the blue puddle.

'The thing that I wanted to talk to you about,' Daniel said quickly, 'I found your journals.'

'Ah.' Jonas looked at him quizzically.

'I wondered if you wanted them back,' Daniel expanded, 'I mean, they're really your story of what happened during your time here and...'

Jonas cut him off shaking his head. 'They belong here.' And Jonas didn't anymore.

The silent addendum hung between until Daniel broke their eye contact. 'OK, then.'

'Say hi to Teal'c and Jack for me.' Jonas said. He turned towards the wormhole. He was half-way up the ramp when Daniel called out to him. Jonas looked over his shoulder with a questioning look.

'Don't be a stranger.' Daniel repeated.

Jonas gave a quick smile and started walking again. The wormhole swallowed him up and a moment later evaporated leaving an empty space in the centre of the Stargate.

Daniel made his way out slowly. He hovered in the elevator unsure which button to press, whether to return to his office and sort through the mess there. He finally headed for his quarters. The room hadn't changed much in the days since Jack had first shown him into it. The furniture was still uncluttered with personal affects; the walls were bare of anything that had personal meaning to him.

Daniel crossed to sit on the edge of the bed and picked up the picture of Sha're. He thought again of Jonas; of the other man's admission that not everyone had welcomed him home, of how he would have preferred to stay if he'd had a choice. Daniel wondered if there had been a choice in how he had returned from Ascension. Had he chosen to come back or had he been forced to return like Jonas? One thing was for certain; he'd been welcomed.

He touched Sha're's image almost reverently. 'I still feel like there's something important I should be remembering,' he said aloud, 'only I can't. But I know one thing;' he sighed and placed the picture down on the bedside table, 'I'm home.'


In the dark corner of Daniel Jackson's quarters, an invisible Oma Desala felt the air stir beside her and tucked her robes closer. She didn't need to turn her head to know it was her sister, Morgan Le Fey.

'You did the right thing helping him to return to his mortal form.' Morgan said comfortingly.

'He thinks he can fight Anubis this way.' Oma sighed unwilling to be comforted. 'I may have simply returned him to a certain death.' She glanced over at Morgan when she remained silent. 'No lecture this time, sister?'

Morgan tilted her head; her dark tresses remaining confined in their chignon. 'Perhaps, Oma,' she smiled as she looked down at Daniel Jackson's sleeping form, 'perhaps, he may just surprise you.'



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 12th, 2010 06:34 pm (UTC)
Yeah more Aftershocks
Excellent as always. Thanks for addressing Daniel's return and how Sam must have felt. You really made me consider the frustration Daniel must have felt with the amnesia and his return. I look forward to more :D

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )




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