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Fanfiction: Gift from the Gods

Fandom: Stargate SG1
Summary: When Sha're makes it to Cimmeria, Gairwyn looks upon her arrival as a gift from the Gods. 
Rating: PG-13
Author's Notes: Written for Women of the Gate Ficathon 2011.  Ostensibly gen but background Daniel/Sha're and Gairwyn/OMC.  Prompt was Gairwyn & Sha're friendship. AU. Sha're somehow makes it to Cimmeria (with or without Amaunet) and meets Gairwyn. Gen. Thanks to Sky for the beta.
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended. Written for entertainment purposes only.
Award: Gatefic Award Winner 2011 Daniel-Sha're Category

Gift from the Gods

The Jaffa who brought the news of Apophis's capture by Sokar died a slow agonising death under Ammonet's hand.

Sha're watched, tucked away in the back of Ammonet's mind, her horror blunted from a year and more of seeing worse; enduring worse. Once she would have spared a moment of revulsion for the violence of the death, a moment of sympathy for the Jaffa's terror. Sometimes, she feared she had grown brittle and cold; that the Goa'uld had somehow stolen her humanity along with her body.

Ammonet was too furious to notice Sha're's quiet thoughts; the Goa'uld's were a chaos of anger and fear. Apophis had sent her away into hiding when Sokar had made his move on their territory. Ammonet had protested but Apophis had insisted. Sha're believed that Apophis loved his Queen in his own twisted fashion; felt Ammonet's obsession and devoted loyalty to Apophis so much that it sickened her when she found her own thoughts swayed by those feelings.

The time during her pregnancy had reminded Sha're of who she was though; who she loved. It had helped her get a better understanding of what had happened to her when Ammonet had taken her as a host almost overwhelming her sense of identity; gave her the knowledge of what she could do within the confines of her own mind, and what she could not.

She could think for herself. Ammonet had rifled in her mind after the prisoners – her Daniel and O'Neill – had escaped from Chulak but Daniel had in truth told her little of Earth. Ammonet had been disgusted at Sha're's part in Ra's downfall even if the Goa'uld had been gleeful at it at the same time. But apart from that, Ammonet did not care about Sha're; her thoughts were ignored as meaningless chatter; background noise the Goa'uld tuned out.

She could influence the Goa'uld. Rarely. She could slide in a whisper among the Goa'uld's own thoughts as though she was Ammonet's inner voice. Sometimes it worked. It had worked in the pyramid as they had left Abydos when Sha're had convinced Ammonet that there was no-one hiding in the shadows to keep Daniel and the Jaffa safe. In the aftermath of her pregnancy, she had found she could whisper more; that Ammonet never suspected it was Sha're's voice.

She could not free herself. She was still trapped inside her own body, unable to move it. She could not close her eyes, forced to see what Ammonet saw. She could not stay her hand when Ammonet lifted it to kill. She could not turn her head away when Ammonet and Apophis kissed or took each other as man and wife; using her body and that of Apophis's host.

Sha're could not forget her shame in lying with another man regardless that it had not been her choice to do so. On Abydos, if a woman was forced into sex by someone other than her husband she was considered blameless, but too often Sha're had seen wives discarded by their husbands as tainted in the aftermath. When they had met on Abydos during her pregnancy, her Daniel had told Sha're there was nothing to forgive; that he loved her. She held that thought close to her; let herself be comforted and warmed by it.

Sha're shook away her feeling of impotence. She sensed Ammonet's fear under the cascade of anger. Apophis was in Sokar's hands. She was no longer safe. Sha're knew Sokar would have no mercy for Apophis's Queen and less for her host.

She listened in as Ammonet discarded one idea (trying to establish an army to fight Sokar and rescue Apophis), and another (hiding with her small honour guard exactly where she was – a location that Apophis would no doubt give up immediately).

'What about the child?' Sha're slid the thought in between others. 'The boy is Harcesis. Powerful. With the child, anything would be possible.'

Sha're waited as Ammonet considered the new thought positively. The Goa'uld had no maternal feelings for the child but she smarted at the loss; at her perceived failure to keep the child for Apophis.

By contrast, Sha're loved the child she had borne. Perhaps she'd had no choice over his conception but she had carried him for months; had nourished and protected him. He was of her body; her blood. She wanted her child back.

Ammonet was leaning favourably towards going in search of the boy.

Sha're insinuated herself again into the Goa'uld's thoughts on where to start. 'Heru'ur; he had stolen the boy. The place to start was with him.'

The thought triggered another round of ranting as Ammonet insulted Heru'ur's lineage, manhood and everything in between.

Sha're waited. 'Where had Heru'ur hidden him? Where had Heru'ur gone that he would believe no Goa'uld would follow?'

'Cimmeria,' Ammonet immediately replied, 'it was forbidden to go there. But Heru'ur had gone; they had received reports.'

'Cimmeria.' Sha're repeated. 'I should go to Cimmeria.'

For a second, Ammonet froze as though she suspected something was wrong.

'If Heru'ur could go and return unharmed, then surely a Queen of her intelligence and beauty could go?' whispered Sha're.

Ammonet nodded sharply. 'Yes. Yes.'

Sha're retreated as Ammonet whirled and gave orders. They were going to Cimmeria.

o-O-o

Gairwyn kept a light hold on the reins, letting the horse walk the familiar trail. She breathed in deeply, enjoying the scent of pine and dirt; the fresh breeze that lifted her brown hair and brushed over her worn face. The aches in her body; the strain across her back, in the muscles of her arms and legs went unnoticed. She was used to hard work and there was much to be done in rebuilding what had been lost during the Etin's invasion some months before.

The practical side had been the most urgent to be tended. Homes had been lost; fields of harvest and gardens with planting destroyed. The Asgard teacher, Hedda, had helped them enormously, using the God's superior technology to cut down wood, to create glue and nails, to grow food like magic.

Initially, everyone had been thankful of the Asgard's presence; grateful that their God had heeded their plight and come to their rescue. But the truth was that many had died before Thor had arrived and the knowledge that the God was indeed a living breathing being had unsettled some as practical issues had been resolved and the time for grieving had arrived. Hedda had retired to her chariot in the sky although Gairwyn had been granted a stone by which she could call Hedda whenever she was needed.

For herself, Gairwyn was simply grateful. She had lost her husband and brothers, but her daughter, Anka, and her son, Johan, lived. She took solace in them. But she could not deny that she felt lonely, bereft. She wished her dear friend Kendra had survived. She wished so many more had. She let the tears flow with the sting of the breeze; she could blame it for making her cry.

She brushed her face as she neared the Portal. Olaf, who had assumed the mantle of leader, had decreed that a guard should be set, although Hedda had assured them that Thor's Hammer had been restored and no Etins could enter their lands. Gairwyn agreed with him. They could no longer just rely on their faith in the Gods.

Olaf had been hinting in the past weeks that he and Gairwyn should enter a formal bonding. Gairwyn had demurred, citing an appropriate period of mourning for her husband Stefan. She had been lucky with her family's choice of husband for her. Stefan had been kind as much as he had been broad. He had supported her training in swordsmanship; her riding; her physical prowess. He had been as proud of her for those accomplishments as he had for how she ran the house and cared for their children. He had been a good man; a friend.

Olaf was a good man too but Gairwyn knew he took a traditional view of women, and she was not certain that she wanted to bond with someone else. Johan was almost in his sixteenth year; Anka in her twelfth. Gairwyn had always taken an active role with her people especially those in the lands held under Stefan's stewardship but her role in finding Thor, in being the one to talk with Hedda, provided her with a unique position as a leader; a Wise Woman. She believed she would rather stay as such than bond again.

She sighed, knowing that such a decision would inflict a wound on Olaf's ego. It would be best to continue to demur until Olaf either lost interest – there were plenty of young women left widowed by the Etins who he might find attractive – or she was forced into a decision.

The path opened up into the clearing and Gairwyn dismounted, leading the horse the rest of the way. She took a moment to admire the Hammer; the cracked and broken stone once again repaired as though it had never been damaged.

The men on guard duty waved at her as she approached. She unloaded the basket of food and drink, handing the reins to the closest male – Leif.

'Thank you, Lady Gairwyn.' Leif blushed brightly, almost turning as red as his copper hair.

'There is no need to call me Lady, Leif.' Gairwyn said kindly. The boy was only in his seventeenth year with barely any muscle developed in his young shoulders to wield the sword strapped to his back.

She handed out the casks of ale and the sweet honey oatcakes. She was almost done when the Portal suddenly sprang to life. Gairwyn nodded at Leif to let the horse go; it galloped away into the forest.

Gairwyn hid with the men behind the wall their friends from Midgard had helped them build. They crouched low. Peter, the eldest, signalled to the scout in the trees. If necessary, the alarm would be sounded allowing the people to run for the safety of the caves once more.

Her heart pounded unevenly as the crystals in the Portal lit up and the rush of not-water flowed outward before settling into the middle. The surface rippled, oddly hypnotic. Gairwyn licked her dry lips and glanced to her right where Leif crouched, his young face white with nerves, the freckles standing out prominently.

A woman walked through onto the steps; dark-haired, dark-eyed, skin the colour of lightest brown, stunningly beautiful in an outfit that left her midriff exposed, flimsy skirts revealing her shapely legs. But it was the hand device on her left arm that turned Gairwyn's stomach; she was an Etin. The Portal winked out behind her and the Etin turned, alarmed. When she turned back, there was a sneering look of arrogance on her face.

Gairwyn grabbed at Leif and Peter; the Hammer would save them. As though she had called it into action, blue light shot out of the stone and surrounded the woman before whisking her away, leaving nothing behind but a swirl of dust and leaves on the top of the steps.

'Was that…?' Peter stammered out. His face was drawn; he had lost a wife and a son to the invasion of the Etins.

'It was.' Gairwyn stood, her mind racing. 'Thor's Hammer worked. We are safe.'

'But the Etin…' Leif pointed with a trembling finger to the steps. 'Where did she go?'

Hedda appeared suddenly beside them; her strange alien body causing the men's eyes to go wide and for them to avert their gaze at her nakedness. 'The Goa'uld has been transported to the labyrinth. I took the liberty of shutting down the Stargate before her troops could travel through.'

The men looked to Gairwyn to reply.

'Our thanks, Hedda; to you and Thor.' Gairwyn answered sincerely.

Hedda's large black eyes blinked. 'The host will have need of care if she survives.'

Gairwyn nodded sharply. Hedda had informed her that she had unsealed the cave when she had restored the Hammer. 'I will go. I will make camp outside of the place so she may find me easily when she leaves. Kendra showed me the way when we sealed the cave.'

Hedda bowed her head and was gone; disappearing into thin air as though she had never been. One of the men gasped in shock.

Gairwyn allowed a small smile and patted his arm. 'Rest easy, Jorg, my old friend; it is the God's way.'

Jorg swallowed hard. 'My Lady, you should not go alone.'

'I will be fine.' Gairwyn was already reaching for her empty basket, her mind turning to the preparation she would need to do, the care she would have to organise for her children. She raised her fingers to her mouth and whistled loud and sharp for her horse; it came walking slowly from the tree-line. 'Thor be with you.'

'And with you.' Leif said fervently.

Gairwyn grinned. Kendra had once made her way through the labyrinth and survived. If this woman did…Gairwyn would be there to befriend her. Perhaps this was the God's way of sending her a friend to ease her loneliness. She reached for the horn of her saddle and mounted, turning back to the forest.

o-O-o

Red light surrounded Sha're and filled her vision; her mind.

The pain was excruciating. Pins and needles of fire everywhere on her skin; raking through her flesh; gnawing into her bones.

Ammonet was screaming in Sha're's head. And with every scream, Sha're gained a tiny, miniscule amount of control over her body. She held Ammonet within the archway; refused to let her move a step back to save herself. Sha're had heard the message too when they had landed in the labyrinth. She knew she would be free from the Goa'uld if she could just be strong.

She had to be. She had to find her son. Her baby. Had to save him from his fate. She was his mother and she was all he had.

'Die,' she thought viciously at the weakening Ammonet, 'die, demon, and leave me.'

What was shocking was that Ammonet did what Sha're commanded. The Goa'uld gave one last scream and was gone.

Sha're's body was shockingly and abruptly hers again. Her knees buckled and she collapsed forward landing heavily. She fought for breath. Her muscles trembled. She felt so weak. Hunger pained her belly. Her lips and mouth were dry. There had been a freshwater lake within the labyrinth and the Goa'uld had drank deeply but that had been hours, perhaps days before. Sha're had lost track of the time they had been trapped.

She crawled through the dust, leaving the archway behind until she hit the cave wall, dragging herself to her feet to stagger along. It opened up and she stumbled into the outside.

Cold frosty air swamped her. Sunlight so bright it hurt her eyes. She smelled smoke and roasting meat nearby but couldn't turn her head to look. It was too much sensation after the dark of the labyrinth; after feeling everything second hand for so long. She gasped and felt her vision greying.

The world tilted and went black.

When she opened her eyes next, she saw the canvas of a tent above her head. For a long moment, she thought she might be on Abydos in the tent she shared with Daniel; the Goa'uld's possession of her no more than a nightmare. But as her eyesight sharpened, she knew the material was different to that used for the Abydos tents, but it was not Goa'uld and she breathed out in relief.

She lifted a hand – she could lift her hand! – and rubbed at her forehead; her head ached as though she had sneaked too much of Father's wine. Images and thoughts tumbled through her; some she recognised from her past, others she did not. She trembled under the heavy swathe of blankets and burrowed into their warmth.

'You are awake, child?' A brown-haired, handsome woman moved into Sha're's eye-line. She was dressed warmly; a grey tunic over similar coloured leggings and a wine-red cloak, fastened with a gold brooch.

Her eyes were kind but Sha're inched back warily.

'You are with friends.' The woman said understandingly. 'You are safe here on Cimmeria. The demon within you is gone.' She placed a hand on Sha're's arm and gently squeezed. 'Rest, child. I will get you something to drink and eat.'

Sha're reached out and grasped the woman's hand before she could move away. She pointed at her own breast, remembering her peoples' first meeting with Daniel. 'Sha're.'

The woman placed a hand on her own chest in response, smiling widely. 'Gairwyn.'

Sha're let go. The broth Gairwyn brought her was plain and Sha're thought longingly of the spices she had used daily on Abydos. But it was nourishing and warming; she drank two bowls hungrily, mindful of Gairwyn's admonishment not to eat too fast, until her stomach was appeased. The drink was a fruit juice of some kind, almost too sweet, but it tasted good.

Her body felt heavy and lethargic afterward. Sha're yawned suddenly. Her eyes widened in mute apology at Gairwyn and she covered her mouth hastily.

Gairwyn patted her hand. 'Rest, Sha're. We will remain here until you are strong enough to travel to the settlement.'

The feeling of being safe and looked after overwhelmed her. Sha're felt tears sting her eyes and she tried to turn away to hide her weakness from the other woman. Instead she felt a hand on her shoulder, clasping it warmly, comforting her.

'My son.' Sha're sobbed, feeling the ache of missing her child again. 'I need to find my son.' And her Daniel. He would help her search; she knew it. He had forgiven her; he loved her.

Gairwyn's hand tightened on her shoulder. 'We shall help you.'

Sha're hiccupped as her sobs diminished. She felt the pull toward sleep, toward oblivion and welcomed it.

o-O-o

It had been three days since Gairwyn had carried the young woman into her make-shift tent. It had not been an easy three days. For the first two days, Sha're had been weak and needed care; her mind was sometimes confused. She had babbled in a language during her sleep that Gairwyn could not understand.

But they had made progress. Earlier that day, Sha're had been strong enough to dress and do simple chores. She had eschewed the leggings with a blush, accepting the gift of a long tan skirt, belted cream long-sleeved tunic and brown cloak. Gairwyn had been pleased that Sha're had changed out of the strappy gold sandals and accepted the sturdy boots Gairwyn had brought.

Gairwyn had also been pleased to find that Sha're knew how to gather and tend the fire; that she also knew how to skin, gut and cook an animal. She had also gathered fruit, berries and herbs; listened when Gairwyn instructed her in which ones were dangerous and which were safe.

She was pleased to find she liked the young woman although they had not conversed much. Sha're was quiet. Remembering Kendra's pain at her former existence, Gairwyn could only imagine what Sha're must be feeling.

Gairwyn grasped the stick she held tighter and prodded the fire. The night was cold. Sha're huddled beside her, pulling the thick cloak tighter, a strange smile twisting her lips. She flushed as she realised she had caught Gairwyn's regard.

'I am sorry.' Sha're said apologetically. 'I was remembering my home. The nights are sometimes as cold as this there.'

Gairwyn could see Sha're set her jaw tensely. She tilted her head, intrigued. 'Tell me of your home.'

'My home,' Sha're's voice cracked on the word, 'is called Abydos. My Father, Kasuf, he is the leader of our people. We are a simple people; farmers and miners. Our settlement is near to the mines and the old catacombs.' She breathed in deeply and stared into the fire. 'We have two Suns. There are few trees; few plants. There is sand, yellow dust, everywhere as far as the eye can see.'

'I cannot imagine it.' Gairwyn said amazed.

Sha're smiled. 'Before I was taken from I could not imagine a world like this; so many trees and green!' She shook her head. 'My husband once told me his world was much the same.'

'You are married?' Gairwyn asked tentatively.

Sha're nodded, her face solemn in the firelight. 'He did not forsake me despite the demon inside of me. When I was with child, the demon slept and I was myself again. We spoke then and he…he still loved me.'

'The child was his?' Gairwyn probed delicately.

Sha're shook her head and looked away from Gairwyn. 'The demon had control of my body; she lay with Apophis, her mate.'

The tone was bitter and hurt. Gairwyn winced. Rape was a crime among her own people. To force a woman or man to bed was not accepted in The Law.

'But my husband…' Sha're smiled tremulously. 'He did not turn away from me.'

'He is a good man.' Gairwyn surmised. She tucked her own cloak closer as a cold chill caught her.

'He is kind and honest.' Sha're sighed. 'He searches the stars for me and for my brother who was also taken; to save us from the Goa'uld. I will find him again.'

'You spoke before of the child?' Gairwyn's heart went out to her. The thought of losing either of her own children was like a knife to her heart; she sensed Sha're's pain.

'At his birth, Ammonet – the Goa'uld – came forth again.' Sha're said harshly. 'I could only see through her eyes but he was taken by a Horus guard; Jaffa loyal to Heru'ur.'

'The Etin who attacked us.' Gairwyn realised, recognising the name as one spoken by her friends from Midgard when they had arrived to help.

'Was there a child with him?' Sha're asked hopefully.

Gairwyn shook her head. 'I do not know. But all that he brought was taken by Thor. When we reach the settlement, I will call to Hedda, the teacher Thor left behind, and ask.' She hadn't wanted to bring the stone with her in case there was an emergency at the settlement. She had given it to Olaf's sister to look after.

Sha're looked at her confused. 'Who is Thor?' Wariness coloured her tone.

'He is one who stands against the Etins.' Gairwyn said firmly. 'He belongs to a race of people much different to us. He and his kind protect Cimmeria. The Hammer is one of his gifts.'

'Then I shall have to thank him.' Sha're said. She gestured toward Gairwyn. 'This must be the reason why Cimmeria is forbidden to the Goa'uld.'

Gairwyn tilted her head thoughtfully. 'It is?'

'Yes.' Sha're shifted on the log. 'And what of you and your home? What can you tell me?'

'There is not much to tell.' Gairwyn said. 'My husband was killed by the Etins. I have two children, a boy and a girl. They are both strong and healthy.' She let her gaze drift back to the fire. 'We lost many when Heru'ur attacked us.'

'The Goa'uld enslave and kill.' Sha're said coldly. 'It is what they do.' She shuddered, her fingers clenching around the edge of her cloak. 'I have seen worlds burn and children,' her voice cracked again but she took a breath, 'children slaughtered on the whim of the demon.'

Gairwyn could not stand against Sha're's pain; she reached out and grasped Sha're's hand. Her own coarse fingers rubbed against Sha're's soft palms, over the new scratches from her afternoon foraging.

Her heart ached a little with disappointment because she knew Sha're would not stay on Cimmeria as Kendra had done. Sha're would speak with Hedda and would leave to find her husband and child. Gairwyn could not fault her for doing so even if she was sorry that their tentative friendship would not last more than a few days.

Gairwyn thought wistfully of going with Sha're. Perhaps if she had been younger, without the responsibilities to her people and her children she might have followed Sha're through the Portal, Gairwyn mused. But Sha're's talk of her son had prompted a longing for her own children; to put her arms around Anka and feel Johan's growing muscles under her hand. Gairwyn suddenly missed her husband fiercely; his strength and his comfort, the way he'd smile at her; the way he knew her.

They would head to the settlement tomorrow, Gairwyn determined. Sha're still had a chance to find what she had lost; the Gods could not deny her it.

o-O-o

Sha're was certain that travelling upon the tall animal was not a good idea but it seemed churlish and too like Ammonet to complain. It chilled her to think that anything of the Goa'uld remained within her. She purposefully did not think about the kaleidoscope of memories and knowledge that swam through her head nor of the nightmares and horrors that haunted her sleep.

She was herself again, Sha're thought with determination. She had survived. If the race of beings that Gairwyn called Gods were as benevolent as she claimed, if they could help Sha're return to Abydos and find Daniel…find her son…Sha're could claim her life back.

She shivered at the thought and refused to acknowledge the fear that her life would never be the same again. That Daniel no matter how much he loved her would ever be able to accept her as his wife again; live with her on Abydos in the swirl of sand and heat, love each other under the stars. That there was a child now; a boy she had carried who held all the knowledge of the Goa'uld; who was such a terrifying thing to others that he would be feared and killed before she could find him, protect him.

The sight of the settlement did little to ease Sha're's concern. The people believed she was an Etin and despite Gairwyn's reassurance that they had already known a woman like her, accepted her into their community, she wondered if she were to be shunned. Her heart began to pound as they entered the main square, people flowing out of the long wooden structures to greet them.

Gairwyn leaped from her horse and hugged a girl to her. Her daughter, Sha're surmised, seeing the resemblance in the shape of the face and the wide smile. A boy hovered behind the girl and Gairwyn reached over to tug him complainingly into the embrace. The men laughed behind them. Sha're's heart missed a beat as she looked on at the reunion.

She stayed motionless, hoping that people would disperse and forget about her. Eventually though their attention turned to her and the crowd noise slowly dwindled and died. Gairwyn offered her hand and Sha're took it, climbing down from the horse with competence born more of an overwhelming desire not to make a fool of herself than any innate ability.

'This is Sha're of Abydos. Thor's Hammer has freed her of the Etin she carried unwillingly!' Gairwyn announced in a loud voice that carried.

Sha're blushed at the cheer. She noticed which among them approached and welcomed her, which held back. She wondered whether Daniel felt the same panic at so many people coming forward when they had done the same to him on Abydos.

Gairwyn's arm was suddenly around her, providing protection. 'All, there will be plenty of time to get to know our new friend.' She squeezed Sha're's shoulders. 'Come.'

Sha're allowed herself to be led into the house eagerly. She looked around, curious. The smoke from the fire-pit in the centre filled the inside, its grey tendrils clear in the daylight filtering through the opening in the ceiling. The walls were lined with wide benches covered with animal skins and woollen blankets; for sleeping, Sha're realised. Herbs hung in among the nooks to ward off insects and pestilence; deal with unwelcome aromas. Wide tables took up much of the space, benches and chairs placed around them. Women were cooking; chopping vegetables and meat. In one corner, children were bent to parchment. Sha're's heart swelled with emotion as she recognised they were practicing writing. Even with Ra's death, she could not forget that she had once been banned from making a mark on the ground or a wall or a piece of paper.

Gairwyn took her over to the women and introduced her. Sha're noticed how Gairwyn took one blonde haired girl aside and whispered something in her ear. The girl ran off and Gairwyn nodded in satisfaction.

'Let us go to my home.' Gairwyn said. 'We will return for the meal.'

Sha're glanced around in confusion. 'This is not your home?'

'We built this just after the Etins left.' Gairwyn explained. 'It is the old way but it housed many of us instead of a few. Each of us has rebuilt our own homes with the help of Thor and Hedda.'

Sha're felt a twinge of discomfort. The Goa'uld pretended to be Gods; were the beings called Thor and Hedda any better?

'We use the building now for community and it houses those who would otherwise live alone.' Gairwyn continued, seemingly unaware of Sha're's concern.

Sha're followed Gairwyn across the square to a much smaller building. She was ushered through the door and given a tour by Anka while Gairwyn went to see if Johan had dealt properly with the horse. A room similar to the communal hall had two smaller rooms through openings to the back. One had a wide low bed; one had two small beds. All had wooden chests at the end of them. Each was piled high with blankets.

Gairwyn arrived back. She looked determined as she entered and Sha're felt a frisson of worry that Gairwyn had changed her mind about helping her.

'I have retrieved the stone by which I call Hedda.' Gairwyn said after dismissing her daughter. She placed a small white oval object on the table. 'We can wait until the morrow if you would prefer to rest.'

Sha're shook her head. As much as she felt welcomed, the urge to run home to her father was great; to be enfolded in his embrace, to rub her cheek against the scruff of his beard, to inhale the scent of the spice and desert in his clothing. 'I would like to meet her now.'

Gairwyn nodded and tapped the stone. It glowed briefly. Suddenly, a figure appeared beside Gairwyn.

Sha're shrank back a step but raised her chin and halted. She was the wife of Daniel, slayer of Ra; the daughter of Kasuf of Abydos. She would not cower like a child. Her eyes still widened though at the sight of the small grey being, with an enormous head and eyes, stood beside her new friend.

Asgard.

The name whispered through her mind and Sha're shivered. For a moment she worried that she and Ammonet had simply exchanged places but no; she had felt the Goa'uld die. The voice was a remnant; that was all.

'Sha're, this is Hedda.' Gairwyn stepped into the silence. 'Hedda, Sha're. She is in need of your help.'

Hedda blinked. 'She is free of the Goa'uld.'

Gairwyn explained succinctly about Sha're's situation while Sha're struggled with her fear of Hedda and her uncertainty.

Hedda turned to her. 'There was no child with Heru'ur and I believe the timing is wrong. Heru'ur attacked Cimmeria long before the birth of your child.'

Sha're sank onto one of the wooden chairs, dismayed. The intelligence had seemed so certain. Her hands clenched tightly into fists. She would have to find Heru'ur among the stars but where did she start?

'Your son was conceived from the mating of two Goa'uld hosts?' Hedda asked.

Sha're nodded stiffly. 'He is Harcesis.'

'Yes.' Hedda's small mouth closed in an unhappy purse of non-existent lips. 'He will die without intervention. His human mind cannot handle the evil of the Goa'uld alone.'

'Can you help him?' Sha're asked promptly.

'I can block the knowledge within his mind but…' Hedda blinked at her. 'You must realise he will not be safe on your home planet. He will be hunted all his days by the Goa'uld. No Harcesis has ever lived before. It is entirely possible if Heru'ur kidnapped the boy he is already dead.'

'No!' Sha're said fiercely. 'He is not dead.' She banged her chest. 'I would feel it. I will find him.' But she deflated a little. 'But then where can I go?' She was his mother, Sha're thought; she was meant to protect him but her experience as a host had left her only too aware of her impotence in the face of their power.

'You could stay here.' Gairwyn said firmly. 'As long as we have Thor's Hammer, we are protected from the Etin. They will not come and if they do they will be sent to the labyrinth as the Etin inside you was sent.'

'It is a solution.' Hedda agreed.

Sha're swallowed hard. 'It is not that I am not grateful but I need…I need to talk with my father and with my husband and…'

'And you want to go home, child.' Gairwyn said understandingly.

'You do not remember the address?' Hedda asked.

'It's…fragments; pieces.' Sha're admitted. 'I never went through the chappa'ai before I was taken by Apophis and…my husband showed me but I cannot remember anything but the symbol for my world!'

Hedda's eyes stared at her unblinking. 'That will be enough. Show me.'

Sha're drew the symbol on a piece of parchment Gairwyn fetched. If watching others write made her heart pound, writing herself was terrifying. Daniel had taught her during their marriage but she had felt safe with him beside her. She slowly marked the page with the charcoal Gairwyn handed her.

Hedda hummed and took the parchment and charcoal. Her face was smooth but Sha're could see the barest bemusement at what Hedda no doubt considered primitive implements. Sha're's lips twitched and she looked up to find Gairwyn with a similar look of amusement. The two human women looked at each other gleefully before turning back to Hedda sharply as she slid the parchment back to Sha're. There was a neat line of seven symbols written across the bottom.

Gairwyn organised a fresh horse. Sha're was tired but determined to leave; the sooner she spoke with her father and Daniel, the sooner she could start looking for her child. The trip to the chappa'ai was quiet and Sha're was grateful when it came into sight. Anticipation and longing swept over her; she was going home.

They walked to the pedestal to enter the symbols. Gairwyn placed a hand on her arm as Sha're made to touch the first one, and pressed a small canvas bag into her hands. 'These were on your body when you came out of the cave.'

Sha're peeked inside the bag and shuddered at the sight of the Goa'uld hand device and the healing device. She thrust them back at Gairwyn. 'I have no need of them.'

'Not even of the healing device?' Gairwyn asked. 'My friend Kendra was able to heal many.'

Healing. Sha're had not considered that. Perhaps she could use the healing device and help to heal others. She nodded jerkily. 'I will take it but not the other.'

Gairwyn nodded in agreement. 'Perhaps my friends from Midgard will take it.'

Sha're reached out and gently hugged a surprised Gairwyn. 'Thank you.' She whispered. 'For everything.'

'You are welcome.' Gairwyn said, her strong arms hugging Sha're back tightly. 'You are always welcome here, Sha're.'

They smiled at each other and Sha're shifted to touch the first symbol; it lit up.

The whole ring activated abruptly. Sha're's eyes widened in fright. Someone was coming through the chappa'ai!

'Come!' Gairwyn dragged Sha're behind a wall with the guards. Sha're kept her head down, hearing the wormhole engage as Gairwyn peeked over the wall. There was a distant ripple and sounds of boots against the steps.

Gairwyn slapped her shoulder and grinned widely. 'It is our friends from Midgard!' She stood without further explanation and strode out from the wall, calling a greeting.

Sha're blinked. She had thought Midgard was another settlement on the planet not another world altogether. She stood slowly and froze at the sound of a baby crying. She turned to look at the steps, her heart racing, unable to catch her breath.

The four people on the steps stilled as they caught sight of her.

And suddenly, Sha're was running, running…

Daniel, her Daniel in green Earth clothing, his arms around her and…

they were holding each other, laughing and crying…

until Sha're's eyes fell to the babe in the arms of the tall blonde woman she vaguely recognised; it was her son.

The woman, Sam, recalled Sha're absently, transferred the child to Sha're's arms, and Daniel brushed a kiss across Sha're's forehead, his large hand moving to hold the baby's small fist. She felt her soul snap back into place. It was not Abydos but she was home.

Sha're looked for Gairwyn, and grinned at her friend joyfully.

fin.

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
aurora_novarum
Jan. 11th, 2011 08:28 pm (UTC)
Wow this was a beautiful story, rich with details of both these women's diverse cultures. I would get so engrossed in Sha're's story, I cursed when it switched to Gairwyn's, but then would get so involved in Gairwyn's story, I wouldn't want to leave her to return to Sha're!

I love how well you wove the canon into the stoyr and how you twisted the threads to make this perfectly plausible AU of what/how might have happened.

I love the friendship that you showed growing so organically between these two women.

I just absolutely loved this story.
shena8
Jan. 11th, 2011 08:58 pm (UTC)
I always liked the Cimmerians. It was nice to read a story about them. And I really liked Hedda!
rachel500
Jan. 12th, 2011 08:23 am (UTC)
Thank you! I liked Hedda too (in fact she may one day get her own story)!
rachel500
Jan. 12th, 2011 08:23 am (UTC)
Thank you for the great feedback! I'm really pleased you loved it so much.
normaltrouble
Jan. 18th, 2011 03:26 am (UTC)
So lovely!
I love AU Sha're' stories. And Gairwyn, what a perfect choice, what believable circumstances.

I especially appreciate the happy ending.

rachel500
Jan. 18th, 2011 10:18 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for the lovely feedback!
sg_fignewton
Jan. 12th, 2011 07:11 am (UTC)
adfljl490475lkopAf%$dfg ::thud::

This was my prompt and OH WOW, I absolutely love what you did with this!

Sha're quietly prodding Amaunet and making her think Sha're's insinuations were her own thoughts. Gairwyn making camp and quietly waiting for Sha're to make it through the hammer. Their mutual friendship and respect and oh, this was just wonderful!

I do kinda sorta wish that Gairwyn and Sha're never actually found out that Midgard=Earth and that the Daniel that Gairwyn knows is the Daniel that Sha're married. But it makes sense that Hedda would make the right connections and bring the Tau'ri to Cimmeria.

And wow, the Asgard have the power to remove genetic memory, not just an Ancient download? Whew.

Thank you for this wonderful story! It's everything I could have hoped for. :D
rachel500
Jan. 12th, 2011 08:29 am (UTC)
It's always good to know that the person who left the prompt liked what I did with it! And thank you for the great feedback.

With genetic memory I think the Asgard would have more experience as they must understand how to transfer memory and remove it from one clone to another. So I think in a universe where Ammonet doesn't take the baby to Kheb, the Asgard (or the Nox) are probably the only ones with the knowledge to help him.

Thank you for the great prompt! I had a lot of fun with it and I may play in this AU again (as to my mind Sha're ends up living on Cimmeria and raising her child there so...plot bunnies!)
sg_fignewton
Jan. 12th, 2011 11:11 am (UTC)
Yes, indeed, that's pretty implicit in the story - that the Harcesis will be safe. And talk about AU - no Oma!

I would LOVE to see more of this. :)
rachel500
Jan. 12th, 2011 01:58 pm (UTC)
Yes, no Oma!! Which is why I then get fascinated with the AU because does Daniel actually die after Kelowna? And what does that mean for Sha're...see plot bunnies!!

You never know. Maybe one day.
beatrice_otter
Jan. 12th, 2011 10:46 am (UTC)
Yay, Sha're! I love fics where she gets her just deserts.
rachel500
Jan. 12th, 2011 01:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Glad you liked it.
(Deleted comment)
rachel500
Jan. 13th, 2011 06:37 am (UTC)
Thank you for the lovely feedback! And you never know - I may come back to it one day!
sg_fignewton
Sep. 7th, 2011 03:58 pm (UTC)
I had the pleasure of reccing this. :)
rachel500
Sep. 8th, 2011 07:52 am (UTC)
Thank you!
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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