Series: Five Things
Prompt: Five Times Daniel Sat Alone in a Dark Room
Author's Note: Mentions of Daniel/Sha're, implied Daniel/Vala. Originally written for sg1-five-things.
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended. Written for entertainment purposes only.
Daniel isn't used to living in a house anymore. The walls feel too constraining; restrictive. He wanders out of Jack's spare room and back into the main den. He sits down in the dark room, presses himself up against the French windows until the glass is hard against his skin and stares up the night sky.
He longs for the tent he shares on Abydos with Sha're.
Sha're who has been taken by the Goa'uld and who he may never see again. No. He can't think like that. He will get her back. He will find her.
Of course, he has to find some way of convincing everyone to let him back through the Stargate first.
"Daniel?" Jack's voice is low but firm; curious. Somehow Jack has sneaked up behind Daniel without him noticing it. "You OK?"
Jack hums. Daniel lets himself be prodded away from the glass, ushered into his coat and outside to the viewing deck Jack has on his roof. Jack settles into the comfy chair and Daniel slumps to sit beside it with a gratitude he can't quite express.
He doesn't quite know what to make of Jack. Are they friends? Daniel's not sure. He's grateful though that Jack has invited him home; has given him a place to stay; is giving him someone to talk to, lean on.
"The 'scope's calibrated to Abydos." Jack pauses. "I think. Anyway, if you know, if you want to look."
"I don't want to be looking through a telescope." Daniel blurts out unhappily. "They're never going to let me go through the 'gate again, are they?"
Jack sighs. "We'll see, Daniel."
Yeah, that meant no.
Jack poked Daniel's shoulder. "Nobody wanted you going through the first time but it didn't stop you convincing us all you should." He reminded him.
And that was…Daniel could work with that tiny sliver of hope.
Daniel appreciates having his own office more than he can ever truly express to anyone.
His place to hide.
And he's hiding right at that moment. The room is dark and he's on the floor in the far corner from the door, his fingers tight around a picture of his wife that Sam had given him after the first mission in the sweet but awkward way she has. He loves Sam for making the effort; it's the only picture he has of Sha're.
It's only been hours since he's last held Sha're again in his arms, scented her hair, tasted her lips.
But the child she had carried had been born and Amaunet had returned taking Sha're away from Daniel again.
He knows he should get up, go and find Sam and Jack and find out what happened in Washington but he can't move.
There's a knock at the door and a moment later, Teal'c is suddenly in the office.
His Jaffa team-mate walks around to where Daniel is sitting and lowers himself gracefully to the floor to sit beside him.
Teal'c doesn't say anything but he doesn't need to; Daniel knows he's offering his support, his companionship – whatever Daniel needs.
Daniel knows that most people don't get why Daniel likes Teal'c (shouldn't he hate the guy who kidnapped his wife and handed her over to be a host?) but Teal'c is as much a victim of the Goa'uld as Sha're. There's also the fact that it's hard to hate someone who has saved your life; who has dedicated his to redeeming his past by helping to save the rest of the universe from the Goa'uld.
He doesn't quite know how to explain this sitting in the dark brooding over whether he'll ever see his wife again; the metaphoric analogy he's making in his head of darkness and lack of light at the end of a tunnel.
But as Teal'c continues to simply sit beside him, Daniel realises he doesn't have to explain; he's not alone in the dark anymore and maybe that's the important thing.
There's no time to sit in a dark room all alone when Sha're dies. Mostly because Jack and Sam are always around, and Teal'c too once they talk after the first rush of grief is over. The dreaming Sha're sent him through the hand device doesn't dull the pain of losing her but it does mean that Daniel finds he can't quite bring himself to blame Teal'c for taking the shot that killed Sha're and saved Daniel.
It's almost seven months later that it happens – when Jack has stopped inviting him back to his place for pizza and beer; when Sam doesn't hover uncertainly in his office at strange times asking for help on projects he knows she's already on top of; when Teal'c has stopped watching him in case Daniel decides to try and punch him (and Daniel thinks the worst thing is that Teal'c would let Daniel punch him which is one of the reasons why he doesn't do it).
It's not even his office he breaks down in; it's Sam's (because maybe he had known it was coming and he'd tried to stave it off by going and asking for Sam's advice on something he's already on top of).
She's gone for the day and her lab is dark except for the blinking multi-coloured lights on some equipment on the wall opposite. But the green and the red blinks don't stop Daniel for spiralling down and before he knows it, he's crammed into a corner sobbing his heart out.
It's almost surreal when he feels a warm hand on his shoulder and looks up through blurry eyes to find General Hammond looking down at him with a warm compassionate gaze. He squeezes Daniel's shoulder and before Daniel's quite aware of how it's happened, he's hustled off the floor, out of the lab, through the SGC and into the sanctuary of the General's office.
When he comes back to himself, there's a glass of bourbon in his hands and the General sits in the chair next to Daniel rather than behind his desk. He doesn't say anything though; just sits quietly, lending Daniel a comforting presence.
"Does it get any easier?" asks Daniel eventually. Because he knows the General lost his wife and maybe he's the only one who can answer him.
"I'd like to say yes," the General says kindly, "that what everyone tells you is right; that time heals the wound and life moves on. And it is to some degree but…nothing changes the fact that she's gone and you miss her, that there's a part of you missing because she's gone."
It's the most truth anyone has said to him since Sha're died. Daniel nods his head, sips his bourbon and finally lets himself grieve.
Daniel wanders around the SGC until he finds a room in the infirmary. He crawls into the corner, draws his knees up to his chest and presses his hands into his tired eyes.
A nightmare had woken him.
Or maybe a memory.
He hopes a nightmare because he really doesn't want to think the horror of drug withdrawal is something that's actually happened to him. Daniel's pretty certain he's not the type to take drugs – maybe some weed back in college, and OK, he can see himself accepting strange pipes around a campfire as part of an anthropological sharing of different cultural experiences but hard-core drugs that withdrawal necessitates being restrained to a bed?
That's not him.
At least Daniel doesn't think so.
Except there are so many holes in his memory…
This was the reason why he had wanted his past to stay unknown. Yet after his talk with Sam, he'd wanted to know Doctor Daniel Jackson and so here he was.
The dark of the room comforts him; the medical equipment shadowed and hidden.
"Daniel?" Janet Fraiser's dry voice drifts across from the partially open doorway.
Daniel blushes; Janet's found him curled up in three different infirmary rooms on three different nights so far. She crosses the room and sits down beside him, arranging her skirt and medical coat to cover her legs properly.
"I dreamed I was tied to the bed." Daniel blurts out.
Janet laughs, warm and deep as Daniel groans and drops his head back against the wall. "Oh, really? Is this something you should be sharing with your doctor?"
"I was in withdrawal?" Daniel says hesitantly.
"Sarcophagus withdrawal." Janet nods. "That wasn't pretty." She explains the mission that went wrong in short hand and the aftermath.
"Wow." Daniel says as the memory slowly unfolds in his head, snatches remembered from his dream and more slowly seeping in around the edges. "You know in a strange way, it's kind of comforting to know I screwed up, that I can screw up."
Some of what he's been remembering is kind of intimidating; Daniel Jackson – he – is kind and generous in heart, compassionate and passionate about understanding and tolerance and doing the right thing. It's a lot to live up to.
It's a good thing that he's actually dreamed – remembered – something that suggested he has flaws, although in retrospect he has a feeling that his decision to leave the SGC and SG1, to ascend, was also something of a screw-up.
Janet nods. "Come on; you have a perfectly good bed in your quarters and I have my rounds to do."
He lets her walk him home but as she makes to walk away he stops her remembering something else from his dream – memory. "I think I hurt you?"
Janet shrugs and smiles. "You apologised a long time ago, Daniel. Besides," she takes a step back, "I diagnosed you as crazy one time by mistake and had you locked in a padded room so I think we're even. 'Night!"
Daniel blinks as she disappears from view and shakes his head. She keeps finding him sitting alone in dark rooms like he does that a lot. If he'd been her, he would have diagnosed Daniel as crazy a long time ago.
One good thing about the Prometheus is that there are a lot of good places to hide, lots of storage rooms and little nooks and crannies that everybody forgets about.
As soon as they've dropped Teal'c at the nearest planet with a working Stargate so he can gather Jaffa intelligence on the debacle with the Supergate, Daniel decides to avoid another awkward conversation with the new shiny leader of SG1, Cameron Mitchell, and hide in a storage room.
It seems to be just be filled with a completely random selection of junk for no apparent reason. He sits in the dark and tries to make heads and tails out of his thoughts.
Vala Mal Doran is gone.
Something – maybe the echo of the bond they had shared for a long while (the bond she had forced upon him) – tells him she's survived the Supergate collapsing back into the Ori galaxy. Vala's a survivor; she'll survive.
Maybe if Daniel tells himself that enough, he'll believe it; forgive himself for dismissing her when she'd tried to talk with him; he feels mean for thinking poorly of her and reminds himself again that he has no right to judge her.
He also feels mean for not forgiving her for ruining his Atlantis trip.
And he mostly feels guilty for blaming Vala for what they'd done together in dragging Earth into a war with an enemy that outmatches them on every level.
The door cracks open and Sam slips inside.
Busted, Daniel thinks. His family know him too well, and of course if anyone was going to find him, Sam would be the one since she designed the ship and there's no nook or cranny she doesn't know about.
Sam looks around the storage closet with something that looks like nostalgia before she pulls up a seat next to him.
"Want to talk?" Sam asks, in the same hesitant awkward way that she had once given him a picture of Sha're.
He's always loved her for being the kind of person who makes the effort anyway even though she isn't the best with people (years of skipped grades during school and being years younger than your classmates takes its toll on social skills and Daniel can relate – he's not entirely certain his own skills wouldn't be atrophied if he hadn't decided to do the anthropology degree and learned how to fit in – and even then he's not always successful when the culture in question is twenty-first century America).
Daniel shakes his head.
Sam slides an arm around one of his and hugs it. "It's not your fault, Daniel."
"It's a tiny bit my fault." Daniel replies after a while.
"If it hadn't been you and Vala using the communication device it would have been someone else." Sam says logically. "And it's not the first time that we've taken on a supposedly unbeatable enemy. We did OK the last time."
Neither of them mentions the losses that they've sustained achieving victory.
"We were SG1 last time." Daniel says after a long silence.
Sam hums. "Maybe we should take Cam up on his offer then."
Daniel doesn't know if it's the fact that she's said 'we' not 'you' or the notion of falling back into the familiarity and safety of SG1 but it has him blinking back tears. He shuffles around so he can hug Sam properly.
Daniel can work with that tiny sliver of hope.