Just a Small Experiment - Part Thirteen 


When Jack didn’t return to his office in a reasonable amount of time after being summoned away by General Hammond, Teal’c decided to bide his time. He knew O’Neill had figured out something was coming; relief was more than apparent on the colonel’s features when he was told of the base commander’s desire to speak with him. The Jaffa went instead to have an early lunch, then made his way to the infirmary.

By the time Teal’c got to the medical hub of the base, the midday meal was being served to the few patients under the staff’s care. He nodded his greetings as he passed the laid-up men and walked over to the CMO’s office, giving the door a respectful knock. He entered when he was bid to do so.

“Teal’c,” Janet greeted with a touch of surprise in her tone. “Is there something I can help you with?”

“I believe there is, Doctor Fraiser,” Teal’c replied. “Would it be possible for me to speak with Daniel Jackson? I have not spoken with Major Carter as I was awaiting O’Neill’s return from a meeting with General Hammond, so I do not know if she has completed her conversation.”

“She’s been done for a while, actually. Things went well enough from what she told me.” Janet smiled smugly. “I just came back from speaking with Colonel O’Neill. There were a few things that needed to be said. They probably should have been said a while ago.”

A dark eyebrow rose. “Indeed. So does this mean you have taken him to task for his poor attitude regarding young Daniel and Daniel Jackson?”

The doctor’s smile grew. “Yes, on both accounts. And I’m willing to bet money they heard parts of it from the elevators. I think I got through to him, though. It shouldn’t be necessary to hurt him.”

The corners of the Jaffa’s mouth twitched upward. “I am pleased to hear that. I was not looking forward to having to cause O’Neill harm, although my actions would likely have been what was best for him.”

Janet just laughed. “It probably would have been,” she agreed. “Now, about Daniel,” she continued after her chuckles subsided, although her smile never left. “He’s eating right at the moment, but as soon as he’s finished it should be fine to pay him a visit. Just remember to watch what you tell him, and be careful not to overwhelm him. I have a feeling he’ll let you know when he’s had too much, but I thought I’d warn you all the same.”

“Thank you, Doctor Fraiser,” Teal’c said with an inclination of his head. “I shall return in half an hour.”

“That should be fine.”

As promised, Teal’c returned to the infirmary a half hour later, and was given permission to talk with Daniel. The Jaffa swiftly went to the isolation room and knocked, going inside when he was given permission.

Daniel sat on his bed and stared at his new visitor as the large man came over to stand by the bed. This was someone he’d never seen before. “Hello,” he said quietly, gesturing to the bedside chair.

Something inside Teal’c twisted painfully at the lack of recognition in his friend’s eyes, but he hid it behind his usual stoic exterior. “Greetings, Daniel Jackson,” he returned after seating himself and taking a subtle deep breath. “You look well.”

“Well enough, I guess.” Daniel hesitated for a moment then went on. “I take it we’ve already met,” he said with a note of resignation in his tone.

“Indeed. I am Teal’c, and you and I have been friends and teammates for many years.”

Daniel sighed. “I wish I could tell you I remember that, but I can’t. I’m sorry.”

“There is no need for you to apologize. I am aware of your amnesia. I merely wished to inform you of our previous relationship so you would understand why I would come to see and speak with you.” Teal’c paused for a moment, his jaw muscle twitching as he kept his emotions under control. “I had not thought to be able to do so again after the last time we spoke. I am glad I was mistaken.”

“I guess I am, too,” Daniel said with a weak little laugh. It quickly died. “I want to remember, Teal’c. I really do. But right now, if I really do still have all my memories, they’re just a blurry, jumbled mess.”

“You will regain your memories, Daniel Jackson,” Teal’c assured him with confidence. “It will only take time.”

Daniel narrowed his eyes slightly as he watched the Jaffa. “You seem so sure,” he said softly.

Teal’c gave him a tiny smile. “You have been through many things in the time I have known you. You have always persevered; you will again. It is a part of your very nature.”

The brown-haired man shook his head. “I wish I could be as confident about my nature. I’m afraid I don’t know myself very well yet.”

“And you are unsure if you wish to reacquaint yourself to your previous life and personality,” Teal’c said, picking up on the man’s slight hesitation.

“I guess so,” Daniel replied, surprised. He cocked his head a bit to the side. “I had to explain that to Sam. How did you know?”

“I am Jaffa,” Teal’c said simply. “I have been trained to look for the smallest signs that can reveal another’s hidden motivations.”

Daniel drew back slightly. “Why would you need that kind of training?”

Teal’c hesitated, then realized the question his friend didn’t ask. “Do you remember the Jaffa?” he asked, a blossom of hope coming alive in his heart.

“The Jaffa?” Daniel repeated, puzzled, his brows furrowing. “Well… it never occurred to me to ask who they were. I guess I just… knew, somewhere inside. You… you’re an alien, aren’t you? You come from another planet? From somewhere on the other side of the stargate?”

“You are correct,” Teal’c assured him, proud of the memory Daniel seemed to have recalled. The little light of hope grew.

Daniel let his eyes fell shut as he tried to follow the new line of thought. “The Jaffa… follow the Goa’uld,” he said slowly. “They… carry the Goa’uld larvae until they’re mature enough to be implanted, and… that gives them an exceptional immune system and lifespan.” There was a long silent moment, then the descended archaeologist blew out an explosive breath, his eyes springing open. “I can’t get any more,” he said in frustration. “Was I right?”

Teal’c inclined his head briefly. “You have remembered correctly, Daniel Jackson.”

Daniel sighed again, his eyes turning sad. “But I didn’t remember anything about you in particular,” he said apologetically.

“I believe you shall in time, my friend. You have just proven that the memories reside within you.” This time Teal’c gave him a larger smile. “You shall return to us whole of mind and spirit as well as body. Of this I am certain.”

“Yeah,” Daniel whispered, a smile of his own appearing. “I guess maybe I do have a chance.”

“That you have always had in your possession, Daniel Jackson. Know that I and the rest of your friends here will assist you in any way possible. You have only to ask.”

“That means a lot, Teal’c. Thank you.” Daniel’s smile fully formed. “I’m feeling better, I think.”

Teal’c’s eyebrows rose. “Then I am glad to have helped you feel this way.”

Daniel just nodded as his expression dimmed somewhat, a little lost in thought. A moment later he returned his attention to the figure seated next to him. “Doctor Fraiser told me we were close friends before… this. I don’t doubt that in the least. I want to apologize for the pain I must have caused when I…” The brown-haired man sighed as he thought of what little Jack had told him about his departure. He still didn’t really understand it all. “Left,” he finally concluded. It felt rather lame.

Teal’c clenched his jaw against the sudden surge of emotions the reminder of his dramatic loss brought about. “Again, there is no need to apologize. You did what was necessary.”

“I wish I could be sure.” Daniel shrugged. “Maybe in time.”

“Do you wish me to give you time to consider what you have remembered?” Teal’c asked after a brief moment of silence.

Daniel took a deep breath and released it. “Maybe you should. Maybe if I just… meditate on it or something I’ll come up with more.” He met Teal’c’s gaze. “I want to come up with more.”

Teal’c nodded once. “I am aware of your desire, Daniel Jackson. The rest of your friends share it. I will leave you to your contemplation. May I return at a later time?”

Daniel smiled. “Of course,” he said simply.

Teal’c rose to his feet and gave his friend a small bow. Without another word, he exited the isolation room, Daniel watching after him with a grateful expression.

* * * * * * * *

Jonas stood in the observation deck above Daniel’s isolation room and stared down with wide eyes. The man’s DNA relieved the Kelownan’s self-imposed duty; Doctor Jackson had returned to finish his own work. There was his home planet to consider, however. The Goa’uld were still very much a threat to its safety, whether the Kelownans had accepted that fact or not. They’d never know, of course, not as long as Jonas was considered a traitor there. But it was a purpose. And Jonas would always know.

There was no telling if it would be enough, though, nor what his role in protecting Kelowna would be. Daniel Jackson’s return left Jonas feeling totally out of place. He wasn’t foolish enough to think he’d be able to remain on SG-1; he’d known from the beginning he was more of a place-holder than a true member of the team. But he’d begun to think otherwise recently, especially after he’d defended Doctor Jackson and SG-1’s actions on Abydos to Telane. He finally felt like Colonel O’Neill had started to consider him one of them, a real member of the team and a valuable contributor to the SGC and its mission. But now…

Jonas sighed. Now he was just another displaced alien living off the charity of the people of Earth. He was adrift, and he really wasn’t comfortable with the feeling. What was he going to do with himself?

He never noticed when Sabrina entered the room and stood just inside watching him. Janet had called her, worried, when she found out where Jonas had disappeared to and asked her to make sure he was all right. The psychologist wasn’t sure she wanted to make a call on that quite yet. The despair she could sense rolling off him in waves was almost physically palpable.

“We don’t know if that’s really Daniel Jackson,” she finally said quietly.

Jonas jumped at the sound of her voice and spun to face her. “I didn’t hear you come in,” he replied after a beat to recover from the shock.

The black-haired woman smiled gently. “You looked a little caught up in your thoughts, so I’m not surprised.” She gestured at the viewing window. “I’ve been told the Asgard haven’t responded yet, so we don’t know if that’s really Daniel Jackson.”

Jonas shrugged. “We don’t know if he’s not.”

“Will it truly matter one way or the other?”

“I suppose not,” he said with a sigh. “I know where I really stand now.”

Sabrina’s eyes narrowed as she stepped further into the room. “I hope you’re talking about being a valued member of SG-1 and the SGC,” she said slowly.

Jonas’ eyes grew sad. “Daniel Jackson is the valued member of SG-1 the others really want on the team. I’ve always known that. Now that he’s back… most likely,” he added quickly when he saw the automatic protest forming on Sabrina’s lips, “he’ll be back where he belongs.”

Sabrina sighed. There wasn’t going to be a quick fix for this one. “Come get a late lunch with me,” she suggested. “Let’s get your mind off of this.”

Jonas looked at her for a long moment then nodded, his shoulders drooping slightly as he allowed himself to be led away. Neither one of them looked back.

* * * * * * * *

Sam noticed a thoughtful look on Danny’s face when she was laying him down for his nap that afternoon. They had lingered with Jack in the commissary after they’d all finished eating, and had seen Jonas and Sabrina come in just as they were getting ready to leave. Jonas had looked sad, and Sabrina sympathetic and determined, both expressions setting off small alarm bells in Sam’s head. She couldn’t help but wonder if Danny had seen the same things.

“Is there something bothering you?” she asked gently as she pulled the blanket up to the little boy’s shoulders.

Danny hesitated for a moment. “Is Jonas sad?” he eventually asked softly. “He looked sad.”

Sam sighed internally. He had noticed. “You’re right, Jonas did look sad. I don’t know for sure, though. I haven’t talked to him since yesterday morning.” And that thought made her feel a bit guilty. Daniel coming back would impact everybody, Jonas in particular. Why hadn’t anyone considered that?

“Why would he be sad?”

“Oh, Danny, it’s hard to say,” Sam answered. “Jonas took Daniel’s place on SG-1, so he might not feel like he has a place here with Daniel back. But I don’t know for sure.”

“Oh, I see,” Danny said, his brows creasing as he considered it. “Does he have a place here with Daniel back?”

“Of course he does,” Sam replied immediately. “Jonas has been a very important member of SG-1, and the SGC. That doesn’t stop because Daniel’s back.”

Danny nodded, a small smile of satisfaction forming on his lips. “Then Sabrina will tell him that, and so will you and Jack and Teal’c, and Jonas won‘t be sad anymore.”

Sam couldn’t help smiling in return, even though she wasn’t as confident. “We certainly will try. Now, I think you should get to sleep.” She rose to her feet, then leaned over and kissed the boy on the forehead. “Sweet dreams.”

Danny smiled. “Thank you, Sam,” he whispered. He then closed his eyes and quickly drifted off to sleep.

Sam watched him for a long moment before leaving to return to a project waiting for her in her lab. She could only hope Danny was right.

* * * * * * * *

Jack had a hard time returning to his paperwork after he left Sam and Danny. They’d had a good time, even though the kid hadn’t said much. Of course, the fact that he’d said anything at all with Jack around, even talking to Jack on a few occasions, was just shy of a miracle. Sam was doing a great job with him.

After finishing the latest batch he’d undertaken, Jack decided to work off some of his tumultuous emotions in the gym. An hour or so of work and sweat should do wonders. Or so he hoped. It certainly couldn’t hurt.

The colonel had been at it for a half hour or so when Lieutenant Colonel Louis Ferretti came into the gym in his workout clothes. “Hey, Jack,” Lou said as he straddled the free weight bench next to Jack. “Is it true Daniel’s back?”

Jack sat up after resting the two hand weights he’d been using on the floor. “The base grapevine is getting better all the time,” he grumbled, frowning slightly. “It hasn’t even been twenty-four hours since we pieced things together.”

“So it is true,” Ferretti said with a small smirk. “I knew nothing could keep that guy down.”

“Oh, hold your horses,” Jack growled. “He doesn’t remember anything from before two months ago. And considering the tiny version Carter’s taken under her wing we can’t be sure the big version we’ve got is the real thing. Hammond’s sent out messages to the Tok’ra and the Asgard to see if either one of them can help clear things up.”

“But DNA tests came back positive,” Ferretti persisted.

Jack sighed. “Yes, the DNA is a match. And actually…” the man’s eyebrows creased as he considered his next point clearly for the first time, “he said that things around here felt familiar, that they felt right.”

Lou smiled. “Hey, that’s a good sign, Jack. I doubt a clone would get that kind of feeling. Especially if he didn’t have any memories.”

Jack nodded slowly. “Yeah, I guess so. I’m still a little hesitant to just accept that he’s Daniel, though.”

The other man shrugged. “You’ll get there, especially if Daniel comes up with some memories. My gut says it’s really him, just so you know.”

“You haven’t even seen him,” Jack protested mildly. He respected gut feelings for the most part. They’d saved his butt more than once in the field.

“No, but something in the air is different, better.” Lou shook his head and tossed the towel that had been draped across his shoulders onto the floor. “Sounds hokey, I admit it, and maybe I just want it to be Daniel. Can’t shake the feeling, though.” He stood and examined the bar and its weights. He made a face and grabbed the hand weights Jack had abandoned. He laughed at the frown his actions produced. “Hey, just because you decided to quit…” He started to do arm curls while Jack rolled his eyes.

“So how’s SG-10 doing?” Jack asked. “I heard Barnett might have screwed up his back on your last mission.”

Ferretti shook his head. “Fraiser cleared him, but I think he’ll be gun shy for a little while. I’m hoping we end up with a few easy runs until he shakes it.”

Jack shrugged. “What are the odds of that? Just don’t coddle him too long.”

“I know, I know. But I don’t want to lose him; he’s been a good fit. He’s managed to balance his work on base and in the field, and that’s saying something. Ever since Daniel…” Lou cut himself off and cleared his throat. “Well, things just aren’t the same in that department.”

“Hey, Lou,” Jack began after silently watching his friend for a few moments, “can you keep this stuff about Daniel under wraps for a while? I mean, as much as you can anyway. Daniel doesn’t need anymore pressure to remember than he’s already under, and if he finds out a bunch of people are asking after him…” He let his words trail off with a shrug.

Lou paused in his workout and gave the older man an understanding smile. “He’s my friend, too, Jack. I’ll do what I can to slow down the grapevine. Just…” He shrugged. “Let me know when he’s ready to see me. I missed him, too.”

Jack smiled and stood, scooping up his towel from the workout bench as he did. “You bet, Lou. As soon as Fraiser gives the okay.” He gestured toward the dumbbells the other man was holding. “Since you confiscated those things, I’ll let you put them away. I’ll talk to you later.” His smile flashed into a grin, and the silver-haired man walked away. Lou just watched him go with a low chuckle and a shake of his head. Yeah, Jack would be all right.

* * * * * * * *

Jack returned to his office after his workout, unconsciously watching out for Teal’c as he did, and sat in the silent room thinking. Fraiser had been right; it was time to stop wallowing in self-pity and start helping his friend completely come back to them all. The scenario that made the most sense was that this really was Daniel back from Oma-land, un-glowy and all flesh and blood. The lack of memory was some kind of lame punishment - but something was still there, at least if the SGC seemed familiar somehow. Which meant the rest was there, buried. And it could be unburied.

Those memories would return, especially if Daniel was focused on making them come back. Jack frowned. Daniel would have to want those memories back to focus on that goal. And he was currently sitting in an isolation room dressed in a drafty hospital gown - well, okay, scrubs - and surrounded by nothing but sterile hospital walls and equipment. While Daniel had certainly spent plenty of time in the infirmary, and even a decent amount of time in those isolation rooms, Jack was equally certain those weren’t the kinds of memories anyone would want to have back first. If he really wanted to encourage Daniel’s memory, shouldn’t Jack get him into a better, homier place? There was no way Fraiser - or Hammond, for that matter - would let Daniel off the base, but there had to be something…

Suddenly Jack grinned. He knew what he could do. He just had to have a little chat with the doc to figure out the soonest they could make it happen. The colonel jumped to his feet and headed off to the infirmary.

* * * * * * * *

The nurse had just taken Daniel’s empty dinner tray away when Doctor Fraiser came into his room with a wide, gentle smile. “How was supper?” she asked, stepping over to the bed and examining the cut on his forehead.

“Fine,” Daniel said as he flinched at the touch. The injury was still slightly tender.

“That’s good.” Janet made a note on the man’s chart at the end of the bed, then turned back to face him. “Well, it turns out that besides that cut, you’re in perfect health, although you should really wear those glasses,” she announced. “I really don’t have any good reason to keep you in my infirmary any longer.”

Daniel’s brow creased in confusion as he reached over to put on the eyewear as instructed. “And what does that mean?”

The door opened once again and Jack walked in carrying a pile of clothes. “It means I get to break you out of this joint,” he said lightly. He handed over the pile to the confused younger man. “It’s just a jumpsuit and T-shirt, along with some socks and underwear, but at least it’s not scrubs.” The silver-haired man shrugged and placed the pair of boots that had been under the cloth on the floor next to Daniel’s feet.

Janet couldn’t help but grin at the astonished look on Daniel’s face. “The colonel here was kind enough to set up a room for you so you don’t have to stay in the infirmary. We thought you might feel more comfortable.”

“Okay,” Daniel murmured, staring down at the clothing he held. He brought his head back up and looked at Jack. “I’m sorry I was so short with you when you came to talk to me earlier. I just had a lot of information to take in and…”

“Don’t worry about it,” Jack dismissed with a wave of his hand. “I overreacted. Like you better with the glasses on, by the way. You want to get dressed so I can show you your new residence?”

Daniel blinked. “Um, sure.” He looked at Janet. “I’m really all right?”

The doctor nodded. “All my tests came up clear. I’m still working on a possibility for your amnesia, assuming the cause isn’t what we talked about earlier, but that’s going to take some more in-depth digging.”

“That makes sense.”

“We’ll give you some privacy to get changed and be back in five minutes,” Janet told him, grabbing Jack by the arm and dragging him out of the room.

As promised, five minutes later, the two returned, Daniel having changed into the clothes he’d been given and looking much more like the Daniel Jackson they remembered. Janet promised to have Daniel’s blue robes cleaned and delivered to his new room then shooed the men off. Jack gladly led the way, watching out of the corner of his eye as Daniel looked around in subdued awe at their surroundings.

The expression created a couple of different emotions in Jack. On the one hand, it was somewhat painful that he didn’t remember the place he’d spent so much of the five years before he’d ascended. On the other hand, it was great seeing that familiar look of curiosity and awe that Daniel tended to wear when he walked into a new situation. It had been far too long since Jack had seen that, far too long even before Oma had helped Daniel reach that higher plane of existence. It occurred to Jack that maybe that was one of the reasons he had resented Jonas for so long. Jonas had been a lot like Daniel had been in the beginning, eager and curious, if more willing to follow orders.

Those thoughts took the pair to the door of Daniel’s new room, where Jack quickly shook off the thoughtful mood and used his ID to unlock the door. Throwing the door open, he watched as Daniel calmly moved into the room then stop a couple of steps inside when he saw all the artifacts decorating the place.

Jack stayed in the doorway. “It’s not exactly home, but we unpacked some of your stuff.”

Daniel moved over to a dresser on the right hand wall and picked up a thick wooden mask faded with age. “You kept all this even though you thought I was dead.”

“To be honest we tossed out a ton of junk.” Jack had to fight back a grin when Daniel’s head snapped back to look at him. “Okay, okay, we didn’t really throw out all that much. Just stuff we were absolutely sure wasn’t valuable. This is only a small part of what’s in storage. There’s no way I could have fit everything in here.”

Daniel shook his head and smiled slightly as he wandered over to the foot of the bed, where the leather satchel he’d been wearing when he came to the SGC was lying. He’d heard a note of fondness in the older man’s voice, and it somewhat surprised him how good it made him feel. “Someone cleaned this up. I remember it was caked in mud last I saw it.”

“You can thank Teal’c for that,” Jack said, taking a step into the room. “When I told him I was setting up this room for you, he insisted on it.”

“I’ll be sure to do that,” Daniel muttered, then drifted around to a nightstand where a picture of Sha’re sat.

“I kept a few of your personal things alive there,” Jack said softly when he realized what had captured his friend’s attention.

Daniel picked up the picture and looked at it closely. “I know her.”

Jack’s eyes narrowed slightly. “Really?” he asked in a forced neutral tone. He squashed down the feeling of hope that insisted on bubbling up at the remark.

Daniel sighed. “I mean, I must, right? You wouldn’t have put her picture by my bed if I didn’t know her.” He shook his head. “Something’s there, I just can’t see it.”

“Don’t beat yourself up so badly,” Jack told him, suddenly understanding the struggle the other man was going through. Daniel really did want to remember, but he couldn’t yet, and it was frustrating the hell out of him. “Your memories aren’t just going to reappear in a puff of smoke and a roar of applause.”

“That’s quite a turnaround,” Daniel said after a long moment, turning around to face Jack.

“What do you mean?”

The younger man’s eyebrows rose. “When we talked this morning, you didn’t seem to understand what was going on with me, or want to hear me when I tried to tell you.”

Jack shrugged. “I told you, I overreacted.”

Daniel nodded. “I know.” He considered the other man. “I think I’ll just say thank you for reconsidering everything. I appreciate the support.”

Jack sighed. “Look, Daniel, I’m not good with emotions, and even worse with expressing them. You’re right, I reconsidered everything, and figured out I’d been an ass. You and everyone else deserved better than that. So here we are. And you’re welcome.”

“Okay,” Daniel replied, the corners of his mouth twitching upward.

“Is there anything else I can help you with here, or should I just leave you to think things over?”

Daniel smiled. “Well, I know I’m supposed to try to remember things on my own, so I guess I’ll be okay here.”

Jack returned the expression and gestured to the picture frame Daniel still held. “I don’t think it’ll take you long to remember her, by the way. Just so you know.” He winked and withdrew, closing the door behind himself.

Daniel merely shook his head at the closed door. After a moment of further contemplation of the woman in the picture, he replaced the frame on the nightstand and searched through one of the bookshelves in the room. He grabbed a volume that caught his eye and laid down on the bed to read through it, feeling the best he had yet about the life he was still learning about.

* * * * * * * *

Three hours later Daniel started awake, sitting up sharply and catching his breath. Out of instinct he reached for the picture on the bedside table, grabbing the glasses that had fallen off his face in his sleep with his other hand and putting them back on. He had been right; he did know her. And even better, he remembered her.

He just had to share this news, had to let his friends know the memories were really there and starting to come back. Clinging to the picture, he flew to the door, yanking it open and coming to a complete and sudden halt at the sight of the airman stationed on the other side.

“Is there something wrong, Doctor Jackson?” the man asked, startled himself by the unexpected appearance.

“Um, no, no, nothing wrong,” Daniel stammered before collecting himself. “Are you here to keep me from going anywhere?” he asked a bit warily.

“No, sir,” the airman answered. “I’ve been stationed here in case you’re in need of any assistance.”

“Oh.” Daniel considered it for a moment and realized this was a good thing. He had no idea where he was going in this place. “Could you take me to Colonel O’Neill, please? There’s something I’d like to speak with him about.”

“I’m sorry, sir,” the airman said apologetically, “but Colonel O’Neill has gone home for the evening. If it’s important, though, I can have him called back in…”

Daniel shook his head. “No, no, that won’t be necessary. Um, what about Major Carter?”

The airman thought for a second. “I believe she and her ward have turned in. I can have her paged, though…”

“No, don’t wake her up.” Daniel decided to ask about the ward later. Something about the concept seemed off, but not enough to make him set aside his current concerns. “Would Teal’c be available?”

“I believe he would be,” the airman said, happy to finally be able to give a positive answer. “His quarters are at the other end of this hall.” He pointed to the door directly facing Daniel’s at the other end of the short hall.

“Thank you,” Daniel said, unconsciously squeezing the picture frame for a moment.

It wasn’t long before he stood before the other door, the one he’d been told his friend resided behind. He took a quick breath and went inside after a quick knock, again jerking himself to a halt when he saw Teal’c seated on the floor, lit candles flickering all around the room. “I’m sorry, am I interrupting something?”

Teal’c gave him a small smile. “You are not. I am unable to kel’no’reem as I once did, since I began using tretonin.”

The unexpected explanation had Daniel blinking. “That sounds complicated.”

“Indeed. Enter.” Teal’c effortlessly pushed himself to his feet and watched as Daniel walked over to the chair by his bed. He gestured for his visitor to be seated, doing the same on the edge of the bed closest to him.

“Her name is Sha’re,” Daniel said with a smile as he showed Teal’c the picture he was carrying.

Teal’c smiled and nodded. “Yes,” he confirmed.

“No one told me that. I remembered it by myself.” Daniel glanced down at the woman’s image for a moment. “I dreamed about her, and when I woke up I knew her name.”

“That is good news, Daniel Jackson.” Teal’c continued to smile, even as a small part of him cringed. While it made sense that Daniel’s wife would be the first person he would truly remember, the Jaffa couldn’t help but wish it had been someone else - for both their sakes.

“I knew earlier that I had a chance to get my memories back, but this proves it. A real, solid, specific memory… They’re all there, waiting for me.”

Teal’c gave a single nod of the head. “Indeed.”

Daniel’s smile grew wider. “So where is she?” He watched as Teal’c’s smile faded, the large man suddenly swallowing hard as his jaw muscle clenched. Daniel’s own smile began to disappear as realization set in. “She’s dead.”

Teal’c bowed his head in silent affirmation and couldn‘t bring his gaze back up.

A wave of emotion washed over Daniel, and he stared down at the picture in his hands. “I loved her very much,” he said matter-of-factly, sorrow in his eyes.

Teal’c finally looked at him again, now with a hint of tears in his own brown orbs. He waited for what he was sure would come next.

“This isn’t fair,” Daniel said as he set the frame onto the table beside Teal’c’s bed face down. “The first person I love that I really remember is gone.” He returned his gaze to his friend and paused. Guilt and grief were eating the Jaffa from the inside out. Why? “What… what happened? Why do you look like…” More memories started to come into focus, and Daniel was able to put enough together to answer his own question. He swallowed as his eyes widened slightly. “I forgave you, Teal’c. I still forgive you. I know you had a very good reason for what you did.”

“I have not forgiven myself, Daniel Jackson. I do not believe I ever shall.”

“Oh, God, Teal’c,” Daniel whispered, fighting back his own tears as the intertwined memories of his love and his friend rushed back with the flood of emotions he found himself feeling. He clenched his eyelids shut.

Teal’c’s jaw muscle twitched as he held back his own emotions, but he could not remain silent. “I will understand if you would no longer wish to speak with me in regards to such sensitive matters,” he gritted out.

Daniel’s eyes snapped open, a few tears slipping down his cheeks at the action. “You’re my friend, Teal’c. I can’t imagine anyone more appropriate to share these first memories with.” His mouth twitched upward in a shaky smile. “No one else could really understand this. I meant what I said. I still forgive you.”

The two friends shared a long, deep, silent gaze that communicated far more effectively than words the truth of their understanding of each other. Their fates had interlocked long ago; now they would continue on their journeys together once again.

Daniel finally took a long, deep breath and released it, breaking the gaze as he closed his eyes to gather himself once more. “Why would Oma put me through this?” he muttered, opening his eyes and letting his head fall back to stare at the ceiling.

“You know of Oma Desala?” Teal’c asked. He didn’t think anyone had said anything to Daniel about the Ancient who had helped him ascend just over a year ago.

“Doctor Fraiser told me about her when I asked her what Jack had meant when he said I’d been ascended,” the younger man explained. He took another deep breath to control a sudden surge of anger. “She’s supposed to be a powerful being, right?”

“That is correct.”

“Then why would she do this? If she wanted me to forget…” Daniel pounded a fist into his open palm.

“You often spoke of the rules to which you were subjugated as one of the Ascended. Perhaps she was required to erase your memories by law of the Others. But as your friend and mentor, she wished you one day to regain them.”

“You’re saying she cheated, she found a way around the rules?”

Teal’c tilted his head slightly to the side. “You do not agree?”

Daniel paused and considered it. “If you’re right, there has to be a reason. Beyond a personal one. What is it about me that’s so important?”

Teal’c couldn’t help but smile. “I am afraid my own answer to that question would be quite personal indeed, and I cannot speak for Oma Desala. Perhaps when you regain your memories, the answer will be found within them.”

Daniel sighed. “Then the path to that answer is going to be one hell of a ride.” He met Teal’c’s gaze, and they both knew just how true that statement was. The brown-haired man shrugged. “Might as well start it now. Tell me about this Anubis.” There was a slight sneer in his voice when he said the Goa’uld’s name. “Why’d I break the rules to fight him?”

“Do you not believe it wise to remember on your own accord?”

“No,” Daniel replied immediately. “I need to know why this is happening to me, and I have a feeling it all starts with him.”

Teal’c thought about Daniel’s point, and realized it was valid. He solemnly nodded his agreement, and the pair talked long into the night.

Back to Gen Fiction          Back to Part Twelve          Go to Part Fourteen

Make a Free Website with Yola.