A Pause in the Game

This is just peachy! I had a feeling things seemed not quite right when the briefing started, but the minute the ‘virtual Hammond’ used the word residents my suspicions were confirmed. There was, now, no doubt in my mind that we were still trapped on that planet. All of us still hooked into those damned machines. The Hammond apparition threatened to return us to the planet and I all but exploded. Weird thing was, as I cussed the illogic of that request, and everyone was manhandled and shoved out the door, my mind was actually wondering whose mind this scenario was being projected from – mine or Daniel’s? Or was the Keeper stealing from both our minds at the same time? I didn’t get much time to contemplate that further. Next thing I knew we were being lead by the virtual SF’s into the holding area where they graciously removed our cuffs and locked the door.
    Thinking back on it all now I guess our release was a little too easy, as Daniel mentioned at the time. I take a surreptitious look at our resident trouble magnet and things are definitely not looking good there either. Daniel’s got himself secreted on the top bunk over on the other side of our cell; he’s just lying there staring at the ceiling. D’oh! Things were just starting to get back to normal again too.
    We’ve had a couple of cock-eyed missions since we defeated Apophis, namely Carter and the whole Tok’ra issue and then, almost immediately after, we get thrown into prison where Daniel gets the shit beaten out of him. Thankfully he wasn’t seriously hurt, he seemed to take the whole thing in his stride like it was any normal day. He was completely oblivious to the danger he was in mind you, and still doesn’t know why Teal’c and I were making such a big deal out of him never being left alone on Hadante. He says I was being overly nice to him the whole time and demanded to know why. Teal’c thinks I should explain it to him and fill him in on the important rules of prisons and his role in case we find ourselves in a similar situation again. I know he’s right but I’ve been trying to find not only the right time but also the right words. I really don’t think telling Daniel he’s perfect jailbait will go over too well, besides I’m perfectly happy for Daniel to be oblivious to the more distasteful sides of human nature as long as I’m around to protect him from them. But, as Teal’c stated so empathetically, I won’t be able to shield him forever, at some point Daniel’s going to want to go off on his own and it’s my job to make sure he’s prepared. ‘My job’, gee thanks T!
    You’d have thought by now Daniel would be quite capable of looking after himself, but looks are deceiving. He gives the impression of independence and experience but, really, that’s just stubbornness and the ability to adapt quickly to any given situation. You only need to spend five minutes with the guy to realise the innocent and naïve thing isn’t just an act, I’m sure there’s a spark of common sense in there somewhere but he keeps it well hidden, he truly is oblivious sometimes. I have no idea how he survived so long on his own, especially growing up in New York. Either he managed to land some pretty nice foster parents or he spent so much time with his head in a book he never really noticed what went on in the world around him.
    I’ve wanted to ask him about his childhood, post parents, on many occasions, but I already know a lot more about Daniel than I think he’s comfortable with. One of the many downsides, from Daniel’s perspective, of working for the Government is that is your private life isn’t very private. He is well aware the Air Force was required to do a full background check before he was even allowed within ten feet of the newly formed Stargate programme. He is also aware that, as his Commanding Officer, I was required to review that file, thus knowing Daniel’s, however abbreviated, dubious life history.
    Looking over at him now, I also know this is something he isn’t going to just brush off. This attack was personal, cuts and bruises all heal eventually but when someone attacks your mind and uses your memories against you, displaying them for all to see, its harder to overcome and probably twice as hard for a guy who is as emotionally invested as Daniel often is.
    I push off from my position against the wall and walk over to stand next to the bunk Daniel’s hiding on. Carter and Teal’c are sitting at the table. Teal’c seems to be contemplating something but I’ll be damned if I can figure what. Carter’s watching my movements and gives me a look that’s hard to interpret, shifting her eyes to Daniel who is still staring at the ceiling. I think I’ve got my work cut out for me here.
    “Hey,” I whisper tapping him on the shoulder, “how ‘you doing?” I didn’t bother to ask if he’s all right because I already know he isn’t. The very fact he’s hiding from us is a testament to that fact.
    “Okay,” he replies, rolling over onto his stomach so I can see his face.
    He’s already removed his glasses and I can see just how bright his eyes are. He turns his head to look at me and smiles, it’s a shy smile that’s intended to let me know I can count on him not to break down while we’re still trapped but that the minute we do get home, for real, he’s going to cry his eyes out and nothing’s going to be able to stop him.
    “Okay,” I reply, and return his smile with one of my own, telling him I understand completely and that we’ll talk later. I decide to remain leaning against the bed, not leaving his side just in case he needs me.
Fin. 

 

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Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate (II) Productions, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. This is a parody for entertainment purposes only. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. This story may not be posted anywhere without the consent of the author.