Five Times SG1 Left Daniel Offworld
Rock and a Hard Place

Daniel shivered and pulled his sleeping bag tighter around his shoulders.  Off in the distance, above the thicket of trees he had taken shelter in, lightning arced down from the sky and lit up the mountains. 
He was alone.  Utterly, totally, and miserably.  And not just alone in the sense of his team not being here--they had gone through the ‘gate without him-- but alone because this planet was dead.  A bust.  Not even worth the resources it had taken to get here in the first place.
The small fire he huddled around fizzled and fizzed as it did battle with the rain for survival.  There was no place to take shelter; the trees were all dead--just like the planet.  He had considered making a run for the nearest knoll, in the hopes of finding a cave to ride out the storm in, but nightfall on P2P-101 was akin to someone turning the lights on and off abruptly.  Day, night, day, night. 
Daniel made camp a comfortable distance from the ‘gate--close enough to see it activate, far enough away to give him a head start if the wrong type of company turned up.  He checked his watch; a couple of hours had already passed.
“Come on, guys,” he said around a quickly chilling mug of coffee.  Really, if he took into account the terrain and the weather, he could justify why the rest of SG1 had gone through the ‘gate without him.  It wasn’t deliberate.  In fact confusion had unleashed itself from the moment they had been hit by a freak storm that sent them staggering off in different directions.  Wandering around in the dark, cold and disorientated, he had managed to find Jack. They had been side by side, right up until they hit the ‘gate platform running, when a freak gust of wind had knocked him sideways.  There was no way in that brief moment that Jack could have known Daniel wasn’t by his side as he crossed the threshold to home.
Sam was carrying the only GDO.
And still the ‘gate remained dark.

Doing Time

“Your companions have been removed.”
“Removed?”  Daniel swallowed hard, trying to smother the knot of fear in his belly.   The Alari method of incarceration revolved around sensory deprivation: No light, no sound… no nothing.  Food was delivered down a chute that exited just inches above the steel floor and became a hit and miss affair when all sense of timing was lost.  “What do you mean by removed?”
There was no answer and he really wasn’t expecting one.   Gone with his sense of timing and self, and whatever little hope he had left, was the cruel realization that no matter what he expected his team to do to get him out of this situation, there would come a time when they had to return home.
He knew this.  The Alari penal system was swift and decisive; the prisoner was granted no rights save for a speedy trial and a simple judgement.  It was life or death, and there was no in-between.
“Nutritional privileges are now withdrawn.”
  His life was forfeit.

The Darling Buds of May

 “Wait!  No!”
The Stargate shut down just as a particularly strong gust of wind blew pollen across the field and straight through where the wormhole had been just seconds before.
Daniel dropped his raised hands to his side and dipped his head down to his chest, sucking in a lungful of despair.    All around him, toxic blooms seemed to laugh at his predicament; content to torment him with their hideously garish petals of pink and yellow and stamens of dark green.
The flowers hadn’t been in bloom when they had stepped through the ‘gate, but the moment Jack set foot in the field they opened up as though on command.  And that’s when the trouble started.
Sam decided the botany department could do with a specimen.  Teal’c agreed to help her.  Jack had looked sideways at Daniel and muttered something about allergy medication, but Daniel had dismissed him outright.  He was fine. 
But while he was fine, the rest of his team was not, and as dawn descended and the blooms appeared to have reached their full potential for the day and closed up, Jack, Sam and Teal’c were wandering about their make-shift camp as though in a daze.  
The night had passed slowly, with each of them taking a shift in turn, but Daniel was unable to sleep while his teammates were so out of sorts.  It wasn’t until morning that he realized they hadn’t so much as said a word to him.   Gathering up their canteens and purifying tablets, he had gone to a nearby stream to replenish their water, only to find them gone when he returned.    The ‘gate being the only place they could have gone, he took off after them, almost catching up as the wormhole sprung to life and Sam lifted her GDO to send the code.
“Sam!”  Daniel stumbled through the clutches of flowers, their sticky leaves clinging to his BDU pants in what felt like an attempt to slow him down.   He was almost to the DHD when he heard Jack telling Sam to go through, before looking back over his shoulder towards the field.  Towards Daniel.    There was no recognition in his eyes.
“I don’t know,” Jack said unsteadily to Teal’c.  “It’s almost like we’ve forgotten something.  Or someone.”
“Major Carter has returned through the ‘gate.  Of whom else do you speak?”
“It’s nothing.” Jack shrugged and turned away, and Daniel’s heart sank.  “Let’s go home.”

Knee Deep
 “I’m telling you it was a bird.”
“A very big bird, if you don’t mind me saying so, Daniel.”
Daniel screwed up his face in disgust and turned his head away from the congealing mass of bird poop that was glooping its way down his shirt front from his shoulder.  The smell was toxic. “Call it what you will, but a towel or something to wipe this crap off with would be helpful.”
“Oh, no.  No, no, no,” Sam said flatly.  “Bad choice of words.”
“All I’m saying is you might want to choose your words a little better.”
“In case I offend the local avian population?”  Daniel turned to Jack and put on his best pleading face. “Towel… please!”
Stepping between the two men, Sam held a hand out to Jack and shook her head. “I don’t think so, sir.”
“You can’t be serious!  I just need to get this stuff off me before it stains!”  Said offending gloop had dripped off the end of his BDU shirt and was now tracking its way down his pants and onto the ground.
In a whisper, Sam said, “Quarantine.”  Her gaze darting between Jack and Teal’c, who both nodded sagely… despite the grins they couldn’t quite suppress.
Daniel was unimpressed.  “No!  No way!”
“I’m sorry, but we’re offworld and you’ve been… attacked…”
“Paint-balled?” whispered Jack hopefully.
Teal’c was no better.  “Strategically targeted?”
Coming to Daniel’s rescue, Sam cut her teammates off with a pointed glare.  “As I was saying.  You’ve been in close contact with an alien biological substance and SOPs dictate we should enact at least MOP2.”
“For bird crap?”
“None of us actually saw the bird except you.”
“So you’re saying I dreamed this all up?”  He gestured to the gloop now pooling around his ankles.
“I would never say such a thing.  But you were the only one who saw the bird.”
Jack collected his composure, and muttered, “Big bird… very big bird.  I mean, it had to be big, right?  Considering the amount of…”
“You!” Daniel waggled an accusatory finger at Jack.  “You were supposed to be watching my six!”
“You expected me to watch your six while you were… you know… taking a…”
“Relieving myself?”
“Your words, not mine.”
“What I meant, was I expected you to be covering me while I attended to my business.  Not off ogling the nearest rocky outcropping.”
“I wasn’t ogling and it wasn’t an outcropping.  One minute you were, you know, and the next you were running out of the bushes covered in…”
“Hello!  I’m wearing the evidence here!”
“Okay!” Sam said with her best voice of authority.  “Colonel, Teal’c, MOP2 now.  Daniel, you might want to take yourself over to the latrine area and wait for the quarantine team to arrive.”
“Back to the scene of the crime?  And what if the bird returns?”
“No, Jack… it was a bird!”
“I meant duck!  As in crouch down out of sight.”
“It is quite possible the birds of this world mark out their nesting territory.”  Teal’c regarded his headgear with a scowl before slipping it on.  “It may have merely been defending its young.”
“So you’re saying I went in some alien bird’s home?”
“Or she fancied you,” Jack snickered as he donned his red hazmat suit.   
“Either way, Daniel, you’re going to have to stay here until help arrives.”
“Right.  Sure.  Fine.”
Jack hoisted his pack over his shoulder and turned in the direction of the Stargate.  “Be seeing you on the flip-side.”
“No, no… wait.  You’re just going to leave me here?”
“You have something better in mind?” Jack shrugged and trudged off, waving one hand lazily towards the sky.  “Watch out for low-flying birds while we’re gone.”


In Silent Times
 “It doesn’t seem right somehow.” 
The morning was crisp, edging towards being a little colder than Sam really liked, but she zipped the front of her jacked and hoisted her collar up against the breeze.  This world had been abandoned centuries ago by the Ancients.  What ruins were left were nothing more than a moss-coated collection of rubble standing in the shadow of the Stargate. 
Regardless, Daniel had loved this place.  There was something about it that had drawn him here after he descended the first time, and Sam wondered if he hadn’t visited here during his ethereal wanderings.  Maybe stayed a time to gather his thoughts?  Or perhaps this world wasn’t as abandoned as he’d led them to believe.
“Right or wrong, it’s not really up to us to decide, Carter.”  Jack stood far enough away from her that he had almost created his own little zone of space, like a barrier she wasn’t allowed to cross.  He had been this way for a month now.  Drawn, pale, out of touch with his team. 
At odds with himself as much as them.
Even Teal’c had the good graces to keep his distance from Jack.  Right now, though, Teal’c was standing on the other side of her, a small gilded box dwarfed in his massive hands.  The thumb of his right hand traced a lazy line around the carvings on the lid, in a way Sam was sure he wasn’t aware of. 
Daniel was dead.   There was no ascension, no Oma to guide him back to the path, and no second-chances for a man who deserved much more than he ever received from life.  The only luxury Sam could think of right now was that his death didn’t bear the same physical and emotional hallmarks as it had on that ill-fated mission to Kelowna.  It had been quick and painless. 
Hired assassins were generally very good at their job.
The Kelownans, far from lauding Earth with thanks for saving them from Anubis, had targeted SG1 from the get-go.  When Ba’al rescinded on his promise to leave the world alone in exchange for a chance to rid himself of Anubis, the Kelownans had decided on their own brand of revenge. 
Bowing down to their new lord and master did not stop them from practicing what they had learned from Jonas Quinn, and he had been a useful teacher right up to the time he was executed for treason.   He had suspected nothing.
Teal’c stepped forward and placed the small box atop one of the ruins and carefully opened the lid.  There were no further words; there was nothing left to say.   The wind Sam had come to detest gradually lifted Daniel’s ashes into the air and swept them across the ruins to the plains below.
They had broken their promise to him, to each other.  Sam knew this now as she turned back towards the ‘gate, no longer able to hide her grief. 
… No one gets left behind. 

The End



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