Going Home

Anubis.  I’m getting sick of hearing that guy’s name.  I thought Apophis was one big pain-in-the-ass snakehead, but now we’ve got this bigger, badder Goa’uld breathing down our necks.  What the hell was Daniel thinking?  Whatever it was, he’s got eternity to kick himself in the ass for trying to broker a deal with Anubis.  What’s heartbreaking is I think Daniel really believed he could stop him if push came to shove.  Hell, so did I.  I just hope it was Oma who stopped Daniel from destroying Anubis and not one of ‘the others’.  At least Oma’s got a soft spot for Daniel.  Carter doesn’t think we can count on him for anything anymore.  I can’t fault her for saying it, but I sure as hell don’t have to like it.  I, for one, am not counting Daniel out.  Not after what he did for me in Baal’s prison.  He really came through for me and in a far greater way than I ever gave him credit for.  No one’s ever wanted to save my soul before.  I’ll never forget that.  Ever.  When I woke up in the infirmary he was there and he said I’d just have to trust him that I was going to be okay.  I did.  Trust him, that is, and without question.  It was the easiest thing in the world.  Daniel’s not just a friend for life; he’s a friend forever.  I know it sounds sappy, but if I died tomorrow I know Daniel would never forget me no matter how many centuries passed.  That makes our friendship eternal in my books.

Carter’s going on about this planet we have to check out.  One of the planets that the Ancients downloaded into my brain.  Seems Jonas thinks that may be where the lost city is.  What the hell?  Now she’s saying  Jonas said Daniel was wrong.  Sure, hit a guy when he’s down, or up, or wherever the hell he is.  I know Daniel’s not infallible, and I know Jonas has been working like a dog ever since Daniel told him about the lost city, but still…

********************

If this is the ‘lost city’ I can see why no one’s claimed it.  I’ve seen some desolate planets in my travels, but this is just bleak.  Nothing but ruins.  Danny would love it.  At least, he would’ve loved it.  The things he sees now are way beyond anything here.  Crap, it still hurts when I think about what he said.  When he said he couldn’t imagine himself doing or being anything other than what he was.  Damn it, Daniel.  Why couldn’t you be content to be here with us?  With me?  Because he had nothing but heartache here, that’s why.  Hell, I’ve got no right to bitch.  After all, he did offer to be my Oma.  I could’ve gone away with him and we could be wreaking havoc on unsuspecting universes right at this moment.  It was tempting.  God, it was tempting, but I meant it when I said I wasn’t like him.  I didn’t and I don’t deserve ascension.  I appreciated the offer though.  More than he’ll ever know.

                                    **************

Damn, I should’ve quit while I was ahead.  I was doing all right until that ‘birds of a feather’ line.  Daniel would sure get a kick out of this guy.  Oh, for crying out loud, I can’t look at a ruin or some old guy in a robe without thinking of Daniel.  You better be looking after him, Oma.  Ascended or not, you do not want me on your bad side.

“Colonel!”

Thank God, a distraction.  What’s SG-3 doing here?

“We’ve got something you might want to see.”

I feel a twinge when I hear the words.  I can’t help but think of that time after we blew up Klorel’s ship.  They had that big reception for us in the Gateroom and Hammond said, ‘SG-1, there’s someone who’d like to see you’.  Crap, what I wouldn’t give to see…holy shit!

“Daniel?” 

                                    *****************

“Go ahead, Colonel O’Neill.  I read you loud and clear.”

“General, you won’t believe what we found.”

“You found the lost city?”

“Better,” I reply cryptically.

“Colonel, what could be better than finding a way to beat Anubis?”

I can hear the confusion and annoyance in Hammond’s voice and I can’t help but grin.  I wish I could see his face when I tell him the news.

“Daniel, sir.  We found Daniel.”

My grin widens at the ensuing silence.  Oh yeah, he’s speechless.

“You mean Doctor Jackson has appeared to you again?”

“No, sir.  He’s here in the flesh.”

“He’s human again?”

“Let’s just say, if I threw my shoe at him I’d leave a bruise.”

“My God, Colonel, that’s good to hear, but how did that happen?”

“I don’t know sir, but I think Daniel may have gone a little too far when he tried to help us protect Abydos against Anubis.  I think Oma Desala may have kicked Daniel out of the club.”

“Good lord.  How is Doctor Jackson taking this?”

“Ah, well, that’s where we have a small problem, sir.  Daniel doesn’t remember who he is or who we are.”

“A small problem, Colonel?”

I hear the sarcasm, but I know he’s excited as hell.

“We’re working on it, sir,” I tell him.

“Colonel O’Neill, I want you to bring Doctor Jackson home, but I do not want him forced.  Understood?”

“I understand, sir.  O’Neill out.”

I also understand how damned stubborn Daniel can be.  But I can be just as stubborn.

                                    *****************

“Hey, can I come in?”

Daniel looks up at me with weary resignation and I try not to smile.  He looks just so…Daniel.

“If I say ‘no’, will you leave?” he asks.

“Nope,” I reply with a smile.

He waves me in and I optimistically sit down.  My first visit wasn’t all that successful, but as they say, ‘try, try, and try again’.

“Nice place you’ve got here,” I say, looking around at the array of candles.

“I wouldn’t know.  I have nothing to compare it to.”

He glances at me sideways.  There’s sadness and humour, but also anger in his voice.  He knows something’s been taken away from him.

“It reminds me of Teal’c’s quarters back at the base.  He’s into candles and meditation,” I say casually.

He looks at me blankly.

“The big black guy with the gold tattoo on his forehead?”

“Ah, yes.  The others in the camp seem a little leery of him.”

“He gets that a lot.”

Daniel nods then says, “He hasn’t come to visit me.”

“No, he wouldn’t,” I say, gauging his reaction.

He frowns slightly and then plays with a candle.  “I guess he didn’t like Daniel Jackson.”

He glances up and gives a little half-smile that twists my heart.

“You’re wrong.  Daniel Jackson was one of his greatest friends.  You were one of his greatest friends,” I emphasize.

He looks at me with interest.  I can almost see his brain cells dancing.

“Teal’c’s the kind of guy that doesn’t like to impose on someone else, but trust me; he wants you to come home just as much as any of us.”

He gives that little nod and I really think he’s starting to clue in.

“Samantha Carter said that if she were me she’d definitely want to get to know me.”

He’s almost embarrassed when he says it and I silently thank Carter for being who she is.  I don’t know if he’s expecting me to reply, or if he’s just trying to convince himself, but I have to say something.

“You’re worth knowing,” I say quietly.

He looks at me with that soul-piercing gaze that always takes my by surprise.  I also don’t know what the hell to say, but I keep eye contact.  Finally, his eyes flick away and he reaches out to another one of the candles.  

“You said I was dead,” he says, furrowing his brow.

“Not for the first time, I might add, but the last one was a real kicker,” I say.

“Did I have a death wish?” he asks seriously.

“No, Daniel.  You’re just, I don’t know…unique.”  I don’t want to say ‘unlucky’ because that sure won’t endear him to wanting to regain his lost life.

“So, let me get this straight,” he says.  “The, uh, last time I died I ascended to a higher plane of existence.  Kind of a Nirvana.”

“Yeah,” I reply.

“That’s a pretty heady feat I would think,” he says, looking at me curiously.

“Can’t argue with that.”

“So, if I was this higher being, and now I’m…here, isn’t that kind of a demotion?”

I lick my lips and clear my throat.

“Look, Daniel.  Whatever you’re afraid you’ve done or might have done, it hasn’t changed how we feel about you.  We miss you and we want you to come home.”

I feel my voice catch in my throat and he hears it too.  His eyes widen slightly.

“I can’t promise you that your memory will come back, but I can promise you this: if you come back with us and give us and yourself a chance to remember, and you don’t, I’ll bring you back here personally if that’s what you want.  Hell, I might even join you,” I add with a smile.

“Why would you do that?” he asks in genuine surprise.

“I already told you,” I shrug.  “I’ve missed you.”

He’s staring at me again, but he looks uncomfortable.  Crap, I hope I haven’t pushed too hard.

“Think about it,” I say quietly.  “We’re not here to rush you.  You don’t have to make a decision now.  We can come back in a month or two,” I add magnanimously.  And, so help me, Daniel, if you make me wait a month you will live to regret it.

He gives me a thoughtful, and I think, grateful look.

“I’ll think about it,” he says softly then turns away and essentially dismisses me.

I nod and make my exit, restraining the urge to grab him by the shoulders and hug him until his eyes pop out, and then shaking some sense into him. 

                                    ***********************

Jonas is telling us that it’ll take weeks to check all the ruins.  Maybe this kid’s not so bad after all.  Weeks suit me just fine.  More time to work on Daniel.

Teal’c just asked what’s happening with Daniel and before I can answer the man himself answers.

“He’s going home.”

We all turn and stare at Daniel as he comes out of his tent.  He’s got his bag with him and he nods and flashes a ghost of a smile.  He’s going to give it a shot.  He’s going to give us a shot.  Damn, I feel good.  This day is just getting better and better.

We give Daniel a few minutes to say goodbye to his friends.  Hell, to him they’re his family.  I busy myself by giving orders to SG-5 to stay and check out the ruins.  I also have a few words of my own to say to the old guy, Shamda.

“I want to thank you for looking after our friend so well.”

Shamda smiles and says, “He was very little trouble.”

“Ah, that’s because he didn’t know who he was.  Wait till he remembers.  I’ll bring him back and you’ll see what he’s really like.”

I’m joking and Shamda knows it.  His eyes crinkle with amusement.  “Have you heard about the dog and the dancing monkeys?”

“You know, I think I did.”  The old guy just told it to me a couple of hours ago, but I don’t have the heart to tell him.  “Something about appearances being deceptive, right?”

“That is correct,” he says and his face beams with pleasure.

I turn to Daniel.  “Daniel, you ready?” 

“I’m ready,” he responds.

“Okay, kids.  Let’s go home,” I say. 

I send SG-3 up ahead to tell Hammond we’re coming.  I don’t want a lot of people gawking when Daniel comes home.  I also want his quarters to look half-way inviting.

After twenty minutes of walking I slow my pace and fall into step with Daniel.

“Naked, huh?’ I say.

“As a greatbird,” he replies immediately.

“Uh, that’s jaybird,” I correct.  “Naked as a jaybird.”

“Not according to Shamda,” he responds with a knowing smile.

I laugh and damned if I don’t feel my eyes sting.  We’ve just shared a joke.  God, it feels good.  I adjust my sunglasses and then gesture to his robes.

“You okay in those?  Not too hot?”

“I’m fine, thank you.  They’re actually quite comfortable.  But then, they’re the only clothes I know,” he adds with a rueful smile.

“Yeah, well you always were comfortable in robes,” I mention casually.

“Really?’

“Really,” I reply.

“You’ve seen me in robes before?”

“Oh, yeah.  Seen you naked, too.”

“You have?” he asks, stopping and staring at me.

“Hundreds of times,” I shrug.

“Hundreds?” he whispers, his eyebrows shooting up.

Carter, Teal’c and Jonas have also stopped and are waiting for us.  I’m so glad they are out of earshot because I walked right into this one.

“We’re lovers,” Daniel says, not even batting an eyelash.

“What?  No!  I mean, no, we’re not, uh, you know.  We’re just friends.  Really good friends,” I explain hurriedly.

“Who see each other naked all the time,” he adds.

“Not all the time,” I insist.

“No, just hundreds of times,” he amends.

I think he’s actually enjoying seeing me squirm and I have to wonder if he’s faking the memory thing.  But no, Daniel wouldn’t do that, no matter how tempting.  I don’t think.

“We shower together,” I clarify.

“Oh, well that explains it,” he says and resumes walking.

“What I mean is,” I say, catching up with him, relieved to see the rest of my team have also resumed walking, “we work in a military installation where there’s communal showers and stuff.”

“Military?” he says, stopping once more.

I see the others stop and motion to them to go on.

“I thought the uniform and guns would’ve been a dead giveaway,” I say.

“I guess I didn’t really think about it,” he frowns.  “Funny, I never thought of myself as a military type, but then I’ve only been thinking for two full moons,” he adds in a self-deprecating tone.

“Well, if it’s any consolation, you’re not military.  You’re a civilian who volunteered to work with us.”

“Why did I do that?”

I blow out my cheeks and say, “Ooh, that’s a long story.  Maybe we should wait to see if your memory returns.”

He looks at me thoughtfully then nods and resumes walking.

I decide to keep my mouth shut for awhile and let him ask questions if he wants.  He doesn’t say anything for about thirty minutes and I jump when he speaks.

“You said I’m a doctor.”

“That’s right.”

“Medicine?” he guesses.

“No, archaeology,” I correct.

“Archaeology,” he muses, stopping again.

“You’re also a linguist.  You spoke twenty-three languages when you joined us.  You’ve added a few since then.”

“Twenty-three,” he repeats, clearly impressed.

“A lot of them are ancient,” I explain.  “You know, like Greek, Latin, Sumerian, even hieroglyphs.”

“That explains it,” he murmurs, more to himself than to me.

“Explains what?”

“The ruins.  The writing on the walls,” he says, waving his hands around.   “I was, I don’t know, drawn to them.  It was like I should know what they said,” he enthuses.

I just smile at him because, hell, because I’m happy.

He starts walking again then suddenly stops and grabs my arm.

“Did I have lots of books?”

It’s going to take us forever to get to the Stargate, but I’m grinning like an idiot.  I can’t help it.  Daniel’s coming home.

 

The end

 

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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.