New SG Fic

Oct. 10th, 2013 02:52 pm
lyn_t: (Default)
[personal profile] lyn_t
Written for the SG1 Friendathon on LJ.

TITLE: Almost Stranger
AUTHOR: Lyn
Written for the prompt: Reuniting the team in Season 7. Set after Fallen
RATING: Gen

Almost Stranger




Jack had found himself watching Daniel ever since they’d returned from Vis Uban. Not exactly staring at the guy, just quick, surreptitious glances, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Daniel he’d once known in the almost stranger they’d brought back to Earth.

Almost stranger because, although they knew it was really Daniel, sent back from ascension - his intervention in their fight against Anubis was as good a reason as any for getting kicked out of the ascended club – he had no memory of them, and apart from the physical likeness, there appeared to be nothing left of the Daniel they’d known. A slate wiped clean.

Hell of a way to reward a guy for helping to get rid of a slimy snake like Anubis. Not only send him back but wipe out any memories of the only family he’d ever had in a very long time.

Still, he’d made the decision to return to Earth with them, and once his mind was made up, he set out with a purpose, striding ahead of Jack, Sam and Teal’c toward the gate, as though he was afraid any hesitation would be enough to have him change his mind and stay.

Carter had caught up with Daniel for a little but it was obvious he wasn’t in the mood for chatting so she eventually slowed and waited for Jack and Teal’c to catch up.

“Not in the mood for talking, eh?” Jack said, nodding toward Daniel.

Sam shrugged and looked faintly embarrassed. “I don’t know, sir… It’s like I don’t really know that guy.”

“We just gotta give him some time, Carter,” Jack replied. “Maybe once we get him back to Cheyenne Mountain, it might spark something familiar with him.”

“Or not,” Teal’c added.

“Pessimist,” Jack growled.

“I believe I am what is called a realist, O’Neill,” Teal’c said. “If the Ascended were able to erase his memories, it may be that Daniel Jackson may never recover them.” He paused a moment, watching as Daniel slowed to accept a water canteen from one of the soldiers in front of him, drinking a few sips then handing it back with a quick nod of thanks. “There are some memories it may be best for him not to remember.”

“Sharé,” Sam said.

“Indeed.” Teal’c nodded, his face solemn. “And my part in her death.”

“He forgave you for that,” Jack said, feeling unaccountably irritated with where the conversation was headed. He held up a hand when Teal’c opened his mouth to speak. “And when he remembers, he’ll remember why you had to do it and forgive you again.” At the doubtful expression on Teal’c’s face, he added, “It’s still Daniel, Teal’c. It’s in his nature. They haven’t changed who he is.”

Teal’c didn’t seem convinced. “Perhaps not,” he conceded.

“Good.” Jack picked up his pace, not admitting that he wasn’t anywhere near as confident of his words as he pretended to be. He felt torn: overjoyed to have Daniel back with them and terrified they’d never truly get him back. “You wanna shake a leg, you two, or Daniel’s likely to head back to Earth without us.”

~o0o~

By the time they’d been back Earth-side for a day or so, things seemed to be going pretty well with Daniel’s memories. He and Carter had become almost as close as they’d always been, and Jack could tell Sam was happy about that. She’d always considered Daniel a brother more than a friend and she’d never gotten over his death, despite knowing he’d ascended and was still ‘out there’ somewhere.

He’d remembered Sharé, knew she was dead but hadn’t actually said whether he remembered how she’d died or who’d killed her. Jack was pretty certain Teal’c was relieved and probably hoped that part of his memory was lost forever. Jack couldn’t blame him. He and Daniel had seemed to have lost some of their friendship in the year before Daniel had ascended.

So much pressure was being placed on the teams that they should be out there doing whatever they could to accumulate weapons, knowledge, anything that would help in the fight against the Goa’uld, up to and including stealing it if need be. Daniel’s stance was there should be a mutual sharing of assets, and while Jack wasn’t disagreeing, the Goa’uld were getting too damn close to Earth’s doorstep and sometimes getting together and taking time to negotiate just didn’t cut it, especially with people who weren’t prepared to share their toys. So, in the months leading up to Daniel’s death and ascension, it seemed he and Jack were more at odds with each other than they had ever been.

Still, he’d rejoined the team, helped them save Jonas’ people, had, in fact, been more forgiving of Jonas’ actions regarding the radiation accident than Jack could ever find himself to be, even if Jack could now concede that Jonas really was an okay guy and he’d done a lot of good things in his time with the team.

And more often now in the weeks that had passed, Jack would catch a glimpse of a familiar smile or look or hear a tone in Daniel’s voice that took him back to the time before Daniel had left them and he’d stare, probably longer than was polite… or comfortable for either of them, searching for proof that Daniel was finally, completely back. Always though, there’d still be that gaze back of that ‘almost stranger’ and Jack would resign himself to thinking that perhaps this was all of Daniel they’d ever have. He’d go home, have a beer and curse Oma Desala and the rest of the Ancients all over again.

That was where he was heading this night. Home for a beer and an early night. He was tired, pissed off over being pushed by the powers that be into doing more, getting more, and frustrated that, sometimes, even Daniel couldn’t persuade their good allies into cooperating with them in their fight.

He headed toward the elevators, scrubbing a hand over his gritty eyes and then back through his hair. Something moved in the shadows in the corridor ahead of him and he froze, waiting, then relaxed as Daniel moved into the light.

Jack hesitated for a moment, uncharacteristically unsure of his actions. He and Daniel hadn’t really spent any outside of work hours alone together since they’d come back. Something about Daniel’s hunched posture triggered an almost forgotten memory of Jack’s and he was striding up the corridor almost before he’d realized he’d moved.

“Hey,” he said, patting Daniel’s shoulder, “can’t sleep?”

Daniel made a good show of recovering his composure after jumping a good foot in the air. He smiled briefly then shrugged. “I guess I’m still a little at a loss of what to do with myself when we’re not out fighting the Goa’uld,” he replied.

“You got your office back,” Jack said.

“Yeah, I did, only… I’m not really sure what I should be doing in there, if I belong in there.”

“Trust me, you’re the only one who could make head or tail out of the stuff in there,” Jack said, trying to lighten the mood. “A few times there, I thought we’d lost Jonas amongst the junk… really important artifacts.”

Daniel really grinned at that. “I have a vague memory that this is not the first time we’ve disagreed about the importance of artifacts.”

Jack nodded. “We’ve had that discussion a time or two.”

“I was wondering if you knew when I might be able to leave the base? Find a place to live. I don’t know how Teal’c can stand being stuck here 24/7.”

“He comes and goes whenever he wants. This is where he feels comfortable, I guess. After all this time, he still thinks Earth is a pretty weird place… excepting Star Wars, of course.”

“Of course. Anyway…” Daniel cocked an inquisitive eyebrow.

“Oh right. I’ll talk to Hammond in the morning. See what we can sort out. Frankly, I’m surprised you haven’t been given your clearance yet.”

“Guess my good looks and charm haven’t won everyone over then.”

“Right. Anyway, I’ll see you tomorrow. There’s a six pack of beers sitting in my fridge at home, waiting for me to empty them.”

“Don’t let me keep you from your duty then.” Daniel sketched a farewell wave and headed off down the corridor.

“Wait! Daniel?” When Daniel turned to look at him, Jack beckoned toward the elevator. “Let’s get out of here, huh?”

“You sure?”

“I’m sure.” Jack held up an admonishing finger. “However, if you attempt to escape into the wide world out yonder, I’ll be forced to shoot you.” He rolled his eyes at the uncertain expression on Daniel’s face. “Joking. Will ya get a move on? Beer’s waiting, remember.”

~o0o~

Later, settling in with his second beer in hand, Jack watched as Daniel slumped where he stood, leaning against the fireplace mantle.

“I don’t suppose you have any soda, do you?” Daniel asked, taking a sip from his beer anyway. “This beer is really knocking me for a loop. Are you sure I really like beer?” He eyed the bottle in his hand dubiously.

Jack grinned then laughed outright at the all too familiar question.

“What?” Daniel asked.

“Nothing, just… we’ve done this before, you know.” He attempted to school his face into an expression of honesty and failed miserably. “And yes, you love beer. Six pack Jackson, we called you.”

“We have?” Daniel’s brow furrowed then he smiled. “When I came back with you from Abydos, after Sharé was taken…” He paused, swallowed hard and said, “I wonder how it’s possible to miss someone you can’t quite remember.”

Jack stood and walked over to his friend. He patted him on the shoulder then gently took the beer bottle from Daniel’s hand. “It’s totally possible, Daniel,” he said. “Trust me, I know.”

End

October 2013

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