I Used to call it Home by Karasu
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Category: General
Genres: Angst, Dark, Drama, Vignette
Rated: Pre-Teen
Warnings: None
Series: None
Summary: Daniel may be descended, but that doesn't mean that things are back to normal. Alone, Daniel finds his thoughts wandering into darkness.

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Author's Chapter Notes:
Dark and depressing.
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Macbeth Act V, sc. v

After years of intensive exploration of galaxies near and far, you'd think that eventually you would find what you were looking for all your life. It wouldn't matter if you didn't know what your goal was, what form the light at the end of the tunnel would take; somehow you'd just get there and be able to hold what you wanted.

I have lived what seems like lifetimes, although after all of the adventures I've been involved in, I should feel so young. A human's lifespan barely registers as a blip on most aliens' measurement of time. But then, I have also died innumerable times, and I know a few too many people who can agree with me when I say that dying takes a hell of a lot out of you.

The first time you take a full lungful of air when just moments ago you knew your heart had stopped, it's a miracle. Second time, you're damned lucky. Third time, it's getting old and you wonder why you're even brought back. The process is redundant and begins to wear away at your soul and mind until you can feel your identity deteriorating. Hell, some of the times I've died I wouldn't have been declared legally dead by any quack here on earth, yet it took a complete revival to awaken me to the living. You find yourself wondering when the final rest will come.

But then guilt sets in, because the one thing you remember about being glow-y are the expressions of their faces as you left...as you abandoned them.

What is gained from all this sacrifice? I sometimes wonder. I know that all I need to do is drive down through the city and watch the people to see what our work at the SGC keeps alive, but sometimes it doesn't seem real. Sometimes you don't feel real. Earth isn't exactly my home anymore, anyway. I was a wanderer before I even laid eyes on the pictographs that I now know are gate coordinates.

Abydos had potential, a real, pregnant, warm potential for a real home. The safety I had found there was something that was clearly a result of something I worked towards, but in the end I failed the planet and its people many times over. Forgive me, for I have sinned...

And the real stickler of that? I can't even remember those final days with a people I was so willing to make my family. I hardly remember what Skaara looks like, due to many years without facing him coupled with a decrepit, barred memorytangible resultant number twodue to something of my doing in the last hours of those people I...loved. How can I use the word?

Now I can never return to the sandy outcroppings I had, for a very brief time, called "home." Never again can I stand beside the grave of the woman I loved and failed. Never again can a new hope be born. I have only what is left of my tattered faith, torn further by the realization that the Ancients are a bigger pain in the ass dealing with than the Nox, Tollan, and Tok'ra put together. That's saying a helluva lot.

In my dreams I still travel the sands of the home of my heart, the home of my hopes and renewed beliefs. I thought...I believed in impossible things when I was there. On my first travel through the Stargate I found a world where I alone seemed to fit; and I found friends, warm companionship that I had so long missed. I battled, and I survived.

When, a year later, a tissue box found its way onto the stone floors of the desert temple I laughed and cried, so full of joy and relief that I couldn't be sure who I loved and how far that love went. And then the cartouche and the promise of more worlds and people to meet...That and old friends, true friends, were the only things that made me able to hold through the loss of the woman I loved.

I returned with empty hands a year after, only to find that a miracle, at least I had foolishly believed so, had occurred. It wasn't my child, it was that bastard's son but...but the baby was Sha'uri. She would have been an...incredible mother. Even when she left, gods, even then she left me hope. She looked at me, she saw me, and she didn't betray me

And it was there where that beautiful light of hope, in the shape of a beautiful, wonderful child, appeared to me again. I could touch him and hold him again. I only held him as a baby twice...What I would give to hold him like that for the proper duration of time, to watch the little mouth wail without formation of words; to watch unfocused eyes blink sleepily while dozing off to a lullaby.

Yet dreams remain unfulfilled and they perish and fall, or else become nightmares. One brief meeting with a child that had...matured and become something so distant, but he was still hers, and still the babe I had cradled on Kheb and smiled at. Still, even he walked out; well, floated out.

Now the birthplace of my dreams is gone. I persevere in the struggle to protect earth, but my head feels heavy and my shoulders ache with a weight that will not abate. I see no end in sight and see no motivation, but my heart beats on and I move. A spirit still lingers within that finds that the love of friends and adventure to be enough pulls me onward, even as I sit within my head and watch emptily as events pass by.

I have come to live for the moments when I'm not near any of the others I deal with on a daily basis. I much prefer the aliens we encounter. No matter the dire situation that occurred under Edwards' command, I enjoyed the conversation, if you can call it that, with Chaka and Iron Shirt. Somehow...What did it make me feel? I don't know. I just know that it felt right.

I fight on, but with a fading passion dimming the fires of my heart. Exhaustion has taken me as the losses have added up. I don't want pity, and I hate my self-pitying most of all, but it's gotten to a point where I wonder what will be left of me in the end. I can't think of anything to save right now.

Perhaps I had my answers while ascended. Maybe that's why I didn't help Jack when he was tortured by Baal. Maybe that's why I was so reluctant to help on Abydos when Anubis was attacking. Was I happy? It's a question no one can answer for me, and I do not how to attain the answer. I must have understood, back then, what hopes could still be kept alive, and what wonders would truly last. Now I am left only looking at the emptiness of living quarters with personal belongs with memories that will never be flesh and blood again.

Perhaps I have returned to them, my friends, my colleagues, but I'm like the puzzle piece that the cat got a hold of and have been bent and chewed, and now I don't fit into place. The spot was reserved just for me, perhaps it could never be replaced by anyone but me; but now even I cannot replace myself. There was something bright that kept driving me onwards before. I don't have that now and I can think of nothing to regain motivation. I feel cold, always. The warmth of friendship doesn't blanket me as it once did. Can one lost year truly distance us so much?

I'm not even forty, and I'm ready to fall to my knees, close my eyes, and pray to never awaken again. I want to be free of this hurt and pain and emptiness, I want the warmth and light that inspires a spark of...happiness. Even if I could be content, oh what a change it would be.

I cross through the Stargate as a member of SG-1, as I have done for years upon years. The experience really never gets dull, it's always a head-rush. But the others have a mission set within their breast, and I don't. I want something to look forward to...but there is nothing. Not even death will hold what I want. I've seen far too many false gods to believe in a heaven or hell. There seems to be nothing for me in this realm or the next, and I just wish someone would prove me wrong.

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
Macbeth Act V, scene v
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