Daniel was sat in the isolation room, hooked up to the Tok’ra mind probe thing – complete with screen – waiting for the show to begin. Why had he agreed to this again? When the Tok’ra - so called allies - approached him with the idea he was elated. Yeah Daniel hadn’t even given it a chance trying to remember under his own steam, but all that aside if someone was offering to speed up the process and give him the answers he wanted, then who was he to say no? That guy Jack was royally pissed with him, and the huge tattooed guy wasn’t exactly supportive either. The only person he’d met so far that showed a hint of approval for, and seemed to understand his decision was Sam, the cute blond who apparently he was good friends with but nothing more. Worst luck. There was definite sparkage, no doubts, just obviously not that kind, but then sparks flew whenever he and Jack occupied the same space, so just what in hell was that about?
It sucks being me, and after only thinking it Daniel had the sense that he’d said something similar many times before.
“Dr Jackson, are you positive about this?” General George asks him from the observation window one storey up.
What? Get a tab pinned into my brain and suck out all my missing memories, displaying them on a giant TV screen for all to see? Sure, why not? Daniel wasn’t entirely as stupid as everyone was thinking. He may be amnesic, but he wasn’t cook-coo. Daniel knew the Tok’ra, although outwardly seemed like an intelligent well-meaning bunch, had some major ulterior motives. Especially that Anise with the big boobs, who claimed to know him very well, getting all touchy feely with him when he’d started to panic a little outside, then almost immediately rubbing herself up against Jack when he came to his rescue. Daniel wasn’t positive if he wanted to retrieve memories of her, and the thought only served to panic him further.
Looking up Daniel could see everyone in the tiny room stood around General George, and he could hear the two Tok’ra walking into the isolation room through the doors behind him.
His heart started to beat faster, heat rising in his cheeks and butterflies in his stomach. The guy who claimed to be his boss – Jack – met his look head on. Daniel wasn’t expecting anything more than the usual frown and grumpiness, but then just to throw a stone in the works, tipping what Daniel believed to be his sense of reality, Jack winked at him. No smile, no other movement, just a wink. Daniel hoped Jack finally understood he was doing this for him, for all of them. So he could remember them, and share in the fond memories they’ve all told him about. Being told something happened is a far cry from actually experiencing it; it’s the emotions Daniel wanted more than anything. He wanted to feel something again. Something other than a constant state of confusion, and a sense that he didn’t belong.
He was doing this for them.
“I’m fine.” Daniel spoke airily, his voice managing an octave higher than usual. This of course gave him away; he could practically hear the collective ‘arh’ from here.
Up in the control room Sam could not tear her gaze away. Daniel looked so …lost, was probably the best word she could come up with.
“He’s only doing it for us.” She announced all of a sudden.
“So what’s new?” Jack bit back, “He’s still our Daniel at the end of the day.” Jack resolutely didn’t move from his spot closest to the window… and furthest from everyone else. “I didn’t see you objecting.”
“I thought… I still think this could gain us knowledge about Anubis and help Daniel’s situation.”
“It’s the harisis all over again, and you remember what happened-”
“That was completely different. Shifu was always ascended. The human form we saw was temporary.”
“And how do we know this is permanent?” Jack’s tone never reached above level. “Oma could sweep in and just…” Jack snapped his fingers.
“This line of conversation is not counter-productive to the task at hand.” Teal’c pointed out calmly, hoping his friends would drop the issue, right or wrong.
“I didn’t want him to go along with anything he wasn’t happy about.” Sam said calmly, or as calmly as she could manage.
“I didn’t want him to do it period, but he’s desperate! He wants to be a part of everything again. It’s a weakness the Tok’ra has taken full advantage of!”
“That’s enough.” The General bellowed. “It was Dr Jackson’s choice.”
Hammond was less than supportive of this course of action. The possibility of intel on their greatest enemy aside, weighed up against the potential danger to Daniel’s mental state – it just wasn’t worth the risk. But George knew full well he had no right to prevent Daniel from learning about himself – even if his own need was potentially self-destructive. After all, he agreed with Jack on this one, what else was new?
“George?” Jacob Carter entered the viewing cubical.
“Are you ready to begin?”
“Yes, and I think it’s best that only Anise and myself be present.” Jacob said, knowing how badly that suggestion would go over.
“Dad, come on!” Sam hated the whine that escaped. She eyed Colonel O’Neill, but he’d dejectedly slumped against the glass, a smug look on his face saying I told you this was a bad idea…
“Sam that screen down there will show every memory that surfaces. There’s no control, I think we should respect Daniel’s privacy and limit exposure to as few people as possible.”
“Agreed.” Hammond said, though grudgingly. Had it been any other Tok’ra he would have suspected ulterior motives.
“Colonel we can have this discussion outside, quite frankly I feel the sooner we get this over with the better.” And with that Hammond left leaving an unspoken order for SG-1 to follow suit.
Jack grumbled and groused, Teal’c stayed quiet but was even less thrilled, Sam was torn, leaving Daniel seemed wrong somehow.
“I’ll look after him, Sam. You know I will.” Jacob said softly once the others had left, he gave his daughter a smile before heading on down to where Daniel was waiting to get started.
The mind probe started off slow, but after raising the setting the pace picked up. Daniel could feel each moment return to him, much like a dream. Images, thoughts, and feelings – they were all there, a little muddled but there. He smiled, finally an identity to call his own. Then bam! Things sped up a notch, each new thing remembered hitting him like a ton of bricks, smashing through his mind and tearing open old wounds that had no desire to be poked. The image of a rock falling again and again onto two people who he knew too little about and missed very much - The feel of each needle as it was stuck into him, while strangers in white held him down - The stench of the woman with red hair, who enticed him with her breath and used it to use him in a way his mind had known was not right.
Daniel started to struggle, “Stop it… it hurts…NO!” Keeping control was fast becoming a dream as well, images moving faster and flipping from one to another like an over load charging up, ready for a big explosion.
“Turn the machine off.” Selmac commanded the minute Daniel starting showing signs of distress. The images flashing up on the viewing screen presented more like a very sick and twisted home movie, than a potential source of information. There was no order – every memory could be taken out of context so easily.
Anise protested, after all very little had been revealed so far and she argued for more time to try and stabilise the speed, but Selmac dropped his head and let Jacob do what he thought best. Jacob pushed Anise out the way of the controls and flicked the switch.
The screen blinked out, leaving Daniel’s mind just as blank. He tried to hold onto consciousness, but the fight just wasn’t in him, if it ever had been to start with. Falling forward looked inevitable and he’d have to thank Jacob later for his quick reflexes. The soft landing was much appreciated.
It was Selmac who reminded Jacob to pull the pin out before Anise got it in mind to try again. Supporting Daniel’s head with his shoulder Jacob pulled it. Daniel hissed and immediately pulled back, almost colliding with the chair behind him.
“Its okay Danny it’s over.” Jacob ran a hand through Daniel’s hair to calm him.
“Jacob?” Daniel opened his eyes in a mere squint, “will it be terribly rude if threw up right now?”
Jacob laughed and helped guide Daniel into a comfortable, nausea preventing position. He looked back over his shoulder and gave Anise a quiet yet precise order. “Get Colonel O’Neill.”
Daniel was in shock, felt drained and had started trembling, he was also all too aware of the silent tears running down his face. “You fetching Jack?” He looked up shyly through damp lashes.
He remembered Jack now; kind of surprised he could have forgotten, from what he knew of the man Jack always made a lasting, if not necessarily positive, impression.
“I figured you’d want to talk to him.” Jacob said honestly.
Daniel decided it was time he actually opened his eyes fully and greeted his new world of the familiar. Lifting his head up from drawn knees the first thing Daniel noticed was the lights had been turned low and Anise had disappeared – for which Daniel was quite thankful since he remembered exactly why she squeaked him out in the first place.
Daniel looked at Jacob. He remembered him too, his sad smile and weathered face that had seen so much and understood nearly everything. Jacob was Sam’s Dad and Daniel remembered at one time being insanely jealous of the pair of them.
Jack stormed through the door and clocked Daniel sitting on the floor next to the To’kra machine, Jacob doing a fair job of shielding him. He stopped and dropped down in front of Daniel. Without saying a word he looked to Jacob to explain what the hell had gone wrong, figuring his worst fears probably just about covered it.
“He’s in shock, nothing serious.” Jacob reassures him.
Jack let a shaky breath out through a sigh, he’d known this was a bad idea from the start, but at the moment was more concerned about Daniel than yelling told you so at the Tok’ra.
Daniel smiled. “Hi Jack.”
“You okay?” Jack asked him, reaching out one hand to wipe the tears away – he did not want to see Daniel like this again, not after the last time with that robot …you stupid son of a bitch.
Daniel nodded, for some reason the moment of clarity was too hard to hold onto and with Jack’s entrance a boatload of memories came bubbling to the surface. Without saying anything Jacob patted Jack on his arm and left the room.
“It was harder than I thought.” Daniel said through hands and a shaky voice.
“I bet, what do you remember?” Jack took Jacob’s place at Daniel’s side, gingerly wrapping one very warm arm around his back to sooth the shaking a little.
“Everything.” Daniel breathed, hands still covering his face.
“Really?” Jack tried out a nonchalant tone, only his frown lines and tense pull on his lips gave away any hint of concern, but Daniel wouldn’t see that unless he came out of hiding.
“No probably not,” Daniel said with false cheer, “but I feel like I’ve been overloaded with thoughts and… and feelings an-” Daniel broke off, swallowed hard.
“I think it’s time we came clean.” Jack sat back, crossed his arms. “I mean, you…leaving…that was fine. You wanted to try life out on your own, most kids explore Europe - you did the Universe, but hey, that’s you.” Jack groused under his breath. “Point is…” and he felt he couldn’t stress this enough, “we love you.”
Daniel nodded sagely, he believed he knew that – hadn’t truly understood what it meant before. Experience can change your perspective he supposed and if dieing, ascending and descending weren’t an experience he didn’t know what was.
Jack thought this is what Carter would likely refer to as the flash point in their relationship. Everything they’d done together, seen together, lived through, all culminated to this one moment of Big Bang potential. No wonder that meaning of life stuff always made Daniel a little crazy.
Jack still didn’t care too much, but he now thought he understood why Daniel did. He believed he now understood Daniel.
Daniel hiccupped and had only one course left to him; he laughed. “I feel like an idiot, crying on Jacob like that.”
“Ah don’t be, he kind of dotes on you anyway.” Daniel was getting hysterical and all he could do was watch? Jack didn’t think so. He took Daniel by the shoulders, turned to look him in the eye, intending to say something profound, only after a couple of seconds he realised he had nothing and gave him a firm life-assuring hug instead. Proving what he knew about himself once and for all - seemed Jacob wasn’t the only one who doted.
Daniel managed to wipe both eyes and nose on Jack’s shirt before leaning back against the chair. His butt was getting numb from sitting on a cold floor for too long and none of this mushiness was helping his overstrained emotions that, up until the mind probe, were as numb as his butt. “Did they get what they needed?”
Jack stayed sitting where he was, cold floors didn’t bother him so much. “Don’t know. Don’t care.” He said lightly.
Daniel offered a small smile before his eyes watered again, he just couldn’t get a grip tonight and was all too aware of Jack’s presence. That being part of the problem. “I remember.” And Daniel didn’t think he’d have to explain further.
Stroking a sweaty hand through his own hair, while running a hand down Daniel’s back, Jack knew what he had to say. “I’m not going anywhere.”
“We need to do the test again.” Anise cut to the chase. Curiously they hadn’t heard from Freya for the entire time they’d been here.
Symbiotic relationship Jack’s ass.
“Not going to happen.” Jack replied crisply, not even turning from the window overlooking the Stargate. The statement didn’t deserve even that amount of recognition.
“Colonel O’Neill may I remind you of our treaty to share any relevant information.” Anise added with all that Tok’ra ignorance.
Jack whirled on her, “No, but maybe you should remind Daniel, he’s only the one who helped you write the damn thing!” And he exploded, fist slamming down on the briefing room table.
“Colonel O’Neill, please calm down.” Hammond commanded, though he did it through gritted teeth.
“Sorry Sir, but they are not going to refer to Daniel as some piece of information to be bargained over!” Jack laid it out straight, after all they had been through together it was not coming down to this.
“I understand son. Miss, Dr Jackson is once again a man under my command, and it is my duty to see he comes to no harm.” Hammond said very calmly and confidently, sitting back in his chair like he didn’t a have a problem with any of this.
“We do not mean to be disrespectful General Hammond, but Dr Jackson may hold some very important information that is greatly needed in these trying times, Anubis has commendable power, we cannot overlook any possible advantage.” The echoing tones of a Goa’uld, Tok’ra or no, it didn’t alter the sentiment.
Jack was seething.
His teeth ground together until they hurt, only the look from Hammond stopped Jack in his tracks. Not quite a wink, but a definite nod in his direction. Jack then knew the General was calm for a reason.
“Jacob is talking to Daniel right now, I’m sure Dr Jackson will reveal any information he my have remembered during his time as an ascended being.” George rumbled in his usual Texas drawl.
“It will not be enough.” Anise sat straight as an arrow, her resolve to bleed them dry not diminishing in the slightest.
“How so?” Hammond’s patience with the Tok’ra was being stretched to its limit, and had him wishing he had Colonel O’Neill’s luxury of mouthing off once in a while.
“From the images I saw before Selmac terminated the test I suspect we only retrieved Dr Jackson’s personal memories, those that were most strong in his subconscious.” Everyone shifted uncomfortably. “I’m sure if Selmac asked Dr Jackson he would agree to try again-”
“NO WAY!” Jack cut in shortly, and anything but sweetly.
“General Hammond?” Anise ignored Jack knowing General Hammond would have to consider the request given the diplomat repercussions.
“I’m afraid whether Daniel participates again is out of my hands now.” George sat back, a very rare smug look upon his face.
It piqued Jack’s interest.
Anise looked puzzled.
Then Hammond turned to Jack and with one wave of his hand gave him the floor. Jack then caught up with the game and believed he knew what the General’s ace in the hole was, resisting asking for confirmation, Jack smiled wickedly and ran with it.
“If you want anything from Daniel, it has to be approved by me.” He beamed at Anise, taking mental pictures for posterity.
“General Hammond I must protest!”
Jack’s smile widened; she knew they had no chance in hell of convincing HIM about it being for the good of all Tau’ri and Tok’ra alike.
“Protest all you like you ain’t getting him.” Jack slapped one hand on the table and sauntered out of the room.
In Hammond’s opinion it was a fitting exit, and left Anise floundering like a fish out of water. However, an explanation was going to be required.
“After Dr Jackson’s initial reaction to the memory retrieval our Dr Fraiser examined him and declared him mentally unfit.” Oh how Hammond loathed saying that, but he justified it necessary for the boy’s survival in this battle of superiority, Daniel may get himself in these messes, but George was confident he, Jack and the SGC would always try their damnedest to get him out again. “Colonel O’Neill has been appointed Daniel Jackson’s legal guardian ad litem.”
“What does that mean?”
“He makes the decision based on Dr Jackson’s best interests and is therefore exempt from the treaty. If Colonel O’Neill says no we are obliged to stand by that decision. There is nothing the Tok’ra, myself or the President can do to change that.”
“I will challenge this decision General.” Anise said coolly.
General Hammond, hands already folded across his stomach, watched her march out presumably headed for the ‘gateroom. Walter chased after her, and George said to himself, in an echo of one of his most trying officers, “Challenge all you like, you ain’t getting him.”
“Here Jack.” Jacob called from the far side of the observation room.
Daniel was sat on the infirmary bed that had been moved in on Doc Frasier’s, several empty coffee cups decorating the floor around him.
“Well somebody’s not going to sleep tonight.”
“Only one coffee, the rest were caffeine free. Tok’ra honour.” Jacob supplied, sat on a much less comfortable chair in front of Daniel.
Daniel acknowledged Jack’s entrance with a shy smile, nothing more, though he watched with interest as Jack pulled himself up onto the bed to sit next to him, opposite Jacob.
“No offence, but that doesn’t hold much weight with me right now.”
“Don’t let her get to you Jack, that’s when she pounces.” Jacob chuckled.
Jack sent evils in Jacob’s direction, but then voted to ignore him and his Anise jokes completely.
“So how’s it going?” Jack asked Daniel with jocular interest.
Daniel eyed both of them, with something of despair and mild curiosity. He eventually nodded to Jacob that it was okay to talk for him.
Jacob took his queue, despite being concerned with Daniel’s moroseness and he proceeded to fill Jack in. “Daniel’s remembered quite a bit, though not in detail, just the summaries.”
“Mission reports?” Jack asked Daniel with a false air of coolness.
“Something like that.” Jacob answered when Daniel did nothing but stare.
“You do remember that you owe me fifty bucks right?” Jack turned to Daniel, hoping to get a peep out of him, only succeeding in getting a tiny smile. He’d take what he could get.
“Nothing of his time with the ancients however.” Jacob reported solemnly, but not entirely disappointedly. His main concern being that Daniel was okay. “I’m betting the rest of the Tok’ra are expecting me back?”
“Oh yeah…” Jack trailed indicating he’d see Jacob out. They walked away, leaving Daniel still drawn and quiet as a mouse. “They are none too pleased, thanks for the suggestion by the way – worked like a charm.”
“Glad I could be of service, I knew they weren’t going to quit, no matter what I told them.” Jacob looked back at Daniel. “He’s been through a hell of a lot Jack, more than I think any of us realise – take care of him.”
Jack nodded and offered what he hoped was a yessureyoubetcha smile. Taking care of Daniel was something he had been trying to do since SG1 formed, and look where that had got them.
Jacob left with a quick wave to Daniel and a promise to return. Jack waited a beat, watched the door close behind him and then turned on his heel and walked back over to Daniel.
Staring down at the hunched figure Jack smiled dotingly, Danny was his and he was back. He maybe wasn’t feeling completely himself and was more than a little on the fragile side, but he was still Daniel. He felt like a dad whose runaway kid had finally come home, it sounded stupid even in his own head but there it was. Jack just hoped when Daniel was feeling more himself he’d understand that this was his home, where he belonged and not just another temporary foster home for him to wile away his time in till he found something new to take his interest. Jack was going to teach Daniel exactly what family and stability meant even if he had to resort to setting Janet, Sam and Teal’c on him.
“Daniel? You want to go home?” Daniel lifted his head and looked at Jack beseechingly. “I mean my home.”
“Yes.” It was shy, but it was a definite yes.
“Okay then, lets hit the road.”
Daniel planted his feet on the bed, pushed himself up and jumped off. Jack didn’t question it, Daniel almost always did things in the kid way so it was just another sign that Daniel was Daniel once again – just a little lost at the moment.
They walked through the halls and bumped into Carter.
“Sam-” Daniel started but couldn’t finish.
Carter was almost catatonic at the simple utterance of her name; since Daniel had been brought back he hadn’t once said her name like that - with such familiarity, she could have died on the spot.
“Thank you.” Daniel said simply, with a slight hesitation.
Even though Sam had no clue what he was thanking her for she knew it had to do with something he’d remembered, her Dad hadn’t been specific but he’d told her Daniel had remembered a fair bit.
“Carter, we’re heading out for a bit how about we meet tonight?”
“Sure, your place?”
“I’ll bring Teal’c.” She smiled at both of them in turn, giving Daniel a doting smile that outshone all others, and Jack a cunning grin that he matched.
Carter walked off and Jack and Daniel continued to the surface.
“Jack don’t the Tok’ra want to use that thing on me again, Jacob said they hadn’t got the information they where after.”
“No Danny, you don’t have to use it again.”
“You wanted to use it again?”
“That would be a no.” Daniel shook his head prominently. “It hurts, and doesn’t really help all that much, yeah I remember some things, but it’s all so messed up…it…I…I have a headache.” Daniel finished, utterly dejected.
Jack figured it was just giving Daniel a headache trying to think of how to describe it. “Well the Tok’ra won’t be banging on our door again, not about this anyway – I put them in their place.”
“You did? How?”
Jack flummoxed, he didn’t know why but was afraid to admit the truth to Daniel. Fear that he’d most likely object to being protected this way? Yes most likely. Jack went for the plunge. “Janet declared you crazy and made me your legal guardian.” Jack rushed out in a mumble, hoping it would be overlooked.
Jack huffed, plan failed. “They think you’re nuts. I am officially your legal guardian when it comes to decision making, I’m responsible for you.”
“You make my decisions for me?”
“Look, if we didn’t do something drastic they could use red tape to force Hammond to order you to do it. It was the only way to stop the Tok’ra from forcing you to take the damn testing again, they know I hate their guts, and they know they have no chance in hell of me agreeing to it. They left quickly.”
Jack froze, had he just heard right?
“I said thanks.” Daniel repeated, and then continued when Jack didn’t move. “For looking out for me, you know,” he was getting uncomfortable under the scrutiny, “I didn’t want to do that again.”
Jack unfroze as Daniel all but whispered those final words. Daniel wasn’t mad with him, or even indignant. Jack found himself suddenly overflowing with relief. He stepped forward and hugged the ever-loving shit out of him.
“Um Jack?” Daniel was squashed against Jack’s shoulder, and finding it increasingly hard to breath.
Jack heard the muffled question against his shoulder but ignored it, after all Daniel didn’t know what was good for him at the moment and they had the paperwork to prove it.
|Summary:||Daniel decides he doesn't want to wait to be part of SG-1, so when the To'kra make him an offer to restore his missing memories... well he'd be crazy to say no. Set early S7.|
An older story that was posted on my site until Geocities shut down not so recently. I decided to post them here for prosperity :)
Author's Chapter Notes:
Wrote so long ago, i remember nothing pertinent, enjoy :)
Chapter End Notes:
Thanks for reading, as always:)