A Simple Belief
Hope and a Prayer
My name is Daniel Jackson. So they all tell me. I don't really remember, but if Jack says so then it must be true. Jack knows everything.
It's quiet in the SGC infirmary at night. So noisy in the day, but so quiet at night. Jack thinks this is a good thing, "How else can a man and boy get some sleep?" He can be funny although the nurses forget to laugh sometimes.
Janet agrees but tells me I have to try to sleep anyway. I just have to shut my eyes. But I daren't.
The curtain is pulled the whole way around by bed, and I feel a little trapped. Everyone wants me to sleep, but the dream monster will find me. If I stay awake, I'll be safe. If I stay awake, I can see Jack. Nobody understands. He does, he understands why I don't want to shut my eyes. He says nighttime terrors are the worse, and holds my hand very tight. Sometimes Jack squeezes too hard and it hurts a little. But I don't say anything; he might go away and leave me.
If he goes, she will come.
Jack's asleep now. His head is resting on my bed, and he's snoring. He sounds like a buzzing bee, but I mustn't wake him. Janet said he is exhausted, and I have to be a brave little boy until he wakes up. If I shake his shoulder, he catches his breath and snorts a little. I need him to wake up, if he doesn't; the monster will know.
People in uniforms whisper what a sad little boy I am. They watch me, scribble things on clipboards, and shake their heads. They talk behind their hands about the terrible things that happened to Doctor Daniel Jackson. The nurses don't like them, and they shoo them away. I want to smile for them, but I daren't. If I smile, the monster will know.
A dark haired nurse took my friend. She promised to bring it back all mended with a new leg. So, for now, I have this new one to hold. Its okay, the monster doesn't know its name yet. If I hold onto my new friend tightly, it will be safe with me.
Another nurse with curly hair asked me what my new friend's name was. The monster called me nobody, but the nurse shook her head hard making all her curls bounce. She whispered in my ear that she liked Raggsie. She gave me a kiss goodnight. She didn't give Jack a kiss though, and he said, "Nuts!"
Sam and Teal'c visit me all the time.
They don't sleep here though; not like Jack. I only ever want him to stay with me, but I don't say anything. It might hurt their feelings.
I explained this to Jack and he said we needed to have a talk -- man to man. He told me that Sam and Teal'c are part of my family now, and that they love me as he does. Every time they visit, I say hello, and if I remember, I smile.
I don't remember them. Not really. There is something familiar though, I feel safe when they are close. Teal'c says this is my subconscious, and that is enough for now. Sam explained it's because a family's love is unforgettable.
The monster said that nobody could love me, and I had no family. She said I am an abomination and I should have died. Jack coughed, and looked as though he'd cry when I told him. But, Jack's a soldier, a colonel! Colonels never cry and are very brave. I told him I want to be a soldier so I can be brave and fight monsters.
Jack looked as though he'd cry again. He told me I was a man of peace. Men like him become soldiers. Men like me change the world. Still, I want to be just like him. Colonel Daniel, slayer of monsters.
Jack's got all these scratchy whiskers on his face, and they tickle when he kisses me goodnight. He said daddies have whiskers so they can make their little boys giggle. I want to be a soldier and a daddy with tickly whiskers, just like Jack. He looked happy when I told him, and everyone laughed.
I have lots of family now. Teal'c tells me my family will always protect me, but he's wrong. They can't protect me all the time. The monster in my dreams isn't frightened of anyone, except maybe of Jack. I hope she's frightened of Jack. It's the only way I'll ever be safe.
Sam is happy now. She brings me walnut cookies and glasses of milk. I don't like milk, and walnuts make my throat hurt. I eat them all up, because when she smiles, she's pretty. Sam used to cry all the time. Now, she laughs. Sam has the best laugh, and sometimes, even though I don't know why, I laugh too. I know I have to be careful. The monster might hear me.
Teal'c is very quiet, not like the others. He brings me special Jaffa tea. One day, he asked me if I liked my milk, and when I said no, he took it away. He wasn't cross with me though; Teal'c is never cross with me. He calls me Daniel Jackson. I asked him why the monster hated me, but he didn't know. Sometimes the drip in my hand hurts, but I don't cry. Teal'c is a warrior and he tells me that warriors don't cry. He did though; when he thought I was sleeping, I saw a tear roll down his face.
Lunchtime is the best time in the whole wide world. Jack comes down from his important meetings and lets me sit on his lap. We eat tuna and mayonnaise sandwiches, and he tells me strange stories about who I used to be. At first, I thought he'd be cross with me if I couldn't remember. I try to concentrate hard, but it doesn't help, all I remember is the monster. I don't really remember Jack either, but I remember his smell. He smells safe.
Jack was sad when I told him I didn't really remember him. He hugged me close and said it didn't matter. Jack loves bear hugs. He says no one can give a bear hug like Jack O'Neill. I couldn't breathe properly, so a Jack O'Neill bear hug is good, but a little scary at the same time.
I try to remember not to make him sad because he might decide not to tell me any more stories. He might decide not to let me sit on his lap anymore, and share tuna and mayonnaise sandwiches. They are my absolute favorite because they make Jack silly. He meows at me, and when I asked what sort of cat he was, he said a mean ole tomcat. Sam laughed so hard, Coke ran out of her nose.
I love it when Jack laughs.
I love it when Sam laughs.
I love it when Janet laughs.
The monster is scared of laughing, and hides where I can't find her.
If everyone keeps laughing, I will be safe.
If I am not careful though, she will come for me. The monster will find me and take me away.
And this time, she will take me forever.