Scene Expansion for Crystal Skull

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A Grandfather
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Hammond's voice, rich with disapproval, filled the office. "Colonel, there is no greater secret in this nation than the stargate."

Jack's voice, by contrast, had an air of casualness. "So, we keep him away from level twenty-eight."

"A civilian? Who spent the last twenty years of his life in a psychiatric institution?"

"Exactly. Who's gonna believe him if he says anything.?"

Hammond chuckled and sat in the chair behind his desk. "Colonel, you walk a fine line."

"Thank you, sir," Jack said, than took the implied dismissal and left...rather quickly.

The phone rang, and the general picked up the receiver. "Hammond."

Daniel stepped forward. He knew what it meant to allow a civilian on the base. "General, I know you can't hear me, but thank you."

"Absolutely, put her through," Hammond spoke into the phone as Daniel moved away to stare through the glass. "Kayla, sweetheart, this is grandpa."

Daniel turned. Grandpa? Hammond occasionally mentioned his grandchildren, but Daniel had never heard that particular tone in the general's voice before. It was a tone he'd never heard in Nick's voice.

"Isn't this past your bedtime?" Hammond gave a chuckle. "You lost another tooth? Well, you put it under your pillow tonight."

Daniel studied the man, his throat suddenly tight. The little girl on the other end of the phone was lucky. It was late, and although Hammond was at work, in a top secret military installation, in the middle of a 'situation,' he still made time to take calls from his grandaughter, and the child obviously knew he'd be there for her. All she apparently had to do was ask.

"I'll bet your big sister Tessa wishes she lost another tooth."

Daniel gave a flicker of a smile, a small pang twisting in his chest as he studied the general, suddenly transformed from an authoritative military man to...to...a grandfather, one who adored his grandchildren and would, no doubt, adopt them as his own in a second, if, God forbid, the need ever arose. Those children at night, Daniel knew, never wondered what would happen to them.... Who would take care of them....

"I'd love to come to see you in your school play tomorrow night, sweetheart, but can't." A sadness rose in Hammond's voice. "Well, a very close friend of mine is lost, and he needs my help...."

Daniel's eyes grew hot.

'He needs my help.' The words echoed in Daniel's head. Just a little while ago, his own grandfather had refused to help, would have sat back and let Jack, Sam, and Teal'c walk out if they hadn't agreed to his demands.

It shouldn't surprise him, not even now. Nick's career had always been his driving obsession. He never really had it in him to be a grandfather.

"Yes, he's a very close friend...." Hammond told Kayla

A very close friend? Daniel swallowed, and a brief scene flashed in his mind as he imagined what growing up would have been like for him had he had a grandfather like Hammond. Instead of foster homes and orphanages, he'd have had.....

" I hope so too."

....a home.

Daniel blinked, the pressure building behind his eyes. He couldn't touch anyone. Couldn't make them hear him. Wasn't hungry or thirsty.

But he could still cry.

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END

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