Memory Recall



Jack watched the young boy open his present with unbound enthusiasm. The fragile paper was eagerly torn from the round package and Kirn's face lit up with delight when he spied the small gizmo lying nestled in yet more tissue.

"Thank you!" the dark haired child squealed as he excitedly removed the gift from the box. His parents beamed and then pushed another gift towards him. Jack smiled, remembering Charlie's birthdays and his son's enthusiasm at ripping through his gifts as fast as he could, never taking the time to appreciate any single one until he could gather them all later and go sit in a corner, testing each one out, running back to Jack or Sara to show them something or question them about its operation.

It looked like celebrating birthdays on this planet had developed in the same manner as on Earth. The toys Kirn had already unwrapped were now forgotten as he dove into the remaining pile, including the small token of chocolate that Daniel had quickly gift wrapped with lined writing paper and then decorated with hieroglyphics upon hearing of their hosts' private celebration for their child.

Carter reached over and picked up the small mechanical device Kirn had just unwrapped that resembled an MP3 player. Seeing her curiosity, the boy's mother leaned over and removed a very thin, pliable wire covered in plastic, still resting in the packaging.

"It recalls memories. You place it on your head, like so." Sholpa placed the thin wire over Carter's head and plugged the end lead into the gizmo resting in Carter's hand. She pointed to a button on the side. "Close your eyes and think of a happy memory."

Carter closed her eyes, and Sholpa showed her how to scroll to adjust the settings. A wistful smile appeared on Carter's face, and after a moment, she sighed deeply. She opened her eyes several minutes later, then glanced over at Jack.

"Molasses cookies. I'd forgotten my grandmother used to bake them, and how much I loved them." She closed her eyes once again, a happy look on her face. "The spices in your cake reminded me of her cookies, Sholpa." She reached up and removed the wire, handing it over to Jack. "Here, sir, try it."

Jack fingered the slim wire, not sure he wanted to try anything alien. He looked at Kirn, who had made a huge dent in his gifts and hadn't lost any of his enthusiasm yet. If this gift was safe for a child, then most likely it should be okay for him to use. He stared at the small device a moment longer, afraid of the memories it might invoke.

"It's similar to a Tollan device Narim gave me," Carter added, probably seeing Jack's hesitation as being overly cautious with alien doodads. "Except that Narim's recorded emotions and you could play them back." Jack cocked an eyebrow at Carter, and she blushed when she must have realized she'd never informed anyone of the Tollan gift. He'd let it slide. This time.

Jack glanced over at Daniel, who'd been watching them both with a quizzical look on his face. Teal'c watched him impassively. Jack held his hand out and offered the toy to the Jaffa, not quite ready to try it himself.

Teal'c merely raised an eyebrow, indicating there was no way Jack was going to get that piece of metal on his head. Jack shrugged, and placed the slim headpiece on top of his head. He decided to play it safe and go the way Carter did. He took a deep breath, the sights and smells of the house evoking memories of when he'd been a kid and had gone to his grandparents' home.

For a moment he felt nothing, and recalling Sholpa's instructions, thumbed the control up slightly.

// "Here, let me take him." Rose took Charlie from Sara's arms, beaming at the toddler who was wriggling in his mother's arms, eager to see his grandmother. Jack could still feel his mom's welcoming hug as she turned her attention to Sara and Charlie.

"Charlie's getting bigger," Rose said as Charlie demanded to be put down.

Jack frowned, realizing that he'd wanted to remember his own childhood, and not Charlie's. The memories came quickly, the feelings of love and pride flowing over him before he could react.

"Yes, it's your birthday," Rose crooned to Charlie as she carried the squirming child into the living room. Balloons and ribbons were hanging from every conceivable spot and several gaily wrapped packages were waiting on the coffee table. Charlie had gone quiet and was staring wide-eyed at the multitude of decorations.

"Think my mom went a little overboard?" Jack whispered loudly to Sara. Sara giggled at the look his mom gave him as she put Charlie down on the floor. Immediately his son toddled to the gifts and he grabbed the nearest bow.

"Hey, it's not every day my grandson turns two." Rose came to Jack and, rising on her tiptoes, kissed his cheek. //

Jack reached a hand up and hurriedly removed the device from his head. Holding it away from him, he realized that everyone was staring. He was glad to see that his hands weren't trembling, despite how the recollections had shaken him to the core. Charlie, dead four years now; Sara, divorced and no longer in his life; and his mom, estranged from Jack since Charlie's untimely death.

"Well, that was... interesting," he said, happy to hand the headpiece over to Daniel's outstretched hand. Kirn grabbed the device from him before Daniel could take it from Jack, quickly placing it over his own head. The boy fiddled with the controls and closed his eyes. For a moment Jack was tempted to rip it from the boy's head, afraid that the boy would be traumatized by his memories. He waited for the tears...

Instead, Kirn giggled.

The child continued to play with his toy while everyone watched him during a lull in conversation. Jack sipped his tea, needing to do something to keep his attention from the residual emotions still running through him. He could hear Charlie's laughter echoing in Kirn's, almost smell Charlie's unique scent in the kitchen of a house set on an alien planet light years away from where his son was buried.

"Where's Teal'c?" Jack suddenly realized that Kirn's father and Teal'c had left the room at some point during the time he'd experienced that flashback. He'd presumed it had lasted for only a few seconds, but he was beginning to suspect that time had passed more slowly than he'd thought.

"They went outside," Carter replied. "Malkor said he had some old weapons in the barn he wanted to show Teal'c."

Apparently tiring of the gift, Kirn removed it and thrust it onto the tabletop. Daniel raised an eyebrow at Jack and reached for the small device.

"You sure you wanna do that?" Jack put the empty cup down onto the table and sat back in his chair. Daniel looked at Jack in puzzlement.

"Bad memories?"

"Not exactly what I expected," Jack admitted.

"I don't think it's harmful, sir." Carter smiled, her eyes turning soft as she spoke. "I can still smell my grandma's cookies, hear her voice as she sang to me."

"It's been popular for several years," Sholpa added. "And although sometimes the memories do catch one unawares, it won't bring about bad ones if you don't want to remember them. It is a wonderful tool for learning self-discipline, especially at Kirn's age. It's a requisite for preschool, the children are taught to focus and control their thoughts. That's why we bought it for him."

"Momma, can I go play outside?" Kirn was holding some kind of toy vehicle, waving it at his mom.

"Stay in the yard," she cautioned.

As Kirn ran to the door and rushed outside, Daniel placed the wire headpiece on his head, the ends of it overlapping the frames of his glasses. Jack saw Daniel close his eyes and take a deep breath.

Loud rapid clicks raced into the kitchen and something yellow and furry, about the size and shape of a Dachshund but with too many legs to count, made for the open door.

"Kirn! How many times do I have to tell you to shut the door behind you!" Sholpa dashed for the door before the family pet was able to escape through it.

- - - - - -

// "Daniel, how many times do I have to tell you to shut the door behind you!"

Danny cringed at the angry voice, nearly dropping his book in fright. He turned, wide-eyed, and saw the partly opened door being nudged aside as Mrs. Hart's beloved FrooFroo darted through it. His foster mother's heavy tread approached and Danny suddenly envied the dog's freedom as it ran down the street as fast as its legs could carry it.

"Can't you remember to do anything right? It's going to take me forever to find that dog again. Get back inside!" Frozen in fear, Daniel didn't obey and then jumped as she grabbed his arm roughly, her fingers pinching his skin as she jerked him towards the door. Danny stumbled as he entered the house, and only his foster mother's cruel grip on his arm prevented him from landing on the floor.

This time he did drop his book. He hung by his arm, his shoulder burning as it bore all of his weight while Mrs. Hart's fingers dug more deeply into him.

He hadn't meant to forget to shut the door. Dogs always came and went in Egypt, and they never acted like this pampered miniature poodle did. Danny struggled to get his feet underneath him, to try and take the weight off his aching arm and shoulder. Before he could do so, he felt himself pulled up and thrown across the room. //

Daniel gasped at the remembered pain of the coming beating while a stinging sensation burned the bridge of his nose and cheeks. He raised a hand to rub at the irritating tingle, wondering how he could move his arm knowing he had torn something, when he was yanked back into the memory.

// "Daniel, how many times do I have to tell you to shut the door behind you!" //

- - - - - -

Jack saw Daniel raise his hand to his cheeks and rub the area around the bridge of his nose, then slip his fingers beneath his glasses and rub his temple. The movement dislodged the headpiece and it slipped off Daniel's head, making a soft chiming sound as it landed on the table.

Jack reached over and picked it up while Daniel scrunched his eyes closed and removed his glasses. Jack pushed the toy back towards Sholpa while keeping an eye on Daniel. Their host collected the toy absentmindedly while talking with Carter.

When Daniel continued rubbing his face, Jack tapped Daniel's arm. "Hey, you okay?"

Daniel opened his eyes and looked at Jack. "Yeah, I'm fine." His brow furrowed in confusion and he rotated his shoulder. "Why?"

Jack pointed to the toy in Sholpa's hand with his chin. "That thing packs quite a wallop."

Daniel turned to squint towards the device Jack had indicated. That was when Jack noticed the slightly glazed look in Daniel's eyes. "Daniel, you sure you're okay?"

His words must have caught Sholpa's attention because she cut off her conversation mid sentence and began to examine the toy in her hands. "Oh no." She put the toy down and reached over the table to take Daniel's face in her hands, examining him intently. "Kirn must have turned the setting on to full."

Daniel didn't resist; he just sat there unresistingly, blinking back at her.

"Daniel?" Carter leaned forward, her face close to Sholpa's.

"Sam, I'm fine." Daniel pulled away from Sholpa, although Jack saw the effort he made as he over-corrected and nearly fell off the chair. Then Daniel smiled, but to Jack, it seemed forced. "Jack's right. That thing does pack quite a punch."

"I am sorry, Daniel." Sholpa smiled nervously at Daniel, then at Jack. "The memory recall is harmless, but it's always recommended to start with a lower setting and gradually work up to a higher one. Had I known, I wouldn't have let you use it for so long."

"It's okay." Daniel glanced at them all, and this time his smile was more genuine. "I feel a little weird, but I guess it's like wearing a Walkman at full volume. Keep it on too long and you get a headache for your trouble."

"How about we head on home?" Jack pushed away from the table, thinking maybe Fraiser had better have a look at Daniel as soon as possible. In any case, they'd finished their mission, and had stayed behind a little longer to wish Kirn a happy birthday. The information they'd come to collect according to the treaty signed last year was put away in Daniel's backpack, ready to hand over to the scientists.

Jack watched Daniel with an eagle eye as the man stood, and although Daniel hid it well, Jack could see he was unsteady. While Sholpa insisted on giving them some more cake to bring back home with them, Jack moved closer to his friend.

Daniel simply glanced at Jack, then lowered his gaze to the glasses he still held in his hand.

Carter took the proffered dessert with a smile and thanks. Sholpa led them out of the house just as Teal'c and Malkor were returning.

After saying their goodbyes, the four began the short walk back to the Stargate. Jack didn't miss Carter's worried glances at Daniel when he stumbled for the third time on the smooth path.

"Look, I'm fine," Daniel finally exclaimed when it was obvious both he and Carter were flanking him. "Okay, I'm a little light headed, but you all said the effects were temporary."

"But we didn't have that gizmo on the highest setting," Jack argued.

"No, but Sholpa said the thing's safe enough for kids to use."

"I don't think there should be any negative effects, Daniel, or else they wouldn't allow children to use it. But I think Janet needs to look at you as soon as we get back, just in case."

Jack swore under his breath. He knew he shouldn't have allowed his people to try anything untested � and he should have known better to allow himself to use the toy, although he had to admit that he had shrugged off most of the ill feelings he'd had and was now left with a nice, fuzzy memory of holding Charlie in his arms.

Jack could tell Daniel had a headache, just by his pale and pinched look. He'd been carrying his glasses in his hand, which spoke volumes to Jack. Just as Teal'c began to dial Earth's address, Daniel took a deep breath, put his glasses on, and straightened his shoulders. Yep, he might put on a brave front, but Jack was gonna haul his ass straight to Fraiser the moment they got home.

- - - - - -

Fighting back the headache and bouts of disorientation, Daniel stepped through the Stargate. Travelling at unimaginable speeds through a wormhole, he was spit unceremoniously through Earth's portal. He stumbled on the first steps, then slowly walked down the metallic ramp by rote, *knowing* he was home but having problems telling his brain that *this* was home.

He couldn't understand why Jack and Sam didn't seem to be having any problems with the toy they'd used, unless they were both trying to hide any symptoms from him, and if they were, they were a hell of a lot more successful at it than he was.

"So, Doctor Jackson." Daniel looked up at General Hammond's expectant face. "Did you get the reports?"

Suddenly Daniel was at a loss. What reports? He looked down at his empty hands, then looked at his teammates in confusion. He'd just come through the Stargate, of that he was sure. Where had they gone? He remembered a birthday party, and a dog, and Mrs. Hart and Principal Connors...

"I'm sorry," Daniel whispered. "I think I lost my homework."

"What the hell�"

Danny looked up in fright. At no time did teachers or the principal swear; they must really be mad at him. He *knew* he'd done his homework last night � as usual, it hadn't been challenging in the least and he'd finished it in no time. Lisa and Sebastian had accused him of slacking off, jealous that they were struggling with their own. It wasn't until he'd shown it to their foster mother as proof that he'd finished, had he been permitted to go and escape outside.

He wasn't feeling good. His head hurt and his vision was swimming. Someone had to have hidden his homework, because he had put it into his schoolbag himself this morning. He looked down, unable to meet Principal Connors' gaze. The man didn't like him, Daniel just knew it. From his first meeting with him and his latest foster mother, Mrs. Goudreau, he'd been condescending to them both when she had asked that Daniel be placed in a grade befitting his intelligence.

"Daniel, are you feeling okay?"

He nodded his head, unable to take his eyes from his feet. His sneakers were scuffed and there was a hole next to his big toe. His feet were already feeling squeezed inside them and he knew that Mrs. Goudreau didn't have the money to buy him a new pair.

"Okay, that's it. Come with me." He felt someone tugging his arm and he followed blindly, watching the patterns on the hardwood floor as he was marched down the corridor. It was odd walking in a nearly empty hallway; normally he had to fight his way through the swarms of students rushing to their various classes. The silence was eerie instead of soothing, making the pain in his head escalate.

- - - - - -

Jack couldn't help throwing worried glances over at Daniel, who was walking with his head down, docilely being led down the corridor towards the infirmary. He hadn't said a word since mumbling something about homework, but the scared, desperate expression on his face was something that had sent Jack's unease up a couple of notches.

Daniel silently climbed onto the bed that Jack steered him to while the nurses descended on them like hungry scavengers. Jack took the bed next to Daniel, while Teal'c and Carter sat behind Jack. Fraiser went first to Carter, and Jack could see them talking, glancing their way. He assumed Carter was telling the doc her worries about Daniel.

Daniel flinched and pulled away from the nurse, and Jack knew something was definitely wrong. The nurse noticed Daniel's reaction and raised her eyes, seeking Jack's counsel.

"Hey." Jack reached across and patted Daniel's leg. Daniel jumped, startled. "You okay?"

Daniel nodded, his hands now tightly clenched together, and still not meeting Jack's gaze. Jack caught the nurse's understanding look and she moved aside while Jack crossed over to sit beside his friend. "Get Fraiser," Jack said softly to her. When the woman walked away, Daniel seemed to relax a tiny bit.

"So, you wanna tell me what's the matter? You look a little worried."

Daniel gnawed on his lower lip, then quickly glanced over at Jack. Jack could tell he was debating whether to talk to him, and breathed a sigh of relief when Daniel finally spoke. By now Fraiser was standing next to them, with Carter and Teal'c at the bed's end.

"I lost m...my homework." The voice was soft, hesitant, slowly spoken.

"Yeah, you mentioned that already. Do you have any idea what might have happened to it?" He figured it was probably best to play along until they could figure what was going on.

Daniel shrugged, hunching his shoulders and trying to curl onto himself, as if he wanted to hide.

"By homework, Daniel, are you talking about the information that Malkor gave us?" Carter cautiously took a step forward.

"Huh?" Daniel squinted at her, then shook his head again. He rubbed his temples, then massaged his cheeks beneath his glasses. "No, I mean my history homework. I had to hand in an essay and I can't find it." Daniel began to rock slightly back and forth, obviously very ill at ease while he wrapped his arms around his stomach. "My head hurts," he admitted to his feet.

Before anyone else could speak, Fraiser quickly took control of the situation. "Daniel, I can see you're not feeling well." Her voice was low and soft, her hand coming up to squeeze his shoulder. "I'd like to give you a quick checkup and see if we can find what's wrong, okay?"

Daniel nodded, his teeth working his lower lip.

As she took his blood pressure, pulse and temperature, she asked started asking him questions.

"Do you know where you are?"

"The Infirmary."

"Do you know why?"

"Because I'm in trouble?"

"No, you're not in trouble. You're here because you're not feeling well, remember?"

Daniel raised his head, looking around quickly before staring at his hands once again.

"What's wrong?"

"Why are there so many people here? There's supposed to only be the school nurse."

"Well," Fraiser started, "I needed to check out a couple of other students and these people came to help me." She motioned for everyone to leave, and to pull the privacy curtain shut behind them. Jack, however, remained where he was. Once Fraiser finished, she had Daniel lie down, and Jack shifted to give him room, then bent over and began untying Daniel's bootlaces.

"Here, take this, it'll help your headache. Try and get some sleep, okay?" Daniel nodded, took the pill with the water Fraiser handed him, and lay back down. He took his glasses off, and Frasier took them from him and placed them beside the bed.

Jack tossed Daniel's boots under the bed and pulled a blanket over his friend.

"Jack?" Daniel turned his head towards Jack, his eyes barely open.

"Yeah, it's me. Go to sleep." Jack patted Daniel's shoulder, and his friend turned onto his side and buried his face into the pillow. He seemed to be sleeping now or just on the verge, so with a last glance at Daniel, he followed Fraiser to the other end of the infirmary where Carter and Teal'c were waiting for them.

"Sam said all of you tried that device out?" She crossed her arms and stood staring up at them all.

"It was just a toy, doc!" Jack exclaimed, knowing she was right and wishing in hindsight that he'd ordered everyone not to try the damn thing.

"I did not." Teal'c stood tall and proud and Jack couldn't help but reminded of the time after the fiasco with the Tok'ra armbands.

"An alien toy, sir," Carter argued. "Janet, I feel fine, I don't even have a headache."

"Ditto," Jack chimed in.

"Well, something's obviously affecting Daniel. His BP's high, his pulse is racing and his temperature's slightly elevated, not to mention that episode just now. I need to run tests on all of you and run comparisons with Daniel. So, good people, if you'll follow me."

Rolling his eyes upwards, Jack followed, knowing that the coming hours were going to be long and tedious.

- - - - - -

The headache was back, or maybe it had never really disappeared. Daniel opened his eyes and immediately saw he was in the infirmary. He didn't remember walking here from the Gateroom, he must have been more tired than he'd thought. He stretched, then sat up.

He felt lethargic and sad; he'd had strange dreams, about how he'd gotten into trouble at school as a kid. Funny, he'd forgotten all about that episode, but now he remembered how distressed he'd been when someone had stolen his homework and nobody had believed him.

He looked around and saw Jack was sitting on one of the beds farther down with Janet, Teal'c and Sam standing nearby. One of the nurses noticed he was awake and approached them, and within seconds, all four of his friends were walking towards his bed.

He didn't feel like putting his glasses on, he felt that bringing everything into clarity would just make his headache worse. He squinted up at his friends, their forms slightly blurry with his mild myopic vision. But despite the haziness of his vision, the worry on their faces was more than evident.

"What's going on, guys?" He rubbed his eyes with his thumb and fingers, wishing the pounding behind them would go away.

"Can you tell me where you are?" Janet smiled at him as she took his wrist in her hand, checking his pulse.

"Infirmary, SGC. Look, what happened? I don't remember... we came back from P4... um, Kirn's birthday party, right?"

"That's right." Jack stood balancing back and forth on his toes, hands thrust into pockets. "It looks like you had a bad reaction to the memory recall toy thingie."

"What about you guys?"

"We're fine." Sam sat on the bed opposite him and leaned forward. "How are you feeling?"

"Headache. Confused. Tired."

"I gave you something for your headache three hours ago. I'll get you something stronger. In the meantime, Daniel, I have some tests I need to run."

"Okay."

"We can start with an MRI. Come on, the room's set up and the technician's waiting for you."

Daniel stood, reached for his glasses and reluctantly put them on. He edged past Sam and Jack and followed Janet to radiology.

As he walked through the infirmary, he averted his eyes as he walked past a bed with a patient lying in it. An alarm sounded just as he was going by and he jumped, his gaze flicking towards the flashing lights. He closed his eyes a moment, seeing the pattern superimposed on the back of his eyelids, almost like a lightning strike.

A loud clattering sound shattered the relative quiet of the infirmary, and Daniel...

...cowered in the far corner of his room as thunder shattered the night outside and spears of electricity lit up the sky. He was wedged between his bed and a small dresser, the only spot in the room where he didn't have a clear view of the window. His eyes were tightly shut and his hands covered his ears, but nonetheless, the flashes of light continued to burn into his retinas and the thunder shook the house.

He'd never heard thunder this loud, this severe, this angry. He had never believed in any of the ancient gods his parents kept telling him about, but now he wasn't so sure. Someone, something, out there, was furious, and he was afraid that it was looking for him.

"Danny?"

He heard his mother's voice and got up to run into her comforting arms. But something was holding him down, preventing him from moving.

"Momma!" He desperately tried to get free but he couldn't move. The lights shone blindingly into his eyes again, causing twins spears of pain to lance right into his brain. He wanted his mother, why wasn't she coming to help him? He yelled again, then yelped as something stung his arm.

The thunder roared again, and he lay there on the floor, helpless, expecting the lightning to come crashing through the window to find him now that he wasn't hidden away. He whimpered in fear.

After a while he realized someone was holding him tightly, and with the realization, he suddenly felt safe. He thought it was his momma, but the person didn't feel all soft and squishy like her. It wasn't his dad, it didn't smell like his dad. Still, he wasn't afraid anymore, and he was beginning to relax. He was getting sleepy, and the hand that was rubbing circles on his back felt heavy, and warm, and nice. There was a voice whispering, telling him to sleep, and so he closed his eyes, despite the disturbing knowledge that his parents hadn't come when he'd called, and slept.

- - - - - -

Jack felt Daniel start to relax and he knew Fraiser's sedative was beginning to work. Damn, but Daniel had startled them all. Someone had dropped a metal tray of instruments and before they'd known it, his friend was curled up between two beds, cowering in fear.

Jack was terrified. Seeing and hearing Daniel screaming for his mother... Daniel, the guy who had stood up to Ra, to Apophis, to... God, this couldn't be happening!

Daniel became heavier in Jack's arms as the medication took a good hold. He was calm now, no longer crying and struggling. Jack continued to rub Daniel's back, hoping it soothed him as he drifted off into sleep.

"Help me get him up," Fraiser ordered a medic, a gurney having been wheeled behind them. Jack helped them put Daniel's limp body onto it and then watched as they wheeled him away. Teal'c placed a hand on Jack's shoulder, and Jack turned to look at him. But his friend's gaze was on the door where Daniel had disappeared through.

- - - - - -

"Daniel."

A voice penetrated the sleep-fog, and he ignored it, too comfortable and sleepy to try and answer. When it called his name again, he realized he'd been hearing it for a while through what seemed like a long, echoing tunnel. He ignored the hand that was shaking his shoulder and tried to pull away from it.

"Come on, Daniel, it's time to wake up now."

Cold air rushed around his shoulders and back, and he sighed. He cracked open an eye to see Janet looking down at him, a worried look on her face.

"Janet?" He turned onto his back, stretching and sighing. His mouth was dry and thick, and his brain was full of cotton. He saw Janet's frown turn into a smile.

"Hey, that's right." She bent over him, pulling the blanket she'd removed from him back up to his chest. "I'm sorry, but you've been asleep for most of the afternoon. Do you think you're up to eating some supper?"

Daniel realized there was a tray on the roll-away table next to the bed and that yes, he was hungry. He nodded and waited as Janet raised the bed.

"What happened?" he asked, shifting around until he was comfortable. He leaned forward as she stuffed pillows behind his back.

"We're not sure. What do you remember?"

He squinted and rubbed the sleep from his eyes with one hand and took a sip of juice to erase the awful taste from his mouth. He recognized the after effects of a sedative. And he realized he still had a headache.

"I'm not sure. Weren't we going for some tests... an MRI, right?" He looked up at her, yawning, and she nodded.

She handed him his glasses and he accepted them, only to take them off a few seconds later. They were bothering him, he wondered if the frame had been bent. He had a cursory look at them but couldn't see anything wrong with them. Deciding he'd have a better look after his meal, he put them back on.

He looked at his meal; some kind of chicken in gravy, mashed potatoes, peas, carrots. He pushed the peas aside and shovelled some chicken onto his fork, dragging it through the gravy. Just as he put the forkful into his mouth, he heard Jack's voice.

"Hey Daniel! Sleeping Beauty finally woke up."

Daniel waved his fork, too busy chewing. He noticed Jack was geared up to go offworld.

He swallowed. "I know I'm not fully awake yet, but I do remember we're not due another mission for a couple of days yet. What's up?" He ate some potatoes, while carefully pushing a few stray peas aside.

"We're going back to '764 to get our hands on a memory recall machine."

"Thinking of putting that thing on the market and making a killing here on Earth?"

Jack smacked Daniel's blanket-covered foot just as he took a bite of chicken. His hand jerked and gravy flew onto his scrubs.

"No, we're going to take it apart and see why it's been affecting you, and not us."

Daniel rubbed at the stain on his chest and tried to make sense of Jack's words. He didn't remember, unless he meant the dreams he'd had about a thunderstorm, and the time he'd lost his homework... "Affecting... you mean, my dreams?"

"Flashbacks, more like."

Daniel didn't miss the look between Jack and Janet.

"Flashbacks? I don't remember�"

"You've had two since returning from�" Janet checked the chart she was carrying in her hand. "P4H 764. The last one was so severe we had to sedate you."

"Honest, Janet, I don't... did any of them have to do with thunder, or with my forgetting my homework?"

"I don't know about the thunder, but you appeared to be terrified of something, and yes, one of the episodes had to do with your homework."

Daniel toyed with the mashed potatoes, making a hole in the middle and trying to get the gravy to flow into the channel he'd created. A few peas floated with the gravy and Daniel pushed them away.

"Hey, aren't ya gonna eat your peas?" Jack never failed to tease Daniel about his hatred of that particular vegetable. He waited for the inevitable, "They're good for you, y'know," and wasn't disappointed.

He smiled, shovelling a few onto his fork and getting ready to flick them at his friend, when suddenly he heard Miss Cray's shrill voice right beside his ear. "Daniel Jackson. You *will* eat those peas or you will not be permitted to leave the table. Is that clear?"
Didn't she know how much he hated peas? He kept telling her and telling her, but she never listened to him. Just the smell was enough to make him gag.

He'd never really cared for them but he had eaten them nonetheless, until the time a year ago when he'd been sick after eating some. His mom had listened and had never served him any after that when he'd asked her not to give him any. Why did the foster home constantly put them on his plate every night, and why did Miss Cray insist he eat them, knowing full well he'd be sick afterwards?

"I don't like peas," Daniel said in a small voice, not understanding why everyone else liked them. He had eaten everything on his plate, except for the small pile of peas. But now his supper sat heavily in his stomach.

"You ate them last night, didn't you? And the night before that? That's no excuse, dear child. Now you finish your plate. We get little enough money here and you're not about to start wasting food." She turned away from him and wiping down the empty table, all the other children having been sent off to play.

"What about the food I'll be wasting when I get sick again." Daniel couldn't resist the barb, but knew he was in for it when she suddenly straightened and stared down at him coldly.

"And you will clean your mess again, young man. Now, are you going to sit there all night? Those will be pretty unappetizing for breakfast in the morning."

The fight suddenly deflated from him, Daniel slowly reached a hand and picked up a small, cold and wrinkled pod. He stared back at Miss Cray, who still was showing no sympathy for him, and put the pea into his mouth.

He chewed it quickly, forcing the mush back and swallowing it quickly. He took another, grimacing, and put it into his mouth. As he chewed, he felt his stomach start to contract, and the sour contents start to rise. He forced that one down, and picked up another.

This time he didn't chew it, hating the taste in his mouth, but he felt his mouth fill with saliva despite his best efforts to swallow it whole as quickly as possible.

But it never went down, getting caught at the back of his throat, and he gagged. He felt his stomach contract and he spit out the pea, his mouth dribbling saliva down into his plate.

"It's okay, take it easy." The offending plate was suddenly removed and he looked up, startled, at two strangers. Miss Cray had disappeared, and in her stead were a kindly looking lady and a piercing-eyed man. The woman had his unfinished supper in her hand, and the man was leaning close to him, wiping the saliva that kept flowing from his mouth and the tears streaming down his cheeks. His throat felt tight, and his head was pounding.

"I'm s...sorry. I don't like p...peas." He was suddenly embarrassed, and he tried to duck his head, but the man had a hold of his face and wouldn't let him.

"I know, big guy. It's okay, really."

Daniel looked up and thought the man didn't look angry.

"Miss Cray wants me to f...finish them, I c...can't go until I eat them all." Daniel fought the urge to cry, despite the tears that seemed to flow with a mind of their own.

"Daniel, I've spoken to her and she said it was okay for this time. You don't need to eat them." The lady smiled at him and he noted that the plate had disappeared. But everything around him was misty, and the sounds were strange. The man let go of him and sat down in a chair next to him.

"Where am I?" He tried to look around but couldn't seem to focus on anything beyond a foot or two around him. He seemed to be in a bed, but that wasn't right, he hadn't left the dining room, because he hadn't finished his supper.

"You're safe. You've been sick. Do you remember?"

He shook his head. "Are you a doctor? Is that why my head hurts so much?" He raised a hand to rub at the bridge of his nose, the pain there not quite like the sinus problems he often suffered from.

"Yes, Daniel. Your headaches are most likely part of the problem. And no, I'm not a doctor, but she is. I'm Jack. A friend."

"I'll get you something for your headache, okay?" The woman moved out of his sight and Daniel squeezed his eyes shut. He continued rubbing his cheeks and temples with the palm of his hand, having taken his glasses off because they were in the way. He heard whispered voices but he ignored them, it being too hard to try and concentrate on them right now.

He jumped when he felt a hand on his arm and looked up. The woman, no, the doctor, was holding out a couple of pills, and a glass of water. He looked at the pills, uncertain whether to take them. Maybe he should ask Mrs. Cray first, he knew that he shouldn't take stuff from strangers, and these people were strangers, after all.

"Go ahead. It's just a couple of Tylenol."

Uncertain, Daniel took them and swallowed them, thinking how funny it was that the medicine went down so much easier than the dreaded peas. He leaned his head back and closed his eyes again.

"Daniel, I have to go now. I'll be back soon, okay?"

Go? Where was Jack...? Oh yeah, to '764.

"Tell Sholpa that this isn't her fault, okay?" He opened an eye and peered at his friend, the lights making his head throb even more.

"You back with us now?"

Daniel tried to answer, but the effort was too much.

"Okay. Try to rest."

He nodded. He hoped he wasn't going to be sick; he had the most god-awful taste of peas in his mouth.

- - - - - -

Jack stood in the elevator, his hands squeezing his temples, trying to get the sight of Daniel crying over the uneaten peas out of his mind. The change had been sudden; one second he'd caught a glimpse of laughter in Daniel's eyes when Jack had teased him, the next second there was fear and illness. And then the confusion, that little boy voice that was so weird coming out of Daniel's mouth, and then just as quickly, Daniel was back.

That toy had better hold the answers - Fraiser's tests had shown nothing wrong with any of them. Even Daniel. But just before he'd left, Fraiser had told him she'd be hooking Daniel up to an EEG to see if she could catch whatever was the trigger to these episodes.

Jack stormed into the Gateroom and both Carter and Teal'c caught one look at his face, and immediately came rushing towards him.

"What happened, sir?"

Jack ignored her for a moment, looking up to see why they weren't dialling P4H whatzit. Just at that moment, he heard the machinery start up and he turned to Carter and Teal'c.

"Daniel had another episode."

"Has DanielJackson recovered?"

"Yeah, he's fine now, but he was really confused for a few moments. He's sleeping again."

Jack glared towards the slowly spinning 'gate, and turned back to his team. "It was the damn peas he was eating. It's like something keeps triggering memories from when he was a kid and he gets lost in them."

"But they don't last very long, at least that's a good thing." Carter herself turned to glare at the Stargate. They were all anxious to get out there and bring back a memory device and try to find an answer to Daniel's strange flashbacks.

The wormhole finally erupted and they went through. It only took them a few minutes to get to Sholpa and Malkor's house. At their knock, Malkor, surprised to see them, invited them inside.

After explaining what had happened, Sholpa rushed out of the kitchen where they'd been sitting around the table, and returned a moment later, holding Kirn's memory recall machine.

"Here, take it."

"This is Kirn's." Carter reluctantly took the toy. "I didn't think we'd wanted to take his." She looked at Jack uncertainly. "I thought maybe we could have bought one..."

"This is what caused Daniel harm. Maybe it's something specific to this particular toy."

"Sholpa, we may have to destroy this in our study of�"

"Samantha, it doesn't matter, we can get him another. Take it. Find what's making Daniel sick. Here." She handed her some papers. "These are the instructions for its use."

"If you are willing to wait several minutes," Malkor said, "I'll try and find as much information on our computer. Studies were made to prove the safety of the toy. Maybe these will help you in your research."

Jack nodded, and accepted the tea that Sholpa served them as they waited.

True to his word, Malkor came back about fifteen minutes later with a small stack of papers. "None of these had any negative findings. I searched specifically for anything harmful and all I could find was the mention of a slight, residual headache if used too long at a high setting." He shook his head. "There's nothing in there to explain what happened to Daniel."

"We'll examine both the toy and the information. Thank you." Carter placed the papers, along with the toy, in her pack as they stood up.

They hurried back to the 'gate, and Carter went straight to the medical labs so that she and Janet could start studying the memory recall device and take it apart.

Jack and Teal'c went to look in on Daniel. Fraiser had put him in a private room to try and keep all triggers of a flashback at a minimum. Not surprisingly, he was asleep, curled up on his side. Electrodes were stuck to his face and head. It looked uncomfortable but wasn't preventing Daniel from sleeping. The episodes seemed to take a lot out of him, leaving him exhausted and hard to wake. Jack was worried, in almost twenty-four hours, Daniel had been awake for only a few minutes and had had a flashback each time.

Leaving Teal'c to remain by Daniel's side, Jack went in search of Carter and Fraiser.

- - - - - -

"...So the memory recall device is made up of plastic and metal alloys which vibrate at a very specific rate, with a simple on and off switch and a setting control. The vibrations stimulate the portion of the brain that controls memory. The concept is amazingly simple, but still, the technology is so far ahead of us that I doubt we could duplicate anything this intricate and portable."

The device in question was sitting before General Hammond, gleaming in the harsh lights of the briefing room. Fraiser picked it up and fiddled with it.

"To be honest, there's absolutely nothing here that Major Carter or I could find to be harmful, or prove to be causing any of the problems Daniel is suffering from."

"So you're saying that this device isn't responsible for Doctor Jackson's condition?"

"No, sir, I'm didn't mean to imply that." Fraiser sat up straighter in her chair and put the toy down. "Colonel O'Neill did state that Daniel looked confused and disoriented right after he used the device, but that he was fine before. Even though we haven't found anything *yet* to prove the device causes these flashbacks, it still doesn't disprove that the toy isn't responsible for them."

She looked around the table before staring at the toy on the table. "Daniel's still asleep, and so far his EEG is showing normal patterns. But when he wakes up, *if* he has another flashback, hopefully with the EEG, we'll have an idea what might be triggering them."

"He's been sleeping for several hours now. He should be waking up soon, right doc?" Jack glanced over at Fraiser, who nodded.

"Each episode seems to exhaust him, and he falls into a deep sleep soon afterward, except for the time I had to sedate him in order to calm him down."

"Has anyone else tried that device other than SG-1?" Hammond reached for the toy. For a crazy moment, Jack thought that the General was going to try it out himself. Instead he examined it closely.

"Yes, sir, under controlled conditions. Teal'c, myself, Major Carter and two of my nurses. All with no ill effects. And I have to point out that Major Carter has used the device twice now."

"Its effects were actually very enjoyable," Teal'c said. "I remembered the birth of my son; it was as if I were experiencing the emotions of the occasion once again."

"Like Teal'c, everyone's experiences were pleasant. The device triggers and enhances your senses and emotions that accompany the memory. Like when you wake up and remember a dream and the details fade after a minute or two, but you still retain the memory of the emotions it produced. Or when the scent of fresh cut grass reminds you of your childhood."

"Grass? That doesn't remind me of anything except that I should get a lawn service to mow my lawn." Jack regretted the words the moment he said them; the last time he'd cut his grass, Daniel had come over and Jack had teased Daniel into helping him. Afterwards they'd sat in Jack's back yard, relaxing and enjoying each other's company. That had been two days before this last mission.

Hammond chuckled and put the toy down onto the table. "I can recommend a good company, Colonel." He turned his attention back to Fraiser. "So you believe you can identify whatever sets off these episodes with the EEG."

"I'm hopeful. There has to be some outside influence and I hope to isolate it. It's like Daniel is still connected to that thing, even though he's not, physically. All his tests appear normal, except for the after effects, which are exhaustion, headaches, nausea and slight confusion.

"Very well. Keep me informed. Dismissed."

Everyone except Teal'c quickly stood as Hammond got up and left. Carter picked up the gizmo and looked at Jack. Although no one spoke of it, they were all heading for Daniel's room. Looked like Sleeping Beauty was about to get an audience.

- - - - - -

"He woke up about twenty minutes ago," the nurse immediately informed Fraiser as they entered the infirmary, handing her Daniel's chart. "I went to check on him and he drank some water and went right back to sleep. He did complain about a headache, though. I gave him some Extra Strength Tylenol for it like you prescribed."

Jack moved to the monitor, and there was Daniel, flat on his back, one arm resting on his chest, the other curved above his head on the pillow. Jack winced; if Daniel stayed in that position for very long, his arm was sure to go to sleep.

Fraiser looked up from the chart and studied the monitor readouts a moment before turning to everyone. "I want to keep stimuli to a minimum, so I'd like everyone to remain here. Colonel, if you don't mind, I might require your help in keeping him calm if he regresses again."

Jack nodded, then met Teal'c's gaze. If Daniel got aggressive, he knew Teal'c would be in that room within seconds to help Jack forcibly contain him. He also didn't miss the syringe that Fraiser prepared and slipped into her coat pocket.

At her nod, he followed her into Daniel's room. He let the door swing shut behind him and at the click, Daniel opened his eyes and turned his head.

"Did you get it?" he asked sleepily. He yawned, raised his other hand and stretched both arms above his head.

"Get what?" Jack answered vaguely, not sure if Daniel remembered their last conversation.

"The toy. The memory... thingie." He waved a hand in Jack's direction before using it to stifle another yawn.

Jack raised a brow; Daniel reduced to using Jack's vocabulary was not a pretty sight.

"Thingie?"

"The memory device," Daniel said irritably.

"Yeah, we got it."

"And?"

Daniel sat up, careful of the wires leading to the EEG machine, then looked around for the controls to adjust the bed. Jack found them and raised the head so Daniel was sitting comfortably.

"The toy is harmless." Fraiser moved to Daniel's side and began performing a quick examination. "We're not discounting it as the probable cause to your flashbacks, but we haven't been able to find out how it's affected you."

Daniel, keeping his head still while he followed Fraiser's moving finger, frowned at her words. "I haven't had another... flashback, have I?"

"Not in a few hours." Jack patted Daniel's leg comfortingly.

"That's supposed to make me feel better?"

"Well, yes. The good news is that you're not having flashbacks while you sleep."

Jack caught Fraiser rolling her eyes at him and he tried to look innocent.

"Funny, Jack. Funny." Daniel yawned again, reaching over for his glasses and putting them on. He then glared at Fraiser when she stuck a thermometer in his open mouth.

"Give a guy some warning," he complained, mumbling around the thin tube. "Denise already took my temperature."

"Yes, and it was slightly elevated."

"Mm not sick." He crossed his arms over his chest, only to unfold them when his hand got caught in the bundle of wires from the EEG leads. He pulled at them irritably, trying to move them out of the way. Jack reached over and caught the wires before Daniel managed to dislodge the leads.

The thermometer beeped just as Fraiser told him to 'sit still'.

"Look, I just want to get out of here." He shifted again while Fraiser checked the digital display, and Daniel rubbed at his cheeks and temples.

"Are your sinuses bothering you?"

"No." Daniel's reply to Fraiser was sharp. "Can't you just give me something for the damn headache?"

"Well, maybe you have a sinus infection. That could be part of the reason for the headache." She pressed against Daniel's cheekbones. "Does this hurt?"

Daniel batted her hand away. "I told you it wasn't my sinuses!"

"Maybe you better let the doc be the judge of that," Jack snapped back before he could help himself. The retort had been so uncharacteristic of Daniel that it had caught Jack by surprise.

"Maybe I should let another doctor look at me since she's not doing much to help my pain." Daniel pulled on the bundle of wires again, and this time Jack noted one or two came loose from Daniel's scalp.

"And maybe you just better shut your mouth and sit still." Jack reached for the wires again, pushing them behind Daniel's pillow, out of the way.

"Gentlemen, please." Fraiser glared at both of them as she adjusted the displaced leads, then tapped Daniel's leg, ignoring his continued glare. "You have a low grade fever. Your pain could be sinuses, or it might not. If it is, that I can take care of with antibiotics. If it's due to the memory device, then I'm still at a loss on how to treat it. In the meantime, I'll prescribe some stronger painkillers for your headache. But there's nothing I can do for you if you don't help me, Daniel."

Jack knew the moment Daniel lost it, even before the monitor displaying the EEG began to go wild. Daniel's face tensed with pain and once again it somehow got... younger. Then Daniel was leaning forward, his hand clutching his shoulder, keening softly.

Jack jumped forward, catching Daniel and holding him steady while Fraiser tried to look at his shoulder.

"It hurts, it hurts," Daniel cried, tears streaming down his face.

Jack could feel Daniel's body trembling as he pulled Daniel's uninjured arm so it wouldn't impede Fraiser's examination.

"I know it hurts," Fraiser said in a soft, soothing voice. "Can you tell me what happened?"

"I fell. I wasn't supposed to go inside the tomb but I wanted to see the passageway my dad discovered and I tripped and fell." Daniel's breathing suddenly got faster. "I want m...my mommy. Where's my d...daddy?" Now he was shaking visibly, and Jack felt the cold sweat begin to seep through Daniel's sweats.

"He's going into shock. Get some blankets." While Jack grabbed two wool blankets from the supply cabinet, Fraiser adjusted the bed's controls, lowering the head and raising the foot. She stuffed a pillow beneath his legs while Daniel continued to cry for his parents.

One of the nurses rushed into the room and while Fraiser ordered an IV, Jack covered Daniel up, being careful of the shoulder Daniel was clutching once again.

"Hey." He leaned over and wiped the tears from Daniel's face, the stubble rough beneath Jack's fingers. "It's going to be okay. Doc Fraiser's gonna patch you up in no time. Try to relax."

"I want my m...mommy," Daniel whispered. "I'm scared."

Fraiser began to disinfect Daniel's injured hand for an IV and when Daniel turned to look at what she was doing, Jack forcibly turned Daniel's head away so he was looking at him.

"I know, I know you're scared, Daniel. But listen, your parents are outside, waiting. Here," Jack said, picking up Daniel's good arm and threading his fingers through Daniel's. "You hold onto me until everything is fixed."

Daniel squeezed Jack's hand, his hand shaking visibly.

"My d...dad said my arm was unlocated."

Jack glanced at Daniel's perfectly normal looking shoulder, and then looked at Fraiser. She just shook her head, and shrugged.

Jack forced a smile at Daniel. "I think you mean dislocated and yeah, that's gotta hurt."

Jack moved aside while Fraiser took Daniel's blood pressure. The shivering was slowing down, and Daniel's fingers weren't as icy cold.

Fraiser began injecting something into the IV. "Daniel, I'm giving you something that'll help with the pain. It's going to make you a little sleepy, but that's okay. That's normal."

"Make it go away. Make it stop."

Fraiser discarded the syringe and bent over Daniel, her fingers flitting gently over his forehead, careful of the EEG leads. "It won't be long now. You should be feeling better in a minute."

Jack looked over at the EEG, which he'd totally forgotten about. The display was still all over the place, nothing like the earlier patterns.

"I've never seen anything like it before," she told Jack, also turning to look at the monitor. "And there's no sign of..." She glanced down at Daniel's shoulder, then back up at Jack.

Daniel had closed his eyes, but his grip on Jack's hand hadn't lessened. His whole body was tense with pain, and Jack knew the medication should have started to kick in by now. Tears continued to leak despite his tightly squeezed eyes.

"Daniel, try and relax and give the medicine a chance to work." Fraiser probed Daniels shoulder again and he whimpered, trying to pull away from her.

"H...hurts."

"Okay, I'll wait a little bit longer before seeing to it. Is the pain getting any better?"

"Mmm, a little." He sniffled loudly and Jack finally saw some of the strain begin to ease in his friend's body.

"Here, let's make you a little more comfortable." Fraiser removed Daniel's glasses and folded them before putting them away. Daniel made a face, like he was trying to relieve an itch on his nose without using his hands. He turned to look at Jack, his pupils dilated and his gaze a little unfocused.

A nurse handed Fraiser a damp cloth and she wiped Daniel's face with it. He sighed deeply, then looked down at the hand that was still clutching Jack's tightly.

"Jack?" Daniel asked in a confused voice. "What...?" He looked around blearily, looking up at Janet who was standing next to him. "Why's my shoulder sore?" He closed his eyes sleepily, blinking twice before looking at Jack again. "Was dreaming..." He swallowed and licked his lips. "Hurt my shoulder. Scared my dad..." He smiled. "Remember being coddled for days after."

His eyes drifted shut and stayed shut. Jack gently disengaged his hand from the fingers that were still wrapped around his. He moved away from the bed when Fraiser motioned for him to join him her. He wasn't surprised to see Carter and Teal'c standing in the doorway, watching.

Carter entered and brushed by Jack. She leaned over the bed for a moment, then picked something up from the bedside table. She returned to them, smiling. Her eyes were glowing and Jack knew from her expression that she'd solved the mystery.

"It's his glasses." She spoke in a low whisper, but her excitement was still very evident in her voice. "His EEG went back to normal the moment Janet took his glasses off. Look." She unfolded the spectacles and pointed to the plastic frame. "There's metal inside to make the frame more flexible. I bet somehow the metal is acting like the memory device."

"Do you think that's possible? There were no reports of this happening in any of the information we read through."

Carter shrugged. "Maybe it has to do with the property of the metal, maybe there's an element in ours that doesn't exist on their world." She folded the glasses. "I'll run some tests on these. But I bet you the metal's vibrating at the exact same frequency as the memory device."

She rushed out of the room, Fraiser following on her heels. Jack turned to look back at Daniel, who was sleeping heavily.

"Looks like he'll be out for several more hours," Jack said to Teal'c.

"Indeed. If you wish to get some rest, I shall remain and sit with DanielJackson this evening."

"Thanks. You know what? I'm gonna go check out the tests that Carter's running, and then I'll get some shuteye. You need anything? Did you eat?"

"I am not in need of sustenance at the moment. But I would appreciate being informed if the tests are conclusive."

"You betcha." Jack gave Teal'c a friendly slap on the arm and then turned to make his way to Carter's lab. Finally, things might be starting to look up.

- - - - - -

His stomach gurgled and rumbled loudly. He was hungry and he was thirsty, his head was pounding, and he needed to pee.

Daniel turned onto his stomach, not quite ready to wake up fully. He felt sluggish, his nose felt stuffed up, his eyes scratchy and swollen. He rubbed his eyelids with the pads of his fingers, then buried his face in his pillow.

He had vague memories of pain in his shoulder, and of clutching Jack's hand with desperation. The small glimmers of the dream were punctuated with confusion, running round and round in his mind. That, plus the insistence of his stomach and his bladder, finally had him turning onto his back in frustration.

Daniel looked around and saw the room he was in was empty. He frowned, wondering where all his friends were. He knew he'd been in this room for a while. He remembered his friends visiting a couple of times; and he distinctly remembered a nurse helping him to cross the room to the small bathroom once or twice.

He sat up and with the movement, realized he desperately needed to go. He got up, then sat down abruptly when the room spun and his head was suddenly gripped in a vice. He concentrated on his breathing until his vertigo began to abate and the pounding lessened.

He stood again, this time more slowly and cautiously. Then he made his way to the bathroom as fast as he could.

Bladder finally emptied, three cups of water sloshing in his stomach, Daniel padded back into his room. He stopped when he saw Janet waiting for him by his bed.

"How are you feeling?"

"Stiff and sore," he replied as he sat on the bed. "A little weak. And I think my head's about to fall off."

"The headache I can take care of right now." She pulled a syringe from her pocket and deftly injected it into his bicep.

"The stiffness, well, that's to be expected, you've been sleeping for nearly two days."

"Well, that would explain why I needed to pee so badly," he joked as he massaged the back of his neck. He looked around for his glasses but didn't see them anywhere. He laid back down slowly, the change in position causing his headache to act up again.

"What do you remember?"

Daniel rubbed his forehead. "Dreams? No, wait." He squeezed his eyes shut. "I kept getting flashbacks, didn't I? The toy I tried on..."

"P4H 764. Yes, that's right." She put the blood pressure cuff around Daniel's arm and began pumping it.

He lay there quietly as Fraiser went through the various tests. Temperature, neurological tests... all of which were vaguely familiar in a dream-haze sort of way and Daniel realized he'd gone through all of this a few times recently. By the time she finished, the medication was kicking in and other body parts were beginning to complain again.

"Janet, can I get something to eat?" Daniel sat up and raised the blankets, trying to see if maybe his glasses had fallen off while he slept.

"Breakfast is on its way as we speak." She smiled and looked at him, pausing a moment from making notations in his chart.

"Good, 'cause I'm starving." He turned and lifted his pillow, but there was no sign of his glasses there either.

"What are you looking for?" she asked as she finished with his chart.

"I can't find my glasses."

"Oh. Well, that's because they're not here."

Daniel frowned at her in confusion.

"We discovered that your glasses were the cause of your flashbacks. Somehow the memory device was replicated into the metal in the frame. Because the metal in your glasses is denser, its effects were several times more powerful than the memory device itself."

"My glasses? How...?" "Sam thinks it happened the first time you tried the device. It must have touched your glasses and imprinted itself into the metal."

"But how could this... I remember the first time I used the toy... all the other flashbacks after that were more like dreams. I can only remember vague images."

"We think that all the other flashbacks were at such a high intensity that your brain simply wasn't able to cope with it, and well... in simple terms, your brain shut itself off by forcing you to sleep."

"I still recall the last... flashback... I remember dislocating my shoulder when I was five... but it's kind of jumbled up... Jack was there, but he couldn't have been, I was only five years old. I know my dad didn't leave my side when they put my shoulder back in, but now..." He pressed his palms to his forehead, trying to force away the pain that remained of his headache and hating the muddle of his thoughts.

"Knock knock."

Daniel raised his head and lowered his hands, then smiled as Jack, Sam and Teal'c entered his room. Jack was carrying a tray and Daniel could smell bacon and coffee. He began to salivate as Jack lowered the tray onto the roll away table.

"Fraiser told us you might be hungry so we took the liberty of getting you breakfast." Jack passed styrofoam cups to both Sam and Janet, put one aside for himself and handed Teal'c a glass of juice. As Jack pushed the table towards the bed, Daniel reached for the remaining styrofoam cup. To his disappointment, it wasn't coffee, but weak tea.

"Oh come on!" Daniel exclaimed, insulted that everyone would be drinking coffee in front of him when he wasn't allowed. "Janet!" When she simply hid her smile in her cup, he turned to Jack. "That's not fair!"

"Actually, you're right." Sam reached and switched cups with him. "The tea's mine." She grinned and Daniel smiled back, strangely happy at having been teased.

"Thank you," he said, joyfully taking a sip of the steaming brew.

"Oh, you might want these back." Sam took something wrapped in a piece of material from her pocket and handed it to Daniel. He took it from her, opened up the small piece of cloth, and found he was holding his glasses.

"They're safe. The imprint on them was erased by an electromagnetic pulse."

Daniel unfolded them and held them up to the light. They didn't look any different, but somehow he was reluctant to put them on. He glanced at Janet, and she smiled at him, and nodded. Holding his breath, Daniel slipped his glasses on, and waited for the memories to hit him.

"Hey."

He jumped, and looked up at Jack.

"It's okay, they're safe. Carter erased the stuff that got recorded in there. She even tested them on me."

Unable to stop himself, Daniel tore the glasses off. He realized his hand was shaking, so he put them down beside his coffee cup.

"Um, you tried my glasses?"

"We tested them in a controlled experiment. Colonel O'Neill volunteered and..."

Daniel turned from Sam's explanation and stared at Jack in shock.

"I only got the effects for a couple of seconds and no, it wasn't pleasant," Jack admitted, staring into his coffee cup. "So I know what you're thinking and how you're feeling." He waved towards the glasses. "They're okay now. Trust me."

Still wary, he reached out again for them and put them on. Okay, everyone said they were safe, but he pledged to himself to exchange them with his spares that he kept in his office the second he got out of the infirmary.

He took another sip of coffee, then pulled the tray towards him. There were scrambled eggs, toast, bacon, juice, and some applesauce. He took a bite of the eggs, then before he'd realized it, he'd finished his breakfast.

He licked a bit of sticky jam from his fingers and looked up from his plate, only to notice everyone watching him. Embarrassed, he realized he'd just wolfed down his meal.

"Sorry."

"Why? You've hardly had anything to eat lately. Are you still hungry? I could go get some cereal or..."

"No, I'm fine, Sam. Thanks." He nervously fingered he frames of his glasses once more. "So, has this ever happened to anyone on P4..." He frowned. He normally had no trouble with planet designations.

"P4R 776," Sam supplied. "No, we spoke with Sholpa last night and she confirmed that they've never heard of anything like that happening. I'm pretty sure it has to do with the properties of Earth metals compared to those on her planet." Sam shrugged. "I've tried to duplicate the effects but haven't had any luck so far."

"Duplicate? With what?"

"Sholpa gave us Kirn's memory toy. We needed to study it to see how�"

"You took his birthday gift away from him?"

"Well, yeah." Jack tapped Daniel's temple. "There was some nasty stuff going on, if you remember."

"I know. I just feel bad... he was so excited about getting that toy."

"Hey, we can give him something better when we go back." Jack's eyes lit up and Daniel realized that he and Jack were probably going to be spending their next free day together, walking up and down the alleys of the nearest toy store.

- - - - - -

"And the batteries go in here." Sam looked up at Sholpa, making sure she understood. "You shouldn't have any problem charging them - I've adapted the charger so it'll work on your planet's current."

"And what does it do?" Kirn asked excitedly, staring at the small toy Sam was holding in her hands.

"Well, you turn it on, like this," she explained. A soft chime sounded, and the small monitor lit up.

"Here, this is how you play." Jack impatiently grabbed the Gameboy from Sam's grasp and began punching the tiny controls. Kirn was soon enmeshed in the adventures of Mario Brothers, or whichever of the ten games this was that Jack had picked up.

"Are you okay?"

Daniel turned at the softly spoken question, and saw Sholpa's worried face close to his.

"I'm fine. Thank you." He smiled, and patted her arm. She continued to gaze at him, then nodded, accepting his word. "Don't blame yourself," Daniel said. "There was no way of knowing that Kirn's toy would affect my glasses."

"But you were hurt and we are partly responsible."

"No. Please. Really. I'm fine."

"I'm just sorry your experiences were so unpleasant. Normally people remember the good things."

"I have a theory," Sam interjected. "Daniel's first memory with the toy wasn't a pleasant one, and that occurred just at the moment it imprinted onto his glasses. Because it was such a strong emotion, it continued to trigger those types of memories. It was in a loop, causing only vivid, unpleasant memories in people."

"Then maybe you'd like to try Kirn's recall device once more. This time, perhaps without your glasses?" She smiled gently at Daniel, and his heart began to hammer in his chest.

"Um, thanks, but, I'll skip."

"But you should. Kirn." She placed a hand on her son's arm. "Go get your new toy." Kirn slipped off the chair and raced noisily to his room.

"No, Sholpa, really, it's all right. Please, don't."

"Hush, Daniel. You've had nothing but bad experiences. Let me show you what it should be like."

She reached out and removed his glasses and Daniel turned to Jack, pleading silently.

"Sholpa, I think Daniel's had enough with the memories."

"But it would show him that not every memory is bad." Kirn ran back in and gave his mother the toy, then climbed up onto his chair to continue playing his Gameboy with Jack.

Sholpa held the small wire to Daniel. He stared at it a moment, extremely reluctant to do this.

"Daniel." He turned to look at Jack, who was staring at him intently. "You don't have to."

"I know." As much as he was afraid to put that small piece of plastic on his head again, he knew that if he didn't, he'd be hurting this woman's feelings. She and her family had shown nothing but kindness to SG-1, playing host to them the several times they'd come here to continue their negotiations.

He took the toy from her and put it on his head.

"Here, slowly turn the controls to a comfortable setting as you begin to remember." He took the device, keeping his thumb on the small controls. He closed his eyes, trying to think of something pleasant. For some reason, his mind became blank.

He could hear Jack and Kirn talking and laughing, but he knew Jack's attention was focused on him. Kirn giggled, happiness evident in his voice. Daniel remembered times when he and his father had played games together; his father had taught him chess and although Daniel hadn't been good at it yet, his father had been very patient with him.

Hot, sultry afternoons spent sitting in the relative coolness of their home in Cairo. Daniel sitting on his father's lap as his father explained some of the various myths and legends associated with the artifacts his mother was cataloguing.

Trudging through the hot sands, the sun blazing down on him as he happily followed his father to the newly-discovered ruins.

Sitting in the shade with the Egyptian workers' children, retelling them the stories he'd learned from his father, and looking up and seeing his father staring down at him with pride.

Running to his mother to show her the artifact he'd unearthed, knowing better than to try and excavate it himself. He smiled to himself at the remembered excitement she'd shown when she'd realized it was something truly important to the dig.

Daniel sighed, opened his eyes, and smiled. Sholpa reached over and removed the wire band around his head, then wiped at his cheeks with her thumb. He reached up and realized his face was wet. The love he'd felt from his parents still enveloped him, leaving him feeling slightly vulnerable, but happy.

"See, it can truly be a wonderful experience," she whispered.

Self-consciously, Daniel wiped his face with his palms, then blushed as he saw his friends all watching him. "You're right," Daniel said. "That was incredible. Thank you."

This was what that device had been all about, and he now knew why Sholpa had been insistent that he try it. It wouldn't erase all the muddled memories caused by the mutated version of the device, but one good thing that had come from that was several of the unpleasant times in his childhood were now overridden by memories of Jack being there for him during those disturbing times.

All memories weren't bad, it was how you looked back at them. And now, thanks to Sholpa, Daniel had a few old ones made new again.

He smiled up at Jack when his friend walked around the table and placed a hand around Daniel's shoulders.

"Ready to go home?"

"Yeah."

As he got up Daniel glanced at Kirn and was pleased to see the young boy happily playing with his new toy. Kirn would have plenty of memories to keep; plenty of things to remember with his memory recall toy.

Daniel had been lucky, for a few minutes, the best parts of his childhood had been played back in living detail. Still feeling his parents' love for that young Danny, Daniel looked at his friends as they walked back to the Stargate. That little boy was still lucky - he grew up and found another family who loved him.  

FINIS!


Author's Comments:

Thanks to my heartsisters, who have made me laugh and smile, and who I have come to rely on so much in my writing, and will always hold a special place in my heart.

And a special thanks to devra for her sharp Alpha eyes; and for letting me borrow Rose for a short time.

 

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DISCLAIMER:The characters mentioned in this story are the property of Showtime and Gekko Film Corp. The Stargate, SG-I, the Goa'uld and all other characters who have appeared in the series STARGATE SG-1 together with the names, titles and backstory are the sole copyright property of MGM-UA Worldwide Television, Gekko Film Corp, Glassner/Wright Double Secret Productions and Stargate SG-I Prod. Ltd. Partnership. This fanfic is not intended as an infringement upon those rights and solely meant for entertainment. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author.