The Sweater

When Daniel spotted the sweater on the mannequin, the vision virtually stopped him dead in his tracks. He stood there dumbly, staring at the garment hanging on the fake plastic bust, barely aware of Jack yelling at him to get a move on farther down in the mall.

Memories flooded through him as he found himself inside the store without any recollection of walking in. He fingered the material; it was just as soft as he�d expected it to be, as soft as he remembered his father�s to be. He�d had plenty of opportunities to feel it; after all, it had been his father�s favourite sweater.

His mother had given it to his dad on his birthday, and he�d worn it in the cool, desert evenings. Daniel remembered snuggling up against his father�s chest, head buried in the soft material, feeling safe, secure and happy.

Before he even knew what he was doing, he had picked up the cream-coloured pullover and was walking to the cash to pay for it. It wasn�t his style of clothes, he never usually wore anything like this, but the memories, the temptation, were just too strong.

- - - - - -

He brought the shopping bag inside Jack�s home, and as his friend went into the kitchen to make some coffee, Daniel slipped the sweater out of the bag and onto his lap. He caressed it with wondering hands, feeling the calluses on his fingers catching on the fine strands. He lifted it to his face, breathing in the scent. It smelled wrong and at the same time, it smelled right. Missing was the scent he�d associated with his dad: strong Egyptian coffee, aftershave and a hint of mint from those little candies his dad always liked to crunch on.

Memories of his parents had been uppermost on his mind during the past few weeks, ever since they�d returned from the Gamekeeper�s world. His sleep was constantly interrupted with nightmares, and he�d been immersing himself in his work to try and avoid the dreams. He�d been praying for something to come along and rid him of the nightmares, but the floodgates had been opened, and all the repressed or forgotten childhood hurts had been rekindled through his subconscious.

Tonight Jack had literally forced him out of Cheyenne Mountain, trying to distract him by bringing him shopping. At first Daniel had followed Jack along numbly in a haze of exhaustion, not really paying attention. They had been on their way out of the mall when Daniel had spotted the sweater.

It was chilly inside of Jack�s house, and Daniel slipped his coat off and slid the sweater over his head. Its weight was almost intangible, but its warmth all encompassing. He somehow felt closer to his father for a moment. He shook his head at the thought; it wasn�t like this was the same sweater his dad had always worn. Yes, it was similar, but just enough so that the memories he�d thought he�d forgotten came flooding through.

�Nice sweater,� Jack said as he handed Daniel a mug. He smiled up at his friend as he accepted the hot drink.

�Thanks. It reminded me of one my dad used to wear. I used to love that sweater.�

�I had a hockey jersey that Charlie loved,� Jack reminisced. �Whenever I had to go away on a mission, he�d sleep with it every night. Then he�d insist I wear it whenever I was home, didn�t even want me to take it off so that Sara could was it.�

Daniel laughed, easily able to picture Jack with that jersey and a little boy in his arms insisting he wear it constantly for the next several weeks.

He sipped his coffee, careful not to spill any on his new piece of clothing. He squirmed his butt farther down on the sofa, making himself comfortable, placing his feet up on the coffee table. He leaned his head back and closed his eyes.

He must have nodded off because he suddenly woke up to Jack�s hands urging him down onto the couch. A pillow was placed under his head and a warm blanket over his body. He sighed softly and curled up, placing a hand underneath his face. His cheek met up with soft wool, and Daniel smiled. His prayers had been answered; he felt his dad�s presence, knew that he was looking down at him protectively. Tonight he�d sleep soundly, and dream pleasant dreams.  




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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.