SOUL DEEP

By: Lyn

Feedback to: townsend297@ozemail.com.au

Author’s website: http://brothersinarms.tvheaven.com

DISCLAIMER: The characters from Stargate SG-1 are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions and World Gekko Corp. This missing scene and epilogue has been written for my own and others’ enjoyment. No money has been paid and no copyright infringement is intended.

CATEGORY: Missing scene and epilogue to "Menace of the soul" by Dawn C.

RATING: G

SPOILERS: Dawn C’s "Menace of the soul."

ARCHIVE: Wherever Dawn wishes is fine by me.

DATE: 6.11.01.

AUTHOR’S NOTES: Now, Dawn, you know my affinity for missing scenes. You didn’t think you could post a challenge like that and expect me not to answer it, did you? Thanks for the opportunity and permission to write and post this snippet. I hope you enjoy it. Feedback is very welcome on or off-list.

Pho – A great job. Exceptional missing scene and epilogue to a great story.

"Soul Deep"

Jack startled awake as the hand clasped firmly in his grasp twitched then pulled away. He straightened as Daniel shifted slightly in the bed and uttered a soft moan that progressed to a keening wail.

"Daniel?" Jack leaned forward in the chair and moved his hand up to stroke Daniel’s fever-hot forehead. "Shh. It’s all right. Go to sleep."

Jack reached for the cloth submerged in the bowl of tepid water and wrung it out one-handed then stroked it across Daniel’s pale face, over his chest and down each arm. The cooling moisture caused Daniel to shiver slightly as it evaporated on his hot flesh and the colonel pulled the thin hospital sheet further up over the anthropologist’s shoulders.

"Hurts, Jack." Daniel’s eyes were open now and he squinted at the other man against the bright beam from the overhead lamp. The colonel maneuvered the light so that its glow was moved out of Daniel’s face.

"I know, buddy. Want me to get the doc?"

Daniel shook his head and began to fretfully rub at his abdomen. "She can’t help me," he whispered hoarsely.

"Sure she can," Jack murmured reassuringly, his other hand reaching for the call button. "She’s got the happy juice, remember?"

Daniel stayed his movements with a shaky hand. "It hurts here," he said, his hand once again straying to rub his belly and ribs. "And here," he gestured down at his leg. A fat solitary tear welled up from beneath one eyelid and overflowed to dribble down his cheek. He wiped it away impatiently. "Sorry," he said.

Jack shook his head. "Nothing to be sorry for, Daniel. Doc Frasier says they’re phantom pains. The nerves still have the memory of what happened."

Daniel nodded tiredly as his eyes drifted closed once more. "Wish I could forget."

"Me too, Daniel. Me too. For both of us," Jack whispered. He continued to stroke Daniel’s sweaty brow, murmuring reassurances as the young man shifted occasionally in his sleep, calling out for Sha’uri and mumbling incoherent apologies to his friends.

0~0~0~0~0

Epilogue:

Jack stiffened at the sound of someone moving furtively through the cabin. He waited a moment then grinned as a muffled shout of pain and a string of curses followed a dull thump. He raised an eyebrow. He was going to have to get Daniel to teach him a few of those phrases. Could come in handy.

"Daniel?" he said in a stage whisper, grimacing at the idiocy of his inquiry. "Is that you?"

"No, Jack. It’s some redneck hillbilly come to steal your fishing tackle," Daniel’s voice came back, humor stealing the last hiss of pain. "Of course, it’s me."

"Can I get you something? What do you need?" Jack was already sitting up, swinging his legs over the side of the bed and reaching for his sweatpants and sweater before Daniel replied.

"I’m fine. Just needed a glass of water."

‘Yeah, right.’ Jack waited a moment and heard Daniel shuffle over to his usual spot and sit down with a suppressed groan. Hearing the deep sigh, he stood up abruptly and walked out into the other room. He stood and watched from the doorway for a moment, casting a careful eye over his oblivious friend.

Daniel sat on the old two-seater couch in front of the picture window that looked out over the lake. A full moon was out tonight, casting an iridescent sheen over the shimmering, silver water and bathing Daniel’s face with an almost ethereal glow that caused Jack to shiver. The anthropologist had lost more weight from his already lanky frame and the bones angled sharply, jutting tightly against his skin. His skin still had an unhealthy yellow pallor to it and he sat, leaning forward, his arms wrapped protectively about his thin body. Dark shadows framed reddened eyes so filled with emotion that Jack caught his breath and looked away.

They had been here at the cabin for four days now, spending lazy, sun-drenched days casting fishing lines into the sparkling lake, Jack regaling Daniel with absurd tales of the one that got away, his stories becoming more outlandish by the hour.

Then there were long, hazy evenings nestled on this same couch, a fire crackling in the hearth as they sat, drinking spiced wine and confessing their fears and dreams. Daniel had not had a nightmare for two days now, nor for that matter, had Jack, though it had taken the colonel some time before he could admit to his friend that he too, was fighting his own demons from Apophis’ legacy.

Bitter recriminations and heartfelt confessions of guilt had been spoken, harsh angry voices filling the air and merging with sorrow so dense it could have been carved with a knife. Until tonight, when the conversation had taken a decided turn, the voices becoming softer, gentler with assurances of forgiveness and understanding, the atmosphere lighter and interspersed with occasional laughter and more than a few tears.

"Sure I can’t get you anything?" Jack asked as he moved toward the other man. "Sorry," he said as Daniel jumped and turned to look at him. He reached out and squeezed a bony shoulder. "Didn’t mean to startle you."

"It’s okay," Daniel replied, turning back to the view outside the window. "Go back to bed. Sorry I woke you."

Jack shrugged and moved to stand in front of the window. "I was awake anyway," he lied smoothly. He gestured toward the couch. "Mind if I join you?"

Daniel moved to one end and swept his legs up beneath him, watching in amusement as Jack sank down beside him with an exaggerated sigh. The two men sat in companionable silence for a moment.

"More of those phantom pains?"

"A little. They’re getting better though."

"That’s good."

"Yeah."

"Nightmare?"

Silence.

"Daniel?"

"Hmm? What?"

"Did you have a nightmare?"

Daniel spoke just as Jack became truly worried. "Sort of a waking dream, really."

"Do you want to talk about it?" There was another long moment of silence and Jack began to regret his intrusion.

"Sha’uri came to me. She said she forgave me for what happened with Shyla."

"That wasn’t your fault," Jack said, sitting upright and turning to face his friend. Tear tracks glistened on Daniel’s face in the moonlight. "She sucked you in, got you addicted…"

"I was unfaithful to my wife, Jack. That was perhaps the most terrible thing out of the whole mess. I’ve never been able to forget that."

"You didn’t know. It wasn’t your fault," Jack blustered, not wanting to see the raw grief that etched Daniel’s face in pain.

"There is no excuse for what I did," Daniel continued doggedly. "You forgave me for what I did though, just as Sha’uri forgave me. I just don’t think I can ever forgive myself."

"I know how that goes," Jack said. His memory shifted to their first night back on Earth after Sha’uri and Skaara had been kidnapped by Apophis. "I can never forgive," he’d told Daniel when they had spoken of Charlie and Sara. "But sometimes, I can forget. Sometimes."

Jack slung a comforting arm about the other man’s shoulders, pausing to knead the tense muscles of Daniel’s neck with strong fingers, smiling at the soft sigh of contentment that puffed from Daniel’s lips. Together the two friends sat, watching the first glow of dawn wash the sky in orange fire.

FIN

- Lyn

- June 11th, 2001.

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