Written In the Past
Prompt: Someone loses something that is important to them. Prompt from The Writer's Block book.
Betaed as always by Annie, the stellar beta and eagle eye.
Written at Annie's on another writing night when we decided it was about time we did another challenge.
Missing scene for Fallen.
There was something achingly and depressingly familiar with the way he'd felt since he'd returned through the Chappa-ai with those who claimed to be his friends. He'd expected to be unsettled, uncomfortable. He had no memory of anyone here. It was just as it had been when he'd first been found in the field, naked and vulnerable, terrified and lost. But the welcoming expressions of those who greeted him on his return to Earth only made him feel guilty because he could not remember why they should be so pleased to have him back.
A worrisome thought niggled at him. If he was so worthy of this friendship, if all Jack and Sam had told him about the man he had been was true, why then had he been cast out by this Oma and deposited so far from home? Surely, if he had been pure enough to ascend, his shunning must have been due to some unforgivable sin on his part.
He still had so few answers to his questions. He'd hoped, when he returned to Earth, that his memories would come flooding back, that he'd know who he was, who he had been. Jack had not been forthcoming with answers or even clues, telling him to remember for himself. He supposed that might be a good thing, that the influence of other's interpretations of his past might color or even change his perceptions of his previous life.
The photograph that sat on the bedside table intrigued him. He'd found himself being drawn back to it constantly as the evening wore on. Picking it up, he ran a finger over the glass, studying the pretty features, the dark, lively eyes. Who are you? You must be special to me or they wouldn't have left this here. I am so very sorry that I cannot remember why you meant so much to Daniel Jackson to me.
Placing the photo back on the table, he lay back and closed his eyes. He was tired, more tired than he'd even been when he'd woken in the field that day, but he could not sleep. His body felt restless, his mind twisting in never-ending circles. He tossed and turned, finally succumbing to his exhaustion, though dreams fractured his slumber, startling him awake, shaking and sweating, with only fragments remembered.
It was still dark when he awoke once more with a scream lodged in his throat. He could remember only vague memories of the nightmare - a man with glowing eyes, with fire streaming from his palm, searing pain, his breath catching in his throat, his heart pounding.
A faint light showed under the door, only serving to cast looming shadows from the corners of the room. He missed the moonlight streaming through the corners of his tent, the stars twinkling above, spraying a canopy of shimmering sparkles above him. The sight had always comforted him, even in his darkest, most desolate hours. He'd always known that somewhere out there was home.
Now he was home, and yet he'd never felt more alone.
Standing, he stretched and yawned then walked over to the table and picked up a small urn. He turned it in his hands, enjoying the feel of the rough-hewn surface against his fingers. It felt comforting... familiar. He had a brief flash of memory, too fleeting to hang onto or even make sense of. He knelt in the dirt, a small trowel in his hand, painstakingly scraping the earth away from the skeleton in front of him. A voice, male, familiar, yet not. "Cleo It's a queen."
Richard? Robert? The name wouldn't come, though it was on the tip of his tongue and though he felt there was a faint warmth of friendship there, it was as nebulous as his own knowledge of who he was.
He felt the headache that had never been far from the surface surge again. He pushed it aside, resigned to discovering things slowly, if indeed that was ever in the plan, and turned his thoughts back to those who said they were his friends his team.
He couldn't imagine he had ever been a part of that. These people carried weapons, were obviously warriors. He had no idea why, but he knew that he was no warrior.
The thought would not be denied though. He knew that this was home. Though nothing that Jack and Sam had told him had sparked any real memory of his previous life, he'd known this was where he was meant to be. He turned back and stared at the pretty woman in the photo again, knowing somehow that she was the impetus, the guide to his memories. He'd spoken to her in his dreams.
Find the boy!
He shuddered as light spewed forth from the photo, burning into his eyes, sending a shaft of agony through his skull.
The door opened and a burly man peered in. "Doctor Jackson? Is everything all right?"
He looked up, his eyesight blurring, flashes of red still hovering at the edge of his vision. When had he ended up on the floor?
He pushed his glasses up his nose, nodding. "Yes, I'm fine," he replied, though his insides were churning and his limbs were shaking violently. "Where's Jack?"
Jack thinks I'm a geek.
Colonel O'Neill?" the soldier queried. "He's in a meeting with General Hammond, sir."
"I need to see him."
General Hammond asked that they not be disturbed."
"I don't think they meant me," Daniel replied. He stood, reaching out to grasp the end of the bed as dizziness assaulted him. "This is important. Can you at least let him know I need to see him?"
The soldier saluted. "Yes, sir. I'll let him know right away."
"Thank you." Daniel made his way around the bed and sat on it, feeling as weak as a newborn kitten. "Thank you."
"Where are my journals?" Daniel asked.
Jack's mouth opened and closed a couple of times before he said, "Journals?"
"Yes. I know I had journals diaries. I wrote in them."
"You remember that?"
Daniel nodded emphatically. "Yes." Then, "I think I do did. Did I?"
Jack appeared to be thinking over his answer and Daniel grew impatient. "Look, I'm not asking you to tell me what's in them! Did I have journals?"
"Yes, you did."
"Okay. Can I see them?"
"I'm not sure that's a good idea. The doc Doctor Fraiser thinks you should try to remember things on your own."
"I remembered I had journals," Daniel said peevishly. "Isn't that a step in the right direction?"
Jack stared at him mutely for a moment then nodded slowly. "Works for me." He turned and opened the door.
Jack looked over his shoulder at him. "Daniel?"
"You said we were friends, right?"
"Did we always annoy each other as much back then as I think we do now?"
Jack grinned then, and Daniel felt his anxiety recede a little. "All the time, Danny Boy. All the time."
I'm never going to get paid.
Daniel looked up and quirked an eyebrow. "So, did I get paid?"
Jack shrugged. "You wouldn't have been found 'out there', laying in a field, naked, if you hadn't figured it out. So yeah, you got paid. And you still owe me 50 bucks." He smiled then frowned. "Look, Daniel, if it wasn't for you figuring out the stargate, we would have never been out there at all."
"And I never would have ascended."
Daniel turned his attention back to the journals in his lap, leafing through the pages, pausing now and again to read a few lines. He looked at Jack. "Was I really a geek?"
"Hell, yes!" Jack's smile took the sting from his words. "The most annoying, frustrating, argumentative, geeky best friend a person could have."
"Best friend?" Daniel shook his head. He tapped a finger on the page. "I get the impression from this that we butted heads more often than not."
Jack shrugged. "We had our moments."
"You can go if you want," Daniel said, realizing that the last thing Jack probably wanted to do was lean against the wall and watch him read. "I'll be fine."
Jack held his hands out in a surrendering gesture. "Hey, I was never one to eavesdrop." He smiled and Daniel felt an unaccustomed warmth suffuse him. "Just wanted to make sure you're okay with what you find in there."
"Well, you look very uncomfortable over there." Daniel waved a hand at the armchair by the bed. "Sit, please."
Jack hesitated a moment then nodded and walked over, seating himself with what Daniel was sure was an exaggerated groan. "Do you at least remember my bad knees?" he asked. "I mean, you asking me to sit and all, that's got to be a good sign, right?"
Daniel shook his head. "No, sorry. I guess I was just being polite, But," he rushed on, feeling as though he'd said something very wrong, "I'd like you to stay."
Jack waved a hand at the journal Daniel held in his hands. "Read on, MacDuff."
He looked inordinately pleased with himself at the comment, prompting Daniel to ask, "Another Earth reference?"
Jack settled back into the chair. "You tell me."
Jack thinks I'm a geek.
Daniel looked over at Jack. "So far what I've read isn't instilling a whole lot of confidence in why you'd want me back."
Jack rolled his eyes. "I hate scientists, always did." He held up a staying hand. "Present company excepted."
"I understand," Daniel replied. "I have this feeling not a memory," he rushed to explain, "that I was never too fond of you military guys either."
Jack nodded. "You got it in one."
Daniel was feeling sleepy. The journals had at least given him an insight into Daniel Jackson, the man he used to be. He stretched, appreciating the release of tense muscles, inert for too long. Jack still sat across from him, though he was slouched now in the chair, his eyelids drooping. Every now and then, he'd jerk awake, his eyes widening, nodding as though to convince Daniel he'd heard every word he'd spoken.
"This wasn't the first time you thought me dead," Daniel said.
"Nope." Jack's answer was glib enough but Daniel couldn't miss seeing the pain in his eyes.
"You didn't want to leave me behind but you knew you had no choice. "The good of the many - that sounds familiar to me."
"Star Trek." Jack nodded sagely. "You must have watched that movie ten times or more with Teal'c."
"Teal'c? Oh, right." Daniel waved a hand over his forehead. "The Jaffa."
"The good Jaffa," Jack added.
"He seems a good man," Daniel agreed. He turned his attention back to the journal on his lap. Skimming through the pages, he stopped at one entry and smiled. "Space monkey?"
Jack looked distinctly uncomfortable. "Hey, I was just glad to see ya. I got a little carried away. I mean, I thought you'd blown up on the ship-" He stopped.
"It's okay," Daniel assured him. "You haven't given anything away. But Spacemonkey?"
Jack shrugged. "I had a weak moment." He stood and stretched. "If you don't mind, I'm gonna catch some zzz's. My bunkroom is right next door. Great, huh? We're dorm buddies. If you need anything, just yell."
"I'd like to talk with Teal'c."
Jack waved his right hand. "He's just down the hall. Any particular reason you prefer T's company to mine? Not that I'm offended, mind, just curious."
Daniel couldn't stop the grin that upturned his mouth. This felt comfortable, familiar. Perhaps he was home. "He's the only one of our team I haven't spoken with yet. I'd like to get to know him a little better."
Jack nodded. "He's under orders not to tell you anything you don't already know."
"I figured as much. Still, would it be okay if I "
"Knock yourself out. He's a great guy. Has lots of great stories about his conquests in the field of battle."
"I'll look forward to speaking with him then."
"Just don't believe everything he tells you," Jack said, heading for the door. " He exaggerates a little."
Daniel held up the journal he'd been reading. "I've got the proof here."
"Which you didn't get from me," Jack added with a stern look. He walked out the door but before it closed, he stuck his head back in. "It's good to have you back, Doctor Jackson."
"It's good to be back," Daniel replied. He watched the door close. "I think."