Jmas Fan Fiction

Title: Shadows of Time
Date: April 1, 2001
Status: Complete
Author: Jmas
Category: Drama, angst, h/c
Rating: PG-13
Archive: Stargate Fan, Heliopolis, Belle, Place of Our Legacy
Spoilers: Window of Opportunity
Summary: Just wondering and wandering...
Author's note: The first of 17 missing scenes or tags for season 4 I promised to the wily members of the HC list. Bless them all....
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.

Shadows of Time
By Jmas
Our time is a very shadow that passeth away...
~Wisdom of Solomon

Wandering down the main path to the funky altar that started this whole time loop weirdness, I catch myself automatically translating some of the symbols on the base of it. Three months of Latin lessons and I’m doing a Daniel Jackson - now there’s a concept worthy of the Twilight Zone.

Just helping out with one ancient language has been enough to drive me batty sometimes - okay, a lot of times. I don’t want to even think about how it is for Daniel with as many as he knows - but I can honestly say I’m starting to understand how he can get so wrapped up in his work. It’s a lot like putting together a jigsaw puzzle; you connect the pieces you recognize right away then fine-tune the rest around it. Not exactly a hobby I expect to put on my ‘things to do when I’m bored’ list, but - not bad.

Carter and Teal’c are making adjustments to the sensor array up on the turret. The big guy really seems to have developed an interest in astronomy after sitting through all those briefings and meetings and reports while we were looping. I’ll have to get him up on my roof sometime to do some stargazing. Haven’t done that in a while myself, it’d be nice.

Malakai’s gone home and, I have to admit, I’m glad he did. The man was exhausted - body and soul - and letting go of the quest to recapture a past best left undisturbed just seemed to take all he had left. I honestly hope he finds some peace; I know better than most that the first step is the hardest in that particular pursuit. Daniel knows it too - I didn’t miss the look on his face when Malakai told us about his wife. But I’m more than a little sure Daniel knows as well as I do there’s no profit in regret - and no matter how much we want to we can’t change what *is*.

Once we let Hammond know the looping was over - and considering how much work had gone into figuring this place out - he approved a second mission to finish what we started.

The Ancients built this place, the same folks Daniel believes built the Stargate system. They were one of the Big Four in the galaxy once - as advanced as the Asgard and the Nox, if not more so. And even I can understand how important it is to learn all we can about them. If we never find a single piece of technology to help us against the goa’uld - this is important too.

What can I say? Time looping makes a guy think - a lot.

Daniel’s over near the spot where he died before the first loop began. I can’t help but hate seeing him there. I’m the only one who knows Malakai killed Daniel; killed him for a chance to go back and relive the same nightmare over and over again. Can’t say why I didn’t tell Teal’c, three months and it never came up, maybe I just didn’t want him to have to deal with the same moral dilemmas I was going through - or maybe I just didn’t want him to tell me I was wrong to put things off.

The memory of Daniel lying so still on that spot - and of Carter looking up with an expression that spoke volumes in the few seconds I had to notice it - stayed with me all through those three months. The memory was a big part of the reason I let Daniel’s offhand comment take root and stall us at least a few weeks longer than we would have needed to get us to the truth - and back to reality. I asked Carter at least a dozen different loops, she couldn’t give me a yes or no or maybe that would guarantee we wouldn’t find ourselves right back at that moment - and Daniel wouldn’t be just as dead.

I watched Daniel during each and every loop, working so hard to get us back to a place that might mean he was living every one of those loops on borrowed time...and the closer that time came to running out, the less I wanted it to. So we played through a few of them - literally. The golf was great, but getting into Fraiser’s secret stash of Belgian chocolate was even better - a never-ending supply and no stomachaches to pay for the crime. Teal’c climbed to the top of the gateroom at least a dozen loops trying to beat his own personal best of 47 seconds - he’s got some really odd notions of what constitutes fun.

After our talk with Malakai along about the sixtieth loop, I got a really bad feeling our time was running out and I knew we had to honest-to-God do something or be stuck that way forever. Much as I liked the movie, I was in no way ready to live ‘Groundhog Day’ for eternity. Then I thought about Daniel maybe being dead at the end of it all - and I didn’t like the picture at all. Things have been more than a little rocky for us lately on the friendship trail, but facing that same eternity - or at least my remaining chunk of it - without Daniel around to keep things interesting was not a happy picture in my personal scrapbook of life. What can I say, I’m a sappy guy under all these wrinkles. Besides which, we need Daniel around the SGC to keep us honest - even if we don’t always like hearing what he’s got to say - and he’s the only one around with the guts to take us all on. Hell, he’s the only one around even remotely like him - which has got to be a good thing.

Anyway, I started making Daniel take a few loops off, too - I figured he more than deserved the chance to live a little - just in case. Who knew he had a secret passion for margaritas? Might be a sissy drink but it doesn’t take many of them to pack a hell of a wallop....

The best one was sneaking Carter’s bike out of the mountain and trespassing all over the government’s fine piece of acreage surrounding the complex. We spent the whole loop out there, riding the trails and stopping at the top to talk for hours. The first time we’d had the time to talk in months. He really opened up about all the stuff with Sha’re, the kid, Nick, the sub and the order he never should have been forced to give - and I finally got to say the things I’d been wanting to about it all - things I should have said a lot sooner but had never seemed to find the time for. It’s good we did it, but I know I still need to do it again for real. He shouldn’t be keeping that all bottled up inside.

I’m glad I was the one talking to Malakai about losing people we love, I don’t know if Daniel could have done it. Hell, yes, I do. He’d have done it if it ripped his guts out - which it probably would have.

Daniel’s been really - quiet. With all this Ancient knowledge surrounding him and some honest-to-goodness time to explore it, I keep expecting him to start chattering non-stop. If nothing else I’d expect him to be ragging on me for helping and actually enjoying it - sort of.

Nothing. Nada. Zip.

If I had to guess - which I really don’t since I’ve got the loop to thank for a little up close and personal insight - he’s thinking about that very thing. Wondering if he could or would do what Malakai did. I know he wouldn’t but I also know how tempting it is to think about it. Go back to the good and just be there in the moment - before losing it allover again. As many times as we’ve done this time looping-traveling thing, it doesn’t get any easier to look that demon in the eye and know you could have it all back again - if only for a few precious seconds.

Daniel doesn’t give himself half enough credit for being the decent kind of guy he is. Yeah, he’d think about it - might even be tempted - but in the end I know he would never put his own needs ahead of the universal ‘good’ he cares so much about. He has his darker moments - and who the hell doesn’t? - but that’s a constant I never doubt. It might occasionally irritate the piss out of me, but I never doubt it.

I move in as he sits down with his notebook, right there on top of where he died, and I can’t suppress a shudder as I slide down beside him.

He nods at me distractedly, making squiggly notes in the margins of his squiggly notes, neither of which I can decipher - he might understand, write and speak dozens of languages but his handwriting sucks.

“We almost finished?”

He shakes his head with a small smile, not looking up. “Not really, but we’re almost finished ‘here’.” Which means he’s got it all transcribed, notated, digitally documented, and committed as much to memory as humanly possible.

I nod back at him, gazing out over the altar at the orange clouds. “Just whenever you’re ready - or when Carter says time’s up....”

That gets me a frown of confusion - kid’s going to have more wrinkles than I do if he keeps that up - and I know I’ve shocked him by being so patient with this purely scientific mission. I now I’ve been a real shit lately with everything else going on, but if I’ve learned nothing else from this loop it’s how to take a step back and get a little perspective.

I just shrug at him, there’s no way I can explain without telling him about everything that happened during the loops and before - and I really don’t want to do that. I want to work at getting him to talk to me here and now, work on that foundation and make it even stronger - while we have time.

And I think I know exactly how to do it.

“Hey, Daniel?”

“Hmm...” He’s back to noting his notes.

“You ever ride a motorcycle?”







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