Jmas Fan Fiction

Title: Sympathy for the Devil
Date: August 27, 2000
Status: Complete
Author: Jmas
Category: angst, h/c
Rating: PG
Email:jmasg1@bellsouth.net
Archive: Stargate Fan, Heliopolis, Belle, Place of Our Legacy
Disclaimer: Characters are property of MGM, etc.
Spoilers: The First Ones
Summary: The heart has depths few ever fully understand…
Author's note: Just a little look at what *else* might have happened after PD yelled cut…

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Sympathy for the Devil

By Jmas

Faith may or may not move mountains, but it sure as hell can keep one pure-ass determined archaeologist alive. By all rights…and most of the laws of the universe…Daniel should be dead and giving those Unas (Unases?) terminal indigestion while they pick their pointy teeth with his bones. But here he is…walking beside me all bleary-eyed and jumping at every noise, but *here*… alive and back with us where he belongs.

If I know Daniel at all…and I do…he was too excited playing with his rocks and Goa’uld fossils to get much rest even before this happened, and it’s a safe bet the Unas kid didn’t let him sleep much. His wrists are bleeding from the leash the kid had on him…. he hasn’t said anything one way or the other but I can see from the careful way he’s moving that he’s stiff and sore in a lot of places that don’t show.

I never believed he was dead.

Not really.

Daniel’s got this amazing capacity to beat the odds, whether it’s with his mouth or with his brains. Guess this one took both. Just making friends all over the galaxy, that’s our Daniel. Four years of experience told me that as long as we weren’t finding a body there was a chance.

I’ve got to admit it was looking pretty bleak there when we were delayed by Hawkins and Rothman getting Goa’ulded…damn I hate that…but when we saw the ‘This Way’ on that cave wall I had to grin.

Only Daniel.

Then of course we found him in the middle of a pack of Unas looking like a very small Daniel in a big lion’s den…

‘Don’t shoot’, he said. I heard it coming before he ever said it. No ‘thanks for finally showing up, now save my ass, guys’…just ‘don’t shoot.’ I wouldn’t have believed it unless I’d seen it with my own eyes…Daniel’s Unas pal growling out his name and seeming really sad to let Daniel go. Not because he was losing dinner, but almost like he was losing a friend. So Daniel was right…again…and even got an invitation to come back and chat. Not a chance in hell…not without us, anyway.

We’re almost back to the lake where Coburn and his guys radioed that they buried Rothman and Hawkins. Another loss for Daniel…another loss at the hands of a friend…

This shit is getting old…

Hell, it got old a long time ago.

We stop at the graves, Daniel looks more than a little wiped out. Teal’c and Carter wander off discretely…Carter’s taking a water sample. Teal’c’s keeping a good eye out for unfriendly snake activity in the water so I’m not too worried as I go to sit beside Daniel under the trees. Coburn and his men did a good job on the graves…nice stone markers with dog tags strung over them.

Daniel’s eyes are pointed at the graves, but I’d bet anything that’s not what he’s seeing. Remembering the good stuff? I hope so. Rothman was Daniel’s research assistant back when Daniel was working on one of his PhD’s …funny thought considering they are…were… about the same age, but Daniel was an early bloomer…at least intellectually. They were friends, close…at least as close as anyone got to a younger, much shyer Daniel. Rothman jumped right back through the gate to come after Daniel…didn’t even let me intimidate him…and let’s face it; Rothman wasn’t exactly the hero type, but he did it for Daniel and I have to respect the man for that.

Hell, after four years I still can’t say I know everything there is to know about Daniel Jackson. Times change and people generally change with them; Daniel sure as hell has. From dweebish to eloquent, from pretty damn awkward to surprisingly capable, from isolated to inspiring some of the damnedest friendships I’d have ever thought possible a few years ago.

Daniel’s eyes are closed now. Did he reach the end of the good stuff or is it just the past few days catching up? I’m about to reach over and check when he jumps at the sound of my shifting weapon and I catch a moment of utter desolation in his eyes. God. Daniel. For all the forced bravado, the ‘hey, I look okay so I must be okay’ front he’s been putting on for us, Daniel just spent a day and a night with a devil-wannabe not knowing whether the next jerk on that leash might be reeling him in for dinner.

He recovers well, giving me that wry grin I’ve seen more and more of lately and gets up…effectively shutting down anything I might have wanted to say.

Carter and Teal’c look up as Daniel heads up the hill. Carter has something in her wet hands. As she comes closer I see that it’s Rothman’s inhaler. Guess we know when it happened now…not that it matters.

Daniel’s almost out of sight, we need to catch up.

We get back to the gate and find Coburn and Pierce are still there…or maybe there again. Waiting for us. They smile when they see Daniel with us and make all the right noises. Daniel makes similar noises back, but the tone rings ‘wrong’ to me as Daniel moves to the DHD and dials home, wincing at the pressure on his hands.

I trade a look with Carter as she sends the iris signal and move to go through behind right behind Daniel…. coming out of the wormhole just in time to steady him as he stumbles with exhaustion. I get a nod for thanks and decide to keep close. Just in case.

The control room guys are cheering and Hammond’s got a huge grin on his face.

“Welcome back, Dr. Jackson.”

Daniel looks over at me with that deer in the headlights look that makes my gut twitch every time, and heads off with the medics. I pass my weapons off to Carter and follow.

By the time I catch up, Fraiser’s got him. He passes his jacket over to me while she clucks over his wrists. She finally notices me and shoos me off so she can close the curtain and do a ‘complete exam’. Sorry, buddy, you’re on your own…again…for this one.

I wander into the waiting area and sit down, tossing Daniel’s jacket on a chair as I sit down. A click-whirr noise starts coming from the pocket. An only semi-guilty hand reaches in and comes back out with Daniel’s tape recorder, rewinding itself. Flipping it on, I hear…

*I think I’ve just been marked for death…*

Whoa.

I rewind the tape with no guilt whatsoever and press play, and listen to Daniel making detached commentary on his own abduction…

Almost from the beginning he figured he was toast, literally, but he kept trying, kept figuring things out, kept trying to understand…kept making nice with the devil. I can’t help but shudder at the thought of him swimming in the Goa’uld infested water. MRIs are SOP so I know Janet will check for snakes, but I’m sure Daniel’s okay…even with the way he was acting. With Daniel weird is normal when he’s trying to deal with stuff, and this is a *lot* of stuff.

Then I hear the part about being marked for death. A detached statement of fact, he could have been talking about one of his artifacts for all the emotion his voice gives away; to me it’s the sound of Daniel coming up against the wall of his own intellect.

I remember the time with Machello’s little gift…he knew it then too. Tried to fight it, tried to intellectualize it like it was happening to someone else…but it wasn’t. He knew it back then…he knew it this time. And that has to be the worst kind of hell.

I move my thumb to shut the recorder down when I hear Daniel again…a little throat clearing noise then…

‘…tried to kill Cha’aka while he slept. I couldn’t do it…It would have so easy crush his skull with that rock and run, but…I *couldn’t*. I may have reason to regret it…guess I’ll know pretty soon…’ A tired sigh comes clearly from the little speaker. ‘I don’t know if you guys will find me in time or even if you’ll ever find this tape, but I hope you’ll understand. I just have a feeling about this. If I’m wrong, well, Jack can always say he told me so.’ A breath of a laugh. ‘Goodbyes really do suck, so I’m not going to say it. Oh and Jack…’

The tape runs out and the recorder clicks off. Ninety minutes of tape capturing the highlights of a little over twenty-four hours of what could have been the end of Daniel’s life. Now there’s a cheerful thought.

I realize with a sigh that I’m *not* angry. It was just a matter of Daniel being ‘Daniel’ and playing one of those hunches that come from a place only Daniel can visit, his heart and soul, and even he doesn’t always have the words to explain them.

Lucky for all of us, this hunch played out and Daniel connected with that thing, communicated, maybe even affected the evolution of the species if Cha’aka stays on for long as top dog, er, Unas. See, I pay attention to Daniel…or maybe I’ve just watched too many Star Trek reruns. The Unas kid was introduced to truth, justice and a different way of doing things in the person of Daniel Jackson…not a bad role model at all…and I have to admit it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

The role model in question is complaining…loudly…that he doesn’t want to stay for observation. Fraiser is getting loud herself. I’ll go in there after they wind down and rescue him, take him back to my place for a healthy dose of reality, maybe find a way to apologize for having to shoot his friend. He’ll understand, he always does, but I need to say it as much as he probably needs to hear it. Maybe we can get drunk enough to keep remembering the good stuff and forget some of the bad, at least for a little while. At the very least, he won’t be alone with any more demons…not tonight.

I shove the tape recorder back into his jacket with another sigh.

Too damn close.

Again.

Daniel beat the odds with that combination of strength, determination and heart unique only to him in my experience…and to be totally honest I envy it right now. After all, not everyone can feel sympathy for the devil; much less find the guts to act on it.

But, hell, in a lot of ways he tamed me…

Not much difference really.

*fin*

 

 

 

 

 

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