Jmas Fan Fiction

Vindicated
By Jmas
Jmasg1@bellsouth.net

Jack knew it to be true - Daniel was always right.

Sometimes he forgot that little life lesson, but then something would inevitably happen to remind him. Case in point - the blond, rather waif-like, four foot tall child standing before him. The child who just happened to be Daniel Jackson.

Jack didn’t understand the hows, but the why was entirely his own fault. He hadn’t listened. Again. Bad habit, he knew and one he swore he’d never forget in future. Whatever the future might bring.

It had started simply enough. An old Ancient building, enough scribbles and technology to keep SG1’s two resident geniuses in clover for years to come. And they had been happily checking things out, Daniel translating before Carter was allowed to play and possibly blow them all up.

It had been going well, the two taking advantage of the four days allotted for initial exploration. Teal’c and Jack had basically been doing grunt work, packing and carrying whatever they were told to, keeping the science contingent fed and making them go to bed when they should.

He’d made a stupid move, no doubt about it. More than once over the years he’d been tempted to lay hands on Daniel for one reason or another, mostly when he was angry. It wasn’t like him to get physical, especially with someone he otherwise considered a friend, but Daniel had the ability to cut through a lot of his limits. It was part and parcel of their relationship from day one and something Jack had worked at controlling… because, despite all evidence to the contrary on occasion, he was a decent man and Daniel’s friendship mattered to him. Things had been tougher lately, since the whole Eurondan thing, he thought, but the better part of solving a problem is recognizing it. Once he recognized his attitude needed adjusting, he’d applied himself to fixing it and things had been getting better. Or so he thought.

It had been a little thing that set him off. Daniel working late into the night, refusing to quit when Jack wanted him to. Like an hour or two would have made a difference, Daniel was… or had been… a grown man after all. Maybe that was part of the problem, Jack thought, Daniel was both grown and capable and didn’t need him… and Jack was a man who needed to be needed.

He hadn’t meant to pull Daniel hard, just place him in the general direction of the door. But Daniel had stumbled to the right while Jack was pulling left and fell over a box left there earlier in the day.

He could still see Daniel going down, see his hand strike the side of the Ancient device against the wall, see the glow of buttons and hear the whine of electronics building up. See the beam of greenish-gold light shoot out and engulf Daniel’s entire body. See the way Daniel stiffened in pain and hear his voice wail from baritone down to tenor as his body followed and became softer, younger, smaller.

When it was over, Daniel was unconscious on the ground and at least twenty-five years younger… around ten or twelve, Jack would guess. 

“It wasn’t your fault, Jack,” Daniel said in a voice that had lost none of its ability to soothe and mediate.

“If not mine, then who? Certainly not yours so don’t even go there.”

Daniel smiled a little, taking this whole chain of events with remarkable calm. So far, at least. “Just an accident. I know you weren’t trying to hurt me. I fell. No one’s fault.”

Jack ran a hand through his hair. “Why aren’t you mad? Screaming the house, er, Ancient facility down? I would if I was you.”

Daniel just shrugged and walked over to sit on a pile of boxes, hitching up clothes that now hung off his skinny frame. “Would it do any good? It’s still me in here, Jack. I may look like a middle school runaway, but I’m still Doctor Daniel Jackson and I have to keep remembering that.”

Jack could almost add an ‘or’ to Daniel’s sentence. ‘Or I’ll go crazy.’ It wouldn’t do any good to say anything, Daniel was doing his best to take this whole situation like a man, even if he wasn’t actually one, at least physically, anymore.

Jack went over to sit beside his friend. “They’ll figure all this out, Daniel. You too.”

Daniel nodded. “Remember what it was like in middle school, Jack? What it felt like?”

“Barely. It has been a while. I remember zits, and algebra, and girls, and…. Oh.”

Tongue in cheek, Daniel looked up at Jack through those now ridiculously long lashes. He was so…  He looked like one of the Nox, now Jack thought about it. All big intelligent eyes and shaggy hair and slim body.

Plopped right back in the middle of puberty had to be hell, Jack realized. The raging hormones trying to send signals Daniel’s mind had long since learned to deal with.

“Sorry.”

Jack nudged Daniel’s shoulder with his own. He wasn’t apologizing for the situation he still knew was mostly his fault, despite what Daniel said, but commiserating. Daniel just shrugged, trying to be philosophical about it all and mostly succeeding.

“Whatever happens, Daniel, I’ll help. I’ll be there. You won’t be alone.”

Daniel’s eyes blinked against sudden tears. Ah, hormones.

“I guess one bright side is… at least I didn’t get even smaller. I’d hate to start over at baby again… if I have to. Start over, that is.”

“You can stay with me. As long as it takes.”

“I’ve done the emancipated minor thing before, Jack.”

He hadn’t known that. “At what age?”

“Fifteen. Long story.”

And maybe one Jack would hear someday, but not now he could tell. Daniel had enough to deal with.

“Hate to break it to you, my friend, but you aren’t quite fifteen. Again. Yet.” Damn, this was confusing. “I’ve got the room and you need a place to stay, at least until this is fixed. And you need a friend.”

“Do I, Jack?”

Jack wasn’t sure if Daniel was asking if he needed a friend or if he had one. In either case, the answer was the same.

“You do, Daniel.’ Jack struggled to find a way to say so many things. He knew he’d fallen down in the friend area over the past months, but he’d been trying and he valued Daniel’s friendship above anything in his life. The words wouldn’t come, but Daniel nodded as if they had and Jack did the only thing he could think of… he reached out an arm and pulled Daniel to him in a tight hug. At first Daniel resisted, his natural reticence coming to the fore. Then he gradually relaxed into it and hugged Jack back.

“This sort of sucks, Jack.”

“I know.”

“I don’t want to be a kid again. It was hard enough the first time.”

“I know.”

“I will not go back to school. That thoroughly sucked when I was just a so-called prodigy, I definitely won’t do it with three doctorates.”

“We’ll say you’re home schooled, all you’ll have to do is test out.”

“And I don’t want to change my name.”

“We’ll work it out. You can be your own nephew or something.”

“And I want my fish.”

“I’ll build an aquarium stand.”

“And my own T1 line.”

“Done.”

“And coffee.”

“Up to Fraiser, but done.”

“And pizza every night.”

“Don’t push it.”

Daniel giggled. “Are you sure, Jack? I was a handful as an adult, I’ve been told I was worse as a kid. We don’t know if I’ll stay me, keep all my memories and knowledge as time goes by.”

“Hopefully not much time, but I’m sure. Whatever you need, you’ve got it with me.”

Daniel pulled back and looked Jack square in the eye with a wisdom and depth that should not have lived in such a youthful face.

“When you’re right, you’re right, Jack.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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