Author's Notes:- Thanks to Stonedtoad for betaing.
"Where do you want me to put this Mom?"
Amanda Hunter turned to see her youngest daughter struggling to carry a box filled with books.
"There's a space there Kelly," Amanda directed her to the only empty space left.
"That's everything out the truck," Kelly sighed in relief dropping the box before standing up and stretching her back wincing at the crack.
"Wonderful," Amanda stood back and surveyed the mess, "I should get stuck in then."
"It's…a great apartment," Kelly shrugged uncertainly, looking around the bright and airy room.
"You can say it you know," Amanda told her.
"Why here Mom?" she demanded, "Why Colorado?"
"Honestly, I'm not sure," Amanda shrugged, taking her daughter's hand she gently brushed back a lock of her dark brown hair, "Honey, when your Dad and I divorced I didn't feel like I belonged there anymore. Besides I'm too young for Miami."
"But you're so far away from all of us," Kelly continued, "Why don't you come live with me?"
"In a student flat?"
"Or stay with Elizabeth until…"
"Kelly, I wanted to come here," Amanda told her daughter, "I know you don't understand but you don't have to. Now go and join the others for dinner and I'll see you all tomorrow before your flight."
Kelly nodded and hugged her, "Love you Mom."
"I love you too sweetie."
Amanda sighed as she started to unpack. Pulling out her photo album she opened it to the first page, which held the picture of her taken by the nurse the day she left the hospital. Amanda wished she knew who she had been before waking up that day but in over twenty-five years she'd never had any recollection.
Despite knowing she had so much time missing Amanda had made the decision to only look forward. Whoever she had been was gone now. She wasn't even sure that Amanda was her real name but it was a name that she recognised so she became Amanda Hunter adopting the surname of the doctor who had helped her.
Flipping through a few more pages she came across the picture of the man she'd married. She had loved Adam but something always seemed to feel incomplete. It took her a few years to actually agree to marry him and she was happy most of the time.
They had three beautiful daughters who she adored, but she always felt disappointed that she hadn't had a little boy. It was strange, she found every time she was pregnant she had dreamt of a blue-eyed, blond haired little boy.
With a sigh she snapped the album shut and started working on fixing her new apartment.
Jack gently touched Daniel's shoulder guiding him from the elevator, along the corridor and into the apartment. Daniel was barely conscious after the funeral; the injuries he'd received from Ammonet were still causing him pain and Janet had only let him out of the infirmary after Jack had begged her to allow him to grieve in private.
"Jack," Daniel's voice was barely a whisper, "You don't have to stay. I'm going to sleep for a while."
"Danny, Janet would beat me to a pulp if I didn't stay," Jack reminded him as he closed the door.
"I just want to be alone," Daniel told him, his voice straining from the emotion he was trying to control.
"I know," Jack sympathised, "But you had your brain fried and you were unconscious for ages only a few days ago. I know how you feel Danny but Janet wants me to make sure you're okay."
Daniel sighed; he had no energy to continue to argue so he dropped tiredly onto the couch.
"Look," Jack's voice was soft and filled with understanding, "I'm going to go grab some stuff from my house so I don't have to try and sleep under that wafer thin blanket I usually have. I'll pick up some pizzas and movies and I'll be back in a couple of hours. Okay?"
"Sure," Daniel sighed his eyes staring at a spot on the wall.
Jack grimaced as he moved to leave the apartment, Daniel had been almost catatonic since Sha're's death. For the past few days he'd only really spoken if someone spoke directly to him and even then most answers were monosyllabic. Jack was beginning to worry that Daniel would never be the same again. The one person he'd seemed to open up to was Kasuf and even then he was comforting the old man. Looking back from the door Jack watched as Daniel curled into a ball on the couch, with a sigh Jack left him to have some peace.
Amanda gently set the pictures up of her three daughters each on their graduation from school. It had taken a while but she had at least one room in order. This was because almost all the boxes were stuffed into the spare room where no one could see them.
"Daniel!!" she heard a yell from nearby and someone banging on a door, "Daniel, let me in."
Her curiosity peaked she looked out into the corridor to see a man standing banging on the door to the next apartment.
"Daniel, I know you're awake I saw you standing on the balcony as I came in," the man yelled through the door before pounding on it again.
Amanda noted the bag slung over his shoulder and two pizza boxes. He looked both angry and worried at the same time.
"Daniel," he called in a softer voice, "I know how you're feeling, you know I do. But Janet wants you watched over in case you still have a concussion."
"Excuse me," Amanda interrupted him, "Is there a problem?"
The man turned to her surprised, looking over her shoulder he saw from where she'd appeared.
"Where's Mrs O'Hara?" he asked.
"She moved," Amanda replied.
"Oh," he shrugged, "I'm Jack O'Neill a friend of your neighbour."
"I'm assuming his name is Daniel?"
"You're good," Jack noted, stretching out his hand waiting for her to introduce herself.
"I'm Amanda Hunter," she shook hands with him, "Is he okay?"
"He was in a slight accident a few days ago," Jack said, Amanda noted the hesitation in his voice, "And his wife was killed at the same time."
"Oh God," Amanda cried in horror, "You're worried he's done something to himself."
"Not so much worried as concerned," he shrugged before pounding on the door again, "Daniel open the damn door or I shoot out the lock."
Amanda stared at him with a shocked expression, "Tell me you're a police officer."
"Air Force," he replied, "Daniel, I'm scaring your new neighbour."
The door opened slightly and Jack sighed in relief, "Nice to meet you Amanda."
"You too," she replied watching as he entered the apartment before going back into her own.
It was two weeks later when Amanda actually got to meet her next-door neighbour. She had her hands full with shopping and trying to find her keys predictably dropped everything all over the floor.
"Damn," she muttered, gathering up all her groceries.
"Having trouble?" a man said coming up to her with a few apples in his hands.
"A little," Amanda smiled the young man was slightly familiar, "You wouldn't want to hold this while I open the door?"
"Sure," he took the bag from her as she opened the door to her apartment.
"Thank you," Amanda said waiting for his name.
"Daniel Jackson," he introduced himself.
"You live next door," she smiled at him.
"I'm Amanda Hunter. You can drop them in the kitchen," she told him motioning him to join her inside, "Do you want some coffee?"
"That would be nice," Daniel answered.
Daniel looked at the pictures sitting around the living room as Amanda made them coffee. She reminded him of his mother slightly which made Daniel feel very comfortable around her.
"Here you go," Amanda handed him a mug of coffee.
"Who are they?" he asked curiously.
"That's my girls," she grinned proudly at them, picking up the first picture she handed it to Daniel, "This is Elizabeth, she's twenty-four and a journalist," Amanda handed him a second picture, "This is Maria, she's twenty-three and an architect and finally," Amanda took the other two from him handing him one last picture, "This is Kelly, she's twenty and she's studying to be an Archaeologist."
"They look like you," Daniel told her.
"Actually they look more like their father," Amanda shrugged.
"Speaking of?" Daniel asked before looking slightly embarrassed, "If you want to tell me."
Amanda smiled, "We just got divorced."
"Sorry," he whispered.
"You weren't to know," Amanda told him then slightly hesitated, "Your friend told me about your wife. I'm sorry."
Daniel tensed placing his almost full mug down on the table, "Thanks for the coffee."
"Daniel," Amanda caught his arm, "I didn't mean to upset you."
"It's okay," Daniel whispered, "I should go."
Amanda nodded and watched him leave, he seemed oddly familiar but she couldn't work out why.
"Mom, I'm fine," Kelly protested.
Amanda moved the phone to her other ear watching the trees on the street fly by, "I just wanted to make sure."
"Mom, you just left the apartment," her daughter grimaced, "You saw me about ten minutes ago."
"But you're my baby," Amanda reminded her, "And I worry about you."
"It's a broken ankle and it was my own fault," Kelly sighed, "Look Mom, I know you're worried but don't you have a job to get back to?"
Amanda smiled, "I'll call you when I get home."
"Bye Mom," Kelly said pointedly.
"Bye sweetie, love you."
Hanging up her phone Amanda leaned back in the taxi heading to the airport. It was now four months since she'd moved into her apartment, she was teaching kids again a job she loved and her life was good.
Of course that was until Maria phoned to tell her Kelly had been in an accident. While she had been with all three of her daughters she found herself studying their faces for some reason. Something was bothering her and she didn't know what it was.
"Jack, I'm fine," Daniel was saying as Amanda strolled out of the elevator, she hadn't seen him since the day he'd helped her with her shopping.
"Hi," Jack greeted her, moving to help her with her bag, "Been away?"
"Yes," she smiled, "My youngest broke her ankle."
"Is she alright?" Daniel asked softly.
"She's fine," Amanda laughed, "She actually broke it leapfrogging someone at a party so don't waste your sympathy. You two look like you've had a rough day."
"Talking to him is like talking to thin air sometimes," Jack grinned slyly.
Amanda laughed, "I'll see you two some other time. I have to get up early for work tomorrow."
"Night," they chorused in unison.
As she closed the door she stopped hearing Daniel's voice again.
"Jack, I am perfectly fine," he snapped continuing their argument.
"Jack, Nick made his choice and he's staying where he can pursue his life's work," Daniel's voice was hard and filled with sarcasm, "Nicholas Ballard is out of my life. Again."
Amanda frowned at Daniel's statement; she knew that name. This was so frustrating and confusing. For years she'd been able to shrug off things like this, things that could be related to the life she no longer remembered.
And for the first time in a long time she wanted to remember it.
Daniel had finally managed to get rid of Jack so he could let off steam on his own. He was angry with Nick but he did feel slightly better that this part of his past was now resolved. Grabbing the remote he started to channel hop when everything went black.
"Not again," he groaned reaching blindly under the coffee table for the flashlight.
He heard a knock at his door and found Amanda standing there.
"I take that it happened here too," she said seeing him holding the flashlight.
Daniel motioned her inside, "It happens every so often. Have you any candles?"
"No, this wasn't in the brochure," Amanda frowned.
"Come on in," Daniel led her to he couch, "Do you want some coffee? The kettle just boiled before the blackout."
"That would be great," she smiled as she settled onto the couch.
Daniel handed her some coffee before setting up several candles to give them some light then took the seat beside her.
"I'm sorry that I upset you the last time we talked," Amanda told him, "I have a habit of saying things before my mind stops me."
"I do that sometimes," he confessed, "Usually when my mind is way ahead of where my mouth is. And it's okay, I just find it hard talking about Sha're."
"That's a beautiful name," Amanda said, "Very unusual, unique."
"Just like her," Daniel half-smiled for a second before looking back at her, "How's your daughter?"
"Using this injury to her advantage," Amanda laughed rolling her eyes, "Kelly gained her father's argumentative, conniving nature."
"What do you do?" Daniel asked hunting for a topic of conversation.
"I'm a teacher," she smiled, "It was something that felt I knew how to do."
Daniel frowned trying to work out her last statement.
Amanda shrugged, "About twenty-seven years ago I woke up in a hospital bed with absolutely no memory of who I was."
"You had complete amnesia?" Daniel asked amazed.
"Complete, total and utter," Amanda laughed, "I've never remembered anything other than my name and even then I'm not sure if it's my real name."
"That must have been terrifying," Daniel sympathised.
She nodded, "I was lucky that I made friends with one of the doctors at the hospital. He and his wife helped me restart my life and that's where I got the surname Hunter. What about you? What do you do?"
"I'm a Doctor of Archaeology, Anthropology and Linguistics," Daniel told her, "I work with the Air Force as a civilian consultant, as a linguist."
"How many languages do you speak?" Amanda asked intrigued.
"About twenty," he gave a shy smile, "I travelled a lot when I was a kid. My parents were Archaeologists so I sort of picked up all the languages used on the digs."
Amanda smiled, "Where are they?"
"They…em…they died when I was eight."
Amanda frowned that she'd put her foot in it again so she quickly changed the subject, "I've always been interested in archaeology, maybe where Kelly got it from. In fact I'm going to be teaching the kids about Ancient Egypt soon."
"My mother wrote a few I suppose they could be called diaries but they're aimed towards teaching kids how do things," Daniel told her, "She wrote them for me and I just got them. You could borrow them if you like, you might want to ignore the actual diary entries."
"That would be great," Amanda said jumping as the lights went on again, "Wow," her eyes widened taking in Daniel's extensive collection of artefacts that were placed around his apartment.
Daniel moved and blew out the candles before fetching the book for Amanda, "Here you go."
"Thanks," she took the book before giving him a gentle motherly kiss on his cheek, "I'll see you later."
Amanda handed her daughter the mug of tea sitting down beside her.
"What's this?" Elizabeth asked picking up the book Daniel had given her
"It's a book my neighbour gave me to help teach the kids about ancient Egypt," Amanda explained.
"Let's see," Elizabeth opened it at a random page, "We discovered a new room within the ruins…"
"Danny kept trying to get Mel to take him inside so he could help explore," Amanda took over her voice far away, "Mel finally relented and carried Danny with him."
"How many times have you read this?" Elizabeth asked amused.
"I haven't," Amanda said stunned, "Pick another passage."
Elizabeth flicked through the book, "Okay. Danny is ill…"
"Neither Mel nor I have slept for the past three days staying with him as his fever rises," Amanda continued, "My Danny is only five and his brilliance shines I don't know what we'll do if we lose our precious baby boy."
"Mom," Elizabeth cried, "You must have read this before the accident."
"But how?" Amanda was in shock, "Daniel said it was his mother's diary, she died when he was eight."
"You keep saying he looks familiar," Elizabeth deduced, "Maybe you knew his parents."
"That does seem to make sense," Amanda mused.
"Ask him if he has a picture," Elizabeth suggested, "Mom, this is incredible. You've never been able to remember anything about your life before the accident."
"It's what I'll remember that worries me," Amanda said darkly before looking at her eldest child fondly.
Elizabeth was a sweet soul but had a sharp tongue when crossed. Her long light brown hair was swept up in a ponytail displaying her bright green eyes that showed her concern for her mother but her excitement was also there. Elizabeth had always been interested in what could be in her mother's past and the opportunity to find out more was too good to pass.
It was two weeks later when Daniel finally returned to his apartment. Amanda heard him and Jack arguing in the hall as usual.
"Well the floor show has finally arrived," she greeted them.
"Hey Amanda," Jack grinned.
"Hi," Daniel said, he grimaced as he turned grabbing his side.
"What's wrong?" Amanda asked concerned.
"My appendix burst a few weeks ago," Daniel explained, "I'm still a little sore."
"Then I don't want to bother you with this," Amanda said before deciding just to do it, "But I was hoping that you might have a picture of your parents."
"What?" Jack demanded seeing the stiffness appear in Daniel's spine.
"That book you gave me," she explained quickly, "I knew it. My daughter started reading a passage and I hadn't even started going through it but I repeated it word for word."
"You think that you might have known them?" Jack asked; Daniel had filled him in on Amanda's amnesia.
"It's a possibility," Amanda said, "I've never had anything like this happen. This could help me unlock who I really am."
"I'll find you some pictures," Daniel promised.
"Thank you," she smiled at him squeezing his hand, "Now go and rest."
"Jack," Daniel said as his friend closed the door, "There's a packet of photos that came with the box the museum sent me on the piano. Could you hand them in to Amanda when you go."
"Daniel," Jack said softly, "You okay with her doing this?"
"If it turns out she knew my parents," Daniel told him, "She may be able to tell me some things about them."
Jack saw a hopeful light in Daniel's eyes and nodded, Daniel held his parents in such high esteem Jack knew that to get to talk to someone who knew them was something Daniel would grab onto with both hands.
"I am going to go get some sleep," Daniel murmured exhaustion showing in his eyes.
Jack was tired too. Saving the world, again then getting attacked by Replicators, again had taken it out of him. Daniel however had spent a week of worrying what had happened to them while trying to recover from surgery then having to give the order to blow up the submarine had taken it out of him. The moment Thor had beamed them back to the Earth Daniel had nearly killed himself and several other people to get to them.
Jack picked up the packet of photographs and left Daniel to get some rest promising to return in the morning with coffee.
Passing Amanda's door he knocked.
"Hi," she smiled staring as he handed her the photos, "That was quick. I didn't mean…"
"Daniel had them sitting around," Jack shrugged, "I am going home to sleep. See you later."
"Night," Amanda clutched the photos tightly closing the door.
Amanda settled onto her couch before gently opening the packet and easing out the photographs. The first one was of a small boy with a bright infectious smile sitting in the sand holding a clay pot.
"Danny," she whispered tracing the angelic face.
Shaking she looked at the next photograph and found she was staring at her own face. Quickly she moved onto the next photograph and her breathing quickened as she stared at the man in the picture.
"Mel," she whispered stricken, "Oh God Mel," tears filled her eyes at the memory of the man she had fallen in love with from the moment she'd met him returning. She cried for a few minutes before she took a hold of the photo of her baby boy when it struck her. He was next door, her little boy was sleeping next door to her and he had no idea who she was.
She started to laugh; she had no idea who she was until this moment. Moving to the mirror she looked at herself, Claire Amanda Jackson.
"At least I remembered part of my name," she said to her reflection.
Very gently she touched her own face, something she had done several times when she had originally woken. Finally unable to just stand there she grabbed her photo album and ran to Daniel's door knocking constantly.
"Alright, I'm coming," Daniel's sleepy, annoyed voice floated through the door, "Amanda?" he asked confused when he yanked it open.
She stared at him for a second trying to equate him with the child she remembered.
"Amanda, what's wrong?" Daniel asked concern lacing his voice.
Shaking she handed him the album, "The first picture is me, taken the day I left the hospital."
Daniel frowned completely confused, looking down at the picture he dropped the album and stared at her in shock.
"Danny…" she reached out to touch his arm but he flinched away from her touch, "Danny…" she tried again
"Don't call me that," he pulled further back.
"Daniel, I know this is strange," she said softly, "But you have to…"
"I have to get out of here," Daniel closed the door in her face.
Sadly she headed back to her own apartment and continued to go through the pictures hearing Daniel leave the building.
"Jack," Daniel called as he banged on Jack's door trying to get his friend to answer, "Jack please."
Finally Jack wrenched open his door, "Daniel, I swear if this isn't urgent I'm going to injure you severely."
"Amanda's my mother," Daniel blurted out.
Jack stared at him before stepping out of the way letting Daniel inside. He put on the kettle making them both coffee before sitting down beside a fidgeting Daniel, "Spill."
"She came to my door and showed me her photo album," Daniel explained, "It was my Mom. The picture and the way she called me Danny. I can't believe this is happening."
"Daniel," Jack said softly trying to get him to calm down a little, "You have dreamed about this happening, right?"
"For years," Daniel admitted leaning back and staring at the ceiling, "When I was a kid I used to dream that it hadn't really been them and it was all a mistake. That one day I'd be able to see them again."
"Look, I'll go talk to her tomorrow morning," Jack told him, "And we'll get Janet to do some DNA tests. For your peace of mind and for mine."
"Thank you Jack," Daniel sighed.
"Now go get some sleep," Jack ordered him, "Cause we both seriously need to."
Early the next morning Amanda answered the knock at the door hoping, she sighed a little sadly as Jack stood there.
"Hey," he greeted her, "Can I come in?"
"Of course Jack," she moved out of the way, "I'm guessing Daniel went to you."
"He's pretty freaked," Jack said sitting on the arm of the couch, "Look Amanda…"
"Claire," she corrected, "My real name is Claire and I want to use it."
"Claire," Jack conceded, "I know you're probably having a hard time with all of this too but he's my priority. Daniel has gone through a hell of a lot in his life, more than anyone should and he is still the gentlest soul I know."
"Jack, he's my son," Claire reminded him, "And I have been gone from his life for twenty-seven years. I…I overreacted a little but I just remembered my husband dying and I wanted to hold my son, our son."
"I do understand Am…Claire," he told her, "I just wanted to make sure you were okay."
"I want to see him," Claire said.
"Let him have some time to deal with this," Jack told her, "The past few months for Daniel have been bad. Losing Sha're, some other stuff I can't tell you, Nick coming in and out of his life so fast."
Claire's eyes hardened, "What did my father do this time?"
"I really don't want to say," Jack shrugged, "Let's just say the old man is not on my Christmas card list. But I don't want anything else being taken from Daniel so I want to ask you to submit to a test so we can see if you really are Claire Jackson."
"You want to do a paternity test?" Claire asked with a slightly amused smile.
"How about now?" Jack asked.
"If you think you can organise it then fine," Claire told him, "I'll get my bag."
"How's Dr Jackson?" Hammond asked as Jack stood in his office.
"At the moment he's pacing his office wearing a hole in the floor," Jack shrugged, "He's gone from freaked to silent to insane, I left Teal'c to watch over him. Claire is in the infirmary being kept company by Carter."
"Is Dr Fraiser ready to do the tests?"
Jack nodded, "Thanks for letting me do this here."
"Jack, you're not the only one who's protective of Dr Jackson," Hammond reminded him, "Besides he needs something good to happen for him, after the past few months."
Jack turned to go but turned back, "By the way Dr Claire Jackson was a very respected archaeologist as well as a good linguist. Just thought I'd mention that."
"I'll keep that in mind Colonel," Hammond smiled, "Go see if she's real."
Jack found Claire sitting with Janet and Sam waiting silently. Daniel walked in not long after his arms wrapped around himself tightly with Teal'c as his silent shadow.
"Danny," Claire moved to him.
"I can't," Daniel stepped away from her, "Not till I've been told this is real. I'm sorry."
"I understand," Claire whispered before turning to Janet, "Can we do this test now?"
"Just grab a seat and we'll do this," Janet told her.
"Okay," Janet said walking into the room where SG1, Claire and Hammond were waiting.
"Janet, come on," Jack said impatiently.
Daniel moved to stand in front of Janet as Claire moved beside him.
"Well hug your mother Daniel," Janet told him.
"Really?" Daniel asked his eyes wide with hope.
"Standing beside you is Dr Claire Jackson," Janet told him with a smile.
Daniel turned to Claire, "I'm sorry, I just…"
Claire reached out and wrapped her arms around him pulling him close, "Sh Danny."
Jack motioned to the others they should leave smiling slightly as he could see Daniel relaxing against his mother his shoulders shaking as he cried. Jack quietly closed the door leaving them alone.