Author's Note: Well, I'm not sure at all where the inspiration to write this came from. I was just about to go to bed, which I couldn't because I was so hyped up on sugar and caffeine that that just wasn't happening, so I started to think about… I don't really know what I started to think about. But, then whatever it was just sort of evolved into a fic about someone dying/wounded. Then I realized I have no Daniel fics and only like six scenes with him. So I turned this into a Daniel short story thing.

Well, here goes. Just remember, this is all Daniel POV, present tense. Have fun, enjoy, and please R/R.

Summary: Daniel thinks about life and death as he lies wounded on a planet.

Genre: General

Rating: PG- for mild swearing (shit and crap and such, nothing big)

---------------------

Remember to Breathe

Just breathe, Danny-boy. In and out. There you go. Just think about breathing, not the pain. In and out… in and out…

I'm getting too old for this. You'd think dying would make me realize this, but noooooo.

Not like I'd like a "normal" life, anyway. I'd probably go insane. No wonder Jack can't stay retired for long- he must loose things that interest his hands after a time.

In and out… in and out…

Damn, I don't think I've ever really had any time to think how frickin' much these wounds hurt. I mean, one second you're shot, the next you're unconscious, having an adrenaline rush so you don't notice, or being shoved into a sarcophagus so it doesn't matter anymore.

But god this does hurt!

In and out. Don't forget to breathe. In and out.

Just ignore that sharp pain every time I inhale. It's no big deal!

Yeah, right. In… out… in… out… ow! Why can't anyone ever aim for the leg? At least then I can breathe! In and out… in and out…

Okay. I can do this. No problem.

But, God this hurts!

I wonder how everyone else is doing. They must be in just as bad condition. I mean, I think everyone went down. There's no more shooting, none of the- what were they anyway?- are still around, that's for sure. But, if someone was still able to stand, why haven't they checked on everyone. Or dialed the 'gate for reinforcements or medical teams or something?

Maybe no one is. Maybe I'm the only one alive. Or conscious. Or maybe they're all as bad off as me. That would make sense; they all can't stand so they're just waiting. Just like me. Bored out of their minds and in pain!

In and out… just remember to breathe… in and out…

But… those guys just came from nowhere! And they were just everywhere. So, where are they now? Did we kill them all? Or did they just leave?

I don't think they were Jaffa- they had Gou'ald weapons and armor and everything but, somehow, I don't think they were Jaffa. I think…

Maybe they were just locals and didn't like us looking around the ruins. Maybe they were sacred our something. Or scared of us… they might have thought we were the Gou'ald.

Or maybe they just didn't want us to stay.

Who knows?

In and out… in and out… Ow! Ow! In and out…

Damn… I think they hit me twice… I really do. I mean, my chest in on fire- every time I breathe it's like a jolt of pain runs through me. But then…

I think I got hit in the side too! Damn, two shots! I'll never live it down!

In and out… in and out…

Ow! Ow!

Now I think some blood's getting on my eye. At least it's closed. How did-?

Oh yeah. I hit my head when I ducked. Yeah, really good skills there… after all these years I should be better at this than that!

Oh well, at least it explains why my head is throbbing. Of course I probably bruised it when I fell.

But that was a painful fall! I hurt my butt too! Yeah… another bruise and another thing I'll never live down. Jack will tease me to the end of time for that one! I'll just have to keep from mentioning it.

In and out… breathe… in and out…

How long has it been? An hour or two? Maybe three. Damn, it feels like it's been a day. But it couldn't have been. We're scheduled to report in every four hours; after that they'd probably activate the Stargate- see what's going on. No, it can't have been much longer than three hours. I can wait. Right? An hour. I'll live that long.

Or will I?

In and out… in and out…

I mean, wouldn't it be ironic to die here?

I mean, my entire life has rotated around archaeology, why shouldn't my death? I grew up being dragged around to three-world countries looking at artifacts and reading mythology. My parents died for archaeology, for god's sake! Why should I? Why shouldn't my tombstone say: "Died while off-world on an archaeological survey". Everything I dreamed of, right?

In and out… in and out…

Somehow that makes my other death sound much more appealing. At least then I know I died to save their world; to save their sorry-asses just so they could blow themselves up. Oh well… at least this time it's not so bad- the pain's far more manageable. This I can live through.

Ow! Okay, it still hurts, but it's better than last time.

In and out… breathe… in and out…

It's a wonder how slowly time seems to move. Or how fast it can. The perceptions of time. You know, when you're having a good time, it seems like you have to go home too soon. Too quickly. Or like a battle- everything can flash by you or move so slow it's like slow-mo on the TV…

But, um, when you want to get something over with and leave (like a test at school) it always seems to take forever!

Like… oh, what was that old saying? Um… oh, "A watched pot never boils". Well, of course it does. It just takes forever. Every time you look at it, it feels like it's been a couple of minutes but it's only been a few seconds. I really do hate that.

In and out… in and out…

Oh, how long has it been now? It must be getting close to four hours. Right? How much longer will they be? I mean, we dialed them up just before… we'd have to wait exactly four hours. They might even give us an extra hour.

Why did I have to want to stay and check out the last of the ruins? Why couldn't I have just gone back! I have plenty to look at and read over. There's so much we've already discovered. Why did I have to see more! If Jack had been here, he would have had my ass, telling me absolutely not! Why did they put some green Major in charge? One that would like to stay!

Well… I can't blame myself. I mean, I didn't know… I couldn't have…

Right?

In and out… breathe… in and out…

Absolutely… this isn't my fault. We were ambushed. There was no telling that anyone was living here. It didn't look like it… we didn't know.

But that's my job, isn't it? To figure out if anyone is living somewhere and whatever. I should have seen that someone was here or that we shouldn't have been at those ruins.

But there was no way to know. Right? I mean, I couldn't have known unless we went searching for them and we might never have found anything. Or we could have found them and been attacked. It just would have been the same.

But I was still the one that wanted to stay. Everyone else was getting tired. They wanted to go. To leave for a hot shower and some good food. But no, I have to stay for a little longer.

Why?

In and out… in and out… crap, that hurts. In and out…

Wait? What's that? Loud… are they coming back? It can't be-

It's the Stargate!

Oh, crap. I have to move my head. Shit, shit, shit, shit… that hurts.

The Stargate's open. That I can see.

And the MALP… I think it's moving. Well, at least they'll see what happened. Let's just hope they'll come. Very quickly, I hope.

In and out… breathe… in and out…

It might be a while before they can get everyone together. They'll have to get some medics. They have to get organized and everything.

Janet would be here soon. She'll come and find me and scold me for getting hurt yet again. I'd probably get my same bed- number three- so she could constantly tease me. Or talk. We talk a lot while I'm there, just as long as no one else needs her or she thinks I should sleep.

I love to talk to her; her and Sam always seem to have something I can talk to them about. Whether it's just about the base or someone, or something more intellectual, I can always talk to them.

In and out… just a little longer… in and out…

She'll be here soon. I can relax now. She'll be coming- then I'll be saved with a couple of painkillers. I can just close my eyes; they'll find me. She'll find me. I know she will.

No she won't. Of course she won't. She's dead. How could I forget that? I always manage to.

Sometime I wonder if that's what my friends did. Did they forget I was dead, too? When I ascended, did they still want to deny that I wasn't there? Did Jack or Sam sometimes enter my office expecting to find me there, pouring over notes and drinking coffee? Did they come looking for me just as I sometimes walk into the Infirmary expecting to find her there?

In and out… breathe… in and out…

She died like this, on some planet thousands of light-years away. She died so another man could live. She died because that's who she was…

I wonder… I wonder how much she felt… how much she felt that I felt.

Did she feel the heat of the blast as it came towards her? Did she feel the burning of her skin? The white, hot pain that coursed through her body? Did she hear her own scream? The one that is burned into my mind. Did she even feel her body hit the ground? Or was she dead by then?

And now I have that on tape; every moment of her death. To remember forever.

In and out… in and out…

The distinct sound of people walking through the Stargate catches my ears- an almost sucking sound, a sound I have no words to describe. An organized chaos erupts; I know they're securing the area as they tried to find survivors.

I'm far from them, meters away from the 'gate. And the underbrush I fell in will only help to hide me from them. They may never find me- or at least not in time.

I could shout. I could try to yell at them. To scream and shout and grab there attention. But I can barely breathe at the moment. I can still hardly suck in enough air to keep me conscious. What makes me think that I could possibly yell for help?

In and out… deep breathes… in and out…

I guess it would be worth a try. But my lips- my throat- is parched. A sound could not possibly escape them. And I'm right. My efforts just make it harder to breathe.

In and out… in and out…

That's a bit better. But they still may never find me.

In and out… in and out…

My fingers tremble involuntary- perhaps from the cold vacuum that seems to be floating over my body. I'm surprised I can still feel them. They tremble again, this time my right hand touches something. A rock? No, it's not rough enough to be one. But what…?

My gun! I dropped it when I fell; it must have fallen next to me! But how could I possibly grab it? I can't even move my arm. Why should I bother? What good will it do to hold a gun? Make me look more heroic in my death?

Or more savage?

In and out… breathe… in and out…

No, but it will give me something to make a loud noise. That is if there is anything left in it. There's got to be at least one shot left. There better be if I'm going to try and grab it.

Okay, move the hand. Stretched the fingers. Okay, now pull it closer. Come on… come on. Who ever thought grabbing a gun was this hard?

In and out… in and out…

Okay, okay, there we go. Almost got it. Okay, there we go. There's the trigger.

In and out… in and out…

But what if I hit my leg? I can't feel my legs; I don't know how they landed.

Okay, so I'll have to shoot up in the air. Damn, that means I have to lift my arms. Crap, this is gonna hurt.

Okay, here goes.

In and out… in and out…

The shot rings in my ears… It startled me, I hope that will be enough to grab their attention. It must be, I can hear footsteps.

They probably think that someone's engaging them. Let's just hope they see who I am before they shoot me to death. At least then it wouldn't hurt…

No, no. I don't really want to die right now. Right here.

In and out… in and out…

Just keep focused. They're coming… they'll be here soon.

See, yeah, there they are. I can just barely make out… someone's face. I think he's talking… yelling's more like it. Something about… oh, who am I kidding? I couldn't begin to focus on his face or words anymore than I can stop the pain in my chest.

He must have called for help because there's some medic. I don't think I've ever seen her before.

In and out… in and out…

I think she's talking to me. Her lips are moving. She's probably asking if I can hear her…

Well, no I can't. There's your answer.

My eyes slid shut; there's no point in struggling to keep them opened. There's nothing to see but the settling smoke and my saviors.

In and out… keep breathing… in and out… almost there…

She must think I died or something because she immediately put her hand on my neck, checking the pulse.

Don't worry; I'm not dead yet.

Someone flips me onto my side. I wonder what they're doing. Oh, there's the stretcher… I guess I finally get to leave…

Now I'm probably off to surgery or something… oh well, at least I get some meds and to be unconscious for a while.

In and out… in and out…

Good, I'm tired. This was too much to wait four hours for them to come to my rescue. We should work on this… Faster rescue time. Quicker check-ins. Yeah, that'd work. How about every hour. That would work, I'd have been here three hours less…

And some people might have a better chance... some people might still be alive.

In and out... in and out...

Damn, I think we're about to go through the Stargate.

You know, with the amount of times I've been injured off-world, I've never gone through the 'gate on a stretcher…

And I never want to again…

In and out… in and out…

Damn, that's odd. Feels too weird!

Nope, I'm staying on my own two feet from now on and forever when I go through that thing!

Okay, in and out…

I made it back… I'm doing fine…

Okay… I'm good.

Good.

Maybe… maybe I should just sleep now… yeah, sleep would be good…

In and out… just remember to breathe… in and out…

---------------------

If you thought that was sad… just be happy… I was going to kill 'im.

Well, thank-you for reading and please review. I promise… as soon as I'm back from vacation in two weeks, I'll be posting my brand new Enterprise fic… which means very little because I'm on the Stargate part… but I'm sure some of you care… one or two?… well, I'll just leave you all to decide… while you review.

Thanks again. Love ya!