Title: The Moment
Author: Annerb
Rating: Teen
Warnings: Violence
Summary: He's changed.
Classifications: Angst, Episode Addition for Prototype
Season: 9

Disclaimer: The characters mentioned in this story are the property of Showtime and Gekko Film Corp. The Stargate, SG-1, 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.

Author's Note: I must say that overall I found this episode rather yawn inducing, but the one thing that did fascinate me was Daniel. He shows a lot of interesting character growth in this episode and it got me thinking! So here it is.

The Moment

Daniel's changed. He's not really sure when exactly the moment was that it happened. His latest aborted ascension? The death of Sha're? Jack's departure from SG-1? Or maybe it wasn't even a specific moment, but rather something that had gradually happened over time.

What he does know is the moment he became aware of the change. It wasn't so much the words coming out of his mouth that registered. It was the look on Sam's face. Just for the merest moment, she was looking at him like he was a stranger.

And maybe he is.

A few years ago, it would have been Jack making this argument.

Just kill it before it can become even more of a threat.

It doesn't seem so long ago that Daniel held a gun for the first time. Kawalsky had handed him one on Abydos. Daniel hadn't believed there could be any reason that justified killing, but he'd taken it anyway, hoping to never hold one again.

These days, though, the gun rests against his thigh like an old friend, as familiar as his excavation tools had once been. He even started carrying a P-90 along the way somewhere, willing to shoot first and talk diplomacy later.

Regardless of that, he knows what people think of him. He has heard people in the halls sometimes, commenting that Daniel is the 'soul of SG-1.'

Daniel's always wondered what the hell that means.

During one of the rare times Jack had actually let himself get really drunk, he'd confessed to Daniel in a slurred voice that he hated all the killing. He didn't even like guns all that much. Yet he never hesitated in the field. It was only after, he said, usually while he was in the shower that he would be nearly overwhelmed with aching, burning nausea in his stomach at the thought of the lives he had taken.

But Jack wasn't scared that one day he wouldn't be able to do it anymore. He was scared that one day he wouldn't feel remorse.

Just before he'd nodded off, he'd turned to Daniel and said, "That's why we need you, Daniel. You remind the rest of us to be human."

And maybe that's what they'd meant. Daniel was supposed to have a conscience, to be the one who valued humanity above all else.

And maybe that's why Sam looked so disturbed when he'd unequivocally told them to kill Khalek.

He's proven right in the end, but it doesn't make it any better.

I know you wish to take my life… and I promise you…before this is over…one of us will feel the pleasure…

This is the moment. Khalek is trying to escape and Daniel knows he is a threat even greater than Anubis had been.

The gun is comfortable in his hand and he doesn't hesitate. Daniel barely registers Mitchell's surprise before they are both firing.

Khalek's body falls to the ground, but Daniel feels none of the promised pleasure. He just turns away from the body and walks out of the room.

Twenty minutes later he's standing in the shower, wondering if maybe he's changed too much.

Because he's still waiting for the burning ache of remorse.