Takes place after Fragile Balance, but before Heroes. Actually, everything I write takes place before heroes. I wonder why….
(Aww, c'mon... every stargate fanfic writer has done a "SG-1 has shrunk" thing at some time... so here's my Little Danny story.)
all! I was going through all the chapters, and realized this one was
not-like-the-others (well, actually, I finally decided to do something
about it.) So instead of it all being 3rd person, it's in 1st--from
various POVs, but mostly Jack's. Other than that, it's almost
completely the same--although if you thought the ending to it was
horrible the first time around--I cringed while writing it, but
couldn't come up with something better ("And so the two unlikely
friends began their life together")-- you might want to check the new one out.
Not much longer, but much better. (Comtraya!)
Daniel is dying.
He was in a firefight. He was in the line of fire, and he was wounded, and now he's in a coma. And he's dying.
Dr. Frasier said there wasn't much hope for him; that his brain activity had slowed, and that it was more than likely he'd never wake up again.
Carter, Teal'c, Hammond, me and the gang decided that this wasn't acceptable, and SG-1 went to their fall-back plan for horrible events: we asked for help from aliens, starting with our allies, the Tok'ra.
Jacob came quickly enough: he'd just come back from a mission. He brought the healing device, but it was no good. Daniel's brain, Jacob said, is damaged. Dr. Frasier was right; he'll never wake up again.
So now we've invited the Asgard. Thor says basically what everyone else has said. "This body is irreparable. Although his mind is intact, it would take more technology than the Asgard possess to make him well, or even to awaken." Bowing of heads, clenching of jaws, fists. Tears. "However--" the voice continues, and we all look up.
"It is possible something similar to what was done to Colonel O'Neill could be achieved."
I blink. "Shrinking me," I say flatly.
The Asgard cocks its head. "Age regression would be a side effect, yes," says Thor, "because Daniel Jackson was recently given the same marker you have in your blood, O'Neill."
"So…you're suggesting we clone Daniel and then kill the original?"
Thor blinks slowly. "I am suggesting we clone Daniel and transfer his consciousness into the new body. Unfortunately, there is no way to save the original body from death."
"Will Daniel be around 15 like the colonel was when he was cloned?" Carter asks.
"It is impossible to say how old Daniel Jackson will be after being cloned," says Thor. "However, he will not be as old as this body is at this time."
"Are we actually considering this?" I ask incredulously.
"I believe Daniel would choose to live as a child rather than die, O'Neill," says Teal'c.
I sigh. "Yeah, I guess so." But who wants to bet I'm gonna take the fallout?
I've never thought of Daniel as cute before. Yeah, he has some pretty cute facial expressions—especially the annoyed ones. Yes, I know that many of the women on the base have massive crushes on him, and nurses fawn over his adult body whenever he has so much as a splinter. And that time Sha're kissed him, and spent what seemed like five minutes on it, and when Daniel's face reemerged it was all dopey—that was really, really cute. But Daniel…
Thor hasn't turned him on yet. Or that's what Thor says, anyway. He explains it like a computer: "First we will upload Daniel Jackson's consciousness into his new body, and then we will install it into his brain. After that, it is simply a matter of turning Daniel on." 'We,' of course, meaning Thor.
I'm sure it's meant to reassure me—don't worry, this is easy; done it loads of times—but it kind of creeps me out. Is this a robot Jackson, like those Harlin things? Carter quickly quelled all my irrational fears by saying it's more like a biological robot, which, after all, every living thing is. Isn't biology amazing?
I stop listening, and stare at the little boy lying in the bed. He can't be more than six years old…
Jeez. How is Daniel going to live with being six again? I would bet an awful lot that the guy didn't love it the first time around.
"It is done," says Thor, and beams away quickly. Seconds later the kid starts to stir.
I would be squealing if I was the squealing type. As it is, the little boy is extraordinarily cute. But when he opens those baby blues…
No. This is Daniel; Daniel would not take kindly to me cooing over him like he's a little kid.
Except now he is a little kid… So maybe…
I wake up in an infirmary bed.
A very big infirmary bed.
And I feel weird, too. Not bad, exactly, although the feeling isn't exactly pleasant. Just…weird. Different.
I open my eyes, and find that everything looks different as well. Bigger, somehow—but also a lot less blurry than usual.
I looks at Sam. Why's she looking at me like that? It's almost scary. I don't feel like interpreting that look at the moment, and move on.
Jeez, Jack looks constipated. But Jack looks constipated a lot. I have yet to figure out if this means Jack is thinking, or actually constipated. To tell the truth, I'd rather not think about it.
Teal'c, thank god, looks his usual stoic self. Janet looks concerned, which is unusual, considering I don't feel dead.
From here, my thoughts move to the obvious question: what happened?
And I draw a blank.
I know we were going to P42-868, but my memories stop upon entering the wormhole from Earth. Did something weird happen on that planet?
I know! I think excitedly. I've been transferred into the body of a chimpanzee! That's why everything looks smaller.
Immediately following that thought: Eew. And then, oh my god that would SUCK. Can you imagine being a chimp member of SG-1? It'd be…just… not a good thing to think about.
My teammates are still looking at me strangely. I lick my lips: a gesture that feels strange, even after doing it for much of my adult life.
The croak that emerges is expected; its high-pitched tone is not.
"You lay near Death's door," Teal'c says. Sounds like he's trying to justify himself.
This little kid just gazes up at us, and we watch him, wondering what the heck will happen now.
He swallows, frowns, and says, "Why do I feel so…weird?"
Janet frowns as well. "Are you feeling sick? Can you tell me what you're feeling?" She fusses, lays her tireless hand on his fevered brow, obviously secure in her role as mother/protector/doctor.
Alas, it is not to be: Daniel jerks away. "I'm fine," he says, "except for not knowing what the fuck happened!"
"Language," Janet murmurs, stunned. I bet she has never heard a six-year-old say 'fuck.' I'll also bet she hopes she never will again.
Daniel sighs impatiently. "Well, honestly, guys. You're all leaning over me when I wake up, ogling me, and then you won't tell me what's going on?"
Silence. I clear my throat uncomfortably.
A six-year-old Daniel fixes me with a piercing glare. "Jack?" he asks, threateningly. Teal'c smiles broadly at his tone. Sam bites her lip.
"Erm…" I mutter.
Daniel is sitting up now, flailing his arms. "What don't you—" He stops, noticing said arms. Frowns. Studies them, brings his hands closer to his face. "What are these?" he asks, conversationally.
"Your hands," Teal'c supplies helpfully.
blinks. Frowns. A look of horror flashes over his face. "Wha—"
He stops suddenly. Hops off the bed, which is a lot taller than he remembers. Runs to the infirmary bathroom.
The mirror is too high. He turns back to the small crowd we have here. Smiles. "How old am I?" he asks pleasantly.
"Mentally or physically?" Sam asks, subdued by the three-foot-tall boy.
"How about you give me both." Daniel's voice is low: if he was a decade older the tone might be called dangerous. As it is, he sounds ludicrous.
"Mentally, 38," she says. "Physically…" she squints, staring at him, and quickly gives up, deferring to Janet.
"Around six, I'd say," Janet proclaims.
"Around six, you'd say," Daniel mimics. "Would anybody care to tell me why I am around six you'd say years old?"
"You lay near Death's door," Teal'c repeats.
Daniel glances at him, throwing him a scathing look. "Yes, you said that already," he says.
"Daniel," says Janet firmly, "maybe you should try being a little nicer."
Daniel ignores her. "Jack," he says, turning to the named personage, "what's going on?"
I waste no time in telling the story. "You were dying. The Asgard made you a mini-me..uh, mini-you. Your consciousness was transferred from the dying body to the other one." The 'other one' standing right in front of him, of course.
Daniel blinks. "And I just happened to have the same problems your clone had?"
I shrug. "To be honest, I didn't really get that part."
Daniel nods, turns to his doctor. "Janet," he says brusquely, "I'd like to be discharged, please."
Janet, of course, is astonished. "I'm afraid I can't allow that for some time," she says. Daniel looks pleadingly at me: I've saved him before. I, however, shake my head: I'm so not getting involved in this one.
The problem, of course, is his age. At six years old, Daniel can't drive. In fact, he should be sitting in a booster seat. He also isn't allowed to own a house--most parents would be forbidding him to cross the street.
So he has to have a guardian. The guardian isn't so much to take care of Daniel, as to reassure the public that a six-year-old isn't wandering the streets alone. Essentially, Daniel needs a chauffer.
"Which is what parents are anyway," Janet mutters, as she finishes explaining this.
Her tests come back negative for bad stuff, and positive for Daniel's new age. So the problem is letting Daniel go home: we can't, of course. Thus, a guardian.
"Am I gonna be fired from the SGC?" Daniel asks nervously. He's kneeling on one of the Briefing Room's leather chairs: otherwise he's not tall enough to reach the table with his elbows.
Glances are exchanged. "I think missions are out," Janet says. "At least until you're thirteen or so."
"But I can still translate stuff," Daniel argues. "If it's a planet that's safe, where I won't need to be big, I can go there. I can go on archaeological digs."
"You may not carry a gun until you're old enough to handle one," Hammond says. Daniel frowns.
"Who's going to be his guardian?" Sam asks.
I hear myself answering before I know I'm talking. "I will," I say. Daniel glares at me, but I ignore him and shrug. "He's my best friend."
Not for long, says the gleam in Daniel's eye.
Janet insists I put a booster seat in my car.
"I will not sit in a booster seat," Daniel says, the hated words dripping with disgust.
"Then you won't leave the mountain," Janet says pleasantly. Daniel glares coldly at her, but she doesn't budge. Finally, the little man stomps away, muttering about "overbearing, mothering vultures."
He comes back an hour later with evidence that children six and over don't need booster seats, according to state law. Janet smiles beatifically. "Well, that body is less than a week old," says Janet. "And booster seats are recommended for children up to eight or nine years old."
This does not go over well.
"Hey Daniel?" I tap tentatively on the door to Daniel's office.
"It's open," says a dull voice. I find Daniel in his office, reading War and Peace. Watching a little kid read War and Peace is amusing, to say the least, but I refrain from laughing. "I got a booster seat," I say warily.
"How nice for you," says Daniel. He turns a page. "I was thinking of moving to the Land of Light."
I blink. "You're aware that the woman you went caveman with has a kid, right?"
Daniel gazes at his book, not answering. He knows.
"And you know she conceived when she was touched, right?" A blink. Glance at me. Focus attention back to the book.
"And it's possible you're the…father?"
A sharp sigh. "I asked years ago if she wanted the kid to have DNA testing, and she said no. I'd've provided for it, but she wanted her husband to help her rear it."
"'It?'" I ask incredulously. "Don't you know its gender?"
"Well, most of the kids conceived by two touched ended up being hermaphrodites," Daniel says reasonably.
I dismiss this. "Whatever," I say. "My point is, you could be running around playing around with your own kid, who is your age. Doesn't that sound a little creepy to you?"
Daniel blinks again. "Fine, I'll go to one of our other allies."
"Because of a booster seat, you're willing to throw your life away?"
I sigh. "I've got it installed in my car. Tell me when you want to go home."
Two days later, Daniel finally caves. It might have to do with the fact that the smallest jumpsuit we could find is still for someone half again as tall as he is. It could be that he misses the outdoors. Or it could be because he's missing out on his Starbucks fixation.
Whatever the reason, I'm not inclined to argue. I've been to all the kid's furniture stores, toy stores, clothing stores…trying to figure out what Daniel needs, versus what a regular six-year-old needs. For instance, the Pee-Wee Baseball Set might not go over as well as the salesperson thinks.
Here's what I have gotten: a bed for people more Daniel's size, now that Daniel is no longer six feet tall. And two stools: one for the kitchen, to reach plates and glasses, and one in the bathroom so he can see himself in the mirror.
I'm pretty sure Daniel should have some other stuff, but I can't think of anything else. Oh, well; I'll figure it out later.
I've pulled some of Charlie's old stuff out of storage, for Daniel to wear until they can go shopping. It's musty and smells like mothballs, and Daniel complains that he's losing brain cells by wearing it. At least, I reason, Daniel won't have to go clothes shopping wearing mini-BDUs.
Leaving the mountain, the guard on duty at the sign in-sign out post kneels. "Hey, buddy," he says to a scowling Daniel, patting his head. "What's your name?"
"Daniel Jackson," he says loudly. "I have two PhDs. I also have some very burly friends, and if you ever do that again they'll beat you up."
The guard looks up at me, startled. I cover my eyes with one hand. "Daniel …" I mutter.
"Jack," Daniel replies calmly. He snags my pant pocket, which is as high as he can reach, and tries to pull me to the car.
I easily remove Daniel's little hand. "We have to sign out, Danny," I say.
Daniel sighs, closes his eyes. "Fine," he says. I quickly sign, then look down at Daniel. The podium used to sign in and sign out is four and a half feet off the ground.
I swiftly pick Daniel up by the waist so he can sign. Daniel wiggles a little, but figures out what I'm doing and signs. He's not used to his little hands quite yet, so his signature is a little messy. "Done," he says, dropping the pen on the podium. "Put me down."
I do so. We turn and walk towards my car.
The guard stares. I know what he's thinking: That is not a normal kid.
We go to a clothing store for kids.
"I want some slacks," Daniel says. I look at him, but say nothing. "And button down shirts," Daniel adds. I sigh. I haven't been planning on getting Daniel geek clothes.
"Six-year-olds look weird like that," I say.
"Then it's a good thing I'm not six, huh?" Daniel retorts.
I sigh. "You look six!"
"Last I checked, I was paying," Daniels says. "When I pay for my clothes, it's my choice."
I roll my eyes. "Fine," I say.
We can't find what Daniel wants, and the little tyke is getting peeved. "All I want," he says quietly to the clerk, "is some slacks. Khakis would be perfect. Now, do you have those, or not?"
The saleswoman, unperturbed, smiles. "We don't have any of those, little boy. But we have some nice jeans. Really, jeans are what you need, at your age." She starts walking towards the section that supposedly holds jeans, but Daniel walks towards the exit. I follow helplessly, hearing mutters of "stupid crap stores that don't even have pants…"
"Let's go to Gap Kids," I suggest.
Daniel narrows his eyes. "Gap Kids?" he repeats suspiciously.
"Yeah," I say. "Whenever Charlie needed something fancy, that's where Sara would take him."
Daniel shrugs. "Fine," he says.
At Gap Kids, everything is solid colors, fancy fabrics, and smiling, golden children in ads.
A young salesperson, maybe 20, comes up to them. "Can I help you guys?" she asks amicably. Daniel smiles politely, and I sag in relief: this is the first pleasant thing Daniel's done all day.
"Could you show me where the slacks are, please?"
She nods briskly. "This way," she says, and Daniel and I venture into the bowels of Gap Kids.
Half an hour later, Daniel and I are in the check-out line. Daniel hasn't figured out his money situation yet—people look strangely at young children using credit cards—so I'm paying, and Daniel will pay me back later.
"Glasses next," I say. Daniel makes a face. "I'm seeing a lot better than when I was…big," Daniel says.
"Yeah," I reply, "but Janet still says you need glasses so we're getting glasses." She'll get mad at me otherwise.
"Jaaa—acck! Kid glasses look idiotic!"
I shrug. "Oh, well," I say. "All I can make you do is get them. It's up to you to wear them."
At this, Daniel brightens up considerably. "Okay, then," Daniel says.
Most of the glasses actually aren't that bad. Daniel sets out to find the weirdest pair he can find, on the basis that he won't have to wear them. He finally finds some white ones with pink nose nubs. I roll my eyes, but don't comment.
We stop at Daniel's apartment. There are little hot pink tags for Daniel to put on things he wants to put in my house, and little lime green tags for things to put in storage until he's older. Daniel grabs the pink ones and starts going crazy.
I stare. "Daniel, we can't fit all of that stuff in my house."
"Move, then," Daniel says.
"I will give you your own room," I say. "I will even let you keep some of your artifacts in the house, so long as I can still walk in there. But you can't bring all this stuff."
Daniel pouts, and slows down.
After a while, we've figured out what they can fit into my house, and we go.
When we get to my house, I immediately turn on the television, where a Cubs game is going on. Daniel sits down with his copy of War and Peace.
"How's the game?" he asks, after a minute.
"Good," I reply. "How's the book?"
"Good," he says, his nose tucked semi-permanently into the pages.
I smile. "Good."