I recently became determined to write a drabble. As a writer of epic fanfiction, I have always had respect for writers who can do drabbles, but the skill elludes me. What I ended up with was a body of ficlets mostly too long for drabble-length but shorter than even the usual length of my rare short fics. Some are connected to my Rediscovered Hearts AU and some are just random. So I'm just going to post each one separately because there's no rhyme or reason to them so it doesn't make sense to do a "collection".



"Dad…?" Nicky's voice drifted in from the hallway. Daniel woke at the sound and pushed back the covers, stumbling out of bed on automatic pilot. He dragged on his robe and glanced at the clock to find that it was 2:34 AM.

He scrubbed his face, heading for the door. Vala pushed herself up on her elbow, and he quickly waved a hand to tell her that it was all right. It surprised them both that he was the one their son called. Most of the time, Manda would have been the one who called him in the middle of the night while Nicky's instinct was to want Vala.

"Dad??" the plaintive cry came again, followed by sniffling sobs.

"Right there…" he called back.

Manda was in the doorway of her room when he slipped into the hall, looking at him with a mix of worry and bleary-eyed confusion. Nicky's room was at the far end of the long hall, and he paused only long enough to tell her to go back to bed before heading in that direction. She didn't listen, of course but trotted along after him. Afterward, she would probably claim that she was just interested in finding out what the problem was, or that she was annoyed with having been woken up. He smiled a little.

Nicky had switched on the lamp beside his bed, but he was still huddled under the covers, red-faced and sniffling. He looked toward the door as Daniel came in, his eyes wide with fright, huge tears spilling down his cheeks. Hurriedly, Daniel crossed the room to perch on the edge of the bed.

"What's the matter, Nick?" he asked softly, running his hand soothingly over the boy's disheveled curls. Instead of answering, Nicky sat up and scooted forward, throwing his arms around Daniel. His father blinked and gently returned the embrace, moving his hand in slow circles over the quivering, sweat-soaked back.

Manda moved away from the door and hurried to the bed as well, climbing up on the opposite side of her brother. Nicky wasn't the type for histrionics, nor did he tend to be frightened by nightmares. As often as the two children bickered with one another, Manda knew that this wasn't normal behavior, and it stirred her protective instincts.

"Nicky? Did you have a bad dream?" she asked.

He nodded, burying his face in Daniel's bathrobe. "I don't want Daddy to go through the Stargate anymore!" he sobbed.

Daniel and Manda shared startled glances. Then Daniel frowned and lowered his lips into the boy's hair, murmuring quiet sounds of wordless comfort. Nicky clung tighter, whimpering defensively.

"It's all right," Daniel promised. "I'm here now."

He glanced up again as Vala padded quietly into the room. She frowned at him in a silent question but made no immediate move to approach the bed, apparently sensing that this was something Daniel had to handle.

"You didn't come back!" Nicky cried.

"I'm here," Daniel repeated, softly but firmly. "Nick, look at me."

Reluctantly, the boy looked up at him, blue eyes still wide with fright. "You went through the 'gate and you didn't come home."

"I'm right here, Nicky."

"Promise you won't go!"

Daniel sighed. "I can't make that promise, Nicky. I won't lie to you. I won't tell that I'll always come back, either. You know that isn't true. But I promise you, as long as I exist—as long as there is some part of me left out there—I will never stop trying to get back here. And until I do, Manda and your mother will be here with you. I won't leave you alone, and I won't leave you behind."