Disclaimer: I don't own Stargate SG-1 or Pushing Daisies. I'm just throwing the characters together in a sandbox to see how they play together...
Author's notes: This was done in response to a prompt from the CrossGate Yahoo group. It also functions as part of the weekly challenge of "Odd Ball Stories."
Big thanks to my beta readers, Patti and Margie.
At the moment, Ned the Piemaker, age 28 years, 42 weeks, 4 days, 12 hours and 7 minutes old, was enjoying his life. He had a burgeoning business, "The Pie Hole," in the town of Lakeshore. He passionately enjoyed his baking. He constantly marveled at the joy a single slice of pie could give. The love of his life, lonely tourist Charlotte Charles, age 28 years, 4 weeks, 6 days, 15 hours and 6 minutes old, better known as Chuck, was across the room, removing a pie from the oven. Ned couldn't touch Chuck because he had previously touched her once to raise her from the dead. To touch her again would cause a death he could not reverse.
As on many mornings, Emerson Cod, age None Of Your Business, came in for his customary slice of rhubarb pie. He was almost giddy with excitement over the latest case that had come across his desk. Chuck slid in next to Emerson, causing him to roll his eyes, while Ned sat down across the booth. While Olive tended to other customers, Emerson filled them in on the details.
The facts were these: Dr. Daniel Jackson, age 43 years, 7 weeks, 3 days, 6 hours and 35 minutes old, was found dead in his hotel room. He had been attending, and presenting at, an archaeological conference on the interconnections between ancient cultures. The coroner had been unable to determine externally the cause of death. He had been prevented by the man's employer, the United States Air Force, from performing an invasive study, though they gave no reason why. He suspected Dr. Jackson had been poisoned, but could find nothing detectable. The Air Force also suspected foul play and was extremely interested to find out the cause of death. They had placed a $100,000 reward on information leading to the apprehension of those responsible.
"Here to see the new arrival?" the attendant on duty asked as the trio entered the morgue.
"I'm the forensic anthropologist. These are my assistants," Ned responded.
"Mmhmm," the man answered. After Emerson paid his usual bribe, though, he didn't ask them any more questions.
After opening the cold storage and folding down the cover sheet, Ned started his watch and touched the man's face.
Daniel started speaking before even opening his eyes. "Thanks, guys. I thought I was gone for good that time."
"That time? You've died before?" Ned asked, astonished.
At the unfamiliar voice, Daniel's eyes shot open and he quickly sat up. "Who are you? And how am I alive again without a sarcophagus?"
"Sarcophagus? I thought those were just for the burial of dead," Chuck stated matter-of-factly.
"Some are. Some bring you back to life. How did I come back without one?" Daniel questioned.
"I brought you back," Ned informed him. "However, you only have a minute before I have to send you back."
"OK, that's a problem," Daniel deadpanned.
"You've died before?" Ned asked again.
"More than you'd believe," Daniel muttered, almost to himself.
"We need to know who killed you and we only have 30 seconds left," Ned urged.
"Hold on," Daniel said as he put up a hand to signify the same thing. He closed his eyes and started to concentrate extremely hard, as evidenced by his scrunched up face.
"What are you doing?" Chuck questioned after several seconds.
Daniel didn't respond. Instead, he started to vibrate slightly and began to glow a little.
"What's going on?" a very startled Ned asked.
Before anyone could answer, Daniel began to glow brightly. Slowly, he lost his physical shape and became a pure mass of energy. He looked very much like a squid, with a long body and tentacles flowing downward. He rose into the air and passed through the ceiling.
Silence hung in the air for several seconds. It was broken by the sound of Ned's stopwatch clicking off.
"I did NOT see that one coming," Emerson exclaimed vehemently.
No one else spoke for several minutes. They looked at each other with identical expressions of wonder, fear, and worry. They were amazed at what had just happened, but worried that since Ned hadn't touched Daniel before his minute was up, someone else might have paid the price. Much to their surprise, no one keeled over.
All of a sudden, the room was filled with the sound of a rushing wind. As Ned, Chuck, and Emerson turned to try to find the source of the noise, they were startled to see Daniel reaching for a sheet from the examination table to wrap around his waist.
"Why do they always send me back naked?" Daniel asked to no one in particular.
"What just happened?" a bewildered Ned wondered aloud.
"Long story," Daniel said with a weary expression.
"Try to explain," Emerson demanded.
Daniel decided to nutshell it. "I ascended to another plane of existence and then retook human form."
"See, that wasn't so hard," Emerson stated.
"How?" Ned inquired.
"Well, this isn't the first time. I guess I'm getting better with practice," Daniel quipped.
"You've done this before?" an astonished Chuck asked. "How many times?"
"This is the, um, third time, I think," Daniel sheepishly responded. As an afterthought, he added, "It is my first time doing it alone, so I guess that's progress."
"Well, this has been a most enlightening experience," Emerson stated. "I say we call the Air Force and tell them their archaeologist is alive again, collect our reward and then go home. By the way, how did you die?"
"Oh. I don't know," Daniel answered, taken aback for a moment. "The last thing I remember before waking up here was taking a drink of my coffee."
"Someone must have poisoned the coffee," Emerson announced needlessly.
"Oh, Jack's gonna love this story," Daniel said under his breath.
"We're so glad we could help bring you back to life, Dr. Jackson," Chuck declared.
"Yes, thank you so much," Daniel said gratefully. He stuck out his hand to shake and was surprised to see Ned jump backwards. Chuck took his hand and shook gladly, while Emerson just frowned and Ned continued to edge away.
"What's wrong?" Daniel inquired, a bit hurt by Ned's reaction.
"I don't know what will happen if I touch you again," he replied. "I could kill you permanently."
Daniel quickly withdrew his hand and smiled. "Well, we don't want that, now do we? By the way, how do you bring people back from the dead?"
"I don't know. I've been able to for most of my life," Ned informed him.
Daniel thought he detected a hint of sorrow with the statement, but he let it pass. "Well, shall we go?"
"Yes, let's," Chuck agreed.
Daniel started to move towards the door when he felt a draft. He quickly realized that he was still only clad in a sheet.
"Um, has anyone seen my clothes?"