Title: Family Destiny
Author: Pip (dannysgirlsg1)
Summary: It was a family tradition - destiny and love.
Spoilers/Warnings: Gamekeeper, for sure. Other than that, I don't think there are any major ones SG-1 wise. It DOES help to know the storyline of The Mummy and The Mummy Returns.
A/N: Written for stargatefest, prompt: SG-1/The Mummy, Daniel Jackson, Egypt is in his blood. For all my loyal readers, you know I couldn't keep the story from going DV. It also helped in the long run because this was a difficult prompt to write - I'm still not happy with the finished result, but the deadline for posting is tomorrow, and this was honestly the best I could come up with. I hope you guys enjoy - it's my first REAL crossover fic.
The late afternoon sun was quickly making its descent behind the sand dunes, casting the world around him in a mix of long shadows and orange hues. He pulled in a deep breath, reveling in the achingly familiar scent. This was home in a way nothing else could be, even if he'd only spent a very small amount of time here. Eight years, plus a handful of years while he'd been in college and before he'd joined the Stargate Program, was relatively short in comparison to other places he'd lived.
Still, every time he was away from this place, his heart would always ache with the absence. He knew it was because he was always bound to it. The ancestry that flowed through his veins would always keep him tied to this desert paradise. There would never be an escape from the constant yearning to walk the sands of Egypt – the country was in his blood.
Daniel breathed in deeply once more, knowing it was both a curse and a destiny. As far back as he'd been told, his family had been blessed and burdened by what Egypt had offered them. His history was a mix of evil, curses, and- He smiled ruefully -Unexpected and dangerous romances that would stand against time and the boundaries of human nature.
Curses he'd learned about quickly. Watching parents die, crushed by a cover stone whisked away from the sands were it belonged, was a definite way to convince any eight year old that the family legends were beyond true. The evil had come later, when gods with glowing eyes would try and destroy him. When a wife would be taken and enslaved. When a race of beings would arrive, intent on bending the whole of the galaxy to their will.
Daniel had seen his fair share of curses and evils, and whole heartedly believed it was in part due to the destiny of his family. Mundane wasn't something that could be accepted. His father had tried to shy away from his chosen path, and look where it'd gotten him. An early death…
A breeze brushed across the sand, ruffling his hair and reminding him that nightfall wasn't far off. Letting his gaze fall on the child not far from where he sat, Daniel knew he'd have to take her in soon. It would soon be too cold for her to continue to play in the quickly cooling sand.
Still, he waited, not wanting to deprive her of her first true introduction to this land. As if sensing his stare, she turned her bright eyes on him and smiled happily. He returned it, catching a glimpse of history reborn as the wind swept up her dark hair. The image faded
quickly as she got back to her playing, and a set of slender arms wrapped tightly around his waist.
"It's getting dark." The familiar, exotic voice of the woman he loved murmured in his right ear. He let out an amused huff of air at the unmistakable maternal quality to it. "And dark means cold."
Daniel nodded, laying one hand on top of the pair entwined against his stomach. "Just give her a little while longer." He whispered, watching the child release a handful of sand into the wind. It danced through the air a short distance before descending back to the rest, never to be different again. "She's…learning."
"Learning what?" Vala asked, curious.
Moving his head slightly to the right, he gazed at her out of the corner of his eye. "To understand this place." Her face contorted in an even deeper look of confusion and Daniel laughed lightly. He shifted around and wrapped an arm tightly around her, laying a kiss against her temple. "It's a long story."
"Long as in?" She asked back, always determined to understand him better than she already did.
Daniel smiled. "Long as in why don't we take munchkin inside and get her taken care of, and I'll explain after?"
Scrunching up her nose, Vala sighed. "That long, huh?"
He was already pulling them up as he answered. "Lifetimes." Daniel gazed at her wondering face for a moment before looking at their daughter. "Several amazing lifetimes."
Sitting cross-legged on the floor of their tent, just a few feet from the warm glow of the heater, Daniel was gently rocking a very lethargic three year old in his lap from side to side. As he placed chaste kisses in her damp hair, he stared down at the aged locket she was holding in her little hand. He'd been looking at it when she'd come over and crawled in his lap.
And not once had his usually curious little Hayden asked who the people inside were. She had looked at them like she knew already, much like he had all those years ago. His father had smiled the same way he was doing now.
"Who are they?" Vala's voice was a mere whisper, but it still startled him slightly. Daniel looked up to where she'd silently taken a seat beside him. Her beautiful gaze drifted from the locket up to him, and back again.
"My family." He answered quietly, never looking away from her. Vala slowly looked up at him, her eyes slightly wide. Daniel knew the simple admission had surprised her – he never talked much about his real family. But this place, his home, compelled him to tell her. She was a part of him now, and the land demanded she knew. That's why he'd been so adamant to come back. Egypt was asking of him everything it had asked the generations before him.
Picking up their now sleeping daughter, Daniel carried her over to the single cot in the tent. He laid his baby down against the pillow and placed her stuffed camel, Larry, just within reach. She nuzzled into the softness, murmuring wordlessly. He smiled and placed a tender kiss to her forehead.
As Daniel moved to stand once more, he carefully extracted the locket from Hayden's loose grasp. He wasn't at all surprised as Vala leaned down next to him and whispered her own loving 'goodnights' to the little girl. He'd never heard her join him, but he hadn't needed to. She was always there, just like he'd been told his true love would be.
"So, family?" Vala asked as she placed herself in his lap as he leaned back against the bed.
Daniel dangled the necklace before her, the locket still open and showing the faces of his past. She reached up, taking it delicately in her hand. With a single finger, Vala traced the images.
"That first picture…" He said as she ran the finger over the picture on the left. "Rick and Evelyn O'Connell – my great grandparents. They were thrown together unexpectedly…" Daniel wrapped his arms around Vala's waist and squeezed. "Or maybe not so much, right here in Egypt. He was…well, Rick was an enigma of sorts. And Evelyn was a librarian with a knack for getting in trouble."
She smiled. "Sounds like someone I know." Vala turned it on Daniel, and licked her lips to hide it at the look he was giving her. The raised eyebrows and serious gaze she'd seen a hundred thousand times before – do you want to hear this story or not? She quickly sobered. "Sorry, please continue."
Grinning now, Daniel laid a kiss against her neck. "Well, legend goes that these two accidentally raised a mummy with terrible powers and a love that drove him to evil." He heard and felt her let out a shallow breath, and tightened his hold. "They beat him, of course – twice even, but not before they were both swept up in a love beyond all comprehension."
"And this," He lightly grabbed her hand and directed her finger to the other picture. "Is their son, Alex. He was just as adventurous and trouble attracting as his parents." Daniel frowned. "But he was also very rebellious… and ended up hurting someone through that recklessness."
Vala turned a cautious frown his way. "Who did he hurt?" She asked on a whisper, hearing the bitterness in Daniel's voice as he spoke of this man.
Closing his eyes, Daniel pulled in a deep breath. "My grandmother, Rose." When he opened them again, he didn't look back at her. Instead, he stared across the tent to where the entrance flap was securely zipped shut. The wind had picked up outside, whipping angrily against the tent walls. It had been the same when his dad had told him the story…
"Alex was eighteen, young and full of life, and tired of being told what to do by his parents. He wanted freedom and adventure, and he went to the only place he'd ever known to give him that…"
Vala pulled in a deep breath herself. "Egypt."
He nodded. "Rick and Evie tried to warn him – there was a war going on. Things could get out of hand before Alex even had a chance to react. He didn't care…he wanted the action." Finally, Daniel's gaze found Vala's once more. "What he found was Rose."
Taking the locket out of Vala's hand, Daniel pushed it closed with his thumb and caressed the battered golden front. "Beautiful, spunky, young American woman who would do anything for the thrill of it. She found Egypt was the greatest place to run wild and live free." He laughed a little. "It was inevitable that they meet."
"There was passion between them, and I think that's where the problem was." Daniel admitted softly. "It wasn't love that drove them…at least, not Alex. Rose was head over heels for him, of course. She'd never seen a romance like Alex had seen his parents live. How could she know what he was looking for?"
Vala reached up and smoothed the frown lines from Daniel's forehead. "I'm guessing a baby wasn't what he wanted?"
Laughing harshly, Daniel shook his head. "He told her it was. That he would brave his parents expected disapproval and give her the most loving life possible." He squeezed Vala closer to him. "He went to England, and never came back. Rose was left to find her own way back to America, six months pregnant, with nothing but a locket to remember her could've been family by."
"So Alex never returned?" She whispered, still softly caressing his forehead.
"Oh, he returned. He couldn't help it…the pull of Egypt is too strong to ignore." Daniel answered wistfully, the anger at his grandfather's betrayal still evident in his voice. He looked down at Vala, and found she was frowning in confusion once more.
It caused him to smile some. "You see, Evelyn always believed Egypt was in her blood. Even after she'd returned to England and tried to settle down, there was forever the urge to walk the sands of this land. It was in their second showdown with the mummy, Imhotep, that she
found out she was a reincarnation of the Egyptian princess Nefertiri. It had been a part of her family for centuries, this tie to Egypt."
Vala's face cleared as she began to understand. "And Alex came back because he had this same tie…" She trailed off, leaving Daniel to fill in the rest.
He did, of course. "He'd tried to ignore it for a long time, knowing what he'd find if he'd ever returned. It wasn't until he'd gotten word that Rose Jackson had passed away that he decided to come back." Daniel adopted a smug grin of satisfaction. "What the coward never took into account was that Rose's son, Melburn, was equally drawn to Egypt and was living here at that time…with a wife and child of his own."
"You met Alex?" She asked.
Daniel nodded. "I was young, and don't remember everything. But what I do remember made me understand why my dad never tried to get in touch with his dad. Alex O'Connell was so arrogant and smug, like it was Rose's fault that he didn't return. I know he'd come to answer the call of Egypt, and had warned my dad that ignoring the call was a dangerous choice."
"But my dad was stubborn, and had loved his mother, and refused to acknowledge Alex's so called blood ties any longer. He gave up on Egypt as much as he could, taking a job at the New York Museum of Art." Daniel's face contorted a fraction in the remembered pain. "It was his grandest defiance, and his last."
Shifting in his lap, Vala wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed her forehead to his. "Daniel, you don't have to tell me anymore. I understand enough. You're bound to this place." She brought one hand up to stroke through his hair. "I don't want you reliving painful memories just to tell me your family's history."
Daniel smiled a fraction, laying a kiss against her lips. "It's okay, Vala. I want to tell you…need to tell you. It's being demanded of me, and I can't ignore that."
She pulled back. "What do you mean demanded?" Her face was a mix of bafflement and concern.
Taking her by the hips, Daniel settled Vala comfortably into his lap again. "This is gonna sound weird, but considering what we do for a living; I think that's okay…" He paused just long enough for a large gust of wind to rock the tent. It prompted him to continue.
"Egypt doesn't just call to me – it speaks to me." When Vala's eyes widened a little, Daniel rushed on. "Not in the sense of talking, but sensations. Weird dreams are especially useful ways of interpreting what's being asked. The night before my parents were killed, both my dad and mom had dreams of death and abandonment. I remember them talking about it over breakfast."
"And you dreamed about telling me all of this?" Vala whispered, her arms still locked around Daniel's neck.
He sort of shrugged. "I interpreted the right clues, you can say." That enigmatic smile of his shined out. "I had a little help…" When Vala frowned and looked like she was about to make him clarify, Daniel shook his head. "But that's not important."
She pouted in annoyance. "Then what is important?"
Daniel's smile softened and he leaned in to kiss her lips again. "That you are approved of…I would never have been demanded to tell you if you weren't the one. Love is a big part of my family, and if the right one isn't found, we suffer through pain that is beyond imaginable – we hurt others. It's what happened to Alex and Rose. It's what happened with me and Sha're." He shrugged. "Of course, mine was never intentional – I'd thought I'd found my place with Sha're."
"We've had our fair share of pain, Daniel." Vala reminded him, slightly bitter.
He nodded. "That's because I was an idiot and fought it for so long." A faint laugh escaped as Vala nodded in agreement. "But we've got the one thing that lets me know I've found my one…" Daniel released her, shifting so he could look back at the sleeping baby.
Vala pushed off of him, kneeling at the edge of the bed. "Hayden?" She whispered, looking between their daughter and him.
Running a hand over Vala's thick, black hair, Daniel grinned. "I told you earlier she was learning." Vala pulled in a shaky breath, reaching out to lightly run her fingers over Hayden's cheek. "What I didn't tell you was that Alex never was able to have children with the woman he thought he loved. He, to this day, lives an unhappy life with no real connection to his destiny anymore."
"Every one of my family, both Jackson and O'Connell, have two destinies. One for their life and one for their love. They are entwined so tight that having one without the other is impossible. If we ignore love, and try just for our destiny in life, we'd all end up like Alex. If we found the love, and ignore the life, then the fates will find a way to rip that love painfully from us. That's what happened to my parents."
Vala was still staring at Hayden, still gently touching her. "My baby girl has a destiny." She said, proud and sad at the same time. "My Daniel has a destiny." This was stronger, and her grey eyes were bright and smiling as she finally looked at him again. "Do I get to know what either of them is?"
Pulling her back into his lap, Daniel grinned. "Oh, you already know mine… It brought me to you."
Understanding dawned. "You opened the Stargate… you joined SG-1."
"I embraced the life, and found the love…" Daniel smiled, nipping at the finger she'd placed against his lip.
"And what happens now? We just live happily ever after and then die?" Vala asked, pouty again. "That seems like a pretty unfair deal for all the hard work your family is supposed to put into this whole destiny thing."
Daniel laughed. "Oh, it's not that unfair." He gave her a look she knew well. "And we both know there's still a lot to do before happily ever after – the galaxy is a big place, as you know. Lots of evil to vanquish."
She grinned. "So lots of destiny left to fulfill…" He nodded.
"We just have to help Hayden interpret the clues to her own." Daniel told her. He leaned forward, one hand on Vala's back to hold her in place. The other held the locket, which he quickly deposited in Hayden's still open palm. As soon as the gold touched her hand, Hayden curled it into a fist. The locket was firmly locked in her grasp.
"So this is what you were talking about." Vala's voice was like music in this dream world they walked in. Daniel had to admit he was thrown by her presence beside him, the weird sensation of her hand entwined in his. Sure, he'd dreamed about her before, but never had she joined him… now he understood how both his parents had dreamed the same thing the night before they died.
"Will I remember this in the morning?" She continued on without waiting for his comment. From the sound of her voice, it was like she was enjoying this whole 'destiny' thing rather than questioning it. Daniel figured that was why she had been meant for him, and he for her.
Pressure on his hand let him know she was waiting for his response this time. "I don't know why not – I usually do." He looked at her with a smile, which caused her to grin openly. Daniel then turned his attention on Hayden, who was bouncing down the path before them. It didn't surprise him much that she was here – she was a quick learner when it came to important things.
Both Daniel and Vala stopped when Hayden suddenly did. The little girl let out a strange, shy giggle and suddenly bound forward – right into the waiting arms of a woman who had suddenly appeared within the boundaries of their dream. Daniel felt Vala tense beside him, but before he could say anything, someone came up on his right.
"Don't worry, kiddo – Evelyn's wonderful with children."
Daniel rolled his eyes and grinned at the new addition. Vala, on the other hand, stared with wide eyes at the man next to him, and then the woman holding and laughing with her daughter. "Oh…my…"
"Wow, she's a keeper." The man elbowed Daniel, smiling wide.
"Oh, stop it, Rick. You know she wouldn't be here unless she was-"
"The one, I know I know…" Rick O'Connell held up his hand, waving off his great grandson. "And obviously you told her all about our little family traditions." He winked at Vala. "But you know me – gotta mess around in all your dreams."
Daniel grinned, nodding. "Yes, you do…" He looked at the man who it seemed time meant no meaning whatsoever. "Speaking of dreams – mind telling me what this one is all about?"
Rick gave him a patient look. "You know better than that, kid. You're gonna need to figure out for yourself what this one's about."
"Oh, but if it doesn't pertain to the destiny exactly, you can just up and show me." Daniel sighed, exasperated already. He vaguely remembered a conversation he'd had with Teal'c about his dreams. If only Teal'c knew what they were really like. "You had no problem with the weapons lessons."
Someone finally found her voice at that comment. "You learned how to shoot from your great grandfather…in dreams?" Vala's words may have sounded shocked, but it was evident she was amused more than anything else. She was quickly adapting to the fact that Daniel saw his ancestors in his sleep – and that she'd probably be seeing them from now on too.
Leaning so he could look at her, Rick grinned. "You didn't think he just knew how to shoot a gun, did you? Someone had to teach him the proper ways to win a fight!"
"Guns are a family tradition." Daniel leaned and whispered in Vala's ear. She grinned mischievously, and he suddenly felt wary about what might go on in her head without him
around. Trying not to think of all the new things his family could teach her, Daniel returned his attention to Rick. "So do I at least get my clue?"
Rick didn't look back, but stared ahead as his wife played with their great great granddaughter. "You have a beautiful kid – got a lot of Evie in her." He noted the similarities between Evelyn and Hayden – the same Daniel had seen on the sand dunes earlier that evening. "First girl in the line since Evie, actually."
Both parents stared at him, then impatience got the better of them and in unison they both gave him an exasperated 'yeah?!'
He grinned. "Just noticing, that's all." Rick turned to Daniel and clapped him on the shoulder. "Might keep it in mind though – the first girl thing. It could be important somewhere down the line." He winked to Vala again, and then moved in the direction of his wife.
"Was that the clue?" Vala hissed to Daniel, watching Rick give his hello to their daughter.
Daniel frowned. "I don't know – like I said, it's all a matter of interpretation." He forced a smile to come as Hayden came running back their way. Releasing Vala's hand, Daniel knelt down and caught her in his arms tightly.
He kissed her nose as he stood back up. "Have fun?"
Hayden nodded. "Granma nice." She waited a moment, using the time to pull in a deep breath, and then finished. "Granpa says we leave now."
It was Daniel's turn to nod. "Yeah, we need to go now." He motioned with his head for Vala to join them as they turned, instead of staring at his family who were still watching. "We need to sleep for real so we're ready for all the fun archaeology stuff tomorrow!"
"Untle Cam be here!" Hayden clapped, reminding both Vala and Daniel that this trip wasn't all about family fun. There were job-related things that had brought them to Egypt in the first place.
"That's right, monster." Vala said as she took Hayden from Daniel and walked ahead. "All of our favorite people are coming in to help us work." She kept walking, right out of the barriers that marked his dream world. Daniel felt he should follow, but something was holding him back.
"Hey kid!" Rick's shout had Daniel turning back. From the big grin on his timeless face, Daniel knew this was what he'd been waiting for. This was why they'd been dreaming in the first place…
"Have fun with the Joneses!"
Reviews are definitely appreciated!