Disclaimer: not mine
rating: PG
Character: Daniel Jackson
Genre: gen, angst, AU, experimental
length: 1100+
notes: I've been reading The Etched City by K.J. Bishop, and generally enjoying it. And during one of the passages, someone tells a story that... struck a chord with me, apparently. I have also always wanted to write a story where time flows in and out and backwards to the beginning. I don't really know why it ended up being now.

Pages
by ALC Punk!

There is something he's forgetting.

A part of his dream--that flash of gold on copper. The thought follows another, his mind building the city layer upon layer as his fingers guide the pen. Ra won here...

Once upon a time, his handwriting had been careful, neat. But only he will ever read these papers now, so he makes no effort.

The fever of writing grips him, removing him from place and time. Impervious to those that try to speak to him, he writers until his fingers are cramped.

Hands shaking, he scratches at the beard on his face (Vala used to mock him for it).

In the early days, they (his captors) had given him shaving implements--up until the night he tried to kill himself (Sirens. Daniel, no, stay with us--God--). Lam had talked him through dressing the cuts on his arms.

The madness that had prompted the suicide attempt is as gone as the madness that once told him he would be freed, if he could just tell them what they wanted. It's akin to the madness that claims these people are his friends.

Daniel, we can't open the door again.

They lie, they always lie. He has to remember that, even as his knuckles ache in the cold. His captors want him gullible, want him off his rocker--for some reason he can't remember. They don't want him dead.

Sometimes, he dreams of bright sunlight, of forests on planets he knows aren't real--space travel is a farce.

They gave him paper when he shouted for it, not that he remembers. The food is more than adequate, even when he throws half of it against the walls. Not thinking, he ends up smearing the mess all over himself.

Daniel, we're getting a fire hose for you--

The rock of the room is black and where he hasn't marked it with utensils (and bullets), the basalt is mirror-sharp.

Do you trust us to lock you in, Daniel?

He knows they ask him that to trip him up.

To drive him further into madness, they don't know Vala. It makes all his jokes fall flat.

She'd been laughing at him when he walked into the room (if he walked, perhaps he just arrived there--though he's too lost in his own mind to remember the implications of that), and he'd been talking over his shoulder to someone (Sam, there are glyphs here, and I think that's a control panel with crystals--).

He doesn't remember who that is anymore. He's not sure who he is, some days.

Daniel, there's something in the room affecting you--it's bleeding out here, too. Can you see anything?

The voices out there ask him questions he sees no reason to answer anymore. He can't help them. He can't help anyone, not from in here. His fingers don't shake as he wakes again, soaked in sweat, but the dream clear in his mind's eye. Four pages to scrawl it down, and then he re-reads until he starts laughing a little at the absurdity of it all.

Little yellow suns and big giant gates to other worlds aren't anymore real than the voices he can sometimes hear.

It's not real. He has to keep telling himself that--

Little yellow suns and big giant gates to other worlds aren't anymore real than the voices he can sometimes hear. Four pages to scrawl it down, and then he re-reads until he starts laughing a little at the absurdity of it all.

His fingers don't shake as he wakes again, soaked in sweat, but the dream clear in his mind's eye--he can't help anyone, not from in here. He can't help them; the voices out there ask him questions he sees no reason to answer anymore.

Can you see anything? Daniel, there's something in the room affecting you--it's bleeding out here, too.

When he'd arrived (arrived is the wrong word, though he's too lost in his own mind to remember that), he'd wandered into the room, talking over his shoulder to someone (Sam, there are glyphs here, and I think that's a control panel with crystals--). He doesn't remember who that is anymore. He's not sure who he is, some days.

Daniel, who is Vala?

He knows they ask him that to trip him up, to drive him further into madness.

Daniel! Trust you to get locked in...

The rock of the room is black and where he hasn't marked with utensils (blood and bullets), the basalt is mirror-sharp. Not thinking, he slices his arms against a jagged edge, watching the blood drip down into nowhere.

Daniel, we're getting a fire hose for you-- The food is more than adequate, even when he throws half of it against the walls. They gave him paper when he shouted for it (not that he remembers).

Space travel is a farce. Sometimes, he dreams of bright sunlight, of forests on planets he knows aren't real--

They don't want him dead, his captors (so gullible). They want him off his rocker, for some reason. They lie, always lie and he has to remember that, even as his hands ache in the cold.

Daniel, we can't open it.

These people were his friends. The madness once told him that he would be freed, it's a madness prompted by madness. Sam would giggle (but Sam never giggles) to hear his equations.

Lam talks him through bandaging his arms afterwards.

Sirens. Daniel, no, stay with us--God--

The night he tried to kill himself, they told him to throw his shaving implements away. In the early days, they'd let him keep the beard from being too scratchy. Vala used to mock him for the beard, claiming he was trying to differentiate from Mitchell. He scratches at it, unaccustomed to it even now.

He writes until his fingers are past cramped, impervious to those who try to speak to him. The fever of it grips him, removing him from place and time.

Only he will ever read the result, so he makes no effort to keep his handwriting careful and neat.

Ra won here...

The thought follows another, his mind building the city he can't remember layer upon layer as his fingers guide the pen. Part of his dream, a flash of golden copper from the corner of his eye.

There's something he's forgotten...

-f-