Title: Five scars Daniel wishes he didn't remember getting

Author: Rebecca Johnson [.com]

Rating: PG

Spoilers: (all minor) Children of the Gods, The Gamekeeper, Forever in a Day

Summary: title tells it all

Disclaimer: I don't own Daniel. I wish I did, but sadly, I was outbid.


1. Military life came hand in hand with scarrage, Daniel knew. One had only to look at Jack's body, toned and wiry, yes, but eternally marked to see the truth of that statement. He had come to accept this as just one more side effect of the unexpected way his life had turned out, and for the most part he bore his bruises ad scuffles with pride – or at least what he hoped was good grace.

There were some scars, however, that he had never accepted as part of his person. These were not scars he could bare with grace, but jagged lines cruelly etched into his surface to match the harsh memories lurking below.

The first scar ever to mark him, robbing both body and soul of its innocence had faded considerably over the years. The palest of white lines netted over the heel of his palm had been subjected to his fingers tracings so many times that he had often wondered at their being visible at all.

The feel of his hands being sliced open, his tiny palms separating into ribbons of flesh, this he does not remember. But the pure solidness of the rock, slippery with his blood yet completely immovable from its place upon his parents' shattered forms, was something he could never forget. A memory that lay just as heavy and solid in the forefront of his mind.

2. The scar across his side was read and angry still to this day. It was a wound that refused to be forgotten, a constant ache that screamed out mercilessly from within his dreams.

The knife had slipped in so smoothly, separating skin from muscle with far more ease than he had expected. Blood had poured freely, coating handle and hand in a warm red. It was such a pretty colour. It took several moments for Daniel to realise that it was his own hand wrapped around the knife; the knife impaling the spluttering man in front of him.

The Jaffa just looked at him, staring at the small man while blood dropped from his mouth. Neither could tell who was more shocked. The Jaffa pulled the knife from his own chest and swiped it across Daniel's side, slicing through the layers of his uniform as he slid down to meet the dusty ground.

The knife had mingled the blood of both, and Daniel carried both home with him. As his team swept him up and carried him back to the gate his gaze swept over the entourage of soldiers they had felled, but his eyes only saw one, the man slumped on the ground, knife in hand. The first man he ever killed.

3. Jack often complained that Daniel lived far too much in his own head. And, he supposed, it was true. He had always moved freely within the recesses of his brain, accessing some information here, recalling some memories there. He retreated to his own mind to think when the outside world just got too busy, too crowded, too cruel.

But now his mind was splintered, an impenetrable maze of scars dissecting his mind into ever-confusing paths. Turn the wrong way and be confronted with memories that burned, voices that taunted, and images that pulled at his heart. He knew why this was so, knew why his own mind had betrayed him. But knowing didn't make it any easier.

The fractures had appeared the day he lost Sha're, the walls of his mind buckling as he watched, helpless, while she was dragged away by the Goa'uld. Lines had spidered out each time he dared consider the possibility that he would never find her. And the day she died, the day all hope was lost, he felt his memories of her crack and chip, falling like powdered glass in his mind. An internal scar beyond repair.

4. The boy was taller than he was, stockier too, and much stronger than anything his tiny eight-year-old muscles could pull off.

Sitting sprawled at the bottom of the small flight of stair she had just tumbled down, Daniel looked up from within his adversary's shadow, trying valiantly to ignore the stinging from the massive graze on his knee.

"This is my home," his new foster brother said. "This is my house, and my parents. You don't belong here. You don't even exist, do you understand?"

He didn't understand. He was so confused. Daniel knew this wasn't his home. He had a home, he had his parents, but now they were gone. And he didn't know ho to find them. How to get them back.

He looked down at his knew and picked the gravel from his knee.

5. Daniel hit the ground with a resounding thump. His head was spinning, a thousand tiny scrapes had scared every inch of his body, and he had the funny feeling that somewhere along the way he had lost a boot.

He supposed he should be grateful he was still alive, not everyone survived a fall like that, but right now he couldn't help but wish that the ground would open up and let him keep falling, anything to avoid the confrontation he knew would be coming.

"Daniel! Are you alright?"

Daniel tilted his head to look towards the voice. Sam was standing at the top of the cliff he had just traversed rather quickly. It was quite an impressive drop – at least twenty meters – and Daniel was sure he had hit every tree and scrub on the way down. He cleared his throat and groaned loudly, hoping it would suffice as confirmation of his survival.

"Hey Danny," said another joining Sam's. "Whatcha doin' down there?"

Here it comes, Daniel thought. As he heard his teammates scrambling down towards him – they, of course, taking a much safer route – he lay perfectly still. There was no way he was moving. Maybe if he was lucky a Jaffa would come put him out of his misery before Jack got to him.

Feeling their shadows blocking the sun above him, Daniel opened his eyes to look up into the faces of two concerned friends, and one highly amused one.

"Heya spacemonkey. Enjoy your trip?"

Daniel considered whether it would be worth the pain of rolling his eyes, decided it wasn't, and simply held out the battered piece of wood that he had managed to hold on to all the way down.

"There was a sign," he explained weakly. "I was trying to translate it. Thought it might help."

"Aaaand?" Jack asked. "What does it say?"

Teal'c took the sign from his prone friend, read it quickly and raised an eyebrow. "It says, 'Warning: sudden drop'."

Yep, there was no way Jack would let him forget this.