FANDOM: Stargate SG1
TITLE: Heir to the Ennead
CATEGORY: Angst, Drama, H/C, Friendship
SEASON: Three (one week after Legacy)
WORD COUNT: 38,680
DISCLAIMER: Stargate SG-1, its characters and situations, are copyright MGM, Greenburg/Anderson, Gekko, Top Secret, and Kawoosh! No infringement on, or challenge to, their status is intended. This piece of fiction was written strictly for the entertainment of other fans, and I am gaining no form of compensation for it.
MORE DISCLAIMERS: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, or actual places and locations, is purely coincidental.
My unending and enduring gratitude to ms_3m, for being everything she is, was, and always will be. She was with me from the very first word I typed of this story, five and a half very long years ago. I hope that the end result is at least somewhat close to what she thought it could be.
And thanks to whisper99 for her eyes, ears, and brain, for her excellent proof-reading skills and her love for smacking me in the head with my own stupidity.
If you think this is good, thank her. If you think it sucks, blame me.
SUMMARY: With tensions running high between SG1 and deep-set trust and confidence issues plaguing Daniel in the wake of his encounter with Ma'chello's Goa'uld killing devices, the idyllic and peaceful desert world of Iunu seems to be a perfect first mission back. The people, followers of the goddess Nephthys, welcome the visitors with open arms. But after a massive flood traps SG1 offworld, a case of mistaken identity brings Iunu's darkest secret to light. With SG1 divided in more ways than one, trusted allies turning into enemies, and no way home, what begins as a simple cultural study will become a battle for their very survival.
He hadn't talked to Daniel in two days.
It was a strange thing for Jack, to have not talked to Daniel in so long. Under normal circumstances, he and Daniel talked all the time. Every day. At least once and usually more than that. Their conversations ranged from galactically important to mundanely trivial, but it didn't matter. The point was that they talked. Almost constantly. About everything.
But circumstances weren't normal, and he hadn't talked to Daniel in two days.
He didn't know which one of them was more responsible for the silence, and he didn't know that it really mattered. It wasn't that he didn't want Daniel around him, because he did, but he didn't want to force Daniel to do anything he didn't want to do. And Daniel had made it clear, the last few times they had spoken, that he wasn't too thrilled with the idea of Jack hanging around. So Jack had backed off because Daniel had wanted him to. That made the distance mutual, didn't it?
It wasn't just Jack that was on the receiving end of Daniel's new "arms length, no closer" attitude about people, either. Sam and Teal'c were having just as hard a time dealing with him. He was pretty sure he'd caught Sam crying about it in her lab a time or two, and Teal'c... well, Teal'c was just being Teal'c. He seemed to be spending a lot of time hanging around outside Daniel's office, though. Daniel would call it hovering, if he noticed it. Jack would call it looming. Teal'c would call it protecting.
Protecting Daniel was something all three of them had gotten very good at doing, without Daniel's knowledge, in recent weeks. They had to be careful about it, very subtle, because if Daniel caught on, he'd blow a fuse. But even still, Jack couldn't help but think that maybe, if he'd started doing protecting Daniel sooner, it wouldn't have been two days since he'd talked to him.
Two weeks earlier, no one would have imagined that Daniel needed to be protected while he was at the SGC. But then again, two weeks earlier, no one would have imagined that Daniel's best friends would throw him in a loony bin and leave him there.
Jack shook his head as he started up the stairs to the Briefing Room. Damn Ma'chello and his "inventions to fight the Goa'uld." He didn't care what a genius the man had been, didn't give a damn that they'd been fighting on the same side. He'd almost taken Daniel away from them twice – once by letting him die, once by making him insane – and he'd damn near killed Teal'c, too. Enough was enough. The next time they found something they thought Ma'chello might have made, Jack was just going to shoot it.
Dr. Fraiser and General Hammond were already seated at the table when he walked into the room, which caught him off guard. A quick glance at his watch told him that not only was he not late, he was actually five minutes early. That meant they'd wanted to talk about something before he got there. That something was going to be Daniel, since he was who the meeting was supposed to be about.
"General. Doctor," Jack said, looking at each of them in turn as he lowered himself into his chair. "Didn't miss anything, did I?"
"Colonel." Hammond's voice was businesslike, as Jack's had been. Fraiser didn't say anything, but just looked at him across the table and nodded.
"So," Jack said after a few seconds of silence. "We're having a meeting, right?"
"Yes, Colonel." Jack really didn't like it when Hammond's voice was so brusque; it usually meant he was forcing himself to be composed because he didn't like what he was about to say. "Dr. Fraiser has been expressing some concerns to me..."
"Let me guess, Daniel sneezed. So that means he's dying of pneumonia or something."
He hadn't meant to say that, and he didn't know why the words had come out of his mouth. Across from him, Janet Fraiser turned six shades of pale and stared down at her lap.
"It's all right, General," Fraiser said softly as she slowly looked up. "He has a valid point."
Well, then, maybe he had meant to say it after all.
"I jumped to conclusions about Daniel," she said as she turned her eyes away from the general and looked directly at Jack. "It was a diagnosis that should never have been made, based on incomplete information about a device that, to be completely honest, I still don't know enough about. I knew I was out of my element. That's why I consulted with Dr. Mackenzie."
Jack snorted his opinion of the psychiatrist and turned away. All it took was one glare from Hammond to convince him look back at Fraiser again.
"We're limited in what we can do in any given situation by what we know about the subject. We applied standard mental health protocols on Earth to someone they can't really be applied to, because we don't know how the Stargate affects human physiology."
"That doesn't matter anyway," Jack interrupted. "Because the gate had nothing to do with it."
"I know, sir," she answered without looking away. "Daniel told us he wasn't sick, that there was something else going on. So did you. But we were so sure, Colonel, so sure that we were helping him..."
Jack had to force himself to hold still under Janet's obviously remorseful expression. She was about to do one of the two things that he'd been wanting her to do for the past week, and he figured he owed it to her to at least look her in the eye while she did it.
"We... no, I. I made a mistake, Colonel. And I'm sorry."
Jack nodded briefly, then brushed at an itch on his nose with the back of his hand.
"You tell Daniel that yet?" he asked. "Because it cost him a whole hell of a lot more than it did me."
"Dr. Fraiser and I were just discussing that, Colonel," Hammond answered. His tone had lost most of its edge, telling Jack that the General Hammond who understood his people had taken over from the one who commanded them. "We both feel that an actual apology might damage the doctor/patient relationship..."
"What about your friendship?" Jack asked Janet directly. "That doesn't matter?"
"Not as much as that relationship does, sir, no." Janet shook her head. "If he doesn't trust me as a physician, I can't treat him if he's sick or injured. I'd rather be able to help him if needs me than go out for a drink with him after work."
Jack considered her words and then nodded his head. She had a very good point.
"So if you can't apologize to him, how do you make it clear to him that you're sorry?"
Janet looked up at Hammond, who nodded.
"I'm withdrawing the medical hold I placed Daniel under when he came back from Mental Health. He's free to go back in the field whenever you think he's ready to."
Jack's first reaction was happiness, and he pumped his fists in the air in celebration. Then he realized that Janet hadn't completely removed the restrictions keeping Daniel on base, she'd just shifted them from herself to Jack. Oh, that was sneaky. And exactly the kind of thing that he expected from Janet Fraiser. It was up to Jack both where Daniel went and when he went there.
And once he realized that he had the ability to make that decision, he wasn't so sure he wanted to.
Hammond gave him a small smile and slid a manilla folder across the table to him. "Look at it, Jack. I think it might be a good idea."
Jack looked down at the folder and was unsurprised to see a planetary designation stamped on the front of it.
He opened it and flipped through the pages quickly, stopping to glance at the pictures that the MALP had sent back and reading through some of the information. There were no measurable amounts of any resources that anyone would be interested in, either human or Goa'uld. No naquadah, no trinium. And, the best part to Jack, no signs of a Goa'uld presence, past or present.
"So what are we looking for?" Jack asked.
"Nothing," General Hammond answered.
Jack looked up in surprise.
"There's nothing there, Jack. Nothing but a living, breathing, in-the-flesh society from ancient Egypt."
Jack smiled in understanding. "Sending him on vacation?"
"No. Easing him back in slowly." Hammond cleared his throat. "Actually, easing all of you back in slowly. Unless you feel like denying that you all need this, Colonel."
And just like that, Hammond the commander was back.
"No, sir. You're right, we do." Jack closed the folder and picked it up. "So, when do we leave and how long are we gone?"
"The specialists have scheduled this as a tentative four day mission, with plenty of room to expand if warranted. And we can fit the briefing in this afternoon, if you think you'll be ready to go in the morning."
"Yes, sir," Jack answered with an enthusiastic nod. He pushed away from the table and stood with the folder in his hand. "I'll go round 'em all up."
He was turning to leave when he noticed Dr. Fraiser still sitting at the table with her head down, staring at her hands.
"Yes, Colonel?" Her head snapped up and toward him quickly.
"I just wanted to say... I know why you did what you did. And I don't blame you."
"Thank you," she said with a sincere smile.
"And if I'd believed for a minute that you weren't convinced you were doing what was best for Daniel, one of us wouldn't be here any more."
The smile he got from that was heartfelt. And he returned it as he walked out the door.
Jack understood the necessity of having a doctor around who was willing to ignore what they said in favor of what they needed. And in a really screwed up way, putting Daniel in that place might have actually saved his life, because even if they were wrong about what was causing it, they were right about what it was doing to him. Daniel hadn't been crazy, but he had been sick, and it didn't really matter that the source of his sudden problems was alien. It had messed with his mind enough that they'd thought they needed to take his glasses away so he wouldn't... no. Not going down that road again.
It struck Jack as odd that it had taken Janet two weeks to release Daniel, but less than a week to release Teal'c. Junior had come damn close to dying, which meant that Teal'c had come damn close to dying, but once that protein marker fooled the little buggers into thinking they'd done their job, it hadn't taken long for either of them to recover. Teal'c had been up and around again, with no sign that he'd even been sick, within a day. With Daniel, the opposite had been true. He'd seemed fine for the first day, but had gone downhill quickly after that.
But then again, Teal'c hadn't spent four days having his system pumped full of mind-altering drugs that he didn't actually need. And Teal'c hadn't spent the better part of two days alternating between puking his guts out and crying in pain from involuntary tremors and muscle cramps. Teal'c hadn't spent a week holed up in his office with all of the lights on, reading and working and pushing himself until he passed out in Jack's arms in the middle of a sentence, because he was too damn scared of waking up and finding out that everything after his release from the hospital had been a hallucination to let himself go to sleep.
No, none of that had happened to Teal'c.
Jack had been there to see all of it, because it had happened before Daniel decided that he didn't want him around anymore. And there'd been times – when one of the tremors made him bite his tongue so hard that he bled all over himself, or when he was so weak and throwing up so violently that he couldn't even stand up on his own – that Jack had doubted he'd make it through it at all.
But Daniel had made it through. He'd survived, and he'd come back where he belonged. At least, he was mostly there. The folder in Jack's hand would go a long way toward bringing the rest of him back. Sam and Teal'c would go along with whatever Jack told them, and he knew that. They wouldn't even question the reasons for the mission. They'd both told him that they were ready to get back in the field again, and he didn't doubt that they'd jump at the chance to do it.
All he had to do was talk to Daniel.