E-MAIL: paravati@optonline.net

STATUS: Complete

CATEGORY: Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Daniel/Janet



SEQUEL: End Game Part 2

SUMMARY: DISCLAIMERS: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. We have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the authors. Not to be archived without permission of the authors.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: The game is completed.

Back at the SGC:

Jack refused to sit at the briefing room table. All this nervous energy, the only activity he wanted to do was wrap his hands around the High Council member's neck. He would feel so much better. Since strangling a visiting dignitary was against military policy, he had to contend with pacing around the briefing room table. The only problem was his pacing was driving everyone else to the point of distraction.

"Colonel, sit". The General commanded with a shake of his head he gently added, "I know this is not where you would like to be at the moment, but we must get this sorted out".

Running his hands through his gray hair, Jack sat down in the chair opposite the council member. Jack kept busy firing Osta evil looks through narrowed eyes, which she blatantly ignored and the General did not. With a warning glance in the Colonel's direction, Hammond took a deep breath and began. "High Counselor Osta".

"Please Osta…and even though you may not believe me, on behalf of the Nuzarians, and myself we are truly bereft over the outcome of the test".

Jack jumped up slamming his palms on the table. "You know something, screw the outcome of the test and the treaty. On behalf of myself and SGC, we are truly bereft over the outcome of Daniel's return".

"Colonel, control yourself, or you will be escorted from the room".

Osta met Jack's angry eyes. "Daniel will return to you in time. If he allows himself, all will be as it was before he left".

"DanielJackson is the fairest man I know, how did he fail this test. " Teal'c could not comprehend anyone judging DanielJackson on fairness and finding the man lacking.

Osta gave Teal'c a quizzical glance. "Daniel did not fail the test."

"Excuse me, could ya run that by me again…Daniel didn't fail the test? Earth will receive…" Jack asked shooting the General, Carter and Teal'c a puzzle filled glance.

Osta glanced down at her hands, raising her eyes to the members around the table; they were surprised to see the anguish reflected in them "I am sorry for the misunderstanding. I can understand in the confusion of our return through the Stargate and Daniel's condition earlier today, you would have assumed that the treaty had not been accepted. We had wanted to share our technology based on the terms of the agreement drawn up between our planets. Due to circumstances that Daniel conveyed to us during the test, our sharing of technology will take place of a period of years, not weeks or months as previously decreed".

Before anyone could comment, the phone rang. Obviously annoyed at the disturbance, Hammond lifted the receiver and answered curtly "Hammond…I told you I was not to be disturbed". In seconds the General's facial expression went from one of anger to one of concern.

"Okay Dr. Warner. Colonel O'Neill is on his way". Replacing the receiver, Hammond stood up "Dr. Jackson's is conscious and extremely agitated, he attacked Dr. Lyons. Colonel, Dr. Jackson is asking for you".

At the sound of Dr Lyons' name, Osta lifted her head. "Colonel O'Neill, before you go to the infirmary, be advised that Dr. Lyons and the people he works for are the reason the treaty is being altered".


Jack walked into an infirmary of mass confusion. Biohazard cleaning crews had already been dispatched and were busy wiping up the mess of blood, broken glass and overturned med carts. Jack did a quick scan searching out one person. His heart jumped into his throat and he swallowed painfully as he took in the physical and easily readable mental condition of his friend. Daniel sat on the side of his infirmary bed dressed in scrubs. Daniel sported a massive, painful looking bruise on the left side of his face, blood from an IV that had become dislodged was dripping down Daniel's right arm and starting to pool on the floor. The top of his scrub was blood splattered from a laceration on his cheekbone and who the hell knew what else. Daniel's eyes were closed and he was swaying in place ignoring the voice of Dr. Warner.

"Dr. Jackson, please just let me clean the cut and put in a few stitches. I need to x-ray to make sure the cheekbone isn't shattered. I don't want to have to sedate you to treat you."

Jack quietly stepped behind Dr. Warner.

"Daniel" he called tentatively

"Jack" Daniel replied quietly, never lifting his head or opening his eyes. Daniel's swaying turned to rocking and began to increase in intensity. Jack saw with threatening clarity that Daniel was close to the edge as Daniel wrapped his arms around his body's midsection. Jack shouldered Dr. Warner away from his position in front of Daniel. Stepping forward Jack gently locked Daniel in an embrace, effectively stopping the rocking. Daniel's head rested on Jack's shoulder and through the thin material of the scrub top Daniel's ragged breathing vibrated against Jack's chest.

"Home". Daniel whispered as Jack's hands traced comforting circles on Daniel's back.

"Yes, buddy, you're home".

"Not a memory. Really home?" Daniel again queried.

'Oh God, Daniel, what happened out there?' "Yes, Daniel, home", Jack grabbed the blanket from the foot of the infirmary bed and wrapped it around Daniel's shoulders as feeling slight tremors beginning to run through this body.

"Missed you guys".

"Missed you too big guy". Out of the corner of his eye Jack was aware that Janet had entered the infirmary. He motioned her with a tilt of his head to join him by Daniel's bedside.

"Tired…Jack. So tired, never slept". Jack could feel Daniel's breathing begin to even out.

"Daniel, hold on. Let Janet have a look at you and clean you up". Daniel nodded his head in agreement.

Jack stepped back, motioning for Dr. Warner to disappear and Janet took over his position in front of Daniel. Standing to the side, Jack watched as Janet gently took Daniel's face in her hands and called his name softly. Daniel rewarded her with a grimace and slowly opened his eyes.

Jack looked with concern at his friend. Off world for over five days, Daniel's face was gaunt with fatigue dark circles framing his unfocused eyes. The five days worth of stubble on his face made Daniel appear much older than usual and his shaking hands and apparent confusion were testament to his mental condition. 'But at least he is upright' Jack shook his head attempting to dispel the image of Daniel's inert body on the ramp upon his return from Nuzar.

Janet waved the nurse away who had attempted to assist her. Drawing the curtain around Daniel's bed, Janet effectively cut the three of them off from the activities in the infirmary. Slowly and with heartbreaking tenderness, she cleaned Daniel, wiping away the blood and changing the stained scrub top. She restarted the IV and used the portable x-ray machine to check for a shattered cheekbone. Carefully Janet used a butterfly to close the cheek laceration; utilizing only Jack for her ministrations to Daniel. Janet placed the blanket around Daniel's shoulders leaving the two men alone as she went to view the x-ray films. Jack asked the question he had been holding back since entered the infirmary.

"Daniel, what possessed you to attack Dr. Lyons?"

Pulling the blanket tighter around his body, Daniel was disturbed with his apparent mental confusion. Closing his eyes he started to sway on the bed. He was upset how long it was taking him to piece together cohesive thoughts.

Jack stepped forward grabbing Daniel's upper arms in an attempt to thwart the swaying.

"Daniel, want me to call Janet back" Jack asked anxiously.

Daniel took a few deep breaths and began to ramble…"Lyons was in the infirmary. Dr. Warner had just drawn my blood…he gave it to Lyons to test. I couldn't let him, after what he had done to me. Oh God, he tried to cure me so I could go to Nuzar…all I remember was the pain. I couldn't let him do that again so I jumped him." Burying his face in his hands Daniel emitted a sound that was a cross between a sob and laugh. Lifting his head, Daniel fixed his gaze at a spot over Jack's left shoulder, embarrassed he added quietly "I think I broke his nose. They are treating him now." Daniel touched his cheek gently "He nailed me with the tray he was carrying my blood samples on." Daniel seemed to lose the adrenaline rush needed to convey the story again seeking the blanket for comfort. Jack could almost see the confusion seeping back into Daniel's whole being. "Cassie was here she saw everything. I...I really think I scared her."

"But Daniel, why did you attack Dr. Lyons? I really don't understand what you are trying to tell me. I'm sorry." Jack was thoroughly confused by the details in Daniel's story.

"Lyons is NID. He works for Simmons". Daniel replied haltingly.

"Are you sure?"

Hurt flashed in Daniel's bloodshot blue eyes. "I may not be too clear on a number of things right now, but trust me on this one Jack. The Nuzarians gave me an up close and personal view of many of my memories. Lyons was a suppressed one. The Nuzarians opened it for me."

Jack picked up the thread of the Nuzarians opening up Daniel's memories. Visions of Daniel's visit with Nem and his alien device danced in Jack's head. "Daniel, how did the Nuzarians open your memory?" Jack inquired angrily, his fists beginning to clench and unclench at the sight of an unnamed emotion that flitted across Daniel's face.

"I'm tired Jack, I'm going to sleep" Daniel attempted to slide down into the infirmary bed. Jack's hands were prohibiting his descent.

"Daniel!" Exasperated and giving Daniel a little shake "Does Janet or Dr. Warner know about this memory retrieval business".

"Sorry Jack, I tried…I failed. Tired…"

"No, you are not getting away that easy."

At that moment, Janet returned, leaving the curtain open and Daniel had a reprieve from answering. "Janet, when Daniel came through the gate, you did the usual scans". Jack questioned keep one arm on Daniel to keep him upright on the bed. .

"Yes, Dr. Warner, did them. Why Colonel?" Janet took in Jack's hold on Daniel.

"It showed, anything of concern? Something we should know about?"

"It should have showed increased activity in the part of the brain reserved for memory" Osta replied entering the infirmary followed by Teal'c and Major Carter.

Daniel gasped at the sound of her voice. Pulling away from Jack, he moved up the bed in an attempt to place as much space between Osta and himself. "Memory?" He asked tapping his temple "Are you in here?"

"No", she replied sadly, "Just you".

"Whoa, what is going on here", Jack asked swinging his head between Osta and Daniel.

"All in good time Colonel O'Neill".

"Now is a good enough time" replied Jack.

Osta tweaked Daniel very gently. Not gently enough as his eyes widened as he felt Osta enter his mind. Daniel eyes filled with tears "Done, I thought I was done…I only wanted to go home". Janet and Jack exchanged concerned looks "Daniel, you are home…I promise" Jack said. Jack made a move to comfort Daniel, this time the younger man would have none of it, pulling away and averting his face. Daniel bent forward in the bed, running his fingers through his short, dirty hair. "I'm sorry Janet…I scared Cassie…so sorry for that. I tried I really did…so sorry. Failed, disappointed everyone, even myself. Failed." Daniel slid back down on the bed assuming a fetal position. "No more memories. Scared Cassie while she was sitting with me, so sorry about everything. Please forgive me". Daniel attempted to bury himself in the mattress. Turning his back on his teammates Daniel seemed to disappear within the blanket and pillow. Janet stepped away from the bed, returning momentarily with a needle. Injecting the contents into Daniel's upper thigh, aware that he didn't even flinch at the needle prick.

Daniel fought against the sedative that Janet had given him. The fear that Osta would "visit" him while he slept overrode his exhaustion. Jack stepped around the side of the bed that Daniel had turned to. Squatting down on protesting knees, he brought himself eye level with Daniel. Taking a tissue from the nightstand, he gently wiped the tears that had pooled in the corner of Daniel's eyes. That one "uncolonel" like gesture of tenderness brought forth a sob from Daniel. "I'm sorry Jack. I tried…I failed again. Closing his eyes, tears leaked under shut lids, chewing on his bottom lip until little pinpoints of blood appeared. "Sorry, Washington is going to be out for blood, my failure…only I should pay…leave SGC alone".

He grabbed Daniel's shoulders harder than he intended, giving the younger man a little shake to gain his attention. Mission accomplished, Daniel opened his eyes making actual contact with Jack, the first time since this whole incident had commenced. "Danny, listen to me…you didn't fail…the treaty was ratified." Even though Daniel made contact with his CO's eyes, Daniel's eyes were unfocused, uncomprehending what Jack was trying to tell him. Slowly blinking in an attempt to process what Jack had said. Failing, Daniel's eyes closed giving in to the exhaustion and the sedative. Jack slapped his hands against his knees, pushing himself to a standing position. "Rest Daniel. Just glad your home. Screw the treaty, you're home and that's all that matters".

Leaving Daniel's bedside, he stood facing Osta. The woman was a tall as the Colonel and kept her stance in the wake of his apparent anger. "Why doesn't he know this? Why does Daniel believe that he failed this test?"

"We need to discuss these things with your General Hammond. My words are not for everyone to hear".

Sam stood at the foot of Daniel's bed, her blue eyes bright with unshed tears while Teal'c occupied himself with trying to intimidate Osta with his Jaffa presence. .

Janet rubbed Daniel's upper arm soothing him as well as her as she listened for his slow and regular breathing to remain a constant. His constant muttering in both English and a variety of other languages from Daniel's repertoire concerning Janet. One solitary tear had crept under Daniel's closed lids as he heard the echo of Osta's voice in his mind "Sleep Daniel. We need to talk, but you need to sleep first".

The angry words that Jack wanted to say at this moment in time were kept in close check. His body language couldn't hide the fact that if he could he would have killed this Nuzarian with his bare hands many times over. A sideways glance in Teal'c's direction confirmed the same emotion radiating from the Jaffa as well as his 2IC. For preservation of his and the Major's career and Teal'c's service with the SGC, he realized they needed to be out of this infirmary away from Daniel.

"Janet, join us when you settle Daniel down, we are going to escort our lovely guest back to the briefing room. This needs to be finished".


"With the sedative I gave him, Daniel should rest for at least 4 hours. I hope he will just progress into normal sleep. His agitation and periodic mental confusion is a concern of mine. The scan's showed as Osta indicated increased activity in the portion of the brain that houses memory. Activity that doesn't seem to be dissipating in the time that Daniel has returned. I did a resting EEG on Daniel, and matched it to the previous one. Electrical activity has remained a constant".

"Cassie returned to the infirmary and has proclaimed the chair by the bed, doing the first Daniel watch". Janet poured herself a cup of coffee and then took a seat opposite Osta. Visiting high council member or not, Janet didn't give a shit about protocol at this moment in time. "You have four hours to let me know what the hell you did to him, and how to get Daniel back".

"Doctor Fraiser", General Hammond "first and only warning."

Janet didn't apologize, her anger and concern would not permit this.

"Osta, why don't you begin at the beginning. Dr. Jackson is obviously in no condition to retell this tale".

Osta began the story of Daniel's visit to Nuzar and the test. The SGC members sitting at the briefing table were stunned into silence. Reiterating what Daniel had told General Hammond before he departed to Nuzar regarding their culture's policy of 'actions speaking louder than words'.

"Even though you believe otherwise, what you did was torture to Daniel. Private doesn't even begin to describe the type of person Daniel is. Not sharing memories with us…his closest friends. You put his memories on a movie screen." Jack got up and commenced pacing. "Did you sell goddamn tickets and popcorn for this one."

"And you made him watch them, relive those memories". Sam remembered Daniel's reaction at the Gamekeeper's planet and how long before he recovered from a walk down memory lane for that one. She wasn't going to begin to comprehend the damage days of that type of exposure would do to Daniel.

"I need to know, was Daniel able to participate in the scenes, could he interact. Was he viewing them with you", Janet the doctor asking for treatment purposes, the lover in her asking in fear.

"Daniel was in each memory, experiencing the feelings and outcomes, the environment, but he couldn't interact with the people in those memories." Osta answered each question slowly, as one would explain to a child.

Jack leaned up again the observation window, "His parent's death, foster homes, Sha're's possession by a Goa'uld, her death, Sarah and Osiris…all of those memories…he had a ringside seat for. He barely survived with his psyche intact for them…and they occurred over a lifetime. You put him in the driver seat for these experiences AGAIN and in five days".

"He was aware of the dangers before he stepped through the gate. Daniel knew he was being judged. He was willing to take that risk for the good of the Earth…for the good of the people he holds close to his heart".

"Will he be who he was?" Janet asked.

"Will he still love you?" Janet had the good sense to blush at the direct answer. "Is that what you want, what you need to know? Daniel is still Daniel. He may be a little lost for a while, hurt and overwhelmed, but your love will guide him back from the place where he now resides".

"English, can I have English", Jack demanded.

"We need to continue to be DanielJackson's friends and family and he will find his way back to us".

"Umm, thanks Teal'c" Jack patted the large man on the arm. "Daniel is afraid of you. Why".

"Daniel did not share many of his memories willingly. It was necessary for the High Council to retrieve them. He was returned in the condition he was in due to the attempted retrieval of one memory".

"If his condition is an indication of how you retrieved his memories, maybe you should just take your treaty and I will gladly escort you back to the Stargate. Maybe I will even assist you through it." Jack threatened menacingly.

"Colonel O'Neill, enough". Hammond was very close to relieving his second- in-command of his duties for an extended period of time.

"The terms of the treaty are being altered. Daniel showed us a memory involving a visit he had from Dr. Lyons and two military personnel, who Daniel said, were on a Colonel Simmons' staff. Daniel had returned ill from a visit to a planet and was lying in a room with Dr. Fraiser."

Janet hung her head in embarrassment "Just after you relieved me of duty sir" answering Hammond's upraised eyebrows.

"After Dr. Fraiser departed the room, Dr. Lyons entered and injected Daniel with a 'cure'. Daniel remembers excruciating pain and Dr. Lyons referring to Washington requested Daniel's speedy recovery. The High Council conferred over this incident at length and it was decided that laying weapons in the hands of people who treated Daniel so harshly needed to be reconsidered. The time schedule for the release of weaponry to Earth has been reconsidered and reworked. Medical and research advances will be exchanged, the weapons, possibly years later." Leaning back in her chair, she scanned the room. "There is no room for discussion with this. If the President and the various rulers of your Earth find fault with this, Daniel's test was for naught and I will return to Nuzar.

The anger on General Hammond's face was palpable. Placing a call for security he requested Dr. Lyons to be detained and not permitted to leave the base. Sighing, the General replied "I am hoping that Dr. Lyons will turn over the names of the people that he was working for. The President and Joint Chiefs of Staff will be appraised of the situation as soon as this meeting is adjourned and action will be taken against those individuals. Please don't judge Earth on the behavior of a few individuals."

Osta looked at General Hammond with a stunned expression "General, with all due respect, that is exactly what Nuzar is doing…that is the basis of our culture. Sharing our advance technology based on the actions and intentions of one man. Actions speak louder than words, and Dr. Lyons and the people he works with have made us reconsider our time frame. Signing this agreement and handing over weaponry and defense items into the hands of a government, who has so little regard for one as Dr. Jackson, forced us to rethink what the possible outcome could be. Again, if this is unacceptable, I will depart".

General Hammond placed his hands out in supplication "I am sorry, Osta, please forgive me. I intended no offense."

Osta bowed her head in acknowledgement.

The members sitting around the briefing table were unusually subdued. Anger and betrayal against one of their one evident on their faces.

"I need to call the President and make aware him of the situation and Dr. Jackson's condition. Osta, Major Paul Davis will most likely be sent to rework the agreement with you, if that is acceptable. Would you like to return to Nuzar or stay on Earth?"

Osta looked around the people sitting at the briefing table. She knew they would like her to leave at this very moment, but the man lying in the infirmary needed her and for that she would stay.

"General Hammond, thank you for the invitation. I will stay until this is completed".


Jack stood at the foot of Daniel's bed in the VIP room. Rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet, he jammed his hands into the pockets of his BDU in anger. Jack was annoyed that everything in the SGC seemed to have returned to normal, briefings, debriefings, teams traveling to and from planets with the aid of the Stargate, chevrons locking and encoding. But things for SG-1 were far from normal; their lives had been changed in the past eight days, not for the better. Lyons had been arrested and was singing; taking down everyone within reach. The President and JCS were furious that Daniel had succeeded, but that his success had been hampered by the NID. Earth paid the price for Simmons' interference but Daniel had become responsible for the total bill. Kinsey was out for blood, preferably Simmons', but if Daniel got hit in the cross fire that would be fine with the Senator. Jack recalled yesterday evening when he walked into the General's office just as he was slamming down the receiver of the phone on his desk. The redness of the General's face was a blaring indication to the height of his blood pressure.

"Sir?" Jack asked as the General reached into his desk drawer pulling out a bottle of whiskey and two shot glasses. Pouring a measure for himself and the Colonel, General Hammond tilted back his head finishing the shot in one swallow. Jack mirrored his actions placing the glass back on the General's desk when he finished. The bottle and the glass disappeared in a blink of an eye back to the desk drawer.

"Sir, care to fill me in on what that was all about?" indicating the phone with a tilt of his head.

"Suffice it say Colonel, that Kinsey is on the warpath with many strong followers. When Dr. Jackson gets back on his feet, it would be in our best and certainly Dr. Jackson's best interest for him to keep a low profile for a while".

"Sir, Teal'c and…." Jack started mentally cursing Washington and the scapegoat that Daniel was going to become in an attempt to cover up the indiscretion of one of their own.

"Colonel, enough said" and with a wave of a hand, Jack was thoroughly dismissed. Before he was able to leave the room, the General addressed him in a less harsh manner "Jack, this will be discussed privately at a later date."

"Of course, sir", Jack replied without turning around.

Jack's thoughts again turned to the young man lying curled in a fetal position, eyes open in this bed in the VIP room. Janet had been right, the sedative she had administered to Daniel after his attack on Lyons had led right into Daniel sleeping for an additional five hours. Four hours of horrible nightmares, his body held and comforted by his teammates and Janet. The fifth hour was spent with Daniel finally resting and everyone hovering over his bed awaiting the nightmares to begin again. Well the nightmare did begin again, but not in any way that anyone could have foreseen.

Jack recalled with a shudder, how Daniel's eyes had opened during the fifth hour; however, he wasn't there. Physically, his body still occupied "his" bed in the infirmary, but his mind had taken a walk and gotten lost. Dr. Warner performed every conceivable test at Janet's insistence, all revealing the same results. Dr. Jackson's catatonic condition was of his own free will. After the first 24 hours in this state, Daniel was moved to the VIP suite for privacy for himself and the people in his life. They were now in the 2nd day of sitting by Daniel's side, each person attempting in their own way to spark Daniel back to life.

Jack had placed blame for Daniel's condition on Osta, but she adamantly denied it. Reiterating that Daniel needed to find his own way back. Jack definitely had misgivings regarding her role in Daniel's fate.

Sighing, Jack sat in the uncomfortable chair by Daniel's bed. The fake leather of the chair still warm from Major Carter's body heat. Leaning forward he smoothed back Daniel's hair and adjusted the blanket around his shoulders. Daniel was still curled in a fetal position on his right side, eyes open, lights on nobody home, one sandwich short of a picnic, one fry short of a happy meal. Jack's eyes filled with the analogies. Leaning over he grabbed the mission reports he was working on. Putting his feet gently up on the foot of the bed, he opened up the first folder on the top of the pile and began "Okay Daniel, need your input here…remember that mission on PX…"


In the early morning before sunrise, the SGC was quiet. Lights turned low, illumination from the monitors surrounding Daniel's bed giving him an unearthly glow. Janet was sleeping in an impossibly uncomfortable position on a chair. No one saw the yellow cast surround the bed for a moment and then blink off, as Osta entered Daniel's mind.

"This is a beautiful place" she remarked standing behind Daniel on a mountain. The view was magnificent, the grass still had the morning dew clinging to it. The air was alive with morning noises.

"I've found comfort here many times" Daniel answered with his back to Osta. He didn't want her here, didn't need her here, but with a sigh resigned himself to her presence. "The most recent when Sha're died. The first time when my parents died. Countless times in between".

"Aren't you lonely in this place".

With a voice void of emotion, with words that he must have repeated to himself hundreds of time "I've been alone before, I can be alone again. I'm not unhappy here. I don't get hurt and I can't hurt anyone here".

"You hurt the people who love you by staying here".

"I'm sorry…" shrugging he replied sadly, "Their life will go on".

Noticing the suitcase by his leg for the first time, she commented. "You're leaving them".

"Yes", Daniel replied keeping his back to her. "Yes, leaving there, staying here. Like I said, safest place on earth for me". Turning around to face her, a hint of anger, a show of emotion in his eyes "Shouldn't you be leaving also. You did your damage, go home to your planet, your friends, your family".

"Daniel it is time you went home to your friends and family. You are not leaving you are running away. Admit that to yourself".

"I can't love Janet if I haven's really left Sha're. I am willing to admit that I still haven't come to terms with her death or the part I played in it. Janet deserves all of me, not a part. Her love would turn to resentment after a time and she would leave me."

"Daniel, the only thing you have never let go regarding Sha're is the guilt you feel about the part you played in allowing the Goa'uld to make her a host and her subsequent death. Your parents' death broke something in you. Destroyed your ability to ever believe you deserved happiness".

You're a psychiatrist now…what right do you have to judge me. Everyone got what they wanted from my visit to Nuzar. Simmons and the NID are out of our lives for the moment and our planet is going to receive advance technology. I failed to achieve my personal happiness though and I am right back to where I started, alone. So this is the perfect place to be. Look what I can do here". The mountainside became the desert. "See I don't lack entertainment".

Not being able to touch Daniel, she placed herself as close as possible, attempting to force eye contact. He dropped his gaze to the desert floor." Why won't you admit that the reason you opened the Stargate on Abydos was to run? You were overwhelmed with your happiness there, you wanted to leave before Sha're did. Hoping…that Colonel O'Neill would come and force his hand by making you return back to SGC or you could find a planet to gate to and conveniently not return to Abydos".

"No true…that's not true". Daniel hung his head.

"You would not permit yourself to be happy and content on Abydos. But your plan backfired and Sha're was taken from you like you parents. And she died and left you like your parents".

Daniel picked up his head to face Osta, eyes flashing in anger, pinching the bridge of his nose. "I'm begging you, please be quiet". He uttered between clenched teeth.

"Again you were this close with Janet to letting true happiness in your life. You had almost managed to let her past those memories; the façade you had built around yourself. On Nuzar, you remembered why you had constructed those walls and for that I am sorry. You are not leaving to come to terms with what happened to you on my planet, you are running and hiding here. Running like you have been doing all of your adult life. Daniel, running as far and as fast as you can from happiness to hide behind those walls again. You are afraid that if you love her and let her give you joy, she will pay the price and you will again be alone. You have become a self-fulfilling prophecy. In your fear of being alone you have pushed everyone away from you, and in the end loneliness will be your only option.

Shoulders down, arms ensconced around his middle, Daniel's body language was one of defeat "People I love slip through my fingers. I'm incapable of protecting them". Daniel reiterated the words that Cassie had said to him in what seemed a lifetime ago. "I'm afraid".

With a slight smile on her face, Osta tried again to make the young man before her see the point "Daniel, you love your team like your family. You have protected them, saved them on many occasions. You have saved Earth, by not coming forth with the knowledge of Shifu's dream. You risked your life by coming to Nuzar. Daniel, the only thing you have failed was in your ability to forgive yourself."

Wishing she could touch him, offer him comfort, throttle him, anything to make him see what he was giving up. Why couldn't this young man standing before her see that staying in this place in his mind, devoid of emotion, faraway from those he loved and those who loved him was not the answer? "Daniel, the test on Nuzar showed us many aspects of ideals that made up the man, Daniel Jackson. Based on the memories I witnessed, I never would have chosen the word coward to describe you, yet that is exactly what you have become by staying here".

Silent tears ran down Daniel's face, waving his hands "Out there is too hard".

"Yes, Daniel for you it is hard. You buried many things deep inside of you, which helped you survive and exist. It is time for you to live Daniel. Let your family help you back, permit Janet and Cassie be there for you while you incorporate your memories into your life. Learn to make them part of you instead of burying these thoughts and hurts until you are suffocating. I wish I could show you a future of only happiness, but even for us that is impossible. Staying here will deprive you of any future. The hurt you will give to Janet, Cassie and your friends and family by not coming home to them and staying here will be irrevocable".

Osta gazed upon Daniel. With an audible exhalation of breath, she knew without a shadow of a doubt that this wasn't supposed to happen. She wasn't supposed to feel the guilt, the desire to right the wrong that she now believed was unintentionally done to him on Nuzar. She was high council, an important cog in the ruling body of Nuzar, an impartial judge of what had taken place. Daniel's face still mirrored the sleep his body was being deprived of; his body language echoed the indecisiveness as he stood at the abyss. She wasn't in a position to feel this protectiveness towards Daniel, the fear that a wrong decision on his part would haunt her the rest of her days.

"Daniel there is something imperative that you need to know".

Daniel blinked slowly, the effort of standing even in this place too much for his exhausted body and he slid to a sitting position on the ground.

She knelt before him, wishing for the second time that she could offer him some tactile comfort.

"There might be residual effects of my mind probing".

Daniel's eyes open wide in shock. "But…."

She put her hand out to stop his flow of words "Listen. That was not the entire high council probing your mind for the memories of Shifu's dream. That was I alone. When I tried to probe your consciousness for the memories, you fought to prevent my access to them. Daniel, you broke contact. I did not release you. There are actual steps for us to back out of your mind. You circumvented them when you broke contact. Your need to protect that memory was stronger than my hold on you. That has never been accomplished before and the person survived. For want of a better analogy, we are left with an open mind link to each other".

"So my nightmare will be never ending". Pointing to his head with a shaking hand Daniel answered "You have the ability to take what you want whenever the need suits you. Goddamn it, you call this surviving". With a little laugh he met Osta's gaze head on "Hey, no need to rent a movie tonight, let's turn on to the Daniel channel and see what's playing". Pulling his knees up, wrapping his arms around them, Daniel dejectedly placed his head on his knees. "Please tell me that you can only do this if we are on the same planet"

"It has never happened where both parties survived. But I believe it works both ways. Stories recant the ability to remain…you can gain access to my mind".

Daniel raised his head off his knees and honored Osta with a searing glance. Her mind reverberated with the hateful words that Daniel sent her way. She lowered her head, her breath taken away by the utter look of utter hatred that Daniel wore on his face. "Oh good, it works, you received my message loud and clear here is another one…"Leave". Osta could feel the anger dissipate from Daniel as a deflating balloon as he whispered in her mind "Thank you…for what you came to show me and tell me. "I need you to leave Osta. This decision to stay in this place or go back must be mine, and mine alone. Leave."

With that Osta took her leave of Daniel. Regaining her sense of self in her quarters at SGC, all facts considered the decision now rested in the mind of Daniel Jackson.


Twenty four hours after Osta's visit to Daniel, while Major Paul Davis was just being introduced to the High Councilor in General Hammond's office, while Teal'c was performing Kel-no-reem in his room, while Carter had left to shower and get breakfast, while Janet had just left to drive Cassie to school, Daniel awoke from his self-imposed prison.

Jack was sitting with Daniel in these morning hours having relieved Janet and awaiting his coffee and breakfast from Carter. As a repeat of yesterday, feet on bed droning out loud the mission reports; Jack paused when he heard Daniel inhale sharply, like a drowning man coming up for air.

"Daniel", he asked cautiously afraid to move from his position. "Danny?"

Squinting his eyes in attempt to focus and licking his dry lips. Daniel closed his eyes and with a hoarse voice asked "J'ck? Get your feet off the bed an' shut up with those mission reports. Please?"

Swinging his feet off the bed, jumping up scattering his reports on the floor. Jack gently placed his hands on Daniel's shoulders as Daniel attempted to bring himself to an upright position.

"Stay, Janet went to drive Cassie to school. She'll be back in awhile. Let me get Dr. Warner to take a look at you, okay". Daniel shook his head in agreement and yawned. Jack picked up the phone and placed a call to the infirmary requesting Dr. Warner's presence in the VIP room. All the while having this stupid grin on his face. Hanging up the phone he sat on the side of the bed. Daniel tried to curl back to a fetal position in an attempt to sleep. He yawned again, eyes starting to close when he felt a rough shake to his arms.

Looking up, he was surprised to see Jack's face reflecting an anxious expression. "Wh't Jack, just tired".

Scrubbing his face, Jack shrugged his shoulders, "I know, but just try to stay awake and no curl…you know", Jack indicated making a little twisting motion with his finger.

"Why" Daniel asked a look of complete confusion on his face.

"Daniel, for the past let's see.. Almost four days, you have been 'one sandwich short of a picnic', 'one crayon short of a box, and well etc. and that position you want to sleep in well that's how you were, here, you know, in the bed just like that". Jack stammered out.

It took a few moments for it to register for Daniel "oohh…sorry Jack".

Dr. Warner, entered the room and glanced in Daniel's direction "Well…Dr. Jackson, you have decided to join us again".


Daniel had just finished his debriefing with General Hammond and on Daniel's insistence it was done with no member of SG1 present. He had requested that the debriefing by done in private regarding what had occurred on the planet, against Jack's protests but General Hammond acquiesced to Dr. Jackson's requisitions.

He explained to General Hammond everything that occurred on the planet from his arrival to his departure. Daniel did not partake with General Hammond his ability to communicate telepathically with Osta.

The next part of the debriefing was to be done off the record. Daniel did not want anyone at the NID, Washington, or even anyone at the SGC to have the ability to obtain the information Daniel was telling General Hammond. Sharing this knowledge could be detrimental to others during a capture into enemy hands or a visit to Washington. So at long last, Daniel did tell someone about his retention of the dream he had received from Shifu. General Hammond sat in stunned silence as Daniel recanted his ability to reconstruct a defense shield against the Goa'uld and his reasoning not to.

"I'm sorry sir, for never confiding in your before but sharing this knowledge, well would be a bad thing. Maybe not right away, but in the future. So I" Daniel looked up to take in the expression on the General's face. "I'm sorry, sir. Sorry to disappoint you".

"Excuse me son", General Hammond asked. "I was just thinking that I know what memory you wouldn't turn over to the Nuzarians. The memory that was the deciding factor in the outcome of the test. The test that you passed. Earth is grateful for your sense of good in our lives and I just wanted to state for the record that I believe you to be one of the bravest men I know, either in or out of the military."

Daniel blushed at the obvious compliment. Smiling shyly and knowing that the General would do whatever he requested at this moment, within certain limits of course, Daniel countered "Thank you for your confidence in me sir. I have to make a request. You see, it is about my ability to leave…"


Daniel had left the debriefing slightly confused over General's Hammond's reaction regarding his request, but at least the confession of Shifu's dream removed a burden that had weighed heavily on Daniel's shoulders. Daniel now stood outside the infirmary door. He swallowed nervously. Janet and he had had very little time to be alone since his return things that had needed to be said were starting to poison the air around them. Things that had occurred on the planet and during his "away time" as Daniel referred to his 3 days in a catatonic state weighed heavily on his mind. Being near Sha're in his memories had brought forth feelings that needed to be discussed, decided upon. Daniel opened the door to Janet's office "Janet, we need to talk". Daniel turned and closed the door behind him.


2 weeks later.

Early this morning Daniel stood in the gate room and wished Osta farewell as she returned to Nuzar, the reworked treaty held close to her body. As she stood before the shimmering event horizon of the Stargate, Daniel nudged her brain very gently."

"Thank you Osta for everything…and you know maybe this isn't so bad".

She nudged back, a brilliant smile on her face "Thank you Daniel, I wish it could have been easier. Come and visit soon."

Daniel responded with a stronger nudge and a little bit of shared memory "Remember I showed you this place, Ernest's planet, well if you can help me remember I can go back and decipher the lang…."

"Goodbye Daniel", Osta replied her laughter echoing in his mind and she stepped through the event horizon and disappeared.


Later that afternoon

Daniel stood in the empty living room of his loft. Items that had made this home had either been moved or in were in storage. Devoid of furniture, he was now acutely aware of how cavernous and hollow this living space actually was. This was the place that he had hoped to bring Sha're home to…but things worked out differently than he had ever expected. Standing there with a small smile on his face for things that might have been. For the first time since her death, he realized he could think of Sha're and not feel like a part of him was buried on Abydos with her.

Jack walked into the apartment through the unlocked door, opening his mouth to remind Daniel of security. Jack came to a halt when he saw his friend standing quietly in the center of the room suitcase by his side. Jack had come to the realization over the past few days that Daniel had returned from Nuzar with an additional layer to his psyche. Still the stubborn, genius, loyal to the end, infuriating friend as always, he now exuded a sense of peace. It was apparent in his eyes, his mannerisms and in the smile that reached to his soul.

Footsteps echoing in the apartment, Jack took a stance by Daniel side. "How are you big guy?' Resting a hand lightly against Daniel's neck. Daniel answered "Fine…I really am, Jack.

For the first time in a long time, I'm fine".

Moving his hands to encompass the empty apartment Jack remarked "The General is not too happy with this Daniel".

Walking towards the balcony and opening the doors. The sounds from below drifted into the apartment along with the fall breeze. Pivoting on his heels to face Jack, Daniel smiled shyly "I know, he and I had a long discussion about this. I know he understands, but I think it is a security issue with him, but he said I deserved it and is going to let me go" Chuckling "I guess dad just doesn't want to see the son leave the nest".

Jack grinned at Daniel's lighthearted response and then turned serious "Are you sure about this? Leaving this place?"

"This was never really my home Jack. I think I always expected Sha're to join me here, I guess to me it never felt complete". Bending down and picking up his suitcase, he turned to Jack with a melancholy smile on his face. "I feel like am leaving part of me here in this place in these walls, part of a dream I was never able to obtain".

Putting an arm around his friend's shoulder "Come on buddy, it's time to go".

With a sigh Daniel replied "It was time to leave here a long time ago, I just never realized it".

Daniel dropped the key off at the super's apartment, the new owners would be coming by later to pick it up. He threw his suitcase in the back of Jack's truck and never looked back as Jack drove away.

Jack glanced over to Daniel and smiled "Hammond and I talked about this also, Daniel. Hammond is very concerned over security. Osta explained to the President, JCS and Kinsey about Simmons…

"I can imagine Jack. Kinsey wants someone he can lay his hands on to pay the price for Earth not receiving defense technologies within his lifetime. With Simmons locked away, I guess I am the obvious target". Daniel turned to Jack, eyes flashing with anger "Shit Jack, I've faced System Lords with Hammond not worrying this much. I went to Nuzar alone and no one was this concerned…I'm on Earth for God's sake".

Pounding the steering wheel in anger and frustration "Daniel, don't you ever think that Hammond is not concerned when you or anyone go through that Stargate. And we won't even go there regarding what was running through Hammond's mind or your team mates' minds while you were at Nuzar…you weren't here. You left to take care of business and left us behind. So don't ever tell me we weren't concerned.".

Daniel adjusted his glassed and ran his fingers through his hair "Sorry Jack". Taking a deep breath. "I'll be careful. In his own way Kinsey is a very dangerous man".

Jack pulled the truck in front of Daniel's destination. "Need a hand".

"No, I got it Jack. Thanks for everything, helping with the move. Everything".

Jack leaned over and ruffled Daniel's hair. "Be happy".

"For the first time in a long time". Daniel got out of the passenger seat and retrieved his suitcase from behind him. Leaning into the cab of the SUV through the open window he smiled wickedly at Jack. "Gotta go, I don't want to be late. I'll talk to you in a few days".

"Goodbye Daniel. We'll talk tomorrow".

Daniel just smiled and turned. Dusk was fast approaching, street lamps were starting to light and the street took on a pleasant, homey feeling. Daniel sauntered up the walk with a sense of belonging. Opening the door, the light from the fish tank illuminating the darkening living room. He quietly walked over to the tank thankful that the fish had made the transition so well.

"It looks nice there".

Daniel turned around and put his suitcase down. "Yes it does, they look like they belong here".

Janet walked towards Daniel "You look like you belong here."

Daniel met Janet and held her in an embrace. "We belong here….together. That's where we belong." Breaking away from Daniel's arms, Janet walked over and turned off the porch light. They both smiled; acknowledging that Daniel had finally come home.