I’ve got a snippet of an SG-1 fic that I’ve had sitting on my hard drive for several years now, and I’ve never gotten around to actually doing anything with it. Figured I’d post it here and see what people (if anyone’s actually reading this, that is…) think of it.
In essence, it’s a missing scene for “Torment of Tantalus” and an epilogue to the movie – mainly has Catherine and Jack, but its focus is Daniel.
From the moment she’d first seen Daniel standing in her living room, she’d felt almost as though she were living in a dream – although she doubted that even the most realistic dream could have felt the way that travelling through the Stargate did.
She had thought that Daniel was living safe and sound with his wife on Abydos, happily teaching the natives their history. It had been a shock to find out that he was back on Earth – and that he’d been back for half a year, at that!
She glanced down at the pendant on her chest. She’d been the only one aside from Colonel O’Neill, Kawalsky and Ferretti, the survivors of the first Abydos mission, to have known that Daniel was still alive; everyone else who’d known about the Stargate had been under the impression that Dr. Daniel Jackson had died, along with everyone on Abydos, when O’Neill had exploded the nuclear bomb.
She could still remember what she’d felt when O’Neill had delivered his report to General West…
Catherine listened as Colonel O’Neill gave his report. His words – and tone – were cold and emotionless, but something about the way he held himself, or the look in his eyes, told Catherine that this wasn’t the same man who had come in to take command of the Stargate project. Something had changed him. She just wasn’t sure what it was.
“Then what did you do, Colonel?” General West’s voice interrupted her thoughts.
“It was obvious that Ra was a threat, General,” O’Neill replied. “He was planning to send the bomb back through the Stargate. With Dr. Jackson’s help, we were able to defeat him; however, Dr. Jackson and our native helpers were killed in the process. Jackson had already shown us how to set the Gate to get us back home, so I programed the bomb and we got out of there.”
“Very good, Colonel,” General West said, as Catherine stared in disbelief. A bomb? They had sent a bomb through the Stargate? And… Daniel was dead?
She slumped in her seat. This couldn’t be happening. How had everything gone so wrong?
How could they have sent a bomb?!
Catherine looked up from her packing as a knock came at the door.
Colonel O’Neill poked his head in. “Can I see you for a moment, Dr. Langford?” he asked. “It won’t take long.”
“Certainly – come on in, Colonel,” she replied. “What can I do for you?”
He walked in carefully, and Catherine took a moment to study him.
Yes, the colonel had changed quite a bit while he was on Abydos. When he’d first come on board with the Stargate Project, Catherine’s impression – to put it bluntly – had been that he was a stiff-assed prick. But the only resemblance that man bore to the one currently standing in front of her was physical.
“Please, have a seat,” she continued, lifting a box of books off a chair. “Now, what did you want to see me about?”
Before sitting down, Colonel O’Neill closed the door behind him. Then he stared at his hands for a moment or two before looking back up at her. “Fulfilling a promise,” he replied cryptically.
Catherine looked at him in confusion. “I’m afraid I don’t understand, Colonel.”
Reaching into a pocket, Colonel O’Neil withdrew a familiar gold pendant. “Here. Daniel asked me to give this back to you.”
Catherine took it from him gently. She held it in her hands for a moment as she remembered the eager young linguist who’d promised to bring it back with him, and then slipped it over her own head.
“Thank you, Colonel,” she said quietly.
He shrugged, looking a bit uncomfortable as he did so. “Daniel wanted you to have it back.” He hesitated for a minute, and then added, quietly, “He asked me to return it to you just before we left Abydos.”
Catherine smiled sadly. Now was not the time to mourn for the young man whose eagerness and hunger to learn reminded her so much of Ernest; that would come…
Wait a minute! In his written report to General West, Colonel O’Neill said that Daniel was killed when they were taken on board Ra’s ship, and that he was knocked unconscious…
She looked back up at the colonel, her expression confused.
The colonel shrugged again, still looking uncomfortable. “Kawalsky, Ferretti and I… well… we may have forgotten to mention a few things in our report to General West,” he said, in response to the unasked question.
“Oh?” Catherine inquired.
“Daniel didn’t die on Ra’s ship. Well, he sort of did – I mean, he threw himself in front of a blast meant for me, and it killed him – but this Ra guy apparently had some neat little gizmos, because he was alive again the next morning. As for the bomb… I didn’t use it to destroy the Abydos Stargate. Daniel and I sent it up to Ra’s ship as it was leaving Abydos. The ship exploded in orbit. It was almost like having a second sun there for a minute or two…”
Catherine leaned back in her chair and stared at him. She’d been right – this was not the same Colonel O’Neill as the man who had gone to Abydos. He had changed greatly – for the better, in Catherine’s opinion – and she suspected that Daniel Jackson had played no small part in that change.
“So what about Daniel?” she asked. “From what you’ve said, he’s still alive…”
“And quite happily married,” O’Neill added, relaxing slightly and grinning. “Or if he isn’t yet, he will be soon… that Sha’re is a very determined woman.”
“So why tell me this?” she asked then. It was a good question. There was no reason she could think of, even for this new, improved Colonel O’Neill, to risk his career – much less the careers of his men – by telling her that he’d falsified his report to General West.
“Because Daniel wanted you to have the pendant back.”
“You could have just returned it to me,” Catherine countered. “You didn’t have to tell me he was still alive.”
O’Neill shrugged yet again. “You have the right to know he’s not dead,” he said quietly – so quietly she could barely hear him. “You were the one who recruited him for the Stargate Program; I didn’t want you thinking that you had sent him to his death.” He had a haunted look in his eyes as he said it, but it disappeared quickly. “Besides, Daniel wanted you to know.”
And that alone is another indicator of how much you’ve changed. “Thank you, Colonel–”
“Jack,” he interrupted.
Catherine gave him a puzzled look.
“Call me Jack. I’ve resigned – again. Or, if you prefer, I’ve gone back into retirement. I was only reactivated for the Abydos mission, anyway.”
“Well, then, Jack… it’s Catherine, not ‘Dr. Langford’,” she said firmly. “And thank you – for the truth. It is a relief to know that Daniel is alive and well.”
“Man’s got to have nine lives,” O’Neill – Jack – commented as he stood up, shaking his head. Then he looked around the small office, and the boxes piled everywhere. “Would you like a hand getting these out to your car, Catherine?”
Catherine smiled and handed him a box of archaeological and linguistic resources texts. “Definitely,” she replied with a laugh.
Comments are always more than welcome, including constructive criticism…
Does anyone think I should add to it? Or does it seem to be fine by itself?