Daniels Diaries. Stargate SG-1 Fanfiction by Scribe
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After The Holiday

Further extracts from Daniel's Diary

 

All publicly recognisable characters and places are the property of MGM, World Gekko Corp and Double Secret Productions. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes and no infringement on copyrights or trademarks was intended. Previously unrecognised characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

 

 

This story is rated PG. It contains huge, enormous great big spoilers for Holiday, so if you haven't seen that episode and don't want to know what happens stop right here! For those who have seen Holiday (or can't live without spoilers) this is what happens after, plus a fair dollop of flashback. Enjoy!


 

 

Home at last. It's been a hectic couple of weeks. First there was that trouble with Marcello. Still haven't had a chance to work all that out. Janet says it'll take time to re-adjust. Time, that's a laugh. There are so many gates out there - and only so much time. No sooner had I got my feet back on the ground, and SG5 were hollering for my help with a tribe similar to that of the Abydonians, although perhaps a century or two more advanced. Then it was back to SGC and a crate full of artifacts that nobody knew what to do with. I'm running out of room in my office. And then we were off through the gate to some planet that did a good double act with the Sahara desert. Nothing of interest to anyone except Sam, who found a mineral deposit that she insisted we map. Still SG1 has got a long weekend off. Sam has gone to see her brother. Teal'c has gone through the gate to visit his wife and son. And Jack. Well Jack seems to have this one-man crusade to get me interested in sport.

.....................................................................................................

Daniel opened the door of his apartment and ushered Jack in. "Beer?" he asked, heading for the kitchen.

"Sure." Jack flopped onto Daniel's sofa, picked the TV remote off the arm, and turned on the sport's channel. "You know, I thought Hammond was going to yak all night."

Daniel reappeared with two glasses of beer. He handed one to Jack and settled into an armchair. Jack was trying to get him into ice hockey. Secretly the game bored Daniel rigid, but he hadn't wanted to hurt the colonel's feelings. Besides, it was preferable to Jack's attempts to teach him self-defence.

Jack peered at his beer glass suspiciously. The liquid was a very dark yellow, and cloudy. Daniel saw his look and gave a shy grin. "It's a new brand," he said. "Try it."

Jack took a mouthful. His eyebrows shot upwards and he looked desperately round Daniel's lounge for somewhere vaguely polite to spit. Finally he swallowed. "Yarggghhh! What the hell is this?"

Daniel's face took on a hurt expression. "It's a genuine ancient Egyptian recipe." The hurt changed to smugness. "I even got some grain from that new tomb they found..."

"You made this?" Jack sounded disgusted. Daniel nodded and Jack continued, his expression one of totally disbelief. "With grain from an Egyptian tomb?" Daniel nodded again. Jack stood up and handed the glass to his friend. "Go into the kitchen now, and bring me a bottle of genuine, tasteless, fizzy American beer!"

Daniel looked crest-fallen. "I take it you don't like it." Jack gave him a mock glare. Standing Daniel moved towards his kitchen and then paused. "Err... I don't think I've got any..."

"For crying out loud." Jack grabbed his jacket. "I'll be right back."

"Where are you going?"

"The liquor store. And if my team scores before I get back." He waved a warning finger in Daniel's direction.

.....................................................................................................

Daniel wandered back into his kitchen, sipping his beer as he went. He shrugged as he put O'Neill's glass on a worktop. It tasted a whole lot better than some of the stuff he'd had on Abydos. Maybe a bit more sugar...

A pile of mail caught his attention. SG1 had been off-world for the past week and he'd not had chance to look at it He picked it up, flicked through the circulars and found his credit card bill. Sighing, he opened the envelope and pulled out the single sheet. The trouble with gate travel was that paying regular bills became a rather hit and miss affair. His eyes automatically went to the total. Wooah! That was high. Scanning up he checked through the items. Several bookshop receipts. The bill for a leather jacket Sam had persuaded him to buy. Susan's Coffee Shop $893. He frowned. He'd never heard of Susan's Coffee Shop and he certainly hadn't spent $893 there.

He heard Jack let himself back into the apartment. The tall colonel entered the kitchen, waving a six pack victoriously. "Something wrong?" he asked seeing Daniel's expression.

"Hmm. Yeah. You ever been the victim of a credit card fraud?" Daniel handed over the bill. "See there. Susan's Coffee Shop."

"Oh." Jack glanced at Daniel, his face apologetic. "I guess in all the drama we forgot to tell you."

"Tell me what?"

"That incident with Marcello. He was picked up after using your credit card..."

.....................................................................................................

The first thing Daniel was aware of was the smell. "Oh no," he thought as he recognised the aroma to be disinfectant. "The infirmary." Slowly he opened his eyes, and grimaced as he saw the all too familiar sight of the infirmary ceiling - its white paint stippled with dark brown patches from a long forgotten damp problem.

Taking a deep breath he tried to sit up, but the effort was too much for him. Almost immediately though he was aware of a presence at his side. Turning his head he found Dr Frasier gazing down out him solicitously. "How are you, Sir?"

"Sir?" Daniel's voice sounded strange in his ears.

Janet simply smiled and lifted his arm to take his pulse. "That was quite a shock you took according to Dr Jackson. You had us worried for a while."

Daniel's mind began to spin. "Janet..."

Frasier looked at him in astonishment. "How do you know my name?"

Daniel's tried to laugh but a sharp pain in his chest turned the laugh into a wheeze. He paused for a long moment catching his breath. "Janet, what's going on?"

Now it was Janet's turn be puzzled. "OK," she said slowly. "Let's start over. You tell me your name and then we'll figure out how you know mine."

"Janet that's not funny." Daniel was beginning to panic. "I'm Daniel. Daniel Jackson."

Frasier looked down at the old face and smiled, remembering how Colonel O'Neill had told her about the old man's confusion. "I meant your real name."

Daniel struggled to get up. Suddenly he caught sight of his hands, the skin old and wrinkled. "Oh god!" he exclaimed. He put a hand to his face, feeling the unfamiliar beard. Then the top of his head, skin where there should have been hair. He turned back to Janet. "You've got to believe me. I'm Daniel Jackson."

Janet sighed quietly. "No Sir. You met Daniel Jackson just before that machine of yours gave you both a hefty electric shock. Guess it's been a long time since you've seen any people."

That did it. Daniel struggled upright, ignoring the pain that was now shooting across his chest and up into his right shoulder. He gasped for breath. Damn it. Why couldn't he breathe properly?

Dr Frasier's expression changed from vague amusement to professional concern as the monitor's attached to her patient began to beep loudly. "Please Sir. If you don't lie back, I'll have to sedate you."

The edge of Daniel's vision began to darken. No, he thought desperately. Mustn't lose consciousness. Defeated he slumped back on the pillow. Looking up he muttered almost to himself. "You always were queen of the sedatives."

Frasier peered at him, her eyes widening in surprise. "What did you say?"

Daniel gathered up what little energy was left him. "I said, you always were queen of the sedatives."

"But... Daniel is the only person to have ever called me that." Frasier's wasn't sure whether she should be alarmed by the knowledge her patient clearly had. What if...? "Okay," she said slowly. "So if you're Daniel, what's your address?" Daniel's reply was perfect. "And what is your role here?" Again a perfect reply.

Five questions later, Frasier did an about turn calling over her shoulder. "I'll be right back."

Relieved that Frasier had finally seemed to realise who he was, Daniel relaxed into his pillows. He lifted his right arm, studying the fingers. Fascinating, he thought, as he flexed each one looking curiously at the swollen joints. He'd often wondered what it was like to be old, really old. Jack, of course, had experienced old age on a trip through the gate, but although Daniel had quizzed him about it, he hadn't exactly been forthcoming. Funny to think, that now he, Daniel, was in the same boat. He remembered Jack complaining about prostrate trouble and hoped that he wouldn't be lumbered with that. Then again, judging by the number of wires and tubes he was attached to, Dr Frasier probably had that covered. He grimaced at where his thoughts were taking him, and flicked back into scientific mode. His hand moved to his head, feeling the lack of hair. That was really weird. His dad had died too young for male pattern baldness to set in, and it had never crossed Daniel's mind that he might lose his hair. He hoped Frasier would let him have a notepad when she came back - this was just too good an opportunity to miss.

.....................................................................................................


"Jack. Sam. Teal'c." Daniel was relieved to see the rest of SG1 follow Dr Frasier into the infirmary.

"Exactly why do you think this is Daniel?" O'Neill whispered to Frasier as he looked at the ancient face before him.

Frasier turned so her back was to the bed. "He called me queen of the sedatives." Jack raised an eyebrow and Frasier blushed. "It was kind of an in-joke. After that sarcophagus incident..." Jack nodded and turned his attention back to the person claiming to Daniel Jackson.

"Ask me anything," Daniel said. "Anything only Daniel would know."

Sam frowned. "Who's Cassandra?"

Daniel took a deep breath and gave a full reply, even down to the planet's alpha-numeric designation. He was relieved as Sam verified what he'd said. Thank goodness. His body might be betraying but at least his mind was working.

General Hammond's question about the Stargate was easy to answer. The team looked expectantly at Jack.

"OK," says Jack. "Describe for me the dress your sister wore last week when I took her out."

Daniel smiled inwardly. Trust Jack to try and trick him. "I don't have a sister, Jack," he replied. Then he added wickedly. "And if I did, I wouldn't let you near her." Nothing wrong with his sense of humour either, he thought to himself as Jack looked suitably embarrassed.

The joke was lost of General Hammond though. "Assuming this is Daniel Jackson," he demanded. "Who the hell did we just send home?"

.....................................................................................................

Daniel watched his hand trembling as he held the device Sam had brought to him. He guessed it weighed barely more than a pound or two, but it seemed so heavy. His fingers still fascinated him, so old and gnarled, but the reality of his situation had begun to sink in. Being an old man for an hour or two was one thing, but as time passed by Daniel was beginning to find the experience frustrating. The sleeve of his infirmary gown had slid up his arm, and he could see the ancient scar tissue that covered the skin, from the base of his thumb to the elbow. The flesh hung loosely, as though it no longer fitted the skeleton. No wonder there was no strength. The news that Marcello had headed out into the city with his body had been like a slap in the face. In one sharp moment, Daniel had switched from being curious scientist to trapped victim as it dawned on him that he might actually be in danger. If this body were to...

He glanced at Sam, suddenly aware of how youthful and vibrant she seemed. His attention was drawn to her lips, moving rapidly as she explained her ideas. So tired, he thought to himself. Is this what old age is like? Endless weariness. A constant ache in the bones. If I could just sleep...

He caught a word or too of speech and wearily pushed the device to one side. Why couldn't she understand? "It's obvious the symbols originate from Latin and Greek," he snapped, cutting across her speech. He knew he sounded cranky, but suddenly it all seemed too much to bear. He was having trouble getting his breath again, and there seemed to be a huge weight pressing down on his chest. "I can't make any sense of it." He'd held the growing anger in check, but now it threatened to burst out of him. Damn it. What had he done to deserve this? All he did was greet an old man in a friendly fashion. Show an interest...

A sound like a rushing wind filled his ears. Suddenly fear replaced the anger. He tried to call out to Sam. Tried to press the alarm that would call Dr Frasier. But his body betrayed him. No, he thought desperately, Marcello's body. I'm going to die in this body and there isn't a damn thing I can do about it. No clever ideas. No quick answers.

Around him, the darkness drew closer. It was almost as though he could hear death calling to him.

Daniel.

Fight it!

Daniel.

Got to... fight...

Dan'yer....

Sha're? I'm coming...


.....................................................................................................


Sounds filtered through the darkness. I'm still alive!

Daniel didn't know whether to be glad or sorry. He tried to lift an arm, but found he couldn't move. It was as though every limb weighed a hundred pounds. Gradually he became aware of a voice, sweet and gentle. Concentrating he tried to make out the words. Tried to recognise who was talking. Janet? Sam? Yes, Sam. He frowned mentally at her tone, his face refusing to reflect the emotion - she was clearly upset. In fact, she sounded close to tears.

"Wake up, Daniel."

Sam, I am awake. Silence. Why couldn't he speak? Concentrate, he told himself. He sensed Sam moving close to his bed. Concentrate. God, I'm so helpless. Why try?

No, he admonished himself. Mustn't give up. What was it Jack always said. Nothing like a good dose of sarcasm to keep things in perspective. Come on Daniel. You never shut up normally. Now is not the time to button up.

"Daniel you can't die on me now!" The desperation in Sam's words slashed into Daniel. Sam!

Daniel took a breath and forced the words through his reluctant lips. "It's good.. to know you .. don't just like me ... for my looks." He was rewarded for his effort by the relief in Sam's voice. Forcing one eye open he found himself looking into her beautiful eyes, tears still swimming. Her concern was like being thrown a life raft. Battered and buffeted by the storm, Daniel dragged himself onto it.

To his right he sensed the arrival of Doctor Frasier. "Welcome back, Dr Jackson. Your timing is impeccable." Frasier's attention shifted to Sam. "They've found him."

Marcello had been found! Daniel's spirits soared. Maybe this nightmare would soon be over. As a smile reached his lips he felt a warm pressure on his forehead. For a moment he couldn't think what it was and then he realised. Sam had kissed him. His smile widened. Good job, Jack wasn't here to see that! He'd be sure to make some sarcastic comment about still being the SG1 Romeo despite being 105.

.....................................................................................................

Marcello! Daniel watched the alien stride into the infirmary flanked by two armed guards. Marcello's face was cold and aloof, and Daniel wondered if he looked like that. How much was in the physical features, how much mirrored the mind behind the face. Despite himself, Daniel was fascinated as he looked at the face he normally saw in the mirror, bleary with sleep and covered in shaving foam.

From where he is lying, Daniel couldn't see General Hammond, but he recognised the voice. "Reverse what you've done to my people."

No emotion flickered over Marcello's face. "I cannot."

Hammond's voice took on that dangerous edge of annoyance that SG1 knew meant he wasn't to be messed with. "Then you won't co-operate!"

Marcello's attention moved to Hammond. With a voice like ice he explained why he could not reverse the process. With an almost casual glance at Daniel, he added with brittle finality, "Even if I wanted to change it, I could not."

Death sentence - it hung in the air between the two men. Aware of how powerless he was, Daniel slowly closed his eyes and silently screamed.

.....................................................................................................

Such arrogance. Daniel looked at the familiar face, hating what he could saw. He was losing the battle. What was Sam thinking about bringing this alien to sit by his bed, mocking him with his own voice - gazing at him with his own eyes like he was worthless - just a commodity to be taken, used and then discarded. He summoned up what little strength was left. "You're a Goa'uld, Marcello. I am nothing but a host to you."

For the first time, Daniel had the satisfaction of knowing he had hit the alien where it hurt.

"I am not a Goa'uld." Marcello's tone was angry, the blue eyes flashed fire.

Daniel pushed on. "My wife is still alive. There is a chance I can still save her. You are stealing that chance."

Marcello gazed at Daniel, and for a moment the anthropologist thought he'd found a point at which they could understand one another. A place where Marcello might show compassion. But the moment passed. The cold smile returned to Marcello's face. "Even if you still have this body you will never find her."

Daniel couldn't bear it any more. This alien had taken everything from him. His body. His life. His hope. "I will find her!" he sobbed. "I will ... find ..." A single tear squeezed from his eye, and then he felt himself separating from the alien body as it finally gave up the battle to keep the ancient heart beating. The final thought that crossed he mind was one of failure.

.....................................................................................................

It was late. Daniel knew he had drunk more than he should, and a small voice in his head was telling him to go to bed before he tipped over the line between pleasantly relaxed and a morning hangover. Besides his mouth had a tendency to run away with him when he was sober. With a couple of beers inside him, he found it difficult to shut up at all. He was about to climb to his feet when Jack flipped the lid off another bottle and handed it to him. Ah well, one more couldn't hurt.

"You know what really bothers me, Jack." Somehow the conversation had returned to Marcello and Daniel's credit card bill. "It's the thought that somebody like Marcello - somebody who dedicated his life to fighting the goa'uld could get it so wrong."

"I guess he'd been alone along time," Jack replied. "Loneliness does strange things to a guy."

Daniel contemplated this for a moment. His thoughts turned automatically to Sha're, and to the long nights he had spent without her. His mood became sombre. "Do you think that's how we'll end up, Jack? Looking back and wishing we could have our lives all over again."

Jack gazed at his beer bottle. "You know me and philosophy, Daniel. Prefer to just get on with each day as it comes."

But Daniel wasn't going to be brushed off. "But what if we never achieve anything. What if Sha're..."

"Daniel! What if you stop with the 'what ifs' and just stick with where we're at."

Daniel opened his mouth to protest, but something in Jack's tone made him stop. "Sorry. It's just..."

"I know," Jack replied, his tone softer. "It's an easy road to go down, you know. The 'life owes me' road. Fact is, life isn't fair. Maybe somewhere up there," Jack waved a hand towards the ceiling, "there's some kind of heaven where we all get our just reward. But down here. If you get dealt a bum hand, you just have to play it. There's no guarantees that you'll pick up an ace next go." Jack glared at Daniel who was gazing at him in obvious amazement. "What?"

"Well, for a guy who doesn't go in for philosophy..."

Jack cut him off with a wave of his hand. "I just know that you make the most of what you get. Looking back never helped me. And neither did complaining life wasn't fair. Life is what you make it - bum cards and all. And now..." Jack swallowed the last of his beer. "I'm going to crash on your sofa. Don't you dare wake me before ten."

Daniel fetched Jack a sleeping bag and took himself off to bed. Bum cards, he thought. Seemed like he'd had more than his fair share. He caught the thought the instant it entered his mind. Oh boy, was that self-pity creeping in there. He thought of Marcello and shivered. The guy had been basically good. If he hadn't of been Daniel knew he wouldn't be lying in this bed wishing he hadn't drunk so much. Was that why the alien had gone off the rails? Too long wallowing in self-pity. Daniel yawned, and slipped into an uneasy sleep in which Marcello taunted him. You're no different to me, Daniel Jackson. No different.

.....................................................................................................

11.30am. Jack stepped out of the shower and grimaced. His back was as stiff as a board. Wandering into Daniel's kitchen he found the archaeologist flipping through some papers, the usual mug of coffee in his hand. "You know, Jackson. You really need to invest in some decent furniture to go with this flash apartment."

Daniel smiled at his friend's complaints, taking them in good humour. The fact that he'd moved to a new apartment had caused O'Neill much amusement. Daniel's previous place had been little more than a bedsit, while his new place wasn't far short of a luxury penthouse.. The fact that General Hammond had insisted Daniel move to somewhere with state-of-the-art security seemed to have passed O'Neill by.

Daniel swallowed the last of his coffee. "How about I buy you breakfast?"

O'Neill peered at his watch. "Make that brunch and you're on."

"'Kay." Daniel reached for his jacket, checking the pocket for his wallet. It wasn't there. He frowned trying to remember where he'd left it. Oh yes...

He headed for the kitchen, spotted his wallet by the sink. Shoving it into his pocket, his eyes fell on the credit card bill. Susan's Coffee Shop. He studied the address for a long moment. It was only a block or two away.

Jack moved to the doorway, saw what he was looking at. "You know SGC will refund the money."

"What?" Daniel blinked up at him. "Oh yeah. It's not the money."

Jack waited patiently, sensing that Daniel was sorting something through in his mind. "Jack, would you mind if we went there?"

Jack studied Daniel's face, trying to figure out what the younger man was thinking. He couldn't even begin to imagine what it had been like to be trapped in Marcello's body. His experience of being in Teal'c was crazy enough - the sheer strength of the man had scared him, and as for that worm in his gut... Jack brought his thoughts back to Daniel. "You sure you want to do that?"

Daniel nodded. "I have to."

Jack shrugged. "Lead on."

.....................................................................................................

The coffee shop was like any other. Large windows. Easy-wipe tables secured to the floor. The usual smell of fried food mingled with coffee. Daniel paused at the door, suddenly uncertain.

"You know you don't have to do this, Danny."

Daniel glanced at Jack, touched by the concern he saw on the older man's face. "Actually, I do. I need to know..." He paused.

"Know what?" Jack prompted.

Daniel shook his head. "I'm not sure. It's just kind of weird knowing that I... that he was running around the city." He reached for the door, pushed it open and stepped into the warmth.

Jack immediately headed for the counter and picked up a menu. Gazing around, Daniel followed. A waitress appeared, her dark hair slicked back, bright lipstick, chewing gum. She glanced at Jack.

"What'll it be?" Then her eyes fell on Daniel. "Dr Jackson!" she exclaimed.

"Errr... You remember me?"

The waitress laughed. "Well it isn't every day, I get tipped on an $800 bill. Still celebrating life?"

"Life?" Daniel wasn't sure what to say, but Jack came to the rescue by waving the menu. "Do you think we could get some coffee?"

"Sure."

Daniel recovered his equilibrium. "Do you remember where I sat last time I was here?"

"Sure." The waitress repeated. "You and Fred sat right over there." She pointed to an empty table.

"Fred?"

The waitress gave him a funny look. "Fred. The big black guy who was with you."

"Ah yes. Fred." Daniel looked desperately at Jack, who sighed and came to the rescue again. "You'll have to excuse my friend. He got whacked by a football last week. His memory's a bit off."

"Gee, that's too bad." The waitress gave Daniel a sympathetic look. "So I guess you won't be buying for everyone today?"

"No," Jack replied quickly. "Just for the two of us." He punched Daniel gently on the arm to show his thanks.

Daniel glanced at the table where Marcello had sat. "If you remember though, we'd like to have the same meal as before."

The smile returned to the waitress's face. She eyed Daniel's body appreciatively. "Don't know how you stay so slim," she said before scribbling on her note pad and disappearing into the kitchen.

.....................................................................................................

Daniel pushed his half-eaten meal to one side. The waitress had brought them the Chef's Special with several extra side orders. "I guess Marcello hadn't eaten in a while."

"Good job we found him when we did. You could've ended up weighing 280lb" Jack teased, surveying the uneaten food.

The waitress appeared at their table. "You guys finished?" Daniel nodded. She gathered up the plates and headed back to the kitchen.

Daniel gazed around the coffee shop, and then out through the windows at the busy street. "I don't know what I expected to gain from this."

Jack looked at him, his expression serious. "Look, Danny. I can't imagine what you went through. At least with Teal'c I knew what I - I mean my body was doing. Although it was a near thing with those scissors."

Daniel smiled at the thought that Teal'c had nearly shaved O'Neill's head. But the smile soon faded. "I thought I was going to die." He tried to laugh. "Crazy, isn't it. All we've been through. With Apophis and everything. There's been times when I've been ready to die. Hell, there's been times when I have died. But this... To have my life snatched away..."

The waitress returned with two enormous glasses over-flowing with ice-cream. Daniel's eyes widened.

"We didn't order those," Jack protested.

"You said you wanted the same meal as before." The waitress put the sundaes in front of the two men with an expression that clearly said she wasn't taking them back to the kitchen.

A wry smile crept over Daniel's face. He whispered to Jack. "I think I now know why I was sick when I got my body back."

Jack picked up a spoon and scooped up a mouthful. "Hey, it's good. Hot fudge."

"Can I give you a bit of advice?" Jack asked as he tucked into his sundae.

Daniel picked up a spoon and took a mouthful. "Go ahead."

"I reckon you have two choices. You can either do your head in trying to understand how a guy like Marcello could've got so twisted he'd do what he did. Or, you can be grateful you got out of it with your life."

"Like you said last night? One day at a time and keep moving forward."

"Some things are best left in the past." A brief shadow passed over Jack's face, then he changed the subject. "Funny how there's always room for ice-cream after a big meal."

.....................................................................................................

Finally defeated by the quantity of ice-cream, Jack and Daniel headed for the cash till.

Daniel pulled his wallet from his pocket, extracting the card Marcello had used. He gazed down at it, imagining Marcello standing in this very place, signing his, Daniel's name.

"That'll be $24," the waitress said. She took the card from Daniel with a smile, swiped it through the credit machine and handed him the slip of paper to sign.

As Daniel turned to go, she suddenly moved from behind the counter. "One more thing, Dr Jackson."

Daniel turned to find her standing right in front of him. Reaching up, the waitress kissed him firmly on the lips. "In celebration of life," she said.

Jack groaned and rolled his eyes to the ceiling. What was it with Daniel that every woman who crossed his path threw themselves at his feet?

Daniel, however, was in his usual state of shock. "Errr.. why... why did you do that?"

The waitress smiled cheekily. "You asked me to. Last time you were here. When you were babbling on about celebrating life." She finally blushed. "I just figured you'd got a point. About life I mean. We should make the most of it." The waitress grabbed her notepad and scribbled down a telephone number. Her cheeky grin returned as she slipped it into the pocket of Daniel's shirt. She patted it gently. Great chest, she thought wickedly.

"Right." Daniel managed to say. He suddenly realised that his mouth was open. He closed it quickly. "Right," he said again.

Jack caught his arm and led him to the door. "Time to go home, Danny boy!"

Outside in the street, Daniel stopped to put his credit card away. He looked at the credit slip, reading his own signature. Daniel Jackson. He repeated the name silently to himself. Daniel Jackson. Alive and well, and still fighting. Jack was right. Time to move forward. A smile slowly crossed his face.

Jack groaned again. "Daniel! If you're thinking of coming here regularly or of using that telephone number..."

"Wha.. What?" Daniel's thoughts came back to the here and now. "No. I wasn't. I mean. I wouldn't. " He smiled at his own confusion. "I was just thinking how good it was to be alive."

Jack grinned, completely missing the point. "I bet you were!"

.......................................

Oh boy. Now Jack thinks I have a crush on a waitress. Guess he'll make the most of that to tease me for the next few days. It was strange to sit in that seat, knowing that Marcello had been there a couple of weeks earlier - living out my life. Well, his life, just my identity. But I'm glad I went. Jack's right. Some times you just get dealt a bum hand and you have to make the most of it. The thing with a bum hand is that just sometimes fate turns the table on all the odds and you still get to win even when all you're left with is the two of spades. I know that Jack reckons I'm way to optimistic, but I still believe one day I'll find Sha're and just maybe - that two of spades will turn out to be the winning card.


 

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