Title: Scientific Inquiry
Season/Category: Short that takes place between "Homecoming" and "Fragile Balance."Part Five of the Broken Dreams; Shattered Memories series.
Spoilers: Meridian, Fallen/Homecoming, Bloodlines, In the Line of Duty, Stargate (the movie), The First Ones, Upgrades
Pairing/Character: Primarily Sam/Daniel (friendship). Includes Jack, Teal'c, and Janet.
Summary: A late night in Sam's lab proves that chocolate and flowers can conquer all.
Disclaimer: Stargate, Stargate SG-1 and all of its characters, titles, names, and back story are the property of MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, Gekko Productions, SciFi Channel, and Showtime/Viacom. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story cannot be printed anywhere without the sole permission of the author. Realize this is for entertainment purposes only; no financial gain or profit has been gained from this fiction. This story is not meant to be an infringement on the rights of the above-mentioned establishments
Typing quickly, Samantha Carter continued to work on her latest report. She figured that if she pulled another all-nighter, she would be able to complete the work by dawn. Glancing down at her watch, she swore.
Already two in the morning. Where did the time go?
Shaking her head, she began to type again, deciding she would not allow anything to distract her.
Pausing, she glanced up, her ears straining to hear. Shuffling?
Sam twisted her head, nearly missing the form that brushed by her open doorway. She stared at the empty corridor for a moment, and after catching nothing, she returned to her computer.
Probably just an SF patrolling the hallways.
Grumbling to herself, she stood, moving brusquely to the door. One easy way to solve this problem.
"Uh," she said, staring into the corridor. "Daniel?"
Daniel spun around, nearly tripping over his own feet as his gaze settled on her. A little uncomfortable, his cheeks were touched with pink. He forced a smile as he stood there, a misplaced soul in the midst of gray.
"I'm lost again," he admitted, embarrassed.
She smiled gently at him. She knew he was still struggling to grapple with his memory loss. Though, she had to admit, he had come a long way. In the short time he had been with them since they had found him on Vis Uban, Daniel had already been able to recall certain events. Even more miraculous was his ability to easily fall in step with his old patterns and habits, and in some cases pick up right where he'd left off. Aside from minor differences here and there, he looked and acted like the Daniel they'd lost a year ago. If she were in his position, she couldn’t say if she would have fared as well.
"Where are you trying to go?"
He bit his bottom lip, stealing a precursory glance to his left and then to his right. Then he surprised her with a curt, nervous laugh. "My office."
"Oh," Sam tried to keep her smile steady. "Well, I can see how easy it would be to lose your office. This place is huge. I never can find it myself."
"Nice try," he said. Then, before she had a chance to answer, he pointed to somewhere behind her. "Your lab?"
She nodded, stepping aside as Daniel entered. His eyes were wide as he studied the lab, like a kid in a candy store searching for the best treat. He stopped in front of some of her shelves, taking the opportunity to take a manual and flip through it.
Normally, she would have jumped on anyone who went through her carefully organized materials, but she decided Daniel could have his way this once. As long as he remembered to put it back where it belonged, she thought.
"Physics," he mumbled, turning the pages. "This is more advanced then what I learned in college."
The comment startled Sam. College? Did he remember his college days? Did he realize what he just had said? Or was it an automatic response?
"I keep that book available for my assistants," she told him, coming over to his side. "You know, that used to be one of the most advanced books in academia. But with all that we do day in and day out, now it's just…elementary."
"From what I've read, it appears just about every subject needs to be updated," he said absently, placing the book on the shelf and reaching for another.
Cringing, Samantha grabbed the book he had just released and slipped it into its proper place. "I know. History itself will need to be rewritten."
"Too bad we can't tell anyone," he said. He smiled, flipping to another page. "Well, I understand some of this. Not all the text, but the maps."
She grinned too. Star maps. Constellations. She thought he would feel right at home looking at them.
"You know, I have several more books that go into an in-depth analysis of the constellations, their compositions, and their placements. If you'd like, I can have the materials cross-referenced for you and in your office by the morning."
He gazed at her, closing the book slowly. "Thanks for the offer," he said, strumming the side of the book. "Maybe you can hold onto that information and I can look at it once I am done with my research."
"Okay," she replied, her eyes lighting up. "Oh, and I have plenty of other materials here that I am sure you'll find fascinating."
"Plenty more…" His voice trailed off and his gaze roamed the room. "Good thing I am not an astrophysicist," he said with a laugh. "All of this information gives me a headache."
"Oh, it's not so bad," she told him, taking the book and shelving it. "Besides, you don't need to be an astrophysicist to make startling discoveries, do you?"
His reply was a soft smile.
"So," he said suddenly, changing the topic. "What are you up to?"
"Just working on my report," she answered, motioning to her desk. "It's a more comprehensive look at naquadah and naquadria."
"At two in the morning?"
She smirked, arching her eyebrows. "This coming from the guy who is looking for his office at two in the morning?"
He swayed his head from side to side, considering her words. "Point taken."
He didn't say anything after that, but continued to stroll around her lab. He would stop every so often, pick something up, and then put it down again, before wandering off to another section of her lab.
Memory or no memory, his curiosity never seemed to leave him.
"We found that on PJ5-071," she advised him, motioning with her hand to the small spherical device he was studying. "Jonas tried to translate the text along its equatorial border, but wasn't very successful. He thought maybe the writing was akin to Greek, but he couldn't find any references in your notes. Once we're able to translate it, I might be able to figure out its function, and how it relates to the other compounds we found at the site."
Daniel stole a peek at her before looking down at the object. "It looks like a globe."
She grinned. "Yeah, I guess it does. But we found it near a high concentration of mineral ore used in many of the Goa'uld weapons and transport technology that we've run across recently. It appears to be working in combination with the naquadah, enhancing—"
"It may be just a globe," he told her again, placing the object back on her shelf.
She sighed, disappointed with his lack of enthusiasm. Normally, he would just jump right into a new project, his excitement so intense it could reach the point of becoming overwhelming. He didn't even seem to care or want to try.
She was beginning to get the distinct impression he wasn't just here because he couldn't find his office.
Feeling irritated and a little resentful, she glared at Daniel. "So why did you stop by my lab?"
Ouch, that had come out a little colder than she had wanted.
Daniel turned to her, his face puckering into a slight frown. "Uh, no reason really." He smiled—one of those forced smiles—before wrapping his arms around his chest. "Just thought I would say hi before I went off to search for my office." His transparent smile only widened. "I'll be going now and leave you to your work."
How did he manage to recall all his little mannerisms, and guilt trips, without gaining all of his memory?
"Well, stay for a moment," Sam said, feeling a twinge of remorse. "I needed a break anyway."
Daniel shrugged. "Okay."
Now that was far too easy.
"So what have you been up to tonight?" she asked him, sitting down at her desk. She waved him to take a seat across from her, which he did. "What could you possibly need to do in your office at this hour?"
"What I usually do."
"And? Did you want to be a little more specific?"
He leaned forward, and suddenly she was acutely aware of the excitement in his eyes. So now he became excited?
"Jonas managed to convince the Kelownans to let the SGC borrow some of the artifacts from their antiquities collection."
She couldn't help but grin in return, despite some lingering feelings of resentment. Did Daniel know how much he sounded like his former self? Or was it just instinctual? Was he just trying to make a point? How could he seem completely disinterested one minute and completely animated the next?
Janet had warned them he might have some shifts in personality as he attempted to sort through his feelings and memories.
Sam just wished she didn't have to keep dwelling on these thoughts.
"And?" he asked, appearing hurt. It quickly melted away. "Well, as we know, some of the most spectacular finds have been on Kelowna. Weren't you amazed what you found in that warehouse?"
She wanted to point out that she hadn't really been concentrating on the artifacts at the time…and she wasn't the biggest fan of Kelowna, not with all that happened.
But she smiled despite her feelings, not willing to ruin the moment for Daniel. "Well, if that's that case, then I can see why you would be excited."
He nodded. "And after I am done with some of the initial translations, I bet I'll find some useful text on that naquadria you're so interested in."
She perked up at that remark. That was definitely of interest.
He was smiling. The brat. He had baited her and he knew it.
Had Daniel always been that conniving?
"Okay, you win." She held up her hands in defeat. "I'm interested."
"Good," he said, pursing his lips together.
And yet, he still didn't move.
Okay, Sam thought, so this was a little awkward. She'd been dying for a chance like this: to sit down with him and chat, as they had done in the past. Now that she had the opportunity, she couldn't seem to find the right words to say. Was she resentful that he had never come to visit her when he had Ascended? Was she just nervous that she would say the wrong thing? Was she afraid to get too close just to have him leave again?
Damn, she hated when things became personal.
She shook her head, snapping herself from her thoughts. How long had she been staring off into space like that?
"You look tired," Daniel told her. "Why don't you go home and get some sleep?"
"Sorry about that," she said. She rubbed her face. Maybe he was right. It was late. "I guess we could all use some rest. Why don’t you go ho—"
Sam froze, cursing to herself as she realized what she had started. "Sorry," she whispered.
"It's okay," he said. "I'll find an apartment sooner or later."
Dammit Sam, she thought, scowling. Stop mucking things up.
"You know, on second thought, I'm really not that tired," she lied, arching her back. She purposefully ignored the challenging look on Daniel's face. "This will be a nice break before I get back to work. Coffee?" she asked.
"You lie just as well as I do. It's fine, Sam. You need the rest."
She smiled and slipped out of her chair. "I'll get you some coffee."
She refused to face him, instead walking quickly over to the corner of her lab. She had some coffee left in the pot from earlier. It wasn't fresh, but it would do. Daniel never really complained when it came to his coffee, as long as he got some.
She poured herself a cup, and presented another to Daniel. He accepted it without complaint.
"Daniel," she started, staring at him from across her lab table.
I'm really bad at this, she wanted to say. And since I can't read your mind, did you want to share with me what is wrong?
Sam frowned. No, that wasn't any good.
Neither was this coffee.
She gagged, taking one last swallow, before placing the coffee cup to her side. When she looked upward, she had to stifle the urge to laugh, noting Daniel make the same face she had. Gracefully, or not so gracefully, he placed the cup down. Was he trying to hide it behind her computer monitor?
"What? Don't like the way I make coffee?" she joked.
"Not one of your stronger suits," Daniel informed her, his face still showing his disgust. Then he perked up, as if a brilliant idea came to him. "But, you could make it up with some chocolate walnut cookies…"
She nearly jumped out of her seat. "Wow, what else do you remember?" she blurted out suddenly.
Daniel blinked, as if caught off guard by her question. Surprised, he rubbed his head, his face wrinkled with the slightest hint of thought.
Realization dawned on Samantha. "You don't realize what you say or do half the time, do you?"
There was a moment of hesitation, but finally he shook his head. "No."
Damn, she swore to herself. How was that even possible? How could he present himself in such a way that was so familiar to them without even being aware of it?
"Even though you don't realize some of your actions, your subconscious must be bringing this into your conscious self, Daniel. Your reports, our reports, don't bring the subtleties to the surface. The way you act and behave is coming from somewhere."
"Actually, that is one of the reasons why I came here tonight," he admitted nervously. Shifting uneasily in his seat, his eyes roaming around the room, he appeared to be looking for any sort of distraction.
"Your memory?" she asked.
Daniel nodded. "I remember that you usually keep late nights. Or used to." He smiled softly. "I saw your light on so…"
"You remembered that on your own?"
He nodded, and then shook his head. "Well, I admit I had a little help deducing that fact from our reports, but that's neither here nor there."
"Of course not," she agreed despite feeling disappointed. She kept hoping his full memory would return, but what if it didn't? Should he have read all the reports? Were they just making matters worse? "Have you come up with some theory regarding your memory loss?"
"Uh," he started, appearing taken aback. "Theory? No, no theory…"
"You know," she said, coming to stand beside Daniel, "I've been giving your condition some thought."
She nodded, motioning with her hands as she continued. "There has to be a reason for everything that is happening to you, right?"
He stared at her. "I would hope so."
"So, basically it comes down to two possibilities. Two distinct possibilities, anyway. One, either Oma Desala erased—I mean, repressed--your memories as a way to appease the Others while still protecting you, or two, you could have done this to yourself for some reason."
He appeared uncomfortable. "Sam, I can't even remember who Oma Desala or the Others are. I don't know what their rules are or which ones I could have broken. I don't even remember breaking any rules. I don't remember any of it." He shook his head with frustration. "I don't see why I would do something like this to myself. And if Oma Desala was a friend, then why would she do this to me?"
"Well, that's my point, Daniel. Orlin, a…friend of mine was also Ascended."
"I read your report."
"Good, so you know that he also spoke of the Others and how they had specific rules and instructions. I believe that the punishment is dependent on the transgression. Orlin suffered certain consequences for his actions and maybe you are as well."
His frustration turned to horror. Damn, she hadn't phrased that well.
"What could I have possibly done that was so wrong?"
"No, I didn't mean it that way, Daniel. What you tried to do was save and protect the people of Abydos." She decided to not go any further with that topic. She wasn't sure what he exactly knew about the Abydonians fate and she certainly wasn't going to take the credit for informing him. "There is nothing wrong about that," she said. "The Others happened to have strict policies on involvement. I don't believe you broke any rule except that one. To my knowledge anyway."
"Sounds unreasonable," he mumbled.
She sighed. She wasn't going to disagree with him. Though, if Daniel was in his right mind, she was sure he would argue in their favor.
"But we also know that the Ascended can also choose to retake human form if they wish to do so. Orlin did."
"He had his memory, though," Daniel said bitterly.
She winced. "Yes, I know."
"So, then we're back to square one."
"Well, not necessarily. If we can dissect, and recreate what happ—"
Daniel shook his head, folding his hands. He appeared more distressed now than when they first began. "Sam…"
"No, wait. Here me out, Daniel," she continued, holding up her hand to stop him. "Once you have a better understanding of you memories—Well, here's a thought. Maybe if you start cataloguing what memories have returned, and when and how they came to you, we can start to map out a pattern or hone in on the cause. Then, we take that information, compare it to your journals and reports, and we may be able to use that as a guide—"
"Sam, uh, Sam?"
She stopped, waving her hand signaling she wanted to continue before she lost her train of thought.
"Sam, I-uh…I'd rather not talk about it right now."
Surprised, Sam lowered her hand and stared at him. He had to be kidding.
"You just said you came to talk about your memory. If you didn't come here to talk about viable theories, then what did you come for?" she asked him, trying to keep the impatience out of her voice.
"Well, I, uh—" His face was grim, as if he were afraid to continue.
The sight made her uncomfortable. Nice one, Sam, she told herself. Now he won't talk.
Sighing, Sam walked back to the opposite side of the table and stared at her disgusting cup of coffee. "I'm sorry, Daniel. I just—"
"Oh, no, no. No," he stuttered, waving his hands around nonchalantly. "I know you're trying to help. You don't have to apologize. It's just—" His face became pensive, as if he were on the brink of some great revelation. "Do you know how strange it is to wake up one morning and suddenly know German?" He paused, and shook his head. "I guess you wouldn't."
"I wish I could relate, Daniel. I really do. But I've heard you speak German before. Many different languages for that matter. I was amazed simply by the fact you could read, understand, and speak so many different languages." She shrugged. "I know that doesn't really help you."
"Yeah, I know. Well, I don't know. I think I know?"
Sam cringed, hearing the uncertainty in his voice. "Do you have any real grasp on your past?" she asked, starting to slip back into science mode, a place where she felt far more comfortable.
He sighed, rubbing his forehead with his index finger. "I've read the reports and my journals. Everything seems so real, like that could have been me. But at the same time, it's all so distant, like a dream. Does that make sense? That doesn't make sense…"
Sam tensed, sending him a sympathetic gaze. She would love to say she understood.
He continued, as if he had not even noticed her hesitation.
"It's there, but…"
"What do you remember? Specifically," she clarified.
He shook his head, sending another wave of disappointment through her. "It's all very vague, Sam. Nothing permanent, nothing tangible." Then, for a moment, his face became hopeful. "I do remember Jonas."
Great, out of all the people he decides to remember, it was Jonas. Not that she had a problem with Jonas. Just after all their history together, Daniel has to remember a person from the planet that caused his death? How fair was that?
"Yes," he said nodding. "Jonas. I remember working and talking with him on Kelowna."
Feigning satisfaction, she offered him a fake smile of her own. "That's great. At least it's a start." She paused, struggling to find words to continue, to give her some sense of peace. "I mean, you must remember more. The human brain is enormous and is incredibly complex. Other memories must be filed in your subconscious somewhere. You just…" She allowed her voice to trail off when she noticed Daniel was staring at her dumbly. "Anything else?" she asked hopefully.
He shook his head again. "Like I said, everything is so vague. It feels like I am in a dream, experiencing someone else's life." He grumbled, his gaze settling on the floor. "I don't know. I sound crazy."
"No, no…" She stood, maneuvering around the table to place a hand on his back. Relieved that this time he didn’t brush her off, she rubbed it soothingly. "In a way, Daniel, I think I can relate. In an indirect way."
"What do you mean?" he asked quizzically.
She swallowed hard. "When I was blended with Jolinar, I gained access to many of her thoughts and feelings. They were just fragments, I know, but it didn't make things any easier. Often, I felt like I was in a dream, and I couldn't determine when I was me, or when I was feeling what she once felt."
"That must have been frustrating," he admitted.
She nodded, continuing her ministrations. "It was. But I eventually managed to get through it." She leaned forward to enable herself to catch a glimpse at his face. "This is why I know you'll make it through this. You're much stronger than you give yourself credit for."
He nodded solemnly.
"You're just going to have to believe me. This is you," she said. "What you read in those reports and in your journals...that is you."
"Only a certain aspect."
Confused, she moved away from him. "I'm sorry?"
He looked down at his hands before lifting his head to face her. God, the pain in his eyes…
"Written words can tell you a great deal about a person, a culture, a society. I've studied the written word for most of my life." He sounded like he was choking. "But experience, memory, thoughts and feelings…they can't all be captured by words alone. How can I be myself if all the experiences that mapped out who I am are lost to me?"
Sam opened her mouth to reply, but found she had nothing with which to counter. Her mind tumbled back to her childhood, and all the events in her life that had shaped her.
Would she have become the same person if her mother had not died in that fatal car accident? She doubted she would. Her father, and her desire to please her father, had compelled her to join the Air Force, and had led her down a track as unique as the experiences that had shaped her life as a child. How would she react if suddenly everything that made her who she is was gone?
She ignored the lump in her throat. God, what was Daniel going through?
"I-I never thought about it that way before," she admitted weakly. "I'm sorry."
"No. No, Sam." He sighed, bringing himself to his feet. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to come down here and…" His voice trailed off.
Daniel had always been a private person. Sharing himself, well, that had always been difficult for him. She wasn't about to drive him away now, no matter how difficult it was for her.
Holding his hands to his head, Daniel winced and leaned over her workstation. Concerned, Sam moved around to meet his gaze, disturbed to see the pain in his eyes.
She shot a glance to the phone in her lab before bringing her gaze back to her friend. "Should I call Janet?"
"No," he said, the pain laced in his voice. "It's just a headache."
"Must be some headache," she retorted, displeased. "Let's get you to the infirmary."
"No!" He hesitated. "No. I'm used to them by now."
She stood there, shocked. "Used to them? You've been having them since you came back?"
He looked up at her, shrugging slightly. "Only a few. And they're not so bad."
"Daniel, you look like you're going to pass out on my desk."
"They aren't usually this bad."
"Okay, that's it," Sam announced, walking over to her phone. "I'm calling Janet."
"Please, Sam?" She paused, turning to see his pleading expression. "I don't want to spend any more time in the infirmary."
Samantha tapped the phone. This went against her better judgment. He needed to be examined, she told herself. Sure, Daniel had always been subject to headaches. Residual pain was a common side effect of Gate travel. But something told her this was much, much different.
"Aspirin at least?"
With a defeated sigh, Sam rummaged through one of the drawers in her desk. How had she accumulated so much junk? Was that a spare power converter? She grabbed the device and placed it on the table. A fish hook? Sam glowered, staring at it. What was the Colonel doing in her desk? Angry, she slammed it on the table.
"Sam…I'm okay, really."
She ignored him, her fingers speedily running through the items in the drawer. Chocolate bar. She tossed that on the desk. Notepad. Threw it aside. Lipstick. Pocketed the tube. Aspirin.
Smiling, she held up the bottle of pills.
A slight frown tugged at her lips. "Daniel?"
He was staring at her desk. No, the chocolate bar. He was actually ogling the candy. Intensely.
"Okay, here's the deal. I will give you half my chocolate on the condition that you take some aspirin," she negotiated, shaking the bottle.
The rattling brought Daniel out of his daze. "Just half?"
"Hey," she said, feigning irritation. "It is my chocolate bar."
Sam unwrapped the candy bar, breaking it in half as Daniel finished taking the medication. He appeared eager, maybe even excited, as she handed him his portion.
"Have you had any chocolate since your return?" she asked him.
He stared at the candy in his hand. "No, first time. Actually, I hadn't even thought about it until I saw it on your desk."
She wasn't sure whether to be happy or worried. Daniel not having the urge for candy? Then again, he instantly remembered the moment he saw the snack. That was comforting.
"Well, then I think this is going to be the best chocolate you have ever had in your life," she said, a devilish grin forming on her lips. She took a bite of her portion, and smiled with satisfaction.
He grinned in return, bringing the bar to his lips. His eyes closed, and he moaned slightly, ecstasy melting his features as he chewed.
Sam couldn't help but giggle. See? This is why she didn't need a man. She had chocolate.
"Hey," Sam joked, watching Daniel savor the chocolate bar. "I am feeling a little used here."
He gasped, his eyes snapping open.
The reaction caused her to jerk. "It-it was just a joke," she stammered.
She blinked at him. What had he just said?
"Bonniwae? Daniel? What are you saying?"
"I have no idea."
Sam stared at him flabbergasted. He was staring, a peculiar glassiness in his eyes. "Daniel?" She waved her hand in front of his face, eliciting no response. "Daniel? Can you hear me?"
"Now, don't say ka until you've tried it."
Sam rushed to the phone, dialing the infirmary quickly. As the line rang, she watched Daniel carefully, not missing the growing haze in his eyes.
"This is Major Carter. Get a medical team down to my lab, stat."
"He's not responding to any stimuli," Sam stated, pacing in front of Daniel.
Janet flashed a penlight into the linguist's eyes and shook her head. "He's withdrawn." She turned to Sam. "What happened? Any signs, symptoms, before this happened?"
Sam shook her head. "No, we were just talking. And then," she gestured to her motionless companion, "he started saying phrases that have no meaning to me."
"Well, he appears to be—"
"So?" Daniel stated suddenly, his eyes still locked onto some unseen object.
"Daniel?" Janet began, rubbing his arm. "Daniel, can you hear me?"
"Right err...toss the symbiote head!" he said, motioning forward with his arms, almost as if they were bound. "That's very, very popular. Very interesting. Yes, all the kids are doing this."
Janet gawked at him, quickly closing her mouth as she turned to Sam for assistance. Sam shrugged and shook her head, her wide blue eyes telling all. "I don't know, Janet. It's like he's some place else."
Sam stopped pacing, taken aback as a soft smile brushed his lips. "That's funny, I err...met my father-in-law like this."
"Is he talking to us—" Sam started, but quickly broke off, noting his facial expression change once again. "Nevermind."
"My guess is that he's experiencing some kind of flashback," Janet said evenly, rising from her crouched position. She motioned with a nod of her head to one of the nurses to bring her additional equipment. "It's not totally uncommon, especially for someone suffering memory loss." She paused, lightly examining Daniel's face. "Did you do or say anything that could have triggered a memory?"
Sam shrugged. She was at a loss. "It could be anything, Janet. We were talking about his memories. He was looking at my books and items I keep here in my lab." She pointed at her desk. "We even had some coffee, candy, and I gave him aspirin for his headache."
"Severe headaches. I thought you'd like to know."
Janet nodded. "Thank you, Sam."
"Hey, what's going on?"
Sam jumped, surprised as Colonel O'Neill and Teal'c entered the room. "Sir?"
"Just surprised to see you on base, sir." She glanced at her watch. "You do know what time it is?"
"I'm not senile yet, Carter," he said dryly. His attention focused onto Daniel. "What's going on?"
"It appears Daniel may be experiencing a flashback," Janet informed him, staying close to her patient's side.
"Would this 'flashback' be similar to the experiences I had while passing through Rite of Malsuraan?" Teal'c asked.
"From what you told me," Janet said, considering his words, "Yes, I believe you can compare it to your experiences."
"What's the flashback?" O'Neill asked, motioning with his hand to Daniel's stiff form.
"We don't know, sir. So far, we can't make sense of what he is saying," Sam said.
"Do you think these things need to be fed?" Daniel asked suddenly.
"Okay…" The colonel stated, shoving his hands into his pocket. "What's that about?"
"Perhaps DanielJackson is referring to his fish."
O'Neill stopped and stared at Teal'c.
"No, I don't think so, Teal'c," Sam said, shaking her head. Frowning, she studied Daniel, feeling as if the answer was right in front of her.
"Carter, you understand what he's saying?" O'Neill asked.
"No, sir, I—"
"What the hell do we do now?" Daniel asked, a hint of fear edging into his voice.
The colonel stared at him. "My sentiments exactly."
Sam shook her head, but felt that Daniel's words were familiar. Like he was speaking of an event that may have shared in their past.
God, she thought. So many conversations. She couldn't remember them all.
"He's inviting us to go with them."
Sam frowned, shaking her head. This was useless.
"Now, there's something that sounds vaguely familiar," O'Neill said softly, his own forehead pressed with a myriad of wrinkles.
"Sir?" Sam frowned and moved to stand beside Janet.
"Abydos," O'Neill said, his gaze remaining on Daniel. "Hey," he said, shaking his friend lightly. "We're not on Abydos."
"Because…" Daniel made a sweeping motion with his hands. "He's inviting us to go with them."
"Do you know what he's talking about, Colonel?" Janet asked, puzzled.
"Yeah. Abydos. Our first mission." The colonel stared for a moment before he shook his head and continued. "Can't forget that. Kalwalsky and me, we were dumbfounded that Daniel made first contact with a candy bar. Won Kasuf over instantly with chocolate. Then we got invited to their little tribal place or whatever you call it. Daniel's linguistic skills hard at work," he recalled with a smirk.
Sam's mouth dropped open as she stared at the candy bar still clasped in Daniel's hands.
"Janet, that's the first time he's had chocolate since he came back to us."
Janet nodded, her face perking with the knowledge. "That's the trigger I was looking for."
O'Neill frowned. "Trigger?"
"Well, that was insane," Daniel said.
"That's what I was gonna say." O'Neill turned from Daniel, to Janet, then to Daniel. "Are you sure he isn't just psychic?"
Sam stepped back, allowing Janet access to the chart she had placed on her lab desk. She took the opportunity to notice that Daniel was fumbling with his fingers, his wrists barely moving. Then he held up his chocolate bar and brought it to his lips.
"Mmmnnnn," he moaned, chewing slowly before bringing it down.
"Now, he didn't do that on Abydos," O'Neill commented.
"It's possible he's experiencing multiple flashbacks, Colonel," Janet stated, checking over her chart. "With the chocolate bar as his trigger…"
"Great!" the colonel exclaimed, clapping his hands together. "So give him more chocolate and let's get those memories out of his system so we can get him back to normal."
"Uh, sir…" Sam said, shaking her head.
"Colonel, it won't be that easy." Janet placed the medical chart down, gazing at him sympathetically. "As I was saying, with the chocolate bar as a trigger, this could lead to several different instances when he was eating chocolate, or something similar to chocolate, and has an associated memory." She paused and rubbed his hand. "This isn't a cure all, sir."
"Janet, is it possible then that other events, or phrases, or items could trigger even more memories?"
She nodded, facing Sam. "I would expect it. In fact, as more memories break from his subconscious and reach his conscious state, I would anticipate more triggers and more flashbacks."
Sam sucked in a deep breath. Wow. There was a real chance Daniel could gain his full memory. Barely hiding her excitement, she gazed at the colonel.
O'Neill's face remained expressionless. "So, Doc, you're telling us this could happen at any time…"
"So, they’ll never know what hit them?" Daniel asked, again munching on the candy bar.
Janet eyed Daniel closely before she continued. "Yes. I would suggest that a close eye be kept on Daniel over the next few days. I think it would be in his best interest to have someone watching him in the event he recalls something…" She exhaled, catching each person's gaze. "Tragic."
Sam nodded, running her hands down her pants. Tragic. Daniel didn't need to relieve the worst moments of his past. It just wasn't fair.
"Will these flashbacks impair DanielJackson?" Teal'c questioned, a frown tugging at the corners of his mouth.
"Meaning…" Janet asked, pensive.
"When they're over, if they ever end, is he gonna be alright? Is he gonna be Daniel when it's all done?" the colonel asked, voicing everyone's silent question.
Janet's face became apprehensive. "To be honest, sir, I don't know. These flashbacks could help Daniel regain his memories and his full personality. They might not. And they may even affect him adversely." She paused, stealing a glance at Sam. "I don't know what methods Oma Desala or the Others might have used to repress Daniel's memories. I can't guarantee a particular outcome."
"But we're pretty sure they're just 'repressed,' right?" O'Neil asked cautiously.
Sam stared at him wide eyed. "I think it's pretty obvious after what we've just witnessed."
She refused to think anything else.
"Pretty obvious?" the colonel asked. "Carter, he's staring at a wall."
"Yes, I know, sir, but he's pulling up actual events from his past. You said so yourself. That proves that his memories are there, at least in some form, hidden somewhere in his subconscious."
"Sam is right, sir," Janet said. "Daniel's flashbacks indicate that something does linger beneath the surface. How much is there is left to be seen."
"DanielJackson has progressed far during his time here," Teal'c added. "I am confident that he will remember his time at the SGC once again."
"Well, I'm not convinced," O'Neill muttered, staring at Daniel.
"Look, Colonel," Janet interrupted, causing the room to silence. "No one said this was going to be easy. And Daniel can't be expected to remember everything overnight." She smiled warmly at him. "It's late and we're all tired. I'm going to be taking Daniel down to the infirmary so he can rest. I suggest you do the same."
Janet beckoned a couple of nurses to her side, and the three of them helped the still dazed linguist to his feet. Guiding him slowly, they brought him to the door and headed towards the elevator.
Sam watched them go, feeling both relieved and guilty. While they might actually now have some real hope that Daniel would regain his memories, she also felt hollow knowing the worst could yet come. She just hoped despite whatever happened, Daniel came back to them.
"Not your fault, Carter," O'Neill said, casting her a sideways glance.
"Indeed," Teal'c affirmed. "You may have discovered the means with which to communicate with DanielJackson."
She nodded, but still felt the guilt welling inside of her.
"I hope he's coming back to us," she whispered at last.
To this, neither one of them replied. Sam knew the same doubts lingered in the minds of her teammates, each waiting on edge while Daniel continued to be just a shell of his former self. They had all thought his memory would have returned by now, but instead they only had the illusion of their fallen comrade.
Daniel was right. How could he possibly be himself if he couldn't understand what shaped him to begin with?
"The Doc's right, Carter," O'Neill said softly, drawing her from her thoughts. "We're all pretty worn out. You should get some rest." He jiggled the keys hidden in his pocket. "Ride home?"
She shook her head. "No, sir. I just want to clean up a little here and then I'll head out."
He flashed her a knowing smile. "Sure you will…"
"Not leaving yourself, are you, sir?" she asked, smiling as well.
O'Neill shrugged, but the grin remained. "Actually, I believe Teal'c and I are heading to the infirmary." He glanced up at Teal'c.
"That is correct, O'Neill."
"That's what I thought." The colonel motioned to the door. "Care to join us?"
She grinned again, nodding. She shut down the lights in her lab, quickly running to catch up to her commanding officer and the Jaffa warrior.
"Oh, and sir, about the fish hook I found in my desk…"
Sam entered the infirmary, juggling a bouquet of flowers and a bag of chocolate walnut cookies while joining Colonel O'Neill and Teal'c as they stood in silent vigil by Daniel's bedside. Sighing, she pushed her way to the table next to Daniel's bed.
"The two of you could help me."
"You’re doing a fine job," O'Neill said with a grin, patting her shoulder.
She snickered, but hushed as she gazed at Daniel's still form. "Asleep?"
"Doctor Fraiser provided him with a sedative," Teal'c informed her.
Frowning, she placed the flowers onto the table. "Why?" she asked.
"He became most unpleasant upon realizing he was entering the infirmary, Major Carter."
So, he had broken from his stupor before he reached the infirmary. Sneaky.
She couldn't help but laugh. "Glad I missed it."
"Oh yeah. Teal'c and I had to restrain him. Oodles of fun." The colonel motioned over to the flowers. "Back already? Where did you find a place that would whip up a bouquet at five am?"
She grinned. "I have some connections."
Upon hearing Daniel's shaky voice, Sam became serious and moved to his side. Groaning, Daniel opened his eyes, his blurred gaze shifting from person to person.
"Hi, Daniel, how are you feeling?" Sam asked, taking his hand.
"Groggy," he said quietly.
"That's what happens when you try and kick me," O'Neill said, waving a finger.
"Jack…" He sighed, pinching his nose with his fingers. "All I wanted was to go to my office."
"There's a time and place," Jack reminded him.
Daniel licked his lips. "I still have a headache."
"I can get you some more aspirin," Sam offered, pointing to the door.
He shook his head. "Slavic," he stated.
"Slavic? What the hell's that mean?" Jack asked, eyeing Daniel curiously.
He cleared his throat and squinted. "I said it's Slavic. Your-your--" Daniel reached up his hands and held up an invisible sphere, motioning to Sam. "You know, your globe. The writing is Slavic. In fact, it’s not from the Attic family at all."
Sam stared at him. "This just came to you?"
Daniel shrugged. "No, I actually knew it before but I wanted to be sure before I said anything. The script is definitely Slavic, but I couldn't figure out what specific language served as its root. I'm pretty sure—No, I'm sure it's a variation of Ukrainian." He cleared his throat again. "If you want, bring it by my office and I'll start working on a translation against my texts."
"Wow, yeah that would be great," Sam said with a grin, excited at the prospect of a new discovery. "Oh, and speaking of your office." Sam held up a small brown bag, "I have some cookies for you for when you need a snack while you work."
Daniel's face lit up and he reached forward, as if he had never been sedated, grasping for the bag. The colonel swiftly seized the bag himself.
"Haven’t you had enough chocolate tonight?" O'Neill licked his lips as he opened the bag and stared into it. He frowned and glared at Carter. "How come you never bring me cookies?"
Sam snatched the bag away from him. "Because you complain too much."
O'Neill glared at Teal'c. "Hey, whose side are you on, anyway?"
She handed the bag to Daniel. "You can have a couple tonight, but I brought them so you could have something to eat tom—Daniel?"
"Geez, ever heard of swallowing?" O'Neill asked.
Daniel ignored the colonel's comments as he continued the shovel cookie after cookie into his mouth. Finally, Samantha could take no more and relieved Daniel of his treasure.
"Sham?" Daniel called, crumbs tumbling from his mouth.
"The rest is for tomorrow," she said firmly, sticking them into the first draw of his night side table.
"Buh, tehnically it ish tomohow," Daniel informed her as he chewed.
"Nice try," she said with a smirk.
"Okay, as much as I am sure you would love to stay and continue to loiter in my infirmary, I need to have you clear out," Janet instructed them as she approached the bed. "I'd like to take a look at Daniel before I can release him."
"Ah, trying to make room for SG-12?"
Janet snickered at the Colonel. "They're due back today and they're record is nearly as bad as yours."
"And since I'm not really sick…"
"Not so fast, Daniel." Janet raised her eyebrows at her patient. "There are a few things I need to go over with you about what happened tonight."
"You sound more like Daniel each day," O'Neill mentioned with a grin, his gaze slowly falling to the nightstand.
"Ah! Get your own cookies," Daniel warned.
"Damn." He motioned to Teal'c and Sam. "Let's go before the Doc brings out the heavy artillery."
Sam smiled at Daniel, and nodded to her commanding officer, moving over to join him as they reached the exit.
She paused, turning her head around to find Daniel's gaze locked onto her.
"Can I have a minute with Sam?" Daniel was talking to Janet now. "It'll be quick."
Janet nodded, leaving the bedside. She squeezed Sam's arm as she passed by, and the left the two alone.
"What's the matter, Daniel?"
"Oh, nothing. Just—"
Sam stiffened, watching as Daniel's eyes glassed over, his unfocused gaze staring through the bouquet of flowers she had placed on the small stand.
"Daniel?" she whispered. "Daniel?"
Sam turned back toward the door, snapping her fingers at a nurse who had just entered. "Go get Doctor Fraiser," she ordered.
"Hey Sam, how's it going tonight?"
Sam gasped, jerking her head back to where Daniel was lying.
The flowers…this was a memory she could recall.
Instantly, she thought back to a moment from several years ago, as she lay depressed in the infirmary. Jolinar had died saving her, leaving her confused, frightened, and alone. Her friends had done every thing to help her and to comfort her. She could never forget Daniel's sweet gesture on that day as he silently placed a bouquet of flowers beside her bed.
Daniel has asked her how she was, but she had brushed him off, and thrown his concern to the wind. God, she wished she had acted differently then.
Smiling softly, she took his hand, stroking it tenderly with her thumb. "Things are going well," she replied.
He blinked a few times, his vision clearing as he gazed up at her. "Good."
Squeezing his hand, she cocked her head. "Do you remember what happened tonight?"
He nodded. "It's confusing though. Like flipping TV channels."
"Confusing but…good. It's something at least." She thought she saw his eyes glisten. "It means something is there."
Something, she thought. Hopefully, there would be far more memories locked inside of him. Sighing, she glanced over at the flowers before returning her attention to him.
"I never…I never really thanked you for being there for me, all those times," she said quietly, an ache building within as she realized he may never remember them.
"I'm sure I understood."
"Yeah." She cleared her throat, willing it to stay firm.
"Sam." Daniel shifted slightly in the bed, allowing himself a better view. "I didn't come by tonight just because I couldn't find my office. I could have asked anyone."
She nodded. "I know."
"I came by to ask why we were such good friends."
A slight tremble started to overcome her body, but she fought for control. Swallowing hard, she attempted a smile, knowing she was failing miserably. His statement had knocked nearly all the hope she had, leaving her with an uncontrollable sadness.
He had to ask why they were close. He had to ask.
Fighting back tears, she opened her mouth to speak, but he shook his head.
"No, Sam," he said softly, deliberately looking at the flowers on the table. "You don't have to say anything."
Frowning, she blinked at him.
He squeezed her hand, a small smile passing over his lips. "You don't have to explain. I know. I remember."
She inhaled sharply, almost knocking down the floodgates to allow the tears to run. Instead, she steadied herself, and rose to her feet, leaning over to plant a soft kiss on his forehead.
"What was that for?" he asked.
She smiled, wiping at the corners of her eyes. "For giving me hope."
He smiled in return.
Fidgeting nervously, she straightened herself, stepping aside as Janet rushed into the room. Sam smiled at him. "And let me tell you, mister, if you keep that up, I see a lot more cookies in your future."
"Really?" He frowned, his forehead furrowed in thought. "Wow, it's all coming back to me…"
"Is there a problem?" Janet asked breathlessly as she took Daniel's arm, checking his vitals.
Sam grinned, her face shining brightly as she gazed at Janet and then Daniel. There was something more in his face now, something deeper, something familiar and comforting.
"No, Janet. Everything is fine. Everything is going to be just fine."
Have a good day :)