redbyrd_sgfic (redbyrd_sgfic) wrote,
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Stargate SG-1 fic, The Parting Glass, Gen

This is totally unbeta'd and rough around the edges, but I saw just saw the redial_the_gate post on The First Ones, and couldn't resist the lemminglike urge to post my episode tag, which has languished on my hard drive, lo these many years. Fair warning, I'm quite likely to revise it when I get a round tuit.


* TITLE: The Parting Glass
* AUTHOR: Redbyrd
* RATING: PG
* CATEGORY: drama, missing scene
* SUMMARY: Tag for The First Ones. Daniel is inclined to consider his kidnapping by Chaka rather an adventure-- until he finds out about the others.
* SPOILERS: The First Ones, Divide and Conquer, Crossroads, Small Victories, FIAD, Into the Fire, Show and Tell, A Matter of Time, Thor's Chariot, ITLOD, Serpent's Lair, TBFTGOG, Singularity, First Commandment, Broca Divide, Enemy Within, COTG, movie
* WARNINGS: Canon deaths- lots and lots. Bring your own tissues.
* DISCLAIMER:
The characters mentioned in this story are the property of Showtime and Gekko Film Corp. The Stargate, SG-I, the Goa'uld and all other characters who have appeared in the series STARGATE SG-1 together with the names, titles and backstory are the sole copyright property of MGM-UA Worldwide Television, Gekko Film Corp, Glassner/Wright Double Secret Productions and Stargate SG-I Prod. Ltd. Partnership. This fanfic is not intended as an infringement upon those rights and solely meant for entertainment. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author.
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Daniel watched Chaka turn in the firelight and head for the opposite tunnel. He stopped, "Chaaa-ka!"

"What does that mean?" Jack asked.

"I have no idea." Daniel said. "But I think I've just been invited to come back some day and find out."

Sam led the way out of the cave system, with Jack walking beside Daniel and Teal'c bringing up the rear. Daniel was tired and sore, but his mood was buoyant. Successful first contact with another truly alien species. It wasn't something that happened every day. He was looking forward to telling his teammates all about it. Possibly not until they had time to recover from chasing him over half the planet however. They seemed a little stressed. In the light of day, they looked Daniel over. "You look like crap." Jack informed him helpfully.

Daniel frowned. Jack didn't look so hot himself. He looked- old. Tired. There was a distance in his eyes that Daniel didn't associate with anything good. "What's wrong?"

The other three were silent for a moment. "Guys?"

Sam said, "Daniel, you know how you thought this planet was the primordial homeworld of the Goa'uld?"

"Yeah?" Daniel asked cautiously.

"There are still Goa'uld here, DanielJackson." Teal'c said.

"I know," Daniel said. "The river is full of them." He looked at their surprised expressions. "I know, we were here for weeks and had no idea. But Chaka showed me-" He stopped. "What happened? Did someone on SG-11…"

Jack said bluntly. "Loder is dead. Your friend Chaka killed him. He might have already been Goa'ulded, we aren't sure. The rest of SG-11 were Goa'ulded. We think. We had to shoot Hawkins. SG-2 found Sanchez and Tenney- they were already dead."

Daniel felt a little lightheaded. He was probably turning an unattractive shade of whitish green. "Robert?"

Jack looked sick. "Also dead." He took two swift steps forward to grab Daniel's elbow as he swayed. "Hey."

Daniel didn't ask any more questions. Didn't have any more questions. He didn't have time to think about this right now, he had to walk back to the gate. "I'm okay," he said. He held up his bound wrists. "Can you please-?"

He sat down on a rock while Sam stepped forward with a knife and carefully sliced the twisted cord off his wrists. "Ow." She said sympathetically as she carefully peeled back the cord to reveal raw bloody gouges.

Daniel steeled himself not pull away and gritted his teeth as the pain lanced through his wrists. He started talking to distract himself. "I can't believe we were here for three weeks and no one ever spotted the Goa'ulds in the water. I ran into the river trying to escape from Chaka and if he hadn't- "

"You ran *into* the water-" Jack said, staring at him.

"Yes, and Chaka told me to come out, it wasn't safe-" Daniel said. He hissed as Sam poured disinfectant over his wrists.

Jack said, "Carter, step away from him."

Sam looked up. "Sir?"

"We don't know if Daniel might be- infected."

Sam didn't move. "I don't think he is, sir."

Daniel blinked. "Jack, I haven't been infected. Chaka killed the symbiote that tried to attack me."

"We can't be sure until we get him back to the SGC." O'Neill's tone was grim. "Carter-"

Sam shook her head, and ran a nail over the scrape on Daniel's cheek. It stung. "Ow!" Daniel batted her hand away and wiped a fresh trickle of blood.

"If Daniel were a Goa'uld, sir, this scratch should be nearly healed. His wrists shouldn't be in the shape they are. He's got bruises that are a couple of days old- those should have been gone by now." Carter looked at her CO. "I'm pretty sure he's okay."

O'Neill looked from her to Daniel and back. "Nobody lets him close enough to grab a weapon." He took the gun that Carter had laid aside to administer first aid, and her sidearm as well. "Finish with the bandages, then we'll get moving."

Daniel didn’t think that after the news he had just gotten it was really appropriate to be thinking of food, but he'd had three bites of a powerbar in the last two days and passing out on the way back to the gate would not be helpful. "Anybody got a snack?" he asked. "I can eat it while we walk."

Jack cursed under his breath, and pushed a power bar into his hands. "Everybody take five. Daniel, eat that before we get going."

Sam finished wrapping bandages around his wrists and proffered a canteen as Daniel wolfed down the bar. "Thanks." He drank some water gratefully, and handed it back, climbing painfully onto his feet. Two days in soaked boots after a ten mile forced run wasn't the most fun he'd ever had either. His feet were probably as raw as his wrists inside the boots. There wasn't anything useful to be done about it now. He stepped forward. "I'm ready."

They followed the same route back that he and Chaka had taken. Daniel guessed that they didn't want to risk an alternate route that might take them through a stream or river. He plodded doggedly onward. Beyond the riverbank where Daniel had tried to escape, they met Griff and Pierce. Griff's shoulder was bandaged.

He looked pleased to see Daniel. "You found him!" He looked him over. "You okay, Doc?"

"Fine, Major." Daniel caught the man's dubious look. "A little the worse for wear, but it's all superficial."

"Right."

Jack called a break and Daniel checked to be sure he wasn't within sight of the river before flopping down on the ground. Beyond the clearing, he saw two fresh mounds of earth. Hawkins and Robert? God.

He still remembered that first conversation with Robert after he'd gotten back from Abydos. When he'd heard the relief in Robert's voice was the first time it occurred to him that he should have called- written, something. And when he'd mentioned he was working for the Air Force, Robert had immediately wondered if they were hiring.

"--There would be one downside."

"What's that?" Robert asked.

"The position would probably report to me." Daniel admitted.

Robert snorted. "Right. Daniel, if it reports to you, I'll take a job cleaning floors. Cataloging artifacts. Typing your memos. I'll send you my CV now and you can just tell me when I can resign and move out there." His voice got a bit anxious. "You can get bagels there, right?"

"Sure." Daniel had to clear his throat from the sudden hoarseness. "Any kind you like. I'll definitely let you know if I can get you in here."

And Daniel had done it- submitted Robert's CV, talked him through the security paperwork, and finally- finally seen his friend at the SGC. He'd been offworld and lost track of time, so he wasn't there to say hello when Robert arrived. Instead he'd run into him with a group of other shell-shocked newbies walking down the hall.

He'd almost passed the hesitant-looking group of new personnel when he spotted the familiar dark head. "Hey, Robert!" Daniel stopped dead in the hall, his team halting around him as he greeted his friend. "You made it."

Robert had looked momentarily confused as he glanced from Daniel's BDUs to his sidearm, to his teammates. "D-daniel?!"

"Yeah." Daniel grinned. "Good to see you." He glanced around. "Guys, this is Dr. Robert Rothman, an old friend from grad school. Robert- this is Sam- Captain Samantha Carter, Colonel Jack O'Neill, and Teal'c."

The other newbies were mostly staring warily at Teal'c who ignored them to incline his head gravely to Rothman. "Dr. Rothman."

"Daniel-" Jack said, a trifle impatiently.

"Hey we have to go. I'll see you later." Daniel hustled away with his teammates, but with a decided bounce in his step. He couldn't wait to show Robert what he'd been doing.

#

By the time they reached the gate, it was full dark, and Daniel was beyond exhausted, but he put one food in front of the other, ignoring the pain of blistered feet and raw wrists. Teal'c moved to hand off his staff weapon so he could assist Daniel, but Daniel pointed him at Coburn instead, who was starting to weave on his feet.

When they reached the gate, Daniel moved automatically to the DHD and dialed Earth's address. He reached out of habit for the GDO he wasn't wearing, then looked around to see Sam sending their code. Dispiritedly, they trudged through the gate- five people fewer than they should have been.

Hammond was waiting at the end of the ramp, his tense expression relaxing a fraction when he saw Daniel with the other members of SG-1. "Dr. Jackson. Welcome home. How are you?"

"Fine, thank you sir." Daniel said. "I'd better go get MRI'd just the same though." His teammates could give the General a report. Daniel ignored the gurney and continued walking to the infirmary. He'd made it this far on his own feet, no reason to stop now. He ignored the SFs that followed him on Jack's signal.

"Hey." He managed a feeble wave for Janet as he plopped down on the exam table.

"Daniel." Janet dropped her clipboard and came straight over to him. "You look terrible."

"Nothing serious, so long as I'm not a Goa'uld." Daniel said.

She raised an eyebrow. "Is that a joke?"

"No- you haven't heard?" At her headshake, he continued. "The planet was indeed the Goa'uld homeworld. And it still has a thriving population of primitive Goa'uld infesting the water supply. They got SG-11. And Robert. So would you please do the damned MRI first? I- and other people- would kind of like to be sure I'm me before you waste a lot of effort on me."

Janet gave him an incredulous look, but they did the MRI first. Despite the noise, Daniel fell asleep on the table. He awoke to Janet shaking him gently. "Daniel?" She met his eyes. "You're not a Goa'uld."

"Thanks." Daniel took a deep breath, then let it out. "Shower?"

"Exam." She said firmly.

"Ah, your look-out." Daniel said. He submitted to gentle probing of the lump on his head, and admitted to a slight headache, which he and Janet both knew meant it hurt like hell. She shone a light in his eyes, and looked at his bruises. Told him the scratch on his face didn't need stitches and wouldn't scar, which he knew. She carefully unwrapped the bandages on his wrists, and Daniel persuaded her to leave them off while he showered and came back. They stung like fury, and so did the raw patches on his feet when he gingerly pried his boots off but he felt better clean.

They numbed and cleaned his wrists and then did the same for his feet, when Janet noticed the raw bits. She wanted to keep him overnight.

"I'd sleep better at home," he said. Opening position for the usual negotiation.

"You fell asleep on the MRI table, Daniel. I think you'll sleep fine in the infirmary." Janet riposted.

He got her to let him go to his on-base quarters as a compromise. He knew she would- he wasn't badly enough injured for her to resist the pleading look he wasn't too scrupulous to use when he wanted his own way.

Of course he went first to his office and pulled out Robert's personnel file. He ran his fingers across the cover without opening it. Why had he done it, brought Robert here? Because he'd wanted a friend here. A friend who understood the love of antiquity the way he did, who caressed the spines of old books, who could read the forgotten scripts of half a dozen cultures that were dead on Earth, but had living descendants among the stars.

Daniel had never thought Robert would be happy in a field post, and he hadn't been, preferring to fill in where necessary, and content not to venture through the gate except for major digs on worlds that had previously been declared safe. Like P3X-888.

Safety was an illusion here. And to be Daniel's friend you needed to be armed, dangerous and have eyes in the back of your head. And even then, you might get a snake in it. Even Sam and Jack- with a frisson of shock, Daniel realized that the only close friend he had now that had never been snaked was Teal'c- and Teal'c carried one in his gut. And he had walked through the valley of shadow one more time and come out unscathed while death stalked those around him. He put down the file softly, and limped over toward the door and his quarters. He was getting morbid. He needed sleep.

#

The debrief was long and brutal. Daniel's eyes kept returning to the video of the camp, the dead soldiers. There were no pictures of Robert. When his turn came, he told them briefly of his experiences with Chaka. "I'd like to go back to study the Unas," he added at the end.

Hammond gave him a thoughtful look. "I appreciate your desire to continue Dr. Rothman's work, but I have considerable concerns about the safety of any personnel returning to P3X-888." He shook his head slightly as Daniel opened his mouth to say- something, he wasn't sure what. "I don't propose to discuss it now, Dr. Jackson., but if you can come up with a proposal that won't endanger more lives, we can return to the subject later."

Daniel nodded, fiddling absently with the bandages on his wrists. "On a different subject sir, what about Robert's family?"

"They will be notified through official channels, Daniel," Jack started.

"I know his parents, sir." Daniel looked from General Hammond to Jack. "And they know that Robert was working for me. I think this is really something I should do in person."

"I understand," Hammond said. "But it's too late. They were notified by the Air Force this morning. I sent a letter."

Daniel sighed. "I'll call them then."

"In better news," Hammond told them, "the Enkaran colony is doing very well. They've sent an official invitation to SG-1 to join them for a celebration of their new home.

"Sounds great," Jack said, a bit too heartily.

Daniel rubbed his fingertips lightly over the bandages on his wrists, wondering what he would say to Robert's parents.

#

Daniel stood with the other members of SG-1 at the SGC memorial service. He hadn't said anything about the condolence call, but Jack had made enough of those himself to guess how it had gone. Daniel stood silently between Teal'c and Jack for the service, Carter on Jack's other side. How many funerals had he been to, Jack wondered. After a while they all started to blur together.

They filed slowly out afterward, a sea of dress uniforms with a sprinkling of civilians.

"Colonel," Major Andy Pierce from SG-2 stopped them at the door. "We're getting together at my place."

"I've got a few bottles in the truck," O'Neill said. "We'll follow you?" He hadn't mentioned the plans for the wake to his team, but he hadn't had to. There'd been enough funerals at the SGC that they were routine.

Pierce lived in a modest suburban house, much like O'Neill's own. There was a plastic swing and slide in the backyard, and a grill on the patio. One of Pierce's team was directing people with alcohol to the bar, while another took coats. Pierce's wife and kids were at his in-law's, Jack gathered.

When the glasses were passed around, Daniel poured a stiff slug from the first bottle that that was offered him.

Bourbon wasn't something Daniel usually drank. "Medication?" Jack asked him.

"Didn't take any." Daniel replied, correctly interpreting Jack's concern for mixing painkillers and alcohol.

"You planning to get hammered?" Jack's tone was not judgmental, but there was a flicker of surprise in his eyes.

"Planning?" Daniel said. "No. It could happen." He looked down at the flat white bandages that covered his raw wrists.

The bandages and the scratch on his cheek were the only visible signs of his ordeal on P3X-888. At least as long as he kept his sleeves rolled down. Under his clothing, Jack knew, he was a mess of scrapes and bruises, thanks to having been dragged unconscious through the woods for several hours. Jack looked thoughtfully at Daniel's glass and grabbed another for himself. "Teal'c?" he asked.

"Yes?" Teal'c replied. He was sitting on a couch with Samantha Carter. Sam had a beer, the Jaffa was holding a glass of fruit juice.

"Here." O'Neill tossed his keys to his teammate.

The Jaffa raised an eyebrow. "I was not planning to stay long."

"We can get a taxi." Jack said. "I don't think anyone else is going to be in any shape to drive."

Teal'c nodded. This was a ritual he'd witnessed before, though he'd told his teammates he found it puzzling.

Nearly everyone else in the room had a glass by this time. "Let's drink to SG-11," suggested Coburn.

"To all the dead," Pierce added.

"To all the dead." Daniel repeated softly. "Yes."

Pierce gave the scientist a startled look, but held up his glass as Daniel raised his.

"Major Peter Hawkins." Daniel Jackson said clearly. There was a murmur of voices and glasses around the room were raised. "Dr. Robert Rothman." His voice cracked a bit on his friend's name. He remembered Jack telling him that Robert had run all the way to the gate for help, and then insisted on accompanying the search and rescue team. "Sergeant Curt Loder. Lieutenant Mira Sanchez. Sgt. William Tenney."

"Hear, hear." Ferretti raised his glass and more beer was drunk.

Daniel's voice cut across the clink of glasses. "Captain George Wilson." A member of SG-9's diplomatic corps, he had been killed the week before in a dispute on another planet entirely. "Lieutenant Virginia Astor. Major Jeffrey Graham." Everyone knew the names of the two officers who had been programmed to be Goa'uld assassins, zatarcs, and then suicided. The murmurs were respectful. He looked around for Sam. "Martouf and Lantesh."

Sam looked back with a suspicious shininess in her eyes.

Daniel finished his glass and reached for another. He and Teal'c exchanged a long glance. "Sho'nac of the Red Hills."

Teal'c nodded gravely, and raised his glass of fruit juice. Someone whispered a question in the corner and Ferretti told him who Sho'nac had been.

The next five names were members of other teams, people SG-1 hadn't worked with. O'Neill hadn't even realized that Daniel had known them. Though if he'd thought about it, he should have suspected. Daniel knew everyone.

Daniel continued. "Sergeant Lyle Baker. Sergeant Paul Stevens." Teal'c raised his glass again and O'Neill joined him at the names of the two soldiers who had accompanied them onto the replicator-infested Russian submarine but hadn't returned. There were other names as well, from other SGC teams. One lost to the Goa'uld. Another a casualty of exploration into the unknown.

He continued, "Lieutenant Perry Anderson. Sergeant Will Varney. Sergeant Lewis Charrette. Captain Randal Sozecki-"

O'Neill stiffened and stepped forward to lay a hand on Daniel's shoulder. "Daniel."

The archeologist broke off. "Jack." He peered at his friend. "Your glass is empty." Daniel's eyes were shimmering with moisture. There were still a few knots of people talking at the other end of the room but everyone at their end of the room had turned to face Daniel and Jack.

"Maybe you've had enough?" The colonel suggested.

"But I'm not finished." Daniel met his eyes only fleetingly

Ferretti tapped O'Neill's shoulder with a bottle. Jack slowly took the full bottle of beer and sat down.

Daniel politely waited for him to open the beer before continuing with the names of the soldiers who had died rescuing a group of kidnapped Abydonians. "Randal Sozecki, um, Lieutenant David Reynolds. Sha're Jackson." With his wife's name, the tears in Daniel's eyes overflowed and ran down his cheeks. He made no move to wipe them away, simply continued with names, a bit hoarsely. Men who had died rescuing SG-1 from Hathor. Sergeants Chu and Plunkett, killed by the Reetu in the halls of their own base.

O'Neill blinked hard and drank deeply when Daniel clearly recited the names of those lost to the black hole. "Colonel Frank Cromwell. Captain Jon White. Lieutenant Melissa Price, Sergeant Joseph Lawson. Major Henry Boyd." Daniel hadn't even been there for that one. He'd been offworld with another team. There were more hushed whispers of explanation when Daniel said the names of Erich, husband of Gairwyn, his brothers, Per and Oleg, and Kendra of Cimmeria.

Sam looked down at another set of names. "Jolinar of Malkshur. Airman Michael Connelly, Airman John Bailey-" Those were the two guards who died trying to stop the Ashrak from reaching Sam.

They were followed by the two Jaffa who had died on Klorel's ship, trying to help Bra'tac and SG-1 avert the attack on Earth. Daniel added a few words of explanation to their names. It was quite likely that aside from himself and Teal'c there was no one on earth who had even heard those names before. Jack found he couldn't even remember if Bra'tac had introduced them.

The next group needed some explanation as well. "In an alternate universe, the entire staff of the SGC died defending the base from Goa'uld attack. But I'd like to especially honor the memories of the alternate Jack O'Neill, Samantha Carter and Catherine Langford, who died helping me get back here with the intelligence that saved us from the Goa'uld attack on our Earth." Daniel wasn't the only one looking decidedly buzzed, but his explanation was brief and lucid. The people who came after them were SG-7 and the planetary population of Hanka, less Cassandra. Daniel enunciated the names of the SGC personnel clearly and followed them with Sergeant Franks, who had died trying to escape Jonas Hanson's little theocracy. No one commented on the omission of Hanson and Baker, who had become delusional and murdered a number of the natives.

A marine lieutenant who Jack remembered had been on Makepeace's team for the first trip to the Land of Light swiped at his eyes at the name of a teammate who had broken his neck falling two stories to the floor of the gate room under the influence of the Touched virus.

The names were still flowing smoothly, and now Jack remembered them all. "Major Charles Kowalski. Dr. Brian Nimzicki." Victims of the goa'uld who had invaded Kowalski and then tried to escape from the base. "Sergeant William Casey." Died of his wounds following the first mission to Chulak. Three Abydonians and two air force personnel, killed in the attack on Abydos. Sergeant Carol Kettering and three other soldiers dead in the first attack on Earth.

There was a restless murmur as people seemed to expect that was the end, but Daniel stared blindly into the room and followed them with a long string of Abydonians. Casualties of the rebellion against Ra, Jack realized. Finally he and Ferretti raised their glasses again as the last three names of the brutally long list came. Daniel's eyelids were slitted closed, but his voice remained steady. "Sergeant Ronald Freeman. Sergeant Luis Porro. Lieutenant Alexander Brown." He took the last swallow of his drink and set the glass down with exaggerated care on the table next to his chair. The whole room was silent.

O'Neill and Ferretti repeated the names of the first three casualties of Ra on Abydos, "Freeman, Porro and Brown." Everyone drank. Daniel's head dropped back against the chair and his eyes closed.

"I can't believe that he remembered all those." Ferretti said. "If he left anyone out, I certainly didn't notice."

"He cut their names into the stone." Teal'c said.

"What?" Ferretti looked at him.

"On Abydos." Teal'c said. "Daniel Jackson told me that after the rebellion against Ra, the names of the dead were cut into a memorial stone in the center of Nagada, including the casualties among the Tau'ri."

"I didn't even know he knew the first names of the guys who died." O'Neill said. "I'm not sure that I'd have remembered after all this time."

"I didn't." Daniel's voice was hoarse but unslurred. "Dog tags for the last names. I looked up the first names when I got back."

Jack blinked. "Porro and Brown's bodies were in the cell on Ra's ha'tack-"

"Freeman took their tags. I expect he meant to try and bring them back. We found his body after you left. We buried him with the Abydonian casualties."

Jack remembered the brief chilly ceremony on earth, conducted by a chaplain who'd never known the dead, for a small gathering of Air Force personnel, most of whom were there more out of duty than conviction. A stone monument in the center of the city carved with hand tools, honored by the people who credited the Tau'ri for their freedom- that was a more worthy memorial. He hoped he'd get to see it, the next time they were on Abydos.

The room had broken up into smaller conversations. Daniel set down his empty glass and took off his glasses to rub his eyes. "Had enough?" Jack asked.

Daniel gave him a sideways glance. "I can get a taxi on my own, you know."

"I know." Jack said. "But I think I'm ready to leave."

Daniel put his glasses back on. The one night of sleep hadn't entirely erased the dark circles under his eyes. "I'd actually probably fall asleep if I had another drink," he admitted.

Teal'c rose with them, while Carter smiled briefly at the three of them. "I'll find my own way home, sir."

"See you tomorrow," O'Neill told her, as he followed the civilian half of his team out into the brilliant June afternoon.
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