Five Times Death Failed to Stop for Daniel Jackson
: Five Times Death Failed to Stop for Daniel JacksonAuthor
: Jedi ButtercupRating
: Stargate SG-1Notes
: Not mine. Spoilers through Season 4. Requested by secondalto.
Five Times Death Failed to Stop for Daniel Jackson1) Just after his parents died
The slate of Daniel's life has been wiped clean more times than he cares to remember; starting over from scratch with a new family, a new community, a new *world* has almost become second nature to him. He has found that to be an asset in his anthropological work, but the looseness with which he holds most human ties-- the SGC (and Jack O'Neill especially) excepted-- has also earned him a lot of criticism over the years. The crash and burn of his relationship with Sarah Gardner is only one example. But every time he gets close to another human being, he can't help but feel the echoes of an eight year old's pain and denial, listening in incomprehension as some stranger or other tried to tell him that his parents had "gone away" without him.
They were only the first in a long line of people to leave him, but he's never quite managed to forgive them for it.2) Just before he met Catherine Langford
As the last attendee walked out of his lecture, clearly disinterested in what he had to stay, Daniel wished fervently that the ground would open up and swallow him whole. All of his years of research, not to mention his parents' legacies, had been riding on his shoulders; all his worldly possessions were in his bags, and barely the price of a cup of coffee in his wallet.
Where could he go from there? What could he possibly do next? Visions of begging Sarah to take him in while he hunted for a job floated through his tired mind, and he shuddered. Barely twenty-nine, and already at the end of his career-- but what could he have done differently? The evidence had been right there in front of him, in front of all of them, but no one else wanted to see it. Anything he did from here on out that did not acknowledge his work would be a long, slow death for him; better that he should be struck by lightning as he walked out into the rain.3) In a supply closet at the SGC
In the long seconds before Jack wrapped him up in his arms, Daniel despaired. Why couldn't he have just died in the rockfall on Shyla's planet? Why the sarcophagus, why him, why this knowledge, why now? Would there be any of Sha'uri left after Amaunet slept in that thing a few more times? Would his teammates forgive *him* for what he'd done, was doing, under its influence? Would he ever *stop hurting*? Why couldn't they let him go back, let him make it all go away?
He'd seldom felt *less* like he belonged on SG-1 than in that moment, desperately wishing he could just disappear.4) The day Teal'c took Sha'uri from him-- again
He'd been in so much pain, both inside and out, as he watched the light fade out of Sha'uri's eyes. Amaunet's assault on him with the hand device had left his brain feeling two sizes too big for his skull, and his chest had felt as though it had been squeezed in a vice, two years' worth of pent up grief and hope imploding in him all at once. Surely, he'd thought, this is the end; and how very fitting that they should die there, together, the one who opened the gate in the first place and the gift that had been waiting for him on the other side.
But the universe wasn't that kind. He was left alive to carry the guilt without her.5) Waking from a dream
"There's only one flaw in that theory," Daniel could still hear himself saying. "You're assuming this isn't what I wanted all along."
One push of a button, and millions of people were wiped out in the blink of an eye. How could he have become the kind of man who could do such a thing? He knew, objectively, that everything had happened while he dreamt, compressed into mere moments, but it still felt as though he had *lived* all of that time. That he had chosen, that he had become, that no one had come to stop him until it was too late...
If that was the kind of man he really was, despite everything he'd thought he'd accomplished these last few years...
He didn't know if he was strong enough to find another path.