Title: The Mind of the Archeologist
Author: Maeve Bran
Summary: Tag scene for "The Shroud." Jack and Vala have a conversation after they all return to Earth.
Disclaimer: I don't own Stargate SG-1. I'm just having a little fun.
Spoilers: Everything through 10.14 "The Shroud" is fair game.
Word count: 549
Vala was waiting outside of the infirmary with General Jack O'Neill. Daniel was inside being thoroughly checked over by Dr. Lam.
"First time waiting for Daniel to be cleared?" the General broke the silence.
"Um, yeah," Vala admitted nervously. She didn't know what to make of the General. She had met him a few times but hadn't gotten to know him until they were returning with the Odyssey. "Does it ever get easier?"
"Nope. Daniel has been getting into trouble for ten years and is responsible for most of my gray hair. I know he hasn't really spent more time in there than Carter and myself, but somehow when it is him I worry more," Jack answered.
"What if he... isn't himself?" Vala worried softly.
Jack gave her a look. "You obviously haven't really read his file?"
"He won't let me. Why? What would it tell me that would reassure me now?" Vala asked.
"Daniel's brain has been messed with more times than I can count and he always comes back to himself afterwards," Jack answered.
"Tell me about it," Vala pleaded to hear more so she could quit worrying.
"Well, there was the time we all switched bodies. Daniel was switched first with this old man named Ma'chello. Then Teal'c and I switched, and in order to save us all Carter played a game of Round Robin with us in order to get us back. A year later, a device the old man had left behind infected him and everyone thought he was crazy. Daniel was even locked up in the loony bin for a while. Then there were his Ascensions. You knew about that right?" Jack asked.
"Yeah. He explained it to me after we met Morgan Le Fey. So how does Ascension affect his mind?" Vala inquired.
"Ascension means that all the knowledge of the Ancients is in your mind. Well, when he descended, it was all erased along with a good portion of his other memories. He eventually recovered the ones from before the Ascension. At least, that's what happened the first time. He didn't mention what happened to the Ancient knowledge the second time, but we know his memories weren't gone. Then there was the time a dozen survivors of an alien ship were downloaded into his mind. He was his old self again as soon as they were removed. Anyway, the point is that Daniel's brain has handled other people in his mind before. One old man, Merlin or not, is not a problem for Daniel's brain." Jack replied.
"Oh. Yeah, Daniel will be fine," Vala said, her confidence improving.
Dr. Lam came out of the infirmary just then. She looked from the General to Vala and finally addressed the General.
"Daniel appears to be fine. His MRI matches the last one he had. Whatever Merlin did to him, and the experience of being a Prior, haven't so much as left a mark on his brain. I would, however, like to keep him over night for observation," The good Doctor explained.
"Can I see him?" Vala asked. Then Jack gave her a look, and she hastily corrected herself. "Can we see him?"
"Of course," Dr. Lam answered. She chuckled at the sight of the General and Vala racing each other into the infirmary.