manips by Eilidh and AnneJackDanny

~Ancients Portal~

by Taylyn

Chapter 1


Standing over the desk of a sound-asleep Daniel Jackson, Cam wondered if General O'Neill hated him, or if he was just trying to drive him crazy. His order had been to take care of the archaeologist and “have him home by curfew,” not that Cam really understood what the last part meant. Judging by the drool lining Daniel's chin, Cam knew his efforts had failed. He'd left Daniel last night with strict instructions for him to get some sleep, instructions that Daniel must have ignored until a few hours ago.

Cam sighed. He, Sam, and Teal'c had waited in the 'gateroom for fifteen minutes before Cam had set out to find one missing team member. Not that Daniel was Cam's team member anymore, but for the length of this mission—as boring as it was—Colonel Cameron Mitchell was back in charge of SG-1. His own team was still recuperating; technically, Grogan was recuperating, and Vala and Kal'toc were at the Alpha site doing some sort of alien orientation program that Cam had never heard of. He suspected General O'Neill had separated his team to give everyone a chance to recover their equilibrium. Unlucky 13 they'd been on their last mission. He'd sat in the infirmary with Grogan and Vala until Lam had kicked him out, probably at General O'Neill's order. He swallowed hard as he looked at Daniel. Even after a month, the memory had the power to move him. Vala, Grogan, Daniel, O'Neill—even Cam himself—no one had come away unscathed from.... God, he hoped their next mission would be better.

General O'Neill had been pretty scarce the last month as well, either away on trips to Washington or immersed in the day-to-day running of Homeworld Security. Cam wondered if everyone needed some breathing room. It had only been in the last week that he'd seen anybody truly smile. Doctor Daniel Jackson on an archaeological mission, with Sam and Teal'c in tow, was a sight to behold. Daniel had gone on and on about a lost city of the Ancients, and how the town looked like the one where they'd first met the Ori, and how the old building contained...Cam didn't know what it contained. He'd tuned out about that time. He did know Daniel was excited, so excited that he just had to have some dusty old book from his office. That's what had brought them back to the SGC yesterday. Daniel would get his book, Cam would re-supply the team, and they'd all be back on P3N 55N-- Cam checked his watch. They should have left a half an hour ago. He wondered if Walter had shut down the 'gate.

He looked down at Daniel fast asleep, with his head on his arms, arms resting on his desk. Around him were three half empty cups of coffee, several stacks of books (a pair of glassed perched on top of one), copious amounts of paper precariously perched on the edge of the desk, and a small tablet that Daniel had brought back with him yesterday from P3N 55N.

He reached down to shake Daniel awake, more gently than he would have imagined, given the circumstances. “Jackson. Oh, Jackson, rise and shine.” He paused, waiting for the sleepy reply.


“Hey, Jackson, it’s time to go!”

Daniel’s head came up, his eyes looking about dazedly before he noticed Cam standing in front of him. It took a few seconds for him to snap back to reality. “Mitchell? Cam? What are you doing here?” he mumbled, blinking the sleep from his eyes.

“I'm looking for you. We were supposed to leave thirty minutes ago. Remember P3N 55N?”

“Thirty minutes ago?” Daniel checked his watch. “What? No, that can’t be right. Damn, I’m sorry. I was working on translating the writing on this tablet and I….” His right hand rested on the stone tablet. His palm felt clammy as he lifted it, and he rubbed the sweat away on his pant leg. He looked up, embarrassed and a little confused, to find Mitchell watching him closely. “Give me fifteen minutes. I’ll be ready in fifteen minutes. My pack is ready to go. I need a few of my books….” He stumbled off his chair and started reaching for his gear.

“Twenty-five minutes,” Mitchell called over his shoulder on his way out the door. “Go take a shower and wake up. You look like shit.”

Daniel rubbed his hand against his pant leg again, and then rubbed his eyes with the other hand. Asleep-- he'd fallen asleep at his desk. He hadn't done that in years. He hoped Jack didn't hear about it.


Twenty minutes later an embarrassed Daniel Jackson, his still damp hair showing under his bandana, walked quickly through the ‘gate room door to where his team stood waiting. “Sorry,” he said softly, “I must have drifted off when I was working last night, um… early this morning, actually.”

“It is not important Daniel Jackson. Our mission will not be hindered by a delay of a few minutes.” Teal’c smiled and started to walk up the ramp to the shimmering circle.

“Let’s go people. We’re a little behind schedule.” Mitchell glared at Daniel, and then followed Teal’c up the ramp.

Sam hung back to talk to him. “Did you get any sleep last night, Daniel? You don’t look too good.” He glanced at her but didn’t reply. That answered her question. “Daniel,” she scolded, “you have to stop doing that. It’s not a good idea to be going off world without any sleep, you know that. You don’t look like you even had time for a cup of coffee.”

“I didn’t.” Daniel shook his head, knowing she was right and hoping he could stay awake today on P3N, especially without said cup of coffee. After all, he was the one who had convinced Mitchell and General Landry that they needed to go back and collect more information on the writing in the catacombs. But after they were done and he cracked this translation, he was going to go home and sleep for a week.

Once on the other side of the gate, a blast of hot air hit them. The planet was much like Abydos with the sand spreading for miles in every direction, although in the distance Daniel could see a tree line and beyond that the foothills of a distant mountain range.

He liked it here. He liked the simple joy of methodical work. He liked the people of the village, especially Armith, the village elder, and his daughter, a young woman who flitted into the background whenever SG-1 appeared. She was so quiet and unassuming that Daniel had barely seen her face, although she was always there with her father. Unlike his daughter, Armith shadowed the team incessantly. A little man with a lot of enthusiasm, he was delighted to have a linguist and archeologist to open a building sealed shut for hundreds of years--even though he hadn't known what a linguist and an archeologist was until Daniel told him. Armith wouldn’t come into the building, but he cheered from the exterior on a daily basis. He was always delighted to hear what Daniel had found. Daniel himself was delighted himself to have found a building to explore that was virtually intact.

He also liked having his friends with him. He missed Jack, of course, the Jack who'd been avoiding him for days; the Jack who'd set him up and then sent him off world with Cameron Mitchell to an amazing city of the Ancients. Daniel smiled. Sometimes Jack was pretty transparent. Jack was worried about him. Once they were done with this mission and after he got some sleep, he and Jack needed to go out for a steak dinner. Maybe they should head up to the cabin for a couple of weeks and argue about how many fish weren't in the lake.

He looked around him, seeing the entrance to the catacombs in front of him. Even deserted, the building exuded a feeling of grandeur--and mystery. Perhaps it was because so many in the village kept their distance that, despite the peace and quiet of the last week, the place made Daniel edgy. Something prickled at the back of his neck like an quiet but incessant presence. He shook his head. This was foolishness; he was far too experienced an archaeologist to believe in ghosts. He hefted the pack containing the tablet and his books and picked up the pace. He had work to do.


The team followed Daniel to the catacombs. Mitchell noticed that today Daniel seemed preoccupied and quiet, not like the Daniel he knew. Well, the “preoccupied” part was right, but the “quiet” part didn’t fit at all. Usually, Jackson talked a mile a minute about where they were going or what they might see or the indigenous population or the local customs or the latest rare artifact or general mythological precepts of the prevailing culture or whatever. So what was the deal today?

The entrance was just ahead and, despite the heat, Daniel sped up. Teal’c and Sam moved out to talk to the handful of villagers, Armith included, who were hovering by the entrance of the building waiting for the return of the strangers. Daniel and Cam, moving quickly past them, entered into the relative coolness of the building itself. Daniel didn’t even stop to talk to the village elders who had made him so welcome on their first visit several days ago. He ignored even Armith, with whom he’d had spent countless hours talking.

“So, Jackson,” Cam said, “just what’s in this cave that’s so important we have to come back again yet another day? What’s so important that we couldn’t just tag this for survey and move on to another planet? SG-7 are chomping at the bit to come and play in the sand here. Can‘t we let them have it?”

Daniel kept pulling supplies from his pack. He turned, not really hearing the question. “What?” He seemed almost surprised that Mitchell was still there. “Oh, well, I don’t really know yet, but I think from the inscriptions on the wall that the Ancients could have visited here years ago. I mean this planet seems like others we’ve visited. These people are originally from Earth, I think, planted here and then abandoned or forgotten. And it’s not a cave; it’s an entryway, a temple actually. You just can’t see the shape because most of the building is buried in the sand. But I’m pretty sure it’s a temple.”

Mitchell put up his hand to forestall any more explanations. “I knew all that yesterday, Jackson. The question is--what are we doing back here?” He looked more intently, noticing for the first time the dark circles under Daniel's eyes. Yep, you could tell just by looking at him that he was tired.

“Well?” Mitchell asked again.

“I told you, I don’t know yet. I do know that I need to have another look at the inscriptions on the south wall.”

Mitchell heard the dismissal in the voice. “I'll go find Sam and Teal'c.” He turned back to the entrance leaving Daniel to his work.


After checking in with Mitchell, Sam and Teal’c decided to go to the village to get some more information about the structure Daniel was studying. The locals--other than Armith, his daughter, and a handful of curiosity seekers--avoided the temple, but they had plenty of stories about it. Most of the stories were part of the folklore of the town; some of the stories were outrageous. One of the most colorful stories told of a bloody rebellion that had happened right on the steps where Cam was now standing. Supposedly, some workers had tried to overthrow their rulers and they’d been slaughtered before they could even get to the town square. An age-old story with an age-old ending: the peasants rebel, the peasants die. The rulers, despots beyond doubt, had sealed the building and forbidden anyone to enter it again. They and their descendants had eventually died out, but still no one from the village would enter the building. Curious, Mitchell checked the steps for blood stains and found nothing but sand. Yep, a pretty colorful story. He imagined folklore was like that, a little bit of truth and a lot of imagination. Jackson could probably explain it better if Mitchell felt like asking. Which he didn’t at the moment.

After Sam and Teal’c left, Cam settled in to watch the single-minded Dr. Jackson work. He wasn’t sure why it was just the south wall that Daniel wanted to examine. The other walls also had writing on them--pictographs he supposed they were called--but the good Doctor parked himself cross-legged in front of the south wall. He offered to help a couple of times, but beyond taking some video footage, and passing Daniel some supplies, he really couldn’t do anything. He couldn’t even get Daniel to eat more than a couple of energy bars, and he only ate those when Mitchell actually placed them in Daniel’s hand. He’d look up absently, mutter a quiet “thanks,” and return to his translation. Daniel was so quiet that Mitchell actually considered asking him to explain some of the folklore about the temple. No, he decided, he wasn’t that desperate for conversation yet.

A couple of hours later, after Mitchell had checked out the local village himself, eaten a couple of energy bars (the local food was unidentifiable), and even cleaned out his pack, he looked over at Daniel to see that his head had fallen to his chest. He was asleep again. Irritated, Mitchell stood up and walked over to wake him. When he got there, he saw he was wrong. Daniel was awake—but just barely. His eyes were almost closed, slits really, and he was mumbling something under his breath--so not asleep but about to drift off any time now. “How’s it going Jackson? Are we ready to pack it in yet?”

Daniel jumped, then looked up, startled. “I could use a little more time.” His eyes blinked a couple of times. “There’s something about this tablet that doesn’t make sense. The symbols on the tablet are the same as these symbols here,” Mitchell watched as Daniel waved his hands over something that looked like gibberish to him, “but not all the symbols go together to make words. They’re meant to go together, I’m almost sure of it.” Frustrated, Daniel held up the tablet and waved it at Cam. “The answer should be somewhere in the room but I can’t seem to find it. I know it’s right here.”

“Any idea about the language?” Cam asked, his irritation gone. “It's Ancient?”

“Some of it, a variant of it, maybe.”

Really? Well, that could make this visit worthwhile after all. Think we’ll find any more lost cities? Another Atlantis would sure make General Landry and the President happy.”

Cam didn't understand, Daniel thought. The discovery wasn't a city or a piece of technology, it was... something else, something personal and important. And something elusive. He didn’t answer Mitchell, his concentration completely focused on the wall in front of him. His left hand clutched the tablet tightly. His right hand absently rubbed at his temple. He felt the headache building even as scanned up and down the wall.

“Look, let’s call it quits for today, get some sleep tonight, and start fresh tomorrow.” Cam held up his hand, expecting an argument.

Daniel sighed, tired enough not to put up a fight. “Alright. We’ll come back tomorrow, and tonight I’ll go over my notes again and see if I missed something--anything.”

“After you get some sleep.”

“Right. After I get some sleep.”

While Daniel packed up, Mitchell radioed Sam and Teal’c to let them know they were on their way back to the Stargate. “Hey, kids, pack it in. We’re heading home.”

“It’s a little early, Cam. What’s up?” Sam asked.

“Jackson’s asleep on his feet. We’re calling it a day.”

They said their goodbyes to Armith who dithered around them all the way back to the ‘gate. “You will be back with the sun? Yes? I will be here waiting.”

Daniel assured him they’d be back. He waved to the young woman who, as always, kept back where she could barely be seen. He'd been so absorbed in his discoveries, he'd forgotten about her. He should find the time to talk to her and get to know her. Maybe he could spark her interest enough to get her in to the temple.

He dialed the team home, and a few seconds later they were walking down the ramp.

Cam backed down the ramp, talking as he went. “Okay folks, before we head out for the night, here’s the deal. Everybody take a day off. Jackson, you go get some sleep, and then spend tomorrow working on that tablet. It’s just after 1400 hours now. We’ll continue our pleasure cruise to the sandy planet of P3N 55N at 0800 on Thursday. That should give everybody thirty-six hours, more or less. Carter and Teal’c, take a break, clean out your fridge or something. I’m going to get caught up on some paperwork. Day after tomorrow we’ll head back.” At the bottom of the ramp, Mitchell stopped, again expecting an argument. He didn't get one.

Sam looked at Daniel intently. “You going to be okay?”

“Fine, thanks. I’m going to go get some sleep. Thanks, Cam.” Daniel mumbled and headed out of the 'gateroom.

Mitchell followed, waving to Teal’c and Sam. “See you in a couple of days, folks.”


Daniel made his way to his room on base. As tired as he was, he’d never be able to drive home. He threw off his boots, dropped his equipment to the floor, and fell onto the bed too tired to do anymore than pull a blanket over his shoulders.

A few hours later he woke up, frightened and sweating. He didn’t know why but he had to get back to that translation. Visions of the writing on the south wall had bothered even his dreams. Groaning, he pulled himself up off the bed. He took a shower, and headed back to his office, putting on the coffee pot in anticipation of a long night. He pulled the tablet to him and started again. Maybe this time he could figure out what he was missing.


Thursday morning Colonel Mitchell walked down the hall to Daniel’s office. It was 0700 and they were set to ship out in an hour. He’d already checked in on Carter and Teal’c. Carter had spent the day shopping with Cassandra, and Teal’c had spent the day watching Star Trek reruns. Teal’c thought TV shows were a good way to learn about his adopted world, but he always had some question about the program he’d just seen that Mitchell couldn’t answer. Maybe he should suggest that Teal’c watch the Discovery Channel instead so that he didn't have to explain a Vulcan mind meld.

Walking into Daniel's office, he saw a repeat of three days ago, except that there were more books, more papers, and more empty coffee cups. And there was Daniel, asleep with his head on his arms. Mitchell was amazed; no, not amazed--annoyed. How ridiculous. He’d told Jackson to get some sleep, but not here. He’d postponed the mission for a day, more than a day. This time he was going to let him have it. He didn’t care that Jackson was one of the senior members of the SGC, or even that he was a senior member of the elite SG-1. Mitchell was a colonel in the United States Air Force, and he was about to forcefully remind Jackson of that very fact. Irritated, he grabbed him by the shoulder and shook him hard.


To his surprise Daniel was instantly awake. He threw his head back so quickly he almost cracked Mitchell in the jaw.

“No! You can’t have it!” Daniel shouted as he sprang off the chair. He had the tablet clutched to his chest as he backed away from the desk. Mitchell could see that Daniel didn’t know where he was. His pupils we huge and dark, the normal blue of his eyes almost swallowed up by the black. He looked frantic, like he was trapped in a bad dream or a nightmare. He turned quickly in a circle looking for something.

Irritation gone, Cam called, “Wake up! Daniel!”

Daniel spun around, hearing his name. Cam grabbed him by the shoulders just before his knees buckled. “Daniel, do you hear me?” Cam shouted.

“I hear you,” Daniel said faintly.

Cam looked into his eyes again. They pupils were still too big but at least there was some understanding there and some of the blue was beginning to return. He eased Daniel to the cold floor and sat down beside him. For a couple of minutes Cam sat and waited for Daniel to acknowledge him. Daniel simply sat with the tablet still clutched in his hands.

“You okay?” Cam finally asked.


“Bad dream?”

“I guess.”

He waited another minute. “Do you want me to get Dr. Lam?”


Well, that was informative.

After another pause, Cam tried again. “So, what was that all about? What can’t I have?” he asked.

“What?” Daniel’s brows were knit together, and he looked at Mitchell like he was crazy. “What can’t you have?’

“No, no, I asked you first.” Cam replied. Daniel didn’t get the joke.

“What can’t you have? I have no idea. What are you talking about?”

Cam was glad to see that Daniel was more coherent, talking in full sentences instead of single words, but he could tell Daniel was shaking. He could see the tremors from where he sat. “When I woke you up, you sprang off your chair like you’d been shot with a zat gun and yelled at me, ‘No, you can’t have it.’ Any idea what that was about?”

“No, no idea. I must have had a bad dream.” Daniel shook his head and looked around. “I don’t remember any of it, just feeling… anxious, afraid.” He scrambled to his feet, looked at this watch, and stammered an apology, “Cam, I’m sorry, really. This translation won’t fall into place, and I lost track of the time. I’ll be ready in fifteen minutes. Just let me get my gear….” He stumbled reaching for for his pack.

Getting to his feet, Mitchell smiled, hearing almost the same lines as the last time he’d found Jackson asleep on his desk. Then he saw Daniel sway and grab for the chair in front of him. “In fifteen minutes, you’re going to be in the infirmary, Jackson.” The smile was gone.

“Really, I’m fine,” Daniel insisted, straightening himself up.

“Yeah, I’ve heard that one before,” Mitchell said, giving Daniel a look that said he wasn’t going to listen to any arguments.

“Cam, I just need some sleep. As soon as we get back from P3N, I’ll go right to bed.”

“Like you did two days ago?” Mitchell asked dryly. He extended his arm indicating that Daniel should precede him out of the room.

When Daniel realized that Mitchell was actually going to follow him to the infirmary, he started down the hall. “Well, I did go to bed actually,” he said over his shoulder. “But I couldn’t sleep so I came back here to get in a few hours work and I…” He looked back at Colonel Mitchell who was staring angrily at him. “What?”

“Jackson, have you eaten or slept, other than that first couple of hours, since you came back from P3N 55N? You know that was more than thirty-six hours ago?”

Daniel stumbled a little and stopped walking as he realized what he’d done. Mitchell reached out and deftly put his hand under Jackson’s elbow to steady him. “Thirty-six hours?” Daniel was plainly surprised. “Thirty-six hours? Well, I must have slept sometime or you wouldn’t have had to wake me up.”

Mitchell looked into Daniel’s eyes again. This time he saw blue eyes clouded with exhaustion. It still wasn’t good but it was a lot better than what had been there before.

“Were we going somewhere?” Daniel asked.

Mitchell let go of Daniel’s elbow. “Infirmary.”

“Right,” Daniel said and started to walk down the hall again. Mitchell walked beside him keeping close enough to steady him if he should stumble again.

In the infirmary, Daniel started to argue with the doctor. “Really, I’m fine, Carolyn. I need to get back to work. We’ve got a mission and I’ve already delayed it. Stop shining your flashlight in my eyes and let me go.”

Dr. Lam lowered her flashlight. “Dr. Jackson, from what Colonel Mitchell told me, you were delirious. I think maybe the flashlight needs to stay on a little while longer.”

“I wasn’t ‘delirious,’ it was just a bad dream.” Daniel looked over to Mitchell hoping for a little sympathy, saw that he wasn’t going to get any, and sighed.

“Doc,” Mitchell said, “I want to make sure he gets some sleep. He needs to stay here for a little while. Can you arrange that?”

Daniel protested, “Cam, I can sleep in my room.”

Mitchell raised his hand. “If you actually did that Dr. Jackson, I’d tell you to go ahead. Oh wait, I did tell you that two days ago. But you didn’t seem to be able to handle that little assignment, so you’re staying here.” Daniel then turned to glare at the nurse as she put in an IV. Mitchell waved Dr. Lam aside.

“Any ideas, Doc? He looks terrible right now.”

“Not yet,” she said. “I’m going to run some tests, but other than the fact that he’s obviously exhausted, I can’t see anything wrong with him. His temperature’s a little elevated—nothing to be concerned about. I want to get some fluids into him so I’ll put him on an IV for a couple of hours.”

“What can you do to make sure he sleeps? I’m almost sure hasn’t slept more than a few hours in the last thirty-six, and I don’t think he slept more than a few hours in the thirty-six before that.”

“I’ll put a mild sedative in the IV. If he really hasn’t slept in thirty-six hours or more, a mild sedative should be enough to help him sleep for at least a day.”

Mitchell looked at Daniel, now arguing with the nurse about the IV. “Don’t take any chances Doc. Make it a heavy sedative.”


Mitchell ran into Sam and Teal'c coming into the infirmary. Obviously, the news had spread that Daniel was in the infirmary, or maybe it was telepathy. Cam wouldn't put it past them.

Standing by Daniel's bed, Sam reached down to have him grip her hand fiercely. “Daniel, are you okay? What’s the matter?”

“I’m fine Sam,” Daniel mumbled. “I just need some sleep. I’ll be fine, but I need to get back to work. The markings on the tablet…” His voice faded and his eyes slid shut.

“Cam, what happened?” she asked. She was still holding Daniel’s hand.

Teal'c stood on the other side of the bed. “Is Daniel Jackson ill? He has been working very hard lately.”

Mitchell gave them the short version. He told them about finding Daniel asleep and about the conversation Daniel couldn’t remember having.

Sam and Teal’c looked at one another across the bed.

“I’ll stay with Daniel for a little while.” Sam hooked a chair and pulled it over without letting go of Daniel's hand.

“I will be back to relieve you in a few hours, Colonel Carter,” Teal’c told her.

Mitchell was surprised. “Hey guys, I don’t think this is anything serious. You don’t need to stay. He should be back to normal in a couple of days. I had Dr. Lam put a sedative in his IV so he can get some sleep. Don’t worry about it.”

Sam smiled when she heard that Cam had asked for a sedative, but she still didn’t leave.


When Mitchell checked back a few hours later, he saw Teal’c sitting by Daniel’s bed. Daniel was still sound asleep. According to Dr. Lam's promise, he would stay asleep for the better part of a day.

“Hey Teal’c. How’s it going?” Mitchell pulled a chair over to the bed.

“Daniel Jackson sleeps restlessly. He has spoken in his sleep several times but I have been unable to make out the words.”

“Why don’t you let me take a turn here while you go and get some rest?” Mitchell asked.

“I am fine, Colonel Mitchell. I have rested the last day while Daniel Jackson worked. I do not mind waiting here for him to wake.” Teal’c looked at Colonel Mitchell and realized that the colonel wanted to stay here with Daniel. “But if you would not mind, I will go and get something to eat and return in an hour.”

Mitchell moved his chair a little closer to Daniel’s bed. “Sure, no problem. You go ahead. I’ll hang around here for a while.”

Teal’c bowed his head and left.

Mitchell looked down at the sleeping man. “Well, Jackson, I wish you could tell me what it is that binds this happy little band together,” he muttered. “You certainly seem to have some effect on people.” During his short career at the SGC, Mitchell had already spent more than a few hours in the infirmary watching Daniel sleep, or to be more accurate, waiting for Daniel to wake up. And the watching didn’t get any easier. After leaving the infirmary a few hours ago, he'd e-mailed Grogan a dumb joke he'd found on the Internet, and left word with Walter that the next time they had a wormhole to the Alpha site, he wanted to talk to Vala and Kal'toc.

Daniel stirred and mumbled in his sleep. Teal’c was right; Daniel was restless. Cam tried to pick up on whatever Daniel was saying. He heard a few words but didn’t understand any of them. Most of them, he figured, were in another language, but it was obvious that Daniel was very agitated about something, something serious enough it bothered his sleep even through a sedative.

After a few minutes, Daniel started thrashing about in his bed. His hands clenched and unclenched, almost as if he were reaching for something. Cam worried that he was going to pull out his IV if he got any more upset. He was just about to go and get Dr. Lam when Daniel sat straight up in bed.

“No!” he shouted. “No, Jack, don’t let them have it! Jack?” Daniel looked around wildly. “Jack? Don’t let them have it!” Cam thought his eyes had the same panicked look he’d seen before, the blue again swallowed up by the black.

Cam reached out and grabbed Daniel’s hand. “Daniel! Jackson, do you hear me? You’re in the infirmary. Hey, snap out of it!” A minute later Dr. Lam was standing beside him, shaking Daniel to bring him around.

Cam stepped out of the way to give Dr. Lam room to work. What the hell was wrong?

Finally, Daniel was back. He looked at Dr. Lam in surprise before seeing Mitchell a few feet away. “Cam, what’s going on? Why am I in the infirmary?”

Mitchell kept calm for Daniel's sake and said, “You don’t remember the two of us walking down here this morning, after I woke you up in your office? You’d been working on the translation of that tablet we found on P3N 55N.” He looked questioningly at Daniel. The dark circles were still under his eyes and despite the sedative and a couple of hours sleep, Mitchell didn’t think he looked rested. Now Daniel’s memory was going. If he couldn’t even remember getting to the infirmary, he was going to have to stay here, no matter how much sleep he got.
“Oh, yeah,” Daniel said. “I remember. We both ended up sitting on the cold cement floor of my room while I woke up.”

“Yeah, something like that.” Mitchell was relieved. “What happened this time?”

“This time?”

“Yeah, you sat straight up in bed calling for General O’Neill. You said, ‘Jack, don’t let them have it.’ You were pretty upset.”

“Really? That sounds like what you told me I said before.”

“I was thinking the same thing. Whatever ‘it’ is, it must be important or you wouldn’t be so worried about it.” Mitchell hesitated and then asked, “Any idea why you’d be calling for General O’Neill?” He knew the General and Daniel were close.

“No. I don’t know what it would have to do with Jack. This planet isn’t one that Jack or anyone in the SGC has seen before.”


Daniel sighed. “Nothing.”

Cam shrugged. “It’ll come to you. Just give it time.”

“Thanks,” Daniel said. “By the way, what are you doing here? I thought you’d be in your office doing paperwork. How long have I been asleep?”

“I got all my paperwork done yesterday, remember?” Cam grinned. “You’ve only been ‘asleep’ if you can call it that, for a few hours. Teal’c and Sam thought you needed somebody here in case you woke up. I guess they were right.”

Daniel looked a little embarrassed. “Cam, I’m fine. You don’t have to stay here. I’m just going to go back to sleep, so you can leave now.” He settled himself under the covers again.

“Yeah, I know.” Mitchell sat down, readjusted his chair, and folded his arms across his chest.

As he drifted back to sleep, Daniel felt better knowing that Cam was there. He vaguely wondered if somewhere on the application form for SG-1 it said something about sitting in the infirmary with sick teammates.

On the edge of sleep, his thoughts kept coming back to the tablet. What would Jack have to do with a tablet from a planet he’d probably never heard of let alone seen? Something about the tablet felt threatening, even dangerous. After a few minutes the drugs took over, and he finally fell into a deep dreamless sleep.


Once Daniel was well and truly out, Mitchell left word with Dr. Lam to call him if Daniel should wake up, and went in search of Sam and Teal’c. He found them in Sam's lab.

“Cam, is Daniel okay?” She got to her feet as soon as he walked into the room.

“He’s fine, Sam. I told the nurses to let us know if there's any change. Look, Daniel woke up yelling for General O’Neill. He said, ‘Jack, don’t let them have it.’ Any idea what that’s about? What is it Jackson’s so worried about?” Sam and Teal'c stared at him. “How about going back to the planet? All of this started when we came back from P3N 55N.”

Teal’c replied, “Going back to the planet without Daniel Jackson would not be very useful. Only he knows what he is looking for.”

“Does he?” Sam asked. “It seems to me that he doesn’t know or he wouldn’t be so upset by whatever it is. Daniel told me on the way back to the 'gate he was missing something. What is it he’s missing?” Sam smiled to herself. Daniel would tease her if he could hear her now. She could hear his voice: “Sam, if I knew what I was missing, I wouldn’t be missing it, would I?”

“A trip back couldn’t hurt,” Mitchell insisted “It’s better than sitting here waiting for answers to come to us.”

“I’d like to stay here, Cam, just to make sure Daniel’s okay.” Sam said.

“That’s fine. Teal’c and I should be able to handle this alone.” Mitchell shot Teal’c a questioning look and saw the Jaffa nod his head. “We leave in half and hour. I’ll check in with Landry.”


Sam sat by Daniel’s bed and watched him sleep. She’d been in several times in the last couple of hours to assure herself that Daniel was alright. He seemed to be resting comfortably, and Dr. Lam felt that he’d sleep a few more hours with the sedative she’d given him. Mitchell and Teal’c should be back shortly, hopefully with useful information. General O’Neill was right, she thought. These chairs weren’t made for prolonged sitting. How many times had she heard him complain about the plastic chairs? Sam shifted trying to find a semi-comfortable spot when she heard someone come into the infirmary. Surprised, she sprang to attention as O’Neill himself walked into the room. “Sir.”

“At ease, Carter. How many times do I have to tell you that? Sit back down.” He gave her an irritated stare before he turned his attention to Daniel. “What’s up with him?”

Sam returned to her seat. “He’s been having trouble sleeping, sir.”

“Hardly something unusual for Daniel.”

Sam smiled. “Yes, sir, but he’s been struggling with the translation of a tablet we brought back from P3N 55N. More like obsessing, I guess.”

“Again, hardly something unusual for Daniel.”

“And he’s been calling for you.”

“Yeah, Landry mentioned that when he called.”

“General Landry called you?” Carter asked in surprise.

“Yeah. So I thought since I was in the neighborhood, I’d stop by.” Sam knew that General O’Neill was hardly “in the neighborhood.” He was scheduled to be in Washington all week. He must have made a special trip when Landry called.

Whether it was Jack's voice or just restlessness, Daniel started to toss and turn again.

“I thought Lam gave him a sedative,” Jack said.

“She did.”

“Doesn’t look like it’s working.”

“No, sir.”

Daniel started to mumble again.

“What’s he saying Carter? Any idea?”

“It sounds like he’s speaking Ancient, but I haven’t been able to make out the words.”

At that moment, Colonel Mitchell walked into the room and stopped in the doorway. He was surprised to see General O’Neill there.

Daniel suddenly sat straight up. His eyes were wide open and dark, his breath coming in short gasps. Mitchell was certain that Daniel didn’t see any of them.

”Jack?” Daniel yelled, looking about frantically. “Jack!”

O’Neill reached out and grabbed Daniel by the shoulders to keep him from falling out of the bed. “What, Daniel? I’m right here.”

Daniel didn’t hear him. His looked about the room, his eyes desperately trying to find something. He tried to pull away from the hands holding him.

“Jack. Open the door. Open the door, Jack! We have to get out of here!”

“Daniel, what door?” He glanced over his shoulder. “The infirmary door’s open Daniel.” He nodded absently at Mitchell standing in the doorway.

Daniel’s grabbed O’Neill by the arms. His hands twisted the jacket sleeves until his knuckles were white.

O'Neill shook Daniel firmly. “Daniel, wake up. What door, Daniel?”

Daniel’s eyes finally found O’Neill’s. “Jack? Jack, what the hell are you doing here? You're supposed to be at a meeting in Washington.”

O’Neill lifted his eyebrows. “You know, you keep talking to me that way and I’m not going to stop by anymore.” His tone was light but his hands still held Daniel’s shoulders. Like before, Cam saw the blue return to Daniel’s eyes and the fear recede.

Daniel closed his eyes briefly. He took a deep breath and tried to concentrate. “Sorry, Jack.” He stopped briefly to look around the room. “But what are you doing here?”

“Well, I heard you were calling for me in your sleep. I couldn’t pass that up, could I?

“That was a nightmare, Jack.”

“A nightmare, Daniel? Is that any way to talk to the man of your dreams?”

Mitchell listened to the banter of the two men even as he saw Daniel relax. But he noticed that Daniel still hadn’t untangled his hand from O’Neill’s sleeve and O’Neill still hadn’t let Daniel go. He kept one hand on Daniel’s arm as though he knew he had to keep him grounded.

Daniel pulled his up his knees and rested his head on them.

Despite the teasing words, Jack knew Daniel was upset. The muscles under his fingers felt rock hard. “You wanted me to stop ‘someone’ from taking ‘something’?” he asked.

“Yeah, I heard that too.”

“What are they taking, Daniel?”

“No idea, Jack.” Daniel tensed.


“Yeah,” Daniel’s voice was muffled.

“Bad, huh?”


Jack saw the pain in the lines on Daniel’s face. He could certainly feel it as Daniel’s body shook slightly.

Carter glanced at him as she got up from the chair. “I’ll get Dr. Lam.”

The room was quiet for a couple of minutes. Daniel’s breathing evened out and Jack knew Daniel was a few minutes from sleep. He heard Dr. Lam come into the room and saw the syringe in her hand.

“Headache, Dr. Jackson?” Dr. Lam asked. She stopped abruptly as O’Neill waved her away. She glanced at Colonel Carter who had come in behind her, looking for an explanation. Carter was watching the general with a puzzled look on her face.

“Danny,” Jack asked gently, “what door?”


“Why do I have to open the door? Why do we have to get out of there?”

“I don’t know, Jack.”

There was a pause. “Where’s the door, Daniel?”

Daniel looked up. “I told you I don’t know.” The pain of his headache was evident now and his face looked a little pale.

“I think you do. Where’s the door? Think.”

Jack thought Daniel was about to lose his temper, but instead he saw Daniel’s forehead furrow in thought.

He asked again, more insistently this time. “Daniel, where’s the door?”

Daniel put his head down on his knees again, and for a minute, Jack wondered if his friend had finally fallen asleep. “It’s in the wall of the temple. It’s somewhere in the south wall.”

Mitchell stepped forward. “General O’Neill?”

O’Neill looked at him, truly noticing him for the first time.

“Sorry, sir. I was looking for Colonel Carter. I didn’t want to interrupt. There’s no door in that wall.”

Daniel looked up again. Mitchell saw the sweat on his face and now even his voice indicated the pain he was in. He glanced at Mitchell and then back to the general. “Jack, it’s in the temple somewhere in the south wall.”

O’Neill looked questioningly at Mitchell.

“I haven’t seen anything that looks like a door, sir. And I’ve spent a lot of hours staring at the walls of that temple over the last few days.”

O’Neill gave a little laugh. “I’ll just bet you have, colonel.”

Dr. Lam stepped forward. “General, Colonel, I have to give Daniel his medication now.”

She reached for the IV and injected the contents of the syringe in the line. “It’ll just be a few minutes, Dr. Jackson, and you should start to feel better.”

“Thanks, Carolyn.” Daniel again rested his head on his knees.

O’Neill waited for the medication to work. “Why don’t you lie down before you fall asleep in that position? You’re going to have a crick in your neck if you stay like that.” He eased Daniel back on the bed.

“I need to get back to my research, Jack. I have to get back to the tablet. It’s got something to do with the door in the south wall,” he mumbled as sleep took him.

“Yeah, Daniel.” O’Neill gave it another minute until he was sure Daniel was asleep and then reached across to pry the fingers from his jacket. He folded Daniel's hand under the covers.

“Mitchell, any chance I could see this wonderful tablet Daniel’s talking about?”

Mitchell nodded. “Let me go change, sir and I’ll meet you in Dr. Jackson’s office in five minutes.”

“Fine, colonel.” He watched Mitchell leave the room.

“Well, Sam? Any ideas here?”

“No, not a clue.”

“Stay with Daniel. I’m going to go see his latest rock.”

“It’s an artifact, Jack,” Sam said quietly, echoing Daniel’s usual correction.

O’Neill smiled. “Yeah, I know.” He looked at Daniel one more time, turned abruptly, and walked out the door.


Part 2


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