After I’d watched Shau’ri die in ‘Forever and a Day’ I had to write a postscript to the episode…


Facing the Day.

By Sealie


‘Head hurts.’


He didn’t know where he was. Disorientated, he twisted to the side, bringing his hand up to bat against the cold metal bar hemming him in. Something pinched the back of his hand. Squinting, he focussed on a tube emerging from underneath a ball of cotton wool secured by a stretch of tape.

‘I.V.,’ he realised. ‘Infirmary.’


He recognised Dr Fraiser’s distinctive voice. It was mellow and rounded, soothing. Her words washed over him. He wasn’t really listening.

Her hand slipped between his cheek and the pillow turning his head so that their eyes met.

“Daniel, do you know where you are?”

Question? Not gonna answer.’ His gazed into the peace of middle space. Already he could feel his eyes drooping, sleep was casting its enveloping blanket over him.

“The ribbon device has given him a serious concussion.”

“Yeah, but it he going to be all right?”

Daniel recognised Jack’s concerned tones.

“There are some small point haemorrhages in the front of the cerebellum. We’re monitoring them; they should be absorbed.” 

“Yeah, but is he going to be all right?”

Jack was like a bulldog with a bone.

He missed Janet’s answer. Tired, his eyes closed. Behind the masking cloud of serious painkillers he could feel the heat of a migraine-biting headache. Sleep seemed like a much better prospect than staying awake.




Teal’c stood guard over his team member. The linguist muttered abstrusely as he dreamt. His rest was not easy. But nothing seemed to be easy for DanielJackson Ph.D. His beloved Shau’ri had been taken from his grasp. His wife had born another’s spawn and now he was a widower.

And the name of the one who had precipitated this grievous turn of events was Teal’c.

The Jaffa hung his head in shame.

“Shau’ri?” Daniel called out clearly. “Where are you?”

Shhhh.” Dr Fraiser appeared at the ailing linguist’s side. She gently stroked his forehead.

Daniel blinked sleepily at the physician. “Where’s Shau’ri?”

“Daniel, look at me.”

Red-rimmed eyes peered up at the doctor from under heavy brows. “Shau’ri?” he said hopefully.

Teal’c fixed his gaze firmly ahead. He could not watch.

“Shau’ri is dead, Daniel,” Fraiser said gently. “Ammonet tried to kill you and Shau’ri died when we saved you. You passed out on P8A X73. We brought you back through the stargate. You’re in the infirmary.”

“Shau’ri?” Daniel tried again.

Compassion welled in her brown eyes. “Shau’ri is dead, Daniel.”

A tear trickled down Daniel’s temple to entwine in his hair. He cast his head to the side, deliberately avoiding the doctor. Another tear joined the first.

“Please, bring her to me. Can you? Please?”

“Once you’re well,” Janet said placatingly.

“No?” He shifted uneasily on the bed, scrunching up against the metal bar away from the medic. “Shau’ri, please?”

“I’m sorry, Daniel. I want you to calm down.”

“No!” Confused and disorientated he sat up. He pushed away Dr Fraiser’s hands as she tried to restrict his movements.

“Daniel, I need you to calm down.”

“Teal’c.” He latched onto the Jaffa, hopefully.  “Teal’c? Teal’c, can you get Shau’ri?”

“I cannot, Daniel. Shau’ri is dead.”

“Nurse, get me 15 mg of Diazepam.”

Fraiser’s nurse had already anticipated her orders and handed across the fluid filled syringe.

“No drugs! Not again. I’m not insane,” Daniel protested. He kicked off the covering blankets, yanked out the I.V. and tried to get off the bed.

“Forgive me, DanielJackson.”

Teal’c intercepted Daniel before he could clamber over the metal rail. The look of reproach in the linguist’s eyes burned the Jaffa to the core. Daniel was weak, but he continued to fight against him, slapping ineffectually at the arm encircling his chest.

“No more drugs!”

“Hold him, Teal’c.”

“I am endeavouring to do so. I do not wish to hurt him. He is upset.”

Fraiser lifted up Daniel’s hospital tunic, baring his thigh, and jabbed the injection home. He flinched, trying to move away.

“Leave me alone,” Daniel muttered feebly.

Teal’c held him as he succumbed to the sedative.

“Ssssh,” Fraiser soothed, rubbing the injection bruise.

Teal’c continued to hold him as the younger man lolled to the side. He cradled Daniel’s heavy head in the crook of his arm.  The relaxation was false, forced upon the linguist by powerful drugs. Teal’c doubted his friend would ever relax again.

“Lay him down, Teal’c,” Fraiser directed.

The Jaffa obeyed, settling the linguist on the mattress before covering him with the blanket.

Teal’c looked down at the sleeping face. The ribbon burn on Daniel’s forehead mocked him. “Will DanielJackson recover?”

“I’m going to take him for another scan.” Fraiser did not answer the question. “I’m concerned about the degree of disorientation.”

Teal’c watched mutely as they transported him onto a gurney and wheeled him away.




Daniel furtively opened his eyes. He was back in the infirmary. Was he really here or was it Shau’ri’s dream? Remaining quiescent, curled up on his side in a loose ball, he listened. The quiet drone of the nurses going about their business was reassuring. Nobody had rushed over as soon as he opened his eyes, so he wasn’t under direct observation.

He could just make out Jack talking to Dr Fraiser. His own name came through clearly. Jack was asking after him.

As the voices came closer he closed his eyes and pretended to be asleep.

“He’s doing fine, Colonel. He’s sleeping.”

“Teal’c said he was pretty upset before.”

“He’s had a nasty shock and he has a significant concussion.”

“Can I stay for a bit?”

“Don’t wake him. Let him sleep.”

Silence. He suspected that Jack was nodding.

A warm hand rested on his shoulder. “Hey, Daniel, how are you doing?”

“Sssh! I told you not to wake him,” Janet hissed.

The warmth moved. The mattress dipped; Daniel guessed Jack was pushing down on the mattress as he leaned over to better peer at his face.

“Nasty bruise,” Jack whispered.

‘Bruise?’ Daniel wondered. Oh, the ribbon thingy. From the first time…’

First time? How many times had Ammonet burned him? It made no sense. He had already healed from the torture. He had spent over a week in the SGC infirmary. But then he had dreamed that Shau’ri lived, saved by the sarcophagus and the Tok’ra. But he had in reality been held within the ribbon as Shau’ri told him of the Harcissus child and hiding him at Kheb. What was the dream? Was he still dreaming? Or was this reality?

If he asked, they would take him back to the padded room. It was easier to keep his eyes closed and try to figure out what was happening.

Was Shau’ri dead or alive? He almost dreaded the answer to the question.




He opened his eyes again. Jack had left. Only a few lights dotted the infirmary. Evidently it was late, well into the midnight hours. The ECG beeped rhythmically at his side. Daniel followed the jagged lines dancing across the screen. He could feel the sticky pads on his chest. He was wired for sound.

Cautiously, he lifted his head. A single nurse was reading at the observation desk, peering at some novel in the poor light. The other two beds in the small ward were filled. Daniel recognised one patient as Lt Cook from SG-11, who had been severely burned on an away mission to P3H 998. He didn’t recognise the other guest.

Cook moaned and the nurse lifted her head. She set aside her book and crossed to her patient’s side.

“Are you in pain, Gary?”

The burn victim simply pointed at the morphine drip beside his bed. The nurse took pity on him fiddling with the I.V..

“I’m going to check your foley too.”

She pulled shut the curtains around the bed, ensuring them privacy as she checked his catheter.

Daniel sat up. The world dipped sideways and then settled. He bit his fingers to stop himself groaning; the headache was terrible.

It would be easier to stay in medicated nirvana, but he needed answers. Lifting his sheet he checked that he too wasn’t hooked up to a foley bag. Luckily he wasn’t.  He peeled off the band-aid securing the I.V. on the back of his hand, wincing as it pulled on the fine hairs. By the simple expedience of switching off the ECG before yanking off the sticky pads he bypassed their monitoring.

The nurse was still concentrating on Lt Cook as he crept out of the infirmary. He grabbed a robe as he escaped.

He bounced off the walls a couple of times as he wandered down the corridor. Luckily it was late enough so there was only a skeleton crew on duty. A young airman glanced at him curiously but continued running down the corridor, intent on her mission.

Daniel made a mental note to report her to her superior for allowing someone patently out of place to wander around the SGC. Barefoot, he padded to his lab. He had journals and papers there. He remembered reading about Kheb in Budge’s book. That would be his first port of call.

Shau’ri hadn’t made an appearance. Last time she had kept popping in, twisting reality around him as she tried to impart her message.

Daniel closed the door behind him.

“Shau’ri?” he hedged. He wanted Shau’ri to be here. Maybe if he turned around she would be pawing curiously through his library, impressed by the chicken scratches on the papyrus – proud that he could read.

Heart in his mouth he looked. He was alone; his office was empty.

Shau’ri was not here. Inconsolable, he slipped down the door to settle on his heels. He wrapped his arms around his chest.

Shau’ri was dead.

Or was she alive?

How could he ask? They would make him talk to Mackenzie. There was no way on God’s earth he wanted to risk returning to the psychiatrist’s tender care.

“Shau’ri?” He nibbled on his bottom lip. “Please?”

His head throbbed with the beating of his heart. If she lived this would be the best day of his life.

But in his heart of hearts he doubted it.

He so wanted Shau’ri to be alive.

“Please, God. Please,” he prayed.

He hadn’t prayed for a long time, even before he had found that the majority of Earth Gods were alien parasites without a shred of compassion.

There was no answer. Daniel remained slumped against the door. He curled in a ball. Hot tears dripped on crossed arms.

A cold, hard hand gripping his heart, squeezing the last gasp of hope from his soul. Shau’ri was dead. He would never know the warmth of her embrace or bask in her loving smile. They wouldn’t be able to walk hand in hand on the sands of Abydos. There would be no children. His soulmate was dead. Apophis had taken her from Abydos. Teal’c had chosen her to be Ammonet’s host. His Shau’ri had been lost to him for so very long. The parasite had mocked their love. Shau’ri had screamed in agony as she had borne her child – knowing that with the babe’s birth she too would be lost. Daniel had watched once more as his wife had been taken from him. He had hoped against hope that he would find her.

She lay at his side, the last gasp of breath leaving her body.

“I love you, Dan-yel.”

“I love you, too, Shau’ri. Forever.”

He lost himself in mourning. In a dark place where there was only pain.




“DANIEL!” A harsh hammering interrupted his misery. “Open the *FUCKING* door!”

He jerked away from the door as it vibrated on its hinges. It opened a hairsbreadth, slamming against his side as Jack forced the door open. The colonel put his shoulder to the door and pushed him along the floor.

Jack squeezed through the opening. “Fraiser’s going crazy. Teal’c’s tearing up the base. Hammond’s ordering the MPs around like there is no tomorrow.” He stopped his tirade and crouched down. “Hey, kid.”

Daniel stared up at him mutely.

They regarded each other. Jack looked greyer than usual, wan and wrung out.

“Shau’ri’s dead, isn’t she?” Daniel asked. This wasn’t a dream.

Jack nodded once.

Daniel felt the tears welling up. His nose was clogged. He brushed futilely at his face with the cuff of his robe. 

“Oh, man.” Jack’s face scrunched up.

Daniel allowed himself to be pulled into his friend’s embrace. Jack tucked his head against the side of his neck as his arms encircled his shoulders.

“Let it out, kid. Let it out.”

Jack was stalwart; a true friend as Daniel sobbed unrelentingly. The man kept up a litany of reassurances, rubbing his back. Daniel cried himself out in the safe haven, muffling his tears against Jack’s chest. Eventually he lifted his head.


“Nothing to be sorry for. Of course, if you tell any one I’m good at hugging, I’ll deny it.” Jack flashed his characteristic quirky grin. “We’d better get you back to the infirmary.”

“No,” Daniel protested, rubbing his head tiredly. “I need to do some research. I need to find out about the Harcissus Child.”

“The what?”

Daniel allowed Jack to lever him to his feet. “Yes, Shau’ri told me that Ammonet had hidden her son on Kheb.”

The linguist tottered over to his desk, barely aware of Jack at his elbow deftly guiding him to a chair.


“As Ammonet was using the ribbon device on me, Shau’ri communicated with me through it.” Daniel turned haunted eyes towards his superior. “Sam thought maybe emotions could be transmitted like on a carrier wave or something.”

“Shau’ri spoke to you through the ribbon device?” Jack said carefully.

“Oh.” Daniel jerked away from Jack’s touch. “I wasn’t going to tell you. I was going to tell you that she told me before she…” he wiggled his fingers in the air “… you know.”

Daniel lapsed into silence, mentally kicking himself. Jack would never believe him now. He was so confused. His head hurt. How could he convince his sceptical friend of the existence of Shau’ri’s son? He cradled his head in his hands.

Shau’ri beloved Shau’ri. He had promised to look after her son. He had promised to look after his deceased wife’s illegitimate son. That was not fair. The child was an innocent and his last link to his beloved. An orphaned innocent.

He could relate. Poor child, he did not even know the boy’s name.

Fraiser rushed in, interrupting his thoughts. “Dr Jackson,” she remonstrated.

Daniel twisted away as she flashed her penlight in his eyes.

“I’m okay. I just need…”

“To return to the infirmary.” She gestured to an airman who propelled a wheelchair into the room.

Daniel protested half-heartedly as Jack and the airman helped him into the chair. He raised his arms, throwing off their concern. Janet caught his hands and held them on his lap.

“Daniel, we’re going back to the infirmary.”

He could see injections, restraints and Mackenzie looming in his future. Nervous, he gnawed on his bottom lip. 

“Please, I need Budge.” He pointed his chin at the wealth of books along the wall. “There’s something I want to read.”

“Budge? Yeah.” Jack was willing to placate him. The colonel stood in front of the shelves, head cocked to the side, trying to find the book. He gave up almost immediately. “Daniel?”

“Top shelf, third from the left,” Daniel called out as the airman manoeuvred him out the door. Janet stalked along at his side, her fingers monitoring his pulse, muttering to herself – it was going to be a long visit in the infirmary.




Daniel curled around the book in his arms. Once more he was wired to the ECG and there was an I.V. feeding liquid into his veins. His head hurt too much to read. The words were jumbled and made no sense.

He now had a guard. Teal’c stood, hands clasped behind his back, at the bottom of his bed. The Jaffa looked ahead, a veritable statue of impassiveness. The nurses were giving the alien a wide berth.

Daniel could feel the tears slowly soaking his pillow. He had no energy for soul-destroying sobs, only a slow release of pain, inevitably sliding down his face. Fraiser’s sedative brought no relief; only made the misery mind numbing.

“DanielJackson, you will harm yourself if you continue in this manner.”

Over the curl of his shoulder, Daniel peered blearily at the Jaffa. Teal’c’s wife and son were safe in the Land of Light. What did he know of misery? Although he was so very good at inflicting it. Daniel laughed mirthlessly.

Shau’ri wanted, no insisted, that he forgive Teal’c.

‘Later,’ he decided. The other side of the pillow was dry, so he rolled over.

Teal’c continued to stand guard.




He awoke hours later to find that his glasses had been removed and the book was sitting on the table over his bed. The artificial lights were brighter; they had joined a new day. As he shifted a voice spoke, “you are awake. I will inform Dr Fraiser.”

Teal’c still stood at the bottom of his bed.

“Hello, Daniel. How are you feeling?” Janet entered his field of vision.

He considered the question for a heartbeat. “Much better, can I go home now?”

Daniel tried to categorise her expression; it hovered somewhere between compassion and exasperation.  Focussed on her medical duties, the consummate professional, she wrapped her fingers around his wrist, even though his pulse was displayed for all to see on the ECG.

“Follow my finger.”

He obediently tracked her index finger, only losing it once as it passed his nose leaving a trail of sparkles.

She injected something in his I.V. before he could protest.

“What was that?”

“Something for your headache. Would you like some breakfast?”

That was a trick question. The wrong answer was ‘no’. If you said ‘no’ – you got to stay in the fish bowl longer, being poked and prodded every half hour until you wanted to scream.

He didn’t think he could eat anything.

“Yes.” He smiled displaying even teeth.

“Excellent.” Janet patted his shoulder his shoulder, evidently pleased by his behaviour. Daniel could play the game; he had learned it in a bevy of foster homes. The trick was simply not to get caught. At sixteen he had entered university and he had not pretended to go along with mindless authority since. He had stood up for his rights, expressed his own opinions and dealt with the results.

But Fraiser was watching him with the weight of the psychiatrists of the SGC behind her formidable bearing.

Fraiser twiddled with some knobs on the ECG and left him alone with an absent pat on his shoulder. Daniel brushed his cheek against his pillow, it was dry and smelled fresh. Someone had replaced the pillow and case. It was creepy to think that someone could move his pillow when he was asleep. He didn’t like the thought of someone touching him when he was unconscious.

He watched Teal’c out of the corner of his eye.

The Jaffa remained at attention, eyes fixed on the wall.

“Hello, Dr Jackson.” A perky nurse interrupted his contemplations. He didn’t protest as she raised the bed so he was sitting upright. She uncovered his breakfast tray with an unconscious flourish. The commissary had supplied his favourite things: toast; cranberry juice; fruit and freshly perked coffee.

Under her watchful eye, he took a mouthful of juice. She smiled maternally, then she was back to her duties administering to Lt Cook and the other unknown patient.

Daniel waited until she had left the ward, busy with some task, then he kicked off his blankets. Teal’c started. Daniel dared him with his eyes.

Go on betray me to her.’

He put his feet on the cold floor. Teal’c was almost beside himself with consternation, even though he did not flicker an eyelid. Holding onto the I.V. stand for support, Daniel wobbled over to the sink. The lines tethering him to the ECG only just allowed him to reach the sink. He dumped the toast and fruit with a ghastly grin and switched on the garbage disposal. His breakfast disappeared with a satisfying crunch.

Teal’c gazed at him levelly as he hoisted his weary bones back on to the bed. He sagged, too tired to pull the blankets back over his legs.

The coffee smelled divine but he didn’t have the energy to reach the cup.

What he wanted was chocolate.

Teal’c was watching him, his expression stoic with concealed pain.

“Don’t you want your coffee, Dr Jackson?” The animated nurse was back to collect the tray.

Daniel cocked a sad smile at her. “No thanks.”

The nurse looked at the full cup of coffee then the linguist. There was a frankly incredulous expression on her face. Her eyes darted back to the coffee cup. Daniel could practically read her mind: Dr Daniel Jackson, coffee fiend, did not want coffee; some thing was wrong. She was going to squeal on him to Janet.

‘Damn, busted.’

“At least you ate your toast.”

“DanielJackson did not eat his breakfast,” Teal’c announced.

“GET OUT!” Daniel struggled into a sitting position. “Go away.” Hot tears tracked down his cheeks.


“I’m trying.” He pointed at the Jaffa, his finger jerking as he spoke. “I’m trying to understand. I know that you did the right thing and Shau’ri had had enough. But…” He took a deep shuddering breath. “… my wife just died and you killed her.”

“To save you.”

“Yeah…” He turned away from the morally certain Jaffa. They all heard the unspoken words that he wished that Teal’c hadn’t succeeded.

“I’ll go speak to Dr Fraiser.” Nurse Perky bounced away.

Daniel thumped his head down on the pillow. Teal’c had not left his post. Ignoring the Jaffa, he concentrated on counting the tiles on the ceiling. The book and the information about Kheb was out of reach, he could only dwell on his feelings.

“I don’t hate you, Teal’c. But will you please go away.”

“I will stand guard outside.”

‘With friends like these, who needs enemies.The thought had a macabre sort of humour. 




“Hey, Daniel.” Hands in his pockets, Jack sauntered into the infirmary.

Daniel put down the book that he was failing to read. He wished that he had a television version of a concussion: ten minutes of unconsciousness and then perfectly healthy by the start of the commercial break. Everything was blurry; he couldn’t concentrate and he was fighting a vile temper. Dr Fraiser had succinctly listed the typical symptoms of a concussion before shooting him up with a suite of narcotics, which at least killed the headache, but made reading kind of difficult.

“Brought you some chocolate.” The colonel dumped a bar of imported Polish chocolate on top of the blankets. He nodded at it. “I was saving it.”

“Thanks.” Daniel turned the bar over in his long fingers.

“You wanna talk?” Jack paced around the bed, his demeanour nonchalant. “Teal’c’s standing outside.”

“I know.”

“You gonna forgive him any time this century?”

Daniel glared at the older man. “I have. I just need to put things in perspective.”


“I hate it when you do that,” Daniel said conversationally.

“Do what?”

Daniel pursed his lips together in a travesty of a smile. “Repeat everything I say to make me elaborate when I’m trying not to talk about stuff.”

“Does it work?” Jack raised his eyebrows.

“I couldn’t save my wife.” Daniel talked to his hands folded on his lap.

“It wasn’t for lack of trying.”

“She must have had some influence over Ammonet,” Daniel continued, “or the Goa’uld would have told Apophis that Teal’c and I were on Abydos and she must have figured out we’d taken the child. But I don’t know if that made it worse.”


Daniel lifted his head, eyes bright with unshed tears. Jack stood beside him; his customary façade of humour had fractured.

“She couldn’t stop the Goa’uld from doing evil. Ammonet sent Shau’ri’s son to Kheb. Why? Because Ammonet didn’t want Apophis to take a Harcissus as a host? Or because Shau’ri made her hide him away?”

“Time out! You want to explain what you just said?”

“Shau’ri had a baby boy. The son of two hosts. Teal’c – well, Shau’ri really – told me the child of two hosts has the genetic memory of the Goa’uld. Ammonet took slaves from Abydos to conceal from Heru’ur that she was hiding the Harcissus – the Harcissus is the name for a child of two hosts – on Kheb. Shau’ri told me this through the ribbon device. Shau’ri and Ammonet both had the same goal. Or maybe not…”

“You’re scaring me, Daniel.”

“I thought that if Shau’ri had some small influence over the Goa’uld she must have died a little every day, knowing that Ammonet was using her body for evil. Maybe she set it up so that she killed herself – because she couldn’t face living in slavery any longer. But *maybe* Ammonet wanted the Harcissus for herself. And the only way Shau’ri could protect the child was to ensure that Ammonet never lived to take him as a host. Oh God, what if Shau’ri sacrificed herself to save the boy? If only she’d known that Ma’chello’s killing device could have liberated her or even the Tok’ra.”

“Daniel, you’re babbling”

“She didn’t have to die, Jack. We could have saved her.” Daniel screwed up his nose stopping another flood of tears. “We could have saved her.”

Jack said quietly, “she was very brave.”

“She was the bravest, most compassionate person I’ve ever met. I fell in love the first time I saw her.”

“I know, I was there.”

“You were, weren’t you.

“Cluck, cluck.” Jack tucked in his hands in his armpits and flapped his elbows.

Daniel snorted.

“So she liked geeks.”

“Please,” Daniel ducked his head. “No jokes.”

“Okay, kid.” Jack rubbed Daniel’s shoulder. “No jokes. It gets better. I know you don’t believe me, but it gets better.”

“It’s been like she’s had a terminal disease and if we were really really *really* lucky we’d find the cure. I’ve lived with this every day and now… she’s dead… and there’s nothing… except….”

“Grief.” The colonel shifted uneasily. “It’s a normal reaction.”

Daniel looked at his friend, dismayed to see raw emotion on his face. The linguist mouthed a question, “Charlie?”

Jack nodded once. “It hurts for a long time, then you remember the good times.”

Daniel clamped his mouth shut. Jack rarely talked about his dead son. He appreciated Jack trying help, even when he felt guilty for the staccato, grief filled catch in the older man’s voice.

He sought to avoid hurting Jack further. “I promised I’d find the boy and look after him.”

“The harsissy thingy?”


“And this was when Shau’ri was talking to you using the ribbon device.”

“I know you don’t believe me.”

“Well, it’s kind of unbelievable.”

“It happened.” Daniel pursed his lips and scowled.

“How’s about you do some research. You know, do some reading and stuff and we’ll talk about it when you’re better.”

Daniel shuffled down his bed and pulled the blankets up to his chin. “You’re patronising me.”

“No…” Jack tucked in the edge of the blanket, effectively pinning him to the bed. “I just think it’s kind of weird. Write me a long-winded report, backed up with references and whatzits and tell me all about the harsissy. Then Carter can bamboozle me with technobabble about the ribbon device, and you can explain it to me in words of less than one syllable.”

The first smile of the week cracked Daniel’s face.

You going to be okay, Daniel?”

Daniel took stock – the heartache was cutting him in two. “Yeah,” he said weakly. “I think I might.”

“Yeah.” Jack assessed him with a sage stare. “Eventually.”

“Thanks, Jack. Really.”

You going to go to sleep, now?”

“Maybe. I want to do some reading.” He nodded at the books nestled on his blankets.

“Okay, I’ll leave you in peace. I’ll come back later with some more chocolate.”

With a final pat on his blanket-covered leg, Jack turned to leave.

“Can you ask Teal’c to come in, please?”

“Just this once,” Jack said offhandedly and waved as he left the infirmary.

He didn’t know what he was going to say to the Jaffa when he entered. A vindictive, evil part of him wanted to strike out at Teal’c and hurt him as much as he had been hurt. Why hadn’t he shot to wound? Why had he killed Shau’ri? But the staff weapons weren’t designed for pinpoint accuracy, just maiming and dismemberment and death. The disintegrating, armour-piercing rounds in their armament probably caused as much damage when they fragmented in flesh.

“DanielJackson, you wished to see me?”

“Teal’c,” he blurted.

“Are you well, DanielJackson?”

“Getting there. I’ve got a headache.”

“I regret the pain that I have caused you. I wish to ask for your forgiveness.” The Jaffa clasped his hands behind his back and stared, awaiting retribution.

“Teal’c.” Daniel rolled his head on the pillow, to get a better look at the mournful Jaffa. He moistened his lips before speaking. “Can we move on?”

Perplexed, the alien glanced down at him. “It is not in my nature to forget and ‘move on’. Too much is assumed on your world and I do not possess the cultural learning to effectively read your body language to understand if I have made amends.”

“You were only trying to save my life, Teal’c. You did the right thing.”

Teal’c’s stoic expression flickered. “Thank you,” he bowed his head in a gesture of profound respect. He turned to leave.


The Jaffa froze. “Yes, DanielJackson?”

“Can you help me?”

“Of course, I will.” His brow furrowed, baffled. “In what way?”

“I keep trying to read Budge – there’s something about the Harcissus Child – but the words just don’t make any sense. They keep dancing… The concussion. Can you help?”

“You wish me to read your text books to you?”

“Essentially, yes.”

Teal’c nodded once, a short, sharp nod. Abruptly he turned on his heel and with controlled movements he brought a chair from the corner of the infirmary.  Daniel watched quietly as the alien set the chair precisely by his bedside. But the Jaffa did not sit down. Teal’c exited the ward without another word.

Had he offended the Jaffa in some way? Teal’c was correct, understanding body language could be very difficult.

The nurse at the observation desk shrugged and then returned to her reports, maintaining the semblance of privacy. Daniel drummed his fingers against his mattress. A doze crept up on him unawares. A clatter of a tray disturbed his nap.

“I have brought sustenance.”

Teal’c set the tray on the table positioned over his bed.

“I see.” Daniel pushed himself up on an elbow and poked the red jello with a fingertip. Steam wafted enticingly from a cup of freshly perked coffee and there was also a bowl of chicken soup and a buttered roll. Invalid food, courtesy of the commissary.

“You shall eat and I shall read to you.” The arrangement sounded as if it were written in stone.

Teal’c sat and picked up the first book. He opened it to the first page and waited patiently.

“You’re not going to read until I start eating, are you?”

“That is correct.” The Jaffa operated the motor that levered the head of the bed into a sitting position.

Daniel rode the bed, wide eyed. “Soup?”

“It is easily digestible. And chicken soup reputably has antibiotic properties.” Teal’c glanced pointedly at the spoon beside the bowl. “Shall I begin?”

“Yeah.” Daniel picked up the spoon.

But Teal’c didn’t start reading until he had swallowed the first mouthful.

He let the stories of Ancient Egypt wash over him. It was going to be hard; he had travelled the pain filled road of bereavement as a child. But at least this time he had his friends to help him and keep him fed.