by Nel

Disclaimers: Dude, not mine.
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Language
Category: Angst
Season: Season 2
Summary: Repression wasn't what it used to be.
Series: Part 3/6 in the Surrender series, sequel to Surrender and Torment
Spoilers: Message In A Bottle
Author's Notes: You know, this "writing 30k stories" thing is really quite fun. The stories get finished. Extraordinary. Thanks to the usual suspects: Suz, Danvers, Kelly and Mairoh, who are too good for me. Really. *hugs*

Added notes: Well, gang, it's been almost a year and I haven't updated. I'd like to say that I'll finish it, and I really do want to, but the SG-1 groove isn't really around anymore. It might be finished some day, but it might also not be. If anyone is dying to know how it ends, send me a mail and I'll tell you (coz I do know, it's just the whole 'writing-it'-thing that's kicking my ass). I'd just like to say that I'm sorry and that I have learned not to post any more WIPs. Nel, June 7th 2006

From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.

Edgar Allan Poe, Alone


Daniel didn't look up at the knock on his door, deeply engrossed in the mysteries of the language he was trying to interpret. It wasn't until Sam was right in front of his desk that he noticed he wasn't alone any more.

"Oh, hey." He didn't even attempt a smile, and she seemed to appreciate that. Her head was bandaged; eyes as red-rimmed as they'd been ever since... his thoughts hastily veered away.

"Hey," she said, "I didn't know you were on base."

Daniel looked down on the text again. "I've been here since yesterday."



The silence stretched out and Daniel seemed unable to get past the sentence he was currently reading. Nw maa wäl talas merkeligh ordh. //Something about 'words'.//

He could feel tension start creeping up his back as Sam continued to say nothing. Nw maa wäl talas merkeligh ordh. //'Remarkable words' even.// She was going to bring it up. He knew it. Any second no-

"Daniel, I still think you should reconsider."

"We've already talked about this." He didn't need this right now. He really *really* didn't. He needed to focus, to work.

"No, we haven't. I brought it up, and you ran off."

"I didn't run off," he objected, unconvincing even to his own ears. "I had things to do."

"Daniel." He could see Sam lean forward, but he still didn't look up. Nw maa wäl talas merkeligh ordh. It was just one goddamned sentence…

"I really don't wanna talk about this right now."

"Tough." Sam sounded determined and Daniel sighed and looked up at her. So many things were reflected in her eyes; tension, weariness, grief-

Daniel's mind hastily reeled away. "Why can't you just accept that I don't want to do it?"

"Because I remember a time not so long ago when we had a memorial for you and the Colonel-" her voice cracked slightly, but she braved on, "and the Colonel pretty much arranged it himself."

Still thinking circles around the subject, he looked down again. "So?" Nw maa wäl talas merkeligh ordh, om then stolsse riiddare her tordh.

"So, you owe him at least that."

"Why should I?"

"Damn it, Daniel." Sam's voice finally broke but Daniel didn't look up. He stared at the texts before him as though his life depended on it. //Don't think about it, don't think about it, don't think about it-//

"I killed him, okay? I think I've done enough for Jack."

Daniel squeezed his eyes shut as waves of pain crashed over him. Repression wasn't what it used to be.

"God, Daniel…" Suddenly she was right next to him, and her arms were around him, pressing his head to her chest. This wasn't helping, Sam wasn't helping; he had to pull it together.

"Sam," he started and noticed that he wasn't just having trouble breathing because his face was pressed against her shirt, but also because crying took away time that should have been spent on breathing.

"It wasn't your fault, it was no one's fault." She hugged him tightly and he understood that it wasn't just for his comfort.

"I fucked up."

"He wouldn't have wanted you to blame yourself," and that was it, Sam broke down, and now Daniel was the one comforting *her*, letting her use his shoulder to cry on for while.

"I just never thought it'd hurt so much," she managed to gasp. "When we thought you were gone, there was still this feeling that you were alive, and you were. Now…"

"I know," Daniel whispered, "I keep expecting him to come walking in any second now." He hadn't meant to say that, he had to stop this now.

"You say it's your fault, but I'm the one who could have tried using the healing device." Sam pulled away from him, cheeks wet and eyes red from crying. "If anyone's to blame, it's me."

"Not a chance."

She fixed him with the infamous Carter glare, which worked even under these circumstances. "Then no way is it your fault, no matter how well you've twisted the facts in that mind of yours."

"You don't understand." He started pulling away, but Sam still had her arms around his waist and he knew he couldn't make her let go unless she wanted to.

"Then explain it to me."

"Sam, I really can't do this right now," Daniel said desperately, and he couldn't, because it was all threatening to crash down on him, regardless of his carefully built walls.

Then he closed his eyes tightly, forcing those walls to hold by sheer will and opened them again to look at Sam. "I don't think-"

"He'd want you to be there."

He stared at her and she met his gaze steadily, tears still glittering in her eyes. He wanted to do it for Jack, he did, but he just couldn't…

Drawing a deep breath and releasing it, he finally relented, "Okay."

Sam watched him warily. "You'll come?"

"Yes, I'll come to the memorial."

Sam smiled, a broken smile, but the first attempt he'd seen from her since-

"Is there anything I need to do?"

"If you'd say a few words, that'd be great, but you don't have to."

"I'll say something."

"You don't have to."

"I will," he murmured. "I owe him that."

Sam nodded and turned to leave, before stopping herself and turning back to Daniel. "Dinner tonight? I'll drag out Teal'c."

Daniel smiled at her. "Sure."

Rubbing his hands against his thighs, he read the line again. Nw maa wäl talas merkeligh ordh, om then stolsse riiddare her tordh.


Jack O'Neill was

He hadn't gotten further than that before his heart started pounding painfully and his breathing turned ragged. Just using the word 'was' in the same sentence as Jack's name seemed wrong unless it was in the context of "Jack was a real pain yesterday" or "Jack was a good friend even after the first Abydos mission" or "Jack was looking pretty incredible when he came."

Daniel closed his eyes. //Don't go there. Do not go there.//

He threw his pen down and got up from his chair. He needed a break, he needed to be somewhere else and get himself together. The walls of his office were starting to close in on him.

After having walked through the corridors for several minutes he already regretted the decision of leaving his office; wherever he went, pitying looks followed him. He didn't know what to do with himself; he didn't know where to go.

He wanted away from here, but his office wasn't an option and there wasn't a chance in hell he was going home, lying in his bed and staring into the dark instead of sleeping. He hadn't slept since…

With a start he realized where his wanderings had led him. Hands shaking slightly, he turned the knob on the door to Jack's office.

Someone had been in there, collecting papers, making the office look more organized than it had ever been while the man who inhabited it had been alive. But even though there was a feel of order over the room, whoever had been here to clean up hadn't been able to erase all the traces of Jack.

The book that was a constant under his desk since he was either too stubborn or too forgetful to get someone to fix it; the stack of books that normally didn't show for all the papers that covered them, something Daniel didn't think was a coincidence.

That spot of ink…

Daniel moved towards the desk, absently rubbing the spot that had been there for several months now. Ever since the day after Jack had been pinned to the wall by the alien probe.

He remembered it clearly. He'd come to Jack's office, eager to share the discovery of the translations from P43-something, something that had turned out to be a dead-end later on, but he was very excited at the time.

He'd found Jack at his desk, staring into thin air and spinning his fountain pen around his fingers. He remembered thinking that he hadn't known Jack had a fountain pen before he'd launched into what was probably an overly enthused rambling about what he'd found, not taking much notice to the way Jack's knuckles where whitening as his grip around the pen had tightened.

Suddenly, Jack had snapped the pen in two, ink spraying over all the papers on the desk.

"You should leave," he told Daniel quietly, his voice breathless in a way that suggested that he'd been running a race.

It wasn't until then Daniel had realized that scar or no scar, Jack had been through some pretty nasty trauma and none of them had for one moment thought anything else than that he was bouncing right back. Around the same time he realized that the reason everyone thought this, was that Jack never allowed anyone to see him like this: weak, injured. Vulnerable.

"Jack, are you okay?"

Jack's eyes were tightly closed and black ink was flowing over his hand like some sort of macabre version of blood. "Just… give me a minute."

Daniel had sat helpless, watching as Jack had struggled to pull himself together, and failing. He hadn't known what to do, he wasn't accustomed to Jack… being human. It had never occurred to him that maybe things weren't as easy for Jack as he'd always made them seem.

Making a decision he'd stood, walking towards Jack and pulling the pen from his fingers. Just because he'd been slow on the uptake didn't mean he'd have to keep that particular mistake up.

Laying a hand on Jack's shoulder and squeezing, Daniel watched Jack's eyes fly open and he could see how close the other man's control was to snapping.

"Come on," he'd said quietly, "let's get out of here."

And Jack hadn't made a fuss, hadn't made a smartass remark; he'd just followed.

They'd gone to a bar and gotten spectacularly drunk. Well, at least Daniel had. It was harder to tell with Jack. He'd sat quietly, drinking his beers as the bartender handed them over.

And when the time was well past midnight, and their bar tab had reached record heights, Jack had looked at him and said, "I've got this thing about being trapped."

Daniel had nodded, they'd finished their last beers and both taken a cab to Jack's place, since Daniel had successfully spent all his cash on beer instead of saving some cab money . Crashing in Jack's guestroom, barely coherent enough to remember to toe off his shoes, he'd had a final drunken thought about Jack and acting human.

When he'd woken up with the hangover of a decade, Jack was already up and had brought him a glass of water and an aspirin, followed by a smartass remark. Back to normal. The bouncing had been done.

Daniel sank down into Jack's chair and covered his face with his hands. God, he wanted to be able to bounce back right now, but the trouble was that as he'd been the one who'd occasionally helped Jack bounce back, Jack wasn't there to return the favor this time.


He'd made himself sit down and write his speech for the memorial again when the klaxons went off. His pen froze half an inch from the paper as someone's voice blared out of the speakers "Code Nine, I repeat, Code Nine, General Hammond to Level 21!"

Daniel was out of his chair and outside his office before his brain had time to really connect with his legs. Code Nine. Possible alien invasion. Thank god. Finally, some sort of distraction.

Pressing the button to the elevator, Daniel sensed a movement from the corner of his eyes, and turned just in time to see Teal'c walking towards the elevator as well. As he came closer, he nodded silently at Daniel and Daniel could see some faint smudges under Teal'c's eyes. Faint, but distinctly present.

He had a feeling he wasn't the only one grateful for a distraction.

The doors to the elevator opened to reveal half a dozen SFs and they stepped on quickly to avoid delay.

The General got on at level 23, nodding at them and looking grim. He, too, seemed weary.

Daniel couldn't help but wonder how someone had gotten into the SGC. The chances of someone getting in from the outside were slim at best, but better than anyone getting through the wormhole undetected with some off-world team returning.

Getting off the elevator was like trying to get into the mall at Christmas time: the SFs pushed by him, instantly flanking the General as he walked towards the end of the corridor, where at least a dozen soldiers were pointing their guns at someone or something around the corner.

"Settle down, boys, last time I checked I was allowed to be here."

Daniel almost stumbled. That voice.

They came around the corner to see the back of a tall grey-haired man wearing a white hospital gown, holding his hands up in the air.

"Colonel?" The General sounded as disbelieving as Daniel felt.

The man turned around and familiar brown eyes widened in relief. "General, *thank* you. Could you please tell them to put their guns down?"

"Jack?" Daniel's voice cracked a bit.

His face hardened and Daniel received a cold glance from the depths of hard, dark eyes. The voice was even colder. "Miss me?"

The End

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